Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

How to simplify dinner ...

Homemade+takeout=Dinner tonight:)

For example:
sesame chicken(hm)+Fried Rice(to)=Homemade/takeout Chinese Dinner

boneless chicken breast 1lb
mixed vegetables (cheat-buy precut mixed fresh veges in the produce section of the supermarket)
flour (self-rise)
eggs 2
toasted sesame
oj 1tbsp
teriyaki sauce
honey 1-2 tbsp
Pork Fried rice
Steamed White Rice


The only thing you have to prepare is the sesame chicken and steamed veges

1. Make sure you chicken is sliced thin
2. In a small bowl beat two eggs. Dip chicken in egg to coat.
3. In a large bowl add 1 cup of self-rise flour(self rise makes a crisper crust). Place egg coated chicken in flour to coat.
5. Don't forget to put your mixed veges in the steamer while you make the ckicken.
6. Also before you start cooking the chicken in a large bowl mix teriyaki, honey and oj. This mixture should be right next to the skillet for when the chicken is done cooking.
6. Heat 1/4 of oil in skillet. When oil is very hot add chicken. Cook about 3 minutes per side(until golden brown.
8. Remove cooked chicken from oil. Shake off excess oil. Immediately dip hot chicken in mixture to coat. Remove from mixture and put on a serving dish.
9. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed. Serve with fried rice(white rice for those who don't like the fried) and steamed veges.

The best of both worlds!
Homemade and takeout!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I've been bitten by the Craigs List bug

After seeing mentioned by various blogger, who I so admire for their style and flair, I decided to give it a try. I've been searching high and low for the perfect loveseat for my living room (which at the moment is more of a chalkboard factory).

Since I moved into my house several years ago, I have always imagined my "formal livingroom" as a cozy parlor/library/converational gathering place. Through the years it has changed function but mostly it has been a big hallway:(

I have been to every furniture store, thrift store, antique store, website,well except Craigs list, until now!

BINGO!! Maybe it was just beginners luck but there it was, the loveseat for my cozy livingroom/library/conversational room/parlor!



It is in nearly perfect condition. The color is much warmer in person. Perfect for the cozy arrangement that I have in mind!
Can you guess how much I pay for it...?


love my new loveseat!
(this may or may not be your style, but you have to admit it's a bawgain:)

I now feel inspired to get this room done once and for all.

Stay tuned as I search for more treasures, paint and accessorize my way into a cozy space for family and friends to gather.

Have you found great treasures on or other internt or non-internet resources? I'd love to hear about them.

And for Mosaic Monday I've put together a series of background with colors taken from my new loveseat(using the dropper in picasa) to test out possible paint colors for the walls.


I'm definitely feeling a warm earthy, autumn palette.

Joining Frugalicious Friday for the first time! How could I not!

I hope you'll visit more marvelous mosaics at Mary's Little Red House

Psst! Don't forget to enter my chalkboard giveaway while you're here:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Learning Adobe Illustrator

I don't think I mentioned that I'm taking more classes this semester. This semester I'm taking Adode Illustrator and Intro to Digital Media(should have taken this one a few semesters ago).

Loving Illustrator. I like it because you create images from scratch.

Here is the first assignment that we had to do.
The whole class was given a sketch of a bee and we had to illustrate it and add a background. Here is my interpretation.


Our first creative assignment was to create an animal character. I used Lucy as my inspiration.

Here's my quick sketch
And here's my cartoon of Lucy!


This is fun!

Don't forget to enter my Chalkboard Giveaway!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chalkboard Giveaway!!

It's time for another giveaway here at Chalk it up!
This giveaway is for one 8"x10" framed chalkboard from my etsy shop. Winner's choice!! &...
One 3.5"x5" mini chalkboard framed &...
and one four pack of Chalk Ink!!(as seen in the picture above) I love this Chalk Ink!

Here's how to enter up to 6 entries
Entry 1-Comment #1 Just say hi:)

Entry 2-Comment #2 Of the four 8"x10" chalkboards shown above which is your favorite?

Entry 3-Comment #3 Check out my etsy shop and heart the shop, come back here and say I hearted your shop:)

Entry 4-Comment #4 Follow my blog and leave a comment saying "I'm following or I'm already a follower"

Entry 5-Comment #5 Join my facebook fan page and come back here and say, "Joined your facebook page or already a facebook fan"

Entry 6- Comment #6 Press the facebook like button at the top of the page and leave a comment, "I pressed the like button":)

The winner will be announced on October 11, 2010 Columbus Day!

Happy Giveaway!
Have a great week!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Chuckle Patch!

Ok, I know I'm dating myself but do you remember the Chuckle Patch from the Magic Garden?

This was my favorite show when I was a little girl. What made me think about the the chuckle patch in The Magic Garden...?

...these flowers that I bought at Home Depot a few weeks ago. When I first planted them and checked on them the next day, they were drooping terribly, in the hot Florida sun. I got my trusty watering can and sprinkled them with some cool water. Within minutes they perked back up and showed their lovely daisy faces. I think I even heard them chuckle. (Ok, I'm being a little corny but this is the magic garden)

The only thing missing in the Magic Garden was...


Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Now I need a riddle for my chalkboard...

What gets whiter the dirtier it gets?
Answer: A Chalkboard!

I may have to start writing a chuckle a day on one of my chalkboards!:)

Monday, September 6, 2010

How to plan a day trip...

on a whim.

1. Check out your local news station website for community events and activities.
2. Look for something free to do and expect to spend about $100-$150 for the day. (food, activities, shopping)
3. Choose a location that is 30-45 minutes from home.
4. Hop in the car and go!

Being a chef family, one has to make the most of limited time off together. This labor day weekend it is business as usual in our house. The chef had one day off. One day a week = four days a month, which means make it count! Saturday was our day.

Here was our day!

The first thing I do when trying to find something fun and cheap to do is check out a local news site( in our case it's
They list all of the local events and activities for the weekend. This weekend Mt. Dora was having their first annual Labor day Festival. For those of you who haven't heard of Mt. Dora, it is a quaint little hilly town North of Orlando. It is very charming. It is also home to Renningers Antique and Farmers Market The festivities for this weekend included, a chili cook off, free Lawn Bowling Demonstrations(yes I said Lawn Bowling), side walk sales, live entertainment and fireworks at the lake. The only thing that cost us was the chili cook-off($5 per person).


What a fitting quote for the day!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you don't do than by the ones you did do. So threw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain

The kids and the chef loved learning lawn bowling from the lawn bowling club members.(I think they were all over 70). They were the absolute sweetest people I had ever met. So full of life and passion. They loved sharing their love of lawn bowling with the kids. I think my 8 year old wanted to join the club:), so cute!

There were also chalkboards displayed in every shop! Very cool! Do you spy the chalkboard in my collage above?

Because it was so close to home, Grandma and Grandpa drove up to meet us for Dinner and sunset fireworks.



The fireworks started at 8pm on the dot! During sunset, which was a little strange. Actually, fireworks at sunset added an extra dimension to the show! The colors of the fireworks accentuated the beautiful colors of the sky!

Happy Labor Day!

No Mosaic Monday this week:(

To see more wonderful day trips we have taken in Florida click HERE

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to make a Florida Cookie Cake...

or any other state cake:)

To begin, get a good cookie recipe! It's also more rewarding to bake it from scratch. We used this recipe . I like chocolate chip cookie recipes that call for shortening with a little bit of butter. This recipe doesn't use butter, so we just added about three tbsp.

Next, spread the cookie dough, evenly, in a tin cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.

Once cooled spread white frosting over cookie. Now, find a simple outline picture of your state. We googled "florida map coloring book" for a simple drawing. Using a wooden skewer, sketch the shape. If you are not happy with your sketch, smooth over the frosting with a knife and try again.

When you have the shape just the way you want it, take a sharp knife and cut around your sketch. Cut away the outer cookie and take it off the sheet. Center your state and decorate! White frosting was spread on the tin to hold the sprinkles in place. We had toffee pieces in the pantry that worked perfertly as sand around the coast. It really made the whole thing pop! (Sometimes the little details make all the difference.



You want your cookie to be informative. Create a color key for states and bodies of water.

This was a middle school project done by my son (with my help) for his Geography class. All of the students were to make a state or country cookie or cake, with landmarks. Ah, it's fun going back to school. I think these kids are going to come home with stomach aches today.

Have a great weekend!

Have helped work on a fun school project this week?