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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Card Making fun...

My Sister -in- law and Daughter have gotten me hooked on card making. I have been scrapbooking since my girl was little but this is a new endeavor for me. Like many of the crafty things I do I like to keep my endeavors fairly simple.

Here are some I have made in the last week or so. I did step out of my comfort zone a bit but I am really liking the results!

I use a variety of paper, stamps and embellishments in my card making. The ink is 99.9% Stampin up.  I am VERY frugal when spending money on my crafting supplies! Please look for sales and sop deals on Amazon to compare prices!


The Lighthouse stamps are from Stampendous that I got 50% off from a sale at Joann Fabrics. I stamped the design on watercolor paper. I got a good size pad on clearance at Walmart! Woohoo!!!  I used my SU ink pads and a wet brush to pick up just a bit of ink to color in the designs just enough to give some detail.

This <- is my favorite!

The butterfly card was so fun! I used my stamp pads to pick up some ink with sponges and sponged it on white card stock. Then used my SU thinlet dies to cut the butterflies. The colors are Melon mambo, Tangerine Tango and daffodil delight. The embossing folder is from Darice.

Here I used Metallic black Embossing powder on Black card stock to get this simple yet elegant look.

If you have questions about any let me know! I got most of my ideas and inspiration from Pinterest :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Written Monday August 3rd.  

Today has been a gorgeous day in central MN! The temperature and humidity has dropped, my hubby is home for the week and the kids have NO activities! Yes Triple bonus! With that being said I have been wanting to make Chili for a few weeks but it has been so darn hot that I just could not deal with cooking something low and slow all day (my preferred method for chili). Also my garden had this to offer today...

  Chili is one of those recipes I never make the same way twice. It is a very forgiving dish so feel free to experiment a bit. The hardest part of this recipe is cooking the ground beef. After that you add it all to your Crockpot and let it simmer for 4-6 hours on low.

get the printable version here... chili

3 pounds ground beef browned and crumbled
2 small onions diced
1 can chili beans (I used mild)
1 can black beans
3 garlic cloves (run thru a press is best)
1 can diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh diced. (feel free to add more or less to taste)
1 Tablespoon of chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
1 1/2 Teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of each)

 Brown the ground beef in a large skillet and chop into fine crumbles as it cooks. Add Ground beef to a large Crockpot (5 quart MINIMUM!). Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on low for 6-8 hours.

Please taste at least 1/2 hour before serving. You can adjust any of the seasonings to suit your own tastes.

Also here are some things you could add to make it your own...
Diced Jalapenos
Diced bell peppers or any kind of pepper
Corn (I recommend frozen)
Diced zucchini
Diced summer squash

 Optional toppings:
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream
I served this with cornbread. You can find my favorite recipe here... golden sweet cornbread

   I have to say this was one of the best batches I have made in a long time and everyone agreed!

* Disclaimer!!! Every Crockpot is different! I used my large 8 quart Crockpot and it cooks super hot. I put it on high for an hour them backed it down to low for a few them left it on keep warm. If I was going to be gone for 6-8 hours I definitely would put it on low and maybe add a bit of water.

The best part about this dinner is we only ate half of it and even had half the cornbread left so I packaged it up and put it in the freezer for dinner another night when I don't feel like cooking! Yes, woohoo!

Putz factor... 3... yes there are a lot of ingredients but it does not take long to get them all put together. After it was all in the pot I really did not think much about it the rest of the day :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bananna Crumb Muffins

  My husband is off work this week and the weather has turned mild so this morning I was inspired to make some Banana muffins. Well that and it has been so warm that I can not keep bananas for more than 2 days before they turn brown and to complete mush. The 3 large bananas on my counter were almost beyond the point they could be used for muffins but thankfully I used them in time and the muffins were amazing! I got the recipe here... banana crumb muffins. 

  Make them for someone you love (even if it's yourself)  :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Chicken, Bacon, Onion & Cheddar Wrap

   I reluctantly threw dinner together tonight. I have been so busy running the kids around all summer that cooking has just not been a priority for me. Also it's been pretty warm here in MN so most of my cooking has been on the grill. Tonight's dinner was cooked on the stove top.

 I don't have a picture but here is what I came up with...

Chicken, Bacon, Onion and Cheddar Wrap

click to print here ... chicken, bacon, onion &cheddar wraps

2-3 boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion sliced
5-6 slices of bacon
Garlic and herb seasoning (or pepper to taste)
cheddar cheese (I used some shredded I had on hand) 
10 inch flour tortillas

Cut your bacon into 2-3 inch slices (I just cut 3 inches off the end of a new package).
Lay the bacon in your pan and start cooking. I used my cast iron skillet, a stainless pan would work well too. If all you have is nonstick that's fine just go with it. While your bacon is warming up fillet your chicken (cut each breast into 2 thinner strips) and place on top of the bacon. Add your favorite herb seasoning.  I used a garlic and herb mix I got at Aldi earlier in the summer. Slice your onion and add to the pan. It was a bit awkward to move the chicken around to keep the bacon on the bottom but it paid off in flavor. When everything is cooked remove the chicken one fillet at a time and cut into strips and return to the pan. Mix everything up. Warm your tortillas. I added the cheddar then piled up the chicken mixture and wrapped it all up burrito style.  

YUM! Everyone LOVED this. My hubby did request a chipolte (Sp?) sauce next time but even he liked it as is.

Obviously you could add any other veggies you like to this. I'm sure bell peppers would be awesome as well as jalapenos or any hot pepper you like.

Helpful tools:
Cast Iron Pan

   To be honest cooking has just not been something I have been enjoying lately. I doubled my work hours last fall and my kids have had more activities. I know I have preached about meal planning in the past to help get meal times under control but admittedly I have not taken my own advice. I'm not totally sure why it has been such a struggle for me. I think it's partly because I have been fighting a lot of depression. I have not written publicly about my loss in May of 2014 but here goes... My youngest brother lost a battle with Lung Cancer at the age of 28. There it is... I said it.  
   Nothing can prepare you for a big loss. You just get through one day at a time and hope for more good days than bad days. I am thankful that I have amazing friends, a wonderful husband and great kids. I cherish them every day and try not to take any day for granted. :)

  I hope you all are having an amazing summer and please give this a try. It was pretty easy, fairly quick and not too putzy.  I give it a 2 1/2 on my Putz factor scale.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Zaycon Chicken...

Ever wondered what 40 pounds of chicken looks like? Here is my 40 pounds from my last Zaycon order. There are 5-7 breast halves individually wrapped in each gallon zip top bag. This is easily fits on just one shelf of our upright 40 cubic foot freezer. It does take a bit of time to cut the breast halves apart and trim them up but it is well worth it to be stocked up for a while. This time I packed all the chicken into smaller zip top bags then added those to larger gallon size bags. I found it much easier to have a bunch of the smaller bags prepped by opening them and flipping over the top edge to keep the bag open, then I could just put breasts in there as I worked. I even got my hubby into the mix this time, he sealed and packed all the bags for me.

 I really need to defrost! 

Not heard of Zaycon Chicken? Click here to find out more!   zayconfresh.com/refer/zf114247

FYI... I have not received any compensation for talking about Zaycon chicken. I am just giving my  personal opinions.