Tuesday, January 31, 2012

popcorn chicken and oven steak fries

Its been a while since I have shared a recipe and after Sunday's dinner I thought it was about time.  My whole family loved both of these and its something a little different then our usual. 

I found this yummy recipe here.  Its a knock off from a famous chicken restaurant :)

Popcorn Chicken
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (or 3 if they are smaller)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
2 TBSP powdered sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
canola oil for frying

1. whisk the egg and milk in a medium to large bowl. Trim any fat away from chicken and cut chicken into bite size pieces. Place chicken in milk mixture,and cover and put it in the fridge for about 2-4 hours.  This makes the chicken very tender (honestly I forgot this step the second time I made it and there wasn't much difference but if you have the time I'd do it).  
2. In a gallon size resealable bag combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper. Seal and shake to mix.  Then using a fork add the chicken to the back and shake to coat.
3. Place about 2 inches of oil in a medium deep pot. Over medium high heat (more towards the high side) heat oil until hot. A great tip from her the original site is "I always test my oil by dropping a few drops of water into it. You want it to sizzle and not pop too much."  If it starts popping to much turn the heat down a little.
4. Place about a 6-8 pieces of chicken into hot oil and let them cook until golden brown, turning half way through once the edge of your chicken starts to turn white.  Always double check to make sure you chicken is fully cooked and their is no pink left.
5.Remove and drain on a paper towel. Finish the rest of the chicken the same way.  Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy.  My kids LOVE these.

Oven Season Steak Fries
I found this recipe in my Rachel Ray cookbook or you can find it online here.  these are so addicting!
4 potatoes
1tsp thyme
1tsp oregano
1tbs steak seasoning
3 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper

1.Wash and cut your potatoes in to thin wedges.  (I cut mine a little to thick, they worked but I had to cook them for about 10 extra minutes).
2.Pile them up in the center of a large baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl combine your olive oil and seasonings.  Mix well.  Honestly I just eyeballed it and didn't pull out the measuring spoons)
4.  drizzle oil mixture over your fries.  Spread the potato out.  You'll have oil and seasoning on your fingers just by moving them, so I I spread them out I quickly rubbed my fingers on both sides of the fries just to make sure every one was coated in the oil and spices. 
5. Bake on 450 for 25 minutes.  Turn half way through.  Check them to make sure they are very soft.  If not keep cooking them.  I mentioned I had to cook mine an extra 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Choices and Consequences Sharing time or FHE idea

I thought I would share what I am doing for sharing time tomorrow in case anyone need a last minute idea or it would be really fun to use for Family Night. 

I printed out the words choices and consequences and taped each to the end of a stick (mine was actually a light saber)  Quickly explain that we have the wonderful gift of agency and are able to make our own choices.  However that doesn't mean we can do anything we want with out consequences.  Pick up the one side of the stick and show that it effects the other side.  (This is from the sharing time manual)
I'm then going to tell them how much I love ice cream shops and getting to pick my favorite flavors.  Then display my ice cream cone (just cut one from paper).  Then show my 8 scoops of ice cream. (I used the template from here).  On the back I have a different scenario of a choice some one made.  Take turns having a child come up and pick a flavor of ice cream.  Read the scenario on the back and have them tell you the consequences that would follow.  Add the ice cream scoop to the cone.  See how big you can build it!

*I'll add pictures after we use this for family night on Monday :)

Here are the scenarios I came up with:

You see a new girl at school sitting by herself.  You decide to go ask her to play.
Your mom asks you to clean your room and you quickly do it.

Your mom is cooking dinner and your little sister is crying.  You decide to read a book to her.

You are walking home from school.  You know you are supposed to go straight home but you decide to stop and swing at the park for a few minutes.

During primary you thought of a funny story and told your friend.

During a spelling test at school you couldn’t remember how to spell a word so you peeked at your neighbors test.

After you are already in bed and the lights turned off you remember you forgot to say a prayer.  You quickly jump out of bed and say a prayer.

You are playing outside and you see your dad is pulling weeds.  You ask him if you can help.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How to curl Satin Ribbon

Here's an easy way to make your satin ribbon curly.  I used ribbon from Walmart.  Turn your curling iron on to the lowest setting.  the smaller the curling iron the tighter and more curls you will get.  Clamp your curling iron to the end of the ribbon and roll up making sure your ribbon goes up the curling iron not just on top of its self.  Slowly count to 30 then release.  No need to do anything else, this will keep your ribbon curled.  (I read if you want it straighted pull out your straightener)  Who knew house hold items could be used for crafting!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stop by...

my first Ready to Ship night on Facebook!  Lots of cute items ready to be sent out right away.  Great photo props, baby gifts, or maybe something for you little one.  Here's a peek at a few of the items that will be posted.  Starts at 5:30 pacific time.  See you there!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1K facebook fan Giveaway!

On facebook I reached my goal of 1,000 fans and a few more now! Thank you to everyone that helped get me there :)   So to celebrate we are going to have not 1 but 2 huge giveaway involving several generous vendors.   Here's what you can win:

Giveaway #1
Kitty Cats and Airplanes is giving away a $30 Credit to her shop.  You can also find her blog here.

Callie from Callielily is giving away 1 nursing cover of you choice from her shop. (free US shipping)

Jen from Isla Garden Boutique is offering this beautiful headband from her shop.  winner picks the size.

I'm giving $20 shop credit to my shop A.O.kay designs.

Kimberly from Bugaboo mini mr and me is giving a stay-put bookmarker from her shop.  You can also find her blog here.
Artfully Caroline is giving 2 of these Ear warmers.  You can find her blog here.

Bobbie from A vision to Remember is giving a $10 gift certificates to her shop.  You can also find her blog here.


Cherie from Jamberry will be giving away 1 Jamberry Nails sheet (of their choice), scissors, Cuticle Orange Stick, Mini Nail File, and a Catalog.  You can find here website here.

Heather from Modern Mommy Crochet is giving 1 $25 gift certificate to her shop

I'm giving $20 shop credit to my shop A.O.kay designs.

Kimberly from Bugaboo mini mr and me is giving a stay-put bookmarker from her shop. You can also find her blog here.

Sahyli from Sugar and spice and everything nice is giving one of her gorgeous lace crowns from her shop.

Artfully Caroline is giving 2 of these Ear warmers. You can find her blog here.

Bobbie from A vision to Remember is giving a $10 gift certificates to her shop. You can also find her blog here.

Tawny Bee is giving this adorable upcycled hippo hat (size 2T-3T).  You can find her shop here.

To enter:
Since it is a facebook celebration you need to like each person on facebook and come back and leave a comment telling me you did and if you would prefer giveaway #1 or #2.

Callielily doesn't have a facebook page so please heart her shop. 

Extra entry: share this giveaway on facebook

(If you do not have facebook you can heart their shop or follow their blog instead.)

Giveaway will close Tuesday January 31st at Midnight and the two winners will be announced.  Please make sure to leave your email in your comment or on your profile page.  If you do not want to you will be responsible to check back to see if you won.  All prizes must be claimed within 48 hours or a new winner will be picked.  Good Luck! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scrapbook Sunday

I thought I would share a few layouts I worked on this week.  Some still need some journaling but for the most part they are done.  The digital software I had been using stopped working when my computer crashed a few months ago.  But I have a new program that I'll be telling you about later this week (umm and giving one away!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Green Clean Giveaway winner and discount!

Winner is comment #16 Jentri!  Congrats!
*Please claim your prize in the next 48 hours or I will need to pick a new winner."

*For all of you wanting to try Norwex products Claire is generously offering a 15% discount from Jan. 12th through January 21st to all Crystal's Craft Spot readers. To order e-mail your order to Claire at michaelandclaire@gmail.com with the subject as "Norwex order-- Crystal's discount."

Thank you Claire!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last Day to enter

The green clean giveaway! Its a really great product so you don't want to miss out.  There is also a discount code.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anyone intrested?

I reached 1,000 fans on facebook and to celebrate I am having a big 1K giveaway.  I currently looking for anyone interested in being apart of the giveaway.  Its a great way to advertise your business.   Those wishing to enter the giveaway will be asked to visit your facebook page or blog.  Giveaway items don't need to big and anyone is welcome to be apart of it. Please email me (scharris21@gmail.com) for more details.  Thanks :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Blogger: Efficient Design - Green Bathrooms

*Don't forget to enter the green cleaning giveaway!*

Christina Johnson works remotely for Elliman Prudential. She is using her journalism major to combine what she loves most, writing and her career. Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.  Today she is going to share some ways to not only make our bathrooms designs green but also beautiful and efficient.

The bathroom is an essential part of most every home. However, the bathroom is also an area that is often neglected when it comes to creating an environmentally friendly and green space. Luckily, when designing or remodeling your bathroom, the nation-wide renewed focus on green living has opened up an entire marketplace full of green items specifically made for the bathroom.

Recycled Glass Tile: Tile is a commonly used throughout the bathroom, from floors and shower walls to backsplashes and accent work. Consider using recycled glass tiles, which come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Recycled glass tile is installed in the same manner as regular tile, and can come in pre-spaced squares allowing for easy installation and grouting

Sustainable Harvested Woods: Wood is often used for vanities and even flooring for bathroom spaces. However, many wood products require the use of environmentally unfriendly or even illegal logging practices to supply the material. Choose products with a Forest Stewardship Council approved sticker on them, or choose more environmentally friendly products like bamboo, cork or wheat straw. Storm-feld tree products are also an option for a more green bathroom. Avoid wood products made from particle board, which often contains formaldehyde.

Recycled Metals: Recycled metals can be used in your bathroom from cabinet pulls to fixtures. Look for products such as recycled metal counter tops, vessel sinks made from recycled metal, recycled aluminum tiles, salvaged brass faucets, and recycled bronze metal hardware.

Composite Terrazzo: Another way to use recycled materials for vanity countertops is through composite terrazzo products. These counter tops are made from a wide range of different materials, such as recycled glass, which is then combined with an epoxy binder or cement to create the hard and formed surface of the countertop. Because there are different types and colors of materials used in each piece, you get a unique finished look to the product you install.

Salvaged Products: Whenever possible, try to use recycled salvaged products in your bathroom remodel. Often times home owners will get rid of light fixtures, cabinets or sinks that are still in style, but that do not fit their own current personal style. Purchasing these products from salvage stores reduces the chances that the product will find its way into a landfill, as well as can provide a unique or vintage look to your bathroom space.

Windows: Install windows in your bathroom to bring in natural light. The more natural light you have flowing into your bathroom, the more open it will feel and the less electricity you will need to use, which reduces your energy waste and brings down your electric bills. Install Energy Star rated windows to help reduce the loss of heat or cold air during the winter or summer months.

Toilet: Toilets make up a significant portion of water usage in most homes or
apartment rentals . Each flush can waste gallons of water, even though newer toilet designs can provide the same performance with less water. Look for toilets made to the HET Standard (or High Efficiency Toilet) which guarantees you'll be using less water with each flush.

While these steps may seem small, every choice helps create a better world for you, your family and generations to come. By making these simple choices, you can make a positive impact on the environment, all without sacrificing style or function in your bathroom.

Thank you so much Christina!  I love these tips and ideas.  We are going to start building a house next month and I'll be keeping them in mind.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Round up

*Don't forget to enter the Green Cleaning giveaway*

I love decorating for the holidays!  Here are a few ideas I love found through pinterest.

Love this free stitch pattern from Pine Needles

This is the cutest Valentine made by zakka life and I know my daughter will love it.  It says Have a Super Valentine's day!

Still want to make one of these! (Found here)

Tons of Free Printable here

Love these drop cloth pillows from Pitter and Glink.

Do you have any Valentine's projects to share?  I'd love to see them, leave a link in the comments and I'll stop by.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Green Cleaning Review and Giveaway!

Today I have an exciting giveaway for you.  In January I always get the bug to clean and organize everything so when I received this package I was so excited and it was immediately put to use.  I scrubbed and cleaned my house in no time and started looking for more things to clean!  My husband asked me if I was feeling okay because this is so out of the ordinary for me.  So what was in this amazing package that would cause me to do this?  Well it was a package from Claire an independent consultant for Norwex.  First I'll have her tell you a little about about the company and then I'll share my experience with the products I recieved. 

"Norwex is a quality microfiber that allows you to clean your house with water only. It has made cleaning simple, fast, effective, and without using chemicals! The reason Norwex microfiber cloths work so well is because the quality of the microfiber can pick up 99.9% of all bacteria, germs, and viruses. The silver inside the cloths (that cannot come out) will inhibit mold, mildew, smells, and stop bacteria from growing so you have fresh cloths every time you rinse it in hot water, and hang it to dry. Once it is dry it is all fresh again and won't have to worry about it spreading germs and bacteria around the house the next time you use it!  They have a 2 year warranty, so if your cloth gets a hole or starts coming off at the edges you can replace it. They will last up to 500 washings, so if you only wash your cloths once a week they will last up to 10 years!  Norwex has made it easy for my family to help me clean, I give them a wet cloth and they can go clean the counters, doors, mirrors, windows, floors all with the same cloth. My kids have enjoyed cleaning because they feel like they can help around the house and do as good of job as me."  

Here's a great video that demonstrates how well these cloths clean and gives a little more information on how they work: A great mirror demo
And here is another good video my neighbor's video

I received 3 different cloths and some laundry soap to try, some instructions, and a phone call from Claire explaining each product.  What I immediately like was the fact that I only needed water to clean and once I was done I just rinse it out and hang it to dry.  The silver in the cloth sanitizes it's self so its ready the next time I use it.  There is no need to wash it after each use!  Now I was a little skeptical that water and the enviro cloth would be able to clean as well as my spray and sponge but I was very happy with the results.  My counter looked brighter and everything come off easily including grease.  It powered right through it with out any trouble and I didn't have to rinse out my rag right after I could just keep going.  I also love that you can use it on any surface.  I went from my counter, to my stove, my wood table, my sink, to my cabinets, to my window, to the frames, then on to my bathroom.  No need to rinse in between or grab different cleaners or cloths.  It was  so fast and easy.  And I love using it on my kitchen table.  It is gentle enough for the wood and it doesn't leave water to wipe off or worry about, my table hasn't looked this good in a long time.
Here's a before and After of my stove (I'm a little embarrassed) using the enviro cloth.  Most of it came off really easy with this cloth, some took a little scrubbing.

I also received the window cloth and it works better then spray and paper towels and no streaks!

 Next I tried the body cloth, I used it each night to remove my makeup.  I was thrilled with this one! I have to be careful with face washes because most irritate my skin and the ones that don't are expensive.   These were soft (you don't want to scrub hard) and easily removed all makeup.  Also my face is much clearer.  They are suppose to be great for exfoliating.
I was also sent a little of the Laundry Detergent to try.  Our clothes seem to be clean and fresh.  Also my washing machine had been smelling weird (gross I know) but after a 2 loads using this I think it cleaned my washing machine as well, no more smell.  So that was a nice little bonus.  Also my husband likes that he doesn't smell like flowers or fruit any more :) 

Norwex does make cleaning quick and effective.  I love the variety of products (I know I have a few on my wish list now) and that each one cleans so many things.  For example the enviro cloth cleans, spot treats, dusts, washes windows and mirrors, and I'm sure I'm forgetting the rest.  It is also very cost effective.  I think the products are reasonably prices but what is great is you really only need one cloth to clean your entire house and it last forever!  Besides toilet bowl cleaner I haven't really bought any other cleaning supplies and don't really plan to.  So it saves you a ton of money!  I love that their is no smell to them.  I hate when I would clean my bathroom and it smelled like bleach or cleaner but now its not a problem, I feel comfortable cleaning the bathroom while my 3 year old is in the bath and not worrying about the smells affecting her. 

I had a great experience with the Norwex products and Claire is an excellent consultant.  She is friendly, very helpful, and excited about this product. 

Here are some of Claire's other favorite products:
dust mitt makes dusting so fast and easy
travel pack Love to carry these around when I am out doing errands/restaurants for cleaning carts, tables, and hands.
dishwashing liquid This is so great for spot cleaning and caring for cloths, getting stains out of clothing, carpets, and also for washing dishes. Super concentrated so this bottle lasts a long time. You only need a tiny amount.
Tea towel set LOVE this set for my kitchen. I dry my handwashed dishes with the large towel, and then use it to wipe my hands on. I don't have to worry because it holds SO much and will keep it in the cloth until you wash or rinse it out. I love the little cloth for my kitchen counters, stove, microwave, and table.

*You can find detail on all of the products and their many uses here.  This is a great resource.

Now for the giveaway! 
One of you will win a cleaning set of your own!
You will receive the Blue enviro cloth, a window cloth, and your choice of one makeup removal cloth OR a body cloth!

To enter:
Mandatory: Visit Claire's Norwex website and tell me your favorite product and why

extra entries (leave a separate comment for each)
1. Like her page on Facebook
2. Visit the product manual and tell me something you learned about the company or about one of the products
3. Make a purchase during the week of the giveaway (2 extra entries)
4. Like Crystal's Craft Spot on Facebook
5. Follow Crystal's Craft spot
6. Share this giveaway on facebook

Giveaway will end Wednesday January 18th at midnight and winner announced the next morning!

*For all of you wanting to try Norwex products Claire is generously offering a 15% discount from Jan. 12th through January 21st to all Crystal's Craft Spot readers.  To order e-mail your order to Claire at michaelandclaire@gmail.com   with the subject as "Norwex order-- Crystal's discount."  

*If you have any questions for Claire about any of the products, how they work, joining her Norwex team, etc.  leave a comments and she will be happy to answer them here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Recently finished

I've been working on a few custom orders lately and just wanted to share some with you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Goals

I love the New Year because I feel so much motivation.  I love the fresh start.  So today I thought I would share my creative goals.
*Write my own crochet patterns
*learn to sew clothes for my kids and myself comfortably
*make a quilt
*catch up on my scrapbook
*365 project
*learn to use my saw and actually make something with it
*keep a journal
*create a system to keep our home organized

Also I love the idea of a one word motto for the year.  I saw this on my cousins blog the last two years and I know many of your do this, I thought I would try it out this year.  So my word for the year or motto is enjoy!  I want to find joy in the little things and the big things,  I want to stop and take time to live life and not try to cram in so much that I'm just moving so fast that life just goes by.  I want to find happiness even when things aren't going so well.  I want to create moments with my family that we will always remember.  I want to enjoy today.

Here's a few quotes I found on pinterest that I thought sum it up nicely.

What are some of your goals for the year?  Do you pick one word?
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