Monday, January 27, 2014

Rainbow Loom Hook covers

Did your kiddos get a Rainbow Loom for Christmas? If so, you should put them to work. It's only fair since they leave those little bands all over the place, right?
There are tons of YouTube videos to show you (or them) how. We used this one and it worked well for us. Little tip: When you insert your hook, cross the bands on the top and bottom over one more time for a more secure fit.
 
So many color options! I loved trying to coordinate with the hook color.
Best of all, the hook fits better in my hand and doesn't get sore and tired as quickly.
Even the little hooks fit perfectly. 
 See how cute?!?
 All the bright colors make me so happy.

Quick and easy. I'm ready to make more!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Slow Cook Pork Loin


I promised on the Facebook page that I would post this recipe if it turned out good. Well, guess what? It was pretty darn good and so simple to make. I originally found this on Pinterest, but when I went back for it, the page was gone. Boo. That's ok. I found one similar and just pieced it together from what I remembered on the original one. Even better, pork loin happened to be on sale at the time. 

Slow Cook Apple Pork Loin


Ingredients

  • 1-2 pound pork loin
  • One baking apple - I liked Fuji or McIntosh
  • One medium onion - pick your favorite. I used white.
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (optional - I find pork loin tends to dry out easily)
  • honey
  • cinnamon 
Directions
  • Make even vertical slices down pork loin - about 3/4 through
  • Insert apple slices into loin
  • Pour juice into crock pot and place loin on top
  • Drizzle loin with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (to taste, you don't need a lot)
  • Toss in any extra apples and onion slices
  • Cook for 3-4 hours on low until meat has internal temp of 170 F.
We loved the flavor and served it up with some stuffing. We'll count this as our Paleo-ish meal since we added that as the side. Next time I think I'll add a dash of nutmeg, too, or cloves. Just for a little more fall flavoring.

Enjoy!



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Learning to Knit

It's been awhile since I have posted. Not because I didn't have anything to say or that I haven't been making anything, but mostly because I broke my camera. What's a blog without pictures? Actually, both my cameras. It will probably take me a year to decide on a new one. So I decided to just bite the bullet and use my iPad until then. I apologize in advance for the less than adequate images. 

Actually, I was quite busy during the holidays. I made so many beautiful things and didn't take any photos. Boo to that. Now that the spring term in underway and I have most of my course set up for my students, I have a little time to make some more stuff. Only I can't just do that. No....I have to do something totally new. Sort of. I have tried to knit before, but I always became frustrated and gave it up. I'm doing a little better this time around. I still prefer crocheting. It's easier for me and quicker. However, I do like the look of knitting and definitely like that it uses less yarn. I have tried several different tutorials from YouTube, to purchased books, to websites. This time around I found Wee Folk Art. I don't know how to describe it, but this time around was much better. Maybe it's the small projects that go with the lessons. 
After practicing how to cast on, bind off, and the knit stitch in the birdie project, I was ready to start the headband project. This was great practice and low frustration since you are only working with 7 stitches. 
It turned out great and K2 immediately declared it as hers. I love quick and easy projects such as this.
Next, I moved onto learn the purl stitch and created this dishcloth in project four. I think the headband helped me work on my issues with tension because this ended up pretty good. There are a few areas I would like to see better, but with a little blocking you can't notice it.
Then entered Pinterest. 
I was thinking I was ready for something more. I knew I needed to move forward and learn how to increase and decrease stitches, so I found a simple dishcloth that would do both. I was a little nervous at first, but I think I got the hang of it. I actually used the tutorials on the Lion Brand Yarn site. I'll be headed back there again to learn more. Just check out how great this turned out! I am very happy with it.
I guess the lesson here is, if at first you don't succeed, find another tutorial and try again. 

Happy crafting!


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Paleo Stuffed Chicken

Got another Paleo recipe for you! This is one looks much more difficult than it is. In fact, I think producing these meals has made me feel like I can actually cook. Maybe. We like topping ours with our favorite spice blend.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts - slice open butterfly style
  • 1 slice of deli “honey baked” ham
  • 3 asparagus stalks, hold each end and bend until it breaks, use only the top half
  • 1 slice of brie cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite spice blend

 Directions:
  1. Stuff chicken with ham, asparagus and brie. Hold together with a toothpick.
  1. Sprinkle olive oil, kosher salt and black cracked pepper over the chicken or use your favorite spice blend. We use Minorcan Datil Pepper Spice and it's perfect!

  1. Bake on 400 degrees for 15 minutes. If your breasts are really thick, you may need more time.

YUMMY!
 This is a great way to not serve chicken the same old way.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

Oh my goodness. It's November.

I'm stalling. I admit it. The days keep ticking away and all I can do is look at patterns. I can't seem to come up with a real plan.

What do I give my mom? What would my husband's aunt like? 
It all just gives me a headache. I hate just giving gift cards. It seems so impersonal. My kids, however, love the idea of shopping for what they want. It's a losing battle. I tend to make most of my gifts because I like to put thought and time into it. I also like the idea of buying from other crafters. Maybe I can find some fairs to go to before Christmas?

Where do you go for inspiration? Magazines? TV? Blogs? Pinterest? Etsy? It doesn't help that I don't like shopping. Maybe it's time for a trip to my local library. I found some really great books for crochet patterns when I was hunting for baby gift inspiration. There's nothing worse than buying a book and then not liking what's inside.

What's worse is that we live in another state from all of our family. I don't get to see any of them on a daily basis to see what would be of interest or need to them. And who the heck needs more crap to dust?

I'm literally still working on gifts from last year. Ok, the gift was an ongoing craft project, but still. It's a huge Barbie house that K2 and I have been putting together. We're doing all the decorating and making all the furnishings (mostly). I hope to post it here eventually. 

Back to this year.

Last year when I had this dilemma, I created a board on Pinterest to start gathering ideas for gifts throughout the year. Not just for Christmas, but all gift giving holidays. Click on the link under the image to see what I have so far.
Gifts to Give Board
Not much, right? Do you Pinterest? Yes? How would you like to help add to my board? As group we could create a huge "database" of gift ideas! Sound exciting?

Here are the rules:
  1. Post your Pinterest ID in the comments below (or you can message me privately). I'll send you an invitation to pin to the board.
  2. As you run across something you think would make a great give - for any occasion - pin it! It can be something you buy in a store, on a website, or a craft to make yourself.
  3. Include what age group/holiday you think it would be appropriate for in the comments section of the pin.
  4. Is there something YOU want? Pin it! If you want it, chances are someone I know (maybe you?) would want it, too.
  5.  Have fun and share!
Ready? Set? Let's Pin!