Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Vacation

I will be out of touch for the next week. I am going to Colorado for vacation! I may post photos but I am not planning any post over the next 9 days. I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will see you later! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gobble Gobble Snack Mix

I have been eyeing all the fall snack mixes and decided to come up with my own mix. This makes A LOT. Be sure and use a large mixing bowl. 

The great thing about a snack mix like this is it can be made for your individual taste. Just add or omit anything you want.

Gobble Gobble Snack Mix

  • 4 cups of Oatmeal Square cereal -I chose the one with just a touch of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of Pretzels
  • 4 cups of Kettle Corn Popcorn - I chose this because the grocery was out of every box of Crunch n' Munch. I think the Crunch n' Munch would be better.
  • 1 bag (10.5 oz.) of Reese's Pieces
  • 1 bag (12.6 oz) of M & M's Peanut
  • 1 bag (10 oz) Honey Roasted Nut Medley
  • 1/2 bag Caramel Candy Corn
  • 1 bag of Honey and Cocoa flavored Autumn Mix
  • 1/2 box Chocolate Teddy Grahams
  • 1/2 bag of Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows- I think these are quite tasty but Stan doesn't like them. 

Put all in a large bowl and mix gently with a wooden spoon. Store in airtight containers. Enjoy! 

I wanted to share this photo so that you can see the cute pumpkin marshmallows


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weight Watcher Wednesday - Skinny Potato Soup

Oops! All day yesterday I thought it was Tuesday. You see, these things happen when you stay at home and you are a menopausal woman!! I completely missed my WW Wednesday recipe. So, today, Thursday, I will post the recipe. 

This Skinny Potato Soup does not taste skinny at all. It is creamy and delicious, just like you want potato soup to taste. You can always load it up with low-fat cheese, bacon and onion to make it a loaded potato soup but I find that I enjoy it without the extras. 

Skinny Potato Soup

1 bag Ore-Ida frozen hash brown potatoes, cubed
4 cans or 8 cups of fat-free chicken broth

Pour broth in to a large pot. Add potatoes and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

1 package envelope Pioneer fat-free country white gravy mix (this is what makes it creamy without adding all the heavy cream that is normally in potato soup)
1/2 cup water

In a small bowl, blend water and gravy mix. Add gravy mixture to potatoes. Simmer an additional 20 minutes.

Serving size is 1 1/2 cups and equals 2 points.

This soup is a generous serving and very filling and delicious. I have served this to many people and everyone is astounded that it is fat-free. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite low-cal, low-fat recipe? If so, I would love for you to leave me your link in the comments section! 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Organizing Thread Cheap and Easy

I have tried many ways to organize my thread and bobbins. I had a wooden sewing box with pegs for thread, a peg hanger for the wall, throwing it all in one large Rubbermaid box and none of those were great. I didn't like the thread being out in the open on the pegs because of dust. Trying to find the color you need in one large box was no fun either. I found these wonderful craft boxes at Hobby Lobby for only $1.99 each.

I coordinated my thread stash by color and wrote on the end of each box which colors were included.

You may have noticed the bobbins included in the space with some of the threads. After completing a sewing project, if I have thread left on the bobbin, I cover the bobbin with a small terry pony tail holder and place in the same section with the matching thread. I purchase the pony tail holders at Dollar Tree. Target and Walmart also sell them. They make the best bobbin thread cover. They are cheap and easy to use. I have been using this method for years and love that I don't have to contend with tangled threads.

I store the extra pony tail holder/bobbin covers in a small plastic container with a lid.
I use the same boxes for my embroidery thread and use the same concept of color organizing. I have three boxes of thread. I love pulling those boxes out and opening them up to choose what colors I will use to be crafty and creative.

Do you have a sewing or organizing tip? Please share in the comments. Thank you in advance to all who leave comments. I love reading each and every one.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Felt Leaves Wreath

I completed my first project with the new wool blend felt. I had this smaller Styrofoam wreath that I wrapped in a variegated yarn. I used Lime Riot's felt leaf tutorial that she shared on Leslie's Art and Sew. I used all the colors for Crafty Sheep's September Color Challenge. This little Fall wreath will find it's home on the shelf above my sewing machine. I will show the complete shelf next week.


Friday, September 14, 2012

New Arrival - Felt!

I received my first order of wool blend felt. I am so excited! I can't wait to see what crafty creations I can make with all this felty goodness. I also ordered and received the book, 
There really are some super-cute ideas. But my first felt project will be some form of  Limeriot's Fall leaves for the Craft Sheep September Color Challenge. 
Do you work with felt and if so, what is your favorite book or blog about felt?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weight Watchers Wednesday - Skinny No-Bake PB Pie

I have tried several recipes from Skinny Taste. My favorite is the Skinny No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie. My entire family loves it and can't believe it is low fat. I can't believe it only 5 WW points! 

Instead of using traditional peanut butter, this recipe uses Better'n Peanut Butter. I found mine at Target. It mixes smooth and still gives that great peanut butter taste for way less fat.

5 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1/3 cup Better 'n Peanut Butter
8 oz. fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
3 Tbsp Hershey's chocolate syrup (I omit this. I am not a huge chocolate syrup fan)

Beat cream cheese and sugar together with a mixer until smooth, add BnPB. Fold in whipped topping and spread in to pie crust. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until firm. If you desire chocolate syrup, add before serving.

Check out Gina's version on her site. She has mixing photos and a finished photo with the chocolate syrup.


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Indie Craft Parade = Saturday Fun

 As Stan and I walked to the site of my first visit to the Indie Craft Parade, this fun sign greeted us. There was a line and wait, due to safety number requirements. The wait was about 25 minutes and the day was nice. We didn't mind. Along side the walkway pretty banners led the way inside.

The parade was being held inside the historic Huguenot Mills building. It is a beautiful old facility.  The craft parade was upstairs. The following view is looking down to where the children's area, workshops, photo booth and my favorite, Spoonflower booth. 

I have wondered about the quality of Spoonflower's fabric and am intrigued with the idea of designing my own fabric. I was thrilled to find the fabric is wonderful. They had color charts, swatches, and a free project for the kids available. They also had a friendly representative who agreed to have her photo taken for this post.

On with the parade! I met some wonderful artist/crafters and had an opportunity to take a few photos.
Ivey Handcrafted had THE CUTEST FELT ITEMS! 
They have an Etsy shop that has the sweetest custom patches and other wonderful items. 

Brooke had a wonderful booth using vintage luggage in her displays that immediately caught my eye and then her unique items kept it there. Brooke makes the cutest circle skirts and then she designs items using fused eco plastic. They are just adorable. Her items can be purchased in her Etsy shop.

Stan is an avid bicyclist and Leslie's booth for Off The Map was a hit with him. She uses map in her art. We purchased a bicycle art piece with the map of our town, Greenville, incorporated. We love it and are going to frame to use in Stan's office. Isn't this such a unique idea?

I was so excited to meet Rachel with Stitched in Color! I follow her blog and love her tutorials and projects. She inspires me to sew with her colorful projects. My favorite item Rachel had at the parade was her summer weight quilts. They were just beautiful. You can sign up for Online Sewing Lessons at her site or head over to her shop to purchase her patterns.

Johnson Benjamin  of Talant Trade Co. was a delight to meet and his bag collection are the highest quality with an up-to-date look but seems incredibly durable. Benjamin and I had connected prior to the show because we have a mutual friend. He is from the same small town in MS where I grew up. 

In the midst of all our shopping we stopped by Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery table. I indulged in a Brazilian Cheese Puff that was wonderful. It was a hard choice because she also offered Apple Walnut Scones and other goodies. My cheese puff was delicious and I plan to visit the cafe and grocery soon. 
Stan was such a good sport to take me to the craft parade and then to one of my favorite lunch spots in Greenville, the Brick Street Cafe, where I ordered my customary choice of Brick Street Fresh Fruit Plate. It comes with a generous scoop of their wonderful walnut and cheese chicken salad, a fresh fruit medley and a Love Muffin. Yes, that's right, Love Muffin. Now I didn't know if you would believe me when I tell you how delicious this muffin is without proof. 
The Love Muffin has a center of cream cheese and raspberry preserves. Yummy! I finished it off with their wonderful coffee and then asked Stan to roll me to the car. I was so full and that muffin was so satisfying. 
That was our day of Saturday fun. What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weight Watcher Wednesday - Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Bites

Kristen at Slender Kitchen has graciously allowed me to use this photo and the recipe from her site. This is just one of many great recipes. I chose this recipe and am looking forward to making it because I love all things pumpkin and when you add chocolate, just can't go wrong!  Thanks, Kristen, for a great recipe!

This simple recipe combines pumpkin, chocolate, and chocolate chips and makes a delicious brownie bite. The recipe was inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie and is a great recipe to use up any last pumpkin you have sitting around. This could also be used to create a pan of brownies in an 8 by 8 dish.
Weight Watchers Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Bites
Points: 3 weight watchers pointsplus
Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 brownie bite
Nutritional Information: 132.2 calories, 5.1 g of fat, 21.8 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, .6 g of protein
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder processed with alkali
1/2 cup white pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp
2/3c sugar
1 packet Stevia
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp low fat milk
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Pour into a mini muffin tin and cook for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup
Fall is quickly approaching and there is something about knowing it is the month of September that means making soup. Crazy. It's been in the 80's and 90's but mind says, "Make soup." So, I made soup! 

This recipe was given to me years ago by my good friend, Rita. It is delicious, easy and has become Stan's favorite soup. 

Vegetable Beef Soup

Ground beef - 2 pounds extra lean. Boil and drain. Add back to pot.
Add the following:
1 46 ounce V-8 juice - I use lower sodium, original flavor
1 can beef broth - fat free
2 cans Progresso Hearty Tomato or Tomato Basil (which I prefer) soup
1 14.5 ounce can of drained, diced tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons of minced onion
salt/pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon sugar
Vegetables of your choice. You can use fresh or frozen. I usually purchase two of the frozen bags of vegetables for soup at Publix. It contains potatoes, beans, corn, okra and tomatoes. I then buy a small bag of green peas and add those.

Cook until potatoes are tender and veggies are done. Serve with crackers or cornbread. 
This makes a hearty and filling soup.