Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gluten Free Stir Fry Noodles

I have missed stir fry noodles.  I've tried some other recipes but there was one thing wrong with them.  They were so hot it made my ears hurt.  Really folks nothing should be so hot that your ears ring.  I've done this recipe a lot lately, we've really fallen in love with it.

The greatest part of this recipe it is completely up to you and your family's tastes.  Don't like mushrooms that's OK you don't need them.  There is just a few ingredients you need to keep the same and the rest is up to you.

Gluten Free Stir Fry Noodles

Sauce and Noodles (This is the part that must stay the same)

3 TBSP Liquid Aminos or your favorite gluten free soy sauce replacement
3 TBSP Honey
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sriracha Sauce to taste (I usually use about 6 drops)

8 oz of your favorite gluten free spaghetti

Stir Fry Ingredients

1 pound of your favorite protein beef, chicken, or pork (I tried with shrimp but we didn't like it as well) cut into strips
4 cups of your favorite stir fry vegetables (onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, bamboo shoots, ect)
Oil for stir frying

Mix all ingredients for sauce together and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Cook your paste 2 minutes less than what the package says.  You want to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.

Meanwhile, heat just enough oil (vegetable or peanut) to cover the bottom of a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot add your meat.  Cook stirring occasionally until it is golden brown.  Add vegetables and stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.  Add noodles.  Pour sauce over everything.  Using tongs toss everything to coat well.  Cook for 2 minutes and serve!

Makes 4 servings

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chipboard Music Notes and Mod Podge Stencils

This is a word of mouth advertising post.  For more information please see the disclosure tab at the top of the page.  

I'm so excited to bring these stencils to you for many reasons.  First of  all, they allow us to take our Mod Podge obsession to a new level.  Secondly, they were designed by none other than Amy from Mod Podge Rocks!  Third, it gave me an excuse to play with Mod Podge, glitter, and beads.  When Amy asked for help getting the word out, I jumped at the chance to help her.  She was so kind in answering questions and providing support for me when I started this blog I had to return the favor, at least in a small way.

I wanted to do something different with the stencils than what others had done.  I had the music notes already and I had already "covered" them.  The green one was done with a stamp pad and the purplish one I had Mod Podge a piece of card stock on it.  While they were fine as they were, they didn't have the pop I wanted.  When I saw the stencils, I knew where I would use them.

They come in six different designs.  I used two of them.  I thought they went well together.  They happen to be the ones on the end.

The music notes are just standard chipboard found in any craft store that has a scrap booking section.  I didn't have a before picture because they were already covered when I started this project.  But they looked like this when I got them home. ;)
Stock Image from Hobby Lobby

They were both done in the same way.  I only photographed one though.  The only difference was I used glitter on the green one.  I used the Mod Podge Podgeable Glitter that Amy sent in the package along with the stencils.  For the green one I used the Tangier stencil and for the purplish one I used the Starlite stencil.  I really thought they worked well together.  The Starlite is almost like the negative space of the Tangier.  The Spouncers are heaven sent with the stencils.  

The stencils are peel and stick.  You just lay it down, press them to seal it, and pounce Mod Podge on it.  

Now when I did the glitter, I did it a little at a time.  It was time consuming, you need to wait 24 hours before you shake off the excess, but I was worried I'd smear the Mod Podge and have glitter everywhere.  For the beads I didn't worry, just kept moving and lining up the stencil until it was covered.

I poured the beads all over and waited.  I gave it a full 24 hours and then shook the excess beads off.  Easy peasy! Well except for picking up all those beads afterwards. 

 I think they both look so much better.  They went from meh to WOW!  

One last thing,  Amy has allowed me to do a giveaway.  That's right one of you can walk away with your very own stencil!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 3, 2014


I'm so happy to guest host Let's Mingle Monday here at Home Ec. with Mel.  It's a great way to connect with fellow bloggers or find new bloggers to follow.  Be sure to check out all the links you'll find below.

Be sure to check out the pages and say hello!  I can say first hand this is a great way to expand not only your own blog but your blogging circle.  

Thanks again to the hosts for having me guest host!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Welcome New Sponsors and A Giveaway!

I'm beyond thrilled right now.  After a few years I finally have some real, honest to goodness sponsors here on the blog.  I know none of us like ads and I promise the ads will be contained to the sidebar.  I also promise you that any and all praise from me is strictly my own.  I've worked hard to partner with companies that I believe in because, let's face it, I'm no sales person.  I do want to share the sponsors with you though and if you'd like to check any of them out, please do so through my links so that they stick around.


Craftsy!  That's right folks I get to work with Craftsy to bring you great online classes.  When I say great I truly mean it, I've gotten to take one of their paid courses and it's amazing.  I'll be bringing you a full review of the class next week.  If you haven't signed up please do, they have tons of free classes for you to try out.

I'm not sure that Heat N Bond needs any introductions do they?  I've been using it for as long as I can remember.  The first project I remember doing with Heat N Bond I was about 9.  My mother ironed it on to a piece of fabric and then I fussy cut shapes out.  She ironed it on to a sweatshirt for me and I embellished it with puffy paint.  

If you have a shared kitchen these are a must.  Stickers easily label your containers, shelves, cutting boards, etc. gluten free.  It's a great way to help keep cross contamination down.  It's a friendly reminder for everyone in your house, "HEY NO GLUTEN ON THIS".  

Lastly, we have Style Scan.  It certainly isn't the least though.  StyleScan started as an app last year to help us ladies style our outfits.  They quickly realized that what a lot of woman wanted was not only how to put an outfit together but to buy the pieces as well.  That's when the website was born.  The greatest part?  FREE SHIPPING!  I love free shipping.  Want to know an even great part?  They are hosting a giveaway!!!  Here's the deal, they are giving away $100 worth of accessories.  Now I really, really, really want one of you to win this.  You see they aren't going to give just you some accessories, if one of my readers win, then I win too!!  So help a girl out and help yourself out. ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 31, 2014

Small Business Spotlight - Belli Phat

This year I'm going to be sharing small businesses with you.  I want to take that spirit of "Small Business Saturday" and spread it out all year long.  So without further ado, let's peek over at Belli Phat.  Each photo will take you to the listing so you may purchase anything featured in this post.

Let's start with how Belli Phat's owner Bellatrix Ali describes her store.
When I started belly dancing, I noticed that there weren't a lot of costume options out there for plus-sized dancers (which is the category I squarely fell into). And the options that were out there still had to be heavily altered in order to fit my specific proportions well -- afterall, when you're onstage performing you want to look and FEEL your best! 

Very frustrated with the market, I decided to teach myself how to sew & started making my own costume pieces. Almost immediately, I had other dancers (esp plus-sized dancers) asking where I got my costume items. When I told them that I made them, they excitedly asked if I would make things for them. "Oh, no, I'm not a professional seamstress", I'd reply. In the meantime, I had started sewing for my other troupe members as well -- which was great, as they were all different body shapes, so I got to learn how to fit garments & make patterns/pattern alterations. I loved learning new techniques!

Finally, after a few years of people asking me to make costume items for them, I felt comfortable enough with my skills to be able to say YES! And that was over six years ago... Now, Belli Phat is a business that I am pleased helps dancers *around the world* find costume pieces that they cannot find anywhere else -- and that, at times, make them feel more beautiful than they have ever felt. I cherish being a part of someone else's dance journey.

Now the whole store isn't reserved to just belly dance costuming. Thanks to shows like Downton Abbey fascinators seem to be the must have hair accessory.  Since custom orders are available you could always commission one for a special occasion.  The ones shown below range from $20.00 - $25.00.  If you ask me that is a steal!  I've seen some of these in person and the pictures do not do them justice.

If you are looking for gift ideas, look no further.  What young woman doesn't need a make-up brush holder?  I also love the fact that she shows it as a crochet hook holder too!  Isn't that just genius?  
What about an insulated curling iron holder?  Where was this when I had hair long enough to curl?  

Now I can't feature a belly dance shop and not feature some belly dance stuff.  I've often debated taking up dancing just so I could have the pretties.  
How pretty is that orange bra?  It is covered in orange assuit.  I'm not finding anything that pretty when I go shop.
I wanted you to see the assuit fabric up close in case you hadn't seen this fabric before.  Assuit fabric has been around forever, it's mentioned in the Bible, but I hadn't heard of it until I started photographing belly dancers.  

Now that you've seen a little of what Belli Phat has to offer go check out the full Etsy Store.  Also be sure to check out the Facebook page.  Bellatrix shares in progress photos and other fun stuff on the Facebook page.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to Make a Custom Pattern

So you made the dress form, you even ran out and purchased all the stuff you need to make your apron, so now all you need is the pattern for the top right?  Great!  This will be painless, because I already went through the pain for you.

What You'll Need:

  • Your dress form (if you didn't make one get a friend to help mark the fabric on your body)
  • Pins
  • Measuring Tape
  • Cheap fabric (I got mine at Goodwill for 2 bucks a bolt, muslin will work too)
  • A marking tool - dress maker's chalk or marking pen
  • Masking Tape

First, plan out your pattern with masking tape.  This way you can get the general feel of the shape your top is going to take.  You'll also be able to make sure that you are going to cover what you want to cover. The inside will be your final size, the width of your masking tape will be your seam allowance.

You can either measure or eyeball how much fabric you need.  I just eyeball it.

Now cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the area you are working on.

Place the fold of the fabric down the middle of your dress form.  Pin it at the top and at the bottom.

Now you need to mark your cutting lines.  I kind of fold the fabric back to see the outside edge of the masking tape.  Move the pins as needed.

Cut your pattern out.  Pin it back on the dress form.

Now is when you do the finessing of your top.  Depending on your body shape this may be just cleaning up some lines or if you are like me figuring out where your darts go.  I had to put a dart in because of that excess on the side.  The widest part of my body is my bust line.

Dart placement tip: Find the tip of your breast and mark it.  Measure out 1/2 inch (towards armpit) and mark again.  This is where your dart should end.

All top patterns are made basically the same way.  You can now make custom top pattern!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Camo Apron - Custom Fit

As many of you know I live in a very rural area.  Part of the cultural here is hunting, not for sport but, to put food on the table.  It's not one of my favorite things, I'll be honest.  I do love my husband's deer jerky.  I think I could eat a whole deer by myself.  It's that good!  And no I won't share the recipe, he won't even tell me how to make it so I know he's not going to share with the world.  In an effort to embrace some of what my husband and his son enjoy so much. I had originally thought I could purchase the apron I wanted or more precisely could get it as Christmas present.  Sadly, there wasn't one to be purchased. They don't make an apron for a full figured woman who doesn't want flour all over the girls.

Remember that dress form from last week?  That's what I used to make the pattern.  I'll show you Monday how to make a pattern.   I wanted an apron that fully covered my breasts.  I always have half a breast hanging out on each side.  Those don't really work to keep your shirt clean.  So I made a pattern that covered everything up top.  The downside was I had to put a dart in it but that's OK.  Let's get this project started.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 yard of fabric (you don't have to use camo, but this is what I used )
  • 1/4 - 3/4 yard of contrast color (1/2 yard if purchasing bias binding)
  • 1 inch wide Bias Binding (Made from 1/4 of your contrast color or purchased)
  • Thread matching contrast color
  • Pattern Piece for Top
  • Sewing Notions - scissors, pins, rotary mat, rotary cutter, iron, ironing board, etc.

The first thing you'll want to do is make the bias binding.  I used the method featured here.  I used an 18" square instead of two smaller squares.  I also used one of my Christmas presents, a bias binding maker.  They are handy tools if you want to make perfectly coordinated bias binding.  Set it aside.

All seam allowances are 1/4" inch unless otherwise stated.

Next cut out your top and skirt.  The skirt will be a rectangle, the width equal to the width of your top, and the length is determined by the length from your waist to just above your knee.  If your top needs a dart, now is the time to sew it in.  Now, we pin the bias binding on to the top and the skirt. There is no need to put bias binding across the bottom of your top or the top of your skirt.

Now you need to cut your "waistband".  I cut mine two inches wide from my contrasting color.  Sew your top, right sides together, to your waist band.

Now sew the skirt to the waist band, right sides together.

It's time to make the straps now.  You'll need two for the top and two for the waist.  I measured the width of the arm straps, this includes the ends of the bias binding, 1 and 3/4 inches.  I cut my strap twice that plus half an inch.  DO NOT FORGET THE HALF INCH, that's your seam allowance.  So mine were 4" wide x the width of the fabric.  They can be trimmed later if need be.  Do the same for your waist. Fold each strap in half, right sides facing, and sew, forming a tube.  Press the seam open.

Turn the tube right side out and press flat with the seam centered.

Now attach the straps.  You'll need to turn the end of each strap in a 1/2" inside so you end up with a clean edge.  Attach to your top and waist band as pictured below.  This also makes all of your edges clean.

I did a criss cross, left to right side and right to left side, back with my top straps.  I attached each strap at the waistband as shown below.  Trim the straps if needed.

CAREFULLY, line your needle up so you are stitching over the same stitches you used to attach the binding, through the waistband, and ending in the stitches of the bias binding at the bottom.  Do this for both sides.

If your waistband straps are too long cut them to the right length , turn the ends in and sew along the end to close it.  I left mine long so I could tie it in the front.  That's it!  You now have yourself a cute camo apron, to impress the men in your life.

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