Foodie Pen Pal February

My foodie pen pal for February is Kate from Sunshine & the Bear.


What’s a foodie pen pal you ask?  Well, every month bloggers can sign up to participate and are paired with another blogger.  Then bloggers send each other a box of yummy treats that cost about $15!  The Foodie Pen Pal program was developed by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.  Visit her blog for details and to sign up.  It’s super fun!

Kate sent me some great new foods to try.  I love that most of these things make perfect snacks during a hike.  I am excited to try out a new Quinoa pasta recipe with the Quinoa elbows she sent me.  Thanks, Kate!!

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DIY Hello Sign

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Using a free flooring sample, spray paint, and hand cut tape stencils, you can turn this boring piece of wood into a cute message for your friends and family!

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Flooring sample
Hand saw (if needed)
Spray paint (white, clear, red, orange, yellow)
Drop cloth
‘hello.’ printed out from word
Craft knife
Spray adhesive
Painter’s tape

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Remove the label from the back of the floor sample.

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If your floor sample has a lip, you may want to remove it.

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Remove it with a hand saw.  Be careful!

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Spray the smoothest side of your floor sample with white spray paint. Read the directions on the can for application instructions and drying times.

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Cover with a coat of clear spray paint.  Wait 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.

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Print out hello in a fun font.  Make sure there is space in between each letter.

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Cut apart each letter and trim to fit on tape.

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Spray with adhesive and attach to tape.

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Remove tape from roll.

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Add another piece of tape behind this one in order to preserve tape’s stickiness.

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Cut out each letter.

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Using a craft knife, cut into the black letter.

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Once you’ve got a hole big enough, use your scissors to cut out the outline of each letter.

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Save the inside of the e and o.  You will be using these.

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It’s okay if you accidentally cut beyond the letter outline, simply cover with tape.

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Remove the paper from the tape.

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Set in place and remove the bottom layer of tape.

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Space letters evenly on the wood.

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Cover exposed wood with tape.

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Make sure to cover the sides of the wood with tape as well.

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Start with the red paint and spray on a diagonal.

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Continue with orange.

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Finish with yellow.

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I left the yellow as is, but added anther couple of sprays of orange and red to even it out.

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Allow paint to dry for several hours.

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Carefully remove paint from wood.

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Find a nice place to display your new art.

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Why not put it by your front door as a unique welcome sign?

Greek Lentil Soup

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1 cup dry red lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 white onion
1 carrot
4 cups water
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
red wine vinegar, to taste
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Rinse lentils in a strainer and transfer to saucepan.
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Add water, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain lentils and set aside.
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Add oil to pot and add garlic, onion and carrot.  I chopped these in a food processor.  Cook until soft.
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Add 4 cups water, bay leaves, spices, and lentils to pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
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Add tomato paste and stir well.
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Cover and continue cooking for additional 3o minutes.
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After soup is done cooking, remove bay leaves.
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Serve up soup and top with pepper, olive oil, and plenty of red wine vinegar.  Enjoy this delicious and filling vegetarian soup.

Baby Kale Chips

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Kale chips make a great crunchy snack that’s as great for your taste buds as it is for your waistline.  The recipe is so easy.  All it takes is baby kale and olive oil.  Top with seasoned salt for flavor or use salt substitute if you’re watching your sodium intake.  Bake kale until it turns crispy and it will “melt” in your mouth when you eat it.  Try it and you will know what I mean.  Have fun and enjoy!

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Pre-washed baby kale
Olive oil
Sea salt, seasoned salt, or salt substitute

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Fill a large bowl with kale and drizzle with olive oil.

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Toss kale to distribute oil.

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Add salt and toss again.

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Spread out kale on a cookie sheet and bake at 275F.

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Check kale after 10 minutes.

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Flip kale over at this time if it looks like it’s cooking unevenly.

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Cook kale for an additional 10-20 minutes.  Your kale will turn dark green and become very crispy.

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I prefer kale chips warm out of the oven.  If you have leftovers, store in an air tight container.

DIY Quick Dye Garment Makeover

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I found this polka dotted blazer on clearance and loved it so much that I bought two of them!  It is so easy to dye garments with liquid fabric dye right in your kitchen sink.  It’s fast and easy and you can wear your newly dyed garment the same day you dye it!

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Liquid fabric dye
3 gallons of hot water (48 cups)
Wooden spoon or rubber gloves

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If you are dying a brand new item, wash first before dying.  You don’t have to use a brand new garment, however.  You can add new life to a tired piece from the back of your closet.  Read the side of the fabric dye bottle for more information about fabric types that are suitable for dying.  You can learn a lot about dye on Rit Dye’s website.  I recommend wearing black while your dye your garment so that splashes will not ruin what you are wearing.

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Add 3 gallons of hot water to a plugged sink.

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Add half of the bottle of dye to the water.

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Get your garment wet with hot water and wring out.

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Slowly drop garment into liquid.

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Move fabric around constantly for 10 minutes.

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Flip garment over.  Use a spoon or rubber gloves or your hands will turn the color of the dye.

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After 10 minutes, remove garment and rise thoroughly with warm water.  Wash your sink with bleach to avoid staining.

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Quick wash your garment in your washing machine.  Use an appropriate setting for your garment.  I washed my blazer on cold water, low spin.  Hang dry or machine dry.

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Your garment can be worn immediately. Have fun!

Purple House Designs New Product Launch

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I launched my new product line today on my website and on my Etsy shop.  Check it out!

My new products are all up-cycled thrifted pieces so every one is different.  This new line has a lot of personality.  I paired cool images with interesting sayings and placed them all on colorful glitter.  There are lots of different shapes and sizes of both glass and ceramic.  Take a look, I am sure you will find something that suits you perfectly.

For those of you in Phoenix, join me tonight at the Third Friday Art Walk downtown.  I will be there with my new products at the Drive Thru Gallery.