Friday, May 31, 2013

Fashion Tip: Chambray!!!

Posted by Devin
One of my very favorite articles of clothing in my closet is my chambray shirt. I've had it for AGES, so long that I can't even tell you where I bought it from. But it is one of those things that never seems to go out of fashion and lately it is very IN fashion. I love the versatility of it, it can go with so many things. My favorite things to pair it with are colored jeans or printed skirts, as you can see below. Sometimes I belt it, sometimes I don't, depending on the outfit.



In these pictures I have shown you my favorite chambray shirt, but I actually have three, lol! I really, really like chambray shirts, hence today's fashion tip.  In the pic below I am wearing my longer one. I use it for a cover-up at the beach and it is perfect for keeping me warm when the breeze gets cool or when I need to limit the amount of sun I'm getting.


If you don't have a chambray shirt, I recommend getting one. Maybe not three, but one is good. ;) It's a great "closet staple" to have!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Bucket List Subway Art

Posted by Devin and Tara


Summer is here! Need some fun ideas for things to do with the kiddos? Print out my free Summer Bucket List Subway Art!  I love subway art, it makes beautiful decor in any home. And this one is functional too! Simply print, put in an 8x10" frame, and then you can mark off the things you've done right on the glass with a dry erase marker! Happy summer-ing!!!


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Monday, May 27, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza


Posted by Tara

Pizza. Who doesn't love pizza?! Lately I have been loving gourmet pizzas. Seth and I recently ate at Yard House for a date and we shared a BBQ chicken pizza. I inspected the ingredients so that I could go home and try making it for myself. All I have to say is that it was a success!
First you will need to pick a BBQ sauce that you really like. There are so many choices out there, so I sure you couldn't go wrong. My choices are Famous Dave's Rich & Sassy or Famous Dave's Sweet & Zesty. I've made this pizza twice now with both of these and I love the kick they give to the pizza. 

Here are all my ingredients. It doesn't take much to throw this awesome pizza together! That is what I love about it. 

I first chop up 1-2 chicken breasts. I'm pretty lazy when it came to this, because I just grabbed a rotisserie chicken from the store. I love those chickens and convenient they are for a quick meal!

Next I drizzled a little BBQ sauce on the chicken just to lightly coat it. 

Roughly chop up some cilantro. I am a cilantro FREAK and love tons on my pizza, but I suggest chopping 1-2 tablespoons. 

Open your pizza dough. You can use homemade or Pillsbury like I did. Devin snapped a picture of me anticipating the "Pop" when it opens. lol (And yes, that is my baby on the counter)

Spread your dough over your pizza pan. I love mine because it has holes in the bottom so the pizza cooks all the way through. No doughy center on mine! I then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and toss in the oven to precook. I precook for about 6-7 minutes. You will see your dough get light in golden color, but not dark.


When you pull it out of the oven, spread your sauce over the top. Then sprinkle with Parmesan. 

 
I then top with mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onion, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Put back in oven till everything has melted and looks amazing!


 Ingredients

1 roll of Pizza dough
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1-2 cooked chicken breasts
1-2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella
Parmesan

Instructions 

Follow dough instructions on package. Preheat oven and cook for 6-7 minutes still LIGHT in color. When precooked spread BBQ sauce on the top. Then sprinkle with Parmesan, and mozzarella. Add toppings on top of cheese and put back in oven for another 5-6 minutes. 

Enjoy this yummy pizza, I know I did!!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Liebster Award

Posted by Tara

You are probably wondering what a Liebster Award is!?? Within the last week, we have been nominated TWICE for this award! Thank you to Brittany at 32turns.com and Mandy at thehankfulhouse.com You ladies are so sweet and have awesome blogs! I have known Brittany for 10 years now, and have always loved her and her kind personality. She has been a crafty girl for YEARS but recently decided to join the blogging world. Mandy I met at the Revive Blogging Conference in February, and she has an awesome blog. Love staying in touch with her through instagram and watching all of her projects she post. 

The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 or so followers.  What is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

So, with excitement I accept this nomination and here are the rules of the Liebster Award:
1) Thank your nominator and include a link back to their blog
2) Answer the 11 questions given to you by your nominator
3) Post 11 facts about yourself
4) Nominate 5-11 other up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers-no tag backs!
5) Come up with 11 questions for you nominees to answer
6) Let your nominees know you nominated them so that they too can pass on the Liebster Lovin’

Now that we know what is required, let get started!
1) Why did you start blogging? Well me and Devin had done a few projects and crafts together, and every time we finished one, I thought, "So many people would LOVE this". 
2) What is your favorite thing about your blog/blogging? One thing I love about blogging is being able to share with lots of people something that I have a passion for. They can eat one of my favorite recipes or create something that I did. 
3) What the blog post or project you are most proud of? One of the projects I really enjoyed and was really proud of was our Pallet signs. It was a lot of work, but loved the finished product!
4) What is your least favorite food and why? Anyone that knows me, knows that I really dislike mayonnaise. I can sometimes eat it, like in homemade Ranch, but not dripping off a sandwich.  YUCK!
5) What is the best book you have ever read? This is a hard one for me, there has been a lot of books in my life that I have loved. But one that I continually enjoy reading is the Book of Mormon. It helps my day start off right. 
6) How do you handle a stressful day? One way I love to handle a stressful day is listening to up beat music. I also enjoy running which helps when I'm stressed and overwhelmed. 
7) What is one thing your children will remember about you? I hope one thing my children remember about me, is that I love them and always had a home cooked meal on the table by 6 everyday. 
8) What is the best thing about you? Its always talking about ourselves, but one thing that my husband always says is great about me, is that I make everyone my friend. I'm social and love making new friends. 
9) If you could have any superhero power what would it be? I would love the superhero power of endless energy and speed!! HA!
10) What do you have the hardest time completing? A sewing project. They always take me the longest because I get bored with it easily. 
11) What color best describes you? A color that best describes me is Yellow. Its bright and compliments all the other colors. 
 11 Facts about myself
1) It has taken years to try and train myself to all my food to touch on Thanksgiving Day. Ever since I was little I needed a good 1/2 inch between all the food on my plate. Weird I know. 
2) I ran track when I was in grade school and was really good at it. My best mile time was 5:50. I only wish I could be that fast now. Currently my fastest mile 7:17.
3) I dream about one day opening up a sandwich shop or owning a pimped out Food Truck! Ask my husband, I talk about it all the time!
4) I love the color of Navy Blue. I want it in every room of my house, but feel it might be a little overload. lol
5) I am a very unorganized person, but with the help of DEVIN and my blog we are going to change that over the next year. 
6) I'm a very competitive person.
7) I hate bowling because of number 6. 
8) I always down with a little retail therapy. If I feel a little run down from the kids, buying myself something usually makes me feel better. 
9) I find myself funny. Usually when I crack a joke, I'm laughing more than the people I'm telling it to. lol
10) I used to always wear heals, but in the last 3 years flats are my go to shoe. Even if I am wearing a dress, I really want to wear flats with it. 
11) I would love to attend Culinary Arts school at some point in my life. 
The Blogs I nominate are!
Chelsea from  Our Little Nest
Cindy from Jenkins Kid Farm
Theresa from A Cup of T

Here are my questions for you!!
1) Do you speak any foreign languages? If not, which would you like to be fluent in? 
2) What is your favorite food or recipe?
3) What do you like to do when you are alone? 
4) How many years have you been blogging?
5) Describe yourself in one word. (Try as best you can)
6) Do you prefer a fork or spoon?
7) What is your favorite cereal? If you don't eat cereal, what do you replace it with?
8) Where do you like to buy your clothes from?
9) Whats your favorite movie?
10) Which blog is your favorite to follow? (If you can narrow it down!)
11) What project have you not done yet on your blog, that you would love to do??
Me and Devin love that we have been recognized for this award! Thank you!!




Friday, May 24, 2013

Gable Family Beans: The Heart of Our Mexican Food Dinners

Posted by Devin


When my brother-in-law first married his wife Olga, they went grocery shopping and she started to buy some canned refried beans. "Oh no." he told her. "Gables do not buy CANNED beans!" And such was her introduction to Gable Family Mexican Food.  There are 3 boys in my husband's family and all of us daughter-in-laws have been indoctrinated and taught how to cook Mexican food like a true Gable. We have all joked about the "ban on canned beans" through the years, but honestly, I wouldn't go back. The food is sooooooooo good!

At the very heart of a Gable family Mexican meal are the homemade pinto beans. They aren't difficult to make (my mother-in-law frequently cooks them on the stove but I ALWAYS make them in the crockpot, the method I will show you) and they really do take any Mexican dish to the next level of freshness and flavor.

Gable Family Beans
2 cups pinto beans
6 1/2 cups water
1 medium or large onion, diced
1 pickled jalapeno, diced
2 slices bacon, raw
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
 

Put everything in the crockpot and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Before Cooking:
After Cooking:
That is it! Seriously, it really isn't MUCH more difficult than opening a can of beans, right? Many of the Gables like to make bean burros and other dishes with the beans just as they are. I, however, usually like to refry my beans.

To Refry the Beans
Using a large spoon, remove desired amount of beans from your crockpot and pour into a large frying pan. I discard any bacon at this point, because really, how are you supposed to mash that up?!!


Make sure that you get just enough of the juice to keep the beans from becoming too dry. Take a potato masher (I always refer to them as bean mashers, which sometimes leads to people giving me funny looks) and mash your beans. Turn your burner on to medium heat and stir with a spatula until warm.
 

Now that you have delicious, homemade refried beans you are ready for some serious Mexican yumminess. Our favorite thing to do with them is make bean and cheese burritos. Get yourself some tortillas (we refuse to buy anything other than Tortilla Land Fresh Uncooked Flour Tortillas that you simply cook quickly up on a warm skillet, this is a purchase you would not regret), shredded Mexican blend cheese, salsa (homemade Gable Family Salsa recipe soon to come on the blog) and any other garnishes that you may like (lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream) and you are ready!
 

Congratulations! You have completed the first and most essential step in Gably Family Mexican Cooking! I hope you all enjoy!


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Printable Chore & Reading Punch Cards

Posted by Devin


Summer is coming and the kids are almost out of school. Yikes! How did it get here so fast?!! Every year I feel like I really need to prepare and plan for the summer months: what activities are we going to participate in, where are we going to go, what are we going to do with our long hot days, how are we going to make sure the kids don't watch too much tv and lose all brain power... You know, the usual stuff. 

Last year I was having a particular problem with 2 things: 1. Making sure the kids were reading enough, and 2. Getting them to help out around the house without massive amounts of whining. But then I started to use this punch card system and our days began going so much smoother! Seriously, it was like night and day.

Here's how it works. Print out these Chore Cards and Reading Cards and write your child's name on them. For the Chore Cards, you simply give your child a punch every time they complete a chore (taking out the trash, feeding the cat, helping with the dishes, whatever chores you choose). For the Reading Cards, I give my younger children a punch every time we read a book together and my older children a punch when they have read for 20 minutes. Once they have a card with 10 punches, they get to choose a prize from my "Mom's Store."  


My fancy "store" is just a carboard box I fill with dollar store type items that I know little boys can't resist: water balloons, water guns, bags of marbles, army men, giant candy bars, etc. I also occasionally put "Mom Coupons" in the store which can be redeemed for things like a trip to the ice cream shop or a Red Box selection of their choice (approved by Mom, of course).

I can not stress enough how well this system worked for us last summer. My kids are already super excited to begin again this year and have even tried claiming chores for themselves so they can get more punches! I say, let summer begin!!!


 

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Friday, May 17, 2013

A Mother's Day Session with Caitlin Nalder Photography

Posted by Devin & Tara


Tara and I lead busy lives filled with various activities, but first and foremost we are mothers. Packing lunches, getting kids off to school, washing laundry, helping kids with homework and school projects, drying laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, folding laundry, kissing owies, reading stories, putting dinner on the table (and oh did I mention laundry?!!) are the things that fill up most of our time. We are usually hurried, things are often hectic, and sometimes the noise and craziness make us feel like we want to run for the hills BUT... we also recognize what a sweet and precious time this is in our lives.  There is magic in each of the little moments we spend giggling with our babies and squeezing them tight. Having a child call you their "princess" or ask you to give them their 20th goodnight kiss are things that will not last and that we want to cherish and remember forever.

Our very good friend Caitlin Nalder of Caitlin Nalder Photography was recently offering mini-photo sessions for Mother's Day and we thought this was a great opportunity to document this time in our lives. Caitlin is an AMAZING photgrapher. She brings warmth and light to her photos, while capturing candid moments beautifully. Tara and I both describe her work as having a particular "glow." You will notice her photos here and there on some of our blog posts as she will occasionally be snapping shots for us. If you are looking for a photographer in our neck of the woods, we highly recommend her.




We love, love that our kiddos are such good buddies!




Neela in her usual position: surrounded by boys!


We had to end with a photo showing some of the "realities" of motherhood, lol! It's not always sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows! Here I am scolding Cash after he whacked poor Kade with a switch he found by the tree. Over lunch later that day the kids were discussing the "event" and we discovered Cash was trying to hit his brother and Kade was caught in the crossfire. Is it possible we will even want to remember these moments? :)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ottoman Reupholstery: From Tattered to Terrific!

Posted by Devin


A few years back I purchased a dark brown faux leather ottoman for our living room. It looked great and was super functional. But as you all know, I have 4 boys. It didn't take very long before it looked like this:


The ottoman became the boys' launch pad for super hero leaps into the sky, their wrestle mat, their napping spot, their desk for writing on their notepads and coloring in their coloring books, etc., etc.
I couldn't take this shabby look any more. It was time to reupholster.
If you have an ottoman that looks like this at your house, here is my how-to on reupholstering. There were some ups and downs in the process, but I am SO happy I put in the effort to update and fix my ottoman. And no, the boys will not be allowed to continue with the super hero leaps off of it. Atleast not for awhile.

The first thing you need to do is make a run to the store for just a few materials.  Feel free to dance all the way there, knowing you are about to have the world's cutest ottoman instead of your current nasty one. Here I am on my way, doing exactly that!

Materials Needed:
-Fabric (I used 2 yards of printed duck cloth I purchased at Hobby Lobby.)
-Yarn (You can use upholstery thread, but my heaviest thread kept snapping and I finally switched to yarn. Worked like a charm!)
-Long Upholstery Needle (The longer the better in my opinion, makes it easier to get through the foam.)
-Staple Gun & Staples
-Package of Upholstery Buttons (The ones that you can cover with fabric yourself.)
-Tape Measure
-Flathead Screw Driver

Step 1. Remove the current fabric from your ottoman. Prepare yourself, this will be a long process. There were so many staples!!! I used a flathead screw driver to remove the staples, the thinner the tip the better.

Step 2. Press your fabric and lay it out on the floor. Center the uncovered ottoman upside down on the fabric. I actually left more fabric on the right hand side so I could cut that off later and use the leftover fabric to cover my buttons.

Step 3. Begin stapling your fabric. I started with my 2 short ends. I first stapled in the middle and then worked my way out to the corners, making sure the fabric is tight and smooth as I go. When I was done, I trimmed off the excess fabric.

Step 4. Now staple the long ends, again starting in the middle and working your way out to the corners. When you get to the corners, you simply pull and fold the fabric just like you would when you are wrapping a present. Staple into place. (Ok, so you may notice that I didn't follow my own advice and I stapled my corners first. Do as I say and not as I do, lol! Again, we are learning from my mistakes, here.)

Step 5. Once your fabric is completely stapled, turn the ottoman over to prepare for tufting. At this point, you will need to have your upholstery buttons covered in your fabric. (Note: I was having the MOST difficult time getting the buttons to snap together. It REALLY helps if you make sure you are trying to snap them together the RIGHT WAY. Read instructions carefully.)

Step 6. Starting the tufting. This was a little tricky for me. I am going to tell you what I did after much trial and error. First of all, I did not use thread because it kept snapping over and over when I attempted to pull it tight. And I was using my heaviest duty thread. So instead, I opted to use yarn. Take a long piece of your yarn and thread it through your covered button and then put both ends through your needle. The yarn worked well but was difficult to thread through the needle. To make it easier I would snip the thread so it had a fresh, unfrayed end and pinch it tight with my fingers while slipping it through the eye of the needle. The larger the eye of your needle, the easier this will be. Here is what it should look like once it is all threaded correctly.

Step 7: Measure where you would like your tufts to go. This was easy for me as mine had already been tufted and there were holes I could feel in the foam where my buttons should go. Insert your needle and pull it through from the bottom. NOTE: The longer your needle, the better! I was using a 3" needle to go through 6" of foam so I had to use needle nose pliers to pull the needle through. Having a longer needle would have helped A LOT. Don't forget this on your materials list.

Step 8: Pull the thread tight and secure your yarn on the bottom of the ottoman using a button. Again, the yarn was difficult to thread through the button. I made it easier by using the needle to thread one side of the yarn through the button hole and then using a piece of thread to loop through the other button hole and pull the other side of the thread through. Once the button is threaded, pull and tie it tightly to secure.



Once all of the upholstered buttons are secured, your ottoman is ready to go! It may have been a lot of work, but I hope through my mistakes and solutions it will be easier for all of you. And for under $20 in materials I am thrilled with my pretty new ottoman! :)
  

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