Thursday, February 27, 2014

2 Ingredient Thin Mints and Shamrock Printables- You're Invited Linky Party and Features.

It is time for another link party! This week the party is being hosted by Jesseca of One Sweet Appetite:

Last weeks link party was so much fun! Thank you to everyone that participated! The projects that were linked up were adorable and every recipe drool worthy! This week things will look a little different. Each of us will take one week a month to feature some of our favorites from the party! Make sure you link up some projects and recipes of your own so you’ll be in the running for next weeks featured favorites! You're invited header 2 Let’s run through introductions of the party bloggers one more time… These girls are so talented and I’m lucky to be included in the bunch! There’s Holly from Bits of Everything, Jonie from Just Between Friends, and Debra from Housewife Eclectic! This week I get to be the one in charge of picking my favorites! I also get the chance to share with all of you (as well as Jonie, Debra, & Holly’s readers) what I’ve been working on lately! my-featured-posts
I’ve been busy in the kitchen cooking lots of great recipes! I hope you stop by this next week and catch some of the great holiday themed treats that will be springing up! Now let’s get to the good stuff. It’s time for us to feature YOU. It was so tough to narrow things down. Since it’s so close to St. Patrick’s day I decided to make that a theme and found a few recipes/projects I couldn’t pass up!
featured favorites
Thank you ladies for linking up! Your projects and recipes are all amazing! Let’s get this party started! You're Invited Invitation & Rules
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Leprechaun Rainbow Cupcakes

There are few holidays with as many traditions in our house as St. Patrick's Day. I know, a million traditions for St. Patrick's Day seems a little crazy, but for some reason I can't get enough of this green holiday. I have loved it ever since I was a child when I was painting one fingernail green so I could pinch back anybody who pinched me for not wearing green.

 As an adult, the holiday took more meaning when March 17th became the anniversary of my first date with my husband, where he made me dinner complete with rainbow chicken, or grilled chicken covered in rainbow sprinkles to celebrate the holiday. Ever since then, I can't let the holiday pass without some crazy all-green dinner and our favorite rainbow cupcakes.

I have blogged about these fun cupcakes before, but they are such a big part of our March, that I had to bring them back for another post!

 You will need:

  • a white cake mix and all ingredients to make it
  • food colors (I prefer to use gel colors in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) 
  • white frosting
  • Airhead Xtremes Sour Belts
  • Rolos (You need to buy a full package of these, the rolls aren't individually wrapped) 

Housewife Eclecitc: Leprechaun Rainbow Cupcakes, the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat.
 Mix up your cake mix and then separate into six different bowls for coloring. Add a small amount of color to each bowl, until the cake mix is the shade you want. Starting with your darker colors on the bottom, spoon a couple spoonfuls of each color until each cupcake liner. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out the color into a full layer. Resist the urge to tap the cupcake tray as it will make the colors settle into each other.
Housewife Eclecitc: Leprechaun Rainbow Cupcakes, the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat.
Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the package. When they are cool, top with cream cheese frosting. Cut the Airheads into smaller sections and push both ends of the "rainbow" into the frosting to set. Finish off with a Rolo.

These are definitely our favorite St. Patrick's Day treat. March 17th just wouldn't be the same without them. Do you have St. Patrick's Day traditions?
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disney on Ice Winners and Coupon Code

We have winners for the Disney on Ice Giveaway! Congratulations to Jennifer M, for winning the family four pack of tickets, please respond to the winner's e-mail to claim your prize! For everyone who didn't win, you will find ticket information and a fantastic coupon code below. 
Come join us for a night of fun with Belle, Rapunzel, Ariel and Merida! We can't wait to see Merida's ice debut. It will be a magical night! 

Tickets are currently on sale for all of the Salt Lake City shows, March 5-9th at the Energy Solutions Arena You can buy tickets online at Smithtix.comby phone at 800-888-TIXX, and at the EnergySolutions Arena Box Office. Ticket price levels are $20, $25, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Rinkside); Opening Night special discount prices available for only $12 each (not valid on premium seating; limit 6 tickets per order). Use the coupon code MOM at online checkout to receive a discount on tickets on the $20 and $25 tickets
For more information, visit or Disney on Ice on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Kale Lasagna Rolls

I have a slight lasagna obsession. For me, it is the ultimate comfort food. I love all of the elements of lasagna so much, that I can sit down with some cooked noodles and some ricotta cheese and be a happy camper. My husband on the other hand, only moderately likes it. Whenever I suggest making a regular lasagna, he reluctantly agrees. After some trial and error, we settled on this recipe. It has all the delicious elements I love about lasagna, and the added elements of kale and mushrooms that make my husband happy. If I am making this recipe for a group that includes children, often I will leave out the mushrooms and kale on certain rolls to make it more like traditional lasagna for them. 

You will need:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced 
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms 
  • 1/2 c. kale, finely chopped (you can substitute spinach for kale if you want)
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lasagna noodles, cooked 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 oz cream
  • 1 tsp basil
Add both the olive oil and the butter to a hot pan. Allow to mix until the butter if frothy. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until they brown. Add the garlic and broth to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, scraping the edges of the pan as you stir. Add the kale and cook 8 minutes or until the kale is soft. 

Mix the ricotta and Parmesan together in a a separate bowl. Spread a layer of cheese across each noodle and then spoon some of the mushrooms and kale in the center. Roll up the noodles. In a small saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, cream and basil until smooth. Spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish and place the rolled up noodles on top. Add more sauce to the top of the noodles, and top with the mozzarella cheese. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the sauce is bubbly. 

Comfort food with a delicious twist. The perfect combination. 

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Doctor Who Cybermen Baby Onesie

I was given the Heat Transfer Vinyl to create this shirt. All opinions and instructions are 100% my own. 
Housewife Eclectic: Doctor Who Cybermen Baby Onesie
I might be a little bit of a Doctor Who fanatic. It is one of the reasons I haven't shared pictures of my completed craft room yet, because I am not sure I am ready for the world to know how nerdy I am. I have an entire Doctor Who wall in my craft room, full of Tardis pictures and miniature Daleks. My Tardis salt and pepper shakers in my kitchen were lovingly hand carried back from England by dad when he was there on business.

This shirt is made using Gray Flocked Heat Transfer from Expressions Vinyl. This was my second experience working with their flocked heat transfer and I liked it even more the second time. It is soft, fuzzy and pretty darn easy to weed.  You can find the gray that I used for this shirt, here.

You will need:

  • A onesie to iron the image to
  • Gray Flocked Heat Transfer from Expressions Vinyl
  • A Cutting Machine
  • An iron
  • The Cyberman Silhouette found here

A lot of times when I am looking for images to trace with my cutting machine, I add the word silhouette to end. For instance, this time I searched for Cyberman Silhouette. When the image you are working doesn't have any shading in it, it is far easier to trace and cut. You can find a whole tutorial on how to trace and cut images on this tutorial for a Lego shirt. After you have loaded the Cyberman Silhouette into your design software and traced it, cut your Flocked Heat Transfer down to 9x12. Make sure you flip any image and text you are working with, so they will iron on correctly to your shirt.
Silhouette Cameo Cutting File for What Does The Fox Say?
 Feed the Heat Transfer into your cutting machine with the shiny carrier sheet down, making sure the heat transfer is under both rollers, so it doesn't slide around. In most cases, you can cut heat transfer without a cutting mat, so make sure to uncheck the cutting max box if you aren't using one. Set your machine to cut Flocked Heat Transfer, in the case of a Silhouette you will need to set your blade to a 3, thickness to a 33 and your speed to a 5. Cut your heat transfer. If you would like to watch a video on how to cut the vinyl, you can find one from Expressions Vinyl here.
Silhouette Files for What Does The Fox Say?
Weed your design. As you can see, I originally cut the Cybermen with my Fox shirt. This made sure I didn't waste any of the heat transfer. I cut it when I made the fox shirt and just set it aside until last week when I was ready to use it. This is a great habit to get into when you are cutting a design with a little extra space on the sides, adding something to the sides to of your design is a great way to use up the extra heat transfer.

You can find more information about using Flocked Heat Transfer here, but I have included the ironing settings paragraph for your convenience. "Set your iron to the cotton setting on your iron (or about 305 degrees) Preheat the area of the shirt you want to place your vinyl for about 3 seconds then place the heat transfer on the t-shirt with the right side facing up. With the heat transfer from Expressions Vinyl, you can iron directly onto the plastic carrier sheet. Using medium pressure, iron the entire image for about 30 seconds without any steam. After you finish, I like to flip my shirt over and iron for another 10 seconds from the back. Allow the shirt to cool (allowing the vinyl to cool is my personal preference) and then peel the carrier sheet off. If any parts of the image pull up when removing the carrier sheet, stop peeling and iron for a few more seconds in that spot."

 Need a Cyberman Onesie for the Little Whovian in your life? Expressions Vinyl has generously offered to give all Housewife Eclectic readers 10% of their purchase by using the code HOUSEWIFEECLECTIC at check out. You can also enter to win a $25 gift certificate from Expressions Vinyl, on this post.

Now I just need to convince my husband to let me dress our baby up like The Doctor for Halloween.
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

You're Invited- A Weekly Creative Linky Party

 A little while ago, you may have noticed my linky party disappeared. No, I wasn't done with it, I just had something better in the works. Something that I am excited to finally share with you . As of today, I am hosting a linky party with these wonderful ladies. Jesseca from One Sweet Appetite, Holly from Bits of Everything and Jonie from Just Between Friends.

We are so excited to start this project together and even more excited to see all of your amazing projects and recipes. Starting next week, we will be featuring some of our favorite and most viewed link ups for this party. Some general rules are below, just to make sure the party stays a fantastic way to share your projects.
Use the linky below to enter what you have been working on, or past favorites! 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lego Face Shirt

I was given the Heat Transfer Vinyl to create this shirt. All opinions and instructions are 100% my own. 
Housewife Eclectic: Lego Face Shirt
Has Lego fever from the new Lego Movie hit your house? It has certainly hit ours. Legos are some of the most played with toys in our house. My daughter has spent the last year or so playing with the sets my husband played with as a child, but this year we decided to buy her some of her own, so my husband will stop stressing about her losing the pieces. Even 20 years later, he still loves his Legos. 

This fun, simple shirt will take you 20 minutes or less and is perfect for the Lego enthusiast in your house. I made this one for my nephew, who lives across the country from me. I made not get to see him every day, but I can still secure my place as favorite aunt from a far. For this shirt, I used heat transfer from Expressions Vinyl. I absolutely love the quality of their heat transfer. It is easy to use and sticks fantastic! 

For this project you will need:
One of my favorite things about this shirt, is that you can cut it from small scrap piece of vinyl. As long as the vinyl is long enough to go under both rollers, you are fine cutting without a mat. If it isn't just stick the vinyl, shiny side down on your mat and cut. This is an awesome project for using up those scraps you have laying around. 
 First you will need to find a picture of a Lego head to trace from. I used this free template for carving a pumpkin found here. Open the image in Silhouette. You will need to chose JPEG images from the drop down menu when looking for it on your computer. 
Size the image to your cutting area and select the trace button. It is the button the arrow is pointing to. 
 Then select your trace area. Drag the grey box over the entire image you want to trace. Then select trace outer edge. You can then separate the picture from the trace. The trace will be transparent and outlined in red. I have filled it in in black, so you can see the image better. Then using the Ellipse tool on the left hand side of the screen, draw two circles to fill in the empty area of the eyes. These will be the white dots you cut. 

Once you have the dots lined up, pull them off to the side of the virtual cutting mat, so they won't cut at the same time as your black heat transfer. You can cut the face as is, or you can move all the of the individual pieces together to use less heat transfer. It makes it trickier to iron on if you move the pieces close together as you will have to individually place each piece, but it allows you to use small scraps. 
There is no need to flip or mirror the images in this project, unless you want to. Since there is no text, nobody will ever know if you flipped the image or not. You will need to cut twice for this shirt, once from white heat transfer and once from black. Feed your black heat transfer shiny side down into your machine and cut. If you would like to watch a video on how to cut the vinyl, you can find one from Expressions Vinyl here.
 Weed the both the white and the black designs. Place the black heat transfer (always start with the bottom layer) on your shirt with the carrier sheet up. You can see in the image above how I have individually placed each part of the image. When doing this, just measure the distance from your elements to make sure the mouth is the same distance from each eye and so on.  Iron directly onto the carrier sheet for about 15 seconds. Peel the carrier sheet off, leaving the design on the shirt. Line up the white circles over the eyes. Go slow, you might want to give the black a few minutes to cool before you try to line up the white, so it won't stick right away. 
Once the white is lined up, place a piece of parchment paper on top of the entire design. This will keep the black from sticking to your iron. Iron over the entire design for about 30 seconds (So the entire design has been ironed for 30 seconds, not 30 seconds total. Flip over and iron from the back for an additional 15-20 seconds. Peel off the carrier sheet for the white. You can find a video about layering heat transfer below the cutting video from Expressions Vinyl here.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Have Been Reading: Princess in the Opal Mask, The Elite and Crown of Midnight

This retelling of Man in the Iron Mask is just as gripping as the original story, with lots of character and plot elements of its own. Princess Wilha knows what her face looks like, but no one else around her does. Since her birth she has been forced to wear an opal mask, concealing what lays beneath. The few times she has dared to show anybody her face, they have been abruptly dismissed from the palace. There are all sorts of rumors flying around, that her face is deformed, that one look from her can kill, that one look can heal, but when Princess Wilha looks beneath the mask, all she sees is an ordinary girl, so why must she wear it?

Elara is an orphan. She has few friends and spends most of her time serving the family that is supposed to love her, hungry and alone. She is an ordinary girl, until attempts on the life of Princess Wilha thrust her into a royal world that she knows nothing about. Elara now has a chance to be somebody else, but is that what she wants?

Quite honestly, I loved this book. It is a light, easy read with political drama and just the right amount of romance. I liked both of the main characters, and wasn't surprised by the paths they chose to take. A few of their choices had me yelling at the book, but I loved how they handled themselves and moved forward. I can't wait for the sequel.

This book is perfect for younger readers as there is very little mature material. I would recommend it to anybody who loved The False Prince series.

In The Selection, 35 girls were chosen to compete for Prince Maxon's heart. For America Singer, she has never wanted anything less. She wants to stay home, marry her sweetheart and move forward with her life, until she actually meet Prince Maxon. Now she is torn, she has feelings for Prince Maxon, but she isn't she can handle all that comes with the job of Princess. In The Elite, the Prince's choices are down to 6 girls and the competition and the rebels outside the palace walls are fierce. Can she win the competition? Does she want to? Are they all going to be killed by rebels before this is over anyway?

Honestly, I almost didn't finish this book. Most of the first book was all love triangle focused with a smattering of intrigue. In same cases I felt like America's character drifted backwards and became less developed in parts. I am glad I finished because I absolutely loved the end and now I can't wait for the last book in the trilogy. I do have to commend the author for really making me care about the characters, one of the reasons I almost didn't finish the book was because the flip-flopping between the two male leads was making me so sad. I am excited to see where the next book heads. I absolutely have a favorite of the two men and I am crossing my fingers that my heart doesn't get broken.

In Throne of Glass, Celaena Sardothien, won the right to be the King's Assassin. Even though she works for the king, she doesn't support the king or killing the people he wants her to kill. A secret she must take to her grave or find herself in a grave herself. 

Celaena is confident, brutal and at times scared. She is hands down one of my favorite YA characters currently being written. This book gives us more about Celaena's past and how she became who she is, including introducing Archer Finn, a male courtesan and old friend of Celaena's. When Celaena is ordered to kill Archer by the King, she is forced to commit treason to try and help him escape, something that could end up costing her life in more than one way. 

Celaena has seemingly made her choice between Prince Dorian, and Chaol, the Captain of the Guards until certain choices make the entire thing unravel. Even though this book has a love triangle of sorts, it is not heavy handed and a sideline of the main story. I loved Chaol even more in this book than the last book and the character development of Dorian was just perfect. 

So often the second book of a series is my least favorite. The first book sucks you in and the third book gives you closure (except in this case there are six books), but the second book does so much setting up for the last book, that it is hard to get through. This is absolutely not the case with this series. In fact, I think I liked this book more than the first. The beginning was fun, the middle heartbreaking and the end was eye opening and fabulous. I absolutely can't wait for the third. 

I recommend this book to anybody who loved Crown of Midnight and if you haven't read Crown of Midnight yet, why the heck not? 
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Gift of a Clean House with Glover Maintenance

I would be lying if I said this pregnancy has been easy. I have been hit with some really not fun complications this time around and sometimes it feels like I am muddling through. Between work with Housewife Eclectic, being a mom, being pregnant and working as a photographer, something had to give. Sadly, that something was the more difficult housework. I am usually the clean my floors on my hands and knees kind of person, but it was getting to the point where cleaning my floor or kitchen up to the standards I wanted, wasn't even possible. It was really frustrating to me to feel so behind on my house and I was feeling some extreme mom and wife guilt when I was contacted by Glover Maintenance

Hiring a company to clean my house has never really been on my radar, I always thought of it as a luxury of the rich. It seemed like something I never thought I could afford, but with Glove Maintenance everything was so reasonable, I wanted to try them out. I expected to be happy with the service, but I was blown away. 

Two workers accomplished more in two hours than I could accomplish in triple that. My floors, kitchen and bathrooms were immaculate, they even cleaned the surfaces I forget about, like the windowsills and baseboards. I wish I had taken before pictures of the inside of my microwave so I could show you what a difference they made. I love that they wiped down all of my appliances, large and small. My mixer, my food processor, my fridge and my knife blocks have never looked better. 
 My downstairs bathroom has been a source of frustration for me since we moved into this house. The toilet has always had a permanent ring that no cleaner I have ever tried has helped. I gave up making it look clean a long time ago and instead have taken the approach of apologizing to every person who uses the bathroom, promising them it really was clean.  When the workers from Glover Maintenance started cleaning the bathroom, I told them to not even bother worrying about the toilet, that it was a lost cause. They told me they would try anyway and when I checked the bathroom later, I was shocked. My bathroom was really and truly clean, something I hadn't been able to accomplish with every bathroom cleaner I could get my hands on. 
My husband asked me if I thought it was weird to have people cleaning my house while I worked upstairs and I have to say, not at all. It was actually kind of amazing. I was able to get everything on my to do list done that day and have the satisfaction of a clean home. I spent that evening playing games with my husband and daughter instead of trying to scrub up the kitchen after a long day of work and that is worth every penny. 

Since every house is different, there isn't a standard amount that I can tell you that Glover Maintenance charges, but I can tell you it is more reasonable than I ever imagined and fully plan on having them help me out more. Glover Maintenance also provides:

  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • House Cleaning
  • Commercial Cleaning
  • Landscaping
  • Commercial Snow Removal
I felt really comfortable with everybody that was sent to my home and I can't wait to have them come out again! 

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Owl Be Your Valentine

Housewife Eclectic: Owl Be Your Valentine with Free Printable
I can't believe it is almost Valentine's Day already. Does February always seem to fly by for anybody else? Today I am sharing my last Valentine for 2014.

 This is actually the Valentine I created to give to my little girl from my husband and I. My mom always had a Valentine, usually a little box of chocolates,  for each of us when we woke up on Valentine's Day. It was never something big and fancy, just a little something to celebrate the day. It is a tradition I loved and decided I wanted to carry one with our family. This year, she is getting a cute pair of Owl socks to go along with the Valentine. 

You will need:
  • The printable Valentine at the end of this post
  • a small treat to attach to the card (I found the cute owl socks in the dollar bins at Target, but you could attach a piece of candy to make these more affordable to give to a class.)
  • Twine or tape

Cut out each Valentine and have your child address them to each of their friends. Attach the socks using a piece of twine tied around both the card and the socks or a piece of candy using double stick tape. 
Housewife Eclectic: Owl Be Your Valentine with Free Printable
You can find the printable, with 3 to a page below. All Housewife Eclectic Printables are for personal, non-commercial use.

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Owl Be Your Valentine Printable 
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Dressing Siblings For Pictures with Osh Kosh B'Gosh

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OshKosh B’gosh. I received a gift card to facilitate my shopping trip and to thank me for participating.”

I have always had it easy when it comes to dressing my daughter for pictures. Dressing one kid is pretty easy. If you love the outfit, and it doesn't have a loud or crazy pattern on it, put them in it for pictures. Easy. Adding another child opens up a whole realm of possibilities and frustrations. What will look good together? Should I have them match completely? These are the questions that have been running through my head as I have tried to plan the first pictures of my girls together after this little one is born.
 I knew I wanted options, but I didn't want to spend a fortune just to have choices. With Osh Kosh B'Gosh, I was able to create many affordable different combinations, that I will love long after the pictures are over. With my kids being farther apart, sometimes I feel like I can't just walk into a store and buy them matching clothes, I love that Osh Kosh B'Gosh carries cute clothes for my 5-year-old and coordinating baby girls clothes too.

Here are some of my favorite ways to dress children  for sibling pictures.
Dressing your children in the same color but different hues can be a fantastic way for them to coordinate without being in the exact same thing. For instance, placing one child in a dark blue and one in light makes the photo a little more interesting to the eye without distracting from the subjects.

Matching elements of the outfits without matching the entire thing is probably my favorite choice. In this case, the white polka dots match the white dress for the baby, while the babies yellow head band ties back to the yellow shirt. This lets you dress every child to their individual style while letting the photos look like they have an underlying theme. This is easiest to pull off using solid colors and accessories to tie the colors to each other.
I seriously love the gray polka dot crops in this outfit. I wish they made them in my size.
Matching one element but not the other is another popular way to pull outfits together. Have the kids wear matching shirts, but have different pants or skirts on bottom. This gives a little bit of variety, while still providing that cohesiveness that matching brings. 
I absolutely loved shopping for my girls first siblings photos at Osh Kosh B'Gosh. I was thrilled with how far my money went, almost everything was on sale already and then I was able to use to the coupon below to make my money go even farther. I walked in expecting to buy one outfit for each girl and walked out with almost three for each. They had a great selection of girls tees and tunic and I might be completely obsessed with their baby clothes selection now. The baby B'gosh line is just what I wanted both for every day and the upcoming wedding we have in my family. 
The coupon can be used online or in store until March 12th. You can find an Osh Kosh B'Gosh near you here
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