Thursday, February 9, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan - 4 weeks of Family Dinner Ideas - February

Having a meal plan ahead of time for dinner really helps me out. So I decided to create a new monthly series where I share my menu plan with you. You can see January's menu plan here.

Monthly Meal Plan - 4 Weeks of Family Dinner Ideas

This month's tip is to make meals that work for you. Sure, I'd love for you to use my menu plan. But we all have different tastes and preferences. So use my menu as a starting place and then insert your own favorite meals as you'd like. I'm always more excited to make a meal if I love it. If I don't enjoy the end result, then making dinner is a chore.

February Dinner Menu Plan

As always I have included the main dish, but for a complete meal, you will need to add your favorite veggies and sides.

Here's a key:
**super easy
* easy
+ new recipe - I haven't tried it yet
^ plan ahead

Printable Menu

For almost all of the meals, I have included links to the recipe. Just click on the meal to be taken to the recipe.

Week 1
Sunday: Sunday Roast, Mashed potatoes and Gravy, and Grandma's Dinner Rolls
Monday: Turkey Divan *
Tuesday: Eggs, Sausage and Toast
Wednesday: Ham Fried Rice*
Thursday:   Taco Soup*
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Shrimp Linguine and Sam's Breadsticks

Week 2
Sunday: Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Daisy Braid Bread
Monday: Frozen Lasagna ** and Pizza Factory Twisted Breadsticks^
Tuesday: Ham & Cheese Sandwich^, Creamy Mac & Cheese^
Wednesday: Swedish Meatballs
Thursday: Chicken Noodle Soup^
Friday: Venison Sausage Bread+^
Saturday: Chicken Parmigiana**

Week 3
Sunday: Mississippi Roast Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sunday Dinner Rolls
Monday: Stovetop Chicken
Tuesday: Grilled Steaks & Baked Potatoes
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday: Chili*
 Friday: Calzones
Saturday: Chicken and Rice

Week 4
Sunday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and  Daisy Braid Bread
Monday: Best Ever Beef Pot Pie
Tuesday: Waffles**
Wednesday: Sweet Pork Barbacoa
Thursday: Clam Chowder and Bread Bowls^  {Note: I use my Grandma's cheesy corn chowder recipe, but add a can of minced clams. I add the liquid from the clams into the cooking water and add the clams in at the end.}
Friday: Pizza Loaf
Saturday: Frozen Ravioli and French Bread**

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Love Embroidery Using the Stem Stitch

Create a simple, yet gorgeous embroidery for your Valentine's Day decor. Grab a few basic supplies {you might even have them on hand}, brush up on your stitching skills and you'll soon have this lovely hand stitched item. Give it to someone you love, or keep it to adorn your home.

love embroidery using a stem stitch

I am a bit of a novice when it comes to embroidery. I've made plenty of items, but I've always used the backstitch in my handiwork. When I had the idea for this, I asked my mom {who I consider an expert at needlework} what kind of stitch I should use, she gave me lots of stitch ideas. I had tried none of them before. I decided to go with a stem stitch, since it's really easy and I love the look.
love embroidery using the stem stitch

 I'll walk you through the steps I took.

To begin, I traced the embroidery hoop onto a piece of paper so I knew the size. Then I wrote the word love in cursive on the paper, with the ends trailing outside of the circle. I taped the paper to the window and taped a piece of muslin over it. Then with a pencil, I traced the word onto the fabric.
Sometimes when doing needlework, I have noticed my thread from the backside, showing through to the front. One thing I like to do is to place a piece of quilt batting behind the fabric and work the stitches through both pieces. This really helps hide those knots or other unsightly things things that happen on the back of my stitching.

love embroidery using the stem stitch

Next, I began stitching. I separated my embroidery thread so I was working with two strands. I decided to go with the stem stitch. If you've never done it before, I found that needlenthread had a great video tutorial.

love embroidery using the stem stitch

Now it was time to add a little embellishment. I cut out a small heart out of pillow ticking. Then I stitched it in place. I was originally going to stitch an arrow through the heart, but I couldn't get it to look right, so I removed it.

love embroidery using the stem stitch

I've rounded up a few other projects you might like. It always surprises me when I search my blog for past projects that relate. I found a few I'd forgotten about. Enjoy!
Fabric Bookmars

Daisy Chain Bracelet

Embroidery Thread and Seed Bead Kumihimo Bracelet

Canning Ring Embroidered Ornament

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Make a Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket

Valentines is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. I like to make something new each year. This year I made a cute little fabric Valentine heart, complete with a little pocket stash a small note and treat. I'll show you how to make your own and walk you through each step. Note: I previously shared this over at A Glimpse Inside

How to Make a Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket

I made one for each family member and they will hang on the mantle.

How to Make Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket

As I was making these for my family, I thought how nice it would be to fill up each other hearts with kind words. So the week before Valentines, we will write something nice about each person in our family every day.  I'm hoping that this will help us to focus on the good in each other. Then, on Valentine's, the kids can read them all and realize how much their family loves them.

Want to make your own Fabric Heart Valentine?

You will need:

pillow ticking {or other fabric of your choice}
coordinating felt
pelton {this is a very stiff type of interfacing}
heart stencil {you can draw your own or print one from the web onto cardstock if you don't have one}
sewing machine
pinking shears
twine and clothespins- for hanging, if desired

How to Make Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket
Begin by tracing and cutting out your hearts. You will need two hearts from the pillow ticking, and one from the pelton that are the same size. Mine were about 5 3/4" from side to side. You will also need a smaller heart {about 3 3/4"} from the felt.

How to Make Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket

1 - Sew your pocket onto your heart first. I found that the easiest way to do this was to layer the pelton, one piece of fabric and then the felt, then sew just around the sides and bottom part of the felt heart. The pelton helps stabilize the fabric so stays flat and doesn't twist around as you're sewing. Make sure your fabric is right side up on your pillow ticking for this step.

2 - Sew on the back of the heart, with the right side facing out. I used a 1/4" seam allowance for this part.

3 - Using pinking shears, cut around the edge of the heart.
How to Make Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket

That's it! Make several and hang them on a piece of twine for a pretty heart garland.

How to Make Fabric Heart Valentine with a Pocket
You may also like:

For more Valentine's projects follow me on Pinterest.

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