Friday, May 31, 2013

Embellished Lace and Felt Flowers (#12MonthsofMartha)


***This post is written as part of the 12 months of Martha program.  I get craft supplies from Martha Stewart Crafts for free to create fun crafts with.  All my projects and opinions are 100% mine.***

It is time for another 12 Months of Martha post! 

 This month we got jewelry supplies!  These are only available at Michael's Arts and Craft Stores.  
I am not a huge jewelry wear-er so I made some fun flowers with some special embellishments!  BUT- if I were a big jewelry person this stuff is AWESOME!  

To make these embellished Lace and Felt Flowers you need:
Felt
Lace
Martha Stewart Cabochons or pendants
Hot glue
Martha Stewart Czech Beads



To make the lace flowers:
1: fold your lace and half and gather it to make a  ruffle
2: Cut a circle out of felt
3: Hot Glue your lace around the circle 
4: Hot glue a cabochon to the center.
5. Glue some beads  around the outside



How to make Felt Flower # 1

1: Cut out 6 circles out of felt.  1 for the base and 5 for the petals
2: Fold in half and hot glue, fold in half again and hot glue
3: Hot glue your petals on to the base circle.
4. Hot glue the pendant to the center.




How to make Felt Flower #2

1: Cut out 1 base circle and 8-10 smaller circles for the petals
2: Put a little dot of hot glue on the bottom of the petal and pinch it together at the bottom.
3: Hot glue the petals around the base circle
4-5: Hot Glue on a pendant to the center. 


Now you can make a bunch!  
They make great embellishments for barrets, headbands, pins, purses, bags, etc!  So many possibilities   

Check out more fun projects on the 12 Month of Martha Pinterest board!


***Disclosure: I was supplied with the Martha Stewart craft supplies but my opinions are always honest!***


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Show Off Your Stuff Party # 173

I took a couple weeks off of the SOYS party because having a new born (and 2 other kids) is kicking my butt and often times I don't even have time to think!   But I am hoping to get back on track... we will see how that goes.  It might be a little sporadic  this summer! :)   but summer is a good time to be sporadic!

Welcome to our Show off Your Stuff Party!  Every week we come together to show off our stuff!


 It is time to party!
Here is the run down:
1. Pay attention! There are 4 categories to link up:
Crafts and Sewing
DIY and Home Decor
Recipes
Inspirational/Creative Writing
pick one and go with it!

{If you pick the wrong one... you can delete your own and add it to the right one! :) }

2. Add a link to your specific post, not the main page of your blog.

3. Please do not link up to something that you are just trying to sell.


4. Link to this party from your post so everyone can get in on the fun. You can just grab my button!

















Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Keurig Review



Any fellow coffee lovers out there? I LOVE coffee. In fact, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I worked at a local coffee shop for about 6 years in my mid-20’s, and I loved {almost} every minute of it. That’s why I was beyond excited when Staples contacted me asking me to review a Keurig coffee maker for them.  They were kind enough to send me the Keurig OfficePRO Coffee Maker, which is an office model, as well as a variety pack of K-cups to review.

 Keurig OfficePRO Single-Cup Commercial Coffee Brewer, Black/SilverKeurig K-Cup Medium Roast Variety Pack Coffee, 48 Pack


My husband and I have been using it for a couple weeks now, and we really love it. I’m going to just lay out some of the pros and cons. I’ll start with the cons to get them out of the way first.


Cons:


 1. Lack of coffee cup customization. The Keurig OfficePRO gives three options for how much coffee to brew per cup: 6oz, 8oz, or 10oz. You use the same size K-cup no matter what size brew you choose, so the smaller cups will be a stronger coffee, and the larger cups will be weaker. I would like a large strong coffee!  A good way to remedy that is to brew two 6oz cups into a large mug. And with my reusable K-cup, it makes a strong enough coffee for me.


  2.    Coffee in the K-cups  is pre-ground, and therefore not as fresh as it could be (I told you, I’m a coffee snob!) They claim that it’s sealed in such a way as to maintain freshness, but I can tell the difference. I prefer to grind my own beans right before I brew, but the reusable K-cup makes that possible, so again, it’s not really a huge issue for me.


 3. K-cup waste. I’m an environmentally minded citizen. I’m trying to rid my life of plastic and disposable convenience items. The K-cup goes absolutely against this. Since the coffee grounds are packaged and sealed in the plastic cup, they can’t even be composted. I would love it if there was a compostable option (think, coffee in a tea bag!)


  4. K-cup cost. Price varies depending on where you buy and what brand, but generally K-cups run about 40-50 cents apiece. A pound of beans from my local coffee shop works out to about 30 cents per cup of coffee, and cheap grocery store coffee is even less. Over time, that price difference really adds up, especially if you go through a lot of coffee like we do.



Pros:


 1. You always get a fresh cup of coffee. This is one of the best things about a Keurig. We normally make a full pot in the morning, and spend the first half of the day drinking it, but by the last cup or two it’s cold and a bit stale. I either dump it or heat it in the microwave, neither of which is a good option for me. This never happens with a Keurig. Since you make one cup at a time, it’s always fresh – as long as you drink it right away.

  2. You only use what you drink. No dumping the last cup or two from the pot that nobody drank, saving money on coffee. I have noticed that we are going through about half the amount of coffee that we used to!


 3. Variety. If you do purchase K-cups, you can get a few different kinds, or a variety pack, and choose with each cup what you want. There is also K-cup tea and cocoa for the non-coffee drinkers. This would be wonderful in an office or break room setting where you have numerous people sharing the same machine. Everybody has the option of making what they want. 


4. My favorite part: The reusable K-cup. Keurig (as well as other brands) have listened to the appeals from us coffee snobs and environmentalists, and created a reusable K-cup that you fill with your own coffee. This eliminates the plastic waste from the single-use K-cups, and gives you the option to grind your own beans, and use any coffee you choose, including beans from your local, independently owned coffee shop (I’m not biased).






I probably wouldn’t use a Keurig if I had to buy disposable K-cups because of the cost and the waste, although they are very convenient. If Keurig would offer a compostable K-cup at a competitive price, I would be more inclined to use that, and I think it would be a great option for the office as well. The reusable filter is great and resolves most of my personal “cons,” but it is a bit of a pain to clean it between each cup (a bit – not a huge deal). It’s fine for me to use at home, but would not be the best option in an office or break room setting, or for entertaining if you are making coffee for a large number of people, in which case I wouldn’t mind buying a variety pack of K-cups, as long as it wasn’t a regular thing. It’s taken some getting used to, but overall, I am very happy with the Keurig, and I won’t be going back to the “old” coffee maker any time soon.


Full disclosure, Staples provided me with this Keurig Coffee Maker to review. All opinions expressed are my own. To see their full line of coffee makers, visit Staples.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Post from Serendipity and Spice

While I am getting used to having a newborn around some wonderful bloggers has stepped in to help out with some fabulous guest posts! Don't worry I will be popping in here and there to give updates and of course do the Show Off Your Stuff Party! We have a great line up for you all!

Up Next is Melissa from Serendipity and Spice.

Hi there! I'm Melissa from Serendipity and Spice- I'm soooo super excited to be a guest here on Fireflies and Jellybeans today while Fawnda is spending time with her sweet little one!  Congratulations Fawnda!!
So, who's got a bad case of Spring fever? I sure do!  I'm ready for warm weather, sunny days, flip flops, and beach vacations!  Unfortunately we don't live near the beach- BUT that doesn't mean you can't bring the beach to you...or the essence anyway.
Today I'm going to share with you a quick craft tutorial that turns an ordinary glass Coke bottle into extraordinary beachy theme vases!
Twine Covered Beachy Vases by @serendipitynsp


They turned out ADORABLE didn't they?

I used Mexican Coke that you can read more about here...it's good! Now, I must say, it took several tries to figure out what to do with these Coke bottles...you can check out my craft fail here so you know what NOT to do. Smile
Well, these are the bottles:
I used an 8oz and a 12oz bottle for this project. Then I bought some Sisal Rope from Hobby Lobby for about $3.  Using the glue gun I secured the end and started wrapping the rope around the bottle as tight as possible.
Now, I know you've seen other jute and twine wrapped projects but I changed this one up a bit.  Instead of using hot glue all around the bottle and burning my fingertips off I just secured the end with hot glue and used good old fashioned Elmer's White Glue to secure the twine to the body of the bottle.
I just painted the glue on as I wrapped the twine- once dry it will keep the sisal from slipping out of place. I used the hot glue just a few times during major curves to give added security.
Twine Covered Vases
Now, you'll notice that you can still see through to the bottle.  I just worked my way back down the bottle filling in the gaps.
Finally, I added some beads from an old broken necklace and this cute little glass star charm that's been sitting in my jewelry box FOREVER!  I LOVE using old jewelry on home d├ęcor items- it gives the jewelry a new sense of life- check out what I did with my grandmother's antique broach here.
Every time I look at these now I want to go to the beach!
Beach Vases
Thanks so much Fawnda for having me today! I loved getting the chance to hang out with you guys today!
I hope you’ll grab a cup of coffee, stop by, and visit me sometime! -Melissa

Monday, May 20, 2013

Guest Post from Oh, Mrs. Tucker

While I am getting used to having a newborn around some wonderful bloggers has stepped in to help out with some fabulous guest posts! Don't worry I will be popping in here and there to give updates and of course do the Show Off Your Stuff Party! We have a great line up for you all!

Up Next is Patti from Oh, Mrs Tucker! 

 Hello, Firefly and Jellybeans Readers! I'm Patti from Oh, Mrs. Tucker! I am a longtime writer/blogger and new grandmama. As soon as I found out I was going to become a grandmother for the first time, I envisioned building a site where grandparents and parents could come for information and fun. When Fawnda sent out a call for help via posts, I quickly volunteered (so I could meet you!) and she graciously agreed to let me fill in for a day. I hope I don't disappoint.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Some days nothing but a frosted brownie will do. Hello, lover... brownie
(photo credit: Oh, Mrs. Tucker!)

 Yep, some days require a little one-on-one time with some quality chocolate and a generous dose of cream cheese frosting. Hello, darling... brownie
(photo credit: Oh, Mrs. Tucker!)

 The dirty little secret here, is that sometimes I bake from a box and add a splash of my own homemade signature ala Sandra Lee. Sure, there might even be a little imbibing while I'm baking. Listen, if I'm gonna Sandra Lee something, I'm going all in. Ready for the recipe?

  BROWNIES:
Open 1 packet Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix.
 Mix.
 Pour.
 Lick spatula.
 Bake.
 Cool.

  FROSTING:
 Powdered sugar (you decide how much)
 Softened cream cheese (you decide how much)
 1-2 tbsp softened butter (why so precise? because everything is better with 1-2 tbsp of butter) 
Mix.
 Place frosting into piping bag.

 Go crazy.

 Take a photo for Pinterest.

 Eat your mistakes.

 Take more pics.

 Enjoy!

 So. Good.




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest Post from Todd&Lindsey

While I am getting used to having a newborn around some wonderful bloggers has stepped in to help out with some fabulous guest posts! Don't worry I will be popping in here and there to give updates and of course do the Show Off Your Stuff Party! We have a great line up for you all!

Up Next is Lindsey from Todd & Lindsey

Hello there! I'm Lindsey from toddlindsey.com. (I know, how original, right?) 



I'm an art teacher that spends ALL my free time crafting, cooking, baking, making miniatures and in general, just detoxing myself from kids and school. I love the creative process of making. Anything. I especially love when that process results in food. Or really beautiful things. Or cute things. 

I guess I should share who Todd is, since he is the other part of our blog name. :) Todd is my very outgoing, comic-loving husband of a little over one year. Todd and I have three children... I mean pets. Lily and Jose are cats and Banner is our beagle! They all turned five at the beginning of the year. (No, that's not a coincidence; I just made all their birthdays at the same time for the sake of my sanity... Can I do that for our future kids?) 



Feel free to visit us at toddlindsey.com for easy and yummy recipes, DIY home decor, room reveals, dollhouse miniatures and more! 

Now on to the sweet stuff. 

I am SUPER excited to share this recipe with you all. Oh. My. Goodness. These cookies are amazing! And really easy to assemble. I got this awesome recipe from my friend Becca. Once you try these, you will never want to go back to boring Peanut Butter Blossoms. :) Okay, so that may not be true. But trust me, these are so good!!!



Ok. So you start off real complicated with some store bought refrigerated dough. I bought this kind:


You will also need a bag of Reese's cups. (Funny story: So I always pretty much know what's in my pantry. I like to keep a bag of peanut butter cups on hand so I knew I had a full bag in my pantry when I started this baking project. Howeverrrrr, when I went to go make these, I realized someone *hint hint* had eaten almost the whole bag! Thatsomeone left a measly two cups left. I had to run to the store, which is literally across the street, to restock!)


But back on track now.

Separate the dough according the the pre-portioned pieces.


Place some mini muffin liners in a mini muffin tin. Place one lil' mound of dough into each liner. They are so cute right now! :)


Bake for 9-11 minutes at 350*. While they are baking, unwrap all the peanut butter cups. Try not to eat any!


When the cookies are done, gently press a Reese's cup in the center of each cookie. Work quickly!


Remove to a wire rack to cool. They are yummy warm, room temperature or cold!


Don't eat them all in one sitting! I mean, it will totally be worth it "in the moment".


Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine is!

I look forward to having you visit toddlindsey.com soon! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Guest Post from Chill Thoughts

While I am getting used to having a newborn around some wonderful bloggers has stepped in to help out with some fabulous guest posts! Don't worry I will be popping in here and there to give updates and of course do the Show Off Your Stuff Party! We have a great line up for you all!

Up next is Cristyl from Chill Thoughts

My name is Cristyl and I write over at Chill Thoughts. I haven’t been blogging very long; just a few months! I write about my life, my family and pretty much anything that comes to mind; I’m currently wallpapering my desk in post-it notes with ideas for my future posts! I’m excited to be chosen as a guest blogger at Fireflies and Jellybeans while Fawnda is out enjoying her precious new little one!  Congratulations, Fawnda!  Today, I’m excited to share my Garlic Crouton Recipe with you!

I love a good salad!  Especially dressed up with lots of veggies, bacon bits and croutons.  Lately I’ve been making my own croutons and I’m loving how cost-effective and super-tasty they are.  And they’re so easy to make!  Here’s what I do…

I use bread I have on hand to make my croutons.  I’ve used cheap store brand wheat bread as well as sourdough bread.  DH says he prefers the sourdough, so that’s what I used for my latest batch.  I use 4 slices of bread for a batch of croutons (in these photos I was making a double batch because we love these so much).
  I use four slices of bread per batch; cut the slices into 1” cubes (you don’t have to be precise – make the cubes whatever size you prefer).


Place the cubed bread into a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.


This recipe only requires three ingredients other than the bread; I told you it is super-easy!  Melt a 1/4 cup of butter (half a stick) in a microwave-safe bowl.  Mix 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt into the melted butter. (I prefer super-garlicky croutons, so I usually use about twice as much garlic salt.  Feel free to adjust to your preference.)  Now pour the butter and spice mixture over the cubed bread, place the lid on your bowl and shake vigorously to coat all the cubes in the mixture.


Spread the coated cubes on a baking sheet of your preference; I just love my Pampered Chef stoneware for making croutons (and just about anything else).  Pop that into a pre-heated 300 F oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.  After twenty minutes, turn the croutons and return them to the oven; set a timer for another twenty minutes.  Bake the croutons until they begin to brown nicely (I prefer mine more crisp so I let them get very brown; feel free to adjust the cooking time to achieve the perfect crouton).
 Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


That’s it!  Super tasty, easy to make and much cheaper than most retail croutons!



I hope you will stop by my blog to check out what’s going on; I plan to share more of my favorite recipes as well as sewing projects, craft projects and just daily life!

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