Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fruit Smoothies

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We were at the YMCA pool and the kids really wanted a smoothie from the Smoothie place and I couldn't stomach spending the 4 a piece on a small one for them so I promised them when we got home that I would make them one.

I used about two cups of frozen fruit mix (strawberry, pineapple, peach and mango) and than added one container of low fat strawberry yogurt and about a cup and half of milk. I blended it all up and it made a awesome smoothie. This would be great to add spinach and make it a green monster smoothie and the kids would never be the wiser that it is actually "good" for them. Plus it was only a few points for weight watchers and it was satisfying which is something I am ALWAYS looking for!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Car Bandolier for the Boy

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I saw this Pin the other day and thought I need to make that for Mr. L. He carries his cars around or hoes in his pockets plus they always seem to be clanking around. I got some fabric off the remnant bin at the fabric store and paid about a buck for it (i have enough to make more and there has been a request by Miss O to make her one).

He loved it from the moment I finished it and stuck all his cars in. He has been wearing it ever since and shoving all of his five million cars into the pockets. My husband thinks it is so funny and cute on him.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chipboard B

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Yes I know another chipboard letter. I love them so much and want to switch them up when I can. I did this one which really accents the new paper Stampin Up has in the new catalog. I just took some 12x12 crumb cake,  8x11.5 summer starfruit, and covered my B with the Birds of a Feather DSP. Very simple and I love the clean lines about it.  I added the punched flowers in Pacific Point and Summer Starfruit.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Special- 4th of July Decorating

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I have to say the Fourth is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Halloween is first and Christmas is second so the Fourth is like third in that list. I love the red, white and blue colors and well I went to town doing up my buffet in my living room. I love to showcase my fun designs and well holidays make it so much easier.

Here is my full decorations!

Closer look at one side of the table. The printable is from eighteen25 which I just love. 

I covered some canvas pictures awhile ago in SU's Summer Smooches paper and well finally found something to do with them. 

Closer look at the buffet. 

My dollar garland. I just bought the stars from the store, punched a bigger hole in them and strung them up on ribbon I already had. I will likely reuse the ribbon for another banner. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Best Meatloaf Hands Down!

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I have been on a quest for the last ten years to replicate my Grandma Pat's meatloaf. I tried everything and asked everyone for suggestions. I got lots of great ideas and tried many of them.

I even created my own version with an an Italian twist which we love but still crumbled when I sliced it. I just wanted a meatloaf that sliced nicely and would be good hot or cold like my Grandma's. Today after some internet searches and using an unconventional method, I found it.

I love to make meatloaf on Sundays but hate having to heat the oven when it is over ninety degrees outside. So I first started looking for something to to use my ground beef in the crockpot. I went through all sorts of ideas but the last one was making a meatloaf in the crockpot. Yeah I know it sounds crazy but I thought why not. If it didn't work out we were having pizza.

So I went to putting it all together which took about five minutes total.

1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of ground pork (or Italian sausage)
2 eggs
2 and half pieces of whole wheat bread
Some milk (like one or two tablespoons).
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
Small can of tomato sauce

I beat the eggs and than added the bread which I just crumbled up. I put the dash of milk as well as some of the garlic salt and Italian seasoning (about a teaspoon of each). I mixed that all together and than added the Ground beef and pork. I got my hands dirty and mixed it all together and formed it into a log in the crock pot. I topped it with the tomato sauce and set it I low for 6-7 hours. I did drain off some of the fat about half way through but I don't think you would have to do it.

The loaf sliced so nice and well was voted as the best by the family. I made homemade mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon ( I browned some bacon and than tossed in some cooked sprouts to brown them up).

I can't wait to try it with the Italian sausage or even a turkey beef mix. I think you could use ketchup as well instead of tomato sauce- I just prefer the sauce.

I think the trick here was that the meatloaf was somewhat steamed by the crock pot. All I know for sure was that it was delish and will so be making it again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th of July Sewing

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I have been working on these placements "um gulp" for almost a year. I bought the stuff about two days before last year's 4th of July and had most of them down right away but after the holiday came and went, I stuck them away and with the move of the craft area, they sort of got put to the bottom of the pile. I was going through my sewing stuff and make a pile of things I wanted to get done when I stumbled upon them again, so I finished them up (all I needed to do was sew the binding on). I than found some extra blue fabric and made some matching napkins which I didn't sew just heat bonded them on because they are more for decoration than use!

I also picked up some cute patriotic fabric while on our road trip and was thinking what could I do with that. When I got home, I looked through my one quilt magazine and this really cute quick quilt was in there. I decided that was what I wanted to do. I still have a bunch of the fabric left over from the pack so I might make something else with it. Now I just need a place to hang it or set it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

4th of July Wreath

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Yes I am at it again with my wreaths. I love creating them for holidays and well just about every day. I have been thinking about what I wanted to do for the 4th of July which is one of my favorite holidays. I love the patriotic blues, reds and whites of the holiday. It is so much fun to walk the store aisles of the 4th decor.

I did some research on Pinterest and gathered some ideas as I walked around the stores and when I found the triangle banner at Wally World, I knew what I was going to do. This wreath has about 5 dollars worth of stuff in it and was super simple to make.

I got a wreath and bow at the dollar store, and than purchased the triangle red, white, and blue banner at Wally World. I used red, white and blue card stock in my stash and punch out the layered flowers. I did play with the bow some and had it first not the bottom but after hanging it up, decided to switch to the top which I like so much better.

After the 4th, my Pinwheel Wreath will go back up but I think I will be doing a back to school one for August which should be fun plus if it works out what a fun teacher gift it could be.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Macaroni Kid Articles

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With being out of town, I am behind posting my last two weekly articles.

Here is the one from 6/10/12:


Road Trip Recap

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So I know that many people dread getting in the car for days at a time with kids and think we are crazy to take the toddler and six year old on these long trips. My inlaws joked that they didn't think we would ever make it to Arizona because of the car ride but we did and had an incredible time.

One of the mottos we love to live by is "Life is about the Journey and not the Destination", so as we go on these roads trip, we enjoy the journey that we are on. We saw some incredible things and well have decided that this road trip will be another one we will be taking and adding on lots of great pitstops as well.

We started our journey here in Houston and drove west on I-10 towards San Antonio where we made our fist pitstop at Buc-ee's. If you are from Texas or have driven through, you know Buc-ee's and yes it is a gas station but it has to be the biggest and nicest one we have ever seen. The bathrooms are amazing and well the selections of treats and foods are great. This is no ordinary place for gas station food. You know when you see Buc-ee's that you are close to San Antonio. We spent about 45 minutes at Buc-ee's looking around, buying large amounts of beef jerky and candy, and eating a nice dinner.

Soon we were off again towards what was going to be our final destination for the night, Sonora, Texas. We stopped at a nice motel which had a great free homemade breakfast. As we were talking to the waitress in the little restaurant, she told us to make sure we get gas and potty breaks because there is nothing to little as we travel to El Paso. She was right but we did find a bathroom( a very nice and clean one) in the middle of nowhere after we got off to take some pictures.

A picture of a cross in an old cemetery

We stopped to take some photos in a very scenic area and an old cemetery where graves were from the turn of the century. It also had a small Veteran's memorial. It was interesting to see history first hand. We continued on towards El Paso to see for miles and miles the wind farms of texas. The large windmills turned in the Texas winds for miles and miles a log the highway. 

We finally reached El Paso and I had seen for miles and miles a sign for the El Paso Saddleblanket Co.  which was one of the neatest and uniquest stores we had ever seen. They had all sorts of Texas and Mexican products. We must have looked for about an hour and our only purchase was a little sombrero for the dog (yes we bought a hat for the dog). The people were so friendly there and we really enjoyed the visit. 

We headed back off after a quick stop at McDonald's which we ate a lot of on our trip. We headed through New Mexico which was flat and pretty uneventful. All the time, Miss O kept asking when we would be in Arizona and finally at 5pm we crossed into Arizona headed for our final stop of the night- Benson, Arizona. 

The landscape of Arizona was so different and we drove though what could easily be described as a filed of rock bubbles. When we finally hit Benson, we were tired and hungry. The rest of our traveling party was already in Benson, awaiting us and as soon as we pulled in, Nana and Papa were there to greet us. The kids couldn't get out of the car fast enough. We unpacked and headed into the Desert Rose Inn. We enjoyed a quiet evening in with the grandparents and yes I got a great night's sleep because the kids bunked with Nana and Papa (it was a nice change after i had been puked on the night before).

We all awoke early in Arizona because we were still on Houston time, so I went walking at 5:30 am around the hotel and enjoyed the cooler and no humidity weather of Arizona. We got up and ventured to Kartchner Caves  which was an amazing tour like we have never seen. We went deep into the cave to see so many wondrous things. It was amazing to hear that two explorers ventured in not knowing what they would find. Yes we were all a little scared but it was well worth it and we highly suggest seeing it if you are in the area. 

We than headed back towards Phoenix which was going to be our stop for the evening but first we lunched at some place I have been wanting to try In-n-Out Burger. It was a great burger and likely one of the best fast food burgers I think I have had in along time. We had our burgers and fries "Animal Style" which well is something you have to try.  

We made our final stop in Surprise which is a sub of Phoenix at the in-laws future retirement home. We enjoyed a quiet night with their friends and were all beat by about 9 pm (still on Houston time). The next day we ventured to Culver's which Phoenix has but yet Houston has one like an hour away from us. We also took a swim in Surprise's wonderful community pool. We headed out that night to downtown Phoenix and to the in-laws downtown condo for a D-Back game. It was fun game filled with a bunch of junk food. It was so nice that the stadium had 1.50 hot dogs and sodas. Perfect for the kids but yet no stadium sauce. 

The hubby and I ventured out after the game and wandered bait around the downtown area. We finally came back about 10:30 to crawl into bed and again I was up early and did my walk around the area. After we packed up and had a yummy breakfast, we were off to Sedona. The boys in one car and the girls in another. My mother in law and I headed up to Prescott Valley to pick up m quilted quilt and make a stop at he grocery store. 

We arrived in Sedona and were awed by the beauty all around. It had been 12 years since I had been there and Matt about 10. The kids were amazed by the huge red rocks. We did a quick drive around the area and looked at Bell Rock as well at the other amazing sites. 

Sedona Bell Rock

We took it easy again that night and the next day was one for the books. Matt and I hiked around Bell Rock early in the morning and what a great site. I would LOVE to be able to walk that every day (Newport isn't as interesting).  We than headed to Cottonwood for a an incredible train ride trough the Verde Canyon. The train had outside cars well where you could stand out there to get a better view. The kids loved the train and of course were decked out in their train gear. 

Mr. L with Papa

Miss O with Nana

After the train ride, we went over to the Blazing M Ranch for a chuck wagon dinner and show filled with lots of great music. The ranch had a small town around it and the kids got to ride on a play horse, rope, and take some pictures in those funny cutouts. Miss O though didn't like the end of the show because the Ghost Rider in the Sky song scared her but I loved it. I did convince her to take a picture with the Ghost Rider.

Thursday we just ventured around Sedona looking at the shops and sites. The kids feel asleep on us so we took them back and then tried some of the yummy brews at the micro brewery there. We also spent way to much time in a very unique store and yes we did experience a "vortex" which Sedona is famous for. I personally felt hot because the sun was shining down on me!

We headed out Friday to return to Texas. We decided to go a different way and went up towards Flagstaff and traveled on the switchbacks. Really glad Miss O feel asleep while we were on there because she would have freaked being so high up. We stopped and took some pictures at the top and headed out towards New Mexico. 

Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona

As we drove, my husband saw signs for Winslow, Arizona and insisted we stop there. We found a corner and yes he stood on it.  We saw the historic Route 66 and it dawned on us that this area is what inspired "Cars" so with a recommendation from my father in law we went another 30 minutes to Holbrook, Arizona where we stopped at the famous Wigwam Motel. We so want to stay there next time in the area.  
Am I am Wigwam or Teepee?
I guess I am just two tents to know!

We stopped for the night in Clovis, New Mexico and than headed into Texas for a LONG drive. We went through Lubbock, Brenham, and lots of little towns that I so want to travel back to. This road trip gave us lots of great ideas for future road trips. Plus the kids were great. The last day of driving, we didn't once use the DVD player but instead we talked, played games, and enjoyed the scenery. It is amazing how awesome it can be being together. 

We did have a few bumps like the hubbie leaving the diaper bag at our first motel stop and yes we got it back or trying to desperately find a bathroom in the middle of nowhere-success there! I love being with the family and can't what for the next road trip in July!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fabric Flower- Pinterest Inspired

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Well you all know my huge love for Pinterest. It has so many ideas. My friend and I who walk every day talk about how much we love the ideas. I was attempting a project that I saw on there- yoga pants which didn't turn out at all. I know what I did wrong and might attempt them again at some point but I had this left over fabric from that and thought that would be so cute as a fabric flower.

So I went on and did a search for fabric flowers and discovered a great pin and blog as well. I used the great tutorial from BCheniful and did modify it a bit just so it would work for me. I actually made two flowers and layered them up.

Here is how I did it with my modifications and be warned that you will burn your fingers on the glue gun.

Here is the fabric I used. It is a knit and this is about 1/2 of a yard. 

I cut a 2 inch by  LOF piece. 

I tied the end and trimmed any excess off. 

I started twisting and gluing. It took a while to get the "hang" of it. My mode here is that I finally cut a small square of fabric and used that as the backing as I glued. That helped so much more. 

When I finsihed twisting and gluing, I trimmed the excess backing fabric off. 

I added a hair clip as well as a pin (after I took photos). 

I needed a hair model and Mr. L was willing at least enough for me to take a photo. 

I thought it needed something else, so I took a smaller piece and twisted that into a flower. 

Here is the finished project pinned to my FAVORITE hat. I like that I can take it off and pin onto other hats, my blouse or even stick it in my hair. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Decal the world

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Mr. L was digging through my stickers and I realized I had this Decor Element I had purchased quite awhile ago. I love birds like this and thought I need to do something with it so Off to the craft store we went. Mr. L actually behaved and I found this cute apothecary jar to put the decor element on. It was super easy and totally made it unique to me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Block of the Month Quilt

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I have been working on this mega quilt for nearly two years which added up to countless hours of piecing the blocks together, cutting the sashing and than sewing it. It is far from perfect but it is my real first attempt at something like this.

The actual quilt was suppose to be for a queen bed but we have a king so I added on the extra yellow border to have it fit and my oh my does it ever. I love the soft colors of it and can not wait for it to be quilted. I am sending it off to a woman in Arizona who will quilt it for me and than I can hopefully pick it up when we are there.

I will post pictures of when it is all quilted and on the bed finally.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Home Manual

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I saw this on Pinterest and thought that is a REALLY great idea. I have actually been  thinking about how I can pull all of that stuff together of my disorganization and yes I can be- I don't like to but it does happen.

I got a really cute binder from Wally World and a pack of eight pocket dividers (they are the ones that you can write and erase on the tabs).

This is the cover of my binder. 

I added in a front sheet which also has our contact information in it. 

I created separate tabs for all the things we should have a tab for. This is the family Calendar tab which I will talk about more in a minute about. 

I did some searching to see what others did for a home manual as well as thought about the things I think we need. I like the idea that I can erase a tab and redo it if need be. I also added big labels on the front of them well for easier identification plus these also peel off super easy if I change out that pocket tab. 

The first tab I created was our family calendar which I added in our weekly calendar in the pocket and have three months out behind in the ring binder. I personally use Cozi Central for my family planning needs. It emails our weekly calendar to us as well as texts those important things that I might like to know or remember. 

The second tab is the Home one where I made a list of all of our home things like our mortgage company, electric, etc. that we might need in case of an emergency. I figure I can add things in as we need them in there. 

The third tab is the bill tab and I plan on sticking in our bills as they come into the pocket. I also created a "Bill" sheet to track what comes in as well as when I paid it. You can get the pdf here: Bill Pay PDF.

The fourth tab is the grocery tab. I am sticking in my coupons in the pocket. I also created grocery list to write in and you can get the PDF here: Grocery PDF.  I also like to use Relish Relish for my meal planning and they will print up a list for you as well. I figure the extra list is for the things I need that are not on that list. 

My fifth tab is for cleaning. I created a checklist (PDF version)  to help me track what I need to do. I have been using a checklist I found on Pinterest but created this one of the basics I do every week. I figure I can add as I see the need to. 

The sixth tab is for my menu. I use a menu board already in the kitchen where I track what we will be eating during the week and I hope to stick all of the Relish Relish recipes in this tab for easy access because now they are on the fridge which tend to slide down. Plus if I like it for future, it stays clean in here. 

The seventh tab is for the to do lists (PDF version) . I figure I can use this as needed or each week of the things I need to do. The eight tab is just a general tab for all of that loose stuff that needs to go in there like currently my eye glass script is in there so I hope not to lose it.

I really wanted a central location for lot of this stuff. I hope that weekly, I can go through it to update, and schedule as needed. I love the idea of one stop shopping to make it easier to go through life.

I hope you enjoy working on one as well and please feel free to use the attached PDFs for your binder.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome Wreath

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Yes it is another Pinwheel wreath I created but I added a chipboard covered Welcome sign that i covered in the same paper.

This  was so easy. I  got a wreath from the dollar store (the smaller one) and made 3x3 inch pinwheels in two coordinating papers. I than took the chipboard Welcome and covered that with coordinating paper. I sanded and inked the edges to give it that distressed look. This is a present and I am sure the person will love it. It also gave me the idea to do a patriotic wreath like this but you know me I will totally add more to it.