January 30, 2012

Another New Dress

I know!  You didn't expect to hear from me so soon right?  School is getting off to a slow start, but I don't expect it to stay that way.

While I had a mildly slow week I decided to make another dress for my daughter.  This one didn't turn out quite like I had hoped.  I don't know why, but there's something about it I don't like.  Possibly that:

a.) it's too big and seems to drown her a little bit (I have no clue how to re-size it now that it's done.)

or b.) it's yellow, and so is her hair, maybe too much yellow?

or c.) maybe the neckline, I did it wrong and it just doesn't look right.

It's most likely A.  She'll grow into it, right?
Anyway she still likes it, and it just gives me space to improve.


January 24, 2012

Red Velvet Cookies

These are versatile! You can make these into red velvet crinkle cookies, red velvet white chocolate cookies, or cookies with powdered sugar or cream cheese frosting.....definitely a few fun options. I love these for Valentine's Day! Easy, only a few ingredients, fast, and delicious!

Easy Red Velvet Cookies
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 eggs
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
Powdered Sugar (optional)
White Chocolate Chips (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine cake mix, 2 eggs, and oil with a hand blender or wisk. Add white chocolate chips, if desired. Form balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet, or on a sil pat. You can also roll the balls in powdered sugar if you want to make "crinkle cookies." Slightly pat down top of each ball. Cook for 8-10 minutes, the top of the cookies will crack. Other Serving Options: White hot, lightly sprinkle the top of the cookie with powdered sugar (optional). Or let cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Happy Baking!

January 22, 2012

Ladybug Dress for my little Lady

My daughter is almost 4 and she's growing out of clothes faster than I can put them on her.  Her collection of clothes that fits her is meager compared to her sister who is wearing all her hand-me-downs.  Dresses in particular seems to be a problem, she fit in a whole handful of dresses two weeks ago and I put one on her last week and suddenly she had to suck in her gut to get it on and it looked so short!  Why do these kids have to grow so fast?!?

I got this crazy idea to make her a dress.  ( I don't really sew that well.  I quilt... BIG difference.)  But I found a 99cent pattern at Walmart and some fabric on sale at Joann's.  It actually turned out to be really easy and is probably the most perfect thing I've ever made.

I made it a size big, so hopefully it'll fit her longer than a couple months.

The hardest part was tying that stupid ribbon bow on the front.  Darn thing.  
Apparently  I am not made to tie bows.


Although I have many a project on my list of thing I want to do, it might be a while til you hear from me again. I'll do what I can, but don't expect much.
Thanks for staying tuned.

Princess Finger Puppets

I'm positive some of you have seen this already, it is not my original idea, but I got it from MadeitonMonday.blogspot.com.  She had an awesome tutorial for finger puppets with patterns and everything.
Seems we are all about princesses at this house I decided to make some for my little girls.

Quite the hit... and quiet too.  I like that.

Spring Quilt Pieced

Well I hope you have all enjoyed my excess of posts and crafts over the last 6 weeks.  However, and very sadly, my crafting days are coming to a slowdown yet again.  I have been on a wonderful 6 week winter vacation from school and I got SO much done.  Sadly school starts again tomorrow so don't expect too many posts from me over the course of the next 16 weeks, or even after that... seems I am expecting my 3rd baby in June, (only a couple weeks after schools out.) I imagine I won't have too much time for crafting for a while.  Do... look forward to the one project I am determined to get done before June, which will be a quilt for my baby.  (just waiting to find out whether to buy pink or blue fabric)

In the meantime here's a couple more projects I've finished I would like to show you.

My Springtime Quilt Pieced.... FINALLY (I want one for every season)

This quilt has more flaws than any other sewing project I've done.  Fortunately all the flaws are in white, you so have to get a little closer and inspect it.  There's at least 100 mess-ups.  What can I say? Diamonds are HARD!  I'm just happy that from a distance it's pretty.  But I definitely won't be entering this one in the country fair as I had hoped. 

No I didn't take pics of the flaws... why would I do that?

In all I love the colors, it will be a wall hanging once I get it quilted.


January 15, 2012

Creamy Chicken Tacos

Creamy Chicken Tacos (Crockpot!)

2 pounds chicken breast pieces (can use frozen) 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can green chiles (optional)1 (10-ounce) container PHILADELPHIA Cooking Creme--- Santa Fe flavor taco shells or tortillas We like to add black beans; but you can also add:: sour cream, avocado slices *optional add-ins to stretch the meal to feed more people: 1 cup frozen corn, or 1 can corn, drained, 1 can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed The Directions. Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if adding the optional add-ins, a 6-quart might be a better fit). Put the chicken into your cooker. Add the entire can of tomatoes. Scrape out all the Cooking Creme. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken shreds easily with a fork. Stir well and serve in taco shells or tortillas with your favorite toppings.

You can find the original recipe Here.


January 12, 2012

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

A few weeks ago I showed you how to make your own laundry detergent, this week I tried my hand at Liquid Dishwasher Detergent, I've been using it for about a week and it's working really well.  It's so easy to make too.

 You'll Need:
1 C. Baking Soda
1 C. Borax
1 C. Water
3-5 drops essential oil, I used orange

Mix in measuring bowl, smash any chunks of powder with a fork until smooth.
Pour into a jar or some sort of sealing jug (my plan is to use a salad dressing bottle once I finish up my dressing, then I can squeeze it out instead of scooping it out.)

Label your jar, cause once it sets, it looks like frosting.

Let it set for a few hours or overnight if you can.  Use 2 Tablespoons per cycle.

Tip: instead of using an expensive rinse agent, pour 2 Tablespoons of vinegar into your rinse agent compartment for spot free dishes.


3 Cheese and Spinach Manicotti

3 Cheese and Spinach Manicotti

1 tub (15 ounces) Ricotta Cheese (can also use cottage cheese)
1/2 package (8 ounces) frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 tbs Parsley flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1 egg
1 package Manicotti Noodles
1 can, jar, or recipe Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup water (if making night before, or freezing)

Place spinach in microwave safe bow, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Put spinach in collander and press out excess water with a spoon (or thaw in fridge, and press out water when completely thawed). In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, egg, and spices. Cook Manicotti Noodles for 2 minutes less than directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Spread about 1 cup spaghetti sauce in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Stuff Manicotti with spinach mixture and arrange noodles in pan. Pour remaining sauce over Manicotti. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Alternative Cooking Idea/Freezer Meal:
Prepare filling as above. Do NOT cook noodles. Combine spaghetti sauce with 1 cup water; spread 1 cup sauce into ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Stuff uncooked Manicotti with spinach mixture and arrange in pan. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or place in freezer; thaw overnight in fridge before cooking). Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until heated through.


January 11, 2012

A Very Special Birthday Cake

My daughter celebrates her 2nd birthday today, so yesterday I made her a special birthday cake:

The cake is made from 3 8" layers and one layer made using a glass Pyrex bowl.
They layers are stacked with icing in between with the bowl shaped cake inverted on top.
Cut a hole in the center of the cake all the way down to hold the doll.

The cakes are then frozen for a while then iced with a thin layer of icing, the doll is wrapped in plastic wrap then iced in place.  Refrigerate the cake for 45 minutes.

Place your final layer of icing on the top and decorate as you like.
Using an icing piping bag decorate the bodice of the doll with icing.

Store your cake in the fridge until you're ready to serve it.  Pull the doll out before you cut the cake, clean excess frosting off of it and let your little princess add it to her birthday present pile.


January 10, 2012

A Special Day

Today I would like to take a moment and say
to my good friend, and co-blogger, Kristie!  I'll be nice and I won't tell you how old she is.  
Kristie and I have been best of friends for nearly 12 years! She's probably the best friend a girl could ask for.  She's been there to help me get back up on my feet several times and she's never not there when I need a friend.

We've shared a lot of good times over 12 years, she's always making me laugh and I won't even get started on all our "inside jokes."  Even now as we live on opposite sides of the country we get together every chance we get and we talk constantly!

She threw me the only birthday party I've had in the last 20 years.  She invited all of our friends and thoroughly embarrassed me, but it's a day I'll never forget.

(I'm the one being held up, Kristie is the one to whom I am clinging trying not to fall.)

We did everything together our throughout our entire high school days and you'd rarely find one of us without the other close by.  We both worked at the same grocery store, we took a lot of the same classes, even had crushes on the same boys! (remarkable we're still friends after that huh?) but we never did fight over boys.  Boys aren't worth best friendships.

(I'm in purple, Kristie's in bright red.)

So Here's to my best friend Kristie, I hope you have an excellent birthday, eat a piece of cake for me!  I hope your next year is filled with happiness and as my daughter would say "may all your hopes and dreams come true!"
And Thanks...for everything.


January 6, 2012

A Friend's Quilt

My friend asked me to help her make a quilt, we started it about 2 1/2 years ago, we finished it today.  Everybody say "Yay!"  She was so excited to see it finished today after it had been sitting in her closet for nearly 2 years.  She left my house saying "My husband will be so proud of me!"

I just wanted to post pictures seems finished quilts make me happy, and I did help after all.

It's done using the flying geese pattern with simple hand stitch quilting.


January 5, 2012

How to Make a Radiator Cover for a Diesel Truck Part 2

We finally finished the radiator cover for my husbands diesel.  Here's the finished pictures:

We bought some snap screws found at Cabela's in the Marine section.  My husband drilled into his truck grill, he only made 6 holes, however if you don't want to drill into your grill you can dream up a strap system to wrap around the grill.  

If you want to be able to open it part way on slightly warmer days you can place a backwards canvas snap in the center of each side (closer to the middle of the grill) and fold the canvas over, making a triangle opening, or use a zipper or velcro to hold it open.  My husband just takes it off on warmer days and it only takes a second to remove it or put it back on.

He's noticed a real difference in the way his truck runs in colder weather now that he has it, and it looks good.
Good luck.  If you make one of your own take some pictures and email me at livelearnandloveit.blogspot.com so I can see what you did!

To access the first half of this post click here!