Cars and Ribbons

Friday, July 20, 2012

Craft Room Confessionals: Painted Walls

So I have a confession.  I have had a creative block for awhile when it comes to crafts.  If you've noticed on my blog, there's a lot more recipes than there are crafts.  I have a large kitchen and I love it! It's painted, organized (working on the pantry now), and I enjoy cooking yummy meals about 5x a week for my family.  

My craft room/office space is the complete opposite.  It's a spare bedroom situated between my son and daughter's rooms (I figured when they are teenagers, they will like the space apart).  It still has the builder's grade boring paint color and have not added any decorations.  So, who would be creative in this blah of a space? Not me!

Today, my wonderful hubby painted my craft room/office space and I can finally be creative again! Yay!  Here are pictures of the 4 boring walls.  We scootched (that's my new word-spread it around) the  heavy desk and my huge craft table to the middle of the room and moved everything else out into our library nook.

The edges are painted.

And done.  It's hard to tell, but the walls are gray.  Amazon Stone 790F-5 by Behr to be exact!  I am going to do the decor black, white, and red.  There will be a theme, but that's a secret for now.  I'm not a big color girl.  I love neutrals and a very minimalist color palette.  Some say that's boring, I say that's just me.

I love the room already and there's so much to do.  I'll keep you updated with many more 'Craft Room Confessionals'.

Confessing at these fabulous parties:
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party, Sisters of the Wild West, Simply Klassic Home, The Better Mom, Skip To My Lou, Home Stories A to Z, Crafty Texas Girls, Growing Home Blog, Elizabeth & Co, Uncommon Designs Online, Kristen's Creations, At The Picket Fence, Home Sanctuary, Mom 4 Real, Simple Home Life, The Grant Life

Monday, July 16, 2012

Easy Manicotti

I love a good homemade pasta dish.  Especially if it's easy and I know it's something the family will enjoy.  There's nothing difficult about making this manicotti.  Just gather some yummy ingredients, mix together, stuff, and bake.  

Boil manicotti pasta as directed on the box.  You'll need about 12 shells, depending on how full you stuff them.  You can use a jar of spaghetti sauce or your own homemade sauce.  I had some homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer.  While the pasta was cooking, I defrosted and thoroughly heated the sauce.

Mix together ricotta, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, one egg, garlic powder, and italian seasoning.

Drain the pasta and set aside.

There are 2 ways to "stuff" the shells.  You can hold the tube open and use a small spoon to stuff the cheese filling inside.  Or sometimes, the shells will come apart down the middle while boiling.  You can just place some filling down the middle, wrap the pasta around it, and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Either method works fine.

Place all the stuffed shells in a 13 x 9 baking dish, lightly sprayed with canola or olive oil.

Pour sauce all over the pasta.

Sprinkle some mozzarella all over.  Then cover with non-stick foil or foiled sprayed with oil to keep the cheese from sticking to it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Uncover and cook about 5 more minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and salad and enjoy this yummy dish.

Easy Manicotti
12 manicotti shells
Homemade spaghetti sauce or one jar of sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 container part-skim ricotta
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil pasta shells according to box directions.  Heat spaghetti sauce.  Mix together 1 cup mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, egg, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a large bowl. Drain pasta and let them cool slightly.  Stuff shells with cheese filling.  Place filled pasta in a 13 x 9 dish, lightly sprayed with oil.  Cover pasta with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella over the sauce.  Cover with non-stick foil or foil lightly sprayed with oil.  Cook for 25- 30 minutes.  Uncover and cook 5 more minutes.

Linking up this yummy deliciousness at these awesome parties:
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party, Sisters of the Wild West, Skip To My Lou-Made By You Monday, Home Stories A to Z, Crafty Texas Girls-Cowgirl Up, Growing Home Blog-Teach Me Tuesday, Elizabeth & Co.-Be Inspired, Uncommonly Yours Link Party, Kristen's Creations, Simple Home Life-Simply Creations Link Party, The Grant Life

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wedge Obsession

With summer in full swing, so are cute summer styles.  Wedges are the big fashionable footwear right now and they are EVERYWHERE!  I didn't realize how much I loved them myself until I did a quick inventory in my closet.  I may have a slight obsession with wedges.

I have these 2 brown wedges that are similar in style and they're closed toe.  I wear them in the fall/winter with jeans.

Tan colored wedges makes it easy to match with just about any outfit.  The wedges in the middle of the picture have been with me for 11 years!  I never throw away fashionable shoes (unless they're falling apart) because they always come back in style.  The pair on the right were only $6 at Kohl's.

I always love a cute black pair of wedges.  These 3 pair are different styles and different textures.  Again, the pair on the right were only $6 at Kohl's.  I bought them at the same time I bought the tan pair in the above picture.

I love adding splashes of color to accessorize with my outfits, whether it's jewelry or shoes (my jewelry obsession is for another time).  I was wanting some red shoes to go with a navy blue summer dress I had just bought.  My mom found these red wedges at Ross for less than $20!  

Recently, I spend an entire Saturday afternoon, going to tons of different shoe stores, to find yellow wedges to match a yellow shirt.  I had no such luck.  A few days later, I was shopping in Target for some household items when I walked by the shoe department.  I just glanced at their back wall of 50% off shoes and something yellow caught my eye.  I almost ran towards the shoes, jumping over shoe boxes and dodging crying babies (not really, but it sounds exciting), to see if these were THE yellow wedges I had been looking for.  They were!  Not only were they in my size, but they were only $9!!!!!  Plus, I really love the look of the gray and yellow paired together.

So, yes, it's an obsession, but no, it's not a super expensive obsession.  I look for deals anywhere shoes are sold and I rarely pay full price.  I can't wait to add some more colorful wedges to my collection.  What wedges are in your closet?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Avocado Chicken Salad

I love a good chicken salad. I'm not fond of the kind with nuts and grapes, but I'm always looking for different varieties. I came across a recipe for Avocado Chicken Salad and wanted to try it. I decided to just experiment with my own recipe and it turned out very tasty!

First, boil 1 lb. of chicken and cut into pieces or shred.  It depends on how chunky you like your chicken salad.

I sprinkled plenty of salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the chicken.

Dice up a desired amount of red onion.

Pick out a ripened avocado...

...cut in half and then slice diagonally to make squares.  This makes it easier to scoop out.

Add the onion and avocado to the chicken with desired amount of sour cream.  It depends on how creamy you want it.

Mix everything together until the avocado is nice and mashed.  You can always mash the avocado separately and then add to the chicken.

Finally, serve in rolls, toast, or over crackers!

Chicken salad is not an exact recipe.  There's no right or wrong way to it.  Add or take away ingredients to fit your own tastes.

Avocado Chicken Salad
1 lb. chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 ripened avocado, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Mix everything together until avocado is completely mashed.  Season to taste.  Serve on rolls.

Linking up here:
The Better Mom
Skip To My Lou
Pin The Tail On The Bloggy
Home Sanctuary
Kristen's Creations