Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Make your own Clothing/Headband labels

Yesterday I found a tutorial on how to make your own clothing labels for cheap and easy. I just had to try it so I went out right then and got the supplies: Iron-on transfers (the T-Shirt kind) and white satin ribbon.

I used powerpoint to make a sheet of my logo in different sizes. At first I flipped all my images, but later learned that if you select "t-shirt transfers" as your paper type when you go to print, then it automatically flips them for you. I wasted my first sheet of transfer paper this way. Oops. 

I cut out some of the logos, then ironed them onto the ribbon.

I was surprised at how good they looked when I tore off the paper.

I've already started gluing them to the back of headbands. I feel very professional now that I have my own labels.

 I sealed the ends of ribbon to prevent fraying and am still experimenting with whether or not I should fold under the ends or just leave them flat. I think I kind of like the look of them flat better.

So fun and cheap and easy. Why didn't I think of this myself? 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Super Easy Turkey Pot Pie

How was your Thanksgiving? We hosted this year and had a great time. We kept it pretty informal and just focused on the food. We used paper plates, which I am a little embarrassed about, but I wasn't sure if we would have enough "real" plates and I didn't want to bother with doing dishes. I try to conserve energy when I can nowadays since energy is on short supply for me lately. 

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the leftover Turkey. There are so many things you can do with it and this is one of my family's favorites: Turkey Pot Pie. I am pretty sure that my bachelor brother makes a turkey by himself every year just so that he can make this pot pie. In keeping with the energy conservation theme, this version is super easy.

Easy Turkey Pot Pie

I never measure anything with this pot pie, so these amounts are approximated. Feel free to adjust them to your liking.

1-2 cups Leftover Cooked Turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 cups vegetables- I usually use peas and carrots, you can use fresh or frozen
3-4 potatoes, skinned and cubed (or use frozen hash-browns, the cubed kind not the shredded)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 roll of crescent rolls, the Pillsbury kind works best as the store brands don't seem to work as well.

Pre-cook all the veggies and potatoes in water on stove until fork tender. Drain. If using frozen veggies/potatoes, just cook until warm and no longer frozen. Mix veggies, potatoes, turkey, cream of chicken soup, milk, and salt and pepper. If sauce is too then, add more milk. Spread in 9x13 pan. Take crescent rolls and roll out into a solid sheet the size of the pan. I  like to buy the "recipe creations" kind of crescent rolls because it comes in a solid sheet already and I just have to roll it out a little bit. Spread crescent rolls on top of filling to act as top crust. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until top crust is light brown and filling is hot and bubbly. Let cool a few minutes and serve.

There you have it. Super easy and so good. My kids love this, my husband loves this and I love this in my pregnant, everything tastes gross and makes me want to puke state. Try it, you won't regret it.

Also, don't forget, today is the last day of the free shipping sale in my Etsy Shop. Use the coupon code "THANKSGIVING2011" at checkout for free shipping on your entire order (U.S. order only). Ends tonight at midnight so you better hurry.

Linked up with:
Skip to My Lou

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Free Shipping Sale for Thanksgiving Weekend

Hey Everyone! The Free Shipping sale is going on right now in my Etsy shop. Just use the Coupon Code "THANKSGIVING2011" at checkout to receive free shipping on your entire order (U.S. orders only). Hurry though, the offer ends on Monday 11/28 at midnight!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Perfect Pie Crust and Buttermilk Pie Recipe

Growing up, we always had pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I LOVE pie. I hate store bought crust though. It is so gross compared to the real stuff. My mom taught me how to make the perfect crust and I am going to share that with you. I am also going to share my favorite pie recipe, Buttermilk Pie. So yummy!

This pie crust recipe is from Martha Stewart (I think) and it uses real butter so it tastes so good and has the perfect texture.

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 C Flour
1 t salt (use less if using salted butter)
1 t sugar
2 COLD sticks of butter, cut in pieces (preferably unsalted, if using salted then reduce amount of salt)
1/4-1/2 C ICE water

Mix all ingredients except for water with a pastry blender until butter looks like very small peas (smaller the better). Slowly mix in water, a few drops at a time until it starts clumping together when you squeeze it with your hand. The less water, the better.

Makes 2 crusts or a top and bottom crust.

 I slice and quarter my butter into little squares

Add the other dry ingredients

 Blend with pastry blender (I usually put on a show and sit on the floor with the bowl in my lap and blend away for 15 minutes or so)

 The butter should all be broken up and the flour and butter all incorporated pretty well

You really want the water to be as cold as possible so when I say ice water, I mean it. Drizzle it on a little at a time while you mix it. 

When it clumps together well when you squeeze it in your hand, then you have enough water. If you add too much, it will be too sticky and a pain to roll out. If you don't add enough, then it will be too crumbly and will fall apart. 

Take half of it and form it into a ball with your hands. If you are short on time, you can wrap them in saran wrap and put them in the fridge for a few hours, or you can just make the crusts now.

At this point, the less you touch it the better. You want it to stay cold. You can roll it out on a floured surface or...

...between 2 sheets of parchment paper (still use a little flour though). Roll it out until it is somewhere between 1/8-1/4" thick (or however thick you like it, this is how I prefer it.)

 Transfer to pie dish by folding in half (or quarters) and lifting over pie dish.

Unfold and press gently into edges and smooth out. 

Use a sharp knife (I think a serrated one works best) to trim edges just below edge.

 Fold the excess over the top (this is how I do it, everyone has their own "method" to this part)
Pinch between index fingers to form a decorative edge

 The finished product, all ready for filling. Repeat for the second half.

When I am making a lot of pies (which happens a lot in my family, we love pie!) I will make a bunch of pie shells ahead of time, wrap them in saran wrap and stick them in the freezer. When I am ready to make the filling, I just take them out to thaw in the fridge a few hours ahead of time. 

Now for my favorite pie recipe, Buttermilk Pie. This pie is a sweet custard like pie with a top that almost reminds me of crème brûlée. Don't let the name fool you, this pie is amazing. It is not healthy, but so good.

Buttermilk Pie

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
6 eggs
1/2 C flour
3 C sugar
1 C buttermilk
1T vanilla

2 unbaked pie shells

Melt butter, put aside. Beat eggs together. Add sugar and flour to eggs slowly. Add melted margarine, then buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes at 325 degrees on lower shelf.

Cool before serving.

Linked up with
Creations by Kara

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Help me name these colors

We have been making tons of flowers lately to get ready for the busy (hopefully!) holiday season. Actually my husband has been doing the resin pouring part for me because the resin fumes can be dangerous to our unborn baby, isn't that sweet of him?

On our last batch, we made some colors that we are not quite sure how to name. We could use some help with some name suggestions. Leave me comments here or on facebook as to what you would call these new colors.
First is the this light yellow with a slight hint of brown color in the middle. The mum on the left is what I call vintage yellow, the two in the middle are the new unnamed color and on the right is my sunny yellow for comparison.

Second is this light blue/teal color in the middle. I have my teal on the left and aqua on the right. Name the color in the middle. I was thinking of something like Robin Egg Blue? It might be too dark for that though. Color naming is hard.

So what do you think?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Wheat Rolls, aka My Mom's Famous Rolls, aka The BEST Rolls You'll Ever Make

 These homemade rolls are the best and my mom is famous for them in our family. She makes them for every family event/holiday and we even had them at my wedding reception. My Step-Grandfather asks for a batch of his own for Christmas because they are that good. I've tried other recipes, but I always go back to this one because nothing is better.

They are made from a hot roll mix that we make a big batch of and store in the freezer. Then it is easy to throw together a batch when you need them.

Hot Roll Mix

5lbs flour (1lb=4 cups, so 20 cups) I use about half wheat flour and half bread flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
4t salt
1 cup instant nonfat dry milk

Combine ingredients. Makes about 22 cups of mix.  (I store mine in gallon size ziploc bags in the freezer to protect the nutrients in the fresh ground wheat flour)

Pan Rolls

1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
2 eggs beaten
1 cube melted butter or margarine
about 1/2 cup gluten flour (the more wheat flour you use, the more gluten flour you need)
5 to 6 cups of hot roll mix (this amount can vary, I usually only end up using about 4 1/2 cups)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixer. Add eggs and butter, leaving motor on, add gluten flour and then roll mix 1 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Put lid on and mix on high for about 5 minutes (or knead by hand for about 10-15 minutes). Place dough in buttered large bowl and turn dough over so top is buttered. Cover and place in warm, draft free place until double in bulk. (oven with light on works well). Make into rolls and place on greased cookie sheets and allow to rise again until doubled or about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes. Make about 2 dozen (I usually get about 30). Cool on baking racks.

Dissolving the yeast:

After 3 cups of mix (still too wet):

4 cups, getting closer.

After 4 3/4 cups, perfect. The dough pulls away from the side and all sticks together around the kneading arms.

 After the first rise.

Form into rolls

Place on greased cookie sheet, you want them to have a little room to rise, but not too much or they will spread instead of rising up. 

After second rise.

Just perfect! The more wheat you use, the darker they will come out. I have found that the best way to judge their doneness is to lift them up and look at the bottom. If the bottom is slightly golden, then they are done.

These freeze well too, so make a couple of batches and freeze them for later!

Linking up with:
Made by You Monday (Skip to My Lou)
Creations by Kara

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Announcements

Okay so I have really been a slacker! I am sorry, I do have an excuse and that will be explained in the second announcement.

First announcment: 

Next week I will be doing a free shipping sale in my Etsy shop (US orders only) for after-Thanksgiving. It will run from Thanksgiving Day (11/24) through midnight on Cyber Monday (11/28). I will be adding some more stock before then so there will hopefully be plenty to choose from. If you have been waiting for a great deal to buy from my shop, this is the time. I keep my profit margins pretty low, so this is about the best deal that I can do. Spread the word and tell your friends!!

Now on the Second Announcment: 

I am PREGNANT. Yep, 12 weeks, due the end of May. I have been sick, not throwing up horribly or anything like that, but REALLY REALLY wanting to. I feel nauseated pretty much all day and nothing makes it go away. The only way to keep if from getting worse is to force myself to eat. Everything tastes gross. I have tried out a few recipes, planning on posting them here, but they taste gross to me (my family like them though!) and I don't want to post something unless I know it is good. I have also had no energy so keeping up with my shop and keeping up with laundry has been about all that I can handle.

We are really excited to have another baby and I am just waiting for this yucky part of pregnancy to end. If it is like my previous ones, then I've got about 4 more weeks...just in time for Christmas celebrations hopefully. Until then, I will be posting here and there as I find the energy. Be patient with me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crocheted Newsboy Hats

 I don't know what the weather has been like for you, but it is getting cold here. We had our first snow last weekend and we have to scrape ice off the windows of the cars in the morning. That means that it is time to get out the warm winter clothes. My favorite part of this is making hats for my kids.

Usually I just find free patterns on the internet or make it up as I go, but I found a really cute newsboy hat pattern on Etsy that I just had to try.
 I love that the pattern came with all different sizes. I made a toddler sized one for my 18- month old, but I forgot that he has such a big head, so it is a little tight. I love how it turned out though and I think he looks so cute in it.
 Those big hazel eyes and pouty lip get me every time. I love this kid.

Now sister had to have one too, so I let her pick out her own yarn color at the store. She went with this spring ombre yarn, that I wasn't a huge fan of (I have always liked solids better than multi-colored, you never know how the color pattern is going to turn out), but I think it turned out really cute.

I left off the band above the brim on hers and added some crocheted flowers instead. 

Now were ready for the cold, at least on the outside. I still just want to curl up under a blanket with some hot cocoa, but the kids are excited to play in the snow.

Linking up with:
Family Ever After

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We're Still Alive

Sorry for the lack of posts! We had a really busy couple of weeks, including a trip to CA for my dad's 60th birthday which was a total surprise to him. I promise I have some really good posts in the works!