Friday, April 9, 2010

Hanging Chair

Instructables has a tutorial for a hanging chair made from a pallet. What an awesome idea! I'm thinking this would be a great project for E.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ruffled peasant top

Confessions of a Sewing Dork has a great tutorial for a ruffled peasant top. I love it. Maybe the girls and I could have coordinating tops.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Frugal Lifestyle: How To Make Spray and Wash

My Frugal Lifestyle: How To Make Spray and Wash

The laundry soap I made this weekend has been working really well. I used the recipe from the Duggar Family site. It made 10 gallons of soap, so I shared with my mom, my mother-in-law and two friends. I forgot to pick up stain treater at the the store this weekend. Sounds like a perfect time to try this recipe.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter parade part 2

I know everyone will be thrilled to find out that Easter can be celebrated this Sunday. I finally finished all of the sewing!!!

I am so glad I made shirts to go with the girls' jumpers. They look much nicer than a plain white t-shirt. I used Butterick 3905 and it turned out nicely. I will be tweaking the instructions some to avoid sewing bias tape to the inside of the shirt as an elastic casing, but they were an easy project. This pattern is great for when you only have a little fabric left. I was able to cut a size 5 shirt with an extra inch length out of 1/2 yard. Since K is skinny, size 5 works well for her even though she is normally a 6 or 7.

The purses were made from the skirt leftovers. There was too much fabric to just throw away, but not enough to make anything to wear.

I am so happy to check Easter sewing off my list. I think I will stop to eat before starting the next project.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

License plate map

Isn't this the cutest idea for license plates on C.R.A.F.T.? I think E might like this for his birthday. Now to figure out how to collect that many plates in a couple of months. If you have any you are willing to part with, please let me know.

Easter parade part 1

I was happily sewing my way through birthdays and planning summer wardrobes, when I realized Easter was less than two weeks away. How did I miss that? Yikes! Time to start sewing in double time.

My first projects were dresses for the girls. A friend had given me a huge bag of adorable Daisy Kingdom dress panels. I was so glad I sorted them all in December when I was making Christmas dresses. There were two prints that would be perfect for K and A. I already had a busy day planned on Sunday, but I stayed up late and finished both dresses. Yeah! Finished with Easter sewing!

Not so fast. M's first words when he saw the dresses on Monday were, "What will D and I wear? We need special Mommy clothes too." Time to start sewing again. When I pulled out the dress fabric for the girls, I noted a couple of prints that would work for camp shirts for M and D. Since I wanted to make them a little different than the shirts I made for Christmas, I decided to add a contrasting pocket, cuff and collar. Fortunately, I could use the same patterns, so I didn't need to alter another pattern.

Monday and Tuesday I worked on the shirts. (I'm really not an extremely slower sewer, I just have 5 kids to "help" me.) The whole time I was working on them, I couldn't stop thinking that I needed to applique t-shirts to match. I could see exactly what they needed to look like.

This morning I started on the t-shirts. I just could not stop myself. Unfortunately, I tried to save time by using a store-bought pattern instead of drafting one myself. I guess God wanted me to practice patience and self-control today. I had to tear out the collar in both shirts twice, and I still think the fit could be better. I have added drafting t-shirt patterns for the boys to my to-do list. I was so glad I had been collecting old  t-shirts. I didn't need to purchase anything at all. You have to love free Easter outfits!

M was so excited to see his new outfit. He truly is a joy to sew for. He showed it to everyone that stopped by today, and made sure they were very careful not to get it dirty. It has to be just like Mommy made it for Easter morning.

D was too filthy from playing outside for me to get close to him with his new clothes. I am hoping to try them on tomorrow before he eats breakfast. He isn't too picky. As long as they don't poke, squeeze, or fall off, he will be happy.

Did you notice that I didn't post any pictures from the girl's dresses? Well, I decided that they should have new shirts and purses to go with their Easter jumpers. Guess what I am doing tomorrow. If things go well (meaning Granny takes the kids to her house for a few hours tomorrow afternoon), I should be able to get the girl's things finished and posted. Maybe then I will have time to take pictures of the pillowcase dresses for the girls and pencil skirt for me that I made last week, or sew the last three tooth fairy pillows that I have the embroidery finished for, or work on the doll clothes for the Spingjita auction, or the capes for the auction, or recover the glider, or.... I'm sure you understand.

Linked to:

Wardrobe Wednesday at Brown Paper Packages

The Girl Creative

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lime T-shirt refashion dress

I planned on making K another t-shirt dress from the pattern I adjusted with her pink and purple dress, but I couldn't get this idea out of my head. I just had to make a dress with panels.

I took some algebra and a lot of thinking, but I finally took my adjusted pattern and cut a panel piece that worked with it. I just love this color combination. The green shirt is from my mom, the grey from my dad, and the print from the thrift store ($.59). You can't beat that price.

I added a little top stitching detail for interest around the bodice. I even had a spool of lime green thread on hand. Strange, since that is not a color I ever wear.

Once I finished the dress, it was time for the hair frou-frou. This is the easiest headband ever! I just took the hems from all three shirts and braided them. It took all of 5 minutes, but it really adds a lot to the outfit.
I am just dying to make more t-shirt dresses. I have a whole cabinet of shirts that are calling to me begging to be refashioned.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

jezze: Headband tutorial

jezze: Etsy in South Africa

I love this headband. No messy side seams and it doesn't need to slip over your head, so no messy bangs. Definitely a winner!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Freshly Picked: Pillow Case Dress Tutorial

Freshly Picked: Pillow Case Dress Tutorial
I already have some pillowcases set aside for these cute dresses. My to-do list is SO LONG now! Maybe I should give up cooking and cleaning so I can get all the crafting done.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

T-shirt refashion take 2

Have you ever made something that you liked less and less the more you saw it? After K wore the t-shirt dress I made her for a day, I decided I really did not like how it fit. The neckline was too big, it was too wide, and the flowers were too floppy. Time to get out the scissors and start fixing.

First I took out almost 20" at the hem line. I have no idea why the pattern I started with had that much fabric at the hem, but it was way too much. The hem wasn't even straight. It sloped down on both sides. I don't know why I thought it would work when I first made it.

Then I took out the back of the neck band and gathered it to take out about 1". That took care of the sliding off the shoulders problem.

Finally, I sewed a gathering stitch around each of the flowers and made them into yoyo's. Yeah! No more floppy flowers.

Now K and I both love her dress! I am hoping to get a couple more made tonight and then start on a pattern for A. Fortunately, A is just a little smaller in the chest than K. I should just be able to make a couple of modifications to the pattern and be good to go.

Sock bunny

My Paper Crane has posted a tutorial on making sock bunnies. I wonder if I can fit this in my schedule before Easter???

Pattern blocks buttoning activity

D's pattern blocks were finished just in time for his birthday. (One of my dear friends was sewing the bag for me as the party was starting!) I am so excited about how they turned out. I combined the floor puzzle from Mer Mag with a Montessori-style button snake I saw on Gingham Cherry. D hasn't spent much time playing with them yet, but the other kids have enjoyed them. I need to find a time to sit with D and show him how they work without any "help" from his siblings.
The blocks were very easy to make. I cut triangles from scraps of brightly colored fabric and old jeans. I marked the size button hole I needed on the triangles before I sewed them together, so I could leave that space open. After sewing the colored blocks to the denim backs, I turned through the button hole and then top stitched everything. The ribbon with the button is sewn to the bottom of a drawstring bag. 

The only thing I might do differently is to use a different backing fabric.  The denim adds the body that I wanted, but I wasn't able to get nice sharp points on the corners. It might be best to use interfacing cut to the finished triangle size, so it isn't in the seams at all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mail bag and envelopes

Since I made D the table tent with a mailbox, I had to make him a mail bag and envelopes. I started out planning to just make rectangles with the names and stamp embroidered on them, but at the last minute decided to go ahead and make the envelopes where they could open. 
Each family member has a letter addressed to and from him. All of the kids have had a great time sending each other secret notes. 

Linked to:
Whatever Goes Wednesday on Someday Crafts

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bubble jet set recipe

I just found this recipe for homemade bubble jet set on Craftster. I have been wanting to try printing on fabric, but didn't want to spend the money in case it didn't work out. Now to find all the ingredients!

First t-shirt refashion dress

I am finally started to sew using the stuff I picked up at the thrift store last month. It has been driving me crazy to have all that wonderful fabric and no time to sew any of it. I decided to start with a dress for K. (Being the oldest girl, she has no hand-me-downs to rely on.)

I started with Butterick 6659 nightgown pattern to get the basic shape. I went by the measurements on the envelope, but I think they are off. I am waiting on a friend to stop by to help me cut the pattern down a bit to make it fit a little better before I make any more. 

Even though it is a little big, K declared this dress a success. I can't wait to make more for her and A.

NOTE: I decided that I could not live with it being too big, so I made some modifications. You can see them here

Linked to:

Tooth fairy pillow

K told me last week that she finally had a loose tooth. She has been impatiently waiting for what seems like forever to her. I had to stitch up a tooth fairy pillow to celebrate.

Since K is my very girly-girl, I found a rose to embroider on her pillow. A few ruffles and a pocket finished it out. I sewed the flap of the pocket over the pocket on the sides. I'm hoping that will cut down on lost teeth.

Knowing that I have a hard time coming back to a project once I have moved on, I went ahead and designed the other kids pillows and printed the embroidery patterns. I am going to get everything ready and put them in my on-the-go craft bag. Hopefully, I can get them finished in the next month or so.
Linked to:

Whatever Goes Wednesday on Someday Crafts

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Men's shirt to pencil skirt

I have the most awesome shirt that my bil didn't want anymore that I have been dying to make into a skirt. I was absolutely thrilled to find Megan Neilson had posted the perfect tutorial for it. Thank goodness this week has been declared sewing week at my house. I don't think I could wait any longer to get sewing on it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Button shirt to toddler dress

This great tutorial on Craftster shows how to make the most adorable dress from a button shirt. I already have a couple of shirt set aside for sewing week next week. I can't wait!

Fabulous chess set

Fireflies and Jellybeans: Feature Friday! Cheri from It's So Very Cheri!
This looks like so much fun to make and play with.

Nancy's Couture: T-Shirt Trunks

Nancy's Couture: T-Shirt Trunks
Another great idea for boys! M has several shirts that have paint, stains, or holes. Time to sew.

Room rescue continues

After getting the school room looking pretty good, the rest of the converted garage looked horrible. I started today by organizing the toy shelves. What a job! I remember now why I only sort toys when the kids are NOT home. It took a lot of work, but we finally finished just in time to go to my parents for lunch with my grandparents. It was a wonderful break from working on the house.

Unfortunately, we couldn't eat forever, so I had to start cleaning again. I discovered that I don't even notice the tops of bookshelves anymore. There were entire dust zoos living on the tops of the shelves. NOTE TO SELF: Add cleaning high surfaces to rotation. I had some supplemental curriculum on the top of the toy shelves that needed to be moved into the library/music room. (That sounds much more grand than it is. We took 1/4 of a converted 2-car garage and lined the room with bookshelves and guitar hangers.) When I walked in the library, I was reminded that E was the last one to clean it, and he does not have the same standard of clean that I do. 

Time to start the overhaul on the library. We re-shelved books,   picked up puzzle pieces, found hidden junk boxes from the last several cleaning times, swept up large quantities of dust and dog hair, etc. Now I have a large laundry basket full of books to add to Library Thing and label. ( I love Library Thing. All of our books are entered in the system and labeled using the Dewey Decimal system. It is such a time-saver when I am looking for a specific book.) Since I wanted to move that box into the office, I had to start the whole cleaning process in the office. 


I wish I could say that I had added a lot to the office while I was cleaning the other rooms, but I can't. There were a few things that belonged in the office, but not many. I am not sure exactly when it got this awful. No wonder I wasn't getting much accomplished. Because of D's birthday party here tomorrow, I cleaned surfaceshome only. I did not sort through my desk drawers, even though they really need it.


A definite improvement! I still have to sort the drawers and probably cover the shelves. After seeing how much better the schoolroom looks with covers, I want to add them to all open shelving in my house. A big bonus: I found several hundred dollars that had been missing for more than six months. YEAH! I had given up hope that we would ever find it.

I am completely worn out, but very happy with all the progress we have made this week. I'm looking forward to having more time to sew next week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I finally conquered the mess in the school room!

The school room in our house gets almost constant use. The kids use it for crafts and school, and I use it for sewing and crafts. There is so much stuff packed in there that I just couldn't stand it anymore. I wish I had thought to take a picture before we started, but I didn't. Here is one after I asked E to start taking things off the shelves and sorting them.
He only heard the "take things off the shelves." Sorting never occurred to him. He was so kind as to leave me the honor of throwing away gum wrappers, scratch paper and used tissues. I don't know how I ever be able to repay him!  The big pile of stuff on the floor was dropped off by my mom. She was cleaning out closets and knew I could refashion their discards into something adorable. I was so excited (Until I realized that I had to have somewhere to store it all!).

After sorting and putting things up for several hours, I got things usable but not pretty. 

The open shelves were still driving me crazy. We built them several years ago to use in another room. They work great for storage, but they always look cluttered. I decided that they had to have covers ASAP.

To go along with my "spend no money unless there is no other possibility" plan for this year, I made the curtain rods and holders out of PVC pipe and fittings. (Since my dh does irrigation repair work, we always have spare PVC at the house.) I was so surprised at how easy it was to work with PVC. It cuts easily and is very light weight. No power tools required - a real plus since my helpers were 1, 3, 5, and 7 years old. My mom gave me an old sheet set that had almost enough fabric for curtains. I found an old duvet cover in my stash and used it for the contrast. I severely underestimated how long it would take to make the curtains. It was all easy sewing, but there was a lot of it.

Total cost - $0
Time - way more than expected
Satisfaction level - Very high!

Linked to:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sew a Straight Line: The Domesticated Skirt

Sew a Straight Line: The Domesticated Skirt

I love this skirt. Now to find the time to sew something for me!

Women Who Do It All

I just found Women Who Do It All while blog hopping. She has some great posts and great giveaways. You won't want to miss out.

Here is a link to the Cricut giveaway that ends 3/19. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

I built a house and a barn!

With only 4 days to spare, I finally finished one of D's birthday gifts. YEAH!
I wanted to make a table tent for the kids for Christmas, but ran out of time. Fortunately D has an early birthday. I made our tent to fit my dining room table. My devious plan is to use it as incentive for the kids to help keep the dining room clean. The table has to be cleared and wiped and the floor swept after each meal so the tent can be set up. The toys have to be put away before the next meal or the tent will be in time out until after the following meal.

Since I am trying to use up my stash of fabric and spend as little as possible on gifts this year, I decided to use wovens instead of felt. The only things I didn't have in my stash were the silver for the watering trough and the red for the barn. I found a sheet set at the thrift store with 3 red pillowcases and a fitted sheet for $4.99. Score! My wonderful mother-in-law gave me the perfect fabric for the trough. The only downside to using woven fabric is appliqueing every piece to make sure it doesn't ravel. I think I used more thread on this one project than anything else I have sewn.

With two girls and three boys, I had a very hard time deciding on one design for our tent, so I chose two. Each "building" has one long and one short side of the table. It worked out great. All of the kids have declared it a hit. (I am so glad D is only turning two, and I don't have to hide his gifts while I am sewing. It makes life so much easier!) E even had to climb in for the photo shoot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

mmmcrafts: the basic messenger bag

Even though you can't tell from my last week's posts, I have been crafting. I am working diligently to make gifts for D's birthday. I am now in panic mode because the party is on Friday and I don't have any gifts finished. YIKES!

One of D's gifts is a mail carrier's bag and some fabric envelopes. I promise it will make better sense when you see one of his other gifts. I have the mail finished, but haven't even started on the bag. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I can get this great messenger bag from mmmcrafts done.

Dino land suitcase from At Second Street

I just have to make one of these Dino Land Suitcases from At Second Street. Actually, I think I will make a couple of extras for an auction at church and family reunion too. I wonder if I could make something similar using a superhero theme. My boys are crazy about superheros!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Someday Crafts: Guest Blogger - McKay Designs - Interchangeable Chicken Wire Frame

I absolutely love this idea. I think I will make one for our house and another to take to our family reunion auction.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Millet oatmeal bread GFCF - Unbelievable!

I am officially a hero at my house today. I finally got around to trying Gluten Free Mommy's Millet Oatmeal Bread recipe that I printed last  month. It is to die for. Since I only made two small loaves as a test, I will be baking more tonight. These loaves won't even last until dinner.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What do you do with boys?

The Boyers are starting a series titled "What Do You Do With Boys?" I can't wait to see what I can learn from the parents of 14 wonderful children.

Black bean enchiladas

Scott found this wonderful recipe on Gluten Free Cooking School. Everyone fell in love with the first taste. The only problem is that there are never enough leftovers. The only modification we make is to use casein-free cheese and sour cream. The soy cheese I can find at the grocery store is NOT casein-free. I can only find that cheese at stores like Newflower or Sprouts. The sour cream substitute at the grocery is casein-free, however.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 package gluten free taco seasoning (McCormick brand is our favorite!)
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 8 TBSP dairy-free sour cream
  • 2 ripe tomato, diced (approx. 48 cherry tomatoes)
  • 1.5 c. grated soy cheese (or 12 slices)


  1. Dice onion and peppers and saute with a little oil or water in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add beans, taco seasoning, and a little water (however much the taco seasoning calls for) to the peppers and onions. Stir until taco seasoning is mixed in. Allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  3. Dice the tomatoes and grate the cheese if necessary. Wrap the tortillas in a damp kitchen cloth and microwave for 30 seconds to reheat.
  4. Assembly: Lay out a corn tortilla. Spread about 1 tsp. of sour cream in a strip down the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle diced tomato, and about 1 Tbsp. of grated cheese over the sour cream. Using a slotted spoon, place the beans on the tortilla in a long strip. Roll the tortilla and place, flap side down, on a plate or casserole dish. Repeat for each enchilada.
  5. Sprinkle cheese and whichever salsa you like over the top of the enchiladas. Microwave for 15 seconds to melt the cheese, or place under the broiler for a few minutes. Top with sour cream and you’re ready to eat!

Gluten-free flour mix 2

One of the keys to making gluten-free cooking a pleasure is having a great flour blend on hand and ready to go that you can substitute for wheat flour in many recipes. After trying several different blends, this is what we keep coming back to for everything except breads. I wish I could remember where I found this recipe to give proper credit. If anyone knows where it originated, please let me know.

The original recipe called for super fine rice flour. I'm sure that would be wonderful, but my budget finds the flour I grind in my Vitamix much more pleasing. I normally use brown rice flour, but for special occasion baked goods I use white rice flour. Be sure that you use potato STARCH not potato FLOUR. They are very different. However, tapioca STARCH and FLOUR are the exact same thing. I find the best place to buy sweet rice, tapioca starch, potato starch, and rice is at the Asian market.

I just found this great post on gluten-free flours on Good (& Cheap) Eats. I really liked the chart comparing the nutritional value of the different flours. 


  • 2 1/4 cups rice flour (brown or white)
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum 


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Sift. Store in an airtight container.

Fudge brownies

My family assures me that brownies are necessary for sustaining life. I was so happy to find that our old brownie recipe handled the transition to gluten-free so well. I always make a double batch and cook them in my Pampered Chef bar pan.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup margarine, melted - Earth Balance or Smart Balance with Flax Oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour mix 2
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional, but never used at my house)


Preheat oven to  350°.

Beat eggs. Add sugar and melted margarine and beat. Add other ingredients and mix well.

Bake in a shallow, greased pan until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes.

Lentil soup

I found this recipe on the back a bag of lentils several years ago. It makes a nice, hearty soup that my whole family loves. I love how forgiving this recipe is. I don't measure the veggies. I just keep cutting until I get tired.


  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups lentils (1 bag from grocery store)
  • 8 cups water


Combine all ingredients and cook for 2 hours. I prefer to toss everything in the crockpot and cook on low all day.
Click here for a printer friendly version. 

Check out all the wonderful gluten-free soup ideas at the Gluten-Free Homemaker carnival this week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pizza sauce

I have been using the pizza sauce recipe from Gluten Free Homemaker for a couple of months. It is so easy to throw together out of ingredients that I always have in the pantry.  I make a 2-3 batches every Friday. As soon as the crusts go in the oven for their first bake, I start the sauce. That give it just enough time to simmer before we are ready to use it.


  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tb. sugar
  • 1 Tb. minced garlic (1/8 tsp. garlic powder in the original recipe)


Place all the ingredients in a pan and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Click here for a printer friendly version.

Pizza crust

Friday night is pizza and movie night at our house. Since we are gluten and casein free, that means mom gets to make pizza crust. After trying several recipes with only moderate success, we finally found one that everyone likes on the Sure Talent Books site. I have made a couple of modifications, that are shown below. I make two batches to feed our family of 7. We make 5 pie plates for individual pizzas for the younger kids and I and 2 bar pans for Scott and E. We normally have enough leftovers for lunch one day, but not always. I have two bowls for my Kitchen Aid, so I make one batch in each bowl. I tried making a double batch in one bowl, and it didn't work out very well.


  • 1¼ Cups Cornstarch 
  • 1 Cup Millet Flour
  • 2 Cups White Rice Flour
  • 1½ Tablespoons Xanthan Gum 
  • 1½ Teaspoons Salt 
  • ¼ Teaspoon Dried Oregano 
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder 
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil 
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 1 Egg White 
  • 1¾ Cups Warm Water (110-115°)
Yield: dough for two 12 inch round pizzas.


Place Cornstarch, flours, Xanthan gum, salt, oregano, garlic powder and yeast in mixing bowl; mix. Add, vinegar, sugar, honey, oil, eggs, egg white and lastly the warm water; mix. Increase mixing speed to high, and beat for 4 minutes.

Coat your pizza pans with cooking spray. Dough will be a bit difficult to work with (sticky). Place dough in pans and spread with wet hands. (NOTE: This is the best way I have found to work with gluten free doughs. I just keep getting my hands wet and spreading the dough until it looks good.)

Allow to sit in a warm, dry location (free of drafts) covered loosely with plastic wrap or a towel for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° and pre-bake crusts for 17 minutes.

Remove pizza crusts from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400°.

Add pizza sauce, cheese and any other desired toppings to the pizza crusts and then place back in oven for an additional 20 minutes (note: if using sausage or other raw meat, it should be precooked before adding to pizza). We use ground turkey, canadian bacon, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and soy cheese.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.

Click here for a printer friendly version.

Taco soup

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe for taco soup years ago. It is a favorite at our house. The original recipe calls for a package of ranch dressing mix, but since we are casein-free, I leave that out and we add some sour cream substitute at the table. I always use ground turkey in place of ground beef. I really prefer the flavor and the cost.


  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz can green chilis
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans hominy
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Brown the meat and drain. 
  2. Put it all together; it needs a little simmering time for flavors to blend (about an hour). I normally cook it all day in a crockpot on low heat.
  3. Top with sour cream substitute and grated soy or goat cheese.
  4. Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips. 

    Time to get organized in the kitchen again

    I can't remember the last time I sat down and made a menu plan for the week. Maybe that explains why we have been eating the same boring meals for so long. I have to get back on track! Since Sprouts and Newflower ads start on Wednesday, I am going to start planning Thursday to Wednesday so I can take advantage of their sales.


    • Breakfast casserole
    • Sandwiches
    • Fried rice
    • Eggs & bacon
    • Burritos
    • Honey lime chicken chicken, rice, veggies
    • Breakfast burritos
    • Rollups
    • Beans and cornbread

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Custom colored chalk board paint

    A Very Blessed Nest just saved me a trip to the store with her super tip on how to make chalkboard paint in any color. I can't wait to get started on a couple of projects.

    Dolly hair pretties

    From An Igloo has a great tutorial for making dolly hair pretties. I wonder when I can find time to make some for my girls?

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Quick gift

    What do you do when you find out about a birthday party less than 24 hours in advance on a day that the kids are going crazy and you have plans for the evening? I'm not sure what anyone else would do, but I decide to make a gift. Then I decide it will be easier to try to design something than to find a pattern on the internet. Oh, and I decide to make a purse, even though I have only made one purse in my life. Sounds like a brilliant plan, doesn't it?

    Even though this was the worst thought out plan in history (Well, maybe not, but you get the idea), I was still pleased with the results. K and I will make a quick trip to the store to pick up some lip gloss, etc. to put in the purse and we will be finished.

    Now, if I was smart, I would make a couple more and put them in the closet for when we need another gift in a hurry. Of course, that would take all the challenge and excitement out of getting ready for a party.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Time for a new chore system

    After surviving the holidays and the back to routine blahs, our old chore system fell apart with the nasty virus we have been passing around the last few weeks. Since everyone was getting bored with it, I wasn't too sad to see it go. Unfortunately, I didn't have any plans for a new system, so things are starting to get out of hand around here.

    I wanted to use a system that was easy for both the kids ane me, didn't cost anything to set up, offered instant feedback for the kids and daily inexpensive incentives. Sounds simple, right?

    I finally decided to use individual cards for each chore for K, M, and A. (D is still just happy to help with anything I ask and E will not participate in anything that I use for the younger kids. I'm still looking for something to motivate E.) I have cards for jobs before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus some bonus cards. For example:
    Before breakfast
    • get dressed
    • put away pajamas
    • put away bed cup, book and warmer
    • make bed
    • brush hair
    • clean bedroom
    Each child has an envelope for jobs that need to be done and completed jobs. As they complete each job, the card will be moved to the completed envelope. I have all of the jobs for the day sorted by child and time to make it easy to refill for each new time period. I can award bonus cards to behavior or extra jobs. At the end of the day, they can trade their completed cards for a treat.
    Treat ideas
    • mini marshmallows
    • pennies
    • time at the park the next day
    • computer time
    Hopefully by varying the rewards, the kids won't get bored with this system so quickly. 

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Baby doll bassinet

    I think A would love the baby doll bassinet from Nothing Fancy. Now the question is can I wait until her birthday to make it???

    Belt testing

    I am so proud of E and K. They both earned new belts at testing on Thursday. My camera and the lighting in the gym do not get along, but I had to post pictures (even if they are bad).

    E is now a red/black belt. He had to perform his basics (kicks and punches), a form, 2 board breaks, 50 push ups, self defense, and continuous sparring for what seemed like an eternity to this mom. He was awesome! This is his last belt before black belt. I don't even want to think about what the black belt test will be like. The one I saw was unbelievable. I'm not ready to watch my baby go through that.

    K is now a green belt. It is amazing to me to watch my very girly princess doing kicks and punches, a slide combination, self defense, and 30 push ups. Somehow the image of her with hair and makeup done wearing her dance recital costume keeps popping into mind.

    Thrift store finds

    Last weekend almost everything was half price at my favorite thrift store. I had a great time searching for bargains. Thanks to all the inspiration from my favorite blogs, I was able to look for things that had fabric that I liked instead of only things that fit perfectly. I picked up 71 items (including a full-length leather trench coat for E) for $76. What a steal!!!

    My first project was a boring twin set I picked up for $0.65. I just knew I could come up with something to make it more exciting.
    I added some ruffles from an old knit pillowcase that had seen better days, took in the sides and added some darts and this is what I came up with.
    I was pleased with my first effort to enhance something. I am not so pleased, however, that I didn't even look at my hair before taking the picture. I promise that I really do brush my hair, even if you can't tell it from this picture.

    Coco Bijou givaway on Made by Lex

    Made by Lex is hosting a giveaway of absolutely gorgeous jewelry by Coco Bijou. You won't want to miss it.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    More incredible hair styles for princesses

    Since I am woefully uncreative when it comes to hairstyles, I am thrilled to when I find new ideas.

    Fabric roads

    733 features a guest blogger today with a tutorial on making fabric roads. What an awesome idea!

    String challenge quilt 2

    I finally finished my second quilt for Loft Creations String Challenge. I started quilting it almost a month ago, but had to put it aside as the whole family passed around a nasty virus. This quilt is for one of my best friend's new grandson. I hope he enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

    I tried a spiral quilting design for the first time. I definitely need a free motion foot for my machine before I attempt it again. I love the look, but it was a killer.

    Matching outfits

    I just couldn't resist posting a pic of K posing with Mary Lynn with matching outfits. Thank goodness everything fit! I do not like not being able to try things on when I am sewing from new patterns.

    Doll wardrobe - Roadkill rescue

    One man's trash is another man's treasure. That was definitely the case with this cabinet.
    I wanted to give K a doll wardrobe for her birthday, but couldn't see spending $350 at American Girl. No way! So I asked Scott to find me a kitchen cabinet. It was perfect!
    After cutting, sanding, painting, drilling, Mod Podging and praying that everything would dry in time for her birthday -- it was finished. (Note to self: If you have a project involving painting and Mod Podge, start more than 12 hours before it needs to be dry.)

    Scott and I couldn't have done it without out two helpers. (A played in the sink to "help" so she wouldn't get paint everywhere!)
    K was thrilled! I also made her doll clothes from my fabric stash to complete the gift. I blogged about those in other posts. 

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