Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Here birdy, birdy, birdy....

In keeping with my decluttering theme for the new year, Aria and I decided to make pine cone bird feeders on one of the many cold afternoons we have had lately.  (I have an entire bag of them just waiting to be turned into something new).  I handled the peaut butter and Aria was a pro at sprinkling and then patting on the birdseed into the gooeyness!  A fun and easy project for all ages.

Now we are just waiting for the birds to find them! 

Linked to: http://frugallysustainable.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012


Its been a crazy couple of weeks here...and not a lot of big projects done, but some small happenings...
I scored on some new sweaters for our stash...gotta love the 50% off days at Value Village:) Lots of blues and stripes, yay!
I finished a small project for Aria's room...I've been seeing a a lot of these hoops at VV and thought would be a cute collage in her room...if you want pictures from when they are put up...harass Nathania:)  I made her initial out of white buttons and put her b-day underneath with embroidery floss.

I've also been working on painting this UGLY bathroom...it's almost done being painted...one more coat of an accent wall to paint, and the poop brown is gone. WooHoo! I will be posting more pictures of the before and after soon...so stay tuned:)

So hows that for a random post? What have you been working on?

Happy Day!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

chicken mushroom potpie

Recipe time! I've really been on a good cooking kick lately and the slow cooker is my friend.
This time I made chicken mushroom potpie.
You'll need:
8 oz of mushrooms halved if large
4 carrots cut up
1 med. onion, chopped
1/3 c flour
2 sprigs of thyme (I used dry and just used a little less...I guestimated)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken
Salt and Pepper
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 cup of frozen peas( I used two cause I didn't have the green beans)
1 cup of frozen green beans
1/3 cup heavy cream
1. In your slow cooker mix up the flour, mushrooms, carrots, onion, thyme, bay with 1/2 cup of water...this is what the recipe says, but I think it may need a little more water...
2. Put the chick on top of the mixture ans season it with salt and pepper
3. Cook until the chicken and veggies are tender...about 4 hours high or 7 hours low
4. About a half hour before serving, turn oven to 425, cut the pastry into squares and put on a baking sheet...bake for about 8 minutes.
5. About 10 minutes before serving add the frozen veggies and the cream and stir to combine it all. Cover slow cooker and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until it's all heated through.
6. Serve with the pastry squares.

This was another easy recipe...but like I said I may add a little more water at the beginning as there wasn't enough liquid in the end for my liking.

Happy Cooking!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cover me up

Happy New Year!!  My family and I had a delightful start to the New Year with a trip to Hawaii!  It was a  
much needed break from all the cold weather we have been having here in Alaska. 
One of my many resolutions this yr is to finish half done projects around the house, start using my fabric stash instead of letting in collect dust, catch up on my scrap booking and declutter every room in the house. Just a few things to accomplish this year!!

I've started off on the right foot with this cute car seat blanket I made for my friend Jenny, who has the cutest baby boy ever!!! His room has a Pooh theme so I dug out this cute vintage pooh fabric I have had for 4 yrs and this blue flannel I have had for probably more than 8yrs (I wasn't lying when I told you my fabric was collecting dust).  I didn't have one of these for my daughter but have seen them all over town and thought how nice it would have been to have one and hoped Jenny would as well. They are super easy to make and I liked the tutorial at Lulu Tiles (link).  One thing I found that since all car seats are not the same size measure yours before you cut!

I thought it turned out super cute and I used some fusible webbing (so much fun) and cut out some of the characters from the fabric and ironed them on to the front corner. I found out it looked pretty professionally made when Jenny's husband Robert thought it was store bought after getting the package!  I few more friends are expecting so I think I will make some more as gifts.

Happy Sewing

Thursday, January 19, 2012

easy peasy

As I mentioned earlier this week...cooking is not so much a forte of mine, but I'm getting better and much to Andy's delight I cooked every day so far this week, which I think may be a record! Pretty sad but true! So Wednesday I made some very tasty, calzones. Here's the recipe:
1 roll of crescent roll dough
pizza sauce
favorite toppings

1. Roll out the dough so its a whole sheet and a little thinner...I was able to get two huge calzones from one roll

2. Put sauce, cheese and toppings on one half, fold over and pinch the sides together
3. Cook at 375 on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes
4. While baking, mix some fresh garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil together, brush mixture on immediately after it comes out of the oven

5. Enjoy

See?! Super easy!

 I also made a soup this week...but got some really terrible pictures. It's not the most beautiful soup, but tasty it is. It's a Sausage Potato Soup
You'll need:
1/2 pound smoked kielbasa or polish sausage, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 celery rib, sliced
1/4 cup sliced carrot
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley(I used dried and it was fine...just don't use as much!)
1. Brown Sausage over medium heat, drain and set aside
2. Put potatoes, corn, broth, celery, carrot, and seasoning in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender
4. Add the milk, cheese, parsley and sausage. Cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted.

This was souper...hehehe....easy and really good on a -20 evening! Most of the ingredients I already had on hand, so no extra trip to the store!



cold and crabby...

 Anybody else out there ever used model magic by Crayola? It's pretty nifty stuff!
I've been using model magic with my students this week...I made the crab as an example.
Whats so cool about this stuff? It comes white and you can color it with markers and either let it stay that way or mix it into the model magic for an overall color. You can even put a couple of stripes on the clay and mix it so it gets a marble look. It hardens in a day or two and then you have a sculpture. Pretty cool in my opinion:)
I had my students make their favorite animals...some looked great, some...well you have to use your imagination! I couldn't resist taking a picture of the penguin one of my students made...so cute!(you'll have to turn your head sideways...couldn't get the picture to rotate!!!)
If you have kids I highly recommend the stuff...lots of fun to play with!

Happy Sculpting!
(this is just my opinion of the stuff...not a paid review...I just really like it!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

chicken tikka masala

I'm not a very good cook...but I'm getting better. I've decided that I am going to branch out this week and make a few new recipes...and of course share them if they are tasty!
This is a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. It's an Indian dish. Andy and I love this food, but haven't thought to make it, so when I found this recipe I knew it was one to try. Plus, it's a slow cooker recipe....can't mess it up too easily:)
You'll need:
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
(if you can't find use 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cinnamon. 1/4 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne)
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken (I used chicken breast)
1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. In a slow cooker put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Leave those on the bottom and place the chicken on the top.
2. Cover and cook for 7 hours on low or 3 hours on high
3. Make the cucumber salad by mixing the cucumbers, lemon juice and cilantro with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
4. Just before serving, stir the cream into the chicken mixture.
5. Serve over cooked rice, with the cucumbers

It was sooooo tasty and sooo easy:) Our grocery store was out of cilantro when I was there so I had to make the recipe without it...but it was still very good. Andy claims that it wouldn't be as good without the cucumbers, so don't forget them!

It was cold again today...really cold....but this was a great meal to warm your insides:)

Happy Cooking!

Linked up to:

Cooking At Café D

Saturday, January 14, 2012

-17F....not a typo

Yup that's right...-17F...super duper cold. You may be asking yourself, "Sarah, don't you live in Alaska? Isn't it always cold there? Don't you live in an igloo?"
Yes I do live in Ak, BUT it's not usually this cold here in these parts....if I live in Fairbanks or McGrath...we wouldn't be having this theoretical discussion(its really really really really cold there)...but I'm telling you it's cold! And no I don't live in an igloo...hehehehe
So after that fest of whining, I need to show you a reason I put up with the cold. The following pictures are from the dog park we frequent...how gorgeous right?
The flat, meadowish part is actually a lake, frozen over. It adds a lot  more room to run for the dogs.

Now, mind you these are phone pictures...not the highest quality, but not to shabby for my non-iphone:)

I don't think it can get much better than this in the winter...well maybe a few degrees warmer...but you get the point.

Me...awful picture, but see my hair is frozen! I was only out for about 35minutes at this point. My eyelashes were starting to frost too:)
I know the Midwest and western Canada are getting snow...finally...does your area look like Narnia too?

Happy Snow!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

faux basket tutorial

Anybody else out there love the cool baskets that Michael's or Joann's sells, but just doesn't want to pay for it? Well I have the solution for you!(do I sound like a commercial yet?)
But seriously, I do love those baskets and never want to pay for them and ones I've found at the thrift store are often broken, so being the frugal person that I am, I made my own:)
Here's what you'll need:
1 Bucket...find something from the recycling bin
A roll of twine, whatever size you prefer
a glue gun
I used a bucket and didn't even both taking the stickers fully off. I couldn't be bothered since they were going to be covered up anyways.
1. Flip the bucket over, find the middle of the bottom and glue the end on
2. Start a spiral
3. Keep gluing and spiraling--I glued every inch on the bottom
Isn't starting to look perty?
4. Keep gluing every inch until you have about an inch up the sides. Then just wind it up, periodically gluing, tacking it into place.
There was a little lip on mine about an inch from the top--I used more glue so the twine would lay flat.

5. Put a strip of glue on the top and lay the final bit of twine down to get a more finished look. Finished product! Huzzah!
I actually needed something for my markers that looked somewhat decent and this was what I came up with. Cute?
I think if you wanted more pizazz you could put some ribbon or fabric around it or on the top...but I like the more rustic look.

Super duper easy project...with high quality outcomes...my kind of project. AND...it didn't cost me anything cause I had it all in the house anyways!

Happy Gluing!


Linked to:

Frugally Sustainable

Cooking At Café D

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!A day late!

Happy Birthday Andy!!
It was Andy's birthday yesterday...I forgot to post this yesterday, but better late than never!
We went out for dinner with some friends and he received a goodie bag of delicacies from a local bakery. Most of the goodies were tasty...except for the truffles. Does anyone out there know why bakeries are making truffles that have weird spices? I got him one that was strawberry thyme...it tasted like strawberry chicken...it was awful! But the cupcakes and mousse(not moose) were fantastic.
Happy Birthday, my mountain man!

Love you!!!!


Friday, January 6, 2012

SNOW...and CitraSolv

It's snowing...which in my world means it's not super cold. Yesterday it was -5F so I can deal with snow if the temperature goes up!
Lucy looks a little sad in the picture, but I can guarantee that she loves the snow...and loves rolling and playing in it too!

We frequently go to the dog park to get the energy out after I get home from work...and someone at the dog park, before Christmas put ornaments in the trees giving it a festive look! So fun to see them all:)
 These are the shots I took with my new camera...SO much better! It was a definitely needed upgrade.

And the same people who put up the ornaments keep one tree lit...they change the batteries so it doesn't go out! The dog park we go to has a lake to walk around and it's soo cheery to see the lights when its been dark for so long!
Now to crafty things!
 I have been following this fantastic blog, LilBlueBoo, probably one of my favorites out there. Ashley is a super crafting lady! She has soooo many fantastic ideas, tutorials, clothing lines, and to top it all off she is fighting cancer like a superwoman! You should check it out. Anyways, a while back I saw a tutorial ( which you can find here) about transferring images onto clothes using CitraSolv. Always in the back of my mind that I wanted to try it, I finally found the stuff at Freddies in the Natural Cleaners section. 
Andy has this print that he loves and has for years that has a little skier and says MORE OF THIS....he wanted to make it into a t-shirt, but when he tried online, it was UBER expensive...so his crafty, frugal, cheap wife decided to try transferring it onto a shirt with CitraSolv. This is the result:
I found the same picture online for free...it was a clipart. I then found a font that looked like it does on the print, put it in word and flipped it. I made a photo-copy of it at school(cause they have the toner you need for this to work). I also used a shirt Andy already had in his closet...just snazzed it up a bit:)
I didn't read the tutorial exactly where it said not to use too much of the solvent....and the image is bleeding a little bit. If it bleed too much I may try it again, but for now it just makes the image look like it's moving:)

These are the pics of the bleeding, so if you try it, make sure not to use too much!
I'll try posting pics of it when he has it on.


P.S. Just found out that we were featured on the The Quick Journey!! 
PPS: Can't figure out how to get her button on here...any help would be appreciated!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fit for a Queen...

My daughter recently got a cute dress from Hawaii from her grandparents but it was too small so I decided to try my hand at redoing it to fit her for our upcoming trip to Hawaii. I ripped both side seams out and made a black strip for each side to widen it.  Not too fancy but they worked, not perfectly as my measurments were a little off (I have to work on that ) but it turned out well and Aria looks super cute.  

Aloha, Nathania
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