Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY 1st Birthday Shirt

It's incredible to think that our sweet little grand baby has been part of our lives for an entire year already.  I thought my own kids grew up/were growing up fast.  This year just flew by!  But there he is, running around the house (and I do mean running - I think he went from crawling to a full out run) and making us laugh every day. 

For his birthday I decided to make him a special 1st birthday t-shirt. 

I was inspired to create this special birthday shirt by another blog.  I'm pretty sure it was CampClem.

To create a shirt you will need:

1 or 2 light weight fabric (I suggest bright colors or prints)
1 plain cotton t-shirt
an iron

Prewash the t-shirt.
Following the instruction on the HeatnBond, apply it to the back of the fabric.

Draw or trace the number onto the paper of the HeatnBond - backwards!!  (if you draw it the right way, it will come out backwards on the shirt!) .  Cut around the lines of your drawing or tracing.

If you are using two fabrics - iron the number onto the front of the second fabric.  Apply HeatnBond to back of second fabric according to package instructions.  Cut around number leaving a margin to create a border from the second fabric.  Remove HeatnBond paper backing. 

Position the number where you want it on the front of the t-shirt and iron according to HeatnBond package instructions.

And "Ta Da!" 1 cute shirt for 1 cute birthday boy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Chili Today

One of my favorite cold weather meals is a good pot of chili.  It's so versatile.  And people who really love their chili can argue about what does or does not make a good (or even a real) chili.  Yes, I add beans to mine.  With no apologies to all my Texan ancestors. 

I've played with my chili recipes over the years.  I've added many different experimental ingredients. 

This is my basic chili recipe:

1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 large can tomato puree
1 large can crushed tomatoes
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp ground cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
chili powder (to taste)

Brown ground turkey or beef with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Drain and return to pot. 

Drain beans and add to ground meat

Add tomatoes

Add seasonings.  Stir thoroughly to mix.
Bring to a slow boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 1 to 2 hours (or longer)

(I like mine with some grated cheese, sour cream, and a side of tortilla chips)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Little Monster

The adorable little red monster isn't the only favorite in our house.  There is another little monster.  A little green guy with one eye.  Hangs out with a big fuzzy teal and purple fellow.  In a movie named after their particular species.  I'm not going to name him either.  You know, copyrights and all that.

Anyway...  he also inspired a hat for the grand baby.  And if I liked the hat in honor of the little red monster - well then, I love this one!

The Grand Baby loves it too!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little Red Monster

The grand baby is currently fond of an adorable furry little red monster who shall remain un-named.  I think it's some sort of rite of passage stage of toddlerhood.  Both my offspring went through  a period of admiration for the little fellow.  And let's face it - he is pretty cute!

In honor of the grand baby's quickly approaching birthday - I decided a hat representing his favorite monster was in order. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One of My Secrets to Marital Bliss

If I want to make The Man of the House happy  - it can be as simple as an easy peasy banana pudding.

The straight from a bunch of boxes kind.  Yes, I know many of you are clicking away from this page right now.  That's OK.  For those of you at ease with less than completely from scratch - read on!

You'll need a box of vanilla wafer cookies (or as we call 'em where I'm from  - 'nilla wafers), about 6 large bananas - sliced, 2 boxes of vanilla pudding, milk, cool whip topping, and mini marshmallows.

Mix up two boxes of instant vanilla pudding with the milk according to package directions.

Make a layer of vanilla wafer cookies in the bottom of your casserole dish.  Top layers using 1/2 of each of the pudding, bananas, and cool whip.  Make another layer of vanilla wafers. Repeat layers, ending with cool whip.  Sprinkle top with mini marshmallows. 

The whole thing takes me about 15 minutes to put together (including letting the pudding sit in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes).  

Easy, yummy, and makes my man happy.  All of which makes me happy!

What is your favorite simple dessert to make for a loved one?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Living Room: Almost Complete!!

It's been a while since I put up any updates about the living room remodel.  The major work is complete!  We are still working on some things:  painting the trim in the foyer, building the surround for the fireplace, a shelf topper for the new 1/2 wall by the stairs, etc.  But I loooooove how it has turned out!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mozzarella Broiled Tomatoes

I'm a big fan of the tomato.  Raw - sliced, diced, chopped.  Cooked into soups, chili, gumbo, or a sauce.  But I was wanting something a little different.  Not raw - but something simple.  The answer which came to me was a basic broiled tomato.

I took Roma tomatoes and cut them in half.  A little salt, a little pepper, a little drizzle of olive oil.  I broiled the tomato halves for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkled each half with a bit of shredded mozzarella, then back under the broiler for another 3 minutes until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

These were delicious with The Perfectly Cooked Salmon

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simple Ribbon Wreath for Valentine's Day

I've been mentally creating this simple ribbon wreath for a while now.  With Valentine's Day now less than a month away, it seemed like the perfect time to bring it out of the abstract and finally craft it. 

I began with a simple embrodery hoop.  This gives you two rings, so you can create two wreaths with an expense of less than $4 for the bases.

Gather several spools of ribbon.  Differing colors, widths, and texture.

Cut the ribbon into 6 inch lengths.

Begin tying the ribbon onto the ring. 

Every so often slide the ribbon ties close together.  You want them nice and squished up together to get a full wreath.

Voila!  Easy peasy!  And adorable!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Perfectly Cooked Salmon

I first saw this on Pinterest.  I can't recall now exactly where or who had pinned it.  (sorry!)  But I love salmon, and knew I had to give it a try. 

Sometimes figuring out the right cooking time for salmon can be tricky.  And to be honest, I had doubts about this cooking method also.  But I was willing to give it a try.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper

Place salmon fillets on baking sheet

Salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. (add any other seasonings you desire)

Place baking sheet in cold oven.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Leave salmon in oven a total of 25 minutes, including preheat time.

Despite any doubts I had, the salmon turned out beautifully - and delicious!
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