Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dried Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot.

Pour the entire bag of dried beans into a
colander and rinse under cold water. If you see any beans that have broken in half, or skin that floats to the surface, get rid of it. Also pick out any beans that look shriveled and gross.

Dump all the beans into your crock pot. Add enough water to cover all the beans and an additional 2 inches.

Cover. Do not turn on. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight. If you live in a very warm area, and the crock pot won't be in a room that is climate-controlled, put the stoneware in the fridge. You don't want bacteria to have the opportunity to grow.

In the morning, dump the water, and rinse your beans. The water will be bean-colored.

Put the beans back into your crock pot and cover with enough fresh water to completely cover the beans with an extra 2-3 inches.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

The beans are done when they are bite-tender. Don't worry if the water hasn't all absorbed. You're going to dump it, anyway.

Drain the beans.

When cool, put 1 2/3 cups of beans into storage containers or freezer bags (you're adding this amount because you aren't adding filler-liquid like the cans have). The beans will store nicely in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months.

Use as you would canned beans in your favorite recipe.

I found the info. for the beans HERE.

I used my pinto beans for our ...


half onion
can corn
2 cans beans of choice 
taco seasoning to taste
8 oz Catalina dressing

Just mix together and serve with chips.  We eat it as a meal.  So yummy!  You can also serve with green peppers if you like.  If there are any ingredients you don't like, don't add them.  Kidney, black, pinto beans are yummy in the dip.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Ideas.

This post would have been more helpful a couple months ago but I hope this inspires you for ideas for next year.  Halloween deco goes on sale so it's a perfect time to purchase some pumpkins to glitter next year.  I got a lot of my Halloween deco from thrift stores.  They have some beautiful items for cheaper and sometimes all they need is some paint, colored corn syrup, or candy to make it a perfect Halloween decorative piece.

Glittered Pumpkins.

I found some pumpkins around the house ( I think I purchased them after Halloween so I got a good deal).  Some had holes in them so I filled them with wood putty.  I brushed Modge Podge (Elmer's glue would work) over the pumpkins and sprinkled glitter on them.  I love the silver trays I got from the dollar store for my preschool kids...still use them for our projects.

I had two of these pumpkins that I bought in an after holiday sale.  I did one gold and one silver.  I painted one stem brown and the other black.  I think the black stems add a lot.


Bought this one at the dollar store.  Here is the before.

Here it is in a couple table settings I made.  These I spray painted and the blue one I added some clear crystal glitter.

DIY Platter.  I bought a microwave dish and a glass ice cream sunday dish from the thrift store.  I used glass glue (that you can put in the dishwasher afterwards!) from Home Depot to glue them.  I sanded the glass, spray painted them, and put on a shiny sealant.  I used it in the table setting in the above pic.

I found this bottle at a thrift store.  We filled it with corn syrup and purple dye.  The kids had a blast making "potions".  We made a darling one for Carleton's work...a bunch of test tubes.  I used my label maker to label them.

Here are some other pieces I put together.  I found items from thrift stores, a close out sale from Thai Pan Trading in UT, and the Dollar Store.

We took a Jeep ride through a forest in ID with my parents.  We found an area that had bright green moss growing on the trees (the kids thought they looked like brains)  I got a bunch of sticks to bring home.  Keep your eyes opened this year!

Cute Invite.  It has a little insert not "forgetting" the party.

Bloody Candles.  Just melt red candles over white candles.  I bought this ivy candy holder from the thrift store and spray painted it black.

I bought a wooden vine wreath from the dollar store.  I glued red roses into the wreath and then spray painted the whole thing black (still leaving the red showing...looks cool).  Lastly, I glued a bow and hung it on my door.

You have a whole year to put together your decorations for next year.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meal Exchange.

Jen can look this cute after fixing 5 pizzas!

I, with four of my friends, switch off cooking every Thursday (thanks for the idea Tami!).  Every 5th Thursday, I cook for 5 families (including my own) and the other 4 Thursdays are like free take out.  We've been doing this for months and everybody seems to enjoy it.  

How it works for our group:
-we, as a group, try to lean towards healthy meals (whole wheat...etc.)...and if not  healthy, yummy works too:)
-there's usually a side dish
-we usually bring our own Tupperwear and meet at the person's house around 5:30 each week
-you can give everyone a crock pot meal the night before to cook in their own crock pots (this was nice because I was out of town and it worked better with Carleton's work schedule to have everyone pick it up Wed. night)
-everyone makes enough for 4 adults (2 of us have 3 kids and 3 of us have 1 kid so it works)
-we freeze the meals for each other if we're out of town and it's easy to swap days because there are enough people that one should be able to switch with us.

Why I love it:
-I don't have to worry about a meal one day every week and we usually have left overs.  Carleton takes it to work too.
-I like to pick up our take out meal...every one has been yummy.  
-I have enough time to plan a meal that I can cook.  A couple girls were nervous about their "cooking abilities" but with 5 weeks you can come up with something.
-When it's my turn to cook, it's easy to even throw an extra meal in for someone that is sick or has had a baby.  I think I might even do extra to freeze for my fam for future meals.
-5 meals of the same thing is easier than 5 separate meals.  You just pick out extra ingredients at the grocery store (just grab more beans etc.) and use bigger pots.  The prep is easier.

I'm all about things that make my life as a mom easier and more fun.  This is at the top of that list.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"BOO" tique

My friend Tanya and I are having a "BOO"tique /yard sale on Saturday, October 6th at her house (1504 S Main St Corona, CA) starting at 7am. 

We will have Halloween decorations we have just created, gifts, and furniture.  Here is a sneak peek at a couple of items.  The wreaths are $20 each (I have 4 available) so if you want to purchase one before the "boo"tique, you can call or text 801-472-2666.  If you are in the Inland Empire or Orange County area, we can drop it off for you.  I will also be traveling to UT the weekend of Sept. 28th and could drop it off to you in the Salt Lake or Provo area-otherwise there will be extra for shipping.

The wreaths are black, but I left enough of the red on the roses to look pretty, yet spooky.  Looks beautiful on a front door or mantle for Halloween.  The roses were placed on a wooden vine wreath.


I just finished this black bloody candle holder.  The holder and candles together are $10.  Creepy and cute.

 I'm also selling this record player/radio I refinished.  It was made in the early 1950s.  The beautiful cherry stained inside, was left untouched, but I painted the handles and outside to give it an updated look, but still having a vintage feel.  The radio works but the record players might need some tlc.  This is $100.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaching Good Behavior.  

There are some behaviors we saw in our kiddos that we wanted to change and behaviors we wanted to teach them.  This activity came into my mind as an answer to prayer.  It's been over three weeks since we did it and we've seen great results.  My kids are 4 and 3 (and 6 mo.).

Here's how to play our version of Red Light Green Light:
1.  Kids draw a scenario out of a hat.
2.  Parents act out (model the behavior) and the kids raise a circle -green if the behavior is good and red if the behavior being shown is not good.  Then, after discussing how the red light scenarios could be changed to green light scenarios, the parents act them out again.
3.  For the next week, have the kids act out the scenarios (same thing, if they choose red ones, we talk and they react them out).

For some examples of what we did: Carleton pretended to be his friend Mike and the kids practiced looking at him in the eye and answering questions (they can be shy sometimes).  I've seen a total improvement.  They totally talk to people and look at them now.  Carleton and I also pretended to whine in the back seat of a car, share our toys, meet new friends at kids club etc.  We acted out ways to have non-potty humor etc.  We practiced more serious ones where the kids practiced shouting "NO" and running and telling us.

The kids love this game.  It's one thing to talk about good behavior but a whole other thing to see it modeled for them and for them to practice.  I was trained by a company that uses brain research to help kids learn better, and they really emphasized modeling behavior.

We will definitely play this as a family as new issues arise.  It was fun and super effective.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

DIY 3- Tiered Platter.  So. In. Love.

 My friend is throwing a tea party/book club party to celebrate the book Divergent.  I told her I would make a platter for it.  I'll put little finger sandwiches on it.  This will be fun to set out for parties, just for display, or for other special occasions.  If you want to do your's how:

1.  Go thrifting.  You'll need three different plates, all different sizes and two glass cups.  They don't have to match because they will be painted.  You can use a short candlestick or candle holders (I don't know what they're called) to separate the plates.  You can find a lot of glassware at the dollar store...or in your own cupboard.

 2.  Wash.  I threw everything in the dishwasher to get any finger oils or anything else off.

 3.  Sand.  Sand all over so the primer will stick (you don't need to sand the inside of the cups or parts that won't be painted.  Make sure to sand all the parts that will be glued very well.


4.  Glue.  Trace where you want to place your cups (or candlesticks) with a marker-you can use a ruler if you want it perfect.  You'll paint over it so you won't see it later.  Use glass glue to glue the pieces together (I just asked for help at Home Depot to find some glass glue).  The kind I found was even dishwasher safe.
 Here's what it looked like just before painting it.

5.  Paint.  I did two coats each of primer, paint, and the gloss sealant (they were all spray paint).  I turned it upside down to get everything.  I got a primer that sticks to plastic.  I didn't see one that claimed it would work for glass, but that would be even better.



 I loved how this turned out so much that I went back to the thrift store to make more.  I'm not going to do the 3-tiers, just a cup or candlestick underneath with a plate on top (platters).  I'll post them when they're finished.