New Post on Nibbles & Needles

I’m sharing a new tutorial for a Mother’s Day Card over on my new blog: Nibbles & Needles.

If you haven’t yet, please check out my new blog and click the follow button so that you won’t miss out on any new posts. I’ve got lots of projects and tutorials in the works that I’ll hopefully be posting soon.

Advertisements

My Blog Has Moved

Thank you so much to those who have been following my blog here.

I have decided to rename my blog and thus move it to a different address. I’ll be posting the same type of things I’ve been posting here, food and crafts. This time though, it will be under my new name of Nibbles & Needles.

Please head over to my new blog and follow me so that you’ll continue to see all my posts. Plus, be sure to read my first post to get my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Thanks!

WordPress.com Blogging Tutorial-How to Create a Front Page Slideshow a.k.a Featured Posts Slider

Since I was totally new to blogging I’m still learning how to utilize all the features and make my blog better!

I wanted to format my home page so that I could have a slideshow of pictures linked to some of my most popular posts above my actual feed of posts. I wanted something like this blog has. After a long while I figured it out and I wanted to share with you in case you want it and haven’t figured it out yet.

Here’s how to create a Featured Posts Slider on your WordPress.com blog.

  1. You need to determine if your theme actually has this option. Not all do. To find a theme that has a Post slider go to this page.
  2. Once you have a theme that has the post slider feature you need to determine the requirements for activating it. Once you fulfill these requirements your post slider will automatically appear on your home page. To Determine the requirements go to the information page for your theme. For example: I am running the Forever theme so my info page is here.
  3. The three requirements (which I think are the same except for the pixel width and height for the image which is different for each theme) are:

A. Make your post a sticky post. To do this go to the top right corner of your screen while editing a post. You’ll see the Publish box. Under that click edit right next to “visibility”. Select “stick this post to the front page”. Be aware that not only will making your post sticky make it show up in the post slider on your homepage (once you fulfill the other requirements) but it may also stay on your home page above the rest of your recent posts (this will depend on your theme, in the forever theme if you have a featured posts slider, whatever posts are on that slider will not show up in the actual feed).  To learn more about sticky posts go here.

B. You also need to set a featured image for your post. To do this go to the lower right corner of your screen while editing a post. You’ll see the box entitled Featured Image. Hit “set featured image”. It will have you select an image from the your media. Enter your caption if you like then hit “set featured image” and you’re done. At this point go to your home page and see if your post slider showed up and how the pictures look. If it didn’t show up head down to point C. below to edit your pictures. If they look great, congratulations you did it! But also be aware that not only will setting a featured image make your post slider work, it will also do other things. To learn more about featured images go here.

C. When I created my post slider all the post I wanted to showed up, however, if yours aren’t the right size they might not. To edit your image so it will show up  go back to the lower right hand corner and click on the featured image in your post editing window. It will bring you up with a smaller screen with a right sidebar. In this sidebar click edit. Then in the top of the sidebar in the next window is the scale function. Refer back to the information page for your theme to determine how big your picture has to be.  Type in one of these numbers, width first, height last. And click scale. It will say image saved and then click the back button at the bottom of the window. It will then take you back to the original window, double check and make sure the size is correct in the right sidebar and click set featured image. Make sure it shows up on your homepage and you’re done!

Now you have a post slider! I hope this tutorial helped you

Note: If you decide you want to remove the post slider just go back and reverse the steps you took. Remove the featured image and remove the sticky post feature.

Knitting Technique: Continental Knitting

It’s always great to be able to do something faster and more efficiently. This applies to knitting and is why I’m going to introduce you to a new method of knitting called continental knitting.

My mom was introduced to this technique by another mom at a speech and debate tournament (there can be a lot of down time if you’re a parent and you’re not judging a round so both my mom and the other mom had brought along their knitting). I learned it and have been using it on my simple projects. It takes a minute to get a hang of it, but after you do it can be much faster.

So that you can take advantage of this faster method check out these two videos: The Knit Stitch (Continental Method) and The Purl Stitch (Continental Style).

Handmade Windowed Thank You Cards

IMG_9127

Soon after Christmas I had another occasion to write thank you notes. I did not want to use the same cards (snowflakes ones, post on these coming soon) so I decided to make some new ones.

I liked the idea of cutting a window into the card, so that is what I went with. I found some leftover paper in my stash and used some previously purchased cards.

(Side note here: When I was ready to start making the cards I realized we had no envelopes left so I decided to wait. In the past I had bought a 50 pack of cards and envelopes at Hobby Lobby and I planned to do that again. After I picked up the cards I realized that I really only needed the envelopes since we have lots of card stock that could easily be made into cards at home. I searched for some envelopes to fit 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ cards and was only able to find these. After comparing them I realized it was much cheaper to buy the pack of cards and envelopes than just the envelopes, weird. These are the ones I got. With a coupon and tax they ended up being under $5 for the pack. That’s $0.10 per card and envelope set, whereas buying only the envelopes would have cost $0.17 per envelope after coupon and tax.)

Since the cards I used were 4″ x 5.5″ I cut the pieces of pretty paper into 3.5″ x 5″ pieces allowing a 1/4″ margin on each side. After writing “Thank You” on a scrap piece of paper I figured out approximately how much room I needed for writing the message. I chose to make my window 3/4″ x 2″. For the portrait style I cut the window 1″ from the top and 3/4″ from each side. For the landscape style I cut the window 1 3/8″ from the top and bottom and 1 1/2″ from each side.

IMG_9148 - Cropped

Above is a photo of the four different cards I made. I used two different papers and made some of each in both portrait and landscape orientation. To write “Thank You” I used a colored pencil that went with the paper. If you have a stamp the says Thank You in a straight line like that you could do that too, I didn’t though.

Happy Card Making!

Separating Eggs

When I get home from morning practice I’m always hungry. I’m a picky breakfast eater though, so I wanted something other than cereal. My Mom suggested pancakes, but I said no, they’re too much work. After a couple of minutes I grabbed the cookbook and got started. Our favorite recipe makes very good fluffy pancakes. To get them fluffy you separate the eggs and beat up the egg whites, folding them in right before you cook them. I’m not overly confident in my ability to separate eggs just using the egg shell so I used our egg separator. Fast forward about 30 min and everybody is sitting down at the table eating my nice fluffy pancakes.

And the point in all this? I wanted to show you some egg separators. Yes, a weird thing to post on, but I thought it’d be fun.

We have a plain egg separator very similar to this one:

Now while that one is very functional, I personally prefer this cute little chick:

I also found these that are very similar to ours, just cuter!
Or if you want something that is more functional than cute, try these:

Similar to the concept of the separator above, you can use a water bottle to separate eggs. This is a simple and very cheap way. Here they show you how.

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the cool egg separators out there. Happy Cooking!

Note: All images in this article are the property of their respective owners.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake Recipe

I’m a swimmer on a competitive swim team, therefore I eat a lot. I also love chocolate, peanut butter, and milk but hate bananas. This is one of my favorite milkshakes. After a morning practice I come home and make several batches of this (necessary so that everyone home gets some). This shake has a chocolate peanut butter flavor but you can’t taste the bananas at all. That’s why, even though I hate bananas, I love this shake. My sister came up with the exacts for this recipes though none of it gets measured out, just estimated. Depending on the size of the bananas the shake may be smoother or thicker. To get the right consistency you can either add more bananas or add more milk, it’s whatever you like. I hope you enjoy it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milk Shake

You Will Need:

2 Cups 1 % Milk

1 Tablespoon Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

2 Tablespoons Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

2 Medium Sized (7”-7 7/8” long) Frozen Bananas

Make It:

  1. Combine Milk, Chocolate Syrup, and Peanut Butter in Blender. Mix until combined.
  2. Add frozen Bananas and blend on high speed until shake is smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

Makes: ~2-2 Cup servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 332.4 Total Fat 10.9 g Saturated Fat 2.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4 g Monounsaturated Fat 4.7 g Cholesterol 12 mg Sodium 165.2 mg Potassium 805.9 mg Total Carbohydrates 48.2 g Dietary Fiber 4.1 g Sugars 32.7 g Protein 13.1 g Vitamin A 11.5% Vitamin B-12 17.9% Vitamin B-6 38.7% Vitamin C 17.9% Vitamin D 31.7% Vitamin E 2.1% Calcium 29.9% Copper 8.7% Folate 8.7% Iron 4.1% Magnesium 16.2% Manganese 10.7% Niacin 4.3% Pantothenic Acid 11.9% Phosphorus 26.1% Riboflavin 33.8% Selenium 13.5% Thiamin 6.8% Zinc 8.4%
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition Facts Calculated Using: SparkPeople Recipe Calculator

I have also created a PDF copy for ease in printing. You can download it by clicking this link: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milk Shake. You can also access any of my recipes on my new recipe page I’ve just created which can be accessed at the top of the page. Enjoy!

DIY Emi-Jays

IMG_8415 EditedWhen a crafty person sees something they like they look at the price tag then  after a cry of exclamation at the price they declare “I could make that!” Isn’t this true for most of us?

Well if you have ever gotten one of the Emi-Jay hair ties you know how expensive they are. They cost several dollars apiece. If you want those hair ties but don’t want to pay that kind of money for it what is the solution? Make it yourself.

My sister found this blog which had directions to make them. You can visit it here. The only change we made to their directions was to fray check the ties. Do this after you have cut them into 12″ lengths, but before you tie them. This way the ribbon won’t start unraveling.

The photo above is of some Emi-Jays my mom made for my sisters and I. She purchased the ribbon at a local store for a reasonable price. You can also order the ribbon online from an etsy seller. They mentioned it on the blog with the directions. The cheapest I saw of those they listed was this seller. You can buy ten yards (you get to choose the colors) for only $4.99 Assuming you use 12″ per hair tie (which may seem like a lot but you really do need that much) then each hair tie costs only 17 cents not including shipping. That’s a lot better then $2 a hair tie.

I hope that you enjoy making your own Emi-Jays, and enjoy the savings!

Best LD Debate Round Ever

Two of my siblings and I went to a Speech and Debate Camp in the summer. I though it was going to be boring, it turned out to be fun and got me really interested in debate. Why?

Cause of the awesome videos they showed us! Just kidding! But there were some really great videos of speeches and debate rounds, including this debate round.

How does this compare to a real one? This one is much funnier, I think any LD debater (which I am not by the way) or anyone who has watched an LD Debate round could agree you don’t laugh this much in a real round.

Enjoy!