Sunday, 5 October 2014

French Chicken - Slow Cooker Freezer Meal

Now that I've been using it for over a month, I'm wondering why I waited so long to buy a slow cooker. Seriously, it's amazing how easy it is to put a couple bags in the freezer on the weekend and pull them out on days when I have meetings and will be late.



One recipe that we've had several times and both enjoy is French Chicken from Over The Big Moon. The only change I make from the original recipe is to use different brand names in order to make it gluten-free/dairy-free and cheaper. 



First I labeled my bags: name, cooking instructions, and date. I make two bags at a time. Then I added all my ingredients, splitting the french dressing equally between the two bags and adding four chicken breasts to each.


I cook it on high for 4 hours and serve it with rice and frozen veggies. I do have to prepare the rice when I get home but if I put it on when I come through the door, it's ready by the time I've changed and put my school stuff away.




I thought about doing one of those "800 slow cooker meals in 40 minutes" posts (ok, that might be a slight exaggeration) but I don't want to share it if J and I don't enjoy it. That means one recipe at a time. We've had a couple meals that we won't make again (and one we couldn't even eat the first time) but I'll save those for another post. 

4 You With Love Party Thyme

Shared at: Lines Across, My Pinterventures, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Ginger Snap Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, Upcycled Treasures, A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love, Glitter, Glue, and Paint, Diana Rambles, Serenity You

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Colour Burst Art

I've been spending some more time working on my guest room and finished another small, simple painting.



I started by drawing lines from a point to the edges of my paper, spacing them based on what I found to look good.



I then painted the lines using the same colours and my herringbone art.



Once it was dry I put it in an Ikea mat and frame, and then found it a home on the nightstand.



Unfortunately after this piece I lost my art-mojo. I've started and abandoned several additional pieces and have decided to leave painting for a while and move on to other projects.

Shared at: Life on Lakeshore Drive, Lines Across, My Pinterventures, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Ginger Snap Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Fluster Buster, Upcycled Treasures, A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love, Glitter, Glue, & Paint, Diana Rambles, Serenity You

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My First Quilt Part 1

I've been sharing little bits of my guest room with you but I haven't shown you the most important (in my opinion) part: the quilt.

I've never made a quilt before and don't actually know what I'm doing so there won't be a tutorial here but I'm excited to show you what I've done so far.



All fabrics in this quilt are from Pat Bravo's Indie line. I bought them from Moona Fabrics (this isn't a sponsored post) and love the bright colours and fun patterns. 


   
To start, I found a lovely picture on pinterest. The only problem was it didn't link to anything so I had to do some math and figure out sizes and measurements. Let me tell you, math is not my forte. Fortunately it all worked out.



I decided my meter stick and scissors weren't going to cut it (ahahah, I'm so punny) so I finally bought a rotary cutter and mat. I'm in love. Why did I not buy these tools sooner?



Anyway, once the pieces were cut I placed them on the bed. I decided I wasn't loving one of the fabrics but I'd bought extra so I swapped it out.



Next came the sewing, which was surprisingly quick. I pinned the pieces, and then ran them through the sewing machine.



My one piece of advice is one I read online but can't remember where: don't iron your seams. If you iron them, you can stretch the fabric. Instead, use the iron on the steam setting and press the seams flat.



Once each row was finished I sewed them together. This took a little shifting because, as I'd said, math is not my forte.



And that's where the project has stalled. School has been insane this year and I haven't had the time or energy to research how to make a border. 



Shared at: Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, Glitter, Glue, and Paint, A Creative Princess, Natasha in Oz, Serenity You, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Lines Across, My Pinterventures, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, 4 You With Love, Diana Rambles

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Herringbone Art

I recently made another piece of artwork for my guest room and it might be my favourite piece I've ever made. It took a lot of time and was very tedious but I'm thrilled with the results.



For this piece I used acrylic paint, paper meant for used with acrylic paint, a paint tray, and fine-tipped paint brushes.



The pictures taken in progress were taken with my cell phone in dim light. Sorry.



To paint I started with the left and went in horizontal rows, using one brush per colour so I didn't have to worry about cleaning the brush after each colour. I wasn't really picky about my vertical lines but used a piece of paper as a guide to keep them fairly straight.


Once it was finished I put it in a classic white Ikea frame. I'm excited that the guest room is coming together, piece by piece, and I can't wait to get it all done.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Honey Garlic Chicken - Slow Cooker Freezer Meal

I have exciting news: I bought a crock pot. Ok, that may not be exciting to you but I'm thrilled. I actually had a tiny one before but never used it so I'm definitely a newbie. I decided it would be a good way to eat less takeout on days when I know I'll be late from school.



For my first recipe I made Honey Chicken from Six Cents. I followed the recipe quite closely. The only changes I made were using 1 tbsp of minced garlic and 1 tsp of ground ginger instead of fresh.

First I labeled my bags: name, cooking instructions, and date. Then I added four chicken breasts to each bag.



Next I mixed all the wet ingredients in a bowl and dividing the mixture between two bags. 



To cook I pulled this from the freezer and put the frozen contents of the bag and one cup of water in the crock pot.



I cooked the meal on low for seven hours and the chicken was so cooked it was starting to fall apart.

Because it's just the two of us, each bag is enough for two meals. I served this with rice and corn, and made enough rice for tomorrow. All I'll have to prepare tomorrow is a veggie side and it'll be ready to eat.

I have to admit that I was skeptical about slow cooker freezer meals but this one is great. Even my picky-eater husband said it was a "make again". 

If you have any great crockpot freezer meals, feel free to send the recipes my way!

Shared at: A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love, Natasha in Oz, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Belle of the Kitchen, My Pinterventures, What Meegan Wants, Lines Across, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, Delicious and DIY, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Sugar Bee Crafts, Home Coming, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, Serenity You

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Fridge Shelf Liners - A Pinterest Unsuccess

I don't want to call this a Pinterest fail because it really wasn't a fail, it just wasn't something that worked for me. This idea is all over Pinterest but I'm not going to link to any posts because, seeing as I don't like it, linking seems rude.



I hate cleaning my fridge almost as much as I hate having a dirty fridge. I especially hate the little milk crusty bits that always seem to end up on one of my shelves. When I saw the idea to cover my shelfs in Press and Seal I thought it was brilliant - I could remove the piece when it was dirty without having to clean the shelf.


Crusty Milk Bits

My first mistake occurred when putting my Press and Seal on the shelves. I ran it over the edges which looks nice but meant it wasn't easy to remove or replace.



My second mistake was thinking I'd actually change the Press and Seal. It turns out I'm just as lazy about changing it as I am about cleaning the shelves.


Gross!

My third mistake was thinking the Press and Seal was durable enough to survive my house. The first time I scraped a bowl on the Press and Seal, it ripped. That kind of defeats the purpose.



So what happened? The Press and Seal sat there, no cleaner or nicer looking than a dirty shelf, for months until I finally got around to taking it off. Like I said, while I like the idea behind this pin it sure didn't work for me.


A pic from when I thought there'd be a tutorial.
Yes, our fridge is typically this empty. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Smushed Paint Artwork

Another project I've completed for the guest room is this smushed paint artwork. I'm going to be upfront with you; I don't like it. I think the colours make it look like something from the 80s and it just isn't working for me. With that said, I think with different colours or on a smaller scale is has a lot of potential so I decided to share. The idea came from Claudia at Peep My Style and her pieces look fantastic.



Supplies:
Large paper (I used bristol board)
Paint
Spoons
Garbage bag

This project is so simple a tutorial is hardly needed, but here it is anyway. I accidentally deleted pics for steps one and two. Sorry.

Step 1: Lay out the paper on a flat surface. I laid a garbage bag on my table under the paper so I could get a little messy.

Step 2: Use a spoon to splatter paint on the paper.

Step 3: Press the two sheets of paper together, being sure to rub them well and not to move or smudge them.



Step 4: Peel them apart, let them dry, and you're done. Or if you're me you decide adding more paint will make them better.



Step 4.5: Repeat steps two, three, and four. 



Step 5: Wait for the pictures to dry and hang them up. 



I thought maybe they'd grow on me but they haven't so they'll be getting redone when I'm feeling inspired.



Shared at: Natasha in Oz, Life on Lakeshore Drive, What Meegan Makes, My Pinterventures, Upcycled Treasures, Home Coming, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, 4 You With Love