Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Green Friend

This post is just to show you something cute. While Cory was watering our plants the other day he found this little guy was resting on some of our branches. Fortunately I had my camera nearby and he gave us a nice pose. He was really beautiful and blended in so well. God's creations are truly amazing!

Par-tay Corn Dip

Today I'm posting a recipe for a dip that should be named "Delicious". Instead, it's called "Party Corn Dip" and it's probably named that because it is like a party in your mouth...seriously. It's super simple because you don't have to measure anything. All you need is:

2 (8oz)packages cream cheese; softened
1 red OR green bell pepper
1 dry ranch packet
1 small can corn; drained
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can chopped black olives

Mix all of the ingredients in medium bowl and refrigerate over night. Serve with Scoops or Wheat Thins.

There is not a picture of the dip. After it refrigerated overnight, I put it in a cute bowl for a get together and it was devoured before I thought about taking a picture. I guess you'll have to make it to see what the final product looks like. You won't be sorry if you do :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Lamp's New Life

If you're my friend on Facebook then you've seen this before and after picture. I just thought I would post this simple project to possibly inspire you to give an item in your home "new life"...or at least a new look!
I got this little lamp from my parents when I moved to Tuscaloosa. It was one that they had in the garage, ready to give to the Salvation Army. My move to Tuscaloosa happened very quickly and 5 months before I got married so the lamp was going to be a temporary source of light. It really didn't matter that the shade had some glue stains or that the lamp itself was brass (not my favorite look) because it was free and I knew I would upgrade as soon as Cory & I tied the knot and got some nice gift cards. When we got new lamps to go beside the bed I couldn't just throw the old lamp away. I know this probably sounds silly, but it was my first lamp to really own and was a reminder of the blessings of a job and great support from my parents. You see, I lived with my parents (excluding one year in a dorm 10 min. from home) until I graduated college in Dec. 2006. That same December Cory got accepted to law school at Bama (2.5 hours away from home) and I quickly began searching for a job there since we were getting married the following June. In January, God opened the door for me at a middle school in Tuscaloosa. It was a very quick process. Basically I drove down to Tuscaloosa on a Wednesday and by that afternoon they told me it would be good to start looking for a place to live. I was excited to find a job but scared to death to move away and live ALL BY MYSELF! Dad so sweetly took off of work the next day to go with me to find an apartment. On Friday mom took off of work to help me move stuff down. I didn't have that much to move down since the only furniture I owned was a blue leather chair that Cory and I bought a month earlier. My parents so graciously gave me an old couch of theirs, a side table, an old computer desk, a queen sized air mattress (yes, I slept on it for 3 weeks) and the little lamp. :) I get a little teary-eyed thinking about how blessed I am for great parents. They showed me so much love and support during my move to Tuscaloosa and more importantly to adulthood.
Wow, sorry for the long story...back to where I was going. I couldn't throw the lamp away so I just put it on a shelf in our office...Ok, fast forward almost 2 years and I still didn't want to throw the lamp away, but I did want to dress it up. So I grabbed a can of silver spray paint and a new shade and got a nice looking lamp. It has upgraded from being in the office (where nobody but Cory goes) to the kitchen where everyone can see it.
Here's a before and after pic.

Just make sure you take the bulb out before spraying and tape over the part where the bulb goes so paint doesn't get in it.
Here's a chandelier that has been redone. It's from one of my favorite websites . They spray painted the chandelier and went with more modern looking bulbs. They did a whole room transformation which explains the wallpaper changing to blue.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Stick it to the Fridge, Stick it to the Fridge"

*The title today is inspired by a G. Love & the Special Sauce song. I realize not many people may know it, but I couldn't shake the song as I was typing this today.

This weekend I went to visit some friends in North Alabama and to stay with my folks for a day. I had a GREAT time seeing everyone on Friday night and a wonderful time seeing my parents and grandparents on Saturday. I am truly blessed to have such great friends and family.
While I was staying at my parents’ house I started looking through some old junk in my closet. I found some drawings and notes from high school that cracked me up. Here are some food drawings of mine.
Each food had a name.

I was such a weirdo….well, I guess I still am! I really like pictures of food, especially food with faces. Not only do I like drawings of food, but I like fake food too! Here is some miniature food from my old dollhouse.
I really don’t know where this love of fake food/food drawings came from. When I was four years old I used to go to my grandmother’s house everyday and play for hours with some Fisher price play food. I guess that’s why I love to cook so much. Who knows? But I still get a little excited when I pass by the toy section in Target and see the little play kitchen pots & pans and the little plastic fried chicken legs that go with it.
Anyway, today’s craft isn’t really a tutorial but more of an idea if you need some magnets for your fridge. About a month or two ago I realized I needed some more magnets to hang some pictures on our refrigerator. I looked around at some stores and couldn’t find any that I really liked so I decided to make some on my own. I picked up some bake able polymers clay and some magnet squares from Hobby Lobby.
I, of course, decided to make the magnets food items. They’re not the best things in the world, but I think they’re alright. At least they provide the service that I needed. Now I have lots of pretty pictures of my pals hanging on the fridge.
Cory made some of the items too.

Of course, you don’t have to make food items. There are a lot of things you could use besides clay to make your own magnets, like little wooden shapes from a craft store, Scrabble letters (If you don’t mind making the sacrifice), and even bottle caps. Two of our friends lived in New Zealand for a year and made these magnets with some native bottle caps for souvenirs. Pretty neat, huh?

If you're a weirdo fake food lover like me, then check out this lady's Etsy store. She sells patterns to make your own felt fake food. ---Very cute and creative items!
PS. Get excited...Fall starts tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. (depending on when you're reading this, it's the 17th) Happy Birthday, Jeanne!

It seems only appropriate to have a craft that is birthday themed. It's a "Happy Birthday" banner and it's not hard AT ALL.
I made this banner about 2 years ago for one of my best friend's birthday. Instead of hanging the old generic foil looking banner, I decided to make one with a wider range of colors. All you need is some scrapbook paper and a printer. I found different fonts for each letter and increased the font quite a bit. Some fonts required more increasing than others. After you print the letters, connect them with some yarn and tape. Tada! Here's what the banner looks like all piled up together. I wanted to show a close up of some of the patterned paper. The "a" didn't quite show up on the above picture.

*Random fact about me: My favorite part of Disney's Cinderella is when Gus (the chubby mouse) shouts, "Ha-ha-ha-happy birfday!" instead of "Surprise". He sounds so cute and proud. Does anyone else remember that cute line?

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Nice Surprise

About a week ago, the custodian at my school told me he was going to Branson, Missouri with his mother. He didn't seem too excited but he was taking his mother to visit someone and have a little vacation. To give you a picture of him, he's about 10 years older than my dad so his mother is fairly old and doesn't get out much. I excitedly told him about the Titanic museum that is there. I have never been there before, but would love to go. He is a very nice man and of course said, "Yeah, that sounds interesting." I realized he probably wouldn't go but also wouldn't shoot my idea down because of my enthusiasm about it.
If you have read this blog then you know by now that I am sort of an oddball with many strange fascinations (ex. glass bottles, ceramic rhinos, cameos, etc.). Believe me, there are plenty more of those, one being my love for the Titanic. Many people have thought this love came about from the 1997 American romantic James Cameron film starring a hunky Tiger Beat (they still make that magazine) heartthrob. But no, my interest in the Titanic came about a year or two earlier in my 7th grade Social Science class. My teacher was out for the day and showed a film on the Titanic about its history and the artifacts found in the wreckage. She probably never would have guessed the impact it would have on me. Something about such a huge, beautiful ship and such a tragic story had me intrigued. Now, Cory thinks I'm a sicko for reading up on tragedies. Reading about shootings and fires interests me, but not in a "I'm glad that happened way" but in a concerned and very empathetic way. I try to put myself in their position and think of the fear they must have felt....How would I have reacted? What would go through my head?...and so on. I have many times felt physically sick reading about such sadness. Sorry, I'm rambling...I told my custodian about how the Titanic interested me and that one day I would like to visit the museum. It has rooms that are actual replicas of rooms on the ship. It also has activities to make you feel like you were there, like 28 degrees water, a cool breeze, and even a deck you can stand on that tilts up as much as the ship did before it sank. I could go on! I have been asking Cory to go for a while now, but there's never a great time to go nor does money grow on trees. I will go someday though. :)
Well, this morning as I came into my room and on my desk sat a "collector's guide" Titanic book, along with two "boarding passes" (the tickets museum guests receive to go on board...there's a fun story with them). The custodian had gotten them at the museum and brought them back for me. It truly made my day! I quickly found him in the hall and thanked him over and over. He shared his experience with me and gave such nice details. He made me feel like I had been there. It seemed like he soaked in the info to report back to me. It was really a great start to a Monday. A rainy Monday, at that.
I guess I'm posting this to encourage people to do something kind for someone else today. Just listening and taking interest in someone else can really make their day. Maybe write a note to a coworker, call a friend or family member you haven't talked to in while, or maybe even make a yummy treat for someone who has shown you kindness....and with that, I'm going to go and make some yummies to show my gratitude.
I hope you have a dandy day :)

If you would like to see what all the Titanic museum holds, then check out the website If you would like to take me with you, then call ;) jk

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caramel Cake

This is a recipe adapted from the Cake Mix Doctor. Her books are wonderful and recipes are always tasty.

This is for Caramel Cake and this is what you need:

1 package of white cake mix

1 cup buttermilk (the original recipe calls for whole milk)

1 stick of butter, melted

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease & flour 2 9inch round cake pans.

Place cake mix, buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixing bowl.

Blend in mixer until smooth.

Divide the batter between the pans and place in oven.

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes then invert them onto a cake rack for 30 more minutes.

To make the frosting you will need:

basically A LOT of sugar :).....really you will need

2 sticks of butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla

Place butter and brown sugars in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes. Add milk and bring mixture back to boil (this won't take long). Remove the pan from the heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir until the frosting is smooth.

Use immediately while warm to frost the cake. If the frosting hardens while working with it you can put the pan back on the stove on low heat until softened.

*This cake can get a little messy while frosting, so I put a bit of wax paper under the edges of my cake to catch drippings. After the icing has set a little, then pull the wax paper out and you will have a clean plate underneath.

**the white little lumps on top are balls of powdered sugar. My sifter apparently wasn't up to par tonight :)

Drip Bottles

Yes, this is another bottle project. If you read this post about bottle vases, then you know my love for bottles. Today's post is actually a craft I use to do with my childhood friend when we were in 5th grade. So I guess this is a juvenile craft but I still think it's pretty nifty. It's also a great way to recycle old crayons, which if you're like me is when the nice sharpened tip is worn down. :)

Here's what ya need:

a bottle, a lighter, some old (or new) crayons, and a candle is optional

First, peel the paper off of the crayons.

Next place some paper under your bottle.

Now melt the crayons onto the bottle. If you use a lighter it can get a little messy. I used an old candle in case of any crayon drippings.

And th-th-th-that's all folks! (that was said in my best Porky Pig voice)

A very simple craft that's fun to sit on a shelf. You can also use the bottles as candle holders. It's also fun to use seasonal colors (ex: red & green for Christmas, orange & black for Halloween, and pastels for Easter)

Not to hate on Roseart crayons but the colors weren't all that wonderful. For a nicer palette, I would go with Crayola. They provide pretty light blues and gold & silver.

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a dandy day ;)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe on the world wide web when I was in high school. I've made it many times and it always turns out the same: delicious!

This recipe takes a while but it's worth the time. They taste like the cinnamon rolls you can get at the mall.

Here's what you need for the dough:

1 1/4 oz package active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted margarine

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour

First, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large mixing bowl.

After it dissolves mix in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Add the flour and mix well.

Knead the dough into a ball. Put in a bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour ( I put it in the oven). The dough will double in size.

It makes you feel like a magician when you pull the towel off after an hour! :)

Now go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough flat until it is about 21 inches long by 15 inches wide.

For the filling combine 1 cup of packed brown sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

You'll also need 1/3 cup of softened margarine. Spread the margarine on the dough like so...

Then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top.

Now roll from the top (21 inch side) to the bottom edge. It makes a little dough log.

Cut the rolled dough into 1 3/4 inch slices and place 6 at a time, evenly spaced in a greased baking pan. I use the baking pan because some of the "yummy goodness" leaks out while baking.

After you place the rolls in the pans you have to let the rolls rise a little (about 30 minutes).

Now bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

While the rolls are baking you can make the icing. I didn't take any pictures of the icing being made because the rolls smelt so yummy and I got too excited and forgot.... Anyway, for the icing you'll need

1 stick of margarine; softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup (2oz) cream cheese; softened

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and beat until fluffy. The mixture will look dry at first but if you mix on a high speed I promise it will be creamy.

When the rolls come out of the oven, coat each one with the icing.


**If you're not planning on eating them right away, you can put the non-frosted rolls in the freezer and save some icing in the fridge. Just heat up the rolls for about 25 seconds. You can have a treat each morning :)

Now that I think about it, you may could put the frosting on before you freeze them...Although I've never tried it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives"

Just a quick non-craft post about a great find I stumbled upon. Last year I got a crush on this hourglass from Anthropologie.
Now if you've ever been to Anthropologie you know that some items are a bit pricey. This little sucker was ON SALE for $32.00. I know that's not tons of mulah, but being on one income it was a purchase I couldn't make without feeling guilty.
Well, on Friday I went to Target and started browsing the home decor aisles. Then I saw the twin of my love from Anthropolgie(except it was only $14.99.) Whoohoo! I know it's silly to be so excited, but I think it's so lovely. Just wanted to share this tid-bit of info in case anyone wanted one.
Here's a picture of my new purchase. The flash reacted weird with the glass....or maybe it's just so grand that it just radiates ;) Oh yeah, and it really times one hour.

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