Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Am I (link up)

Today I'm taking part in a linkup from Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup

Hi! My name is Angela.

I am mother to two amazing little ones. Monkey (my son) is three years old and keeps me on my toes. Grace (my daughter) is 3 months old and she keeps the peace in my life

I've been married for 4.5 years to an amazing man named Ben

I started writing Adventures of Chef Mom to talk about making my way through culinary school while trying to take care of my son. I graduated in May of 2011 (4.5 months pregnant with my daughter) so I wasn't able to take over the culinary world, but I hope to work from home making other peoples lives sweeter one dessert at a time...

I write about anything and everything that has to do with our lives (food, family, holidays, crafting, funny things the kids do or say)

I adore baking anything sweet, especially cupcakes and pastries (in culinary school, one of my teachers called me the pastry queen)

I'm blessed to be able to stay home with my two little ones while my Hubby works. We live in Ontario (Canada) between Toronto and Ottawa.

I love NCIS, Bones, and the Biggest Loser

I love Earl Grey tea, cottage cheese, and homemade pizza.

I love road trips, camping, and experiencing the world by bicycle. We've got 2 kids bike seats, so this summer we'll be able to take both kids with us.

I love singing, playing piano, and watching silly movies like Robin Hood Men in Tights.

I love learning about different countries and travelling. The first 8 months of marriage, Hubby and I lived in Sweden, so that country has a huge soft spot in my heart.

I am a big fan of coupons, free stuff, and clearance sales at Old Navy.

I joined Weight Watchers back in December (right before Christmas. Am I crazy?) and so far I've lost 10 lbs. I've got a ways to go until I'm back to pre-baby #1 weight, but I'll get there.

Thanks for letting me share about me!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last-Minute Valentines

This year I got an early start on Valentines Day projects. I even had Monkey make cards to send to friends and family (however I forgot to mail them last week, so they will be late).

The one downside to being done early is that I've seen so many other cute projects that I want to do all of them and I've already made our Valentines... but really, that's not a bad thing.

Anyways, the projects we did complete are actually from my post last year about Valentines day.

Heart-Shaped Crayons

I tried to make each crayon out of its own colour group instead of mixing all the colours together.

I used a silicon heart shaped muffin pan from the dollar store because I didn't want to ruin one of my good muffin tins.

I broke the pieces into about 1/4 inch pieces and tried to mix the different tones evenly between the muffin cups.

I "baked" the broken pieces in the oven for about 5-7 minutes at 300 degrees C. If you bake them longer or shake the pan too much when you take it out, all the colours tend to mix together and you don't have different tones/colours, you just have one kind of muddy colour.

Then I let them cool. You can tell they're ready to be removed when the crayon has come away from the side of the silicon pan (or if you are using mini aluminum tart shells, when it has separated from the tin).

Sorry that there is no picture of the final product with the cardstock. They are pasted with double-sided tape to cardstock reading "You Colour My World!"

These were simple, and I've still got enough broken and used crayons to do about a decade more Valentines for the entire class...

The biggest time consuming part was peeling the paper from the crayons. I found that the no name crayons were much easier to peel than the Crayola brand, and since I did about 24 of these, I had quite a bit of crayon under my nails after this.

I would also recommend getting 2 muffin tins so you can do 12 crayons at a time, because I'm not big on patience, and I had a hard time stopping myself from taking the crayons out of the tin before they were ready...

Muffin Tin: $1 at the dollar store
Crayons: already on hand
Cardstock: already on hand

The next Valentines Day craft I did was also low cost and quick to put together.

Chocolate Roses

Bag of Kisses
: $2.99 for a small package that will make about 18 roses (I would recommend red, pink, or silver because the cellophane is transparent)
Stem for the flowers: $1 for 10
Coloured cellophane: I had some on hand (the stuff used to wrap gift baskets)
Florists tape: $4 for 3 rolls. I made about 30 roses and only used 1 roll.

I started by cutting squares of the cellophane. I didn't have an exact measure, If you want one, I'd go with about 4 inches square. You want the square to be long enough to cover the kisses and still be able to attach more to the pencil. Extra is fine, you'll be covering it with the tape.

Next, tape the kisses together with double sided tape (or just hold them together like I did). You want to make sure that both kisses are held together and that the cellophane is holding them tightly in place if they aren't taped together.

Next, take the pencil, and place it under the bottom kiss. This part is the most particular. I find that if I had a third hand, it would be very useful for this step.

Next, you need to start wrapping the tape around both the pencil and the cellophane. Stretch the tape as you wrap it tightly so that it will stick to itself. Wrap it a few extra times around at the beginning to make sure the kisses are secure.

Keep stretching and overlapping the tape as you tape down the whole pencil. If you wrap at an angle, it will naturally overlap and stay smooth.

When you get to the tip of the pencil, overlap the tape a few times and pinch it tightly to keep it secure.

There you are! Beautiful roses that are a perfect gift for students (if you're a teacher), for classmates, or just for fun!

Happy Valentines Day, and happy crafting!