Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A New Etsy Favorite! More the Merrier Design

One of my new favorite Etsy shops is MoreTheMerrier!  When you want more than just the usual (*ahem* boring) free online printables go visit Natalie at her shop!


Unique party & wedding invitations, save the dates, 

and paper party decor galore! At More the Merrier, we love paper 

& we love parties! 

We customize our designs to create the perfect printables for your event! Once you love it, we email you the digital PDF or JPG file. You can have that file printed at home, your favorite local print shop, or online (I love catprint.com) as many times as you'd like!

Best Soup Ever!

Let me start by saying I pulled this recipe off of Pinterest.  I made it to feed the ladies of a party brainstorming meeting.  The hubs kind of took over while I was making it and he's made it about 5 times since then!!  It's a simple, inexpensive soup that just tastes better after a few days.  

We call it Italian Bean and Pasta Soup but the original recipe is Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta.

A few notes before I divulge the recipe of this delicious soup (which I made for my cookie exchange party, and ate the last of the leftovers today!).   We use red kidney beans, we don't drain the sausage and we use small shells pasta.  Other than that, we're pretty true to the recipe.  Man it's so good!

  • 1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
  • 1 pound ground sausage, turkey or pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 
If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large pot, brown the sausage.  Remove from pot.  If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot.  Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 5 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute about a minute more.  Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper, the drained beans (*this is the point to puree the beans if you want to) and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.
If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point.  (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.)  If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender.  Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.  If the soup is too thick for your liking, you can add more chicken broth.
Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
What's YOUR favorite soup?
Next on Fabrycated Mom: Decorating for Thanksgiving for under $20

First Wedding Anniversary

I've been getting a bit behind with my blog due to the third trimester tireds!  The holidays are certainly in full swing and I've been pooped!  I've certainly been cooking and crafting though so it's time to get caught up!

Our first wedding anniversary was November 11 and we had a great weekend.  Hubs planned outings that involved yummy food and culture.  The opera followed by a declicous steak at an upscale steakhouse.  I made a paper/photo collage that I'm quite proud of.

The first anniversary is traditionally paper.  I began looking online for different ideas somewhere around September.  I found a few cute things that I could have dropped $30 on but really, could have made myself.

So that's what I did!

Using a few of my Snapfish free prints and a $12 picture frame I found online at Target I think I did a great job at being frugal AND creative!  Go me!

Here is the finished project:

It spells out "SOULMATES".  Also, an engagement photo, a wedding photo and the green box soon became the lyrics to our first dance song.

I took the photos of the letters throughout the span of a few weeks.  Each letter is from a place that is close to our heart as a couple. I used MS Paint to write on the frame what measurements I would need for each photo specifically so I could make sure crop appropriately. (I was not going to let pregnant brain ruin this!)

 I then uploaded them to Snapfish and waited for the prints to arrive.

It was pretty easy to place the photos in the corresponding spaces using double sided tape and the paper that came in the frame.

This was one home made gift that I was pretty proud of and hubs totally appreciated.

What did YOU do for your first wedding anniversary?

Next time: Italian Bean and Pasta Soup