5 things to get through House of Cards in a weekend


i have a friend who i talk probably too much about tv with. we have a rotating set of shows that we feel we need to discuss the day after we watch it. last year i got her hooked on House of Cards. the problem is neither of us have the control to watch just one show a day, so it’s not that easy to recap. this year we decided we just have to binge watch the second half of it together – this way we can go over the play by play live.

here’s how we plan on accomplishing it.

1. this sunday has been marked as our binge watch day. we figured we can get through 7, maybe 8 episodes. this means we both have to get through 5 or 6 episodes between friday and saturday. i’ll get through a few today while i make items and package orders and a couple on saturday.

2. the binge watching will be at my house since my friend has a husband and teenager who are going to want stuff from her. i believe a partial white lie might have been told by her about our plans for the day, but whatever works.

3. it will be a day of comfort. yoga pants, fleece, slippers and lots of blankets. the blankets are mostly for my friend since i keep my house at what i am told is an unacceptable temperature. my glasses will be ready for when my contacts become dry from staring at the screen.

4. there will be plenty of coffee to start off the day. the food will be easy prepare ahead food. like veggies & dip and nachos. the nachos are going to be made with salsa i made last fall and is marked in my freezer as “wicked good”. i don’t remember what is so wicked about it, but i have been saving it for something special. i hope my labeling holds up.

5. half way through we are planning a walk around the neighborhood. it’s going to be cold out, but i figure the fresh air, sunlight and movement will do us good.

if you’re planning on the same this weekend, happy viewing.

5 steps to a 3 ring binder makeover

over the years i have collected a lot of 3-ring binders. to update them a bit (and to get rid of the vinyl covers) i have been giving them a makeover.binder_03

1. first take apart the binder. a craft knife or utility knife works for me, but you can use scissors. cut the binder on both sides of the spine. then carefully cut a slit in the vinyl on each piece and get out the book binding board that is inside. be careful not to cut the board, you will be reusing it. depending on the type of binder you have, the screws for the ring mechanism will either be on the spine or on the back. take as much of the vinyl off around the screws as you can – making sure not to bend the board.

2. now cover the front and back with the label paper. my labels are not large enough, so i use a sheet and a half.  leave some of the board visible on the edge that meets the spine. wrap the labels around to the inside.binder_05
3. for the spine you are going to need book binding tape (i use filmoplast t tape). it is important to use this kind of tape. it will allow you to be able to open and close the binder time and time again without ripping or wearing. you can get rolls at talas online or somewhere that sells book binding supplies. if you can’t find it, the alternative is to use a piece of book cloth and pva glue.

cut three pieces of the tape – one a little longer than the spine and then two slightly shorter. center the spine on the longer piece of tape. take the cover of the binder and place it next to the spine. you want to leave some space in-between – at least as thick as the board. fold the cover up to make sure that there is enough clearance for the rings. do the same with the back board. flip over the binder and press the tape with a bone folder. do the same on the inside – making sure to get the tape in the space between the boards.

4. cover the insides of the covers with another label sheet. don’t worry if it doesn’t meet the spine.binder_06
5. take the shorter pieces of the tape and place one on each side of the spine board and cover boards. take the bone folder and make sure to get the tape down inside the space between the boards. that’s it – a new and improved binder.

i like the simplicity of kraft paper with white, so that is what i have been using. you can get full sheet labels at office supply stores and print a pattern, photos or an inspirational quote on them.

other options are paper, book cloth, wall paper, washi tape, gift wrap …  the possibilities are endless. if you are going to go with an option that doesn’t already have an adhesive you will want to use a pva glue. it is a book binding glue. regular glue might warp the board or rip the paper.

happy organizing!

five steps to a teeny tiny witch hat

my niece is having a birthday party this weekend with her friends and just like her younger sister she is a party planner. this year she is having an orange & purple halloween themed party. for the craft part of the party they will be decorating mini pumpkins. my sister mentioned she was going to look for some mini hats for the pumpkins – but since my niece was sleeping over i said we could just whip some up. we didn’t have time last weekend, but today i went ahead and made some purple hats.

the hardest part of making these was figuring out how to make a cone. after some experimentation i figured they can be made from a quarter of a circle. so here is how to make a tiny witches hat.

one: cut out a circle 8.5″ in diameter and then cut out 4 quarters
two: add some glue to one of the straight sides of a quarter. hold the corner and roll it into a cone. this takes a bit of practice. i stapled the bottom of the cone to hold it into place while the glue dried.
three: make 2.5″ circles (i used a paper punch). inside that circle i used a flower punch for the stem to go through
four: cut little snips on the bottom of the cone and fold up the tabs
five: glue the cone tabs to the circles

now the girls can concentrate on painting and just top their little pumpkin with a hat.

five things – simple summer soup

every year a large garden is planted at my parents house. this year the plants went in a little too late and most things are not growing very well. except the zucchini. the zucchini will always grow. this soup is an easy way to use up all of that zucchini. it’s great for lunch now. and freezes well for lunch later. and you only need five things to make it.

one zucchini
two hot peppers (or not hot – whatever you like)
three onions
four salt
five blender

simply cut all of the veggies into chunks and place in a pot with just enough water to cover them. cook until tender. blend everything together in a blender or food processor. before you blend feel free to add some fresh herbs if you want. that’s it. the soup is tasty on it’s own or you can add salsa, sour cream, croutons or whatever else you would like before serving.

five things – sleepover

i think it is officially the summer of sleepovers. since school has been out once or twice a week either one, two or three of my sisters kids are sleeping over. here’s what it takes for a sleepover at this auntie’s house.

one: a tent. this tent is pretty much always set up in my spare room. the tent has travelled all over northern america but is now serving as the sleepover spot of choice for my nieces.

two: itunes. for the girls it is marathon episodes of punky brewster. it was one of my favorite shows as a kid, so i am glad they are enjoying it now. for the boy it is psych – one of my favorite shows now. i’m a good influence on these kids.

three: a snack. usually i don’t have much food in my house, but i am known for making something out of nothing. this time it was leftover cream from my nieces ice cream cake. i whipped it up with a little bit of sugar and crushed in some cookies (also leftover from the cake) and then froze it a bit.

four: cards. when i was a kid my grandmother and i would play cards, so i am glad i am keeping the tradition alive. the middle one and i have a running rummy score going.

five: pancakes. i swear these are the only reason the kids even sleep at my house. this batch had some raspberries and chocolate thrown in since i was out of syrup.

five things – road trippen

it has been awhile since i have been on a road trip. lately every now and then when i am driving to work and the top is off my jeep i think about just driving by and going on a mini road trip. you don’t need much on a spur of the moment road trip, but here are the five things i would take with me (along with an iPhone for photos and some sunscreen).

1. a reusable bag for any finds

2. a sigg water bottle

3. sunglasses

4. twist bands to try and keep my hair under control

5. beach hair spray because no matter what i do my hair will get out of control