Aug 30, 2011

{Baked's so yummy}

Justin went on an field trip overnight camping trip with his fifth grade class and had a great time.  One thing he mentioned was that the camp made Baked Oatmeal.  I had never heard of it!  I was intrigued.  So, I started investigating and found some recipes.  One recipe started with "1 stick of butter, melted."  Now, I'm not totally against using butter, and the inner Paula Dean inside of me says, "Go for it!"  But, I just couldn't do it.

So, using the idea that fat typically can be replaced with applesauce in baking recipes and mixing different components from other recipes, I finally made something that I liked.

So here it is folks...Baked Oatmeal, done the lighter way!

3 1/3 cups uncooked oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, depending on your tastes, I even added a dash of pumpkin pie spice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon oil (canola, or 1 tbsp melted butter)
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
1 cup of fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl stir together oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Stir in the wet ingredients (vanilla, milk, oil or butter, applesauce, and eggs). Stir until well combined.

Spread the mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

If you want to add fruit, add it to the bottom of the pan, and then spread the oatmeal mixture on top of the fruit. You could also add the fruit to the mixture and just bake it all together.

Dreamy fruit combinations include:
Bananas and Walnuts
Mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, rasberries)
Strawberries (Add cream to the bowl once it’s cooked, and you have Strawberries and Cream!)
Peaches (Add cream to the bowl once it’s cooked, and you have Peaches and Cream!)
Diced Apples

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  I think this would serve 6-8 people.

Serve with a little milk poured over the top and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar.

We had this for dinner tonight, with eggs cooked many ways...and we were pretty happy with our meal!  I love "Breakfast for Dinner"!  "The kid" loved it too...pretty impressive these days!

What are you having for dinner?

Aug 28, 2011

{New Header and Blog Design}

I've been working on some style changes here at {A Charming Nest} blog.  I hope you like what I've done!  Please let me know what you think! 

I've gotten some emails and comments asking how I make my blog look a certain way, so I thought I would share with you how I made the new header.  The new header was pretty simple to do (and I'm sure there is an easier way to do all of this), and I was pretty happy with the results.  This is how I did it:

I use Picasa as my picture editing software for all of my photos.  For the header,  I used their "collage" feature to make a collage of images from our home and our blog. Once I got the collage the way I wanted it, I then uploaded it to Picnik.  The great thing about Picasa is that you can just click on the Picnik icon and it will take you right to the website and you can automatically start working on your photo.

This is what Picasa looks like:

I used the "Edit" tabs and re-sized the picture. This is different from cropping, because you won't lose parts of your image, it just makes it bigger or smaller depending on what you need. Do this before you add your text, so the letters won't look blurry in your final product!

This is what Picnik looks like:

Once in I was in Picnik, I went to the "Create" tab and used the effect "HDR-ish" at 100% to give the photos a more vintage look.  I think it makes the collage a little more interesting.

Then I went to the Frames tab, and added the "Museum Matte."  I changed the color to the numbers 334755.  I also changed the inner thickness to 100, so I could add text later.

Then I used the Text tab, and added the "GeosansLight" text in the matte, using the same color #334755.
Once you're finished and have it looking the way you want, save your photo and simply just upload to your blogging host.

***HINT: My header is 978 px wide, which fits perfectly in Blogger for the header image.

***To take a "screen shot" of your computer screen to use, just press Control and the Print Screen/SysRq buttons together.  Picasa will automatically save this as a photo for you to use!

***Please know that I do not get paid in any way from Picasa, Picnik, or Blogger.  These are just programs that I use to edit my photos and publish my blog. 

Aug 27, 2011

{Potterybarn Inspiration}

***Things I've learned about this project:
1.  I did not poly the frame.  That's okay with me.  I like the matte look.
2.  DO NOT use the dry erase marker that came with the adhesive calendar.  It will not erase well once it dries.  As a teacher, I suggest just sticking with the standard; EXPO!

Here's the post I just wrote as a "guest blogger" over at DIY Kinda Girl...

I'm so excited to share with you this project that Justin and I just finished here for DIY Kinda Girl!

I'm inspired by a lot of things...but shelter mags really get me going.  Watch out around here when the new Pottery Barn catalog hits our mailbox, because I will always find something that I can do myself.  Recently, we've been really needing some wall organization.  I'm embarrassed to say that I miss appointments a lot.  We've even missed soccer practice and swim lessons a couple of times...and quite honestly it's getting a little ridiculous.

Well, I've been drooling over these wall organizational systems from PB for quite awhile...

The Rustic Wall Organizer system ranging from $99-$199 for each piece (holy moly...that's expensive).

And the "not so expensive" Daily System in Mahogany ranging from $20-$50 for each piece.

This little (lovely) item is...$199!  Yes, you read that right!

So, in true Erin form...I decided to build it myself. 

Recently, while buying school supplies at Walmart I came by this "Adhesive Whiteboard Calendar"  for $4.95.  Score!

I started with a painted base (which I painted beforehand) of 3/4 inch birch plywood cut to size for my base (left over from my Vintage Keys project).  Then pre-stained 1x2 firring strips (using 1/2 American Chestnut and 1/2 Special Walnut Minwax stain) and attached as a frame using the same method as I did when I did the Pottery Barn Vintage Keys Knockoff wall art.

I then used "thin" lattice molding from Home Depot (pre-stained) to trim the inside edges. 

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. It has the "rustic" look and the "size" I wanted!

HINT: It was hard getting the calendar to line up straight, so use a pencil to mark it's location before you take the backing off the adhesive whiteboard.

Notice our dog Molly?  She's a tired girl from all the building and projects around here.

Check out {A Charming Nest} blog sometime...I think I will be adding some more pieces to this one real soon!  Take care everyone!  It's been a pleasure being your guest!

Aug 24, 2011


I'm back from my "break" and I'm guest blogging today on DIY Kinda Girl about another Pottery Barn knockoff project J and I just finished...we just can't help ourselves!

Pinch me, I think I may be dreaming...I really cannot believe that people are interested in what I have to say and share.  I guess back in the day we called it "show and tell" in school, and I am so excited to be back doing it again.  Check out DIY Kinda Girl and see what I've whipped up to save us about $180! I am pretty happy with the results!


Aug 2, 2011

{Taking a Quick Break}

This is the busiest time of starts on Monday!  Yes, August 8th!  Can you believe it?  Well, as I get my classroom ready, finalize the curriculum, and work through the new textbooks, I haven't had much time for home projects or blogging.

I have a few projects in the works, but will need time to finalize, photograph, and write about them!
  • Finishing the welt cording on my Aunt Mable's chair
  • An IKEA end table hack
  • Push pins
  • Family organization and art display
  • Door casings
Thanks for your understanding...