New Wok= Stir Fry Time!

Today I met my friend, Kristen, at Ikea in College Park.  I tend to frequent Ikea, and I am a tad-bit obsessed with it (of course I had already blogged about Ikea in my Craft room post).  While she was looking for furniture for her new apartment, I had my eye set on a new wok!  I have been using a really large, deep frying pan to make stir fry, but I have always wanted a wok.  I am sure that she thought that I was crazy, but as soon as I saw it, I got super pumped.

Dan, of course, was also pumped (not really, but he did appreciate my stir fry that I made tonight).  My mom had given me a bunch of cook books for Christmas one year, so I decided to use the Taste of Home: Winning Recipes book for a stir fry recipe.  Of course I ended up changing things around a little bit, but it was DELICIOUS!  Here is the Taste of Home‘s recipe:


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflowerets
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • Hot cooked riceDirections
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients until smooth; set aside.
    • In a skillet or wok, stir-fry steak in oil for 3-5 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots and soy sauce mixture; cover and cook for 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.**In my recipe I did not use the ginger, I marinated my sliced beef in Trader Joe’s Soyaki marinade, and I did not use cauliflower (I used canned baby corn, a diced portabella mushroom cap, and water chestnuts instead).

Wedding Thumbprint Oak Tree

Start with a pencil drawing.

The very first project that I worked on in my new craft space was our thumbprint oak tree for our wedding.  I have always wanted to draw one of these for our wedding (I LOVE trees- especially oak trees).  It was really nice working at my new craft table because I could fit my large 19×25″ paper on it without anything hanging off! I also had all of my supplies right there which is quite handy.

Drawing trees is one of my favorite things to do, so this was a lot of fun.  I used pencil on acid free Pale Yellow Canson art paper to begin with.  After I had my basic sketch of the tree, I moved on to the lettering at the bottom.  I measured out the space that I wanted our names in the the space for the date below that.  I then looked up Times New Roman font online and drew our names and date using the image search as a guide.  After the tree, our names, and the date looked perfect, I used sepia colored Micron pens to trace over the lines.  To finish it up I waited a bit for the ink to dry, then I used a large white eraser to erase any pencil lines from under the pen.

Finish with sepia colored Micron pen.

I am so excited about the oak tree!  When our guests come into the reception area they can write a few words of wisdom in our vintage guest book and give their thumbprint on our oak tree!

Craft room… Done!

Yesterday I finished putting together my craft/ art room!  In a previous post I said that I had gone to Ikea to buy my dream craft room supplies.  Well, after some help from Dan and a very long day, I was able to finally work in a my very own craft space today!

Even though it took literally all day yesterday, it was TOTALLY worth it! I was able to clean out all of my art supplies and craft supplies, then reorganize them all.  One of my most favorite things to do is to organize things.  I love when everything has its own place!  All of those tiny glass storage containers really came in handy.  I stored all of my beads and sewing supplies in the glass containers, and I even put paper clips and pushpins in the magnetic jars.  All of my sewing materials and my yarn are stored next to my sewing machine, and the art supplies are organized nicely into the drawers at my desk.

I really can not get over the fact that I finally did this.  I really have dreamed of this day almost my entire life.  It sounds really silly, but if you are a crafter or an artist you will understand 🙂  Floor no more!


Tilapia, Basmati, and Green Beans

ImageAfter my Ikea adventures today, I worked up quite the appetite.  For dinner I decided to use our green beans and tilapia that we bought at Wegman’s in Columbia.  When the store opened in June they gave away a good amount of merchandise.  A couple of the free items that we got were organic lemon and garlic marinade and basting oil with garlic and herbs.  We hadn’t tried either of them yet, so tonight we went all out.  I marinated the tilapia in the lemon and garlic and the green beans got the basting oil.  I also made basmati rice in my rice cooker… one of our favorite sides. It was very tasty!!

Welcome to Ikea… home of my dream craft room!

As you know, I am an art teacher and lover of all crafts.  I am also the proud owner of an Etsy account where I post and sell various things that I have made.  One would assume that I have the ultimate craft room or workspace considering I have been an artist for some time now, right?  Wrong.  I typically work at our coffee table or dining room table… even the floor.

I have finally decided that my floor crafting must come to an end.  I will create my craft space that I have always longed for.  So… where does one go in order to find these craft space items?  Well, Ikea, of course!  (If you have never been to Ikea, you have never lived.) So, on my travels today I decided to take a trip to the local Ikea store.  I went in, list in hand, with a mission- Find the ultimate craft space supplies.  I found numerous storage items, frames, hooks, magnetic board, and work table.  I was like a kid in a candy store.

I was positive that people thought that I was nuts carrying so many things, but when I got to the check out, I soon realized that it was a figment of my imagination.  The lady in front of me in line had TWO flat-bed cart PACKED with chachkies and furniture…. and I mean big furniture.  Needless to say, I felt a little less worried about my own purchases.

Upon my return from the magical land of Ikea, I began building my desk (for those who have not been to Ikea- Yes, I said build) and I put together some shelving.  Tomorrow will be the big clean-out-my-current-office-area day.  I need to organize all of my supplies and finish putting together the desk.  Then I can hang the shelving and start re-organizing the supplies into appropriate containers.  I probably should have started this much sooner….

About Me.

Oh hi.

My name is Allison.

I am an art teacher based in Maryland.

I enjoy art, ceramics, sketchbooking, dancing when no one is around, singing in the car, decorating.. and redecorating, cooking, people-watching, and random music.

I am engaged to the love of my life... I can't wait to be married to him.

I like learning about new things.

I find people to be interesting.

Receive notifications of new posts by email!

Join 665 other followers