Tuesday, June 28, 2011

4th of July Jello Dessert

Jello recently had an advertisement where you could get a flag Jello mold for only $3 and they would send it to you before Memorial Day. My step-dad's birthday is also right around memorial day as is our anniversary. We had Lou's birthday celebration on Memorial Day Monday and I made the Jello flag mold dessert. The recipe was found on the mold but if you didn't get a chance to get the mold here is the recipe. You can use this in any silicone mold or put this in a regular glass dish and use any colors of Jello you desire.

You will need:
1 qt (4 cups) boiling water, divided
2 pkg (3 oz. each) Jell-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin
2 pkg (3 oz. each) Jell-O Gelatin, any flavor red
3 cup cold water, divided
1 pkg (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

To make it:

Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to blue gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Repeat in separate bowl with red gelatin. Stir 1 1/2 cups cold water into gelatin in each bowl.

Spray 10 cup flag mold (or 9x11 silicon dish) with cooking spray; place on baking sheet. Pour red gelatin into mold. Refrigerate 45 min. until set but not firm. Meanwhile, refrigerate blue gelatin 45 min. After 20 min., dissolve lemon gelatin in boiling water in separate bowl.  Refrigerate 25 min. or until slightly thickened.

Whisk cool whip into lemon gelatin; spread over red gelatin layer in mold. Refrigerate 10 min. or until set but not firm. Cover with blue gelatin. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold. Use fresh fruit and additional cool whip to decorate mold to resemble a flag.

*Here is where I went wrong. I used the canned whip cream to decorate the top and since it is all natural it melted shortly after I took my pictures. What you see is pretty now but 5 minutes later at my mom's house and it ran all over the plate I had decorated it on. I used the canned cream because I thought it would be easier and quicker to pipe the stripes. Next time I will use Cool Whip and put it in a bag and pipe it on or spread it on with a knife. Sometimes it doesn't pay to take short cuts.

This dessert is really good and was gone in a blink!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ikea Kura Hack: Our New Apple Tower

My 3 year old is obsessed with apples. She has a pair of 12 month Carter's pajamas that she still wears around the house even though they are skin tight because she must have her "apple jammies".  When we found apple fabric a Joann's a few months ago we had to get some. I had originally decided to make her a jumper with it so she might retire those jamies but alas I ran out of time and just hadn't done it.

In the search for a new couch she was sitting on my lap while I browsed Ikea's website and saw a Kura loft bed. She was instantly in love with the bed but alas I wasn't in love with the $199 price tag. I searched on Craigslist and found one that was an hour away from our house and only $50.  The kicker? We had to take it apart.  After an hour and a half taking it apart we went home. It took me all evening to completely put it back together but it is now the perfect apple tower!

What  I ended up doing was covering all the blue/white panels with fabric.

1. Before sliding panels lay the panel on top of fabric and cut fabric leaving 1/2 to an inch of fabric overhand.

2. Put double sided tape (any kind) on the side of the panel you do not wish covered. We put the tape on the white side so the blue panel was completely covered.

3. After the entire panel is covered, slide into place and continue assembling the bed as directed.

I had a little help from the princess who wanted to "measure" to make sure it all fit.

Note: I stopped each time a panel was to be slid into place to wrap the panel in fabric and then continue. We still have some fabric left so we aren't sure if a small curtain for the bottom is to be made or if we'll just make her an extra pillow for on top of the bed.

This can easily be undone if you take the bed apart and switch out with different fabric.

For now, the apple princess can use her apple tower any way she pleases. It took us a day to teach her how to go up and down the ladder and now she's a pro.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cover Up That Gas! Building a Propane Tank Hide Away Cover

 Our homeowner's association has some very strict rules for things including but not limited to:
1. only a 4 foot fence can surround your house.
2. NO sheds of any kind
3. Any major structural changes must be approved by the architectural committee
4. All mailboxes must be the same
5. Any propane tanks must covered from street view
6. NO above ground pools
7. NO large playsets

The list goes on and on and only a few things are actually enforced at all. The mailbox thing I don't think anyone has EVER followed but when we got a propane tank 2 days before Christmas I knew it would eventually get covered. Why? Because I'm such a stickler for the rules? NOPE! Because the darn thing is hideous!
As you can tell we've been so very diligent in weeding around it. Mostly because I was scared to death that if the weed eater hit it our house would explode. I'm a little dramatic at times.

We purchased:

1 6x8 foot piece of fencing from Lowes $24.98
1 4-pack of L brackets from Walmart $1.98

We used my father-in-law's truck and saw to bring the large piece home and then saw it into 2 pieces. The pieces were 5 feet and 3 feet. We wanted to make sure it was long enough to cover the tank but didn't stick out so far into the yard.

 Next, the metal L brackets were installed along the long support pieces of wood (3).

Then, the two pieces were held together by my husband and I while my father-in-law secured the L brackets together and reinforced with 2 inch drywall screws (I had them in my garage so they were essentially free for this project)

We then lifted the entire thing up to the propane tank and used old patio pavers to ensure it was level since our yard slightly slopes.
It has not been been attached to the house yet since I want to paint/ stain it first. But here is the finished building project. The weeds have since been pulled out.  The backyard hose is directly next to the propane tank (on the left) so we need to cut a small hole in the cover to hook up the hose. 

The hose on the left in the plastic housing will be moved up against the propane cover once the hole is drilled but for now our propane tank is covered and it gives me a blank canvas for our backyard for only $30!


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