Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Easter Chick Lollipop

I saw these huge lollipops last night at Walmart and immediately thought
"chick". I think he turned out really cute and the girls loved him! I think he would look so cute in a little boy's or girl's Easter basket!

If you are going to make him, be sure to use a non-toxic glue! I used a white craft glue, but Elmer's glue would work well also.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

Today, at Jaiden's school, was storybook character day. The kids were to come to school dressed up. Jaiden wanted to be Cinderella, but I talked her in (very easily) to being Little Red Riding Hood. She calls her "Little Hood Riding Hood", close enough!

I got her skirt and top at the Thrift Store during the half off sale for a total of $1.00! I made the cloak using Simplicity pattern #5927 , which I got on sale for a $1.00!! I bought the basket at another thrift shop glued lace around it. I maybe have $4 invested in her whole outfit!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Ohh, this is so good!!! I have never tried gumbo before I tried this recipe because I don't like rice and every time I saw gumbo, it had rice in it. The nice thing about this recipe is the gumbo is poured on top of rice instead of being mixed in. The secretary at Ryan's work, Lisa, gave him this recipe for Christmas. She packaged the spices, a cornbread mix, and rice in a nice bag and gave it to the guys. (I have the picture of the mix after the recipe.) It made such a nice gift!

The gumbo has a lot of prep work and is a little time consuming, but it is really easy to make!


1 small onion, chopped finely
1 small green pepper, chopped finely
1 Tbl. minced garlic
4 Tbl. butter
5- 14.5 cans chicken broth (8-10 cups)
2 Tbl. creole seasoning (she used Tony Chachere's)
3/4 c. burnt flour*
1 lb. skinless smoked sausage, sliced (thin or thick)
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed

Saute' onion, green pepper, and garlic in butter. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add burnt flour and stir well. Add saute' mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour. Serve over 1/2 cup of cooked rice and with a slice of cornbread.

Can add shrimp, okra, crawfish...

* To burn flour: Turn on stove exhaust fan, ceiling fans, crack a window, and take the battery out of the smoke detector. Burning flour creates a lot of smoke and a horrible smell.

In a frying pan, add about 1 1/2 c. of flour. Cook over medium high heat until brown. Be sure to keep stirring. Let cool and using a sieve or slotted spoon, remove chunks.

This is how Ryan got his gumbo mix

She included the burnt flour with the creole seasoning mixed in a small bag, cornbread mix, and a small box of rice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tasty Meatloaf

I don't think that I've ever met a meatloaf that I didn't like!! I love meatloaf. I would have to say this is one of my favorite meals; meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and greens. (Fried chicken, green beans, coleslaw and corn bread being my other favorite.)

I like to fix my meatloaf in individual pieces rather than in a loaf pan. I am sure you can bake this in a loaf pan if you prefer.

Meatloaf - 6 Servings

2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
20 crackers, crushed
seasoning salt /pepper and salt

25 oz. tomato soup
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. brown sugar

Mix all meatloaf ingredients. Form into balls about the size of a baseball. Bake in a glass casserole dish for 30 minutes at 350*. Take out of pan and drain grease.

***At this point you can let the meatloaf cool and freeze it to use at a later time. I do this because we only eat three servings at a time.***

Make sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place meatloaf back into pan and pour sauce over it. Bake an additional 30 minutes at 350*.

We like to use the additional sauce as a gravy for our mashed potatoes. The fully baked meatloaf also freezes fairly well.

Yum! Jolly's

We have a drive in here that serves the best chili dogs!! It is closed down during most of the winter but is open all summer long. Jolly's opened last weekend and we couldn't wait to go get a foot long.

They have been in business for about 60 years and have two locations left. You pull your car under the car port and order from your own speaker. A carhop brings you your meal while you sit in car and eat.

Jolly's is known for their foot longs. The foot longs have chili, cheese, and onions on them. They also have hamburgers with chili, cheese, onion, and pickles. For sides, they have fries, onion chips, and popcorn. Jolly's makes their own root beer and serves all of the drinks in frosted glass mugs. For kids under 5, they have a small mug, which is a little bigger than a shot glass, for free. They are also famous for their brown cows which is root beer and ice cream.

If you are ever in my neck of the woods, be sure to stop by Jolly's and get a foot long and root beer!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Easy Slippers

I don't think you can make slippers easier than this!!

You'll need:
2 pair (4) shoe insole inserts
1/4 yd flannel fabric
fabric glue
hot glue gun
E-600 glue
spring clothes pins

1. Cut all 4 insoles to desired size. (All 4 are the same size, photo angle throws off the size)

2. Lay fabric wrong side up. Place insert wrong side up on top of fabric. Cut around insole, but be sure to leave enough fabric to glue around the back.

3. Using fabric glue, glue insert to fabric. Allow to dry a few moments. Now, using hot glue, glue the edges to the back of the insole. Trim corners where necessary.

4. To make the the strap: Cut 2 pieces of fabric 5 1/4" x "length". To determine length, measure around foot, allowing an overlapping, and add 1". Most lengths will be about 9 1/2". I have a very wide foot and my length was 11 1/2".

5. With right sides together, sew piece into a tube. Be sure to leave one short end open for turning. (This could be done with fabric glue) Turn right side out and press. Top stitch both straps (this will close the opening)

6. Lay the strap underneath the slipper. For the right foot, position the slipper 3" from the right side of the strap. Do the opposite for the left foot. The 3" part will be the under part of the strap. Hot glue strap to slipper.

7. Using E-600 glue, glue the other insert to the bottom of the slipper. This will hide all of the under turned edges and give more cushion to the slipper. Use several clothespins to hold the layers tightly together. Let dry about a hour before removing pins.

8. Attach Velcro to the straps of each slipper. Or, you could hand sew the strap ends shut.

Look What $4 Got Me Today!!!

In honor of President's Day, our local Thrift Store half a half off sale. This was one of my favorite purchases of the day!!! It is a Domestic sewing machine. It comes complete with instruction manual, guarantee card, bobbins, button hole maker, and all of the presser feet!!!! I cannot believe I got all of this for $4!!!!

I am going to do some research of the date and the company that made the machine. I have never heard of Domestic brand before. The booklet said it was out of Cleveland, Ohio.

I am adding this machine to my collection of sewing machines. I will have to round them all up and take a picture. My favorite is my White non-electric treadle machine in perfect condition. The date of my White sewing machine is 1919. It is beautiful!!! I got that for a steal also!!!

Ryan is going to take this machine to work and test it on their "tester" outlet so I will not blow the house up by plugging it in! I will let veryone know if it works or not.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from my family to yours!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grocery Bag Totes

If you are tired of plastic grocery bags, this is a great project! It is a simple, straight stitch sewing bag that would be good for beginners. And, best of all, it is made from re-purposed pillow cases or sheets!

You'll need:
sheet or pillow case for outside and inside.

1. Cut a 34x20 rectangle for both outer and inner bag. Fold in half so you have a 17x20 rectangle. Following the pattern, cut a 2 1/2 square from the bottom left and bottom right. (You can double click on picture to enlarge) There is really no need to make the pattern unless it makes you more comfortable!

2. With right sides together, sew side seams of both bags.

3. At the bottom corners, open the bag. Lay flat and match front and back. Sew together. Go back and stitch again for added strength. Turn bag right side out. Do this to the outer bag and inner bag.

4. To make handles, cut 4 strips 3.5x28. With right sides together, sew together to form 2 handles. Turn right side out and iron flat. Top stitch both sides of each handle.

5. Pin handles to the outer bag 4" from each side, leaving about 1" of an overhang. Sew and reinforce with a zig zag stitch for added strength.

6. Place inner bag, inside out, over outer bag that is right side out. Match side seams and sew a presser foot distance from top of bag (approx 5/8") Be sure to leave an opening for turning.

7. Turn bag right side out. Stuff lining into bag. Iron top seam flat. Top stitch bag.

The original directions to this bag can be found here: Sheets into Totes I changed some of the dimensions and seam allowances from the original directions to make it flow better for me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet Nutmeg!

Yesterday when I went outside to take a picture of our cellar, I saw this cat on my back patio. I tried to "scare" it away because I wanted to let Daisy out. It didn't move! I am saying, "Cat if you know what's good for you, you'd move!" Nothing! So I trapped Daisy inside and went to check out this cat. I sat down to see if she had a collar on to find her owners. Of course not! While I am sitting, this cat jumps in my lap! I am not a cat person!! I am dog all the way!! With that being said, I would never be mean to any animal, I just don't like cats. She starts purring and rubbing up against my arms. I noticed how under fed she was. I went inside and found some wet dog food and fed her. I know, I know, I broke the number one rule: "Don't feed a cat if you ever want it to leave"!

Ryan comes home and I tell him the story. The cat is still hanging out on our back patio. The girls want to come outside and see her. They play a little bit and the cat leaves. After dinner, the cat is crying at my back door. She wants in! Ryan gives her some more food and puts an old sheet in the dog house for her with a bowl of milk.

So, I guess we have a cat now! She was still there this morning when we got up and hasn't left. When Ryan gets home from work tonight, we are going to go get some cat food and a flea collar.

I talked to the girls about names for our new pet. Jaiden suggested Nutmeg and Arya said Bob Bob (which is 1 year old for Sponge Bob).

Well, meet Nutmeg Bob Bob, our new pet!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two Car Wash Tokens

Okay, I have a good story to tell! Grab a cup of coffee and sit back. Try to picture this as it is happening:

About 11 P.M. Monday night I went into the bathroom. I noticed that the toilet wasn't flushed so I flushed it. BIG mistake!! The water came centimeters from the top of the bowl. As I saw it rising, I was saying "Stop, stop, stop". So I grabbed the plunger and went to work. Nothing, not even a small piece of toilet paper came up. So I come into the TV room and tell Ryan what is happening. He goes in there with the plunger (like I don't know how to work a plunger!). He said our plunger is cheap and doesn't work. He gets dressed and runs to Walmart to get a "man plunger" and a toilet snake. He comes back with the "proper tools" and nothing. The water isn't bubbling or going down one little bit. He spends 20 minutes cranking the toilet snake down into the toilet. I suggest we turn the water off and unhook the toilet from the floor and try to see if we can see the problem. Ryan tries to turn the water off at the toilet and discoverers the shut-off value is rusted and won't budge. So he has to down to the cellar.

Now, I call it a cellar because it only runs under only about 1/4 the house. To get into the cellar you have to go outside and open doors that look like a tornado shelter from Wizard of Oz and walk down so scary stairs. I do not like to down there unless I have to!

So he goes downstairs and turns the water off to the whole house. Ryan comes back up to take the bolts holding the toilet off. He said they were put in upside down (?) and half "butted" like everything else in this house that the previous owner took care of. He goes back down into "creepy town" to find where the toilet would sit and even if he can access it.

Just another side note: Our house was built without plumbing. The bathroom was an afterthought. It is built right off of our kitchen. You have to go down 2 stairs to get into the bathroom. Why? Who knows!! So this means our bathroom floor is about 2 foot lower than the rest of the floors. Ryan is 6'2" and can barely stand up in the cellar as it is! Now imagine the ceiling 2 foot lower!

In this picture, the bottom of the silver wood is the tip of the celling of that part of the cellar. It comes to my chest. He had to be back into that corner!

He does end up find the bolts hanging down in the ceiling of the cellar. He gets his wrench and begins to loosen the nuts. The first one just spins. I have to hug the toilet and hold the tip of the bolt while he unscrews the nut. First one off!! He tries the second one. Ryan notices the floor is rotten where we had a slow leak this summer in the toilet and didn't discover it right away. The bolt start to pull through the floor. Well, more effort and the nut is off.

I get a cup and empty the toilet water in the bathtub so he can move it. Only one word, gross! Ryan beings to lift up the toilet to see where the clog is. We see nothing in the pipes. He lifts the lid to the toilet and notices the little bit of water is still in the toilet. This means the clog is in the toilet and not in the pipes! Yea!! No expensive repair costs!! He hoists the toilet up and begins to take it outside to see the clog. He looks like he is competing in the Worlds Strongest Man contest. He has this toilet in his arms and walks up the bathroom stairs, through the kitchen to the back patio.

I am inside taking the opportunity to sweep and mop the floor really well since the toilet is gone. He comes back in and says, "You'll never believe what was causing the clog!!" I was like "okay" Some little girl named Arya had dumped a whole box of tooth picks down the toilet!! He also found 2 car wash tokens and a big rock!!

So, just in case you were wondering, a rock and a box of tooth picks will create a dam in your toilet and cause a clog!

After all was said and done, we finally got into bed around 2 A.M.!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Easy Lasagna

This has been my lasagna recipe for years!! I discovered it when I was first married because I hated making a whole pan of lasagna for just two people.

You can easliy double this recipe or add cooked ground beef for a meat lasagna. I am not a big fan of meat in my lasagna so I leave it out. The recipe as it is makes 5 good sized pieces of lasagna.

Easy Lasagna

5 lasagna noodles
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb. container ricotta cheese
4 oz. shredded provolone cheese
1 egg
parsley (optional)
garlic salt/powder

Boil noodles until done. Drain and run cold water over noodles. Mix ricotta cheese, eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Pour just enough sauce to cover the bottom of an 8x8 pan and sit aside. Place a piece of wax paper on counter and sit 1 noodle on top. Place filling on noddle. Roll up noodle and place seam side down in pan. Repeat for remaining noodles. Cover with remaining sauce. Bake 425* for about 35-40 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Asian Trinket Box

Jaiden is very proud of her Japanese heritage (from her daddy) so I thought I would make her this little jewelry box for her trinkets. I have a whole $1.00 invested in this box!! I got the box at the Deals dollar store. I wrapped a piece of cardboard in quilt batting and then silk fabric. I used a hot glue gun to hold the fabric to the cardboard and then glued it into the box. Oh, I sprayed the box with a high gloss black.

Valentine Treat Bags

This is what I made for Jaiden to give to her classmates for Valentine treats. Jaiden loved them and I think they turned out so cute!!

I got the bags at Walmart in the stationary department. If you didn't know, they have the decorated lunch sacks there that change with every occasion for $0.20 a piece. I used a hole punch and put 2 holes in the top of the folded bag. I then threaded a ribbon through the holes and tied it in a knot.

Inside the bag I put a heart brownie and two fortune cookies.

To make the heart brownies, just bake brownies as usual. When cool, cut out with a deep, heart shaped cookie cutter and remove from pan. I got 5 brownies out of a 9x13 pan.


I just kept it simple. I figure kids will get enough candy and sweets without me adding to it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Would Have Been Papa's 88th Birthday

Today would have been my Papa's 88th birthday. He passed away December 4th, 2004 after a long struggle with different illnesses. In actually, he was my step-grandfather, but he was the only one I ever really "knew". When I was younger, we were very close and as I grew older I became close to my grandmother.

In 1986, my grandfather had a quadruple bypass and had his heart valve replace with a pig valve. I think he suffered a few more minor heart attacks and a few minor strokes before he passed.

It was around Thanksgiving time when his illness really took a turn for the worse. He became bedridden and lost consciousness not soon after. At this time Jaiden was a newborn baby. On November 28th, we regained consciousness and was fully alert. He was able to sit up and hold Jaiden. Luckily, I had my camera with me and took a picture of him holding her. It is the only picture I have of Jaiden with him. After that day, he went into a coma and died a few days later.

When he began slipping, he asked for me to write his obituary because he knew of my passion with genealogy and history. This is what I found in my file:
James was born February 9, 1921 in Hamilton, Ohio. He served during WWII as PFC Field Artillery from 1942-1945. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Arno Rome, and two other battles he could not recall. He also received the Silvery Star while in the army. He was stationed in Durham, NC and during the war fought in Germany, North Africa, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. He worked as a milkman for several years then worked as a butcher in his brother's supermarket.

This is papa and me in the very early 1980's. Check out those pants!!

The only picture of Papa and Jaiden

Are You Guilty?

I got this joke in an email today and wanted to share!

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.
Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.
'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many
at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh!
WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL!
I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them!
Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know
you always forget to salt them. Use the! salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!'
The wife stared at him.
'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?'
The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.

Are you guilty??? I am!! I do this to Ryan all of the time!! As my excuse, I have been driving longer than him!

Soft Baby Doll Carrier

I made this for Arya to carry her babies around. Now I have to go back and make one for Jaiden. All I need to do is make a pillow and blanket to complete the carrier.

Just to digress, why can't little girls keep clothes on their babies?? Not one baby doll or barbie in my house has clothes. My mom said I was this way too.I got Jaiden some new barbies the other day that had really pretty clothes. She took them out of the bag and within 5 minutes they were all naked.

Okay, I am going to try my best to explain how to make this. As I was making this one and taking pictures, I was thinking of how to explain it so someone else could make it. If I confuse anyone, which I know I will, just click on the "Contact Me" button on the right side of my blog. It will take you to my email and I will try to better answer your questions.

4 - 2 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangles for handles (two of each color)
2- 5" x 19 1/2" strips for carrier sides (one of each color)
2 (14"x9")ovals for bottom (one of each color)
4 1/2" x 19" strip of 1/2" thick foam
Poly stuffing

I am going to stop right here and explain this: Don't worry about getting your ovals the same size as mine. Just measure the circumference of your oval and make your side strips that length plus seam allowance.

1. Sew bottom ovals WRONG sides together. Set aside.

2.Sew handle pieces right side together. Leave both ends open. Turn right side out and stuff with poly stuffing. Baste ends closed.

3. With rights sides together, pin one long side of carrier sides. Slip ends of handles between carrier sides. Make sure to position handles so that the will be on the sides of the finished carrier. Try to make them as evenly spaced as possible. Open up strip and press seam.
Your strip should look something like this. (The line in the middle of the picture is where I folded the material for picture purposes)

4. With right sides together, sew short ends of strip together to make one big circle. Turn right side out.

5. Sandwich foam between strip and pin. Sew to encase the foam into the strip. This is sewn WRONG sides together.

6. Pin oval to side strip. Sew all around to attach the bottom to the carrier.

7. Turn carrier so that the bottom seam is on the inside. You could make a blanket to attach to hide seam. I think that it is really not that visible.

This would make a cute gift for the little girl in your life!