Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hand Embroidered Cards for Christmas

I promise I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I am working on so many projects right now, but most of them are not done! The other evening I sat down to watch a movie with my husband, and I just am not good at sitting still. Ask might just drive him insane. Ha! I grabbed some note cards out of the drawer, and decided to try some hand embroidery.

I have a stash of card stock note cards and envelopes that I purchased at Michael's. After tracing my design in pencil, I used a needle to punch holes at an even distance on the design. Next, erase the original pattern completely. I knotted the end and began sewing with a backstitch. Sew So simple! Here is a photo of the back. I decided it looked neat enough, that I would not even back it with additional paper.

I made several cards. This one is just a simple tree with Joy written under it.

These cards would make a lovely gift for anyone. Of course, they don't even have to be a Christmas theme. Give them a try. They are a relaxing thing to do while snuggling on the couch watching a good movie! I hope your holidays are off to a good start.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Son's Request for Pumpkin Pie from Scratch!

I took down all our Thanksgiving decorations this weekend and threw away all the small pumpkins we had around the house...but not for long. My three year old was throwing away some trash, and noticed the pumpkins in there. He started sobbing because he was convinced we were going to make pumpkin pie out of them. Apparently, he "loves pumpkin pie!" I pulled them out of the trash in hopes he would forget. I was not so lucky!! The next morning he woke up and reminded me we were supposed to make a pumpkin pie today. Thank goodness for google and all the wonderful sites with instructions to make pumpkin puree.

I took our lovely pumpkins out of the trash and SCRUBBED them clean.

Next, I cut up the pumpkins and used a melon baller to scrape out the insides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place all the pumpkin slices on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Scoop out pumpkin and place in food processor. I added about 2 Tbsp of water.

I have to admit the color of orange was beautiful. I had to compare. The one on the left is the pumpkin puree I made. The right side is some from a can.

Of course, I still had to use the Libby's Pumpkin can recipe to make our pumpkin pie.

This is my son devouring the pie whip cream. I wish I had a picture of him spitting out the pie once he got to it. I was laughing so hard at that point I could not even get a picture. Apparently, he really does not LOVE pumpkin pie. Good thing the rest of the family does. Ha! Our pumpkin pieces ended up back in the trash can...where they originally started the day.

I do have to say it was a good experience to make it from scratch. It truly was easier then I ever expected. My husband gave me a big hug while he was laughing hysterically. After all that effort, and our son really did not even like pumpkin pie !!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Last Minute Ranch Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you that celebrate this wonderful holiday! Here is a quick last minute recipe for delicious potatoes. It is almost like a baked potato salad. My best friend Sara brought this to our early Thanksgiving last weekend and it is scrumptious. I made it last minute this morning to bring to our family Thanksgiving.


Red or small gold potatoes
Ranch dressing
Green onions chopped
Bacon bits


1. Chop potatoes and boil until able to prick easily with fork.

2. Remove potatoes from heat and drain.

3. Combine with ranch dressing, cheese, and chopped green onions.

4. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Acorn Game for Thanksgiving with Printable

My son and I are were having so much fun with our Crazy Turkey Game, that I decided to design another game for the holidays. My little boys have been having a blast collecting acorns at their grandparent's house. It literally entrances them for a half hour, to collect acorns, in a small plastic jar. After noticing the acorns quickly rotted, (yuck!) in the jar at home, I decided we needed a way to preserve them. Combining this thought, and little bit of creativity, I made the Acorn Game.

You may download and print the game HERE. The directions on how to play the game are on the second page of the printable document. Let me share them anyways.

How to Play the Game:
Start your squirrel at the bottom. The first player rolls the dice and moves the number of spaces on the dice. If you land on the leaves, do nothing.  If you land on acorns, collect the number of acorns on the square from the acorn pile. If you land on the turkey, you lose one acorn back to the pile. Take turns rolling the dice. Once a player rolls enough to land on the acorn tree, or past, collect an acorn for making it home. Go back to start on your next turn, and try to collect more acorns and race home. Once all of the piles of acorns have been collected, the squirrel (player) with the most wins!

How to Make the Game:

1. I started by collecting a bunch of acorns out of my mom's yard.  I washed the caps and dried them.

2. Next, we hot glued fall colored pom pom's inside the acorn caps to recreate the acorns.

3. I modge podged squirrels on bottle caps for playing pieces.

4. Now you are ready to play your acorn game. Just follow the directions above. I hope you have as much fun playing it as we are!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Easy Corn Casserole for Thanksgiving

We are starting off our Thanksgiving Holiday early. Our family has invited over 16 friends to celebrate Thanksgiving tonight. My husband and I make the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and corn casserole. Everyone else is bringing a treat along. I guess I need to dig in the closet and find some elastic pants! I can't wait. I found this recipe for corn casserole years ago, and it has been a staple in our house ever since. It is easy and delicious...I know you have heard me say that before. I don't cook much that does not fall in those categories!


1 can kernel corn (drained)
1 can cream corn
1 cup sour cream
1 box corn muffin mix
1/2 stick melted butter
Shredded cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix above ingredients minus the cheese.
3.  Bake at 350 for 40 min.
4. Top with cheese. Bake 5 min more to melt cheese.
5. Enjoy!

The recipe is for a 9x9 size casserole. I made a double batch in the one pictured. I also like to add green chiles to spice it up a bit.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Replace Disney DVD's for...Almost Free

I stumbled upon this on pinterest from from Gourmified tonight. I was astonished to find out that Disney has a Disc Replacement ProgramIf you accidentally damage or break one of your DVD or Blu-ray discs, you can get a replacement for a nominal charge of $6.95 for per DVD and $8.95 for per Blu-ray disc. Considering most Disney movies are much more expensive then that, this is a find! Thank you Disney for great customer service. We are just getting into Disney movies at our house, and I already appreciate this little money saving deal. I hope this helps some of you too!

Thank You

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Crazy Turkey Game

A few nights ago, while lying in bed, I came up with an idea for a crazy turkey game. My boys will stay with my mom the week of Thanksgiving, while their daycare is closed. She already promised my three year old they would have Turkey Camp. I thought it would be fun for him to bring a Thanksgiving themed turkey game along.

Are you ready to make your own Turkey Game?????


Felt (brown, white, orange, red, and black)
Square block
Scrapbook paper
Modge Podge
Batting or stuffing
Tacky glue or fabric glue


1. I started by cutting 4"diameter circles out of brown felt. You will need two circles for each turkey.

2. I cut out the eyes, nose, and "gobbler" and attached them with tacky (all-purpose) glue.

3. Next, I put a little batting between the two brown circle layers and sewed around the edge.
If you don't sew, you could easily just glue the brown felt on a circle of cardboard or glue the two layers together.

4. I selected six different colors/patterns of scrapbook paper and modge podged them on clothespins. Each player will need their own turkey and set of six clothespins.

5. I elected to use an old A,B,C block I had around the house for our dice. I modge podged the six coordinating scrapbook papers on the "dice."

6. Let all the modge podge dry and you are ready to play your hand crafted Turkey Game!

Game Directions:

Each player gets a turkey head and six clothespins of different colors. The first player roles the dice. The player gets to put on the feather color (clothespin) they roll on the dice. Take turns trying to collect all of your different colored turkey feathers. If you roll a color you already have, the turn goes to the next player. The first person to have all six different feathers (clothespins) shouts Gobble, Gobble, Gobble and wins the game!

Thanks Marsha for commenting it would also be fun to play the game the opposite direction, and "pluck" the feathers off, as you roll the colors. Great suggestion!

We had family night last night and roasted marshmallows and played our turkey game.

My three year old said it was the best night ever. I wish I could see the world through his eyes. He is always so happy and grateful.

He quickly beat my husband and I several times at the Crazy Turkey Game.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crockpot Baked Potatoes

I was so excited to find this amazing trick for crockpot baked potatoes. The crockpot is my best friend when I work an extra long day at the surgery center. My little one's are not very patient when we get home in the evening and they are always "so hungry." My boys will eventually eat me out of house and home. This is the easiest recipe I have ever found for a crockpot meal. I know that is a bold statement...but look at these amazing potatoes.


1. Wash and prick potatoes to create several holes.
2. Wrap in foil.
3. Place in crockpot for 6-8 hours on low for 4 potatoes. Of course, you can make more then that.
(Please do NOT add water)

I had leftover barbecue from the night before. We topped our potatoes with butter, cheese, barbeque, and sour cream. Add whatever you like. The possibilities are endless. I enjoy potatoes with broccoli and cheese on top too. (You can purchase a package in the freezer section to microwave) What do you like on your potatoes? Any new suggestions for me?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Give Thanks Pumpkin

I finally got around to taking down our Halloween decorations. It always feels a little empty around our home, when one holiday ends, and we find ourselves waiting for the next holiday. I still think pumpkins are appropriate in November, so we decided to change some of our bright orange pumpkins a bit.

I took one of my small orange pumpkins and painted it...white. Technically, I should have primed it first, but I did not. I grabbed my can of white spray paint this morning and showered it with white paint. When the paint dried, I adorned it with an orange flower, ribbon, and a simple...Give Thanks. I wish I had bigger stickers...or even better...a cricut machine. It was still a fast transformation of an orange pumpkin to a festive Thanksgiving one!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Halloween Costumes and New Tradition

Hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween...however, you choose to celebrate or not celebrate. We took our boys trick-or-treating and had a wonderful time. My three year old even appreciated the spooky decorations at the houses, the creepy music, and all the other children dressed up. He was Batman and reminded me every two minutes...that Batman is not scared of anything!

It is so hard to get a one and a three year old to look at the camera! Does anyone else get exhausted trying to capture the moment....ten pictures later.

My husband and I went to a Halloween party this weekend and we decided on last minutes costumes. I made him into an adult giant version of Mr. Potato head. All of his body parts were attached with Velcro so the parts could be switched around to hilarious versions. I was a Leprechaun.

Mr. Potato Head was possibly the easiest costume I have ever made. My sons kept pointing at it and laughing, and then my oldest requested a costume too. I ended up making one for both boys too. It only took me ten minutes to make each of theirs. I just cut the outline out of brown felt and sewed up the sides, leaving arm holes. I cut a neck out, and then glued on the body parts with fabric glue. My children's costumes are more appropriate for sharing so here is one of them. Ha!

We also came up with a new holiday tradition. I already mentioned earlier this month that I made a Halloween pillowcase with a book pocket on the front. Each evening when it was time for bed, a new book magically appeared in the pocket.

The second idea, transpired while I was at the store looking through discounted Halloween decor, and I noted all the discounted pinatas. I had just picked up a black bat pinata this past weekend at a garage sale. We filled the black bat up with all our Halloween candy tonight, and let the boys go to town hitting the poor black bat with a plastic bat. We even had to help with a few hits to hit open that tough old bird. It was a great way to get rid of some of that extra Halloween energy still swirling around our house. They were just as excited to get the candy the second time around (the first was trick-or-treating). Do you have any fun Halloween traditions you might share with me for next year?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicken Cheese Cups

I am super excited about this new recipe I made. It is going to make the permanent recipe book in our house. I altered a version I saw years ago in a magazine. It is so fast to make, easy, and kid-friendly (All my usual requirements). It almost reminds me of mini pot pies. Oh, and it smells so good cooking. I could barely resist the urge to grab one out early and have a taste test.


Refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup cheddar cheese
3/4 cup rice krispie cereal
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Variety of vegetables ( onion, celery, broccoli)


1. Divide each biscuit in half. Leave in circle shape but peel apart layers. Place biscuits in greased muffin cups, pressing dough over the bottom and up the sides.

2. Add 1 tbsp cheese and rice cereal to each cup.

3. In a bowl, combine chicken, soup, and vegetables of choice. I made these with chicken, cream of mushroom soup, celery, and onions. Spoon into cups. Bake at 375 for approximately 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

4. Enjoy!!!

These would be perfect to take to a holiday, work, or family potluck. They are just the right size to pick up for adults and children. I can't wait to try out a breakfast version of these with eggs, meat, veggies and cheese.

Parties I linked to:

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