Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Party in Your PJs #210

4 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.


 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

Roasted Chicken & Bacon Jalapeno Poppers ~ Low-Carb Delish
Appetizer or spicy hot main dish - either way, these poppers look fantastic and I know they'd find a welcome spot on the menu at my house.



DIY Flower Press ~ Something2Offer
This simple flower press made from easy to find upcycled materials would be just right for an afternoon outdoors with the kids!





Watercolor Globe ~ The Scrap Shoppe Blog
I love this quote and this is such a fun way to showcase it!  This would be such a great gift for a recent graduate or friend getting ready to move.




Lightened Up Egg Strata ~ My Family Thyme
This ham, cheese and bread egg casserole is pure breakfast-time comfort food. Best of all? You can get it all ready the night before. Pop it in the oven in the morning, and breakfast is all set!




 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Monday, May 28, 2018

Great Honk! It's the Movie Monday Challenge

4 comments:

On the last (or fourth) Monday of each month, a group of bloggers participate in a #MovieMondayChallenge, hosted by C'mon Get Crafty! We decide on a topic, genre, or specific movie to use for inspiration and everyone gets free reign to create something wonderful!
 
This month's challenge was. . . . Fathers! Your Dad's Favorite Film, or just a movie about fatherhood! Everyone was allowed to choose their own favorite film so long as it was inspired by the challenge word.

My father passed away several years ago, and my knowledge of what movies he particularly enjoyed is limited to what he liked before 1980 or so - but the thing he loved was music.  He was career military, but in his heart I believe he wanted to be a musician.

In thinking about that, I was reminded of a movie my husband and I both love (and I'm sure my dad must have, too) - the classic 1962 musical, The Music Man, starring Shirley Jones and Robert Preston.  This is the story of a traveling con artist who comes to small towns, gets them stirred up about creating a boy's band, and sells them the whole package - instruments, uniforms, and music lessons.  One small problem - he doesn't know a thing about music, and strings the wannabe band along with the "Think System" long enough to get the money and leave.

His strategy in each town he goes through is to woo the librarian (as the likely most intelligent person there), create a sense of emergency that a local boy's band would fix ("We got trouble right here in River City!") and flatter everyone else into believing they are talented artistic people whose offspring must surely be musical geniuses.

There are a couple small problems this time - Marian the Librarian is having none of his nonsense, and then he actually falls in love with her, and is touched by her troubled little brother who is blossoming at the idea of being in a band.  Then there is the town council's insistence on seeing his music credentials.  Finally, there is an angry salesman who is tired of him 'skunking the territory' and is intent on seeing him brought to justice.

The characters in this musical are well written exaggerations of small town 'types' and even though it is set around the turn of the 20th century, everyone will recognize the gossipy townswomen, the pragmatic Irish mother of Marian the councilmembers who have been spatting for years, and many others.



My favorites are Mayor Shinn's family - his wife, Eulalie, who regards herself as the natural cultural and social leader of the community and his daughter, Zaneeta who is in love with the town's 'wild kid', Tommy Djilas.

These last two were my inspiration for my project.  

It's become a family joke between my husband and I to exclaim "Ye Gods!" and "Great Honk!", which Zaneeta and Tommy repeat often during the musical.  

Using a book of cross stitch alphabets, I created a pair of pieces highlighting these phrases.

I've had this collection of alphabets on my shelf for twenty years, and selected two fonts that went well together, and selected scraps of white 14ct Aida and a few DMC threads from my stash that coordinated colors that looked like the 'fantasy' band's uniforms.

To center stitched letters, it helps to have either cross stitch graph paper or a cross stitch design app.  How much space to put between each letter and between lines is a matter of eyeballing it to see what looks right, then counting out the width of the letters and the spaces between to get the size of your piece.  I use PCStitch11, but I often revert to graphing on paper when I'm sorting out what I want to do.


Typical for me, I haven't quite finished this project because I didn't fully decide on how I wanted to do it until it was done.  I've ordered a couple of small charms - a pair of drum majorettes to go on each side of Ye Gods, and a trombone to go beneath Great Honk.  I plan to put these into a pair of small deep blue 4x7 frames.

Once I have these completed, I'll post a final picture here!




Now let's see what everyone else was inspired to create for this month's #MovieMondayChallenge!! If you'd like to join our Facebook group, you can request an invite here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Party in Your PJs #209

3 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.


You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

We're saying goodbye to our fourth co-host, Theresa, from Aging Like Fine Wine. She's decided to step back for awhile as life takes her in new directions, and we wish her well!

I'm getting this up very late this week, and I apologize for that, but daily life events sometimes take precedence over the things we'd rather to be doing!  I don't know about you, but I am very much looking forward to the coming Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer.


 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!

We've had so much rain this past month, it's been pure joy to finally see the sun and get some time outdoors.  Here's hoping for good weather for Memorial Day Weekend - a good day to visit one of our national cemeteries and then share the company of those we love.


How To Paint PATRIOTIC PICNIC GINGHAM MASON JARS ~ Fresh Vintage By Lisa S

Aren't these cute?  Gingham jars hold picnic condiments and make a great outdoor centerpiece as well as keeps the wind from catching the bottles!




A great dessert to cap off a holiday meal, worthy of family and friends.




I love everything about this dress - the retro style and cheery fabric would be just right for warm summer days.




Our co-host, Donna, put together this utterly charming patio display that is sure to brighten the day of anyone who sees it.




 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Lapel Pin Magnets

6 comments:


If you don't have piles of lapel pins floating around your house, do you even Fandom, Bro? 

Between just the two of us, my husband and I have tried about 8-10 different subscription boxes in the last few years, many of which we kept up for many months. Currently we still get about 4 monthly. 



The vast majority of the fandom-themed boxes include a cool new pin in each box. I love them all, but have struggled with how to display them. Up until recently they have sat, stacked up, still in their packaging, in a corner on my shelf near the rest of the displayable parts of my boxes.




Admittedly, this project is not my brainchild. I can't recall where I saw it, whether it be Pinterest of one of my fandom Facebook groups, but many months ago, I saw this incredibly simple yet genius idea to turn these pins into fridge magnets! I've wanted to do it ever since.

Another thing I love to collect is magnets. They're a great way to inexpensively commemorate places visited and hobbies we enjoy. I hate hanging things on my fridge, because to me the magnets themselves are d├ęcor. 

I don't keep random advertisement magnets that come in the junk mail. 

I collect magnets from new cities as keepsakes every chance I get! I love looking at them everyday as they remind me of things I love.

I finally got around to ordering magnets for the back. I used these flexible adhesive backed magnets.  I chose them primarily because of the sticky back, but there are some thicker sturdier ones that would require a spot of glue that would be better choices for heavier objects. 

As soon as they arrived, I couldn't wait to make them! 

My husband was a big help as well. Using his Leatherman, he was easily able to snip the safety pin from the back of the button style pins. 

For the lapel pins, he was able to use his pliers to rock the pin back and forth until it snapped off at the base.

For a few of the pins, more than one magnet was needed due to weight. If there isn't enough room to hold more than one without it poking off the edge, you can carefully shave the excess for a nice clean look.

I've had them up on my fridge for about a month now. I noticed on one particularly hot day that they looked like the glue was melty, but none of them came apart. 

I wouldn't be surprised if I have to replace magnets at some point, and that may be the advantage to use higher quality magnets and glue them on yourself.

This project made me so incredibly happy. 

I spent the following days wanting to magnetize anything that wasn't nailed down. 

I'm so excited to get more to do this with - it's given me even more anticipation for each of my incoming subscription boxes! 



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Summer Activities for Kids: Awesome Life Friday #160

4 comments:
Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!


So, now the best part of Awesome Life Friday -  the FEATURES!

Can you believe that school is nearly out for the summer already?! Here are a few ideas to help keep the kids busy and interested in their world as they spend more time at home:





Unicorn Popcorn - A Tasty Treat for Parties // 5 Minutes for Mom
"Unicorn Popcorn is seriously so simple to make. All you need is 4 bags salted only popcorn, 2 cups of pink candy melts, and 2 cups of blue candy melts."




DIY Avengers Infinity Stones Crayons // Comic Con Family
"These are fun for kids to use and they also make a great gift idea when you package it together with some other items, like Avengers coloring books."




Color Changing Slime // Our Unschooling Journey Through Life
"We talked about what thermochromatic meant and how it worked. Alec immediately told us that thermo was temperature like thermometer and I explained that chromatic meant color.  So this meant our slime would change color based on temperature."




Latticed Learning - Time // Syncopated Mama
"This week's theme has plenty of activities to go along with it - keep reading to find out more!"




Easy DIY Summer Activities Board + Free Printables // DIY Adulation
"Summer will be here before you know it. It is easy to forget about in all of the end of the school year chaos. Get your summer activity plan in place with an easy DIY summer activities board."




Easy Science Experiments for Kids // Gluesticks
"Sidewalk paint rockets, colored carnations, fizzy water, bobbing raisins, balloon rockets and more! This collection of easy science experiments for kids is a great way to spark curiosity and creativity during the summer months off of school!"




If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!






Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Strawberry Asparagus Spring Salad #fantasticalfoodfight

15 comments:


I've never been one to make a particular planned tossed salad - salad is some lettuce and whatever you have on hand to go with it, right?  So, when I signed up for May's salad-themed Fantastical Food Fight, I didn't have anything in mind - I'd just knew there would be several salads showing up on our table, and one of them would be the right one to share.

Check the link up below to see the salads everyone shared!
For the past several weeks, we've been getting a weekly delivery of local fresh produce from the Virginia-based company, Seasonal Roots, so we've been enjoying their fresh, in-season bounty quite a bit.  A couple weeks ago, along with some potatoes, radishes and fresh herbs, my box had a large basket of gorgeous ripe strawberries, some fat succulent asparagus, and a big bag of spring lettuce mix.

I'd found my salad.

I added pan seared salmon to this to make it a main dish salad - that could be switched with steak slices, chicken, or left off entirely. 

No matter how you do it, if your produce is as flavorful and fresh as mine was, this is a salad you will dream of after you've had it.

Strawberry Asparagus Salad
Serves 2 with leftover salad

1 bunch fat asparagus
Olive Oil
Coarse salt

Spring lettuce mix, washed and chopped
1 pint fresh strawberries
1/2 cup feta cheese

2 salmon filets
olive oil
Pepper, Salt
Lemon juice

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
Pepper, Salt, garlic powder

Prepare the asparagus by snapping or trimming the woody ends.  Cut into inch-long pieces and lay in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, turning the asparagus to coat.  Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Roast asparagus at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until tender to taste.  Set aside to cool.

While asparagus is cooking, de-stem and slice strawberries into a bowl, set aside. (If yours aren't very sweet a small sprinkle of sugar can be added but don't be heavy handed with it.)

Wash lettuce, and put into a large bowl.

To make the dressing, use a jar, combining all ingredients and shaking well before serving.  I have a jar with markings for several dressing formulas for dressings around the sides and it makes my life very easy.

Sear the salmon in a hot skillet with olive oil, beginning skin side down and seasoned with salt and pepper. When the salmon is opaque and flaky, give it a squirt of lemon and remove from heat.

To plate the salad, place some lettuce in each bowl, top with a generous serving of asparagus, then strawberry slices, then feta cheese. End with some pieces of salmon.

Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette to taste.



Swoon.

Let's see what wonderful salads others are bringing to this food fight!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Party in the PJs #208

3 comments:
Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.


You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.



 Meet the Co-Hosts


Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda's Features!



 Make sure you head over to the other members of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.



Monday, May 14, 2018

Gulaschsuppe: May Family Favorites Recipe Hop

13 comments:


This month, we're joining with these wonderful bloggers to share one of our family favorite recipes!

My Husband Has Too Many HobbiesAcross the Blvd
Cookies, Coffee & CraftsTwo Chicks and a MomSimply Inspired Meals

I'm sharing a delicious rich soup (almost a stew) that I've been working on for decades - ever since I first tasted a bowl of the beefy paprika-filled stuff at a Gasthaus in Germany.  Over several years there, I tried it again whenever I could, noticing the variations from one cook to the next, and modified my own over time until it is (to my taste) just perfect.

Should you like bell peppers, adding some diced peppers to simmer with the meat would be perfectly traditional.  I can't eat them and fortunately for me, leaving them out is traditional, too.   Potatoes can also be left out - but don't.  They soak up all that savory goodness and should not be missed.

Serve this with some thick crusty bread rolls to sop up every last bit of gravy, and make plenty - the leftovers are even better than they were the first night.

While this isn't at all hard, do have patience and let it cook for a good long time - the meat will practically melt into the gravy and be lusciously rich and tender.


Gulaschsuppe
Serves 4-6

2 T. olive oil (or tallow, coconut oil, etc)
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lb beef, cubed into bite sized pieces
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup red wine 
6 med thin skinned potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
32 oz beef broth
water
3 bay leaves
2 T. caraway seeds
1 T. hot Hungarian paprika
2 T. sweet Hungarian paprika
1 small can tomato paste 

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is caramelized.  Scrape pot and add beef, browning well .. the crusty bits add to the flavor. (Don't burn.)  Scrape the pot again and add the wine and balsamic vinegar, which will deglaze the pot - let it simmer on low until the wine has almost entirely evaporated.

Add broth, bay leaves, caraway seeds and paprikas, and let simmer for as long as you've got time for... I like to give it at least an hour, but less is fine, as long as you let it cook long enough to tenderize the beef.  

Add potato cubes and enough water to cover plus about 1 inch above, and bring to boil.  When potatoes are tender, add tomato paste, lower to a simmer and let cook for about another 15 minutes.

If you like, give it another splash of wine just before serving.