Help for Hobbies of all Sorts by Rene' Hobbie

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tonight, I'm attending a birthday celebration for a friend.  She loves tea, so I made this little gift for her to enjoy.  All I have to do to complete it is to pick up a Starbucks gift certificate to add to the inside middle pocket.  I hope she likes it! 

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  chocolate chip 7 3/8 x 8 1/2 scored at 3 1/2 and 3 3/4, old olive, whisper white 8 x 3
Designer Series Paper:  old olive 8 1/4 x 3 1/4 (2)
Inkpads: chocolate chip and old olive
Stamp Sets: Morning Cup, Fabulous Phrases and Favorite Thoughts
Big Shot Dies:  Top Note and Scallop Envelope
Punches: 1 3/4 circle punch, 2 3/8 scallop, word window, and spiral border
Embellishments:  chocolate chip stripe ribbon and hardware for scallop envelopes

***I got the idea for this awesome project from SU demonstrator Erica Cerwin. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Need a new recipe to make for dinner tomorrow night?  I say tomorrow, because this dish needs to be made twenty four hours in advance.  This is something I forgot on Monday night, but I went ahead and made it up for last night...making supper a breeze to put on the table Tuesday.  It was worth the wait!  Here are the ingredients and easy steps to make Hamburger Cheese Casserole.

1 lb. lean hamburger
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
pepper to taste
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 green onions, tops and all, thinly sliced
8-10 oz. medium size noodles
2 c. grated cheese
(Serves 4-6)

This recipe can easily be doubled if you need to feed a larger crowd. 

Brown the ground beef and drain. 

Add garlic salt, salt, sugar, pepper, and tomato sauce. 

Cook until well blended, and simmer for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, we have a couple of other things to do...

Boil your noodles until still firm.  Mine cooked for 6 minutes.  Drain and set aside when they are finished.

In a separate bowl, combine green onions, sour cream, and cream cheese.  Set aside.

Once the meat sauce is finished cooking, we're ready to put our casserole together in a baking dish.  Place half of the noodles in the bottom of the casserole, then top with half the meat sauce.  Now add half of the cream cheese/sour cream mixture to the top of that.  Top with grated cheese.  Repeat those steps to make a second layer using the remaining ingredients.   

Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 

The next evening, bake the dish on 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until it heats all the way through. 

I'm so glad that we have leftovers.  I'm going to make myself a plate for lunch right now.  I hope you enjoyed learning about this new recipe.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My library aide, Amber, and I love to read the parenting books in our elementary library.  When she told me about this one, I knew I'd have to buy it right away.  Author Larry Winget doesn't beat around the bush.  Do I concur with all of his opinions?  However, if I can gather only an idea or two from a book that will make me a better parent, it's worth the read, don't you agree?  I especially liked the author's suggestions for teaching children about money by using the 10-10-10 rule.  Save 10%, invest 10%, and give 10% to those less fortunate.  I hope you also get some great advice from this common sense approach to parenting.
Straight-talking, bestselling Pitbull of Parenting Larry Winget says "This is not a fix your kid book. It's a fix the way you parent book. You owe it to your kids to parent with a plan!"
Being a parent is the toughest job in the world, especially with the increasing number of negative influences and pitfalls facing our kids today, from childhood obesity and out-of-control celebrity culture to the dangers of the internet and credit card debt. Larry Winget has never been one to shy away from tough truths, and what he says here may well be difficult for some parents to swallow: we are in the midst of a crisis with our kids. Kids today are over-indulged, over-entertained, under-achieving, and under-disciplined, with a sense of entitlement that is crippling society. And the real problem is that parents aren't paying attention to what's going on. If they were they would realize that most kids today barely read and write, except with their thumbs on their cell phones!

Well-behaved, respectful kids are the exception, not the rule, and for the most part, parents are to blame. Responsible parenting is about beginning with the end in mind and parenting with a plan. But most parents have never stopped to consider what kind of adult they want to raise. They have all this fun creating a baby, but they don't have a plan for the end product.

Larry's message to parents: Teach your kids to become the best adults they can be. But don't expect your kids to improve until you improve. Your Kids Are Your Own Fault covers familiar lessons and principles that have led Larry's readers to greater success with money, career, and goal setting, this time at a level where they can be taught to children. This book shows parents how to design the adult they want their kid to become and work backwards to make sure it happens. Kids don't come with an instruction manual, but finally being a parent does!
(review taken from

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I really like this card, because bright colors appeal to me more than any other kind.  It was super simple to make, and all products used were from Stampin Up.  We'll be making this card and three others at a class next Thursday.  If you're interested in learning more about my stamping classes, just let me know! 

Materials Used:
Cardstock:  daffodil delight, tempting turquoise, real red
Designer Series Paper:  real red
Ink: tempting turquoise and real red
Stamp Set:  Petal Pizzazz and Swirls and Curls Verses
Tools:  Sizzix dies-large scallop circle and three inch circle, fancy flower punch
Embellishments:  real red satin ribbon, yellow button, twine

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My son will be leaving for camp soon, and this is one of the treats he'll find in his care package...a s'more kit.  Isn't it cute? 

To make it, I used the top note die cut from Stampin Up and ran it through the Big Shot.  I then decorated the top of the kit with the SU stamp set called Under the Stars. 

Have you seen these marshmallows before?  I didn't squish them before putting them in the kit.  I found them packaged that way.  They are a new thing and can be found at Walmart. 

I got the inspiration for this project from the talented SU demonstrator Becky Roberts.  If you have any questions about how to make it, don't hesitate to ask. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

I first took interest in reading the book Something Borrowed when I heard about the movie.  Of course, I always have to read the print version of the story first!  This is a book about two lifelong best friends.  Something Borrowed, tells the story from Rachel's perspective.  The sequel, Something Blue, is Darcy's rendition.  I'll be loading it on my nook right away! 

Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy's fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looking for a delicious pork chop recipe?  This is a fast and easy one to make.  It's one of my favorite meals to prepare for others when a new baby arrives or a friend is under the weather.  Here are the ingredients you'll need:

4-6 center cut pork chops
2 lb. bag hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 stick of melted butter
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Start off by browning the pork chops on a non-stick pan.  Sprinkle both sides of meat with a little Cajun seasoning salt. 

In the meantime, place frozen potatoes in a large casserole dish. 

Drizzle the hashbrowns with melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add green onions.

In a separate bowl, mix the soup and sour cream.  Spread the mixture on the potatoes.

Top with cheese.

Add pork chops to the top.  Cover the casserole with foil and remove after 50 minutes.  Cook an additional 10 minutes uncovered.  Bake at 350 degrees for an hour total or until the potatoes are cooked through. 


Friday, July 1, 2011

Another fun installment (#6) in the Shopaholic series...

Nothing comes between Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and her bargains. Neither act of God nor budget crunch can shatter her dreams of wall-to-wall Prada. Every milestone in her well-shopped life (travel, long-lost sister, marriage, pregnancy) inspires new vistas to explore in the name of retail therapy. But now she faces her greatest little challenge yet: Becky’s two-year-old daughter, Minnie.

While motherhood has been everything Becky dreamed it would be—Baby Dior, Little Marc Jacobs, and Dolce & Gabbana for toddlers—adorable Minnie is wreaking havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “MINE!” and her penchant for Balenciaga bags, Chanel sunglasses, and online purchases has no rival under age five.

Becky is at her wits end. On top of this, she and her husband Luke are still living with her parents. Thankfully it appears house buying attempt number four is a go! Until a huge financial crisis causes panic everywhere, and nobody wants to shop—not Becky’s personal shopping clientele, not her friends, nobody. And with Luke in the doldrums, it’s time for Becky to step in—with a party: A surprise birthday party for Luke (on a budget) is the perfect antidote to everyone’s woes. At first.

Will Becky manage to keep the party of the year a surprise? Can she hire jugglers, fire-eaters, and acrobats at a discount? Will enlisting the help of Luke’s unflappable assistant to convince him to have another baby realize her dream of matching pom-poms? Will Minnie find a new outlet for her energetic and spirited nature (perhaps one with sixty percent markdowns)? She is, after all, a chip off the old shopping block. And everyone knows a committed shopper always finds a way.