Thursday, June 30, 2011

Licuado de Platano-Mexican Banana Shake

Whew! It's hot around here!
I was out sweeping my front porch and almost passed out from the heat! No, literally, passed out. So on hot days like these, or really any time of year, my boys love for me to make them a licuado de platano.

I remember as a little girl in Mexico, my grandma used to make me this frothy concoction that made me feel all happy inside :) Of course back then she also used to put in one raw egg for protein. Those were the days when Rocky Balboa used to gulp down a few of those babies before his morning run, remember?
Now we omit the the raw egg!!

It's very simple and very yummy!!
You'll need
one banana
2 cups of milk
sugar to taste (about 1/4 c)
dash of cinnamon
1-2 drops of vanilla

Take your peeled banana and slice it up. Pour the milk into the blender with the sliced banana, the cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Blend well. Serve immediately.
This makes enough to fill up about 2 1/2 glasses for my boys. They love it!!

I use Chocolate Almond milk for mine, since I can't do dairy but it's equally delicious. You can also add some fresh strawberries with the banana. I love it too.
And no, this is not a smoothie because we don't add ice or ice cream. Those go by another name in Mexico.

This is the authentic liquado de platano.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Alternative To Candy Apples...Sort Of

You know how I love to make cake pops....all dipped in creamy chocolate and drizzled with my favorite candy sprinkles or choc chips...mmmmm!!
 I also love caramel apples (and so do my kiddos). So last night we were talking about how stores already have the Halloween stuff out and how ridiculous that is...and this, well, led us to talking about making caramel apples!! YAY! Except I didn't have the ingredients for that :(
But we could make chocolate coated apples! "HURRAY!" said the guys {ok, that was me saying it, but they were THINKING it, alright??!!}
We gathered the ingredients, which weren't much, and THIS is what's so great about making these kinds of candy apples>>they're EASY.
White Chocolate Candy Coating
Red and blue sprinkles
apples (I like Gala and my boys like Granny Smith)
wood popsickle sticks
chocolate chips and/or nuts if you wish
Wax paper

Take your apples and wash and dry them. Remove any stickers.
Remove the stem, and poke the stick through this area about 1/3 of the way in.
Set aside. Pour your sprinkles in different bowls as well as your chips and nuts. You will need a nice deep bowl to dip your apples into.
Set you wax paper down on your work surface.
In your microwave, put in your chocolate candy coating tray (this is why I love this brand it's sold at Kroger's and after you're done you simply throw it away. No pots to wash :))
MW about 1 minute then in 15 second increments stirring with your spatula until melted. This particular brand melts real nice and smooth :)
Here's the fun part: your kids will love decorating the apples.
I take the apple and dip it into the melted white chocolate and if it's not too deep to cover all of it, I simply spoon it so as to cover all the apple. I then invert it and twist it back and forth gently so the candy coating slides down and leaves a smooth surface.
Now you can either dip your apples into the bowls of sprinkles or simply take a spoon and sprinkle on.
Set on wax paper to cool.

Note: I also have some floral foam blocks STILL covered in plastic where I stick my apples into when I want the bottom to be smooth and not flat.
You can also use a fondant gel pen to decorate your apples once they're dry.
Wrap in pretty cello bags and tie ribbons to give out on the 4th of July or to your friends and neighbors!! YUMMY!!
Happy Apple Making Day :)

Labels are from AndersRuff Etsy shop.

Linking up to these great blogs:
Met Mondays
Inspiration Fridays
Weekend Wrap Up Party

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"And the rocket's red glare..." Liberty Wreath

To continue my posts on patriotism, I grant you my
Liberty Wreath!!! TADA :D

Anyway, yesterday I was on.a.roll.
So after finishing our windsocks I wanted to make rockets!
No, not those kinds of rockets {although my 8 year old keeps saying that's what he's going to do when he grows up..make Rockets}
When I was at my doctor's office the other day (again) I was in the waiting room reading some magazine and I saw this cute little rocket made out of toilet paper rolls. Now for the life of me I can't remember what magazine it was but you can also find them all over blog land. I will give you my version here. My wreath is my burlap ruffle wreath you'll find on my side bar. I this wreath with a capital L.
Why?? You ask....well because since it's made out of a plastic covered straw the possibilities to decorate it are endless. ENDLESS I SAY! {If you don't believe me just stick around for the rest of the summer and watch me transform this baby over and over}
Ok, where was I? Oh, yeah, so I wanted to make a 4th of July wreath. I wanted to make it festive and colorful.
I went out and brought my burlap spring wreath inside. I removed the pinned flowers and bird's nest. I dusted it a bit and began planning my placement of the rocket!
First here's the stuff you'll need:
Wreath form (either foam or straw-don't remove the plastic!)
Assorted ribbon in red, white and blue (coordinating patterns)
Hot glue gun or Mighty Mend IT glue
scrap paper (red white blue and patterns)
scrap flowers or fabric or paper flowers
toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
1 inch white star stickers
White letter stickers
2 wooden skewers
4 white cardstock stars

First create your ruffled wreath.
You can read all about making the wreath here>>Burlap Ruffle Wreath

***Next create your rocket***
I only had an empty paper towel roll so I simply cut it in half.
You are only going to use one rocket (unless you're feeling REALLY patriotic and want 2 rockets on there. Go ahead with your bad self!)
I took the cardboard roll and spray painted it red. Now, you can do this or just cover it with red paper or blue or whatever patriotic color you want.
After this, you will take the star stickers and place them on your roll. I just placed them where they would be visible since you won't see the back {it will be glued to the wreath}. Glue on any other embellishments that you have.

Draw a circle on contrasting paper. Cut around it and then cut a slit halfway into the circle. This will be the rocket's top.
Loop it around itself and glue it shut so it looks like a cone.
Set aside. Next you will take some ribbon and glue the tips together to form a loop. You can make it as long or short as you can. Play around with it before cutting. Make three of these and glue to inside edge of cardboard roll. Now you can put some glue on the top edge of the cardboard and put the cone top on. Hold in place.
TADA! Isn't it cute? I love it.

You will glue it on your wreath wherever you like keeping in mind that you will need to add some balance to the opposite side of your wreath {that's the artist in me talking, always gotta balance it}
Now, get your skewers and cut them down at the top to about halfway. You want to leave the pointy end intact because you'll need it to insert into your wreath. Take some ribbon and glue one end of it to the stick. Twirl it around and around until you cover the skewer completely. Glue the end.
Next, I went to my Cricut and cut 4 white stars at 2 inches. {I did the same for the 1 inch stars but those were cut out of white vinyl}
You will take your stars and glue them onto the top of the skewer. You want it to look 3D.

              Sorry it's blurry my hand still shakes a lot {after effects of my stroke :( }

Stick the "sparklers" into the wreath right behind the rocket.

Make some flowers:

Using ribbon I just folded and twisted and turned into a flower. I then cut out a 3 inch paper flower out of coordinating paper on my Cricut {using the Plantin Schoolbook Cart} and glued it on the ribbon flower. I then finished it off by gluing a crystal stone/bling.
For the white flower on the top, I simply used a ribbon embellishment and went round and round, gluing here and there, until it looked kinda flowery ;)
The denim came from an old shirt I don't wear. I cut up right next to the button strip and then wrapped and twisted until it resembled a flower. I glued it with my Mighty Mend It.
The denim Liberty banner came from the same shirt. I simply cut out the letters again with my Cricut and put them on the fabric.
I then pinned the flower and the banner onto my wreath. The reason I pin is that I can easily remove it later, and it actually holds up better than the glue.
I wrapped red ribbon around the top half of the wreath to add a bit more oomph and placed the white flower on it.
The tag is just a wooden tag I had and painted it white. I then cut out a number four and mod podged it on. I tied it to the wreath with twine.

You can dress it up as much as you want. I had SO much fun making this wreath and my head is swimming with ideas for next month's wreath {remember that word swimming ;)}
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Have a great Fourth of July!

PS Here are some links to other rockets:
Tatertots and Jello
Alpha Mom

Linking up to these fabulous blog parties :)
Met Mondays
Inspiration Fridays
Delightful order
Amaze Me Mondays
Sunday Showcase
Tatertots and Jello
a bowl full of lemons
Before and After Party

Monday, June 27, 2011

We're Patriotic * 4th of July Windsocks

Today I am feeling very crafty!
And because of this, I decided to get my kids into the craze and make some
tin can windsocks!!! YAY!!!
First you'll need several sizes of clean, label-free tin cans.
The bigger the better I say, but any size will work.
  You'll also need:
some twine
Red and White Ribbon
Blue Spray paint
White star stickers
The little guy helped a lot with this project. He took it upon himself to punch the holes on the tops of the cans.
I marked where the two holes would go and he took a nail and hammer from his OWN toolbox and punched the holes.

Meanwhile, out at the paint station...
I took the cans that had the holes already and spray painted them blue. The key to the spray painting of anything is to give it several light coats so as not to have drips.

While the cans were drying I went inside to the nice cool dining room (it's frikin' 100 degrees today!!!) and cut out the ribbon. I just used what we had on hand. I bought nothing. So I cut 18 inch lengths of ribbon and set them aside. I wanted to do both of the big tin cans in the nice wider white ribbon but I ran out. So on the second big can, I just alternated between the small curling ribbon and the nice satin one. It still turned out cute.
While the cans were still drying, I went to my Cricut and programmed it to cut a full 12X12 page of white 1 inch stars on white vinyl. I set the pressure to medium so that the blade would not cut all the way through and we could just peel the stars off the page.

After the 3rd application of spray paint and they were dry, I brought in the cans. We set up on the dining table and me and the two guys got to work.
First we threaded the twine thru the two holes and tied them inside the can to form a loop so we could hang them easily.

Then we peeled off the stars and stuck them on the cans. We started with the big cans. Since I had a slight piece of vinyl left over, I decided to see how many 2 inch stars would fit to be cut. It cut 10. So I told the big guy we'd split them and he could put 5 on his big can and I'd use the other 5.

Using my Mighty MendIt glue we glued the ribbon to the inside edge of the cans. Since they'll be blowin' in the Texas wind, I decided to reinforce them with packing tape. After they were dry, I just took a strip of packing tape and cut it in half lengthwise. Then I taped the inside edge where the ribbons were glued. This way they won't fall off so easily.

The boys enjoyed making these windsocks and we hung the little ones in the trees and the two big ones on our front porch along with my wooden flag I made last year!!

I'm feeling so patriotic I could make some rockets!!
And I will......{wink}

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm Guessing Wallpaper Is Back?!

I never thought I'd say this but I'm digging some of this new wallpaper.
GASP!! I swore three to four years ago that I would never install wallpaper in my house. NEVER. EVER.EVER. But now, I'm not so sure I'm against it.
Granted, I'd rather do some stenciling which is a pain in the rear but you can easily paint over it. So browse the beautiful ideas below to inspire you to wallpaper your space or stencil your own pattern onto a wall.

This one is really cute for a kid's room. Wallpaper you can draw on!

And nothing beats the classic damask look. Can you picture this in a very elegant dining room?

I could really see this one in my home

If you don't want to do a whole wall, how about adding some wall decals! I love these retro ones:

So there you go.
Everything old is new again :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Apparently Maps Are "In"

I know I may be a little bit behind on the home decor fashion world. I've noticed how anything maps is so de rigeur.

Here are some of my faves:

I'm thinking of making one of these to put on my teen boy's desk (that is still in progress)
                                     How cool would this look on your bed?

I know my little guy would love this in his room!

                                                Illuminated Globe

                                       Ohhhh, I think I may get this one :)

                                                  Source: Etsy New York Map

                                          You can even wear them~Adorable!

                                            Source: Etsy Shop Here

Click on the Source link to go see the actual shop. I hope you find some inspiration and make some map things of your own, or buy one~

Enjoy :)


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