Archive | August, 2010

WHOO HOO 100 followers giveaway

26 Aug

In celebration of reaching 100 followers I am giving away my FAMOUS Pink Tuxedo Bracelet!! 

 
I have to give credit to my wonderful husband!  He found this awesome black metal chain that I used to make this bracelet.  After he gave me the chain I looked and found this set of beads named Pink Tuxedo.  How cute is that?!

This bracelet is approximately 7 inches long.  I have added 4mm bicone beads in colors of black, platinum gray, silvery gray and a very light pink.  It is held together by a black metal oval toggle clasp.

This radiant bracelet is both casual and formal.  Charming and classy.  Looks wonderful in business causal attire, jeans and a rock band t-shirt and a sexy little black dress.

I am running a 20% OFF ANYTHING IN THE SHOP SALE until 9/30/2010. Use the code aliefollower in your purchase notes. Refund will be given through PayPal.

Giveaway ends at midnight ARIZONA MOUNTAIN TIME on 9/2/2010. I will chose the winner of this giveaway via Random.org on 9/3/2010
If you would like a chance to win the Pink Tuxedo Bracelet, here is all you have to do……
You must be or become a follower through Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment.

For additional entries…….
Visit the AliLilly Etsy Shop Then come back here and leave me a comment 
telling me what your favorite piece is.

“Heart” my AliLilly Etsy Shop Leave me a comment telling me you did so.

Follow me on Twitter Leave me a comment telling me you did so.

“Like” my AliLilly Facebook page Leave me a comment telling me you did so.

Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a comment with the link.

Blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway and leave me a comment with the link.

Add my button to your page and leave me a comment with the link.

Make a purchase at The AliLilly Etsy Shop Leave me a comment telling me what you purchased and you will receive 5 extra entries!!! I will place the extra entries after your
purchase comment in numerical order. 
Remember to use the aliefollower code to receive 20% off your purchase!! *refunds given through PayPal.

GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂
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Delicious Chicken Fried Steak with Homemade Gravy

26 Aug



This is my take on Alton Brown’s Chicken Fried Steak recipe. I made this for David on Father’s Day. He told me it was the BEST chicken fried steak he had ever had. I have made many different variations of chicken fried steak.  I agree with David, this is the best one I have ever made.

 You will need :

  •     about 2 pound beef steak cubed
  •     2 teaspoons salt
  •     1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 teaspoon paprika
  •     1 teaspoon garlic powder
  •     1 cup all-purpose flour
  •     3 whole eggs, beaten
  •     about 1/4 cup vegetable oil or enough to cover the bottom of your skillet
  •     2 cups chicken broth
  •     1/2 cup whole milk
  •     1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves



Now, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Get yourself 2 pie dishes or large platters and a large bowl for the egg batter to dip steaks into.  Make sure it is big enough that steaks will fit into the bowl.  Get out a small mixing bowl and mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.  Lightly season the cube steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.  Growing up, we always called this tractor meat, because it looks like it was run over by a tractor.  Now, place a few spoons full of the flour into a pie pan.  Beat your eggs in the other pie pan.  Dredge the meat on both sides in the flour.  Then dip your steaks into the eggs and then back into the flour again.  Add spoonfuls of the flour mixture as you need it.  Do this with all the pieces of meat.  Place the meat onto a plate and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

 Place enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your skillet.  When the oil begins to shimmer, add the meat, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Cook each piece on both sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Take out your steaks and place on a wire rack.  I place them directly onto the rack in my oven with a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch the drippings.

Do this next step only if you need to.  I have found that sometimes I need to add some oil and sometimes I have too much oil.  You want what looks to be about 4 tablespoons of oil left in the pan after frying.  If you need to add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan.  Begin to whisk in 3 tablespoons of your left over flour.  Then add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan.  Deglaze means to mix in all those great little crispy bits of flour and meat juices left behind from frying.  Whisk until the gravy comes to a boil and begins to thicken.  Add the milk and thyme and whisk until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve gravy over steaks.  Gravy is also fantastic on top of mashed potatoes.  I have a GREAT homemade mashed potato recipe.  I may have to share that one with y’all someday soon.  Now, I scrape up and save every last drop of this gravy.  It is great on biscuits or toast.  Great with sausage or bacon mixed in.  I hope you enjoy this recipe. 

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I have mentioned before that I want to do a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers. I have decided to giveaway my FAMOUS Pink Tuxedo Bracelet!! I am also having a 20% off anything in the shop sale for my followers. The AliLilly Etsy Shop Use the code aliefollower when you purchase. All refunds are given through PayPal.







My Alice Marie

23 Aug

Isn’t it sweet how this is shaped like a heart. Alie is my heart!!

I laid in bed last night, looking at my sweet daughter and I decided today that I want to share a little bit of my Alie with y’all.  Some of you know what a struggle it was to conceive her.  This month, will make seven years ago that I went “under the knife” for the first time in my life.  After a few attempts at getting pregnant and failing, we decided to see a doctor.  What the doctor found was a five pound benign fibrous tumor on my uterus.  That doctor wanted to take out everything.  I went to see a team of doctors.  Working together, they removed the tumor, while leaving my uterus intact.  I had a lot of scar tissue and was told that it would be difficult to get pregnant, but definitely something we could achieve.  The doctors helped me along the way with procedures, shots, and medications.  It wasn’t until my sister Nori bought me some Chinese fertility herbs, that I got pregnant.  Two months into taking the herbs and after 5 years of trying everything just shy of IVF, I was pregnant.  One week later, I miscarried.  We were devastated.  I continued on the Chinese fertility herbs not just to achieve pregnancy, but they also helped calm my painful periods and made me feel better.  It really is all about hormonal balance!!  Two months later,  I was pregnant again.  This time I went on bed rest immediately!  One doctors of the team, was my doctor throughout this pregnancy.  She took wonderful care of Alice and I, calling her my ” precious cargo”.  Thirty seven weeks later, that doctor performed a successful c-section and delivering our sweet Alice Marie into the world.  She was a little early because the harden scar tissue on my uterus began to tear.  Alie was ready though.  Perfectly healthy and scoring a 9/9!!  She did get jaundice in the hospital and they tried to snatch her away from us.  After some tears and complaints, they brought in the whole contraption with the UV lights into our hospital room.  Alie was treated next to my bed and NOT in the nursery.  After so many years of trying, nearly giving up and excepting that I would never have a child of my own, I could not stand to have her away from me for even a moment.

Over these two amazing years of motherhood, I have discovered that I was created by God to be a mom.  It just feels like a natural part of my being.  I feel complete now.  There is nothing missing.  Alice is my heart, my soul and my every breath.  She is smart and fun.  She is sweet and loving.  She loves giving hugs and kisses. She is girly and precious.  She loves pink, butterfly’s, ladybugs, ballerinas and anything that has to do with a “pin-says (princess)”.  When she does something wrong, uhhh, if you could hear the way she says “I sah-weee” OH!  It just melts my heart.  Every moment, I am thankful to God for my sweet Alie Marie.  I am thankful to my amazing husband, because he works so hard so that I can stay home and raise our daughter.  There are countless cherished moments everyday with Alie.  If David didn’t work as hard as he does, I would miss out on them.

There are so many things I could share with y’all about my sweet daughter and this incredibly wonderful life I live.  I thought I would share my favorite pictures of Alie.  There are more pictures in my About Me, too.  Thanks for following me.  Thank you for your sweet comments and encouragement.  I love all my new blog friends as much as I love making more. Remember I said I would do a giveaway when I reach 100 followers!  I am close, so start getting excited!! 🙂



The new parents. This is in the recovery room after the doctor delivered Alice.


Alice Marie just minutes after she was born.

Sweet Alie Marie 6/4/2008

Alie and her daddy

Alie and her mama


Alice in her going home outfit


The day we brought Alie home

Alie meeting her big sister Marli (my sweet step-daughter)


My silly Alice


What a cutie huh?

I’m all clean

My lil ladybug

She was a very excited lil ladybug







Happy trick-or-treaters! My dad, Alie, Me, David and Angie










Alie’s 1st Christmas


Alie’s silly face
Happy Alice

The BBQ trek!!

Proud Daddy with his girls

Happy Alie Marie


Alie’s 1st Birthday

Alie in her Halloween PJ’s


Alie in the Halloween Tutu I made her

Alie’s 2nd Christmas

Cute Alie Antlers
The most beautiful girl in the world
Alie riding in her carseat


New Years day at the park



Alie Road


Silly Photo Booth Pic
Unpacking our apt and this is what Alie put on!!


Easter Egg Hunting
Alie with her cousins Angie and April in Houston

Alie with Grandpa and Grandma (my side) Daddy in the background

YUM!

Alie in her Texans gear at the AZ vs. TX game in AZ. We may live in AZ but we are still TEXANS!!
My sweety Alie Marie!!


Ami in Bloggyland

17 Aug

I have discovered the TRUE meaning of “blogging” and I love it!!  Unfortunately, I have gotten side-tracked by it.  It is much fun to see what everyone is doing.  I love making new blog friends and being inspired by all the awesome crafts everyone has.  Some of the stuff I have seen, I would of NEVER thought of.  Like Courtney with Between U and Me
I had to tell Courtney she has inspired me and I am ALREADY planning Alie’s 3rd birthday party!!
Kara with Craftastical made this Quilled Monogram Letter, OUT OF SCRAP PAPER! 
Teresa with Nestled In Rosenberg , made this framed piece of art from a DOLLAR STORE GIFT BAG.  Teresa is my hubby’s sister and I kept telling him “from a DOLLAR STORE GIFT BAG!!!” over and over again! 


My other sweet and wonderful sister-in-law Emily with DecorChick! ,added rhinestones to these DOLLAR STORE hurricane glasses.  How cute are these?!!

Stacy with Just Sew Sassy ,re-fashioned this $3 dress from WalMart.  The moment I FINALLY get my own sewing machine, this will be my first sewing project!!

There is SO MUCH greatness out there, I think I am going to HAVE to do a weekly “look at what I found” blog and feature some of y’all.  No really!!   I want to dedicate a day specifically to the wonderful things I find out in “Bloggyland!” I am not sure what day exactly, but I have made a Featured by AliLilly button just for this purpose.

Now, as for my projects, these are a few of the new jewelry pieces I have, FINALLY completed.

The earrings below I could not quite decide on the bottom piece.  So I thought to do all three and let the buyer choose which base they liked best. 

I have a cute story to share with you, as well.  I was practicing making crepe paper flowers from a tutorial I found here at Alison’s blog Oopsey Daisy



I had made a few, but needed to start dinner.  I had to put them somewhere out of the reach of Princess Alie’s little grabby hands.  I placed them in an empty cloche I had.  They look so cute in there don’t they!?



As sweet as that looks, this is what I have decided to place in my VERY FIRST CLOCHE!!


As soon as I decide on a specific day to showcase y’alls wonderful projects and recipes, I will let everyone know.  I am also thinking of doing a giveaway from my AliLilly Etsy Shop, as soon as I reach 100 followers!!  What do y’all think??!

Kara, Courtney, Teresa, Emily, Stacy and Alison if you’d like you can grab my feature button!! Y’all are my very first features!!! 🙂

AliLilly <a href=”http://alililly.blogspot.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://photobucket.com/&#8221; target=”_blank” /><img src= “http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn89/djzgirl73/featuredbutton.jpg&#8221; alt=”AliLilly” /></a>





Fantastically Tasteful Tex-Mex Tacos

12 Aug

Born and raised in Texas, it never really dawned on me that Tex-Mex was something you could really only find in Texas.  It is BY FAR my favorite style of food.  Living in Arizona now, there is NO TEX-MEX ANYWHERE!!!  Luckily I know how to make Tex-Mex. 
 
This is my version of Tex-Mex tacos.  It is a simple and fast way to make FANTASTICALLY TASTEFUL TACOS!!
 
You will need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packed taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (salsa style or crushed)
  • 2 avocados
  • 12 large or jumbo taco shells
  • Mexican or Taco seasoned shredded cheese (1 small bag is fine as it is just a garnish)
  • 1 can seasoned black beans
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
 
 
Brown and chop your ground beef or turkey.  I have learned this little trick, add water just enough to cover the meat after it is browned.  Let the water come to a boil then start chopping the meat some more.  It helps break up the meat, turning it into finely ground taco meat.  Drain the water carefully after you are finished.  I use a metal strainer instead of a colander.  I lose too much meat with the large holes of a colander.  Add the taco seasoning according to the package instructions.  I know that it calls for 1 pound of ground beef per packet.  Trust me, 2 lbs to 1 packet or 1 lbs to a half a packet is perfect! 

This is a simple guacamole recipe. While meat is cooking, chop and mash one of your avocados.  Squeeze lime juice from half your lime into the mashed avocado then add salt and pepper to taste.  Slice your other avocado into thin long pieces and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste.  Chop your Roma tomato into small cubes.  Once your meat is done add the can of fire roasted tomatoes, stir well.  Now strain but do not wash your black beans.  Add then to the meat mixture, turn down heat to low and stir well.  Bake your taco shells according to the package instructions.  While taco shells bake squeeze the other half of your lime onto the meat.  Cook your taco meat mixture on low for those few minutes, stirring frequently.  Once shells are done fill them with your taco meat mixture and top them with guacamole, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese.  Garnish with slices of avocado on the side.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do. 

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Found Treasures of GoodWill

10 Aug
These are a few of the recent treasures I have found at the Good Will.

I got these two AWESOME cloches. The smaller one is my first. It was $3. The 2nd I got this past weekend for $4.


The cheese knife is chained to the cloche. Isn’t it beautiful!!

I wanted to show y’all my super professional photo area!! Remember you can check out this SUPER INEXPENSIVE makeshift photo box tutorial here Photo Boxing
Now this one was not found at the Good Will. It was found by my husband one evening while shoping at Michaels. He traveled through the aisles with our daughter while I stood in front of the jewelry section for what seemed like an eternity. I am so proud of him for finding this because it was MARKED DOWN 60%. We got this for $4!! The frugalness has rubbed off onto the hubbys!!

Another shot of my “Photography Studio” 🙂

I got each of these sweet little praying kids for $2 and daughter sign for was also $2.

Now this next one is going to be a re-do project. I have been inspired by SO MANY wonderful blogs and tutorials. My brothers name is Jaddy his wife is Julie and there 7 month old son is Jayden. All I need is one more J and I am going to re-do these for their new house.  I also got this shadow box for $2. I have plans for that as well.



I can not wait to show y’all my plans for this Texas basket I found for $1!!


We also found this toy chest for $4. It normally sells for $15 at Ikea. This Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Musical Chair sells anywhere from $35 to $50. We got for just $6!!

Rocky Road Cupcakes

5 Aug
My husband LOVES Rocky Road Ice Cream.  I thought it would make him smile if I made him rocky road cupcakes for his birthday.  I feel like I cheated a bit because I used a box mix for the actual cupcakes.  This is a bit of a time saver and very convenient.  I will let you decide if using a box mix is considered “cheating”. 

First, make your cupcakes according to the package instructions.  I used devils food cake mix.  You can add crushed walnuts to the mix for extra crunchy rocky road cupcakes.  I did half with and the other without. 

The frosting!  The ooey gooeyness that makes these Rocky Road Cupcakes!!

You will need:
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 2 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows

Combine your melted butter, sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl. Add egg; beat well blended. I used a hand mixer to beat my mixture. I melted my chocolate in a double boiler or you can melt in a microwave. Just follow the melting instructions on your package of chocolate. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Stir in walnuts and marshmallows.  The mixture was very gooey so I placed it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let it harden up a bit. Then I spread them over my cupcakes. I added extra mini marshmallows on top for “looks”. This also makes enough frosting for two layers of cake.

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UndertheTableandDreaming