October was the second month that I participated in the Blog Angels program, hosted by Rosie over at Craftbotics. I don't know how she manages to keep all us bloggers straight, but somehow she manages to match up and faciliate the whole thing beautifully!
My Blogger: Sara from Miss V's Busy Blog
I was paired up with Sara at Miss V's Busy Blog. I've enjoyed getting to know Sara, and I honestly love her blog. I know that I will continue to follow her and stay in touch.
This time around, we revealed halfway through. I'm not sure if I was able to better help Sara by revealing earlier. As the angel, I felt a bit like it took some of the fun out of it by knowing early on. Afterall, there is something fun about keeping a secret, don't you think?
I was a bit disappointed with myself as I felt as though I wasn't able to do all the things I'd wanted in the first fifteen days - though Sara seemed very happy with my efforts.
Well friends, you'll have to be sure you take the time to go visit her soon because she has a truly MASSIVE giveaway going on right now - with over 45 prizes that will be divided up for 5 lucky winners!
My Angel: Stephanie from Toastie Studio
I was just blown away by my angel, Stephanie from Toastie Studio. In this case, I felt (and I think she would agree) that revealing early on made for much better interaction. She gave me some really great feedback on my blog - kind, but honest - which I really appreciated. And Stephanie helped me to resize my social media buttons (without me having to spend two hours trying to figure it out!)
But what has really blown my mind, is that then she created a beautiful new header for me (stay tuned to check that out soon!) I couldn't ask for a more helpful angel. Thank you so very much Stephanie!!
Aside from all her help, I've really enjoyed getting to know Stephanie, and reading her blog. If you like link ups, defiantely go check out her Create & Inspire blog hop - it's totally cool and I found some really great projects and recipes to check out, too.
I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person, but give me fabric and I'm lost... paralyzed with fear, really. Somehow cutting fabric just seems so... permanent. I don't know, but I've been seeing so many adorable projects on Pinterest (yes, I am addicted, no I do not need help) that I decided it was time to break out of the box and get over my fear of crafting with fabric.
Bolstered by my confidence in the way that my Magnet Board turned out, and inspired by Sassy Sanctuary, I decided to try my hand at making a rag wreath for Halloween.
At Walmart, I picked up a foam wreath circle, and a half dozen Halloween themed bandanas. I cut the bandanas into strips and tied them into knots, alternating the fabrics as I went.
It sounds simple, and it was, although it did take the better part of two hours.
To hang the wreath, I tied one last piece loosely with the ties at the top. It's simple, and not quite as blinged out as it's Sassy Sanctuary counterpart, but for my first time attempting something like that, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.
I guess maybe I'm up for taking on a few other projects out of my comfort zone!
I can't seem to move in my kitchen without tripping on a child, or stepping on a magnet. Is your kitchen like this?
Since I can't relocate the children, I've decided to move the magnets. In our little cape, the children's things ooze out of every drawer, cabinet and closet... they seemingly multiply with each passing day. I decided enough is enough! I'm taking back the three feet in front of the refrigerator and dishwasher!
And since I'm a nice Mumma, I made the children something new to play with, of course.
Enter the oil pan.
Do you know what kind of a look I got from Mr. Juggling Act when I came home with an oil pan? It was the 'are-you-out-of-your-mind' look, with a side of 'now-what?'
Humph! Like guys are the only ones that can change oil... ahem, well, in my house that is true, but that's not the point... oh dear, I digress...
The oil pan sat propped against the desk in the office for nearly a month - mocking me! Snickering at my lack of free time to do anything except laundry! And then when I could stand it no more and the children were tucked safely in bed, I brandished a pair of scissors, cut up a cheap sheet purchased for the occasion, and used my trusty E6000 glue and enrobed the oil pan in a lovely teal covering.
I must admit that a hot glue gun would have been easier, and that there would have been far less fumes... perhaps this post would be a little more coherent... nonetheless, I soldiered on, using magnets to hold the fabric in place while the glue cured (it takes forever, did you know that? Forever. I have since bought myself a little glue gun, thank goodness!)
Guess what, it looks pretty good. The kids can play side by side without elbowing one another in the eyeball (by accident I mean, they still do it on purpose, you know, for the fun of it).
The kids have a new-found love of playing with the same old magnets that we've had forever.
The project cost me about $15 total - ah, but to not have magnets (and the kids) aren't under my feet
every second of the evening while I'm attempting to make dinner? Now that's priceless!
I'm going to keep this short and sweet today. I've been loving my spices lately - this time of year I just love the smell of cinnamon and cloves especially. These pancakes are not as sweet as the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes I shared with you a few weeks ago, but they are just a flavorful
I have been seeing adorable mini Apple Pies all over Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl. I found a fantastic recipe over at Little Bit Funky and trust me when I say that you're going to want to try these! I adjusted the recipe a touch to account for the amount of apple I had on hand, and the spices to suit my family's individual tastes, so here's how I made them.
Mini Apple Pie Tarts
7 cups apples, diced
1/2 cup flour, heaping (don't level off)
1-1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 teaspoons butter, cut in half
1 refridgerator pie crust
Peel, core and cut the apples into a small dice - you want these to be dainty little things, plus they need to fit into the muffin cup sized crusts! Mix the apples with the flour, sugars, and spices. Toss to coat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and spray a muffin tin with a baking spray. Set aside and prepare the dough.
On a floured surface, roll out your dough just slightly, take care not to make it too thin. I took at tip from Little Bit Funky and used the ring of a mason jar lid to cut circles for my muffin tin. Gently push the circles into the pan, then fill with the apple mixture. Next, dot each tart with a 1/2 teaspoon of butter.
You can top these little tarts however you like - I used the leftover pie crust and just put small pieces here and there over the tops. You could also use a crumb topping which would be very tasty, or even leave them topless - oh my, can't believe I just wrote that!
Bake the pie tarts in the oven for 18-22 minute, depending on your oven (I found that 21 minutes was perfect). Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, before carefully removing them from the tins. Mine popped right out, which I was so excited about.
As I arranged them on a print tray, Olivia (now 19-months, can you believe that??) came over and started begging for one... what's a mama to do, right? She and Daddy both gobbled one up right away. These keep beautifully in the fridge for about a week and were the perfect little additions for everyone's lunches this week.
I hope you'll get the chance to make these - trust me when I say that they're delicious and tasty, and not much more work than a regular apple pie.
But that's not all she has in the shop, Morgan also has earrings and cuffs, too!
Here's a little about Morgan:
"My shop is a collaboration of handmade jewelry pieces. Most of my designs are simple and modern made for everyday wear at affordable prices. Many of my customers come to my shop looking for gift ideas. We ship all our items gift boxed and are happy to include gift notes upon request. Please come check us out at www.morganprather.etsy.com."
So what are you waiting for? Go check out Morgan's shop, and pick out your favorite, then fill out the Rafflecopter below.
And if you're too anxious to find out if you're the winner, use code MPFALL2012 for 20% off your order - I just purchased a beautiful necklace for someone on my Christmas list!
Lovely readers, I cannot believe how far this little blog has come in just 6 short months. I am very grateful to each and everyone of my readers - especially those of you who leave me wonderful comments! The blogging community has been so graciously accepting of yet another blogger.
Today, I'm introducing my wonderful new 'Mama's Spot' ad space - this is a 300x100 ad space that includes weekly social media shout-outs! I'm limiting these spaces to featuring just four lovely bloggers at a time, so you can be sure to get lots of attention from me, and all my wonderful readers!
For the rest of October, I'm offering these spots at half off! Hurry over and take advantage of the code THANKYOU and you will pay just $3 for this awesome spot!
If you'd like too swap buttons with me, use the code SWAPS and send me an email on how to upload my button, too.
Thank you for supporting Juggling Act Mama with your readership, comments, and sponsorships!
I love cooking and baking anytime of the year, but it always seems like I have a renewed passion for it in the Fall and especially leading up to the holidays. I thought I'd take a minute today to share a few of my Fall Favorites. I hope you'll give them a whirl - trust me, you will not be disappointed you did!
There's something so homey about mixing up a batch of cornbread, don't you think? It's a great side and adds a bit of that comfort-food feel to any meal. Plus, it's easy to whip up in just a few minutes without a lot of fuss and mess. I've doctored my recipe up a bit to give it a little extra flavor - and who (besides the world's pickiest eater - my son Ethan) doesn't like garlic and cheddar??
Garlic Cheddar Cornbread
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Dash of paprika
Preheat your oven to 400-degrees and butter a cast-iron skillet - yes, very rustic, don't you think?
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix in the dry ingredients and add 1/2 a cup of the cheese - reserve a 1/4 cup for the top.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet, and top with remaining cheese and a sprinkle of paprika (more for color than flavor).
Make 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven, until the cornbread is lightly browned on the edges, and the cheese is toasty. Remove from the oven, cut into triangles and serve warm with butter. (This would also be amazing with Garlic Chive Butter.)
Store leftovers in the fridge in a resealable bag. When you're ready for a snack, pop it into the microwave for a few seconds! I hope you enjoy this cornbread - thanks for stopping by today!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as most of you already know. A friend of ours, and my favorite family photographer ever, Sharon Simpson, is offering an amazing promotion on photo calendars, with half the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness! How cool is that? You can even upload your own photos to create a custom calendar - isn't that just the greatest gift idea?
Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs and say hello! We cannot wait to see what you have to share this week! Did you miss last week's features? Have no fear; you can check them out right here! Also, Julie is currently hosting a GIVEAWAY. Please find the entry form below.
If you are interested in co-hosting, please contact me (email@example.com) and let me know when you would like to co-host.)
1. A follow of your hosts via Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Blog Lovin, Facebook or RSS Feed is greatly appreciated.
2 Check out your fellow bloggers' projects. Leave them some wonderful comments to let them know that you stopped by.
3. Link up your recipes, crafts or DIY projects. No giveaways or shops, please.
4. Grab a button. It's not mandatory but it helps get the word out about the party.
If you love giveaways as much as I do, you do not want to skip over this post! Not only am I offering you a chance to win this super cute set from my Angel Flowers Etsy Shop, but I'm also linking up with some lovely hostesses for A Crafter's Dream Christmas Giveaway!
This giveaway link up is hosted by My Merry Messy Life, Earning-My-Cape and Tutus & Tea Parties and has a Christmas, crafting, and supporting small business theme! Each blogger is offering her/his own giveaway worth $25 or more going on now through Sunday, November 4, 2012.
Christmas is just around the corner, and the time to start crafting our gifts for friends and family is now! Some of the blogs in the giveaway group will be giving away some awesome crafting supplies! Sometimes we want to give a handmade gift, but just don't have the time or know-how to make them ourselves. This is a great opportunity to support small businesses and shops who offer handmade items! Some of the blogs in our giveaway group will be highlighting such small businesses and offering giveaway items for them, as well. Even if you don't win the giveaway, we hope that you will keep these small businesses in mind when shopping for that perfect gift for your special someone.
I'm late bringing you this pancake post today, but I just had oral surgery (YUCK!) and I'm not really with it... (These are actually the pancakes I made last week, and I wish I could eat a stack of them right now!) I'm going to keep this super short and sweet today!
We switched it up a little and made mini-pancakes. They were easy for the kids to eat, and fit perfectly into snack sized bags for on-the-go breakfast!
Mini Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups milk 1 cup pumpkin puree 1 egg 2 tablespoons applesauce 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat your griddle to about 375-degrees.
In a mixing bowl with a spout, beat the egg, then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Lightly butter the griddle (to keep the pancakes from sticking, of course), and pour small batter circles - about 1/8 cup to make mini pancakes (or about 1/4 cup if you want normal size ones). Cook about two minutes on each side and serve hot.