Saturday, April 23, 2011

TRY: Homemade sugar scrubs from Maybe Matilda

Baby Shower Gift :: Homemade Sugar Scrub in Decorated Jars

I wrote the other day about a project I was really excited about but needed to finish up, and here it is! These were gifts for a triple baby shower (not triplets, but three lovely ladies all due within a few weeks of each other, although triplets would be exciting) that I attended yesterday.

All three babies-to-be got sweet goodies from my shop (a bear hat for the little boy andbutton beanies for the girls) but I wanted to do something for the moms, too. It's so fun to open presents for your little nugget, but poor pregnant mom is the one doing all the hard work, and she deserves something, too! So I thought back to my final weeks of pregnancy--huge, bloated, swollen, miserable weeks--and thought of what I would have liked to have then (other than an early, pain-free labor . . . much as I wish I could bottle that up to gift to my friends) and came up with this:

Mamas need some pampering, right? I whipped up some homemade sugar scrub and packed it into cute little decorated jars so they could enjoy some time to themselves before their little ones arrive!

How true it is.

And want to know the best part of this gift? They cost me $1 apiece.
(Don't tell my friends.)
And I had enough sugar scrub left over to keep for little ol' me, so I can tell you, this stuff is goooooooooooood.

And how much cuter would these be if you're a lucky duck who owns a Silhouette or Cricut (or even just cute punches) and could cut fun shapes for the labels? I just winged it(wung it?), but I was wishing the whole time that my labels had scalloped edges or a fun shape.

Want to make some yourself? Read on, friend, read on . . .

What you'll need for the jars:
- jars (mine were 7 oz. and cost $1 each at Joann's)
(they should really start paying me for how much I talk about them on my blog)
- cute scrapbook papers (you'll only need a tiny bit, and I chose 2 coordinating papers per jar)
- Mod Podge (my latest obsession)
- brush
- scissors

Wash and dry your jars before starting. Then cut a piece of cute paper into the shape you want for your label (I went with an oval shape), apply mod podge to the area of the jar you want to place the label, and press on your paper, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.

I'm sure you could do fancier labels than mine if you're good at graphic design-type things, but I'm not, so I typed up a label on Word--apply mod podge to the scrapbook paper, apply the label, smooth it out, and add another coat of mod podge over the entire label--I purposely brushed mod podge past the edges of the label onto the jar to make sure it would stick on nice and tight, but cleaned up any out-of-control unruly streaks with a q-tip before letting it dry.

Set your cute li'l jar aside and move on to the lids!

Place your jar on the wrong side of the scrapbook paper, bend the paper up to the top of the lid, and make a few marks around where the paper meets the lid top:

Cut a circle at least 1/4" away from the marks, then make cuts about 1/4" apart extending in towards your markings:

Apply mod podge to the top of your lid and apply the paper (wrong side down), smoothing out any bubbles. Apply mod podge to the lid sides as well, folding the paper up around the sides (there will be some wrinkling . . . it's no big deal, just press them as flat as you can).

Working on a few strips at a time, apply mod podge to the little fringey tabs and press them down inside of the lid, pushing them firmly against the inside of the lid.
(I was excited about getting the mod podge all over my fingers . . . is it just me, or is the best part about mod podging peeling it off of your hands after it dries? Do you remember doing this with glue when you were a kid?)

Apply a layer of mod podge over the lid top and sides and let it dry, then flip over and apply to the paper around the inside of the lid as well.

While you're anxiously waiting for all your pieces to dry, you can start making your sugar scrub! Bear in mind, I made enough to fill 3 jars and still had enough left over for a jar for myself, so this makes a lot! You may want to scale the recipe down if you're only making one jar!

What you'll need for the sugar scrub:
- mixing bowl and spoon
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. good quality oil (I used olive oil, but you can use any nice, non-smelly oil)
- 10 drops of yummy-scented essential oil per jar (I went with mandarin, peppermint, and lavender)

Combine your sugar and oil, mix it up well, and divide into separate bowls (if you're planning to flavor them separately). Add your essential oil, stir, and divide among your jars.
Done! Easy peasy!

(My husband came in at this point, asked what I was making, and picked up the spoon to take a bite. I wish now I hadn't stopped him . . . I wonder how this stuff tastes?)

When the jars were dry, I filled them up and decorated them by tying a bit of string (maybe it's jute? or twine? I don't know), a cute button, and a little gift tag.

Now they can draw a nice bath, light some candles, and struggle to reach all the way down to their puffy hippo feet for a nice scrub!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple Daily Recipes: Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

These soft, delicious dinner rolls are ready in one hour from prep to serving. That's really not long when considering how long yeast breads usually take to rise, knead, shape, rise again. (I don't bake yeast breads for that reason. I don't have the time or the patience.)

This recipe doesn't involve any extra work in the kitchen. I followed the idea of the recipe from Betty Crocker for soft bread sticks. It's simple to throw together and your family will feel so special that you made them.


  • 1 package quick-acting active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) ( 7 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (105º to 115ºF degrees)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour or whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • coarse salt

Dissolve yeast in warm milk with sugar in electric mixer bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour, oil, and salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, scraping dough from side of bowl, until soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven 400ºF degrees. Prep a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Punch down dough in center and fold over a few times. Pinch off 1 inch balls of dough and quickly roll in palm of hands. Put 3 balls to one muffin cup; brush with melted butter; sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Store loosely covered.

Homemade Dinner Rolls

My four old helped me roll the balls of dough. She had fun making sure Mommy put three in each cup. She was able to help brush on the butter and sprinkle the salt. We had a good time together.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


If you see this face, you know...

...He's about to do something that will either melt your heart or make you laugh!

...He could sleep if you laid him down, but he doesn't want to miss a thing.

...The melody that is continually playing within has found its way out.

...He's lost in loving thoughts toward you.

...He's not really sure what is going on.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Diaper cover from Make it and Love it

And yes, I used the fabric from the long sleeves that I cut off from this shirt below, and added them as ruffles to the bum of the diaper cover.
(The sleeves/ruffles were made with this tutorial.)

I couldn't wait to put the new outfit on our newest little missy.

I figure you'll enjoy seeing those ruffles as much as I do.
So darn squeezable, pat-able and lovable, right?

And don't forget, add a clothing label to the side of your diaper cover, or the inside.........or anywhere you'd like. (Info about my labels here.)

And then enjoy your little creation on your little bug.

Ready to create your own diaper cover pattern?

Grab one of your little girl's diaper covers. Or borrow one from a friend. Or pick one up from the thrift store.

Now, the easiest way to create the exact size (especially if you're new at using patterns and knowing how pieces fit together) is to pick apart a diaper cover, trace them onto paper, and then use them as your pattern pieces. Then you can sew the fabric pieces back together if you still need to use it. But, I didn't want to pick this apart and then re-sew it. Just lazy I guess. :)

So I stretched the piece out and marked spots on the paper for the correct sizing, used a ruler, and drew the line for the top of the diaper cover. (It was hard to hold it out and take a picture.....but you get the idea.) Add enough for a seam allowance as well.

Then hold the top of the diaper cover up at the top and pull the bottom down, mark it, and draw a line at the bottom. (Mine was at the exact bottom of the paper, so you can't see a line.) Then stretch out the leg curve and mark it with a pencil. Make sure to add enough for a seam allowance at the bottom and the casing for the elastic at the top and along the curve of the legs.

If you fold your pattern in half from left to right, you should see that the left side is exactly the same as the right side. If it's not, adjust it. Here's the FRONT of the diaper cover:

Then I cut out and traced the FRONT diaper cover piece onto a new piece of paper and then turned the original diaper cover over to trace out the back side. The top and vertical side lines will be exactly the same. However, the bottom line will come down a bit longer (tape 2 pieces of paper together if you need to) and the angled side lines will come down further as well and seem to be a bit straighter. At least this is how it looked with my diaper cover. (From Carter's, if that helps.) Now I have a BACK diaper cover piece:

Here's both the FRONT and BACK pieces: (Remember to have added seam allowances and enough for the casing at the top and the leg openings.)

Cut out your front and back pieces from a piece of knit. (You can use woven cotton or other types of materials.......but using a fabric with some stretch will help when trying to hem the leg hole openings. Trust me! But even if you use a non-stretchy fabric, and you end up with some puckered fabric in your seams.............once it's gathered in, you'll never notice. So give it a try as well!)

Sew the two pieces together with right sides together. Only sew along the bottom and the 2 vertical sides.

If you have a side clothing label, add it between the two layers of fabric before sewing and catch it in the seam.

Then serge (or zig-zag) around the leg openings and along the top.

Now, you'll fold over the casings at the top and the leg openings. Fold it over the same amount that you allowed while drawing the pattern. I folded over 1/2 inch around the leg openings and 1 inch at the top. You'll have to really stretch (or ease) the fabric as you pin around the leg openings. And if you have little folds or puckers of fabric in this seam, it's okay. Once you cinch it in with the elastic, you'll never notice. No worries!

Sew up each casing, making sure to leave a once inch opening somewhere along the casing to insert your elastic.

Then attach a safety pin to a piece of elastic and thread it through your casing at the top. (Make sure that you cut pieces of elastic a little longer than needed, to allow for a seam allowance.)

Then sew the elastic together at the ends and then sew the opening of the casing closed.

Repeat with the leg holes. And you're done. Set aside for a bit.

For this outfit, I cut the arms off a long sleeve shirt.........

And then cut some fabric out of the same diaper cover fabric.........

........and made cuffs for the sleeves, just like the tutorial here.

Then, I used the fabric from the sleeves I cut off.......and created ruffles on the bum of the diaper cover, just like the tutorialhere.

And that's it.

A brand new outfit from an out of season hand-me-down. Perfect.

Now dress that little baby up and admire your work.