Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today I will tempt you with some of the Pinterest recipes I've pinned recently that I canNOT wait to try! Yep, this post is strictly to taunt you because I didn't want to be the only one drooling...

Mouth Watering Garlic Cheesy Bread from The Small Things Blog
Seriously? Cream Cheese makes everything better.

Steak & Potato Kabobs from Our Family Eats
Steak Potato Kebobs1 300x300 Steak and Potato Kebabs
I have not been able to get these little gems out of
my mind from the moment I pinned them!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
My mouth waters just looking at this.
Fried Mashed Potato Balls from Taste of Home
Fried Mashed Potato Balls Recipe
Imagine the ingredients you can add to these.
Cheese? Bacon? Garlic? Chives? 
Frosty S'more Cups from Easy Baked
Talk about a gift from lil' baby Jesus!
I think these were created by Jesus himself.  
Lemon Tassies from Martha Stewart
Lemon?  Need I say more?
Cheesecake Sugar Cookie bars by Freda
Again...cream cheese.  Heavenly!

Is your mouth watering now too?!  So, I commit to you, my loyal readers, to make at least 5 of these recipes in June.  Of course I want to make all of them, but I know myself better than that.  I guess this makes my second Pinterest challenge?  We'll call this my Pinterest Recipe Challenge.  Let's see how it goes!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I am back from hiatus (aka: sick/vacation).  I had a very productive and fun long holiday weekend.  I hope you did as well.  It's time to jump back into things with So What Wednesday with Shannon at L.A.I.D.
Here's what I'm saying So What to this week...

***  if I'm proud of myself for finally diving into the world of mismatched socks.
***  if I'm still engrossed in One Tree Hill on Netflix.  

***  if these are the two most important men in my life, Papa and my nephew Grant.  Who needs anyone else?
Annual overalls in front of the train Great Grandpa Peter's engineered picture.
***  if I woke up and thought it was Saturday and then got sad when I realized it was Wednesday.  Boooooo.

***  if I don't eat tomatoes but I'm growing Roma tomatoes in my back yard.  I'm super thrilled because there are 3 'maters on Rita the Roma plant!
Look at those pretty tomatoes!
***  if I drank an entire 32oz. Diet Dew before 9am.  Don't judge.

What are you saying So What to this week?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have been totally MIA this last week and for that I apologize.  It was strictly because I was near death's door with a horrid stomach bug I wouldn't wish on my very worst enemy.  Ugh.  It was AWFUL!  So much for a fun getaway last weekend.  It was spent in the hotel room most of the time and the longest two hour drive home of my life.  But, when I got home, Sis took such good care of me and tucked me into bed where the critters took shifts snuggling with me.
Luna pretty much never left my side, the little hussy.

So, sorry to have missed a few days.  That being said, I will now be missing some more coming up because I'm headed to Papa's family's family reunion where you're hard pressed to get cell service if you stand on a certain part of the porch on one leg with the phone at a certain angle and DON'T MOVE, let alone have internet service.

With this being the only post this week, I've got a lot to pack in so let's get this love fest started...

Little ol' me was featured on a Pinterest geared blog!  Can you believe it?!  Cynthia @ Oh So Pinteresting did a feature on my Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge Series.  You can read her feature here.  You should check out her blog.  It's great!  She focuses on something I love, bringing Pinterest projects to life.  Pop on over and tell her hi from Jen @ CraftyHomeImprovementMisAdventures.

I won the giveaway Stephy was having over @ From Ice Cream to Belly Rings!  I've never won a giveaway before, so I felt pretty awesome when I got the email that I'd won.  I love Stephy's humor.  Check her out.

Michelle, over at Callia's Corner, gave me a Kreativ Blogger award! She even went as far as to say some nice things about me on her blog.  (I didn't even pay her or anything.)
I love Michelle's blog because she really lets her humor and sass shine through, two things I admire most in a woman!  So, thank you, Michelle, for helping last Friday end with a bigger highlight than the clock striking 5pm.

According to the Kreativ blogger rules, accepting the award includes the following:
1. Thanking the blogger who nominated me to receive the award and providing a link back to their blog (Check!)
2. Sharing 10 things about yourself that bloggers might find interesting!
3. Nominate 6 other bloggers to receive the award and inform them.

"Sharing 10 things about myself that bloggers might find interesting"?  I never know if what I find interesting is what you all find interesting.  So, let's see what I can think of?!
  1. I have 7 tattoos.  When I showed my mom my 5th tattoo she said, and I quote, "Jen, four was trampy, five is downright whorish." and walked away.  The picture to the right is a tattoo on my upper back that I got in remembrance of her after she passed.
  2. I have visited 49 out of the 50 United States.  I still need to get my behind to Hawaii.
  3. I have a horrible history of falling down stairs.  Every single there was no alcohol involved.  For reals.  I simply fall.  It's kind of funny to remember all the stories.
  4. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I am not a dog person anymore. I love the freedom my cats give me, like getting away for a weekend.
  5. I don't have any kids, but I love being an auntie!
  6. I do NOT like jazz music.  It makes me jumpy. 
  7. My nickname as a kid was Mouth because I was sarcastic and talked a lot.  I know this is a shocking revelation.
  8. I can't pull off wearing any hat that I know of.
  9. The sniffles drive me nuts. Like, crazy nuts.  JUST GET A TISSUE AND QUIT SNIFFLING! 
  10. This city girl knows how to drive a Ford 5000 tractor.
  11. You're seeing this correctly, that's me giving Papa a ride in the bucket. 
There you have it!  Now, on to step three...the six blogs I'd like to give a Kreativ Blogger Award to...

Erin @ Shades of Gray and a Pinch of Pink:  Erin is a young, 20-something gal living in NYC.  She's blogs about her adventures and her style and she does it with a great sense of humor.

Suzanne @ Already Right Where I Belong: Suzanne is a young mother, career woman, wife, fashionista (hello, she wore 4-5" heels her entire pregnancy!), and god knows what else.  Her blog covers it all and she does it with the greatest sass.

The Management @ A Prince and Prozac: She's really got a way with words.  Her posts with random pictures and conversations with her boyfriend really crack me up.

Leah @ The Lovely Life of Leah:  OMG, she's a hoot!  She even adds a music selection to some of her posts to give them a theme.  You never know what she's going to say!

Cynthia @ Oh So Pinteresting:  I already told you to check her out, and if you haven't yet, you should.  You'd never know it by looking at her blog with professional look and approach, but she's new to this blogging world.

Megan @ Boots & Beaches: If you can't tell, I seem to be drawn to funny women, and this southern belle is no exception.

Some might say these awards seem like chain letter type things, and I HATE those, but Michelle was right, it's nice to see people complimenting each other, building each other up, instead of trashing each other.  So, let's keep the love going.

Whew!  Now, I'll be leaving in the morning to spend the weekend with Papa and his extended family for our annual family reunion.  It's always an adventure!  Maybe I can catch a few Misadventures on my camera while I'm up there.  If I can, you'll be the first to see them.  That's one rather long post all tied up with a bow.    Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, all!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Friday, everybody!  I thought today would never get here, but alas, it finally has.  Thank God, tiny little baby Jesus, and all things holy.  It's also time to link-up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition to get all those dirty little secrets off my chest.
***  I didn't know whether to cry or throw up during the Grey's Anatomy finale last night.  PS: The way it ended really pissed me off.

***  I am completely addicted to these because they are little gems from Jesus:

*** I'm looking forward to Memorial Day weekend because it's my Papa's side of the family's reunion.  It will be nice to have everyone together for a happy reason this time, but it will be hard because it will be the first one without Aunt Pat.  She is most certainly missed!

***  I'm still devastated GCB was cancelled.  What was ABC thinking??

***  I love that my cats never wake me up, but they do patiently sit next to me staring at me, waiting for me to wake up and THEN they love on me.  Such sweet critters.

***  I'm running away for a night this weekend just because.  Goodbye, day to day worries of life.  Hello, mischief!

***  I love wearing my headphones and singing quite loud while I mow the lawn.  I don't care if anyone can hear me.  It's not pretty, but I don't care.  Not one bit.  Not at all.

***  I, not so secretly, love that Grant loves the $5 frog I got him at Khol's more than a lot of his other toys.  He cannot stop loving on this thing.  The m
oment you hand it to him he hugs Froggy.  To. Cute. For. Words.

What are you confessing this week?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

If you are one of the masses who has been waiting on the edge of your seats for the final installment of my Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge then you are in luck, my friend, it's here!  But let's be honest with ourselves, who hasn't been following this series with undivided attention?  It's true.  Admit it.

I have finished project number 3 of my MPPC, the spice jars with chalk board paint lids, and I could not be more tickled pink.  According to Pinterest, I have had this little idea pinned for a whopping 38 weeks.  Wow.  The original source for the idea comes from Amanda at Wit & Whistle.
loose tea storage chalkboard paint
As much as I loved the fancy jars from her post, I did not want to spend $5 per jar.  For some of you fancy pants folk, that may be in your budget, but it is most certainly not in mine.  I needed a less expensive option and that's when I realized baby food jars are only $0.50 each.  It doesn't take a math whiz to figure out that at a $4.50 savings per jar on about 20 jars...that's quite a savings! 

I don't know about you, but the spice jars I buy at the store tend to get quite messy in the cabinet. 

Let's rock and roll into the details.  Having had the baby food jars for a while...I fully admit that they've been sitting around in a box for 6 months...don't judge me...I had already cleaned all the jars and used Goo Gone to clean off the label sticky gook.  That was a huge help in making the project get off the ground quickly last weekend.    
All you need are baby food jars, primer and chalk board paint.
This is going to sound weird, but I just so happened to have a quart of chalk board paint on hand from a kitchen project I've had on ice for a while.  I wish I had had a can of chalk board SPRAY paint instead.  That would have been even better.  If I were to change one thing about this project it would be to use spray chalk board paint instead of brush on paint for little items like the lids.  Sis helped me paint them and our hands got quite messy.

This project actually went really quickly.  I just spread the lids out on a drop cloth in the back yard, primed them, and then took them inside to put on three coats of chalk board paint.  That's it.  Another simple success.  The longest part of this project was waiting the 2-3 days for the paint to cure before I could write on the lids.  Check out the pictures below for a step by step guide.
Spread out and spray the lids with primer.
These are the primed lids before Sis helped me paint them.
See the messy hands? This would have been
much better with  spray paint.
Painted lids waiting to cure.
All done! They stack so nicely. LOVE!
Simple as that!  The last step is to move all of your spices into the new jars.  One challenge I didn't expect was figuring out how to write with chalk on that small of a space.  The trick is...wait for it...write very lightly. Sounds logical, right?  The harder you write, the thicker the letters will be and that leads to a hot mess.  Trust me on this one.

Are you ready for the finished product?  I know I was!
It took several tries to get the writing down pat.
But aren't they great?!
The medium and small jars will fit perfectly in the drawer of my kitchen so I'll be able to read the lids. The bigger jars will have to lay on their sides or be set out by the stove since they're the more frequently used spices anyway.
I love a simple project that comes together quickly and that I'll be able to enjoy for a long time.  Pretty AND organized?  It doesn't get any better than that.  Be sure to let me know if you give these a try.  I'd love to know how yours turn out.

This completes my very first MPPC!  I am so pleased with myself that I may just do this again.  Maybe once a month?  Hmmm.  Anyway, if you missed any of the posts you can check out the links below.  Thanks for popping in to follow my MPPC.  It's been great having you along for the ride.

Full Archive of Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge Series
Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge
MPPC Progress Update
MPPC: Buffalo Chicken Cups
MPPC: Journal Project

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We are on to item number 2 from my Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge from last week, the 5-year journal.  I have been pinning journaling ideas, especially SmashBook ideas, for months.  My "Journalism" board currently has 180 pins, but I've yet to take the leap.

As I mentioned last Friday, a 5-year journal seems overwhelming until you realize it's just a quick question or prompt a day for a year and then shampoo, rinse, repeat and do the same questions again next year.  Then you can look back, compare your answers, and see how your goals or views have changed.  See, not so scary after all.

The first decision will be what kind of journal you want to keep.  There are many options, but I decided to go with the index card style journal similar to this one:
I figured this kind will help me ease into the SmashBook style of journaling little by little. As a bonus, I can make use of all of those spare scrapbook/card making supplies already have at home.  Win. Win.

I searched high and low at a couple of stores...then my twisted crafty mind saw an unfinished tissue box cover and knew I'd found a keeper.  Yes, a tissue box cover.  Just flip it over and it's the perfect box!
unfinished tissue box cover
the perfect box for my journal project!
So, let me tell you how I got from before to after:  I love me some spray paint.  I used a spray primer and a few coats of pink spray paint to coat the box (sanding between the final coats).  I used chalk board paint on the wood oval so I can doodle or write on it at some point.  (That paint is still curing and I couldn't write on when I was taking these pictures.)  I've also got a black paint pen I may use to doodle on the box at some point if the mood strikes me.

Once I had my box, I was able to measure and cut my cards.  It just so happened that 1/4 a sheet of card stock fit perfectly.  I already had a bunch of colored card stock cut in half for the note cards I make, so I just needed to cut them an assortment in half.
Assorted card stock (told you I had a lot)
The after stack once they were all cut to size
I had some stick on tabs from another project that I used to make divider tabs for each month.  After that I just collected a sampling of smaller scrap paper and punches to use to decorate each card if I choose to that day.  Here are three sample cards I whipped up to give you some ideas on how to roll with your project.
I did these in a jiffy, but you can doodle, scribble borders, use stickers, do nothing, or whatever your mood strikes.  The most important part is to relax and have fun!  

Here are a few more pics of my finished box before I move on to the actual content of the journal:

When I was surfing the web for journal prompts I found some websites with a sampling, but not enough to do an entire year's worth.  My original MPPC post listed 5 links with some prompts to get you started.  I decided I wanted one place to go for a list to get me through the year so I sat down and created the document below.  I took questions from ice breaker games, journal and creative writing prompts, and made up the rest.  Some questions repeat, some do not.  Feel free to use my PDF list for your own journal in its entirety or as inspiration when you don't know what to write about.

Daily Journal Prompts

I promise to keep you updated on my journaling journey.  If you decide to take the leap, let me know how you decide to go about your journey.  I'd love to hear details!

Now, if you've missed any of the previous MPPC posts, be sure to check them out using the links below.

Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge series:
Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge
MPPC Progress Update
MPPC: Buffalo Chicken Cups
Happy Hump Day!  I was tempted, but refused to put "y'all" after that because I have a fear of developing a southern accent and I hear using it in writing is a gateway.  Not going to happen.  Anyway, back on track.  I'm so ADHD lately.  Wait.  Back.  On.  Track.  It's time to link up with Shannon at Life After I Dew for So What! Wednesday.

Here's what I'm saying so what to this week.  So what...

***  if I get a little street thuggish in my texting between two Tylenol PM's and dreamland.  Earlier this week I was texting with one of my bosses telling her I wasn't feeling well so was going to bed early and would let her know how I was feeling in the morning.  I literally ended the conversation with a "Peace out, yo."  text.  Yes.  Yes I did.

***  if I'm obsessed with my nephew's bed head hair.  How ridiculously cute is this hot mess of his?

***  if I love it when I pause the TV or Netflix and the person is making an awkward face. Makes me giggle every time.

***  if I get annoyed when the Burger King by my office only gives you 2 ketchup packets.  I now ask for a "handful of ketchup."  Yesterday the GM was at the window and asked me, "just what do you consider a handful?"  My response was, "more than the 1 to 2 your employees normally give me."  Rude.  

***  If I still haven't tried the mismatched socks.  Mostly because I live in flip flops.  Excuses.  I know.

***  if I'm still watching back to back episodes of One Tree Hill on Netflix.  I'm HOOKED!  PS: Why can't Mouth ever get the girl?!
***  if I'm obsessed with my new wristlet.  It's by iota Chic and I got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon making it only $7.
It has a pocket for your cards/cash &
is the perfect size for my iPhone. LOVE!
Cute colors, right?

What are you saying So What to this week?

PS: Be sure to check out my Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge series:

Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge
MPPC Progress Update
MPPC: Buffalo Chicken Cups
MPPC: Journal Project

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This is the first real update on my Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge from this past weekend.  I'm going to cover the item one on my challenge list, the Buffalo Chicken Cups from Doughmesstic.  I've only had these on pinned to my Nom Nom Nom board on Pinterest for 12 days.  Here we go...
O. M. G.  DELICIOUS!  How is that for an review?  Seriously, folks, if you like buffalo type dishes, you must try this one.  I'm kind of weird in that I don't like actual buffalo wings, but I do like buffalo sauce flavored dishes like the Buffalo Blasts at Cheesecake Factory.  I guess that's up there with not liking tomatoes but liking ketchup and salsa, right?

Because I like to go the easy route, I used a rotisserie chicken and a tube of prepared pizza dough.
It was much easier, and faster, to use the rotisserie chicken.  In fact, I think I'll do it more often when a recipe calls for chicken.  
Since I had the prepared chicken, the recipe went really quickly.  Here's a close-up of the finished mix.  It smelled so good!
I have learned, I am NOT a pretty cook.  I mean, I AM pretty, but pretty food is not something I'm good at and frankly, who cares as long as it tastes great?  Case in point, getting the pizza dough in the muffin cups was not smooth.
My go to kitchen gadget is always my mini scooper.  I use it for so many different things, like scooping cookie dough, making cake balls, and now scooping chicken into cups.  It worked like a champ!
Then it was time for the cheese.  I added some leftover blue cheese crumbles from the Blue Cheese Bacon Dip from my last post.  Next time I'm going to use more crumbles and actually put them in the mix before filling the cups.  It was a nice touch.  
Is your mouth watering yet?  Because mine was!  The house smelled so good.  Again, do not judge my sloppy dough mess in the pictures.  
Before I served them up with a side of blue cheese dressing for dipping, I asked Sis and Chris to be totally honest about what they thought of this recipe since I was going to be reviewing it on my blog.  Both said they were yummy and would have it again.  I couldn't agree more.  It will definitely make a repeat performance.  Another success!  
If you read my blog, you know I am kind of addicted to cup recipes.  Or, as my friend Bill said when I told him I was making the Buffalo Cups, "You're hooked on those cups, aren't you?"  So far I've tried Plain Chicken's recipes for Taco Cups and Lasagna Cups.  (She's also got a ton of other great recipes.)  The taco cups were a hit when I made them in mini cups for a party.  Now, after making Doughmesstic's Buffalo Chicken Cups, I'm wondering what other recipes I can convert into "cups."  Look forward to that adventure in the coming months.  

MPPC Series in case you missed any:
Mini Personal Pinterest Challenge
MPPC Progress Update