Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Man of Many Hats

He loves trying on hats and shoes.  

He's definitely an "accessorizer".  

Thankfully he doesn't like purses... 

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Slushie

I found a great recipe over at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman for making homemade slushies.  You can use pretty much any kind of juice or Kool-aid.  You don't need an ice cream maker, just a couple of baggies and some rock salt.

I used my very favorite juice -- pineapple, orange, banana!

Go check out the recipe here...

This was so simple to make and so refreshing -- perfect for hot summer days! 


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Blessed with Grace


Monday, June 28, 2010

Chalkboard Bucket


Here's a gift idea that would be super cute to make for a teacher.  I found these cute little metal buckets in the dollar spot at Target.  

They are the perfect size to use as a gift "bucket" instead of a basket.  And they can be spray painted any color and decorated to fit the occasion.  I like to add a ribbon and I have also added vinyl letters to personalize a gift. 

For this bucket, I taped off the rim and the handle and turned it upside down to prime and paint.  I used about two coats of primer and one coat of chalkboard spray paint.

Decorate and fill the bucket and you have a super cute personalized gift!


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The Girl Creative

My Backyard Eden


SYS Thurs

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Homemade Refried Beans

  There is no comparison between homemade refried beans and the kind in a can.  You can take this pinto bean recipe and make into tasty refried beans.  Simply cook the beans until soft and mash until smooth.  They can easily be frozen and thawed as needed.  I love to use them as a side for tacos or as a layer on taco dip.

Try them on these great recipes too...

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pinto Beans

Since moving to the south six years ago, I have had the fabulous privilege of eating pinto beans cooked up in a  big 'ole pot (the only way to make them in the south) on numerous occasions.  

For the most part, this has been a wonderful experience.  Some people just have a knack for tasting and seasoning the beans as they cook.  
I have found that if  pinto beans are not seasoned well, they can turn out very bland and yucky.  Unfortunately, I have tasted a few big 'ole pots like that before too.  

The key to taking  a plain bag of dried beans to a fabulous meal (in my humble opinion) is the garlic!  Minced, chopped, fresh or refrigerated -- it doesn't matter, but please, please add some garlic to your beans!  It makes such a difference!   

Well after tweaking a few different recipes, I came up with my own variation.  Hope you enjoy!

Perfect Pinto Beans


1 lb. dry pinto beans
4 cups water
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/4 finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 dashes hot sauce


Rinse pinto beans and place in large pot.  Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 2-3 hours until soft, adding water as needed -- approximately 2 1/2 - 3 more cups.  Enjoy!

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and corn bread on the side.


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Tasty Tuesday at

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Blessed with Grace


Monday, June 21, 2010

Ceramic Tile Pendant

Here's a fun craft idea from The DIY Dish!  This is a simple and very inexpensive project that would be a fun summer project to make with a group of family or friends.

Take This...

and This...

add some scrapbook paper, acrylic sealer and a glue-on bail to make this fun pendant...

It's pretty much the same technique used to make these tile coaster...

Here are a few tips for making these pendants...

1.  Use heavier card stock scrapbook paper to avoid bubbles when Mod Podging
2.  Avoid buying tiles with sharp, unfinished edges
3.  Use a glossy sealer to give the pendant a nice shine
4.  Mod Podge paper to the back of each tile to cover the rough surface and avoid snags on your clothing
5.  Add rub-ons or stickers to personalize your pendant

You can sand the edges to a vintage look...

Or leave them squared...


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My Backyard Eden


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jewelry Pedestal

One last Dollar Store craft...

{at least for this week}

I made this jewelry pedestal exactly the same way I made my mail pedestal here.  Instead of using a plate, I found a shallow bowl that was on clearance for $.25.  I painted the bottom of the bowl and the candle stick a glossy red.  I painted the inside of the bowl a flat white and then used a satin sealer to protect it from chipping.  I cut the vinyl on my Cricut.

I love to make things that are not only pretty, but also serve a useful purpose.  This pedestal can be used in the bedroom, bathroom or kitchen to store and protect jewelry.  For me, this works great on my kitchen counter!  When I am at home, I usually do not wear my wedding ring or any bracelets.  I am always cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or changing diapers and do not want chemicals or other yucky things to land on my jewelry. 

I put my ring on when I am headed out the door, but as soon as I come home I take it off and wash my hands at the kitchen sink.  My ring usually gets set on the counter next to the sink and stays there until I leave the house again.  It's obviously not the safest place to keep it considering it could fall into the sink and be sucked up by the food disposer!  So know my little pedestal sits on the kitchen counter and safely stores my wedding ring and other jewelry!

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