Jackatessa's Blog

This is a collection of recipes, canning projects, crafts, cakes, and anything else I find interesting!

Pinworthy Thursday 4-17-14 April 17, 2014

Filed under: Pinworthy Thursday — jackatessa @ 4:20 pm

Hey!  So my evenings lately have been spent working on getting stuff ready for a craft show I’m doing next weekend.  Lightboxes, coasters, tea towels, glittered wineglasses, slumped bottles…..they are ALL in production right now!  To be honest, I am fricken loving it!  I took a few months off of hard core crafting after the holidays.  I was burnt out!  But now it’s time to start getting ready for shows again and I have my love for it again.  Maybe I’ll do a post about everything that I make, so you can see what I’m talking about. Anywhooo….here are these week’s interesting pins.


I read this blog every single day and love it.  This is one of the reasons why– she made a cake version of a raspberry zinger!  I LOVE zingers!


This is another blog I read every day, and this recipe for Egg Bread looks easy enough.  I love the look of braided dough.  This is going on the ‘to make’ list.



Peanut Butter Granola– it has 5 ingredients (all of which I have at home right now).  I seriously printed this out and am going to make it tonight.  I am going to have a big bowl of it with milk, and I cannot WAIT!!!


I thought this burlap wall organizer was really cute.  This might be something I could add to my booth, or even just make one to have at home (on my fridge perhaps?).


I thought this tablescape was super cute, and it looks really easy to replicate.  How fun would this be for a beachy wedding or party?



I think these are a good substitute for those hella expensive acrylic containers.  I have one tiny one on my vanity now, but I’d like to get one or two of this size.  At least until I can come up with the $150 to get one of the others :-).


I started reading a new blog, and she suggested using this self tanner.  Normally I wouldn’t mess with it, but seriously, my legs stay white no matter how long I’m in the pool.  And girrrrl, I like to wear capris!  I think for $7 it’s worth a try.




I want to make myself a yarn bowl.  I hate when mine gets all tangled up or I drop it and have to chase it.  Or more like chase my dogs who are chasing it.  I ALMOST bought the stuff for it at Hob Lob the other night but talked myself out of it.  If it works and it’s easy, I might just start selling them.  We shall see!


That’s all for this week, folks!  See ya later!


Dealing with that nasty four letter word- DEBT. April 16, 2014

Filed under: Money Saving Ideas,Random Life Moments,Uncategorized — jackatessa @ 9:43 am

Today has been a GOOD day!  I paid off another one of my debts!  Whoo!  I have been trying the past two years to really try to crack down on the debt that I have, because it was ridiculous how much I/we had, so it’s a BIG deal to me when I finally pay something off.  Sending in that last payment is pretty much the best feeling ever.  So, since I am pretty fricken happy about it and can’t stop talking about it, I thought I would share with you some of the things I did to put a dent in the amount we had.  I am by no means a professional debt buster, and these may seem all wrong to you, but this is what worked for me!

So how did I do it?  Nothing crazy, basically I would focus any extra money that I did have and put it towards one of my debts.   But the biggest problem with that is that sometimes it’s hard to find that extra money.  I mean, duh, if we all just had tons of money lying around, we wouldn’t be in debt in the first place.  It seemed like after bills, there was hardly anything left at all to buy gas, food, etc.


One of the ways that I would accomplish this is that I would over budget for my monthly payments.  For instance, let’s say my Sears card had a monthly payment of $23.  Well, if you look on your little statement sheet, it shows that if you pay just the minimum balance of $23 to pay off your balance of $1600, it will take you approximately 9 years and you will pay an extra $2000 (just a made up example since I can’t remember my exact numbers ;-) ).  F that.  I knew  I didn’t have a lot of money leftover after bills, but I knew it would be absolutely ridiculous if I followed that payment plan.  So what I did was I had a list of bills every month that I have to pay, and instead of putting that $23 in there I would list my Sears at $50 a month.  That way I was putting an extra $27 a month right off the top on my balance.  Then if I had extra money, I would add that to it, too.  So sometimes I would send in just the $50, but other times I would send in $75.  At the very least, I round up to the next $10 amount.  I really notice the difference on things like my car payment.  They basically apply it towards your owed balance, so it shows your bill is lower and lower each month, so all of the extra you are sending in is going straight to the principle.  That means you pay less interest in the long run.  Even doing those few $$ really adds up!

Another thing I would do- if I did something extra, whether it was babysitting, mowing my sister’s lawn (which I did all last summer!), sold one of my crafts- whatever it was, if I got paid in cash, I would go put it in my secret stash place and I would walk away.  I wouldn’t count up how much I had in there, I wouldn’t think about it, I wouldn’t use it, nothing.  I would just forget about it.  Then every once in a while I would gather it all up and I would have an extra $100!  Then I would pick which card I wanted to put it on and add it to my payment that month.


Do you use the facebook classifieds?  You know, where you can post stuff for sale and people comment to buy it?  I do.  Like, ALOT.  After Chris and I split, there was alooooooot of stuff that we had to go through and sort who’s was who’s.  That would be when I realized just how much stuff I had stuffed into my house.  I have a big ol’ house, and it can hold alot of stuff apparently lol.  I found stuff I hadn’t seen since I bought it four years ago!  Needless to say, it was time to start clearing the crap out!  Then when he actually moved out, he just left a TON of stuff for me to deal with.  So I have been posting stuff for almost a full year now pretty regularly, with great success.   This has been my biggest ‘debt buster’ for sure.  Even when people would say, seriously, it’s $2, just toss it.  No, no, no!  That $2 can go in my stash, it is one less thing in a landfill, AND it was something that someone else can use.  You would be amazed what people will buy.  Some of it I sold at a big discount, but since the two thrift stores in our town closed down my options were to either haul it an hour away, find someone to buy it (even if it was for super cheap), or toss it.  Now which of those options sounds like the best one?  A little bit of money is better than no money at all.  Not to mention that my house is SO much cleaner and less cluttered.  I also had friends that would want to get rid of stuff and I would either sell it for them, but mostly they just gave it to me and said it was ok to sell it and keep the money.  It got it out of their house and I was able to earn a little extra cash.  Win win.

Something that I should have thought to do beforehand is to CALL the credit card company and see if there’s anything that they can do to help you.  Sometimes all it takes is an “I’m going to close this card as soon as I get it paid off” to get them into action.  After I had paid my card off, I contacted the company to let them know that I wanted to close the card.  When they asked why I let them know that their interest that they charged was at a pretty ridiculous rate.  They responded back that they looked into my account and they I had qualified for a special interest period and credited my account over $600!  I wish I had called them sooner!   It’s definitely worth a phone call.

Of course there is also the same old cut down on eating out, don’t go shop crazy, see if you can cut your phone bill down, turn off your cable, yadda yadda.  Those are all good things to do, too.  But these are a few of the things that I have made an effort to do on top of all of those to put a dent in my debt.  I am down to a small balance on one card and a bigger balance on another (but that one is complicated because of the divorce….I don’t know how to pay that one off early without messing stuff up).  My (albeit lofty) goal is to be completely debt free.  It may take me a while, but it’s still my goal.

Do you have any tips and tricks to pay off your debt early?  Please share!



Pinworthy Thursday 4-10-14 April 10, 2014

Filed under: Pinworthy Thursday — jackatessa @ 3:40 pm

Is it Friday yet?!  Goodness I’m ready for the weekend!  I have had something every single night this week after work and I am beat.  This weekend is our preschool bingo fundraiser- so really, Sunday is my day to relax.  But then again, I should really get started painting the kitchen, so maybe it won’t be so relaxing ;-).  Anyway, here are my pins from the week!


f88cfff486bcc0108a4a5c4bcde140e9This DIY Hanging Basket Stand is really cute!  I would love to have one on my porch this summer.

80264caa55f7de14a5474fe9796333c5This Camo Fondant technique looks pretty easy!

84da047d2d672d7c2b9d718f22315ab4I love this Coral Statement Necklace!  I’m thinking my stepmom should add these to her jewelry booth!

095160d5ad11949d092f48e63fd41fdaMaybe I should try one of these workouts at home where no one can see me.  I HATE the gym.


Spicy Peanut Chicken from Betty Crocker.  Yes, please!!


Have you found anything good on Pinterest lately?

Have a good weekend!





Pinworthy Thursday 4-3-14 April 3, 2014

Filed under: Pinworthy Thursday — jackatessa @ 11:53 am

Man, a lot has happened since I last posted!  I still need to share the kitchen cabinet redo that we did two weekends ago, then I will share how we added a new backsplash in there, and maybe by then I will be done with the painting part of the kitchen.  Somehow a little spring break project turned into a whole redo in there.

Is anyone else dealing with some hardcore allergies?  I AM.  OMG.  It’s so bad that I wake up at night and I swear it feels like my throat is about to close up.  Needless to say, I haven’t been getting much sleep lately :-(.  Have no fear though, I am now taking some of the ‘good’ allergy medicine, and I already feel better.  I see myself finishing those posts soon!  But first, a little Pinworthy Thursday for your viewing pleasure…..

36a30e9178f46b95ac761e800ee48cf7First up are these Pineapple Sweet Rolls.  Mostly because I am starving and would kiss someone if they brought me one of these right now :-).  Oh, and this recipe uses a hot roll mix for the dough.  Genius!

be0270663968a48b124fa866c6d65016I pretty much love everything about this entire outfit.  I wish it was in my closet right now so I could rock it.

c09de1ec6eaedc16a8dfcb207d125564This has different ideas for smores– which are happening more often at my house since we got the fire pit!  Whoo!  This version with the lemon curd looks fab and OMG that chocolate version at the bottom?!  I die.

637630fd3a592145cee356b0007f2664Pepperoni Pretzel Bread Stromboli.  Pretzel bread is a favorite of mine, so I don’t see how this could be a bad idea.

cfea7a531aab0e67e26bc84e41bce269Ambrosia Cake.  Ambrosia is a favorite at potlucks, I always get it.  I would like to make this to take out to my grandpa’s for a family party.  I HAVE to remember this one.

2d6a218375bb58209d9a6f7648e73cdbThis Mason Jar backsplash is so cool!  My sister has a beachy themed kitchen, and is doing something really cool and ocean themed in her bathroom, so I will definitely be sharing this with her.

83a73fcbf0b489c1cc2e5bf2ed0ce61bI have a thing for aprons, meaning I have a whole rack of them in my kitchen.  But hey, if I can find one like this Four Corners Apron that is this easy to make, I’m sure I could make room for a few more!


I have always wanted to visit the west coast.  How cool would this roadtrip be to visit all of the national parks?


Have you found anything good on Pinterest lately?  Please share!


Pinworthy Thursday 3-20-14 March 20, 2014

Filed under: Pinworthy Thursday — jackatessa @ 3:06 pm

310a6cfd0559cf93e7f8cfce90fa0f98Cute hairstyle, and I’ve always loved Mariska Hargitay.

694328e793d93b7a4eb24f637f764c3eI’m hoping to put this into practice.  I’ve been working on paying down my debt, but I need to built up savings.

df81beb2f227a946c4ab412f2b5812b7I could go for one of these Texas Sheet Cake Cookies.  Or 50.  You know, whichever.

94148757f08c3f09a96b37c56bfbc68bI thought this looked like a fun art project. 

d2a509d788e54cabff91b24805808746I think this little gift idea is just adorable.  She used a shaped bread pan and made bread with a honey butter spray.  I would love to try this!

257324468e2fa7de65277ff7d0c3138cCute dishcloth pattern!

825069bfe5c5522e8557678af6826c65What a cute idea!  These fossil cookies would be good for preschool snacks or for a birthday party.  Or for a fun day at Auntie Teresa’s :-)

301c4c3666c019c44868adad9c9758d4I fricken love sushi.  I want it ALL. THE. TIME.  But no one else likes it.  It would be nice to whip it up anytime I wanted like this Skinny California Roll Wrap.

I’m over this week.  I’d like it to be the weekend please.  We are heading out of town to the big city to stay in a hotel and go watch Divergent.  Cheers to the fricken weekend, ya’ll.



Trip to KC March 19, 2014

Filed under: Random Life Moments — jackatessa @ 11:43 am

Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit– it’s been a bit CRAZY around my house.  Last Friday after work, we left to head to Kansas City, MO to visit my sisters.  The youngest and the oldest both live there- we were staying with the youngest.  I was super excited to go, not only to see some of my favorite people in the whole wide world, but also to see their new houses/apartment!

Brandee (the youngest) recently moved about 20 minutes from her old apartment to a bigger, nicer one.  Her bf got a new job after graduating college, and it was a lot closer for his commute.  They had upgraded from a one bedroom to a two bedroom.  I just KNOW that it’s because they wanted me to have a place to sleep when I come visit them ;-).

It’s actually in a great location, too.  Her old apartment was ’15 or 20 minutes’ away from everything.  Seriously.  I think everything in KC is 15 to 20 minutes away.  But this new place is literally across the road from three different shopping centers– Walmart, Target, Lowes, Ross, Ulta, etc etc etc.  Not to mention about 1/2 mile from a Starbucks and a dozen other eating places.  Loved it.

We spent the weekend eating, shopping, eating, and shopping.  Oh, and we also did some eating and some shopping.  I’m pretty sure I would have gained 5 lbs this weekend if I hadn’t been walking so damn much!

Unfortunately, she had to work Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m.

So the three of us spent the day shopping. But had to get some lunch first.  Have you ever been to Five Guys?  I hadn’t.  It’s a burger place and it was really good!  The menu is just burger and fries, that you can customize.  I got a cheeseburger ‘all the way’ so it had this whole list of goodies on it.  That’s how I like my burgers!  It was HUGE.  Like, I had to eat two bites to even get all the way through it.  (dang!  I was going to upload a photo of it but I must have deleted it.)  Just…..it was big, ok?  Next time I think I would get one of the ‘Littles Cheeseburgers’ that only have one patty instead of two.  Nick told us to just order a small fry, because they gave you so much, so we got one order of the regular and one of the cajun.  He was right!  They fill up a pop cup and then go ahead and shove another scoop or so into your bag for you.  Fries, fries, errrwhere!  And I can’t forget to mention that the pop machine was one of those that you pick the kind of pop you want on a screen, then you can add in extra flavors like vanilla, lime, raspberry, etc.  Those are so fun!

Back to shopping though, we hit Best Buy and Ulta first, then headed out to Legends, this great outdoor mall.  It was the perfect weather for it, too.  70 degrees and sunny!  I think my favorite part of Legends would definitely have to be going to Auntie Anne’s for a pretzel.  Garlic pretzel + their lemonade= absolute perfection.  We also made our way over to a giant store that is right next to it to see B while she was working.  I think we walked around for approximately an hour and a half over there.  My legs were KILLING me!

After Legends, you’d better believe we headed home for a NAP.  Then my oldest sister met up with us for dinner at On the Border.  We sat out on the patio, which was pretty cool.  I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in chips and salsa (which, btw, is ALOT! lol).  I ordered the fish tacos, which were SO good.  They had a smoky chipotle sauce on them that was just bomb.com.  It was actually supposed to storm that night, so as we were sitting out there, we could see it lightning as it got darker.  It was a great time, but I had to roll myself back to the apartment because I was so dang full.

Dinner at On the Border.  L to R- B's bf Nick, LeAnna, and Nate

Dinner at On the Border. L to R- B’s bf Nick, LeAnna, and Nate

Sunday was filled with more shopping and we went to go see my oldest sister, LeAnna’s new house.  She just moved back to the area last fall and I hadn’t been up there yet.  We went to lunch at Chipotle, because I had been wanting to try it so bad.  And I just have to say… I don’t get what the hype is?  I like pretty much EVERYTHING food-wise, but I was not impressed at all.  I guess I expected a big counter of toppings that you can put together like Subway.  Not a this or this? This or this?  type of deal.  I won’t be going back….I’d rather go to Taco Bell.  We did just a little more shopping after that, then headed back to B’s apartment to pack up and head home.

I had such a fun weekend and I can’t wait to go back again!


Chicken and Green Chile Enchilada Soup March 11, 2014

Filed under: Soup/Stew/Chili — jackatessa @ 12:43 pm


I threw this together tonight for dinner. It was taking us FOREVER to decide what to have, going back and forth- No, not that.  No I don’t like that.  I’m not in the mood for that, etc etc.  We had originally planned to have green chile chicken enchiladas, but we knew that we were going to eat Mexican food the next day, and he had planned to get a chicken enchilada, so he didn’t want enchiladas two days in a row.  So I suggested green chile chicken pasta with alfredo, but he wasn’t feeling that.  He suggested doing a soup version, so this is what I came up with!

It was really quick to throw together, and I think it would be pretty easy to assemble this the night before in the crockpot, then put the pot in the fridge and put it on first thing in the morning.  Put it on low and it would be ready by lunchtime!


I made some instant white rice to serve with the soup.  I was actually thinking about just mixing it in, but honestly, I put just a spoonful in the middle and ate it that way.  We both agreed that it was the best way to eat it, because you could just pull a little bit of the rice in with the soup.  LOVED it.

It has a little bit of heat in it, especially with the Fiesta Nacho soup.  If you would rather not have the heat, you can always sub in just regular cream of chicken.  I love the spice though!

I liked this soup because it is easy to make, it reheats well, and it was ready in about 30 minutes.  This is definitely going into our meal rotation!


Chicken and Green Chile Enchilada Soup

4 chicken breasts

1/2 packet taco seasoning

1 (7oz) can diced green chiles

1 can green enchilada sauce

1 can condensed Fiesta Nacho soup

1 onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 box chicken stock

2 cups milk

1/2 block Velveeta, or 1 small block of Velveeta, cubed

Vegetable oil

Pepper, to taste

In large stock pot, heat about 1/4 cup vegetable oil.  Dice your chicken breasts to 1″ pieces, add to hot oil.  Sprinkle with half of a packet of taco seasoning and cook until done.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add diced onion and celery and cook until translucent.  Pour in can of green chiles, Fiesta Nacho soup, and enchilada sauce, and add chicken back to pot.  Add chicken stock and milk.  Lastly, add cubed velveeta.  Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until soup is thick and all of the velveeta is melted.

Serve with white rice.



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