Monday, November 23, 2009

More Mod Podge Love

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My friends think I’m becoming some crazy crafter lately. I have to say that I feel a little bit like my mom back in her country blue crafting days. Of course, I’m a WAY more hip and cool version of that crafter mommy though….YEAH RIGHT!

Well, I just love this Mod Podge frame project so much, that I decided to make a few for some friends as well. IMG_5225IMG_5227 IMG_5095IMG_5096 The options are limitless and I love playing around with the different papers combos. I added a letter to the last one for my friend’s daughter, Adeline. Oh the possibilities.

I actually made one more that was a little smaller in size, but gave it to a friend before I snapped a photo. Rookie mistake, I know.

Well, I hope this has given at least a few of you some inspiration for some really cheap inexpensive Christmas gifts this season. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Gettin’ Sauced

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Before your call child welfare on me keep reading….


Homemade meat sauce is one of my favorite things to make. I’ll admit, I used be a fan of the jarred stuff. However, after watching several cooking shows, I realized its not too hard to make it from scratch. And the best thing is that it tastes a bazillion times better and can be healthier for you as well. No more jarred stuff for us.IMG_4871

My husband’s always giving me a hard time about not having a set recipe for my sauce. Well, sometimes I just wing it with whatever is on hand.

Here’s my basic recipe with little add-ins to follow:

Sabby’s Meat Sauce

  • 2 lbs ground meat (beef, pork, or turkey)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 14.5-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

In large pot, brown meat and drain fat. Cook green pepper and onion in the same pot in the olive oil until tender. Add meat back to onion and pepper. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add both cans of tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce liquids. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and sugar. Cook for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta of choice and sprinkle with parmesan if desired.


This sauce makes enough to serve with a 1lb. box of your favorite pasta with a little sauce to spare. It depends on how saucy you like your pasta. I usually go for penne because it allows the sauce to get inside the pasta and is easier for kids to eat compared to spaghetti.

Changing It up ideas:

  • Mixing the meats or adding a little diced prosciutto
  • Eliminating bell pepper or using a red or yellow bell instead
  • Trying to get more veggies in your little one’s diet? Shred carrots or add mushrooms. The sauce becomes sweeter and chunkier.
  • After adding milk and reducing it down, add a can of chicken broth and reduce down too. Adds depth of flavor
  • If you don’t have tomato sauce, try tomato paste with a little broth or water
  • Don’t have fresh garlic? Use the jarred stuff or garlic powder
  • Have fresh herbs? By all means, USE THEM!

Oh, I could go on and on. The basic message is that you CAN NOT screw this up. It’s easy and kind of fun (ok maybe that’s just me). This recipe is great for leftovers and also freezes well.

So how do you like you sauce? I love hearing new ideas!

I'm linking this to:

Tasty Tuesday Party at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace.

Blessed with Grace

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Monday, November 16, 2009

New Love Affair with Mod Podge

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IMG_5046 Dear Spray Paint,

I hate to break this to you so publicly, but I’ve been kind of seeing other “people”….er…um….I mean other craft supplies. I hope you understand that I have to spread the love around. Don’t be jealous…you’ll always be #1 in my book.

Love, Sabby

While browsing the daily feed on my Google Reader, I happened upon this cute idea that was featured on a great blog, Living With Lindsay. I thought I’d put my own scrapbooking paper to use, since I’ve kind of slacked in the scrapping department after baby #2 came along. My word, I have LOADS of paper leftover.

I took the Mod Podge idea a little further and used the same technique on a large letter “B” for my son Braden. Then, I used coordinating scraps of paper to make a matching frame.

I started with your basic unfinished wooden frame and letter from Hobby Lobby. Luckily, I had some leftover wall paint from our recent bedroom redo and put it to use here.IMG_5043

For the “B”, I cut one kind of paper a little larger than the actual letter. After applying a thing layer of Mod Podge with a foam brush, I smoothed the paper onto the front of the letter. I used a rolling pin to eliminate any air bubbles under the paper. (Thanks for that tip, Lindsay!)IMG_5047 The process was pretty much the same for the frame, except I used the original paper and another coordinating paper in a patchy fashion.IMG_5051 After letting the pieces dry, I used a craft knife to cut away any extra paper. Then I sanded all the edges with 220 grit sandpaper. For the frame, I applied an extra layer of Mod Podge over the top to seal the different layers of paper together.IMG_5087

These frames will be great little gifts for the upcoming holidays and cost me only a few bucks to make. In fact, I already made a few more for my friends and hope to post pictures of them soon.

Of course, I’m pretty partial to what goes inside my frame too!IMG_5171-2

I’m linking this post to Kimba’s DIY Day! Check her out!

I’m also linking up to Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog!

Oh and I just got invited to join this tutorial party at See Mommy Sew! Woo hoo!Pin It

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From Brassy To Beautiful

Pin It Once again, I’m posting on something that I did a while back and didn’t think to take “Before” pictures of the pieces. To give you a visual, just picture 1980’s when brass was in her heyday. Mauve and country blue, those white duck tchotchke’s and floral bubble valances also reined supreme. Getting the idea?? Overly shiny brass lamps with yellowed shades in triplicate. Just bad….REAL bad.

My mom gave me these prized lamps a few years back. She was mortified to hear that I was going to spray paint REAL brass!! The horror! Anywho….here’s a look at how one of them turned out. The other two are identical so I’m only posting one of the triplets here.


I sprayed on three coats of Rustoleum Textured spray paint in black. No primer, no sanding. Just lots of spraying to make sure I covered under and over all of those curves.

I found some updated lamp shades at Target and voila….brand spankin’ new-to-me lamps. Sorry mom. I think they look better here than collecting dust in my basement, right?

DIY Day @ ASPTL    Visit
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Friday, November 6, 2009


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Do you love silver jewelry as much as I do??? Well, check out Centsational Girl's awesome Lisa Leonard Jewelry giveaway. She is such a talented jewelry designer and I'm dying to get my hands on one of her custom necklaces. ( Hint Hint hubby!!) This giveaway is a $100 gift certificate to use at Lisa Leonard's online store. Woo hoo! Good luck!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Healthier Loaf

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Something has really turned me on to baking this fall and well…we’re ALL lovin’ it. I’m pretty sure my bread caloric intake is canceling out the spin class calorie burn though. Worth it?? HECK YEAH!

Since I love yeast breads SOOOOOO very much, I decided to try to healthy up my habit a bit. During my search, I happened upon this yummy recipe. The recipe uses all whole wheat flour instead of 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white like many other recipes I found.

Whole-Wheat Bread Hayes

  • 2 cups warm water (105°-115°F.)
  • 1/4-ounce package (2 1/2 tsps) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 5 to 6 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • an egg wash made by beating 1 large egg white with 1 tsp water
  • 3 Tbs old-fashioned rolled oats for sprinkling loaves

In a small bowl stir together 1 3/4 cups warm water and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a measuring cup whisk together remaining 1/4 cup warm water and molasses. In a large bowl stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and oil and add molasses and yeast mixtures, stirring until combined well. Stir in enough of remaining 3 to 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, for mixture to form a soft dough and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, and shape into a ball.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rise, covered, 45 minutes more.

Preheat oven to 400°F. and grease 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 inches.

Divide dough in half. Lightly knead each piece of dough and form into ovals. Transfer loaves to pans and let rise, covered with kitchen towels, 45 minutes. Brush tops of loaves lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Bake loaves in middle of oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. and bake loaves 20 to 25 minutes more, or until golden brown. Turn loaves out onto a rack to cool.


As you can see, I only sprinkled the oats on one loaf because I was scared the kiddos might not dig the texture. They didn’t seem to mind the oats though and its so satisfying to here little ones ask for bread as a snack!!

Oh and I know it sounds like a complicated recipe, but actually its a lot of waiting time. Please note that this was only my second attempt at a yeast bread recipe and it turned out great! So jump right in and enjoy some homemade bread.

Linking up to the following:

Blessed with Grace
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turning Plastic Into Metal

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No, I’m not a miracle worker.  Well, maybe I am sometimes, but not in this case.  Over the last year, I’ve had a not-so-secret love affair going on with spray paint.  All you lovely bloggers have inspired me to turn that can on almost anything! 

Somehow, I’ve become the plant lady over the last few years.  By that, I mean the number of indoor plants in my house has substantially grown to an uncomfortable number.  Morbid as it is, I seem to inherit funeral plants from family and friends that can’t bear to throw them out, but also don’t want to take care of them either! 

Through some really rough trial and error, I’ve learned a few things on houseplant care.  One is that for some reason I can not get indoor plants to thrive in ceramic pots.  Not a clue why, but the minute I replant them in something plastic or resin they grow like crazy.  Unfortunately, some of those pots are not the most attractive things.  Dying plant won out over beauty when I was buying them.  I was just worried about getting the plants to live….can’t let that be on my conscience.  That lady killed our funeral plants!  AGH! 

Here’s a look at what I’m talking about.  Faux terra cotta works in some places…..but not my places.IMG_4862IMG_4863

This plant is UBER happy here and I really don’t want to mess things up.  I also had a ficus tree that was in one of these not so purty pots.  After reading Centsational Girl’s  post about spray painting pots, I decided to try it out with my ficus tree.  Here’s the result.IMG_4858 IMG_4860

This pot was previously forest green and a little worn.  I spruced it up using Krylon Fusion Hammered Finish in Brown Metallic.  I kept the plant inside the pot and wrapped a garbage bag up the trunk.  Two coats and I LOVE the results.  The hammered finish is pretty subtle, but that could be a result of my inexperience using this product.  Either way I still love the new finish.

Now I’m off to perform some more plastic “miracles”!

Don’t forget to check out all the cool ideas at Kimba’s DIY Day!


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