Monday, January 25, 2010

Rackin' Up

Magazine rackin' up, that is. Today I'm posting a project that has taken me a while to complete, but has been one of the easiest ones to do. I got this magazine rack before Christmas at my school's yard sale for $1. I decided to spruce it up by painting it white, of course, and adding some wooden medallion things.
I used some wood glue to attach the wooden object to both ends of the rack.
Justify FullThen I spray painted it with a glossy white paint.
I'll admit that this project isn't the best I've ever done. When I would have the time to paint it would either be 1.dark outside 2. too cold to spray, which made me do a hurried job AND the paint gooped up or 3. it would be raining. I finally got around to completing it last week on one of those pretty days we had. Now it sits in our office holding some of my favorite magazines that I just can't get rid of because of their great ideas or beautiful pictures. I'm so glad I have a place to keep them now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crescent Chicken

I'm posting a recipe today that Cory & I both really like. I got it from a church cookbook. Church cookbooks always have the best recipes. It's pretty simple and very delicious.
Here's what you need:
1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 large can of cooked chicken*
1 can crescent rolls
3 Tbs butter, melted
1/3 cup herbal bread crumbs (Pepperidge Farm herbal dry stuffing mix)
1/2 soup can of milk
1 can cream of chicken soup**
1 can cream of celery soup**

*You can cook the chicken yourself and use 1 cup of it. I've found that the canned chicken it better in this recipe, though.
**You may use only one of these soups, but I like to mix them together

First you need to mix the cream cheese, softened butter, lemon pepper, and chicken together in a small bowl....I will look pretty gross.
Then open the crescent rolls and separate them on a baking sheet. Divide the chicken mixture into eight portions.
Now roll the dough into balls, making sure that the filling is completely sealed in.
Roll each ball in melted butter and then in the bread crumbs. I actually use more than 1/3 cup of crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Here's what they look like when they're done.

To make the sauce, mix the cream of celery and cream of chicken with a 1/2 can of milk in a small saucepan and heat thoroughly. Then pour the sauce over the crescent chicken. Cory likes to pour the sauce over rice too.
Enjoy! I hope everyone has a great week. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Can we say CUTE?

A friend of mine found this and put it on facebook. I couldn't resist posting it on here. This little boy is so adorable. I'm imagining him to even sound like the little boy on Up.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Maybe it will warm up soon. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Curtain Call

Shower curtains are pretty powerful things. Just by hanging a pretty one in your bathroom you instantly add the main decoration. It can create a theme and can also help add color when you can't paint the walls. I have enjoyed going to Target since I could drive and always have liked going down the shower curtain aisle. Strange, I know, but I love how they have them out on display for you to see their beauty.

I'm here today to tell you other uses for shower curtains. One being a table cloth. Of course, you have to cut the top off where the holes are and hem it. Our kitchen tabletop was custom made (by my handy father-in-law) and it's hard to find a tablecloth that will fit its dimensions. I have found that a shower curtain fits wonderfully. See?

I have also used shower curtains as table toppers. At our wedding reception we actually used a lacey shower curtain on our bride's cake table. We hung little crystals around the edges to dress it up. It was a borrowed curtain, by the way. You can't really see the cloth that well in this picture but it's the only one I had here in our apartment. I know I have a better picture of it at my parents' house.
We also used shower curtains to make table toppers for some of the tables our guests ate at. We used a blue and brown color scheme with bird decorations here and there. We didn't have enough robin's egg blue table toppers to go around, so I got a few shower curtains that I liked at target that had our colors and birds on them to make toppers. Just one curtain made four toppers. I used the left overs for different projects and mom gave some to friends. Of course, I've kept one as a topper for my own table. Here's what it looks like. I'm being lazy and didn't iron it. It's been folded up with my other tablecloths for a while.

Another use for a shower curtain is a wall decoration. I saw this picture in a Better Homes & Gardens magazine and loved this room.

I found a shower curtain on on eBay that looked like the picture's wall decoration and decided to take the curtain and nail it to a large wooden frame. Cory had some scrap wood left over from our table and he constructed the frame for me. He also helped me staple the shower curtain to it.
Of course you can always just use a shower curtain for its intended purpose...

Here's some curtains I'm digging right now. This one is from Target. I love paisley print.
This one is at Anthropologie.
I don't remember where this one is from. I found it a while back and saved the picture because it looked like a craft project to do. It's a curtain made out of ribbons. How lovely.
If you know anymore uses for shower curtains, please share. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Easy as Pie

During Christmas break I was looking through my hope chest at my parents' house and found a stash of recipes I had torn out of magazines while I was in college. I carried them home and decided to start trying them out. The first recipe I've tried was called Mock Apple Pie. I remember saving this recipe because this "apple pie" didn't call for ANY apple product and was claiming it to taste like apple pie. I was very curious to see how it would be. I'm all for trying weird things in recipes. I once tried a recipe for chocolate fudge that called for Velveeta cheese. You couldn't even taste the cheese. Ok, back to the pie...Here's what you need for this very simple-to-make pie:

pastry for 2 crust 9 inch pie (I got the Pillsbury pie crusts from the frozen section)
36 Ritz Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups water
2 tsp cream of tartar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out one of the pie crusts and place in 9 inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust and set aside.

-Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice and cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

-Roll out the other pie crust and place it over pie. Seal and flute the edges. Slit top crust to allow steep to escape.

-Bake 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden. Cool completely.

See? No apples. How does it taste? AMAZING! It really does taste like apple pie. Now, it's not exactly like apple pie because there's not little chunks of apples, but it's so much easier to make. You don't have to peel, core, or slice apples, which is a huge time saver. I found out that this pie was created during the depression era as a money-saving alternative to apple pie. How neat is that?
The filling is the consistency of pecan pie. You know, the gooey inside minus the pecans? Here's a picture of the inside.

Of course I think everything is better a-la-mode, especially apple pie. Don't worry, I added some ice cream but didn't want it take a picture of it because it would've melted pretty quickly.

Here's wishing everyone a great week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh wow...

One song on my 'favorite song list' is Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". I have always really liked it. In middle school I claimed it was "my song" because it was on the top Billboard hits in the month and year I was born (October 1983). It's a great song to belt out at the top of your lungs while driving in the car. Anyway, last night our friends, Shaw and Amy, came over and we were looking up funny videos on You Tube. Shaw had remembered seeing the music video for "Total Eclipse" and said it was funny/creepy and oh my goodness, it was! You MUST watch it.

You need to see the whole thing. I will warn you that there are ninjas, topless football players, freaky kids with glowing eyeballs (one of them can fly), and then what seems to be inappropriate behavior between a teacher and underage boys...don't worry, nothing too scandalous, it just gives you a weird feeling.

Watch and laugh. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's not a Party in the USA

So I'm sure you've heard the Miley Cyrus song "Party in the USA". I'm not a Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan by any means, but I have to admit I like that song. It's catchy and fun to listen to. For Christmas my parents gave me an iTunes gift card. On Christmas day as my family was playing Rock Band and watching Christmas movies I sat in the living room with everyone and started to buy some songs. There were a few songs that I really wanted so I bought them. I still had quite a bit left on my account so I started thinking of other songs that I could buy. I started previewing different songs and Cory asked me to stop because 1. it's kind of annoying listening to bits of songs while other music is on and 2. one song that I previewed (that I had no idea what it was) had a very inappropriate lyric in it. The title wasn't a bad title and it didn't have the explicit word beside it. Anyway, when the sound clip played everyone heard it, including my younger cousins (so sorry, again). I agreed and decided to stick with songs that I knew.
I have a play list on (a free music site-you just can't burn a cd) that have all my "guilty pleasure" songs on it. You know, the ones you like but would never purchase because you wouldn't want to be listening to a CD with them on it and have a car wreck and die and people would wonder what you were listening to and it would be embarrassing....ok, so that's slightly morbid. The play list has some fun songs on it that I like to listen to while cleaning the apt. One song on there is Miley's "Party in the USA". I find myself playing that song regularly so I decided it would be ok to purchase as long as I mixed it with some "cool" music. I typed in the song's title, it came up with some songs, I clicked on one and then got called away to play a game. Later on that night, I pulled up my new songs and was going to play them for Cory. When I got to the "Party" song it was not the one I thought it was! It was a song by a GUY named Miles Cyrus. What a trickster! This experience has taught me the lesson to preview music before you buy it AND not to buy silly songs about parties. Some (aka Cory) thinks it was a blessing that I didn't get the song that I wanted.
I didn't buy the real song. I had actually forgotten about the incident until today when I was listening to my Ipod. I'm posting this to tell you to beware of Miles Cyrus and his tricky ways OR to give you the idea to 'pull a Miles' and cover a popular song (very poorly, at that) and take the original artist's name and change a letter of it, you could make some money off of ignorant people like me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sweater Stealer

Yes, I am somewhat of a sweater stealer. Don't worry, I didn't actually steal a sweater, I just stole the idea. I'm justifying my actions because 1. I've seen this kind of sweater at different places and 2. I'm not selling the sweater for profit.
The other day I was shopping for some "teacher clothes" at Ann Taylor Loft. I found this adorable sweater with a little flowery corsage thing on it. Here's what it looks like.

The sweater was actually on sale (it still was kinda pricey, though) but they didn't have my size. I didn't really want to order one because with shipping & handling it would go over my budget. Also I wasn't crazy about the color of sweater that were available. I just really liked the style.
I decided I could make my own and for a whole lot cheaper. Earlier I had gone to Target and saw cardigans on sale for $13. On my way home I stopped there and picked up a cream cardigan, although the picture makes it look white. I also stopped by Hobby Lobby to get some cream cotton fabric and some cream chiffon. I only bought 1/8 yard of each fabric so it only cost $1.24. I already had some thread and a needle so I'm not factoring that into the cost. :)
First I cut out little flower/clover looking shapes. They're not perfect, but they really don't have to be for this.
Then I stacked two cotton flowers and two chiffon flowers on top of each other and stitched them together.
Next, I placed them on my sweater. I pinned each one down where I wanted them and then I stitched them to the sweater.
Here's my finished product.
Here's a closer look before I cut all the loose threads off.
Here we have the thread snipped and I ruffled the flowers a bit.
This took me the length of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. (maybe 45 minutes? I fast forwarded the commercials....and yes, I watched the show by choice. It's pretty good. Blossom and Molly Ringwald are on it)

I'm thinking about changing the buttons on the sweater to dress it up a bit, but until then I'm pleased with the outcome.

I hope everyone is staying warm and a big ROLL TIDE to you Bama fans!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Puppies anyone?

So do you remember the two "dog friends" that I talked to about a month ago? Turns out they were more than just friends. The day we got out of school for Christmas break (the 22nd) the lady dog had 6 puppies! The last time I blogged about these dogs, one of them had snapped at me. I never mentioned that we patched things up and that the little dogs would greet me after school in the parking lot each day. They turned out to be pretty friendly. Anyway, the puppies! I was so excited to hear that they had arrived...and right before Christmas. Then, boom, it hit me that the puppies may not survive over the break. See, the school where I work is way out in the middle of nowhere. People seem to drop dogs off at the school hoping to have someone take them or at least feed them. The dogs usually get to hang around for about a week or so and then we have to call the animal control people. We have many dogs come and go, but these two, let's name them Lola and Pedro, were so friendly and adorable that they were never called in. The kids would feed them at break and the cafeteria workers would give them food scraps too. I guess that's why the Lola decided to have her puppies underneath a tool shed near the back door of the lunchroom. Since it was Christmas break nobody would be at school to feed them and I thought for sure they wouldn't make it.
Well, today as I came in to school my custodian asked if I would like some puppies. He had saved them! He said he wasn't going to fool with them and then on the 24th he started feeling bad and decided to get the dogs some dog food. Then he said he went back the next day to put a tarp up by the shed they were under because it was going to rain and he didn't want it to flood where they were. Then later that night he realized it was going to be cold so he went and got the crew to take back to his barn. He said the mother watched him as he scooped up each pup (one little one didn't make it). He put them in a box and set them in his car. Then he opened the door for her to get in the car and she jumped up in it and nestled herself up next to the box. Pedro was nowhere to be found though. My custodian, Mr. D, took the family minus one to his barn and even made an insulated little dog house for them. He said he went to look for Pedro a time or two but he wasn't around. Then one night Pedro came scratching on Mr. D's door. He had found his way to his family!....ok, not really, but the story would be better if he had found them. ...Mr. D did say he saw him running around the shed one day, but he couldn't get him. I feel so bad because Pedro was probably out getting food for his family and then when he came back they were gone. Then he went on a quest to find them. See? the other ending was better...sad.
I'm so glad that Mr. D took care of the dog family. He is such a sweet man. He's the guy who got me the Titanic stuff earlier this year. He has managed to give two puppies to his granddaughters but he still has three puppies left. If anyone is interested, please let me know. I can bring them to you when they're ready. They just opened their eyes yesterday (aww). They won't be too big because the mom and dad are a little lower than knee high. They look like they have Jack Russel in them or some kind of terrier. Lola had her tail docked off (which I thought was done to her) but one of the puppies has the same tail! They are all females and are black and white. One is solid black with a little white on her nose and one is white with a little black circle around her eye (like Little Rascals). Mr. D said that Lola hasn't barked at all and sits when he asks her to....He just doesn't want 4 dogs, and understandably so. I really wish I could take one, but we can't really have a dog in the apartment and it would add some financial burdens on us, since we're a one income family right now. I told Mr. D I would try to find a home for them. One person has offered to pay to get Lola fixed for Mr. D since Mr. D is figuring he'll keep her. I just can't find anyone to get a puppy. Maybe with the kids coming back on Thursday we can find some people.

Wow, you must be wondering if I ever stop talking. Sorry for the length. Again, if you would like a puppy, I know where to find one! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety-Jig

Cory doesn't like it when I say that phrase. I actually just found out that it's a Mother Goose nursery rhyme. Who knew?
Anyway, Cory and I made it back to Tuscaloosa last night (we've been in Muscle Shoals since the 22nd) We had a wonderful Christmas break and enjoyed seeing our precious families and great friends. I missed out on seeing some people that I wanted to, but I'll be back soon to help my best bud move into her new abode and maybe I can catch up with them then. :)
Since I've last blogged we've rang in a new year. 2010 is going to be an exciting and interesting year. Cory and my bro-in-law will both be graduating from law school (along with our law school buddies). I can't believe it's been three years! I'm praying for them to get a job and to survive these next few months. I've also made some "resolutions" or goals for this year. I won't list them on here because if I don't succeed with them then not only am I disappointing myself, but if I'm asked about how one of them is going and I have to say "not well" then I'll be embarrassed. Silly, I know. They're not crazy resolutions and if you ask me, I would tell you them. I reflected on my goals from last year and I'm only giving myself 3.5 out of 5 stars for completing them. And yes, the missing 1.5 stars are added to this years' goals.
Here's hoping for a great 2010!

On a random note, during this break I thought of some things that need to be invented. Some are weird, so I'll warn you now.

1. a sarcasm font. Wouldn't it be so nice to type something sarcastically and people know to take it? I used to get people confused or upset on AOL(ages ago) because they couldn't tell I was joking...I realize this needs no more explanation. I think I may have an idea on what the font should look like....

2. A function on a camera to make pale people look tan. During Christmas and lots of picture taking (not too much by me because I always forget) I turned out looking like a ghost. Like, I would be the only one in the picture who was radiating a white glow. Maybe it was just the flash of the camera, but there needs to be something done...or maybe I should just get a tan. This brings up another needed invention:

3. A freckle remover. I know there are products out there that will handle this, trust me I've done research, but those products actually cause your skin to become very sensitive and more acceptable to getting freckles when you go back in the sun. Growing up my parents always said my freckles would fade. WRONG, they have multiplied. People who don't have them say, "they're cute" but I think they're just being's not cute having so many when you're 26.

4. Warning: this one is kind of gross. Something to cure bodily gas (burps & toots). You would think someone would have come up with something by now, don't you? During this break it seemed that everywhere I would go someone was dealing with a "gassy" problem. Maybe it was all the rich food....I don't know. I'll admit, I have gas at times too, but I try to refrain myself when with a roomful of people. When someone "lets one" you don't want to be rude and make a face or gag, and you surely don't want to say, "who farted" because then people think you did. You just have to sit and kinda blush because people are probably thinking it's you anyway. Wow, I could go on, but it's getting too gross. I apologize.

To change the subject and end on a non-gross note, here's a picture of something that makes me happy. Cory and I have some friends who are getting married this summer and they are using a blue and red color scheme. They wanted to use some blue Ball jars that were made a long time ago. I have one from my great-grandmother that I'm going to let them borrow and I found some half off at an antique store back home. I grabbed a few for them and now I'm a little hesitant to give them to them. They're just so lovely. You know how I love glass jars. :)

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