Monday, May 30, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

I feel so honored to have received another blog award.  One Lovely Blog awarded from Melissa at Mel Dreams Often. Thank you so much, Melissa!

Again, I need to list 7 things about myself.  (This really is the most difficult part for me!)  I don't think there are seven more things to list, but I'll give it a try...

  1. My favorite season is Autumn.
  2. I'm a terrible photographer, which makes it difficult to run a successful blog.
  3. We have three dogs, two Shih Tzus and a Shih Tzu mix. The mix is a new puppy we recently adopted.
  4. I'm fascinated with Regency England. I read as much as I can about the time period.
  5. I love true crime stories, whether to read about them or watch them on the screen.  Kind of gory I know, but I love 'em.
  6. I have always loved painting, crafting, crocheting, embroidering, etc. My obsession began from the time I was old enough to hold a crayon. 
  7. I'm my own worst critic.  
Phew...I did it!

The five blogs I have chosen to award are (in no particular order):

Cedar Hill Ranch

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Father's Day picture frame

I always have a tough time coming up with a Father's Day gift for my father-in-law. He is so difficult to buy for. He would like to try all sorts of new-fangled technological gadgets, but alas, most have to interact with computers and neither he or his wife use one. The few "tech" things we have bought for him he usually has needed help with repeatedly. So inevitably, I revert to homemade. This year, I made a picture frame and inserted a four generation photo.

Unfinished wooden picture frame
Mod Podge (the best stuff ever!)
Scrap book paper of your choice (3 selections)
Paint to match your paper
Hot glue gun
Wood pendant

Lay the frame on the backside of the scrapbook paper and trace the shapes you need (quarter the frame). Cut out.

Attach the papers to the frame with a layer of Mod Podge. And then apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top, allow to dry.

Paint the outside edge and allow to overlap to front (I used a sponge for this not a paintbrush). Cover seams of paper quarters with ribbon. Glue wood pendant onto a corner of the frame.

Finished project! Simple, quick and easy!

Crafts2u Online Crafts Superstore

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fabric Flower Hair Clips and Headbands.

My daughter-in-law Amber is going to join Cherished Handmade Treasures as a regular post author and collaborator.  I hope everyone enjoys her crafts as much as I do.  Welcome Amber!

Having two daughters to dress up and play fashionista with, I sometimes have a hard time justifying spending $6.00 + on one flower clip so I have tried making a few of them myself. It has been a blast and I love getting compliments on the finished products.

I got this pattern from a family member.  They are really easy to make and they allow you to use your creativity.

1.Cut 5 4x4 square pieces of fabric

2.Fold into triangle and trim edges.

3.With needle and thread, stitch up to the point and back down the other side. (Take big stitches.)

4.Pull tight and gather up making first petal.

5. Continue stitching until you have 5 petals.

6.Connect edges sewing together.
(If hole seems too big, sew around, pull tight and tie off.)

7. For headbands, sew flower to head band, then hot glue jewel to flower.

For clips hot glue jewel to flower, let cool, then glue flower onto end of clip.
You can do a 2x2 for smaller flowers for the smaller clips.
Get creative. You can use buttons, beads, etc for the center not just the BLING.

Crafts2u Online Crafts Superstore

Sunday, May 15, 2011

30 Meals In One Day--Giveaway

Have you ever had that thought at the end of a long work day—ugh...what am I going to make for dinner?  Well, I have come across the perfect solution.  30 Meals In One Day.  I have recently had the opportunity to try this product, thanks to the fabulous people at 30 Meals In One Day for sending me the program! Wow, what a difference it made for me.  Now with very little time spent in the kitchen I am able to prepare a nutritious meal with a tiny amount of effort.  Even cleanup seems like a snap.

30 Meals In One Day has its own easy to follow software that supports the cookbook.  The software is great to work with!  It downloaded easily, and is simple to use.  The software generates all of your menus, labels and shopping lists.  It's very straightforward.  You select your recipes,(the book suggests how many of each type of recipes to select--ie: slow cooker, oven, stove top, etc. for best efficiency on your cooking day...the recipes are broken down into those categories)

and then add them to your menu,which automatically adds the ingredients to your shopping list. 

You can then add or delete items to or from your shopping list as needed.  You can even add your own recipes to the program.  It's great! I haven't tried to add any recipes to the program yet, but I'm excited to try it with my next cooking day.  Then you print your freezer labels and menu if you wish.
Although I tried to get prepared before each trip to the store, I didn't do a very good job.  I usually had to go back for something else.  And those trips we usually came home with more than we originally went to get.  Our shopping trips could get expensive.  With 30 Meals In One Day, you have a very detailed, organized shopping list, so you're set.  Not only does it save you time by cutting the guess work of what's for dinner, it will help you save money at the grocery store.  Who wouldn't love that?

On my cooking day, the house smelled absolutely wonderful and the Teriyaki Chicken is the best!  TIP: Make sure you follow chapter six--the day before preparations.  It will save you a lot of time on your cooking day--just saying...

Every recipe we have tried has been a hit with my family.  The recipes are easy to follow and they have clear instructions on how to freeze each meal.  Also, nice freezer labels that print the recipe name, date and cooking instructions.  This program is so easy, my family has incorporated these freezer meals into our everyday life.

Guess what?  Now, you have a chance to do the same.  30 Meals in One Day has offered to do a giveaway to the readers of Cherished Handmade Treasures!  They are offering the Dinner is Ready Book and Software Combo - a retail value of $40!!

Just go to their web site and then come back to CHT and leave a comment telling me which recipe you would like to try.  If you have ever tried freezer meals before and have any tips, feel free to leave those as well.  You must be a public follower of Cherished Handmade Treasures.  The giveaway will end on Friday at midnight and the winner will be announced on Saturday, May 21, 2011. 

And if you can't wait for the giveaway, bounce yourself on over to their website because Cherished Handmade Treasures readers can get free shipping, just use promo code UTFAIR. You can see all of their books, software, labels and disposable pans on their web site 30 Meals in One Day, where you can purchase all of their wonderful products.  So go visit their web site, check out the recipes they have posted there and make life a little easier for yourself!


Carrot Cake Cupcake with Italian Cream Filling

4 eggs
1 1/2  cups oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup dark seedless raisins (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cupcake pans with liners.

2. In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat eggs, oil and sugar.  Reduce speed to low; beat flour, baking soda cinnamon (I used Saigon cinnamon--more flavorful) and salt.

3. With spoon, stir in carrots, raisins, walnuts and vanilla.  My husband doesn't like raisins and I was out of walnuts so I skipped those for these cakes, but they are delicious with them!  Fill prepared pans.  Bake for  approx. 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

4.Cool.  I used my new favorite Italian Buttercream to fill them.


Total prep time: 30 minutes

Egg whites 1/2lbs.
Sugar 1lb.
Butter 1 1/2lbs.

You can find pictures and directions for the buttercream here: Italian Buttercream

5. Then I topped them with cream cheese frosting and one peanut butter chip just for decoration.
Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. cream cheese
1 cube margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cup powdered sugar
Mix well. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chicken Puffs

The best part of this recipe is how easy goes together. So for a quick last minute meal here are the chicken puffs.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces chicken cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 red bell pepper, sliced (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and chicken let stand for 10 minutes.
  2.  Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3.  Meanwhile, microwave the Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme until warmed through, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme drizzled over and sliced red peppers if desired.

These are quick and easy and can be modified for different tastes.  Use pepperoni and pizza sauce, or broccoli and cheese.  The ideas are endless.  They even freeze well and can be reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Chefs Brand Banner

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

A huge thank you to Ashley at Shopaholic Mommy for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award. Wow, I'm in shock.  My second award in two months!  I was speechless when I read I had received this. But every little bit of encouragement is so very much appreciated. Thanks again Ashley! 
Here's how it works:
Thank the person that awarded you by linking them back in this post.
Tell us 7 random things about yourself.
Award 15 recently discovered new bloggers 

Seven random things about me:

  1. I love Christmas.  
  2. I have held the same job for the last 20 years.
  3. I have never been in trouble for talking too much--I've always been extremely shy.
  4. I have never broken a bone.
  5. When I was much, much younger, I was given the Hope of America award.
  6. I love to read.
  7. I love cheesecake.

I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs that I've discovered:

Mama and the Monkey
Our Life in a Click
H is for Hillman
Henry Happened
Mom's of all Trades Masters of Little
Our Family World
The Purple Froggie Claystuff
Paisley Passions
Mommys Peanut Gallery

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Free Nook Book

I just wanted to let everyone know that  Dead Girl Walking by Linda Joy Singleton is free on the Nook this month.

Linda Joy Singleton, author of the successful Seer books, returns with another hot paranormal series.
Stars are waiting to be discovered, and high-school senior Amber Borden wants to be the talent agent for the adolescent A-list. She's not the richest or the most popular, but she's determined to make a name for herself. While Amber may be upwardly mobile, her sense of direction is lousy—so lousy that it has cosmic consequences. Instead of returning to her body after a near-death experience, she lands in the body of the wealthiest, most popular girl in school—who just tried to commit suicide. Not what she had in mind when she imagined working behind the scenes with the rich and famous! Amber soon figures out that being the queen bee isn't all it's cracked up to be.
The first in a series, this paranormal page-turner introduces a teen heroine with a unique ability to solve problems from the beyond. Dead is the new black!

Spread the word to any Nook owners you know!