Valentine's Day Tag Banner

Monday, January 29, 2018 1 comment
 I made this cute little banner with some clearance Jolee Cupid stickers I got for a buck, a few ribbon scraps (from Hobby Lobby Rolls), a piece of left over glitter paper and one sheet of scrapbook paper.
 I cut six 'tags' out of the paper, using one I had bought as my template.  I inked the edges, glued the ribbon to the bottom and just embellished away with little bits and pieces I had around my stash.
 I used my Cricut to cut out the word Love and glued them to the tag.  I added some hole reinforcers I had and strung it all together with some red twine.
 Not too shabby for two dollars worth of odds and ends.


Thursday, January 25, 2018 No comments
These taquitos won't win any glamor shot awards, but they sure were tasty!  I made them along with a bunch of other appetizers for New Year's Eve, but I ddn't warm up the tortilas enough before I rolled them, thus the cracked sides, BUT instead of waiting to share the recipe, I thought I'd put it here, and net time I make some improvements to the 'look' I'll repost, but the taste was on point! 
This was a 2nd place 'speedy' recipe that was printed in this years State of Texas cookbook.
State Fair Chicken Taquitos
Ingredients:  2 c. shredded cooked chicken, 1 (1 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix, 2 c. shreddd cheddar cheese, 1 (10 oz) an Ro-Tel tomatoes (drained), 12+ corn tortillas, salsa for dipped (I also had sour cream and cheese sauce)
1.  Mix the chicken, taco mix, cheese, and Ro-Tel.  
2.  Warm tortials in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until they are soft and pliable (you can also do this on a skillet with vegetable spray). 
3.  Place 2 T of chicken mix on each tortila, roll tightly.  Secure with tooth pick, if necessary  
4.  Place on baking sheet, seam side down; bake at 375 10-12 minutes. Serve with salsa for dipping.

UnBEARably Easy Valentines Gift

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4 comments
I found some cute little bear containers at a store called Daiso a few months back (it's a Japanese dollar store-though everything is 1.50).  I bought them and thought it would be a fun mailing vessel for Valentine's Day.  My godchildren and all their siblings live in different states, so I try to make an impresion via the mail since visits are few and far between.  I searched for bear shaped chocolates, but didn't have a lot of success, but I finaly found some individual size gumy bears, Teddy Grahams, and small enough stuffed bears (at the Dollar Tree) to squeeze inside the jars wiht a note (I googled and found fre 'bear' related tags to print).  I'm going to put the address on the lid and the mailing label on the backside.  You'd be surpised what you can send through the mail!  Well, unless you deliver mail to my godchildren, then you know all sorts of strange things can be shipped via the mail.  For more mailing ideas, hit this link. 

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Sunday, January 21, 2018 2 comments
Green beans are an adult flavor I took up, but I think having them 'cooked right' and not from a can probably did the trick. It's funny how your opinion of something can change when you have it served at it's finest.
I love roasted beans any way they can, but I especially loved this version via budgetsavvydiva that has you added Parmesan.  It's the perfect salty cheese.  They are calories worth added, and they reheated really well.
Parmesan Roasted Green Beans
Ingredients:  8 oz green beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan Cheese
1.  Heat over to 400.
2.  Toss green beans (trimmed ends) with a small amount of oil, salt, and pepper (enough to cover).
3. Lay green beans on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a good amount of cheese to top.
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the beans are crisp outside and tender on the inside.

December Daily 2017

Thursday, January 18, 2018 1 comment
     OK, I just completed my very first December Daily.  It's big, and interactive with lots of pages, so I tried my hand at a video that didn't wobble.  I still need to work on lighting and focus, get the idea. 
     I started reading about December Daily last year around Christmas.  The basic goal is to document each day of December (some people stop at Christmas, I did the whole month since my family didn't come into down until the 25th).  I tried to do it each night, though there were several times I waited and did a couple days at a time. 
     I think if I did it again, I would probably not feel guilty about waiting until after December to really get into it and complete/or even start.  I'd try to organize pictures and maybe even jot down daily stories and thoughts as the month rolls by, but.....just to ensure no time was taken from living in the moments....which I think is what a lot of folks do anyway, future me, you have permission to do December daily in July. 
     You can use the project life style photo inserts, which I did some.  This does make it a LOT quicker to scrapbook, as does the 6x8 size.  I did a combo of the plastic pockets and some pages of just scrapbook paper.  I also didn't pick a color scheme, but....eclectic is more my style and matching is something I appreciate in other albums, but not something I enjoy working on.  I bought several kits via Ali Edwards website Octoberish, which I loved, and then I lost my mind at every craft store and online site I could find in the United States of America, which basically means I have to scrapbook every December for myself and my 12 closest friends for the next 16 years to put a dent in my supply. 
     Something to look forward to...

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 No comments
I'm always looking for new ways to bake chicken.  I ran across this one via all recipes and it was really simple and delicious.  I adapted it some by using Italian bread crumbs so I wouldn't have to add a bunch of different seasoning-I let the package do it for me!  So, if it's time for a chicken revamp, here is an easy recipe that baked well and heated up well. 
Garlic Cheddar Chicken
Ingredients:  1/2 c. butter, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 3/4 c. dry Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast (pounded thin)
1.  Heat over to 350. 
2.  Melt butter in a saucepan on low and cook the garlic until tender (about 5 minutes).
3.  In a separate bowl, mix the crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Cheddar cheese. 
4.  Dip each slice of chicken in the garlic butter, then press into the bread crumb mix. 
5.  Place some bread crumbs at the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan, and place the bread chicken on top (this prevents the bottom from getting soggy.)
6.  Bake for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Nautical Nursery

Friday, January 12, 2018 1 comment
Last summer I put together this surprise nursery for my friend.  Her and her husband decided not to find out what they were having, but they wanted to have a gender specific nursery.  I did this one other time (last summer) and had a lot of fun putting the details together.  This time around I had Amber do the same thing I did before-I asked her to create two pinterest boards so I had a good idea of what she wanted for either gender, but it was still enough of a mystery she didn't know exactly what to expect.  
 The only thing I did different this go 'round was paint the room-she selected a color for both genders, so once she headed out of town for a weekend I got to work.  She also had all the furniture already in place, and I love the way the trunk went so well with the theme.
 She had bought some fabric years ago when she was expecting her first baby (a girl), and so she gave me the fabric to use if this was a boy (knowing I'd go with a nautical theme-which is what she wanted to do the first time).  I framed some of the fabrics in old embroidery hoops I got at a thrift store.  I used my embroidery machine to make a compass for the smallest.  I found the "You Call Me" frame at Hobby Lobby, the "Work like a Captain" is from JoAnn.  I made the "Mightier than the waves..." sign.  I had her select a bible verse for each gender as well, and this is the one she had chosen for a baby boy.
 I found a cute whale lamp at HomeGood and I put some fish netting below the glass on the rocking chair table.  I added a blanket and made a pillow with my embroidery machine and some of her fabric.  I also bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby (one of my first purchases).  She had the red lamp we bought together years ago, and I added a glass fishing weight.  My thought is that she can eventually add books and special items like his first shoes etc to the boat.
 This shelf I imagine she will fill with different toys and baskets of socks, but I filled it with some things I found around the house, and a few things I bought.  I went back after these photos and added some pictures from her maternity shoot.  I found an anchor teether, and some cute little whales.  I made a burp.  I also found some sea themed bath squirts.  I 'borrowed' an ocean puzzle from her daughter.  The whale stool was also from Homegoods-it's one of my favorite pieces-hand carved....16 dollars!
 I added a few pillows to the crib and a penguin they had also bought.
 I added a little life ring I bought online.  The paddle I bought at Hobby Lobby and I added his name in vinyl, and I also added a 'No Wake Zone" sign I made.
 The quilt I made using fabrics she had bought, and the mobile I also made.  I bought some adorable, crocheted whales on Etsy, and added some anchors I also bought online.
 I found a few bins, made another sign using vintage dictionary pages, and I carved out a whale I imagine would be a good place to add baby's stats.  The banner is Holden's name using the nautical alphabet.
Last up was a wreath to greet the family.  Charlotte had one, so Holden needed one too.
It worked out well b/c Charlotte's room had some red, so I was able to use the old pieces without changing them out too much.  Hopefully Holden gets lots of good rest in this room.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 No comments
 This is a quilt I made for my friend's nursery.  She bought these fabrics quite a few years ago when she was expecting baby number 1.  She had a girl and went with a ballet themed, but this go 'round she got a baby boy who could use these fabrics.
I bought a really soft material for the back side and had them measure it to a little over a yard.  I took all the fabrics she bought and figured out how to evenly divide them (they were long enough for the width I wanted).  In this case I cut each strip evenly into 5 1/2 inches.  I sewed each strip together.  I embroidered Holden's name on one side towards the bottom.  I sewed the top to the back, and then added some binding I made with blue fabric I had in my stash.  
I'll post a picture in the nursery with this little guy ironed and ready to snuggle.

Nautical Mobile

Monday, January 08, 2018 1 comment
 Soon I'll be posting some pictures of this mobile hanging in it's nursery.  In the meantime, you get my overgrown yard last spring.
My friend, Amber, was expecting a baby boy....but she didn't know she was expecting a baby boy.  I did because I was assigned the task of decorating his nursery.  When she had her first baby (Charlotte) a few years before I knew that the nursery was going to be nautical if it was a boy, or ballet if it was a girl.  Well, ballet it was.  So, this go 'round, she didn't find out in advance, but they wanted a gender specific nursery, so I got the privilege of putting it all together.  I stuck with nautical.  I've made a few mobiles for different friends in the past, but this time I went a little different.  
 I usually use an embroidery hoop, but this time I found these sticks/balls ready to put together via aliexpress.  They also sold these little wooden anchors (I painted two red).
I found these little crochet whales via Etsy (the gal was really quick, and so sweet, she even threw in an extra narwhal...if she only knew how much I loved unicorns).  I used some jewelry string to tied each one to the sticks.  Very simple, but it works perfect with the nursery theme!

Bible Verse Sign

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 1 comment
Last summer I put together a surprise nursery for a friend.  I wanted to do as much DIY as I had time for to save money.  I had her pin some different things, and one thing we talked about was a bible verse. I had her choose one for each gender.  My plan was to do a piece of subway art on this wood, but when I went through the whole template/mod podge routine, and even an attempt at handwriting it....I just could NOT fall in love.  I had a white mess of messy penmanship.  So, my wood got a white wash.  I painted and scrubbed it off with a damp paper towel in enough layers that I covered up my handwriting.  I then found this quote ready to cut on my Cricut on Etsy and I purchased it.  I rubbed it down on the wood and once it dried I sprayed a clear coat of clear spray so it would stay (I was worried mod podge would wrinkle it).  Last, I glued rope around the top and bottom.  I love the way it turned out....after a few trial and errors.

A Jar of Good

Monday, January 01, 2018 1 comment

Mission complete!  I always make a lot of resolutions because that's the kind of gal I am.  I figure if you have enough goals you are bound to hit some!  A new thing I did this last year was this jar of  'good.'  Before the start of 2017 I cut out 52 sheets of paper using some scraps I had.  Each week, on Saturday evening, I wrote one good thing that had happened that week.  Sometimes it was hard to narrow them down.  Sometimes it was hard to come up with something good.  In the end, despite trials and triumphs, I have a year of good memories in this jar.  I put a reminder in my planner each week, but another suggestion would be to put a reminder on your phone.  There were a few weeks I wasn't home on Saturday, so I wrote down a note in my phone and transferred it when I returned home.  I have some different plans for this year, but I'll definitely revisit this in the future!  I'm not sure if I'll keep these in the jar, or make a scrapbook or 2017 memory box, but for now, they will hang out in the jar as a reminder there was a lot of good in a seemingly difficult year!