Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
~ Helen Keller ~


Monday, April 23, 2012

A Few Cards...

During the month of April I have several family members and friends that celebrate birthdays, so I've been busy making cards! Here are a few that I recently made:

Thanks for looking! Have a SUPER week!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Good manners are the backbone of life.
They will win you friends, serve your children,
and keep your workplace happy.
Manners are the architecture of gratitude."
~ Annie Potts...actress from Designing Women ~


Friday, April 20, 2012

A FABULOUS Lazy Susan...

A couple of weekends ago Mike, Justin and my terrific father-in-law Logan took their annual spring camping trip in the Kiamichi Mountains, which are located in southeastern Oklahoma. (They have been camping and/or hunting there for the past 40 years.) My father-in-law looooves cherry pie, so I made one for Mike to take to him to enjoy on their camping trip:

(You can click HERE for my cherry pie recipe.) father-in-law was pleased as punch that I'd made a cherry pie for him, and sent something back home to me...a FABULOUS oak lazy Susan that he had made! Here's a picture of it before I put it to work in my pantry:

And here is a photo of it, filled with spices and such, sitting on a shelf in my pantry - AWESOMENESS!! Thanks, Dad Brown!! You're the BEST!!

Just for kicks, here are a couple of photos of the guys hanging out around the campfire during their trip...the first one is of Dad Brown and Mike and the second one is of Justin enjoying some lunch:

Have a great day...TGIF!!!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe of the Week..."Strawberry/Banana Oatmeal Snack Cake"

I've had 4 packages of banana flavored instant oatmeal laying around in my pantry for a few weeks, (because I don't like banana flavored oatmeal!), so I decided that I needed to come up with a tasty way to use them up! I also had a ripe banana and a few strawberries on hand, so I figured that I should try to come up with something using those as well. Anyhoo...what I ended up with is a really yummy snack cake that is good served warm or cold. Here's my recipe:

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 packages instant banana oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat together mashed banana and strawberries, instant oatmeal, eggs sugar and vegetable oil. In separate mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour into buttered 9" x 13" baking dish. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients for topping:

Topping Ingredients:
  • 2 packages instant banana oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine first 4 ingredients in medium mixing bowl, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans and spoon over the top of the cake batter that has been poured into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


Monday, April 16, 2012

This and That: More Garden Photos and a Blog Award...

With the school year winding down, (only 5 1/2 weeks left 'til summer break!!), I've been SUPER busy! This week we begin EOI (End of Instruction) testing, which will run until May 11th. Yup, you read that right, that's 4 WEEKS of testing! I always feel so bad for the kiddos having to test for that long, but EOI testing is a state requirement. On the upside, May 23rd is the last day of school and summer break officially begins!

As I am sure that many of you have seen on TV, there have been some really bad storms hit Oklahoma in recent days. We are so very thankful that we only received rain here in Broken Arrow, and none of the terrible tornado devastation that Woodward had. The rains have really caused my flowers to burst into bloom, so I thought I'd share a few more recent pics of some of the views in my back yard...

Here's a photo of the flower bed along a portion of my back fence. The clematis, which is climbing up the trellis, has GORGEOUS purple blooms; and the knockout rose bushes are budding as well:

Here's a close-up view of those beautiful purple clematis flowers:

We have 2 blue bird houses hanging on the fence near this flower bed, and a blue bird couple have decided to call one of the houses "home" and lay eggs there. Here is a photo of "daddy blue bird" guarding his home:

And here is the precious treasure he is guarding...5 sweet little eggs:

Some other interesting wildlife that we have living in our back yard, (besides our 13 year old beagle, Hunter!), is a family of rabbits. These cuties reside under our garden shed, and have adorable little babies that hop around our back yard. (Funny thing...Hunter doesn't even notice them because her hearing and eyesight aren't very good due to her age. In "people years" she would be 91!!) Here's a picture of momma and daddy rabbit hopping around our yard after the rain:

Recently Mike added a weather vane to the top of our garden shed, and I just love how it looks!

As you can see, the Jackmani Clematis vine growing on the trellis located on the side of the garden shed has gotten so big and is about to burst out in deep purple blooms any day now. I'll share a photo with you once it's bloomed!

Last but not least, a BIG thank you to my blogging friend Justine at Kerr-afty Creations for the following award that she sent to me:
"Liebster" means favorite, and I am honored that she selected me as a recipient - thanks, Justine!! You'll want to check out her blog...she is SUPER talented and has lots of fun crafty projects posted there!!

Upon receiving the "Liebster Award", I am to pass it along to 5 of my favorite bloggers that have 200 or less, in no particular order, here they are:

1.) Lisa at Lisa's Loft
2.) Stacie at All Things Crafty
3.) Gloria at Scraptabulous Studio
4.) Tammy at The Stamper's Cottage
5.) Kimberly at Scrap-It-Girl

I hope that you'll take a minute to visit these terrific blogs...I KNOW you'll find lots and lots of crafty inspiration when you do!!

Wishing you a wonderful and safe week ahead!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Good works are links that form a chain of love".
~ Mother Teresa ~


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Decorative Gift Bag

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted the tutorial showing how I transformed used dryer sheets into floral embellishments for cards and scrapbook pages? (Click HERE to see the tutorial). that time I told you that I was working on another project using refurbished dryer sheets, and that I would be sharing it with you in the near future...

As you can see in the photo above, I created a ruffle from 2 used, tea-dyed dryer sheets and decorated a plain 'ole gift bag with them! I simply attached a strip of Terrifically Tacky Tape to the top edge of the bag, and then folded the dryer sheets and stuck them to the tape, forming a ruffle as I stuck them down. I used Glue Dots to help hold some of the ruffle folds down.  I then attached a ribbon, bow and button to the top of the dryer sheets. Here's a view of the entire gift bag:

To decorate the center of the bag, I printed a vintage cherry image on a page from an old dictionary. (For fabulous - and FREE!! - vintage images, check out the offerings from The Graphics Fairy.) I then cut the image out and attached it to a piece of brown cardstock, and cut the image shape out. Using 3-D dots, I attached this to a piece of green cardstock that I decorated with coordinating ribbon, and used Terrifically Tacky Tape to adhere it to the bag. Here's a close-up view of the cherry image:

Thanks for checking out my blog today!!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Great Read! "Legend"

Lately I've really been getting into dystopian-type novels. If, like me, you are a fan of the Hunger Games then you'll enjoy reading Legend by Marie Lu.

This young adult novel is based on the two warring nations of North America - the Republic and the Colonies. It is a fast paced, cat-and-mouse story told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of Day, (a poor kid from the Colonies who is just trying to survive and secretly keep his brothers and mother alive); and June, (born of privilege and striving to follow in her beloved brother's footsteps to become a great soldier for the Republic).

As the story unfolds, June goes undercover in the Colonies to track down Day for for the murder of her older brother and only living relative. As their paths cross and their lives become intertwined, the truth of her brother's murder and the political games surrounding the mystery are revealed, leaving Day and June struggling to survive and do what is right.

I couldn't put this book down because I just had to know what would happen to Day and June, and if they would be able to overcome their differences and trust each other for the greater good. I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did, and I hope that the author, Marie Lu, will write a sequel to Legend!

Wishing you a terrific day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recipe of the Week..."Miracle Whip Cupcakes"

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly...Miracle Whip is one of the main ingredients of this cupcake! When I was a little girl, my mom used to make these for me and they were my FAVORITE! The Miracle Whip takes the place of eggs and oil, and to cut a few calories I used the lite version for these cupcakes. Here's the recipe:

  • 1 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. baking cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup cold water
Mix first three ingredients together using an electric mixer. Gradually add remaining ingredients and beat until combined. (The batter will be the consistency of chocolate pudding.) Place baking liners into muffin tins, and fill each approximately half full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out clean. Place cupcakes on cooling rack to completely cool before frosting. Yield: Approximately 2 dozen cupcakes.

Chocolate Butter Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cocoa with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and milk to butter/cocoa mixture, beating until fluffy. Add vanilla to mixture. If needed, more milk can be added for consistency. Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Since I made these treats to share with the student aides that I work with, (and some of the teachers that visit our library throughout the day, too!), I added some cute Easter toppers to the cupcakes. You can find lots of free printable cupcake toppers online...I printed these from

Wishing you a terrific day!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Tag Cards

While browsing around on the internet last weekend I discovered a terrific site that has FREE printable vintage tags! (Check them out at I fell in love with their cute Easter tags, so I decided to create some cards with them. After printing and cutting out the images, I inked around the edges of the tags to give them an aged look. I attached the tags to some pretty colored cardstock that I misted with walnut ink, and then adhered the tags to card blanks. I trimmed the tops of the cards in the shape of the tag, punched a hole and added some ribbon and other embellishments. Here's what my finished cards look like:

I'm really pleased at how they turned out, and I love the happy, "springy" colors!

Wishing you a blessed day!