Friday, May 29, 2009

Mason Jar Lamp

I have been wanting to try this for some time now. Thanks to Ryan, I finally got to!! I thought $14 for the jar lamp kit was outrageous, and didn't want to pay it!! Plus, the lamp kits are only for standard mouth jars and I wanted to use a wide mouth jar. I brought this idea to Ryan, who used to be the lamp and vacuum guy at his work, and he said it is possible to make this without the kit. So, here it is!

I will list the price and some tips I found while making this after the instructions.

light socket
lamp electrical cord
carriage bolt 1 1/2" long 1/4" thick
hex nut 1/4"
fender washer 1/4"
Mason Jar
lamp shade
light bulb

1. Drill a hole in the center of the lid. (the drill "got away" from Ryan and that is why it looks so large)

2. Drill a hole in the side of the socket bottom.

3. Insert the lamp cord through the hole you just drilled in the socket.

4. Following the package directions, attach the cord to the screws on the socket.

5. Insert the bolt into the bottom of the socket base. Lightly push socket into base.

6. Put the socket cover over the socket and push until it snaps in place.

7. Place the bolt into the hole on the lid. Secure tightly with the washer and nut. Make sure it is centered (ours is not due to the large hole we messed up)

8. Put the rim of the jar over the socket and pull the cord through. It is now ready to be placed on top of you mason jar.

Prices and Tips
I got my socket and cord at Walmart: socket $1.97, cord $1.88. Home Depot wanted $3.88 for the socket and $5.88 for the cord.

I used a half gallon, wide mouth jar. You can use any size jar, I just liked the look of the half gallon size. I found one at Michael's for $2.99 or $3.99. If you have an Ace Hardware nearby, you can order from the site and pick it up at the store with no charge. They wanted $10.49 for 6 jars ($1.75 a jar). Here is the information: Ace Hardware

The lamp shade I used is 9"x9" and was $5.00 at Walmart. Hobby Lobby sells smaller lamp shades for a little cheaper if you used a smaller jar.

Total Cost
Socket 1.97
Cord 1.88
Jar 1.75
Bolt, nut & washer 0.39
Lamp shade 5.00

If you decide not to buy the pieces and do it yourself, you can buy the lamp kit from Amazon for 3/19.99 (6.66 each). This is NOT a wide mouth kit though and this price doesn't include shipping! Total cost of lamp with kit and shipping: $17.

I have some ideas of what to fill the jar with and will post them later next week.

Jack Daniel's Glaze

Last Sunday, Ryan and I decided to treat ourselves to a early dinner at TGI Friday's. It has been since I had the girls when we were last there (4 years)because of the high prices. It cost us over $50.00 for two dinners and two drinks, just coke and tea. I then remembered why we hadn't been there in so long!!

Our dinner also reminded me that I had a recipe for the Jack Daniel's Glaze that Friday's uses. I have had the recipe for many years and it's about as close as you are going to get without paying $50 for a meal!

Jack Daniel's Glaze

2/3 c. water
1 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 1/3 c. brown sugar
3 Tbl. minced onion
1 Tbl. crushed pineapple
1 Tbl. Jack Daniels
2 tsp. minced garlic

Combine water, juice, sugar, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil. (be careful, it will boil over leaving a huge mess!) Add onion, whisky, and pineapple then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes. The glaze will thicken after removed from heat. Great for steak, chicken, ribs, or pork chops! Just brush some on while grilling and be sure to reserve some for dipping!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little Girl Mirror

I finally had some time last night to do crafts!! I saw these mirrors at Hobby Lobby yesterday and thought I could make them for less than the $3.00 they were selling for! Plus, the store bought ones were made entirely out out foam, which would last 2 minutes in my house.

I got my mirror at the Dollar Tree and used glue to attach a foam wig I made. I think I might make a little bow to put in the hair. Jaiden just loved it! These would make great treats for a little girl's birthday party with a little over $1 in each one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Identity Crisis

I think our kitten, Stormy, is suffering from an identity crisis!! She thinks she is a human baby! The girls wrap her up in blankets and rock her to sleep. Today, Jaiden put Stormy in a baby doll crib to sleep.

This is a picture of Raven sleeping in the chair.

The next two are the kittens we were able to find homes for. We gave them away last Friday when they turned 8 weeks old. So far, I have heard they are doing very well!



Sugar Cookies & Icing

I made these cookies for Jaiden's school program. I was really happy how they tasted and they were fairly easy to make. Just make sure that you plan to make these before you need them because they are time consuming!

Sugar Cookies with Icing

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

1 egg
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream all ingredients together. Use your hands to mix well to keep dough from being crumbly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for several hours. Roll out dough to about 1/8" thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375* (190*) for 12 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbl. milk
4 Tbl. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together well using an electric mixer. Dip cookies into icing. Allow to set for a few minutes, then add sprinkles if using. Allow icing to harden before stacking.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

(Original recipe for the cookies can be found Here from

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Last Day of School

Jaiden had her last day of school yesterday and they had their program today. I dressed her in red, white and blue to go with the theme of the program. I think she looked too cute!!

The videos are filmed on my camera, that is why they are a little shaky. Also, my camera only allows you to tape for so long and then it turns off. Maybe Santa will brings us a camcorder for Christmas!





Friday, May 22, 2009

Never Let Go

I am always hearing a small bit of this song on TV during a public service announcement on hunger. Today, I decided to look it up. The song is called "Never Let Go" by Tom Waits.

Here's the commercial:

Here's the song:

And, here's the lyrics:

Well, ring the bell backwards and bury the axe
Fall down on your knees in the dirt
I'm tied to the mast between water and wind
Believe me, you'll never get hurt
Our ring's in the pawnshop, the rain's in the hole
Down at the Five Points(1) I stand
I'll lose everything
But I won't let go of your hand

Well, Peter denied and Judas betrayed
I'll bail with the roll of the drum
And the wind will tell the turn from the wheel
And the watchman is making his rounds
Well, you'll leave me hanging by the skin of my teeth
I've only got one leg to stand
You can send me to hell
But I'll never let go of your hand

Swing from a rope on a cross-legged dream(?)
Signed with One Eyed Jack's blood
From Temple to Union, to LA and Grand
Walking back home in the mud(2)

Now I must make my best of the only way home
Molly deals only in stone
I'm lost on the midway, I'm reckless in your eyes
Just give me a couple more throws
I'll dare you to dine with the cross-legged knight
Dare me to jump and I will
I'll fall from your grace
But I'll never let go of your hand
I'll never let go of your hand

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coin Bank for Dad

I think this would make a cute gift from the kids to dad or even grandpa for Father's Day!

I saw the saying somewhere on the web (cannot remember where)but there was no pictures or directions. I used my own creative ideas and came up with this bank. It's cheap, easy and cute!

Large soup can, washed
soup can template
double sided tape
needle nose pliers

1. Make your template with any designs using your favorite graphics program. I used Microsoft Publisher. You can do this in word if you do not have any graphic programs.

2. Cut out template and using double sided tape, adhere to can.

3. Using the awl and hammer, make a slot for the coins to be inserted in the lid. Use the pliers to help "clean up" the slot and bend any metal to the underside of the lid.

4. Put lid back on can and give to dad. I didn't use any glue so the lid can come off and on. It holds on pretty tight without any glue.

Food Coloring & 2 Year Olds

Yesterday morning we woke up to the alarm clock instead of Arya calling for us (this happens about once a month). So, I got out of bed and came downstairs. Sitting in my sewing chair was Arya! Somehow, she managed to climb out of bed without us knowing and came down the steps. She was sitting in the chair eating a piece of cheese from the refrigerator and swinging her legs. She looked and me and said, "Hi Mommy!" I was shocked! I cannot believe we didn't hear all of this going on! Who knows how long she was down here!! My grandmother said someone from Ryan's cell phone called her really early. That was Arya! Needless to say, Ryan lowered her crib and we lock the door to the stairs (we have a door that closes off our stairwell that leads up to our bedrooms and down to the rest of the house).

So, this brings us to today. Arya was upstairs playing her room this morning while I was doing some housework. (Okay, so I was on the computer!)She comes back down about 45 minutes later and these pictures are what I saw!! Apparently, in her morning escapades yesterday morning, she found some food coloring and hid it in her room. Today is the day she decided to play with!

Her hands are just covered along with her legs, shirt and a pair of Jaiden's underwear; that she has on sideways! Maybe by this time next month, it will have all washed off her body!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wilted Lettuce and Onions

I think this is one of my all time favorite summertime treats!! I really love to eat this, I could eat it for any meal!

If you have never tried lettuce and onions, try it! Don't let the sound of the ingredients discourage you from trying it!

Wilted Lettuce and Onions

Leaf lettuce
4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbl water
1 lb. bacon
1 c. bacon grease
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. sugar

Fry bacon and set aside. Mix bacon grease, sugar, water and vinegar while grease is still hot. Pour over lettuce and onions. Add crumbled bacon.

Jaiden's Field Day

Jaiden had "Field Day" at her school yesterday. I decided to stay and Ryan took a break from work to come watch her. They were so cute learning how to play the different games! They first played Tug of War and then kickball. The kids had no idea how to play kickball, so it was a complete learning experience for them!!

This Jaiden's first attempt at kickball. Watch how she waits for the ball to stop before she kicks it!! I am the one filming her big game and you can hear my voice in the background laughing and telling her which way to run. CLICK ON THE ARROW TO PLAY

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Links # 2

Another busy day yesterday!! We have our garden completely tilled up and over half way planted. I also had a really bad headache yesterday, so I didn't work on anything.

Here are some random links from my collection:

Party Favor for Girls
Fabric Covered Night Light
Box Templates
Travel Water Dish for Pet
Vintage Cocktail Apron
Hobo Bag
35 Reusable Grocery Bags
Record Album Box
Decorative Switch Plates
East Toddler Belt

Monday, May 11, 2009

We're Confirmed

I just booked our room for our mini Myrtle Beach vacation!!! As a family, we have never taken a vacation! Jaiden is dying to see the beach, so with the help of our income tax return and family, we are going!! WE are going to stay 3 nights so Ryan doesn't have to miss a lot of work (no paid vacation).

Are plans are to go after Labor Day when the hotel rates down down. Jaiden will only miss 1 day of school (preschool), so that's not bad. My mother will probably stay here to watch the house and look after the cat and dog.

I am so excited!! I cannot wait until Jaiden wakes up so I can tell her!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Old Glory

I really don't know where this idea came from, but I am glad it came! I really like this flag! It was easy to make, no sewing required, and best of all, I only have a $1.20 invested!

Wooden plaque (Walmart $1)
Wooden star (Micahel's $0.20)
Scrap of red checkered material
Scrap of blue checkered material
Scrap of muslin
Wood stain
Mod Podge
Hot glue or E-600
White paint

1. Stain your plaque, I used Minwax dark walnut. After it's dry, scuff it up. I beat the corners on the cement, drug the face of the plaque on the cement, and I used a hammer to beat in some places. I made sure to sand any rough parts.

2. Take your red checkered material and tear it to size on all four sides. Use a layer of Mod Podge on the wood to glue it in place.

3. Tear a small square from the blue checked material and use Mod Podge to glue it in place. Tear 2 short strips and two long strips from the muslin. Use mod podge to glue in place.

4. Paint star with 2 coats of paint. When dry, take it outside and rough it up the same as you did the plaque. Use hot glue or E-600 to hold it in place.

5. If you want to to hang on the wall, attach a small hanger to the back.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Poor Man's Steak

This is another food creation of mine! I hadn't went to the grocery store and didn't know what to fix for dinner, so I threw a few things together and I told Ryan they were chop steaks. We now have renamed them "Poor Man's Steaks". They have become a regular on our dinner menu.

Poor Man's Steak
Makes 2 good sized "steaks"

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 packet brown gravy mix (dry powder)
seasoning salt
Optional: sauteed mushrooms and onions

Mix ground beef, gravy mix, and seasoning salt. Form into 2 flattened patties. Bake on wire rack with a drip pan underneath for 20-30 (or until desired doneness) at 350*. Serve with your favorite steak sauce and mushrooms & onions.

I just use an old cookie rack and a jelly roll pan lined with foil underneath the rack for my baking pan.

Bath Tea Bags

I recently found out there were such things called bath tea bags. I was on one site which took me to another site, and then before you knew it, I was 10 sites away from where I started. There are several sites out there with bath tea bags for sale and instructions. So I decided to make some.

The purpose of a bath tea bag is to put your soothing bath additives in a bag and then put that in the water, rather than letting the stuff be directly in the water, which ends up going down the drain.

I made mine with oatmeal and lavender and put it a simple draw string bag I made out of muslin. As I was running the bath water, I dipped the bag in the water, like you would do with a regular tea bag. I was not impressed with these. I felt as though I spent my entire bath trying to squeeze the oatmeal out of the bag and into the bath. I even made sure I ran the oatmeal in the food processor to make it into a powder. Next, I tried making the bags out of tulle and the oatmeal just came out. I am not sure of a solution right now, but I still thought I would share in case anyone has a solution! They must work, right? Otherwise there wouldn't be so many people selling them?

Here are two links with instructions and two links where they are being sold. (I have no association with these sellers)
Green Living

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Baby is 2 Today!

It's so hard to believe that Arya is 2 today! She was born on a warm, beautiful day. She weighed about 7 lbs and 2 ozs and was 18" long. Arya was born about 5 in the afternoon. Jaiden was so excited when she got to come up to the hospital to see her new sister!

Arya's name is pronounced A-RYE-AH, not "area". After picking out the name, I found out it is Arabic in origin and means noble woman. I had an former professor of mine write her name in Arabic for me.

We are having a small party for her later this evening. I have to get busy cooking everything. We are having gumbo, Arya's favorite, and corn bread. I am going to make her a Sponge Bob cake also. She goes crazy over Sponge Bob but doesn't like to watch him on TV!

Happy Birthday Arya!!!