Wednesday, April 27, 2016

College T Shirt Quilt

Last summer I FINALLY decided to do something with some of my favorite shirts from college.  I cut each into the same size square and then bought different shades of green and gold fabric to frame each shirt.  I followed the same steps I did for this quilt a made for a friend's daughter (out of her soccer shirts).  I just added one more thin strips of dark green around each window pane strip to really set apart the different green and gold (college colors) fabric I used to frame each shirt.  .
I used a light green fabric for the back, took it to a lady who lives near me to quilt the front to the back, and then added the binding.  It takes up much less room than it did when there were 12 t shirts taking up space in a box in my closet....and they have a purpose again.  I'll definitely do this again someday with my work t shirts....but I have a few more years until I'm done collecting those!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cleaning Hard Water Stains



I've been tormented by this stupid hard water stain at the base of my ice machine/water door in my fridge.  I have tried every product...including my go to/never fail Mr. Clean sponges (I get nothing for saying that, I promise, I just really like them).  The hard water stain remained.
THEN someone suggested vinegar.  I poured some vinegar into each slot.  I let it sit for about ten minutes.  I ran a sponge through each slot when I was done letting it sit, and the water lifted right off.  I can't even explain how much therapy this just saved me.  OK, maybe not that far, but....it really bothered me b/c I cleaned and cleaned.  Good ol' vinegar...I need to buy it in bulk!

Friday, April 22, 2016

(Vegan) Strawberry Bread

I planted my annual mini garden in my backyard.  I use the word garden very lightly.  I take the pots from last year full of the dead plants that didn't make it past June, dump the rotted plant, add a little more dirt, and plant something new....which, if history repeats itself, will die by June.
I love strawberry plants because if they never produce fruit, they have cute little white flowers.  This year we've been flooded with rains.  Apparently my strawberries are a big plan of rain because strawberries have sprung forth in all shapes and sizes.  I discovered my dog enjoys a nice strawberry.  She checks these plants regularly.  I've moved two of the three higher so I have a chance.  I plucked some the other day and got to work.  I didn't quite have enough to have this recipe fully from my stash, but....quite a few were....I also made it vegan (by subtracting the eggs) so that I could share it with my brother...he's very thin and can consume more calories without the guilt I feel.  I've found different sweet breads are easy to go vegan because the substitutes really blend well.  In many cases it actually makes it even better than the original-try it!
So...if your strawberries are sprouting like mine, or if you have some that are about to go bad in the fridge and you want to do a little something with that carton, this is a delicious recipe!  I adapted the original recipe from allrecipes (based on suggestions from other reviewers).
(Vegan) Strawberry Bread
Ingredients: 4 c fresh strawberries (cut into small chunks), 3 1/8 c flour, 2 c. sugar, 1 T of cinnamon (scant, don't overfill, or it will over power), 1 t. salt, 1 t. baking soda, 1 c vegetable oil, 1 1/4 c. chopped pecans, and to make it vegan-1 banana mashed, 2 T flax seed, 6 T of water, 2 pinches of baking soda
*If you don't want to go vegan, skip the banana, flax seed, and water, and just add 4 eggs. 
Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans.  
2.  Place the flaxseed, and 6 T of water into a bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes add 2 pinches of baking soda.
3.  Sprinkle cut strawberries with sugar and set aside.  
4.  Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 1 t. baking soda.  Add in oil, mashed banana, and flaxseed.  
5.  Add strawberries and pecans.  
6.  Place in pans and cook for 50 min (test to see if the center is still wet).  Cool and slice.  

*There are many egg substitutes, but I like to do a mix of banana and flax seed so it's not too nutty and the banana doesn't overpower the taste.  You can mix it up to your taste.  1 banana=2 eggs, and 1 T of flax seed mixed with 3 T of water and a pinch of baking soda substitutes for 1 egg.  I find with breads the flax seed helps it rise, and the banana helps keep it moist.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cheesesteak Sandwich


How about a simple sandwich?  I've seen a ton of different recipes for cheese steak sandwiches, but I was intrigued by this one via thelittlekitchen because you wrap them up in foil and bake them to finish them off, and this really was a delicious and simple way to toast the break/get them all put together.  I'm hungry just typing this.  I definitely adapted the original recipe to simplify it for myself, and cut out the mushrooms.  Eww..mushrooms.  My recipe also made a hearty sandwiches, but...I may not be a meat lover, or maybe my bread was smaller b/c the original said it made 4.

Simple Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Ingredients:  4 hoagie roles, 4 slices of provolone cheese, 1 1/2 lb beef rib eye steaks, 1 med white onion, 1 green pepper, 2 T of butter.  
Instructions:
1.  Preheat over to 250.
2.  Slice vegetables.  Slice steak against the grain, and chop into smaller pieces.  Slice hoagie rolls in half.  
2.  Heat 1 T of butter in a pan and add sliced onions and peppers.  Cook until soft and onions are translucent.  
3.  Remove vegetables, heat another 1 T of butter, add steak.  Cook until browned.  Remove sauce (you can set it aside to add to sandwiches for flavor later if you want).  
4.  Add veggies to steak and divide evenly into hoagie rolls.  Add a slice of cheese on top.  Place each sandwich individually in a piece of foil.  Wrap tightly.  Cook at 250 for 15 minutes until cheese is melted.  
5.  If you don't eat them all, store them in a ziplock and pull out and reheat in the foil in the oven the next day until warmed through.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vintage Ribbon Garland

I think I've mentioned a time or ten I'm in the process of redoing my craft room...and by redoing, I mean...anticipating my brother moving out and nixing the guest room.  Sorry, guest.  Every room remodel, all both of them begin with me hunting down exactly what I want so I can get the basic shell in place...and then hunt some more.  I originally said I wanted each room of my house to look like someone different did it-shabby chic, bright and sleek so I don't get tired of it.  It turns out I'm not a bright and sleek kind of gal.  Every room ends up being more a conglomeration of odds and ends I find at thrift stores, antique stores, alley ways, but few come from modern haunts.  So, nix the aqua, white, and straight lined craft room...I'm going vintage...again.  I've collected some weird things along the way.  All that to say, I saw this garland made out of old ribbon at an antique store recently.  It certainly won't have a function other than decoration, but I really liked it. I think it's a bunch of old seam binding (thought it might be a bunch of new seam binding someone took and dyed to look old, but...let's pretend it's old seam binding) and lace.  I took a photo at first and left it at the booth b/c I was going to make something like this....but then I remembered this...
 
...and in this case....it was going to mean hunting and buying a bunch of old ribbon down and spending 92 dollars on that ribbon....or 8.50 for the ribbon someone already hunted down and strung up...I bought the ribbon.
 This is not to say I won't be doing something like this soon...in fact, I will be, but that's a surprise for another day...in the meantime, here's a closer look....
They took old lace and looped each ribbon onto the string.  It looks like they crumbled the ribbon a bit (maybe got it damp, squished, and dried?)....and I love the look.
 Garlands speak to me in all shapes and sizes.  It says party.  I like parties.   So...I bought a craft someone else did, and I'm blogging about it.  I supported another crafter.  I saved some time.  I probably saved some money.  I like it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

June is 2!

 I interrupt this blog to post puppy pictures.  Today, June turned two.  These photos were taken the first few days I had her.  I tried to take her picture, and she tried to steal my camera strap.  It could have been taken today.  As I type, she's laying at my feet with the dish towel she stole from my kitchen and was sure I would chase her down for, but when that didn't work, she collapsed, with her prize, by my feet.
 When I got my last dog 15 years ago I said I'd never get another puppy.  Come on, look at that face..you can see why I decided to delete my original plan!  That face ate a couch and a love seat, approximately 3,456,345 rocks....and threw them back up, and a forest worth of tree limbs. She's currently going through a serial killer junebug phase.
 ...but, she's always happy to see me.  She's my most faithful friend, and never loses interest in me....case in point...a photo last year of 'us' trying to blog.
I'm definitely one of 'those' people.  In a world full of worries, and waiting, and wonderings I love the simplicity of being loved by a dog.  I used the term loosely, but....you get my point.
Real time, two year old, Baby June...with her tea towel. One of my favorite little frivolous blessings.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pecan Bread

      To put this recipe in blogging terms. I usually don't write down recipes anymore b/c I keep a blog and I can go look them up anytime.  I love this recipe so much it's on a card in my kitchen now so future generations can enjoy it.  Seriously, yum. 
    I have some pecans left over from Thanksgiving (pecans last a long time in the fridge or freezer) and I wanted to try out a recipe I saw awhile ago at justapinch. Not only was it simple to throw together, it was delicious!  You can cut it up like a bar (it's more dense than bread, not as soupy as bread pudding...clearly, I'm not a professional food critic with that array of vocabulary), but I scooped it out like bread pudding.  It would be delicious with ice cream.  I prefer it warm, but am not opposed to eating it at room temperature. 
   This will definitely be making an appearance next Thanksgiving at my table....and probably a few tables between now and then.   Here's a keeper...
Pecan Bread
Ingredients:  1 c. sugar, 1 c. brown sugar, 4 eggs, 1 c. oil, 1 1/2 c. self rising flour*, 1 t. vanilla, 2 c. pecans finely chopped. 
*You can make your own self rising flour by mixing 1 1/2 c. flour with 1 t. salt, and 3 t baking powder.
Instruction:
1.  Mix sugars, eggs, and oil until smooth. 
2.  Add flour, vanilla, and pecans.
3.  Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. 
4.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes (until the center is not wet looking). 
5.  Scoop out with a spoon, or let it cool and cut it into squares.  Serve warm with ice cream. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Shabby Chic Bedroom Tour

   
Two years ago I redid my bedroom.  A lot of it was DIY.  It all stemmed around wanting to incorporate a marble dresser that belonged to my grandmother.  Here is a long blog post with links to the before and after.
     Tomorrow, pending breaking news, Good Morning, Texas will be airing a segment I pretapped with some of the DIY projects that literally started at the dumpster.  I'll post that later to facebook.
I decided to do a walking tour of my room too.  So here is that link on youtube.
      It's the first of three bedrooms I've redone.  I'm in the process of collecting items and I just built a shutter headboard for a beach themed room.  So...expect to start seeing those post over the next few months....just as soon as I actually do the projects...and then photograph them!  But...it's coming to a blog near you soon.  A lot is pending on my brother's willingness to get to work on the flooring I want put in, and apparently he doesn't work with my schedule I'm supposed to work with his..imagine.  But....I think the two should be merging soon!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Blinged Out Clipboard

I made this for a Good Morning, Texas segment a few months back, but I'm keeping it for my craft room (coming, summer 2016!).  

I bought a bunch of these spare parts brads from Hobby Lobby when they were half off (which is about every other week).  It took 2 packages.  I just glued them down to the metal part of the clipboard.  You can use a glue gun, but I'm going with gorilla glue so it will stay on a little better.  
I'm going to use this to trade out inspirational sayings, to do list etc.  

Friday, April 08, 2016

Update....

   Oh man, it's been a busy week  month  year life.  Work is always crazy...we are in the middle of state testing madness.  BUT...summer is on the horizon.
    This summer I'm headed to Ireland and Scotland to discover my roots....and eat Irish Soda Bread and Cadberry chocolate.
     I'm also planning on redoing one of my rooms in my house to be a craft room. I've been on the hunt for the most fabulous finds a girl can find when looking for a functionally fun craft room.  I found the metal diet coke carrier at a thrift store recently.  This is going to house my pens etc.  Everything in my house is pending that craft room.  Once I have my crafts in the craft room I can redo my laundry room (which is currently my craft room).  I don't know why I'm excited about that, but...I am.
     My Mom also retired this year and as a side hobby/for a little money she has a little booth at an antique store nearby...which means that I've been hitting up some Estate Sales nearby...which means I'm buying a bunch of stuff that will never make it's way to my Mom's booth because I want it.  It's a vicious cycle.  This last weekend I scored an antique wardrobe that is over 100 years old....for 63 dollars.  That will make it's way to my craft room as well.
   I'm attempting a garden for about the 30th year in a row.  It goes well until about June when the sun comes out and doesn't leave for 3 months and I give up on the outdoors and slowly watch things wither from my window in my air conditioned house.  BUT....maybe this is the year....and I have all the makings for a pretty fabulous planting station complete with an old door.  I'm sure the missing piece to my success as a gardener is that potting station.  Actually, maybe if I have a fabulous planting station you won't notice the dead plants that surround it.
     This year, my New Year's resolution was to take a photo a day.  I wanted to capture something significant about each day so I value my time more.  I'm posting those photos on instagram.   I think that hits the highlights.  All this to say...lots of crafts on the horizon!  Lots of adventures on the schedule.    

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

Easter and pumpkin desserts isn't something we mix very often in my family, but....this year I did.  I had bought the stuff to make this recipe last fall, but...life happened, and I don't know why I didn't make it.  When I was pulling out the ingredients for other dishes for Easter, I decided to give this one a go.  It was really delicious, and it's great at room temperature the next day (which is good news for a house with a full oven.  So, file this away, or...hey, bust out the pumpkin this spring...I'm not judging.  I found the original recipe here.  
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Ingredients: 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix), 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk, 3 eggs, 1 c. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 box Spice Cake Mix, 1 c. butter (melted)
Instructions:  
1.  Heat over to 350.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  
2.  Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon.  It will be very soupy.  

 3.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix on top.  Take the melted butter and drizzle over the top.
 4.  Bake for 55 minutes.  It will be slightly wiggly in the middle even when it's done.  Cool at least 30 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream.
Store in the fridge when you are done.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Spicy Smoked Sausage Pasta

Spicy Smoked Sausage Pasta
Ingredients: 16 oz spiral pasta, 3 T butter, 3 cloves garlic (minced), 3 T flour, 1 c. chicken broth, 2 c. half and half, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, 1/4 t red pepper flakes, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, 2 c. mozzarella cheese (divided), 12 oz fully cooked sausage (choose your favorite, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Instructions:  
1.  Cook pasta to al dente (follow pkg instructions)
2.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium.  Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.  Add flour.  
3.  Stir in chicken broth and half and half, salt, cayenne and red pepper flakes.  Simmer until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes).
4.  Stir in Parmesan and 1 c mozerella cheese.  Stir until melted.  Add sausage.  
5.  Heat broiler.  Add pasta mix into a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Top with the remaining mozarella.  Broil until cheese is beginning to brown a little on top.  
I found this recipe from letsdishrecipes.  It was yum.  I needed carbs and meat to fuel a run...at least that's what I tell myself.  It hit the spot!  I just need to make more friends b/c it' makes a ton!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Rustic Pine Tree Mobile

 I have a friend who went with the rustic/camping-ish theme for her little guy's nursery and she saw a mobile made out of pine trees and asked me if I could copy the design.
I'll try most crafts once.  I bought an embroidery hoop (I only used the inside hoop), plastic rings...I have no idea what their purpose is, but the craft store had them near the yarn.  I got some string from the jewelry dept (I figured if it was sturdy enough to wear, it could hang this mobile up).  I found some unfinished wood trees online by searching.  They only cost about 5 dollars for 10, BUT....the shipping was also five dollars.  Oh well. I also got three colors of stain (which I had around my house):  Cherry, Walnut, and Oak.  
 I drilled a hole into  the top of each tree.
 ..and painted them with the different stains.  I actually used a paper towel to rub two coats of stain onto each tree (letting them dry in between each staining).
 I tied strings at different lengths into each tree.

 Then I tied the strings onto the hoop at different lengths, evenly around the hoop.  I tied several knots, snipped the edge, and then super glued it so it would stay.
I drilled four holes and then doubled up more string and tied those through and up towards the ring at the top.  
The hardest part of the project was trying to get a shot as the mobile swung in the wind....it's really not crooked, but...you take what you can get.  I put it all together for 16 dollars, and that's including the 5 for shipping I could have skipped if I had time to hunt down those trees at a nearby store.