Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe of the Week..."Hot Toddy"

My sweetie was feeling a little under the weather this past weekend...sore throat, aches, head congestion...so I made a hot toddy for him before bedtime to help soothe his throat. Here's how I made it:

  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Whole cloves
Place the honey, brandy and orange juice in the bottom of a mug. Boil water, cinnamon stick and whole cloves together for about 5 minutes. Pour water mixture into mug, removing the cinnamon stick and cloves. Serve warm.

Have a blessed week!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quote Sunday

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
~ Matthew 5:14-16 ~


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stitched Felt Glasses Case

Last week I broke a pair of my reading glasses, so I had to purchase a new pair. This got me thinking that I really needed to make a cute case to store my "cheater glasses" in, so Sunday afternoon I whipped one up. The first photo is of the back of the case and the second photo is the front of the case:

Here's how I made it:

Start by cutting a piece of blue felt into 2 pieces - the back piece should measure 3" wide x 9" long and the front piece should measure 3" wide x 6" long. Taper the flap of the case so that it will neatly tuck into the strap. Next cut a piece of pink felt 3" long x 1" wide - this will be the strap to hold the flap down. I "freehand" cut the letter B, the flower and the leaves. Here's a view of all of the cut pieces:

Using 3 strands of embroidery floss, blanket stitch the flower together and then blanket stitch it and the leaves to the back of the case. Not sure how to create a blanket stitch? Here's a diagram to help you:

If you choose to put a monogram or design on the front, you'll want to stitch that on now. After you've attached the decorative elements to the front and back of the case pieces, stitch the case together. Be sure to stitch around the strap too! I added a button to the strap for decoration, but you could embroider something on that area or leave it plain if you like.

That's it - a super easy and cute stitched felt glasses case that can be whipped up in a couple of hours! I hope this tutorial has been helpful...I'd love to see the cases that you come up with so feel free to email photos to me!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scrapbook Page: The Most Important Thing is Family...

Just a quick post today to share with you a scrapbook layout that I created using a family photo from our 2005 Colorado vacation. I incorporated some postcard looking paper that I distressed by inking and tearing. I also matted the 8" x 8" photo with mulberry paper that I tore around the edges, which gives the layout an added layer of texture. For a little more texture, I tied yarn fibers to the tags to hold them together.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Have a FANTASTIC day!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Recipe of the Week...Mexican Lasagna

Here's a quick and yummy meal that's sure to please! Mexican Lasagna is one of Justin's favorite meals, so I like to make it often for him. I serve it up with a side salad and/or corn on the cob, and add a dollop of lite sour cream to the top of the Mexican Lasagna, along with a few sliced black olives. (Although I was out of black olives when I took this picture!)

  • 1 lb. lean hamburger meat
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups shredded Monteray Jack cheese
  • Corn tortillas
  • Sour cream, (optional)
  • Sliced black olives, (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, brown hamburger meat, salt, pepper and onion until meat is cooked through and onion is transparent. While meat is cooking, combine enchilada sauce and soup in a medium sauce pan and whisk together over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Add cooked, drained hamburger meat/onion to sauce mix. Spread a thin layer of the sauce/meat mixture on the bottom of a buttered 9" x 13" baking dish. Add a layer of corn tortillas. Repeat twice, ending with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top each serving with sour cream and sliced black olives if desired.

Have a WONDERFUL week!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Simplicity, clarity, singleness:
these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy".
~ Richard Halloway ~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Frosted Designs Challenge...Use Acrylic, Vellum or Transparency on Your Project

This week's Fabulous Friday Challenge at Frosted Designs is to incorporate acrylic, vellum and/or transparency products into your project. The layout that I created to commemorate our 15th wedding anniversary in 2002 fits the bill for this fun challenge! (It's hard to believe that has been 10 years ago and that we'll celebrate our 25th anniversary this summer...life is SO GOOD!) Anyhoo, here's the layout...you can click on the photos for close-up views:

I took a photo of the beautiful bouquet that sweetie surprised me with, and layered a piece of vellum with a Maya Angelou quote over the top of the photo:

I pressed and dried one of the roses from the bouquet, placed it inside of a clear envelope, and incorporated it into the layout:

Last, but not least, I created the title/header by using metal letters and tags with words describing our wonderful 15 years together:

I hope that you'll take a minute to join in our fun Fabulous Friday Challenge at Frosted Designs by linking up your project too! There's a prize being given away, so you won't want to miss out!

Wishing you a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pantry Organization Tour

Recently I spent a little time reorganizing my walk-in pantry. I started pulling everything off of the shelves and washing them down with Lysol kitchen cleaner. Here are a few photos of my pantry and how I keep everything organized and readily accessible:

When you open the door to my pantry, the light automatically comes on - I just LOVE that!! The pantry has deep "L" shaped shelves, so the first photo is of the left side:

And the second photo is of the right side:

I don't alphabetize the canned goods on the shelves in my pantry, instead I organize them by type. For instance, I keep all of the canned veggies together, canned soups together, sauces together, canned fruits together, etc. For me, that makes more sense than alphabetizing things, and in turn makes it easier for my family to locate the items that they need.

I store a lot of things in some of my Longaberger baskets...everything from cookie cutters to holiday napkins, to plastic tableware. I also have white plastic baskets where I store plastic bowls and lids for us to put leftovers in for our lunches. I purchased these white baskets at the Dollar Tree for a buck each, and they work great for corraling the bowls and their matching lids:

A friend of my hubby's gave me a bunch of glass canning jars that he found while cleaning out his mom's barn. Some of them are really large - 4 qt. sized - so I purchased white plastic lids for them at Wal-Mart and put them to good use by storing dry goods. They work great for holding various pastas, rice, beans, cornmeal, etc. - and they look cute to boot! I added some fun red ribbon and tags to each jar to dress them up a bit:

I used some of the jars to store a few of my baking goods, such as powdered and brown sugar, marshmallows and red hots candies:

I use one of the short, wide-mouth jars to neatly store my cupcake liners:

To keep my rolls of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, parchment baking paper, zip-loc bags, and such neat and tidy, I store them upright in a large plastic magazine holder that I purchased at Wal-Mart. (I got this BRILLIANT idea from Pinterest!)

My spices are stored on 2 lazy-susan turn tables, and my Kool-Aid, coffee filters, chip clips and seasoning packets are stored in easy to reach baskets. My canisters fit nicely on one of the shelves, which frees up counter space in my kitchen, and I also keep all of my crock pots, mixing bowls, pots/pans, and baking dishes within easy reach on these shelves as well. Drinking straws are stored in a glass jar, next the the basket that keeps our loaf of bread from getting squashed:

My pantry is one of my favorite rooms in our home because it is so neat and organized...it just makes me happy when I walk into it!

Thanks for letting me share these organizing tips with you today...I hope that they help you too!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scrap-It-Girl CHA Challenge Prize Package Info

Check out the AWESOME prize package above being given away by Kimberly at Scrap-It-Girl!! All you have to do to have an opportunity to win these goodies is to link up a project that you've created using products starting with C, H, and A.


C = cardstock, chipboard, etc.
H = hearts, hemp, etc.
A = alphabets, arrows, etc.

See how easy it is?? You have until January 31st to link up your creations...so get creative with your C, H, A themed project!! There's still plenty of time to get in on the fun!!

Have a SUPER day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe of the Week...Firehouse Chicken

Some of my favorite recipes come from cookbooks that I've collected through the years, which have been compiled and sold by churches and schools. (Church ladies and school ladies sure know how to cook!!) Although I normally "tweak" a recipe to suit my taste, I have found that the tried-n-true recipes in these cookbooks are usually no fail and big hits with my family. The recipe that I'm sharing with you this week comes from a cookbook that was compiled by the PTA at the elementary school that my son attended from 1995 to 2001. The name "Firehouse Chicken" is a bit deceiving though, as this dish isn't spicy at all. Instead, it is chocked full of yummy chunks of chicken breast, a thick gravy, and a stuffing topping - a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal!

  • 2 - 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 soup can of milk
  • 1 box chicken flavored stuffing mix
Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a glass baking dish and spread around. Add chicken to dish and rotate chicken to coat with olive oil. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from oven and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Grease an 8 1/2" x 11" baking dish with butter and set aside. While chicken is cooking, prepare stuffing mix as directed on box, using chicken broth instead of water. (This makes the stuffing extra moist!) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together soup and milk to create a sauce texture. Pour soup mixture into bottom of buttered baking dish. Add cooked chicken breast pieces and spoon cooked stuffing over the top of soup/chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until hot throughout. Serve with veggie and/or a salad.

Wishing you a WONDERFUL week!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quote Sunday

"To pay homage to beauty is to admire nature;
to admire nature is to worship God."
~ Author Unknown ~


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Scrapbook Layout, A New Design Team and A Scrap-It-Girl Challenge...

My blogging pal, Kimberly, over at Scrap-It-Girl now has a BEAUTIFUL new website! She is so talented and I am SUPER excited that she has asked me to be a member of her design team! Each month Kimberly will host a fun challenge and will giveaway some really cool prizes to the winners...so you will definitely want to be a part of the fun!

Here's a line up of the first 3 Scrap-It-Girl challenges for 2012:

1. Jan. 11-Jan. 31: Kimberly will be attending CHA in California later this month, so this month's challenge involves using items that start with the letters C, H, & A. Some examples would be: cardstock, chipboard, canvas, hearts, hardware, hero arts, arrows, abc's, animals...etc., etc.  

2. Feb. 1-Feb 29: Show some love!! Use hearts, xo xo, or do a layout about someone or something you love!

3. March 1-March 31: Go Green Month. Use recycled products on your page!

Here's an example of a layout for the first challenge, using items that begin with C, H, A:

I created this layout using a photos of my Grandad Franklin and myself - taken about 50 years apart - at Pike's Peak. I used mini compasses for the "C" requirement, hemp twine for the "H" requirement, and the arrows on the compass background paper represent the requirement for "A".

Here's a close-up view of the journaling, which gives the story of the photos:

Don't forget to link up your C, H, A project at Scrap-It-Girl!! You have until January 31st and I can hardly wait to see your creations!!!

Wishing you a blessed day!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Denim Flower Tutorial

In previous posts, I've showed you how I recycle old blue jean pockets, etc. to use on scrapbook pages and canvas projects. Today I'm going to show you some flower pins that I created using denim from the leg of an old pair of jeans and some blingy buttons. They make fun and basically free accessories to brighten up a jacket; and they also make a great replacement as a bow on a gift or decoration on a gift bag, which the recipiant always loves! Here's a tutorial for the first flower:

Begin by cutting a wavy circle of denim. The larger your circle is, the larger your flower will be:

Spiral cut your wavy denim circle to look like this:

Beginning with the center of your spiral, curl the spiral around itself to form a flower - hot gluing as you go to hold it all in place - and then fray the edges of your flower to add some "rustic charm". Cut a small circle from a piece of felt and hot glue it to the back of your flower. Hot glue a blingy button to the center of the flower, form leaves from some crinkly green seam ribbon and hot glue to the felt back. Attach a pin to the back of the felt and you're all set! Here's the finished flower attached to my favorite brown corduory jacket:

Here are a couple of more scrap denim flowers that I made:

The one shown above is simple two denim circles that have been layered and stitched together in the center. You'll then cut "petals" around the perimeter of the flower and fray the edges. Hot glue a CTMH paper flower and blingy button to create the center of your flower. Attach a felt circle and pin to the back - SUPER quick and easy!! (This particular flower makes a great decorative element on a card that can be removed and worn by the recipient!)

And, last but not least, here's the final flower:

To create this flower, I simply cut a 10" x 1" (approximately!) piece of frayed, scrap denim. By using a running stitch on one side, I gathered the denim strip into a circle and then stitched the inner edges together so that it would retain its shape. I cut 2 cream felt circles and cut "petals" into the felt pieces; stitching the felt flower to the center of the denim. I added a blingy button and a green crinkly ribbon leaf to the flower; then attached a felt circle and pin to the back - TA-DAH!! Another quick and easy flower pin!

Wishing you a blessed day!