DIY Scrap Fabric Banner

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Let me start by saying I am in love with this craft. This is the quicker, shabby-chic version of a traditional fabric pennant banner (if this isn’t quite your thang, check out my DIY no-sew fabric pennant banner tutorial or my DIY rustic burlap pennant banner tutorial). I plan to come back to this craft time and time again, especially for holiday and party decor. I have seen these done before, however, never had a reason to attempt one until it came time to throw my friend a baby shower and of course I got way carried away when it came to decor and decided that this would make a great last minute addition. Using scrap fabric left over from the wreath I had made the mama-to-be (I will post about the wreath and the shower itself soon!), I was able to create this adorable scrap fabric banner in about 20 minutes! I think my favorite thing about this banner (aside from the fact that it was free to make since I reused left over supplies), is that while it is simply strips of fabric tied to a string, it is a great way to tie all of your decor together by incorporating all of the colors in your color scheme. This would also make an adorable addition to a nursery, I will absolutely come back to this idea for any future nurseries I may be decorating in the distant future! If you have an event coming up and are looking to add a little something extra, just dig around in the depths of your fabric scraps and chances are you can throw something together with scrap that you already have. If you are making this with no fabric on hand, no problem – hit up the remnants or clearance bin at your local fabric store or Walmart, you can often get close to a yard for under a dollar which is much more than you will need for this project anyway! I hope this inspires your next holiday or party decor project and remember not to throw away any of those fabric scraps along the way 🙂 

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The banner as we displayed it at the baby shower over a chalkboard with baby’s monogram!

DIY SCRAP FABRIC BANNER

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Fabric – the amount and color will depend on your color scheme and the size/length of your banner. There is no limit to the kind of fabric either, mix textures and prints and get creative!
  • Twine/Ribbon/String – to tie your scraps around, I used left over twine from another project but a ribbon of a complimentary color would have been nice as well!
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Begin by cutting your strips of fabric. Whether or not all of your strips are the same width and length is up to you. When cutting my strips I started with one fabric and cut a bunch of the same width and length, then moved onto the next fabric and cut them about the same width but a different length from the original group. 

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Step 2: Lay out a piece of twine or ribbon, the length will depend on how long you want your banner to be. Make sure you leave enough slack on either end for hanging.

Step 3: Fold a fabric strip in half (as shown) and lay it across the twine or ribbon, then pull the two “tails” of the fabric under and through the “loop” (see picture), pulling it tight to form a knot. 

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Step 4: Continue in this fashion, after each knot is made slide it down so that it fits snugly against the one before. I arranged mine in no particular order but you can follow a pattern of colors to make the banner look more uniform if you wish. 

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Finished product! This would be great to hang above the crib in a nursery, I know my hubby was too paranoid to let me hang anything heavy over baby P (even wooden letters lol) so this would be a great worry-free piece of decor! 🙂

DIY Hostess Gift – Fresh Lemonade

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When life gives you lemons … make an adorable hostess gift!!! Since I’ve been cooking up a storm and my last two posts have been recipes, I wanted to make sure I threw a craft up on the ol’ blog since I have SO many that I’ve yet to post! This particular DIY gift I put together as a baby shower prize for a shower that we threw to honor one of our dear friends who was expecting a sweet baby boy (I say “was” because the sweet little baby has since arrived and is just perfect). This gift is adorable, cheap and so simple to put together. If you are heading to a party or BBQ and are not the cooking type or simply don’t have the time or the will to whip something up, this is the perfect substitute – your host will love it! There are so many ways to personalize this, adapt it to different drinks and add your own special touch. The etching was my way of jazzing up the plain old Walmart pitcher (see my glass etching tutorial to see how simple it is to do!) but is by no means necessary to create this adorable gift! You can make this on the cheap (using Walmart/Dollar Store components) for around $15.00 or so (if your dollar store carries glass pitchers then the cost would go down significantly, mine didn’t so I went the Walmart route). Personally I am always looking for new ideas for hostess gifts and have had many “crap! What do I bring!?” moments, so hopefully this helps you out should you ever have one 🙂 

HOW I DID IT:

  • Glass Pitcher – I purchased mine at Walmart because I happened to be there already, it cost around $8 or so. If you have a cheaper option go for it! 
  • Hand/Tea Towel – Dollar Tree
  • Spoon – Dollar Tree, the plan was to include a wooden one but they didn’t have any at that particular Dollar Tree, so I got a 5 pack of these white plastic spoons of varying sizes and used the longest one.
  • Lemons – Just use however many will fit in your pitcher, I bought a value pack of lemons from Walmart which came with about 10.
  • Lemonade Recipe – I Googled a lemonade recipe and printed it out on a recipe card to stick in the pitcher and titled it “The Perfect Lemonade”.
  • Etching Supplies – Optional, but it’s a great personal touch. See my etching tutorial for supplies needed. Since I did not know who my pitcher was going to I simply etched “Drink.” on the pitcher, but since your recipient will be known, you could always do the first letter of their family name.

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The assembly is self explanatory if you take a look at the picture. You could also do a DIY pitcher of sangria or orange juice, the options are endless especially once alcohol is added to the mix, haha. Check back for other variations on this DIY hostess gift as I’m sure this will become my go-to when I don’t have time to cook!

 

Faux Sangria

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As if my Mom wasn’t already amazing enough, she is also the creator of this amazing drink that I am about to share with you! Whether or not she will actually read this post is debatable, as it took her about three years to finally master Facebook and a whole seven years to finally hop on the iPhone bandwagon (although she did just learn how to post pictures from her iPhone to Facebook, so there may be hope for her after all lol). Whenever I tell her about my blog she seems confused so either she doesn’t know how to navigate it or she is just too busy being awesome to find the time to read my nonsensical babble, so to give her the benefit of the doubt I’ll say it’s the latter lol.

Anyway, on my recent trip home my Mom offered me “faux sangria” and while all I heard was “diluted alcohol”  (yuck lol) when I tasted it I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually tasted exactly like the sangria at one of our favorite mexican joints back home, day = made! I was even more excited when she told me that you could make it using only two or three ingredients, whaaaaaaaat?! Needless to say when we got back to NC the ingredients for “faux sangria” were at the top of my shopping list (and here I sit enjoying a glass as I write this post and pray that hurricane Arthur doesn’t knock out my power lol). I love a good summer cocktail and I especially love one that is easy to whip up and doesn’t cost a fortune in ingredients you will only use an ounce of (a problem I encountered when making  my whiskey punch for J’s 30th, I will post about this soon). While I know this isn’t the most creative recipe and is I’m sure, by no means an original, I still think it’s worth posting because I for one am always looking for new budget friendly cocktails, especially those that lend themselves to social gatherings a.k.a. ones that are cheap lol. I hope you whip up a batch for your next fiesta, even if you’re like me and your “fiesta” involves working on your blog while hubby and baby snooze haha.

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I let baby P have at one of the apples while I was making the sangria, only 20 years and three months until he can give it a taste lol

 

FAUX SANGRIA

NOTE: This recipe can be doubled, tripled etc. It is GREAT for a party and you can use any combination of fruit, I actually plan to come up with a variety of “faux sangrias” using different wine, fruit and oj combos. If you’re on the “skinny” train lighten it up by using Trop50 or if you like a sweeter cocktail add some simple syrup.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 750 mL bottle red wine (I like dry wines and think that the OJ gives the cocktail enough sweetness but if you’d like it sweeter use a sweet red)
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • Juice of half a lemon (this just brightens up the flavors, feel free to omit it if you don’t like/have lemons)
  • 1 Apple, cubed
  • 1 Orange, quartered and sliced thin

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving – enjoy!

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Italian Chicken Dijonnaise

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If you ask my hubby about the best day of his life, he will either tell you it was the day baby P was born or our wedding day. I now know that he will be lying, because as much as it pains him to admit it, the best day of his life was in fact today, when I successfully came up with a copy-cat recipe of his favorite dish from one of our favorite restaurants (haha kidding of course, nothing trumps baby P). The idea for this dish came about on our recent trip home when J and I were able to have our first actual date night since baby P was born (a whole nine months ago, eek, needless to say not living near family can suck for various reasons, a big one being no free babysitters lol). We went to one of our favorite Italian restaurants, La Volpe , not only because we love it but because it is about four miles from my mom’s house and is about the only fine dining option the Moriches have to offer, lol. Now as much as I love a good date night or simply dining out in general, I still think it is ridiculous to spend close to $100.00 for two people to have a meal. Even without drinks, our bill still would have come in at around $50.00 for two main courses, no appetizers – crazy! However, no matter how overpriced the meal my hubby waits all year round for our trip home so he can order the “Chicken Dijonnaise”, which even frugal J will pay $25.00 for, haha. This time as we were enjoying our meal I told J that in the interest of not having to wait all year round for it, I would attempt to make it myself.

Since we rolled right into another vacation (4th of July) upon our return home, I decided as usual, to make the hubs a nice dinner to celebrate his impending four days off but this time I would make it extra special and try to duplicate the “chicken dijonniase”. Additionally, his four day weekends are the best time to try out new recipes anyway since I’ll get lots of alone time in the kitchen, although I do love my squishy baby looking on, he can get a little impatient if a recipe is taking too long lol. So here you have it, recipe numero uno for our 4th of July weekend (and if we lose power due to hurricane Arthur it may be the only one I get to post, who knows haha), a delicious chicken dish, an Italian “chicken cordon bleu”, if you will. Since the recipe was such a success I’m sure this will be a very frequent request in our household from now on, nothing like some restaurant quality food at a homemade price 🙂

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ITALIAN CHICKEN DIJONNAISE

NOTE: Sorry for my lack of step-by-step pictures, I was doing the prepping while J was still at work so I was working as fast as I could and trying to entertain/avoid getting chicken juice on my squishy baby lol. Next time I make this dish, which I’m sure will be very soon, I will update pictures 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (I used Italian Seasoned but I may try again using panko, check back for an update!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 thin slices of mozzarella cheese or 1 1/2 cups grated
  • 8 thin slices of ham
  • 8 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning (I happened to have it on hand, if you do not just substitute a little dried basil and oregano)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Take your chicken breasts and butterfly them by taking a knife, inserting it into the side of the breast and slicing it in half almost all the way through (as if you were cutting a sandwich roll) making sure to leave it attached along one edge. You should be able to open it like a book.

Step 2: Open each of your chicken breasts (like a book).place them between two pieces of clear plastic wrap and use a meat tenderizer to pound your pieces to about 1/2 an inch or so of thickness (don’t get too violent lol, you want them to remain attached). Once you have achieved your desired thickness, season each piece generously with salt and pepper on either side.

Step 3: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then working one at a time open each of your chicken breasts and layer two pieces of basil, two pieces of mozzarella and two pieces of ham in each, then close so the contents are sandwiched between the two halves of the breast.

Step 4: In three separate dishes place flour, eggs (beaten) and bread crumbs. Taking one chicken breast holding firmly closed so that the contents do not fall out, place first in the flour dish, coating on both sides. Then dip carefully in the egg mixture and finally the bread crumbs (again, be careful not to allow your contents to fall out!). Place on a platter or dish until ready to cook.

Step 5: In a large skillet or pan (I used a cast iron skillet) suitable for the oven, heat your oil. Once oil has come to temp, place each of your chicken breasts in the oil (I placed them upside down so that when I flipped them and placed in the oven they would be right-side up for the remainder of the cooking time, although this does not matter) and cook until browned on both sides. *If you don’t have a pan big enough to fit all four breasts just cook them in batches and place them on a baking sheet for the oven portion of the cooking, as cooking them in the same pan is simply to create less dishes (I hate dishes lol).

Step 6: Once you have finished browning all of your breasts, move the pan to the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes (this may vary depending on the thickness of your breasts, mine cooked for 25 minutes and were cooked perfectly, if yours seem thinner than mine you may want to adjust time time down a bit). If you feel that there is too much oil remaining in the pan after frying you can drain some out before transferring to the oven or simply move the breasts to a baking sheet and cook them off on that. While chicken is cooking prepare dijonnaise sauce (recipe below).

Step 7: After your chicken breasts have finished cooking remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Pour dijonnaise sauce over each breast and enjoy!!!

DIJONNAISE

*If you do not want to make your own sauce, Hellman’s makes a “Dijonnaise” ready-made and available in the condiment section of most grocery stores, I would just add a little milk or mayo to it as it is on the thicker side.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Tbsp. Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Stone Ground Mustard (this is simply to add a grainier texture to the sauce, if you do not have stone ground mustard or want a smoother sauce just use dijon instead).
  • 1 Tbsp. Sour Cream (this can be omitted if you wish, I just added it because I had it on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

DIRECTIONS

Whisk all ingredients together. If the sauce is too thick add a little more milk or if you feel it is too fluid or wish to use it as a dipping sauce add a little more mayo and mustard. Serve atop the chicken or use as a dipping sauce!

DIY 4th of July Burlap Wreath

 

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Hi everyone! I know I have been just awful about updating the ‘ol blog these past few weeks but between moving and heading back up north for a mini family vaca I have been all over the place! Good news is that I am back on the grid lol, and prepared to pollute blogland with TONS of new posts including my hubby’s surprise 30th birthday bash (a whiskey and cigar themed party, a huge success btw) which I had to keep off the blog until now, as well as some new crafts and recipes I have been working on in between organizing the house and ripping my hair out in frustration over moving haha.

Okay, back to the wreath. Being that we were heading out of town just one short week before Independence Day, I knew I had to eek out my 4th of July wreath if I wanted it to be displayed leading up to holiday. This was not my first burlap wreath rodeo, I had tried my hand at it once before for my Easter wreath (a post that I am yet to get around to lol) and was super surprised at how easy it was to create given how impressed I was with the final product. So while J did his best to wrangle baby P (who is crawling lightening fast these days and getting into everything) I managed to get this wreath done in just about 20 minutes! I will give you a run down of the specific products I used but obviously it is not necessary that these items be used, as the thing I love most about burlap wreaths is that there are a variety of ways on which to elaborate on such a simple idea and that they can be adapted to fit any color scheme or holiday. If you’ve seen one on Pinterest and are hesitant to try it out, don’t be – it is almost impossible to mess up. I know a lot of the written explanations for weaving the burlap can be confusing but if you YouTube “burlap wreath tutorial” you will find a much more helpful guide to making one, I promise! Happy 4th of July everyone, please watch some fireworks for me, baby P goes to bed at six so chances are I will not be watching any aside from what I can see from my porch lol.

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baby P looking adorable right before he started slamming the bouquet violently then trying to eat the petals lol.

 

4TH OF JULY BURLAP WREATH 

WHAT I USED:

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  • 18″ wire wreath frame – I purchased mine for $2.50 at a local craft store specific to my area but you can get them on Amazon for around $5.00 or so.
  • 2 rolls of red and blue chevron wired burlap ribbon (10 ft. each) – I purchased mine from Walmart for $3.47 per roll but a Google search revealed that it can be purchased just about anywhere, lol.
  • 1 roll of plain burlap ribbon 5 1/2″ X 15 ft – available at any craft store.
  • white satin 1″ wired ribbon
  • Flag Print Faux Daisies – these just happened to work perfect and were available at Walmart, however, any red/white/blue flower combo would work or even a bow instead!  
  • 1 white wooden letter

HOW I DID IT:

Step 1: I began by weaving my burlap into my wreath, I will refer you to YouTube for the tutorial on how to actually weave the burlap in and out of the wire frame so as to not embarrass myself with an explanation that will make no sense, haha. I will say, however, that I did work by weaving the plain burlap for a few loops, then exchanging it with the chevron ribbon and I worked in “sections” of burlap instead of weaving the whole 15 feet through at once because that would have taken FOREVER. I would just work it through for a few feet then cut it and start over in the next section, since my chevron ribbon was wired it was easy to secure it even though I was not using the whole roll at once.

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Step 2: Once I was done weaving my burlap and chevron interchangeably. I wove my 1″ white ribbon through the wreath in no particular pattern. This was simply to be the “white” in the red/white/blue holiday color scheme, the wreath looked perfectly fine without it.

Step 3: I cut three of each print of daisy from the bunch and stuck them through the wire frame, weaving the stem through the three metal bars so that the flower would remain secure. Then using a piece of twine I tied the wooden “S” to the wreath right atop the flowers.

inspecting the flowers again lol

inspecting the flowers again lol

Step 4: Once the wreath was complete, I took a few minutes to “poof” my loops and rearrange my flowers so they looked just right!

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finished product!

This wreath cost me right around $15.00 to make and just out of curiosity I did a quick Etsy search for a “4th of July Burlap Wreath” and almost spit out my drink when I saw that the average wreath was going for an average of $50.00 plus shipping – WHAAAAAAAAT???!!! NO, NO, NO, people, you are getting ripped off, especially because you can buy almost all of the necessary components for one of these wreaths at Walmart. Furthermore, if you make a plain burlap wreath you can simply adjust it to each holiday or season by adding embellishments (a big benefit of the burlap wreath is that it is not permanent, if you mess it up or want to change it simply unweave and re-do) so potentially you can have the best wreath on the block time and time again for just around $10.00 for the year. So please, to keep me from having anxiety over thinking of people swipin’ that credit card for a $60.00 burlap wreath, at least attempt to make your own! Friends don’t let friends pay good money for cheap crafts lol.