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Easy Paint Chip Art

A several months ago, I found a picture on Pinterest where someone had taken paint sample chips and cut them in circles, painted some straight reed-looking lines on a canvas, put the circles over the top of the “reeds” and – VOILA! – art.

We had decided to paint our living room and kitchen and I had acquired a TON of paint samples in the process. Some people are “color choosing” gifted – I am not one of them. I also had a fairly large canvas that I had found at goodwill several years ago that needed some love. I called my friend Becky, who is a VERY talented scrapper, to see if she had some circle-shaped punches I could borrow. She sent a few over and it all began.

I painted the background of the canvas a light color, and decided that instead of several straight “reeds” I wanted to have more of a curved branch look and painted that on as well.

Then I took some time to organize my colors and arrange them onto the canvas before gluing any of them on. In order to keep it from feeling like too much of a color explosion, I decided that I wanted the top & left to be concentrated with lighter colors, and have the bottom and right be concentrated with darker colors, but still to have some colors (pops of pink, etc.) scattered throughout.

Once I had the colors where I wanted them, my mom (who was in town and helping me with a bunch of projects) and I used glue stick to glue them all down. Then Mom painted on several layers of Mod Podge to keep it all sealed together.

There you have it! An easy, personalized art piece.

Enjoy! :)

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Glowing Volcano!

This is a twist on the classic “vinegar and baking soda” volcano – it GLOWS. Super cool.

Here is what you need:

  • Highlighter (yellow is best)
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Black Light
  • Glass Containers

That is IT. I found this idea from Play at Home Mom and thought the kiddos would love it. And me too. :)

Step 1: Clip the back off of the highlighter. Supposedly you can put pressure with scissors to get it to “pop” off, but I ended up finally using an exacto knife after I almost broke my scissors.

Step 2: Get the color out of the highlighter. Just take the “ink” part of the highlighter and put it into water. If you had a hard time opening the highlighter and didn’t want to cut into it, you can just hang the highlighter so the tip is facing downward into the water.

I actually squeezed some of the highlighter ink out when the tube was soaked in water, and then let the rest of the color get out into the water by letting it soak. I was a little excited to hurry it along…..

Step 3: After the tube is basically white from the ink coming out, find a dark room and hook up your black light.

Cool!

Step 4: Make your “volcano” liquid by pouring some of your highlighter water into a container with some vinegar. Stick your volcano liquid container into another container to catch the “lava” as it flows out. You don’t want messes!

As you can see, the color diluted down quite a bit when I added the vinegar. Keep watching though – it turned out just fine.

Step 5: Dump some baking soda into your “volcano liquid” and enjoy the show!

We had some more vinegar and baking soda on hand to alternate so we could keep the fun going.

There you go! Super easy cleanup and a very fun experiment.

I saved the rest of the highlighter water that we didn’t use in another container so we could try it again another time.

Enjoy! :)

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Enchiladas with Green Chile & Sour Cream Sauce

Happy Independence Day!! As a totally non-festive American thing to do (or maybe it is a very festive American thing to do since we have all come from all countries and backgrounds…) – I bring to you a yummy Mexican dish, as promised. :)

Is your chicken shredded? Ha HA! – you are now ready for the recipe!

Any time we go out to get Mexican food I always find myself ordering enchiladas with green chile sauce. Every time. They are my favorite. I found this recipe a couple of months ago on Six Sisters’ Stuff and it is awesome. And there is no “cream of….” in the sauce. Hooray!

Ingredients:

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 c. Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 c. chicken broth (or 2 c. water and 2 bullion cubes)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 (4 oz.) can green chiles
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Mix your chicken, 1 c. cheese and chili powder together. Place mixture in tortillas, roll them up, and place in a greased 9×13 pan. I like to make some with less of the meat/cheese (like above) for my kids, and then make some that are a little more filled for my husband and me.

Step 3: In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Step 4: Stir in sour cream, chiles, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.

Step 5: Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

Step 6: Bake 20-22 minutes. If desired, place under high broil for 3 min. to brown the cheese.

There you have it! Super yummy chicken enchiladas. No fatty, gristly meat. Just pure goodness. My sister has made these before with Pepper Jack cheese, and said they were awesome.

My one extra tip here too: these are best eaten within a day or so of making them. If they survive to the “leftover” phase, make sure you eat them sooner than later or you’ll have some soggy tortillas.

Enjoy! :)

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Easy Peasy Shredded Chicken

This has made my life better. Really, it has.

Shredding chicken is my absolutely least favorite thing to do of all times. Or at least it is close. I have a problem: I do NOT handle inanimate objects that do not obey my will very well. I still have a hard time cutting with scissors for more than a minute (Kindergarten 101!), sealed plastic objects that say “easy open” and you STILL have to pick at them for 25 minutes before the plastic finally yields and separates, and chicken that is prepared to shred but still takes way longer than it should to get it all shredded nicely.

No more.

This was a tip I found from Gwen @ Simply Healthy Family. Gwen, you are awesome.

Step 1: Cook your chicken. I just chuck several chicken breasts into a pot of boiling water and let them go for a long time.

Step 2: Take let your chicken cool down, just a bit. I found that with chicken RIGHT out of the water it actually was a little harder to get everything shredded uniformly. When the chicken is still warm, but has dried out a bit, then you are good to go.

Step 3: Chuck it in your KitchenAid with the cookie dough paddle attachment and let ‘er rip!

That’s it! That is all you have to do!! Look at how beautiful that chicken is. It makes me happy.

Gwen, thanks again. Plus also, I have a great recipe to share on Wednesday with your easily shredded chicken. This is one that my husband and son have both requested for birthday dinners – it’s awesome.

Enjoy!! :)

 

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DIY Holiday Window Clings

I love the 4th of July. It probably ranks as my favorite holiday. I love America. I love our freedom. I love to think about all of the sacrifices that people have made to make this country great. And I love fireworks. :)

I found this cute idea on Pinterest, and thought it would be perfect to adapt for the 4th of July. It originally comes from Merry at Merry with Children. I found a comment from a Kindergarten teacher on Merry’s blog that made this project WAY easy, and very fun. Teachers are awesome!

Materials:

  • Glue
  • Food Coloring
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Plastic Sheet Protectors
  • Templates (if desired)

Step 1:Take your glue bottles (about half-full) and add several drops of food coloring. I probably added 35+ drops of red to my “red” bottle because I didn’t want it to end up pink.

Step 2: Add a few drops of dish detergent to your glue.

Step 3: Shake well. Take the lid off and squeeze the bottle to “knead” the color into the glue. Let the glue sit overnight (or at least several hours) to let the color settle in. In the picture at the top, you can see the white on the bottom – that’s what it looks like with just shaking and not waiting yet. If you look to the picture just below, you can see how letting it sit for a few hours makes a big difference – the color went the whole way through.

Step 4: Put your templates into your sheet protectors and go to town! To me, things that “scream” 4th of July are stars, the Flag, fireworks, and the Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington are two of our family Founding Father heroes, so I googled to find silhouettes of them that I could print off and have us fill in.

My husband and I were excited to try out our project, so we worked on Ben and George and added a few decorations of our own. I also wanted to see how long it would take for them to dry.

My husband’s handiwork.

My work – I wrote the letters for “America” backward so the writing would look the right way for people looking at it from the outside.  The part of your window cling that is touching the sheet protector is the part that will stick to the window.

The kids woke up bright and early and were excited to make their own window clings. Squeezing the glue directly from the bottles made it a project that they ALL could do – even my 2-year old. No paintbrushes required.

Here is how our final clings turned out:

I LOVE how the silhouettes turned out – SO awesome. And yes, I did flip this picture so “America” is a little bit more readable. That’s what the neighbors see. :)

We’re still waiting for the kids’ work to dry as we speak. They had some fun (and some very abstract) red, white and blue creations.

The clings all pretty much dried overnight, except for the very middle of George Washington. The thinner the glue, the faster it will dry. HOWEVER, the thicker the glue, the sturdier the clings will be.

You could modify this easily for any holiday, or just to do for a fun summer project. Add glitter. Whatever. Seriously, this was an easy, fast, fun project.

Enjoy! :)

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