Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tutorial: Quatrefoil Homework Station

I picked up this cute little wood box from Hobby Lobby for $5.99.  It has a turntable under so it spins! And with a little bit of spray paint and vinyl I turned it into a homework station for Big Sister. 


I should have sanded it before priming, but I will know better next time!


This green really isn't sea foam green- it's more like a dark celadon, but it's 107 degrees here so I won't take the time to make sure the settings are right on my camera.  You'll just have to take my word for it.


So, that's 1 coat of primer, 2 coats of paint, and 2 more coats of clear sealant.  I played with my cricut a bit, and cut out a cute little quatrefoil design in white vinyl (I used the Elegant Cakes cartridge).  And here's the finished product all packed and ready for the new school year:


I kept pencils and crayons on one side, scissors and glue on the back side, and her home reading book in the middle!  I just love the quatrefoil design, and Prince Charming has even agreed to make a stencil so I can paint the backs of the shelves.  This whole time I was trying to figure out how to do the white on top of the yellow, but he says, "Why don't you paint white first and just stencil the yellow on?"  Brilliant!  The colors in our kitchen are yellow, green, and orange.  One day I will show you the whole room, but for now you will just have to get bits and pieces!

Tip:  When using spray paint, save your manicure by wearing rubber gloves on your spraying hand.  For some reason I always end up with a bit of spray paint on my trigger finger!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday #3: 8/29 - 9/4

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.


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.

I got lazy last week, so you will see some repeats.

Monday:  Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
Tuesday: Sloppy Tom's
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Teriyaki Chicken with Fried Rice
Friday:  Spaghetti and Spinach
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday:  Shrimp Curry

Check out more great Menu Plans at http://orgjunkie.com

Mess Management Monday #7: Spice Cabinet

Okay for those of you who are keeping track- there is no #6.  I forgot about one of my early MMM posts, and have decided not to go back and renumber.  This is the seventh post- therefore it will be #7!

My spice cabinet is perfect- well, perfectly placed, and pretty well stocked.  Aside from that, it is a MESS!  Well, it WAS before I got inspired!

Source: google.com via Lisa on Pinterest

No, it isn't mine. I HAVE shown this to Prince Charming, so maybe, one day, if I keep my fingers crossed. Just a bit of inspiration!  The jars in the picture are from IKEA- I have no idea whose this is, so if it is yours please let me know, and I will give you credit.




I always kept my spices on the lazy susan- isn't that what it's for?!  And I would struggle to find that one that got shoved to the center, and spin, and spin, and ... well, you get the idea.  Something would always fall off the back and get lost, and then EVERYTHING would have to come out to find that one lonely spice.  Oh, and I HATE greatly dislike the double-decker lazy susan.  This used to be one, but I took it apart when I kept loosing spices in the middle!

Now, all of my spices are in glass jars I got at Hobby Lobby (glass is 50% off this week- yay!).  I got the smaller size for my standard spices, and the larger jars for whole spices and spices I buy in bulk.  My lazy susan was put on the top shelf to hold all the big bottles of stuff, including the vegetable oil, now I just have to give it a little spin and can easily get what I need!  I can fit 10 large jars under the shelf, and 18 small jars on the little white risers.  I have labeled all the jars with my label maker.  If you do this figure out how the jars will fit best before labeling, I ended up switching the labels from front to side several times before getting everything in the right place.


Spices I use more often in the front, and spices I use less often in the back.  I know you are wondering why there are two lonely jars in the bottom shelf- so much wasted space!  But don't worry, I bought all the jars they had at Hobby Lobby and they are ordering more especially for me!  If they don't come in this week, they will still be the 50% off price- yay!  I am also keeping rice in this cabinet just so it is easy to get to- we eat rice several times a week.

I have many more plans for this cabinet.  The first is something like this:

Stay tuned for more about my spice cabinet!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tutorials: Linky Tip #1

I am pretty new to the blog world, but I LOVE Link Parties!  I love to share my ideas (don't we all), but I also love to check out all the amazing things everyone else does!  After several weeks of linking up, I had a mess on my hands.  Finding the link I wanted to use typically meant scrolling through lots of links from the week's past.

Before
Does this look familiar?  Getting rid of all those old links was really easy!  Just mouse over the links until you find one you want to delete, select it as if that is the one you are linking to in the party, then click inside the url box anywhere, press your down arrow (that link should come up again), and press delete!

It should look like this before you press delete!


Rinse and Repeat until all you are left with is the links you are currently sharing!

After

The steps are pretty much the same if you are using Linky Tools.
Before



After

This tutorial was created using Firefox.  The steps may be different in another browser.  Feel free to ask if you have any questions!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recipe: Blackened Tilapia

So this is not my original recipe, I got it from Food Network.  But with a few tweaks I made it my own. Here's what I do:


Ingredients:
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 

For Fish:
4 tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lemon, juiced 

Directions:

1.  In a small bowl combine all of the spices. Press a heaping tablespoon of the spice mix onto each fillet so that both sides are liberally coated. Allow the fish to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature prior to cooking. 



2.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is almost smoking, add the fillets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with lemon juice and transfer the fillets to serving platter.

3.  I like to serve this with Rice A Roni's Wild Rice Mix.  This delicious and healthy meal is ready in 30 minutes!

I usually double (or triple) the blackening mix, and then keep the extra in a spice jar.  I use this for blackened chicken, and blackened BBQ pork chops. I will post these recipes in the next few weeks, so be sure to follow my blog- you won't want to miss this!

Notes:
Who I made it for?: Prince Charming, Big Sister, and I
Changes?:  The original recipe is in the link at the top.  The changes I made are already included.
Any changes for next time?:  Nope.  I have made this several times and Big Sister even asks for seconds now!



Monday, August 22, 2011

Mess Management Monday #5: Craft Room- Printed Ribbons

So I've already shown you how I organize my Solid Color Ribbons, and I told you how much I love Snapware containers when I organized my Crochet Caps and Headbands. My printed ribbons are stored in 6 of these containers with 3 layers in each.  Yes, that is 18 layers of storage!  If you are using my previous Solid Color Ribbon Storage, you will like to know I can fit all of the 5 yard rolls from one bookshelf in 5 or 6 layers of these containers.  If you are short on space this is an excellent solution.  I don't use this method for my solid ribbons because I use them more often and I like to be able to see them. 




Eighteen layers:
An Open Case
1.  3/8" Solids
2.  3/8" Dots
3.  3/8" Stripes
4 & 5.  3/8" & 5/8" Patterns
6.  Swiss Dots
7, 8, & 9.  Polka Dots
10.  Zebra Prints
11.  Animal Prints
12.  Fruits and Sweets
13 & 14.  Stripes
15.  ALL Pink and Brown Prints, Stripes, and Dots
16.  Sports and Team Colors
17.  Gingham
18.  Funky Dots






Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday #2: 8/22-8/28

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.


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:  Blackened Tilapia
Tuesday: Sambar with Idli (Indian Vegetable Soup with Rice Cakes)
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
Friday:  Sloppy Tom's
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday:  Teriyaki Chicken


Check out more great Menu Plans at http://orgjunkie.com




Friday, August 19, 2011

Freebies: Household Notebook- Cleaning Rountines

This is the Cleaning Routines page from my Household Notebook.  I use this everyday to keep my house cleaning on track.  I can see at a glance my daily, weekly, and monthly chores so I can quickly go about my day. I have a more detailed list I will share later which breaks down the duties for each room.  We have a large home, and without this list my home would be in chaos.  I hope you find this helpful.  I have included the blank list, so you may adjust it as needed to fit your family.

Be sure to follow my blog for more free printables!

Cleaning Routines Blank


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giveaway #1: 500 pcs Uprinting Letterhead

This Giveaway is now closed- the winner has been selected!


Would you love customized Letterhead?  Need new letterhead for your blog, etsy shop, or just a cute piece of stationary for handwritten notes?  How about a wedding gift for that new bride and groom?  With UPrinting you can make your very own customized letterhead! Use their Easy Design tool, or upload your own design using one of their templates!  You can upload any picture or logo and there are TONS of fonts and colors to choose from! I can't wait to create mine- it's going to be for the pages in my recipe binder.  I want to make something cute to share recipes with friends and family (Think: From the Kitchen of)!

Prize Details:
500 pcs. Letterheads for One (1) winner
5.5” x 8.5"
70lb Offset
Front Only Printing
4 Business Days Print Turnaround Time
*Free Shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only
If you have won a Letterhead giveaway from UPrinting in the last 6 months you are not eligible to win.

 The winner will be emailed and have exactly 24hrs to respond with their information to redeem this prize.  Please read below on how to enter…mandatory entry MUST be done first.

How to Enter:
Mandatory- Follow my blog (Leave a comment telling me you are a follower)
Additional Entries:
1.  Leave a comment telling me how you would use your new letterhead (home, work, etsy, blog)
2.  Leave a comment on a different post on my blog, come back to this post and let me know which post you commented on!
3.  "Like us" on Facebook. (Leave a comment telling me your Like Us)
4.  Share this Giveaway on your facebook page and tag Sunla Designs in your status 
(Leave a comment here telling me you shared it on facebook) 
5. Tweet about my giveaway and leave the link in a comment
6.  Blog about my giveaway and leave your link in a comment
That's 7 ways to enter = up to 7 comments!
Giveaway Ends Thursday, August 25th at noon CST!
Make sure to leave your email address in every comment, so you can be notified if you win!  The winner will be chosen using random.org and emailed and have exactly 24hrs to respond with their information to redeem this prize. 

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive letterhead printing service by hosting. Letterhead design inspiration and envelope printing is also available. Please visit UPrinting.com for more details.

               Good Luck!

Recipe: Indian Chana Masala (Chick Peas in Tomato Sauce)

Ingredients:
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 medium onion- diced 
1 tsp ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 can Tomato (whole or diced)- reserve juice
1 can Garbanzo Beans- Drained
1/2 can reserved tomato juice
1/2 can water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garam masala
Salt to Taste

1.  Heat oil in sauce pan.  Add seeds and pop.  Add onion, and fry until light brown.


2.  Add tomatoes, garlic paste, ginger paste.  Fry for 2 minutes.
3.  Add spices, salt, garbanzo beans, water, and tomato juice.  Boil 5 minutes, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.


4.  Serve over rice or with poori (recipe coming soon).



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recipe: Red Lobster Copy Kat Cajun Shrimp

I got this recipe from Copy Kat last year, and finally tried it tonight.

1 lb. shrimp, use at least medium size
1/2 C. margarine
4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place the margarine in  a 13 x 9 baking pan, and then place the pan in the oven.  While the pan is in the oven wash and peel shrimp.  Devein the shrimp.
 

By the time you have finished prepping the shrimp, the margarine should be melted in the pan.  In a small bowl mix together the spices and blend well.



Place shrimp into the pan, and then sprinkle on the seasonings you have just blended together on the shrimp.  Mix the shrimp, margarine, and spices until the shrimp is coated well with margarine and shrimp.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes, remove shrimp, and check for doneness.  The shrimp should be pink when done.



Who I Made It For?: Prince Charming, Big Sister, and I

Changes?:  I used butter instead of margarine

Any Notes for Next Time?:  Prince Charming LOVED it.  He's from India so he enjoys it spicy, and he said this was the best dish I have ever cooked!  Big Sister enjoyed it as well, but it was too spicy for her to finish.  Next time I MIGHT reduce the amount of Cayenne Pepper and Paprika, but I think I will just reduce the total amount of spice I use- a little less butter, sprinkle it on, and grill it.'

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes


Okay, so this one turned out a total bust. Prince Charming said the required "It's okay," and Big Sister refused to finish it. This one will not go in the binder.  In my opinion they didn't have the beautiful glazed look as the picture did, instead the were runny, and much too sweet.

Tonight night is Red Lobster's Cajun shrimp!

Cheap Vs. Frugal

So for years I have called Prince Charming "Cheap."  But I recently read an article called "Being Frugal vs. Being Cheap" at Live Renewed and started to wonder if maybe he's just frugal.

Example 1:
Cheap:  He would rather 1 ply toilet paper.
Frugal: He doesn't complain when I buy the good stuff.

Example 2:
Cheap:  He drives a vehicle that has no air conditioning and the windows don't roll down.
Frugal:  He drives my old van because he bought me a new new-to-me van so the kids and I could have A/C, automatic doors, and windows that roll down.

Example 3:
Cheap:  He never lets me buy any big purchase.
Frugal:  He shops around until he finds it cheaper (although sometimes he can't find one, and once he agrees to the purchase, the item/sale is gone!)

Example 4:
Cheap:  We bought a 5000 sq ft house 6 years ago, and have only finished remodeling 3 of the 4 bathrooms (actually one was a half bath and we only changed the floor and the commode).
Frugal:  We bought the house as an investment and have already increased the value by $60,000!

Example 5:
Cheap:  He always wants to know how much I have paid for things
Frugal:  He never complains or makes me return the purchases- he just likes to know that I looked at the price.  I used to be a pretty bad shopper and would spend $300-500 in a day, and not really even know what I bought.

I think, in the end, maybe he really is cheap, but he has taught me to be frugal, and since I am the one who does 99% of the shopping for the family, maybe, just maybe, his cheapness is a good thing!  We've never been able to do the classic budget cuts since those things usually weren't options to begin with- Prince Charming makes most of the repairs on our home (he's very handy), I don't get my hair colored (no grays yet!), we don't spend a lot on clothes- buying on sale and off season), we eat at home 6 nights a week, etc.

What are some things you do to cut your budget?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday #1: 8/15-8/21

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.


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.

Chana Masala and Pooris


Monday:  Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday:  Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp with Brown Rice and Corn on the Cob
Wednesday:  Ranch Chicken Kabobs with Red Potatoes
Thursday:  Mexi-Corn Pork Chops
Friday:  Sticky Chicken and Roasted Veggies
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday:  Chana Masala with Pooris


Check out more great Menu Plans at http://orgjunkie.com



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