Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chair for the Den...a decision has been made!

I decided on this chair and ottoman for my den/craft room. (The ottoman looks huge...I think it's the camera's not that big, although it does have that!) J and I visited Kirkland's and IKEA last weekend to do some chair shopping. I loved this chair at Kirkland's, but it wasn't made to be super comfy, the arms didn't hit my arms right and although it was beautiful it just wasn't "it".

I have been eyeing this chair/ottoman combo on IKEA's website and in the catalog. Then when I sat in it, I knew it was the one. We brought the ottoman and slipcovers home with us last weekend, then hubby picked it up on his way to his "Manly Men Weekend" up North. (IKEA is about 65 miles from home.) The pillow on it won't be staying. I want to order the same one in black check from Ballard's and was just checking out the size/shape. What do you think?

Now it's time to get the shelves hung, a side table, a floor lamp and a throw to cozy things up!

~peace and blessings~


Zucchini Fries

I love, love, love deep-fried zucchini, but since turning over a new leaf and adopting a healthier lifestyle, that just isn't in the diet. I have seen several recipes online for zucchini fries and used several of them as inspiration for my own version of this yummy treat. The ingredients are:

one zucchini, flour, egg beaters, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Also FF Ranch for dipping or your favorite marinara would be great too.

First, cut your zucchini in half, in half again and then into strips that resemble pickle wedges. Dredge them in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

The take your flour dredged sticks and toss them into about 1/2 cup of egg beaters (or 2 egg whites), that have also been seasoned with salt and pepper.

Then dredge them into panko bread crumbs that have been seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I bit of Parmesan would be nice, but not worth the calories.

Place the breaded zucchini on a baking pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with Pam. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning them over once half way during baking to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt, to your liking.

Serve with a side of low-fat ranch! Crispy, yummy goodness!


~peace and blessings~


Monday, February 20, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes


2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) bottle McCormick® Red
Food Color

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.


~peace and blessings~


Valentine's Day 2012

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I'm so very late in posting about Valentine's Day. We had a lovely evening at home and enjoyed our time together. You can see the Smilebox for all the photos. Above is the gift I made for dd's teacher. I found the idea on Pinterest, of course! You can view the printable here.

~peace and blessings~


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Student Valentine's Day Bookmarks

I am "new" to teaching Middle School, but my elementary teacher self wanted to make/do something for my students for Valentine's Day. I teach approximately 100+ students every day. I saw these on a fellow teacher's blog, Controlling My Chaos, and thought they would be perfect for my kiddos. First, I ordered 4x6 prints from Walmart and cut each print in half.
Then each half was folded in half.

Then I used a roll of magnetic tape to add 2 small squares of tape to each folded bookmark.

Here are my completed bookmarks! I love them and my 13yo snatched one from the counter to use in his books, so I am sure my students will love them too!

~peace and blessings~


Cupid's Munch Mix

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Today we made Cupid's Munch Mix to share with family and friends.

First we combined a bag of microwave popcorn, pretzels, Valentine's Day candy corn, m&m's, and peppermint mini marshmallows in a large bowl. Be sure to take out any unpopped kernels from your popcorn.

Miss M wanted to show us the mixture in the bowl. Next, melt one 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave. Start with 30 second increments, stirring after each time until chocolate is smooth. It took about 2 minutes total in my microwave.

Pour the chocolate over the popcorn mixture in the bowl. Stir to cover mixture with chocolate. Spread on a foil lined cookie sheet. Let cool until hard.

This is what it looked like after drying for about 2 hours. Break into pieces and store in an air tight container. Enjoy!

Cupid's Munch Mix

1 package Light Microwave Popcorn (3.3 Ounce Package)
1 cup Pretzels
1 cup Valentine M&ms
1 cup Valentine Candy Corn
1 cup Mini Marshmallows (I used peppermint since they were pink and white swirled)
1- 12 ounce package White Chocolate Chips

Pop the popcorn in the microwave according to package directions. Remove any unpopped kernels. Pour the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Add the pretzels, candy and marshmallows and mix to combine.
Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on medium power for 30 second increments. Stir well after each 30 second heating. Continue heating until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate over the popcorn mixture. Stir well to coat. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet and allow chocolate to harden. Break apart and serve.


~peace and blessings~


Valentine's Day Prep

As many of you know, our Miss M had surgery to have tubes inserted in her ears on Thursday. She had a successful surgery and is making a great recovery. She stayed home from school on Friday to recover and we did some Valentine's Day prep for her classroom party on Tuesday. Above she is writing out her valentine envelopes.
Here she is in her jammies, with one of her ipod valentines. I ordered them from Current.

This is the Heart Man Valentine collection man we made for her to take to school.

Here are the treat bags for her classmates. I printed the tags from Glorious Treats and Miss M labeled them with her classmates' names.

Happy Valentine's Day!

~peace and blessings~


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chair for Den

As many of you know, I've been on the lookout for a chair and ottoman for my den for...well forever! I want something just right and I think this may be a contender! It's from Kirkland's, which is 50+ miles away and it can only be ordered and sent to the store. I'm looking for something similar closer by, like this at Pier 1. It doesn't have a matching ottoman though. I'm thinking wicker/woven because I don't have that texture in the room yet. Any thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~


Valentines for Book Lovers

Pinterest is one of my favorite places to visit on the web these days. I saw these adorable stitched felt bookmarks from Thirty Hand Made Days and just had to make them. Since I'm fighting the flu, I didn't want to do anything too labor intensive and thought making these would keep me from going nuts. It's hard for me to relax or keep still. You can find the printable cards here. If you receive one of these from me for Valentine's Day, please act surprised! *wink*
These are the bookmarks I stitched, then hot glued to paper clips. I chose silver, but Staples had paper clips in a rainbow of colors that would look really cool as well.

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!
~peace and blessings~