I saw it on Pinterest – DIY Oven Cleaning

Well it has been awhile since I have checked in here, I am not going to lie I have had other things going on that kept me from blogging.  One of the things that kept me away was feeling like I was only blogging about the same things, Project Life and my Etsy Shop.  So I decided to take it back to one of the original reasons I started this blog… Pinterest.  If you are like me (who is pretty addicted to the site) you will see all sorts of cleaning pins.  Pins to clean your baseboards, your washer (will be getting to that one) your microwave, etc.  you name it, there is a cleaning pin for it.

I found this pin the other day and being 30 weeks pregnant the nesting/hyper cleaning mode has kicked in.  Since I am pregnant (and even when I am not) I don’t want to be using tons of chemicals.  I whole heartedly believe in the power of vinegar, so this baking soda based concoction made sense.

I do have a disclaimer, I have not cleaned my ovens in probably close to 5 years (YIKES, I know) but I really never had a reason, my oven stayed pretty clean until this past Thanksgiving.  Boy did they take a hit this year as you can see!

The top oven before…

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The solution (I doubled mine since I knew I had two ovens to do) courtesy CleanMama.net

1/2 cup Water

1/4 to 1/2 cup Baking Soda – enough to make it a paste

1 tablespoon castille soup – I just used Dawn dish soap, hence the blue-ish tint

Mix your paste, I added baking soda as needed to make it less watery

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Stick your sponge in the paste and coat your oven and let it sit for 15-30 min.  I waited about 30-45 minutes mostly because I got busy cleaning other things but it still worked.

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I then took a cleaning bucket filled it with HOT water and rinsed down the ovens.  This took a long time because I had to continually change out the water, since it would get too soapy.

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Here are the two after photos (above and below), as you can see I have a bit more rinsing to do.  I was really happy with the result considering I did absolutely NO SCRUBBING.  I will definitely do this again with a scrubbing brush because the mixture worked so well and for an hour or two worth of cleaning my ovens look MUCH MUCH better.

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Conclusion -

Check out Cleanmama.net Oven cleaning tutorial and be pleasantly surprised with the results and little to no effort at all!  Looking for other cleaning tips and tricks?  Check out my Pinterest Board Indulging my OCD - Enjoy.

Tennis Themed 60th Birthday

Over the holiday break I was super busy helping family out with two major occasions.  The first one being my father-in-law’s 60th birthday.  He is a tennis nut and after much research my mother-in-law and I concluded there isn’t much out there for tennis decorations.  We put our brains together (which can sometimes lead to trouble in a good way of course) and came up with some great ways to incorporate his favorite past time.

One thing my mother-in-law knew she wanted to include was fun facts from 1953 the year he was born.  She scoured the internet coming up with the most fun and timely facts and then I designed these table tents to include them.

Tennis Theme Tent Cards 6x6 with watermarkTennis Theme Tent Card inside 6x6 green with watermark

You will see that I placed the question on the front and then on the inside I just included a brief part of the question and answer.  I used a great free font download that was what I thought super sporty.  Its called Branboll and you can find the download here

Next up was centerpieces for the tables.  Like I said there isn’t much out there for decorations to purchase so we made our own.  My MIL found these vases at Garden Ridge Pottery.  I then filled them with my FIL leftover tennis balls (he didn’t even notice they were missing)  I then used my new Silhouette to cut everything out.  One-by-one I glued each layer to the next using some fine nose crafting tweezers and a Zig Two way glue pen.

Tennis Ball Theme Birthday Centerpiece Tennis Theme Centerpiece Tennis Racket

I used crinkle paper to fill the vase on the right and stuck the dowel in.  For the centerpieces on the left I had a hard time getting the dowels to stand straight up so we sliced a line in the tennis ball with an exacto knife and then put the dowel inside and it was the perfect fix!

Another great addition to the tables was the tennis themed menu card.  This was all my MIL and she printed them out at home super simple project that adds to the theme and helped the guests.

Tennis Theme Party Menu

What birthday party would be complete without a banner.  So I took to the Silhouette again and used another sporty free font download Graduate (if I can find the link I will update)

Tennis Happy Birthday Banner

To celebrate my FIL’s 60 years we created a photo collage for him.  You may have seen this idea on Pinterest – as a photo enthusiast I love it and think it turned out great.  I just took two pieces of foam core and drew free hand the 6 on one sheet and 0 on the other.  I then used my exacto knife again to cut them out.  Make sure you have a fresh blade and either a thick piece of card board or cutting mat underneath.  I then touched up the numbers with cuts based on what appealed to my eye.

60 birthday photo collage

I printed way more photos than I needed to because I wasn’t sure what would end up working.  My suggestion is just make sure you have a good balance of horizontal and vertical especially with a number like 6.  The two orientations of photos really help give you variety to pull from.

For those that read my blog regularly you know my MIL and SIL have their own cake baking/decorating business.  They whipped up this cute feature cake with my FIL on top.

Tennis Theme 60th Birthday Cake

Last but not least both my MIL and I loved this idea for favors which again if you are on Pinterest at all I am sure you have seen.  But we had fun customizing this just for my FIL.

Getting Old Sucks Lollipop bin

Each lollipop had a tennis ball tag that says “Getting Old Sucks” and on the flip side “Happy 60th Birthday David”  you can find those favor tags in my Etsy shop along with some other cute tennis themed things!

The party was a great success and we wish my FIL aka Papa a very Happy 60th Birthday year!

Happy Birthday David Family Photo

Project Life – Clementine Core Kit – Final layouts for Isabel’s Baby Book

Welcome Back! After a nice long blogging break to take time to spend with family and friends I am back today to share with you the last few layouts of Isabel’s baby book.  This was my main Project Life project for 2013 and I put my weekly album on the back burner (which I am still catching up on and will share in video form later this month)  Overall, I have a few pictures to fill in here and there and have to catch up on lots of journaling, but I am not so concerned about that right now.  The key thing is the general album is complete.

Project Life Clementine Baby Book First Birthday Left Layout with Insert Project Life Clementine Baby Book First Birthday Right Layout with Insert

In addition to doing a layout of the year in review (see below) I also do a spread for each birthday.  Above are shots from her first birthday.  I make sure to include photos of her friends that came (which I may type up a list later to include as an insert) photos of the decorations/cake, opening some presents and anything else relevant to the day.  I have yet to find a place that I like when printing instagrams.  I know this is mostly because I don’t want to take the time to edit/layout in photoshop ahead of time.  Call me lazy but something has to give in my schedule and that is one of those things… I want Project Life to remain simple and easy for me.  Anyways, I digress, back to the instagrams… Becky Higgins (creator of PL) actually came up with an insert meant for instagrams Design I.  I use Design I to crop my 4×6 photos to include.  Its a great way to include a few extra photos without having to do an odd shaped insert or struggle to fill up an insert that has more spaces.

Project Life Clementine Baby Book Second Birthday Left layout with Insert Project Life Clementine Baby Book Second Birthday Right Layout with Insert Project Life Clementine Baby Book Year 1 Summary Full Layout 2 Project Life Clementine Baby Book Year 1 Summary Full Layout

I also included highlights of her artwork.  Right now they are in sheet protectors but eventually I will order the big envelope page to go in the back to store it all.  I always make sure to write the date/age of when they were completed for reference later.  Some pieces if they are more fragile or have tons of glitter I try to get those laminated so that the store more cleanly.

Project Life Clementine Baby Book Year 2 Summary Full layout Project Life Clementine Baby Book Year 3 full layout

Above in the last few images you can see how I document the year in review if you will.  The Design F works really well with being able to include as many photos as possible.  Then I leave space for one folding journal card to summarize the year.  I plan to continue this through year 5 and at that point I will most likely just do an individual album for her and her little brother.

So there you have it – Isabel’s almost complete baby book!  Pretty excited for it to be as complete as it is, I think one more solid weekend of working on it and I’ll be done until her next birthday!

Bento Box Lunches

Another week another round of lunches…pretty much sums up how I am feeling about the Bento’s lately.  I feel as thought I have gone from fun and creative to just “get them done.”  That might be due to a second baby on the way but I think after this post I am going to regroup and go back to some of the great bloggers that inspired me to start in the first place.

Even though I am a bit drained bento wise – doesn’t mean you have to be!  I will continue posting great tips and tricks from other bloggers until I get back in the swing of things!  In the meantime take a look at the latest bentos…

bento box broccoli and ranch with wild rice

bento box egg waffle yogurt

I seriously love these yogurt tubes – such a great addition to any lunch box.

bento box frozen fruit mac cheese turkey

bento box turkey applesauce tomatoes and more

Do you have any great tips and tricks for your child’s lunch?  Send them to theobsessivecrafter@gmail.com and you may be featured in my next post!

Latest Etsy Listings

What a crazy month it has been! Where did November go seriously?  Between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coming super early, my head is still spinning.  As my regular readers know, this past month I launched The Obsessive Crafter Etsy shop and have already made two sales!  There has been tons of traffic to the shop and I want to say thank you to all those out there that have continually supported and encouraged me along the way.  I want to give a special thank you to my dear friend Barbara who without her Etsy knowledge and support – the shop would not have happened! I can’t say thank you enough!

Here are some of the latest listings – take a look and share with family and friends.  Check back regularly since I am always adding some new listings.  TheObsessiveCrafter.Etsy.com

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Happy Holidays!

What will it Bee? Gender Reveal Party for Baby K

We are so excited to be expecting another baby March 2014 and to celebrate with family and friends we (meaning I and my husband willingly went along) decided to host a gender reveal party.  Many of our guests had never heard of a gender reveal party.  For those of you that are also new to the concept – it is a growing trend to announce the gender of the baby.  For the theme I chose a gender neutral “What will it BEE?” theme.

what will it bee voting station

For the fabric I used a black and white toile home dec fabric and yellow felt.  I had tons of the toile at home since this was the fabric my mom and I used for the custom tablecloths we made for my wedding five years ago.  It is a great heavy duty fabric that can be used for just about anything.

I chose the yellow felt because it came in a wide run (over 52″ wide) and it was on sale.  It got the point of the yellow across while being affordable and super washable.  Above is a shot of the “voting stations” this is where guests got to vote for what they thought we were having.

what will it bee voting instructions

what will it bee voting board preparty    mr or ms final vote

As you can see most of our guests predicted it was a boy…

what will it bee bumble bee votes

To vote each person took a bumble bee (cut on the Cricut, using the Create a Critter cartridge) then used double sided to tape to place it on the canvas.

what will it bee old wives tales

Here were some old wives tales I picked at random to answer.  Most indicated a girl even though almost all our guests thought boy.  To create this I just used a piece of black poster board and paint pens to write on the phrases.

what will it bee nuts and honeycombs what will it bee honey pot what will it bee apothecary and cheerios shot

Here are some shots of the food table.  Since we had little kiddos coming I wanted to make sure we had some munchies they could enjoy as well.  Not only did honeycombs and honey nut cheerios give them something to munch they fit into the theme perfectly.  In the apothecary jars are honey roasted peanuts and bit o’honey candy which also tied in nicely to the theme.

what will it bee mini spoons

I made vanilla pudding and put them in tiny parfait glasses, which also made the perfect holder for these super cute mini spoons from the party store.  Other food we served were chocolate/vanilla cupcakes, chocolate covered oreos, red velvet cake pops and chocolate covered pretzels.  I did not include pictures because quite honestly I was super disappointed with the outcome.  The wilton melting chocolate made such a mess of the food – I will not be using it again for any food projects.

what will it bee beverage overview

This is the view of the drink station.  Again, I used the toile fabric for both backdrop and tablecloth.  I used a cardboard box as a riser for the honeycomb beverage dispenser I purchased at Marshalls.

what will it bee favor jars

Individual honey jars were the favors.  I purchased the jars at Michaels and then recovered them with cuts of the toile fabric.  To create the favor tags I used this great freebie I found via Pinterest.  I printed them out, used a 1″ punch to cut the white and then used my cricut to cut a slightly larger black circle.  Punched a hole and used the twine provided with the jars.

what will it bee close up on favors

Here is a close up shot of the favors and below I used Starbucks frappacino glasses for drinks.  To add a special touch I used gingham ribbon and tied a bow, mixed with the yellow chevron straw and the wooden crate it gave them the vintage look I was hoping for.

what will it bee close up milk bottles

So there are details – how did we reveal?  I wrapped up the old car seat box and stuffed it with some balloons.  Then our daughter got to open the package to share with our guests.

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It’s a boy!  Our guests were right!  We are so excited and the big sister is happy to have her house back and a new box to play with

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Project Life – Clementine Baby Book featuring layouts Month 7 – 12

Happy Monday Everyone!

I was super busy this weekend getting things photographed and caught up for the blog and the Etsy shop this weekend – I have some great posts coming up!  First up is one of my favorite projects – Isabel’s Project Life Baby Book.  I am getting close to being finished (I’ll have to go back and finish some journaling, which you’ll notice below) and I am so excited to be almost entirely caught up.

Now onto the layouts – have a look below and hopefully it will inspire you and your Project Life album some way!Image

To include Isabel’s crayon art – I cut down an existing sheet protector to fit – haven’t decided if or what I am going to put on the back.Image

Here is the second insert of this month (which reminds me I have to put a tab on there!)  I haven’t found the right two photos for the bottom corner pocket.  I am using one of my favorite page protectors offered by Becky Higgins/Project Life Design G  I love it because it has the perfect combo of horizontal/vertical.Image

You will notice lots of blank spaces in the next two months, I don’t know what on earth happened but I have had the hardest time finding photos to fit into these months.  I am still searching my collection so I hope to get those filled in with both journaling and some additional pictures.ImageImageImageImage

Above you will notice some pictures peeking out – they are some fun ones I want to put into an insert but just haven’t come up with an idea/insert that I love just yet.  I tucked them there so that they wouldn’t get mixed in with the wrong month etc.ImageImageImageImageImageIf you are like me – I usually end up buying the coordinating set of cardstock to go with my core kit.  I think this makes me feel “safe” from the days of my 12×12 scrapbooking.  It’s a you never know what you might need/want type thinking but I was glad when I was able to use it to add some background to some pieces of art Isabel brought home.  Since the cardstock is double sided you don’t even need to cut out two pieces – bonus time saver!Image

Here is another insert that I forgot to tab – will have to go back and do that as well.  But the backside is just more photos from month 12.  Nothing terribly crazy or tons of embellishments (which still overwhelms me)  I am just super happy that I have this much of her early years documented.  Some of my favorite pictures – some not so great pictures but regardless memories that she can look back at years from now is why I keep going and why I love this method so much.

Stay tuned for the last installment of Isabel’s baby book on how to handle everything post first birthday!