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And MORE costumes…

October 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve had a few fun requests…

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and

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not exactly a costume, though I guess it could be…

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and finally, I just finished this fun leggings and leotard set for Midnight, for her classes…

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I think it needs an accessory and some make up then we will take some really good photos :)

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What’s cooking around here?

September 27th, 2013 · No Comments

Spandex. LOADS of spandex! I can’t even believe it! Sewing has been a little slower for a while, but I was cool with it because I was able to concentrate on stuff for my own kids. But then Midnight took up cirque classes and decided she wouldn’t wear all black anymore…she had to have COLOR and lots of it! So I dug into my stash and…whew! Thank goodness I hadn’t tossed that 4way spandex I bought (thinking I was going to make bathing suits)…

Then she needed something special for camp the week of 4th of July…

Then Songbird had cheer camp…and because I’m THAT MOM, I have to make something in the gym’s colors…

and it really just snowballed from there…

and crazier…

 

So, that’s what’s going on around here…super duper busy and moms just keep asking for more fun stuff for their little girls cheer/dance/acro/gymnastic/circus dreams! I’m loving it! It’s so fun!!!

 

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What have I been up to?

February 6th, 2013 · No Comments

Well, whew! Survived the busy holiday craft show season! I had 4 shows in a one week period…the best one was at my oldest daughter’s previous school, where I am known and my reputation for quality preceeds me.
We got American Girl dolls for Midnight and The Diva. They were ECSTATIC! We took them to Los Angeles for a Brunch with Santa at the American Girl Place…it was a super fun surprise and we all had a great time. Of course, now I am up to my ears in tiny doll clothes!!!

thermal pjs

Cute thermal ice cream jammies for McKenna…

leos

Midnight and Australis in matching leotards and leggings for gym…

Valentine's Day

McKenna is ready for Valentine’s Day…

black cashmere

Midnight is thrilled with this black cashmere sweater for Australis…

And there are even MORE items tucked away. I’m working on a storage cabinet and I want to give it to them with lots of little outfits inside. So far, I haven’t bought a single pattern to make the clothes. I made the leggings from a pattern I drafted using the leggings McKenna was already wearing and I got the rest of the items from the FREE patterns you can get from Liberty Jane. Now I’m off to sew some more! Enjoy!

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Merry Christmas from Team Dixon!

December 7th, 2012 · No Comments

We had a great idea for the annual Santa picture…

Team Dixon Santa 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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Lazy blogger’s handmade Christmas challenge!

November 17th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Yeah, that’s me…lazy. Actually, let me revise that. Truthfully, I am REALLY busy! If you are a facebook or real life friend, you know that I have gone DRIVEN to the East Coast THREE TIMES between mid May and early November. I was the ONLY adult in the car. I took TWO kids. I SURVIVED. I usually drive a MINIMUM of 800 miles a day. Yes, I AM human, lol!

Anyway, now I am BACK! Several of the friends are saying I should focus my writing on traveling now, but I am WAY too scattered to focus on just one thing, I think. Case in point, today’s post.

It’s time for the HOLIDAY SHOPPING FRENZY! And like most artisans and small business owners, I would STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to shop small, shop local and shop handmade. If you are truly worried about the economic state of our nation, there is nothing more proactive than buying a handmade gift, lovingly crafted by your neighbor, who will use the money for more supplies, to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads and maybe there is a little extra for the kids to take music or dance lessons.

AND I promise you the reaction you will get from said carefully chosen gift will be so much greater than that generic, bought at the mall last minute, plastic, made in China whatever.
So, with that said, I CHALLENGE you, readers and crafters, to post here with some handmade items you purchased OR that you have for sale! PLEASE include a LINK to the item, for easy reference and to help your fellow shoppers and artisans. I will choose a WINNER randomly from the comments and that person will get a surprise (prize will depend on who you are, of course ;))

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Vacation…all I ever wanted…

May 25th, 2012 · No Comments

Just a reminder that the shipping department is closed until June 15th while I take my girls to Montreal. They are modeling for my friend Servane (you can check out her AMAZING clothing HERE). Then we are going down to Washington DC to Rock the Mall with about a quarter MILLION other Girl Scouts! I’m calling it a vacation, but it’s still alot of work, hahaha!

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a fresh pin or two…17 and 18

March 21st, 2012 · No Comments

so, I know I’m behind again, but my “pinterest project” of trying new things from pinterest has been going well. lots of new recipes the family is loving and fun projects and ideas to share with the kids. Usually, I get ideas FROM pinterest, but today, I have a reverse. I’m blogging about this first so I can pin it myself…

coconut ice cream

First, I suggest THIS particular brand of coconut ice cream. Lots of yummy coconut bits and it just reminds me of summer. Then, you need THIS brownie recipe from another of my fav sites, Instructables.
Just follow the recipe for the brownies. Cool just a little, basically until you can’t stand to wait anymore…
Cut a good sized piece, it should be crisp on top and gooey inside…
Plop some coconut ice cream on top…
Dust with some almonds…
Almond Joy Brownie

You *could* top with some hot fudge or chocolate sauce, but I didn’t have either of those and really, I just wanted to EAT IT!!! Yum!
Enjoy and share my pin!

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Pinterest Day #15…with some modifications

February 12th, 2012 · No Comments

I know, I’m WAY behind…see, I’m the Troop Cookie Manager for our *rather large* Girl Scout troop. And here, we get boxes of cookies from the very beginning, instead of taking orders, like back in the day. This is our initial delivery last year…
Girl Scout cookies in a VW truck
and we STILL had to pass out cookies EVERY DAY the first week! So, I’m sure you can imagine how much of my time just this takes…then there’s homeschooling Butter, the girls are both taking dance (3 classes on 3 different nights) and working and cleaning and…lol!

Thankfully, we still have to eat. That’s why so many of my pins and posts are about food. It’s really easy to find a great new recipe to try on pinterest and my family has been happily chowing down.
I can’t believe I never knew you could cook a whole chicken in the crockpot…but you can. And you don’t even need to add any liquid!
crock pot roasted chicken

You can find the original recipe here at A Year of Slow Cooking. I made some modifications and I’ve detailed that in this recipe…

1 whole bone in chicken
1/4c salad dressing (I used Lite Italian)
salt and pepper (I always use garlic salt, except in baking of course)

I also used
1 whole head garlic, separated and peeled
gizzards, liver, neck, whatever the heck that junk is inside the chicken

Ok, this is super easy…are you ready? First, you get your husband to open the chicken and rinse it with cool water. Have him take out that junk they stick inside, but keep it. He can pat it dry with some paper towels too. Put the wierd stuff back inside. Put all the garlic cloves inside. You pour the dressing over it while he rubs it in. Salt and pepper it well.
You might be asking why I’m saying to have your husband do it…for me, cold meat makes my hands cramp up. I can’t even mix meatloaf (thank goodness for my Kitchen Aid!). So, when there is meat to be touched, I try to get Chops to handle it. He’s pretty accommodating. Also, if you have two people, you reduce the risk of salmonella on the salt and pepper and dressing…
Now, just pop that chicken in the slow cooker and cook 8 hours on low (overnight or all day I guess) or 4-5h on high. I use high because I don’t have to get it in until noon.
Try to resist the yummy chicken smell…
Since this was my first time with this method, I was a fool and tossed the juice from the crock pot. I wanted to get the chicken into a baking dish and crisp the skin a little. Next time, I’ll save the stock. I could cook a pork shoulder for BBQ in that!
Oh…roasting, lol! So, like 400 for 20 min…however brown and crispy you would like…
It was tasty! Very moist, though it still needed a little salt, so I will have to figure out how to salt it a bit more next time. Keeping the skin on and the juicy weird bits inside with the garlic really helped the flavor, plus now you have some roasted garlic cloves to spread on bread.
Serve with salad and smashed roasted potatoes.
Enjoy!

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Pinterest Lucky #13…oh 14 too!

January 24th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Well, here I thought I was going to talk about a SINGLE pinterest item today, but I guess I already forgot I made this Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake from alexandracooks so early this morning, lol!

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

It wasn’t until around noon that I realized I let Chops go off to work without cutting open the squash for me *le sigh*. Worried about changing my dinner plan, I confirmed that he would be home early enough to cut thie squash so I could cook it and get some into Butter before her hip hop class, it was on!

Team Dixon loves some squash. Our most preferred way is with a little brown sugar and, as always, REAL VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP from our friends at Rocky Ridge Sugarmakers. In keeping with my “pin a day” project though, the grownups decided to give an herbed version a try. What I really LOVE about this recipe is the simple fact that you can just ROAST a squash. NEVER AGAIN will I worry about burning myself with a pan of boiling hot squash water! Awesome! And SOOOO easy!

I used THIS recipe from my nemesis, Martha Stewart (I had the same initials before I got married, coincidence? I think not…) but mostly just for the squash roasting directions. That part IS important.

Roasted Herbed Spaghetti Squash

What’s NOT important is what herbs you use. I keep a potted fresh basil on the counter, so that went it, cut with scissors. Some dried parsley flakes and garlic salt too. If I’d had oregano or rosemary, that would have joined the party. And a generous handful of good aged Parmesean (not that junk in the green can). I would encourage you to try different seasoning blends that your family already likes. Also, for those not in the know, spaghetti squash is downright AWESOME! It doesn’t have the carbs or gluten regular pasta does and you can enjoy it herbed, sauced (like spaghetti) or sweet. Very versatile!

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Pinterest Days 10, 11 and a BONUS 12 (I added to pinterest)

January 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

Oh yeah! Today was another Pinterest double feature at dinner time…except for once, I forgot to take pictures! OMG, I’m SO SORRY! So I’m going to have to borrow the OP’s pictures…

First, I want to say that I chose the PERFECT day to make these…The Diva has a little cold, so I kept her home, which meant keeping Butter home from violin as well. It was POURING rain too, so I didn’t figure it would be so great to put both kids in the car and drive up to Butter’s school for only 45 min of vioin…It was a great day to stay inside and eat comfort food.

Around noon, I figured I better get the Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops from Real Mom Kitchen started. Shown here with mashed potatoes, which I didn’t do…

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops

I paired them with these Crispy smashed potatoes from finecooking.com.

roasted smashed potatoes

These pork chops were PERFECT! I am always worried about undercooking the pork, but after 4-6 hours, there is NO WAY these could be underdone! They literally fell apart with a fork, like pulled pork. The potatoes combine the best of smooth mashed-ness with a crispy outside that I am particularly fond of. Team Dixon gives these items 2 thumbs up and I’m planning to cook more pork chops in the slow cooker!

Oh…how about a BONUS? After I started the pork chops, us girls snuggled up to watch Lemonade Mouth again with old fashioned popcorn! I know lots of my friends scoff at how I do this all the time, but it’s really fast and worth it to have almost no “old maids”. I use Orville Redenbacher or the Boy Scout popcorn. Quality popping corn is a key ingredient here.

perfect popcorn

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