Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Alive and Well In The South

Spring is alive and well at our Little House in the Big Woods.
I wanted to share with you a few of my latest snapshots.

I love the colors of pink and green together.

This little guy was so busy at work, he did not even notice me.

When we had a girls weekend (checkout Susie's post on that) we saw this wild iris with dark purple buds. 
 Well this weekend when I went back to see if it had opened...
It was white!   So beautiful. I thought about digging it up. 
But, I think that I will just leave it there and enjoy it's beauty in the woods every spring.

I am working on a few projects this weekend.
Hope everyone has a wonderful spring weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Do You Have A Love ~ Hate Relationship?

Do you have any Love ~  Hate relationships? nice.
I thought if I love something, how in the world can I hate it?
See this shopping bag?  Cute huh?

I LOVE IT...because
It means that Jo Ann's has finally opened in Baton Rouge.

HATE IT...because
I spent at least $25 to get it FREE.

I LOVE IT...because
I got a bag full of stuff...some I had to have
like the Sulky (I was completely out).
It was 50% off and I had a coupon for an additional 25% off
YEAH BABY!  that was my deal of the year so far.

I HATE IT...because
Look at all that was calling my name!
Listen closely...
"BUY ME...You have to make something out of me and I am on super sale!"

Seriously... I am so flippin happy to have Jo Ann's, it gives the Hancock's in town a little competition.
Had to laugh.. I stopped in Hancock's first. I thought they closed at 6 p.m.  The clerk was complaining that now since Jo Ann's opened they have to now stay opened till 9. get the idea.
Do you have a LOVE ~ HATE  relationship?    Do tell...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruffle Tote DIY

Ruffles, Ruffles, Ruffles
We see them everywhere.
This tote is no exception.
There are so many versions. 
 I'm not a big fan of hot glue and decided to sew mine.
Takes a little more time, but I think it will hold up a little bit longer.

Start out with a canvas tote bag.
They can be found in about any craft department.

Other supplies included fabric, ruler, rotary cutter
 and pinking shears.

With the ruler, mark where you want to place your ruffles...this helps when pinning and sewing to get them straight.

Make ruffles...
I cut mine with pinking shears instead of hemming.

Pin in place.

Sew ruffles to tote, making sure not to catch
the handles of the tote under the needle.

I attached four ruffles...this is where you can make it your own.
You can choose your fabric and the width of your ruffles to make your tote personally yours.

Here's is the fun part...I dug through my ribbon stash.
I did a running stitch and gathered ribbon into a circle.

Then I made a fabric rosette out of the same fabic as the ruffles.

Hand sewed rosette to my new ruffle canvas tote.

There ya have it ... one ruffled tote made from a canvas bag...

DIY Ruffle Totes can be found everywhere..
For more ruffle inspiration visit these blogs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crawfish 101 ~ Boiling

Crawfish 101 ~ Boiling

A crawfish boil on the first warm day in spring is a must, just like
having that first steaming bowl of gumbo when the temps get below 70 in the late fall.

Crawfish boils bring southerners together for that
 company picnic, spring birthday bash, Lenten season,
 and my favorite day in spring Mother's Day.

This is a basic crawfish lesson.

Get your pot add burner ready.
 If it's windy you will need a shield to protect the flame.

   Make sure to keep the sack that the crawfish comes in.
You will want to boil your potatoes and corn in it.
To see where the crawfish came from click HERE.

Dump the crawfish into a wash tub and rinse. 
You will want to remove any that may have died in transport. 

Fill the pot with water and a little vegetable oil.
(the veggie oil is supposed to make them peel easier)

Add seasoning along with the potatoes and corn.  
We had a few lemons, so we threw them in.

Bring seasoned water and the sack of potatoes and corn to a boil...

While waiting on the water to boil, put the crawfish into the basket.
There you can re rinse the crawfish if they need it.  
 Lower basket into boiling water. 
Bring back to a rolling boil for 3 - 3 1/2  minutes depending on the size of crawfish.

Turn off heat and at this point add any thing you would like.
Let crawfish soak for 20 - 25 minutes with the lid on.

We throw all kinds of things into the pot...
including but not limited to
hot dogs or sausage,whole sweet onions, mushrooms, artichokes.  You get the idea...

Drain and then pour crawfish out onto a table layered with newspaper.
Let cool, if you can wait

 Why the men love to cook crawfish?
Where can you cook the main meal and all the sides in one pot.
Dump the food on a table outside for the wife & kids and
no dishes when everyones done...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crawfish Season 101

Crawfish Season 101

Come along with me on a little journey just about ten miles from my house. 
We are going to visit a crawfish farm.

Let me fill you in real quick on what crawfish are and what they are 'not'.
 Crawfish have been apart of Louisiana history dating back to the native Americans and the early European settlers.
Crawfish are little freshwater crustaceans, but we like to think of them as Louisiana's  "Mini Lobsters".
Contrary to belief we do not eat crawfish from the ditch.
They do not eat mud and their diet is actually one of grass.

We eat crawfish every spring that we purchase from the local seafood market.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to actually
 visit a crawfish farm.

  This is the 14 acre pond that is having fresh water pumped into it.
The ponds are not really that deep.  

Pond farming started in the 1960's.  Man made ponds make it much easier to control the water levels and farmers are then able to yield a much larger crop.

1,600 farmers produce crawfish on some 111,000 acres of ponds and more than 800 commerical
fisherman harvest from the natural wet lands, primarily the Atchafalaya Basin.

   The traps are baited with pieces of fish.
The tall pipe to the right is used to drain the pond at the end of the season.

How cool is this Mr. Tommy (the farmer) walks in the ponds pulling this little boat that he modified. The silver box in the back holds his bait.  The metal box in the front with the shoot is where he empties the crawfish from the traps and they slide into the tub.

Yes, that is a gun sticking out behind the white bucket.
I asked him what in the world would he need a gun for?
 I should have known, DUH!  The snakes.  

Ok,  I will NOT,  repeat  will NOT,
be asking to help check the traps. 
 Dang It !  and I am about 50 pounds to heavy to ask him to pull me around in the little boat!

On further inspection of his way to cool boat, he has a white bucket with turtles.
Those were in the traps so he takes them to be released in a bayou behind his house.
 The black thing at the top right of the bucket is an eel..YUCK.  Sorry, but I did not ask him what he does with those.

Mr. Tommy is unloading the crawfish into a container that allows him to sack them.

The life of a crawfish farmer is very hard physical work. 
Mr. Tommy works a full time job and then comes home to work his ponds in the evenings and on the weekends.
  He walks his 14 acre pond for hours in the morning sun.
 ( It was in the upper 70's yesterday morning.) 
Then he unloads his catch and sacks them up.
The green containier holds about 140 pounds of crawfish that he dumps into the sacker...gotta have some muscles for that!


In Louisiana the combined annual yield of pond and wild harvested crawfish range from 75 million to 105 million pounds.

Mr. Tommy sacking up our crawfish.
You can not get any fresher or cleaner crawfish that going straight to the source.

Thank you to Mr. Tommy and Shari for allowing me to visit your farm. What a wonderful experience to see the hard work that goes into getting crawfish from their pond to my patio!

 I hope you enjoyed our journey out to the crawfish ponds.

Next ~ Cooking our "Little Crustaceans"

Join me today for other inspiring ideas at Skip To My Lou ~ Made By You Monday  and my dear friend at
Three Mango Seeds

Friday, March 16, 2012

Purple Bubble Wrap Anyone?

Purple bubble wrap...
 did not know they even made the stuff till this post.

Why do I need bubble wrap?   And purple at that...
That's my daughters favorite color.
 Yes, I want to just wrap her up and protect her from the world.
She was never an accident prone child,
but gosh she is making up for it now. We really never had to visit the ER for the kids.
 ( Oh yeah, there was once when Susie was babysitting my son.
But thats another post! HAHA ) 

This week she was in another accident.
Not on a golf cart this time, but in her car.
She was hit from behind (actually three cars behind her where in a chain reaction accident)

And the family wonders where my anxiety comes from? 
I did have to laugh...even at age 23, the first thing she said was
"It wasn't my fault."
She said it with such relief in her voice,
like she was not going to get punished. 
 Let me just say, this girl has never been punished.
 I think she just worries she will disappoint us.
Night before last her ankle was burning (same one that was injured in the golf cart accident) so she went to her orthopedic doctor and found out it is sprained. While there she mentioned that her back was hurting.  Thank goodness, she was then sent to another specialist in the building.
There he said that she has a stress fracture in her lower back.
Looks like she should just get a little sign marking her parking spot at the her physical therapy office. LOL

Yes, I do believe that I should just wrap the girl in purple bubble wrap... you know it is her favorite color!

Do you have a child that needs bubble wrap? 
It comes in other colors...just sayin!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend friends,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Oreo Cookie

Happy Birthday to the Oreo Cookie 
100 years and still sweet as ever!
So today, let's grab a tall cold glass of milk and a bag of Oreos
(go ahead grab the Double Stuff)
 and wish them "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".

Tomorrow ~ Well, you can do a mile around the neighborhood and try the water diet.

The best way to enjoy Oreos is with this easy peasy recipe.
You really can't go wrong when you whip  up a batch of
 Oreo Cookie Balls to share with the ones you love.

Click HERE to find the my version of the
Oreo Cookie Balls.  Oh so easy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mexican Corn Dip

Mexican Corn Dip
aka ~ Hano's Dip

This is a dip that a friend made while we where on a camping trip years ago. Hence the name  "aka ~ Hano's Dip"

My daughter never forgot Mrs. Jenn's dip.   Last weekend it was rainy and she was in a snacking mood.  She face booked our friend,  for the recipe.  She graciously shared it with us.
Thanks Jenn!

2 cans of Mexican Corn
(you can see in the picture I picked up two different kinds and it tasted just fine)

6-8 oz sour cream

1/4 cup ranch dressing
(or you can use mayo with a packet of powdered ranch)

small onion

shake or two of powdered garlic

chopped jalapenos to taste

1 cup shred Mex cheese
(more of less to achieve the desired thickness of dip)

When I opened the cans of corn ...
I was thinking ...
How many of you use a hand crank can opener and
how many of you use an electric one?
Just wonderin...

Mix it all together.
It is not a really gorgeous dip...
but it has flavor with just the right pop of heat.

Here is the hard part.
Cover it and let it stay over night in the refrigerator. 
I hate makeing stuff and then waiting to eat it...

That could be on the list of  sacrifices  for Lent.
Make something and put it up until the next
day without eating one bite. 
Don't know about you, but that would be pretty dang hard for me.

Serve with Frito's
Trust me, it has to be Frito's, the combo gives it the perfect taste.
We tried it with crackers and another type of Mexican chip,
it was not the same.
I do not a have a picture of the dip and Frito's in a pretty little dish, because someone got to the dip before I could get the camera...

Let me know what you think or if you have made it
and have a different spin.

Come join today over at the Meet Me On Monday Party ,

 Skip to My Lou ~ Made By You Monday 
So Very Creative
for inspiring ideas.