DIY Home Accents | Cute Beltz

Do-it-yourself home accents transform any space into one you can call your very own. Follow these tips to make over any room with budget-friendly projects you can complete in a weekend.

Chevron Vase

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Customize a plain vase by taping off a chevron pattern with painter’s tape (it need not be perfect). Spray-paint the exposed area with a lighter shade of the vase color. Remove the tape when the paint is dry.

Memo Board

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This magnetic memo board is as functional as it is stylish. Simply cut decorative paper to fit inside a cookie sheet and glue it to the pan. Add magnets and important papers, notes, or letters, and you’re ready for business. Place it on a desk or hang it in the kitchen to ensure your family always stays on task.

Rosette Lampshade

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Embellish a plain lampshade with paper roses. Use a compass to draw an 8-inch-diameter circle onto drawing-weight paper. Cut the circle into a swirl to create a paper coil about 1/2 inch wide. Roll the paper tightly starting at the outside end of the coil. Release the coil slightly and manipulate it until you have created a flower shape, then hot glue it at the base to retain the shape. Use hot-glue to adhere roses to the lampshade.

Ombré Dyeing

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Hot from the runway, ombré dyeing is a variation on basic tub dyeing giving fabrics a subtle, ethereal look. We put the trendy technique to work on these ordinary, store-bought throw pillows. For maximum results, always make sure you take the process slowly and follow through with each step

What you’ll need (per pound of dry fabric):

  • 1/4 cup professional textile detergent
  • 1/3 cup soda ash
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Two 5-gallon buckets or plastic containers
  • 1 tablespoon urea powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons fiber-reactive dye
  • 3 cups non-iodized salt
  • Rubber gloves
  • 2-3-cup plastic mixing container
  • Ruler
  • String
  • Two binder clips
  • Stool
  • Spring clamp

Directions:

1.Wash fabric with professional textile detergent, following manufacturer instructions. Combine soda ash and 3 gallons of warm water in a bucket, stirring until dissolved.

2. Submerge fabric in soda ash mixture. Do not overstuff; instead, soak only fabric that easily fits in bucket. Allow fabric to soak in soda ash mixture for at least 30 minutes.

3. Combine urea powder and 1 cup warm water in a mixing cup. Pour a few tablespoons of urea mixture into a plastic mixing container with fiber-reactive dye in bottom. Work the powder and urea water into a smooth paste, then stir in the rest of the urea mixture to make a concentrate.

4. Add salt to 3 gallons of warm water in your dyeing tub, stirring until dissolved.

5. To create the lightest shade in your ombre pattern, add about 1/3 cup dye concentrate to saltwater and stir.

6. Wipe the inside of dye tub to prevent unwanted dye marks on fabric.

7. Create a tool to help you hold your fabric longer by tying strings to two binder clips and then wrapping the string around a ruler. Wring out fabric and attach binder clips.

8. Dip fabric to desired point and hold for 10 minutes or until you reach preferred color intensity.

9. With clean, gloved hands, remove fabric from dye. Hold undyed end of fabric with one hand while wringing out excess dye with the other.

10. Place dyed fabric on a clean surface protected from the dyeing area.

11. To create the next intensity of dye, pour about 1/3 cup of the dye concentrate into the dye tub and stir.

12. Dip fabric to desired point (we suggest several inches below your last dip point for a noticeable progression) and hold for twice the amount of time of first level or until you reach preferred color strength.

13. Repeat steps 8 through 12, each time doubling the amount of dye you add and the amount of time you leave the fabric submerged. For more than three levels of ombre, you’ll need to make more dye concentrate. Use a spring clamp and stool or ladder to hold fabric while dyeing if desired.

14. Rinse fabric with cold running water until water runs clear.

15. Wring fabric again, squeezing out as much excess water and dye as possible.

16. Wash fabric in hot water using professional textile detergent. If you’re unable to wash immediately, lay fabric flat on clean plastic wrap and wrap completely to prevent unwanted dye marks and drying.

What are some ways you add DIY accents to your home? – Cute Beltz

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Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate all the wonderful things moms do. A perfect gift is to give mom a break from cooking.  Treat Mom to a delicious brunch this Mother’s Day with some of our favorite recipes.

Whole-Grain Waffles with Cherry Sauce

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There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by making your mom a delicious, healthy brunch. Take advantage of spring fruits and vegetables for a delicious Mother’s Day menu. Enjoy our Whole-Grain Waffles with Cherry Sauce for a sweet breakfast or our Chard & Feta Tart, a satisfying savory dish your mom will love.

Ingredients

Cherry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) pitted cherries (10-ounce package)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Waffles

  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

1. To prepare cherry sauce: Combine cherries, water, honey, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Set aside.

2. To prepare waffles: Preheat oven to 200°F; place a large baking sheet on the center rack.

3. Whisk whole-wheat flour (see Measuring Tip), cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla; whisk until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

4. Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron. Lightly coat it with cooking spray. Add enough batter to cover about two-thirds of the surface (about 2/3 cup); distribute evenly with a spatula. Close and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the waffles to the baking sheet to keep warm until ready to serve; do not stack. Repeat with the remaining batter, using more cooking spray as needed. Warm the cherry sauce over medium heat until hot and bubbling; serve with the waffles.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

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Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.

Ingredients

  • 1 15- to 19-ounce can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2  5- to 6-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked (see Note)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens

Preparation

1. Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.  Season with pepper and combine the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.

Savory Ricotta Pancakes with Tomato-Chard Sauce

Pancakes transcend breakfast when they’re made with savory ricotta cheese and topped with an Italian tomato and Swiss chard sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of (8-ounce) Swiss chard, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed with press
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 can of (28-ounce) whole tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter, cut into three pieces
  • 1/4 cup of freshly shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

Preparation

1. Cut ribs and stems from Swiss chard leaves. Cut ribs and stems into 1-inch pieces; cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Rinse Swiss chard thoroughly in large bowl of cold water; swish to remove any dirt. With hands, transfer chard to colander, leaving dirt in bottom of bowl. Repeat process, changing water, until all the dirt is removed.

2. Prepare Tomato-Chard Sauce: In 4-quart saucepan, heat olive oil on medium until hot. Add onion and garlic, and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add tomatoes with their puree and 1/4 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling on medium-high. Stir in Swiss chard; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes longer or until chard is tender and sauce is thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; cover to keep sauce warm.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Prepare Savory Ricotta Pancakes: In blender or food processor with knife blade attached, blend egg yolks, ricotta, and milk until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and blend until smooth; transfer batter to 8-cup glass measure or medium bowl.

4. In small bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, fold beaten whites into batter.

5. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 piece of margarine on medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cups into skillet, making 4 to 5 pancakes at a time. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the edges are dry and bottoms are browned. Turn pancakes over and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Transfer pancakes to platter; keep warm in oven.

6. Repeat with remaining margarine and batter to make about 16 pancakes in all. Serve pancakes with warm Tomato-Chard Sauce; sprinkle with shredded Romano.

Sunrise Bellini

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This slightly tart fruity Bellini recipe will zing you awake. It’s the prettiest color imaginable and it makes a brunch instantly fun! You can serve the Bellinis in champagne flutes or in simple Mason jars—be creative!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 12 fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • 2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger (1/4 inch)
  • 2 cups fresh tangerine juice (from 6-7 tangerines) or orange-tangerine juice
  • 6 ice cubes
  • Honey to taste (optional)
  • 2 bottles (750-mL) Champagne or sparkling wine

Preparation

1. Puree papaya, pineapple, raspberries, lime zest, mint and ginger in a blender until completely smooth. Add juice and ice and blend until the ice is crushed. If the mixture is too tart for your taste, add 1 tablespoon honey at a time, blending after each addition, until it’s as sweet as you like. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

2. To serve, stir the Bellini mixture and divide among 8 glasses. Very slowly top each drink with wine. Gently stir, if necessary. (You’ll have about two-thirds of a bottle remaining; top off drinks as desired.)

 

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Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Traveling With Kids Simplified

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Whether you’re taking your first big trip with a newborn or you’re a seasoned traveler with a disaffected teen, these tips and tools can help make family vacations more fun and way less stressful for everyone. Check out how you can make traveling with kids a breeze!

Packing

Depending on the age of the kids, have each child bring a small backpack filled with their toys and goodies for the flight.  When possible, load their bags with some of the other things that you need, such as bottles, diapers and wipes. Even very young kids can carry a small backpack filled with their own diapers. This saves you space in your bag and makes the child feel like a “big” boy or girl.

To avoid lugging a heavy stroller, buy a lightweight or “umbrella” stroller for your trip. They are generally inexpensive (under $50) and easy to roll down the ramp and gate check.  If you bring a cumbersome stroller, the airline might have you check it as luggage. You also run the risk of an expensive stroller getting damaged in transit. Whichever you bring, wait to check it at the gate, right before boarding. It will be waiting for you when you land and you’ll be able to wheel junior to the baggage claim.

With a baby under age 2, bring an FAA approved car seat onto the plane with you. If there is an extra seat you will be given the extra seat for the baby. If not, then they will take it from you and put it underneath. This is a great option if you need a car seat where you are going. If not, it is probably not worth it.

Booking and Checking In

When selecting a flight, try to book nonstop flights during off-peak hours, either early or late, when kids are likely to sleep through more of the trip.

Check in for your flight online as early as possible (24 hours before).  If you are traveling with an infant consider asking for a seat in the back of the plane. If there are any empty seats left on the flight, chances are they will be there, and you might have extra room to stretch out. In addition, you are closer to the bathrooms, will have extra standing space and will have flight attendants close at hand, if you need them. Bulkhead seats have a little extra leg room, and remember that you’ll need to avoid exit-row seats with kids.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

How early you need to arrive depends upon a variety of factors, including your airline, airport, plans for parking, flight time and whether or not you are checking baggage. If you’re traveling during school vacations, chances are good the airport will be crowded with other families doing the same. We recommend arriving at least ninety minutes ahead of your scheduled departure. Keep in mind that some destinations (such as international flights and the U.S. Virgin Islands) have earlier check-in times than others and if you miss the plane, it can be very difficult for you to find enough seats or seats together on a later flight.  Because of the new security regulations, make sure you and the children are in shoes that are easy to get on and off. Before taking off the children’s shoes, double check with security if it is necessary, since depending on the type of shoe, often it is not

Keep Kids Entertained

Try to pack a few surprises for the kids in your carry-on. Go to a discount store, and pick up a couple of small inexpensive items like stickers, small toys or action figures for younger kids and music, books or handheld games for older kids.   Pack toys that do not have pieces and do not require numerous things to work. Better even than a coloring book and crayons is a doodle pad with the coloring stick attached that can erase and start over.

During takeoff and landing, make sure to have kids drink or chew gum. Make sure the baby is either nursing or drinking a bottle. Explain to them what is happening, and if they are too small to see out the window, play a game where they have to tell you when you are finally in the air or when you have finally touched ground.

Have fun! –Cute Beltz

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Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Fun Spring Activities Kid Approved

As much as it still does not feel like spring, it’s finally here! After spending most of the winter inside, children can’t wait to get outdoors and play outside.  So, why not come up with a few spring activities the whole family can enjoy.   Here are a few ideas for getting everyone to enjoy the warm weather.

Go On Nature Walks

If your child still rides in a stroller, go for a lot of nice long walks. Or, invest in a jogging stroller, so you can jog while pushing. If your child is able to ride a bike or scooter, have them ride while you jog alongside. Look for various flowers, insects, and animals that can be found during the spring season. Take a few photos or make a list of what you see. When you get home, talk about what you have seen. See if your child has any questions and even do a little research on what they want to know. This will teach children about nature and the world around them!pg-spring-activity-kids-bikes

Garden

There are many people who love to work in the garden when the spring season arrives. Kids love using their hands to create things. So why not let your children work in the garden with you?  It can be as simple as one plant in a single pot or a full designated garden onsite. Either way, kids will enjoy seeing the “fruits” of their labor. Make healthy foods and nutrition fun for kids to learn about.

Have a Picnic

Having an outdoor picnic is a great way to spend time as a family and enjoy the spring weather.  Pack a few sandwiches, juices, and treats into a picnic basket or lunch bag. Grab one or two blankets and head to the yard or local park.  As you and your little ones eat, you can just enjoy the company of one another. Talk about your day, tell jokes, take pictures, color, or read a book together.picnic

Build a Birdfeeder

Your feathered friends are on their way back from their winter trip south. Make a simple bird feeder with your kids and enjoy watching the birds come to it throughout the spring and summer. Using a plastic cup, poke a small hole on two opposite sides and run heavy twine through them (for hanging). Cover the outside of the cup with Elmer’s Glue and then let your child gently sprinkle birdseed over it. Once that’s dry, fill the cup with birdseed and hang it on a branch near a window. Encourage your kids to draw pictures of the birds that visit.

What are your favorite spring activities?

Cute Beltz - Belts for Kids
Toddler Belts & Kids Belts