Friday, January 14, 2022

DIY Decoupaged Seashells | Fancy Mermaid Shells DIY Tutorial

If you're a beachcomber like I am and have lots of seashells at home, this is a fun and creative way to do something special with them. Decoupaged shells have been popular for a while now and I was determined to try out the craft for myself! 

You only need a few basic supplies and in a little bit of time you will have lovely, fancy decoupaged shells suitable to give as gifts to your very favorite mermaid! 

I've had these shells in my workshop for what seems like forever! I had planned on building them into a stained glass lamp but... you know how that goes when you get busy with other things. Mine are scallop shells but you can use oyster shells or large clam shells too. 
 

I created a video tutorial for how I made mine, so be sure to check it out! 

Below are the basic supplies you will need, which I explain in more detail in the video. 

  

Thanks for watching and I hope you are having a great start to your New Year! And don't forget to head on over to my YouTube channel and see what else is new! 


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2021 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Make It At Home: Roots Bowls Copycat Recipe


When my daughter arrived home from college for Christmas break she raved to us about her new favorite food that she had found while at college - Roots Bowls. 

Famous from the Roots restaurant chain, these filling bowls are full of fresh, healthy ingredients and an amazing mix of bright flavors. Unfortunately there are no Roots restaurants anywhere near our home, but she was determined that we recreate her favorite Roots bowl at home...and we did!

Although it may seem that there are a lot of different ingredients needed to create this bowl, you probably already have many of them at home, and everything actually comes together pretty quickly. Plus, if you make a lot, you get a few meals out of them. I encourage you to try out this recipe, you won't be disappointed! Here are the directions...

You will need:
Fresh kale
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 cups raw)
Brown rice
2 fresh avocados
16oz bag frozen corn
15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
Red onion, chopped
White vinegar
Pita chips
Feta cheese, crumbled
Lime juice
Chipotle Tabasco sauce
Cilantro lime dressing or marinade
Spices: coriander powder, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin seeds, salt, pepper

Wash and chop 3-4 cups of fresh kale and place into a bowl. I chop mine so the pieces are on the smaller side. Drizzle the kale with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage the oil into the kale. Set aside.

Prepare 1.5 cups of  uncooked dry brown rice  according to package directions and then set aside. This should make 3 cups of cooked rice.

Pit, peel, and dice two fresh avocados, transfer into a bowl and set aside.

Prepare corn by charring in oven:
Pour a 16 ounce bag of frozen corn onto a large baking sheet with a lip. Drizzle the corn with a little bit of olive oil (about one tablespoon,) then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the corn on the baking sheet in an even layer and broil for a just a few minutes to lightly roast the corn. It should look just slightly brown in just a few areas. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, and then transfer the corn into a bowl.

Open a can of black beans, rinse, drain, and put into a bowl. 

Dice a small red onion, transfer to a bowl and then add about four tablespoons of vinegar. Put on a lid and shake to coat. Set aside. (good to do this a few hours before for the best effect.)


To prepare the chicken:
Prepare the spice rub by mixing these spices together in a small bowl (note: we use Indian spices but standard spices can work as well) These measurements are appropriate, you can use a bit more or less according to your tastes. We like it a bit on the spicy side:
1 T Coriander powder
1/2 T spicy chili powder
1 T Oregano
1 T Garlic powder
1 T Paprika
1T Cumin seeds
Dash each of salt & pepper

Cut 3 halves (about 2.5 cups uncooked) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1" to 1.5" pieces and place into a large bowl. 

Toss the mixed spice mixture with the raw chicken pieces until thoroughly coated. 

Using a medium to large sized pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, heat to medium, add the chicken, and cook, stirring sparingly, until cooked through. You want to try to brown the chicken without it becoming too wet, so stir only occasionally so that the pieces get a chance to cook evenly, but allow to lightly char in areas. Total cooking time: about 6-8 minutes


Once chicken is cooked, assemble all ingredients in bowls as shown in photos.

Also assemble these items:

Cilantro lime marinade or dressing

Lime juice from a bottle or 1 to 2 limes, quartered

Pita chips, lightly crushed

Crumbled feta cheese

Chipotle flavor tabasco sauce

To assemble:
In the following order, add all of the ingredients into a large bowl with a lid, adjusting the amounts to your personal tastes. This makes one generous serving:

A handful of kale
A scoop of rice (about 1/3 cup)
A scoop of corn and black beans (about 1/4 cup of each)
A spoonful of red onion
A scoop of cooked, seasoned chicken
A few pieces of sliced avocado
A sprinkling of feta cheese
A small handful of lightly crushed pita chips
Drizzle the above with 1-2 teaspoons of lime juice
Add a shake or two of chipotle tabasco sauce
Dress with about 2-3 Tablespoons of cilantro lime dressing or marinade

Add the lid to the bowl and shake well until completely coated, then transfer to an individual serving bowl. That's it! Enjoy!











Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2022 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

TWO New Thrift Shop Haul Videos For The New Year!

Hey friends! I have TWO new Thrift Haul Videos on my YouTube channel so be sure to check them out! 

I love thrifting this time of year because folks are cleaning house for the New Year and getting rid of their old stuff. And we love old stuff! 

Now, I am aware that there is some kind of issue that is not allowing you to leave comments on these blog posts - I have no idea what happened and I am trying to figure it out! But you still can comment on my YouTube videos so go ahead and let us know, what do you look for at thrift stores? What was your best find ever? Let us know! 

 




 


Thanks for watching and I hope you are having a great start to your New Year. And don't forget to head on over to my YouTube channel and see what else is new! 


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2021 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area

Friday, December 17, 2021

DIY Paper Mache Mushrooms | Step-By-Step Tutorial

Last week I shared my paper mache mushroom YouTube video and today I'm sharing the step-by-step tutorial here in readable blog format. 

This is a step-by-step DIY tutorial for how you can make beautiful paper-mache mushrooms. They are great for the holidays or any time of year and I bet you'll be surprised how easy and inexpensive they are to make. As a matter of fact, I make many of the shapes while I'm relaxing at night watching Netflix. 


All you need for this craft is a few basic supplies and a little time. Make some for yourself as decorations or as gifts for friends and family - they will love them.

 Materials & where to find them:

(*These links are to the products that I used in this video. I am not sponsored by any of these products, they are just products that I used and like. These are affiliate links.) ~ Old newspaper or magazine pages ~ Masking tape: https://amzn.to/3doKB8t ~ White acrylic craft paint: https://amzn.to/3pqHdji ~ Red acrylic craft paint: https://amzn.to/3y9VyEN ~ Craft paint brushes: https://amzn.to/3Dlc2Lb ~ Eye screws, extra small sized: https://amzn.to/31zhjRP ~ Fishing line: https://amzn.to/3xUJF5c To make the paper mache: (watch video for how-to make) ~ All purpose flour: https://amzn.to/31APYit ~ Salt: https://amzn.to/3lDkK15

 

Here is what you will need for the paper mache mixture: 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 Tablespoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup warm water (+ more as needed) 
Directions 

Form the mushrooms: Use newspaper or magazine pages to shape into mushroom caps and stems by folding, rolling, or scrunching the paper into the desired shape. Use strips of masking tape to help keep the newspaper shapes in place. Cover all areas of paper on mushroom stem and cap with masking tape. Connect the stem to the mushroom cap with masking tape adding more tape until it is secure. 


Check that the entire mushroom is covered with masking tape, as seen below.

In a medium sized bowl mix: 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon of salt, and 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix until completely combined and no lumps are present. It should be about the consistency of
thin pancake batter. If it is too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is met and then mix well. Tear many strips of newspaper or magazine pages and assemble at your workstation.

To apply the paper mache, dip each strip of newspaper into the flour mixture, one or two at a time, and then use your fingers to remove excess mixture from the paper. It should be completely coated but not dripping wet. 

Next apply the coated newspaper strips to your mushroom one strip at a time.

Continue this process applying the coated newspaper strips to your mushroom until the entire mushroom is coated with newspaper or magazine strips. Be sure to cover ALL masking tape!

Inspect it carefully and use your fingers to smooth down any pointy edges and to remove any big globs of paper mache mixture.

Place your mushrooms on aluminum foil or wax paper and allow to dry for about 24 hours or until completely dry. They should be solid and one hundred percent dry. You can put them on a foil covered cookie sheet and bake them in the oven at a very low temperature for about an hour to help speed up the process. Set the oven for about 125 degrees Fahrenheit and watch carefully, turning them every 15 minutes or so. Do not leave unattended and do not turn the oven any hotter. 

Once they are completely dry they will look like this:

Use a craft paint brush to apply white acrylic paint to the entire mushroom, cap and stem. 

Set painted mushrooms aside and allow to dry completely.

Next use a paintbrush to apply red paint around the rim of the mushroom cap, going over all the edges but leaving the underside of the mushroom cap white.

Then fill in the rest of the top of the mushroom cap with red paint. Set aside and allow to completely dry.

Use a small paintbrush to apply white dots to your mushroom cap. Set aside and allow to completely dry.

You can use lots of crumpled newspaper or magazine pages to make different shaped mushroom caps!

To hang, use a small eye-screw and screw it into the center top of the mushroom cap. It helps to pierce the cap with a pin to start a hole before you screw it in. Add a piece of fishing line to hang. 



You can use these to decorate your home, tree, or to give as gifts!


Head on over to my YouTube channel and check out the Paper Mache Mushrooms video edition for even more ideas and complete instructions! 

 

Happy Holidays! 
Laura


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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2021 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area