Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Craft Tutorial: DIY Beaded Hoop Earrings

It’s still summer weather around here, and these beaded hoop earrings are so very summery with their turquoise beads. But you could totally adapt these to the fall and winter season by using darker, richer colored beads.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time to Plant Fall Bulbs

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So this summer, I planted my first container garden, and I'm continuing my gardening adventures (and battling my black thumb of death) into Fall. Now's the time to plant bulbs for springtime. I remember planting irises and gladiolus in the fall when I was a kid. It was such a wonderful surprise when they popped up! But fast forward today...I need some bulb planting advice!

I had heard of Curbside Chaos from another blog when they hosted a $5000 yard makeover giveaway. I would have loved to give our home (a rental) a yard makeover as thanks to our fabulous landlords (more like landparents!). But alas, I didn't win...check out this video with Taniya Nayak (I love her on Restaurant Impossible) as she helps the winner choose bulbs and put together a lovely new yard.

I also consulted Curbside Chaos' Garden Guru (click the above link, then look to the bottom left), to tell me what kind of bulbs I should buy at this time of year for spring. First, I selected my zone and which month I'd like my bulbs to bloom. The website suggested four types of bulbs for me. Clicking on each type of bulb gives further planting advice. 

With this info in my head, I went to my local nursery and found a huge display of bulbs. Yay!

I found this bag of mixed bulbs, which included hyacinths, muscari, and narcissus, and I went for it.

I noticed on the packaging, there was a picture of the flowers blooming along with pansies. Now I'm not sure if the pansies will last all the way til spring, but I picked up some anyways, to decorate the pot while the bulbs are still underground. I loved these velvety purple ones! 

The girls dropped what they were doing once they knew I was going outside to plant. They got started filling up a pot with soil. 

We may or may not have followed the exact directions on spacing and depth. I had gone inside to refill a watering can, and they had already planted half the bulbs! So we will be really surprised as to what bulbs were planted where, in the spring.

They did save these bulbs for me...twins! 

We covered the bulbs with more soil, and then I put the pansies on top. 

We made one more for grandma to take home when she visits this week.

If you'd like more information on bulbs, please visit www.digdropdone.com to learn more. This was a super fun and informative website on bulbs, from basics to crafty ideas on displaying bulbs. I love the wheelbarrel idea!

You can also meet the Dig Drop Done Ladies, three ladies in different stages of life (single, married with kids, and an empty nester) who love bulbs because they are so easy to work with and give great results, perfect for their individual lifestyles. I of course relate to Marcy the most...she wants a way to have a beautiful garden but at the same time, still have time for her children as well as other things that interest her.

One more thing...Tweet about Dig Drop Done with the hashtag #CurbsideChaos and $1 will be donated to Rebuilding TogetherRebuilding together is the nation's leading nonprofit organization, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities.

Feel free to ReTweet my tweet here:

https://twitter.com/Steph2Pigs/status/250793607131443201

Do you think you'll plant bulbs this Fall? Click the orange button below to take you to lots of helpful info.

 

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Craft Tutorial: Pumpkin Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath

You know me and embroidery hoops. I love them. I love finding them at thrift stores. My collection was building up so it was time to use them! This time I used a big one, a small one, and an oval one to create a rustic-meets-modern interpretation of pumpkins to form a wreath for our front door.

Pumpkin Embroidery Hoop Wreath - The Silly Pearl

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Football Rice Krispy Treats with BBQ Chips and Chocolate

Barbeque Chip and Chocolate Rice Football Krispy Treats by The Silly Pearl

A few months ago, I was looking around the kitchen for a snack. All we had were barbeque rice chips and chocolate chips. I ate the chips first, then the chocolate. And I was amazed at how yummy they tasted together! It was the perfect sweet, salty and spicy bite. I thought of how to combine them into a recipe together, and thought Rice Krispy Treats would be a good idea. As if BBQ chips aren’t already football-y enough, I made them into a fun football shape.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lasagna Rolls on Multiples in the Kitchen

I write a monthly feature on the Multiples and More Blog Network called Multiples in the Kitchen, where I blog about cooking with my twin girls (now 5 years old). I’ve been writing this feature for over a year now, and I’m really thankful that this opportunity came to me. I never would have had the patience to have my girls cook with me on my own! But it’s something they enjoy, and I love watching their skills improve little by little each time.

This month, we made Lasagna Rolls:

Lasagna Rolls on Multiples in the Kitchen - The Silly Pearl

Check out how we made them today on Multiples in the Kitchen.

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Here are the other recipes we’ve tried in the past ---> Click Here.

Steph

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Easy Fall Twine Striped Pumpkins

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AdvertisementTo celebrate the rich, warm colors of Fall, I decided to spruce up my front porch with some Fall gardening. So I got some lovely mums, pansies and coleus, displayed with the help of these twine-striped pumpkins that were so easy to make.



I was inspired by several pictures on Pinterest (such as this one from Keeping Up with the Joneses) to create my little porch vignette. (Note: If you're going to pin the pic below, please visit the link above, then pin, so they get credit for their beautiful work!)

I bought some artificial pumpkins, special saws for carving artificial pumpkins, Outdoor Mod Podge, jute twine, and brushes (foam or bristle work well). This would also work (maybe even better for the outdoors) with a ceramic pumpkin. I will keep my eye out for some after Halloween when they go on sale! I also couldn't resist these little faux baby pumpkins that I will use at the end.


For the large white pumpkin, I'm going to put a potted plant inside. So I used a saw to cut out a hole.


Then I brushed on some Outdoor Mod Podge on top of the twine as I positioned it at a diagonal on the pumpkin.


And I formed a lattice design, going the other direction. As that started to dry, I brushed the entire outside with a light coat of Outdoor Mod Podge. Use more Outdoor Mod Podge to glue the ends inside, and on the entire inside as well. Or, you could use a polyurethane spray to protect it.


For the smaller pumpkin, I kept it as is, and just Mod Podged the twine along the grooves of the pumpkin. Again, as it dries, brush a light layer of Outdoor Mod Podge all over the outside.


I repotted the coleus, mums, and pansies into a larger pot. I love how the coleus drapes over the sides. Then I repotted another mum plant into a slightly larger pot that would fit into the pumpkin, put a dish at the bottom of the pumpkin, and put that pot inside. I also decorated the large pot with the baby pumpkins.


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My family has been using Miracle-Gro for as long as I can remember. You can use it too to help Find beauty in the Fall! Since I am not able to do in-ground gardening in our current home, I rely on potting mixes to keep up my plants. You know me...I need all the help I can get when it comes to plants, so I love that it feeds continuously for 6 months, and provides good air flow and water drainage with lots of organic materials.
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Be sure to learn more about Miracle Gro, get more ideas for fall planting, as well as interact with other gardeners on the Miracle-Gro Facebook page or clicking the orange button below to go to the Miracle Gro website.
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Linking:   Creative Jewish Mom :: Carolyn’s Homework :: Mad in Crafts :: Tip Junkie:: Fine Craft Guild :: The Trendy Treehouse :: A Glimpse Inside :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello :: Homemaker on a Dime :: Serenity NowSouthern Hospitality Fall Linky

Monday, September 10, 2012

Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken Stew

I was asked to create a dinner for two inspired by the colors and flavors of Santa Fe, New Mexico, so I created something you can enjoy with one other loved one or more: Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken Stew.

Santa Fe Inspired Crock Pot Chicken Stew - The Silly Pearl

I created this recipe using two soup mixes available at World Market…Southwestern Chili and Potato and Corn Chowder.

The Southwestern Chili Mix contains beans, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chipotle, smoked paprika, and ancho chili. Many of these spices I do not have in my pantry, so I loved that they were all mixed together for me in this package. In addition, it contains masa harina which is ground up corn and is used for thickening.

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The Potato and Corn Chowder Mix might not sound like Santa Fe! But it had corn, onion, celery, chives and bell pepper, which would give the stew some flavor without me having to chop up a bunch of veggies. The potato, which is kind of strange, would also help thicken the stew as well plus add some interesting texture.

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I also found these refreshing drinks to go with our meal…Soiree Sangria, Mojito, and Margarita Mocktail sparkling beverages.

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All of these ingredients I found at World Market together created such beautiful colors! I had to look for some accessories with this Southwestern color palette!

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I love using cloth napkins as placemats, or pieced together to make a big tablecloth.

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These soup bowls are the perfect colors as well.

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A close-up of my purchases from World Market:

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Now I’m ready to start cooking.

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I opened up the soup packs to see exactly what was in them. As mentioned, the Chili Mix had a spice mix and a packet of masa harina along with mostly beans. In the Potato and Corn Chowder Mix was corn, potato, bell peppers, herbs and a pack of chicken soup base. Since I had chicken broth at home, I decided not to use the soup base.

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So I started dumping everything in…first a can of cream of tomato, which I also got at World Market. Then I poured in the Southwestern Chili pack, and the Potato and Corn pack (but not all of the potato). Then I sprinkled in about half of the Masa Harina and about half of the spice mixture, both of which came with the Southwestern Chili pack. I then added about half a box of chicken broth.

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I sprinkled some of the spice mixture from the Southwestern Chili pack onto two chicken breasts, and rubbed it in on both sides. I submerged them into the crock pot.

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Finally, I added chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh tomatoes, and sauteed onions and garlic and cooked on high for 6 hours.

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After about 2 hours, it was really starting to smell goooooood in the house!

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All done. I shredded the chicken before serving.

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I ladled the stew over rice in our new soup bowls. I prepped all kinds of crunchy, cool toppings for the stew, like sour cream, scallions, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, and more fresh tomatoes, and I garnished with tortilla chips and a lime wedge. I poured out our mocktails which were so refreshing and such pretty colors, into our new blue-rimmed glasses. I loved the colorful backdrop of our new table linens. All ready for our romantic Santa-Fe-inspired dinner for two!

Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken Stew - The Silly Pearl

Oh wait, you two are here. Nevermind. Well, lucky for you, there’s plenty of food. Yes yes yes fine, you can have a chip.(Yes, that happy birthday sign is from last April).

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You can also serve the stew over a tortilla…

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…or scoop it into a chip! The two of us (and the other two of us) really enjoyed our festive meal.

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And I loved the convenience of making this meal using the pre-packaged soup mixes. I did expect style from World Market, but I was pleasantly surprised that shopping there made dinner so easy as well!

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Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • Two chicken breasts, patted dry
  • One pack World Market Southwestern Chili
  • One pack World Market Potato and Corn Chowder
  • 1 can Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 box (about 16 oz) Chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic (either minced or left whole)

Directions

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until softened. Open the spice mix from the Southwestern Chili pack and rub some onto the chicken breasts. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot: the cream of tomato soup, chicken broth, the beans, half the Masa Harina and half the spice mix from the Southwestern Chili pack, all the corn and half the potato from the Potato and Corn Chowder pack, cilantro, tomatoes, and the sauteed onions and garlic. Submerge the chicken rubbed with spices into the mixture. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Shred the chicken with a fork, and serve over rice or tortilla. Suggested toppings: lime, sour cream, scallions, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, fresh tomatoes.

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I have loved World Market since I was a kid (back then, it was called just Cost Plus). Even back then, I loved its eclectic, international and unique style. Today I love shopping at World Market to integrate the most beautiful and flavorful the world has to offer into my everyday life.

Santa Fe is a beautiful place to visit, and you could win a trip for two by entering World Market’s Gourmet Getaway Sweepstakes! The Grand Prize package includes:

  • A trip for two to to Santa Fe, New Mexico (this is a 5 day Trip for 2 to Santa Fe which includes airfare and hotel)
  • Hands on Southwestern Cooking class with a Master Chef
  • Personally signed glossy cookbook
  • Multi-course dinner at the acclaimed Geronimo Restaurant
  • Southwestern Foodie Tour with a cultural kick
  • A $1,000 World Market gift card

There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card! And if you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. The Gourmet Getaway Sweepstakes runs from August 18, 2012 until September 21, 2012. Good Luck!

Keep up with all things World Market on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and the World Market website.

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own.

Steph

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