Monday, December 19, 2011

So This Is Christmas

So this is Christmas...

...and what have you done...
...another year over...

...and a new one just begun...
...and so Happy Christmas...

...we hope you have fun...

...the near and the dear ones...

...the old and the young...


**Lyrics from "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" by the incomparable John Lennon


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Crafting -- Easy Crocheted Dishcloth

Both Michelle and I learned how to crochet a long time ago, but over the last few years, I learned that I LOVE to crochet.  I really do.  I may not be quite as skilled as Kara, but I have a lot of fun making things for the people I love (and for myself, too!).  This year, I wanted something cute and quick that I could give to some people on my list, and I came up with this:

I looked at some other crochet dishcloth patterns and couldn't find one that was quite what I wanted, so I came up with my own!  If you know how to crochet, then you will have no problem with this pattern.  It's easy and pretty quick, too; I think the first one took me about an hour and the rest have gotten progressively quicker to do.

Here's what you're going to need:

Yarn, a crochet hook, and some time.

I used a size G crochet hook and this 100% cotton, worsted-weight yarn called "Yuletide" from Peaches & Creme.  I bought it at Walmart for less than $2 a skein and it is wonderful to use!  You can get about 1-1/2 dishcloths from one skein.

To make this dishcloth, you'll need to know how to crochet a V-stitch.  This is one of my favorite stitches to use, which is why I used it to create the pattern.  If you don't know how to V-stitch, you can find an explanation here.  These instructions only show how to make one row of V-stitches; when you work the next row, instead of inserting your hook into a stitch, you will put your hook underneath that middle Ch-1 and pull your yarn through the empty space in the middle of each V.

Please note: I have exactly zero experience writing crochet patterns, so please excuse my lack of professionalism. :)  If you have any questions at all, please email!!!!

Row 1: Chain 40.  In 5th chain from hook, DC, ch 1, DC (1 "V" made).  *Skip next 2 chains.  V-stitch in next chain.  Repeat from * until 12 V's have been made.  Skip 1 ch and DC in last chain.  Ch 3 and turn.

Row 2: V-stitch in each ch-1 space across until 12 V's have been made.  DC in top of turning chain from previous row.  Ch 3 and turn.

Can you see the little V's?
Repeat until desired size (I do 17 rows) and fasten off.

Ta-daaaa!!  You now have a cute dishcloth to give to somebody else or keep for yourself!

Who doesn't love a handmade gift?

Bring some Christmas cheer to your chores!

Download your "We Wash You a Merry Christmas" gift tag HERE

If you don't know how to crochet but want to learn how, I highly recommend Debbie Stoller's book  The Happy Hooker(Get your minds out of the gutter!  She's talking about crochet hooks!!)

Happy Crocheting!!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Sweet lil' Gift

'Tis the season for gift giving. I absolutely love it. The thrill of the hunt to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. One of the ways I simplify in my gift giving is to make a "bulk" gift for my gal-pals. That way I can put equal effort into each one of my gifts for them. I have other friends that do this too and both the givers & recievers love it! Try it this year - you will do it every year following it!

 This year I am doing sugar scrubs. They are simple & luxurious and my favorite part about them is that there are so many sugar scrub recipies out there you can hand them out all year long (spicy for Christmas, orangcicle for summer, etc).
You can go to WalMart and get cute jars (be sure that they can seal tightly) or if you happen to have some baby food jars lying around...perfect size!! I just spray painted the lids a glossy black (or glittery red, there are so many choices)

Mix up your desired sugar scrub recipe. Tip Junkie has a great list of  14 Easy Homemade Sugar Scrubs to choose from. I knew that I wanted a sweet spicy scent. After reading through some recipes I created one of my own!
Tip: Be sure to mix your sugars together first to get all the lumps out before adding the oils.

I made some little labels for my jars and affixed them to the jars with craft bond (think spray glue).
*sorry that it's doing two pages. I've tried numerous things and it just won't change. The bottom three labels are sized larger than the top*

Then tied some ribbon around the top and TaDA! An easy - cute - sweet - gift all ready to hand out to some deserved friends. I think it's extra sweet to tie little silver (aka: baby spoons) to the jar, instead of ribbon some cute twine....the possibilities are endless really.

Have fun and Happy Gift Giving this holiday season!!
Link Party

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Pinspiration

Haul out the holly!!!  I have had this on my Must Craft Soon pin board for awhile and tis the season to do it.
I followed this great tutorial by Eddie Ross once I saw his Joan Crawford "no wire hangers" reference I knew that we would be great friends!

You will need:
a Wire Hanger
80 or so Ornaments (of varying sizes)
Hot glue
A good movie

I was able to accumulate all of my ornaments from yard sales. Last weekened I went to a $2 bag sale for my local American Legion. My friends & I were a bit wary of all the old-people stuff, but once I saw these AWESOME retro spiky ornaments I was all over it. I scooped those two up (the only two that were there) along with some yellow & teal colored ornaments and took them home to my two boxes of green ones that I got from another yard sale.

The important thing is to have different sizes of balls. If you look close at this pic you can see the gaps. If I hadn't been so anxious to get this done (and plus it was midnight) I would/should have gotten another pack of smaller bulbs to fillin those spots, but if you are like me and just want to get it done you don't notice the gaps unless you point them out I did.

Hanging it up was also an experience, be sure that you have a long ribbon, wire or (like me) some paperclips to unravel and use to reach your hanging spot. The bulbs make this wreat bulky and it won't lay flat against the wall. One tutorial that I read directed you to lay the blubs so it had a flat back - I didn't do that. By the time I read that I had already made the wreath and was looking up how to hang it up.
I unraveled some paper clips to make an "extended hook" hooked them to the hanger top & then to the nail. It worked and it is all covered up by my bow (if you ask with a pretty please I will teach you how to make those too :)

The tutorial is easy and simple to follow and I had the craft done by the end of the night! (I love those kind of crafts don't you?)

Link Party

Friday, November 25, 2011

Simplistically Sassy Giveaway WINNER!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  We are so thankful for all of readers. :)  And's time to announce the lucky winner of our Simplistically Sassy giveaway!!!

According to, our lucky commenter is:

Who is...

Congratulations, Nathaly!!
Send us an email at and we'll get you set up.

And a BIG "Thank You!" to Kara for sponsoring our giveaway!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY from Simplistically Sassy!!

***This giveaway is now CLOSED***

Wow, do we have something great for you!!!

This is Kara: 

This is Kara ten years ago when she and Nancy were college roommates:

Kara is the creative crocheting genius behind the shop Simplistically Sassy, where she sells handmade hats, scarves, and other crocheted goodies.

Because Kara is so stinkin' awesome, she has agreed to host a GIVEAWAY for She Said!!
Before we get to all the details, let's learn a little more about Kara.

Hi friends!  My name is Kara from Simplistically Sassy. 
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 7 ½ years!  We have 5 kids. 
My oldest is Will, and he is 6 ½.  Then there is Kate, she’s 4 ¾, Spencer is 3 ½, Jack is 2, and Hannah is 10 months.  Yep, they are close, yep it’s always crazy at my house, and yep, I have my hands full (or something like that). 
It’s crazy and always fun at our house.  I even have the pleasure of potty training my 2 year old right now (I know you’re jealous).

Kara's cute family
Here few burning questions from the girls at She Said answered for your reading pleasure:

**When did you start crocheting? I learned to crochet fall semester of college 2003.  I didn’t really actually learn to crochet and follow a pattern and know the technicalities behind it until I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2006.

**What is you favorite thing you’ve made?  I think hands-down my girls' blessing dresses.  Maybe I’ll put them up on my blog for looks.  I’m not ready to committee to making/selling them quite yet.  They’re very time consuming. 

Blessing dress
**When do you find time to crochet?  I crochet during nap time if I have a little extra time.  Mostly it is done after the kids are in bed (we have a very strict 7 PM bedtime for 4/5 of my children, and strict 8 PM bedtime for the other 1/5).  My husband and I will watch movies or a tv show and I’ll just crochet all night long. 

**What made you decide to start an shop?  Oh man.  I don’t know.  I originally wanted to start one for blessing dresses, then decided to start smaller with hats.  Then I realized a blog would be even better because it’s free (Etsy has fees).  I just made it my goal to get it up and started this year, and was able to actually do it!  It’s awesome!

**How did you choose the name for your shop?  Lol!  Well, back in the day before I had kids or a husband, I worked one summer at a girls camp.  At this camp we’d have 13-14 year old girls up at camp from Monday morning-Friday afternoon, then the next week we’d get more girls.  Each counselor had a nickname we went by all week and the girls only knew us by that name until Friday morning when they finally learned our real name.  I was Sarsaparilla, AKA Sassy.  The Simplistically just came to mind eventually and wasn’t taken on Etsy.  It fits just right, though.

**What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  Food, it’s got to be the mashed potatoes mixed with corn … they always MUST be beside one another on the plate so they can be eaten together.  Dessert type food, pumpkin pie no doubt. Love it!

**Who was your favorite college roommate?  Nancy asked this in gest, but she always knows the answer.  Nancy and I were freshman college roommates, and I have known Michelle just as long since they were such great friends, I eventually met Michelle as well.  Nancy already knows she was my favorite though, lol.

Okay, now for the GIVEAWAY!

Here's what you need to know:

She Said Giveaway Rules and Promo Information

*One lucky reader will win $25 credit towards any item + free shipping!!
*15% off will be given to any She Said readers the week of the giveaway.
-That means that you can go onto the website and take a gander at what you’d love to get.
-Click on the tab that says “Place an Order” at the top.
-In the comment section use the promo code SHESAID15 and you will get 15% off your order!!

How to Win:

*Go to and take a look around (there are tons of hats, so make sure to scroll ALL the way down to see everything)
and post a comment on THIS post and tell us what you would use your $25 credit towards.

Optional extra entries (1 entry for each):
**Make sure to leave a comment for each of the following that you do!**
*Like Simplistically Sassy on Facebook
*Follow Simplistically Sassy blog
*Like She Said on Facebook
EDITED: Become friends with She Said on Facebook.
(Sorry for the confusion!!!)
*Follow She Said blog

The fine print: Winner must contact She Said within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.  The winner is responsible for any dollar amount over $25, and will be responsible for $2 shipping costs when ordering more than the $25 credit covers (unless only 1 item is ordered, and that item is more than $25). 
All orders on the website using the discount need to be paid in full before order will be started and must pay using Paypal.

Entries will be accepted until midnight (Pacific time) on Thanksgiving.

The winner will be announced here on Black Friday!

Thanks, Kara!!
We love you!!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

DIY Dry Erase Board Book

I am really excited to bring you this craft today! It's simple, easy & while I have been preparing the pics for this post Baby S is STILL coloring in it.

 An old board book
dry erase vinyl sheets - I got mine from Pick Your Plum (if you haven't signed up to get their e-mails, you MUST! Really cheap craft supplies that go fast!) The sheets that I have already have an adhesive backing. I highly reccomend this because it's easier to work with/attach/etc
scrapbook paper
letters - stickers or cut outs would do fine. I think cutting out letters from magazines & newspapers would be cute too! 
Mod Podge
 dry erase crayons

Trace the form of the book pages onto your dry erase sheets. The easiest way I found was to place the sheet in the book and trace around it. Once the sheets are cut place directly on the page of the book. The dry erase vinyl was really forgiving & I was able to correct any placing mistakes I made. Be sure to rub it down onto the page and get any bubbles out.

Trace out the shape of the book onto your scrapbook paper, brush Mod Podge onto the book & the back of your paper and place. Again, rub the paper onto the book and be sure to get any bubbles out. Once the paper is flat place (or glue) your lettering on the book and apply another coat of Mod Podge (I would suggest at least two).

I also covered the back & the spine of the book. The scrapbook paper I used was previously used as gift wrap so there were bits of tape and pulled off print in spots. I think it added to the character of the book and gave it a bit of a worn look.
Allow to dry. Usually 30mins can do the trick for each coat. (You need to allow each coat to dry before you apply another one)

And there you have it! A dry erase book just for you your kids/nieces&nephews/etc. Pull out the crayons and start coloring!

I used the new Crayola dry erase crayons. I really love them!! You can get them pretty much anywhere now. I found them at my local grocery store (I live in a far away rural land that doesn't contain a Wal Mart)

Let your little Picasso go at it! The dry erase crayons come off with a little mit that comes with the crayons and it wipes off pretty easily. It also wipes off coloring that is on the floor, the wall & the laundry basket (in case you were wondering).

I was not sponsored by Crayola to do this project. I bought the product & my opions are completely my own. But if they wanted to sponsor me....I wouldn't stop them.

Linked up to I Heart Nap Time & The Sunday Scoop

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Soup's On!

I love soup.  Seriously.  When given the choice between soup and saland, I will choose soup 99% of the time.  On a cold day, there's nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup to warm you from the inside out.  Autumn time brings colder weather to most of the country, but I recently relocated to Texas and let me to tell you, it does not get very cold here.  However, last Thursday we got all the way down into the upper 50s (it was in the 50s in Logan the first week of October before we moved!) and I was so happy to bust out one of my favorite soup recipes.  I originally found it on Tasty Kitchen and couldn't believe how quick, easy, and delicious it is!  In fact, it was so delicious that Mr. W and I ate it all before I could take a picture.  I hope you will still try it despite its lack of photographic deliciousness Michelle took one look at this recipe and knew that she had to make it for dinner last night and took a picture of it. Seriously soooo good. Mr. S said, "this recipe is a keeper!" Make it TONIGHT!-- you'll be glad you did!

Cheddar Potato Chowder

¼ cups butter
2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 whole onion, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk or cream
2 cups chicken stock
6 whole potatoes, chopped (I use russett, but the original recipe calls for red potatoes)
½ pounds bacon (leave this out if you want to go vegetarian!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch chives, minced (optional)

In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion, and cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the salt. Cook for about 2 minutes until ingredients bind together. Gradually add milk, about a half cup at a time, and stir constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, pour in the chicken stock and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. While the soup is simmering, cook the bacon in a separate pan.  Remove soup pot from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, handfuls at a time, until all two cups are added and the cheese is melted. Stir in bacon.  Sprinkle top with chives.

I adapted a few things myself. I had a variety of potatoes (red, russet & yellow) that I used.I used a whole clove of  minced garlic and added it in after the onion, carrots & celery cooked for a few minutes - the smell of real garlic is amazing. I didn't have time to work with bacon, but subbed cubed ham that I had on hand. After I let the soup boil I pulled out my handy emulsifier and blended it just a bit (still mostly chunky). If you are using milk instead of cream the blended potatoes help thicken the soup a bit. If you don't have an emulsifier just take a cup or two of the soup and run it through the blender and stir it back in.
Bon appetit!

Linked Up to I Heart Naptime & the Sunday Scoop

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