Saturday, June 30, 2012

Busy June Completed Projects

My goal for the month of June was to do a project, craft, baking/cooking each day of the month. I completed 24 things total! (There were a few projects I attempted which will need some more experimentation before they are posted on my blog.) I think that this month has gone amazingly well and I have been able to do a lot of things thanks to this challenge.

Since my June project went so well I am now inspired to have a project for July. July's goal is to attempt at least half of the amount of posts I've made for June (that will be 12 posts) and then I would also like to start a once a week inspirational post. (If you have ideas feel free to leave a comment!)

Also, I have made a few changes to the blog. You can now comment on any of the posts even if you aren't a member. I've noticed a lot of people have visited different posts but there were no comments left and I thought it might've been because I had only Google/yahoo account holders posting. Now that is changed so feel free to ask questions or leave comments on any post!

The list below is every completed project which I have worked on for the month of June. They are in order of when they were completed, 1 being the first project of June.

1. DIY Shorter Denim Skirt with Ruffle
2. Amazing Banana Pudding Recipe
3. Pumpkin Cupin Recipe
4. Curvy Girl Workout
5. Southern Sweet Tea
6. Chocolaty Edible Cookie Dough
7. French Breakfast Muffins
8. Easy Gravy Recipe
9. Create An Online Map For Places You've Been
10. Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin 'Cookie' Drops
11. Autry's Ranch Potato Salad
12. Two Ways To Fix Easy Baked Beans
13. Cherry Dump Cake
14. Frozen Yogurt Bites
15. Simple Map of Places You've Visited
16. Beauty Tips: Soft Legs
17. Creamy Fettuccini Alfredo
18. Italian Buttered Croissant Rolls
19. DIY Reasons I Love You Deck of Cards
20. Beauty Tips: Caring For Your Legs
21. Mocha Frappuccino
22. Soft Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
23. Spiced Potato Soup

Spiced Potato Soup

I make potato soup on occasion. The funny thing is I don't even like potato soup. It doesn't matter who makes it or where it's from, I don't like potato soup. Period. Fortunately, my siblings love it and when I make it they are excited.

8 cups of potatoes (see notes)
6 cups of milk (I use evaporated milk most of the time)
2 cups whipped cream (Rich's Whip Topping. It's not sweet, but adds lots of flavor)
1/2 stick of butter (this will give the soup a brownish/yellowish color, btw)
4 pieces of cooked, chopped bacon (grease too for flavor!)
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt (more or less salt as you wish)
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons garlic powder

1. Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Place on stove and turn burner to medium heat.
2. Stir a lot until the mixture is hot. If you don't stir then the milk will stick to the bottom and eventually burn.
3. Taste the mix with a spoon to see how the flavors are. Add more spices if you wish. (I almost always add more, but that is just me. The amounts above are good enough for most people.)
4. Turn the soup down to low and stir every 30 minutes or so.
5. Cook for 2-3 hours to have flavors blend. Even better, cook the day before and refrigerate overnight for stronger flavor.
6. Serve hot with biscuits or my Italian Buttered Croissant Rolls.

~You can use canned potatoes or fresh cooked potatoes for this recipe. If you use canned potatoes keep the water in the soup mix. If you use cooked potatoes add 2-3 cups of water to the soup.

Soft Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies

My sister Valerie walked in the kitchen this afternoon and handed me a strawberry cake mix and asked me to fix something. I looked at all my Pinterest boards and the only thing I found was lemonade cupcakes...unfortunately I had no lemonade mix (I will have to make those at some point though because they sounded amazing!), so I went on a Google hunt. I decided to try my hand at cake mix here it goes...

Makes about 40 small cookies.

1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box strawberry cake mix
1. In a bowl mix together egg, oil, butter and vanilla.
2. Add cake mix. Stir until the white bits of cake mix are all gone.
3. Refrigerate dough for 15-20 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Use a teaspoon to scoop out dough. Roll into balls and place on greased baking pan.
6. Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Pull out and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
7. Ice with Vanilla Yogurt Frosting or serve without a frosting.

Vanilla Yogurt Frosting
1 Tablespoon of butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Dannon all natural vanilla yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1-3 drops food coloring (I used red)
Frosting Directions
1. Stir together melted butter and yogurt. Add vanilla.
2. Stir in one cup of powdered sugar. Add more if necessary.
3. Add in food coloring.
4. Frost cookies.

~You can use any cake mix in place of the strawberry mix.


Mocha Frappuccino

Frappuccino is a favorite of mine. I am always pouring sugar and milk into my coffee and then freezing it. Today I decided to get a recipe written down since it always tastes so good and is easy to fix.

This recipe makes a little over 34 oz. of frappuccino.

2 1/2 cups of coffee
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 Tablespoons of dry coffee creamer (not necessary but gives it more flavor)
5 Tablespoons of white sugar
1 Tablespoon of chocolate sauce (I used a homemade recipe, but its similar to Hershey's)

1. Mix together all ingredients except chocolate sauce.
2. Pour into ice cube trays. (I filled 2 1/2 trays)
3. Freeze for 2 hours. Don't stack the trays so they will freeze better. The cubes will not move when you touch them even though they won't be completely frozen.
4. Pop cubes out of the trays into a bowl.
5. Put cubes in a blender and add chocolate sauce. Blend thoroughly.
6. Freeze for later or enjoy right away.


Beauty Tips | Caring for Your Legs

So, I know I made a post about soft legs a few days ago...but I have sense discovered another trick which helps give soft legs: exfoliating. I'm not talking about regular exfoliating either. I did this routine and found that it worked amazing. I also finished with the Pond's Cold Cream for an even softer effect.

1. Shave your legs.
2. Exfoliate. (I used my Homemade Body Scrub recipe and it worked amazing!)
3. Lightly rinse your legs, don't worry about getting all the scrub off just get the main bulk out of the way.
4. Shave again! Yes, again. The skin you just exfoliated is still there. As you shave you will have to rinse your razor quite a bit because it will be full of dead skin cells.
5. Rinse thoroughly.
6. Dry your legs off.
7. Apply Pond's Cold Cream. (See the original Soft Legs post.)
8. Enjoy amazingly smooth and soft legs!

Thank you to Gluten Free Navy Wife for this lovely idea!

Friday, June 29, 2012

DIY Reasons I Love You Deck of Cards

This is a Pinterest inspired craft idea which I have wanted to do for months! I finally bought myself a deck of cards a few days ago and started making a list of what each one would say. I have always thought this was a cute idea. I hope my man will love it as well.

52/54 Reasons I Love You
I chose to keep the 2 jokers in the deck so that I could have two more reasons in there. You can do as you wish. I checked out several blog posts before I started making my list of reasons. Only one had actual ideas for what to say (link at the bottom of this post). I found that most of the pins on Pinterest did not have a good link on them so that was hard, but I think I figured it out fine.

You can use a whole punch and add a ring to hold the cards together if you like. I left mine in a Ziploc bag for now. I also chose to leave the cards looking like brand new since I'm sure they will get plenty of wear through the years of being taken out and looked through.

What you will need:
Card Stock Paper
A Deck of Cards
Glue Stick
A Sharpie (I used green, blue, red and silver sharpies)
Any other things such as stickers that you might want to use (I didn't use anything else)

How To:
Cut out your cardstock into rectangles which will fit nicely on a single card, but still leave room to show the edge number and sign...if you want. Glue each paper to the card and let dry. Once the glue has dried write the desired reason you love him on each card. Wrap for a gift or give it like it is.

Ideas of What to Say:
A lot of these are ones I used, but they can be changed slightly to be more personalized for your own deck of cards.

You love me
Your green eyes are amazing
The way you look at me
Your country accent
You make me feel safe
You want to marry me
You want lots of kids
You don't mind watching chick flicks with me
You love all kinds of animals
You keep your word
You're a hard worker
You're ready for our life together to start
You're my heart
I can trust you
You're an amazing kisser
You gave me your hat
You love me with no make up
You always say I'm beautiful even when I don't think so
You would do anything for me
You can always calm me down when I'm upset
You watch goofy shows with me
You love sweet sweet tea
You like any food I make
Your southern boy charm
You hold my hand lots
You're not afraid of what others think
You like country music
We think a lot alike
You're spontaneous
You kiss away my tears
You want what's best for me
You hold me tight
I know you won't leave me

Other Links:
Creative Party Ideas: 52 Reasons I Love You Cards
Marriage From Scratch: 52 Reasons I Love You

Italian Buttered Croissant Rolls

I was looking for a simple and fairly quick bread recipe which I could serve up with my dinner of Creamy Fettuccini Alfredo and Spinach. Luckily I have pinned a lot of bread recipes on pinterest so I just scrolled through a few until I found the one I wanted to try. After looking at several I eneded up trying this recipe from How Does She. These were a big hit and we couldn't even eat one pan of them because they were so wonderful and filling!

1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of butter
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon of sugar
9-10 cups of flour
1 egg
2 cups of warm water
2 Tablespoons of yeast
Flour for surface
1 1/2 stick of butter for inside (for regular croissant rolls, otherwise just follow the Italian Butter Mix)

1. In a microwave safe bowl put milk, butter and 3/4 cup of sugar. Microwave for 2 minutes.
2. In a liquid measuring cup pour the water and yeast and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.
3. Stir in two cups of flour, and the egg into the microwaved mixture.
4. Add yeast mixture to cooled butter mixture.
5. Mix in 2 cups of flour at a time. Remember you have already added two cups. When I mixed mine I used 9 cups of flour total.
6. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place for thirty minutes.
7. Divide into four sections. Try and make them as even as possible.
8. On a floured surface roll out one ball of dough at a time into a circle shape (don't worry about the shape being perfect). Cover with 2 Tablespoons of butter (or the Italian spice mix below).
9. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 8 pieces.
10. Roll the pieces starting from the bigger edge to the smaller edge.
11. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Set in a warm place and let rise for 15-20 minutes. The first pan will look bigger by the time you finish rolling out the rest of the dough.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees after you finish rolling all the dough.
13.  Put the first pan in the oven. Bake one pan at a time for 10-12 minutes. (Mine took 12 minutes).
14. While they are still hot from the oven glaze with the remaining butter used to butter the insides.

Italian Butter Mix
8 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

1. Mix all the ingredients into a small bowl.
2. Spread on bread in step 8 above.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beauty Tips | Soft Legs

I never would have thought to use a face product on my legs, but I tried it and it worked! This new habit of mine is the fault of my sister Lydia. We had been discussing the problems of shaving legs and having dry skin when she mentioned that she had a trick which has been working for her for over a month: Pond's Cold Cream: Dry Skin Cream: The Caring Classic. At first I didn't believe her but then she said, "No really...feel how soft my  legs are", so I did. Man was I impressed!

I think I will be in love with this product since I am always trying to find something to make my legs soft. More specifically...less dry. I applied the cold cream like I would any regular lotion, but I didn't know that a little went a long way. This product is wonderful because not only can it make your legs softer but you can use it on your face, neck, and feet also.

Use on Legs
After a shower/shaving session apply the lotion to your legs. Make sure to use small amounts since a little goes a long way.

Use on Face/Neck
After you have washed your face for the night, apply some Cold Cream to your face and neck area. Be careful with your eye area. Apply under your eye using the third finger (ring finger) of your hand and go from the outside edges towards your nose. When applying this to your face go in an up and outward (towards your ears) motion to avoid pulling your skin down.

Use on Feet
After you have washed your feet, apply the cold cream liberally to your feet. Cover with socks and sleep overnight.

DIY Simple Map of Places You've Visited

Okay, so I made the Google map post awhile back and I recently found a simple map creator which just shows in general which states you've visited/been to/traveled through, etc. This is initially more of what I originally wanted when I did the search, but after starting my Google map I realize it has a lot of benefits for keeping info and visits and things more specific.

This is what my map looks like so far! I hope to one day visit all of the 50 states.

1. Go to the link (below) and click "create new map".
2. Click the box next to each state you want colored in on the map.
3. Select your map size and colors.
4. Click "draw map".

To save the map right click over the image. Click "save picture as" and it will save to your computer.

Visited States Map
Visited Canadian Provinces Map

Monday, June 25, 2012

Snacking Healthy | Frozen Yogurt Bites

This is a healthy snack which keeps for at least a week at least...if you don't eat them up before then. Frozen yogurt is amazing, but frozen yogurt drops are better! If you like to eat ice just for fun then you should definitely try these because they're like little bits of flavored ice...only much much better.

4 6oz. containers of yogurt (any flavor)

1. Use a cookie sheet and cover it with wax paper. Once you measure and cut the wax paper flip it over so the rolling edges are held out by the edge of the pan.
2. Stir the yogurt before you use it to make the bites. Take a small spoon or teaspoon and fill it with yogurt. Let it drop off the spoon onto the wax paper. Continue until the pan is full or the yogurt cup is empty and go on to the next cup until they are all done. MAKE SURE to keep each drop seperate from the others around it!! I can usually get 48 drops on one cookie sheet.
3. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until they aren't soft to the touch.
4. Pull the wax paper up off the pan and pop each bite of yogurt off the paper. Put in a bowl to eat right away or in a zip lock bag to store in the freezer immediately. Make sure not to keep them out of the freezer for more than a few minutes when you transfer them off the pan because they will start to melt quite fast.

~You can also use Dannon Vanilla yogurt which is what I used for the bites in the photograph for this post. Those are my absolute favorite and that is the best yogurt for you that you can by from WalMart, or so I've been able to find out thus far.

This Post Was Shared!

Cherry Dump Cake

This recipe is awesome. My Grandma Karon and dad Bill love it when I fix it for desert. I love it because it is like cherry cobbler only better because it is sweeter and has more texture and flavor. Generally when I make it I cook it a little long on accident so the top is usually kind of dark for me...but it still tastes delicious (see picture to know what I'm talking about).

This recipe is a mix of things I've experimented with and the normal recipe. The reason I say experiment is because I had to look on the internet for a recipe on how to make your own cake mix because I didn't have one and I wanted to make this cake. So here it is!

2 21oz. cans of cherry pie filling
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
2 sticks of butter, melted

1. Grease the EDGES ONLY of a glass baking dish. Or if you use a throw away baking pan don't grease it at all.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Pour the two cans of pie filling in the bottom of the pan.
4. In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Sprinkle over the cherry pie filling.
5. Melt the butter in the microwave. I like to use a coffee mug so I can just pour it out. Use a spoon to spread the butter around more evenly.
6. Bake in oven for 60 minutes. Serve warm. It is also amazing with vanilla ice cream.

The original cake mix recipe.

This Post Was Shared!

Two Ways To Fix Easy Baked Beans

This recipe is inspired from one my mom has used since I was a little girl. I made this version of the recipe up tonight to serve with the pork stakes and Autry's Ranch Potato Salad (another BEB Blog recipe) and they were a huge hit. I used the large serving ingredients and we had enough for every one (10 of us) and plenty of left over to have for lunch tomorrow.

Pick the serving size you are cooking for then decide if you want to make them on the stove or in the oven. Both ways taste the same, but if you need the beans cooked in a hurry cook them on the stove.

Large Serving Ingredients (15-20 servings)
7lb 2oz can of Van Camp's Pork and Beans, drained
1 cup brown sugar
5 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup mustard
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup OR barbecue sauce (we like barbecue better)

Small Serving Ingredients (5-8 servings)
4 regular size cans of Van Camp's Pork and Beans, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 tablespoons mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
3-4 tablespoons of ketchup OR barbecue sauce

Cook on Stove
1. Pour all ingredients into a pot large enough to hold everything with room to stir well.
2. Turn the stove up to medium-high and stir pretty often until they start to bubble.
3. Once the mix is bubbling turn down to medium and cook 10-15 minutes.
4. Turn down to low and keep the beans stirred often until you are ready to serve them.

Bake in Oven
1. Pour beans in a glass baking dish.
2. Add all other ingredients and stir together.
3. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until bubbly. Serve when ready.

~It is very important that you drain the beans before adding the other ingredients because if you don't  the mix will be very soupy and a lot of the flavor will go to the sauce not the baked beans themselves.

Autry's Ranch Potato Salad

My man, who is from Mississippi, told me how to make this amazing potato salad one night when we were talking on the phone (he lived in MS and I lived in Oklahoma at the time). His family was always asking him to fix this up to serve with dinner so I thought it must be good. Also, I can't eat eggs which means I never ate regular potato salad because it had mayonise in it which I am allergic to. I am very glad to have this recipe to make up when we have barbecue dinners.

6-8 potatoes peeled, chopped, cooked, and drained
3-5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
4 tablespoons of butter
3-5 cups of Ranch dressing

1. In a large bowl put the potatoes, bacon bits and green onions.
2. Add in butter and stir until it is spread around.
3. Add in ranch and stir until completely mixed together.
4. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

~This is a great side to a barbecue dinner.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Healthy | Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin 'Drop' Cookies

I was looking in the pantry this afternoon trying to figure out what I could make with what I had since I was in a baking mood. The can of pumpkin has been calling my name for a long time so I started with that. The next thing I noticed was the oatmeal on the top shelf. I thought those sounded good together and decided to give it a shot. This recipe is 'healthy' because it has no fat and the only dairy is the eggs. Also, I call them 'cookie' drops becaues this is a texture more like a piece of very moist spoungy banana bread. They don't have a classic cookie texture. Oh and by the way, if you are expecting a sweet and normal texture cookie then you will be disappointed.

I did some experimenting and research on the internet so that I could create a healthier than usual cookie recipe. See the links below for the pages I used. I replaced butter with apple sauce, added as little sugar as possible (which could have been replaced with honey), and used whole wheat flour, added cornstarch and did a new mix of spices.

Makes about 70 golf ball size drops

Dry Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups 100% Whole Grain Quick Oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch (makes it fluffy)
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander

Wet Ingredients
2 large eggs
29oz. can of Libby's Pumpkin
1 cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla

Add Last
2 cups raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl put all the dry ingredients, mix together and set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl put all the wet ingredients, mix together with a whisk.
4. Mix wet and dry ingredients. The mix will look dry at first but dont worry. Also, it will take a lot of stirring to get all the flour and oats covered with the pumpkin mix.
5. Add raisins and stir well.
6. Using a large spoon or tablespoon scoop out mix and place in little piles on a greased cookie sheet. You can use your fingers to shape them to look more round since the shape that the dough lands on the pan is the shape they will stay in once the cookies are completely baked.
7. Bake in oven for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the pan for a minute or two to become firm before removing. They will be light and soft.

My Baking Addiction Blog: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.

DIY Google Map

So, I was thinking the other day that I needed to make a map to pin every place I've been to. One of my life goals is to visit every state in the U.S. before I die. So far I have managed to cover about 30 of the 50 states. I got the grand idea to see if I could make a map online to keep everything all in one place...luckily I discoverd Google Maps. Since I already had a Google account it was very simple to create a map and add placemarks for any place I want. The lovely thing about this map is you can choose to keep the map private so only you can see it which I love!

1. If you have a Google account then skip to step 2. If you don't, then go to and click the 'sign in' button at the top right of the screen. Create your Google account.
2. Go to and make sure to log in. At the top bar of the home page click on 'maps', then on the left of the page click 'my places'.
3. Click on 'create map'. Name your map and add a description if you would like. Just below the description you can choose to have a public or private map.
4. Find the location you want to pin. Click on the middle button 'add a placemark' to mark the location. Enter the locaiton name and a line or two if you want then click 'ok'.
5. When you are finished adding locations click 'done' at the top left of the page.
6. To add more placemarks at another time just click 'edit' on the map and add in what you need to.

Google Maps
Create a Google Account

This is the link I read to figure out how to create my account but the directions aren't that great. A lot of what I did I had to figure out on my own.
Create a Map of Places You've Visited

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Easy Gravy Recipe

This recipe is very fast and simple. 3 ingredients, a stove burner and a whisk is all that is needed to have perfect gravy in less than 5 minutes.

This gravy is made from chicken broth.
Gravy made from beef broth would be a lot darker, obviously.

2-3 cups of meat broth (chicken, beef, etc.)
2 ladles of water
1/2 cup of flour

1. Pour broth into a saucepan, add water and flour.
2. Bring the mix to a boil on the stove, stirring constantly with the whisk. The lumps should disappear as you whisk the mix. It will get thick as the mix gets hotter. 
3. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and serve.

French Breakfast Muffins

This recipe is one my sister found in a cookbook inspired from the Disney movie Ratatouille. Recently I started making breakfast every morning and so I have been going through cookbooks and finding old recipes that I used to make or that I remember tasting good and fixing them for everyone in the house to eat. These were a big hit!

Ingredients for Muffin
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for Topping
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup put the mix into each muffin tin.
6. Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes.
7. In a glass bowl, microwave butter until melted. In a separate bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon.
8. When the muffins are finished baking and have cooled a few minutes take one muffin at a time and dip the top in the butter then roll in the sugar mixture and set on a plate to serve. Continue with the other muffins until finished.

Southern Sweet Tea

This is my man's favorite drink. I have to make a gallon of it every other day or so because he drinks it so much. Fortunately I have got this recipe down exactly like he likes it...and he's a southern guy so he likes it sweet. This recipe is simple even though I have seven little numbers in the don't worry about that.

This recipe makes one gallon of sweet southern tea!

Sweet Tea
5 Large Tea Bags
2 cups of sugar
Lots of water
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Open the tea bags and put them in a pot. Use a clothespin to keep the tops of the bags attached to the top of the pot.
2. Add about 5 cups of water to the tea bags.
3. Bring the tea water to a boil. Turn off the stove. Remove the tea from the heat.
4. Let the tea bags sit for 15-20 minutes.
5. Pour the sugar into a gallon pitcher or jug.
6. Pour the still hot tea water in the sugar and stir until the sugar is melted. Add the baking soda and stir again.
7. Add cold tap water until the pitcher is full. Drink right away with added ice or put in the fridge for later.

~I discovered the lovely trick of adding the baking soda to the tea via Craving Comfort. By adding baking soda you are able to cut out the bitterness that is sometimes left in the tea bags soak too long in the water. I've found that by adding this ingredient my tea tastes a whole lot better and everyone does really love it!

No Internet

Well, I am back after what feels like a very long time with no Internet. Luckily I will have some new posts since I have been trying to keep up with making something each day. Mostly the things I have made are food, but they are delicious recipes which I hope you will enjoy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Curvy Girl Workout

I am a girl with curves. I love my curves, but I hate flab. Therefore I have a problem: flabby curves, not tone curves. Fortunately there is a way to fix this! Its called motivation, dedication and consistency. I am not a person who likes hard workouts for more than a week or two, so all of these things are fairly simple and can be done in a few reps and spread out throughout the day IF NEEDED.

My main problem areas tend to be my upper arms and my thighs. My stomach has been flat, but I got lazy so it's not as flat anymore. I have a large chest and a large rear... but I do need to workout because it's easy for me to gain weight. My choice workouts for each area are listed below. If you have questions please leave comments and I would love to help you!
Oh, and the absolute best way to get in shape is to walk!!! I can definitely say that, even though it is slow in showing progress, you will get good firm muscles if you start keeping a regular walking routine.
If you like aerobics then I suggest the Jane Fonda workout video which can be found at this link. I have used it for years, on and off, and I really like the way it works your legs and gives you good cardio. So far I haven't found it on DVD. Sorry.

Arm Workout
~BICEP CURLS. I use 5lb. weights and repeat 30 times per arm.
~FORWARD ARM LIFT. Hold your weight at your side. Lift forward without turning your arm in any direction. 30 for each arm.
~BACK ARM LIFT. This is reverse of the forward arm lift. 30 per arm.
~SIDE ARM LIFT. Lift the weight out from your side and back down again. 30 per arm.
~PUNCH. Weights in your hand, bring your arms up like you would punch someone. One at a time punch the right arm out while the left arm is at your chest. When your right hand comes back to your chest, punch your left arm out. 30 each arm.
~LEVEL. Bring your elbows up to be even with your shoulders. Place your hands, holding weights, fist to fist. Take your right arm and swing it out away from your body, keeping your elbow level with your shoulder. When your hand comes back, repeat with the left arm. 30 per arm.
~ABOVE ARM LIFT. Bring your arm above your head to where your hand touches your shoulder. Lift the weight up so your arm is almost fully extended. Repeat 30 times per arm.

Ab Workout
~PLANK. Check out this video to see how I do it. Make sure to suck your stomach in towards your spine for a better workout. I usually do anywhere from 1-5 of these depending on how much I have been working out. You have to build up your strength for these.
~AIRPLANE TOE TOUCH. Silly, but it works. Stand with your arms straight out to your sides and level with your shoulders. Spread your feet about shoulder width. Take your right arm down and touch your left foot/floor area. Bend back up and then touch your left arm to your right foot/floor area. 30 per arm.
~SUPERMAN. Lay on your stomach. Lift your head, arms and legs off the floor and hold 30 seconds. I usually try to do 5 a day.

Leg/Bum Workout
~LUNGES. If you don't already do these then start with 30 per leg. Place one leg in front, one leg behind you and squat down. Do this every day.
~STANDING LEG LIFTS. These are another great way to tone your legs. Stand near a door frame in case you need to balance yourself. Lift one leg (left or right) 30 times in each of the following directions: forward, behind you, and out to your side. Do this for both legs each day.
~SQUATS. Yes they're a killer, but really worth it! 30 of these a day.
~HEEL LIFTS. Basically, stand next to something you can hold onto (a back of a chair) and lift your heels off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds then lower to the floor. Repeat 30 times.
~BUM LIFT. Lay on your back with your knees up and your arms down by your sides for support. Lift your bum off the ground and hold for 10 seconds. Do 30 of these.
~OPPOSITE ARM/LEG LIFT. Basically you will be on the floor supported by your knees and hands. You will lift your right arm/left leg at the same time, hold for 10 seconds then switch to the other side. Repeat 30 times per arm/leg.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pumpkin Cupin Recipe

This is a Pinterest inspired recipe. I was in the mood for something pumpkin but didn't have everything some of the cupcake recipes required so I decided to make my own with what I had. This recipe will come out very moist and will have a tendency to fall apart, but the flavors and texture are worth it. Now, you are probably wondering about the word "cupin" but it is very simple. This is a combination of cupcake and muffin recipes so therefore my sister combined the words and made this and I thought it was appropriate. These are not so sweet that they can't be called muffins, but they are also fancy enough to be called a cupcake.

This recipe makes 36 muffins
Cupin Ingredients
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
1 29oz. can of Libby's Pumpkin
4 cups of whole wheat flour (this is what I used)
1 tbs. baking powder
1 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. nutmeg
2 tbs. cinnamon (heaping spoonfuls!)
Cupin Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil. Mix until everything is blended well then add the pumpkin and mix again.
3. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir well.
5. In a greased muffin tin place 1/4 cup of the mixture in each cup. Top with 1 teaspoon of crumb topping.
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. If they are still not cooked all the way after 20 minutes add another 6-7 minutes.
7. Once the cupins have cooled a few minutes drizzle them and then serve.

Crumb Topping
1 stick of butter
4 tbs. sugar
6 shakes of cinnamon
1 cup of flour
Crumb Directions
Microwave butter in a microwave safe bowl until it is completely melted. Add the sugar, cinnamon and flour and stir with a fork. It should form a crumb like texture.

2/3 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbs. milk
Drizzle Directions
In a small bowl mix both ingredients until there are no lumps in it. Set aside until cupins are out of the oven and ready to be drizzled.

The main recipe I used for this creation was the one at Breakfast at Banjos.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Busy June Challenge

For the month of June I am going to aim to do one of the following: craft project, sewing project, baking/cooking project, or something in one of these categories, each day of the month and then make a blog post. I hope that this experience goes well and that I will be able to keep up!

June 4th: DIY Shorter Denim Skirt with Ruffle.
June 5th: Amazing Banana Pudding.

Banana Pudding

This is one of the best banana pudding recipes I have ever had in my life! I love banana pudding, but this is definitely the new favorite recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as my siblings and I did! The original recipe was found via Pinterest and came from Pearls, Handcuffs, & Happy Hour.

1 box Nilla Wafers
4 bananas
3 cups milk
2 small boxes instant French Vanilla pudding
1 8oz. pkg cream cheese
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12oz. container Cool Whip

1. In a 9x13 pan line the bottom with whole Nilla Wafers. Mine used 40 cookies exactly.
2. Slice bananas and place on top of cookies in the pan.
3. In a medium bowl place milk and both instant pudding mixes. Mix for 3 minutes until thickened. Set aside.
4. In another medium bowl place cream cheese and condensed milk. Mix until most of the lumps are gone from the cream cheese. Add cool whip and continue to mix until smooth.
5. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mixture and mix until well blended.
6. Pour over the bananas and cookies in the pan. Smooth the top.
7. The remaining cookies in the bag need to be gently crushed using your hand. Make sure there are no whole cookies then sprinkle on top of the pudding mix.
8. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to serve quickly. Or in the fridge for 1 hour if you have more time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Knee Length Denim Skirt with Ruffle

This skirt was the inspiration of a photo I found on Pinterest. I just got home from a month long vacation with no sewing machine and desperately wanted to sew. I decided this would be my first project of June. Luckily it only took me about three and a half hours to complete, start to finish.

This project is fairly easy. You will need a pair of jeans/Capri's that fit you well. You will need similar fabric to that of the jeans for the middle insert in the front and back and for the ruffle around the bottom. Follow the directions as they are written below to make your new summer skirt!

LOOKING FOR A LONGER SKIRT? I have a tutorial for a floor length skirt as well! Check it out here!

Using a lose measuring tape measure from your waist to the length you want your skirt to hit when it is finished. I wanted mine about 24-25 inches long. I cut mine at 24 inches, leaving space for the ruffle. When you measure the jeans you want to lay them out flat on a table or floor. Start the measuring on the front of the pants where it zips up not from the back. This leaves you plenty of space for you skirt to cover your rear and hang even with the front. Cut the first leg of the jeans off then fold the material over and cut the second leg off. Open the jeans, rip out the seams. In the front rip to the bottom of the zipper. In the back rip half way out the rear or just past the bottom of the pockets.

Front Insert:
For the front insert you want to cut your fabric a little longer than the skirt is so you have plenty to work with. This would be about 1-2 inches. Next lay your skirt on the table. You will want it to right side out as if you would put it on and wear it. Overlap and pin the flap just below the zipper. Next lay the material under the two front edges. Straighten and smooth the edges of the skirt and start pinning. Pin all the way up to where both pieces meet. Now it is time to sew! Sew the immediate edge first. When this is done for the whole front part go back and sew a second line. Use the presser foot on the edge of the first line as a guide to make a fairly straight second line.

Inside out the skirt. Cut excess fabric out and then turn the skirt back to normal again.

Back Insert:
The back is a little trickier and you will need a little more fabric here than you used in the front. Start by overlapping the area near the pockets and pin. You will want to pull the fabric a little snug, but not enough to create a funky bubble. Place the fabric insert under the legs of the back of the skirt. Straighten the material and the edges of the legs. Begin pinning the fabric together. Sew the first line then the second like you did for the front insert. Inside out and cut excess fabric then turn the skirt back to normal again.

Bottom Ruffle:
Scrunch the fabric through the sewing machine, making sure not to make the ruffle too ruffly. In order to do this you will want to push the fabric under the presser foot in a way that it will overlap and be sewn funky. This makes the ruffle. The part you sewed is the top of the ruffle. I used three pieces of fabric about 2 inches wide (not measured, just guessed) to make my ruffle. On the bottom of the ruffle which will be showing, do a zigzag edge to cover the strings and keep the material from unraveling. Then use scissors to cut off any strings which did not end up in the zigzag so that the edge is smooth.

Next use an iron to iron the zigzag back towards the top of the ruffle. Then fold the new edge one last time and iron until there is no zigzag showing.

Take to the sewing machine and sew with a straight stitch. (I didn't have to pin the edge since the it was so small and the iron helped it stay in place.) Once you have finished the bottom edge of the ruffle take scissors and cut all the strings off the top edge of the ruffle so they do not get caught in the sewing machine. These strings are mainly from the fabric unraveling.

Attaching the Ruffle:
On the skirt you will want to cut the insert pieces from both the front and back to be even with the legs they are attached to on either side. Make sure to not cut a straight line, but more a curved line so it has a more natural look.

Next take the ruffle and pin it around the edge of the skirt. When the two ends of the ruffle get close to meeting leave space for it to be sew together. Cut the fabric and then sew the edges together. Finish pinning the ruffle to the skirt. Sew the ruffle onto the skirt.

Zigzag the inside raw edge from where you sewed the ruffle on to keep it from unraveling. Finally, iron the ruffle down so that it lays right when you wear the skirt.

September 27, 2012 Addition: I just found this old photo of me in these jeans before I stopped wearing pants/jeans! This was probably taken in the summer of 2010.


View Different Skirts from Other Blogs
This is a short lits of skirts I've found so far which are also knee length and are denim based. Enjoy!

Keeping It Simple: Jean Skirt.
Katie's Secret Blog: Instant Skirt.
(Knee Length)

Katie's Secret Blog: Pant Skirt: Danielle Style.
(Knee Length)

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