Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Fun House...with mirrors

After a productive weekend, I have plenty of sweet stuff to share with you. I'll do my best to stop being a blogging slacker and put all the coolness onto this here blog instead of hoarding it in this little house of mine.

First, a disclaimer. I may mention that "I did this" or "I did that" in these next few posts. I am the creative mastermind behind these projects, but my assistant turned carpenter/painter/handy man husband did most of the doing. I directed. And complimented his skills, of course. Cause aint nobody else lining up to help me hang stuff and spray paint all my garage sale finds.

Check out our wall of mirrors. Don't think of the creepy fun-house mirrors at the carnival. Think of the non creepy but welcoming fun house I live in.
Linked up at Lines Across my Face

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bacon Chicken Club Pizza

Bacon Chicken Club Pizza--why did I not make this until now? This is my new favorite pizza, so I'll share the recipe from Taste of Home below.
I of course adjusted the recipe a bit--no shallot at home so left that off, and used neufatchel cheese instead of cream cheese, light sour cream, and skim milk, all in an effort to make it more healthy. Instead of preparing bacon, I bought a package of real bacon pieces. Saved some time and more importantly, dishes.


  • 1 prebaked 12-inch pizza crust
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese (softened or cubed), softened
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices ready-to-serve fully cooked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped


  • Place crust on an ungreased pizza pan. Combine cream cheese and shallot; spread over crust. Top with chicken, cheeses and bacon.
  • Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, milk and dressing mix. Sprinkle lettuce and tomato over pizza; drizzle with dressing. Yield: 8 slices

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School Bells Ring, Are Ya Listening?

School is starting for us today. Summer has drawn to a close, as has the flexibility of sleeping in, wearing sweats and playing all day. As this teacher heads back to school, I thought I'd give you a few tips about how I stay organized during the school year.

1. On Sunday, choose your outfits for the week, including accessories. Iron all necessary items.
2. During the weekend, prepare and freeze your meals, making enough for leftover lunches.
3. Set a day each week to clean your house--this way you'll have a weekend free of cleaning.
4. Devise a morning schedule to insure you're on time each day.
5. Pretend you are organized and make up four ideas that you'll never actually do. If you know me personally, that last one might have tipped you off.

Here's a real list of how I stay sane:

1. Purchase and wear comfortable, non-wrinkle clothing. Or, if necessary, wear it slightly wrinkled. It's a job, not a fashion show.
2. Plan out a few meals for the week, but buy some quick-to-prepare options as well.
3. Keep the main paths of your house free of clutter, for safety sake. The pile of crap on the counter? It's fine.
4. Style your hair while wet, or go for the conditioned, unwashed look. Rush around the house looking for your kid's left shoe and your phone, darting out the door at the last possible moment.
5. Relax. Enjoy your job and spend quality time with the ones you love at home.

There you have it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Simple Cheeseburger Salad

This is a quick and tasty one. The recipe comes from Pampered Chef. I have made this a few times (gasp!). I like the ingredient list-- mostly stuff you have in your refrigerator already. Here's the recipe straight from the Pampered Chef site and a picture from yours truly. I am so not a food photographer.
4 sesame seed hamburger bun tops
1 small red onion, divided
2 plum tomatoes
3/4 lb (350 g) 95% lean ground beef
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced dill pickles
3/4 cup (175 mL) ketchup
1 tbsp (15 mL) yellow mustard
8 cups (2 L) thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup (250 mL) shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Slice bun tops into 1/4-in. (6-mm) strips. (If bun tops are very thick, slice bottoms off horizontally before slicing into strips). Arrange in a single layer on Large Bar Pan; bake 8–10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely.
  2. Cut onion in half crosswise using Utility Knife. Slice half of the onion crosswise into thin rings using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with adjustable slicing blade on thin setting. Cut tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and slice crosswise. Set onion and tomatoes aside.
  3. Cook ground beef in (8-in./20-cm) Sauté Pan over medium-high heat 5–7 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles using Slotted Turner. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion half using Food Chopper. Finely dice pickles using Utility Knife. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine chopped onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Add cooked beef; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
  4. To serve, arrange lettuce on large serving platter. Spoon beef mixture over lettuce. Top with cheese, tomatoes and sliced onion. Arrange hamburger bun croutons around edge of platter. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 250, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Carbohydrate 20 g, Protein 19 g, Sodium 750 mg, Fiber 2 g

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Canvas Prints Nursery Tour

Back to the nursery tour. Above our little guy's crib hang three whimsical canvases. Made by our good friend Megan, these square canvases were first painted with acrylic paint in three coordinating colors. We found some clip art we liked on the Internet and used those as inspiration. After buying plenty of coordinating paper, we went to work cutting and layering the shapes on to make our owls and tree. Megan used Mod Podge to adhere the paper, though a few bubbles did show up. I replicated this project shortly after and experienced a few air pockets as well, but nothing that can't be smoothed out. The key to keeping these kind of projects looking interesting is lots of layers and variety of colors/patterns. I love these little guys and they will be hanging around our house for a long time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Polka Dots: A Quilt

Time for a tour of our little guy's room. I'll show you a few of his decos for the next few posts and hopefully give you some inspiration.

Could not tell you what pattern we used for this delightful little quilt. If I find it, I will let you know. It was a little smaller than crib size, so we added a row of squares. The circles were cut with a special circle cutting tool my mom found at a craft store. We heat n' bonded them together and then zig-zag stitched over the top to reinforce.

In this post, I shall refer to "we" when discussing the construction. This we is my crafty mom, my talented aunt, and me. I did plenty of cutting and ironing and some sewing.

I like the neutral colors--perfect for a boy or girl. Of course I love the polka dots.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deck Out Your Nails

I have been dying to try some fun finishes on my toenails, but could not stomach the pedicure cost. Yeah, I'm cheap. We call it "frugal" at our house. I stumbled upon these Salon Effects from Sally Hansen online and had to check them out. I found mine at Target for $8.50. You get 16 strips. I used just four, as the strips are big enough to do a few nails each (* see "frugal" above*). They are a little more work than painting your nails, but a lot more fun. I know my feet are far from glamorous in the pic above. It's part of my charm, really.

Mine have been on for five days, and the package claims they last up to 10. If so, I might try:


Friday, August 5, 2011

Dear Readers, this blog rocks.

I found this link on a blog I follow. I read more blogs than I care to share, so I cannot recall exactly which one to give credit, but I so appreciate this recommendation because every day I crack up while reading what's new on Dearblank,pleaseblank. Each day, a bunch of requests/notices/questions are posted to various people or objects. They are almost always funny. If you aren't convinced yet that I have good taste in blogs and sites, I'll give you a couple examples of the funny excerpts found on the blog.

Dear gravel driveway,

ow... OW.. ow ow.

Sincerely, too lazy to put on shoes

Dear Google Maps,

You can skip the first five directions.

Sincerely, I can get out of my own neighborhood, thanks.

Dear Venus shaving commercials for women,

You're shaving a hairless leg.

Sincerely, nice try.

Dear dad,

I am fully aware that "money doesn't grow on trees"

Sincerely, that is why I'm asking you for it.

See what I mean? They're funny, right? Kinda sarcastic, which is right up my alley. If you are looking for a little pick me up, you might want to check out their blog once in a while. No, I'm not being reimbursed for saying this. That would take an extreme amount of effort. I'm also not sure an edgy sarcastic site would be all over sponsoring a crafty/mommy/foodie/etc. blog. Just sayin.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cookie and Milk Bars

I found this recipe in an issue of "Family Fun" magazine and had to make these bars. Mine turned out a little crumbly, but still delicious. Here's the recipe:

Cookie and Milk Bars:

-8 chocolate graham crackers
-1 cup lowfat granola
-1/3 cup white chocolate chips
-1/2 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk

1. Heat oven to 350. Coat an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
2. Break the grahams into chunks and combine with the granola and chocolate chips in a medium bowl.
3. Drizzled the milk over the top and stir until well mixed.
4. Use a piece of waxed paper to press the mixture firmly into the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Zipper Flowers

I spent some time with my mom yesterday in her craft room, and these little beauties are the result:

I had purchased a box of zippers and rick rack at a rummage a few months ago. This was the perfect craft for my zippers. I used tutorials from Snips and Spice and Needlework to make the flowers. They are both great tutorials. Of course we modified them to fit our supplies. Have not yet decided what to put the flowers on. Maybe a brooch? A hair clip? Head on over to the tutorials if you'd like to make your own.