3/30/13

Easter Cupcakes



For Easter tomorrow I decided to make cupcakes. Of course I went to Pinterest for inspiration. There are so many great cupcakes out there. I chose to go with a variation of what I found.

The bunny is a coconut cake with white frosting then dipped in flaked coconut. The ears are marshmallows. I cut them diagonally in half then sprinkled them with pink sprinkles. The nose is just a pink jellybean. The eyes and mouth are piped with chocolate frosting.



The chick is a lemon cake with lemon frosting.  I used a small leaf tip in an attempt to make the frosting resemble feathers. The eyes are chocolate piped and the beak is just a small carrot triangle.



The eggs in the grass are chocolate cake with dyed vanilla frosting. I used a grass tip piped the grass. Then added 3 jellybeans.



All three are easy projects and require little decorating skills.





3/28/13

$1 Spring Wreath



My son and I worked on this project together and it turned out nice considering I only spent a dollar on it.

It is made from the plastic bags you get from the supermarket or department store and a wire hanger. It couldn't be simpler or more kid friendly.

We used about 20 bags. You could also use trash bags but we decided to use the surplus of old shopping bags I had stored.


I cut the bags into strips about 2" X 6". They don't have to be perfect. A variation in length gives the wreath character. As you can see we used some yellow and some white. I wanted all yellow but didn't have enough bags to finish so had to add the white.


Form the wire hanger into a circle. You could also do a letter if you wanted. I considered doing a "D" but decided to go simple.


Then you just tie the strips of plastic to the wire. Continue until the wreath is as full as you want it.




I added a bow from some left over ribbon and some garden trinkets I picked up for $1. Had I left those off it would have cost nothing but my husband thought it really needed them.

This project only took maybe 2 hours to complete. My son is quick at tying the strips.



 

3/27/13

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla




3 grilled and chopped Chicken Breast fillets
Bacon cooked and chopped or you can buy the bacon pieces
Shredded Cheese
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
10 medium Flour Tortillas

1.   Butter or spray griddle thoroughly  Place 2 tortillas on the buttered surface and allow them to brown slightly on one side.

2.   After they have browned on one side, flip one tortilla over. Add a thin layer of cheese. Then chicken and bacon. You can add as much or as little as you like. Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix. Lastly add additional cheese.

3.   Place the other browned tortilla on top of the toppings browned side down and press slightly to glue the quesadilla together.

4.   Allow the quesadilla to brown on each side then serve.

You can use any dippers you like with the quesadilla. I like the typical sour cream and salsa. But my family like ranch dip. 

Add a salad and some re-fried beans and you have a quick and easy meal.

Serves: 5 quesadillas
Time: 30 minutes

Check out the parties I am linking to here.

SHOW IT OFF Wednesday #5


Welcome to Show It Off Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone that linked up last week. I really enjoyed seeing all the projects and recipes.

Here are a few of my favorites:



Plate Wall from DIY With Jen and B

creme egg cupcakes
Creme Egg Cupcakes from The Velvet Moon Baker


Glittery Easter Eggs Topiary from Missy Inspired


If you haven't already be sure to check these out.

I'm so excited you could join us for this weeks party.

If you aren't currently a follower I would really love to have you as a new follower.

Here's how it works:

     1.  Enter a link to a specific blog post using the Linky Tools below. Feel free to link to anything you have crafted, cooked, sewed or even just good tips.

     2.  Then check out at least one other link on the list and leave a comment and follow the blogger. Be sure to let the blogger know if you are a new follower so they can follow in return. 

     3.  I would love it if you would grab a button from the side bar or below and display it anywhere on your blog.

Please use good linky etiquette. At the very least check out the link that was linked before yours and pin it. Everyone loves to be pinned and you just might make someone's day. I know I'm always excited when someone comments on my projects or takes the time to pin them.

Thanks so much for participating. 

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3/26/13

Easy Crock Pot Chili






1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Ground Pork or Mild Sausage
1/2 Yellow Onion chopped
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 can Tomatoes
2 packets Chili Seasoning Mix (I like McCormick)
Salt & Pepper
Cheese, sour cream, onions...or any other toppings


  1. Brown ground meats together with onion. Drain. 
  2. Add brown meats, onion and all other ingredients to crock pot. 
  3. Put crock pot on low and cook for 8 hrs.
Serves: 6 
Cook Time: 8 hrs

I typically just use whatever leftover spaghetti sauce I have in the fridge and add canned tomatoes to make up the difference.

Linked at:
Someday I'll Learn
The Crafter Sparrow
Pursuit of Functional Home
Sugar Bee Crafts
We Made That
Semi Homemade Mom
Not Done Growing
Chef Not Included
A Creative Princess





3/25/13

Google Easter Eggs

An internet "easter egg" is a hidden message or prank that is programmed into an internet site. If you haven't already you will someday stumble upon one of these. This is the way we programmers get our kicks. I know...we are sad!

Google definitely has some of the best. Since it is that time of year, I thought it would be fun to point out some of my favorites. 

image from google.com

1.  Go to Google.com and type the word "tilt" into the search bar and press search.  The whole web page tilts.

2. Type "do a barrel roll" into the Google search bar and hit the search button. Actually I've never even been able to hit the button, the screen start tumbling by the time you make it to the b.

3. On Google Maps, if you ask for directions from China to Japan in the directions it says to jet ski across the Pacific Ocean.

4. Gravity Experiment: Go to this website http://www.mrdoob.com/projects/chromeexperiments/google-gravity/

I hope you enjoy these.
Have you found any others?

I got a blogger hug!

I am so excited this morning. Over the weekend I was nominated for two Liebster Awards.  These are my first nominations. I am fairly new to the blogger world and have had lots of you help me out over the last few months. I appreciate your encouragement and assistance more than I can express.

A Liebster Award feels like a blogger hug!

Thanks so much to:

Jacqueline at thenonmarthamomma.com
and

Please take a few minutes to jump over to their blogs to check out what they have going on. You won't be disappointed.



Here are the Liebster Rules:
  • Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
  • Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
  • Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
  • Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
  • No tag backs.

My 11 Random Facts:
  1. I grew up in an extremely small town in Arkansas (BenHur). So small that my immediate family made up 50% of the population.
  2. I also grew up on a farm. Which means I know how to drive tractor, gather the eggs, slop the hogs, milk a goat and birth a calf...thanks Dad.
  3. I graduated high school at the top of my class.
  4. I married my best friend and husband of many years at the young age of 18. I do not recommend getting married that early in life but I'm very thankful it worked out well for me.
  5. My husband and I are both programmers yet none of our 3 children are at all interested in going into the technology field of work.
  6. I have a disorder called Mysophobia or more commonly known as germaphobia that I have been working hard to overcome for the past few years. I have come very far with coping with this issue. It is ridiculous to not be able to get on an elevator with other people or shake hands. I can do both of those now.
  7. I don't facebook. I'm considering setting up an account to use with my blog. It always surprises people when I tell them I don't have a facebook account. I'm not sure if they are so surprised because everyone in America does (including my own mother) or if it is more because I'm a software developer.
  8. I collect world globes and maps. I have well over 100 of them in different sizes made from all kinds of materials.
  9. I am anal about the way my bed is made. I have very specific specifications and it must be that way before I can get in it.
  10. Pineapples are my only food limitation.  I will not eat pineapples. I like pineapple juice. I just don't like the texture of pineapple in my mouth. 
  11. I am almost as afraid of unfamiliar cats as I am snakes. And I have no idea why.


My 11 Answers:
  1. Favorite vacation spot?  The Caribbean
  2. My middle name?  Francine I was given that name because both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were named Frances. I hated the name when I was younger but I've found myself more proud to have their name in recent years.
  3. Celebrity crush?  David Boreanaz
  4. Favorite part of the weekend?  Sunday morning breakfast  Least favorite?  Sunday night...prepare for Monday morning.
  5. Is this your 1st Liebster award?  Yes
  6. Which side of the bed do you sleep on? Left
  7. Do you smoke cigarettes or have you ever been a smoker? If you did smoke when and how did you quit?  Luckily I have never been a smoker
  8. American Idol, The Voice, or X Factor....or none?  I watched AI for the first season, haven't watched it since. And I haven't see the others so I'm going with "none"
  9. What were you like in high school?  Oh my, I definitely did not shine in high school. I had a teacher describe me as a wallflower but I think that was too kind. I was homely. A nerd, dressed terrible with bad hair. When I went to my 10 year reunion I was voted "Most Changed". So thankfully I grew out of that awkward stage...kinda.
  10. Scariest thing that has happened to you?  About 15 years ago my family and I were in a car accident that involved fatalities. Worst day of my life. Two young boys lost their life that day because their uncle thought he could drive under the influence. Not only did he take their lives but he seriously endangered the lives of my children. That is very hard to forgive.
  11. Favorite late night snack?  Oreos and milk


The 11 blogs I have nominated. Check out their blogs. You wll be inspired...promise.

My 11 Questions for each of them
  1. Which countries have you visited?
  2. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment or contribution in life?
  3. What is your ideal career?
  4. Favorite flower?
  5. Which post on your blog do you feel like was your best work?
  6. If you have a significant other, what is your cute name for him/her?
  7. Pet Peeves?
  8. What is your "go-to" signature meal if you are entertaining guests?
  9. What is your favorite smell?
  10. How long have you been blogging?
  11. Why did you start blogging?

3/21/13

No More Stinky Shoe


We all love that cute little pair of ballet flats or even those new shiny open-toed heels. And for Heaven's sake, you can't wear socks with them and pantyhose just aren't chic anymore. 

But my guess is that all of you have the same issues I do with stinky feet and shoes if you wear them all day with bare feet. Am I right?



I've tried foot powder...works but it is messy.

I've tried the cute socks you can wear with flats...they are cute but if I walk a lot I find myself having to reposition them often. And they don't work with open-toe.

Then last week I had this clever idea. Pantyliners! Most have odor absorbing properties and they have an adhesive back. Plus they cost very little and are easily disposable.

It's simple, stick one in each shoes before wearing. They absorb the sweat and odor while wearing. Then after wearing just pull them out and into the trash they go with all the days stink.



They are so thin you barely know they are there. They work with any shoe type. If necessary you can always trim them down.

My teenage daughter was mortified at the thought that someone might see that she had a pantyliner in her shoe.  My response was that it is no longer a "panty" liner, it is now a "shoe" liner. And hey, what is more embarrassing stinky feet or pantyliners?


Truly LovelySugar Bee CraftsSomeday I'll Learn

3/20/13

SHOW IT OFF Wednesday #4



Welcome to Show It Off Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone that linked up last week. I really enjoyed seeing all the projects and recipes.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Chevron Painted Clothespins from Aprons 'n Pearls



Napkin Decopodged Eggs from Old Things New



I'm so excited you could join us for this weeks party.

If you aren't currently a follower I would really love to have you as a new follower.

Here's how it works:

     1.  Enter a link to a specific blog post using the Linky Tools below. Feel free to link to anything you have crafted, cooked, sewed or even just good tips.

     2.  Then check out at least one other link on the list and leave a comment and follow the blogger. Be sure to let the blogger know if you are a new follower so they can follow in return.

     3.  I would love it if you would grab a button from the side bar or below and display it anywhere on your blog.

Thanks so much for participating. 


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3/13/13

Hamburger Quick Freezer Storage

I'm sad to say around my house we eat more ground beef than we should. It is just so versatile. It is one of those staples that I always have on hand to throw together a quick easy meal.


I buy it in the large family packs but we never eat that much during one meal. My husband actually turned me on to this ideal way of storing it in the freezer. 

All you need are a couple of plates and some freezer storage bags. I actually just use sandwich bags for the individual patties and then store about 6 patties in a gallon size freezer bag.

We make 1/4 lb patties. I can grab as many as I need for burgers or it is easy to grab what you need for a recipe.



Step 1
Measure meat into about a 1/4 lb and form a ball. You don't need to be real precise with this.






Step 2
Place each ball in a separate sandwich size zipper bag. Do not seal the bag and make sure the ball is centered in the bag.




Step 3
Place one bag with meat on plate A. Position plate B on top of bag, as if you were stacking the plates. The bag with the meat will be between the 2 plates.













Step 4 
Smash the plates together until the patty is the desired thickness. After you do this a few times this will become a quick process. Remove the top plate and zip the bag closed.





Step 5
Add the patties inside the sandwich bags to a gallon size freezer bag and put them in the freezer.






SHOW IT OFF Wednesday #3


Welcome to Show It Off Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone that linked up last week. I really enjoyed seeing all the projects and recipes.

Here are a few of my favorites:


DIY Easy Easter Wreath from Keeping It Stepford



Floral Purse Deco Podge from Lovely On a Budget



I'm so excited you could join us for this weeks party.

Here's how it works:

     1.  Enter a link to a specific blog post using the Linky Tools below. Feel free to link to anything you have crafted, cooked, sewed or even just good tips.

     2.  Then check out at least one other link on the list and leave a comment and follow the blogger. Be sure to let the blogger know if you are a new follower so they can follow in return.

     3.  I would love it if you would grab a button from the side bar or below and display it anywhere on your blog.


Thanks so much for participating. 

If you aren't currently a follower I would really love to have you as a new follower.


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3/11/13

Detox Bath...My Experience



Our bodies contain toxins. As the body's toxicity level increases you become more susceptible to illness and disease. The best way to avoid these toxins is to eliminate toxic lifestyle habits. But the truth is we can never avoid all toxins.

Lately I have been studying "Detox Baths".  After doing a lot of research I decided to give it a try. This post is about my experience with my first detox bath.

First, you should know what I found during my research. First and foremost most all the literature I used for research pointed out that you should not use a detox bath if you are pregnant or suffer from circulatory issues. And it would be wise to contact your doctor prior to deciding to detox.

A detox bath is a warm bath that can contain a variety of products that essential cause the body to sweat. Sweating is the body's best form of detoxification. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water prior to the bath and lots of water after the bath. If you feel dizzy during the bath you should get out immediately and hydrate.


Most detox bath recipes I found contained these 3 ingredients:

Epsom Salts: Epsom salts are a combination of minerals, primary of which is magnesium sulfate. Bathing in a solution of Epsom salt allows the body to absorb magnesium through the skin, of which many people are deficient. It also helps eliminate heavy metals from the body, increases the body’s ability to eliminate toxins through the digestive tract, and increases the production of digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is wonderfully relaxing, as it helps relax muscles.
 
Baking Soda (aluminum free): Baking soda is a powerful detoxifier for radiation poisoning. In extremely low doses radiation toxins are all around us emitted from cell phones, computers, microwaves, televisions, etc. Baking soda also softens the skin. If you choose not to use a detox bath, you should still consider adding baking soda to your bath occasionally.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is high in vitamins and minerals which are absorbed through the skin while bathing. Apple Cider Vinegar baths are known to be highly anti-inflammatory and are known to help the body eliminate excess uric acid.

There are lots of recipes out there on the net. Many suggest adding fragrant oils and other spices and minerals. I chose to stick with the basic for my first bath.


I found it is best to add the ingredients as the tub is filling. It is easier to blend them this way.

I added the following to a warm bath (not too hot):
2 cups Epsom Salts
2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar will make the baking soda fizz. So it best to wait until the tub is full to add the vinegar.

Most articles suggested a 40 minutes bath. During the first few minutes, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Just your typical warm bath. But after about 10 minutes the sweating begins! After about 30 minutes I had to get out and towel off.  It does pull the toxins from the body in the form of sweat...if nothing else. I continued to sweat for quite some time afterwards.

I would definitely suggest taking your detox bath before bedtime because afterwards I felt so tired. It makes for a wonderful night's sleep.

3/10/13

Spring Forward...so there is a Reason!

It is that time of year again...Daylight Savings Time (DST)!

Time to move the clocks up one hour. DST was designed to add an extra hour of daylight each evening. U.S. Department of Transportation studies have shown that DST cuts the nation's energy usage by about 1percent per day because less power is needed for lighting and appliances.

I guess that energy savings is a good enough reason for adjusting my sleep pattern.

Does everyone have trouble adjusting your internal clock?

3/7/13

Thursday's Quick Tips

Today's Quick Tip focus is on toothpaste. 


Did you know that toothpaste can be used for so many things other than just cleaning your teeth?

These are only a few that I am aware of and found.

  • Cleaning Eye Glasses - Rinse both sides of the glasses to remove dust or other particles that might scratch the glasses. Use regular toothpaste to polish the glasses. Do NOT use gels or paste that include added ingredients for whitening. Rub gently so as to not scratch the glasses. Rinse the paste away and then use a soft cloth to buff.
  • Brighten Fingernails - Add toothpaste to a nailbrush and clean tops and bottoms of nails.
  • Defog Goggles and Sunglasses - Rub a small amount of toothpaste onto goggles to keep them from fogging up.
  • Remove Odors from Hands - Use toothpaste when washing hands after handling onion, fish or garlic.
  • Shine Jewelry - I have used a little toothpaste on a soft toothbrush to gently clean jewelry. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

I'm sure there are many other uses. I would love for you to share any additional tips you might have.


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