Monthly Archives: August 2011

How to Make a Pennant Garland

Personalized pennant garlands are popping up at stylish parties everywhere. They can serve as the perfect backdrop to your spread, decorate a mantle or pin on a clothesline for your outdoor fête. And the best part? They are super easy to make yourself! I recently made one for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party, and I am not the craftiest of people, so I can attest to how simple it really is.

What you’ll need:

Cardstock   (Check the scrapbooking area in your local craft store for fun prints, glitter finishes, textures, etc. You’ll need 1 12×12 square piece for every 2 pennants, as well as several sheets for the letter circles.)

Adhesive letters   (Also sold in the scrapbooking area at the craft store)

Satin Ribbon

3-Hole Punch

Glue Stick



1. Decide on your message and figure out how many letters you will need. Remember, you will use one 12×12 square piece of cardstock for 2 pennants/letters.

2. Using a ruler, trace two triangles on each sheet in opposite directions. The triangles should be 9.5 in x 9.5 in x 7.5 in each. Cut them out and set them aside.

3. To cut out the circles for the letters, you can use a circle template, a circle cutter (definitely the easiest option) or a can. You want each circle to be 4 inches in diameter. If you are using a can to trace your circles, a small Similac can is the perfect size, just for reference.

4. Once you have all of your triangles and circles cut out, glue each circle onto a triangle (the top of the triangle is the short side). Remove the adhesive backing on the letters you are using and stick each one in the center of a circle.

5. Using your 3-hole punch, put two holes at the top of each triangle- you will thread the ribbon through these holes.

6. Lay out all of your pennants in order (make sure to check your spelling!) and, starting on one end, thread the ribbon from the back of the pennant and across/through the other hole.  Leave a little bit of space in between each pennant and on either end for tying it up.


Cauliflower + Guacamole = Caulimole!

Since my daughter first starting eating solids, I have made all of her baby food. I thought it would be really time consuming, so I didn’t put any pressure on myself- I figured I’d give it a shot, and if it was just too much, Earth’s Best it would be. But it was surprisingly easy. I would make large batches of fruits and veggies in the food processor and then freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I’d pop them out, put them in a freezer bag labeled with the food and date, and I was set for a couple of weeks. But now that she has moved on to finger foods and more regular table food, I try to give her whatever we are eating whenever possible to avoid having to make the dreaded two meals. This recipe is something I threw together out of necessity (we are going out of town, and I needed to use up some veggies), and it actually turned out delicious.  This guacamole-cauliflower mash was a huge hit with my daughter- and I added some salt, garlic and jalapenos to a portion for my husband and I for a great side dish and/or chip dip!

1 head cauliflower

2 avocados

fresh cilantro

1 lime

And  for mom and dad’s portion:

1 tsp garlic


2 tsp diced jalapenos

*Amounts for the last three ingredients can be adjusted depending on how much of the mixture is removed for the kiddos

Roughly chop the cauliflower and steam until tender. Put the cauliflower and avocados in a food processor and process until smooth. Add some fresh cilantro and the juice of one lime and process until mixed. Spoon out a portion of the mixture for your little one(s). Into the remaining mixture, add the garlic, salt and jalapenos and pulse until well-mixed. This recipe is great as a side dish with tacos or grilled chicken or delicious as a dip with tortilla chips.

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Back to School

I am thankful that I won’t have to worry about back to school shopping for several more years, but when I do- I’m ready! A friend recently introduced me to The Crazy Dazy, which has everything from nap mats to lunchboxes to personalized backpacks. I absolutely LOVE the quilted Stephen Joseph backpacks- they are the perfect size for little learners and are super soft. With almost 50 different designs, I am sure I’ll find something Olivia will love. I am definitely not trying to speed things up (I was just saying yesterday that I wish I could keep her tiny forever!), but I am looking forward to the day I get her dressed for her first day of preschool with her new cute backpack!

Shake Your Bon Bon (Dress)!

How classic and adorable is this dress by Princess Linens?! I ordered one for my daughter’s first birthday and had her name embroidered on the front. Not only will it make for some great pictures, but it will definitely be a keepsake outfit. The dresses come in different colors in either corduroy or cotton pique. And they even have little jumpers for boys. Love it!

Mussels Fra Diavola

Mussels may be intimidating if you’ve never made them before, but they are seriously the easiest, most gourmet-looking thing you can make! You basically just cook them until they open- easy peasy. There are tons of ways to prepare them (white wine sauce, yellow curry, mediterranean, etc.), but here’s a basic tomato sauce recipe that is just delish!

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

2 lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano and basil. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Raise the heat to medium, add the mussels, and cover for 3-6 minutes or until the mussels open. Once they open, they are done. Remove from heat and pour the mussels and sauce in a large bowl. Be sure to discard any mussels that do not open. Serve with toasted baguette slices and/or linguine.