Tag Archives: painting

LOX, Orange Chicken and House Progress

The creative juices are flowing… just no output. This is the first time I’ve really MOVED, and I didn’t realize how time consuming it would be to put all of my stuff away! It probably doesn’t help that on top of getting organized, I seem to be acquiring more and more stuff. Apparently Babies do that to you. I’ve already sectioned off a portion of my living room that will undoubtedly be devoted to TOYS for the next … 10 years. I can’t say that I’m not excited for the Lego Mania that is bound to happen in my living room. Also, I’ve got lots of stuff. Every time I get three totes put away, I go back to Mom and Dad’s house and pack up three more totes! Who knows what they are going to do with all their extra space!

So, here we are three weeks later and the only thing crafty I’ve done is make potholders – granted, they are awesome – Oh, and paint my craft room. Three of four walls are painted, the fourth may or may not be painted at a later date. Yellow, green and teal. 

Craft Room: In Progress

If that doesn’t satisfy your room decor needs, click on the photo to go to my flickr account, do some browsing and you’ll find the originals.

On the right is walls 1 (yellow) and 2 (green) with totes of fabric and plastic bags (Man to build shelves in closet soon); middle photo is a cool book shelf shoved in a couve; the photo on the left is walls 2 (green) and 3 (teal). These photos don’t do it justice – the bright colors will be very inspiring in months to come!

For those of you playing Sherwin Williams Home Game, the colors are:

  • 6907 Forsythia
  • 6931 Jolly Green
  • 6947 Tempo Teal

More about the middle photo: I had all intentions of putting my television on this shelf, but I just don’t think that is going to work. It will have to be housed on another stand, in another corner. All of my craft stuff (beads, sequins, feathers, trims, biased tape, paint, tools etc) had just been thrown in to a giant tote and a giant plastic bag. I bought twenty 6 qt Sterilite storage containers from Walmart and separated everything into it’s appropriate category. And of course, as any good crafter would have, the multiple containers of “What in the world am I ever going to do with this/I can’t get rid of these doll glasses, you never know when I will want them” crap. So – there’s half the storage in this shelving unit 🙂 Above those are patterns, more bead/button/embroidery organizers etc; the top shelf is books/magazines. 
Not pictured: the closet that will (eventually) be housing all of my fabric/recycled clothes.

Altho I haven’t been crafting, I’ve been cooking and doing some light baking. One of my goals for 2010 is to try one new recipe a month. January was a success, as I did two and Brian did one. Let me introduce you to: Orange Chicken.

Orange Chicken

This is a recipe is from the Diamond Jo Casino Employee Cookbook (Northwood, IA). My changes [following the original]. You might also want to make some rice! I recommend remembering to make the rice BEFORE the rest of the food is done cooking. Goes a lot faster.


  • 2 lb chicken (uncooked) [I used two chicken breasts]
  • 1/4 c onion, chopped [or a whole onion]
  • 1/4 c green peppers, chopped [or 2 whole green and red peps]



  • 1/4 c frozen orange juice concentrate [more like half a cup; and we use orange-pineapple since it was on sale]
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 2 tbs soy sauce [lite SS of course, add more to taste]
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper [pretty sure I didn’t add these]
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • [add red pepper flakes next time – not too many, just enough for flavor]

Their instructions (Oven):

  1. Spray 9x3in glass baking pan. Place chicken, onion, peppers in dish.
  2. Mix sauce together and pour over chicken.
  3. Bake, covered, for one hour at 350. 
  4. Uncover and place orange slices on top, return to oven for 15 minutes
  5. This is a Weight Watchers recipe.

My instructions (Stove):

  1. You will need a good sized pan. The big-ish one. I don’t know what they are called. But you’re throwing all the ingredients in together and they all need to fit and cook.
  2. Cut onion and peppers into whatever size you like to eat.
  3. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  4. Mix sauce together. Will be thickish, shouldn’t be runny.
  5. If you like your onion clear, start cooking them in the pan for a few minutes before adding the chicken and peppers – add some sauce so the onions start cooking in the sauce. 
  6. Add remaining ingredients (chicken, peppers, remaining sauce). Cover. Set your stove to medium to high.
  7. Check periodically should be done when everything is cooked. You want to give the sauce enough time for all the flavors to mix, it definitely tastes better at the end than when you mix it together!

New Year, New House, New Projects

So, January is half over?!

I took a slight break from updating during the holidays, but I am back and ready to be creative. It’s 2010, we just moved into our first house, and I’ve got a slew of projects in the que! 

New house… I’ve been living with my parents for a few years, so my potholder collection was slacking. I bought a few from the D-Tree, but they were completely useless. Might as well have just grabbed pans with a piece of cotton. I needed good, durable potholders. Mom and Dad’s kitchen has great ones. Mom did some Googling and found a pattern, and here is what we have so far:

Just like Grandma used to make! Make a chain of like 30, single crochet down the chain, on the last chain crochet three times. Keep crocheting, and when you hit the other end, crochet three on the last chain. Keep going around the circle. Fold the crocheted goodness so you have two points, keep crocheting until the two sides meet. Connect the sides. Take hot items out of the oven. Enjoy.


Before I can move my craft stuff into the room, I’ve got to finish painting. I picked out the colors last year to paint my bedroom, and then I never did. This awesome paint can’t just go to waste. Yellow, Green and Teal will be inspiring me for years to come 🙂 

I really haven't been slacking! Two walls painted, still need to do the last one. Please ignore the shotty corner job. Will be fixed once I get some more tape.


And today, drumroll please, I baked for the first time in my new kitchen! Dessert of choice: Monster Cookies!

This particular recipe comes from the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Waukee, circa 2006. 


  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter or shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 t white syrup
  • 1 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1/4 lb chocolate chips (ummm, or half a bag?)
  • 1/4 lb M&Ms (ummm, a full bag? And I used peanut…)


  1. Cream sugars and butter, add eggs, soda, syrup and peanut butter (I just realized I forgot last half cup of peanut butter, still turned out fine, also explains why they aren’t as peanut buttery as usual). Get this all creamy – then add your oatmeal. Once you get the oatmeal mixed, add your chocolate chips and M&Ms. 
  2. Scoop on to the pan, try to flatten, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 350 for 10-12 is what the recipe said. I pushed mine back to about 300, and had to have them in for about 13-14 minutes. I’m still getting used to my oven.