I have been toying with what to do with all my Instagram photos (I am a firm believer in printing your photos and not keeping them on the computer) because you can’t just print them like your other photos from your camera. Believe me. I tried and they all were cut off in random places and the clarity was off. So everyone has been buzzing about this new site called Artifact Uprising, where you can make books out of your Instagram photos. I finally checked it out and was super impressed with the finished product. The site was quite easy to navigate and upload all your pictures. There are a few different designs you can choose for each page and then just drag and drop your photos in! I love the simplicity of the books and the quality for the price is fantastic. I did a book for the entire year of 2012 and will hopefully make another one next year–please stay around Artifact Uprising, we love you! ps even though this may seem like a sponsored post, it’s not. I just like passing on things that I am passionate about and wanted to tell y’all about this great site!
It’s safe to say I couldn’t live without my KitchenAid mixer. I use it for EVERYTHING. It is just so much easier for me to throw anything that needs to be mixed into the KitchenAid rather than stir it by hand (the laziest.) Whether it be whipping up mashed potatoes, cookie/brownie/bar batter, pasta sauces, and most importantly, when making cakes, the KitchenAid is where it’s at. Totally worth the investment one hundred times over.
We just recently bought this griddle and I can’t believe we waited this long. We are such a breakfast family- we literally make eggs for breakfast daily during the week, and bacon and pancakes on the weekends. So it just made sense that we start using a griddle. It cut our breakfast cook time in half after we started using the griddle. Whats great about this one is that all the bacon grease drains through the bottom and then you just pour it into a container afterwards. So much easier than trying to pour bacon grease from a frying pan. Another huge benefit is the surface area of the griddle. You can make about 8 eggs or 12 slices of bacon at one time!
A steamer is a must have item. You can steam your veggies perfectly and safely every time with almost no effort on your part. I’m sure you know that by steaming your veggies in the microwave you are just killing all the nutrients in them and mutating the proteins of them. So although it is the easy way out, don’t use your microwave, ever! This steamer is a great way to start making the switch.What is great about this one is that it is a double decker steamer. You can fit so many veggies in there! Another fantastic use for this is hard boiled eggs. Ralph’s Grandpa Al taught me this trick a few years ago and they turn out perfect every time (steam for 16 minutes)! This steamer even has special little divits to hold eggs perfectly.
This is one of those make your life easier machines, again a plus for us lazy chefs. It does all the work for you when it comes to mincing herbs and garlic, shredding cheeses, slicing veggies, kneading dough, chopping and puréeing. And those are just the things that I use it for. There are numerous attachments that go along with it that can do much more beyond those things. This baby whips up a great batch of hummus!
Ralph got me this slow cooker for Christmas two years ago and I was hooked the first time I used it. I almost never use my crock pot anymore. The top pot is detachable which is super convenient. It also comes with a great carrying pouch which I thought I would never use but I have used it numerous times when we take a dish to pass somewhere. What I love most about it is that it doesn’t take up as much space on your counter as a crock pot, but it still has the volume you need.
This baby comes in handy! Kids want grilled cheese for lunch, boom. 5 minutes, grilled cheese. We make hot sandwhiches in this ALL the time, especially in the winter with soup. This panini maker has made ruebens, hot beef sandwiches and french dip sandwiches to name a few, a breeze for our family! Love this!
Ok this electric can opener is the definition of laziness right? But I have had it for 4 years now and can’t imagine what life is like pulling out the manual can opener. I totally know how ridiculously lazy I am, don’t worry. But I use it so often and it sits right on the counter. With the press of a button you can have a can open in seconds. Whats awesome is that the top is magnetic so it not only opens the can, it hangs on to the lid so you can go on with your cooking and throw away the lid later.
We are huge coffee/tea drinkers so this is a staple in our kitchen. That being said we probably use it more than we should. What I love about the Keurig is that it makes a perfect “first pour of the coffee pot” cup of coffee every time. You know what I am saying right? The first pour of the pot is always the best. I also have come to love the fact that I only drink one cup of coffee …when I only make one cup of coffee. Usually when we would make a pot of coffee in the morning, we would drink the whole thing. We all know where that leads…Another thing I love is using my Keurig for guests. There is nothing easier/nicer than popping a k-cup in the machine and having a fresh cup of coffee for a guest when they are here.The Keurig is such a great investment and I LOVE it. The end.
Ok. This one is spendy I admit it. But there are multiple uses for it, beyond a fabulous cup of tea. Ralph is really into loose leaf teas, so he will make a pot every afternoon or sometimes evenings. It has a variety of settings for the perfect cup of tea, whether it be green, black, oolong, herbal, white or custom. When the temperature is just right the basket of loose tea drops into the hot water and steeps for the correct amount of time, depending on the flavor. So it is the tea lovers dream. But I use this for baby bottles! It has a setting for just boiling hot water and you can set the exact degrees you want the water to be. So we figured out the perfect temperature for a bottle and after I was done breast feeding we just would add the formula. It was super convenient.
This is a great standard blender, it gets the job done. I’m unaware of the need for a fancy blender. We mainly use ours for sauces, smoothies, ice cream shakes, baby food making, and purées when I don’t want to get the Cuisinart out. A blender is obviously a kitchen must have though!
What are your kitchen must-haves?
*this post is brought to you by Amazon but all opinons are my own.
The Christmas after we got married I decided to start writing down all the reasons I love Ralph. I didn’t know what I planned on doing with it but the idea was to come up with some sort of gift out of it. After I had a long list, I started searching for the perfect gift. I thought about how people sign those matte frame things at weddings and got to thinking– that would be perfect! I found a great calligrapher named Sharon Thomas. I can’t remember exactly how much it cost to have done but I know it wasn’t too bad. And if you have nice writing you can do this yourself. So I sent her the matte of the frame and the list of things I wanted on it. When I got it back in the mail I was so happy with the way it turned out! I put one of our wedding pictures in it and gave it to Ralph for Christmas. He was really surprised and loved it! Now it hangs on our black and white picture wall.
It was really fun making the list and I must say, it is nice to have those reminders of all the reasons why I love him, hanging in the hallway. Lets face it, marriage is awesome but it takes work, and there are those occasional times that we don’t see eye to eye
Our weekend was jam packed full of fun wedding activities as two of our best friends tied the knot. Therefore I didn’t do any cooking this weekend. Kind of a nice break! So I wanted to share some of the fall crafts we have been working on so far this year!
We love to do art projects in this house and fall brings some really fun ideas for us to try. These super cute Q-tip art trees were found originally here. Just dip Q-tips in different fall colors and stamp for leaves.
Help your child cut out a body shape on white construction paper and glue pieces of Kleenex on and some eyes for a mummy.
Cut out pieces of construction paper as as tree trunks and leaves and glue them on.
This one was so fun to make! Take a toilet paper roll and glue orange construction paper strips around it. Cut a bunch of orange construction paper into strips with the paper the long way.Then glue one end of a strip inside the top of the roll and the other end inside the bottom of the roll. Keep adding more until it starts to look like a pumpkin. Then glue on a stem and leaf. Original idea here.
Family Fun magazine’s “swab skeletons”! Glue Q-tips and cotton swabs together to make a spooky skeleton, then glue on black paper for a face. Jack (my 4 year old) thought this was so cool. Afterwards we practiced writing the alphabet with the Q-tips!
Let your kids paint a canvas. (we used puffy paint before we painted to make the squiggly border). Sprinkle with glitter, let dry. Go on a leaf hunt around your yard! Mod podge the leaves onto the canvas. Easy fall decor that you can bring out every year and kids love making things with leaves they found themselves!
Paint a pre-made wood sign, then mod podge leaves and scrapbook paper onto it. Paint wooden letters and sprinkle with glitter. Hot glue on the sign when completely dry. Matches my fall wreath perfectly!
These awesome centerpieces are made by one of my good friends Emily. She has been making them with her kids for years. Throw together some fall-ish looking twigs in a vase and have your kids write on leaves all the things they are thankful for. Throw some mini-pumpkins in the bottom and ta da! Beautiful, meaningful, cheap centerpiece.
We have lots more time for fall crafts so this is just the beginning! Stay tuned for more!
Three fall books I highly recommend buying:
- Where the Wild Things are by: Maurice Sendak
- Please Try to Remember the First of Octember by: Dr. Seuss, Theo. LeSieg
- The Tale of Three Trees by: Angela Elwell Hunt, Tim Jonke
Here are some of our other favorite fall-ish stories.
Thanks for reading!
Last year I wanted to come up with a special gift for my sister-in-law, using the bridesmaid dress from her wedding. I was 8 months pregnant with our son Remy during her wedding, so there was no wearing the dress again! After deciding on Christmas stockings and a table runner, I set out to find pink ribbon, buttons and embroideries. I can’t sew to save my life, so my grandma did all the work (thanks grandma)! But hey! Were talking about my great idea…right?! This is a great gift idea for a bride, who would otherwise never see her wedding colors again, except for pictures which isn’t really the same. Wedding colors never look as vibrant in the pictures as they do when they are right in front of you. Besides, who really ever wears a bridesmaid dress again unless it is super practical?
They turned out so awesome, I loved watching her open them!
This year for my birthday she returned the favor and made me pillows from the bridesmaid dress from my wedding. They are so beautiful and I was so surprised! She used the sash from the dresses around the pillows and then picked up some fun flowers and buttons and sewed them on. How talented is she?! Love her!
See what I mean about wedding pictures not doing the color’s of the dresses any justice?
Tip from my sister-in-law: You have to find creative ways of hiding the seams that are naturally a part of the dress, in order to make the most of the fabric you have. For example: she used the sash from the dress to hide seams on both sides of the pillows.
Thank you so much Marie for taking 6 hours away from my cutie godson to make these lovely pillows for me.