Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I {used to} Love my catdoor!

Who's up for a funny story? We're all up for one every once in a while, so here goes.

Now here is a quick back story.
I have a large dog, Duke pictured to the side (remember this picture, it is relevant to the story), and 2 black cats, O'hara and Mclintock. We had a cat door from our house to our garage so the cats could come and go as they pleased while we worked and went on vacation, but we had to leave the garage door up about 6 inches so they could crawl under. After our eldest was born we decided that wasn't safe and kept the door shut, but installed a cat door from the garage to the backyard. In the past 5 years the cats have blessed us by bringing in (live) rats, squirrels, opossums, birds (that was a rude awakening as the bird flew into our room followed by the cats and dog), and about a million geckos and frogs.

Let's jump ahead to 2 nights ago; we were awakened by some wrowling (cat owners will know the sound I'm talking about). We turned on the lights and got out of bed to see O'hara stalking a rat in our bedroom. awesome. We chased them both into the kitchen and finally out the french doors. Before heading back to bed I barricaded the cat door so she didn't bring the rat BACK in.

NOW we are at last night...
We were awakened at 2:30am to dog barking. So hubby and I both hushed yell "DUKE! Shhhh!" No sense in waking up the girls. But the barking keeps going. I turn on the lights and we head out to the entryway... all the while thinking (in my sleepy haze) that Duke sounds weird, and something must be wrong with him. Remember the picture of Duke? Well he's a big dog who barks like "WOOOF, WOOOOF", not so much like "Bark! rrrrof! Bark bark bark bark!". Well, I was hearing the later. Hubby and I get to the front hall (with Duke wandering behind us, great guard dog huh?) and just stop and stare. There is a flipping CHIHUAHUA in our house! Really?! A Chihuahua? (explains the bark though).  So I grab a towel and we chase him around opposite sides of the couch and I grab him up and throw him out the front door.

Let me show you what this dog went through to get into my house:
1.) The cat door from backyard to garage... which has just a bit of junk in the way.  Oh I should add that the backyard is fenced in... can Chihuahuas jump? Apparently we have a hole in a fence...

2.) Cat door to the house - which ok, is not difficult... but whatever. It's still ANOTHER door.

A Chihuahua came into my house! (and my dog could care less)

Later my mom asked me if he had a collar on or if I figured out who he belonged to. I told her, "Mom, it was 2:30 in the morning, I could care less who he was, I just wanted him to shut up and get out of my house".

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pizza Night #5: Portobello Pizza

Tonight we used Southern Living's Portobello Pizza Recipe; all I can say is YUM!


2 3 (we like a lot of substance) large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 (10-ounce) refrigerated pizza crust dough
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
6 fresh mozzarella cheese slices (6 ounces)
5 plum tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


Sauté first 4 ingredients in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add balsamic vinegar; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Set aside.
Sprinkle cornmeal over baking pan; spread out pizza dough. Bake on bottom oven rack at 425° for 5 minutes.
Stir together pesto and yogurt. Spread over pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with mushroom mixture and fresh basil. Top with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 425° on bottom oven rack for 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.

The minor problem we had with this recipe was when it was done baking, there was a LOT of liquid pooled on top of the pizza. So much so, that I actually used paper towel to soak some of it up. I think it came from the tomatoes. I used plum tomatoes and next time, I will try to remove a lot of the seeds and juicy part. Other than that.... FANTASTIC! I REALLY liked using the cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza; it reminds me of the pizza from our favorite pizza place (that just so happened to go under, boo).

Pizza (and movie) Night #5 -- ... Super Success!Movie: Jungle Book

I would LOVE to hear your favorite pizza recipes!
Linking up: Remodelaholic, Nifty Thrifty Things, Marvelously Messy, Sarahndipities, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Gingersnaps, Gluesticks, Hookin up with HOH, Blackberry Vine

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Latest embroidery projects

The embroidery machine has been working these past few weeks... I just kept forgetting to post about it! So here goes!

Baby gifts that I mentioned like.. 2 months ago:

This was a birthday gift for my brother (a fellow Clemson Tiger):

Matching dresses for my girls that I embroidered their names on (Love it!!... didn't make the dresses)

AND... another paying customer. I digitized the logo myself!
This summer I plan on trying to do 1 embroidery project a week (or every other week)... I need practice :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wilton Cake Decorating: Week #3

Sorry, it's been a few days... busy times at the Moore Babies household!! I'll try to get back on schedule.

Class #3
I had a great time at the 3rd class! I finally learned how to do some flowers... woo hoo! Everyone was to bring 6 cupcakes to class to work on; unfortunately my mother-in-law couldn't come to class, and since I made her cupcakes, I had 12 to decorate (only got to 11 though).

HERE are my cupcakes... they're not the best, but pretty dern good in my own opinion (go me!).

We learned the Drop flower, Rosette, swirled flower (not pictured because it works better with royal icing), Shell, Pompom flower, leaves, and icing a cupcake (with LOTS of icing).

Drop Flower

Drop flower (with leaves)
Lots of drop flowers
Since I had 12 cupcakes to decorate, I started running out of time so I covered the cupcake in drop flowers... I actually really like it!


Rosette (with leaves)
I like these flowers... they look cute as a border, but I need a bit more practice.

Pompom Flower
These were pretty neat, we made these on our "Decorating Nail Set" and then we stuck them in the freezer so we could transfer them to the cupcake easier.
Pompom Flower (with leaves)

Pompom Flower (with leaves)
Then, with a few minutes left in class, here are the ones I did:

Cupcake Wars...here. I. come.!!!

Other posts in this series:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 4


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pizza Night: #4 - Exquisite Pizza Sauce

Pizza Night #4 was made despite the house STILL being a complete disaster area. The home improvement project that was supposed to take a weekend is going on 2 weeks now. Fun huh? Also, the night was going SO well until one of those "I knew better" moments happened... but I'll explain that later. Here's pizza Night #4.

I made the Exquisite Pizza Sauce recipe this time.

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
6 fluid ounces warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste

1.In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, water, Parmesan cheese, garlic, honey, anchovy paste, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and salt; mix together, breaking up any clumps of cheese.

2.Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors; spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

To be honest, we much preferred the other week's sauce recipe, so so far, week 2 sauce is the top runner!

I have to announce that hubby seems to be getting better at tossing dough (after some instructions from one of our college friends who worked at the happened pizza night place in college).

So the pizza was prepped and in the oven, the girls were bathed and in their pajamas... we were just getting ready to eat when the "I knew better" moment happened.

I was putting Jillie into her high chair to try to eat a little more when I decided to empty out her pocket bib which was FULL of food. So I turned around and in 10 seconds flat Jillie had leaned forward and flipped out of the high chair onto the tile! No I hadn't strapped her in because I've been using the tray lately, and no... I hadn't put the tray on yet because I messing with the bib. UUUUGH!

Hubby took Jillie to the ER so Charlotte and I spent the next 3 hours sort of eating and sort of watching Anastasia. All I kept saying to myself was stupid stupid stupid.

Jillie got a cat scan and is completely fine! But I sure learned a lesson. One that I shouldn't have needed to learn that way.

Pizza (and movie) Night #4 -- ... kind of a failure!

Movie: Anastasia

I'm still looking for your favorite pizza recipes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1st Giveaway WINNER!

I want to thank everyone for entering my 1st giveaway for a $15 gift certificate to ColonyWear.com! I can't wait to host more giveaways in the future.

According to Random.org #9 is our winner...
Who might that be? Well, I decided to put all the comments into excel (and separate out the commenter's who put multiple replies in one comment :) ) and here is what I got:

I have will send you an email with all the information; but if I do not hear back from you within 48 hours I will select a new winner.

Thanks again everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe :: Baked Mushroom Chicken

Baked Mushroom Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sliced green onions

Flatten each chicken breast half to ¼-inch thickness. 
Place flour in a resealable plastic bag; add chicken a few pieces at a time.  Seal and shake to coat.
Dredge in flour (as seen below)

In a large skillet, brown chicken in 2 tablespoons butter on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).
Transfer to a greased 11-inch x 7 inch baking dish. In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms in the remaining butter until slightly tender. Add the broth, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil; cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Spoon over chicken.

* I only used 3 chicken breasts this time
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheeses and green onions.

Bake an additional 5 minutes until cheeses are melted. Serve over noodles. Serves 4.


Linking up: Sarahndipities, Run with Glitter, Not just a housewife, Blackberry Vine, Sew Much Ado, Sweet Peas and Bumblebees, Gluesticks, It's a Keeper, Fingerprints on the Fridge



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Referring sites, Pinterest, Stumbleupon...

I was just scrolling through my Google Reader while I had a few minutes free (that should have been spent doing something useful like laundry, dishes, etc), and I came across Bacon Time With The Hungry Hungry Hypo's latest blog post thanking her followers and referring sites.

I've seen this quite a bit actually; blogs thanking their top 10 referrers for the month.  SO of course, I decided to check mine out. For the past month, it's a landslide... my top referrer with 601 referrals was DollarStoreCrafts, they did a post on my Ribbon and Pearl Necklace tutorial (thanks guys! WAY awesome).

I then hopped over and looked at my referrals for the day (silly I know); and I got DollarStoreCrafts (of course), pinterest (more on this in a second), ChildMade (not entirely sure what this is since when I click it, it redirects to my blog anyway), and a few others. It's fun to see where my readers are coming from!

So I clicked the pinterest link and see someone has "pinned".. or maybe "repinned" my Minnie Mouse Ears tutorial. What is Pinterest? According to the site it is "a place to catalog the things you love". I actually just glanced at someones blog today about Pinterest... apparently I have to look into it more. It looks like a supped-up version of a bookmarking... where you can follow other peoples bookmarks.  For those of you who use it... is that what it is? It is worth it to sign up for ANOTHER site?

The last thing I was checking out was StumbleUpon.com (Bacon Time With The Hungry Hungry Hypo had mentioned it). THIS looks like something that would be worth while to the blog, right? So I sign up, create an account, (sort of) start to stumble, attempt to add my blog (not sure it actually worked)... and then little one woke up and needed food. So I gave up. I did add a little stumble logo to show up after each post if people want to "stumble" my post... hey, I figure every little bit helps! Does anyone else use stumbleupon?

Thoughts? Comments?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

100 follower GIVEAWAY ends SOON!

My 100 follower giveaway ends at midnight on May 15 ET
Here are some more fun items you can spend your $15 gift certificate to Colonywear.com on.

leather flip flops, leather wallet, collegiate sleep shirt/ bathing cover, girls collegiate romper, Bath robes, leather squeaky shoes, scrubs

Go HERE to enter the giveaway; do not enter on this post).


Friday, May 13, 2011

Wilton Cake Decorating: Week #2

My 2nd Wilton Cake Decorating Class was this week and you (may have) read last week that I didn't really learn too much last week, but was hoping to learn a lot this week... well, I set my hopes a little high I guess.

It turns out our instructor doesn't exactly go along with the "Lesson Plan" from our book.
We get to class with our 8 inch un-iced cake and we get started icing the whole cake. She then shows us how to do Piping Gel Pattern Transfer (from lesson 1 in the book), which is absolutely brilliant! Seriously! I actually kind of hate to share this nifty little tidbit (not like it's a secret or anything though). This would have come in handy for the Minnie Mouse cake for Charlotte's 2nd birthday party. The general idea is you print out your pattern, place parchment paper on top, trace the lines using Piping Gel, flip over onto an iced cake and brush over your lines to transfer them. Once you remove the parchment paper, your pattern is on the cake. Voila. Simple. Genius.

We skip the lessons on "Bag Position", "Pressure Control", "Curving Line and Tight Zigzag", and "Dimensional Decorating" and go straight to coloring icing with 'Wilton Icing Color' -- which I know how to do.

Our instructor does come around to each person and show us how to do the specific design and which tip to use. So she came to me for the top of my cupcake design (pictured below) and showed me how to do it and told me to practice on my practice board. That was it. I was done with my decorating rather quickly, so I embellished with some dots on the top, and around the edges of the cake.

Since I was done rather quickly, I decided to go ahead and practice my "Curving Line and Tight Zigzag" since I wasn't entirely sure when we'd do them. I ask my instructor if this was ok and she said 'sure, you'll just have more practice than everyone else'.... so I guess that means we are doing it in Week 3?

By the way, here was my mother-in-laws cake; she likes to "play" versus being precise.

And here is my cake (after the drive home) to sort of show you the dimension of the cupcake:

I know I say that I'm not really "learning" much... but I AM getting 2 hours free to play without the kids... so you can't beat that!!

Next week we are decorating cupcakes with Drop Flowers, Shell borders, Pompom flowers, leaves, shaggy mums, plus learning to fill and ice a cupcake. Looks fun!

Other posts in this series:
Week 1
Week 3
Week 4

Don't forget to enter my 100 followers giveaway! They have some awesome stuff!! It's easy, only 2 mandatory entires :)

Linking up: Nifty Thrifty Things, Little Lucy Lu, CRAFT, Sarahndipities, Run with Glitter, Blackberry Vine, Sew Much Ado, Sweet Peas and Bumblebees, Gluesticks, Fingerprints on the Fridge

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Product Review :: KidCo Bath Storage Basket

There is thrifty... and there is downright cheap. I fear I am the latter.

I have been meaning to get a basket that goes across the tub for the bath toys for like... a year. But I am so cheap that I HATE to pay shipping, and because of that... I went a year without getting this product. Which is really stupid if you think about it; if you think you need the product, and you have to have it shipped... just do it. I had one when I grew up and we used to spend hours playing in the tub, ahh fond memories, and I wanted one for my girls.

Target has it - but it's "online only".
I actually registered for it when I had Jillie's baby shower, but I didn't get it (Darn!).
Bed Bath and Beyond carries is... but not within 50 miles of me.

So FINALLY, after night after night of leaving toys on the floor of the bath tub or bending down and picking up the toys and putting them in the hanging bag that is up on the shower head (those suction cups just do NOT stick to my tile)... I gave in.

I found the bath storage basket on Amazon for a few dollars cheaper than Target and BBB (woo hoo!) and broke down and bought it. It arrived the otherday (surprisingly quick), and we put it to the test.

The girls LOVED it! Although, Jillie was more fond of chewing on it than anything else. The problem is she is a little too short and I don't have grippies on the tub, so as she is try to pull on the rack to chew on it, her behind slips and she is stuck holding onto the rack for dear life with her legs flailing underneath. I hate to laugh, but it's kind of funny.

KidCo Bath Storage Basket gets an A in my book.

PS - You'll notice the water is green. We still use the color bath dropz (and the Sesame Street ones) every other day or so. It's a game, when I say "Bath time!", Charlotte puts in her request for color and starts shouting out colors, "yellow, blue, purple, blue, red, yellow, green..."


Link within

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