Monday, March 21, 2011

Yummy Jambalaya

Ohh this is one of my favorites!  SO easy to make and so full of flavor.   I've made it for my fiance, his roommates, and my family and they all loved it so now I am going to share it with you!
Ingredients Needed:
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fully cooked/skinless kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
I can of kidney beans (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
3 pinches of white flour
3 drops hot pepper sauce (I used Tobasco)
2 bags of Brown Ready Rice

1.   In either a deep skillet or a medium soup pan, saute onion and green pepper in oil until tender. 
2.   Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, water, sugar, all seasonings, flour, and drained beans if using.  You can add more water for more sauce.  Doing that will thin it out so add a few more pinches of flour to thicken it up if you do.  Also add more hot sauce for more spice.
3.   Once it comes to a boil it is finished.  Cook your ready rice by instructions in the microwave.
4.   You can stir in the rice with the jambalaya or serve it separately.  I serve it separately because some like less rice and more of the veggie and meat mixture.

Now all you have to do is enjoy it!  I guarantee it will be a hit even for those picky eaters :) 
 Hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  The terrarium I am working on is almost finished and I CANT WAIT to show it to all of you readers because it is looking AWESOME!

We still have to come up with a cool name for our new Chameleon, it will be a boy.  Any suggestions???
Linking up to:
The House Creative

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break Kiddo Activities

I am not a mother but after being a nanny for 6 years and babysitting since I was 12, I know a thing or two about kiddos.  Spring break is about here for most grade schools and that means keeping them occupied for a week without breaking the budget, that is if you aren't heading somewhere warm!  So here are some of my tricks that I use to keep the kids entertained and you sane.

1.  Create a tentative schedule of special activities around town:
Most towns have some sort of website with a list of fun things to do around your neighborhood.   Do some research on google to see what special events are going on during that week, things like a book reading at your local library, a discounted day at your local museum, etc.  Pick some of those things, maybe one a day or every other day.  Try this website at Sprout.

2.  Get together supplies for random crafts:
Of course keep the staples near by, things like colorful paper, glue, foam paper, markers, crayons, paint, and ribbon.  I loved to pick up 'random crafts' at local thrift or dollar stores.  Things like plates, bud vases, picture frames, etc.  They end up being fun things to decorate.  Let them paint, add stickers, glitter, anything fun.  You can have them create the projects for a special person, let them help wrap it and make a day trip to give the gift.  Grandmas love it!
 3.  Cooking classes are always a blast
Make creating dinner fun.  Let your kids help with every step of the process, giving them kid friendly duties of course.  Baking and decorating is always a hit, it doesn't have to be Christmas to make fun shaped sugar cookies and douse them with frosting and sprinkles
4.  Fort sleepovers
Building forts was one of my favorite things to do as a kid.  Some of my best memories about it was when my mom was cool enough to have 'Fort Sleepovers' with me.  We would build the biggest, coolest fort we could of course leaving access to the t.v. so we could snuggle up in our sleeping bags, watch a cool new kiddo movie and eat loads of popcorn.  Following the movie we got to read stories and sleep in our fort for the night.  Its like camping inside!
Do you have any other fun and cool spring break kiddo activities?? Good luck to all of you mommas, nannies, and babysitters and enjoy your break blogland!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Accordian Photo Book

A couple weekends ago I got the opportunity to spend the whole time with my mom scrapbooking, awesome!  She has been a consultant with Creative Memories for the past 18 years so I am spoiled when it comes to all things scrapbook.  While we were at our retreat with about 10 other ladies, one of them showed us how to make these super cool/cute photo books.  They are super simple and a lot of fun and they make for great gifts for any occasion.  So now I am sharing them with you!
What you'll need:
2 - 4.5"x4.5" squares of thin cardboard or matboard
2 - 5.5"x5.5" squares of patterned paper
3 - 8.5"x8.5" squares of cardstock paper in colors of your choice
scrapbooking/acid free double sided tape
1.   With your tape, adhere the 5.5"x5.5" to each of your cardboard squares.  Cut off the corners and put more tape on the flaps.  Fold each flap onto the backside of the cardboard.  These are going to be your covers to your book.  Set them aside to create the inside next.
 2.   Fold each of your cardstock squares in half (the 'hotdog' way), unfold and then fold the opposite direction so you have plus sign looking creases across the middle of each sheet.  Then fold each of your papers from one corner to corner adding a diagonal crease to each square.  ONLY DO THIS ONCE!
So now each of your squares will look like this:
3.  Now overlap each of your squares, leaving the diagonal creases exposed.   The two squares on the outside, the diagonal crease needs to turn upward and the center turning downward.  This is how you will attach each of them.  Using your scrapbook tape attach the three squares like so:
5.  Once you have attached each of the three pieces of cardstock they should fold up like this:
6.  Next you need to attach the covers that you made in the beginning.  Attach each cover to either side of your accordian with your scrapbook tape.  
7.  Now its the fun part!  You have finished making the bones of your book so now all is left is to decorate, best part i know :)  Cut your photos into 4"x4" squares for your book.  You can choose to put a photo into each square or you can put little notes or embellishments to add a little decorative touch.  If you are going to place a photo onto a square that has a diagonal crease in the center all you have to do is cut your photo where the crease is going to be.  
And when you have finished it all......
To add a finishing touch to your book add some more decorative elements to the cover, a name for the person it is for, a flower, another picture, whatever you like!  Take a piece of ribbon and tie a bow around your book to keep it closed.  Now you have a picture perfect and unique little keepsake that makes great gifts for your friends, family, or anyone else special in your life.  
If you try to make one of your own I would love to see it!  So please link it back to me so I can see all of your creations :) Have a great weekend all you lovelies
Linking up to:
The Girl Creative#ff63e0

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bored Jars - For All You Mommas!

HAPPY FAT TUESDAY EVERYONE!! I am so sorry readers, it has been a while.  School has been a bit INSANE, but I am now finally on a break and can get back to blogging away! So here is my latest little project...

Whoa does this bring me back to my childhood!  All growing up I remember having this "terribly-great" thing called a bored jar.  It was an old canning jar my mom had filled with little scraps of paper.  On each scrap there was something to do, according to my brother and I some were terrible and some were great!  They said thing like, 'clean your room', 'play with chalk', 'go for ice cream', 'vacuum your room', or 'ride bikes for an hour'.  The catch to the bored jar is whenever someone says that infamous phrase "IM BORED" you were now forced to pick a scrap out of the bored jar, and whatever you picked you HAD to do.  No whining, no ifs ands or buts about it!
My mom didn't put a whole lot of the 'terribles' but there were a few.  She says this was to discourage us from saying it at all, saying it means you take your chances!  It was such a fun game sometimes, especially if I picked something cool and my brother had to go do something like vacuum his room...tehehe :)

I have a close girlfriend who is having her third child in a few months and I thought this would be a cute idea as a gift for her two older girls, now that she will need to keep them occupied doing things that allow her to take care of the baby more often.  All you need is some sort of jar, preferably with a lid, scrap paper, glue, and anything else you want to decorate your jar.  You can just keep it simple or go crazy with all that glue, mod podge, paper, ribbon and/or glitter!  You decide but make it totally your own.  I used some scrap fabric and mod podged it to the jar then added the little label out of sticker letters and computer paper.  I got the jar for only 1.99, which was my only cost.  So easy, cheap and fun!  This is how it turned out:
 I am thinking about doing a GIVEAWAY pretty soon...I don't want to spoil the details but its going to be pretty awesome so keep checking back over the next week or so!
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Curio Cabinet turned Chameleon Terrarium! Part 1

I am SOOO excited about my current big project!  Weird I know, who would have thought a piece of furniture created to house cheesy knickknacks and old glassware would turn out to be a fabulous new home for a reptile?!  I have to give credit where it is due, I got this idea from one of my fave blogs Life, Crafts, and Whatever.  She turned her curio cabinet into a new home for her three geckos.  I needed something similar for our new addition to our family so I borrowed her idea but changed it up to better suit the needs of our little dinosaur :)
I searched Craigslist for a couple weeks or so and with no luck I decided to look at some local antique/thrift shop and I found this gem.  I talked the lady down to $38 bucks, it has a space on the bottom to store bugs (aka food) and gear and it also has a built in light on the top...Awesome!  I am going to finish it over this coming week.  It is my spring break so I will have a lot of extra time.  Check back in about a week to see the finished product!
Linking up to:
Life, Crafts and Whatever
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