Archives for the month of: November, 2012

I came across this project in my blog reader this morning – its from an adorable site called eighteen25.  The project is a nifty printable banner that says “Gather Together & Give Thanks.”  They have free image downloads – just click here and scroll down!

Here is my version:

I loved the look of their kraft paper cardstock, but I didn’t even know that it existed til this morning, so I didn’t have any lying around!  What I did have were some cereal boxes that I cut apart and saved ( I knew I could use them for something!!!)

I also learned that you can run cereal boxes through your printer!  Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure all the bumpy edges are cut off
  • Run it through one “page” at a time – you may have to give it a little push to make sure the wheels grab on properly.
  • Make sure you know whether your paper should be face up or down!

The rest is easy!  Color in the circles and letters (great for kids or a Momma that needs a break), cut out, punch holes in the corners, tie together, and hang!

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Ok. Clearly my head has been in a different place lately.  It’s now November 17th, and my calendar is still in October-land.

In a way, its nice that my life doesn’t have to revolve around intense planning and timetables any more.  But still – I’m sure I missed a thing or two!

I’ve been in a crazed crafty mood again lately.  After finishing three crocheted fox hats for Halloween, I thought I would need a break.  But I think completing those hats really boosted by crochet-confidence, and I’ve been learning new stitches and trying out lots of patterns. (Thanks ravelry!)  Sorry family,  looks like you’ll have to endure another round of handmade Christmas gifts…

This also means that I have little piles of finished projects sitting around that neither Ali or I can use or wear, which leads Corey to nag me to open up my Etsy shop again.  And I’m thinking about it, and making some progress in that direction.  Slowly.  It makes a lot of sense to go that route, but I’m stubborn and I want to *do it right*.  Ahhh.  There’s that perfectionism again.  Well, maybe I’ll get it done when the calendar says December, but its really January!

Here are some pics we took for Ali’s 11 month birthday:

Here is the chili recipe I’ve been making for over 15 years now.  Corey took it to his office for a chili cook-off last Friday, and we won!!

This started out being known in our family as “Tammy Wayne Chili” because our neighbor made this for us one year during a big snow storm.  It was awesome to come inside after redneck sledding and playing in the snow to have a warm bowl of meaty chili.

I don’t really think of this as a super-extraordinary recipe, its just really easy, really good chili.  I probably started making this when I was about 12 years old, so I know anybody can make this happen!  You can keep most of the ingredients on-hand in your pantry, and this is easily doubled (or tripled) for a crowd or for the freezer.  We think this is a crowd-pleaser because it has great flavor and spice, but it isn’t too hot or overwhelming.  We also like some crunch with our chili, and highly recommend Frito’s Scoops corn chips for scooping or crumbling on top, but tortilla chips or crackers are also yummy.

All-Time Favorite Chili

serves 4-6

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can kidney beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato soup

1 small jar salsa or rotel (or both – your choice of heat level)

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp Cajun seasoning or blackening spice (not original to the recipe, but tasty)

Saute the onion over medium-high heat til soft, then add the ground beef and cook til browned.  Drain and toss into a large pot.  Open up all the cans and jars and dump everything into the pot (I do usually rinse the kidney beans, but the juice from the tomatoes should go in).  Add the chili powder and stir until everything is well combined.  Let everything come to a low bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer at least 30 minutes.  You can also put everything into a crock pot and cook 4-6 hours on low.

We had a really great day yesterday – probably the best Halloween I’ve had since high school!

Now, granted, I finally finished our family fox hats two days ago, so everything got pushed back and I was carving pumpkins at lunch time on Halloween day while Ali took a nap.  But, I found a great station on Songza playing old spooky jazzy music and made a great time of it.

Then I got Ali dressed up and we headed to Corey’s office for afternoon trick-or-treating and general showing-off of baby.

After that, we had dinner at our old favorite Mexican restaurant (used to be 1 minute from our old apartment, and now we live way too far away…)  I proposed this as a strategic move to miss rush-hour traffic, but really I just had to have chips and salsa…  Also – this crazy lady kept bugging us – taking pictures of the baby and telling us very random stories.  I had my very best awkward “Sookie-trying-to-be-normal” smile on my face, but in my head I’m thinking:  “Thanks for capturing this cute pic, but get outta here, creeper!  I just want my bean dip!”

Finally, we made it home in time to hand out some candy to our cute neighbor kids, and venture down the street to see some other friends.  Then we all plopped on the couch and watched a couple episodes of American Restoration while Ali wound herself down.  All in all, a great day!

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