Brought to You by the Letter “S”

Today I thought I’d show off my artism! No, that’s not a word. Yes, it’ll catch on. Sista commissioned me to make a piece of art work for a friend who is an elementary school teacher. Naturally, she saw it on Pinterest. I’m not going to lie. This project was more difficult than I thought it would be. The crayons are stubborn and not always team players.  We got in a fight half way through. Words were exchanged, feelings (and crayons) were hurt. It wasn’t pretty. However, I’m kind of proud of the results.

Behold…the Letter “S”

Hmm… not the best quality phone pic. Let’s try this one:

Ok, that’s not much better. But you get the gist. They are crayons in the shape of an “S” because that’s what her last names starts with. (Hey there, Captain Obvious!) This finished product is after several trials and many errors. If you look at the ones on Pinterest, they are perfect and adorable and looks oh-so-easy to make. Ha! Maybe if it wasn’t an S. Maybe if I had to make an L or a T it would have been easy. But noooo, she has to have a hard letter. But here are the instructions (for the final draft, anyway):

1. Figure out if you want a color pattern (she likes rainbows and teaches elementary. That was a no-brainer for me).

2. Form the letter as you want it, then glue the crayons together in that formation. I didn’t use hot glue as some people do because I was worried it would melt the crayon in visible places. I just used glue I had in my scrapbook supplies. (In some other rough drafts I tried cutting the crayons to form the letter, but they looked sloppy. Whole crayons were the way to go for me.)

3. Glue the letter onto a piece of card stock. This was the most complicated part, and I actually enlisted the help of Vitamin D. I really just wanted him to help me lift the S so it wouldn’t fall apart (though the crayons were glued together, they weren’t cemented, you know?). But (and God love him for his helpfulness) he likes to take over sometimes and before I knew it he had out a ruler and was measuring the letter and the width of the crayons and…I don’t know even know what else. I walked away. But I did go back to help him slide the S from a hard, slippery-ish surface (we used a binder) onto the cardstock, and it ended up centered and straight. (Ok, fine. Thank you, Vitamin D.)

4. Use stickers to spell out the teacher’s name.

5. Frame it. I used a shadow box so it would fit the crayons.

This makes a great teacher gift, or even a gift for a baby nursery. It’s cute and it’s fun. My friend loved it! Try it and see! Send me a pic, if you want, and make me jealous of your craft skills!

PS- Have you tried something like this before? What other crafts have you made? How did they turn out?

What a Crock (pot)!

A great big thank you and shout out to my sista! Holla! I had a much-needed relaxing and fun weekend with my sister in Charlottesville. It’s a beautiful town and where they live is so peaceful. It was such a great weekend! Plus, we had a Crock Pot Extravaganza!

Yep. Sista had a brilliant idea of attempting to make frozen crock pot meals. You know, the ones we are seeing all over Pinterest. So she and I each found 4 meals to attempt to make, so that all we have to do is take one out to thaw overnight and throw it in the crock pot in the morning.

I made these 4 recipes (haven’t tasted them yet but I have no doubt they’ll be delish):

1., 2, and 3. Savory Chicken AND Teriyaki Chicken AND Sausage and Peppers from Ring Around the Rosies.

4. Pulled Pork from The Family Kitchen.

Each one of my meals (with the exception of the pulled pork) is separated into two separate bags. Each bag makes enough for a family of 3 with leftovers. I made 30-ish meals for two adults for $88!! I mean, seriously. That’s less than $3 for each meal. Divided by two people, that’s less than $1.50 a piece for each meal (math skils…what? what?) Vitamin D was happy with the inexpensiveness (is that a word?), I was thrilled with how easy it was!

Sista and I make a good team. She takes care of the grunt work. I do the easy parts. It’s a perfect match. So while I labeled bags, mixed dry ingredients, and chopped a few veggies, she chopped and minced garlic and onions, trimmed all the meat, and somehow managed to split a 9 lbs. pork shoulder in half. She’s amazing. And the whole process took about 4 hours…keep in mind that is in Sister Time. You could probably cut that time in half if you don’t stand in the kitchen drinking talking rather than working.

And honestly, if I can do it, you can do it. It’s the easiest thing ever and I’m so glad Sista suggested it. It was great sister-bonding time (and we get far from enough of that these days), but it was super easy, inexpensive, and done in few hours. And this school year will be crazy so all I have to do is pick a meal the night before and it’s done. Perfect!

So here you go: The steps to Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy Crock Pot Meals:

1. Chop your veggies and trim your meat.

Half of my job is complete!

Sista in action. Like her skull band-aid?

2. Label the bags with the date, recipe title, and cooking instructions. Put in your sauces, veggies, dry ingredients, and meat.

One meal, two times. Bags labeled, veggies and sauce added. Ready for the meat!

3. Seal the bags and freeze flat.

All done!

4. Take out a bag to thaw overnight. Throw it in the crock pot in the morning. Devour after a long day at work.

So, you might be saying, “Uh, Bri. There were two of you. No wonder you think it’s so easy!” True, true. However, I’m certain this is a task I could take on myself (not that I’d want to. That was great time with my sister). And the going to grocery store took longer than making one of the meals (Holla, Wegman’s!). Sista and I made 4 different recipes, and we thought that would make things super confusing but it didn’t happen. If you chop and trim everything at the beginning and then take things one recipe at a time it’s a cinch! Oh! And I forgot to mention the MINIMAL CLEAN UP! We had a couple of cutting boards, some knives, and measuring cups to clean up. That was it! You guys, do this! I’m so excited about it!

Good luck! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

PS- Have any of you tried this before? What did you think? Have any great crock pot recipes that freeze well?

Counting My Blessings

Taking tomorrow off, y’all. I’m spending all this weekend with my very favorite sister (I only have one, but I’m sure she’d still be my fave of I had more). Tomorrow, we’re going to be making and freezing crock pot meals for the fall. It’s a new endeavor for both of us but I’m excited. Wish us luck! Plus, I get to spend time some much-needed quality time with her. Then Vitamin D will join us and we’ll be wine tasting or geocaching or some other shenanigans. I’m SO looking forward to this weekend. I’ll try to take some pics to share in our crock pot adventure. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

PS- Before I go, tell me…what are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to?