May 28, 2010

{ Framed Chicken Wire }

I am so excited to show you my latest project!
I have needed a place to hang all of the announcements, invitations etc. that we get and knew I wanted to make a framed chicken wire display for it. Yesterday, I finally did it!

I gathered some old frames that were sitting under my bed gathering dust, took out the glass & matting and such, spray painted them all white & staple gunned the chicken wire onto the back. How's that for a quick tutorial. haha!
I grouped them together & hung them in the laundry room "pass through". I call it a pass through because you literally pass through it to get to the bathroom downstairs. I love how it turned out! I think the white frames against the white beadboard is awesome!

I did distress the edges a bit so there would be a little bit of contrast with all the white in there.
Isn't my niece so beautiful, by the way?!!! I can't believe she's graduating this week!
I have 4 nieces & 1 nephew graduating from highschool this year! Wow!

I also use it to display some of my favorite artists' work...Sadie Olive, noodle & lou, duda daze, Sarah Jane, etc. I love so many talented artists out there but I can't buy all of the art I would like to, so what I do is buy their smaller works of art such as postcards, trading cards, etc from their etsy shops. That way, I can enjoy all of them! And now I have a fun place to display them!

Oh, yeah! I almost forgot to mention that I used mini clothespins that I purchased from Michaels for hanging. Super cheap & cute!

Now, if you would like a real tutorial on how to make these, go here.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

May 22, 2010

{ Classic Granola }

 Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together in large bowl:
 1 c. pecans, chopped  (I chop the nuts as small as possible so my family doesn't realize they are there!)
1 c. almonds, chopped
3 c. quick oats
1/ 8 c. ground flax
1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut

In another small bowl, mix together and microwave about a minute until warm, then stir:
1/4 c. maple syrup (I use homemade, but you can use store stuff if you want)
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. canola oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour wet mixture over dry and mix until everything thoroughly coated.  Line a large cookie sheet with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Dump granola onto pan and spread evenly with spatula.  Bake 15 min or until lightly golden brown.  Recipe says to stir every 5 min. but I usually don't.  Just watch and make sure it doesn't get too brown or it will taste slightly burnt.  When done immediately lift onto counter or cookie sheet while holding tin foil to stop cooking process.  Let cool to room temperature.  Store in airtight container.  I double this recipe and store it on my counter in a glass jar.  Double recipe fits my jar perfectly.

* you can change ingredients all you want.  Like add sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried fruit, wheat germ, etc.  just make sure you increase the wet ingredients to compensate.

I like to eat it in a bowl with milk and fruit on top or with fruit and yogurt as a parfait.  Yum!

May 21, 2010

{ New Centerpiece }

Laurel, thanks for your idea for my dining room centerpiece.
And thank you to all my sisters for helping me find the perfect lantern!

I {love} it!

May 20, 2010

{ GW Recipes }

As I mentioned yesterday, Sheri is a fabulous cook. She fed us well at Girls Weekend.
Here are a few of the yummy recipes that she used:

{ We ate this for lunch every day. It was so good! }

1 (16oz) pkg. bow tie pasta, cooked and cooled

1 (16oz) pkg. spiral pasta, cooked and cooled

1 (20oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained

2 cans sliced water chestnuts, chopped

2 cups diced celery

1 bunch chopped green onions

8 oz. craisins

1 (15oz) can whole cashews

2 cups red grapes, halved

16 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

6 cooked chicken breasts, chopped


1 bottle coleslaw dressing (I use the cold dressing from the produce section)

1 cup mayonnaise

Mix and pour over the above ingredients. This makes a huge salad!



Dough recipe:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon quick rise yeast

2 cups very warm water

4-5 cups bread flour

Mix oil, salt, sugar, yeast, water, and 3 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add more flour into dough until a soft, but not to sticky dough is formed. Knead for 5 minute on the counter. Divide into two and roll each out into a large circle. Place each dough circle on a pizza pan. I prefer the ones with the holes in them in order to get a nice crispy crust.


Bbq sauce of your choice (I love the Sweet Baby Ray’s brand)

4 cups Mozzarella cheese grated

Red onion, sliced thin

Fresh cilantro

Leftover pulled bbq pork

Spread sauce almost to the edge of the crust. Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, red onion, cilantro, and pulled bbq pork. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.


3/4 lb. hot Italian sausage

3/4 lb. ground chuck

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning

1 (8 oz) package manicotti shells

1 (8oz) chives and onion cream cheese, softened

5 cups mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 (15oz) ricotta cheese

4 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Fresh parsley and parmesan cheese for garnish

Cook sausage, beef, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan. Drain. Add tomato sauce and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover , reduce heat, simmer for 30 min. (I like to make this ahead and put in my crockpot on low until I am ready to assemble.)

Cook pasta shells. Stir together cream cheese, 4 cups mozzarella cheese, and the next 4 ingredients. Stuff into the shells.

Spoon half of sauce into 2-9x13 pans. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 more minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.


2 cups butter; softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups flour

5 cups quick cooking oats

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

24 oz chocolate chips (my favorite are the Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips)

3 cups nuts (optional)

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Mix in the next 6 ingredients until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix again.

Drop by tablespoons onto sheet pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

May 19, 2010

{ GW }

I am FINALLY getting Girls Weekend {or GW} pictures up! Sorry it has taken me so long.

Okay! Last year we started a GW tradition of a Favorite Things exchange. Each of us brings 7 of 1 item that is one of our favorite things and we exchange them. So then we go home with 7 different fun items. Does that make sense? Probably not. Sorry. Here were our favorite things last year...
And this years...

It is such a fun tradition. We don't go crazy, in fact it's always tricky trying to find something that's not too expensive. Mom was watching through the window while we did the exchange...

Hey, wait! Aren't you supposed to be in Hawaii, Mom? Yep, Mom couldn't be with us this year because her & Dad are in Hawaii, serving a mission for our church. But, we wanted her there with us, so we came up with an idea...
Okay, okay! I know we're cheesy, but we thought it was funny. We put a picture of our mom's face on a cardboard movie stand up thing. ha, ha! It freaked us out most of the time, but it was nice to see Mom's beautiful smile every day.

Anyway, we like to try a new craft every GW and since Sheri was our hostess {each of us take turns hosting at our homes}, she got to choose the craft. I'm sure you have all seen those cute flowers that have the burnt edges, yes? We gave it a try...

Can you see my mom's cutout in the background? Looking good, Mom!

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of everyone's creations. Duh! But here is Mom wearing one of the flowers that Sheri made. hee, hee. We crack ourselves up.

I took a picture this morning of my two, yes I only made two, flowers. Pretty, though...

The next day, Sheri's friend & makeup artist, Sloan, came over to show us makeup tricks. She is the beautiful girl in the back with the turquoise earrings.

She was so nice & really helped those of us who are makeup :)

And here we all are, minus two who couldn't make it...

Okay, minus three who couldn't make it...we love you, Mom, Katie & Erin...
from left to right: Jamie, Sheri, Traci, Laurel, April & Bob

Until next year girls!

P.S. We had some good eatin' at GW. Sheri sure is a great cook. She sent me her recipes & we will be sharing them in our next post.

May 12, 2010

{ Girls Weekend Starts Tomorrow! }

I can't wait to see my sisters!

May 11, 2010

{ Forget It }

Oh, forget it. I really wanted to wait until the living room was all done & perfect before I showed it to you, but forget it. So, here's the new sofa & chairs...

It's just in the beginning stages. We are going to change the carpet & paint the walls.

And add a few more pieces of furniture. Just a coffee table & larger round table in the left corner.
And then lots of accessories.
It's so much fun to have a couch in the living room.
The pool table was fun, but wasn't used much.
We're sitting in here all the time now.
It's so light & cheery!
So, what do you think?

May 10, 2010

{ Hearing & Listening }

Hi all! I hope all you mothers had a great day yesterday. I got the full Mother's Day treatment with the kids making breakfast {with no help from dad}, homemade cards {love them} & gifts including a new clay heart necklace to wear to church! Yay!

Anyway, I wanted to show you a recent purchase. I love all the chalkboards I've seen in your beautiful homes out there in blogland & have thought about making one for my home for a long time. My sisters, Sheri & April, put one on their pantry doors, which I think is so fun, but it didn't work for my home. I never could find the right place for one. Well, now that I am redoing my living room, I knew I had to get me a chalkboard in there somehow. Since I got a little money for my birthday, I headed to my favorite store, yes...Home Goods, to see if there was anything fun to buy. Guess what I found...chalkboards! It was a no brainer. I brought one home with me!

I'm crazy about quotes & wrote one on my new chalkboard, right away, that went like this...
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein
Good, yes?

Well, yesterday, Ms. Sassypants replaced it with a quote of her own on the chalkboard...
I can't complain. She could have quoted me saying something really embarrasing... and I'm sure that's coming. At least that means she's hearing me, right? Let's just hope she's listening & not just hearing. :)

May 8, 2010

{ Sassypants Draws }

Ms. Sassypants drew you a picture of our new couch...

I can't wait to get going on painting the walls!

I hope you all have a great Mother's Day tomorrow!

May 5, 2010

{ The Queen Bee Market }

FINALLY! We had a craft market in our area! Maybe I just haven't heard, but most craft markets are back East, so when my friend Erin invited me to the Queen Bee Market in Carlsbad last Saturday, I was so excited!

I didn't take any pictures while we were there, but if you go to The Pleated Poppy {who happened to be there} she has some great ones. There were so many fun things!
This cute little amperstand pillow was one of my purchases that day. Why do I love &s so much? I don't know. But it looks perfectly perfect on the chair in my bedroom. If you would like one too, go to Heidi Devlin's etsy shop. She has quite a collection of really cute pillows!

Thanks, Erin, for the invite. It was so much fun!

May 4, 2010

{ Changes in the Living Room }

Okay, here's the deal. I hired a decorator for our living room. {gasp!} I know. Everyone advised me not to, but you see, we had a pool table in there and a couch where the dining room was supposed to be. I thought that maybe it should be a little bit more formal {since it was the living room and all} and at the time, I didn't want to do it myself. Hence, the decorator. She was a very nice lady and she did a good job. It's not her fault that this is what I thought I wanted. It turned out to be a mistake. At first, I liked it but it didn't take long for me to realize I couldn't live with it. It just wasn't me. Well, because of the money we spent, we lived with it for almost 7 years. Take a look...
Then, my husband agreed we could get rid of the pool table! No one was really using it anymore and we really needed a dining space! Yay! That meant that this was my chance to redecorate!

We sold the pool table & couch to help pay for some new furniture. I took down the curtains this morning because a couch is being delivered today. I thought I'd take a picture to show you the progress...and a peek at my new dining table. I'm liking the changes already.
There is still a lot of work to do. I can't wait to get a new coat of paint on the walls! It is going to brighten up the space so much! I'm also keeping my eyes open for a hutch to add to the dining room but, it's all a work in progress. I will keep you posted!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who makes decorating mistakes like this. Do you have a story to tell?

The couch & chairs just arrived. Here's a peek...