Monday, May 23, 2011

$50 Gift Card Giveaway

Don't you just love giveaways? I never win them, but there's always the slight anticipation that you might, especially when it is something as awesome as this!

I have a old former college room mate who is one of the great minds behind the blog Women Who Do It All. It reminds me of How Does She, which I love. Anywho, Women Who Do It All is hosting a giveaway on their blog. Naturally, I entered as many ways as I could. Go on over to their blog and enter yo'self! You won't be sorry.

Enter to win something cute like this.

Or a one piece that looks like a tankini

Or if you are a bit more confident in your body (ahem, it is NOT post baby like my own), go for something like this.

Whatever your size or shape, they have something for you! So go check out Swim Spot!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pier 1 Giveaway

I've been in LOOOOVE with Pier 1 since the very first time I set foot in their store. I wanted to say to the girl working the counter "I'll take five of everything please, Thanks!" They have THE cutest stuff for summer. It makes me wanna buy a bunch of stuff for summer evening dinners on the back porch deck. Oh wait. We don't have a house. Or a yard. Or a porch. Or even a balcony. Guess I'll have to keep dreaming!

Tatertots and Jello is having a $100 Pier 1 gift card giveaway! Go HERE to get the details and enter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

This recipe isn't from scratch, sorry! I found a Krusteaz Lemon Bar mix on sale and bought one since it sounded good. I mean, I was pregnant and grocery shopping. Need I say more? I found this recipe on the back of the box and it is super yummy! It's pretty rich, so you'll wanna cut it into smaller squares.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1, 19.35 oz package Krusteaz Lemon Bar Mix (1 pouch each lemon filling mix and complete crust)
8 oz (1 cup) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8x8x2-inch pan. Press full pouch of complete crust firmly into bottom of pan. Bake 8 minutes (crust will be pale). Place cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until smooth. Add 1 egg and vanilla. Continue to mix on low speed until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over hot crust. In another bowl, stir full pouch lemon filling mix, water and 3 eggs together using a whisk until eggs are well incorporated. Pour lemon filling over cream cheese layer. Bake 35-40 minutes or until center does not jiggle when shaken. Cool completely and cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Makes 16 bars.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Target Steals and Project Teasers

I've got several projects in the offing but since my sewing machine has gone AWOL and I haven't the money to get it repaired right now, I am waiting on my sister's MUCH anticipated visit in another couple weeks to get them done. She has a sewing machine that she got a few years ago for Christmas that is still in the box because she doesn't really use a sewing machine and isn't much of a sewer. BUT she has some sewing she wants me to do and since she never uses it she is going to bring the machine with her for me to get her sewing done and then leave it for me to get my much needed baby sewing done. WAHOO! I just love my sisters. And not just cuz they do me favors. But because they are a-wesome. They keep me going for SURE.

So this post is a little teaser of some things I have all ready to get sewn as well as some steals I found at Target. I love that place. Every time I leave I love it even more. The only time I ever leave there disappointed is when I can't walk in and say "One of everything please. Thank you!"

Clearence sheet that I am going to make a crib skirt. Only $3.96! I couldn't have bought the yards of fabric I needed for that cheap per YARD, let alone all of them.

Vinyl wall art for a little boys room. It's sports sayings and clip art from football, basketball and baseball. Normally $15, I got it for $3.74. We're in an apartment so we can't paint. This will come off easily when we have to move. Excited to get it up on the wall!

Burp rags with cloth diaper backing all set to be sewn with some coordinating ribbon on the edges.

Fabric cut to size for master bedroom curtains. Sky blue with a chocolate brown panel across the bottom.

Excited to get all this stuff done!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Window Pane for Baby Mumf

I have a VERY generous friend who has a knack for getting her hands on all kinds of awesome vintage crafty stuff. We have very similar taste. She is someone who inspired me at a young age to enjoy crafting and inpspired my style. She's me home-girl:) When I was home for my baby shower, she gave me a big window and a small one, I could hardly wait to do something cute with it! The only problem was narrowing it down. There are a million options! I'd wanted to do something like this for months, since I saw a Ballard Inspired Design and I knew making one for the baby would be a good start because if I made some goofs, he doesn't care! And not everyone who walks in my front door will see it, unlike if I were to do one for the living room.

 This is the lovely on my drop sheet. I gave it a little hand sanding to get rid of the flaking paint, a straight edge to get rid of the paint on the glass, and some windex to clean the glass.

I liked the white, but I thought "Why not add some blue? So I gave the edges of the frame a couple coats of some baby blue paint. Not sure I like it...I'm undecided.

Here are the papers I picked out. Blue and orange is the color scheme for the room. I decided to go with colors, rather than a theme like jungle animals, or sports.

I trimmed my paper down to size (no picture of this step) and then added Mod Podge to the glass and stuck my paper on. *In this project I found out less-is-more with the Mod Podge. Too much made it bubble.*

Ta-Da! Again, not sure how I feel about the blue. Should I take it off? I just don't know...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Silhouette Giveaway

I get extra chances to win if I post about these Silhouette Giveaway's. So here they are!

Wish me LUCK! The list of things I could do with this little puppy are endless. I would sell my soul to get my hands on one!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe on a blog I follow. I have N-E-V-E-R been able to get my dough of any kind to rise. I have tried countless times over the last several years to make bread, rolls, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc and I can't get it to rise. I've tried hot water, cold water, new yeast, new flour, different climates....UGH! I found this recipe though and since I am nesting AND since it is fall AND since I love anything with pumpkin in it, I had to try this. It was my first SUCCESS! Booya! SO happy. They are delish! Now if only I can make them last a week, rather than scarfing them down in 3 days....uhh I mean give them away :)

Here are the top 5 tips for baking with yeast that I found with the recipe and I have no doubt they are what helped me this time around.

1.Don’t stick to the rising times listed in the recipe. Those are just guidelines. What you’re really concerned with is: Has the dough doubled in bulk? (This was the most important one for me. My dough took almost twice as long as the recipe suggested, but it was worth being patient. And setting my oven to the "warm" setting and letting it rise in there helped.)

2.So I know I want the dough to double in bulk, but how do I know that’s happened? The easiest way I’ve learned is to dust your finger in flour and stick it into the dough (when you get near the recipe rising time listed). The whole will close up if it’s not ready or if it is ready – try again in 5-10 minutes. When it’s ready, the dough will retain the indentation from your finger.

3.Always start with fresh, newly bought yeast. Using old yeast that’s been in your fridge or pantry for months (or years?) on end is always iffy. I like to buy a few new packets at the start of fall when I know I’ll be baking and replenish as needed.

4.You can bake bread without a bread machine, a stand mixer or a food processor. Really, it’s not that hard. I started out with a hand-me-down bread machine just to get comfortable with things and would run it on the dough cycle, but I quickly found it unnecessary (and a large appliance to store). If you have a stand mixer, by all means: USE IT. But don’t let the lack fancy equipment keep you from making bread. It just takes a little elbow grease, which is actually quite satisfying.

5.Try, try again. Everyone has flops. I’ve had rolls that didn’t quite rise enough and turned out like rocks. I’ve had dry bread. But I’ve also had some really good ones. Don’t let failure keep you from giving it another go.
Now for the good stuff!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes approximately 15-16 rolls

Roll Dough:
1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Flour (I used more white flour since that's what I had)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar


*In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Let rest for 5 minutes before stirring. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

*Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

*Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

*Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

*Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices. (My Mom always used a piece of thread so that's the method I use. You slide the thread under the roll and over about 1/4" then crisscross and cut the dough.) Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

*Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.

*While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)

*Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

For night before prep: Prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off. Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

My cousin's wife passed this recipe on at my request and I tried it today. It is yummy!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
1 heaping cup peeled chopped apples
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

*Heat oven to 400 (350 if you have a dark muffin pan).

*Grease bottom of cups or line with paper cups.

*In large bowl beat apples, milk, oil, and egg with fork or whisk

*In a seperate bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

*Stir into wet mixture just until flour is blended. Batter will be lumpy.

*Divide into muffin cups.

*Bake for 25-30min or until golden brown

*If baked in a greased pan let stand about 5 min.

*If baked in baking cups remove immediately

Crumble topping-
Mix together:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
-Cut in 2 Tbs butter and mix until crumbly. Divide among muffins before baking.

Eat and enjoy! (Makes about 15, you might have to double for your family.)

Hiatus Explained

So my sudden and abrupt hiatus is KINDA coming to an end, I think. We have had a whirlwind of the last 6 months and I haven't had much time for crafting and such. The list of happenings include:
1.) I found out I was pregnant and was sick as a DOG the first 14 weeks. I seriously thought this thing was trying to KILL me. I was soso sick! So I would come home from work and crumple onto the couch until the sweet release of bedtime before it was time to wake up and puke my guts out all over again.

2.) Hubby graduated from the Marriott School of Business with his Masters in Public Administration at BYU. SOOOOOO proud of him, and SOOOO glad we are done with school!

3.) Two days after graduation we packed up a truck and 2 cars to the gills and moved across the country in 2 parts. We dropped off everything we wouldn't need for 6 weeks and all our furniture off at a storage unit in Wichita, KS, as well as my younger sister in Springfield, MO for the summer. Then we headed for Columbia, SC.

4.) Once we got to SC for 6 weeks of summer sales they didn't have the apartment ready for us like we'd thought. So we got to live in a hotel for 4 days. Then we finally got moved in for 6 weeks.

5.) The middle of June we packed up our bare bones home in SC and headed BACK across the country to Wichita, KS.

6.) We moved into our apartment in Wichita and got settled.

7.) Hubby started his new job, a Fellowship with the City of Wichita in the City Manager's office. I've been unpacking, getting settled, getting things slowly ready and acquired for baby and took a few trips to see my family, since they are so close now.

Whew! Busy, busy summer. Now that we are more settled and my nesting instinct is kicking in, I have some crafts to show for baby-prep as well as making our apartment our own. I have also been doing lots of cooking and baking since I have more time now than I ever have since we got married. Looking forward to being back and posting recipes and crafts! BTW, baby is due beginning of November so there will probably be another hiatus at that time. But for now, I'm gonna make the most of it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Over Used Recipe

This is something my Mom made all the time when we were kids. She always had the ingredients on hand and could throw it together in a flash. Since she has left us all of her recipes have become like gold to us, even if they were things we hated as kids. Isn't that funny how that works? Anyway, we love it and it is now one of my husband's favorites as well.

Vernene's Chicken Tettrazzini
6 chicken breasts thawed and cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
garlic powder
2 cans cream of mushroom soup 
(or cream of chicken if you don't like mushrooms)
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. spaghetti noodles 
(my hubby prefers egg noodles so it's whichever you like)

1. Brown chicken in skillet with olive oil and garlic and other desired seasonings.
2. Add creamed soups, Parmesan cheese, milk, and sour cream to chicken. Warm to simmer on low heat.
3. Cook noodles and drain.
4. Combine them all together in a bowl or the pot and serve! Add more salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.

So easy and fast! In fact, this is making me want some. I think this will be dinner at our house tonight.

Another variation:
Use beef (ground or cubed steak) instead of chicken and egg noddles instead of spaghetti to make it a beef stroganoff.