Sunday, November 25, 2012

homemade instant oatmeal packets

My morning routine is simply to get ready for work as soon as possible and as get out as quickly as possible. I am someone who sets everything out the night before and has my lunch ready to grab-and-go.

I've recently discovered how much I crave a warm breakfast but that I don't have the time to make a full blown meal.

Enter: homemade instant oatmeal packets. 

The truth is, I never really tried oatmeal till this past weekend. It was good, filling, and I knew I could make it work for my weekly breakfast. Making my own packets allowed me to control the cost and the ingredients in each packet.

Here's the recipe:

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets (makes approximately 13 packets)

What You Need
5 cups of quick oats
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup Splenda (12 packets)
1/2 cup brown sugar
dried cranberries
ziploc baggies

The easiest way to go about making all the packets is mixing a batch in a bowl and then dividing things out accordingly. Mix the oats, Splenda, brown sugar, salt, and non-dairy creamer. 

Once mixed, you can divide the oat mixture into individual baggies. My mixture made about 13 packets, so you can adjust accordingly to how much you'd like to make at once. I put 1/2 cup of the mixture into each bag. 

I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon and one tablespoon of dried cranberries to each bag. 

When you are ready to make a packet to eat, add approximately 3/4 cup of water (or enough water to cover the oat mixture) to your cup or bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and serve. 

This was perfect! You could vary the add-ins or drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top for a bit of extra sweetness. A great way to wake up in the morning. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

admit one ticket box

I admit, I'm one of those people who starts dreaming up Christmas present ideas in September. This was made in September I think. Forgive me? :)

Shhh. This is for Jacob! (He has been told not to go reading this blog till after Christmas!)

I was walking around a neighborhood art festival here in Chicago and saw this old-looking art piece that said "admit one" with a slot in the top to insert tickets. I thought this was the most amazing thing ever, and decided I needed to do this. Little did I know the world had discovered or created similar things! I looked at a few bloggers projects, and decided to do things my own way.

I knew this would be the perfect gift for Jacob. He is an actor and loves the theatre (as do I!) and what could be a better way to present tickets to a show?

Here's how I made my "Admit One" Ticket Box:

My closest Michael's in Chicago is set up very different than my old one, so I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. What to do instead? Improvise! I took chipboard letters and glittered them red, as that was the look  I was after. 

The necessary supplies just included a paint tray, paintbrush, red glitter from Martha, and trusty mod podge. Whenever I glitter, I make a "glitter paint" by mixing the loose glitter and mod podge. I've found that by just sprinkling loose glitter on mod podge/glue, it leaves a crazy mess even much after the project is done. I like this technique much better. 


With red glittered letters drying and out of the way, I then had to consider the box. All the projects I saw used an actual shadow box or frame and someone sawed into it to create a slot. I didn't have that option, so improvise again! 

I found this awesome shadow box frame from Michael's. It was the only shadow box that had a sliding contraption along the top (most load via the back). This is the closest I'd get to my vision for this project, so I bought it.  

Showing how the top opens and you can load things in via the top.

Now the back of this shadow box was was black but looked kind of cheap. The frame was a 12 x 12, so the simplest and easiest answer was finding scrapbook paper. I found the perfect piece that was black velvet...again the very classic theatre theme I was going for. I attached the "admit one" title with hot glue along the top. 

I also glued the page to the original backing for stronger support. And here's the final look:

Although the box would be a perfect gift all on its own, as we see a ton of shows and have some amazing experiences and opportunities, this present wouldn't be complete without some show tickets. 

I'm so excited! I can't wait for him to open this and see what he thinks of his presents from his Ms. Santa. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a thanksgiving tree

I decided that with as many leaps and bounds I've made this year in terms of success and happiness, we needed a Thanksgiving tree. 

Something we can utilize to take a moment throughout the month and season and recognize what we're thankful for. I plan on keeping all of these tags to commemorate the season. 

Here's how I approached this project, but I think it's something everyone should incorporate into their Thanksgiving festivities. 

I first took a vase full of black rocks (from my family vacation in Hawaii) from my bedroom to repurpose for the project. 

I grabbed some brown and orange ribbon from my scrapbook stash and did some layering/tied some bows. 

Branches are few and far between, but I found a few on a walk around my Chicago neighborhood. I put them in the vase, and the branches have enough curves to hold our" "tags of thanks." **Since photographing, I've found more sticks along my outdoor adventures!**

Again, I turned to my scrapbooking stash for paper. I used scrap pieces and created some tags. Punched a small hole in each tag and used stashed ribbon so the tags can hang off of the branches. 

Today (November 1st) it all begins. Whenever we feel thankful or need the reminder of what we are thankful for, the tags are ready for our thoughts.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving to arrive when we can re-read all the things we've acknowledged that we are thankful for. I think this will be such a sweet tradition to keep.