Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Old School Christmas. . .

Due to our living in limbo circumstances this year I found myself in a Christmas decorating quandary. . .

I am not about to drag all of the decorations out of the Great Pile at the farm, but I realize that my kids need a Christmas. I can't be a complete Scrooge!

In a moment of inspiration I decided that I would grab the 4ft pre-lit tree and then let my kids make all of the decorations this year.

The first thing we are starting with is salt dough ornaments.

You will need:

1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Lukewarm Water

Knead for 10 minutes.

The end result should feel exactly like playdough.

I then hit up the playdough box and found a collection of shapes and old cookie cutters.

The kidos rolled out their dough. . .

Cut out some shapes. . .

Good job, Buddy!

Make a hole in the top BEFORE baking. . .

The girl went for a cute tree. . .

Place them on cookie sheets and then it's into the oven. . .

200 degrees for 4-6 hours

Do to the long baking time I'll be back tomorrow for the decorating. . .See ya!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Edition of Crafty Wednesday. . .

For this week's layouts I once again found myself with pictures from Morgan's second year. . .

She was (ok, and still is) such a sweet little thing. . .

When she was just over two my good friend decided to be brave and have her as a flower girl.

She did way better than I thought she would. . .She loved every minute of it!

I started these cards by just pulling out two stamp sets and a bunch of different ink.

I stamped a lot of leaves. . . more than I could use, but they were so fun!

And so pretty. . .and so easy. . .

I then just left them on my table for a few days and kept rearranging them as I walked by. . .

I then added fall paper and stamped/embossed sentiments. . .

I like this on the best. . . do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taming Amish Friendship Bread. . .

Once upon a time I was given a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter from a coworker. 
I was new to town. . . I only knew coworkers. . .I came home and did the squish and add thing and then had no one to give my new bags to. . .hmmm. . .

 I decided to go online and find out if you can freeze the starter. Yes!

Once upon a time I had 3 bags of starter already in my freezer.
 I took one out and started at day 1. . .again with the 10 day squish and add thing. . . 

 I now had 6 bags of starter for my freezer. . .

 I decided to run an experiment and just pull a bag of starter out of the freezer, let it warm up for 24ish hours and then use the "to the remaining starter add" part of the recipe. It worked beautifully! Now I just pull  some starter from the freezer and if I start running low then I do the 10 day process to replenish my stash.

Once upon a time I wanted to enhance the deliciousness of this bread. . .I added streusel. . .
I know, I am a culinary genius. . . .

To test my recipe I gave some baked bread to my sister-in-law. . .
She asked me to bring her a bag of starter. . .
I think that proves my point. . . . Streusel = Yummm

Here is the lineup of ingredients.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and dust 2 greased loaf pans.
 Reserve remaining sugar mixture.


Mix all ingredients together in a nonmetal bowl with a nonmetal spoon.
(not sure why. . .chemistry. . .whatever. . .)

Spread evenly into the 2 loaf pans.

To reserved sugar mixture add 1/4 cup flour and 3 TBSP softened butter.

Walk on the wild side and let your 3 year old son mix it. . .

If you are feeling wild and crazy, allow him to mix it one handed 
on the edge of the table while you take pictures. . .

It might not have ended well. . .

But it did. . .

I do wild and crazy things when I don't get any sleep.

Sprinkle evenly over batter and bake at 325 for 1 hour.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn out and allow to cool as long as you can stand it. 

Devour as much as you want, 'cause you made it and you know how to make more. . .Amen.

Here is a printable link for my recipe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Feel Like I Am Pregnant. . .

I am not. . .let's just clear that up. . .but I feel like I am.

I am expecting.

Almost seven years ago, in February, 2005,  I was lying in the spare bedroom in my mom's house wishing I could be back on the East coast and closer to family. While I was lying there a little inaudible voice said, "How about Kentucky?"


For the next 5 years and 5 months we had MANY ups and downs, open doors and closed doors,  joys and tremendous heartaches. . .On July 23, 2010 we drove out of the place we had called home for the past 11 years.

On January 7, 2011 we saw the place God had prepared for us for the first time. . . Through our own choosing we will not be moving in for another few months yet. That is where the pregnant feeling comes in. Our future life is waiting. . .the adventure is just about to begin. . .just past the bend in this road is the place we will call home. . .

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  
 Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sweet Treats and Monsters. . .

This layout is done with last years "Hooligans" paper packet from Close To My Heart. I love it when you find papers that perfectly match your pictures. . .or pictures that perfectly match your papers. . .
I do things backwards like that. . .

I love Prisma glitter. I used a glue pen to go over my stamp and my accent strip 
and then sprinkled on the glitter. . . Boo

I love these little sparkly monsters!

And here is this week's card. . .I need to find someone worthy of this sweet little card. . .

PS. If your are interested in any of the supplies used to make these or any of my previously featured layouts or cards feel free to contact me or click on the link at the top of the page. . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

Pepperoni Rolls were a part of growing up in WV. 

They were on the cafeteria lunch menu. They were sold as fundraisers for sports and band
 (if you were a band geek. . .not saying that I was. . . but if you were. . .eh-hem).
 You could even buy sub par versions at the grocery store.

I took them for granted.

I moved to CA.

There were no pepperoni rolls.

No one knew what they were. 

Apparently the pepperoni roll was developed in WV! Who knew! 
Here is a link to their history. . .

I decided to figure out a way to make this comfort food at home without having to spend all day. There are probably some cafeteria ladies really offended by my version, but I am very happy with my pint sized bundles of joy.

All you need is a bag of frozen roll dough, a block of mozzarella, and some pepperoni.

Cut the bag open and allow the dough to thaw for 30-45 min. 
You want it to thaw enough to stretch them out,
 but still cold enough that the dough doesn't get really sticky.

Meanwhile, cut enough of the cheese to equal the number of dough balls.

Assemble your ingredients. . .try to keep grubby hands out of them. . .I failed. . .miserably. . .

Note: I usually buy more cheese and pepperoni than I need just for this reason.

Stretch out a dough ball.

Add three slices of pepperoni.

And a stick of cheese.

And  roll it up.  

Being careful to seal the edges well.

Ta Da. . .

Line them up on a cookie sheet and let them rest for about 20 min. 
They won't really rise, but it will  make a softer roll.

Place them in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 min.

Then commence to devour enough to make your tummy oh so very happy. 

These are perfect for after school snacks,  Super Bowl parties, or any other time you want to be the favorite person in the room.

Make them for the men in your life. . . you won't be sorry. . .and you will thank me. . .

Here is a link to my printable recipe.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Came Home To This. . .

There is nothing as sweet as a sleeping child, and there is nothing that makes my breath catch quite 
like the sight of the wedding ring on my man's hand. . .and when you combine the two. . .

Be still, my beating heart!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Close To My Heart November Campaign

I wanted to start including links to the products that I am using and special upcoming deals. . .
 I just got my hands on this new stamp set and can't wait to get started using it!

Make your wish come true this November with an exclusive stamp set at an incredible discount.

November 2011 Constant Campaign: Holiday Wishes

When you place a minimum order of $25 in My Acrylix® stamp sets* between November 1–30, you can add a new D-size Holiday Wishes stamp set for only $5! That’s a significant savings off the full retail value of $17.95 US / $19.95 CAN. You may buy one Holiday Wishes stamp set for every $25 in qualifying stamp sets you purchase. As a creative bonus, many of the images in the set coordinate with our Cricut® Art Philosophy cartridge for added cutting and stamping fun!

Here is a link to the flier that has an image of the stamp set.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Daughter is a Jack-O-Lantern. . .

My daughter was sitting next to me on the couch yesterday afternoon. . . 

Yes, we were still in our pajamas. I had been averaging 4.75 hours of sleep for the past five days.

And, yes, in my sleep deprived stupor I decided it would be fun to do the math. 

Due to my distinctive lack of vigor, she and I decided to take a vacation from school this week. 
I had slept off a night shift in the morning. . .once again getting 4.75 hours of interrupted  sleep 
(notice there was no "un" in the front of that word. . .that "un" would have been nice. . . real nice). 
We were being cozy and  we were looking at Pinterest. 

Pinterest is good. Pinterest is great. I am an addict.

 The first step is acknowledging you have a problem. 

I have a problem.

Well, anyway, we were looking at Pinterest and my daughter was multitasking with one of her favorite pastimes. . .wiggling her tooth. All of a sudden I hear, "Oh, oh, oh!!!

I have often looked at other peoples elementary aged children and their mouths full of mismatched teeth and spaces and thought how weird it would be to have one of those.

I have one of those, and she is great. I love her more each day. 

Even though she is a Jack-O-Lantern.

Next installment on Crafty Wednesday

These pictures are of a trip my mom and I took with the kids to Crossville, TN. 
We had just packed up all of our belongings and driven cross country. Wayne went back to CA.
 I had then spent two weeks trying to fit all of our stuff into various corners of various houses. . . 

This Mama desperately needed a break! 

It was a fun week of just being lazy, going to the pool or the lake and the playground. 
We did drive to Chattanooga one day and went to the Children's Museum and the Aquarium. 
It was such a nice time. I would love to go again.

And now a few cards. . .

The thread bow and balloon stings on this birthday card were not even a little bit easy to do, 
but I really like the way it turned out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ode to the Apple. . .

This is an apple. This is my FAVORITE apple. This is the apple that I am OBSESSED with. This is the apple that I do a happy dance when I see it in the stores in late September. This is the apple that I buy 10 at a time. This is the apple that I hoard in my crisper drawer. 

This is an Ambrosia apple. . .


 [am-broh-zhuh]  Show IPA
Classical Mythology. the food of the gods. Compare nectar(def. 3).
something especially delicious to taste or smell.

It is sweet & tart. Crisp & juicy. NEVER mealy! And best of all doesn't brown easily after cutting. 

(Andrew left a bowl of slices on the counter and they were still white by the end of the day. . .
Apple Waster. SACRILEGE!!! He needs a whoopin')

As far as this girl is concerned, this apple really is the food of the gods. . . Perhaps if one were to dig deeper into my obsession one would note that I had the first bite of one of these beauties when I was pregnant with my daughter. . .that might explain a lot. I ate at least one a day throughout my pregnancy. Each year I look forward to seeing them in the stores (they are only available seasonally) and wipe a stray tear from my eyes in about March when they are gone. . .

(Side note: my daughter has eaten some form of apple almost every day of her 7 years)

Due to that first chance meeting in the Stater Brothers produce section I have cut up more than a few apples in those eight years. I would now like to share my technique. 

WARNING! This just might be life changing for some of you.

Step 1. Take an apple and a knife. . .no fancy-shmancy gadgets here.

Step 2. Cut along the core.

Step 3. Rotate the apple and cut along the core.

Step 4. Repeat.

Step 5. Repeat

Step 6. Slice. 

You might ask how this is life changing? This process takes about 30 seconds. To a mom of small kids. . .the quicker you can go from a whole apple to a sliced apple. . .the quicker you can go from this. . .

To this. . .

And this. . .

The better your life will be.

The End.

PS. If you want to learn more about the story of these apples. . .