Monday, July 30, 2012

Link Party 70

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! Shelby had to go back to the twin cities for a few days for work so Jer and I tagged along. It was kind of a weird trip. We lived in St. Paul for four years and after being away for just a few months it already feels so foreign to us. It is no longer feels like home at all which I guess is a good thing. We got to hang out with a few friends which was bittersweet. It was really nice to spend some time with them and to actually say goodbye. It makes me miss them even more though. :( 

Alright, enough of that. Time for the link party! Here are a few of my favorites from last week:


Ear Cuff Tutorial by Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe

Elephant Biscuits by The Rickett Chronicles

Lovely State Map Art by Allons-y Kimberly

Zig Zag Quilt by Cherished Bliss

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lemon Cake Balls


No dessert says "Summer Fun" better than lemon cake balls topped with colorful sprinkles! So grab your bored kiddos and whip up some of these easy treats. :)

Lemon Cake Balls

Ingredients:
9x13" Lemon Cake
12-14oz Lemon Frosting
1 pkg Log House Vanilla CandiQuick Coating
Colorful sprinkles

Bake your cake as you normally would and allow to cool completely. To speed this up, you can cut the cake into about six large pieces and move to a wire rack. Once cool, cut off the edges so you don't have any hard pieces. Crumble the remaining cake into a large bowl, making sure the crumbs are as fine as possible. 

Add 12oz of frosting to the cake crumbs and mix until it all sticks together. If necessary, add more icing - just make sure not to add too much or your cake balls will be too gooey.

Use a cookie scoop to measure out even sized balls of the cake mixture and roll each one with your hands to round them out. Place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a few minutes or until the balls are somewhat solid.

Melt down your candy coating according to package directions. One at a time, dip your slightly frozen cake balls in the coating and place back on the wax paper covered cookie sheet then immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cake balls. Place the cookie sheet back in the freezer for a few minutes or until the coating is hardened.

The coating will puddle around the bottom so if you want them to be perfectly round, use a knife to carefully shave away the excess coating.

Makes about 3 Dozen

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Link Party 69

I gave the blog a makeover last week so there are some new buttons in the sidebar if you would like to switch out your old ones. I wasn't really planning on making any changes but I got the idea for a new header and a couple of hours later I had completely changed everything. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out so I might actually keep it awhile this time. :)  Now, on to the link party!

As always, there were some great projects linked up last week. Check out a few of my favorites:


Mad Planter by The Pike Fam

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Pork by Feeding My Temple

Wire Spiral Head Pin by Leah's Blog

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by White Lights on Wednesday

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars

Friday, July 20, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes


Shelby has been making these awesome potatoes for years and I finally got him to measure some things so I could jot down the recipe! Everything can be adjusted to suit your personal tastes but this is a great starting point. They are even better when you do the second bake on a charcoal grill. The smoky flavor is amazing.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:
9 Baked Potatoes*
1/3 cup Butter
1/3 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided

Cut each baked potato in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to score the area that you are going to scoop out; leave about 1/4 inch on all sides. Using a cookie scoop or melon baller, start scooping out the potato filling and place it in a large mixing bowl. Gradually scoop towards the edge until you get it as close as you can without the skin folding down. Repeat until all of the potatoes are hollowed out.

Use a potato masher to mash some of the lumps out. Use an electric mixer to continue mashing until mostly smooth. Add butter, sour cream and 1 cup of milk. Beat until combined. Gradually add remaining milk being careful not to add too much or it will overpower the potato flavor. Salt to taste and beat until smooth. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and mix until combined.

Scoop mashed potato mixture into the potato skins. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until the tops of the potatoes start to form a thin skin. Do not over-bake or any small pieces that are sticking out will burn.

Makes: 18 Potato Halves

Nutrition Facts: Each Potato Half has 266 Calories, 6.4g Fat, 4g Sat Fat, 21mg Cholesterol, 135mg Sodium, 37.4g Carbohydrates, 3.8g Fiber, 3.4g Sugar 9.2g Protein

* Before baking the potatoes, make sure you pierce them along the sides where you are going to cut the potato in half instead of all over. This will help keep the skin from falling apart.


This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Orange Soda Cupcakes


Soda pop cupcakes were the first thing that Shelby ever cooked for me. We were still "just friends" at that point and he apparently had a huge crush on me so he may have been attempting to woo me with his mad baking skills. ;) If I remember correctly, he made them with Fufu Berry Jones Soda that night. 

After making these using a bunch of different flavors, we have decided that orange soda is our favorite. It has the most flavor and is something that you don't hear of everyday. You can use any flavor of pop that you like though and try mixing it with different cake flavors like chocolate cake mix with root beer.

Whatever flavors you choose, these cupcakes are unbelievably moist and delicious. People are always intrigued when they first hear what the ingredients are so they are fun to take to parties. They are really easy to make so they are a great baking project for small kids too. 

Orange Soda Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 box of Plain White Cake Mix
12oz Orange Soda
White Icing (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the cake mix (just the dry mix - DO NOT add the eggs, oil or anything else to it) to remove any large clumps. Add the orange soda and blend with the whisk. Do not over-mix. Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.

Line cupcake pan with foil baking cups. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cupcakes feel firm when you lightly tap the top. Let cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely then top with icing, if desired.

Makes about 16 cupcakes.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Star Wars Mural

As I mentioned yesterday, Jer spent a few days with Mamaw and Pop at their farm and I decided to take advantage of the child-free time by working on his new room! When he came home I got to surprise him with his Star Wars mural: 

 

Even though he only got to enjoy his Superhero Room for about a month before we had to move, I decided to go with a different theme instead of just recreating the old room. He is obsessed with Star Wars (especially Darth Vader) and thanks to Papa's garage sale addiction, he already had a ton of toys to decorate with. 

When we first started talking about it I asked him what kind of mural I should paint and he said that he wanted a "battle scene". I was a little hesitant at first because I'm not a very good artist and I wasn't sure if I could pull off the shading and everything. Then I got the idea to do a silhouette instead. While searching for inspiration I found this awesome Popup Card. The silhouette was great and it was the battle scene in front of the death star window. Perfect!


We borrowed a projector to put the image up on the wall. If you don't have access to one, you can use this tutorial to build your own using a regular table lamp.


Then I just traced the outline with a pencil and painted it all in! It was super easy but time consuming. It was kind of fun though. I got some time by myself to watch Netflix while still being productive. :)


I love how it turned out and Jer was really excited - especially since he didn't even know that I had been working on it. 


We added a few other touches like putting a screw hook on the side of the bookcase so he can hang his light saber and putting his nightlight in the Darth Vader mask on top of the small bookcase. We also surprised him with a new TV because he is a spoiled little brat. :) His room is pretty small (8' x 10.5') and there wasn't really room for his big tube tv so we got rid of it at our garage sale and used priority club points that we had saved up from all of Shelby's business trips to buy a small flat screen to put in there. 

The kid is really spoiled considering how little money we actually spend. The TV was paid for with priority club points, we got the Wii thanks to a crazy college kid tossing it out on moving day, we won his iPod touch for $1 in a raffle, and all of the star wars toys came from garage sales. I know that explanation wasn't really necessary but it kind of bugs me when people assume that we spend thousands of dollars on him when in reality he gets $75 at most for his birthday and Christmas with just a couple of bucks spent here and there on toys and books found at garage sales or clearance aisles. We aren't crazy over-spenders we are just really skilled deal-finders. :)

Stay tuned for more fun Star Wars projects!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Link Party 68

Sorry about missing the party last week. It's always difficult to stick to a schedule in the summer. Especially when the boy is staying with the grandparent's for a few days and I have the whole house to myself to do whatever I want. :) Sitting in front of a computer didn't happen to be one of those things. Instead, I decided to surprise him by working on his room while he was gone. He was so excited about it and I can't wait to share it with you guys!

There were some great projects linked up a couple of weeks ago though! Check out my favorites:

Drumstick Ice Cream Cupcakes by White Lights On Wednesdays

Large Wall Scrabble Tiles by Allons-y Kimberly

Teenage Boy Room Makeover by Home Happy Home

Baby Bundle Tutorial by The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Pink Lemonade Party by Cherished Bliss

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pizza Sandwiches


When I was younger, sandwich makers were really popular. We had a lot of fun filling them with different combinations like ham and cheese and my personal favorite: pizza toppings. The problem was that strip down the middle that was always hard and crunchy. I have also been trying to clean out my kitchen and get rid of any unnecessary gadgets that only have one specific use. So the other day I was hungry for a pizza sandwich and decided to make one using just a regular old skillet and it worked great!

I used shredded mozzarella cheese because it was all that I had on hand and it turned out alright but it was really hard to flip over without everything spilling out of it so I would recommend using slices instead.

Pizza Sandwiches

Ingredients:
Sliced Bread
Butter
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese Slices
Pizza Toppings

Butter one side on each slice of bread that you will be using. For each sandwich, place one slice of bread in a large skillet over medium heat. Spread a little bit of pizza sauce on the side of bread facing up. Top with a slice of cheese, your pizza topping of choice, and another slice of cheese. Place another slice of bread on top with the buttered side facing up. Lightly brown on each side. Serve hot.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mr. Potato Head Planter


While trying to squeeze all of Jer's toys into his new room, I decided that it was time to downsize the Mr. Potato Head collection. So I started thinking about how we could use one in our new decor and it hit me that  he would make an adorable planter with crazy hair! 


Just cut the head off of your potato with a small hand saw, making sure that you start high enough in the front to allow enough room for the eyes then angle down towards the back. Using an mad scientist laugh while doing this is highly encouraged but not mandatory. Toss some small pebbles in the bottom to help with drainage then place your plant inside and the potato head accessories of your choice.


We used a fancy grass called Corkscrew Rush to give him extra crazy hair. He looks really cute on the side table in the living room and makes me smile every time I see him. :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

South Seas Grog


***Please drink responsibly. No underage drinking.***

This is another recipe that I created based on a favorite from a restaurant. The South Seas Grog was my favorite tiki drink from Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge. Once again, it looks like this is no longer on the menu so I'm really glad that we came up with our own version! This drink is a great to sip while sitting out on the patio on a hot summer night. 

South Seas Grog

Ingredients:
1-1/2 oz Gold Rum
1/2oz Pineapple Juice
2oz Sweet and Sour Mix
6 drops Lemon Juice
2 splashes Aromatic Bitters
Ice Cubes

Measure liquids into a martini shaker with three ice cubes. Shake until chilled. Pour into a cute tiki mug filled with ice and topped with a paper umbrella and a straw. Close your eyes and imagine that you are sitting on the beach of a remote tropical island and let all your cares fade away. :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How To Replace Window Screens


One of the many things that needed to be fixed on this house were the window screens. Most of them only had a few small holes. But there were a couple that had such big holes and rips that we couldn't even open those windows because they would let too many bugs in. Luckily, this was an easy and fairly inexpensive project - about $25 to re-screen the entire house. 


Supplies:
Roll of Window Screen
Screening Spline
Spline Roller
Scissors
Utility Knife


1. Your screen will probably be dirty so you may want to lay down an old towel or sheet to keep your floor clean. Remove the old spline. If your screens are as bad as mine, this will already be partially done for you. :) Then remove the old, nasty screen. If you have the time, you may want to go ahead and clean the frame and your windows while you are at it. I did this during a very short break in a heat wave so I skipped that part so I could get right to enjoying the fresh air.


2. Cut your screen so that there is an overhang of an inch on every side.


3. Use the rounded side of the spline roller to push the screen into the groove on one side.


4. Push the new spline in to hold the screen in place.


5. Use the other end of the spline roller (the one that has a groove in it) to push the spline all the way down.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 on each side holding the screen tight while you do so. One site that I visited said to do step 3 all the way around before putting the spline in but when I tried to do that the screen kept coming out of the groove. For me it was easier to put the spline in as I went. You might want to hold your screen up and see if it is tight. If not, you can remove the spline and start over again.


7. Holding your utility knife at an angle, cut off the excess screen getting as close to the spline as you can.


Now you're done! Put your screen back in the window and enjoy the fresh air. 


This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas


Quesadillas are one of my favorite foods for summertime. They are easy to throw together and don't require heating up the house by using the oven. This bean and cheese version is so full of flavor that even the most devout meat-eater will love it. :)

Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
adapted from Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 small White Onion, chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 can (15oz) Black Beans, drained, rinsed, and lightly mashed
1/2 cup Salsa
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 pkg Medium Flour Tortillas
8oz Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
Handful of Cilantro leaves
Sour Cream (optional)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper and cook until crisp-tender. Add beans, salsa, and chili powder. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spray griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread 1/4 cup of the bean mixture over one half of the tortilla. Top with some pepper jack cheese and cilantro. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the mixture and gently press down with a spatula. Cook until lightly browned on bottom, then flip and lightly brown other side. 

Remove quesadilla to a plate or baking sheet and cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining quesadillas. To serve, cut each quesadilla into halves or quarters and serve with sour cream.

Makes about 10.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sidewalk Paint


We had a short break from the heat wave so I decided it was time to try out the sidewalk paint that I have been seeing all over blogland. It was really easy to mix up and Jer had a lot of fun with it.


Grab a muffin tin and fill each cup with:
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Water
3 drops of Food Coloring

Stir well and start decorating your sidewalk or driveway!
Grab a cup or bowl full of water to rinse the brush when switching colors.


After about an hour, we lost all of our shade and it started heating up so we came inside. Jer wasn't done playing yet though so he decided to start blending the colors. He said that he was an evil scientist making potions. :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.