Day 224 – An Easter Thought

You will have to trust me that I did an actual Pinterest project today, but I am not able to blog about it at this time. It is sort of like a gift, and it is awesome, but I don’t really want to give it away on the internet before it is given as a gift. That is all I will say about that.

So instead, I figured I would reflect upon a thing that I pinned in my “Words to Live By” section.

This day is the most important day of the year for Christians. It is the day that reminds us that everything we believe in is because Jesus conquered the grave and resurrected from the dead to show that believers can have everlasting life.

A while back, I pinned this verse:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go.

Joshua 1:9.

Life can be pretty stinking tough sometimes. It is so encouraging to think that through all of the tough things that we encounter in our daily lives, we have an amazing God who is there for us EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I think that it is hard to wrap our minds around that idea because we are so caught up in our own existence. How can there be a God who can pay attention to the needs of everyone who calls out to him at exactly the same minute? It is easy to think about how, as humans, we can only pay attention to 1 or 2 things at a time, but that is not how God works. His amazing power is so far out of our understanding that it is hard to wrap our minds around how He works. It’s ok not to understand everything, but if we read what He teaches us, we can get a little closer to figuring things out.

When life gets tough, we don’t have to go through it alone. Sure, we have people around us, but it is God who really brings us through it and helps us figure out the right things to do. We might mess up along the way, but those bumps in the road make us into the people we are.

Total cost: $0 for the first Pinterest project that I can’t tell you about.

Jesus’ life for that second one…

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Bonus Post: Bunny Pear

I know this girl who is allergic to a lot of things, so when her boyfriend said he was going to give her fruit in her Easter basket, I decided to help him spruce it up a bit. A bunny pear is way cuter than a plain old boring pear.

I made the ears with pipe cleaners. First, I cut one white pipe cleaner in half and folded it in the shape of an ear (pretty much just folded the half in half again). Then I put a pink pipe cleaner inside of the white one and cut it to fit. I poked it into the side of the top of the pear, in front of the stem. Then I did the same thing for the other ear.

For the eyes, I knew they had to be glued on, but I did not want to use glue on something that someone was going to eat. Instead of glue, I created a paste using flour and water. I can’t really explain how much flour or water I used, but it was a very thick consistency. Almost like dough. I scooped a bit of it onto my finger and then put it on the back of the wiggle eye. That worked perfectly, so I did the same with the pom pom nose and tail.
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Cute Fruit!

Day 223 – Bunny Ear Rings and Fluff Ball Bunnies

Today I had the chance to make some crafts with a group of 6 and 7 year olds, so I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to get a Pinterest project out of the way.

First, we made these super cute rings.
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You just need to measure the pipe cleaner around your finger for the right size and twist it once or twice. Then, take one of the long ends and spiral curl it down to the base where the ring part is. Do the same thing for the second long end. Last, you pinch the circles in the middle and voila! A bunny ear ring. The kids thought they were really cute, but they did not really wear them long after they were made. I do suppose it is a bit cumbersome to go about your regular daily activities with a giant spiraled pipe cleaner attached to your hand.

Later, we made these really cute bunnies.
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I think they are adorable, but the truth is, I basically made them for each girl. I was the one to make the pom poms because they were too busy playing. Then I had to cut the feet and the ears out of felt because it is hard for kids to cut fabric. I handed them the pieces and they stuck them where they were supposed to go, but then I was the one that had to hot glue them on in the proper spot. I let them gently press things into place, but it is really not a kid-friendly craft.

Total cost: $0 (I had a gift card for the pipe cleaners, little pom poms and wiggle eyes.  Someone else bought the yarn)

Day 222 – Fancy Schmancy Easter Eggs

Even as an adult, I love to dye eggs. But there is something about just dunking a plain egg into dye that seems a little too simple for me. A few years ago I tried punching masking tape with different shaped punches and sticking them to the eggs before dying. Then I took off the tape and pretty shapes were left behind.

This year I decided to try drawing a design with a Sharpie before dying. I drew a decorated paisley design like the one I saw on Pinterest, then dunked it in some green for added effect. I think the Pinterest egg was blown out so it was just the shell, but mine is the whole thing. It will be sad to crack it up to eat it later, but it will be pretty for the next few days anyway.
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Total cost: $0ish

Day 221 – Origami Bunny

In the spirit of…well…Jesus, because that is why we have Easter…I decided to make an origami bunny. The trouble was that I did not have origami paper, so I used scrapbook paper instead.

The original pin showed how to make bunny garland, but I just wanted to make one. It linked to a video, which at first, I was thinking would be more of a pain in the neck than if they just showed me a diagram. After using the video, I am pleased to say that I think it was much easier to have someone showing me how to do it at the same time I was trying it. There were none of those confusing little arrows and shaded colorings. I never actually folded anything incorrectly on this like I am sure I would have if I was using a diagram. I had to pause it a time or two because I was not quite as fast as the origami guy was, but I managed to end up with a bunny that looked quite a lot like his, just slightly bigger.
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Total cost: $0

Day 220 – Cheesy Sour Cream Baked Potato

Potatoes are one of my favorite foods so when I saw this idea, I knew I had to try it. Unfortunately, the Pin took me to a series of pictures, but no directions.

I do not promise that this is what the picture people did, but if you want to do what I did, keep reading.
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First, to hurry the baking process along, I put 3 potatoes (pierced with a fork) in the microwave for 2 minutes, then I turned them over and put them on for 2 more minutes.

Once they were soft enough, I sliced them partially way through, but not too thinly. Then I put some butter in between the slices and sprinkled them with salt. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, hoping they would get browned a little. I think if I had broiled them, or had the temperature up higher, it would have gotten a little crispier.

Next, I put some cheese down in the slits and put them back in for about 5 more minutes.

Last, I sprinkled some more cheese over the top. On one potato, I put some sour cream on top and then the cheese. Then I baked them for about 5 more minutes until the cheese was melted.

I thought they turned out pretty tasty. I liked the one with the sour cream the best. I was unsure because I generally don’t like sour cream, but I think it added the perfect touch. Plus, the container was so little and cute, how could you not love it?
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Total cost: $1.50

Day 219 – Crocheting a Magic Circle

Here is a history of how I learned to crochet:

2003-2004: All of my college friends learned to crochet and I thought that was pretty boring looking and told everyone they could make me a blanket. (No one ever did by the way)

2004-2008: I did a bunch of stuff.

2008: We had a roomie reunion at my house and some friends brought some crocheting things. I decided to learn how to do it that day. Also, later that day, I said “This really sucks” and quit.

200–something: I decided that maybe crocheting would be a fun thing to try, so I asked my favorite crochet instructor (my mom) how to do it. She taught me the basics, and I decided to make a blanket. It was the Fourth of July of some year when I decided to do that because I remember sitting in a field crocheting away, waiting for fireworks to start. 2009 maybe?

200–something else, I realized that my blanket was really crooked and I quit. It is still in a bag in my closet because I need to find something else to do with all that yarn. Also, I can’t bear to unravel it all yet. I need a really good project to make it worth it.

2011: My mom found a pattern for a spiral scarf and I gave it a try. It was a quick project where I felt successful, and I really took off with it. I made a few scarves.

2012: I started a crazy Pinterest blog and I found a pattern for another scarf and gave it a try. It was also successful.

2013: I decided that I wanted to try making a hat, but I had no idea how to crochet in a circle.

March 26, 2013: I decided to try the “magic circle” to see if I have what it takes to make something like a hat. It took me a few tries, but once I realized what they were trying to get me to do, I think I became pretty successful. Maybe sometime before the next 3-5 years, I will actually make a hat.

(dontholdyourbreath)
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Total cost: $0

Day 218 – Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Cotton candy is one of those things where you think that it is just for kids, but then you buy it for a kid and secretly try to steal a taste when she is not looking. Then she gets mad that you are eating too much and pulls it away with a scowl when you go in for some more. (Not that that has ever happened to me or anything…)

When I saw a recipe for cotton candy cupcakes, I thought I had better give them a try. I saw a plastic tub of cotton candy at Walmart, and while this is nothing like the kind you get at a fair or the circus, I thought it would serve its purpose in this recipe.

When I opened the page to read the recipe, I was excited to see that it has a Harry Potter connection. Even though there are no “Candy Floss” cupcakes in Harry Potter, the blogger imagined that Honeydukes would sell them. I can get on board with that thinking!

My problem is that I did not feel like these cupcakes tasted very much like cotton candy. I put in the same amount as she did, but mine still tasted like plain vanilla. It was fine, but I would have preferred more of a cotton candy flavor.
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Total cost: $2

Day 217 – Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Have you noticed that Greek yogurt is kind of trendy? It’s funny to think that foods can be trends, but it is true. Bottled water: Trend. Bacon: Trend. Guacamole: Trend. I’m not sure how trends really start, but before you know it, you see it everywhere. Maybe it’s because some famous person was seen leaving a grocery store with a (reusable) bag full of Greek yogurt. Maybe it’s because Pinterest exists and people share ideas and latch on to the same ones. Whatever the cause, Greek yogurt is definitely hot these days…(and not in the gross, oops I forgot to put it in the fridge, kind of a way).

I really hate Greek yogurt. There is something about the texture that I can’t embrace, so I choose to steer clear of it unless it is mixed in things. That’s why I decided to give these pancakes a try. They only used 4 ingredients: 1/2 cup of flour, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a container of Greek yogurt (6 oz, but it turns out that mine was 5.3 and it worked out fine). 

1. Stir the yogurt. I used Yoplait vanilla. It was on sale and I thought vanilla would be tastier than plain. A fruit yogurt probably would have been tasty for this recipe too.

2. Add the egg to the yogurt cup and stir it around. There was not a lot of extra room in the cup, so this proved to be quite messy, but it was nice to have fewer dishes.

3. Place a “scant” 1/2 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a bowl. I chose to use whole wheat flour.

4. Stir in the yogurt and egg mixture.

5. To add a little more flavor, I also added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

6. Pour some batter into a sprayed, nonstick pan. The original recipe said to wait for it to bubble, but that never really seemed to happen, so I turned it when it felt right. These were very thick, so they needed to be turned a few times.

I made some pancakes a few weeks ago, and I have to say that I like these a bit better. Maybe because they aren’t quite as healthy, I’m not sure. But I definitely like these. Next time I will make them with some fruit yogurt.
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Total cost: $1

Day 216 – Milk Jug Bunny Basket

Don’t you hate when you pin something, only to click the link that takes you nowhere?

It is your lucky day because I am going to create a tutorial so you can make your very own Milk Jug Bunny Basket. (Cheers at this point are appropriate)
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1. Wash out your milk jug. No one wants their Easter candy to smell like sour milk.

2. Freehand draw some ears on the opposite side of the handle. I had mine go as tall as I could until the jug started to bend toward the spout. You can tell from my picture that I struggled to get the second ear the right size. That’s where step 4 comes in.
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3. Cut out the ears and head. The best way I can describe the other cutting is to look at the picture. You still want the handle to be intact.

4. I used nail polish remover to wipe off the permanent marker. This was not completely perfect, so if you really don’t want there to be any trace of black marker, then I don’t recommend you use permanent ink.
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5. Attach a nose (I used a button) and google eyes. Then draw on some whiskers. You could also add a cotton tail.

6. Add some Easter grass and some treats. Enjoy!

Total cost: $0 for the basket. $2.1 Billion for the candy (which is how much is spent on Easter candy annually)

For this and more fun facts visit this site.