Sunday, April 11, 2010


Good morning everyone. I hope you are doing well this morning. One of my readers asked about my mother yesterday. To answer your questions, she has been injured and not able to use the computer. But don’t worry, she will be back soon! I am super stoked today! Have you subscribed to the $5 Dinners email newsletter yet? You have… did you see who is the Feature topic for April 10th????? ME!!!!!!!! WOOHOO! GO ME! I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Erin, the $5 Dinner Mom for posting about me! If you haven’t checked it out yet… shame on you LOL but you’re lucky, cause there is a link on the sidebar to the $5 Dinner website! Run over there once you are done with me and check her out!

Ok, let me ask everyone a question… how do you know when you are old? Could it be that when everyone you used to watch on television as a child or teen passes away? Well that made me feel very old this morning! Just this morning’s announcement on yahoo front page is that Dixie Carter AND Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" have both died. Carter was famous for playing Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women. Then not too long ago, Corey Haim passed, and tons of others in the last year or so… Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Ricardo Montalblan, Clint Ritchie, Bea Arthur, Dom DeLuise, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and SO many countless others have all departed. These were people I watched growing up… so how should that make me feel? Well I am sad for each family’s loss but it makes me appreciate life more. Time is precious and you never know when you won’t have it anymore, so use it wisely. Be good to others, helpful, and compassionate. Cherish that quality time with your children, family, and friends. Do things you normally wouldn’t do, and live with no regrets! I want to see each one of you lead a healthy and happy life!

Alright, lets get to a lighter topic now, before I get depressed. Ok so with this project of redecorating my kitchen and fixing to be helping my mom with HER new post-storm decorating, I have been thinking about home decorations a lot and what would be versatile for all events and seasons. And it hit me… wreaths! You see them all the time. You have traditional and modern! Check some of these out.

Craft Idea of the Day: Decorative Wreaths

Here you see a traditional Christmas wreath made of pine branches, pinecones, and the ever-famous red bow. Nothing spells “Norman Rockwell” like a traditional pine wreath.

Now, how about a little more modern Christmas Wreath? You can make wreaths out of scraps of material tied around a wreath form and when you get it nice and full, it becomes a beautiful handmade decoration people will talk about constantly!

Christmas Ornaments can be used for more than just Christmas in many ways. Try gluing color coordinated ornaments to a grapevine wreath for a cute holiday decoration like no other! This one happens to be festive for Mardi Gras!

Feather Boas make interesting wreaths as well. Simply secure one end of a boa to a wreath form and wrap it around tightly covering the entire wreath. Secure the second end to the back of the wreath. You can add beads, ornaments, or even foam cutouts. Nothing says Happy Halloween like a bright orange boa wreath greeting you when you walk up LOL!

Got a favorite teacher? Check out this crayon wreath I made for my DS14’s teacher a few years ago. Take 2 different sized embroidery hoops and a 64 count box of crayons. Hot glue them to the hoops and adorn with little school related wooden cutouts and trinkets for a unique way to thank that special teacher for all she does! This is ideal for elementary or daycare teachers and special needs teachers as well. The letters you see to spell out the name look like wooden blocks, but are actually flat wooden pieces. I found them in a bag at Michael's Arts & Crafts store.

How about all those 100’s of plastic eggs your kids have thrown all over the house? Glue them into an Easter wreath. Bright and cheery and definitely a conversation starter. Add a bow and hang it up. It’s a wonderful way to greet your holiday guests! I used about 6-8 dozen of various sized bright colored plastic eggs. Simply hot glue them around a grapevine wreath, starting with the larger eggs first. You will fill it in with the other eggs as you go around adding to your wreath. Finish with a bow, if you like, and its ready to be hung and enjoyed!

Are you sentimental at heart? Perhaps you have been saving all those countless cards your husband has given you over the years for Valentine’s Day. Cut out the cute graphics and glue them onto a wreath! You will be able to cherish the memories forever!

Someone expecting? Make them a neat diaper wreath to either use for decoration or utilize the stuff! It makes a great gift and the expecting mommy will be very appreciative to have something so creative, yet so useful!

As you can see, you can go on and on forever talking about all the different things you can use to make the cutest wreaths to dress up your door all year long. I think they are great crafts and great decorations! Just google homemade wreaths and you will find countless ideas.

Now I want to talk food! I picked out this recipe to make a few days ago in my crock pots while I was gone. Then today this recipe was the daily pick on a popular website AND on a cooking show I was watching with my mother yesterday called “Daisy Cooks”. So I set up the crock and let it slow cook on low all day and when I got home it was OMG heaven! I should have made ANOTHER crock pot full, cause everyone was diggin’ it and asking for 2nds and 3rds!

Cuban Ropa Vieja


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds beef flank, chuck, or skirt steak
1 cup beef broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 small onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar


Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.

Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce, then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar. Stir until well blended. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours, or on Low for up to 10 hours. When ready to serve, shred meat and serve with tortillas or rice.

As a bonus today, I am giving you a recipe for one of my mother’s favorite cakes… I baked it for her last night and am taking it to her today to enjoy (HOPEFULLY in moderation LMAO… yea right!). Doesn’t this just look absolutely full of fruity deliciousness! Well it is, and it makes your house smell wonderful too! Just the smell to fall asleep to and bring wonderful dreams of dancing pineapples… hey it’s not Christmas so it’s a good substitute for visions of sugar plums LOL!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut, optional
1 (8 ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 (18.25 ounce) package golden butter or pineapple cake mix


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat the bottoms and sides of each 9 inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the bottom of each pan with 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

In one of the pans, sprinkle coconut over the brown sugar. Lay pineapple rings in a single layer on top of coconut. Place a cherry in the center of each ring. In the other pan, spread the drained crushed pineapple.

Mix the cake as directed on package, but substitute reserved pineapple juice in place of water. Divide batter between the 2 pans. Remember which pan has the pineapple rings in it.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 20 minutes.

While the bottoms of the cake pans are still warm to the touch, invert the layer with the crushed pineapple out onto a serving dish, then gently invert the layer with the pineapple rings on top of it for a dazzling two layer pineapple upside down cake.

Well kids, I hope you have enjoyed today’s entry. As for me, I’m gonna go set my seedlings out in the sun and then start my day! Please join me tomorrow for more great adventures in blogging land. May you be safe and happy in today’s adventures! HUGS!



    i know i disappeared for a while there, it was Spring Break last week for me and the kiddies (i work in daycare) so i was very active and out of the house especially with all the great weather!

    Thank you for all the warmer weather good drinks...alot of if i should have known but for some reason, DUH! LOL.

    You asked about me, let's see....I'm from Goshen, IN, have 4 kids currently (DD 6, DS 5, DD 3 & DS 2) and the new one is a boy due 6/22! We can't decide on names but a few in the running are Yandel, Emmanuel, Benecio and Roberto. I'm a single mom pretty much doing it on my own with very very little state assistance. Frugal is the way to go over here! PLUS i'm in College too. I stay pretty busy!

    You posted a couple weeks ago about wild onions, they look like green onions, one in the same? I LOVE shopping at the mexican markets here (Goshen has a HUGE hispanic population AND Amish too, LOL) and they have the best little onions long like green onions and then bulbs the size of quarters usually and when you grill --- SO sweet! what kind are those? sorry, i know you would know though!

    Ropa Vieja and Pineapple upside down cake are a couple of my favorites! guess i have a dinner idea for tomorrow! Today is my birthday and i'm making a loaded pasta dish with zucchini, carrots, celery, peppers, onions and whatever other veggie i can get my hands on and hte kids won't figure out! i will also have a little ground beef and garbanzo beans. side dish of peas and mushrooms! YUMMY! (cuz its my bday! 33 today and not afraid to tell)

    did you ever pick the winner for your contest?

    i think i'm done with MY updates....Thanks for all the great inspiration!!!

  2. one more thing...i'm SUCH a dork! LOL.

    Rosemary....LOVE the smell! did you know its good for repelling lice? There is a product line called Fairy Tales that is started with lice repelling but has expanded. Oh frugal, homemade one, (LOL) do you have any home recipes using rosemary that could be a knockoff of these products? they are quite pricey ($15 for the conditioner to buy it at a local salon)...

    Thanks for letting me pick your brain!