Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Sweetheart Skirt... a simple skirt tutorial

As I was in my favorite fabric store a few days ago, I spotted this polka dotted fabric. I'm a total sucker for polka dots. Love. Them. 
Then I saw some jumbo ric rac. Love that too!! Thoughts of valentines day, and vintage pictures swam around my head. These skirts just appeared in my brain. So, I bought the stuff and made them for my twin girls (yes, they are fraternal). Then I made a little ric rac flower pin to accent for a little valentine outfit. But, really they could work for any time.

The thing is, these skirts are so simple. I'll give you the formula, and you can make them for ANY size.
(Ric rac is not essential either).

They're so quick, sew up a few in no time!

Fun for church, or just hanging out...

If you want to make your own..........

Fabric, 3/4" elastic, ric rac, sewing machine, pins, coordinating thread, iron
See below to calculate how much of each is needed.

For example: if the waist is 20 inches, and the length is 12" to the knee (or desired length)...
Cut fabric 40" X 14 1/4" (For little girls and babies, one piece of fabric is easy to cut. More fabric can be added and sewn in 2 places instead of 1, if there is not enough fabric for 1 continual 2 rectangles).
Cut elastic 19"
Cut ric rac 40"

First, serge or zigzag the top and bottom of the fabric.
Then, with right sides together (so the pretty part is on the inside), pin the side or sides

Sew a 1/2 inch seam down the side or sides

This next step can vary depending on the width of the elastic. I made these skirts with 3/4" elastic, but you can use any size elastic. The only thing you would change with this pattern is adding that much more when you cut the fabric, and folding it that much longer here.

After the 1/2" fold, fold one more time the width of the elastic plus 1/2 inch. So, if the elastic were 1 inch, then I would fold it 1 1/2 inch more. Since my elastic is 3/4", I folded it 1 1/4".  Make sure to press.

After pulling the elastic through, obviously sew the remainder of the casing shut.

Then pin on the ric rac. Make sure to pin it on the right side of the skirt!

All done!
Happy sewing!
~Nancy Pin It

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Home Trends

If you are looking for an update to your home or just want to freshen things up a little, here are a few home trends that you will be seeing this year. I found this great article from that had some great advice:

Green isn’t the only trend in home decor you’ll notice in area stores this year. Here are eight design trends that aren’t going away anytime soon:

1. Brass. Yes, it’s back. It’s not the cheap, shiny 1980s brass, but more of an antique gold. How to use it: picture frames, lamps, vases and more.

Sarah Richardson 
2. Neutrals. Beige, cream, ivory, black and gray are really in for furniture to paint. Whole rooms are being done in neutrals, which are trendy but timeless.

3. Rustic/industrial. Think coffee tables made from shipping pallets with old iron hardware. It’s Restoration Hardware, pieces made from reclaimed wood (Americana barnwood is even better) and heavy metal. You’ll see plenty of furniture and mirrors with this vibe.
via pinterest
4. Handmade. Mass-produced plastic stuff isn’t nearly as cool as anything handmade or one-of-a-kind., the online handmade marketplace, makes it very easy to support artists and crafters without having to leave your sofa. Find hand-sewn bedding, pillows, artwork and more at affordable prices. These often-custom pieces help make homes unique.
5. Vintage. Finding a cool Midcentury credenza or desk at a flea market or garage sale is big right now. Even better: a home that showcases vintage mixed with modern.

6. Blues. Some design experts thought Pantone would choose navy or a vibrant shade of blue as its color of the year. Frankly, blue is a cool, soothing color in the desert, and it will still make a big appearance in homegoods stores this year.

7. Graphic prints. Chevron is still huge. So are other big geometric prints, including boxy Greek key designs.

8. Wallpaper. This isn’t your grandmother’s floral wallpaper. Today’s wallpaper is often bright and bold and has replaced paint treatments for feature walls. Click Here for our examples of wallpaper!


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Monday, January 28, 2013

6 Superbowl Party Foods

I love to watch football but when it comes to the SUPERBOWL it's all about the
Am I wrong?
  Ok....  a few good plays aren't bad either.
 If you want to score points at your party,
 Try these 6 Superbowl Favorites for a TOUCHDOWN.

For Extra Points.......

Belt Buster Bread Dip

5 Fast and Fabulous Party Pleasers

Zucchini Bread

Jan Pin It

Oreo Truffle Footballs


Oreo Truffles 
1 pkg Oreo Cookies (any flavor)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Melting Chocolate
White Chocolate Chips for piping.
Crush cookies into fine crumbs in a food processor.  Add cream cheese; mix well.  Put in refrigerator  or freezer til mixture is cold and easy to roll out.  Cut shapes with oval or football shape cookie cutter.  Place on a wax paper cookie sheet and chill again.  Melt chocolate.  Cover shape with chocolate.  This is the messy part.  I wish I could tell you the easy way but just plan on getting your fingers messy.  I used a plastic spatula and that seems to work the best.  After chocolate is solid.  Pipe lines for a football.   I put white chocolate chips in a zip loc bag and cooked it in the microwave til chocolate was melted.  Then I cut the tip off the end of the zip loc bag.  It is a lot of work and even if they don't look professional these truffles are seriously so good.


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Meatball Subs

I saw this recipe idea in a book called Fix-It and Forget-It.   It is a kids cookbook I checked out at the Library.  It was a fun book and had great ideas for Crockpot recipes that kids can help you make.
You can buy it here.  I loved this idea for making small meatball subs. 

  Meatball Subs
All you need is a good hard roll, spaghetti sauce and meatballs.
(Cheese Optional)  At our house, we prefer a homemade turkey meatball but would also recommend Jennie O's Turkey Meatball.  We also like the steak rolls from Walmart. 

I cooked my meatballs and sauce in a crockpot following the directions of the cookbook.  Then it keeps it warm throughout the game.  You could also make a platter full of subs already made.

Jan Pin It

Ham and Pickle Roll-ups

These are from my husband's family cookbook. 
My first tip for you is to not make them when anyone
is around or you will never be able to fill a plate.  

Take one ham slice and dry on a napkin. 
Spread a generous amount of soften cream cheese on ham. 
Place a spear dill pickle on one end of the ham.
(You may have to cut the pickle in half if it is too big.  Also shake off excess juice on pickle). 
Roll up ham around pickle.  Cut into 1" segments. 
I promise you can't go wrong with these and you will score huge points with these.
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Chicken Fingers

These are so simple and yummy
you will never buy premade chicken fingers again. 
Cut chicken breast into desired size.
Crush favorite crackers in a food processor 
add a little pepper to crumbs and put in a pie pan.
Melt butter or margarine in a pie pan.
Roll chicken in butter, then in cracker crumbs. 
 Place on a tin foil cookie sheet. 
Bake 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Add your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
Super EASY!!!!
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Superbowl Sandwiches

Another great recipe from my husband's family cookbook. 
FYI:  My husband's family are amazing cooks. 
I am grateful they are willing to let me share family favorites with you. 

They call these Superbowl Sandwiches and have them every Superbowl for as long as I can remember.  Another great and simple recipe.  Don't let the ingredients stop you from trying it.  It was a little werid for me at first.  I asked my husband the best words to describe this sandwich. 
Is it tangy, sweet, creamy etc.  His answer was very direct,
"They are just DELICIOUS!!!"


1 small container of cool whip.
1 cup of Apricot jam
1 tsp mustard

Thin sliced ham
Soft Dinner Rolls like King's Hawaiian Rolls

Mix the sauce together in a bowl.  Spread on roll and add ham.


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Crackers, Meat and Cheese

Have you ever had those seasons in life when you just don't have the time or energy to cook and yet you need to take something to a party.  Try a Crackers, Meat and Cheese tray.  You can buy premade or you can buy your favorite crackers, meat and cheese and create your own.  Buy a fun platter that fits the theme of your party and add your favorites.  Hopefully for those readers who don't enjoy cooking this platter will do the trick for your party.

Jan Pin It

Friday, January 25, 2013

Whatcha readin?

Hey gang!
So the question of the day, what have you been reading? I confess I've been reading a random heap. A little spiritual, a little fiction, a little mystery, a little young adult and a whole lot of children's thanks to my wee bairn. The book I want to talk about today is one called "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a great Victorian Detective" by Kate Summerscale.
Product Details
This book's cover had everything I could desire in a mystery. Historical, mysterious(obviously) and best of all, this one was actually true. I greedily plucked it off the library display and added it to my pile. The reading however, wasn't as fun-filled. The actual story is tantalizing but probably not good for mothers with young children (ie 90% of our blog readers). It's about a murder that happened to a seemingly well respected, average, middle class family. That respectable facade is flipped on it's backside as the detectives reveal some dastardly secrets about the family itself. This story is everything one would ask in a mystery but somehow the writer feels that she must add random quotes from other writers of the time Charles Dickens, Wilkey Collins and others as well about methods of detecting in the Victorian era, lifestyles in the Victorian era, etc. etc. etc. which ends up feeling like a never-ending research paper. I found myself skimming through these parts until I recognized the names of the family so I could get to the interesting plot again.

Overall I'd give this book a solid 3 out of 5. Good not great. So what about you? Tell me what you've been reading and what you thought. I can't wait to hear from you!
Have a lovely day,
Maren Pin It

Thursday, January 24, 2013

French Peasant Bread... so easy and yummy!!

One day I  found a loaf of bread wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow by my front door. I opened it up, and mmmm the smell was amazing. I cut and tasted a piece of this bread, and oh my heavens, it was delicious. My husband found me, and he joined in.  The two of us consumed the entire loaf by ourselves!!! In one sitting. It was THAT good.

I found a little note from my friend Suzie, and texted her immediately demanding the recipe. She said, "oh it's SOOO easy." (Um, everyone says that. I didn't believe her.) But then I found out it really, it is so easy. No special equipment or ingredients needed.

 Here, my friends, is a recipe that could change your life....

2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 pkg dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
canola oil
corn meal
melted butter

Warm up a bowl in the microwave or under hot water (and then dry).

Add yeast, water, sugar, and salt to the warm bowl and stir until dissolved.

Add flour and stir until blended. DO NOT KNEAD!

Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size.

Oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with corn meal.

Flour hands, remove dough from bowl. Divide dough into 2 rounds and place on cookie sheet.

Let rise one more hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees while bread is rising.

Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately brush again with butter.

It is especially delicious when served warm, right out of the oven!!!!
(Adapted from the cookbook Favorites)

This would be a great addition to one of these delicious soups:

Bench Stew

Corn Chowder 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Pork Apple Cider Soup

Also, it would taste extra divine with this Raspberry Butter !


P.S. A few tips when making bread:
-Make sure the kitchen is warm
-put the bowl the dough is rising in on top of a dishcloth for extra warmth   Pin It
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