Thursday, May 31, 2012

Speed Dating Link Up Blog Style!!

About me!!  Well.... I have an "About Me" link -- but it is blank!! I guess when this party is over, I will post this info there.....hahaha!
Now, on to me!

My name is Tara.  I have been married for almost 12 years and my husband and I have 2 children.

I have always lived in GA, within a 20 mile radius of the city I was born in, Marietta.

I am the oldest of 5 children.  I have 4 younger brothers that I am very close to.  They are all married. And, all but one of them has children of their own.

In 1981, my middle brother and I were riding in a car with both of my maternal grandparents. We were all traveling to a church revival at our home church. Tragically, a lady ran a stop sign, t-boning our car.

Sadly, my brother and I were the only survivors.

God spared our lives. And, interestingly enough, we both have jobs in the ministry.

I was saved at church camp when I was 7 under Commissioner Andy Miller of the Salvation Army.

My two favorite places to go (other than home) are Indian Springs in Flovilla, GA  and the beach!!

Jeff, my husband, is an actor!!  I am so proud of him and his accomplishments.  Not only does he act, he directs, produces, writes, casts, and coaches other actors.  His job is time consuming, but he keeps us all involved!!  I get to tape his auditions and read with him. He says I'm getting really good!  :)

Jeff and I met on a blind date.  We met in January, got engaged in February and married in June of 2000!!  He knew instantly, he says. I didn't. But, God put it all together!!

6 weeks before the wedding, my dad had a heart attack and died.  He was very healthy and active.

Absolutely devastating...but, God got us through.
My parents had been married for 33 years and Dad was only 55 when he passed. He was working in the yard, literally helping his neighbor, when it happened.

Just after our loss, God literally (and figuratively) opened the door to the house next door to the house my parents had just moved into the month before. We have lived next to my mom ever since.

My mom is the strongest woman I know.  She raised 5 kids of her own and has been a loving caregiver to all of her grandchildren from birth until they were ready for school.  She lost her parents (in the above mentioned car accident) when she was 7 months pregnant with my little brother; then, lost her high school sweetheart (my Dad) a month after moving into the home they were planning to retire in.  She is a mighty woman of God and I thank Him for her every day!!

My two children are the best "things" I've ever done. I love them whole hardheartedly!! Kayla looks like me and acts like Jeff!  Brody looks like Jeff and acts like me.   :)

They both have Jeff's gift of acting.  They are both coached by Jeff . If you click here, you can see Brody's latest commercial!!

I am now 41 years old and (FINALLY!) a senior in college.  I have 10 classes left in order to finish my degree in IT - Integrated Digital Media.  I chose the 20+ year plan. ;)

I have worked in the same place for 20 years, changing positions over those years.

I LOVE doing machine embroidery, sewing, crochet, jewelery, anything home crafty/diy...and cooking!

I LOVE the Atlanta Braves.

I do not like to read. I love to watch tutorials!! I can't sit still.  All of my sisters in law read -- and read alot!!  I feel like a third wheel when they start talking books. I will listen to them on tape, however.  I feel if I have time to read, I would rather be sewing!!!

I sound southern, but not as much as my sister n law Jennifer :),  drink sweeeeeet tea, and coca cola!!

In a loooooog nutshell ~ this is me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kooking in the Kitchen with Kayla Part II

Kayla's arm has now gone from cast to brace!!  We are so thankful that God healed her quick!  The Dr. originally said she would need to wear a cast for 3 months, but after 6 weeks the fractured bone had healed so well, she was put into a brace.  Now Kayla can take off the brace to scratch her arm and take a shower without extra help.

Kayla also keeps asking me to help cook!!  I love that!!  I have always loved to cook and to see her wanting to cook excites me!!

Over the Memorial weekend, Jeff asked that we make Chicken Brunswick Stew.  That was fine with me, because this is a one-pot recipe and Kayla can make it.

I got this recipe off of my once long ago neighbor that I used to babysit.  Now she is all grown and has a beautiful family of her own.

Sara, over at My Merry Messy Life, posted this recipe on her blog a while back and I made it for my family.  It has become one of those recipes that not only I love, but it is requested by my husband, my kids, and my mom.  (I always run her a BIG bowl next door).

Ingredients for Chicken Brunswick Stew

 Ingredients: (This recipe was copied from My Merry Messy Life)

1 lb. chicken breasts (fresh or thawed, both work the same)
1-2 cups of frozen lima beans (eyeball it - to your liking)
1/2 barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cans cream corn (14 oz cans)
1 can corn (or a couple of handfuls of frozen corn)
Couple of glugs of Worcestershire sauce to your taste (this is the secret ingredient to make it super tasty!)
1/2 cup hot sauce (if you're brave, and I am not, so I don't do it, but my mom does!)

Have fun dumping all the ingredients into your Crock Pot, but put the chicken in first on the bottom. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5. You'll know it's finished when the chicken easily shreds apart  by mashing it with a fork. Turn off the Crock Pot and wait 15 minutes or so for it to cool down.

I did go ahead and use the whole bag of limas, because I love them :).

We started the stew pretty early so it would cook for most of the day.

Kayla pouring in the vegetables (I placed the chicken in the crock pot)

Once the stew was all in the pot and cooking, Kayla wanted to make dessert.  I let her pick what she wanted to make and she chose chocolate chip cookies.  I do not let my kids use the stove-top oven, but I will let them use the GE Advantium Over-the-Range Oven (supervised, see post here)  

Before we made the cookies, Kayla took a stick of butter out of the freezer and placed it the Advantium and selected the micorwave - Pre-Set -  Soften - Butter.

From the GE
Over the Range Oven Advantium User Manual

The Soften Butter

Mixed Ingredients prepared as directed

We dropped spoon fulls of cookie dough on the Speedcook Tray and we baked two batches of cookies two ways.

First we used the Speedcook option:  Select Speedcook -> Desserts -> Cookies.  Simple enough. You will need to choose the amount of cookies and then START.

From the GE Advantium Over the Range Oven User Manual

The next way we baked the second batch of cookies was by using the Convection Bake option.

We dropped the dough on the on the Speedcook Tray and put it in the oven.  We selected CONV BAKE  and turn the knob to the cooking temperature.  We shut the door and pressed START.

Ta-da!!! Two perfectly baked batches of cookies!!  It is that easy!!

*** Kayla did have help removing the Speedcook Tray from the oven, it was hot!!!

One worry I do not have anymore!  Getting burned by the oven door when trying to remove the food!!!!   Thank you GE!!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A BEST Friend and an E-Reader Case

This week I made something for my special friend Farah.  I love her dearly!!

Let me tell you a little about her!!  We first met at work in 2000.   She was interviewing for a job and I was sitting in on the interview. In an instant, I could see that Farah had a glow about her.  We quickly became friends.

We were both newly weds, marrying only two days apart.  In 2002,  we both became pregnant and spent alot of lunch hours eating hot wings.

We laugh all the time and scare each other too!  A few weeks ago, she was hiding in my office,  when I rounded the corner.  Farah  made some noise and scared me so bad I threw my candy bar at her and hit her in the head.  I can't believe I didn't pee on myself!
She is so beautiful!!  Gorgeous Smile and Eyes!

She has been my shoulder to cry on when things have been good and when things have been bad.

I have always heard that if you ever have one true friend like I have with Farah, consider yourself lucky!  I do not think I am lucky, I know that I am blessed!!!

Saturday was her birthday!  I never feel like I do enough for her :(

I wanted to make something special for her, so I made her a case for her Kindle.

Quilted front with Monogram

The back is not quilted, but is padded

Inside is fully lined with a pocket to keep the cord away from the screen

The zipper is hidden!

I made this case using a pattern from Five Star Fonts

I love you my friend, Farah!!! Happy Birthday!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What's the Answer??

After premiering in different markets during the Indy 500 yesterday, I can finally release my little man's new commercial for Charles Stanley's "In Touch Ministries". I am so proud of Brody and the talent that God has given him. He has such a gift of memorization.

Another show he premiered in this week was in a reenactment for Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural"! Sid Roth's ministry is dedicated to reaching out with the good news of the Messiah, "to the Jew first" (Romans 1:16) and all people through television, radio, speaking, publications and the Internet.
Brody's Link -
Last week, Brody read for two really big movies!! Very exciting times for Brody and us!
In about 3 weeks, Kayla will be able to take her arm brace off and start auditioning again. She also has done Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural"!
Kayla's Link -
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Look What's Popping this Holiday Weekend!!

Popcorn is a staple in our home.  It is something that we all enjoy, especially on movie nights!

Our GE Advantium Oven is another item that we enjoy!

Brody, our youngest, wanted to show how much he loves it too!

Take a look at THIS:

Thank you GE! We LOVE you!!

Happy Memorial Day!  We thank all the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom! God Bless You!!

My Dad ~ Vietnam 67'
My Grandaddy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ending of Spring Baseball :(

I love baseball!!  I always have.  I am an Atlanta Braves fan!

Back in 2004 when we found out that we were pregnant with a boy, Jeff and I started throwing around boy names.  I said we needed a name that sounded like a ball player.  I loved the name Brody and to me Brody Rose sounded like a Pro-player.

Last week Brody had his tournament games.  Unfortunately they had to play the two hardest teams (that we beat during the season) back to back and lost both.  The tournament games are double elimination and so we were out.

The coaches and the team mom were wonderful!!  It means more to me when I see the coaches encouraging the boys to have fun more than to win.  Our team mom was awesome.  She set up a website with pictures from each game, a calendar with dates and times for games and practices, and set up the team party. 

This week the Brody had his team party!  It was great.  Brody received his trophy!!

I really wanted to do something special for the coaches and mom, they worked so hard for their team.  So I started thinking of what these coaches and mom represented .

I LOVE!! this tote I found.  I had bought a few of the totes and had been thinking of what to do with them.  So for the team mom, I used my embroidery software to arrange my words.  Then I set up machine to stitch the art.  The tote is very large and has a canvas/vinyl feel to it.  This tote would be great to take to the beach or pool.

Subway Art Tote with Charms
Subway Art Tote
Monogram on opposite side of bag just above the pocket.

Also, the team mom has three boys that all play ball.  I made her charms that she could put on a necklace, key chain, or to give to the boy to put on their equipment bag.  The colors I used are the colors for our baseball park.  Not only do her boys play Spring ball, they play travel and All-Star.

Baseball bottle cap charms

For the coaches, I bought baseball leather type material from Joann's.  I added words and small embroidery designs to the leather.  The fonts stitched beautifully.  I did have to place a solvy on top to keep the stitches from sinking into the soft material.  I added a baseball 3d sticker to the designt before I put it in the frame.  The frames are 5x7 shadowbox frames.
Coach Tommy

Coach Scott

I am so happy how these turned out.  The coaches and mom really liked them.  I hope they truly know how much they are appreciated.  Brody cried at the end of his party, saying "I don't want to leave my team." :(

Monday, May 14, 2012

Travel Blackboard Mat

I am always looking around the internet/pinterest to find things to make.  I mean, I already have a list of sewing projects laying at my desk to do, so why not add more?!?!

One of the cutest ideas I have seen is the blackboard mat. 

Here are a few I have found on some of the blogs I follow:

 Both of the sites are loaded with pictures and details on putting a travel blackboard mat together.  

I did mine a little different and this is how I put mine together.
Travel Blackboard Mat   

 1. First I cut Blackboard and Cotton Fabric to 10 x 15.  I figured that would be a nice size rectangle.
Fabric from Joann Fabric and Crafts
Blackboard Fabric from Joann Fabric and Crafts
2.  After the fabric is cut, I hooped my monster fabric and embroidered my nephews name at the bottom of the long side.  For the next one I am making for my nephew Jack, I will embroider his name on one of the shorter sides so you can see it when it is rolled up! 

 3.  I cut a 4 x 10 piece of clear vinyl to make the pockets.  On one long side I sewed a piece of bias tape to cover the raw edge.  Then lined the vinyl along one end of the rectangle and sewed a straight line up the middle, attaching the vinyl to the blackboard fabric.  This will give you two pockets for chalk and eraser.

Vinyl Pocket

4. With clips, I placed the monster fabric and blackboard board fabric wrong sides together.  I added a folded ribbon under the tape for the tie.   Using clips, I lined the bias tape around the mat, using this tutorial Sew To Speak: How To: Attach bias tape (with mitered corners) to miter the corners. 

All done!!

 5. With the sun in Kayla's eye, I had her prime the blackboard with chalk and then cut a square of  terry cloth.

My Biggest Helper

Travel Blackboard Mat     

 Now to make my next one!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I won an award!!

I feel like Ralphie's dad in A Christmas Story when he won the leg lamp!
I was awarded awarded the Liebster Award on Monday!!!

What is a Liebster you ask???

The Liebster Award is given out to newbie bloggers who have under 200 followers to encourage them to keep working hard and let them know they are doing a great job.

This also helps give them more exposure in hopes of getting more followers, which I would love!

My award was given to me my

If you have not been to Garage Sales R Us yet, you are in for a treat!! Sadly I am only a new follower of her blog, but all I can say is WOW!! This site is just full of information. You will find DIY tutorials, photography, thrifty decorating and much, much, more!!!

Thank you Garage Sales R Us for giving me this award!

Sooooo as with everything there are a few rules to follow when you receive a Liebster Award. Here they are:

1. Post about your win on your blog

2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award: Therap 4 Roses (and make sure your following!)

3. Copy and past the award button to your blog.

4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.

5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now its my turn to pass along this award and I have so here are my picks!

1. All Things Pink and Crafty ~ Jennifer is my SIL and very crafty and loved very much!! She promises to start blogging again!!

2. My Merry Messy Life ~ Sara was my next door neighbor growing up. She is full of crochet patterns and recipies!!

3. Your Doctor's Wife ~ She is so funny and full of great advice!!

4. The Houtz House Party ~ I am a new follower of Kelly's and she is one busy momma!

5. The Plaid Pineapple ~ Love her talent and appliques!

Please check out these great ladies and give them some love!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Littles Carry All Caddy

Spring Semester is over and I am starting back on project that I have set aside.  

Over Christmas my SIL's mother have given me 8 Lilltes Carry-All Caddies from Thirty-One.  They are the cutest bags.  If you have ever bought from Thrity-one or just seen the bags you know that the uses of theses bags are unlimited.  Mrs. Donna works for a elementary school and she wanted me to add numbers to the back so when the classes went out, items collected on the play ground can be put in the bags and taken to each level.

No problem I told her, until I saw the bags...they were small.  No problem if I had  to a freestanding multi-needle machine that is made to embroider on small items that don't bend with metal rims. 

Thirty-one Littles Carry-All Caddy   

The bags are plain on all sides, except one.  I put the embroidery on the opposite side of this pocket.

I turned the bag inside out and lined up the center of the bag with the center of the embroidery hoop.
Then because the rim of the bag is metal and will not bend, I pulled just the top of the bag back just enough for the needle to work.

Here are the bags finished.  I used 3 inch letters from 8 claws and a Paw Embroidery.

 I think they turned out GREAT!!!