Archives for February 2012

{Easy} Carne Asada Recipe

I recently learned about a simple and delicious Costco meal.  It is called Carne Asada {which literally means ‘roasted meat’} and it comes already marinated!

This package cost about $15 and my family of four ate it for two meals.  Score!

Here is the easy ‘how to’ for preparing this meal, with a fun veggie addition.  Serve this and you will look like you slaved in the kitchen for hours!

Cut up three bell peppers.

Place cut up bell peppers in a ziploc baggie or tupperware.

Mix in 1/8 to 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp lemon pepper and 1 tsp garlic salt (you can substitute other seasonings if you don’t have these on hand).   Let the bell pepper mixture marinate in the fridge for a few hours before you cook the meat.

Lay the meat in a shallow pan and cook at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

{So raw meat isn’t the most appetizing thing to look at. Trust me, once this starts to cook, your house will smell like a four star restaurant!}

After 30 minutes, put the marinated bell peppers on top of the meat.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes (or until the Carne Asada is cooked to your liking).

Open the oven and say “Yum!” because dinner is served!

How easy was that?!

Jen

 

By the way, did you know….

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Thank you so much for reading!

 linking up to:

nifty thrifty things, i heart naptime, a simply klassic home, sisters of the wild west, the sweet talk shop, create with joy, the southern institute, diy home sweet home, craft o maniac, embellishing life everyday, vintage mauve, sew can do, i should be mopping the floor, knick of time, eye heart, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, between naps on the porch, skip to my lou, coastal charm, todays creative blog, tip junkie, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, blackberry vine, crafty confessions, how to nest for less, adventures of a diy mom, the shady porch, uncommon designs, chatty chics, romance on a dime, blue cricket designs, elizabeth and co, michele raven designs, savvy southern style, laugh love and craft, sew much ado, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, these peas taste funny, aka design, romantic home, shabby nest, finding fabulous, six sisters  stuff, the sweet talk shop, wayward girls’ crafts, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello

Harry Potter

In honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss, our elementary school does a dress up day for the kids.   They get to dress up as their favorite character from a book.  This year, Jack was bit by the Harry Potter bug, so Jack and Emmie dressed up like Harry and Hermione.

Jack already had a robe, but Emmie didn’t.  So off to the fabric store I went to purchase some black fleece and maroon and yellow felt.

{Please forgive my lack of photo’s.  I wasn’t in the documenting mood when I was sewing. So you may have to do some imagining!}

I started by folding the fleece material in half, with the fold line at the very top.  I then laid Jack’s robe on top of the material and cut around it, leaving about one inch extra for a seam allowance.

I then cut the opening up the front of the robe.

Only one continuous stitch was needed on each side, under the arms and down the sides.  And because I used fleece, no hemming was required!  For the hood, I traced the hood from the real HP robe.

I then pinned down each side to the hood to neck area of the robe.

Emmie was focused on having a patch on her robe.  The only one that even slightly resembled the Gryffindor emblem was a simple beige color.  Thanks to some permanent markers, I was able to get the patch a bit closer to the look of Gryffindor.

With the robe completed, it was time to move on to making the ties. I used inexpensive felt to create the stripes.

I cut strips and pinned them at an angle.  The felt was stitched together and then cut into the shape of a tie.  I used felt remnants to make the tie the proper length.

Dress up day was a bit hit!  And while both kids liked to point out that I neglected to line Emmie’s robe in a maroon fabric, they seemed to get over it and still have fun!

Did you know….

There are three icons in the right hand column that allow you to ‘like’ this blog on facebook, follow me on Pinterest or follow this blog with feedburner.  Just look for this in the right hand column of this blog, underneath my picture:

Or by entering your email address, you will receive an email whenever I write a new post.  Look for this in the right hand column as well:

Thank you so much for reading!

Jen

linking up to:

funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, nutmeg place, craft envy, six sister stuff, the sweet talk shop, wayward girls, flamingo toes, sisters of the wild west, a simply klassic home, i heart naptime, my 1929 charmer, nifty thrifty things, sassafrass salvation, create with joy, the southern institute, diy home sweet home, craft o maniac, embellishing life everyday, vintage mauve,  sew can do, i should be mopping the floor, knick of time, eye heart, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, between naps on the porch, skip to my lou, coastal charm, todays creative blog, tip junkie, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, blackberry vine, crafty confessions, how to nest for less, adventures of a diy mom, the shady porch, uncommon designs, chatty chics, romance on a dime, blue cricket designs, elizabeth and co, michele raven designs, savvy southern style, laugh love and craft, sew much ado, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, these peas taste funny, aka design, romantic home, shabby nest, finding fabulous

Spring Mantel

A few weeks ago, I said good-bye to the last of the red in my mantel decor.  The holidays are behind us. And now Valentine’s Day is too.  While I don’t think red will ever be completely gone from my home decor, it’s currently gone from my mantel.  It needed a new look.  Something more ‘springy’.

I kept things really simple, but cheery.

I fell in love with the faux green grass (above) when I helped my friend, Heidi, redecorate her house (click here to read more).  The grass is from Michaels and it came in a square.

I pulled out the ‘clumps’ of faux grass and used them as vase filler to go around my candles.

I used a ramekin to give my candle some height.  The grass gave color to the containers and and ended up being a really fun, unique vase filler.

I also used the faux grass in this lantern and placed it on a shelf in my entry.

I’m loving the simple look of my mantel.  Here is one last look….

Jen

linking up to:

chatty chics, laugh love and craft, home stories a to z, todays creative blog, tip junkie, blue cricket designs, romance on a dime, how to nest for less, my girlish whims, primp, savvy southern style, the shady porch, the trendy treehouse, sew much ado, uncommon designs online, mrs. hines class, a turtle’s life for me, polkadots on parade, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, aka design, house of hepworths, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, happy hour projects, these peas taste funny, french country cottage, romantic home, shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, days of chalk and chocolate, its a hodgepodge life, fingerprints on the fridge, chic on a shoestring decorating, a glimpse inside, the not so functional housewife, 2805, toys in the dryer, here comes the sun, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, nutmeg place, craft envy, six sister stuff, the sweet talk shop, wayward girls, flamingo toes, sisters of the wild west, a simply klassic home, i heart naptime, my 1929 charmer, nifty thrifty things, sassafrass salvation, create with joy, the southern institute, diy home sweet home, craft o maniac, embellishing life everyday, vintage mauve, sew can do, i should be mopping the floor, between naps on the porch, the lettered cottage

Family Room Before and After

My good friend, Heidi, was looking to update to her family room.  She has lived in her house for eight years and felt like it was time for a new look.  I love re-doing a room, so when she asked me to help out with the update, I was more than happy to assist!

Over the years, the shelves got a little tired and cluttered looking.  The first move was clearing off the shelves, giving me a clean slate to work with.  Photo albums were removed.  New photo’s were placed in the picture frames. And a few new items were purchased to freshen up the look.  Here is the before picture…

And the after….

And a few close ups…

Mantle Before

Mantle After

In a nutshell, this is what I did to update the shelves….

* Remove all of the photo albums. They were placed in the larger baskets in the bottom shelves * Four matching baskets placed across the top shelves for a unified, clean look. * Pictures were updated in all of the frames * Small, simple vignettes were created on each shelf with just a few items to minimize a cluttered look. *  A few new items were purchased for the update – white enamel pitcher with flowers, vases with rocks, moss and flowers, metal buckets with faux green grass (and a new tv, which wasn’t necessary but sure looks great!).*

And now onto the couches….

The old couches were a special order item several years ago.  Heidi didn’t love them from the start, but being that they were special order, the couches weren’t able to be returned. So this update has been a long time coming!

Before….

The leather couch is still a family favorite, so Heidi selected chocolate colored couches that would coordinate with the leather couch and ottoman.   The new chair and love seat create a more unified look to their family room.

The floral chair was replaced with a chocolate microfiber covered chair.    The black end table was switched out for a cream colored one that was in another corner of the room.

The salmon colored love seat was replaced with a love seat in a chocolate microfiber.  A variety of white cotton pillows were purchased on Etsy. And a coordinating pair of powder blue pillows add color and variety with their different shapes.

Now that the couches are in and the shelves are redecorated, Heidi and her family think the end result was well worth the wait!

 

linking up to:

2805, french country cottage, redoux, shabby nest, finding fabulous, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, chic on a shoestring decorating, fingerprints on the fridge, creation corner, fun to craft, a glimpse inside, raising oranges, the not so functional housewife, nutmeg place, toys in the dryer, here comes the sun, the sweet talk shop, my 1929 charmer, i should be mopping the floor, the southern institute, create with joy,  a pinch of joy, vintage mauve, eye heart, knick of time interiors, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, sumo’s sweet stuff, craft o maniac, embellishing life everyday, our delightful home, sew can do, northern cottage, home stories a to z, coastal charm, todays creative blog, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, the blackberry vine, crafty confessions, how to nest for less, romance on a dime, adventures of a diy mom, my uncommon slice of suburbia, tip junkie, not just a housewife, vintage wanna be, elizabeth and co, chatty chics, laugh love and craft, blue cricket design, my girlish whims, primp, savvy southern style, the shady porch, trendy treehouse, sew much ado, uncommon designs online, mrs. hines class, a turtle’s life for me, polkadots on parade, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, aka design, house of hepworths, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, happy hour projects, these peas taste funny,  romantic home, days of chalk and chocolate,  miss mustard seeda glimpse inside, the rooster and the hen

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

I confess that Valentine’s Day isn’t a major holiday in our household.  Dan and I aren’t terribly shmoopy.  And with an anniversary just a few days before Valentine’s Day, we’ve usually already celebrated with a nice dinner (or a trip to Maui!).

Emmie, who is in half day kindergarten, immediately walked through the front door and unloaded her goodies from school.  I imagine the same thing will happen later this afternoon when Jack gets home too.

This year, I participated in a Valentine’s exchange through Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects.   Adrianne matched me up with Jenny at The Southern Institute and we got to exchange handmade Valentine’s.

This week, Jenny sent me this darling framed cross stitch.  Don’t you love it?  And it’s not overly “Valentine’s-ish”  (I realize that is not a word) so I can keep it up past today!!

She also sent this handmade card that is just too cute.

And a DIVINE chocolate bar bar, that I have to confess, did not get photographed before I dug into it.

While it was so wonderful to receive a gift, it was just as much fun to send one!  I got to bless Jenny with a little something from me!

I made her one of my heart pillows Click here to read the tutorial.

As well as a Valentine’s garland. Click here for the tutorial.

I wrapped it all up and sent it off!

You can click here to read Jenny’s post on how she has displayed her new gifts!

Here’s hoping someone special blessed you with a little something today!!  Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jen

 linking up to:

happy hour projects, southern product queen, not just a housewife

Shelf Tutorial

A good friend of mine was in need of a solution for foyer.  There was no place for guests to put their stuff, so coats and bags ended up in a pile next to the couch.   I was certain I could help her come up with a solution!  So I started doing some measuring and research and came across this on Pinterest.  The Idea Room made this shelf for her bathroom.  Isn’t it darling!

With a few modifications, something like this would fit perfectly behind my friend’s front door!  After a bit more measuring and a trip to Lowes, I made this…

I’ve had a lot of people inquiring about making one for themselves, so I thought it was time to write a tutorial!

Supply List for Top Shelf

1 x 12 – back of shelf  (mine was 32″ long)

1 x 4  – top of shelf (use a 1×6 for a deeper shelf)

3 and 5/8 inch crown molding

1 and 1/8 inch decorative molding

miter saw

nail gun

caulk and wood filler

masking tape

primer/paint or stain

hooks

 

supplies

1. Cut the 1×12 to the desired length (mine was 32″ long).

2. Cut crown molding to fit length of your board (Note: this was my first time cutting crown molding so I am not an expert in this field.  I viewed a few You Tube videos to learn the best way to accomplish this task).  The back of the crown will need to be the same length as the board (i.e. 32″) and the crown will angle out at the corners to be longer than the back board.

3. Cut side pieces out of the crown molding.  Only one edge of the crown will be angled (to connect with the front piece of crown, making a corner). The back will be flat, as it will sit flush against the wall.  The entire cutting process may take awhile if you are new at this like me.  Look at my pile of mis-cut pieces!

 4.  I used masking tape to hold my pieces of molding together. This allowed me to make sure the corners matched up nicely (or at least close enough!).  I’m not sure that a true craftsman would agree with my use of masking tape, but it was effective for me, since I was working alone!

5. When you are finished cutting the crown molding, cut your 1×4  for the top shelf (or 1×6 if you are creating a deeper shelf).  You will want  1″ to 2″ longer than the crown molding.  Attach the 1×4 to the top of your board with some wood glue and your nail gun.  Then attach the molding (this is where I loved using the masking tape. Everything stayed right in place until I secured it with a nail!)

6. Cut molding for the bottom of the shelf the same way you cut the crown.  Tape corners together. Then use  the glue and nail gun to attach it to the bottom edge of the shelf.

7. Caulk along the edges of the molding. And fill nails holes and corners with wood filler or putty. You will most likely have to sand it smooth and re-putty a time or two until the finish is smooth and flawless.

8. Prime the shelf and then paint to desired color!

This is my new favorite spray paint from Lowes! It goes on evenly, doesn’t spray so hard that it runs on your project AND it doesn’t drip out of the sprayer and all over your hands.

 

9. After the paint has dried, attach the hooks.  Space evenly and screw them into the wood.

10. Attach D rings to the back and hang the shelf up on your wall.

For the lower shelf, I simply used the smaller decorative molding on the top AND bottom edges of the shelf.

The set of three picture frames are from Michaels.  They were black ….. but thanks to more Valspar white spray paint, they now match the new shelves perfectly!!  I added the ‘hang your coat’ until my friend had a chance to put photo’s in the frames.

And one last look at the finished product!

I was at my friends house for a party a few days ago, and I must say, those hooks can hold a LOT of coats and purses!  No more coats on the floor!

Jen

linking up to:

2805, feathered nest, kitchen fun with my 3 sons, shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, chic on a shoestring decorating, creation corner, fun to craft, a glimpse inside, naptime crafters, here comes the sun, raising oranges, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, nutmeg place, craft envy, be different act normal, six sisters stuff, the not so functional housewife, tots and me, stylish once again, i heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, flamingo toes, nifty thrifty things, twigg studios, eye heart, my 1929 charmer, i should be mopping the floor, the sweet talk shop, the southern institute, the girl creative, create with joy, a simply klassic home, making the world cuter, diy home sweet home, sumo’s sweet stuff, craft o maniac, embellishing life, sew can do, between naps on the porch, skip to my lou, a pinch of joy, sassafrass salvation, northern cottage, knick of time interiors, home stories a to z, coastal charm, southern product queen, today’s creative blog, tip junkie, vintage wanna bee, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalia, the blackberry vine, our delightful home, romance on a dime, adventures of a diy mom, my uncommon slice of suburbia, southern product queen, not just a housewife, laugh love and craft, uncommon designs, chatty chics, my girlish whims, faded charm cottage, michele raven designs, domestically speaking, southern lovely, the shady porch, savvy southern style, mrs. hines class, the thrifty home, trendy treehousepolkadots on parade, creations by kara, southern lovely, sew much ado, take it from me,  beyond the picket fence, the shabby creek cottage, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, house of hepworths, how to nest for less, the brambleberry cottage, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, these peas taste funny, happy hour projects, miss mustard seed, nutmeg place, days of chalk and chocolate, wayward girls crafts, centsational girl

15 Years

15 Years ago…

Februrary 8, 1997

15 years ago, Dan had a full head of hair and I had yet to be acquainted with a flat iron.

15 years ago, I didn’t know we would spend the first nine years of marriage across country from our family.

15 years ago, I didn’t know that the Lord would bless us with two beautiful children.

And 15 years ago, I didn’t know that it was possible to love Dan more than I did on our wedding day (but it is…and I do)!!

Happy Anniversary, Dan! I love you!

Love, Jen

Heart Pillow Tutorial

Several weeks ago, I came across this darling pillow on Pinterest.

via pinterest

I was looking for a Valentine’s Day project and figured this one couldn’t be that hard to tackle! So off to the fabric store I went and picked up some burlap and red satin ribbon.  After a little work, I came up with my version.

To create your own, keep reading for a quick tutorial.

Cut two pieces of burlap into 12″ squares.  Sew up the edges on the sewing machine, making sure to leave an opening for pillow stuffing.

Turn the pillow right side out and run an iron over it to press the edges and corners flat.

Then cut a heart out of paper, to your desired size.  Thread your ribbon through a larger needle and start weaving the ribbon through the top layer of the burlap, around the heart.


 

To prevent the ribbon from unraveling, use a lighter to lightly singe the edges.  Tie a bow at the bottom of the heart, put a pre-made pillow insert into the cover or stuff it with bagged stuffing.  Stitch up the opening at the bottom and the pillow is complete!

 

linking up to:

eye heart, i should be mopping the floor, my 1929 charmer, the southern institute, homemaker on a dime, diy home sweet home, diy show off, craft o maniac, embellishing life, create with joy, sew can do, pinkapotamus, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, skip to my lou, northern cottage, knick of time, home stories a to z, coastal charm, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, the blackberry vine, romance on a dime, tip junkie, elizabeth and co, chatty chics, uncommon designs, michele raven designs, my girlish whims, savvy southern style, trendy treehouse, polkadots on parade, the shady porch, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, laugh love and craft, a turtles life for me, creations by kara, sew much ado, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, rad crafter, adventures of a diy mom, these peas taste funny, happy hour projects, 2805, french country cottage, romantic home, shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, chic on a shoestring decorating, raising oranges, days of chalk and chocolate, creation corner, it’s fun to craft, toys in the dryer, kitchen fun with my 3 sons, a glimpse inside, naptime crafters, here comes the sun, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, nutmeg place, craft envy, be different act normal, six sisters stuff, the not so functional housewife, tots and me, i heart naptime, sisters of the wild west, flamingo toes, nifty thrifty things, twigg studios, adventures in mommy land, the sweet talk shop, stylish once again, a simply klassic home, dear lillie

Valentine’s Garland

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is almost here!    I don’t have a ton of Valentine’s Day specific home decor.  So I’ve been working on a few projects to help decorate!

Months ago I came across a fun circle garland online and made a version in fall colors (orange, red and brown) for our house.  I recently picked up some pink, red and white felt (approximately 30 cents for an 8×10 piece) and decided to make a Valentine’s Day version! It’s so simple, really inexpensive and did not take long to make.

Continue reading for a quick tutorial on making one of these garlands for you or a friend.

First, cut out a bunch of circles.  The size and quantity is up to you. My garland is 112 inches long and has 58 circles that are approximate 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

I traced a cup and used that circle as my template (note: you can cut more than one piece of felt out at the same time to speed up the cutting process).  Once all of your circles are cut, measure a piece of thread to the length of your desired garland. I doubled my thread to make the garland a bit stronger. Start weaving the needle in and out of each circle (a few times on each color, so that the circle lays flat and doesn’t spin around).  Then move onto the next color and so on, making sure you slide the dots down to the end of your string.  You can also use a sewing machine, which would also be very simple, and quick as well.  But for those non-sewers in the bunch, doing it by hand is also quick and easy. No heavy machinery needed!

Once your sewing is complete, tie a knot in the end of the thread and hang the garland in the location of your choice (suggestions: mirror, doorway, mantle, top of bookshelf, window or door frame….)

You aren’t just limited to a circle garland either!  Here are some inspiration pictures from Pinterest.

You can use the garland as ribbon on a gift…

via pinterest

Or use paint chips to cut out Easter eggs….

via pinterest

Or instead of circles, try cutting out hearts….

via pinterest

Or using book pages or newspapers to cut out hearts…..

And last, but certainly not least, mulit colored felt dots in different sizes…..The possibilities are endless!

via pinterest

And one last look at my simple version.

Thanks for reading!
Jen

linking up to:

the thrifty home, the brambleberry cottage, the shabby creek cottage, beyond the picket fence, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, shabby nest, 2805, french country cottage, no minimalist here, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, chic on a shoestring decorating, it’s a hodgepodge life, happy hour projects, days of chalk and chocolate, my romantic home, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, i heart naptime, eye heart, i should be mopping the floor, my 1929 charmer, the southern institute, homemaker on a dime, diy home sweet home, diy show off, craft o maniac, embellishing life, create with joy, sew can do, pinkapotamus, between naps on the porch, making the world cuter, skip to my lou, northern cottage, knick of time, home stories a to z, coastal charm, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, hope studios, a stroll thru life, new nostalgia, the blackberry vine, romance on a dime, tip junkie, elizabeth and co, chatty chics, uncommon designs, michele raven designs, my girlish whims, savvy southern style, trendy treehouse, polkadots on parade, the shady porch, the thrifty home, mrs. hines class, laugh love and craft, a turtles life for me, creations by kara, sew much ado, the brambleberry cottage, beyond the picket fence, shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, thrifty decorating, saved by love creations, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, rad crafter, adventures of a diy mom, these peas taste funny, happy hour projects, 2805, french country cottage, romantic home, the shabby nest, at the picket fence, common ground, stuff and nonsense, my repurposed life, it’s a hodgepodge life, chic on a shoestring decorating, raising oranges, days of chalk and chocolate, creation corner it’s fun to craft, toys in the dryer, kitchen fun with my 3 sons, a glimpse inside, naptime crafters, here comes the sun, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, adventures in mommy land, dear lilly

 

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