Nov 29, 2011

Homemade Croutons

I love Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides and leftovers but there comes a time when I just can't eat another bite of turkey or stuffing. I begin to crave other things like cheese, beef or even a salad! I could also title this post, "How to make something healthy like a salad, unhealthy", but we'll stick with what I have. That said, I love homemade croutons. They are fresh, flavorful and the perfect crunch on a salad (or by themselves). They take a little more time than opening a box, but once you try them, it's worth it.

I'm about to shock you now, the recipe I use is from my pal, Martha. She shows it with her Caesar salad dressing recipe which happens to be my all-time favorite dressing recipe. It reminds me of the Caesar salad at Tulsa's Celebrity Restaurant. Yes, it's that good.

Anyway, back to the recipe. This is easy stuff folks.

A loaf of French bread, or Italian or some other big ol hunk of bread. Martha suggests cutting off the crust by I actually prefer leaving it on (plus it's takes less time).

Ingredients for Homemade Croutons

Cube the bread.

Bread Cubed for Homemade 

Makings of Homemade Croutons

Drizzle the bread with oil and butter and sprinkle the seasonings all over and toss to coat.

Homemade Croutons

Bake for about 6 minutes at 425 degrees, stir around so all edges get a little crispy, put back in the oven and cook another 5 minutes or so until browned.

Homemade Croutons

Let cool (or don't and just grab handfuls to enjoy while warm because you won't be able to help yourself when you smell them) then top your salad.

These croutons are amazing with the Caesar salad dressing. I don't have pics of that but you'll just have to take my word for it.

Nov 28, 2011

CrazyJoy = Buy (revealed)

Happy Monday!

I'm sure there was a lot of buying going on over the last few days with Black Friday and now Cyber Monday. I got a couple of really good deals over the weekend but one of my favorite buys came in the mail today. It's a bow I ordered from Lulu & ChaCha.

crazyjoy = buy

I found the Lulu & ChaCha through my sister's blog where they're sponsoring this month. They have some seriously cute headbands and bows.

Check out later to see her photo and to link up with the challenge.

Nov 25, 2011

CrazyJoy =

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Sorry this is late. I've been in and out, enjoying a few Black Friday traditions, eating, decorating and even grabbed a quick nap. It's been a great couple of days!

Anna posted the new crazyjoy challenge word earlier today so I hoped you checked it out. If not, here you go.


I'll see you Monday where I'll post my photo for the challenge.

Until then, here are some new photos over the last few days...

Thanksgiving 2011
Black Friday 2011
Decorating 2011

The collages were made with the diptic app using instagram photos from my phone library. I guess I should mention that I'm a little obsessed with Instagram (free) and Diptic (only 99 cents).

Nov 23, 2011

Tomato Theif

Up until last week, my grandpa still had red, homegrown tomatoes from his garden. He sent me home with a huge sack full of them and several sacks of green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Sweet P (who LOVES tomatoes) found the bowl of ripe, red ones on the table and this is what I walked in on:

Tomato Theif

I grabbed my camera to get a picture so I could show her grandpa while the husband cleaned her up.

Tomato Theif

She's a goofy girl.

Nov 22, 2011

$6 Well Spent

I'm not a big sweets-for-breakfast kind of gal. I prefer sausage gravy over homemade biscuits. However, I do enjoy a homemade pancake or waffle from time to time.

We make pancakes every now and then but have never been able to make waffles because we don't have a waffle iron...until now!

Homemade Waffles and Bacon

Let me first say that I know you can get waffle irons just about anywhere but I'm a little particular about my waffles. I don't like the Belgium waffles. I like the old, thin waffles with the little squares. It's what I was raised on and you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find an iron that makes these now! I've been on the hunt for about a year.

This past weekend we hit up the flea market only to find there was no flea market that day. We decided to stop in a little flea-market-type-store on the way home and found this beauty for $6!! I was a little skeptical about it actually working properly but figured what's the big loss if it doesn't?

New to Us Waffle Iron!

After we cleaned that sucker up we were pleased to find out it works just fine.

Homemade Waffles Cooking

I only makes two waffles at a time and takes about 9 minutes per 2 waffles but at least it cooks evenly!

Homemade Waffles

Hot Waffles

Homemade Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Sweet P approved of our waffles too!

Somebody Loves Waffles

Nov 21, 2011

crazyjoy = edge (revealed)

Well, if you live in Oklahoma or keep up with college football at all, you know there was quite the disaster for Oklahoma football this weekend. Both OSU and OU lost. The silver lining, TU won and there's still hope that OSU can still bring home a conference title!

The OSU game was a nail-biter. It came down to double overtime and while I thought about taking a picture of me and the husband on the edges of our seats, I decided not to give you a picture of our bums to start off your week. Your welcome.

Instead, here's my entry for the crazyjoy challenge word, EDGE:

crazyjoy = edge

Sweet P's kitty was hanging on the edge of her dollhouse. You never know what you'll find in that dollhouse!

Ok, I need my coffee and I'm sure you do. But first, check out Anna's photo:


And link up with us below.

Nov 18, 2011

CrazyJoy =

Short and sweet:

crazyjoy = edge

If you want to join me and Anna in our little crazyjoy challenge, here's what you need to know:
  1. Think on the word, photograph it, draw it, make it, whatever you want to do to represent it
  2. Come back Monday and I will post my and Anna's photo and you can link up through Thursday with your interpretation
  3. Then check out Anna's blog on Friday where she will post our favorite entry and the new challenge word
So here's our favorite from last week:


Thanks, Jen. He's too cute taking care of business!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Nov 17, 2011

A Martha Stewart Thanksgiving

Can you believe Thanksgiving is in one week!? I am so excited. It's one of my favorite holidays, mainly because of the food!

It's no secret that I love Martha Stewart. I used to get Living but now I just subscribe to her Everyday Food magazine. I have found some of my all-time favorite recipes there so I decided to share some that I make or have made for Thanksgiving.

There are two dishes I get asked to make every year: deviled eggs and cranberry-grape compote. Both are from Martha.

I adapted her deviled egg recipe and here's my version.

Creamy Deviled Eggs

And the cranberry-grape compote recipe, couldn't be easier!
Cranberry-Grape Compote

As for sides, I love her sweet potato casserole. Sorry, I didn't have any decent photos of my version of her recipe so this is from her site.


Those are my favorites from MS. Do you have a go-to place you get recipes? What are your all-time favorite holiday recipes? I'm always looking for something new to try.

Nov 16, 2011

Animals with Sweet P

Sweet P loves our fish tank which is a little sad because we're trying to sell it. Anyway, she wakes up and wants to see the fish. Before she goes to bed we have to put the fish to bed (turn off their light). It's kind of nice because she can watch them for minutes!


While she was watching the fish I started quizzing her on her animals. I had my camera out so I snapped a few of her action shots. I need to upload a video because the pictures don't do the animals justice.





You can't tell it from the picture, but she's gobbling.


I have been told by many people that she knows the strangest animals. She also knows cat, dog and fish, you know, the basics but those aren't as funny.

Nov 15, 2011

Blog redesign

Yesterday I shared a photo of my blog redesign for the crazyjoy challenge. This has been my little labor of love.

crazyjoy = business

Why the redesign? Well, I finally got around to redesigning my website and wanted them to have a similar look. For those that are new to this blog, I'm a graphic designer turned work-at-home-mom-freelance-designer. I love being able to be at home with my girlie and still have a creative outlet in the freelance world. Check out my website to find out more about what I've done, what I do and to see some of my recent work. I'd love to hear what you think.

One of the things I love about design is the concept stage. This is when a client comes to me with a name/idea of their business and need me to turn it into something visual. I sketch, sketch and sketch various ideas before narrowing them down and turning them into computer generated graphics. I love the hands on part of this step and wanted to communicate that throughout my website.

I drew every single graphic, logo, poster and photo for thumbnails. Like I said folks, this was my labor of love. I really love how the rollovers turned out on the site. Once I had it all up and running, I scrolled around for several minutes just watching the sketches switch to graphics.

Once I finished my website, it was time to redesign my blog. I really liked the feel of the old design: soft, girly and clean. And not that I'm not any of those things (those of you that know me giggle here), I just wanted a change and I wanted it to have the same feel as my website.


Here's a quick rundown of the changes, starting from the top.

New hand-drawn header and menu bar.

  • I sketched out the frames, title and added some color photos to give it a little warmth and color.
  • I also wrote out the menu and scanned in took pictures of each word and uploaded them for a completely custom menu bar.
  • I also changed the background to a grid pattern I created in photoshop that matches my website.
New hand-drawn sidebar graphics.

  • I sketched out several different frames and used those for all the sidebar links
  • I updated my website link to include the logo
  • I sketched out each of the social network logos for pinterest, flickr and twitter
  • New buttons for crazyjoy challenge and button for my blog
  • I also moved the search bar down so it's not at the top

That about sums up the changes. Now that I have all that set up I'll probably work on adding some rollover effects to match my website. What do you think?

Nov 14, 2011

crazyjoy = business (revealed)

Here's my photo for the crazyjoy photo challenge for BUSINESS:

crazyjoy = business

As a freelance designer, I get to run my business from my home. This is my work space. Coffee, notepad, computer and one of the projects I've been working on is on the screen.

If you're viewing this on a feed, you haven't seen the new blog design so this is new to you. I'll post more about it tomorrow but now my blog looks more similar to my website!

Here's Anna's photo:


I love the colors she uses for her quilts! They're always so perfect, boy or girl. Go to her post today to link up with the challenge!

Have a great week!!

Nov 11, 2011

crazyjoy =

First off, thank you to all the men and women that serve our country to protect our freedoms. You are all honored, especially today, on Veteran's Day.

Secondly, here's the crazyjoy challenge word:


Check out Anna's post to find out how to participate in the challenge and to see our favorite entry from last week's word.

And just because she has been keeping me on my toes lately and the fact that I think she's the cutest thing, my Sweet P.


Someone learned how to climb onto the table.

Happy Friday!

Nov 8, 2011

Natural Snack

Here's a quick, all natural little snack we've been munching on around our house that I thought you might enjoy.  They're no-bake, all natural energy balls/bites.

I first saw them on Krista's blog where she talked about how delicious they were. I pinned her pin to my pinterest board and finally made them myself, you can find the original recipe at Food Doodles.

I stayed close to the recipe but a few slight changes.

No-Bake Energy Bites

1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup chopped, dried mixed fruit (cranberry, blueberry, strawberry)
about a teaspoon sea salt

***UPDATED: I have been roughly chopping up some milk chocolate chips and love that addition. It's not so natural but it's really good!***

You mix the peanut butter and honey together, then mix in the rest of your ingredients.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Refrigerate for at least 30 min. and roll into little bite-sized balls - I got 30 out of them. I stuck them on some wax paper in a tupperware dish in the fridge and they lasted about 5 days.

No-Bake Energy Bites

I'll be making a new batch tomorrow and trying the frozen version, Heidi, mentioned.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Nov 7, 2011

crazyjoy = crack (revealed)

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Mine was full of excitement. OSU beat Kansas State in an absolute nail-biter of a game! Go Pokes!

Then, just as we were starting to calm down from the rush of the game, a record-breaking earthquake hit Oklahoma. It was the first earthquake I've ever felt and it also happened to be the strongest in recorded history for Tulsa! It was nuts!!

And since earthquakes cause structural damage, I thought it was fitting to include this photo for this week's crazyjoy challenge word: CRACK.

crazyjoy = crack

Don't worry, the quake didn't cause that, it was like that before.

Check back for Anna's photo in a little bit.

If you joined in or plan on participating, you have until noon on Thursday to link up with your blog post showing off your interpretation of crack. Link up below.

Have a great week!

Nov 4, 2011

crazyjoy =

Whew. What a week! I am very ready for the weekend, who's with me?

Here's the new crazyjoy challenge word for the weekend:


I'll show my immaturity here but I giggled a bit when the random word generator popped up with that one. Anyway, here's what you need to know to join in the challenge with me and Anna:
  1. Think on the word, photograph it, draw it, make it, whatever you want to do to represent it
  2. Come back Monday and I will post my and Anna's photo and you can link up through Thursday with your interpretation
  3. Then check out Anna's blog on Friday where she will post our favorite entry and the new challenge word
And here's our favorite from last week: LIGHT.


Love that shot! Thanks, Kimberly.

And I know I promised to post more on some of the projects I've been working on but, sheesh, this week has been nuts. I hope to post more on those next week.

Have a great weekend and I'll see ya Monday!

Nov 3, 2011

Embrace the Camera - Kitty

Most Thursday's,  Emily, does a little thing called Embrace the Camera. This is me with my little kitty on Halloween.


Happy Embracing!

Nov 2, 2011

Not a Baby Anymore

We had a big day in our house yesterday - it was the day we took the pacifier away from Sweet P.

I'm pretty sure it was the hardest on me.

Sweet P has always been a good sleeper - even when she was a newborn. Great sleeper. When she started sucking her thumb I read over and over about breaking that habit and trying to get her on a pacifier. Why? They say a pacifier is easier to break than the thumb. I can see why. You can't really remove the thumb!

Anyway, in preparation of the new baby coming, we decided to break the pacifier habit.

Yesterday, she was so upset when I told her she was a big girl now and didn't need a pacifier. She was crying. I was crying. I mean really folks, she really, really likes that thing and it makes her so happy and sleep so well so did it have to go? I guess, even though I admit I contemplated going in there and giving her a new one on many occasions.

I didn't. Instead, I left her room and tried to escape the sounds of her cries. I just kept thinking about what I said moments ago. You're not a baby anymore.


Now, I haven't called her a baby since her first birthday but the realness that she isn't a baby anymore and here in about 5 months, a new baby will be here to take on that title hit me like a ton of bricks.

There's part of me that wants her to stay little just a little while longer. This 15 months with her has flown by and I can't imagine how fast time will move with another one. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones but this momma is E-MO-TION-AL. Don't get me wrong, I love watching her grow and it seems like every stage she hits is my favorite.

It's just hard to think that she won't be the only little thing getting my love and attention anymore. Which leads me to a whole slew of other thoughts running through my head:

What if I don't love our next child as much?
What if she feels slighted?
What if I treat Sweet P like my favorite and totally screw up the next kid?
What if I can't adjust to taking care of two little ones?
What if ...

Yes, folks, all that from a stupid pacifier. I told you I was a crazy pregnant lady.

Anyway, I know in my head that I'll love our next child so don't send me hate mail. It will be pretty awesome to see how a new one will change our lives but for now, I get to love on my big girl. By the way, she did great without her pacifier at night and only cried for 15 minutes today at nap time!