Thursday, August 28, 2014

On the Way to Third Grade

I cannot believe that Noli is starting third grade this year -- third grade is that year between little kid and big kid and I'm just shocked and amazed that she is now a big kid!  You know how the third graders get all fluffy around the little kids in first and second grades.... preening their feathers and showing the little kids where the bathroom is... Ha!

Noli and her step-brother, Will
First day of school 2014
They are both the same age, with Will being a few months younger

She got all her curls cut off!! But she looks adorable, don't you think?!!  And what fashion sense!! Of course the sparkly ruby shoes top it all off!

I wonder if she'll learn cursive this year.... or if her school is one of those that are not teaching it anymore. I mourn the day that cursive writing is lost. How will old letters or manuscripts be read without it? 

Hard to believe she's not a baby anymore : )

~ sharing on Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the letter O
~ sharing the blues on the kids on Blue Monday


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nearly Time for School!

And it's definitely time for another BBArtisans challenge!! This month's challenge is all about getting ready for school, whether it's a teacher gift, a memory of your first day of school or what you're gonna do now that the kids are out of the house! This challenge was dreamed up by yours truly!

It's funny, I can remember all of my elementary school teachers, but only a few of my Junior High and High School teachers. Maybe that's typical since the teachers in the younger grades usually make a greater impression on you since it's such a new experience for a little kid.

So, here we are at Walnut Hills Elementary and it's the first day of school and I'm in the 6th grade. A list of the kids in each class was posted on the classroom doors. There were two teachers for each of the grades and I was hoping, praying, crossing my fingers for Mrs. Holly. NOT Coach Sauls. (Yup, we had a football team -- I don't remember the name of the team but our colors were green and white.)

Anyway, Coach Sauls had quite the reputation. He was said to be quick with a paddle and that the paddle was ELECTRIC and it had holes in it, the better to pop your bottom with. I looked at Mrs. Holly's door.... all my best buds were in there.... but not me! I cried that I was in Coach Sauls' class with not one good friend to protect me. I would only see them at recess.... unless I was getting licks from Coach.

Maybe I should bring him an apple to get in his good graces....

Well, you know what? Coach Sauls turned out to be a big teddy bear, and that electric paddle.... well it wasn't electric, had no holes and stayed in Coach's desk drawer. He showed it to us and it was some little old silly thing -- just one of the many pranks played on the younger kids by the sixth graders -- and I was one of them that year!!

I ran across this idea on Little Birdie Secrets blog -- the apple slice is from Lion Brand and I paired it up with my own wash/dish cloth pattern that I use when I crochet them for my Etsy shop.  I thought it would be a cute teacher gift, whether for Christmas or the end of school.... 

or to bribe them on the first day of school!!
We wouldn't want that electric paddle to pop out of its drawer, now would we... Ha!

I  had this cute fabric on  hand and made up a little gift bag. 
Don't you love the fun fruit design?!!!

and this is something I dreamed up for the preschooler left at home! 
Fun colored pencils to play with...
no writing on the walls -- mom will love these!!

This was a free pattern from Crochet N Play Designs -- I've bought several of her patterns for my shop and for Noli gifts, and I just love them!

I'm going to offer them in my Etsy shop as pick-your-colors in a set of three. They are chubby little pencils, almost 5 inches long. 

I'm debating about doing a pen and pencil set -- a black pen and the typical yellow no. 2's we all know and love -- I've got the perfect golden orange color yarn. What do you think?

PS... The scrubbie set and the colored pencils will be in my Etsy shop sometime today and the apple is already there : )

~ sharing on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter N
~ if you have an Etsy shop and a blog, check out the Blogging Business Artisans team!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chicken Marengo aka I Actually Cooked!

It's been so long since I made Chicken Marengo, I'd almost forgotten about it! It used to be a staple meal when the kids were young (they loved it!) but since they've grown up and away, and I have turned in my apron (leaving most food preparation to the hubby), I rarely fix those long ago favorite dishes. But, I'm thinking I'll have to go through my favorite cookbooks and resurrect some of those meals!

Anyway, as hubby had gone grocery shopping (yep, he does that too!) and brought back a package of bone-in chicken thighs -- which I think he was planning to barbeque -- I thought about Chicken Marengo. I looked in the pantry for the all important ingredient.... Golden Mushroom soup.... and lo and behold, it was there!!

Along with tomato soup, garlic and onions -- easy ingredients! Mushrooms are good to put in too, but unfortunately I was out of those. The mushroom soup would have to suffice.

First things first -- brown that chicken!

Sizzle sizzle

Chop up the onions and garlic
Mushrooms would be here if I'd had them

Mix the soups together and pour over the chicken

Add the onions, etc.

Enjoy! Yum yum!

This is really good with brown rice, but I was out so we used a packaged cheesy broccoli rice mix that was good too! Served it with green beans, but any veggie would be good. I was going to saute zucchini but ran out of the desire to cook, so green beans was it! A salad and a nice wine would be good go-withs too!

Next time I'll have to plan better (read 'actually plan' there) but this was just off the cuff because of that package of chick thighs!!

Here's the recipe. I know there are other, more complicated recipes, but the simplicity of this one is what I like! I think the original had crawfish and fried eggs served on top and had something to do with Napoleon, but I'll just keep this one simple! I imagine I copied it from some magazine.

Chicken Marengo

3 lbs cut up chicken
olive or salad oil to brown
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1 can Tomato soup
1 medium clove garlic or to taste, minced (I use 3 or 4 cloves)
1 lb small whole white onions (about 16) or 2-3 medium onions, quartered

In large skillet, brown chicken in oil; pour off fat
Stir soups together and add to chicken
Stir in garlic and onions; stir in mushrooms if using

Cover, simmer 45 minutes or until tender
Stir occasionally
Uncover, cook until desired consistency

Serve with rice and a green vegetable (It's really good with brown rice)
Of course, the onion, garlic and mushrooms are to taste; even the amount of chicken doesn't really matter!

If you decide to make this, enjoy! It's super easy!!
Make that souper easy, heh heh!

~sharing on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter M


Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas

It's still July isn't it?? Oh well, let's just pretend it's still July so I will be posting a JULY team challenge at least in the right month. I won't tell if you won't....heh heh heh!

This challenge for the BBA Team was suggested by LeAnn of Pasque Flower Creations who challenged us to start preparing earlier for Christmas so as not to get caught off guard when December craziness is upon us.

Back at the beginning of the year I told myself..... "Self" I said, "get some Christmas done early this year" but did I? Noooo. Self wasn't listening so well, it seems  :p

So, with this challenge looking me in the face I finally got off my duff and made something for Christmas!!

It's a Milk and Cookies for Santa play set with a glass of milk, three cookies with sprinkles, and a bag to store it all in. I've made and sold several of them but never seem to get more than one ready at a time, and there's usually some time in between a sale and getting another made. So this year I'll at least have one ready to go!! Woot! Woot!

I have also made sets of just the three cookies so I will get that done pretty soon. Then I'd like to do some other Christmas somethings that I haven't made before.... I'm thinking Christmas tree coasters, ornaments for the tree, maybe snowflakes.

I've made some star ornaments but never really did anything with them. I think I'll pull them out of my yarn closet, make some more, and get them listed. They don't take very long so I should be able to get some sets together pretty easily! There is some wait time 'cause they look nicer if they are blocked and lightly starched!

I think that's just a plain white one, but I have sparkley cotton yarn that would make a very pretty star! The red and white one is actually one strand of white cotton yarn and one strand of red crochet thread held together.

Now, if I can just find those poinsettias to rest the stars on, I'll be in business!!



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