Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pin Inspiration + Giveaway

This my fourth week with the Pin'Inspirational Thursday Link Party gang. It's been such a blast seeing all the creativity that they and that all of you bring to this link party each week. This week, as a thank you to you all for participating, I'm doing a giveaway that will let you stretch your creative soul. 

It's some amazing items from Shutterfly that you get to personalize with your very own photos. Included in the giveaway are:

Just enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to enter. There are a bunch of different ways to enter, some of which you can even do more than once! 

Before telling you about my favorite links from last week's party, I want to highlight my amazingly talented co-hostesses. These women take my breath away! Here's what they've been up to:

  [caption id="attachment_7882" align="aligncenter" width="393"]This Tiramisu cake is delicious and easy to make. Try it as a late night snack! 

The ever-funny Jane made me laugh in the middle of her explanation of how to make a quick and easy Tiramisu Cake. "Optional step unless you are 3." Ha ha ha! You probably have to go read the post to get it. Click the picture to find out why I laughed and to get the delectable recipe.
Using balloons in a child's photo shoot is both fun and sophisticated. 
The beautifully talented Marilyn treated us to an inspiring photo shoot of a 3 year old. We're doing a family photo shoot very soon and I now know that balloons MUST be part of it! So whimsical. They somehow look fun and childish while also being sophisticated, especially in this black and white shot. Click the picture for more beautiful photos from Marilyn. Here is an example of how you can use your serger to applique. It's a little girl's skirt with adorable heart appliques. 
O.K., now I can't sew nor do I even have a sewing machine but NOW I WANT ONE because our dear co-hostess Micki has just put the cutest applique on her daughter's skirt. She shows you how to do it and even my sewing-dunce self kind of gets it. I totally want to be able to make cute clothes for my little one. Click the cutey pie's picture to find out how to applique with a serger.
And now my favorite links from those shared last week.

I have never heard of a crepe cake so this caught my eye. As did the word "cardamom". It's one of my favorite flavors in the world. Great idea from Sweet Boutique. Click the picture to go to the recipe.

This is spreadable butter. Find out how to make butter as spreadable as margarine but keep it healthier. 

I had NO IDEA that you could make butter spreadable straight from the fridge by adding olive oil to it. This is BRILLIANT. I have to stop writing right now to go make some. O.K., I'm back. Click this picture to go over to Family Home and Life and find out how to make your own Butter Spread
These are valentines candle holders made out of tin cans. 

O.K., so these are totally the cutest things ever. I'm not a very crafty person but I'm thinking that this just might be a project I can handle. Click on the picture and head over to North Shore Days to find out how to make some along with me.[/caption] What a lot of Pin'Inspiration for this week, right? O.K., now enter the giveaway for all that cool Shutterfly stuff with the Rafflecopter below and then link up to our link party below that.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Create, Share & Inspire Us All: Our Link Party Rules


1) link as many projects as you’d like


2) visit lots of other folks (everyone likes company) and show them some bloggy love.

Pinned it, Tried it Recipes!

I get a lot of recipes from pinterest and instead of boring you all with just links to my menu, I decided it would be best to link up the good and the bad of the recipes we tried this month.

And believe me, some recipes were just awful. As in I broke in to the emergency eating out money because it was just so...awful.

We tried just six pinned recipes this month. I often plan others, but at the last minute change my mind. I like to be crazy like that sometimes.

1. Ground Beef Gyros. These aren't your typical gyros, They are more like Greek seasoned burgers in a pita with tzatziki sauce. They turned really good, and I'll probably make them again.

2. The BEST Chicken Enchiladas. I make these all the time. I absolutely love this recipe. Super easy. Very few ingredients. It's definitely kid friendly in taste and its perfect for kids to help prepare.

3. Fool Proof Meatloaf. That's not what its called when it was pinned but that's what I call it now. I've always been meatloaf-challenges. I don't normally like it, but D's mom makes a great meatloaf and I'm not his mom, iykwim. This recipe was the first time I made a non greasy, meatloaf that was awesome for sandwiches the next day. It didn't fall apart and the flavor was really good.

4. Chicken Ranch Pasta. I made this recipe in honor of an awesome deal on bacon ($1.69/lbs). I wanted something easy and comforting and bacony. This definitely hit the spot and there was nothing left, even for lunch leftovers.

5. Ranch House Crockpot Pork Chops. If you search on pinterest for pork chops in the crockpot, odds are the screen will fill mostly with this recipe. It's pretty good. Not something I'm going to make over and over, but I'm also not going to get multiple requests from the family to have it on the menu at every turn (like the enchiladas)

6. Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce. This recipe is grossly misnamed. It does not have a spicy beef sauce. It has an absolutely disgusting beef sauce that renders the noodles completely inedible. I didn't even make the kids try more than two bites. It was just beyond awful. I'd describe it more, but I'm trying to block it from my memory.

This is going to be a regular feature. Hopefully, I can add on some desserts, as well.

Would like you to follow my awesome boards on Pinterest? You can click on the button on the side bar or you can follow me boards by clicking this handy dandy link

And if you LOVE peanut butter, head on over to this week's Iron Chef Mom and check out all the fantastic peanut butter recipes, including mine for Peanut Butter Chicken! 

Hopefully I will be able to show off some amazing projects very soon! Unfortunately, the humidity here has been crazy high and there are some things you can't do (candies, souffles, painting) with that high of humidity. So most of my projects are on hold til we have less than 90 percent humidity.

linked up a:
works for me wednesday **  Create and Share **creative juice**mom on time out **transformation thursday **craftionary **


Monday, January 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Chicken

This week on Iron Chef Mom, our special ingredient is Peanut Butter! You can link up your peanut butter recipes at I Should Be Mopping the Floor!  Next week, our ingredient is White Chocolate!

I love peanut butter. I could eat it by the spoonful. And this week, instead of doing a typical sweets recipe, I thought a savory peanut butter dish would be fun!

Peanut Butter and chicken may sound odd, but hey, people think bacon and chocolate is a bit weird until they try it! 

Peanut Butter Chicken

1 lbs bonesless skinless chicken, cut in to bite sized pieces
2 T oil
1/2 C peanut butter
3 T soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
3/4 C water
1 t sesame oil
1 T hoisin sauce

cooked rice

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook thoroughly. Remove chicken to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.

In a small sauce pan combine remaining ingredients and heat over low heat, stirring constantly. Add more water if the sauce is took thick.

Place chicken on rice and spoon sauce over the top.

linked up at:
our delightful home ** Cowgirl Up ** Tuesday's Treasures **whimsy wednesday ** white lights on wednesday ** back for seconds ** work it wednesday **


Friday, January 25, 2013

Use your serger to Applique

With ADD, it means I have a lot of hobbies. And when I jump in to something I do it with both feet, headlong and then...I tend to get overwhelmed and lose interest.

One of the few hobbies I've kept through the years, however, is sewing. I remember sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls. My grandmother and mother-in-law are both terrific sewists. I like to fancy myself as not too shabby.

For awhile, I wanted all the sewing gadgets I could get and that included a serger. One Christmas D surprised me with one and I LOVED it. . . Right up until I learned how to do french seams and then the serger became a large paperweight.

Fast forward to my grandmother sending me some of her old sewing supplies...including How to books from the late 80s when sergers were just starting to get popular. In it was a book on how to applique using your serger!

Now, if you know a thing or two about applique and how sergers work you are probably scratching your head. If you don't then you won't be needing this handy tutorial anyway. ;) 

If you're wondering why this is a better alternative, I have just two words: seam ripper.

I have tried to applique before and I mess up. Every time. Then I have to rip it ALL out and it's just a mess. This way, I get the finished look I want THEN I attach it using a straight stitch that I can't mess up.

1. Cut out your applique pieces

I like to put a bit of fusible interfacing on the back just to stiffen it up a bit. I do this before cutting.
2. Serge along the edges using the ROLLED HEM setting.

You end up with this:


3. Pin to your fabric and attach using a basic straight stitch

4. Finished!

More Little Miss Cuteness

linked up at:
I freaking did it Friday **  keep calm and link up ** frugalicious friday ** Happy Hour Friday ** weekend wonders ** Create and Inspire **Debbie Doos Pinterest Party ** cheerios and lattes **It's overflowing ** sunday funday **frugal crafty home ** Monday Funday ** busy mondays ** motivate me mondays **


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pin Inspiration Party time!

Hope your day is coming along amazing...
Welcome to another wonderful
Pin'Inspirational Thursday
*With YET ANOTHER Sweet Giveaway*
Before that, lets give a big shout out to Yarni Gras
the winner of Micki's custom made apron
Congratulations Yarni Gras.....
A Custom Made Wreath Via ME!
Worth a whopping $32!

Aaaa Beee Cee Deee..... :))
Sing along.. We certainly are!!
BIG heart this cute DIY Alphabet Frame
Linked Via Urban Jane
Linked Via Smart Girl Style
Bedroom Makeover: Reading Lamps
Absolutely SMART idea! Brilliant do-over!
& Scratch off all diet plans before you proceed!
Linked Via Real House Moms
Right on time for me to give these a shot for a lil
birthday party coming up.. How pretty do
these look? AWESOME recipe..
Cheesecake Balls 3
So, how can you win my lovely shabby wreath.? 
Lots of ways and each gets you an ENTRY.
Please leave a comment for EACH entry;
1) Follow me (The ArtsyGirl Connection) through linky followers (mandatory).
2. Follow my blog via GFC here
3) Follow my fellow peeps through linky followers.
4) Follow myself or my fellow hosts through; pinterest, twitter, facebook or instagram.
Essentially we would love you to stalk us (just kidding).NO really! LOL
Remember to add a comment for each method that you've chosen.
Don't worry about having to comment on all of our blogs (that would be silly).
We'll all be chatting back and forth to make sure you are including as many times as possible.
And now onto your talents, what have you been up to?
Create, Share & Inspire Us All
1) link as many projects as you'd like

2) visit lots of other folks (everyone likes company) 
and show them some bloggy love

Monday, January 21, 2013

Double Chocolate BACON ice cream sandwiches

Time's running out to enter to win this adorable apron! We're drawing on Wednesday!

This week for Iron Chef Mom, the ingredient is Vanilla. The link party for this week is being hosted at Mom on Time Out! Head over this evening and link up your recipes with vanilla!And...start getting ready for next week's ingredient...PEANUT BUTTER

I love vanilla; as a secret ingredient...its a in plain.

I struggled to come up with an idea that wasn't totally boring. Saturday, I was still struggling and headed to the farmer's market hoping for some sort of inspiration.

It didn't come. 

I headed to the parking lot and started loading my produce into the trunk and that's when it hit me. 


Right on the top of the head.

The trunk.

 Just like Doc in Back to the Future when he fell off the toilet and hit his head. Only not nearly as awesome because I don't drive a DeLorian. But, I definitely had a concussion and in my dizzy not quite with it state, I had my stroke of brilliance:

What better way to improve upon vanilla, than to add bacon? And chocolate.

Given that I had a minor head injury, I decided to take help from my dear friend Betty Crocker and use one of her Double Chocolate Cookie mixes. Then I added bacon. Baked. Cooled. Filled with ice cream...and it was declared Nerdvana by The Boy (who has said he'd like to be referred to as Computer Monkey in future posts, but I'm not so sure about that one!)

Double Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 pkg Double Chocolate Cookie mix
8-10 slices of bacon
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie mix according to mix directions. Chop bacon into small pieces, then cook til crispy in a hot skillet. Drain bacon on a paper towel, the mix in to cookie mix. Drop cookie dough on to ungreased cookie sheet by the tablespoon full and bake 12 minutes. You should have 16 cookies.

Let set on cookie sheet for about a minute before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Freeze cookies for about 30 minutes. Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle of 8 cookies. Top with the remaining cookies.

linked up at:
Martha Mondays **  Show me What you Got ** Tuesday Treasures **cowgirl up **twirl and take a bow ** Tuesday Confessional ** Open Call ** take a look tuesday **all my bloggy friends ** too cute tuesday **whimsy wednesday ** The Creative Spark ** adorned from above **winter blues wednesday **wildly original ** creative juice ** crafty blog stalker ** transformation thursday ** link it up thursday **back for seconds **house of hepworths ** made U look **Keep Calm & Link UP ** frugal friday ** Foodie Friends Friday ** Kitchen Fun with my 3 sons **cheerios and lattes **its overflowing **

Tuesday To Do Party

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dollar Store Valentine's Wreath

Today was horribly cold. We actually had wind-chill. When I took my kids to school this morning it was 37 degrees.

Stop laughing!

That's cold!

OK, not as cold as where I went to college which boasted a high of 17 and a low of -7 today.  I know cold. Believe me, I know cold. I lived in Colorado for 7 years, Idaho for 2 years and 2 years in Utah. I've experienced temps frigid enough to cause the snot in your nose to freeze.

This  is why I don't live in a place where it is supposed to get cold. Sunday it was 80 degrees, for crying out loud! Today? The forecast called for SNOW! It didn't but still...

That meant no park for Little Miss. She didn't get any playground time at preschool.

When the weather is completely miserable, it's time to break out the big guns: arts and crafts.

We do plenty of arts and crafts, but today was special because I let her paint with my paints and not just her finger paints.

We are going to be making some sort of yet-to-be-determined Valentine craft and she needed to paint all over the broken down cereal box.

She made a huge mess of herself but she was so intent on her almost looks like an ombre, doesn't it?

Maybe she took a her design ideas from this project...

This lovely wreath was my creation during our arts and crafts time today! I painted a very boring wreath from the dollar store in shades of pink. I also used those same shades of pink to paint some really ugly foam hearts on a stick (sticks removed) that I also snagged at the dollar store.

I wasn't sure what to put in the middle. I toyed with several ideas. The LOVE is cut out from a much larger felt piece, also picked up from ... you guessed it, the dollar store. When I put the felt piece in to the wreath...


 You know that line in Steel  Magnolias where M'Lynn says the church looked like it was hosed down in Pepto Bismal?

It was like that, only not as nice.

I reached in to my scrapbooking supplies and pulled out a piece of dark BROWN cardstock and glued it to the wreath. Next, I cut down the very large LOVE to where just the words were left...and well... the results are quite nice.

I wish the brown showed better on my camera. I adore the pink and brown combination.

This project cost me a grand total of... $3 plus supplies I already had lying around the house....and I had a happy preschooler working with me!

That's enough to warm my heart and take out the chill of that horribly cold weather. And, in case you're wondering, it's supposed to be back in to the 60s by the weekend.

And even though many of you are hating me for our southern weather, please remember to enter the giveaway to win this cute apron!

And, also don't forget about Iron Chef Mom! Next week's ingredient is VANILLA! The party happens Tuesday!

Or so she says