Thursday, December 15, 2011

Freebies: Kool-Aid Play Dough Kit Printable- Christmas Goody Bags

 Yesterday I shared with you the Goody Bags I made for Big Sister's school Christmas Party.  Today I am sharing the printable I made to go with it.  I removed her name from the printable.  You can either leave it blank or add your child's name.  For the complete Kool-Aid Play Dough recipe, click here.

PlayDough Kit Printable

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Christmas: Goody Bags- Kool-Aid Play Dough Kits

As part of my Homemade Christmas series, I wanted to make the Goody Bags for Big Sister's classmates a kit for something they could make at home.  Big Sister has loved making her own Play Dough for years.  At first, I was intimidated by it, but when Prince Charming banned the real thing because of its awful stench, I had to come up with something else.

The Kool-Aid ones are non-toxic, edible, and smell great.  They last in an airtight container up to 3 months, and you have all kinds of color options!

I will share the printable I created for the Goody Bags tomorrow, but for today, here's the recipe:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 Pkg unsweetened Kool-Aid
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tbs oil

1.  Mix flour, salt, and Kool-Aid until blended.
2.  Add oil and boiling water, mix with spoon until cool enough to knead.
3.  Knead by hand until color is blended.
4.  Store in air tight bag or container in the refrigerator.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday #6: 12/12-12/18

I am finally getting around to creating a recipe binder.  I have 20+ Cookbooks, hundreds of pages from magazines, and too many internet bookmarks.  My goal is to try at least three new recipes each week and put the best into the binder with a picture of the completed dish (Prince Charming hates cookbooks without pictures).  Throughout the week I will post any recipes that made the cut and link them up here.  If you haven't seen my Recipe Journal Printable- I print it on the backs of all of my recipes to track changes and guinea pigs!

Sambar (Indian Vegetable Soup)

Breakfasts and Lunches are always pretty much the same.  For breakfast we rely on Pancakes, Eggs, Muffins, Cold Cereal, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Lunches are Salads, Sandwiches, and Leftovers.  We also own a bakery/deli, so we eat lunch there several days a week.

Monday:  Indian Cabbage and Peas
Tuesday: Sausage Jambalaya with Creamed Red Beans
Wednesday: Shrimp Curry
Thursday: Spinach Dal
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday: Sambar (Indian Vegetable Soup)

AND.... Best of all- we are making a variety of cookies for a Big Sister's Christmas Party using my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!  I just double the recipe, then divide the dough between 4 bowls and put 1 cup of chips into each bowl- Mini M & M's, Chocolate Chips, White Chocolate Chips, and Butterscotch Chips!  YUM!

Check out more great Menu Plans at

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tutorial: Laminated Cotton Tissue Holders

 I make these for Big Sister's teachers each year.  I use laminated cotton since it is easy to wipe off- you know germs and such.   This year I am using a favorite Michael Miller fabric- Dick and Jane!

Step 1:  Trim to 5 1/2" x 8".

Step 2:  Fold over twice and iron each 5" end (be sure to use a scrap piece of cloth).

Step 3:  Sew hems.

Step 4:  Fold each end into the center serge or zig zag edges.

Step 5:  Sew sides 1/4" from the ends to strengthen stitching (see contrasting brown thread in picture).

Step 6: Turn each side right side out, pushing corners out firmly

Step 7:  Fill and Give!

I also sell these in my etsy shop- Lila's Bowtique

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Freebie: Christmas Card Log

I shared with you yesterday one of the ways I design my Christmas Cards as part of my Homemade Christmas series.  I really enjoy taking the time to make my own cards.  It's not really cheaper, but I love knowing how much the cards are appreciated by its' recipients!

I have been using a Christmas Binder for the last 7 years.  Prior to that I kept this info on the back side of index cards in my address box.  I got rid of the old address box and keep addresses in my Christmas Binder.  This log makes it easy to see who you sent cards to, and who you've received cards from.  When you receive a card from a new friend, just add them to the bottom of the list!

Christmas Card Log


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homemade Christmas: Greeting Cards

Please excuse the quality of the pictures.  It has been raining here for the last four days, and I just couldn't get good natural light!

I love making my own greeting cards, and have collected quite a few supplies over the years.  Most of the supplies are your basic scrapbooking supplies, with a few extras for making cards.

-Blank Cards- you can also use plain card stock, but I like for my cards to be white inside.  I usually by a box of different colors at Hobby Lobby- they come with envelopes, so it's super easy.  Don't forget to use a 40% off coupon.
-Coordinating Paper- 2 pieces
-White Paint Marker
-Printed Party Circles or other graphics
-2" Scallop Punch
-1.75" Circle Punch
-Coordinating Ribbon- 3/8" Wide
-Stamp Set

Step 1:  Make your Circle Embellishment

Step 2: Cut and Stamp Your Papers

3.  Add Ribbon and Put Together

A few of my greeting card sets are listed in my Etsy shop

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Time: Handmade Gifts

So this year, like most I am we are making most of our gifts.  It's not much different from most years, but this year I am trying to do it with a zero budget- making gifts from items I already have on hand.  Last year I made Christmas in a Basket (to be opened Christmas Eve).  It included a couple of Christmas themed mugs, chocolate covered spoons, hot chocolate, and Christmas CD.  I've also given a spa basket to my friends with all things homemade- a rice pack, a sugar scrub, a candle, and a soap. 

But this year, I am going to try to make gifts from things I already have in my craft room.  Now for those of you that have seen my Craft Room Organization Posts, you will know that my craft room is pretty well stocked, but this is still a bit of a challenge.  I will be posting the items as I make them along with tutorials on how you can make it too, so check back often and see what I have been up to!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Freebie: December 2011 Calendar Printable

For all of y'all who haven't gotten a start on your December Calendar- here's a little printable to get you in the Holiday spirit!

201112 Calendar

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Freebies: Recipe Journal Printable

I am not a natural cook i did not grow up in the kitchen, and when I asked my mom to teach me how to cook, her response was, "If you can read the directions on the back of the box you can cook anything!"

So, this is what I came up with. I print this on the back of my recipe pages that make the cut for my Recipe Binder.

Whenever I make a dish I like to keep track of when I made it, who I made it for, any changes I made to the recipe, and any notes for next time.

For example, early in my cooking days I decided I could substitute chicken breasts for a whole chicken, and tomato paste for fresh tomatoes. I was to purée the tomatoes after cooking, so I thought I was skipping a step. The chicken swap turned out good, but the tomato swap was a huge mistake. I noted this on the back so I would never make the same mistake.

I like to keep track of who ate the meal so that I don't serve the same meal to my friends/family every time they come over!

This printable is formatted for a letter size paper. If you need 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 please comment below and then follow my blog. I will make the most requested size first.

There is a second log I use once the recipe is absolutely perfect.  I print the final recipe on the front side, and then on the back just log the date and who it was made for, and THEIR rating based on comments they make at dinner. This way I can track the foods they like best, and figure out a new menu each time they come!  I will share this printable next week.

I hope you enjoy!

Recipe Log

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life As a Mom: Finding Time to "Do It All"

Okay, so I still haven't found THAT much time, but this is the way I have found to help keep me focused, and feel like I have actually accomplished things during the day.  I don't get burned out cleaning all day, and I don't waste time when I sit down to work on the computer.

My day starts much earlier, but my "schedule" starts at 8 after I have dropped Big Sister off at school.  It looks like this:
8:00 - Household Chores
9:00 - Blog/Computer work for Sunla Designs
10:00 - Crafting work for Lila's Bowtique
11:00 - Household Chores
12:00 -  Lunch and Blog/Computer work for Sunla Designs
1:00 - Crafting work for Lila's Bowtique
2:00 - Catchup before I pick up Big Sister from school

The rest of my day is filled with homework, piano practice, Girl Scouts, and dinner.  The hour-long shifts keep me focused and working as quickly as I can to get a lot done in that little window of time.  If I tell myself "I have all day to get that done" it usually takes all day!

You may be asking why I haven't scheduled time for Baby Brother or errands and such.  It's because I take care of those things as they come up, and resume my schedule based on what time it is.  For instance, on Monday I go grocery shopping as soon as I drop off Big Sister.  It is usually after 9 by they time I get the groceries put away, so I skip the Household chores at 8:00 and start right onto my Blog/Computer work.  I adjust for this by scheduling less cleaning on Monday, and the grocery shopping is actually part of my Monday chores.

At 2:00 it is time to catchup on whatever I didn't get done that must be finished before Big Sister comes home.  usually that means packing orders to drop off at the post office, checking my email one last time, or prepping dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Freebies: Kids' Fluids Chart

After a recent check-up at the doctor's office we decided we needed a way to make sure Big Sister is getting enough fluids.  She drinks milk in/with breakfast, but drinks water the rest of the day.   I've never figured out a way to get her to drink more milk until I had the doctor tell her she needs to be drinking 3 glasses a day.  We worked out a chart to be sure she's getting enough of all the right fluids- 3 glasses of milk, 2 glasses of water, and one glass of juice.

Here's what we do:
Milk- one in/with breakfast, one with her afternoon snack, and one with dinner.
Water- at school- she takes a small bottle with her to school and refills it once she has finished it.
Juice- I make her popsicles from juice using the Tupperware popsicle mold.  Now, I know this is only 2 oz, but she usually gets a little juice at some point in her day, so I am not so worried about it.  She enjoys the popsicle treat, and I am happy it's not completely loaded with sugar.

Here's a chart I made to help Big Sister remember what she has had already.  I gave her an off on Sunday since we are usually pretty busy that day.

Fluids Chart


Monday, October 31, 2011

Recipe: Spenser's Sloppy Toms

This one comes from the Neely's on Food Network, and is a family favorite.  I usually add a little extra spice cos that's the way my family likes it, but it is an excellent recipe just the way it is, so I will give it to you exactly how it is written on Food Network.

This picture is from the Food Network website (all others are mine)

Spenser's Sloppy Joes

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Barbecue sauce, for topping


Heat oil in a large skillet with straight sides. Add the bell peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the ground beef to the vegetables. Stir and cook about 8 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink and fully cooked.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, and hot sauce into the skillet. Stir. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve on hamburger bun with extra sauce.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Apologies

Sorry y'all, I'm not trying to neglect my blog, but things have been quite hectic lately.  My mom is moving in, we have family coming to visit from out of town, Big Sister's Birthday is this week, and we have a friend who will be staying with us while he recovers from surgery!  So, after we turned the house upside down to prepare for The Great Sale of 2011, we now have to try to put things back together before everyone invades! 

To make matters worse, we decided to paint the Living Room before putting in our temporary (read: belongs in the Sun Room) furniture!  I expect things to get back to normal in a week 10 days, so keep on the look out for great tutorials, useful printables, and cute ideas!

If you have any questions you can always post a comment on the blog or on my facebook page.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recipe: Blackened Barbecue Pork Chops

This recipe uses the same Blackening Spice Mix I made for my Blackened Tilapia, so if you like this, make up some more and try the Tilapia!  I usually double or triple this recipe whenever I need to make up some more, and fill a jar in my Spice Cabinet!

 First, here's the ingredients for the Blackening Mix- just mix it all up in a small bowl, or an empty spice shaker.

Blackening Mix:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Tony's spice mix
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
Blackening Mix, to taste
1 lb thin sliced boneless Pork Chops (about 8 chops)
2-3 Tbs Oil
1 cup BBQ Sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's, but I used a different one this time)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle Pork Chops liberally with Blackening Mix on both sides, coating well
3.  Heat oil on High heat in cast iron skillet
4.  Cook 2-3 Minutes on each side (I usually blacken 3 at a time, and put them to the side until I have done them all, and then put them back in the skillet once they have all been done)
5.  Pour BBQ sauce over pork chops in skillet, and bake in oven 20-25 minutes.

Serves: 4

Sunday, September 18, 2011

UPrinting Giveaway Winner: Let's try this again

This first winner never came forward so we are trying this again!

Thank you everyone who entered!  I hope to have a giveaway at least once a month, so keep checking for the next one.

The winner for the UPrinting Letterhead is....

I work with kids with special needs. I would use the stationary for notes home to parents
 Congrats Patricia!
Please contact me via email within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Design Dilemna: Foyer and Living Room

So, now that our two front rooms are completely cleared out after The Great Sale of 2011, I am left with the opportunity to redecorate!  Yikes!  My house is decorated in Yellow, Green, and Red.  Well, not exactly those colors- more like this:

The curtains in the Living Room and Dining Room are the same with a base of green and touches of yellow and red.  The walls in the living room are "Belgian Waffle" from Olympic Paints with white trim.  We've always had a formal living room, but now we want to make it more comfortable, I just don't know where to start.  It really is a blank slate.

Oh, and just in case you want to know what this house looked like when we bought it, you can see more of it here!

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