Dollar Store Easter Craft Goes Shabby Chic

Friday, March 27, 2015 by

Hey there friends.  Long time no see!  Maybe some of you have been hit by spring fever like I have? And now suddenly the end of the month is in sight and Easter is quickly approaching.  How about a little Easter craft?

Shabby Chic Easter Eggs from a Dollar Store Craft Kit

* pin me *

I don’t know how you feel about Easter crafts.  A lot of traditional Easter stuff like flowers (too early where we live), pastel colours (not a fan), rabbits (they eat my favourite grape hyacinths to the ground as soon as they finally bloom) doesn't really work for me.  But for whatever reason eggs and nests and such do work for me, and I love to decorate eggs in lots of different ways.

4 Ingredient Easy Quesadillas for a Crowd {Cooking Without a Recipe}

Friday, March 6, 2015 by
Well we haven’t done anything foodie on here for awhile, so let’s change that today!  This is another one of my go-to recipes, great for a week night or weekend, and really easy.  We eat a lot of Mexican, and everyone really loves these easy quesadillas.

Easy Quesadillas with Four Ingredients

* pin me *

You’ve probably made quesadillas of some sort before too.  There are so many variations around, it’s easy to    keep the ingredients on hand, and sometimes a good way to use up leftovers like some roasted chicken.  This version has only four ingredients and is super easy.  Four.  You don’t need a recipe.  Even the kids can make it themselves start to finish. 

Kids Can Cook By Themselves

* kids in the kitchen *

I’ve blogged about cooking without a recipe before here.  I really think it’s a time saver and a way to make your life easier.  Sometimes you need a few things you can easily shop for on the way home when you don’t have a plan.  Or be able to make without opening pinterest or a cookbook and constantly refer to … while you’re also helping with homework, or unloading the dishwasher, or letting the dog in and out the back door. 

Chocolate Australian Labradoodle

* always in the way during meal prep *

Of course I think it’s important to be creative and adventurous… but sometimes you just gotta eat, right?

Also once you get them going you might as well make lots.  If you’re actually feeding a crowd, or your crowd is just your family of hungry boys then this recipe is for you.  And if you’re only going to have some of them, they freeze really well and just need to be heated through again on the griddle or non-stick pan, or even in the oven.  So here we go…are you still with me?  Don’t be distracted by the dog…

Making Quesadillas

* make lots *


Four Ingredients:

1.  Eight inch (the small ones) flour tortillas.  I use the white ones for this recipe, but your choice.  To make the complete for a crowd recipe, use two packages of them.

2.  Refried beans.  They come in a few different varieties.  We like the ones that have green chilies in them for a little extra heat, but I sometimes use the plain variety too.  All good.

3.  Salsa.  Any kind.  Any kind at all.

4.  Shredded tex-mex cheese.  I actually consider this a staple and my fridge is never without it.

Easy Four Ingredient Quesadillas

* all the ingredients *


How to Make Them:

1.  Empty the can of refried beans into a medium bowl.  Add just enough salsa to make a more spreadable consistency…about 3-4 big tablespoons.

2.  Then get your griddle heating, or your frying pans.  Whatever you use for making pancakes, grilled cheese, etc.  A medium-low heat, just enough to toast the quesadillas and melt the cheese.

3.  Then clear up a big prep space for assembling the quesadillas.  Lay out as many tortillas as you have space for.  Spread one half of each one with the beans/salsa mixture, then sprinkle (or load up!) the same half with shredded cheese.  

Optional:  If you are feeling fancy you can snip a little green onion over the cheese for an added layer of flavour.  Totally optional, but around here green onions rarely get used up with one recipe so there’s usually one or two hanging around in the fridge anyway.

Easy Four Ingredient Quesadillas

* optional green onion garnish *

4.  Fold them over and warm them in the pan on each side till the tortilla is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted.  Repeat until all the tortillas and bean/salsa mixture have been used.

Quesadillas on the griddle

* yum, they’re almost ready *


4.  Remove them from the pan to a cutting board and cut each one in half.  Then I usually just pile them all up on the cutting board and bring them to the table.  Maybe with a container of sour cream and some more salsa for dipping.   A few raw veggies with some ranch dressing and I call that a weekday meal, or anytime food for a crowd.

Easy Quesadillas with Four Ingredients

* easy quesadillas for a crowd *


Note:   If you only use one package of tortillas, or don’t use all of the bean/salsa mixture, I often will use the remaining bean mixture to make a layer dip…beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese.  Serve it alongside the quesadillas with corn chips for dipping, or cover it with plastic wrap and it keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.   Here’s a great way to make it for a party.

These are on the table in less than half an hour.  Perfect for those busy weeknights, or weekends when you need something quick and satisfying.  Enjoy!

More quick and easy dinner recipes:

Roasted Tomato Soup garlic shrimp-17.jpg caprese pasta (12 of 17).jpg
Roasted Tomato Soup // Garlic Shrimp // Easy Caprese Pasta

xo andrea

linking to

Inspiration for an Eclectic & Affordable Tween Boy’s Bedroom

Friday, February 27, 2015 by

There’s something about a long winter that makes me go a little lot stir-crazy.  Staring at the same four walls day in and out, I start to get annoyed by things that didn’t seem so bad in the lazy hazy days of summer.  Half-finished projects, stuff accumulating in dark corners.  Once the Christmas stuff gets cleared away the momentum continues to tidy and organize and update and fix.  Does anyone else have the same situation?

Two Ways to Paint Lettering Onto a Rustic Sign

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by
Oh Hello Sign // 2 Ways to Paint Lettering Onto a Rustic Sign

Well it’s no secret that I like to have signs and labels and pretty lettering in my home decor and on the gifts that I give.  And there are enough different way of accomplishing it that you’re sure to find a way that suits you, if you like it too.  For this project I used two different ways to paint lettering onto a rustic board to make a sign that hangs in this newly decorated space.  You can read about the whole transformation here.

How to Make Watercolour Gift Tags

Friday, February 6, 2015 by
Watercolour Gift Tags

* pin me *

When I was a kid I used to love using watercolour.  I loved the brand new set of paints, the used up palettes, mixing in water to different consistencies, mixing colours together to make new ones.  I loved the weight and texture of the paper, I loved the ombré and marbled effect of the paint.  I think maybe I missed my calling as a watercolour artist.  Probably not.

Watercolor paint palette and brushes

new paints and brushes

But recently when Michael’s had a coupon for a discount on an entire purchase, I decided to get me some inexpensive water colouring stuff.  Just for fun…for a rainy afternoon.  My philosophy is just because I’m not an expert, doesn’t mean I can’t give something a try and create something beautiful.  I hope you feel the same!  Don’t be nervous to try something new…enjoy the process and don’t worry so much about the result.  Creativity is good for the soul.

Watercolor paint palette and brushes in mason jar

pastel palette for spring

So while that rainy afternoon is probably a long way off (it is mid-winter after all) I took out my new paints, paper and brushes anyway when I saw this idea for making watercolour gift tags.  It’s from this book which I got for Christmas.  The book teaches creative hand lettering of all styles, which I can’t really teach, but one of the projects is for calligraphy on watercolour tags.  So we’ll cheat on the calligraphy part …shhh… but still end up with some pretty tags…

Watercolour Gift Tags

looks just like calligraphy, right?

So I cheated on the lettering part by feeding the watercolour paper straight through the printer.  I laid out the words (or names) I wanted to use in three columns in a Word document, leaving enough space for the tag shaped punch I was using between each word.  I used this font which is one of my new faves, and mimics the look of calligraphy a bit.

Watercolour Gift Tags

line it up perfectly

If you’re using a punch to cut out your tag shape, hold it upside down so you can see where to line up your words inside the tag borders.

Watercolour Gift Tags

start painting

And then I just started painting.  If you’re a REAL watercolour artist please don’t cringe… I’m just making a craft…  My only tip is if you wet the paper really well before you start painting then the paints will flow and marble together to make these pretty abstract designs.


Watercolour Gift Tags

love making a mess

Depending on how wet the paper is, it will curl up at the edges even when it’s dry.  Which is fine with me but you can press them under a heavy book if you prefer to have them flat.

Watercolour Gift Tags

pretty pastels

When they were dry I punched a hole in the top and tied in some twine.  I think these would be pretty for Valentine’s Day or any Spring occasion.  I had a suggestion on Instagram to use them as price tags if you sell boutique merchandise.  I would totally shop at a store that had price tags this pretty!  Wouldn’t you?

Hydrangea in IKEA flowerpot with watercolour thank you tag and bakery twine

pretty gift

Once you’re all set up, it’s easy to make a whole lot at once.  Make some with generic greetings on them like I did, or print them out with your family’s or friends’ names for a lovely personalized touch.

Watercolour Gift Tags

watercolour gift tags

What would you use these for?  Let me know in the comments… I’ve got a whole stack of them now to use up!  Hope you enjoyed my easy and pretty craft.  And hoping you have a chance to be creative too.

See you next time!
xo andrea

linking to thoughts from alice, monday funday, diy dreamer, joy in our home,

Photography Lesson: Simple Ways to Take Top-Down Photos

Monday, February 2, 2015 by

Top Down Photography // succulent and twine

top-down photography * succulent love

Hey, how is everyone?  I’ve been thinking…haven’t had a photography lesson around here for awhile.  And in these cold dark winter months we need all the photography help we can get, right?  Creativity is key when the light is hard to find.  So here’s a little lesson on shooting top-down, which can be done with fancy equipment, or pretty easily like I do.  Sound good?  Then I’ll show you how.

Repurposed & Upcycled Kitchen Organizing Solutions

Monday, January 26, 2015 by
Repurposed Kitchen Organizing, coffee and toast supplies with chalkboard art

If your kitchen is anything like mine then it’s probably one of the hardest working rooms in the house.  All of us, including the dog, are in and out of there all day long.  Making meals for now or later, eating, cleaning, working, entertaining, …  It seems like most of family life happens in the kitchen.  And of course the party always ends up in the kitchen too.  So the trick is to keep it tidy and put away, but also to have the stuff you use be easily accessible.