Ice cube painting

I thought we’d do a fun summer activity since it’s so incredibly hot.  I’ve seen ice cube painting ideas around and decided to try it.  Lula had a lot of fun with it…but be sure to read the warning at the end of this post!
We mixed food coloring and water first…

Then poured it into an ice cube tray.  Don’t spill like I did.
After the ice cubes are about 1/2 frozen, stick something in them so that your child can hold them.  I used cut up straws.
Then, we they are fully frozen, pop them out
And go outside to paint!
So fun! But now here is the warning…
I’m not sure what I did wrong, or if I missed something…but food coloring stains your hands!  Lula’s hands afterwards were neon pink.  We had to scrub them with baking soda and lemon juice for a long time to get all the food coloring off.  She thought that was really fun, so it ended up being an enjoyable activity for her from start to messy finish! 
Has anyone else done this activity? It’s super cute, but next time I definitely will not use food coloring.  Maybe you could water down some tempera paint instead!

Bathroom Progress

I promised a bathroom update and here it is!  After finishing the walls (4 coats of paint later), I took those old mirrors to give them a fresh coat of paint.  I had painted them off white, but obviously that clashed with the now bright white walls. 

I had some leftover gray paint samples and put them to good use!

Here are the mirrors and old light fixture before:
And here are the newly painted mirrors in a soft gray:
The contrast of the mirror color and wall color is very subtle, but I like it.  It’s fresh and clean and it makes the bathroom a bit more modern.
I also found an inexpensive light fixture at Lowe’s…
This was my first time taking out and installing a light fixture by myself and I didn’t get electrocuted! Success!
The nickel light fixture was one of the cheapest at Lowe’s and it was actually one of my favorites despite the price.  I think it was around $18.  Score!

Health{ier} Graham Crackers

Jane has been loving graham crackers lately now that she has 2 teeth.  We ran out the other day, so I decided to try to make some of my own.  I found a few recipes and adapted them to come up with this one.  I’m not sure if I would call them healthy…but they are definitely healthier than store bought ones since they have whole wheat flour and are lacking high fructose corn syrup.
I adapted my recipe mainly from this one.
Homemade Graham Crackers
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbs honey
1/4 cup + 1-2 Tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick melted butter
Combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients separately.  Add wet to dry and stir until a dough forms. 

Roll out between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares and bake at 350 for 18 minutes.  Turn the oven off and let them sit in the oven for 30 minutes to become crisp. 
I thought they were really good, but they definitely taste different than the store bought ones.  They aren’t quite as sweet and have a slightly different texture.  
Jane loved them and they were easy for her to gum and dissolve.  Lula wasn’t crazy about them since they are different than the other graham crackers she’s had. 
But, I think I will keep making them! Cheaper and healthier makes it worth it to me!

Bathroom Evolution

I’ve broken out the white paint once again.  There seems to be a never ending amount of trim to be painted in our house.  We’ve been here for 2 years and have slowly conquered the trim room by room.  The bathroom is one of those rooms that just overwhelms me because of the doors and cabinets.  But, there is aqua tile everywhere and for 2 years, I haven’t been able to figure out what to do with it.  I’ve finally decided just to dive in and start painting.
Here is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in:
Lovely wallpaper, dark wood, blue tile, old curtain.  
I wanted a quick fix when we moved in and I conveniently had a shower curtain from our old house that was brown and blue, so we ripped the wallpaper off and painted the room brown and stuck up the shower curtain.  This is what it has been for the past 2 years:
Oh yeah, I also painted the mirrors off white.  
Honestly, I have always hated how dark it is and that trim has been on my to do list for forever.  It’s just such a PAIN! 
I also hate the brown walls. They are just too dark since the room doesn’t get enough light.
So, for months I’ve been pondering what wall color will go with the blue tile.  I have tried painting a swatch of gray, but didn’t like that.  I considered going with a lighter shade of blue, but that seemed to risky.  
I finally was so fed up with the darkness, that I just painted everything in the room white.  
It’s still in progress and is a mess, but here it is so far…
I really love it so far.  The room seems so much bigger and brighter.  I don’t know what I’ll do about a shower curtain, but since we don’t use the shower, just the tub for giving the girls baths…we can do without one for awhile until I decide.
I will be sure to post progress pictures.  It’s already looking better than the above picture, so I’m excited!

Freebie Friday

I thought it would be fun to occasionally post what I scored for free during the week!

This week, I got 2 sharpies, 2 highlighters, and 20 pens for free at Target! 
Here’s how I did it:
1 pkg of sharpies – $1
1 pkg of highlighters – $0.50
2 Papermate Pens Packages (10 pk) @ $1 each
*note: these deals may no longer be available*

Closet Curtains: Take Two

Remember my curtain failure?

I tried to dye these curtains to match our gray bedroom walls:
After that failed, I decided to convert the closet into a sewing nook.
I decided to try again on the curtains.
I went with my easy curtains made from cheap flat sheets.

 I still wanted them to be gray and since I knew the sheets were 100% cotton, I knew the dye would work this time.
I went with 2 boxes of RIT dye in pearl gray for 2 flat sheets.
The results….came out great!
The gray came out a little lighter than I was expecting, but I think it really blends well with the wall color.
The idea was for the curtains to be inconspicuous.
I made some little curtain tie backs for when I’m using the sewing nook
I went with an Anna Maria Horner fabric with some yellows and oranges.
Here is how it looks tied back:
I love it! I still need to work on some organization things for the sewing nook, but so far it has worked great and my life has less clutter now that I don’t have to drag the sewing machine out to the dining room table every time I do a project.
Here is the cost breakdown:
2 flat twin sheets from Walmart @ $5 each:   $10
2 boxes of Rit dye @ $2.50 each:  $5
Curtain tie back fabric from stash: free

Total: $15
Not bad for 2 long curtains with coordinating tie backs!
Check out my curtain tutorial here and the tie back tutorial here.

More Blog Lovin’

I’m showcasing a few more non-crafty blogs today for everyone.  I’ve been making it a goal to become more organized and here are some more ladies that have really helped me out with some great ideas in addition to the blogs I highlighted a few weeks ago.
Simple Mom is a blog I just recently discovered.  There is a wealth of information about time management and organization.  There are also sister blogs that you can access at the top of the page.  So far, I have found many useful ideas to apply to my own goals and routines.  
Jessica, the author of Life as Mom is an expert freezer cooker! There are so many posts, ideas and recipes about freezer cooking. It’s very motivating.  She also blogs about creative things to do with your kids & ideas on homeschooling if that is something you are interested in.  Jessica has many organizational ideas as well, which I definitely need in my life!!

Guest Posting

I’m guest posting over at Adventures in Dressmaking today!
Check out the post here!
Suzannah has an amazing talent and a super cute blog, go check it out!! 
If anyone else would like to guest post on Homemade Ginger or wants me to guest post on your blog, please contact me!

Party #3

On Saturday, we celebrated Lula’s 3rd birthday by having a little bash with family!
Here she is in her birthday crown made by her aunt Kodie!
Even though the party was in the evening, it was still extremely hot and humid outside.  But, I think everyone still had fun.
We had a Strawberry shortcake theme per Lula’s request.
My parents were gracious to let us have the party in their giant yard.  It was perfect for lots of kiddos!
I made some strawberry cupcakes…
And vanilla with green buttercream frosting. Yum.
We used Lula’s vintage strawberry shortcake sheet for the table cloth
…threw some balloons in the trees…
…along with some ruffled streamers that took about 5 minutes to whip up…
She loved it!
And thanks Lolly for making Lula and Jane’s adorable matching dresses
We love that pipsqueak fabric!
We decided to do a simple craft for all the kids.
They had fun decorating sunglasses
It was a good activity for the wide variety of ages that were there
And of course we had to have a game.  Reid planned this part.
He decided to have a “strawberry toss”
So, those are supposed to be strawberries (and a few lemons)
The kids had to toss them back and forth without breaking them.  
Lula and her cousin Vivi didn’t have much success, but it was cute!
But then with the extra water balloons….
were thrown at uncle Reid!
get ready…
We had so much fun celebrating Lula’s day with our family!  (about 6 cousins were unable to make it…we missed you!)

Party Planning

It’s hard to believe that Lula’s birthday is quickly approaching.  I love planning a party and have been coming up with ideas for Lula’s 3rd birthday bash.  Here is a peek into her past parties:
First Birthday:
We hung lanterns and “happy first birthday lula” circles
I made 3 different flavors of cupcakes
And we put up a little picture tree with mommy and daddy’s first birthday pictures along with Lula’s!
2nd Birthday:
Last year was a little more low key because we had her party at a park.  She was obsessed with dogs at the time, so we decided that a little doggie theme would be cute:
I made this little doggie cake:
And we had a dog pinata which turned out to be not such a good idea for a 2 yr old:
She has grown sooo much since this picture! (And so has Jane as she was about 3 weeks away from being born in this picture!)
Lula has been talking about a Strawberry Shortcake party for months, so that is what we are doing. It will be low key, but I still love making things…so I’m thinking up some cute ideas and need to get started!