Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crock-Pot Love

I love my Crock-Pot. No joke. Like, really really love it. I'm not sure sure what I would do without it. Maybe starve? Just kidding - well sort of. So imagine my reaction when I received Real Simple in the mail and the cover promised of delicious slow cooker recipes. If you are imagining something like this reaction, you're pretty much spot on.

So I've been making delicious dishes like this

And this

And this one's up later in the week

I just love the feeling of putting raw ingredients in and knowing that by the time I get home the house will be filled with delectable aromas of something delicious. It's especially perfect for those days that are tiring and long. Does anyone else share my deep love, borderline obsession, with the Crock-Pot? What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

Monday, January 2, 2012

January Wreath

As part of our plan for 2012, Jon and I decided to go on a cash only system for January, cutting down to basics and trying to save money. This means, no trips to Jo-Ann or Michael's or spending money on unnecessary things. I was reminded that this meant I couldn't buy anything for a wreath for January.

Oh no!

Granted, my Christmas wreath could've been holiday neutral (since it was gold and silver), but what fun would that be? So, as I was drifting into la-la-land one night, I came up with a free wreath! Yes, completely free. I had everything for this wreath already - go me!

Here's what I used:
1 wire hanger
Approximately 40-44 book pages
Wooden letter B
Blue yarn
Cream muslin
A piece of cardboard (I cut it into a circle using a salad plate)

Here's how I did it:
First, I ripped pages out of an old book. It's my designated craft book. Then, I straightened the torn edge with a paper trimmer. Then, I rolled them into little cones. I found it was easiest to use a bit of glue  on both sides of the paper to secure the cone. Once, I finished all my cones, I found a wire hanger and bent it to be a round "wreath-like" shape. Then, I started gluing my paper cones on.

And I glued some more, and some more. Then, I got so excited about the rest of the wreath, I forgot to take any pictures. Basically, I dug a piece of cardboard out of the recycling pile, traced a salad plate, covered it with cream muslin, then glued a 3 inch wide piece of burlap as a ruffle around the edge.

Then, I found a little wooden B I had bought for an ornament and wrapped it with blue yarn. This was the hardest and most time consuming part. All those little curves and rounded edges almost made me crazy. But, after persevering, I finished wrapping the B. Then, I glued it onto the cream circle, and glued that whole piece onto the circle of paper cones. It ended up looking like this:

Isn't it adorable?

Seriously, I really like it.

I also like how the color of the yarn ties in with the color of our front door. Matchy-matchy. That's how I roll wrap.