Friday, May 31, 2013

Shabby Chic and Pink Shower

A group of us from work recently threw a party for our friend Melissa and her baby Raylyn.  It's always fun to throw a party with different groups of people to see what everyone pulls together.  Stacey bought the material for the R for the door (above) and I blogged about the process for putting this together on Tuesday. Melissa's nursery is ad-or-able in greys, pinks, and shabby chic designs, so we tried to go with the pink and shabby theme.
As promises, I made a baby pearl necklace for Raylyn.  I blogged the super simple process for these necklaces here.
One of my favorite sign in gifts are books.  The family has the fun last name of Fox, so our friend Amber recommended this book with foxes, and all the guest wrote messages to Melissa on the inside.
Stacey made a tutu and had this adorable onsie monogrammed.
Each hostess brought an outfit (or two) and they were hung up the stairwell.
Stacey's mom put together some great flower arrangements to join the pink candy and pearls, and I had some old windows I brought (others had shabby chic chalk boards etc we put around).  
Here is another Stacey's Mom creation.  We accidentally discovered these adorable cups at Laine's shower and requested we borrow these again from Stacey's godmother.  I hope I have cool stuff like this for my godchildren to borrow someday!
Drinks is a cupcake lidded mason jar and paper straws.  
Feasting.
Taylor's friend makes these beautiful cupcakes.....that are DEVINE with salted caramel inside.
I'm sad to post these b/c I'd like about size of them right now!
Hostesses, Melissa, and Raylyn.  
Favors.
The great thing about working at a school is that we get to celebrate a lot....with many more celebrations to come for Melissa, Raylyn, and the whole team of gals-it makes it even sweater with such a group of creative gals.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

'Ready to Pop' Favors...

 When we were brainstorming a favor for Melissa's baby shower someone suggested popcorn with pink chocolate drizzled over it.  Someone else through out the "....about to pop" phrase....and we got to melting chocolate....
 If you haven't tried salty popcorn with sweet chocolate....do.  I've done it both ways....melt a bunch of chocolate, pour it over the popcorn and then stir quickly....this go round I went with the 'drizzle' technique.
We had a lot of it to coat and I didn't have a spoon or bowl that big.  I melted it (it takes me about a minute to melt half a cup of chocolate-my favorite white chocolate are the pellets you can buy at the craft stores and not on the baking aisle).  I tried to 'drizzle' in large clumps so there was enough chocolate to grab your attention with a bite.
 We bagged and tied them off....
 Simple and affordable for a big crowd.
....and there is something beautiful about a dessert that hits the salty sweet ratio....as somewhat of an expert on the sweet tooth.....it's one of the most important food marriages!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cupcake Liners and Mason Jars

 I'll post all the details from Melissa's shower on Friday, but here is one little detail from the shower.  Laine said she saw this on Pinterest, and I was game....I happen to be in possession of probably a hundred mason jars in all shapes and sizes....so anytime I can bring them out and justify that expense....
As we were...what's it called?  Partying doesn't sound right at a baby shower?  Showering seems weird?  Conversating at baby shower includes something my spell check rejects....but whatever....
BUT a cupcake liner over a drink is probably a great addition to a July 4th BBQ as well....keeps those outside bugs out...and it's so simple!
We popped the lids off the jars, but kept the rim....
 We punched a hole in advance for the straws by folding one edge of the paper in a little, then screwed the lids on....
Lemonade ready to go...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby Initial Door Hanging

We hosted a baby shower recentlyi (more details to come this week) and my friend brought me some pieces she had purchased to make a little hanging for the outside of the door. 
 I love a good initial project....add burlap and I'm in heaven....right up until I have to vacuum up all the little threads all over the work area.  
 I cut the burlap into thing strips.  (about 3/4 inch).  I also wrapped corner and edges before I began to attempt continue lines of overlapping burlap, it's really hard to get all these edges any other way.  I used a glue gun to glue it down.
 I began wrapping and layering.  Anytime I had to finish off a piece, I glued it to the back and began again, it helps me to use shorter pieces to go around the curves etc.
Baby Raylyn's room is pink, gray, with shabby chic touches.  Stacey had purchased some ribbon we used to hang this, and then a hair bow at Buy Buy Baby that ended up being the perfect little piece for the corner of the R.  I just pinned it on the back so Melissa could replace if she wanted later on.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Million Dollar Spaghetti

 
I found the recipe while browsing a website called tastebook.  I was in the mood for noodles....which I"m in the mood for on a daily hourly basis.  It's a super simple, extremely delicious recipe-which is a good thing unless you don't have the metabolism of an Olympic gymnast....in other words, eaters be warned-I could eat this whole dish.  
Million Dollar Spaghetti Recipe
7 oz noodles, 1 t. butter, 1 1/2 lb ground beef, salt and pepper, 8 oz pkg cream cheese, 1/4 c. sour cream, 8 oz cottage cheese, 1/3 c. onion (diced), 2 t. melted butter, 8 oz pkg can tomato sauce (moz or Parmesan cheese to top-add to your cheese-ee delight).  
1.  Cook noodles and drain.  Saute beef in butter until brown, add onion, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce.  Remove from heat.  
2.  Combine cheese and sour cream (except for moz or parm for topping).  
3.  Spread 1/2 of spaghetti in 2 qt dish, cover with all of cheese.  Cover with 1/2 meat sauce, add remaining noodles.  
4.  Pour melted butter over noodles and spread remaining sauce on top.  Cover with parm or moz cheese.  
5.  Bake 350 for 30 min.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brocolli and Rice Cupcakes

 There's not a lot that wouldn't win my vote if it is served in cupcake form.  But broccoli and rice?  If that isn't a beautiful marriage made in heaven, then I'm not a romantic.  Fine, I don't know romance...Anyway, I saw this recipe at daydreamkitcen and I did not pass go.  I did not collect 200.  AND if you have those people in your life that don't like their food to touch....this stays in it's nice little cuplike form on a dinner cake. 
Broccoli and Rice Cups
Ingredients:  1 c. quick-cooking rice, 1 c. chicken stock, 10 oz box of frozen chopped broccoli (thawed and drained), 3.4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (divided), 1/4 c. Ranch Dressing, 2 eggs, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper (to taste)
Instructions:  Make rice according to boxes instructions, BUT substitute stock for water.  Place cooked rice in a large bowl and cool.  Add the rest of the ingredients (but only use 1/2 c. cheese).  Stir and then place in 8, greased muffin cups.  Top with remaining 1/4 c. cheese.  Bake 25 minutes at 350 (tops should be browning and looking crispy). 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Carter's Baptism Album

I've become obsessed with board book scrapbooks.  They are so much easier to put together than the traditional albums, and they make fun/colorful coffee table accessories.  AKA it doesn't look like junk when your house isn't cleaned up if someone swings by and it's laying out, you can just proudly announce, 'That's my coffee table book..." as opposed to, "Housecleaning, I didn't even know that word could take the role of verb."    
They sell all shapes and sizes of board books in scrapbook stores, but I've been snagging them in the Michael's dollar spot....now the Michael's 1.50 spot.  Sneaky.  They turn their stock over every few months, and these go on sale and become the 50 cent spot books....that will be replaced by a book of the exact same style/brand with a new seasonal sticker. 
These are a great books for using up scraps b/c the photos take up so much of the page.  In this case, I bought paper and a few accessories b/c I made two matching books.  One for me, and one for Maurine.  But...I kept the pages simple.
 Maurine is a scrapbooker, but I wanted her to have 'my version' of the event.  She's one of two people on planet earth that will do more than use this for a door stop.  Paperweight perhaps?
I had a bazillion pictures, but I selected just a few to tell the story...and another to frame....and 300 more to carry around/hug/and cry over because I miss these boys!  
 Simple and fun. Anyone who has scrapbooked with me (Amber) will understand this book shows great restraint....there is only ONE button on all these pages, and you can count the number of flowers on one hand. I don't even know who I am anymore.
The ring always comes with the books as well, and I love adding ribbons and charms to the ring....it's all about the accessories.  Always.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shredded Salsa Chicken

My friend Sarah told me about this recipe.  I'm always asking people to share recipes they try and love because I've tried a lot of recipes I don't like.  Like, a lot.  This one is a keeper.  It was super simple, and once the chicken cooks itself,I threw it in some soft tacos.  It would have been great on salad or a sandwich as well.  Bonus-it's about to be the season 'too hot for ovens,' so I stock pile these recipes for summer like a squirrel with nuts in the fall.  Incidentally I also stockpile these for the other nine months of the year because the time I'm home and able to cook is limited.  And even if it wasn't-I'm still all about lazy.  If one of these three philosophies are yours as well-here's a recipe for you...
Shredded Salsa Chicken
Ingredients:  1 envelope of taco seasoning, 6 boneless skinless chicken breast, jar of salsa (enough to cover the chicken), toppings-lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, more salsa-whatever
Instructions:   Dump the chicken into a crockpot.  Cover with the seasoning and salsa and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6.  Shred and serve. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Book for the Graduate

I've been giving this book as a graduation gift for years, but thanks to pinterest, I added the 'have people sign the book before you pass it on' to the gift list.  This is one of my 'old' sixth grade students who is graduating high school in a few weeks...

She joined the team I went with this last summer to the Amazon...at the point of this picture, we had been sweating for a week, but....what a special memory!  Emily has been visiting me since she 'left' 6 years ago to find adventures in jr high and high school,  and I'm not sure what I'll do without my regular updates on life, school, teachers, boys, church, or crafts.  It's been so fun to watch her get into classrooms and try out her skills at teaching.  She is special to quiet a few ladies she met as she went through the doors of elementary school...so...those are the ladies I had sign the inside of this book...
 She's headed to Alabama to study education, so here's a little book to add to her 'someday' school library with a message I truly believe-she's off to great places....and I'm looking forward to long distance updates over the next four years as Alabama gets to see what this gal we have to offer....and beyond.