A savvy collection of craft projects & tutorials, recipes, & fun things to do with your kids!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And the Winner Is.......

Commenter #15, Adrienne! Congratulations! Enjoy your planner and printable planner pages!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Giveaway: Personal Planner & Printable Planner Pages

Get organized and stayed organized with this fabulous personal planner! I created and designed these and it is what I use myself to keep my life in order.

This personal planner is 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches in a pretty, vibrant floral design. Each of the 8 tabbed dividers are covered in extra sturdy page protectors for durability. The sections are:

Monthly Calendar
Daily Planner
Week At A Glance
Birthdays & Addresses
To Do List
Meal Planning (featuring a menu plan form & a shopping list)
Task Tracker

The winner will also receive the PDF files of all the planner pages so they can refill the planner as needed!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know in what way you need to better organize your life.

For a second chance, become a follower of Simply Savvy and leave a comment letting me know you have done so. If you are already a follower, no problem! Just leave me a second comment for another chance to win.

This contest will close Wednesday, July 28 at 10:00 pm MST. The winner will be announced Thursday morning.

Good Luck!

Friday, July 16, 2010

New York Style Thin Crust Pizza

My husband has been wanting to make a New York style pizza, so I searched the web and found this recipe on Food Network. It's definitely worth the work!

Homemade Sauce:
2 cups tomato sauce
4 T. olive oil
Italian Seasonings to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl.

Basic Pizza Dough:
1 package active dry yeast
2 t. sugar
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3-4 cups all purpose flour
2 t. salt
olive oil

Whisk the yeast, sugar, water, and shortening together to make a paste. Add the flour and salt and mix, using a dough hook, until the dough comes away from the sides and crawls up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Grease the bowl with olive oil and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide dough in half. Roll the dough into balls, cover, and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes. The dough is ready to be shaped.
Makes 2-12 inch pizzas.

1 recipe pizza dough
cornmeal, for dusting
4 T. olive oil
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 lb. shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven. Dust pizza peel of baking sheet with cornmeal. Place rolled dough on peel. Brush dough with 2 T. olive oil. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the edges. Sprinkle 1/4 cup basil leaves on top of sauce and then sprinkle with cheese. Add additional toppings if desired. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the edges are golden brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make two pizzas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fab Feature: Becca from Jumping Jax Designs

I am super excited to introduce you to the cute and very talented Becca from Jumping Jax Designs.

I came across Becca's blog while I was searching for custom blog designs. Not only does she have some of the cutest blog designs out there, but she also offers cards, monograms, and logos. And did I mention that her prices are out of this world phenomenal? Her basic blog design is only $10 or you can get a complete makeover for only $45! (That is on my gotta have it & soon list!)

Some of her cUtE card designs:

When I asked Becca how she got her start, this is what she told me:

I have always loved fashion and had a knack for creative design, but since I went to college to be a teacher, I didn't really have an outlet for that. When I had my son last year, I just knew that daycare wasn't for our family. I wanted to stay home with him, but somehow still bring in money, doing something I loved. It was my mother-in-law who finally gave me the swift kick in the pants to get my own business going last August. I started by getting Photoshop and totally teaching myself how to use it. I wound up crying more nights than I can count because it's VERY difficult to learn without someone to teach you. I slowly figured out what I was doing, and created my first card for a friend's birthday party in October of last year. I was on a message board called TheBump.com where girls were ALWAYS needing birthday invitations & birth announcements, so when I would make one for someone, they would show it off, and link up my shop. I became the go-to person for design needs, and I have sort of branched out from there!

What inspires your creativity and designs?

I am kind of on-the-fly about my designs. I don't know all of the technicalities of design by any means, I just create whatever I dream up. I can be walking through Target and see cute little girls' clothes that inspire me, or think of a color combo while I'm laying in bed at night, and quickly jot it down before falling asleep. I have taken inspiration from wall art, clothing, home decor, and even food!

Here is a look at some of her fab blog designs:

I asked Becca what makes her designs unique and she said:

I like to think that all of my designs are fun, fresh & exciting. I just don't do "boring". Since my inspiration is drawn from such random aspects of my everyday life, each one is unique, and hopefully unlike anything else you'd come across on the web! :)

What do you like to do when your not creating?

I play with my son! :) I only work when he is sleeping, whether that be at nap time or once he is down for the night. He's my world, and I don't see any point in staying home with him if I'm just going to ignore him for work, you know?

What is your typical day like?

In the mornings, I wake up when Jax does. We have breakfast, play, run any errands that we have and sometimes Jax has occupational therapy. Around noon, we eat lunch, and Jax goes down for his nap at 1pm. I start working at that time, and don't break for even a second until he wakes up, usually around 3-4pm. Then we play some more, wait for my husband to get home, and have dinner as a family. Around 7:30pm, Jax has his bath, book, bottle & goes down for bed at 8, and I get back to work. On a good night, I'll be finished by 10 and can spend some time with the hubby. On a busy night, I have been known to work until 4am. It sounds bad, but I've become used to it, and thankfully have a boy who likes to sleep in until 9am or later! :)

I hope you will take the time to check out her shop! Thanks, Becca, for letting us get a glimpse of your creations and life!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Printable Wardrobe Inventory & Checklist

It's that time of year again; time to take stock of what is in your kid's closets. Pull out items that no longer fit and donate them to charity or give them to a family who could use the clothes. Make a list of what is needed for the upcoming year. Here is a printable list to make the task easy and fun!

Fall Wardrobe Inventory & Checklist

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Seafood Alfredo

My mom made this and brought it over for our dinner tonight. It was so yummy, it will definitely be added to our family favorites!

1 12 oz pkg bow tie pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 oz cooked salad shrimp
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz imitation crabmeat, flaked
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 16 oz jar alfredo sauce
Cook pasta. In a skillet, saute garlic in olive oil until tender. Stir in crabmeat, shrimp, lemon juice and pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add alfredo sauce. Cook and stir until heated through. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir to coat pasta.

Overnight Omelet

You prepare this breakfast bake before you go to bed, stick it in the fridge, and toss it in the oven the next morning. It is so rich and yummy and feeds a crowd!

1 loaf Italian bread
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 stick butter
8 oz. package cream chesse
10 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 t dry mustard
dash of paprika
dash of pepper
1/2 t salt

Generously butter 9x13 dish. Tear bread into chunks and place in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle cheese over bread. Cut cream cheese and butter into small pats and place over the top of the cheese. Mix remaining ingredients in large bowl and pour over the top of the ingredients in the baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake at 325 degrees, covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking at 350 degrees for another 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

Commenter #8. Congratulations Tricia! You are the lucky winner of the fabulous wallet!

Blog Planning Notebook Tutorial & Printable

Organize your blog posts with this super cute, fun to make, blog planning book.

1. Download and print off the worksheet, found below.

2. Cut each page in half (5.5 inches.) I ran 125 copies giving me 250 pages for my book. Set aside.

For this planner I used paper from My Minds Eye be.loved collection.

3. Cut two pieces of cardstock measuring 6x9. These will be your front and back covers.

4. Cut patterned paper to 4x6 and adhere to the top of your front cover.

5. Cut coordinating patterned paper to 5 1/2x6 and adhere to the bottom.

6. Cut a strip of paper to 1 1/2x6 and adhere just under the top patterned paper.

7. Cut a 6 inch length of matching ribbon and adhere to center strip.

8. Cut two ovals: 2 1/2 and 3 inches. Adhere 2 1/2 oval to larger one. Use stickers, rub-ons, die cuts, or your computer to spell out the name of your blog and adhere to top oval.

9. Cut or punch 4 flowers: 1 1/2 and 2 inches. I used the Walk in my Garden Cricut cartridge to cut these.

10. Adhere title oval using pop dots to the right of the cover. Arrange the flowers around the oval. I used pop dots on 2 of mine. Bend flower petals up slightly for added dimension.

11. Cut a length of ribbon, tie in a bow, and adhere to left side of page as shown.

12. Now that you have a super cute cover, layer your worksheets underneath, then add your back cover.

13. Have spiral bound at your local copy center.

See, told you. Easy and cute!

Blog Planner

Monday, June 21, 2010

Submit Your Posts!

If you would like to be featured here on Simply Savvy, and have a blog post on one of the following topics, email your link to jenni{dot}savvysolutions{at}yahoo{dot}com:

Craft Tutorial or Projects
Handmade Gift Ideas
Activities for Kids
Organizing Tips
Family Fun

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fab Feature and Giveaway: Debbie from KringleBerry Kottage

I am super excited to do my first feature! And even better, the feature is on one of my very favorite people; my mom! My mom, known to most as Debbie, has a rockin' Etsy shop KringleBerry Kottage. In her shop she sales everything from cute wallets to handy note totes to crazy fabulous diaper bags.

When I asked my mom to tell me about what inspires her creativity this is what she told me: The thing that inspires my creativity the most has always been NEED. If you need something, you figure out a way to supply that need. When I was 12, my mom told me I could have all the clothes I wanted, IF I learned to sew them. So, she would buy some fabric, I would try to follow a pattern, all the while asking her questions as she was making dinner or cleaning house after she got home from work.

Even though I have a pretty good idea what my mom's typical day is like, I asked her anyway!
My typical day? I'm not sure. They're all different. Some days I do nothing but sew. Other days I enjoy playing with the grandkids, or playing the piano, or about a hundred other things. I enjoy trying all kinds of different crafts. Through the years I've done tole painting, oil painting, knitting and crocheting, and just about every other kinds of craft imaginable. When I actually have time (and when Christmas is coming on) I enjoy making my river rock Nativity sets.

She doesn't have a lot of free time, but when she does she loves to read a good book or bake.

Here is a look at KringleBerry Kottage's one-of-a-kind note totes.

I asked my mom what item from her shop she couldn't live without, and she told me:
The one product in my shop that I could not live without, on a personal level, would actually be two things. I love the note totes and the wallets. I carry them with me everywhere I go. Sometimes if I don't want to carry my entire purse with me into the store, I throw my debit card and phone in my note tote, push my purse under the seat, and run in the store with everything I need in hand. Other times, I simply rely on my wallet for my Sam's card, debit card, money, checkbook, etc. etc. etc. I love them both! And even though I don't personally use one any more, I love my diaper bags, if I do say so myself. They are REVERSIBLE! You can turn them inside out and back again as many times as you want. You get 2 bags in 1. And I make changing pads, diaper clutches and note totes as sets to go with the diaper bags. I wish I had thought about making one for myself about 33 years ago when I first needed one.

These diaper bags are an original of KringleBerry Kottage and super fab! Here's a peak:

Now for the exciting part! Debbie has graciously offered to give away a wallet from her shop. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite item from her shop is and which wallet you would choose if you are the winner. Simple!

For a second chance, become a follower of Simply Savvy and leave me a second comment letting me know. If you already follow me, leave a comment for your second chance.

The giveaway will close Wednesday, June 23 at 10:00 pm. A winner will be randomly selected and announced Thursday morning. Good luck!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

12 oz. package jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
3 cups cottage cheese
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
sprinkle of garlic powder
sprinkle of oregano
26 oz. spaghetti sauce ( I like to use Hunt's brand for this recipe)

Mix together cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir in eggs, garlic, and oregano; mix well. Stuff mixture into shells.

Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place shells open side up, and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Served with garlic bread and a green salad or canned green beans, this makes a yummy and easy dinner!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

School Work Binders

This is a super simple way to keep the school work clutter under control! At the beginning of each year I fill a large binder full of page protectors. When Jaxson brings home papers that we want to add to his binder we just toss it in. I've heard a lot of people say that they take pictures of art projects, toss the actual project and just keep the picture, but we like to have the original. We just fold those up and slip them in a protector as well.

I attach a picture of him on the first day of school to some cardstock and I have him write his name. I love seeing how his handwriting improves each year! Then I write the year on a slip of cardstock and put it in the side pocket and wahlah! A cherished keepsake.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Father's Day Gift Idea: Treat of the Month Club

Here is a fun and easy gift, perfect for any man on your Father's Day list this year. After all, what dad wouldn't want a year's worth of yummy treats? Here's the how to:

1. Obtain a cute container. I found this one at Michael's for $3. Then I just cut a piece of scrapbook paper down & slipped it inside of the pail. Next, attach a few lengths of ribbon to each side of the handle.

2. Fill with a stack of dad's favorite cookies or other treat.

3. Print out the recipes and the gift tags found below.

4. Attach the gift tag with ribbon. It reads: "Congratulations! You have been enrolled in the Treat of the Month Club! As a member, you will receive a delicious, home-baked treat each and every month for the next year! Happy Father's Day!

The next page has the months listed along with the corresponding treat and the day of the month dad can expect his treat.

5. Give to dad and watch his eyes light up with joy! OK, maybe not, but it is a nice change from the standard necktie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup margarine or butter
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 package milk chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add flour, brown sugar, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla, baking soda, and cinnamon. Beat till thoroughly combined. Stir in oats. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes or till edges are golden.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Book of Mormon Summer Reading Schedule

For those of you interested, here is a Book of Mormon Summer Reading Schedule. It begins June 1 and, if you stay on course, finishes August 29. Click on thumbnail to view and print. Please leave me a comment if you participate or download this file. Good luck!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Italian Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is perfect for your next picnic or BBQ potluck; it's super simple and really yummy!

1 package Garden Rotini
16 oz. bottle Italian Dressing
1 can sliced or chopped olives
4-5 carrots, sliced
broccoli, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Add all other ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate for several hours. Stir well before serving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Schedule

Here is a look at the summer schedule that I came up with for me and my cute kiddos. I started off by choosing a theme for each day of the week. Well, Monday through Thursday. Friday is kind of a free for all, go wherever the wind blows us kinda day. Monday is movie day. Tuesday is a special learning activity unit. Wednesday is our field trip day. I got a group of friends and their offspring together. It will add to the fun and make the whole experience more field trippy. Thursday we will rotate between a cooking class and a craft.

I typed up a schedule for each day of the week. I have to say, I am all kinds of excited about "Quiet Time"!!!

Then I wrote out the different activities for the whole summer. It takes a little doing up front, but will give me loads more play time come summer!

After I decided the themes of our days and filled in my monthly activity calendar, I wrote out a week by week supply list of all the items we will need for each activity. When I make out my weekly grocery list (which I always do on Sunday evenings) I can just glance at my supplies needed worksheet and add those items to my list.

I am trying to keep my daily to do list to a minimum this summer so that I can enjoy my family, so I decided to make a Most Important Task list. I had it laminated and will use a dry erase marker to map out my week, erase when then week is over, and use the same form next week.

I did something similar for the kids. Their list has a spot for the daily chore they are in charge of. I typed up a list of all the chores the kids can help with, cut them apart, and had them laminated as well. At the beginning of each week, the kids will draw a slip for each day and write on their task sheets what they are in charge of. We take Fridays off. No chores. Saturdays they have to do a chore plus vacuum, dust, & straighten their rooms. Each child will take a turn weekly helping to plan, cook, and clean up a meal.

I decided to go simple with the rewards system. Each child will get a punch card. They can earn up to 3 punches per day for things like good behavior, being kind to one another, getting their jobs done without me twisting their arm, etc. They can then turn in the punch cards for predetermined prizes. All are low cost, most are free!

I think this will be a great system to keep us motivated and on task, and allow us to make the most of our fun time together.