Healthy You - Sauteed Spinach

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Ingredients:
6 oz baby spinach leaves
1/2 shallot, finely diced
2 slices uncooked center-cut lean bacon
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 c coarsely grated parmessan
EVOO mister

Directions:
Lightly mist EVOO in bottom of large, deep skillet.
Heat skillet over medium heat.
Add bacon, garlic and shallots.
Saute until bacon is cooked and garlic is golden in color.
Add spinach and toss/stir until spinach has wilted and become soft.
Sprinkle spinach with salt and parmesan.  
Stir once.  
Remove from heat immediately and serve.









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DIY Fabric Napkins

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Chevron Napkins Tutorial


I love fabric napkins. 
They are...
so classy 
so southern 
so thoughtful
Growing up, my mother always had fabric napkins at each place setting. 
She still does, even with all her grand babies... everyone uses cloth napkins!
Maybe that's why I love them so much.
I love napkin rings too.
You can really create an incredible place setting with a pretty napkin and a cool napkin ring.
Attach a place card, tied on with a ribbon... ahhhhh, so lovely!
Anyway, fabric napkins are quite pricey. I mean it's rather insane to pay anywhere from $4 to $8 for a square piece of fabric that's hemmed around the edges... can I get an "amen"?
It's also crazy to pay that when you have a room FULL of cool scrap fabric and a sewing machine.
This project is so easy.  As a matter of fact, it would be an excellent beginner sewing project.
Just follow the steps (listed below) and you'll have 8 napkins in less than an hour.
I'm thinking about asking for a serger for my birthday, 
that would make this project take about 20 minutes!




STEP 1: Cut 8 squares measuring 18 inches x 18 inches.

STEP 2: Turn under the edges 1/4 inch and sew. 
(You can pin the edge if needed)

STEP 3:  Turn the edges under again and sew.

That's it!  You're finished.  Now, how easy was that? 

And for chevron printed napkins... you just saved yourself $48!





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Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Cupcakes


Confession... I'm not the biggest Red Velvet fan.  Gasp!
BUT
My husband is the BIGGEST Red Velvet Fan!
So every year I try to make Red Velvet cake for his birthday, which just happens to be this weekend.
It's the BIG 4-0!
But I digress...
This time I LOVE the way the Red Velvet cake turned out. 
 Rather than making a cake from scratch, I decided to try "doctoring up" the cake mix.
The results were amazing.
This is a moist, rich, delicious cake!

So, here's my recipe...

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 c. milk
2/3 c. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill 24 muffin cups with liners.  Spray lightly.
Blend mix, milk, eggs and butter at low speed for 30 seconds.
Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour batter into cupcake liners.
Bake 19 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting:

3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring

Blend and add powdered sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Frost cupcakes after they have cooled completely.




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DIY Burlap Flag Tutorial

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Supplies for this project:
Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutter
Vinyl as stencil
2 pieces of burlap measuring 13" X 19"
Black paint and paintbrush
scissors, straight pins, sewing machine


Directions:
Create your design in Silhouette software program.
Use your vinyl cutter to cut vinyl, remove the letters, leaving negative space (as shown below)
Center vinyl stencil on burlap.

Place your burlap on a protected surface using a piece of poster board or drop cloth underneath.
Using stiff-bristled brush - apply paint "stencil style"
Then let dry.  I allowed mine to dry overnight.


Sew front and back sides-facing together leaving the top of flag open
Trim and snip corners, turn right side out, pressing out corners with a ruler or dull scissors point.

Fold the top edge in (about 1/4 inch) and press all flag edges with iron.  
Make a seam across the top of the flag, this closes the frayed edge.
Sew another seam 2 inches below.  
Leave the sides open. 
This is where you will insert your flag pole.
Now you're ready to hang your flag.
I tied a cute burlap ribbon to the corner of my flag.  
I think it gives it a little bit of character :)


*Font Information:

I used "janda happy day" for the "e" and "pharmacy" for the "est 1994". 
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Black and White Burlap Wreath

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Supplies 
(I found all of these at Hobby Lobby)

18 inch foam wreath
2 rolls of 6" natural burlap
1 roll of 6" black burlap
black & white gingham burlap ribbon
floral pins


Begin by wrapping the entire foam wreath in burlap - twice.


Cut 4 strips of natural burlap measuring 7" x 6"
Cut 4 strips of black burlap measuring 7" x 6"


To make the rosette, fold the strip into thirds, overlapping (as pictured above)




Place a floral pin in the center, attaching it to the wreath.


Pinch the two sides and cross the ends then place another pin into the wreath.





Continue to make the rosettes as shown and arrange them, I placed one natural rosette above 4 black rosettes and then placed 3 additional natural rosettes underneath the black ones.  I placed the gingham bow below all of the rosettes but you can arrange them anyway you like.
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Creamy Lemon Cupcakes

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Creamy Lemon Cupcakes... from a cake mix


"These are the BEST cupcakes I've ever had", said EVERYONE who tasted them!

RECIPE:
1 box lemon cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
2/3 cup melted butter

Mix above ingredients until well blended but don't over mix.
Pour batter evenly into 24 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Let cool.

Icing:
3 c powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Blend the above ingredients in mixer.  
You may have to add more powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.
Ice the cupcakes and serve.



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Vinyl Door Numbers

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I've been wanting numbers on my front door for a while now... thanks to Pinterest 
and all those adorable front door photos.


I used my Silhouette Cameo for this project 
and it was super easy and fast.  
I hope this measurement and font information 
will be helpful to you...

My finished project measures 12.5" by 4"

I used the following fonts:
o. = ts curly
1206 = pharmacy

I used a white self-adhesive vinyl and a transfer paper to transfer it to the door.


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DIY Jute Coasters

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Good coasters are hard to find.

When I was visiting my parents in North Carolina (over the holidays), 
my Mom gave me this huge ball of jute that she brought back from India.  
I was very excited because I LOVE jute!
I got out my "H" crochet hook and chained 200.  
If you don't know how to chain, it is the very easiest stitch EVER and you can watch many video tutorials by googling "how to crochet chain stitch".  It will take you 5 minutes (max) to learn it.

So, here's what my chain looked like after 200.

They sell these awesome cork coasters at Hobby Lobby for $2.77.  They are perfect for this craft.

Start out by making a little circle swirl at the end of your chain.
Then, put a huge glob of hot glue on the center of the coaster.  
This is the starting point.  
Just follow it around with hot glue, turning the coaster as you go.  
It's really easy except that you might burn yourself on the glue.  
I always burn myself when I use my glue gun!







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Peanut Butter Cookies

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Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the best peanut butter cookie recipe EVER and 
I have tried MANY p-b cookie recipes in my life.  
These cookies are so easy and soooooo good.  
The texture is amazing!  
FOUR INGREDIENTS - that's it!  
That's practically easier than ready-made cookie dough, right?


Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix all ingredients together.  Roll dough into one inch balls.  Press with fork (both directions across)
Bake for 10 minutes.



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Healthy You - Mexican Chicken Chopped Salad

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Mexican Chicken Chopped Salad

Here's another HEALTHY YOU recipe.  
I saw this recipe on PINTEREST - it came from Greens and Chocolate (Blog). I made a few changes in order to lighten up the recipe. Here's my version...

Mexican Chicken Chopped Salad

salad:
2 cups shredded chicken
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 head ice berg lettuce, washed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 ripe avocados, diced

Baked Tostito Chips (to go under the salad, as a base)

dressing:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ranch seasoning
1 tbsp taco seasoning

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients together, excluding the tortilla chips and avocado.  

In a small bowl stir all dressing ingredients together.  

To Plate:

Scatter tortilla chips at base of salad plate.  Cover with salad and then dollop dressing on salad, topping with diced avocado (1/2 avocado per salad)
Here's a photo of my diced avocado and dressing
This salad makes 4 servings (and they are HUGE servings). 


ENJOY!
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Favorite Free Fonts

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Cafe Rojo   *   Things We Said   *   Channel   *   Candy Randy   *   Galleria
Rickles   *   Grenouille   *   Lemondrop   *   Lavenderia

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Vinyl Chalkboard Pantry Door

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Vinyl as Chalkboard

This is the easiest, cheapest project and I just love the way it turned out!!!  
As you can see in the photos below, I have two pantry doors in my kitchen.  
One is tall and skinny.  
The center panel seemed like the perfect place for a chalkboard.
I wanted one where I could write messages, menu items, holiday themes, etc 
but I wasn't quite brave enough to pull out REAL chalkboard paint and tackle the door.  
I had seen "chalkboard vinyl" online BUT 
I decided to try regular black self adhesive vinyl (that I already had in my craft room).  
I measured the panel, cut it out and stuck it up there.  
It works like a dream!



Here's a photo of my vinyl chalkboard (taken last month during the holidays)
We kept a Christmas Countdown...

And, in keeping with the CHALKBOARD CRAZE, I thought I'd share my other chalkboard project from last month.  I bought some square plywood (pre-cut at Lowe's) and I sprayed real chalkboard paint on these and then decorated them for the holidays...
 I hung one above the mantle and the other one... I left on display at random places around the house.


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Twitter - please advise!

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Twitter


I'm finally on Twitter
and I'm NEW to all this.
Any tips?  Leave a comment.  I need all the help I can get!

I want to use it as a resource and platform for painted furniture, decorating and recipes.

Follow me and I'll follow you back.

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Healthy You - French Onion Soup

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This is Paula Deen's Recipe, ya'll! 
I made a few slight changes to lighten it up.
It's really GOOD and it's GOOD for you!

You need 8 onions for this recipe... slice them up
Saute them in a little evoo (3 Tbsp) with 1 tsp of minced garlic
Cook them over low heat FOREVER (20 mins) til they are nice and golden in color and all soft!  Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of flour on the onions and stir until the flour starts to brown.  Add 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Then, add 1/4 c white cooking wine and 8 c of beef broth.  Let that come to a boil and then turn it to low heat, add a bay leaf and cover the pot to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile...
Slice a loaf of french bread (about 3/4 inch thickness).
Use your EVOO spritzer to mist both sides with EVOO.
Place on griddle (at 400 degrees) and brown on both sides.

Grate 2 cups of Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place your soup in oven-safe bowls - it makes 6 bowls of soup!
Top with Crostini
Top with a little gruyere
Place your bowls on a foil-lined baking pan
Turn your oven from 350 to BROIL
Broil until cheese is all melty!


Your house should be smelling really wonderful at this point.  Enjoy your soup.  It's really good and good for you!

Ingredients:
8 onions sliced
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c white cooking wine
8 c beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 loaf french bread
2 c shredded gruyere cheese

On a side note:

Do you have one of these Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayers?
This is one of my NEW FAVORITE THINGS because it dispenses such a small amount of olive oil and in turn cuts out a lot of fat from recipes.  It has a pump feature that allows you to fill the container with air, making it work like an aerosol spray can.  It's pretty cool and they are not giving me a thing to say that, by the way!  Now, here are some other cool things you can do with the crostinis on the griddle...
These crostinis are a wonderful base for a lot of recipe options.  Use an olive oil mister to barely spray EVOO on the bread and then brown both sides before making the following recipes...

Veggie Crostini Appetizer: 
Just sautee onion, green pepper and mushroom and sprinkle over the top.  Add shredded mozzarella and stick under the broiler.

Crostini Caprese:
Spread chopped tomato over crostini, place a basil leaf on top of tomato, add sliced mozzarella on top of that and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top.

Honey Crostini:
Drizzle honey over them... duh!

Cinnamon toast Crostini:
sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and broil in oven

I could go on and on...
pepperoni pizza crostini
french toast crostini
nutella crostini
ham and cheese crostini

...you get the point. I hope this helps you come up with some ideas of your own.  Let me know what you make!




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