Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have figured out several things tonight.  #1- I finally added a Pinterest "Follow Me" button with the help of Jen at Frazzled 5.   #2- I also made my own blog button!!  I found a lovely tutorial here and I am passing the information on to you!

To start, you will need to create your image for your button.  I made my on picnik.com.  It needs to be cropped to a perfect square and resized to be 125x125.  After you make and save your button, upload it to a site like photobucket.com.  After it's uploaded, you can view it in your album.  In photobucket, all you have to do is hover your mouse over the image (without clicking) and you will see several choices pop up.  Choose the one that says "Direct Link."  You can simply click on the text and it will copy it for you.  Next, copy and paste the code below into Notepad.  Replace all the parts in red with your personalized info (button url, site name, site url, button url again, and site name again).

<img src=http://yourbuttonurl.jpg alt=”yoursitename" /><div style=”width: 125px; height: 125px; overflow: auto; border: 1px solid #666666;”>&lt;a href=&#34;http://yoursiteurl.com&#34; target=&#34;_self&#34;&gt;&lt;img src=&#34;http://yourbuttonurl.jpg&#34; alt=&#34;yoursitename&#34; width=&#34;125&#34; height=&#34;125&#34; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</div>

After you have finished, add the code as a gadget on your side bar, and you will have a lovely button to share with all your wonderful readers!

 If any of this doesn't make sense, please leave me a comment, and I will do my best to explain it further!

Thanks!

French Chalk Board (also known as "My Masterpiece")

Remember what I used to prop up my earring picture frame?  Remember how ugly it was?  I would show you a picture of it, but my computer has been acting up and it ate several of my pictures.  I'm sure they'll turn up somewhere, but until then, just take my word for it.  It was bad.

I bought the giant picture frame (and I do mean giant; it's over three feet tall and over 1.5 feet wide!) at an auction our church youth were having to raise money for their mission trips.  It was part of a silent auction and nobody bid on it.  After the auction was over and we were about to leave, I saw it again.  I knew I could make it into something.  The frame, after all, was really gorgeous.  I had two single dollar bills in my purse and asked if I could buy it.  Two friends and my mom also donated a couple bills for the occasion, so between the four of us, we all ended up paying $8 total for it. 

I took it home and taped off the sides.  I painted the top part of the frame with Gesso (again, I had pictures of this) and once the Gesso (primer) had dried, I painted it over with black acrylic.  I covered the whole frame with newspaper except what I wanted to be covered in chalkboard paint.  I used chalkboard spray paint to cover it.  I put on two coats, and it made a really pretty chalkboard.  Word of advice, let the paint really sink in for 24 hours before you try to write on it or you could end up scratching the paint off.

So now I have essentially a blank canvas ready to be painted.  I chose this French Ad from Graphics Fairy to paint on the top part of my frame.  Now here come the pictures!

I printed off the graphic and spent forever tracing it onto a transparency sheet with a sharpie, only for it to be too big for my space once I put it on the over head projector.  I went back and printed the graphic out the size of a 4x6 picture.  Then I made a photo copy of the graphic on a transparency sheet.  If you have a laser printer, you can print it directly onto the transparency.  If you have an ink jet like me, the ink will smear if you try to do that.

Using the over-head projector from my classroom that I borrowed, I projected my graphic onto the space where I was going to be painting it.

I traced around each letter and line with a pencil.  This took a while.

 After I finished tracing it out, I painted, very carefully, inside my pencil lines.

I used white acrylic paint and a teeny tiny paint brush to paint the graphic.  I am absolutely thrilled with the results!  It's my very favorite thing I've ever made, ever. Which is why I call it my masterpiece =) 



P.S. I just found this picture of what it used to look like on my phone.  The image is really bad quality, but you can still see the before and after!



TTFeatured1 Thrifty Thursday Week 65

Beyond The Picket Fence

made in a day

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made in a day

Rebekah Poe Photography

Recently, I have been playing around with the idea of earning a little extra cash by doing more of what I love, this time, through Photography.  I got a beautiful, brand new camera a few months back, and I've been itching to play with it!  I am not marketing myself as a professional photographer, but I would be a great alternative for those who don't want or can't afford the high end deal.  I created a small, unobtrusive little website on wix.com, and maybe something will come from it.  I had a lot of fun just making it, so either way, it's a win.  If you want, you can check it out here! I hope you do, and let me know what you think!  I would love some constructive criticism!! Thanks =)

Here is an example from a recent shoot



I had so much fun chasing after three little ones during this shoot! They are absolutely precious!

Liebster Award- my second blog award!!

The Liebster Award is for upcoming blogs with less than 200 followers.  I am so happy to have been given this award by one of my favorite blogs, 4You With Love.  I make crafts and try new recipes because it makes me happy.  I blog because I love to share my ideas and get some new ones.  I am thrilled to know that people are seeing and loving this blog!  Thanks to all my followers (all 50 of you, which is 50 more than I ever thought I'd have)!

Now to pass this award on...

Two of my favorite less-than-200-follower blogs are  My Grandma Reads My Blog and her adorable tin fish that I will make one day, and Frazzled 5 and all her crafty goodness. 

Thanks again!

Monday, February 27, 2012

South of the Border Popcorn

To make this south of the border style popcorn, the trick is in the seasonings!  I used Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn.  I always buy the mini bags because it's the perfect amount for me, so I don't end up wasting half a regular size bag.  However, this stuff was so good, I probably could have eaten it all!  While the popcorn is still hot (fresh from the microwave), pour it into a good sized bowl.  I used one seasoning at a time, stirring and tossing the popcorn in between seasonings to make sure each piece got a nice coating.  I used salt, onion powder, cumin, and paprika.  All I needed was a sombrero!  It was eaten in nearly the time it took to make!

Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

I am a huge fan of broccoli.  A restaurant in my home town makes the best steamed broccoli!  Whenever I go there, I always know that I want the broccoli as my side dish, and I have to choose something to go with it.  Unfortunately, living almost 3 hours away from home means that I don't get to have it as often as I'd like.  I bought a fresh head of broccoli at a grocery store where I currently live to attempt to make some roasted broccoli.  I figured, you can make roasted squash, zuccini, etc.  Why not broccoli?

To start, I cut all the florets off the big stalk.  I only wanted to use the top parts. It may seem wasteful, but I'm saving the stalks for soup.  I sprayed EVOO onto the broccoli and sprinkled it with salt and parmesan and my secret ingredient.  Roasted in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes.  The broccoli came out a beautiful green, the parmesan roasted a nice golden brown.  My husband and I ate our portion and came back for seconds!  Wonderful!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls



At this point you can either bake or fry the eggrolls according to their package instructions.  We baked ours to make them healthier, but they'd be better fried (just like everything else!!)

They also made very good leftovers to take to the school for lunch the next day!

*3 small chicken breasts made enough filling for 12 egg rolls

Parmesan-crusted Baked Avocado Wedges

The husband and I have recently discovered something - avocados are delicious!  I don't know why we haven't been eating them all these years. I feel like I've missed out these last 24 years of my life without them. Now, I am making up for lost time!  I had an idea for this after I saw someone post parmesan roasted broccoli.  Well, I didn't have broccoli; I had avocados.  So I tweaked some things and this is what I came up with...
This is my avocado.  The star of the show.  He (yes he's a he) was way too firm when I bought him, so my mom suggested I put him and the others in a brown paper bag on the counter for a couple days.  Afterwards he was nice and soft, but not mushy.

Then I cut him in half and scooped out the seed.  PS-if anyone knows if I can plant that and grow my own in a terracotta pot inside, please let me know.

Cut the halves into wedges, like an apple.

For the breading, I mixed however much parmesan cheese this is (all I had left in my container, probably 2 tablespoons or so)...

...with crushed up cornflakes.  I would have used panko bread crumbs had I had them.

Dip that avocado wedge in some milk to moisten things up.

Coat it with the parmesan/cornflake mixture.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and line the wedges up like so.

Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.  You don't want the cornflakes to burn.
They were the softest, melty-ist avocado snacks ever.  My husband and I ate them all, and then wished we'd made some more! And we will soon!

Buttons into Thumbtacks

To make these thumbtack buttons, I used... well... thumbtacks and buttons. Rather self-explainatory. But still really cute!  I found a huge cork board at a flea market for three dollars.  The frame was really beaten up, but it was nothing that a coat of black acrylic couldn't handle! To coordinate with the black frame, I bought some plain black buttons from Wal-mart.  I hotglued a flat thumbtack to the flat back side of the button and *ta-da* thumbtack buttons!

Spinach and Cheese Quesadilla

The other night I was craving a snack!  I wanted something healthy, but my options were limited.  Being school teachers, we get paid at the end of the month.  And boy can it not get here soon enough!  We had plenty of things to eat, just nothing I could make a snack out of... Until I saw the tortillas!!  I put a large flour tortilla on my flat grill skillet (stove on medium heat) and topped it with shredded monteray jack cheese.

I topped one half of it with spinach...

Once the cheese started to get melty, I folded it in half...

As you can see, my stove cooks things unevenly. But when the bottom had reached this point, I flipped it over.

Cut it up with a pizza slicer and serve with salsa for a low fat yet filling snack!

Delicious and Wonderful!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Earring Picture Frame

For this, I used a wooden picture frame from Hobby Lobby that I painted.  I added three rolled paper flowers for more decoration.  The lace is from my mother-in-law.  I hot-glued it to the back of the picture frame.  Pull the lace really tight across the back so the earrings don't pull the lace down.
PS-  The awful looking thing that this is being propped up on is a giant picture frame that I got for $2 at a church bazaar.  It's eventually going to be a chalk board, and I can't wait to get it done to show off!!


Featured on

Simple Shirt

To make this shirt, I cut off the bottom of one of my husband's white t shirts just under the arms.  I laid my fabric upside down on the shirt and sewed the seam so that when my seem was sewn and the fabric was turned back over the seem would be invisible.  Then I turned the whole shirt inside out and sewed up the side seem from my long strip of fabric (the bottom part).  I put the belt on it to cinch in the waist to add more shape.  I like how it turned out. They say practice makes perfect, so that's all I'm doing at this stage of learning to sew!


button

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Salsa Salad

It is nearly 8:30 and we are just sitting down for dinner.  It has been a crazy, busy, but fun day.  Andrew and I have been trying to eat healthier, so rather than pick up some fast food from a drive-through, which is oh-so-tempting, I boiled a frozen chicken breast in water with bullion and other seasonings, shredded it and put it over a bed of organic baby spinach with some shredded cheese.  Normally, I'd slather the whole thing in ranch dressing, but that would totally defeat the purpose of the salad. This time I put salsa on my salad. Why have I not done this for years?? It adds so much flavor for 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of carbs, and only 10 calories for 2 tablespoons, and I didn't even have to use two tablespoons to coat my salad.  I compared it with the light ranch I would have used and the light Italian I put on Andrew's salad (he doesn't like salsa):

Light Ranch
For 2 tablespoons (same as the salsa), it was 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, 3 grams of carbs, and 80 calories!

Light Italian
This is way better than the ranch, but still not quite as good as the salsa.  Same serving size, it has 1.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, 3 grams of carbs, and 30 calories.

Plus the salsa is even more veggies!  I will definitely be doing this more often!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heart Shaped Paper Clips

Andrew was teaching band sectionals after school today.  Since we ride together, that means I had to stay, too.  I got bored. This was the result.  I put this up on my pinterest page, and it blew up! 71 re-pins in about 15 minutes. Crazy!! I may need to be bored more often =)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baked Apples

To make a baked apple actually requires two apples: one for the cup and one for the filling.  Start by taking one apple and cut the top off of it at an angle (like when you cut the top off a pumpkin).

Scoop out the inside of the apple (again, just like a pumpkin).

Peel the second apple and cut it into very small cubes.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  My husband likes a lot of cinnamon, so I used extra.  Put the filling into the apple cup.

For the top, cut a circle out of an eggroll wrapper.  You can buy them in the produce section of Wal-mart.

Place the eggroll wrapper circle over the opening of the apple cup.  Wet the edges of the wrapper so they stay down on the sides of the apple.

Bake at 350 for 14 minutes.


 Absolutely delicious!