Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craft of Christmas Past

October is almost over, which means I (and maybe you too) have only two months to get my crafting butt in gear if my loved ones are going to end up with anything handmade from moi.  Lucky for them, I've had my thinking cap and my crafting pants on and already have a headstart on the handmade craft of 2012.  But that's not what we are talking about today.  Today, I offer you a Craft of Christmas Past. 

There have been many Crafts of Christmas Past - the year I took a semester of Pottery ranked up there in handmade gifts, as did they year I took Sewing 1 at JoAnne's and made all my girlfriends some pajama pants.  But today's Craft of Christmas Past is truely my favorite so far - the Owl Ornament Craft.

I found this adorable idea on the Burda Style website which included a FREE PATTERN and directions.  I wanted my owls to be a little larger and longer than the original pattern, so I made the necessary alterations and set to work.

The most time consuming part of these little cuties was hand stitching the beaks, because I'm a perfectionist, and I had to get perfect little triangular beaks.  But with a Law & Order SVU Marathon to keep me on the couch for an afternoon, they were finished in no time.

I personalized the owls for my nephews.  I had grandiose ideas of making an annual ornament for them and embroidering their names and the years.  Well, they will always have 2009...

If you are new at sewing, this is a great project to enhance your straight sewing skills.  Super fast, super easy and super cute! 

Now off I go to work on Craft of Christmas Present!  Get it?  Christmas Present!  Because it's for the Present year!  And it's a Present!  And it's Christmas!  And scene.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baked Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It's mid-October, and the weather is just going to get colder.  This means it's grilled cheese and tomato soup weather.  And boots weather.  But today we are going to talk grilled cheese.

The one thing that frustrates me about grilled cheese is that I have to grill them individually (depending on the size of your pan/griddle) so they rarely are ready all at once.  So I either serve the sandwiches separately so each person gets their sandwich piping hot, or everyone waits until all the sandwiches are ready and they are lukewarm by then.

Enter the Baked Grilled Cheese method!  I about fell off my chair when I read about this on AllRecipes.  Duh!  They are cooked all at once!  Out of the oven and served up hot all at once!  Even better, they are super fast, easy and the variation possibilities are endless!  As a full time working mama, I need some easy, fast, no-brainer meals to fall back on.  These sandwiches fit the bill!

This Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese variation gets two thumbs up by my husband, and my 20-month old happily gobbles it up too.

Ingredients with very rough measurements:
Bread - 2 slices per sandwich
Cheese - I've used Provalone and Mozzarella.  Sliced or grated works.  Two slices or small handfuls per slice of bread.
Rotisserie Chicken - Small handful per sandwich
Classico Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce & Spread
Baking Pan

Step 1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2.  Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Lay bread butter-side-down on baking pan.

Step 3.  Open the Classico Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce & Spread and stir until mixed well.

Spread desired amount of Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce on the un-buttered side of the bread.  Note: A little of this stuff goes a long way.  Start with a small spoonful, and add based on preference.

Step 4.  Add cheese.  I was using shredded Mozzarella when taking these photos.  A single slice of cheese works fine too.

Step 5.  Add chopped chicken.  I used rotisserie chicken, but if you want to cook chicken breast and slice it up, that works too.  See -- so many variations!

Step 6.  Add another layer of cheese to cover the chicken.

Step 7.  Spread the Classico Traditional Basil Pesto mix on the other slice of bread (the non-buttered side) and place on top of the sandwich, buttered side up.

Step 8.  Place in your preheated oven and bake for 6 minutes.  After 6 minutes, flip sandwiches and bake for another 6 minutes.  Check them regularly on the second 6 minutes - my oven tends to start to burn the edges after 4 1/2 minutes on the second round.

Remove from oven and serve!  These kick your Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup nights up a notch!  Enjoy!


Keeping It SimpleNap-Time Creations
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Shaming

There's not nearly enough Baby Shaming on Pinterest.  Case in point:

Two baby shaming photos, two of the same photo about Beyonce, and one dog shaming photo.

Dog Shaming is hilarious.  They look so guilty, and their offenses are too funny.  Recently, a friend mentioned something about Baby Shaming on Mommy Shorts, so I had to look in to it.  Just as, if not more funny. 

There are probably multiple baby shaming opportunities each day in our house, but today was special.  Little man was coloring in a coloring book on the floor, as I was ordering some books (for him) online.  I glance over to see he has migrated to the couch and is furiously concentrating on the cushion.  The off-white cushion.

And while I was all, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I couldn't put him in timeout because A) this was a first offense and we had never had the "we don't color on the couch" talk and B) I was distracted at the time and the whole situation could have been avoided had I not been ordering books (for him) online.

So I hugged him and said, "We don't color on the couch." as he was pointing and smiling proudly at his masterpiece.  I had to capture the moment, and thought a baby shaming photo would be a perfect way to capture the moment.  Here is the mugshot.

Two lessons I've learned today:  1) Coloring should only be done while strapped in to a highchair.  and 2) The My First Crayola triangular crayons are indeed washable.  We will buy only these crayons until he is 12.


I Heart Nap Time
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