Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to the Coffee Cafe. Hopefully, this isn't your first time joining me; but if it is, let tell you what it's all about. This is a weekly post in which I highlight the things I've loved the most around the blogosphere, the interwebz, Pinterest and Instagram etc. The format is always the same: 4 recipes, 3 crafts, 2 parenting articles, and 1 picture or quote to wrap it all up. Ready? Great! Grab your coffee and a comfy seat and let's get started!


Recipes: 

1. Parmesan Crusted Tilapia.  I don't think I've featured a seafood recipe yet in the Coffee Cafe; and this one looks the perfect one with which to start. I love the look of the golden crunch and yet it still looks simple and del
icate as well. A great healthy dinner for a warm spring night full of protein to replenish you after a work out or run.

2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle So now that we've talked about the healthy recipe for the day, let's just jump right to dessert, shall we?! This chocolate chip cookie brittle is just begging for me to make it...which I fully intend to do very soon! I love treats that are just easy and fun to make that you can
just tear apart like these and throw into a container and call it good!

3. Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Parmesan Chicken Pasta (zoodles) I just want to make this...and then I want to just grab a big ol' plate of it and a nice glass of wine and curl up on the sofa and binge watch something! That sauce looks good enough to swim in....like seriously!

4. Tropical Rum Punch  Since it's Memorial Day weekend here in the US, I thought I'd close out this week's recipe round up with a fun summer cocktail! No doubt many of you will be entertaining and gathering around the grills and back yard decks and pools and this drink just looks like a great start to summer, doesn't it?! So, go ahead and fix yourself one and then sit back and soak up the sun!


Crafts:  

1. The black and white striped background around the beautiful coral colored flower of this card by Jessica over at Crafty Jessica really caught my eye! I just think the two elements together create a striking image; and the flower is colored so beautifully. The gold border along with gold sequins works great as well. 


2. With summer wedding season approaching, no doubt many brides are currently in the throes of planning not only for the ceremony; but also for the receptions and parties afterward. Yes, the happy day is always about the loving couple starting their journey in life together. This, however, may not be an easy concept to explain to the kids that are in attendance! If you're a parent, you understand this. You understand that really if your child is under the age of 6, and it's not about them, then...well, in their minds, it's just boring! So, what's the answer? Simple...give them something to do. Make them feel like they are part of the festivities. These adorable little crafty kits with some small candy treats featured over at Wedding Day Dreams are simple, elegant and such a fantastic idea! It's a win-win situation. Kids are happy, moms are happy and the happy couple is able to stay in their well-deserved bubble of bliss!

3. Sometimes simple is best. This "Happy Birthday" card from Francine is just adorable. I love the little bottle cap dies! I mean, how fun are those?! The white card base with the bright summer colors just creates such a fun card!



Parenting: 

1. I've long been a believer in routine and structure for children, especially at a younger age. I believe it is a great way to teach time-management skills, organization, and that it guides them to a sense of accomplishment. It is important to find a balance, of course. Having a routine doesn't mean not having fun! With summer vacation either already started or right around the corner for many, having a summer schedule and routine with your youngsters can just make the days so much more pleasant! Jenny over at "Good Things Realized"  provides some great idea for Creating A Summer Schedule for your Kids. It does take some planning; but the rewards and return on that planning can really teach valuable lessons and keep everyone happy until August!


2. I love this list of 66 Positive Things to Say to Your Child from Pop Sugar. It doesn't cost a thing to make your child feel loved, to feel valued, accepted and important!


Finally, I leave you with this beautiful ocean picture taken by Yhun Suarez


Have a great holiday weekend everyone and enjoy your week as well!










Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to the Coffee Cafe. If you're new this week, let me tell you all about it. This is a weekly post in which I feature things that have caught my attention around the Internet, blogosphere, Pinterest etc throughout the past week. The format is always the same: 4 recipes, 3 crafts, 2 parenting articles and 1 picture or quote to wrap it all up. I hope you will visit the sites I've linked for you and give some love to those blog owners and find something you love as well! Ready? Ok, grab your coffee (or beverage of choice) and let's get started!


Recipes:

1. Teriyaki Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Pear Salsa. You know how sometimes you see a picture and read a recipe, and you can almost actually taste what's being featured? That is exactly what I thought when I read this recipe from Jenn over at Carlsbad Cravings. I could just so clearly imagine that teriyaki taste with the sweet pineapples in the salsa that I may have actually drooled a little!

2. Pecan Pie Bars: Speaking of drooling...ummm...these Pecan Pie Bars did not help my drooling problem when seeking out recipes for today's post! Another great recipe idea from Kelly over at Just a Taste. I love the idea of taking a Pecan Pie and turning it into a bar recipe. This is my recipe for next week's baking treat; and I can't wait to try it!

3. White Cheese and Chicken Lasagna: When I saw this recipe for this yummy looking white lasagna from Laurie over at the Tasty Kitchen, the first thing I thought was, "Wow, that just looks all kinds of delicious!" It's a perfect summer lasagna, I think as well. I tend to think of traditional red sauce meaty, cheesy lasagna as more of a winter comfort dish. I think this would also be perfect for a potluck or end of the year sports banquets that we all attend around this time of year!

4. Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls:  No doubt you've seen the popular ham and cheese sliders recipe that are often featured at potlucks and brunches. I make them all the time as well. I was rather intrigued when I saw this recipe from Amanda over at Kevin and Amanda Food and Travel Blog for a similar recipe; but instead of individual sliders this one features a pinwheel roll made from pizza crust. I thought this was very clever spin on the popular slider recipe. The sauce is different as well, adding to the recipe's uniqueness.


Crafts:

1. Glow in the Dark Water Balloons  The water balloons are just one of many glow in the dark activities featured in this article over at "Double the Batch" These activities look so fun for a warm summer night. Granted, depending on when you do them and where you live, you might have to wait until 10pm for it to be dark enough to do them! That's completely ok though, because you know...Summer!!

2. I really thought this Thanks So Much card from Michelle from "Handmade by Michelle" was just so pretty! I love all the white space in the front of the card with the flower die cut edge over the band of rainbow colors. It's just so striking!

3. Another card I found simple, yet rather striking is this "Find Joy" card from Brenda over at "Stamping As Fast as I Can" Brenda did a great job of pulling the focus of this simple card to the watercolored splotches behind the sentiment. Any crafter will tell you that the so-called "messy watercolor" look of a card is somewhat like the "messy hair bun"....it actually takes a bit of skill and practice for it to come out just the way you envision! This is fantastic, however! Well done!



Parenting:

1. In this article by Nina over at "Sleep Should be Easy" she discusses Why you shouldn't reward your kids and what to do instead. She makes valuable points about teaching our children that doing what they need to in return for internal rewards rather than external rewards should be our focus as parents. It's a great read, go check it out!


2. See Crafting #1....yep! I'm taking an easy out here this week. The activities in that article aren't just about the activities themselves, they're also a great way to spend some time with your kids!

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture or a quote this week for you. I just had a really hard time finding one I could use. I wanted to use a picture because I've done quotes lately and thought it would be nice to do a picture. I found pictures I wanted to share; but no way to link or give credit back to the original photographer. That is very important to me! If I can't credit it, I won't share it. So, on that note, I will bid you farewell until next week! Enjoy your weekend!



















Friday, May 20, 2016

Thinking of You Hearts (and summer sign off)

Hi Everyone!

Well, we did...we made it to Friday again! Yay! I hope you all had a fabulous week. Before I get to today's card, I just want to let you all know, this is my last crafty post for a couple of months. We are moving this summer; and it's time to start getting things organized. To that end, I began packing up all my crafting supplies yesterday. No, we aren't moving until July; but I really need to get to work on a laundry list of things to do before the movers come to pack us all up. I tend to get a "little" distracted by the many "to do" projects on my craft desk and floating around in my head! Also, with the kids getting ready to finish school, the day to day dynamic of the house shifts a bit as well. I'm hoping to be back up and running sometime in mid-August, so don't forget about me!  I will be keeping the Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe posts going probably through June, so be sure to come back for those; and I may do some book reviews as well. I'm not leaving you completely!



Ok, that's enough rambling! Let's get to today's card. I had no sketch or plan for this card, just a white card base and a bunch of scraps lying on my desk, so I decided to just use what was there. A few circle punches and heart punches later, and a simple sentiment and viola! A CAS card done! I wish had more to say about this card; but I really don't, so that is all for me today. Enjoy your weekend; and I'll see you tomorrow for Coffee Cafe!

Challenges:

1. Aud Sentiments: Anything Goes with a Sentiment
2. Crafty Girls Creations: Anything Goes
3. Brown Sugar Challenges: Anything Goes
4. Crafting with Friends: Anything Goes
5. Crafty Catz: Anything Goes
6. Creative Corner: CAS
7. Simply Papercraft: Anything Goes










Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Simple Watercolor Cards

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're all having a great week so far. I have two cards for you today because they were just too fun and easy; and I couldn't resist doing two of them!




A while ago, I ordered these Watercolor Doodles Printables from SSS just to have something fun and easy when I wanted to craft; but wasn't in the mood to do a whole lot of complicated things. They are so adorable! I love them. I had a hard time choosing the two I wanted to do! I used my Prismacolor watercolor pencils and colored  it all in and then used one of my aqua brushes for the water. Some of the areas are REALLY tiny though, and unfortunately, I did get a little out of the lines bleeding.



Obviously, once I was done with all the coloring, I really didn't need to do anything else, I just simply added it to a Kraft card base scored at 5 1/2 to make a top folding card.

That is it for me today. Enjoy the rest of our day; and I'll see you all again on Friday!

Challenges:

1. Lemon Shortbread: Anything Goes
2. Through the Craft Room Door: Anything Goes
3. Fab N Funky Challenges: No Designer Paper
4. Sisterhood of Crafters: No Designer paper
5. The Crafty Addicts: Anything Goes with a sentiment









Monday, May 16, 2016

Birthday Wish Balloon

Hi Everyone!


Welcome back! I hope you all had a great weekend, mine was nice and relaxing, we went to the movies and watched The Jungle Book, which we all enjoyed!



Let's get right to today's card, shall we? I wanted to create a card with some fun summer colors; and I also wanted to play with a bit of texture paste. I pressed my Salty Ocean distress ink pad on to my craft sheet and then scooped some texture paste on top of it and used my palette knife to mix it all together. I adhered the Large Dots Stencil from SSS to a piece of Vintage Cream (PTI) card stock. I set that aside to dry and made the front panel with the balloon, which is from Up, Up and Away (Verve) in Memento  Tuxedo Black Ink and also stamped a separate one on to a piece of masking paper. I masked the balloon and stamped the cloud so it would be behind the balloon. I colored both of them with my Prismacolor Pencils: Aquamarine, Pink, Sprng Green for balloon and Cloud Blue for the clouds. I added the sentiment, also from Verve and then adhered the front panel as shown to the stenciled background. For final embellishments, I added some sequins along the left side.


That is all for me today. I hope your week gets off to a great start and I will see you again on Wednesday!

Challenges:

613 Avenue Create: Anything Goes
Lacy Sunshine's Color and Craft: Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends Challenge: Anything Goes
Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Love to Scrap: Anything Goes


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to the Coffee Cafe! I hope you all had a great week. If you're new to the cafe, let me take a moment to explain what it's all about. This is a weekly post in which I share things that have caught my attention around the blogosphere, interwebz, Pinterest, etc. The format is always the same: 4 recipes, 3 crafts, 2 parenting articles and 1 quote or pretty picture to wrap it all up. Sound good? Great! Let's get started.



Recipes: 

1. Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini. This recipe has been on my "recipes to try" Pinterest board for a while now. I'm not sure why I've not made it yet; but I intend to rectify that this week! This dish looks so creamy and yummy, not to mention easy, which is always a plus. I might add some diced chicken for a little extra protein to the dish, as well.

2. Honey Garlic Crunch Chicken. Also on the menu this week will be these chicken tenders. I can practically "see" the crunchiness in this photo. They just look SO GOOD!! The thing I like most about this recipe is that the chicken isn't cut up into "bite size" pieces. Sometimes the little pieces can be hard, and very messy, to deal with when using flour and egg. I sure hope mine turn out as pretty as this picture!

3. Rolo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups. Yes, yes...you read that correctly.  A chocolatey, caramel filled ooey gooey little Rolo candy inside a little chocolate chip cookie baked in a little muffin cup!
At this point, it's ok to squeal just a little bit! I did when I saw these. Seriously, beyond excited to try these!

4. Mini Muffin Pancake Bites: Also making an appearance in the mini muffin tin are these adorable little Mini Muffin Pancake Bites! I thought these were both genius and adorable! I mean, can you even stand the cuteness of these?! They also look relatively easy to make. Perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast. When I make them, I may try to freeze a few of them just to see if that works, for future reference. If it does, then they would be a great and easy busy week day morning breakfast as well!



Crafts:

1. I love all the crisp white in this beautiful "Celebrate" card by Stacy. The brightly colored strips of washi tape in the background add such a refreshing pop of color. You can read all about how Stacy put this card together over at the Queen&Co Blog

2. Spray painting the bottom of pinecones, and then flipping them over so that the look like pretty flowers? Oh my word, what a clever idea from Vanessa over at "A Fanciful Twist" You go girl! Rock that creativity!!

3. This gorgeous stunning floral card made by Coralynn takes my breath away every time I look at it; and believe me....I've looked at it a LOT! I can't take my eyes off it. It's just beautiful! The whole thing just catches my eye in a different way every time I see it.




Parenting: 

1. This list of Mother daughter dates over at Sugar, Spice and Glitter is such a great list of ideas. I love how it is split into different budget categories as well. I think the relationship between mothers and daughters is just so important. The greatest influence on a girl's life is her mother, I believe. I have always try to ensure that my daughter and I have a loving and strong relationship. Oh, it's not always pretty, that's for sure! But it's steady, it's solid, it's there front and center in both our lives. She's almost 16 years old and I think the reason we have a good relationship now is because we did spend time together doing fun things when she was smaller and continued as she grew and her interests few and changed as well. Go read the list and be inspired!

2. I can also totally relate to this article from Chelsea over at Everyday Light: "She is Not Me" I love my daughter beyond anything I ever imagined and she is the spitting image of me. Seriously, people who have met me and then meet her totally separately know instantly that she's my daughter! However, she is definitely her own person! I love how in this article she talks about all the ways she knows her daughter may not be like her. That she may never want to be a photographer or like blue grass music or watch musicals. I know my daughter may never enjoy crafting, reading or red wine. She may never develop a taste for Jazz music or Indie music; and that is totally ok, because as Chelsea says, "She is not me, she is part of me....the best parts of me"


Finally, we'll wrap it all up this week with this quote. Have a great Sunday; and I'll see you again next week!







Saturday, May 14, 2016

Thinking of You.

Hi Everyone!

Well, we have made it to the weekend. How was your week? Mine was good. A little rain and some sunshine. I went out for dinner and margaritas with some friends and that was fabulous. Sometimes, you just have to regroup and refresh, reset the "mom" button, you know? I am sorry I wasn't able to post this yesterday. I ended up spending the day away from home and just wasn't able to do any blogging.



Let's get to today's card, shall we? Just some simple background stamping today with a simple sentiment for this one. I used Hero Arts Classic Fabric Design background stamp with SSS Slate Ink on some Neenah Solar White card stock, followed by another small layer of white edged with SSS Audrey Blue ink. For the next layer, I used Clearly Besotted Eastern Delights to create a small border around the edge of the card stock with Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. For the center panel, I used the Swiss Dots Embossing Folder. Once the piece was embossed, I used an ink blender and added a bit of Tumbled Glass Distress Ink. I decided to run a sanding block lightly over the embossed surface to give it a little bit of a distress look. I added the sentiment, which is from the same Clearly Besotted set. I layered the various pieces as shown with a SSS Fog card base.

That's all for me today! Since I'm a day behind, Coffee Cafe will be posted tomorrow instead of today. I hope you'll come back and see me!

Challenges:

1. Jade's Sparkling Butterfly: Anything Goes
2. Aud Sentiments: Anything Goes with a Sentiment
3. Southern Girls Challenges: Anything Goes
4. A Beautiful Mess: Anything Goes
5. Crafting with Friends: Anything Goes
6. Creative Fingers: Anything Goes
7. PDE Linky Parties: Anything Goes
8. Simply Papercraft: Anything Goes








Wednesday, May 11, 2016

You Make Me Smile

Hello Everyone,

I hope you're all doing well today. We've made it to the middle of the week, just two more to go! I'm going to just jump right in and tell you about today's card. I wanted to do some embossing and ink blending with this card and really focus on the background. Ink blending is a such a simple way to create something that just looks so complicated and much more involved than it actually is!






For this card, I embossed Basic Grey's Tapestry Script background stamp with versamark and clear embossing powder on to 80lb Neenah Solar White Card Stock and then ink blended with various distress inks and Simon Says Stamp Inks. Now, let me take a moment here to digress....I know I should probably tell you what colors I used. Problem, though is...I don't know! LOL! Normally, before I make a card, I sketch it out on a little piece of graph paper, and then on the back of that piece of paper, I make all my notes about what stamps I want to use, inks, markers, paper etc. So that when I actually sit down to make it, I can just gather up what I need and I'm all ready to get to work. Then when it comes time to sit down and prep a blog post, I refer back to the notes I had. 
If you remember, I had this same issue with the Copic markers for Monday's card. I accidentally threw away the notes for both of these cards! Whoops! 

Anyhow, once the panel was complete, I added the sentiment which is also from Basic Grey: Special Lace. I stamped it on to a piece of white card stock that I cut out using a Label 4 Nestabilites Die. To finish the card, I simply added the whole panel with some dimensional adhesive to Simon Says Stamp Fog Card Stock card base. 

That is all for me today. Have a great Wednesday! Thanks for visiting with me and I'll see you again on Friday. 

Challenges: 

1. Creative Card Crew: Anything Goes
2. Lemon Shortbread Challenges: Anything Goes
3. Through the Craft Room Door: Anything Goes
4. Sisterhood of Crafters: No Designer Paper
5. Crafty Addicts: Anything Goes/add a sentiment












Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Flowers

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and a special shout out to all the moms out there who were able to celebrate Mother's Day yesterday; and a silent prayer for those who have had to say goodbye to their mothers or to their babies.
I'm sharing the card I sent to my mom this year for Mother's Day. I would have shared it last week; but I didn't blog last week, so here it is today:


I was really in the mood to use my Copic Markers to color some flowers and I couldn't think of a better flower to use than the outline rose from Altenew's Beautiful Day. I did a lot of masking with this card as well. Masking is one of those "easy" techniques that really intimidates me! I don't know why; but it does! I keep trying though and each time I do, I feel as though I get a little better at it. I wish I could provide you a list of the Copic Colors I used; but alas, I completely forgot to write themdown and I just don't remember well enough to try to wing it from memory.

Anyhow, I wanted the focus to be on the flowers, obviously; so I kept the sentiment very simple across the middle and I also outlined the edge of the card with a brush tip black marker which you can't really see or notice in the photo very much; but trust me makes a big difference in real life. It really helps to clean up the edges of the white card

That is all for me today. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Monday. Thank you for visiting with me, and I will see you again on Wednesday!

Challenges:

1. Come and Get It Challenges: Card for a woman
2. Glitter and Sparkle Challenges: One for the Ladies
3. Quirky Crafts Challenges: April showers bring May flowers.
4. Stamping Sensations: Anything Goes
5. Crafting from the Heart: Anything Goes
6. Craft Your Passion Challenges: Anything Goes
7. Love to Scrap Challenge: Make it Girly










































Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hello Everyone!

How was your week? Mine was good, and productive. Sorry about taking the week off from blogging; but you know, sometimes you just have to regroup and refresh. I'm already working on things to share with you next week, so be sure to come back on Monday!
For now though, it's time for another round of Coffee Cafe. If this is your first visit to the Cafe, the concept is simple, this is a weekly post in which I share the things that have interested me around the blogophere, Pinterest, and interwebz during the past week: 4 recipes, 3 crafts, 2 parenting articles and 1 picture or quote to wrap it all up.
Ready? Grab your coffee or other warm beverage of choice, and let's get started!


Recipes:

1. Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach and Bacon Chicken. I don't know if I've mentioned before; but my daughter and I gave up red meat and pork earlier this year, so that means we eat quite a bit of chicken and turkey. I still eat fish as well. Anyhow, the point is that I am always on the lookout for yummy chicken recipes. This chicken recipe just looks mouth-watering good, doesn't it?! I don't think sun-dried tomatoes get nearly enough credit either. I love the tanginess yet little bit sweet taste they have. The creamy spinach and cheese sauce just put it right over the top! Of course,  for us I would either eliminate the bacon (which in true confession is probably the hardest thing to have given up!) or perhaps substitute turkey bacon for it.

2. Fresh Broccoli and Apple Salad with Walnuts I know I featured a salad last week as well; but what can I say, I just love salads in the summer time! Especially when they remind me of summer and backyard BBQs with friends and family. This broccoli salad with apples just screams summer to me! Bonus points for having simple ingredients too. Obviously, with the mayonnaise and sour cream, it may not be on a diet plan; but hey...crack open a nice Pinot Grigio, pull up a chair in the sunshine and just enjoy life!

3. Crab Rangoon Last week, I shared a recipe for Sticky Sesame Chicken (which I made this past week with fried rice; and it was a huge success...even though it was also really messy to make) When I saw this recipe for Crab Rangoon, I thought that would be a perfect addition to the dinner the next time I make the chicken! I would probably do the baked in the oven version to make things a little easier, since the chicken and the rice require a lot of simultaneous work on top of the stove.

4. Homemade Twix Bars. You didn't think I'd leave you without a link to a yummy treat for the week did you?! Well, of course I am...I love Twix bars. They have always ranked in my top 5 favorite candy bars (Mounds being my favorite-favorite!) This homemade version not only looks scrumptious; but also easy to make. I like that they are no bake as well, except for the littlest up of melting the caramels. Can't wait to try these!



Crafts:

1.  Beach Inspired Mason Jar  Sea Glass and beach rocks are just some of nature's naturally beautiful things. If you've ever been fortunate to collect some from a beach, you know how lovely it really is. Of course, you can also just buy it from a craft store or Wal-Mart too! It shouldn't just sit in a dish on a table or at the bottom of a fish aquarium! Do something fun with it. These little mason jars would be perfect for adding the perfect little light and fun to a summer evening on the porch with friends and cocktails!

2. I love the spotlight feature of this beautiful Rose Card from Crafty cre8tions I love the black and white with just the flower being the only colored part of the card. I like how this technique really pulls the focus to the center of the card.

3. I think this Thank You card from Sue over at Miss Pinks Craft Spot is just so sweet! I love how she used the flowers behind the sentiment as a perfect background to the card. I like the cool-breezy summer colors she used as well and that bow? That bow is just about as close to perfection as you can get!




Parenting.

I don't have photos to go with this week's parenting articles. Still, I hope that you read them. I really liked this article about not limiting screen time for kids. I think that the author makes a good point in that technology is an increasingly important factor in our kids lives; and it is not going anywhere. It's not about eliminating what we perceive as a detriment or undying hope to return to the days of our own childhoods but instead of finding ways to balance and more importantly teaching our kids to find that balance for themselves.

That all being said, technology is NOT a substitute for learning, it is a tool; one of many that we as parents should be using to help our children learn. This article discussing 7 Ways to Raise Smarter Happier Children discusses tried and true methods for helping us along this parenting journey!


Finally, I leave you with this beautiful flower picture from "My Crazy Beautiful Life" I hope you have a great weekend! I'll see you again on Monday!







Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

So, I had every intention of posting this yesterday for the usual Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe; but life required my attention else where, so Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe is here on a Sunday! Did you all have a fabulous week? Mine was good, busy as always with kids, baseball, and life in general. Never a dull moment in life, is there?

Ok, so here we go with this week's Coffee Cafe. If you're new, this is where I post links to various things I've discovered that have caught my attention around the blogosphere, Pinterest, and general interwebz over the past week.  4 recipes, 3 crafts, 2 parenting related articles and 1 picture or quote to close out the week. So, grab your coffee and let's see what's been happening this week!

Also, before we get started, just a quick note that I will not be blogging next week. Just a lot going on and things to do, so I need to step away from the craft studio next week and focus on them!



Recipes: 

Who doesn't love Sesame Chicken from your favorite Chinese take out or buffet restaurant? Don't pretend you don't salivate over it when you see it! There's a reason it's the most popular item on the menu with perhaps Orange Chicken being the close second. I've been looking for a while now for a way to recreate it at home and I think this Sticky Sesame Chicken recipe may be just perfect! I like that it seems to have simple ingredients that I pretty much already have on hand. I intended to try this last night for supper; but life just kind of happened and it didn't work out that way. It's on the menu for this weekend though for sure!

Buffalo Chicken Salad from Hidden Valley  Eventually Spring will come and then Summer and that means lighter fare such as salads. I'm a huge salad fan; but I'll admit too, that I like a salad that eat likes a meal, especially if that's all I'm going to eat. I think it's pointless to try to convince yourself that the little side salad with spinach, tomatoes and onions with oil and vinegar you're eating is going to fill you up and that's all you need to eat. When you know, you're going to be right back in the kitchen making yourself a ham sandwhich a 1/2 hour later! So, a salad like this one that has some meat, veggies, cheese and dressing is right up my alley! And buffalo chicken is always a classic combination!

Hash and Egg Cups I love eggs...I think they're so underrated. I love eggs in all their lovely ways. I love them, boiled, scrambled, fried, poached...deviled. About the only way I don't like an egg is well...raw! Combining the egg and hashbrowns in one "cute as a button" cup?! Yes, please!! I think this would be a great recipe to serve at a brunch with friends or a big family Sunday gathering after church.

Homemade Chewy, No-Bake Granola Bars: I may solely be keeping the granola bar industry in business. We love chewy granola bars. They are fast, convenient and I don't know about you; but I can convince myself they're healthy long enough to get them into my grocery cart and home. So when I saw this recipe for a way to make them at home, I was initially a little skeptical because I really didn't want an overly complicated full of weird ingredients recipe. This, however, looks easy and "normal"! I can't wait to try this recipe!


Crafts:

This coffee card by Pauline took my breath away! It is one of the prettiest creations I've seen in a while. I just can NOT get enough of those gorgeous colors. The blues and grays with the deep dark browns?! OH. MY. WORD!! Ok, I'll be quiet now, so you can just enjoy a moment to look and admire this incredibly talented crafter!

It is 49 degrees in Iowa, people...2 days before the beginning of May. FORTY NINE! I just want Spring to come and to stay and winter to just go away and stay away. This card with all its pretty spring flowers by Jenny just made me smile! It was the perfect little dose of Spring on a cold day that I needed!

Finally, for crafts this week, I chose this Copic Marker cleaning tutorial by Kristie over at Odd Girl because my Copic caps are a hot mess! I never really actually thought about cleaning them; but then I saw this and realized that not only should I do it but that it's also easy to do. So, I've been working my way through my markers about 10 at a time in the evenings while watching TV.



Parenting: 

Middle school is hard; and not just for the kids! Maybe it's just me but I also seem to struggle a bit more with my son in middle school than I did with my daughter. My oldest son has always been a bit of an independent mystery. He's quiet, determined, and quite the perfectionist. He can be really hard on himself when he makes a mistake or does something that he doesn't think is his absolute best. He's not necessarily hard to talk to...but he's a little harder to get to actually talk to you. He's a minimalist when it comes to conversations! I love this article that gives you great ideas for conversation starters with your middle schoolers.


I also have a teenager daughter and while we have a great, open and honest relationship with relatively little drama; she is still a teenage girl and a bit of stress is inevitable. This article with different ways to help your teen through stressful situations will definitely come in handy.




Finally, last week I ended with a quote, so this week, I'm ending with a picture; and since baseball season has started, I couldnt' think of a better one than this!


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I'll sse you again after next week.






















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