A Mod Podge Christmas

December 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

I was first introduced to Mod Podge by my friends Carrie and Jamie.  They are very artsy and creative, and also REALLY good Mamas. Carrie has four children under the age of 6.  They are the most adorable kids ever.

And Jamie is giving birth to twins, TODAY!  I can’t wait to meet them.

Anyway, like I said, they introduced me to Mod Podge through a few projects that we did at our church. The #1 thing I learned is YOU CAN MOD PODGE ANYTHING!  (Well, almost anything…)

As Scott and I were unpacking decorations, I realized that we don’t have a ton of ornaments.  We have some from Scott’s childhood as you can see…

(he’s gonna LOVE me for this)

But, we are still working on our collection. That’s where the Mod Podge came in! I decided to make a few ornaments myself and it was REALLY easy and fun.

First, I bought plain glass ornaments and the rest of this stuff from Michaels.

  • Mod Podge (there are all different kinds; some with glitter in it, some that are glossy, I just bought the plain matte kind.)
  • a brush or sponge
  • paper or ribbon (the thinner the better)
  • ribbon to hang the ornament with
  • glitter

I happened to find an old Christmas music book at a thrift store not long ago.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was sacrificed first.  I cut up the page into different strips. The more random the better.

Then, I just painted the Mod Podge onto the ornament, put a strip of paper down and painted over the top.

And just kept going and going until the whole thing was covered.

It worked!  I did one in ribbon too.

Scott made one as well.  Call me sentimental, but I like the homemade look.

As Carrie’s daughter Finely says, “It’s cozy”.

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Results: Ice Ring in a Tortilla Holder Lid

December 17, 2010 § 1 Comment

Scott and I hosted a Christmas party for our wonderful small group Wednesday night. This is why the ice ring was prepared if you recall.

Here’s us playing a game called “Celebrity”. (Fun times for this former homeschooler…I know nothing of pop culture. But, it was still really entertaining!)

For the party I made:

Hot Spinach Dip with crispy Italian bread

Cheeseball and Ritz crackers (the snowflake ones)

Spiced Almonds

Meatballs (I cheated and bought them from Costco, but I made a citrus BBQ sauce myself)

and

Red Velvet Cake.  The icing has a crazy amount of butter and cream cheese, but it is yuuummmmy.

I have come to face the reality that when hosting a party there will be wins and losses.  (The losses used to nag at me for days afterwards.  I’m currently attempting to just laugh at myself, learn from my mistakes, and hope I can make the next event better because of my blunderings.)

This party was no exception.

WINS:

  • I deep cleaned the house, porch, bought groceries, and made the food.
  • I actually ate some of the food and participated in party festivities.

LOSSES:

  • I started cooking at 5:15 and the party started at 7:30.  The cake was a little dry, because I was cooking spinach when I was supposed to be taking the cake out of the oven.
  • I was going to make Brownies, but discovered right before the party that I was out of veggie oil.  I almost made them with olive oil or butter, but refrained.

…….and the most significant loss of all

  • I FORGOT ALL ABOUT THE ICE RING (in the tortilla holder lid)! The punch was almost gone when I realized it and sadly pulled it out of the freezer.

But, I decided to have a good attitude and use it anyway!  I turned it upside down over the punch bowl and….it wouldn’t come out!  I beat on it, put it under hot water, slammed it on the counter and still nothing.

I left it on the counter gave up in defeat. The tortilla lid had failed.

Until…

I looked and saw that my friend Amelia was picking the cranberries out and eating them.

It’s true. See:

And, they made her happy!

So, it was worth it.

Next time, though, I’m going to use one of those molds.

So, you can run and tell that! Homeboy!

An Ice Ring in a Tortilla Holder Lid

December 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

Let me just send out a disclaimer:

The more you get to know me, the more you are going to realize that I’m quite weird.  This weirdness leads me to experiment with well established “ways to do things”.  From past observations, this makes Mamas nervous.  So, if you are feeling maternal, just don’t yell at me too much after reading this post. But, always feel free to yell some if you think I need it.

Anyway, Scott and I are having a Christmas party for our small group tomorrow night. We have had a lot of fun together every Wednesday for almost a year, and I want the party to be nice.

I’m making punch, and decided that it would be a great idea to make an ice ring to go in it. I think one is supposed to make an ice ring in a mold or one of those angel food cake pans.  I’m not sure what they are called. If anyone would like to provide this information, that would be wonderful.

Whaale, obviously…

I don’t have one of those pans. So, I looked all over my kitchen for something round, plastic, and having some kind of hole in the middle. And, that’s when I came across my tortilla cover.

It even has a hole in the center!

You might at this point be begging me not to do it, but I can’t hear you. And I’m going to do it anyway. See!

I filled it right up with cranberries, lemons, and pineapple juice.

It’s in the freezer now. The party’s tomorrow night, so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Something in me just has to do it.

Just so I know if it can be done!

The punch is my Mema’s (aka – grandmother’s) recipe. I have very early memories of this punch and love it!  Here’s the super easy formula if you would like to attempt.

2 pkg. Kool Aid, desired flavor (Mema always uses Cherry)
2 c. sugar
2 qt. water
1 lg. pineapple juice *
1 qt. ginger ale

Mix Kool Aid, sugar, water and pineapple juice. Put in the fridge to chill. Add ginger ale just before serving. Serves 25-30 people.

*If you use sweetened pineapple juice, then you might want to monitor the sugar.

Chicken Soup for the Sick

December 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

Scott and I have both been feeling pretty sick.  I’m not sure if it’s allergies or just a bad cold. Either way, it’s uncomfortable. Scott, especially, has been feeling bad.   Yesterday his mama, Robbie, suggested that chicken soup (with the chicken cooked off of the bone) is helpful.  I looked it up, and sure enough, the bone in the chicken gives tons of nutrients. So, I set out to make chicken soup from scratch. I am a big FOOD network fan, so I looked up a recipe from Bobby Flay. I basically followed it, but added some fresh ginger.

I thought of a couple questions for the future though:

Mama Question #1: Does it matter if the chicken is frozen?

Mama Question #2: What if it is and you haven’t defrosted it? Can you go ahead and stick it in the pot?

So, this cooking from scratch thing is a bit time consuming.  First, you have to make the stock. It’s basically a whole chicken and a bunch of veggies in a pot (check out the recipe for the specific ingredients). It simmers for about an hour, and then you have the soup part.  I was skeptical at first, but it’s really worth doing this step. So, yummy. While waiting for the broth, I cut up a bunch more veggies.

Then I strained the broth, dumped out the veggies and let the chicken chill out for a bit before removing the fat and skin.

After sautéing my new veggies, I added the broth, chicken, and egg noodles.  Let simmer and…voila!

It it so cozy to have chicken soup when you’re sick…right honey?

We just learned you have to watch out for these…

This was my first time making this, and I would totally do it again.  Do you have a better recipe? What else is good to serve when you’re family is sick?

I Need a Mama!

December 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

Those of you who know me, know that I literally packed everything I owned in the back of my car…

threw my wedding dress on top of it all and drove to Texas to marry my man.

We’ve now been married almost two years, and they have been the most full and wonderful two years of my life.  But, no one ever told me that life can be REALLY tough sometimes. And, despite all of the wonderfulness, I have wanted to lay on the floor, kick my feet, and cry like a baby.

However, I can not do that. I have my own family now, and it’s up to me to take care of it.  I’m just trying to figure out how.

I guess I always thought that when I became a wife, I would automatically be programmed with all that I need to know. WRONG-O!  I’ve made so many mistakes.  From serving practically raw meatloaf (it never cooked in the center and I baked it for probably 3 hours!), turning all of my white clothes yellow (with too much clorox, I guess), to simply not knowing what to do when we’re sick.  Many times, I’m simply at the mercy of Google.

All this being said, I am hoping all of you out there will help a girl out! Offer advice, suggestions, or even reprimands, just tell me how you would handle a situation. I love you already for taking the time to mama me.  And, hopefully the advice that we pass around will benefit all.

Maybe we all need a mama…

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