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Showing posts from June, 2013

Easy Baby Sweater and Hat

After searching and attempting to create the perfect - and quick/easy - baby sweater to give as a gift, I finally just combined a few to make the one I wanted. This particular one is more what I would envision for a girl (regardless of color) because of the lacy pattern created with the shells. My next step to find/create one for a boy. This one is simple enough to work up quickly. I only have a few hours of crochet time at night and I completed the set within 3 days. I imagine if you had half a day you could easily finish it in one setting, depending on your skill level. Sweater Materials: 3-4 ounces 3 ply baby yarn  Hook - size F for newborn  size G for 3 to 6 months size H (and 4 ply soft yarn) for 6 to 9 months 2-3 button for closure Pattern: (Shell = 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) Starting at neckline, loosely ch 38. Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook & in each ch to end. (37 stitches) Row 2: ch 2, turn (counts as 1st dc throughout) 1 dc in each of t

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad

Eating healthy is a constant effort, especially with my family. We tend to get into ruts with foods that we like and then we start missing out on the nutrients that we need. In my search for something different that is high in protein and and has lots of flavor, I ran across quinoa. I've heard nothing but good things about quinoa (pronouced  [KEEN-wah]), but I had never tried it, let alone make it. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as "The International Year of the Quinoa."  In comparison to cereal grasses like wheat, quinoa is higher in fat content and can provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid). You can read more about quinoa here . I found it to be easy to work with and quick to make. As for recipes, there are tons. Next time I think I will spice it up just a bit more. Ok, so the hubby wasn't thrilled with thi

Mail Call

Look what came in the mail! Maybe it doesn't look like much to you, but I'm in the "free" business. Anything I can get for free is money in my pocket. It's like winning a contest without all the effort. So, how do I do it? Mostly by watching Facebook and Twitter. As I see people post free samples, giveaways, contests and the like, I go enter. Usually you just have to like their page and enter your mailing info. It just takes minute. If that particular page posts too much for your liking, guess what? All you have to do is "unlike" them and then it's gone!  I figure if these companies want to spend their advertising money on postage instead of TV, then I sure as heck can help them out. I feel like I'm doing my civic duty as well. The Postal Service needs the business and I DVR everything to fast forward through the commercials. Everybody wins! One of my favorite Facebook pages is MojoSavings ( They are prolific posters abo

Pinterest Round up #5

I'm back in my funk of pinning more than I am creating. It could possibly be that I'm over scheduling myself, but it's only because I have 8 days coming up where I will be out of the country. I'm looking forward to the trip, but it also means that is 8 days that I will not have to prepare for the class I'm teaching this fall or all the other little things that still need to be done before our new teachers start. Summer is always my busiest time of year. I'll just pretend I have at least 30 hours in a day and move onto showing what I found last week. Favorite Pin #1 Ticket Holder I noticed that my hubby was saving tickets in a pile on his dresser the other day, so when I ran across this holder I thought it might be a good way to display his collection. Whatcha think, honey? This pin is actually a link to a company that sells these for a measly, gulp, $150. Seriously? For a shadow box? I feel a tutorial coming on... Favorite Pin #2 DIY Burt's Bee&#

Sunshine Cake

I wish I could take credit for this one. Of course I found it on Pinterest. I'm so proud of myself for actually trying something that I pinned. Later, I read that this is a Weight Watchers treat. Even better, now I don't feel so guilty. It's so simple to make and it tastes like summer. Unlike regular cake, this gets better with time. Store it in a sealed container and the pineapple seeps into the cake making it taste like candied sunshine, and it's low calorie! **Sunshine Cake** Ingredients 1 box Angel Food Cake mix 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in it's own juice Directions Pre-heat oven to 350 Mix the ingredients together and pour into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool before eating. I think next time I'll try baking it in my angel food cake pan. It's easier for me to cut using my electric knife. Enjoy!

Pinterest Round Up #4

Ok, ok, I've been slacking on my posts. It's partly because I've been so incredibly busy and partly because I'm so warn out from being busy that I don't feel like putting on my perky face and typing out bubbly words to all of you. Whining over. Time for the pins! Favorite Pin #1 Park Güell  Next month, K1 and I will be traveling to Spain. Even though this is a school tour, I'm such a planner that I've started researching all the places on the itinerary so I'll know what to expect. Note: I don't like surprises. Favorite Pin #2 Butternut Squash Risotto The weather is getting warmer (read: blasted hot even for Florida) and I am looking for alternatives to using the stove/oven to keep the heat down in the house. First step: create a crock pot/slow cooker board and pin like crazy. Next step: create a grilling board and pin even more. Favorite Pin #3 Landscape Design I want to say I'm environmentally conscious, but really I

Pinterest Round Up #3

It was a slow week for pinning last week. I just didn't see a lot that interested me plus I was busy doing other things - like actually making the things I had previously pinned. I kid you not! You'll see more of that later this week. So, on with the show. Don't forget that you can click on the link under the pin to go directly to it. Favorite Pin #1 Crocheted headband How cute is this little headband!?! Unfortunately the page is in Japanese and the translation isn't great. I think I could figure out how to crochet this on my own just with the photo. It looks simple enough. Maybe I'll post the pattern when I come up with it. Would you be interested in that? Favorite Pin #2 Setting a table When I saw this, I realized that I haven't taught my girls how to properly set a table. So much to remember, so little time. Favorite Pin #3 Magic Carpet Cleaner Summer is the perfect time to get to those little projects that I have been avoiding. Although

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas

The Recipe Critic I made a pact with myself to actually try the pins I find on Pinterest. The whole idea is to find and try new things, right? This recipe looks amazing. How could it go wrong? I dunno, my stuff never turns out as visually pleasing. The chicken was actually pretty tasty. You cook it in the spices in a slow cooker an then it shreds perfectly. I will never buy canned chicken again! So why does mine not look as pretty? Um, well, not having enough of the ingredients might be one reason. Oops. Oh well, it still tasted good so this one is a keeper. It's easy to make and the ranch gives it a little kick - just enough to keep it from being like a traditional enchilada. Want to try it? Ranch Chicken Enchiladas from the Recipe Critic Ingredients : 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 1 package chicken taco seasoning 1 package ranch dry salad dressing 1/2 cup bottled ranch 1/2 cup salsa 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 can chicken broth 1 package white flou

Dryer Sheets

Who would have thought that dryer sheets could be used for other things other than IN the dryer? Not this girl. In fact, when I got my new dryer, I started cutting my sheets into thirds - now they last almost forever.  CouponCloset The only thing the full sheet gained me was build up on my lint screen which decreased the efficiency of my dryer. My clothes still come out wrinkle and static free, so why mess up my machine? Besides, I have other things that I can use those sheets for. Be sure to check out the links with the photos for even more tips. So, what else can you do with dryer sheets? Keep dust from settling on baseboards, blinds, electronics and lamps around the house by wiping with a dryer sheet. Also helps repel pet hair!  Apartment Therapy Tired of taking Fluffies love to work with you? Use a dryer sheet to wipe it away. Works on furniture and bedding, too! Real Simple Ok, crafters, these are for you.  Stabilize embroidery  by placing clean, used sheet be

Pinterest Round up #2

With the holiday last Monday, I skipped posting round 2 of my Pinterest Round Up. Now I have more pins to choose from to share with you! Favorite Pin #1 Color   I love these colors and thought this would be a good reference for future home and craft projects. Good thing I pinned it, because the actual page is now gone. At least I have the image to look at. Favorite Pin #2 Tea Cup Cupcake How sweet is this? I love the blue and white together, but if you really like this, you'll have to figure out how to do it on your own. It's just from someone's tumbler account. The good news is that I can always use the image to have someone else make them for me.  Favorite Pin #3 Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad I am totally going to make this yummy looking salad. You can find the recipe over at the Gimme Some Oven blog and you can also bet that I am now a subscriber.  I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. Favorite Pin #4 That's What She Said Blog