Monday, June 18

Green Bean Bacon Bundles

Green Bean Bacon Bundles closeup_text

Green Beans + Bacon = Bundle of Deliciousness

My gang has grown tired of having the same ole’ meals night after night and I've grown tired of hearing them grumble about it.

Enter… our PLAN

So, my Daughter-in-Law and I came up with a plan to liven up suppertime. We decided to find/make at least 2-3 new recipes each week and to step out of the “Normal Boring” dishes (as our men call them) and into some “Fun and Creative” meals.

We are compiling a list of new menu ideas and using a star rating of 1-5 (5 being highest). As we go along, I plan to share with you some of the new recipes we try and highlight a few of the sites/blogs. Our guys are even getting in on the action, they are critiquing each masterpiece and providing feedback for any changes the next time we make it. You should hear them talk about the dish -  It is soooo hilarious!  

First on our List…

Green Bean Bacon Bundles is the first new veggie side dish we made. I found this recipe a while back on Pinterest, and I knew it would be a winner with our guys. Guess What… I was right (imagine that)!  The grown ups loved it and even our 2 yr. old grandson cleaned his plate!  We pared it with some delicious Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops and I used some of the glaze as garnish in my picture (above).

Not only did we give this recipe a collective 5 Stars… 
we also gave Jessica at How Sweet It Is a 5 Star rating!!

When I originally checked out the recipe link (before I pinned it), I found myself glued to her site exploring everything. She has a beautiful website and some fantastic recipes. We have already made three other recipes from her site and so far so good!

I now stalk  follow her daily post via email subscription and hope to feature a couple more of her dishes that we’ve recently made. I encourage you to stop over and check out How Sweet It Is. Who knows, you might find something new you want to try!

Our Version…

Green Bean Bacon Bundles (adapted from How Sweet It Is)

The best part about this veggie dish is you can easily adjust the servings to meet your needs. To feed the four of us (4 + toddler) we only made seven (7) bundles and adjusted the brown sugar bath accordingly. The original recipe makes 10 –12 bundles so you may want to refer to her recipe for exact ingredient measurements. 

Fresh Green Beans – (1/2 pound’ish) washed and trimmed
Bacon Slices – One slice for each bundle
1 generous Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 clove of Garlic – minced
Salt & Pepper – to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray 13 x 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan over low heat melt butter then add brown sugar and garlic. Stir until combined – keep warm.

Take prepared green beans and bundle together 6-8 green beans (depends on the size on how many you get in a 1/2 lb.). Wrap a piece of bacon around each bundle and place seam side down in prepared baking dish.

Brush butter mixture over top of each bundle and Salt / Pepper to taste.

Green Bean Bacon Bundles Collage
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes , just until bacon gets crispy.

** The bacon did not get as crispy as I would have liked, so next time I will place under broiler for a few minutes to crisp bacon.

Serve immediately (best if served hot).

Green Bean Bacon Bundle edit w_ matte_text
Doesn’t this look scrumptious?

This really was a snap to make and was so good. I promise you the flavors were perfect together and it looks so handsome on the plate.

What about you? Have you been looking for new recipe ideas to liven up your nightly dinners?  Let’s hear about them!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and stay tuned for another new recipe tasting next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

Simpy AJ Signature w flower

I’m linking this post to several parties listed on my sidebar… Stop by and join in the fun!

Scrumptous Sunday Link Party @Addicted to Recipes
Think Pink Sundays @Flamingo Toes
I Heart Naptime
Made-by-you-Monday @ Skip to my Lou
Party with my Peeps @How To Nest For Less
Weekend Warrior @Ask Anna
Make the Scene Monday @Alderberry Hill
Tuesday Talent Show @Chef In Training
Time to Shine @A Diamond in the Stuff
Trick or Treat Tuesday @Inside BruCrew Life


Saturday, June 9

Birthday Bash… Fun Birthday Banner!

Part 2… Tractor Theme Birthday Banner
(if you missed Part One of the Birthday Bash / Balloon Wreath click HERE)

What party is complete without a Birthday Banner??

Tractor Theme Birthday Banner w title 1

Doesn't this banner scream “Let’s P-a-r-t-y“?

I had a blast making this Birthday Banner for my Grandson’s party. It made such an impact in the room and tied the theme together perfectly. I was able to incorporate not only the tractor theme and party colors; but I personalized it to give the banner that extra special touch. 

Despite the camera mishap, I’ve managed to round up enough photos to share with you this fun Birthday Banner. I won’t fudge or sugar coat how hard it was to edit these babies. I’ve discovered the colors green and yellow are not easy colors to photograph. Jeez!! 

Tractor Theme Birthday Banner Collage

My Daughter-in-Law only had a few simple request where the banner was concerned, so I really had free reign to just play. I starting planning this project weeks in advance and made several detailed sketches of each element, so I could have a handle on everything I would need to make the banner.  Pre-planning a project like this is key… I could hit all the sales and have plenty of time to work on this bad boy! 


I hadn’t really planned on providing a step-by-step tutorial for the banner but I’ve received several request asking for more details, so I thought I would go ahead and put something together. I’m thrilled so many of you wanted to know more about it! 

Heres how I made it…

Banner Supplies Framed with Labels

I got lucky and scored all the single sheet cardstock 50% off at Hobby Lobby saving me big bucks. Just for the banner, I needed over 60 sheets so getting them for less than 22¢ a sheet … well, you can do the math ($$Cha-Ching$$). 

My Cricut Create® is as ancient old as I am (okay, maybe not that old but dang close) and it’s the smaller version with a 12x6 mat so I’m limited on cutting size. Oh goodness  how I dream of a new machine (I want a Silhouette) but honestly, my little lady still gets the job done and because she is older, I can use my Sure Cuts A Lot (v2) design software (I heart this program). All is well in my little world!

The Pendants:
Tractor Theme Pendant w text
Step 1:  Each triangle piece is 8 1/2 by 11 (basically, a whole sheet of green cardstock paper). I made a template from a piece of thin cardboard (a cereal box works great for this) and used it to trace my pattern on each piece of green cardstock then cut out by hand. I made 20 triangle pendant pieces. 

Step 2: Yellow Top Band - Using my template I traced outTriangle w Polka Dots Closeup the top band and with my paper trimmer quickly cut out each piece then glued in place.

Step 3: Bottom Yellow Triangle – Again, using my cardboard template I traced out the bottom triangle piece, cut out and glued in place. 

Step 4: Polka Dots – Using my SCAL program I created several dozen little circles (2 sizes) and cut out using my Cricut. Added them to each bottom triangle piece (cut a few in half to get the look I wanted). 

The Tractor:
Tractor SVG Cut Closeup with Tape Frame I searched through all my SVG files and Cricut Cartridges for a cute little tractor but I just didn’t find what I was looking for. So, I hopped online and I headed to one of my favorite sources for (reasonably priced) SVG files called I found this set called "Grandpa's Organic Farm" which had the perfect tractor.

Just a quick shout out… makes it so easy (and safe) to purchase and download SVG files. Their prices are affordable and they also have free SVG files ready for quick download. They offer good clean cut files that work great with SCAL and they have a fun blog too! **This is my opinion based solely on my personal experience using their files (No Compensation or endorsement).

Tractor Center w ArrowsThe tractor size is approx. 3.266 wide and 3.992 high. I used SCAL to layout each part of the tractor, cut six (6) sets with my Cricut and then assembled all six (6) tractors. Each completed tractor was centered on the pendant in between the top band and bottom triangle and glued in place.

The Letters: 

Letter layered w dimensions
I used a font called LD Enquirer that I previously purchased from another one of my favorite websites called Lettering Delights.  LD has tons of great stuff other than fonts like graphics, printables and cut files. Anyway, this font has the perfect rounded style that works well when using the layering technique. 

In SCAL, I laid out each letter sized to 2.8 x 2.8. Using my Cricut, I cut out and assembled all 20 letters. Then, I centered the letter on the pendant in between the top band and bottom triangle (same as tractor) and glued in place. 

Display Banner:
Punch holes in the top band and run twine through each letter. I added clear tape the back of each pendant to hold the twine in place and to help it hang properly. (sorry, no close up picture)


Who’s still awake with me?   

I hope I didn’t lose anyone or confuse those of you who wanted the scope on how I made the banner. If you do have any questions, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I will try my best answer them (please make sure to include your email).  

Birthday  Banner Framed revised
So, what do you think… do you like it? Have you ever made a paper Birthday Banner? Leave me a comment sharing your thoughts and stories… I would love to hear from you!  

I will finish up the Birthday Bash Series with a third and final post  where I will show you the cutest table centerpieces we made with just a few great finds from The Dollar Tree and a simple way to make customized goodie bags. 
Oh and of course, I’ll share a few festive pictures of the Birthday Boy! 

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me. Your the best! 
Until next time… 

Simpy AJ Signature w flower

Linking this project to a few great parties... Check out my sidebar for the list!

Come Join in the Fun!! 

Tuesday, June 5

Hit a snag on my Birthday Banner post!

Post has been delayed not Once but Twice…

I’ve run into a few issues while working on Part 2 of the Birthday Bash series. This B’day Banner post is trying to whip me but I ‘m not gonna let it get the best of me!

WHY, is this post being so difficult you ask?

For starters, the pictures from the party (pre-party decorations and during party fun shots) are G-O-N-E! Yep, you heard me right… they are all GONE! Apparently, all the pictures stored on my “new” digital camera decided to erase themselves (tears are rolling down my face). So, I had to call out to family and friends for copies of their pic’s and wait for them to email. Meanwhile, I re-created some still shots to replace those lost.  I received pictures + edited + wrote post and 


Yesterday, I upload my post to Blogger and made a bunch some corrections and changes but I kept having a problem saving my work. I finally got frustrated and quit for the day. I logged in this am to finish the post and all the changes/corrections I did were… you guessed it… GONE! It appears that I wasn’t the only poor soul who had problems with Blogger yesterday. Several dear blogging friends had similar issues.

I seem to have a common pattern developing here called “GONE”.


I’m trying again today to get this post up on my blog. So, wish me luck and stay tuned…

Simpy AJ Signature w flower