Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

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Today is a favorite, and it’s a sewing project: Box Pleat Crib Skirt Tutorial

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Image from Hibler House blog ( http://dkhibler.blogspot.com)

When I was pregnant with Ian and working on his nursery, I wanted the color scheme to be sage green and navy blue. The walls were already painted the green, so I wanted to use the navy blue in various accents around the room. There was just one problem: finding baby stuff in navy blue was HARD!

I finally came to the realization that I’d have to make a few things. When I decided the crib skirt would be one of those things I’d be making, I set to Pinterest to find a tutorial. There were a lot on there, but I liked this one the best. It was easy to follow and had lots of clear pictures.

In the end, I wound up with a very nice crib skirt for only a little expense and not too terribly much effort.

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My finished crib skirt

I’ll definitely be using this tutorial again when I make the crib skirt for the new baby (since she’s s girl and her color scheme will not include navy blue).

If you’re looking to make your own crib skirt, give this pin a try!!

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Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

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Today is another recipe (but this time, a side dish) and it’s a FAVORITE!!!!  Cheesy Ranch Potatoes, from Mrs. Happy Homemaker

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These are just as good (dare I say better??) than they look.

I had about half a bag of red potatoes left over from something else I had made previously and had no idea what to do with them.  So I hit Pinterest and looked up potato recipes.  This one had me at “cheese” and “ranch”- what more could you want?  I ended up making a simple chicken dish with these as a side, and it was heaven.  Jon thought they were fantastic, too, so it was a hit all around.

One warning- these do take a while to cook… like an hour.  So make sure you factor that into your cooking time (i.e. Don’t wait until 30 minutes before you want to eat to start making these.  I DID check the instructions on these closely, so I knew the cook time and planned in advance, but I can’t say that I’ve always done this.  So, just, FYI).

If you decide to give these a shot, let me know what you think of them!  Happy pinning!

Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

Welcome to another edition of my series, Pinterest Favorites and Fails!

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Today, unfortunately, is a big fat FAIL. It’s another recipe (can you tell I like to pin food?? LOL)- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole, from Cook Lisa Cook.

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Sounds and looks delicious, right? I mean, just look at all that cheesy goodness.

The problem with this recipe is that it is INSANELY spicy. It’s not just a little hot…it’s burn your insides and make your stomach turn hot. (For the record, my husband likes spicy food and actually did enjoy this…I have no stomach for spicy so I took about 2 bites before deciding if I continued to eat I would surely die).

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Picture from Cook Lisa Cook

Perhaps these pictures of the chicken being coated in the red death should have tipped me off. But no where in the post or the comments (yes, I nearly always read comments before trying a recipe) did it mention just how blazin’ hot this would be.

I’m sure I could tweak this recipe to cut down on the heat, and I probably will since I like the concept and overall ingredient base. Perhaps I’ll try that and let you all know how it goes.

So, if you love spicy (like, really spicy), you may want to give this recipe a shot. Otherwise, steer clear unless you want your insides to burn out! Happy pinning!

Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

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This week is another recipe, and it’s also a Pinterest Favorite: Chicken Spaghetti

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Photo from boomerbrief.com

I love love love this meal.  It has a little kick to it but it’s nice and creamy and oh so filling.  It’s also extremely easy and very forgiving. I’ve used a variety of noodles in this (spaghetti, angel hair, penne) and a variety of chicken (canned, bagged, breast I cooked myself). It’s an inexpensive meal and Ian really likes it (that’s reason enough right there to try this one out).  I love finding meals that the whole family eats together and enjoys.  I actually like this one so much that I printed it out and put it in my recipe binder- a coveted place of honor for a recipe!

So go ahead, check out the recipe and give it a try!

Pinterest Favorites and Fails {Series}

I am a Pinterest junkie.  I admit it freely.  I can’t get enough of the scrolling and pinning. But what I often fail to do is actually USE any of the stuff I pin.  I get inspired looking through the pages of fun activities, recipes, crafts, etc…and then after I’ve pinned it, I forget it.

But, I’m going to make a concerted effort to attempt more of my pins!  And I thought I’d share some of my favorites (and yes, some of my fails) via a weekly series.  So, every Friday keep on the look out for a new addition to this series- we may discover some truly wonderful (or disastrous) things!  And, if you have a favorite pin, share it with me!!  As you know, I’m ALWAYS pinning. 🙂

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Today’s Favorite is a recipe: Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

OMG these were DELICIOUS!!!  I will admit they are a BIT of work in the prep phase (cooking the noodles and letting them cool, then preparing the filling), but once the prep is done, they are a snap! And did I mention delicious?  Oh, I did?  Well, it bears repeating. 

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Photo from Sweet Dash of Sass

I used canned chicken because I’m lazy, but you could also cook your own chicken and shred it.  Or use the precooked bagged chicken and cut it up.  Whatever you prefer (or have time for).  

I love that this recipe makes a lot, so you can half it if you want- or cook the whole thing and have leftovers.  Either way, you will not go hungry.  My husband even enthusiastically agreed that this was delicious (and he’s always somewhat wary of new recipes I find online, LOL).

So, if you’re looking for a new recipe to try for dinner one night, give this one a shot. And I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Learning to knit and purl

So I recently was taught how to knit by a friend. I learned how to cast on and do the simple knit and purl stitches. Fortunately, I know how to crochet, so I caught on fairly quickly. I’m starting to really master it now, and have decided it’s time to tackle a “real” project instead of continuing to make blobs (i.e. never ending rows of stitches).

So, for my first project I am making….(drumroll, please!)…this nifty bolero:

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I found this free pattern on Pinterest (where else?!).  And I’m pretty excited to try it out.

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Wish me luck!! I’ll post about my progress semi regularly (hopefully I will have positive progress to share), so stay tuned!

Are you a knitter? If so, what are you working on right now? If not, would you like to be? Or are you crafty in some other way? I’d love to hear all about it!!

DIY: Ring Holder tutorial

Back in November/December, I was trolling pinterest (because I do that, you know), and stumbled across a pin of a ring holder made from a picture frame.  It was so clever and so cute- I knew I could reproduce it.  Armed with just a picture in my mind, I decided to collect some supplies and make two for Christmas presents. The gift recipients really loved them and some of my friends commented that they thought they were cute, so I thought I’d share them with you guys and also provide a bit of a tutorial 🙂

Here are the finished products- I think they turned out really cute.

Ring Holder #1- 2×2 square

Ring Holder #2- 2×3 rectangle

First, you need to get some small frames, no larger than wallet sized (2×3).  The square frame is a 2×2 (I loved the beading design of the frame), and the rectangle frameis a standard wallet frame (2×3).  I got my frames at Hobby Lobby because they have a HUGE selection, and they have good sales- but it doesn’t really matter where you get your frame.

Take the glass out of the frame- you don’t need it anymore.  Save it for a future project, or just toss it.

Next, you need scrapbook paper for the background. I had some scraps lying around that I knew I wanted to use, so this wasn’t an issue for me. Maybe you have some, too- you just need a square/rectangle/circle the size of your frame opening. If not, a quick trip to the scrapbook store (wait.. is there such a thing as a quick trip??) will do the trick.  I just used the frame backing to trace on my scrapbook paper, but you could also measure instead (I know… what is measuring???).

Paper cut to fit the frame

Once you have your paper cut out, you need some cardboard. I actually used an empty tissue box, but it probably would have been better to use something thicker. Then I wouldn’t have had to make so many layers.  Cut your cardboard to be the same size as your paper and glue them together.  I did the tissue box printed side in, so that if you turn over the paper, you just see brown cardboard.  If you are using a thin type of cardboard, you’ll probably have to do 6 or so layers.  The goal is to get the paper thick enough that when you put it in the frame, there is little to no “wiggle”- it doesn’t slide forward in the frame, or back.  You want a snug fit.

The snazzy cardboard I used

Now you need to punch a hole in your paper/cardboard so you can insert the hook.  Fortunately, my mom got me a cropadile tool many years ago, so I used that.  And it made this SO easy.  It’s basically a very sofisticated hole punch.  You’ll want to punch the hole near the top of your paper/cardboard so that there is maximum space for the ring to hang inside the frame.  You might want to assemble the frame first, and then mark a spot with a pencil before punching the hole.  That way you know you get it in the right spot.

This contraption is the cropaile

Finally, you need hooks. This was trickier. The picture I saw on pinterest had a needle stuck in the center and the ring(s) just rested on the needle. But I didn’t like that. It seemed too flimsy, too cheap. So I knew I wanted some type of pretty hook. This was a pain and a half! I went to Home Depot because they have all those bins of screws and nails and bolts… and they even have hooks. But all the hooks were ugly. Either plastic covered (tacky!) or just a simple, boring metal. The latter would have worked, but I knew I wanted something more decorative. I finally stumbled across an already assembled key hook plaque. It was just a slab of wood with five hooks in it. And the hooks were the perfect size, and just decorative enough to be what I wanted. So I bought it, figuring those hooks have to be removable somehow. If I hadn’t been so impatient to start making these, I probably would have tried a few other stores (Lowes, Ace, maybe even Michaels) to see what they had for hooks. But I didn’t want to drive around, and I do love these hooks.

Anyway- my hooks had a post the hooks screwed onto.  So I stuck the post through my newly created hole, added a metal washer to the front (to help eliminate any gap between the hook and paper), and then screwed the hook on.  Then I put the whole thing in the frame, put the frame backing on, and stood it up.  And viola!  You now have a very pretty ring holder.  Perfect for a dresser or the bathroom, or wherever!

The finished Ring Holder!

So, what do you think?  Pretty cool and not too difficult, right?  I’m sure you know someone in your life who could benefit from one of these.  So next time you are trying to figure out what to get for someone, why not attempt making one of these?  Or, if you’re not sure you have the craftiness inside you, leave me a comment, and I’ll make one for you. Happy crafting!