Pinterest Project of the Week – Duct Tape Silverware Caddy

This week’s project was fairly simple but used one of the hottest DIY materials around right now – Duct Tape! Have you looked at Pinterest lately? Duct tape is taking over people’s furniture, accessories and children! Okay, so I may have made up the children part… but I bet someone out there is outfitting their children in duct tape onesies. Just sayin’.

Anywho, with all the duct tape madness, I thought that maybe it’s actually kind of cute and not cheesy like it seems. I decided to start small and not invest a lot of money nor ruin any of my good stuff. This duct-taped silverware caddy was the perfect first project!

All you need is an empty six pack carton (thank you Kyle for being a brewing master and empty carton hoarder!) and some duct tape. Any craft store or even Wal-Mart has TONS of duct tape to choose from. Seriously, there are at least 30 varieties at any given store right now. I told you duct-taping was hot.

Simply tape away, cutting and tucking where you need to! It’s really simple and you’ll figure it out best as you go. Once you are finished, you’ll have a cutesy silverware caddy that’s perfect for parties or just around the house. (Mine will be hanging out on my newly renovated patio… more on that next week.)

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So, where are all my pinners at? What did you create this week?? Check out what others did this week at Mommin’ It Up Pin for the Wednesdays!

P.S. This project cost me about $2. FREE carton & used a 40% off coupon at AC Moore for the duct tape!

*There is no original pin this week as I did not see this specific project on Pinterest. I simply saw A LOT of duct tape.

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Mustache Monday 7/23 – Bandaids & Sun-Staches

Woohoo! I’m back with a BANG! It’s time for Mustache Monday! This post has two weeks worth of mustaches in it, so get ready!

Last week, we had fun with Mustache Bandaids! Who needs a real wound just to use a bandaid?

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Covering up our “wounds” in style!

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That’s right, I put a bandaid on my upper lip! The things I do for some Mustache fun!

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Then I waxed Kyle’s upper lip with stylin’ stache bandaid! Haha

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Then boredom later in the day led to drawing faces to go with our Mustache bandaids!

Fast forward to today… several of us sported the Sun-Staches in honor of Mustache Monday. (I found these at Urban Outfitters for $8, where coincidentally I almost died trying to shop. Long story. I survived, so there’s no need to worry!)

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The stache actually suits Amber! We advised her to stop waxing and start growing out her own mustache! Haha

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Kyle being his usual creepy self with a stache…

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Strokin’ my stache 😉

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Mustache Monday! Have any future MM ideas? Hit me up in the comments section… I’m always looking for more ideas!

What’s for Dinner – Mini Mexican Tacos

Thursday night, my bestie cuz (that’s best friend and cousin combined), cooked up a yummy twist on a traditional Mexican dish! Now, I found this idea on Pinterest and they called in Mini Mexican Pizzas, but to me a pizza is flat. So, how this is a pizza is beyond me. Therefore, I am naming my version a Mini Mexican Taco! Enjoy, it was super yummy and easy to make!

Ingredients – (Makes 12 Mini Mexican Tacos)
6 regular size flour tortillas (or wheat)
1 pound hamburger meat
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 head of lettuce
2 tomatoes
1 pack of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

1. Take regular size tortillas and cut them into smaller round circles. You are aiming for them to fit nicely in a regular muffin pan. If you have a cookie cutter, great, but if you don’t then get creative like I did. I used the lid of a salsa jar and simply traced around it with a butter knife. Easier than it looks! Make 12 of these mini tortillas.
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2. Spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray and tuck the mini tortillas inside. You could obviously go bigger as my tortillas didn’t reach the top but in the end you will see that this size worked out just fine.
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2. Cook a pound of hamburger meat and add in taco seasoning.

3. At the same time you are cooking the meat, go ahead and cook your refried beans. Now, maybe you know how to make the fancy homemade version and if you do, go for it! I, however, have no idea and bought a can. So, I heated up my refried beans in the microwave.

4. Layer the refried beans inside the mini tortillas. One big scoopful works perfectly.
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5. Layer the seasoned meat on top of the refried beans. One or two scoopfuls works perfectly.
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6. Now sprinkle the desired amount of cheese on top. I used finely shredded Cheddar.
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7. Pop your Mini Mexican Tacos in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. They will come out looking like this! (we added tomatoes to a few just to see how it tastes… thumbs up!)
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8. Top your Mini Mexican Tacos with whatever you would like! We topped ours with lettuce and tomatoes, but you can also use sour cream, olives, salsa, etc. Also, worried about all that leftover tortilla? Just serve it with the meal… everyone loves tortillas, right?
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9. If your mouth is big enough, then these will be bite-size delights! If not, then you’ll probably have to destroy the beautiful creation by cutting it up. (I did.)
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9. Serve with yummy side dishes like rice, beans, chips, salsa and queso!
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I know y’all love my fancy paper plates, right?!

Wondering why I left the bottom row of my muffin pan empty? It’s because I don’t eat red meat, so while my two lovely carnivores chowed down on a cow, I made myself a vegetarian version. 🙂 Recipe coming soon!

Original Pin

How to Make Pop Rock Cupcakes

That’s right… pop rocks! Those things that jump around in your mouth and thrilled us all as kids? Well, I bet you never thought to bake them in a cupcake! The fun part is that you can advertise these cupcakes as yummy and including pop rocks OR you can trick everyone and watch their faces when the explosion starts! I personally like the second idea and it’s what I did on July 4th! Among other things… check it out HERE! Now, below are the steps to crafting these yummy yet explosive treats.

1. Buy some cupcake mix and pop rocks. That was hard, right? Actually you may have a hard time finding the pop rocks… I couldn’t find them at CVS but did find them at Dollar General ($1 for a 2 pack). I’d say one pack went about as far as 6 cupcakes.

2. Bake the cupcakes using the directions on the box. IMPORTANT: Let the cupcakes cool down completely! If they are still warm, the pop rocks will “activate” when you dump them in as they are triggered by warmth.

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3. Cut a slit into the middle of the cupcake with a butter knife and push it inward from the opposite direction to open the slit up.

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4. Dump in the desired amount of pop rocks and squeeze the cupcake back together.

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5. Cover the top of the cupcake with a nice layer of icing and decorate if you wish. This is your disguise so remember to not let the slit show! Hehe

6. Enjoy the cupcakes and the show!! We chose to only put pop rocks in every other cupcake that way no one would know what they were getting! (Since some people were nosey and found out what we were doing!)

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While this idea was an original, I was inspired by this Pop Rocks Snack pin on Pinterest.

Do you have any other food tricks? I’d love to hear them so I can have more fun with food in the future!

Mustache Monday 7/9/12

So, we skipped a few Mustache Monday’s due to the holidays and busy work schedules… but we are back! This was my week and I had picked out some awesome fuzzy mustaches for the event. The fun part of today’s post is that the mustaches came with trivia questions! You have to guess the stache by the clues provided. Have fun! (I’ll post the answers in the comments after everyone has fun guessing.)

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1. A famous comedian whose first name was Charlie (ignore the fact that he’s acting like Hitler… he guessed wrong lol)

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2. A famous character made popular in video games (not sure why I look so unhappy… probably because it was mid-day Monday)

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3. This moustache is named after a large flippered marine mammal

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4. Named after a part on a bicycle

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(left to right)
5. A famous Spanish Surrealist Painter
6. A famous wrestler
7. E=mc2

In case you want your own fuzzy mustaches, I found this fun pack at World Market for $4.99!

One Year Ago

Sometimes we write about the tough times, about the pain, about the survival. This is one of those times.

One year ago the greatest man in my life left this world. He lives in my heart every day, but today I miss his physical presence badly.

As I layed in the bed trying to fall asleep, I felt uneasy. As the clock ticked on, my stomach felt queasy and my throat tightened. I felt on the verge of a panic attack and my subconscious knew why. At midnight, it became a reality that one year ago my papa died. It became a reality that he has been absent from my life for one whole year. In minutes after midnight, I was flooded with the memories of this day a year ago. I immediately ran outside for air.

I sat on my porch for a few minutes in silence, looking toward the sky. I wondered if I should drive out to the cemetery. He’s not there I told myself, but I couldn’t find him in the sky either. Where is he? That’s when the tears came and shortly after the sobbing.

I wanted to be alone but yet I didn’t. I needed to get it all out because it’s been inside for an entire year. Yes, I cried on the day he died. I sobbed loudly on my work desk when I received the phone call. But then I pulled it together for my sister and for my family as best I could. I was “fine” until we were in the room with his body before the funeral. I lost it then, looking at him. I didn’t say goodbye. I didn’t realize. It was when we arrived at the cemetery that I realized I would never see him again. Inside I was freaking out. Inside I began the stage of denial.

I only remember breaking down once in the time after the funeral. It was the worst crying you’d hear in your life. Even I could hear the level of pain in my cries.

Life did go on, but it was not the same. I found myself missing him often but replaying the happy moments in my head. You see, my papa was the kind of man you could be proud of. He provided for his family, was married to his wife for over 50 years, served in the military, retired from another job and had a kind and generous heart. He was generally a man of few words, so when he talked, you listened. Tonight I clearly remember his voice and his laughter. I can hear him saying “well look-a here” when I would walk in the door, or “ayyy me” when he was ready to call it a night, or “ah” when he was dismissing something you said. I see his facial expressions and his smile. I see him in his recliner or at the kitchen table.

I remember him bargaining with the salesman over my car. I remember him walking me down the aisle. I remember him putting a wet washcloth on my face to wake me up from work. I remember eating peanuts in our Pepsis together. I remember making a “teepee” in his hair when I little. I remember the tight grip of his hugs. I remember his tears at my graduation.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out, he was also my dad. I do have a real dad but he was absent. So my papa was always my male role model and it doesn’t get much better than that. I thank God that he stepped into the role willingly and that I have his behavior and lifestyle to reference. But when he died, I not only lost my papa, but I also lost my dad and the only steady man in my life. It’s been a tough loss. I’m thankful that I’m older and am equipped to survive life without a father, but I’d rather have him around. Sometimes you just want a fathers love, presence and protection.

I want to be able to tell him about my life now, my job and my hobbies. He’d be proud of me and I always wanted to make him proud. In a way, everything I do is to make him proud along with my mother and nanny.

I know he’s in heaven watching over me. He’s my guardian angel. I’ve felt his presence before and been so at peace. I’m not sure where he is right now. I hope he’s watching over and speaking to my nanny right now because she needs him more than I do in this moment.

I love you Papa and these tears I cry are because I miss you. And I miss you so much because you were the greatest man I’ll ever have the honor of knowing. Please stay in my heart and touch my soul for the rest of my life.

Love, Ashley

As stated in my About section, this blog has always been in part for my Papa.

Pinterest Project of the Week – Beach Themed Birthday Party!

The Pinterest Project of the Week is…. DRUMROLL… a cute beach themed party for my four year old nephew (okay, really, he’s my cousin’s son… whatever that makes us). Check it out –

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Fun palm tree straws (found at Dollar store)

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Shark fin cupcakes! Simple bake your cupcakes, ice them to look like beach waves (thanks Christa!), sprinkle some stars on top (you know, for starfish) and insert a shark fin. I decided to save some money and DIY the shark fins. I already had cardstock and toothpicks in the house so I simply cut the fins out and taped them to toothpicks.

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Up close!

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Lifesaver cutlery! Simply wrap your plastic cutlery in a beachy blue napkin, secure with twine and knot it around a mint lifesaver.

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Blow up palm tree cooler (I think she found this at the Dollar store too)

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There’s my BFF and fav cousin, Lindsay, who is also the mama of Zachary. She was decorating and cooking up a storm!

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There’s the birthday boy being all shy while we sing Happy Birthday to him!

Check me out on Pinterest: alwaysashley03

Here are the original pins –
Shark Fin Cupcakes
Lifesaver Cutlery

Also, be sure to check out Mommin’ It Up’s Pin for the Wednesday post to see what others have been up to.

On a side note,
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Like my birthday party outfit? I love my Forever 21 dress and Michael Shannon wedges.