When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

April 30, 2010

Friday Favorites

 
I found some very cute and colorful projects this week. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do!
  

Check out this beautiful terracotta dessert stand with A Girl and A Glue Gun


I am in love with these whimsical decoupage light bulb birds at Crafts by Amanda


Go see how to make these colorful yarn votives at Lavendar and Limes


I am also in love with these beautiful painted towels at Think Crafts Blog


Check out the how to on these gorgeous beguiling blossoms at Positively Splendid



Have a great weekend and come back tomorrow for my featured blog/etsy shop!

April 28, 2010

A recipe for the easiest cookies you will ever make!

I promise you Cake Cookies are the easiest cookies to make EVER! They are soft and yummy and a big hit with the whole family!

Cake Cookies


Ingredients:
1 box store bought cake mix (not with fudge or Jell-O mixed in)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (you can see by the picture, I use canola oil)
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (or add what you like)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease cookie sheets


Stir ingredients together untill well blended
Chill till firm

Drop dough balls on cookie sheet
Bake 8-10 mins.


Enjoy!

What I love about these is that you will almost always have the ingredients on hand. Also, the recipe is very versatile.  Last week, I made them with white cake mix and chocolate chips. Today I made them with swiss chocolate cake mix and peanut butter and chocolate chips. I can only imagine if you used white chocolate chips or nuts. I have yet to try a strawberry cake mix, but that might be good with white chocolate chips too.

Happy baking!

April 25, 2010

A thank you, an apology, and a quick shout out...

Good morning!

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to those of you who participated in my trial of a linky party on Friday. There were some cute projects! If you missed it, you can see it here.

I also wanted apologize for the linky not working correctly. When you posted, your projects didn't show up, which could explain why no one linked back their project with my button. I haven't yet decided whether to do the party again this coming Friday or not. If I can get the Linky to work correctly, I might try again.

The Linky not working leads to this shout out... thank you to Allison at House of Hepworths to being the one who commented that the Linky was not working. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. I wouldn't have otherwise and would have spent the day wondering why no one wanted to share their projects with me! :) If you haven't seen Allison's blog, you must take a few moments and check it out. She has many cute projects and tutorials. Thanks again Allison!

Happy Sunday!

April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Dear Tooth Fairy, Can you draw?
Because I want you to draw a picture of yourself
because I want to know what you look like.


April 19, 2010

Monday Musings... Creating

If you have a few minutes, this is a beautiful video about our human need to create...
 
 
Happy Monday!


April 18, 2010

There is a God...


Happy Sunday! Enjoy your day of rest and your families and friends!

April 17, 2010

Saturday Featured Blog... Life in the Pitts

Hey all! Hope your Saturday turns out to be FANTASTIC! I'm excited to tell you about my featured blog for this week! It is Life in the Pitts!



Life in the Pitts
 

I love her blog and her name. Not often I come across another Lanie. Her blog is full of really fun crafts and each week she holds a linky party called A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts. Super fun and fabulous projects can be found there.
Lanie also has an adorable Etsy shop called Made in the Pitts. After you read her interview, you really must go have a look see. She makes adorable handmade checkerboards and picture frames. Like me, she is a lover of mod podge and paper.


Here is her little interview. My own comments are added in pink. Why? Because I just couldn't resist!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a newlywed (I think. Does 9 months of marriage still count as newlywed?), and I'm still getting used to this whole being married thing. Yes! 9 months definitely counts as newlywed and I have been married 8 years and I'm still getting used to this whole being married thing too! :)

This past year I got engaged, got married, and moved across the country so my husband could start Dental School here in Pittsburgh.

It took me a while to find a job (Mostly because the job market is tough. But also because I was lazy), and so I started blogging to fill my time. But then I discovered craft blogs. And became obsessed.

Please give a little insight to what your blog and Etsy shop is about.
I blog about my life, and my life includes crafts. But it also includes friends, family, and my adorable, but super frustrating, new husband. I try to keep it funny and entertaining. I guess it's just about my life here in the Pitts.

My Etsy shop is brand new, and I mostly sell handmade checker boards (they are awesome). And wall art. And I'll probably branch out and sell other stuff once my sewing machine is fixed. You should probably check it out. Most definitely!

What made you start blogging/crafting?
Boredom. And peer pressure. I was told that all good wives blog, and so I didn't have much of a choice. Once I found all those awesome crafty sites- Craftaholics Anonymous, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Ruffles and Stuff, etc- I couldn't help but craft.

Plus I live across the street from a Michaels store. A crafter's bliss!

Who does your blog appeal to?
Um, everybody? Well, I like to think so. Maybe... people who like to laugh?

What do you love about blogging?
The comments. I check my email like 7 times a day, looking for comments. I love the external validation.
You know you do it too. Yes...yes I do!

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog/shop in the future?
For my shop, I'd like to sell stuff. That's kind of my only goal. And I don't really have any goals with my blog, either. Just keep writing, I guess.

What are 3 of your most favorite posts on your blog?





Please share some of your favorite blogs with us.

Craft blogs:


Please share your top 3 favorite Etsy Shops:

Ooh, this is hard. I have like 75 I heart on Etsy. Maybe...


Thanks Lanie for being my featured guest today. I really enjoyed getting to know you better and can't wait to see more of your blog. Don't forget to grab an "I was featured" button from the right side bar.
The rest of you have a great weekend and be sure to pay Life in the Pitts and Made in the Pitts a visit! You won't regret it!

April 16, 2010

Friday Favorites (4/16/10)

Welcome to another week of Friday Favorites! If you were featured here or on any other Friday, please grab yourself an "I was Featured" button from the right side bar.

Coloring Your Glass at Domestically Speaking. Aren't they gorgeous? And easy too!


Make Symetrical Flowers with Kids Artists. My daughter would love this!


Classic Cobb Salad at Smitten Kitchen. Sounds good and looks even better! YUM!


Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal Cookies at J. Leigh Designz. I LOVE chocolate covered raisins! The oatmeal makes them healthy right? Right?


Scrappy Magnets at A Crafty Escape. A quick and easy way to dress up your fridge or magnetic board.



Have a great weekend!


April 13, 2010

Easy Turkey and Spinach Lasagna Recipe


This recipe actually called for beef and frozen spinach, but I switched it out to ground turkey and fresh spinach. The little bit of red pepper gives it just enough of a kick, but not to spicy for the kiddos. I love using no cook-style lasagna noodles. It makes it so much easier to throw it all together.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey
1 jar (26-30 oz) prepared spaghetti sauce. (I love Newman's brand)
1 can (14-1/2 oz) Italian-style diced tomatos, undrained
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 carton (18-oz) part skim ricotta cheese
1 package fresh spinach (chopped)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 medium egg, beaten
8 ea. no cook-style lasagna
1-1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brown turkey in large nonstick skillet. Pour off drippings. Season with salt, stir in spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, red pepper and set aside.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, egg and parmesan cheese.

In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish begin by spreading 2 cups of sauce over the bottom. Arrange 4 noodles in a single layer. Press noodles into sauce.

Spread entire ricotta cheese mixture over noodles; sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and top with 1-1/2 cups turkey sauce. Arrange remaining noodles in single layer; press into sauce. Top with remaining sauce.

Bake 45 minutes or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top and cover with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 mins. cut into squares and serve.

This one was a pretty good hit with all 4 of us. Yum!



Blessed with Grace

HappyDay

April 12, 2010

Monday Musings... My favorite time of year in Texas

What is my favorite time of year in Texas? Springtime, of course! Want to know why? This is it right here...

Aren't they gorgeous? This is the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet. Every year around this time the hill country is full of them. There are literally fields of them. People stop on the sides of roads and climb through barbed wire fences just to get the right shot of their kiddos in them.

The girls and I took a drive about an hour from our house yesterday to find some. And find some we did. It was really funny starting out. I said, "Keep your eyes peeled for bluebonnets!". After driving about 1/2 hour K started to doubt me and asked if I knew where I was going. Can you believe the nerve? So I told her to just watch and we would start seeing a little bunch here and there and then pretty soon we would see fields of them. About 5 minutes later they were shouting about all the bluebonnets. They couldn't believe how many there were!

Sometimes my little point and shoot Cybershot does a pretty good job don't you think?


These are indian paintbrushes. You can see lots of these this time of year too. They actually remind me of Arizona.

I am amazed at the beautiful colors!


Here is a shot of the girls making their annual run through the bluebonnets. I was surprised to see how many people disregarded the fact that it is against the law to pick these flowers. My daughters even know this and pointed out how other kids were picking them. We had a beautiful time though.

I leave you with my favorite shot of N making last year's annual run.

If you are ever in Texas this time of year, I strongly suggest you take the time to find a field of bluebonnets. Trust me when I say the pictures are beautiful, but it is really something to see in person!

Happy Monday!

April 11, 2010

Messages can come from anywhere... even the "blogosphere"...

So, I was putzing around Friday with Google Reader and I ran across a beautiful blog called Pinch Me to See If You're Dreaming. Zom is an artist living in the rainforest of Australia and her art is gorgeous and captivating. I can't wait to read more about her. Anyhow... while perusing her posts I came across this...

My theory is that the true artist produces nothing. Only a craftsperson produces, and produces regularly.
The artist works, yes, but she works first and foremost on her Soul: that is what is specific about her work and what distinguishes it from the work of a craftsperson. The work of the artist on her Soul is comparable to Grace. (In difficult times, all her energy, all her efforts are required in order to simply maintain that state of grace.) The work of an artist is an inside one, a going in, an internalization process. Actually the opposite of what is expected of her: an outpour into an objective artwork.


Art, true art, is that miracle precisely. That the artist manages at once two diametrically opposed, antinomic, actions. In that sense, yes art is a miracle akin to the Mystery of Divine Creation.

There is Incarnation. And the artist is nothing else than divine incarnated, a Presence of the eternal in a finite being, in a finite life. The artist relives, rebirthes this incarnation of the divine inside of herself. That is how she becomes a creator, in commune with all the other artists of the past: those are her riches, the infinite quality of her (and everyone's) Soul.


The miraculous process in which an artist will not internalize anymore but actually reach toward the outside and give us a kind of photocopy of her rich, divine Soul, in short an Artwork, is not a process she can control. That process is totally independent from her and she cannot choose the time or the manner in which it happens.


She has to wait.


Of course she can always produce as everyone does, as a craftsperson does but she knows and feels that these works are products and not true works of creation. They can be beautiful goods but will contribute nothing to the fulfillment of her Soul.


~the Freedom Engineer, newsletter no 6, Paris 1990

Oh my! If this doesn't remind me of my mother and give a glimpse of exactly what I was feeling when I wrote this on Monday Musings a couple of weeks ago, I don't know what does.

To me, this is just another message from God that I am on the right track in what I want to do. Thank you Zom for sharing your beautiful art and your quote on your blog. I so appreciate it! If you haven't already, please be sure you visit Pinch Me to See If You're Dreaming to see Zom's beautiful work.