The Best Pork Chop Recipe

Last week my significant other requested apple stuffed pork chops from a random recipe we found. Unfortunately I knew the presents of stuffing would have my kids saying “yuck!”, so I had to come up with a variation to please everyone. Fortunately we succeeded.

I knew I had to leave in the apples, so I based the recipe around that and pork chops. We got semi-thin chops (not the imfamous “Iowa Chops” that are 2 or 3 inches thick), a can of apple pie filling, hashbrowns, and shredded cheese. What came out of the oven was absolutely FANTASTIC and everyone LOVED it.

So here’s the recipe….

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Friendship Bracelets – Remember When?

I remember as a kid how much I loved making friendship bracelets. While wandering down the craft aisle at Walmart I spotted a cheap kit, so I just had to try it out again.

I had forgotten how fun making these bracelets are, and how easy they are to make. Unfortunately, since I had bought the kit at Walmart it was uber cheap thread and NOT the embroidery floss like it was way back when. So I went on a hunt for some better friendship bracelet kits and actual thread. Here’s what I found….

Friendship Bracelets (Klutz)
This nifty kit looks awesome for beginners with some really nice instructions and quality thread for braiding. Plus it even comes with beads and a clip board to hold the bracelet down while you are braiding. Sure beats holding it with your feet, huh?

Friendship Bracelets (Kids Can Do It)
If you have the embroidery floss and just need some instructions, this book has got you covered. With both beginner and expert instructions, plus ideas for jewelry, everyone can keep busy creating!

Janlynn Embroidery Floss 36 pc Pack Pastel

Janlynn Embroidery Floss 36 pc Pack Pastel

Need just the floss? This pack comes with a variety of colors for a little bit of nothing. Careful visiting this store, though…you may get stuck for hours! Individual embroidery floss colors available here for less than a $1.

Giant Embroidery Floss Pack (pack of 105)

Giant Embroidery Floss Pack (pack of 105)

If you want to get serious creating hundreds of bracelets, might I suggest this gigantic pack of embroidery floss? S&S Worldwide has lots of packs like this for a variety of projects especially made for large groups or crafters.

Super Value Pack Friendship Bracelet & Handbook

Super Value Pack Friendship Bracelet & Handbook

I couldn’t leave out my favorite store, Joann’s. This pack really is a super value, priced at less than $10. Includes a large instruction booklet and various types of thread for creating fun friendship bracelets.

Be sure to spend some time at each of the stores featured above to find additional treasures! There are TONS of supplies hiding at each, including booklets on how to make bracelets, more friendship bracelet kits, and all kinds of fun supplies. The trick is deciding just what you want to buy without breaking the bank.

Good luck!

Homemade Halloween Costumes

Hello Idea Queen readers! It’s that time of year again and I am SUPER excited…Halloween is coming! I absolutely ADORE this time of year!

We may not do a whole lot of decorating, but lots of stuff is going on around our house. Pumpkins are being carved, pies are being cooked, and most importantly, the costumes are being planned. Every year my daughter comes up with the BEST ideas for costumes. Together we usually put together something really fantastic that is deserving of loads of pictures.


Homemade Costumes of Halloweens Past

Around here we feel making costumes is much more fun than buying them. Here’s a rundown of our best costume ideas over the years, most of which are handmade comepletely or made without spending loads of moolah on a complete costume.

Devil and Zombie Cheerleader

You ain’t taking this dead cheerleader back to hell so easy! Mask and pitchfork for the devil was purchased at the store, but the rest of the clothes are just regular old clothes. He still wears them even a year later. Pompoms for the zombie cheerleader were purchased off ebay for a whole $3, and the rest is normal clothing. It’s the makeup we had fun with on that costume.

Punk Rock Star

Her original idea for this year was “Hannah Montana”, but I talked her out of it. Instead, we decided on a punk rock star because the makeup would be a lot more fun. It was! She looked fantastic and most importantly, UNIQUE! I spent a little more on the shirt that I usually do, but she wore it for a good 2 years after using it as part of her costume. She also had striped tights that were purchased for less than $5.


This is the year my son had an obession with Garfield. Do you think we could even FIND a costume? Heck no! So we made one out of a pillow, oversized orange shirt, black spray paint, and wooden/foam mask. The tail was made from basic orange fabric and stuffed. He loved it!

Dead Bride

One of my all time favorites was the dead bride. Dress was made from an uber cheap fabric I found at Walmart (About a $1 per yard is all it was I think), with dollar store cobwebs over her head. We got a little crazy with the makeup this year but I think we made her look good and dead.😉

Batman and Princess

Poof! You are now a super hero! While both of these weren’t the most unique or cheapest costumes, the kids enjoyed playing their parts. Plus the picture was absolutely ADORABLE so I couldn’t pass up the chance to post it. You can tell we’ve always loved playing with the make up.

Other Costume Ideas

This year we have plans for a she-devil, and boy is still undecided. I suggested “Dead Kenny” from South Park, but got rejected. I hear my 13-yr old cousin has plans for that particular idea this year, which I can’t waite to see how it turns out. For the first time ever, the adults are planning on dressing up too, but our costume ideas aren’t set in stone yet. I’m thinking a basic witch, but we’ll see what I can find for accessories between now and Halloween. Cat in the Hat is also being considered, as are characters from the boy’s Xbox games.

My daughter’s running theme of “dead” or “evil” has made these costumes extra spectacular. It’s so easy to take a basic costume idea and turn it into a “dead” or “zombie” version, as my daughter demonstrated with the dead bride and zombie cheerleader. With all the things you can do with a homemade halloween costume, I don’t know why anyone would want to buy them!