Monday, January 30, 2012

Make Something Mondays Link Party #45!

Wow!  is it Monday already?!?!  And it's almost FEBRUARY!?!?  Where did January go???

Hope you had a great weekend!!  Let see what's new this week!!

But first...
Our most-viewed links were:
This super cute Valentine Tree by Alderberry Hill!  Isn't this so fun!!!  LOVE it! 
These darling little crocheted Valentine Hearts from Scraponique!  So fun!
This recipe for the Best Lotion Ever from The Crafty Blog Stalker!  Can't wait to try this one out!
If you've been featured feel free to grab a button from my button section to proudly display on your blog! ;)

Now onto this week!
Here's a little reminder of the 'rules!'
  • Become a follower of my blog!  (You can add my Make Something Button to your blog, too, if you wanna be extra nice! It's over in my buttons section! ;)
  • Please post to a specific blog post...not to your main page or shop!
  • Limit your links to three per week!
  • Be sure to spread the love and leave a nice comment on someone else's project!
Please know that I retain the right to delete any link which I feel violate the above conditions!

The link party will be open until NEXT WEDNESDAY (December 28th)...I thought we'd all enjoy a little break for the holidays...so there won't be any new features next Monday...but I'll be sure to feature a few of my faves on January 2...so be sure to come back then!!

And just a reminder...be sure to check out my fantastic sponsors!!



Shabby Apple
MyMemories.com
Family Ever After
The Orange Windmill

I'm loving all of the fun projects you've all been sharing!  Thanks so much for joining me each week!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things to Make: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

As most of you know, I'm in love with my Crockpot.  As a mother of five ravenous children...and caretaker of one even more ravenous husband...The Crockpot is a savior in my kitchen.  Life is busy...and slowcooker meals take some of the edge off! ;)

But I don't want to just make the same things over and over, so I'm constantly looking for new recipes to try out!

So for today's

I chose this:
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore by A Little Nosh
And here's how mine came out:

My family LOVED this recipe.  Seriously.  Even my picky five-year-old proclaimed this to be great...and even cleaned her plate!  I will definitely be making this again!  Woot!

The only changes I made for this recipe were omitting the red wine (since we don't have wine in our house...which probably affected the color of the final dish somewhat), and leaving out the mushrooms..because we didn't have any on hand.  (And although I think the mushrooms would have been great in this, I didn't miss them...and I'm sure Miss Picky was much happier with the lack of mushrooms!)  I also doubled the amount of vegetables I added...'cause we have a big family!

If you're looking for something yummy and simple, give this recipe a try!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make Something Monday link Party #44

How was your weekend?  Hope you've had a great one!

We had kind of a serious weekend.  A good friend, and his sweet wife, lost their newborn baby girl last  Monday.  So heartbreaking.  My hubby went down to Arizona for the funeral, while I stayed home with our kiddos.  There's nothing like seeing that kind of loss, to make you appreciate what you have.  In the LDS church we believe that little children and babies are free from sin, and therefore return immediately to be their their Heavenly parents.  And although there is comfort in knowing this...it doesn't take the sting and hurt of loss away.  (You can learn more about our beliefs by clicking here.)  I feel so blessed to have my children and my husband...and also the knowledge that there is more to life than just this mortal existence.

Sorry for that super serious start to the week.  I just felt like I needed to share!

Anyway...
Last week we had a great turn-out to our little shin-dig here!  Our most-viewed links were:
Blackberry Salad Striped Afghan by My Two Butterflies!  Isn't it gorgeous...plus there's a FREE pattern!  LOVE!!! :)
Granny Triangle Bunting by Rainbow Bunting!  Can't wait to try this pattern out!!
If you've been featured feel free to grab a button from my button section to proudly display on your blog! ;)

Now onto this week!
Here's a little reminder of the 'rules!'
  • Become a follower of my blog!  (You can add my Make Something Button to your blog, too, if you wanna be extra nice! It's over in my buttons section! ;)
  • Please post to a specific blog post...not to your main page or shop!
  • Limit your links to three per week!
  • Be sure to spread the love and leave a nice comment on someone else's project!
Please know that I retain the right to delete any link which I feel violate the above conditions!

The link party will be open until NEXT WEDNESDAY (December 28th)...I thought we'd all enjoy a little break for the holidays...so there won't be any new features next Monday...but I'll be sure to feature a few of my faves on January 2...so be sure to come back then!!

And just a reminder...be sure to check out my fantastic sponsors!!




Shabby Apple
MyMemories.com
Family Ever After
The Orange Windmill

I'm loving all of the fun projects you've all been sharing!  Thanks so much for joining me each week!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things to Make: Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins

It's been a while since I've done a Pinterest Inspiration Project!

I spent A LOT of my 'resting' time last week browsing Pinterest...and basically drooling on my keyboard. There are SO.  MANY.  AMAZING. foods to try out there!!!

So for today's

I picked these delectable looking Inside-Out Carrot Cake Muffins ~
{source}
...from my Things to Eat pinboard!

Aaaaaaand...

Here's how they came out!

Ok.  I am NOT a food photographer.  You've probably already noticed that.  Sorry.  I can't be awesome at everything, I guess.  Just kidding.  (I mean about the being awesome thing...I mean I know I can sometimes be awesome, but I meant about the food photographer thing...I really suck at it.  Seriously.)

These were AWESOME!!!!  They smelled so good...they tasted even better.  And even though mine don't look as beautiful as the ones I pinned...I will definitely be making these again...and I may even try using the filling in other kinds of cupcakes, too!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make Something Monday Link Party #43

Hi!  Welcome back to another Make Something Monday!!

So sorry I bailed out last week!  Thank you so much for all your sweet thoughts and comments!  I got in to see the doctor that day...His diagnosis was that I had a sinus infection and bronchitis.  Blegh!  He prescribed antibiotics and rest. (hahaha...with five kids?  Was he nuts?)

Anywho...I'm feeling MUCH better this week!  The cough isn't gone completely...but at least I've been able to get some sleep at night!

Because of our little hiatus, I'm posting the top three links from the last party!  Here they are (in no particular order)...
This cute FESTIVE BUNTING from JayNic Knit Knacks!  Soooo cute!!
These DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets from Lady With the Red Rocker!  AWESOME!  
This gorgeous Ripple Baby Blanket from Sweet Bee Buzzings!  LOVE it!
If you've been feature feel free to grab a button from my button section to proudly display on your blog! ;)

Now onto this week!
Here's a little reminder of the 'rules!'
  • Become a follower of my blog!  (You can add my Make Something Button to your blog, too, if you wanna be extra nice! It's over in my buttons section! ;)
  • Please post to a specific blog post...not to your main page or shop!
  • Limit your links to three per week!
  • Be sure to spread the love and leave a nice comment on someone else's project!
Please know that I retain the right to delete any link which I feel violate the above conditions!

The link party will be open until NEXT WEDNESDAY (December 28th)...I thought we'd all enjoy a little break for the holidays...so there won't be any new features next Monday...but I'll be sure to feature a few of my faves on January 2...so be sure to come back then!!

And just a reminder...be sure to check out my fantastic sponsors!!


Shabby Apple
MyMemories.com
Family Ever After
The Orange Windmill

I'm loving all of the fun projects you've all been sharing!  Thanks so much for joining me each week!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things to Make: Big Button Scarf and 'About Crochet' Contest!

Are you familiar with the work of Dutch crochet designer Elisabeth Andreé?  If not you NEED to go check out her lovely blog, About Crochet!  She shares such amazing projects and patterns there!

She has been holding a fun crochet contest since December!  For the contest we were given three different stitch patterns to choose from, and were asked to make one of the following:  a scarf or shawl, a pair of fingerless gloves, or a cushion cover.

I knew the moment I saw the stitch patterns that I wanted to make a chunky Big Button Scarf!  The texture of the stitches just looked so cozy and elegant!

For this project I used Red Heart Boutique Midnight Yarn in Harvest Moon.  The yarn is super soft and has just a tiny bit of sparkle to it!  I LOVE this yarn!! So pretty!

I used a size N (9.00mm) hook, because I wanted the scarf to be light and stretchy, but still have that chunky texture!

I used the first variation of the chain-single crochet stitch pattern.  Here is the basic stitch:

chain-single crochet (ch.sc)


Insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook and draw up a loop (2 loops on hook), yarn over hook and draw through the first loop on hook (2 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through both loops on hook (1 loop remains on hook).
The basic pattern for the first variation of the stitch can be found HERE.

I altered the basic pattern by basically doubling the width to 31 sts. The pattern I used looks like this:

Ch 31.
Row 1:  1 ch.sc in the 3rd ch from hook, 1 ch, *sk 1 ch, 1 ch.sc in the next ch, ch1*, repeat from * to * to end of row, end with 1 ch.sc in the last ch, ch2,  turn.
Row 2:  1 ch.sc into the first ch1 space, ch1, *1 ch.sc in the next ch1 space, ch1*, repeat from * to * to end of row, end with 1 ch.sc into the top of the turning ch2, turn.
Row 3 (and on):  Repeat Row 2.

I used an entire 2.5oz skein of yarn, and the final measurements for my scarf are approximately 9" wide by 33" long.  I added a BIG button (2" in diameter) to one of the corners of the scarf.

The great thing about this stitch is that it has a lot of stretch...so I didn't even make a button hole!  I just pulled the button through the scarf itself...makes it very versatile!!

What do you think?

Go visit the blogs of the other contestants, and take a look at the other wonderful creations that have been made for this contest, by clicking HERE!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Make Something Monday - Postponed!

Sorry, gang!  There's not going to be a link Party this morning...
by articipe
I've been battling a major cold since about Thanksgiving.  I've gone from the sore throat, to runny nose, to congestion, to cough, to chest cough...and now sinus press plus cough.  Yesterday I started feeling dizzy and had the chills...This darn thing just isn't going away!  I've tried nearly every home remedy known to man, and nothin' is kickin' this thing!

Anyway...

I was able to get an appointment to see the doctor...and hopefully he'll be able to get me better fast!

We'll hopefully be back to our regularly schedule party next week!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things To Make: Ginger Bread Pudding


One my favorite things to do with the kids during the Christmas season is making gingerbread houses.

This year I cheated.  I totally bought a Gingerbread House Kit, complete with pre-baked gingerbread and Royal icing mix.

It was awesome!  The kids had a ton of fun decorating it...and I didn't have to roll out any dough!

The one downside was that it wasn't as soft as the homemade variety...especially after sitting for a week on the dining room table.  It was like rock.

So...after the kids had scavenged the last bit of candy decor from the house, I told them it was demo time.

The kids really wanted to eat it...but I didn't want to have any extra dental bills this month.  (Sugar is bad enough...but add to that rock hard gingerbread?  You're just asking for broken teeth.)

My kids love bread pudding, so I took a risk and decided to turn the remaining rubble into Ginger Bread Pudding!

And our little house went from this:



to this:

I know.  Not a very good 'after' picture.  I had intended to take a picture of it right out of the oven...but I had to nurse the baby...and have you ever tried to keep four ravenous children (and one well-meaning husband) away from a warm dessert/breakfast?  By the time I was done feeding the baby, half of the pudding was gone!

Anyway,  for those of you who like bread pudding, I highly recommend trying this recipe out!

Ginger Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

5 cups of gingerbread crumbs (I threw pieces of our rock hard gingerbread house into our food processor - frosting, candy cane bits and all - and pulverized them into fine crumbs)
5 or 6 eggs, beaten
4 cups of milk
1 cup raisins, optional

(I didn't add any sugar, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg to our pudding, because I felt like the crumbs were already sweet and seasoned enough.)

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Spread crumbs in the bottom of a 9x13 glass or stoneware baking dish.
3.  Beat eggs and milk together.  Pour over the crumbs in the baking dish, pressing into the crumbs
4.  Place another baking dish filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.  This helps the pudding to bake evenly.
5.  Place dish with pudding mixture on middle rack of oven.
6.  Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ready or Not...Here's 2012!

So, you may be getting tired of hearing what everyone has resolved to do this year...but I'm about to add my two cents...just a little heads up.

The Anderkids
Last year, in this post, I shared some of my goals for the year.

Well...

Here's what actually happened:  I didn't take it easy.  It was a crazy year for us.  I was having a baby.  My hubby was working as a half-time school teacher...and supporting a family of six with one more on the way isn't easy.

At the beginning of last year I decided that I would try a little experiment.  I buckled down and made blogging a priority.  I posted at least three times a week.  I linked up and networked with other sites.  I interacted and commented.  And guess what?  It worked.  Big time.

My blog and business grew!  I went from 45 followers to 865 and from just 1000 page views to over 300,000.  I went from just 60 orders in 2010 to over 260 in 2011...CRAZY!  Seriously.  I know.  My mind is a little boggled by it, too!

I was VERY busy.  Yes, I loved doing it!   But, it didn't come without some HARD work and a lot of persistence.  I completely re-designed my blog FOUR TIMES!  I edited thousands of pictures.  I wrote, tested and re-wrote several patterns.  I hosted giveaways, sales, and guest posted on other blogs.

Not that this busy year hasn't been a HUGE blessing for our family!  I feel so blessed that I've been able to stay at home with my children AND that my business was able to help support our family!
I have also loved getting to know so many wonderful and creative crafters, crocheters, and people!  Thanks so much for making this journey so much fun!!  I wouldn't be here without YOU!

However...I hate to admit it, but sometimes I worked on these things at the cost/neglect of other things that are important to me...like housework...and meal preparation...and showering...and my family.

So...my biggest dilemma in making goals for this coming year has been...where do I go from here?

After a lot of prayer and thought, I've realized something:

I've discovered that blogging and running my business really do matter to me, and I want to continue the relationships I have formed this past year!  I'm just not going to be as structured in my approach to things...I'm going to take a break if I need it...and not worry about pushing so hard for success...don't worry...I'm sure I'll still be here OFTEN...but...

This year I really want to just SIMPLIFY, AND FOCUS ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST.

I'm going to enjoy the little successes I have everyday; whether it's finishing a new pattern, making a great sale, or watching my baby crawl for the first time.

And I feel peace about that.

I loved this message, from LDS.org, about slowing down and paying attention to the Moments that Matter Most...I hope you will, too!



I look forward to this year, and all of the unexpected joys and trials that this year will surely bring.  Thanks for being a part of my life!

The REAL Anderkids

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

After Christmas SALE!!!

Don't miss out on my After Christmas SALE in the Sarahndipities Shop!  Come by and get a great deal on something cute and stylish to keep you warm this winter!!!


Use the code HOLIDAY20 to get 20% OFF your order from Sarahndipities on Etsy!*

Sale ends TONIGHT @ 10pm MST - TUESDAY, JANUARY 3RD... Don't miss out!

*Coupon code is only usable in the Sarahndipities Etsy Shop...and NOT on Ravelry or in any other Etsy shop!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Make Something Monday Link Party #42

Hello!  Welcome to another Make Something Monday!!

How was your Christmas?  We had a great Christmas morning followed by a wonderful church program!  It was really nice to be celebrating the birth of the Savior on a Sunday.

In the coming weeks I'll try to post about the gifts I made this year!

Because of our little hiatus, I'm posting the top three links from the last few weeks!  Here we go (in no particular order)...
FREE Open Weave Beanie Pattern from Daisy Cottage Designs! 
I can't wait to make one!!
Cute House Key Ring from Arrriba, en el desván!  So CUTE!!!
Big Bow Beanie Pattern from Little Rays of Sunshine!  LOVE this!  
If you've been feature feel free to grab a button from my button section to proudly display on your blog! ;)

Now onto this week!
Here's a little reminder of the 'rules!'
  • Become a follower of my blog!  (You can add my Make Something Button to your blog, too, if you wanna be extra nice! ;)
  • Please post to a specific blog post...not to your main page or shop!
  • Limit your links to three per week!
  • Be sure to spread the love and leave a nice comment on someone else's project!
Please know that I retain the right to delete any link which I feel violate the above conditions!

The link party will be open until NEXT WEDNESDAY (December 28th)...I thought we'd all enjoy a little break for the holidays...so there won't be any new features next Monday...but I'll be sure to feature a few of my faves on January 2...so be sure to come back then!!

And just a reminder...be sure to check out my fantastic sponsors!!




OneLoopShy Designs
Shabby Apple
MyMemories.com
Mary C. Nasser
Family Ever After
Jenny Igloo
Little Sprinkles of Fun
I'm loving all of the fun projects you've all been sharing!  Thanks so much for joining me each week!






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