Monday, August 30, 2010

Some REALLY Great Craft Ideas

So apparently the creative juices are flowing today! Because I have found some REALLY great craft ideas that I can't wait to try!

Check this out:


Then She Made... turned this normal ole 12 pack coke container into a SUPER CUTE canned goods storage! What a great way to recycle too! Find that post HERE! I recently discovered her blog and I'm SOOO HAPPY that I did... she has some great ideas and crafts!


Check out this too:


Oops, I Craft My Pants has a great way to spruce up your phone/mp3 player... I have an iPhone 3Gs with an Otterbox Defender (because I'm extremely clutzy), but I do have an old school iPod Nano with a clear case that would look GREAT like this! I can't wait to try this out! See the post HERE.


Another great idea:


Brown Paper Packages has a great chore chart made out of a picture frame and the glass! I think this could also be customized for other things... Like a calendar, or a dinner menu. The possibilities are endless! See that post HERE.


Ok, last one, I promise:


I found this through Mod Podge Rocks!. The Crafting Chicks have a great way to really personalize a lap desk! It's so cute! See the full post HERE.



AHH! So many great ideas! I'm in school so I don't have much time for all this! They're all on my To-Do list though :)

Creating a Blog Navigation Bar

"So, what is this navigation bar you speak of?" you may ask.

That would be the new thing below my header. You know, the one that now says "home", "recipes", "crafts", "blog design".

"Oh yea!" you might respond.

Yea. I'm pretty excited!

"So how do I get one?" you might ponder.

I will show you :)


Actually, I'll mostly refer you to other sites because I don't really feel like typing out how to do it when all I did was google how. FYI, you might need a basic understanding of HTML and how to work your way around a computer to do this.

The first thing you need to do is SAVE YOUR CURRENT TEMPLATE!!!! This way, if you mess anything up, you have a back up. I just went to the Edit HTML under DESIGN, clicked "Expand Widgets" and then copy and pasted the entire thing into a Word document.

Next, add the navigation bar itself. Jen at Jenieshell's Design Challenge shows us how HERE.

Once you follow all those steps, you get a plain nav. bar. You can stop here if you don't want any images.

Now, create your images in photoshop or something. I made my canvas 35 pixels high and then 150 wide. Then I cropped once I added the text. But I kept it at 35 pixels high.

Once you have all those saved and uploaded to a photo hosting place (like photobucket) you can proceed to the next set of instructions by Jen HERE.

You may have to play around with some of the coding to get what you want. Just preview when possible to see if you like it before changing.


Now... adding the correct links. This is edited in that HTML you created under the Page Elements. My "Home" tab- well obviously I just linked it back home.

The other tabs I'm still working on. You can create a Page under the "Edit Pages" under "Posting". Just make it it appears with NO GADGET. It'll give you a page you can link to.

Or you can do like I'm doing right now. WARNING: This is VERY tedious. Especially if you've had your blog a long time and have never used the labels at the bottom of the creating a post section. I'm going in to every post and adding a label to them (recipes, blog design, crafts). Then I click the label on the posted page. It'll bring up a page with ALL posts with that label. Then use that URL as the link.

Hope this makes sense. I know I'm all over the place! Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spotlight Sunday- BLOG HOP

I never found anyone to spotlight today so I figured, what the heck! Why not just do a blog hop. My first blog hop to be exact! I really want to give everyone a chance to find new, great blogs out there. Because some people have some really great ideas!

I don't really anticipate this to be really big because I don't have a billion followers like some of the other great blogs out there but it does save you trouble of having to sort through a bunch of blogs.



Rules- Who needs them! :)

But just some suggestions....

If you want to participate, please be a public follower :)

Visit as many blogs as you like- and leave them some comment L.O.V.E. <3>

Grab a button!


Spotlight Sunday








Breakfast Skillet Scramble

Last week, I posted on how to make some Egg-cellent Breakfast meals. Some people commented some other great ideas with eggs. Amanda at Who Are You Calling Crafty sparked an idea in me for a breakfast skillet! So that's what I bring you today :)


Dice up some potatoes and toss them in some vegetable oil. Cook them (stirring often) at med-high heat until almost cooked. They'll have plenty of time to finish cooking. These are just starting to brown. Mmmmm! It might also taste good to add some chopped onions here :)


Now add some sausage (or bacon if you want). Let it cook all the way through.


If you have a lot of excess grease in the pan, drain it out. You don't want overly greasy food. Then crack a few eggs in the pan and quickly stir to scramble.


Once the eggs are cooked (which takes no time at all!) add some cheese in. I added mild cheddar but I think Velveeta would taste really good too!


Stir until the cheese is melted then serve! It was really good. I suggest adding salt and pepper when you add the eggs. I forgot this and added after but it was fine.


Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

FREE Advertising for Your Blog

Well, it's Friday night (practically Saturday) and I still don't have anyone for my Spotlight Sunday. It's FREE advertising for your blog :)

Check out my first Spotlight Sunday HERE!

Basically, you just submit a little info about yourself and your blog that lets others get to know you. This helps broadcast some GREAT blogs out there that are just waiting to be discovered! And I love discovering new and exciting blogs :)

Just visit the first Spotlight Sunday and either leave a comment there or email me and let me know you would like to be showcased!

notsohomemade@gmail.com


Any questions? Just ask :)

Have a great weekend!

Egg-cellent Breakfast

This morning, I thought I'd quickly share some YUMMY breakfast egg recipes before I head off to my clinical orientation for my LAST semester!

The first recipe is what I call "Toad in a Hole". There's many other names for it. You probably have your own! (If so, let us know what you call it!)

First, tear a hole out of a slice of bread.



Butter one side of the bread and place it in a heated, non-sticky skillet, butter-side down. Make sure the heat is on low because you don't want it to cook too fast. Crack the egg into the center.


Let it cook until the bottom is solid, then flip. Make sure to let it cook long enough. You don't want raw egg whites.


Here's the finished product. I added salt and pepper for flavor.


Mmmm... egg yolk and bread goodness :)


Next is my famous (well at least in my house) scrambled eggs. My brother used to get me to fix these for him when we were kids.

In a bowl scramble some eggs (I did 2). Add a little milk, salt, and pepper. Mix well.


Pour into a heated skillet. If you didn't scramble, you'd get a nice omelet :)


Stir until fully cooked. I usually take them out as soon as they're not shiny anymore.


YUMMY! Now you can eat them like this or add extras. I added a slice of cheese on top a lot as a kid. Or you can do like my brother and add......


KETCHUP! That's right, I said ketchup! It's actually pretty good.



So- How do you make your eggs?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Designing Your Own Blog Signature

So most bloggers out there already know how to do this but I had to find out at some point so I figure there's others out there who would like to know how to make their own signature. That's what shows up at the bottom of every post. Mine says "Courtney" with a faint green flower.

This tutorial shows how to create it using Photoshop (CS3 in my case). I'll also give you a link to a blog with instructions on how to add it to your HTML.

FYI- my pictures turned out really blurry for some reason but they give you a gist of the idea.


First create a blank canvas in Photoshop. I made my width 200 pixels and my height 100 pixels. That tends to be a good size. Make sure the background is transparent. That allows you to post it on any background and it blends right in.


Now, just add your text. I offcentered mine a little to add the flower.


When you get finished, you may have to rasterize the text afterwards. This basically changes the stuff into pixels... Fancy computer talk. It's fine and you can still use the move function to change the position.


You can add whatever you want. I have these brushes that paint flowers so I added one to mine... (it's really hard to see).


Save the file when you are finished. You'll have to upload it to somewhere like Photobucket to finish the rest.

I learned how to do this from kevinandamanda.com. See the full tutorial that shows how to post it to your blog HERE. She explains it a whole lot better than I could!

Hope everyone is having a great week :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DIY Kitchen Stool Facelift

That's right! Our kitchen stool got a facelift today! A really, really, REALLY overdue facelift. We've had that stool forever. I'm pretty sure it's older than I am. And it's had it's shares of heartache. Meet our old stool:


Yea, he's seen better days... He's been used to paint a number of rooms...


And served as a great seat over the years. But he's getting a little run down. Paint scars, rips, etc...


So now it's his time to shine! First I removed that hideous faux leather junk.


Plain old foam cushion underneath. Oh and notice my little shadow laying on the floor? It's so hard to get things accomplished when he follows me around everywhere!

I painted the whole thing white. Some of the brown shows through in places but I think it gives it character and hints it's old age. I also Mod-Podged it to seal it in.

Then I found this remnant upholster fabric that was gorgeous in my scrap pile. It's dark brown with an olive green design. I think I got it at a garage sale for, like, a quarter. It wasn't wide enough to cover so I had to cut it in half and sew it together to make a larger square. I stapled it to the chair and voila! Our stool got a facelift!


Here's a close up of the fabric...


And just for kicks and giggles, I played with Photoshop to give this picture an aged look. Our floor looks like old-school wood!


So it was really simple to do and didn't cost hardly anything! I had all the supplies already so it just took the effort to do it. I hope everyone is having a great week :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

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REMINDER- I know I've said this, like, a billion times but.... Don't forget! I never found anyone that wanted a FREE spotlight on my blog! So we didn't have one this week. But head back over to my
first Spotlight Sunday (featuring my BFF Nichole) and leave a comment if you want to be featured next! Or, you can send me an email at notsohomemade@gmail.com.
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I know what you're thinking... two posts in one day?? You bet! I have to catch up for the week I slacked off.

I thought I'd start with a funny story. Because, who doesn't love a good funny story. Especially about kids. And kids say the darnest things :)

So one of my mom's friends, who I am a frequent babysitter for, posted a story on facebook about what her kids said the other day. A little background... she is the proud mommy of 4 children. A (girl) is "6 going on 12" as she puts it. B (boy) is 5. C (boy) is 3. And E (boy) is 2. Yes, wonder mom I know! And she does have the whole alphabet thing going on (her husband's name starts with a D). She's a J and we always pick on her about letters F, G, H, and I. Her kids are so adorable (she's going to have a lot of trouble with them when they get old enough to date). And she always has the funniest stories! She should have her own TV show or at least write a book. She has us rolling laughing all the time!

So anyways... what she posted was:

B: "Dad, how do you spell LSU?"
Dad: "You just spelled it."
B: "First I draw an L?"
C: "Then you draw a shoe."

I'm telling you... her kids are priceless! Some people may not find it that funny but I was having a particular bad day that evening when I read that and it made my whole evening sooo much better!


Well anyways... On to tonight's recipe... Shephard's Pie :)

This is a little different than how I normally make it so I'll note the changes. This is a very versatile recipe in that you can change things and still end up with a great product.

First get your mashed potatoes going. Normally, I make these from scratch but I was feeling particularly lazy tonight so I just used part 4 cheese and part garlic instant mashed potatoes.



Next, cook some ground beef/turkey. I usually use beef but tried turkey this time. I don't think I'm a fan of ground turkey though. There's just nothing like good ole' ground beef... Add seasonings you like. I added dried onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and some Cajun Seasoning.


Cook some veggies up. I normally use freezer corn but we had some leftover peas so I just mixed in some corn to use it up. Then I nuked it in the microwave.

Make sure you have enough cheese to please your inner cheesehead :) It doesn't matter what kind.


That's right. I have a 5 lb bag of cheese. Be jealous :)

So now layer your casserole pan. First, meat. Then some cheese. Then veggies. Then some more cheese.


Finish off with the mashed potatoes and enough cheese to your hearts content and toss in a 350 degree preheated oven.


Now, I dropped some cheese on the floor so I had to bring in the food vacuum...


Adorable isn't he :) That's my Meeko! And he's is in dire need of a haircut right now. He's a poodle. I know it's hard to believe he could get any cuter but when he's had a haircut he's even more cute! So I just whistle for him and he cleans up any mess I made. That look he's giving me is the "Please, sissy, drop some more food." And you can't even see his tail because it's wagging so fast!

Well, that's been about enough time after playing with Meeko. It only has to stay in long enough for the cheese to get nice and melted...


Mmm... doesn't it look delicious?


I sliced me up a nice piece and sat down for a nice not-so-homemade meal.


It was pretty good. I think I still prefer the beef and just corn (no peas, please). Hope you enjoy!

Fondant Roses

So yea, it's been a while. I haven't posted in a week because I've been SO busy. I just started my LAST semester of college... Watch out world! Courtney will (hopefully) be an RN come December :)

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Oh- Don't forget! I never found anyone that wanted a FREE spotlight! So we didn't have one this week. But head back over to my first Spotlight Sunday (featuring my BFF Nichole) and leave a comment if you want to be featured next! Or, you can send me an email at notsohomemade@gmail.com.
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So I took the Wilton Cake Decorating class at Micheal's a few years ago. Loads of fun! Well I learned the "Wilton" way of making fondant roses. Yea, well that takes a while because you have to roll out the fondant, cut out the shapes, roll the ends, etc...

You can find the Wilton way HERE.

This is what their rose looks like:


Now really? What rose looks this perfect? Ok so maybe I'm say that because I'm too lazy to take the time to make these.

So I'm presenting to you the somewhat lazy way of making fondant roses :)

Now, I'm using leftover fondant from when I made my dad's birthday cake which has been sitting in my fridge uneaten. It's not good anymore so it's great to just play with. But it was really sticky and I didn't feel like making a big mess with powdered sugar so it's a little rough looking because the fondant kept sticking to my hands and the surfaces.

First, grab some fondant and make a teardrop and put it on a toothpick.


Next, make a circle, flatten it into an oval, with the top end being more flat than the rest. This will be your petal end. Wrap it around the teardrop.


Keep making petals and wrapping until you get the desired fullness of the rose you want.


Now you have the easy, only takes a few seconds (especially if your fondant isn't super sticky), fondant roses! And they're rough so they look more "authentic" :)



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DIY Earring and Flower Hair Pins

A few months ago my mom and I made these earrings and hair pins. She got a pack of blank earring studs and backs from Michael's. They also had some decorated brads on clearance. She grabbed those too for some cheap prices. We used pliers to pull of the brad and then hot glued the earring back to the decorated piece. Now I have some great earrings!


We also used the flower brads and glued them to bobby pins and glued some of the decorated brads in the middle. They turned out really cute too! I love them... although I don't wear much pink so I have to wait til I wear more brown and stuff in the fall to wear them.


These are very easy to do! A great grab-a-friend/mom-to-help-you project :)

Don't forget... Check out this week's Spotlight Sunday! I'm still looking for someone to feature next week!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Fleur de Lis Cross Painting

So I made this craft back in December for Christmas for my mom. She loves Fleur de Lis so I decided to make an artwork for her. What mom doesn't love a homemade gift from their child? So I got a canvas 2 pack from Hobby Lobby, some vary paint colors, and a fleur de lis stamp.

I put all the colors on a plate and, using the same brush, grabbed from differing colors. The effect was pretty cool. I loved the way they turned out. I then used a maroon to stamp and finish the shape into a cross. They aren't the straightest designs but my mom seemed to like them.

First canvas:

Second canvas:


The pair against the hallway wall:


They are opposite some paintings I made when I was younger. The top one I made when I was about 10 or so. The bottom was made for an abstract oil crayon project in 9th grade.



Well I hope everyone is having a great week! Don't forget to check out the Sunday Spotlight and comment to be featured next time :)



To-the-TOP Tuesday
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