Dec 29, 2011

Oversized Cowl | the pattern

Cowls are all the new rage. Huh?

I received an overwhelming response to this one I made from my last post. Ya’ll wanted to know how I made it. So here ya go. It’s super easy!!!

photo (4) photo(14)


    • 2-3 skeins of super bulky yarn. I used almost 3 of Lion Brand Aspen Tweed
    • N hook

Please note. While I’ve crocheted for years, I still consider myself a newbie and do not write patterns. So please be kind. hah.

photo(3)  photo (3)

Chain 56 + 4. Turn
Skip the first 3 chains. Work a puff stitch into the fourth chain. Then into every other chain. When you get to the end of row, Ch 3, turn and repeat until you get the height you like. I did 13 rows.

Use a slip stitch to connect the ends, turning it into a cowl.
Weave in ends and you’re DONE!

I  searched for a good video to show you and finally found one of this stitch being done here. It’s very helpful to those just starting out in crochet. If my directions don’t make sense, they should when you watch that video.

Enjoy. Wishing you all nothing short of the best for 2012!!!

# kristanlynn

Note that Chain is hyperlinked. That is a great video tutorial on how to get started crocheting. It really is easy as pie.

Dec 16, 2011

Cake Batter Bites | a recipe


So, as I was getting my daily fix of Pinterest (yesterday), I came across these bad boys! WHAT?! I had to make them. And I did.

Turns out, they ARE just as yummy as they look!!! If you’re a cake batter lover, you will love this. It has the texture of cookie dough, but tastes like cake batter! The outside turned out to be a little bit too hard for my liking, but they were still amazing!!Edit: I had put them in the freezer to harden, don’t do that. hah… That is why the outside was so hard.

cake batter

They were super easy, and fast. Maybe an hour at most.

Here’s the recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything (She’s got some great recipes!)

Cake Batter Bites:

    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • 1 cup yellow cake mix
    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
    • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles

Truffle Coating:

    • 16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)
    • 4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
    • sprinkles

Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.

While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.

Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

Enjoy!! You’re forewarned, that they are addicting. I wrapped some up and took them to the neighbors a long with their Christmas card, I hope they enjoyed.

# kristanlynn


Dec 15, 2011

it’s not too late! | advent calendar | DIY idea

Are you like me… and JUST NOW realized you never made an Advent calendar?? Well… that’s ok. Traditional Advent calendars are 25 days… but who the heck is traditional anymore?? It doesn’t matter if it’s 25 days, 10 days or even 5 days… the point is to have fun and give the kids something to look forward too, add anticipation for Christmas Day.

I seen these Advent calendar’s on Etsy, so here is my take!


Easy way:
Hang numbered envelopes from clothespins and twine! That’s it. I mean.. if you’re super limited on time, but wanted to add something fun for the kiddo’s, that’s literally all you have to do… buy some fun colored envelopes and add numbers.

If you want to get all fancy:
And I did, you could make your own envelopes out of Christmas cardstock. I have a scoring board, so this was simple, if you don’t know how to make an envelope, check out
this picture.


Note: I didn’t have Christmas cardstock on hand. So I just Googled Christmas paper, and printed off some images that came up. (Is that legal?).

Wondering what to put in side such envelopes? 
Here are a few things we did: silly bands, family Wii night, Gingerbread house night, cookie decorating contest, fun stickers, slumber party/movie night. As tradition, the last one will have a note saying where a bigger present is, which of course will be their Christmas PJ’s for Christmas Eve.


# kristanlynn

This post was sponsored by The Shutterbug Eye.


Dec 13, 2011

burlap, lace, tweed OH MY | packaging bows | a tutorial

bow tutorial

burlap bow

Why buy store-bought bows when you can make the prettiest ones ever? It adds such a nice handmade touch to even store bought presents. AND they are reusable! I seen this post by Jessica and had a light bulb moment!


    • Any fabric, ribbon, or even paper
      • I used Burlap, ribbon lace and tweed.
    • Stapler
    • Needle/Thread
    • Wall mounting tape.

First you want to cut your strips. You will have 3 Large, 3 Medium, 2 Small and 1 xSmall. Just decrease the length of each size by one inch and the last one by 2 inches.

For example,

    • Large = 10”
    • Medium = 9 “
    • Small = 8”.
    • xSmall = 6”

I didn’t measure the width, just eyeballed it, but I’d say to keep it around 1/2” to 3/4”

make a bow

You are basically making a figure eight and securing in the center. Try to make them “skinny” eights rather than “fat” eights. That probably makes NO sense, but as you make them, you’ll see. The “skinny” eights are more pointy on the ends, therefore, looking more like the store-bought bows. (unlike the round ones pictured)

Once you have your 9 strips looped and secured, start stacking one ontop of the other. Start with the Large, ending with the circle in the center. To secure, just throw a couple stitches in the center. You could use hot glue, but I promise… the stitches will hold better, and seems more intimidating than it is.


Take the wall mounting tape (I used 3M), peel one off, hot glue the sticky part and press onto the center bottom.
Note: You can just hot glue them onto your package, I used the tape because I gave a dozen of these as a gift.


That’s it. See, super fast and easy, too!


I’m in love with them. ESPECIALLY the lace! Lace bows = Happy heart!

I made these ones out of fabric and they are just as pretty:


And Adelyn HAD to have one for her hair, so I put one on an alligator clip:

adelyn bow

Have fun! Play with different patterns and textures. Group different textures together on one present to make it extra special.

(If you notice the gift receiver tossing the bow into the wrapping paper trash, don’t hesitate, or feel bad, asking for it back. They are too pretty to throw away! hah)

Happy Holidays!!!

# kristanlynn

This post was sponsored by Heather @ JustLove.lyThings.


Dec 10, 2011

DIY Burlap Pennant Banner | a tutorial | Party Decor

burlap banner

This is probably the easiest and fastest (yet cutest) birthday banner you could whip up. It took less than an hour. It’s super simple. So if you’re a last minute gal like myself.. here ya go.


    • Burlap
    • Paper Letter Stickers (or just letters cut out of cardstock)
    • Hemp Twine
    • Mini Clothespin
    • Sewing machine (and it’s normal supplies)



Let’s craft!

Start by making a pennant template. I did this by folding, and refolding, a piece of plain paper into a triangle, until I got the shape I wanted. Then trace the pennant onto the burlap. One pennant for each letter.


Peel off the backing to each letter and stick in the middle of pennant, then just sew a straight stitch to secure. If you don’t have stickers, you can use stencils and pretty cardstock to make your letters, then just hold in place until secured with the sewing machine.
(I have no idea where these sticker letters came from, they were part of an amazing baby shower gift I received while pregnant with Adelyn. But they are A.W.E.S.O.M.E! They’re like sticky- note letters. hah.)



That’s it.  No measuring, no complications.


Then, using the mini clothespins, just pin them onto your twine, and hang. I laid the pennants out and measured the twine that way, to make sure I didn’t cut it too short.



I love it. So simple, but it looks so pretty. You’ll surely get some compliments. I think I might just have to make another one that says Merry Christmas, then another that says Happy New Year… and so on and so on. HAH.

This banner + a bag of balloons is basically all we needed for Stone’s 1st birthday.

# kristanlynn


Nov 29, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole | a recipe

tatertot casserole

Tater Tot Casserole is a favorite in our house. Even my sister loves it, and she’s probably the pickiest eater I’ve ever met!!!  It’s not only my favorite because it tastes delish, but it’s SOOOO fast and easy. There are tons of recipes out there, but I had to share mine… because, well… as all good cooks think… “mine’s the best”. Hah.

What you need:

    • 1.5 lb ground meat (we use beef)
    • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 tablespoon Soy sauce
    • 2 Cups French Fried Onions
    • 2 cans Green Beans
    • 1 bag of tater tots
    • 2 Cups Shredded Cheese (or less, or more… whatev)

Let’s make it:

  1. Brown your meat, seasoning it however you like.
  2. Once meat is done, add 2 cans of CofM soup, 1.5 Cups of French Fried Onions, green beans, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  3. Mix it all up and pour into a 9” x 13” casserole dish. Add tater tots to top creating a layer, arranging them however you’d like. I try to fit as many as I can.
  4. Add whatever leftover French Fried Onions you have and cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake @ 425 degrees for 25 mins. (Make sure it’s on the bottom rack so the cheese doesn’t get too crunchy.)


Serves 5

It makes a lot, between three of us, there isn’t much left over, Craig eats like a horse though. He also hates onions, but loves this.

Maybe as a side dish at Christmas dinner this year?? If you love green bean casserole… you’ll love this!!

# kristanlynn

Nov 28, 2011

DSLR’s and flash | Bouncing Light

camera busiess card words
image source: DIYPhotography

Awhile back, I was browsin’ Pinterest and happened upon this wonderful idea from DIYPhotography! A DIY Party Bouncer. I would love to have all that fancy photography equipment, but I don’t. And since I haven’t invested in a new flash, this works great. I get lots of emails asking for tips on DSLRS… so I felt the need to share it!

Check out the flash vs. party bouncer pictures:

adelyn flash

salts flash

Now, it’s not professional, but looks hella better than that using that darned flash. Dontchya think? Hopefully you see a difference. HAH.

Just cut slits in the side of any business card or piece of cardstock and slide it on. You could even just hold a folded piece of paper at a 45 degree angle, which is what I did for the second set of photo’s.

Go try it out and tell me what you think.

# kristanlynn

Nov 17, 2011

DIY Bath Salts | Gift in a Jar

diy salts

So, I was at Michael's last week, and happened upon a huge jar of mineral/sea salt, it was cheap so I had to buy it. I knew it would come in handy at some point. It did.  I decided to make a homemade bath soak. Super easy. Super Yummy! Perfect for handmade gift giving!


What you need:

    • jar (I used the Ball jelly/jam jars measuring 250ml)
    • mineral and sea salt
    • essential oil (or in my case extract)
    • food coloring
    • small piece of fabric

soak stir

How to make it:

  1. Pour enough salt to fill a jar, or two. (Honestly, I didn’t measure) and add a few drops of essential oil to fabric.
    If you’d like your salt to have color, just add a few drops of food coloring to the fabric before stirring.
  2. Stir the fabric into the salt for a few minutes, making sure to get the salt well coated.

That’s it! Just make sure that the fabric is in dripping wet, you don’t want it to dissolve your salt.

You can use any scent you prefer. I used peppermint, with it being the holiday season, peppermint just seems fitting. Remember though, peppermint is an energizing scent. Have fun with it, add a drop or two of a few different scents to make your own custom scent. Add some burlap, twine and lace. A tag would be nice, but I think most of us now know how to use bath salts, so it’s not a MUST but would add a nice d├ęcor element.


bath salts

# kristanlynn


This post was sponsored my Little Miss Momma.

Nov 12, 2011

Put a QR code on your Business Cards

QR codes are taking over. They are on streets signs, in magazines, posted on walls. It’s like a UPC on steroids. Lets say your reading a magazine, and you see an item you really want, instead of trying to get online and look for it, you just scan the QR code with your smartphone, and it takes you right to where you can purchase it online. It’s taken over Japan, and is quickly catching on in the US.

You can easily make your own. Whether it’s for your shop, blog, Facebook or twitter. You’re literally only a few clicks away from making it easier for your customers/readers to visit you.

Check out the new business cards:

qr code

bus card

How can you make yours??

    • visit QRStuff
    • enter your url.
    • Then click download image.

It’s that easy and FREE. Then upload the image to wherever you create your business cards, VOILA!

I made one for the shop, blog, FB and Twitter. I was invited by Etsy to be a part of the West Elm craft show (eeekkkk!!!).  So I will be printing all four QR codes and displaying them at my table for passerby’s to connect with me instantly.

The codes in my business cards measure .75” x .75”. I thought they might be too small, but they scan just fine. I make my own business cards by using Picnic and cutting out the circles with my Silhouette.

business cards

So, what are you waiting for?? Go make your QR code and join in on the latest technology!

# kristanlynn


Major thanks to Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous for introducing me to QR codes! You can see her step by step picture tutorial here.

Nov 10, 2011

Taco Soup by Jamie | a recipe

Hi guys! Jamie from Awesomely-Awkward here. I don't know about you but when the weather gets cold there is nothing better than a great bowl of soup. I don't have a lot of time to cook but I always want something hot and delicious for dinner... Insert taco soup.
It's super yummy, super easy, and cheap... what could be better? Just put it in your crock pot before you go to work and by the time you get home you're ready to eat. Enjoy!
Taco Soup:
Ingredients: -
2 pounds ground beef - 2cups diced onions -2 (15 1/2 oz.) cans pinto beans - 1 (15 1/2 oz.) can pink kidney beans - 1 (15 1/4 oz.) can whole kernel corn (drained) - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can Mexican- style stewed tomatoes - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can tomatoes with chilies - 2 (4 1/2 oz.) cans diced green chilies - 1 can black olives, drained and sliced - 1 package taco seasoning mix Garnishment of your choice: We eat ours with Frito's scoop chips. Cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos are good too.
How to Make:
Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet.
Drain fat, then transfer to crock pot.
Add all the rest of the ingredients (except garnishment of course). Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
It's that easy! Throw some shredded cheddar on the bad boy and eat up.
The best part is, it makes a whole bunch so we freeze more than half of this. It's a great quick dinner to pull out of the freezer when you don't want to cook. This recipe is not mine, meaning I did not create it. It is actually one of Paula Deen's recipes. Not exactly identical but close enough.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’m ready to make some of this. It sounds fantastic!!!
If you’ve never been to Jamie’s blog, you must visit. She’ll have you cracking up and relating on so many levels!!!

# kristanlynn

Nov 3, 2011

DIY Family Halloween Costumes



craig and stone

stone grass

craig and adelyn

princess cowgirl


stone mustache



trick or treat

Adelyn was so excited. We went to two Trunk or Treats, then hit up a neighborhood for the real deal. We should have just went to the neighborhood. She loved going to the houses. She’d walk up by herself, say “trick or treat” “thank you” then run to me and say “ok, lets go to the next house”.  I was so excited for her to experience Halloween like we did growing up!

Everyone commented on how we were the cutest family they’ve seen. They loved Adelyn’s Princess Cowgirl costume, and Stone w/ a cowboy hat… oh, let the hearts melt.

How was your Halloween??

# kristanlynn