Crochet Jellyfish

Crochet jellyfish

I just wanted to share these two jellyfish that I crocheted over the weekend. If you are a crafter and on Facebook, then you have undoubtedly seen this pattern going around. They are so easy to make, and relatively quick. This pair went to my niece and nephew, and I plan to make one for Laura. If you want to give these a shot, head over to One Dog Woof for the pattern!

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Planner Freebie | Banner Event Labels

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I got a planner freebie up here and today I was reworking some of the stickers that I love to use in my own Erin Condren planner, so I thought I would share. 

This time of year is always crazy with school concerts, field trips, appointments, and various activities. Add to that my work schedule (I am back to working part time at a local library), and just all the usual everyday things that need tending to and it doesn’t leave much time to decorate my planner. I’ve been relying on my two favorite labels: the colorblock hourly stickers and these banner event stickers. In the hourly planner, they take up approximately an hour’s worth of time. Of course, they would also work in other planners, too! I used colors that coordinate with the current EC hourly and horizontal scheme (though I think it will be slightly different for the 2016-2017 editions).

Download your free printable right here:

FREE Printable Banner Event Stickers for your planner

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers.

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2017 Erin Condren Life Planner Sneak Peak

Can you hear me singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I always get excited for the launch of the new line of Erin Condren planners. I have been using an EC since 2011 and over the years there have been many changes and many additions. This year is no exception, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

First of all, I think the biggest change is the addition of a neutral color scheme option. If you work in a professional environment, the blacks and grays will definitely look slick. (But there’s also just that hint of color, so it’s not boring.) Also, this choice is great for people who love to decorate (me!), but don’t always want to match the pre-selected color scheme. For example, in my currently hourly planner the month of July has a green color scheme, but I’m going to want to do red, white, and blue the week of 4th of July, so I’m going to have to cover every bit of green. If I go with a neutral next year, I can do what I want! And what about that handlettered font? This one just might be calling my name…

 Neutral Erin Condren colorway

Of course, there is still an option for bright, cheerful colors. I’m not in love with the watercolor splash along the top. I know it is very trendy right now, but it seems a little 80s to me. Probably because I am old enough to remember them, LOL! Also, as you can see in both colorway photos, there are three options for layouts: classic vertical, horizontal, and hourly. Currently I have an hourly planner, but as I have gone “back to basics” I’m once again considering a horizontal. I have plenty of time to decide, though, since my current planner runs through the end of the year.

 Bright Erin Condren colorway

Another change this year is you can choose your coil: silver, gold, rose gold, and black. I’m kind of excited about the black coil, but I’m concerned about paint chipping off — this has been an issue for the metallic coils in the past. I am also a curious what the upcharge will be.

Now, let’s talk about covers. There are so many new covers this year, including several new metallics. In addition to these Life Planner covers, there are some new designs from the launch of the Teacher Planner. I have no idea how I’m going to choose! Good thing they are interchangeable so I can pick several!

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

The new planners will be available for purchase on June 1If you’d like to save $10 off your purchase, sign up through my referral link and then check your email for the code. I’m not sure what pricing will be this year, but in the past, a basic planner sold for $50. I can’t wait to see what other goodies will be announced!

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Some Recent Silhouette Projects

Since getting my Silhouette Cameo for Christmas, I have really enjoyed using it to kick up my crafts. There are so many possibilities! It can be overwhelming for a newbie, and I’ve read about people who keep their Silhouette in the box for months (or longer). Well, let me tell you — take out the machine, install the software on your computer, read the manual, and just play around with it! Will you mess up your first project or two? Maybe. Probably. But that’s OK. That’s how you learn. Isn’t that what we tell our kids? It’s totally OK to make mistakes! Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from having fun.

Here’s a picture of the first vinyl project I made. (Yes, I did go back and fix the missing apostrophe!) This was just using the Recollections brand vinyl from Michael’s. I wouldn’t say the vinyl is amazing, but the cup has held up for a few months now, and in a pinch I would buy it again.

First vinyl project

After realizing that cutting vinyl wasn’t actually terrifying, I decided to buy the Craft E Vinyl Assortment of glossy permanent vinyl from Amazon. It was easier and faster for me to purchase this instead of tracking down Oracal 651 from a vinyl retailer and I love this stuff! It weeds easily, adheres well, and if you have Amazon Prime in two days you’ll have it in your hot little hands. I used the Craft E Vinyl to create this sign for my dad to hang in his workshop.

Tool Rules sign

For St. Patrick’s Day, Laura needed to wear green to school (obviously!). I still had not ventured very far into the world of HTV (heat transfer vinyl), and all I had was a sheet of metallic gold Cricut vinyl I bought on sale at Joann’s. But it did the job and my little leprechaun made it through the day without being pinched! For this design, I simply found the shamrock wreath online, brought it into the Silhouette Design Studio, traced the image, added my text, and was ready to go. (When cutting vinyl to iron on to clothing, don’t forget to mirror it – I made that mistake!)

St. Patrick's Day shirt

Next is a travel mug I made for Drew’s birthday gift. After Christmas, Target had 2-packs of Contigo brand travel mugs on clearance, so I scooped up a package. My husband is a huge fan of G.I. Joe comics (and even has a Cobra Commander Halloween costume), so this was a no-brainer. I love how it looks, even thought it was incredibly simple!

Cobra (GI Joe) travel mug

After deciding that I was going to want to delve a little futher into making custom creations that used HTV, I placed an order for some better quality supplies. First order of business was to make myself this shirt. Yes, I do think I am very punny!

Calligraphers are always write!

And last I’ll share the Mother’s Day gift I made for my mom. Glass cutting boards were all the rage in the FB groups, so I picked one up at Dollar Tree and made this design from scratch. As you can imagine, it’s not that easy finding anything that says “Babci” on it, so I think she was happy with it. This was another project that required flipping the image before cuting it because you actually stick the vinyl on the underside of the cutting board (that way it is still functional).

Glass cutting board

There are so many other project ideas in my head! I’ve also used it quite a bit to cut complicated shapes out of paper (that’s how I did my son’s Confirmation invitations). And I also use it to cut out envelope templates. Again, it’s just faster and easier than doing it by hand. I look forward to sharing more ideas soon!

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Recipe | Savory Tomato Pie

savory tomato pie

Those who have stuck with my blog for a long time may remember that for a while I attempted to keep my recipes in a separate blog I called “Sugar & Spice.” I just never really kept it up, finding it preferable to keep them here instead. Several months ago I finally decided to delete it from my domain, so of course I downloaded all the content. I’ve been going through all the recipes on there, and realized that many of them I have not made in years! One of those recipes is for Tomato Pie.

Well, Jake made his Confirmation on Friday and with family and friends coming to celebrate I wanted to make a meal that would be tasty, but didn’t need to be hot (the Mass was at 5:30 and I knew we wouldn’t be home until close to 7, at which point everyone would be starving). I settled on a menu that couple be prepared ahead of time: London Broil, green bean and feta salad, pasta salad, and I decided to make this tomato pie after remembering that I made pretty much the same meal for his Baptism!

I made three of these pies for 12 people (8 slices per pie), and only 2 slices were leftover! Yes, it was a huge hit and everyone was asking me for the recipe. The best part? It’s very easy, especially if you cheat on the pie crusts like I do. This would be awesome late in the summer when your tomato plants are going crazy – it’s the perfect side dish and you can change up the herbs however you want. 

Savory Tomato Pie

savory tomato pie

1 frozen pie crust, thawed
2 large tomatoes cut into 1/4″ slices
Kosher salt for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2-3 slices deli Swiss cheese
2-3 slices deli Provolone cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Additional salt and pepper to taste.
Freshly-grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Spread the tomato slices evenly on a cookie sheet covered with paper towels or a clean dish towel and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow the salted tomatoes to set for about 20 min. Meanwhile, bake empty pie crust according to package directions, and remove from oven. 

Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees. Spread the mustard over the bottom of the baked pie crust (add more if you need to). Layer the Swiss slices on top of the mustard, than layer the Provolone on top of the Swiss. Layer the tomatoes on top and bake until the pie crust is golden brown and the tomatoes are very soft. (Approx. 35-40 min.)

In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. When you remove the pie from the oven, sprinkle thhis mixture over the top and carefully spread it out using either a pastry brush or the back of a spoon. Top with just a little bit of freshly-grated Romano (my preferance) or Parmesan cheese.

Allow the pie to cool, and serve barely warm or at room temperature.

One pie would be enough for 4-5 people, but just to be safe I’d make two pies because you’re going to want an extra slice or two (plus, the freezer pie crusts always comes 2/pack, so it just makes sense, right?).

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Do April Snow Shower Bring May Flowers?

Happy Homemaker Monday

LOL, for two days in a row in April, we have woken up to snow! I guess we will find out if snow showers have the same effect as the traditional April rain showers. All the schools around here cancelled today, which is actually fine by me! The kids have been tasked with doing some organization in their rooms. Since it’s a “free” day, we might as well make good use of it, right? 

April (snow) Showers

I also realized it has been forever since I linked up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday. No time like the present, right?

The weather outside is::::
Snow!!! Yes, seriously. Welcome to spring in the Northeast. I can’t say I am too surprised. I will always remember the April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997 — snow this time of year is not really that uncommon, and it is short-lived so I get to enjoy the beautiful view knowing it will melt quickly. We had a couple inches yesterday morning and it was all gone by the afternoon.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I has some blueberry granola and vanilla Kefir with a cup of coffee, of course.

As I look outside my window:::
The snow is still falling and it looks very peaceful. No complaints here.

Right now I am::::
Sipping a cup of chocolate-covered cherry flavored coffee (it is so delicious) and hanging out with Jake while he eats breakfast.

As I look around the house::::
It’s the usual Monday chaos after the weekend. Actually, it’s not as bad as usual since I did a lot of cleaning on Saturday morning. Shouldn’t take too long to get in order.

On today’s to do list::::
checkmark laundry – fold and put away
checkmark vacuum/steam mop
checkmark general tidying up.

Happening this week::::
Monday… Snow day!
Tuesday… D. has some doctor appointments so he is taking a personal day. Maybe we’ll get lunch out.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… Just the usual for the rest of the week

Currently reading::::
“Abandon” by Blake Crouch. I actually wanted to start the “Pines” series, but the day I went to get it from the library, it had just been picked up for a hold (grr…), so I decided to give this one a try. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. It goes in between modern day and the late 1800s. I’m not typically a huge fan of historical fiction, and definitely not Western-type stuff but I have to say this has me really intrigued!

On the TV today::::
Netflix added the 5th season of Bob’s Burgers, so I will probably watch and episode or two of that.

On the menu this week::::
Monday – Baked drumsticks and potatoes, zucchini
Tuesday – Meatballs & spaghetti, salad
Wednesday – Kielbasa grinders, chips, salad
Thursday – Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Friday – Pizza night
Saturday – ?
Sunday – ?

What I am creating at the moment::::
I’m working on crocheting a bunch of drawstring bags for a Kickstarter game my husband is currently working on.

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
I’ve been in a bit of a recipe rut lately and haven’t tried anything new in a while. Maybe this afternoon I’ll get my cooksbooks out and find a couple things to try over the weekend.

Favorite photo from past few days::::
I took this photo this morning. My forcythia are just starting to bloom, and here they are covered with snow!

April (snow) Showers

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

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