Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bakin' Perfect Bacon

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We enjoy watching a bit of Food Networks cooking challenges. My dear hubby has learned (and agrees wholeheartedly) that adding bacon to any recipe, including ice cream, makes it an instant hit. But it is sooo meassy to cook. Not anymore!
My dad recently taught me how to cook the BEST ever bacon.
After years of cooking it poping and sizzling on the stovetop.
No more. Now I cook my bacon in the oven.
Yep, the oven! just 30 minutes at 350 and you will have perfect bacon bites.
The best part? No greasy stove top to clean up.
Just lay your bacon strips out on a cookies sheet and slip it in the oven. While your bacon is bakin' you can flip pancakes or your omlet free of greasy popping on you.
Give it a try. I guarantee you will not go back to stovetop bacon.
It will save you from being "Chopped" at your next family dinner!
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Cooking!

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Ok all my bloggy friends- HELP! 
I usually spend a little time on Sunday afternoon planning my menu. Some weeks it comes together nicely others I may struggle a bit but something always comes up. 
This week-NOTHING!
Nothing sounds good.
Nothing in my recipes looks good.
Nothing will be exactly what we are eating if you don't help!
Of course I would be satisfied with a green salad but 4 growing boys may rebel against mom.
Inspire me with your favorite summer recipe/menu ideas.
Especially those that...
Are light but have lots of flavor
Low starch/sugar (I'm trying to kick up the wt loss)
Won't heat the house.
And are full of ingredients I am liking to have in my pantry.
Share what you have.
Show me your menu plans, you favorite recipes.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Patriotic banner....

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I love the half circle banners. I'm not sure what they are officially called. I tried searching for some homemade ones and couldn't find anything like I had in mind. So I set out to make my own. 
Now, I am a visually oriented person so not having something to look at was a bit of a challenge. I wouldn't say my project turned out perfect but it's enough to give me an idea of what to do better and change next time. Hopefully a true seamstress will come along and offer me some advice as well.....

 I think it is actually too small for this window but I'm gonna leave it up until I have something to replace it with.
 I also need another hook, dear hubby will rescue me when he gets home. I just used Christmas light hooks. I had found a couple of stragglers to use but need one more.....
 So here is how I did it. I wanted to use some scraps so I just sewed 4" strips together. I don't like to measure and with needing to gather it I wasn't sure how long to make it. I just winged it. I think these were 45" wide to begin with then I seamed two sections together....My next one will be longer and each strip will be a couple of inches longer than the previous. When I'm done I should have more of a triangle shape which will gather to a fan more easily, I hope. I think I will make it taller as well buy adding more strips of each color........
 After sewing my colors together I did a baste stitch so I could gather it. This would give me my fan shape...
Then I sewed the center strip in on itself. Now my rectangle of colors was starting to take shape. It took a lot of time to gather each strip but it worked....
I finished it with a solid backing and sewed along each strip to hold the gathers in place. I had to add a couple of tucks in the blue section, it is just so puffy. I think added a couple inches to each strip next time will help this as well. Plus the very center maybe try to make a half circle instead of folding it on itself.
I love this star pattern my machine has. Then I used grommets to hang the hooks.
 Voila! I am excited but now I wanna make another.
Not perfect but I'll take it.
If you have any tips that would help PLEASE let me know! I have another window to do!!
Linking up....

lil luna link party button
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cooking lessons for boys....

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7:00 AM
"Hi dear, I am just getting ready to sleep for a bit."
"Ok dear, but I REALLY am tired, can I talk to you later?"
"Ok. Yes, I love you to"
7:15 AM
"Son please keep an eye on things and wake me at noon. I have to work again tonight"
"Okay mom, I will"
*SIGH* finally to sleep after all night working, benadryl on board, hopefully I will wake with some control over these horrible allergies....
Wake from a sleep deprived, drug induced coma
to smoke detectors SCREEEMING and a smoke FILLED house......
Please don't call 911. 
It's just another day in the adventures of raising boys.
I forgot to mention that you DO NOT reheat something in the microwave for 20 minutes. 
Certainly not French Toast!
Uhh, yeah. I thought we had covered the basics of microwave cooking. 
You know...the fact that most everything can be reheated in just 1 minute. NOT 20!!!
Please don't mind the smell, it will be gone...soon...
...I hope....
...perhaps I should cook some more bacon....
...and bake some bread....
Needless to say this little cub scout is NOT getting his indoor cooking badge.
Better luck with the Outdoor cooking badge. 
Then you can make alllll the smoke you wanna!
Cooking lessons to start IMMEDIATELY!
By the way can mom have new plates for Fathers Day?

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Pink Summer skirt.....

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I added a zipper to this skirt instead of an elastic waistband. I think I prefer an elastic, this was seems to ride up in the back. Oh well, still not bad making it without a pattern.
Ahh, summer!!
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another skirt

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This is my dear hubby's favorite skirt I've made, or one of his favs. He says he likes the ribbon embelishment, I think he likes that it was free. The fabric was some remnants from my mom and the ribbon was part of my 'you can never have enough ribbon' stash. Ribbon is just one of those supplies that is so versatile, I usually stock up when it is on a great sale.
I have to admit this skirt is very comfy. It washed up nicely. I think the fabric is a cotton/poly blend. It has a simply elastic waistline. Nothing fancy but just perfect for summer. It has pink and purple flowers too which makes it easy to match.
Oh, I did end up buying a couple of solid tees. They were only $6 each at Walmart.
$6 for this whole outfit- I'll take it!
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

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I came across the SNOP challenge a few weeks ago. I loved the idea. I find skirts cooler and much more comfy in the summer heat. My problem was I only had a couple.
Last weekend my dear hubby managed the boys while I spent some time sewing. 
I finished 4 skirts done but didn't get a chance to share because of my work schedule- which by the way was totally insane!
Then we went on vacation to San Diego- ohh, so much fun.....
So here we are, and I am finally able to share some of my creations.
I used a couple of my favorite skirts as patterns. Let's face it I just too cheap frugal to buy patterns...

I have a fun white skirt with peek-a-boo tucks in it. It is so fun to wear but it's white and I don't want to wear it everyday. I love how this turned out, so much so I may save it for church or more dressy occassions. I wore it to church last week and got several comments on it. The brown sections are just rectangles with the more triangular teal peices inserted in between. It took a bit longer than my other skirts but wasn't hard at all.
JoAnn's had so many beautiful fabrics. With the grand opening sales I had a hard time choosing. 
They were all so great leaving endless possibilities but...
I wanted to try to match up to shirts I already have. Since most of my shirts are prints that meant more of a solid skirt. Red is my favorite color and my peasant style shirts are my hubby's favorite.
This was from an A-line pattern but I altered it to make more of a straight cut.
It is so comfy. I love it.
Tell me what you think.
Anyone else up to wearing skirts this summer. They are perfect for keeping the sun off and the cool breeze flowing! Plus you don't need great sewing skills. Skirts are easy; great projects for beginners.
Give it a try.
What do you think?
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Speech Therapy: Start with the basics

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As with any adventure we had lots of ups and downs with Mr. M during speech therapy. I was so anxious to just understand WHAT he was saying and what he wanted. After too many months to count we finally started to see some progress.
Then we would seem to loose ground again.
The proverbial two steps forward one step back.
One month our fabulous therapist came while Mr. M was still asleep. We had tried to keep him up but after swimming he was wiped out! It did give us a nice chance to just talk though.
I had been feeling like we were loosing ground and I couldn't figure out why.
Our therapist listened and then made a simple suggestion.
 Go back to the basics!

Follow his lead- let him set the pace and initiate the action; mimic him.
Guess what he's thinking.
Wait for him to talk.
Give partial parts of words to cue him.
Then try language rich activities- outings, pet stores, sunflower houses.

Each of these suggestions make sense but I had to make a consious effort each day to DO them.
Even now, whenever I feel we are slipping I go back to these basic skills. Guess what he's thinking can easily become a game. I mean have you ever tried to figure out what is going through a toddlers mind?
I am excited to announce that Mr M has finally started to put 4-5+ word sentances together. I feel like I can have a conversation with him. I still spend a lot of time playing the guessing game. Now what could that sound possibly be...BUT each day it is getting better. Considering his age and not qualifying for further therapy I am thrilled. I am also optamistic for where he will be this fall. I know one day I will wish for LESS talking but right now I can't tell you how wonderful it is to TALK with my son! 2 years after are journey started we are finally making big strides!
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frugal Mom's.....

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 I have to say I have one of the best sister-in-laws ever! 
She has so many great ideas. 
Every time we have a family dinner the ladies of the family sit and share tips to make life easier. My pea sized brain could NOT remember all the fabulous ideas and tips. I mentioned to her a couple of times she needed to write them down or compile a book for me or something! Her recipe for crockpot apple butter was what pushed me over the edge. After all, how was I suppose to remember this recipe we talked about at Christmas time 10 months later when it was time to harvest the apples!?!? 
Over to the computer we went and set up her blog.
Now I get to visit every day for untold inspiration. 
So many of her ideas were passed down from generations but still have application today. 
You have to check it out!
Wanna know about that Apple Butter recipe?
How about square foot gardening? Let me tell you what! This gal can get amazing amounts of vegis from itty bitty spaces!
So many ideas to use every single day.
Go over. Check out all the great ideas she has. You won't be disappointed!
While you're at it become a follower. She wants to have 100+ followers by her birthday- July 7th.
She only needs 11 more.
Piece of cake.
You will be glad you did! 
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