Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Owl Always Love You' Scrapbook Paper Frame

This is an Amanda Original Project! My friends have just started the baby making process so I've been really into all the adorable baby things out there. I was determined to make a crafty cute baby gift for our friends' baby shower this past weekend and when I found out that they've been leaning towards an owl theme, I went a little crazy! I mean, come on... Owls!! How adorable? For more owl themed baby gifts check out my fantastic onesies!


8 x 10 hanging picture frame
Scrapbook paper
Clear school glue
Computer/Printer (optional)


Use your imagination! This is a super fun, easy and affordable project! The only thing I had to buy was the frame ($6.99 at Target). I already had a large stock-pile of scrapbook paper from other crafting adventures. You can buy large booklets of scrapbooking paper for about $20 or you can just buy individual sheets for about $1/piece at Target, Michael's or other craft stores. 

The first thing I did was sort through all my scrapbook paper and found all the subtle and complimentary colors/patterns. 

Find a fun, large geometric pattern in a neutral color for your background (i.e. Chevron in a light grey). I used a square box pattern in a light brown/cream color. Cut this sheet to fit in your 8 x 10 frame. 

Cut your scrapbook paper into the shapes you'll need for the owl:
     1 body of the owl (large oval with a crescent cut from the top)
     2 pointed oval wings
     2 white eyeballs
     2 black inner eye pieces
     1 small triangle beak

Arrange them on your background sheet, leaving enough room for the "Owl Always Love You" at the bottom. DO NOT GLUE YET.

I used a computer/printer to print the "Owl Always Love You" at the bottom of the background sheet. If you're good at calligraphy or cute hand lettering go ahead and do it yourself! I was afraid my handwriting would look too bold and/or sloppy. I almost left out the text all together, but +Aaron is a big fan of puns and since this gift was from the two of us I decided it was necessary.

Once you've put your background sheet of paper through the printer you can VERY LIGHTLY glue the pieces into place. I only put a couple small dots of glue into the corner of each piece - the glue when put on too heavy will wrinkle the paper and be noticeable. The frame will hold everything together nicely so you really don't need a lot of glue, I promise. 

And, Voila! You have the most adorable gift at the baby shower! And it's hand-made and from the heart - bonus points!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tomato Basil Asparagus Prosciutto Rolls

I made these yummy roll-ups for a birthday party and received RAVE reviews. Plus, they get bonus points for using my favorite Cabot Vermont Cheddar! These are still delicious without the prosciutto for the vegetarians in your life! Essentially, whenever I make a dish for a group I like to leave the option of making a a portion of it vegetarian so everyone can enjoy the yumminess. This recipe is directly from the Cabot Cheese Co-Op!


1 bunch asparagus spears
1 box phyllo dough, thawed
12 thin slices prosciutto
12 thin slices Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a bowl of ice water for asparagus

1. In pot of boiling, salted water, cook asparagus for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to ice water with slotted spoon. Once cool, transfer to paper towels to drain; pat dry.

2. Cut phyllo dough sheets in half diagonally, making 2 triangles of dough. You'l use 3-4 flakes of dough per roll.

3.  Lay first set of phyllo sheets on cutting board/cooking sheet; brush entire surface with melted butter.

4. Wrap asparagus in prosciutto, place on wide end of phyllo, top with cheese, and roll.

5. Place rolls on baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately!

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

This simple and fun appetizer is great for a pot-luck or dinner party and was a big hit with friends! I made these as a starter for a pizza party event. These can be made vegetarian friendly by substituting some Bacon Bits (made from soy) for the actual bacon listed in the recipe below. I left the bacon out of about a quarter of this recipe and subbed in the Bacon Bits for my vegetarian friends.


8 oz bacon
1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz white button mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

1.  Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut raw bacon into small pieces. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook bacon until nice and crispy. When bacon is done, remove from pan and set aside; reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and pour the rest from pan.

2.  While bacon is cooking, remove mushroom stems from caps and chop stems into small pieces.

3.  Saute onion in reserved bacon grease until soft. Add chopped mushrooms stems and garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until cheeses are melted. Add reserved chopped bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

4.  Remove mixture from heat and stuff each mushroom cap generously with mixture.

5.  Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and filling is nice and hot.

The stuffing mixture can be made, cooled, and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to two days, which makes assembling the day of a party/event super fast and easy!

Credit to Mountain Mama Cooks blog for this great recipe!

Adorable Owl Monthly Onesies

In my owl themed baby gift crusade +Aaron and I may have designed the most adorable onesies ever! I've been seeing a lot of super cute photos of babies on Facebook in onesies with their age in months on them and then found a tutorial from Britt & Her Boys on doing them with iron-on transfers for a baby shower gift and from there the cuteness erupts!

For more owl DIY check out my "Owl Always Love You" Scrapbook Paper Frame


13 Onesies in varying sizes (Just Born plus 1-12 months)
Iron-On Transfer Sheets
Adorable Box for cute packaging/storage


I purchased 2 owl clip-art sets from Pink Pueblo on Etsy for $6 each in order to have each owl match and reduce quality issues from just Google Image searches. From there I employed Aaron to design each month in Adobe Photoshop. Once your designs are finished, you'll need to flip each image for the iron on transfer. Print your images on the Iron-On Transfer sheets according to package directions.

Pre-Wash, dry, and iron your onesies (I ironed each onesie right before I applied the transfers). I bought 4 packs of onesies in newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month sizes from Baby's R Us and had 1 or 2 from each size leftover. I used the newborn size for my 'Just Born' and '1 month' onesies, the 3 month size for '2 month,' '3 month,' and '4 month' onesies and so on and so forth.

Cut out each image from the printed iron-on transfer sheets as close to the design as possible. Iron on to appropriate sized onesie according to package directions. Be patient with this, I messed up my first transfer and had to re-do it.

Roll-up your onesies so that you can see the month/image on each and arrange in your gift box with tissue paper. I found a really cute box at Target with a bumble-bee and "Baby" on the top. The box was a little too deep so I used two tissue boxes to fill the empty space and covered  them with tissue paper. It's perfect because it made for great wrapping (we added a pink bow!) and cute storage for the onesies themselves!

This gift got the biggest "Ooos & Awes" from the crowd at the baby shower - even the guys thought they were super cute. I can't wait to make a boy version... I'm thinking trucks and back-hoes? Maybe monkeys? So friends... who's going to be the first baby boy shower that I get to go to - because I'm a little too excited about making the boy version!