Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday

Birds of a Feather - The Rosenbergs

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Recipe Box: Cheesy Vegetable Rotini

I have to tell you a secret. I clip the recipes out of magazines and coupon booklets. Eek! For real, though, they are usually the best recipes. Easy and delicious. Except for Wednesday evening. I tried a new chicken and rice recipe and it was awful. The rice didn't cook through like it was supposed to and I even left it on the heat for an extra 15 minutes. We ate it anyway, but next time I will cook it halfway before adding it to the skillet. Anyway, on to the recipe!
Cheesy Vegetable Rotini

2 cups cold water
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel, drained
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Add water to skillet and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Add pasta; stir. Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add remaining ingredients; stir. Cook, covered, 5 to 7 minutes or until Velveeta is completely melted and vegetables are crisp-tender; stirring frequently.

I am never afraid to add ingredients or take away ingredients. I love to experiment and usually it works out fine. This recipe originally called for chicken and I made it that way the first time. We decided we liked it better without, though so I nixed it. And I add a little bit more Velveeta than it calls for.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pleated Fleece Skirt

And yet more sewing posts. I know. I'm so obsessive. Russ calls me "Chuck *Insert my maiden name here*" all the time. That's my Dad. I guess he thinks I get my OCD from him...he would be right. But, really, is that a bad thing? Hahaha!

Moving on! Tuesday I decided to try something I had never done before. I made a skirt with a free pattern I printed off of the internet! And you know what? It was so easy!

Reasons to use patterns off of the internet:
1. You only print the size you need.
2. Less cutting out.
3. Easier to cut printer paper than it is to cut pattern paper.
4. Simple to put the pattern together and to pin it to the fabric.
5. Easier all around!

At least it was with this particular pattern. Plus, I learned how to make box pleats. So cute and so simple!

And here's the story of the fleece skirt:

I have 2 clear containers full of fabric pieces. I like to go to Hobby Lobby and buy the clearance fabric that is already cut and rolled up. (I'm going to stop doing that...more on that in a minute) So a while back I bought a piece of fleece. I didn't have a specific project for it. I just thought it was cute and with all the babies that were on their way, I thought I would have a use for it (and then it turned out that all the babies that are here/on it's way are boys.) I really wanted to make something for winter for Chloe Jo with it, but there wasn't enough for a dress or jumper so I decided to surf the internet for inspiration....and found Fleece Fun! Her site is so fun and I love the subtitle: "Velvet is Pretentious. Fleece is Fun!" How cute is that?!? On the site is a list of patterns and instructions for several fleece projects and that is where I found the Pleated Skirt Pattern.

And here is my final product:
I'm so happy with it! I think it turned out super fun and super cute!

And I think Chloe Jo likes her new skirt.
And then the weather got back up into the 80's yesterday so she wasn't able to wear it to Bible class last night.

***I don't recommend buying fabric from the sale bin at Hobby Lobby. I have a large piece of fabric that I was planning to make a dress for Chloe out of and when I unrolled it, there are 2 holes in it. They are in a place that I can't work around them so the dress is a no go. I'm going to try to get a skirt and shirt applique out of it instead, but I don't know if that will even work. :(

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

As usual, I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday!

First, I'm loving the wonderful fall weather we've been having! I love having the doors and windows open to let in the cool air!

I'm loving that it has been a crafting month for me! If you haven't noticed by the rest of my blog, I'm very obsessive. Once I get a project out, I don't want to put it away until I've crafted my heart out!

I'm loving this adorable fleece skirt I made for Chloe Jo last night. More to come on that later this week.
I'm loving that I have a new nephew coming in February. I have been sewing up a storm for him lately. Here are a couple of onesies I have made for him.
I'm loving that I've finished several Christmas gifts already. Here is a blanket I made for my little nephew, Jackson.
I'm loving this fabric. I'm going to try to make a dress for Chloe Jo out of it. She is in need of fall/winter dresses so I have been trying to stock up her closet.
I'm loving making my own dishwasher detergent! Find the recipe here.
Last, but not least, I'm loving this adorable little girl who has been so great this week letting me craft. Chloe Jo, you make my days so fun!
Link up here to tell us what you are loving on this gorgeous Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More soap making

I started making my own laundry detergent a year ago. I can't believe it has been that long and that we've lived in South Carolina for a year. Time keeps getting quicker and quicker the older I get. Anyway, so I've really enjoyed making laundry detergent and it saves us a lot of money. I tried making fabric softener and that didn't work out so well so I abandoned that project. And found another. Dishwasher detergent. I've been wanting to try this for some time, but needed to use up what we had. So this week, we are on our last two action packs so I took the opportunity to make dishwasher detergent. I ran a load of dishes yesterday and I really like how the homemade detergent did. I searched for a while for a recipe I liked and I'm so glad I did! It didn't make as much as I thought it would so the next time I make it, I will probably make a triple or quadruple batch.
Dishwasher Detergent

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
4 packs unsweetened lemonade
1/4 cup Kosher salt

Just mix that all together and use 1 tablespoon of detergent per load of dishes. If you need a rinse aid, use distilled white vinegar.

So easy and economical!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Music Monday

Straight No Chaser - Stand By Me

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Clothes

I finally put my scrapbooking supplies away. I made it though August 2007. I'm happy with the progress I made and I plan on getting it back out when I'm done with a few other projects. I've been trying to get Christmas presents made so I've been doing a lot of that type of thing. I also have a few plain shirts that I am wanting to applique on for Chloe Jo. Here is Saturday's project.
The t-shirt is from Children's Place and I had bought it a long time ago for $0.99. I also had the jeans for a long time. They are from Wal-Mart and are Faded Glory brand size 24 months. I have been waiting for CJ to grow into them since she was 18 months old. Never happened. They are still too big in the waist and now they are too short. The fabric is just some from my stash.

The first thing I did was take in the jeans. I would have just put them in goodwill, but I love these jeans. They are sparkly! I'm a sucker for sparkly toddler clothes.

And here is what I came up with!
I'm thrilled with how this adorable outfit turned out! I chose to applique a vest on the shirt and put real buttons on it and added a ruffle out of the vest fabric to the jeans.
I love it and the jeans fit her great now! CJ had just woken up so she wasn't exactly thrilled to be having her picture taken. I'm confident she likes the outfit, too, though. :)


It seems like Fall has graced us with its presence. The last two days have been in the 60's. I sure thought I had more time to get a fall wardrobe together for Chloe Jo. Instead, we took a trip to big town next door today to get a few a jacket...for her. We did pretty good and came back with several items that will, hopefully, last through the season.

Welcome Fall!

Friday, September 16, 2011


My sweet girl is growing up so fast! Tear. She has been growing like a weed these last few months.
In the last few weeks she has started participating more in Bible Class and has started repeating things and learning them. She has also started being a little more friendly to strangers and people at church services.
I'm hoping she continues to come out of her shyness and continues to love learning. Here are a couple of videos that I took this morning of her.

I'm so proud of my smart Chloe Jo!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

It's that time again. Wednesday. Halfway through the week. Is it just me or are the weeks flying by? I can't believe it is September already and that we have been east coasters for over a year now. Anywho, link up {here} to tell us what you are loving this week!

I'm loving starting each day with Bible reading. This has been a great year for me with my daily Bible reading. Usually I have to play a lot of catch up over the course of the year but this year it has been minimal and when I have had to play catch up it's not usually more than 2 or 3 days.
I'm loving crafting with Chloe Jo! We made a windsock this morning...and then hung it in her room where it won't be touched by wind. Ha!
Since she can reach it, she'll have it down in no time!

I'm loving my followers! Ya'll are great! I recently hit the big number 70! When I make it up to 75, I'll have another giveaway and this time, I'll make a few things and you can choose what you want me to give away! Sounds fun, yes?
P.S. I love comments, too...

I'm loving that I have 4 Christmas presents knocked off my list and I have the supplies for 7 more! I love getting finished early!
As always, I'm loving my sweet, precious family. Russ and Chloe Jo make my heart feel like it's going to burst.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Making Crayons

Last week Chloe Jo and I made crayons. We loved doing this and CJ loves her new round multi-color crayons. Here is how we did this:
The supplies you will need are:
a box of crayons (new or old)
a muffin pan
I ended up also using a knife and a cutting board
The first thing you need to do is unwrap the crayons. At first we were just peeling the paper off. That ended up not being very easy and CJ got bored with it quickly. I ended up slicing the paper with the knife on the cutting bored and it came off much easier and quicker. The downfall to this is that you have to be extremely cautious about this because the crayons are round and it is super easy to slip and cut yourself. If you push the knife into the crayons a little it works better. Some paper still didn't come off easy after that, but the majority slipped right off.
After you are done taking the papers off, you need to break the crayons up in little pieces.
Chloe Jo loved this step because it was easy for her to do. The puzzle in the picture is what she decided to do while I took the papers off of the crayons. She loves that puzzle.
I tried to break each crayon into four pieces to make them small enough. If I had used a larger muffin tin (I used a mini-muffin tin) I would have left them in bigger pieces. It just depends on your tin.
Drop a handful of crayon pieces into each muffin mold.
Put it in 300 degree oven until they are completely melted. I left mine in for about 8 minutes.
Let them cool completely and then pop them out. I did this like I would an ice mold.
And Wah-la! You now have round multi-colored crayons to color with to your hearts content!

This was a sort of trial run for us. I used the mini muffin tin because that is what I had on hand. I think it would be super fun to do this with heart shaped tins or leaf shaped tins. The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Music Monday

Since the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 was yesterday, I wanted to share a tribute song for Music Monday. Every time I see 9/11 pictures or an article about it, I always end up crying. Every. Single. Time. It is so crazy how some emotions stay with you throughout the years. If you are like me, you will need to have tissue handy for this video and song.

10 years

The New York City skyline before September 11, 2001
The New York City skyline after 10:28 a.m., September 11, 2001

I will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chloe Jo, Justin Bieber is not your father!

We have a store in town that has a Justin Bieber stand up cut out in front of their doors as you walk in.
It isn't this particular one, but you get the picture. A few weeks ago, Chloe Jo and I went into this store. As soon as she spotted The Biebs, she pointed at him and yelled "Dada!"

Yesterday, we went in to the same store and the same thing happened.

The only person happy about this is my 10 year old niece who is a Biebs fan.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Noodle Necklaces!

Last week, Chloe Jo and I made noodle necklaces together. We had such a fun time doing this that I want to share how we did it. This is an activity that a young child can help with so it was right up our alley.
You will need:
Noodles with a large hole.
Food coloring (the liquid kind)
Rubbing Alcohol
Yarn or some kind of string
4 bowls
A fork or strainer
The first thing I did was pour the rubbing alcohol into the bowls. Then Chloe Jo helped me squeeze the food coloring in each bowl. You will need to stir this mixture up.
Chloe Jo dropped noodles into each bowl until the liquid was full.
You don't want to put too many noodles in because if they aren't covered by the liquid they will not dye correctly.
Then we waited 20 minutes for the noodles to dye.
I picked up the noodles with a fork and laid them on a towel to dry. You can also just dump them into a strainer (which would be easier...if only I had thought of that before I used the fork!). They needed more time than I had originally anticipated to dry.
After they are dry, help your little one string them on the yarn to make a necklace!
Chloe Jo loved this activity!
And, of course, I loved doing this with her!

Next up: Making crayons!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rag Wreath Tutorial

I haven't done a tutorial in a while so since I've been doing a few crafty things over the last week I thought I would share some of my methods. I've seen a lot of the rag wreaths and decided to try making one myself. I don't know how other people do this (probably a similar method) because I just did what I knew would work.

So here goes!
You will need a wire wreath (these come in all different sizes and shapes!), fabric (I chose 4 different fabrics and used 3/4 yard of each, and a pair of scissors.

First, you need to cut strips out of your fabric. My strips were about 6 inches by 1 inch. This does not have to be perfect at all. I just eyeballed it. Using my cutting mat would have been much easier and faster, but I love my pinking shears so I used those and did it by hand.
Once your strips are cut, double tie them on the wire wreath. And that's it! This took me a few hours in all because my wire wreath was large, but it was so simple and I love the way it turned out. I've seen people use tulle for these and they also look great! I love how mine looks. It gives my home a nice fall feeling!