Clapping On The Down Beat

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GOLDEN June 15, 2013

Filed under: Crafts,DIY,Interests,Parenthood,Sharing and Caring — clappingonthedownbeat @ 5:06 PM

Golden Birthday

A golden birthday is the birthday when you turn the same age as your birthdate.

This year is my daughter’s.  She will be 7 on July 7th.  However, summer birthdays are often hard with friends on vacation and summer schedules.  We decided to celebrate at the beginning of the summer this year with a gold themed party at the pool.

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First stop was Dollar Tree.  I found the gold and silver pinwheels, gold ribbon, and wreath form.  Next stop was Party City for the gold table-cloth, gold utensils, napkins, cups and beaded necklaces.    For decoration I spray painted a soup can with gold glitter spray paint, put some rocks in the bottom and added the pinwheels and tissue paper.  I took the straw wreath form and wrapped it black yarn.  I tied a bow and hot glued a number 7 in the middle.  I also took a cardboard beer container (a 6-pack carrying case) and also spray painted it gold.  I used it to hold the napkins, utensils and sparkly table weights (like they might use to hold balloons down).

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For food, I made a HUGE pitcher of fresh lemonade (in the future I would recommend buying it, very time-consuming!), hot dogs, fritos and Doritos chips, goldfish, freeze pops, and sunrise fruit cups.  I made the fruit cups ahead with crushed pineapple, sliced peaches, mandarin oranges, and grapes.  I froze the cups and let them thaw out when we got to the pool.  I forgot to take a picture of the dessert.  I took 2 vanilla Oreo cookies and dipped them in white candy melt.  After they dried, I brushed on edible gold sparkle dust.

I spray painted 100 pennies gold and we had a gold coin dive in the pool.  Our goody bags were cellphane bags filled with gold wrapped candy like rolos, reeses peanut butter cups, and hershey’s nuggets.

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Projects May 29, 2013

Filed under: Crafts,DIY,Interests,Saving Money — clappingonthedownbeat @ 8:29 PM

I always get the urge to tackle projects over long weekends.  I have projects I would like to get to all over the house, some small, some large.  I look at them and think “I will get to you one day”.  And I have the best intentions…..

This Memorial Day weekend I went with the projects that needed to be done for sanity.  There are three kids and two adults in this house.  That’s 10 feet.  On average we each have 3 pairs of shoes (actually the adults have more, but I am not tripping over those).  At any given time there are about 12-14 shoes scattered around by the doors.  I have shoes mats, I have shoe boxes in the garage for each child.  But still, shoes are scattered by the doors.

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I have been looking for a better way to store and organize these shoes.  Ikea, magazines, on-line.  You name it.  First I was thinking about a storage system in the garage since that’s where most of the shoes/cleats/ect are.  But It had to be closed since I didn’t want spiders and insects getting in.  Then I had an idea for a dresser.  If I could find a dresser I could use it for shoes, socks, and miscellaneous kid stuff.  I didn’t want to spend a lot.  And it had to have specific dimensions for the area it was going to fit in.

Out running some errands, I happened upon a dresser.  I measured it, saw it was of good quality construction, and I thought, “this may work!”   So I started the transformation.  Something fun and colorful.

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It was a light wood color  with tarnished brass handles.  I rubbed it down with a cleaner to take off the clear coat.

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I found a paint color “paprika” in the Rustoleum furniture kit make-over.  (go figure, it’s a food color)

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After 2 coats of the paint color, then I put a coat of dark glaze over.  It dried over night and then I applied the clear coat.

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I spray painted the hardware in a black metallic finish.  Everyone now has a drawer for socks and shoes and I have a “junk” drawer for all the stuff that gets left on my kitchen counter.

I also bought a dress last fall while we were in Georgia at vintage boutique.  I liked the dress, but wanted a skirt.  I decided to cut off the top and put in elastic.

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I also tackled cleaning out the lint screen on the dryer.  Regularly cleaning out the lint keeps the dryer operating efficiently, takes clothes a shorter time to dry and therefore uses less energy.

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Lastly, this weekend, I decided to see if name brands really matter.  Extra virgin olive oil.  San Marzano tomatoes, Vidalia onions.  Would using specific products make a different in my tomato sauce that I would be able to notice a difference?

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The sauce was good, but compared to other sauces I have made without the brand names, I am not sure if I could tell the difference.

 

A child at heart December 11, 2012

Filed under: Crafts,Sharing and Caring — clappingonthedownbeat @ 4:24 PM

All three of my children (8,6,nearly 3) are playing together.  Quietly.  Sharing.  Ahhhh.  I can hear the legos clicking together.  What a gift!

Today, I spent a special day with my “baby” who is nearly 3.  We headed down to Dallas to see the Christmas train display.  Then we walked the mall and saw the ducks and turtles (yes, at the indoor mall) and had lunch together and saw a puppet show.  He was incredibly well behaved just walking around with me (not running off) and we had so much fun.  I remember when I was little my mom taking my brother and I, at Christmas time to see a puppet/marionette show at our small local mall.  I loved that puppet show.  I adore passing favorite childhood memories and traditions down to my kids.  We also celebrate St. Nick’s Day on December 6 when the kids open their stockings.

The very early tradition of Saint Nicholas Day was that the children would place their boots and shoes near the fireplace at night and receive the same types of treats that we did. In most European countries, they still celebrate the day by children putting out their shoes and boots before going to bed.

Do you have family traditions or are you starting new ones?

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I also worked on a Christmas gift.  One that was personal to me as I reflected over the past year or two with our family.

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James 1:2-8

Consider it JOY, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

Merry CHRISTmas

 

is the week over? October 12, 2012

Filed under: Crafts,Interests,Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 4:21 PM

I can’t believe it’s friday.  Where did the week go?  Right now we are in full swing with the kids activities and the days fly by.  SO to re-cap here’s what I have been up to:

  My fall tree is up and I made these to adorn it:

  I love owls!  I made these for my Moms Exchange meeting at church:

  Just dip Nutter Butters in Almond Bark and then Wilton (at Craft stores) has candy eyes that I love!  And I used black frosting for the mouth.

I am in love with Heirloom tomatoes.  It was one of our “new” veggies, and I have been buying them the last 3 weeks!  SO GOOD!  Here I had them with olive oil, salt, fresh mozzarella, and some fresh basil. I could eat these tomatoes like apples.

Since we had a busy week(s), I didn’t have time to make enchiladas, so I deconstructed them in the crockpot.

I threw chicken breasts in the crock pot in the morning to cook and at lunch time I shredded them.  I made a roux with 2 Tbs olive and 2 Tbs flour and cooked it for a little while and added one large can of enchilada sauce to thicken it slightly.  Then I poured in 1/3rd  the enchilada sauce, half the shredded chicken, half a package of shredded cheese, 1/2 a container of sour cream and half a package of chopped corn tortillas.  Pour another 1/3rd of the enchilada sauce and repeat ending with the sauce.  You can top some extra cheese on top.  Then I set it to low to let it heat through and meld.  Serve with chopped green onions.

Tonight is another one of my Fall Favorites.

It is in the oven now, topped with puffed pastry and I used the extra beer to make a loaf of beer bread.  I think I will make a cheesy dip for the bread tomorrow.  Here’s the recipes:

BEEF POTATO CHEESE POT PIE

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dark beer
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sheet  frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . In a skillet, combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato and cook, breaking up the meat, over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and some liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the beer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cool.
  2. On a floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch round. Place in a 10-inch skillet or deep pie dish. Roll the remaining puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch round. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the skillet. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with some of the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal, then trim to a 1/2-inch edge.
  3. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more of the egg wash and cut an “X” into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the crust darkens too quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

BEER BREAD

3 cups flour (sifted)
3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer
1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Mix dry ingredients and beer.    Pour into a greased loaf pan.    Pour melted butter over mixture.   Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.

This recipe makes a very hearty bread with a crunchy, buttery crust. If you prefer a softer crust (like a traditional bread) mix the butter into the batter instead of pouring it over the top.  Sifting flour for bread recipes is a must-do. Most people just scoop the 1 cup measure in the flour canister and level it off. That compacts the flour and will turn your bread into a “hard biscuit” as some have described. That’s because they aren’t sifting their flour! If you do not have a sifter, use a spoon to spoon the flour into the 1 cup measure. Try it once the “correct” way and you will see an amazing difference in the end product.

CHEESE DIP

  • 8 ozs cream cheese
  • 8 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup beer

Heat over low heat and serve.

 

Before and After Part 2 May 15, 2012

Filed under: Crafts,Interests — clappingonthedownbeat @ 1:02 PM

I have been working on some more projects.

I recovered my kitchen chairs.  They had a white cover on them, that with the kids always looked spotted and dirty.  I went with a darker fabric to hide the dirt.

I found these two end tables for $9, and thought they would have potential in our play room.  I am already thinking about life without plastic…..

I really like how they came out.

  

I also found this reclining mission style chair.

Painted it a metallic black and made new cushions for it.

  

And lastly there was this chair.

  

I just liked it.  And I have been into chairs lately, maybe because I never get a chance to sit down.  Hummm

That’s all for now, I have some fabric I have been meaning to sew some skirts for my daughter, that may be my next project.  And cleaning the garage.

What’s on you To-Do list?  Have a project in mind?

 

Fun Pics! May 8, 2012

Filed under: Crafts — clappingonthedownbeat @ 1:15 PM

A dear friend is having her second baby and a few of us surprised her with a little girls-night out/shower.  She is having a boy, so we had a ball shower.  Ball shaped food (meat balls, watermelon balls, cheese ball, cake balls), ball candy (gum balls, m&m’s, lemon heads) and of course toy balls.

  

It is also teacher appreciation week, so I have been busy putting together gifts.  Monday was flower day.  I forgot to take a picture, but I made fabric book marks with a cute ribbon flower at the top.  Tuesday was card/note day so I made feather pens and attached notepads.  Tomorrow is sweet day, I bought them each one of my favorite chocolate bars, Chocolate Love.  Thursday is wich list/school supply day, so I made pencil holders out of pencils that they can take apart and filled the container with glue sticks and supplies.  Since my daughter is out of school friday for a tonsilectomy I also dropped in Sonic gift cards too.  Friday is be creative day and I figured I covered that on Thursday.  I found LOTS of cute ideas on pinterest, so if you are in need I would start there.

 

Halloween Fun October 10, 2011

Filed under: Crafts — clappingonthedownbeat @ 10:20 PM

We have been up to some fun fall projects here.  It started with the neighborhood BOO.  We had warm cookies left at our door and instructions to post a sign and BOO two more neighbors.  HERE are the instructions if you’d like to start a BOO.  Here is what we did:

  

I made these broom bags filled with Tootsie Pop “Ghosts” (a kleenex wrapped over the lollipop tied with a ribbon see they are also on the tree), twix, kit kats and snickers.  Once the bag is filled, I folded the top down, inserted a twig and then took some cut raffia and tied it all around.  I stuck a plastic spider ring to the top.  Cute huh?

SO then I was in the mood to make cookies

  

They didn’t last long, so I am sure I will be making more this week.  The kids were off from school today so we went to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins.  Since I am the one who carves teh pumpkin while others watch or leave me, I decided this year I would embellish the pumkins.  I also thought it would be easier for the kids to help.  Nope.  I did the pumpkins while they ran next door to play.  Oh well, they did turn out cute.

  

I saw a picture for a double bundt cake that is made into a pumpkin…..I think I may attempt that later this week.