DIY Project: How to Dip Dye a T-Shirt

Friday, May 31, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this sounds like a fun weekend project!  These instructions were provided courtesy of Anthropologie- one of my favorite stores!



And to me, this looks tons easier than tie-dying.  There are no rubber bands to deal with, and you only use one color of dye.  It takes literally less than about a minute to complete the dying process.   You just need to be extra careful to not touch the white part of your t-shirt as you wring out the dye. You don't want to accidentally smudge it all up.  

Here are the quick and easy instructions if you want to give it a try...

1.  Assemble your materials.  Make sure your t-shirt is washed and dried, and you can obviously use whatever color Rit dye you like.  This example uses teal. 


2.  Boil one gallon of water.  Pour your package of dye into the bottom of your glass bowl, and pour the boiling water over the top.  


3.  Make sure you have your rubber gloves on for the remainder of these instructions.   Stir the water and dye together, making sure the dye is completely dissolved.  Once completely dissolved, add the laundry detergent, and continue to stir. 


4.  In a sink, wet your t-shirt to the point you want your dye to reach- usually 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up.  Twist out all excess water.  


5.  Now you are ready to start dip dying your shirt.  Lower your t-shirt into the dye up to the point you dampened it. This initial dip dye needs to be very quick, as the dye absorbs very fast.  Literally dip and pull out to the next section; this can be as thin or as wide as you like. 


6.  Let the color develop in the second section for 20 seconds and pull the t-shirt up to the last section. Hold this last section for 30 seconds or more, depending on how saturated you want the color to be.


7.  Pull the t-shirt out, making sure to keep your hands on only the part with dye, so to not spread color to the white section. Twist out all excess dye.


8.  Head back to the sink and run the dip-dyed section of the t-shirt under lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Twist out all excess water, again keeping hands clear of the white section.


9.  Leave your t-shirt to dry and when ready, wash it on its own to make sure it does not leak any excess dye on your other clothing. That's it- you are all done.  Pretty simple, and pretty cool too!


After you're finished with this project, are you still looking for more fun craft ideas? If so, go check out this big post of World's Most Loved DIY Projects. You're sure to find something you like!

This post contains affiliate links.

Living in a Foreign Language

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's time for another book review, and for me, this one was right on time.  You see, John and I just returned from vacation in Italy.  And right before we left, John's very thoughtful mom, Jan, hunted down this book for me to bring along on our trip.  And I am so glad she did!  

"Living in a Foreign Language" written by actor, Michael Tucker, is the real life account of his experience along with his wife and fellow actor, Jill Eikenberry, as Americans who move to Italy - immersing themselves in the culture, the food, the wine, the the magic that is Italy. 



Here's the brief synopsis for you, courtesy of Amazon: 

"The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For the Tuckers, it was literally love at first sight, and the couple purchased the house without testing the water pressure or checking for signs of termites. Shedding the vestiges of their American life, Michael and Jill endeavored to learn the language, understand the nuances of Italian culture, and build a home in this new chapter of their lives. Both a celebration of a good marriage and a careful study of the nature of home, Living in a Foreign Language is a gorgeous, organic travelogue written with an epicurean’s delight in detail and a gourmand’s appreciation for all things fine."

literally read this book each day of our trip, and was just fascinated by the many similarities to what the author wrote about and what we ourselves were experiencing.  He writes much of the book from a "foodie" perspective, which is appropriate since the Italian culture focuses on their fresh ingredients and fantastic meals that last for hours.  We also took a cooking class in Tuscany- more about that a little later- but again, we experienced first hand much of what he detailed so delightfully in this book, and from a similar perspective- Americans living in and soaking up Italian culture.  

Whether you love food, have dreamed of living in Italy, or just want a good and easy read that will literally take you to another place, this may just be the book for you.  Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links.

Then and Now Photos

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We Harris Sisters happen to be big fans of the "Then and Now" photos.  The idea is that you take an old photo and simply "recreate" it.  Pretty easy concept.  Sometimes the results are adorable.  Others are hilarious.  But either way, it's a task worthy of a try.

This was our most recent attempt.  The first photo was taken about 15 years ago, and the second was taken about this time last year.  




Today, I happened to run across a link to quite a few other "Then and Now" gems: http://www.viralnova.com/then-and-now-photos/.  For me, numbers 9 and 16 from this list take the cake.  Check it out and see if these little doozies don't just inspire you to give this photography trend a try.

Stovetop Baked Beans

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here's another recipe that's just perfect for those upcoming summer cookouts. Whether Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or just a friendly get together with friends, this recipe is sure to please!


Stovetop Baked Beans
1 lb dry small white beans, such as cannellini or navy beans (or 3 15 oz cans of white beans)
1 onion, peeled and halved lengthwise (if using dry beans)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (if using dry beans)
1 tsp salt (if using dry beans)
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 green onions, chopped
 
  1. If you are using canned beans, put them in a large pot and skip to step 4. Put the dry beans in a large pot. Cover with water by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, bring beans to a boil, remove from heat and let cool for an hour.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse them. Add them to a large pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Add garlic and onion halves to pot. Heat to a simmer and let cook for 1 to 2 hours, until beans are just tender. (Older beans will take longer to cook.) Add boiling water to beans if they begin to look dry while cooking.
  3. Remove onion and garlic. Add 1 tsp of salt.
  4. Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard powder, Tabasco sauce, pepper, and green onions. Stir to combine. Bring the beans to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes until thick.

Patriotic PEZ

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just before America's Bicentennial celebration, these patriotic PEZ dispensers were released in 1975. Here you see two of the collection: Uncle Sam and Paul Revere.


Just look how happy these little spray-tanned orange children are to be eating their patriotic PEZ and shooting them at each other! (Note the color of the little girl's PEZ is the exact same color as she is - poor thing!)
 
Now, I think my family's affinity for PEZ has been well documented (Valentine PEZ, Easter PEZ, Funny Foreign PEZ, Growing PEZ Collections). But, have I ever shared with you our connection to Paul Revere?
 
Meet Smithers Paul Revere Walkush (AKA Smitty):


Isn't he a precious little fluffer-nutter? Well, when we got him, all we knew was that he was an adorable little dog that looked like Benji (a terrier mix). After we had snatched him up for our very own, someone confirmed for us that he was a Tibetan Terrier. Well, the only thing that THIS gal knows about Tibet is that the Beastie Boys used to throw Free Tibet concerts back in the day.
 
So, not wanting him to be the only Walkush pet to not have a middle name, we put it to a vote. We all voted for our favorite Beastie Boys' songs as his middle name, and Paul Revere won by one vote. (Lucky for him too - the other options on the table were She's Crafty and Rhymin' and Stealin'.)
 
So, baby Smithers is our connection (as much of a stretch as it might be) to patriotism every day.

Music to Play for Patriotic Holidays

Friday, May 24, 2013

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel a playlist coming on. ;-) In true Harris Sisters fashion, no matter what the occasion, there's a song for it (and rest assured we will find it for you and stick it on a list). This time, I have compiled a handy patriotic playlist that should help you out at your next big event.
I've titled it for Fourth of July, but if you're having a BBQ or cookout this weekend for Memorial Day, this list will work for that too. This list includes songs with a nod to patriotism in some way without being over-the-top-John-Philip-Sousa-ish (although if that floats your boat, then throw some of that in for good measure too).


And before you get started on "all the cool kids don't put Born in the USA on THEIR playlists because the song isn't really patriotic" - tell me something I don't know. The way I see it, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

If you don't play that song at your shindig, someone will likely ask you what in the world you are doing and whether you're a Communist. Or maybe that's just the type of folks I hang out with. ;-) Besides, Bruce Springsteen and patriotic holidays go together like America and apple pie.

To make up for what many of you will see as an obvious faux pas, please note that like all of my playlists, this one is Phil Collins-free because including HIM on a playlist would be unforgivable. (Check them out here - I swear I'm not lying: Valentine's Day Playlist, Spring PlaylistHalloween PlaylistThanksgiving Playlist, and Christmas Playlist.)

Rainbow Pasta Salad

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This recipe is another one that is great for all those cookouts that will be coming up in the summer months. It will make a great addition to your Memorial Day or Fourth of July get together. Give it a try - you'll be surprised at how quick and easy it is.


Rainbow Pasta Salad
1 16 oz package tri-colored rotini pasta
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
6 green onions, chopped
1 16 oz bottle Italian dressing of choice
 
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, making sure that you cook it until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and Italian dressing. Refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour.
Note:
One red onion, finely chopped can be substituted for green onions if a stronger onion flavor is desired.

Unbelievably Good Fruit Dip

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

And, no, I'm not joking when I tell you that's the name of the recipe. I guess it falls into the "call it what it is" category.
 
And might I say, with all of the fresh berries that are popping up all over, it also makes a perfect addition to your Memorial Day or Fourth of July patriotic table setting (what with the red, white, and blue of it all).


Unbelievably Good Fruit Dip
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp lemon juice
 
  1. In a medium bowl, blend ingredients.
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least three hours before serving.
Notes:
If you are the type of person who is used to using fat free cream cheese and condensed milk, then who am I to stop you from substituting them in this recipe? However, I will say that I've noticed that fat free cream cheese does have a different consistency from regular cream cheese, which may affect the consistency of the final product. But give it a whirl and see if you like it!
 
If you don't happen to have any lemon juice, don't let that deter you from making this quick and easy recipe.

How to Make a Floral Arrangement

Sunday, May 19, 2013

If you're like me, some things just dumbfound you. For example, you look at the beautiful flowers that come from florist shops and wonder how in the world these people get to be so talented. However, I am just curious enough to try and try and try until I have something that I am happy enough with. (Of course, my floral arrangements will never look like a professional made them, but I think they're pretty snazzy, and I thought I'd share these tips and tricks with you to help you get better too.)

Step one is to choose the flowers for your arrangement. I always think that sticking to a color scheme of three works best, but that is just my preference. And, of course, if you are lucky enough to have your own cutting garden, then you might be blessed with an abundance of color, so don't let this recommendation deter you. Work with what you have. Flowers are pretty much available in many locations, including grocery stores, club stores, etc., and as long as they look fresh when you buy them, they will be fine to work with. Remember to choose flowers of varying sizes.

Next, choose your container. I recommend choosing containers that are slightly smaller than you think you would need. Flower arrangements tend to look better if overflowing a smaller container rather than being swallowed up by a large container.
Each bunch of flowers will come enshrouded in plastic wrap and held together with rubber bands. Remove all of that and separate your flowers back into stacks by type.


Each bunch of flowers will also come with a food packet. Collect all of those. Because you are making an arrangement, you will only need one packet per vase to start your project. Fill your vase with warm water and place one packet of food in each vase. Water should be warm but comfortable to the touch (not hot). (Flowers absorb warm water more quickly and readily than cold water.) If for any reason your flowers did not come with food packets, you can substitute 1/2 container of warm water and 1/2 container of room temperature lemon lime soda.


Place the vase near the edge of your work surface. Choose the flowers that you wish to be most prominent in your arrangement. (I say this because you don't want to get to the end of your project and have a few flowers left over and think, "Crap! I didn't use all of the roses!") Hold one of these flowers up near the vase, letting the end extend past the edge of the work surface. When you have decided on a good height for the flower, you will know how much you need to cut off the flower. Using a sharp knife (if you are adventurous) or pruning shears, cut the flower's stem at an angle.


Remove any leaves that would dip below the water's surface and place the flower in the water. Repeat with the other flowers that you determined to be the most prominent in the arrangement. In order for them to be equally represented on all sides of the arrangement, space them equally around the vase.


Continue choosing a flower type, measuring, and spacing equally around the vase. Make sure to keep color in mind while adding to the arrangement. (e.g. don't place all of the pink flowers or all of the Gerbers on one side of the arrangement or it will look visually "lopsided"). When finished adding all flowers to the vase, add a ribbon around the neck of the vase if desired.

And with some practice, your finished product should look something like this:





Spinach Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This quick and simple recipe comes together in no time flat and also makes more than enough for leftovers. The thick and creamy Alfredo sauce is a nice complement to the nutritious spinach and mushrooms.
 
 
Spinach Mushroom Alfredo Pasta
16 oz. angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
8 oz. white mushrooms, minced
2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
  1. Cook pasta to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and mushrooms and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add spinach and cover pan. Cook for 1 minute in covered pan and remove from heat. Stir to combine vegetables and season to taste. Set aside in covered pan.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, place cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, and milk in a large saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat until cream cheese is melted, stirring frequently.
  5. Add vegetables and sauce to pasta and toss lightly.
  6. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
 
Note: For an even simpler and quicker meal, substitute your favorite jarred Alfredo sauce for the homemade Alfredo sauce described in the recipe.

Making Your Eye Makeup Stay in Place- MAC's Painterly Paint Pot

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

As I have mentioned before, nothing bugs me more than smudges and smears from my eye makeup. I'm not really a smokey eye kind of girl.  Even if I was, there is a big difference between an intentional smokey eye look and one where your makeup just falls apart on you.  And I much prefer neat and clean eye makeup anyway.  Don't get me wrong; I wear mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow daily, but I want it to stay exactly where I put it, and not take off on a weird tangent.   And sometimes that just happens, no matter how hard I may try.  Until now...

This weekend, after a quick visit to the MAC counter, my life will be forever changed. Yes, that sounds pretty dramatic, but thanks to a girl's day with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law a few days ago, I have discovered MAC's Painterly Paint Pot.  



It works like a makeup primer.  You just smooth it on your eyelids before you apply any of your eye makeup, and sit back as your eye makeup just glides right on.  It's a fairly thick product, so the best part of all of this is it holds all of your makeup firmly in place ALL DAY LONG!  No more smudges. No more smears.  No more creases.  Just flawless application and flawless staying power for all your eye makeup.  And it comes right off at the end of the day with regular makeup remover. 

What else I really liked about this product was the value.  It comes in a fairly decent sized glass pot.  By the looks of things, it will take me quite a while to get through this whole pot, even using it daily. Overall, I couldn't be happier with this product.  Finally, it's what I've been waiting for!  MAC has done it once again!

This post contains affiliate links.


One Man's Trash - Vintage Fan

Monday, May 13, 2013

My husband and father-in-law discovered this sweet little vintage electric fan in an antique shop not too long ago.  The asking price was a mere $10, but fear not, these two brought it home for only $5.  

I love, love, love the "look" of this fan, as well as the color.  It's one of my favorites- jade green!!  It's well worn in but also still in great working condition.  And now it's perched in our master bathroom.  I do love vintage finds, especially at great prices like this one was.  



One of the things that has surprised me the most about myself is how much I love mixing vintage and modern pieces together.  I think these lovely pieces from days gone by are just too cool though.  They certainly don't make some things like they used to.   So as the days start to warm, I plan to be cooling my jets to the hum of this nifty little fan.  

Spent My Evenin's Down At The Drive-In

Saturday, May 11, 2013

And that's when I met you, yeah!

Now tell the truth. For most of us, this may, in fact, be the only reference to a drive-in that rings true for us. (A 1985 song about "The Summer of '69.")

But! If you're willing to take a leisurely drive on a weekend, you can still experience a taste of the good old days. Just looky what I found in our own backyard:


OK - so Eden, NC isn't really in our own backyard - it's about an hour's drive from us. But, I'd say that it's well worth it for the experience! For the low, low price of $6.00 per adult and $3.00 per child age 6-11 (5 and under are free!) you can enjoy two feature films in one night if you're visiting on a Friday or Saturday! They play one movie on Sunday, but obviously Fridays and Saturdays would be the most bang for your buck.

Movies start at sundown (which was around 8:30), and they have their own radio station that they play the oldies on up until show time. Of course, this means that you're finishing up the second movie in the wee hours of the next morning, so be prepared for any little ones to fall asleep part way through the second movie (or perhaps even the first)!

I can also report that they have excellent milkshakes at their concession stand (and all of their concessions seem to also be priced far below regular movie theater prices).

They have a modest website that you can check for which two movies they'll be playing any given week, or you can like them on Facebook and get weekly updates:
And, if you happen to live in a different area and are still interested in finding a drive-in movie theater near you, fear not! I actually found info about the Eden Drive-In with this handy resource: DriveInMovie.com.

It lists US, Australian, and Canadian drive-in movie theaters and notes which ones are still operating. Of course, before you drive an hour or more to any location near you, I suggest that you do a little leg work to see if they are, in fact, still operating, but this is a pretty comprehensive list!

All in all, I'd say this is a definite adventure to put on your summer bucket list!

I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bonus points if you remember the song that I titled this blog post after.  It's an oldie, but a goodie; country music at it's finest.  And today's blog entry touches on both rose gardens as well as country music, so how's that for tying in a theme?  :)

First, let's talk about rose gardens.  I have always loved roses.  I think that stems from childhood.  Daddy always planted rose bushes, and he still does, in all colors and varieties.  And that love has carried over for me into my own garden.  When John and I started landscaping our own yard, I knew it had to have a special corner dedicated to just roses.  Well, our little rose corner has managed to spill into almost every part of our back yard now.  Fine by me.  Let me show you...

This is where it all started.  Two years ago, I decided I wanted to plant antique roses.  You know, the really pretty and fragrant kind of roses that you almost can't find anymore.  We scoured local nurseries and garden centers with no luck.  Finally, I broke down and ordered from an online retailer, not knowing whether our little rose plants that arrived in the mail would even survive the shipping process.  Clearly, they did.  Here we are two years later.  These are climbing roses.  They have taken the trellis, the fence, and the dinner bell completely.  And I just took this photo.  They literally just broke into bloom this week. They will fill out much more over the summer months. 


And here are a couple of closeups of these climbing beauties.  I only wish you could smell them.  They are fantastically fragrant.  



I have spoken many times already on this blog about the Nashville Flea Market.  It is a monthly extravaganza  and you literally never know what you will turn up there.  This rose bush is still one of my biggest and best prizes from last year's spring flea market.  It fills up with big beautiful tea roses that are just beyond gorgeous. 




Yes, of course, we also have knockout roses.  They are the easiest, most maintenance free roses I have ever seen, and they grow really fast too.  They bloom all summer long; ours actually bloom until November usually.  We cut them back each spring really low, and it makes them thick and hedge-like.  In short, if you are looking for pretty roses that require very little work, these are probably the ones you should be looking at.  We planted ours in a raised bed surrounding our deck.  They make such a pretty border all summer long.   And we have our first knockout roses of the season starting to bloom now too.  I suspect we will have a full compliment of them by month's end. 


Remember how I said it was really difficult to find antique roses in most garden centers?  Well, that has been my experience until a few weeks ago.  We weren't looking for roses at all when I stumbled across this beautiful tea rose bush.  The blooms are peachy and orangey and they smell like heaven.  They came from Lowes.  They had a handful of these mixed in with a display of knockout roses.  I quickly picked out this one, and stood vigilant guard by it while John ran to get a cart.  How's that for teamwork?  We have no more room in our "rose garden" area, so my roses have officially now taken over another corner of the yard.  
   

And just so these won't feel lonely in this new corner of the garden, I have actually ordered two more rose bushes through my little online rose retailer.  I had such luck with them before, I am feeling pretty confident and eagerly awaiting the arrival of what I feel sure will be the coup de grace of this Nashville rose garden.  

Are you ready for this?  They make a Dolly Parton rose now, and what's more there's also a Loretta Lynn rose.  I can hardly take it.  A big thank you to my mother in law for introducing me to the Dolly rose.   As I was ordering that up, that's when I discovered the Loretta rose.  So, I will have to beg your pardon as I indulge in this lovely combo - roses and country music.  I just love it when the best of two worlds collide.  Lynn Anderson may not have promised me a rose garden, but what the heck, that doesn't mean I can't create my own.  

And fear not, I will be sure to keep you posted on this country music tribute to my rose garden as the summer progresses.  Happy gardening, all!





Tarheel Pie

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Well, I can't say that this pie has anything in common with the great state of North Carolina. Perhaps it is named after the sweet Southern girls who live here.
 
Whatever its origins, give it a try (and if you don't like pecans or coconut, leave those out and you still have an outstanding chocolate pie if I do say so myself, and I do say so.)


 
Tarheel Pie
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 pie crust
 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, pour warm melted butter over 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.
  3. Mix together flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, then stir into chocolate mixture.
  4. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Fold in pecans, coconut, and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Pour into pie crust.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Top should be set and may crack slightly, but the pie is best if slightly under baked.
  7. Cool completely before serving.
Notes:
I know, I know. You MUST be thinking that the order of adding the ingredients is not correct. However, trust me when I tell you that I have made this pie 1 million times (I may be exaggerating slightly), and adding the ingredients in this order works. Modify the order of the ingredients at your own risk.
 
This recipe makes only 1 pie. A darn shame if you ask me. I recommend doubling the recipe and making two pies - no extra work really - just some mathematics.
 
Trader Joe's makes a mean pie crust that does not include the ingredient LARD. I recommend it.

Mississippi Squirrel Revival

Sunday, May 5, 2013

For some explained reason, this song has been on my mind the past couple days.  Granted, I haven't heard it in heaven only knows how long.  And then last night out of the blue one of our buddies was telling us about how he grew up next door to Ray Stevens.  WHAT?!?!?  

So I mentioned that this song had been on my mind of late, and he proceeded to look at me like I had two heads.  I guess he somehow missed the magic that is the Mississippi Squirrel Revival in his formidable years.  So in case you are in the same boat, here you go.  


Black Bean Enchiladas

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I bring you this delicious recipe one day early. Now, if you are so inclined, you can whip this up for your family in no time flat (whilst drinking a margarita even)! 

Otherwise, I encourage you to head on down to the local Mexican restaurant and enjoy some good eats there. (I have it on good authority that there's an excellent one in Franklin, TN, but I digress.)



Black Bean Enchiladas
2 cups shredded Mexican style cheese, divided*
1 19 oz can enchilada sauce, divided
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
1 cup sour cream, divided
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
10, 8" flour tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray one 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, 1/2 can of enchilada sauce, green chiles, 1/2 cup sour cream, beans, sugar, and cumin.
  4. Spread each tortilla with heaping 1/3 cup of filling, roll, and place seam side down in dish. Repeat until all filling is used.
  5. Spread remaining sauce over tortillas. Dot with remaining sour cream and use the back of a spoon to spread evenly over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese
  6. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Note:
The cheese I used was a package of 4 Cheese Mexican Blend that consisted of mixed Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, and Asadero. You can also just use Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack - whatever strikes your fancy!

One Man's Trash... Linens and Lace

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In this installment of "One Man's Trash", let me share with you a wonderful box of goodies from my wonderful father-in-law.  He called me up a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would be interested in a box of old linens and lace.  Well, yeah, of course!!  He gave a couple dollars for this box of treasures, and I couldn't wait to dive right in.   


There were a ton of vintage lace doilies and table runners in this box.  They are all in really great shape, and I do use them in both my dining room as well as our master bedroom.  We completely redecorated our master bedroom last year in an antique French style.  We did it up with a crystal chandelier, a steamer trunk in the corner, and lots and lots of lace.  So this stuff fits right it.  Not to mention, it reminds me of days gone by.  You just don't see people decorating with lace much anymore.  


But the real treasure here just took my breath away.  Vintage lace collars.  Bestill my beating heart.  I just think beyond a shadow of a doubt I was born too late.  Heaven knows I identify so closely with the fashion trends of so many of the decades gone by.  I can just see a 1950s debutant pulling out one of these lace collars to top off her black satin tea length dress.  They are adorable and in near perfect shape.  And they are mine, all mine!!  I have a really close eye on the one pictured right up front.   I might just have to take that baby for a spin.  :)



So it goes to show that once again, one man's trash is another man's treasure.  And I wouldn't part with these treasures for nothing in this world.  Happy rummaging to you all!

Gel Eyeliner- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh, I wish I had a better review to share with you.  But let me back up.  If you haven't heard, gel eyeliners are all the rage.  EVERYONE seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.  The top cosmetics companies have all had a go at creating their own versions right on down to every drug store brand you can think of.  And consumers *seem* to have pretty good reports.  Not this one, though.  Read on for the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all. 


I thought I would love gel eyeliner.  And I couldn't wait to give it a go.  I wear eyeliner every single day.  And to this point, I have been a really big fan of liquid liner.  Yes, it can be a bit messy if you don't have a steady hand, but it looks flawless.  Anyway, back to the gel version.  I tried both L'Oreal and Maybelline's versions of gel liner, and found the two to be pretty comparable in every way, from price point to application to finish.  

So here's the skinny from one very honest reviewer.

The Good:  Both get high marks for packaging and application.  As you can see pictured, gel eyeliner almost always comes in a little pot and you apply it with a tiny brush.  It might sound harder than it is.  Let me tell you, I have never experienced such a smooth and easy application for eyeliner.  Gel really gets tops marks for that.  It's almost like melted crayons.  There is zero pulling, tugging, etc to get it on.  It just spreads on like hot butter.  

The Bad:  They fade!!  Maybe not everyone expects as much out of their eyeliner as I do, but I apply my makeup in the morning, and don't take it off until the very end of the day.  I expect, if not demand, that it stay in place.  And there are some things you expect to touch up during the course of day, your powder, your lipstick, but I have never ever had to touch up my eyeliner.  Both of these gel eyeliners faded over the course of the day from the black color I started with to a dull gray and in some cases just faded away altogether.  Sorry, I can't have that.  Maybe if I only wore it for a few hours on a date, I wouldn't have even noticed it at all.  And, maybe that's not an issue for everyone.  But for me, it's a deal breaker.  Sorry.

The Ugly:  Smudges and smears.  Ick.  Even if I could put up with the fading, I absolutely draw the line with smudgy smears and streaks on my eyelids.  And let me tell you, there is a big difference between a smokey eye and one where the makeup just fell apart on you.  I have seen other reviewers comment on smudges occurring on application.  I didn't have that problem.  I am a makeup aficionado, after all.  But over the course of the day, it did smudge out on me and left me feeling messy.  

Will I try others?  Nope.  I think I've had my fill of this trend.  So back to my trusty liquid liner I go.  If you've had success with this trend, please let me know.  I would love to hear all about it.  Until then, I will be loving the one I'm with.  :)