Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Ribbon Christmas card holder

This is a cute and very simple way of hanging your Christmas cards. I usually get lots of Christmas cards this year and I'm always trying to decide where I'm going to display them. They usually get taped up somewhere, but this is much cuter. All you do is take a wide strip of ribbon and tape it on the back of your cabinet door. I only have one hanging right now, but plan on adding another strip on another cabinet door when more cards start coming in. I used paper covered clothespins to hang the cards, another simple thing to do. I plan on adding a magnet strip to the back of the clothespins after the cards come down. I can then use them on the refrigerator to hang things.

I found this idea from no where else, but Pinterest. If you need an invite to Pinterest, send me your email. Lots of ideas there! The tutorial for the Christmas card holder is from here. You can also make some paper covered clothespins. There are lots of tutorials for these also. I like this one.

Update: I had to make a lot more covered clothespins because I got more Christmas cards. I ended up covering some clothespins in glitter ribbon. I used red glitter ribbon, silver glitter ribbon and gold glitter ribbon. You can see those in the photos that have more cards. I think they added a more festive touch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ornament Wreath DIY

I've seen these ornament wreaths floating all over Pinterest! It looked pretty easy, so I thought I would try one out for myself. If you've never checked out Pinterest, you must go check it out! It's my new addiction.  If you need an invite, just send me your email and I'll send you one.

I decided to go with purple. You could choose other colors or mix and match. All you do is take a coat hanger, and form it into a circle. You then thread your ornaments onto the hanger until it is full. The tutorial I first came across was over at Eddie Ross. I've also found tutorials that show gluing the ornaments to a wreath form, but I say use what you have. I used a total of 56 shatterproof ornaments. I would have probably added a few more if I would have had them. It's also suggested that you glue the cap to the ball with a little hot glue. I only had to do this to two of mine. The others were already attached, a time saver for me! I've also seen some pretty satin ribbons wrapped around the top of the wreaths. I may add that to mine later, but don't have any right now. Very easy and  not time consuming. Go for it! I'd love to see if you've made your own.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Save money on gas!

I just wanted to share Lowes Guel Rewards with you, in case you haven't heard of it. I saved $.10 off each gallon of gas I put in my Explorer today. It's not a whole lot, but every little bit counts. It's simple, you just shop at Lowes Foods and use your Lowes card and let the rewards rack up. I wasn't sure how it would work since I was paying in cash. This is a new program and they had a sign up by the Wilco Hess gas pump. I went inside to let them know and they told me to go ahead and fill up then come inside. When I was done filling up, I came in and they scanned my Lowes card. It automatically deducted $.10 off each dollar. You have to buy groceries and have to buy gas. You might as well save a little bit of money while you're doing it.

Images came from the Lowes Foods website. There is also a listing of the Lowe's Foods fuel locations and WilcoHess locations on their site.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Aren't the little things cute? The recipe is below.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffins Submitted by Andrea Woldman (IL)

Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®
12 oz. lemon lime soda
4 Tbsp. applesauce
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup raisins

Combine ingredients; stir to blend. Place batter in greased muffin tin. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 Servings.

I made mine in mini muffin tins, so it made more then 12 and didn't take 20-25 minutes. Just keep an eye on them if you decide to use the mini muffin tins.

I also dabbed a bit of cream cheese on them. Yum!

If you would like to know where you can find some of the Bountiful Beer Bread Mix, check out my site here.

Also, check out how many different ways you can prepare the Bountiful Beer Break Mix, here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Candy Corn Sunshine Cupcakes

I made these candy corn cupcakes over a month ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting them. Aren't they cute? I originally found the idea over here at Easy Recipes for Real Life. It's a great way to use up some of that candy corn. It will probably be on sale soon also, if not already.

Ok, so here is the recipe:

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Submitted by Bonnie Ask (MN), HQ Team Member


Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix™
¾ cup (1½ sticks) melted butter
1 cup water
1-2 drops yellow food coloring
16 oz. container cream cheese frosting
Candy corn
Mini chocolate chips
Thin red licorice ropes


Preheat oven to 325°. Combine first 3 ingredients; stir to blend. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full with cake batter. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely. Add food coloring to cream cheese frosting. Top cupcakes with tinted frosting. Arrange candy corn around the edges of cupcakes, use 2 mini chocolate chips for the eyes and form a mouth with red licorice. Makes 12 servings.

I used orange food coloring, instead of yellow because it's what I had.

For the smile, I used pull and peel Twizzlers.

If you would like some of the Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix, you can order it here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beef Tips Recipe

I made Beef Tips for dinner tonight and they were pretty tasty! I found the recipe over at allrecipes.com. It had 4.5 out of 5 stars as a rating, 388 reviews and 9,041 people had saved it. So, I was thinking this would be a good one.

Here is the recipe directly from allrecipes. The modifications I made will be posted below the recipe.

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (.75 ounce) packet dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Saute the onion until almost translucent.
  2. Add the stew meat and cook on high heat until meat is browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour 2 cups water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet. Stir in garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile combine the gravy mix with 1 cup water. Mix thoroughly and stir into the meat mixture. Bring to a boil stirring frequently until slightly thickened.               
*After reading numerous reviews, I omitted the additional salt and was glad I did.
*I didn't have quiet 2 pounds of beef, but it ended up being enough. I used bottom round because it was what I had/what was on sale.
*I used fresh garlic instead of powder, 1 clove.
*The dry brown gravy mix was 30% less sodium
*I let it simmer for a little over an hour and my meat was tender.
*When adding the gravy mix, I first added the dry mix to my beef mixture. After it thickened up a little I added a little water at a time. I probably only used about 1/2 cup. I think the full cup of water would have made it a little runny. Lots of reviewers mentioned having to add cornstarch to thicken it up.
*I served this over brown rice with a side of broccoli.
*I used 3 beef bouillon cubes in my 4 cups of water for the rice.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner Southern Style

I love breakfast! I think I would be happy eating it for every meal. It would sure pile on some calories though! Last night I made homemade biscuits and gravy. I'm not a biscuit or gravy maker, so this was going a little out of my comfort zone. I made two things on one night that I normally don't make.

I found the recipe for the biscuits on Pinterest. If you've never checked it out before you, have to do it now! There are so many creative ideas, recipes and all kinds of other stuff.

The recipe for these butter dips biscuits came from Plain Chicken. The reason why I'm not a biscuit maker is because I don't like rolling and cutting the dough. I always make the biggest mess with it. With these little darlings you don't have to. These are baked in a 8x8 baker, and the recipe instructs you to cut into 12 biscuits. So, these are not going to be your normal size biscuits, they are a little smaller.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2/3 - 1 cup buttermilk or milk

Heat the oven to 450°F. Cut the butter into pieces and place them in a 8-inch square microwave safe baking dish. Put the dish in the microwave and melt the butter. You can also put the baking dish in the oven to melt the butter as it pre-heats. (The dish in the microwave is just faster.)

While the butter is melting, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup buttermilk; continue to add more buttermilk until a loose dough forms. (I used about 2-3 Tbsp more than the 2/3 cup)

Remove baking dish from the microwave/oven and press biscuit dough in the pan over the melted butter (It helps to put a little flour on top of the dough or your fingers). Using a knife, cut the biscuits into 12 squares. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

These things are great! I will be making them again very soon.


I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use all-purpose flour or self-rising since the recipe didn't say. I went with self-rising and it worked great.

I used 2% milk, because it's what I had.

I didn't have kosher salt, so I just used regular salt.

Also, I went with what another reader had suggested and sprayed one of my hands with cooking spray. I tried the flour on my hand and my hand still stuck to the dough. This worked like a charm!

The gravy I made, I found on Paula Deen's Facebook. You can also find the recipe over here. I just love Paula Deen, don't ya'll? I did revise the original recipe a little bit and I'll post the revisions below. I first of all decided that I would half the original recipe. I used 2% milk instead of half and half because I didn't have any of it. Half of the original recipe would have only been 1 cup of milk and that wasn't enough for me, so I added much more.

1/2 lb ground sausage
2 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tsp Tastefully Simple Onion Onion
1 tsp Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic 
1 1/2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups 2% milk

In a large skillet, combine sausage, bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat, until sausage is browned and crumbles. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened.

When I make this again I will not add the additional salt, the sausage and bacon has enough salt that you don't need to add more.

There was enough oil/grease from the sausage and bacon that I didn't add the additonal butter which the original recipe calls for.

I used Tastefully Simple products just because it's easier for me and I have them on hand. If you don't have them on hand, substitute the Onion Onion for 1/4 Onion diced and the Garlic Garlic for 1 garlic clove minced.

While the bacon in the gravy has a good flavor, I think next time I will omit it and just go with the sausage.

If you would like to check out the Tastefully Simple Onion Onion and Garlic Garlic seasonings, you can go here.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cheesy Goodness of Chicken Crack

I know what you're thinking. Has this Lady lost her mind? What kind of cheesy goodness can you get out of a chicken crack? Well, it's not that kind of chicken crack. We just call it that, because it's very addicting.

The original recipe is over here. I made a few changes which I will include and of course you can tweak it how you choose to.

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup shredded Mozarella cheese
3 - 4 Tbsp. dry Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix

Directions:Combine first 5 ingredients; spread in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Bake at 350ยบ for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Serve with crackers. Makes 8-10 servings.

The original recipe uses canned chicken. It's not my favorite, but I will use it in a pinch. I had some chicken that I had cooked in the slow cooker and shredded. It was in the freezer, so I just thawed it to use it in this.

I generally use cheddar cheese instead of the mozarella (what the recipe calls for), but I was all out. The mozarella was just as good.

This is also good added to a wrap with some lettuce

If you don't have any Dried Tomato & Garlic pesto, I know where you can find some. :) Head over here and you'll find it along with lots of other goodies.

Everytime I've made this and taken it somewhere, I have no leftovers. I'm sure it will be a hit for you also. Go ahead and make some chicken crack!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recycled T shirt Fabric Rosette Headband

I made a bunch of black and gold rosettes probably last year sometime. You can find tutorials for them all over the internet. Since I made these a while back I don't remember which tutorial I used. Little Birdie Secrets has a good one here. I can't even remember now what I was making them for. They were inspired by my University's school colors though. They have just been hanging out in a baggie until now. I made my first headband a few days ago and thought I would add these to a headband also. I've seen them on headbands, used as hair bows, and just as an overall cute accessory.

I was originally going to add an alligator hair clip to the back, but that didn't end up happening. I glued them onto a felt backing then ended up glueing that onto the headband. You could glue them directly onto the headband of course. Whatever is easier for you. For the headband I just wrapped a piece of fabric around it also. It was probably about 1" wide. I appologize for the picture. I know it isn't the best, but will have to do for now. I'll have to get one of my daughter when she wears it. :) I may decide to wear it myself also.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pork

This recipe is so easy, but very good.

Here is what you need:

Around 2 lbs pork. (I used assorted boneless pork cuts because it was on sale. Feel free to use whatever cut you prefer.
1/2 bottle Italian salad dressing
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
6 buns/large rolls.

Put your pork, salad dressing and bbq sauce in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from sauce and shred using a fork. Add Shredded pork back to sauce and stir around. Use a slotted spoon to spoon onto your warmed roll/bun. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabric Headband

I've had a pretty productive today. This morning I ran some errands. I then went to lunch at school with my Son and I decided to craft something since it has been such a long time! I came across this cute tutorial on Sew Sara. I plan on making several more of these. They were easy to make and didn't take a lot of time. I'm an instant gratification type of gal when it comes to crafting. I generally don't have a lot of patience for crafts that take a long time. I've been finding a lot of inspiration on Pinterest. You can also make it into a hair bow. The headbands I found for super cheap too!

My daughter modeling her new headband. :)

I'm not going to rewrite the tutorial, because that has already been done for you. I will add a few notes though.. The headband I used was about 3/4" wide at it's widest spot. The fabric that I used to wrap the headband was about 1" x 40".

Have fun making these! My daughter is already requesting more. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Gosh, I haven't blogged in so long. Do I remember how? I was having issues with copying and pasting on here and that was driving me nuts. I guess I got somewhat discouraged and gave up on it for a while. I'm not sure if it was a setting on my computer or something on Blogger. It seems to be working now though, so who k nows?  Life gets very busy sometimes. I now have a Kindergartner and 2nd grader. The Kindergartner is in cheerleading and the 2nd grader is in Soccer and Cub Scouts. With Practice, games, meetings, etc., etc.. we don't have very much free time. No complaining though. :)

I recently discovered Pinterest! Ok, where have I been? This is about the coolest thing ever. It's so much easier to go on there and get creative ideas vs. searching hours for them. For the few of you who may not be familiar with it, you "pin" items that you like onto "boards" that you create based on your interest. Whomever came up with this is a genius! I have so many things stored on my favorites on my computer. What an easy way to have them at a glance! I haven't had/taken the time to craft very much at all. I do miss it, but my priorities are getting kids where they need to go. So, my focus on Pinterest has been recipes. I do still cook about every night and enjoy trying new things out. I just started pinning about a week ago, so I don't have a tremendous amount of stuff up. Check out some of my boards if you would like.

I'm going to the store now to get some cheddar cheese so I can make this Crockpot Potato Soup.

Doesn't it look yummy? I love potato soup, but have never tried it in the crock pot, so this will be a first.

My goal is to get back here on a normal basis. Happy "pinning" Ya'll! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Easy Solutions to Technical Problems

I came across this video today on Yahoo and it has some very helpful advice.

It includes solutions to these problems:

Touchscreens that won't work with your gloves on

Dirty cell phone cases

When gadgets get wet

Scratched cd's or dvd's

PC's that sign you out too quickly

Don't have enough D batteries for your flashlight

There are some pretty cool solutions here. When I used to work for Verizon we suggested the dry rice with the phones and that does work.

Ham and Cheese with Spinach and Herb Focaccia Sandwich

Lunch today was Ham and Cheese with Tastefully Simple Spinach and Herb Dip Mix on Focaccia bread. I was just making some for hubby's lunch tomorrow and had to snap a picture. That bread is very picture worthy. I really wish I could take credit for that Focaccia bread but that was purchased from Lowe's Foods. It was one of those impulse purchases. I was going by a rack that had several baked goods on it. They were marked down a bit to sell today. I couldn't leave the Focaccia bread sitting there. There was two but I was able to leave one of them there. :) I just put in the microwave to heat in gently and that was it. Very good!

Monday, January 10, 2011


It's a beautiful snowy day here in NC. The kids are out of school and we're getting ready to have some lunch. I made these meatballs for the first time the other day. I'll be making them again sometime soon. They were easy and tasty. My daughter loves helping me in the kitchen also. She helped with adding the ingredients and mixing them together.

I found this recipe forn the meatballs over at Allrecipes and adapted it a little.

To check out the ingredients, go here.

This is what I did differently...

  • I used 1 Tbsp of Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic vs. minced Garlic

  • I used 1 Tbsp of Tastefully Simple Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning vs. the parsley and basil.

  • I used Cheddar vs. Pepper Jack Cheese (it was what I had)

  • I used 1 Tbsp of Tastefully Simple Onion Onion vs. large onion.

This is just what I had and it made it easier.

I served it with some mashed potatoes, bbq sauce for dipping the meatballs (although it didn't need it) and brocolli.

Monday, January 3, 2011

More Fab clothing deals!

I just got this in a delivery from UPS today.

I ordered off of Kohls.com. I got a LS flannel shirt retail $26.00 and a corduroy pants retail $24.00 for my son. I got a dress with a jacket retail $52.00 for my daughter (Christmas time next year). Total retail $102.00 prior to taxes or shipping. I paid $15.67 shipped. :) I think I found out about this on Hip2Save also. You've got to check out that site!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fabulous Clothing Deals!

I went to Macy's today after seeing on Hip2Save that they were having a Denim Sale. You get a $10 Savings Card when you purchase denim. So, off to Macy's I went.

For my Son I ended up with a button up flannel SS shirt, a tshirt and a LS flannel shirt. For my daughter I got 2 SS shirts, 1 LS shirt, a knit pant, a Hello Kitty Denim skirt and a Dora Denim dress. Total of 9 items. The retail on these items was $158.88 prior to taxes. I paid $16.32 prior to taxes. Not to bad, huh?

I picked up the 2 denim items first. When I went to the cashier in the Children's section I asked if I needed to purchase them in 2 seperate transactions to get the 2 savings cards. She said the savings cards were only 1 per person. I didn't see anything about that as a stipulation nor did I think it was true. So, I just hung on to one of the denim items and purchased the other then got my $10 savings card. I then picked up the 3 shirts for my son and only had to pay $.47 before tax after using the savings card. I then went and found the rest of the clothes for my daughter. By this time the original cashier that I had dealt with was no where to be found. So, I purchased the other denim item to get my $10 savings card. Then in a seperate transaction I got the remainder of the items using the savings card.

I was very pleased with the results. Everything I purchased was on clearance and the clearance items in the Children's dept were an additional 30% off the mark down price. There were very limited denim items that were on clearance in Childrens. I would have probably got more if there would have been more denim on clearance but I will not complain since I got a fab deal!

On a side note and funny one at that... I was showing my hubby my fab deals. I first showed him my son's items. He informed me that the LS flannel was ugly. I was trying to get him to hush before my son heard. You know how kids are, they hear something like that then they won't wear it. Either he didn't hear him luckily or wasn't paying attention (probably the second one). A little later on I said, so you didn't like his LS flannel? He said oh that was for him? I said Yes! He thought all 3 of the shirts I had got for my son were for me. LOL! It was funny because I would like to see me fit into his clothes.

Guess that's it for now. Let me know if you find any great deals!