Spider Web Bowl

Back in April I made a paper mache egg like the one my grandma had made when I was a kid.  If you haven't seen it, check it out here.  I always have warm memories of her crafts.  One day last week, I had the thought of why not making a bowl the same way.  It was pretty simple, and I love the way it turned out.  Here's what I did.
I used a smaller balloon,  liquid starch and a roll of yarn.
Wrapped the balloon with the starch dipped yarn.  I made the bottom fuller than the top.

 Let the balloon dry, then pop the balloon.

 Once it was dried and I cleaned it up, I cut the top off to make it like a bowl. I had Steve spray paint it to make it shiny.

I added a few Osage Oranges, a couple of spiders, and here is my adorable Spider Web Bowl.

I hope you all enjoy and have a great weekend!
♥ BJ

I would like to thank Steve for spray painting it for me, and Barry for going out in the rain to get my Osage Oranges.  I couldn't have finished it without them!

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Virgin Buzz Lightyear drink and a Rainbow Sherbet Fizz

Here are two drinks for your little one's birthday party.

Buzz Lightyear
1 banana
1 Passion Fruit
3 fl oz Guava Juice
1 fl oz mango puree
crushed ice
Tall glass

Slice 1/2 banana and add to blender
chop and scrape 1/2 of the passion fruit
Add 3 fl oz guava juice
1 fl oz mango puree

Blend with ice about 10 seconds or until smooth.
Pour and Enjoy

Rainbow Raspberry Fizz

1 Rainbow Sherbet
Quart of Pineapple Juice
2 liters of Sprite

Add all ingredients into punch bowl, and enjoy!


Balloon Wreath and Buzz

 I love wreaths.  When I found this one, I knew that I would have to make one.  It is the perfect birthday wreath.  It can be used outside, and given it's own personal touch to make it your own.
 Here is what you'll need:  3 bags of 72 balloon, 1 bag of floral pins and a wreath.  Leave the plastic on it so that it doesn't make a mess.

 I used 2 balloons to 1 pin, flipping them so they didn't go the same direction and so that I didn't have to use so many pins.

 Put the pins near each other, but moving them around the wreath to fill it.

Here is what it looked like after one bag of balloons.

When I was finished, I had used about 2 1/2 bags of balloons.  I like it to look filled.  I added a personal touch for Baby Diesel's Birthday which we'll be celebrating in 2 weeks.  He's not liking Buzz being on there for now, but when the party is over he can have his Buzz back and the wreath will be ready for the next birthday.

I hope you all enjoy!  Have a great day! ♥ BJ
I'd like to thank these ladies for the lovely idea!


Apple Snickers Salad

I found this recipe and am so excited to try it this year!  Thanks to the farm we pick our apples. 

1 small box vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
12 ozs. whipped cream
1 bag of Snickers miniatures (unwrapped and chopped)
4 apples chopped into dice-sized pieces

In a bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk together beating until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Add the chopped snickers and chopped apples and mix together. Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours. Serve, and stand back!


If you're into simplicity and the number eight try this variation:

8 chopped apples
8 Snickers bars
8 ozs. Cool Whip
8 ozs. sour cream

Mix together, serve cold.


Simple Solar Light Craft

We are always discussing different kinds of crafts to come up with.  I've heard of this awhile ago but never have seen it done.  If you are anything like me, I can visualize the end product and how to get there.  I usually don't follow instructions and just go by feel and in a logical order.  This is also an inexpensive idea since the materials in most stores are on clearance due to the end of the summer season.
This solar light craft is a very simple concept and very easy to do.  When the solar light is finished, there are many ways to use it and decorate it.  I consider it a "green" project because when it's done, it requires no power to charge or run it, just the good old sun.

So lets get started.  Here's the materials you will need:
Glass Jar
Solar light
Frosting, stickers, etc

Here are a few of the glass jars I used. Use different sizes and shapes.

Here are the solar lights that were on clearance for $.50 a piece.  Again
different sizes to fit in the lids.

I then took the bottom post off and discarded it.  I also cut the little knobby 
off that held the post.

Next run a bead of glue around the edge of the solar light.

Turn solar light upside down and place in center of lid.  You can use a clamp
to secure it while the glue dries.  I also added a bead of glue between
the side of the light and lid for extra security.
Then let dry.

When the glue has dried, decorate as you wish.  I used two different colors of
frosting.  One is the typically clear color and the other is a sea-foam color.
The bottom left jar I did not frost and added some colored glass
to the inside for visual effect.

The lines you see from the light are the plastic piece that's inside the solar light.
Depending on the effect you are trying to achieve, you can either
leave it or remove it.  It has no effect on the lights performance.

Here is another example of a night light for our son's room.  Bobbi found stickers
of lightning bugs and I sprayed the sea-foam frosting on the outside for
that fire fly look.

Here it is in somewhat darkness.

I believe the price for the big jar with the bugs was $3.00 because everything was on clearance.

Use your imagination and decorate how you wish.  These could be used as night lights, or on a patio table instead of a candle.  Spray frosting and etch a word or saying inside it.  Maybe just add some colored glass.  There are numerous ideas.

I hope this inspired you to make a few and please send me your ideas.  I have a few blank jars ready to be decorated.  I may wait until Christmas and make one a snow man or put snowflakes on it.


Steve ✈

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Okay friends, so most of you know I'm expecting my little bundle of joy in the next few weeks.  I'm hoping sooner, rather than later, but he will come when he's ready.  I've started what they call "nesting". So cleaning, getting myself and everything ready for little man consumes most of my day.  I'm a big cleaner anyway.  My family and friends will tell you I'm a little OCD with many of my cleaning habits.

When I'm pregnant, the OCD goes to another level!  When I clean, it's not the usual mopping, dusting, reorganizing the closet, it's full blown, stay out of my way,  don't drop a crumb or you'll lose a thumb cleaning.

I pull everything out of all the closets, all of them, reorganize and wash stuff.  I pull everything off of the refrigerator, pull it out from the wall, sweep and mop behind it, then clean and organize the inside of it.  I do the same with the stove, I pull it off the wall, clean the entire thing, and then put it back.  Every little nook and cranny gets cleaned.  I get on my hands and knees to clean the floors because that's the only way to get close to the wall.  Windows get washed, floors get steam cleaned, and I vacuum the ceiling corners.  The fans and lights even get cleaned.  Kind of crazy, I know, I just can't help it.  Though I do wonder, in a house that we don't wear shoes, how do the carpets and floors get so dirty?  UGH, it drives me crazy!

No, I'm not like this all the time.  I do keep a clean house, it may be messy, but what do you expect in a house full of boys.  I do like to clean, I always have, ever since I was little.  I think that my grandma smiles down on me with the way I take care of my house and kids,  I remind myself of her, a little.  When I think of a clean house, hers would have been at the top of every list!  You could eat off of her floors on any given day, they were seriously that clean.  I wouldn't recommend that in my house, but they are pretty clean too.

For those of you moms out there, what do you do when nesting?  Are you as OCD as myself?  For those of you that aren't moms, how much do you enjoy cleaning?  Do any of you have any tips or tricks for me.  I only have a couple weeks left, but I'd bet there is something I might have missed.

I hope you all have an amazing Friday and Weekend.  If you get a chance, please email me a feature post to put up in October.  For more details check here.

♥ BJ


Strawberry-Kiwi-Banana Smoothie

I love smoothies, and so do my boys!  This is a delicious and easy smoothie.  I hope you'll try it and enjoy!

What you'll need:
8 oz papaya juice, soy milk or other fruit juice
5-6 strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 kiwi fruit, peeled
1 banana
3 ice cubes

Put juice in blender.  cut fruit into chunks; add to blender with ice cubes.  Blend until smooth.  Makes 1 (20 oz smoothie)

While you're here, please check out yesterdays post, I could use a few features for the month of October, and would love for you to one of them!  Check it out here

Thanks!  Love, BJ


Calling all bloggers- Get Featured!

Happy Humpday all!  Hope everyone is having an amazing week thus far!  As most of you know,  it's getting to be about that time for me to have my little bundle of joy.  With that being said, I was hoping that some, all or most of you would like to have a feature on my lovely little blog.  

All you have to do is, write a post about yourself and your blog, make it as wonderful as you are. Send a craft, a recipe or anything else you may want featured.  Please be SURE it is in HTML format. 

Please include:     
Links to Your Site

Photos (Everyone Loves Photos)

A Button to Grab 

and an Interesting Story

I can't wait to see all the your fun blogs over here!  I will have them up in October being that the little one will be out at the beginning of the month, unless he decides he's coming sooner.  

Send your feature to datssocute(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks so much!!!    ♥ BJ


Homemade Applesauce

I made a new tradition a few years back of making homemade Applesauce.  I personally don't eat applesauce, I like apples, but don't dig the sauce so much.  I learned though that if I make it myself that I can make it a little chunkier and to a taste that I enjoy.  So, we began making our own about three years ago.

What you'll need:

6 apples           or     3 lbs of apples       (I usually use Jonagold apples that we pick ourselves here in OH)
1 tsp sugar              2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon    1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup water            1 cup water

Peel, core and cut apples
Place in pot, add cinnamon, water and sugar
Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes
Mash to desired consistency


Make Hay while the sun shines

Today was one of those fall days that more often than not, happen in memory rather than in real life. It transported me back to some of those days in my memory. When youthful bliss was a bike ride away, or just a stroll down the road. For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. 
Don't you miss sowing and scattering? I do, and it hasn't even frosted. Please don't miss out on these final crowded hours of summer, you will feel miserable if you do. Especially when you have three inches of ice entombing the world around you. The equinox is not until September 23 rd, we still have a couple of days left. Make hay while the sun shines!



Silent Saturday- A little torture

First there was a visit from the Tooth Fairy to start off the week and then an unpleasant trip to the Pediatric Allergist.    My poor little guy.
 Thankfully Aunt Brooke was there to help!
He just adores her!

So this is telling us he's highly allergic to dogs.  
Nice, right?!
My heart goes out to all of those little ones that have to go through this.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!  
♥ BJ


Coffee Punch

For all my coffee loving friends, here is a recipe you are sure to enjoy!

What you'll need:
1 qt. strong coffee
1/2 gallon chocolate milk
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
3 tsp almond flavoring
Large container Cool Whip

Make coffee and let cool.  Mash 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream.  Mix all ingredients together.  Serve

Doesn't this sound delicious?  I wish I had a party sometime soon to have it.  Hope you all have a great day! ♥ BJ


Tooth Fairy visit

Oh, it's killing me!  My baby is growing up way too quickly!!!!  First Kindergarten, now he's losing his baby teeth.  I know they have to grow up, but it feels like the time is flying by.  Anyway, on Sunday night he had wiggled a tooth so lose that he pulled it out all by himself.  I would share that picture, but there was a lot of crying involved and the picture is terrible!  I wasn't completely ready for the tooth to fall out but luckily the tooth fairy had one gold dollar ready.  She prepared a little note and left a little fairy dust behind.    He decided he didn't want to put the tooth under his pillow because he didn't want her to touch him.  So he put it in his little box and put it on his dresser.

He was so excited when he woke up at 6 that he had to wake both of us up to show us.  It was cute, but 6 am was not what I was hoping for.  So on Monday night, I was brushing his teeth when a lot of blood came out while spitting.  So after checking it out, I told him his second tooth had to go, it was way to loose to stay in there.  So he worked on it for a minute, and decided me or his dad had to get it out.  I'm not good with blood so his dad took care of it.  It was out before he knew it, and was excited that the tooth fairy would be bringing him more money.

Once again, the tooth fairy left him a little note, a gold dollar and some fairy dust.  He loves it!
While searching the internet I looked for ideas for the tooth fairy.  Apparently there are books that have the box with them and a story.  A lot of people write little poems.  Of course what you do it totally up to you, and making it special for your little one is the most important thing.  Your little one only knows what they see, so it doesn't have to be more than what you want.  I read one person gave their little one a $20 bill for their first tooth, that's great if you can do that, but I think it sets high standards, then that's what they expect.  

I thought I would share what his notes read.
His first note read: D, thanks for the tooth.  Love, The Tooth Fairy.
The note above read: D,  thanks for another tooth.  I was surprised how fast you lost another one.  Keep brushing them daily to keep them so beautiful.  I'll be back soon.  Love, The Tooth Fairy.
Simple but special.  I thought the little feet print were a nice touch.  He thought they were cool.  I love the little things that makes him happy.

For all of you that have little ones about to lose their teeth, my only suggestion is to be a little prepared.  Have what they are going to get from the Tooth Fairy ready or at least have a plan.  Print out a little note or write the poem, or whatever you are going to do.  Don't be side swiped when it happens.

Here is my little guy with now two missing teeth.
Oh how they grow!  Savor every minute you have with them while they are little because you blink and they will be grown!
Have a happy Hump day!  Love, BJ


Payday substitute

If any of you love Paydays, or even like them, this is the treat for you!!!!  This little concoction is one of my favorite fall treats!  My dear friend Kim showed me this while living in Mississippi, and have gotten my entire family to love it!

All you need is: 1 jar of salted cocktail peanuts
 1 package of candy corn
and a jar to mix them in
***If you substitute the cocktail peanuts, it won't taste the same.***
Mix the two together and enjoy! 
When you pop a handful in your mouth, it tastes just like a Payday!
So yummy!
Love, BJ


Portion Control

Well it is officially here!!  The start of another football season is underway.  Now I know not everyone here is a fan, but I am sure at some point you will sit down and watch a game.  The problem I seem to have is that I end up eating too much.  There are always snacks to be had and more food than is needed, which means that I stack my plate too high with all of the delicious food.  A solution to this is to use a kid’s plate.  We have quite a few and they are the best thing to control portions.  Instead of piling on the meatballs, or hot dog weenies, etc, only a few of each will fit in its own space.  This means I end up eating less.  Now at some point we all have to have some self control and not go back for thirds or fourths.   It will definitely cut down on the calories and that full belly, I can’t move feeling by the end of the game. 

We obviously also use these for the boys as well.  When they're little, it's hard for them to tell when they are "full".  So parents have to use their own judgement and watch how much they put on their kids plate.  The contents also have taken into consideration.  I.E. more fruit / veggies, less chips / junk.

Try them out and see if you stop overeating on game days.



September 11th

The past 10 years have really flown by.  I remember that day as if it were yesterday.  The feelings it left us all with.  We will never forget.

I can't think of today as a day of mourning though completely, it is a day to celebrate and wish my dad a very Happy Birthday!!!!!  

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 
Love, BJ


Post it Clipboard

While playing around on the web (which doesn't happen that often lately)  I found this adorable craft that I just had to try.  

What you'll need:
Paper coaster from restaurant
scrap scrapbooking paper
medium binder clips
post it notes pads
hot glue and gun
scrapbooking embellishment

Cut the paper to fit closely to the edges of the coaster.
I used my little sticky dots to adhere the paper to the coaster

I hot glued the embellishments to the binder clips and just put it all together.

 Pretty cute, right?  
Not only is it cute, it cost $1.00, the price of the post it notes.  Everything else I had laying in my scraps.
It would be cute laying/hanging around your house or as a gift for someone.

Enjoy and Have a beautiful Friday!


Apple cocktails

Ahhh, fall is in the air!  It's the perfect time to bring out the apple everything!  Today I thought I would share a couple cocktails with some apple in them.

Happy Apple

  • 3 Oz. Apple Cider 
  • 1/2 Oz. Lemon Juice 
  • 1 1/2 Oz. Gold Rum 
  • Lime Peel 
Mixing instructions:
Mix all ingredients, except lime peel, with cracked ice in a shaker or blender and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Twist lime peel over drink and drop into glass.

Apple Martini
1 part Vodka
1 part Sour Apple Pucker
1 part apple juice

Poor all ingredients into a shaker. Shake well and strain into a Martini glass.

Happy Thursday!  Love, BJ


Lunch Notes-Take 2

About 2 weeks ago I posted Lunch notes if you missed it.  It shares different kinds of lunch notes and a printable.

While cleaning out my scrapbook paper I had a brilliant idea.  Why use post-it notes everyday and throw them away when I you can use something that can be reused?  So I decided to find some papers that weren't too girly and use it for some reusable lunch notes.

I chose a print and a solid, stuck them together with some of my scrapbook stuff, then laminated them.

I use overhead projection markers because they don't come off quite as easily as dry erase.
Drop it in the bottom of his lunch bag, and it makes for a happy little guy.

He loves these notes!  One day he didn't realize it was there and was upset, I told him to double check the bottom, and he was so excited to know I hadn't forgotten.

The great thing about these is that you can make them whatever size you want, and have free range at what you put on them. You could even drop them in your hubby's/boyfriend's lunch box for a nice little surprise.

Enjoy, be sure to share your favorite crafts on Mondays at Photobucket

See you soon! Love, BJ


Cattle Drive Snack Mix

 A goodie perfect for snacking on the go or in the little ones lunch boxes.

What you'll need:
1 Tbsp margarine
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 cups small cheese crackers
2 cups pretzels
1/3 cup lightly salted dry peanuts
1/2 cup raisins

1.  With oven at 300 degrees, melt margarin in 13x9x2 inch baking pan
2.  Remove from oven; stir in chili powder, cumin and garlic powder
3.  Add cheese crackers, pretzels, and peanuts, toss until well coated with margarine mixture.
4.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice; remove from oven
5.  Stir in raisins; spread on paper towels to cool
6.  Enjoy

Love, BJ


Free Rangers

In an era of overbearing, over scheduling and helicopter moms it hard for kids to be kids. I am definitely a product of an overbearing mother. I couldn't cross the street until I was 12. Mind you I lived in a rural community and the only people that drove down this gravel drive way lived there! I am thankful for our pediatrician who advised us when our little guy was in his infancy that we should let him experience the world and explore his surroundings. This led to my wife and I adopting the free range idea.
Its nice to see little boys being little boys. Samuel is pretty good and well rounded, we don't hover over him or over schedule him or keep him on such a strict routine that our kid's childhood his being sucked right out of his soul. Yes, he gets into trouble, hell he's even been run over by a golf cart; but that too was a learning experience. The glare from his notebook paper doesn't bother him, he isn't afraid of getting dirty, and he knows if he is going to do something wrong, the juice better be worth the squeeze. I am terrible at a bunch of things, but I think I'm an OK dad.
Thank you Sam for being my son, drinking from our water hose, peeing outside, and being mischievous. Y'all enjoy your labor day with your kids.


Ready for school checklist

While going through my scrapbook scraps, I decided I would use a little to make "D" a checklist for before school and after school.  I figured this would be the best way for both of us to stay organized and to let him see what he still needs to do while participating in the process.  I cut some printed scrapbook paper and cut it to the size I wanted, then on the computer printed out the his checklist on a solid color.  I drew the boxes next to the words, not perfect, but they'll work.  We laminated it for durability and to be able to write on it.

I left a couple blank spots for things that might need to be written out for a day or two.  So far, it's worked smoothly.  "D" enjoys checking his things off, and I enjoy that there aren't any arguments.  Perfect Mornings!  Here is how they turned out.  I keep them on the refrigerator where he can reach them, and it's great! 

Have a Happy Friday Friends!  Love, BJ


Cocktails for kids

Here are a couple cute little "cocktails" for your little ones after a long day at school.

Pour Orange Juice into a tall glass. Then Gently pour in some Cranberry Juice. The red fruit juice slowly works through the orange juice making a  sunset effect.

Red Alert 
For a traffic stopping drink, first place a Strawberry in the glass, then a slice of an Orange, Green Grape and so on until the glass is almost full. Then slowly pour on some Cherryade (Kool Aid works) so that it soaks through the layers. Make sure to provide an Umbrella so the kids can eat that fruit too.

Kids Champagne

  • 2 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled
  • 1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle white grape juice, chilled

Virgin Pina Colada

  • 1  cup ice
  • 1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar


  1. In an electric blender, blend ice, pineapple juice, milk, cream, and sugar. Blend until smooth.

While browsing around I found these, and they are just too cute not to share! 

Here are a few from an Elementary School that I thought was pretty cute! 

Have a Great Thursday, I know I need to spike a drink or two with the week I've been having, but you know.  

Cheers!  Love, BJ