Super Bowl Appetizers and Craft

No matter if your favorite team made it to the SuperBowl or not (dang Vikings), most of us will throw or attend a SuperBowl party. If you decide to host, how big of a party will depend on how much you want to clean up. Listed below are a couple of quick and easy solutions which make a great appetizer or anytime snack.

Rotel Dip
What you'll need:
1 Large Block Velveeta Cheese
1 Can Rotel
1 lb Sausage
1-2 bags of Tostitos Chips

Cook sausage thoroughly in pan until brown. While sausage is cooking, cut up Velveeta cheese (anyway you want) and add to a 2qt slow cooker. When sausage is finished, drain the grease and add to the slow cooker along with the can of Rotel. Cook on low until cheese is melted.  Stir occasionally.

Note:  If you don't have a 2 qt slow cooker, you can also use a microwave or crock pot.

Wonton Cups
What you'll need:
1 Package Wonton Wrappers
1 lb sausage
Ranch Dressing (to taste)
Cheddar Cheese (to taste)

Cook sausage until brown and drain.  Add sausage to large mixing bowl and stir in ranch dressing and cheddar cheese.  Lay Wonton's over a cupcake tin and add a spoonful of sausage mixture to each. 
Bake in oven on 350 degrees until corners of wonton wrappers are brown.

Now that we have made a few snacks, it's time to have a little fun while the big game is on.  Everyone likes to play armchair quarterback and criticise the refs when they throw a flag.  So we have made our own penalty flags (or B.S. flags) to throw at the TV when a bad call happens.  All you will need are a couple of common household items.

B.S. Flag
Fabric cut to 15" x 15"
Popcorn kernels or uncooked beans
Piece of string or ribbon

1. Add kernels or beans to middle of fabric.
2. Twist fabric so beans stay in middle and tie sting around to hold tight.
3. Throw towards TV when a bad call happens.

This is so quick and easy that you can make several for all that will be watching the game.  Even the little ones get in on the action.

We wish both teams good luck and lets hope for a great game.  Enjoy your family and friends!!!

Go Steelers!!

Steve ✈


Silent Saturday- The Birthday Boys!

The Birthday Boys

Sam was born 5 years ago, on his daddy's birthday, what a gift!
Barry's beautiful family!  
Jo and Sam

Sam the Maniac Man!  

Have a wonderful weekend !
♥ BJ


Quick and Easy Valentines Gift

I wanted to come up with a quick, inexpensive, and cute idea for my son's teachers.  I have made this before, but thought it would be a perfect "teacher" gift.  I'm talking about Pen flowers!  What teacher doesn't use a pen, right? They are so easy to make, and really inexpensive.

Here is what I used:

I got all of this at the Dollar Store, so I spent $5.00 on these pictured items, not bad for one gift

lay one stem against the pen, then wrap with the floral tape
be sure to pull the floral tape tightly so that it sticks to the pen
wrap it all the way to the top, be sure to cover the top of the pen, 
then just rub it, so it has a smooth finish

I wrap the caps so that they look like a complete stem 
I used the decorative accents to fill the vases

It's as simple as that!  
Teacher's valentines complete!

Have a beautiful Friday friends! Love, BJ


Thirsty Thursday BLOG HOP! A salad and a cocktail!

Happy Thursday lovely ladies and gentlemen!  I am so excited to be co-hosting Thirsty Thursday this week,  with my friends at For the Love of Blogs.  Please go over and give them some love, they deserve it and be sure to leave some with me!

Conch Salad
4 conch cleaned and skin removed
1 small onion
1 stalk celery
1/2 small sweet pepper
1 large tomato
1/2 cup sour orange, lemon, or lime juice
salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste
(Lobster can replace the conch, since most of us can't get it)

for our drink!

a Yellow Bird
1 1/4 oz light rum                        
1/2 oz Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz Galliano Liqueur
2oz's Orange Juice
2 oz's Pineapple Juice
1 cherry or slice of orange for garnish

When I was in the Bahamas, I had a few of these, they are so yummy!
  Now for our hop!



Make your own snack and sandwich container out of a milk carton!

All Most of us starting to try to be environmentally friendly, are always looking for things that can be recycled into something new or made to help with the large growing issue of the environment.  In organizing the craft room, I found a an article I copied from Family Fun magazine from 2 years ago.  So I decided to finally try it out.  The pictures are of the one I made.  It's not fancy, but it gets the job done.  If you have little creative beings in your house, you could have them decorate it anyway they like, or you could do it.  So here it is!

Mark a clean 1-gallon milk jug as shown
then cut along the lines with scissors. 

 To make the crease lines, use a thumbtack to pierce a row of dots at 1/4-inch intervals across each side of the jug.  1 3/4 inches up from the bottom.

Fold the flaps at these dotted lines, then open them and fold them in the opposite direction along the lines (this will make the flaps easier for your kids to open and close.) 

Fold up the box and add an adhesive-backed Velcro dot closure.

Snack Box
Use a clean juice or milk carton in any size from a half-pint to a quart.  Cut of the top, then cute the sides into flaps.  carefully crease the flaps, then fold them down and add an adhesive-backed Velcro dot closure.

Like I said, mine isn't fancy, but it kills two birds with one stone.  It recycles a milk carton then saves plastic bags from being put into a landfill.  I try and do my part.  

Have a wonderful Hump Day everyone!  Love, BJ


Website username and password keeper

My mom told me this idea she came up with, and it got my creative juices flowing.  Her way is just fine, but for all of you artsy, crafty folks out there, you can jazz it up a notch.  She went to the dollar store and picked up an address book.  With this book, she is storing all of her usernames and passwords.  Great idea, right?
I am terrible at remembering all of my usernames and passwords.  I used to have them on a little piece of paper, but I misplaced it all the time and always forgot to update it.  I guess it would be easier if I used the same one for everything, but it just doesn't seem real safe to me.  So this little book will keep everything in one place; usernames and passwords at the tip of your fingers, all together.

Just as an example, if you have a Discover Card, put it under the D section, write your username and password in the address section.  Blogger would go under B, and so on and so forth.  Not that I didn't think you all could figure it out, I just wanted to make it crystal clear. 

What you'll need:
1 piece of fabric
1 address book (whatever size you choose)
sewing machine or needle and thread

Here is what I started with

 I laid the address book on it, and folded the ends over to have a place to slide the book into.

Be sure to iron it before you sew it so that it's lined up straight
Make sure it is inside out to sew it

 Sew straight lines.  Be sure that you have a snug fit on the book, but not too close or it won't fit in.
 Flip  right side in, iron it to make everything lay nicely

 Insert the address book 
and volia

 The finished product
I hope it helps you with your organization resolution!  Enjoy

Love, BJ


Things that go bump in the night

We all have a responsibility to protect our loved ones. With the uncertain economy, record setting joblessness, and violent crime on the rise, it is our due diligence to take every precaution that we can to keep our families safe. This week I will bring up some ideas for you to think about that can keep you safe in the one place we “should” feel safe: our own homes. I am a man, and my home is my castle. Truthfully, it isn’t; my home is a well built dwelling made from standard building materials. My house does not have a moat, it isn’t fortified with twelve foot thick ramparts and it doesn’t have a drawbridge. Luckily we do not live in the middle ages and technology has advanced enough that we do not have to resort to dumping boiling oil onto our would-be intruders.
I have mentioned earlier that we have to take precautions and do everything we can to stay safe in our homes. The easiest thing that we can do when we are at home is to keep your doors locked. This could be enough of a deterrent to thwart an invader. Make sure that you use your dead bolt, and it is a good idea to have back up device to prevent a door breach. They make several different varieties of these items from simple chain latches to the crossbars that you see on the doors in most hotel rooms. Your salesperson at you local hardware store will be able to point you in the right direction.
I highly recommend having a security system installed by professionals and that you use it. Modern security systems do not require you to have a home phone line; they alert their call centers via a dedicated cellular connection. You can set your alarm when you leave the house to protect your valuables and when you are home I advise utilizing their “stay” feature that will sound the alarm and alert proper authorities should a door open, if a fire breaks out, or if a window is broken, yet allows you to walk around your home with no fear of triggering the motion detectors. In my case, I know that it would take a nuclear holocaust to wake me from my sleep, or my home alarm sounding. An early warning such as the security alarms screeching high pitched chaos could be enough to send a thief or worse running into the night, and if it doesn’t it will at least be enough of a warning to jolt me into a more conscious state to take measures into my own hands until the authorities arrive.
I work at one of the largest privately owned retailers of guns in the county and I have noticed that more and more people are becoming first time gun buyers because of the rise in home invasions and they want to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones. I am not a radical gun nut with three months of MRE’s in my basement getting ready for some unforeseen revolution. I am merely an avid hunter and I have a love for shooting sports. If you do not like guns or the ideas of having guns in your home I understand, please take all of the precautions you can to be safe in your home. You have less lethal options; pepper spray, tasers, and stun guns are available to you.  I hope that you are never faced with a scenario where you would need to use a firearm to save your life or the life of a loved one. I hope that I am never faced with that scenario either. However, I would like to believe that the precautions that I have taken, my firearms training, and my equipment would sway the outcome in my favor.
For all of you that are still reading, thank you.  There are many different choices for homeowners to choose from when thinking about what firearms they should use to protect their homes. The best choice for you is what you feel most comfortable with and something that you will be willing to train with. If you do not train, you are as much of a risk to yourself and your loved ones as you are to the person invading your home. Talk to the fine men and women at your local gun store to get a better idea of what is available to you in your area.
If you are currently using a firearm to protect your home, please identify your target. If something goes bump in the night it is probably dark. Get a good flashlight! A flashlight has the ability to not only illuminate what you are looking at but also disorient someone whose vision is accustomed to darkness. If you cannot see who you are pointing your gun at, that is bad. Weapon mounted lights scare me. Think about it; if you are using a light mounted to your gun you will have to point your gun at what ever you want to look at. If you are woke up in the middle of the night and you have to check your house for bad guys, when you go into your child’s room and you want to see if your son or daughter is sleeping safely in their bed, you guessed it, you have to point your gun at your baby. That doesn’t sit well with me.
I am not here to tell you what gun to buy, that you need to buy a gun or to scare you. The truth is that there are bad people out there that will do bad things to get what they want. I want you to have every advantage that you could possibly have, to wake up tomorrow with everybody that you love safe and sound. Be safe and thank you for reading.



He's my best friend! Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my best friend!  Love, always and forever!
Snowsuit time, snowsuit time

What a sweet brother, right?

Love you all!  Have a great weekend! Love, BJ


Teaching others' as opposed to your own

Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest, yet most rewarding job I have ever had.  I had a few jobs when I was younger. I thought after I got my degree, that teaching was going to be the most rewarding job.

I loved teaching!  It was amazing to watch the children progress from the beginning of the year to the end.  It didn't matter if I was teaching kindergarten or Eight grade, the progress was amazing.

When I taught kindergarten I taught the kids to read and write.  I felt such an accomplishment each and everyday at their amazing leaps and bounds.  Most of them couldn't recognize their names when then got there the first day, but on the last day, each and everyone of them was reading small books.  What really bothered me was parents complaining that they weren't playing enough, and what I was teaching them was too hard.  Really?  Did I come up with what I was going to teach?  No, the state did, and I wasn't there to babysit, or play with them, I was there to teach them, that was what I was getting paid to do.  I couldn't believe the complaints I got, heck, most of you probably wouldn't believe the complaints.  When I was there, I vowed never to act like that to any of my sons' teachers.  I don't think that I'm even going to tell their teachers I was a teacher, but we'll see.

Teaching Eighth grade English and Reading was a totally different story, well, sort of.  Most of those students weren't on an Eighth grade reading level, much less wanting to read at all.  I made reading mandatory!  They didn't have an option.  I made them read out loud, something I hated to do when I was that age, but figured out that, that was the best way to get them reading better.  Most of them resisted at the beginning, but by the end of the year, I had READERS!  They all enjoyed reading, well, they at least acted like it to humor me.  Just thinking back to that time, it makes me smile.  When I was organizing the basement I found some of their poetry books that they made.  They all were resistant to that too, but they did it, and they were amazing.  I learned that the eighth graders really needed the same attention that the kindergartens did.  You could tell the ones that didn't really get the attention at home, so I made it a priority to treat them like my own.  If they needed hugs, they got them, if they needed an adult to talk to, they got that too.  They all respected me, and treated me and their classmates with respect.  That is a big accomplishment for 14 year olds!  

My oldest is a little resistant to me teaching him.  He knows all his letter and sounds, but he doesn't want to put the sounds together to get the word.  Last night we worked on it again, he's getting better, but still wants to make up a word instead of putting the word together.  Is it that he's being stubborn, or lazy?  I hate to think it's lazy, maybe just stubborn to me.  The little one is picking things up way faster than his brother!  I taught him one sign in like 2 seconds.  I think he'll want to learn since his brother is doing it, well, at least I hope so.

I love teaching, and miss it most days, but my priority are my children and showing them the attention, respect and love that they deserve.  I don't want them being the kids that need the love and attention from a teacher. I am their first teacher and feel the most amazing accomplishment knowing they know what they are supposed to before a teacher teaches them.  It puts a smile on my face when I hear a teacher or anyone else tell me how smart my kids are.  What do I say to that?  Thank you much! It makes me want to do a little dance!  Holla mama, you're the BOMB!  *smile*  

Have a great day!  Love, BJ


Appetizer and a shot!

Sausage Balls

What you'll need:  
1 lb uncooked hot breakfast sausage
2 1/4 cup Bisquick
2 cups cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients together in bowl and form into balls.  
Place sausage balls on baking sheet 
Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes

Apricot dip
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup apricot preserve
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard

Preheat small pot over medium heat
Add oil and onion, saute 1 minute
Add vinegar and reduce heat by 1/2 1 minute
Remove fro heat
Combine Apricot and spicy mustard
Stir until all is combined

This recipe is so yummy and easy.  Make sure you don't cook the sausage before making the balls.  It won't work if you cook the sausage first.

Tidy Bowl 
1/3 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1/3 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
1/3 oz. Blue Curacao
Sorry, I don't have a picture for this one!  But enjoy!

Have a Wonderful Thursday!  Love, BJ


Winter Friends Wednesday Blog Hop

Hey Friends!  I am so excited, today I'm the spotlight blog on Welcome Friends Wednesday!  It is so awesome!  I really want to thank snackbarreviews3princesandaprincess2 and luvinmylilmonkeys!  These ladies ROCK!  So come join the hop and BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE FIRST 4 SPOTS, and any other one you feel like. Have a happy Wednesday! Love, BJ

Welcome to "Winter Friends" January 18 .
Week 4

This is a hop for making friends and meeting other bloggers.
This is hosted by Snack Bar Reviews, 3 Princes and a Princess 2, Luvin My Lil Monkeys.


This weeks #4 Spot goes to Bobbi Jo at Dat's So Cute. Be sure to stop by check out her blog and I'm sure she would love for you to stick around and follow.

More About Bobbi Jo and Dat's So Cute Blog

I'm Bobbi Jo, stay-at-home mom of two little men and one big guy! I spend my days like most other moms, attending to the needs of my children, husband and house with very little time to myself. I have managed to fit running and blogging into my crazy schedule. I can't imagine if its crazy now, how it's going to be in a few years when the boys are running here and there for sports, music lessons and so on! I might have to fit a few more hours on the day with my magic wand.

When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in November 2010 because I have so much to say, and needed to place to say it. I spend all day talking to my children and very little speaking with adults. So I've found that I can say what I need and get amazing comments from you all, so it feels like I've had adult conversation without leaving my home, though that would be nice too!

What is your blog about?My blog has a little bit of everything. My husband Steve and cousin Barry write on Mondays. We call it Manday Mondays. They write about all things guys, with some craft ideas. They really do a great job appealing to women. Tuesday through Friday I write different things. Craft projects, stories, advice, recipes, things I like and just about anything else you can think of. My family always tells me I'm a plethora of information, a lot of the time it's useless information, but at least I have a place to share it, thanks to all of you. I am truly blessed to have all of you now! Saturdays are Silent, so just pictures, but it's worth coming by to see.

Any Advice to new bloggers?
My advice to new bloggers is to be patient and not worry about how many followers you have or anyone else has. Just write! If your blog makes you happy and others are reading it, that's a great start. If you write, they will come. :)

Fun Facts?
Fun facts about myself: I make a pretty good enchilada dish, taco soup and lasagna.

I would sell everything I own and move to an island as long as I have my kids, husband, computer and warm weather, I'd be good.

I make burp clothes, totes, keychains, can koozies, diaper bags, and beach bags, but don't sell them.

And, I used to be a pretty good bartender. Helloooo Thirsty Thursday ;)

I love to write and love all my new friends I'm gaining doing this.

Where can we find you?
You can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DATssocute or feel free to email me with suggestions, ideas or if you just want to chat at datssocute@gmail.com

ENTER: this linky and you could be the NEXT "Spot Light Blog" We will be choosing one random blog via random.org each week to be featured. We will contact you on Thursday and you'll have till Monday 6pm to respond or we will move on to the next random blog.


Craft room organization

My craft room had gotten so bad that I had no desire to even walk in that room, much less be creative enough to craft something.

This past weekend I decided enough was enough.  In an effort to continue to organize the house, the craft room was a priority.

Here are a pictures before I started.

I evaluated the room and tried to make a plan.  I checked several places for organization supplies, and struck out until I hit Target.  They had several different options and it was very inexpensive.  I spent less than $50.00, and it is so much better!  I think it looks amazing, but it's mine. Of course I would love to have one of those fancy craft rooms with all the bells and whistles, but I'm happy with what I have.  At least I have a room to keep my crafts.  Poor Steve lost his "Man Cave" when we had our boys.  So I'm definitely not complaining.

Here is the finished project.

I have everything I need, organized neatly and perfectly where I can find it easily.  I love these new boxes, they are great.  I hope this inspires you and lets you know you don't have to spend a ton of money to have a nice little are for your stuff.

Love, BJ


Impressions: How to make a Stepping Stone

A stepping stone is a decorative item that can include impressions of so many things.  We love to make them and have our boys put their hands and feet in them.  This way we have a mold of their little hands and feet that will last forever.  You can also use a pets paw or write something on the stone.  They are also great gift ideas for Grandparents so they can remember their Grandchildren.
They sell kits at stores, but the frames are a very flimsy plastic.  We found that by making this frame, it is a lot cheaper in the long run.  A 2"x4"x8' will cost about $2.75 and a bag of concrete is about $3.00 and will make 4 - 5 stones, depending on thickness (Caution: Each stone will be heavy. The one below weighed in at 27 lbs).  If you take a few minutes and build a frame yourself or have someone help you if you don't have any carpentry skills, you will have a frame that lasts a long time.  The frame doesn't have to be perfect and can be any shape you want.

Here are the items you will need to build a frame:
2"x4" (4 sided - 2 cut to 12" and 2 cut to 15")
1/2" plywood for the bottom (just build frame and draw line on plywood and cut)
2" screws

Items needed to complete the stepping stone:
Small shovel or spade
Stone stamps (if desired)
Anything you want to add (seashells, glass stones, fishing lures....etc)

Once the frame is complete, its time to mix some concrete and pour in.

Pour concrete into bucket and add a little bit of water.
Mix thoroughly and make sure not too add to much water.  If it gets too runny, you will not be able to make impressions in the concrete.  If it happens to get too runny, just add a little more concrete.   It needs to stay thick when poured.

Next, smooth out concrete by shaking frame (helps get air bubbles out) and using small trowel or spatula.  If it seems to wet, allow concrete to set for about 10-15 minutes before trying to make an impression.

Now its time to use your helpers and make the impressions you are after.

After adding little feet and hands, we used seashells we collected at the beach to go around the border.  This is where you can get creative and use anything you want.  We also took the stone stamps and put 2011 in the middle.

Once finished, allow the concrete to cure and dry in the frame for about 4-5 days.  This will ensure it does not break apart when you try to remove it from the mold.  When it is time to remove the stepping stone from the frame, just remove a few screws.

Your finished project will be ready to be put where ever your heart desires.

I hope you all enjoy and make impressions that will last a lifetime!!  Every time you look at one, the memories will come flooding back in.