Mason Jar Lid Wreath

Hi everyone!

So I’ve been spending a lot of time researching vendors for this wedding shindig. We have spent a lot of time going over the photography piece of it recently, and I remembered this video I had stumbled on a while ago that I thought was so cool. It really didn’t help at all with figuring out what photographer we’re going to use, but it gave me a nice distraction and gave me another reason why I love photos and photography so much. I wanted to share it with you, it’s only 2 & 1/2 min..I KNOW you have that much time to spare, especially if you landed here from Pinterest or Facebook…! Click HERE to watch!

How cool is it to “meet” strangers this way? I just think it’s so interesting that everyone you pass has this entire story and life that you know nothing about. Every single person has all these complexities, and talents, and heartbreaks, and relationships, and friends, and struggles, and embarrassing moments (maybe not as many as me), and accomplishments, and things that make them laugh. I think it is always so fascinating to meet new people, because you never know what path they’re on or what path they have come from. Even though we live in a society that is continually veering away from interaction with other human beings, I hope something changes that, and I hope we go back to noticing people around us. And I don’t just hope those things because my flip phone makes it impossible for me to electronically connect with everyone.

Mason Jar Lid Wreath

The wreath that we’re doing today is originally from Tater Tots & Jello and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. She used it for Halloween decoration, but I think it looks good for all year round! It’s size fits perfect in a kitchen.

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What you need:

  • 36 wide mouth mason jar canning lids (you can buy just lids at the store, unless you want 36 jars too)
  • Washi tape, 4 patterns
  • White spray paint
  • Coral and gray paint (use spray paint in these colors instead if you want to purchase it)
  • Ribbon

Instructions:

Step 1: Lay 23 of the lids out and spray paint them white.

Step 2: Paint 8 lids coral and paint 5 lids gray.

Step 3: Let them all dry. Next you will be adding the washi tape to the outside of the lids you painted white. I put one kind of washi tape on 5 lids, and each other kind of washi tape on 6 lids each.

Step 4: String them onto some ribbon and tie some bows!

*Some of the spray paint and regular paint might chip a little bit when they rub as you string them, but I think this is a more rustic looking craft anyway, so I don’t think it takes away from it at all. If you don’t want them to chip, you could try spraying an acrylic coat on top of the paint before you add the tape.

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Old Blinking Light

Morning!

So this made me smile, and maybe it will make you smile too. Which I personally think is a great way to start your day.

I was driving home from the gym a couple days ago and I was behind this Subaru. Mostly doing my own thing and not actually paying much attention to that car in front of me, I noticed 5 heads. Full car. Nothing unique here. And then, as I was looking straight through their back window, I see the side profile silhouette of a big snout and long dangling tongue. A puppy!! (It was a full grown dog, a lab to be exact, but if you know me at all, dogs are puppies forever in my book). That wasn’t the part that made me smile. The part that made me smile was that while everyone else was crammed into the back seat, the dog had shotgun and was comfortably enjoying his spacious, superior, front seat! It actually makes me “lol” picturing what I imagine are vacant expressions on the faces of the 3 backseat passengers about being passed over for front seat by their dog. Awesome.

I’m pretty sure my dad would do something like that to us, considering our dogs “will not wear collars, they don’t like them. They want to be free and comfortable,” he says.

Chelo, Dog Whisperer.

Old Blinking Light

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I saw a Groupon for this restaurant several months ago in Highlands Ranch, CO (Lucent and C470) called Old Blinking Light. I had driven past it on my way to get my allergy shots one time and had been wanting to try it. So to my pleasant surprise, they had a Groupon for it shortly after that. The Groupon was a prix fixe (pre-set items to choose from) meal for two, with two appetizers, two entrees, and one dessert.

Before I get to the food though, let me “show-and-tell” you about the neat atmosphere! If you’ve heard me talk about restaurants, or read any of my other restaurant reviews, then you’ll know atmosphere is big to me. Regardless of the food, if a place has a great feel to it and an enticing atmosphere, it always makes it on my go-to list of happy hour or grab-a-drink spots! If you remember from a minute ago, I said the thing that first drew me to this restaurant was how neat (man, I use the word “neat” so much. I’ll hit the thesaurus next time) it looked on the outside. The patio out front has a giant fire pit, which diners can enjoy dinner around, as well as a swank “Southwestern soul” feel to the place.

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When we went to eat here it was just before Christmas, so they had some Christmas decorations up, which complimented the modern and rusty interior.

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It was really cozy inside, without the quiet, elegant, fancy touch.

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Despite the fact that most things inside were pretty marvelous and unique, my favorite was the standing wall fire place. In the picture below, you will see a round seating couch, in the waiting area, and then a bright grow on the mid right part in the picture. That was a tall stone wall, which at the top had a long slender row of flames. It was such a stunning way to separate off the rest of the restaurant from the waiting area, without disconnecting it completely, or inserting some ugly separator.

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All the decorations had a modern industrial take to them, and really spiced up the place! I haven’t seen this style of decor anywhere else that I’ve been. I love the chains below. Another inventive way to separate the hallway to the bathroom without actually throwing up a wall. Tactics like that really opened up the place, which otherwise could have felt too condensed.

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We sat in the back seating area, which would be a perfect spot for a birthday dinner, rehearsal dinner, group happy hour etc. I imagine those doors can shut to give you privacy, with a flirty glow. Unless there is a special party that reserved it, it appears to just be used as an extension of the dining area. This room is toward the back and is a little quieter. In fact, we were able to learn all about the people at the table next to us. She is pregnant. How exciting. Her co-workers were so supportive (admittedly we were eavesdropping and they were being loud).

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Let’s start at the beginning of the 3 courses. Apps first. I ordered a fried avocado served on a corn tostada with pico de gallo and creme fraiche. I have recently been overly obsessed with avocados, and everything and anything that has that word mentioned is a done deal for me. I was moderately pleased with this appetizer, but not incredibly impressed. It was a different type of appetizer, so it gets points for individuality and presentation, but I wasn’t blown away by the flavor. I thought it tasted good but could have used a little more ‘something-something.’

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Tom on the other hand ordered the sweet-and-spicy chile-dusted popcorn shrimp with chipotle aioli and honey. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Him and I both wanted to ordered 5 more plates of this. It was an explosion of flavor that was very perfectly balanced. If you aren’t a big shrimp person, don’t let that deter you. The shrimp itself wasn’t a strong flavor, it just blended well with the sauce and dustings. I actually wanted to dip my fried avocado in this sauce…but unfortunately Tom scraped his plate clean.

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The main entree for me was the New Mexico red-chili-crusted salmon with cilantro green rice, calabacitas, pico de gallo, and lime. Several of the items in this entree were rare, and things I haven’t had before. I liked the uniqueness and special blend of flavors. I definitely want to make a note that this food does in NO way shape or form taste like gross tex-mex. It’s much more artful than that.

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Tom ordered the herb-garden half-chicken served in a lemon-chicken au jus with mashed potatoes and house vegetables. He ate it all. And it actually filled him up, shockingly enough. Again, they did a very good job of creating different types of flavor combinations that only compliment one another, as opposed to any specific one being overwhelming.

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And finally, for dessert we split the chocolate drizzle–a warm chocolate ganache drizzled over bruléed bananas with ganache-covered strawberries and whipped cream. I feel like based on that description I don’t really need to explain how fantastic this was. I loved that the strawberries were covered in thick chocolate that was still melty, so you could actually eat them without the whole shell falling apart. Surely I’m not the only one who has that problem with chocolate covered strawberries?? Bruléed bananas= heavenly.

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SO. What does this all mean for you? I would recommend you try this place. It really is quite different than any other place you’ve been atmospherically and flavor-wise. This place is affordable, on the higher end of affordable, but with just an entree you could get out of there around $15-$20/person. From there it will steadily increase, especially if you’re ordering seafood and apps/desserts. For me, I am looking forward to going back in for a happy hour, in which I’ll grab one glass of wine, the sweet and spicy popcorn shrimp, and if I’m up for it, the bruleed bananas. I’m looking forward to going back in for that visit to hang out in such a snazzy (at least I didn’t use the word “neat”) environment. Hope to see you there!

P.S. I just bought a LivingSocial deal to Shells and Sauce, a chic restaurant in Denver. The offer is being sold for 9 more days (from 1/13/14) if you’re interested. I’ll be doing a review on the place sometime in the next couple months. Just wanted to inform you of the places I think sound good to try and let you get in on the offer if you want!

Prayer Jar

Happy New Year!!

I’m not sure if you have this problem, but I can be pretty certain, as we are creatures of habit, that it’s going to take me a few weeks, or maybe months, before I remember to write 2014 instead of 2013. Especially since last month I accidentally wrote 2012 on a check.

Speaking of nothing related, I got a call recently that was from a number I didn’t know, so I answer it and a recording says, “Please hold.” Umm. You can’t call me and tell me to hold. If I call you I feel like that’s fair to put me on hold, but not the other way around. Turned out to be from my gym. And a nice woman gets on to tell me that they actually didn’t need to call me. So I get a call, that I have to hold for, only to be told they don’t need anything. That was fun. Pray for me and my patience 😉 ….and what a good opportunity today’s craft is for that!

 Prayer Jar

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So I’m kind of cheating and doing three craft posts back to back, but it’s my blog so I can do what I want. New Years is a great time to start new habits and I think this is one that is actually realistic to stick to since you don’t have to do it everyday. Well sort of.

So how this works is that we all have things we want to pray about in our own lives, or other people’s lives, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming to make sure you pray about them all. The idea of the jar is that you are putting it from your hands to His, which is where it belongs. Psalm 55:22 says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.” When we realize that God has His hand in the situation, it is so much easier to give things to Him, and stop trying to control the outcomes. So you write the prayer on a slip of paper, pray about it, and then drop it in the jar.

At the end of the year, on New Years Eve, a neat tradition would be to go back through and read all of them to see what all God has done with each of your prayers. Often, at the time of the event, it is hard to see what God is doing and how He is working, but many times in hindsight the bigger picture is so clear.

What You Need:

  • Jar (you can use a jar with a lid, or a mason jar and cut a slit in the top)
  • Hot glue
  • A few different types of scrapbook paper
  • Decorative items -as always you can use my ideas or go in your own direction- I used:
    • burlap ribbon
    • silver chipboard letters
    • white poster paint pen
    • chalkboard gift tag
    • rhinestone gems
    • twine
    • thread
    • clothes pin
    • button
    • wood tag
    • sticker
    • business card sized happy note

I don’t want to insult your intelligence by telling you how to hot glue things to a jar, but I’m going to add brief directional captions to the pictures of my jar below to help you out in case you want the help.

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I started with the twine under the rim and tied a double knotted bow. Next I added the burlap ribbon. I glued one end of ribbon to the jar, and slowly glued and wrapped the rest of it around. I did the same thing with the sparkly white glitter paper, and the gray paper.

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I then cut out banner flags in different scrap book paper and glued them to a few pieces of thread. I then glued one end of the thread to the jar, dangled the banner flags as low as I wanted, and glued the other end of the thread to the jar. I did the same thing with the word “PRAYER” but I used the chipboard letters and twine.

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Under that, with the white poster paint pen I wrote “JAR” and added some little rhinestone gems and an arrow cut from the leftovers of the white sparkly glitter paper.

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On this side I glued on a clothes pin and clipped in a happy note. I used the final remnants of the glitter paper, because part of my soul died at the thought of throwing away even a speck of it, to make a cross and a little arrow dash design.

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To make the pocket for the slips of paper, I folded a piece of brown paper, sewed dashes along the edges (for decoration) and then pinned the button. After you do those three things, then you can glue the pocket together, and then glue it to the jar. Don’t reverse that order, otherwise it will be a pain to sew and attach the button. I may or may not have accidentally done it that way. And it may or may not have sucked.

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“you are loved” button that I got from a shop at the holiday convention. Because you are loved.

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I added more rhinestone gems in different sizes around the knob on the lid and wrote “From your hands to His” on the chalkboard gift tag with the white poster paint pen. I glued the wood tag that says, “especially for you” to the chalkboard tag so that it didn’t cover anything when it dangled. I tied them around the knob and added a little hot glue to the ties to make sure they stayed put.

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Lastly, I put a sticker at the center of the bottom of the jar. I thought this was a nice friendly message to see at when you’re dropping slips of paper in. I also needed to cover up the price sticker from the very bottom that wouldn’t peel all the way off.

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Snow Globes

Hello all!

Two more days til Christmas!! But whose counting…

I saw a story a little while ago and thought it was so perfect for this time of year. It is such a cool reminder to me to bless other people during this season. The article was about a woman whose wallet got stolen while she was grocery shopping. She saw the man she thought had taken it and went up to him:

‘”As I saw him, a scripture came to me from Luke, which basically says ‘If someone should take your cloak, you should give them your shirt as well,” she told The Huffington Post.

The passage inspired her next actions, as she approached the man and calmly said, “I think you have something of mine. I’m gonna give you a choice. You can either give me my wallet and I’ll forgive you right now, and I’ll even take you to the front and pay for your groceries,” or she would call the police, according to Yahoo! Shine.

“He reached in his pocket and gave it back to me,” she told HuffPost, adding that “he started crying as we walked to the front. He kept apologizing and saying that he was embarrassed.”

Eaves, a mother of four and leader of the Christian outreach team at the First Christian Church in Guthrie, responded that she makes mistakes every day and has just as much to be embarrassed about, as she believes that in the eyes of Jesus, no one sin is greater than another.

…”I never carry cash. When I got to the check-out counter that day his (robber’s) total was just a little over $27 and I had $28 in cash in my wallet. And so I knew in that moment it wasn’t me. It was Christ that played in that moment,” she told Christian Post.’

-Article from Huffington Post

It’s so cool to see how far kindness and overlooking offenses can go. I don’t know about you but I sure wish I would respond this way in all situations. Last time Tom stole a bite off my plate, I assure you my response was not to give him another 😉

Snow Globes

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It’s not too late to make some fun holiday decorations before your whole family comes over! Fortunately, these are super easy and the possibilities are limitless.

What you need:

  • Mason jars
  • Hot glue
  • Figurines and/or small toy trees (nothing metal or rustable, or peelable)
  • Fake snow (do not use regular glitter)
  • Distilled water (found in grocery stores)
  • Small bottle of glycerin (found at craft stores)
  • Decorative items: such as gift tags, keys, beads, bells, washi tape, ribbon, wire, safety pins, paper clips, paint etc.

Instructables:

The nice thing about these is that there is no wrong way to decorate them. There are a few steps you have to follow below for the functionality of the snow globes, but other than that, let your imagination soar (dumb phrase).

Step 1: Stick your figures/items in the jar to make sure they fit.

Step 2: Hot glue you figures to the bottom of the jar, or to the underside of the jar lid. If you are gluing to the underside of the lid, use a pair of scissors to scrap the “rubbery” surface off the lid in the place you will glue. That way the glue will have a solid grip.

Step 3: Add distilled water to the jar, leaving about an inch from the top. If you are gluing to the lid, make sure you leave room for the water to be displaced from the items once you attach the lid.

Step 4: Drop a few drops of the glycerin into the jar. I used about 4-5 drops for the small mason jars, and doubled that for the large mason jars. This makes it so that your snow will lightly fall, instead of all just sinking right away.

Step 5: Fill the rest of the jar with snow. Pour a little water over the top of the snow to make sure your jar is all the way full. Put on the lid really tightly. And shake up!

Step 6: Decorate!! I’ve added a bunch of pictures and brief descriptions below of the snow globes I made. Feel free to use any of those ideas or go in your own direction!

My Snow Globe #1: Little mailman and small tree glued to the bottom of the jar. I strung different sized silver bells around the lid and hot glued the ends on. I tied a chalkboard gift tag to the lid and wrote “To: You From: Santa”- using a white poster pen I drew a snowflake on the top of the lid.

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My Snow Globe 2: I glued 3 different colored and sized trees to the bottom of this large mason jar. I cut out a circle chunk of sparkly silver ribbon and lightly hot glued it on to the top of the jar lid. I then tied a large bow around the rim of the lid with sparkly green and white striped ribbon. Are you sensing a theme? A glitter or sparkly theme? Glitter is my favorite color………!

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My Snow Globe #3: This one was the most complex, but the fun thing about this one is that it’s not specific to any holiday, you could make some like these to just leave out all year.

For this one I strung on wire a bunch of random objects, including a key, button, bead, pearl, bell, flower gem and a paper clip. I scraped off the rubber surface on the underside of the lid and hot glued the ends of the wire to it. If you are using some of the items I used (paper clip, wire, bell, safety pin), be sure to cover the items with a sealant so that they don’t rust or peel in the water. I had that problem and had to switch out the water and snow. I’m going to go ahead and just recommend using twine instead of wire either way. I wrapped a few pieces of washi tape around the outside of the jar, and added strips of it to the lid as well. I wrapped a piece of twine around the rim of the lid and glued a few silver bells on. I also glued on a piece of wire around the lid and tied it in a little bow behind the bells.

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Reindeer Frame

Hi everyone!

Whew, can you believe all the sad things that have been happening recently?? I still am so shocked about the shooting at Arapahoe High School. I hope everyone is still praying for Claire Davis and her family!

This seemed like an opportune time to say thank you to all the officers and law enforcement teams that our nation is blessed with! Have you ever thought about how lucky we are that when we are in an emergency, that we can pick up the phone and call for help, and a total stranger will show up to help us, no matter what the circumstances or how dangerous?? They would actually risk their lives for yours, and they don’t even know you. It gives me goosebumps thinking about what a blessing that is. I will spare you the soap box speech I gave to my friend the other day at 6 am (I’m sure he was thrilled) but it always surprises me that people “don’t like cops,” especially for things like giving out speeding tickets. How rude for the law enforcers to give you a ticket for breaking the law. Don’t get me wrong, I hate getting tickets like anybody else, but if I’m speeding then I hardly think it’s rational to blame a cop for my speeding ticket. That’s obviously just a simple example, but I’m so thankful that we have laws and that we have people to enforce them. I am very thrilled to know that while I might like speeding sometimes, I don’t have to worry about everyone flying down the highway at 150mph, or someone breaking into my house with no option for help. How lucky that when there is, say, a school shooting, that there are 1000’s of men and women who respond immediately and rush into the school to protect the kiddos.

Some of us go to work and do paperwork from behind a desk, and that’s fantastic because every job is important for different reasons. But some people go into work and risk their life, and they don’t even come close to receiving the appreciation, respect and gratitude that they deserve. Next time you have the opportunity, I definitely encourage you to say thank you to them. We are so very fortunate to have them!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to all the men and women in law enforcement out there, you’re a blessing!!

Reindeer Frame

My mom loves reindeer so I was trying to think of a way to get her something for the house that was reindeer-esque but something she hadn’t seen before. And this idea popped into my head. Don’t worry, I already gave it to her so this isn’t spoiling anything. 🙂 After all, she has to be able to put it up for Christmas!!

What you need:

  • Frame
  • 2 Branches
  • Floral wire
  • Bow
  • Dangling doorknob bells (or bells that you attach ribbon to)
  • Glue gun
  • Duct tape
  • Photo(s)

Instructables:

Step 1: Insert the pictures that you are going to use. I chose to use reindeer pictures, but you could use winter pictures or Christmas pictures. You will still be able to swap them in and out, but it’s easiest if you put the ones you want right now in. By the way, you don’t have to get a 4 slot photo frame, any one will work. I got that one at Walmart for less than $10.

Step 2: Glue the center of the bow on the center of the frame at the bottom.

Step 3: Using floral wire hang the dangling doorknob bells from two latches on the back. Make sure the latches are pointed upward so the wire has no chance of sliding off. I set mine so that half of the loop was behind the frame and half was showing, with all the bells dangling down. I got my doorknob bells at the Dollar Tree. Guess how much they were? 😉

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Step 4: Using floral wire again, layer it up several times so it’s nice and thick, and create a little loop on the hook where you would hang the frame. Depending on the type of hook your frame comes with, or if you want to attach a different one, you can decide what to do; but the purpose of the floral wire loop is so your frame will stay hanging on the wall hook while it is a little further from the wall, since the branches will be glued on the back pushing it outward a little bit. Tip: keep the part you twist on the bottom on the loop so that when the top is hanging on the wall, it’s not as noticeable.

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Step 5: Line up the two branches, one on each side of the back. Add a huge glob of glue from the glue gun and hold branch in place til it dries. Try to find branches that don’t bench “backward” into the wall. Also, you can cut the bottom of the branches before you glue them so they line up with the bottom of the “frame beam,” but I just left mine long because I can still get the pictures in and out.

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Step 6: After they are dry, cut a thin piece of duct tape and tightly tape it horizontally across the branch on the “frame beam” for extra support. Be sure you don’t tape below the frame beam because you still want to be able to swap the pictures in and out if you choose.

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Merry Christmas!!

Spinach Artichoke Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Morning!

How’s everyone?? I could hardly wait to show you a couple photos from one of the best parts of our trip to Chicago (especially since wedding photos of our dear friends aren’t up yet)! On our last night out there we went to dinner at the most amazing restaurant: The Signature Room at the John Hancock Observatory….on the 95th floor!! It was so spectacular I never wanted to leave! We sat right by the window and just stared outside all  dinner long…long enough that I started to think I was accidentally going to fall out somehow. As you might’ve guessed, I didn’t. I imagine customers falling out the windows would be bad for business.

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On a side note, we had a third Thanksgiving dinner last night. I don’t know why, but I’m definitely not complaining 😀

Spinach Artichoke Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Spinach
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Turkey slices
  • 4 artichoke hearts (I bought the jar with olive oil and seasonings in it)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Instructables:

Step 1: On medium, add the artichoke hearts to a small pot/pan, with some of the juice to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and stir. Once they start to get browned, add the spinach to the pot/pan, cover for 1-2 min and remove from heat. Set pan aside.

Step 2: Add the spinach and artichoke hearts (scoop out the hearts, don’t add juice) to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add the cream cheese and mozzarella cheese to the bowl. Use two knives to cut ingredients into small remnants.

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Step 3: Add turkey slices to one slice of the bread and spread the mixture over the turkey. Add the top piece of bread. Get the pan you just used for the artichokes and spinach, and make sure you pour out any remaining liquid. Add a little non-stick spray, or butter, and on medium-medium low heat, place your sandwich in the pan.

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Step 4: Leave for a few minutes on each side. Use a spatula to check underneath, you want it to be a golden brown.

Step 4: Plate sandwich and consume.

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Ornament Frame

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I’m especially thankful for the fact that I got to have two Thanksgiving dinners this year!! 😉 My family is so sweet and moved our normal Thanksgiving dinner up a week so the few of us who were going to be out of town could all still get together with everyone…after all, it’s not the same if all 20 of us aren’t there!! On Thanksgiving day we got to go over to some of our extended family’s home in Chicago for a fantastic dinner there as well! It was great getting to see everyone and celebrate all the blessings we’ve been given! I want to remember to be thankful the other 364 days of the year too!!

I wanted to share this video that a friend emailed me this week. It was one of those videos that makes you smile without you even realizing it. The video is 20 Things We Should Say More Often. It’s so simple, but what a great message! How cool would it be to see what would happen if we said those things more often??

YOU’RE AWESOME!!! AND I WANT TO SHARE A CORNDOG WITH YOU!!! (if you don’t get it, it’s because you didn’t watch the video- watch it!!)

Ornament Frame

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I love the idea of making sure not to skip Thanksgiving by rushing to Christmas. BUT, now it is time for getting ready for Christmas! I saw some cute gold and glittered ornaments at the Dollar Tree and thought that I HAD to come up with something to do with them since I already made an ornament wreath last year. I loved the way this came out, and the best part is, the whole project only cost me $6.

What You Need:

  • 8 x 10 photo frame- You can get this at the dollar store because the actual frame doesn’t have to be thick. Some of the ornaments will be glued around the outer edge of the glass
  • Glue Gun
  • 3 different sized sets of ornaments- I bought packs of 15, 12 and 5 from the Dollar Tree:
    • 2 packs of 15 ornaments of the smallest size; about 1″ wide
    • 1 packs of 12 ornaments of the medium size; about 1.5″ wide
    • 2 packs of 5 ornaments of the largest size; about 2″ wide
  • Book pages or a photo (optional)

Instructables:

Step 1: Start gluing the biggest sized ornaments on first. Space them out randomly around the frame. Keep these all on the actual frame part, as opposed to gluing any to the glass at this point.

A couple things to note:

1. Be sure not to glue ornaments on the bottom edge that hang out of the frame too far if you are going to be standing it up to display.

2. I know it can be tedious, but do take the time to pull off all the glue strings as you go along. It is one of those projects that requires you to go back and forth with the hot glue a lot, so there are tons of little glue tails that get created and will detract from your project if you don’t remove them. And definitely don’t wait til the end to do this. You won’t be able to get in between all the ornaments at the end.

Step 2: Next go through gluing the medium sized ornaments. Some of these can be on the outer area of the glass. They can also be on the rim of the frame so that some of the ornament hangs over the glass.

Step 3: Add the small ornaments. Fill in all the gaps. Glue the ornaments to one another if there isn’t room for them to touch the actual frame or glass.

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Step 4: If you’re adding a photo to your frame, follow this step and then you’re done. If you’re not using a photo, skip this step and move on to step 5. It is likely that the open area in the center of your frame will now be about 5″ x 6″. Use a 5″ x 7″ photo and attach it to a colored (or white) piece of paper that will match your ornaments. Add the paper and photo to the back of the frame and you’re done!

Step 5: If you’re adding a verse or a phrase to the center, measure the open area in the center of your frame. It is likely that the open area in the center of your frame will now be about 5″ x 6″. Measure yours. Create a text box on your computer in Word and set the size of the box to what you measured. Be sure to set the box to transparent and set “no lines.” Print it out on a test page and hold it behind the glass. Make sure it lines up with your open area. If not make adjustments accordingly. And test print again.

To use my template for approximately a 5″ x 6″ open area, download it here: Holy Night.

Step 6: Once you get it aligned correctly, print on your desired paper and add to the back of the frame and you’re done! If you want to print it on book pages, cut a dictionary page to the right size, or, using double sided tape, add book pages to a regular piece of printer pager and feed through printer. Add to back of frame and you’re donzo!!

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Hot White Chocolate with Caramel

Well, winter has finally arrived. Despite taking it’s time, I’m glad to finally have some snow in this beautiful state!! Now that it’s not t-shirt weather, I can start thinking a little more about skiing! I have to admit, I hate the part that comes next…going to the attic to get my ski boots and skis. Now the problem is not going to the attic. The problem is what might have taken up residence in my ski boots over the spring and summer. I didn’t used to be this paranoid. Until..

A few years ago I went up to the mountains with a friend and it was the first ski day of the season! Got up to Mary Jane, got all our gear out of the car and started getting ready. Which is normally not the best time anyway, but then it came to putting on my boots. Got one on, no problems. But what do I see on my second boot right before I slide my foot in???

A SPIDER!!!!!!!!!

So I throw my boot and run to the other side of the car! “Oh my gosh kill it!” I reasonably commanded my friend to do. And I’m sure he would have, if in throwing my boot I didn’t lose the spider. So now we have one boot on, one boot in quarantine, and a lost spider. “That’s it, I’m not skiing today.”

“It’s just a spider,” he says. Yeah. Just. A. Spider. Not sure why he isn’t seeing the problem. “I’m not putting my foot in the spider boot. I choose death instead.”

After much persuading and an incredible lack of options, I put on my boot. Although I thought about it on every chair lift, and every second of down time, to my unlikely and incredible surprise, I did not get bit and die.

Hot White Chocolate With Caramel

Perfect day for some hot chocolate! Ever tried it with white chocolate and caramel?? I promise, you’ll want to! This recipe has been adapted from Passion For Savings.

What You Need:

  • 3 oz. of premium baking white chocolate (you can use more if you want yours extra rich and sweet)
  • 2 cups of non-fat milk (if you use 2% you will need to scoop off the thin layer of yellow at the end from the fat)
  • 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp of caramel
  • marshmallows on top (optional)

Instructables:

Step 1: Combine milk and chocolate in a sauce pan on medium low heat. Stirring frequently. This will take about 20-25 minutes.

Step 2: Once warm, pour it into a glass and add caramel to each serving. Stir.

Step 3: Top with marshmallows if desired. Sit by fire and sip! Yummmm!! This makes enough for two people, but as you can tell by my 1 tall glass, I didn’t share 🙂

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Melted Crayon in Glue Gun Art

Hi everyone!
So this week one of my best friends got married!! My sweet friend Elyse got married at the History Colorado Center in Denver. I am so happy for her and her new husband! It was a fantastic time and such a wonderful event!! Very thankful for getting to be a part of her big day and celebrating that beautiful girl! (photo credit: Vert Photography)
vertphoto.com
Speaking of weddings, remember that plantable wedding invite I got a while back? Well I planted it a few days before their wedding and have been so excited to see what blooms. And I can finally show you. However, it wasn’t quite as big and bold as I was hoping…I had quite unrealistic expectations I guess, because I was hoping for some really awesome rare flower I had never seen before. It was really neat all the same to have anything grow at all though! This is what I got:

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Melted Crayon in Glue Gun Art

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This is a cheap project, and it’s fun to do! I thought it was so perfect to put pictures from the 5K Color Run that I did last year in it, but you could do this for a kids room, a dorm room, a party or event, or anything else creative you come up with!

What you need:

  • Canvas
  • Crayons
  • Glue gun (I used a mini that was going to be my “crayon glue gun” because this project might shorten its lifespan)
  • Newspaper
  • Paper cut outs where pictures will go
  • Screwdriver
  • Knife

Instructions:

Step 1: Organize your paper cuts outs on your canvas where you want your pictures to go so crayon doesn’t cover that area. Use double sided tape or fold the tape and stick it to the back of the paper.

Step 2: Next we have to make the glue gun crayon friendly. If your are using a large glue gun the crayons might fit, but if you are using a mini, you will have to follow this step. The “feeder” at the very back of the glue gun, where you first put in the glue stick, needs to come out. Unscrew the two sides of the glue gun, and you should be able to simply remove that mechanism. You will know you did it right if the “trigger” doesn’t work, because the trigger and the feeder work together. You will be using your thumb to feed the crayons later on, not the trigger.

Step 3: Line up all the crayons across the canvas side by side to see how many you’ll need, and then unwrap all the paper off of them.

Step 4: Lay down the newspaper. Once the glue gun is hot, feed your first crayon in the gun, and use your thumb to gently push it through. Hold your canvas upright, or at a slant while you drip the crayon on it. Be careful to try to avoid the spots where pictures will go. Even though we covered them, try as much as possible to avoid dripping on those spots, because it can be challenging to break the crayon drippings and get the paper cut outs off if there is too much.

Step 5: Layer, it’s more fun that way. When you are done, tip the glue gun backwards onto some newspaper to get the leftover color to pour out the back. I may or may not have accidentally done this step over my quilt and got some disgusting green crayon all over my comforter…

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Step 6: GENTLY pull up the paper cut outs. If you can’t break the drippings easily, touch the area surrounding the paper cuts with the tip of the hot glue gun to melt them and pull off the paper. It’s okay if some of it gets where your pictures will go. If you break any areas you didn’t mean to break in the process, reseal them with the hot tip of the glue gun as well.

Step 7: Using a knife, scrap off the thick drippings that got in the area where your pictures will go.

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Step 8: Glue on the pictures with hot glue. Just put dabs of glue in the four corners of the picture slot and stick on the picture.

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Step 9: Use the hot tip of the glue gun to gently touch and blend the crayon around the edges of the pictures.

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Honey Fried Bananas

Good Morning!

Did you guys carve pumpkins this month? This year I did Voldemort. And when my mom asked what I was carving, and I answered “Voldemort,” she goes, “Oh Baltimore!” Now there are lots of things I wanted to say in response to that, but the only thing that came out of my mouth is “why on earth would I carve Baltimore into a pumpkin?” So I went on to say “Voldemort!” to which she responded, “ohhhh, Voldemore.” I give up.

Step 1: Draw on design (yes, I was watching Coraline in the background)

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Step 2: Carve and light!

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Fried Honey Bananas

This is a quick and sweet dessert or snack! Admittedly, it’s not the most visually stimulating meal, but it tastes delicious! I also wanted to note that the next time around I would definitely leave them in the pan for longer.

What You Need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • A few dashes of cinnamon

Instructables:

Step 1: Heat the pan to medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Depending on the size pan you use, you may need more or less. You only want a light layer.

Step 2: Once the pan is hot, lay the slices in the pan. Cook each side for a few minutes. Check them every minute after 3 minutes. You want them to be a little more toasted and brown then mine are.

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Step 3: While those are cooking, mix the honey and water in a small bowl.

Step 4: Once the bananas are done, remove from heat and pour the honey and water mixture over it. Plate and sprinkle with cinnamon.

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