Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baked Ziti {an adaptation}

Late one night I was paroosing on my iPhone, the husband was at work and I didn't have much else to do! I came across the app for Weight Watchers and downloaded it...not to join (I've tried that...three times) but to see if they had recipe's. And sure enough, they did! Though I can't find it online, maybe because it was an iPhone App recipe?!?

I LOVE pasta and so I was up for trying this recipe out. I had to wait a week or so until I remembered to get all the ingredients from the store but I love how it turned out! I made a salad and some corn for sides. My husband told me he would have loved it even more with some kind of meat in it but we didn't have any unfrozen at the time so that's why it didn't make it in there. This really is my kind of cooking dinner though because it is more like baking :) I'll write the recipe up as I prepared it.

Baked Ziti
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Baked Ziti
Adapted from iPhone App Recipe
Weight Watchers
Printed from:

5 sprays cooking spray (to coat pan)
½ pound uncooked pasta, elbow
8 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 C. marinara sauce, store bought, divided
1 ball shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP Penzy’s  Brady Street Sprinkle
2 TBSP black olives, sliced

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of 8x8 (approximate) size pan.
2. Cook pasta according to directions on the package; rinse with cool water and drain.
3. While pasta is cooking - in a medium bowl: combine ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes, ¼ C Parmesan cheese and 1 C. Marinara.  Pour slightly cooled pasta into bowl, mix well unless pasta is evenly coated.
4. To assemble ziti: spoon ¼ cup sauce on to bottom of the pan.  Pour Pasta coated with sauce into pan. Top with mozzarella and remaining ¼ C Parmesan. Bake until cheese melts and is browned, about 20 to 30 minutes. Allow ziti to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

We had enough for dinner and for both of us for lunch the next day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun Frames ~ SMOOCH

Here is my Valentine's Day set up of Fun Frames! With my words I'm trying to use uncommon words. SO I chose SMOOCH instead of HEART or VALENTINE. I'm happy with the results...check back back after Valentine's day to see what I'm planning for St. Patty's Day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

feeling felt-y...

The second I saw these hearts which the ladies at eighteen25 had seen here I knew I had to make them!

Friday night after a little HH I finally set out on my mission to gather my materials, knowing that on Saturday my FIL would be here and the Seattle Seahawks were in the I knew there would be ample football watching time. I do (for the record) enjoy watching football...but I enjoyed it a bit more while making a craft!

I first stopped at Craft Warehouse where I was shocked that they didn't have the Styrofoam heart wreath I needed and only have white and red felt. I knew I wanted at least one pink! Then I headed to Michaels where they had nothing I needed for this project. I then called JoAnn's since it was like 7pm b this point and I didn't want to drive up there if they didn't have what I needed...but they did! All of it! Yeah JoAnn's!!!

*JoAnn's staff members sometimes don't catch that I have like 4 names I get coupons under. This one did. So I only got to use 1 :(

Here is what I bought:
3 Styrofoam wreathes @ $3.99 each. I had only one 40% off coupon* = $9.59 total.
1 yard red felt @ $2.99/yr (already on sale) + .5 yard red felt end of bolt @ $.21 = $3.20
1/2 yard baby pink felt @ $2.99 yard = $1.50
1/2 yard white felt @ $2.99 yard = $1.50
1/2 yard shocking pink felt @ $2.99 yard = $1.50
1 box dressmaker pins (750 count) = $4.99

I saved $6.82 for being a teacher! If you are a teacher go HERE to sign up. I use mine every time I go in.

So I spent approximately $18 dollars on 3 projects, and I've already made two of them!

Now...if I had been patient (which I am not) or had felt like going to JoAnn's on Saturday (which I did not) I could have saved even more because I would have gotten 20% off total purchase from teacher weekend and would have had two more 40% off coupons that started working after Friday.


Now on to the project! I started a bit on Friday night but was rather slow at it. On Saturday I was ready to rock and roll (as I say to my students all the time)!

I used a camping cup (ie. cheap plastic) to make the circles on the felt.

This seemed like the most productive use of my time, though this was the last technique I tried. This was a half a yard (total of white felt) so I made 80 - 3 inch circles using 1/4 of a yard. 

Here I am cutting away!

Crafting and football! Now if only I wasn't sick :)

PS. The little scissors were KEY. If you don't have them, go buy them for this project. It was a pain-in-the-youknowwhat with big sewing scissors.

Using 1/4 yard of each of the 3 baby pink/shocking pink/white I got 80 - 3 inch circles.
That equals 240 - 3 inch circles.

I had 70 left over. So I used 170 - 3 inch circles to make one heart wreath. Phew!

Here's a little Picnik collage about how I folded the circles.
PS. Thanks Jill...I LOVE Picnik!!!

Please excuse the permanent marker nail polish! I was trying to watch football and trace circles. Sometimes the pen won!

When doing the multicolored wreath I brought up 10 of each of the 3 colors at a time to work with. I did not go get anymore until I was out of all 3. This was to help ensure that the colors would be spread evenly throughout the wreath.

Though I should mention that before I made this "Valentine's-y" one...I made the one at the top of the page. And it just might be s staple in our house for years to come. It matches our walls perfectly and I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

another use for my iPhone...

In my craft closet there is no TV, I mean, it's a bedroom closet. There isn't much extra room. There is a TV in the room but I'd have to turn around to see it and that would be counter-productive. Also, taking the time for crafts (and myself) shouldn't be bogged down with watching TV. But I will admit it gets a little quiet at the back of the house and when it gets too quiet my ADHD seems to get louder and louder.

My solution??

I bought this little picture frame holder for $2.49 at Craft Warehouse. My iPhone sits perfectly on it. In this picture I was listening to Pandora but I could easily stream something from Netflix on it for an afternoon of scrapbooking.

Another idea...speakers for my iPod. And I already have those! Oh well...good idea none-the-less!

Fun Frames, a {first} tutorial.

Okay, so I will say this is my first tutorial for Fun Frames. And really, there are probably only a few people who read this blog but here goes nothing ;-) Please excuse the off colors. I'm learning how to use my wonderful Canon T1i and the handy husband hasn't yet installed lighting in my closet conversion.

First: make a plan. Then edit the plan ;-)

Frames from craft warehouse. I bought 6 and plan to go back and get 2 more.
Open all the frames and take out the paper insert.

Choose your paper and continue to hold on to paper insert.

Line up your inserts to see how many pieces you can get.
This paper was 12 X 12. I had a 6 letter word, so I only used 2 pieces of paper.

This is what you will end up with. 3 backgrounds and 2 scraps.
 I reserved the scraps and plan to make present tags out of them...someday!
So here is a step-by-step of how to cut the paper to the sizes you need.

Insert paper 5 inches. Cut.

Use the cut off piece...

Turn it 90 degrees and cut at 7 inches. This will produce your first background.

{First background and big scrap}

Turn the other half of the paper 90 degrees. Insert 5 inches and cut.

Insert paper 5 inches again and cut. This will make background 3.

Repeat these steps listed above on the second (or third or fourth) piece of paper!


Now that all your pieces are cut out you are ready to make the letters!

Measure about where you'd like the lettering. I wanted my letters to be about 5 inches tall.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

This was the first time I'd used my Cricut so I made a few. Though look at the W on the right...see that silver? I wrote what size and font it was on the back with pencil so that after I was done playing around and figuring out what I would like...I was ready to cut!

Once you have you letter size, cut them all out before you move on to the next step.

Measure and adhear.

I put the final 'S' in a place on the paper I visually liked it. Then I measured up to the bottom of the letter. I did this on all the subsequent letters so even if they weren't all cenetered in the picture frame the bottom of all the letters would be at the same place.

Ready for the frame!

In action.

Front and center in the family room.

Here again is the Fun Frames - word list of all the holiday related words I could think of, and some that goggle could thing of! My plan, to have these Fun Frames set as a staple decoration in my home. I'm really not one for moving furniture or rearranging (much to my husband's displeasure) and I figured this was the perfect decoration. I can change it out whenever I want but it can stay the same!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun Frames, an introduction.

A while back I spotted something on eighteen25 which is a trio of sisters who have these amazing craft ideas! I knew I wanted to do something like it and I even did...back in October.

I started the You've been BOOed! at my school this year (sorry if you didn't know it was me, some of you figured it out!) and it was just in time for me to make these adorable fun frames to go in the goodie basket I was going to hand out. I made these using frames from the dollar store, the background paper from this huge Halloween/autumn/Christmas pack I bought from JoAnn's, and I actually just printed the letters out on my printer and cut them out (seeing as I didn't yet have a Cricut. It wasn't anything too fancy but I did happen to be in the room (playing dumb) when the people opened them and they seemed thrilled!

Since then I have been on a quest to make my own. The second I finished the ones for my coworkers I actually made a list of all the holiday related words I could think of, and some that goggle could thing of! My plan, to have these Fun Frames set as a staple decoration in my home. I'm really not one for moving furniture or rearranging (much to my husband's displeasure) and I figured this was the perfect decoration. I can change it out whenever I want but it can stay the same!

So here is my projected that I completed in one night. It would have only taken me about an hour - hour and a half if I hadn't been interrupted. While making this I did take a lot of step-by-step pictures which I'll be working on a post about that tomorrow. It really was pretty simple and odds are could be made even simpler!

Silly fan cords!

Vantage point: step ladder.

Notes to self: clean up shelves before you take a picture and get more decor items! We bought the shelves and upper link in November. Then my father in law surprised us with a TV for Christmas (hence the old, old, old school box TV in the left corner). We will eventually mount the TV so it is all asymmetrical!

More on the fonts, sizes, and steps used to make this happen :) And thanks to eighteen25 for the inspiration!

look back... December.

I've just recently been updating this blog with a variety of things from Christmas break. So head back to December to see what I was up too!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

please...contain your cords!

I cannot stand clutter and even with just two of us (and a crazy cat) living here I feel as though I am surrounded by it. I admit, I do sometimes let things go for a day or so but dear husband of mine...oh, he can let clutter go, well, until I pick it up. Once, I did an experiment. It didn't end with me being shocked...I'll tell you that.
I love being in my kitchen and baking. My dear husband got me a cook's mat for Christmas which was a nice surprise and very thoughtful about what I might like.

Gel mat on the left. Normal on the right.

The problem (and subsequent reason for this post) is that I used to mix on the normal rug, straight ahead. Well, the gel rug needs to be where it is to still have the normal rug fit in the kitchen. Though, as I'm tying this I realize I should just get another gel mat. Anyhoo - the gel mat really is lovely to stand on. It is meant for people who work long hours on their feet and when I do cakes or cakepops I'm up for 2 -3 hours in my kitchen. on to the real reason for this post...the clutter...

Cords. I'm cringing thinking about them.
I would get so frustrated. once, I even unplugged the phone JUST so I wouldn't have to look at the cords.

See, this counter top you see in front of you is where the comfy, cushy, gel pad is and when I tried to bake a cake after Christmas over here...the cords were driving me berserk!

But tonight, I had an Epiphany . I was sick of the cords and sick of the clutter and I had one of my spiraling ADHD moments and it went like this: hear IKEA sale add on TV, remember reading the IKEA catalogue over Christmas break among other times, remember this item from add, think to self "hey, you could sew something like that", think to self "hey, you have left over fabric from the curtains in the kitchen you could sew something like that with! Which means it would match", run to craft room to double check fabric supplies, grab camera to start documenting, sew cord corraler. Tell husband what you've been up too since he's been in the garage doing...??? Roll eyes after husband seems a little less than interested but says "I'm glad this will make you happy". Upload pictures, write blog post.
SO, now that you know the's the pictures!
Left over fabric.

To match these curtains.

Sewing in my craft closet!!

**Insert ADHD side track here**
Can I just tell you how much I love my craft closet??
Everything is within reach. Now - just to get better lighting ;-)

The cord corraler.
I just sewed all the edges with 5/8ish seems. Just enough to make it so it didn't look frayed. I was going for function not flair.


Ready to be put to use!

Step 1: Tack to wall.

Step 2: Insert cords. I used tape to secure it for picture purposes, tape is not necessary other times.

Step 3: Close it up.

Step 4: Admire your work!

Look! NO cables on the counter!! 

I am so happy! And to was basically free and will make me happy!

Before and After!!!