12.18.2014

Gift Idea: DIY Lego Clock

Swooping in to share another super quick and easy gift idea. This is going to be a very fast read.


Since the Lego movie came out this year, the lego clock I made for my step sister a couple years ago is suddenly relevant again... YAY!





With apologies in advance for the utter lack of step-by-step photos, here is how to make a quick and whimsical lego clock.




DIY Lego Clock

Materials required:
  • Hollow wooden cube (Wood section at Michaels/craft stores)
  • 4 small wooden circle discs (Wood section at Michaels/craft stores)
  • Small clock kit (and batteries)
  • Paint in choice of lego colour (acrylic or spraypaint works)
  • Number stickers in contrasting colour
  • Hot glue
  • Exacto knife 
  • Drill
Instructions:
  1. Use the exacto knife to cut out one side of the cube.
  2. Paint the cube and circle discs.
  3. Following the package instructions, install the clock kit on the side opposite the open side on the cube. (This is where you may need to use the drill)
  4. Glue the circles to the top of the cube.
  5. Add the number stickers.

12.15.2014

Gift Idea: DIY Action Figure Louffa

In the spirit of sharing past gifts, here is a super quick, cheap and simple DIY gift idea that is perfect for a stocking stuffer: an action figure louffa.

Full disclosure--this gift has "inside joke" written all over it. But sticking a macho superhero on a fluffy louffa cloud is pretty awesome at any age, so no need to tell you the "you kinda had to be there" story. Just enjoy the superhero goodness.




I found a cheap Thor action figure in the toy section at a department store and superglued it to a louffa. Whabbam! That's really it.




There are more photos of this project than steps required to actually make it. That right there is my kind of DIY project!



Action Figure Louffa

Materials:
  • Louffa of choice colour
  • Action figure/Small toy of choice (5" tall or smaller)
  • Superglue

Instructions:
  1. Position your action figure on the louffa as desired, wrapping the rope of the louffa around its body.
  2. Apply a generous amount of superglue to the louffa string/action figure.
    Note: If your action figure is standing up, I recommend gluing the string to the back of the toy as well (see photo below)
  3. Hold the rope in place while the glue dries. Let sit for 24 hours before use/gifting, or follow instructions on the glue package for drying/wait times.






I told you it was easy! Happy Monday.


12.10.2014

"My Mom Might Read This" and other Simplify December thoughts...

Happy Wednesday!! I am swooping in to share the following rants, in this order:

  1. Why I'm not blogging my Christmas gifts.
  2. Why I'm not blogging my Christmas decor.
  3. Why this all leads conveniently to "Simplify December" linkup...



Rant #1: Why I'm not blogging my Christmas gifts.

Year after year I am blown away by the amazing homemade gifts and decorations that make their way onto the blogosphere. Not only are the gifts amazing, but they are prepared in advance and posted on the internet. Publicly. For anyone to stumble upon...

WHOA.

What if someone--hell, anyone--in your family loves you enough to follow your blog? You can't blog that sh*t.

Full disclosure: The first year I blogged, I spilled all my Christmas present beans all over the internet. The two people who may have seen those posts were not the gift recipients, so it worked out. And since I have been a fairly inconsistent blogger up until recently, it has remained a non-issue. But my mom dropped the, "I sometimes read your blog" bomb on me semi-recently, and now I need to re-learn how to keep a secret.

So. In order to survive the holidays, I will be posting things I made in previous years. (Some of them were even made in my old house. Most of them were photographed under a tragic yellow lightbulb in my old craft space.) I will write up and post my 2014 Christmas shenanigans in time for Christmas 2015. And repeat. It will feel weird for awhile, but I will make it work. I am stubborn that way.



Rant #2: Why I'm not blogging my Christmas decor.

While all the other bloggers in the blogosphere are working up a Christmas storm in their houses, I am preparing for a baby shower. A baby shower I won't be blogging about for awhile because....

  1. Nobody wants to be the blogger who is ignoring Christmas on their blog.
  2. As per rant #1... what if the shower mama is also reading my blog but not telling me?!


Suffice to say that I will not be Instagramming any Christmas decor until this non-Christmas themed baby shower is completed---December 13. Leaving me a whopping 11 days to spread the Christmas cheer around my house. I think this is justification to be extra lazy with my decorating this year.

Which brings me to the next topic....



Rant #3: Why this all leads conveniently to "Simplify December" linkup...





The theme for December's Choose Your Own Adventure linkup is simplify. Given my rants above, I think a little simplification is overdue. I really should have posted this list with last week's November recap...  Ah well. Learning curve.  I'll get on it in January.


While I was deciding what to simplify, I started making a fairly ridiculous list. Simplify my closet, my tech life, my blogging life, my pantry. Simplifying started seeming not-so-simple. In the end, I decided that maybe the key area in my life worth simplifying is my goals list in and of itself. So I decided to limit myself to three important areas.



My December Simplification goals:
  1. For the holidays:
    This needs major paring down. Every year, I make my own stocking stuffers and at least half of my gifts. There are a lot of kids in my family, and we also usually do at least one group gift for a parent. Coordinating a group gift gets to be a headache, frankly, so I plan to avoid that like the plague if it comes up. I also think I will experiment with this foreign concept of buying instead of making all of my stocking stuffers. Also--- gift cards? I have never ever given one before. Maybe now is the time.
  2. Around the house: I know this is bold, but I don't want to overthink the house over the holidays. I think if I can not start a new house related project in December, we are good on this front. I might not even bust out the Christmas tree this year. Holiday spirit to me is more about the smell of comfort foods than twinkling lights or glitter making its way from room to room. If simplifying the home decor means more time spent experimenting with holiday recipes, then I am absolutely down with that.
  3. 2014 Goals Completion: After thinking about it, I realize that I made too many goals last year in the first place. Out of fairness to myself, I'm going to reprioritize what's left on the goals list and consider anything ditched a success overall. Because sometimes, accepting that something is not important and letting it go is a success in and of itself. I'll be posting about that soon. (Yeah yeah... I know I'm unreliable with "soon" as a timeline)

I'll be posting my December update at the beginning of January, and linking up on Not Entirely PerfectLife According to Steph, and Keeping up with Ashley and Cody blogs. January's theme is "Complete" and is a month for finally getting long-deferred items off of the to-do list... I'm definitely due.


Happy Wednesday! 

12.08.2014

Sharing the Yum: Chorizo Breakfast Skillet

Want to know a secret? I wish I had the dedication to be vegan. I really do. But beautiful things like Chorizo sausage are a weakness I can't resist.

I know what you're thinking. What? Not bacon? Nope. Chorizo sausage. It is my weakness. It is the love of my life. It is the reason I could never give up meat.

You probably think I'm exaggerating. I probably wish I was.

A few months ago (okay... now I'm under exaggerating. These photos are from almost a year ago...) I took a peek in my fridge and saw potential for something wonderful. A serendipitous combination of ingredients--chorizo included, of course-- that would be my "wish I was vegan" downfall. And thus, at 1pm on a lazy Sunday afternoon, my new favourite guilty-pleasure breakfast skillet was born.





I felt like I needed a Sunday brunch with some personality. Luckily, I had the veggies to complement some hot Spanish-style Chorizo sausage that was waiting for something magical to be done with it. Red bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, red onions, and baby spinach were just what I needed. A little mozza didn't hurt, either (well... it would now, but that's a whole different story). I wanted something fresh, spicy, and full of flavour--and this breakfast skillet delivered.




I started by browning the onions and sausage together in a non-stick skillet. I then added the red pepper and tomatoes, and let that cook until everything was heated through and it was getting a little saucy from the tomatoes breaking down. I tossed in a handful of spinach, and let it wilt ever so slightly before making two little indents in the mixture and cracking an egg into each of them. Then I put the lid on and let the eggs cook through while the saucy veggie mixture bubbled around it. A sprinkle of cheese (and a dash of sriracha for fun) and we had magic in the making.




Since first making this recipe, I have experimented with serving this skillet with different styles of hashbrowns, or just simple with toast. As amazing as the potatoes have been, nothing seems as good as the first time I made this and served it with just toast. This is the type of breakfast skillet that makes memories, folks. Not the type of breakfast that smiles for the camera.

It's ugly, but delicious.




And, in case you were wondering.... it was super easy to eat. And yes, I ate this recipe that serves two all by myself. Judge me.






Chorizo Breakfast Skillet (serves two... if you're being nice)

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup spicy Chorizo sausage (the soft kind), sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella or feta (optional)
  • Sriracha/preferred hot sauce (optional)
Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frying pan. Add sausage and red onions. Cook until onions are translucent and sausage is browned.
  2. Add bell pepper and tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes have broken down and peppers are softened. Stir in baby spinach and let wilt. 
  3. Using a spoon, create two pockets/indents in the sausage and vegetable mixture. Crack an egg into each indent. Cover and cook until egg is desired doneness.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with cheese. Serve hot with toast or breakfast potatoes.


Enjoy!

12.05.2014

Friday I'm in Love: Northern House Home Decor

Happy Friday everyone!!

If you follow my Instagram, you know that yesterday was my Mama's birthday. I am a major mama's girl, and very excited to be having a mommy dearest date night tonight featuring yummy food and a late night showing of Gone Girl.

Sounds like a perfect girly night, huh? Yeah. Our fellas are totally joining in on this. With no complaints. Take THAT gender stereotypes!




So. Weird feminist rant over. Onto more fun things!!



This week's Friday feature is Northern House on Etsy. They make and sell simple but beautiful pillows that are a complement to any home decor. I made a purchase from them in the spring and they were lovely to shop from! Super sturdy pillow covers that are easy to clean.

Here are a few pillow covers I love (can you tell I'm a sucker for greyscale?!)


{link}


{link}



{link}





You can find Northern House here:
Shop: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ShopNorthern
Twitter: @NorthernHouseCA
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthernHouseCA




Happy weekend!


12.01.2014

November Goals Recap (+ Kiddos Christmas Cheer Packages!)

November is officially over, and it's time to share how I tackled it.

I figure that about 3.75 out of 5 of my goals were completed... that's in the B range. I'll take it.


Not Entirely Perfect


My November Organizational goals:
  1. Holiday gifting: Have a full December action plan for projects/present making. Order everything if I am ordering anything. Get mailing addresses for out of town family.

    50% Success: 
    Well.... I tried. I didn't order anything, but I have a full gameplan.... As of last night. Last minute still counts! It's a partial win.

  2. Holiday cheer: Prep little packages of "YAY IT'S DECEMBER!" goodness for the munchkins--at least the ones big enough to understand. I'm thinking.... Thunderpeep letter to santa kit, some sort of Advent Calendar, and a box of cookies from my (first ever!) cookie exchange. Yea... Simple but sweet.

    100% Success:

    Adorable little packages were delivered last night to my munchkins. I opted for a printable Countdown to Christmas framed and paired with a dry erase marker rather than an advent calendar. My rationale being that I probably should warn the parents before providing their kiddos with 24 days of awesome advent calendar goodness that I won't necessarily have a hand in. There's always next year for that. 

    A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on

      So, in my final packages were....
    1) Thunderpeep Letter to Santa Kit
    2) Free countdown printable from
    The Taylor House (here) and
    3)
    Chocolate Moose Lollies from The Chocolate Cow in Thunder Bay (well, Slate River... but close enough).

  3. Home office: It's time to toss, sort and shred. My piles of crap have gotten out.of.con.trol. I might not be able to upgrade the folding table just yet, but I can definitely get rid of my "to shred" box and get some floor space back.

    100% Success:
    I tossed, sorted, shredded and organized a whole bunch of bills. Suddenly all my mortgage papers are in the same place for the first time in three years. It feels good!!

    As you can see here via Instagram, I went a little further than I intended.... but oh well. All it did was distract me from my fifth goal.... So I consider that well balanced enough.
  4. A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on


  5. Clutter control: I have a terrible tendency to make "outboxes" and never move them. I have about five boxes of clothes, home decor, kitchen gadgets etc. ready to go to goodwill, but have been too lazybusy to actually bring them to the donations bin. This is a good month to get those space suckers out of the house.

    100% Success:
    I got rid of a decent pile of crap this weekend. Wowzers. I even sorted through more stuff once this was loaded in the car (read: out of my kitchen). Don't believe me? I instagrammed it for evidence:
  6. A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on


  7. 2014 Goals Completion: I would feel much more organized if I were able to cross the room reveals off of my 2014 goals list this month---the Craft Room and Guest Room. They have been basically finished for long enough that they are messy and lived in looking. Which ain't great for blog photo purposes. I think this month I will aim to cross off at least ONE from the "to-be-blogged" list and, therefore, consider it complete for my year's goal list. I would even be happy with just the pictures part, if I'm being honest. So really---this goal is as simple as "clean your house". Easier said than done?

    25% Success:
    I cleaned the room but messed it up again by making the munchkin's Christmas Cheer packages. Whoops!! I will clean it up so it's blogworthy after Christmas... maybe. But I am still giving myself partial credit for the cleaning part! This is not a complete fail. I refuse to believe that.



The Choose Your Own Adventure Linkup theme for December is simplify. I am absolutely down for that. 

Happy Monday!