Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sock Snake Tutorial

I finally found a tutorial that will help to use up the basket of socks that is multiplying on my dryer. Mismatched, no match, and outgrown children's socks have it filled to the brim with a few falling out and over the sides. I didn't want to just toss them away. Now I am glad I held on to all of those persistent socks! Now I can turn them into giant, as long as I want, SNAKES!

I have two little guys and 3 big guys in my life that I need to find things to make for Christmas. I can see two long snakes on Christmas morning slithering down the stairs or draped on the Christmas tree with bright bows. I imagine they will become favorites for bed and couch snuggles or even as curled up pillows.

She has a complete tutorial that features step by step pictures from cutting the socks to attaching the tongue

Can't wait to find more crafty presents to feature and next week I will start with Halloween tutorials from all over the web! Sign up to have them delivered straight to your email.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Socks to Stick Horse

DIY Sock Stick Horses Tutorial from The Country Chic Cottage @countrychiccott

I love stick horses for little ones and easy to make projects. This tutorial combines both in one. Using a men's sock, a Styrofoam ball, large key rings (I purchased at Krengel's True Value where I work)and a dowel this guy can clip clop his (or her) way into your little one's heart.

The tutorial is detailed in the best way with step by step directions and a photo of each step. One of the best Stick Horse tutorials I have seen.

With Christmas on the way I will try to feature ways to create inexpensive and easy presents for everyone on your list!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anklet Tutorial

I absolutely love jewelry tutorials that make it not only look easy but are easy to reproduce. I have been looking for an easy to recreate anklet for a while. I keep getting asked why I am not making more anklets for my store. The truth is summer leaves me so little time I haven't even posted anything new for sale on my store at all this summer. But, these anklets are a great jumping off point!

DIY easy bead anklet | Henry Happened

Quick create as many as you can before snow starts falling!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Make your own Sock Monkey Family

My little guy will be turning 8 in a couple of weeks and I needed a couple new ideas for birthday presents for him. While searching online for something you could make for a boy not involving weapon creation I found this amazing blog and tutorial. I can't wait to create an entire family for him and his little brother to play with (info on making larger and smaller monkeys is in the tutorial).

The stripes on these guys give them a nice modern twist. I think I may stock up on stripes and furry socks to create this family of monkeys. She has other tutorials for a cat and a bunny that you can make from socks too. I bet the cat would be extra cute with a fuzzy sock!

Here is today's link:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Menu 2

No fail fish cakes

2 can tuna           1 package stuffing  1 c shredded cheese      ½ c shredded carrot

1/3 c mayo          ¾ c water

Mix ingredients and refrigerate for 10 min. Use an ice cream scoop place in a skillet sprayed w non stick spray. Gently flatten w spatula. Cook 3 min on each side or until brown.

Serve w fruit and vegies

Taco Salad

6 tortillas             1 TB chili powder             1 lb ground beef         1 cup match like carrot sticks

½ c plus 2 TB of salsa      2 TB mayo           4 c salad greens                1 lrg tomato

Shredded cheese            ¼ c cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 and crumple 6 large sheets of foil to make 6 3 in balls: place on baking sheet. Place a tortilla on top of each ball: spray  w cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly w chili powder. Bake 6-8 m until golden brown. They will drape as they bake. Meanwhile: Brown meat w carrots and 2 ½ tsp of chili powder. Add ¾ c of salsa. Cook 2 m until heated. Mix mayo, 2 TB salsa in a lrg bowl. Add salad greens and toss to coat. Spoon into tortilla shells, top w meat, cheese, and cilantro.

Tomato and Spinch Pasta Toss

2 c uncooked past            ½ lb Italian sausage        1pckg of baby spinach leaves

1 can 14 ½ oz diced tomatoes w herbs 1 c shredded mozzarella 2 TB Parmesan

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 10 m. Crumble meat into skillet, cook 10-12 m; drain. Add spinach and tomatoes; cook 2 m until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add meat mixture and cheese; toss lightly. Serve w salad and sliced cucumbers.

Cheesy Chicken Roll Ups

8 flour tortillas                  ½ c salsa               2c chicken           1 c shredded cheese      2 c shredded lettuce

1 tomato chopped           1 avocado chopped

Preheat oven to 350 Top ea tortilla w salsa and chicken. Fold like a burrito. Arrange in 8 in sq baking dish seam side down. Sprinkle w cheese. Bake 15 m or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle w veggies.

Pulled chicken sandwiches

2lb chicken         1 onion sliced    1 c barbecue sauce          1/2 c water         2 TB brown sugar             1 French Bread                  sliced cheese

Cook chicken and onions in a skillet on medium high for 8 min stirring occasionally. Add barbecue sauce, water and sugar; Stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Cook an additional 7 m until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet. Shred chicken w 2 forks or chop into small pieces. Return to skillet; stir until evenly coated w sauce. Cut French bread until sandwich sizes. Fill w chicken and top w cheese.

Cheddar Macaroni Beef Casserole

2 package macaroni and cheese       1 lb ground beef              1can stewed tomatoes                

½ t oregano or basil        1 c shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 Prepare macaroni wout the butter. Brown meat. Drain, add tomatoes and basil. Boil. Add to macaroni. Spoon into baking dish sprinkle w cheese. Bake 10 m until cheese is melted and heated through. Serve w vegies

Saucy Pepper steak

1 bell pepper, cut into strips      1 red bell pepper, cut into strips                              1 yellow pepper, cut into strips

1 sm onion , cut into strips          2 lb sirloin steak cut into strips                  3 cloves garlic, minced

1 t black pepper               6 TB soy sauce                   ¾ c barbecue sauce         4 c cooked rice

Heat skillet sprayed w cooking spray on med high heat. Add bell peppers and onion; cook and stir 6-8 m. Transfer to large bowl and cover w tin foil to keep warm.  Add meat, garlic and black pepper to same skillet; cook and stir 4 m. add soy sauce; cook 2 min or until meat is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Spoon meat into bowl w vegies and mix together. Serve over rice.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Menu week 1

I create a weekly menu to make life easier on my husband and 2 adult sons when I work late. Having a planned menu each week makes dinner less stressful for my guys who really aren't into trying to figure out what to eat just eating. I love it too! When I get home dinner is cooked and ready!


Speedy Stroganoff
(From the Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks, Dinner$ On A Dime)

1 lb ground beef
1 onion diced
2 t paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
10-3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
16 oz container of sour cream
cooked egg noodles ( we make enough for 6)

This recipe I make with 1.5 to 2 lbs of ground beef, 1 chopped green pepper, and 2 cans of the cream of mushroom soup to make it stretch for 3 adult guys, myself, a 7 yo, and a 5 yo.

I also mix up the rest of the recipe as follows:

Cook noodles. Fill a large pot with water on medium high until water boils. Add noodles (read directions to find out how many noodles to add). Cook for 10 minutes. Drain using a colander in the sink. Add a little bit of olive oil and mix w noodles to keep them from sticking to each other. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.

In a large pot brown ground beef and drain (On medium). Add spices and mix them in.

In a separate pan cook onion and green pepper w a little olive oil to keep from sticking (On medium). I like mine slightly browned or caramelized. Add to pot of cooked hamburger.

Add both cans of cream of mushroom soup (can use 2 cans of cream of anything if needed) to the pot. Heat on medium until warm. Stir in sour cream. Serve over the cooked noodles.

Serve with salad and sliced fruit.


Hot Dog Day!

2 packages of hot dogs
package of hot dog buns
bowl of grated cheese
mustard, ketchup, mayo
diced onion

Instead of boiling my hot dogs I like to split them in half and warm them in a frying pan. They get a touch of brown on them that is slightly sweet that the kids love this way. Place hot dog on bun (or not on bun depending on kid). Add preferred toppings.

This is a cheat meal for us so we will often have it with fruit, carrots, and a handful of chips. You can even use the chips as a topping!


Taco Day

My family loves tacos but they something that is easy for them cook and quick for hungry tummies.

1 lb of hamburger (we use 2 lbs, if you are not sure that you will have enough meat you
 can easily mix in a can of black beans or cooked rice to stretch it out)

1 bottle of La Victoria Taco Sauce
1-2 boxes of taco shells
1 bowl of grated cheese, about 2 cups
dice 1/2 an onion
bag of salad or a head of lettuce that has been chopped up
sour cream

In a large pan brown hamburger and drain, cook over medium heat. Once drained add bottle of taco sauce and mix. Taco Meat is ready to serve. I usually grate my cheese and chop the lettuce while the hamburger browns.

Add meat and toppings to shells and serve. I will often pair this with rice that I have added salsa too for a quick almost Spanish type rice and fruit.


Chicken Nuggets (these make a great lunch too)

1 package of chicken breasts (4-6 breasts)
2 cup of flour
4 t pepper
2 t paprika
1 t salt
1 t of chili powder
1 t of sage!
2 eggs beaten in a bowl
1 cup of milk

Cut up chicken into nugget size pieces. I will often cut it up into strips.

In a large Ziploc bag mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix egg and milk together.

Add chicken a few pieces at a time to the ziplock bag and shake to coat. I coat all of the chicken at one time and place in a bowl. Dip into egg mixture and return to bag, shaking to coat again. Remove from bag and let chicken rest for 5 minutes.

Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan and heat the pan on medium heat. Add chicken nuggets carefully to pan. I like to cook them 5 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees!

I usually serve with corn or string beans. But when in a hurry I will pull out a bag of carrots and slice a block of cheese into a few slices to put on the side.


Frozen Pizza Night
 Not my favorite dinner as I prefer to make a homemade pizza but on Thursday's my husband needs something that is a no brainer. Open box, place in oven, and serve.


Crock Pot Roast Beef

I always purchase the cheapest per pound beef for this. Whatever you choose make sure that it is well marbled with fat. This will make sure it becomes tender without that dry grainy feel to the meat once it has been cooked.
Enough potatoes that have been washed an cut into quarters to cover the bottom of the crock pot.
1 quartered onion
1 package dry Lipton onion soup mix
1 1b of baby carrots
Bottle of Worcestshire

Place potatoes, carrots, and onions in the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with Worcestshire sauce
 Add roast to crock pot with and sprinkle package of lipton dry onion soup mix on the top. Turn on high making sure lid is on the crockpot. Cook 6 -8 hours.

This makes delicious sandwiches the next day!


Foil Wrapped Fish

4-6 fish fillets (salmon works really well for this too)
1 sliced onion
1/4 c margarine stick that has been sliced
1 lemon sliced
salt and pepper
1 bag of frozen California vegies

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place one fillet on top of foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray or brushed with olive oil. Salt and pepper fillet. Top with onion, lemon, and margarine slices. Fold foil over and tightly fold edges together.

Repeat for vegies using 1/2 cup of vegies per packet. Sprinkle vegies with salt and pepper, topped with a slice of margarine. Fold into packet.

Place packets on an ungreased baking sheet in the 375 degree oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Christmas in July with Rudolph

I have been thinking about Christmas ...a lot....lately. I hate having it sneak up on me and not have presents ready for my family and friends. I want to make everyone a cute Christmas decoration or a personalized stocking this year.

While I was waiting for two youngest to fall asleep tonight I searched online for Christmas projects. Look what I found!

Who wouldn't want to cuddle up with this guy on the couch? I am thinking about making one for each of my youngest as a Christmas Eve present for their beds to cuddle up with waiting for St. Nick. The back of the pillow would be easy to personalize with a different fabric for each family member or you could quickly embroider a name to the pillow. I think I may add a pocket for the boys
to store a reindeer snack that could disappear at night when Santa arrives.

The tutorial is easy to follow with lots of pictures and a complete list of items . She uses transfer paper but I wonder if you could print to freezer paper and use that instead? I think I may try both and let you know what happens.

I would like to point out the cute red pillow in the background with the adorable. Looking at it gives me that nice warm Christmas feeling.

Here is the link

Don't forget to check out the rest of her blog for amazing accessory and clothing ideas too.