Monday, August 30, 2010

Broccoli, Steak and Rice in the Crockpot

I had a package of Steaks that I got dirt cheap at Kroger a while back.  I am not the best at cooking steak unless it goes on the grill.  So I thought I would do something a little similar to this.

There were 4 steaks that equaled 2lbs.  I added them frozen to the crockpot.  I chopped up 2 small onions, sprinkled with garlic powder and a little worcestershire sauce.

I cooked on high for the first hour until the steaks were mostly thawed and I could seperate them.  The made a decent amount of their own juice so I didn't add any liquid.  I turned the crockpot down to low and cooked for 6 more hours.  At this point I was able to start shredded the meat some but not completely.

I added a bag of frozen broccoli and 1/2 cup rice, making sure to get the rice down in the liquid at the bottom.  I did however end up adding about a 1/2 - 3/4 cup water.

At this point the kids were home so I kinda lost track of how much longer I cooked it.   However I am pretty sure it was around another hour to hour and a half on low.  Just until the the rice was soft and I was able to finish shredding the meat.


It turned out so good!  The meat tasted very much like a beef pot roast.  Next time I will do it with potatoes and carrots and it really will be almost just like a pot roast.

Linked to: Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, The Thrifty Home, Fireflies and Jellybeans

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Favorites and a Family Moment 8/27/10

What a week we have had!  I spoke earlier about our birthday celebration weekend.  Things didn't quite go as planned but all in all Jonah was pleased.  I would show you some pics of the festivities but sadly I have none.  

If you haven't gotten a chance to check out the cool handmade birthday cards Jonah received you can check them out here.


I did however manage to take a few pictures of Jonah on her first day of school which was Monday.  She was very excited to go to school.  Now both of the girls are in school and if I ever get things caught up around here like cleaning and organizing I may just have a moment to do some crafting.

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I love browsing blogs for inspiration on crafting, sewing, cooking and decorating.  This week I came across some really cool blogs.

Here are my Friday Favorites this week:

A Whisk and a Prayer had this Slow Baked Mac and Cheese that makes me salivate just looking at it.  Yum!


Craft-O-Maniac shared a tutorial on making the CUTEST Mummy Treat jars I have ever seen!


Okay you have to stop by this girls website.....she is only 14 years old and AMAZING!!  Simply Handmade by Paige took a plus size dress and made it into a super cute little black dress any teen would love.


And finally.....Leafy Treetop Spot shared how she made 3 pairs of the most adorable baby booties.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Handmade Birthday Cards for Jonah

I will start by just saying these are not my creations but they were too adorable not to share.  Three of Jonah's friends made her cards for her birthday this past weekend and they were so cute!

This first card was made by Marcella and I wanted to show you the first 3 pages.  It actually opens to a 4th but that the last is just her well wishes.  She mixed brightly colored paper with foam cut outs to make a fun a vibrant birthday card.




Next Cortney made a cute card on cardstock. She incorporated stamping and some scrapbooking supplies.


The final card and my favorite was made by Sydnie.  The moment I saw her Ice Cream Cone card I fell in love with it. 


I have to say it was a highlight for me at the party to see the creativity in these young girls and all the other girls were oohing and aahing over the handmade cards.

Linked to:  Creations by Kara , Fingerprints on the Fridge, Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Top 5 Ways NOT to Throw a Frugal Birthday Party



Do you ever think that things just aren't quite going your way?
Well yesterday Jonah turned 12 and we had 2 parties this weekend and lets just say things didn't quite go the way I had planned.

Here are my top 5 ways to NOT throw a frugal party.

1)  Do not decide to save $1 on cheese you have never used before when making one of your favorite recipes.  

On Friday night the family came over and I cooked Lazy Lasagna which we love!  On Thursday night I needed to pick up cheese. I ran to Walmart and grabbed the Walmart Brand mozarella instead of Sargento or Kraft which I normally use.... to save a buck.  Trust me when I say that buck wasn't worth saving because the cheese didn't melt!

2) Being Green is wonderful but don't skip the paper/plastic ware when you are having a total of 22 guests during the weekend.

Family came over Friday, I cooked a meal and served cake and Ice Cream.  Slumber party was on Saturday, food was eaten the whole time kids were here.  I opted to not do paper/plastic ware and ended up doing 8 loads of dishes in the dishwasher.  I am thinking with all the water and electricity usage I defeated my purpose.

3) Don't have a miscommunication with your child and realize at the last minute more guests are coming than you had planned.

Initially I thought there were going to be a total of 10 girls for the slumber party that included my daughters.  We sent out invites to most of the girls but a few got phone calls instead.  At the beginning of the week I was informed it was actually 12 because my daughter thought I meant 10 plus her and her sister.  Then on the night of the party I found out that somehow now it was 14 including my girls.  We are still not sure how this miscommunication occurred but I can guarantee it won't happen again.

4)  Don't underestimate the eating power of pre-teen girls.

Obviously number 3 had an affect on this one but last minute ordering of pizza as well as picking up extra items put the food budget over the top.  

5)  Don't have so much going on that you don't take a single picture!

I have to say this one hurts the worst!  In all the busyness of too many girls, too much to do and trying to keep dishes washed I didn't take a single pic of my Jonah at either party.   Thankfully my wonderful Mom was snapping pictures at the family get together so I can get copies from her but I got nothing from the slumber party.  

Even though my weekend didn't go as planned and I was totally stressed about it Jonah had a blast!  When it all comes down to it that is what is important, however next year will be totally different.  :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Favorites and a Family Moment 8/20/10


I think I have finally come to terms with Emeri going to High School.  Yesterday, above, she was heading out for her first 1/2 day of school.  She had a 1/2 day today and another for Monday so they can get a feel for their "A" day and "B" day classes and then Tuesday starts full day school.


Then this morning after Emeri went to school I got to take my baby girl Jonah to get registered for 7th grade.  Seriously which is harder for a Mom to take?  First born in High School or Baby in Jr. High?!  Sheesh, where oh where did the time go.

It was a super long wait at registration, it took 1 1/2 hr.   Most of the time waiting was the picture line.  We had a good laugh though....the very same thing happened at the picture line this year as last year.

We get up to the table and the lady says, "Last Name?".  Jonah replies, "Farnam".  The lady thumbs through and pulls out a card, she looks at Jonah and says "Well this one can't be you!"  To which I replied, "I am sure it is.  Is it Jonah?".  The lady shyly grins and confesses, "Oh, I thought it was a boy....beautiful name though!"

We had this exact dialogue last year with the picture people.  It was pretty funny!

Well in 2 days Jonah will be turning 12 and we have a family get together as well as a slumber party planned this weekend.  So next week I will be talking about birthdays.

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Now for this weeks favorites!  I love finding cool and unique projects on other blogs.

Check out this adorable top Kalleen @ At Second Street made for her daughter.  I love that she used a pair of pants and a vintage pattern.




Finally this BBQ Chicken Pizza @ A Little Lovely is seriously making me hungry for lunch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Handmade Black Ruffled Headband

So yesterday we went to the mall for some back to school shopping.  When we went into Claire's they had embellished headbands.  Emeri saw one that was black and had a ribbon bow for $6.25 and I thought the price was ridiculous....we can make that.

Well we went to Walmart and got a 3 pack of wide plastic headbands for $3.50.  

For the first headband we decided to do a black ruffled one.  All we needed was the glue gun, scissors and a couple long strips of black t-shirt.


I ruffled the t-shirt strips with my sewing machine and then hot glued them to the headband.  I did two layers to give it a little thickness.  It was simple and only took a few minutes.


Emeri decided that it was a little too ruffly for her so we plan to give this one to my niece R.


R is almost 8 and she loves accessories.  She will love the ruffles!

So the first headband only cost us the $1.20 to buy it.  All the other supplies we had on hand.

For the next one Emeri wants us to try and replicate the plain black ribbon headband at Claires.  I do not have black ribbon on hand so we will be heading out to get some, however it will still be a ton less than the $6.25

Linked to: Me and My Bucket , The Trendy Treehouse

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ground Chuck and Potato Crock Pot Dish

It has been so hot lately that I really don't want to run the oven or even the stove.  So Wednesday I decided to throw together a Crock pot dump.

I started by washing and cutting up 5 medium potatoes.  I turned my crock pot on low and let it start getting warmed up.


I sprinkled on garlic powder, pepper and a little Worcestershire sauce.  I didn't measure just sprinkled until it looked good to me.


Next I chopped up 1 onion and layered it on.


Then I browned 1/2 lb of Ground Chuck and layered it over the onion.


Finally I added a can of diced tomatoes (juice and all) along with another dash of garlic powder, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.


I put the lid on and cooked on low for 4 hours.  When it was done there was a little bit of liquid on the bottom.  I probably could have drained the tomatoes.


It was hearty and delicious and my house wasn't over heated by the oven.


I think this recipe could be very versatile.  I have already been thinking about ground turkey, ground sausage, kielbasa or diced ham instead of the ground chuck.  You could also exchange the tomatoes with tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, onion soup or cream of celery.  I plan to try this in several different ways.  It is just too easy!

Linked to: A Vision to Remember , Funky Junk Interiors, I Heart Naptime!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two Tops and a Reversible Skirt

One night I came across this blog and thought I would make K a reversible dress.  I worked on it for a couple hours and it was starting to get late but I decided to push through.  I was all done but the buttons on the shoulders and it looked good.  Then I started thinking I had messed it up and the buttons wouldn't work.

My brain was tired!  I totally should have left it until the morning but I wanted to finish it.  Then I started messing with it and ended up messing up the straps.  But I still didn't leave it alone.  Finally in my exhausted haze I cut the bodice of the dress off leaving a skirt.

The moment I did that I knew I was tired and had screwed up so I went to bed.  Why I didn't do that before I cut it off I don't know.

When the next day rolled around I finished up the reversible skirt then I took it to try on K to make sure it was going to fit.

Next came the shirts.  For shirt 1 I loosely used Simplicity 4383, making the shirt short sleeved and adding a flower to the front.  This side is made out of a soft micro-suede.


On side 2 I went back to the trusty Simplicity 5118 for the top.  (trust me when I say the top is not lopsided, bad pic).  I did not gather the sleeves and I didn't do a ruffle at the hem.  Instead I did a 1in band around the waist.


When I took them to K yesterday she wanted to try them on but she didn't want to have her picture taken.  Mostly she just wanted to figure out a way to tear the flower off the first dress!  :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Favorite Pasta Salad Recipe: BLT Pasta Salad


Photo courtesy of Pamela! My picture could never come out as beautiful as hers.

One of my favorite places to get recipes is Food.com previously RecipeZaar.  I love a good Pasta Salad and this BLT Pasta Salad is a favorite!


  • 1 (7 ounce) packages rotini pasta or 1 (7 ounce) packages other pastacooked and drained
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup mayonaisseor 1 cup salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken flavor instant boullion
  • 4 cups lettuce thinly sliced 
 Combine mayo, lemon juice, sugar and bouillon for the dressing.  Combine all remaining ingredients.  It is best to wait until you are ready to serve to add the lettuce.  Also you can easily cut down on the bacon and mayo to reduce calories.

Linked to: The Girl Creative

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Affordable Home Accents: Decorating with Red

Red is my very favorite color!  It has been for such a long time that I can't remember when I decided it was my favorite.  Maybe it is because I am so fair and red is a color that has always complimented me. 

Despite my love for red you will see little to none of it in my home, probably because it is not my husbands ideal color for decor.

So today I am just going to dream a little and show you some of my ideas of decorating with red!

I absolutely love this Tullsta chair from Ikea and it is only $99.  I would love this for an accent piece in my living room.


This 7pc Comforter Set at JcPenney is much more grand than the camel colored micro-suede set we have now but I think I could get used to it.  Again it is under $100.  


I'm not sure where I would put this Wrought Iron Gothic Candle Holder from Aspen Country but it is only $14.95 and I love it's uniqueness.


This worn looking Grand Hotel Clock from Target has caught my eye and it's price, $23.99


And these Aldonza Round Vases from Amazon are a little more budget busting at $145.40 but boy do I really like them.



Since we bought our house 4 yrs ago I have had difficulty redecorating mainly due to my indecisive nature.   I love so many styles I have a real hard time deciding what to do.  But I am seriously considering adding a little peak of red here and there throughout my home. 

Linked to: It's a Very Cherry World!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Favorites and a Family Moment: Emeri's High School Registration


Yesterday was a very difficult day for me and probably even more difficult than the first day of Kindergarten.  Yesterday was Freshman registration day for my firstborn.  Although Emeri was super excited I was pretty torn about the whole thing.  I am so proud of her and want her to be happy and to succeed but highschool is just the count down to leaving the nest.  

I know that I must live in the now and think about what we can do together today and not worry about tomorrow!

Emeri  got all the classes she wanted and she can't wait to start school in 13 days.  

Next I have to get my baby registered for 7th grade.....where does the time go?

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Friday Favorites

I love looking at other blogs for inspiration and here some of the amazing things I have came across this week.





and this Bathroom Renovation at Perfectly Imperfect is perfectly dreamy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Soothe a Sunburn Frugally: Cucumber Lemon Tonic

I have had more than my fair share of sunburns in my life.  I am very fair and still use 50SPF Sunscreen when spending much time outdoors in the summer.   I know how uncomfortable and even painful having a sunburn can be.   

Here is a great frugal recipe that can help soothe your sunburn and you may already have the ingredients on hand.

CUCUMBER-LEMON TONIC
This tightens pores and can be used as an astringents, it soothes sunburn, and can also be used as a natural deodorant.
1 C. witch hazel
Juice of 1 lemon
3 T. coarsely chopped cucumber
Mix in a clean glass bottle, then let set for 2 days. Remove cucumber. Keep
lotion in a cool place or the refrigerator to use as a splash.


Linked to: Fingerprints on the Fridge

Monday, August 2, 2010

Under the Weather = Nothing Creative Going On!


Last week I spent Wednesday and Thursday finishing up preparations for our yard sale.  Friday I got up at 4:45, showered, got breakfast for all and then we set up the yard sale.  We had a pretty successful day, sold most of anything that was really nice.   That night the girls and I made a trip to Walmart to pick up some groceries and got home late.  

Saturday I got up at 6a.m., got the sale set back up and about an hour into there was tons of thunder and lightning.  So we decided to close up shop since we didn't have a lot left anyway.  I was very tired and decided to take a nap around noon and I slept for 3 hours.   When I woke up I didn't feel good.  I felt congested and even more tired than before my nap.  I was coming down with a dreaded Summer Cold!  Uggh!

Sunday I slept most of the day away and today I am feeling better but still not great.  Needless to say I have done nothing creative whatsoever.    I have a shirt cut out to finish up an outfit for my niece K and I have a skirt cut out of 2 pillowcases for my niece R.  I am hoping that tomorrow I feel a lot better.  Sleeping a lot and watching endless hours of Heroes is not my idea of fun.  Okay I would think it was fun for one day but not 3.  :)