Posted in Crafts

Cardboard Box Tiki Totems

I’m a firm believer that you can make anything out of a cardboard box! These will go great with our pool noodle tiki totems and a great addition to any Luau! So simple and cheap….

Cardboard Box tiki Totems

Depending on how tall you want them will determine how many and what size boxes you need.

DIY Cardboard Box Tiki Totems

If you google Tiki Totem Faces you will find many examples and templates to use to create your own faces.

DIY Cardboard Box Tiki Totems
DIY Cardboard Box Tiki Totems
DIY Cardboard Box Tiki Totems
Posted in Crafts

Simple Pool Noodle Tiki Totems

These are perfect for a budget Luau themed event! Made these with pool noodles that you can get from the dollar store. Each pool noodle made about 6-8 depending on what size you want.

What you need:

  • Pool Noodle(s)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Tissue Paper

Directions:

Step 1: Cut your Pool Noodle into 4″ – 6″ Segments

Step 2: Paint each totem with the base color brown.

Step 3: Paint faces on each totem. Does not have to be complicated. Below are some templates, if needed.

Posted in Meat, Recipes

Instant Pot Pasta Sauce with Meatballs

Instant Pot Pasta Sauce with Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Red, Yellow or Green Bell Pepper
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Red Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Dry Basil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 26 – 28 Oz. Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 12 Medium Meatballs

Directions:

  • Press SAUTE on a 6-Quart Instant Pot and allow to preheat on high. Once heated place Olive Oil in pot, add your ONIONS and PEPPER, SALT, BASIL, BAY LEAF, PEPPER and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add TOMATO PASTE AND GARLIC and Sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Deglaze your pot with the WINE and BALSAMIC VINEGAR. Add CRUSHED TOMATOES, TOMATO SAUCE and MEATBALLS.
  • Lock the lid in place and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Stir in fresh chopped basil and serve.

Posted in Circus Party, Party Ideas

Circus Centerpieces

Who doesn’t love the Circus? Sarasota is where it all started and it’s part of our city with The Ringling, Sailor Circus and The Big Top at UTC! So, why not have a circus themed event?

These were so cost effective! Made using materials from the Dollar Store….love that place! Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:

Plastic Bowl

Plastic Champagne Cup

Red Paper

4″ Styrofoam Disc

Beaded necklaces

Raffle Tickets

Jungle Animal Toys

Gold Spray paint/Glue/Glitter

Step 1:

Spray paint all the Animals, Bowls and Champagne Flutes with the Gold Spray Paint.

Step 2:

Take the Bowls and Paint the divots using acrylic paint in whatever glitter color you will be using.

Doesn’t have to be perfect, it will be covered in glitter soon….

Step 3:

Add your glue and glitter to the bowls.

Step 4:

Cut a circle out of the cardstock paper and glue to the top of the Styrofoam disc. Wrap the Tickets around the edge of the disc.

Step 5:

Attached the Champagne Flute to the Plastic Bowl using Craft Glue. Then attach the Styrofoam Disc to the Champagne Flute.

Step 6:

Embellish with the Beaded Necklaces. Optional: Add a little bow to the Animal to make it more festive.

Posted in Crafts

Chia Chicks

This was such a fun summertime boredom buster I did with my kiddos, way back in the day.

I don’t know about you, but I use the summer to clean out my kid’s closets/drawers… I was so annoyed at all the single socks without a matching pair I decided to use them for a craft.

It was really neat to see the plants grow throughout the summer and gave my girls something to look forward to everyday.

I just wish I had taken photos of the full head of hair…oh well, I must have gotten distracted Ha!

Directions

Take about 1/4-1/2 Cup Chia seeds and mix with equal parts dirt. (The amount you use will be determined by the size of the sock

Place this mixture into the sock first. This will ensure a relatively even distribution of the chia seeds on the “sock head”. Fill remaining sock with dirt, leaving abound 3 inches to tie off using a rubber band.

Decorate the pots anyway you want. You can use any crafting scraps, get creative on their bodies. Glue eyes and any headpieces you want onto the sock.

After your glue has dried, soak the socks with the dirt and seeds. Place them onto the pots and place in a well lite window or outside. Water as needed and in about 1-2 weeks you should see some significant sprouting.

Posted in Recipes

Simple Cesar Dressing

Making your own dressing is so simple! I love doing it because I can then add or omit ingredients that I either cannot eat or I just don’t like. This simple Caesar dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Ingredients

3 anchovy Fillets, chopped

1 Tbsp chopped Capers

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 Egg Yolk

1 tsp Minced Garlic, fresh

3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Salt & Pepper

Directions

In food processor blend anchovies, capers, mustard, egg yolk and garlic. Add Vegetable oil blend more. Add vinegar and lemon juice blend some more. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.

Posted in Halloween, Holidays

Easy Owl Costume

I made this costume for my now 14 year old back in 2014. Can I just tell you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED making my kid’s Halloween costume. Nowadays, they prefer to either scrape something together themselves or….dare I say it?….buy one, ugh! Needless to say, this was one of my favs.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Felt (for Feathers, Feet and Eyes)

Brown Fabric, approx. 1.5 yards

Batting/Stuffing for the feet

Sewing Machine

First I CUT my brown fabric to make the wings, gloves and super simple dress. In hindsight a brown pillowcase, with armholes cut out, would have done the trick.

Cut 2 of each shape

Next CUT the felt pieces into enough feathers to cover the dress and wing fabric pieces. Starting from the bottom, SEW* the feathers on, one row at a time, layering each row over the previous row until your entire piece of fabric is covered.

*NOTE: You can also use fabric or hot glue

If you used glue you can skip this next step. I cut two extra wings to cover the stick lines and create a lining on the inside of the wings.

Again, in hindsight, I could have used a brown glove for this next step…lesson learned. MAKE the brown gloves using the brown fabric, then ATTACH them to the wing ends using a brown piece of ribbon.

Finally, Attach the wings to the dress by either hand stitching or running it through your machine. Cover any stitching with leftover feathers.

FEET: You can create the feet like I did using felt and stuffing them to create a 3D effect, I just attached them to my daughter’s shoe using a safety pin. Alternatively, you can just do 1 piece of felt and attach that to the shoes too, much easier.

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Posted in Fish Recipes, Recipes

Pistachio Crusted Tripletail

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Because I live in Florida, fish is a big part of my weekly meal plans. Tripletail is a lovely white fish that does not require a lot of seasoning. I served this with Black bean and corn salsa and coconut cilantro rice.


Ingredients:

  • 2 Tripletail Filets
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/3 C Pistachios, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Zest and juice the Lemon and the Lime and add into a small mixing bowl. Add Garlic and melted butter to bowl and stir. Place fish on a greased sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Pour butter mixture over the fish and top with chopped pistachios. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Serve with black bean corn salsa and coconut cilantro rice.

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Posted in Recipes, Soups

Gazpacho

It’s sooooo hot right now in Florida!!! This is such a refreshing soup that tastes better when made the day before, who doesn’t like that?

Farm Fresh Ingredients are the best!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Tomato Juice
  • 1 C cucumber, peeled, seeded and choppped
  • 1/2 C chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 C chopped Vidalia (sweet) onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 C grapeseed oil
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Diced Jalapeño
  • Sour Cream (Optional)

Directions

Fill a pot halfway with water, set over high head and bring to a boil. Make an X with a knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes place the seeds and pulp into a mesh strainer, set over a bowl to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough of the bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.

Place garlic, oil, onion into food processor or blender and pulse to make pulp. Place tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic/onion pulp, cucumber, bell pepper, lime juice, balsamic glaze, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to blender and puree for 15 sections on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with diced jalapeño, cilantro and sour cream.