Sunday, August 9, 2015

Time To Start Thinking About Your Halloween Costume?

This Elf appeared in his Skeleton costom.  It came with 2 suction cups attached to stick him on any shiny surface.  Now the fun begins...

He is making an appearance on Halloween night.  So,  watch out all of you little rug rats, Santa's helper may just be around the corner.

He may be on the window, upside down, sideways ??

Or, on the TV, maybe watching TV?

Then of course you may find him on a mirror.

This Elf will get many strange looks, but will especially be noticed by those little eyes that know why Santa sends his elves to spy on them. Time is awaiting, so get on with it and start thinking about your Halloween costume.

This costume can be ordered in my shop at:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

How Do I Get My Toddler's Attention?

While visiting my daughters house one day in April, I happened on an interesting event that had me in stitches.  I'd like to make a document of this day as a silly occurrence that made a 2 minute impact on my life.

It all began as running around bumping into walls and furniture, then screaming high pitched little girl nonsense from one sister to the other, while taking one's favorite toy away and stubbornly holding it high in the air?  Mommy muttering insane words of unnoticed pleading, and looking at me with helpless eyes as if I could do something about the situation.  All of the sudden I heard an unbelievable minute of silence and 2 little brains clicking off with wonderment in figuring out what had just happened.

"Mommy looks different?  She's not speaking".

"Now she's smiling?  What is going on"?

Two minutes have gone by and 2 little monsters are coming toward Mommy.  This is the greatest silence of my life, while smallest toddler wants to make sure Mommy is OK, she needs to check out those bright colorful things popping out her eyeballs.  Touching the purple eyes, her mouth is still closed and her mind is still computing...

Then one egg falls and then the other, and soon a smile reaches Little's mouth.  "Mama, I want to wea-w yoe eye-ths".

Somehow she couldn't grasp the concept of how the eggs were placed over her eyes, so Mommy held them for her as she looked at Big sister with a huge smile of importance.  Okay, so much for the silence, it's time for sharing again.

And she's off, she's figured out how to keep her new contacts in her eyeballs, and yes, quite an impact on those 2 little girls.  We had a few moments of laughter and soon the screaming had been forgotten for another time.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How To Make A Garden Box Out Of Your Overstuffed Living Room Chair

Our big comfortable overstuffed chair finally overcame it's welcome in our living room.  My new granddoggie came to visit me and decided to urinate all over the back and seat (I think she believes that she is a horse).  At that moment I knew I was going to have to remove the chair but really didn't have an option of hauling it away.  So, this is what my crazy mind concocted:

My husband and I carried the chair out to the back yard.  I proceeded to remove all of the upholstery fabric, foam, and a million staples. This old chair took me 4 days, 2-3 hrs per day, to completely gut.  I seriously thought about putting pieces week by week into the garbage can, but we have a fairly small can, so I wasn't thrilled about having this eye sore sitting around.

I had my husband get 4 wood pallets from work, and I went to town removing the wood from the pallets, which was also a really good patience builder for my personality.

First of all, I turned the chair frame upside down, then added wood pieces from the pallets to cover the floor of my box (mid-way).  Then I measured and cut the side pieces and attached all around the outside with nails.

I was so excited to get it filled with soil and plants, so combined a mixture of peat moss, compost, and vermiculite and proceeded to plant a few flower.

At my house, you don't spend money unless you absolutely have to, so for now I'll keep the rustic wood look, until I decide to stain this master piece after all of the rain.  

A few weeks down the road and this is my unstained garden box, growing beautifully, waiting for some landscaping projects and walkways around it's body of work.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Junk Yard Chicken Quesadilla's

I have been making Quesadilla's for years using left over meat from some bbq on the grill.  I don't think I could ever say that I put the same ingredients in them twice.

Here is my Junk Yard Style in progress:

Bone the grilled Chicken we had last night.  Clean all the meat off the carcus and throw away what you are not using, unless you want to simmer the bones and skin for using later in broth.

I usually clean out the fridge for this dish, however, I am slim on pickings today, so this is what we're getting.
I chopped one green pepper, 1 yellow onion, I don't have any fresh garlic darn! So, get the skillet out.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and sautee pepper and onions till the juices run a little but don't completely cook them.

I am substituting a can of black beans in place of pinto beans which I am out of, so I'm rinsing them in my colander and throwing them in the grinder with water to help blend them.  Black beans are wonderful in almost any dish, they help keep things moist and tasty while holding things together. You can also throw them in whole if you like.

I pour in the blended black beans, add the chicken,  pour in either Salsa or Picante Sauce about 1 - 2 cups (if you have either fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes, I add those in place of the Salsa).  Then add 2-3 tablspoons of Chili powder, 2-3 tablespoons of Cumin, If you don't have fresh garlic, then I add a tablespoon of garlic powder, and 1-2 Tablespoons pepper, and salt to your liking.  Now mix it all together and let it cook on the stove top on Med heat for about 10 minutes.

Lay out your flour tortillas and spray cooking oil on one side, then turn them over to the side not covered with cooking oil and spoon the Junk yard mixture on one half of the tortilla. 

Then fold over and sprinkle shredded cheese on the top.  I lined my baking sheets with foil for easy access and no scrub cleaning.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg. and place them on the top rack to bake for 10 minutes.

While waiting the 10 minutes I like to fix a salad with this dish, and I love this salad kit from Dole (I am not advertising for Dole by-the-way).  I love to try new things that come out in the grocery stores and this is really good.  This one is the Chipotle and Cheddar version with Kale, which comes with a Fire Roasted Chipotle Ranch dressing, a packet of shredded white cheddar, and a small bag of cheddar tortilla chips.  SO GOOD!

It's done, let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.  I usually cut each one into 3 slices.

Here you have it!  If you have sour cream, chopped tomatoes, avocado dip, hot sauce, anything you love, tastes great drizzled on top.  YUMMY and quick meal for dinner.

Now, don't forget the big sale is over at midnight tonight.


How are you celebrating National Craft Month? Craftsy is offering a BIG sale with all online classes up to 50% off so that you can spend this month (and beyond) doing more of what you love. Money-back guarantee. Sale ends tonight - shop now!
Happy National Craft Month!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How To Cook a Whole Chicken on the BBQ Grill

My husband is such a great cook, I wish he would cook all the time.  On the weekends he likes to fix a piece of meat on the grill when we have nice weather, or the oven when it's cold outside.  Yesterday was 70 deg. outside and beautiful BBQ weather, so Dan went and bought a whole chicken for the grill.

This is a step-by-step instruction for my daughter who lives in Cheyenne Wyo, and wanted to know how he cooked a whole chicken on the grill:

First - he has a bag of 100% natural Mesquite wood chips (for use in gas and charcoal grills), he takes about 3 handfuls and soaks them in a bowl of water for 30 min.  Then he puts the wet chips on 2 pieces of foil and wraps them up to place under the grill top on the flames, leaving the ends uncrimped for the smoke to come out.  He also covers an old pan to put under the grill top where the chicken is cooking to catch all of the juices so that it won't be a big clean-up job on the bottom of the BBQ'er when your done. This works best with a three burner barbeque that you can turn off the middle burner for indirect cooking. You can also use a charcoal grill with the coals on each side, but not directly under the chicken.


Next - he goes out and turns on the BBQ to heat for 10 min. so he can clean the top really well, and gets it sprayed with cooking spray.  Now he gets the foil with chips and the drip pan and puts them under the cooking rack. Put the two wood chip packets directly over the burners on each side.

He has prepped his chicken by rinsing and then spicing it.  He never uses the same spices, always different, he sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, Season Salt, about anything in the cupboard.

So, outside we go for the fun part.  He slides the chicken off of the plate onto the grill:

The important thing here is to keep the temperature around 350 deg.  He leaves the burners on each end on about halfway, and shuts off the middle burner (indirect cooking method).  Now the wait begins while we sit outside and admire the nice weather and the apricot blossoms blooming at the end of our yard. With a thermometer on the cover, monitor to keep the temperature about 350 to 375 degrees. Try not to open the cover, as the heat and smoke will escape and cool the grill.

About 2-1/2 hrs later, the chicken is perfectly juicy and browned.

Dan grabs a long handle spoon to insert and pick up the chicken, then puts it on a plate to continue our meal inside.

This smells so good I can hardly wait to partake!

Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting, then dig in..

I can't stop grabbing pieces of skin while he is cutting, it is crunchy and well seasoned, and out of this world delicious.

Dan loves the drumsticks.

My favorite is the chicken breast.  It is so juicy and most that you can't stop until it is gone.  Ok, now I wish I hadn't eaten so much.

Now don't forget that March is National Craft Month.  How are you celebrating National Craft Month? Craftsy is offering a BIG sale with all online classes up to 50% off so that you can spend this month (and beyond) doing more of what you love. Money-back guarantee. Sale ends Monday - shop now!

Only today and tomorrow left to get up to 50% off on all CRAFSY courses.  Don't miss out grab a class: