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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mom's Chili

We had a tradition growing up in my family, we always had Mom's Chili on Christmas Eve.  Most everyone liked it, then the others (you know who you are) grew up and loved it! Then they couldn't wait for grandma's chili !! And proceeded to stuff themselves after that!
She always served Saltines, Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Corn Bread, & Grandma's Jello Salad...oh! and Black Olives (mom had to cover these, or they'd all be gone before dinner, we ALL loved them!) she also had dessert... later, once your chili settled, waiting for the kids to go to sleep so Santa could come...

I always looked forward to that, even when we got older... & I miss it now! (•̪●)   Good times! ♥
This never fails to warm you up on a cold winter night...
Here is what you need:

1 1/2 lbs. of Ground Beef (you could also use Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken also)
1 Small Bell Pepper
1 Small Onion (I used sweet onions)

2 Cans (46 oz.) of Tomato Juice (any brand)
4-5 Cans Of Dark Red Kidney Beans (you could use light kidney beans if you like, sometimes I'll mix half light half dark) (any brand)
1 Can of Stewed Tomatoes (any brand)

Chili Powder
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Sour Cream (optional)
Saltines or Oyster Crackers (optional)

I cut my Bell Pepper and Onion up in big chunks so its easier for my hubby to pick them out... You can cut them to any size you would like.

In skillet brown Ground Beef, Onion, & Bell Pepper

Drain thoroughly...
Once drained put ground beef mixture in either a crock pot or medium to large pot.

Add Both cans of Tomato Juice..

Then add the Kidney Beans & Stewed Tomatoes...

Now this is the part that I have never measured, but I started with 1/3 cup of Chili Powder.
When my mom told me this recipe, she said "Keep adding Chili powder till you get a nice brownish color" so...I'm going to tell YOU that too. :) 

I ended up adding more chili powder,after the 1/3 cup, till it looked right to me, so use your own discretion. Some of you might think this is spicy, but its not! Not at all, I don't like super spicy food and You know what they say, if its hot going in, then its hot coming out...  ツ
Really, its just gooood!

So... once you have a nice brownish color, and you have stirred it really well, turn your crock pot on high for at least 2 hours, then turn it down to low and cook on low for the rest of the day. If your cooking on the stove, bring it to a boil for a few minutes, then turn it down to a simmer...
I start mine in the morning and usually don't eat till after 6 and its usually "done" by then. (its really done before that, but the longer it cooks the better it is!!)

By the way, this ALWAYS tastes better on the second day ;) 

Add some Crackers, or not

Add some cheese and a dollop of sour cream (I forgot to buy the sour cream!)
These are both optional... 

I usually can only have one bowl, I always add so many crackers and some cheese that it fills me up to fast ;)

You can half this recipe, because this makes a lot! It would probably serve 4 people, two meals, or more.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DIY - Pretty Acorn Ornament

So if you follow my blog, some of you know that I have a ton of pine tree's, hence my  Pine Cone Decoration. Well, I have a bunch of Oak tree's also. I have several different species of Oaks. And these tree's put out a Gajillion acorns, and I mean a Bazillion!! So I thought, "What can I do with some of these??" ¯\(°_o)/¯   I know!  I'll make a ornament with the little "hats"!  ツ

Millions of em' !!

First I collected, what I thought would be enough (believe me, I didn't even put a dent in them!)...then I cleaned them, by letting them soak for a little while in hot soapy water (Dawn of coarse) Then I rinsed them and let them soak in hot water with some vinegar. Let them dry completely on a paper towel. BTW, I didn't collect enough, had to go out and collect more, several times... (¬_¬)

3" Styrofoam Balls
Craft Foam Ornament Hooks
Package say no glue needed, but I want mine permanent... so I glued it.

Craft Foam Ornament Hooks (back side)

Gold Glitter Glue
Clear Spray Paint
Acorn "Hats"

Here is what you need:

3" Styrofoam Balls
Hooks of some sort (I used Craft Foam Ornament Hooks - see picture above)
Brown Paint (spray paint would be best but I didn't have any, so I used my    craft paint)
Acorn "Hats"
Gold Glitter Glue
Clear Spray Paint
Hot Glue Gun (or any kind of craft glue. Hot glue dries fast)

I got the styrofoam balls, the hooks, the ribbon, clear spray paint and the glitter glue at Walmart, but you can find any of these at a craft store.

Dab some glue on the pointy end of the ornament hook and push it into the styrofoam, paint the styrofoam balls and the hook  brown. (I had to do two coats on the balls.) I used a wire to hold the foam while painting. Spray paint would probably be faster, but I didn't have any on hand. I just used my brown craft paint.

You can see the balls in the background have two coats of paint already.
Let them dry...
Once dry start attaching the Acorn "hats" with hot glue (I left the stems on the "lids", applied glue, and poked it into the styrofoam.

Put a dab of glue on the top of the "hat" and poke into foam.
Push "hats" into the foam.
Continue gluing until the whole ball is covered (if I had big gaps, I used the "not quite formed acorns" to fill in) I also used smaller "hats" to fill in.

Not quite formed acorns as gap fillers

Break them apart 
Once you have glue all the "hats" on, Spray with clear coat (I did two coats of clear because I used Satin finish.) Let Dry....

Using the glitter glue I squeezed some glue around the top of a few hats, then with a paintbrush, painted it all around the edges. Continue squeezing glitter glue and painting on all the "hats" until complete. I swiped the insides of the "hats" with a almost dry brush with just a little glitter glue on it, to just give it a hint of glitter.
Let it dry...You may need to go back and apply to spots that you missed, or to just give it a second coat of glitter, up to you.

Once its dry, tie a 8 inch (approximate) piece of ribbon on the hook for the hanging ribbon, and knot it. With a 12-15 inch (approx.) of ribbon, make a bow and glue it to the ornament, close to the hook, making sure not to glue the hanging ribbon, so it can move freely.

Sorry about the focus on this one, but you can see the glitter pretty good in this shot!

Added new picture 12-25-12 of the ornament on my tree

That was fun!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No Sew Blanket Tutorial

thought these were so cute!!! So I made one for our grand baby for her birthday in September!  I got the idea to do one of these from Judy over at Pieces of Me
I had seen them before but I never paid attention to how simple and fun they are to make, and it isn't a long drawn out process. They are fairly quick and easy.  I love those kinds of projects! And I love seeing quick results, and something so cute!!

Here is what you need:

Fleece  two different patterns, one printed, one solid which compliments the printed one, or two patterned ones, totally up to you.
Straight Pins

Lay out your fleece so it's smooth.(hopefully you have someplace big enough to spread it out, I used my dining room table) Place one piece on top the other so the edges are lined up. Making sure that the "right side" is facing out on each piece. Line them up as best as you can. You might have to trim a little off if its to crooked. Having a little extra on one side is okay. I just try to make it even all the way around.

I didn't/don't cut of the lettering on the side, you can if you want to, its totally up to you :) its just an extra step and it looks fine when its done. 

Once its all smooth and where you want it, measure and pin 4 inches all the way around.

On one corner cut out a 4 inch square, continue to the next corner and do the same, until you have done all 4 corners.

Using the pins as your cutting guide, cut 1 inch wide strips that are 4 inches long. You can mark your fabric every inch or use a yard stick to see where to cut every inch. I'm good at "eyeballing" it, I might have a few that are wider or skinnier but that's okay too! I cut about 20 strips then tie them in double knots, that way my hands don't get tired as fast.(I have carpal tunnel from cutting hair!) It works for me. Some people might cut the strips all the way around first, or some people might just do one side at a time.

See my pins? I use them as my guide

I tie a few on the connecting corner as well, just to make sure it stays straight, and the corner is square. 

Square Corner

Work your way making double knots all the way around until you are finished. Its really pretty quick.

Almost done! :)

I really don't like that it isn't attached in some way in the middle, so I sew one stitch (think quilt) right in the very center. I used a contrasting color that matched the front.

Can you see the pink string in the center?

*I used 1 yard of each color for this blanket. It was 60 inches wide so it made a pretty big blanket for her, she's only 2.

*For an adult you would probably want to use at least 2  to 2 1/2 yards of each color, depending on the width of your fabric. But you can make it as large, or small as you want. That is the beauty of it, there is no set size.

*Make sure the two fabrics you pick are the same width.

*There are several different ways to tie them, double knots (the way I did them),  balloon knots or braided.
Balloon -(picture from
Braided- (picture from

And something else I learned...the nice soft silky fleece doesn't work! It rips and falls apart when you try to tie the knots.  (-’_'-)  Live and learn...

Bella loves her blankie, that her Mimi made for her!  ♥  ツ  

Just have fun 


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