Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sandbox Cookies...

So a couple of weeks ago when I posted about Walker's 4th birthday party, I mentioned that he had gotten an adorable gift that I was gonna blog about later. Well it is definitely later, but I have been so crazy busy lately that I have not gotten around to showing you this. Without further adieu, here is one of the cutest gift ideas EVER... SANDBOX COOKIES! If you have a child that likes to cook (Walker LOVES it), then this would be a perfect gift .These were given to Walker, along with a cutie patootie Dinosaur beach towel, by a friend of mine named Amy. Amy is a kindergarden teacher and one very crafty chic. She said she saw these in a boutique in Hilton Head a couple years ago, and decided she could make them for much less. Well you go girl! Here is how she did it...

You just have to get a small beach set. (Walker and Connor have already been using theirs in the pool.)
Type up the instructions and add some cute beach clipart. Tape the instructions on the dry ingredients. Now here's the kicker, you can either mix the dry ingredients yourself and put them in a ziploc bag, or you can buy a bag of sugar cookie mix at the store and just put that in a clear baggie. Honestly, who is gonna know the difference?

Wrap it all in cellophane and tie it with a cute ribbon.
We made ours the other night while it was raining, and they were wonderful. Walker is always glad to be on quality control.
They were gone in a flash!
One other thing that Amy did that I just had to show you, was how she wrapped his beach towel. Cellophane and ribbon again, but she also cut out the picture of Walker from the invitation and hand made his gift tag. So. Stinkin'.Cute. I didn't get a good pic before Walker tore into it, but I think you get the idea here.
We are heading to the river until Saturday evening, and then VBS starts on Sunday, so it looks like it is gonna be another crazy week around here. I'm just thankful we got the boys' first dental appointments and Walker's 4 year old shots out of the way last week. He is only starting pre-school, but it feels like the preparations are already in high gear. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and let me know if you try the Sandbox Cookies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weight Watcher Wednesday Week 26

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 26 and this week I lost .5 lbs. for a running total of 31.5 lbs. I am pleased that I had a loss, but am a little disappointed it was not any more because I have been exercising a lot. That's okay though, just a little plateau. Next week I'm sure it will go better.

Just like last week, I have still been walking and believe it or not, my body craves the movement when I skip a day. In addition to the walking, I rode the paddleboat 2x at the river this weekend and Mom and I took a good little bike ride on Sunday morning. I definitely felt it in my legs after paddleboating the day before.

In the area of food, I have been doing pretty good. I am eating a good breakfast (protein shake and fruit or oatmeal), and then a light lunch. If I get hungry before dinner I try to eat fruit or almonds. My hardest thing this week has been my food journal. I have been slipping in that area, and I know from past experience that I.HAVE.TO. write all my foods down, or my caloric intake sneaks up on me.

One thing I do not watch is carbs, while I know I should, I tend to be a carbaholic, so that is just a sacrifice I hate to make. My sister is doing phenomenally well watching carbs though (Kudos Wendi!), so I am gonna plan next week's menu with a little more protein and see how it goes.

Keeping that in mind, and also the fact that I am still trying to use up my zucchini, I am gonna give you a recipe off of Gina's site, for Turkey Stuffed Zucchini. I have been working my way through some of Gina's recipes, and have been very pleased so I am gonna try this one.

Turkey Stuffed Zucchini

(Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes)

Servings: 4 (2 halves) • Time: 50 minutes • Points: 4 ww points

4 medium zucchini
1 tsp butter
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp white wine
1.3 lb (20.8 oz) ground turkey (99% fat free)
1 large egg white
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fat free chicken broth
2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp dried basil

Salt and fresh pepperPreheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Arrange in a baking dish. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces.In a large saute pan, melt butter and add onion, shallot and garlic. Cook on a medium-low flame for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and season with a pinch of salt, cook about 2-3 minutes. Add wine and cook until it reduces. Add ground turkey and season with salt and pepper, cooking until turkey is white, breaking up in smaller pieces. Add paprika, garlic powder, marjoram and basil. Mix well and cook another minute.Place turkey meat in a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool. When cooled, add parmesan cheese and egg white, mix well. Using a spoon, fill hollowed zucchinis with stuffing, pressing firmly and top with bread crumbs. Place chicken broth in bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake 35 minutes.

I hope all my WW buddies had a great week. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Backyard Patio Reveal...


We have finally finished the back patio, and I wanted to share it with you. This has been another project that has seemed to drag on.and on. and on, BUT alas it is finished. If you remember, I started working on the patio in April. The patio part came together pretty quickly. Here is a before and after of that space in case you missed it.
With a little help from my father in law, my first tile project was pretty easy, but very messy.
Next I put in the flowerbed. I just put vinca vine and a few sweet potato plants there. They have gone crazy in the shade and I have to trim it back constantly.
I ended up having to paint the entire wall because there was just no way around it. After painting, I wanted to do something to "decorate" the wall and went back and forth on several ideas. Ultimately, I decided to go with what I had, and hang some of the old tools Papa (Lon's grandpa) had given me. He has since given me a couple more, but I don't want to make it too busy.


As a surprise, Lon did the first set of pavers for me in May. I LOVED them, so we decided to extend the patio with the same pavers from Lowe's. While the pavers were a little pricey, the cost was still a fraction of what we would have paid to have someone else do it. The most difficult part was definitely leveling the sand. Lonnie is much more patient than I am. He is a true perfectionist, and you need to be for a project like this.
Last but not least, I added the plants. Plants add so much to a space. I am growing quite a green thumb. My Dad keeps a beautiful yard, but since I moved to SC I have had to depend more heavily on Lon's Mom and grandma to teach me what will grow here and what won't. I am finally finding my footing in this sandy SC soil.

This has become a space that we use on a daily basis. The boys play on thier trampoline and I am able to sit in the shade and watch them. The tile counter has also become my "potting shed". I do so much with the outdoor sink.
So there you have it. One more item checked off the to-do list that is my home. What do you think?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Craft Room Reveal...

So I should start out by saying that I probably put WAY too much hype into this, but it seems like I have been working on "my craft room" forever now. I hope you enjoy the pics, there are lots.

For a little history on the space, we moved into this house exactly 1 year ago. The "office" also has to act as a guest room, so a sleeper sofa is a must. I do a lot of crafting. Did I mention I do a lot of crafting? Anyone who makes things knows how messy it can be. In the past, I had to pull everything out in 3 rooms to craft, because that was where it was stored. It is now so much easier to create and contain the mess! SO, without further adieu...

Welcome to my very own space!
And the painful before shot:
I have storage EVERYWHERE! I hung a thin curtain rod on the wall to put some of my ribbon stash:
I picked up this little hanging basket for $2 at an antique store for ribbon scraps and trims and I squeezed my ironing board in by my desk. I traded the big black office chair on wheels, for this little chair that I made over. Much better.

The "Mullet" window-treatment and lamp were 2 of the most fun things to make over. If you don't see the resemblance, then click here for the details and the proof.
I store 12x12 scrapbook paper in these cubes on the ends of the couch. I got them at Target 7 years ago, and they have held up really well.

This cabinet was free. You know the saying about one man's trash, well this is definitely my treasure. It stores my fabric perfectly.
The pegboard was truly one of the best things I have done in here. I

The entertainment center re-do was the most labor intensive thing, but worth every minute.

Storage, storage, and more storage.

I managed to keep this whole makeover under $100 by using what I already had and painting, painting, painting! Excuse the ugly safe under the desk. That is a non-negotiable with Lon, but I plan on putting fabric there on a tension rod. I mean, the man let me decorate a whole room in pink, green, and turquoise. I figure leaving his safe in place is the least I can do!

I hope you enjoyed the tour! I sure enjoyed creating this space and will use it to the fullest.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Craft Room Peg-board...

Every craft room should have a pegboard. This is the conclusion I have come to after using mine for the past few weeks. It is probably the most functional part of this room besides the desk. I never knew having supplies at your fingertips could make such a difference in the time it takes to make something and clean it back up.

This was another one of the projects that we got started when my brother in law was visiting. Very simple to do. We bought a piece of 4x4 pegboard at Lowe's. He then screwed 2 pieces of wood to the wall along the studs.
Next he screwed the pegboard into the other boards. ( There has to be space between the pegboard and the wall for the hooks to attach.)

I am a "matchy-matchy" type of person, so I decided I wanted to tie in the color of the craft cabinet (click here to see it) on the other side of the room. I ended up taping off large squares and painting every other one Escape (the same color I used on other projects.)

I had a hard time finding cool hardware to use on it, but the main purpose is function not beauty, so in the end I just got a pack of pegboard hooks from Lowe's for under $10.

Once I got all my stuff piled on it, it looked pretty good. The white shelf you see under it, used to be in an office and held forms. It was on its way to the trash when I saw it and thought it might work here. I didn't paint it or anything. It is all rough and chipped, but I love it just the way it is. It is perfect for my fabric storage.

I miscounted all my projects, so I will be posting about the whole craftroom tomorrow instead of today and putting up pics of the everything then. So what do you think of the checked pattern? I can't decided whether I should paint the whole thing white to match the cabinet holding my fabric, or leave it.
** Update*** I am linking up this post to DIY Thursday at ASPTL, and for those of you wondering, I decided to leave the pegboard as it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 25

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 25 and this week I lost 1 lb. for a running total of 31 lbs. I was pleased with my loss. Of course I wish it were more, but I am finally over the 30 lb. and now my new goal is 50 lbs.

I have been walking regularly. My friend Mary is coming over a few nights a week and we walk between 4 and 5 miles. I also have been walking some on my own . I did a walk/jog combo yesterday, and felt the burn for sure! I will be a runner one day. It may not be tomorrow, but eventually I will. I am also trying to teach Daisy to walk on a leash, so that is a lot of extra walking too.

I have felt so good about the week thus far. I have been eating right and exercising, but it has been fairly easy because we have been at home. We are going to the river for the weekend, and having company too. That always leads to a little more temptation for me. I guess I will just have to take an extra long paddleboat ride to make up for any extra calories I consume in homemade ice cream.

The only pic I have of me is one from this morning as we were heading out the door to the boys' first dentist appt. (It was a disaster. I'll have to cover that in another post.) We are in the kitchen floor, but I think you can tell I have lost weight through my face. Con looks a little stunned, and I'm not sure why.
For this week's recipe, I was gonna post a lite ice cream recipe that I want to try out in my ice cream maker, but since I haven't done it yet I am gonna go with something a little safer. Here is a link to a "Chameleon" ice cream. The woman who wrote the recipe says this about it, "CHAMELEON ICE CREAM is my new ‘standard but never-the-same-twice’ ice cream. It begs for creativity! " It has several different recipes listed. I am gonna be making the Coffee Spice or Coconut first. Just follow this link, and you can thank me later.

I hope you had a great week and I look forward to hearing from all my WW pals!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dumpster Diving...

**Update** I am linking this post up to A Soft Place To Land for this week's DIY Thursday.
It is Day 3 of Craft Room Week here at Mandi Shandi's and today I am showing you one of my favorite makeovers, EVER! This little chair I got dumpster diving.
Here is a little history on this little beauty...
On our way to the beach in June, we stopped by the dump to drop off some trash. As I was pulling away I saw a man with a trailer FULL of "junk" that he was throwing away. I have been on the lookout for a chair for the craftroom, and when I saw the one he just tossed in the dumpster, I knew it was my lucky day! When I asked him if I could have the chair he acted like I was looney. "Whatever lady. Do you want all 4? If so you're gonna have to get in the dumpster for one of 'em." Luckily he still had 3 on the trailer so I didn't have to climb in after it. If we did not have the Armada packed to the gills for the beach then I would have taken several items off his hands. All I could squeeze in were two chairs.
They were dirty and stinky (one of them still is), but after a little soap and water I had a decent chair. I unscrewed the seat, and took off a couple layers of the old upholstery.
I decided to use the striped material and just stapled it onto the clean cushion, and then at the last minute decided to add a ruffle. Since I wasn't sure about the ruffle, I hot glued it on. That is, I hot glued it on after I got my glue gun back from Daisy. (No need to worry, the gun was unplugged!)
When I screwed it back on to the chair it was a nice tight fit, so the hot glue is gonna work out fine.
I painted it with several thin coats of Ivy Leaf. For a little over $3 a can, this stuff is wonderful.
Do you love my new chair as much as I do?
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