Monthly Archives: January 2012

Valentine’s Rag Wreath!



I can’t believe the beautiful weather we had yesterday ! And we will have it again today. Almost fifty degrees…aaaahhhh!

I sure was needy on Valentine’s decorations!  I already shared my two frame wreaths. Now I have a rag wreath for you. It is very simple and uses only a wire hanger, fabric, tulle and any other embellishments you want to use on it. I really like the way it came out so full and fluffy like.

So I really wanted to use things I had at home that were just gathering dust. I have this material with a musical motif in black on an ivory background…cha ching! I also had some tulle on a roll, red felt, and a wire hanger. Since I don’t really sew (yet) I might as well use some of the material!

I bent my hanger into a circle the best I could. I left the top hanger portion on since I would be hanging this indoors I could just use it to hang onto a nail on the back of my inside front door. I cut the material (which was a kind of thick material) into 8″ x 2″ strips and just knotted it onto the hanger until I liked the fullness (until I couldn’t get more on) of it. I think the length of the material will depend on the type of material you use and how poufy (round, full, long) you want it to be. I added some pieces of tulle which I also knotted onto the hanger in between the other materials to give it a bit of softness. At this point I bent it into a better circle. I die cut some felt hearts and just used pearl topped pins to attach them to some strips of material. I didn’t want to permanently attach  the hearts on in case I wanted to keep it up for another holiday. I think this particular material lends itself well for year round decorating. At Christmas you can put snowflakes or christmas trees. For halloween maybe some bats or witches hats, etc…Ok I think I’m getting ahead of myself!

Go raid your stash of stuff and get crafty!





Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy



Feliz Día! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I pretty much just bummed around. I am glad to be back to work after my daughter being sick.

So my husband is on a mission to become healthier and to take me along on the ride. I will definitely try all most of his ideas.

So here they are:

1. Since our kids are pretty much grown up (the youngest is 11) he wants to tear up the yard and grow organic vegetables. I am ok with that as long as it is a pretty garden (and I mean PRETTY!).

2. No dairy products (I can’g to that far…I love cheese too much!)

3. Try to buy organic as much as possible and as much as our finances will allow (I guess we won’t be buying anything organic).

4. Eat more fruits/vegetables as snacks instead of baked or processed items. This won’t be too bad since we are not big junk food buyers. I will just make baked goods with fruit in them!

5.The juicing has begun. He pulled out his Jack LaLanne juicer on Saturday!

6. Exercise more (wish us luck on that one!). When the weather gets warmer maybe I will try walking an hour a day again (as long as my feet don’t hurt).

These are all great ideas and I will try to stick to them as much as possible. OH…one more important thing. My husband forbade me (yes, FORBADE!) to bake and leave the baked goods in his presence. He said I had better take them to work or give them to someone else…what a party pooper! So today I am taking treats to work!

I have had a really hard time sticking to my WW points this week…but I can do this. I don’t think there is anything wrong with dreaming about stuffing my face into a triple chocolate cake. Do you?

Anyway, check out this absolutely delicious meal!

I can’t even describe how delicious this was!  I want to lick the screen! This would have been even better with a loaf of bread to sop up the gravy!

  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 3/4 cup onions, minced
  • 1 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine half of the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, egg white, 1/4 cup beef broth, salt and black pepper.
Shape into 8 oval patties.
In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Set aside on a dish. ( I had to brown the patties in two batches.)
Add mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes.
Return patties to the skillet with the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining broth until smooth. Mix in remaining onions, tomato paste, vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard powder.
Pour over meat and mushrooms in skillet.
Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
AMAZING! Everyone had this with home-made mashed potatoes, but I had it with Skinny Mac and Cheese Soup. I will post that recipe later this week.
If you feel the need for meat go home and make this for dinner! You won’t be disappointed.

Oh, Brother!



So I was home again yesterday with my sick daughter. She was pretty quiet all day. After about 6 pm she was back to her regular self. I am glad she is feeling better! The weather today was absolutely gorgeous! Of course we didn’t enjoy it because we were in the house all day. I enjoyed it for about 5 minutes while I picked up homework…that was it!

I am still having a hard time doing scrapbook pages with masculine designs. It’s so easy to do feminine pages. I did not like the way this page came out, but I will show it to you anyways.

I guess what I mean to say is that I like the people in the picture, I just don’t like the layout. I guess it’s good practice for when I make the most awesome masculine layout ever!  This was on my youngest brothers birthday. He is awesome. He’s the one who pushed me into blogging. Thanks, Ari!

Have a great weekend!



Love Upcycled Frame



Feliz Friday! I am really glad it’s Friday…you know how I love to sleep in on the weekends. Yesterday my youngest was home sick so I was home too. Whenever any of my kids are sick (it doesn’t matter how old they are) I coddle them. I snuggled with my youngest yesterday in between tylenol and pepto bismol. They always want mommy. My husband only made fun of me! He would say “You’re baby is calling you”! and then would laugh when I would run back with whatever my daughter wanted…It’s all part of being a mama…I think he was just jealous that I was paying more attention to her!

So I have another upcycled frame wreath for you…

This was again super easy. The frame was a Dollar Tree frame and the glass had broken. I like the scratches of white on the frame it just adds more to the frame. The sign again is a $5.00 buy. I just tied the sign onto the top of the frame, attached it with pop dots on the back and WALA! It has kind of a French feel to it I think. It’s hanging on my back door. I love it. I love that it was cheap too. I love that I recycled something. Isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about? LOVE. AMOR.



Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole



I have been working hard on some up cycled Valentine’s decorations. It’s amazing how much “stuff” you can save through out the years. When I really love some type of craft supply I tend to hoard it because it’s too cute to use. I need to get over this and just use everything!

This casserole was really good. I really like the consistency of wild rice…a little dense and crunchy  but nutty tasting…soooo good! It makes plenty so there’s enough for leftovers or lunch.

I couldn’t stop eating this!

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 stalks celery, finely diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic

2 Cups shredded, cooked chicken breast

2 Cups steamed white rice

16 oz prepared wild rice ( I cook my own)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


Cheese Sauce

4 Tablespoons butter

1/4 Cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 Cups chicken broth

2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Top with 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt.  Reduce heat to low.

2.  To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.  Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.  Serve.

8-10 servings

This meal was creamy, cheesy and flavorful. Need I say more?



Recipe from

Hugs & Kisses



A week or two ago I put up my Valentine’s decorations and realized I didn’t have any wreaths for my doors. I was very sad. I always have something up on my doors. I checked out Target and everything just seemed so expensive. I kind of didn’t want to spend $20.00 for a wreath so I didn’t. Of course I am always on Pinterest and back around Christmas I saw the cutest frame with pine cones hung in the middle. The light turned on! I needed to make something cute but cheap and using  stuff that I no longer needed or really wanted. Over my shopping outing this past weekend I purchased 2 cute wooden decorations for $5.oo each. I had some old frames that I no longer used and shellacked the heck out of them and the wooden decorations. This is one of the “wreath” decorations I came up with.

You can see that the frame is not in perfect condition, so I might as well use it outside. It was just sitting behind a dresser. I used an upholstery stapler to staple the ribbon onto the back of the frame. I added a pop dot to each side of the wooden decoration to “attach” it to the frame. This cost me a whole 5 pesos! I was so proud of myself! I had to take the picture inside because it was already dark outside and some things just need to get done right away. I have this frame on my front door. Run! Raid your stash of unwanted or unnecessary stuff and make something new! You will love it and so will your cute wallet!



Sausage and Mushroom Strata



Here we are in the cold! On cold days I like to make filling and hearty meals…no sandwiches for us! A lot of the recipes I’ve been posting are light and healthy but also very filling. Who doesn’t want a full belly? This past weekend I almost cried from hunger…again! I weighed in yesterday morning and I lost one pound. Not bad…I will get there eventually. That brings my total weight loss so far to seven pounds since January 4th. Yay for me!

I really enjoyed this filling meal.

It’s considered a breakfast meal, but I made it for dinner. I can eat this for all three meals.

I want to call it Sausage and Muchroom Strata because I feel like I have too much room in my belly…it’s always growling.


  • 8 oz wheat ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used the bread from the Artisan Bread in 5
  • 12 oz turkey breakfast sausage (I used Italian turkey sausage)
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1-1/2 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 12 oz egg substitute, like egg beaters
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until toasted.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine milk, cheese, eggs, egg substitute, parmesan cheese, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Addbread, sausage, scallions and mushrooms, tossing well to coat bread. Spoon mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

This is the meal that turned one of my nights last week into a disaster, but it was worth it. It was warm and filling the following morning. Excellent when you have a lot of people to feed. If you aren’t watching what you eat some eggs on the side would be marvelous!





Recipe from