7.30.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Blueberry Lemon Whole Wheat Pancakes:


Sewing Cabinet Drink Station:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):




Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




7.26.2013

Just Throw It Out The Window - Feedback Friday


As a child on car trips, I can remember that phrase now and then when I would ask what to do with certain items: apple cores, gum, etc...

I find myself repeating the same phrase to my own kids now and then, but always worry that the car behind me might not understand.  What if they think my gum is a cigarette butt or my apple core is really a wadded up hamburger wrapper?  What if they know it's an apple core but still disapprove? What if that person is busy tossing a cigarette butt because they were raised to believe it was ok?

We scout for just the right spot with no traffic in sight then make the covert toss.  It occurred to me one day that if we are so secretive about it, maybe we shouldn't be doing it?

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you think it's ever ok to throw "garbage" out of your car window?

What kinds of things were you raised throwing out the window and what things do you toss now?

7.25.2013

Meatball Subs are Hard To Eat


As much as I like the idea of a warm, cheesy meatball sub, they are really hard to eat!  You take one bite and a meatball pops out from the opposite end, sauce squirts, cheese rolls off to one side, and I'm an adult!  You don't even want to see my kids tackle one of these things...it's the stuff of nightmares and they really should use footage for one of those Bounty commercials.

Meatball sliders are just the ticket!

I like to buy the ready baked dinner rolls that are all attached in a pan shape at my local supermarket bakery.  You can pull them apart and make single sliders, of if you are having a party, just cut the whole lot in half, line up your meatballs on each roll, top with cheese, pop on the top (stick a frilly toothpick into each roll at the top), and each guest can pull off their own slider.  Easy peasy.

Do you have some extra time?  Try this dinner roll recipe then add your own family meatball recipe:




Entertainment Unit Decorating Ideas


When I get bored with my decor I usually hit Houzz or Pinterest to gather some inspiration before I start changing things up.  When it was time to rearrange the family room I moved the furniture around, but wasn't sure how to freshen up the bookshelf / entertainment unit.  Looking at other people's ideas helped me, so I thought I would share what I came up with.

I shared some tips for choosing items for shelves a few years ago here: Shelf Decor 101

This time I stuck with those rules, but wanted to go with a more symmetrical look.  Here is what I started with:

Not bad, but I just wanted a change. Over time I tend to accumulate things and add and add until the original vision is cluttered.  Sometimes I just need to take everything off and start over.

Here is how I rearranged things:


I used items I already had around the house and tried to pair things up by either using the same item on each side or the same scale on each side.

I moved dividers so that the shelves were the same height on both sides then anchored the unit by using the same black and white urn on both bottom shelves (I took them off my mantle).  On the next shelf I used two like-sized items, on the next shelf I used books and two different bookends.  The center shelves hold all my oversized books, pages facing out so they look the same color. 

The row of balls are just Christmas ornament mosaic balls with the hooks removed.

Finally, I started with one large piece of wall decor I took from the wall of my office and placed it in the center.  A TJ Maxx bowl in a bent plate stand in the center really shows up against the dark background.

I started arranging similar items out from the center in a symmetrical way.  It was lucky that I had an old family violin and he had an old family ukelele to showcase on top.  The urn and fake grass in a pot were a similar size so I put them on the ends.

I hope one of these photos gives you some inspiration for your next spruce up!

7.23.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Yikes!

I'm on vacation and I woke up this morning in a cold sweat realizing I forgot to post my link up! Yes, I really might need to get a life if these things wake me up on vacation...

I'll try to do this on my phone, I have no idea if this will work but here goes...

<!-- start InLinkz script -->

<script type="text/javascript">
document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src=http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=298260&' + new Date().getTime() + '"><\/script>');
</script>

<!-- end InLinkz script -->

7.22.2013

White Texas Sheet Cake




So, Texas Sheet Cake is chocolate, right?  Wrong!

My sister-in-law brought this fantastic White Texas Sheet Cake for our family's Mother's Day dinner and it was love at first taste so I made one for 4th of July this year. 

What I love about Texas Sheet cakes...

Super moist
Lots of servings
Better the next day so great to make ahead
Really easy prep and clean up since all ingredients are made in one saucepan!

White Texas Sheet Cake
Recipe from Taste of Home (*adapted by Hope Studios)

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt *
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract *
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  
  • FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract *

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring butter and water just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, salt, baking powder, extract and baking soda until smooth. (I mixed the eggs in last hoping that the sour cream cooled the mixture enough to avoid scrambling the eggs!)

  • Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown ( I baked mine about 15 mines until set but not brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. 
  •  
  •   To make frosting, in a large saucepan, bring butter and milk just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in confectioners' sugar and extract. (the original recipe calls for 1 cup of chopped walnuts mixed into frosting that I omitted).
  •  
  •  Spread frosting over warm cake. Cool completely. 
  •  
  • Yield: 20 servings.

*Original recipe calls for sour cream
*Original recipe calls for almond extract
*Original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp almond extract

7.19.2013

Our Latest Disagreement - Feedback Friday

Now, I already know the real answer to this question because I obsessively combed the internet to prove myself right in my latest little disagreement with The Big Guy.

Every time these particular Discover Card commercials come on the TV we start up all over again. Watch and see:

Now, I say these people are in fact different people who look alike.  The Big Guy contests that they are the same actors or else the commercial makes  no sense.

It's Feedback Friday...

Do you think the people in this commercial and in the rest of the series are the same or different?

7.16.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

diyDIY Knee Hockey Slip and Slide:


Pallet Bench:


Homemade Blackberry Jelly:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1 Would you like a t-shirt that fits?

#2  I'm being BLACKMAILED

#3  How to mark darts


Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




7.15.2013

An Easy Photo Backdrop and Instagram Party (the conclusion)


Do you remember my Feedback Friday Photo Dilemma?  In a nutshell, our school's 8th grade graduation party theme was "Instagrad" this year and revolved around photos (past and present) of the students. 

Here is the conclusion to the story:

The principal vetoed the idea of setting up supervised photo spots with props for an adult to take pictures with the kids' phones.

He told us he decided to have the school yearbook camera available for an adult to take photos which he wanted to upload to a website and password protect each picture for each student (200 + passwords) before he distributed them.  Well, when the party started we realized he was just blowing smoke and no camera was anywhere around.  Lesson: to get moms off your back, invent some huge, complicated story then do whatever you want to do anyway.

So, the kids took unsupervised pictures with their phones everyplace but in front of the backdrop using the props...since that would mean the school supported the idea of camera phones?  Who knows, but it was a huge disappointment.  The kicker of the whole thing was that since we had such a small budget ($150) for decorating, I brought all the props including hats, sunglasses, beads, from my own home and every single thing was stolen and never returned.  No good deed goes unpunished.  Sigh...

Luckily, the backdrops I made for the photo spots went together lickety-split and with a minimum of materials.  Want to learn how?

Photo Backdrop Tutorial

Supplies:

1" PVC pipe
90 degree pipe fittings
Plastic tablecloths from the dollar store
Saw
Glue gun

Instructions:

Begin by determining the size of your backdrop.  Since some kids in my son's class are quite tall, I made mine 7 x 5 feet.

Construct the frame of your backdrop, by cutting the pipe to the correct lengths and form a large rectangle using the corner fittings.







Using the hot glue gun, create a 3 inch "hem" along the short side of your tablecloths (I used 8 tablecloths). Don't measure, just wing it, it will all get scrunched together.


Remove the pipe from the top of your frame and slide it through the pocket you formed at the edge of the tablecloth, scrunching as you go, until you cover the span of the top of the backdrop.  The tablecloths will hang down, like a curtain, forming the backdrop.


Lean the backdrop against a wall and make your kids stand in front of it to see how it looks.


Provide some props and go crazy!

This background used our school colors, but I also made one with rainbow colors and another solid colored one - the sky is the limit!

The backdrop disassembles easily by popping the pipes out of the fittings. Even after I had pre-made one at home, I just rolled it up and brought it to school where I reassembled it.

7.12.2013

Tomato, To-mah-toh





There are certain words that drive me absolutely crazy when I hear them mispronounced - especially on TV (more than in regular conversation for some reason).

At the top of my list is the word "jewelry" -  when I hear an ad for a jewelry store on the radio and they say "jew-lery" I want to jam pins in my ears!

I seem to remember my mom had some issues once with the pronunciation of the word "elementary" as in "elementary school",  The Big Guy has a friend who consistently mispronounces the word "complementary", and my mother-in-law used to drive my ex-brother-in-law insane by mispronouncing the word "taut" (I think on purpose). 

It's Feedback Friday...

What word drives you CRAZY when you hear it mispronounced?

7.09.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Fireplace Refaced:


Dark Chocolate Madeleines:


DIY Dog Seat Cover:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):





Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




7.08.2013

Guess What is Happening at My House Today?

Any guesses what we have planned?

7.05.2013

Feedback Friday - The Grand Tour?





It's a holiday weekend and the time of year for visitors.  I saw some etiquette questions I liked and thought this one was appropriate.

It's Feedback Friday...

When someone new visits your home, should you always give them a tour of  your house?

7.02.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

4Th of July Centerpiece:



How to Reupholster a French Chair:


Instagram Collage Wall:


Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




 

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