Sunday, November 20, 2011


I try to send a few Christmas cards every year, not always successful, but I have the best intentions.  So, this year I decided I would try making them and that way I would be sure to get them mailed out. You know putting in all the effort, I'm not going to leave them sitting around.  I asked my Mom if she wanted a few and of course she does.  So, here are our Christmas cards for this year.

I started with some blank cards and envelopes I have had for a while.  I found the design on a blog I found on Pinterest and made some changes to fit us. I then cut all the papers and prepared the pieces for the 10 cards.

I made one card and then made changes to get it to what we wanted.  I then prepared all the pieces before assembling the rest of them.  It made for a quicker assembly. I started by cutting the cardstock and scrapbook paper I was using to the proper sizes I wanted. 

I couldn't find a poinsetta flower that I liked to put on the candle, so I punched out some flowers from a flower punch I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I then rubbed some yellow chalk on the center of one of the flower with a cotton swab. (Sorry it is hard to see the yellow center.)  I put a red brad through the center of two flowers so that I could attach them to the card.

I made enough flowers to attach 2 on each card.

I took a piece of vellum that I had cut to the deisred size and cut a notch in it to look like a banner/flag, then stamped Merry Christmas on it.  I used brush markers on all of my stamps so they would stamp cleaner.

I then stamped each of the pieces of cardstock for the inside pieces.

I then made the candle that goes on the front.  After cutting the card to the proper size, I then used my corner punch to round the corners to make it look like the top of a candle. I got an idea from the blog I got the card design from for the candle.  They took some glue dots and stretched them down the card to make it look like candle wax that had melted down the candle.  It didn't work for me, so I had used my adhesive tape and then sprinkled the sugar glitter on top of it. I think it worked great.

I then put everything together starting with the front of the card.  I finished off the candle by using a black gel pin to make the wick.  I then rub 3 different colors of chalk around the wick to make it look like the candle was lit and glowing.

 I then attached the vellum banner and then the flowers I made earlier.  I then attached the two pieces I stamped for the inside of the card. 

Oh, and of course I stamped the back of the card with a "designed by" stamp and signed it.  Hope this card encourages you to create your own card.  It really is a lot of fun.  I love to see the finished product and the joy it brings those I send it to.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I found this recipe from a posting on the Philadelphia Cream Cheese facebook posting.  I have converted it to a Weight Watchers PointsPlus friendly meal.  It is a great and easy make ahead freezer meal.  So far I haven't found anyone that doesn't like it.

My mom was sweet to cook a whole chicken the other day in preparation for this.  She even boned the chicken and chopped it.  It sure made it easy when it came time to put these together.  Now, one more thing is we kept the broth from the chicken and froze it.  We do this a lot, this way we know how much sodium we have in our chicken broth and it saves us money in the long run.  We have done this with vegetables, also, and it makes great vegetable soup stock.

This is an incredibly easy recipe and it is a lot of fun to make it with someone.  My mom and I like making it together because it does help to have an extra hand.  While one is pinching the crescent rolls together, the other can be putting the mixture on them.  And it also helps to speed things up for one to make them into the pillows while the other puts them in the butter and the bread crumbs.

Back to the recipe.  Below is the recipe.  

Chicken Pillows


1 cup fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. Chives, freeze-dried
1 1/2 Tbsp. onion(s), chopped or dried minced onions
3 cups Chicken breast, chopped
8 oz. reduced-fat crescent roll dough
1/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Soft Margarine or similar margarine
1 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 package McCormick Chicken Gravy Mix


1. Usiing a mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream until well combined.  Add in salt, pepper, onion, chives, and diced chicken.

(This picture is everything before the chicken.  Normally I use an onion, but today it was early and didn't want to go to work smelling like an onion so I used minced onions.)

2. Using reduced fat crescent rolls, take 2 triangular pieces and push together at perforated seam to make into a square.  make sure you seal the perforations well so your filling doesn't come out.  Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken misture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pillow.

3.  Dip each pillow in melted butter on both sides.  Roll in bread crumbs on both sides.  Shake excess crumbs off.  Place chicken pillow on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

4. Make gravy by mixing one package of chicken gravy mix, one can of cream of chicken soup and 3/4 can of water in a small pot.  Mix together and heat until warm.  Serve chicken pillows with gravy spooned over the top.

The Chicken Pillows with the gravy has a PointsPlus value of 10.  It serves 8.  The above plate is a total of 10 points as the green beans and carrots have a 0 PointsPlus value.

Now to freeze them for future meals.  My mom and I made 24 pillows and froze all but 7 of them (lunch today).  To freeze them, make up the pillows to the 2nd step (prior to the butter and bread crumbs).  Put them on a cookie sheet, uncovered and place them in the freezer for a few hours or until they are firmly frozen.  Once they are frozen remove them from the freezer and put them in a freezer bag.  You can remove as many as you want and the bake them according to step 3 and make the gravy at that time according to step 4 of the recipe.

I hope your family and friends enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.  I love anything that is easy, yummy and works with my new lifestyle.  ENJOY!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Most of my crafting at this time is Christmas gifts and I can't post them till close or after Christmas.  I will still post a few things here and there to keep you encouraged in crafting.  Prior to building my blog I created a wreath for my mom's front door.  I got the idea for the wreath from a wreath I saw on Pinterest.  I am sorry I don't have pictures of anything, but the finished product, but I will give you a list of the items needed to complete this wreath.

Grapevine Wreath (the size is up to you)
2 Autumn leaf garlands (I used ones with 2 different colors of leaves)
2 large fall colored artificial flowers
2 gourd picks
hot glue gun and glue sticks
pressed wood letter
acrylic paint
sponge paint brush

The first thing I did was to wrap the two garlands together to make them look like the belonged together.  The wreath was laying flat on the table and I laid the garland around the front of the wreath.  I took the wire ends of the garland and worked them into the wreath.  I then hot glued a few places around the wreath and garland so as to attach the garland in a few places on the wreath. I then placed the large flowers in two different places (where I liked them) and wrapped the wire through the wreath and hot glued to help secure.  I then did the same thing with the gourds, however, I placed them near the flowers.  Secure with hot glue.

Prior to putting the wreath together I painted the letter (I chose the letter "A" because it is our last initial) with an off white acrylic paint.  Once it was dry I took a strip of ribbon that would wrap around the wreath and hot glued both ends of the ribbon to the letter.  I then hung it on the outside of our screen door.  I will make a similar wreath for Christmas and will post about that one as it will be a bit different.  I will be making it with a green wreath.

I have attached a couple of different pictures of the wreath.  Hope this encourages you to dress up the outside of your house for the fall season.  This wreath will take you from Halloween through Thanksgiving.  It's a great way to welcome your friends and your family in a warm way to your home.  HAPPY CRAFTING!!! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

"BOO"tiful T-shirt

Since we couldn't dress up for Halloween, I really wanted to wear something that had to do with the holiday.  So, I decided to decorate a t-shirt.  I didn't have anything since I had gotten rid of a lot of my clothes that were to big for me a few months ago.

The items needed to complete the project:

remnant fabric
letters printed off the computer (used as a pattern)
Fabric Marker
Aleene's Fabric Fusion Glue
Hemming tape of some sort
Bling (gems, crystals or rhinestones)

I chose a font and spelled out the word that I wanted to use for my design.  I printed out on regular printer paper.  Then I cut it out to make used it as my pattern.

Since my fabric's main color was black and my letters were black, I put the pattern on the backside of the fabric.  I used a fabric marker to draw around the pattern onto the fabric.

Then I cut out the letters.

Once the letters were cut out I then cut pieces of the hemming tape and placed them on the wrong side of the fabric.  I placed the letters on the shirt where I wanted them to be and ironed them on.

I placed the gem pieces on the shirt where I wanted them.  I then applied the Fabric Fusion one piece at a time and placed them back onto the shirt.  I let the glue dry for 2-4 hours per the directions.  Here is my "BOO"tiful shirt.


Sunday, October 30, 2011


Tomorrow is Halloween and I really enjoy the evening.  I like to hand out the candy and check out all the cute and scary costumes.  Today I decided to take advantage of the spare time I had and carve a pumpkin. 

I haven't done this in years.  I picked up a carving set at Walgreens.  I carved out the bottom of the pumpking and scooped out the inside.  That is my least favorite job.  My Dad laughed at me the entire time I was doing that, apparantly I was making some funny faces when I would get the nasty stuff under my nails. I like having the hole in the bottom, I can sit "Jackie" the jack-o-lantern over the candle.

The carving set I bought had some stickers of different facial features and shapes to use as patterns.  I chose the ones I wanted and placed them on "Jackie".

Then I carved around the stickers.

When I was finished, Jackie went to her home on our front porch.

Check back tomorrow for a "BOO"tiful t-shirt.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I know I told you the other day that I would be blogging about my Halloween costume (Craftora).  Well, we found out at work yesterday that we cannot dress up for Halloween.  So, instead I will be sharing about the treats I will be giving out on Monday to my friends and family for this fun day.

Last year about this time I found a recipe for Halloween Chex Mix.  I made it for family, friends and those at work.  It was a huge hit, so we decided to do the same thing this year after I got reminded about it when I found it on Pinterest.

Halloween Chex Mix

Makes approximately 36 servings (if put in cupcake holders)


8 oz. white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped or melting chocolate (I used the melting chocolate from Hobby Lobby)
4 cups of Corn Chex and Rice Chex cereal (2 cups of each)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup Candy Corn
1/4 cup orange and black candy decors (I didn't measure these, I just sprinkled a little a each in the batch)

1.  In large microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate pieces uncovered on High for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

2.  Gently stir cereal, pretzels, raisins and candy corn.  Add melted chocolate a little at a time, mixing with your (clean) hands. (I think this is the only way to get it mixed without breaking up the cereal and pretzels).  Add sprinkles while mixing in chocolate.

3.  Spread on waxed paper or foil until cool and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.  Break into chunks.  Store loosely coverd.

 Chocolate ready to be melted in the microwave.

All the ingredients before the melting chocolate and sprinkles.

Everything mixed together.

Spread out on waxed paper to cool.

The finished product put in cupcake holders.

I placed a serving of the Halloween Chex Mix in a treat bag along with 3 different kinds of candy for the neighborhood kids that trick or treat at our house.  This is for the kids we know.  We always try to have a special treat for those sweet neighborhood kids.

Packed and ready for the ghost and goblins.  Have a safe and fun Halloween. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well, this is my first time to blog and I hope my blogs are encourage to you.  I will be posting all types of crafts as well as recipes my family and I enjoy.  Be watching this weekend for my next posting as I will be creating my Halloween costume....CRAFTORA.  She is the superhero of crafting.  I hope you enjoy my future posts.