Saturday, April 30, 2011

Link Party Time

Linking up over here...

Gotta love the Goodwill

A couple of weeks ago, I bought this shelf at the Goodwill for $4.99. I figured that it was a good deal for me to practice the art of re-finishing (spray painting) furniture.I finally got around to it and here is the finished product. Now that I look at it, I think the little drawer need a knob or some kind of design.
We'll see what I come up with.


Friday, April 29, 2011

No time to craft...

This has been one BUSY week! The memorial for my friends mom was yesterday and since I was catering it, I had to get cooking as of Monday evening. I also worked on the pictures and music for the slide show. The cooking was fun but I got so focused that I forgot to take pictures so that I could blog about it and post the recipes.

The picture below depicts where I was today. The guy in the picture is my nephew Josh. He looks like he's praying but I just took the picture at the wrong time. I didn't want him to know I was taking the picture, so I couldn't ask him to smile. :)

3 years ago, my nephew had a stem cell transplant at City of Hope. He was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2004 and after many rounds of chemo, it was decided that he needed a bone marrow transplant. No one in the family was a match but he was blessed enough to find a donor in the registry.

Each year, City of Hope has a Bone Marrow Reunion. This year marks their 35th anniversary! Imagine how many lives have been saved!

Everyone who has had a transplant wears a button with the number of years since their transplant. It's kind of fun to look at everyone's button to see how long it's been. The shortest amount of time I saw was 8 months...the longest 20 years.

My favorite part of the day is to see the doctors and nurses out and about hugging patients and posing for pictures. They are the real rock stars in this world.

It's also the hardest part for me. You see, my son had been recommended to City of Hope for a bone marrow transplant but his cancer was resistant to the chemo and they couldn't help him. As I sit there and smile when I see the patient with a head scarf and face mask hugging their doctor and thanking him/her, inside I'm crying because I wish my son had that opportunity.

Now, it's time to head to the Goodwill for some cheap therapy...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lovin' these link parties

Linking up over at

Thanks for hosting this. :)

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

A friend of mine has a wonderful ministry of Families Helping Families. As a small branch of this, her grandson is raising money to buy mosquito nets for Malawi, Africa. He is doing this by having a "store" in his classroom where kids can buy gifts for Mother's Day.

As my contribution, I went to the Dollar Tree and bought 10 frames of various sizes. Here are three of them...

You can't tell from the lighting but this is a nice aubergine color. I used scrapbook paper and stickers for the inside design and used acrylic paint markers for the writing on the frame.
Can I just say that I LOVE the color of this frame? It's Rustoleum Painter's Touch in Lagoon. In taking the photo, I got a weird glare that makes it look like the paper is worn out in some areas.
This frame is painted in Apple Green. I used a sticker on scrapbook paper and then hot glued these little buttons on the corners for added punch.

What fun I'm having coming up with ideas for these frames. Can't wait to show you more. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Highs and Lows

Jennifer over at is hosting a highs and lows link party. It sounds like fun (and a great way to vent) so I'm linking up.

Here are my Highs:

1. Thrift shopping with my friend, Nina

2. Lunch with friends, Rene and Gypsy

3. PartyLite fundraiser for my Relay for Life team

4. Tea with friends Barbara and Bea

5. Realizing, as I type this, that I have wonderful friends. :)

Here are my lows:

1. Spending too much money at said thrift stores. haha

2. Hearing that my nephew has Degenerative Joint Disease (he has Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma and had a bone marrow transplant a few years ago)

3. Having to cancel out on tennis with my sister-in-law because I was too busy (and tired)

4. Having a leaky toilet

5. My husband not having (or making) time to fix the leaky toilet.


One of my dearest and closest friends lost her mom last week and as I am trying to be a good support to her, I can't help but think about my mom. It hasn't brought particularly sad memories but my mom has been on my mind more than usual.

It's been 10 months since she died and this will be my first Mother's Day without her. My mom loved birdies and when I saw this one at the Dollar Tree, I bought it with the intention of painting the yellow rose, fuschia. I forgot to take a before picture but here is the finished product. I get my love of bright colors from my mom...her favorite was fuschia while mine is purple.
Here is a picture of my mom, Lena. Isn't she cute?
Of course, I can't think about death or my mom without thinking of my son, Andrew. He died two years ago...10 days after turning 18. This is one of my favorite pictures of him.
He loved to have fun and here we are pimpin' it up at Burlington Coat Factory. Oh, how I miss those crazy days. What do these memories and a food and craft blog have in common you ask? Well, I'll tell you...after my son died, I lost interest in life. I would have curled up under my blankets and never come out had it not been for my other son Matthew. I couldn't give up entirely because that wouldn't be fair to him.

I made it through each day with the strength God gave me. One foot in front of the other until I could go to bed at night. Fast forward through those dark times until this year...while still sad and missing my son, the pain is not as excruciating and I've been bitten by the crafting bug. I am getting so much comfort and joy from being creative. It truly is healing.

To God be the glory....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A crafting I will go...

Here are some of the latest things I've been working on. I've seen this idea on a few other blogs so I thought I'd give it a try. Maybe these wreath forms weren't the best style as they are not smooth. Oh well, I think they came out ok.

This was my first attempt at decoupage. The heart was my tester. I used some cheap Target dollar bin scrapbook paper and it bubbled. I tried to tear it off and wasn't very successful. I then thought, "Hmmm, what if I added paint to the Mod Podge?" I mixed in a little pink paint and coated the torn part of the frame. The little yellow button at the top left was my "let's see how Mod Podge works as a glue" test. Since these frames only cost a dollar at Michael's, it wasn't an expensive test.

The frame on the left was my second try. I used better paper and it worked great!

I found this square plate on clearance at Wal-Mart for $2.00 and I used acrylic paint pens to draw and decorate the butterflys, then I added some wall stickers (that I got at the Dollar Tree) for extra punch. I think it came out really cute. :) I've been having lots of fun. It feels good to be creating and crafting again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Desperate for dinner ideas...

Today was one of those days...I had nothing planned for dinner and not many groceries in the house. I had defrosted some ground beef the day before so that was to be the base of my meal. I put it in a heated skillet and sprinkled on some garlic salt.
While the ground beef was cooking, I desperately looked through my pantries for something to add to it. Here's what I found...hmmm...this looks like the beginnings of nachos!
Meanwhile, I cut up corn tortillas to make chips.
I put the cut up tortillas into a pot of hot oil and let them crisp up.
When the ground beef was cooked, I added the soup, half the jar of salsa and some green onions. I simmered this for about 3 minutes.
Here are the chips- all done and nicely salted.

In the end...some mighty tasty homemade nachos.

This dish took about 20 minutes.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

This is my go-to recipe. It's not the easiest one but it is well liked.

To start off you need about 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Put them in a big pot with garlic salt and boil until done. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, shred and add table salt to taste. Set aside.

I mix one large can of La Victoria Green enchilada sauce and a jar of Rosarita Salsa Verde. It has a better taste than the enchilada sauce by itself.
Get your pot of oil on the stove to heat along with your pot of chile sauce. Once they have heated up, dip a tortilla in the oil and cook. Before it gets too hard use your tongs to transfer it to the chile pot. Dip, coating both sides and place on the plate. Continue doing this until you have a dozen tortillas stacked on the plate.
I like to use these throw away pans but you can use any serving dish you prefer. I spray some Pam and then put some sauce on the bottom. The amount of sauce I put on the bottom depends on how much I anticipate having left over. If I'm making lots of enchiladas, I use a little sauce. Today, I was only making a dozen so I used lots of sauce.

Here are my main ingredients. You can add diced onions and chopped olives if you like. My husband likes onions and no olives , I like olives and no onions. My son...I can't keep up with his likes and dislikes sometimes so, to make it easier on myself, I just use chicken and cheese.I put some chicken down the center, add some cheese and roll.

Here they are all naked and begging for some extra sauce and cheese...
That's better. Notice the little corner with cheddar cheese...that's for me. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
And now...the finished product!

As a variation you can make a casserole and skip the rolling step. For this size pan, I would use 18 tortillas and cook 8-10 chicken breasts. Follow all the same steps...dipping tortillas in oil then sauce. Layer the bottom of pan with 6 tortillas, spread chicken, add some sauce then sprinkle cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, chicken, sauce and cheese and finish with a layer of tortillas and cheese. Heat in oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until top tortillas are a little crunchy.

Serve either one with beans and rice on the side and your family will be happy.

Eat up!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spray Paint-apalooza Part 3

I found this little lantern thing out in my yard. I had bought it from Big Lots about 2 years ago. It was white and rusty. I put it on the table with the rest of my Goodwill/Savers finds that are waiting to be painted.

Yesterday, my husband brought to my attention that the glass was held in by little metal tabs and could be taken out (carefully). This was all the encouragement I needed to get to work! I took all the glass out and set it aside. I then dusted off this little gem and hit it with a coat of lavender spray paint.

My original plan was to put a candle in it and give it away. As the day progressed, I got the idea to put a little bird in it. I bought the paper "grass" at a dollar store and just for an example used this little bird that belonged to my mom. I liked it so much that I decided to keep it for myself.

My mom always loved birds and used to tell us that the birds talked to her. When she would find out something we had done, we would ask, "How did you know?" She would reply, "The pajaritos (Spanish for little birds) told me." This was then passed on to the grandchildren. Of course, my mom knew things they had done from the stories we would tell her. The grandkids were amazed that their Nany talked to the birds. :)This is a tin flower vase I found at Goodwill last night. It was only $1.99!
Here it is after a coat of baby blue spray paint. Much improved, I think.
Remember those white candle stands from my last spray paint post? Here's what they look like now with these lovely plates I found at Target.
I used them for cookies when I hosted my Relay for Life team meeting the other night.
I have been bitten by the crafting bug!!!

Things to do with chicken

Sundays I work at church so when I get home, I just want to cook up something easy. Today, I put 4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to boil with some garlic salt. Then I headed for my computer to see what was happening on facebook.

20 minutes later...the chicken was done.
When the chicken had cooled, I shredded it and added some table salt.
I then grated some jack cheese...
...and chopped up some tomatoes and green onions.
I fried some beans, layered them on top of tortilla chips, added the shredded chicken, jack cheese, green onion and tomatoes and there you have it...Chicken nachos. Yum, yum. :)
Stay tuned...tomorrow I'm using the rest of the shredded chicken to make Enchiladas Suizas.