Friday, December 15, 2017

PilloPlush review

I received a Pillo from the kind folks at PilloPlush last month, and I am a little late getting to post my review, but I've had so much going on! Better late than never. One thing I've had going in my son had a surgery last week, and was in Primary Children's Hospital for four days.  We are home now, and the number one blanket he has asked for as he recovers, is the PilloPlush! He's spent hours with it in his recliner.

The thing that's awesome about PilloPlush, is that it's a Pillo, that opens into an amazing soft and plush blanket that has a pocket for your feet, and a pocket for each hand! It's genius! These are a few clips of my kids opening it up for the first time.

They loved it! It has been a hot commodity in our home, as each kid wants to use it. I like that it matches the other pillows my couch.

These are literally the softest blanket I have ever used.

We have loved them, and they are the perfect Christmas gift for anyone your list!

Thanks for stopping by. 

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Monday, June 26, 2017

DIY Customize Color Letterboard

I have been drooling, DROOLING over colored felt letterboards. I just haven't drooled over the price. They are expensive! I kept thinking there had to be a solution, and I've found it!

I recently found THE BEST DEAL! An 11"x16" letter board for $9.95, that comes with a set of black letters! This letterboard can be found at Walmart. I've not found it online, only in stores, and not all stores carry it, so you may want to call and check, unless you are making a trip anyway. I've found it in fabric and craft, and in stationary. The construction is okay, and the white felt looks a bit dingy, not like the Letter Folk letter boards. You can even get 2 sets of additional letters and words for $9.95.

As I mentioned, it was a little dingy, and I didn't love the color of the white. It looked more grey. I thought this would be the perfect board to turn a color!

So... an inexpensive, easy DIY solution was born! Textile medium mixed with the craft paint color of your choice, and brushed on your letter board, was the answer! You can find textile medium at any craft store, and I think most brands work just fine.

 I used Anita's on one, and Delta on the other board, and they both gave the same results.

Squirt as much paint as you need into a cup, and add the textile medium. What this does, is it thins the paint, and makes it so it doesn't dry hard. It stays soft and playable. Mix more than you need. You will need more than you think, and the felt will suck up any excess.

I found that adding a little more textile medium than paint gave me the consistency I wanted. It will be pretty thin! Kind of like pudding that's not set up.

Mix it up, and start brushing it on your letterboard. The felt will soak the color up. It feels more like a stain than a paint. I loved using the medium flat brush for this project, because it was able to get under the frame and not get paint on the frame. It went super fast! By the way... I tried to take the frame off, and couldn't bend the metal prongs back into place after, that's why I opted to just paint with the frame on. If you get paint on the frame, you can just wipe it off. You may need to add extra to the crack lines, just to make sure the color has saturated everything.

Let it dry in the sun or over night. This is very important, because the letters can leave dents in the painted felt, if you insert them before it's all the way dry.

I also made a pink one for my bedroom. I kinda want one in every room of my house!

At $9.97, there is NO EXCUSE not to buy and customize your own letterboard today!

The board says what I felt when I finished.

Now I have two more boards, one for my bedroom, and one for the powder room. Just think... you could have two more boards by the end of the day too!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Have a Happy and Creative Day. And seriously... make a painted letterboard!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Outdoor Yard Lights for under $150!

Let's talk about outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting creates the perfect ambiance. It brings a little magic into your evening. It makes you want to stay a little longer, and is the perfect touch to any yard. I might even go as far as to say it's a necessity! 

I liked my patio, but it wasn't really a place I wanted to spend any time, and I wanted a place where my kids would want to hang out with their friends all summer. The lights were just what we needed to make our patio feel like an outdoor room.

I researched so many ways to do this on Pinterest. I even talked to our contractor about building a simple frame pergola out of 4x4's. We didn't want to spend that much. This DIY project came in under $150, including 2 sets of lights.

First, you'll decide how many poles you need to support your lights. We needed 8 total, 4 on each side of the patio.


8 - 3/4" galvanized electrical tubes. We paid $4.25 for each 10 foot section at Home Depot.

8 - 5 foot pieces of rebar. We bought 4, 10 foot pieces and cut them in half. They are $1/foot at Home Depot. So, they were basically $5/piece. My husband cut them in half with his multi-tool.

8 clothes line hooks. These were also from Home Depot, and worked well because they come with a washer that tightens to hold the hook in place.

Outdoor string lights. We got ours at Costco for $29/each. We used 2 sets. I recommend getting them at Costco because they are a great price, but also because they are long, 48" compared to the 12" kind you length you find in many stores.

We measured where we wanted everything to be, and my hunky husband pounded the rebar into the ground. He pounded it in about 2.5 feet deep.

Then we simply slipped the metal poles over the rebar. 

The outdoor room was beginning to take shape.

We, and when I say we, I mean, he... My husband drilled holes int the top of each pole, and put a hook in the top. These were from Home Depot. 

We tried multiple types. The type we landed on is, clothes line hooks, sold individually, just like the one in his hand. You find them in the open screw bin area of Home Depot.

We did this on Memorial Day, and Costco was closed, so we had to wait to pick up lights. I hate waiting! We put them up after work the next day. Who needs daylight?

The lights attached to the hooks so easily, because they have a little loop on top of each one.

We ended up moving the pole next to my stairs closer to the stairs because we had more cord left on that side and it was droopy. 



I don't think anyone would notice that the pole is not perfectly lined up.

 We did run an extension cord up to the lights. I don't really see it at night.

It's pretty at night. It's pretty in the evening. I even like it in the day time!

It's my new favorite place to be. I find myself looking for excuses to hang out on the patio at night now. The lights are bright enough, that we canst out on the table and play a game without and additional lights needed.

My daughter had some friends over the next night, and they all ohhed and awed over the lights as soon as they saw them. The girls even wanted to take selfies with the lights.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

How to Host a Homeland Heritage Dinner

Every year, I have a St Patricks Dinner for my family. I usually make rainbow food, or green food. This year, the holiday took on a little more meaning to me. I was searching my family tree on, and found that I had an ancestor from Ireland! A grandmother, whose name is Mary Ann Moore. Her whole line is Irish! I always wanted a, "Kiss me, I'm Irish," shirt! Next year, I can buy one and wear it for real.


I started wondering what it was like to live in Ireland when she was there. I also wondered what brought her to the US.  I really wish I had a way to interview these grandparents in person. I have so many questions!  This is a screen shot. I love having ancestral info right on my phone! The Family Search app makes it so easy!

Since I was making a St. Patricks Day dinner for my family anyway, I decided I would turn it into an Irish dinner. I wondered what kind of food she would have eaten, and what recipes came with her from Ireland to Utah. She was seven when she sailed from Ireland to Philadelphia, PA in 1819. She sailed with her father and younger sister. What happened to her mother? Did she die giving birth to her younger sister? So many questions! I had no idea before that week, that I had Irish heritage. So, I started from zero. I researched what kind of meal to make for my family, that would be more traditional Irish. Pinterest was a fantastic resource, my only resource, really. This is my St Patrick's Board. You can have a look around. I have all the recipes from this post, as well as lots of other fun ideas.

I wanted to make Irish Soda Bread. It was SO easy. While we were eating, my husband pointed out that this grandmother likely would have made and eaten this type of bread. It's made with baking soda instead of yeast. It's almost like making biscuits. It is dense and delicious!

I made baked reuben for my family all the time. I was in the store, and saw these rye buns, and thought I would make the rueben using them instead. I just cut the whole sheet of ready made rolls in half, and added the salad dressing, corned beef, swiss cheese, and sour kraut inside, and baked it until warm. I thought it was extra pretty!

These next pics are from my insta stories. Do you follow me on Instagram? I'm @restlessrisa_risabaker

These potato pancakes were the hit of the night! They were the most time consuming, (you have to make your mashed potatoes in advance, and put in the fridge for a few hours before) but SOOO yummy and delicious! It doesn't hurt that they are fried in oil! We had left overs for a few days. Everyone loved them!

This Irish cabbage was surprisingly easy to make and good! I accidentally got a small head of cabbage. I should have gotten large because it cooked down so small. I also used turkey bacon, so it didn't have the grease of regular bacon, but it was still really good, and everyone had seconds!

Setting the table is a favorite part for me! I made a place card for each person. This is one of my favorite things to do! I love to make my family members feel like they are part of the group! I got the tiny easels from Michael's dollar bins. I plan to use them over and over! They were the perfect place to put a place card! They are chalkboard, and I could have easily handwritten each person's name, but I want to do something a little more fancy! You can learn to make your own with this tutorial.

I collect colored glass, and have so many colors. I was happy to use the green for this. I own the gold chargers, but the center plate is a paper, salad sized plate. The polkadot motif reminds me of gold coins. I love using paper plates for accents whenever I have a fun dinner. Plus paper plates equal less dishes to clean and store!

I set my table in rainbow colors with gold accents. I got pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby to use for a table cloth. It's been on my table as a table cloth ever since St. Patricks Day! I love it!

I made lucky charm treats earlier that day. Not traditional Irish, but a tradition for our family to eat, Lucky Charms, on St. Patricks Day!

Before dinner, I googled, "Life in Ireland in the early 1800's." It pulled up a bunch of information about the political climate, and general life, even some photos of what homes may have looked like. I talked to my kids a little bit about that, and showed them pics from the internet. This is an example of what an Irish home may have looked like around 1800.

 While we were eating dinner, I read my kids the little bit of info I had about this Grandma, Mary Ann Moore. I love having this info right at my finger tips (on my cell phone), and am so thankful for the person that entered it into Family Search!

This cute  grandma was very frugal, and used to sew gold coins into the hems of her skirts and hide them in her mattress. Well, I just happened to have chocolate gold coins on hand! I always give these to my kids on St. Patricks Day! 

We played, "Button button, whose got the button?" with the coins. It was a fun and easy way to incorporate a game, with the item from the story. You could also do something like play hot and cold, with an item that relates to your family history story. It doesn't have to be complicated. 

We had Irish music playing in the background. I just searched it on Apple Music. It added to a great atmosphere. 

Bringing in the family history aspect made it much more meaningful. I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year. 

My daughter told me that she liked this night better than our typical family history stories, because of the food and the game. I'm glad it was meaningful to them. 

The following is a, "recipe," for a, Homeland Heritage Night, in your home. You could use it for anything from a family night, to a family reunion.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!