Tuesday, July 31, 2012

BRILLIANT IDEA!! Crockpot Baked Potato Recipe...

When I saw this BRILLIANT idea over at Skip to my Lou, I thought to myself, "Self, why didn't you think of that?!?!?" Baked potatoes in a crockpot...who'd a thunk it??

Photos from Skip to my Lou

 Here's the link to the blog where I found this FABULOUS idea:


I'm gonna have to try this out soon!! Just think how easy this would be for a family get-together...baked potato bars simplified for sure!!

Have a happy day!


Monday, July 30, 2012

My Summer Vacation is Winding Down...

I've gotten behind in my blogging during the month of July...both in posting and reading/commenting on my favorite blogs - sorry! With only 2 weeks of my summer vacation left, I've been kind of a hermit...but I've been having fun! Here's a a little snippet of what I've been up to this summer:

My best-bud Jamie, her mom Dena, and I recently attended a fun play, Kiss Me Kate, at the Broken Arrow Community Playhouse. We had a bit of a vested interest in this play, as Jamie's 16 year old daughter Kennedie, (who is my "adopted niece"), was the set manager for this production! Here's a pic of me and Jamie before the show:

The Affair of the Heart craft show was in Tulsa a couple of weeks ago, so Jamie and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go check out all of the fabulous, crafty goodness there! Here are a few of the things that I brought home:

First off...here I am with the AWESOME birdhouse that I got!! It barely fit into Jamie's Honda Accord...we had to open up the little area in her back seat and then the pole came clear up to the front seats between us - LOL! (Sorry the photo is a little blurry...it was taken with an iphone.)

Here is my terrific new birdhouse in the little flower bed in my back yard next to my garden shed...so cute! (If you remember, I purchased the little red birdhouse at last summer's Affair of the Heart show.)

I found these reproduction soap boxes at one of the booths...and just had to have them for my laundry room:

Let's not forget the SUPER CUTE flip flops that I bought!! Love them...and they're really comfy, too!!

Mike and I recently went to a neat antique mall in Jenks, OK, called River City Trading Post. While browsing through the booths there, I found a cool old cabinet door with windows for $10.00 and a metal tray with little round "feet" on the bottom for $4.99. I am in the process of making a couple of altered art projects with these finds, and I'll be posting photo tutorials in the near future...so stay tuned!!

Upon visiting my eye doctor, this summer has also brought the realization that I need bifocals to read and do close-up, crafty work...ahhhh - the joys of being 45...ha! ha! ha! Here I am sporting my new bifocals...I had the "line" taken out of them, though...I know, I know...so vain!

The temps here have been HORRIFICALLY hot, so we haven't been spending too much time outdoors these days. We spent one afternoon at the Oklahoma Aquarium and got to see lots of amazing aquatic displays. (Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Aquarium http://www.okaquarium.org/exhibits.php).

I've read several books this summer, but my favorite so far has been One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. The story is about Stephanie Plum, a divorced young lady who has lost her job, had her car repossessed, has had to sell almost all of her furniture and small appliances to pay the rent and buy peanut butter to live on. She finds out that her cousin Vinnie needs someone to do filing at his bail bond office, but upon going to his office Stephanie finds out that job has already been filled. The secretary convinces her, (and Vinnie!), that she should try her hand and bounty hunting - which nets 10% of the bail posted for each client - and hands her a stack of files. Stephanie is unsure about her ability to actually be a bounty hunter, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and she strikes out to bring in her first "skip". You'll laugh at loud at some of the crazy situations Stephanie gets herself into, and you'll have a hard time putting this quick and fun read down until you finish the whole book! There are 18 books in this series, and they have been out for quite a while, so I can hardly wait to start book number 2!

As I said before, the temps here have been SOOOO hot - 110 degrees in some areas! - so I've stayed in on a lot of days...watching movies, reading, organizing closets and drawers, and hanging out with my little buddy Tony, who is such a sweetie! (Just look at his adorable face - irresistible!)

Well, that about wraps up my summer activities for the past few weeks! Thanks for bearing with me while I've slacked off on my blogging lately...I've got lots of projects and tutorials in the works, so lots of fun things will be showing up here in the near future!

Have a wonderful week!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Across the years I will walk with you - in deep green forests; on shores of sand.
And when our time on earth is through, in heaven too will you have my hand."
~ Robert Sexton ~


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Silly Saturday

Not to take lightly the seriousness of texting and driving, but I just found this photo so ironically funny! Have a fun and safe weekend!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blackberry Yogurt Pound Cake

My favorite thing about summer, (besides being on summer break from school - LOL!!), is the availabilty of FANTSTIC fresh fruit and veggies! I love eating lots of fresh fruit and vegs, so my heart is just a little happier in the summertime because of the terrific bounty available at the local farmer's markets and grocery stores!

Today's recipe is a nice, fruity twist on a basic pound cake. I had a little carton of sugar-free blackberry yogurt in my fridge that had gone a day over the expiration date, but I just HATE to throw out food, so I decided to see how it would taste when mixed into a pound cake! The results?? DELICIOUS...especially when served with a handful of fresh blackberries on the side! (Oh, and the inside of the pound cake is a faint purple color - cool, eh?) Here's how I made it:

  • 1-6 oz. carton sugar-free blackberry yogurt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup room-temperature butter
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and butter the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. Cream together butter and sugar and set mixture aside. In a separate mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gently add yougurt, almond extract and eggs to butter/sugar mixture, beating until combined. Gradually stir in dry ingredients. Pour mixture into buttered loaf pan and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until the sides have slightly pulled away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool, slice and serve with fresh fruit if desired!

Have a SUPER day!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Our 25th Wedding Anniversary...

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
~ Emily Bronte ~

WOW! Time sure flies! Twenty-five years ago today I married the love of my life and my very best friend, Mike Brown. In May of 1986 we were both only 19 years old when we were introduced by my friend Shelli, who was dating Mike's friend Mark....and 14 months later - on July 17, 1987 - we were married. (I was 20 and Mike was two weeks away from turning 21 on our wedding day...so young!)

It was pretty much "love at first sight" for us when we met and began dating...we got along so well and enjoyed being together so much...and it's still that way 25 years later! Through the years we have grown closer through all the zigs and zags that life has thrown at us; and are more in love now than on the day we said "I Do". No one makes me feel as loved and comfortable in my own skin, or makes me laugh as hard, as Mike Brown! We are so blessed to have each other and to have raised an incredible son along this amazing journey...I can hardly wait to see what the next 25 years has in store for us!

I love you, Mike Brown...I thank God for you every single day and I would do this life with you all over again in a heartbeat!

Thanks, friends, for letting me share this with you on our special day!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fabric Yo-Yo Birthday Card

Above is a photo of the birthday card that I made for my sweet sis-in-law Sandy, who celebrated a birthday yesterday! Sandy loves to sew, and creates gorgeous quilts and other fabric projects, so I made her a card that incorporated a fun fabric yo-yo flower with heart-shaped button center.

Thanks for looking! Have a terrific day!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quote Sunday

My wonderful hubby and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, July 17th and I must admit that to this day, all these years later, Mike is still the love of my life and my VERY BEST friend! No one makes me feel more loved or makes me laugh as hard as he does, and every day that I am blessed to be his wife just gets better and better! We are living proof that happiness really is being married to your best friend!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Silly Saturday...

Not sure where this photo originates...found it on the internet.

It's been so hot here in Oklahoma that even our ice cream trucks are melting - ha! ha!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

T-Shirt Makeover

A while back I bought this soft sage green t-shirt on clearance at Eddie Bauer. Although I liked it plain, I thought it would look even better if I kicked it up a notch with some ribbon flower trim and buttons that I had on hand. (My blog buddy, Kimberly - a.k.a. Scrap-It-Girl - sent me the pretty pink floral ribbon trim a while back, and when I saw it I just KNEW it would make the perfect trim for this shirt!)

Using some coordinating pink embroidery floss, I carefully handstitched a strip of the ribbon flowers around the neckline of the t-shirt. I then sewed pearly looking buttons as the centers of the flowers and, TA-DAH!!, ended up with a cute summer tee that now looks like this:

Here's a close-up of the trim - so pretty!

I hope this post has inspired you to look through your stash of ribbons, trims and buttons to use as decorative elements to spiff up one of your plain 'ole t-shirts!
Have a TERRIFIC day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Seasonal Fruit Skillet Pie

Last week my good friend Robbi gave me some beautiful fresh peaches, (thanks, Robbi!!), so I decided that since I had some fresh strawberries on hand I would make a strawberry/peach skillet pie. The great thing about skillet pies are that they don't have to be "pretty"...but they taste AMAZING! Also, I love cooking in my wonderfully seasoned cast iron skillet...food just tastes better cooked in that skillet! You could use any fruit combination, but the instructions below use peaches and strawberries, since that is what I had on hand.

  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts. (Or, you could make your crust from scratch if you like...I just decided to simplify and use the pre-made crusts.)
  • 4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a cast iron skillet. Line the bottom of the skillet with one of the pie crusts and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add prepared fruit that has been sprinkled with lemon juice. Gently toss to combine dry and fruit mixture. Pour into crust lined skillet. Slice butter into patties and lay on top of fruit. Brush inner edge of crust with milk, and place second pie crust on top of fruit. Tuck the second pie crust around the outer edge of the first pie crust and flute to seal the two pie crusts together. Poke holes in the top pie crust with a knife or fork. Brush top of pie crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place skillet pie in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an aditional 30 minutes, or until crust is a pretty golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream....HEAVEN!!

Wishing you a wonderful day, friends!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Cute Way to Use Cloth Napkins...

Last Friday I enjoyed a nice lunch with my friend Andrea at the Utica Square Olive Garden. She has been working hard all summer on her Master's Degree at TU, so I decided to take her a little treat! I tied up a little loaf of my Chunky Monkey Sweet Bread with a cute plaid napkin, (click HERE for the recipe). I then attached a felt flower that I made/stitched to a little hair clip for her precious 20 month old granddaughter, Ella.

I am always on the lookout for random cloth napkins on clearance racks and at discount stores like Tuesday Morning. They are so handy for wrapping baked goods, lining baskets, tucking into gift bags, etc. Most of the time I can pick them up for a buck each, since no one wants just one cloth napkin sitting in the clearance bin - ha! ha!

Wishing you a blessed day!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Silly Saturday

When I sent this to my son, he said "I'm glad that you were a great mom!" LOL!! Have a terrific weekend!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder...

They say that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and in the summertime beautiful red, garden fresh tomatoes are just GORGEOUS to me!! Thanks to Mike's friend and hunting buddy, Larry S., for sharing his bounty with us!!! (And yes, I did share and send some home with Justin - LOL!) I can hardly wait to slice into these to make BLTs for dinner!! DELISH!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe of the Week...Lazy Day Banana Cream Pie

This is a simple pie that is so cool and creamy...perfect for hot summer days!

  • 1 deep dish frozen pie crust
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 box banana cream pudding (either instant or cook-n-serve)
  • 1 carton Cool-Whip Lite - thawed
Bake pie crust according to package directions and cool. Slice bananas and layer on bottom of pie crust. Prepare pudding according to package directions, pour over the top of bananas and chill. Spread cool whip on top of set pudding and refrigerate for an hour before slicing. Keep remaining pie in refrigerator. MMMMM-MMMMM GOOD!!