Wrinkles by Amy Rae

Archive for the ‘Homestead’ Category

This past (!) year, while finishing up my comps and waiting for Teddy to arrive, I compiled a TO DO list, and here’s how it turned out:

*There are 3 rooms to paint (playroom, bathroom, and guest room)  KINDA DONE.  Managed to paint bathroom.  Then we moved and I ended up painting BOTH boys’ rooms, the living room, hallway, dining room and kitchen.  In four days.  Beat that!

Ok, so I had a little help!

*Teddy’s blanket to finish – Still waiting on four squares.  Almost finished!

*Teddy’s birth announcements to make – DONE.  

*Thank You cards – DONE.  

*Halloween + Thanksgiving cards to create and have on standby.  – Started and never finished.  Alas.

*Christmas cards – DONE.

Jack (3) and Teddy (3 mos)

* Christmas gifts ?!?!?  – Sorta kinda.  Made art trays for the boys, and a monogram letter for Charlotte.  (see here and here)

* Blanket for my friend’s December baby – didn’t happen.  Gonna have to work on that.

* My Etsy shop to update and add to – Right now that bad boy is out of commission.  Boo hiss.

* A matching scarf + hat to knit for Ksmart, who just moved to cold, cold Illinois  : (  – Scarf, DONE.  Hat, not gonna happen.

* Earrings using fabulous Kazuri beads I’ve had for-ev-er.  – Nope.

* Button bracelets to thread and sell.  – Made three, never posted or sold them.  Jack later broke one of them.

* Learning to thread and use super expensive sewing machine that’s been sitting dormant for almost a year.  – Managed to unpack and set up sewing machine.  Threaded it.  Then packed it back up and moved it.  Still in box.  

* Learning to embroider on said sewing machine – MEH.

* Making a new duvet cover for our bed. – I’m just gonna buy one.  Screw that.

* Sewing/creating throw pillows for just about everywhere.  – See above.

And other fun things yet to be determined…  Does moving count?  Cause we did that.  
So I managed to get four projects completely finished.  I suppose that’s not too bad, considering everything else that’s happened during that time!


Because I have no real recipes in my bag o’ tricks, I decided to start collecting them this past summer.  The hoarder in me hopes to pass them down to the boys as they get older.  I think it’s because every time I open one of my grandmother’s cookbooks and see her neat handwriting, my heart jerks a double beat and I’m whisked back through the smells and comforts of her house.

Pinterest and Gawker feed this desire nicely for me.  I love seeing all the pictures of good food and whenever I’m in a rut, I can easily select a new recipe to try out.  Here are some we’ve had recently:

Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken:  ♥ 1/5 hearts

recipe retrieved from here

My husband really liked this one, but I was *not* a fan.  I did like that it was super easy to make, but I was really disappointed with how flat this dish turned out.  There is an initial sweetness to each bite that is soon overpowered by the spiciness of the barbecue sauce.  The bug took a bite and said “Mmm!” which quickly turned into “My tongue is burning!”  Given that I had to get up and make him a PB+J, I was not a happy camper.  And since my husband puts hot sauce on EV-erything, he gets no vote here.


Broccoli Quinoa Casserole:  ♥♥♥♥  4/5 hearts

recipe from here

I *loved* this dish.  It is super-cheesy comfort food that will make it into my permanent go-to recipe book.  Lost one star only because, as my husband says, “It’s just broccoli and mushroom soup.”


Cinnamon French Toast Bake:  ♥♥♥♥♥  5/5 hearts

recipe retrieved from here

This was a fantastic weekend breakfast that stretched across two households.  Instead of baking in a 13×9 dish, I broke the recipe out into (2) 2 qt. dishes.  One for our family, one for my in-laws.  I added pumpkin puree* to the recipe so I wouldn’t feel completely guilty for serving this ooey-gooey sugary goodness to my peeps.

*OBSESSED with adding purees to our meals:  cauliflower to mashed potatoes, pumpkin to french toast, etc.  I’m not foolish enough to think this makes bad foods good for you, but it does add necessary vitamins!


Ugly Pecan Pie:  ♥♥♥♥♥  5/5 hearts

recipe retrieved from here

This was my first attempt at making a pie – any kind of pie – and while it was truly ugly (and a little burnt) – OH MY GAWD it was fantastic.  I used a prepared graham cracker crust (because what does someone use?) and cooked the tar out of it, but this only made this bad boy better in my opinion.

Ever since we ate at the Rocky Mountain Diner in Denver, CO last year, my husband – who doesn’t like pecan pie – has been raving about pecan pie. Theirs was a chocolate pecan pie kind of goodness.  I’ve searched all over for a recipe that was similar but couldn’t find one that came close.

But this was the best restaurant ever.  EVER.   The kind of food that makes you want to slap your mama. I honestly believe that that restaurant couldn’t serve anything that wasn’t fantastically memorable.  I was in Denver less than a week and ate there three times – no lie.  Every bite I ate I was exclaiming or shaking my head.  Sadly, the RMD closed down shortly after we left Denver.  That still makes me sad to know, and we don’t live anywhere near Denver.

While this pecan pie is nowhere near as good as RMD’s, it’s pretty darn good.

Inspired by all the homemade mobiles that keep popping up on Pinterest (here, here, and here), I decided to give this project a go.  Mine is by no means as elaborate as these, but I think I did all right with my spur of the moment mobile.  Plus I didn’t have to go out and buy anything.  BONUS!

Needed:  embroidery hoop, fishing line, a 2″ punch, colored paper, paint (for the hoop), keyring, glue-stick and tape.    It took me just a little over an hour and I was rather happy with how it turned out.

I have jumped whole-heartedly into fall.  My favorite season.  If the husband would let me, I’d be baking nothing but pumpkin-spiced or flavored goodies.  How awesome do these treats look?!

cream cheese pumpkin bread

But alas, he is a definite no-go on pumpkin flavors.  So, in lieu of baking, I’ve filled the house with apple cinnamon scented candles and potpourri (thank you Glade) and gone on a decorating binge.  The fall flag has been hung, the pumpkins have been selected from the patch, the table set and the wreath made.

I was really pleased with how the wreath came out.  It’s the first one I’ve done in a long time.  With all the fall stuff that’s marked down at Michaels, plus a smooth 40% off, I think I spent *maybe* $15 on this wreath.  Some time ago, one of my friend’s mom gave me her old Bowdabra, which is surprisingly super easy to use.  My mom wants me to make her some bows for Christmas.(Inspiration for wreath found here.)

For the centerpiece, I simply collected pinecones from the yard and sprayed them with gold glitter.  The glitter doesn’t show up well in the pictures, but it adds a nice touch to the table.  I still feel like the whole thing needs *something* though.

Picking out the pumpkins was by far the best part.  We visited a local farm, Phillips Farms, and had a great time of corn + pumpkin filled fun.  By the end of the day, I was family-funned out!  My parents were here and even little Teddy came along.  Who says newborns can’t have fun?

I needed art for the boys room, but couldn’t find anything that I liked (and could afford).  While cleaning out an upstairs closet, I came across several blank canvases a friend had donated some time ago.  One quick trip to Michaels and my art problem was solved!

What I like most about these pictures (aside from the fact that all three cost me less than $10) is that they match these really cute name plates I found at a craft show this past summer.  Well, except that the plane on these is way cooler than my third-grade style green jet!

The adventures of the domestic goddess continue, aided in part to my newfound devotion to Pinterest.  I tell you, I’m obsessed.  OBSESSED!

So far, I’ve recreated:

Broccoli Cheese Bites So yummy!  My cousins came over for dinner and everyone just snapped these bad boys up.  I wasn’t sure what parchment paper was (Hey – I’m new at this!), so I used wax paper.  I also failed to flip them halfway through, so either that or my use of wax paper (or both) made it a bit difficult to pull these off the sheet once they were ready.  However, we still gobbled up the crumbly goodness.

BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot   This one was super easy, since you can use frozen chicken breasts.  However, I would recommend scooping up some sauce when serving the chicken.  The chicken breasts I used were really large and so some bites were dry until we went back for extra sauce.

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells  I made this one tonight and the husband absolutely loved it.  It is freaking tasty!  A definite favorite so far!

This morning, I tried to make Nutella Stuffed french toast, but alas, I had no heavy cream.  Instead, I used this easy peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast recipe and added Nutella to one side of the sandwich.  The result was heavenly, but also deliciously deadly!  This is a once-in-a-long-while kind of breakfast.    Even thinking about it makes my mouth water!

These few successes have definitely kept me interested in learning more about parchment paper and all these strange goings-on that other people can do in their kitchen!

For months now, I’ve been on the market for a new desk lamp.  My old halogen lamp still works, but it puts off way too much heat for this pregnant mama to sit at her desk for too long.  I wanted something bright and attractive, but I didn’t want to put too much $$ into it.  Most of the lamps that I found that I liked were $30 or more, and I just couldn’t justify the expense.

Enter Target, stage left.

During their back-to-school stock-up sale, they had these lamps for roughly $10 or so.

Add a little etsy magic…

And VOILA!  A fabulously tacky lamp that makes me ridiculously happy!