Thursday, April 28, 2016

Card Making

I dabble in making cards. It's a fun process, but I always tend to overthink things and I never think my cards turn out any good! However, they aren't going get better unless I practice, right? To that end, I have decided to participate in From the Heart Stamps Stamp of the Month Challenge.

FTHS is a great company that carries a wide selection of digital stamps. I've purchased several of them and the quality is just fantastic! Faith does a super job of designing the stamps and I have yet to be disappointed. One of the neat things about the Stamp of the Month Challenge is that when you participate, you receive the next month's image FREE! How awesome is that? Enough babbling...here's my card:

 The sentiment reads Time spent with you...and on the inside continues with...is time well spent. I'm going to send it to my mom :)

These are mini cards that I experimented with. I love how they turned out! All but one use a section from an adult coloring book that I colored using Spectrum Noir markers. They are just 3.5x2.5!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pocket Letter Pals

I was watching videos on youtube the other day when the person on video started babbling about pocket letters. What in the world was a pocket letter, I wondered. I didn't get to find out from that particular video, because frankly the voice was a bit monotone and she was really dragging it out and I started to nod off. Instead, I did the next best thing and used google. Am I ever glad I did! Pocket letters are a new way to old fashioned pen pals!
    Did you ever have a pen pal? I had a few and I remember them fondly. I also remember the excitement when I would arrive home from school and there would be an envelope or two for me. What fun to read about what someone else was doing. Sometimes we'd exchange little trinkets, a bookmark perhaps. One pen pal and I would exchange mixed tapes (yes, it was the 80's!). Pocket letters incorporate a trading card page and you insert little things into the pockets. One should be a letter, but then, anything goes! And for added fun, you can embellish the pockets. Sometimes when you swap they'll be a theme involved. Here a few examples:



And then they fit perfectly in a binder! I did some more poking around the web and found this site. After registering (for free), I am now signed up for three swaps and am doing an independent Dr Who swap with someone. I was so excited I went shopping today to prepare. Here's my haul:
Would you believe that all of this cost me right around $20? You can't even really see everything I got. I found some cool stuff at the Dollar Tree, hit the Dollar Spot at Target, and snagged some awesome deals at Michael's and Joann's. I'll share my pocket letters as I finish them.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Menu Plan Monday (April 18-24) 2016


Last week really flew by, didn't it?! As mentioned, I am busy cleaning, declutter, and organizing. Still a lot to do, but everyday it gets better. Each day I add something new to my evening routine and I think I've almost got that down pretty pat. My morning routine is pretty easy peasy. I've had it down for awhile. I tell you, though, I am *loving* going into the kitchen in the morning and seeing clean counters! I almost always have to put a dish in the dishwasher though, because DH likes a "midnight snack" and for some reason lacks the ability to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Whatever. Onto the plan so I can get back to cleaning. Working on the boys room (they have been told they *will* be responsible for keeping it that way when I'm done...just wait until you see the before and after. It's a disaster!)

Monday

Curried chicken (crock pot)
Rice
Green beans

Tuesday

Homemade pizza


Wednesday

Falafel
Homemade tzatziki sauce
Hummus
Homemade pita chips
Carrots

Thursday

Maple Mustard pork chops (recipe below)
Scalloped potatoes
Peas
Strawberries

Friday

French Market Soup (crock pot) (did not get made last week)

Saturday

Two cheese macaroni bake (vegetarian) (did not get made last week)

Sunday 

Going out




Maple Mustard Pork Chops

This is so easy, I can't even call it a recipe. Mix together equal amounts of good quality maple syrup (not pancake syrup!) and stone ground mustard (I like Trader Joe's, but any stone ground mustard will do). Use this to marinate your chops for several hours, then grill. So tasty!

Head over to orgjunkie for tips, recipes, and ideas for your own menu plan.

Oh! Before I forget....here's a picture of my beautiful fridge. Isn't it gorgeous?

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's Monday and that means it is time for Menu Plan Monday over at orgjunkie.com! It's a great link up for motivation and inspiration. I tend to menu plan for the month so that I can snag specials when I see them and it can be a process. I am working on streamlining it down so that my planning is faster and easier. I mean, last week when I worked on my plan and grocery list it took a couple of hours. Granted, I was distracted by binge watching Gotham on Netflix, but still. Way too long. Because it's spring, I have gotten into spring cleaning mode. Well, maybe it would be better defined as just cleaning mode. I've had it up to my eyeballs with junk and stuff everywhere. I've tried various methods and watched countless videos, so all the information is there, I just lacked motivation to implement anything. The last straw came recently. We were having everyone over for Easter and as I cleaned stash and dashed everywhere and everything, I decided enough was enough! I started with the entry way which includes a low bookshelf, the front closet, and my craft dresser. I love to do a variety of crafts and since we don't have a lot of storage in this house, I use my old dresser. I wish I had thought to take before and after pictures, but I didn't. At least, not of part of the closet and my dresser. I'm still working in this area though, so I will take pictures of the rest.

Today I took a break from the entry way and focused on the fridge. It was really driving me crazy. Again, I didn't take pictures of before, but I can certainly post an after picture later. It looks amazing! I'm pretty sure my husband is going to laugh at me when he gets home and sees it, but I don't care! I love it!

Enough babbling...here's what is on the menu this week:

Monday

Smothered Beef (crock pot) (new recipe)
Rice
Cucumber Salad

Tuesday

Marinated chicken on the grill (recipe below)
Cottage potatoes
Corn

Wednesday

Chalupas (crock pot) (new recipe)
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cheese

Thursday

Spinach and Feta Casserole (vegetarian) (new recipe)
Gluten free cornbread

Friday

French Market Soup (crock pot) (new recipe)

Saturday

Macaroni and two cheese bake (vegetarian) (new recipe)

Sunday

Braised pork shoulder
Mashed potatoes
Fried cabbage
Pudding parfaits


Marinade for chicken (adapted from Finger Licking Chicken Marinade from Food.com):

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2  cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice works well, too)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons thyme
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Use to marinate chicken pieces at least 30 minutes and then to baste the meat as it cooks in the oven or over hot coals. I find it tastes best to marinate all day or even over night.