Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Project House

I had a visitor over the other day and she commented on some slabs of wood that were leaning against my living room wall.  Slightly embarrassed, I explained that they were pieces to my son's crib, which my husband and I have yet to finish building {our son's 14 months! but the pack-in-play has been a perfect bed for him}.  She looked at me quite seriously and said, "Alisyn, I think it's amazing that you always have a project to work on.  This is a project house and there's no need to be ashamed of that!"

And you know what?  I completely agree with her.  I love that my house is a "Project House," and that my husband and I always have some crazy-brained scheme leaning against our living room wall or taking up the dining room space or strewn across our kitchen island.  We're both "do-ers," so it's nice that we always have something "to do."  :)

Here are some recent projects from The Project House:

Crib before being sanded and coated with polyurethane
Coated with polyurethane, ready for assembly!




Thursday, June 14, 2012


We keep things pretty simple around here when it comes to "family celebration holidays" such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, & Father's Day...and by simple I mean we usually make gifts rather than buy them.  And since my son is too little to create much, I decided the gifts needed to "include him" as much as possible.

So, here's what the Big Pops will be receiving this year...

A "CAR-MAT T-SHIRT" {original design and pattern found here}

I added a custom logo on the front of the shirt just for fun...

PHOTOS OF OUR LITTLE MAN FOR THE GARAGE {I glued magnets to the back of some old metric nuts}

& A DESPICABLE ME MINION T-SHIRT...because I'm just that cool.  :)
Of course I couldn't resist getting one for the little man so that he could match his dad!!!  {I found this shirt at Walmart.}

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's Not Too Late... show Mom how much you care!

We've added the following Cora Totes to our Etsy Shop...

...check them out and have a wonderful time celebrating that awesome Mom in your life!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


What did we do before Pinterest?  Seriously.  My niece just got engaged and I have been going nuts with Wedding Concept Pinboards.  LOVE IT!  I'll share a couple of the boards soon, but for now, let's drool over her dress!  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mother's Day is Coming!!!

We'll be adding some more Cora Tote options to our Etsy Shop over the next week, so be sure to check them out and order one for that special lady in your life!!!

Act now and save!  :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soul Food

I was part of a conversation a few weeks ago that I found to be rather humorous.  A young lady told her mom she was really needing some "soul food" for dinner that week.  Her mom smiled her agreement and I chimed in how some good ol' fashioned chicken and dumplings sounded divine.  The young lady gave me a blank stare.  So I proceeded to describe the hearty and flavorful soup that sits in a crock pot all day, the puffy and cheesy dumplings that cook on top, and the aroma that takes you back to your happy place.  The mom once again smiled her agreement.  The young lady started laughing.  She said, "That's not soul food!  Soul food is a huge pizza!"


That's when I gave the young lady a blank stare.  Pizza!?  PIZZA!  I love pizza, but pizza as soul food?  I think not!  Maybe that sweet young thang just needs to get out more.  Or maybe she needs to come to my house for dinner tonight, because tonight we are having REAL SOUL FOOD!

serves 4 {large helpings}

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 4-6 hours on High + 25 minutes on High for Dumplings

Ingredients for Soup:
2 c chopped carrots
2 c chopped potatoes
1 1/2 c chopped parsnips {or celery if parsnips aren't your thing}
half medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried sage or savory
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 c chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cornstarch {adjust according to how thick you like your broth}

Ingredients for Dumplings:
1/2 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp butter
I usually double my dumplings...they're just that good.

Set a crock pot to high heat then prep vegetables - place potatoes at the bottom of the pot, then carrots, parsnips/celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, sage/savory, salt, and pepper.  Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.  In a medium bowl gradually whisk the chicken broth into the condensed soup.  Pour broth mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook for 4-6 hours.

Stir the soup and remove bay leaves.  In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch; stir into soup until combined.

For dumplings, 25 minutes before serving, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cheese.  In a small bowl combine egg, milk, and melted butter; pour into flour mixture.  Stir with a fork until mixture is combined.  Drop spoonfuls of dough directly on top of the soup.

Cover and cook {do not open cover during cooking} for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into dumpling comes out clean.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Starting Again

Spring is my absolute most favorite season {followed by Fall at a close second} because I love the idea of starting again.  I am at an age and stage in my life where the push to reestablish, recommit, renew, and revitalize is at the forefront of my thinking and springtime goals.  Perhaps my recent birthday brought on such thinking rather than the spring :) , but regardless, it's time to start again!

And instead of writing down a bunch of goals I know I won't reach right now {exercising every day, vacuuming and sweeping the floor every day - my son's a crawler!, keeping up with emails/blogging/facebook/pinterest, or reorganizing my storage room}, I plan to work on things like...

*Seeing something beautiful about each day
*Thanking God more fervently for the blessings I enjoy
*Smiling more
*Actually telling someone the compliment I'm thinking about them rather than keeping it to myself
*Laughing more freely
*Loving more openly
*Living more fully {why do we "stock up" and just wait for someday!?}

Sure, those are still lofty goals, but seriously, THEY ARE DOABLE!    

Artwork by Karen Ku entitled "Springtime Collage

Monday, April 2, 2012


In honor of the Easter holiday this weekend, SPICYDESIGNS is offering a 10% discount off your entire SPICY purchase!  Visit our Etsy Shop, fall in love with a wonderful tote, purse, or pillows, then enter the coupon code "hipptityhop" at checkout and save!