Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog Award

I was so happy to receive this fun little award from Tess at
Make sure you check her blog out, it is great!

The Liebster award ("Liebster" is the German word for friend or love) originated in Germany. The aim of the award is to bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

I chose to pass this award onto these really great writers:

Consider following these blogs, they are awesome!
These are the guidelines for accepting the award:
1. Show your Thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog
4. have fun and spread the Karma
5. Save the Leibster image to your computer and upload it to your blog

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick & Easy Dinners

This time of year is crazy for everyone...not just moms!  Usually I love to make a good dinner but lately making dinner just seems like another "to do" on an already VERY long list.  On top of getting ready for the holidays and  my baby's first birthday, my little guy is sick for the first time.  This means mommy is getting very little sleep.

On days like today, crockpot dinners are the best!  Here are 2 of my favorite easy, quick recipes.

Spicy Potato Soup
1 lb. ground beef or sausage (we always use sausage that we take out of the casings), browned
4 cups cubed, peeled potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2-1 tsp hot pepper sauce

1. Combine all ingredients except water in slow cooker.  Add enough water to cover ingredients. (I usually add a little extra.)
2. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours or High 5 hours, until potatoes are tender.

*Pick up some crusty bread to eat with it!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken
1 lb. Chicken breast
1 jar of salsa
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans

1. Combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. 

*I shred the chicken and mix everything together.  We put this on a burrito wrap with some avocado, sour cream and cheddar cheese.  We love it so much it is now a staple in our house.  Quick and delicious.  I have also seen people throw in cream cheese but it is great without it and I know I don't need the extra calories!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ornament Wreath

While browsing Pinterest a few months ago I came across these instructions for a really cute ornament wreath.  Over the weekend I gave it a try and I am really excited about the way it came out.  I used mostly ornaments in varying sizes from the dollar store and a few extra I had around the house.  

I like that my wreath has no real pattern to it (not that I could have made one if I wanted to.)  I do think my bow skills could use a little work.  At the end of this season I am going to buy a bunch of discounted ornaments and make a few of these wreaths for family and friends for next year.  Hopefully by then I will have gotten better at bows!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Etsy Shopping

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  Mine was nice but so hectic.  Being out of the house for a weekend gives me such anxiety.  I have a hard time relaxing ever since I became a mom (before I could sit on a couch and watch TV for hours.)  I want to get a million things done and there is never enough time.  So today I am playing catch up with, laundry, blogging, and making jewelry for some holiday fairs.  Recently I have started up my Etsy site again for the holidays.  In honor of Cyber Monday, here are just a few of the items I recently posted to the my site.

 Garnet Teardrop Necklace - $30

 Amethyst Filigree Earrings - $45

Peacock Pearl and Swarovski Crystals - $75

What is everyone's feeling on Etsy?  There are so many things on the site that it can be a little overwhelming but there are so many interesting things you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.  It is especially nice to support small business!!!  Check my site out  Any feedback would be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday Night Football Menu

Every Monday my husband gets together with the guys in our neighborhood for Monday night football.  They rotate houses and everyone brings their own beer while the host provides a snack (usually wings.) I use this time to try out new recipes as I don't like to make any new desserts unless I know I will have lots of people over to eat them. I have no self control!

The menu:
BBQ Chicken Calzone
Pepperoni Calzone
Veggie Calzone
Skillet Cookie

My husband was in charge of the wings and the pizza dough but I fixed up the rest.  I found both the calzone and skillet cookie recipes on Pinterest.  I have tried out the calzones before but this time I gave BBQ chicken a try.  It was super easy.  I put two chicken breasts in a crock pot with a chopped onion and BBQ sauce and left it to cook all day.  By the time I was ready to make dinner the chicken had fallen apart and made a perfect calzone filling.

When it was time to make the calzone I flattened the dough and shaped it into a rectangle.  After that I took the BBQ chicken mixture and put it down the center of the rectangle and topped that with cheddar cheese.

After the mixture was put down the center, I cut the dough into 1 inch strips and started folding the dough over to make the appearance of a braid.  I then rubbed some olive oil on the top and sprinkled them with cornmeal.

In addition to the BBQ chicken, I also made a veggie and pepperoni calzone.  These are so easy to make and will impress your guests.  The first time I made these I followed this tutorial.

For dessert I made a skillet chocolate chip cookie that I found on the pink and blue blog.  It was so yummy and easy.  I will definitely be making it again!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Grandma's Fashion Designs

My Grandma was one of the craftiest people I have ever known. I used to love to visit to see the new projects she was working on. I was lucky enough to inherit a fraction of her talent. When she passed away we found a stack of drawings that she had done when she was younger. Most were of her fashion designs. It was amazing to go through them and see the fashions of her day and the descriptions of the designs.

I became the keeper of these illustrations and I thought it would be interesting to turn them into decorations. I found two frames at an antique shop, framed two of the designs and hung them in my bedroom. 

Every time I see them it makes me smile...

It was very hard to decide which drawings to frame since there were so many amazing drawings.  Here are a few more of my favorites.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DIY Glitter Ornaments

While spending time on Pinterest (totally obsessed) the other day I saw this great tutorial for Glitter Christmas Ornaments.  I am always on the lookout for a good DIY gift idea and when I saw these I got really excited.  I love everything sparkly and glittery but get annoyed when I find it everywhere.  These ornaments are genius...all the sparkle and none of the mess.  I went out and bought everything I needed to make these ornaments.  Just an FYI, the floor wax now has a different label, still clear bottle and blue cap but the label says Floor Care - Tile and Vinyl Finish.  

These ornaments could not have been easier to do.  One took about 5 minutes.  Out of a .64 oz tube of glitter I only used about a quarter for one ornament.  Here is what they looked like when I finished.

I am definitely going out this weekend and buying more ornaments and glitter.  Seeing the completed product, this DIY is going to be my obsession until Christmas time. 

***Spoiler Alert*** 
Everyone I know will be getting these for Christmas!!!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 Beauty Products I Am Loving

I have never been one to spend much money on beauty products but I love to try new products. At the beginning of May I went to the QVC Beauty Bash. I had never gone to this event before and didn't know what to expect but it was AMAZING!!! Women come from all over the country to go to this event and now I understand why. There were rows of beauty vendors set up ready to do your hair, give you a facial, or do your makeup.  The best part of the event was leaving with the huge box of beauty products.  There were items from all the vendors that were featured at the bash. Right now I am loving the following three products from the box.

Josie Maran's Organic Argan Oil

When I first saw this product I was a little skeptical. I don't like how some lotions can make your skin feel greasy after using them but this oil makes your skin feel great. It also has multiple uses which makes it all the more appealing. I have used it on my face and hands when my skin was looking a little dull and I have used it on my hair when my hair looked dry. This bottle also lasts... a little goes a long way!

Nick Chavez Conditioning Spray

I do not know what I did before this product! It is the perfect spray to use after blow drying my hair. It takes care of all the pesky fly aways (and in my case gray hairs that are sprouting). I recommend it to everyone!!!

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Conditioning Shampoo

Like everyone else, I have seen the Wen infomercials and thought..Could that really work? In short, it does! It is a really great product and everyone I know that has used it agrees. My hair feels so soft and silky after I use the Wen shampoos. I am especially loving the Sweet Almond Mint, the scent is amazing.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Deliciousness!

Who doesn't love the fall?  Beautiful scenery, your favorite sweater and boots and of course pumpkin and apple picking!  What is better than a fresh picked apple?  A dessert made from fresh picked apples!

After going to a local orchard on Saturday, I decided to make apple crisp for dessert.  I know how to make a basic apple crisp but decided to look up some recipes online to see if I wanted to try something a little different.  I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try.

It was amazing!!  The cake mix was such a great idea.  I read a lot of the comments and from the comments came up with my own variation.  After the apples were cut up I squeezed lemon juice on top and sprinkled some cinnamon on them.   I also added about a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the water.  

As for the topping, I added a 3/4 cup of oats and added about 5 tablespoons of melted butter.  When I make the dessert again I will probably use half of the cake mix, a full cup of oats and 6 tablespoons of butter.  The topping was more of a soft topping than a crunchy topping most crisps have.  

What is so great about an apple crisp is there is almost no way to mess up.  Add the basic ingredients and you are going to have a delicious dessert.  Make it a la mode for an extra special treat!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DIY Anthropologie Earrings

I am always looking for new jewelry/ jewelry inspiration.  While browsing Anthropologie's site I came across the Cassiopeia Danglers.  I thought they were really cute but I don't have $100 to spend on a pair of earrings right now.  Then I realized I had all the materials to give these earrings a try.

 My first attempt came out cute but did not fall straight like the originals.  I tried to simply wrap the suede around a rhinestone chain which caused the earrings to curve.  This was actually a happy mistake because the curve gave the earrings movement and looks really nice while being worn.  (I have worn them a few times and  have gotten a lot of compliments.)

I decided to try again and with a few adjustments I think they came out pretty close to the originals.

I think I found my new favorite earrings for the fall!!!  

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

While reading my October issue of the Rachael Ray magazine I came across a recipe for flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies. The recipe looked so delicious and easy I had to give these a try.

There were only 6 ingredients. Peanut butter, white and brown sugar, chocolate chips, egg and vanilla extract.

Mix all ingredients together.

Roll into balls.

Flatten with a fork.

Bake and then let cool on wire racks.

I will definitely make these cookies again. The recipe says it should make 30-40 cookies. My batch made about 25. When I make these next I will make the cookies smaller and cook for a bit less.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Updated 5th grade bracelets

I can remember making lanyard bracelets when I was in elementary school. My mom and sister still laugh about the time I made a hot pink and green lanyard bracelet for my love....Fred Savage!! I really was convinced that I would send him that bracelet with a letter and he would dump Winnie Cooper and we would live happily ever after.

Never would I have thought that these bracelets would make a comeback. I first saw the grown up version on I SPY. Then while I was browsing Anthropologie I came across this bracelet and after seeing they were charging $48 for the bracelet I decided this would be my next DIY.

I first made this neon green and blue bracelet. The only part I had a hard time with is finishing the bracelet cleanly. There were a few imperfections but I think for my first try in 20 years it came out pretty good.

After seeing the Anthropologie bracelet I tried a long version that I could wrap around my wrist twice.
I was going to post last night but had the idea to make an all black version with gold charms. I love the way it came out and I think it looks really stylish.

I am hooked on making these bracelets again. Now if there was only a Wonder Years marathon on!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I am always looking for new DIY ideas that can double as gifts for people. I was very excited when I came across a tutorial for coasters on my new favorite site Pinterest . I quickly went to AC Moore to pick up some cute scrapbook paper. I already had unused 4x4 tiles and Mod Podge so I was able to give this a try for very little money.

I followed the tutorial directions but I did find that I had to really smooth out the paper and make sure it stuck to the edges. On my first attempt the paper stuck up a bit but on my next try I cut the paper a little smaller and pushed the edges down.
Here is a picture of the finished product.

I also had some larger tiles laying around so I decided to make a larger version. I was thinking it could be used on a counter as a mini tray. Here is the whole collection.

I found this cute dog paper and thought it would make really cute coasters for a dog lover!

I loved the palm tree paper and want to make coasters out of it for my (future) deck. I think with a little more practice these coasters will definitely be a Christmas gift!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cake Pops....

I first came across Cake Pops when I stumbled upon the amazing website Bakerella. I have always been a fan of dipping just about anything in chocolate so I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of cake pops earlier. I was going to a BBQ for a basketball team this weekend and thought it would be the perfect time to try my hand and make my own version.

I made a store bought chocolate cake according to the box instructions, let it cool, crumbled it in a bowl and mixed it with chocolate icing. I rolled the balls to about the size of a quarter and placed them in the refrigerator overnight.

The following morning I began dipping the cake pops into the chocolate. This is where I ran into some issues. The first couple were okay but I thought the chocolate was a little thick and did not coat evenly.

Very soon after this photo was taken things began to fall apart. Literally! After being out of the fridge for a little while the balls became too soft. When they hit the hot chocolate they became very loose and started sliding down the pop. After getting very frustrated I decided my only option was to forgo the stick.

I put all the cake balls in mini cupcake wrappers and used Wilton's Decorating Gel to make the decorations. Overall, they were cute for the party but not sure they are worth all the aggravation. I would make them again but just dip them in some chocolate and not worry about the appearance. No one will care what they look like once they take a bite!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Recently, I have come across the most addictive website I have ever been on. Pinterest is a virtual inspiration board where you can get ideas for everything from fashion to food. Pinterest allows you to create your own personalized board from anything you find on the internet. Instead of bookmarking a site or printing something I find, I now can just pin it to my board. You are also able to see what other people have pinned. Since coming across this site, I have spent many hours looking at all the DIY projects and recipes I want to tackle. Now I just have to get myself off Pinterest long enough to do them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Leather Wrap Bracelets

I am always making jewelry. If I find a design that I love I have been known to become a little obsessed and when that happens I make the item in every variation I can think of. My latest obsession are these leather wrap bracelets I saw on Honestly...DIY.

I really love the leather and rhinestones together. The combination is tough and girly at the same time and would compliment any look.

Love the way multiple bracelets look together. These bracelets are a great addition to my collection!