Friday, January 28, 2011

Blue Cheese Alfredo with Steak

I love pasta, and one of my favorites is the Steak and Gorgonzola Alfredo from Olive Garden. Mmmm soooo good. Lan and I are trying to save money so I tried my hand at making my own version, inspired by the Olive Garden favorite. I had some Blue Cheese Laughing Cow Cheese that I got for a buy one, get one deal, so I decided to use this… result… yum!


1 can chicken broth

1 large Tbs. chopped garlic

3-4 wedges light Blue Cheese Laughing Cow

1/4 c. parmesan, or to taste

1 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. flour

1. In a sauce pan, simmer chicken broth and garlic about 5 min. Take out a little bit of broth, and let it cool.

2. Mix in the flour to form a paste. Add this paste to the broth and mix well. Add the Laughing Cow and smash it in with the back of your spoon mixing well.

3. Add parmesan and let it simmer until thickened. Right before you serve, melt in 1 Tbs. butter.

Serve over pasta and add steak if you like… I do :) We had some left over from another meal. Super fast, easy and yummy. It is the type of meal where you can keep the ingredients on hand since laughing cow keeps a long time.

serves 2 hungry people

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Green Tea Challenge: Day 5

In honor of day 5 in the green tea challenge, and in honor of the flower linkup at Craftahololics Anonymous, and also in honor of me being in a silly mood and wanting to do a silly craft, I bring you…. the Green Tea Flower! Don’t worry, only one actual green tea bag was harmed in the making of this craft.


First I took the wrappers from all of those green tea bags that I have been drinking and one actual tea bag.


I put glue in the middle of one of the tea wrappers


and put another one on it angled


I continued with two other tea wrappers


glue a teabag in the middle and…….


you have a green tea flower Smile I do silly things when I am in silly moods. An no… I didn’t wear this one out. It was just for fun Smile

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vintage Rosettes


Craftaholics Anonymous is having a link up for different types of flowers.  They are doing the linkup until February 12.  I got inspired to begin crafting up some original flowers.  So I made this vintage rosette.  Super cute (looks better in person) and I think I will end up putting it on a hair clip.  After having so much fin with this flower, I plan to get more creative on a few others.  Lets see if I actually do it though   Smile 


You begin buy bunching and sewing as you go.


Your Rosette will look something like above.  Since it is just bunching and sewing, they will all look a little different.


After that I took some of that elastic that they use on underwear (my grandma and mom made their own underwear back in the day and I inherited some of it.. along with their old fabrics)  and pleated it behind the rosette.


After I was done with that step, I did the same with a one inch lace.



All done Smile

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Green Tea Challenge: Day 2

So I am sealing a blog post from my dear friend Jessica over at Just About A Girl. The other day when we did the glass cutting, Jessica and I decided to do a little experiment. After crafting, we were looking through some old Good House Keeping magazines that I dug out of the trash in the teacher's lounge. Before you all go ewwwwwww.... it was the recycle bin, so no, I am not desperate enough for magazines that I will riffle through old banana peels and lean Cuisine packages. Anyways, we were looking through them and came across an article on the benefits of green tea. We both love coffee (Jessica like leaps and bounds more than I) and have at least a cup a day (Jessica... a bit more) Well we put ourselves up to a little challenge. We decided to replace our coffee fix with green tea.

I started yesterday and had a successful day. No headache! Success.

I did my day two today! But I also cheated :) oops. So I had my cup of green tea in the morning and then another one when I got to work. Then at break... I gave in... not because I was craving more caffine or coffee... but because I was hungry. I figured having a cup of coffee would be better than say a sugary treat. I was weak. I should have had more tea... or water. But hey at least I should still be getting those health benefits since I am also drinking the green tea (and yes I know I am trying to justify it)

Overall I am feeling good! We will keep you updated :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

termites :/

We have termites.  Lame.  You might be thinking to yourself…. didn’t you just buy your house… answer… yes.  You might be thinking to yourself… didn’t you have a termite inspection?…answer… yes.  So you might also be thinking…. didn’t you have work done before you moved in?… like doesn’t your bank need a clear termite report before you could fund?…. answer yes. 


We saw this little pile of termite droppings outside our front door :/


so Lan started poking the wood.  As you can see, the wood was toast.


so Lan did some more poking around and actually saw a termite.  :/  That means it isn’t just left over from the old infestation, but is a current one.

The termite people are coming tomorrow.

Glass Cutting

Our good friend Jessica came over the other night to cut glass.  This is a project that we have been wanting to do for a while now.  We saw this really cool tutorial online, and months ago decided we were going to do it.  We have even gotten together before this several times to get it done and then got distracted doing something else.    But Saturday night was the night.  So here is the process….

before you start…. drink beer… lots of beer because you are going to mess up.  Step two… sober up.  You are going to be working with cut glass you crazy person.  We gathered our materials at an earlier date so no need to sober up. 

Step one- make yourself a similar contraption.  It needs to cradle the bottle and have a hole cut out for the glass cutter to go through.  A glass cutter doesn’t actually cut glass, but etches it.IMG_0413

This is important so that you get a nice, even etch all the way around your bottle.

Step two- press the glass etcher down firmly and spin the bottle.  You should get a clear etching all the way around.


Step three- alternate pouring boiling water and cold water over the seem.  The heating and cooling will stress the glass and it will hopefully crack along the etch.  As you can see we wore proper protection.


It is so cool.  You will see the glass start to crack.  It will grow and grow until, plop.  The top will simply fall off.

Step four- Now you just sand the top and you are done.  I have heard that beer bottles don’t crack as cleanly as wine bottles, so I would like to try that next.


We probably should have removed the sticker first … but we were lazy Smile

Reusable Swiffer Cloths

I saw this tutorial online about making reusable Swiffer cloths. I got really excited about it… not only is it better for our environment than throwing cloths away every time you use them, but it would also save money. So, I printed out the tutorial to make at a later time. It was this little sock looking thing that you sew together. I keep thinking about it and promising myself that it will be my next project… then I had a stroke of genius this weekend. Why not just cut the piece of fabric the same size as an actual Swiffer cloth and shove it through the holes… just like an actual Swiffer cloth. I know what you are thinking…. Genius!

This whole time I was making this way too complicated. Why sew a Swiffer sock when I can just cut the right kind of cloth and call it a day. Now don’t shake your head at me thinking I am stupid…I have had a lot on my mind. So, with my project dramatically simplified, I finally did it. I took this pair of fuzzy P.J.s that I have never warn …because, well they are ugly…. and cut them to the right length. Then I proceeded to Swiffer everything!

These cloths work absolutely amazingly and they didn’t cost me a penny. I personally think they work better than an actual Swiffer cloth. When I was done I shook them out in the trash and then threw (or will wash them later when I get around to it) them in the wash. I have been walking on my floors barefoot for the last four days and they are still clean :) Just look at all the dirt I swiffered up…and I haven’t even lived here that long!


Blitz Blogging

As the week goes on, I continually think of more and more things that I want to blog about.  I think I can’t wait to blog about this as I finish a craft or as we find out our home is infested with termites even after having it treated for termites about a month ago.  Then, life gets in the way.  I get so busy that I am no to the next project… and yet still no post.  So…. introducing blitz blogging!  Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me in a week or two… and them bam… seven blog posts.  Lets just hope I remember all of the things I want to blog about when I actually have the time to blog about it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Desks and Wall Flowers

The other day Lan went to Ikea and got us desks to go all the way around our office.  This is the before picture (pictures after we started cleaning my stuff out)

 IMG_0389 IMG_0388

We plan to paint the walls gray… but that will be a little bit later.  To jazz up the walls, we found these wall stickers at Ikea for 50 cents!  I LOVE them :)


I just pealed and stuck them on the walls.  Super easy.  They are also easy to re-adjust.  I have another pack to put on the walls after we paint :)

IMG_0391 110117 office

The desks will go around the whole office.  We started with my side, but Lan’s is more complicated because we have to take apart all of the computer stuff.  We are thinking about putting some shelves over on the other white wall… but for now, the flowers make me happy :)

Noah’s puff quilt part 2

The finishing of Noah’s puff quilt was like a marathon.  On Wednesday I finished all of my puffs.  I laid them out in a pattern that I thought was pretty :)  Then Friday I had to get it all done for the Saturday shower.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute :)  Hey I moved… I have good excuses :)


I first sewed all of the puffs into rows, and then all of the rows together.  All of the puffiness made it hard to sew… so I did a lot of squishing :)


After I got all of the puffs together (the wee hours of the morning) I had a little mini party and showed the boys that were a movie.  I am sure that they were uber interested in the top of the baby blanket I was making…. but they appeased me with oooohs and awwwws. 


I layered the back fabric, the batting, and the top with basting spray between each layer to keep it from sliding around.


Then pinned on the binding.  I decided to buy binding because of my little time dilemma.  I found this satin binding and decided the pricy $7 price tag was worth it when I found it on Thursday night. While I was pinning it on at 2am, I knew I had made the right decision.


At 3am…. this was the blurry eyed result.  FINISHED! and cute too if I do say so myself.  I decided at that point that I would quilt the layers together in the morning.  I woke up at 8:30 and decided to just put a few stitches at each of the corners of the puffs.  At 10am… I was finally finished.  I got dressed super quick, “wrapped” the gift and dashed off to the 11am shower.  But not before snapping a few poorly light, slightly blurry photos with my iphone.

IMG_0382 IMG_0381 IMG_0385

I would definitely make one again (because they are so cute and cozy), but definitely only for my own kids… or perhaps for another niece or nephew… but that is it :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Busy Three Weeks

Warning:  prepare for a long post.  It is hard to believe that we have had a house for three whole weeks… yet at the same time, it is hard to believe that so many things could have possibly gone wrong in only three short weeks.  I kept saying to myself and things happened, oh I want to blog about this, or can’t wait to blog that… but alas in the chaos of new homeownership and the sheer ridiculousness of the last few weeks, time got away from me.  So here you are:  the first three weeks of our house…

Within the first week of owning our home we already had a bathroom ripped our and completely replaced.  That will be a whole post in and of itself once we paint.  We have ridiculously ugly before pictures, so I really want to wait until it is actually finished so show the contrast in the after pictures.  In addition to wanting good before/after pictures, there was so much that went wrong with re-modeling that bathroom that it literally HAS to be its own post.  (it was ridiculous… and still is)


Literally the first whole day that we had our house, our bathroom re-model began.  It is good to have a contractor in the family (and yet not good at the same time…again see later post)  We had to be out of our apartment the same week that we moved in.. so as things were being ripped out of the bathroom, our belongings were being moved into rooms.  By the end of the first two weeks, I had just about everything unpacked.  (hey it helps that one of those weeks I was on Christmas Vacation)  It has been fun settling in, unpacking our things, and really making this house feel like a home.  What hasn’t been fun is all of the things that have been going wrong.

We literally haven’t been able to do ANYTHING the easy way. (you will hear more about this in the bathroom post)  The first week we owned our home, we had a sewage back up.  My father-in-law  called a bunch of people and he said the most expensive guy was $800…. the cheapest guy was on his way.  He did the rotorooter.  Apparently he also said that he needed to do this hydrocutting thing or it would get backed up in two weeks.  My father-in-law said we didn’t need it.  Guess what backed up two weeks later :) 

On the same day our sewage backed up… again… we learned that the main pipe that carried water into the house was busted.  :\  You see… we didn’t notice it before because we have been getting an uncharacteristic amount of rain.  We also had this huge trash pile in front of our house… which actually had grown since I took this picture to include all of our torn out bathroom.  So, when the rain stopped we assumed that it was just our trash pile leaking water and that is why our driveway never dried… nope.  IMG_9249

We finally broke down the big screen T.V. and shower stall… and toilets… and all other kinds of debris and put it in the truck to take to the dump, but our mini puddle was still there, and growing.  That was when we could actually see water coming up through it.  Great.  Lan called that Vietnamese plumber that his dad had called and asked him to come out the next day to hydrocut our sewage line, and hopefully fix the guiser that was in the middle of our drive way.  He said “Your Vietnamese, I am Vietnamese, your wife is white, my wife is white, ill work you out a deal, and he did.  He highered five guys for the day and in the pouring rain they cut a like through our driveway, laid a new pipe and re-did the cement.  Fixed in one day :) 

20110106- driveway

It may not look the most beautiful, but hey it was the cheapest and most permanent solution.  He said that we had a really bad leak.  All of the dirt under our driveway had been washed away so he tried to backfill it with concrete.  He also said to expect our water bill to be $500 or more this month…. yeiks!  glad we got that one fixed.

Here is the kicker… we had just bought a beautiful new fridge that morning.

20110106- frig

We had a fridge when we moved in but it was an apartment frig that didn’t have an ice maker.  The house had a water line for one and it kept leaking because it didn’t have anything to be plugged into.  So we decided that with our Christmas money,we would spring for the luxury.  So between the new bathroom, and all of our pipe problems (0h and the frig) we are officially out of our house fixing up budget for the time being. 

Thankfully after all of that chaos, the last week of our vacation was spent cleaning, throwing a New Years Party, and finally enjoying our house.  Our toilets flush wonderfully and we no longer have a puddle in our driveway.  It is such a wonderful feeling to come home from work to our house which is now truly becoming our home (yes, for the first two weeks it was just our house)  I am so excited for all of the DIY projects that we are planning.

We can now safely say:  “We love our home”