Thursday, November 14, 2013

Canvas Art.

I was feeling creative and the need for some art therapy tonight so I decided to get on Pinterest for some inspiration. I noticed some cool paintings and decided I wanted to make some wall art. Luckily I had two canvases and lots of paint on hand.

I started on my first canvas by taping off some areas to create various chunks of canvas to paint. I used some fun, bright colors and started painting. When I finished painting I took the tape off. 

I had a gray color paint that I wanted to use but it was funny so I opted for purple instead. I ended up using the gray when I put some various lines on the white areas where the tape had been. 

I really like how this turned out. It has an 80s look to it, which is always fun. I will probably hang this one in my craft/computer room. 

After the first was done I decided to do another. I had seen some paintings that people had done that were simple yet really cool. They were just painting quotes in a color on a plain canvas. I liked this idea but decided to change it a little to make it my own. I painted part of the canvas to make it look like the canvas was torn back to expose the quote. 

I decided to use one of my favorite quotes that one of my favorite artists has tattooed on her wrist... "Love them more." By the way, Kelly Clarkson is the person who has that tattoo. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coconut Crusted Tilapia

I searched for healthy recipes on the P and found this one. I knew it was going to be a good one when I clicked the picture and it lead me to Six Sisters' Stuff; one of my favorite sites! 

I thought this recipe would be delicious. I love tilapia and I love coconut. How could this not be good?! Turns out? I was right. It was excellent!! The only thing that could've made it better would be some kind of mango sauce on the side. I'll have to find a recipe for that sometime and try it next time I make this. 

This was also very easy and quick to make!! It bakes for 15-20 minutes (at 400) so from prep to finish it's done in less than half an hour. Pair it with a veggie and some kind of whole grain and you have a complete, delicious meal!!

The recipe is super easy...

6 tilapia fillets (there were four in my package).
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup bread cribs 
1/4 cup crackers, like Ritz. The original recipe called for whole grain Ritz but I already had reduced fat at home so I used those. 
3 egg whites

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray (I used the olive oil kind). 

Mix dry ingredients. 

Dip fillets in egg white then the dry mixture. 

Bake (again, 15-20 min at 400 degrees). 


You could probably cut this recipe down for fewer than six fillets. I had leftover egg white and the dry mixture. 

This was a fantastic recipe that I will most definitely make again! I'm pretty excited about having leftover fillets! Sounds like a good lunch!

I highly recommend this recipe!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chicken 'n' Dressing Casserole

I didn't find this on the P; it was on Facebook but close enough....  

This was another easy and delicious success!! My Dad had saved it on his timeline so I took it was a hint that he wanted to try it and made it for dinner on Monday when I was at my parents' house. 

While this is easy to do, if you don't have a couple of the ingredients pre-cooked, it can be somewhat time consuming. I had to make cornbread, boil eggs, and bake chicken breast in order to make the casserole. Luckily I was able to multi-task while I had them in the oven. I served this with a side of steamed veggies (and I also had a small salad). It was a nice, warm dinner to enjoy on a cold night!

I bought the healthiest ingredients I could... Lower sodium broth, healthy request soup (Campbell's), and boneless skinless chicken breast. 

Will I be making this again? Definitely!!! 

Grilled Cheese: Grown-Up Style

I saw a recipe for these sandwiches one day last week (or the week before) and decided to try them them week. Oh my deliciousness!!!! The turkey,cranberry, Brie grilled sandwich might be my new fav! 

This is a nice twist on the classic grilled cheese. I modified it slightly. The recipe called for sourdough bread and cranberry chutney. I used light whole grain bread and a can of jellied cranberry sauce. I also used light Brie cheese instead of regular and spray butter rather than regular butter. 

It was simple to make....

I sprayed my bread with butter and then sandwiched my ingredients between the two. I put my turkey on first then my cheese and topped it with cranberry sauce. Then I cooked it like a typical grilled cheese. I'm thinking you could also use a panini maker for this. 

I can't wait to try this with Thanksgiving leftovers!!! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crockpot Orange Chicken

This was fantastic!!! I'd seen it on Pinterest a lot and finally got around to trying it. It was very easy to make too. 

The chicken went into the crockpot for three hours, then it was drained. After that I mixed together the barbecue sauce, orange marmalade, and soy sauce (I used light). Then mixture then goes in with the chicken and cooks for 30 minutes. 

It was delicious and had an awesome flavor to it. It reminded me of the orange chicken at a Chinese restaurant except it wasn't fried. It was probably a lot healthier than Chinese takeout!!! I served mine with a brown rice and quinoa blend. 

I highly recommend this recipe! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Corn Dog Muffins

I don't have the best pictures but I will post these anyway! Since Little Miss was over on Saturday I wanted to make something kid-friendly for dinner. I had seen these on Pinterest a while ago and decided we would make them. She usually likes to help me cook but considering I have purchased her so many toys, she wasn't interested. Instead she looked at me and said, "I go play in my bedroom. You make dinner." 

I didn't go to great lengths with these. I picked up a package of reduced fat, low calorie hot dogs and a package of corn muffin mix. I made the mix according to the instructions on the package. Then I cut up some hot dogs. I put some mix in a muffin pan, then some hot dog chunks, and then put more mix on the top. I baked them according to the directions on the muffin mix package. 

The result? They were pretty good! I typically eat healthier foods and put more effort into my meals but I didn't think Little Miss would find it necessary for me to slave over a gourmet meal. Neither of us seemed very hungry so we had some apple slices on the side. 


The Little Miss and I made two kinds of fun ghosts this weekend.  These projects were planned because I knew I'd be babysitting and thought we should have some fun. 

First we made ghosts out of cotton balls! I already had glue and construction paper so we just has to pick up a couple bags of cotton balls. I think we ended up with six ghosts. I picked up two bags of cotton balls at the dollar store for about three dollars total. 

I outlined the ghosts, in glue, on the paper then put more glue in the middle. All Little Miss had to do was stick the cotton balls to the glue. When we were done I cut out eyes and mouths to glue onto the ghosts. 

She was a little apprehensive about our next project but she had so much fun making these that she ended up getting really excited about them. I already had the supplies for these on hand. We used black construction paper and acrylic paint (white and black). 

For these ghosts I put some paint on paper and then stuck her foot in it. We then placed her foot onto another piece of construction paper. We repeated the process until we made several ghosts and I was out of white paint. She would've made these all day if I had let her!! I think this ended up being her favorite project of the day!!

After the ghosts dried I made some eyes and mouths on the ghosts with black paint. Then we were done! The acrylic paint wipes off of skin very easily if you clean up right away. This project has the potential to get messy but with good adult supervision you should be just fine. Little Miss will be three in a few weeks and she did a great job!! 

Painted Pumpkins

This weekend my favorite little girl and I worked on painting some pumpkins. These were super easy to make and don't really have directions except... Get paint. Paint pumpkins. We spray painted some and hand painted some. As you can see she's a great artist! :) Also, if you notice in the picture of the front porch, my ceramic stand (from a previous post) is being used in the display.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Fun with Wine Bottles.

I finally cleaned up a few more wine bottles to create a new fall decor piece. The great thing is that I can change out the (artificial) flowers with different colors for different holidays or seasons. For example I'll get red and green for Christmas and change the word to "joy!" or "merry" (just have to make one more bottle for that one!).  After Christmas I can put sone white flowers in them and write "snow" on the bottles. 

To create these I cleaned up wine bottles and sprayed them with chalkboard spray paint. I cut the flowers from a bouquet (that I bought at the dollar store) so that they would fit into the bottles as I wanted. I then bent them down a little so that they would show better (because they were on the mantel which is high). I used plain white chalk to write on the bottles. 

I'm pretty excited about this project because it can be changed to be used in various ways. I have already have ideas for other times of the year too. 

Side note: I need to start drinking more wine because I only have a few large bottles left!! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I picked up this cute picture frame at HomeGoods on Friday. I took the glass out and sprayed it with chalkboard spray paint. I let it dry and put the glass back into the frame. Ta-da! I have a cute chalkboard hanging in my kitchen.  

This project could not have been any easier!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Canvas Door or Wall Hanging

I made this with the intention of putting it on my door but it kept falling down. Now it's displayed on an end table in my living room. I made it to match my Christmas decor a couple years ago but really like the color it brings into the room. 

This was another easy project. I used a canvas and wooden letter that I had purchased for "whatever."  First I drew circles on the canvas in pencil. Then I painted the green around them. After that I painted the circles. While the canvas was drying I painted the wooden letter. When that was dry I got my hot glue gun out and glued the letter on. That was it!

This could be done for any room of the home. I think it would be cute painted to match a nursery or child's room, using the child's first initial. 

This is another fun project that you can create to suit your personal taste. It's also one that would be fun to have a child help with! The child could paint the canvas to display in his or her room. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ceramic Stands.

These cute little stands were inspired by a cake stand idea on Pinterest (of course). The original pin showed plastic, summer type dishes glued together. A patterned plate was glued to the bottom of a patterned cup to make the stand. Cute and easy. I may make one sometime. Actually I may make one sooner than later. 

I took the idea and changed it a bit. I bought two ceramic dishes and two ceramic candle holders at a dollar store. I spray painted them, giving the candle holder a textured look with the paint since it was already a bit rough. After the paint dried I glued the bottom of the plate to the top of the candle holder. 

Spray paint probably isn't the best thing to use for a cake stand. Who wants to eat off of something coated in spray paint? Not me. Instead I will use them in my fall decorating. I recently painted my front door red so I think they will look cute out on my front porch. I plan to place some small pumpkins and gourds on them. I think it will be a cute addition!!

Wine Bottle Fun!

I've been saving my wine bottles for several months. My collection was quickly adding up so I decided I should really get started on a project. I found a Pin that showed adorable Halloween painted wine bottles and decided that would be my first project. 

The bottles that I saw were hand painted but I decided to use my good friend, spray paint. I started with ghosts. Rather than using white paint I sprayed the bottles silver. Much more fun!!  I painted faces on them with black acrylic paint. 

I decided that I would make pumpkins next. They just didn't turn out how I had hoped. Everything looked messy to me. 

If at first you don't succeed.... You try again right?! 

This time I remembered to tape off sections that I later touched up. I did the green first and then the orange. After I touched up the area where the tape had been, I pained on faces. I'm much happier with the way that these turned out. 

After the pumpkins I decided to make some happy little witches. Again I taped off the areas, painted, touched up, and drew their faces on with black acrylic paint. 

I'm glad to have a bit of a head start on making some new Halloween decorations!!!

I had washed one extra bottle so I decided to spray it with chalkboard paint. I haven't used it yet but am excited to do something with it! I think I will use another Pinterest idea and paint three more black, then write "fall" on them, with one letter on each bottle. I'll probably get some faux fall flowers to put in them and place them on my mantle. 

Homemade Lip Gloss

This is one of the easiest Pinterest projects I've ever completed. Its super quick and easy - not to mention cheap!!

I didn't have any supplies on hand for this one but they were easy to gather. I picked up some bead containers at the craft store, along with some labeling stickers and cupcake stickers for decoration. I bought the lipgloss ingredients at a local store (petroleum jelly and powdered drink mix - I used Kool-Aid). 

Making the lipgloss is two easy steps... Melt the petroleum jelly in the microwave and then stir in the drink mix. Done. I put it into the pots (bead containers), attached my stickers, and wrote the flavor on it. 

I used some and liked it so I gave some away with Christmas gifts. 

Collegiate Wreath

I'd been seeing various wreaths pinned and naturally I decided that I should make one. There are many ways to make them but I chose this method because I had so much tulle from tutu making. 

I picked up a styrofoam wreath and wooden letters at the craft store. I already had the acrylic paint for the letters at home. 

This was another easy creation. I cut my tulle to the desired length and tied it all around the styrofoam. I trimmed up the ends after I was done to be sure it was even. I painted my letters blue and after they were dry I hot glued the letters into it. 

That's it! I was all ready to show my University of Kentucky spirit for college basketball season!! 

Go Cats!!!

Tutu and a Onesie

I love to make tutus. They're one of my favorite things to create. One of these days I will post pictures of some of them. 

One day as I was surfing Pinterest I found a tutu attached to a onesie. It was adorable so I thought I would give it a try.  It looked simple enough but it was a tiny bit more challenging than I expected. Not hard by any means; just not what I thought it would be. 

I started by sewing my elastic to the onesie on a few different spots. Then I added my tulle like I do with my regular tutus. That was it! It turned out cute and looked adorable on the Little Miss (my cousins daughter whom I call my niece, and often refer to as Little Miss). 

Some of my Baked Goods.

I LOVE to bake so I thought I would share some of my baked goods...

A snowman birthday cake (my first time using fondant). 

A penguin cake for a birthday. 

A princess birthday cake and cupcakes. 

Bridal shower cupcakes 

Cupcakes for tailgating before a University of Michigan game. 

My first time making sugar decorations (red velvet cupcakes too). 

Peach cupcakes with peach buttercream

Peppermint whoopie pies. 

Snowman cupcakes made with my favorite two year-old. 

Glue Plus Food Coloring.

Another P.-inspired project that I decided to tackle was painting glass with a mixture of white glue (I used Elmer's) and food coloring. This is supposed to give it a seaglass type of effect when it's dry. The keyword in that last sentence "suposed." 

Mine did not look anything like the picture. I was expecting, pretty frosted looking pieces. I ended up with streaky pieces that the paint didn't want to stay on. In fact, I could try and start over and over because, even after it was dry, the glue mixture washed off of them. 

Did I mention I originally used this idea to make a cake stand? Um. I don't want glue coming off on my cake, that's for sure!! I also don't want to have to paint pieces again and again to get the look. I ended up using this method to make some vases and a bowl, which turned out a little better. They do have more of a frosty appearance, but still do not look as pretty as the picture I found on Pinterest. 
I have the vases displayed in my house and I use the bowl to hold my remotes,  but the cake stand idea didn't work.

There was not an exact set of directions with this pin. I believe it just said to mix the glue and food coloring for that seglass effect. There were no guidelines on how much glue to use. I'm wondering if maybe I didn't use enough glue on the cake stand. I used more on the bowl and vases and they did seem to turn out a little better. Perhaps it was my color choices, but they do not look quite as sophisticated as I was hoping they would. Or maybe it's that the project isn't supposed to be sophisticated so much as it is meant to be fun.

I might try this again sometime. I've since seen it used on the stems and bases of wine glasses, which would be cute for a theme party. I would paint them for an outdoor, summer party, if I were using a variety of colors to decorate. That could definitely be fun. They could even be a favor that guests could take home with them. I probably won't use this idea for decor around my home. For me, this idea seems best to be executed with a specific purpose. 

Has anyone else tried this and had similar luck? Better luck?

Crayon Art.

Crayons. Cavas. Glue. A hairdyer. What?! This creation was all the rage on the P. a while back. I decided it looked like a fun and easy project, so naturally I had to try it! 

As far as materials, I already had some various size painting canvases at home from other projects. These vary in price depending on the size canvas you want to use. I picked mine up at Hobby Lobby and have also bought them at Joann's (FYI, those are two of my favorite stores). I bought a couple boxes of Crayola crayons when I was out shopping one day. I already had my hot glue gun and glue sticks at home. This project was easy, but a little messy. 

To complete the project, all I did was affix the crayons to the canvas with my hot glue gun. Then I melted the crayons using my hairdyer. Let it dry for a while and it's ready to display! 

The reason that this messy is because even on low, the dyer can cause some paint to splatter. I'd recommed doing this in an area that's covered with a drop cloth, or that you don't mind getting messy. I did mine on my kitchen counter, not realizing that it would be so messy. I did cover the counter in waxed paper, but some of the melted crayon did fly around. It was easy to clean up though. I just scraped it off the areas that it hit. The second time I did a project like this, I used more waxed paper so that I didn't have such a mess of crayon to clean up.

You can arrange crayons anyway or in any shape that you'd like. You can also control how the crayons melt. You might want thinner lines, a more splattered look, or a large area covered. The style is up to you! On the first one, I put my caryons in a straight line, grouped by color. That piece is displayed on my mantle. The second one was a Valentine for my then-boyfriend. I used a color scheme based on his favorite colors, red and black with a couple orange and pink hues added for a little more flair. I also painted a red heart on that canvas and wrote on the back, using it instead of a card or paper Valentine. It was a fun and unique alternative to a regular card! 

This is a project that I think is fun for kids or adults! I definitely wouldn't let a child do it solo, but it would be a fun activity to do together. I think that it would be fun to make one based on the color scheme of the child's bedroom, and it could be hung on one of the bedroom walls. While I do not have children, I think it's important to involve them in a variety of activities and allow them to "help" with things as much as possible. A child should be taught to take pride in his or her work, and a great way to do so would be by displaying it! 

This is a project that I will be doing again sometime!

Gumball Machine Style Candy Dishes.

These are freaking adorable! I knew as soon as I saw them that I HAD to make them. I also knew that they'd make great gifts for Valentine's Day. I made one for my Mom and one for my Grandma, and filled them with Valentine's Day Peanut M&Ms. 

Like most of my projects, these were pretty simple and didn't take a long time. They made an adorabe little gift. In fact, my Mom keeps her's out throughout the year! 

The materials for these were picked-up at a local store (Meijer). I got some mini Terra Cotta pots and saucers, and a four pack of small glasses to use for the base, top, and bowl. I already had the paint and brushes at home. I picked up some some wooden balls to glue to the top.

First I painted my pots, saucers, and wooden balls in a plain color (one red, one pink) with acrylic craft paint. After they were dry I tipped the pots upside down and painted designs on them (hearts and dots). After they dried again, I glued the glass to the pot (bottom of the glass to the bottom of the pot). I then glued the painted wooden ball to the center of the bottom of the saucer. When the glue dried, I put candy into the glasses and topped them with the saucer. Voila!

Fabric Scrap Bracelets: Not What I Expected.

I saw a cute idea to make fabric scrap bracelets on the P. one day and thought they would be cute and easy. They were both. But they were cute for.... Someone younger. They definitely didn't turn out to be "classy" looking. I could see a younger girl; maybe a 'tween enjoying bracelets like this. I originally made them for myself, but they are far too young for me. Cute, but not appropriate. 

These bracelets only included a few materials: rubber bracelets (like the cancer awareness type), scraps of fabric, and hot glue. I picked up my bracelets at either the Dollar Spot at Target or a dollar store. They're kinda flimsy; definitely more-so than the five dollar awareness bracelets are. All I had to do was put glue on the bracelet and wrap the fabric around it. Simple. Easy. Cute. Not for me. I decided to add a little extra flair to mine but adding some buttons in different colors and sizes. This only added to the young look of the bracelets. Colorful plastic buttons are certainly not adult-like. But a younger girl? Just might love them. 

I only made two since I decided I wasn't exactly a fan. They're still sitting in my craft room. I should just give them to my younger cousin. I have more plastic bracelets so I guess I'll use her as a tester. If she likes them, I'll make some more to sell at a craft fair or on etsy or something, I think that the bracelets are pretty cute. 

What do you think? Is this something a 'tween would wear?

A Picture Frame Fail

I saw this cute idea to Mod Podge scrapbook paper to a picture frame and thought I'd give it a try. I have lots of scrapbook paper and had several dollar store frames laying around so I thought, "why not!?" The instructions were clear and seemed as though they'd be easy to follow. 

All I had to do was cut the paper to fit the front side and edges of the frame. Then? Brush Mod Podge on top to affix the paper to the frame. I did so. My finished product did not look nearly as adorable as what I'd seen online. I may have chosen the wrong frame. Or cut the paper to an incorrect size. Or maybe I didn't use enough Mod Podge. 

Whatever it was, it didn't look right. The paper didn't want to stick appropriately and when I tried to fix it, I think I just messed it up even more. 

Mod Podge and scrapbook paper frames - 1. Me - 0. I may eventually try again....