Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Little Red Wagon #256

The temperatures have cooled, some of the leaves are turning color and pretty mums are being displayed on many porches. Signs of Fall are all around us, including Carolyn's challenge at Little Red Wagon this week!  She wants to see a Fall Themed project.

I saw this sweet image from Sassy Cheryl's Stamps called Bountiful Blessing and I thought it would be perfect on a card for this week's challenge.  It brings back memories of visiting the pumpkin patch with our boys when they were younger.

I pulled together a few papers and buttons from my stash and did lots of layering. 

I even pulled out a border punch that I haven't used in forever and I found a clear sticker sentiment that worked perfectly with the image!

So, are you in the swing of Fall yet?  We hope you will join in the challenge at Little Red Wagon this week. Just create something with a Fall theme and then link it up. We will be sure to visit your blog :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chicken-Kale Pasta

Today was a good day!  Not only did I get my hair done, but I found a great recipe in a magazine that I read at the hair salon. When I looked at the recipe it had all the ingredients that I love - pasta, chicken, cheese, tomatoes!  Plus, when I realized that the recipe was one of Ree Drummond's (The Pioneer Woman) I knew it had to be good.

So, no, I did not rip the recipe out of the magazine - although I will admit to doing that once or twice in my lifetime - but my hair dresser photocopied it for me.  Then I gave it a try for dinner.

It was absolutely delicious!  The tomatoes and kale are barely cooked, so they stay nice and fresh.  Plus the 'sauce' is just chicken broth, white wine and Parmesan.  Not heavy at all and soooooo good!!

Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try.

Chicken-Kale Pasta

1 - 16-oz. package whole-wheat or regular penne pasta
4 (6-oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut in 1-in. pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. each extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
5 oz. kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup (4 oz.) shaved Parmesan cheese
Garnish: shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to Dutch oven; cover and keep warm.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook chicken in a single layer in hot oil and melted butter in a large skillet over high heat, without stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.  Turn chicken; cook 2 minutes or until done.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add garlic to skillet.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.  Add broth and wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.  Add kale, stirring until kale wilts.

Add kale mixture to reserved pasta.  Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup Parmesan and reserved chicken; toss gently.  Top and serve with additional shaved Parmesan, if desired.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Little Red Wagon #255

Jan is posting the challenge this week at Little Red Wagon and she wants to see a shaped card.  No boring old squares or rectangles!  She want to see something different.

I found an adorable shaped card on the Silhouette store and decided to give it a try.

Since my Kitchen Aid mixer is one of my favorite things, I just loved the thought of making a card shaped like one!

Of course I had to use pink and some bling and a few candy dots!  Now I can't wait to give this card to someone special.

How would you like to venture out and make a card in a shape other than square or rectangle?  I know you can do it!  Be sure to link it up at Little Red Wagon.  See you there :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'd Rather Be Reading

There is nothing better than a good book! A book that you can really get lost in, that keeps you up way past your bedtime. Books where you feel the characters’ emotions, see their surroundings, become part of their story. I discovered this at a very young age as I fell in love with Pippi Longstocking and her many adventures and I still love being pulled into a good story to this day.

In the past few weeks, I have read three wonderful books:  The Orphan Train, Good Grief and Me Before You.

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - This book is based on a chapter from American history that I was not familiar with. Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. The story moves between a young, Irish immigrant, Vivian, living in the Depression Era, and a contemporary teen, Molly, who is in and out of foster homes. The weaving of a modern day story with a historical one is nothing short of brilliant. I loved, loved, loved this book!

Next up was Good Grief by Lolly Winston – I accidentally came upon this book while on my summer travels. For $4.00 at a resale shop, I picked up this book and was totally taken with the author’s writing style. To be able to write in a clever and humorous way about the grieving process takes incredible talent. The main character, Sophie, becomes a widow at the age of 36. She desperately wants to be a good widow - a graceful, composed Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. But, unfortunately, Sophie is more of a Jack Daniels kind. Downing cartons of ice-cream for breakfast, breaking down in the produce section of supermarkets, showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers, I laughed out loud a number of times while reading this book. I totally loved this book and am considering picking it for my Book Club selection in the fall.

Most recently I read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – Thanks to my friend, Carolyn, for the recommendation of this book! It was wonderfully written, I couldn’t put it down. At the heart of this book is a romance between Louisa and Will, but it also involves Will’s struggle to live as a quadriplegic and Louisa’s determination to make him believe that life is worth living. This is one of the few books that actually moved me to tears at one point. I felt the pain of their relationship and their situation so deeply! It was an excellent read that made you think about the story long after the last page was read.

I am currently rereading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.  I read it a couple of years ago and then it was chosen as our book club pick for September.  I will admit that I am enjoying it the second time around as much as I did when I initially read it! 

Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I'll read another chapter :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Little Red Wagon #254

Cork is such an interesting item to work with when crafting, so this week at Little Red Wagon I would like to see some cork creations!

I actually had lots of fun with this challenge.  I picked up a couple of dozen used corks from a little shop while I was on vacation this summer so I decided to use one to create a card holder.  Then I created this card using a cork sheet and a Tim Holtz die.

After I cut the swirl and the flower, I dug deep into my wagon and found this gorgeous pearl flower.  A fabulous addition to my card!  Then I decided to use some corrugated paper as my background to keep with the textured feel of the cork.

Then a little twine bow and it's perfect!  At least I think so :)

Please join in the fun at Little Red Wagon this week.  Grab some cork and create something spectacular and then link it up.  We will be sure to stop by your blog and leave some love.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fun & Games

Shelby has issued the challenge at Two Scrapbook Friends this month for the September Sketch and Crafty Challenge!  Her sketch is awesome and I enjoyed giving it a try!

I decided to pair her sketch with the new Wild Card line from BoBunny. I just love the colors and patterns in this line and I knew I had the perfect photos to go with it!

My family loves card and board games, with some of our favorites being Scrabble, Cribbage, and Euchre.

These photos were taken when my sister, Mary, and her family were visiting a couple of years ago.  Mary and I totally LOVE Scrabble, so it was fun for me to scrapbook some of the photos I took :)

I enjoyed combining some papers from other lines with the Wild Card papers and elements.  I used the dot side from one of BoBunny's new Chevron Papers and I also created my GAMES banner using a paper from BoBunny's Souvenir line.

The dominoes, poker chips and cards were from the die-cut pack.  Such awesome elements!

Of course I added a little camera element to complete the Crafty part of Shelby's challenge.

Now, I know I can't win the $25.00 prize up for grabs this month, but you can!  You can find all the details to join in the challenge at Two Scrapbook Friends by clicking HERE.  Have fun! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Little Red Wagon #253

It is that wonderful time of year when the school bell starts to ring again!  Going back to school is such a momentous time for teachers, students and parents, so for our Little Red Wagon challenge this week I would like to see a back-to-school card or gift.

I created this whimsical card for a back to school student using my Silhouette.

Isn't he just the wisest little owl ever?

I used a small wooden ruler and then decided the sentiment 'School Rules' was most appropriate :)

Now it is your turn.  Your homework this week is to create something back-to-school themed and link it up at Little Red Wagon!  I can't wait to see what you make!!

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