Monday, January 30, 2012

Crockpot Baked Spaghetti

Last week I shared my easy spaghetti sauce and today I have a crockpot recipe for Baked Spaghetti that uses my spaghetti sauce.

Add one-third spaghetti sauce to the bottom of a greased crockpot.

Layer half of the pasta on top

Add 1 cup on cheese next and repeat the layers

Bake for 4 hours till done and bubbly on top


Crockpot Baked Spaghetti

1 box spaghetti pasta (I used whole-wheat)
1 pound ground beef
1 recipe Heather's Spaghetti Sauce (or a large jar and half of spaghetti sauce)
3 cups of shredded cheese (I used a mix of italian blend and cheddar)

1. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray
2. Ground the beef and drain the fat
3. Add the spaghetti sauce to the ground beef
4.  Put one third of the sauce mix in the bottom of the crockpot
5. Take half of the spaghetti and break it into 3 inch long pieces and place on top of the sauce mix
6. Add 1 cup of cheese on top of spaghetti
7. Repeat steaps 4-6 again
8. Top with the rest of spaghetti sauce and then top with the rest of the cheese
9. Cook on LOW for 4 hours
10. Eat and enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project List Update

After a slow crafty start to the year I have finished a few things in the past few weeks.

I completed the longhorn baseball hat and t-shirt bag for baseball season and also made a pair of matching Valentine's Day headbands for B's little friends that are BFFs.  

I also completed some more blocks for the BBC Crochet Block-A-Long.  I am doing classic yellow, red, blue and green blocks and have estimated to need 25 blocks of each color or 100 total to make a child size blanket.

Here are the blocks completed the past 2 weeks (sorry for the bad picture)

Crochet Block-A-Long Blocks Completed
Green 2 of 25
Red 3 or 25
Blue 0 of 25
Yellow 0 of 25

Here is the rest of the project list:
Rank Project Status How Many


Longhorn Baseball Hat COMPLETED 1

Crochet Slouchy Beanie COMPLETED 1

Car Roll - Birthday Gift COMPLETED 1

Valentine's Day Headbands COMPLETED 2
1 UT Baseball Earflap Hat 50% Complete 1
2 Car Roll Starwars
3 Trains Fabric Bin
4 Music Fabric Bin
5 Kitchen Aid Bowl Cover
6 Kitchen Aid Cover
7 White Crochet Baby Blanket 25% Complete 1
8 Pink Eyelash Knit Scarf Started 1
9 Kitchen Oven Mitts - Wedding Gift
10 Car Mat Quilt
11 White Newborn Hat and Booties
12 Animal Cloth Blocks
13 Floor Cushions
14 Swiffer Wet Jet Reusable Pads
15 Christmas Quilt 65% Complete 1
16 Hooty Hoot Owl Quilt
17 Medium Rice Therapy Hot/Cold Bags
18 Numbers Bean Bags
19 Pink Knit Baby Blanket
20 Girl Animal Print Rag Quilt
21 Sewing Machine Cover
22 Lovey Tag Blankets
23 Mini Apron and Oven Mitts Set
24 Small Rice Therapy Hot/Cold Bags
25 T-shirt Yoga Pants
26 Alphabet Bean Bags
27 Red Knit Prayer Shawl
28 1600 Quilt

T-shirt Tote Bag

As I said yesterday, I kind of like UT baseball.  It's not like I skip birthday parties to go to baseball games or anything...

With the Alumni Game this weekend and the season kicking off on February 17th, I decided that I needed a new game day bag to carry all my stuff with me.  Depending on the weather this can include blankets, gloves, hats, sunscreen, ball caps, ice packs, towels, rain ponchos, etc.  

I took a large shirt that was too big for me to wear but I loved and turned it into a bag.  I followed this awesome tutorial from bijjou lovely and made some adjustments for the t-shirt size and graphics. 

I didn't add the additional panels at the bottom (even though I wanted to) because it would cover up the graphic on the t-shirts and we just can't have that can we.  My favorite part of this bag is that my husband was surprised I made it and said it looked like it was store bought.  I had some issues with the t-shirt material and getting the pieces the right size and to not stretch while I tried to iron on the interfacing.  

I love how this turned out but don't know if I would make the bag again with t-shirts.  I think it would easier to stick with regular cotton next time.  I would also use a interfacing that I can just iron onto the fabric instead of having to use a wet towel and steam to iron it on.  Using the towel and steam seemed to make the fabric stretch some which made for uneven pieces which of course made sewing and lining up seams harder.

I do like the size of the bag and the flat bottom. If filled, it can stand upright which is nice. The straps are also a great length, the bag fits just underneath my arms. Perfect tote bag size and I look forward to making more again (sans t-shirts).

Now if only baseball season would start tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crocheted Baseball Hat

I am a HUGE Texas Longhorns Baseball fan, HUGE!  We go to all the games and even here in Texas, it can get pretty chilly sitting there for 2-3 hours watching a game.  I decided to make B a hat for the colder games when he ballcap just won't do.  I was initially going to do an earflap hat but decided a newsboy style hat with a block T would be way cuter.

 The classic Texas baseball hat is white with the block T.  The picture below is what the team currently wears.
Texas Longhorns White Nike Authentic On-Field Baseball Mesh Fitted Hat

I followed the Cheri Hat pattern on Ravely and made the rim a little longer and also made the hat a little longer to make sure it would cover B's ears. 


I then made a block T and kind of made the pattern as I went.  I did single crochet stitches and appliqued it on to the hat starting in the center and then stitching it on around the sides.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Simple and Easy Spaghetti Sauce

This is my go to sauce.  I use it for everything Italian - spaghetti, lasagna, calzones, ravioli, etc. It is very versatile and so easy to make that I was able to have my husband make it while I was on bedrest and told him the ingredients off the top of my head.

It is made from ingredients that most people have on hand and tastes 10x better than anything from the jar.  You can also make ahead of time and freeze it but since we usually have the stuff on hand and its quick to put together, I never bother.

I like to use the eyeball method for measuring my spices

Heather’s Spaghetti Sauce
(Adapted from

Estimated Times:
Preparation Time:     15 mins
Cook Time:                60 mins

Servings:                    4-6

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp parsley
Ground pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  1. Brown the ground beef in a saucepan. Remove beef and set aside
  2. Add olive oil to pan and sauté onion and garlic.
  3. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes.  Stir well and add seasonings.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Puree with a hand blender or in a blender till smooth. Add ground beef back to sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

The proper way and best way is to let this sauce simmer for a half or so and then puree it in a blender or with a hand blender but if you don't have much time you can throw all ingredients into a blender, heat up and have great sauce ready in 5 min.  You can also leave chunky instead of pureeing it.  You can have it plain, add browned ground beef to it or simmer meatballs in it.  Use it in lasagna or on top of any pasta of your choosing.

No need to buy jar sauce anymore!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Project List and Finished Projects

Well there isn't much update to the project list so I won't post it but wanted to show a few things that I have completed the past few months.

 This is a set of matching crayon rolls for adults for Christmas.  I found the matching fat quarters at Joanns and then picked out some coordinating colors for the back of the crayon rolls

 Newborn baseball earflap hat

 Gray and white hat for my sister for Christmas

 Blue beanie with white strips for B(2)

 Brown Newsboy hat for B (2)

 Off White beanie for me

 Cranberry slouchy hat for me

I also joined a crochet block-a-long on my Crochet Mamas board on BabyCenter.  I was originally going to do different granny squares until I saw this adorable Lego Crochet Blanket from All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Immediately I knew that it was the perfect project for the block-a-long.  The goal is to complete a block or two a week and post our progress.  I am aiming for 3-5 blocks a week since they are smaller and pretty simple to make.  I went to Hobby Lobby and got basic green, yellow, red and blue yarn that remind me of old school legos.  I will make a bunch of blocks, crochet them together and then give the blanket to B.  Since B isn't quite into legos yet, my goal is to finish it by his birthday (October) and give it to him then along with some legos.  I figure by agev3 he will be more into Legos right?

Here are my blocks so far - the color isn't right by my camera broke so these were taken with my phone.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

NYE Goals Status

It seems that getting organized is a popular goal this year in blogland. This means there are two great benefits to this - 1. Lots of great ideas being posted that I can us and 2. Constant posts and updates to helps keep me motivated and on track.

To start progress towards my goals I did what any modern day internet savvy person would do - I created two new boards on my pinterest!  I made an organization and decoration board and will pin all the great ideas I am seeing there so 2 weeks (or days) from now I won't forget what I read.

One of the best ideas I have seen is to use binder clips to help keep cords from falling behind the desk.

Considering this happens to me almost daily with my laptop plug I was so excited to see this that I ran upstairs to try it out and then to find out that I don't have any large binder clips.

Other than making pinterest boards, I do have a plan to implement my goals.  I made a excel spreadsheet and listed each room in our house in one column.  I then made columns for things to buy, organization, things to make, decoration ideas and other. 
To start I will clean the house, and go through each room putting things where they belong, getting rid of stuff we no longer need and taking notes for my list.  The list will consist of what I need to better organize each room (boxes, hangers, etc), what I want to make for each room (pillows, towels, etc), what I want to eventually buy for each room (extra sheet of sheets, storage ottoman) and decoration ideas for each room like more picture frames or restain a table.

I hope the list will give me a way to start making over my house and also a place where I can cross off things after I complete them.  I always like crossing things off a list, the satisfaction of it keeps me motivated to complete things.