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Brown Sugar Caramel Bundt Cake

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 I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and made it last week for my sweet hubby's birthday.
It was really good so I'm sharing the link…
This recipe comes from a great blog called Lady Behind the Curtain.  
Just click on the above blog name and it will take you directly to the recipe link.
The only thing I altered was the caramel drizzle.  I made my own caramel frosting instead.  You can find that recipe here…



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Prayer List Printable - February

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Prayer List Printable - February

Another free printable for the Resolution Notebook. 
Simply click on the image and it will take you to the download page.


Here are all of the monthly prayer list printables...

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Skinny Taco Dip

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I love, love, love the website "Skinnytaste".  

I have found some great healthy recipes on that website and 
I love the fact that all of them have the nutrition info listed 
as well as Weight Watcher Points.  Very cool!  

I was thinking this would be a great Super Bowl dip.  
I served mine with Baked Tostitos.  
I also served this on a taco salad made with l
ean ground taco meat, lettuce and reduced fat shredded mexican cheese.  
It was divine!

Here's a link to the Recipe.
Enjoy!
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Milk Paint Vintage Table Lamp

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 Recently, I have been getting fussed at in some of my "COMMENTS" (in a nice fussing way)
because I'm not doing enough tutorials on my painted furniture.  Yep, you are right, I haven't been including tutorials, just mostly pictures, because I did so many detailed tutorials at the beginning of my painted furniture projects that I just figured you all knew how I got "my look".  
So, (as promised) here's a tutorial on this project...


First of all, I used "Lucketts Green" by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.

You can read all about it at MMS' website here.
I took an excellent class on Milk Paint techniques at Me & Mrs. Jones.
If you know me, you know my love for Stephanie and all the girls at Me and Mrs. Jones.
Here's my old post about her wonderful shop and studio… (click photo below)


I got this sweet little piece at a church rummage sale back in the spring.  It was $10.  

The first thing I did was take the table apart.  

It was pretty gross so I wiped down the entire thing, very well.  
This might be a good time to warn you about something rather obvious but something that always slips my mind when I see a spindle style antique… 
I immediately fall in love with the look but forget about the fact that those spindly legs can be quite nasty, especially on really old pieces and they can be somewhat challenging to paint. Having said that, I still buy spindle pieces because I think they are absolutely beautiful!

So, back to the tutorial…
Working with Milk Paint can be challenging for a control freak, such as myself.  This paint truly has a mind of it's own and it will peel and chip where it wants!  The good news is that every time I use it, I love the look.  It's crazy because it always chips and crackles pretty perfectly.  Having said that, there are a few techniques that can be used to persuade it to chip a little more in certain places.  You can apply various mediums such as hemp oil, candle wax, vaseline, etc to the areas where you want less adhesion of the paint.  

After a good cleaning, I applied vaseline to the different spots where I wanted the paint to appear MORE "chippy".  I used a small amount of vaseline, in other words, it does not need to be gunky, it should be smooth after applied.


Then, it was time to paint.  I mixed up my milk paint according to the package instructions.  The packets are really adorable… on a side note. I applied 2 coats of paint and then let it dry.  It dries quickly so coat 1 was already dry when I got back to the beginning and started on coat 2. As it dried, it began to peel and chip, wherever it wanted to, mind you, that's the beauty of milk paint!  Once again let me say that this paint forces you to give up a little control, this could also be called "therapy" for someone like myself. 
(haha)


After the table dried and chipped completely, I applied Miss Mustard Seed's Hemp Oil.  I have fallen in love with this product! Recently, I've used it on several of my chalk paint furniture pieces and I also used it to revive my old farm table top.  If you're interested in reading about that, here's the link.

So, here's the funny part of my story…
I threw away the nasty old lamp shade and then I began searching for a replacement shade.  

Let me just say - that there was no shade to be found!  I looked everywhere, including online and could find nothing that would work as a replacement.  So, I did a little "dumpster diving" to retrieve the original shade.  I decided to use Annie Sloan on this one. I applied a coat of Aubusson Blue. As you can see, the light peaks through in spots, where the shade is weaker from wear, tear and age.  I like to think of it as having it's own ikat look!  If I ever find a shade to replace this one, I will definitely buy it but for now, this works just fine.

This sits in the corner next to a chair in my guest room.  It's a sweet little addition to my collection of painted furniture.






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Easy Caramel Frosting Recipe

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Easy Caramel Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Heat condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually add powdered sugar and whisk well.  Pour onto cake while warm.  The icing will harden as it cools.

The cake recipe can be found here
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NO STIR Rice Krispie Treats

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Meet my LOVELY Christmas present…
a Kitchenaid Glass Bowl with lid.  
I love this bowl.  I must say that it is worth every penny.
I don't know about you but often times, I find myself needing an extra mixer bowl.
This one is great because I can pre-make "stuff" and put it in the fridge with a sealable lid.  Woohoo.
So, those are the obvious reasons I love my new glass bowl 
but here's another (not so obvious) reason…
You can put it in the microwave!
All of this leads me to tell you about easy, no-stir Rice Krispie treats.

I love RK treats but they are one of my LEAST favorite things to make.
I would rather make a layer cake or a cheesecake or any other difficult dessert that to 
STIR and STIR and STIR
the marshmallow sticky mess that comes from RK treats!
It's not fun!
But I have to make them because my youngest kid LOVES them and so do I!
So here's the easy, peasy way to make them and not stir a single thing…

Stick your 3 Tbsp. butter in glass bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.
Add 10 oz. bag of marshmallows, and coat with the melted butter.
Microwave for 90 seconds.
Stick the bowl on your mixer stand and attach paddle, stir.
Microwave for an additional 90 seconds.
Place on mixer stand an stir.
Slowly add in 6 cups of Rice Krispies while mixer is stirring.
Press the mixture into a greased 13 x 9" pan.
Now that's super easy!





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Rub 'N Buff Gold Stencil

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My guest room is a cute, quaint little room with steep, slanted roof walls.  


It is a cute room but makes wall decor difficult.  I wanted to do something to accent the room.  The walls were already painted this neutral taupe-ish color.  The side walls are only 45 inches tall where they meet the ceiling so I decided to stencil the headboard wall.  I had already purchased this awesome stencil at "Me & Mrs. Jones", 
it's made by Royal Design Studio and it's called Antoinette Damask.  




I picked up a few tubes of "gold leaf" colored "Rub N Buff" at Hobby Lobby and I dove right in.  Yes, I used "Rub N Buff" instead of paint.  Let me warn you that if you decide to do this project, you MUST wear gloves and you must have a well ventilated room.  The fumes from this stuff made me HIGH AS A KITE. Seriously.  We had to close off the doors to the upstairs just to keep the fumes from being too overpowering downstairs.  It was crazy.  You could smell it when you walked in the front door but the smell dissipated after a few days.

I used a stencil spray adhesive to stick the stencil to the wall.  I started out using a stencil brush but my arms were screaming in pain and it was taking FOREVER to do it that way.  I found that using an old t-shirt rag worked much more effectively.  




I spaced the stencil more than the recommended pattern, purposefully.  It's really cool because it's a subtle stencil.  You can see it very well if the light is shining on it but it can almost blend in sometimes too. 

So there's my project.  It added a nice touch to the guest room.  I was careful to insure that I didn't have any guests scheduled for at least a week so the strong fumes could air out!








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Raisin Bran Muffins

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Raisin Bran Muffins

Ingredients:
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. EVOO or oil
1/4 c. applesauce
2 c. self-rising flour
2 c. raisin bran
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all of the above ingredients.  
Continue to stir as you spoon batter into greased muffin pan.  
This will keep the raisins from sinking to the bottom of mixing bowl.  
Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  
This makes 12 large (Pampered Chef Size) muffins.



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Infinity Scarf

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Ooooh…I love this scarf!
I pinned an infinity scarf (like this) last week and then I made this one in a few hours over the weekend.
This is such an easy, quick project.
The only problem is that the pattern isn't in written form, it's a YouTube tutorial.
I attempted to write it out for my own records but it was way too time consuming so I gave up!
If I ever get around to finishing the written pattern, I'll attach it to this post.
For now, you can find the YouTube tutorial HERE.
Have fun with this one.  I plan on making several more in different colors.  
I might even combine colors and make one striped.

Let me go ahead and answer a few questions

I used 2 skeins of "Bamboo Spun" yarn - found at Hobby Lobby.
This is NAVY.
The weight of each skein was 3 oz.
I bought the yarn 1/2 price so I paid $5.49 total.
I used a "J" hook.
I made this scarf in 7 rows, rather than 10, because I wanted it to be thinner.

Pretty cute scarf for $5.49, huh?
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Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup

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Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup Recipe:

Ingredients:
20 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 c. roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 small white onion, chopped
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
14 oz. diced tomatoes
14 oz. petite diced tomatoes
4 c. chicken broth
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, add tortellini and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Drain tortellini and set aside.
In stockpot, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat.
Add onion, spinach, cilantro and garlic.  Sautee until spinach is wilted (2-3 minutes)
Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and bring to a simmer.  Add cooked tortellini.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.



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Pistachio Muffins

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Pistachio Muffins


I just LOVE pistachios.  I think they are my favorite nut. 
Not only do they taste WONDERFUL but they are also
good for my heart, my blood, my nervous system, eyes, immune system and skin!
Another added bonus is that they are high in protein and curb my appetite.
So, I decided to incorporate these little green wonders into breakfast.
I used my basic muffin recipe and tweaked it just a little bit.
I must say, they turned out awesome!  
I hope you will enjoy them too.



Pistachio Muffins

1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk (or regular milk)
2 eggs
1/4 c. applesauce
1/3 c. olive oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 c. self-rising flour
1 c. chopped pistachios (finely grated)
A drop of green food coloring (to tint them, not required)

Mix the above ingredients, reserving a small portion of the pistachios to be sprinkled on muffins after they are poured into muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

*Tip* I buy the pre-shelled pistachios and drop them into my NINJA blender - it grates them perfectly.
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Chicken Soup with Avocado and Cilantro

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Chicken Soup with Avocado and Cilantro Recipe:

1 lb shredded chicken
       (I like the packages of Costco rotisserie chicken in the deli, already cooked and shredded)
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large potato, diced
1 c. white instant rice
1/2 tbsp. dried cilantro
1 can tomato soup
1 can diced petite tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
1.5 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 jalapeƱo, seeded
1 lime, juiced
1/4 of bunch of cilantro, chopped

Serve each bowl of soup with…
Fresh cilantro, a slice of lime and slice of avocado

Dump in all the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.  You can add tortilla strips or chips to make this into a tortilla soup.


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Pie Safe Featured

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My Pie Safe was chosen as a feature at "The Dedicated House" this week.



Thank you for the feature :)
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DIY Tag Along Tote

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Cute bag, huh?
I saw a bag like this on Pinterest and I downloaded the pattern (from a blog) for FREE.
I printed the pattern and made it.  It was pretty quick and easy.
The bag turned out really cute, as you can see!
This was all 2 months ago.
I started writing this post today, to share "my find" with you and
when I went back to the link, it had been removed
 The pattern is no longer available!  UGH!
I did some research and I found the pattern on Etsy, but it's not free.  SIGH.
I have gotten A TON of compliments on this bag and I absolutely love it.  
I think it's well worth $8 and it's a PDF download.  
Here's the pattern link...
ON A SIDE NOTE: I do not know the person who sells this pattern on Etsy, 
nor do I benefit from sharing this link with you in any way. 
Also, let me just state that I have not bought this pattern, 
 it just looks like the one I downloaded and made.  
Proceed at your own risk ;)


Here's my selfie shot.  Heehee.

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Spinach Tomato Tortellini

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Recipe:

2 - 9 oz packages of three cheese tortellini (Buitoni is the brand I prefer)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. basil
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. Fat Free Coffee Mate Creamer or Half n Half
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 can tomato soup

Boil tortellini noodles for 9 minutes.  
Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the tortellini from sticking together.
While noodles are cooking, heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil in skillet over medium heat. 
Add the minced garlic, spinach and shallot to oil and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Add salt, pepper and basil.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and cream.  Use a whisk so it's well blended.
Add cream mixture to the skillet along with parmesan cheese and tomato soup.
Bring to a simmer and add to the cooked and drained tortellini noodles.
Enjoy!

FYI:  Pictured below is the tortellini that I buy.  
It's usually found in the refrigerated pasta section, it is not frozen.


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Blog Organization Printable

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Blog Organization Free Printable

Here's another addition to the Resolution Notebook for all you Bloggers out there.  
Click on the image to download.



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Scripture Printable

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Scripture Free Printable

Another freebie for the Resolution Notebook… click on the image to download.



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Recipe Printable

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Recipe Printable

Another free printable to add to the Resolution Notebook.  Click on the image to download.



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To Do List - Printable

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To Do List - Free Printable

Here's another free printable for the Resolution Notebook.  
Simply click on the image and it will take you to the download page.  




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Top 5 Sewing Projects of 2013

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#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

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