Monday, January 28, 2013

Care Package #3: Super Bowl

I'm not going  to lie, I totally stole the idea for this box from a friend from work who has a man in the Navy.  And although the Broncos didn't make it to the Super Bowl (moment of silence...) I wanted Daniel to be able to have fun on Super Bowl Sunday with his buddies.

I started out decorating the box with scrap booking paper from Hobby Lobby.  I used the yard line paper on the bottom and clouds going up the side.  I cut yellow paper into the shape of goal posts and only attached them to the inside so that they would pop out of the box when he opened it.  Then I taped football paper on the opposite sides and stuck football stickers all over.  In Broncos colors I wrote "Super Bowl Sunday" and "you are my MVP" using construction paper and the Cricut machine.  I love how it turned out!

 Then I threw some football-ish food inside including...
Tootsie pops
BBQ sunflower seeds
Gatorade mix
Propel mix
Kettle corn pop corn
Roasted peanuts
Slim Jims
Small blow up football
Salsa & Chips (chips not pictured)
Football shaped candies (also not pictured)
Letters I wrote 
This box ended up only costing around $25 including the shipping and he loved it! 
Next box- Valentine's Day

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Make Up Stand

Today was a pretty productive day.  I decorated a care package, made some hummus and sugar cookie dough, and made this make up stand.  I saw this idea on Pinterest (of course) and wanted to make one of my own!
I purchased my supplies (except the glue) at Dollar Tree including

Two glass plates (one larger than the other)
A glass candle stick holder
A glass jar
E600 glue  
All together this project only cost $4

 I stacked the plates and holders on top of each other, trying to make them as centered as possible, and glued them together with the E600 glue.  Once I was done I poured epsom salt in the bottom of the jar so that the make up brushes could stand up.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  Maybe I'll make one for my jewelry too!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Care Package #2: Happy Birthday!!

Unfortunately Daniel and I aren't able to spend his birthday together this year. But I still wanted to make his day as special as possible, even if I am 3,000 miles away.

I started out with a US Postal Service large flat rate priority box.  These boxes cost around $15 to ship and you can make them as heavy as you want.  I always decorate my boxes with supplies from Dollar Tree or with things I can find around the house.  I started out decorating the inside and flaps of the box with wrapping paper.  I used a Cricut machine to cut out "Happy Birthday", "Missing You", and "Twenty-three" with construction paper.  The goal of my decorations is to make them as cute and cheap as possible.

I also attached a picture of us from his 21st birthday. I added the party hats :]

I wanted Daniel to be able to have birthday cake on his birthday so I decided to make him "cake in a jar".  After looking at dozens of recipes I decided to make these Paula Deen red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (find the recipe here).  After baking the cupcakes I cut the tops off and layered the cakes with the frosting in mason jars.  I used two jars; one I filled to the top with cake and the other I filled half way and squished 23 candles on top.  I used scrap fabric to cover the lids and tied a ribbon around the top.  I love the way they turned out!
Along with the cake, here is what I put in his birthday care package...

 single serve tuna packets
microwaveable soup
pretzels (to dip in the nutella)
pretzel M&Ms
single shots of Jack Daniel's and Captain Morgan (it is his birthday after all)
red velvet cake in a jar
presents from me
cards from his family
random letters I write to him

After I squished everything into the box and stuffed it to the top with tissue paper (to prevent things from rolling around while being shipped) I popped a pack of party poppers to make the box SCREAM happy birthday (if it didn't already).  I hope he has a great birthday and enjoys the package!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Warning: Although I enjoy cooking, I am still learning and make a lot of mistakes.  So don't judge my cooking skills. Thank you.

I am obsessed with Pioneer Woman.  I record her episodes on Food Network, bought her cookbook, and am willing to try any recipe of her's.  I'm trying to cook my way through her cookbook and found tonight to be a perfect opportunity to try one of her simpler dishes (since I was only cooking for myself and see no point in making something elaborate and time consuming when I am the only one that will enjoy it).  So tonight's dinner was
Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
Here's how I made it...
I started out by making a mess of the kitchen and getting all of the ingredients out.  To make this pasta you'll need
6 oz fettuccine pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
half of an onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 oz can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper
a dash of sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
chopped basil for garnish

This is Pioneer Woman's recipe cut in half.  Her recipes usually make enough food to feed an army so I traditionally half them.  I did a few other alterations to her recipe including:

2 tbsp of butter instead of 1.
 (Partially because I love butter, but actually because that was how much butter was left in the fridge and I didn't feel like cutting it.  Lazy, I know.) 
1/2 cup of cheese instead of 1/4 cup
And if I could go back I would use 1/4 of an onion instead of 1/2.  Although I am a self proclaimed onion lover, this recipe had way too much onion in it. Even for me!

To start, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package (or do what I do and taste-test the pasta every couple minutes). 
Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet and add the garlic and onions.  Saute until the onions are translucent. And when you think it is finished, cook it a little longer (my onions turned out a little crunchy and it would have tasted much better if they were soft).
Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. 
Once everything is stirred around add the heavy cream.
I love the way it looks when you first add the cream.
 Stir until the sauce becomes a beautiful orange color.
Now you get to add your pasta and stir until it becomes a delicious gooey mess. 
If you want to be fancy and have fresh basil on hand, add it now.  I just sprinkled on some extra Parmesan cheese and devoured it with a side of steamed broccoli (to make me feel better about the amount of carbs I was about to consume).
Delicious. Easy. Fast.  What's not to love!

Find Pioneer Woman's original recipe here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Care Package #1: Christmas

I wanted to have a space where I could post pictures and ideas from the care packages I make for my boyfriend Daniel, who is a Second Lieutenant currently training in Virginia. Because he is going to be in Virginia for 5 months and then South Korea for a year, I'll have plenty of package ideas to share.  He has already received this first package but I figured I would post it anyways.

I decorated the sides with Christmas wrapping paper and included a picture of us from last Christmas and scrap-booking stickers that spell out "Merry Christmas" and "I love you".  From what I can remember I included:

microwave mac and cheese (I'm always looking for things he can microwave)
a stocking filled with snack size candy
homemade pretzel candies (find the recipe here)
Christmas underwear (because everyone needs Christmas underwear!)
a couple cheap DVDs
 popcorn and M&Ms (his favorite movie snack)
lemonade flavored drink mix
Colgate wisp toothbrushes

I also included an envelope filled with letters that I periodically write to him. 
I think I am going to have too much fun with these care packages!