Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicken Azteca

Chicken Azteca has become a family fave at our home here lately. It's super easy, and I love a good crock pot recipe. My kids have said, and I quote, "Mom, this is FANTASTIC!"
I'd say it's a keeper;o)
I do apologize for my failed attempts of food photography. It is way more tasty than it looks:o)

Here's what you need:

-3 chicken breasts or 1 pack of the thin cut chicken breasts
1 15 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
(make sure to rinse and drain, or it will look like mud)
1 med chunky salsa (16 oz)
1 16 oz package of frozen corn
1 to 2 tsp of cumin
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 can pet. diced tomatoes(I use a can of Rotel) 
1 8 oz cream cheese

Put everything except the cream cheese in the crock pot & cook on low for 4 to 6 hrs...pull the chicken breast out and chop it to bits.  Put the chicken back into the crock pot, and add the cream cheese. Stir until combined. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and chips!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Living a Life Worthy of Your Calling

My family and I have the privilege of attending a congregation with two excellent preachers. We have heard some very inspiring sermons since we have been going there. Last night, the sermon given was very much needed...for myself that is:o)
The title of the sermon was, "Live a life worthy of your calling." The speaker used Ephesians 4:1-3 as the core of his message.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.(NIV)

Here are the points he laid out using these short verses:

1. Live a Life of Humility
This is a tough one for me. I really like to have my ego stroked. I have contemplated shutting down this blog on several different occasions b/c of my desire to be told how fantastic my projects are. That's usually when I have to take a break from blogging. I have to focus more on the needs of others than my own. Regroup, so to speak.

Another struggle of mine:o) I strive to be more gentle with my children and my husband. I have the tendency to be wound ain't pretty. Breathing deeply and staying calm is usually not something I do. If I were a cartoon, I would probably have steam blowing out of my ears at times:o) My great grandmother was the epitome of gentleness. I really want to be her when I grow up:o)

Here are a few of the verses that he named off that speak of gentleness:

Gal. 5:22-23=But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2 Cor. 10:1=By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!
Col. 3:12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

1 Tim. 6:11= But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Here's a quote to ponder:

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these."
~George Washington Carver

 3. Patience
Now how many of you struggle with this one as much as I do?
I think most of us look at patience in the same manner as this little cartoon below:
 The preacher stated, "We value it in other people...We know people who need more patience. However, we don't include ourselves on the list".

I usually don't pray for patience because I know that I will get it....I have children:o)

4. Peaceful
committed to unity. 
I usually experience this during nap time:o)
Something that we should take into consideration is that 'Jesus is our peace.'

 Eph. 2:14=For He Himself is our peace...

Keeping Christ as my focus, and striving to be more like Him, will help me to achieve these wonderful character traits. I truly believe that these are learned traits...they are easier to come by for some...harder for others..
Thank you for sitting here and reading this post. I was truly inspired to be better after hearing this sermon. Today has been a particularly trying day, so it was good for me to have these thoughts fresh on my mind...
I wish that you all could have been there to hear it. He did a much better job at presenting it than I did. 

Hopefully you have been inspired as well:o)

I hope you all have a great rest of the day. I will be sharing some Easter projects with you starting next week. Can you believe that Easter is at the end of April??

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Best of March at Saturday Mornings

Hey Guys! I'm back, and I'm looking forward to sharing some projects with you in the next few days. I wanted to let you know that my Provost Plaque is in the running for "Best of March" over at Saturday Mornings.
Voting is going on now, and will end April 1st. 
Click on the button below to vote!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some Fun Gift Ideas

I know that I said that I was taking a break from blogging this week...I really am.  I had a few moments of not doing anything, so I thought I would share with you guys what I made yesterday for the Homemakers group that I am involved with.
I had to do a presentation about Homemade Beauty products at our monthly meeting last night, and I decided to make a few of the things to hand out to the ladies.
The first thing I made was a Honey Lemon Sugar Scrub.
Here are the ingredients

 2 1/2 cups sugar, 
1/2 cup sweet almond oil, 
4 teaspoons lemon juice,              
 4 Tablespoons honey,
 4 drops lemon essential oil  
Directions: To make the sugar scrub, combine the sugar and sweet almond oil in a large 
bowl and stir well to combine. Add the lemon juice and stir again. Finally, add the honey 
and lemon essential oil and stir again to mix. 

Store in an air tight container.
Another Homemade Beauty product I made was Aloe Vera Lip Balm
This was so simple to make.
I found the little heart containers in the wedding section at the Dollar Tree, and they were half off. I was able to get 20 hearts for $2.50.
Here are the ingredients:
  1 tsp. Aloe Vera gel, 
1/2 tsp. coconut oil, 
1 tsp. petroleum jelly  
Directions: Combine the ingredients in a small glass bowl until well mixed. Heat for 
about 1 minute in the microwave. Make sure to cover the bowl with a paper towel. 
I obviously made this recipe much larger since I was making for 20.
 It should look like this once heated.

Stir and pour into a small container. (I used a dropper from the drug store to pour it into the container.) Let cool completely before use. 
Super simple, all natural recipes for home beauty care. Fun, right?
For more homemade beauty recipes, you can visit THIS link.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Shirt

I know that in the last post I shared t-shirts with you, but some things have come up this week that haven't allowed me to get done what I had set out to do for this week.
I did get this shirt made for E yesterday so that he would have something green to wear for St. Patty's the way...
Happy St. Patty's Day to you all:o)
He was really excited about this shirt.
I am sure that a lot of you have seen all of the tutorials out there for freezer paper stenciling. That's how I made this shirt. Really easy.
I will definitely be making some more shirts using this technique.
Just a little note to all you lovelies out there. I am going to take a break from blogging for probably about a week or so. I have some dresses that I have to alter for some girls in the coming days, and my mother is having surgery next week and will be needing my assistance. So with all of that on my plate, I won't have time to do any other crafts.
Just keep checking back periodically, or sign up for emails that way you won't miss out.
Hope you guys have a great couple of weeks:o) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Appliqued Boy's T-Shirts

Here are some cute little T's that I made for E. He is so excited about these:o)
The shirts were purchased from Walmart. The only thing I don't like about their boy t-shirts is they have a pocket. I have to remove the pockets and that is definitely a pain, but I do love paying only $3.50 for each shirt.
I can't decide which I like best. 
They are so fun:o)
They took very little time to make and E is so happy about them. He can't wait to wear them to preschool.
I have some fabric that I purchased from Joann's the other day that will match BOTH of these shirts perfectly. I see some new shorts in E's very near future;o)
I am in the process of reconstructing my site. Hopefully it will be easier to access things, and look a little cleaner:o) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Explorer" Messenger Bag

I know that during the week last week, I just kind of sprung on you guys that I would be hosting "a boy" week. 
I realized that there just aren't enough projects out in bloggy world concerning our little boys. It's hard to create for them. You don't normally hear cute, crafty and boy in the same sentence:o)
So hopefully this week, we can help change that a little;o) 
 E has patiently watched me make things for S.R. for the past few weeks and I told him his time was coming.
And now it's here:o)
To start the week off, I am sharing with you this messenger bag.
We are labeling it as an "Explorer" bag, so that it sounds a lot cooler than it actually is:o)
I had some leftover canvas from my kitchen curtains, and a little bit of "boy" scrap fabric in my closet, so this project was 100% free to me.
Here are the measurements for the bag:
6-12"x9" panels(main panel and flap)
4-9"x3" panels(the sides)
2-12"x3" panels(the bottom)
1-7"x7" square
1-4"x30" panel(strap)
These are the steps that I took.
Start off by pressing in the raw edges of the square a 1/2".
Next take you strap fabric and fold it in half. Press.
Fold in the raw edges a 1/2" and press.
When you have completed those steps, your strap should look like this.
Take 2 panels and sew a seam down the long sides using a 1/2" seam allowance.
Place your square where you would like it, pin if necessary, and stitch.
Take 2 side panels and stitch along the short sides. Stop stitching about a 1/2" at both ends to make attaching other panels easier.
Press all seams open
Next attach bottom panel and front panel making sure to leave the 1/2" at the ends.
Bring front panel forward and stitch the remaining pieces together.
You will repeat these steps with the remainder of your cut fabric to make the lining.
For some reason, I skipped the picture for this next step. You will want to press all the un-sewn raw edges in a 1/2" towards the other raw edges. For the outside of the bag, you will press inward. For the lining, you will press outward.
  Hopefully this makes sense!!
Slide the lining into the outer shell with wrong sides facing. Match all side seams. Insert strap on each end of the bag. Pin and stitch.
Once you have sewn all the way around the bag, you should come up with something that looks like this:
Perfect for your little man to fill with his "gear" and go exploring.
I'm looking forward to sharing with you guys some more boy projects this week.
Email if you have any questions!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Barbie Birthday Party Decorations-Part 2

Whew! This party was so much work, but I think it paid off. Everyone had a fantastic time, especially the birthday girl and her mommy;o)
We couldn't have asked for better weather either!!
Here are the pics of the rest of the party.

Food Table
The new cakes. I decided to be bold and go for a two layer cake this time. I think it turned out really cute. I am definitely a fan of fondant. 
All the "little" party guests got their own personal Barbie cake.
Here is a close up of a few. These proved to be slightly more difficult. I used store bought icing and it didn't want to stick to the dolls. I'll have to come up with something different next time...
if there is a next time;o) 
They still turned out pretty cute though:o)
Another shot of the mantle. I was so excited with how the banner turned out. SUPER cute!
I have been collecting the Hallmark Barbie ornaments since they started coming out with them in the 90's. I pulled out a few that had coordinating dresses:o)
Here is the party favor table. 

All of the mommies got to take something special home. 
I found a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub at Under the Table and Dreaming. Stephanie also provides the labels to print out.
The girls got these little goodies in their bags along with a full size Barbie.  

The coffee table was our designated gift area.  

The hubs picked these roses up from Costco yesterday. They always have the most beautiful flowers there.
Here some on the craft table.
The girls had 2 crafts to work on.
The first was a beaded necklace. They required some help from the mommies, but the girls seemed to enjoy them.
The second was the picture frames. I spray painted these frames ahead of time and asked each of the girls' mothers to email me a profile picture of their daughters.

I printed the pictures out on card stock and had the mothers cut them out while the girls were decorating the frames.
And this is how they turned out.
Aren't they cute?
This is probably the most successful party that I have hosted. It was a lot less stressful since the numbers were lower, and I seemed to be ahead of things as well. 
This made for one happy little girl:o)
and a happy mommy!!

If you missed out on the other posts, here they are:

Participating in:

The Girl Creative

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Party Outfit

This is what Miss S.R. will be wearing at the party on Saturday. This isn't what I had intended for the outfit to be, but I think it turned out really cute. The shirt was actually supposed to be a skirt, but I didn't make it right. I guess that's what I get for making something on the fly when little bit is down for a nap:o)
When she tried the skirt on, she hated it. So I thought, maybe I could put some straps on it and call it a shirt. Well it worked:o)
Can you tell I love ruffle pants?:o)
She just looks so cute in them!!
There is a possibility of some monogramming but we'll see how much time I actually have:o)
Lots of cleaning, hair cutting, and baking going on today. 
Have a great Thursday!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free 'Thank You' Notes Printables

Mommies usually get left out when it comes to party favors. Let's face it, mommies get left out of a lot of things. They are the ones who go shopping for the gifts, get everyone dressed, and cart the little ones to the parties. So I want to make sure that they have a little something to take with them to show that we appreciate them making the effort to be at the party.
I'll share what's in them later on. I still want it to be a surprise for the mothers who will be attending:o)

I tried my hand at a little printable action yesterday.
These are the 'Thank You' notes that we will be sending out after the birthday party.
Are you impressed with my computer skills? This took FO-EVUH to make. Because I got no skillz.
You can download this FREE printable
And here are the 'Thank You' tags for the party favor bags.
To download these, click
The circles can either be cut out by hand or you can use a 2" circle punch to cut them out.
Let me know if there are any issues with downloading.
Happy Printing:o)