Handmade Gifts…Are the Best!

Christmas is over and 2015 is coming to an end…didn’t it go by SO fast!!? This year I was lucky enough to give some special gifts for Christmas. As my nieces get older they are getting harder and harder to shop for. One of my nieces got new bedding for her bedroom. Her walls are a pretty teal and her new bedding is yellow and gray with a little teal accent. My sister suggested I get something for her to hang on her wall. I looked and looked but couldn’t find anything I was happy with! Then it hit me, MAKE HER SOMETHING! Duh…seriously.

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I found the perfect frame at Joanne’s and I had the background paper in my stash. I used Wordle to create the word cloud with her name and meaning. Then I rearranged it a bit in InkScape and saved it as an .svg file to cut out in my Silhouette Cameo. Once I put it all together, the frame was missing something. The blank white mat was bugging me…it was too plain jane for my taste. I had corresponding paper to the yellow background with, yep you guessed it, teal circles. PERFECT!! My niece was very happy with her gift.

My wonderful, amazing friend Leslie, gave me the idea for a gift for my almost 18 year old niece. And what a fantastic idea it was! She loves jewelry so I knew this was a perfect gift for her. I found a simple white ceramic square bowl at Target. I cut out the vinyl in my Silhouette and then added that extra personal touch by adding her name to the dish. What a fantastic and functional gift to give! She LOVED it!

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In case you are wondering, I used aka Dora font, and I get my vinyl from Amazon. I used Gold Metallic by Expressions Vinyl. You can get yours here. I also used Expressions Vinyl in Glossy Black also, that you can get here also.

I hope you enjoyed these projects! They were a lot of fun to make! As always feel free to leave me a comment or ask me any questions!

Happy New Year Everyone! Bring on 2016, I can’t wait!

Andie

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A Christmas Village

Every Christmas we decorate our foyer. This year we added these little trees we got on clearance after Christmas last year. After the decorations were up, my husband said something was missing. The trees looked great and all but something was missing. He suggested adding a little Christmas village! I knew just the thing! The Silhouette Design Store has these adorable 3D Tea Light Village Sets. I love how they are not too detailed and just enough to where you can add a little something to them.

For our little village, I used the Village Town House and Shops, and the Village Cottage and Barn from the Silhouette Online Store.

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…and in case you are wondering, my all time favorite adhesive for my paper projects is Zip Dry! This stuff is AMAZING!! You can get yours here!

Check back soon as we add to our village and watch it grow!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup ~ YUM!!

It’s winter, cold, rainy (a little) and I LOVE a good soup recipe! I came across a fantastic recipe here at Creme de la Crumb! As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it! Broccoli Cheddar is my FAVORITE!! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

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We had our annual Chili/Soup Cook Off contest at work last week and I knew this was the soup to make! It’s always so much fun to have a little competition among your co-workers. Did I mention I did win first place with my Creamy Dill Tomato Soup two years ago!? I am a little competitive, can ya tell!?

Start by gathering all of your ingredients. One of my favorite go to tools when using my crock-pot are the Reynolds Metals 00504 Slow Cooker Liners 13″X21″ – 2 Pack. These are truly a life saver and make clean up super easy!! I don’t know about you but if there is one thing I do not like it is scrubbing a crock-pot!

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You are more than welcome to use fresh broccoli. I found that using frozen broccoli was just as good. I thawed it out a little in the microwave and broke off the end pieces, you  just want the broccoli tree parts (like my kids call them) for the soup.

Because this has a roux as a base I take my time and go SLOW! Nothing worse than a burnt roux, trust me it will ruin your whole day! In a large sauce pan start by melting your butter over medium-high heat. Next add the flour – SLOW…mix until it gets thick and clumpy. Then add your cream SLOWLY! See a theme here?

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Continue to gradually whisk in the cream until you get a nice, thick creamy white sauce. With everything but the cheese and chicken broth already in the crock-pot pour your super yummy sauce over all of it then add the chicken broth. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. I do come back and check on this bad boy every hour or so to give it a good stir.

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Now grab a glass of wine, sit back and relax until this amazing, yummy soup is done! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! To quote my husband, “It was fantastic!” Oh, and I did win at work ~ People’s Choice Award!!


SLOW COOKER BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Prep Time ~ 20mins
Cook Time ~ 4 hours
Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 5 tablespoons flour
    • 3 cups heavy cream (Feel free to use your favorite ~ milk, cream, half and half. The higher the fat content the richer and creamier your soup will be)
    • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
    • ½ yellow onion, diced
    • 3-4 cups chopped broccoli florets (I use frozen and thaw it out in the microwave, just the bushy tops – discard the stems or use them for another recipe)
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 2 ounces cream cheese
    • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (yellow)
    • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
    • 1-4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
    • optional: extra cheese for topping

Add chopped onions, broccoli, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cream cheese to your slow cooker.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, stir in the flour (SLOWLY) until mixture clumps up. Very gradually whisk in the cream until it has all been added and a thick white sauce forms.

Add the sauce from the pan, and the chicken broth. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.

Uncover the soup and add the sharp cheddar cheese (slowly, you don’t want it to clump up on you), salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts into the soup. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

 

Buy THREE Get This for FREE!!

Happy Christmas everyone! We have 3 new shades of Splurge Cream Eye Shadow available for the month of December! What’s even better, this month’s Kudos ties in perfectly!!

Buy a set of three Splurge Cream Shadows and get the new liquid liner for FREE! This is the first time I’ve seen it, it’s a $21 value…did I mention it is FREE!?? Even better…you are saving more $$ by purchasing the Splurge Cream Shadow in a set of 3.

You have the choice of any of our 12 shades available! The new colors for December are Defiant ~ a beautiful copper, Assertive ~ a pretty emerald green, and Majestic ~ a beautiful purple.

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These shadows make a great stocking stuffer!! Get yours here!

Cyber Monday with Younique!!

Hello Everyone! There is a great Cyber Monday deal going on right now until 11:59pm PST tonight! …and you don’t want to miss it!!

Cyber Monday Bundle

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Hurry and purchase this special 24-hour exclusive Cyber Monday Bundle! This generous bundle includes a Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+, Uplift Eye Serum, Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel (in the color of your choice), Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick (in the color of your choice), and a Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick in Stuck Up (exclusive color and OMG my favorite color!!)  All of this comes in a free Younique makeup case. This Cyber Monday exclusive is available from 12:01 a.m. PT on Monday, November 30, 2015, to 11:59 p.m. PT Monday, November 30, 2015.

Cyber Monday Speical!

Spend $50 and get the Exclusive Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick in Stuck Up for $15. Did I mention, this is my FAVORITE color!!? You. Must. Have. It!! 

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Gift Ideas

I am officially on vacation! From my real job that is…6 days of family, lots of food, fun, and a little crafting! I have some new mugs to share with you today. The first one is very near and dear to my heart! I think you will see why…

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This little sentiment says a lot! I customized my mug with hearts, four pink hearts for my four girls! This would make a great gift and can be customized for just about anyone ~ Mommy’s, Grandma’s, Papa’s, Daddy’s…

This next mug is a little “tongue in cheek”. I thought it was pretty funny and would make a great gag gift or white elephant gift.

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With Christmas just around the corner, my mugs make the perfect gift and can be customized for that special someone in your life!!

Enjoy your holidays everyone!

Andie

 

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Creamy Dill Tomato Soup

With the weather changing my mind goes into comfort food mode. When it is cold out, I love sitting down to a nice warm cup of soup! This one hits the spot! A little dab of sour cream and some big ol’ fat Texas Toast Croutons! Ugh! I want some now! I honestly can’t take credit for this soup, however the original source I got the recipe from has seemed to fallen off the internet – if that is even possible. 🙂

SO, by popular demand, my award winning Creamy Dill Tomato Soup for you all to enjoy!!

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What you’ll need

  • 1 tablespoon each olive oiland butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white rice
  • 1 28-ounce can concentrated crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1-quart box chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • Sour cream, dill, and buttered toast for garnish

Notes:

Yield: Serves 8

Variations:

Try substituting basil for the dill for a completely different and equally delicious variation — or stir in a handful of grated cheddar to up the richness.

How to make it

  1. In a soup pot over medium-low heat, heat the butter and oil, then sauté the onion and salt gently until tender and translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add pepper to taste, along with the rice, tomatoes, broth, and sugar, then bring to a boil, covered over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the cream or evaporated milk, and use a stick blender to blend the soup completely smooth (alternately, puree it in batches in a blender, using extreme caution).
  4. Stir the dill into the soup and simmer very gently, covered, for 10 more minutes. Taste the finished soup for salt and sugar, and add more if needed. (I add about 1/2 tbls of sugar and a pinch more salt!)
  5. Cut buttered toast into small cubes for garnish, then serve the soup, garnishing each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a sprig of deal, and a handful of croutons.

If you decide to make this, and seriously, why wouldn’t you? Please, come back and let me know how you liked it…I would love to read your comments!

 

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