My 3 Monsters: April 2014

Recent Posts


Simplify the A.M. Routine with a Better Breakfast

Simplify the AM routine with a better breakfast at /
Hi guys!  Let's have a chat about morning routines, shall we?  Any of you who know me {or who have read this blog for very long} know that I am the poster child for night owls.  Falling asleep before 1 a.m. is pretty much a physical impossibility for me.  No matter how tired I am in the mid-afternoon and early evening, I ALWAYS get a second wind as the kids are going to bed.  

This does not make the 5:45 a.m. wake-up call in our house easy for me.  I mean, let's be honest: it's not easy for anybody.  But the teenagers are "allowed" to grumble a little bit and stumble around like zombies as they go through the morning motions.  As the parent -- the voice of reason and responsibility {really?!} -- I feel like I need to at least try to be bright and pleasant.  

I need to make sure they wear clean, MATCHING clothing to school every day.  And I'm not talking about the three kids matching it other.  I'm not THAT mom.  Sometimes it seems an almost insurmountable task to get one of my children in particular into a shirt and pants that match each other.  I know.  Everything goes with jeans, and yet still . . . the struggle is real, folks.  I need to make sure agendas are signed and homework is actually inside the backpacks, not sitting atop the DVR or some other random place.  And breakfast.  Oy, the battles over breakfast.  

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How to Make Life-Like Paper Flowers

How to Make Life-Like Paper Flowers at /
Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I serve on a committee at church right now that is responsible for planning monthly get-togethers for the women in our congregation.  It has been so much fun!  About a week and a half ago we held a nice dinner followed by a class taught by one of our local church leaders.  We wanted it to be a really nice evening for the women.  As I was brainstorming ideas for decorations, I knew I wanted to have some really pretty flower arrangements.  Peonies and hydrangeas.  Tons of palest pink and coral roses and vanilla tulips.  You know, the good stuff.  Our budget wasn't even going to come close to justifying the flowers I dreamed up in my head, so I turned to the internet for a solution. 

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Easy Bandana Headband

Super Easy Bandana Headband at /
Hi everyone!  I am always jealous of people who can wear things, like bandanas or scarves, wrapped around their heads.  My head must be a funny shape or something because nothing stays on it like that.  The back starts to slip up and the top starts to slip back and, before long, I have abandoned the idea altogether.  I decided to attempt to make a bandana headband that would actually stay on my head.

I wish I had done it long ago because it was so easy!  It only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, and that includes the time it took the hot glue gun to heat up.  This would be a fun project to do with a group of teenage girls.  {Maybe I'll have to put it on the list of camp crafts this year . . .}  Here's how I did it:

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Mother's Day Printable Canvas on Craftaholics Anonymous®

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Hey, friends!  Are you thinking about Mother's Day yet?  If you're anything like me, you just realized it's only a couple of weeks away.  Now is the perfect time to whip up a pretty, sentimental gift for the special women in your life.  I'm sharing a free printable and tutorial for making this pretty canvas over at Craftaholics Anonymous® today.  It's easier {and less expensive} to make than you might think and looks like a million bucks.  Score!

And in one of my finest blogging moments, there was a typo in the original printable. Yeah.  It's been one of those weeks for me.  Never fear, the spelling has been corrected in the images that you will be downloading {and in the image above}.  My mom must be so proud of my spelling skills right now.  :-(   Anyway . . . head on over and check it out.

Have a great weekend!


I’ll be linking up to some of my favorite link parties.  Come and check them out!


Hummingbird Muffins with Libby's Pumpkin

This post brought to you by Libby's.  All opinions are 100% mine.

HI guys!  Today I want to share another delicious spring-y recipe with y'all.  This one is a classic in the South.  In fact, it is one of Southern Living Magazine's all-time most requested recipes. Have you heard of Hummingbird Cake?  It is a delicious blend of bananas, pineapple, pecans and cinnamon, topped with sweet cream cheese frosting.  No one knows for sure how this classic cake got it's name -- whether it's because the cake is sweet like the nectar that hummingbirds eat or because when you serve it people hover around like hummingbirds -- but it is always a hit whenever it is served.

In this version, I have lightened it up a bit by replacing the oil in the cake witih Libby’s Pumpkin.  It doesn't change the flavor, but it it reduces the fat and calorie content, while adding fiber and vitamin A.  It also gives it a little denser, super moist muffin-like texture. Kinda' like banana bread with pineapple and cream cheese frosting . . . only better.

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Game Night with Tony's Pizza

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria

Tony's Pizza Game Night at /
Hi, friends!  If there's one thing we enjoy doing together as a family, it's playing games.  Whether it's board games or cards around the kitchen table, or Words With Friends and Quiz Up on our electronic devices, we are almost ALWAYS in the midst of some kind of game in this house.  A pretty ideal Friday night around here involves pizza and games from dinner time until waaaayyy past bedtime.  Sometimes we meet up with friends for big game nights, but often it's just the five of us and we have a blast!  I love having teenagers who aren't "too cool" to hang out with mom and dad once in a while.

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Pistachio Pineapple Poke Cake
{aka Watergate Poke Cake}

Pistachio Pineapple Poke Cake recipe -- a dessert spin on Watergate Salad at /
Hello, friends!  Are y'all ready for Easter this weekend?  Even though my kids are older, they still enjoy coloring eggs and hunting for Easter baskets.  Personally, I am looking forward to the beautiful church meetings on Sunday morning, followed by a delicious family dinner.  Today I have a dessert recipe that would make a yummy addition to your Easter dinner.  

One of my favorite dishes that always seems to show up at pot-luck dinners is Watergate Salad.  Have you ever had it?  The big, fluffy, green mix of canned pineapple, pistachio pudding, and whipped cream.  Mmmmmm.....  Who would have thought those flavors would go together?!  It seems a little funky, but it is absolutely delicious.  But to masquerade as a salad?!  You're not fooling anyone, Watergate "Salad".  You may be green, but we all know you're not healthy.  I decided to make all that green goodness into a proper, respectable dessert. This cake has all the same flavors in light, fresh cake form.  

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Chalk Paint Armoire Makeover

Hi guys!!  I've been working my heart out over the past few weeks to breathe some new life into our old entertainment armoire in the living room.  It's one of the first pieces of "real", substantial furniture that we bought {several years} after we got married.  In fact, it might be the first piece of furniture we ever owned that wasn't either a hand-me-down from mom and dad or purchased at Ikea.  I loved that armoire when we bought it.  It was a little pricy and kind-of a stretch for our budget, but I just HAD to have it.  You know the ones -- they were all the rage back in the day -- rustic wood, rusty metal hardware. 

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Corn Casserole {A Perfect Side Dish for Your Easter Ham!}

This post brought to you by Sam's Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Corn Casserole recipe at /

Hello, friends!  I'm always curious to hear what people eat for the holidays.  We pretty much stick to the traditionals -- Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas roast beef, and Easter ham.  I almost always make cheesy potatoes to go with my ham, but this year  I have found a yummy new recipe that pairs perfectly with ham for a nice spring dinner.  At least it is new to me -- Corn Casserole.  I have a few kids who don't love potatoes, but corn is always a favorite of everyone.  Cheesy, creamy corn is sure to become a classic in this house!

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Fabric Covered Books

Hello, friends!  I have collected old books for years.  Not valuable old books, no.  Just old books that I pick up for 50¢ at thrift stores that have cool covers or funny titles.  It's kind of a fun hobby.  Remember the time we found Gary Cooper's autograph inside an old book and made a little bit of money?  That was awesome.  Over the years I have used most of the coolest book covers for craft projects -- purses and notebook covers and such -- and I was left with all the darker, drabber, less interesting books taking up space in my craft closet.  

I have always dreamed of having a collection of these Penguin Classic Books to display in my home:

Unfortunately, I have never felt like I had the several hundred dollars it would take to buy the full set.  At least, not to spend on replacing books I already own, just because they're pretty.  This week I had finally had enough of those old books taking up so much precious space in my closet and I decided to display them on the shelf of my entertainment center. But not without a simple makeover first!

Fabric Covered Thrift Store Books at /
{Please ignore the scratched black paint on the armoire -- a major makeover of that is coming SOON!}  I dug out my books and some of my favorite fabric scraps and got to work.

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Curry Chicken Crepes

Hi guys!  I must be on a cooking kick lately.  I've got another family favorite recipe for you today.  This is one that my kids ask for.  All. The. Time.  Even my pickiest eater will gobble these up, which makes them a win in my book even if it is a little bit time consuming to make the crepes.

Curry Chicken Crepes recipe at /
Until I tried these Curry Chicken Crepes several years ago, I had never eaten savory crepes before.  In my mind crepes were only for dessert, but this changed my opinion completely.  These crepes are a yummy combination of sweet and {slightly} spicy, crunchy and creamy.  Crepes are easy to make once you get the hang of it, they just take a little while since you have to cook them one at a time. You could make them a day in advance and keep them in the refrigerator to make dinner time easier. The filling cooks up quickly so you can serve these on even the busiest night.

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Suzani-Style Applique Pillows

Suzani-Style Applique Pillows at /
Hi guys!  I made these Suzani-inspired accent pillows for my Craftaholics Anonymous post in March. They are the perfect addition to my living room to brighten the space up for spring. I wanted to share them with you guys here today incase you missed them.  I have been a big fan of Suzani textiles since waaaayy back in my design school days.

What is Suzani? Suzani is a type of decorative embroidered tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.  The name Suzani comes from the Persian word Suzan, which means needle.  Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers, leaves and vines.  Suzani-inspired print fabrics can be found just about everywhere and are seen all over in interior design lately.

I decided to try my hand at creating some Suzani style applique pillows and I love the way they turned out.  It takes a little bit of time, but the end result is totally worth it!

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Easter Grass Centerpiece

Grow Your Own Easter Grass Centerpiece at /
Hi guys!  Remember when I made my cloth napkins and felt bow napkin rings and I mentioned how I had a fun idea for an Easter centerpiece that would coordinate with them?  I finally got it together to share with y'all today.  A little more than a week ago I started growing some wheat grass for it.  Looking on Pinterest in the past few days, I can see that I wasn't the only blogger who thought it would be fun to plant and grow Easter grass this year -- it's pretty trendy.  Oh, well.  Great minds think alike, right?  I decided to go ahead and share mine anyway because it's a little bit different method than most I have seen.

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Little Houses Printables {FREEBIE!}

Little Houses Printables at my3monsters,com
Hello, friends!  I was ready for a change of pace on my interchangeable picture hangers so I designed a new set of printables.  These ones are inspired by a quote I saw printed on a pillow at Not Just a Housewife.  They're actually lyrics to a song called "Little Houses" by Doug Stone and, while I've never heard the song, the message really resonated with me. We've always lived in tiny little houses, where we're all up in each other's business because there's no where else to be. I have to admit, I kinda' like it that way.

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Buenos Nachos for the Big Game

This post brought to you by Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hi guys!  I've told you about a million times what a great cook my mom is and shared a bunch of her classic recipes here on the blog.  Today is another old "Hughes Family Favorite" starring Velveeta Cheese & Rotel.  In fact, we still have it almost every time we all get together because it is easy to make enough to feed an army.  Seven siblings + their spouses and children = an army! 

This dish is especially popular in our house on game days -- whether it be football in the fall and winter or college basketball in the spring, this is the perfect dish to make and serve when you have friends over to watch the big game.  When I tell our guests we're having nachos, they are usually expecting boring old chips and cheese.  When I tell my kids we're having nachos, they do a happy dance because they know it's not going to be plain old nachos --  we're talking about "Buenos Nachos" {our funny name for my mom's delicious recipe}.  Chips smothered in a thick, cheesy, meaty, refried bean dip and topped with sour cream, and guacamole.  For a "big tournament" spread, we add shredded lettuce, olives, salsa, and/or chopped fresh tomatoes if we really want to be fancy, but they're delicious with just the basics if you're in a hurry.  I've taken a few liberties with my mom's original recipe, but it is still always a crowd-pleaser!

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DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at /
Hi, guys!  Today I've got another sewing project for you, and it's my most ambitious project to date.  You know how most of the projects on my site start with "Super Easy" or "30 Minutes" in the title?  Well, not this one.  It's a little bit more advanced, but still totally do-able if you follow the steps exactly.  I got this BEAUTIFUL dogwood blossom print fabric from Wholeport this month and decided I wanted to make myself a tailored pencil skirt.  

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