Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY Frame

I saw this frame at Pier One for $28 and thought it was easy to make myself for a fraction of the cost.

I found a frame at Goodwill for $3 and bought a sample can of white paint at Home Depot & painted the frame. I purchased a picture hanging kit for about $3.

I found some washi tape at Target for about $2.50 each & bought 2 different style rolls. I already had a small paintbrush, sanding block & clothespins on hand.

I first sanded down the frame a bit as it needed it. Then I painted 2 coats of white paint & let it fully dry. I cut 3 pieces of wire the same lengthy. I attached some of the nails in the picture hanging kit level on the back of the frame.

I then tied one side of the wire and slipped 3 clothespins per row then tied the other end of the wire tightly. I cut pieces of the washi tape just a little longer than the clothespins and stuck them on making sure to smooth out the tape.

Voila! I was done & ready to grab some pictures. I used 4 x 6 horizontal pictures.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas & Yarn

Since I had so much downtime during Christmas I decided to work on a goal I've had this year; learn how to knit. I turned to good 'ol Pinterest to help me tackle this intimidating goal. Previously I'd pinned a "how to knit" tutorial for beginners on my personal Pinterest. I love this tutorial, it was fairly easy for me to follow.  Here is the link to the tutorial.

It took me some practice, but below are pictures of my self taught progress.  I know it's not much and there are definitely some noticible errors, but the important thing is I'm learning.

I've decided to continue my knitting education in 2013 (it's on the resolution list).  My year end goal for the coming year is to knit a beautiful thick English cable knit style comforter with some matching pillows. We shall see....

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Time!

This Christmas season I am spending time with my mom. So far I have done a little baking. I made some peanut butter cookies, one for human consumption & another that is four legged furry pet friendly.

For the dog cookies I followed an awesome recipe that is only 4 ingredients and one of the ingredients is hot water, how great is that? To keep with the festivities I used holiday cookie cutters for the dog cookies as well.

I love, love, love peanut butter and chocolate so what better recipe to make than Peanut Butter Kiss cookies.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Puppy Love

This weekend was a weekend where I just stayed indoors while it poured rain outside.  I snuggled on the couch with  my loves (aka my pups which are really not pups because they are a few years old so technically dogs, but they're pups in my eyes forever).  I watched countless movies in leggings and an oversized knit sweater while drinking hot chocolate made with milk.  It was heaven.

I also made a recipe I found on Pinterest for pepperoni monkey bread.  It was delicious.  I didn't take any pictures of my creation but the original recipe maker has great pictures on the website.

I did snap a couple of cute pics of my loves, Molly and Austin.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tour of some AZ lakes

This past weekend Kelly and I hopped in the car and took a mini road trip through the Salt River & it's lakes. The roads we took included some fun ghost towns. I stopped several times on road sides to take landscape photos.

The trip got really adventurous when the pavement ended and the speed limit dropped to 10mph complete with windy curves that are suppose to be for a vehicle in each direction, but were wide enough for just one car. Keep in mind since Roosevelt Lake is a larger AZ body of water, large boats can be attached to some big trucks. Getting the scary picture now?

The heart pumping fun continued multiple times when approaching one lane bridges and trying to decide which car would cross first without initiating a game of chicken. Although the picture of the bridge below is of the Roosevelt Lake bridge which is not a one lane bridge thankfully.

Below are pictures(in random order as I STILL can't figure out how to keep the pictures displayed in the order I upload them.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chalkboard Mug

Craft Day this weekend at Kristen's new house went well. Below are pictures of my new blue chalkboard mug.  I also snapped a picture of Kristen's mugs that she painted. She bought her mug set at Home Goods and decided to paint a thick stripe.

We used the chalkboard paint from Martha Stewarts craft paints.  Even though both of our ceramic mugs were already glazed by the manufacturer the chalkboard paint still went on without a problem. We both used 2 coats.

Instructions are pretty easy.  Just cover the part of the mug you're not painting (we used painters tape). Grab your brush and dip in some paint. Paint your first coat and let it air dry for at least an hour before painting the second coat.  After letting your second coat dry for another hour put the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Turn the oven off and leave the mugs in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Take them out and wait 72 hours before coating the painted surface with a light layer of chalk. Now the mug can be used.  I used the instructions in the following link for my mug:

I personally am in love with all of the mugs!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft Day!

This weekend I am meeting with my friend, Kristen, for craft day! We decided to dedicate a day to making some fun holiday crafts while watching One of our favorite Christmas movies, Elf.

Below is a picture from Pinterest with a chalkboard mug I will make. The link for the Pinterest image is from

My version though will be with blue chalkboard paint. The paint states it can be used on ceramic so we shall see how this project turns out. I picked up my mug from the dollar store. It's cream on the outside and blue on the inside.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken & Birch Box

I made my first roasting chicken on Thanksgiving for Kelly and I. Turns out I really am starting to master culinary skills. It turned out incredibly delicious! I followed this recipe from Taste of Home:

We even gave the chicken a name as i was preparing it, Chachi the Chicken. Silly? Perhaps.

I also received my Birch Box this past week. It contained the following:
  • Kerastase Chrome Sensitive - a gentle cleansing balm, which purifies strands & locks in color
  • MCMC Fragrance - in a scent called Phoenix 
  • ModelCo - Fiber Lashxtend Lengthening Mascara. Uses lash extending fibers to give you a lengthy fringe.
  • One Love Organics - Aromatic Body Serum
  • Chuao Chocolatier - Honeycomb Bar flavor
So far I've tried the Chuao Chocolatier bar and it fantastic! I've also been using the mascara and if I have to be honest I'm not loving it. I think there are better mascaras out there. The mascara cost $24 and I've definitely used better mascaras for both cheaper and more expensive. 

As a regular consumer with no cosmetic professional background I would say I've seen better results using LancĂ´me (Defincils $26), Clinique (High Impact & High Impact Curl both $16), Blinc ($26), Maybelline (Big Lash $5), and Avon (Super Extend Extreme $6).  Don't forget the eyelash curler! My favorite is made by Shiseido and is a bit pricey. I believe it was $20 but has lasted years and curls amazing.

Here are some pictures....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Over the weekend Kelly and I had Chinese take out. I get really annoyed when I open a fortune cookie and it contains a proverb instead of a fortune. What the heck, right?!  I opened one of the fortune cookies and received that familiar annoying proverb so I tossed the cookie and proverb in the trash after reading it aloud to Kelly.

The following day I was feeling like something crunchy and saw another unopened fortune cookie on the counter. I opened it and since I know these cookies ALWAYS contain proverbs I threw the paper on the counter without reading it and happily ate my cookie.

About an hour later as I'm browsing on the couch online Kelly yells from the kitchen counter, "why didn't you read me THIS fortune that you got!" I went over to look at what he was talking about and could not contain my laughter!

Apparently this time I really did get a fortune in my cookie, but Kelly certainly did not appreciate it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Albondiga Soup

Here is a link to the website I used to make the albondiga soup recipe this past weekend. My mom makes the best albondiga soup recipe, but since I don't go home too often and she never follows a recipe I had to find an authentic one to follow.

The only modifications I made are the following:

Substituted ground turkey meat 
Used an additional tablespoon of tomato paste
Added some chili powder to taste while the stock is boiling prior to putting in the meatballs

Below are a few pictures I snapped...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tomatillo Sauce

This past weekend I made some recipes that I love.  Here is one of them:

Tomatillo Sauce

  •  1 or more serranos (this depends on how brave you are, the more serranos the spicer the sauce...I use 3)
  •  8-10 medium tomatillos 
  •  1/2 medium white onion
  •  Garlic cloves (up to you how many cloves, but I use 5 because I love garlic)
  •  1 or more limes (I use 1-2 typically)
  • Water (I don't measure, just put enough in a pot to boil the tomatillos & serranos all at once)

Cooking Equipment:
  • Large pot 
  • Blender 
  • cutting board


 Peel the membrane off the tomatillos and wash each tomatillo.  Wash the serranos.  Place all of the serranos and tomatillos in a large pot of boiling water. You will know they are done when the skin starts to peel off and they have a brownish color on the side of the skin that touched the water.

While the serranos & tomatillos are boiling finely dice the onion.  Once the serranos & tomatillos are finished boiling place them in a blender with half the diced onions, garlic cloves & lime juice.  Carefully place each tomatillo & serrano on a cutting board (careful, they're super hot!) and cut off the stem of each. It's messy and is easiest done with a fork holding the tomatillo or Serrano while you cut.  While cutting be careful because the water inside them can be extremely hot....I emphasize to be careful from experience!

Since the tomatillos and serranos contain water from boiling I add a little of the same water that they boiled in to the blender. Like I said, I don't measure so it's best to start off with a small amount to add to the blender. Should it be too thick you can always add more water. I also squeeze juice from a lime or two into the blender and blend away.

I either use this sauce to make enchiladas or just to dip tortilla chips in. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baking, BBQ, fishing & more.....

This was a fun filled weekend. I spent it cooking recipes I found through Pinterest, attended a BBQ at a park hosted by Kelly's fly fishing club, and wrapped it up last night hanging out with friends who are hooked on new episodes of the Walking Dead.

I plan on posting the links and recipes I made throughout this weekend for the following:

The World's Best Chicken
Baked Oatmeal Cassarole
Tomatillo Sauce/Salsa

I'm really starting to feel the kitchen is a zen place for me. I feel so relaxed cooking these days. I'm always amazed that I can cook such tasty meals.

Here are a ton of pics recapping my weekend.