Sunday, December 29, 2013

DIY Recipe Binder

As you may or may not be aware, one of the items on my 30 before 30 list was to put together my recipe binder. I have finally accomplished this one!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been typing up all of my recipes in Microsoft word, editing them and organizing them.

This weekend I printed each of them off, put them in page protectors and organized them in a binder with dividers. Each category has its own section:
Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Crockpot, Desserts, Drinks.

I found the printable cover here:

Isn't it adorable?!

I am so happy to have this item done!

Now as I find new recipes I can type them up and add them to the binder. How do you organize your recipes?

Hungry Girl Recipe: Cheeseburger Quesadilla

We tried this Hungry Girl recipe a few months ago, but it wasn't much of a hit. The recipe calls for a meatless hamburger patty. We ended up using turkey patties.

I wasn't impressed.

So this time we used lean ground beef. It was MUCH better. Obviously, the calorie count was not as low as listed in the book, but that's ok. ;)

This is the recipe we used too make 4 Quesadillas.

1 pound of lean ground beef
1 onion- chopped
4 low fat tortillas
4 slices American cheese, chopped
4 tbsp. of pickles chopped

Brown the beef in a skillet, drain grease and set aside.

Bring a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray to medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion, until softened, for 3 to 5 minutes. 

Lay tortilla flat and evenly top with chopped cheese. Top one half with onion, burger pieces and pickles.

If needed, clean the skillet. Re-spray skillet and return to medium-high heat. Place the half-filled tortilla flat in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.

Fold the cheese-only half over the filling and press lightly to seal. Carefully flip and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes.

We had these with sweet potato fries and they were amazing. We all loved it!  

Clubhouse Chicken Quesadilla

As you may know, I am a big fan of my Hungry Girl cookbook! We have made this a least 5 times. It is my all time favorite Quesadilla, so I force Justin to make it ALL THE TIME.

Here is the recipe directly from the Hungry Girl website.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
2 tsp. fat-free ranch dressing
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 oz. mashed avocado (about 1 tbsp.)
Dash each chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder
1 medium-large high-fiber flour tortilla with 110 calories or less
 1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
2 oz. cooked and chopped skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp. precooked real crumbled bacon
Optional: fat-free sour cream, salsa

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion and pepper until softened, 3 - 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix ranch dressing with hot sauce. In another small bowl, mix avocado with chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder.

Lay tortilla flat and spread avocado mixture on one half of the upward-facing side. Evenly top avocado with 2 tablespoons cheese, followed by the chicken, bacon, and cooked veggies. Top with ranch mixture and remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.

If needed, clean skillet. Re-spray skillet and return to medium-high heat. Place the half-loaded tortilla flat in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Fold the bare half of the tortilla over the filling with a spatula and press down lightly to seal. Carefully flip and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes.

Slice into wedges, and if you like, serve or top with sour cream and salsa!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: NASHVILLE SONGSMITHS - In-Depth Interviews with #1 Country Songwriters


Last night, I finished reading another great book by my semi-famous co-worker, Ty Hager. Nashville Songsmiths is a book full of interviews that Ty completed with some of the top country music songwriters.

As a HUGE country music fan, I loved this book. First, I thought it was incredible to read about how a few of my favorite songs were born, such as, "Suds in the Bucket", "The Dance" and "When I Get Where I'm Going."

Also, I really gained a deeper understanding and sense of respect for songwriters. They do not get the amount of credit they deserve, at all!

If you are a country music fan at all, I strongly encourage you to check out this book.

 Click here, purchase, read, enjoy, lather, rinse, repeat.

Or, if you are more of a mystery fan, check out Ty's other book "Diary of a Dead Guy- A Country Ghost Story".

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DIY Glitter Initial Ornaments

Earlier this week I shared my DIY burlap Christmas stockings. Since I did not embellish my stockings themselves, I had to make some ornaments to hang with them.

I scoured Hobby Lobby to look for some nice wooden letters, and I couldn't find anything that I loved. However, I did manage to find some lowercase chipboard letters for really cheap.

I also picked up some gold glittered paper to decorate the letters with. I traced the letters on the paper, and glued them into place on the letters to cover them. I used mod podge to attach the paper, but any type of liquid glue would work just fine.

I then used some hot glue to attach black ribbon to the back of the letters.

After I was done I hung the letters on on the stocking hangers.

This could be a fun ornament to make and hang on your tree, or they could be used as gift tags. What other uses can you think of for these?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aqua Pre-Teen Dresser Redo

When my cousin asked if I had any use for a dresser that needed a lot of work, I had to stop myself from jumping up and down when I told her that I would happily take it off of her hands. Rae's closet is pretty much out of control, so she could definitely get some use out of it.

The excitement grew even more the day I came home to see it had been dropped off while I was at work. This dresser held so much potential! 

Rae and I spent some time looking around on Pinterest so that we could decide on a color. She was immediately draw to all of the shades of aqua and turquoise that were all over the place.

I went to the paint desk at Walmart, and picked up a pint of "Cool Marine" from the Disney Paint Section. 

Next, I used that paint to make a bowl of chalk paint. I found a great recipe here.

2 cups of paint
2 tablespoons of plaster of Paris
2 tablespoons of water

First, I sanded off the dresser so the paint would stick. Then, I painted three coats on the dresser, allowing it to dry between coats. 

I roughed it up a little with a sandpaper block when I got done, I love the tattered look! 

I found some cute knobs for the top drawers (Hobby Lobby), 

but I ended up putting the old handles back on the rest of the drawers. I plan to paint them black when I have a chance, so maybe never... or in like 2 1/2 years after I graduate. We'll see how it goes. ;)

Anyway, the dresser turned out awesome and looks great in Rae's room! What do you think?

Book Review- The Christmas Cowboy by Shanna Hatfield

This week I took a full advantage of my week off from school and my week of being sick.... and I induldged myself in another book by one of my favorite authors, Shanna Hatfield. 

This week I read Shanna's new book "The Christmas Cowboy". This is a story of a young business woman named Kenzie, who falls in love with a rodeo cowboy, much to her dismay because of her history with cowboys. The cowboy, Tate, had a very difficult job of winning Kenzie's heart, and making her forget about being hurt in the past.

As always, this was a well written story that was easy to follow, realistic and always kept me wanting to read more. All in all, it was impossible to put this book down. If you like reading about romance, with a little bit of sarcasm, I highly recommend any of Shanna's books and I promise you will not be disappointed.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Glitter Deer Silhouette

Last night I went to Hobby Lobby and walked out with enough materials to do too many projects. I planned to get to work last night, but I ended up falling asleep on the couch while watching "Fox and the Hound". (I know... I am out of control.)

Anyway, tonight I must have caught my second wind because I ended up finishing our Christmas tree,

I decorated the mantle a little bit (including the stockings I made and still need to post about!)

And then I settled down to work on a quick craft... So I could fill up empty space on the mantle.

We really like deer in this house, so I love the idea of using them in my Christmas decorating.

I picked up some gold glitter paper at Hobby Lobby. As well as a pack of chevron paper:
I found a deer silhouette online by doing a quick google search. I love this one:

I printed off the deer, cut it out and traced it on to the back of the glittered paper. Make sure to turn the image upside down if you want it to face the same way when you cut it out. 

Then, I cut out the glittered image 

and used a glue stick to stick it to some chevron paper. 

I stuck it in an empty frame that was laying around. 

Ta da! New mantle decor in about 30 minutes! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Teal Nightstand Redo!

One day, I was driving along the road, after doing too much grocery shopping and I noticed a sad little nightstand for sale on the sidewalk in front of one of my favorite resale stores. 

I immediately turned around, paid the $20 for the nightstand, crammed it into the back of my SUV and I drove on home.

I put the nightstand in our back bathroom/laundry room closet and forgot about it for like 2 months. Well, I didn't forget about it... I just couldn't decide what to do with it. When my cousin gave me a dresser to fix up for Rachel, that lit a fire under my butt so I got moving on my nightstand.

I started out by sanding the nightstand down. The top of it isn't real wood, but sanding it down helps the paint stick.

I used some black cabinet/trim paint on the top. I believe I used 3 coats, just to make sure I got a nice even cover. 

For the bottom of the nightstand I used some leftover teal colored chalk paint. I applied 2-3 coats of it as well. The chalk paint recipe I used is here:
I swear by it.

I am in love with how it turned out... and it inspired me to get to work on Rachel's dresser! (More on that later!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pecan Pie Bars

Pinterest is a dangerous, dangerous place. Well, my desserts board is anyway. Pecan pie is one of my favorite fall treats, so when I stumbled on this pin, I may have drooled a little.

Do you want to hear the worst part? These are really freaking easy to make. Dangerous.

The pin came from this blog and this link:

You need:

1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350. 

Unroll the crescent rolls and press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Press the crust up the sides of the pan 1/2 inch on each side. Firmly, press perforations together to seal them.  Bake for 8 minutes.

While the crust is baking, mix together the remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl. 

Pour the filling over the top of the partially baked crust.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool for about an hour and then cut into bars.

Eat with every meal. Every day. Until they are gone. Trust me.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Noodles

One of my favorite things about the weather turning cold is using my crockpot to make all types of comfort food. My all time favorite is chicken noodles. I finally perfected my recipe, so I’m pretty excited to share it!

1 package of uncooked chicken breast 
2 boxes of chicken broth
1 ½ sticks of butter
1 package of frozen egg noodles

Put chicken broth, chicken and butter in the crockpot. Cook on High for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. 2 hours before your end time remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred it. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and add the bag of egg noodles. Stir well. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Color Run Recap

Happy Sunday! Yesterday, Justin and I got up early and marked two items off of my 30 before 30 list! We ran in the Color Me Rad 5K in Tulsa! 

If you have never heard of a color run, here is a breakdown. It’s just like your typical 5k run, except not really. This race is not timed, so you just have to finish before it’s dark out. During the run you go through different color stations, where you are covered with colored powder (cornstarch). By the time you reach the finish line, you look like a rainbow, of sorts. 

Here we are before leaving the house. They suggest you were white so your colors show up well  throughout the race.

Aren’t we Rad?

We arrived at the race about an hour and a half early. This was perfect timing because we were able to find a great parking spot. People were still showing up 15 minutes before the run, and I have no idea how far away they had to park, since there was a HUGE turnout!

Justin and I ended up hanging out in the car until about 30 minutes before it was time to start. I got an awful lot of Pinning done, and he completed a ton of email deleting. We are so productive. 

At about 9:30 we headed to the park to stretch and get ready for the race to start at 10:00. We stretched a little, stood around looking awkward and stared in disbelief at the amount of people wearing Tu-Tu’s. It was amazing. There was a spot at the park where people were warming up, under direction of the announcer… by doing Zumba, and by having special contests like some contest that included seeing who could eat a roll of fruit by the foot the fastest? I dunno. I didn’t participate. 

At 10:00 we started to line up and all of the runners were released in waves. We stood in line for about 10 minutes before we were sent on our way. 

We ran for about an mile before reaching the first color station… I was starting to wonder when this was going to happen! When going through the color station volunteers would throw colored powder on you until you are a new beautiful hue. 

I thought all of the colors were powder… turns out, I was wrong and I found that out when I was sprayed with some green water. It was a shock for sure! Take it from me, the water and the powder are not as delicious as they sound. Honestly, nothing tasted like anything, but I did get some green in my mouth. Because I’m a dork, mostly. 

At the end of the race, you are handed a “color bomb” at the finish line. Which is a plastic bag filled with colored powder. Everyone meets at the announcers booth, so you can wait for everyone to throw their powder together. While waiting the announcer threw out lots of extra powder bags to the group. I feared for my life once or twice. Picture being at a wedding and being surrounded by 100 early single ladies when the bouquet is being tossed. Ok, just kidding, it wasn’t AS deadly as a bouquet toss, but almost. 

When the announcer counted down, everyone released their color at the same time. This caused a huge “dust storm” where everyone gets covered head to toe in color.

All in all, it was a blast. And I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Here are the after pictures!

And here are some tips I have to share for your first color run.

1.    Wear something old and plain white! If you are wearing any dark colors, you won’t see the colors quite as well. We threw our clothes in the washer when we got home and just about all of it washed out.

2.    Put Olive Oil in your hair. This is supposed to keep the color from sticking to your hair and staining it. I used olive oil and it all washed right out!

3.    Get an arm band for your phone. And then put your phone inside a Ziploc bag BEFORE putting it in the arm band. I have to give Justin credit for that idea, this protected his phone from the color powder during the race, and he still got to use a Bluetooth headset to listen to music. I didn’t have my phone and I would have loved to use it to take pictures. A lot of people had fanny packs, so that’s an option if you are into that sort of thing. :)

4.    Arrive early to get a parking spot!

5.    Bring baby wipes to wipe off your face afterwards. We went to Quick trip on the way home for some lunch, and I forgot the baby wipes at home.  We got so many crazy looks from other customers. 

6.    Bring something to sit on in the car, such as old towels or old blankets. (This is something else we forgot to do.)

7.    Have fun! It’s ok to act goofy and take your time on the course, and to look like a fool when you are done! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

DIY Personalized Burlap Garden Flag

This is another super cute idea I have seen floating around on Pinterest.... a burlap garden flag. Besides, my yard needs all the decor it can get. :)

I started out by cutting up a piece of burlap that was 12 inches wide and 18.5 inches long. The top of my burlap happened to be the end of my roll, so it was already finished. To finish the bottom piece I just folded in about half an inch and hot glued it in place to create a seam.

I picked up some awesome chevron stencils at Hobby Lobby, as well as some patterned burlap ribbon.

I printed a huge "R" off from Microsoft Word and then used a sharpie to trace it onto the burlap and color it in completely. 

Next, I used the chevron stencil to put a chevron box around the "R". 

I cut out 3- 5 inch pieces of patterned ribbon, folded them in half and attached them to the burlap flag to put it on the garden flag pole. 

I love the way it turned out! 

(Don't mind the fake spider webs, this was pre-Halloween.)

Mr and Mrs Color Run Shirts

Saturday is our big day to do the Color Me Rad Color Run! I am soooo excited, but also fully aware that I will not be able to run for the entire 5k. I am an awfully slow runner... but I'm still pretty pumped!

When we signed up for the 5k, we had to come up with a team name. I had no idea that I would need a team name, so I had to think quick on my feet. We came up with "Are We There Yet?" because I feel like I will say that at least 92 times during the course of the race. 

The website suggests that you wear all white, so I thought this was a good opportunity to make some fun shirts! I printed off the words "Are We There Yet?"  for the back of our shirts. 
I then printed off a mustache for the front of his shirt... and a pair of lips for mine. (Mr and Mrs... get it?!)

Then, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up these totally awesome 80's inspired Sharpies. Why 80's inspired? Because that's what they had... no other particular reason. :)

Then, I stuck the printed paper inside the shirt and used the Sharpies to trace on the outside of the shirts. Make sure to stick a piece of cardboard in the shirt to keep it from bleeding through! If you are in the mood to spend $2.00... Hobby Lobby has t-shirt shaped pieces of cardboard you can use.

 FYI: The adult size cardboard is too big for a small adult shirt. 

Anyway, I think our shirts turned out AWESOME. I can't wait to wear them and get them covered in colored cornstarch! 


Easy DIY Zombie and Flo Halloween Costumes

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! 

I dressed up as Flo from Progessive. I recycled my costume from a couple of years ago. 
I wore a blue headband, white shirt, khakis, and a white apron. I printed out and cut out the word "Progessive" from a google image search. Then, I just taped it onto my apron. The buttons say "I heart Insurance" and "Flo". 
My mom had printed the words for I Heart Insurance, laminated it with tape, and then taped it to a circular piece of cardboard. She added a pin to the back.

For the name tag I just wrote "Flo" on a piece of paper and colored the blue and yellow stripes above the name. I laminated it with tape and taped it to a pin as well. (Can you say super cheap costume?)

And I got compliments all day long. :)

Rae was a zombie. 

We cut up a white tshirt from Dollar Tree and the Justin took it outside to decorate it with mud. We also ripped up a pair of jeans that already had holes in them. We topped it off by teasing her hair, drawing black circles around her eyes and drawing blood on her face. 

Totally gross, but it turned out good! She was super happy. 

Felicia refused to be a minion..... Even though I begged her. So she begged for a store bought costume and I caved. She was a pretty cute witch though! :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spinach Tortellini Soup

I think there are very few foods that I love more than Spinach. So, anytime I land on a Spinach recipe I just have to try it out. So, this was a no brainer when I saw it on Pinterest. 

This recipe wasn’t linked to any particular website, it was just a delicious looking picture and the recipe on the pin. 

I tried it out and wouldn’t change a thing! In fact, I ate this practically every day last week for lunch.  ;)

1 bag of frozen tortellini
1 small bag of fresh spinach
2 cans of Italian style diced tomatoes (I just used regular diced tomatoes, I couldn’t find Italian style)
1 box or 4 cups of vegetable broth
1 block of cream cheese- cut into chunks

Put all of the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Personalized Knife Block and Cookbook Holder update

I’ve seen some really cute personalized knife blocks floating around on Pinterest, so I thougth I would go ahead and put together my own! Since aqua is one of my latest color obsessions, I picked up some aqua paint from Wal-Mart (Key West by Apple Barrel)

I put two coats of paint on the knife block and allowed it to dry for a few hours. 

After that, I used my Cricut to cut out a fleur de lis using black vinyl. I just stuck the sticker to the front of the block and voila! 

Also, do you remember the plain jane cookbook holder I picked up at Target a few weeks ago?

I gave it a quick update, using my Cricut and some vinyl that I already owned!

I used Cricut Craft Studio to create a Monogram (Calligraphy Cartridge) and cut it out with red vinyl. Now I have a cute updated Cookbook holder! 

Have you done any fun Home Decor Cricut projects lately? I’d love to see them!

Elastic Headbands

I’m sure all of you have seen the elastic ribbon headbands and hair ties floating around the internet and basically every store with hair accessories. 

Just like every trend out there, I had to check them out!

I went to Hobby Lobby to look for some elastic ribbon and unfortunately I had no luck whatsoever. 

After looking around online, I found that Sunshine Shoppe Supply is kind of the go to place. So, I ran over to their website and ordered up a bunch.

About a week and a half later, I had a package of pretty elastic ribbon in my mailbox! 

Obviously, this chevron obsession is out of control. 

I sat down one evening while watching tv and just went for it. 

I cut 18 inch pieces for each of the headbands (perfect fit!) and then I used 9 inch pieces for each of the hair ties. 

In order to make the headbands and hair ties, you just have to fold the elastic in half and tie the ends together. Easy peasy and now I have a headband to match every t-shirt! ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wine Cork Magnets

Last week, I found a big package of magnets in my craft cabinet that was begging to be put to use. So, who I am to tell it no? After spending some time scrolling through Pinterest I decided that some Wine Cork Magnets would be a good way to use both my magents and my big pile of wine corks. 

Justin played the role as big strong man and cut the corks in half for me. He looked online for tips on cutting up the corks and found that regular corks are not as easy to cut.. and they suggested using a saw. However, the corks I gave him were corks from Barefoot Wine, and they were easy to slice right through with a knife. 

I used some E6000 glue to attach the cork halfs to some ceramic magnets. I let them dry overnight and put them on the fridge the next day. They look fantastic and finally all my magnets match perfectly. 

What do you think? Have you done any fun wine cork projects?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chevron Burlap Bow

Last week, when I was home with a sick little girl I decided it was a good chance to tackle my  completely unorganized craft cabinets. 

When I had craft night last weekend, I could not find ANYTHING. I felt a lot like Monica from Friends during the episode where she had the super messy closet. All of the rest of the house was clean and organized, but my craft cabinet was embarrassing and likely to cause a small avalanche.

So while I was sorting things out, I started to make a list of projects I need to finish up. 

One of the items on my list were to make a chevron burlap bow! I had a piece of burlap (about 9 inches long) that was left over from my summer wreath project, and I thought it would be a super cute barrette! All I did was lay the ribbon flat, face down and then fold both of the sides in so that they would meet in the middle. 

I hot glued the ends together and pinched the ribbon in the middle to make a bow. I used a piece of twine around the middle of the bow to keep it in place, trimming the end of the twine after it was tied.  Next, I just hot glued it to a barrette.. and ta-da! Super cute burlap bow!