Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Cheater's Seafood Risotto

Sometimes a girl needs a shortcut.  Sometime a girl needs to cut a few corners, you know, like when she has decided to make and can jelly for the very first time starting at 8:30 on a Wednesday night.  Not that I did that (I completely did that) but it is something that could happen. 

Anyway, I took two of my favorite convenience foods and combined them to make something that could possibly be served to guests it was that good.

Take one box of Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto.  Prepare as directed on the box.

Take one bag of Trader Joes frozen Ciopinno (seafood stew).  Prepare as directed on package.

Once both items are prepared.  Combine them in a large bowl and you have seafood risotto.  Grate some fresh parmesan or locatelli on top.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Adding an Adjustable Waist to Jeans

Or in this case a jean skirt.  Ok, so here is the back story.  I went into Old Navy and bought a denim skirt.  A straight skirt.  I like it, but it has a tendency to stretch throughout the day so that by the time I am ready to take it off I can actually pull it off without unbuttoning or unzipping it.  Usually I just wear a belt and that solves the problem.  But, sometime I like to wear a longer shirt and wear a belt over top of it.  Of course, that belt sits mush higher than my actual waist and does nothing to hold up the skirt. 

Lots of toddler pants, especially those with out elastic waists, actually have a hidden band on elastic that can be made larger or smaller so that they fit the kid longer and you can get a custom fit.  If you have kids, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Why don't adult pants have this???  It would completely eliminate that gap in the back that jeans get and it would keep things from growing throughout the day.  So, I took a cue from Nate's wardrobe and added an adjustable wasit to the back of my denim skirt.

Supplies you will need:
2 small buttons
Needle and thread
Button Hole elastic
Tape Measure

Step 1:  Find the center back of your skirt or pants
Step 2:  Measure out from center anywhere between 4-6 incches on either side and mark.
Step 3:  Carefully cut through 1 layer of fabric.
Step 4:  Just to the outside of your cuts, sew on your buttons.  These are what you will anchor your elastic to.
Step 5:  Thread your button hole elastic into one hole and out the other.
Step 6:  Button one side of your elastic.  Pull tight to cinch in the waist of the pants or skirt.  Once the desired chich-y-ness has been attained button the other side of your elastic.

 I know its hard to see, but the button is clear... sorry!

All done!  Custom fit waist!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Easy, Peasy T- Shirt Scarves

Scarves are all the rage right now.  I am not a huge scarf person, but I thought that it might be a fun way to add color and interest to a basic outfit.  My friend Lisa, blogged about making a T-shirt scarf and I was intrigued. 

So I looked around for tutorials and found a few that I cobbled together. 

Step 1:  Get a T-shirt.  Use and old one from home, or buy a new one.  Bigger is better.  I bought a red one at Target (size Mens XXL) and a yellow one from Michaels (size Adult XL).  The Target shirt was $4.99 and the Michael's one was $2.50.

Step 2:  Lay the shirt out on the floor and make 2 cuts.  One  just under the armpits, and one just above the hem.  

Step 3:  You have created a tube.  Now take the tube and stretch it for all it is worth.  I mean really stretch it out.

After you have stretched it out, you can stop here.  You have an infinity scarf, congrats!

If you do not want an infinity scarf, you want a regualr scarf... move onto step four.

Alternate Step 4:   Take your now stretched out loop and cut it somewhere so that instead of a loop, you have a straight piece of stretched out fabric.  You now have a regular scarf, Congrats!

So there you go.  A clothing craft project that can be completed without sewing or stepping foot in a craft store.  These are so cheap (or free if you're using a shirt you already own) and easy to make that they are addicting.  Be warned.

Felt Flowers

I crafted the crap out of last weekend and one of the things that I made was this felt flower brooch.  I made this one specifically to go with a yellow T-shirt scarf I made as well. 

Here is the scarf and the brooch together.  
The flowers are made of felt and a super easy to make.  I forgot to take step-by-step pictures, but there is a great tutorial you can follow here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Recipes Found on Pinterest

Oh how I love Pinterest!  What a wonderful place to find great craft ideas, organizational ideas, recipes... what a great place to while away the hours at work.

So far I have tried 2 of the recipes I found on Pinterest.  One was  Buffalo Chicken Dip from The Girl Who Ate Everything and the other was S'mores Crescent Rolls from Northern Cottage.

The Buffalo chicken dip was fantastic... in fact that I what I am having for dinner tonight with pita chips and baby carrots... yum.  The S'mores cresent rolls were not good at all!  All of the ingredients are things I like (crescent rolls, chocolate, and marshmallow) but the combination was just... not good. 

Sorry no pictures to share.  Have you tried any recipes you pinned on Pinterest?  What were your results?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gravy Snob

This Thanksgiving was the first time that I ever attempted making gravy from scratch.  It always seemed so intimidating before that I just cracked open a jar and moved on.  This year I decided that it was time to tackle my fear. So, when I saw this recipe for Giblet Gravy posted on Simply Recipes I decide to go with it. 

The process was relatively simple.  Make a stock out of the giblets.  Add pan drippings. Add chopped up giblets.  Thicken.  So that's what I did.  It was divine!  I, as a rule, do not eat liver or any kind of filtering organ, however, I slurped up every last drop of this gravy, little bits of live and all.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, but trust me it was good.  I didn't really know how good until last night when I was heating up leftovers and had to use jarred gravy.  Oh my god!  Swill... jarred gravy is swill now that I have tasted the nectar of the Gods.  No, not ambrosia... giblet gravy!

Who knew I would turn out to be a gravy snob?

5 Random Things for Wednesday -- The Chirstmas Edition

1.  I have never read/seen the Polar Express.  I understand that it's about a train.
2.  I completely do not get/understand the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon.  It kind of seems creepy to me.
3.  I refuse, flat out refuse, to decorate before December 1st.
4.  I have never tasted eggnog or anything eggnog flavored... and I have no idea why.
5.  I swear up and down every year that I will only wrap presents with what I have in the house and every year I end up buying something... I did it this year with Thomas the Train wrapping paper for Nate's gifts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lucky Girl

So yesterday I turned 35.  I am officially half way to 70.  Ugg... there are a couple of things that I would like to do with this year... birthday resolutions if I may.

For one, I am going to make a concerted effort to use my camera more.  Hubby gave me his old DSLR when he leveled up and currently it sits in a drawer.  I make way better use of the camera on my phone.  But starting now, I am going to use my DSLR more!  Thanks to hubby I now have this snazzy new camera bag to tote my toy around in.  Thanks Babe!

Next, I am going to improve my eating habits and move around a little more.  I started this before my birthday actually, by making and drinking my green smoothies.  I also need to say adios to most (not all, lets be realistic here) of the sugar in my diet.  I made a good choice today be eating some leftover water chestnuts wrapped in bacon that my brother-in-law made as appetizers for Thanksgiving.  This is in direct contradiction to four of the cook books that hubby and Nate got me for my birthday:

Finally, I want to work on my nails.  I am a chronic nail and cuticle biter.  I have been since... forever and a day.  But I really hate the ways my fingers look, so it is time to work on that.  My mother in law swears by biotin for nail and hair growth.  I picked up a bottle today at Target so here goes nothing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving Buffet-Scape

This will all be disassembled tomorrow to make rom for the food, but for today, it looks very festive.

I cross stitched the picture on the stand many many years ago.  Here is a close up:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Green Smootie

So the
holiday season is officially upon us.  This is when things seem to get out of control and there are more things to be done than there are hours in the day.  This is also the time of year when I, usually, get rundown and then sick.  This year I am taking a stand... I will not get run-down!  I will not get sick!  Here is my plan for this hoilday season to ward off run-downness and sickness:

1.  Drink a lot of water!!!  Do not get dehydrated, or under hydrated!
2.  Take a multivitamin every single day!
3. Three plus times a week drink a green smoothie.

I have been reading about green smoothies for a while, but just recently decided to take the plunge.  I mean, I eat relatively well... most of the time... but the one thing I have trouble getting enough of is leafy green veggies.  This is mostly because I don;t really like salads... I don't... I just don't like them.  I like all the veggies in them, but I don't really want to eat them raw. 

So I decided to drink them.  So far, so good.  My "recipe" if you can call it that is:

1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup of frozen peaches
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup water


It looks completely disgusting and tastes a little spinch-y but it is a very good and easy way to get 5 servings of fruits and veggies in your diet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Plan

Ok, so Thanksgiving is Thursday, and I am trying to not feel overwhelmed by everything that is going on and everything I have to do.  I am trying to do as much ahead of time as possible to on Thursday all I really have to worry about it the Turkey and the gravy..

Sunday:  Go to the supermarket and buy T-Day supplies (Done)
Monday:  Make biscuits and freeze, make ice cream for dessert, Clean the house
Tuesday:  Work, Make cornbread for cornbread dressing and let it get stale
Wednesday: Make Brine and start brining turkeys.  Prep carrots, make stuffing, make the caramel apples that will be place card holders, pull out table and chairs
Thursday: Cook turkey, make gravy, set table and buffet, cook carrots

Cinnamon Bun Waffles

Perhaps you have seen these on a blog or on Pinterest?  At the moment I am seeing them everywhere and they lookes so good and so easy that I had to try and make them.

First, you will need a waffle iron of some sort.  This is mine.  It makes 2 square waffles at a time.

Then you will need a tube of cinnamon rolls like these. (oops I popped the can before I remember to take a pic)

Then you take a cinnamon bun out of the tube and place it on the hot and buttered (Pamed, lubed in some way shape or form, etc.) waffle iron.

Close the lid of the waffle iron and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Open the iron, remove the "waffles" and plate them.

After I made them all, I look the icing packet and spread a little icing on every waffle.  They are so good!!!  And whole process takes less time and energy than baking the cinnamon buns in the oven.

Try it, you'll like it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at just for voting!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thinking about Thanksgiving

It hasn't really dawned on me than Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away... even though people are calling and asking what they can bring.  Oh, well, I guess I better put a menu together.  This is what I am thinking about having:

Smoked Turkey
Roasted Turkey
Cornbread Stuffing
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Chunky Cranberry Sauce
Creamed Onions
Green Veggie
Creamed Corn  (from scratch, which, ironically, contains no cream)
Mashed Potatoes
Glazed Carrots

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Wow, that is a lot of food.  Maybe we don't need the cream corn...  or maybe we do. What are you making this year?

Friday, October 28, 2011

This Weekend...

I was starting to get really excited about Halloween and in my head I had jam packed this weekend with Halloween-y activities... Pumpkin carving (of course), making these cute mummy cupcake my mother-in-law found, making pumpkin whoopie pies, putting the finishing touches (or in my case, starting to make) costumes, etc.  Except that now, we are supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow, so perhaps I will be having snow ball fights instead.  Pics of all of our Halloween themed projects to follow... have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 Random Things for Wednesday -- The "I don't get it" edition

1.  Mustaches -- Not the kind made of facial hair the other kind.  The kind that everyone seems to be obsessed with.  The ones that are showing up on mugs, necklaces, on sticks to be held up in photos... I don't really get it.
2.  Open Toe Boots -- boots keep your feet warm, open toes keep your feet cool... "One cannot exist while the other lives"
3. Rubber Rain Boots on Adults -- seriously... they are plastic people.  Adults should not wear plastic shoes.  The end!
4.   Quidditch Leagues -- Yes, people get together on the weekends and run around with brooms clamped between their thighs and try to throw soccer balls through hula hoops in sticks.  Does not compute!!!!
5.  This Obsession with Candy Corn -- Sure, its cute.  Sure you can only get it one time of year, but everywhere I turn everything is candy corn themed.  Fudge, waffles, cupcakes, crafts, costumes, socks, it going on and on.  I don't have anything again candy corn, but in the battle of best candy, candy corn hardly enters the competition.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Contents of my Purse

So this is my purse:

It is a Michael Kors that I got for a great proce (like 75% off the retail price).  It is a big bag.  I like a big bag.  For some reason I feel the need to schlep a lot of stuff with me where ever I go.  Today I had to completely empty the contents of my purse all over my desk at work in order to find something.  So, since it was out there anyway, I thought I would tell ya'll what I carry around with me every day.

The Contents of my bag:

1 Pull Up
First Aid kit
Glasses case with prescription glasses and sun glasses
Iphone charging cable
Iphone earphones
Little pouch with coupons
Extra Car Key with Swiss Army Knife
Business Card Case
Splenda Carrying Case
Reuseable Coffee Sleeve
Check book
Assorted feminine hygeine products
Crayons for nate
3+ lip glosses
2+ compacts
Hair bands
safety pins
glasses repair kit
Hand Sanitizer
Space Pen
Measuring Tape

Snacks for Nate (teddy grahams, gummy bunnies, raisins, lolly pops)
Nail file
extra plastic bag (you just never know when you will need one)

For some reason today, my bag also contained various pieces of garbage, 3 Beanz, and part of a plastic fire truck:

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Things in 5s...

5 Craft Projects I want to try:

1.  This felt ruffle wreath from Design*Sponge
2.  This Child's Apron for Nate for Christmas from Sew Liberated
3.  Making my own Chirstmas Crackers (a family tradition) found on the Peppermint Plum
4.  This Watermark Tee Shirt from sweet verbena
5.  Homemade Glitter Shoes for me

5 Recipes I want to try:

1.  Homemade Twix Bars
2.  Homemade Snickers Bars
3.  This overnight baked french toast
4.  These onion rings and dipping sauce
5.  These Peanut Butter S'mores cookies

5 New Etsy Favorites:

1. This narwhal pendant
2.  This necklace
3.  This ribbon
4.  This octopus straw
5.  Every cross stitch pattern in this shop

5 Random Things for Friday -- Junk Food Edition

1.  My favorite junk food of all time is Combos.  Specifically the pretzel and artificial orange cheese variety. 
2.  Second to combos are Pringles.  I used to eat them an entire tube at a time.  One tube= one serving right?  right?????
3.  I sincerely hope that Nate does not love junk food as much as I do, but I fear it is already too late.  The kid LOVES pop tarts...

4. I have never eaten a twinkie.  Never.  and I hope to keep that record going for the rest of my life.
5.  Snickers is the king of the candy bars, hands down, end of story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missoni at Target

So Missoni has come to Target.  How much fun is that?  The only problem is that everyone seems to be nuts for the zig zags and it is incredibly difficult to find anything left in the stores or on the website.  I was excited today when I found that my local target had these pumps in stock and in my size:

Cute, funcational, and bridges the gap between black and brown.... wow who could ask for more in a pump.  So I threw then in the cart and then headed over to the show section to sit down and try them on.  I took the first shoe out of the box and thought, "wow, they are kind of dusty... well, I'll just brush the dust off... huh???"

What I thought was dust, was actually MOLD.  The brand new shoes, still in the box were MOLDY.  I have never encountered such a thing.  So, I took them up to customer service and explained the situation.  The girl behind the counter was nice about it and I headed back to the display to pick out a non-moldy pair... except that there were't any.  Every pair of Missoni for Target pumps that I looked out was moldy... I was a little bummed, but more than that I can't even figure out how that happened???

How weird is that?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I am loving right now

What I am not loving right now... that my baby boy's first day of preschool corresponds with PMS :(

Friday, September 09, 2011

5 Random Things For Friday -- Coffee Edition

  1. I like my coffee with lots of cream and lots of sugar.  I know this is not good for my so I usually drink it with lots of cream (heavy cream) and 2 splendas.
  2. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes call my name in the middle of the night.
  3. The very best gingerbread latte is from Seattle's Best Coffee, which make me really bummed that Borders is closing as there are no stand alone Seattle's Best Coffee around here :(
  4. There used to be this great little Bistro called the Back Porch or the Front Porch or something with a Porch in it.  Anyway they were a Bistro with a good old-fashioned ice cream parlor in it.  My favorite ice cream sundae is coffee ice cream with carmel and wet walnuts with whipped cream on top.  Yum!
  5. My most pretentious Starbucks drink order is a Venti Iced Americano sweet with room.  In the scheme of things it is not even that pretentious but is slightly more high maintenance than saying a large iced coffee.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sometimes I like to Make Stuff... Like This

I have a thing for garters.  I don't know why.  I always had one that coordinated with my prom dresses when I was in high school.

I decided that as each of my friends got married I would make them a custom garter for their wedding.  And I did.  When I got married I made my garter out of lace that was taken from my grandmother's wedding dress. 

So, when I former classmate of mine posted on FaceBook that she needed someone to make a garter for her wedding in October, I volunteered. 

She wanted something very nontraditional, leopard and black, but other than that I had free rein.  Here is what I created.  I love, but more importantly, the bride loves it too!

Black satin with a lace overlay.  Leopard casing.  Hand beaded flowers and tassel.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Take on "Mermaid Nails"

A few days ago I saw this post on Cupcakes and Cashmere about "Mermaid nails."  

I loved the look of this DIY manicure, the cool summer color, the hint of sparkle.  The only problem is that my finger nails are in no state whatsoever to be painted and photographed... I pick at my cuticles you see...

So I thought I would give this technique a try, but on my toes.

So I picked out a matte (read non-metallic) nail polish, bought some coordinating Martha Stewart glitter (OMG is this the best glitter in the world!  This is not glitter for small children... this is the good stiff... grown up glitter YEAH!) and set to work. 

I decided that glitter on one toe nail would look strange so I glittered all of them... I love the result!

(Yes, I took this picture in my office!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Border's Going Out of Business Sale Sucked Me In Again

Now that the discounts have dropped even further I decided to take one more stroll through Borders to see if there was anything left in the crafting section... I scored big time!

I walked away with this one:

This one:

and this one, because, well, everyone needs more veggies in their diet

I am NOT going back... hold me to that people!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fabric Love

So I have been completely gripped by fabric love... or maybe more appropriately fabric lust.  It started when my mom and I took an impromptu trip to Lancaster, PA last Saturday.  The section at the Amish fabric stores and local quilt shops are ten times better that what I can find at my local Joann's and the prices are way better.  I mean, Robert Kaufman organic cotton for $8.49 a yard... seriously!  So I bought a bunch of fabric that I plan to make several tops out of (that is after I get my sewing machine fixed).

The problem is that the fabric lust does not actually go away when I leave Lancaster.  So when I found these coordinating Lab prints on I had to buy a few yards of each... they are just too cute.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Bathroom Rennovation is Complete!!!!!

Admittedly these are kind of terrible pictures, but you what you can see is the transformation from Brown, falling apart 1970s bathroom, to white, shiny clean, brand0spanking-new, timeless bathroom.