Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday's Homemade

Don't forget - We go LIVE on Holidays Homemade - Christmas Countdown Calendar with you TOMORROW!!! 

I know...December, already?! I'm excited!!

26 days till Christmas. Wee...

Grinch Munch

Come check out my post on Holiday's Homemade, to see how you can make your own Grinch Munch!
After you make this yumilious snack, you might want to grab a blanket, a tall glass of water, and get comfy.  It's time for Christmas movie night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

This recipe sort of just came together on it's own.  I was in a rush one morning, so threw all the ingredients in the pot, and was quite pleased with the outcome. Funny how one jar of "cheese" that has set in my pantry for the last 6 months turned something ordinary into extraordinary!

You'll Need:
2 Chicken Breasts
1.5c. rice (not minute)
1 jar of Ragu Cheese (over by the spaghetti sauce)
Water filled 3/4 full in Ragu Jar
Seasonings (We used garlic, salt, onion powder, paprika)

Liberally season your chicken breasts with all your seasonings (excluding paprika).  Place into your lined crock pot.  Top with rice.
Combine your cheese and water in a separate bowl.  Stir.  Pour over the top of chicken and sprinkle with paprika.
Cook on low 7 hrs or until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165.

A few minutes before serving, I placed on a bit of shredded cheese on the rice, and served with green beans.  Not bad for a dinner on the fly!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Hair Bow

This is one of the fall hair bows I made for the girls in my life.  I'm a little late in posting, but since it's almost Thanksgiving, it's really perfect timing, if you think about it! 

So let's get started, shall we?

You'll Need:
12 pieces of 3/8" Curled Orange Crossgrain Ribbon 
2 pieces of 3/8" Curled Green Crossgrain Ribbon
1"x 1" piece of brown satin ribbon
Heavy Duty Needle

Lighter or Fray Away
Hot Glue Gun, Glue
Alligator or French Barrette Clip

To start, you'll need to curl your crossgrain ribbon.  If you've never done this before, it's simple enough, just follow these easy instructions.

Once your ribbon is curled, you will want to take them off the dowel rods and sit aside for them to be cut down.

With your ruler or cutting mat, measure your ribbon down into 3" pieces. Cut.
You will need approximately 12-15, 3" pieces/bow.
Once all your pieces are cut, heat seal your ends. This is just quickly running your lit lighter across the ends of your ribbon.  Make sure when you do this, you're doing it in a sweeping type motion, so you don't catch your ribbon on fire.

Now it's time to thread your needle.  Every bow designer is different, but I like to thread my needle and (triple) knot the end when making my korker bows.  I just always make sure to leave ample room to sew the bow together.  I typically leave about 18" hang, which will leave me with plenty of thread to swipe the needle through the center of the "pumpkin" several times for maximum hold.

Let's start building the pumpkin now.  Once your needle and thread is prepared, you will measure the true center of each piece of ribbon and where the center point is, that is where your needle will go.  You can see a full "how to" here

Place the middle (center) of your ribbon directly down into the needle.  


As you are adding pieces to your needle (again, do not pull the needle through any of the pieces just yet), you will want to stagger the pieces as you go.  Think of it as a clock.  Start at 12, make your way to 1, then 2, then 3, etc., as you add them to your needle.

You will have to cinch the pieces down as you go, as your needle is only so big.  It sounds much harder than it is, trust me.  Oh and don't worry about hurting the ribbon.  My 2 year old tugs at hers all the time and is still in perfect condition.

Okay, so once all your pieces are positioned/staggered the way you want them, add your 2 green pieces in a cross fashion across the top.  These will be your leafy steams.

Now it's time to feed the needle all the way through the layers.

With your opposite sewing hand, pinch the center together and hold it taut.  Feed the needle all the way through, keeping the center pinched, so the ribbon doesn't move around.  To feed it all the way through, you may want/need a hard surface for this. The ribbon is quite strong once you get so many layers.

Now you just continue to feed the needle through the front and back as you normally would when sewing.  I like to criss-cross the stitching as I go.  Once you are close to the end of your thread, make sure the needle is going through the back side of your bow.  This is where you will snip the thread from the needle and triple knot it.

Now for the stem.  Take 1, 1"x1" piece of brown satin ribbon and fold it in half (Sealing with glue), then in half again to create the perfect "Stem".

With a small dab of hot glue, insert the glue into the center of your bow between the green leafy steams, and place your brown stem in place.

There you have it...The most adorable pumpkin bow you'll find this side of town!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Humidifier vs. Vaporizer

We're quickly approaching flu season, and with the winter months approaching, the air is starting to turn dry and brittle.

As I'm sure most of you have heard at one point in time from your Doctor or maybe even a family member, humidifiers and vaporizers are great!

Both add humidity into the air, which makes for easier breathing.  It's perfect to use for all age groups, but I especially wanted to point out how fantastic they are if you have a sick infant or toddler at home.

More times than not, children in this age bracket are unable to take medication because of age limits, so humidifiers and vaporizers are truly great home remedies!! If you're like me, you consider them to be a God send! 

So...My question is - Do you use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture into the air? Do you have a preferred method?

As I've asked this question to several of my friends and family over the course of the last several months, I've really noticed that it's quite the controversy! You're either Pro Humidifier or Pro Vaporizer.  They're really doesn't seem to be any common ground. 

Which are you?
Why is that??

School me.  I want to learn!

I'm sure I don't need to put the fine print here, as all my readers are intelligent and have plenty of common sense, but as a precautionary - Please talk to your doctor 1st before using a new product.  They have far more knowledge than I or the web can provide to you and have the best advice for what is best suited for you and your family.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homemade Biscuits & Gravy

Did you just salivate? LOL! It's ok; We're all friends here. ;)

This is one of my all time asked for recipes from my friends and family alike.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Pay attention when you're in the kitchen! You never know when that "secret" family recipe is being passed down!

Now, I have known how to make biscuits and gravy for....well...a long time now.  Probably since I was 8 or 9, watching my Grandma in her kitchen.  Now...don't go get all crazy...  This is my own recipe from what I've learned from her over the years.  Which is a great thing!  It has at least half the fat, but still has all the delicious, creamy, taste bud pleasing, goodness you'd expect from Grandma's Gravy!
Looks just like Grandma's.  Don't forget the extra pepper!

So let's get started!!!

You'll Need:
1# of your favorite sausage
4 cups of whole or 2% milk
3-4 Tbsp of Flour
A whisk, skillet, patience, and a strong arm ;)

Brown your sausage like you normally would, chopping it into some crumbles as you go.
After it's cooked, drain the fat.
Add back to your skillet, and with a regular ol' tablespoon from your silverware drawer, measure out 3 heaping tablespoons of flour.
Adding one at a time, to your sausage, mixing well in between scoops.
With your skillet (now on medium-med high heat),  SLOWLY add in your milk. 
I season the gravy as I go.  It can lump quickly, so never ever walk away.
If you're baking biscuits, now is a good time to pop those in.  Then everything will all be ready and piping hot!
Continue to stir the gravy continuously until nice and thick.
FYI:  This make a ton of gravy, but it re-heats beautifully.  A nice tip for those leftovers - Add a splash of milk and stir before microwaving.  Continue to add milk (little by little) until its the consistency you like. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cheese Ravioli Bake

Our family loves pasta!  When my daughter was younger, she was douse herself in the stuff! LOL

One of my favorite things about making pasta, is that it is always a cinch to whip up.  You do the short prep, throw it in the oven, go about your business, and in 30-45 min's minutes, you have a meal worth bragging about.

Today, I'm here to share one of these meals.  No Thank You Card, required ;)

You'll Need:
1# Ground Beef
handful of chopped onion (I used frozen)
handful of chopped bell pepper (again, I used frozen)
3 cloves of garlic
26oz. Jar of spaghetti sauce
1c. water
cheese filled ravioli (found mine in freezer section)
seasonings of your choice - I like salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and a smig of extra basil for this recipe.
Shredded Italian Cheese Blend (just enough to cover the top - About a cup)
Parmesan Cheese *Optional

Before starting, preheat your oven to 350.
In a skillet, brown burger, garlic, chopped veg, and add seasonings.
Once the mixture is cooked, drain fat, and return to stove.
Add spaghetti sauce and water.  Mix well.
While that sits (I leave the burner on low), grab an 8x8 baking dish, spray with non-stick spray, add cheese ravioli, enough to fully line the bottom (its ok is some overlap a bit),

then pour on your meat mixture, then cheese.
Cover and bake 35 min's. 
If you like parm cheese, add that after the 35 min's, and bake uncovered an additional 5-10, until cheese is hot and bubbly.
Upon removal, I recommend you let it sit for 10 min's.  It's piping hot and oozes all over the place otherwise.  Not ideal for a pretty presentation for company.  HOWEVER, with the way this smells, it's always too tempting for us to wait! ;)


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Color Your World - Brown

A beautiful friend told me about the Color Your World challenge.  I loved her post, and wanted to get on board last month, but I have to say, I was looking too deep into the challenge and forgot to relax and think about the things that really make me happy and are present in my everyday life.

This month, the challenge relates to the color brown.  For me, this is was so easy to relate too, since November is all about brown!  From the trees, to the year end yard work that needs to be tended, to harvest leaves and Indian corn, to the preparations to the big turkey day, the turkey itself (hey - its brownish ;)), to the color I want our fall pictures to host.

How does the color brown affect you this month and your lifestyle?

If you'd like to share, get on board the gravy train, and visit the Color Your World page.

Let's color the world together!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Healthy Living During Pregnancy

Hi everyone.  I'm Katie, and I'm so excited to be guest posting today on Crafty Momma!!

Today, I'm here to share with you about how to have a healthier outlook on living.  Specifically healthy living during pregnancy.

Before I got pregnant, I was in relatively good health. I was active, my diet was semi-healthy, my energy was high and I rarely got sick. However, at the beginning of my first trimester, I started feeling ill. I was tired all the time, I craved fatty, salty and sugary foods and I was constantly suffering from head and body aches. I told myself this was normal. Like many other women, I assumed that pregnancy was a time to indulge my every craving and just take it easy.

About ten weeks into my pregnancy, I never thought I'd make it the entire 40 weeks. I was so tired that I began missing work and other commitments, and my body ached all over. I knew something had to give. I decided to speak to my OB/GYN about my symptoms.

I found out that the reason I was feeling so unwell was probably the result of my poor diet and decreasing activity levels. My doctor ran some tests and told me both my blood pressure and glucose levels were higher than what they'd been just a few weeks prior. She strongly urged I get them under control and recommended a balanced, all-natural diet and moderate exercise.

At first, the thought of giving up my unhealthy snacks and 'round-the-clock rest made me nervous. I could barely make it out the door to work! How was I supposed to find the strength to exercise? But I knew I had to give it a shot.

First, I focused on diet. I combated unhealthy food cravings with fresh, natural meals and snacks, and I filled my plate with whole grains, colorful produce and lean protein. To my surprise, I started feeling more energetic within a couple days. I felt better physically and my mind was more focused and alert. After a couple weeks of healthy eating, I decided it was time to work out. I began walking two miles a day, three times a week.

Going into my second trimester of pregnancy, I'd never felt better. My blood pressure and glucose levels were back under control and I felt like a million bucks. I was sleeping better and I had natural, lasting energy throughout the day. And it was all thanks to foods like the following:

  • Whole grains. These foods provide lots of energy without raising blood glucose, which is extremely important during pregnancy for women at risk for gestational diabetes. 
  • Fresh produce. I ate fruits and vegetables of all types, and included at least two types of produce with each meal. This allowed me to receive all the vitamins and minerals I needed to support a healthy pregnancy, plus powerful antioxidants that fight off illness and disease. 
  • Lean protein. Grilled fish and chicken, plus beans and legumes are my favorites. These foods are packed with essential iron and other minerals that kept me strong and healthy during my pregnancy.
  • Water. A woman's body requires lots of fluids during pregnancy. To avoid dehydration, I drank at least ten glasses a day and avoided sugary, caffeinated sodas and teas. 

Before delivery, I consulted with my doctor about healthy choices to make about my baby and myself as soon as she was born. He educated me about options like
cord blood banking, immunizations, and the best ways to help myself recover. After I had my baby, I stuck to my diet. By that point, my taste buds had changed so much that I no longer wanted those unhealthy foods! Now I have the energy it takes to be a mom, and I know I'm setting a healthy example for my baby.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

Monday, November 5, 2012

JcPenny's FREE Haircuts

JcPenny's FREE Haircuts for kids is back! 

This offer is valid all through the month of November - Sunday's only - for kids grades K-6th.  Nice!!

My advice is to make sure you call ahead for an appointment.  They book up quick(!), but is free!

Snip, Snip - Hooray!

Breakfast Square Wrap

Mmm...There is a certain somewhere I get these things ALL the time.  They're additively yummy, and I can honestly say I have felt like I was going through withdraws if I wasn't able to get one!

You'll Need:
Tortilla Shell
Turkey sausage (shown) but pork is my favorite!
Scrambled Eggs
Slice of Cheese
Vegetables and picante sauce, if you like

To start lay your tortilla shell on a flat surface, and add your hot sausage patty:
Add a piece of sliced cheese on top:
Then your eggs:
Start wrapping it up.  I fold all 4 corners to center:
Throw the square wrap, back into your skillet, you used to cook the eggs to seal the seams, cut it up and dive in.
CAUTIONYou'll want to double, triple, or maybe even quadruple the recipe.  Everyone around you will want one!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Holiday's Homemade - Come Join Us!

There has been a fun little project I've been working on with a fantastic group of gals.  This project has been kept top secret until TODAY! 

It's been such a fun journey over the course of the last several months.  These group of gals have inspired me so much, and they're all so incredibly talented.

We truly couldn't be more excited to unveil the beginning works of our "baby" with you!

One of the questions we're asking everyone "What is YOUR favorite holiday tradition?"
Psst...If you share your story with us on our Facebook Page - We'll put it on our home page! Holla!!

Lots of excitement coming your way! So click on over, and check us out.

We'd love to meet you...