Thursday, May 31, 2012

Clay Pots adorned with mosaic glass tiles

 Steel made these perfect Clay Pots adorned with mosaic glass tiles for Gramma and me this Mother's Day.  He simply used this mosaic adhesive and glue the glass tiles around the rim of the pot.  The glue dried clear.  Didn't he do such a great job?!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clay Pot Living Wreath

I put together this wreath last year and was patiently awaiting succulents to be planted inside.  See last year's post here.  Needing lots of plants to fill the little clay pots was quite pricey so I waited and waited, hoping for a steal deal.  Imagine my surprise when I stopped by the local Lowe's last week and found tiny pots of succulents for a mere $1 a piece on clearance!!  I placed an over the door hook on our new vinyl fence and hung it for all to enjoy!  LOVE!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mexican Chicken Cheesecake Dip

Karen made this for our work Cinco de Mayo potluck.  Very different and tasty!

2 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 c hot water
3 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
5 oz. cayenne pepper sauce
2 eggs
1 c finely chopped chicken breast, see Super Easy Shredded Chicken
1 - 4oz. can of green chilies
salsa for garnish
shredded cheese for garnish
green onion for garnish

To Prepare
1.  Preheat oven to 325°F.

2.  Dissolve bouillon in hot water and set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, chili powder and hot pepper sauce until smooth. 

4.  Add eggs and mix well.

5.  Add dissolved bouillon and mix well.

6.  Stir in chilies and chicken.

7.  Pour in 9" springform pan. 

8.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center.

To Serve
1.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove sides.

2.  Top with salsa, shredded cheese and chopped green onions.

3.  Served warm or cold with tortilla chips. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Michelle's Cornbread Casserole

Neighbor Michelle made this for our Cinco de Mayo feast.  I didn't get a good picture before everyone started digging in, so this is what ya get!  YUM!

1 - 8.5 oz. pkg. of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 - 17 oz. can of cream style corn, non-strained
1 - 17 oz. can of whole kernel sweet corn
1/4 c sugar
1 c sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c butter, melted

To Prepare
1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

3.  Combine all ingreadients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

4.  Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or until top in golden brown. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Steel's First Baseball Game


Steel had his first baseball game last week.  Yes, I know, he is adorable!  

Click Read More to see more pics...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sausage Taco Dip

I tried something new with my taco dip.  Sausage!  It's very good!  

Click Read More for the recipe

Monday, May 14, 2012

Avery's Stuffed Giraffe

A giraffe to coordinate with Avery's Baby Quilt and Elephant.  More difficult than anticipated.  I do love how it coordinates with the other gifts.  

Click Read More for How To...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Taco Dip Cups

Ingredients - Makes 16 individual dip cups
3 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 - large ripe avocado, peeled 
2 - 12 oz containers of sour cream
1 - 12 oz salsa
1 - 8 oz shredded Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 - pkt all seasons Italian dressing mix
1 tsp lemon juice
16 - clear plastic cups
3 - gallon size ziploc bags
tortilla chips for dipping

To Prepare
1.  Place 2 packages of cream cheese and 1/3 cup of salsa in a ziploc bag and knead until mixed.  Trim corner off ziploc bag and squeeze 16 equal amounts into bottom of cups.  

2.  Mix avocado, 1 package cream cheese, 1 - 12 oz container of sour cream and pkt of good seasoning Italian seasoning in a medium bowl.  Place mixture in a ziploc bag, snip off a corner and squeeze into cups on top of cream cheese mixture.  See avocado dip.  

3.  Place remaining sour cream in a ziploc bag and squeeze into cups on top of avocado.

4.  Pour salsa into cups on top of sour cream.

5.  Top off cups with shredded cheese.

6.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Avery's Stuffed Elephant

So, I had this bright idea to make coordinating stuffed animals to coordinate with Avery's Baby Quilt.  I used leftover fabric from the quilt that I chose based on my friend nursery theme of aqua blue and zoo animals. was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated!  I had it all mapped out in my mind and in theory it works out great but for a first timer, well, let's just say it was not a beginner project for myself at least.  As long as you don't look too's great!  LOL.  

Click Read More for my master plan put into action...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Avery's Personalized Baby Quilt

My friend had her baby and I have had quite an eventful week trying to get all the gifts I had planned made.  I was battling with my sewing machine, there seems to be something wrong with the tension, I think I may have to break down and have it looked at.  I will try stopping by the sewing machine shop first and see if there is something that I can try myself first.  My friend's mother is a seamstress, I will give her strict orders not to let her mom inspect my creations!  But...I finally finished.  I get to meet Avery today!

This is the embroidered quilt that I made for him...

My friend painted her nursery an aqua blue and was going with the zoo animal theme.  I am hoping that it (and other gifts) will go well. 

I also made coordinating stuffed animals...  I will post on them soon.  Those were an adventure themselves!  They were a first for myself and boy, they were doo-sies!  I had a great idea but let's just say, I learned a lot!  Again, Gramma can't look too close!  I think it is safe to say that Avery is my practice child.  lol.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mexican Shredded Beef for Tacos

My co-workers and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a pot luck luncheon last Friday.  And my family and I celebrated at home with a backyard FIESTA on Saturday!  I will be posting many recipes to come...Stay Tuned!!!

4 lbs Chunk of Beef, See Shredded Beef and Pot Roast posts, any cut of beef will do!
1 pkt Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 T Chili Powder (I used Mexican Chili Powder, only because I happened to find it)
1 T Ground Cumin
1 T Minced Garlic
1 T Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 (12oz.) can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes

To Prepare
1.  Prepare Roast in a crockpot per Pot Roast recipe with Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  (I did this overnight.) 

2.  Shred beef with forks (or hands), this should fall apart very easily.

3.  Pour off excess liquid, keeping approximately 1 - 1 1/2 inch(es) of liquid in the bottom of the crockpot. 

4.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

5.  Return lid to crockpot and keep on low for a couples hours prior to serving.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Project Privacy Fence - Phase I Complete

I personally think that the chain link fence in front is a nice touch but it will be removed... =)
The hub finished installing our new privacy fence!  We only purchased enough to fence one side of our backyard due to budget constraints, we are hoping the finish the other two sides next spring although the roof may take presidence.  We found our vinyl (PVC) fencing at Wayside Fence.  Wayside is located in New York and including shipping, we saved mucho deniro!  For example, 80 feet of fencing at local DIY store was $3200, Wayside delivered it ($300 shipping) for $1800!  Yeah us!  We are very pleased with the quality as well.  And the BEST part?  Zero maintenance! 

Coming soon...
Phase II - Remove Chain Link Fence
Phase III - Concrete area from drive to fence

Click Read More for more pictures

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Adorable Crocheted Giraffe Baby Hat

Giraffe Hat Newborn Baby Hat, crochet Newborn Hat, Crochet baby Hat Photo Prop

I just had to post on this adorable hat that I found at 2badmonkies on Etsy.  Love, Love, Love!  Check out Isabel's shop here.  I am gifting this to someone special who is due to arrive any day.  I can't wait to see him/her wear it!  The mom-to-be decked out the nursery with a zoo animal theme and I thought this would fit in perfect! 

Baby Avery

Giraffe Hat Newborn Baby Hat, crochet Newborn Hat, Crochet baby Hat Photo Prop

Friday, May 4, 2012

Project Garden: Step One

I have never had a garden before.  Never.  We are attempting it for the first time this year.  We have much to do since we have decided to build our own box garden.  First things first...Steel and I needed to plant our seeds.

I bought a few Jiffy Plant Starter Kits at Walmart for $8, so not the Amazon price!  These are great because they have peat pellets that expand when watered and you can plant the seeds right in them and transfer to your garden when ready.  I also bought these so that I could reuse the greenhouses and buy peat pellet refills for the years to come.

According to the directions, you are to plant three seeds in each, I assume that it would then be the survival of the fittest once germination occurs.  The directions didn't go into detail on that part.

We planted:
Beefsteak Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Green Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers

Stay tuned...I will let you know how our gardening project progresses.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

So easy and delicious!  You can make it to your own liking as you would an omelet.  This recipe fits an 8x8 baking pan, double the recipe for a 9x13 pan.  

Click Read More for recipe...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vanilla Scented Painting

I am pretty used to the smell of paint (I work with it). The fumes still get to me from time to time, especially when closed up indoors for hours (painting).

I just got this great tip from a neighbor...

Add several drops of vanilla extract to your gallon of paint to mask the head-aching paint fumes.  It's that easy folks!  Give it a whirl!

Vanilla scent or no vanilla scent, I cannot wait until this house is painted!  =)