Maple Syrup- One of the Four Main Food Groups!

Elf Syrup Quote

We love syrup around our house- especially homemade! This year I will be decorating some of my hoarded jars for some of our neighbor gifts. It’s a nice gift because I already know they like it, and it is something that can be tucked in the fridge and used at any time. I might even include a bag of frozen pancakes with it as well.

Maple Syrup
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Monica at Monzanita’s
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup light corn syrup
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup of water
  • Dash maple flavor
  • 1 Tbs. butter or margarine
Instructions
  1. Combine syrup, brown sugar and water. Cook on the stove on low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in flavoring and butter. It can be served hot off the stove, or after being refrigerated.

I had an empty bottle that was from olive oil- washed out it was a perfect bottle to give away some syrup in. For ourselves, I just use a water bottle that we were able to get for free from one of our utility companies. It works perfectly! I know my mom uses a gravy dish and in the past I have used a large glass measuring cup to hold my maple syrup too. There are so many options and cute ways to hold it.

Handmade Gift Idea: Maple Syrup

If I buy ink before Christmas I’ll attach some of the Buddy the Elf quotes to the syrup when we give them away. Feel free to print it off and use it for your gifts too!

Canisters, Cartons, and Containers: Fun Fall Basket

I might hoard bottles and bowls and jars sometimes. Or all the time. I finally am going to start using them this week, and to make myself use tons of them I am making it an entire series. To see the rest of my Canisters, Cartons and Containers click here.

Leafy Fall Basket

Fall Basket MaterialsMaterials:

Large Butter Tub
Burlap
Fall Leaves (We only have fake ones, real would be so much cooler!)
Wire
Twine
Hot Glue Gun
Nail

Directions:

First cut your burlap so that it will fit around your butter tub. I had a costco-sized tub and my burlap dimensions were about __”x__”

punch hole in butter tub with a nailAnother thing to do in the beginning is to punch the holes on each side of the butter tub. An easy way to do this is with a nail. It can be pushed into the plastic (near the top) on each side of the tub. This will be where the basket handle goes.

finished twine and wire

The next step is to put the wire through one of the holes, and loop it up and twist it so that it will stay. Then tie the twine to the loop of wire and twist it around the length of the wire.

Soon after you twist the twine around the wire put the second end of the wire through the other hole. Make sure that you don’t let go of the twine while you do this. Loop the end of the wire up and twist it around itself. Now you can tie the twine into the second loop and trim the ends of the twine.

Now you can start hot gluing the burlap to the basket. It will be a little weird because the bottom of the basket is smaller than the top. Just make sure to pull the bottom so that it goes around further than the top. If all else fails when you are done hot gluing the top of the burlap you can always fold in any excess burlap on the bottom so that it would be hidden.

trimming the excess burlap

The burlap at the bottom can be very messy. Now would be a good time to trim it. Also, you might notice that the butter tub print still shows through. By the time we add the leaves it shouldn’t be noticeable and if it is it would only be in bright light, like where I was taking pictures. If it bothers you, feel free to add a second layer of burlap now before we add the leaves to the basket.

The leaves can now be hot glued to the burlap. Make it fun and have them pointing in all sorts of directions. If you have a choice of different colored leaves or sizes try to alternate between them. adding leaves to basket

Finally, you will add the twine around the leaves. My twine bow didn’t want to stay put so I made sure to hot glue it in place.

Fall Basket from Butter Tub

Other than the fact that my leaves are fake I’m really happy with my fall basket. I can’t wait to put some rolls in it for our Thanksgiving Dinner!

If you happen to try making this with real leaves I would love to hear how you did it and how it went. Most parts of the country has beautiful leaves this time of year so I’m hoping someone will try it!

My Favorite Toddler Bedtime Stories {Gift Ideas}

Toddler Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

Before my toddler’s bedtime, we sit on his big bear and read books. I have a few favorites, and I think my son loves them because he can tell how much I love them. I try to only keep good books around, and “good” can mean many things. The main thing “good” means is that it doesn’t annoy me, or teach my son to annoy me. It also won’t usually bore him or bore me. These are a few of my favorites that are great bedtime stories for a toddler.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite in our house, we even based my son’s first birthday party off of it. It makes the list of one of our top bedtimes stories because it’s a very relaxing story, it’s easy to read (and follow along with) as well as there are plenty of things that my son recognizes and likes to point out.

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Happy Birthday, Moon is a favorite bedtime story because it’s simple and cute. It is a conversation between the bear and the moon. It’s something that my son doesn’t understand yet, but when he makes the connection he will love the story even more. Right now there are plenty of little things that my son loves to point out while we are reading it, so it makes it fun for him but not overly-stimulating.

 

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is my favorite. (I know, I say that everything is my favorite!) I love that my son loves this book now too. He didn’t get it at first because the Big Hungry Bear is talked about but never seen. He loves this book so much now that he mouths the words along with me, and sometimes will recite them for me. I love that this book is such a cute story but it also doesn’t take all night to read it to him. (All of these books are pretty short and sweet compared to lots of children’s books. Unless you ask my husband- he thinks they are all way too long.)

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault, and  Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka ABC is a shorter and simpler version of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that I read in grade school. It is on our top bedtime stories list because it is so short and simple and because it has an awesome beat. I think it is my husband’s favorite book to read to our son because it is the shortest on this list, but really we both love it.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a story that is pretty much a pigeon throwing a two-year-old’s temper tantrum. Don’t let that scare you though, I don’t think this teaches kids to throw temper tantrums.The way this book is set up it shows kids how silly they are. Just from the title (and when the bus driver asks you) it makes the kids be the ones in charge so they are supposed to keep the pigeon from driving the bus. If you haven’t read this book you should go check it out at your local library and see why it has made our favorite bedtime stories list.

What are your favorite bedtime stories? Are there any I need to go out and read so I can add them to my list?

This post is not sponsored by these authors or publishers but if you click on the links and happen to buy something from Amazon you will be helping out Monzanita’s in a small way, so thank you!

Jeep Sewing Projects

We recently bought a jeep and have been four wheeling every weekend this month. I want to buy accessories for it, but I’m being thrifty as usual and making my own. It sure helps out for making the payment too!

Handle Bar Bag

This turned out to look a little frumpier than I wanted it to. Next time I’ll have to use some heavy backing. I do love that I have all of my stuff close and convenient. There’s always extra space for snacks and for my camera too.

Tool Roll

This is an adult version of a crayon roll! The tools are a little bit odd shaped, so they don’t roll as well as a crayon roll but it is a great way to save space and keep your tools safe and organized. It’s also convenient to have all of your tools in one spot and can be easily carried to wherever you need them.

Fire Extinguisher Holder

Did you know it cost over $20 for one of these? I made it for much less! I finally finished a great easy-to-follow tutorial for how to make your own. Click here to see the full Roll Bar Fire Extinguisher Holder Tutorial.

Blanket

This wasn’t the most important thing I wanted to make but it is always great to have a spare blanket and to use a ton of extra fabric. It’s now my son and my dog’s favorite blanket to fight over. I love the patriotic color theme, it’s like a taste of 4th of July every day!

More Jeep Posts:

Cherry Dr. Pepper Can Bracelets

Last year I made these Coca-Cola Can bracelets. Every month it is still my most popular post. I hadn’t made any in quite awhile but a friend was disappointed that she never got one, so I had to pull my stuff out again to make some. This time I was a little bit more creative and we decided to bling them out a little bit more.

Go check out the first tutorial before you try to follow this tutorial, it will make everything easier!

Differences

Make the shape of the bracelet a little different, in the past I made them mostly square but the edges would catch on stuff and they would poke you or could rip.

You can choose to turn the edges back or forth. You will get a silver lining if they are turned out, but if they are turned under they will be less noticeable. It’s all about what you think looks best. I sometimes like the silver lining and sometimes want a cleaner edge. If you turn the edges under they shouldn’t scrape you as long as they are pressed very flat.

Instead of big holes for the ribbon, make very small holes with a pin and add jump rings. We also added metal clasps instead of ribbon for some of them. Or you can skip the holes all together if you roll the edges, and thread a small ribbon or elastic through.

Add more decoration to them by adding flowers or bows with hot glue.

Add fabric lining to give the bracelet a little more structure as well as comfort. I used t-shirt scraps because they don’t fray and just hot glued them in.

More Coca-Cola:
Coke Can Necklace
Decorating with Coca-Cola
Wallet with Charms from Coke Can
The Day I Wore a Coca-Cola T-shirt

Removable Flower Pin to Dress Up Shirts

Recently I have been making tons of stuff from t-shirts, including these dresses. I made one for my sister’s birthday but it was from a plain V-Neck so I wanted to dress it up a little. With a pin, it can be used on other shirts and taken off when they are washed.

T-Shirt Dress with Flower Pin
Materials:
3 Flowers Made with This Tutorial
Pearl Beads
Felt
Safety Pin (Or two even!)

Directions:
Use this tutorial to make your flowers. Towards the end of the tutorial, use three pearls and stitch them to the center of the flower instead of the button.

Each flower will be stitched onto the felt.

The felt will be cut out around the three flowers.

Next, a safety pin will be added to the back and stitched on.

Now you have a fun pin that will work with almost any shirt and you can take it off to wash the shirt or dress.

A Valentine's Day Gift for My Child

In my family we always did a little something to give to everyone in our family for Valentine’s Day. It would be something put at their place at the table to let them know that we cared. Sometimes they were handmade, usually they were the leftover valentines that we had from giving them out at school. My parents usually gave us a box of chocolate or some type of candy.

Last year I wanted to do something for my (then) baby, but seeing as he couldn’t have candy and had more than enough toys I decided on a book that I had been wanting to buy for him. See last year’s Valentine’s Day gift here.

I decided to do the same this year, and keep the tradition going. There will always be a need of some sort of book! We bought him a book that I know I will enjoy reading to him, and this one he will enjoy playing with. I know that because he was already playing with it in the store. This book is a fun counting book, but it didn’t make my Top Toddler Bedtime Stories.

Do you give Valentine’s Day gifts to your children? If so, what do you give them?

Check out some other fun Valentine’s Day ideas!

Mustache Valentines Made by My Sister

Beware of Dog and Owners Sign

As a gun enthusiast, I love this sign:

(Image from Applegate Signs on Etsy)

But I am more worried that people need to be aware of the dog, I wouldn’t want her to get the wrong idea about someone and attack. So I created my own sign to cover both the dog and the owners.

Materials:
Square Piece of Wood
Acrylic Paint
Pencil or Stencils
Silver Sharpie
Outdoor Mod Podge or other Sealant

Directions:
1. Paint the background color onto the wood. Let it dry completely.

2. Pencil the words onto the wood. It would be easier to use a stencil, but with my spending fast I used a pencil and tried to do everything by hand.

3. Paint the words onto the board. After they are dry, outline the letters with the silver sharpie.

4. Using the mod podge as a sealant, spread it over everything. When the front is dry, do the same for the back.

Now it can be hung on the fence. Hopefully if anyone gets attacked in our yard, this sign will help save our assets.

Ribbon Bracelet

I recently spent some time in a super cute local ribbon shop. Seriously an entire shop of ribbon. I was in heaven! I found the ribbon used for this bracelet and had to have it.

I used these two tutorials to make this bracelet; Hand-Stitched Fabric Flower (except now I used hot glue instead of stitching!) and the Lace Cuff Bracelet Tutorial.

Using those tutorials it would be easy to design something awesome for yourself or for gifts to your friends. Have fun!

Wallet Decoration- Button Mickey

I have a wallet that my sister gave me recently, and I love it. I don’t love the company that put the name on the wallet, so I finally figured I should just cover it up instead of buy a new one and I love my wallet completely now.

Materials:
Wallet
Buttons
Ribbon (optional)
Hot Glue

Before:

 After:

 After After:

This was quick and easy, I saw a pin made from buttons at Disneyland, so this is just my version. Green for money 🙂 The bow is optional, you never know it might be good for a Disney lover guy!

Other Disney Projects:
Heartbeat of Disney T-Shirt
3 Ways to Use Disney Souvenirs