What I find Pinteresting today!

I love pinterest.  I can sit at the computer and lose my whole life on this site, it is very sad I know...

But my inner child feels like I am being creative by looking at all the wonderful, creativity in others.

In our part of the country it is almost back to school time.  The kids go back on August 12th. 

So for today's pinspiration a few back to school ideas!!

Back to school lunch ideas at Mommy's Kitchen

Some reading ideas from KC Edventures

First Day of Grade Pics at Nest of Posies

For more great Printables you can check this Here

This great linky party with lots of ideas at Learning 4 Keeps

And this SWEET teacher appreciation idea at Recipes We Love

For more Teacher appreciation ideas you can check out my Teacher Gift Ideas Board

Good luck and let me know how back to school is going in your neck of the woods!


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Thai Shrimp Peanut Noodles

Wanting to try a little something different, I created this recipe, based on one of my favorite Thai foods. 

1 pound Spaghetti Noodles, cooked
3 cups of Broccolli florets lightly steamed
2 pounds of shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c peanut butter
1/3 c soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp chili oil
1 tsp ginger powder
3 tbsp minced garlic
4 green onions sliced
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
In a large skillet, saute the shrimp and garlic in 2 tbsp butter for two to three minutes
While shrimp are cooking, in a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, ginger and peanuts.  Wisk over low heat until peanut butter has melted and all ingredients are well combined.  Set aside.
Add the brocolli to the shrimp just to warm.  Set aside. 
Drain spaghetti noodles and add the sauce.
Once well mixed, toss in the shrimp, brocolli and green onions. 

It was delicious but very thick and peanutty. In the future I will add some low sodium chicken stock to the sauce. 
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Menu Planning Monday - July 29, 2013

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This week we are planning for a few new meals.  We are in the process of moving so we are between two houses.  I tried to choose items to try that are not so labor intensive. 

Beef Bourguignon

Sticky Pork Chops



You can always find more menu ideas on my Pinterest Boards and to see which new items we loved you can look under Success!


Cowboy Casserole Review

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On my weekly menu plan  I had this dish I found on Pinterest

Cowboy Casserole
We had it tonight, and though it sounded yummy I knew I had to make some changes. 

I started with two pounds of 80/20 ground beef browned with the one onion and two cloves of minced garlic.  To this I added two cans of ...

Campbell's New All Natural Soup

two cans of yellow kernel corn, drained; two teaspoons of chili powder and a generous splash of hot sauce.   A cowboy can't be eating any tomato-basil sauce, right?!?  Simmer until thick. 

While that was simmering, I baked two pounds of Ore- Ida tator tots at 425 to get them nice and crispy.

 Then I laid half of them in the bottom of a glass 13 x 9 casserole dish.  Topped with...

The whole two cups of Monterey Jack on the bottom.  I poured the meat sauce over the cheese, then topped with the remaining tater tots.  I put the cheddar jack on top, put some fresh parsley, chopped on top.  Then back in the oven at 350  for 15 minutes to make sure all the cheese was melted and ooey gooey.  It was a phenomenal success!

  See I couldn't even take the picture of what was left for my husband (who was working late) without fingers getting in the pan.


Dry Skin in The Desert Sun!

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Here in the high desert of Nevada, the winters can be dry and brutal but the summers are worse! Our temperatures are not bad like Vegas, but with days averaging just above 100 degrees constantly, the skin stays dry.  You can put moisturizer on 10x a day and still have dry flaky skin! 

My saving grace this summer has been the discovery of this

Not only is it great to cook with, I have been making a homemade body butter that is absolutely amazing!  And oh so simple!!!
1 c.  of coconut oil
Place it in your mixer with the wisk attachment on high for 10 minutes.
Once it is all light and fluffy, in the last few seconds add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (mine is lavender) and continue until well distributed.  This will comfortably fill a pint size mason jar, but you can adjust the amount for your container. 
That is it!  Told you it was simple.  Some things to keep in mind though is the melting point of coconut oil is 76 degrees.  So you want to store it somewhere it will stay cool and without direct sunlight.  Also, when it hits your 98.6 degree body it will immediately liquify so go sparingly the first few times until you get it down. 
Coconut Oil has a million other uses that can be found around the internet or on a quick search of Pinterest but here are some more uses for your body:
1.  Make Up Remover - in the liquid form, apply a small dab and wipe away.  One of the great
                                       benefits is that coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
2.  Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment - Leave on for about five minutes than shampoo as usual
3.  Use it in place of olive oil in your favorite sugar scrub recipe
For more homemade body products check out my board on Pinterest
And here is another great site I have found!

St.  Bontanica has 8 amazing Coconut oil uses for radiant skin!
This chart is floating around Pinterest it has some great info on it, too.  
What are some of your favorite uses for Coconut Oil?  

Christmas in July - Cedar Christmas Tree

Our little local hardware store does this wonderful night of Girls Night Out with a craft project twice a year.  Well for my final Christmas in July craft that I would like to share, I wanted to show you the Christmas tree I made this past year.  Other than the paints and supplies to paint that I usually have on hand, the total cost of the project is 89 cents.  Or usually about $2 at the big box hardwares.  This adorable tree is made out of a cedar picket fence board. 
Cut 8-10 inches off of the bottom.  Set aside (we'll get to it later).  Now take your remaining fence post and cut the curved top off - about 5 inches.  Set aside.  Now that you have the remaining section of the board take a pencil and draw some branches for your tree.  As you can see they do not have to be perfect, just a wonky, leaning, tall triangle.  Take your saw and cut these out.  While you are cutting, go ahead and cut a star out of the top of the board that we cut out.  Also, if you want your tree to lean a little like mine did, just angle the top alittle.  When all your cuts are done, rough sand the whole lot.  Once again perfectly smooth is not your goal, death by splinters is!  Paint as desired .  Nail the first cut board at 90 degrees to the bottom of your tree (see the tree next to mine from the side).  This could be done before painting to allow your tree to stand while you are painting, giving you access to both sides. 
Another cool thing about this night is they do a door prize raffle.  Look at what I won!  It reads Twas the Night before Christmas!  My five year old daughter is absolutely loves it!
Well that's it for Christmas in July!
Merry Christmas in July


Christmas in July - Joy Wall Hanging with a Candy Cane Wreath

I have a huge empty wall above a too low fireplace.  It has no mantle or character.  Before you say-well go to Pinterest there are tons of frugal ways to fix it - it's a rental, so much to my dismay this is how it will stay.  

So to decorate for Christmas I had my husband cut some letters out of wood.  I know they are not perfect, but with each project we do he is getting better!  If you are after perfection you can purchase a wooden or cardboard letter J and Y from your favorite craft store.  I sanded and gave them a quick coat of red paint.  

To make the O, I took small candy canes and made hearts by putting them together and placed these in a circle on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes just watch it.  Early on it makes a cute heart wreath for valentines day, a few more minutes and you get this !  I love how you can still see the swirls.  Now set this aside.  WARNING!  It's is extremely fragile.  On my first attempt,  my daughter decided to help mommy and pick it up.  It ended up in two pieces.  The beauty of this project is if it breaks, back on the parchment paper and back in the oven for about 15 minutes.  A little pressing where it broke and back to cooling.  Once it has cooled, cover it with a coat of clear spray paint.  I attached a ribbon to the wreath and each letter for hanging!  Then I thought "well that looks a little plain". So I added a bright red bow.  

Merry Christmas (in July)

Christmas in July -A Dollar Store Wreath Project

I will start by saying this is frugal, but time consuming!  It is a great project to do while burning through some movies from Redbox or watching a marathon of your favorite show, but the results are stunning for minimal cost!

If you have not seen this tip from Pinterest.  It is a great cost saver for making wreaths!  I used a pipe foam insulator like these from Home Depot.  

As you can see we are now working on one for my daughters room.  That's the beauty of the foam packs there are six of them, so plan for lots of new wreaths!  Think back to school, fall, Halloween , a welcome gift for a teacher...there's so many cool things coming up!

Just wrap it in a circle and secure with duct tape!  Then I cut a plastic table cloth from the dollar tree into 12-14 inch strips.  It took 1 1/2 tablecloths to make the white wreath above.  

Take one of the strips and lay it under the foam as pictured above.  As you can see, cuts do not have to be perfect!

Then pull the loose ends through the top!  Tug tight!

Then slide it aside and keep going!  

This is a nice full one, but that's about half a tablecloth of each color for less than a quarter of the wreath.  But back to the Christmas wreath, you can see how I left it loose so I could lay it flat around the outside of the form.  Then I took some cool, glittery, blue snowflakes and some silver poinsettias (removed from the stem) and glued them right onto the tied part of the wreath.  Put a hanger on the back and you are all set!  After a few months in the wind and snow I had only lost one flake so I will glue it back on to be ready for next year!  

One of the things I love about this wreath is I can use it all winter long since it is not Christmas specific.  

Merry Christmas ( in July)