Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Easy Taco Dip

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Are you in a hurry and need a quick and easy appetizer to take to the party? or Is it game night at your house and you don't feel like making a huge dinner? Either way this Taco Dip recipe is for you! It is quick and easy to make and taste amazing. My husband and I have made this as a quick dinner for the two of us a few times and it was a huge hit the Game Day lunch at my husband's work!

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Easy Taco Dip

Makes a 9x13 pan

Ingredients:


  • Jar of Refried Beans OR Homemade Refried Bean
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 stick  Cream Cheese (8oz) - softened 
  • ¾ container of Sour Cream (8oz)
  • Salsa to liking
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Black Olives - Optional
  • Tostito's Chips


Directions:


1. Mix the Refried Beans and the Taco Seasoning together in a bowl and spread on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

2. Mix the Cream Cheese and the Sour Cream together in a bowl and layer it on top of the Refried Beans. 

3. Layer the Salsa to your liking on top of the Cream mixture.

4. Sprinkle with Shredded Cheese.

5. Top with Lettuce and Olives to your liking. You can add tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc... to the top if you desire.

6. Keep refrigerated until served. Serve with Tostito's Chips! 

NOTE: In the picture, we halved the recipe and made a smaller portion for the two of us.




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Baby's First Keepsake Ornament


Christmas is right around the corner and this Christmas I have two little ones to celebrate with. Last year I made a Baby's First Keepsake Ornament for my daughter. My due date was Christmas eve but she decided to make an early entrance so I was busy trying to get the whole new mommy thing down so she didn't get her Baby's First Keepsake Ornament until the following year. I just made my son's ornament a few days ago. They are super easy to make, super cute, and super cheap.


Supplies
All you need is Puff paint or Paint Pens, your baby keepsakes (hospital hat, patient bands, and anything else you have that will fit), and a clear plastic or glass ornament. I prefer plastic because it's baby proof!!! You can finds these at any craft store and I'm sure Walmart has them but I haven't looked. I bought mine at Micheals two years ago when my daughter was born but they still sell them there. I think I paid .40 cents max for a big plastic ornament because they were on sale.


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UPDATE: So I recently had my third baby and made him a keepsake ornament out of his hospital items. We didn't get the pink and blue hat the other two got when they were born but we did get a hospital hat so I squeezed the hospital hat and his ID bands into a plastic ornament and personalized the ornament with my son's name and birth date. I used a green Sharpie paint pen to personalize his ornament.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Teacher Ornament Tutorial: Personalized Apples


One of my husband's coworkers needed a smaller gift for her son to give to his teachers for Christmas and asked him if I could make ornaments. I have made ornaments in the past but never one for a teacher so I decided to give it a try and here is what I came up with:

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I think they turned out pretty good and my husband's coworker and son were very pleased as well. Her son was so pleased he was trying to come up with more teachers to give them to... too cute! 

Supplies:

  • Plastic or Glass Ornaments (plastic is safer, especially if your kids will be handling them) - You can buy theses at any craft store. 
  • Red, Black and Green Paint Pens - I used Painters Paint Pens by Elmers and the only one that worked right was the red so I DO NOT recommend buying this brand.
  • Ribbon - I used a solid red and a teacher themed one from Hobby Lobby. 
  • Cord Ribbon - .99¢ at Walmart
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Skew, Chop Stick, or something similar - Optional
  • Mod Podge and small paint brush- Optional
*See UPDATE below for paint pen preference.

How To:

1. Draw the apple on the front of your ornament and let dry.

2. Once the apple is dry you can personalize it with your teachers name. Let Dry.

NOTE: I recommend wiping down the surface you plan to draw on before you begin. I used a Magic Eraser to wipe off my ornaments in hopes that it would also make the surface a little more ruff so the paint pens would stick better since they weren't sticking when I started. If the paint pens appear watered down, shake them a little more and if they still appear watered down then it is probably your paint pen and you will have to put a bunch of coats on to get it to show up like I had to do with my green and black.


3. Once the design was dry I covered it with Mod Podge by painting a circle around the year and apple and filled it in. Let Dry. This is optional because the paint should stay on the ornament but I did this because I was having trouble with the paint pens and I wanted it to last forever and not scratch off. The Mod Podge also gave it a nice shine.

4. After the Mod Podge was dry I wrote "Love, student's name" in the middle of the back of the ornament so that the teacher would know who it was from for years to come.

5. While the ornaments are drying go ahead and cut your paper into small strips. I cut my paper in half then folded it and cut thin strips. I used three sheets of paper for five ornaments if that helps you figure out how much you need to cut.

6. Spiral the strips of paper. I did this by wrapping each strip tightly around a wood skew I had. You can wrap the paper around anything similar such as a pencil or chop stick. You can also wrap the paper strips around your finger but they won't be as tight of a spiral.

7. Remove the top of the ornament and fill the ornaments with the spiraled paper till you are satisfied with how it looks and put the ornaments top back on. Each ornament will need at least 15 strips of the spiraled paper.



NOTE: Filling your ornament is optional of coarse and you can fill the ornament with whatever you choose. I chose paper because I thought it would add to the ornament since paper is related to teaching.

8. Cut the ribbon and cord to your liking and tie it around the hook at the top and let it hang. I put one strand of red and one strand of ABC123 ribbon on each ornament. I then attached the cord to make a nice hanger for the ornament. You can use any hanger you would prefer thou.

*Ribbon that looks like a ruler would look cute too!

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9. Wrap it up and let your kid give it to their teacher!

These ornaments took a while to make because the black and green paint pens didn't want to stick to the plastic ornament and kept evaporating but if they worked like they were suppose to it wouldn't of taken that long. I think these ornaments turned out really cute, the pictures don't do them justice and I'm glad my husband's coworkers family loved them, I hope the teachers do to. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

_________________________________________________

UPDATE: I made more Personalized Apple ornaments this year as gifts and wanted to share them with you. This year I used Sharpie Paint Pens and they worked ten times better then the Painters brand I had last year. DO NOT USE PAINTERS PAINT PENS, THEY ARE AWEFUL. Because I used Sharpie Paint Pens I did not have to seal the ornament. The Sharpie pens are oil based so the paint stays on plastic ten times better. I also used an extra fine black tip paint pen to write with so the names looked a lot neater than before.








Wednesday, December 9, 2015

100+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men


*Affiliate Links are used in this Post


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We've all been there before walking around the stores trying to find something small to fit in our husband's stocking and we usually result in buying his favorite candy, maybe some deodorant and socks.  I still recommend getting him his favorite candy because he may be disappointed without it but if you are tired of the same old boring stocking stuffers then check out this list for some more  ideas. I've listed over 100 Stoking Stuffer Ideas that came to mind, I know I probably left some out but this should be more than enough to help you fill that special man in your life's Stocking this year!

100+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men:


Bath and Body Stocking Stuffers:
- Cologne or Cologne Sample
- Deodorant
- Razor
- Shaving Gel
- Shower Gel
- Lufa
- Travel Kit
- Toothbrush
- Floss
- Comb or Brush
- Chapstick
- Men's Manicure Set or just Nail Clippers
- Skin Care Lotion
- Sun Screen


Clothes and Accessories Stocking Stuffers:
- Boxers
- Socks: Fussy, Regular, Running, Winter, Dress
- Handkerchief
- Knit Hat
- Gloves
- Scarf
- Watch
- Fitbit
- Bowtie
- Tie
- Tie Clip - order personalized ones on etsy if you want it to be more meaningful
- Cufflinks - order personalized ones on etsy if you want it to be more meaningful
- Suspenders
- Wallet
- Money Clip
- Sunglasses
- Shoe Polish
- Shoe Laces
- Paracord Bracelet, Necklace or Keychain


Food and Drink Stocking Stuffers:
- His favorite Candy - no brainer
- His favorite Gum
- Mini bag of Chips
- Individual Wrapped Cookies
- Mini sauce: tabasco, hot sauce, A1, buffalo sauce, etc...
- Water Flavorings: liquid or packets
- Hot Chocolate
- Cigar
- Mini Liquor Bottles
- Bottle Opener
- Flask or Personalized Flask
- Shot Glass
- Koozie
- Coasters
- Personalized Tumbler or Sports Team Tumbler - some may be too big to fit in a stocking
     *check out my blog on how to make your own Personalized Tumbler
- Knife Sharpener


Hobby Related Stocking Stuffers:
- Fishing Gear - lures, bobbers and hooks are all small enough to fit in a stocking
- Golf Ball and Golf Tee
- Baseball
- Tennis Ball
- Ping Pong Balls - for Ping Pong or Beer Pong
- Guitar Picks
- Mini LED Flashlight
- Safety Glasses
- Work Gloves
- Magnetic Work Wristband - helps hold nails and screws
- Pocket Knife
- 12 in 1 Multi Tool Set
- Drill Bits
- Saw Blades
- Tape Measure
- Screw drivers - they make mini ones 
- Tire Pressure Gage
- Bungy Cords
- Clamps
- Duct Tape - it can fix everything
- WD-40
- Zippo Lighter
- Binoculars
- Ammo
- Ear Plugs
- Hand and Foot Warmers
- Poncho
- Man Apron
- Grill Tools Set
- Grill Glove
- Kabob Skewers


Homemade Stocking Stuffers:
- Coupon Book
- Food Passport
- Ornament
- Love Poem
- Reasons Why I Love You list
- Picture Coasters
- A-Z Date Book, a planned date, or date ideas


Misc. Stocking Stuffers:
- Lottery Tickets
- Movie Tickets - you can pre order them online
Concert Tickets
- Sporting Event Tickets
- Gift Cards to his favorite store or restaurant
- DVD
- CD
- Video Game - most video games will fit in a stocking 
- Smaller Book
- Book Light
- Bookmark
- USB Drive
- Portable Charger
- Car Adapter
- Car Air Freshener
- Car Decal
- Car Snow Scraper
- Headphones or Earbuds
- Phone Case
- Keychain
- Compass
- Batteries
- Deck of Cards
- Uno
- Phase 10
- Dice
- Rubix Cube - they sell themed rubix cubes
- Fancy Pen with a Notepad
- Ornament of his favorite character - Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, or one with a picture of you two in it


XXX  Stocking Stuffers:
- Condoms
- Lube
- Sexy Picture of you in a Santa hat
- Sexy Underwear hinting at what he may be getting later
- Sex Games: Bedroom Dice, Truth or Dare, etc...
- Handcuffs
- Chocolate Syrup
- Edible Body Paint Pens

I hope you enjoyed this list and that I was able to help you fill that special man in your life's stocking this year. I'll update the list if I think of more, feel free to comment more ideas you may have since I know I left some out! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rose Petal Keepsake Christmas Ornament

When I was eight months pregnant with my daughter my Great Grandmother who we called Grammie passed away and went to be with the lord. We were all so excited when we found out I was having a girl because we would of had five generations of females, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. At the funeral, I was given a single pink rose for my daughter with a ribbon around it that said "Great Great Grammie". As everybody knows, roses begin to wilt and eventually die. I kept trying to think of a way to preserve the rose so that my unborn daughter could still get to have this precious keepsake besides the ribbon just being stored in her baby book. Since it was almost Christmas, I came up with making an ornament. I bought some ribbon and clear plastic ornaments from Michael's and got to crafting.

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My husband and I gently pealed the rose petals off of the three roses we had from the funeral and placed them into the plastic ornaments until they were about ¾ of the way full. I then used some black Puffy paint to personalize the ornaments by writing "Grammie 1921-2013" on them. As the puffy paint was drying we made two bows out of the ribbon we bought and attached the bows to the ornaments using a hot glue gun. We attached the ribbon we had that said "Great Great Grammie" on it to our ornament and saved it for my daughter. The other two we made and given as gifts for my mom and my grandmother so they could have a special keepsake to remember their mother/grandmother by. Every Christmas this special rose petal keepsake ornament will hang on our Christmas trees and we will be reminded of what a great and wonderful women Grammie was and know that she is now in a better place watching over all of us!


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This craft is super easy to make and doesn't cost a lot either. It is a great way to preserve flowers from any occasion whether it's a wedding, funeral or maybe an anniversary. You can personalize it however you want using puffy paint or paint pens, or just leave it blank and every year as you hang your rose petal keepsake ornament on your Christmas tree you will be reminded of that special person or moment that the flowers are from. I hope you enjoy this craft!

Below is another Rose Petal Keepsake Ornament I recently made for my son in honor of my Grandfather, his Great Grandfather, who we knew as Pop-Pop. Pop Pop passed away the night before I gave birth to my son. My son was born with and still has blue eyes that he got from my Grandfather because neither my husband or I have blue eyes, its crazy how thing happen. At the funeral they had a red rose with a ribbon on it that said "Great Pop Pop" on it. I filled the ornament with the rose after it had wilted and hot glued the "Great Pop Pop" bow onto it. I then wrote on it with a paint pen in one of his favorite colors. This Christmas I will hang both my keepsake ornaments on our Christmas tree in honor of the loved ones that we have lost and as a reminder of what great people they were.

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