Nov 29, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole | a recipe

tatertot casserole

Tater Tot Casserole is a favorite in our house. Even my sister loves it, and she’s probably the pickiest eater I’ve ever met!!!  It’s not only my favorite because it tastes delish, but it’s SOOOO fast and easy. There are tons of recipes out there, but I had to share mine… because, well… as all good cooks think… “mine’s the best”. Hah.

What you need:

    • 1.5 lb ground meat (we use beef)
    • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 tablespoon Soy sauce
    • 2 Cups French Fried Onions
    • 2 cans Green Beans
    • 1 bag of tater tots
    • 2 Cups Shredded Cheese (or less, or more… whatev)

Let’s make it:

  1. Brown your meat, seasoning it however you like.
  2. Once meat is done, add 2 cans of CofM soup, 1.5 Cups of French Fried Onions, green beans, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  3. Mix it all up and pour into a 9” x 13” casserole dish. Add tater tots to top creating a layer, arranging them however you’d like. I try to fit as many as I can.
  4. Add whatever leftover French Fried Onions you have and cover with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake @ 425 degrees for 25 mins. (Make sure it’s on the bottom rack so the cheese doesn’t get too crunchy.)

 

Serves 5

It makes a lot, between three of us, there isn’t much left over, Craig eats like a horse though. He also hates onions, but loves this.

Maybe as a side dish at Christmas dinner this year?? If you love green bean casserole… you’ll love this!!

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Nov 28, 2011

DSLR’s and flash | Bouncing Light

camera busiess card words
image source: DIYPhotography

Awhile back, I was browsin’ Pinterest and happened upon this wonderful idea from DIYPhotography! A DIY Party Bouncer. I would love to have all that fancy photography equipment, but I don’t. And since I haven’t invested in a new flash, this works great. I get lots of emails asking for tips on DSLRS… so I felt the need to share it!

Check out the flash vs. party bouncer pictures:

adelyn flash

salts flash

Now, it’s not professional, but looks hella better than that using that darned flash. Dontchya think? Hopefully you see a difference. HAH.

Just cut slits in the side of any business card or piece of cardstock and slide it on. You could even just hold a folded piece of paper at a 45 degree angle, which is what I did for the second set of photo’s.

Go try it out and tell me what you think.

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Nov 26, 2011

Thanksgiving

Getting ready:

045043

055

Playing with cousins:

066

Visiting:

070

079

Cooking:

085

Peeking:

a little close

Typical brother:

093

Brother and sisters:

104

Grubbin:

132

133

135

142

Pie:

144

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving festivities were a HIT!

The sister and I took an impromptu road trip to the mitten for Thanksgiving. Totally last minute, totally unplanned… but TOTALLY WORTH IT. It’s my first Thanksgiving home in 4 years. It was nice to spend a holiday with all of my family. Adelyn playing with cousins, visiting with aunts and uncles. It almost makes me want to move back. ALMOST.

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Nov 22, 2011

is it a shawl or is it a poncho?

 

ponchawl

Skinnies: Wet Seal
Poncho/Shawl: Ross
Tank: Old Navy
Boots: Muk Luks

ponchawll

That is the question. I don’t know what to call it. A poncho reminds me of something vinyl you wear in the rain… but a shawl reminds me of an oversized scarf that wraps around the shoulders. So, I shall call these ponchawls. Ya dig?

My favorite thing about this outfit is, if you were to buy each piece all at once, you’d score the entire outfit for under 70 bucks!

We’re finally starting to feel better over here. Still some nasty coughing going on and a little bit of whining still present. Sleep schedules have been non-existent. But after a week being out of commission, our energy is finally back. Which means I need to catch up on emails and posts! I’ve got a pretty awesome giveaway coming up, either today or tomorrow, so be on the look out!

OH. And while we’re on the subject of ponchawls… take a look at the one I made last night!

photo - Copy photo (2)

Nevermind the gross dark under eye circles… it was pretty late.

There might be a tutorial coming. I’ll have to make another one, as I didn’t measure anything this go ’round. I just cut and sewed, hoping it turned out. I love it! It’s super toasty warm, now the weather just needs to cool down so I can wear it…. not that I’m asking for cold weather!

What has everyone been up to?? Made anything to help keep you warm this winter? I’d love to check them out!!! 

p.s.
Do you love all my pretty frames… I posted FOREVER ago about how I painted a ton of frames. I promised to post pictures to show how they turned out on the wall… well… I  JUST NOW hung them up. Love it. And the throw pillows? Well.. be on the look out for a simple tutorial for those, I whipped em all up in less than an hour!

# kristanlynn
xoxo

This post was sponsored by Joan from Expecting the Unknown.

Nov 17, 2011

DIY Bath Salts | Gift in a Jar

diy salts

So, I was at Michael's last week, and happened upon a huge jar of mineral/sea salt, it was cheap so I had to buy it. I knew it would come in handy at some point. It did.  I decided to make a homemade bath soak. Super easy. Super Yummy! Perfect for handmade gift giving!

close

What you need:

    • jar (I used the Ball jelly/jam jars measuring 250ml)
    • mineral and sea salt
    • essential oil (or in my case extract)
    • food coloring
    • small piece of fabric

soak stir

How to make it:

  1. Pour enough salt to fill a jar, or two. (Honestly, I didn’t measure) and add a few drops of essential oil to fabric.
    If you’d like your salt to have color, just add a few drops of food coloring to the fabric before stirring.
  2. Stir the fabric into the salt for a few minutes, making sure to get the salt well coated.

That’s it! Just make sure that the fabric is in dripping wet, you don’t want it to dissolve your salt.

You can use any scent you prefer. I used peppermint, with it being the holiday season, peppermint just seems fitting. Remember though, peppermint is an energizing scent. Have fun with it, add a drop or two of a few different scents to make your own custom scent. Add some burlap, twine and lace. A tag would be nice, but I think most of us now know how to use bath salts, so it’s not a MUST but would add a nice d├ęcor element.

 

bath salts

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

bloglovin

This post was sponsored my Little Miss Momma.

Give Thanks | a linkup party

I have so much to be thankful for. In reality, TOO much to be thankful for.

last leaf

This year I am thankful for so much. I’m thankful for the usual… health, family, friends… a roof over my head. My sister uprooting her life and moving in with us. How close we have stayed with our family, even though they are 600 miles away. Being able to be a SAHM. The list really is endless. I can go on and on… and on. (and I prolly will post another thankful mushy post on Thanksgiving) But today I’d like to say I am thankful for YOU!

Yes you. My readers. The wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging this year. You have helped me build this blog into what it is today. March of this year, this blog was small…. only a dozen readers and a measly 1,000 pageviews. I’ve worked pretty darn hard to get my posts seen, but all my work would be nothing without all of you sharing my words with your friends.

I can’t reply to each comment, but I want all of you to know, that each time you comment, you touch my heart. I feel so blessed that my words hit home with so many of you. My heart is no longer heavy, knowing that I am not a lone in the struggles of motherhood. That I am not the only one who doesn’t have a perfect relationship with my spouse.

I am thankful that I have been able to laugh with you and cry with you. I am thankful that I have helped some of you get through tough days, because believe me… you have helped me get through many! And I am unbelievably thankful that I have helped inspire some of you to find your inner craftiness. It warms my heart when I get an email letting me know how a first time crafter used my tutorial and are now hooked on crafting.

I don’t blog much about my Etsy shop. But I am thankful for the warm welcoming I received when  joining Etsy in January of this year. The success of my shop is based solely on you. Thank you for sharing my work! I am grateful that you choose my cards to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. The fact that I am part of such a warm exchange is lifting. Each sale is a reminder about how much love is out there in the world.

acorn thankful-1

What a you thankful for this year?

I’ve teamed up with Julie of Julie Ann Art and Ashley of After Nine to Five to bring you a Give Thanks Link Party.
Just linkup your Give Thanks post below, then go get your click on.

Don’t forget to visit each of the hosts and grab our button (or at least provide a backlink) so other’s can join in on the fun.


 

Not sure what a link party is? You copy and paste the url to a post  (not homepage) you’ve written into the link form. Then your post is up there forever, for anyone to click on and see what you are all about. It’s a great way to gain new readers, increase your pageviews and find other blogs you are interested in. You only want to post one link, so if you have several posts that pertain to the link party… pick your favorite one. Make sure you participate too. Click around to other blogs and leave meaningful comments letting them know you found them through the link party. You also want to make sure you are grabbing the party button or at least providing a backlink to the party so others can join in on the fun too.

# kristanlynn
xoxo  
I’ve also linked this post up to Casey’s What is on Your Heart linkup. 

Ready. Set. GIVE THANKS.
(make sure you’re using the url to the post and not your homepage. homepage links will get deleted)

starbucks

drinkin cocoa

I love me an over priced latte. I’d love to deny it, say that our little local coffee house is way better, and I’d rather go there to support my community. But the fact is, nothing compares to a Starbucks Latte.

I’ve introduced Adelyn to what an overpriced hot chocolate is. We went into Green Hills yesterday (the fancy part of Nashville… out of place?? hah). Adelyn caught a glimpse of the Starbucks cup in our hand and went into a full blown meltdown about not getting a hot chocolate. Yes, she’s a bit dramatic. To be honest, I don’t blame her. If Craig went into Starbucks and didn’t bring me out one, I’d probably have a full blown meltdown too. HAH.

So we stopped at the next exit up to get her one. (spoiled?) It wasn’t even my idea!! Craig was driving and stopped all on his own. It worked out, because that Starbucks is in a one of my favorite plazas! With Target, Ross, Marshalls, Best Buy and a little bookstore. Oh, and a sporting goods store for the Lover.

standin pink

stone cart

We love window shopping! Plus I found some yummy sweater tights!

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Nov 13, 2011

downtown Dickson | + a new roomie

fam

dad and g

hugs

downtown dickson

hah

I’m a little late with this weeks confession post. To be honest, I couldn’t really muster up the energy to even think of a confession. So I decided to share some photo’s of our weekend.

My parents came down to visit and get my sister all moved in. We had planned on taking them to some of the beautiful places we’ve found over the past few months, but Mother Nature decided it wasn’t in our cards. So we headed to downtown Dickson, since it’s only a few mins away. Mom and Dad had never been, and while it’s a small little strip, there is a ton of history and fun shops.

Dad and Grant brought their bikes, so while us ladies window shopped, they tried to find some fun things. AND they did!! There was some sort of war re-enactment. Grant found some bullets, and the men were kind enough to let him take a picture. This was great! My little brother loooovesss everything Military (COD anyone?!) He’s always so bored at my house, so I’m glad he’ll have the amazing memory!!!!

grant

I wish we all lived closer. I wish that this was a weekend tradition, instead of just a few times a year.

 

Confession: I NEVER take pictures when people come to visit. I don’t know why, I plan to! I think about it… and I always fail. I take more pictures of random toddler tantrums, than a week visit with my parents. GAH! This has to change!!!

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Link up!

Nov 12, 2011

Put a QR code on your Business Cards

QR codes are taking over. They are on streets signs, in magazines, posted on walls. It’s like a UPC on steroids. Lets say your reading a magazine, and you see an item you really want, instead of trying to get online and look for it, you just scan the QR code with your smartphone, and it takes you right to where you can purchase it online. It’s taken over Japan, and is quickly catching on in the US.

You can easily make your own. Whether it’s for your shop, blog, Facebook or twitter. You’re literally only a few clicks away from making it easier for your customers/readers to visit you.

Check out the new business cards:

qr code

bus card

How can you make yours??

    • visit QRStuff
    • enter your url.
    • Then click download image.

It’s that easy and FREE. Then upload the image to wherever you create your business cards, VOILA!

I made one for the shop, blog, FB and Twitter. I was invited by Etsy to be a part of the West Elm craft show (eeekkkk!!!).  So I will be printing all four QR codes and displaying them at my table for passerby’s to connect with me instantly.

The codes in my business cards measure .75” x .75”. I thought they might be too small, but they scan just fine. I make my own business cards by using Picnic and cutting out the circles with my Silhouette.

business cards

So, what are you waiting for?? Go make your QR code and join in on the latest technology!

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

bloglovin

Major thanks to Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous for introducing me to QR codes! You can see her step by step picture tutorial here.

Nov 10, 2011

Getting ready to Give Thanks!

What if you woke up this morning…
with only the things you thanked God for last night??

I’m teaming up with Julie from Julie Ann Art and Ashley from After Nine to Five to Give Thanks on Thursday November 17th.The meaning behind it?? We all get caught up in life, so this Thanksgiving season we want you to reflect on what you have and share why you are thankful for it/them. The three of us are coming together to help others recognize all the great things in your life!

It’s a Link Party!! What a great way to get your blog seen and find other blogs you relate to.
Just get your Thankful posts ready and link them up on the 17th. Then click around and find some new bloggers that you love.. It’s THAT easy! And in the mean time feel free to grab the button and spread the word about the Give Thanks Link Party!



 

Looking forward to hearing all the great thing that have happened this year for you. See you in a week!

# kristanlynn
xoxo  

Button designed by the lovely Julie of Julie Ann Art!

Taco Soup by Jamie | a recipe

Hi guys! Jamie from Awesomely-Awkward here. I don't know about you but when the weather gets cold there is nothing better than a great bowl of soup. I don't have a lot of time to cook but I always want something hot and delicious for dinner... Insert taco soup.
It's super yummy, super easy, and cheap... what could be better? Just put it in your crock pot before you go to work and by the time you get home you're ready to eat. Enjoy!
Taco Soup:
Ingredients: -
2 pounds ground beef - 2cups diced onions -2 (15 1/2 oz.) cans pinto beans - 1 (15 1/2 oz.) can pink kidney beans - 1 (15 1/4 oz.) can whole kernel corn (drained) - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can Mexican- style stewed tomatoes - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes - 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can tomatoes with chilies - 2 (4 1/2 oz.) cans diced green chilies - 1 can black olives, drained and sliced - 1 package taco seasoning mix Garnishment of your choice: We eat ours with Frito's scoop chips. Cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos are good too.
Photobucket
How to Make:
Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet.
Drain fat, then transfer to crock pot.
Add all the rest of the ingredients (except garnishment of course). Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Photobucket 
It's that easy! Throw some shredded cheddar on the bad boy and eat up.
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The best part is, it makes a whole bunch so we freeze more than half of this. It's a great quick dinner to pull out of the freezer when you don't want to cook. This recipe is not mine, meaning I did not create it. It is actually one of Paula Deen's recipes. Not exactly identical but close enough.
 
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I’m ready to make some of this. It sounds fantastic!!!
If you’ve never been to Jamie’s blog, you must visit. She’ll have you cracking up and relating on so many levels!!!

# kristanlynn
xoxo

Nov 9, 2011

purple tights = love.

oopssitting

looking down

top

boots

ME

Dress: wetseal (it’s actuall a tube dress, I wore as a high-waisted skirt)
Top: Hollister
Cardigan: Hollister
Tights: Walmart 
Necklace: Windsor
Boots:  Walmart

I want a pair of tights in every color! Tights make me happy!

I was a little hesitant to wear them with this outfit. There is no purple evident in the dress, and I’ve always been stuck on “matching”. But I’m slowly stepping outside of my comfort zone.  I’m really diggin’ the purple/yellow combo!

What makes you happy?

# kristanlynn
xoxo