Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Asian Noodle Salad with Polynesian Flank Steak

I haven't shared a recipe in forever awhile! I guess I've been stuck in a dinner rut, and didn't have the time, energy or motivation to get out! I forced myself to plan meals this week BEFORE heading to the grocery store. We are back to homeschooling now, and I hate when it's late afternoon and I realize there is nothing to cook, after an exhausting day of teaching. I rely on my Foodie board on Pinterest to help me out with new ideas. 
A couple of weeks ago I pinned the Asian Noodle Salad from The Pioneer Woman, because it just looked so good! Well guess what? It IS good! Really good! The only problem is, my husband has to have meat for it to be considered a meal...ok, maybe I do too. SO I went ahead and added a version of my Polynesian Flank Steak!  P-Dub mentions in her post that Marlboro Man won't go anywhere near this salad, but I can't help but wonder if he'd eat it with steak on it. Maybe? Either way, she hits a homerun with this recipe!

Now, since I was making my list in a hurry, I accidentally left out the cucumbers and cashews, but since I was adding meat, it was fine. I also can't handle spicy...my tummy just won't allow it, so instead of the hot peppers in the dressing, I added a bit of red chili flakes. It was a good trade. To save time on peeling and chopping the ginger for the dressing, I substituted the ginger paste that you buy in a tube near the salad mixes.

When marinating the flank steak, I didn't use the crushed pineapple like in the recipe link above, and instead added a bit of teriyaki sauce to the marinade. Everything else I kept the same.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

DIY Mini Doll Bed

Yesterday Emma got her mini doll in the mail. She saved her money from chores {and selling a painting to good ol' grandma} and ordered mini American Girl Josefina online. She's getting the big one for Christmas, but she wanted the mini one too. Today I figured I'd attempt a mini bed from scrap wood and fabric. It worked! 

 I just cut some scrap wood and screwed it together to make a four-poster style bed. We spray painted it red to match her dress. Then Emma went through my fabric scraps to pick out her bedding fabric.
I made a "mattress" and pillow, then sewed a blanket that has super soft felt in between the layers. Since this was just a quick scrap project, I utilized the pinking shears on the blanket and pillow. It kinda makes the pillow look like it has ruffled edges!

A perfect fit and super easy! I may or may not add a white canopy to the top, I'm undecided.
 Now Cami wants me to make her mini BUNK BEDS! ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Life Lessons

Last week I decided that the girls were old enough to teach them how to embroider. My skills are basic for sure, but I thought it would be fun. It's a cheap project because the hoops are only $1.49 at JoAnns, and the floss is super cheap. 
 I traced what they wanted to stitch in pencil on the fabric. It only took a couple of minutes to show them how to do it. I guess that means I probably could have taught them a long time ago.

 I love that even though Emma is going to be NINE on her next birthday, her hands still look like they did when she was 3 years old.

 Cami on her first project.
 Below is Emma's VERY first embroidery! I can't believe how well she did! She stitched the name of the American Girl doll she has asked for, for Christmas. She added a blue bow and yellow flowers because "that's what is in Josefina's hair in the catalog". ;)
 Their first embroideries got them hooked and they wanted to do more. They already asked if they could put some paintings in my Etsy shop (which I did), and now they thought they could do these too. Cami did the McKenna one below as her second piece. All of the ones below (except for the Solana and Julie one) are for sale in the Etsy shop.
 Emma made this one for her friend Solana that moved to Santa Barbara this summer. Solana has a Julie doll. She plans on taking it when we visit them and surprising her with it. So sweet.

Emma is finishing up a REALLY pretty red Julie Albright today. I can't wait to list it, it's her best yet, with beautiful flower and leaf  detail at the bottom. 

Now here's where the life lesson comes in. Saturday night all three of us were watching a movie before bed and embroidering. Cami has big ambitions of earning enough money to buy her Rebecca doll without having to wait for Christmas. 
I REALLY didn't want to hinder creativity, so I told them when they asked to sell paintings in the shop- "Okay, but just don't be disappointed if no one buys them. Even mommy doesn't know if anyone will buy any of my things either. I'll do it as long as no one gets sad or jealous if one of you sells something and the other one doesn't." I figure, either way it will be an opportunity to learn something-dealing with disappointment (equally valuable lesson), or learning it takes work to earn money.

They agreed, so I listed the paintings. Back to Saturday night, I'm tucking them in and we are saying prayers. Cami prays, "Please help me get $100 before Christmas so that I can buy my Rebecca doll." 

I stop her there and tell her that she should understand something. I told her it would be better to pray that  God would "bless the work of her hands". I told her that everything that we ever have comes from Him. If anything does sell, it's not because we are so wonderful, but because He is. 

While I was preparing to open the Etsy shop, I read something that I have been keeping in my mind this whole time...
"Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle."
Proverbs 23:4-5

That was the real life lesson.