Friday, December 19, 2014

Last-Minute DIY Christmas Gift: Glitter Dipped Mugs

As usual, I am rushing to get everything done at the last minute AGAIN this year. So, I find myself making glitter-dipped mugs this morning. But what a fun project:)!! I was inspired by Kellie's post over at Nest of Posies, and her "All Mama wants is a silent night" mug (you can read more about her mugs and the basic directions for how to make them here).

Sharpie Mugs

I wrote my own sayings on the mugs (that's part of the fun of the project - you can make up your own sayings that will be meaningful to the person you are giving the gift to).

Sharpie Mugs Sayings
Baking away. Basically, for the Sharpie part, you clean the mugs with rubbing alcohol, write your sayings on, and bake them in an oven at 360 degrees. Put the mugs in a cold oven and allow them to heat along with the oven. Also, leave them in the oven to cool completely. This prevents any cracking or breaking due to temperature changes. For the glitter part, see the Nest of Posies link above.
Such a fun, fast, easy, and fairly cheap project for Christmas. Have fun! A/J

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Time Stories and Sweets: Part 3 in Our Baking and Books Series (+ a Giveaway!!)

Welcome back to the Stories and Sweets series!! (If you're just joining us now, be sure to hop back to our first post or last week's, featuring two healthy cookie dough recipes and two sweet books about cooking up holiday traditions). This week, my friend Betsy and I have teamed up to bring you our last book and cookie recipe to share.

Christmas Kidlit

This week, the book I'm sharing is the book I'm giving away, Robert Sabuda's pop-up version of The Night Before Christmas. Sabuda's work is amazing (check out this old post I did on my Alice Sabuda pop-up). The book's summary says it all: "Award winner Robert Sabuda brings Clement Clarke Moore's classic tale of The Night Before Christmas to life in this festive pop-up edition, sure to become a perennial family favorite."

Robert Sabuda Pop-up THe Night Before Christmas

Be sure to stop by Betsy's blog, where she is sharing a recipe for Real-Food Snickerdoodles, a holiday classic with a healthier twist (I just love Snickerdoodles!!). Also, check her out on Facebook and Instagram. Seriously great ideas and programs for getting your kids (and you) to eat more mindfully and healthfully all year long.  These cookies look chewy and delish; I can't wait to try them.


Last, but not least, the giveaway we've been running throughout the month of December (for a copy of Robert Sabuda's The Night Before Christmas and ingredients to make one of the recipes) ends today!!

1. To enter the giveaway, you must be a fan of both BMoore Healthy and Alice in East Washington on Facebook. Also, you must be receiving The Owl's Skull's monthly newsletters. You can sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar on the blog (where it says "Subscribe to Our Mailing List").

2. Use the Rafflecopter tool linked up below to enter to win (gosh, I hope you win. I'm a little jealous I can't;)). This giveaway is available to US residents only. Good luck! The contest ends Wednesday, December 17th at 9:00 PM. A winner will be announced shortly after that.

Enter and share away:)!! We both thank you, and wish you a merry, merry Christmas!! A/J

PS If you liked this post, check out our other posts on favorite gift books and cookies linked up below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Robert Sabuda Pop-up THe Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How to Make a Reindeer Sockbun

My friend's daughter came to the girls' dancing party this past week with the cutest hairstyle I have seen in a long, long time, a Reindeer Sock Bun. I asked her if I could share it with you all on the blog, and she said, of course! So, here we go.

How to Make a Reindeer Sock Bun

Reindeer Sock Bun

Here's what you will need:
  • 3 brown pipe cleaners, cut in half.
  • 1 red bow (of any sort, but preferably one that looks like a gift bow)
  • 2 googly eyes (we have some of these laying around the house from other projects, but you could also just draw the eyes on paper; in either case, glue the backs of the eyes to bobby pins)
  • 1 red pom pom, glued to a wide-mouthed bobby pin
  • Sockbun "donut" (you can purchase these at any Dollar Store or Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)
If you don't know how to make a basic sock bun, there are some great tutorials on youtube. Check this one out, for example. Being a dance mom, I think I could create a sock bun in my sleep, so I skipped the research.
  1. After you have your sock bun finished, preferably not on the crown, but a little lower on the back of the head, affix the pipe cleaners into the hair, and bend so that the cleaners look like antlers.
  2. Next, pin the googly eyes just above the bun.
  3. Clip in the bow just above the eyes, rakishly to the side;).
  4. Pin the "nose" (the red pom pom) in the center of the sock bun, pushing the pin at a downward angle into the bun's center.
  5. You're done!
Super-cute right:)!! If you liked this post, it would be great if you would pin it:). Also, check out some of the other fun posts we have about how to brighten up your holidays linked up below. Have a great day!! A/J

Friday, December 12, 2014

8 Great Holiday Statement Tees

There's nothing much I love more, fashion-wise, than a fun statement tee. Here are eight great statement tees to brighten up your holidays (plus, where to find them - below the picture)!!

Holiday t-shirts Graphic Tees

1. "When in Doubt Add Glitter"
2. "Meowy Christmas"
3. "Peace Love Hot Cocoa"
4. "Santa, Stop Judging Me!"
5. "Oh, Snap!"
6. "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe"
7. "Dear Santa, Define Naughty."
8. "You Wish" Sparkle Tee

If you liked this post, check out some of the  dishes we love to cook around the holidays, linked up below.
Don't forget to also stop by our Christmas Stories and Sweets Blog Series and enter the giveaway. You will love the pop-up book I'm giving away!! Happy holidays to you and yours:)!! A/J

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Easiest Noodle Recipe Ever: German Spaetzle

My grandmother, God bless her, was one of those women who really enjoyed spending hours upon hours in the kitchen making egg noodles from scratch. I'm talking hand-cutting them, people. With a knife. So many batches of noodles that she wore a permanent valley in her cutting board from the persistent rocking, back and forth, of her knife-blade.

I am not one of those women. Enter my Spaetzle maker and the easiest noodle recipe ever.

Spaetzle Noodle Recipe

Let me take a few steps back before we get to this recipe. It's about 10 years ago. I'm living in St. Louis with a newborn, a new husband, and a household to make. My Dad comes out from Pittsburgh to visit and hands me this box as a housewarming gift.

German Spaetzle Noodle Maker

My first thought, upon looking at the contraption, was this: "What in the hell am I supposed to do with that thing?" At that point in my life, I had never eaten a spaetzle noodle, let alone tried to make ANY noodles from scratch. In my mind, at that point, I associated noodle-making with the long, treacherous, flour-soaked days in my Grandmother's kitchen, with her cutting noodle after noodle (the short, thin ones, good lord) while I belabored alongside her with my "angel knife."

Fast forward about five months. There is nothing in our kitchen to eat. I have butter. I have flour. I have eggs. And I have the German spaetzle maker. We are also super poor (hey, I was a graduate student), and there was no money in my account to buy any other food until Friday. Spaetzle it was.

My happy discovery? Spaetzle is really f*@cking easy to make (sorry for the cuss-word amplifier. I couldn't think of anything better suited to the situation). And it delivers the most delicious toothsome, chewy noodle I had ever tasted. Spaetzle maker FTW.

So, without further ado, here's my Easy Spaetzle Recipe: From None to Done in 15 Minutes Flat:

Ingredients:

3 whole eggs, beaten and frothy
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whole milk
Boiling water

1. Get that water on the hob (use a pot that suits the size of your spaetzle maker - nothing worse than a pot too big to hold that maker). Bring it up to a boil.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Add salt to the flour and stir with a fork.
4. In three steps, add one cup of flour and 1/3 of the cup of milk to the flour, stirring until the mixture forms into a heavy, wet dough (think a slightly heavier pancake batter; one note, the heavier the dough - more flour rather than less, the smaller the noodle. The thinner the batter, the longer the noodle).
5. Before starting the noodle-making process, I like to prepare another medium-sized bowl filled with cold water, to scoop one finished batch of noodles into before I start in on a second round.
6. Placing the spaetzle maker over the edge of the water (turn your heat down to medium-high, so you're not scalding your fingers), load the basket of the maker to the brim with dough.
7. Slide the basket slowly back and forth over the holes, allowing the dough to drop into the water, forming the noodles.


This is mid-process, but you get the idea. Man I hate my electric stove. Gas one day.

8. The spaetzle are done when they float to the top, as you see in the picture above. Remove the basket once it's empty, give the pot a stir, and then scoop the cooked noodles into the cold water with a slotted spoon. Transfer that batch to a colander, add new cold water to the bowl, and continue with the remaining dough.
9. The rest depends. I love my spaetzle in chicken soup, but I'll tell you what. Those suckers are amazing with just melted butter and pepper. The perfect poor man's - or woman's - dish.

Let us know if you try them and how they turn out:)) (PS You can get your own Spaetzle maker here). If you liked this post, check out some of the other dishes we love to cook around the holidays, linked up below.
Don't forget to also stop by our Christmas Stories and Sweets Blog Series and enter the giveaway. My friend and fellow blogger Betsy is sharing this yummy-looking Spiced Molasses cookie that is safe for children with nut allergies to eat. Happy holidays to you and yours:)!! A/J

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Stories and Sweets: Part II in Our Baking and Books Series (Plus, a #giveaway!!)

Welcome back to the Stories and Sweets series!! (If you're just joining us now, be sure to hop back to our earlier post last week, featuring a healthy cookie dough that you can eat both raw and baked - YES!! you heard me - and a sweet little book about cooking up holiday traditions). This week, my friend Betsy and I have teamed up to bring you a new book and cookie recipe to share, both of which I can't wait to sit down and enjoy this afternoon.

Christmas Kidlit

This week, the book I'm sharing is Fancy Nancy's Slendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor. We are huge (I mean, HUGE) fans of Fancy Nancy in our house. We love Nancy's unshakeable spirit, her desire to be unique, and her fabulous accessories. As a mom who teaches English, reading, and writing, I also appreciate how the Fancy Nancy books introduce difficult vocabulary in a fun and memorable way. In this lovely little number, Nancy is so excited that Christmas is nigh that her impatience leads to a small disaster - and a lesson that sometimes the things we make with our own hands are much more meaningful than the flashy things we covet and buy. I give this book five out of five stars. A must have for your Christmas shelves!!


Fancy Nancy Christmas Book
You can order Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas here.
 
Be sure to stop by Betsy's blog, where she is sharing a recipe for Spiced Molasses Sunflower Seed Cookies (great for kids with nut allergies; also, she had me at molasses;)). Also, check her out on Facebook and Instagram. Seriously great ideas and programs for getting your kids (and you) to eat more mindfully and healthfully all year long.  These cookies look chewy and delish; I can't wait to try them.
Grain free, nut free, refined sugar free cookie recipes

One last thing - a fun thing! We will be running a giveaway throughout the month of December for a copy of Robert Sabuda's pop-up book The Night Before Christmas (I'll be posting about this book soon; Sabuda's work is amazing - check out this old post I did on my Alice Sabuda pop-up) and ingredients to make one of the recipes (details soon). One major thing, sign up for our newsletters to be entered (look in the right-sidebar for the entry form for ours). The winner will be announced the week before Christmas.

1. To enter the giveaway, you must be a fan of both BMoore Healthy and Alice in East Washington on Facebook. Also, you must be receiving The Owl's Skull's monthly newsletters. You can sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar on the blog (where it says "Subscribe to Our Mailing List").

2. Use the Rafflecopter tool linked up below to enter to win (gosh, I hope you win. I'm a little jealous I can't;)). This giveaway is available to US residents only. Good luck! The contest ends Wednesday, December 17th at 9:00 PM. A winner will be announced shortly after that.

Enter and share away:)!! We both thank you, and wish you a merry, merry Christmas!! A/J

PS If you liked this post, check out our other posts on favorite gift books and cookies linked up below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Robert Sabuda Pop-up THe Night Before Christmas

What to do when your "new" house is filled with crazy old wallpaper ...

Sharing today how we dealt with the wallpaper situation in our house (this is an older post, but I'm re-sharing it because some asked for it after the Instagram/Facebook shot I posted of my daughter's bedroom). Some of that wallpaper we kept, some of it went the way of the perm.
---
Sometimes, when life hands you lemons, you have to make lemonade. When we bought our house this past August, there was, um, "interesting" wallpaper everywhere. In each and every bedroom. In the kitchen. On the ceilings. On the doors. You name it.



1960s Blacklight Wallpaper
This blacklight wallpaper was my absolute favorite!! It was put up, according to the son of the previous owners (who lived here for 48 years), in 1968. It covered the whole room. It was super-psychedelic. It was awesome. It could stay. That carpet, not so much. Bright green, and when we pulled it back - horsehair padding. HORSEHAIR. Which is really, extremely super itchy, by the way. 


In the kitchen. Turquoise and peach. Perfect combination. There were, in some places, three layers of  wallpaper. Some of the cabinets were wallpapered. In short, nightmare. It all had to go, leaving behind damaged plaster walls that required some serious elbow grease on our part.
The Master Bedroom. Blue toile wallpaper EVERYWHERE (check the doors out). The room looked so small with the paper and the custom draperies, straight out of 1982. Also, when we pulled back the wallpaper, we had to deal with mildew issues. Another reason never to put wallpaper on your walls. It traps everything:(. 
Oh, yeah... There were also a lot of questionable carpet. All of which we removed. Fast. In this picture, I am sitting, cup of coffee in hand, staring at Carpet Mountain, thinking to myself, now what in the hell are we supposed to do with all of that shit? 
So, here is what we did with the rocking wallpaper. We made it work.

First up, we stripped the wallpaper off of three walls and then painted two walls bright green and one wall purple. We also refinished the floors. 
This was the floor underneath the horsehair padding. 
Pre-furniture. 
1960s Blacklight Wallpaper
Some funky and functional Ikea furniture, and  everyone thinks that wallpaper is the coolest part of her room.
My rule? Make it look intentional. Like it was always supposed to be there;).

PS Don't forget to sign up for the Baking and Books Holiday Giveaway we have going on at the Skull in conjunction with BMoore Healthy. Stop by and enter:)!! You will love the magical Robert Sabuda pop-up I will be giving away, and my friend and fellow blogger, Betsy, is giving away the ingredients to make Christmas cookies to accompany the book.

PPS If you liked this post, here's a few others you might also like about some of the other work we've done on our house.
~A/J