Be My Valentine! Oh wait, I saw Pinterest, I can do better.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with a toddler in preschool, I get to revisit that fine tradition of exchanging little valentine cards. Watch as I transform from mocking mother to Pinterest panic and hand make all his cards the night before the party. I don’t know what happened. WHO AM I??

When I found out my son’s class was exchanging cards I marched myself right to the drugstore and got a box of Lightning McQueen cards with stickers. OK, first thing I really did was look for them on Amazon and saw that they were $13 and figured that can’t be right. So then I took myself to the store and found out they were really only $2.50. Talk about a convenience charge.

I thought these were pretty fancy since they came with stickers. Then I got online and saw other people posting their last minute homemade valentine cards. I laughed and smugly thought “Ha! Just drive your butt to the drugstore like I did.”

img_9463So I got home, dumped out the cards and after separating the cards, separating the stickers, sliding each sticker into its tiny sticker slot, writing the “To and From” and then folding each card over, then sealing them with a little heart sticker, I realized I could’ve made my own damn cards if I was putting that much work into it. And they’d be way better than these dinky little things I’m sending my kid to school with.

Dammit. Those Pinterest moms are onto something.

I figured I’m just lucky he’s too young to be embarrassed and probably won’t remember any of this. So I packed up his sad little cards and put them in his school bag. I made plans to be all on it next year with fancy cards, and made myself a Pinterest board: Fun Handmade Valentine Cards for Kids

And then it started bugging me. I started thinking, you can do better. You have the resources. Why not just whip up some cards? There’s only seven kids in the whole class anyway! So I ended up using the template on this blog for Race Car Valentine’s Day Cards because I happen to have a ton of spare cars (I got this box of 100 off Amazon) and cardstock. I didn’t have the fancy washi tape (I don’t even know WTF washi tape is) but I did have some Scotch tape and that worked just fine. I even added every kid’s name to the cards. I’m pretty darn happy with myself:

Handmade valentine cards with cars

Now my son is ready for his Valentine party with really cool cards and I feel like some kind of crafty Super Mom, lol.

P.S. – I also now know what washi tape is, and I feel like I need to get some. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but seems like I may run across it on Pinterest again.

 

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The Sneaky Zucchini Turkey Burger Recipe

Zucchini Turkey Burger
Viola! A super tasty turkey burger

Because sometimes you have to sneak those veggies in! But also, because the addition of grated zucchini makes these turkey burgers nice and juicy. I made these last night and was really happy with the result. They are a little mushy when raw, so it helps to stick them in the freezer before grilling. You can also pan fry or broil them without freezing first.

Ingredients for turkey burger recipeIngredients:
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup finely grated zucchini
1/3 cup mayo (I used Miracle Whip)
1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt (more or less to taste)

Makes 6 Burgers

Instructions:

  1. Use a large cheese grater to grate the zucchini. I followed up with a little extra chopping to make it nice and fine. Then put it into a paper towel and squeeze out the excess water.Grated zucchini
  2. Finely chop the sweet onion (I used Vidalia onions) and garlic. Or cheat like me and use minced garlic that comes ready-to-use.
  3. Chop the parsely
  4. Mix everything up in a big bowl
  5. Form into 6 pattiesIMG_9207
  6. Put them in the freezer until firm if you want to grill them, or you can pan fry or broil them.
  7. Enjoy a glass of wine while patties are firming up, if you chose that method. This is also a good reason to freeze them.A glass of wine for the cook
  8. Cook ’em up and enjoy 🙂

    *So how did the toddler react? He threw a fit, yelled “I don’t want the stinky burger!,” then ate all of it.

Unfinished business and the secret stash

I’m wondering if all crafters have a stash of “unfinished business.” I feel this has to be a common thing. And maybe I’m just looking for some camaraderie in my crafty procrastination, or something to make me feel better about the expensive pile of crap I’ve hoarded over the years, but I know I can’t be the only one with the secret craft stash built on intentions of doing amazing things but only collecting an amazing amount of dust.

craft room
A glance at one small section of my craft room.

I’ve got a pile of green ribbon and fabric ready for the Enchantress, some really nice blue, red and gold leather just waiting to become an awesome Wonder Woman warrior, a box of orange latex that was going to become LeeLoo suspenders, and don’t get me started on the patterns that have never even been opened!

I’m currently being forced to confront my craft supply hoarder tendencies while we organize and clean out the attic and garage. The huge cleaning spree has me facing the reality where our lofty crafting ambitions collide with real life and actual time to make things, and the result is a drawer of random things you refuse to throw out because you know as soon as you do, you are going to need it. Because I really need 1,376 googly eyes, right? (I use them to make one small part on Slave Leia costumes, which I haven’t made in over a year)

So please, tell me what you are hoarding and have yet to make. Even better, tell me how long you’ve been saving it. Because I’m pretty sure I’ve had those damn googly eyes for the last 10 years.

Never Too Old for Halloween

betty-rubble-costumeI have always loved Halloween night. I still remember the thrill of getting dressed up and running around the neighborhood in the dark. There would be kids running everywhere, house to house, demanding candy. There was such excitement and fun in the air.

Then I got older and didn’t get to trick-or-treat anymore. To be honest, I did keep it up until I was 18. But then I finally had to accept my time was done.

But now: Enter the Child

My son is my ticket back into the socially acceptable practice of parading in the streets for free candy on All Hallows Eve. I have taken him trick-or-treating since he was 6 months old. This was the first year he was into it. Oh he didn’t care one bit about his costume, but he sure made a beeline for those candy baskets. He caught on fast and had no shame grabbing as much as he could stuff in his little toddler hands.

And I was lucky to have recently moved to a neighborhood that really celebrates things the way I remembered. Kids were running from house to house, everyone was out and dressed up, it was amazing. Plus there was the added bonus of the adults enjoying themselves as well and serving up adult beverages along the way. I had a never-ending wine glass, and got to trick-or-treat. It was Awesome!

So according to my calculations, I should get at least another 10 years of trick-or-treating out of this arrangement…lol

img_2416

My Best Roast Pumpkin Seed Recipe

I love saving the seeds after carving pumpkins and then roasting them. This year they turned out the best ever! I’ve been snacking on them all week. I’m ready to run out and get more pumpkins just so I can do it all over again and try different flavors!

I think the secret to their deliciousness was letting them soak in the spices overnight. I just rinsed off the pumpkin goo, and then added a hefty dash of garlic salt, a sprinkle of white pepper and a little bit of steak seasoning from Omaha Steaks. It was just something random I threw in there and it worked out really well. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and then let them sit in the fridge overnight.

pumpkin seeds

The next day I took them out, mixed in 1 tsp of melted butter and spread them out on a foil lined pan. I set the oven to bake at 350 degrees, and put the pan on one of the upper shelves.

Roasting pumpkin seeds

I checked them after 30 min and they were cooked but not enough. I tried stirring them around and they kind of stuck to the foil and didn’t budge so I put them back in for another 10 min.

The next time I peeked in, I was greeted by the sight of perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds! They had toasted up a nice brown and looked really crispy. After letting them cool for a moment I was able to confirm, yes, they were crispy and delicious!

Perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds

If you have a favorite seed recipe, tip or seasoning mix, I’d love to hear about it. Our carved pumpkins already rotted in the Florida heat, so I’ll be getting some more pumpkins soon and I want to try out a few different flavor mixes.

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