Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Eating Cheap- Crock Pot Chile Verde

Given, this is a little off topic. It’s a bit different from our normal crafty stuff, but it’s worth it.

I want to preface this recipe (quickly) by saying that I despise cooking. I hate it. There are few necessary things in life that I loathe more than dealing with preheating a stove or thawing hamburger. I. Hate. Cooking.

With that said, I love my Crock Pot. If you don’t have one, you should get one, because you can make everything from breakfast to dessert with them. I love to throw my ingredients in before I go to bed at night and turn it off in the morning. Instant dinner. Is there a better way to wake up than to dinner already done for that night? No. No there is not.

So this Chile Verde. It’s pretty yummy. Like, really yummy. And crazy easy, which is even better. I’ll sacrifice taste for simplicity most days of the week, but with this dish, there is no trade off.

Here are your ingredients:

1 lb. Chile Verde Pork (or a small pork roast. Whatevs.)
1 Jar Chile Verde Sauce
2-4 Limes (depending on your personal tastes)
¼-½ Mango (also, depending on your tastes)

If you want to, you can totally exclude the last two ingredients and just roll with a jar of sauce and a slab of pork. I won’t judge. I’ve been there.

Put the pork in the bottom of the crock pot. Pour the entire jar of sauce on top.

Cut your limes into ¼’s and your mangoes into small chunks, leaving the rind/skin intact.

Lay the fruits on top of the pork and sauce, rind/skin side up.

Let it cook (covered) for 8 hours on low (6 hours on high), then take the lid off and let it sit.

We’re simple around here. We like to put the pork in a tortilla with cheese, beans, sour cream, onions, and cilantro (provided we have some). It’s delicious, simple, and likely a change from your daily menu!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

In the handmade world, men tend to be overlooked. Sorry, guys. We really don't mean to. It's not like we have a secret club of crafty women, sitting around, cackling, and planning how to exclude the menfolk. We don't have the time to collectively plot against you. It's just that there's not that much stuff to hand-make for guys, especially grown men. Extra especially- manly men.

So, you throw us a challenge. Generally, you don't even shop that much. My husband would be happy to never have to shop for anything again. He recently learned our Safeway delivers groceries. I didn't tell him for a reason. I'm never going to get to go anywhere again. C'est la vie, folks.

However, even in the face of adversity, you can always find someone, somewhere, who will prevail. I have located some of these people, and I have also rounded up some great ideas for Father's Day gifts (free and/or handmade ideas).

Let's start with handmade items.

Our first item is a super funky and fun picture frame from Handmade Moms LLC! It is creatively adorned with computer keys, perfect for the tech fan!

Adore by Nat brings us this amazing Father's Day/ Dad's Birthday card! It's perfect for the handyman dad that can fix anything in his domain! The amount of texture is really unique and gives a personal feel.

Next up, we have Shabby Chic Soap Company and her collage of awesomeness for dad. She has so many great gifts for men! From Dr. Who soap to The Death Star, from "tumble in the mud" to "beer connoisseur", she's got you covered.

Lisie's Pieces has this super unique and manly shell casing tie clips! They're great for the dad who loves to hunt or shoot in his free time, but has to look professional at work.

Nerdtastic is always there to help out the nerdy men! This time, she suggests her new pewter tag necklaces! Her hubby rocks them all the time, so the nerdy dad in your life should, too!

Last, but certainly not least, on our handmade items, we have KyElle Kreations with two manly wreaths! One is hunting inspired and the other fishing, so for dads who like to do it all, order both!

Now for our (mostly) free DIY section!

All this idea takes is a sheet of cardstock/scrapbook paper- DAD glasses

I printed these out for my favorite dad for his birthday last year. He thought they were hilarious and wore them around most of the night. Print here!

This next one goes fantastically along side Shabby Chic's muddy soap! Dad's who love four wheeling and riding in the mud will appreciate this card for sure! Get the printable here!

Also matchy-matchy with Shabby Chic, these bottle labels are fun and add a very visible theme to the day! Printable found here.

This is another I did for hubbs on his birthday from Little Odin, and he loved it! They come out so super cute and can be painted with Mod Podge (or a sealant) to make them keep forever!

Happy Father's Day, dads!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Securely Attach Hair Things to Clips

You Super easy, super quick tutorial. There are lots of ways of doing this, but I have found this to be the most reliable way. 

You will need-
-adhesive (hot glue or E-6000)
-hair clip/comb/pin/headband
-hair thing
-felt circle/square/rectangle (base this off the shape and size of the piece you're using). 

This is seriously so easy. Ready? Let's do it.

First, take your hair thing (whatever you're using as the pretty part of your clip) and put the bottom face up.

Now, put your felt piece in between the two sides of your clip, like so.

Next, put glue on it. Not enough that it'll seep everywhere, but enough to seal well. Make sure you are applying glue so the clip will still be able to open.

Stick down your hair thing and hold in place. If you're using hot glue, you should be safe by the time you're done reading this sentence. If you're using E-6000, please continue to hold in place.

Make sure your edges are all glued down and give your hair thing a wiggle to make sure it's secure. I have been using this method to make my hair pieces for three years and have no trouble with it. The felt helps the clip stay in place, too! It's not as smooth as the metal clip, so it doesn't slide as easily.

E-6000 users, you can probably let go now ;)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sweet Pea Designs by Dee- Behind the Scenes

We're experimenting today with a whole new set of questions for the Featured Crafter! I'm calling this one "Behind the Scenes" because this post will provide insight on what Denise of Sweet Pea Designs by Dee finds to be most popular and what it's like for her to run her shop.

Before we get into all that, I'd like to introduce you to Denise! She is the owner and designer of Sweet Pea Designs by Dee, where she makes children's clothing and accessories, including aprons, dresses, bow ties, suspenders, and much more!! In her shop, you'll find many items to make your little girl or boy the cutest they can be!

When Denise was young, she won awards with her art, and has always been an avid crafter. She always thought she would be an artist, but after getting married and having two wonderful children, she stuck a pin in that dream. In 2013, Denise retired and needed something to occupy her time, so she returned to her longtime friend, crafting.

Today, Denise provides adorable items with amazing quality and years of experience to back them. She carefully selects fabrics and designs to bring the best to her shop! Let's hear what she has to say about it all :)

 Do you find your customers to be more inclined towards classic colors and styles?

-My customers seem to like bright colors. My best selling style is the peasant dress.

I can see why this is a best seller. It's adorable.
 Do your most popular colors change with styles, seasons, or otherwise? Or do you find them to stay consistent throughout the year?

-Both. I try to change with the seasons, three quarter length, or long sleeves for Fall and Winter. But I keep sleeveless dresses in my shop as well for those warm weather states.

 When customers return feedback to you, what is the most common compliment you receive?

-I seem to get a lot of compliments on my choice of fabrics and colors.

Aren't these beautiful together!
 As someone who makes and sells childrens' clothing- if you could tell all of your customers one thing about your life or your shop that they might not know, what would it be?

-I love my customers! I so enjoy making clothes for all those little Sweet Peas out there and I love seeing pictures. I put my heart and soul into every item I make.

 How to you choose fabrics for your non-custom dresses? Do some colors and patterns speak to you more than others?

-The fabric definitely speaks to me! Some fabric just seem to jump out at me and I know exactly what to coordinate with it. Sometimes though I hold fabrics for weeks before I find just the perfect fabric to coordinate with it.

And now you know!! Next time you're ordering a custom dress from Denise, you'll have a bit better knowledge of her and how much love she puts into every item she makes.

Happy Shopping!