Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy DIY Holiday Card Ideas

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree !

So, I already have all of my regular Christmas card address and ready to be mailed out in the beginning of December. But, there are a few handmade gifts that I give to various people every year that warrant a pretty awesome hand made card. 
These are just some of the layouts I did. 
There are thousands of things you could do, and I urge you to use every ounce of creativity you have! 
I know that personally I  {L O V E } receiving hand made gifts and cards. 
It really shows the person how much you truly appreciate them. 

What I Used:
  • 2 of the latest issues of Chatelaine 
  • Scraps of Wrapping Paper 
  • Ribbons 
  • Large Circle Punch 
  • Scrapbook Mounting Squares 
  • Fancy Pen 
  • Scissors (Not Pictured) 
  • Card stock (Not Pictured)

The first one I made (pictured on the left), was very simple to make. 
I used the large circle punch to punch a bunch of circles out of a page in the magazine 
that was very festive and sparkly.
I used the scrapbooking mounting squares to stick the circles randomly 
onto the white card stock. 
I wrote a simple 'Happy Holidays & Happy New Year' on the back. 
Simple. Cute. Festive. 

For the second one (pictured on the right), I used the circle punch again and punch a purple 
page out of the magazine cover. I made a border on the left side of the 
card stock and used the scrapbooking mounting squares to secure them to the paper. 
I then used a single hole punch and punched two holes at the top 
of the paper about an inch apart. I then laced ribbon 
through the holes and tied them together. I did this twice. 
I then curled the ribbon using the scissors. 
I again wrote on it with a simple message. 
It looks lovely. 

This is the third card I made. 
On the front I took some wrapping paper scraps and I stuck them to the card stock with the mounting 
squares. I made them all at different angles so it looked more abstract. 
I added a piece of paper to the corner so I would have a place to write 
the to and from part of the card. 
On the reverse, I cut 13 circles with the punch out of white paper. I 
hand wrote the letters for 'Happy Holidays'. I tried to
make all the letters in different writings and different sizes
 so it went along with the abstract of the front
of the card. 
I think this one is my favorite so far. 

* more to come, as they get done! *

Easy Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

So, as it is very near to the end of the month, our fridge and cupboards are beginning to look quite bare. I was able to scrounge up the ingredients for my favorite mushroom fettuccine alfredo though, so I figured I would share it with all of you.

What You Need : 
  • Can of Mushrooms Or Fresh Mushrooms, Chopped
  • Fettuccine Pasta 
  • Alfredo Sauce Mix (I used a packaged, but this can be purchased in a jar as well) 
First, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
While waiting for the water to heat, place mushrooms in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil on medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute mushrooms until they begin to brown on the edges and put the heat on low stirring occasionally.
Prepare alfredo sauce according to the directions on the package. If you purchased a jar of the sauce, open and place sauce in a pot and heat through.
Once water is boiling add pasta. Cook until desired tenderness.
After the pasta is finished cooking, drain well.
In a bowl place noodles followed by some sauce and top with the mushrooms and a dash of dried parsley if desired. Enjoy!

What's Coming Next ...

Here is a teasing sneak peek for you all to wonder about! 

Do It Yourself Projects:
  • DIY Foaming Hand Soap 
  • DIY Mod Podge 
  • Fabric Covered Switch Plate
  • Dip Dyed Cupcake Liners 
  • Stay Put Kitchen Towels 
  • DIY Fabric Wrist Bands 
  • DIY Monster Book Marks 
  • DIY Coffee Cozy
  • Chicken 'Pot Pie'
  • Hot Chocolate Stir Sticks 
  • Tomato Vegetable Soup with Noodles 
  • Bruschetta Chicken 
  • Holiday Chocolate Bark 
  • Apple Honey Pork Roast 
  • Baked Ravioli
  • Cashew Chicken 
  • Enchiladas 
  • And Other Various Christmas Baking If I Could Ever Make Up My Mind About What I Want!

I hope you all look forward to these upcoming posts! And remember, I am ALWAYS looking for ideas to post about! Please feel free to email me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade BBQ Meatballs

- Bread Crumbs
- 1 Egg
- Oregeno
- Dried Parsley
- BBQ Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 a Package of Ground Beef (not pictured)

What To Do:
First put your ground beef into a large bowl. Beef must be completely thawed.
Gently break up the beef into small pieces with your hands.
Add seasonings to taste.
Mix well.
Add the egg and combine with mixture until completely mixed through.
Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce and mix in.
Add enough bread crumbs to mixture until it all comes together.
Shape meatball mixture into balls of your desired size.
I was able to get 10 meatballs out of the mix.
Next, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a deep frying pan.
Once heated, place all meatballs into the pan and begin to cook.
Turn the meatballs frequently, and carefully until they are browned on every side.
Once cooked, squeeze BBQ onto the top of the meatballs. Stir carefully and turn heat to low.
Let sit until the sauce is heated onto the meatballs.

* I served my meatballs on top of white rice and stir fry vegetables. *

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

It's a chilly night out there.. so it calls for chili!

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 
  • 1 Small White Onion, Chopped Finely 
  • 1 Cup of Sliced Carrots 
  • 1/2 of a Small Red Bell Pepper, Chopped (optional)
  • 1 Can of Kidney Beans, drained (I omitted these because hubby hates them)
  • 2 Tblspns Olive Oil 
  • 2 Cups of Black Beans 
  • 1 Can of Tomatoes 
  • 1/2 Cup of Vegetable Broth 
  • 1 Tblsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tspn of Cumin 
  • 1/2 Tspn Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 Tspn of Salt
  • 1/4 Tspn of Black Pepper 
What to do:  
Start by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil for a couple of minute on medium heat. Add your sweet potatoes after the have been washed, peeled and cut into cubes. Also add your carrots and bell pepper. Continue sauteing until onions are soft. About 5 minutes or so. Add remaining ingredients  (black beans, can of tomatoes, vegetable broth, and seasonings). Stir well to combine all the spices in. Simmer covered for about 20-25 minutes on medium-high heat until sweet potatoes are soft. Place chili on low heat until ready to serve. 

This is one of my all time favorite vegetarian chili recipes. Its simple, easy, and very versatile.  
Finished Product Served With Garlic Toast. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do It Yourself ~ Festive Pillow!

What You Need :
- Festive Fabric 
- Sewing Machine 
- Pins
- Stuffing 
What To Do ;
The first step is to cut two symmetrical squares out of the fabric of your choice. 
Turn them so the patterns are facing each other and pin them in the corners and the middle to hold the pieces in place. 
Sew around each side of the fabric leaving a section opened to be able to fit your hand in. 
Turn the pillow inside right and begin stuffing to the fullness of your choice. 
Finish by sewing the leftover opening and then throw onto the sofa of your choice. 
Super cute and many different fabric choices! 

Easy Egg Salad Sandwiches

What You Need:
  • Eggs (1 egg per sandwich) 
  • Mayonaise 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion

  • Place your eggs into a pot of boiling water.
  • Boil for about 10 minutes 
  • Place in fridge or freezer until completely cool. 
  • Peel eggs and chop 
  • Add mayo, chopped onion and salt and pepper to taste to egg bowl. 
  • Mix well with a fork. 
  • Serve on bread with your favorite toppings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do It Yourself ~ Styrofoam Santa Claus


Ho! Ho! Ho!

Santa Claus is coming to town ... or at least to my tree! 

- Styrofoam Ball 
- Red Felt 
- Stuffing 
- Paint & Brushes
- Hot Glue Gun 
- Black Sharpie

 I painted the place on the ball that I wanted to be santa's face white. Once that was dry I took some of the fluff and shaped it into a beard and glued it onto the ball. I then took a circle I cut out of the red felt and I put a put in it up to the middle. I then glued some fluff onto it to make the top of the hat. I folded the felt over until it made a cone and i glued it together. Then I glued the hat to the top of the ball. I glued fluff around the rim of the hat to finish off the hat. I then added some eyes and a nose with the black sharpie. Last, but certainly not least I glued a looped ribbon onto the back of the ball to be able to hang it up. 


Do It Yourself ~ Tin Can Ornament


Use Your Recycled Items To Your Benefit


What You Need : 
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Felt For Nose 
  • Paint & Brushes
  • Ribbon For Hanging 
  • Lid From a Tin Can 
The first step is to paint your lid completely white. It took 3 coats to be to my liking. It could be more or less depending on the type of paint you use. 

Next I glued a looped ribbon to the reverse of the tin can. 
I began painting the face of mr. snowman. 
I made the eyes and mouth look uneven on purpose. 
I wanted it to look like coal, which comes in completely different sizes. 
I then glued an orange nose onto the middle of the can.
And done! 
Again, this craft has many possibilities! 
Think of all the things you could put on a round tin can. 
Endless possibilities! 

Do It Yourself ~ Lightbulb Penguin Ornaments

This is a 'Bright' Idea! 

These Christmas tree ornaments are a great way to use up old light bulbs to create an adorable penguin! Its easy, fun and looks great hanging on the Christmas tree! 

What You Need: 
- Old Light Bulb 
- Paint Brushes 
- Black and White Paint ( I also used orange paint for the nose!) 
- Scrap fabrics or Felt (for hat and scarf) (optional) 
- Ribbon for hanging 
- Hot Glue Gun

The First One I Made Hanging On The Tree

The first step in either option is to paint the whole light bulb black. I did two coats to make sure it was completely covered. For this one I used felt for the stomach and nose and I hot glued them to the bulb. I painted the eyes white and used a black marker to make the pupils. I grabbed some old Christmas fabric and I hot glued it around the end of the bulb. I then used a ribbon and tied the hat off and trimmed the loose fabric. I then hot glued a ribbon on to be able to hang it on the tree.

The Second One On The Tree.
For the second one, I started by painting the light bulb two coats of black. I painted a white circle on the bulb as a stomach. That also required two coats. When the base was dry I added two eyes and a nose with paint. I used some old green fabric to create a scarf and hot glued it on. I used some orange fabric to make a hat with hot glue just like the first one, except with this one I made a loop with some leftover fabric and glued it to the top opening of the hat for the loop to hang it.

Do It Yourself ~ Sock Snowman


There Must Have Been Some Magic In That Old Silk Hat They Found.

For me, snowmen don't just symbolize Christmas. They symbolize winter. With the temperatures dropping and the frost beginning to appear, it is only a matter of time before we have our first snowfall of the season. Tonight I decided to make a very cute snowman that can be set out year after year. I had everything on hand to make this little guy, and after a few trial and error runs I am finally ready to debut him to all of you! 

Supplies Needed: 
- Large White Sock (I used a Mens sock) 
- A Decorated Sock (I used a sock that had been missing its mate for quit some time now) 
- Needle & Thread
- Scissors
- Elastics 
- Stuffing 
- Rice 
- Scrap Fabric or Felt 

Step By Step ; 

1. Cut the ankle part off of the large white sock.
2. Cut the heel part off of the same sock. 
3. Fill the bottom of the sock with about 1 cup of uncooked rice. This will make it so the snowman can sit up by itself.
4. Stand the sock up right and fill the remainder with stuffing.
5. Use an elastic and tie the top of the sock off. 
6. Cut both end off of the decorated sock creating a tube (cut carefully! you will use all the pieces of this sock).
7. Place the tube onto the snowman's body.
8. Use 2 elastics to make the snowman's body look like 3 parts 
9. Use another elastic to tie down the extra fabric on his head. 
10. Use the toe part of the decorated sock and stitch it to the top of the snowman's head to cover the leftover sock. 
11. Use colored felt to create 2 eyes and a carrot nose and stich them to the face part of the sock. *the best part is the number of possibilities you have here. Fabric, buttons? Anything is possible!*
12. Use the last part of the decorated sock to create the snowman's hat. I used an elastic to cinch the hat.   

Homemade Meat Loaf

Ingredients Needed: 
- 1 Package of Ground Beef 
- 1 Small White Onion 
- Salt & Pepper 
- 1 Egg 
- 1/2 Cup of Bread Crumbs or Soda Crackers (crushed)

For Sauce: 
~ Equal Parts 
  - Ketchup 
  - Brown Sugar 
  - Syrup 
  - Regular Mustard (1 Tblspn)

For Sauce ; 
Combine with a whisk :
- 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Cup of Ketchup
- 1 Tblspn Regular Mustard

The Easiest Meatloaf Sauce.

For Meatloaf:
 *Make sure ground beef is completely thawed if it was previously frozen*
- First I put the ground beef into a large bowl and broke it up.  I then generously added salt and pepper.
- Next I added the finely chopped onion and mixed well.
- The egg was the next item I added and then I mixed well again.
- The bread crumbs were added to hold the meatloaf together.
- Before I placed the meat into the loaf pan I added 1/3 of the sauce we previously made.
- I mixed the meat mixture well and pressed into the loaf pan.
- I then used saran and placed the whole loaf pan into the fridge until I was ready to cook it.

Making the Meatloaf.
I placed the meatloaf into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then pulled it out. I then put half of the remaining sauce on the top of the meatloaf. Be sure to spread the sauce evenly. Pop the meat loaf back into the oven for another 20 minutes. 

Half Way Through Cooking.
 And Here Is The Final Product!

Delicious Dinner! :)

Do It Yourself ~ Wipeboard Menu Plan


"What's For Dinner?"

Do you ever get tired of hearing that question? I know I sure do! 
By making a wipe-board menu you will not be asked this question any more! 
And, it's pretty!


- Picture Frame of your choosing 
- Scrapbooking or Regular Paper
- Magazine 
- Glue Stick
- Wipe-board markers 

The first thing I did after choosing the scrapbooking paper of my liking was to trace the size of the frame onto the paper and cut it to the required size.
Next I flipped through an old magazine I had handy and cut out all different letter to spell menu. You could also write the letters on the paper yourself, use a news paper for the letters or even stickers. After cutting out my desired letters I used a glue stick and glued them to the paper. 
I next secured the paper into the frame and placed the back back on. 
Now I am able to write on the outer glass and easily wipe it off with a paper towel! 
This is honestly one of my all time favorite things I have made to date. I love the way it looks in my kitchen and it makes it a lot easier to track what we have on the menu plan for the week. 
Get crafting!