Friday, August 10, 2012

Announcement... and blogging absence explained!

Well, after a month and a half blogging absence
 I figure I owe an explanation ...

I'm expecting our fourth baby on February 14th!

I generally have easy pregnancies and rarely feel sick - but this time around I've struggled with nausea and tiredness.  
(Could be worse, I know).  

Anyways - blogging has been on the bottom 
of my barely-touched to-do list. 

Since I'm heading into my second trimester I'm expecting to feel better and will probably be back to blogging shortly ... 
I already have a few posts ready to go!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SwellChel Does the Fourth of July: Past Projects

Not only do I love to celebrate the Fourth of July but we always party even MORE since it is my husband's birthday the 3rd, and our son's birthday the 2nd!  Last year, (and probably every subsequent year), we did a red-white-and-blue themed party!  

This was my first attempt at cake balls last year!
I saw it on Pinterest which linked to Love From the Oven here.
I thought it turned out fun (not perfect I know), and really yummy!

 For dessert I made our most FAVORITE and SCRUMPTIOUS treat:
Choclate Peanut Butter Cup Layered Krispie Treats by Picky Palate 
(find it here)
(I can't remember where I got the printable flags from ... if I figure it out I will link up to it!)

 For all of the little kids we passed out Ring Pops and made a sign that said:
"Let Freedom Ring!"  (inspired by this blog post)

 Each family was able to take home their own "poppers!"
I love these printables from eighteen25 ... you can also print out bag-toppers! 
Check it out here.

Guess what?!?!? This post was featured on Lil' Luna! I'm so honored! You can check it out here!


I'm also linked up to:

Positively Splendid

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SwellChel Does the Fourth of July: Easy Patriotic Wreath

Now that the busy end-of-the-school-year is over and summer is in full swing in here I am finally blogging again.  I've been doing projects, making crafts, baking (thanks to Pinterest), but I just haven't blogged any of it, yet!   :)

I always look forward to celebrating the birth of our Nation and it's a doubly-exciting holiday around here since my husband and my youngest child's birthdays are right next to the Fourth of July!  Inevitably that means their birthday parties are always decorated in red, white, and blue!

I've been wanting to try my hand at making wreaths for a while, and I thought the Fourth of July would be a perfect excuse to do so!  I saw a pin on Pinterest that linked to "Katie {did} it" and her adorable yarn wreath with white buttons here.  It looks like she is even selling her wreaths on Etsy ... too cute!

Her project inspired me to make a similar wreath but with ribbon.  (I thought it would be easier than yarn for my first try!)  I had two craft foam wreaths on hand, and just picked up some ribbon and buttons from the craft store.  Since I have a double-front-door I needed to make two wreaths and this was SO easy it literally took less than 30 minutes TOTAL!  I just glued the start of the ribbon onto the back of the wreath with a glue gun, then wrapped and wrapped around.  I then glue-gunned the buttons on ... that was it!

Here's a view of my front door.  I liked that the project was easy to duplicate so that the two wreaths would look as similar as possible!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{Pin, Eat, and Be Merry}: Taco Casserole

Here is a new recipe I found via Pinterest.

It's called Taco Casserole
from Budget Savvy Diva.
Find the recipe here.

It was a hit!

Besides being yummy it was also EASY to prepare, and I love that the possibilities are endless. . . add whatever toppings, veggies, etc that your family loves!

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Learning at Home}: Alphabet Flip-cards using an IKEA Tolsby Frame (FREE download)

I love love LOVE IKEA Toslby frames!  
You can't beat the price at 99 cents, and the possibilities are endless.  
Here are some posts that give examples of how I've used them:
Here, here, and here.

When I took the plastic out of the frame, and added some book rings...
 the Tolsby frame became a flip-chart!

We have been practicing the alphabet with my three-year old 
and I thought that creating Alphabet Flip-cards would be a perfect idea for her!

I just printed the cards out on card stock, punched two holes at the top ... and that's it
(Well ... I did laminate them ... 
only because I have an almost-two-year old that would destroy them otherwise!)

If you are interested in downloading the alphabet flip-cards for FREE
then click here.

(an idea of what the pages look like)

Monday, May 14, 2012

{Pin, Eat and Be Merry!}: Two new favorite to-die-for cookies!

Although I've taken a month-long blogging absence (sorry - blogging is an awesome creative outlet for me but is always low on my loooooong to-do list!) ....  I have STILL been crafting, baking, creating and playing away!  

Thanks to Pinterest I have determined to make at least ONE new recipe a week!  I thought it would be fun to share with you how they turn out in a new segment I like to call ...

Because, let's face it, every pinner describes the pinned recipe as "the BEST ... I've ever had!"  Well, I don't buy that unless I try it myself or someone I personally know vouches for the recipe!  

Today I thought I'd share with you TWO new cookie recipes that really are amazing ... and I've also got a lot of "two thumbs up" from those who have tried them!

#1. Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies from Bru Crew Life

Find the recipe here!
These were super good and who doesn't love Reese's Pieces in your cookies??? The vanilla pudding mix made them super moist and yummy!  My daughter Evelyn loved helping me make them ... can't you tell?!?!  :)

#2. White and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 with Marshmallow Bits and Toffee by Picky Palate

Find the recipe here!

I love EVERYTHING I make from Picky Palate and I was really excited to try this recipe with a new product ... Marshmallow Bits.  They are teeny-tiny marshmallows and they add the perfect crunch to this cookie!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

SwellChel Does Easter: Free Easter Printable Activities for Kids

I couldn't wait to put together an Easter activity book for my kids and it has definitely come in handy while my kindergartener is home during Spring Break!

I found some awesome free educational Easter printables and put them in clear page protectors together in a binder.  The kids use their dry-erase markers and go to town on the fun activities!

Here's links to some of our favorites:

Easter Pre-K Pack by Over the Big Moon!  Find it here.
{image via Over the Big Moon}

This is a really good pack from Can Do Kinders that goes along with the book "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick."  Find it here.  
{image via Can Do Kinders}

 What a darling Easter memory game by Modern Parents Messy Kids!  Find it here.
{image via Modern Parents Messy Kids}

 Find this fun-filled Easter Symbols packet from 2 Teaching Mommies here
{image via 2 Teaching Mommies}

SwellChel Does Easter: "Hope You Have an Egg-cellent Easter!" tags (FREE Download)


We had so much fun delivering these little Easter gifts
 to my kids school/church teachers 
(found on this post here) ....

... that I decided to make a generic "Hope you have an Egg-cellent Easter!" tag so we could deliver some to friends and neighbors as well!

You can download both for FREE!  I put four tags on one page and left room at the top and bottom of each for you to add who it's for/who it's from!

Download "Egg-cellent Easter" here.

Download "Egg-cellent Teacher" here.

If you want to check out other Easter ideas 
come and visit my Easter Pinterest board here!

Monday, March 26, 2012

SwellChel Does Easter: Giveaway winners!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Easter giveaway!  It was fun to read your comments!

The two winners of 
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes are ...

#9 .... Heather


#4 ... Jen Gillespie

Thanks again!

If you are interested in a copy of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
check it out on Amazon here!

SwellChel Does Easter: Bunny Silhouette with FREE Download

I really, absolutely LOVED eighteen25's framed bunny silhouette I found here.

I'm not so good with scrapbook paper crafts, etc so I decided to make a 
digital version of their bunny silhouette.  I used pretty muted colors
 because it goes with my home better.

Anyways - if any of you are interested in having a copy you can
download it for FREE here.

I just printed it out as an 8x10!

Come check out other Easter ideas 
on my Easter board on Pinterest here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

SwellChel Does Easter: Polka Dot Easter Eggs

 I had leftover craft Easter eggs last year and I came across this awesome tutorial at Stay at Home Artist (here) for Polka Dot Easter Egg Finials.

Basically you painted the eggs, let them dry and then you stick on those little paper reinforcer stickers with holes in the middle.  Then you can paint another color on top of those, and after they dry and your remove them you have a perfect little circle!  That's SO awesome for my unsteady/sloppy hand!  The tutorial also shows what kind of dowel caps/wooden discs they used for stands!

Oh - and the subway art is from amazing Eighteen25 here.

Come check out other Easter ideas 
on my Easter board on Pinterest here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

SwellChel Does Easter: Mod-Podge Easter Eggs

When I saw craft Easter eggs at Michael's craft store last year I KNEW I had to whip out some Mod-Podge (after going crazy at Halloween making Mod-Podge Pumpkins)

If you need a great tutorial I suggest the one at The Other White House here.

I found these super cute pink napkins at Target and went to town!  I only have one somewhat-decent picture of them ... but you get the idea :)  I promise it is easy to do ... even easier than the pumpkins because they had indentations around them!

Come check out other Easter ideas 
on my Easter board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SwellChel Does Easter: Easter/Spring gift idea for teachers ... with FREE download

My son's elementary school is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week and I thought I would combine his gift for his teacher with a little Easter/Spring gift as well.

I absolutely L-O-V-E Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Eggs (think Whoppers- but ten times better!)  The packaging is amazing too!  I thought I would get his teacher a gift card attached to the yummy treat.  I decided to make a little tag saying, "Thanks for being an Egg-Cellent teacher!" and attached it to the malted eggs with some twine from The Twinery.

I made a generic tag (that looks like the picture below) where you can add the teacher's name on the top, and sign the kids name on the bottom.  You can download it for free here.
(Four of them fit on a 8.5x11 page)

Of course, if you have another favorite "EGG" treat like Cadbury Eggs, etc - this tag will work with those too!

Update: I've also created a tag that says 
"Hope you have an Egg-cellent Easter!" 
 Check it out on this post here.

If you want to check out my Easter board on Pinterest
check it out here!

Linking up to these great blogs: