Saturday, February 26, 2011


{one year}

 passes so quickly
begins full of hope and promise
is just a fraction of a lifetime
can bring change, change and more change 
cannot be slowed down or sped up
reminds you of the past
inspires you to dream about the future
is the result of a million happy, troubled, hilarious, difficult and miraculous moments
makes you want to go back and do it all over again
begs to be remembered
will always be cherished
concludes with gratitude and celebration
passes so quickly

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P O M P O M S !

Hi there friends! We are making tissue paper pom poms today, in preparation for a baby shower I'm hosting this weekend. I love these as bright, fluffy party decor. The instructions and video tutorials that I found online still left me to do a bit of trial and error, so I thought I'd share what ended up working for me.

Most of the blogs and web sites I came across all referenced Martha Stewart's instructions.

I started out as they suggest, with 8 sheets of tissue paper, sized 20 x 30. Accordion fold to a width of about 1- to 1 1/2 inches, so it looks something like this:
I wanted small pom poms so at this point, I cut the folded tissue paper in half. If you want large pom poms, don't halve it. Next, secure the tissue paper in the center, as pictured below. I used a chenille stem (any color; it doesn't show when finished). Other tutorials suggest using a staple or a piece of floral wire. If you plan to hang your pom pom, now is the time to attach string or fishing wire to the chenille stem. 

Then shape the two ends of the tissue paper. I rounded mine:

Flip your bundle of tissue and fan out one half, like this:

Now, pull one layer of tissue up, towards yourself, as pictured below.

Do this with 4 layers of tissue. Then, flip it over and pull the remaining 4 layers. As you pull these 4 layers towards yourself, you'll be pulling them away from the first set of layers, forming a half circle.

Halfway finished, your pom pom looks like a tree! Swivel it around and do the same thing to the other side. (Note: Pull gently. I found that Hallmark tissue paper was more durable during this process. When I used Target brand tissue paper for another set, it kept tearing. You couldn't tell once it was all finished, but it stressed me out. :) )

Once you've pulled apart all the layers, you have a nice full pom pom, that looks like a flower (or if you're using green, it looks like a head of cabbage!) It may need a little tweaking and fluffing to get it filled out evenly.

A variation on this process makes your pom pom more appropriate as a centerpiece. Instead of pulling 4 layers of tissue up and 4 down, you could pull all 8 up on both sides, forming a half circle. This pom pom will be very full, and will lay nicely on your table since it's flat on the bottom.

My coworker has a favorite saying: Clear as mud? If this seems that way to you, you may want to check out some YouTube videos that demonstrate the process. This one was helpful, although the people talking and shouting in the background were quite distracting.

OK, that wraps up my first ever tutorial post! The combination of these scattered around my kitchen and the 60 degree temperatures we're having is making me think SPRING!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Goal: Cook More

One of my recent goals is to cook more frequently and be a better meal planner. Working three nights a week means I'm often eating PB&J in the car or heating up a quick frozen dinner on my 15 minute break. It's not the healthiest and I usually come home at 9:00 hungry. And, it leaves C and the kids up to their own devices. Which is okay; C is a good cook, but without a plan and a recipe, he usually resorts to frozen chicken nuggets or Marie Callender's chicken pot pies.

So, my best friend must have sensed what we were going through, because look what she made me for Christmas.

It's a kitchen-coordinated piece of stationery paper with the days of the week typed on to it. Slid into an 8x10 picture frame and paired with a dry erase marker, it makes a perfect meal planner. It's large enough that it has a presence on my countertop, meaning that I constantly notice it and am reminded to stay on track. At the end of the week, I wipe it clean with a paper towel and make a new plan without wasting any paper. As of today, we are rounding out 3 weeks of successful meal planning. It feels great!

I wish I could give credit where it's friend got the idea from a blog somewhere out there, but can't remember where. So, whoever you are, I'm grateful!

What are your favorite resources for recipes? I'd be doomed without my subscription to Everyday Food!