Friday, August 29, 2014

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

I love my Crockpot!  I love that you can fill it with ingredients in the morning and at dinner time you have a meal prepared for you.  What could be better on a busy day?  This recipe is one of my family's favorites and we have it quite frequently, so I thought I would share.  My husband and kids prefer it with tortilla chips, but healthy mom (me) prefers it over brown rice.  It doesn't look yummy in the picture, but trust me, it's delish!

Crockpot Mexican Chicken
makes 6 servings

2-3 chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes (I puree mine in the blender or my kids won't eat it)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (here I used navy beans because it's what I had)
1 can Mexican chili beans
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 can black olives (optional, I don't use)
1 can chopped green chilies (optional, I use if I have them)

Layer chicken on the bottom of Crockpot.  Add remaining ingredients in order listed.  Do not stir.  Cook on low 7-8 hours.  Take chicken out and shred with two forks.  Return chicken to Crockpot and stir well.

Serve with tortilla chips, on a bed of brown rice, or in a flour tortilla as a wrap.  Serve with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese...whatever other toppings you enjoy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Easy Sleeve Refashion Tutorial #2


This shirt is cute and goes great with skinny jeans, but I have never liked the sleeves.  This is what they really look like.  Not for me!  The top was also a little big so it was time to refashion!

Those buttons and placket HAD to come off.  I just used my seam ripper to remove them.

In doing so, there became a problem  Where some of the stitching was, it left some small holes.  Never fear!  Easy fix!  As I've said before, there is no wrong way to refashion.  No one will know how you've made it fabulous unless you tell!

I needed to sew up the top of the sleeves instead of underneath, but this also helped the top part to be less baggy.  I just pinned where I wanted to sew, about 1-1/2" in.

I sewed along the pin line...

...and then trimmed the excess.  The great part about knits is that they don't fray, so you don't need to finish the edges.

Those sleeves look so much better and the neckline isn't as low.  Love it now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

7 Ways To Wear A Statement Necklace

Statement necklaces are all the rage these days and recently showed you how I made my own here.  Since making this one, I've discovered so many ways to wear it!  It can be worn for every season and both casual and dressy.  Here are some ways I've found to wear it, and I'm sure I will come up with several more.  I just love the pop of color!

1.  With a plain t-shirt.  Crew neck, v-neck, boat neck...any neckline will do.

2.  Pattern mixing.  Shown here with a gingham button-up.  The pink/white pattern is subtle enough and really shows off the necklace.  You could even try plaid, stripes or polka dots.

3.  With a chambray button-up.  Chambray is so hot this fall that I hope you all have something chambray in your closet. :)

4.  With a casual knit dress.  It really livens it up!

5.  Adding long chain necklaces.  This just adds another dimension and even more of a statement.

6.  With a bright colored t-shirt and a denim jacket. 

7.  With a more dressy dress. 

You can see why they call them statement necklaces because that is exactly where your eyes the necklace.  Have fun with statement necklaces and don't be afraid to try one.  They are everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wide Leg Jeans to Skinny Jeans Tutorial

My youngest daughter had this cute pair of lavender colored jeans that she wouldn't wear because they weren't skinny jeans.  This is how they looked...big and baggy, which was not working for her.

She tried them on and I pinned them along the sides where I was going to take them in.  You'll notice on jeans that there is a visible seam on the inside of the leg.  I choose to use the outside seam because it looks more natural.

Sew along your pin lines and trim the excess fabric.  Use a zigzag stitch to finish the edges.

Try them on and make any small adjustments as necessary. (Please ignore her worn out socks in the picture.  Oops!)

She tried these on and immediately ran to look in the mirror.  She ran back and squealed, " I LOVE THEM!  THEY ARE PERFECT NOW!"  Oh, to make an 11 year old happy!  It's a good day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Paper Bead Earrings

Awhile ago I showed you the paper bead necklaces I made and said that I needed to make earrings to match.  (Yes, I'm a matchy match girl.)  I finally decided to make them.  I made the paper beads just like I did here, and had my first attempt at making earrings.  I bought some fish hook earrings and jump hoops at Michael's and tried to figure it out, and it worked!  I made two pair, one to match each necklace.  I don't think jewelry making is my gift, but I'm pleased I have earrings to match!  Yay!

Here are pictures of the necklaces I made and you can read the post here

Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Easy Dress to Skirt Refashion Tutorial

This dress was actually my 11 year old daughter's that she was going to donate.  I got it for a steal at 50 cents at a thrift store.  I loved the fabric and how light and airy it was.  Hmmm...could mommy wear it?  Absolutely!

As this picture shows, I couldn't wear it as a dress, but I could certainly make a skirt out of it.

First off was to cut off the top portion.  Let the seam ripper go to work!

I was going to use the elastic that was already there, but when I tried to tighten it the elastic started breaking so I had to cut it off and add new.

I needed to make a new casing for the elastic.  I measured how long I wanted the skirt to be and then folded it over twice to finish the edge and make the casing.

Stitch the casing down leaving an opening for the elastic.  Run your elastic through the casing.

Stitch the ends together as shown.

Finish by  sewing your casing closed.

Press your new skirt and it's ready to wear.  Did I mention this dress-turned-skirt had pockets!  Bonus!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back To School Night . . . 8th Grade Style

It's hard to believe I have an 8th grader and 6th grader this year!  Where has the time gone?!  This is Courtney, my 8th grader.  Two nights ago was their "back-to-school" night at her middle school so of course she had to dress the part.  Cute sundress, denim vest and cowgirl ankle boots.  Sundresses and ankle boots are very popular right now!

Dress: Dreamstar (Gordman's) / Boots: Merona (Target)/  
Vest: Denim jacket refashioned by me (tutorial here)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

T-shirt Yarn Statement Necklace Tutorial

I am truly excited to share this tutorial with you today!  I absolutely LOVE the statement necklaces I see everywhere, but unfortunately the ones I like are out of my price range.  So guess what?  I decided to make my own!

I started with some t-shirt scraps I had.  I cut them into strips about 12" x 1".  Then pull the ends so the strips will curl.

Roll the strip of t-shirt into a tight snail-like circle. (Oops!  Please ignore the manicure.)

I glued the ends using Aleene's Fabric Fusion and set them on a piece of cardboard to dry for a couple of hours.  The glue did end up drying clear.

I made circles in various sizes and colors.  I ended up cutting some of my 12" strips in half to get the smaller sizes.  After they were dry, I arranged them to my liking and glued them to another piece of t-shirt fabric.

A couple hours later when the glue was dry I trimmed the excess fabric around the outside of the circles.  I didn't cut out the center so the necklace wouldn't be flimsy, but you can if you don't like that look.

I took two remaining strips of t-shirt and glued it on the back at the top so I can tie it around my neck.  After letting that dry I decided to make some earrings to match.  (I totally guessed at how to do this.)  I already had some fish hook earrings and jump rings from Michael's, so I just tried and tried until something worked...and it did!

I am thrilled with how the necklace and earrings turned out!  If you make a statement necklace, please email me photos...I'd love to see what you do!

Linking up with:  Summer Scraps

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's Almost That Time Again . . . Back To School

It's hard to believe it's that time again...back to school...and I have a 6th grader and an 8th grader this year.  In some ways I'm excited for it, but other times I wish summer would last forever.  Since I am a stay-at-home mom I love having my girls home over the summer.  I have tried to make this summer a fun one, but with going through chemo and not being able to be out and about and in crowds, we had to have more fun around home.

One thing I love about the girls heading back to school is the shopping.  My husband (God love him) took our girls to get all of their school supplies and sneakers, but when it comes to clothes, they want their momma to help them.  We actually ended up ordering several things online for them so I could avoid the crowds in the stores.  Hovering around the computer screen and saying YAY or NAY to the styles was quite fun!  Old Navy and all their sales was a big bonus this year!  My girls have totally different tastes in clothes which makes it interesting.

I also get excited about fall clothes.  Summer is my favorite season as far as weather, but as for dressing fashionably, well it comes down to a cami and skirt or T-shirt and shorts, maybe a dress every once in a while.  It's just too hot for layers!  I love the cooler weather when you can bring out the long sleeves, scarves, boots, etc.  Since writing about cleaning out your closet, I am really excited about wearing the things I have in my closet in different ways.  Stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Last Chemo Treatment

I am so happy to say that yesterday was my last chemo treatment!  Yay!  Hooray!  Shout it from the rooftops!  Amen!  I am so grateful to be done with that part of my breast cancer journey.  It was something I had to do to lessen my chances of recurrence, but it's finally over.  I still have a long road ahead of me, but I am considering myself cancer free!  Having a positive attitude, an amazing family and a fabulous group of friends has helped me through all of this.  God bless them all!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Man's Dress Shirt to Cute Button-up Refashion Tutorial

I love a good refashion!  This was a man's size large dress shirt that I saw numerous possibilities with.  It is a very soft linen.  Plus, I think I got it for $2.00!

It started out looking like this...big and baggy.

First off, I had to remove those pockets!  With the large flap, it just screamed "man's shirt"!  Then I cut off the cuffs just above the button.

I turned it wrong side out and pinned where I wanted to take it in.  I wanted it a little loose, since it would be worn as a tunic at times.

Then I sewed along my pin line on both sides and trimmed the excess.  I finished my raw edges with a zigzag stitch so they wouldn't fray.  I finished my cuff edges by ironing and then stitching.

I love how it turned out and it is very versatile.  I wore it here tied at the waist, but it could be worn as a tunic or tucked in as well.   The skirt was refashioned by me in this dress to skirt refashion tutorial.

The possibilities are endless!  Try and make one for yourself and let me know how it turns out!
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