Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday's Jewelry Spotlight Features "Cobalt and Copper" by Cova

Tuesday's Jewelry Spotlight Features "Cobalt and Copper" by Cova

A touch of whimsy with a little sparkle... Add some wire and it all comes together!

Hi, Welcome to Cobalt & Copper, my name is Cova; I was a jewelry artist that worked strictly with beads until I discovered wire-wrapping and found my passion, wire just speaks to me and I love what I do.

The Dragonfly is what started it all, I saw a dragonfly in a magazine and just had to make one, after weeks of experimentation, what I ended up with was a Dragonfly made of beads and copper wire. After giving them as gifts to all my friends and family, they encouraged me to try and sell them... Dragonflies are still my signature piece and one of my favorite things to make.

Most of my designs are largely inspired by the beauty, shapes, colors and textures found in nature. I use up-cycled materials whenever I can, I love that a bit of Sea Glass, a Discontinued Fabric Sample, Vintage Bead, Button or a left over Stained Glass Scrap makes each piece unique and one of a kind.

Please take a look around, I spend hours designing and creating each of my pieces so I hope you will enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to message me. ~Cova

Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CobaltandCopper

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fun to Make Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments

Fun To Make Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments or Package Decor

Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Hello everyone, I’m Courtney. I hope you’re ready for AWESOME Christmas kids craft!
You can find me over at Crafts by Courtney where I blog about kids and home decor crafts with someDIY party inspiration!  I’m very excited to be guest posting over here at Simple as That for the talented Rebecca!
I was super excited when Rebecca asked me to guest post over here at her amazing blog. I really wanted to pick the perfect project for her readers. I thought why not a kids craft!! I have three boys so I’ve become a professional on kids crafts, LOL!
Plus I love working on projects with the kids and Christmas is right around the corner.
I did several Christmas ornament crafts with the kids last year and they were a hit. I’ve been stocking up on paper straws this year and I’ve really been wanting to use them for a project.
  • Decorative paper straws
  • Hot glue gun
  • Star punch or sticker
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
Getting Started
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
I rounded up all my Christmas-y looking decorative straws and the kids to get started on this project. I think we were all excited about this craft!
Step 1 – Create Back of Tree
Your are going to need two paper straws for the back of your tree. Add a little hot glue (with parents supervision of course) to the back to keep the straws together.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Step 2 – Create Your Tree
Now it’s time to start putting your tree together!
Start off by adding the top of your tree, we cut our first straw about the same width as the two green straws. Then leaving a little more to the ends as we added for straws down the tree.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Each straw we added a little hot glue to the back. My six year old was able to do this party by himself.
Step 3 – Trim Your Tree Trunk
Next your going to cut off any extra at the bottom of your tree trunk.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Step 4 – Add Your Star
I pulled out my “trusty” star punch and some glittery paper. We hot glued on our star for the top of the tree.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
I think the glittery star finishes the tree off perfectly, don’t ya think?!
Step 5 – Add Ribbon
Finally we needed to add our ribbon so we can hang our ornaments up on the tree. We picked out a simple white and hot glued that into place as well.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Finishing Touches
Now we are ready to hang our cute and super easy ornaments on the Christmas tree!! We really had a blast working on them together.  I really think these paper straw Christmas trees are adorable.
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
Paper Straw Christmas Tree Ornaments
I want to give Rebecca a BIG thank you for letting me guest post for her blog today!
I really had a great time talking with her and getting the post ready. I hope you all can find some great holiday inspiration here and make some special memories with your kids.
Working on projects with your kids are great ways to have fun together and create beautiful long lasting memories together. And now you’ll have a special keepsake to pull out every year to decorate the tree with.
If you’d like to keep up with all my craftiness, be sure to follow me on my socials:
Thanks for reading and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Jewelry Spotlight features Wild Woman Beads by Meredith Jordan

This Tuesday's Jewelry Spotlight features the shop Wild Woman Beads by Meredith Jordan


A Passion for Creating Beauty!
Ten or so years ago, I discovered and began to collect beautiful artisan lampwork beads. In time, the beads took on a life of their own and started coming to me in dreams, showing me how they were meant to be put together into earrings, bracelets and necklaces. I took this as a sign that it was time to ease out of the business of counseling and into the business of making beauty.

Working on simple projects where making beauty was the objective (rather than selling or marketing my work), I re-discovered joy, color, fun and, well, whimsy. 

Beading became a meditation and, in many ways, a spiritual practice. My spirit was lighter, my life filled with more grace, tranquility, peace and serenity. 

For a long time I worked quietly and privately at developing as an artist. One piece sold here, another there, and soon others were asking about and following my journey from therapist to artist. Not only was I counseling women and men who wanted to make fearless career leaps from stressful workplaces and situations, but I was modeling a leap of faith as well.

A decade later, my life as an artist has taken wing. Oh, I still love working with clients, teaching, gardening and all the other ways I make beauty come alive in the world around me. I have a versatile and interesting life. But creating the wearable jewelry art of Wild Woman Beads seems like my destiny, and I am grateful to have found it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ready for the Weekend Recipes: Simple Shepherd's Pie


Simple Shepherd's Pie

from:  http://www.recipelion.com/Savory-Pies/Simple-Shepherds-Pie
Simple Shepherd's Pie
It doesn't get simpler than this easy ground beef casserole, otherwise known as a Shepherd's pie. This classic favorite never gets old with my family. Make up some Simple Shepherd's Pie for a wonderful weeknight meal.
Cooking Time: 45 min
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste
  • 3/4 ounce package brown gravy mix
  • 2 cans (10 3/4-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced carrots, thawed
  • 10 ounces package frozen peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 3 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
  • paprika to taste
Watch How to Make Fisher® Nuts Pecan Pie
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brown beef and onion in a skillet; season to taste with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Drain; pour into a large bowl.
  3. Stir in gravy mix, soup, water, carrots and peas; mix well.
  4. Spoon into a greased 9 inch deep-dish pie plate; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread mashed potatoes over top; bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika.

Read more at http://www.recipelion.com/Savory-Pies/Simple-Shepherds-Pie#pa01GfWSICmacfOq.99

Thursday, November 13, 2014



 Submitted by 
If you’re looking for some fun turkey crafts to make, you’ve hit the jackpot! We’ve collected over 170 turkey crafts for toddlers, preschoolers and older kids too! We’ve selected ten of our favorites below, but you can find all 170+ turkey crafts right here.
Over 170 Turkey Crafts for Kids to Make
  1. Rainbow Turkey
  2. Paint Chip Peacocks or Turkeys
  3. Paper Plate Turkeys
  4. Family Handprint Turkey
  5. Thanksgiving Sock Turkey
  6. Paper Plate Turkey Hat
  7. Leaf Art Turkey Magnets
  8. Thanksgiving Turkey Treats
  9. Mason Jar Turkey
  10. Turkey Utensil Holders

Monday, November 10, 2014

20 Healthy Holiday Treats

20 Healthy Holiday Treats

As soon as the weather starts to coolI start thinking about healthy holiday treats! The thing isI can make fruit salad for the family and they will be happy, but with office parties, get-togethers with friends, school parties etc., I feel like there’s a party every week. I need easy ideas for holiday party treats that aren’t candy!
healthy holiday treats 20 Healthy Holiday Treats
So, I decided I need to be prepared this year. Check out these 20 healthy holiday treats everyone will love.

 20 Healthy (But Still Yummy) Holiday Treats:

  1. Strawberry Santas are so totally adorable. Plus they taste amazing!
  2. Frozen Yogurt Trees are good for those of us who live where it’s still warm at Christmas time! (Like here in Texas, y’all!)
  3. I think these Snowman Popcorn Cups are just the cutest things ever.
  4. You can make the cutest little Santa’s Belly with Babybel Cheese.
  5. Or you can even make Santa’s face. Seriously, who knew Babybel cheese was so versatile?
  6. These little Snowman Cheese Sticks are super cute at a party, but I also just stick them in my daughters’s lunch every once in a while for an extra treat!
  7. Of course if you’re extra fancy, you can always fix a batch of these Spinach Artichoke Frittata Trees. (Side note: I really like saying frittata.)
  8. Make a little grinch fruit kabob. These are totally adorable!
  9. We always make this Reindeer Pretzel Candy and hand it out to the neighbors!
  10. But we also LOVE these little snowmen pretzels and can’t wait to make these this year!20 healthy holiday treats 20 Healthy Holiday Treats
  11. Snowy Chocolate Pine Cones are like, sort of healthy because they’re made with Fiber One. :)
  12. This little bento Christmas tree would be the perfect after-school and now the holidays are starting snack!
  13. Or you could make a little reindeer sandwich instead. I kind of want to eat a reindeer sandwich.
  14. I love everything candy cane. Including this totally adorable Candy Cane Jell-O snack!
  15. I like to serve these Santa crackers to little guests. (I use turkey pepperoni.) They love them so much!holiday treats 20 Healthy Holiday Treats
  16. I let the kids make their own banana snowmen. It’s tasty AND a great activity for kids!
  17. I love these little snowman milk jugs! So easy and your kids will just be drinking MILK!
  18. Make a Christmas tree fruit plate for everyone to enjoy. Who doesn’t love a fruit plate?
  19. Christmas tree pita snacks could totally be a whole lunch! Yum!
  20. Or you can even make Christmas Tree watermelon wedges. Adorbs.
I love the idea of a healthier Christmas this year. Maybe I won’t need to make as many New Year’s Resolutions!

Friday, October 31, 2014


from:  http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/12/spaghetti-squash-sausage-lasagna-boats.html

Spaghetti Squash Sausage Lasagna Boats

If you're craving something decadent and delicious without overdoing the calories, you'll love these delicious spaghetti squash boats filled with everything you love about lasagna – chicken sausage, tomato sauce, ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

I even used whole milk mozzarella cheese because I wanted it to melt nice, I just used it in moderation. The whole thing is way under 300 calories and 8 points plus if you're on Weight Watchers, and it's filling! It's also gluten free – if you prefer to use part-skim mozzarella, the WW Points would be 7 pp.

Spaghetti squash when cooked has a lot of liquid, so I find it helpful to place it in a colander over paper towels to help get red of the excess moisture and it works perfectly.

You can prep this ahead of time, then put it on the oven just before you're ready to bake. If you happen to only find large spaghetti squash, you can place the mixture in a 9x9 baking dish instead of the shells. Enjoy!!

Spaghetti Squash Sausage Lasagna Boats
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 boat • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 246 • Fat: 13 g • Protein: 17 g • Carb: 17 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 7 g
Sodium: 701 mg • Cholesterol: 71 mg


  • 3 small to medium spaghetti squash (about 5 cups cooked)
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley (or basil)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz Italian chicken sausage
  • 14 oz (1/2 can) crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso) 
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper; bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side down. 
If you prefer the microwave, cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers and place on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes or until soft.

In a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and parsley.

In a large deep sauté pan, heat oil and add onions and garlic; sauté on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until browned and cooked through. When cooked, add the crushed tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, then add in fresh basil at the very end.

When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes keeping the oven on. If you microwaved this, preheat the oven to 400°F.

When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands reserving the shells. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half of the sauce. Place the spaghetti squash back into the 6 shells and place on a baking sheet.

Top each with remaining sauce, 1 tbsp ricotta cheese mixture, and 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.