Monday, March 29, 2010

In search of a cute cheap bag.

I have been in search for a cute inexpensive Garment/Temple bag because mine is feeling a bit outdated and the velcro is worn out.  I found this one and I think it will do the job minus the bow!

They have them at Caroline and Company for about $22.00 and free shipping!  I have seen those same bags going for double the price andI figured I would not even be able to make one for as cheap and with my impatient sewing skills it would not look  as nice either :-)

Paula! Paula! Where for art thou Paula!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sweet Lizzie's!

This is the stash my family came home with last night from Sweet Lizzie's
It is a new Old fashioned style candy store here in Tooele Utah. 
here is a picture of the inside of the store.

The owner also owns the Famous Sweet Pea Boutiqe here in Tooele.  All you Tooele people know what I mean :-)  It is an fabulous store here with gently used Baby - Teen items that are name brand, trendy & cute!  And the prices are really reasonable.  I have bought all my babies clothes there.  They are very picky about the things they accept so the selection is fantastic and it is hard for me to not go overboard in that store!  She has just started a blog where she is starting weekly give aways.  Last Fridays give away was a $20 gift certificate!  You can do a  lot with $20 in that store!
So anyway back to Sweet Lizzie's.  My kids had gone over to their friends house about a week ago and they had yummy candy from Sweet Lizzie's and that is all I have heard about for days!  So we promised them we would go there for Family Night and that could be their Family Home Evening treat.  What a charming little store!  They have the upstairs set up to be a party room.  Both my older daughters now want that to be where they have their next Birthday party.  When we walked in I thought how do I know that Women (owner)?  And then she mentioned She owned Sweet Pea Boutiqe and I realized that is where I knew her from.  What a neat lady! There needs to more people like that in the world.  She said that they are trying to help liven up the Tooele downtown area.  I agree!  The Tooele downtown area has the potential of being so Charming!  
Danielle was stealing candy from the stash  with the speed of lighting while I tried to take the Candy stash  picture.
luckily she could not get the lids of the toxic waste candy :-)  If you want to cry try one of those candies!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Make your own cookie cutter!

I have always wondered how to make my own cookie cutters.  I tried to find resources a few years ago on the net and could only find sites that wanted  you to 
 buy their homemade ones.  So I was happily surprised to see that now there are plenty of great sites out there that show you how.

What a great idea!  Another thing to use my Crop-a-dile for :-)  You can learn how to make this cookie cutter  at Roots and Wings.

A great site called Juggling Frogs has a couple of cool ideas.
first she show how to make a cookie cutter out of clip art and an aluminum disposable pan.

She also shows how to make a bulk cookie cutter out of recycled tuna cans.

Peggy Weaver shows how to make a cutter out of copper ribbon too.

Obviously she has a lot of experience making them.  That horse looks complicated!

If you know what Studio 5 is I know that you are from Utah :-) It is a morning show we have here that has a lot of good craft ideas.
They have a great cookie cutter segment.
To watch it you will need to disable my music player at the bottom of this page first.

Do you want an out of this world Sugar cookie recipe?  Here is one I begged off my friend Jennifer Payne.
Her family brought us a Christmas plate of goodies in December.  There were two Sugar cookies amongst other yummy stuff.  My husband and I nabbed the cookies before the kids got a chance to get to the plate.
We were blown away at how good they were!  And just a warning.  These cookies are really fattening as a good sugar cookie should be

Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Makes about 6 dozen depending on cookie cutter used

Cream Together:

2 Cups Sugar

1 cup Crisco (Regular not Butter)

4 Lg. Eggs

2 t. Vanilla

1 16 oz. tub of Sour Cream

In a Separate bowl combine:

8 Cups All purpose Flour

4 heaping t. Baking Powder

2 heaping t. Baking Soda

2 t. Salt

Add slowly to the wet ingredients. Do not over mix.

***here is the cool part**** Turn your heavy cookie sheet over....bottoms up!****Sprinkle with flour and roll your dough out on the bottom of the cookie sheet! (This way the mess is going right into the sink when you are done! No mess all over your counter! Cool Huh?) Remove excess and bake.

they will rise a little so spread them out. I like to bake 12 at a time. 350 for 9-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet when done onto a cooling rack. When almost cool place in a air tight container. These will stay so soft for 3-4 days! Decorate with frosting....

Snow White Buttercream Frosting:

Whip till foamy:

3/4 c. cold water

1/2 t. salt

3 T. Meringue Powder

Slowly add: (Alternating)

3 lbs Powdered Sugar

1 1/4 c. Crisco Shortening

When ingredients are combined add flavorings:

1/2 t. clear vanilla

1/2 t. almond flavoring

1/4 t. clear butter flavoring

Whip again. When adding coloring use Wilton paste food coloring for a more vibrant color. If you need black try using a store bought chocolate frosting and adding black food coloring to it. (you will only get gray no matter how much coloring you add using buttercream)

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I Don't have to make it all better"

I have not taken the time this month to talk about the March Bugaboo book pick. "I Don't have to make it all better" by Gary and Joy Lundberg.  I am one who does not have much patience reading self help books, but I ate this book up from cover to cover!  It shows a beautiful way on how to listen and better communicate with others (especially family members)  I Love this book!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Look what I made!

     I am so proud!   I Made this Birthday Cake for my Brothers birthday party on Saturday.  When I was done making it I felt like a professional pastery chef!  I just made a regular Chocolate cake mix in a bundt pan ( I was going to make it from scratch, but ran out of time).  I frosted it with homemade chocolate butter cream frosting (1/2 cup butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 1/2 tsps vanilla, 6 tablespoons milk. And I added a little bit of cinnimon.)
      Then I melted white chocolate chips in the microwave and dipped strawberries in it and placed them carefully in the hole of the cake and around the perimeter.  Lastly on a whim I flicked/ drizzeld   leftover melted white chocolate all over it.
      I also made home made  Ice cream (1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 package of instant cheese cake or vanilla pudding.  I did not have either of those flavors so I made mine with white chocolate pudding Yum!, 1 quart heavy whipping cream, 2 cups regular milk, 2 tsps. vanilla extract.  whisk ingredients in a bowl then pour in your ice cream freezer and freeze until done.) this is the  creamiest ice cream ever!
      Believe it or not I did not eat either of these yummy desserts because I am not eating sugar right now, but everyone else seemed to love it!
I have been cooking up a storm lately because I think I am cooking things I wish I could eat but can't right now, but it has been worth it! So far I have lost about 26 lbs yay!  In fact I am going to post I new profile picture to see if any of you notice a difference.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Home made corn and flour tortillas

I was at the grocery store the other day and I was looking for corn meal and noticed this product.
And the thought hit me "how hard would it be to make my own corn tortillas?"  I looked on the back and read the directions and I realized I can do this!  Since our family has been effected by the economical crunch I am always looking for ways to save money.  I could make a ton more better tasting fresh tortillas for the same price I would pay for one premade packaged tortillas.  So yesterday I decided to make them. You can find a great tutorial on how to make them here.  here is a pic of how mine turned out.
I know they do not look perfectly round,  but pretty good for my first time without a tortilla press.  Boy did they smell good making them!  I may need to invest in a tortilla press if I do this often.

So then I thought "I wonder how hard it would be to make flour tortillas?"  While I was in the mood I decided to make some.  I looked online for a recipe and decided on trying this one.  But this website has a great tutorial.  I will have to try that recipe next time to see if there is a difference.  I actually made my dough in my kitchen aid instead of doing it by hand and it seemed to save time and the dough turned out beautiful!  I could not believe how easy it was and they taste way better than store bought.  Here is a pic of how my flour tortillas turned out.
again not perfect looking, but oh so good!  Well at least that is what my family told me.  I am not eating breads right now, but when I can  I can't wait to try them!  We made mexican pizzas  with the flour tortillas last night.  I put salsa on the bottom to replace pizza sauce and then I put down black beans, homemade Bajio chicken.   Here is another bajio recipe that is also yummy that my friend Valerie made up.
Fill a large crockpot with boneless skinless chicken breasts (we used 6.5 lbs glazed frozen). Add 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, 2 cans diced green chiles, 1 diced, medium onion, and 1/4 cup water. Let cook ALL DAY (at least 5 hours) on high. Use tongs to shread before servining

So anyway back to the Mexican pizzas.  I topped them with cheddar and pepper jack cheese and then I put them on a cookie sheet and broiled them for about 5 minutes. Yum!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Founding Fathers Sillhouettes

It was my brother Russ' Birthday yesterday and so we were over visiting and I mentioned to him about my desire to do sillouettes.  I have an old American themed front room at my house.  And so I mentioned it would be neat to do famous Presidents and founding fathers sillhouettes.  He got online and we found some nice profile pics, but we decided that we like the coin profiles the best.  He has these amazing programs that he uses in the his graphic designing and he was able to outline the profiles and then tweeked them to look a little more pleasing to the eye.  Like Thomas Jeffersons pony tail would have looked like a blob with out doing a little doctoring.  That is where having a brother who is an  Artist comes in so handy!   He was also able to find all of their signiatures online.  I think that they turned out fabulous!
 We plan on cutting them out in black vinyl He has a vinyl cutter with his sign making business.  I can't wait to frame theme and display theme on my wall!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Looking for fresh Super Saturday ideas for 2010

I am on my Wards Enrichment committee ( oops! I ment to say "Relief Society Meeting committee the name has changed)  Anyway we are trying to come up with some good Super Saturday Ideas early so that we can be ready in the fall.  So If there are any bloggers out there that have any good fresh new ideas I would love your input!
There are a few projects out there that are tired and have just been way over used and my house just can't fit another piece of wood with some sort of vinyl saying on it ( I think you know what I am talking about) I am not against vinyl, just certain projects done with vinyl.
I am the type of person that does not want to waste my time making something that Is going to end up in the D. I. pile a month later.  It has to be something people would actually use or feel proud displaying in their home.
Some of the ideas I have come up with so far that I want to share with our Relief Society meeting leader is

Framed Sillhouettes

I think these look so so classy and I would love to make a display of my kids on our Family room wall.
An example of how to do them is here.

Home made event banners

You can find this one here

You can find this one here

And you can find this one here

You can make the banners with paper or felt.  I have not decided what I want to do yet.

I also like the idea of the 30 meal plan by Melissa and Kathyrn over at Nanny goat

I think also it would be neat to make a cook's gift basket with like an apron, flour sack towels, glass gem fridge magnets, and pot holders all with matching fabric embellishments.

Here is an example of what the flour sack towels might look like

So any way just a few fun Ideas!  Please send me yours!

I also Like the chalk board plates and platters that people use to write whats for dinner and stuff like that.

My friend Valerie who is also the Relief Society meeting leader in our Ward does vinyl and she has some neat vinyl chalk boards.  You could put it on the wall, fridge or where ever.

Here is just an example of what one might look like, but you can do different shapes I'm sure.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Special" plates

I've wanted to make a "Special" plate for a long time - you know, a plate that someone in the family would get eat on when they've done something special, like get straight A's, get picked to be in a play, had a paper published, etc. Back in December we took the kids to paint pottery and I decided then and there that I wasn't leaving until I accomplished my goal.

Those who know me well know that I suffer from indecisiveness, which is why it has taken me so long to get a special plate in the first place. So, I sat there looking through the idea books and then I looked again and again until I finally came up with a plan. It involved using the kids thumb prints in order to make it more meaningful to everyone. After borrowing their thumbs and staying until closing time 6 hours later (Adam took the kids home and came and got me later), this is what I came up with. I was pretty pleased with it, even though it isn't completely perfect.

I made two thumbprints per child of things that they liked and it's fun that they chose things that really remind me of them, like Ethan really likes frogs and aliens, so those match him to a tee. They enjoy pointing them out when it's their turn to use the plate.

I'd love to see any special plates the rest of you use. Please share!

Here is my Special Plate Paula!  We also went to a pottery place a few months ago and great minds must think a like because that is what I have been wanting to make for a long time too. 

I  put different widths of tape down to create the white stripes and painted a crackle red and a straight red glaze inbetween. Then I peeled off the tape and wrote the words on the big white stripes.I pain stakingly did all the lettering with a brush and found out after that you could do that with a small squeeze bottle that had the glaze in it! So the lettering is not perfect, but I still like the result anyway.