Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares

I wandered into a Williams-Sonoma one day and the aroma was amazing.  I had to find out what they were cooking.  The sales person handed me a recipe card and a sample of a warm dessert square.  It was delicious.  Then I looked at the recipe card, "Pumpkin? But I hate pumpkin anything!"  It was then that I was converted (well, not to all things pumpkin).  The dessert bars are made using the Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter sold at Williams-Sonoma. 
Buy multiple jars, as it always sells out.  Make a batch for yourself to devour and then make another to bring to a holiday party and you will be the hit of the event. 

Here is the recipe from the Muirhead website.  You can search around for other recipes for the Pumpkin Butter too.  

Have fun baking and eating these!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google Eyes

I'm starting to dig out the Halloween decorations and wanted to make a few things for the entry cabinet.  I will post everything when It's all finished, but for now here is a frame that I made. 

The "google eyes" are from the dollar store and so is the frame so the total cost is only $2.  Plus, it makes Liam laugh and that's priceless!

I'm going to put a picture of Liam, in his Halloween costume, in the frame. 

You can check out this Halloween project and many others at the Frugal Girls DIY Link Party


Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

With the weather turning a bit cooler, I was wanting something warm and comforting for dinner with a little bit of a kick.  I had to make chicken tortilla soup.

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman

I can't take credit for the recipe for this delicious soup.  It came from Pioneer Woman, but I did make a few minor adjustments.  It says to use 2 chicken breasts, but I used 3 and I also added 1 cup of frozen corn.  Also, next time I make this soup, I will only add 1 can of black beans.

It's delicious and filling and perfect for the cooler weather that is fast approaching.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A New Look for My Dining Room Chairs.

I've never loved my dining room set, but don't want to replace it until I find the perfect antique dining set.  I decided that since I will be living with this set for a while longer, I MUST recover the seats.  They are a very boring cream color and a few of the seats have small stains that I have tried to scrub off with no luck. 

So, off to Jo Ann fabrics I went, with coupon in hand, of course.  There, I found a beautiful fabric suitable for furniture.  It's a eucalyptus and tan stripe and made to look like silk (it's 100% polyester).  The total cost was $30 for 2 yards, 2 hours of my time, a staple gun and staples, and a screwdriver.

Fabric choice with area rug and curtains.

Here are a few before pictures.

1)Take the old seats off of the chair base.
2)Measure a piece of fabric large enough to wrap the top of the cushion with enough allowance to staple to the underside.
3)Lay fabric wrong side down on your work surface and put the cushion, top down, on the fabric.
4)Wrap the fabric so the edge comes to the underside and staple in the center of the top edge of the cushion.
5)Now, pull the fabric tightly, and put one staple in the center of the bottom edge of the fabric.
6)Alternating top and bottom, and continuing to pull fabric tightly, put a few more staples on the top and bottom.
7)Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 on the right and left sides
8)For the corners, pull the fabric tightly over the corner and staple once or twice.
9)Neatly fold the fabric over the top of the corner and pull it firmly and staple in place.
10)Repeat step 9 the the side of the corner
11)Finish all 4 corners per steps 9 and 10
12)Staple the rest of the way around the fabric and trim off extra material

13)Flip the cushion over and admire your handy work!
14)Screw the cushion back onto the chair base.

And you just saved yourself $150 per chair (or at least that's what I told it would cost to recover ONE dining chair).

Here's the finished product and a "before and after" picture.

Do you like the before or after better?


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A New Dish.

My parents and brother came over for dinner tonight and I really wanted to try something new.  I decided to make halibut and hasselback potatoes.  I know that halibut is nothing new but I have never, ever cooked fish in my life.  I'm happy to say that it turned out tasting very yummy!  Aside from a minor issue with the fish sticking a little to the grill, I would say that my first attempt was a success.

As for the potato, it was a recipe that I found on Pinterest. Here is the link, so you can try them too.  They were also very yummy!  The name alone might not get you to make this fantastic potato recipe, so here is a picture, courtesy of

Happy cooking to all of you.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What to do with all of those projects?

Liam and I do a lot of crafts and I have been looking for a way to store them.  I stumbled upon this site, Paper Coterie.  They are currently running a program where you get a $40 credit to use towards a purchase (most everything on the site is under $40).  I found this memory box and immediately knew that I HAD to have it for all of Liam's little projects and crafts.  They also have many other cute items like calendars, growth charts and albums.

You have until August 31st to use the credit and you only have to pay for S&H.  It only cost me $9.00!  I can't wait to receive it and please let me know if you ordered anything too.

Happy shopping!


Monday, August 8, 2011

It's a St. Louis thing!

Have you ever heard of Gooey Butter Cake?  I have never heard of it until I stumbled upon this blog, Extreme Personal Measures.  I've been saving the link for the time when I needed to bake a cake.  Well that time was this weekend for my little brother's birthday.  Let me say that those St. Louis people sure know how to make a great cake!  It's so gooey, sweet, buttery and just plain YUMMY!  Make it as soon as you can!
Photo taken from Extreme Personal Measures

Click HERE for baking instructions.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Busy Summer.

I know that I haven't been posting very much, but we have been so busy.  Our days are spent at the pool, the zoo, the children's museum, play dates, at the park and playing outside.  Since we are always on the go, I haven't been doing too much crafting.  I do have a few things that I want to tackle, but they will have to wait.  I want Liam to be able to enjoy the summer as much as possible. 

I can't believe that it will be fall soon and we are planning what classes he will be in through the park district.  He has a few friends that we try to coordinate with so he knows someone in class.  While I know that he loves his fall classes with his friends, I am not quite ready for the summer to be over.

Here's to summer and a few more weeks of splashing in the pool!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another PB redo. Key Shadowbox

I have had my eye on this to hang in the vestibule, just as you walk in the front door.  We live in a 1920's bungalow and thought it would be the perfect piece of art.  I did not, however, like the price tag so I decided to make my own version. 

I purchased a 9x20 shadow box from Michaels for $10, vintage skeleton keys from an antique store for $10 and a 1/2 yard of duck cloth from Jo Ann fabrics.  I had the glue at home and used that to glue the keys to the duck cloth.  I also used a regular desk stapler to attach the fabric to the back of the shadow box.

After I unwrapped the frame, I wrapped the duck cloth around the back board of the shadow box.  I used a stapler and started in the middle of each side, making sure to pull the fabric tight. 

After stapling all around the board, I flipped the board over and placed the keys out in the pattern that I wanted. 

I started by gluing the first key in the middle and worked my way out so they would be spaced evenly.  After the glue was dry, I popped the back in and put the frame together and hung it in my hallway.  Our walls are plaster and are a pain to nail into so I used this.  So far so good. 

The entire project cost me around $20!  Now that is a much better price

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fun day!

Liam and I went to the Kohl's Children Museum today.  That place is so fun and has so many different rooms, that he never gets tired of going there.  We played inside for a little bit but mostly played at the various activities that were set up outside. 

Then we went to lunch.  It was so fun to be able to go to a restaurant with my son.  When the waitress came over to take our order, he promptly said "pancakes peezzz!", and he was so proud of himself.  He sat and ate and watched the choo choo go buy and was such a good, big boy.  I love that we can do things like this together now!

What have you and your little one been up to this summer?


Friday, July 1, 2011

Bye bye highchair

I put Liam's highchair away today and I have to say, it made me feel a little sad.  No more tiny, squishy baby eating rice cereal and purees.  Now he sits at the table in his new "big boy" booster.  We decided to get him a Keekaroo in red.  I love that it's one piece so there are no crevices to clean out and it's seems very comfy.  I decided on red because it matches the kitchen and kind of blends in instead of screaming "KID'S CHAIR".  Just one more of the baby items that has been packed away which makes this mama a little sad, but also so excited for what is to come!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is my 33rd birthday!  Looking forward to a nice day.  Hope all of you have a great day too.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Water Color Jellyfish

Another rainy day brings another craft from Liam.  Here's what you'll need: paper plate, water color paints or markers,streamers, double stick tape or glue, stapler, hole punch and pipe cleaner.

Cut the plate in half and let you child paint or color on the back of the plate. 

Rip streamers into 8-10 strips and let your child paint or color on the strips.

After the paint is dry, flip the 2 halves of the paper plate over and put a strip of double stick tape along the straight edge of the plate halves.

Tape the streamer strips to the inside of the plate halves. 
Take the 2 halves of the plates and put them together with the back of the plates facing out.  Staple all around the half circle.  Punch a hole in the top to thread a pipe cleaner through if you would like to hang it up. 

Let you child "swim" their jellyfish through the air.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Big Boy Haircut

Liam got another haircut today.  I think it's his 4th or 5th because his hair grows so fast.  Usually, I just have them give him a trim but he's been pushing his curls out of his eyes and get too hot and sweaty when he plays.  I decided that it was time to get him his first short, summer haircut.  He did great!  Not a tear was shed and he looks so much older.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Painted Goldfish

It's been raining here non stop and we even had a tornado come through the other day.  Needless to say, we have been trapped in the house for days on end.  BORING for me and Liam.  So this morning, we decided to do a project.  I google imaged goldfish outlines and printed out 3 of these in different sizes (daddy, mommy and baby).

I cut out the 3 fish and put them in the bottom of a shoe box with a few blobs of orange, red and yellow paint and 2 golf balls.  Ladies, please make sure that your husband does not mind if you use 2 of his golf balls for projects. 

Let your child shake the box. 

I think they turned out so cute.  The golf balls give the fish texture that looks like scales.

When the fish are dry you can glue them to a piece of paper.  I wanted to stick them on blue construction paper, but I couldn't find any. 


Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Ruffle Scarf

It's hot out so you put on a cute little sundress to wear to dinner.  You walk into the restaurant and get blasted with the cold A/C.  You get seated only to find that the A/C vent is blowing right on you neck.  What to do?  Well, if your like me, you are prepared with a super cute light weight scarf to wrap around your neck.  Here are the directions to make an adorable, wear with everything and for every season, ruffle scarf made out of a t-shirt.  Here is a link to the directions (HERE) and a picute of my finished product.

It's easy, cheap and soooo cute!  Now run to the nearest dollar store and pick up some t-shirts!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I just thought that I would take a moment to thank my dad for being so wonderful!  You always support me and offer a helping hand.  I couldn't have asked for a better dad.  Thanks for being a great papa to Liam.  He loves to play with his papa and run around the house chasing you.  We love you!

And to my wonderful husband Troy.  Thank you for being such a great daddy and role model.  We are so thankful for you and appreciate everything you do for our family.  We love you very much!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Liam loves helping

I took Liam to the grocery store on Sunday morning so Troy could have a little break.  Liam loves to go shopping, mostly because they give so many samples, but also because he likes to help fill the cart.  When we stopped at the deli, he was so happy to get a piece of cheese from the lady behind the counter.  He also like to hand over the coupons at the checkout.

When we got home he wanted to help carry in the groceries.  Fortunately, there were a few bags that were very light weight.  You can see in the little video clip just how proud he was to be able to help his mama.  I hope he still wants to help out this much when he's 10.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Liam's Dr. Seuss 2nd Birthday Party!

What a blast!  Liam loved all of the decorations and is still singing "Happy Birthday" to himself.  I had been planning the party for quite some time and used several blogs for ideas.  You can click here and here and here to see some of my inspiration.  I also found a "Grinched" font on  You can download it for free.  For the graphics, I just did a Google image search and made my documents in Word.  If you have any questions or would like me to email any templates to you, please just send me an email or leave me a comment. 

For the menu:  The Apps were pretty light.  I just had green eggs and ham, cheese trees and multi colored goldfish crackers

Thing1 & Thing 2 BBQ (BBQ chicken)
Poodles Noodles (pasta)
Who Roast Beast (roast sirloin)
Remarkable Foon's Sizzling Hot Pebbles (roast potatoes)
Moose Moss (salad)
Praries of Prax (cole slaw)
Big V, little v what begins with V? (veggies)
Schlotts Knots (rolls)

Drinks and Dessert:
Pink Ink Yink Drink (pink lemonade)
Bezzelnut Splash (sangria)
Valley of Vung Chocolate Rock Blocks (brownie bites)
Yertle's Turtles (turtle candies)
Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes (red velvet with blue cream cheese frosting)
(If you want to know what stories these items came from just email me)

Horton's Field of Clover cupcakes (strawberry cupcakes with hot pink buttercream frosting)
For the cupcake wrappers I used red papers for the Thing 1 and used a round avery label to make the label and for Horton I used grass cupcake wrappers.

I made all of the food labels using Avery tent cards. 

Invitations and Decorations:

I made the invites by printing the wording out on white card stock and them layering it on red card stock. 

Most of the decorations came from Michael's.  I bought almost one of everything they had, including a 5 foot tall Cat in the Hat.  I also used all of the Dr. Seuss books that we had and hung streamers.  The centerpieces were Dr. Seuss pinwheel kits from Michaels and the pinwheels served as flowers and then I used pipe cleaners and pompoms for filler.  All of the gifts were put on a sled being pulled by a little brown dog (from The Grinch).  I made napkin rings with all of the different Dr. Seuss characters and used red napkins with light blue cutlery.

I made Liam a shirt that says "I am 2" and used the "Grinched" font as the template.

All in all, I think the party was a huge success.  I hope you like the idea and it inspires some of you.