Thursday, November 15, 2012

EASY Crock Pot Lasagna

I found this super easy recipe for Crock Pot Lasagna. I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out. Well...it was DELICIOUS! My husband loved it! I have a feeling I will be making this a lot!


Here is the short list of ingredients and easy "cooking" instructions:

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
29oz can tomato sauce
8 oz lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1.5 cups cottage cheese

Directions
(1) Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray
(2) Brown meat (with onion, optional)
(3) Stir tomato sauce in with cooked meat
(4) Spread 1/4 of meat sauce on bottom of crock pot
(5) Arrange 1/3 of uncooked noodles over the sauce (can break them up to fit better)
(6) Combine cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of cheese mix over noodles
(7) Repeat layers twice
(8) Top with remaining sauce
(9) Cover and cook on low for 4 hours (Mine was done at 3.5 hours)
(10) Let lasagna stand in crock pot with lid off for at least 10 minutes before serving

Thanks so much to "Creating through Life" for posting this recipe!

*I served the lasagna with caesar salad and garlic bread.
Enjoy!!!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simple Bathroom Organization

Living in an apartment is fun...in college. And it's kind of fun when you're first married.
But, I can tell you, after 6+ years of apartment living (now with a one year old), it's lost it's appeal!
I do my best to make our [temporary] living area look and feel like a home. I don't want to spend lots of money doing so (since it is, after all, temporary), so I do the best with the items we have on hand!

Today, I tackled making our bathroom look and feel more "homey!"

I love having my bobby pins on the counter within arms reach (vs digging around for them in a drawer). Tossing them into this pretty dish makes it more of a decor piece!

Oh, this is my favorite! This small display has made such a difference in our bathroom!

After filling dollar store vases with pebbles, I have a super chic make-up brush display!

I used a burner cover (can purchase a 2 pack at Dollar Tree) and scrapbook paper to make the tray!

Wow, this has been super helpful keeping all of my toiletries upright and in one place!

I used this tutorial to clean my makeup brushes with, what else?!, baby shampoo!

These simple organizational ideas have really perked up our bathroom! 
So, what are you waiting for? Get to "perking!"

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Auburn Football Tailgate Birthday Party

We had a wonderful time at my son's first birthday party!
I know my son will have no recollection of this party, but, as an event planner and craft-a-holic, 
there's no way I could pass up this opportunity to throw a memorable event!

I hope these decor ideas and DIY crafts inspire you to throw your own amazing party! 
And, if you're not inspired, you can just call me to host the party for you;)


I had a free set of return address labels with Shutterfly, so I added my son's picture 
(in his Auburn shirt!!) to the label and coordinated with orange and white font!
I ordered the invitations from Dovetail Designs on Etsy. She was so easy to work with!

It's pretty impossible to find an inexpensive numeral candle that coordinates with an Auburn football party. I'd seen some folks on Pinterest decorate candles with glitter and sequins. So, I took that inspiration and painted a "1" candle orange and blue and outlined it in white!

I love this timeline that shows our son's growth over the course of one year! 
I painted a piece of craft wood (purchased at Hobby Lobby), glued ribbons to the back, 
attached photos to the ribbons, then put football stickers (purchased at Hobby Lobby) 
on each picture with the coordinating month. 

I followed this tutorial (with a little bit of variation) to make a fun high chair banner!


I wanted to do a photo booth, but I wasn't quite sure about the setup. When I saw that the room had a tree in the corner, I thought it'd be fun to roll with toilet paper and turn into Toomer's Corner! 
We had a prop box with a shaker, foam fingers, and a football and a hardback football notebook ($1 at Michael's). The frame instructs guests to "GRAB A PROP AND SMILE BIG, THEN LEAVE A NOTE FOR THE BIRTHDAY KID."

I saw a bunch of goal posts online but had no idea how to construct one for a centerpiece. Thankfully, my personal architect (i.e. my husband) knew exactly how to make one (PVC pipes & duct tape)!
I painted a cardboard "1" to look like a football and hot glued it to the goal post. It still needed a little something, so I added two strands of paper garland that I'd made for the windows & photo booth.
I used astroturf (from Lowe's) for the table cover and dollar store vases with football sweatbands around them to hold the silverware.

I wanted all of the food to have a fun football/Auburn name. Surprisingly, I couldn't find a whole lot of ideas online, so I googled "football terms" and decided to come up with my own! Here they are:
"Blindside" BBQ Chicken Sandwiches | "Punt"ato Salad | Cheesy "Deadball" Dip with Ritz Crackers |  "Touchdown" Tortilla Chips with Salsa | Veggie "Tackle" Tray | "Blitz" Brownies | "Comeback" Cupcakes | "Bodda Getta" Buttercream Mints

This was the start of the food tables. There's a picture of my son in an Auburn frame, this fun WAR EAGLE plaque that my awesome friend Courtney let me borrow, football playing cards (yes, those little footballs are actually playing cards!), hand sanitizer (I covered the bottle with football looking paper), and football plates & napkins (from Costco). Also, I found the orange fabric in the scrap bin at Hobby Lobby for $1.50!

 I put Auburn shakers into tall cylindrical glass vases for centerpieces.

 Here's a view from outside of the party room. The balloons (Party City) helped fill an empty corner.

I hope you got inspired to start planning for your next party!











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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fab fall finds for less!

I am trying to become more of a cute, trendy mom! I used to consider myself a pretty well-dressed person. But, after my son was born (a year ago Friday), I turned into the athletic shorts, tee shirt, and tennis shoes mom. That's my Monday thru Friday go-to outfit. Blah, right? I've had trouble finding pants that conceal the "you're stuck with me forever" baby pudge tummy. So, after finding three AMAZING pairs of bottoms for fall at Chico's {Dark denim jegging, Black jegging, Slim leg "bling bottom" jeans}, I really got inspired to spruce up my look, especially for fall! I've also tried to become more daring/think outside of the box when I walk into my closet to pick out an outfit (mix and match different patterns, layer away!, be bold, etc). So far so good!

The problem with wanting to dress cute is always...you guessed it...I HAVE NO MONEY! 
Well, at least not the amount to purchase a new wardrobe! 

So, after pinning fall styles/trends like a mad woman, I decided to hunt for good items (vs giving up because I can't afford them). Don't get me wrong, you can find cheap stuff...but that's just it, the stuff, while cheap in price is often cheap in quality. So, I'm trying to make sure the crucial items are a good brand/great fit/etc. Here are some of my recent finds!

Shoes! I can never have enough. I LOVE SHOES!
1- Motorcycle boots || There's no way I could afford the $150 Steve Madden Banddit boots I'd been eyeing, so I was super excited to find these Crown Vintage boots for $59.95 at DSW 
(Plus, I had a $10 off coupon, so I paid $50!) 
2- Leopard flats || If you've been on Pinterest in the past month, you've seen at least 50 outfits featuring leopard flats. I wasn't sure if they'd fit into my wardrobe, but I was wrong! They go with so much! And remember folks, we're stepping outside of the box. I found these $79 Steve Madden leopard flats at Macy's, but, again, since I'm new to leopard (and don't have $80 for flats), I was on the hunt for a less expensive option. After pinning these Mossimo leopard flats from Target, 
I received a comment from a friend saying she loved them! So, I went to Target, tried them on, and loved them! They were also on sale for $14! 
3- Nude wedge pump || My mom will tell you, "Stacy and Clinton say that everyone should have a pair of nude heels! They elongate your legs and go with everything!" Mom, I love you! And they are right. I'm telling you, you need a pair of nude heels! I've tried them on with dresses, shorts, jeans, slacks...they.go.with.everything! Unfortunately, I always find them to be expensive and uncomfortable...until now! I found these super comfy Jessica Simpson wedge pumps at 
TJ Maxx for $39.99 (vs the $79 retail value). 

1- Red and white bangle || I will wear the heck out of this bangle! Memorial Day, 4th of July, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Friday nights...haha. You get the idea! It's a great piece! I bought this at goodwill for $3.73 (I agree, overpriced for goodwill. Nonetheless, cheaper than I'd find anywhere else)
2- Green and white statement necklace || I love dressing up tees/jeans with fun accessories. This necklace will allow me to do just that! Plus, it's my favorite color!! I bought this at goodwill for $3.93.
3- Leopard scarf || Leopard!! My husband hates leopard print, but, let's face it...it's totally in right now! And, as we found with the shoes, it goes with so much! I'm excited to wear this with a black top, black jeggings, and my leopard flats! I bought this at Hobby Lobby (random, right?). It was $12.99, but with my 40% off coupon, I paid less than $8! PLEASE don't ever purchase anything over $5 at Hobby Lobby without a coupon. It's so easy to pull up on your smartphone! Safari>Google>Hobby Lobby Coupon>View coupon. Show it to the cashier for 40% off one regularly priced item! SO EASY!

Oversized sweater || I never thought I'd get into this trend, but I'm totally loving the idea of an oversized sweater with leggings and boots (and now that I have sweet boots, I'm in!) I saw this sweater at goodwill and thought to myself, "It's so ugly it's cute!" We'll see if it works. 
But for $4.94, I couldn't pass it up!

And now it's time for textiles!
I bought this fabric at goodwill for $2.42. After bringing it home and realizing it wasn't going to work as a tablecloth, I decided to drape it over our couch. Wow! Look how much it added to the couch! (and, bonus, it matches our pillows!) It never hurts to check out every section at goodwill: clothing, shoes, jewelry, textiles, glass/mugs/ceramics, books, lamps, picture frames, dvds...you just might be surprised at what you find!

In case you didn't already know, I'm a seasonal gal! I love decorating the house for any and every season/holiday/event, etc! I never have a good tablecloth/placemats for the red, white, & blue holidays! So, I was happy to find these patriotic placemats on sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond today for 99¢ each! 
(And, here's a fun fact I just learned while typing this post: To get the cents symbol (¢) on a mac, simply hit Option + 4. Pretty cool, huh? You're welcome)


I hope you're inspired to hunt for good deals on fabulous pieces for fall! Happy shopping, y'all!




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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Men's Jeans at Wal-Mart

My husband is quite picky when it comes to buying jeans. They have to be a slim fit, but not skinny, look good with his work shoes and his casual shoes, be a certain color, etc. He's been saying for a few weeks now that he needs new jeans. We're trying to save money where we can (especially with clothes,  shoes, accessories, etc), so I decided to peruse the men's section at Wal-Mart. I know, I know...Wal-Mart's clothes are cheap/not always made well...but, I thought I'd take a chance. After walking past many racks of "Faded Glory" and "Wrangler" jeans (my husband wouldn't be caught dead in these; NOT HIS STYLE AT ALL), I was shocked to actually spot a great looking, slim pair of jeans made by "Signature || Levi Strauss and Co." I brought them home for my husband to try on (of course, I left out the fact they were from Wal-Mart). He tried them on...and LOVED them! The cost of the jeans: $21.92!!!! Do you need to read that again?? 22 bucks vs the usual $60-$100. I wanted to share this great find in case any of you have trouble finding inexpensive, good looking jeans for the man in your life! (I bought two pairs that way when he needs a new pair, Voila! Already have one!)







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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wipes Container turned Pop-Up Fabric Squares Toy

My son loves pulling stuff...whether it be toilet paper, a dish towel, blankets, trash bags out of their box..seriously, if it can be pulled/sorted, my son's going to figure it out! I remembered seeing some tutorials (on Pinterest, of course!) about repurposing wipes containers into activity boxes for kids! So, I decided to give it a try, hoping my son will choose to pull the fabric out of the wipes container rather than pulling out our trash bags! It was super easy, taking only about 10 minutes to make!

You'll need: empty wipes case, fabric (I used some onesies that were stained/ripped & couldn't be sent to good will as well as some old wash cloths), scissors, a DVD case, & a marking device (I used a silver sharpie).

Place a DVD case on your fabric of choice (you could also use fabric scraps, t-shirts, blankets, whatever!!) and trace it's outline with your marking device. Then, cut out your square (you don't have to trace before cutting, but it does help to ensure consistency in the size of your squares).
Repeat these steps until you have a good amount of fabric to fill your wipes container.
I used a couple of onesies (cutting out 4 squares) then filled the remainder of the box with baby washcloths (there was no need to cut these as they're already in the perfect shape for the container).
So, if you're child's getting into everything or you just need a new activity for him/her, whip up this easy fabric box! Have fun!!

Here's a picture tutorial!

And here's my son playing with his new toy!
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Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY Gift | Car Wash Basket

I love giving gifts!! From picking out/making the items to choosing the perfect wrapping scheme...Ah! Love! But,  I always have trouble finding good gifts for guys...especially my dad! I mean, I've been giving gifts to this wonderful man for so many years and for multiple occasions...birthdays, Christmas', anniversaries, Father's Day...WOW! That's a lot of gifts. Needless to say, I'm starting to run out of ideas. So, when it came to his birthday present this year, I put my thinking cap on and searched the heck out of Pinterest. I saw a lot of folks posting "Gift Baskets for Guys." I knew this would be a fun idea...but what would be my theme? He had most of the items I was seeing. And then, it hit me...CAR WASH BASKET! My dad is King of washing cars. He pays close attention to detail on the tires, no streaks on the windows, no soap sud residue...perfection! But, his car wash supplies are a bit...OUTDATED! So, I went to Target and put together an awesome gift basket with all new supplies! The perfect gift for Dad! (Also keeping this idea in mind for my husband!!)

And here's pictures of each individual product...
Multipurpose microfiber towels

Heavy duty bucket

Car wash hose nozzle

Washmitt

Tire glove (this is my dad's favorite item!!)

Squeegee

Protectant and glass wipes

Car wash soap


Pretty neat, right?? Hope you find inspiration from this gift basket!


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Monday, July 2, 2012

Mini Hamburger Pies with Roasted Zucchini Sticks

Yum! Seriously, y'all? YUM!
These Bisquick-based mini hamburger pies are scrumptious! 
And the roasted zucchini is a perfect side! 
Looks good, right? Because it IS!!

Mini Hamburger Pies
I followed this recipe for the mini burger pies. 

Burger Mixture
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Baking Mixture
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
2 eggs

Directions

>Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
>In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool 5 minutes; stir in Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and cheese.
>In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup burger mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto burger mixture in each muffin cup.
>Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and muffin tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of muffins from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve with garnishes.
  • Roasted Zucchini Sticks  
  • Thanks to Voracious Vander for this roasted zucchini recipe.
  • 1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  • 2. Cut your veg into 3-inch sticks, making sure they are even in thickness.
  • 3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and a light layer of olive oil.
  • 4. SEASON – go with the usual salt&pepper and branch out to one or two of the following (Choose Your Own Adventure-style): paprika, cumin, cayenne, crushed red peppers, thyme, rosemary, sage – really, whatever takes your fancy and suits your meal. Using premixed spice blends is a great option too – Italian, Mexican, Old Bay – you know, just not all at once. I used: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Pampered Chef Seasoning Salts
  • Lightly toss your vegetable batons with a tablespoon or so of olive oil (not too much) and the herbs and spices.
    5. Spread your seasoned veg over your lined tray and roast, tossing halfway through, for about 20 minutes or until golden and slightly browned at the edges.
  • Yum yum yum!! Enjoy, everyone!
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More T-shirt Upcycling | Work Out Tee

Oh, how I love repurposing T-shirts!
Today's featured T-shirt is the most amazing T I've ever owned...EVER! It is super soft. Although it's not a maternity top, I wore it to bed my entire pregnancy. Hence, it's worn out. I mean..WORN! When I put it on now, my husband looks at it...and I know exactly what he's thinking.. "I know it was amazing during pregnancy because it formed so well to your baby bumping shape...but you had the baby...10 months ago!" I know he's hoping to see this T in the trash...but I just couldn't say good-bye. So, instead, I'm saying "Hello!" to a new lounging/work-out tee!


I used this tutorial I found on, you guessed it, Pinterest!
For my "tie" on the back, I actually braided leftover T fabric from the sleeves and tied it around. I believe the tutorial used the excess fabric and tied a simple knot. But, that's the fun part. 
You can customize this shirt to your liking (lower neckline, etc!)
I will tell you, it didn't turn out "perfectly." It gapes here and there. But, it gave my favorite T another life! You know you want to try it. Go do it. Now. Seriously, it takes about 5 minutes! Go!
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Initial Door Hangers

Hobby Lobby wooden letters + Elmer's glue design + paint + ribbon = Initial Door Hanger!
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

SUPER EASY Patriotic Wreath

Chasing my 9 month old around the house 24/7 doesn't leave much time for crafting. But, I am able to squeeze in a few easy DIY's here and there. I thought this was WAY TOO EASY and inexpensive NOT to share. While shopping at Hobby Lobby, I noticed the entire "4th of July" section was 30% off. I don't really have any red-white-and blue decorations, so I decided to browse. I came across various strands of patriotic garland. I bought one strand (I believe it was originally $3.99? maybe $2.99? and then, of course, I got 30% off). When I got home, I wrapped it around a small wreath (that I had purchased at the Dollar Store), taped it off, put it on a door hanger, and...voila! Perfect patriotic door decor! It's up now for the 4th of July but will also be great for this years Olympics!!!


You could totally jazz this up even more with a fabulous bow or star! 
Hope this inspires you to craft even when you're short on time and finances!
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

DIY T-shirt Scarf Necklace

Wow! It has been quite a while since I've posted. 
I've been wanting to make this DIY T-Shirt Scarf Necklace and finally found the time.
It is SUPER easy, super customizable....and I plan to make one in every color. (And give them as gifts)!

Here is my picture tutorial....




And here is a link to the wonderful tutorial I followed.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

DIY Bleach Pen Tee

I had such a hard time finding a great shirt for my son to wear for Father's Day. Whether stores didn't have his size or the shirt was too expensive, I just wasn't having much luck. 
Then, I remembered seeing this Bleach Pen T-shirt tutorial on Pinterest. 
I did not have a stencil, so I simply wrote "i <3 Dad" with a bleach pen.


>Buy a solid t-shirt from Hobby Lobby or Michaels (If you don't have one on hand). 
Make sure you use your coupons or wait until their tees are on sale!
>Place cardboard inside of t-shirt so bleach doesn't bleed through to other side
>Write your phrase/fill in a stencil design/etc with bleach pen
>Wait 10-25 minutes for the bleach to set in
>Once you're happy with your design, run the bleached portion under cold water
>Wash in washing machine
>Put it on, and show it off!

Thanks to Plum Adorable for posting this tutorial!
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