Friday, August 1, 2014

Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

Hi Everyone!

Wow -- can you believe it's the first of August already?! Back to school is right around the corner, and I'm already thinking about easy recipes to make for those busy school nights. 

My family loves pasta, so I usually make a large batch on the weekend and save some to use during the week. We also do the same with meat. In this case, we made a big batch of Italian sausage for dinner one night and saved the rest for later. So, when I wanted to make a quick and easy comfort meal, I was able to make pasta with sausage and peppers in no time at all. 

Italian sausage with bow tie pasta and peppers on  a white plate

This is kind of a deconstructed sausage and pepper sandwich. Growing up, we had these sandwiches often on the weekends, and I still  love them! My kids aren't fans of the sandwich, but if you add sausage and peppers to pasta, they'll gobble it right up.

I start off by chopping up some garlic, onions and sweet peppers and frying them in some olive oil and Italian seasoning.

onions, red and yellow peppers in cast iron pan

When the onions and peppers start to get soft, I throw in the cooked sausage and let everything blend together. The aroma is just amazing!

italian sausage with onions, red and yellow peppers in cast iron pan

I heated up the leftover pasta and spooned the the sausage and peppers over the bow ties and added some thinly sliced provolone cheese on the top. Oh, when I cooked the pasta the first time, I served it with peas, so that's why you see a few stray peas in here. 

Italian sausage, bow ties, red and yellow peppers and provolone cheese on a plate

Yum! This is one quick and easy meal that we can all agree on! And, when the weather finally gets cooler, you can heat everything up in the oven and melt the cheese over the top -- awesome!

Do you have any tips for saving time in the kitchen?

Thanks so much for stopping by -- Have a wonderful day! 

Dee :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Painted Industrial Style Nesting Tables

Hi There!

You know those industrial style tables that are so popular right now? You can find them just about anywhere, ranging from pricey originals to thrifty knock-offs. I've had a pair of nesting tables for a few years, and although they had a metal base, the tops were dark laminate, which attracted dust and dog hair by the minute! If the tables were square, it would be easy to cut some wood to fit and attach it to the top. But since they are round, this wasn't an option. So, I did the next best thing and painted the tops to look like the weathered industrial tables I love.

painted round industrial style nesting tables painted with spray paint, latex paint and acrylic paint

This is how the tables looked before their makeover. I taped off the metal base and was about to start spray painting them when I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet.

two industrial style laminate brown nesting tables

I began by spray painting the laminate tops with primer so that the coat of latex paint would adhere better.  I wanted the table to look like faded, painted wood, so I started out by mixing some brown and black acrylic paint into white latex paint. This gave me a soft grey color. 

Personally, my favorite paint brand is Behr, with the primer added. I love the coverage, and I always have a stash on hand. To mimic the look of wood grain, I always use a cheapo brush without a lot of paint -- This technique gives a nice rustic finish. 

Here is the table after the first coat of latex.

round nesting table painted with spray paint and latex paint

I dabbed a little bit of dark brown pain onto the tip of the brush and made streaks on top of the grey base. Then, I blended the brown into the grey until I got the effect I was after. This is how dry the brush is -- you can hardly see the brown, but it's enough to give color where you want it. If you look closely at the table, you can see the rough finish.

paint with dry brush on table

The table tops look lighter in the picture than they really are, but you can still see the dark streaks. I love the contrast between the light top and the dark sides and legs -- exactly the look I wanted! And, because I already had the supplies, I got these industrial style nesting tables for free. The power of paint is awesome!

round industrial side tables painted grey and brown with lantern and pinecones

And, the best part of this furniture makeover is that these tables are now a lot easier to keep clean, and that's always a plus for me!    

Thanks for stopping by to view my painted nesting tables -- Have a great day!

Dee :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Retro Repin Party

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Retro Re-pin Party number three! My co-hostesses and I were thrilled with the turnout we had at last week's party, and we hope that the party continues to grow! Thanks to all of you for sharing your old pins with us, and if this is your first visit to the party, we hope you have fun and continue to visit us each week!

Meet your hostesses!

Retro Re-Pin Party

Your pins will be seen on seven blogs, and not only do we make sure that each pin gets re-pinned to our party board, but we also pin those we especially like to our own personal boards. And, since we hope you are also pinning your favorites, that means a lot of exposure and extra love for these older pins!

We would love it if you decide to follow our blogs and our pinterest pages!
Kristina and Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks: Blog/Pinterest
Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama: Blog/Pinterest
Stephanie @ Sustaining the Powers: Blog/Pinterest
Joy @ xoxo Grandma: Blog/Pinterest
Becka @ Probably Crafting: Blog/Pinterest
Felicia @ Nifty Thrifty Family: Blog/Pinterest
Leslie @ Crafty Side of Sarcasm: Blog/Pinterest
*~* Are you all ready to party?!? ~

This is a Retro Re-pin Party so works a bit differently than the usual link party. Please do NOT link up your blog main page, a blog post or your pin boards - link up one or two of your Pinterest pins and PLEASE - Family Friendly posts only!! If the link is not to a previously pinned post, it may not be pinned.


We have very simple rules for this party:

1. Add up to 2 pin links to your pinned posts -- the older the better!
2. Re-pin at least 2 other pins -- that's why we are here!
3. Link back to us if you would, it's the nice thing to do!

Please help us spread the word about this party. Invite your friends, and come back next week! Take a button!
Meatloaf and Melodrama

Note: By linking up to this party, you give the hostesses permission to share your posts via social media with links back to the original source. If you have entered an email address into the link up too, an email will be sent when the party goes live. Your email will not be used in any other way.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Whimsical DIY Bathroom Sign

Hi There!

If you have kids, you probably know how hard it can be to keep their bathroom clean. Honestly, it seems that no matter how often that room gets cleaned, it needs scrubbed down again as soon as the kids use it. So, after I yelled at reminded the kids about proper bathroom etiquette for the thousandth time, I decided that maybe they needed to see the rules in writing. So, I made this whimsical bathroom sign as a gentle reminder to practice better bathroom hygiene.

stenciled aqua and white aim, flush, wash, brush sign

I started out with two pine fence boards, which hubby had previously cut, sanded down and glued together. 

wood boards glued together to make sign

I wanted some bold lettering, so I bought two different sets of alphabet stencils at the craft store.

americana stencils

Then, I painted the wood with an undercoat of white latex paint and a top layer of acrylic craft paint. I mixed two different shades of blue to get an aqua color, which goes with the colors in the kids' bathroom. I had intended to sand and distress the sign a little bit, but my kids do not share my love for distressed items! And, since this sign is meant to be for them, I left it alone.

wood boards painted aqua blue

Because it's going in the kids' bathroom, I wanted the sign to have a whimsical quality, so I made the lettering uneven. Well, except for the first word, which I wanted to remain as straight as possible. If you have boys, you'll understand!

handmade sign for kids bathroom, aim, flush, wash, brush

Aim, flush, wash and brush pretty much sums up the bathroom rules! Now, I just have to hope that the kids learn to follow them!

Thanks for stopping by -- Have a wonderful day!

Dee :)

Sharing At:

Inspire Me TuesdayThe ScoopTweak It TuesdayTreasure Box TuesdayTake A Look TuesdayTwirl and Take A BowWorthwhile WednesdaysWhimsy WednesdayWow Us WednesdaysWonderful WednesdayWednesday RoundupThursday Favorite ThingsFeathered Nest FridayFab Creative FridayCraft Frenzy FridayFreedom FridaysParty in Your PJsFlaunt It FridayI Heart NaptimeSay G'Day

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Snickerdoodle Sunday

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to this week's edition of Snickerdoodle Sunday! If you're a returning Snicker fan, thanks for joining us each week! And, if you are joining us for the first time, I'm glad to see you here, and I hope you'll make it a habit to party with us!  

My fab co-hostesses and I decided to change things up a little bit around here -- we love to keep you on your toes -- and we've added Sara from Sadie Seasongoods to the Snickerdoodle team. And, instead of posting a favorite early in the day, we've decided to do our own features at the party. 

Oh, and one more thing -- we have also decided to let you pick our featured blogger! So, the blogger with the most views will have a chance to be highlighted at the next party. This means that y'all need to stay awhile and visit your fellow bloggers!

My favorite post from last week is the room reveal from Cottage Country with a French Twist!

I was so impressed that this teen boys' room looks so good and is so neat -- my teens' room may never make it on my blog. You did an awesome job! Enjoy your special cookie!

 Meatloaf and Melodrama

As always, cookies and snacks are provided by your fab hostesses!
Kristina & Millie @ 2CrochetHooks, Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama,

This weeks Most Viewed Post is (drum roll):
Sparkles of Inspiration Link up Party! (we are some party people here!)
Please say hello to Jessica at and stop by her party!

Welcome! I am Jessica and many of my friends call me Sparkles. I am a budget wise DIY-loving gal. I enjoy painting, crafts, being outside (when it’s warm), running, hiking, wine, and hanging out with friends and family. I work as an ICU nurse and use my projects as a way to de-stress. In addition, to getting my crafty on as much as possible I also love to cook. Luckily, I am married to an amazing man ( I call Prince Charming) who is always willing to try anything I create in the kitchen (no questions asked!). I’m always looking for a delicious meal with a healthy twist.

Here are some highlights from Jessica's blog:
Sparkles & Glue
We have a few rules, and then it's on to the party!

*Please DO NOT link and run…Yes we mean YOU….please visit, comment and pin on a few of the blogs that are sharing here today. Visit at least as many posts as you linked up! This is a great way to get people to visit you and everyone’s blogs will benefit!
  • Remember to Follow Your hostesses- 2 Crochet Hooks, Nifty Thrifty Family, Meatloaf and Melodrama, Sadie Seasongoods, Sparklesandglue
  • Take a second to comment below - it's the nice thing to do!
  • Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • Linkback on your post ( optional, but always appreciated)
  • No adult content blogs, Family Friendly posts – old or new
  • Please no more than 3 links to your blog
  • No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! Reviews w/affiliate links are ok!
  • Yes you can link giveaways & link parties (add them to our Party page!)
  • Share the hop via your social media pretty please!
  • Adding your link to this blog hop gives the hostesses permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Snickerdoodle Sunday. All features will be pinned to our Pinterest boards and will be linked back to the original source.

Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Temporary Hair Dye

How to Color Your Hair with Food Dye

Hi Friends!

My girls have been bugging me to let them try those temporary hair dyes that are so popular now, and since it's summer, I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment. If you've been reading my blog for a little while, you know I'm all about DIY projects and keeping things frugal, so I definitely did not want to spend a lot of money on hair dye. One of the teens tried some of that chalky blue hair color for spirit day at school once, and not only was it super messy, but you could hardly see it. She also tried a spray-on color, and that was disapointing too.

I know Kool Aid color is popular now, but we didn't have any on hand. But, we did have food coloring, so I decided to try this method. A quick Google search showed me that others have tried this method, so I knew I wasn't an oddball! So, we made our own hair dye with food coloring, and the kids were pleased with the results. 

brown hair dyed blue and pink with food coloring

The great thing about this method is that you may already have all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it's non toxic, washes out well and smells good too! Here's what you'll need to make your own hair dye:

  • Food coloring in your choice of colors
  • Hair gel or conditioner
  • Small paint brush or plastic fork
  • Plastic gloves or plastic bag to protect your hands
I don't have any pictures of the actual process because it is messy! All you do is add enough food coloring to a small amount of clear hair gel or conditioner until you get the shade you want. Then, you can paint strands of hair with a small paint brush, or you can use a plastic fork for a streaked effect.

apply food coloring and conditioner to hair with a plastic fork

You'll have to work the color into the hair, so it's a good idea to use gloves or a plastic bag to protect your hands from turning red, purple or any other color. We only dyed the ends of the hair, so it was pretty easy. Then, I used a hair dryer to dry the hair and set the color. One of the girls only wanted a hint of color in her hair.

blonde girls with ends of hair dyed with pink food coloring

This is how the hair looks with dark pink food coloring on blonde hair. You can see that it's almost red. She only wanted the ends dyed too.

blonde girl with pink hair color made with food coloring

The little Diva wanted something a little bolder, so we used red and blue coloring on her entire ponytail. Of course, the color isn't as bold on dark hair, but it's still there.

red and blue hair dye made from food coloring on brown hair

The hair dye washed out with no problem, which I was happy to see, especially since I didn't want a bunch of pink pillowcases! This temporary coloring method would be great to use for school spirit days or sporting events -- no more messing with hair chalk or spray-on color! And, it's super cheap!

Have you ever tried temporary hair color? I think it's fun to try, but I think I'll stick to brown!

Have an awesome day!

Dee :)

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Healthy Chicken Nuggets Your Whole Family Will Love

Hi All!

When my older kids were younger, they used to love chicken nuggets, or crunchy chicken, as they called it. Whether we stopped at a fast food restaurant or bought frozen nuggets from the store, this was their favorite way to eat chicken. Well, a few years ago, we decided to kick the fast food habit and try to eat healthier meals. 

But, there's just something about chicken nuggets that we all love, and you can still enjoy the taste by making your own version of this classic fast food meal. In fact, we recently stopped by McDonald's while on vacation, and we honestly liked our own nuggets better!

panko crusted chicken nuggets and strawberries on a white plate

This recipe makes enough for a crowd, but it's also great for leftovers. Who says you can't have healthy fast food?

four panko crusted chicken nuggets and strawberries on plate

To make your own chicken nuggets, you'll need:

  • 3 pounds of chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Buttermilk
  • Mustard
  • Panko bread crumbs (I like the Italian style breadcrumbs from Walmart.)
  • Dash of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper 


Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and place in a pan filled with buttermilk. Soak the chicken in buttermilk for at least two hours. Then, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix some mustard in with the chicken -- you want to be able to see the mustard on the chicken. 

Then, fill a small bowl with Italian-style panko bread crumbs and add a dash of chili powder to the bread crumbs. Sometimes, I even add a bit of Parmesan cheese to the mixture. 

Take a piece of chicken, dip it into the bread crumbs, and place each piece of chicken on a greased cookie sheet. I usually line the cookie sheets with aluminum foil, but that's a personal preference. My oven takes about 30 minutes to cook the chicken thoroughly -- to at least 160 degrees and maybe a bit higher.

Once you get the hang of it, this is really a very easy recipe. The kids love it, and I do too! Plus, it's so much better than using frozen nuggets or relying on fast food. Of course, we all need a short cut now and then, but if your kids like chicken nuggets as much as mine do, you can save money and eat healthier by making your own. 

Thanks for stopping by -- I love your visits! Have a wonderful day!

Dee :)

Sharing At
Clever ChicksThe ScoopTweak It TuesdayTreasure Box TuesdayTwirl and Take a BowTickle My TastebudsTasty TuesdaysWorthwhile WednesdaysWhimsy WednesdayWow Us WednesdaysWonderful WednesdayWednesday RoundupLou Lou GirlsThursday Favorite ThingsFull Plate ThursdaysFab Creative FridayCraft Frenzy FridayFreedom FridaysParty In Your PJsFoodie FridayFlaunt It FridayI Heart NaptimeSay G'Day