How To Organize Ties

My husband is a preacher. He owns A. Lot. Of. Ties! He loves to wear crazy ties as I call them. He has a Mr. Potato Head tie, a whole collection of Mickey Mouse ties, a tie with money printed all over it, and several that my dad has brought him back from other countries. These are just to name a few. We have always shared a closet and those ties seemed to take up a lot of space. I tried to organize them by hanging them over a hanger. I had several hangers filled with ties and all the ties would eventually shift to one end of the hanger and then the hanger would hang wonky in the closet. (Wonky is a very technical term, you know.) One Christmas I found a motorized tie organizer which actually held all of his ties. I think the ties must have been too heavy for the motor though, because after about a month it stopped working. I now organize his ties using towel rods. I found the idea in a book titled Sunset Ideas for Storage: Cabinets, Closets, Bookshelves.

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I bought four towel bars on clearance at Target and got to work putting them up. I hung the towel bars so that when I hung a tie over the top towel bar the bottom of the tie could be tucked behind the towel bar below it and so on and so forth. Since I had four towel bars, I had three bars to hang ties on and the lowest one to tuck the ties behind.

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We live in a parsonage and while we have amazing living spaces, we have teeny tiny bedrooms with itty bitty closets. I love how this project saves valuable space in our closet. With it behind our bedroom door, it is a space saver that can be hidden from view, which is another plus!

Fast Food Fixes: Cheeseburgers

We live in a small town. When I say small I mean small. The population is less than 600. The only restaurants we have in our little town are a pizza buffet and if you count the grocery/convenience store then we have a sandwich shop. Sometimes we want more than just pizza or a sandwich, but the closest town with any more options is 18 miles away. I have decided it is quicker and usually tastes better to just fix our favorite “fast foods” at home. Here is my version of a simple cheeseburger.

What you will need:

  • 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef (I find this ratio makes the burgers juicier)
  • Dried Minced Onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 Hamburger Buns
  • American Cheese
  • Burger Toppings – Mayonnaise, Mustard, Ketchup, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Onion (Whatever your heart/stomach desires)

Start by dividing your meat into 4 equal portions. I divided mine into 3 equal portions and then divided one of the portions into 2 smaller portions. This way my husband and I would have a larger burger and the twins would have smaller slider size burgers. Just do whatever works for your family. Form the meat into patties and season both sides with the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and worcestershire. Turn the heat on medium high and let the burgers cook about 5-6 minutes on each side.

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Try not to flip them excessively or squash them with the spatula because this will make them less juicy.

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Add the cheese to the top of the burgers and let it melt completely.

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Nothing quite like the sight of a cheeseburger with all that melty cheese.

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Drain the patties on a paper towel while you toast your buns.

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Lay your buns out on a cookie sheet and toast under the broiler until they are golden brown.

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Fix your burger up with lots of yummy condiments and serve it up with tater tots and a pickle. Don’t forget the pickle.

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I think I could have this meal cooked, eaten and the dishes washed in the time it would take my husband to drive to town and get us a burger in the drive through.

What Did You Make Wednesday? The Party Dress

I have been in an organizing mood lately. I was joking with my friend today that since I spent the last 15 weeks of my pregnancy on bed rest maybe I am going through the nesting phase now (my twins are 5 years old). I really just think it is due to my OCD. I have been organizing everything…closets, the homeschool room, and Monday I decided to go through my fabric stash. I hadn’t gone through it in a while and it is kind of like looking at old photographs. I started reminiscing in a way about the fabric that I hadn’t seen in a while. Well before I knew it I had started on a project and the organizing got pushed to the side. This quote is quite appropriate for that day.

craftsnark advice if you marry a creative person

Quote found here.

I made my daughter a dress using this piece of fabric I found in my stash. It had a big hole in the middle.

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I used The Party Dress tutorial from u create. Here is how it turned out.

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This is the first garment I have sewn from a pattern since my sophomore year in high school. My sash turned out narrower than the one in the tutorial but I think it works. I love the fabric covered buttons, they are so cute and were so easy to make. I had never made any before. I will use this tutorial again. It was easy to use for a novice like myself. However I do need to sharpen my skills at attaching a gathered skirt to a bodice.

Uppercase/Lowercase Alphabet Matching Game with Free Printable

I have a ton of poker chips!

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I think they are great to use in making learning games. I came up with this simple game idea last night. My kids are learning the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters right now. I decided to make a game board with 26 circles printed on it. The circles are the same size as the poker chips and each circle has an uppercase letter of the alphabet in it. I then took white garage sale dot labels and wrote in sharpie marker the letters in lowercase. I attatched the white dots to the center of the poker chips. I also underlined the lowercase letters in red marker so my kids would know which direction the letters were meant to go. I laminated the game boards and now my kids are having fun learning and playing at the same time.

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Here is the link for the free printable.

 

What Did You Make Wednesday? Bow Holder

I recently have gotten into hair bow making. I think I am making up for the first 4 years of my daughter’s life where I pretty much let her walk around with her hair hanging in her face. I finally learned how to make the hair bows and now I probably will never think she has enough of them.

The only problem I have had since starting to make the bows is finding a place to store them all. I had a belt hanging in her closet that I clipped them to, but it soon filled up.

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Then they were scattered all over her dresser.

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She also has a lot of headbands, other hair accessories and necklaces that I didn’t know what to do with. See her bathroom drawer!

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I knew I had to make a bow holder of some kind so I went on Pinterest for inspiration.

I found these cute letter bow holders,┬áthis lampshade bow holder and these oatmeal canister headband holders. I had some wooden letters that my sister-in-law had painted for my kids when they were first born. They looked so cute in their nursery, but I thought this would be the perfect update for them to match my daughter’s room now. My daughter also had a lamp with a broken base. The lampshade is cylindrical just like the oatmeal canisters, so I combined the idea of the lampshade bow holder and the oatmeal canister headband holder.

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Here’s what I did.

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I painted the background of my letters pink.

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Then I painted a chevron pattern on the letters. I figured if I couldn’t make the chevron work on the quilt, I might as well make it work on the bow holder. I put a sample piece of the quilt in the picture so you can see how they will go together. I am hoping to finish up on the quilt in a couple of weeks.

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I simply hot glued ribbon to the back of the four letters in the middle. My ribbons are 36 inches long. I added four cup hooks to each of the letters at the beginning and end of her name to use for the necklaces. I added saw tooth hangers and rubber bumpers to the back of each square. Now I’ve got that tongue twister in my head…rubber baby buggy bumpers. I hung them kind of wonky so I didn’t have to stress out too much over getting it all perfectly straight and level.

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Then I organized all of her headbands onto the lampshade.

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I organized her brushes, combs, water spray bottle and spray conditioner in one of my Herbalife containers and simply slid the lampshade down over the top.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to put in that empty drawer in the bathroom!

Garlic Bread with Paprika Hearts

This is a simple technique that was inspired by some of the cake decorating ideas I have seen on Pinterest. The ones where they take a stencil or a cookie cutter and then apply powdered sugar or sprinkles and you are left with a cute design. Here is one example.

I was trying to come up with something cute to serve along side our Valentine’s day lunch. I had already planned to serve garlic bread, so I thought why not use the same technique but with something savory like paprika.

Here is how I did it.

You need

  • Buttered Garlic Bread
  • Paprika
  • Waxed Paper

Preheat your oven to 350. Lay out your garlic bread on a baking sheet. Cut out a rectangle of waxed paper large enough to cover the individual pieces of bread. Cut a heart out of the middle of the rectangle. Lay the waxed paper stencil on top of the bread and sprinkle on the paprika.

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Carefully move the stencil to the other pieces and repeat the process.

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Bake until heated through. Enjoy!

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I think this would be fun to use with cinnamon toast too. I am going to try that in the near future.

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

I have the easiest recipe ever for Alfredo sauce! I adapted my version from the Pioneer Woman’s and believe me it tastes just like what you would get in an Italian restaurant. No more of that jarred stuff. I can do spaghetti sauce in a jar, but something has always turned me off of that alfredo sauce in a jar.

Here’s what you need

  • 1 Pound of Fettucini (or other pasta you like)
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup of Parmesan Cheese (I don’t use anything fancy here)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

This recipe reminds me of Truvy’s cuppa, cuppa, cuppa recipe off of Steel Magnolias. Only here it is all ones. One pound, One stick, One cup, One Cup…so easy to remember!

Start by putting your pot of water on to boil for your pasta.

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Then melt your stick of butter in a medium saucepan.

Once the butter is melted add in your heavy cream.

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Whisk that together and add in your Parmesan cheese. Once your pasta water is boiling add your pasta to that pot.

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After your Parmesan cheese is mixed in add salt and pepper to taste.

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If your sauce seems too thick you can thin it down with more heavy cream or some of your pasta water. You want it to be on the thinner side, because it gets thicker as it cools down.

Add your sauce to your pasta and you are ready to eat. My kids love just the noodles and sauce, but I decided to make some Cajun chicken to put on top of the adults pasta. It made it even more out of this world!

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Season the chicken liberally with the seasoning. Place the chicken breast in a hot oiled skillet.

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Let brown on one side and flip over.

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Once the chicken is browned well on both sides, cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium to medium low while you prepare the pasta and sauce.

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When done slice the chicken breast and serve over the pasta and sauce.

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What Did You Make Wednesday? Letter Art

I have seen so many cute ideas for letter art on Pinterest. I thought we would try out our own version to hang above the kids desk in our homeschool room. Here are links to some of the examples that inspired me. This one uses watercolor to paint over a masking tape name. This one uses homemade edible finger paint. This one uses printed fabric for the background and then when you paint over stickers with black paint and remove the stickers the words are revealed.

I decided to let the kids paint whatever they wanted onto a canvas. I then drew a simple letter with a pencil outline. They are still learning their letters so I wanted the font to be simple. I painted around the outline with black paint so that the only thing left showing was the letter. Then I came up with some adjectives that describe each child and painted them in the same simple font around that childs letter. I used purple for my daughter and blue for my son. Lastly I gave each canvas a good coat of Mod Podge. I think these will look great hanging above their desk!

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My First Quilt

I got together with my friends yesterday, so my friend’s mom could teach us how to quilt. I think I have found a new hobby. Quilting is so much fun! We used a video tutorial off of YouTube that made it really quick and easy. Here are some pictures of what I have gotten done so far.

I laid my blocks out in this fantastic chevron pattern. I was so excited to see it all come together!

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Then when I sewed my first two rows together this is what happened. The inner points of the chevron don’t meet up right. I have tried to figure out a way to fix this, but I don’t know how. If any of you more advanced quilters know a way to make it meet up right I would love to know what I was doing wrong.

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Here are the same blocks before I sewed them together.

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At the end of the day I laid out all of my blocks to see what I had. I will be making this quilt to use as a new bedspread for my daughter’s room. I think the thing I like most about quilting is laying out the blocks and seeing what patterns you can make with them. I am excited to see how this quilt turns out.

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If you have ever wanted to learn to quilt, I highly recommend this method of tube quilting. Although the chevron pattern didn’t work for me in the end, the tutorial was great for teaching a beginning quilter the basics of the hobby.