Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homemade Flavored Water

This was so easy to whip up. And its slightly fruity and sweet.

 You will need some fresh fruit, ice and water. I used 3-4 oranges and 4-6 strawberries for about a gallon of water. This can be changed to your liking. Simply wash the fruit and slice it. Add the fruit and some ice to the water. It needs a couple of hours to get the flavors. After I got home from work I tried some and it tasted like Propel! With no sugar! You should really try it!  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest Bedroom Makeover (Work in Progress)

Now that we got our new bed, we finally have a bed in the Guest Bedroom (ready for anyone to come visit ;] ) Anyways, I am wanting to make the bedroom look more put together!

 This is the comforter we have for the bed. One side is brown with dots and the other is the teal/white pattern. I got the valence fabric to match the teal and it looks great together! I decided to make some pillow cases and I want to make a bed skirt also!

Yay! getting better at sewing a straight line!

Here is the first pillow case. I love how they look together! 

Stay tuned for more on the room update! :)

DIY Window Valence (Cornice)

I am starting off with a photo of the finished product. You might be surprised to know what it is actually made from. In My Own Style made one similar and had a written tutorial I tried to follow for mine, but without photos, I did my own thing. Hoping this tutorial will help you!

This project started off with wardrobe boxes (Thanks Jerri Ann for the boxes!) Anything smaller wouldn't have worked for our windows.

I used a tape measure and yard stick to mark the box. For our spare bedroom windows (all my base friends listen up..) it was 50 inches long, with 2 inches on each end of the corner folds, so 54 inches total. I made mine 12 inches tall. The edges can be a bit hard to fold accurately. I used the closed blade of scissors to bend the cardboard over for an accurate fold. (See finished product if you are confused on the 'fold')

You will need batting to go under the fabric. I got this roll of 45in x 60in from JoAnns. Lay the batting under the valence piece and trim off the excess. You only need about 1/4 inch of extra batting along the egdes. 

I used Clear Tacky Glue to attach the batting. Just a thing layer is okay. Modge Podge might work also. It doesn't need to be attached tightly, because the fabric layer on top will be attaching both pieces on. Let this batting layer dry.

Cut your fabric the same way you did the batting, but with about and inch (or more if you want) extra on all sides. I wish I had left more fabric around the edges. Iron the fabric you cut.

Now you are going to line up the fabric on top of the batting. This is where it was a little tricky, because there isn't an easy way to pin the fabric to the cardboard. Hot glue both edges and then it will stay put better to glue around the outside. When gluing, stretch the fabric around the edge and glue it into the back side. Do this all the way around.

The hanging was easier than I thought. It helps to have two people because the window is almost too wide to hold a tape measure on both sides and make the marks.  You will use L brackets to hang it. Decide which side you want to be the top and attach the brackets to the valence. (1 on each top corner) The easiet way was to just hot glue them to the valence. 

The nails need to be measured apart so the brackets can hang on the nails.

I love the finished product! David hates that I use cardboard to decorate, but I read once "What cannot be seen, can be easily faked". I COMPLETELY agree. If it looks good and serves its purpose, then I don't care what I made it out of! I am being resourceful and recycling! :)

Hope this helps! Feel free to comment with any questions!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Granola Bars

I made these about a month ago and keep forgetting to share the recipe. I found it online, through Pinterest I am sure. But I don't remember exactly where. Here is the basic recipe:

Start with your butter. It is one stick. It needs to be softened or melted.

Add the honey, brown sugar, vanilla and peanut butter.

Combine the oats, baking soda and flour in a bowl. Then add the mixture to the wet ingredients. Combine well! At this point you can add any extras. I used peanuts and chocolate chips. Dried fruit or other cereal would also be good.


Grease the pan with crisco or Miracle No Stick! (I used a large jelly roll pan) Pour the mixture out and use wax paper to squash it way down. Sorry for the blurry photo. Hubby was helping. You need to press it down well or they will crumble after baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on the edges ( ^this is before baking)
Let them cool in the pan and then cut into whatever pieces you desire! These also freeze well, if they last that long! Enjoy!

Miracle No Stick

Another Pinterest find, but every baker needs to have some of this in their cupboards!

I use my magic bullet to whip it up, but you could probably use a whisk and do it by hand or use a mixer.

It is all equal parts... Vegetable Oil, Crisco, and Flour. Whip Whip Whip until it is smooth!

You can use this on anything. It works wonder in muffin tins! Use a pastry brush or even just a paper towel to brush it on! Bake and release! :)

'Pot Roast' Crock Pot Chicken

So my crock pot is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I can cut up veggies and meat before work and throw them all in the pot. They cook and get yummy while I am working and are ready just in time for dinner. Going into work at noon has its advantages! (sorry for no photos. Didn't know if it would turn out)

Anyways, I had the veggies and seasonings to make pot roast in the CP, however the roast looked a little sketchy to me. It had been in the fridge a little longer than usual. So I decided to hold off until the Hubby could help me out.

At this time I already had the potatoes and onions cut and ready to go. So I grabbed a couple of frozen BLSL chicken breasts and used them instead of the roast. And this recipe is really easy to make in smaller portions. Just use less of all the ingred. and it will still be great!

You Will Need:

  • 2-4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • One can condensed French Onion Soup
  • 1 envelope pot roast seasoning (or similar choice)
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes (2-6 depending)
  • 1/2 to 1 onion
  • water
In a small bowl, mix the soup, seasoning and a little water. If you are making this for two, you can use half the soup/seasoning. Cut the potatoes, onions and carrots into small 'uniform' sizes so they all cook the same. Place the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot. (I RECOMMEND Crock Pot Liners.. they are a big time saver). Grab your chicken from the FREEZER and place over the veggies. Cover the whole mixture with the soup/seasoning mixture. Set your timer for 6-8 hours and put your crock pot on LOW. Everything is generally ready by 6 hours, unless you have large chunks of meat. I usually do 7 hours because of the time frame when I get off work.

This was great! I love the flavor of beef stew and the chicken was delicious and fall apart. And I even used the sauce to make a gravy! I can finally make a roux and simple gravy and I am pretty proud! Hope you will give this a try!