Monday, December 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Fun, Pt. 2

The other night, hubby had a bad stomach ache. He's actually been sick for quite a few days, but it was at its peak on Friday. Knowing how rice and broccoli soup always make me feel better, I decided to try something for him.

In my slow cooker, I put the following:

6 frozen boneless,skinless chicken tenders
1 can cheese soup
1 can broccoli and cheese soup
1 can milk (used one of the soup cans to measure)

I let them cook on high for about 3 hours, until the chicken was falling apart. I then added:

2 cups rice
1 cup water

I reduced the heat to low and let the rice cook in the mix for an hour. It was tasty and made hubby feel better, at least temporarily.

**Please note, you may need to adjust the cooking times for this, if you choose to make it. My slow cooker seems to run hotter than most! Usually when things tell me to cook on low for 4-6 hours, I everything's ready in 3-4. Not sure what it is, but it makes me happy! :)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


A trip to Ikea on Sunday with some good friends prompted a remodel of my Craft Room/Office.

While parts of it are thoroughly organized and lovely, most of the room is still in shambles.

I can't wait to get back in there and start crafting again!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Slow Cooker Fun

I've got to figure out how to work this so my recipes are all in one place on here. I've got a few that I came up with on my own that I'd like to share, but I want them to be organized.

Someday, maybe!

Tonight's Dinner:

Beef Burgundoff (a combination of Beef Burgundy and Strogonoff)

1-2 pounds stew beef cubes
1/2 cup burgundy wine
1-2 tbsp onion flakes
1-2 tsps Garlic & Wine Seasoning*
1/2 cup water
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/2 bag Egg Noodles

1. Spray your slow cooker with a cooking spray to keep things from sticking.
2. Add beef, wine, onion flakes, and seasoning
3. Cook on high heat 4-5 hours. You don't have to stir, but you can if you'd like, periodically.
4. About 30-45 minutes before you are ready to serve, add water and cream cheese. Return cover and continue to cook on high.
5. About 15-20 minutes before serving, add uncooked Egg Noodles. I usually use the smaller bags, and add 1/2 bag to mine. It's just me and my husband, so this gives us plenty for dinner and 2-3 more lunches, each.

*The Garlic & Wine Seasoning can be purchased from the Melting Pot for $3-$5, depending on the day, honestly. We've been charged $3 and $5! You can get it online or at the restaurant, itself, and you don't have to make a reservation to just go in and purchase the seasoning! The bottle is fairly large, and lasts quite a while. We put it on everything - salmon, chicken, in all my beef slow-cooker recipes, and in place of almost anything that calls for garlic powder. That being said, if you don't have this seasoning and don't plan on getting it, substitute Garlic Powder.

Let me know what you think if you try this! I'll be posting more recipes, soon. I only have 2 more (one, really, but I've made a second variation of it), so I'll spread them out!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Even Closer!!!

Last week I posted about how I was only $350 away from a title promotion with Stampin' Up! - well, I'm EVEN CLOSER, now!! Only $189 away from becoming a SENIOR Advisor!! I know it's silly, but I'm really quite excited about it! I just wish I knew how to grow my business and get more customers!

Any suggestions??


Friday, December 2, 2011

Baked Glass

After two attempts, I was finally able to semi-succeed at baking glass marbles! I found the technique on Pinterest, like I stated earlier, courtesy of

Now, Ms. Craftster used completely round pieces of glass (true marbles), and only needed to bake hers at 350 degrees (F) for 20 minutes. Another woman and I did not have such luck - we used the glass pieces found in floral departments that are flat on one side. I followed her advice and baked mine at 500 degrees (F) for 20 minutes.

Either type of "marble" you use, be sure to immediately dump them in a sink (or other metal container) full of ice water. Don't worry if you hear sizzling and cracking - you WANT to hear that. Worry if you don't.

I don't know if I like the final product as much as I did the picture Ms. Craftster posted of her finished product. Maybe because my beads aren't completely spherical.

Here are some of my observations that might help you in testing this out for yourself:
- the smaller the marble, the more it cracked and the better it looked.
- colorless marbles seemed to pick up a brownish hue after being baked. They were in a REALLY hot oven for quite a bit of time, so I guess it makes sense.
- Using transparent marbles would not be worth your time. The cracks are inside, so you won't see them if you can't see through them.

Let me know if you try this! I'm hoping to get some actual MARBLES this weekend, so we may have another update!


Picture Links - Picasa Web Albums

Soooo....Here's my attempt at getting the pictures of my proudest creations to you: links to Picasa Web Albums!

Some of the photos you may have seen, others you may not have. Again, more images will be uploaded once the holidays pass!

Feedback is welcomed and appreciated!


Post It Holders


Paint Cans

Pin Cushions

3D Paper Crafts

Composition Books

Post It Holders

So Close!!

I just found out last night that I am only $350 away from a title promotion with Stampin' Up!! It really makes me want to get the business going full-force, but I don't want to invest in more business cards and more supplies! *I say "more" business cards because of my recent purchase of 250 business cards to grow my lia sophia business! I love both companies, and want to stick with them both, but being so close to a title promotion really lights a fire, ya know?

Does it matter that the sales are only thanks to my husband and my best friend?? ;)

I have been a crafting fool the last few weeks. Since the discovery of Pinterest and the free time to try out new techniques, I've created quite a few really neat things! Some of the techniques I've found were so simple it was amazing I hadn't heard of them before! Right now, I can't quite divulge some of the things I have finished, but once the holidays are over (and provided I remember...), I will post pictures and more details. Not like anyone reads this, but just in case, I don't want to spoil the surprise of their Christmas gifts! I will say, though, that these things are things I'd be incredibly proud to display and consider selling!

If you have not already, look into these techniques! Let me know what you think!

* Home-made Mod Podge
* Puffy paint on wax paper
* Double Embossing

At some point today or tomorrow I will be experimenting in baking marbles. Yes, baking marbles. I will be taking store-bought glass marbles and baking them in my oven. If it works, the final results will be STUNNING, and I'll have one more picture to add to the already insane list of stuff I have to post!!


Monday, August 22, 2011


So, my status as an "Independent Contractor" working for a market research company ended on the 8th, so I'm frantically looking for a new job before we get in a financial situation we can't handle.

In the mean time, I'm hoping something will come of my crafting. My Stampin' Up! Business is going nowhere, but I don't have a very large network of craft-friends. I'm working on that, but I don't want to force Stampin' Up on anyone. I guess I'm not completely cut out for direct sales... I won't give up, though!!

I'm also working on making some stationery sets and other craft items that I can sell. Hubby's job just barely pays the bills (when he works an extra 15 hours of over time each week...), so anything I can contribute is helpful.

Pictures of the things I've created thus far will be posted this week. I just finished one full stationery set, and will be starting on three others tomorrow. Since I've already applied to over 175 jobs in the last two weeks, I think I can take a full day break from the job hunt and craft! I'm also working on jewelry, too, again, hoping to bring some money in. I'm pretty proud of the few things I've created so far, and will be posting those pictures, too!

Hope everyone's doing well!!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Oh, wow. I really suck at this blog thing. I only remember I have it once in a blue moon!!

What's new in the life of a Caffeine Critter? Kind of a bit, actually.

My mom had her shoulder replaced on July 11th. That was her last joint replacement (hopefully) for a long time! In the past four years, she's had both knees replaced, her right hip, and her left shoulder. This surgery replaced her right one. My brother and I lovingly refer to her as the Bionic Woman!

My mother-in-law had one of her kidneys removed due to a grapefruit sized tumor on it. Her surgery was also July 11th.

Both mom's are doing very well!

I've joined the Google+ and Spotify Communities; I don't know why! lol

On July 23rd, I got to see the super group, NKOTBSB in concert with my best friend!! (My profile picture is us at the concert - I'm in the white tee, on the right) We had a BLAST. She and I actually became friends over a common love of the Backstreet Boys back in 1998, and we've been friends since. The concert was beyond amazing, and we got a ton of great pictures! She even found a story we wrote throughout high school (yep, the dates on our story pages spanned 4 years), and had a lot of laughs going through it! Apparently, I'm a very visual person...there were all sorts of drawings and diagrams on the pages, most of which I drew. Not sure why I needed to do that...!

I've also started making lots of cards and jewelry. My goal is to make some extra income for my husband and I so I can save up to go on a Backstreet Boys cruise in 2012. The cruise happens the month before my 30th birthday, and it would be a dream! Not only am I saving up the money to go, I'm determined to lose at least 100 pounds between now and then. The ultimate weight loss goal is 140 pounds, but we'll see!! I signed up for Weight Watchers Online this week, and today (8/4) was day 2 for me. I'm really excited, and I hope the excitement continues!!

Hopefully I won't take such a long hiatus again, but I think I only write this for myself!! :)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Blog I've found

I've just discovered Raina's Favorite Crafty Things, I'm partial to her just because of her name (it's my favorite name, and I named one of my cats Rayna since I don't have kids), but she's really, really creative!

She's also giving away some "blog candy" - the link I've posted will take you directly to that post (I hope...)!

One of these days I'll figure all this blogging stuff out, and hopefully do the same!!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Still Nothing...

This is really sad. I joined Stampin' Up as a Demonstrator in March, and I have all these awesome new stamp sets, and no ideas as to what to do with them!! I've rediscovered the Cricut Message Boards, and I'm hoping that I can find some card swaps and such to join in on. It might force me to start using my Cricut, too. I've only had the darn thing for almost 3 years...


Any suggestions on what to make would be great!!!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Motivation is lost...

I really need to find my "muse" again. I want to craft, but have no earthly idea what I want to do!! I just got all these awesome crafting supplies for Christmas, and I have a few more coming for my birthday, but am at a complete loss as to what to make!

There's always the standard cards, and I could continue my scrap books, but now that I work from home and have more time to do things while I'm home, I want to undertake more difficult projects. I used to be an awesome crafting person, but the talent and creativity do go away if they aren't used for decades!!

If any of you pay attention to this blog anymore, and have some ideas as to what I could do, please let me know!!