Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Creamy Rice, Chicken & Spinach Dinner

I haven't made a blog post in quite awhile, I've been busy planning a good friends baby shower and making decorations. The shower is still over a week away and I still have some more things to do, so I imagine I will be sparse on the blog for a little longer. In the mean time, here is another new to me recipe I tried out.

1/4 cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper with Parmesan Dressing
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 can (10 oz/284 ml) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
125 g (1/2 of 250g pkg) Light cream cheese spread, cubed
8 cups tightly packed baby spinach leaves
1 large tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp Kraft Parmesan light grated cheese

Heat dressing in large deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to boil. Add rice; stir. Return to boil. Cover; simmer on medium heat 5 min. Add cream cheese spread; cook, uncovered, 5 min or until completely melted, stiffing occasionally. Add spinach (skillet will be full); cover. Cook 2 min or until spinach is wilted; stir gently. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. Stir in tomatoes; sprinkle with Parmesan.

I hadn't realized I was out of tomatoes, but decided to make the recipe anyways and just leave them out. I think the tomato would have added a nice touch though. This is a very creamy dish, so if you aren't a fan of cream cheese, this isn't the recipe for you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crochet bath pouf

This crochet version of a loofa is so simple to work up. I like the fact that it is washable unlike the mesh kind, and it's also more durable. Every mesh loofa I've ever had fell apart far too soon.

If I go too long with out crocheting something, I get the itch to make something... anything! This is an easy go to pattern that I can work on while watching tv or doing something that doesn't need my full attention. It doesn't take too much yarn, so its also a great pattern to use up all my odd Yarn balls that I'd otherwise have no idea what to use for.

I'd like to make a bunch of these and just have a stock pile to give away in gifts for people. (Don't worry sister, you will be getting one!) lol

If you'd like to try the pattern out, follow this link!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Save money on shaving cream!

It's been awhile since I posted a frugal tip, so I wanted to share the newest way I've found to save some money.
I was looking into making a homemade shaving cream and through my research I found, the biggest emphasis for a shaving product was its moisturizing ability. I did come across a recipe for a DIY version, but I ended up not going this route. I instead found a tip to just use hair conditioner! So, I went to Walmart and picked up some moisturizing hair conditioner for $1. I gave it a try and was very impressed! It worked great and my legs stayed smooth the next day after shaving.
Not only is the bottle of conditioner under a third of the price as shaving cream, its also a much larger quantity, so will last longer!

If you'd like to make your legs even smoother, try out this homemade exfoliator recipe. It only takes 3 ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen. Just be careful because it makes your tub very slippery!
 I use the exfoliator first, then wash most of it off with soap so that it doesn't clog my razor when I shave. The first time I tried the exfoliator, I shaved right after and wrecked my brand new blade!
I hope you found this money saving tip useful!  :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crochet Heart Pillow

I have been making so many crochet items for other people, so I really wanted to make something for my little girl. I wanted to pick something I could quickly make, and since I love my girl so much, I thought this heart pillow expressed my sentiments perfectly! It only took a few hours to work up.

I know, I know, a pillow for a toddler seems less desirable than a stuffed animal or toy, but I figure she will always be able to keep this pillow as she grows and take it with her wherever life takes her when she's older. Then she will always have a reminder of my love for her, even if we are far apart!


If you'd like to make your own heart pillow, then head over to Mon Makes Things blog to find the pattern.  I did use different yarn than the pattern called for. I used 3 strands of worsted weight yarn and 1 strand of sport weight yarn. I also ended up with a few extra stitches in my rounds, but I was able to improvise instead of frogging my work and finding where I added too many. It is a very forgiving pattern so I was able to make it work!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

So I decided to try a 'new to me' recipe this weekend. Its a mexican flavour inspired soup. I have to admit, I wasn't a very big fan of it. It has lime in it and the flavour was far too strong for me. I should have cut the amount way back and then tested it before adding more. Im also not a huge Mexican food fan. The only thing I really eat thats considered Mexican is beef tacos. But, I thought I'd share the recipe anyways in case any of my readers wanted to try it. I had read some really good reviews of the recipe, but I guess it was just not for me!

What you need:

4 flour tortillas (6 inch)
2 tbsp. Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing, divided
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 small halves)
1 can (540ml/19oz) chili-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (284ml/10oz) chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice from 2 medium limes
1 cup Kraft Tex Mex Shredded Cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut tortillas into strips; toss with 1 tbsp. of the dressing, then spread into single layer on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until crisp and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. dressing in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stif 5 min. Add tomatoes and broth; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 min., stirring occasionally.
Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Ladle soup into serving bowls; top with cheese and tortilla strips.

This makes 4 servings with 362 Calories per serving.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Angel Wing Pinafore Dress

I happened to have some shimmery baby yarn sitting in my stash and have been trying to figure out what to make with it. I came across this pattern for a 0-3 month dress and thought it would work perfect with my yarn.

Here is the final product!

I ran out of the light pink yarn so ended up making an ombré effect by switching to dark pink for the bottom half. I think it turned out looking alright. What do you think? I made the headband to tie in the two pink colors so the outfit looks complete!

Here is the doll I bought to model my creations, although it has turned out to be mostly my daughter's baby, so I have to work quickly to get my use out of it before she takes it back. She quite enjoys when I put a hat or outfit on her and wants to keep the pieces for play time!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

DIY Bathtub Paint

I think painting is so much fun, and I'd love for my daughter to spend hours creating wonderful pictures with paint, but, the thought of how big of a mess she will make since she is only 16 months old and not very coordinated, makes me steer clear of bringing out a canvass and paints for her to dive into. So, when I came across this wonderful recipe for bathtub paint on Pinterest, I just had to give it a try.

Here is what you'll need:
- an ice cube tray
- corn starch
- baby shampoo
- food coloring
- water

Mix 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 4-6 pumps baby shampoo, 2-3 drops food coloring, and 1-2 tsp water.
Place paint into the compartments of your ice cube tray and you are ready to paint!

The best thing about bath tub painting is you can strip your baby down to just a diaper or completely sans clothes so the clothes don't get dirty. Also, since this paint is made out of baby shampoo, it rinses right out of your tub and off of your baby with no problem. 

This activity will occupy my daughter for 30 minutes. She paints the walls of the tub, she can paint her bath toys, and when there is no more room on the tub, she paints on her feet and legs. Once the paint is all used up I rinse out the tub and ice cube tray, then rinse off my little monkey, and fill the tub up with water so she can have a bath. She also loves bath time, so this activity takes up another 30 minutes of our day. Watching her have so much fun is a hour well spent in my books!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Crochet Owl

My Neice had a birthday in February and my nephew just turned 4 yesterday. I made them both a little stuffed owl for their birthday presents.

I'm going to have to make my little monkey one too because she kept wanting to play with these ones as soon as I was done with them!

I used a lion brand pattern with a little modification. You can find the pattern here.