A Day in the Life of Me and Mine

Wife. Mom. Ambitious Crafter and Cook.

Tag-Along Blanket July 30, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing — cmcoker1 @ 7:39 pm

When I was a little girl, I used to have a blankie that I carried EVERYWHERE I went.  It wasn’t a very small blanket, but I would drag it behind me upstairs and downstairs in my nightgown.  My Gram told me that she always knew I would one day trip on that blanket, fall down the stairs, and die…morbid, Gram.

But how much safer would my childhood have been if I had a blanket that was more my size.  And how much better would that blanket have been if it was personalized with a big “C” on it?  Well, never fear, my good readers.  Your children and your children’s children will have a fulfilled and safe childhood.

Here’s a sneak peek at my “Tag-Along Blanket.”  Check out my Etsy shop to learn more!

-care

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My New Adventure July 25, 2012

Filed under: Etsy,Sewing — cmcoker1 @ 11:50 am

A few months ago, I got the idea of opening an Etsy shop.  I am in no way an expert seamstress or crafter, but I really love creating things.  Big Mister is the most amazing man in the world, and he has been extremely supportive.  He even went to the store with me and helped me pick out fabric and other supplies.  I tinkered around a little while and came up with a really cute case for my Kindle.  I made several before I was completely happy with the design, but I loved them enough to sell them on Etsy!

Big Mister was convinced that we had just hit a gold mine, so he encouraged me to open the shop with only a few items.  I do appreciate his complete confidence in me, but I was a tad more realistic.  I wasn’t completely set on only making tablet cases, and I didn’t want to list anything that I wasn’t completely in love with.  But, alas, I opened the shop with 5 items:)

I have been trying to allow the creative juices to flow for the past few weeks.  My artsy fartsy sister has some awesome ideas, and I am hoping that she will join me soon.

The name of my shop is CandyApple.  My Gram has called me that since I was born, and it seemed to be a fitting name for my shop.  I am excited to add some baby/kid items soon, and I would also like to create cases for other tablets: Nook, iPad, etc.  Here is a little look at a few of my finished cases.

But the coolest part of this whole thing is that I just made my first sale!! I sold this cute striped Kindle case yesterday to a girl from China:)  I was super pumped, and I feel that I have been given a new surge of creativity… and a little confidence.

Here is a peak at a personalized blanket idea I am working on.  I made this one for the Little Mister.  It matches his nursery and is the perfect size for him to drag around and cuddle with.

So if you are interested in taking a look at my shop, here is the link: CandyApple . I only have a few postings because I am waiting to completely launch the shop when I have all of my items ready.  So come back frequently and check it out!

Feel free to email me at cmcoker1@gmail.com if you are interested in something you see on my blog today!  I welcome any requests!

-care

 

He Got the Drama from His Mama July 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cmcoker1 @ 9:57 am

When I first found out that I was pregnant with a boy, I inwardly sighed in relief.  Girls = Drama.  Ask my family, and they will tell you that I am one of the most dramatic people you will ever meet:)  I take it as a compliment:)  All my mom had to say was, “It’s time for church!” and I would immediately throw away my “Happy as a Lark” disposition and fall to the floor complaining of a fever.  O, I could lay it on thick.

Well, I have been rewarded.  Little Mister is Drama personified.  This kid cracks me up.  No facial expression is made half-heartedly.  No cry is wimpy.  This kid gives life his all.

But look at this face!  He is too much for my heart to handle at times.

I never knew I could love someone as much as I love this little boy.

See, he’s giving me a thumbs up.  Guess we’re doing okay:)

-care

 

Cloth Napkins July 20, 2012

Filed under: Sewing,What I Made Today — cmcoker1 @ 11:33 am

What did I make today??  A cloth napkin.  This is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just setting the table for a family dinner, a cloth napkin can easily jazz up your table setting.  One of my friends just recently got married, and she put a personal touch on her reception by using a variety of vintage print cloth napkins.  I LOVED the look.

When I was at Marshall’s the other day, I priced a pack of 4 cloth dinner napkins between $4.99 and $7.99.  This really isn’t a terrible price for a cute napkin, but I figured I could get the same look for much cheaper on my own.

I went to my local fabric store and looked through their remnant collection.  This project doesn’t require much yardage per napkin, so you can afford to buy smaller cuts.  Most fabric stores discount their remnants to around $2/yd.  This is a good way to get a higher quality fabric without breaking the bank or angering your spouse.

So, for around $5, I was able to buy enough fabric to make 8-10 napkins and still have some fabric left over.  Not too shabby.

After a quick Google search, I found that cloth napkins come in a variety of sizes.  What I did find, is that most are perfectly square.  So I chose a 16×16 size.  Taking my seam allowance into account, I cut my fabric 17″x17″.

I trimmed the loose threads and ironed the fabric.  I then started turning the edges of the fabric 1/4″ and pressing flat.

I turned the edge over one more time to leave a smooth edge, pressing it again.  These 2 steps use up 1/2″ on each side, the reason why I cut my fabric 1″ longer than what I wanted my finished product.

A smooth edge is especially necessary in this project, since the back of the napkin will be easily visible.

I then went around a popped a few pins into the seam, especially the corners.  This is not necessary, but it does help ensure that none of your raw edge slips out while sewing.

Use a thread that coordinates with your fabric or completely blends in.  I used a hot pink.  Simply sew a straight seam all the way around the napkin to tack down your edges, back stitching at beginning and end to lock your thread.  (I sewed on the back of the napkin because my raw edges always find a way to peak out and totally annoy me. )

This literally takes about 90 seconds.  Super quick!  Yes, my seams look like I sewed in the car…I have a tendency to do everything a little too fast.  Please take your time, unlike me:)

All done!  Now all you have to do is set your table!

I look forward to showing you the real reason behind this project:)  Go make some napkins this weekend and spice up your dinner table!

-care

 

My New Infatuation with Dough July 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cmcoker1 @ 7:16 pm

A few months ago, Big Mister convinced me that we needed a bread machine. I was not too keen on the idea.  I hate those oversized loaves and humongous counter space wasters.  But, I now have one.  I made a couple of loaves in the machine and was pretty impressed with how easy it was.  Throw a few ingredients in the pan, come back in 3 hours, and there she is:  a huge loaf of bread.  But I was still not crazy about the shape and size of the slices.

As I started Googling and searching Pinterest for bread machine recipes, I realized that a lot of people use the dough setting only and finish baking the bread in the oven.  I was instantly a fan. I made pizza crust dough.  I made french bread and created the perfect loaves.  I even made donut dough and fried up a dozen donuts for myself.  It only takes 90 minutes, and I have perfect risen dough.

As I continue to experiment, I have realized that yeast is nothing to be afraid of.  I have graduated to making my own dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook.  One of these days I may even knead it by hand. But why rush?

My next dough task to conquer was pie dough. My mother makes the most wonderful pie crust. She even wrote down the recipe the first time she came.  But every time she comes to visit, I talk her into making a pie for Big Mister:) Well, last weekend, I finally did it myself.  And, I must say, she turned out beautifully.  I have already made it twice:)

My next dough to tackle? Cinnamon rolls.

Here are the links to the awesome recipes I have used:

1. Homemade Yeast Doughnuts

2. Bread Machine French Bread

3. Emeril Lagasse’s Pizza Crust (for Kitchen Aid mixer)

Yum Yum Carbs!

-care

 

 

Tip of The Day July 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cmcoker1 @ 3:01 pm

I don’t know about you guys, but we always have leftovers in this house.  I seem to always make too much food for the 2 of us.  If I don’t eat it while cleaning up the kitchen, it usually ends up in the garbage.

In the recent issue of Taste of Home, a reader suggests cooking casseroles and “bake-able” side dishes in jumbo muffin tins.  That way, it is easier to pop out any leftovers and put into the freezer for another meal or a single serving snack:)

I LOVE this idea!  Next time I make my homemade mac-n-cheese, I’m trying this.

Let me know what dishes you try!

-care

 

Crock-Pot BBQ Chicken for 2 July 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cmcoker1 @ 1:04 pm

Does the need to cook dinner before your husband gets home hang over your head all day like it does mine?!  This morning, I knew one thing: I had boneless, skinless chicken thawed in the fridge.  I feel like that is the case every morning. Chicken. Blah.  But the only thing I could think of that would make my day better is to cook that blah chicken in a crock pot.  That way, I could make it while Little Mister was napping.  Maybe I’ll go to the spa with all the extra time I have just made for myself…ha.

So, here’s what I am Making Today: Crock-pot BBQ Chicken for 2.  I browsed a few recipes, and then decided to do what I usually do: Make it up as I go:)

First, I trimmed the excess ick off of each chicken breast.  Then, I laid the 2 breasts in the bottom of my Crock-Pot, seasoning each lightly with salt and pepper.

I then gathered my sauce ingredients: BBQ sauce, olive oil, white vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin.

I whisked them all together in a bowl.

And poured the sauce over the chicken.

Make sure you use all the sauce and cover both chicken breasts completely.

Put the lid on and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.  I plan to check mine at 4 hours and add extra time as I see fit.

*I ended up switching to HIGH after 4 hours and cooking for an extra hour.*

And here is the final product!  The chicken was very moist and tender.  It literally cut when I touched it with my fork.  I finished off the meal with roasted red potatoes, green peas, and garlic cheddar biscuits.  Yum.  (The picture would have been better if the power wouldn’t have gone out right when I was putting the food on the table.  Thankful I had already cooked!)

Crock-Pot BBQ Chicken for 2
(*This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled*)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – thawed and trimmed

salt

pepper

sauce:

1c BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s because that’s what I had on hand 🙂

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 c white vinegar

1/8 c light brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cumin (not necessary, but I love the smokey flavor)

Method:

Place chicken in crock-pot and season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk together the 6 ingredients for the sauce until well-combined.  Pour over chicken until completely covered.  Cover crock-pot with lid and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink.

*In all actuality, you could make this even easier on yourself by just using BBQ sauce and forgetting all the other ingredients.  Play around with ingredients you like!  You really can’t mess this up!

-care

 

 
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