Random Ramblings: June 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

PATRIOTIC GRADIENT VOTIVE HOLDERS


These little votive holders were so much fun to create.
Come over to the SILHOUETTE AMERICA blog to find out how I created them.  
Click ----> HERE and it will take you right there.  

These will be perfect for 4th of July coming up.  

~NICOLE

Saturday, June 21, 2014

MEXICAN LASAGNA



Recently I was browsing around on pinterest and I came across a recipe that looked pretty good.  I decided to try it out for dinner one night.  I did however change some things on the original recipe to make it a little different.  
HERE is the one I cam across, and it was called a taco bake, and I changed the name of ours.  

I am going to share with you my version which I call 

MEXICAN LASAGNA 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


WHAT YOU NEED :
flour tortillas
4 cups of shredded cheese ( I used mexican blend and cheddar )
a large can of refried beans
taco seasoning
ground beef ( I used about 3 pounds for ours )
2 jars of salsa con queso ( I bought the Newman's Own brand, but you can use whatever brand you want )

DIRECTIONS :


1. Brown the hamburger meat and drain it. Add taco season and mix well.  Let cook for a bit to get the taco seasoning soa
While you are doing this turn on your oven to preheat to 350 degrees.  


2. Add the 2 jars of salsa con queso.  


3. Layer the bottom of your baking dish (or in my case a throw out metal tin) with tortillas .  I just cut my tortillas in half and layered them to cover the bottom. 


4. Add a layer of refried beans on top of the tortillas, then a layer of the meat mixture, then top with shredded cheese.  ( I made 4 layers so I did 1/4 of each thing for each layer )
REPEAT the layers.


5.  Finish the very top with a little extra cheese and cover with foil. 
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  


Slice up like lasagna and top with your choice of toppings.  
We used shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a little sour cream on top.  

It is very good and a definite keeper on our dinner list.  

~NICOLE

Friday, June 20, 2014

MILK JUG WATERING CAN


Chloe loves to help water, well she just loves to be our little helper for many things.
So we were at Target the other day and she was dying to get this Hello Kitty watering can over in the garden section.  It wasn't too expensive, I think like $5.99.  However we are trying to teach her that she doesn't get something every single time we go to the store, so we didn't buy it.
She does have a little tiny one she plays in the tub with too.  But it got me to thinking when we got home.  I have seen this many times before and thought I would give it a try.
We go through milk in this house very quickly, so as soon as we were done with the one in the fridge, I cleaned it all out and let it dry completely.  
Once dry I took it out to the garage and found a small drill bit and drilled many little holes in the top of the milk jug lid.
I didn't want the holes too small, but not too big either, so they are more like a medium size.

No pattern or rhyme or reason to where to holes went, just random all over to fill the lid.  



I added some vinyl flowers and letters to the jug to make it special just for her. 
She was so excited when I gave it to her, she instantly asked  me to fill it with water for her to go water the strawberries.  


This was a quick and pretty easy project, but I knew it would just be something fun that my little Chloe would love.  The milk jug is perfect for this project because it has a built in handle .  I think though a half gallon jug would be a little better for her because when it is full of water, it is a bit heavy for her.  So we just fill it half way so she can still carry it.
Its a summer fun quick and easy project that she loves, so that is all that matters in the end right.  :)
~NICOLE

Thursday, June 19, 2014

GARDEN UPDATE




I thought it would be fun to show you how our garden is coming along.  Man those suckers are growing so fast.  It is so exciting to see everything just coming along so quickly and know we will be eating all the stuff from here sooner than we know it.  
Earlier this week Jacob went out there to water and found some stuff had been dug up and a few leaves chewed on, so we think it might be a squirrel, so we are keeping watch of that very closely.  It would be so frustrating for him to put in all the hard daily work he does on this garden and have some creature come eat it all.  No way!
I still don't know what I am most excited about, all of it I think.  
We did add a few things.  We added a planter of strawberries in the front yard.  Then we added a grape vine, and plan to add 2 more of those and also we now have 2 peach trees.  Jacob got them both for Father's Day.  I know we won't get any fruit from those this year, but it is still exciting to just know we have them  
So now I will show you some pictures of how the garden is coming along.  

This is the corn on the cob.  I have to tell you these pictures I took last week and they are even bigger this week by alot.  

Look at all the hair from these carrots.  So cute!

Radishes that are going to take over here pretty soon I swear lol.  

I only use radishes in my salsa so I hope the peppers catch up to these suckers soon lol. 

Watermellon.  I can taste it already.  

Here is the one grape vine so far, and we plan to add 2 more in this spot right when you walk in through the gate into the garden.  

Here is the strawberry planter.  This is funny how this came to be the strawberry planter actually.  We were driving somewhere one day and I saw this box outside of thrift store and Jacob stopped to look at it on our way back home.  They only took cash and I didn't have the $10.00 on me.  So I was going to go back later.  I did, and it was gone.  Well Jacob had stopped and bought it for me on his way to work that afternoon.  
Well he gave it to me and I wanted it to store vinyl rolls in, in the office.
Well they didn't fit like I had hoped because they were too long and would just fall out.  
So then we thought we were going to make it into an herb garden box.  Well we didn't have many herbs to plant so we just planted those in the garden.  Then Jacob decided to plant all the strawberries in it.  PERFECT! 
So that is how this little box became the new strawberry home.  I know we won't get strawberries this year ( at least that is what I have read online), but still knowing they are in there growing is exciting.  

So here is a little peek into our garden.  I'll share again soon so you can see how it is coming along.  

~NICOLE

Monday, June 16, 2014

HELLO SUMMER DISPLAY FRAME and PRINT AND CUT TUTORIAL


Today I am over on the SILHOUETTE AMERICA blog sharing this fun summer fun display frame.  
I also talk about making your own print and cuts.
I thought I would go ahead and share the details on making your own print and cuts right here on my blog as well.
You can go HERE to find my entire post over on the SILHOUETTE blog.  

Now let me give you a quick step by step on how to turn a cut file into a print and cut.
( I used a general file to just cut it really big to show you how to do it )
  • Start by making sure you turn on the registration marks on your page so you know where to place your images.
  • Size your image or images to fit inside the red square and not to go into the grey area.

  • Release compound path and ungroup the images.
  • Now fill each separate section with the color you desire.
  • To find the fill option, to go the top bar and the little bucket on the right side is where you choose the colors.
  • CHANGE the LINE color to no line.  This will insure that not every individual piece will cut out.
  • LEAVE the outermost line color to red.  Or whatever is to be cut out around the design will ONLY stay as a red line.  This is the only line that will cut.
  • Put the images back together how you want them.  Notice only the line around the outermost teal image is red.
  • Group your images back together in case you need to move it around.
  • Under the FILE tab on the top left PRINT your image on your printer.
  • Place paper right onto your SILHOUETTE CUTTING MAT and load it into your SILHOUETTE CAMEO


  • Make sure your cut settings are set to cardstock and not the material you used with your previous project.
  • This red line shows the only place that your image will actually cut.
  • Send to SILHOUETTE
  • It will read the registration marks before it starts cutting.

  • There you have your own print and cut from a cut file.
  • This made cutting out all the squares for my Summer fun CHRISTMAS ADVENT CALENDAR so quick and easy.



I can only imagine the amount of things I can now make with my own print and cuts.  Super easy and I can't wait to make more.  I think I am going to definately put this to good use for some birthday party decor soon.  :)

~NICOLE

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DAD FRAME


 Today I am over at the silhouette blog sharing this DAD frame I created.  Hop on over and check it out.  Make sure you check out all of the other great projects too.  
Go HERE to find my post. 

~NICOLE


Saturday, June 7, 2014

SUMMER FUN BUCKET LIST





I don't know if I would really call this a bucket list, but we kind of made a list of some fun stuff we want to do this summer while the kids are out of school.  
Jacob and I put most of the things on the list, but the kids had a few ideas too.  

It isn't one of those things like we HAVE to do everything on the list, and if we don't we failed.  No, not at all.  It was just a list of some ideas to give us of fun things we can do as a family this summer.  The boys got out in late May and they go back to school July 10.  So they don't have 3 months off, like we did as kids.  Do kids even get that long for summer break anymore?  
But even if we do some of the things after they go back to school, that is cool too.  No rules here for our summer fun list.  
We have already done a few of them, and if we do some more than once that is cool too.  

So I thought I would share with you our list and see how many by the end of summer we actually did.  

the MANTOOTH family SUMMER FUN LIST
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GO TO THE MOVIES
GO TO THE DRIVE IN
GO CAMPING
GO FOR ICECREAM
GO SOMEWHERE JUST FOR MILKSHAKES
HAVE A PICNIC IN THE PARK
MAKE CHERRY LIMEADE
TURN WHITE FLOWERS COLORED WITH COLORED WATER
MAKE SMORES
FEED THE DUCKS
GO THE PARK JUST TO PLAY
FLY KITES
GO FISHING
GO TO THE BEACH
TIE DYE SHIRTS
GO BOWLING
HAVE A FAMILY GAME NIGHT
HAVE A FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
HAVE A WATER BALLOON FIGHT
GO MINIATURE GOLFING
GO TO THE FAIR
RUN THROUGH THE SPRINKLERS
KIDS SWIM IN THE KID POOL
GO TO A MOVIE IN THE PARK 

So since I was in the mood to write some lists, I decided to give myself a little list of projects I would like to complete this summer too.

PAINT OUR BEDROOM GREY
PAINT OUR BATHROOM GREY
PAINT CHLOE'S ROOM TEAL
PAINT THE KIDS BATHROOM GREY
PAINT THE LIVING ROOM/ DINING ROOM/ KITCHEN BROWNISH COLOR
PAINT THE TABLE BY THE FRONT DOOR BLACK

I have a ton more of projects too but I don't want to overwhelm myself with painting projects. These are already going to take alot of time.
I have started painting our bedroom but I need to get more paint, so until then I am not moving on to any other project because I don't want to have several project going on at once.  I am bad about that, and then never finish them.  :)

What is on your summer to do list?
~NICOLE

Friday, June 6, 2014

CHERRY LIMEADE

I LOVE the cherry limeade from Sonic.
A long time ago I remember pinning recipes on pinterest for a homemade version.
So the other day the kids and I were at Walmart and I had to pick up a few things, so I thought I would try to make this for them.  I have been wanting to try it out and since it is summer break, I figured why wait any longer.  
This is super easy and quick.  I saw it done a few ways so I just kind of did whatever in the moment while I was making it.  
When we were at Walmart they didn't have and sprite zero, so I just got the walmart brand diet lemon lime soda. I figured since it was for the kids they really wouldn't care if it was walmart brand of the sprite zero brand.  But this way with the diet soda, I could at least taste it too.  





CHERRY LIMEADE 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
1 - 2 liter bottle of sprite ( or 7up or sierra mist.. any should work just the same) 
I used diet so it was sugar free on that part
1 can frozen concentrate of limeade
1 small jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries
limes for garnish (walmart only had small key limes)

In a large pitcher pour in the entire bottle of soda. 
Add the defrosted can of limeade
Add all of the JUICE ONLY from the maraschino cherries

Mix it with a wooden spoon.
Fill a glass with ice (small crushed ice if you can)
Fill with juice soda mix.
Add in a few of the cherries and a few slices of the lime 
ENJOY!  

It was really good and did taste just like the sonic cherry limeade.
I think I read somewhere that you can ask for diet soda when you order a cherry limeade at sonic??? I wonder if that is true.  I guess that means we need to take a trip over there to find out really soon.  

~NICOLE

Thursday, June 5, 2014

THE GARDEN

It has been a year that we have been in this house now.
One thing we left behind at the old house that we couldn't bring with us was the garden we had started the year before that.  We started it again last year, but then we moved.
Don't get me wrong I love this house so much more than our old house, but it was sad to leave the garden.  Jacob had worked so hard on the garden and we had some great fruits and vegetables from it.  I think there is just something about growing your own that makes things taste that much better.  
So since we had just moved in last year we didn't get a chance to start a new garden.  
But we have been talking about it for several months now and Jacob was able to get out there this past weekend and get it going for us.
He busted his butt and built a fence and I always appreciate his hard work.  We both even have quite the sunburn to prove we were out there for 3 days straight.  (on a side note- he will burn and then be dark tan all summer, I burn and then peel and go back to pasty white again.  I had forgotten sunblock the first day so I did the rest of the time we were out there)
So this is all before what the space looked like.  
He built the garden in a spot where we can access it through a gate from the front yard, or a gate in the backyard.  So if I don't feel like dealing with the pain in the butt dogs, I can just go in through the front yard gate and don't have to deal with them.  
This garden is at least double the size of our old garden.  
He worked on the fence- digging the holes in the cement rock hard dirt in our backyard.  He wet it but it still is like rock out there.  
So he dug up 6 holes and put in 6 poles for the fencing.  He attatched the fencing to the poles with wire and dug a trench for the fencing to lay in.  
What is hard to see also in these pictures is that our back yard is filled with so many rocks.  Big , medium and small.  So those then all had to be raked away in the garden area.  

***Oh and all of these photos were taken from my cell phone that day- we were so busy out there I was snapping pictures as we went along so I just had my phone on hand and didn't want to stop just to go inside to get my camera and then take it back inside***




 As you can also see the dogs have dug a few holes that he needed to fill in too.  


This is the side of the house from where you can access the garden from the front yard.  We want to line this small chain link fence with grape vines.  

Here is once he had the fence all up and all the drenches dug for the lines to be planted in.  

See the gate over there on the left if you want to go into the garden from the backyard as well.  



We got everything planted the next day and then today I planted 3 more things.  We had planned to plant a separate herb garden but decided the box we are going to plant strawberries in instead of herbs.  

In case you are wondering what we planted here is a list.

4 rows corn (2 rows under each window) 

2 rows of watermelon ( the rows closest to the wood fence in the picture right above this)
2 rows of cantaloupe (the rows right after the watermelon)

1 long row of green beans (right against the fence on the office window side)

1 row of jack o lanterns (right against the fence on the master bedroom side - the right side closest to the front yard gate side)

1 row of pumpkins (right in front of the jack o lanterns)

then starting from the gap after the cantaloupe we have...

2 rows of zucchini 
1 1/2 rows of goldtender summer squash
1 1/2 rows of spaghetti squash
2 rows of cucumbers
2 rows of sugar snap peas
1 row of radish
1 row of carrots

then there is a little path with nothing planted there yet

2 rows of beefsteak tomatoes
2 rows of heirloom tomatoes

then another larger path way that will stay as a walkway through the garden

1 row of tiny bite sized tomatoes 
1 row of banana yellow peppers
1 row of jalapenos
1 row of blaze of glory pepper mix
2 rows of red onion
1 row of green onion 1 row of spinach
1 row of parsley

a small path 

1 row of mixture of bell pepper
1 row of green bell pepper 
1 row of colored bell pepper 

 Jacob did a great job on the garden I can't wait to share the progress of our garden and start eating all the yummy goodness from it. 

I will definately be sharing the progress of how the garden is growing. 
 I think I am most excited about... the corn maybe.  Well I don't know because so much of it I use for homemade salsa too.  Oh gosh I just can't wait for all of it.  

~NICOLE

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CALEB IS 7


HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR LITTLE CALEB.
I can't believe our little Caleb is 7  years old today.
He is quite the kid.  He has so much personality and he does not ever stop moving. This little boy of ours has so much energy that the only time he stops is when he is sleeping.
He is funny and is always making us laugh with silly things he says, or funny faces he makes.
He loves to be outdoors riding his dirtbike, or his new bicycle.
He loves to fall, he thinks its cool...such a boy.
He also really loves xbox so very much. 
He has a huge heart and is always just checking to see where we are, or just tells us he loves us for no other reason. 
He loves his family.
He loves school still, and is a very smart and amazing student.
He thinks of others all the time.  
He is our little boy and while I am sad he is growing up so fast, I am enjoying watching him become a little man.
Caleb, mommy and daddy love you so very much.  Hope you have a great day little guy. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

July 2013 - He made his own mohawk

November 2009 

June 4, 2013 - His 6th birthday on his way to school last year.  

Easter 2009 - Look at that face I just want to squeeze it.  


~NICOLE