Monday, April 30, 2012

eLRBE Etsy Shop + May birthday = Sale!

Did you know I have an Etsy shop?  It's called eLRBe.  {The name isn't very original, those are just my initials.}

Now would be a great time to check it out because I'm celebrating my birthday this month with a month of sales.  Starting today, use coupon code 10BDAYSALE to get 10% off your entire purchase excluding shipping.

Stay tuned to find out what other great deals I have planned.  {maybe it's time to start following this little blog.  no pressure.  it's just a thought.}

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

The craft gods are against me this weekend.  And I guess mother nature is too.  Another gray weekend.  If I can't craft, I would at least like to go for a nice walk.  {Good thing my boss told us to start the weekend early at 4pm on Friday.  I was able to take a nice walk Friday evening.}  As for those craft gods, they apparently have something against spray paint.

Yesterday I tried using the Martha Stewart spray paint kit on a project.  It started out great and I thought, 'Wow, this is awesome!'  But then it stopped working.  And I still had 90% of the project left to finish.  Needless to say, that project is going on the back burner as I figure out a new plan.

This morning I ran to Home Depot to get spray paint for a different project.  I was momentarily confused when the check out clerk asked for my birthdate.  Where was I?  The liquor store?  I didn't realize you have to be 18 to buy spray paint.  She should have been carding me to see if I can work a spray can because I can't get it to work!  {operator error has not been ruled out.}  So, I just gave up.  I might run back over there yet this evening and try to exchange it.  {I think there is a Dairy Queen across the highway.  I deserve a treat.}

Anyway, last weekend I made these delicious Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars from Tracey's Culinary Adventures.  They were pretty easy to make. {although I may or may not have burnt a little of the sugar while making the caramel layer.}  As Tracey mentions in her post, they are similar to a Twix bar.

Lynn's recipe rating [keep or toss]:  Keep {and don't be so stingy on the salt sprinkled on top next time!}

Here are a few other recipes that I pinned and made recently:

Soft Honey Oat Bread by Bakingdom.
Lynn's recipe rating [keep or toss]:  Undecided.  I think I will make it one more time before I decide.  It was good but I'm going to keep trying other breads as well.

Meatball Rolls by She Makes and Bakes.
Lynn's recipe rating [keep or toss]: Toss.  I didn't care for the meatballs and they were a little {just a tiny little bit} pink inside.  I used a tube of Pillsbury pizza crust.  Not worth trying again with homemade pizza dough.  But if you do try this recipe, I would recommend baking them in a bigger dish.

Have a good week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flower Photo Block Quilt

Ah, springtime!  Don't you just love it?

April showers bring May flowers.  Or was it March showers and April flowers this year?  Here is a flower related project I made last year.  I made it for my mom for Christmas.

My inspiration was her flower gardens.  I love taking photographs of the beautiful flowers she has.  {Frankly, it's a bit of an obsession.}  

I printed 42 of my original photographs on fabric sheets for ink jet printers.  {I got them at JoAnn's.}  The hardest part was picking out fabric that would compliment and not overwhelm the photos.  

After piecing the quilt I took it to a local quilter to be quilted.  I picked out butterflies for the quilting pattern.  Since I didn't have enough great photos, each row had one green print block.  I had a flower quilted on those blocks.  {The quilting was good but not great.  I won't have her do it again.  I've used someone else in the past who did a great job and I'll be using him again.}

My mom loved it.  What do you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Honey Roasted Chicken Salad - Mayo Free

I have never eaten chicken salad in my life.  I don't do mayonnaise.  So when Iowa Girl Eats {blog alert - I love her blog.  I highly recommend adding it to your reading list.}  posted this recipe for honey roasted chicken salad my eyes lit up at the magic words - mayo free!  It uses plain Greek yogurt instead.

I had a couple of small chicken breasts already cooked so I decided this weekend was a perfect time to make this.  I could not find honey-roasted almonds at my Super Target or Cub {Target didn't have any pita bread either.  What's up with that?} so I used roasted salted almonds.  I'm not a big mustard fan so I went light on that - 1 teaspoon - and used a little extra honey.  As usual, I forgot to salt and pepper which was okay because the almonds were pretty salty.

It was delicious!  I enjoyed it with some cherub tomatoes {these guys are so good.} and some Multigrain Pringles.  And a glass of milk of course.

Lynn's recipe rating [keep or toss]:  Keep!!  Go make this now! Or it would be a great summer lunch.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dyed Easter Eggs

Last Saturday, I colored Easter eggs while at my parents.  That is my Easter tradition.  I do it every year and every year I try to do something different.  This year I decided to use food coloring for the dye and wrap rubber bands around the eggs.  {idea courtesy of Martha Stewart.}

The first round of eggs looked pretty but after that the coloring was much lighter.  My original idea was to double dip the eggs to create secondary colors but that didn't really work.

The rubber bands did create a fun look - some of the times.  You had to be careful with them. I had one pop off while I was removing the egg from the dye and that made a bit of a mess.

Overall, I like my eggs but I won't be using food coloring to color eggs again.  It was probably the last time I use rubber bands as well.

After coloring eggs {and doing some sawing, sanding and drilling with my dad and nephew for my next project}, I grabbed my camera and went outside to snap some photos in my mom's beautiful gardens.

Flowers are my favorite subject to photograph.  And tulips are my FAVORITE flower.

It had just rained so I got some pictures with raindrops on the flowers.

Don't you just love the smell of lilacs?

I'm not a fan of plastic flamingos.  But these black and gold ones get a pass from me.  {The colors of my alma mater - The University of Iowa.  Go Hawks!  There is a pink one as well but it was banned from my photo.}

Monday, April 9, 2012

Peep Topiary

Did everyone have a nice Easter?

{Pinterest Challenge}

I went to Iowa.  {of course}  We {my mom, dad, older sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew} had a nice dinner of roast beef, roasted smashed potatoes {One of my all time favorites.  I saw it on Five Ingredient Fix.}, and a delicious corn casserole.  {I wish I had the name and recipe to share with you.  It's great.}  But the star of our dinner was the centerpiece.

I found this peep topiary on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to make.  I loosely followed these instructions from The Hungry Mouse.  I couldn't find a 7" styrofoam ball so I used a 6" one.  I didn't want to buy a 6" pot.  {What would I use it for after this project?}  I had a Dove Chocolate popcorn container that I used instead.  {I thought it was fitting to use a Dove box for an Easter decoration.}  I didn't buy enough pink peeps.  See those blue ones peeking out on the bottom?

The peeps on the bottom were tricky.  They didn't want to stay.  It actually was a bit comical.  We didn't let that spoil our dinner though.  We made it into a game - the Peep Lottery.  Everyone at the table was assigned a number, 1-7.  We counted the peeps that fell during dinner and dessert and whoever had that number was the winner.  Six fell and my sister won.  {Much to the chagrin of my nephew who was #7.}  What did she win?  The peep topiary!

We had a non-traditional egg hunt afterwards.  We took a hike down to the river to see the eagles.  {I named them Sonny and Cher.}  One eagle was sitting on the nest.  We could just see her {or was it his?} white head.  {I wish I would have had my digital camera with me so I could show you how cool it was.  I couldn't get a close-up with my iphone.}

Don't go far, I'll share my Easter eggs soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Magazine Holders

{Operation Organize the Craft Room}
Finally!!!  After two days locked in the craft room {I was allowed out to eat, sleep, and to watch a movie} I have finished cleaning and organizing the craft room.  Thank goodness the weather was gray most of the weekend or I probably wouldn't have finished.  {The sun finally peaked out late Sunday afternoon but by then I was so close to finishing I couldn't give up.}  I think I'll give myself a little break before I tackle the next room for spring cleaning.  My project list has been piling up anyways so I need to do some crafting.

But back to the craft room.  In addition to the wooden box, I found these magazine holders in the back of the craft cabinet.  {I think they are from Ikea.}

I was using them but it was a bit of a pain because they were in the back so I would have to move stuff to get to them.  My plan was to make better use of a small bookshelf in the room and put these on there.  But first they needed a facelift.

The red holders are painted in Delta Ceramcoat Red Iron Oxide and the paper is Picnic Fun by echo park paper co. from the A Walk in The Park line.  The blue holder is painted with Craftsmart Robins Egg Blue {both paints I had on hand} and the paper is Blissful Day from the same line as the other.

The light was fading by the time I got the room put together so I will take pictures another day to show the holders in there new home.  I think they will like it there better than in the cabinet.