Friday, August 29, 2014

Nails Day!

It was nails day!  I went patriotic in honor of the upcoming Patriot Day on September 11th. 


Have a great weekend!









Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy Mail!

I've been "off work" the past couple of days, so it's like Friday.  Today, we are hopefully headed to play tourist in the city.  August is my mom and mother in law's birthdays.  Here are the cards that were in their boxes:



I used some fun things and went a little wild with this one.  This is done with an old MFT Die-Namics First Class Friend and a stamp set that I believe is retired, but I still love it!  I threw in a Paper Smooches Happy Birthday for good measure.  I colored the stamps with Big Brush Pitt Pens.  I really like how they bled together a bit on the edges.  I used some Prima crystal chevrons.  My sketch is based on this week's MFT sketch (#191).
Have a great day!








Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Old School Christmas

Today it's my turn to host the WTUI Challenge.  I'm challenging you to use a chalkboard.  I keep seeing all these little chalkboards all over the place.  I was going to do THIS little number, but I took a mini step to get me there.


I used this FUN digital collection by Echo Park - Tis the Season with just a few little digital stitches and staples from ChrissyW.  It is mounted on black card stock that I inked the edges with Moonlight ink.  I found this old Authentique set of stickers for the "I believe in santa" sentiment in the bottom right corner.  Everything else on the page is digital.
I even decorated the inside!


That's a stamp from Hero Arts' set Chalkboard Greetings stamped in the same Moonlight ink.  I inked the edges and added a couple stickers from Studio Calicos' Chalkboard Access line.
I will use my White Big Brush Pitt Pen by Design Memory Craft to sign it.  One Christmas card done!








Monday, August 25, 2014

Turkey Burgers - Take 1

This weekend I decided to get adventurous and try to make my own turkey burgers.  How hard can it be?  Throw stuff in a bowl, smash, and grill, right?  Well... It was not as successful as I had hoped.  First of all, let me say the flavors were awesome; it was the execution of the actual burger that was the fail.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado smashed into a paste
  • 1 tsp green onions chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced (I use a garlic press)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh mint chopped
  • 1 Tbl Argyle Street Asian Blend seasoning (reserve enough to sprinkle the top of each burger)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Mix all the ingredients and form into patties.  Here is what it looked like:



Sounds and "looks" yummy, right?  The photo is purposely fuzzy because I think raw meat doesn't look very appetizing.
I'll say it again, it did have amazing flavor, but let me tell you how this went off the rails...
First of all, I put all of my ingredients in the bowl before I tried to mash my avocado.  My avocado was not ripe enough to smash, so it stayed all chunky.  So I tried to put everything in the food processor to make it mash.  Turns out, ground turkey and a food processor are incompatible.
I was able to take some of the chunks out of the mix and put it in the food processor to get it mixed in.  There still were chunks of avocado, which wasn't necessarily bad, but that wasn't going to help hold the mixture together.  I'm allergic to eggs, and that is usually the binder for turkey burgers, so I was improvising here (not well, though!).
Next, I completely forgot I had a burger press that would have greatly helped get these bad boys firmly packed.  I HIGHLY recommend using a burger press for these!
And finally, the mega fail: I threw this loosely-packed "thing" on the grill, just like it was a "normal" burger.  WRONG! FAIL! STUPID!  It made the biggest mess on the grill as it shed its parts.  Luckily, I had made two burgers, so what was left of both of them was enough for my lunch.  Here is what the grill looked like afterwards:



I will definitely make this recipe again, because, as I said, the flavor was awesome, but here is what I will change:

  • I will put all of my other ingredients in the food processor before adding it to the turkey.
  • I will USE the burger press.  We've only had it for two years now, and it's still in the packaging.
  • I will either cook it inside on the stove or put a pan on the grill to cook them.
  • I think I may add some shredded cheese to the mix, also, so it will hold it together even better.  I put provolone cheese (and pickles, of course) on top of my burger before I ate it, and it tasted really good.
  • I didn't put quite enough Argyle Street in mine, as I was expecting to put some extra on top while it was cooking.  Yeah, that SO didn't help, because that's all the parts I lost.  The ingredients above is what I plan on doing for the next batch, just keeping out a very little to sprinkle on top before putting it in the pan.
In any event, I had a good lunch and a learning exercise in what not to do with turkey burgers.









Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday!

Well, it's FINALLY Friday!  I swear this week did NOT want to end!  In any event, I don't have a completed project for you today, but I thought I'd share a wrap I'm working on.


I'm using the Living Room Afghan pattern, only shorter because I want a wrap not a blanket.  In any event, have a great weekend!!!








Thursday, August 21, 2014

Electric Lemonade

It's a rainy Thursday here in Chicagoland, and I'm super excited because I get to take the train downtown, which will probably be delayed at least 30 minutes due to the rain.  SUWEET!!!!  As a result, I'm thinking of happier times and thought I'd share the Electric Lemonade recipe I made this past weekend.
Ingredients:


Mix up the lemonade, and stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Yup, it's that simple!  It's SO yummy and doesn't give a hang over.  This is definitely on the do again list!
Since once again, I didn't take a picture, how about a crazy puppy pic instead?


If you follow Two Crazy Furry Friends on Facebook, you will see more of these funny ones.  They are always up to something funny!


Latte is SO sharing my sentiment here - why isn't it Friday yet?!?!?!?!









Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spice Jar Cozy Tutorial

Ok, so here goes, my first crochet tutorial.  I am awful at following a recipe or a pattern.  I always want to do my own thing, so the pattern I used for my Spice Jar Cozies was loosely based on THIS pattern.  Without further ado, here I go...
As I showed you earlier, I made a few of these this past weekend:


I had one jar that I used too much, and it needed refilling, so I had forgotten to make it a cozy:


This is one of my favorites, and so far, I haven't anything it doesn't taste good on, seriously - Lake Shore Drive Seasoning.
WARNING: This is my first tutorial and it's 4AM when I'm typing this, so you may want to read through the whole thing before beginning your cozy.
For this pattern, I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn in Lava Lamp with an H hook.
To begin, make a Magic Ring, Chain (CH) 1, and do 10 Half-Double Crochets (HDC) inside the ring. (If you don't know how to do a Magic Ring, check out this tutorial from Craftsy - Demystifying the Magic Ring in Crochet.)


Pull the ring tight, and join with a Slip Stitch (SL ST) in the top of the first HDC.
CH 1, and do 1 HDC in the each of the next 2 stitches, then 2 HDC in the next stitch all the way around, ending with 1 HDC in the last stitch for a total of 13 HDC.  Join with a SL ST in the top of the first HDC.
I like to hide my tail under this round, like so:


My tail is the bright green piece, and I just stitch right over it, so I don't have to weave it in later.
For round 3, you will do 1 Single Crochet (SC) in each of the first two stitches, then 2 SC in the next stitch all the way around ending with 1 SC in the last stitch for a total of 17 stitches.  I do not CH at the beginning of my SC rounds, but I know some do.  The SC stitches in this pattern are meant to "tighten" things up, and the CH stitch will add "give" in it, so I skip it.  Join with a SL ST in the first SC.
For this next round, you are going to turn to go up the sides of the jar, so if your bottom is bigger, you will want to repeat round 2 or 3 to add more HDC or SC rounds to get to the circumference of the jar.
For the next round (4), you are going to HDC in the front or back loops only all the way around for a total of 17 stitches.  It doesn't really matter which you pick, as they both really do the same thing. I find the front loop to be easier, so that's what I did.  Here is what that looks like:


When I was first learning, I found this video from Lion Brand Yarn very helpful to show me just how easy it was:


Once you have your 17 FLHDC all the way around, SL ST in the first HDC to join.
For the next 3 rounds (5-8), you are going to CH1, then HDC all the way around and join with a SL ST.  If your jar is taller, you'll want to do more rounds until your jar is about 1/3 of the way covered:


The next two rounds (9-10) will be SC all the way around, joining with a SL ST in the first SC for each round.  Again, I did not CH at the beginning of these rows, which meant I really needed to count my stitches (since it was 4AM).
The next two rounds (11-12) return to the CH 1, then HDC around, again joining with a SL ST in the first HDC.  I find that when doing rounds, I sometimes add extra stitches.  Here is where I stop to avoid that:


That last stitch is just a little hard to push through, and that's my signal that it's time to join.  After round 12 (or whatever number you are on), you will want to again "size" the project:


When you are about 1/4 of the way from the top, you want to begin the final 3 rounds.  These rounds are SC all the way around, but do not join with a SL ST, just keep going around.  That's a total of 54 SC around (unless you added rounds at the bottom for a bigger jar).  You can use a stitch marker, but I find it quicker to just count the stitches.  I find this makes it a little tighter to stay put on the jar, even being jostled around in my lunch bag.  Join with a SL ST at the end, and I like to do a CH to make the final knot, then weave the end in.
And here my Lake Shore Driving Seasoning all happy and snug in its new cozy:


Here is a summary of the rounds:
1: Magic Ring, CH 1, 10 HDC, join with SL ST; 10 HDC
2: CH 1, 1 HDC in next 2 stitches, 2 HDC in 3rd stitch around, join with SL ST; 13 HDC
3: 1 SC in next 2 stitches, 2 SC in 3rd stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 SC
4: CH 1, 1 FLHDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
5-8: CH 1, 1 HDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
9-10: 1 SC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 SC
11-12: CH 1, 1 HDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
13-15: 1 SC in each stitch all the way around, but do NOT join; 54 SC
Join with SL ST at the end, CH 1, then tie off and weave in ends.
Hopefully, you have fun making your own jar cozies.  If you don't understand something, please leave a comment, and I'll be sure to clean it up right away!  Have a great day!








Monday, August 18, 2014

Purpose-Driven Projects

This past weekend, I had to make projects to meet two completely different, but very specific needs.
As you probably have guessed, I am crazy addicted to The Spice House spices, especially the Florida Seasoned PepperCalifornia Seasoned Pepper, and Gateway to the North.  I carry them with me in my Lunch Break Thermal (my favorite lunchbox of all time!).  The little glass jars bang together, and I worry they will break, so enter the spice jar cozies:


Now they are all safe and sound, no chance of breakage!  And I think they look pretty cute if I do say so myself!
And here's another thing for the office... We had some visitors coming to the facility who we work with all the time, but rarely at my desk location.  Of course, we had to welcome them in style!


One is a total Starbucks addict, and the other is always carrying this notebook.  Can you tell who is who??? :)  I busted out my new Notebook Paper BG by MFT, and my favorite Bo Bunny set.  Just a little fun at the office...









Sunday, August 17, 2014

Smack Your Head Sunday

Seriously, where have I been all my life that I didn't know this?!  This is SO simple and works like a charm!!!  The easiest way I've seen to remove corn silk:


I did this yesterday, and I can confirm it's just that simple.  The only "trick" to this is to make sure you cut far enough down to expose the kernels.  I didn't before I cooked it, but it was easy to fix afterwards by just cutting a bit more off the end.
I need to go check out this website and see what else I'm missing!








Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nails Day

It was nails day, and I did something completely different than I have in the past - I used gel polish instead of powder.  We'll see how much I trash them this week.  Supposedly this stuff is tough, but is it tough enough for me???  We'll see...  In any event, here is the design:


Something fun a different.  Have a great weekend!








Friday, August 15, 2014

Happy Friday!

Oh yes, it's finally Friday!!!!  Unfortunately, I will be working again this weekend, but it SHOULD be the last for a while.  Today, I just wanted to share a cool pic that my husband got on his last flight:


How cool is that?!
Yes, I know it says photo by me, but I was too lazy to make him his own watermark.  If he keeps taking cool pics like this, I just may have to make him his own.  For now, he can live with mine. Hee hee!
Have a great weekend!








Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shiny Stuff

Today's WTUI Challenge is all about the shiny stuff!  Toni wants us to glaze it.  Since last week's WTUI challenge, I've been in a scrapbooking frame of mind, so I kept that up with this challenge.  I went WAY outside Toni's intended box and made some digitally glazed items.
Here are some photos from this past December:


Here is my "glaze"

  • The month/date are epoxied (is that a word???) to be shiny.
  • The photos are covered in an etched glass panel.
  • The ornament on the left is epoxied.
The other two ornaments are foil, so they don't really count.
On a food note (another thing I've been all about recently), I have been grubbing on this shrimp salad for dinner, and it's yummy:


 What's in it:

  • Cilantro lime shrimp from Costco (it's in the way back in the prepared meals)
  • Few leaves of chopped sweet cabbage (from our CSA)
  • 1/3 of a green pepper chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped (from our CSA because the stupid bunnies keep eating our tomatoes)
  • 1 Tbl of Olive Tapenade
  • 3-4 baby carrots sliced
  • 5 slices turkey pepperoni quartered
  • Garlic Expressions dressing
I have been scarfing this up!  It's super yummy!
I belong to Every Move, and they have these incentives you can earn for your activity.  I tried these Veggie-Go's dried fruit snacks, and they are pretty good.


I got the variety pack, and so far Sweet Potato Pie (pictured above) is my favorite.  Have a great day!








Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Strawberry Basil Limeade

I swear I cannot follow a recipe!  I saw a Strawberry Limeade recipe on Naked Wines, I think.  Of course I didn't stick to it.  I didn't hear any complaints from the neighbors who were drinking my Strawberry Basil Limeade, though!  Before my house gets egged, and that is severe for me, who is deathly allergic to eggs, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 3/4 limeade can water
  • 8-10oz frozen strawberries
  • 10 fresh basil leaves (Straight from the garden to the blender!)
  • 1L Diet 7-up
  • 750mL Oktoberfest wine from Village Vintner (Moscato or a sweet Riesling will work also)
  • {optional} 2-3 shots KettleOne Citron Vodka
Fill 1/2 of the blender with frozen strawberries.  Add the limeade (still frozen), water, and basil.  I use a Vitamix and just put it on the puree setting and let it go.  You want a nice smooth texture for this.  Stir in your Diet 7-up, wine, and vodka (if you dare!).  I use the #2 manual setting on the Vitamix just for about 10-15 seconds.
I don't do garnishes on my drinks, because I find they just get in the way of drinking, but you could garnish with a lime wedge or basil leaf.  Enjoy!
Since I didn't have a picture of the drink to share with you, I thought I'd share a cute puppies picture instead:



And finally, Monday's news of Robin Williams' death was very sad, but I prefer to remember him this way:


He was a friend to the troops and the king of the improv!  I hope he has finally found peace from the demons that were plaguing him!








Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Update

Finally a weekend with work, and we lived it up!  First up, we had a great pool party!


Gandy got to play with the neighbor's puppy.  Animal planet 3D was some great cheap entertainment.  Even for an old dog, Gandy can keep up with the energetic puppy, Bucca.


Latte, who tends to overheat, got a cool off in the pool courtesy of daddy.  At first, she was not having it, but then she realized just how great the cool water was, and settled right down.
After pool time was over, it was time to get to work on cooking.  First up were a TON of pickles.


The little cucumber plants are sure pumping out the veggies!  I was making pickles for over two hours!!!


There are two of these jars with vertical slices, one with plain dill and one with garlic dill pickles to be.  The garlic was from the garden, too!


I made 5 jars of these horizontal slices - two dill, two garlic dill, and one sweet.  I also made some experimental jars in some smaller mason jars - two with thai dragon chili peppers, garlic, California Seasoned Pepper Blend (the neighbors stole these, so I hope they taste ok); two with garlic and California Seasoned Pepper Blend; and one with Bavarian seasoning.  Finally, there is another jar of sweet pickles and whole baby garlic dills.  Yeah, pickles!!!
I also made Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup for my lunch this week.  I used Bavarian seasoningCalifornia Seasoned Pepper Blend, and Florida Seasoned Pepper for this also instead of all of the other spices.  I was so tired after all the pounds of pickles, so I did the soup in the crockpot instead of on the stove.


For whatever reason, I was up at 4AM today, and laid on the couch for a bit.  This is what I rolled over to see - the puppies cuddling!  So cute!
Have a great week!








Friday, August 8, 2014

Baltimore Trip

For today's Ways to Use It challenge, Sabrina has asked us to take a trip through her childhood memories by creating a project with ships.  I couldn't think of any boat images I had, so I went with real boats from my trip last year to Baltimore.


I used some FUN new things:

I love the fun patterns of that collection, and ChrissyW's templates make everything SO easy to put together.  I had absolutely picture perfect weather in Baltimore, and I walked all around Inner Harbor.  The bottom picture was the view from my hotel room balcony at sunset - it doesn't get any better than that!  Although, the Baltimore Ravens put a mega whooping on my 49ers last night, I can't take that out on the beauty of the city.
Have a great weekend!








Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nails Day

It was nails day! I went with a fall type theme in hopes of enticing the warm summer temperatures back. 


They are a much more muted yellow than last time and chocolate brown. 








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