Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Simple Burlap Candle Holder

I may be late hopping on the burlap bandwagon, but I finally felt inspired to create this Simple Burlap Candle Holder.  Ever since I married into the Higby family, bees (only the decorative ones) have held a special place in my heart. So, when I was searching for just the right charm, this little guy caught my eye.

Let me show you how to make this super simple craft.  You may already have these items tucked away in your craft closet.

Here's what you'll need:
glass candle holder (3.6" x 3.9")~ picked up at Dollar Tree
cutesy vintage "bee" charm ~ found at Hobby Lobby
jute
burlap
votive candle
glue gun
scissors

Here's how to make the Simple Burlap Candle Holder:
Cut burlap to appropriate length (approximately 3 inches x 11 inches).  Run a line of hot glue on edge and adhere to glass.

Wrap the burlap around and secure the end with another line of glue.  Cut a length of jute long enough to wrap around and tie a bow. Take your charm and either attach a jump ring or "make" your own (like I did) out of a fiber from your burlap remnants.
Before making the "ears" of the bow, slip the charm over the jute, tie a knot and then finish up the bow. Finally, put a candle in and bask in the glow of a craft well-made. The possibilities for this craft are endless.  You could change it up seasonally with different charms or even use colored burlap.

 I just love the ambient glow of this candle holder and the cute little bee.

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cowboy Coffee Cake

I have been blessed to have many good cooks in my circle of family and friends. Somehow, I am always coming away from visits with a new recipe that was served to me. Cowboy Coffee Cake is one of those recipes. I've been making it for years and we never grow tired of it.
The ingredients for Cowboy Coffee Cake are ones you are sure to already have on hand. It can even be assembled the night before and refrigerated until ready to bake.   
When I know we will have guests staying overnight, this is my go-to recipe.  My kids come running when they smell this coffee cake in the oven. There is something so comforting about the aroma of butter and brown sugar.

 Cowboy Coffee Cake 

Here's what you'll need:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sour milk (regular milk with 1 Tbsp. vinegar added to it, and let sit for about 10 minutes)
2 well-beaten eggs

Here's how you make it:

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, brown sugar and butter together until crumbly, setting 1/2 cup of mixture aside. To the remaining crumbs add the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, sour milk and beaten eggs. Pour into a well-greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle the top with the reserved crumbly mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Serve it for breakfast or for a yummy pick-me-up snack in the afternoon. Most importantly, serve it with a smile. :-)

I'm linking up at these great parties!

Thoughts of Handmade Christmas Cards in July

As we near the end of the month, I can't help but be reminded that Christmas is only five months away. Maybe it's because so many stores have their Christmas in July sales.  Or, perhaps I'm ready to get out of the triple digit heat.  Either way, I am amazed at how crazy fast the year is flying.

 Once upon a time,  I would to hand-stamp all of our Christmas cards. Somewhere along the way, however, I abandoned this practice and opted instead for the standard picture cards that are so popular. While I love getting photos of friends and family each year, it makes me a little sad that we have left behind the handwritten and handmade sentiments for the sake of convenience.
Every Christmas I find myself getting more and more sentimental and wanting to return to the simple message of Christmas, which is God's love for us in the person of Jesus. He loves us deeply and gave of himself sacrificially. One way (certainly not the only way) we can model that love and sacrifice is to take the time to make some Christmas cards.  If you are really popular and have hundreds of cards to send out, you may just wish to make a handful of cards to give to those closest to you. I know they would appreciate the time and effort you put into it.  All you need is some color-coordinated card stock, rubber stamps, ink pads, adhesive, some embellishments such as ribbons or glitter, and the desire to put a smile on someone's face.

So, in order to motivate you and myself to get an early start,  I went through and pulled out some of the Christmas cards I made in the past. As I perused my stash of handmade cards, my daughter's eyes lit up and she asked if she might have a go at stamping.  "Absolutely," I said.  I'm thinking this is the year I return to handmade cards.  I have a built-in helper ready to start.

I'm linking up to these great parties.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cleaning Our Faux Wood Blinds

We have lived in this house for almost 4 years, having bought it from another family. Cleaning our faux wood blinds has not ranked high on the seemingly endlist list of things to do. 

On a few occasions(not nearly enough), we have vacuumed the blinds in the house. However, we had never actually given them a good old-fashioned cleaning.  They were crying out for it. Many of you are probably cringing right now.


Seriously gross stuff, and it wasn’t even all our stuff!

See how furry they are? EEWWWWWW! 

  After discussing on the phone with my mother the easiest method for attacking the beastly job, I came to the conclusion that there is no shortcut. If you want the suckers clean, you have to go blade by blade.



So, with my cleaning wipes in hand, I set to the task. Five windows and at least that many canisters of cleaning wipes later, I am finally done with the downstairs blinds...and not a moment too soon. We had friends over last weekend and one of them went to the window in our family room to wave to his son on the trampoline in our backyard. I stood back and watched confidently as I realized there was no dust blowing up in his face and no unidentified sticky stains staring back at him. This has been a task that I was reluctant to start, knowing it would take quite a bit of time and that it would be disgusting. What a difference it has made! I seriously think I have more natural light streaming in now. After my boost of confidence, I am ready to tackle the upstairs’ blinds. How bad could they be? Do you have any household jobs that you have been putting off? Get after it! Trust me, furry blinds are never going to be in style.


I'm linking up at these great parties.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

About Me

Welcome to Posed Perfection, my little space in the blogosphere. I'm Nici Higby and I'm so glad you've stopped by for a visit.
My Blog
Posed Perfection is a blog about life...striving for excellence in all parts of it. As often as I can I'll be sharing delicious recipes for the whole family, easily duplicated crafts, some tidbits I've picked up along the way, or snippets of this wonderful gift of a life I've been given.
My Family
I have been married to my sweet husband since 1999. We met on a blind date, were married 7 months later and have weathered the storms together ever since. We are perfect for each other. We have two great kids who are always happy to test out any of my dessert recipes, especially if chocolate is involved.  Most of our days are spent homeschooling and shuffling to piano, baseball and soccer practices. When we can, we like to break away on little camping adventures.
My Faith
I have been a Christian for more than 30 years, and I am still in the process of becoming the person I was meant to be.  The Lord continues to woo me and I continue trying to do things on my own all too often.  I am grateful for His never-ending love and the new mercies He sends each morning. I always joke that my life is a question mark, but the truth is my Savior and Lord, Jesus, knows exactly how, why and when things are to happen. In the ebb and flow of life, I cling to this truth:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11

I'm so excited you are here.  I hope you'll stay for awhile and visit often.
Blessings,
Nici




LInk Parties I Love

Who doesn't love a great party?  During the week it's fun to join in on all the great link parties happening in bloggy world.  Here are the ones I frequently link up to.  I know the sweet ladies would love for you to visit and share the love.

Sundays:
Under the Table and DreamingDIY ShowoffNifty Thrifty ThingsHomemaker on a DimeSumo's Sweet StuffDIY Home Sweet Home My 1929 Charmer, Thrifty Decor Chick, My Life's a Treasure, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Mondays:
It's So Very Cheri, Skip to my Lou, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Between Naps on the Porch, The Gunny SackCraft O Maniac Make Ahead Meals for Busy MomsThe Girl Creative,  Singing Three Little Birds , Sew Can Do, I Should Be Mopping the Floor Mrs Happy Homemaker, The Brassy Apple, Stone Gable, Lines Across, The Dedicated House, Jam Hands, Cherished Bliss, Keeping it Simple, A Southern Fairytale, Say Not Sweet Anne, Couponing n Cooking, Homemade Ginger

Tuesdays:
A Stroll Thru LifeA Bowl Full of LemonsTip JunkieSugar Bee Crafts ,  Today's Creative Blog ,   Reasons to Skip the Housework , Chef in Training, Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,  The Blackberry Vine, Carolyn's Homework,  Mommy By Day Crafter by Night, Debbie Does Creations, Cedar Hill Ranch, Cozy Little House, Rae Gun Ramblings, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Not Just a Housewife, Time Warp Wife, Coastal Charm, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Claiming Our Space, Debbie-Debbiedoos, Nap Time Creations, Back for Seconds

Wednesdays:
Passionately Artistic ,Someday Crafts , This Chick Cooks, Savvy Southern Style, Southern Lovely, Primp Junktion, Lil' Luna, First Home Love Life, Adorned from Above, Family Home & Life, My Girlish Whims, Fireflies & Jellybeans, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, Gingersnap Crafts, Ivy and Elephants, DIY Crafty Projects

Thursdays:
 Shabby Creek Cottage House of Hepworths,  The Thirty Sixth Avenue,  Beyond the Picket Fence, Stone Gable, Imparting Grace, No Minimalist Here,  Live Laugh Rowe, Thrifty 101, Delightful Order, Everyday Tastes, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Something Swanky, The Frugal Girls, Hubby Made Me, Mandatory Mooch, Embracing Change, The Taylor House, Somewhat Simple, The Brambleberry Cottage, The Best Blog Recipes

Fridays:
The Shabby Nest ,  Chic on a Shoestring,  Miss InformationTidy MomWhipperberry Tatertots and Jello,  Bacon Time with the Hungry, Hungry Hypo,  Six Sister's Stuff,  Simply Sweet Home, 2805, 504 Main,  Blissful and Domestic, French Country Cottage, The Frugal Girls, Stuff and Nonsense, The Prudent Pantry, Fresh Eggs Daily, Every Creative Endeavor

Saturdays:
Young and CraftyBe Different, Act Normal I Heart Naptime, It's Overflowing, Family Ever After, Funky Junk Interiors, Polkadot Pretties, Bowdabra, Too Much Time on My Hands, Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Or So She Says

Special Days:
The Polohouse- Favorites on the First

Shredded Flank Steak Sliders ~ Crockpot Recipe

With kids in sports and the busyness of our days, I love having a go-to recipe like Shredded Flank Steak Sliders that I can toss in the crockpot.  You'll have to do a little work on the stovetop, but you won't have to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven. The savory and sweet combination will wow your friends and put smiles on your family’s faces.

  
Here's what you'll need:



Pair it up with a yummy pasta salad and some fruit for a complete meal sure to please even your pickiest eaters.



Shredded Flank Steak Sliders, Crockpot Recipe
1-2 pounds flank steak, trimmed of fat
1 1/4 tsp. salt 
1 onion quartered
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14 1/2-oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper few dashes of hot sauce
16 Hawaiian bread rolls, split

Here’s how you make it: Season your meat with 1/4 tsp salt. Put the steak, quartered onion, 2-3 tsp. minced garlic and chicken broth in crock pot.  Cook on low to medium for several hours until it can be shredded easily. Remove the meat from crockpot and set aside on a cutting board.  Discard the onion mixture and broth (unless you want to keep it for a soup base in the future). In a Dutch oven, saute chopped onion and bell pepper in olive oil for several minutes until tender. Add the minced garlic and saute about 2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, teaspoon salt, lime juice, cumin, pepper and desired amount of hot sauce. Cook this mixture for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In the meantime, shred the flank steak and give it a rough chop.  Add the shredded beef to the tomato mixture, stirring to combine. Spoon about 1/4 cup of mixture onto bottoms of rolls and cover with the tops. Makes at least 16 mini sandwiches. Did you catch that?  I said, "mini sandwiches," which means you can eat as many as you want. ;-)
http://posedperfection.blogspot.com/2012/07/shredded-flank-steak-sliders-crockpot.html

I link up at these great parties... won't you join me?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Welcome to Posed Perfection!

Welcome to Posed Perfection!

No, this isn’t a blog about yoga poses or a photography studio.  Nor is it a blog about how to be perfect.  It is simply the chronicles of an imperfect, everyday mom sharing tidbits of life, recipes, crafts and hopefully some nuggets of wisdom picked up along the way. 

Too often I have read blog posts with beautiful pictures and inspiring words and felt a twinge of insecurity and, quite frankly, jealousy.  “Why can’t my house look like that all the time? How can she do all those fun projects in her spotless house? How can her smiling kids all be looking at the camera at the same time?” are the questions I ask myself.  But, I finally get it. Those “spotless” homes I see are either a series of pictures taken at different times while the rest of the house is a wreck, or taken right after the cleaning lady finished and the kids came home from school(except for a select few...you know who you are). The picture of the angelic children is take number 537, not the first or even the fifth picture shot.

The bottom line is we all try to “pose perfection” in life whether it’s in the way we photograph our kids, arrange our homes, or put dinner on the table for our families.  How can we strive for anything less when we were created in the image of a Perfect God? We are all in process. None of us is perfect. It just appears that way online sometimes.  I'm excited to begin this journey with you.