Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas is a time for driving myself insane.

It is so true. Christmas has turned into a time that I seriously go bat  crazy. Though, I will say that this year I haven't been as Grinchy as I have in the past. Maybe it has something to do with making my own Christmas gifts this year. Or maybe my heart has grown two sizes larger? Its hard telling, really. All that I know is that I am more in the festive spirit of things. Until I look at my to do list and realize Christmas will be canceled for half of those people because I am too entirely ambitious.

Basically, I have 10 days to get Christmas together at least for those back home in Wise. I am almost there, which is awesome. But I'm telling myself that people here in Wilmington can just celebrate Twelfth Night which is when the Wise Men actually got to Jesus. I feel pretty decent about that until I realize the main differences between me and the Wise Men is that I don't have facial hair, camels (be it the animal or the cigarettes), and I don't have the gold, Frankincense, or Myrrh. I don't even know what myrrh is. Or how to spell it. I had to do a fake Google search to let it spell it out for me. Something, I will admit, that I do often when posting pop culture references in facebook statuses and comments so that I don't looks like I've grgraduated college and still don't know how to spell Kardashian.

I totally did it again.

Anyways, what this is all coming down to is the fact that Marie's mom will be coming in tomorrow to bake her little heart out for Christmas and I am trying to decide if it would be Kosher or not to ask her to make cookies for me t give to people. Now, some of you might think that it is, but seriously, you do not understand the situation at all. Let me spell it all out for you.

Agnes Kathy is Marie's mom. I call her Agnes Kathy when talking to others about her (including Marie) because her name is Agnes Kathleen and some people call her Agnes and some people call her Kathleen and I don't know what to call her because when she was introduced it was all "HEY! This is my mom! POLKA MUSIC!" When I see her I usually stumble over what to call her and don't want to be that rude person that says "Hey you!" or "Um..."  So I default to awkwardly calling her Momma Kathy because I'm not sure if she really likes that or not, especially when she has other people calling her Agnes.  The moral of this name story is that I look far too much into things. Seriously, I'm obsessing over something highly unnecessary.

So, Agnes Kathy is coming in tomorrow and staying until Saturday morning to bake cookies away from the little helping hands of her grandchildren. I don't think that Agnes Kathy really thought this all the way through, though, because my hands are much bigger and don't really help out so much as swipe and eat. But I digress. She will be turning into the foreman at the Keebler Elf Factory, and, only second to Paula Dean, the sole reason that the butter industry is still thriving. The kitchen will only fit her and her backing supplies and dog dishes will be relocated to the dining room area. Popcorn tin after popcorn tin will be chockabock full of delicious wintery treats. Thus, why I wonder if she will even miss a tin for me to give to others for Christmas after I have ate my fill.

Maybe I should take to making cookies for people for Christmas instead of the detailed items that I have been working on? I cant wait to start posting pictures of what I've done, though most will have to wait until after Christmas when I know they will be a surprise for those getting them.

I wish this post was better, but I'm rambling and getting ready for work.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I come bearing soup!

So I'm back and with a vengeance. Or soup. I'm back and with a soupy vengeance!

It is that time of year again. When the world cools down and we can enjoy open window weather and the smell of fall setting in. And nothing says fall like a nice big bowl of soup.

My dad is a good cook and one of my favorite meals of his is his chicken and potato soup. It is seriously amazing and perfect on cold days. Deciding that I needed some in the very near future, I gave my dad a call and asked for his recipe. It is all pretty simple, very straight forward...and so good.

First you take 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and place them in a pot with water about an inch above the chicken. Season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Then, in true southern fashion, toss in a stick of butter! Cover the pot and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let it cook slowly for an hour to and hour and a half. Once the time is up, remove the chicken from the stock and set aside.

Add your potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Or whatever veggies you want. Though, the potatoes are kind of key in Chicken and Potato soup. Give it all a good stir and divert your attention to the chicken as the vegetables start to enjoy their bath.

Shred it all up until you get a huge mountain of delicious chickeny goodness. And add right back to the pot.

Give it all a good stir, cover the pot, and let it all simmer and cook for about another 30 minutes. While it does that, make yourself a concoction of flour and milk. Dad usually does two heaping tablespoons of flower and then probably 3/4c milk.

My handy-dandy trick is putting it inside of a mason jar and shaking it like a Yoo-Hoo. Then letting the jar sit out to come to room temperature or close to it. Almost like tempering it. When the veggies are cooked, give the jar another good shake and then add it to the pot and giving it all another good stir. I ended up adding a little more milk, just so I could get it to look right. Let it cook a bit longer and then you're ready.

Pour yourself a bowl and enjoy!  Of course, in dad's directions, he added something about making cornbread at some point. I didn't do this because I have to be in the mood for cornbread. That and I just didn't feel like it. Or had ingredients for it.

The soup was AMAZING and just what I needed to hit the spot. I'm telling you, it is the perfect fall soup. And if you wanted to substitute the potatoes for noodles, I wouldn't blame you. It would make amazing Chicken Noodle soup.

To be completely honest, dad didn't give me exact measurements on ingredients, so I'm just trying to figure it out on my own as I go. Some of it can definitely be left to your tastes.

Blue's Chicken and Potato Soup

5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.
4-5 potatoes, skinned and cut into cubes.
1/2 c baby carrots, cut into pieces.
1 onion, cut into wedges.
2 celery stalks, chopped into pieces.
Salt and pepper.
1/2 to 1 tbs of onion powder.
1/2 to 1 tbs of garlic powder.
1tbs of Italian Seasoning.
2 heaping tbs of flour.
3/4c milk.
1 stick of butter.

Place chicken in a stock pot, covering it with water, up to an inch above the meat. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning and butter to the pot and over. Bring water to boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Cut up all vegetables and set aside. Remove chicken and set aside to cool a bit. Add vegetables, keeping the soup on medium heat. Shred chicken and add to pot. Stir and cover. Cook for 1/2 hour.
In a mason jar (or other mixing device), combine flour and milk. Shake/mix. Let stand til vegetables are cooked. Add to pot and stir. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When life takes over.

So, I've totally been meaning to post more. I've even been taking pictures of things to post. Its just the process of getting off my butt to actually, you know, sit back down on my butt and edit the pictures and then post them. BUT HOW ABOUT SOME AWESOME NEWS?!

I took BOTH of my state board exams for cosmetology and you know what? I PASSED THEM!!! Yes, that's right! I passed my state boards and I'm waiting for my license to come in the mail. I feel like a professional. LOL

So most of my time was spent getting ready for those two important tests. When I wasn't studying, I was making yo-yos, and when I wasn't making those, I was traveling back to VA to visit the family and go to Dollywood. I promise in the next couple of days I will be updating regularly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder

Now, I know that I want to keep this blog to be about a lot of crafty, foody, and naily things. But, I feel as though I should be allowed to write about a few more personal things, right? And, well, its my blog, so I'm going to. lol

At the risk of sounding like a well known nun singing on a live with with music, Let's start at the very beginning.

Quiet a few years ago, maybe about 2004 or 2005, two of my best friends from high school found the hobby of sending me Cosmo articles, verbatim, through AOL instant messenger. This then progressed to them being sure that my life wouldn't be complete with this new found knowledge of "What he likes" unless I also has a Victoria Secret's bra. So, that Christmas, they joined their money, purchased my girls a gift card, and gave it to me in a Dollar General training bra that they has written on with a red marker. It was one of the most hilarious presents I had ever opened...and in public, at that. So, a few weeks later, I finally made it to a VS and bought my first really nice bra.

As soon as the girls were properly supported, there was instant uplighting and a choir of angles singing.

I wore the heck out of this bra. And continued to do so until it finally had to be put out to pasture. When the bra was gone, it was like I had lost my best friend. I didn't ave the money at the time to buy a new VS bra. I relapsed into cheap bras, because before VS, they were all I knew! I even delved into the world of sports bras and thinking that because my skinnier, smaller bossomed friends could wear tank tops with built in bras as their bra, then I could, too. Looking back not I will honestly admit it wasn't the best of ideas for me, but I was going to be just like them, dammit! I was going to wear tanktops under EVERYTHING. If I got hot? What did it matter? I was still just like them.

Finally, my mom talked me into going to Lane Bryant and looking at their bras because we had a coupon or something. I went, though I was perfectly fine with my tank tops at the time. And, then, for the first time, I was properly measured for a bra. It was...amazing. They told me precisely what I needed and when I put it on, it was like I had found my best friend once more.

We purchased three that day, and once again, I wore them until the underwire finally snapped in the middle. It was a sad day, and I was soon finding myself in the underwear section of Wal-Mart looking for something, telling myself "Oh, I just need something cheap. It will just be for a few days until I can get to the store and by a few more really nice ones."

A few days turned into a few weeks, which then turned into a few months. I try to find something at some of the other clothing stores I had went into, but they were still just as cheap and my boobs were proving to take over the world.

Last night I had had enough of it! I gathered my roommate into the car with  me and off we went to the mall. Once again, I headed towards Lane Bryant, but I went for the same size I had worn last time. But when I put it on? Well, my cup runneth over. A little distraught, I put on the same size around, but upped my cup and wasn't sure if it was fitting right. Thankfully, one of the workers saw the distraught look on my face as I was looking through the bras again to find something, ANYTHING, that could contain Flotsam and Jetsam. She asked if I wanted to be sized and I instantly said yes and about dropped my dress right there.

She measured me and that's when it all went down hill. First it was around my body, the measuring tape help right underneath my boobs. She made a noise and then went "Looks like you're in the middle. You're hitting right around 41." I just nodded and then helped her place the tape around the largest part of the boobs. Then she kind of laughed and I could just picture her standing behind me, shaking her head in amusement. "You're in the middle here, too. Between a DD and a D cup." For a second I let out a breath of relief because I was totally worried she was going to say between double and triple d. But then I just laughed. Of course I was in the middle on both parts! Because life couldn't be as east for me as to just say my size, pat my head Cindy Lou-who style, and send me on my way with my glass of water.

I fiddled around a bit until I was finally comfortable with two different bra and made my purchases. At the time I Was a little grumpy because I wasn't sure if what I bought was really right or not, and a good bra costs a good, pretty penny. But, this morning, A smile was brought to my face the moment I put the bra on and the girls were back where they belonged. It was like seeing an old friend that you hadn't seen in years. And I definitely said "Oh, hello, ladies!" when I saw myself in the mirror.

Now I'm just tempted to write a lower  case d on the tags in the new bras. Because, that's what the middle of D and DD is, right? Dd?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ranchy Crackers

I know I said I was going to try to post once every single day for an entire year. But I don't want to do that. Now, I'm not giving up on my project. I'm still going to post. I'm just not going to try and crank out posts that are just meaningless dribble. I want to post things because I want to post them. Not because I need filler.

Today, I have an awesome recipe that I want to share. I figure, because Mondays are usually my productive and experimental cooking days, that I would try to post recipes on Mondays. My stomach and I are pretty excited about this.

To start off the post, let me tell you all a little story. My roommate's mother, Momma Kathy, morphs into a Keebler Elf when Christmas time comes around. Part of me wishes I was joking, but the part of me that loves cookies doesn't. She makes container after container of cookies. Chocolate chip, mint, pressed, you name it, she makes it. Well, this last Christmas, MK decided to turn our teeny tiny kitchen into her tree house bakery. 

For the first time in my life, I feel that there was enough butter in one room that even Paula Deen would be happy.

Anyways, one of the things she made that wasn't cookies were these crackers. Like, I could eat them all day. And, in fact, I did when I got home from visiting my family in Virginia. I decided to give the recipe a go. 

Start off with the ingredients. Oyster crackers, vegetable oil, ranch mix, garlic powder, lemon and pepper seasoning, dried dill, and celery salt. 

I have made chex mix before and always needed to mix it all in the big bowl and THEN transfer it to the baking sheet, so I was all ready with the big plastic bowl. Only to read the rest of the directions and realize I didn't need the big bowl after all. 

Instead, you pour the crackers on the baking sheet and then set it aside. Or, in my case, you set it farther back on the stove top.

In a MUCH smaller bowl than the one I pictured before, mix the seasonings with one cup of oil. I used one of the many wisks in the kitchen to do this. Once it looks good, spread the mixture on the crackers.

Then wash your hands again, because you will be mixing the crackers with the seasonings and the best way to get them coated is with your hands. This is where roommates come in handy because she was snapping the pictures. 

There WILL be some causalities. Don't worry about it. I know I had many a man down myself. Again, this is where roommates come in handy, cause Marie scooped those right on up. Once it all looks good and coated, put the baking sheet in the oven at 250 for 7 and a half minutes.

Meanwhile, make a peanut butter and banana sandwich for you and your roommate. This step is, of course, optional, but I feel you won't regret it. 

At the 7 and a half minute mark, take the crackers out and mix them up before putting them back in for another 7 and a half minutes. 

Once your time is up, take them out and let them cool. Then enjoy! :D

Ranchy Crackers:
- 16-20 oz of oyster crackers
- 1 cup of oil
- 1 package of original ranch mix
- 1 tsp of Dill
- 1tsp Lemon Pepper seasoning
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3/4 tsp Celery Salt

-Preheat Oven to 250 degrees.
-Mix seasonings with oil.
- Spread crackers on a cookie sheet.
-Spread oil and seasoning mixture over crackers. Mix with hands.
-Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Cool and enjoy.
-Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Totally Nailed It Vol.1

Those that know me know that I really enjoy doing nails. I also really enjoy doing nail art! :D That being said, I want to incorporate it more in my blog posts. I mean, why not? Its still a pretty crafty thing, right? It has art in the name. 

So, I decided to share with you some of my favorite designs that I've done so far. 

These are cherry blossoms painted in acrylic paint on China Glaze Refresh-mint. I think it looks like the Arizona tea cans.

These were the first set of acrylic nails I put on. I decorated them with green tips, red swipey bits, while dots, and snow flakes. 

These are my award winning nails! Yes, that's right. I got first place in a nail art competition with these babies. They are pink and white with silver bows on all fingers by the ring finger. On the ring finger is a houndstooth design. One of the judges (who looked like David Bowie) said they were very wearable. 

Blue nails with a white diagonal break. Then turned into zebra print. These looked sooo good on.

Olive green nails with gold tips. The ring finger was decorated with a peacock feather. This picture does NOT do this design justice. It was so pretty.

So, there's a little taste. You will be seeing much more of these in the future, I can guarantee it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabric swap!

So, last month I signed up for my first fabric swap. It was organized by Beth at The Patchwork Chronicles.

I am not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous about what fabrics I would get, but I feel pretty good about mine. I already have some ideas of what I want to do. Now I just need to get to doing them. 

I told my swap partner that I like vintage inspired prints and bright and fun prints. I think I got both, don't you? 

So, I decided to make something with my swap tonight before posting. I've been eyeballing the Pom Pom necklace tutorial at Little Miss Momma for a good while now and decided to try it out with the forget-me-not fabric. So, I cut them all out and then didn't feel like making more than one because I wasn't sure how I liked this fabric for the project. So I finished one then made a yellow rosette. I had no idea what to do with them, so I just slapped them on some felt with a white felt rosette, tossed on some netting and a pin back and called it a day. 

Now I have this pin. I think it looks a bit tacky, but it isn't too bad, right?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Makin' Lemonade

So, as well all know, I am none too pleased with my crafting armiore. Well, that's a lie. I am somewhat pleased with it. It does what I need it to do and it doesn't look TERRIBLE. I'm just perturbed with it. And disspointed. That being said, I'm trying to make lemonade from this very obviously a lemon kind of a situation.
I kept looking at the doors to the unit as they sat open with the table out from where I didn't put it up last week. All I could see were the bare, off white of it all. 
See what I mean? Just boring old doors. 

Then, I started looking at them closer. They had this area that just screamed at me that it needed something. And I knew just what that something was.


I made a stop at Wal-Mart today and picked up two packages of 4 12x12 cork boards. I brought them home and measured it all out. All I had to take off was one inch on one side for it to fit. 

So, I did! Of course, the first time around I took a little less than an inch and then had to go back and fix it. But we won't talk about that sliver of cork. 

I used the included mounting tape on the cork and placed it in its new home. Sadly, I had a dumb moment and opened both packages of cork and marked each one before I realized that I only really needed the one package. I placed two 11x12 rectangles in each door at the top, and then half way down, I used the extra one inch cork remnant. I had to trim off an extra inch on the end to get it to fit, so I was left with another little bit. So I used that, too!

I think the end result looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. It was a nice little DIY project with functionality. Which, I'm learning as I get older, is a good thing. 

I like this unit a little bit more, now. I think my next step is fun hardware for the doors that I can purchase from a neat little antique place in town. I'm just trying to decide if I want to do that now, or wait until Amber and Jamie come in to visit me and do it with them.

But, I will say this. While I love me some Dollar Tree...I'm not loving the rulers that I got from there. The edges are a bit...well, wobbly. I don't feel like they drew a straight line at all. Looks like there's something else that I need to add to my Birthday wish list.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday List!

So....My birthday will be coming up soon. I will be 27 on March 22. It's kind of crazy to sit back and realize that you're getting older. Especially when I don't feel like I'm about to be 27. I still feel like I'm 24. You'd be amazed the number of people that are surprised when they find out that I'm 26. Not that I'm complaining. Its rather nice, really. As for my Birthday plans? Well, I'll be working on the actual day. Every year since I moved in with my awesome roommate, we've had a movie marathon night the weekend of my Birthday. And this year, two of my BFFs will be coming to see me the weekend after my Birthday! I'm pretty stoked about this. 

The other day, a friend of mine asked me what I wanted for my Birthday. I'm always sooo bad about answering that. It's about right up there with pricing my craftybits or saying how much to pay me for baby sitting. So, this time I decided to sit down and think about it. What WOULD I like for my Birthday?

So here's my list :D

For Christmas, my awesome Roommate got me these AMAZING measuring cups that I absolutely adore. 

Aren't they ridiculously adorable?! They are seriously one of my favorite things in the kitchen right now. And I'm trying not to fall too terribly in love with nesting dolls right now. That's a hobby I don't need at the moment. But my goodness, the cuteness kills. 

But...I figured I might as well complete the set, right? And these nesting measuring spoons would be PERFECT with my cups. You can find them both at Perpetual Kid Website.

I'm a huge dork. Like....a HUGE dork. I'm totally the Eric Foreman of my group of friends. But that's ok, because I wear that badge proudly. That being said....I FRICKEN LOVE DOCTOR WHO! Like, for reals. 10 will ALWAYS be MY Doctor, but I'm enjoying 11. But one thing that I love is that no matter how many times the Doctor regenerates, the outside of the Tardis ALWAYS stays the same. And this mug would make me squeal with delight and hum the them song as I drank delicious beverages or placed it somewhere to decorate and proclaim my nerdiness.

To continue on with my nerdiness, is Season 4 of "The IT Crowd". Because this show is seriously amazeballs. If you haven't seen it yet, you can on Netflix instant. It is seriously an amazing BritCom and if anyone works with/in IT, then you will giggle even more, I'm sure. 

This Sterling Silver Hydrangea Cluster Necklace is something that I'm coveting more than I am genuinely asking for. Why is that? Because this beauty is $158 and I can't ask anyone to spend that kind of money on me like that. But oh, so beautiful is this necklace?! Its just so sweet and delicate. Quite dreamy, I think.

Anyone that knows me knows that I love The Mummy movies. Well, all but that third one that came out a few years ago that I still refuse to believe was a part of the same franchise. Anyhoo, I love The character Evy and I love Rachel Weisz, who plays her. And I LOVE her locket. I'm always on the look out for a locket like hers in the movies. This locket is similar, but the anchor in the middle is definitely not in the design. But you have to agree, its really cute! I'm really getting into the nautical stuff lately. It must be the beach. 

But what I really want...is a DQ Ice Cream Cake. What? They are delicious!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let's get ready to rumble!

Or grumble. Whatever. 
 Get yo popcorn ready, gurl. Cause its gonna be a big post.

For those of you that are my friend on facebook, you know all about how much I wanted a crafting armiore. For those of you that are new to this blog. Well, I really wanted a crafting armiore. I started saving my tips and searching the internets for one and finally found one that had been getting some really nice and recent reviews. So, I settled on This One. I even purchased it on Walmart.com because it was going to be cheaper than amazon.

The reviews looked awesome. Out of 20, 17 were 5 stars! There were no 2 or 1 star reviews. Seriously, it was looking pretty good to me. So, I purchased it and waited for it to get here. The nice men that delivered it brought it in the house and left it in the front hallway. The boxes looked good, no banged corners or anything. The cardboard just had an awkward smell to it, but sometimes cardboard does that. I got the 240lbs of pressed wood moved to the floor and opened it. The packages were extra padded with styrofoam at the corners. But when I pulled the pieces out, the corners were looking like someone had dropped them. My happiness meter started to drop. 

Something that I didn't expect to take me too very long took two days. Now, I would like to take a moment to preface the rest of this post with the statement that I know what I'm doing when it comes to putting together store bought furniture. I know how to wield tool and put things together. I know the age old rule of "measure twice, cut once." I've built sets and props that had no instructions or pre-drilled holes. I'm no Bob Villa, but I know how to build.

But I would love to see anyone with knowledge try to build something that was obviously messed up at the manufacturers. My predrilled holes didn't match up, corners were busted, the laminate on the pressed wood was bubbling on one side, and the whole thing doesn't sit straight. And that's just a few things off the top of my head. What was suppose to be an awesome first adult purchase for myself slowly turned into the bane of my existence.

The finished cabinet without the doorknobs. Notice how it leans to the left a bit. Also notice how the doors aren't sitting right.

Yeah, those doors are not right at all. The right door barely even reaches the magnet to keep to closed. Not to mention the fact that the screws to hold the magnet in place on the inside aren't catching the wood and wiggle around.

In order to close the left door, I have to push up on the molding because otherwise it is too high up and hits the top.

The table on the inside gave me loads of grief. It took entirely too long to get the slides to go in right, but I finally got that part done. Only yo be met with the fact tat the table doesn't sit right and also leans, hitting the wall on one side.

Notice how it brushes against the wall. And not in a sexy dancing kind of brushing against, either. This is full on annoying brushing.

Meanwhile, the other side is pretending like its at an 8th grade dance where you hold your partner as far out from you as possible to the point that only your hands are touching shoulders or waist and you both refuse to look at each other while dancing in a circle.

This is the top of the armiore. Notice how it isn't flush with the molding. The good news is that it shouldn't be flush with the molding. The bad news is that its suppose to create a lip over the molding. This is more of an underbite. And the corner is banged up and warped.

Its a bit hard to see here, but the right side has an extreme overbite while the left side has the underbite. See, perfect instance where the predrilled holes did NOT match up. Not only that, but you can see where the middle shelf leans to the opposite side that the rest of the armiore leans. Which means my shelves only fit on that side from about the halfway mark and down.

Not only that, but the backing wasn't measured right and in order for me to get the sides to line up, it caused the corner to come up over the back. Someone that an exacto knife will fix, but still.

Crappy corner.
One of the worst corners. It came out of the box like this and there was no sign of damage to the packaging here.

So, these little guys are suppose to help protect the little leg things that you add to the bottom of the unit. I couldn't use them because they were warped and wouldn't fit. Because I couldn't use the, the bottom of the unit messed up when we tried to move it, but I don't have a picture of that yet.

So yeah. That's my adventures with this stupid armiore. I will be including a link to this blog post when I leave my review on the website, but I will also be writing a nasty letter to Walmart and the Manufacturer. Sorry if it was a long post...but I felt like it needed to be done.