Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY Fall Cork Coasters - Feature of the Day

Looking for a fun fall craft or gift idea?  Steph from A Time for Seasons shared how she made  fall shaped cork coasters.  What is great about this craft is you can customize them for any season, and older kids can make them too. They could make a good teacher or hostess gifts.  Thank you so much Steph for linking up your great idea to Dare to Share!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apple Sugar Cooking Crumb Cobbler - Feature of the Day

Do you go apple picking in the fall?  We hope to go sometime in the next week. It is a lot of fun, and we get to make our favorite apple recipes.   A great  recipe to try with those apples will be this Apple Sugar Cookie Crumb Cobbler by  The Crafty Lumberjacks.  It is rather easy to make, but has all those fall favorites we enjoy.  Be sure to stop over to their page to get the recipe.  Thank you guys for linking up to Dare to Share!
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce

How to make tomato sauce with garden tomatoes

I took this picture a few weeks ago after I had checked my garden.   In the weeks since, I picked at least 10 more tomatoes.   I wanted to use my tomatoes before they went bad, so I decided to try and make my own homemade tomato sauce for the first time.    

Since I had not tried to make my own sauce before, I looked around for a good recipe.  I found a few that I thought would be okay, but for one reason or another, I could not do the full recipe. I was missing ingredients, and I did not have a food grinder.   I decided to just wing it, and come up with my own recipe.

I cut all of the tomatoes I had on the counter, which was about 10.  I had a few different kinds, and I threw them all in the pot.  I had regular red, heirloom, and several yellow/orange.   Once the tomatoes were in the pot, I added a cup of water and set the heat to medium for a few minutes.  I kept a close eye on them.  Once they began boiling, I turned the heat down. 

After about 20 minutes or so, the tomatoes were softening, and the skin and seeds were starting to separate.  Several recipes had said to put the tomatoes in a grinder at this point. I did not have one.   I took out my potato masher, and began to mash the tomatoes. After a few minutes, the pulp became juice, and the skins began to sit on top of the masher so they were easy to remove.  I put everything I removed from the pot in a bowl, and sat it aside.

Kara wanted to help me with this step.  I first strained all of the liquid in the pot to remove any remaining skins and seeds.  We then strained what was in the bowl that  I had sat aside. We wanted to make sure to get  all of the liquid, and mash the pulp a little bit more.

What we had left was a big bowl of tomato liquid.  At this step it would be easy to make tomato soup.  Just add some chicken broth or cream, and heat a little longer.  We had considered making soup, but I did not have broth or cream on hand.   

While the liquid was in the bowl, I cleaned out the pot before doing the next step.  I finely chopped 3 garlic cloves. You could use more or less depending on your preference. I did not have onion, so I added in some dry onion, some Italian seasoning, and salt a pepper. Once the garlic looked done, I added the tomato liquid back to the post to simmer. 

I simmered the sauce for about 2 hours. I would probably have done it longer, but I started late in the afternoon and it was getting late.  

The sauce was thinner than the jar sauce that we were used to. It could be made thicker had I added some tomato puree from a grinder, or had more time to simmer. It did not matter though, the kids LOVED it, and that is what counts.  I only had enough left to fill 1 1/2 pint jars. I will definitely make this sauce again. 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Dare to Share #128

We made to another Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share. 

This week our activities started back up.  Dance two nights a week, Robotics on another. Throw in an open house meet the teacher night at the high school, and you have something going on every single night of the week.   

This week I had a new posts, and will be working on a few more this weekend.  On Monday, I was part of the Tour Through Blogland. I shared more about me and why I blog, and introduced you two of my blogger friends.     

This week Kara and I made Cherry Chocolate Cake using her favorite cherry soda.  I am till waiting for Kyle to make the dessert he promised to make me about six weeks ago. 

I could have used this Pepperoni Pizza Frittata that was shared by Life with Garnish on Dare to Share this week.  We had a few nights when we were scrambling for dinner later than normal.  

Since I just went through a redesign,  I know this tutorial on How to Customize Social Media Follow Buttons by Wonderfully Messy Mom is a good one for those who want to update their blog.  

My Co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has football fever this week. Be sure to check out this free football favor printable and many other football party ideas.  

Now it is time for this week's party. You can link up anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be promoted on the blog, Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and G+.  

Now link up and HAVE FUN! 



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Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Customize Social Media Buttons - Feature of the Day

It's been a little while since I have shared a blogging tip as the Dare to Share Feature of the Day.  Brandy from Wonderfully Messy Mom has a great tutorial with pictures on How to Customize Social Media Follow Buttons.  If you are relatively new to blogging, or not sure how to update your blog, you will want to check out this post. Thank you very much Brandy for linking up to Dare to Share!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Cake

How to make cherry chocolate cake

Recently my daughter saw a recipe for making Cherry Chocolate cake using one of her favorite sodas.   While that recipe looked really good, there were a lot of extra ingredients needed to make the cake. We decided to try to make our own version with only a few ingredients.  We were very happy with the results.  

Ingredients for cherry chocolate cake

We used: 
a box of Devil's Food mix 
vegetable oil 
Black Cherry Faygo
Chocolate Chips
a jar of Black Cherry topping 

We followed the directions on the back of the cake mix.  The amount of eggs, oil and watedr you use will vary depending on the brand you use.  For our brand we used 3 eggs. 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/3 cups water.  After mixing well we added in 1/2 cup of the Black Cherry Faygo, and 2/3 cup chocolate chips. (we would have added a cup, but we only had 2/3 cup, which still worked out well.   We then baked the cake according to the box, which for our brand was about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. 

We used 9" pans and sprayed them with nonstick cooking spray.  We realized after we baked the cakes that we should have floured them too. We did have some issues with sticking.  Once the cakes had cooled,  we used some of the Black Cherry filling between the two layers. We then covered the top layer with the rest of the jar. 

How to make Chocolate Cherry Cake

We loved the results!   The cake was the perfect mix of cherry and chocolate. 

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Pepperoni Pizza Frittata- Feature of the Day

Pepperoni Pizza frittata that is great for dinner or breakfast

Now that school has started, and dance, scouts and robotics have too.  My family have quite a few busy nights during the week where we do not have a lot of time to plan out big meals. This Pepperoni Pizza Frittata byAdrian of  Life with Garnish would make a great meal for those busy nights or rushed mornings.  The meal can be ready and on the table in only 30 minutes! Be sure to stop over to Life with Garnish to get this recipe the whole family will love.  Thanks so much Adrian for linking up to Dare to Share.!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

A Tour Through Blogland

Today I am going to have a post that is a little bit different than I normally share.  I am part of something called A Tour Through Blogland.  Hopefully you will learn a little bit more about me and my blog, and meet a few other bloggers along the way. 

Pams Party and Practical Tips Party Ideas

Before I get started with my part of the tour, I want to take time to thank Cathy of Vintage Paint and More for her very nice post sharing about my blog. If you have not met Cathy she is a retired nurse who is being creative in her retirement.  She loves to paint, sew, craft, garden, cook, thrift, travel and play with her 8 grandchildren.  She has shared some beautiful wreaths and other home crafts, so be sure to go check out her blog or Facebook.

Now a little bit about me and why I blog. I have always enjoyed creating things for my kids.  I would throw them themed birthday parties, make their Halloween costumes, and create fun dishes with them in the kitchen.  As they have grown older, I wanted a place where I could share all of my creative ideas, while being able to stay home with them as well.  I have not worked outside the home since 1995, and with our schedule logistics working 8-5 would be difficult, so blogging seemed like a really good option.  I have been blogging for five years now, and I have to say I still love it. 

1) What I am working on..  

I am actually working on several things right now.  This time of year is very busy for a party/craft/recipe blogger.  I am working on two recipes with my kids.  Yesterday Kara and I were making a yummy dessert, but it go to be late and way too dark to take good pictures, so we are finishing up and taking them today. I hope to have that post up in the next day or two. Kyle is promising to share another recipe post that he has been promising for weeks. Hopefully that will be shared this week as well.   I will also be sharing a new member of the pumpkin gang very soon. I am very excited about him, and I think you will be too.  Also in the works are four party themed ebooks. They are still in the very early stages, but I have the concepts and all of the themes selected. Now I just need to find the time to write them, and put some of the projects together.  

2) How does my work differ from others from its genre?   

There are some big time party bloggers that share gorgeous high end parties that are styled and come with a big price tag.  While they are a lot of fun to look at, most people can not afford to throw parties to that degree.  I like to give ideas and tips that everyone can use to throw a nice party, including those who are on a very tight budget.  The recipes that Kyle (Cooking with Kyle) and I share are family friendly, and are always served to our own family. Kara's crafts are truly crafts for kids that are made by a kid. 

3) Why I create what I do?

I have been making things my whole life.  I even got a degree in college that specialized in costume design.  I am in my element when I am creating things.  I also have a very hard time spending a lot of money on something that I can make myself.  Creating things from nothing makes me very happy, and if I was not able to do that I would be very bored. 

4) How does your writing/creative process work? 

I don't think that it will come to a surprise to you that creative people are not very organized. They say that creative people tend to have messy work spaces.  This would be very true for me.  My craft room has not been fully organized and clean in the 11 years I have had it. The rest of the house is not the cleanest either. I am usually too busy creating to clean.  I have a lot of my ideas in notebooks, and work on projects when I can. Some days my children have to come first, and the creating second. When I do have a deadline I always finish on time, but I may be working on it until the last minute.  I know my way of doing things is not for everyone, but it works for me.  

Now I am going to introduce you to a couple of bloggers who I have met through blogging groups who I think you will enjoy meeting.

I met my friend Kim from Kandy Kreations at least three years ago.  We hit it off, probably because we are so similar.  She has teenagers, I have teenagers, and we both love to make our own parties.  One of my very favorite of her parties is her Alice in Wonderland party where she made this Tea Pot Chandelier that incredibly awesome. 

With a name like Kandy Kreations you would think that she specializes in candy, and you would be right.   I just love these Angry Bird Candy Cones that can be filled with candy.  She sells chocolate covered Oreos, candy bar wrappers, printables, and a lot more in her shop.
In addition to her blog, you can also find her on Facebook.

Another blogger I want to introduce you to is Aleshea  from Glitz N Grits. While I have not know her as long as I have known Kim, I really like her.  She is a southern girl who has lived in Texas her whole life.  She loves her southern food and shares yummy recipes from her southern favorites on her blog.  This recipe for smothered porkchops caught my eye. 


She also has recipes for yummy desserts like this one for Caramel Cupcakes. Yum!! So if you are looking for some delicious recipes be sure to stop by Glitz N Grits on the blog and on Facebook.

Next week Kim and Aleshea will be sharing their own posts with more about them and their favorite bloggers. I hope you enjoyed this Tour Through Blogland! 

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Dare to Share #127

Whew..  This has been quite a week.. My kids started a new school year, and you may have noticed some changes around here.  I have a few new things in the works as well which I will explain in a minute.  

My new design was done by a friend of mine who started her own business Girl on Fire Designs.  She was great to work with, and if you are interested in a new blog design you should definitely check her out.   Also new this month (though not visible yet ) is I am adding a Shop on the page. In my shop I will be selling custom party items, crafts, and miscellaneous party supplies. I have had a lot of people tell me that they love something they have seen on the blog, but they are not crafty or have the time to make it themselves. Now they will not have to, as I can make it for you.  I also have in the works four themed party ebooks that I hope to finish and sell at some point soon. 

I had mixed feelings about the start of this school year.  You might get an idea why when you look at the numbers on the signs.   You can read more about our First Day of School here.   Even though there were only four days of school this week,  it still had some excitement.  I will be writing more about our week on my second blog Surviving the Crazy Life this weekend.  

I love these Blue Muddy Buddies by 3GLOL. (3 Generations Living Out Loud).  They would be great for a baby shower and many other theme parties.   


There is still such a love for all things Frozen, so we can expect to see lots of Elsas, Annas and Olafs this Halloween.  Make it Easy Crafts has a great Snowflake wand that would make a fun accessory for dress up and Halloween costumes.  

I had planned on sharing a couple more features this week but with the hectic schedule. I did not get the chance.  I will be sharing more posts from both last week and this weeks party on social media so you still may be featured.   

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has a great tutorial this week on how to make DIY Tile Magnets.  They could make a nice gift as a holiday that I will not mention yet will be here before we know it.  

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are welcome to link up anything that you would like to share.  You posts will be seen on two blogs..  Here at Pams Party & Practical Tips and Kandy Kreations.   If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the day, you post will be promoted on the blog, FacebookTwitterPinterest, and G+

Now link up and HAVE FUN! 



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Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to Make a Frozen Wand - Feature of the Day

How to make Frozen Princess Wands for Dress Up and Halloween

With the popularity of Frozen, you can expect there  to be a lot of Elsa's and Anna's this Halloween.   Crystal from Make it Easy Crafts shared how to make a Snowflake Wand that would be perfect for a snow queen or even a princess.  And if you did not already hear the news, Disney announced this week that they are making a new Frozen short,  so you can expect that your little girl will love to have a Frozen Wand for quite some time to come.  Thank you so much Crystal  for linking up this great craft to Dare to Share.
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