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Friday, September 30, 2011

Glitter Punkins!

Soo, I have been hearing so many good things about the new Krylon Glitter Blast spray. I had to run out and grab some to make some Halloween decorations with. That was easier said than done, by the way. I must have gone to 5 different places trying to find it, driving all over town...before I finally realized, Hey! I bet they have it at Michaels!...And they did! Yay! i was relieved. It is a little pricey, but so worth it.


My first attempt with the Glitter Blast, was to make Glitter Punkins. I took two real pumpkins, and blasted them with this glitter spray. This is what I started with:
And this is a during shot:
Now, a word of advice: Take this outside! I was a little loopy by the time I was done with the first pumpkin because it does have fumes similar to spray paint..Whew! So, that being said, do this one outside. There was a little over spray, but not bad at all, and it was very easy to clean up.So this is my final masterpiece. I call it my Faux Mantle, since we have no fireplace, I use the top of our entertainment center for our "mantle displays".
   And here is an up-close shot of the finished Glitter Punkins:
           Hope y'all like them, and have fun with the Glitter Blast!


 P.S. Please don't forget they are real pumpkins if that's what you choose to use. I did...and, well, to say the least... it makes for a messy cleanup if you go to pick one up and it has turned to mush!
Till next time...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nanny's Corner Wednesday: Fall is Definitely in the Air...

I just love these crisp fall mornings. Sitting on the deck having a steaming cup of coffee with my sweetie.  Life couldn't be better.  This weather is just right for your favorite soups and stews.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out what to fix for dinner.  I rummaged through my freezer and found some sweet Italian sausage.  This is the recipe I came up with.  I hope you like it as much as we did.  It was pretty tasty I must say.
                              




                                                          Italian Sausage Soup 
            

                  3 links of Italian sausage                                       3 cups chicken stock   
                  1/2 chopped onion                                               1 can cream of mushroom soup
                  2 cloves minced garlic                                          1 cup half and half or heavy cream
                  1 rib diced celery                                                 salt and pepper to taste
                  6 medium potatoes diced                                     sprinkle Cayenne pepper to taste

Remove sausage from casings and crumble.  Brown sausage in large pot, set aside.  Cook diced potatoes in chicken stock until tender.  Meanwhile, saute garlic, onion and celery in small skillet.  When potatoes are cooked add to pot with Italian sausage (liquid included).  Stir in mushroom soup, heavy cream and seasonings.  If mixture is too thick for your preference add additional chicken stock.  Heat on medium heat until bubbly and hot.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 depending on size of servings.

Note:  I made homemade garlic bread sticks to go with the soup.

 _________________________________________________________________________________

The next recipe I want to share with you is one of my all time favorites.  If you like espresso you will love my recipe for these Espresso Nut Muffins.  The original recipe was in Taste of Home magazine and I tweaked it a little to make it my own. These jumbo muffins are scrumptious!  Serve them warm with a cup of your favorite coffee or hot tea.
                             


                                             Espresso Nut Muffins

                 



 Makes six jumbo muffins.


                Ingredients:
                          2 cups flour                                        1 cup strong brewed coffee

                          2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar                  3 Tbsp. espresso powder      
                          1-1/2 tsp. baking powder                   1/2 cup canola oil
                          1/4 tsp. baking soda                           1 egg, beaten
                          1 tsp. salt                                           1/2 cup chopped walnuts
                          1/4 tsp. nutmeg                                   1/2 cup chopped dates
                                                                 
                 Topping:
                          1 Tbsp. sugar
                          1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl combine the coffee and espresso powder.  Be sure coffee is cooled to room temperature.  Stir oil and egg into coffee mixture.  Add coffee mixture to dry ingredients and stir just till moistened.  Fold in walnuts, dates and raisins.
Spray jumbo muffin pan with cooking spray.  Use 1/2 cup measuring cup for each muffin.  Top each with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  I have used chocolate chips in place of raisins.  I've also used chopped bananas in place of raisins and dates.  This makes an entirely different flavor, but just as tasty.  You can make a mixture of powdered sugar and coffee to drizzle on the tops if you like a little more sweetness to them.


Quote of the day:  Advice is seldom welcome; and those who need it most like it the least.  (funny how that happens)  This is a quote from Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 1694 - 1773

Nanny's thought for the day Life is what you make it.  Fill your life with love, family and friends. "LIVE"  like there is no tomorrow and "DANCE "like no one is watching.








Every now and then I will share a little family story with you.  These grand babies always make me giggle with their little stories.  So here's the first:  One of my granddaughters was having dinner with her two little girls who are  three and five years old.  The five year old said "momma I want to be a school teacher when I grow up" not be be outdone the three year old pipes up and says "momma I want to be a hillwilly when I grow up.  I got quite a laugh out of that one.  You just never know what they will say.

                                           Love and Hugs, 
                                                   

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Zack Ops" Party

Phew! I am soo glad that is over! Who's idea was it to have yet another party at Chuck E Cheese??? Oh yeah, my wonderful son. Well, anyways, they had a blast...and the cake, well in the end it turned out AWESOME! But...it did not start out that way. First, let me show you a couple of pics of the finished product, then I will tell you the story of our "almost disaster".

 Zackary's  6th Birthday Cake


                                                   Up Close Shot of the Battlefield


Okay, so its not round...Zack's choice, and it definitely looks more like a war zone. That too was Zack's decision. But all in all, I think it turned out pretty stinkin' awesome...considering.

I started out by baking the large rectangle on the bottom, and a smaller square for the top. Well... they both stuck in the pans, and only half of each came out when I turned them upside down. I was devastated, to say the least...mainly because I procrastinated (like always) and waited till the last minute to bake the cake. So I had absolutely no time to bake another one, but alas! My friendly neighborhood Publix bakery gave me a plain, undecorated cake to take home and decorate myself. Thank God for Publix, hehe! Once I got it home, I added some of the remnants of the other two cakes to make the hill, and added all of the decorations, and Voila! Zack Ops Cake was born! If you can't tell, I'm pretty proud of this one, and so was my son, he absolutely loved it!  

Tomorrow I will be posting a great little Halloween project I did with Krylon Glitter Blast, so until next time...
                                                                         

Ok,  I had to add a few little extra photos from the party:
Very creative parent brought this for Zack..Love it!
The little guy in the back corner is him, after he saw that his candles kept relighting..giggle giggle!
Just had to show this...one of the dads even came dressed in Camoflage, so cute!


Till next time...


NightOwlCrafting

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introducing...Nanny's Corner

So I had this brilliant idea, well...at least I think it was brilliant. I am going to have a guest blogger once a week, who also happens to be my gramma, we call her Nanny. So let me introduce you all to my Nanny....here goes our first Nanny's Corner:


Hi!  My name is Karen, but everyone calls me Nanny.  I am a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother 17 times.  Wow, never dreamed I would have such a large family. 
Having such a large family has given me so much joy and happiness in my life.  I never tire of having little ones around and all the giggles, and fun we have together.

Since I have retired I have filled my days with sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting of all kinds, scrapbooking and quilting.  I am in the process of making quilts for all our children. I will then start on the grandchildren.  I am hoping that these will be heirlooms  they will pass on someday.

I was so excited when my granddaughter asked if I would like to add some grandmotherly tips and quips to her blog.   I have now added yet another fun thing to fill my day.  Thought I would share things with you like “Tips of the Day”, recipes and ideas for re-purposing items from your home instead of throwing them out.

Okay so here we go: 

One of my favorite sayings is “ Anything worth doing is worth doing right”.

Nanny’s Tip of the Day:  Don’t forget to check the batteries in your fire alarms.I always do mine in the spring and fall…which reminds me, I better check ours!

With Halloween right around the corner here are some ideas for decorating and making pumpkins:

I saw a really cool idea in a magazine the other day where you paint the pumpkin black first (after you have cleaned out the insides of course) then carve leaves on them.  You use an actual pattern of a leaf from your yard for carving.  It was really beautiful.
                Ladies Home Journal

Another way to make pumpkins is:
Take a brown paper bag  (one you get from the grocery store) stuff it with wadded up newspaper, tie near top to make stem, then squish it down to shape you want. You can come up with some really ghoulish shapes or traditional shapes.  Then you can paint and decorate it any way you desire.  Have fun with it.


    Somedaycrafts
                                Karey Ellen Designs

Till next time…hugs and best wishes, Nanny.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Army Party Planning

Yesterday I spent most of the day planning my 5 year old's birthday. He is hooked on playing Call of Duty: Black Ops with his daddy, so he wants an Army party this year. This is the cake he wants me to make: (not asking too much, lol) 
Sooo, I am going to attempt this cake, and after it is made, I will post pictures. The only part I am worried about is the flying helicopter, not too sure how I will make that one happen, I spent a couple of hours making his party invitations to take to his class, and this is what I came up with:
                                         This is the front
 And this is the back! So, what do ya think? Not the most creative  invites I have made, but I thought they were pretty darn cute!

Till next time...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Upcycled T-Shirt Dress

My latest try at a new upcycling project came from an awesome idea I saw on I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar 's blog.....brilliant! You take old t-shirts you don't want anymore, and you turn them into a beautiful, and very unique little girl's dress. Soo...here is a snapshot of my attempt at a dress. And actually I was able to use one of my old Marilyn Monroe t-shirts, that slowly has become smaller...and smaller on me to the point that I have no business wearing it anymore. (I was not too happy about outgrowing it) Nevertheless, I was very happy about being able to use this since I couldn't bear to part with it. So here you go, let me know what you think!
 Oh, and please keep in mind that I am taking these pics from my cell phone right now...I will be posting much better pics later!

Till next time...

My Two Lunches...


Okay, so I didn’t actually eat two lunches, I just attended two…loud…lunches at my little ones’ school. First I was “center" mom for the day, which basically means I help out and take a small group of kids and do various pre-planned projects that are related to math and reading with them. That was actually a lot of fun. I even had a little admirer, Sam. What a cutie pie. He got all the way up in my face and asked me what my name was, then after I told him, he proceeded to tell me: “I really like you!” with these little batting eyelashes. Soo adorable. It was really interesting watching my 5 year old interacting with his classmates. He is actually a lot calmer in class than I had expected…just to fill you in, he is a VERY energetic child, and even that is an understatement. 


My First Lunch: So when you come and eat lunch with your child at their school, you get to sit on “The Stage” and eat your lunch, and your child gets to pick one other kid from their class to eat with you. My son, chose a girl! Talk about funny, that girl never stopped talking for a second, but she was just as cute as a button. She proceeded to tell me all about how she already has a boyfriend…I can’t even type this without giggling…and that waaay back when she was four years old, the boy came to her house and said, “I am your boyfriend now.” Wow, I had no idea it worked that way, lol. If only it was that simple in  “real life”. Nevertheless, I had a great time listening to their stimulating conversation for about 45 minutes.


My Second Lunch: For my second lunch, the one I actually ate during, I ate with my daughter. She chose a little girl from her class who just happens to be a twin. I had no idea, but they actually keep twins together in the same class. All the way throughout school. That is very strange to me, because I would think you would want to keep them separate and develop their own identity. Strange. Anyways…I had a great time playing 20 questions with my daughter and her friend. Oh yeah, and I actually ate that time.


Right now, I am actually sitting here at the park, watching the little ones play, and enjoying this yummy weather we are having here in North Georgia. Soo..I am going to jump off here for now, and get back to playing with the kiddos in this beautiful weather. When I get back home, I will post some of the awesome crafts I have seen for my, not-quite-Halloween decorations.

Till next time...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Halloween??? Ohhhh Yes!

Halloween always starts early at our house...really early. My kids actually had our front door decorated for Halloween Mid-August. I know, that is really early...but we Looove Halloween! All of the spooky decorations, the dressing up as someone else, it is a blast! So, I have been trolling the web for some cute and easy Halloween Ideas. I figure i will find them, and then when we actually try them out, I will share them with the rest of you. (along with our experience of making them..good...or bad). So, to start things out, I will show you all our front door decoration. This photo is of the door in the daytime, I will try to get a night time pic when I charge my camera battery...and I am obviously a procrastinator...giggle... giggle... Oh, and by the way...Crayola Window Markers, 8 pack, $4.00. Can't beat that!

Also...If you're Lovin' my blog...or even liking it a little, please feel free to subscribe!

Till next time...

Success!!

Yess!!! I actually stayed up yesterday morning...all morning! Okay, so I don't need a cookie, or a pat on the back, but it sure feels good to have accomplished so much. I started out the morning with my blog, and then actually created my own Android App for my blog, LINK TO ANDROID APP DOWNLOAD ,which is awesome! Then I created that QR code that you see below as a link to my website (which you should feel free to check out as often as you like, hint..hint, lol) http://a4dablesouthernchic.ecrater.com/ And to top it all off, I actually did what felt like 200 loads of laundry, and cleaned house a little. Oh yeah, and watched my new favorite show, Weeds, while I was doing all of that.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't 200 loads of laundry, probably more like 6 or 7...but it felt like a lot more than that for sure. Phew! Sure feels good to have accomplished so much in one day. Oh yeah, and I found out I am going to be babysitting out of my home for one of my best friends in the world, D, and this is great news because we will have a little extra income, and I will get to see my friend and her adorable little kiddos a lot more often now. Can't wait to fill you all in tomorrow on my day at the kids' school, TTYL!

Till next time...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best Laid Plans...

Ooookay, so my BIG PLAN didn't exactly go, well, as planned. I did stay up for a while yesterday, and got some things done. But then I walked into my bedroom and saw my hubby, who's only day off happens to be Wednesday, sleeping so peacefully. Well, needless to say, I crawled right in bed with him and fell asleep. So on day 1, my plan was a flop. But today... I will stay up and be productive. I am actually giggling as I write this, because I am hoping I can stick to it. I guess I feel like if I am actually typing this, and real people can see it, then it holds me accountable if I don't succeed. Aside from my big plan failure, there is open house at the kids' school tonite, so I am really looking forward to seeing what they are going to be learning this year, and getting to know their teachers a little bit better. My youngest, Z, is also excited because tomorrow I go to help out in his classroom with their "centers". Not so sure yet what that entails, but I am sure it will be fun. I think I will eat lunch with the two little ones tomorrow, since I will already be there. They have been begging since the first day of school for me to come and eat lunch with them. I think it is just because they get to choose a friend to eat with them and go up on the stage, which I hear, is really cool. Well, I am off to be "productive". Wish me luck...

Till next time...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to School Blues

So... the kids went back to school a little while ago. Now, the mom who was in the middle of all of those sibling arguments, and bored kids all summer was like, YAY! But the mom in me that got used to, and actually loves all of that chaos around me, was pretty darn sad. My house is entirely too quiet. I don't know, maybe I am just glutton for punishment. So, what to do with myself... Hmm... well the first week or two I slept in, after waking up and getting the kids and hubby ready for the day, but then it was back to bed for me. So that burned half of the day away. Then I would get up, and then it is time to make lunch for the hubby, and pretty soon after that, out the door to get the kids off the bus. Okay, it was working for me, but not very productive... So, I am now vowing to NOT go back to bed after the kids go to school. I will blog in the morning...which has been a loong time coming. After that, I will spend at least a couple of hours on my website, getting it just perfect, and adding new products. Last, but certainly not least, I will work on my house...which has been neglected all summer while my house was full of children all day long. This is my plan to beat the Back to Schol Blues. Keep myself busy. We will see...