Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Pumpkin Bowling

For my daughter's class Halloween party I volunteered to bring a game. A quick little search on Pinterest and I got the idea for Pumpkin Bowling! Because my daughter's Kindergarten class loved it and because it was quick and easy to make, I thought I would share the details here!

Supplies Needed:
10 tin cans
Felt in a variety of Halloween colors
Glue gun and glue sticks
Small pumpkin

1. Wash out your empty cans
2. Cut a strip of felt to wrap around each can (I cut mine long enough to overlap the felt a little in the back)
3. Glue the felt in place around the can
4. Cut a circle of felt to fit the bottom of the can
5. Glue the felt to the bottom of the can
4.  Turn the cans over so the felt circle is now on top and decorate each can to look like your favorite Halloween character! Really, with just a few simple shapes anyone - whether you are "crafty" or not - can make a variety of spook-tacular Halloween friends!

Two black ovals and one black circle on a white background make a simple and perfect ghost.

Didn't this Frankenstein turn out adorable? He's my favorite!

Just some circles and triangles plus a couple wings make this cute little bat!

Here's a close-up of the happy Jack-o'-Lantern.

This cat was my daughter's favorite. Triangles, circles, and some simple strips of felt for the whiskers.

You can set the cans up like traditional bowling pins or, for a more simple game, you can stack them on top of each other. Roll a small pumpkin towards them and see how many cans you can knock down!

Happy Bowling!

P.S. If you haven't been saving your tin cans and you need 10 of them fast, you can try out my recipe for 12-can Slow Cooker Taco Soup found here.

12-Can Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Recently I needed several soup cans for a project and what better way to get those cans than to make this tasty soup?! I know there are a million versions of this recipe, but now there are a million and one because I am going to share mine with you! This recipe is really great because it is easy, you can customize it to fit your tastes, and it is delicious. In fact, my husband told me that this is his favorite dinner that I make! My kids love it too! So, there you go- husband and kid approved!

12-Can Slow Cooker Taco Soup

2 cans pinto beans
2 cans black beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans navy beans
2 cans corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 packets taco seasoning
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*optional* your favorite taco toppings- avocados, sour cream, cheese, green onions, olives, etc.
tortilla chips

Put chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour all canned ingredients over chicken breasts (including liquid from the cans). Sprinkle taco seasoning on top. Give everything a good stir to incorporate the taco seasoning. Cook on high about 4 hours or on low about 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Once chicken is cooked, remove and shred and then return to slow cooker. Stir the shredded chicken into the soup. Serve with your favorite taco toppings and tortilla chips.

*note* this recipe should be made in a 6 quart slow cooker or larger. If you are using a smaller slow cooker, cut the recipe in half and adjust cooking time as needed.

And there you have it! It's that easy! And if you don't like one of the ingredients, leave it out or substitute something else! You can substitute ground beef for the chicken or leave it out for a vegetarian option! You can also substitute your favorite salsa for the diced tomatoes. This is such a yummy soup! It's great for busy school nights and perfect on those chilly fall evenings!

Have you made a version of this 12-Can Slow Cooker Taco Soup? What's in your recipe?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DIY Kid-Friendly Kitchen Chair Makeover

This weekend I completed a project that I have been dreaming about for probably six months. It took quite a bit of time, but I am happy to report that all the planning and dreaming I put in (plus some actual hands-on project time) finally paid off and I LOVE the final result!

So here is a little before and after for you:

We have had these chairs for a little over three years. The cushion fabric was microfiber which is supposedly easy to clean, but add a bunch of kids and a little time and cleaning these isn't an easy task (you can see in the picture how gross they had gotten). There were many times I thought about giving them a good deep clean, but I immediately gave up on the idea when I remembered how messy my kids are and how all my hard work would be gone quickly, probably after one meal. 

One day as I was browsing Pinterest, I found this idea to cover kitchen chairs with a vinyl tablecloth so that they would be easier to clean. I thought this solution would be perfect! I wouldn't have to clean those cushions, I could simply remove them and replace them with something that would be easier to clean. I checked several stores and online, but unfortunately couldn't find any tablecloths that I liked. I started to research other options and came across this idea to use your own fabric and cover it with iron-on vinyl. Perfect! I set out to get my supplies. It took me a little time, but I finally found iron-on vinyl in a matte finish on Amazon (I found glossy everywhere, but matte was much harder to find and that's what I wanted to use). My next task was to find fabric. That took a little longer (like a month or two), but I finally found a cute print at JoAnn's.

Fast forward 3 months or so and I went to pick up my paint supplies. This colorful dining set was my inspiration behind using a different color for each chair. I followed this tutorial to spray paint the metal chairs.

It took most of my weekend to sand, prime, paint, finish, and re-do the cushions, but I think it was all totally worth it in the end! I now have totally kid-friendly kitchen chairs that I think are pretty cute too!

Here's another look at the finished project.

And a closer look at the cushions. I love all the colors in this print!

Have you worked on any fun DIY projects recently? What did you do?