Ocean Beach Oh How I Love Thee

I have been a bit MIA as we were in San Diego for a long weekend, Ocean Beach to be exact. It was such a fun and relaxing weekend. We stayed right on the beach, ate at the famous Hodad's Burger Joint, had some super tasty ice cream and chicken too! I am not going to blog in detail, instead I will let the photos speak for themselves. You will see me, my kids, my honey, two of my brothers, and possibly my mom and stepdad......

These are my favorite photos. Some were taken with my crappy point and shoot and the good ones were taken by Lucas. You can see more of his photos here and here.


Mmmm Rolled Tacos

This is a new recipe I tried last night and it was a hit! The idea came from a recipe for Beef Taquitos from familyfun.com. I of course didn't follow the recipe exactly cause I like to do things my own way! You can click on the link to follow their recipe or you can do as I do and make it up as you go along :)
I did not measure out any of my ingredients....
Ground Beef
What I used to season my beef is....
Finely chopped onion
Minced Garlic
Heat the oven to 400ยบ. Heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook them for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the beef cook until no longer red. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Place the tortillas on a plate and cover them with damp paper towels. Microwave them until warm and pliable, about 45 seconds. Top each tortilla with beef mixture and some cheese
Roll up the tortillas and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet with the seam sides down. Brush the taquitos lightly with vegetable oil, then bake them until the filling is heated through and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Serve them hot with sour cream and/or salsa.
I think these would be good with chicken too and I think you could also use corn tortillas and fry them if you wanted to be really unhealthy.
I am sharing at
Creations by Kara
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A Pouch!

I am quite proud of this little pouch that I sewed up all on my own. I had received a similar pouch in a swap quite a while ago and used it all the time to carry my *ahem* feminine products. Just like I change purses and sunglasses all the time I decided I needed a new pouch. I have had this fabulous fabric forever (received in another swap!) and never knew what to do with it and my sewing skills weren't all that great anyway. Well my sewing skills are still not all that great as you can tell by my uneven bag but I still love it and think it gives it a bit of character!

And opened with the velcro closure

And here are some random photos of my kids being silly

Okay Lando is silly, Adia is pretty and please do not comment about me just out of the shower with no make-up!


Go Cardinals!

I got to take Ryan, Adia, and Landon to their first Cardinals game on Saturday. I made sure the kids had the proper Cardials gear for the game (Ryan wouldn't wear any)

They got their picture taken with some Cheer Leaders.

They got to eat some popcorn and cotton Candy....

They both sat and ate their treats and were entertained for a while. Landon got restless real quick and we only made it to half time before we had to leave.

Adia says she wants to go again but want's to leave Landon home next time!

Ryan even had a good time and says he would come again.

Thanks mom and Pete for the tickets! Hopefully we can go to another game sometime this season and hopefully the Cards have a better game next time....


Friday Fix-Saving your kids school work

Since it's the start of another school year and I have a kindy kid I know I will be amassing a ton of school projects, ribbons, report cards, etc for the year. I of course don't save every scrap of paper but I do want to save the special things. The best way I have found to do this is to put everything into a medium flat rate box. The long thin rectangle shaped one.

These can be ordered online from The US Postal Service for free! I keep it open and just date the papers then slip them in throughout the year. At the end of the school year I seal it and label it. They are super easy to stack and keep track of then.
You can also take it a step further and roll artwork and store it in an empty paper towel tube. I also frame certain paintings and display them throughout my house.
Another idea is to scan a picture, print onto cardstock sized 3X5 and turn into custom notecards.



These are pictures of all my tattoos except the ones I have on my back. They go in the order in which I got them starting when I was 17 or 18...
The three on my back all came after the two on my legs. I have another butterfly, Adia's name, and the tramp stamp that I hate!

This one is on my right side

This is my right shoulder

My birdie on my left shoulder

Pillowcase & Crochet Hook Roll

For the Secret Santa in July Swap I made two claims. The first was for a decorative pillow. The person I claimed is allergic to cats and so I couldn't actually stuff the pillow. I made the case, washed it, then put it in the envelope right away. I hope that no kitty dander or fur went along for the ride.

I made the case with a fat quarter of the most pretty green fabric. I cut the birdies out and used some Wonder Under to attach the birds to the case. I left an opening for stuffing and popped it in the mail.

My second claim was for a person who wanted a crochet hook roll and loved strawberries. I have had this strawberry fabric in my stash for quite a while and I knew it would be perfect. I decided to make it more like a wallet than a roll and attached snaps to keep it closed. First time using the snap setter!!!

Here it is opened with one lone plastic hook...

My sewing machine has been getting lots of use lately and my sewing skills are getting a bit better every time!

Bleach Stencil

The first bleach stencil I have done that has actually worked out okay. The bleach still ran just a little bit but I had to spray it in order to get this effect. Overall it worked out well!


Mmmm Pretzel Rolls

I saw this recipe a while ago on Craftster.org and have been wanting to try it. I love soft pretzels and the idea of trying them in place of hamburger buns was quite intriguing to me. Since I have been on a bread making kick and want to try everything I can in the bread machine I knew I had to try these. The poster on Craftster and I both used the recipe you can find here http://stresscake.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/one-of-my-favorite-things-pretzel-rolls/

If you use a bread machine add all the ingredients in the order listed (or by your machines specifications) hit the dough cycle then start at the shaping step.

I used my machine....

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups warm water (110F or warm to the touch)

1 Tbsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

2 tsp sugar

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp kosher salt

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

For the Poaching and Glazing:

1/4 cup baking soda

Large saucepan of water

1 egg lightly beaten

Pretzel or kosher salt

1. Combine water and yeast in a bowl of a standing mixer and let rest 5 minutes until foamy

2. Add remaining dough ingredients and mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined, the dough comes together and is rather silky not sticky to the touch

3. First rise-cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size

4. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface

5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper

6. Cut dough into 18 peices

7. Shape-Take a piece of dough and and form a ball by pulling the sides toward the center and pinch together to seal. Do this twice to each ball

8. Place ball pinched side down on the counter and lightly cup your hand around the ball and rotate your hand in small circles. This should form a nice shape

9. Space evenly on the prepared baking sheets pinched seams down

10. Second Rise- cover with a towel or light layer of plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes until doubled

11. Preheat oven to 425F and place racks on lowest and middle positions

12. Poaching- In large saucepan bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Ad the baking soda and reduce heat to low simmer

13. Carefully slp the rolls into the liquid seam side down, poach for 30 seconds then turn over and poach for an additional 30 seconds

14. Remove with a slotted spoon and return to prepared pan

15. With a pastry brush glaze each roll with egg being sure to coat all exposed sides

16. Top each roll with salt (don't use table salt!)

17. Cut a slash or X on the top of each roll

18. Bake rolls for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans, top to bottom, front to back. Bake for an additional 6-10 minutes

-makes 18

These rolls are best eaten the same day or you can freeze them tightly wrapped. Reheat in the microwave in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds.

I used my rolls as a substitute for hamburger buns and I halved the recipe. They were really good!

Handmade Baby Stuffs

I have a friend who is having a baby in the very near future and I decided to try my crafty skills out to make something for baby Brody. I am so happy with how some of these things turned out and I wish I had tapped into my creative side back when I had babies.

I made not one but two hats! They look so tiny but probably won't even fit him at first. I used my Knifty Knitter loom to make these since knitting with needles is beyond me. I have larger looms and could probably actually make hats for my kids but I doubt they would wear them and baby stuff is just cuter anyway!

A long long while ago I saw a blog post about bibs made from a bandana and dishcloth. I have no idea the blog (if it's yours let me know) but the idea stuck in my head. I decided to make my own bib. I am not sure if this is the way it's supposed to be done but it works. It's washable, and quite long to offer maximum protection. Landon is modeling in my super crappy picture. He looks like he is ready to go eat some ribs...

Then I made some burp cloths. My grandma made something similar for me when I had both my kids and I LOVED them. I have since learned that I should have used disposable diapers and just prettied them up since the fleece I used is soft but not super absorbant.
Well I guess fleece was good enough for my kids it will be good enough for this kid too.

This last item too the most time and is something I am quite proud of. It's a crochet baby blanket. It's was the largest thing I had crocheted at the time. It's simple and I cheated and used varigated yarn but I still like it! I still can't crochet anything much more complicated than this but I am working on it....

I am glad I decided to go the handmade route. I was kind of afraid that I would feel cheap but I actually made useful items and I put my own work into them. I hope the receipiants feel the same way!

It has actually inspired me to do more of a handmade holiday this year. All the kids in my family and the family I exchange gifts with will be getting handmade items. My kids will also be getting handmade stuff along with a few store bought goodies. So if you have any good ideas for me please send them my way!


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