Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Love U So Much



Hi Everyone!

Here today to share a card I made using the leftovers I had from this Thank you card, I posted last week. I knew when I made the original card, that I could use the "negative" parts of the original die cuts, so I set them aside. Yesterday, I needed a quick card, as I didn't have a lot of time available to craft. A little bit of thinking, some arranging (and rearranging) and viola 30 minutes later, a new card!




This is probably one of the most simple cards that I've done in a very long time; but I was rather pleased with the final result. I try to keep the embellishments fairly simple as well.  I did not initially plan to put the ribbon around the top; but ended up doing so in order to hide a mistake I made. Seriously? Ribbon can fix anything, right?! I did add some glossy accents to the red heart for some final shine and that was it!

I hope you like it! Thanks for visiting with me, enjoy the rest of your day; and I will see you again soon!




1. 613 Avenue Create: Anything Goes
2. Amusing Challenges: Anything Goes
3. Little Patch of Crafty Friends (2E) Anything Goes
4. Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes
5. Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hershey's Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

Hi Everyone!

Printable Recipe

I hope you all had a great weekend. Unfortunately, I spent most of mine sick; but seem to be on the mend a bit finally today. I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe for some cookies. I found this recipe on the Hershey's.com website, which you can visit as well for the recipe (or you can just click the printable link at the top of this post as always)


These cookies were so very yummy! My daughter said they were like little brownie cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar. Make sure you store them in air tight container, as they did hardened quite easily. These are a great cookie to take to a pot luck or serve for entertaining, as the recipe yields quite a bit.

Refrigerating the dough is also essential to the recipe. The directions at the Hershey's site says to chill it for at least 6 hours; but I found 3 hours to be plenty.



Anyhow,  I hope you give them a try and enjoy them as much as we did!

I'm linking up this recipe with the following linky parties:

1. Mix it up Monday
2. Marvelous Monday Linky Party 47
3. Monday Funday 
4. Gator Mommy Review Linky Party 50
5. A Sorta Fairy Tale Blog Hop 48
6. Manic Monday Blog Hop 44


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit with me today, have a great day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friends are Treasures Box Card

Hi Everyone!

I hope you have all had a good week. I have had two little boys sick; but finally on the mend and back to school! I also don't think my "Mom Superpowers" worked very well as I am now not feeling the best now either. So, just a quick post to share my project for today.

I wanted to create another "non-card" project and I saw this cute little "Box Card" over on Splitcoaststampers; and I LOVED it! You can find the complete step by step instructions with pictures (and a video) here.



I learned a couple of things when doing this project:
1) Practice first on a spare piece of paper, just to get the feel of things. I ended up wasting a few sheets of paper :(
2)  Use thin paper...thin thin thin...thicker card stock will not fold as easily and this is a project that has a lot of folding in it! Now, I don't have a lot of thin patterned paper, so I found some OLD Stampin Up paper in my stash and used that. 



I love that this project folds flat and you can put it in an envelope. However, if you wanted to put something inside it and still fold it flat, you would have to put something flat in it as well. I think if I were to give these as gifts I would probably put one or two little Ghiradelli squares inside of it.



That is all for me today. Enjoy your weekend, everyone and I'll see you on Monday!


Challenges:

1. CRAFT Challenge: inspired by a film (I chose Treasure Island because of the sentiment in the box and the fact that I can put pieces of chocolate (Ghiradelli) chocolate inside.
2. Scrap and Craft Challenge: Flowers
3. Add a Little Dazzle: Anything goes with an option of spring. (Note: this is my first time playing this challenge; and I couldn't get the rules page to pull up...so I hope my entry is ok.)
4. Crafting for all Seasons: Pastel Hues
5. Crafty Creations Challenges: Chevrons or Stripes
6. Crafty Girls Corner: Anything Goes
7. Simply Create Too: Anything Goes
8. Simply Papercraft: Anything Goes


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Ordinary Conversations to Have with Your Teenager.

Care, Create, and Cook Click to follow me on Bloglovin! Blog candy when I get to 50 followers!

Hello Everyone!


If you are a parent of a teenager, or the parent of a future teenager, today's ramblings under the "Care" Category are dedicated to you! Now, I'll admit, I've not been the parent of a teenager for very long. My daughter is only 14; but I feel like we're both tackling this journey with just the right amount of support and understanding:

                      --She says, "I need a hair cut, new clothes and my iTunes card has no more money on it"
                      --I say "My roots are showing, me too and my Starbucks card has no more money on it!

Teaching her a bit of independence has also been crucial the last couple of years:

                     --She says, "What's for dinner?"
                    -- I say, "Whatever you make for yourself."

And of course, no life with teenagers is complete without the standard battle of rolling eyes, "whatever(s)" and anguished cries of "why are you trying to ruin my life?!"

                        --She says, "Don't be so mad at me!"
                       -- I say, "Then stop doing things that make me mad!"
                   



I use the above examples as quirky little anecdotes that are usually few and far between; but her being a teenager and me being the parent of a teenager is new to both of us for sure. I have found, however that communication...good, and bad is the key to our mainly happy relationship. I have also found that it is the conversations about ordinary every day things that help us and keep us connected the most.

There is always going to be a need and time to have the BIG and important conversations: Sex, Drugs/Alchohol, Social responsibilities, Future plans for college, career etc. However, you cannot just show up for those big talks and not take an interest in the things that matter to your teen on an every day basis. That's not parenting a teenager, that's just trying to get through 6 years of your life with as little work as possible.

Now, I'm not a parenting expert...like AT ALL! Still, I wanted to share the 5 things I try to talk with my daughter about on a fairly regular basis. These are not conversations limited to teens, by any means...I have these same (slightly modified) conversations with my two younger children as well.



1. What has been happening at school lately?  

               This is not the conversation about academics. This is the conversation that lets your teen know that you are interested in what happens in the place where she spends her entire day away from you. This is the conversation that asks, "Do you get to see your friends in the hallways between classes?" "Who did you eat lunch with today?",  "Is your friend who was sick feeling better?" "Did anyone get into a fight?" "Have you seen or talked to that cute boy/girl you told me about"  These are questions that let your teen know you care, that you have a desire to want to know more than "did you do your homework?"

2. Do you have a plan for upcoming week with school, sports etc?

                  THIS is the academics conversation. This is the conversation you have that goes through every class, asking if/when tests are, projects, homework is due etc. This is the conversation that lets him/her know not only do you care, but it also teaches a sense of ownership, and in the case of sports activities too, it teaches time management and goal setting. You can't leave it for the last month of school or right before report cards are issued to take an interest in your child's academic life. You cannot tell your child you want them to succeed in college, and life etc, and then not help them be aware of the work that that requires.

3. What are you watching on You Tube?

                  You will get no arguments from me about the wonders of You Tube. It is indeed a revolutionary part of our world today. I know my daughter watches it all the time as well; and I have no problem with it because I ask her all the time what she's watching. By being accepting of the fact that she enjoys this, she opens up to me about who she enjoys, what she searches for (mostly, music videos, TV show montages and beauty/make up/fashion channels) You Tube is part of the teenage world, simple as that. Some will argue, I'm sure, at this point that teenagers can't be trusted online. I disagree, teenagers can be trusted if they feel like that trust matters.

4. Tell me about your new Facebook friend, (Instagram follower etc)

                 This is another social media type conversation. It's so simple, really...be interested in your child's friends and followers! Ask, how do you know that person? Is she in one of your classes? Does his family live here? It doesn't really matter what questions you ask; but by asking any question at all, it tells your teenager that you care about the people with whom they are making connections.

5. How have you been feeling lately?

                  Sometimes, it is just good to ask how your teen/child is feeling in general lately. This is the conversation that asks, "have you been having any physical issues at all...aches, pains, notice any spots or areas of concern on your body etc? "Is everything happy in your world at the moment?" "Is there anything on your mind, you would like to talk about?" This is the conversation that just lets your child know you are available, and that you care.



 There are going to be triumphs, laughter and happiness; and there are going to be challenges, tears and meltdowns. Raising a teenager isn't about you, and it's not about them. Grab them by the hand, (for as long as they'll let you...) and enjoy the journey together!


I'm sharing this post with the following linky parties: (I am interested in participating in more parenting linky parties, so if you have one or have any recommendations, please let me know)

1. Coffee and Conversations
2. A Little R&R
3. Makeovers and Motherhood




 





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank U

Hello Everyone!


Care, Create, and Cook Click to follow me on Bloglovin! Blog candy when I get to 50 followers!



Here today to share a card I made using this week's Deconstructed Sketch as an inspiration.


I started with a side folded card made from Simon Says Stamp Khaki card stock. I layered  a piece of Ocean Tide from PTI. I stamped the layer of Neenah Solar white card stock with the Classic Fabric Design Background Stamp from Hero Arts in Khaki ink (also from Simon Says Stamp.)



I cut, layered and embossed the rest of the panels as shown. I stamped "U" from Verve's You and I set in khaki ink and used the coordinating die from the I Heart U set to cut it out and then adhered it to the circle panels.

I stamped the small "thank" in the top corner and added the flower at the bottom, added the faux stitching around the edges of the circle and the card base. In the end, I felt like the top corner was lacking a little, so I added that small strip of of Ocean Tide for a final finishing touch.



I was really happy with the way this card turned out, especially the color scheme. I hope you like it too!!

Have a great day; and I'll see you all again soon!


Challenges:

1. Deconstructed Sketch


2. Brown Sugar: Anything Goes
3. Crafts for the Craic: Bingo (I chose Flower, 2+layers, and stitching)
4. Crafty Catz: No Designer Paper
5. Sister Act Card Challenge: Anything Goes
6. Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
7. Crafting from the Heart: Anything Goes
8. Through the Purple Haze: Anything Goes


Monday, March 23, 2015

Chicken and Bacon Rigatoni


Hi Everyone!


Care, Create, and Cook Click to follow me on Bloglovin! Blog candy when I get to 50 followers!

Printable Recipe

Here today with pasta recipe that is great to make either with new ingredients or from left overs you might have in your refrigerator.

I don't know about you; but we seem to eat a lot of pasta dishes in my house. For me, it's cheap, versatile, family friendly and easy. I can make a ton of dishes from a box of pasta and a jar of sauce. Add some meat, and vegetables and the possibilities are endless.



I also seem to have bits and pieces of leftovers in the refrigerator that I can often incorporate into these dishes. I am notorious for always thinking I'm not making enough ....and then I make too much!

This is definitely a warm and comforting meal on a busy night. I hope you enjoy it!!

Have a great day and I'll see you again soon!

I'm linking this post up with the following Linky Parties:

1. Mix it Up Monday
2. Marvelous Monday Linky Party #46
3. Monday Funday
4. Gator Mommy Review
5. A Sorta Fairy Tale  
6. Manic Monday

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Hope" Note Pad Holder


Hi Everyone!

Care, Create, and Cook Click to follow me on Bloglovin! Blog candy when I get to 50 followers!


Today, I wanted to share something crafty that wasn't a card. I make a lot of cards simply because they are quick and easy; but I thought maybe today I'd change it up a little and show something a little different.

Now, I should probably apologize for the quality of picture here today. Normally, I stand the cards up on my coffee table and have my fireplace in the back ground as a nice "framed area." Today however, I needed to lay it flat, so I didn't get quite the right lighting. Thus, the unfortunate shadows.



I am ALWAYS in need of a piece of paper for something. Even in this age of technology where there is an app for everything, I still find myself digging through the great abyss of my purse to find a scrap piece of paper to do anything from jotting down the 4 items I need from Wal Mart, to writing down numbers and figures for calculating expenses etc.

I've used this note pad holder in the past and, let me tell you, it comes in handy SO much!! It's quite easy to make as well. These are perfect for teacher gifts as well!
I have a tutorial here that will give you step by step instructions for making these.

For my design today, I used the Tuesday Morning Sketch. The base of the note pad holder is Fog card stock from Simon Says Stamp. I found some scraps of dark charcoal grey and white card stocks sitting on my table and decided to just use those and keep the project monochromatic. To add some interest to the white background panel I used the Moroccan Stencil from Simon Says Stamp and some texture paste. I haven't used it since Christmas and it was fun to bring it out again!
I wanted to keep the center of the design simple because the textured background is so dominant. I stamped a flower from Hero Arts in black ink and the tiny "hope" sentiment at the bottom in Simon Says Stamp Schoolhouse Red ink. I inked the edges of the flower panel as well as the textured panel in this same ink for a "pop" of color.
Finally, I added the black stickle dots on the center panel and finished the front. I adhered the note pad on the inside and that was that!

Thanks for visiting me today! I hope today's project has inspired you to perhaps get out of your crafting comfort zone. Have a wonderful day; and I'll see you all again soon!

Challenges:

1. Addicted to Stamps and More: Anything Goes
2. Scrapper's Delights: Anything Goes
3. Cards and More: Monochromatic
4. Tuesday Morning Sketches: sketch
5. Crafting with an Attitude: Anything Goes (2nd Entry)
6. Time Out Tuesdays: Clean and Simple





Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Cool...To Just Be a Mom.


Hello Everyone!

Sometimes I reflect upon the vastly different path my life has taken since I was an undergraduate choosing my career path at Clemson University. In 1994, as I finally decided upon a Secondary Education with a concentration in history and geography Major, I was fairly certain I had at least the next 10 years of my life planned out. In my head, it went something like this:
--Graduation: 1996
--Teaching Job: 1996-2000. During which time I would research requirements, apply  and be accepted to either a Master's in Adolescent Psychology Program, or to law school---I hadn't decided which one yet.
--Sometime between 2000-2005, I would establish my career. I would move to a major metropolitan area, secure a place to live, and be a "Get up, put on a business outfit of some kind, grab a latte from Starbucks, get to the office and earn a decent return investment on my college degrees" working woman.
--I had always planned to get married and start a family when the time was right as well.

Well, as you can imagine, things didn't exactly turn out that way! Instead, I found myself married to a US Marine in 1998; and after teaching for 5 years in 2 schools, I was off on an airplane with him and our 2 year old daughter to an island on the other side of the world. 3 years later, we returned from our time in Okinawa with 3 children; and I found myself fulfilling a role I had never once given thought to: full time mom.


In the 11 years that I've been a SAHM, I have fulfilled many roles including domestic goddess, nurse, teacher, cuddler, disciplinarian, and chauffeur. As a military family, we've packed up and relocated our family 5 times in the past 11 years to new towns, new friends, new school districts and new sports teams. I have watched more episodes of Barney, Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, and Thomas the Tank Engine than I ever thought possible. I've learned the "new math" at least 8 different ways; I've cut, glued, painted and assisted with science project, art projects and more. I've learned how to make 3 different meals at once, and taken multi- tasking to a whole new level!
I've spent precious hours cuddling, kissing, loving and soaking in every thing that is pure and good in this world. I've learned what unconditional love is; and what it means to truly appreciate something greater than all the possessions in the world. Perhaps most importantly, I've developed a deeper understanding of myself that, in turn, has allowed me to think beyond myself.


It's not what I had planned; but it's a life that makes me happy; and it's the journey I would not change. Oh sure, sometimes I sit and long for that "grab a latte, and conquer the corporate world" working woman; but then a gentle reminder floats into my life like a forgotten breeze on a warm day. A reminder such as the one yesterday, when I took my son to school; he asked me if I was ever going to be a teacher again. I told him, "No, I think I'm happy just being your mom." He hugged me and said, "you know what, Mom? That's cool!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mojo Monday Happy Thoughts

Hello Everyone!

Care, Create, and Cook


Here today to share my card for yesterday's Mojo Monday sketch. I haven't played along with a Mojo sketch in quite a while; and I also had a rather busy day yesterday as well, so I was grateful for this easy sketch to play with!



(A quick reminder here to click the BlogLovin button at the top! Remember blog candy will be given to a lucky winner for every 50 followers!) 


I started with a black card base measuring a standard 5 1/2 x 4 1/4,. I added a layer of Neenah Solar white and then a smaller panel of Simon Says Stamp Fog card stock that I embossed with the swirl embossing folder. For the image panel, I layered black, fog and white card stock and then stamped the Medallion stamp from Verve in Simon Says Stamp Teal ink. I added a sequin with some black stickles in the center for a bit of bling. 
I stamped the "Happy Thoughts" sentiment from Verve in black archival ink. The ribbon across the center is an old piece of Stampin Up Bermuda Bay that I found in my ribbon stash. 
Super simple card for the day! I hope you like it. Have a great day, and I'll see you all again soon!

Today's Challenges:

1. Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes
2. Love to Scrap: Anything Goes
3. Mojo Monday: Sketch




Monday, March 16, 2015

Beef and Mashed Potato Crescent Pockets

Hi Everyone!

Care, Create, and Cook

So, before I get to today's recipe and post. I want to say a quick something about "Bloglovin" If you are a blog lover like I am and have many different blogs that you follow, like I do; AND you crave organization and easy access (wait for it...) like I do, then Bloglovin should become your new best friend!! 
Bloglovin is a website (also available as mobile app for iOS and Android) that organizes all the blogs you follow into one easy read feed. It's fast and convenient and ensures you don't miss any updates from your favorite bloggers.
So, go ahead and click the "Bloglovin" button up there at the top of the post and follow me. If you're a blogger, I will follow back!
Also, for every 50 follows, I will have a (to be determined) prize!!


Printable Recipe

Ok, so now on to the main attraction for today's post! I'm sharing a very quick, easy and kid friendly dinner! This recipe is also great because it answers the age old question: "What can I do with these leftover mashed potatoes?" You know who you are...you're just like me, you always think you're never going to have enough mashed potatoes, so you make extra, only to have leftovers. It's a situation that has to be dealt with in a timely manner. Therefore, I give you Beef and Mashed Potato Crescent pockets!



Three Ingredients; and 30 minutes to a golden flaky crust with soft, flavorful, hearty goodness inside. I mean, seriously? Let's behold the versatility and wonder of the crescent roll and say thank you to the Pillsbury dough boy....Amen! 



You can really flavor it up on the inside any way you want; I kept mine simple: beef and potatoes. I didn't add any cheese because I have one child who can't eat it, one who doesn't like it and one who...well, doesn't really care one way or the other.

I hope you give this fun and easy recipe a try. Thanks for visiting with me, today! I'll be back tomorrow with more to share. Have a great day!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spots and Stripes Happy Birthday.


Hello Everyone!

I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend. It's been a rainy and overcast here in PA; but I think we may finally be done with the snow at least!

Today, I have a simple birthday card to share with you. I designed this card around a couple of challenges (posted and linked at the end). Usually, I make a card and then hop over to Paper Playful and find the challenges that my card fits. This time, however, I did it the opposite way.


One of the challenges I chose involved using spots and stripes. For the stripes, I used "Basic Stripes" from Clearly Besotted stamped with Simon Says Stamp Hot Lips ink in the center of a piece of Neenah solar white card stock. For the dots, I used Simon Says Stamp "Lots of Dots" and alternated inking them with Hot Lips ink and Khaki ink. The card base is Fine Linen from PTI. 
For the sentiment in the center, I originally stamped the sentiment from "Poppy Birthday" by Verve Stamps in Khaki ink and then inked the edges in Hot Lips ink. However, I felt as though it just didn't quite stand out enough and got a bit lost in the center of the card. So, I re-stamped the sentiment in Vintage Photo Distress ink and just adhered it over the original sentiment. 
I added some May Arts Natural twine with a small button around the center at the bottom for some added interest. I mounted the center panel with foam adhesive on the card base. 

Challenges:

1. Addicted to Stamps: Celebrations
3. Suzy Bee's Bloomin Challenge: Anything Goes with spots and stripes
4. Crafty Catz: Buttons and Bows

That's all for me today. Have a wonderful afternoon and I'll see you again soon!



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Celebrate, Sparkle and Shine!

Hello Everyone!

Here today to share a couple more cards I made using Simon Says Stamp December Card kit. (In other news did you see they just revealed the April kit?! It's pretty cool...check it out here!) 

For this first card, I started with the light Aqua card base (I don't remember the actual card stock) and then added a layer of the dark grey and the white. I embossed the tiny triangles border stamp with the platinum embossing powder as well as the circle border around the sentiment. I stamped the sentiment in Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.
I drew a border around edges of the white with a silver signo gel pen and finished the card by adding a few sequins.

This might also be a good time to point out that I realized after I took these photos that my watermark has the wrong year on it. I've updated it though, so it'll be correct on future cards!



For my second card, I started with the grey card stock and added the layer of light blue. Once again, I did some more embossing--it just seems to be the theme of this kit! I used platinum powder with the circle stamps. I wanted more circles with this design, so I used an embossing folder for the front white panel and then added some silver stickles to them. 
I embossed the sentiment, ribbon cut the edges and then added it with some foam adhesive.  I finished the card with some ribbon from Verve and added faux stitch
lines with a silver signo pen.


Challenges:

1. Sister Act Card Challenge: Anything Goes
2. Aud Sentiments: Two Word Sentiments
3. Crafting With an Attitude: Anything Goes

Have a fantastic day, everyone! Thanks for visiting with me and I'll see you again soon!



Friday, March 13, 2015

Healthy Body and Mind: Be the Example

Confession time: Getting old scares me. Phew ...there I said it!  I'm not so much afraid of dying at a ripe old age. I understand it's a part of the life cycle and what not. Ashes to ashes, so on and so forth.
No, what causes me great trepidation at times is actually being old. Waking up one day to a set of creaky old arthritic bones, or getting tired more easily and not having the energy to keep up with my grandchildren.


I've always considered myself to be moderately to actively healthy. However, it seems since I've turned 40 this year, I feel a bigger push to be more health conscious. I feel like I'm reading food labels a little more closely; that I'm opting for the salad choice over the chicken sandwich. I'm drinking enough green tea and water in a day to float a river! Never eat after 7pm; and all those "healthy to dos" I read about in the same magazines you're reading as well.
I do 20-30 minutes of exercise daily--just to keep the muscles moving. 
Oh, don't be confused...I still love chocolate, red wine and coffee. Chips and dip continue to be a guilty pleasure I don't think I'll ever give up! 


My mind is another thing I worry about as well. My biggest fear is not being "mentally present" to enjoy my granchildren one day. So any activity that forces me to use my brain in any way, is an instant must do for me!
In my quest to stay healthy for my own future, I realize that I'm also providing a solid foundation for my children upon which they can build their own healthy lifestyle. We have a busy life, and I am certainly not above chicken nuggets, and fish sticks. Still, I also count it as a victory when my teenage daughter comes to me and asks to go grocery shopping with me so she can choose healthier snacks. I love to hear the excitement and enthusiasm in her voice when she talks about running track for the first time this year. As always, our boys are involved basketball and baseball as well. 


I know getting old is going to happen; but if I can be 70 and feel like I do right now, that sure would be nice! If my children pass along some lessons they've learned from me to their own children for a long healthy life, well then...I can't think of anything that could be more perfect!

*Disclaimer:  The photos in today's post are not mine. I retrieved them from doing a google search for images of the following categories: "Salad", "Health and Fitness"; and "Brain Games"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Color Throwdown: Happy Birthday!



Hello Everyone!

Here today to share a card using colors from the Color Throwdown challenge. It was refreshing to use some bright spring themed colors after making so many winter cards.  

I used stamps from Verve, Hero Arts, and Simon Says Stamp to make this fun birthday card. I also used the sketch from the Tuesday Morning Sketches blog for inspiration.

Keeping the post simple today. Have a great day and thanks for visiting with me. I'll see you again soon!

Challenges:

1. Color Throwdown: 
2. Inspiration Destination: Anything Goes
3. Simon Says Stamp: Things that Fly
4. Cards and More: Chevrons
5. Tuesday Morning Sketches: Sketch

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Easy Weeknight Chicken

Hello Everyone!


Printable Recipe Link

Here to share a recipe today. I have a confession to make. Try as I might to plan ahead for dinner, sometimes I just get busy and well...I forget. Next thing I know it's 4:00 in the afternoon and I'm scouring the freezer for something I can get out and defrost quickly. 
This was the scene yesterday afternoon, so I grabbed a package of thinly sliced chicken breasts from the freezer (it works best with thin sliced) and put it in a sink full of very hot water to defrost. I placed a heavy pot on top of the package to keep it submerged. I changed the water and kept it hot to defrost the chicken over the next hour.


Now, when it comes to chicken I know, as many of you do as well, that it's the one thing that is so easy to cook and yet is also the one thing so easy to overcook or dry out and pretty much just ruin. This is unfortunate especially considering the fact that meat is expensive.
I decided to cook the chicken in the gravy on the stove to help keep it moist and tender and to also try my best not to overcook it! This is always my downfall... I am so paranoid about under cooking chicken that I usually end up cooking it too long.
The result was deliciously moist and tender chicken ready in less than 30 minutes. I popped a steam bag of potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower into the microwave as a side dish to keep it simple and voilĂ : Dinner was served!
I hope you have a chance to try this recipe on a busy weeknight for your and your family!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Never too late to "Sparkle and Shine"


Hello Blogging World!

I'm back! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season. I took a little more time off from crafting and blogging than I had originally anticipated. However, I'm a firm believer that if you don't have the heart or desire to do something, then you're probably just not ready to do it. I thought a lot about whether or not I wanted to return to crafting and more importantly blogging. My thoughts centered around two questions:

1. What do I do with the cards and projects I create? I love to make them; but then I sometimes feel like after they are finished, they just go into a box or a basket and I don't do much with them. Well, after a bit of thought about it, I decided to 1) send more cards to Splitcoaststampers Cards for A Cause; and 2) to explore the idea of sending/selling more cards to friends, family and well...anyone who would like to purchase them. Card making is fun to do; but it isn't without its expenses, that is for sure. Most of the cost is for consumable items: paper, adhesive, inks etc, so it is minimal.

2. Is anyone reading my blog? Or am I doing all this work for 3 or 4 people who may or may not actually stay on the page long enough to read what I've written? If you're a crafter AND a blogger you know that it's a LOT of work. Most bloggers in other areas, think about what they want to write about, type it up, snap a few pictures and then hit publish. Crafters have to actually create their blog item, photograph it, edit the photos (which in and of itself is a painstaking process!) write about it and then publish it. It's a long process! Some crafters are hugely successful bloggers...I wish I was one of them; but I'm not. Try as I may I don't think I ever will be either. I don't have a fancy camera or video set up; and I have pretty limited computer skills, so my blog is never going to be anything fancy. I wish I was one of those people that designed for big stamping companies; but I'm not...

So, why then continue to blog? Well, I think mainly because I feel like it gives me a bit of purpose for the day. I realized during my hiatus that I missed the "work" feeling it gives me. I'm a SAHM and my kids are all in school during the day. Crafting and blogging give me a way to feel like something beyond my role as "domestic goddess!"

Ok, I know that was a lot of mumbo jumbo. If you read all that and you're still here with me, you have my deep and sincere gratitude! Let's get to what I have to share with you for today, shall we?!

 While I was creating my Christmas Cards, I received my December Card Kit from Simon Says Stamp. I set it aside to work with later and finally pulled it out last week. So, the cards I will be sharing over the next few days are all from that kit. This kit was fun to play with, although I have to say, I didn't care for the gold embossing powder in the kit. I found it really hard to work with, and it just didn't seem to give me the results I wanted. The colors in the kit were gorgeous, however. In fact, probably one of my favorite color palettes yet in a card kit!


 


Have a fantastic day, thank you so much for visiting with me and I'll see you all again tomorrow!






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