Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dental Wrath

It's just so funny, I have to share. Who knew dentists had such wrath?

I got a letter in the mail today from my dentist. Not a cheesy postcard, a real envelope and letter. The letter is so ominous and threatening, should I be feeling guilty? Just wanted to share some excerpts, since they were so hilarious:

Dear Camille,

Our office has attempted to contact you the last 3, 6, 9 and 12 months about follow-up examinations. We believe there are very real health risks in hesitating to schedule because so much can happen so quickly.

Although we recognize that life is busy, it's important to respond to our reminders -- for your own sake. Periodontal problems spread like wildfire. A small crack in a filling invites secondary caries: decay beneath the restoration. An ill-fitting partial will discourage you from eating.

You're due. Please, call us at the soonest opportunity and plan to come in for an appointment with our hygienist.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Z

Umm, ok? Yes, dental health is important, but I was there last spring. Aren't yearly cleanings are just fine? Why am I getting that bill collector impression? lol

My favorite part is where he says an ill-fitting partial will discourage me from eating, lol.

Oh Dr. Z, thanks for the awkward letter. Next time, just send me a cheesy postcard with a picture of a happy tooth.





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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Written in the Sand

I'm excited to share this idea with you in honor of Earth Day! It's simple, you can't mess up (really) and it will look so adorable in any room.

Make personalized messages - in the sand!

I took these pictures on the sandy part of a nearby lake. If you have a beach, lucky you, or be desperate and use the kids' sandbox! Think of a cute message you'd like to use for home decor.

Here's what I did - our initials in a heart

Use a stick or your finger, don't be a perfectionist, the quirkiness is what makes it cute!

I uploaded my photo and cropped it so it was centered and then added an antique sepia special effect. Nice eh?

Print in any size, frame and there is your custom art! I have mine in a simple white matte frame hanging on the wall with an aqua ribbon. It's right next to the mirror in the guest bathroom (yes, in aqua) and it always gets compliments. I'd show you a picture of it finished, but my camera cord is hidden in a moving box:)

What would you have your message say? I'm going to go back to lake and make one that says "Families are Forever" and I also thought one that says Live . Laugh . Love with rocks between the words would be sweet.

giveaways


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Pulled Pork Sandwiches


Oh beautiful for pulled pork sandwiches! Especially drenched in BBQ sauce right? It seems like summer no matter what month you make these.

For my easy directions on slow-cooked pulled pork click here.

First, let me say that the delicious-ness of your pulled pork sandwich relates directly to the quality of the bread you serve it on. Don't go lame and whip out wonder bread or even hamburger buns. Buy the fanciest rolls your favorite bakery has. I bought some delicious rolls from Albertsons bakery, not the cheapest, but sooo worth it! Walmart even has some yummy looking varieties, so don't be shy. Split the rolls, butter them lightly, then toast them on a skillet.

Husband Rating: 5 stars (and yes, we had them for dinner once and lunch twice this week!)

2 cups shredded pork

1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

4 bakery rolls

Stir together BBQ sauce and pork in a skillet until warmed. Place a heaping spoonful on toasted buns. Serve with lots of napkins:)

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Egg Rolls


Mm, crunchy egg rolls. My husband generally hates egg rolls because of all the slimy vegetables. I promised him I would only use "familiar" vegetables and some tasty pork. You can slice your own veggies for the filling, but I recommend buying a bag of coleslaw from the store near the lettuce and salad bags. I grabbed a brand called "Eat Smart, Sunrise Slaw" in 10 oz. size. They had lots of varieties of cabbage and other veggies, but I grabbed the bag with shredded carrots, broccoli and red cabbage. (Secret bonus, the broccoli is sliced thin, doesn't look like broccoli, I hid the bag in the bottom of the garbage so he wouldn't read it!) My husband is not a picky eater normally, he just has issues with vegetables, lol. It takes some undercover work to feed my family veggies, especially green ones! If you don't have a fryer, you could easily do this in a skillet. Enjoy!

Husband Rating: 3 1/2 stars

1 bag 10 oz. slaw
2 cups shredded pork (Click here for my directions on easy shredded pork)
1/2 of an onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 egg roll wrappers
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. of the Secret Ingredient *see below

*I'm embarrassed to admit the secret ingredient, since it doesn't really fit with chinese cuisine. I mixed everything together and I just knew it needed something else, a little oomph of flavor. I browsed in the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing. I know, right? It was the perfect flavor, loved it! So yeah, use it!

In a saute pan combine secret ingredient dressing, garlic, onion and slaw. Cook and stir over medium heat. Add shredded pork, ginger, sesame seeds and soy sauce. Stir for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Place a spoonful of filling in egg roll wrappers and fold. Use cold water to seal the ends. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.

Here is what the filling look likes, yummy!

Here is how I folded the egg rolls. Look to the back of your wrapper package for hints.


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shredded Pork Education

I love me some good shredded pork, but it's so time consuming that if you're gonna make it - you better go all out! Follow my directions for some easy meals from your freezer and a happy husband. Bring on the pork!

1. I bought this roast, almost 7 pounds of pork shoulder for under $9. For the amount of dinners and lunches I made, it was well worth it! Don't worry about buying a more tender cut of meat, it's going to slow cook all day, so it will be plenty tender. Place the roast in the crockpot, it was a tight squeeze!

2. To give your pork some oomph I recommend adding some delicious flavors. First, add 1 sliced lemon or 2 sliced limes. Slice 1 jalapeno and toss it in (don't worry, it won't be too spicy, just delicious). Slice half of an onion and toss it over the roast. When you add your garlic cloves, I like to press them down into the meat. Now, fill the crockpot with water until about 3/4 of the roast is covered. This keeps your roast moist and prevents the meat from drying out and getting too crispy.

3. Sprinkle with pepper, put your lid on and set on low for 12 hours. I like to start it at night, then you wake up to a house smelling AMAZING!

4. Pull out roast to a cutting board (I used a slotted spoon since it was sooo fall apart tender) and let it cool. Peel away any fat chunks. Shred it with a fork or your fingers.

5. Separate your pork into meal portion sizes, I do 2 cups. Put in bags, label and freeze. Use within 2 months.

So, what can you do with shredded pork? I'll post my favorite recipes soon, leave a comment with your ideas.

We made: Tacos, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, pork and rice burritos, egg rolls and enchiladas


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Friday, April 16, 2010

Unplugged

In a few hours, my computer will be unplugged and on its way to our new house!

I still have lots of packing and cleaning to do (yes, I'm browsing blogs instead) but don't be surprised if I'm m.i.a. for a few days. I'm hoping our wireless internet works over there, hmmm.

Happy weekend to all, I'll be back soon from our new place!


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quiet Book Pages: Peek-a-boo, Barn & Mailbox

Scroll down for a free printable pattern!

Click here to view the entire quiet book page-by page

The first page in my quiet book is my little man's favorite. It's at his level, he giggles every time he pulls back the mittens. I wanted the photo behind the mittens to be interchangeable, so I zigzagged down 3 sides of a scrapbook page protector I had cut to the right size. Now, I can slide in and out new family photos as the years go by. Perfect!

I wish I would have embellished the mittens a little more with buttons, more rickrack, stripes, etc. Maybe next time right? This page is fast, go get it done!

{Click on the image to print the pattern at 8.5x11}


I was so grateful to Homemade by Jill for her adorable quiet book patterns. I used her barn pattern and mailbox pattern. Click here for her printable patterns.

I love this bright barn with finger puppets peeking behind the doors. I followed her patterns exactly for the barn and the cow, chicken and pig. I added a velcro sun in the top corner just for some oomph. Love this one!

The classic page - the mailbox! The mailbox opens for letters to go in and out, and I added a brad to the red flag to make it go up and down. I added the paper and pencil pocket right on this page. My pocket measures 5x5 inches, and I stitched down a space for the pencil. Cute right?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Quiet Book Pattern and Printable - Ice Cream

Scroll down for a free printable pattern!

Click here to view the entire quiet book page-by-page



This page is cute, easy to make and has lots of options for play. The ice cream cone is stitched down, and there are 3 velcro pieces above. I bought some cute little sequin beads to stitch on to some of the ice cream flavors to look like sprinkles, but I haven't yet.

My velcro pieces for the ice cream toppers are about 1 1/2 inch apart, but layer them so the ice cream fits and overlaps a little.

Now this you can do in a naptime!

{Click on the image for the 8.5x11 printable}

Linking up with Sugar and Spice at 733


Show and Tell Green
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Linking up with Sundae Scoop at Chocolate Sundaes!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Apron Giveaway!

I'm being featured at Esbe Chic this week!

Esbe Chic

In honor of being featured at Esbe Chic, I've thrown in an apron to giveaway. Jump on over to Esbe Chic and enter.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread



Banana bread can really stand on its own two feet, it doesn't really need any help. But, if you can add chocolate to something, might as well right? I found this recipe at The Sister's Cafe and decided to give it a try. Mmm, delicious! We gobbled up the loaf so fast between the 3 of us, next time I'm doubling or tripling the recipe. Enjoy all you chocolate lovers!

Husband Rating: 4 1/2 stars (he felt giving it a 5 would be cheating on the original)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350 and grease your loaf pan. Beat eggs, sugar and oil on medium until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla on low speed. In a separate bowl stir together flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Stir with banana mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan.


Next time I'm planning to sprinkle walnuts on top, mmm!

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Stuffed Chicken Breasts (provolone & asparagus)

First of all, let me begin by saying HAPPY 100 POSTS TO ME! My blog is getting bigger and better so thanks for sticking around:) I always enjoy a chicken when it's baked with gooey cheese. The provolone is so heavenly melty, the chicken is tender and the asparagus is tender flavorful. I considered breading the chicken, so it's more like a cordon bleu, but I decided to keep things lighter and simpler. I really liked the lemon drizzle sauce over the chicken and potatoes, but husband enjoyed it without. I only used 4 chicken breasts here, but some where kind of fat or weird shaped so I split them, you can see my mini creations on the pan. Yummy!!!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

4 chicken breasts

12 stalks asparagus (thin, or slice them lengthwise)

4 slices provolone cheese

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. thyme


Heat oven to 400. Steam asparagus in hot water in the microwave or stove top for about 2 minutes. Pound chicken until thin. Fill each flattened chicken breast with cheese and 3 spears of asparagus and sprinkle with thyme. Roll and secure with a toothpick. Lightly spray the bottom of baking dish with cooking spray. Toss minced garlic over the bottom of the baking dish and place rolled chicken in dish over garlic. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and cheese is melted.


Lemon Drizzle Sauce (optional)

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup lemon juice

Bring butter, chicken broth and lemon juice to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over chicken.



Joining Blessed with Grace for:
Blessed with Grace

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Quiet Book Pattern - Temple Page

Scroll down for a free pattern printable!

To see the entire quiet book page-by-page click here

This was one of my favorite pages to design and make. It was also one of the easiest:) I tried to make this look like the Idaho Falls Temple, but you could easily tweak it to fit your temple.

Each square is 2 1/2 inches square. They are all attached with simple velcro. Since I wanted the temple blocks to be white, I decided to make the background blue for a sky. I added a little strip of green across the bottom for grass. I considered flowers, trees and sunshine, but I went simple instead.

I found some cool gold shimmery fabric in my mom's stash that I used for Angel Moroni and the door panels. Angel Moroni is cut out in yellow felt, then I stitched around the gold shimmer. He comes off with velcro too.

For fun, the doors on the bottom open to reveal a wedding picture of hubby and me. I didn't have any vinyl, so I cut a square out of a scrapbooking page protector. Add your velcro on the back first, then zigzag 3 sides of your page protector to the square. After adding yellow panels to the doors, stitch down the sides onto the block. Get it? Easy, turned out adorable!

Enjoy a free printable:

{Click for a larger view and to print}

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quiet Book- Car & Road Page

Scroll down for printable pattern pages!

To see the entire quiet book page by page click here

To see details on page size and fabric click here

This page was a blast to make and perfect for my little boy. There's lots to do on this road. The traffic light has velcro pieces that let each color come off. The red garage holds two cars and there are buildings to drive to.

You will need:

Pattern pieces

Thin yellow rick rack, for the yellow line down the road

Black fabric or felt cut to 2 inches

4 buttons for car wheels

Click on pattern pages for full size, print on 8.5x11 and cut.

I found some fun shimmery fabric for the top of the car, I just stitched it on top of the felt and then added buttons. The road and houses are fabric zigzagged on. Have fun arranging and designing your road - I did! You could also add trees, pushes, more buildings, etc.

Linking in with Made by You Monday at Skip to my Lou

and Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family

and What are Little Boys Made of at 733

and I heart naptime's Chocolate Sundae Scoop

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Quiet Book Details

Here are some of the details on my quiet book, so you can get started or finally finish yours!

Each page measures 9x12. It's a good size to fit on a child's lap, but still big enough to make some fun pages. I bought a thick white canvas fabric for all of my pages, I purchased it at Walmart for around $3 per yard. I really like how thick, sturdy and durable the canvas is, only problem, every time you touch it it frays.

After my pages were finished, I arranged them back to back. I really needed to take care of the fraying problem, plus stitch them together, so I used bias tape around the edges. I love the finished look it gives, plus no more fraying. It looks much better than zigzagged pages. I used the "Extra Wide Double Fold" in white.

Now, let's talk cost. I spent about $40 on materials for my quiet book, but it easily could have cost more. Walmart occasionally has their felt on sale for 10 cents, most other craft stores have it for around 25 cents. Keep an eye out for sales! Joann's had 50% off all notions a while ago and I was able to get all my bias tape, velcro, snaps, eyelets and book rings for half off. I also raided my mom's and grandma's scrap fabric.

This book was so much fun to make and I hope it lasts for at least 10 years of sundays! Leave a comment if you have any other questions or I left anything out.

And in other news, I just have to share, today is April 6th right? April, as in springtime! I took this picture of my backyard 20 minutes ago. Winter wonderland, eek! I took it through the back window because it is just way to cold to go outside. Since the weather is so icky, I guess I'll have to stay inside and sew:)


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Monday, April 5, 2010

Quiet Book Revealed


I started working on this quiet book for my son on January 1st. Finally, 4 months later, the quiet book is ready to rock n' roll. I will be posting patterns and step-by-step instructions for the individual pages, so keep checking back.

I'm so delighted with this book, I love how it turned out. I do have to confess that I have several more pages in various stages of completion, but I really wanted to get the majority in the book.

I sewed binder rings into my cover so that the pages can go in and out. The back cover has a little pocket for treats or extras.

Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, and I'll work on getting my directions and patterns posted.

For details on page size and fabric, see this post.

Inside Cover: This book belongs to our family
Peek-a-boo mittens with family picture underneath (Click here for printable pattern)


Building blocks for the Idaho Falls Temple (Click here for a free pattern printable)
Noah's Ark with animals inside


Jonah and the Big Fish
Weave King Benjamin's Tower


Red, Yellow, Green Light
Garage, Road, and 2 cars (Click here for a free pattern printable)


Picking the Apples with snaps
Make a Pumpkin Face


Barn with animal finger puppets (Click here for page instructions)
Button flowers and velcro leaves


Tic Tac Toe
Tying a shoe


Mailbox, paper and pen (Click here for page instructions)
Build an ice cream cone (Click here for a free printable pattern)


Matching velcro Shapes
Back cover with pocket


Want to see the quiet book I made for my friend Janette? Click here. To see the quiet book I helped my friend Keree with click here.

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