Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Goal Update!

I'm excited to say that I've got number 3 crossed off my list from my * Original Goal List *.

3. All bills, etc. squared away

I'm getting applications in and daycare will kick in once that pulls through. So number 2 should ( HOPEFULLY) be crossed off here soon. =)  Keep your fingers crossed and pray for me! (Really hoping it'll lead to being able to cross off number 9!)

Number 4 will happen in the next week or so!

Not trying to be in any way tacky, but number 8 I am now only counting days.

Number 10. I havent reached my goal yet, but I have hit a milestone. I have finally gotten to my pre-pregnancy weight from my first pregnancy. I've been waiting to see those numbers for tooooo long! I'm already feeling better about my body and it is certainly helping my over all attitude. Let's hope I can keep it up!

That's all for now, but I'm so glad things are getting hashed out finally.

Good Luck with your goals for the year. Keep it up!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Mozzarella Bites

While I'm learning to eat healthy and figure out some newer, healthier recipes, I've got a few yummies that I havent shared yet.

I am aware of how hypocritical discussing healthy eating and then sharing a recipe for fried cheese....hehe

I simply took a block of mozzarella cheese and sliced it up. I wanted to stretch as much out of one block as I could so I made them into "bites".

You then dredge the cheese in egg, then evenly coat in bread crumbs. (Just like in my * Schnitzel Recipe *)
I allowed them to set up and come to an even temperature after coating.

I also made some Gluten Free ones for my dad! I used the same bread crumbs from that I used for his schnitzel.

Carefully place a few pieces in your heated oil. I only put in 3-4 so not to over crowd and lower the temperature of the oil. Watch carefully because it doesnt take long! Be sure to rotate each piece. Set each piece on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Try not to leave it on the towel too long, or it could stick like some of mine did.

Here is my first attempt. I just didnt feel like there was enough batter. I saved the rest and repeated the whole process.

The second coating looked much better.

Looked and tasted much better over all. =) 

The goal was to mimic T.G.I.Fridays mazzarella sticks, but some how mine actually ended up tasting like Pizza Hut Cheese Sticks!

I havent tried yet, but these should be very easy to make ahead for parties and put in the freezer. You'd just pop them in the oven! (Like the pre-made kinds you can get at the grocery.) I would try it out at 350 degrees for 6 minutes-depending on the size you make yours. Start short and add on if needed!

Happy Eatin'!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Clutches and Cases

Before Christmas I decided to finally try my hand at making a hand bag. The simplest style I know of is the envelope.

Here is my first clutch. I've had this leather (really dont think it's real.) for almost two years and finally decided what to do with it. Not too shabby for my first try.

This is a much smaller version for a Kindle.

And lastly the clutch I made for my sister. With a strip of scrap I made a little matching card holder since  you never know if your wallet will fit.

Well there's a look into my most recent endeavors. =)
Very soon I'll try my hand at a more Hobo style bag with the chevron patterned fabric shown in my * Favorites Friday * post.

Happy Creating!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

S.S. Question Mark : Week 7

Last week I didnt feel as if I could do a soul searching post because I wasnt in my new positive outlook. I didnt think it would appropriate to tell others to be happy when I was not. Though things arent fairing tons better, I feel more equipped to be able to do so.

What is your biggest regret?

I am not a huge believer of regret. At one point, it was what you wanted. Instead you must learn from it. Sometimes it could be something that you didnt really can control over. You can be saddened or hurt that it happened, but again, you must learn from it.

If I did have to chose one thing though, it would be letting who I was disappear. Your identity is your most valuable and nearly sacred "possession".

Sometimes when you're going through a transition period in your life you may be upset because you feel lost or feel like you've lost who you are.

Everyone gets a little lost here and there. Sometimes you make a U-turn, sometimes you take a left or a right, or sometimes you even just keep on marching forward. Not every step is a wrong one or the direction you chose is wrong. You were brought to that crossroads for a reason. These are what helps you learn and develop yourself as a person.


That doesnt always mean you made the right choice for yourself. I know, it seems contradictory.  If you've made a "wrong" choice, but it ended up bettering yourself because you learned from it and realized that that was indeed not what you want for your life..then there's not really a reason to regret it.

Dont worry though, you wont be lost forever!

"A person meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it." ~ Jean de la Fontaine
So dont be afraid!

"If you arent sure who you are, you might as well work on who you want to be." ~ Robert Brault
Just go for it, dive in!

Hurting others is certainly another that I regret but I always try to make up for...I've known enough pain that I would never want anyone else to experience it. (I try to abide by the Golden Rule.) Its something I feel people have forgotten in recent years. Everyone seems so angry and afraid. =/

Keep your chin up! Even if it's baby steps, keep or start taking the steps you need to make to better yourself and your life.


My Toes Smell Like Butter...

But they look great!

Girls are often looking for a new, simple way to make painting their nails cleaner and easier. One I've just came across recently on Pinterest is using cooking spray. I never actually read the instructions on it, but figured out my way. I sprayed it over all my toes then wiped it away (it still leaves plenty behind). Then take a cotton ball with polish remover and go over the nail. Its good to do this regardless of the method, it just helps the new polish stick better.

The first layer was very thin and splotchy so I thought it wasnt going to work. But I did a layer on each toe then went back over them for a second after they had a chance to start drying and the second  layer did the trick. The spray made it super easy to wipe away excess polish that had bled off the nail with my thumb nail.

Another method I've used had been chap stick. Its the same principle: Coat the cuticle with chap stick and then you are able to just wipe any extra away.

To finish it off like they do at a salon, you can purchase a can of Nail Enamel Dryer at a drug store. (I got mine at Walgreens.)

So it's time to start painting those toesies, Spring is only weeks away!!

Be Beautiful!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Super Easy Baked BBQ Chicken

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Arange your chicken in a foil lined plan (I definitley wouldnt skip the foil!) being careful not to over crowd. Put in oven for about 15 minutes.

I still prefer to make my own BBQ sauce, but you can certainly use a store bought sauce.

Flip after 15 minutes.

Cover each piece with sauce and put in the oven another 10-15 minutes.

All done!

Yay! Veggies!!! I MUST do better about eatting more veggies!



Patience = Pancakes

Pancakes are one of the most classic breakfast foods. Strangely, though, I've heard of several people who are great cooks who for some reason could never master pancakes. I think this is from the need for patience! What I've noticed is that they either cant stop messing with it and trying to flip it prematurely or leaving it too long because they are distracted and burn them.

Once your batter is made how you like it, heat your pan/griddle/skillet. You may prefer your batter thicker or thinner, and that is partly how you determine your heat setting. Thinner batter = slightly lower temp. A trick to knowing when the pan is ready is to wet your fingers and flick water on the pan. It should instantly sizzle and disappear.

Pour your desired amount per pancake. One creative way that I've seen (which I havent tried yet unfortunately!) is to take an empty ketchup bottle and fill it with the batter. It makes it easier to control the pouring. So clever! But be sure you leave them alone. You'll begin to see bubbles on top of each pancake. You will also begin to see the edges lift from the pan. They wont be shiny raw anymore.

I use a slightly thicker batter so I tend to get less bubbles. So I often rely on watching the edges.

Once you get lots of bubbles, lifted edges or both, its time to flip. The first flip must be very gentle since the top side is still raw and will drip everywhere if rushed or done too early. Slow and controlled is key.

Once flipped, I press the done side so all the raw batter is able to be evenly heated. The same rule will apply for the edges on this second side, but it may not be as pronounced. You'll see the batter lose that shine and look more cake-like. I go ahead and flip them twice more just for good measure giving them a slight press.

Dont be worried about having perfect circle pancakes! I stopped that a long time ago. My kids dont care anyway. =)

Happy Eatin'!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goals - Second Update

I am very proud and excited to get to cross another item off my * Goal List *!

24. Sell my first handmade item

A woman from my church saw my * Christmas Pillow * and asked me to maker her one. When I contacted her before I went to pick out fabric she went ahead and asked me to make a second. So thank you, Elanor! And way to go on getting your Christmas gifts taken care of WAY early!

Enjoy, Elanor. I hope you like them.

Here's to hoping for the opportunity to make more for others!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Favorite Friday

Today I'm going to share with you a few of my faaaavorite things!

Tazo Chai Lattes. I basically cannot go a morning without it. It's one of the things I look forward to most every morning.

Kyle got me this * Juicy Couture * Bracelet a while back. I had pointed it out to him one day and loved how much it resembled the vintage Sweetheart Bracelets. I kinda look at this one as a modern version.

My * Tweezerman * Cuticle clipper is my ultimate favorite beauty tool. Tweezerman has great products (I also have the tweezers and they are great!) and they stay sharp and last. You may pay a little more up front, BUT you also wont have to buy another one unless you lose it.

Once I discovered these little chocolate babies, I was hooked! I eat them straight from the box. I practically lived on the stuff until I moved back into my parents' house. As you can see, my son attempted to break into them, but he hasnt figured out how to get the bag open yet.

Now these Matryoshkas are one of my favorite purchases ever! All four of these are from * Modcloth *...which everyone knows how much I love that site!!

First we have the "Momma". She opens up into three separate dolls....who are all measuring cups! each half of each doll is a measuring cup going from 1 cup down to 1/4 cup.
This second one is a salt shaker that holds the pepper shaker =)
Last is a timer!
I so love this Matryoshka necklace. The kids call it my baby necklace.

I did wait pretty impatiently for these to ship to me! Super cute teal suede Smoking/Smoker Flats (I've heard the style called both.) from * Target *.

When my Aunt gave me this infinity scarf two Christmases ago, I was actually a little baffled by it. I'd never seen or heard of them. It definitely grew on me though!
These are a sketchbook and a notebook I got from * Barnes and Noble *. I got the sketchbook a year ago and loved the print on the cover. When a few months ago I saw it in a notebook version...I had to have it, and have even bought a second one! I totally want to take the full picture and have it blown up into a canvas print to put up in the house.

These presh little polka dot jars were from my parents this past Christmas. I'm so glad to have a place to put some of my crafting notions....that's cute as well as useful. =)

And lastly, the fabric I used for the background...I am soo in loove with it! I will very soon be making it into a handbag of some sort =D

It doesnt have to be a huge or expensive item to be a well loved, favorite of yours. Those little things in life are what make it all worth it and can mean the most. It can change your entire outlook on your life if you evaluate your blessings. When I'm upset for example, all I need is a Chai to cheer me up. I dunno whats in it, but it calms me enough to sit back and evaluate...things really arent always as bad as I think. =)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sweatshirt Re-Vamp

I recently finally finished my sister's Christmas/Birthday presents. Yes, yes I know...suuupper late! It's kinda a thing with us. One thing I made for her was an upcycled shirt.

Upcycled tends to mean turning something you already have into something new. Well, I didnt have anything laying around that fit the bill, so I went and got a white long sleeve shirt. I had seen this DIY on * A Beautiful Mess * a few months back and thought I'd give it a shot. I love Elsie's blog (It's honestly what truly inspired me to get mine going. After seeing it things really clicked you could say.)

It looks cuter on than it does just hanging there, but I'm not as "blessed" in a certain area as she is, so I was totally falling out. (TMI. I know, I know!) Hopefully it'll look great on her and I'll get a picture of it soon. =)

Here's the link to the DIY

Happy Creating!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

One recipe that I have been asked for the most are Cheddar Bay Biscuits...better known as Red Lobster Biscuits. I finally decided its only fair to finally share!! ;)

4 tbsp cold butter. You can either cut up your butter into pea sized bits....

Or you can use a pastry cutter to "cut" the butter into pea sized bits in 2 1/2 cups of Bisquick.
Add a heaping cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Next add 1/4 tsp garlic powder. (Yeah, I usually use a wee bit more than that.)
Start with 3/4 cup milk. You can add a little at a time after that until it mixes. I usually end up using a smidge over a cup.

You could probably get more out of a regular batch...but I'm not going to want to have to keep going back for more when it comes to these. =)
Put in oven preheated at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
In the mean time you can prepare what you'll brush on top of the finished biscuits.
This I dont actually measure... but it's safe to go with 2-3 tbsp butter.
Approx 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp parsley flakes, and a pinch of salt. (I never thought it would, but the parsley makes sooo much difference!! And as before, I use a little more garlic.)
Melt- about 15-20 seconds in the microwave.
Almost ready...
Ohhhh yeaahhh...Couldnt even refrain from immediately taking a bite!

This could also be made in loaf form. Simply dump the whole ball of dough in a loaf pan. Its been quite some time since I've made it this way, but I started with the 15-17 minutes and then added time until it was done. You can then brush the garlic butter topping over the loaf or save it for each individual piece.

One last thing!! This I have very successfully made gluten free. All you have to do is swap your regular Bisquick for the GF Bisquick. You also swap butter for shortening I believe. My dad usually gets pretty excited when I make some for him!!

Happy Eatin'!!