Best Wild Rice Soup

This is the yummiest, creamiest wild rice soup I've ever had! I use leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken. Instead of crackers I broiled up some ... Ballpark hamburger buns. Seriously, so much better than crackers or toasted french bread.

Adapted from a recipe from All Recipes.

Pumpkin Painting Ideas

Just checking in with a couple of pumpkins Angela painted up in Rush City! Love the donut!

Father's Day Gift Card Holder

Cute little gift card holders based on last years brown paper bag gift bags!

I used 12" x 12" cardstock cut to different heights - follow the pictures :-). Used Double sided tape as adhesive. Will try to add actual dimensions later.

Oh My Onesies!

Hormones are making me act even more ridiculous than usual. I spend a great deal of each day crying over inconsequential minutiae. Yesterday I cried because I couldn't find my baby mittens. Cue a freakout of epic proportions: "My baby has no miiiiiiiiittens! (sob) (sniff)"

I found the baby mittens.

I need this to be over. I need to be done. 

But today I cried happy tears! Look at the monthly onesies Mike's buddy's wife sent. She sewed each decoration herself:

Each number corresponds to the size onesie Baby should fit into during that month! What a great idea and an amazing gift!

Cut Off Jean Shorts

The secret to perfect cut-offs? Sandpaper!

The only jeans I wanted to cut up were maternity jeans haha ;-).

Upcycled Pocket Phone Storage!

I needed a little bed pocket to store my phone. The pockets of an old sport coat worked perfectly! The top flap sits right between the mattress and box spring. No velcro needed. Easy 10 minutes (or less) project.

Need Crib Sheets or Baby Bedding? Get thee to Target NOW

I know, I know. I've been slacking on the crafting lately. Sorry. But I have been buying!

Today I needed to do a Target run to grab a present for my sister (hopefully she gets it in time? or within her bday week? :-/ ). And I took a detour through the baby aisles. Most of the bedding aisle was on 30-50% clearance!  A lot of these deals are online, too - link here. PLUS 20% off Circo bedding with Target Cartwheel through 5/6/2017. Happy Shopping!

Aden by aden + anais 4 muslin swaddles originally $34,99 marked down to $17.48:

Some fitted crib sheets are marked 50% off to $4.96:

White/gray animal mobile originally $24.99 marked down to $12.48 and knit crib sheets marked down to $6.98:

Mesh breathable bumpers originally $28.99 marked down to $14.98,

I missed the Bonanza.

Did you miss Spring 2017 Junk Bonanza? Me, too :-(.

They were nice enough to make a pretty long video showing a wonderland of junk! Great source of inspiration. You can find it on their Facebook Page. Here's a direct link -

The next bonanza in Shakopee will be held September 21-23. Hope to see you there!

Color-Switched Easter Eggs

Quick tip - When you're stuffing eggs for Easter baskets or the egg hunt, pull the tops and bottoms apart. Switch up the colors!

Turn Galvanized Metal Caddies Into Unique Stacking Storage

These metal caddies can be found in the Target Dollar Spot. Only $3 each! They come in different colors but the plain ones seem less warped.

What a great shape for bathroom or decor storage!

* I bought these myself. I was not compensated in any way to advertise! *

How to Hem Jeans

How to hem your jeans while keeping the original, distressed hem.
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Back when I was in high school, I sent my new jeans to the tailor to get hemmed. They literally cut off the bottom and hemmed at the desired height. They looked awful. NEVER AGAIN.
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Try on your jeans and see how (too) long they are with your desired shoes. Use a ruler to measure. Mine were 4 1/2 inches too long! Yes, I am a shorty.

Bean-Speckled Easter Eggs

Navy beans and food coloring combine to make beautiful speckled Easter eggs.

Edit 3/27/2017: So ... these don't ever end up completely dry. They seemed dry to to the touch the next day but when I tried to peel one, I ended up with coloring all over my hands (easily washed off). These do look really pretty but I'd consider it a "look but don't touch situation". 

DIY T-Shirt Towel for Perfectly Smooth Hair

The friction from regular terry-cloth towels can make your hair frizzy! Smooth your tresses dry with a t-shirt towel.

This is a cowl, tube style towel. It allows the user to choose single or dual layers.

This is a great. quick starter project for those who want to practice sewing with knits. Remember to trade out your regular needle for a ball-point needle.

DIY Metal Washer Bracelet

These metal washer bracelets are a great teen craft! Might sell well at craft sale fundraisers?

I adapted this from the Metal Washer + Ribbon necklace tutorial. Fold-over elastic makes it easy to take these bracelets on and off. Younger kids can make these, too. Just make sure there's a responsible adult around to  melt the ends of the elastic.

DIY Penny Weighted Bookmark

Penny Weighted Bookmark! 

The smell of a new book is a-maz-ing. A whole new world to explore!

I don't like cracking the bindings of books, especially new library books. Weighted bookmarks come in really handy! They work well with cookbooks, too.

This is a fun, easy, useful DIY for kids, teens and adults. Might be a good gift to make for Mother's day or Father's day?

Hey ...

I haven't been crafting much lately. That's because this has become my most-used room:

Because this has been keeping me good and sick:

Baby Boy due by June 2017! Mike and I are calling him Gandalf the Grey for now. Yes, that's a Lord of the Rings reference. 

Morning sickness has been, in a word, terrible. The Unisom + B6 combo has been a lifesaver! My sister told me she never had any morning sickness with any of her kids. Must be nice. ;-). Love you, sis.

I've been having fun collecting free goodies. Here's the Target Baby gift. All you need to do is make a registry and ask for the baby bag at the customer service counter. My favorite coupons are for 20% off maternity clothes and the BOGO Starbucks drink. Plus you'll receive a 15% registry completion discount 8 weeks before your due date:

And here's the Amazon box. You have to be a Prime member, go through a rigorous registry exercise and buy $10 of items from your registry. You'll be eligible for the box after your $10 worth of items have been ordered and shipped. I ordered a box of Amazon baby wipes to fulfill the buying requirement. Like Target, Amazon also has a registry completion discount on select items. 10% off for non-Prime members, 15% off for Prime members. The muslin wrap is being sold for $12.99 and the Oball for $4.99. The baby wipes are full size:

Hope my baby likes Avent bottles hahaha.

Mike and I have waited so long for little Gandalf. Can't wait to meet him and give him a real name :-).

Printable Valentine Round up!

LOVE LOVE LOVE these free printables from my bloggy friends! 
Click through for printout directions ♥ ♥ 

Muslin & Merlot is a member of the Craft and Food Roundup Facebook Group. 
All pictures are used with permission and are linked back to their owners.
Pictures and printables are the property of their creators. 

Leftover Wedding Favor Valentine Gifts

Helping Hands is a non-profit in Shakopee. It collects donations from the community and puts on events every 2 or 3 months where people in need can freely take what they need, no questions asked.

We received a donation of wedding decorations and favors. They were perfect for making little Valentine gifts to hand out!

Energy Boost Gift Basket for New Moms

This gift basket is for a friend who's going back to work after maternity leave! I thought she'd need some quick snacks for energy boosts :-)

Here's the list of items, back to front:

Items (All from Target)

  • KIND Fruit and Nut Bars, 4-pack (Placed on the bottom of the basket to add height)
  • Wire Basket ($3 - look in the Dollar Spot)
  • KIND Raspberry Clusters with Chia Seeds
  • Larabar Bites, Double Chocolate Brownie, 
  • Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears
  • Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix
  • Godiva Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bar
  • Lindt Creme Brulee Bar
  • Nourish Monkey Love Chocolate Banana Bites
  • Coco Joy Coconut Water
  • Ghirardelli Mil Chocolate Caramel Bar
  • Aquafina Sparkling Water, Lemon Lime
  • Dasani Drops, Strawberry Kiwi

I also tucked in a few homemade baby washcloths. Cream-colored minky on one side, black and white plaid flannel on the other side. The plaid flannel is from Joann's - look for "flannel shirting".

For the ribbon, cut fleece with a pinking blade, 2 - inches wide and about 40 inches long. Wrap around the basket and knot in the front. Cut the ends at an angle.

I also added a few faux flowers. They might make the basket look too busy so use your own judgement.

Total cost for basket and snacks (not including fabric or flowers): About $45.

I didn't use any coupons so you may be able to bring the cost down a bit. The bins are a bargain at $3! Basket filler won't work very well since the wire's spaced so far apart, though. And try to remember to turn the KIND bar box so that the UPC isn't staring out the front! Like it is in mine haha.

DIY Waistband Elastic Headbands

This waistband elastic makes a nice, wide, comfortable headband. It's $5.99 @ Joann Fabrics. This gets you two yards which will make at least three adult size headbands. Remember to show your mobile coupon!

Using Birch Branches in the Garden

Today, I am dreaming of spring.

Thought these pics of my dad's garden birch branches might inspire your green thumb :-). The plant stems are wired around the birch branches -

Think warm thoughts! <3 div="">

DIY Hook Hanger for Jewelry Organization

I wanted to make a jewelry organizer that would hang in my closet. Thought it might be smart to utilize both sides of the hanger. What do you think?