Monday, February 28, 2011

All It Takes Is A Little Imagination


I try to go to bed at night when my husband goes to bed.  That is kinda difficult being as how he goes to sleep around 7ish.  You read that right-7ish.  He isn't even eighty, yet - actually, he is only half of that.  He does get up REALLY early for work so I give him a break.  

When I go to bed after he is already asleep, he always reaches for me (which I love).  His hand will always end up resting on my side, or my stomach, or just anywhere that is comfortable for him.  Last night, the palm of his hand ended up covering my right eye.


I did what any good wife would do.  I laid there still, so I wouldn't wake him.  I was just imagining I was a pirate, and that his hand was my eye patch.  I had a peg leg, a big parrot on my shoulder & even had people walking the plank.  Then he rolled over, took my eye patch with him and just like that my pirate days were over. 

Aye Aye Matey

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chicken Enchilada's

These chicken enchiladas are really yummy. I got the recipe from the Red Rooster Crafters Retreat 
(aka: the most awesome job ever).  
I like them because they are delicious, they only need a few ingredients, and they go a long way!  I have healthy eaters at my house so that is important!! I thought ya'll might enjoy them!  Here ya go!


Ingredients:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16oz sour cream
4 chicken breasts (boiled & chopped)
2 c grated cheese
1 can chopped green chilies
1 pkg (10) flour tortilla's (10 inch size)

 See those handy dandy scissors there?  If you do not own a pair of kitchen scissors, stop what you are doing and run to the store and get some right now!  Hurry up...I will wait on you.....




You can even get them at the Dollar General store for a couple of dollars.  They are one of my fav kitchen items.  You can cut chicken, cut the fat off the meat, cut green onions, etc.... you will thank me later!


Back to our regular scheduled programming...


Mix 1 1/2 cans of the soup, 1/2 of the sour cream, the green chilies and chicken in a bowl. 
Spoon mixture into tortillas.

 Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
 Do you hear my husband laughing at me for taking these pictures?
 Mix remainder of soup and sour cream (yep! I used the same bowl).
 Spread on top of tortillas.
 Top with cheese.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until bubbly and light brown.
I am saving these for a cute craft project later :-)


 I would say it will make you wanna slap your Mama, but nothing tastes good enough for me to do that.  My Mama is tough & she would slap me back!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hold On Through The Storm


Life is difficult.  There...I said it.  We try to walk all around difficult.  We avoid it at all costs.  We ignore it.  We run away from it.  We pretend it isn't there.


Oh...it's there all right.  It is like a big elephant in the room.  We take the long way around difficult situations, trying to avoid the discomfort - even when the shortest way would be to just go through it.  Maybe that difficulty is God's way of getting you ready for a place that is better than you can imagine.


Some of our trails are of our own making (and we have all had trials like these) and some are put there by our loving heavenly Father as an obstacle that we must overcome to strengthen some spiritual muscles.


If you are in a trial of your own making, don't let the devil make you feel defeated.  Confess your fault, reach up and grab the hand of your heavenly Father, and bear the storm.  Learn from it and move on.  You are not defined by your faults.  You can overcome mistakes. Find comfort in God's Word.  It will help to remind you how much He loves you.


If you are facing an obstacle or trial placed there by God - just keep trusting Him (knowing it is in some way for your good) and holding that hand.  Remember Romans 8:28  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose."

I am not trying to downplay anyone's trials.  I know people who are going through trials that I can't imagine facing.  BUT...I also know that THE ONE who makes the winds blow can calm the seas.  He gives grace sufficient to the trial.  They aren't going through those trials alone.


Jesus said in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."   Isn't it funny that Jesus is saying He is warning us that we are going to have tribulation, SO THAT we will have peace?  

It is alot easier to accept something when we are planning on it.  So, instead of ignoring those trials of life (or thinking you aren't gonna have any) expect them.  Jesus is telling us that in Him we can have peace in Him.  We are not alone.


When you see that storm coming your way- don't run, ignore it, or pretend it isn't there.  Buckle down grab His Holy Hand, trust His wisdom and loving kindness & hold on through the storm!  God loves you & wants what is best for you.  Nothing happens to you that hasn't been filtered through Him.  Your trial didn't catch Him by surprise.

*Something to think about
You wouldn't really KNOW the beauty of the mountain top if you lived up there and never got to see or experience the valley.  It is the contrast that makes the beauty stand out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shabby Chic Rag Quilt Tutorial


I finished all the sewing (and picture taking) on my rag quilt today and am posting this tutorial for all ya'll!  
This project can be completely put together in one day.  
It is THAT simple!  
I would love to know if you make one!!

  I used an 8 1/2 inch square rotary ruler, rotary cutter & rotary mat, 2 yards yellow toile, 2 yards blue toile, 1 yellow twin size sheet & 1 old light blue flannel twin size sheet.

I decided to use 2 colors and do a kind of checkerboard effect.  It also makes it much easier & less confusing to lay out.   You also do not have to use sheets.  I picked up that yellow (Ralph Lauren) sheet for this purpose because I wanted a really soft back on my quilt.  That blue flannel sheet is actually an old sheet.  I use flannel as my filler because I wanted something lightweight that would still be warm in my quilt.  (I even have a stash of old flannel pjs that I am going to be using for another quilt!)  If you use sheets, make sure they are smooth before you cut them.  You want your squares to be as even as possible and wrinkled fabric prevents that.

I have also made rag quilts with batting instead of flannel an they are a little puffier & cute, just not quite as quick & easy - so this is my preferred method.

On to my tutorial:
I made this quilt 6 squares wide by 9 squares long.  This way it will cover my Manly Man's toes when he uses it.





Cut 54 (8 1/2 inch) squares from your backing fabric & your flannel.

Cut 27 (8 1/2 inch) squares of each of your two fabrics for the front.




 Now that you have all of your squares cut, it is time to make the fabric sandwiches.

*off topic side note
I found that darling pin cushion at a thrift store and I LOVE it!





Whats not to love??  Those cute little sumos guarding my pins.







*totally off topic side note over
 Use ALL of the squares to make fabric sandwiches.


Put backing fabric on the bottom, flannel, on the inside, and print fabric on top.
 I actually had to go back and iron all of my squares I made from sheets (after I took this pic) because they were wrinkled and my squares didn't cut evenly.



 
 Now that you have your two stacks, you divide them into 6 rows of nine squares (1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 blue, etc.)

These will be your blanket rows.


 You have all of your squares divided into rows, so now it is time to sew them together!


  You are half way through!





Get your first stack & put them neatly backsides together.




Sew them using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  It looks a little weird with all the seams poking up, but they will be precious at the end!
 Grab the next square and sew it to the bottom in the same way.  Continue until you finish the row.
 Be careful not to sew it front sides together.  I have done this at least once on each rag quilt I have made.  If it happens just get your seam ripper out and fix it - and then just pretend it never happened!




After your first row is finished, set it aside and repeat for the remaining 5 sets of squares.
 oops!  I made another boo-boo.  Somehow my sandwich got messed up!  Where is that seam ripper...
  



Yay for you!  
Now, that you have all 6 vertical rows sewn together, it is time to sew the rows together!
 Put the rows together longways- with backs together - and sew together with a 1/2 inch seam.

The easiest way to do it, is to sew three rows together, then set them aside.  Then sew the other three rows together the same way.

Then sew the 2 sets together.  It is just easier to handle that way.

O.K. Girlies!  Now that you have all of your rows sewn together, your sewing is almost finished!

 You need to sew a 1/2 seam all around the outside edge of the entire blanket.
I double stitched (went around it twice) this one because I used decorator fabric and wanted it to be extra secure.

 Whoila!  Your quilt is all sewn together!  All that's left is to snip all of the seams!

Go down every raised seam & around the edge snipping about every 1/4 - 1/2 inch.  Go as close to the seam as you can without snipping the stitch.  
 Be careful because it is a pain to find holes after it is washed - but, if it happens you just have to restitch those places. 
I used to get REALLY close to the stitch, now I stay back a bit )as in the picture below). 
Another note about snipping - regular scissors will work, but spring loaded scissors are recommended.  That is ALOT of snipping - your hands will thank you for spring loaded scissors.

These are the Fiskars scissors I used for my first couple of rag quilts (cost about $16 at Wal-Mart)-

You can find them at Wal-mart or Hobby Lobby (use that 40% coupon!).


But after making a couple of these quilts, someone recommended these scissors (which I love).  They cost about $36 with shipping.  You can find them at Amazon.


Here is my uwashed quilt!  

After washing, the upturned edges start to fray & look adorable.  I bring them to the laundry mat because the lint it throws off is CRAZY!  Commercial washers/dryers are designed to handle more lint than home machines.  I have heard it can tear up your machine.  

I have also heard that some people just stop the wash half way through and get all the lint out then & then shake the quilt out and finish the cycle.  I am too big of a chicken - so I just bring it to the laundry mat!

   
This is the buttery soft backside of my quilt.  You can use decorative fabric on the back & make it reversible. 
I just recommend that you keep it simple for your first quilt!
I would love to see pictures if ya'll make one!  

I will be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Home, The Birdhouse

This is a picture of my house.  In real life it isn't on the pole (that is just my poor photo-shop rendition), but every bird from miles around must think it is just a big ole birdhouse.  

This is my house in real-life. 
 

 (We haven't lived here very long at all - I am working on the outdoor decor.)

They try to fly through my windows all the time.  Just this morning it has happened at least 10 times (make that 11 - it just happened again!,  now 12... now 13).  It is pitiful.  Do any of you have any ideas on how to make them stop?  

I feel sorry for them, because that's gotta hurt - not to mention make them look totally uncool when all their bird friends see them.  They probably get called a bird-brain and then are the last to get picked for dodge ball.

I kid you not - they have flown into my patio door at least 20 times since I started typing this post. 

HELP!?!?!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Upside Down Cake


This recipe used to be my husbands favorite dessert when we were dating. I like it because all of the ingredients are usually already in my pantry. Here is the recipe!

Chocolate Upside Down Cake

cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c nuts (optional)

sprinkle:
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa

Mix dry cake ingredients together- not sprinkle ingredients. Add milk, butter, vanilla, & nuts. Pour into greased 8x8 pan (my pan was equivalent to an 8x8, it was just rectangle).

Mix sprinkle ingredients and sprinkle over batter. THEN, pour 1 cup of cold water over the top (yep, just pour it on the the top) I know, I know....it sounds weird, but it makes it yummy.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

When it comes out it looks like regular old chocolate cake, but on the bottom side it is like chocolate syrup! I usually cut a piece and turn it upside down on the plate (like the first picture). This is wonderful by itself, but super wonderful with vanilla ice cream!




Enjoy!
Not too shabby, huh?

Linked at:

Blessed With Grace
It's a Blog Party Delicious Dishes
Tuesdays At The Table
Homemaker Monday
Tasty Traditions

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Show Me Thy Ways, Lord


Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Psalm 25:4

I am so thankful that on this path of life, the Lord has been with me each step. I didn't always know He was there, and (sadly) didn't always care. I trusted Jesus as my Savior as a young girl. When I look back over my life, I see places along the path of my life where the Lord gently lifted me over rough spots and sweetly placed me safely on the other side.

Lord, please help me not to stray from your path. Help me to always be mindful of the teaching you are trying to do, and to be a good student of your Word. Help me not to get frustrated when things don't go MY way & really trust that Your way is better. Please show me Your ways, o Lord, teach me thy paths - and help me to walk in them.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rag Rug


I saw this darling braided rag rug (above) on the V and Co blog awhile back & LOVED it! I imagined it sweetly nestled on the side of my bed & being the last thing my feet touched before I laid down to my sweet dreams.
So...... I HAD to make me one!



It was pretty simple thanks to her great tutorial.



I used old sheets and just tore them into strips and braided them. Then, you just sew them together. It feels pretty thin & fragile. I kept thinking it was gonna fall apart when I washed it, but I have washed it several times and it still looks as cute as can be!


I made another one using decorator fabric (that I found on sale at Hobby Lobby for $4 a yard). I braided that fabric together by row and didn't have to sew strips together. You just weave it together while you make it. That sounds kinda Martha-ish, but it was really pretty simple. You could totally do it!

That one feels thicker because of the decorator fabric & the different construction method. I will probably braid the next one I make, too.
(I didn't post a pic of that one because I don't like the colors as well)

Today, while looking for her rag rug pic, I saw this matching accessory that I must make! I love this braided rag pillow!


I love the browns, blues & pinks! I might try to make a heart one. I wonder if I can do that?? We'll see!


Not only did I see the cute braided rag pillow. I saw several other great tutorials.


Isn't this basket, cute?? It would make a great centerpiece on my table for Easter! I need to get busy with this one.
This pillow is so elegant! I can see that perched in my wooden rocker - looking cute as could be!



This pillow is adorable! I need to make one for my bed! I am gonna have so many cute pillows on my bed that we are gonna have to sleep on the floor!

This is just a very small sampling of the great tutorials she has on her site! Go check her out!

Linked to the following parties:
DIY Home Sweet Home
A Marvelous Mess
Skip To My Lou
Making The World Cuter
Dittle Dattle
Between Naps on the Porch
Sew Can Do
Todays Creative Blog
Tip Junkie

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Not Just A Housewife  
Vintage Wannabee
Coastal Charm
Savvy SouthernStyle
Blue Cricket Design
A Beach Cottage
Shabby Nest
Trendy Treehouse
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