St. Charles Street Gumbo

Tired of turkey yet? Well, here is a recipe far beyond the turkey and cranberry.

Its getting cold her in the Carolinas so Its time to start making soups and chilies. The other night I made one of our favorite...Gumbo.

This is a recipe giving by my late Mother-in-Law. Its simple and delicious. Best of all, it does not call for any fancy stuff, just basic foods you probably already have nearby.
St. Charles Street Gumbo
1 Tbsp.- Olive Oil
2- small onions (or one large)
1 lbs.- sliced okra (frozen works fine)
1 cup- chopped celery
1 Tbsp.- minced garlic
1 1/2 lbs.- chopped Skinless Sausage
48 oz.- Chicken broth (3 cans)
Dash- of Tabasco sauce ( I like more)
3 pinches- Cajun seasoning
2 pinches- Parsley flakes
1- large can petite diced tomatoes
1-10 oz. can chuck white chicken (drained)

In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add onions, okra, celery and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in garlic, Cajun seasoning, parsley, and sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add chicken broth, tabasco and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add chicken.

Cook 4-5 minutes or longer until chicken is heated through.

Serve over rice and add more tabasco if you desire.

Refrigerate left overs.

1 cup gumbo with 1 cup rice = approx. 200 calories. (per "myfitnesspal" app)

Ive shared this at:
sunday-show-off-linky-party at twiggstudios
marvelous-mondays at thisgalcooks
made-by-me-106-linky-party at jaqsstudio
whatd-you-do-this-weekend at tumbleweedcontessa
full-plate-thursday at mizhelenscountrycottage  

Christmas Wreath Redo

Every year we head out to the stores to purchase a new wreath for the front door and a few new Christmas decorations. It never fails, we go into the store, see the wreath we want, and it cost way to much for our budget. That's when  my creativity thoughts will often kick in.

I normally use the traditional greens and reds and I always opt for white lights over the colored ones, but the candy colors caught our eyes this year. My husband wanted to do colored lights and Christmas balls in the candy color pinks, blues, and greens. I went along with it.

We headed to the tree decorations to get some more ideas. We grabbed some balls in the colors we wanted. When we got home, my husband took down the old wreath. I was either going to save it or throw it away. It was worth a shot.

I happened to have some floral wire at home and used it to tie on the balls around the old wreath. We even put lights on it so it will light up at night.

I like the way it turned out and I didn't have to spend a fortune. I can now afford to get more decorations for the my tree and mantel to match the theme.

My Daughter helped also by adding the same balls to the bells that I plan to hang on the windows.
I cant wait to start decorating. I always wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas. Do you decorate before Thanksgiving?

Ive shared this at:
the-diyers at homecomingmn
Handmade Tuesdays at ladybug-blessings
Nifty thrifty tuesday at linda-coastalcharm
Made by me at jaqsstudio

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Somewhere between doing the laundry and doing the dishes, I decided to make a sugar scrub. Yes, that's how I work. I'm pretty sure the sink was still filling up with soap water while I was actually getting the ingredients out. I stopped everything I was doing and made this sugar scrub in about 3 minutes.

Sugar Scrub
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
Food Coloring (optional)
I used Peppermint extract for my fragrance since its Christmas time, but you can get some essential oil of any fragrance you like. Just a drop will do.

The nail salon I attend uses a pineapple fragrant sugar scrub on my hands to make them really soft. I have purchased this from them in the past but I wanted to make my own for half the price.

I was afraid it would be sticky but it was not.

Just put a small amount in the palm of you hand and water will activate a wonderful scrub you can use on your whole body if you want to. Its perfect for feet.
It doesn't even leave your skin greasy. Just very very soft.

Incase your wondering, The amount of food coloring I used did not stain my hands at all. But If you use to much, I guess it might.

Now make some for yourself or to give as a gift. You'll love it.

(Originally found this recipe and got the idea HERE)

Ive shared this at:
submarine-sunday at usscrafty
sunday-show-off-llinky-party at twiggstudios
inspire-me-monday at create-with-joy
the-diyers at homecomingmn
make-it-pretty-monday at thededicatedhouse
Handmade Tuesdays at ladybug-blessings
nifty-thrifty-tuesday at linda-coastalcharm.
made-by-me- at jaqsstudio
blog-stalking-thursday at thecraftyblogstalker
thursday-weekly-creative at craftionary

Roast Beef Dunkies

I'm fixing to share with you a mini version of the "French Dip Sandwich". We have always called them "Roast Beef Dunks". I guess because that better describes how I eat them.

I made these to eat for "sandwich night" I'm sure you all have those nights. Well, let me tell you, these little babies are D-licious! They are really simple and not bad on the calories either.
Each one is approximately 150 calories.

So, roll up your sleeves or even get your kids to do this. Its that easy.

Get a can (more) of croissant rolls.
Separate each one in there own little triangle shape.
Place a piece of deli roast beef on the bigger end of the triangle.
Place a 1/2 piece of provolone cheese on top of the beef.
Roll up the croissant from big end to small end and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake according to croissant instructions.
You will see the cheese bubble out of the ends. Don't worry, its gonna be good.

Dip in Au-jus gravy and enjoy.

You can find Au-jus dip in the grocery deli or soup mix isle.
Or for a quick fix, just use a can of beef broth or French onion soup. Both work just as well.

These will be perfect for parties or tail gates, but are best eaten while warm.
Refrigerate leftovers. They are almost better when reheated.


Ive shared this at:
whatd-you-do-this-weekend at tumbleweedcontessa
lovely-ladies-linky-link at lifewiththecrustcutoff
made-by-me at jaqsstudio
full-plate-thursday at mizhelenscountrycottage
TastyThursday at mandatorymooch
kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday at kitchenfunwithmy3sons
freedom-fridays-with-all-my-bloggy at myturnforus

Crochet Football Applique

While its still football season and the teams are coming down to the nitty gritty to get into the super bowl, I thought Id share a little football crochet.

Fans everywhere are really cheering there teams on. I know people who lay out of work just to watch their favorite team play on TV.

Im not a big football fan but I do like to keep up with the scores. The closer it gets to the super bowl game, the more I pay attention.

Tonight, two good teams will be playing. Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. I hope the Panthers win just because its my home team.

Since its all about football right now until February, I have made a few football hats for customers and friends. Here is the latest hats I made for someone at work that has two new grandbabies.

 I made two to represent the Carolina Panthers. One was blue and black and one was black and blue.

Another hat I made is currently in my shop until sold. It represents the New England Patriots. This is an adult slouch.

See the foot ball on each one? I'm going to tell you how to make one. They are so simple. Here is my pattern.

Size depends on the size needle. I use an H.

sc 1st ch st
dc 8
2sc in last ch
dc 8
sc in 1st ch
finish off. (Leave a tail long for sewing.)

Embroider the stitching best you can and there you have it. A little football. You can actually shape it out more as you stitch it on your piece.

Now, lets get ready for some football. My next post will be a tasty pickup for your next tailgate or football party !!!!

Ive shared this at:
submarine-sunday at usscrafty

Diet week 3

I've stuck to my diet and exercise and am now on the beginning of my 3rd week.

Its not a big starvation or over achieving exercise diet, I have just been keeping track of my calories with the MyfitnessPal app by staying under 1200 calories a day. I also go walk after dinner. I hate walking especially in the cold.

How's that going?

I have cut out sweets such as cakes and cookies. If I get a sweet tooth, I will grab some nuts or maybe a piece of Halloween candy still hanging around the house. I also love the sugar free Cool Whip and will eat it on top of jello, strawberries or blueberries. I have noticed my sugar cravings and decreased a lot and that makes me happy. I Love sweets. I have found that the longer I do without them, the less I want them. However, If I do decide I want a piece of cake at a shower, party, or family get together, I will have some. But just a little bit. Thanksgiving is almost here so I hope I can continue to contain myself.

I do brisk walks every afternoon only giving myself one day off a week. I walk approximately a mile and a half. My goal is within 12 weeks be able to run 20 minutes. So far the most I can run is about a minute between every 3 minutes. I use a chart I found on Pinterest. I talked about this running plan in a previous Blog Post.  I'm behind the goal because my knees do not want to cooperate with me. They want to hurt and buckle on me. I hope I'm adding strength to them and think if I just loose some pounds it will lighten the load.

On a good note: I have lost 3 lbs!!!!!! Maybe by summer I can wear my bathing suites without a cover up!!!!

Crochet Camera Strap Cozy

The other day someone asked if I could crochet a camera strap. I never have but I was excited to try. I knew I could do it, I just didn't want to promise. Well, it turns out, I accomplished the task!

I can only wish for a nice camera that would accommodate such a strap. I still use a camera with a wristlet.

I made up my own pattern and I am glad to share it with you, but if you have no clue how to crochet, this strap will be in my Etsy shop until sold. It is just a standard width and length of most straps.

You are welcome to sale anything you make with my pattern but please do not try and sale the pattern itself. That would just be wrong on your part.

Camera Strap Cozy

5.0mm hook
7oz yarn

Ch 15 (or 4 inches)
sl st in beginning of chain to create a circle.
(crochet in rounds)
3 rounds sc
49 rounds dc
3 rounds sc
finish off

This one turned out 26 x 2.
You can make yours longer or wider by adding more rounds.

Now embellish the way you wish and you will have your own unique camera strap cover. It just gives it that warm fuzzy feeling while adding a splash of sass. If you use my instructions to make one, Id love see how yours turned out.  Just post it on my FB wall if you like.

Now let me see what else I can get myself into.

Ive shared this at:
thursday-link-party at craftionary
friday-favorites at imnotatrophywife
create-with-joy inspire-me-Monday
Handmade Tuesdays at ladybug-blessings
made-by-me-103-linky-party at jaqsstudio (featured)

Best Baked Cabbage

While trying to eat healthier, I re-discovered the vegetable that I do not eat that often.


I got it all prepared the night before and my husband added the rub and popped them in the oven.

I'm not a big fan of cabbage or slaw. But I learned that this stuff can be baked and with some flavoring on top, it turns into a whole new thing.

We used to boil it. yuk.
So then we would fry it up. To fattening and stinky.
So until tonight, I used my Tupperware steamer and steamed cabbage wedges and thought that was pretty good.

But now I like it this way best, baked.

1. Grab a small head of cabbage and slice into round, one inch thick slices.
2. Lay them out on a grease cookie sheet.
3. Then brush them with  smashed garlic and olive oil
I created this mixture (not measured, just dashed)
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
red pepper

Once the tops are coated with the oil mixture, bake at 400 degree for 40 to 45 minutes.

Now Doesn't that look delicious? I like how each slice flowered out so pretty.
The edges burned a little but I thought that was the best part. Keep an eye on them and take them out once they start browning if you choose, but I recommend the burnt flavor.


Now If I can find a way to get that cooked cabbage smell out of my house!

Ive shared this at:

Diet Struggles

I am a perfectly healthy 44 year old. I have no health problems except allergies and achy knees. But at my last wellness checkup, I was labeled overweight. I know I'm overweight but this is the first time someone else told me that.

Until about twenty years and one child ago, I was barely 110lbs. My weight has continued to go up.
I blame it a lot on the lack of exercise I get due to sitting in a chair all day at work, not eating the right foods and eating to much sweet stuff!

However, I did Zumba classes 3 times a week for 3 years and was only able to maintain my weight, not loose it. So I thought to myself, "maybe 155lbs is my ideal weight. over a year ago I stopped Zumba for a couple reasons and now my weight has risen to 167lbs. I eat a lot of sweets and pig out on nacho chips at the Mexican restaurant. Both are my weakness.

I have decided to do something about it. I have a goal now to loose at least 30lbs. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it but I am determined. I'm blogging about this in hopes It will give me more reasons to stick to my goal because I do not like to lie anyone. Other than my Husband and Daughter, I do not have friend support to help me through these struggles. None of my friends need to diet or have the time.

Monday 10/28/13 I started this exercise plan I found on Pinterest:

Another goal is to be able to run for 20 minutes in 12 weeks. If my knees will hold out, I will be able to accomplish this. I hope to be down to 130 lbs. by then also. On a rainy day, I will resort to my Zumba Wii workout. 

My hardest struggle is to stay away from the sweets. Holidays are coming up. I will not deprive myself from everything, but I'm going to use the my fitness pal app to help me stay below 1200 calorie diet. Its a calorie counter for your iPhone. Wish me luck!
Oh, and if you have this app and want me to follow you, just send me your email address. We can keep each other going.

Id love to hear your stories or strategies to loose weight.