Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Little Model

I had completely forgotten that I had entered her in the photo contest this past Christmas...until I got the email yesterday saying that she was the 2nd Runner-up in the Christmas Photo Contest in the Darling Dogs category.

And she was a CASH PRIZE!!!! It's not much but it will feed her for a few weeks. You can check out the other winners HERE!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Working it Out

My kitchen got quite the work out yesterday and I probably need to be working it out after all the the food I indulged in yesterday. Yesterdays menu included: Spaghetti, Homemade Red Sauce, Easy Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs, Salad, Breadsticks, and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing. Yum!!!

Easy Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes   -   Cook Time: 25 minutes  -   Difficulty: Easy   -  Servings: 5
  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef (can substitute half and half minx of Italian Sausage & Ground Beef)
  • ¼ cups Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Small Onion, Minced
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Cubed Cheese 
Combine all ingredients (except cubed cheese) in a large bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Divide meat into balls (about half the size of your fist). Make a dent in the ball with your thumb and insert a cheese cube and cover cheese. (I used monterey jack cubes but any cheese will work.)

Next, brown half of the meatballs at a time in a skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet or pan and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes until the center is not pink.

Serve as a meal, on a sandwich, with pasta, however you wish.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Icing
 This is probably the easiest icing recipe I have ever made and it tastes like it took a lot more work than it did.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes   Yields: 12 Cupcakes (Double recipe for a cake)

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla
  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar (sifted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk Or Whipping Cream
1. Cream butter with a mixer until smooth and well blended.

2. Add vanilla and mix on low speed.

3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

4. Add milk and mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add food coloring or paste if desired.

Now to work on the Chocolate Buttercream Icing and to finish the last of the cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Photo Photos

The morning of January 21, 2011, before 7am...not sure of the exact time. I was taking the dogs out in the morning and could see the beautiful sunrise. So I grabbed my camera off the table and headed out for a few brisk minutes in the cold with the pups.

I shot in RAW, adjusted the white balance, and used a boost filter to add the hard contrast of the trees.

I wish I would have grabbed my boots and walked down to the dock. I would have really liked to have some shots without the boat and dock. I've been keeping an eye out for another beautiful sunrise and it just hasn't happened yet.

Sweet Shot Day Touch Up Tuesday's at the Paper Mama

Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating a Favicon for the not so HTML friendly Blogger

When it comes to HTML, I'm not the most tech savvy person. I've been wanting to create a favicon, they are so cute and I'm a little jealous of my fellow bloggers that have them. For those of you that don't know what a favicon is, it is the little logo that appears before a web address.

  In blogger it is the Orange B before the web address. You can see from this screen shot some of the sites in my favorites toolbar that have favicons. 

Once I found the correct code, entering it was a piece of cake to do...the hardest part was deciding on how to design the 32x32 pixel square. There's not a lot you can fit in there, so keep it simple.

Start by creating your favicon,  I used CorelDraw to design mine. Start with a blank square, I used a 30x30 pixel square. Once you convert it to an logo.ico file, it will be 16x16 px...that's the size it is on the web address bar. It is super TINY.

CorelDraw didn't give me the option of saving it as a Windows icon file, so I saved it as a jpeg. 

There are lots of free websites that will convert it to an .ico for you. I used Pro Draw

It was easy to use, just upload your .jpeg, bmp, tif, or other file, select the size 16x16 for a favicon. Generate and save the file on your computer. 

Now you need somewhere to host your file on the web. I used File Den a free hosting site, you can use whatever your personal preference is. After you've successfully uploaded you .ico it should give you the web address for it. If you use Pro Draw it will look like the screen shot below.
Now comes the tricky html nonsense. This is the link code you will need. After an hours of trial and error last night, I finally found a code that works at Happy Blogging.

The Link Code

<link href='{image url}' rel='shortcut icon'/>
<link href='{image url}' rel='shortcut icon' type='image/'/>
<link href='{image url}' rel='icon'/>
<link href='{image url}' rel='icon' type='image/'/>
Where it says  {image url}  that is where you will insert the URL, you were given from your web hosting site. Paste your URL over {image url} in all four lines.

Finding where to paste the link code is what I struggled with yesterday. You have to paste it somewhere in the html code after <head> and before </head>.

This is where I cheated a little. On blogger to edit your sites HTML you go to the Design tab and click Edit HTML. There were more characters than I cared to read looking for <head> or </head>, so I copied all the HTML and pasted it into Microsoft Word.

After you have copied all of your blogs HTML and pasted it into Microsoft Word. Use the find option in the top right corner and search for </head>. After you've found </head> in your text you can click cancel and it will keep your page in the right spot for you to paste your link code. 

Paste the link code with your favicon URL in front of </head>. 

Select all and copy all of the text in Microsoft Word. Return to the Design tab and click Edit HTML. Delete all the text that is in this field and paste what you have in Microsoft Word. 

Click Save and Ta Da!!!!

I hope my directions aren't way out there, I tried to explain it the easiest way I could. This is a great way to personalize your to finish working on my Sara & Spice site revamp. 

Preparing for the Storm

Here is the Metro-St. Louis Area, we are expecting a severe winter storm in the next few days. I can already here the wind swirling outside my window.

An inch of ice, 3 to 5 inches of sleet, then 4 to 7 inches of snow on top of that...all between noon today and Wednesday. I'm ready for this winter stuff to be over with.

Just yesterday I finished clearing the last of the snow off the sidewalks and deck. Now they're saying we may have power outages, similar to a few winters ago. Looks like I've gotta carry in some firewood.

It would be nice if Nick were home, they already have an inch of ice in Omaha. This storm is really going to make it hard to drive the 6 hours home. I hope that he and everyone else on the road drive safely and with caution.

I'm now going into survival mode. I just finished Hoda Kotb's book and it if marvelous. I've got to return it to the library and pick up some new reads...just in case I'm stranded here for the next few days. 

I picked up the essentials in the past few days.
1. Milk
2. Bread
3. Orange Juice
4. Wine
5. Yogurt
6. Lettuce
7. Cereal

And dog food for the pups.

Now to get busy before the storm really rolls in. Stay warm everyone and happy crafting to all of you who are homebound for the next few days.I know that's what I'm going to be doing.