Friday, August 30, 2013

Pizza Bites {Football Food}

Only one more day until college football starts!!! Yay!! I am SO excited! I do love watching the game every week, but one of my favorite things about football season is having a reason to make fun appetizers and snacks. I shared the recipe for cheddar bacon dip last week which is of our favorites. It is so good! This week, I'm sharing another one of our favorites. Pizza bites!

These pizza bites are easy, cute, and most importantly, delicious! They also taste great at room temperature so you don't have to stress about keeping them warm. Just serve them with a side of your favorite marinara sauce and you have a great party snack. To make this recipe even easier, I always use pre-made pizza dough. I buy it in the bakery section at Publix. You could definitely make it with your own favorite pizza dough recipe, though.

Here's the recipe!

Pizza Bites
Makes about 20-24 bites
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1 lb. pizza dough (enough for one whole pizza)
4 oz. mozzarella cheese (20-24 pieces)

olive oil
Italian seasoning
grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or cake pan.  Divide the pizza dough into 20-24 roughly equal sized pieces.  Take one of the dough pieces, top with a cube of cheese and a slice or two of pepperoni.  Pull the edges of the dough around the fillings and pinch closed.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.

Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve warm, with dipping sauce as desired.

Source: Annie's Eats

Hope you love this one! Oh, and Roll Tide! :)

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

{Tutorial} How To Create Custom Chalk Art

Update: Want to see more chalk art? Click here to see my weekly baby bump chalkboards! :)

I've had several questions about how I made the chalkboard art I used in our pregnancy announcement pictures. It was actually pretty easy...a little time consuming, but I thought it was worth it. And I promise, anyone can do this. I absolutely cannot do anything artsy by hand, so I have to have something to trace. Doing it this way, I was able to turn some of my favorite fonts into cute chalkboard art. I used this website for the chalk art idea. {Have you seen her baby bump chalkboards?! Oh my goodness, the cuteness!} And I used this basic tutorial for how to get the art I made on the computer transferred to the chalkboard.

There might be a MUCH easier way out there to do this, but here's how I made the art on the computer:

*Also, if you want to know the fonts I used, I listed them at the bottom of this post. :)

1. Open a new presentation in Power Point. Change the slide size by clicking the Design tab at the top and then Slide Size on the far right. Choose Custom Slide Size. My chalkboard {minus the frame} is about 20" x 27" so that's what I entered.

{Click the picture to enlarge.}
2. I created my art using one text box at a time. I like using Power Point for this kind of thing because it lets you layer text boxes on top of each other much easier than Word or Publisher. {And I don't have Photoshop or Illustrator.} First I did a text box for "Little."

Then I made a text box for "Baby" and continued this for each line.

3. When your art is complete, you'll need to save it as a picture file. Go to File, then Save As. Choose the folder where you want to save it. When the Save As window comes up, name your file, and click on the drop down menu on the right side of the "Save as type:" section.
{Click the picture to enlarge.}
4. I don't really know much at all about picture formats, but I usually choose JPEG or PNG because they seem to be the easiest to work with. Choose a format and then click Save.
{Click the picture to enlarge.}
5. Open Publisher and click on More Blank Page Sizes.

{Click the picture to enlarge.}
6. Click Create New Page Size and enter the same dimensions as you did in Power Point, adding one inch to both the height and width to account for the margins in Publisher. In Power Point my dimensions were 20" x 27" and in Publisher they were 21" x 28".

{Click the picture to enlarge.}
{Click the picture to enlarge.}
7. Click Create.
8. Click on Insert and then Picture. Find where you saved your picture file from Power Point and click Insert.
9. You'll need to resize your picture to cover the whole page - from blue line to blue line. Here's what mine looked like right after I clicked Insert.
See how the picture is smaller than the blue lines that go around the page?
This is how it should look after you resize the picture.
See how the picture now lines up with the blue lines around the page? That's what you want.
10. Click File and then Print and you should see a preview that looks something like this.

Once you print it out, this is what you'll have.

11. From here, carefully trim off the edges of white space so that all of the letters will line up correctly. Tape the pages together. I taped the top three pages together, then the middle three, and then the bottom three. I did not tape all three rows together. It's like I have three banners. I thought it would be much easier for transferring the art to the chalkboard and it definitely was.

Once I reached this point, I followed this tutorial exactly except I just traced one banner at a time {step by step photos below}. That way my wrist didn't mess up the middle part while I was detailing the top part.

I started by positioning my banner on the chalkboard to try and get it as centered and straight as possible.

I lightly marked the corners of the position of the top banner on the chalkboard and then colored the back of the banner with colored chalk.

Then I carefully taped the banner in place on the chalkboard and traced over the letters. I used three different tools for this: the end of a Sharpie, the tip of a mechanical pencil, and the tip of a pen. For thicker letters, I used the end of a Sharpie and for skinnier letters I used the tip of the pencil or pen.

I traced the letters, removed the banner, and then went over it again with the chalk. Don't worry about chalk dust or smears. You can fix those later.

I used a pencil sharpener to keep the tip of my chalk sharp. This helped A LOT!!

I repeated the steps above for each banner.

Here's what the chalkboard looked like after I finished all the tracing and retracing.

Remember how I said not to worry about chalk dust and smears? Here's where you're going to fix that. Just get a little bowl of water, Q-tips, and paper towels and touch up any areas that need it. See? Easy!! :)

All done! LOVE! I see lots of chalkboard art in my future! :)

I'd love to see any chalk art you've created! Leave a comment below with a link! Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions at all! :)

Have a fabulous day, y'all!!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Rewind {August 26, 2013}

Hey everyone! I hope your Monday went well. I'm always glad to get Monday behind's just not my favorite day of the week! I successfully made it through day six of this school year. I'm telling you, I thought there was no tired like teacher tired at the beginning of a school year...until I started a school year pregnant. I really considered laying my head down on my desk while my kids were at P.E. today! But...too much to do! I'm coming up on the second trimester and from what I hear, I'll feel like a superhero. I am really hoping that's true!! :)

Anyway, I thought I'd do a "weekend rewind" post today. It might seem boring, but this is one of the big reasons I started this blog. {Not to be boring, of course. :)} I wanted to have a way to remember the big and small moments of our lives. I know I'll love looking back on it someday. I will admit, though, that I had a major blogger fail and didn't take any pictures. I have GOT to get better at that!!

On Thursday afternoon, I saw a picture of Chuy's chips and salsa on someone's Instagram and decided right then that we *had* to go that weekend. I thought about it all day on Friday. We got there with the early birds at 5:45 thinking we wouldn't have to wait. Oh no. I'm convinced there's always a wait at Chuy's! We had to wait for an hour! It was worth it, though. We always eat a ton of chips, salsa, and creamy jalapeno dip and then share the chicken quesadillas. I would love to find a recipe for that creamy jalapeno dip. We've tried a couple of copycat recipes but they didn't come close.

After dinner we decided to go to Destination Maternity at the mall. It's getting harder and harder for me to find clothes that are comfortable. {Why can't I wear my yoga pants to school?} I got a few things that I'm hoping will last me my entire pregnancy. I'm really loving this dress. I'm hoping I can wear it with sandals while it's still warm and then transition to boots when it gets cooler. I haven't tried it on yet with boots, so I'll have to see.
I also bought this shirt. I think it will work until the end of my pregnancy. I love that it will look cute with khakis for work and jeans on the weekends.
We were totally planning to go to Auntie Anne's for a cinnamon sugar pretzel {yum!!} when we were done shopping, but the mall was about to close so we settled for milkshakes at Chick-fil-A instead.

On Saturday, Daniel had a men's breakfast at church and then helped one of his friends move, so I was on my own most of the day. I ended up doing all the laundry and making our grocery list for the week {using Southern Savers, of course}. I love it when I can get this kind of stuff done on Saturday! Then we don't have to worry about it on Sunday and can start the week in a somewhat organized way! :) Once Daniel got home, we headed to a late afternoon movie and dinner at Jim & Nick's. They have changed their menu and raised their prices, but we felt like the food was actually a little better. Their cheese biscuits are my favorite! I could go there and just eat those!

We ran our errands on Saturday night, and thanks to Southern Savers, we got $108 worth of groceries at Publix for $50! Sometimes I get tired of doing coupons, but when I see how much money I can save, it motivates me to keep using them!

I was scheduled to sing on praise team on Sunday morning at church so we had to go a little early. We sang two of my favorite songs! I've posted about one before...Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher. The other one is a song that I got to sing on Sunday...O the Blood by Kari Jobe. I love, love, love this song. O what love, no greater love. Grace, how can it be? That in my sin, yes, even then, He shed His blood for me! 

We spent the rest of our Sunday doing a little cleaning and catching up on shows we had DVRed. Sunday night always comes too soon, am I right? :)

If you made it this far, thanks for visiting! Stay tuned this week...I'm going to post about how I made our pregnancy announcement chalkboard.

I hope y'all have a wonderful week!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Cheddar Bacon Dip {Football Food}

This dip couldn't be easier to make and it's the perfect snack for watching college football. Only 8 more days...I can't wait!! :) It only requires four ingredients and literally comes together in less than five minutes. My favorite kind of recipe!

All you'll need is sour cream, a packet of ranch dressing mix, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Make sure you get the real bacon bits, not the crunchy things that my students pile onto their lunch tray. {They literally eat them by the spoonful. Ew.}
These are the bacon bits you're looking for.
I used a blend of cheddar and white cheddar.
Make this for your next football party. Your friends will thank you!

Cheddar Bacon Dip
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16 oz. light sour cream
1 packet ranch dressing mix
3 oz. package of bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix ingredients until well blended and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Source: Plain Chicken

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Home Office - Before and After!

We've been wanting to redo our home office ever since we moved into our house a little over a year and a half ago. I found this picture on Pinterest over a year ago and we both really liked the design. In true Jenny fashion, though, it took me forever to decide if this is what I really wanted. I am SO indecisive when it comes to making decisions about decorating/furniture/house stuff. It's super annoying. Seriously, it took me about 30 minutes to pick out an outdoor rug for our deck. I kept telling Daniel that I just wished there was only one option! I'm always afraid that right after I buy something or change something permanently about our house, I'm going to see something else that I like better. I really need to get over that. Anyway, we finally decided that we were ready to do the office and my amazing dad did everything in about 4 days!

Here's how our office looked for almost a year and a half. We hung some pictures above the computers, but this was pretty much how it was. Pretty boring, right?

Once we finally decided we were ready to start renovating it, we cleared everything out and this is what we started with. That thing on the right is a futon but it's in our basement now.

I've always LOVED built-ins and desperately wanted some in our house! I love how they look, but I also love that they create stylish storage. Here's how the office looked after my dad worked on it for just a few days. He also added some extra recessed lighting in front of the bookshelves because there was only one light fixture in the room. I LOVE lots of light! :)

The cabinets were just regular, unfinished kitchen cabinets from Lowe's. My dad cut off the toekick part and we just painted them and added hardware. I love having this storage below because it allows us to hide our ugly computer towers and printers. He also installed some extra outlets inside the cabinets so we could plug everything in. One thing I really love is how he extended the crown moulding on the focus wall!

Over the summer, my mom and I did some shopping for accessories for the shelves and a few additional furniture items. I'm SO much better at buying things when I'm with my mom. She spots things that I would never even think of putting together. Here's a view of the main wall. I'm sure I'll add some more accessories to the shelves, but I want to take my time and find things that are meaningful.

{Click the picture to enlarge}
Here's a close up of both sides of the desk.


Here are a few more pictures that show the rest of the room.

I adore this cozy little sitting area in the corner. I'm still looking for some art to hang in this corner. This mirrored end table is one of my favorite things in the room. I would never have picked it out if it weren't for my mom. I love how it looks!

This brown and beige zebra print rug is probably my very favorite thing in the room. I love that it makes a bold statement but still makes the room warm and inviting.

And because I love a good before and after, here's one last look.

Hope you enjoyed my mini office tour! :) Have a great week!

Today's Homes

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