Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Keurig K Cup Rack! So excited!

Look at what my very talented husband made for me!  I was so excited!  Then my friend and fellow Keurig owner, Erika, stopped by and saw it!  She reminded us that it was her birthday so she is now the proud owner of this new K Cup rack.  Bernie didn't want me to give it to her because he said it is just a "prototype" but I loved it and so did she.  I will soon be listing these in my Etsy shop for $25.00 with FREE personalization of up to 11 characters.  If people don't want it personalized, he said he can fit another row of K Cups on it for a total of 18 cups.

Remember that I re-use my K Cups?  I think I've finally found the method that works for me.  I rinse out the coffee from the used K Cup and after drying, I fill it with my choice of coffee.  I then cover it with a single sheet of Glad Press N Seal and wrap with a tiny hair elastic (not rubber band!).  After the internal filter has failed, I make my own filter, again top off with Glad Press N Seal and then secure with a tiny hair elastic band.  They work great!  What a great way to have wonderful coffee and save money, too!

My homemade filter inside the white K Cup.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Sorry I don't have any pictures, but I just wanted to list some of the leftovers that we had from our Thanksgiving dinner.  We had both turkey and ham with the usual fixings so there were plenty of leftovers.

1) Turkey sandwiches with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo.  A local sandwich shop calls this "the Bobby".
2) Turkey salad sandwiches.  I put everything I normally put in chicken salad into these.
3) Turkey & spinach Alfredo with angel hair pasta

1) Ham & eggs
2) Ham slices, collard greens, & rice
3) Split pea soup

I fed what was left of the turkey to the dogs but still had enough ham for about three more meals.  I used my Seal-A-Meal and separated the ham into three bags, including a very meaty ham bone.  For sure I'll make some red beans & rice for one meal and definitely more split pea soup.  Maybe some baked macaroni & cheese with ham for the last meal.  They all sound good but I have to wait for awhile before I can eat  more ham.  I still have another bone-in half ham that I bought before Thanksgiving because it was only $0.77 per/lb.

Between us, I'm so over Thanksgiving leftovers...we had PIZZA for dinner!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Re-using K Cups - Part Deux - Make your own filters!

I love re-using my K cups, especially since I've purchased the My-Kap lids.  The only problem with using these is that after awhile the lids cause the filters to detach from the K cup rendering them useless.  NOT ANYMORE!  I always wondered how I could make my own filters to get more life out of my K cup and now there's an answer.  The folks at came up with a solution and I just tweaked their instructions a little so that I could use my old Melitta basket filters instead of going out and buying Melitta #4 cone filters that they suggested and with my method, there is no template required!  Now it's even easier to re-use my K cups because I just lift out the used filter and replace it with a new one!  Here we go:

Cut the basket filter in 1/2 to make 2 filters

Fold this piece in 1/2 with the opening on the right

Fold the tip up

Fold the open side over 3-4 times

Form into a cone and place into clean K cup

So easy to use and much easier to clean than rinsing out the used K cups.  It literally takes just seconds to assemble a new filter.  I hope all the Keurig lovers will try this.

**EDIT 10/27/10**  This method is not foolproof.  If you don't roll the edge up tight, it might fail.  Also, if you're re-using your K cups, I've found that it works better if you don't use a regular drip grind.  It's too coarse.  Something between the drip grind and an espresso grind works well.  Also, in all honesty, I prefer using the Glad Press N Seal to using the My Kap lids because it's a tighter seal and there is no leakage or dripping from the sides of the coffee maker like there is when you use the My Kap lids.  The re-usable lids, however, are more convenient and once you buy them you don't have to buy anything else...other than more coffee!

 **UPDATE 12/30/11**  Since this post, I didn't give up trying to find a better alternative to the paper filter and I found it.  I have created little filters out of unbleached cotton muslin.  I have been using them for several months and they have NEVER failed!  Here is the link to the post I made about them back in May.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Magic Box

Pat asked me to make a Magic Box for her.  I just wanted to show pictures of the finished box.  I don't know the recipient but I hope she will enjoy it.

New project - Everyday Cardi from Crochet Today!

This is my latest project on the hook right now.  I love the look of this cardigan and thought it was really easy until I got to the point where I have to start working the fronts and back.  I find the instructions very confusing and have had to put it aside today because I was getting frustrated trying to figure it out.  I'm not a novice crocheter and that's what makes it even more frustrating that I can't figure this out.  I'll jump back on it tomorrow and if I can't work out the instructions, I'll finish it on my own.

I'm using Caron One Pound in Claret.  I started off with another yarn but didn't have enough to finish it.  I'll post a picture of my cardi if/when it's done.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget!

Latest crochet project

My truck has been in the shop for a couple of weeks.  I was feeling a bit stranded, even though I've been taking my husband to/from work and have his truck, and had the urge to crochet something just to keep me busy.  I started off with a coaster/scrubbie set and my friend, Mel, suggested that since I'm stuck at home that I should get a start on some Christmas gifts.  Great idea, Mel!  While searching for ideas, I came across a pattern called Oma House Slippers and thought they were the cutest things.  I've made 4 pairs so far and have many more to go.  They're very easy although the pattern isn't easy to memorize since every round is different.  They're also quite comfortable!

How to brew tea with your Keurig

Sorry, nothing earth-shattering here. A good cup of tea still takes a bit of time to make. With the Keurig it's a little faster thanks to the rapid heating of the water, but you still have to let it steep.  I bought some Celestial Seasonings Iced Black Tea K Cups yesterday and the ingredients listed were black tea and tea extract, which, I'm assuming, is why you can brew a cup of tea so quickly if you use these.  However, I thought the tea that it brewed was too strong and bitter.  I wasn't thrilled.  Here's how I do it:  I use my Finum tea brewing basket and the appropriate measure of tea.  Select the cup size I want and brew. Let it steep 3-5 minutes.  Drink as is or pour over ice.  Not hard.  With this method, I can't brew directly into a cup of ice but I don't really mind.  Did I say I tried putting tea into a used K Cup the same way I make coffee?  Ha!  Light brown colored water that did not taste at all like tea. 

How to re-use your Keurig K cups

Meet Hans, our new Keurig B66 coffee maker.  After trying one out last week at the tire store, I could see that my husband wanted one.  What I liked the most is that he could make a cup of coffee...BY HIMSELF!  My friend, Pat, picked it up for me at Sam's Club for $129.99 and it came with the water filter and 72 K Cups.  Having already done some research on it, as I usually do with any big purchase, I had already found ways to save money by using my own coffee.  Two of which involve re-using the K Cup containers themselves and the other involves using Keurig's My K Cup.  I've already ordered the K Cup Kaps on eBay but until they come, I've found a way that works wonderfully.  It involves one of my favorite household items...Glad Press N Seal!  All you have to do is peel the foil off a used K Cup, rinse it out, then fill with your favorite coffee (about 1 TBSP).  Place two 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of Glad Press N Seal over the top and press them down all around the cup to seal well.  Place it into the Keurig and try to align the existing puncture with the needle in the housing (it's not hard to feel) and brew as usual.  Easy!  I've read that you can re-use each K Cup at least 10 times!  How's that for being frugal!  Another tip:  My husband and I like our coffee on the mild/medium side and we typically drink our coffee in 16 ounce mugs.  My Keurig has 3 settings: 6 oz, 8 oz, & 10 oz sizes.  To make our coffee the way we like it I place the K Cup in the Keurig and brew an 8 oz cup.  When the machine says it's ready to brew another cup I just lift the lid as if I were going to place another K Cup into it but leave the old one there, close the lid, then brew a 6 oz cup.  This leaves room for the abundance of cream we like in our cups.

Gift card holder

I made a couple of these gift card holders for my son's teachers at the end of this past school year.  I took a 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" piece of cardstock for the card base, a 4" x 5 1/2" piece of carstock for the card holder, and just size and print my sentiments on the computer.  Score then fold the 4" x 5 1/2" CS at 1" intervals on the 4" side.  Measure the gift card then center and cut a slit along the 2nd fold line to hold the gift card.  I used a small glue dot to keep the gift card stable.  Affix the card holder to the card base and attach the sentiments.  These were very simple yet not too "girly" for his male teachers.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Chris-ism for today

My son, Chris, is 10 years old.  Some of the things that come out of his mouth amaze me!  I've decided I'd better keep track of some of the better ones so I can perhaps use them later (like when he's an adult).  So, here's today's Chris-ism:

Me:  Son, Mel's coming to pick us up to go shopping.  You'd better change your shorts.

Chris:  Why?

Me:  Those are too tight.

Chris:  No they're not.  What makes them too tight?

Me:  They're hugging your butt.

Chris:  Mom, my butt deserves to be hugged!


He got to wear the shorts!  I was lauging my ass off too hard to argue with that one!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick Tomato Salisbury Steak

Tonight, I needed to make dinner quickly after getting home from Chris' Tae Kwon Do around 8:30 pm.  I was way too lazy this afternoon to cook dinner.  I had 2 lbs. of ground beef but didn't think I had time to do a meatloaf.  I looked in the veggie bin and the pantry and came up with this version of Salisbury Steak.  I thought it was pretty good and wanted to jot it down so I'd be able to re-create it later.  Here goes:

Tomato Salisbury Steak

Beef mixture:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 - 2.8 oz can French's French Fried Onions, crushed
salt, pepper, garlic powder


1/2 green bell pepper, diced
5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 can tomato soup
1/2 soup can water

Form beef mixture into patties and brown on both sides, not cooking all the way through.  Remove beef from pan.  Saute bell pepper and mushrooms in a few tablespoons water to deglaze pan.  When bell pepper starts to get soft, add tomato soup and water to pan, return beef patties to pan and turn to coat with gravy.  Spoon gravy over top of patties.  Cover and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes.  Tilt lid to let steam escape if gravy gets too watery.  Enjoy over mashed potatoes or hot rice.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tea Bag Folding

Pat and I were practicing our tea bag folding yesterday and we made these "flowers".  We started with 3" squares and followed the instructions we found on  Three inch squares, when folded, create a flower that is about 4" across.  Kinda big for a card but too pretty to waste, so here it is on the front of your basic A2 sized card.  We figured that 1 1/2" squares resulted in a flower that was good for treat bags and 2" squares created a flower suitable for a card.  You can get several of these flowers from a 12" x 12" piece of paper, but this is also a great project for scraps.  Watch out!  It's addicting!  Of course, YouTube is a fabulous place to start and this link takes you to a video by RubberStampRosie that is wonderful!  Who would have ever thought to use the inside of security envelopes for this project.  Great recycling project as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hershey's Nugget Box & Dove Chocolates Box

I want to thank Beth Warner for her great instructions for making little boxes that can hold 3 Hershey's Nuggets.  I've been seeing them on people's blogs but found her instructions yesterday and just had to try it myself.  They are super cute!  My only issue is the use of the dreaded 16th inches!  Argh!  I just bought the Martha Stewart scoring board last week and have been trying to scale up/down patterns because there are no 16th inch increments on that or my Fiskar's paper trimmer.  Beth was so kind to post her instructions and I tweaked them to suit my "16th-inch-a-phobia" and here are my measurements on the score board.

Box:  6" x 4 1/2"
With the 6" side against the top of the board, score @ 3/4", 1 1/2", 4 1/2", & 5 1/4"

With the 4 1/2" side against the top of the board, score @ 3/4", 1 1/2", 3", & 3 3/4"

Top: 5 1/2" x 3"

With the 5 1/2" side against the top of the board, score @ 3/4", 2 3/8", 3 1/8", & 4 3/4"

I then followed Beth's instructions for assembly and it turned out great!  Then I got to thinking, what other candy can I put in the box?  I had some little Dove chocolates but they were too big soooooooooo...

Sized to fit 3 Dove chocolates:

Box: 5 1/2" x 3 1/2"

With the 5 1/2" side against top of the board, score @ 1/2", 1", 4 1/2", & 5"

With the 3 1/2" side against top of the board, score @ 1/2", 1", 2 1/2", & 3"

Top: 4 1/2" x 3 1/2"

With the 4 1/2" side against the top of the board, score @ 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", & 4"

Follow the assembly instructions for the Hershey's Nugget Box.

Treat bag template

So much to write about today but I don't know if I can get it all in. 

Pat and I have been looking at all sorts of treat bag patterns & templates pretty much since we got our Cricuts.  We've tried making a few and I have been pretty pleased with what we've done so far but I keep seeing more that I'd like to try.  Pat's limited to the size of the bags she can cut with her Cricut as she has the Create so this one will be right up her Cricut needed!  After seeing some projects online, I tried making my own template but I haven't yet tried to draw it out in Word so you'll just have to look at the pictures I took.  I think you'll get the idea and the score lines are written on the template.  I specifically wanted to be able to use my Martha Stewart Scoring Board.   The treat bag is made using an 8 1/2" x 11" paper or cardstock.  I like the look of the rounded edge on my topper flap but it would look great if you use a border punch. 

The finished bag measures 4 1/2" H x 3" W.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A couple of treat holders

One of my favorite sources of inspiration is Dawn Griffith of Dawn's Stamping Thoughts on YouTube.  As I am meeting a couple of friends for lunch today, I wanted to bring them some goodies.  I came across this video and thought these would be perfect to make.  I, however, don't have the Movers & Shapers die that she used so I had to cut my scalloped oval on my Cricut using the "09 Kutups" font and my SCAL.  Otherwise, I used her instructions and simply embellished the front with a strip of paper and a small flower made using the EK Success punch Pat gave me.  Thanks, Pat!  I still have to add the clear bag full of candy to the treat bag to complete it but I'm sure you can get the idea.

Dawn also made some gift card holders in a little purse design.  Pat and I have been playing with these little purses since buying our Crafter's Companion Ultimate, so these weren't new to us.  I did, however, change it up a bit by making the purse into a treat holder instead of a gift card holder just by playing around with the scoring lines.  Oh yeah, today I used my Michael's 40% off coupon to buy a Martha Stewart score board.  The CCU is great but I wanted something with more scoring lines.  I am enjoying it so far. 

Speaking of Michael's, I'm so glad they accept Joann's coupons as well because I used my 40% off Joann's mobile coupon from the Mobiqpons app on my iPod Touch to pick up a K&Co paper stack.  Poor cashier didn't know what to do when I showed her the coupon on my ipod and got nervous when her manager walked past but she accepted it anyway.  I had a paper coupon in my purse as a back up just in case.

In case you're interested in the specifics for the purse treat bag, here they are:

Using SCAL and my Cricut, I cut the topper shape using the "09 Kutups" font.  I made it 4.25" at the widest point and made sure to keep proportions when sizing.  (I maybe should have made it a tad wider)  Score 1/8" on each side of the center point of the topper along the 4.25" width.  Using my CropADile, I cut a hole in the center of the score lines towards each end using the 1/8" size hole for the purse handle.  Cut a length of ribbon, thread through holes and tie a knot on each end to secure. 

The paper for the body of the purse is cut at 5.5" x 8.5".  It is scored at 3.75" and 4.75" for the bottom of the purse.  To make the purse shape, score a little tic mark 5/8" from each of the 4 corners on the top and bottom (short sides).  Place card on trimmer aligning the tic mark and the first score line on the bottom of the purse, centered in the cutting groove, and cut.  Repeat 3 more times. 

Attach back of purse to back of topper using glue runner.  You will need to use some type of closure of your choice such as Velcro or glue dots.  You can get the general idea of how to put it together by watching this video by Dawn.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A Little Bit of Sewing! A Purse Organizer!

I can't blame this one on YouTube for a change!  I forgot how much I wanted one of these until I saw a late night commercial for one.  There are several tutorials online and they are pretty much the same.  As usual, I couldn't sleep until I'd made one so here are the ingredients:

2 pcs fabric of choice - 10" by width of fabric
1 pc heavyweight  interfacing - 10" by width of fabric
Marking pencil
Usual sewing supplies

Lay fabric pieces right sides facing and lay interfacing on top.  I've used a 5/8" seam allowance.  Pin all around and sew up both of the long sides, leaving a 3" space for turning.  Measure 36" and cut.  Sew up both short sides.  Turn right sides out.  Tuck in ends of turning space and pin closed.  Topstitch both long sides.  Flip bottom long edge up towards top long edge, leaving a 1" space.  Mark the following measurements from left to right:  3.5", 3.5", 4.5", 5", 5", 5.5", 6" to create pockets and pin in between to keep everything in place.  Sew from top of pocket to bottom and backstitch at both top and bottom for strength.  Sew up sides using a small (1/8") seam allowance and you're done!  Enjoy your new purse organizer!

I've based my measurements on the large Purseket, although mine fits nicely in my pretty smallish purse.  The website very generously gives you measurements for all of the sizes of their Pursekets. 

And finally, I made a little dust cover for my Cricut using one of my husband's old t-shirts.  He wears a 2XL shirt.  I slipped it over the Cricut and eyeball measured how much to cut off, including seam allowance.  Since it's a tube, all I had to do was sew one seam.  It's not pretty but it works very nicely.