Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taco Burger


One of my favorite foods is Taco John's Taco Burger.  We don't have a Taco John's in our area, so I tried to a taco burger last night.

First, Prepare the taco meat and seasoning.  Place seasoned taco meat on bottom portion of bun.

Add shredded cheddar cheese.

Lettuce

And Enjoy!  Next time I will add taco sauce to the burger.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ribbon Wreath - Michigan State


I have been wanting to make a ribbon wreath for a long time. I made this wreath for Lillie's Preschool Teacher.  She loves Michigan State.  We are Nebraska fans, but we cheer for Michigan State when they are playing against Ohio State or Wisconsin.
To make this wreath you will need:
  • 45 yards of 5/8-2" ribbon.  The thinner the ribbon, the more yardage you will need.  I used 3 prints, 2 colors.  I used 2 different widths for the green and white.  For a total of 7 different ribbons.  I also used white and green cord.  You can see this in the step 4 photo.
  • Hot glue gun
  • 300-500 straight pins
  • 10-14" wreath form
  • 3-4 hours - I think that I spent 4 hours on this project, but now that I did the first one, I know that the next one will take less time.
Step 1: wrap foam wreath in ribbon or tulle.  Secure with straight pins or glue.




Step 2: cut ribbon into 4 1/2" strips


Step 3: glue ribbon strips into a loop

Step 4: Pin ribbon loops to wreath. 

I only had 3 yards of the Michigan State ribbon, so I pinned it to the wreath first.  I made sure that it was spaced through out the wreath.



Step 4: continue to add ribbon loops to wreath.  This is a closer look of the wreath, to see the ribbon spacing.

Not done yet.  You want your wreath to be full.  You don't want to see where the ribbon is attached to the foam wreath or the foam wreath itself.

The ribbon loops are done.

Step 5: Time to add ribbon to the wreath, so you can hang it up.  Some crafters add the ribbon at the beginning, by tying it to the wreath.  I pinned and glued the ribbon to the wreath.


Test the ribbon length and tie a bow.  Trim the extra ribbon off.


Step 6: Add your accessories to the wreath.  Remove wreath from the door and lay it down on your work surface to apply the accessories.  I applied hot glue to the back of the letters and Spartan and then set them on the ribbon.

Finished wreath.  I can't wait to make a Nebraska, Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day or Halloween wreath.  This wreath was on a 10" foam, but next time I would use a bigger foam wreath.

I watched and read the following links to assemble the wreath.  I changed a few things, but you may get some ideas from their blogs and videos.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeRE4NctvHI
http://www.thepickyapple.com/blog/2010/09/17/halloween-ribbon-wreath/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Save the Planet and Save Money - Part 2 - Composting



Save the Planet and Save Money – Part 2 - Composting
You can save money by composting.  Compost is organic material that is made from the vegetable scraps and yard waste.  You can use compost in your flowerbeds and garden as a natural fertilizer.  Where to you start? The EPA has a website with basic information on how to compost, what to compost and http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/composting/index.htm
First: you need a location or a container to do the composting.  This is our compost container.  This one looks like a Darth Vader helmet. 

There are several different types of containers available online and at local gardening centers.  You also don’t have to buy a container.  You can also just designate a location for your compost area.
Next: Save your grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, and add them to the composting pile.  Add water and mix or turn your compost pile every week.  Compost needs the right amount of water and heat to turn into compost.  Water your compost pile as needed and turn it with a pitchfork weekly.
You can add other ingredients to your compost pile.  Please review the list of what you can and cannot add your compost pile at: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/composting/basic.htm#todo I keep my compost pile simple by just using my lawn clippings, and our fruit and vegetable scraps.
After a few months, you will be left with a dark compost mixture that you can use to fertilize your garden and flowers.  It may take a little longer if you don’t rotate and water your compost as needed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lemon Bars - Cheesecake like

This is one of my favorite recipes.  This lemon bar recipe is not as strong tasting as a traditional lemon bar.  Plus, it is a great mini cheesecake bar.



Step 1 Ingredients list:
1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 egg
(See remaining ingredients list below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Set 1 cup of mixture to side for later use.  Crumble larger portion of mixture into a 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Step 2 ingredients list:
8 oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
Mix cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg, and lemon juice

 Pour mixture over crust.


 Crumble remaining 1 cup mixture over top and cook until golden brown.

 Enjoy!




Calendar on Cabinet Door

I needed a central location for my calendar in the kitchen, so I hung it on the cabinet door.  I looped a string through the hole on the calendar and hung it over the cabinet door. (see 2nd and 3rd photo).  On the inside of the cabinet, I attached a 3M hook to hook the sting on it.  If I don't want my calendar showing, I can easily take it down, when company comes over.

I looped the string through the calendar hole, so I don't have to untie the string every month.  Just slip one end of the loop over the other.


The Krazy Coupon Lady


Have you heard of the Krazy Coupon Lady?  If not, you should check out their website at: http://thekrazycouponlady.com/  It is actually two ladies that used coupons to cut their grocery bill and save money.  You can receive their money saving alerts by signing up for their e-mail mailing list or liking them on facebook.  Their website features links to coupons that you can print online and other ways to save money.

Save the Planet and Save Money – Part 1 – Reducing your trash and your trash bill


When we moved into our house we set up all of our utilities.  Our monthly trash bill was $25.  Our trash service fee is based up the number of bags that they pick up each week.  If I put out fewer bags, I could reduce our monthly trash bill. So, I increased our recycling to reduce the number of trash bags.

It was slow at first.  We did the basic newspaper, pop bottles and cans, but I wanted to increase the recycling and save more money.  We now recycle 50% of our waste and reduced our trash service fee to $16 a month.  $108 in savings each year.

This is an actual picture of our bi-monthly recycling.  We now recycle 50% of our waste.

If you do not have curbside recycling service, you can find a recycling center near you at www.1800recycling.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ideas to keep kids entertained on a road trip


Every year, we make a trip to Nebraska to see our family and friends.  To keep the kids entertained for 11 hours, I have to pack certian items.  Here are a few of the items and activities that we do.
1. 50 states game - I list the 50 states on a piece of paper or on the back of a magazine.  Lillie, Brian and I watch for the names on license plates, trucks, or signs. In our last trip, we found and crossed through the following in the photo.
2. ABC game - Lillie looks for the letters on signs, trucks, etc.  She found and crossed through the ones in the photo.
3. Car video player or laptop to play DVDs on.
4. Nintendo DS - for Lillie to play with
5. Fisher Price iXL (or other toddler game unit) - Sophie plays with this.
6. Color Wonder Markers and coloring book - a new set is exciting at the start of the trip.  These markers only mark on the special color wonder paper.
7. Books
8. Special treat to eat - I give the girls a special sweet treat to eat after lunch.
9. "Look at the cows, Sophie!"  I keep my eyes open for landmarks, animals and machinery that the girls will be excited to look at.
10. Sing Songs
11. Counting down the miles - Lillie counts down the mile markers and exit signs to the state line.
12. Follow along on a map - Follow your trip and progress on a map.  You can use a road atlas or on a map that you make.
13.  This website has a great list of printables to use in the car.  http://preparednotscared.blogspot.com/2010/06/preparedness-project-travel-bag.html

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trick to Keep These Barrettes in Girl's Hair.



These barrettes use to fall out of my daughter's fine hair, until I learned about this trick.
Wrap rubber bands around one side of the barrette.  This will help keep the barrette in your little girl's hair.



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