DIY Pillows

I have been looking for couch pillows for a really long time. I could never find just the right color or just the right size. I saw this tutorial from the blog, idigpinterest.blogspot. I had an "Ah-ha" moment. These are made just like my burp cloth tutorial. I kept trying to find cheap pillow forms to wrap fabric around. I am so glad I never bought any pillows, because I absolutely love the fabric I found. I also saved a ton of money. My husband told me I could make pillows til I was blue in the face. . . he may regret those words. I know I have found a new addiction. . now to find more fabric.

Step 1: Cut out size you want. Make sure if you want a square to make all sides the same size. Also remember that the size you cut out will not be the final size of the pillow. I grossly underestimated this step.
 Step 2: Pin together. Make sure the pretty sides are touching. :)
Step 3: Sew together. Make sure to make a 1/2 inch seam, and use a sturdy stitch(not just a basic stitch, your pillows may or may not be thrown around by a 7 and 4 year old. . .just sayin.) Also make sure to leave a slot to stuff your pillow.
 Step 4: Clip edges of corners. This will ensure a crisp corner when you are finished. Make sure you don't cut your stitch otherwise you will have a hole.
Step 5: Turn pillow right side out. I ironed them flat, and then stuffed them.
Step 6: Sew slot closed. I suppose you are supposed to hand sew it closed, but I am terrible at that so I just used my machine. You can hardly notice the finished edge.

This is the fabric I found for the smaller pillows for my couch. This is where I underestimated the final size of the pillow. They still turned out pretty cute, but I would have love to have had them a little bigger.
This is also something I found that made finishing the pillow easier. Making the opened slot in the middle of the side instead of on the corner. That way when you stuff the pillow you can get all of the corners.
Ta-Da. . .This is my finished product. My 4 year old was asleep when I did these and when she woke up she thought they were hers.

I love how they turned out, and I promise they will not be my last pillows!

*For the green pillows I bought 1 1/2 yd. For the black and white I bought 1/2 yd. I should have at least bought 1 yd.


Crack popcorn

I made this a few months ago for book club. I got the recipe out of this book. It was fast, easy, and my house smelled heavenly. I knew it would be an instant hit, and it was. I omitted the pecans the first go around. I prefer them, but as I have found out, most people don't like them. I truly don't think you can tell the difference is you weren't told, but to each his own. I highly recommend this recipe. It is a good make-ahead treat. I have already been asked by a ton of people for the recipe. You will too when you make it.

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn
Recipe by Our Best Bites
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
1 C roughly chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C Karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3 squares almond bark

*You can use air popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, anything works, but I prefer a “natural” flavor that’s low in butter and salt.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside. You will need a big bowl, not a brown paper bag to eventually mix with the caramel. The caramel mix maybe too wet and dissolve the bag. . I'm guessing. .. . ;)
This is my preferred way to 'pop' popcorn. No oils, no crazy ingredients. I have tried the brown lunch bag way, and it took way too long since you can only do a small amount at a time.
I place about 1/4 cup of popcorn in a glass bowl, cover with a plate, and microwave for about 3-4 minutes.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a big, microwave-safe bowl. Like a 2-quart bowl or Pyrex measuring bowl. It smells so good already.
Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup (or honey) over the top of everything.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds (just to soften the butter a bit) and then stir to combine.
Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.
It should look like this.
Remove from microwave & add baking soda & vanilla. Stir to combine. The mixture will foam & rise.
Pour caramel mixture over the popcorn and pecans and stir well so everything is well coated. 

Spread popcorn mixture onto foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the oven and spread mixture out on parchment paper.
 Melt the almond bark and drizzle over popcorn mixture.