Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick Binder Makeover

A few months ago I made a binder (click the link for a detailed description of what I keep in there)for all those things I need to keep organized in one place. I LOVE using my binder every day. I love it so much I wanted to make it cute. 
 
I headed to Archiver's while in Nashville and picked up the Dots and Stripes Metropolitan pack from Echo Park Paper Co. I picked up two extra sheets of the grey polka dot paper for the cover. 
 
The kit worked out perfectly! Check it out.


I layered some stickers and added some journaling to the cover. It wasn't this layered at first, but I goofed up a bit and had to add to cover up my mistake. But I like how it turned out.
The whole binder is filled with things we need on an almost daily basis, so this seemed like an appropriate title for it. (and still fun)


On the inside cover I used washi tape to attach my cleaning schedule. On the other side I'll write the table of contents on the blank sticker. I just wanted to be sure I have the sections in the right order. (I'm a little OCD) I cut the different patterned papers to make dividers.

The kit had these great number stickers and there were two of each! I used them to make double sided tabs. Perfect!

To finish it of, I added a flag sticker to each divider.


There you go! A quick and easy way to make something you use every day a little more fun.
 
How about you? Have you prettied up anything you use every day? Leave the link in the comments so I can check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baked Kale: Trust Me!

Kale is one of those things I kind of avoided. It's so good for you, but I just knew I wouldn't like it.  Then this summer I decided to try making Kale chips.  I had heard a few people mention them. They all said they were great and that you couldn't eat just a few. 
 
Turns out they were right! But the real test isn't really me. It's my daughter.  The daughter that has a bit of a sweet tooth. The daughter who I found on two separate occasions hiding with the brown sugar container. The same daughter who would sneak into the dark garage, reach into the freezer and eat the cinnamon rolls I made for the neighbors (snitching from a different tin each time).  
 
She loves these.
 
She can't eat just one. Or a couple. They are good.


Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale, washed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste
 
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Strip the leaves from the tough stem and tear into bite size pieces. Spread kale out on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss well.  Sprinkle with kosher salt. Make sure the kale is in a single layer or it won't crisp up. Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.
 
So go ahead. Try it!
 
 
Have any superfood recipes you'd like to share? I'd love to try them out! Tell me about it or leave a link in the comments!
 
 
 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baked Oatmeal

Since Monday was a holiday and we were all home together, I decided to try a recipe from the Our Best Bites cookbook. They have the recipe on their blog here, but I adapted it just a bit. Theirs is amazing, but has more sugar than I want to give my kids, especially in the morning.
 
Baked Oatmeal
3 cups oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar ( I use a little less than 1/2 cup)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter (I use 1/4 cup) (can use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
dried cranberries to taste (to add in or for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients. In smaller bowl mix wet ingredients. Add wet into dry and mixture and stir until combined. Pour into a 9x9 baking dish (you might want to spray it first) and bake for 40 minutes or until nice and golden. (the crunchy top part is the best). Serve right away. Add your own toppings (we like dried cranberries) and add a splash of milk.
 
Enjoy!
 
By the way, I've made a couple of recipes from this book and I love it! Plus, it's so fun to read! Does anyone else read cookbooks cover to cover? There are so many great ideas! Most I'll use as is and some I'll adapt to suit our family. 

 
 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quick Project for the Kiddos

We're on vacation today and the weather is beautiful! The kids were helping me clean this morning and I feel ahead of the game (except for laundry. It's going to be a great day! Here's a quick little project that you could probably do today with your kiddos! Bet you have all the supplies in your stash!

Noah and I came up with this fun and quick little project a week or so ago. I wanted a little garland for the mantel like this fall one we made.




I cut out white card stock hearts. Noah added the glue. I didn't even worry about the excessive amount he used on each one. It adds character!
 
Then I took out some glitter and put each color in a small dish and gave Noah a strainer. He took a few pinches if glitter and tapped and shook it on to each heart.
This was really just a fun change to something the kids have done many times before and we really liked how it turned out. And what kid doesn't like making something with glitter?!
 
I made extra hearts and left the station up for when Kayla got home from school. We let all the hearts dry on wax paper overnight then took a needle and thread to string them up.
I love the pop of color it gives that area! And incase you're wondering, that is a special stick on our mantel. Noah collects rocks and sticks. It has been up there for about a year. He says he's helping me decorate and that's where it should be.

So that's where it stays.

 Love those little signs of my littles around the house!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

One Little Word Friday

This has been one of those weeks.  You know the kind. (at least I think other people might) The kind where everything you touch has been dropped, spilled, broken, boiled over... Well, that day turned into a week. 
You should have seen how thick the burned on part of this spill was.  This is a pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup.  (by the way, it's delicious and it makes a ton)
 
I've been purposely looking for the joy throughout the week. It is my One Little Word after all.
 
The joy in the spill? Found it!  I was dreading the clean up. The chiseling. I laid a towel on the cooled burner and poured vinegar on it. I let it soak for about an hour and let the vinegar do its thing. After that, a lot of the mess was wiped up. The part that wasn't, I scraped off with a metal cookie spatula and finished up with my stove top cleaner and a Magic Eraser. 
 
Worked like a dream!
 
 
One thing that was great this week was a short snow 'storm'. School was let out for this 2 hour event.  I'm from up north and find this kind of funny but was so thankful to see the excitement in the eyes of my children. 

 

The other day I noticed a couple of blooms on my daffodils. Our weather has been so up and down lately, it's crazy. Even the flowers are confused.


I came across Blinks of Life yesterday. Think Project Life or One Little Word ideas!
 
Your turn! Have you been looking for joy this week? Do you have a word your focusing on? If you have a post about it, link it up in the comments or just tell me about it!  What great way to encourage us all! I'd love to see what you're up to!
 
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine Tic Tac Toe: The Taylor House

Hey friends!  We're having a great day here!  There is a winter storm (think Alabama winter storm) and we're all home. I put my pj's back on and we're drinking hot chocolate. Perfect!
 
I'm also so excited to have my first post up at The Taylor House today! (Thanks, Chrissy!)  Yay! I repurposed a tray I had laying around the house.  Click on over and read about it!
 

 



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Valentine Wreath

A neighbor of mine asked me to make her a wreath to take her front door through February.  She said she wanted a heart with berries and maybe a sign of some sort.  Here's what I came up with! 



I found all of the supplies at Michael's and embellished them a bit. I pulled apart some berry picks and wound them into the grapevine wreath.  The Stickles adds some sparkle and the chalkboard paint adds a fun touch to the frame.  I just loved that little turquoise frame!  I need to go pick up a couple more for me!

Leave a link in the comments to something you've been working on! I'd love to check it out!
 
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sneaky Spinach


Today I did something my kids never expected.  Today I won a battle fought for moms everywhere.  



Ok. A little dramatic, yes.  But I am excited that I snuck a bit of spinach into their smoothies today!  It wasn't much. But it wasn't detected by their taste buds.  

I've been trying to follow along with the Simple Green Smoothie 30 Day Challenge. The kids aren't quite there with me (I think it's the color of the drinks) so I thought I'd help them get started.  One Frozen banana, 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup yogurt, skim milk (whatever consistency you like), and a pinch of spinach. That's it. I don't really know how much they ate. I just grabbed a little pinch and blended it in. 

It worked!  Give it a try!

And if you want to start the challenge but are worried about the green smoothies....don't! If you blend it long enough, you can't even tell!  Come on! Give it a try! Let me know if you are! And you can follow me on Instagram (link to the right) and see what I'm drinking!

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

One Little Word

I signed up for the Ali Edwards class, One Little Word.  It's through Big Picture Classes and promises to be great.

The idea is you pick a word that you want to be your theme for the year. Not anyone else, but you. You focus on it. Make it a part of who you are.  And if you take the class then you'll have a scrapbook at the end of the year that tells all about it.

You can sign up anytime throughout the year because all the previous assignments are posted in the classroom. 
Joy
JOY in being me...JOY in finding out who that is, really...doing everything with JOY...finding the JOY in the daily tasks...creating JOY.....good stuff!

(by the way...my favorite OLW that I've seen so far is Shelley from House of Smiths: AWESOMER  Love it!)

I haven't started yet, but I can hardly wait. I did log in and look at January's assignment and it looks like fun to put together! One quick trip to Archiver's this weekend and I'll be ready to go! 

Are you up for it? You don't have to sign up to pick a word!  Every Friday I'm going to post about something to do with my word. Maybe I'll make it a party if there is interest or we can just get a conversation going on FB or in the comments section.  Let me know what you think!  Come on! It will be fun!


 
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DIY Goo Gone and Exciting News

Don't you just love those little glass jars the Starbucks drinks come in at the grocery store?  They are the perfect kid-sized glass and are way too cute with cold milk and a fun paper straw.
 
But those labels can be a bugger to get off so went online in search of a recipe for Goo Gone.
 
I tried two out and neither worked well so I tried my own mix of what I had seen and this works. It works well. It will put a smile on your face because you won't believe it just worked that well.
Prairie Girl to Southern Belle's Goo Gone
1 part oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 part baking soda
1 part rubbing alcohol (I'm pretty sure that's the secret ingredient)
Shake well.

I was not real exact with the measurements. I just mixed it up in a little jelly jar.  When I need it, I scoop some out with my fingers or a paper towel and go to town!

I have used it a few times and, just FYI, it works best when it is fresh, so I just mix up a little bit in the jar when I need it! 
 
Have you come up with any great home recipes for something you needed but didn't have on hand? Share them in the comments so we can all give them a try!

Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY Puppet Show Curtain and Some Fun For You

I came across an idea on Pinterest a while back and decided to make a puppet show curtain for each of the kids.  Kayla's is done and I thought I'd share it with you! I just looked at this picture for the idea while at Hobby Lobby and this is what I came up with.

I just picked up some a couple of yards of the chevron printed duck cloth. I know I can make use of the extra chevron fabric.  I used the polka dotted material for the bunting and the ties.  The bunting is just sewn on some twine I had and hot glued on. One package of the pre-made binding was all I needed.
Now, please, don't look closely at my sewing.  I am not very good with the sewing machine and don't even know how you are supposed to sew on the binding. I used pink thread for the whole project because it was easier than changing it, and I had enough on hand.  The sewing is rough and full of shortcuts, but that's how I roll when it comes to sewing.
 
I kind of like the look it gave the curtain anyway.
 
And don't you just love that fabric? 
 
The only thing that was a problem for me was that the bottom of the window sagged a lot when it was hung up.  I hot glued a thin dowel across the bottom of the window on the inside. (I covered it in cute washi tape before I glued it on.)
 
 
Sorry, no real tutorial (because I'm in NO position to tell someone how to sew) but if I could figure it out, I know you can!
 
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Now on to something fun! 
 
Prairie Girl to Southern Belle has a Facebook page that many of you have signed up for! That's great!  However, it has come to my attention that many of you are not seeing the posts in your news feed.  From what I can tell, this is because there is a new option for pages to pay to be seen.  That's not really where I am now, so it will stay as it is.
 
If you would like to see the FB updates in your feed all you need to do is first search and bring up the page, then just comment or like a post. Then FB knows it's something you want to see. And just to make it fun...there is a fun post up there now!  If it's popular, I'll do more. I love these kinds of things!

So head over to the
Facebook page and comment away! I'd love to get some great conversations going with you all!
 
 And who doesn't love some happy mail once in a while?!
 
And you can follow me on Instagram as well!  prairiegirltosouthernbelle
 
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Joy: Friday Faves

My One Little Word for 2013 is JOY.
 
As in...find the joy in everything.
 
It's there. Sometimes I brush it aside, sometimes I make it unimportant, sometimes I miss it completely.  Documenting what I am thankful for and find joy in helps me to seek it more often.
 
So...this year I'm going to write a post on Fridays about what I'm grateful for that week.
 

Olive fingers. I love seeing something little like this light them up! They both do it and it makes them giggle!

There is so much joy in the innocence of my children. Just hanging out in a costume showing a buddy a game. Love it!

My husband snapped this photo quick and I'm so glad he did. They love each other and seeing one want to help or look out for the other is a gift.
I find so much joy in this girl. She is so strong, brave and willing to try anything.
And this guy is never afraid to show love. He is so gentle and kind. My snuggler.

Toys and imagination.

Sometimes I tell him no when he asks for a piggy back ride. I need to stop doing that. He doesn't need so much from me....he just needs ME.
 
Both of them do. They need snuggly love. They need to know I'm their biggest cheerleader. They need to know I'm proud to be there Mama and there is no place else I want to be.
 
Well, that's my word for the year. I'm excited to look back a year from now and see what I've found. How about any of you? Do you pick a word or do anything similar? Take a minute and tell me about it! I'd love to chat about it!
 
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Hot and Melty Sandwich


The other day...way back before everyone was sick... I made our favorite sandwich for lunch. It's a beefed up (or chickened up) grilled cheese. It's perfect for these chilly days or even an easy dinner to change things up a bit! 
 
EverRoast and Swiss Sandwich

2 Slices of your favorite bread. (I use White Mountain Bread from Publix)
Mayo (REAL mayo)
1-2 slices swiss cheese
3-4 slices Boar's Head EverRoast Chicken from the deli
Butter

Heat a frying pan on medium high. Generously butter one side of each slice of bread. On the other side, spread mayo. When pan is hot, place one slice buttered side down in pan. Add swiss cheese, meat, and then the other slice of bread. Make sure the buttered side is up! Check the sandwich often before flipping. It's easy to burn.  When you think it's ready, flip it and cook the other side.  Careful, this side tends to cook fast!  Serve it hot and enjoy it right away!
 
 
Make it this weekend. You'll thank me!
 
What are you cooking this weekend?
 
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Organize it: My Bathroom Stuff

After Christmas is a great time to get organized. I always look forward to freshen up the house and get things put back together. 
Here's how I keep my bathroom things neat and tidy.
Best idea ever! Silverware caddy in the drawer! An Itso basket from Target is behind it holding  misc. things and my makeup bag just sits on top. In front of the basket I use jelly Mason Jars to keep small items together.
How do you keep your daily things at the ready?
 
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