Pine Cone Wreath

I had run to the park with the kids and was pushing them on the swings when I looked down to see the tiniest little pine cones on the ground. I remembered this wreath and knew they would be so cute on my own version. This is what I came up with.

Tutorial: Twisty Flower Headband

Materials needed:
Hot glue and hot glue gun
Iron and ironing board

Pixie Apron

Here it is! My doodles from before in the flesh. I love love love this apron. It is so feminine and dainty. The cool part about this is that it's made from a dish towel I found for $1.99 at World Market. Add some tweaks and adorable back and forth stitching and have yourself a perfect every-day apron. The flower has a clip and pin on the back so it can be positioned according to taste. I had this done last Tuesday, but slacked on posting due to some traveling. Keep your eyes peeled for your next dishtowel apron!

Twisty Flower Headband

I was at Old Navy and they have some really cute accessories now. I saw a headband that looked just like this and knew that I could make it for much less. I had a couple of small solid color headbands and I twisted material, added some hot glue to the mix, and there you have it: cute twisty flowers on your head! I made these as a birthday present for a friend. (Tutorial to come...I just don't have time today to put it on here)

Add Length to Your Shorts

So I have green and blue shorts that I bought from Old Navy last summer. However, it would make me feel much more at ease if they were a little bit longer. The curse of being tall is that nothing is made for long legs. I decided to take measures into my own hands.

These are my shorts. I was planning on adding 2 inches, but it ended up only being about 1. In the end, it actually was perfect. Had they been longer, it would have looked funny draping far over my knees.

How to Make Skinny Jeans

This just might be the easiest thing you EVER do! Let's start. So I have a pair of skinny jeans, so I really just copied them. But if you don't, then simply put on the jeans that you are going to convert, pinch to the tightness that you want around your ankle (you'll want a little give so you can get them on and off), and measure how far in that is from the outside edge of your pants.

Turn your pants inside out.

I laid my pants stack style. If you don't have skinny jeans to copy, measure in from the outside edge the same distance you just pinched while wearing the jeans. And mark.

My First Zipper

Okay, so that sounds totally lame. But anyway, I really didn't know how to do a zipper and now I am full of knowledge. I am really excited about all the things that I can make. Be prepared for a future of {you guessed it} zippers!

My friend Kathy has a favorite staple denim skirt that she loves. Sadly though, the zipper broke. I took it upon myself to offer to fix it and in about 5 minutes, it was done. I went to you tube to find a video (look at her other videos on the sidebar to see how to do the left side and finish). It's much easier to see it done than read the manual - it's always easier when you see it done). I recommend that you find a project that needs a zipper and put one in! For real, it's no harder than a regular seam.

Something New is Coming...

I am so excited about the next apron that I'm making! I'm half done and deciding where to go with the finishing touches. Here's the pad I was doodling on last night. You should be able to see it by Friday! (if my machine decides to work out its tension tantrum).

What's in a creative day?

So today I made no food (thanks to family) and I made nothing from fabric or other medium. But was I still crafty and do I have anything to say about my successes of the day? Yes. I think craftiness today can be measured in finding happy songs on the radio while driving, successfully calming fights and frustrations between the kids, sneaking out of a movie theater with a 2-year-old who has said "more poops" 3 times in the last 10 minutes, helping my sis-in-law try on my wedding dress (unfortunately it didn't fit quite right), and seeing an awesome sewing machine at Costco (a new machine and serger are calling my name..."someday" I tell them, "someday"). I have nothing to show for the day but relaxation. It was a rainy day that fit perfect with my hanging out with family. Love you, fam!

P.S. If anyone has a recommendation for a serger, send it my way. I know nothing and want to start researching so "someday" when I have the funds to buy one, I know what I'm looking for.

Cashew Asparagus, Garlic Rice, and Lemon Dill Salmon

This will make your taste buds sing!!

I made the meal in the following order. After I prepared the Salmon, while the oven was heating I prepared the rice. As I put the lid on the rice, I stuck the salmon in the oven, and then got to work on the asparagus. Everything got done at almost exactly the same time. The asparagus cooks a little bit quicker, so I did put a lid on it for a couple minutes right at the end.

Lemon Dill Salmon
1 lb Salmon
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp dill weed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Place tinfoil on cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Put salmon on top, pour mixed melted butter, lemon juice, and dill weed over the top. Spice with garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt, and pepper. Seal tightly (you may have to connect several pieces of tin foil together). Make sure the wrapped edges of the tinfoil are close to the meat so the butter and juice really cook into the salmon. Could place sliced lemons on top to cook as well. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until fish flakes.
*The picture doesn't show the dill in it, I forgot it at the store. However, I've made this before with the dill and both are amazing.

Garlic Rice
1/4 cup butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tbsp grated ginger (don't leave this out! i've tried powder and fresh...fresh is so much better!)
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

On high heat, saute butter, garlic, and ginger for a couple of minutes. Add rice and saute for a few more minutes. Add stock and stir. When boiling, turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.

Cashew Asparagus
I followed the directions here to make this. I would note that you could use half the oil and be totally fine.

Pesto Pizza

So my parents were in town this past 3 days. With family around, crafting is not my #1 priority, but food IS!

Thursday night greeted us with Pesto Pizza. The idea originally came from allrecipes, but here's how I made it.

Stacy's Pizza Dough
2 3/4 - 3 1/4 cup flour
1 pkg. yeat
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp oil

Mix 1 1/4 cup flour with yeast and salt. Add the water and oil and beat on low for 30 seconds. Beat on high 3 minutes. (I beat this by hand with a whisk until mixed together.) Stir in the rest of the flour and kneed 6-8 minutes. (I stir in with a stiff spatula and then let my kitchen aid do the hard work.) Let rise until double, punch down, roll out on greased and corn mealed pan. Makes one thick crust or 2 thin. Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes.
*I like to add about 1 tsp garlic powder into the dough.

Pesto Pizza
Pizza dough of choice (and you could certainly use pre-made)
Classico brand pesto sauce (found with the spaghetti sauces)
Diced grilled chicken, seasoned to taste (I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and basil)
Diced red pepper
Mozzarella Cheese

On top of dough spread a good layer of pesto. Then spread diced grilled chicken, red peppers, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, just enough to have a good cover. Cook according dough directions and scarf!

Let's Learn the Alphabet

So I'm really trying to get my 4-year-old to know his letters. This is a new addition to the kids room. I'm amazed how much my 2-year-old picks up from this as well.

I printed the letters (sized 650) out 4 to a page, cut apart, and then sat down at the computer with my kids to pick out pictures online that began with the right sound for each letter. This way they have a personal attachment to the letters and pictures (for example: space rainbows, monster motorcycle, princesses, and sword). I printed the pictures out, cut them, attached to the appropriate letter, wrote the lower case letter in the corner of each, and then laminated. They are now hung on the wall where both children can easily see.

My goal is to have letter time every day on this wall where we practice for as long as their attention span will allow. There is definite progress and I am very excited. My sweet boy is so excited to read by himself and is anxious to learn his letters. This of course makes the process a bit easier. Kudos to those who already have 4-year-olds who know their letters and/or can read!!

How to make a Blog Button

I found these blog and ehow instructions on how to make a blog button and I'm so excited! Just in case anyone else is searching for the same thing, follow their easy instructions. Grab my button! :)

P.S. I did have to make a photobucket account to get this to work and it was a super fast to set up. When I clicked on the photo in photobucket, it opened a new page. Scroll over the image, go to the "share" tab, click on "more options," click on the "get link code" tab, copy the appropriate html for what you're making the button for, and you're set to put it into the coding.

P.P.S. Thanks Vintage Graphics for awesome background wallpaper for my new button.

Girly Ruffle Skirt

I made myself a ruffle skirt recently and now my princess has one, too. I really want to make us matching ones, but last night's failure at making a cute tank top turned into this skirt instead. I like that it's a little bit longer than knee length (saving her knees several times today when she fell), but it's just short enough that she can play on her tummy on the swings and not step on it. So cute.

Steak Stir Fry

So I think I've been craving red meat. We are usually a chicken family if we eat meat, not because we're against it or anything, it's just easier. I grew up with wild game in the house. My dad and my brothers love to hunt, so we always had deer and elk burger, etc available. I still consider this "real meat."

When I was at the store today, I passed the "stir fry steak" and couldn't say no. It actually called my name. Here is an awesome stir fry sauce that I use all the time (I don't remember where I got this):

Stir Fry Sauce (*i triple this)
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp ginger

Saute for a minute or so and then add:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp tabasco
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (*I know that seems weird, but it's good, trust me)

Add your cooked meat and veggies to the sauce and heat until veggies are just tender. If the sauce needs to be thickened, mix the following 2 together:

1 1/2 tsp corn starch (*flour also works well)
1 Tbsp water

and then whisk into the sauce. Serve over hot rice.

I used fresh broccoli, asparagus, and yellow pepper. Yea for not using a bag of frozen veggies!

Easter Food: Creamed Eggs & Biscuits and Rainbow Cake

Every Easter morning growing up, my Dad would make creamed eggs and biscuits.  It's one of our families favorites still.  My husband thinks it might be the top favorite from my side.

The biscuit recipe I used was this one from allrecipes.  (My new go-to recipe: best with 1/2 shortening, 1/2 butter).

Creamed Eggs

1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
3-4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
hard boiled eggs, peeled, quartered and sliced
sausage, ham, or bacon (optional)

Over medium heat, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Once it is mixed, cook for about 2 minutes then gradually add in the milk, whisking as you go. Once all the milk is in season to taste, add sliced eggs and meat, and heat through. If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more flour/water mixture. Serve over hot biscuits.

Rainbow Cake
As a new tradition starting this year, we are going to make Rainbow Cake every Easter. The kids have been talking about this for weeks now and loved every lick of frosting. If you want to know how to make this, go to this post.

Jedi Robes

Tomorrow is my little boy's 4th birthday. He loves Star Wars right now. I decided to make him a Jedi Robe after seeing this (V and Co. is SO cute). I said "I can make that" and after he went to bed, snuck in and took his measurements. My fabric wasn't wide enough to make the robe with arms attached from the beginning, so I had to make the sleeves separate and then attach. Going blind through took me about 3 hours. (this was 2 days ago)

Since his birthday was going to be other presents and grandparents, I wanted him to enjoy playing with his Jedi Robe before the craziness. Major backfire. I remember times growing up when I wasn't as appreciative as I should have been to my parents for the time or effort they had put in for me. (thanks, mom and dad...I'm glad you didn't give up on me) So my 2:30am late night gave me an "I don't want to wear that" and a walk out of the room. Wow. That was my 1st time on this end...and unfortunately, probably not my last. That's part of what kids have to figure out: real gratitude. I think we all still work on it even now.

Anyway, he has yet to try it on. I put it away until grandma comes, she's bringing the coolest part of the costume, the light saber. Also, I've rectified the situation by making my Obi Wan husband a matching robe. (shh...i got him a light saber, too. surprise.) If Dad is wearing it, then son will wear it. I'm just waiting for the times when Dad has to go strutting around the apartment complex with his light saber and robe on. Good pictures to come. Since my little buddy hasn't put his on yet, I have no pictures of him. However, here's one to wet your appetite of my man.

P.S. After I had made my son's, I went back to look at V and Co. blog and found this link to the pattern she used. This is how I made my husband's and it took 1 hour start to finish and was soooo easy. (I used 4 yards of fabric - he's 6' tall).

Sewing Machine Woes

My sewing machine won tonight. I've pulled it out the last several nights, whipped something up, and climbed into bed feeling successful. Not tonight. I guess I'll need to come up with some other project to feel successful about.

However, does anyone have suggestions on when to service your machine? I have a Brother XL-2600 and have had it for about 5 years. I'm guessing it's time?? And where do you take it? And what does it usually put you out? I know there's a whole bunch of thread wrapped around the inside of my wheel.

The thread wheel story: (brace's going to be riveting) Once upon a time I was sewing. The kids were making noise, the machine was making its usual foot hammering, and I failed to notice the clicking of another spool of thread against the back of my machine. By the time I stopped to wonder what that other weird sound was, the spool of thread that had been sitting next to me, that somehow got itself wrapped around my wheel, was horrendously mangled around the inside of the wheel. There was no getting it undone. In the end I had to snip it off and hope my machine still worked. Whoever eventually gets my machine open will have fun times in there. Maybe that's my tension problem, too.

Does anyone have intense jiggling with their tension to get their machine to work right? Or if I do, does that just mean I have a $100 machine (which I do)?

Please enlighten me.


We were at Costco and had the pupusa and guacamole sample...a-maz-ing. So good. However, I didn't want to spend $12 for 12, that seemed too expensive. I came home and when to allrecipes. I love allrecipes - they have everything and the comments from everyone are always so helpful. I found this recipe and followed the comments that some readers had made. I started with tortilla mix that I had on hand, added the water, made a ball of dough, spreading it out, filling it with the cheese (sometimes also beans), pinching it closed on top, and then rolling or patting flat again. Then you heat it in a skillet for about 2 min a side and wa-lah, you're done.

Honey Wheat Bread

Wednesday was dough day and I enjoyed every minute. I have a weakness for good bread. Thus, carbs are friend and enemy. Here is my soft, but dense enough to hold up to a sandwich (i love that), honey wheat bread. I could have let it rise more, but I started late in the day and really wanted to go to bed, so I stuck it in the oven not quite risen 1 inch above the pan. Here is the recipe I followed to a T (I only added the 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour). It tasted so good warm with honey on it. Mmmmm...
This is the Veggie Stew that paired perfectly with the bread. I followed this recipe for tomato soup. Really though, it wasn't very tomato-ee. I added extra carrots and zucchini and instead of small pasta, I used shells. Next time I will use small ditalini pasta, the shells were just too big (although they still tasted great!). I think I will add another 26oz can of petite diced tomatoes as well. This was a very good and hearty vegetable soup. Love it.

Fruit Pizza

So this has been a relaxing week. I do have an apron in the works (so so so cute...just you wait), but really this week has been about good food.

This was the schedule:
Monday - Chicken Pesto Panini (amazing! definitely try!)
Tuesday - Frozen Pizza and Fruit Pizza (frozen pizza because I had a party to take fruit pizza to)
Wednesday - Pupusas and Honey Wheat Bread
Thursday - Deviled Eggs

Not every week is like this. If you're anything like me, there are times when you wing a couple and have a couple planned. There are times when you figure what you can use with rice or pasta that cooks fast with not very much prep time...just so you can get everything else done in the house or crafted or cleaned or planned or whatever. Sometimes the food doesn't take the show. I mean rice and chicken bake really isn't that spectacular (even if you top it with sliced tomatoes and shredded asiago cheese for the last 15 minutes).'s to a successful week of yummy food.

First up: Fruit Pizza

2 pkgs. pre-made sugar cookie dough
12 oz whip cream (or less to taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
fruit, sliced (strawberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, banana, mango, blueberries, etc)

This is a super easy recipe. I used my jelly roll pan and spread parchment paper over it. This makes for easy lifting once the cookie is cooked and cooled.

I bought 2 packages of pre-made sugar cookie dough and spread it in the bottom of my pan. Dust your hands with flour for easy of pressing into the cookie sheet. Cook about 15 minutes on 350 or until the top of the cookie is just lightly brown. Cool completely. Top with whip topping (I added a little sour cream to mine prior to spreading, optional). Layer sliced fruit at will. Be afraid to cut it looks so beautiful and then dig in and devour!
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