Tag Archives: homemade

Monsters, Inc. Boo Halloween Costume

Last Halloween, I decided to get crafty and make Olivia’s costume—Boo from Monsters, Inc.

Monsters Inc Boo

Now, I am no seamstress. I worked in the costume shop in college as part of my theatre minor and somehow managed to sew my own sleeve to the dress I was making. So if I could pull this off, I’m pretty sure anyone can do it.

For the most part, I followed this excellent tutorial from Tiny Iron Fists with a few adjustments. In order to get the round bowl shape for the head piece, I actually covered a lightweight plastic bowl in the fabric. Instead of just using pipe cleaners to hold up the eyes, I wrapped a section of wire clothes hanger in pipe cleaners and glued them into holes that my husband drilled in the bowl.

As I don’t own a sewing machine, I ended up hand-sewing this entire thing. I do not recommend it. What could have taken me 30 minutes on a Singer wound up taking me somewhere in the neighborhood of a week, week in a half because there’s only so much sewing I could handle per day. If you have access to a sewing machine, for the love, USE IT!

Despite this costume taking forever to complete and being much more of an undertaking than I originally planned, it was all worth it on Halloween night to see the smile on this sweet face!

Family Fun: Rolling Sushi

If you’re looking for a fun activity that the whole family can get involved in, try a family sushi night. We are a sushi-loving family; so when my brother recently taught us how to roll it ourselves, I was thrilled to find that it was surprisingly easy.

Not into raw fish? No big deal! You can make veggie rolls (avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese are my daughter’s favorite!), use imitation crab meat, or roll your sushi with cooked fish like shrimp tempura.

What you’ll need:

Bamboo sushi mat
Plastic wrap
Sushi rice (cooked and cooled- we used this recipe, which was perfect)
Nori seaweed sheets
Large bowl of water
Sharp knife

Sushi fillings (sliced thin and vertically):
Sushi-grade tuna or salmon
Imitation crab meat
Cream cheese
Green onion
Hot chili mayonnaise (if you like spicy rolls)
Tempura flakes

Pickled ginger
Wasabi paste
Soy sauce

1. Wrap your bamboo mat with plastic wrap to make clean-up easier.

2. Lay a piece of the nori seaweed at the end of the mat and top with a small handful of the sushi rice. Press and spread the rice to cover the seaweed and then carefully flip it over. Tip: the sushi rice will be very sticky, so use the bowl of water to dip your fingers and keep the rice from sticking to your hands.

3. Place whatever fillings you want in your roll in the center of the seaweed. Using the bamboo mat and your fingers, roll the sushi, being careful to squeeze the completed roll tightly before unrolling the mat.

4. Dip the knife in the water and slice the roll in half. Continue to cut the roll into small pieces, dipping the knife in the water frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the blade.

My daughter loved helping me roll the sushi, though I took care of the cutting. But even more than making it, she loved eating the finished product. It was the best she has ever eaten sushi, and I really think it’s because she got to be involved in the process. It was a fun night for all of us, and we ate about $100 worth of sushi (in restaurant prices) for maybe $50—not bad at all!

Easy DIY Paint Chip Art

I have been an art-making fool lately! We had our downstairs painted recently (Luna by Valspar, which is a pale bluish greenish gray), and the new color totally changed the way our house looks. This was mostly for the better, but we suddenly found ourselves living in a sea of blue and green with not so much as a pillow to contrast the monotony. So I set out to liven things up as cheaply as possible (hence all the homemade art).

This was our foyer before. The wall color was a dirty-looking cream that was here when we bought the house, so I tried to introduce a bit of color with the framed pattern (actually cheap wrapping paper from Target’s $1 spot!), choice of photo, and background color for the quote. Not great, but it worked fine until we could paint.

Once we had the new paint on the walls, however, everything sort of blended together; so I decided to switch out the framed wrapping paper for something in the orange family. I was inspired by Katie Bower from Bower Power (awesome blog if you’ve never checked it out!) and her paint chip sea urchin, so I decided to give it a shot. Plus (hello!) paint chips are FREE. I hit Home Depot and pulled about 20 of my favorite paint chips in varying shades of orange, coral, and pink.

When I got home, I used a ruler and an Exacto knife to slice the paint chips into strips of various widths, working only with the portion that didn’t have the paint name and number printed on it. Once I had everything cut up, I started gluing each strip in a diagonal pattern to a piece of cardstock that was slightly larger than would show through the mat in the frame. After it all dried, I trimmed down the edges, taped it to the back side of the mat, and voilà! My own little paint chip masterpiece!

I also swapped out the colored cardstock with the quote (I just wrote it in the first place, so this was a super easy change). I’m planning to switch out our family photo after our photography session this fall, so that should hopefully have some nice browns and oranges in it since we’re taking the pictures outdoors. Here’s what our foyer looks like today:

Grand total for my tiny little foyer switcharoo was $0.50—I only had to pay for the cardstock to glue the paint strips on and the scrapbook paper to rewrite the quote! (I did, however, already have glue, so that helped.)

Have you made any art using paint chips from the hardware store? I would love to see it!


Mom’s Key Lime Pie

Literally, this is my mama’s recipe, and it is one of my favorite desserts ever! I cannot go a summer without having some of this pie. Luckily there’s going to be one of these bad boys waiting for me when I get back from the beach, which will make going back to work after vacation at least a tiny bit easier.


1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup key lime juice
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
4 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp lime zest


Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands.  Press the mixture firmly into a 10-inch pie pan and bake until brown, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325°.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, eggs, and 1 tbsp lime zest.  Whisk until well-blended and pour the filling into the cooled pie shell.  Bake for 15 minutes and then allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream, powdered sugar, and the rest of the lime zest. Spread the mixture over the top of the pie using a spatula.  Put the pie back in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours and then serve chilled.