Archive for February 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

chocolate adventure


We love parties and we love chocolate so we decided to combine the two and throw a chocolate party. This was a perfect excuse to make some chocolate recipes we've been bookmarking. We gathered some dear friends and asked them to bring their favorite chocolate dish/dessert and planned a major chocolate feast. It was a fun and filling way to get creative on a Saturday afternoon.


To help kick off the chocolate party, we all took a tour of our local Theo Chocolate factory. Have you heard of them? Well, if not you are in for a yummy surprise. Theo makes the most delish chocolate concoctions. With flavors like Chai Chocolate, Coconut Curry Chocolate, Bread and Butter Chocolate, etc. Theo Chocolates never ceases to amaze us--and tickle our taste buds!

We learned how they made their chocolate and got to taste test all along the way.

Here are bins and bins of cacao nibs. This is chocolate in its purest form just waiting to be roasted in the big roaster. A little too bitter for our tastes but the healthiest form of cacao. These little nibs are stuffed full of antioxidants. We like it much more after TONS of sugar is added.


Aren't we cute? We had to wear them because hair in your chocolate-yuck! Also, for all you gardeners out there in the Seattle area--Theo's sells their cacao shells for your garden. It is a nice organic way to deter slugs and snails. Just note that it is not recommended for households with dogs. It can make them sick!


After our eye opening tour we were so full, but we had to head back to our party destination to devour all the yummy chocolate treats we created. Cupcakes and doughnuts and candies, Oh My! Was it ever a feast!


I made these Life By Chocolate Cupcakes from The Pioneer Woman. They were delicious and a huge hit!

Got one, two or ten chocolate recipes you've been dying to try out? We definitely recommend throwing your own chocolate dinner party.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

button storage for button addicts

It's only February, so I can't give up on my resolution to get organized yet! So we continue with the craft closet makeover. I recently beefed up my button supply with a Papertrey Ink order. I LOVE their vintage button collections--the colors are amazing, and so are the prices! I love being able to see what I have in my stash, so I had to find something to show them all off.


I found these little jars for $1 each at Michael's. Seriously? $1? I know. I nearly cleaned out my Lynnwood store location. Don't they look pretty? You could easily dress up a jar like this for a cute and inexpensive gift for your crafty friends. I love these buttons for sewing and paper crafts. I am a button addict!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

how to make a hanger space-saver

Need a little more room in your closet? Try one of these hanger space savers. This ribbon space saver allows you to get a few more items in your closet without taking up more rack or bar space.




Ribbon Space-Saver Hanger Tutorial


*Ribbon or belting - You will need ribbon if you are making a closet space saver for baby, children, or lightweight clothing. Use strong belting/webbing if you are making this to hold heavier clothing items. I used a ribbon that was 25 inches long. My loops were pretty big, so I may use a shorter ribbon next time.
*D-Rings-we used 1 1/4"
*Sewing machine and thread



First, sew a loop in the top of your ribbon with a D-ring inside. I folded it over twice for clean edges. You will use the D-ring to hang on the first hanger.


Next, sew loops evenly down your ribbon. Make sure you stitch each loop down with a couple of lines or go back over your work. Only one sewn line will rip through. You will want to make sure it is fully reinforced.


For your final loop, make a circle and sew it down. This way you will not have any exposed ribbon edges.


This is what your hanger space saver should look like from the back.


And here's the hanger space saver from the front.


Hang the D-ring on your first hanger, then slip additional hangers through all the loops on your space saver. No more clothes on the floor--yea!

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*Shey*[B] giveaway winner

Time to announce the winner of the *Shey*[B] giveaway. The winner of a $30 gift certificate from *Shey*[B] is...


Rachael of R&R blog


Congrats! Please email us at littlebirdiesecrets@gmail.com so we can put you in touch with our sponsor. For those of you who didn't win, be sure to head over and enter our Love Stitched giveaway for another chance to win something fun!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

love stitched giveaway

Aren't you just loving all these amazing giveaways we have been having? I sure wish I could have a chance at some of these! Today we have a giveaway from Love Stitched.They have handmade rosette accessories such as headbands, necklaces, clips and more. On Love Stitched you will find vintage couture accessories adorned with pearls, pewter, jewels, and beaded embellishments. As well as adorable little girl dresses, stylish earrings, and more! I love rosettes. Especially on headbands like this...


And don't you love these cherry dangling earrings?

I could go on and on, but I am sure you want to hear about what you can win! Love Stitched is offering one of our readers a chance to win this beautiful necklace below.


I want one!! All you have to do it head over to Love Stitched and check out all their items. Find your favorite one, and leave us a comment telling us what it is. Love Stitched is also offering our readers 20% off any order as long as the giveaway is going on. You just need to enter "littlebirdiesecrets" in the comment to seller box at check out and they will refund the 20% to you via paypal within 48 hours. The giveaway and discount offer will end on Sunday, February 28th at 11:59 pm PST. Good luck!

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place mat purse tutorial - three projects in one


Our sweet friend whipped up this cute bag for her teenage daughter. It is a great compact bag and super easy to make. We were able to create one just like it without a pattern and having seen it only once. As we were sewing this project we realized that you could really turn it into three projects--a cute carrier and two different style purses.

Place Mat Purse Tutorial

You will need:

*One place mat
*Coordinating ribbon
*Purse handles
*Sewing machine


First, cut your ribbon into two 8 1/2 inch pieces.



Thread the ribbon through the purse handles and pin it to one short end of your place mat. Use a measuring tape to center your handles.


Sew them on.


Next, cut two pieces of ribbon the width of your place mat and sew it across. This will cover up the raw edges of the first two pieces of ribbon. If you stop here, you will have a cute carrier. This is similar to the big leather carriers that is used to carry firewood into your house. This by no means will be sturdy enough to carry firewood, but would make a wonderful carrier for things like garden flowers. Just take it outside open it up and lay your flower clippings in it. When you are done gathering flowers or whatever you can pull it up by the handles and you have a carrier.

If you want to make it a purse, match your handles up with your fabric right sides together, or, if you have a double sided place mat, make sure the print you want on the outside of your bag is inside. Sew both sides of the bag.


This is a cute, flat purse.

If you want a boxier bottom then before turning your purse right side out, pinch up the corners and stitch across.


Like so:


Trim the corner off and turn right side out. Now you have a cute purse with a boxy bottom.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

carrot cake pancakes

My boys love pancakes. So do I. Stacy recently gave me a subscription to Cooking Light magazine and there was a yummy recipe for Carrot Cake Pancakes in it that I knew I had to try. We used carrots from our garden (we still had some in January!) and they were delicious.


I was worried my boys would freak out over the shredded carrots in them, but lucky for me they didn't even notice! They loved them. See...I have proof.


Nothing better than one of our favorite meals, with a little extra nutrition added in. Click here for the recipe so you can try them with your family.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

a key for any occasion



A few years ago I was browsing through a craft supply catalog and saw these gorgeous, primitive skeleton keys. One of the pictures had a sweet poem about Santa and keys. I had completely forgotten about this key and the poem--I still can't remember what the poem actually said--until cleaning out the craft room today. I came across this beautiful key and decided to make a little keepsake for my children. I saved this key from a floral arrangement I received a few years ago.

This Tooth Fairy key was what I came up with. As I was putting it together, I realized that you could make a little keepsake like this for any occasion. For example, instead of my little Tooth Fairy poem, you could have one for Santa. Maybe it would go something like this:

Dear Santa,

Please don't forget about me.
It's Christmas Eve, you see.
Leave a present under my tree.
Just in case you can't get in--
I'll leave you the key!


Or how about something for Easter.

Dear Easter Bunny,

I really hope you visit me
It's Easter you see
Just in case---
I'll leave you the key!

You all get the picture! I've seen little keys in the paper craft section at Joann and I bet a lot of other craft or scrapbooking stores have them. All you need is a key, paper and some ribbon and you have yourself one cute key for any occasion!

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cap creations winner


It's time to announce the winner of the Cap Creations giveaway. The lucky winner of a $40 gift certificate to Cap Creations is...


*CPA* Su
Congrats! Please email us at littlebirdiesecrets@gmail.com so we can put you in touch with the sponsor for your prize.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

make a sweater vest

A while ago I shrank some sweaters in the wash. Well, determined to make some lemonade out of these lemons, I put them aside for a future craft project. I finally finished up this cute little sweater refashion. Now it is a cute sweater vest for my daughter.



I simply took the sleeves off of one sweater (the pink one) and cut the bottom off another (the brown one). I then took the cut cuff and turned them into the vest sleeves.




After sewing them on, I made a squirrel applique using The Long Thread's squirrel applique pattern. I should have used stabilizer when working on the squirrel, but my daughter is happy and I guess that is all that matters. I was surprised at how easy this was to put together and definitely recommend you try it if you have some sweaters around the house. You don't have to shrink the sweaters. If you find a couple that you like, but think would look cuter cut apart and re-pieced back together in a different combination--go for it!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

guest blogging over at Make and Takes


We are guest posting over at Make and Takes today. Come check us out. Here is a sneak peak of our project.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

*Shey*[B] giveaway

We would like to introduce yet another new sponsor of ours....meet *Shey*[B]! For this past Christmas I got a new Digital SLR camera and I am drooling over these amazing camera strap slipcovers from *Shey*[B]. Stacy just bought The Valentino and I am quite jealous. My camera strap is not attractive with the bright yellow Nikon stamp running down it. I think I might need to cover it up with one of these...


and there are so many more that I love too! I think I might need to have several different designs on hand, so I can switch my strap out according to my mood/style. Lucky for you readers, *Shey*[B] is generously offering one of you a $30 gift certificate! All you have to do is visit the site and find your favorite product, then come back and leave us a comment telling us what it is! Good luck. This giveaway will end Sunday, February 21st at 11:59 pm PST.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

see kai run review


I have heard so many wonderful things about See Kai Run. So many fellow moms adore their shoes and unique style. I was so excited to receive a pair of their shoes for review. I am a mom to three energetic boys, and finding comfortable, durable shoes for them is quite a task. My favorite thing about See Kai Run is that the whole company started because a mom like me wanted to create comfortable, stylish shoes for her son.

We received the Justin shoe and they are absolutely adorable. I was thrilled when I opened the box and discovered a hip, modern shoe that was so durable, yet soft and flexible. My son wanted to try them on immediately and he wouldn't take them off for the rest of the day!

The great thing about See Kai Run is they use sheepskin leather which is SO soft and also more durable than cow leather.The soles are made of extremely flexible rubber which is great for outdoor use while allowing the foot to flex in all the right places. See Kai Run has three lines of shoes. Smaller, See Kai Run, and Eleven for the bigger kids. All of them have so many wonderful shoes to choose from. I could probably own every boy shoe they make. They are so great.

See Kai Run is nearby in Woodinville, WA. We love supporting our local businesses. Right now they have a gift certificate giveaway going on at their website. They are giving away FIVE $100 gift certificates to celebrate the new Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Click here to enter the giveaway. While you're there sign up to receive their email newsletter. I have and I am always getting emailed about great deals they have going. Buy your kids some See Kai Run shoes, you won't be disappointed!

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