Archive for September 2015

Burlap and Lace Fall Silverware Pockets

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I love burlap and lace together....don't you?  The sweet and rustic balance is easy to decorate with and can be used in fancy occasions or just for the every day.  These little burlap and lace silverware pockets give a soft but rustic vibe to fall tablescapes and entertaining!

They were very easy to stitch up using this pretty ribbon I found at the craft store and while I sewed these, you can easily glue them or use a glue gun.

Choose a ribbon that is at least 2 inches wide. If you have wired ribbon like I did just pull each wire out of the sides after you cut the ribbon. 

Cut two pieces of ribbon: long piece=7" and short piece=5 "

Layer the short piece over the long piece, both right sides facing up.  \Sew around the edges starting the top of the short piece, down, and back up the other side. I ran my stitch up just a little past the short one and back stitched a few times so the seams didn't open when people pulled out the silverware.

It took me about 3 minutes to sew 5 of these pockets. I keep them in a basket in our dining room and it makes it very easy for the girls to set the table for dinner!

I hope you like this little fall craft project!  If you need a cheap centerpiece for your fall tablescape you can get an idea from this other fall craft idea


Slow Cooker Caramel Dip

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caramel snacks dessert sweets

Today I'm excited to share with you a happy experiment gone right:  Slow Cooker Caramel! It is delicious and easy!  Read on to find out how to make your own caramel dip in your slow cooker!

 There really are only two kinds of people in the world. Those who prefer chocolate and those who are wrong. HA HA HA!  Kidding. Or am I? Ok fine, some people (ahem wrong people) prefer vanilla.

Well, I kind of think that the chocolate/vanilla teams can meet on a common ground in the middle which is caramel.  Who doesn't like caramel?  Right. No one. It's like not liking puppies.   Caramel is a creamy, gooey, bridge between opposing forces if you will.

And I love it. So I made it a few weeks ago with sugar and cream. It was amazing but playing with hot melted sugar is NO JOKE.  In an effort to make things simpler, I finally tried the condensed milk-in-the-slow cooker method and I found it works! Sort of.

Slow Cooker Caramel Dip
1. Open a can of sweetened condensed milk.
2. Pour it into cute little jars. Some people just stick the whole can in the slow cooker but that feels unsafe to cook in a can to me.
3. Cap jars.Place in your slow cooker.
4.  Pour enough water over the jars to cover the tops. This step is supposedly VERY IMPORTANT!!  I guess the containers can rupture or explode if they aren't completely submerged.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours or until it looks like caramel.Carefully remove the jars from the slow cooker.
They will be super hot so you need to let them cool. If you are using canning jars, the lids will seal but since it isn't processed it isn't shelf stable. Refrigerate!

caramel dulce de leche

So did the condensed milk really turn into caramel?  Well, it turned into a thick, creamy, amber colored confection that was yummy stirred into my morning coffee. I would call it more of a caramel flavored dip as it was perfect for scooping up with apple slices. Molly loved it. Ellie gave it the stink eye before deciding she would stick with chips.  This was a good stand in for making caramel with melted sugar. It was easy, didn't make a huge amount which is good for us, and really tasted very yummy.

After a week in the fridge, it started to get a bit grainy but it smoothed out when I heated it a bit in the microwave.
So are you team ca-rah-mel or team car-mul?


Hammock Love! Swinging through Summer

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I'm digging in my heels and I'm not going into fall gracefully.  I am abiding by the calendar and squeezing every second out of this season before being hurled head first into the next!  I love fall, don't get me wrong, but we had an epic summer and I am not ready to give it up!  So I'm not. And while everyone is paying full price for fall decor at the craft store I will continue to stock my summer shelves with 80% off stuff!

For Father's Day this year, the girls and I got Jim a hammock.  He is something of a leisure guru, if you will. Need to relax?  Ask Jim and he'll tell you exactly how, when, and where you'll find optimal relaxation. So what else do you give a guy like this but a hammock, right?  The ultimate in leisure.

Hammocks are like the anti-lawn mower. You are outside and you are literally hanging from nature. And yet, you are not doing yard work. You aren't getting sweaty, hauling anything, or edging a damn thing.  It is the stuff weak abdominal muscles are made of. Beautiful!

We threw on a few outdoor pillows (tutorial here!) and a cutesy sign to discourage wee visitors looking for goldfish crackers (which works exactly as well as you think it works...not at all) and his ultimate leisure spot was ready for him.

So how does he like it?  I have no idea. He's used it once. I, however, use it almost daily.  I whole-heartedly recommend getting one, putting it as far from the house as possible, and flopping in it often. It feels decadent and isn't that what summer is about?  Too much ice cream, long vacations, toes in the sand?  And leisure, lots and lots of leisure.