Friday, February 24, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Burlap Bunting Banner


My husband goes out of town often and while he's away I like to host girls' nights.  Usually everyone brings some food item and we all sit and chat, but this last time I decided to do a craft night and we all made St. Patrick's Day bunting banners.  I LOVE mine and wanted to share how we made them.

Supply List:
Gold Dot Burlap
Cream Burlap (or whatever other color you're wanting to use).
Green Paint
Green Yarn
Small Hole Punch
Painters Tape
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Template (Click HERE for a template for the triangle and shamrock)

Just so you're aware the gold dot burlap is a bit more expensive than normal burlap.  On sale it was still $9/yard at Joanns.  Good thing you don't need too much for one bunting banner eh?  The triangles we made were about 7 1/4" tall and 6 1/2" wide to give you an idea of their size and how much fabric you need.

First you'll need to cut your triangles.  A little tip for cutting burlap in a straight line is to find one thread (in this case at 7 1/4") and pull it out.
 Then you're left with a perfectly straight light to cut along.  Amazing right?  You're welcome :)

After your triangles are cut, the next step is to paint your cream burlap.  I wanted a combo of stripes and shamrocks for mine, but feel free to mix it up and do whatever combo you want.  Total I had 6 gold dot triangles, 3 striped and 2 shamrock triangles.

For the shamrock, I simply printed it off on cardstock paper.  Used scissors to cut it out and then dabbed the paint on with a foam brush.  Make sure you have something under your fabric because the paint WILL go through to the other side.


Line your triangles up like this to save you some time and to make all of your stripes even.
 Using painters tape, make your stripes.  I had my painted lines 1" thick.  I found adding the tiiiiniest bit of water to the paint helped it go on a bit easier.
Allow the paint to dry and chat with your friends.  I also like to use a blowdryer to help speed up the drying process cause I'm impatient.


Using a small hole punch, put holes in the top two corners of the triangles.  Then thread the yard (you could also use twine or ribbon) through the holes.  Put a bit of tape at the end of your yard to help you get it through the holes.  I personally liked the look of having the green yard showing in front of the triangles, but you could put them behind if you prefer to hide it.


 Hang it and admire your cute adorable new decor!

Monday, January 23, 2017

DIY Spice Rack



I just finished making this spice rack and I gotta tell ya, I LOVE it!  Just looking at it on my counter makes me happy.  The most expensive part of this project was the glass jars and even then, they were quite affordable.  I ordered them from Hobby Lobby and got them when their glassware was 50% off.  The small jars were 65 cents each the middle jars were $1 and the large jars were $2.  I mean......how could I NOT buy a gazillion of them?!?  Here are the links to the jars I used.  I will warn you that the small jars aren't really perfect.  The opening is a bit small and the jar is slightly too small to fit an entire 3oz container of seasoning.  So that was a bit disappointing, but......for 65 cents they're perfect.







To make my spice rack I measured the space on my countertop to see just how big I could make my spice rack.  After all you don't want to build a shelf, go to set it up and realize it's too big.

These are the supplies I used:
1 - 1x6 8ft board
1 - 1x4 8ft board
1 1/2" finishing nails
Wood Glue
Clamps (If you have them)
Hammer
Sandpaper
Paint/Primer (I just bought a little sample size)


I used my 1x6 boards as the frame of my shelf.  I cut them to size and then used wood glue and finishing nails to put it together.  Clamps help to hold them in place, but aren't necessary.


I set my jars up so figure out where my shelves needed to be.


I attached the shelves once again using wood glue and finishing nails.


Due to height restrictions, my small jars couldn't stand up straight.  With them having to be laid down, I knew they could just roll off so I needed some sort of lip.  I had some little molding in my garage that I cut to size and attached to the front of the top two shelves leaving about 1/4" sticking up as my lip.


Then I just sanded and painted my shelf.

Then all that was left to do was label and fill the spice jars.  Black chalk stickers are adorable, but so expensive AND I don't have fancy handwriting, so instead of using those, I bought these full label sheets from Walmart and decided to print my own stickers.
I bought this Fiskars paper punch from Joanns.  It was 30% off and I had a coupon for 20% off my whole order.  WIN!
This is where it's nice to have Photoshop.  I cut some colored paper and with my punch and scanned them onto my computer.  I used those scans to create a template in Photoshop (making sure to add plenty of bleed).  Then I added the names of the spices, printed the labels and punched them out.  You'll notice some of the larger shapes have small text.  Those were used for the small labels, I just didn't want to mess with the template.

Then I added the labels to the jars and filled them with spices.  Set them all up in my new spice rack and admired the beauty.



Friday, January 6, 2017

Pork Carnitas with Apple Salsa and Lime Sour Cream

You guys, this meal was phenomenal!  You NEED it in your life.

For the pork carnitas I used this pressure cooker recipe by We Call Him Yes Chef

I did make a couple of modifications to his recipe.  Rather than cutting the pork into 2" pieces, I cut my 3.5lb pork shoulder into 4-5 large chunks.  I seared then on the saute setting on my instant pot and then I cooked it on manual for 45 minutes and then did NPR (natural pressure release).  I made these changes because I wanted my meat nice and shredded rather than in chunks.  I'm sure you could also do this recipe in a slow cooker and do it in 6-8 hours.

The thing that really MADE this dish was the apple salsa.  I know, it sounds weird, but trust me - it's amazing!  Here's my recipe for the apple salsa:

Ingredients
- 1 poblano pepper
- 5 sweet peppers
- 3 green onions
- 1-2 granny smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 lime
- 3 Tbs or more chopped cilantro (base it off your liking)

Instructions
Cut the green tops off of the green onions.  Slice peppers in half lengthwise.  Place peppers cut side down.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast at 475 for 12 minutes.  Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and seeds and mince them.  Check the heat of your poblano pepper, generally they are mild, but every so often you'll get a HOT one.  Chop the white part of the green onions making sure to discard the root ends.

Add peppers and green onions to a bowl.  Add granny smith apples, the juice of 1 lime and the chopped cilantro.  Stir until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper.


I also made lime sour cream for the carnitas.  I simply mixed 1/4 cup light sour cream with the juice of a quarter of a lime.  Easy peasy, but delish.

Serve carnitas with additional lime wedges and top with more cilantro because you can never have enough cilantro.

This is my recipe I use for the Mexian Rice.  It is so so easy and so so good.  I double the recipe so I don't waste the tomato sauce: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/27072/mexican-rice-ii/

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ranch Chicken Recipe


Ranch Chicken is easily one of my most requested recipes and yet it's embarrassingly simple.  Get ready, your life is about to change haha.

Ingredients
2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup Crushed cornflakes
1 Cup Grated parmesan cheese (not the powdered stuff, the REAL grated parmesan)
1 Ranch Seasoning Packet
1/2 Cup Butter, melted


Instructions
Combine crushed cornflakes, parmesan cheese and ranch seasoning packet in a large bowl.  Toss until it's evenly mixed.  Dip your chicken breast in the melted butter then put it into the bowl with the cornflake mixture.  It won't stick amazingly well, so pat on some extra coating and place it in a pan.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

**I personally like to cut my chicken breasts down the middle length wise so I have more coating to chicken ratio.  I also double the coating cause that's the best part!**

Also, Costco and Walmart both sell containers of ranch seasoning which are less expensive than the little envelopes you buy.  Costco's is by far the best deal.  You get a 15.7 oz container for under $8.  It's only 40 cents more than Walmart's 8oz container.  You're welcome :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Decorating Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees






We did this with my kids last night and can I just say, it's soooooooo much better than doing gingerbread houses!  While gingerbread houses are adorable, I feel like they are so challenging for little ones to make.  These ice cream cone Christmas Trees are easy and cute and fast too!

Buy a box of sugar ice cream cones and treats to decorate your "trees".  I hit up Winco for our goodies so I didn't have to have large bags of all the treats.  I think I spent about $8 or so on the candies and we have a LOT of leftovers.  


My frosting recipe is easy peasy and sticks to the tree, holds the candy in place, but is still easy for the kids to squeeze out.


Frosting Recipe
1 1/2 cups softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
32 oz bag of powdered sugar
4-7 tsp milk (depending on how thick you want your frosting)

Instructions
Mix softened butter and vanilla together until combined and whipped up a bit.  Slowly add in HALF of your powdered sugar.  I do this in my kitchenaid mixer and wrap a towel around the bowl so I don't get powdered sugar everywhere.  Add 3 tsp of milk and mix together.  Check your consistency.  Add in another couple cups of powdered sugar and mix.  This is really where you go back and forth between powdered sugar and milk until you get the perfect consistency.  It's better to err on the side of a little thick than too runny because it's always easier to add extra milk, but once your powdered sugar is gone, you won't be able to thicken your frosting back up.  Add some green food coloring and you're ready to go!



Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rustic Wooden Box Centerpiece


Yesterday's project was making a rustic wood box centerpiece for my table.  I use these pieces of wood from an old fence to make the box.  If you have a saw, you can whip out this box in no time.  Here's the wood I used.  Don't mind my MESSY garage. 

I simply cut two boards the same length ( I did 29" since that was the longest I could go before the color changed).  Next you need to cut the bottom piece.  That piece was 29" MINUS the width of two boards.  All I did was cut it 29" and then place two pieces of wood side by side on top and drew a pencil line for my new length and the chopped it.  Last you need your side boards.  Well that's easy too - It's the width of your bottom board (or the width of all of the strips if they are equal.  One of my fence pieces was a little wider than the other two).  I used 1 1/2 inch finishing nails to put the pieces together and that was it.  I did use some clamps to hold the pieces in place while hammering.  You could do it without clamps or just have someone hold the wood in place for you.

Here's the finished product.  The candles are from Dollar Tree - WIN! and I got the greenery from Joann's.  It took 5 bunches FYI.  They were all 50% off so I got them for $16.  Sadly the table runner I bought was waaaaay too long so I'm off to Joann's to buy some burlap and make one of my own :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why I Love Chatbooks



















Okay let's take a minute to talk about Chatbooks.  There is currently a deal where when you use my link http://invite.chatbooks.com/madelynw3vc you'll get your first Chatbook for FREE and I have a chance to earn some free books too.  I only get credit if you order your first book in the next week though - so if you're  gonna set up an account to help me out, make sure to order your free book too ;)  So I'm gonna tell you just why I love Chatbooks.


First of all, it's the lazy mom way of scrapbooking.  Listen, I just don't have the time to scrapbook and I know I'll never go back several years to get caught up.  Chatbooks is linked to my Instagram account and every post I make is automatically stored in order on Chatbooks.  Once 60 pages are filled they will send you a book.  BOOM it's that easy.  You don't have to do anything speacial, but if you want, you're able to go and select posts you don't want included through the Chatbooks app.  You can also add pictures from your computer or phone.

One thing I did that was a huge hit was make a special Father's Day book for my husband filled with drawings they made for him.  I simply scanned the pictures onto my computer and added them to a book.  He LOVED it.  You could absolutely do something similar for Christmas guys!  Here are some pictures from the Father's Day Book:




I order the softcover books and they are $8/each including shipping - WIN!!!!  For the Father's Day Book I ordered a hardcover book to make it a little extra special.

So to sum up why I love Chatbooks - It's the cheapest, easiest scrapbooking ever and my kids loooooooove to look through them and talk about all of the memories.

Here's the link one more time if you're thinking of signing up! http://invite.chatbooks.com/madelynw3vc