Thursday, September 30, 2010

Party Favors for Halloween

A couple of years ago I was looking for a little favor to give at a Halloween party. I ran across this idea in a Better Homes and Garden magazine and they always look so cute.
I just use plastic wrap or foil cardboard tubes. I have found them to be a little be stronger than toilet paper rolls and less easily flattened by excited children. Stuff them with candy and small toys then wrap with holiday decorated napkins or swatches of fabric. Tie off with ribbon and trim the edge with pinking shears and tah -dah, you have a simply prepared favor that will give every guest something to anticipate opening.

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Splish Splash!

Browsing blog land awhile back, I found that someone had taken pictures of their baby bathing and framed them in the bathroom...It was adorable! To my disappointment, I did not bookmark it and now, I cant find it to give this person proper credit :/ So if your out there and stumble upon this....This is me, giving you credit for the brilliant idea!

I am in supply of naked baby pictures and I HAD to do this in my bathroom! I found a pretty black frame with mat at Michael's Craft store for $10.
I then used to copy my photos and made them black & white since they were originally colored.

I decided to add a sign to the wall...which was incredibly easy to make! I spray painted a piece of 2x4 black. {we are finishing our basement so I didn't look far for wood.}
I used my cricut to cut out the words 'splish splash.' and mod podged them on...and then lastly, tied ribbon on both sides.

I LOVE how it turned out! and I love to reminisce about my baby girl...who is growing up all too fast!

I will be linking to these parties!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fishy Tin-Foil Dinners

Do you just love camping? I {do}

One of my favorite camping foods is fin-foil dinners. I make them with ground beef (or turkey), potatoes, carrots, onions and a lot of salt. When you're camping, in my experience, everything tastes good, so to make this at home, I thought it needed a little extra!

Fishy Tin-Foil Dinners
(baked in the oven, since I don't have a campfire at home)

6 fish fillets (I used mahi-mahi, but this 
would be great with fresh trout or bass!)
1 lemon, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb white mushrooms, quartered
1 head broccoli, chopped
1/4 head cauliflower, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
salt & pepper to taste

Place each fish fillet on a square of tinfoil

Top with garlic, a couple slices of lemon, salt and pepper and capers. 

(Capers are optional, however if you omit them, 
make an appointment to have your head examined, 
'cause capers are {delicious!})

Add 1/6 of the veggies

Cover with another square of tinfoil 

Fold bottom tinfoil over top, tucking all the edges in.
-or- you could just use a really really big piece of foil. 
Whatever you like.

bake at 400 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. 
Let rest about 5 minutes out of the oven, 
then open up and gobble down!

(mmmMMMmmm vegetable-y goodness!)

This would also be great with spinach, tomatoes, snow peas, 
{gosh} any vegetable, really! 

This recipe is great for any phase of South Beach, too!!!

<3 AmberLou

sharing at some of these parties!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


HaPpY BiRThDaY JaN!!!!

Who doesn't love an excuse to eat cake? 
Today is Jan's official day of birth and as her daughter, I took it upon myself to make her a birthday cake that she would die for. {ok, not really but, really, really like.}
She had a cake recipe bookmarked for months now so, I made it for her. Since the process isnt complete until just before serving, I dont have a picture of the one I made but, it looks just the same so....Here is the most delicious fall time cake recipe ever!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Come up and see my etchings?

When my youngest daughter was a senior in high school, she took an art class where she learned to do glass/mirror etching. She brought home her project and it was so cute and easy that we bought the supplies to make personalized mirrors and glass items for Christmas gifts.

In honor of ~jan's  (32nd?) birthday, I made a mirror for her bathroom. I moved far far away from the rest of the ladies of Paisley many years ago, but I've been informed that the bathroom is blue, and is decorated with an ethereal angel theme. 

For this project you will need:
  • glass etching cream
  • inexpensive paint brush
  • clear contact paper
  • X-acto knife
  • mirror or glass object to etch
  • simple graphic or saying to trace
I bought a kit that included a 3 oz bottle of etching cream from a craft store a couple of years ago and have made at least a dozen personalized items with it. I've used maybe a quarter of the bottle. The initial cost is a little steep (I think I paid about $20), but it will last a long time.

For this project, I started with a framed mirror (5x7) from the dollar store. I wanted to etch an angel on it, so I googled and found one that I liked. Prep your mirror by cleaning with glass cleaner, then cut a piece of contact paper to fit and press it onto the glass. Make sure you don't leave any bubbles.
Then tape your print out on top of the contact paper in the position that you want
Using a sharp X-acto knife, trace around the lines of your graphic carefully. You will be removing the contact paper where you want to etch. Take your time with this. I didn't want my angel to have wings, so I edited them out as I cut. (sorry about the pictures... it's hard to photograph a mirror, you know?!)

Once you have cut out your etching, clean the mirror where you cut it out with glass cleaner again and let dry. Then apply the etching cream according to the package directions. (Be careful with the cream... it's a strong acid. You might want to wear gloves and goggles while using it and be very careful using it around children.) Leave on for 5-10 minutes or as instructed by the label and wash off under running water.
Then remove the contact paper and reveal your finished product.
Again, sorry about the pictures... it looks pretty cool, really!

I've etched mirrors, votive candle holders, christmas ornaments and lidded jars, but you can etch any glass item using this method. I have always printed simple line art graphics from my computer for my graphics. If you have other sources of line art, they would work as well. You will need to make copies if you want to keep the original intact, however. When choosing line art or fonts to use, try to find ones with simple, bold strokes, as they will be easier to cut.


P.S. I met ~jan nearly 20 years ago at a church function. Well, sort of. We were actually both nursing our infants in another room away from the function itself. We've been through the wars together, and I've never had a friend I loved or trusted more. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicken Parmesan - Gluten Free

I really like Chicken Parmesan and I found THIS great recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. Because our own Amanda has issues with gluten, I made a slight change to accomodate her special diet. It also changes the carb count - if you are a carb counter. I substituted the bread crumbs for an equal amount of almond meal (finely chopped blanched almonds). I used Bob's Red Mill brand as they were comparable in price to buying whole almonds and whizzing them in the food processor myself, just without the time and extra dishes to wash..
As you can see by comparing my photo with Kalyn's mine isn't as browned and pretty golden. I did not put mine under the broiler at the end of cooking. But it was so delicious and my teen-aged son told me to put it on the permanent menu master list. Happy cooking!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Birthday to the best Mom {& Oma} EVER!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bathroom Makeover

Continuing our Birthday Celebration for {Jan} my mother...
I decided to give her bathroom a face lift... A project my mom had to put on hold after she started a new school year {teaching.}
It was a pretty easy gift since, I love to paint! And she already had the just needed to be done.
She had picked out a pretty blue [behr brand] and carried the chocolate brown accent throughout the house, including the bathroom. 
I just love blue & brown together, dont you?
I also purchased some matching towels to complete the change from sterile white to WOW color!!!
Here are the before & after pics:

 From the doorway

Mirror. This picture is kinda dark

Above toilet. More accurate color

The floor

 Rug up close. I heart nappy rugs
                 the towels                   

Tip: When painting, make sure you have someone watching your 2 year makes the experience a LOT less difficult:]
Enjoy your Tuesday!