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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Using Metallic Glaze for crafting

I bought this glaze at Michael's with a 40% off coupon. Isn't it beautiful? I want rub it onto my black kitchen cabinets after I distress them a bit. But before I could even start that project, I started seeing other little things I could do with it!

I got this little white glazed pumpkin at Dollar Tree ~ it's cute, but it didn't look like I'd hoped in my foyer.

So yesterday I used a foam brush and gave it a quick coat all over, then sponged on a second coat. I like it alot!! Still needs some touching up along the bottom, but it works much better in my foyer now!!

I'm sure I'll be buying a couple more jars of this stuff before it's all said and done! The color is Renaissance Brown. I see lots of possibilities!

Need 5 more new followers so the giveaway can begin!!

Thanks so much, we're up to 25 followers! Still need 5 more and then I will be giving away some of my handmade soaps!! : ) So if you can spread the word, I'd be SO appreciative! Hope you are having a fantastic Sunday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dollar Store Hurricanes vs $118 Williams Sonoma Hurricanes...

So many awesome bloggers out there have been making the knock-off Williams Sonoma Hurricanes, so when I saw the pieces you need to make them just sitting there at Dollar Tree, I had to get 'em!!

Just in case you haven't seen these before, let me tell you what you need to make them. For each hurricane you'll need a glass vase with a curved top/lip, a glass candlestick holder, and one of the plain white, skinny jar candles - all are easy to find at Dollar Tree. Oh, and get some good adhesive while you are there too....

Center & glue the bottom of the vase to the top of the candlestick holder, and let them bond together. Then add the white candle in the jar into the vase. You can add other decorative items if you'd like.

I made two - one is for my bathroom to sit next to the tub.  It's filled with shells and a candle.

The other is sitting on the table by the front door. I deconstructed a floral pick that I already had, made of berries & wooden prim stars, and used those to fill the hurricane.

I really love how this one turned out - it's just perfect for Fall. These hurricanes will work well for lots of holidays - for example, Christmas I could accessorize the white candle inside with greenery & red berries, or maybe some cinnamon sticks?

This was SUCH an easy project - anyone can do it, and you'll save bunches of money off the original from Williams Sonoma! (Although truthfully, even if I had $118 to spend on decorating a table, I would NEVER spend it on a hurricane lamp/candle!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween party 2009

Last year we had a get-together with another family for Halloween. (It technically wasn't a party - there were only 7 of us!) It was so much fun, and the food and decorations were cute & gross at the same time! lol

Here are some of my favorites!

This little guy is fondly known as the puking pumpkin....nice! That was a yummy cheese & sausage dip our friends brought. Pumpkin was done by moi! Behind him you'll see the marshmallow ghosts topped with chocolate, and some sour gummy worms.

Mmmmm...bloody eyeballs on toast! Gross to look at but delicious to eat - cream cheese, mixed with Italian dressing mix, topped with lovely olive pupils! We had eyeball stirrers for our punch, and a pumpkin bundt cake. (not my best cake!lol)

For the grownups during our scary movie - fruit, cheese, crackers, & a veggie tray with dip!

These little cookie & swiss roll graves were delicious!! There were candy necklaces for the three kids to string, too...

And to fit with the gross theme, this dip, which is usually a mixture of pineapple preserves, horseradish and dry mustard, then served over a block of cream cheese, was blended together. Instead of my Jezebel sauce, it became Jezebel's vomit dip. Nice & classy, right? It tasted good though!!

So now I am planning a similar get-together for this year. I will still have the puking pumpkin, and I am making some cupcakes that will have icing piped on to look like mummy wrapping. The rest of the menu is up in the air! I have been looking at the Top ten Halloween recipes at Taste of Home magazine, where I am a new Field Editor. They have some great ideas! I think I bought half the Halloween department at Walmart the day after Halloween last year!! (Gotta love those 50% off sales!) So this year I have more serving dishes, plates, napkins, and other Halloween decor to use for this get together!

Do you have any fun or unique Halloween recipes? I'd love to see your pictures and recipes of Halloween treats!

I'm linked up to a Halloween Bash Party at:

It's a Blog Party

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Great grocery/drugstore trip!!

Today I made several quick trips - Walgreens, CVS, Publix & Kroger. I spent $78.90, but saved $140.98!! I planned this trip out by store last night, using

Each store got an envelope with the coupons I would need. I went to Walgreens first, so I could get my Register Rewards and use them at Publix (they accept them as a competitor's coupon!). Then after Publix I went to CVS, then to Kroger last. I got some great things - grits, oatmeal & waffles for breakfast, ground turkey for some dinners, lettuce, grapes, apples, pears, bananas, a mango and a bag of salad, 3 bags of Kraft cheese, six 8 packs of Juicy Juice, Claritin, contact solution, Thermocare patches, bathroom cleaner, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, two Revlon lipsticks, garlic bread, popcorn, canned veggies, mashed sweet potatoes, and a lot more!! Coupons really help my family save a lot, while still buying the items we enjoy and things that are healthy, too. And lots of splurges -like that lipstick!

It feels so good to buy well, stockpile, and still be saving a lot of money!! For this two week pay period, I've only spent $148 (usually stay under $200).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Halloween Centerpiece from Dollar Tree/Goodwill/Thrift store finds!

So tonight I finally got one Halloween project totally done. You've already seen my Halloween tree...

I needed something to add to it, so I grabbed that really unattractive oval plastic Christmas platter I scored at Goodwill a few weeks ago.

First it got a coat of the oil rubbed bronze spray paint, then a few splatter-y sprays of satin nickel to add more shine. I put the Halloween tree in the middle, added some spider-web stuff, some more of the metal ornaments and a couple creepy spiders. I think it looks really cute! Of course, my Katie piped in that it doesn't match the table cloth, but OH WELL!

PS ~ See the jar of creepy skeletal hands on the side? That is another project in progress. A crafty mom's work is never done!! I'll share that project soon!  

Some people look into an online associates degree
when they love interior design.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Easy Dinner Ideas when you are short on time!

Well, this week has about knocked me on my butt! I've done so much running around, what with my mom's birthday, David's soccer practice & game, grocery shopping, tons of little errands....I'm worn out!

Today I am going to share two of my crazy-day, (or lazy-day?!) dinner ideas.

When we are running short on time, or I'm tired and not up for making a full dinner, I love to do an appetizer dinner! That's what we had last night ~ chili cheese dip, Friday's spinach artichoke dip, and Friday's potato skins with some Tostito's scoops. Everyone got a plate with a little of each of the above, with not a whole lot of effort on mom's part! The chili cheese dip is canned chili, a little cream cheese, and some cheddar cheese, all heated together and mixed well. And the Friday's apps were on sale B1G1 at Publix this week, so I paid under $3 for both of them. It was a nice change of pace, and we all enjoyed it! We had a soccer game, so this was a quick and easy dinner.

Another easy but great dinner idea is to make breakfast! Tonight my fabulous daughter volunteered to cook - she made pancakes & turkey bacon. Delicious! We usually have eggs & sometimes grits, too. But it was 91 degrees and so hot, she didn't want to stand over the stove anymore. (She got a taste of what her mom goes through on hot evenings! lol) Everyone enjoys the breakfast foods, and there's just something fun about eating pancakes for dinner!

I also do a lot of freezer cooking (mostly chicken dishes - cranberry chicken, teriyaki, BBQ, Buffalo, etc) but sometimes we get tired of chicken!!

Do y'all have any easy, go-to dinner ideas?
I know, this is a totally lame post, but my brain is mush right now!! I have a couple more crafts in the works, and hope to finish my fall wreath tomorrow too! So something more interesting will be up soon. Til then, TGIF!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How I make Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

This sweet little recipe originally came from the Queen of Butter & all things Southern, Ms. Paula Deen. I really wanted to make these to go with our Hawaiian Chicken & Rice supper, but I didn't have everything the recipe called for....but wait...when has that ever stopped me from tweaking and trying my own thing?!   That's part of the fun of cooking and baking for me

I didn't have the all-purpose flour or baking powder the original recipe called for, and I detest tossing dough on a floured surface,then cutting it out with a biscuit cutter!! I decided to add some cinnamon because we all love it, and it's good for you, too! And finally, I used vanilla almond milk instead of regular milk. Here is the recipe I ended up with:

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

1 1/4 cups self rising flour
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of sea salt
Several shakes of cinnamon
3/4 c baked, mashed sweet potato (2 small sweet potatoes worked out to 3/4 cup for me)
1/2 stick softened butter
2 Tbsp vanilla almond milk

Mix dry ingredients. In larger bowl, cream butter with mashed potatoes. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Add almond milk 1 Tbsp at a time, to thin a bit. Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto greased sheet. Brush tops with honey butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15- 18 minutes. When done, brush with more honey butter. Makes about 16 small drop biscuits.


Thanks for featuring my take on Sweet Potato Biscuits, Stephanie Lynn!

Warning! Don't leave the store without rainchecks!

This week I was reminded yet again why I love rainchecks SO much. A few weeks ago, CVS ran a sale on Purex 3 in 1 detergent streets. Normally $9.99, they were on sale for $5.99, plus $2 ECB back when you buy one. My store was out, so I got a raincheck for 1. I put it in my CVS envelope with a $3 off 1 coupon from the paper. Last week, they were back in stock again. And by then, I also had a $3 ECB gift card that came in the mail in a flyer, so I took my $3 off coupon, my $3 ECB and I paid all of 21 cents (tax) for 20 detergent sheets that retail for $9.99!! And I got $2 ECB back for it too!

If there is a good deal on something, and your store is out (this goes for grocery or drug stores!) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get a raincheck. CVS may only let you get one if there is a limit per card. If there is no limit, you can ask for however many you can use (or have coupons for!). CVS rainchecks never expire, and they are good at any CVS store. Grocery store policies vary, so check their rainchecks for expiration dates, etc. If you are combining a raincheck deal with coupons, remember to keep an eye on the expiration dates of your coupons, too! Don't let them expire, y'all - these are like money!!

My recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

9/11 always makes me cry, I'm so sad for too many lives cut short, for the survivors, & for the painful memories we all, as Americans, have of that day. So today, after watching some of the news coverage, I decided that I needed to bake. It's kind of a stress reliever for me, I think. So I took note of what I had on hand, and began to devise a plan for something sweet & delicious!

Cupcakes: (this made 26 cupcakes)

Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Pineapple Supreme cake mix
1/3 c oil (I used 1/2 c of applesauce instead)
1 c water
1/3 cup pineapple juice
3 eggs

Mix well, I used my mixer for about 3 minutes on medium to get the lumpy bits out!


1/2 c butter, softened
1 c light brown sugar
cream together until well blended
pineapple rings cut in half, then each half into three pieces - enough for each cupcake to get one piece

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners, fill each cup about 1/2 full, add a piece of the pineapple & a big dollop of the butter/sugar mixture. Then cover with a spoonful of batter to mostly cover the filling.

Bake at 350 about 18 - 22 minutes (Check for doneness with a toothpick or knife).

Let these cool, then frost with (Duncan Hines is what I had on hand!) cream cheese frosting, or you could probably make a buttercream with 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 stick butter, and a couple tbsp of the pineapple juice mixed in. YUM! I topped the frosting with a drizzle of Smuckers Caramel Ice Cream topping. These are incredible!! BOTH kiddos are loving them!! They'll make great treats in their lunchboxes next week.

***My first batch, I added the filling at the bottom, like an upside down cake. BAD move - the butter seeped through the cups and made a huge mess! Gooey, delicious, awesome, but a big mess!! That's when these became inside out instead of upside down!!*****

Hope y'all enjoy them as much as we are - they are good!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm on a roll tonight!!

Well, not really. Just feeling the pressure to post again to make up for missing yesterday!

Tonight was my D's first soccer game. This is his second season playing. He and his teammates are 6 or just turned 7. (David is 6). The team they faced tonight have obviously been playing since they were toddlers because they absolutely creamed our team. Like, eight to nothing. Or nine to nothing. Honestly, our team's moms stopped counting goals by the opposing team at goal #5.

But our kids had a BALL. They didn't get discouraged, they didn't whine about it, they just kept trying. Made this mama proud!

Here are a couple pics of my little sweetheart out on the field tonight, playing hard while mama and sissy sitting in our chairs on the sidelines got our ankles bit off by those freaking mosquitos. And I won't talk about the creepy bug that tried to crawl in my shoe. Ewwww.

I love to watch my kids having fun. Despite the heat, bugs and humidity, David had a great time and played his best. And that is what being a kid is all about!

My Halloween Tree

Sorry for missing my entry for yesterday. So far I'm not doing so well in the "post every day in Sept." challenge I signed up for!! But this one was not my fault!! Tuesday night we lost our internet, and it just came back up this afternoon!

So here is my first post for tonight, and another will soon follow.

I am getting my Halloween decorations out and ready to use, so I was kind of stumped by the bag of small metal ornaments I picked up at a thrift store. They are very lightweight, and so cute. But what to do with them? A wreath? A garland? that my Easter box in the attic? And is there an Easter tree in there? Where's my can of spray paint?!

So five minutes later....

and once it was dry, I decorated it with the ornaments and some pieces of trick or treat ribbon.

So now I'm imagining all the other things I can come up using these cute trees from Dollar Tree:

Valentine's Day tree, painted white and decorated with hearts and ribbon
Easter tree (duh!)
April Fool's Day - something whacked out - just ask my kids how much I LOVE this day!
Mother's Day tree with ornaments of mom's fave things
Father's Day tree with ornaments of his favorite things
4th of July tree with stars and ribbons
Birthday tree for each kiddo with ornaments of favorites )or maybe with little tiny gifts?)
Back to school tree - with little erasers, apple ornamets, etc
Happy Fall Tree with leaves, acorns, etc
Halloween tree - (duh!! )
Thanksgiving tree with strips of paper naming things or people we are thankful for
Christmas tree (duh!!)
Happy New Year tree with ribbon, confetti, tiny champagne glasses, black top hats

Whew! Did I miss any holidays or events? Please leave your ideas in the comments - we could definitely start a huge new trend with these little trees ~ lol!

I will need to get 2 more of the trees - one I'll paint white, and one gold. I can't wait to get started with these next spring when they are back in the stores in time for Easter!

Do y'all decorate trees for holidays besides Christmas?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Goodwill makeover

I have been so inspired by several other bloggers' recycled cheese board/dome makeovers, (especially Thrifty Decor Chic and House of Hepworths) so last week I headed to Goodwill and found my own!

I painted the board black, but wasn't really loving how it turned out.

Yesterday David & I had to spend a few hours at Walmart while waiting for a new tire to be put on the van, and a light to be replaced. We browsed the store, and I ended up getting some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. Then we went over to Goodwill and I found the perfect wooden candlestick holder. It was $1.21, and was already painted black.

After we got home, I grabbed the board I painted last week along with the new holder, and headed out to the deck with the new paint.

This is the final result. I love it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

How to make Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

For a Mexican fiesta-themed cookout we went to yesterday, I made pink lemonade cupcakes. I thought something cool & sweet would pair nicely with Mexican's hot & spicy flavors!

I found several recipes for these cupcakes online, and tweaked those to use what I had on hand. They are sweet but tart, and provide a great contrast to a spicy meal!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I replaced this with 4 oz of applesauce with no problem)
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in 24 muffin tin cups

Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl, mix on low until well blended, then mix on medium for about another minute.

Fill each liner about 2/3 full, bake 25 minutes.

Cool completely, then frost with pink lemonade buttercream: (can double if you want lots of frosting)

Pink Lemonade Buttercream

3 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 - 3 TBSP pink lemonade concentrate
pink food coloring, if desired

Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl except for lemonade concentrate.
Mix on low until ingredients are combined, add lemonade concentrate a TBSP at a time. Continue mixing on medium-high until it is the consistency you are looking for. Spoon into bag (with decorator tip of your choice), frost cupcakes. Looks cute if you sprinkle the buttercream with pink or yellow sugar.

** I found these perfect pink striped cupcake liners at Michael's for 50% off a few weeks ago, along with the Wilton pink sugar crystals! I've been planning these cupcakes for a while! ; ) **



Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love Black Spray Paint!

It's one of my favorite tools for making something work in my house, or pop in a certain room. Like right now, my kitchen needs some black in it to help bring out the black in the counters. So....

I took this stainless steel paper towel holder out on the deck, with some paper and my trusty can of spray paint.

After one coat, this is how it is looking:

and the next day, on the newly painted kitchen counters, here's how it looks!

I'm very happy with the results, and it fits in nicely with my other black accessories, too! Easy peasy to make anything new again with spray paint!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kitchen Memories

I've been doing a lot of work in the kitchen lately, what with counters being painted, walls prepped, etc. This little recipe box is one I see many times a day, and I've become so used to it being a part of my kitchen.

It belonged to my Grandmother. She died in 1994, exactly one month before my beautiful Katie was born. She was 86. My Dad brought it to me about six years ago, before he moved to Charlotte. It means so much to me to have and use this special little box of memories. I love the vintage graphics on it, and the pastels that were quite the rage when this box was new.

Inside, I've added many of my own recipes. But I'm rather lazy about them. I prefer to cut them from magazines, or print them off the web. Handwriting them is a pain to me!

It is so special to me to have so many recipes Grandmother wrote out. And to see that she was just like me, cutting them from the paper or a magazine!

I love these two - one from my Mom in her handwriting (Taco Salad), and one from Grandmother, (Chicken Corn Chowder) in her handwriting. They shared a love of cooking and often shared recipes through the mail. Seeing my Grandmother's handwriting brings back so many memories.

Grandmother was quite the entertainer. I have several gelatin molds she used for fancy-schmancy molded salads at her bridge luncheons. Check out this recipe...

Frankly, I'm glad those have gone out of vogue! Not a fan of gelatin, y'all!

Here are a few more:

And here is one from an English great-great-great Aunt!

I don't use most of the recipes in Grandmother's recipe box, but I can't bear to part with them, either. Just knowing they are there is comforting to me!

So now I'm curious. Where do you keep your treasured recipes?  Who gave you your most treasured recipe?