Thursday, March 29, 2012

Panzanella Bread Salad

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I love when I see Panzanella made on those cooking shows so I made some finally. I forgot to take pictures but honestly it looked like a bunch of bread  in a big bowl.

I took and sliced about 4 big slices of crusty old bread and cubed up. I threw it in a bowl. I than cut up some red peppers, cucumbers, and finally some greek olives. I tossed that into the bowl as well. I than took about 3 big tablespoons of a olive bruschetta olive mix and about a half cup of olive oil. I drizzled that over the mixture and added some more olive oil in to coat. Now I did take my hands and mix it all together. I let it sit for about 15 mints before serving so the bread was still crunchy. It was a hit with the family. Next time I would like to make it with some tomatoes. It was nice and fresh t have on this warm spring day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sew Wednesday Card Edition

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I didn't pull out my sewing machine this week. I have projects to work on but not inspired enough to do them plus the weather has been awesome so to be inside sewing is tough.

I actually did some hand stitching today with the Easter card I created. I took some twine and sewed them through the holes I punched to accent the butterflies I attached. I really like how it turned out.

here is another Easter card I created with the Summer Smooches set

I added a Happy Easter tag to the bottom of my pinwheel

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter Projects- Monday Bonus

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Easter is like two weeks away and I just decorated for it. I am usually a month out but I was somewhat uninspired this year. I did my letters that I like but the fun thing was the free printable I got off of eighteen25 which is a fun Subway art printable for your personal use. I took it and deco podged it onto a really cute tray I found on the deal rack at Target (it was 2.50 and I bought two of them. I will show the other project in a few weeks).  They suggest that you frame the stuff but this just worked out so cute. I love the little trays and I am thinking of going back to get more because I have another idea for them.

eighteen25 designs

Adding the Final touch

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A few weeks ago I created this arrangement of things I bought at the dollar store. I think everything was about five bucks to create. I have had it sitting on my buffet in the living room and keep wanting to do something more with it. I saw some awesome stuff on Pinterest where they created Cherry Blossoms on the branches. I played with trying to create them per the instructions but found them to be a pain and did I really want to cut that many out. So I looked through my DSP from Stampin Up and found some really pretty soft pin paper and than using my one punch, I punched out a punch in the coordinating papers and hot glued them onto the branches.

It looks like the Cherry Blossoms are blossoming in my house with out having to travel to Japan or Washington D.C. I really like how it turned out and I think it added that final touch the arrangement needed. I know I have said it before but I so like creating cheap decor that is dynamic. I think this fits the bill.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow

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Yes it will because I bet your bottom dollar- okay did you figure it out- Miss O and I saw Annie the Music. It was so incredible to share with my daughter something from when I was growing up. I loved the 1982 movie which I have seen so many times and introduced it to Miss O a few years ago. Now of course we own it thanks to Grandma.

My daughter so enjoyed all of the music and lit up so bright when my favorite song "Tomorrow" was done in the show. I think it is great that she is enjoying this experience and that we can share it together.  For me learning about the arts is so important especially with how much they are part of my own life.

Here is our picture of us all dressed up and headed out to the show.

Mini Egg cups

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I decided that I wanted to try something different for breakfast and well made mini egg cups or omelets.

I took my cupcake tin and sprayed it with cooking spray and than added in some frozen has browns filling the tin about a 2/3 of the way.

I added those awesome sausage crumbles you can buy in the freezer department and than added scrambled egg mixture (I used three eggs and about a quarter cup of milk). Top all with cheese and baked at 35o for about 25 minutes. They puffed up and were pretty good but I will likely be tweaked in the future when I make them again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Camera Strap Cover

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I have totally been wanting a camera strap for my Nikon. I have looked at many but either they don't catch my attention or they are way to expensive. So I thought to myself- what if I make a cover for mine. I did a quick search and found this great tutorial Make It Do and followed it.

I used my new Summer Smooches Fabric from Stampin Up (it is available on April 1). This stuff is bright and cheery. This was also super easy and super quick. I did the whole thing in about 20 minutes and now that I know how to do it, I can make more and interchange for the seasons. The only thing is that camera strap is a pain to get off and on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinwheel Pinwheel Spinning Around Wreath

6:07 PM 4 Comments

I am so giddy about how this wreath turned out that I have to share it as an extra post. I made this fun Pinwheel card  which got me thinking about what I could do for my next front door wreath. I decided to retire the coffee filter wreath I decorated for both Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. The wreath did me well and is now packed away and will likely be always a St. Patty's Day wreath now because when I tried to take the decorations off, they were tearing, so I just left it.

So I was thinking about the Pinwheels and how cute they would make into a wreath. I created twelve 6x6 inch pinwheels and attached them to the skewers via the brads and some tape. Most of the pinwheels actually spin and I thought that would be a fun thing to interact with when you are at the door. I than took a wreath from the craft store and arranged them on there. I did trim the sticks as needed.

I love how fun it looks for Spring and I can keep it up for quite awhile or until another idea pops into my head which they always are.

Enjoying Life with the Kids

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In this day and age kids have so much to stimulate them yet sometimes the basic needs like playing outside fall to the wayside. My daughter only gets about 15 minutes of recess at school each day which totally floored me and I understand why when we walk home she runs most of the way because she has all this pent up energy that needs to be let out.

All the ways the kids can be stimulated or even overbooked is overwhelming even for myself so I vowed that my kids need outside time daily as well as limiting certain types of stimulations that are out there like video games. I vowed to enjoy life with the kids in a much simpler way.

Over Spring break last week, every day was spent on an outside activity because the weather was so nice. We went to the zoo where we learned all about the animals and had the neatest experience with the Chimps. We went to the rodeo where their favorite part was the "Fun on the Farm" interactive exhibit.

Wednesday we went Strawberry picking and Thursday was spent at the park for over two hours. The kids  loved being outside and seeing nature around them. I knew that this was a good thing when my daughter sitting on the bench swing at the park, told me that she could swing all day. A five year who understands already to slow down and enjoy what is around her. I think I am doing my parenting job pretty good.

I have been working at simplifying our lives. When it was complicated, we were all super stressed and that included the kids. Even my husband is way more laid back though as the sole provider he does have stress from work but feels he can totally destress when he gets home. We work at finding things that enrich us rather than zap.

I have decided that life is all about enjoying it. Finding the simple things in life have been way more fun. My kids won't remember all those amazing and expensive toys that were bought but instead will remember that adventures we took together. The richness of life is something I am teaching them to embrace. It took me a long time to see learn that, so I want my kids to know it as soon as they can.

They slow down and see the wonders of the world around them.  I have slowed down and see the world around me and I am amazed what I have seen. Life is worth living to the fullest so try to do it as much as possible.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinwheel Card - It Really Works!

2:24 PM 0 Comments
I have totally uncrafty all day. I worked on cleaning the house and laundry- I always am doing laundry.

My new Stampin Up stuff came today which was exciting so I played with it some. These new things which are called Summer Smooches will be available starting April 1 but as a demonstrator I got a sneak peak and well made this fun card using the new DSP, fabric brads and some of the current in color card stock. I took a wood skewer to make the handle for the pinwheel. It actually spins and an interactive card is always fun.

To make it take a 3inch x3inch piece of DSP and fold on the points. Than cut about 2/3rds down on each of the folds and fold the corners over (every other one). I than punched a hole in the middle, inserted the brad and bent it around the skewer. The matted paper is 3.25x3.25 and than 3.5x3.5. The bottom DSP is 2 inches by 4.25 inches.

I think it is super cute and this design would lend itself to all sorts of color combos. I might pull out some others to make. You could totally add a sendiment down in the left hand corner.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Special Series- Organizing the Freezer

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My freezers are black holes for food. Things go in and may never come out. I thought it was more organized than it really was so I had this as my new project and well I really hope it works. The pantry is staying pretty nice and I need to label my flour, sugar, etc . I have labels just haven't gotten around to it.

So back to the freezers. I have two of them. A side by side one in the house and than a top freezer in the garage. Both have been filled to the crime on many occasions and I would forget what I had in there and buy more of the same. With the pantry and things labels, as I run out, I put them on the list but it is harder to see what is in the freezers so yes I pulled everything out of both of them, organized them and wrote everything down. I than categorized them, typed them all up and printed on card stock a sheet of what is in there. Now as I use things, I can cross them off and I also quickly see what I have with out pulling things out.

I used the side by sure freezer as a starting point and filled drawers with like times as well as the shelves. All the breakfast items are now in the house freezer for easy early morning access instead of spread out between the two. I also cleaned out the fridge as well to see what I have and get it ready for my veggie co-op this weekend.

I am all about making my life easier and more efficient. I don't want to be like my Grandma who stocked piled pickles in her downstairs pantry though that was likely due to living through the depression. I also don't want foods to go bad or buy similar items. I now know I have a variety of meats to make so when I plan out the meals for my menu board, I know what I have and can easily make it.

So let's see if I can keep it in some sane order and update my list as needed. I really like being organized and having life simplified so I don't have to stress out about what needs to be made or what needs to be bought. I hope this is the last piece to my crazy organization of the kitchen!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Amazing and Easy Chicken Wraps

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I like easy things to make that are good.  I also like to make things not out of a box but something you could get at a restaurant. I rummaged through my freezer and found a back of chicken strip I found. I thought what could I do and after thawing them out and rummaging through my fridge, I found burrito wraps. It hit me to make chicken wraps. Oh they ended up being good and when the kids will eat them, I know I have a winner.

The pack of chicken strips were 1.6 lbs so I made them all. I had in the pantry some Oven Fry breading and used that. You could use Shake and bake too.

I followed the directions and made the chicken for about 30 minutes. I cut up nice lettuce and tomatoes. I also made some bacon in the microwave. When the chicken was just about done, I threw some of the burrito wraps in the oven to warm up.

When the wraps and chicken was done, I just put lettuce, bacon, tomato, cheese (I used provolone) and some ranch dressing. I than rolled it up and sliced it down the middle at an angle They were really good and hit the spot. They were light and fresh and took a very short time to pull together.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let them eat more cake!

7:51 AM 0 Comments
Okay did you see my piece of cake sewing project? After I made it both the kids and the hubby loved it and said I should make a whole cake and set it out. So now on my dining room table is this fabric cake. I think it would make a fun decoration to even a baby toy. You could have tons of fun making these and decorating.

I am also on the hunt and have been even before the cake to get a fun cake stand. I have had no luck so I took a charger I had and tipped over my glass bowl which works. That is a great quick idea if you needed to have a stand and you don't.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday to the Girl Scouts!

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100 years ago today, Juliette Gordon Low a woman living in Georgia decided to embark on creating an organization for girls inspired by the Bo Scouts. 100 years later, Girls from across the world, actually about 3.2 million of them are proud to be called Girl Scouts. Low wanted her group to encompass all sorts of girls and to teach them lots of things that weren't popular back in 1912. 

Now 100 years later Girls from all walks of life participate in scouting and learn new things I personally was a Brownie way back in the early 80's. I loved my brown uniform and sash. I couldn't wait till my own daughter was old enough to become a scout herself. Each and every time she attends an event I see someone who blossoms more and more. 

This is a journey she is taking and I am so enjoying the ride. Please support Girl Scouts because the core of the organization and what we as leaders strive to do is teach girls to empower themselves. They learn valuable lessons from Daisy on up in being a respectful member of society and contributing. Our Daisy troop in their first year has done so many wonderful things from sending cards to the troops to collecting donations for the hungry in their community. 

I have found this journey for my daughter as well as the other Daisies in the troop one where they have grown so much. They want to participate and they want to contribute to society. They are sponges soaking up all the information that we give them. We our their mentors in showing them that they can do anything. 

I love this quote from Dr. Seuss  "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not." This to me sums up what Girl Scouts is all about!

Easter picture

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I bought this frame a few weeks ago and thought it would make a cute Spring/Easter picture. I just punched out nine squares and decorated it similar to the Advent Calendar I made back at Christmas on my crafty blog. I than created the bunny similar to a card I made for last Easter. He is all punches and he is holding the cutest little basket that I filled with eggs. I really think it turned out cute and now I have to find a place to put it because I have pretty much run out of wall space. So I will just cycle something out to put it up.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Radish o Radish what will I do!

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In the veggie/fruit co-op this past week I got a bag of radishes. I have no idea what to do with them because I don't eat them. I have always found them to be not something I liked. I remember my grandfather eating them raw and my husband said the same of his grandparents.

I have been doing research to see what I could do with them. The leading though was to put them in some sort of salad or slaw. I found toe of recipes that basically told me to chop them up,  and insert them into the salad. Okay that sounds simple enough but I really wanted to more with it. I did see a radish tart that was made but that seemed to involved.

So I decided to make them this way using the Martha Stewart  method of roasting them. I am curious to see how they will turn out. The picture makes them actually look good. So we will see how they are when I get around to it. The other idea was to make chips with them too but I think I will roast them.

So I will let you know how the radishes end up when I do make them and hopefully the memory of them being not so good will wash away. I fully admit they are a veggie I shy away from and really never thing of them as a viable option for food.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let them look at Cake!

12:30 PM 2 Comments

I don't bake and it is the one thing I really fail miserable at. I rather go and buy something at the store. I try and it usually ends in a failure. I do have the cake ball maker which helps some but it is one of the skills I just can't master. I have been thinking of taking the cake class at the local craft store but haven't gotten around to it. Though the one thing I can do is sew and this is a cute piece of cake project that is zero calories. I am thinking about making a whole cake this way because it was super easy.

I created and cut out a template to make it. It is basically two triangles, two rectangles and one square which I stitched together, stuffed, and closed up. I put it on my pretty china to get a formal effect (heck I should use it for something).  This would make a great gift to someone as a fun baby toy. You could decorate it all up or keep it simple like I did. If I get more ambitious, I might make the whole cake. I think I would need like seven more pieces to make the whole thing and than I would have to convince myself that I need a cake stand (okay I looking for a reason).

The following are the sizes of the pieces cut from the templates:

I cut 1 4 x4 inch square for the back of the piece. 
I cut 2 4x5.25x5.25 triangles for the top and bottom. 
I cut 2 4x5 rectangles for the cake sides. 

These are the templates I made out to cut out the fabric. I choose a fabric that looked like the inside of a piece. 

The top and bottom of the slice

The insides attached on

The piece inside out

My finished piece of cake

I admit I think it looks good though it might leave a cotton taste in your mouth. 

So chalk this up to a weird thing I have sewed because I wanted to see how it was done.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Updating the Half Bath

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So my wonderful children have pecked away at the wallpaper border int he half bath. The first rip happened a few years ago when Daddy was home with a sick Miss O, who for some reason thought I need to rip that. I did a quick fix on it but than this past year, both kids have gotten their hands on it to rip pieces off.

I knew I needed to fix it which meant to actually take it all down and either repaint or put a new border up. I was so dreading it but with all of the things I have been doing over the lats few weeks, I finally decided to get to it. I ordered a new border last week and than started taking down the border. I peeled off the first layer of the one wall last week and well was dishearten. I walked away dreading it even more now.

So yesterday the new border arrived and I figured I should just go to work on it. I have to say it ended up being way easier than I thought. It took me a total of an hour to take the original border down and put the new one up. I think these new borders are so much nicer than the old wallpaper which you would have to basically take it down to the sheet rock (yep  we had to do that in our kitchen when we took that stuff down).

I first took off the print part of the wallpaper and than I started working on the tan backing. I was cleaning up around the edges and got it wet, well that was the trick to it. It peeled right off. I got it all off in about twenty minutes by just wetting sections and peeling it off. I than took both the sponge and magic eraser to get those few little pieces.

Because it took so little time, I started working on the new border which I got up in about thirty minutes (you have to wait some between wetting and putting up). I love that I have a natural level in there with the counter, so it went right up plus I found a nice simple border that wasn't so busy, so piecing it was really easy.

Here are pictures of it all:

This is taking down the border. 

More border coming down. 

Border is down. YOu could tell it was up there when you were in there because the wall underneath was whiter. 

New border up. I just used a different nautical/lighthouse border. 

This quick and easy fix makes the bathroom look new again. My hubby walked in and instantly said how nice it looks. Now I know next time they decide to rip it, I can fix it. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March is National Craft Month

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Oh there are so many great things about March. You know that thing about it in like a Lion out like a Lamp- we started here in Houston pretty much like a Lamb so far. The weather is wonderful and we are enjoying walks and playing outside.

So the funny thing is like I need a month to be Crafty! I feel you should always try to be crafty and I know it is harder for some more than others. Here is the challenge for the month to you all. Try something crafty outside your box. There are lots of entry level crafts on Pinterst or just do a quick search on the web. I even have some great crafts that are easy and quick. My favorite craft is always quick and simple with a dramatic effect.

So challenge yourself and create something even something small!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

6:22 AM 0 Comments
This is what I love to stay home with the kids so that on a morning like this on Dr. Seuss birthday, I have the time to make them some green eggs and ham.  They loved it and we didn't have to try to eat it in a house or with a mouse or even in the rain on a train.

These were easy to make. I took some spinach and sautéed that up in the pan and than added some scrambled eggs. I toasted some english muffins and than added cheese and ham to make our own version. Miss O told me it was so good and loved it (she wants it a again tomorrow and was eating her brothers).

The bad news was that Miss O's Cat in the Hat shirt no longer fits her so she went to school with out it.  Oh we so wish it had fit and I had the request to get a bigger one for her which might not be so easy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bean Soup

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I got this bean soup mix awhile ago and well finally got around to using it. It is like 13 different beans in it  and I used it before to make a chili like dish with it.

This week, I wanted soup. I find soup to be filling and comforting with out being loaded with tons of things  I have been working my butt off for. Plus I made it in the crock pot which makes life so much easier. Just throw it all in and let it slowly cook. I think people underrate the slow cooker and need to use it more. I love it the summer because i get those great meals with out heating up the kitchen.

I used the following in it:

1.5 cups of the bean mix (it is a dried bean mix)
1 smoked sausage
1 can of tomato sauce (small can)
1 table spoon of beef bouillon
6-7 cans of water (I used the tomato sauce can),

I just cooked it all day and stirred it once in awhile to make sure that there was enough water in it. If it is looking like you need more water, just add a half a cup and see how it is cooking. Add more as needed.