DIY Photo Canvas

Ever since spotting the DIY photo canvas tutorial on Pinterest by Blue Cricket Design, I knew I HAD to muster up some creative juices and canvas one of my photos. Finding said creative juices is definitely easier said than done. This girl is not crafty. Sure, I learned how to sew and cross-stitch, dabbled in some rubber stamping before it was popular, and even did some paint by numbers pictures when I was little, but it pretty much ends there. Art classes were painful. I can’t draw, paint, or sculpt, and there are a few times I remember wanting to run out of class screaming and crying as I just couldn’t make things work.

Jump ahead over 10 years, and I still lack those artistic skills I so longed for in middle school. Origami? Not a chance. Jewelery making? Nope. Interior design? Eh, I’m good with paint colors! Photo canvas? I’ll have to say I’m okay with this one. Why? Ryan, who is much more artistic than me, came to my rescue to help make the canvas look presentable. I *could* have done it myself, but I’m telling you, it wouldn’t have turned out as nice as it did. I’m not even embarrassed that the hubs had to help! Plus, I chose a 16 x 20 photo, which is much easier to manage when two people are working together on it!

Here’s what you’ll need to make a photo canvas:

Mod Podge-Matte

Canvas- I used a gallery wrapped white canvas. Make sure you purchase the canvas that fits the size of your photo!

paint brushes (2)

acrylic paint

wax paper

If wanting decorated sides, scrapbook paper of your choice


Place photo on canvas and trim if need be to fit correctly.

Place two pieces of wax paper on table- one for the canvas, and one for your photo.

If using scrapbooking paper for sides, cut the paper so they are a little shorter and narrower than the sides of the canvas. Apply mod podge generously, and place on sides.  Smooth each strip with your finger to ensure all air bubbles are out.

With your picture image side down on the wax paper, apply a generous amount of mod podge to the back of the photo.










Turn the photo over, and smooth it onto your canvas (using a towel to smooth the photo works great). Wait 20 minutes for the mod podge to dry.

Once dry, mod podge the front of the picture.










Note that the mod podge will show a milky white color, but it dries clear, so don’t worry about how it looks right away. You’ll want to wait another 20- 30 minutes until the picture is dry.

If you’d like to “antique” the photo, take a small amount of acrylic paint and put it on a plate. Dab your dry paintbrush in the paint, then dab/wipe off the excess paint off. You’ll only want a very small amount of paint on the brush! Dab brush around the edges, applying as much or little paint as you’d like. Let dry completely.








That’s it! You’re done! Easy squeezy, huh?! Here’s how my canvas turned out:










I’ll definitely be canvasing photos again. They are a completely different look from framed pictures, and I absolutely love them!

*Photo by Laughing Joy Photography*


Chicken Spaghetti

I’m going to get this out of the way. Ryan cannot stand chicken spaghetti. It makes him want to gag and he walks away if I even mention that I want to make it. He’s a total hotdish/casserole hater. He even dissed hotdishes during our wedding dinner! The photographer caught the moment and it’s one of my favorites from the wedding as Ryan’s all entertaining the crowd and I’m all pouty about him hating on hotdish!










There. That’s over with. On to me 🙂 I happen to really enjoy chicken spaghetti. It’s creamy, filling, and can feed a lot of people if need be. I’ve been a fan of the recipe since seeing it in The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, and definitely don’t make it often enough. Really, I only get to make it when Ryan’s out of town, since he refuses to eat it. The things I sacrifice for my marriage! 😉

Please give this recipe a try- it’s easy and fast to make, and tastes so good on a cold day! Plus, if it’s part of a cookbook, you know it’s been a tried and true recipe for many families. Don’t let Ryan’s taste buds and his hatred for casseroles defer you from making this!

Chicken Spaghetti

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

1 cut-up fryer chicken (I use 2 small cans, or one huge can of canned chicken…I have no time for cooking fryer chicken!)

1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces

2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup

2 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 c. finely diced green pepper

1/4 c. finely diced onion

1 jar (4 oz) diced pimentos, drained

2 c. reserved chicken broth from pot, or 2 c. canned chicken broth

1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1/8 tsp (to 1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper

salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook 1 cut up fryer chicken and pick out the meat to make two cups (Omit this step if using canned chicken).  Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth (If using canned chicken, just use water) until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked and drained, combine noodles with cream of mushroom soup.








Next, add the  2 cups of cheddar cheese.








Mix in green pepper, onion, pimentos, season salt, and cayenne pepper. Easy on the cayenne pepper if you’re not a fan of spicy food.








Add the chicken and 2 cups of broth, stirring together well. Taste test to check the seasonings.

Place mixture in 9 x 13 baking dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese.








Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until bubbly.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Oreos. I’ve never had a love hate relationship with them. It’s always been 100% love and happiness. I really don’t see how anybody can hate Oreos. They are soooooo good! I always dip them in milk, let’m soak, and then enjoy the mushiness of what’s left. Ryan finds my method of eating Oreos completely disturbing. He doesn’t get why I’d like them all mushy and thinks I’m a bit crazy for taking so much time to eat just one cookie. One cookie?! Who are we kidding here? It’s more like 3… or 4… or 5… 🙂

When I saw this recipe for Oreo cupcakes, I knew I’d have to give it a try. They looked too good to ignore. After seeing this recipe, I found out that my friend Tiff, who guest posted on these delicious cupcakes was coming to town and wanted to bake with me. Let me tell you, I was BEYOND excited! I hadn’t seen Tiff since January 2010! I missed her! Couldn’t wait to catch up and crack jokes. Plus, Tiff wanted to bake, and who could turn down that offer!

We decided after both pondering that Oreo cupcakes would be our recipe of choice. After discussing the recipe, we decided to switch things up a bit. The normal recipe added mini-chips in the batter. We took it to the next level and put chips in some, crushed Oreos in the others. Also added to a few were Oreos at the bottom of the cupcake. Yum! Tiff and I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out! The result? Fantastic, tasty, chocolately cupcakes. This cupcake recipe will definitely be a keep at my house!

Oreo Cupcakes

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

1 (18.25 oz) package devil’s food cake mix

1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 c. sour cream

1 c. vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 c. warm water

2 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, or 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped Oreos (if doing both, divide the batter, and cut amounts in half)

24-28 whole Oreos, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips/Oreos and pour batter into muffin tins with liners.

Bake for 21 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes thoroughly in a pan at least an hour and a half before removing.







Buttercream Dream Frosting

1 stick salted butter- at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter- at room temperature

1 c. shortening

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 lbs confectioner’s sugar

4-6 tbsp very cold milk

8 crushed (make sure there are no big chunks) Oreos with the cream removed before crushing

*If you’re not sure what to do with the Oreos since they don’t have filling anymore, pile all the filling on one Oreo and dare a friend or signficant other to eat it in one bite 🙂










Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add the vanilla and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, being adding the very cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency. Fold in the Oreo cookie crumbs. Top cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting and garnish with 1/2 an Oreo.

Look at Tiff frosting away!










This is how you frost when your Oreos aren’t crushed up enough, and they get stuck in the frosting tip (please excuse the light from the flash!):










*Make sure you add enough milk! I didn’t, and got extremely thick, super hard to use frosting. It was still good, just not your normal frosting!