Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

We hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday today!  Here's a little peek at my two kiddo's if you don't know us and check the blog.  Captain Jack and Mickey can't wait to trick or treat tonight!

Back to posting tomorrow :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creamy Chicken Bowtie Soup

This is one of my favorite soups.  I first tried it at Pizza Factory and fell in love.  Here is my version.  After spending a night in the hospital with my sick daugther, I am ready for some.

1. In medium sauce pot, heat 1 can chicken broth with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.  Add shoestring carrots, and chopped celery, 2 cups of each.  Simmer on low til veggies are tender.  Set aside.
2.  Cook 1/2 package or box of bowtie pasta according to directions; drain and set aside.
3.  Boil chicken breast in water til cooked.  Shred and set aside.  Canned chicken breast also works great.
4.  In large soup pot over medium heat, melt 3/4 cube butter; whisk in 3/4 c flour.  Add 2 cups milk and 2 cups cream.  Whisk and cook til thickened.  Once thickened, add broth mixture with veggies.  Whisk in and cook over medium heat to desired thickness.  Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. (The Mexican blend works great).   Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion salt.  Add bowtie pasta and shredded chicken.
5.  Enjoy with a fresh loaf of French bread.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Lisa has a sick little sweetheart...I'm pinch hitting today to give my ode to Pinterest.  People were saying how fun it is to go on and look around and I tried so hard to stay away from yet another time grabber...needless to say I'm addicted now!  Hopefully I'll just stop looking on Facebook and spend time on Pinterest instead :)

So I thought I'd share three ideas I found there that I'm excited to try...and give my two cents about making on this blog soon!

I fell in LOVE with this wall.  I've seen these fabric swatches made from embroidery hoops all over Pinterest, but her wall made me want to find a place in baby girl's room somewhere...and I think I have.  Kate is a frontrunner name for us too and I'm loving it written on the wall :)  This girl's tutuorial is here...she has a darling blog. 

Courtesy of

Love these and I just so happen to have about five drawer fronts and ten cabinet doors laying around my garage.  I'm actually willing to sell them to people ($5 for a drawer front and $12 for a cabinet door).  Let me know if you are interested.  Hobby Lobby has been doing their knobs and pulls 50 percent off a lot lately so I'm sure for about $10 tops you could do one of these (a little more if you are using cabinet doors).  Again she has a great blog too. 

Courtesy of

 And finally I also really loved this.  It's something I won't be able to do until after she's born (as we usually don't name our children until we are leaving the hospital!)  But I really love it.  I also found tutorials on how to mount your pictures on canvas (instead of paying $50 for one 8x10) that I am going to try when I have her newborns back.  This girl sells them on Etsy if you are in the mood to buy :)

Courtesy of Letterperfectdesigns on Etsy
Good luck if you get the Pinterest bug too...I've learned to watch the clock and keep it to 15 minutes! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The stomach flu is alive and well at our house.  My baby girl just threw up again at 11:45 pm.  Four days of vomiting.  I will hopefully be back to posting tomorrow.

Simple Skirts

Want to make your own skirt for the girls in your life?  Just last week, I did a sewing class for my friend and her neighbors.  Each brought her own fabric and sewing machine and left with a finished skirt.  For $10 a person, I'll do the same for you, your neighbors, and friends.  Comment if you are interested!

To begin, cut your material 18" tall by 42" wide.  This skirt will fit a 3T to 4T.  (Increase or decrease length and width for your child.)  Sew a 1/4" seam on top and bottom of fabric.

Cut a strip of contrasting fabric 3" wide and 41" long.  Pin it on your fabric tucking a 1/4" seam along top and bottom.  Sew to fabric.  Sew 1/4" seams on back seams.  Fold top seam down 1 1/4" and pin along top.  Sew seam to create pocket for your elastic.  Sew back seams shut, stopping at pocket for elastic.

Thread your elastic and pull to correct size for child's waist.  Sew elastic together and then sew elastic pocket shut.

Fold right side out and your skirt is finished.  I added a flower and just stitched it on by hand.  This skirt really is easy to make.  Again, I am happy to hold a sewing class for those interested and walk you step by step through the process.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who knew a tray could make the difference?

My coffee table in my family room has lacked the necessary decorative wow to make me happy upon seeing it.  I had a runner that I made from extra pillow fabric and a decorative plate from Rod Works.  However, I didn't love it.  So last week, armed with my 25% off coupon to TaiPan, I headed to Sandy ready to find something great for my table.  Here is the end result:

I used the 25% off on the tray, as I wanted something easily removed when we need the table.  I have to say that I am in love with the end result.  It makes me smile and feel like the room is now complete.  Here are some of my great finds from TaiPan:

I love this glazed ceramic bird house.  It was $7.

I like the height that these leather book boxes give.  The tall one was my most expensive item, besides the tray, at $9.  I found the small one and the globe ball at Rod Works.

 As some of you may know, pre-made topiaries are expensive.  So, I made my own.  I got both ceramic pots for $4 and $5.  The acorn ball was $4 and the green botanical spray was $5.  I cut down the base of it and inserted into the pot to make it look like a topiary.  So for under $10 a piece, I had my own unique topiaries!

Loved the wrought-iron pear from TaiPan.  I filled him with the balls from Rod Works and love the textural difference.

My ultimate steal of the day was the jute runner.  It was marked $10 and had some tassles on the end that I didn't care for but knew I could just cut off.  When I got to the register, it rang in for $3.  Best bargain of the day, and I love what it does for the table.  All in all, I am so happy with my eclectic finds.  Again, put your arrangement together at the store so that you can layer as you go filling in each space.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken Broccoli Bake

This is a fairly common recipe and called a few different things, but I thought I'd share.  Sometimes its nice to be reminded of the easy, quick recipes you can make!

Chicken Broccoli Bake

1 pound chicken, cooked and cut into cubes
1/2 pound broccoli
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese

Cook and cube chicken.  I buy the bag of frozen broccoli from Costco so I thaw it in the sink and briefly heat in the microwave first.  Mix soup, milk, mayo, cheese and lemon juice in a bowl. 

In a 9x13 pan spread broccoli (heads of broccoli laid on the bottom of pan).  Spread chicken over the top and pour sauce over everything.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with rice.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cleaning Microfiber

Our light tan microfiber couches were a great decision six years ago...but now with two little boys I wonder what I was thinking.  People say microfiber cleans so easily but for some reason mine doesn't!  My friend Raelene recommended I throw the covers in the wash and said hers had cleaned great.  So I thought I'd give it a try...
The embarrasing before...

...and the much cleaner after!

I was really impressed with how much better it looks!  My cushions are formed pillows, but the headrests and smaller pillows are just stuffed with cotton filling.  We carefully removed everything, washed in a cold cycle, laid out to dry and stuffed everything back in place.  I'm so glad we did it and feel much better about the couches now.  The trick is to keep them clean!

If you have microfiber and can't get them clean give it a try.  It's worth it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fabric ball decorations

My amazing sister in law threw the cutest party for her two year old and made the most darling decorations.  When I saw the flower balls I knew I wanted to make a few for baby girl's room.  Luckily they require no sewing and are really easy!  Here's a how to (thank you Melissa for teaching me!)
Styrofoam balls (cheapest at Hobby Lobby...I used 8", 4" and 3" balls)
Fabric - Melissa recommended using broadcloth because it doesn't fray easily...and it's only $2.99 a yard and Hobby Lobby has good colors to choose from.  I needed 2 1/2 yards for the 8" ball, 1 1/2 yards for the 4" and a yard for the 3".
Pleating pins (Hobby Lobby)
Fabric scissors
An object to measure the circles (4 1/2" circumference for the larger ball and 2 1/2" circumference for the smaller ones)

To start, trace circles out of your fabric.  With good fabric scissors you can fold it over four times and cut more circles at once.  Melissa's Mom let me borrow this scrapbooking tool that was the perfect size to trace the circles.  I took the measurements from it for reference...

Once the circles are cut out, fold each one in half...

...and in half again to make this:

Push a pleating pin through the layers at the bottom.  If you gather the fabric around the pin a little bit (weave it in and out of the fabric layers) it helps to shape the fabric petal better.

Stick the pin in the styrofoam and spread out the petal.  Repeat, repeat and repeat!  Eventually it will start looking like this:

You want each petal fairly close together so your ball will look full (with the larger circled petals you don't need them quite as close, but just eye it as you go and look for any gaps to fill in).

And here's the finished product:

They are such a fun decoration for a girl's room, party, shower etc.  The nursery should be done in about a month and I can't wait to reveal it on the blog! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I've been saying I'd put a beadboard tutorial up for sometime now...and we finally got around to doing it!  It really is so easy and hopefully this proves that so you are motivated to do it yourself!
Beadboard is typically sold in 4x8 feet sheets (four wide by eight tall).  Lowes and Home Depot both sell it, but I noticed Lowes also sells the pieces where the space in between the grooves is wider...which I prefer.  One sheet costs between $20 and $24.  You will most likely need cuts for your project, so make sure you go with exact measurements so they can help you with this (unless you are lucky and own an electric saw!)  This particular beadboard was purchased at Best Woods in Orem (take the Center Street exit and head West...on the right hand side).  We had left over from a different project and used our 2 feet pieces to do a wainscoat on the top part of one of the nursery walls.

Once you have your pieces measured, hold them up to the wall piece by piece to make sure they fit together well.  Some wall spaces are uneven which you have to compensate for.  For our project McKay had to break up a corner of the drywall to have the beadboard fit evenly into place.

Before hanging, find where the studs are in the wall (in case you haven't done this before, stud finders are fairly inexpensive...once you find one, they should be 18" apart).

Liquid Nail makes it very easy to put beadboard up...about $2 a container at Lowes (the applicator guns are about $6). 

This is how McKay applied it...don't be afraid to use plenty to keep the beadboard secure.  If you use this, there's not a need to rent or use a nail gun.  It stays in place with a few finish nails placed in each stud location.

I didn't take a picture of this step because I was helping, but have two people place the board in place.  One person will need to hold it securely in place while the other hammers the finish nails in.  Liquid Nail dries in just a few minutes so once the finish nails are in place you are usually good to let go.  Continue with these steps until each piece is in place.

To finish off the project it's best to add trim to the top and bottom.  We used a crown molding piece for the top and a 6" baseboard piece for the bottom.  I plan to add hooks along the bottom piece to hang pictures.  Lowes cut both pieces to size for me (although their saw was down so a nice man used a hand saw).

Last thing to do it paint!  Caulk the nail holes so they are flush with the wall.  Let dry and paint!  We use Ralph Lauren Wash Basin in our house which is a good soft white color. 

Including paint time this whole project took about four hours.  McKay had the beadboard up in an hour and a half!  You will save yourself a few hundred dollars by doing it yourself! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Christmas mode...

Yes I know we are still two weeks away from Halloween...but I've been in Christmas shopping mode.  For some reason I have the bug to get it done early.  I thought I'd share a gift idea that turned out so great last year...I plan to make a couple again this year.
Shutterfly makes great photo products and have good prices too.  These went down to $8 last year!  They are $14.37 right now which is still a good deal.  You can find all the info for them here.  I compiled photos of the whole family and gave it to my Dad for his office and my Grandparents.  Their wall calendars turn out great too!

With it being family picture season, I thought I'd also share a photo studio a few friends have used and like:

They are located in Draper and charge $79 to take family pictures...very reasonable compared to other options!  They have a good selection of backdrops and do well with lighting...which both help to make good pictures!  Here's their site if you are interested. 
Have a great Monday!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mummy Cupcakes

I am looking for treats for my annual Halloween party.  I love these cupcakes from

To make the cupcake, follow these steps:
1. Use a pastry bag with a basket-weave tip to pipe on white frosting.
2. Pipe on red frosting for the mummy's eyes.
3. Make two dots using black frosting for the pupils.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Pillow

Lindsay and I saw this pillow at Material Girls in South Jordan.  I loved it and had to make one for myself.  Using fabric from Broadbents, I set out to create my own.

I pinned black tulle that I sewed a seam and then pulled to gather and orange ball fringe to my spider fabric.  Pin towards the middle of the fabric, so that when you sew right sides together, the fringe will show.

I printed the numbers on my computer, backed the bat fabric with stiff iron-on interfacing, and then cut out the numbers.

I then sewed the numbers on to the spider fabric, sewed right sides together, stuffed the pillow with batting, and added the twisted fabric circles and ribbon.

I made my pillow for about $10 and love how it turned out.  Look for inspiration everywhere and then create your own version!  I love knowing that I made that!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Banner

A couple of weeks back, I went to Broadbents in Lehi and found this fun fabric for a Halloween banner for Super Saturday.  It was super easy to make per Lindsay's directions here.

Here it is as part of my Halloween decor.  If you want one, I still have some kits left.  They are $5.  Leave me a comment if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Sparkle

I needed a little more sparkle for my mantel, so I ran into Scrooge and Marley's and found these great sparkle orange pics.  They also had one in orange and black.  I bought both!

It added just that extra "umph" that I needed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Ribbon

Rod Works is a great place to find ribbon by the yard for a great price.  I was putting out my Halloween decor last week and needed some coordinating ribbon for my topiaries.  I bought this polka dot in orange and purple for $1 yard.  I love my topiaries and didn't want to take them down, so I added the ribbon and loved the outcome.  It is a simple thing that took them from day to day to Halloween decor.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saturday morning breakfast

Our Best Bites has the most delicious syrup recipe in their cookbook (I have friends who make it too and love it!)  It's a lot like Magleby's Fresh syrup if you've ever eaten breakfast there (which I's delicious!)  You can visit their site here for it, or I've included it below.  Lisa posted the best waffle and pancake recipes awhile back here.  Sounds like a great Saturday morning breakfast to me!

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

Courtesy of Our Best Bites

3/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a 4-quart pan.

Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to low...just make sure it's still bubbling.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 7-9 minutes or until the syrup reaches golden brown.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Abbey's New Nest...

My friend Abbey just moved and has done some darling things in her house...and she's good at living on a budget and has found inexpensive ways to do it! 
I love the black and yellow she's used together in her living area

I forgot to ask what font she uses for her wall cute though right?  I'll ask her...

This is my favorite thing in her house...the framed wreath.  She got the wreath for .99 cents at a thrift store and also found the frame there for cheap.  She just wrapped it in extra fabric and added the cute fabric roses. 

More cute wall art...

This was also a fun project.  She found these doors at a store near her home for $8 each!  Look what she did with them...

Great idea right!  A fun unique addition to her cute bedroom.

Had to show the great colors pulled in from her pillows.

And...her fall touch.  She shared a tutorial on how to make them here.

Thanks for sharing your fun style Abbey!  You've done a great job!