Thursday, June 30, 2011

Apology and WebWed.

This past week has been a little insane. I've had two sick kids (each sick separately) and a sick husband, dance practice, and...
What else....
Anyway, I didn't get to post for Website Wednesday. I'm glad my Origami Box post was so long so it took up some of your time. {:
But this is me, apologizing, and catching up.

The site featured this week is so fun and I'm in love with the tips she shares and just... Gushing. Mkay? I should do a longer introduction, but I don't wanna.
Here it is!

I'll just let you know up front that there is a subscription fee. $30 for a full year. When you think about it, how much is it for one single cake decorating class or catalog? And how much info do you actually retain?
On her site, you have access to videos, a photo gallery, and recipes. 
BUT (yes, and it's a big one) anyone can access her blog. I'm trying to save up for this because our budget is pretty tight at the moment, so I haven't seen her videos yet. However, just looking at her blog makes me super happy and pretty excited to see what else she has going on. I'm dying to make a cake for somebody (anybody, really) just so I can have a go at some of the ideas I've seen.
One of my favorite cakes from her blog is this one:
Seriously, how fun is this? It's a simple cake that can be for a boy or a girl, and it's perfect for summer. (Honestly, I may just make this because I can.)
If there is a special occasion coming up and you need some (cup)cake ideas...
*clears throat*
That is all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Origami Boxes

I've been obsessed with origami boxes lately. I have TONS of scrapbooking paper, but I don't scrap. I make cards and decorations and that's it. 
I've discovered the 12x12 sized paper that I have so much of is PERFECT for making these boxes. They're really simple and there are so many ideas to use them for. I tried several different tutorials. One way you make a few cuts, and the other you just fold. Yet another has so many different folds I got confused, but they all turn out looking the same.  The link below goes to the pattern that was the easiest one to follow.
When making the bottom: You'll see a picture on the site that has the paper with a white "A" and "B" on each side. Just before you create the sides, when you fold them over towards the middle, make sure they overlap just a little bit. This will make it so that the bottom will fit inside the top, and it will peek out from the bottom for added cuteness.
(Coordinating colors of designed paper with one bold color look great!)

I haven't decorated or written on mine yet, but I saw some really cute ideas tonight. One woman glued crocheted flowers on top of hers. Another girl put her initials with a little gold star in the corner. For gifts, you can still use bows and/or ribbon. I love the idea of covering the top with beads, charms, coins, etc.
Here are a few of mine:

 These three are my favorites so far.

Ideas for your Box:
Family Home Evening - Type up a list of all (or just your favorite) primary songs. (You can do Hymns too if your kids are a little older.) Look up the scripture that goes with each song and read them. Talk about the lesson the song/scripture is trying to teach. Share experiences.
Sing the song, have a prayer, and BAM.
FHE in a box.
(I did this because I forget to plan ahead. After I cut out the song titles, my 2 year-old helped me fold them and put them in the box. 
These are definitely kid friendly.)

Gifts - I put my husband's Father's Day gift, a pocket watch, in one of these. They're much cheaper than the boxes you buy at the store. And remember that Origami Shirt tutorial I found from Martha Stewart? Made one in a matching color and used that on top of the box! These make me want to create more homemade gifts. Cutting the paper into smaller squares, I can use them for lots of little things.

Bedtime story and song - Every night, I read my kids a story and then we sing a song. We were in a rut though, and for about a week, every night I told them the story of the Three Little Pigs and we sang Popcorn Popping. I was getting a little sick of huffing and puffing and blowing the house down EVERY NIGHT (but they STILL squealed and giggled EVERY TIME.) So I typed up the names of some stories, cut them up, put them in a box. Typed up children's songs, nursery rhymes, and lullabies, cut them up, put them in another box. If we haven't made our weekly trip to the library, we pick a story out of the box. Songtime, we pick a song out of the box. I was excited about this idea because at the end of the day, my brain is FRIED,
so less thinking on my part is just lovely.

Thanksgiving - Each day of November you can write what you're grateful for on a slip of paper. On Thanksgiving day, open the box and read a few while you're seated around the table.

12 Days of Christmas - My sister is awesome. In her little town, each year she and her kids pick a family and they do the 12 Days of Christmas for them. They take them shoes, and toys, baked goods, and all sorts of loveliness. I thought it would be fun to do a smaller version of 12 Days with these boxes. Using festive paper is fun and they turn out gorge with reds and greens.

Christmas countdown - This year, I'm going to make a countdown calendar. I'll have 24 boxes, each with small treats and a quick, meaningful message for us to read each night. My girls love the holidays, period. Extra treats each night? Bonus.

Memory box - My dad died when I was 8, so my husband and my kids never got to meet him. I want to make a box dedicated to him. I have yet to find paper that reminds me of him, but in it I'll include a few pictures, a ring that belonged to him, some hand-written memories of him, and a little bit of the cologne he used to wear. I know it will be a while before my kids really understand what it's about, but I think the box will be a great way for me to make sure his memory doesn't die
One of my friend's had a dog pass away last week, so made a memory box for him. She glued his name on top in wooden letters, and everyone in her family will write their favorite memories of Quiche. (Such a cute name for a little dog!)

Journaling - I received a few pages of questions that I can answer in a journal. Once all of the questions have been answered, it will actually be a pretty full personal history. I don't like the idea of sitting down and trying to remember everything in chronological order. So this is a great way to get it done. The questions are fun to answer, and fuel for my brain when I have writer's block.
(I thought this would be a fun gift along with a 
nice/matching journal and a pen.)

Vacation box - If you have a small bottle of sand, a few shells, or just some small mementos from your latest vacation, put them in the box with a postcard or a note that tells where you went, who you went with, when you were there, why you loved it so much, etc.

Love notes - I realize some days my husband and I are home with each other all day, but until the kids are in bed, we don't really see each other. So I thought it would be fun to have our own little mailbox. Throughout the day, I'll put a note in it for him. Just a small thought like, "Thank you for helping me get dinner ready," or "I liked how you looked in that shirt today." And each night we can open it and read our love notes.

(If you want copies of the journal questions, songs, or have questions in general, go ahead and e-mail me at NSisifo(at) !

Thursday, June 23, 2011

4th of July Lights

Made any decor for the 4th of July yet? Well, here's something simple from Not JUST A Housewife. You probably already have this stuff at home. I'm sure you at least have a string of lights hanging around. A couple Christmases ago we found a bunch of LED lights at Smith's that were on sale.
(Smith's has GREAT post-holiday sales, by the way)
So I have oodles of strings of lights that don't get used much.
Not even at Christmas, so this was perfect.

She had about 4 yards of each color. All she did was tie one 9-inch piece of red, white, or blue ribbon between each light. I was thinking of using 6-inch pieces and do one of each color between each light. It might seem a little time-consuming, but if you do it after the kids (or the hubs) are in bed and throw on Netflix or Hulu, it'll go by fast.
With different-colored/patterned ribbon you could do this for any season/holiday.
Have fun and enjoy some patriotic lighting!
4th of July Lights

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Website Wednesday

Welcome to another Website Wednesday!
I actually had a few sites in mind for this week, and I was debating on which one to share, but when I finally had the chance to try this one, it won. Hands down and all that jazz. I've been meaning to check it out for a while, but I was worried to join it at first thinking it would be more difficult to deal with than it actually is. Yes. I was scared. Stop judging me. However...
It. Is. Amazing.
Seriously, I don't know what I would do without it now.
(Okay, I do. But trust me when I say it wouldn't be pretty.)
So, I give you...

It is literally a virtual pin board. First things first: you request an invitation. There is actually a waiting list because of the awesomeness of this site. (I only waited about 15 minutes before I got an e-mail to join. Nothing too dramatic.) You can go to to request one, or like their Facebook page and post on their wall that you'd like an invite. That way another member can invite you.

Once you've received your invite, you go to Pinterest to set up your account. There are instructions that help you set up the names of the boards you want, and you're shown other people's boards, recent pins, etc.

So here's how it works. Let's say I'm looking at birthday cake ideas on a blog and I find one that I want to try. Usually, I would just add the url to my favorites folder. (My husband keeps getting after me about doing this because my folders are super full!) Then I'd right-click the picture, save as the url for it, and save the picture under my crafts/cakes folder. (This really does take up a ton of memory.) 
Now with Pinterest I...
1) Hit the little Pin button on my toolbar
2) Select the picture I'm wanting to "Pin"
3) Type in a description
4) Click Pin It!
And voila! I have saved the picture along with the site url. No memory used on my laptop, but I still have access to it when I need it. The site is simple, with few frills, but who needs them when you see all of your favorite things in a lovely collage?
I sigh with happiness.
Le sigh....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Winner and S'More Treats

Yesterday was the last day of the Melissa&Doug giveaway and the *winner is...

The FTM with her entry:
"The FTM said...

Following GFC style
ftmalways at gmail dot com"
*If the winner does not respond within 24 hours I will pick a new winner. Because there were 9 entries from 2 people, I will simply pick the other person. If there were more than 2 people that had entered, I would use Random.Org to generate another random number for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Awesome Striped Nails

This was love at first sight for me. I'm dying for my husband to get home so I can go grab a few bottles of polish and get started.
Behold... Striped Nails!
Her blog post has a list of things you'll need plus directions. She's explained it really well and included plenty of pictures so it doesn't look too hard to do. I'm not going to do this with my girls because they're a little wild for this project. If they were more mild, I'd totally go for it though. It's just so cute...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Web Wednesday - Heartless

It feels like I just barely posted for WebWed, but here we are again! Today, I'm just sharing a video that I fell in love with a while back. I had just watched Tin Man and I was looking around online for more videos similar to it when I found:

It's so sad, but just a really good piece when you're in the mood for a bit of beautiful heartbreak (am I the only one that has those days?) a little steampunk, and some grey scenes.
I noticed that even though I've watched the vid several times, I can never remember what the woodsman's face looks like later on. Perhaps that is how it is supposed to be...

"My heart is yours, love. And yours alone..."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fireflies in a Jar

I have never seen a firefly in real life, but I have been in love with them since... well, forever. In books, movies, and even paintings/sketches they always appear magic and mysterious. Don't they?
So I have decided to create some of my own. I thought I'd order parts to create throwies, put them in a glass jar I already have ($1 at my local Honk's) and see how it turned out. However, today I found a post about faux fireflies that a woman had made with small knobs and glow-in-the-dark paint. Much simpler, much cheaper, and much more kid-friendly. (Though I'm still determined to try the throwies.)

Here's a picture from her site. How cute is this?! First, I'll make her version because the ingredients to create hers I can find locally. When my order of LED diodes and batteries get here, I'll make that version and let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Martha's Father's Day Folded Shirt Card

This weekend is crazy busy because we're going to bless our little boy tomorrow. I have family coming (so excited) and we have much food to prepare, so this is just going to be a quick share.

When I was younger I rolled my eyes whenever I saw Martha Stewart. I don't know why. I guess I just never thought I would learn anything useful from her. (I was a tomboy and a bit of a rebel...)
Now that I have a home and a family and a life as a homemaker, I cannot get ENOUGH of Martha. I love her magazine, I love her show, I love her website, I love her... Yep. I said it. She is amazing at what she does, and even after spending time in the lockbox, I can still say I have a lot of respect for her.

This little tidbit comes from her website.

It's a how-to on the funnest folded shirt cards for Father's Day! Aren't they cute? I made one with just a regular 8 1/2 x 11 paper because I didn't have the size of paper it called for. It was short and fat. {: When I cut a little off and made the paper less wide, it looked just fine. Perhaps a bit smaller than intended, but they still worked.

I know we still have a week until Father's Day, but I figured I'd post now and give you time to perfect your rockin' origami skills.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Website Wednesday

Because this blog is fairly new and we're just getting established and acquainted, I'll have you know today is our first Web Wednesday! Every Wednesday I'll feature a site that is helpful, has a giveaway, or is just plain fun.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Melissa & Doug Giveaway!

It is getting warmer, the sun is shining, and families are flocking to beaches everywhere. So that means it's time to whip out the summer toys, right? Well, Melissa & Doug are allowing me to have a giveaway for a set of their toys! These play sets from Melissa & Doug are perfect for playing outside in the sandbox!

 The Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set includes a mixing bowl with a lid that also doubles as a sifter, three measuring cups, a whisk and a spoon. Sand cakes and mud pies have never been better!

 This cute Clicker Crab Pail and Shovel set is a must-have for any beach baby. They are super sturdy, and how can you look at it without smiling?

 The Seaside Sidekicks Sand Molding Set help your little one create an array of sea creatures. Besides their bright colors and ease of use, they nest inside the turtle shell for easy organisation.

Remember making mud pies as a kid? And while your mother praised your creativity, her eye would twitch when she realized you had used that glass bowl that had belonged to her great-grandmother...? No? May have just been me... Anyway, with this cute Seaside Sidekicks Sand Cupcake Set there is not even a chance of that happening... again. Kids can mold the cupcakes and even give them cute creature tops! The set comes with an icing tool, a cupcake pan, and a mesh bag to keep it all together.

To enter to win:
-Go to Melissa & Doug's Facebook page and leave a message on their Wall and let them know that I, The (non)Working Girl sent you! Then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did. (Make sure you leave me an e-mail address so I can contact you!)
*Also, a LIKE is not required, but you should so you can enter their other giveaway!

Once I've sent plenty of peeps their way, I'll randomly select a winner from the comments! We have a ways to go, so have your friends stop by so they can enter too!

Extra entries:
-Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect. (1 Entry)
-Follow me on Twitter! @NSisifo (1 Entry)
-Follow Melissa & Doug on Twitter! @MelissaAndDoug (1 Entry)
-Post about this giveaway on your FB wall. (5 Entries)
-Tweet about this giveaway. You can do this once a day for one entry per day! Leave a link to your tweet in your comment. (1 Entry daily.)
Leave me one comment per entry!

Please Note:
This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only. Contest ends on Thursday, June 30th, 2011, 11:59 PM. I will select a winner at random from all eligible entries and notify the winner by email before posting an announcement on my website. If the winner does not respond within 24 hrs of being notified, a new winner will be selected. The prize will be mailed directly to the winner by the contest sponsor.

Flower Cupcake

At May's Home Enrichment meeting we held our first (hopefully annual) Cupcake Wars! I'm on the planning committee and I'm always up for an excuse to make-and decorate... and eat-cupcakes.
We divided the ladies into three teams of four or five. On the main table we had a variety of candies, food coloring, spatulas, and sprinkles. On each team's individual table they had a jar of frosting and a dozen cupcakes.

The rules were:
1) Each team could pick two kinds of candies and one kind of sprinkles. One person would come up at a time and pick one candy at a time.
2) If they wanted to use food coloring, they would need to put it back so other teams could use it.
3) The teams don't have to use all 12 cupcakes, but they cannot use any more than the 12.
4) Have fun!

I wish I had pictures of  what the other teams had made because they were cute and so creative.

One team made a river. They had a ribbon of blue frosting along their cupcakes, pearl sprinkles as river pebbles, and chocolate rocks (found at Winco) along the riverbank. (It might have been mistaken for a dragon, but it was pretty cool.) They also had a gumdrop tree off to the side.

The other team made a flower with a long stem. They used chocolate cupcakes and pastel nonpareils mints, so they tasted amazing!

My team won with the flower pictured above. We used chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (which are super yummy!) and banana Runts. The midrib of the leaves were created with gel decorator frosting. One of the girls on my team used a wire from one of the bags of candy to pull it out slightly to create the veins.
I cut the top off one of our cupcakes and cut the shape of the butterfly. I used the strawberry runts on the fore wings and sunflower seeds to line the body and both sets of wings.

We were pretty happy with how they turned out and a couple of us were thinking of using this idea for our girls' birthday parties. I have two girls with birthdays in the fall, so I think it will come in handy. We're not professional cake decorators, but for our kids, it is doable.

Upcoming posts:
Lilo & Stitch cake - homemade of course & a giveaway! Come back and see me!