Monday, December 28, 2009

'Tis the Season....to still be sneezin'!!!

Hi everyone. (if anyone is there)...

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas/ Holidays!!! I've had a rough couple of weeks. And I wanted to let you all know that I'm taking the week off to re-coup, and not just catch up, but to get ahead!

My little 5 yr old has Mono! Not sure how that happened, but it did. She's been sick now for 3 weeks and on top of that - we now have some cold virus traveling through our family. 3 out of the 4 of us - have it - yuck!!! Bust out the tissues - we have issues!

So if you are just now finding my blog - and this is the first post you are reading - please find one of my better posts to read and stay a while! But I am off to rest my head and drink some warm water with Honey and Lemon juice! It's my favorite thing when I get sick. That and my Neti Pot!

I wish you all a VERY WONDERFUL & SAFE New Year! Please follow along with me - the new year will be bringing some really fun tutorials and cool updates about my 2 is Beautiful business!

Thanks so much for checking me out and reading about all the things I love to do and share! And if you wouldn't mind, please vote for your favorite post categories on my blog - up on the right hand side! Thanks! -kg

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Creamy Potato Soup

During this time of year when we all need a little "comfort food" to wash away all the colds and other illness' we bring home or our kids bring home, potato soup will comfort like no other.

This isn't the potato soup recipe that my mom always made when we were little (still waiting to get that copy from her)....but here's a great Creamy Potato Soup recipe you will enjoy by Jason Hill from Chef Tips.

Here's what you will need from the grocery store before you get started:

2 Cups of Shredded Smoke Gouda
1 tbsp Dried Basil
4 Tbsp Butter
2 chopped Carrots
2 Chopped Celery Stalks
1 cup Chopped Onion
2 cups Heavy Cream
6 Cups Chicken Stock
6 Red Potatoes

He also adds a little Cracked Black Pepper on top of the soup at the end, but I'm allergic to that - so I'd say that's optional!

To find out how to put it all together - check out this video by Chef Tips. To Find more recipes by Jason Hill - check out his website - Cooking Sessions with chef Jason Hill. So Yummy!!!

Have a great comforting Wednesday! Soups up! - kg

Monday, December 21, 2009

Busy Monday: Starting a Blog Part 2

OK - so now you have your blog. Before you begin posting anything, be sure to add some of the features you like that you've seen from other blogs. I love having 3 columns. My blog template is the Minima Lefty Stretch and then I changed the HTML to add a 3rd column. There are quite a few tutorials out there to do this (here's the one I used) - but please FIRST make sure you: 1) download and save your current template. If you mess up - you won't be crying all night about it!, and 2) make sure the person has given you step by step (if not a video) on how to do it, so you don't skip anything. If you make a change, please "preview" the changes first - before you accept them!

If you want a really different, unique, cute, shabby background, check these out...they also offer tutorials on adding the backgrounds, as well as many buttons, labels, and cool stuff like that!!!

Cutest Blog on the Block - and here's their Blog...2 Mom's Talk!
Shabby Blogs
Simply Fabulous Blogger Tutorials

If you want to check out a list of 25 Blogger Widgets that you can add to your blog - check out this post on Mashable.

So that should keep you busy for a while. And if you haven't seen my blog before today - you may have missed this post...with some great freebies to add to your site for tracking your site traffic and such...and other ways to boost your traffic.

Have a great Monday even though it's almost over. I'm thinking next year - I'll either have to have all of my December posts done in November and all of my November posts done in October...or I'll have to take the whole month of December off!? - kg

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Gingerbread House Part 1

I'm off to a late start today. My daughter and I have been sick for the last few days, but on Saturday when I couldn't do much, I at least sat at my computer and got my Monday & Tuesday post ready and scheduled. That felt great. Yesterday when I started to feel a little better, I was busy cleaning house and unable to get going on today's post. But no worries - I've got it all under control!
Today I am sharing with you all the Gingerbread House Template my daughter's and I will be using to make our village this afternoon. If you haven't made one yet - this is for you too! Because blogspot won't let me upload a PDF file - I have inserted this as a JPEG. It will print nicely on an 8 1/2 x 11 - just check before you click print! It will be a small size Gingerbread house - so if you have a few kids, you'll have a village of gingerbread houses and not just one mansion! This is the recipe I plan on using from epicurious.com since I was not able to find the box gingerbread mix this year at my grocery store! They have all the instructions too - for mixing and baking after cutting out your pieces.

Oh - I can just smell it now....I'll post some more pictures later too of our house in progress...Tune in Friday for the decoration celebration, and have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Monday: Starting a Blog Part 1

As you can see from my archive list, I signed up to start blogging in January of this year. But as you can also see from my archive list, I didn't start really blogging until September! I really wasn't sure what to blog about, I didn't have my product up and running anywhere to purchase or promote and I wasn't sure I'd have anything interesting to say!

As soon as I got my Etsy shop up in September, I started to hear "the" buzz that blogging was a great way to promote your shop. But I didn't really want a blog that was all..."hey everyone , look at me"!
So where do you start? First you have to decide which free blogging service you want to sign up with. There are pros and cons to each, so please do your research. Here's a few to check out:

Blogger (aka blogspot)
Wordpress.org or Wordpress.com
Live Journal

Not so free blogging: fees
Typepad - you can start blogging with a free trial, but it can cost between $8.95 a month for the minimums to $89.95 a month for a Business Pro account.

If you want to blog and get paid to blog - check out this list of sites...from Hongkiat.com.

After you've checked out those blogs, and you've signed up, come back here next week for more information about changing the look of your blog and personalizing it to really represent you!

See you tomorrow for a little bit of This 'n' That! Happy reading! -kg

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Tis the Season....

So it's monday night and I never had time to post my Busy Monday post - because I was too busy.

Today: I shipped out orders today (yeah!!!) and a bunny for the facebook fan giveaway (yeah!!!) and a christmas owl to my dear friend (yeah!!!)! Along with all that I went to karate, then the grocery store, to the post office twice, changed my little girls bed sheets (after making them dinner and giving them a bath)...and then discovered we had a can of frozen orange juice down in our basement in a bag with some jars and cans for our food storage that needed to be put away...only the frozen orange juice wasn't supposed to be there. Slowly but surely it has leaked out everywhere, creating a nasty mess I now have to go clean up.

So instead of sitting here, and trying to catch up, I am going to go clean, and then finish some sachets while hanging out with my hubby and resume my normal schedule next week. With Christmas coming quickly - I have presents for my own family I need to start and finish!

Wednesday I will be helping out at an American Red Cross Blood Drive at my church and anticipate that being all day! But I am happy to serve and for such a great cause. So I hope you all have a great week, and will feel free to browse my blog for some other really great posts!!! See you next Monday!

Kerry

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stayed up tooooo Late

So today is not Seller Saturday. I was up really late last night posting my Balsam Fir Sachet stack and ichatting with my twin..and photographing my cute little owl friend. This owl ornament was a special request from my friend Sharlene....she wanted an owl ornament with balsam fir. I'm not into using muslin for prototypes...so this is my first one. I may make a few adjustments in the tutorial, but I'm pretty sure, it will be 95% alike!

I'm sharing the owl today - because I wanted to let you know I'll be writing up a tutorial for this owl in the coming weeks! How exciting?!! This will be my first tutorial of many - and I would love to know what other kinds of things you'd like to learn to sew. What other tutorials would you like to see here on my blog? Please post below to share your ideas. It may not have to be a sewing project, but fabric related would be great, as I have much fabric I need to destash before I can buy more!!

Have a great saturday. I'm going to get our shoes put out for the Feast of St. Nick, and then I'm going to rest my aching head. -kg

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Lion House Dinner Rolls

Have you EVER smelled the sweetness of fresh bread rolls baking in your oven? It's pure heaven! Today I bring to you a recipe from one of the best Bakery/Restaurants in the states...Utah that is. I was out visiting family during the summer of 2008 and had an opportunity to eat at the Lion House Restaurant. The rolls topped the charts. I recently got an email with the exact recipe - so I share it with you for today's Edible Wednesday.

Lion House Dinner Rolls

  • 2 cups warm water (110 to 115° F)
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, shortening, or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Since I don't want to infringe on any copyrights...I'm only listing the ingredients. For the directions and a mouth watering image - please check out this link for the remaining info and MORE Lion House Recipes - FOR FREE! And check out this video to see how to cut and prep them for baking! Get the butter, jam, honey, what ever floats your boat - but get 'em while they're hot!

Have a great Wednesday! - kg

Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy Monday: Social Media - Believe the Hype!

Good Monday morning everyone.

Last night I was starting to think about what I wanted to post today and decided to share a link to this great website with a whole host of fabulous resources.

Part of me thinks - it's so great - and if I were a really selfish person - I wouldn't want to share this awesome resource...but lo and behold - I love to share great information! Which is really why I'm doing this blog in the first place!

Today's great link is to Women'sEntrepreneur.com. They have forums galore and as I mentioned - a boat load of resources. While only briefly on the website did I find a post of interest to me and had to read it immediately....Social Media Gurus Speak Up.

So believe the hype people. Social Media is the phrase you should be thinking about, speaking about and blogging about, and if you are anything like me....dreaming about! (I'm a serious dreamer).

There were so many links in that one post - so I won't be putting them all in here...but will start with Laura Fitton from Pistachio Consulting. She wrote the book - Twitter for Dummies. I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing this book with my next borders coupon. (I'm frugal!)...But you can also check out her site OneForty. My most favorite app from there....Friend or Follow! So many people are all about the numbers on twitter and facebook. The more Fans, the more followers the better....right? - Wrong! Why not have lower numbers knowing they are real friends and fans and followers. Not just there because you want the higher numbers? Many people I know have said "if you follow me - i'll follow you"...only to have them a couple of weeks later - unfollowing you....Now you can know with Friend or Follow! Why not just follow everyone that is following you? That's what I plan to do. (so long as you don't spam me or use questionable language or content in your tweets & posts).

Keep reading the Social Media Guru post. It really is chock full of great information you want to know! Have a great morning. And PLEASE leave a comment if you liked this post. I LOVE comments. I appreciate you taking time to leave comments. It also helps me to know what's working for you - so I know what to bring you more of! Thank you!!! - kg

Oh - yeah...here's my twitter link....and my facebook page...follow and fan me if you'd like! (I'd like that very much!) THANKS!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Thanksgiving Feast

If you're anything like me....you still have to go get your turkey, and all the fixin's! With my daughter's Birthday so close to Thanksgiving - it's hard to get anything for Thanksgiving done earlier than the last minute.

Today I share a bit of my past - with some recipes for you today and hopefully many Thanksgiving Feasts to come. When I was in High School, my twin sister and I had an AWESOME opportunity to be in a Seventeen Magazine photo shoot. We were trying to get in on the "makeover" spreads they used to do, but they had enough model coverage for that.

A couple of weeks later, they called us and asked if we wanted to do a Photo Shoot for the November magazine, in the Sybille's Cookbook section. So there we were in the middle of July - dead heat of summer, we had to wear wool skirt or polyester pants, sweater, vest, flannels, layers upon layers in a small cottage in Bridgehampton, NY with no AC! There were barely enough windows to help the air circulate all the heat coming from the old brick oven. We made little napkin holders and other "decorations" for the tables, and then helped to prepare the feast. When all was said and done, we sat down an enjoyed the turkey and all the fixin's! We can't remember if we ever got paid for that (maybe $25 each)- but we certainly got bragging rights during our freshman year of college and memories to boot!

I've made this turkey recipe for friends in college. I've made it here in my own home, and now you get to try it! I've since changed the way I prep the bird, I butterfly it first so it cooks quicker and more evenly after brining overnight without drying it out. You can get instructions to butterfly your bird in the most recent Martha Stewart Magazine. You'll never cook your bird any other way! it's awesome!!! I thank my husband's Aunt Jane for showing me that trick first!

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. This experience I had 17 years ago (half my life - with my other half) and with 17 Magazine....I will always remember. I think the number play here is very ironic! I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving....thank you for following my blog. Thank you for your comments and feedback. I very much appreciate it! God bless! kg

psst....Before you head off to the grocery store - print one of these before you go...a grocery list...it's the best! I'm sorry the images are so hard to read...I will see if my hubby can work his magic later...I revised the size and quality and it helped a little...but let me know if you'd like me to type the ingredients...Thanks, kg

Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy Monday: Need Labels?

I've had a few people local and otherwise, ask where I got my labels from. So today is label day.

Esther at Specialized Sales Corporation has been hooking me up with labels since I first ordered my Tuck 'n' Go labels in 2005. After our initial contact, she sent me a package of different label options and also various hangtag options to choose from. My husband designed them and provided the art work, and after much deliberation, we picked just the right colors and just the right materials and came up with these....They are woven labels with polyester threads that are heat cut so no adhesives are used to seal the edges (for those concerned with the CPSIA). The heat does the job. The standard care labels were printed with inks that do not contain lead contaminates (again for those concerned with the CPSIA). All the labels I have purchased from her, come pre cut and folded in long skinny boxes ready for a new home.

If you need labels, give her a call today! Let her know Kerry @ Kid Giddy sent you - tell her I said hi! She does have a minimum of 1000 units per order. Please be sure to ask all your questions. If you are concerned about the CPSIA in your labels/hangtags etc, please be sure to address those concerns with her prior to placing an order.

This is not a paid advertisement. Kid Giddy can not be held liable for any labels you order from SSClabels and affix to your products.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Doll House Fun

In honor of my youngest daughters up coming birthday, I'm posting a drawing I did really quick of her doll house. I needed to know what colors she wanted for the rooms before going to school, so I drew this so she could color it in before leaving and I could paint it while she was gone. (I don't want her to know it might be ready for her birthday...Monday - I keep saying it may not be ready until Christmas!) Now it's here to share it with all of you.
If anyone wants to color it in - and send a copy of it back to me via email, I will let the birthday girl pick out her favorite version and post it here with the original drawing. You can as creative as you'd like. Draw what your family does on Thanksgiving (she was our turkey baby). We brought her home on Thanksgiving day 5 years ago! So color it in - draw some pictures - draw the thanksgiving day parade outside the window...go crazy...click the contact link above ....yeah up there....to send me the picture!

And if you like my blog, or better yet love my blog, would you please leave me a comment somewhere! I often worry I'm posting to space - not sure anyone is out there reading! So comment here if you like this sort of post...so I know to add more like this! Comments are GOOD! Thanks! and have a great weekend!!! kg

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Pomegranate

This is one of the most amazing fruits. Recently I bought 5 poms because all the other fruits are no longer in season and I have to get my antioxidants from somewhere!!! So since i still had one, I thought I'd share this awesome fruit with you today. If you've never had a Pomegranate, please PLEASE go out and get one today to try!!! It looks weird inside, but the taste will send you back to the store for more!

To Prepare: I cut a little slice of the skin - not too deep - all the way around and break the fruit in half. Keep tearing little bits of the skin off and "knocking" the arils into a bowl. Please don't wear white or any other light color if this is your first time. The juice will stain your clothes for sure! When I have finished knocking out all of the arils, I give it a cold rinse to get any little bits of the "flesh" out of the bowl.

To Eat: Grab a spoon! Ok - no really - you can put it on top of a salad, in many cooking dishes and maybe even in a drink or too...I don't drink - so when I say that - I'm talking smoothies here people!

If you want to know more about this fruit, or find some great recipes (I've never had them in a bowl long enough to find a recipe)...check out the POMwonderful website. I'm sure they also have a boat load of information on the history of the pomegranate, but if they don't - wiki does! And check it out - they have a POMwonderful contest going until Nov 30th - you can win $4,000!!!

Have a great juicy pomegranate day! k (all the pomegranates in these photographs have been devoured!)

(and just in case you are wondering...this is not a paid advertisement!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the Winner is.....

Hey everyone, the winner of the Fabric Jar Guesstimation was Lizzy!!!! The number of correct pieces was 41 (40 strips and 1 back panel piece). Lizzy guessed 36 (the closest number without going over).

Thanks everyone that entered. Lizzy, you have won 40% off the purchase price of any one item in my Etsy Shop. (mention this in your note to seller)...

Have a great day! See you tomorrow for Edible Wednesday! Thanks! kg

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Monday: Need Business Cards?

If you haven't been in the Etsy Virtual Labs - you're missing out!!! They are jam packed with not good, not great, not awesome, but with FABULOUS information! While in the labs this past week - I decided to do a few rounds of Monday posts, for tools you may need or want for your Business.

So today I share with those of you needing business cards. There are so many different options out there. For some of you, all you will want are 25. For some of you, you may need upwards of 500 - 1,000. No matter your needs, here are plenty of options to choose from in no particular order:

Moo - They offer full color printing on both sides (for which they say is no extra cost). They offer their own artwork, or you can upload your own. Prices start at 50 cards for $21.99, 100 cards for $43.98 & 200 cards for $69.99. They offer mini cards and many other items as well.
Print Runner - They offer B&W or blank back or full color dual sided, durable water resistant or UV coating...and so much more. They are currently running a special deal 15% off Matte, and a free website design (1 month trial from web.com) with Business Card purchase. Prices start at 100 cards for $9.95-16.95 depending on options and 250 cards for $19.95-27.95 again based on options. Prices are reduced as you order more cards. Shipping takes longer for orders under 250 cards.
Got Print - Offers different paper options. Most companies offer business cards on a 14pt stock. Mine are made with 100lb cover stock and are very durable. They offer here a Recycled 100lb Matte Cover with aqueous coating for a decent price. Rates start at $6.95 - $9.41 based on options for 100 cards.
Vistaprint - Pricing starts at $3.99 for 3092 different design options on 80lb stock and 250 cards. This is for Matte finish and blank back side. You can also order free cards (must pay shipping and handling). You can only choose from 42 designs. This option also requires that you approve them to print their logo on the back side.

And saving the best for last....here's some awesome options from Etsy sellers:

Why not purchase some art work from Tracy Ann Digital Art - you can purchase the art work to upload to some of the sites listed above, or just order the cards directly from her...SUCH CUTE designs!! For more awesome cute stuff - check her TADA website!!!

And here's some other great sellers - whose cards are posted throughout this post...These are photos are linked directly to the Etsy shops....(Pixelimpress, Amyingmui's, Mylittlebuffalo, and SaddleStitchStudio) please drop them a visit. Although some of the prices above seem "better", the customer service and quality you can get some an Etsy seller can most times far surpass anything you can get from a larger corporation! As I said before - I'm giving all the options. My husband designed and printed mine on Matte 100lb cover (and I LOVE them! - see the ones at the top of post)

Be sure to know that prices can also vary depending on getting a Proof prior to printing and based on uploading your own designs or having them do "Custom" design work. Please be sure to check all the options and costs no matter which route you choose for your self. This is not all the information there is on each site, just enough to get you started in your quest!

Good Luck to all and please feel free to share any other info regarding Business Cards in the comments below. All art worked is Copyright and Owned by the respective artists. Please don't copy their work. That would just be wrong! Thanks, k

Friday, November 13, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Totem Poll

Is it Friday already? Wow - time flies when you are making a Sushi Birthday Cake for a friend. I made 5 rolls today, using just under 4 rolls for her cake. She was so excited to be holding dinner in her hands this afternoon when I delivered it!

Wow - Since the day is almost over - this will make for a really fun project this weekend. As soon as I came across this website "The Scribble Project", I knew my kids would love to make their own totem pole! The template is no longer available, but If you cut a regular size piece of paper down to 5" x 11" then you have room for a 5" x 5" square in the center and room on the sides for wings or whatever you wish. From the looks of this Scribble Project website, some of these totem poles were featured in the Anorak Magazine as fun coloring pages! That is so cool! Here's more blogging while the totem poles were being submitted. The links to the template again are not working, but my dimensions look about right....Print on a regular size piece of paper and cut on the dotted lines.

The Scribble Project website is being updated - so I'll be sure to update any links, should the need arise. But in the mean time - have fun making your very own Family Totem Pole. Or a Friends Totem Pole, or a Thanksgiving Totem Pole...wow - the possibilities are endless!!!

I cannot put up the images here without Lisa's permission. If I get permission to post some for coloring, I will. Otherwise, I will post up the ones my girls make this weekend and will be happy to share ones you make as well. I'll post the first 4 that I receive (provided they are appropriate for my website and viewing). Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Chocolate Giggies (No Bake Cookies)

For as long as I can remember no bake chocolate cookies in our house were called Chocolate Giggies. When my oldest brother was very little, he tried to say Cookies - but couldn't - and said Giggies instead! Until I got older, I thought this was a recipe only my family knew about. Boy was I wrong! Now there are white chocolate versions, Soy & Sun butter versions (for the peanut allergic) and so many others.

But today - I share with you, my family recipe:

Ingredients:
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Powdered "Baking" Cocoa
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 lb Butter (not margarine)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch of Salt (optional)
1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter
3 Cups Quick Cooking Oats

Directions:
  • Mix in saucepan: Sugar, Cocoa, Milk & Butter. Cook on medium heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute.
  • After Cooling: Add Vanilla, Salt, Peanut Butter & Oats. Stir well and no licking the spoon! Drop by the spoonfuls onto wax paper and let set for approx. 30 minutes (this is the bare minimum or you can really burn your mouth! - unless you stick a few drop in the freezer then it's only a 10 minute wait!).
  • Grab a glass of Milk and enjoy!
After I make some - I'll be sure to post a picture - but it will have to be a little later (because when I make them, I have to eat some right away like I did when I was little). By the time they cooled off enough to harden, they were already gone. Chocolate Giggies didn't last very long in our house...and they still don't! But I do wait for them to cool so my girls don't burn their tongues like we did...and it teaches them patience (something I have but not very much - for giggies of course!)

Have a great day! Kerry

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy Monday: Fabric GUESStimation Jar

I've been so swamped that I almost forgot to post something for today's Busy Monday. So on that note - I'm going to post what I've been so busy with today.

My daughter's school is having a book fair this week. With that, they are having a Family Night with refreshments and estimation jars. So we signed up to make a guesstimation jar, and since I have so much fabric, we decided to use fabric strips. I measured it all out and it will end up being just the right size for a kids lap blanket.

It came out so cute that I'm thinking I may have to offer them for prizes or in my etsy shop!!! What do you think of that?

So take a guess - I'm wondering how easy or difficult it may be to figure out how many pieces of fabric are in this recycled plastic applesauce jar. I can't give the jar to the winning guess (since it's for the school), but I will offer 40% off one item in my store to the person that guesses the closest. Winner will be announced next Monday.

Rules:
  • Cannot exceed the number of pieces in the jar.
  • Winning Guess will be exact or closest to the actual number of pieces.
  • If more than one person guesses correctly or ties for the win, the person that posts first will be considered the winner

So post your guesses here...And have a great Monday staying busy and getting your work done!

ps - the painting behind the jar was done by my littlest girl...Elephant (she's almost 5)! She was very excited I used her painting! k

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Signing Time

If you've never heard of Signing Time and you have little kids....you're in for an awesome treat!!! While I was pregnant with my first daughter, my sister handed me 3 VHS tapes of Signing Time to use when my little girl was old enough to watch (because she didn't have kids of her own yet). A friend of hers I guess worked with Two Little Hands Production and helped to make the packaging. (may have to verify this since it has been almost 7 years).
When my little girl was only 2 months old, I pulled out the videos to check them out and began signing with her immediately. By the time she was 10.5 months old, she was able to share her first sign "thank you" to show gratitude for something someone had just given her. I was in absolute shock. Next came "bird" when she heard a bird out the window chirping. Then "more". Then "milk"...and the list goes on. She's now at a 3rd grade reading level (maybe higher) and is only in the 1st grade. When my second daughter was born, we didn't wait 2 months and began signing right away. The preschool and Kindergarten school they both attend and attended, have now instituted a signing curriculum because it clearly helps kids with speech difficulties and so much more....and it's just downright fun! I have since purchased all of Series 1 & 2 and the first 2 Baby Signing Time videos. (I still want the others!)

So today for Giddy-Up Friday - I share with you 4 of our favorite friends...Rachael, Alex, Leah and Hopkins. Please check out the Signing Time website. And for fun games, check out this! This is not a paid endorsement - I just LOVE them and had to share! Thanks Rachel, Alex, Leah, Hopkins and everyone in the Two Little Hands family!!!

Happy signing! Kerry

Signing Time, Rachael, Alex, Leah & Hopkins are registered Trademarks of Two Little Hands Productions, LLC

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Sue's Vegetable Sushi

The first time I ever had homemade sushi was at my twin sister Sue's house...so I am naming this for her!

I bought a Sushi Kit at me grocery store and let it sit on my counter for about 3 months. The box made it sound so easy. The images - made it look so easy...but I knew it was going to be so hard! Boy was I ever wrong!!!! Folks - Vegetable Sushi is one of the easiest things to make! So let's get started!
Unless you buy a kit with all the works, you need ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: (Look in the Ethnic section of your grocery store, or near where they may make sushi.)
Sushi Nori - Comes in a pack of 5.
Sushi Rice
Sushi Rice Vinegar (Can be "Seasoned" or not)
Your choice of veggies (I use 2 med carrots, 1 cucumber, and 1 avocado) (makes 4 rolls)
Sesame Seeds
and a Bamboo mat (get some plastic wrap or a plastic bag)

Step 1:
Make the rice according to the directions on the bag or box (for a kit). The best thing to do - is make the rice really earlier than you need it because it needs to be totally cooled off (I prefer doing it the day before). Please stay close to the rice and stir frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. I would very much recommend using a non-stick pan. (Sue says to rinse the rice til the water runs clear. I've never done that - but she's on my speaker phone right now and told me to add that info!)
Step 2:
Once the rice is cooled, measure out your sushi rice vinegar and using a spoon, equally distribute the SR vinegar over all the rice. Fold the vinegar in - so as not to mash the rice grains. (it won't look as pretty!). I don't use as much rice vinegar as they recommend on the bottle - but this is a personal preference.
Step 3:
Set up your veggies. I use a peeler to cut up the carrots, julienne the cucumbers and slice the avocados (I know it's tempting but no snitching!)
Step 4:
The really awesome guy at my grocery store showed me a trick with the bamboo mat. He wraps his up in plastic wrap so he doesn't have to clean it or throw it away over time. I found that plastic wrap annoys me and so I just put mine into a plastic zipper bag. It works just as well!
Step 5:
Split your rice within the bowl so you have equal amounts of rice for each roll. Grab one sushi nori and lay it on the mat. Get a little bowl of water (this is Sue's secret trick!), dip your fingers, grab some rice and spread it out on the sushi nori. Continue to dip your fingers in the water so the rice doesn't stick as much. Again be gentle so you don't mash up the rice grains! Once it's covered, sprinkle some seasame seads on top and then flip it over.
Step 6:
So now your rice will be on the bottom and the other side of the Sushi Nori will be facing up. On one end lay some carrots, cucumbers and avocado. Nori is not squared. Lay the narrow end closets to you and the veggies on that end. As you roll it up, that should be the longer length.
Step 7:
Grab the bamboo and the veggie end, and slowly roll once so the rice from the front, touches the nori. This seals in the veggies. Scoot the bamboo in and squeeze. Roll again and do the same thing. Scoot and squeeze. Continue to do that until it's totally rolled. Once it is, squeeze and roll one last time.
Step 8:
Do not cut it up on the bamboo mat so you don't cut holes in the bag. Lay the roll on a plate and cut the roll in half. Be sure to move the knife back and forth to cut it, not squishing it down to cut, and make sure the seam is on the bottom. Cut each half in half again, and then each of those halves in half!
Repeat steps 5 - 8 to make as many rolls as you can.

Serve your Sushi with Ginger Miso dressing or a Soy Sauce of choice and by all means enjoy!!!

If I forgot something here, leave me a comment...If you try this out, leave me a comment, if you read this, leave me a comment...In other words, fell free to leave me a comment! : )

Thanks! Kerry

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy Monday: Contests...Have you entered one lately?

Did you ever realize there were so many creative contests going on today? Have you ever thought to enter one?

My first Contest entry was for the Amy Butler Midwest Modern Fabric Contest back in September 2009. I blogged about it here. And you can see all the entries on the Amy Butler Flickr Pool (starting with page 2 - because that's where my items are!)

It was so much fun - I wanted to do it again. So I've been keeping my eyes open for new contests and decided to share some with you all. These are not all for me and may not be all for you. Everyone has their thing. I think my twin sister could win the baking contests - but not me. I'm more the crafter side. (so is she - but she's really good at baking and making really cool birthday cakes for her boys!). Anyhoo....There are quite a few options here. Maybe one you will like, so check them out, and if you've never entered a contest, give it a try! You just might like it enough to do it again!

Crafters:
Instructables & Singer Halloween - (started last year - ends Nov 8, 2009 - HURRY!)
Craft: Singer Contest Me, My Scarf & I - Ends Nov 22, 2009 only US Residents
Cut Out & Keep - Current contest ends Nov 22, 2009....but they run a monthly contest!
Love to Sew - 6th Annual Love to Sew Quilt Contest - Ends Nov 30, 2009
Michaels: Handmade Holiday - Now thru Dec 20, 2009 (win a trip to NYC & Martha's show!)
Love to Sew - Fashion Design Contest
2nd Annual Vanna's Choice Contest - Ends on Feb 1, 2010
Craftster.org Craft Challenges - Always new Challenges!
American Sewing Expo - Passion for Fashion ending in July 2010; Art of the Quilt ending in Sept 2010
American Sewing Guild - 2010 Creativity Contest

Chefs & Bakers:
Cooking Contest Central - There's always a contest cookin' 'round here!
Pillsbury Monthly Bake Off Contest - November - Easy Party Appetizers
Creative Kids in the Kitchen - A 250 word essay on "how you promote creativity in the kitchen with your kids", Ends Dec 4, 2009
Just Tomatoes (their contests for adults and kids have ended, but they will most likely run again in the future!)

Eco Friendly:
Ready Made Magazine - There are no contests now that I can find, but they often have a challenge in their magazines each month - like what to do with a bunch of used plastic spoons. And the magazine rocks!

☺ Please understand that you should check out ALL of the Rules and Regulations and all of the Terms and Conditions of any and ALL contests you may wish to enter. Please read the fine print and know if you are being asked to sign away the rights with your submission. Kid Giddy is not responsible for any contest you enter and lose as a result of this post...but should you win a contest as a result of this post - please come back and let me know so we can share it with everyone else!☺

Have a great day! And if you know of any other contests, like good Photography or Metalsmithing contests...please post them here to share! Thanks, k

ps...are you following me yet? <------Over there (and up a little ways)! See the Follow box...click it - you'll be really happy you did!

ps again....all the images are Copyright and owned by their respective Companies. Should you wish for me to remove your image from this post, please advise and I will respectfully comply!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Don't Forget to Eat your Fishies....

Good Morning! Well it looks sort of dreary outside - but that makes for a great Halloween tomorrow - right?

This morning I wanted to share a little fun snack time with you. Both of my daughters went to a Montessori school and learned so many things in such and easier way that I never learned at their age. I was blessed to be able to volunteer at their school often and decided some of the things they learned in school, I could do at home to keep that easier way of learning in our minds.

I hopped on my computer one day and made these little Fish & Bunny "It's Snack Time" pages. I even sent the Bunny page to Annie's Homegrown to see if they wanted to share it with their consumers (as my twin sister recommended). I haven't seen it on the website yet or on their emails, but they did send me a ton of Annie's products to say Thanks! That was cool!!!

Here's the Instructions: Place 1 cracker on each space in the top row (5), ask your child to move 1 cracker after the minus sign and then count how many are left. Then have your child write the number in the box. Then slide the remaining crackers (4) to the next row and continue until all crackers are gone. For fun: have your child color the Fish or Bunnies before using and then laminate the page in order to reduce excess waste as your child may want to do this more than once! Enjoy!

I am happy to have you share these with friends and family, but instead of placing the files on your own blog, instead please provide a link back to this post. Thank you for your cooperation.

Copyright 2009 2 is Beautiful, LLC

Have a great day! Kerry

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Japanese Dressing

When I first moved to Portland, Maine, my soon to be husband and I would get to go out on lots of dates to various restaurants and walks in the Old Port. One of my favorite places in the Old Port was and still is Fuji's Japanese Restaurant.

Every night that we wanted to go out, I begged to go to Fuji's because I craved the salad. Finally after going to this place for almost a year, I had to ask for the recipe. Some places will never share their secret recipes...but some do. You'll never know unless you ask! So as soon as I got up the courage to ask what the dressing was made of, our awesome waitress returned with a little torn piece of paper with the following recipe....I call it "Japanese Dressing". So simple and yet So amazing!!!!

It calls for equal parts - but after you make it once - you can skimp here and there or add extra of something - to fit your taste! Enjoy...

1/4 cup Soy Sauce (low sodium if desired)
1/4 cup Vinegar (I prefer Apple Cider Vinegar)
1/4 cup Sesame Oil (in Asian food section)
1/4 cup water
1 Red Apple minced (not grated)

Makes about 4 servings (may have a little leftover)

Use 2 Tbsp of each ingredient and 1/4 apple for 2 Servings.

Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour prior to serving to allow the apple bits to absorb the flavors. I've found it can last about 3 days in the fridge, if you don't eat it all at once!!!

Enjoy it (tomorrow) since my post was so late in the day!!! Good night, k

Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy Monday: My First Sale!

Parting is such sweet sorrow!!!

I make all these bags, sachets, turtles, animals, Tuck 'n' Go's, etc and love them. I love making them. I love the fabrics. I love every stitch. I work on these things no matter where I go and then it comes to me again that one day I'll have to hand them over. Either as a gift, or because it was purchased. I make them and breathe love and life into them, and then off they go. I can't keep them all right?! I wouldn't have enough space.

Today I mailed out the first bag sold on Etsy! Not the first one I made, not the first one I've sold (in person)...but it was hands down one of my favorites! It's a red plaid exterior with quilted hearts and upcycled Jessie the Cowgirl sheeting (from Toy Story 2)! I LOVE Jessie the cowgirl. I wish I had a Jessie doll when I was little, she rocks!

So my Busy Monday was filled with the excitement of wrapping the bag up and packaging it just right so it would arrive all safe and snug. Thank you to my buyer. (I'd mention the name if I knew that person was ok with it, but can't)...so Thank you! - you know who you are! I know you'll take good care of Jessie!

For all you sellers, on Etsy or anywhere else....I would love to hear about your first sale. What is was...and how you felt. Today I was relieved. My shoulders are now relaxed and I finally was able to take that deep breath and exhale with my first sale.

Thanks, Kerry

Friday, October 23, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Apple

This weeks Giddy-Up Friday is all because Edible Wednesday got me thinking about oranges. It's the perfect color for the fall season and it's the perfect smell, cleansing and invigorating. Paired with cloves as in Russian Tea, it's a whole new experience. This would actually be called a Pomander, but I am not adding all the extra spices or oil for preserving.

My girls have a special bookcase in the craft room for their "works" (the Montessori word for activities). One of the works uses styrofoam balls, ball top pins and flower sequins. As soon as they were "old" enough, they were allowed to take the balls, 'thread' a few flower sequins on the pin, and poke the pin into the ball. Once the ball was totally covered with sequins, it becomes a beautiful ornament or decoration.

Making a pomander would be the step before using pins. It can help develop a child's fine motor skills and dexterity. I imagine allowing my girls to do this project once again the day before Thanksgiving, so we might have some beautiful table decorations.

Supplies Needed:
Oranges and Whole Cloves. Tooth picks will help break open the skin of the orange so the cloves don't break.

Directions:
After laying down a work space, give your child a toothpick with one end blunt to avoid injuries. Poke a small hole in the orange and insert whole clove. Be gentle with the flower of the clove, it will break easily under pressure. Continue the process to have as many cloves in the orange as you'd like. Really the only thing to decide, is pattern or no pattern! To use as table decorations, add a ribbon to the top and use a pin to hold the ribbon in place. To use for seating arrangements, make name cards, glue to a toothpick and insert toothpick into the top of the orange.

This won't be just for kids - it's too much fun and it smells amazing! I'm not sure how long these will last. Beware of fruit flies for those of you in warmer climates still. (I heard Apple Cider Vinegar in a small dish helps rid of those pesky things).

As your child becomes more comfortable with this activity, allow them to try making sequin covered styrofoam balls. Have fun! And have a great weekend! See you on Busy Monday. k

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Russian Tea

So I start to get into my routine and then my dh takes the week off to spend with me which gets me off my routine. Today took a nice long walk so I can't complain - and I'm not (complaining), but I was hoping to get this up sooner today!!!

This is another one of those "for as long as I can remember"recipes. I can't say I remember the story behind "Russian Tea", but I remember looking in the jar and seeing the colors swirled around like colored sand. I remember the smell of the cloves mixed with the orange tang. For years I tried to find a tea packet that would give me the same taste, the same aroma, but I assure you, nothing was the same.

RUSSIAN TEA
1 cup instant tea (I prefer decaf)
2 cups Tang or other orange flavored instant drink mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 pkg (3 oz.) lemonade mix (my mom used to use Wyler’s brand)
1¼ - 1½ cups sugar

Mix all ingredients together and keep in tightly covered jar. Use approximately two heaping teaspoons per cup of almost-boiling water.

Variations: (never guaranteed to taste as good as the real thing but for anyone who has to cut back on sugar and such, it will still be a treat)
Use pre-sweetened tea and reduce the amount of sugar
Use sugar substitute and/or tea, Tang and lemonade mix sweetened with sugar substitute

I hope you'll give this a try and pass it on (via link). It really warms the soul....and makes your house smell amazing! Comment back here and let me know what you think!

Thanks! Kerry

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy Monday: 10 Guilty Pleasures - And yes - they are FREE!

Although I have a lot ideas of things to blog about and share with you all, I'm wanting to skip over Busy Monday - and go straight to Edible Wednesday....but I just can't do that.

The week has to start with Busy Monday. So here it is. The topic I picked was actually from a post on Chris Brogan's blog. The post was 100 Blog topics I hope YOU write. I chose "10 Guilty Pleasures". It just sounds negative, doesn't it? But it's not. Not here anyway!

I love a good deal! And the only thing I love more than a good deal, is anything that's free! So I'm going to share with you 10 guilty pleasures (freebies) that are great for you, your business, blog or etsy shop!

1. Know your worth. I share this tip FREELY with more people than any other. Some time ago I went to a Chiropractic seminar, back when I worked as a Front Desk Chiropractic Assistant (aka - the Fun CA!). During the seminar we were asked to turn to someone sitting around us that we didn't know. We were then asked to tell them how much their Chiropractic care was going to cost for the whole year. We made up an astronomical number and couldn't laugh or smile while doing it. The whole point of the exercise, was to help us look someone in the eye that we didn't know and be comfortable telling them we were expensive, but worth it, that their health care was expensive, but worth it! If you can't look someone in the eye and tell them your worth, work on it! If you love what you are doing, and you are putting in all the effort one would expect, then, you are worth every penny.

2. Everyone should be on Facebook. My husband is not. My mother is not. But they should be. Why? Because everyone else is. We don't have to friend everyone in the world, but it's a great way to connect to your audience. And it's free! If you are not already a FAN of Kid Giddy...now is your chance!

3. Be a Chatty Kathy. If you are just starting out an Etsy store - or are already big....you can still benefit from chatting and/or posting on forums. Newbies like me, need that online community to meet new people and get my store out there. You can also ask questions and get critiques on your store from other people that have been where you are! No matter what, it's free advertising. It gets your name out there. But set a limit or you might be on too long!

4. US - Small Business Administration. The Small Business Administration has endless amounts of free information. Need I say more about that?

5. Track your viewers. Site Meter and Feedjit. Know where your friends are coming from. Did you pay for advertising on someone elses blog or site? Is it working? These are the sites that will help you know it! (Feedjit is free for 10 days. Not bad to try it out!).

6. Want a cute blog for free? The Cutest Blog on the Block has endless amounts of HTML codes for really cute blogs!!!! They have FREE backgrounds, buttons, banners and so much more.

7. Comment on other Blogs. It's free. Find something you love and comment on it! Let the person know you were there! They just might to check out your site!

8. If you are an Entrepreneur...here's a great site with the latest information, services, and a community full of women just like you! Women Entrepreneur

9. Journaling. Where have you been, where are you now, and where are you going? If you don't already have a place to write down your thoughts and daily happenings, here's an online journal to keep track of your personal or business everything! It's good to have a record of what phone calls you made, maybe your sales, or how you felt when you finally achieved your goal!

10. Twitter. I have a personal site I don't use. But will be setting up a Kid Giddy site later today!!! It's free folks! And again - everyone else is twittering about something - so I guess we can too!

All of this for free??? How can it be? I know - I thought the same thing. Sometimes - the best things in life are free! Which is why I'm still giving away 5 FREE gifts to my first 5 sales in my Etsy Shop! So get yours!!!

Thanks for following me! That's free too! I have lots of info to share, so follow along if you aren't already. Have a great and productive monday! See you on Edible Wednesday for our next yummy treat! k

Friday, October 16, 2009

Giddy-Up Friday: Apple Sequencing

Our first Giddy-Up Friday kicks off with our very own Apple Sequencing cards. While my daughters attended a Montessori school, I was privileged enough to volunteer in their classes.

After their Apple eating and Pumpkin picking field trip I got the inspiration to make this Apple Sequence Card set. After each juicy bite, I took a picture. We later gave a set to the school which proved popular with the kids.

If you head off picking apples this weekend, have your child put the cards in order. I recommend you mount them on card stock or construction paper for sturdiness and take them to get laminated at a near by copy center to avoid having to throw them out from sticky fingers! You can also put the numbers 1-12 on the reverse side and have your child put the cards in number order.

If you'd like to share this Apple Sequencing post with others, I'm happy to allow you to do that by sharing the link to this blog post. Please do not post these images elsewhere on the internet without expressed permission. Thank you in advance.

Have a wonderful, sticky, juicy, Apple kind of weekend! Giddy-Up!! Kerry

Kid Giddy is a Registered Trademark of 2 is Beautiful, LLC 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our First Giveaway Winner

Good Morning everyone,

Today is October 15th, and that means we have a winner! I asked readers to take a look at the Kid Giddy Etsy shop, and then come back to the Welcome to Kid Giddy post and leave me a comment to let me know which item in the Kid Giddy shop you like best.

Although Sam was kind enough to leave 3 comments, I only put her name in the hat once. But lo and behold my sweet girl Elephant pulled Sam's name out of the hat.

Thank you to all who entered. Our next giveaway will be announced soon. So please be sure to check in often to see what's going on at Kid Giddy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Edible Wednesday: Cherry Salad

Cherry Salad - two words you might think don't belong together, make my heart sing!
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This recipe has been in our family for as long as I can remember. Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas it would sit right on our dinner plates next to the turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy! Oh - no folks - it's not for dessert!!! It's part of dinner. I know that sounds crazy, but I think we all just couldn't wait for it and wanted to make sure we had some before our stomachs were full or overflowing! We didn't care much for the pies and ice cream! Thanksgiving and Christmas just weren't the same without Cherry Salad! I'm sure there was some justification on our parts because it had the word "Salad" in the title....but I can assure you, you've never had a salad like this!

So - without further adieu, here are the ingredients you will need:

1 can - Cherry pie filling (usually only comes as 24oz)
2/3 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (usually only comes as 14 oz) (I use it all!)
1 can of Crushed Pineapple (usually only comes as 8 oz)
2/3 bag Mini Marshmallows
1 cup Chopped Pecans (optional)
16-24oz Cool Whip (personal preference richer flavor or stretch for more people)
You will need a large mixing Bowl and a spoon and a spatula (both for licking clean when finished)!

First, completely drain the crushed pineapple. I've tried this a few ways. The best way I have found is using a small wire mesh strainer and a spatula and pushing all the juice into a cup or bowl (to drink or discard). The more juice you drain the better or else it will cause separation. (Of course if you have Pineapple allergies - you can omit this ingredient too!)

Next combine all the ingredients except the cool whip and the cherry pie filling. Make sure to mix well. Then fold in the cherry pie filling and then fold in the Cool Whip. I say fold, because you don't want to crush all the cherries, and you don't want to flatten the cool whip.

The best way to eat it is to let it sit overnight. I personally cannot wait that long so I enjoy a little bowl right away and of course lick the spoons. If you are strong and let it sit overnight the marshmallows will absorb the juices and melt in your mouth. If you don't want to use all of it at right away, you can put some back into your cool whip containers and freeze them! This little trick was a whole new concept to my mom. I guess we ate it up too quickly to ever have any leftovers to freeze and scoop like ice cream! I hope you will give this recipe a try. And if you do, I hope you'll come back and drop a comment here letting me know what you thought!

Thanks! Kerry

ps...A very good friend of mine is very much Gluten free and LOVES this stuff. So if you are Gluten free too, and you check all your ingredients, enjoy!

EDIT:
Hello Pinterest lovers! I wanted to give a little shout out and say thank you for all the comments and love and pins...this post is currently at 450K + pins and I'm in shock! I've seen a lot of new blog posts popping up around the internet with this recipe and variations of it. Please be sure you are not copying my recipe and posting it as your own. I know it's not "original" but as seen in the comments below - you can tell we all have the ratios a bit different from how we grew up with it since the late 70's. If you'd like to share the recipe on your site - please only provide the link and not the recipe. 
Thank you again for all the love! Please visit some of my other commonly pinned sewing tutorials - the Modular Star, Flower Pins, Mini Tent, Grass Picnic Blanket and the Scrappy Owl. Come chat with me on Facebook and see a little bit of my world through Instagram!