Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hospital survival pack.

My cousin and her husband had their precious baby about a week and a half ago. A few days before she went into labor I gave her a Hospital Survival Pack that I put together. I'd seen ideas all over the internet for something like this and I took into account all of them with a few of my added touches.

I included in the pack a list for her and some fun commentary to go with it.

I just loved this idea. It was fun to put together and fun to watch her look at each item in the bag.

The items I included were:
1. A magazine (All You)
2. Chapstick
3. Hand lotion
4. Dry shampoo (gosh, I love that stuff!)
5. Face wipes
6. Slipper socks (in pink AND blue because baby's gender was a surprise!)
7. Granola bars
8. Altoids
9. Chocolate
10. A 31 zipper pouch, just because they're awesome

She loved it and whether she actually took any of the items with her to the hospital I'll never know, because I'll never ask (I am sensitive to rejection, y'all).

I just thought it would be a fun way to put together a few things one might not think to take... duh, chocolate! I even handmade the tag for the pack with all my random scrapbooking letters. Finally putting some of those to good use!

I hope to put more of these Hospital Survival Packs together for friends and family as more babies come into this world!

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ice Cream in a bag.

I've been seeing this all over Pinterest, how to make ice cream in 2 Ziploc bags. You know I just had to try this one! And wouldn't you think, it was totally as easy as they say it is. This is where I found the recipe, but I'm sure there are a bajillion others to use.


Basically all you need is:
• a bunch of ice
• 2 Ziploc bags (one sandwich size and one gallon size, both with zip seals)
• 1 cup half and half or light cream (I actually used whipping cream)
• 2 TBSP of sugar
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1/2 cup of salt

And here is how to do it!

1. Mix the sugar, half & half and vanilla extract together. Pour that into the sandwich sized bag - make sure it seals tightly!

2. Fill the gallon-sized bag halfway with ice and pour the salt over the ice. 

3. Put the cream filled bag inside the ice filled bag and seal the larger one shut.

4. Get to shaking, baby! Shake (or flop back and forth) for about 5 minutes. Shake for 8 minutes if you use heavy cream or whipping cream.

Here's a video of my getting lazy while shaking. Dude, 8 minutes is a long time, and you don't realize it until about 1 minute into the job!

5. Once it's finished, the ice cream will be hard. If not, continue shaking a little longer. 

6. Remove the ice cream bag from the larger bag, and quickly run it under cold water (still sealed of course) to quickly clean the salt off the bag. 

7. Open the baggie and pop in a spoon. 

8. Or if you're like me, plop that ice cream into a mug and add root beer, then enjoy!

Happy ice cream making!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Wreath.

You may remember the Fall Wreath I made in September using pipe insulation, ribbon and fall leaves.

Or maybe you saw the Winter wreath I made in January with red sparkly bead garland and my new "D" letter.

Well I've got a new wreath for SPRING! I used the same grapevine wreath I had on the door with the Winter wreath but I removed the red garland and the "D." 

I added some yellow burlap ribbon and a big burlap flower I found at Hobby Lobby and ta da! I love it! 

It literally took me 5 minutes to do it, too! I really like how it looks against our purple front door.

For now, this one is Springy without being too Eastery *you know what I mean. . . with birds or eggs or bunnies. . . puke.* My plan is to continue to use this grapevine wreath for each season. 

Happy Spring!

Never lose an outlet plug.

To some people this may seem too obvious. To others this may seem genius! I'm hoping for the latter.

This is something I do around our house all the time. No, we don't have small children, but we do have cats and a 3 year old niece. Safety is important.

Instead of unplugging an outlet plug and placing it God knows where on a nearby table or on the floor, secure it snuggly over the cord that you've plugged in. This way you can find it when you unplug the cord.

Happy day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Organize jewelry.

If you've been reading my blog long, you might remember my awesome [to me] idea for hanging my necklaces. If not, click here.

Since we moved from our old house into our new one, I haven't reinstalled my necklace rack, even though we've lived here for 2 months already. Oops.

Last night I decided to just do it. Get it assembled and get my newest idea added to it. What's my newest idea? Well, storing my necklaces on a rod is great, but what do you do with your earrings? Many moons ago I was wandering through our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and saw an acordian-like metal thingy that I figured was used as a vent cover or Barbie gate or something. If you know, tell me. Either way, a light bulb went on over my head (about 3" up). This would be great for hanging my earrings! So I bought it - because it cost about 30 cents and I spray painted it black and VOILA!

Behold . . . . my new arrangement in my closet!

I can now house both necklaces AND earrings! I fixed the accordian-like metal thingy to my wall using picture hanging hooks and a nail. This allows it to stick out from the wall a little bit so my earring hooks can get in and around to hang.

I just love having this done. It makes me feel so organized.

And though my husband won't say it out loud, he's probably so glad to have my jewelry off our dresser and finally where it belongs!

Happy organizing!

Chicken Florentine Pasta.

Recently I've been on a Pioneer Woman kick. I find her neat to watch and her recipes seem, for the most part, simple and easy. On one of the shows I watched last month, she made chicken florentine pasta and I knew I had to try it! I had a friend coming over and it sounded perfect! Plus it gave me a reason to finally use my wok [that we received as a wedding gift, uh, over a year ago].

For Pioneer Woman's step by step visit here. But for my less than Pioneer Woman step by step keep reading.

Chicken Florentine Pasta
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • 1 pound Penne
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced (I used Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic)
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 cups Low-sodium Broth, More If Needed
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 4 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Shaved With Vegetable Peeler (I used shredded)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.

2. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
3. Heat butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken chunks in a single layer and do not stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. Turn the chicken and brown on the other side. Cook until done, then remove chicken from the skillet.

4. Turn heat to medium. Add garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it's reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point.)

5. Turn off the heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, chicken, and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine. 

6. ENJOY! 

My notes: Next time I will let the wine cook longer, only because while eating the meal I could still taste the wine - OR I'll use double the broth like she suggests. 
Otherwise, this was really good! I love spinach and I love pasta and I love chicken so this was bound to be a winner. 

Happy Cooking!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dump a pomegranate.

Do you love pomegranate but hate struggling to get the yummy seeds out to enjoy one? Are you short on time? Does this sound like an infomercial yet?

Well. . . have I got the solution for you!


Step 1. Cut the fruit across its middle instead of top to bottom.

Step 2. Hold one half face down in your palm above a bowl & beat the bottom of the fruit with a heavy object. I used a wooden spoon.

3. Do this beating method for a couple minutes [longer if you're extra frustrated that day] and watch the seeds fall into your bowl. 

It's not the most graceful procedure, but it's as hassle free as I could find. It beats picking the seeds out one by one and this method gets most of them out sans the nasty white tissue stuff! 

Happy pomegranate eating!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Build a snowman.

My husband is part of a Fight Club through church (a men's non-physical fighting program) and each week they have assignments. Some are physical, some are spiritual, some are memorizing Bible verses. This week one of his assignments was to build a snowman!

We got a fresh snow on Wednesday but by Thursday afternoon, much of that snow had melted. We still had a little bit in piles in our yard so we figured it was best to do it now. Forecast calls for no more snow in the next week, and he only has one week to get his assignment completed.

Over a year ago, I saw this cute idea online to make an upside down snowman. I was so determined to do it last Winter. HOWEVER. . . we got like maybe 2" of snow it seemed and I wasn't able to get one made before Spring.

I told Mike what I wanted to do and he was game! It was so fun. I haven't built a snowman in years. I missed getting my gloves soaking wet and tromping through snow to find the "clean stuff" so Mr. Snowman doesn't look like he wrestled with piggies!

So here was our final product! What do you think?

Here's Mike with the little guy.

Happy Snowman Making!

De-fuzzing a coat.

I love my wool pea coat.

I bought it from Target last Fall to wear for work and I've worn it pretty much every day this Winter. What I don't love is how fuzzy it gets. It collects all kinds of fuzz over time and that doesn't fly with me.

Last night I made it my mission to "de-fuzz" my wool coat. I have a sweater comb, but that just wasn't doing the trick. Then my husband mentioned he'd used one of our knives to de-fuzz his North Face fleece recently. Genius that man is!

So I got to work. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish and I was DONE! I definitely recommend it! I found it worked best to use a serrated knife because the teeth do all the work to pull the fuzz out.

Happy de-fuzzing!