Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Is everyone enjoying their holiday break?  I went back to work on Wednesday and I am already over the week!  Too busy, I wish I were one of those people off and out to lunch with friends and family.  Instead I serving them.  Oh well, I'm not bitter......:)


So every year I skip the whole making New Year's resolutions, because well I never keep them.  This new year tho, things they need to change!  I am blogging them so that when I don't keep up with them I can be shamed!  ha ha.  Sounds bad, but its like paying for a gym membership, I am going to go because I am paying for it.  Not because I want too, but because I am spending money on it.  That sort of thing.  I have a big list this year.  I really hope I can get them all done!  They aren't incredibly hard things, but things I can see myself giving up on. 


1.  Lose 50 lbs. I know that is a big number, but if I do it right and not just for a few months I think I can get it done.
2.  Learn how to sew.
3.  Save money (from tips) for our trip to New York/New Jersey this summer.
4.  Keep my life and home organized.
5.  Limit my computer time.
6.  Be a vendor at, at least one craft show (be a vendor, see if my creations sell)
7.  Go on more dates with my husband.
8.  Cook more healthy.
9.  Stop stressing so much, if I get a grade other then an A in school, I wont die. 
10. Join the YMCA for my daughter and I.


I'll stop at ten. I think I could go on, and on....

What is everyone else's resolutions?
Happy New Year!

*Allie 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I know I am a day late, a buck short, whatever ha ha.  I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas this year.  I hope you got to spend time with the ones you love and enjoyed a peaceful day!  We had a fabulous day, my daughter loved the anticipation of it all and it was so much fun watching her face light up when she would open something new.
 

I didn't cook that much this holiday!  I did try some new recipes that are some keepers and some that are some tweakers!  I'll share those with you.  No pictures tho, all the excitement I forgot to photograph anything but my daughter!  I will share the links I found those recipes at tho and the reviews I got on them!


Here are some sweets....

Cake batter bites... Originally found on adelynSTONE.  These are delicious.  I wish I took a picture because these things caused me some stress.  If you choose to make them, don't use white chocolate.  I wasted too much white chocolate.  (it didn't not melt right to dip the balls in!)  I had to go to two Micheal's to get the white candy pieces.  I went to publix, which has everything to get the almond bark (which I had never heard of) and they did not have them.  I am not a sweets person, so I could have one of these and be fine.  It literally tastes like cake batter.  People at work were calling it crack.  I'm keeping these on my list!

Next up....Egg nog cookies.  YUM!  Found at the girl who ate everything.  These cookies were nice and moist!  If you are an egg nog lover, these are a must!  Again no pictures!  I fail at life sometimes :).  Mine spread out big time, so I think I will go out and buy a scoop to make cookies.  That way they are all the same shape!

These Bite Size Apple pies are delish!  And so EASY to make.  They are even good cold!  Of course I found them on pinterest.  My trusted site for awesome recipes.  You can get the original recipe here at cookin up north.  If you aren't a pie person, I would def. make these.  You can get a nice touch of pie and not take a big piece of pie!

This is so freaking easy.  This will be my go too gift and dessert bringer over.  (Does that make sense?)  Five minute Fudge!  This is a Rachel Ray creation, but I found it over at this blog called tidy mom.  So easy it should be illegal.  Four ingredients.  Again I am not a sweets person.  Especially chocolate.  I had a little wedge and ate almost all of it.  It took me awhile but I ate it!  It was just too good to not eat!!  Then I made it into the wreath and it was so cute!  I used red and green M&M's, but they lost color sitting out in the open air.  Fail. 

I made Christmas breakfast on Christmas eve!   Found a crock pot recipe on pinterest.  I love hash browns and if I didn't have to make breakfast on Christmas morning then it had to be made.  If you are a fan on green peppers and onions, then you will like this dish.  Its a good base for a recipe, but I wasn't a big fan.  I think next time I will make it, I will add more to it to make it more flavorful. 


If you make this, you need to salt the potatoes at each layer.  It needs more salt then the recipe calls for.  If you are not a salt person then just don't listen to me!  he he.  Original recipe can be found at a latte with ott a.  Its not bad, but needs some tweaking.  Then again I am not a green pepper fan. 

So I guess all in all, I had more keepers then tweakers!  I thought this year I would be more organized but I was not, there is always next year!  Enjoy the day after Christmas, where you can relax and think about work and cleaning the next day!


*Allie 



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Confessions

This week I am linking up with adelynSTONE. 

My confessions:  My guilty pleasure every holiday season is hallmark and lifetime Christmas movies.  I cant help it, they are corny, but I LOVE them!  The endings are always happy endings and predictable, the acting is not the best, but that's OK.  Sometimes you need a good corny, feel good movie!


There are good people out in the world: a friend (coworker) of mine, has been struggling to have a child for awhile now.  So they decided to adopt.  Well they still needed about $5,000.  (her family threw her a fundraiser to get money) and one her regular guests came in and asked her out the process was going and she explained to them what she still needed and by spring they should be able to apply for government grants.  Well this guests says, is that all that is stopping you?  $5,000?  Consider it done!  He is giving her the $5,000 so they can start the adoption process.  Melts my heart that there are people out there.  She really deserves it and I am so happy for them!

I am kinda bummed that none of my cake plates or scarves sold today while at the flea market.  I even bought a rotary cutter and split my finger open making scarves and no sales! haha.  That's OK, I am really considering getting a booth at a craft fair. I really enjoy making these things and I scout all over for the perfect plate, or perfect color.  So I will see how I fair with the craft fair and if it is a success I may open a etsy store sometime next year!

Well that's all for this week, I hope you all have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas!


*Allie 




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wreath Obsession

Awhile ago I had a post about wreaths and what I wanted to make.  You can find that not your traditional wreath.  I had good intentions.  Really I did.  I bought googly eyes for the Halloween wreath and that never got anywhere.  (I blame it on school!)  I found an awesome blog that made wreaths out of Styrofoam piping at home depot for $.97.  Well there are different sizes and let me tell you.  The thick ones are not conducive for wreath making.  I couldn't make a circle out of it!  And not all are $.97.  The small ones are.  So I went out again and bought 5 more tube things, and got to work.

  This is the tube thing I was talking about.  So after I made my first two, I noticed that it doesn't hold its shape.  I thought maybe because the tape I used was packing tape and not as sturdy as duct tape, so I tried again.  Well see how they hold up.  I also hot glued the ends together.  Keep your fingers crossed they stay shapely!

This is one of my faves, but one that lost shape :(  It is made out of vintage gold tinsel garland.  I found at my grandmas house.  I love vintage and anything shinny! 
Attempt number 2.  I think the green thing is a tad big, but its sparkly, so it stays.  OK onwards....

I have been scouring thrift stores for Styrofoam wreaths and have scored.  I found 3.  Well one was one of those branch looking wreaths. I can work with that tho.


This wreath is a small one, but oh, so cute!  I love the colors.  I got the yarn at the $ store.  The beads I used were from a broken necklace of mine and felt can be picked up any craft store.  I have to say tho, I love those felt flowers. 

Zoe helped me with this as well, she made me add another flower to it! 


This yarn was much bigger and it has some white parts showing, but I think it came out OK. 

All these wreaths took me a little over an hour.  Hopefully I can make some more soon!


*Allie 

Soup!

So here in good ol' Florida we have had a few nights of 60 degree weather.  Crazy!  I know!  It's Christmas time and we are still in shorts and t-shirts.  I miss jeans, sweaters and closed toe shoes!  So one night Zoe and I were pinning and I found a Wisconsin Cauliflower soup.  I love cauliflower.  Have I ever used them in a soup?  Nope, but I got a head for $.99 (cheap, I know!).  So I went out and bought some cheddar cheese and we made some. 

Zoe is my helper in the kitchen, she is an expert stirrer!  The soup was super easy and didn't take long at all.  The original recipe can be found at Utah deal diva.

It was a nice thick soup.  Good to keep you warm on a cool night.  I used all cheddar cheese (and I didn't measure, so I am sure I used more then its called for). 

Finished product!
 
Does anyone have some good soup recipes they want to share?
 
*Allie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Facebook

Hello All!  Its been super busy around here, finals, christmas parties, christmas shopping.....I'm exhausted!  But I have some fun crafts planned and will show you all in a post soon!  But for now I made a facebook page!  Yay!  Finally got around to doing it.  So look to the right of this post and click the Like button! 

Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season!

*Allie 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Confessions

This week I am confessing to be completely out of it!  I NEED a vacation!  I thought I did stupid things before having coffee in the morning, no.  I have been doing stupid things repeatedly with copious amounts of coffee and caffeine in me!  I am so happy that school is almost over.  I have some assignments to do for computer and an extra credit exam and then a math exam tonight, then a English exam tomorrow night.  I am really freaking out about the math class.  I have complained all semester about the teacher and really I just feel stupid, like why cant I retain this stuff.  O wait I know, because I wasn't taught it!  Doing some example problems on the board is not teaching!  Then when I look in the book to teach myself its like in another language.  I know I am not stupid and my last two math classes I aced but this time I am just having a hard time!  I have been stressed to the max with that class and writing 4 papers this semester.  I give young college students cred b/c when you get my age and have a full time job as a mom and working full time going to school is NOT easy.  It will take me years (more then 2) to get an associates!  But its OK, slow and steady wins the race right?? 

Last night we got our Christmas tree.  we cant afford a lot this year so we went to walmart.  a small 5-6 footer was $19.88, but what do you know...its only Dec. 5 and they are out of them!  What did people do buy trees Nov. 26th??  Hello, its a real tree, lights and dead trees don't mix people!  I usually wait until 2 weeks until Christmas to get one, but I am having a work party at my place and I have to be decorated (add that to the list of stresses!).  That and my daughter is all about Christmas this year!

So while getting the tree, they had a bunch of bikes out in the garden center and what does Zoe do?  Climb right on a big girl bike and start riding down the aisle....did I get teary eyed?  Damn right I did.  My little girl is growing up WAY too fast.  So I guess Santa is getting a nice new blue huffy bike this year!  It was comical watching her and my hubby riding up and down the aisle b/c Zoe wasn't watching where she was going and knocked the bikes down.  I'm talking domino effect.  That was fun :)

So those are my confessions this week, what are yours?  Linking up with adelynSTONE.

*Allie 

Feature Blogger : Melissa

Hello All!  This is my first ever feature!  This lovely lady Melissa, aka Molly Dobbins is a good friend of mine.  We met online thru our love of anything twilight!  Both of us being twilight moms in our twenty's.  After realizing that we both love twilight, along with a few other lovely ladies that I consider good friends, we all realized we like to craft! 

Melissa is a very talented knitter/crocheter.

"I guess I have been the crafty type pretty much my whole life. As a child I loved art class more than anything. When my mom went to local craft shows I BEGGED to tag along. I guess I just love making things and creating. The crochet thing started years ago when my Nana taught me. At the suggestion of a friend I tried knitting and soon became addicted to that. I also sew which is something I got into years and years ago when my mom first taught me to hand sew."

You can find Melissa's Blog right here When I grow up I wanna be......  You can find some awesome recipes, great crafts and cute pictures of her lovely children!


Other things Melissa has been up too lately.

"Unfortunately I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately :(. In the absence of blogging I have been busy volunteering at my daughters school. It's been a wonderful experience and I love seeing my DD in her school environment.
On the crafting side I've been spending most of my time planning my handmade Christmas gifts and knitting. I just finished a knit head wrap/ ear warmer for myself and I couldn't be more happy with it.
As the colder weather has set in I find myself cooking and baking more and more. I have found tons of new recipes on Pintrest and I recently gave two a try; Chicken Parmesan Crescent Rolls and Pizza Casserole. The crescent rolls were okay. With a few tweaks I bet I could make them more to my family's taste :) The pizza casserole on the other hand was FANTASTIC!! My family couldn't get enough of it :)."

Very Cute Melissa!
Picture of it w/o being worn below


(links to those recipes will be at the bottom of this post!)

I have had the privilege of receiving a knitted hat by Melissa.  I had been looking in store, after store trying to find a hat like this one.  Bigger then a beany, but hangs in the back to hold your hair.  The ones in the store just didn't do it for me.  So when I saw Melissa pin this hat, I was like oooo can you make that??  Shes like yes I can, what color would you like.  I was beyond excited to receive it in the mail!  I love it!  I wear it all the time, its great for when you really don't feel like doing your hair, you just throw it on and for it to be homemade just makes it even more awesome!

So first I tried to take the picture myself......didn't really work out (yes that is a forks shirt, I got it while vacationing there a couple years ago!)  Then I enlisted the hubby and well this is the best I got!
I love it, its comfy, it hides my bad hair days and its comfy! 

Here are the links for the awesome recipes Melissa has made recently:


pizza casserole (I have to say I have this pinned, and it looks absolutely delish!)

headband ear warmer (free pattern!)

So go over to Melissa blog and send some love, she is a wonderful mother, awesome crafter, talented writer and a great friend!


*Allie 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits!

Ever get tired of buying biscuits and just using them as biscuits?  Does that make any sense?  You buy biscuits to have biscuits right?  Well I usually just make my biscuits with Bisquick and rarely buy canned biscuits, but they were on sale and now I have biscuits coming out of my ears.....so I tried a couple of new recipes!


First one is a mini calzone.  I honestly can not remember where I found this idea.  All I did was roll out a biscuit and added some yummy fillings.  Ricotta, mozzarella and parm cheese with some pepperoni and black olives. Mix it all together and add a heaping tablespoon to the middle of the biscuit and fold over.  Pinch the sides and your done!  Bake for how long the package says.  I added a couple of minutes so the insides were nice and warm.  I heated up some marinara sauce to serve with it.

 

All sealed and ready to bake!
All done!  Nice little dinner to serve with some salad and you are good to go!

Last night I made a crockpot pizza.  Cooking Nuggets had this awesome recipe.  I just looked at her pics.  So I don't have the exact recipe.  If you want that just visit her site :).  I took pics along the way of what I did.  The house smelled so yummy, who doesn't want a house smelling like pizza??
So first what you do, is dump a jar of pizza sauce on the bottom.  Then plop your fillings on top of that.  I did a layer of pepperoni all pretty on top of this, not pictured.  (I just woke up from my one nap a week so I didn't feel like chopping up my black olives!)
So the original recipe the lady just pinched off quarter sized biscuits.  I cut mine into six parts and then threw them on top in an orderly fashion.
Now that, that is done, turn your crockpot on high for 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours. 
This is after two hours.  The biscuits got nice and brown so i topped it with mozzarella and some cheddar I had left over.  Put the lid back on and let it cook for 15-30 minutes more.
Cheesy goodness!
Look at that!  Its like an upside down pizza!  I could not wait until I got home from school to eat this!  It was yummy! And the best part was the sauce didn't make it soggy at all!

I was thinking this morning of other variations that I want to try.  BBQ sauce with red onion and chicken, pineapple and ham, veggie deluxe, maybe a white chicken pizza.  The ideas are endless!

So anyone in the mood for pizza?


*Allie 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a little bit of lately's

I was over at one of my favorite blogs today and she posted a lately.  I did a couple before and thought: hey why not do one now.  I can put homework aside for now.....check out retrohipmama's lately over here.


reading: a book called "the next big thing" its about an overweight lady that signs up for a reality show to lose weight.  Its kinda like bad girls club, cept they aren't bad girls, just fat girls. not bad

obsessing: lets see....I have been stressing over school, and obsessing over thinking over math problems and research papers.  I have been making wreaths lately. a post will come soon on those.  I have been at Micheal's a lot lately getting paper to make coasters.  Cant wait to start those!  I have tried a few new recipes that came out good, just haven't recorded them

listening to: BREAKING DAWN SOUNDTRACK! In honor of breaking dawn coming out, I have been listening to it non-stop.  absolutely love it.  Good love songs, and the Bruno mars song, ahhhh! My daughter is getting sick of it. he he

baking/making: nothing lately :(  I did make a yummy corn and potato chowdah.  It was yummy!

looking forward to: breaking dawn premiere tonight!  cant freaking wait!  I really cant wait until this semester is over.  I am so over school.  Looking forward to Christmas this year.

want to accomplish: all my crafts!  so I can sell them! 

watching: the vampire diaries, greys anatomy, the secret circle. those are on my dvr weekly! also pan-am and happily ever after

missing: a life w/o homework! 

Pretty Storage containers made out of household items!

So on my break in October I found some great ideas on pinterest.  One was a paper storage holder made out of a cereal box.  Well I had plenty of those (cereal boxes), so I got to it.  Didn't take me too long, well after I cut up the wrong size box (note: you want to use a smaller box, bigger is not always better, he he)

Here is what it originally looked like:


Just a few cuts, some glue, some pretty scrapbook paper and embellishments and this is what I made....
 OK so maybe the paper placement isn't the best, but it sure does look cute!  The R is for our last name.
 Just because I can, here is another view :)
I love this paper!  It came in a pack that all matched, so what is better then that, its already all matched up for you!  We use it on our desk to hold our bills and odds and ends papers!  We love it!

You can find the tutorial here at katydid and kid.

Now we all know I have ten million cans.  So one morning with the help of my daughter, we made a pen holder, well it holds usbs, staples, markers,  and antibacterial on our desk.  My daughter helped me pick out the paper (scrapbook paper) and then while I cut and glued she told me where to place everything.  This is what we came up with....


Zoe loves pink and purple, so pink and purple it is!


This sits right next to our box on the desk, doesn't match but we aren't a matchy family!

So has anyone else made some awesome storage bins out of trash? 


*Allie


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coffee Confessions

Coffee Confessional

What to confess this week.  Last weeks was a drag, I admit, I wrote it when I was angry, and that is never a good time to do anything.  Anger and frustration is not a good thing and I wont lie my life has been full of it lately.  Maybe its the holiday blues, I don't know.  After calming down I re-read what I wrote and it was just too negative, so down it went.  So this weeks confession will be of things I am looking forward to and what I am grateful to have.

Linking up with adelynSTONE.


So I had a talk with my hubbie and explained my frustrations and he wants to help me out (he realizes he has been slacking).  I am really trying not to, how do I say this, only think negative things, I want to stay positive and hope that he will continue to help me out.

The good news is school is almost over with.  So that is a plus, I have given up caring about my math class.  I know I will do my research for next semester and make sure I get a good teacher next time around!  I got spoiled with my other teachers.  They were great.

I am excited for all the crafts I have lined up and the present ideas I have for friends and family come Christmas time.

My daughter is grasping hold of holidays and I love seeing her face when she talks about them.  She misses Halloween and doesn't understand it wont come back until next year.  Shes excited for turkey, but cant wait for SANTA!  We just happened to go out to lunch yesterday and we walked by a man sitting by himself that looked just like Santa, beard and all.  Once we got in the bathroom stall she whispers "was that Santa?"  Then she kept stealing glances at him while we ate.  Its fun seeing all the excitement going on around her.  Its tough when you get older and you lose that magic that Christmas seems to bring about for kids. 

I am grateful to have my hubbie there to listen to me and offer his help, whether it just be little things.  I am grateful that our fridge is stocked with food, even though we had to pay for it all by counting change.  Hey we had $50 in coins.  Not bad!  I am grateful for black friday this year!  My hubbie never buys himself anything and I cant wait to get him a flat screen TV for Christmas at a low price!

What is everyone else grateful for or excited for this week?


*Allie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Zoe Bean turned three!

On October 22, 2008, my fiances life and mine changed forever and for the better.  I gave birth to a beautiful 7lb baby girl!  Its been a wonderful experience watching her grow and learn.  Zoe Grace (named after her great grandma) just had a third birthday.  We celebrated by going to the magic kingdom for the first time! 

She looks and acts just like me.  Poor thing, she has no patience, shes stubborn, and a worrier.  All traits she got from me.  Shes also caring and has manners, she uses on a daily basis.  Now that she is three its so much fun talking and having conversations with her.  Her imagination is something out of this world and tells us stories of ghosts and mickey mouse. 

Her favorite foods are Chinese food that consists of egg drop soup, shrimp and lomein.  She loves eating the fortune cooking and listening to her fortune, she knows to take a bite first so her fortune comes true!  She can eat her weight in chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and corn!

Zoe's favorite color is purple, she loves trucks and cars and loves cooking in her kitchen.  She wears her pearls almost on a daily basis, in shorts and sneakers. 

Zoe is an expert at cooking scrambled eggs on the stove (with mommy of course) and loves Italians seasoning in them.

Shes proficient in her ABC's and 123's.  She knows all her nursery rhymes by heart and can sing all the theme shows to her cartoons.   

Zoe ages 2 weeks to 3 years!




I Love you Zoe Bean!



*Allie



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Is the best, most yummiest thing I have ever had.  Well I have had a lot of yummy things, but this goes right up there.  So rich and gooey, and when you throw some whip cream on there, it really completes it.  It makes a bunch, so I brought some to work and everyone loved it.  Everyone wants recipes so I thought I would share it on here as well.  This is addicting, I am forewarning you now!

 Pumpkin Dump Cake (I can not take credit for this, I found it here at cookies and cups )

Usually when I make dump cake I just take a can of cherry pie filling, then throw some pineapple chunks on top and then top that with a bag of cake mix and some butter.  But my new go to is this pumpkin dump cake.  It is by no means low-fat, and it does not go with my eating healthy regimen, but I made it before I vowed to eat healthy.  So now I can just dream about it, until Thanksgiving comes!


Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 10 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans ( I used honey graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)  (I used some heathbar crunch bites I had.  It was yummy!)

So you mix the pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice together.  Then dump it in a greased 9x13 pan.  Top it with the cake mix (don't make the cake mix, just open the bag and dump it on top).  Then cover it with the graham crackers or pecans, whichever you choose.  Then whatever else you want to top it with.  then pour the melted butter all over it.  (told you it wasn't low fat!).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Make sure it isn't giggly!  Top it with whip cream or ice cream.  I then topped my whip cream with some cinnamon and sugar.  Its good warm or cold.  Below are pictures I took.

So doesn't that look delish?  Pictures were fixed up by picnic.  Love that site!

Until next time!


*Allie 





Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Tips

Hello All!  I found this on pinterest and thought some of these tips were really handy!  I am going to try the banana one right away!

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.  I do this and it comes out so yummy and creamy!

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a minty frosting. Will def. try this next time I made boxed brownies to make them tastier!

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic, and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.

Easy Deviled Eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up. huh!  I knew to put it in a bag but mix it all in the bag! GENIUS!

Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away: Plant your plants in the ground, work the nutrients in your soil. Then wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch, and forget about weeds.

Broken Glass: Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily. No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip to eliminate static cling. It works; you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks.

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. I just spray pam on it first but I will try the hot water next time!

De-fog your windshield: Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser.

Re-opening envelopes: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair. I do this and my legs do come out silky smooth :)

Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. flies are drawn to the cup and gone forever.

Wash your dryer filter: dryer sheets cause a film over filter that will burn out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. The best way to keep your dryer working for a long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take the filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months. Never thought of this!

You can find more right here at the fun cheap or free queen


*Allie 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 minute meal

Tonight I made a quick, delicious meal before heading off to class.  It was so yummy, I packed it up to go and ate it on my way to school!  So easy, I used what I had in the fridge, but you can basically do whatever you want. 

Panko Crusted Chicken with Mushroom, Spinach Alfredo Pasta


Not pictured chicken, spices and oil

First I made my quick and easy alfredo sauce: 
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 C. milk (I used whole)
  • salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. - 3/4 c. grated parm
The trick to making a thick sauce is the roux.  Roux is butter and flour mixed together.  This is what makes it thick.  The trick to a good roux is melting the butter and putting the stove on  high.  Add your flour real quick and whisk furiously for a minute.  You don't want to form little balls, but you don't want it to burn.  By keeping it on high and whisking super fast it wont form a ball.  The reason you whisk for a good minute is to cook the flour taste out. 

Slowly add your milk and keep on whisking.  Let it come to a simmer, whisk occasionally.  Add your salt and pepper and parm cheese.  Keep whisking occasionally.  You know your sauce is thick when it coats the back of a spoon.  Let it sit on warm on the stove, I also grate some fresh nutmeg in my alfredo sauce, gives it a nice taste.  If you don't have any don't worry.
So with the sauce done I sauteed some mushrooms and thinly sliced mushrooms.  I was in the mood for garlic so I used like 6 cloves.  Add some oil to the pan and then add the garlic.  According to Mario barteli you want the garlic to be a nice golden color, not too dark.  So keep an eye on it.  Add your mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.  Do you know how to clean a mushroom?  Just take a wet paper towel and wipe them off.  That is all.  You don't want to submerge them in water.

When that is done put it aside.  Now I took three chicken breasts and cut them into strips.  Threw some salt and pepper on them and dipped them in oil.  Then I mixed panko bread crumbs with lots of Italian herbs and some parm cheese.  I did not measure this, but you want to use quite a bit to get a good flavor.  Mix those together and dredge your chicken in it.  Heat some oil in a nice big pan and add chicken.  Turn once after there is a nice golden color.  Because they are strips they don't take long.  I believe I did 4-5 minutes each side.  Don't over crowd your pan.  I did mine in two batches. 

So while I was doing all this I made some shell pasta. (don't forget to salt your pasta)  Once it was done I added the sauce, mushrooms, garlic and fresh spinach.  I added some pasta water to help the spinach wilt some.

 Mix it all together and plate some up!  I threw some yummy chicken on top and chowed down.  It smelled so good!  The chicken was nice and crunch and the pasta was yummy.

And that is my 30 minute homemade meal! 

*Allie

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'M BACK!!!

Yay!  I'm back!  I've missed blogging! 

How was everyone's October?  Get some good Halloween candy?  My daughter was Tinkerbell and I thought she was the cutest Tinkerbell ever!  Also didn't hurt that the costume only cost me $4! 

My month was busy and stressful.  My little one turned 3 and already sasses me!  I will do a special post for her highlighting all her qualities and what her father and I love about her!  That is to come.

I have lots of things in the works for this month, I plan on featuring another blogger.  Shes a wonderful friend of mine and talented to boot!  She made me a fantastic knitted hat that I love so much!  I just opened her package today and I want to wear it non-stop...even in my PJ's I had it on!  Look forward to that one!  My first feature, I hope it turns out great :)

I am working on a facebook page, so in time there will be a little "like" button to the right of the screen up top, right above Pinterest!  To be honest, I did have one up already...but something was bugging me about it and I deleted it, but for some reason it won't permanently delete for 14 days so I think I am at like 9 or so until I can make another one!  Oh computers and technology how I love thee!

I haven't tried out too many recipes in October but I did make some yummy treats I will share with you :)

I am focusing on my health the next two months (and upcoming new year), so expect some healthy recipes and some gripes along the way of weight loss, or no weight loss or frustrations in general.

I have lots of crafty projects lined up and I cant wait to do them and show you all!  

Until next time....

*Allie  
A little sneak peak of whats to come!  (yes that is several kinds of pumpkin, and yes I am slightly obsessed....)
 Is that vintage tinsel, why yes it is.  I was super excited when I found that amongst the things at grandmas house!



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Taking October off

It saddens to me to say this, but I am taking the month of October off.  October is a busy month for me.  Halloween (one of my favorite holidays) and my daughters birthday.  I'm kinda tired.  Blogging can be addicting, and if anyone knows me when I get addicted to something I get addicted.  It kinda consumes my life.  So I need to prioritize and get some stuff done this month.  Focus on my baby cuz this is her month, party planning takes me awhile, aha. 

I will still be trying out new recipes and crafting (when I find the time) and taking pictures so that when November comes along I can post all my wonders with you all :)  I will still be pinning, because I cant quit all my obsessions for the time being.  Pinning calms me, crazy I know.  I am crazy.  That's OK, you can agree with me!  See the red button to the right of this post?  Follow me on pinterst and see what future crafts and recipes I have lined up!

Of course I will be checking out my favorite blogs which can be found on the right, check those out because those ladies always have wonderful things posted!

Until next time, enjoy the fall weather and all the pumpkins!

*Allie




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New recipes

Yesterday I tried out some new recipes.  Both were super yummy.  We started out with an appetizer.  Since my Hubbie sleeps all day long, he doesn't get up until 4.  That's too early to eat dinner, so we have a little snack.  I found this simple appetizer on Pinterest and thought I would share it.

All it is , is crescent rolls rolled with pepperoni and half of a string cheese stick.  I served it with ranch, because everything goes with ranch, ha ha.  Found at dinner with the donnells.  I coated mine with some oil mixed with Italian seasoning.  They were fast and easy. 

Now for dinner I made some roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons.  I loved the soup.  My daughter wouldn't even touch it.  If its not Campbell's chicken noodle, then she wont touch it!

First you roast the tomatoes for 40 minutes, until they are shriveled up and have brown spots. (coat tomatoes with 2 T. oil and salt and pepper)

While those are roasting, just before they are done, chop up an onion and two gloves of garlic (minced) and saute (saute with 2 T. butter and 1 T. oil)  it for about 6 minutes.

Now add one can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth and your roasted tomatoes.  The recipe called for 1 t. thyme but I used dried basil instead.
 
Simmer partial covered for 40 minutes then puree.  I used my handheld.  If you don't have one of those, just use your blender.  Splatter free that way. Then add 1 c. of heavy cream and heat back up. 

Then I quickly made my grilled cheese sandwiches and cut them into little squares.  You end up with this.

Recipe:
3 pints of cherry tomatoes
3 T. oil, divided
2 T. butter (I used margarine)
1 onion
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
4 c. chicken broth
1 t. thyme (I used dried basil)
1 c. heavy cream

Grilled cheese stuff

That's all she wrote!  I'm still dreaming of cooler weather!  Have a good Wednesday!


*Allie 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MMMM....Pumpkin

My family loves pumpkin!  I have been pinning pumpkin recipes like crazy lately and yesterday I made a quick and easy pumpkin pie cupcake.  It was so yummy, and gooey and delicious!  The original recipe can be found at baking bites.  Its a mini pumpkin pie with out the pie crust!

I didnt have any heavy cream to make my own whip cream, so I used canned, but it was still yummy.  I topped it with some cinnomon and sugar sprinkle.  I forgot to spray my liners, so it was really messy getting them out of the liners.  If you make them let spray the liners.  And just because I couldnt not let you see the inside I took a bite to show you how it resembles a pumpkin pie  :)
Its not your usual cupcake.  The recipe only makes 12, and I could seriously eat all 12.  Oh and it calls for pumpkin pie spice, which I did not have, but baking bites tells you how to make that as well.  So now I have some extra pumpkin pie spice to use for future baking! 

Here are some more yummy pumpkin recipes I have found.

Pumpkin crunch cake....um yes please

Pumpkin Ginerbread Trifle...put some good use to that trifle bowl that sits unused.

who doesnt love pumpkin scones, especially from starbucks?? These are just like them!

Does anyone have some yummy pumpkin recipes to share??

*Allie 


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