Saturday, May 24, 2014

Remembering Loved Ones - Scrapbooking Idea

May and June are big months for our family as we remember our grandparents. Yesterday was my Pop pop's birthday and tomorrow will be my Grandmom's birthday. My Grandpop and Mom mom both have their birthdays in June. Then, of course, there is Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Memorial Day (both my grandfathers served). I wanted to make a special memorial page in my album for them, and when I thought about what I wanted it to include, I thought I'd add in all four of the funeral cards I've been holding on to so I would never lose them. 

To make the page, I used a pocket protector. They come in lots of varieties. This one is by Becky Higgins Project Life. On each side of the page I included a photo of each couple, a 4x6 journaling card with just little random things I remember and never want to forget, and the funeral cards. I didn't tape them down to the 3x4 polka dot cards underneath them so I can pull them out and read the backs in the future. 

I'm happy that it turned out simple and useful, as well as documented some of the things I've been thinking about during these months that remind me so much of them. I'd love to hear how others are storing their prayer cards or remembering loved ones! Share below! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY Eclectic Alphabet Wall Art: Part 5

So let's say you have all of your letters complete-- now what? It took me weeks to get up the nerve to put a hole in the wall and start hanging! Let's hope that the same doesn't happen to you!

Now that we are putting it all together, flip over your letters and give them a good inspection. How many hangers do you already have on the letters and how many do you need to buy? I went to Home Depot and bought a picture hanging kit. The kit had some heavy duty hooks and some light weight options. I used both, depending on what I was hanging. I used the heavy duty hooks on the button-covered "O" and the fabric-heavy "G". The light weight were great for the letters I created from cardboard, the letters with chipboard bases, things like that. I super glued the hooks on the backs of the letter so that I could have a flush attachment (and I didn't have to worry about splitting wood, etc.).

Start by measuring the wall where you would like to hang your letters. In my case, I had a whole wall in my daughter's room to play with. Next, I measured that same amount of space on my floor. Take the letters and lay them out. Consider a few different elements-- spacing (letter to letter and line to line), color story (are there too many of one theme/color together), and if you want the alphabet to read in a logical way (does your eye travel along the line or does it look everywhere at once).

Once you have your letters laid out, you should start translating that to the wall. I started in the upper left corner with the letter A. Put a dab of toothpaste on the hanger hook and press the letter up against the wall. This will easily mark where you need to place your nails. Every so often, you will want to stand back and make sure the spacing you had laid out is what is coming up on the wall as well.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mo's Chicken and Cheese Empanadas - Cinco de Mayo Recipe

If you want to try something else with queso fresco and the sauce you've made with my previous recipe, try these tasty empanadas. 


1. Sauce from this recipe (plum tomatoes, yellow onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper)
2. Corn Mesa - you can buy this in most super markets in the same aisle with the flour. 
3. Rotisserie Chicken - I get one already made at the super market 
4. Queso Fresco 
5. Oil


1. Make the sauce using the first part of this recipe. 

2. Shred the chicken and place into a bowl. You just pull it apart into small half inch pieces. 

3. Add the sauce to the shredded chicken and stir. You don't want it to be too watery from the sauce, but enough so that the flavor is there. 

3. Make the tortillas by following the instructions on the bag. Usually it's a few cups of the flour and some water and you fold it together until you have a ball of dough. You want it to feel soft but not too watery. 

4. Crumble your queso fresco and place in a small bowl.

5. To make the tortillas, you will need either a tortilla press or a flat surface (like the bottom of a pot) and some wax paper. Create a small ball with the dough and flatten it between two pieces of wax paper and the tortilla press or pot and table. Leave the flat circle on the wax paper and put in some shredded chicken and queso fresco. Fold the tortilla in half using the wax paper to help you. Press every part of the edge so that the tortilla closes completely. If your tortilla is falling apart or won't stick together completely, then there is too much filling. Just take it out and try again. Take the empanada off the wax paper and set aside. Make as many of these as you'd like. 

6. Fry the empanadas in the oil until they are a crispy, golden brown. You want to make sure you leave them in long enough for all of the tortilla to cook, otherwise you will have a bit of a mushy inside. Use tongs when handling the empanadas but be sure not to flip them until you can grab the empanada without puncturing it. 

7. Serve with some extra sauce for dipping and enjoy. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mo's Cheese Enchiladas- Recipe for Cinco de Mayo

. It's time to get ready for Cinco de Mayo! I learned this recipe from my son's grandfather who lives in Mexico. Learning how to cook from a man who spoke Spanish only while I didn't understand any of it was quite interesting! The end result is delicious regardless of the language barrier, I promise. 

Warning: I make this salsa very spicy! Ingredients you will need are below:

1. Corn Tortillas (I buy a bag of them soft from the food store, you can also buy the hard ones or use tortilla chips) 
2. 4-6 Plum Tomatoes (depending on size)
3. 1 yellow onion - I prefer a smaller onion but if you love onions, by all means get a big one.
4. 4-5 fresh jalapenos (depending on size)
5. 1 clove of garlic
6. Cilantro (I actually prefer the McCormick Cilantro over fresh for this recipe) 
7. Salt & Pepper 
8. Queso Fresco - This is a soft cheese that you can crumble. You can find it in a lot of Walmart's, some super markets in their dairy section (depending on the area you live), and International & Hispanic grocery stores. I suggest Walmart because it is the cheapest- around $3.00 for the whole round. 
7. Oil if you plan to fry your tortillas. 


1. Boil water in a large pot. Cut tomatoes and onion in half. Cut jalapeno stems off and cut the whole pepper in half, keeping some seeds for spice. If you do not like a lot of spiciness, I suggest getting the seeds out. Avoid touching your eyes and children when handling the jalapenos! Put tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic in the water and cover with a lid. I keep the veggies in there for about ten minutes. 

2. The best way to know they are done are to check the tomatoes. I put a fork or knife through them and if it slides right off, I know it's done. You'll also notice the skin of the tomatoes is coming off. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes completely. (Be careful! They're hot and you will want to let them cool before peeling.) Put all of your vegetables into a food processor. You can add just a bit of the water from the pot, too, to make it blend easier. Blend the vegetables until you have a smooth sauce. I like to blend for a minute so it is more liquid than chunky. 

3. Pour sauce into a bowl and sprinkle the cilantro, salt, and pepper in to taste. This part really will depend on how spicy you like things. I usually do five shakes of the cilantro and pepper and three shakes of salt. Stir. 

4. If you bought the soft corn tortillas, you can fry them in oil until they are hard. This part is time consuming but tasty and more authentic! Whenever I'm feeling pressed for time I just use chips.

5. Spread a spoonful of sauce on each tortilla or several spoonfuls over your plate of chips. Sprinkle some of the crumbled queso fresco on top. 

6. Enjoy!