Friday, October 1, 2010


Well, I've needed to do this for a really long time, because my daughter accidentally messed up my Google/Blogger I've been using her's for a long time......and needing to move my blog to my own log-in, etc.

I'm hoping that this will inspire me to post and share more, plus give my blog a much-needed face-lift.

So please change your links to this new one and follow me there, because I sure would hate losing you all. :-)

Here is my new address:

I hope to see you there soon and please excuse the dust as I do some cleaning.... :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally back and Frosted Banana Bars.....

Well, it's been forever since I've shared anything here. Lots have happened, some not so great (actually quite terrible) and some awesome.....isn't that life? I'm hoping to get back into posting here. I'm finally getting my creativity back and have lots of projects that I'm working on.

But for now, I'll share with you a recipe for an awesome dessert bar that I made today. This is one of those recipes that copies went around of when I was working several years ago. We used to have big pot lucks for lunch a couple of times a year and these bars were made one time. They are so good and I had some bananas sitting around that desperately needed to be turned into something yummy, so this is what I made. I hope you enjoy!

One quick note......this is supposed to be baked in a 15"x10"x1" baking pan and I don't have one, so I used my baking dish that was a bit smaller. Needless to say, when the 25 minutes of cooking time was up, my bars weren't even close to being done. I ended up cooking them at least 15-20 minutes longer. So, if you are using a smaller pan, be sure to add some time and just keep watching them until they are done. :-)

Frosted Banana Bars:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)


1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas. Spread into a greased 15"x10"x1" baking pan. Bake at 350F degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

For the frosting, in a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Crafty Friday - beaded crosses

Well, I know that I said yesterday that Friday was going to be for paper crafts, but I think that I need to change that to general crafting! :-) I have been given the honor of helping to make the gifts for my daughter's 8th grade class. She goes to a small Catholic school, so there are about 60 kids in her grade. The other day I was given the supplies to make beaded crosses that will be given to the children next week at their Graduation Breakfast. I'm not sure who came up with the idea, but these are too pretty to not share!

First of all, look at all of these beautiful beads!

I just love all of the different colors. I am afraid to work on this project, because it might get me hooked on beading and I DO NOT need another hobby! lol But, all of these colors and playing with these beads really looks like so much fun! I have to admit that I'm one of those people who has to keep certain things separated, like all of my food in it's own pile on my plate, things that are similar grouped together just that's why I came up with using one of GG's plastic plates to hold all of the beads. It works perfect for the job that I'm doing!

And here is what the completed beaded cross looks like......

The cross is made from wrapping 24-guage beading wire around two toothpicks that are in the shape of a cross. I honestly haven't made any of the actual crosses, they were given to me already made. But, I was told that this is how they were made. You just keep wrapping and wrapping until all of the toothpick is completely covered with wire. Then you start wrapping more wire on and adding beads here and there and wrapping the wire around the beads to secure them into place. It's quite easy and very pretty! As I'm making them this weekend, I will snap some photos so that I can share a tutorial on how to make them. :-) I just thought that these were too pretty to not share with you all today! And, it's what's crafty at my house today.....that and more crochet washcloths! lol I am so addicted to making them. They are so easy and a great way to help me unwind after a long day.

I hope you all had a wonderful was so beautiful here today and an absolutely perfect day for daughter's Field Day at school! Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A new beginning.....

I've been wanting to do things different here for awhile and I think that nows the time! So, hopefully you will enjoy these changes and the information I want to share with you all.

To make things easier, I am going to start having daily themes for my posts. Things are pretty busy here right now with the end of the school year approaching. I have two children graduating this year. One from high school and one from 8th grade! So, I'm not sure that I will be able to share a post each day until things calm down a bit. But, here is what I've come up with as to what I would like to share with you and when.

Sunday- Living the Liturgy

One of the things that I really want to start doing is to incorporate the daily rhythms of the Church into our daily lives. I plan on sharing the ideas, activities and cooking that I have chosen for that week each Sunday.

Monday – Meal Plan Monday

Our weekly menu with some recipe shares and links.

Tuesday – Time with Tots

Another goal that I have is to start doing more organized and planned activities with my little 2 (almost 3!) year-old daughter, GG, so I will be sharing those ideas with you each Tuesday.

Wednesday- Sharing the wealth....

One of the ways that I de-stress at night is to surf the internet for fun blogs with craft project and recipes. I'll share my discoveries with you on Wednesdays!

Thursday- A Homemakers Tale

A time for me to share how I'm trying to make the most out of being a country girt at heart living in the city and all things homemaking!

Friday- Papercraft Projects

I'll show you any scrapbooking layouts, cards and other paper crafting projects that I've completed that week.

Saturday- Sew Wonderful

I'm trying to do more sewing (of all types!) so I keep you posted on what I'm working on and the finished product!

I hope that you enjoy these changes that I plan on making and if you like what you see, please share my link with your friends. Please let me know what you think and I look forward to sharing with you all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

a little softie bunny.....

So, I stumbled upon this super, cute (and FREE!) pattern for a softie bunny and I knew I wasn't going to be happy until I sewed one up for myself. I raided my fabric scraps and found some flannel check fabric and some cute blue floral fabric and in no time I had a sweet little bunny! If you decide to make this for a baby, I would use thread and sew the eyes, like I did the nose and not use buttons or anything that could be pulled off and swallowed.

I had to give her some sort of accessory, so I decided to make a fabric yo-yo and embellished ith with a button and some "leaves" that I made from ribbon. Now we just need to think of a good name for her........any suggestions? :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homemade Produce Wash

I've been using this all-natural produce wash for a little while now. I made up a new batch of it today, so I took some pictures and thought I would share. It's super easy and WAY CHEAPER than the stuff that you buy at your grocery store.

Homemade Produce Wash:

1 spray bottle + one recycled jar
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
20 drops grapefruit seed extract - (I get mine at Whole Foods)

Put the water and vinegar in a deep pitcher or big bowl. This is why...........
When you add the baking soda, cool science happens! lol The baking soda and the vinegar react and foam up like crazy. I was using an 8-cup measuring cup and it came very close to foaming over the top.

After the foam goes away, stir well. It will probably foam up again, but not as badly as the first time. Fill up your spray bottle and if you have any left over, pour it into your recycled glass jar. Be sure to label your jar, so you know what's inside!

To use, spray your produce and let it sit on your counter or in a bowl for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse well and eat!

For small produce, like grapes and blueberries, I place the fruit in a bowl, spray the fruit real well and mix them up a bit with my fingers, spraying on more wash here and there. Then I let them sit and rinse.

I found this recipe at Recipezaar and I think it works great!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game Face - layout

First of all, I have to say this.........

GO BIG RED!!!!!!!

Okay, now that I have that out of my I also have to say that the photo of my kids on the second page (acting like the statues) is by far one of my most favorite photos of my kids ever! lol I have a copy of this on my fridge and it makes me laugh every time I look at it. It's great for those times when I'm grumpy. lol This layout covers a couple of challenges. It was my submission at Practical Scrappers for their Bling Challenge that was last week (yep, I'm late on sharing mine here on my blog!) and it's also for a sketch challenge at a great Yahoo! Group called ScrapFromYourStash. The sketch is by Shawn at Nuts About Sketches. She has tons and tons of awesome sketches, so be sure to visit her blog to see them!!!!

Things are still crazy here.....I'm averaging one page a week......which I guess is better than zero! I'm trying to pull out all of my winter clothes right now, pack them up and move in my summer clothes. I need to do that for little GG, too, so I have quite a bit of clothes to go through!

I hope to share more with you soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Practical Scrappers Card Sketch

The current card sketch at Practical Scrappers is just awesome! I really enjoyed making this Thank You card.....(I need to mail it! I keep forgetting!). Be sure to go here to see the sketch and all of the other amazing cards that have been made following this sketch.

For my card, I chose to use a small doily for the main circle. I'm not sure if you noticed, but the scalloped-rectangle piece of paper is a scrap left over from the paper that I used on the layout I shared a few days ago. The title is stamped.....I'm embarrassed to say that I have had that Stampin'Up! stamp set for probably 8 years and I just now cut that stamp out to use on this card. For the flower, I punched out 4 different sized flowers and curled up the edges with a small, wooden skewer. Then I added fine glitter to the edges with some liquid glue and added a small rhinestone in the center. I am really having fun making these 3-dimensional flowers!

I hope you all have a wonderful, crafty day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Markers Challenge @ Practical Scrappers

Good morning! This weeks challenge at Practical Scrappers is to use your markers! I have had the full set of Stampin' Up! makers for many, many years and I must say I can't believe they still work so wonderfully. I guess that's a bad sign that I really haven't been using them that often. ;-) So, I was really excited to see this weeks challenge. I have been trying to use them more and I think that I'm actually really enjoying all of these markers for the first time since I bought them ages ago!
I really wanted to challenge myself and think of something that I hadn't done before. So, I decided to color on some thick, cotton "ribbon". I'm not sure what this stuff is called, but it's not ribbon, it's more like yarn or flat cotton twine. Anyway, I decided to use blue and pulled out three shades of blue markers. I put some Mono Adhesive on both ends of the twine and stuck it to my work surface, so it wouldn't move around while I colored on it. Then, I just started making lines of different thicknesses for each color and followed the pattern all of the way across the ribbon. Easy as pie and it matches my layout colors perfectly!!!! :-) If you click on the picture, you can see a bigger version of it....I forgot to take a close-up of the colored twine!

Obviously, this layout is about our love of Whole Foods. lol We go there a little too often.... ;-) It can be pricey, but I find that their 360 house-brand is quite reasonable. Really, all that I buy there right now is organic produce, some beauty/bath items, Keifer and organic coffee. That's my one, big splurge. Organic coffee. lol My little one loves Whole Foods, too, especially their cookies! I know that people like to call it "Whole Paycheck" but I really do find that if you buy what's on sale, use coupons, and buy their house-brand, that it's not too bad. Plus, I'd rather pay the extra for things that I know are better for me and my family.....but that's an entire different topic! ;-)

I hope you all join in on this challenge at Practical Scrappers! Please visit us there, check out all of the amazing projects and add your own to Mr. Linky!!!!! It's a wonderful place with wonderful people and a great place to get inspiration to use the supplies that you have!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Joy of the Lord......card

I made this card last month and I forgot to share it with you all. This was for a dear aunt of mine who lost her mother, who was a wonderful lady indeed.

For this card, I stamped the verse in an olive green and then I went over each letter with a blender pen that I rubbed in some olive green marker. I don't have one of those neat paper edge de-stresser tools, so I carefully rubbed an Exact-O knife along the edge of the paper and the green mat. Oh, I stamped the verse on water color paper and don't tell my husband about my dangerous use of that Exact-O knife! It scares him to watch me cut an apple, because I hold it in my hand, like my mom always did. Anyway. ;-) I used a Versamark pad and stamped the small flowers on the base of the card.

Now for the fun part. The flowers! At first I had this great idea to use my flower punch, but punches and tissue paper DO NOT MIX! lol So, I used my Big Shot and a flower die and cut out several flowers and that worked well. I did have to use my tweezers to pull the separate flowers apart, because I ran several layers through my die-cutter at once. This takes a very light hand, because the flowers are very fragile. (Does anyone else say "fra-gee-lay" when they type "fragile"? lol) After I had each flower laying out on my table, I used a liquid glue pen and carefully glued each punched flower on top of each other until the flower was a many layers as I wanted. I used my tweezers for this part, too. I made two different sized flowers, but each flower is made up of the same sized flower, if that makes any sense. ;-) I added a rhinestone in the center of each flower to finish them off.

The leaves are punched from green card stock. Then, I placed them on top of a piece of craft foam and used my embossing tool to burnish the center of the leave and to shape each leaf so that it looked more real and dimensional. I'm not sure if I can describe what I did.....maybe I should do a tutorial for you some time! I added some ribbon, because I love ribbon and this one matched my card perfectly, so I had to use it. ;-)

I've been making a lot of cards lately and it's been a great way for me to do some creative to work on some layouts!

Take care!

Rub-On Challenge @ Practical Scrappers!

There are always lots of great things going on at Practical Scrappers and I sure do hope that you make some time to stop by to see all of the fabulous projects that are shared there!

This weeks challenge is to use Rub-On's! I don't have many and it took some rooting around in my stash to find some, but I finally stumbled upon a sheet of rub-on words that all focused on "love". So, I thought of the stamps that I have seen where the words are all fitted together to make a shape and I thought that would be a great thing to try to do with these rub-on's! I crossed my fingers and started rubbing each word on, one by one, and just hoped that it would turn out into a rectangle shape. It worked great and I'm really thrilled with my card!

For the flowers, I punched a large flower from three shades of blue, a medium flower in pink, and a small flower in light pink. I crumpled them all up and the unfolded them a bit, stacked them on top of each other and used a small, flower-shaped brad to hold them all together.

Please stop by Practical Scrappers to see all of the great inspiration there for using rub-on's! Join in on the fun and leave a link to share your projects! We sure would love to have you visit!

Crochet Laptop Cozy

As soon as I saw this tutorial for a crochet laptop sleeve, I knew that I had to make one for my new Mac! This was really easy and I honestly just kind of stitched away, kept putting it on my laptop to see if it was working, and then stitched some more. I added a stitch for a few rows at the beginning, so that it widened bit by bit and fit around the bottom nicely. This was pure luck that it turned out right! lol I haven't ever done anything like that before, so like I said, I just went with it and kept putting it on my laptop to see if it was working. This is a super easy project and the only really tough part about it is that you are crocheting with THREE skeins of yarn at once, so it does get a little bulky to work with because it starts getting a little heavy and you have to sit with three skeins of yarn in front of you. I actually set mine on the floor in front of me with the ends facing up that the yarn was coming from. I used a light yellow, light pink and then a darker pink of Red Heart brand yarn. One big, Super Saver skein of each color was enough for this project.

The end is sewn together, so that you have to slip the top flap over the edge of your laptop. This is nice because it protects the edges of your laptop and just looks a lot nicer anyway. I also stitched around the edge of the flap for two rows, instead of one, because I needed that extra length so that the edges that I needed to sew together fit together well.

Then I had to embellish it, of course. lol I got the silly idea of putting my initial on it, so I tried crouching with silk ribbon. This was the first time I've ever tried this! I do like how it turned out! Then I made some yo-yo's from some scraps of fabric, added some old buttons and felt leaves. I decided to stitch around the leaves in a lighter color of green DMC floss, because I didn't like how the leaves looked plain, I think it was because the color of the felt was more of an olive tint and not green enough for this project. The light green floss adds that green color that I wanted and also gives the flowers neat dimension. I sewed all of the embellishments on with yarn.

I LOVE my cozy! lol

I hope you are all enjoying Spring! Isn't it wonderful????? :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh where, oh where have I been????

Whew. Well, I've been gone for awhile, that's for sure. A lot of things have been going on, some good, some not so good..... Right now we have more sickness going through our house. I am so tired of germs! I can't wait until we can get outside and I can open up the windows and let some fresh air in. Spring is here, but here in Nebraska, Winter is fighting w/ both fists to stick around! We had more snow last Friday.....I am so tired of snow! lol

So here's a little photo journey of these past two months....

First of all......we went to Vegas! I was asked by a dear friend to take pictures at her niece's wedding, so me, my husband and our youngest flew out there on a Thursday morning and came home on Monday night. What a time that was! Wow. The wedding was beautiful and I was totally terrified because I had never done anything like that before (I'm not sure if I ever will again! So stressful! lol). I had a lot of fun playing tourist and took a ton of pictures. My favorite part was Fremont Street. Vintage Vegas is what I really wanted to see and it was something else. We also went to Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful! The craziest part about the whole trip was that we left home with several feet of snow and freezing temps and stepped off the plane to 50 degree weather, blue skies and green trees! Wow! That was so refreshing! We were totally covered with several feet of snow from the beginning of December until just a couple of weeks ago!

Lent had started while we were in Vegas and we couldn't wait until Friday, because Friday during Lent means: FISH FRIES!!!!

Yum! Oh boy.....this is the best fish ever....cajun spiced....all you can eat. lol We have really enjoyed going to Fish Fries every Friday during Lent this year. It's an evening full of wonderful fellowship and amazing food!

How totally fun is this cake batter? I needed to make some cupcakes for a benefit dinner at church and since St. Patrick's day was close, I decided to make these fun cupcakes. I found the recipe at Real Mom Kitchen. Oh wow! They are SO GOOD! The frosting is so yummy! These were gobbled up really quick. I had to make extra so that we could have some for ourselves. My kids always get on to me, because I bake all sorts of yummies for bake sales and such and never make extra to have at home. lol So, this time I made a double batch and kept a pan of cupcakes for ourselves.

Aren't they fun?????

Now the really fun part. lol Like I already said, we have had TONS OF SNOW! I mean, TONS! And, now we're paying the price of having our roads snow covered for 2 months. We have potholes like nothing I've ever seen before! I'm talking pot holes that are like the Grand Canyon! Look at this:

Isn't that horrible? And, it gets better. So far we have had 2 flats and a broken drive shaft from hitting a pot hole! You just can't miss them. You can try, but you will either hit another one or hit a car beside you. It's crazy! Driving is pretty stressful and you can't take your eyes off the road or you'll hit one!

So, that's pretty much what's been going on here. Well, the things that I've gotten pictures of. lol I haven't been able to do much scrapping or any crafting at all. But, I did get one fun project done and I'll share that in another post. It's a crochet laptop sleeve and it's pretty neat! I also started new sewing project last night that I'm really excited about and I'll share more about it soon.

I hope you all are doing well and that you are starting to feel the wonderful wakening of Spring! We actually have blue skies today. Something that we haven't seen much of for the past 4 months! Talk about depressing weather here! loll I'm so ready for green grass, green trees and to start getting my hands dirty in our new garden that we're planting this year.....Come on Spring!!!! ;-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flowers challenge at Practical Scrappers

This weeks challenge at Practical Scrappers is to use flowers! I'm really sick, but wanted to quickly share two projects where I have used flowers.......

For my layout I punched out several flowers and added them around my journaling....

For my card, I added a crochet flower that I had accidentally made while trying to make a round dish cloth. lol I really messed up following the directions, but ended up with this and I knew that I had to use it on a card or layout. Silly, I know, but I think it looks kinda cute!

I hope you all are doing well......I started feeling sick yesterday and it hit me fast and hard. I tried to get some sleep tonight but just couldn't, so here I sit at 1:38 a.m. Ugh......I hate bad, head colds! Take care........ :-)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Card Sketch at Practical Scrappers

Here is this weeks card sketch at Practical Scrappers!

And here is what I did with it......

I stamped the title and colored it in w/ a blender pen and markers. I hand-cut the hearts from some scraps of felt and then did a simple stitch around the edges with brown DMC floss. Kinda fun, huh? lol I think I'll try making some other shapes from felt, flowers!

We would love for you to play along and show us your creations using this sketch, so be sure to go to Practical Scrappers and post a link to your card on the Mr. Blinkie for this weeks card will have to scroll down a bit to get there!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bake Sale Madness - Valentine's edition - pt 3

Here is the last thing that I made for the bake sale this past weekend. Cookie Pops. These were A LOT of work! lol It took me 3 days to finish these. I made the cookies one day, decorated them the next, then packaged them on the third. These cookies need a full day to sit after the glaze has been put on them. The glace icing needs plenty of time to dry, especially if you are going to package them in bags, like I did. But, WOW!!!! Oh my gosh! These are the cookies that I drool over whenever I go to our local bakery. I always buy an iced sugar cookie. ALWAYS! lol And, now I know how to make them. It's all in the icing, I tell ya. That's what really makes these cookies taste so awesome!

I used the recipes and instructions from the Our Best Bites website. I have to tell you that this recipe site is AWESOME!!!! Be sure to sign up to get their updates! The recipes and ideas shared here are the best!

Here are the links for you:

Valentine Sugar Cookie Pops Tutorial
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Glace Recipe and Tutorial

The biggest struggle that I had with making these is PATIENCE! lol I don't have much. Actually, my Mom has always told me that I inherited all of my patience from my dad and he didn't have any. lol But, you have to be patient with the icing, make sure it's set well, etc. I wasn't patient. I went around each heart with the thicker icing and didn't wait long enough for that outline to dry well. So, when I went to fill in the cookie w/ the thinner icing, it all ran off of the edges. At first I was really upset, but then I decided to just go with it and I started drizzling pink and red icing all over the cookies and off the edges, instead of trying to have the icing perfectly on top of each cookie. The other thing that I will do next time, is to use two colors that have a high contrast in them. I used pink and red and they looked pretty, but the two colors we so similar, the cookies just didn't pop like I wanted them to. While I used up some extra icing that wasn't colored, I covered the cookies in white and then drizzled red icing on top. Now that really popped and looks so awesome!!! You can see them in the bottom left corner in the picture above. You also need space for these to sit out and dry. I am lucky enough to have a long counter top in my kitchen, because those cookies were sitting out for quiet awhile!

My kids are begging me to make more of these, because I only save a few for us to try. The rest went to the sale. They didn't like that very well! lol St. Patrick's Day is coming up........I just might have to make some shamrock cookies w/ glace icing! I hope you try these.....they really are YUMMY!!!!!!

Bake Sale Madness - Valentine's edition - pt 2

How fun are these? This is another goodie that I made for the bake sale and perfect for Valentine's Day!

I found that the easiest way to press each layer into the pan was to lay a piece of wax paper on top of each mixture and then press. That way the cereal/marshmallow mixture doesn't stick to your hands. I tried buttering my hands and that didn't work as well as using wax paper.

Neapolitan Krispie Bars-

1 pkg (10 oz) large marshmallows - I just divided them up evenly into 3 piles
3 Tlbs. butter, divided
2 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
4 cups Rice Krispies cereal, divided
1/2 cup strawberry jam
5 drops red food coloring, optional

In a large saucepan, combine a third of the marshmallows and 1 Tlbs. butter. cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in Cocoa Krispies and chocolate chips. Press into a greased 11x7 inch dish.

In a large saucepan, combine a third of the marshmallows and 1 Tlbs. butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in 2 cups of the Rice Krispies. Press into dish over chocolate layer.

In a large saucepan, combine remaining marshmallows and 1 Tlbs. butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from heat; stir in jam and food coloring. Stir in 2 cups Rice Krispie cereal. Press into the dish. Cool. Cut into bars.

Here is how I packaged them up for the bake sale. I placed each bar on top of a square of wax paper before placing them in the bag.