Taco Shells

In case you’re new around here, this is me in a nutshell: a girl who grew up in Africa, learned to make lots of the stuff the “homemade” way and never quite got over it.

One of the recipes we made nearly every week while living overseas was our homemade taco shells. We didn’t come up with the recipe- in fact I have no idea where it originated, except that it was in our “Wild Boar on the Kitchen Floor” cookbook (I think- right Mom??) There are just NO store bought taco shells, no restaurant shells, no other kind that compare to these shells- in my mind.

And with a toddler who loves to “hep” in the kitchen, the rolling out part is less of a chore and more of a memory. Hope you like ’em!

Homemade Taco Shells

(Makes 16 Shells)

5 cups Flour

2 1/2 tsp. Salt

5/8 cup Oil

1 1/4 cups Lukewarm Water

Get a flat skillet heating at medium heat on the stove top. Mix flour and salt well. Add liquids. Stir until well combined. Roll into 16 balls (or however many you’d like- depending on the size you want them to be.) Roll each ball of dough into a 6-8″ circle, as thin as possible, without getting so thin that the dough tears when lifted. Place the rolled out dough onto your DRY preheated skillet (No oil, no cooking spray, just dry.) When the dough begins to bubble slightly, flip and cook the other side briefly.

These shells are delish if eaten right away with some homemade refried beans, avocado, taco seasoned beef, tomatoes, you name it! However, they also freeze well, and can be easily reheated in a microwave, with a damp paper towel over top to provide some steam.

If you like them half as much as I do, you’ll be glad you tried them!


DIY Accessory Storage & Someone Else’s 17th Birthday

So remember when I told you in this post about how my sister-in-law turned 17, and I wanted to make her something personalized for her birthday, which resulted in this “zebra-fied” nail polish shelf?

Well that put me in a bit of a quandary. See, I have a baby sister named Katie (who looks a lot like me I might add…) who also just turned 17,  has a bedroom with zebra print accents, AND has quite the collection of nail polish.

Katie & I at “Awana Twin Night” when she was 10 or so! 🙂

Not one to give the same gift to two different people, I started brainstorming, and called the only other spy, I mean sister, still left at home for some help on ideas. I knew these things:

-Katie doesn’t have a lot of wall space free in her room

-She has lots of jewelry/headbands/nail polish/accessories in general

-She is starting to phase out of the “teen” style stuff and more into sophisticated black accents (she is SO like me ;))

SO, we decided that an “accessories stand” was the way to go. A storage option for different things, not just limited to necklaces, nail polish, etc., but that could be used for whatever she chooses, and that would sit on top of her dresser.

I found some inspiration on Pinterest, and went to town. No literally, I went to town- you knew I live in the boonies, right? 🙂

I went to the Dollar Tree, and for $5 total, bought 3 lightweight metal trays and 2 glass candlesticks.

Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought some black spray paint.

Once I got home, it was as simple as spraying each piece of the stand (multiple times in light, even layers- front and back/top and bottom,) and then gluing them together.

Voila! This was my staged shot, with all my stuff on it…

But of course, it looks even more snazzy all decked out with her bling and in her room!

I have GOT to stop making these things for other people- I want to keep them for myself 😉

Happy Birthday, KK! We love you lots!

I’ll get right on it…

My two-year-old has started picking up lots of two-year-old habits.

Which is fine since he’s, you know, two.

Some of his new habits are adorable, and some of the habits are annoying. But then there’s the third category: the ones that are totally annoying, but adorably cute at the same time. Argh. Those are the worst. We try to be consistent with discipline, but sometimes that stinkin’ cute face can make it awfully hard.

Anyway….the habit that has me rambling tonight?

Often times when we ask Elijah to do something, he says “Uh-huh, Nana! Uh-huh, Nana!” (“Yes, Mama!”) over and over again, while vigorously nodding his head. He is so excited to obey, so willing to do whatever I ask of him. The model child. Except…

His feet never move.

It’s so darn cute, but so darn annoying at the same time. He wants to please, he just doesn’t want to stop what he’s doing in order to obey.

And oh.my.word. Am I this spiritually lacking? The Lord convicts me all the time through my two year old! My TWO year old, I tell you!

I am so like him.

“Oh yes, Lord. Yes, you’re so right. I should definitely reach out to that person. I’ll get right on it…”

Yet for whatever reason (my pride, my busy schedule, my, my, my…) it never happens. Oh, in my head, I am so eager to please. So willing to obey my Lord. But my feet are so stuck in the mud of my own little soggy world, I rarely move to make it happen.

One too many nods of the head, and way too little movement of the feet.

Lord, let me move to obey. Let my obedience be my faith in action.

Dear Elijah,

I love learning along with you, my little love!


Do Zebras Paint Their Toenails?

If this is your first time visiting here today, check out this post, then come back.

Are you back?

Ok good- so now you know about my whole Mod Podge DIY experiment. I love a good success story 🙂

Well, I didn’t just make Mod Podge for the fun of it- I had a project in mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen these “spice rack turned nail polish organizers” floating around on Pinterest (the one pictured is from here):

Pinned Image

Well, my sister-in-law, who turned 17 this month, had been eyeballing that shelf on Pinterest. She has quite the nail polish collection, and loved the idea of displaying it in her room.  So way back in July, when I found out that she liked it, and if she had one, she’d like it to be purple, I went into birthday gift stealth mode.

I was determined.

I scoured thrift stores, craigslist, online, etc. looking for a shelf with similar lines to the shelf pictured above, which was previously used to hold spices. I couldn’t find one. I found lots of different types of spice racks, but none that I really liked the lines of.

Then one day, I found this shelf at Goodwill:

(My apologies for the terrible camera phone shots in this post…I forgot to take “real pictures” as I went.)

It’s not the same as the inspiration shelf, I know, but it matches the lines of some of my sister-in-law’s other bedroom decor, so I took a major leap of faith (I mean, look at that thing!) and bought it. Ok, so to be honest, it wasn’t necessarily a major leap of faith… it only cost $3.99- gotta love Goodwill!

It was very dirty, and required a good cleaning, some removal of old nails/hardware, and some sanding. After those steps, I pried the backing off, which was a piece of plywood, and by “I,” I mean my husband pried that off.

Using my DIY’ed decoupage, I adhered zebra print scrapbook paper to the plywood. I got the paper from Hobby Lobby for $2 total.

The steps are simple: Decoupage on wood, stick paper onto decoupage, allow to dry, decoupage over top, allow to dry. Here’s a shot of the shelf with the changes to the backing:

After changing the back, to personalize it to match her zebra themed bedroom, as well as make it more fun, it was on to paint! And purple it was. The purple paint was purchased for $0.57 at WalMart- it is just a small bottle of craft paint.

I love it! And the best part is that my sister-in-law loves it too! It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, and she didn’t waste any time getting it set up in her room. Here it is all decked out 🙂

Not sure if I’m allowed to say this in blogworld or not, but…. I think I even like mine better than the Pinspiration piece! Shh, don’t tell 🙂

Shelf- $3.99

Paper- $2

Paint- $0.57

Decoupage- $1

Total Cost: $7.56

Not too shabby, eh?

I’m Back!

I can explain it.

Really I can!

This chronic, lack of posting illness that has stricken me,

It’s called “school started again.”

It has left me exhausted, and as is the norm for the first week of school, sick with a cold.

And the icing on the cake? My poor baby boy, who goes to work with me, got a flu-bug (most likely also as a gift from a sick student at school…oh the joys!)

Nevertheless, we are on our way to well, and I am excited to *hopefully* begin sharing life with you again,

Starting with 2 book reviews later this evening and some “pinteresting” tips and tricks I’ve discovered lately, later on this week.

I hope you missed me. 🙂 If not, don’t tell me.

Talk to you soon!