March 28, 2013

My Re-Do Chair Made It!!!

How cool is this? My DIY redo chair was caught on My Repurposed Life today! Check out this awesome blog full of makeovers and redos that will knock your socks off!

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You can check out how I did it in the original post HERE.

 

March 27, 2013

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Chicken - Hobo Style

Here's another recipe I found through Pinterest that I tried during Spring Break. Here's the original website where the recipe came from. It's a delicious cheesy bacon ranch chicken baked hobo style. What do I mean by hobo style? You dump everything in some foil, seal, and bake. Easy!!!

Ingredients:
1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor 
1 1/4 cups Water
4 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled (or bag of real bacon bits)

4 tbsp Ranch dressing divided

Directions:
Heat over to 400 degrees.
Tear off foil into 4 large strips and spray with non-stick spray.
Mix Stuffing mix and 1-1/4 cup water. Spoon 1/4 of mixture onto each foil.
Place 1 chicken breast on top of stuffing
Place 1 cup of broccoli florets on chicken
Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup cheese over broccoli
Sprinkle 1/4 of bacon bits over the cheese.
Pour 1-2 tablespoons over bacon. (I like a little more than the recipe calls for.)



Fold foil and seal the edges, leaving it tented for good baking. 
Place each foil package onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Your dinner should look like this when it comes out of the oven.


Slide the food on a pretty plate and enjoy! We really liked this meal and will definitely be having it again!

Do you ever cook Hobo-Style?


March 26, 2013

Writing Settings of Places You've Never Been

I'm over at The Writer's Alley today to talk about writing settings of places that you have never been before. How do you write about something you don't know about? Come join in and share how you do it!


March 25, 2013

King of Kings

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and I have to confess that Palm Sunday is always one of the worship gatherings that I look forward to the most.

It's not all the praise and celebration of Easter. It's not the warm fuzzy joy of Christmas. It is the solemn reminder of why Jesus came to Earth. It is the beginning of his trek to his own death. His voluntary death.

We had our Palm branches that we waved while singing Hosannah at the beginning of the service. Then read through Jesus's final week, starting at the triumphal entry and ending with his committing his spirit into the Father's hands.

One of the most moving portions of the service was when The Reproaches were read (see below) and the congregation responded by saying the words in bold out loud.

The Reproaches

O my people, O my church, 
what have I done to you,
or in what have I offended you?
Answer me,
I led you forth from the land of Egypt
and delivered you by the waters of baptism,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

I led you through the desert forty years, 
and fed you with manna:
I brought you through tribulation and penitence,
and gave you my body, the bread of heaven,
but you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

My peace I gave, which the world cannot give,
and wash your feet as a sign of my love,
but you draw the sword to strike in my name
and seek high places in my kingdom.
I offer you my body and blood,
but you scatter and deny and abandon me,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

I came to you as the least of your brothers and sisters;
I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome,
naked and you did not clothe me,
sick and in prison and you did not visit me,
and you have prepared a cross for your Savior.
Holy God, have mercy upon us.

There is something about calling out to God as a whole body of believers that makes chills run across my skin. We are collectively begging for God's mercy. We, as a whole, are asking for His grace and mercy. That is just so profound and powerful.

At the end of the service was were dismissed in silence...each one filing out of the pews, the room quiet, our hearts pondering the sacrifice of Jesus, our minds trying take in all that it means to give of ourselves fully.

There is much to ponder. There is much to take in. And there is so much to gain from understanding and loving the One and Only who gave of Himself for us.

So what does Palm Sunday mean to you? Does your church do anything special for that day? 

March 22, 2013

No More Google Reader???

photo by imagerymagestic/
freedigitalphotos.net
When I heard that Google was doing away with Google Reader, I was shocked. Disappointed. Scared. I read tons of blogs in my Google Reader! What will I do?

I immediately googled what readers would be a good replacement for Google Reader. I read this and this and this. I had also heard that Bloglovin is a good reader. After much perusal, I decided to go with Feedly.

Feedly can give you a variety of ways to view the blogs that you read. Here is the way that is similar to Google Reader. It can expand the whole post in the feeder. Another cool thing about Feedly is that you can add it to your toolbar for easy access.


Here is Feedly with the "tiled" layout. You get a snapshot of each blog post in your feeder.


Another good thing about Feedly is that there is an app for your iphone and you reader Feedly on Kindles!

It is easy to import your blogs from Google Reader into Feedly. Just a click of a button. And Feedly is ready to take over your feeds when Google Reader disappears on July 1, 2013.

So have you decided what Reader you are going to move to (if you are currently using Google Reader)? 


March 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Pudding Cake


I love dessert. I really love EASY desserts. And let me tell you, this is an easy dessert! It is a recipe I found on Pinterest and made during Spring Break last week. Doesn't it look yummy?

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Mix
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of raisins (I left those out...on purpose!)
2-1/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter

Directions:

1. Grease the inside of the slow cooker.
2. Mix gingerbread mix and milk. Batter will be thick. Pour into cooker and spread out evenly.
3. Put the water, brown sugar and butter into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes uncovered.
4. Pour mixture over the gingerbread batter in the cooker. It will seem like there is way too much water, but that is okay. It is what makes the ooey gooey pudding part.
5. Turn on high and cover with a lid. Cook on high for 2 hours.
6. Turn off and uncover. Let sit for 30-45 minutes to cool a little bit.
7. Serve warm! And add a little vanilla ice cream on top!

Delicious! What's been your favorite Pinterest recipe that you have tried out?

March 18, 2013

Trash Chair DIY Redo!


One of my favorite projects over Spring Break was redoing a wooden chair I picked up off the side of the road. I shared HERE what all I gathered from the side of the road, but in case you missed it, here is what the chair looked like before I painted it.


Yeah, it was pretty sad. All worn and scuffed up. But I got busy and primed it.


Then I painted it a flat black.


And then the fun part began. Excuse the poor photo. I took it with my phone.


I had bought some acrylic paint at Walmart, but I'm here to tell you...it was difficult to work with. It took 2 or 3 coats to make it look even halfway decent. I even ended up using Q-tips to make the polka dots because it was so much easier. I found a couple of paint pens and tried those and that did the trick! It was much easier to work with and a lot quicker. After a coat of clear gloss, here is the finished product!







I think it turned out rather cute! Now I need to fix up a cute place for it!

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March 15, 2013

DIY Painting Redos

Spring Break has been great for my creative bent. I have done a few painting redos this week that have just made me giddy. I've been trying to lighten up my bedroom, a little at a time, and decided to paint my lamps. They were your normal buffet lamps and were fine, but I thought painting them white would make them pop a bit. I also found a couple of burlap lamp shades for $5 each at Dollar General. I wrote some scripture on them and think they turned out okay. What do you think?




After I got that finished, I decided to spray paint an old basket that was out in the garage. I used an avacado green colored paint to pick up the green in the throw pillows on my bed. It turned out better than I thought it would. (And yes, I am using it to store hand towels and toilet paper! There is NO storage in my bathroom!)


I'm working on a wooden chair that was terribly scratched. I painted it black and am now throwing all kinds of color on it in various designs. It will be my fun chair to be used to pay bills and such. Hopefully I can share the finished product next week!

So what have you done during Spring Break? Anything fun? Productive?

March 13, 2013

Roasted Garlic, Pesto and Chicken Pizza


With Spring Break giving me some much needed time to just "be", I decided to try some Pinterest recipes I've pinned. So last night I made Roasted Garlic, Pesto and Chicken Pizza. (the original site from the Pinterest pin is Pie Birds, Buttons, and Muddy Puddles.  There is a step by step tutorial on this site.). FYI: I did not make my own crust, but bought some artizan pizza crust at Walmart.

Ingredients:

2 pizza crusts
Jar of pesto
Head of garlic, roasted. See how to roast garlic at Pie Birds, Buttons, and Muddy Puddles.
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
2-3 cups of chopped chicken

Preheat oven to whatever the package of crusts says.
Mash roasted garlic and spread 1/2 over one pizza crust.
Pour 1/2 a jar of pesto onto the crust and spread evenly.
Place 1/2 of the chopped chicken onto your crust.
Top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup Paemesan cheese over the mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the crust and what the packaging says.

I have to say that my family loved it! It was different and had great flavor. We will definitely be making this again! Doesn't the picture look yummy?

March 04, 2013

Amazon Prime VS Netflix

photo by jscreationzs
 freedigitalphoto
I've had a membership with Netflix for about 6 years and have loved it. I had it when it was just the DVD envelopes, then switched to the streaming. For $7.99, I could get unlimited streaming! What a deal!

But then I began to hear about Amazon Prime. It costs $79 a year and you basically get all the same movies and TV shows that Netflix has.


So how do they compare side by side?



Amazon Prime
Netflix
$79 per year; 1 time payment
$7.99 per month = $95.88 per year
One free Kindle book lending per month. Choose from over 5,000 ebooks.
Can opt for DVD rentals shipped to you; Additional $11.99 per month
Free 2 day shipping on Prime products
More older movies to choose from
Over 5,000 movies/tv shows to choose from.
Over 35,000 movies to choose from (many Bollywood and foreign films)
Can rent new releases for $1.99-$9.99.
Easier searching in categories
Can watch in SD or HD on select titles



This is in no way an extensive comparison, but it is what I found in my research to determine what would be best for me and my family.

I went with the Amazon Prime and so far, I love it! I've already utilized the free 2 day shipping and I have been watching a TV series that I have been wanting to see that hasn't been available on Netflix. Score!

This is the beginning of my quest to reduce my expenses and save money. I hope to share with you more of my money saving finds and ways to improve the quality of my household.

So what have you found to help lower the cost of living at your house?

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