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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garden Shed to Play House

I went to visit my family 2 months ago. We hadn't been there in almost a year and were very eager to get back and see all the projects my sister had tackled on her new house. They purchased a garden shed that looks like a cute house to act as a play house for my nieces. My sister had spray painted the doors and around the windows to make it look more inviting to kids. I opened it up and it looked like a shed. I asked, "Do you plan on painting it? Or decorating it at any time?" My sister quickly replied, "Yes! I would love to, But it just seems so hard to find the time, and it would be a 2 day job with just me." This week I was visiting was the first week in a few months that she didn't have 12 things going on all at once. I said, "Why don't we do it while I'm here?! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to help and make it a surprise for the girls!" A little back ground on me. I come from a long line of when there is something said we should do, WE DO IT NOW, we don't wait for 1 second! So I said, "let's do it tomorrow!" AND WE DID! It was a complete surprise! The girls LOVED IT! Take a look! We were so excited how it turned out! It looked definitely like a garden shed full of toys when we got there. It sure looks like a fun play house now! 

First time to see the "play house"

We cleared it out for painting!

My sister previously had this mail box installed and designed, the bottom 4x4 was still brown. So we painted it with extra paint from inside! It looked SO much better, and more kid friendly!

We talked about it and my sister decided she wanted the back wall to be solid turquoise and the walls on the sides to be striped. It was nice because the garden shed was already separated into thirds so we just followed the lines!

We didn't want to go in between the lines, one it would take FOREVER, but it looked like slats, on a picket fence! SO CUTE!

The day before we painted we were tossing back and forth ideas on how to decorate it and make it fun. I said banners are HUGE right now, what about a fun banner for both sides that had all the colors we want to add in it! We cut 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper into triangles and laminated them! We left about 1 in of plastic lamination on top to punch holes and string ribbon through. It looked amazing! And it was SO easy!

My sister already had these bow "topiaries" that she wasn't using. One of the girls used them in her room but she changed the room decor later. So it was PERFECT to use these in the play house! They were the perfect colors!

Out the door were these rectangle stones. We decided to paint a rug on them! I wanted to go over the crack with the "fringe" but my sister said, "don't go over, if we want to change them later I can just turn these 6 over!" I thought, "GENIUS!" 

In the windows we made fake "valences" for the windows! We had extra triangles from the banners all we did was tape them to the window! It made it SO fun!

The back window was tricky, it can slide up to let air in. So we simply taped the triangles to the plexi glass that moved up and down!

The finished look! The furniture MADE the whole play house!

Inside the house above the door we used more extra triangles from the banner and wrote in permanent marker the initials of all her girls. Their mark is made! This is THEIR play house! SO fun! My sister has 5 girls, all ranging from the ages 18 to 9. They are all AMAZING!

I was so excited it all worked out and my sister and I were able to get it all done within a matter of minutes before the girls got home from school! LITERALLY! We were running and putting the paint away, cleaning up the supplies etc. We grabbed a glass of water, still in our paint clothes and they walked in! WHEW! Talk about a close one! 
It was a fantastic surprise!

Linking up here

Monday, April 29, 2013

Strawberry Breakfast "Frosting"

Happy Monday to you all! I wanted to start this week off with an AWESOME recipe I made up. The other day we were all very hungry around dinner time but nothing sounded good. Doesn't everyone have one of those days now and then? Well I just thought, how about breakfast for dinner, it's fast and easy! I much prefer waffles over pancakes any day so we made some of our Bran and Wheat Waffles! I wanted to try something new so I thought what if we made a breakfast "frosting?" What would that turn out like? Well I am VERY pleased to tell you, it was FABULOUS! Subtle, sweet and wonderful! I kept thinking, I have GOT to make this for when family comes to visit! Its a fun way to spruce up a normal breakfast and have more options for toppings. I don't know what it is about the name, but "frosting" just makes it sound more fun and decedent  Check it out! You will not be disappointed. 

Strawberry Breakfast "Frosting"

15 Strawberries - (frozen makes it thicker like a smoothie- when thawed its runnier but just as delicious!)
3 oz. Cream Cheese
1 c. Milk
1/3 c. Sugar

If using fresh strawberries, cut the green stem off and rinse. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle over your favorite waffles or pancakes! DELISH!

* I was just thinking- this would also be an AWESOME fruit dip! I will definitely try it when I make this again! 

Linking up here

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Soup in a Jar Gift

I took this to a family who recently had a baby boy. I was so excited to have this recipe on hand and a jar to just throw it in. It is a GREAT soup, I always make the soup mixes before I give them to people to make sure they taste good. Wouldn't that be awful giving someone a soup that tasted bad or didn't work?! I would feel TERRIBLE! Well this one is good and EASY. All the recipient has to do is add water, carrots and celery! I make these in bulk so whenever you want, you can leave one on someone's door, give to someone sick, or a new addition to a family. I made 5 of these for my mom's Christmas present last year! She loves them! An easy meal you just throw into a pot of water! Make someone's day by giving them a Soup in a Jar!

Soup in a Jar Mix:

Place in order into the Jar:

3 T. Chicken Bouillon Granuels
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp. Celery Salt
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
3 T. Onion Flakes
Tri-colored Rotini Pasta- Fill to the top- About 3-4 cups

On the recipe you give with the jar:

Add noodle soup to a pot of 10 c. of water. Add 2 diced carrots and 2 diced stalks of celery. Drain the can of chicken and add to the soup. Simmer for 15-20 min. Enjoy!

I put 6 strands of twine to hold it all together- I wish I would have done 8. I didn't have ribbon long enough. If using a thicker ribbon you won't have to put so many around. Putting the can of chicken on the bottom makes it more of a complete soup gift.

The blue bow on top for the family who just had a baby boy! A complete gift for any occasion!

Linking up here

Friday, April 26, 2013

Skinny Alfredo & Spinach Sauce

I made this with our Lemon Parmesan Chicken a week or so go and it was FABULOUS! I wanted an alfredo sauce that was flavorful without being super fattening. I did it! Check it out! This is a winner all the way! You can eat Spinach Alfredo sauce and never feel guilty about it! Isn't that something we all want?! This is a simple sauce that can dress up your favorite pasta! Mine is Angel Hair! And man was it good! Try it tonight with your family! This is sure to be a hit!

Skinny Alfredo & Spinach Sauce

1 Large Garlic Clove -minced finely
1 Heaping handful of spinach rinsed and ripped
1 T. Flour
3 T. Water
1 tsp. Olive Oil
3/4 c. Milk
1/3 c. Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Lemon Juice

In a skillet saute your minced garlic clove in the olive oil. While cooking make your "paste" to thicken the sauce by taking a small bowl and add your flour and water. Whisk flour and water together until smooth. When garlic is fragrant and golden add your milk, parmesan cheese, salt and lemon juice. When all combined add your flour, water "thickener." Cook on Medium to prevent from thickening too fast. keep stirring and add your rinsed and ripped spinach. Cook in the sauce until desired tenderness, and the sauce is thickened to your liking. Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta! DELISH! 

*The spinach cooks down VVVEERRRRYYYY quickly! So if you want it gooey and mushy add in and let cook a couple min. If you want a little chewy, add at the very end. Everyone likes it differently. 

Linking up here

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mirror Makeover

This mirror was a part of a vanity. It had 2 folding mirrors on both sides. We took it off the dresser (in the back ground) and attached a strong "hanger" on the back to put it up on the wall. It was originally a "medium" orangey brown. I painted it white. Then it disappeared into my cream wall! What was I to do?! My husband and I had just decided when we were to move from this base we would just get rid of it. I looked at mirrors all around. They are pricey! So I took a good LONG look at my mirror and thought of how I could "dress it up." I found a pad of scrapbook paper on sale for $2 that was normally $10! AMAZING! And I was EATING up all the fun designs of paper it had! So I thought, and thought, "Hey!" The inside ridge can be mod podged with this fun paper! And I can paint the top and bottom inside ridge! YAY! So I did it! Super easy and now my husband said "hey this is a nice mirror now! We should hang on to this!" I quickly agreed!

Here is the mirror- plain Jane white. The scrapbook paper pad I found on sale! Gorgeous I know!

I measured the inside ridge I wanted to cover with the paper. I measured it out onto the 12x12 sheet, and cut strips to fit.

Uh, Oh, I had ugly "seams" showing from the paper meeting up! What was I to do?! How about cover them up and make them look continuous?! I think that is a great idea!

I took an extra strip of the paper I accidentally cut out, and started cutting all the "Whole Leaves" out to fix the "seams." Like so...

You see a seam....

Now you don't! YAY!

I put mod podge all along the papers to secure it down. One coat underneath to make it stick, and one coat on top.

When the mod podge was dry I painted the top and bottom ridge. This was my first attempt at a grey. I ended up going darker. 

Voila! Take a look at that! A mirror that disappeared to fun and fabulous!

Linking up here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crock Pot Black Bean Chicken

I have made this 4 times in the last 2 weeks. CRAZY I know. We made it for 2 families. One family had a baby and another family had an emergency. I made it just for us and am making it again today for my parents! This is one of our most versatile and favorite meals! This is amazing for tacos, perfect for stuffing enchiladas or burritos. This is AMAZING on salads, I mean the options are endless. I have made this recipe for years and we've never gotten tired of it. I tweaked it over and over again until we came up with this! It's perfect! I know I have already said this, but it is a GREAT meal your family and friends will love! And best yet, you make it in the morning and never have to answer the evening dreaded question "WHAT'S FOR DINNER?!" And answer "I don't know." You can simply say.... "Crock Pot Black Bean Chicken! Do you want tacos, enchiladas, burritos or taco salad?!" YUM!

Crock Pot Black Bean Chicken

2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans black beans - drained and rinsed
2-3 T. Taco Seasoning
2 c. Chicken Broth - water and chicken bouillon works great

Place chicken breasts in a greased crock pot. Pour black beans, taco seasoning and chicken broth over all. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-6. When done, take 2 table forks and shred the chicken in the "juices." This keeps the chicken super moist and flavorful. Remove for your tacos or burritos with a slotted spoon! Enjoy!

*As an option you can add 1/2 c. salsa in the crock pot for extra flavor. It has plenty without, but is a zesty way to switch it up. 

Linking up here

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Make Your Jeans Skinny

I've been wanting another pair of skinny jeans for a while now. But then suddenly, my mind went into budget mode and I thought of 2 other pairs of jeans that I rarely wear that I could MAKE into skinny jeans! TA DA! I instantly made up my mind to make it work! AND IT DID! YAY! I was so excited! Not one penny out of pocket and just the way I wanted them! Take a look! Make some jeans skinny today!

My pair of skinny jeans I wanted to "mimic." The pair with the cuffs on the bottom are the skinny jeans. 

Turn the pair you want to make skinny inside out.

Place the jeans you wand to mimic on top. 
* Make sure the INSIDE seams of the jeans match up like so. A dear friend of mine taught me that all jeans have a straight inside seam. The side seams are where the "hip" and "flair" designs are.

Pin all along side the skinny jeans where you will sew. Don't forget to make it a gradual/soft way into the original seam. Like the orange pin you see, it slowly goes into the original side seam.

When done sewing, try on the jeans to make sure the sides are even and feel right! If not, make adjustments and sew again. When satisfied, cut the excess jean off. 

TA DA! You're very own skinny jeans! Worthy of being right out of the store!

Linking up here

Monday, April 22, 2013

4 Ingredient BBQ Smokies

I love to have little smokies for BBQ's, General Conference, Parties, Super Bowls etc. This isn't much and I am sure everyone knows how to make these, but this is my favorite recipe for BBQ smokies, and it's only 4 ingredients! If you love BBQ sauce this is JUST right for you! Make these for any occasion and blow people away! These are DELISH!

4 Ingredient BBQ Smokies

1 pkg cheddar smokies- (These are FABULOUS! I can't go back to original!)
1 c. favorite BBQ sauce - We love Sweet Baby Rays
1 T. Heinz 57 sauce - this gives it a little Zip!
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder

Place smokies in a greased crock pot. In a bowl combine sauces and garlic powder; pour over the smokies. Cook on Low for 3 hours or High for 2. Every once in a while stir to prevent the BBQ sauce from burning on the sides. 

Linking up here

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lemon Parmesan Chicken

I have been CRAVING Italian food like CRAZY for the past week or so. I made up a recipe for this lemon parmesan chicken. It was fabulous! I love when things work out the way I want them to! About a year or so ago we had a military spouse night where we all bring things according to the hostess’s “theme.” Well this night’s theme was Italian. She made a lemon chicken and some spinach angel hair pasta! IT WAS WONDERFUL! She has since moved and I remembered the great food we had that night. I couldn't get a hold of her to get the recipe. So I had to come up with one myself! Check THIS OUT! It tastes as good as it looks. As we were eating my husband asked, “Can we have this again soon?” It was THAT good! Home run all the way!

Lemon Parmesan Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts (we cut 2 larger chicken breasts in half to get the perfect sized portion so 4 "halves" all together. You can use as many as you want!)
1/3 c. Lemon Juice
Parmesan Cheese
Lemon Pepper

In a greased baking dish place chicken breasts. Pour in the 1/3 c. Lemon Juice. Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over all the chicken breasts. Dash a few lemon pepper sprinkles. Cover the baking dish with foil. Cook at 350 for about 45-50 min. Until chicken is done. Garnish with parsley. Serve with your favorite Italian noodles! DELISH!

Linking up here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Airplane Baby Moblie

I have been wanting to tackle this project for months. I finally did it! I've been waiting for a Saturday that didn't have anything going on to do this. I had the picture in my head of what I wanted it to be. It turned out quite well if I do say so my self. I wanted it to go with the theme of my baby boy's room. 
Airplanes and helicopters. 

I love being an Air Force wife. My husband is in Security Forces with the Tactical Response Force team. They fly in the helicopters and repel out when needed and are the eyes above to watch the convoys. I never realized until we got into the military that everyone in the Air Force doesn't fly! I thought the Army was on the ground with the Marines, Navy in the water and Air Force all in the AIR! Well that is just not so. There is a job of every kind in every branch of military! I thought about it and in the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise is in the Navy and he flies! Kind of funny. Any way I love being in the Air Force, and my husband having the opportunity to have a job that allows him to fly in helicopters when hardly anyone in the Air Force does!

So here it is! The airplane and helicopter mobile! It makes my sweet Connor's room! Check it out!

I found these darling airplanes at Walmart for $1 in the craft section. I grabbed 2 and painted them with acrylic paint.

At Walmart I also purchased a plastic yellow embroidery hoop for $2. I wanted the hoop to he able to be tightened! It will keep the fishing line in place and not slide around! Genius I know! 

I started out by grabbing some heavy duty fishing line, the wooden airplanes are kinda heavy and I didn't want them falling on my baby! So the stronger the better I thought. I cut the fishing line to the length I wanted and tied it through the Helicopter. And tied a good knot around the hoop. I would hold the hoop up after every tie to make sure that is where I wanted it, and if not, I would adjust.

I then tied a shorter length for the airplane. Since this wooden airplanes didn't have anywhere to attach the fishing line through, I tied it around and secured it with hot glue so it wasn't going anywhere. I attached it to the hoop and held it up to make sure that's where I wanted it to fall.

I also tied the fishing line around this plastic "stealth" air craft, and also put some hot glue on it. (I the helicopter and "stealth" plane came from a box of plastic army men I got for my husband for Christmas as a gag gift. It worked out for me and this project!)
When I was done tying all different lengths of fish line to the  4 different "air crafts" I held it all up and made sure that is where I wanted them all. I then cut 4 even long pieces of fish line for the top. I tied them all around the hoop in the same places as the air crafts' lines were. I didn't want tons of strings from every direction.

This is me holding up all the strings together. I then made a small loop on top with all the strings together and tied a knot around the loop. The loop is to hang from the hook in the ceiling.

When I was done with all the measuring and all the strings were in the correct place, I put the inner embroidery hoop in place and tightened it! 

When it was tight I cut all the excess small strings that were from all the little knots.

And LOOK THAT THAT! A DARLING, EASY Baby Mobile! This took me about 30 min to make! Not to bad huh?

Sorry the lighting is bad, but you get the idea!

Pretty perfect in my eyes! Now all I need is a curtain! 

Linking up here

I was featured on Sugar Bee Crafts by Jessica from Cutesy Crafts! So nice!