Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holy Paint Chips, Batman

Paint chip crafts are all over the place!  I love it, because they are free!  There are all sorts of projects that people are making with them.  Last Christmas, I made some very simple stamped bookmarks.  But truly, the possibilities are endless.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have seen.

Making the list is:

*Diane's rolodex from In My Own Style.

*The Aesthetic Writer's dry erase calendar.

*Sew Many Ways and their brilliant idea to use paint chips as a place setting.

*A Bit of Sunshine made an adorable banner for the 4th of July.

*Hand Make My Day shows how to use paint chips to create a change of address card.

*A Little Bit Funky created this gorgeous bunting.

*The Crafty CPA has a tutorial on how to make paint chip coasters.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ranch Chicken and Corn

Most of you know, but for those of you that don't my husband is a huge fan of all things with ranch dressing.  It is his all time favorite.  So, I was really pumped when I ran across this recipe.  I had to try it and he absolutely loved it.  I agree, it was very tasty and super easy!

It was found in one of those cookbook's you pick up while you are waiting in line at the grocery store.  It is Tyson's chicken recipes.  This one was so tasty and easy, that I know it will be one to make again.

Ranch Chicken and Corn

You will need:

8 chicken drumsticks, thawed
4 ears frozen corn on the cob
1 tbsp. melted margarine or oil
1 package dry ranch dressing mix


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 15 x 10 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Rinse chicken under cool water for about 30 seconds.  Place the chicken and corn on the baking pan.  Drizzle oil over all and sprinkle with dressing mix.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until corn is tender and internal juices of the chicken run clear. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Reading Infographic

Looking for a great summer read?  Can't figure out what to read?  I saw this infographic on The Huffington Post Blog.  It is awesome!  So many great choices.  Many I have read before and ones that I definitely want to read.

I have read (and liked):
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Animal Farm
  • Of Mice & Men
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • Nineteen Minutes
  • The Pillars of the Earth
  • Lovely Bones
I want to read:
  • Rebecca
  • Anna Karenina
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • 1984
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • What is the What
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Kite Runner

Which have you read?  Which do you want to read?  Are any of these on your summer reading list?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I am not sure what my fascination is with terrariums.  I don't know if it is the containers that they are in, the plant life, or the endless possibilities of them.  We made terrariums a couple of years ago.  One died, but the other one is going strong!  This blog post is dedicated to all things terrarium. 

I love these terrarium candle sticks!  It would be so pretty as part of a center piece at the table.  I found them at design sensibility.

This is such a cute idea using found or thrifted cups.  This one is from Kirin Notebook.

This print is one of my favorites!  I found it here.

The Gardener Cook used a creative container for this terrarium!

These are very pretty terrariums from The Industrial Cottage.

This needle felted succulent terrarium is by far my favorite!  It is from Tiny Apartment Crafts.  She has a tutorial for it here.  Now if only I had an aunt named Amy who was amazing at felting to make me this for Christmas! :0)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Turtle Brownies

Yum!  These brownies are ooey, gooey, and delish!  I found the recipe at Brown Paper Packages.  They are so good and are guaranteed to please a crowd!

Turtle Brownies

Step 1:

A box of German chocolate cake mix
1/3 C. of evaporated milk
3/4 C. of melted butter

Mix the above ingredients together and spoon half of the mixture into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and back for about 6 minutes.

Step 2:

14 oz. caramels
1/3 C. evaporated milk

Place caramels and evaporated milk in a pan and melt.  Spread the melted caramel mixture over the brownies.

Step 3:

6 oz. chocolate chips

Cover brownie and caramel mixture with chocolate chips.  Take the remaining brownie mixture and dollop it on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.


Linked to:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Beef Carnitas is summer and that means that I have time to read, craft, cook, and relax.  I love trying new recipes and summer is a great time for me to do just that.  Lately, it seems all of me new recipes are tried via pinterest.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pinterest.  I have found so many great ideas from it.  But, there is nothing quite like reading through a cookbook and finding a new recipe to try. 

This recipe is one I found in an actual cookbook.  It is actually from Prevention Magazine's best weight loss recipes.  I know it is a crock pot recipe, but I still love to use my crock pot even during the summer.  I can just pop in the ingredients in the morning, go about my day, and it is ready in time for supper.  That's not cheating, right?

Beef Carnitas

You will need:

2 1b. lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 C. mild salsa
2 Tbsp. chopped chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. beef broth broth or water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours.  (Um, that was easy.)


Linked to:
At The Picket Fence
I Should Be Mopping The Floor

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nerdy Day Trips

Nerdy Day Trips is a website dedicated to showing all things "nerd" related based on your location.  Find where you live or where you want to visit on the map and you can plan your entire nerdy day.

What I love most about this website is that a lot of these so called "nerd" sites are also history related.  Are they trying to tell me something?


Places We NEED To Explore:
NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Tryon Palace
World's largest frying pan...and World's largest chest of drawers while were at it.
Segway tours of Raleigh
Patterson's Mill
Pisgah covered bridge
Andy Griffith's hometown tour (Mom, we will wait to do this one with you!)
...and lots more!

Have fun planning your nerdy day trips!  Where do you want to go?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Smart Tips and Tricks

*  If you want to arrange flowers in a bowel, use clear tape in a grid pattern to create spaces for your flowers.  Thanks, Martha Stuart

*Joy Astle has a genius idea for storing wrapping paper.  Just cut paper towel or toilet paper tubes to secure them.

*Cathe from Just Something I Made labels all of her chargers!  This would make it easy to find the right one!  I NEED a label maker.  HAHA!

*Meck Mom makes having a cold a little less messier by attaching an empty tissue box to a full tissue box with rubber bands.  Simply toss the used tissue into the garbage box.

*Diane from In My Own Style uses pipe cleaners to create no-slip clothes hangers.

*Better Homes and Gardens has a car organizing tip to turn a plastic cereal container into an in car trash can.  Great for road trips!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On My Bookshelf

I have recently finished reading "The Book of Ruth" by Jane Hamilton.  It is available here in a variety of forms.

It is a story about Ruth Grey and her family in small town Illinois.  Not only is it a coming of age story, it also is a view into the intricacies of families and issues that each family member brings to the table.  The end was heartbreaking, and I honestly didn't see the situation evolving in that fashion!  "The Book of Ruth" is also a Lifetime movie, which I watched today.  I think most people would agree with me that the book is always much better than the movie and "The Book of Ruth" is not an exception.  The movie is set in a different time period and begins the movie with the ending of the book.  UGH!  What are your thoughts on "The Book of Ruth?"  Have you read it?  Did you like it?

Up next for me is "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.  It is available here.

This is the first of Oprah's Book Club 2.0, which I am very excited about!  There is a link here for Cheryl Strayed's website and there is a video book trailer.  So, will anyone join me in reading "Wild?"

Great Products, Great Causes

Need an excuse to shop and not feel bad about spending your dough?  This is a round-up of products that are trendy and help people around the world.

1.  Toms:  Toms is a super trendy shoe company with a great mission.  Every time someone buys a pair of shoes from them, they donate a pair to a child in need.  They also have a great blog to follow here.

2.  31 Bits:  Started by Kallie Dovel on a trip to Uganda in 2007, she currently buys handmade jewelry from 99 Ugandan women.  Their mission is to provide these women with a means to end poverty.    Not only do the women earn an income, but they receive services like literacy education, financial training, and more.  

3.  Planet Dog Foundation:  This program donate 2% of their sales to train, place, and support working dogs that help people in need.  Dog toys are available for purchase at Paw Luxury.

4.  Sheswai:  Sheswai donates a portion of their sales to organizations that help educate and sustain our planet.

5.  Yum-o:  Yum-o is Rachael Ray's non profit organization that empowers kids and families to develop healthy relationships to food through cooking education, partnering with organization to fight hunger in America, and offers scholarships.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Frenemy

Photo Credit:

We have a new routine.  Every morning while I am getting ready to go to work, Maggie races between the backdoor and the front window on her search for squirrels.  There are whines and barks and mad rushing around.  She yips, she cries, she runs, she whines.  She must being seeing the squirrels as pictured above.

She often lets us know she needs to go outside by touching her nose to her leash by the back door.  About every 1.5 minutes in the morning, she is doing this.  Lies!  You just went, Maggie.  You just want us to take you so you can chase the squirrels.  

Summery Craft Round Up

Summer is right around the corner.  For me, it means lots of extra time to craft!  Here is a round up of some fun summer craft projects.

Craft Away!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stuck In My Head...

These songs have been stuck in my head lately.  Now they will be stuck in your head too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This Post Is A Hoot!

It's about time I did a round-up of owl crafts.  It seems like everyone has an owl obsession these days, including me.  Have fun with your owl creations!

1.  Peanut Butter Dynamite:  They have really cute crocheted pillows.  Lots of different animals, but obviously the owl is my favorite.
2.  Kincavel Krosses:  Owl cross stitch pattern

3.  Etsy shop Gem and Metal is filled with adorable owl necklaces.

4.  Factory Direct Craft gives a tutorial on how to make these cute little owls from Styrofoam balls and felt.

5.  Mrs. Stitchy Britches has a cute vintage embroidery pattern for you to embroider.

6.  Gingercake shows off this adorable bag.  (Pattern is available!)

7.  Hop over to My Owl Barn to print off these free recipe cards.

8.  Etsy shop Frauleinschmidt whips up these cute iphone cases.  (I do not own an iphone, but I managed to make one of these to fit my phone.)

9.  Michelle from I Stamped That! created this adorable card.

10.  Etsy shop Sukan has these swoon-worthy owl pillows.

This was such a fun post to make!  I hope you like these owls as much as I do.  Owl see you later!  (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)