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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wall Candy Frame Giveaway!

I love pictures! And I really love fun cute frames to put those pictures in! Remember how frames used to be plain, slim, flimsy things that basically just held a picture behind some glass? *shudder* Well aren't we glad THOSE days are over! Because now frames are almost as decorative as the pictures that go in them (okay, not really because I know some REALLY beautiful people...) but still, way better than they used to be! light of some of the most beautiful and creative frames I've ever seen, I'm doing a GIVEAWAY again! Yay! Beth with Wall Candy Frames has graciously agreed to give away one of her awesome frames!!
How adorable is this??? (holds a 5x7 pic, retails for $65 and also I know a REALLY good photographer who would love to help you fill it: Peacock Photography.)
Want it? Me too! All you have to do is subscribe to my blog (see that little window to the left where you enter your email address and click "subscribe"? Yeah, pretty tricky, I know.) AND go to Beth's Facebook page: Wall Candy Frames and simply leave a comment under the frame you see pictured above. Then just come back here, leave a comment telling me you did both! Easy-peasey! Already a subscriber? Don't worry, my friend, you are still included! Just let me know you already subscribe in your comment on this post.
**Extra chance to win: SHARE my blog link on your facebook wall and leave a comment telling me you shared it (in the comment section below, which means you will then have TWO comments, therefore two chances to win) and boom, you've increased your odds!**
Thanks again to the fabulous Beth with Wall Candy Frames for being so generous to my faithful readers and thanks to YOU, my faithful readers! (This is the part where you roll your eyes and go, 'dang, Sarah not only talks too much but she is totally shameless in trying to get people to read her blog', YEAH I am.) Drawing will be Sunday!
*UPDATE: We have a winner!! Jenna Long Parker has won the FABULOUS Wall Candy frame! Yay! Congrats Jenna! ps. Here is the generator I use and the photo of the screen shot that chose Jenna's number in the comment section. And yes, I only did it once, you'll have to just take my word for it! :) Congrats Jenna!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White Chicken Chili Goodness

My sweet friend Haley Winter so kindly shared her White Chicken Chili recipe with me (I asked for it after hearing my sister brag about how DELICIOUS it was when Haley brought them dinner after my sweet baby nephew was born) and it was so good, I felt the need to share my adaptation of it! I made a regular version and a veggie version (for me) so I'm sharing both! (With Haley's permission!)

White Chicken Chili by Haley
2 cans of canned chicken (cooked in skillet to get rid of that canned taste, Haley recommended)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans of skim milk (I used one can 2% milk, 1 can evaporated milk)
1/2 cup chopped onion (I omitted, G$ doesn't eat onions)
1 can Rotel
1 pkg of white chicken chili seasoning (I used a Splenda, Emeril's NoSalt, crushed red pepper, chili powder)
2 cans northern beans (I used 3/4 bag of dried beans, boiled for 2 hours)
*I also added 2 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

I put all these ingredients in my big slow cooker and let it cook on Low for several hours. Haley says serve with corn chips and cheese, so I did!

Veggie White Chicken-less Chili:
1 red onion, chopped
1 can Rotel 
1 can northern beans (I used a little less than half a bag of boiled dry beans)
1 can Pinto beans
1 can cream of potato soup
season to taste: Emeril's NoSalt, crushed red pepper, chili powder, chiplotle-type seasoning)
1 clove minced garlic 
I sauteed the onion with a small amount of EVOO. Meanwhile, I combined all ingredients into my totally cute owl slow cooker (pictured first) because it's a medium sized slow cooker and I didn't need to make as much of the veggie version as the meat version and let it cook on Low for a few hours. I served with corn chips and cheese.

I combined some of both chili's and took it to my friend BreAnna and her husband who just had a precious new baby and they enjoyed it! My friend Lawanda also enjoyed a sampling of both versions and I'm proud to say she liked the meatless version best--Yay! All of my family actually ate this meal, so this one will definitely go into the rotation. Thanks so much for your willingness to share your recipe, Haley!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fondue You Love Me?

Okay when I wrote the title of this post, I said it to the tune of "Do do you love me/Do do you love me" by the one and only Paula Abdul, but I decided to remove the extra "Do" in case people thought I was stuttering. But now I can't get that tune out of my head unfortunately, so I felt the need to get it in YOUR head, too. Your welcome.
Tonight's menu had me salivating all day and as I sit here full and content watching the end of "Two Brothers" with the girls, I just HAD to share our yummy dinner with you so you can share it with YOUR family! Or for a dinner party with friends, except for the whole 'double dipping' concept would have me antsy and weirded out the whole time but maybe that's just me...
We had an easy fun fondue dinner tonight for Valentine's Day:
 Here were our "dippers" which just tickled the girls because they got to get as many dippers as they wanted on their plates! For our fondue, I oh-so-creatively warmed marinara sauce and alfredo sauce (from jars) in two small CrockPots (thanks for the extra 'crackpot', Lisa!) and then my yummy homemade cheese fondue in another small CrockPot and put them in the middle of the table (we plugged them into an extension cord):
 Haven and Stone were ready! You can't see it here, but I attached Valentine's balloons (or as Stone says "Bay-Boo!") to each of the kids' chairs and they had cards at their place settings. We drank water and Welch's sparkling grape juice which the girls made up 'toasts' with after our prayer.
 I used woven pink and red placemats (pink leftover from Haven's last two birthday parties and red leftover from my brother's Ole Miss graduation party and Stone's Pirate Party, these things have proven quite worth the $.99 each!) other fun Valentiney things. Gary brought me flowers:
And here were the kids' little happies, most of which I found at Target including the owl bowls and fork/spoon inside Stone's bag. Can you see the blue and white polka dot Duck tape in the bag on the right? That's for Micah's Duck Tape collection. Yes. Duck Tape collection...
And we had yummy chocolate covered strawberries for dessert (Thanks Lawanda!). And now for the recipe for the cheese fondue, because I know you're dying to try it!

Cheesey Fondue:

2 Cups milk
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp mustard powder
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese (caution: its $13/lb at Kroger, ouch!)
2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz. Coors beer
1/2 tsp Thyme (optional)

I melted everything except the cheese in a saucepan at medium heat, stirring frequently. Then I added the Gruyere (I have to confess I ate probably 1/5 of the cheese as I was cutting it and stirring the sauce, but it still turned out fine with a little less of this amazing-ness than I wrote in the ingredients, FYI) and kept stirring. Last I added the cheddar because it melts pretty quickly.
Once it was all ooey gooey and melty, I transferred it to a pre-heated mini CrockPot and BOOM--yummy cheesey fondue! 
Our dippers of choice were cheese tortellini, round cheese ravioli, cubed multi-grain french loaf, cubed chicken breast, beef meatballs, and fiji apple chunks.
I'll be heating some up tomorrow for lunch if anyone wants to come try it and see if it reheats as well as it tasted the first go-round! *This recipe was adapted from looking at 10 or 12 different cheese fondue recipes and editing/combining/revamping them into this delicious one*

I also have to add here that my 4-year-old.ate.nonstop. This is a HUGE deal. The kid ate one bite of my white chicken chili last night and went to bed an hour later without even complaining that she was hungry. Soooo I will definitely be making easy fondue style meals a normal part of our dinner routine! Let me know what you think! :)


Valentine's Day 2012

What a fun Valentine's Day we've had! This year was the year I actually remembered to put out all the cute Valentine's decor I've collected over time (for the first time, seriously!) and thanks to, I've also felt compelled to do a little "more" with this silly little holiday for once. So we did!
Micah filled out and took her own store-bought Valentine's (The Muppets) to school this morning (along with candy for her class). The littles had parties at Mothers Day Out so I let Haven make little treat bags for her friends and attach her store-bought Valentine's (Disney Princesses, of course) to each of them. She had the best time with this! I realized at some point (okay, yesterday) that I had forgotten to buy Stone any cards for his class so after scouring Pinterest and surprisingly coming up empty-handed, I came up with the idea for hand-made owl magnets! I know the other five 18-month olds were SO impressed....
Here's how I made them:

 I free-handed everything except the eyes (I've never been good at cutting circles) which were about the size of a dime, as shown.
Stone really had a good time watching, I mean helping
I used Elmer's glue (not usually my glue of choice but out of sheer laziness I didn't want to look for my Tacky Glue or hook up my glue gun for just scrapbooking paper) and I put them under a paper file to help them dry:
Here are the finished products, before magnets. I really really wanted to laminate them last-minute but remembered I don't have a laminating machine (boo.) so I just stuck magnets from a magnet strip on the back. (Don't forget when using magnets from a magnet roll to bend and mold the magnet pieces with your hands to make sure they don't bow your paper.) 

Who knows if any of these will actually appear on the refrigerators of Stone's classmates, but we had fun with it!
At least they will enjoy the candy inside the treat bags, right?
More to come on our yummy Valentine's dinner!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crafty Craftiness Giveaway!

I'm going to give this whole blog-giveaway thing a shot! Since OBVIOUSLY I'm not a super-awesome blogger, I figure I can at least redeem my lame blog by giving away something for free! I have been working on some fun things lately for a few friends that I wanted to share, and now, GIVE AWAY something! 
My super awesome photographer, Hollie Peacock of Peacock Photography asked for something cute for her playroom "with owls" on it, she said, and of course after I swooned because of my crazy psycho love of owls, I came up with this (above).
It was inspired by the canvases I made for Stone's nursery:
They looked a little plain, so I later mounted them to an antique window pane and tied them up with burlap (of course) and ribbon. I liked this effect MUCH better. I'll have to take a pic at some point when I'm not using sleep time to do things on the computer. Which may be never. Not sure.
I seem to have lots of friends having babies, so I've been pumping out baby signs for the hospital door:
This is for one of my sweet Premier jewelers, BreAnna. I've done 3 or 4 others in the past couple of weeks, one in particular for my sister Jessica who had my sweet baby nephew Lincoln Crue just recently! Love him! He is just precious! So handsome in fact that I passed out at the mere sight of his awesomeness. True story. Give or take a few details...but I digress...That's another blog entry...

 How fun are these double bow holders for the daughters of my friend Lucy? I think I need to remake Haven's single bow holder to one of these fun ones!
I needed a cake stand at some point and have since bought one, but this one is still a favorite of mine. I made it and now I'm addicted to buying fun plates to make even more! Want one? Let me know! I'll hunt for your perfect fun plate and make you a cake stand! :) If you say pretty please.
I got this idea from Pinterest (of course!) and made a set of these coasters for my friend Stephanie Roy and a set for myself (my favorite way to give gifts apparently...) and I love them:
 Okay and lastly--I LOVE this! One of my favorite passages:

 Want one? All you have to do is leave a comment below, and share this blog on Pinterest or Facebook and let me know in your comment! I'll randomly draw a winner and make you a board like this, or with a different phrase/passage on it if you'd prefer. But do it asap, because I'll choose a winner by Monday!
Thanks for sharing and have an awesome and yummy food-filled Super Bowl Weekend! 
**Disclaimer: If this turns out to be a big giant fail and the only people who leave comments are the 3 people who EVER leave comments (my sister, and my sisters-in-law Anna and Corrie) then I will just have to give you all 3 a happy because you're all my super awesome favorite followers! Okay, disclaimer ended. This is just so I don't look nearly as lame as I probably will end up looking. :)

***Added 2/07/12 at 10:47 pm: Annnnnnndddddddd the winner of my Crafty Craftiness Blog Giveaway is...... (drum roll please)......... Paige Smiley Richardson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My generator picked YOU Mrs.Paige! You can decide on a wooden plaque like the "Make a Joyful Noise" one or a set of fun coasters like the ones featured on my blog! Let me know, girl! And CONGRATS, thanks for reading! :)***