Friday, September 27, 2013

My First Yarn Wreath.... Three Years Ago!

So, in an effort to have something else to post
this week, I'm sharing my very first attempt at
making a yarn wreath... which was 3 years ago!
You don't mind that I'm sharing old stuff, right?
Anyways, for my first attempt, I thought I did
an OK job! Except for the picture-taking...
Sorry for the white glare in the corner.
This wreath was made using a styrofoam
wreath form, before I realized that straw
wreath forms existed. I used brown glittery
yarn that is really pretty, but also REALLY
thin, so it took forever to wrap! After that I
realized I should buy thicker yarn. I hot glued
fake flowers to it-love these colors together!
I still have this wreath and even though some of
the flowers have fallen off over the years, I really
can't seem to part with it! I might even try to fluff
it up a little and use it this year, because I still love it!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

One of my ALL TIME favorite things to make is
Chicken Pot Pie... given to me by the sweetest
lady, Myra Smith, who is an incredible cook!
This is so delicious and although it's a little
more difficult than the majority of the recipes
I've posted, it's still easy enough because if I
can make it, so can you! I love fixing this,
because you really don't even need to make
anything else for the meal. You have your meat,
veggies, and bread all together in one dish =)

I always associate this dish with fall... not sure why though?
I mean, potato soup, chili, anything pumpkin... those
are all "fall foods"... but for whatever reason, I've got
it in my head that chicken pot pie is best during the fall.

 At any rate, the husband was pretty happy to come
home after a few days of traveling and have a home
cooked meal! Sometimes I wish I was one of those
 women who had dinner on the table every night when
 my man got home, but I'm just not.  Maybe I would
IF (or dare I say when???) I didn't have a full time job...
or I guess I would HAVE to if we had kids to feed...
but whatever. The truth right now is that I rarely cook!
And honestly - I really only cooked yesterday because
I was taking dinner to some friends who just had a baby =)
Isaiah just got lucky that it was the same day he came home.
OK, that's enough of making myself sound like a terrible wife....
2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 package of 2 pie crusts, deep dish
15 oz can of mixed vegetables, drained
Cook the chicken and chop/shred it.

Heat butter over low heat until melted.
Blend in flour, onion, salt and pepper.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly til
mixture is smooth and bubbly.
**This is the most time consuming step
besides the actual baking time**
Remove from heat.
Stir in chicken broth and milk.
Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Boil and stir one minute.
Stir in chicken and vegetables.
Place 1 crust in pie plate.
Pour mixture into crust.
Cut slits in second pie crust, and
place over pie mixture.
Bake uncovered at 425 degrees until
crust is browned - about 30-35 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes before serving.
Makes approximately 5 or 6 servings.
I decided to post some pictures of the meal
as it is in progress - I made enough for 2 pies last
night, so there is twice as much in the pics, just FYI.

The next FOUR pictures are all of stirring the
flour, onion, salt and pepper into the melted butter.
To begin with, it's very thick:

Then it's thick and dry, and you start to wonder
if you've followed the instructions correctly:

Then it's crumbly and dry, and you begin to tell
yourself you've done something completely wrong,
and it's never going get smooth and bubbly:

But keep at it, because it finally gets there:
Boiling after adding the milk and broth
goes much more quickly.
But I forgot to take a picture of just that.
Here it is though right after the chicken was added:

The veggies I added:

And this is what the mixture should look
like before pouring into the pie crust:

Press the edges of the pie crusts together.
 I set the pie plate on a pan (and I'm a little
embarrassed that I used an old worn out
one that looks terrible). It helps a lot when taking
in and out of the oven, and also catches anything
that might overflow:
And the finished product:

This is what it looks like served.
I wish it looked prettier... but really,
who cares what it looks like when
it tastes so amazing?!?
You can prepare some of this stuff ahead
of time to make the process go a little faster.
I measured out everything the night before, and
even put the flour, onion, salt, and pepper all in a
container together. So the next day, that step was a
little faster because I just had to empty one container.
I also cooked the chicken the night before and
put it in a separate container. This is definitely
the biggest time saver.
You can use the disposable dish that the pie
crust comes in instead of transferring it to a pie plate.
I've made it both ways, and prefer using the disposable.
Plus, it's one less thing to have to clean!
Keep the pie crust that you are using for the top crust
in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Cut the slits while it's still in the disposable dish.
I think it's easier to handle that way.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Twine Initial Wreath with Fall Colors

So back in July, I posted about this same kind of
wreath (click HERE).  But over the weekend, I
made another one of these for my friend, Jodi.
She saw the one I have and said she would like
one for fall. So what do you think?!?
I already had the paper flowers (from a bridal
shower we did a while back - click HERE) and
also had the ribbon and twine in my growing
collection of craft supplies. So the only thing I
purchased was the wooden E from Hobby Lobby.

I worked on this wreath during the drive up
to our family's cabin at Summersville Lake...
I LOVE that we have an adapter to be able
to plug in my hot glue gun in the car!
It was dark when I wanted to work on this project,
and of course I wasn't allowed to have the overhead
lights on... but luckily, my redneck husband had a head
lamp in the truck =) I really try to always have a project
to work on during a road trip - I feel so much more
productive and it makes the trip seem to go by faster.
When I brought the finished product in to work
to deliver to Jodi, I got some requests to make the
same thing from a few of my other coworkers =)

It looks great against Jodi's door =)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

Over the weekend, my sister, Rebekah, made this recipe
for chocolate chip banana bread... she cracks me
up because she said "This is seriously the only thing
I've ever made that someone told me they actually like!"

I think that's because she doesn't attempt to make a whole lot...
she is one of the lucky girls whose husband is a GOOD cook
and he likes to cook, so he usually fixes food for them.
Anyways, Rebekah did tell me that she's going to try making
the all-in-one chicken/green beans/potatoes recipe that I posted
a while back... can't wait to hear how she does with it =)

Back to the banana bread....
1 box of yellow cake mix
2 eggs
3-4 overripe bananas
1/2-1 cup of chocolate chips
(or nuts or whatever you'd rather have)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray loaf pan(s) well with nonstick cooking spray.
Smash bananas in a large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
 I like it warm, but it tastes good room temperature too.
Good job sis... I'm proud of ya!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm 1 Proud Craft "Mom"... Fall Initial Yarn Wreath by Jodi

I just have to brag on my friend, Jodi, who has
started getting into the whole DIY wreath craze.
She wanted to get a wreath for her brother and
sister-in-law to put up at their new house. Originally,
she wanted to buy one for them, but was persuaded
that she could definitely make something herself.
And here's what she came up with:

Jodi made these flowers by watching youtube
videos - I am so impressed! The larger flowers
she hot glued to the wreath and then reinforced with
pearl corsage pins.  The smaller flowers were
attached with only the pins. I love the fun colors she
chose for the flowers, and that she made different kinds.
She found these O rings that are for curtains,
tiebacks and hangings. She looped ribbon
into the O and pinned the ribbon to the wreath
with the corsage pins. The length can easily be
changed or removed altogether. Such a cute idea =)

I'm such a proud craft mom haha! Ususally, wreaths
like this sell for $35-$40 on Etsy.  But Jodi spent just a
little over $20 on the supplies for this wreath and a little bit of
time. Definitely worth it, in my opinion! But just because
Jodi has shown me that she CAN make a wreath doesn't
mean I won't make them for her anymore... I'm in the
process of making a fall one for her right now! I should
have it finished after this weekend, as long as I can use
my hot glue gun in the car on our road trip =)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Harvest Blessings Deco Mesh Wreath

My mom asked me to make her a fall
themed wreath.  She wanted deco mesh
to be used, and preferred to not have an
initial on it. So this is what I came up with:  
 I used orange deco mesh for the inner and outer
circles of the wire wreath. I used brown deco mesh
in the middle circle. I searched high and low for a
sign that I would like for the middle of the wreath - this
one isn't exactly what I was looking for, but it is still
cute. I found it at AC Moore and it was 40% off =) I
used fishing line to secure the sign to the deco mesh.
My sister helped me make a final decision on what
to put around the rest of the wreath... I couldn't quite
make up my mind, so it was nice that she made the
decision for me! The pumpkins and berries are from
Hobby Lobby and were hot glued to the mesh.  It turned out
very pretty, and my mom seemed pleased with it!
I have a lot of these supplies leftover, so I've decided
to make a similar one for someone in particular... hoping
to get it done soon, and when I do, I'll be sure to share!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Baked Beans Recipe

I think my mom makes the greatest baked
beans ever... and I always thought they would
be so hard to make! But I got the recipe from her
recently to make for a cookout one evening...
and it's SO EASY!
1 large can of plain pork n' beans
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain as much juice from the beans as possible.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
Bake about 30-35 minutes.
Seriously, it can't get much easier than that!

These are the beans I get:

Before stirring/cooking:
After cooking: 

 They are pretty dang good warmed
up in the microwave too =)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Winner of Brown/Cream Wreath Giveaway.....

The winner of this brown and cream fall wreath is.....

Congrats girl! I will contact you via facebook
for your ribbon color choice and for the details
on getting it to you this week!
Thanks to all who shared and commented! I
really wanted every one of you to win... but
keep your eyes posted because I'm probably
going to do another giveaway in the very near future!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brown and Cream Yarn Wreath... First Giveaway!!!!

As I was sorting through my wreaths trying to
decide what to hang up, I realized that I have NINE
different fall-themed wreaths! And I haven't even
made any new ones yet this year... I usually give
wreaths to friends of mine who aren't too crafty when
I'm done using them, but I decided this time I'd see
if any of my blog-readers would want this one...


My sister and I worked on this wreath together.
I wrapped brown shiny speckled yarn around a straw wreath.
The cream felt flowers were made by Rebekah.
She is better at making them, and honestly, she has more
patience than I do to sit down and make this many!   
I honestly think that this wreath doesn't really pop enough
against a glass-front door... but I think it would look great
against a colored door!! Also, I don't currently have a ribbon
on the wreath to hold it up - but if you win the wreath, I will
add a ribbon the color of your choice before getting it to you!

So if you want this wreath, here's the
2 simple things you gotta do to win it!

1. Share this link on Facebook.
**if we aren't Facebook friends and your profile is set to
private, please make sure you allow me to view the share**
2. Leave a comment below on the blog.

That's it!! You have til 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 15th
to share and comment. I'll announce the winner on
Monday, September 16th! And listen, it's not like I have
a crazy amount of people that read this thing... so if you
do these steps, there's a REALLY good possibility that
you'll win! Ha!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marshall Cornhole Boards

As a surprise to my husband I had our plain white
cornhole boards painted with a Marshall theme by a
friend of ours! She's ridiculously talented (click HERE
to see the pallet wall hanging she made for us!) and did
a great job on them! Isaiah absolutely loved them.

 My mom ordered Marshall bean bags to go with the
set for Isaiah's birthday. Thought it was appropriate to
post now, with tailgating season in full swing!

GO HERD!! =)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Butterfly Birthday Cake

My niece, Abby, turned 3 last week... we had
a family birthday party over the weekend at the
cabin in Summersville. Abby's mom, Kelly, made
her cake, and it was to die for!!!
Abby's birthday theme was purple butterflies...
I love the 3 tiered ombre cake/icing!! And the
butterflies on the outside were edible too.
Kelly didn't even practice making this - I think
it turned out beautiful and most importantly, it tasted great!!!

And here's the birthday girl... sweetest thing ever!!!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Chevron Initial Grapevine Wreath

I'm featuring another wreath today that I didn't
make, but I think it's perfect for this time of year!
It was made by my sister, Rebekah, and her friend, Kathryn.
Kathryn made the letter, and Rebekah put the letter on the
wreath. I mean seriously, who doesn't love chevron?!?
It's another easy wreath that anyone is capable of making!
Everything was purchased at Hobby Lobby.
grapevine wreath
wooden letter
scrapbook paper
flower (from the papercrafting section)
mod podge & foam brush
hot glue and scissors
Trace the letter onto the scrapbook paper
and cut out. Mod podge the paper to the letter.
Hot glue the flower onto the letter.
Hot glue each corner of the letter onto the wreath.
I love it! Good job Rebekah and Kathryn!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pasta Salad Recipe

Easy and delicious pasta salad
recipe from my friend Jodi.... 
1 box of tri colored pasta
1 block of colby cheese, cut in small cubes
1 bag of pepperoni, cut in quarters
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 bottle of zesty Italian dressing

**I totally cheat and buy the cheese already cubed,
and the tiny circles of pepperoni so it takes less time!**
Obviously, you just cook the pasta,
drain, and stir everything else in.
Of course, you could also add anything
else you like to it, like tomatoes or olives.
But this is the way I like mine!

I made 3 batches of this yesterday for the
Huntington High School Football Dinner tonight...
I have the feeling there won't be any leftovers
after 65 teenage boys are finished eating!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Burlap Initial Wreath

Today I'm featuring my sister-in-law's wreath
that she made this week! Kelly loves fall wreaths,
but for the beginning of September, she wanted
something different than the typical fall wreath. 
Something that works when it doesn't really feel
like fall yet. I think she came up with the perfect idea!
She bought a straw wreath, a black N (her last
name is Neal), 2 striped flowers, 3 polka dot flowers,
and some burlap ribbon - all for less than $20!
It literally took her 10 minutes to make this wreath...
All she had to do was:
1. Wrap the burlap around the wreath. 
2. Clip the stems of flowers and shove them into the 
burlap/wreath form, and then support them with hot glue. 
3. Glue the inital N to the wreath.
So even if you don't consider yourself a crafty person,
you can still make an adorable wreath! Good job Kelly!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Navy and Coral Summer Wedding

I haven't posted anything for a few weeks because I've
been on vacation and then just crazy busy after getting
back! My family and I went to Virginia to attend
my cousin's wedding (and to help decorate for it).
So I'm just gonna share a few pics from the wedding...
I didn't take as many as I would've liked, but you'll
get the idea of it!
One of my FAVORITE parts of Joy and Brian's wedding was
their guest "book" - they had a large canvas print of one of their
engagement pictures, and each guest signed their name on it. It will
be a beautiful keepsake for their home! I LOVE THIS IDEA and
might be stealing it for a party I'm helping with this year....!!! 
Joy asked me to sing at her wedding... It's been a LONG time
since I've been nervous to sing in front of a bunch of people, but I was
this time! The groomsman (Hunter) who played the guitar was
incredible - we practiced together for the first time they day before
the wedding! The song we did was "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Heath.
Joy and Brian's colors were navy and coral. I love that the
men all wore gray suits - it's something different from the norm
and it looked great with the navy bridesmaid dresses. On a side note,
you can kind of see my shoes in the pic below.... I found them for just
$5.30!!! Joy just wanted us to wear silver shoes - well, I searched at
tons of stores and didn't see anything that I liked - either the heel was
too short, or they were covered in glitter, or they didn't have my size...
so when I found these on the clearance rack the DAY BEFORE we left,
I was so excited! I knew they were on clearance, but when the cashier said
$5.30, I had to ask her to repeat the price because I couldn't believe it!
One of the most precious moments in the ceremony was
during the unity candle. This tradition is done at most weddings,
but Joy and Brian did something different. They had both sets of
parents come up during the ceremony to light the candles. Then
Joy and Brian lit their middle candle, which was set on a rock
to symbolize that their foundation would be set on Christ, the Solid
Rock. Then, while the unity candle song was still going on, Joy and
Brian's parents prayed for them. It was only for the 6 of them to hear,
but it was a precious sight to see!
I'm including this picture of Joy and Brian's first kiss because it's
cute, but also to show this arch that Joy's uncle built for the wedding.
He is definitely a talented man!
The reception was held at a military base
in Virginia - the room was absolutely
gorgeous! I mean, look at that chandelier!
I thought the groom's cake was great...
a Dallas Cowboys cake! Joy's sister, Janna
took fun pictures of Brian and Joy in Cowboys'
gear to display next to the groom's cake. So cute!
I love any reason I have to get dressed up. My husband
doesn't really care about it, but I have to brag on him....
he picked out his clothes all by himself! He
looked so handsome, and he even coordinated with my
bridesmaid dress!! Apparently, I've taught him well =)
 My mom and dad look so amazing in this picture...
I LOVED my mom's dress - and the coral necklace
with it was perfect for this wedding! Might just have to
borrow that dress from her sometime =)
I always love pictures of my mom with her
sisters and her mom... and how perfect
are ALL of their outfits?? Four beautiful women!
Had such a fun time - and got spoiled by spending
so much time with my twin!