The Shady Porch: 04.12

4.30.2012

Easy Chicken Alfredo & Broccoli Dinner

When I began cooking most of the family meals due to my mom's RA, I was her hands so Mom taught me lots of simple, easy-to-follow recipes. My dad worked for Kraft Foods for many years; so it was just natural that one of my first recipes was Alfredo sauce from the cream cheese box. I haven't seen it printed on the box in a long time even though the boxes still feature recipes on them. Nevertheless, this was one of my favorites to make because I felt like a real cook and it always got rave reviews. 
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo  #homemade #alfredosauce #pasta #chicken #broccoli


4.29.2012

Porch Parade: Tips, Menu, Faves & Pins #12

Operation Organization - Tips

Magazine Reed Picture Frame

Early in my Operation Organization project, I canceled unwanted catalogs, junk email, and magazines. I still get a couple of catalogs in the mail and they tend to stack up if I am not diligent to rotate in the new and throw away the old. Recently, I intentionally held on to a couple back issues to see if I could put them to use. (Earth Day Challenge, still on my mind, I guess) Anyway, I ran across a project at Craftstylish that used magazines (I am using catalogs) to make paper reeds and then you can use the reeds to make boxes, cover picture frames or oatmeal canisters. I am not going to do a full tutorial; I'll just refer you to the Craftstylish tutorial I used in the event you want to give it a try. It was a fun project, and it really didn't take all that long once I got the hang of it.

I had some beginners issues like trimming the edges but all-in-all this is a fun craft that younger ages could easily do too.

First I ripped the pages out of the catalog. Then I folded the pages in half and started rolling them up on the skewer and gluing them.

I chose to cover one of my Dollar Tree picture frames that I had on hand. I have a picture from a high school basketball game during the West Virginia Class AAA tournament. My cousin's a senior at Hedgesville and his team won the state title. I am making him a dorm room gift bag for a graduation gift, and this game picture made the sports page of the local paper so I'm putting it in the new magazine reed frame and adding it to his gift bag. That way he can have it out in his dorm room and folks can ask about it and it won't seem like he's bragging. haha!

Photo-left - The Dollar Store Frame and the rolled magazine reeds.
Photo-center -I started at the corners of the frame first.
Photo- right - Here is the frame about half way finished.

The project used a little over half of the catalog (approx 100 pgs) I had. As the tutorial instructed, I ripped out each page, folded it in half, and, using a kebab skewer, I rolled up the page and glued it to itself so it wouldn't unfurl. Then it was just a matter of trimming and adding it to the frame. Once I had them attached, I gave it a Mod Podge finish. I think it looks much more interesting than the original black frame. It kinda reminds me of the Partridge Family bus...kinda funky...but kinda cool. haha!

**Remember magazines can be donated to nursing homes, women shelters, hospitals, and schools**

Dinner Menu for the Week of 4-30


  • Twice Baked Potato Casserole & Crunchy Garlic Chicken
  • Fish Wraps & Slaw
  • Stuffed Burgers
  • Salad & Garlic Breadsticks
  • Loaded Baked Potatoes
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Italian Sausage Sandwiches

Rock 'N Share Feature GalleryWell, we should have a party to celebrate our latest party! ha! It was the biggest Rock 'N Share to date! Thank you so much for joining in and sharing with us all! You are the party! I enjoy reading about your projects, homes and your families! One thing is certain we are blessed, and we all have much for which to be thankful! In the event you missed the latest Rock 'N Share, you can still check out all of the projects HERE.

Please PIN from the original source(s) below.

 
Check out all of the
Rock 'N Share Gallery Inductees here!
Don't forget your feature button! (see button page)


4.26.2012

Spring Wreath - Paper Napkin Flowers

 I started this Spring Wreath in February and it kept getting pushed aside for other things... and then Spring arrived, and I still had a naked door! Egad! Well, I can happily report that my door has been appropriately decorated for a couple of weeks now, so I thought I would show you what I made. It was a new thing for me!

I made paper napkin flowers! I've seen scads of posts and tutorials on how-to make flowers using everything and I really liked how the paper flowers looked delicate like a real flower, so I chose to use paper napkins to make mine. 
Colorful Spring Wreath - Paper Napkin Flowers
Welcome Spring...Welcome Friends!

My wreath is a mix of two different styles of flowers. I'll show you how I made what ended up being my favorite flower by the end of the wreath. I used napkins that I purchased at the Dollar Tree and some I had left over from another, now forgotten occasion. 

folding the paper napkin

To make the biggest flower on the wreath,  I folded the napkin like you would if you were making a fan. 


adding a wire to the middle fo the folded paper napkin

Then I attached floral wire in the middle of the napkin. 

 peeling the napkin layers toward the center where the wire was attached
 
Next, I started peeling the napkin layers toward the center where the wire was attached. First, one side and then the other, until the flower had bloomed! 

hold the wire -pull the napkin flower up and I squeeze it tight then re-fluff until you like the flowery look

Finally, holding it by the wire, I pull the napkin flower up and I squeeze it tight. Then I re-fluff it until I like the look. This process crinkles the paper more and makes it appear more realistically flower-y.
Once I had my flowers finished, I trimmed the wire ends off and hot glued the flowers to a  grape vine wreath I already had on hand.

Finally, I had a wood banner from an old wreath that read "Welcome Friends" and I decided to add it to my wreath. Of course, I had to spruce it up a little first! I freshened the paint with colors that matched my paper flowers and it looked great. [There was nothing I could do about the crack in the wood, but I didn't think it mattered that much anyway.]

wood banner from an old wreath that reads "Welcome Friends"

This project really did not cost me anything except a dollar for the napkins and that was some time ago. I don't usually use pastels, but I love how this wreath captures Spring for me...bright and cheery! 
Spring Wreath - Paper Napkin Flowers

4.24.2012

Rock 'N Share #26

In case you missed a recent post...Click on the caption to view! (opens in a new window)
Porch Parade:
Organization Tips, Menu, Faves & Pins


Suncatcher Vase from OJ Bottle Suncatcher Vase from
orange juice bottle


Bird Cabin from Pallet Wood & Coffee Can Bird Cabin from
pallet wood
& coffee Can


Cell Phone Holder
for charging from
lotion bottle


Rock 'N Share Features
 You can see the Rock 'N Share featured (most page views) party posts each Sunday in the
 Congrats to last weeks features!!

 Check out all of the Rock 'N Share Gallery Inductees here! 

Welcome to the Party!
Last week was exciting, hectic, and at times kinda kooky with me trying to create and post a project everyday for my Earth Day Challenge. I featured a lot of Rock 'N Share & Earth Day projects on Facebook and Twitter and I got around to a lot of you to comment too, so I feel really good about the week. I do apologize, if I missed you, however.  I mentioned in the Porch Parade post how wonderfully eclectic the party was last week, which I love...something for everyone!
Thanks for making the Rock 'N Share the fun party that it is! 
Just as a reminder -
Last week I mentioned the lack of proper link backs and I thought I would offer another option that would also make you eligible for features....After linking up just give a shout out on Facebook(@) or Twitter(#) with a link to the party! Something like...I just linked up at The Shady Porch with a link back. 


Let's Rock & Share!
Follow The Shady Porch! 
Join me on FacebookLinky FollowersGoogle+BlogLovin' or Twitter too!
 I always FOLLOW BACK; just leave me a note so I'll know!

NEW option added for the party...plus the old rules:

The only requirement is a link back or give a shout out on facebook/twitter.! 
(No link back/shout out = No features)
Also
*Be family friendly!
*Link up your own projects...something that you've created.
*Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share.  Please no repeats
* Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page, Etsy shops, Linky parties or Businesses!
* Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!

   ***PARTY BENEFITS***
1.  I share some of the posts on my  Facebook & Twitter page throughout the week!
2.  Posts with the "most views" will be added to the Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!  
    By linking to the Rock 'N Share, you are giving me permission to post your photos in feature posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Google+. 
    Featured photos are grouped to discourage Pinning from my page!

    Party Links are in Random Order so everyone
     has the chance to be at the top! 




    4.23.2012

    Grape Salad...creamy and crunchy too!

    Does your family eat a lot of fruit? I was thinking about this and realized that we do.  In the mornings, we tend to eat  bananas and blueberries and in the evenings, we're more likely to eat strawberries, oranges pineapple or grapes.

    Red & Green Grape Salad
    This grape salad is a creamy dessert that still has a bit of a bite. We like it because there is much less dessert-guilt...unlike some desserts. It only takes minutes to make and the ingredients may be modified to fit your tastes...or what you have on hand. For instance, you can use walnuts instead of pecans. 

    4.22.2012

    Porch Parade: Tips, Menu, Faves & Pins #11

    Operation Organization - Tips

    In spite of the whirlwind week of daily projects and postings for the Earth Day Challenge, I still managed to stay on task and organize one of my trouble spots, too. (Yeah, I'm reaching around to pat myself on the back a little...shameless, I am!)  I've been trying, slowly, to revamp my craft area, which means going through my various bins and trying to condense and organize. Several of the bins contained ribbons - and what a bundled mess they were! I started my search for ideas and I felt so good when I found my problem was not unique. One of my ongoing Operation Organization goals is find solutions that require no $$$, so I was thrilled to find an idea that I could adapt using something I had on hand! 
    Top Photo - close up of the new system
    of wrapping
    the ribbons on cardboard.
    Bottom Photo - This is the ribbon bin now!
    Notice there's only one!!

    BEFORE












    The inspiration idea involved purchasing 4"x4" wood blanks - the kind often used to make mosaic coasters. I thought, "With an abundance of cardboard around here, why not just cut it to size and use it?"
    I measured the inside of the ribbon bin and cut the cardboard to fit. Then I put a dot of hot glue on the cardboard and attached the ribbon. Once it cooled a little, I starting wrapping the ribbon around the cardboard and then secured it with a large paperclip or a rubber band. Sometimes, I used both. I continued this process until all of my opened and unruly ribbon was now arranged using this new system. It took much less time than I expected and I was extremely happy with the results! Not only have I condensed down to one bin of ribbon, I think it is easier to see what I have available and the ribbon will be in much better shape when I use it.

    I wrapped similar colors and seasonally-themed ribbons on the same cardboard;
    now my ribbons are even more organized!
    You might not be a crafter, but just about every home has ribbon for occasions like Christmas and birthdays, so if you have a ribbon wad in a box, bag or bin in your house, I highly recommend this super solution!  

    Dinner Menu for the Week of 4-23

    • Cheesy Ham Pasta
    • Smoked Sausage Sandwiches
    • Fish & Chips
    • BBQ Roasted Chicken & Grilled Potatoes
    • Homemade Pizza 
    • Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans
    • Chicken Alfredo
    Cheesy Ham Pasta

    Rock 'N Share Feature Gallery

    Thanks everyone for another fun party! We had lots of great stuff like free printables, Blog Tips, furniture makeovers as well as yummy recipes like -  DIY Twix Bars, Crab Pretzel, and Sweet & Salty Brownies. There was so much more but that gives you an idea of what you might've missed. Luckily, you can still check it out HERE

    Please pin from the original source(s) below.


    Congrats Ladies!
     Check out all of the
    Rock 'N Share Gallery Inductees here! 
    Don't forget your feature button! (see button page)

    "I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host."
    Isaiah 45:12 (AMP)
     

    4.20.2012

    Suncatcher Vase - Earth Day Challenge


    This morning, I got up feeling anxious about today's project. I have  family coming in from out-of-state, and I wanted to be finished so we could have time to visit. The biggest hurdle was coming up with an idea and then figuring out how to get it finished...quickly. I looked at several options: cardboard jewelry, a rooster stand. But, when I saw the empty orange juice bottle, the words 'vase' and 'suncatcher' popped into my mind so quickly, it made me smile and I ran with it!
    DIY Suncatcher Vase - Earth Day Challenge

    Here is where I took a BIG shortcut...I used hot glue. As any crafter will know, this project is not going to last very long. I will need to go back and reattach the glass beads with E-6000 at some point in the near future, otherwise the glass beads are all going to pop off and I'll have a naked orange juice bottle again.

    I did two sides of the bottle in white beads and the other two in various colors. I also had different shapes and sizes of beads and decided to incorporate them all. What fun! I could hardly wait to see the effect once it was placed in a window.

    Once the vase was finished, I needed to find my flowers. I have beautiful azaleas blooming now both in white and pink but I didn't want the color of the flowers to compete with the beads so I used the white blooms today. 

    All-in-all this has been a fun week for me. It had been some time since I had taken time to flex my creative, crafty side, so this week has been exactly what I needed!  I love cooking and trying new recipes and blogging about it but I also have a passion for crafting and art. Most blog advice says, "Pick your niche and go with it." My heart says, " I love both cooking and crafting AND art...and I think I can do it all."

    I must also tell you this; it has been a difficult week, too. I thought of the Earth Day Challenge at the 11th hour, and had done no pre-project work besides my usual collecting of bottles, cans, etc. Each day I got up and had to decide what am I going to do today? Some days came easier than others. Today was not one of those easy days. Thankfully however, I really like how today's project turned out. I think it's really pretty. I believe it would make a great Mother's Day gift, too!

    I hope you've enjoyed the Challenge, either by participating or checking out the projects. Thanks for being here and making this such a successful event...it could not have been done without you!
    DIY Suncatcher Vase -  from orange juice bottle
    DIY Suncatcher Vase - Earth Day Challenge

    In case you missed earlier Earth Day Challenge posts, you can see them here - DIY Desk Organizer, Cell Phone Holder for Charging, DIY Mesh Pot Scrubber, and Bird Cabin aka Bird House!

    4.19.2012

    Bird Cabin aka Bird House - Earth Day Challenge



    Earlier this week I noticed we had a bird nesting in our gutter. This was the inspiration for today's Earth Day Challenge project. Since that is not the ideal spot to nest, I decided to give any other wanna-be-momma bird a better option for her and us.  So I took a coffee can and some of my newly acquired pallet wood (from a dumpster) and started the design phase...that didn't take long.  I didn't think the term bird house fit due to the quick construction and the rustic weathered wood so I opted to call it a cabin (cab·in- A small, roughly built house). I thought the definition fit perfectly.

    There wasn't much to do to make it, basically building a structure around the coffee can. The base piece is actually a scrap of hardwood flooring and the walls and roof were made using the pallet wood.  The roof is caulked and double layered to help keep the weather from reaching the can itself and hopefully it will stay dry as well as high.
    Bird Cabin in progress
    I think the pallet wood works perfectly for this purpose since the weathered wood blends in wonderfully once it's placed in the tree. I had to add a little personality to the new bird cabin so I made a stenciled sign stating, "A Sweetie Tweetie Lives Here."  At least I'm hoping we'll have occupants before too long.

    Check out ALL the other Earth Day entries HERE.


    In case you missed earlier Earth Day Challenge posts, you can see them here - DIY Desk Organizer, Cell Phone Holder for Charging, DIY Mesh Pot Scrubber, and Suncatcher Vase!

    4.18.2012

    Lotion Bottle to Cell Phone Holder for Charging - Earth Day Challenge

    Here is a sentence I never thought I would write...I wake up each day now wondering what I'm going to find in the garbage...and what in the world I'm going to do with it. So far...three days into the Earth Day Challenge and it's worked out well. This morning, while using my lotion, it ran out and I thought (ta - da!) what can I do with this? Nothing is simply garbage anymore...ha!

    Cell Phone Holder for Charging - Earth Day Challenge
    Cell Phone Holder for Charging
    One idea was to cut the area under the lid and make a lotion bottle "safe" for storing valuables (i.e.-cash, jewelry, etc) when at the beach. Then I remembered something I'd seen on Pinterest: A Cell Phone Holder for Charging. When I first saw this, I thought, "This is perfect for traveling." The idea of putting my cell on any hotel surface is icky! This idea is great because the cellphone never touches the counter tops (or any other surface) at all! 

    The process was simple. I cut the bottle low on front and long in the back where the charger cord will run through and become the "hook" that hangs the phone at the outlet. I cleaned the bottle after I finished the cuts, moisturizing as I went along and eventually I had a clean, dry bottle.

    Once I had it cut out and trimmed up evenly, I measured the hole for the plug and cut it out, too. 
    Lotion Bottle to Cell Phone Holder for Charging - Earth Day Challenge
    From Lotion Bottle to Cell Phone Holder for Charging - Earth Day Challenge 
    I filed the edges to make sure it was smooth. Then, I sandpapered the surface of the bottle to rough it up. At the time, I was thinking of using Mod Podge and fabric, but ended up using my decorative duct tape. 

    I taped the front, and back of the holder matching my polka dots to make it look nicer, too. Then I decided to add some bling just so the hubby would know definitively that this cell holder was mine (in case the pink and polka dots weren't enough. :) I think I'll make one for the hubby in tiger print. 



    Lotion Bottle to Cell Phone Holder for Charging - Earth Day Challenge


    In case you missed earlier Earth Day Challenge posts, you can see them here - DIY Desk Organizer, Suncatcher Vase, DIY Mesh Pot Scrubber, and Bird Cabin aka Bird House!

    4.17.2012

    Rock 'N Share #25

    In case you missed a recent post...Click on the caption to view! (opens in a new window)

    Swiffer Duster Box turned Desktop OrganizerSwiffer Box - Earth Day
    Challenge

    Pallet Coat Rack Porch Parade #10: Features, Pins, Tips & Menu Mesh Produce Bag to Pot Scrubber Mesh Bag - Earth Day Challenge
    Earth Day Celebration Challenge
    Earth Day Celebration Challenge





    These were the most viewed posts from last week 
    and were added to the  Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery.
     The announcements are made in my Sunday Posts called Porch Parade.

     Edible Teacups by Confessions of An ADD Housewife
      Chicken Parmesan Quesadilla by What’s Cooking Love?
      Roadside Rescue Table Renovation by Knot All That I Seam


    Welcome to the Party!
    I hope you've had a good week/weekend since we last met. I also hope everyone got their taxes done and are getting refunds!  I'm looking forward to see what you've got to share today! THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE! 
    Last week I mentioned the lack of proper link backs and I thought I would offer another option that would also make you eligible for features....After linking up just give a shout out on Facebook or Twitter with a link to the party! Something like...I just linked up at the Rock N Share with a link to it. 


    Let's Rock & Share!
    Follow The Shady Porch! 
    Join me on FacebookLinky FollowersGoogle+BlogLovin' or Twitter too!
     I always FOLLOW BACK; just leave me a note so I'll know!

    NEW option added for the party...plus the old rules:

    The only requirement is a link back or give a shout out on facebook/twitter.! 
    (No link back/shout out = No features)
    Also
    *Be family friendly!
    *Link up your own projects...something that you've created.
    *Please only post projects new to the Rock 'N Share.  Please no repeats
    * Link to a specific post  - NOT your Home page! No Etsy shops, Linky parties or Businesses, please.
    * Mingle! Introduce yourself (comment) on other party projects! Be kind! Make new friends!

    I reserve the right to remove links that are in violation of these requests!

       ***PARTY BENEFITS***
    1. Share some of the posts on the Shady Porch Facebook page throughout the week!
    2. The party posts with the "most views" will be added to the Rock 'N Share Pinterest Gallery!
    3. Be sure to check the Porch Parade: Favs, Pins, Menus' & Tips  each Sunday to see if you've been featured. 
    By linking to the Rock 'N Share, you are giving me permission to post your photos in feature posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Google+. 

    Party Links are in Random Order so everyone
     has the chance to be at the top! 










    Link up and then join Mrs. Hines at her
    Show & Tell Linky Party starting at 8am Wednesday!

    Show & Tell with Mrs. Hines
    >
    **If you also have a Wednesday linky party and would like to swap party buttons & links, let me know!**