Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pinterest Party (Special Post)

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I recently had a Pinterest party where a bunch of us gathered and crafted together. I love to craft and be social so if course combining the two was great. I had five projects for the group to do.

We folded this nifty bag from this pin

The card was inspired from this pin

I have been wanting to try the Washer necklace which I saw with this pin

the photo holder box was another inspired idea from this pin

Finally what is more fun than laminating a key chain which was inspired by this pin

I was able to invite my fellow crafters who wanted to participate in the party to pinto a board and I have been loving all the ideas everyone has been sharing on there for future parties. Can not wait till the next one. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Mine Banner

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I have been seeing tons of adorable banners for Valentine's Day on Pinterest and I dug through my stash of stuff and pulled out my roll of burlap. I cut out the banner pattern from a piece of white paper and than cut out six of the them from the burlap.

Using my Big Shot, I die cut the scallop hearts and the cream hearts using the Sizzilits. I than took a new embossing folder and embossed the cream hearts (It might be hard to see in the picture). After that I took some of the new Valentine's SU DSP and using the cricut, cut out the letters.  I just glued them on using super adhesive and strung some of that rose colored ribbon. I LOVE how it turned out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Clam Chowder

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Lately I have been homesick for foods that I just can't seem to get down here in Texas (they have their own strange version). Last week I was so craving my Dad's awesome fish fry's so I went out and got the closest fish possible and fried it up for fish baskets with everyone.

This week I was really craving Clam Chowder so when I was grocery shopping the other day, I picked up all the ingredients.  Soups are really quite easy and homemade is far better than the can though tomato is better from the can/jar (I have tried many times with no luck). The key to most soups are to let them simmer for awhile.

For the Clam Chowder I took:

- 1/2 diced red onion (it was what I had)
- 2 large russet potatoes peeled and diced small (they cook better)
- 10 diced baby carrots (I like carrots in here but they could be left out).
-2 cans of minced clams
-1 container of chicken broth or three cans
- 1 pint of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2tablespoons of flour
- 2 table spoons of corn starch (for thickening at the end).
- Some olive oil

I took my dutch oven and added in the olive oil, and than tossed in the diced onion, carrots and potatoes. I let them sauté till the onions started to caramelize. I than added in the butter and flour and coated all of the veggies and let them cook for about 5 minutes on medium.

When the flour was browned a bit, I than added in the chicken stock and the minced clams (I did not drain them and used the clam juice to give it more flavor).  I let than simmer for a good 15-20 minutes until it was slowly in a rolling boil.  The soup should be thickening up as well.

I than added in the heavy cream and brought it back to a low simmer. Now if you want the soup to be more broth like, you can just let it simmer for about 30 minutes. If you like it thicker, than take the corn starch and mix it with some water to make a slurry and than whisk it into the soup. This will thicken it up more to a creamier base. (If you like it even thicker, feel free to add more corn starch). Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes stirring on occasion.

When the soup was done, we had a pot of creamy warm goodness. My hubby had to bowls of it and told me I hadn't made enough (mind you I made a huge pot).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cars Artwork

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My son LOVES Cars and anything related to Cars. When we watched the Rose Parade he squealed in delight when he saw the huge float and lost it when Mater came out.

For Christmas his Grandparents got him the huge Cars shaped race car bed. His words the moment he saw it was "perfect". So I have been trying to move his room from the baby stuff he had in there to a more toddler loves cars look. We saw some adorable metal signs at Hobby Lobby  that are Route 66 inspired so I noticed they were on sale this week so we picked up a few.

I than took down his pictures which had both kids initials in them  (it was a remnant from when they shared a room) and  redid them using some free clipart I found on the internet. I also took some colored card stock and covered the mats to match the Cars. Oh my did Mr. L just love them and now he gets to look at his favorites every day.

Xmas Card Book

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I found on the web this adorable idea to bind all your holiday cards together and make a cute cover for them. I usually keep the cards with a idea that I will do some craft but that never happens.  This was easy and quick- about 20 minutes to pull it together and most of that was threading ribbon through. Now we have a cute memory book of all the people that sent us cards this past Christmas and I also can remember who I need to send to next year!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Easy Chili Mac

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Last week at the grocery store they had a meal deal where if you bought the pre made ground bet, you got a bunch of free stuff. I sort of forgot about the cooked ground beef until I ventured into the fridge and found it. It wasn't expired which was good so I thought what could I make with it. I dug around the pantry (it isn't really digging hard since I redid it) and found things to make chili with so with:

- 1 package of cooked ground beef
- 2 cans of kidney beans drained
- 1 can of diced italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce (12 oz)
- 1 diced onion
-2 cups cooked elbow pasta

I took my trusty dutch oven and added some olive oil in and sautéed the onions. I than added in the ground beef and the rest of the stuff. I let it cook and boiled water for the elbow pasta. Once the elbow pasta was cooked, I added that in to the chili mix and let it simmer for another ten minutes or until the chili mac thickens up (the noodles absorb the liquid).

I topped it with some shredded cheese and well it was a hit (there was just a small bowl left over).

It was a quick stick to your ribs meal that everyone liked. I like when I have zero idea what I am going to make and than I start digging to make a hit for the family.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Valentine's Day Tree

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Yes I am "that" person who likes to decorate the tree for the holidays. I was taking down the peacock christmas tree and decided that I liked having the tree up so I decided to do it all up for Valentine's Day.

I got a bunch of stuff at the dollar store and than found adorable charm packs of fabric and knew they screamed ornaments. So I cut out using my sizzix and dies a bunch of sized hearts in this adorable Moda fabric (it is my favorite brand) and just sewed around them. I added in a lace ribbon to hang them onto the tree.

This thin white tree just works so well in decorating it. It doesn't need a lot to make it pop in my opinion. Now I get to have some fun Vday decorations and keep my tree up awhile longer (still debating if it is going to go green for St. Patty's).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pinterst party Sneak Peak

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In a few weeks, I am doing my first Pinterest Party where everyone brings a dish to share and I am supplying some fun crafts inspired from the site. I have been populating a board all about this and love the fact my guests are also adding their ideas into the mix.

The two previews were fun to make.

The first is a bag which is done exactly like the pin while the other the card was inspired by the site. I a more of an inspired crafter rather than do it exactly like they say.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Owl Purse

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I love owls and a few of you know that. I actually have an adorable 9 year old friend who is always on the look out for owls and tells me when she finds a cute one. 

I have been seeing this owl purse on Pinterest but it only links to a pattern already sold but I got this quilting catalog this week and low and behold there was the pattern that I had been searching for plus it was an instant download.  So in my boredom I dug through my stuff and found everything I needed to make it. 

I had bought this fabric on the sales rack at Wally world over the summer. It was two bucks for 8 yards (I bought all the packs they had). I thought how cute an owl pattern to make an owl bag. 

I had one modification and made the strap longer for myself so it hangs crossbody. The pattern has it measured for a crossbody for a kid. I am sure Miss O is going to want one to when she sees it so another one will be made here soon. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Total Pantry Redo

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If you remember back in February, I cleaned out and reorganized our pantry. I actually had people come over to look at it for ideas. For the most part it stayed clean and I was happy with how it looked. I did need to periodically go in and straighten it out.

Than in September the first bad thing happen when the master bath overflowed and water seeped through the drywall. We didn't think it was that bad until I started having a slight moth problem (meal moths to be exact). Oh for me someone who is super clean, it bothered me so bad. I went out and bought a ton of (what I thought) were air tight containers for all of the grains and loose items. Okay now I thought I got it covered, moths went away.

Than I happen to look up and notice the ceiling in there had some mold and yikes now I was really upset. What we had thought was a minor problem now was much bigger. It meant pulling the whole ceiling out and putting new stuff up there. Now it was a bigger project.

So between Thanksgiving, sickness, and the Christmas Holidays we had no idea when we were going to do it and that needed to come down. Finally we had some time and well I pushed my hubby to work on it. Yes I knew it was going to be a pain to do it but the bad drywall needed to come down.

So here is the before picture of the pantry and as I was cleaning it all out. You would be amazed at how much stuff was in there. I also decided no more trash in there as well so I bought a enclosed can for outside.

My husband got to work taking the ceiling down. I left for a few hours and came home to it gutted completely. He started taking it down and noticed more than that needed to be done and well drywall for him is easy so he just pulled it all out.

So here is it gutted. He thought it was funny and posted this picture as well with the following caption "I was looking so hard for the chili powder and of course found it right next to the pancake mix right where my wife told me but I admit I pulled the whole thing apart".

Yeah real funny but than we had the bright idea that if we had no drywall than maybe we should install an outlet (I see a wine cooler in our future) and also a light because the darn pantry is dark when I am looking for something. So my hubby went to work installing an outlet and a light for it.

Here is Mr. L helping out. He wore the hat with the light or gave it to Daddy to help him out.

Drywall went up and it took a few days to get it up and painted. 

This is how my kitchen looked for about four days. If you know me well, you know I was not a happy camper. I felt so stressed out because I like things neat and tidy.

Now here is the finished project. I took one with the light on and one with it off. That light is so nice in there. My hubby who fought me a tad admitted that with the mesh shelves you can see everything and that was nice. He thought for sure you would only see the first shelf or so. 

Now it is done and we are both just opening the door to admire how nice it looks in there. I put the stuff I use once in awhile on the top and worked my way down. It is pretty full in there but it is way more organized now as well. My hubby admitted he found it easier to find things now in there but I still don't think that means he is going to cook. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Homemade Turkey Pot Pie

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I made a turkey for Christmas and there was a bunch left so I decided to make turkey pot pie from it. I made two pies and froze both to be used at later time.

I took about two cups of turkey and chopped that up (Chicken can also be used).

I heated up my dutch oven with some olive oil and added in both the turkey and about a cup and half of frozen mixed vegetables. I heated them up and than added two cans of chicken broth and one can of cream of chicken. I let that come to  boil and than took about two table spoons of corn starch and mixed with some water to make a slurry. I whisked that into the boiling pot and heated through until it thicken up.

I than took tow pre made pie shells (deep dish) and ladled the mixture in. I let cool for a few minutes and than took frozen pie dough that was thawed and laid it on top and cinched it around the edges.  I let the pies completely cool before I wrapped them up and froze them.

You can than thaw them overnight and than bake for 45-50 minutes (or until they look done) at 350.


2 cups chopped turkey or chicken
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 and 1/2 cup of frozen veggies
2 tablespoons of corn starch mixed in water
2 deep dish frozen pie shells
2 frozen pis shells (not in tins)

Yummy and good use of left overs. I love to use leftovers for new things!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

American Girl Clothes

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So Kit came to live with us over the holidays. My daughter went back and forth about who she wanted and we all told her she looks so much like Kit that is who she should get so of course when we finally got to the store to have tea, she asked sheepishly when Kit was coming home with her. Well Nana came through and Kit was Miss O's Xmas gift.

Kit has a few clothes because Santa was aware Kit would be coming home at some point but she really needed some more dresses to be a girl in. I found this adorable pillowcase like dress on Liberty Jane. It was a free pattern and actually included both the instructions and pattern to cut out.

I set to work creating Kit her new dress from some retired SU fabric that I thought suited Kit to the T because of the vintage look because Kit is from the Depression era. It took me about an hour and I made one modification to the dress where I used ribbon instead of creating the dress ties. I had this adorable ribbon that matched perfectly so I threaded that through.

Kit sitting her in dress

Kit standing in her dress

Now Kit has a fun summer dress and because it is Texas, she can likely wear it all year round.