Category Archives: Crafts

BUNCO!!!

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Sometime ago I was introduced to the game BUNCO and fell in love with it. It is a very easy game to set up and learn – not to mention super social. As a military wife this is a great game to meet new people and make new friends. If you just Google “bunco night ideas” there are hundreds of great decorating ideas, food recipes and other little touches you can do for the night.

The group who introduced me to BUNCO holds it every month at a different players house each time (that way the same person isn’t always stuck hosting). Everyone brings some sort of finger food or appetizer dish to share. Below you will find a list of everything you will need to get started and directions on how to play. I recommend creating a BUNCO box that will hold of the supplies and can be given to the next person who is to host the event.

*Disclaimer* 
You will find numerous versions and ways to play this game. For me this was the easiest to understand and teach. Enjoy!

What You Need:

  • 3 tables with 4 chairs at each table
  • Labels for each table (head table, middle table, losing table)
  • Score cards for each player
  • Pencil for each player (least 12 – have extra if there is no sharpener)
  • 3 dice for each table (I got mine at Toys R Us in a pack of 10)
  • Dome bell for head table (any office supply store will have them)

**Prizes are for top winner, loser and most BUNCOs. When I played it was $5 person to play and the money was divided accordingly.

Directions:

  1. Before your guest arrive take 4 of the score cards and draw a star on the back. Whoever picks those cards upon arrival will be the ones starting at the head table. The rest of the players will sit where they want.
  2. Have your players introduce themselves to the person sitting across from them. This will be their partner for the first round. Partners will tally the point for their team member as they roll and will combine the score at the end of the round. This will help the person rolling to keep going as quickly as possible instead of stopping each time to tally.
  3. To start the round a player from the head table rings the bell.
  4. Whoever has the dice first starts rolling the dice. During the first round, the goal is to roll as many ones as possible. If the person rolling gets any ones, she received a point and her partner tallies it for her. If no ones are rolled, her turn ends and the dice is passed to the person on the right.
  5. If you roll three of the same kind on the correct turn (example: three 1s on round one) yell BUNCO and your team receives 21 points. Only you tally a BUNCO on your score sheet though.
  6. The round ends when a team at the head table reaches a score of 21 or yells BUNCO!
  7. Talley the points made by your team. The highest scoring team at each table is the winning team for that table. If your team won, you move to the next table.
  8. If you are at table three you move to table two, and if you are at table two you move to table one.
  9. If you won and are already at table one (the head table), you stay at table one.
  10. If you were at table one and lost, you move to the loosing table: table three.
  11. If you are already at the losing table, and lost, you don’t move.
  12. Change partners. When you change tables or stay where you are, you switch partners for the next round.
  13. Be sure to keep a tally of all your games won, lost, “babies” and BUNCOs you called (for rolling three dice for that round).
  14. The next round begins when someone from the head table rings the bell. Your goal is now to roll as many 2s. If you roll three 2s don’t forget to yell BUNCO and record 21 points for your team.

**There are six rounds in one game. Depending on your group you can play as many games as you want, but the score care I made allows for three full games.

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Sending You a Little Sunshine

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So the office I work for relies heavily on referrals from other offices. We are constantly making our rounds and trying to think of “new” ideas for each office and stay the forefront of their minds. After awhile it has gotten tough staying new and fresh for each visit. When developing new ideas I try to take into consideration the time year, the month and what holidays may be happening the same time as my rounds. Not too long ago I was introduced to Brownie Locks. Now before you click on this site and take a look at it, I must warn you it is a bit “outdated” by the way of looks. Otherwise, it is a great site for finding those random and obscure holidays to celebrate.

This month we decided to focus on the Daylight Savings “Spring Forward”. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely loathe the time changes. I lose an hour of sleep but gain more daylight at night which is great. Unfortunately, I am now driving to work in the morning while it is still dark. The Monday following a time change for me is always the toughest. My administrator (who loves Pinterest about as much as I do) came across this idea – sunshine in a box. I have never been a fan of yellow. Every time I wear it I feel like a Ronald McDonald wannabe (you know red hair and yellow outfit). But how can you not look at all this yellow and not smile a little? Everything is so bright and cheery. Since this was not something that was going to be mailed like a care package, presentation was pretty important (and a bit of a stickler I might add).

After scouring the internet, I decided it was time to actually do some reconnaissance. I knew the overall concept I was trying to achieve, but the execution of it had me a little worried. One afternoon I hopped in the car and drove to Cary to see what I could find. My first objective was to find something to hold all my items. Since boxes seemed to be next to impossible to find a basket was the next best option. Sunshine in a basket – I could roll that.

If any of you have not experienced the lifesaver I like to call World Market, find one and go! Here, let me help you. because you really need to go – World Market locater. I wish you all could have seen me in there. Anything and everything that was yellow was in my basket, or baskets as I ended up leaving with four overflowing shopping carts.

After that I went to JoAnn Fabrics and then Target. Three hours later I was so sick of the color yellow, but I had everything I needed to start assembling the 30 baskets for delivery. Keep in mind that doing this many did cause some issues with how many of one item I was actually able to purchase. With that being said some of the baskets were slightly different then the other. Who was going to know? Here is the final product…

sunshinebasket

I tried to stay away from having a basket just filled with sweets. If you take the time to look around I think you will be shocked at the amount of yellow packaging out there, at least I was. What a fun care package for really any occasion! Whether going overseas to a loved one or just across town to a friend – take the time to send a little ray of sunshine. Below is a list of the items I put in the basket and where I found them.

Basket Kit 
This is such a time and money saver not having to buy everything separate. I chose
white because I thought it would offset the yellow more.

Yellow Crinkle Paper
I used this along with the basket filler that came with the kit. It added quite a yellow “punch”.

Apricot & Mimosa Raffia
Well, first off the names are awesome. Second, I didn’t need to buy as much as I did.
This stuff when a long way tying up the bags on the basket.

Pin Wheels
Came from JoAnn Fabrics.

Items Inside the Basket
Rockstar Recovery Lemonade – Target
Cheerios – Target
Crystal Light Energy Singles – Target
Velveeta Single Serve (not shown) – Target
Rubber Duckie – Target (dollar bin area)
Magnetic Notepads – Target (dollar bin area)
Sunflower Seed Starter Kit – Target (dollar bin area)
Archer Farm Kettle Korn – Target
Method Hand Soap – Target
Tissue Packets – JoAnn Fabrics
Gold Chocolate Coins – JoAnn Fabrics
Dried Cantaloupe – Word Market
Dried Turkish Apricots – World Market
Dried Mango – World Market
Orange Mango Italian Soda – World Market
Aunt Sally’s Creamy Banana Foster Praline – World Market
Singolla Lemon Biscuits -World Market
Lemon Ginger Tea – World Market
Storz Chocolate Bees – World Market
Mixed Nuts Packet – World Market

Did you see that?! It’s Time and it’s flying by…

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Well, it has been awhile since I have been able to get on here and post about anything. This last month has been absolutely nuts. March was filled with birthdays (mainly mine), baby showers and so many other random events. My birthday came and went pretty quiet. Pat was out in the field, so it was just me and the dogs. After that I headed to Florida for a baby shower. I did have a blast being able to go home for a few days and catch up with my friends and family. Meredith is super special and I am excited to meet Ellee (who it due to arrive any day now). That would make 11 friends of mine who have/are delivering over the next few months. Last weekend there were 3 born on all the same day. There is something going on with the water down in Florida 🙂

I had the chance to visit my old roommate and their newest addition to the family. Hunter has been in NICU since January. Here he is with the stuffed giraffe I gave him while I was there. Hunter has done remarkably well and his parents have been incredible through this entire ordeal. It’s nice to know that Hunter is now home and able to start having a “normal” baby life.

Since the Florida trip I have also been on a diet. After hopping on a scale while I was down there I decided enough was enough and it was time to do something. So far I have dropped 12lbs and I am sticking this out till I drop at least 15 more. Not doing it for any particular reason other then just wanting to feel better all around. It has been pretty easy to stick with it since Pat has been gone out in the field pretty much since I got back from Florida. Always makes it a little easier when you are only having to worry about cooking for only one person. Instead of having to make two separate meals.

The other day I did also notice that we have three weddings in the next couple of months that we will be attending. Thankfully, Solomon reminded me that his wedding was THIS June and not next year. We would have really been up a creek. Their wedding is in Charleston and the guys have a four day weekend, so we will hang around there and scope things out. I attended a bridal shower this past Saturday for our friends John and Crystal. They will be getting married towards the end of June. The following weekend two very close friends of ours will be getting married in Wilmington. So exited for Matty and Danielle. Especially since Matty is one of the first people I met here, and I always love being at that very beginning of relationships and seeing them get all the way to being married. So basically as I type this out I am now realizing there is a wedding every weekend once we get into mid-June. Get out you running shoes, Patrick. It’s going to be a busy few weeks.

March was also the start of a new career path for me. I have been very excited to be back in the medical setting and getting back into the groove of everything. One perk to working for dental and oral surgeons…half-day Fridays!!! BONUS!!! It is amazing how just a few extra hours one day a week can make such a huge difference. There is more time for me to enjoy the weekends with Pat then trying to get the house straitened up. Thought Pat has been gone so much over the last few weeks the house hasn’t gotten all that untidy. Talk about cutting down your laundry load…whew! He did come home for a day last weekend and also brought home the new MultiCam uniforms that deployed Army units are currently wearing. It looks like a bomb went off in the office and upstairs. I seriously have got to get some sewing lessons and figure out what to do with all the retired uniform patterns we now have in the house. Of course it always happens that while Pat is out in the field I get bit with the decorating bug. Mostly I do it to just stay busy and not get too “depressed” he is gone. My latest project took a little bit of time to complete just because I had to find the corks to complete the project. It took some doing but here is my finished product. Basically what you are looking at is a tray from Hobby Lobby, corks (that I split in half which I would NOT recommend doing), and hot glue to attach. Next time I will just make sure to have enough whole corks for whatever project I am doing. I about took off a finger in the process of splitting the corks.

Along with the projects I have also been baking a little here and there. I made some oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies last weekend that came out really good! I ended up substituting the butter for Kelapo coconut oil. YUM! It helped keep the cookies so moist. I highly recommend checking them out. One of my close girlfriends works with them and it’s awesome to support a smaller company. I also mastered the art of using pyhllo. Yikes, what a learning experience. I made 100 phyllo cups using this spinach dip recipe for the bridal shower I attended last weekend. The only reason I keep making them it they turn out great, but if you don’t have the patience of Job then I recommend buying the premade cups instead of making them on your own.

Move over, Bob!

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I am finally starting to get the remodeling bug again. I had got bitten by this bug several years ago, but had lost the zest after a while. Since our PCS opportunity looks like it won’t go through I am bound to make this rental our own. Over the weekend Pat had to work so that left me to my own devices and his debit card. Now, you would think this would be a girl’s dream to get her husband’s debit card. They may go shopping, get a pedicure or something else fun. What do I do? Go to Home Depot.

 

 

 

First, task is new living room blinds. The ones we had didn’t open and close anymore. You had to either have them all the way up or down.  As much as I like our landlord I wasn’t going to spend a fortune on blinds that I am sure Urban will tear through eventually. They get in his way and he decides they need to be taught a lesson. So several blinds around the house have teeth marks in them. Not the best pic of the new blinds but gives you an idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next project if you will is our spice situation. Our spice collection would make Marco Polo proud. Anyone, get this? Eh, moving on. We used to have a ton lined up on the little ledge of the stove and then across the kitchen in our makeshift pantry. This could get a little tedious walking from one side to other just because you forgot the oregano. I had been toying with several ideas for how to display them and finally just decided on this. Not the most glamorous display but it does its job. Now, according to Pat it’s too low. But he wasn’t home when I power drilled this baby on so oh well 😉

 

 

 

 

Not that I needed to point out from the last picture the ghastly shade of burnt orange and red walls. Don’t they go fabulously with the mauve color counter tops? No…really…you don’t think so either. The combo is hideous. Josh (our landlord), I love you but seriously Stevie Wonder could have picked a better color combo.  I wonder if Josh isn’t shade deficient? So with that, we needed a new color and this was what we came up with…Ballard Blue. Doesn’t photograph the true color (think dark denim) and believe it or not compliments the counter tops well.

 

 

 

 

Another mini project over the weekend was trying to clear up our foyer of shoes. Do you have that one area in your house where shoes seems to magically breed other shoes? The area wasn’t necessarily messy just a bit cluttered. I had asked Pat to build be something to hide the shoes, but when I saw this at Home Depot the other I figured this may work just as well. Now, I like to think I can read instructions and figure things out pretty easily. This little shoe thing took the entire My Big Fat Green Wedding movie to piece together. I think there were times  I was even yelling at it with a Greek accent. After assembled I started putting my shoes in which fit just fine. Then moved over to Pat’s shoes and well… δεν είναι καλό (no good). His shoes were too big. Well, his feet are large thus making shoes large in turn making them not fit. Oh well, I still think it’s an improvement then what was there.

All that glitters!

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Well, we all know I have a slight obsession with Pinterest so this blog post should be no shock. I just wanted to show how I incorporated a little Pinterest genius and my wedding ceremony over the Thanksgiving holiday. I wish I would have thought ahead of time better to try and incorporate more ideas, but I was really happy with the way this one came out.

I first got the idea from this post. The original blog post mentioned using fine glitter mixed with Mod Podge for this craft and I may try this the next time. When I went to Joann’s to get the glitter I wasn’t too thrilled with the color selection. Originally, when I was going to do this I was going to “paint” the bottom of my shoes blue for my “something blue.” After I got my garter though (which was a Florida Gator garter) I didn’t need the blue anymore.

I finally settled with red. Our wedding ceremony had a holiday theme going already and I loved that. I figured the red bottom to the shoes would be a nice holiday touch. Of course as I was doing this project Pat was convinced I was trying to replicate Louboutin. He loves that he can now pick out this high end designer’s shoes because of the bottoms. It has almost become a game when watching movies. I wish I could tell you I also did red since that is the color used to represent those in the Army who specialize with artillery like Pat, but I wasn’t that quick to remember that.

Basically, what  I used was a pair of shoes, those foam “brushes”, glitter glue and A LOT of patience. I am pretty sure since I used glue instead of the Mod Podge mixture that is why the shoes took forever to dry. I finally had to turn a hair dryer on them just to make sure they were dry before I packed them.

 

 

 

Here is what they looked like before they dried…Side note, that plant in the back is the ONLY living plant I haven’t killed to date. And no. Pat isn’t holding the shoe. That is me in one of his shirts. I am notorious for stealing his clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what they looked like after they dried. I knew the very bottom of them would rub off and thankfully when it did it came off in large pieces and not tiny little glitter flecks all over Uncle Peter & Aunt Ellie’s home.
Photo by Edric Morales

The Genius & the Idiot

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There are so many reasons I love Pinterest, but with this love comes a little resentment. For those of you who have been blessed to join the realm of Pinterest you understand the wealth of knowledge that the site holds. I can’t even begin to explain the recipes, crafting ideas and holiday decorating ideas that I have gathered from this site. The other night we had out Company FRG Thanksgiving potluck (whew, that was a mouth full). We were asked to bring a side item, so I went to Pinterest to scout out some ideas. This is what I came up with…

Just melt Hershey’s kisses (I did half regular and the other have the white chocolate ones) onto tiny twist pretzels (275 degrees, 3 minutes). Remove and immediately press a single m&m (I used the peanut butter ones) on each. Refrigerate until eating to make sure they are
deliciously solid!

This recipe went over really well because it’s a good mix of sweet and salty and pretty easy to manage. But this brings me to the “resentment” part of Pinterest. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!? Half the time I am on this site I find my self slapping myself in the forehead going “Seriously, how did I not think of this?” For instance…

Seriously, look at this. It’s a frame, ribbon tacked on and BAM you an instant card holder for Christmas. I need this in my life.

I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person when it comes to some things but maybe not..haha. I keep trying to think of a “brilliant” idea to get on there but nothing has come to me so far. I did have a recipe come out fantastic the other night but when I tried to take a picture and post it – fail. Picture didn’t come out. I will post the recipe soon because it really was awesome.

Have any of you seen or had any great ideas on Pinterest that you have either tried or getting ready to attempt? If so please share!

Pining Over Pinterest

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I feel a bit betrayed. Not going to lie. Here I think I am finding some nifty crafting ideas, home recipes, and other interesting tidbits in the blogging community. Do you know what I discovered? I was wrong. I happened across a friend’s Facebook status today and she mentioned Pinterest. Um, what it that? I had no idea, so me being me I Googled it.

Pinterest.com is like a Mecca for blogging ideas. Literally everything from crafts, recipes and so so much more. I spent half the afternoon on sensory overload. I felt like every time I refreshed the page there were 10 more crafts I had to “repin” on my board.

If you are into finding some awesome creative home decorating ideas this is the place to be. I have hardly had time to explore other areas yet but so far I am thrilled.

Once you sign up you really should check out this tutorial about how to use the site. It definitely helped me. I just sat there for the first few minutes and had no idea where to start or what to do. Also on the right hand side of this blog there is a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button in which you can see ideas I am saving to my boards for later use.

Now, go! Have fun!