Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yarn ribbon and Washi tape

If you remember a few years ago I wrote a post on how much I love wrapping presents, particularly Christmas presents.  They look so pretty all stacked under the tree!

Well, with 2 kiddos and not much time to wrap, I decided to try something new this year.  Christmas is already past, but feel free to keep it in mind for next year!

At the beginning of this Christmas season, I decided to wrap my kids' advent calendar presents using bright red yarn as my mom had growing up.  I loved the look so much that I decided to carry it over into the the rest of my gift wrapping.

I am in love with washi tape right now (and any excuse to buy some) so I decided to use that for labeling our presents. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Merry Christmas!

I have 2 secrets:

(1) I made these 2 years ago and never posted about them
(2) I'm actually writing this up at the end of May and it is currently 80 degrees outside.  You should be jealous.  Don't worry, I am too.

I wrote down all of the instructions on this blog after I finished making these Hot Chocolate Sticks, assuming I would get to adding pictures soon after.  It never happened.  Then today (May 20th, 2012) I noticed that there was still a draft hanging out on blogger.  So I figured, what the heck.  I love the schedule option on Blogger.

I needed something fast, cheap and easy to make for 2 dozen coworkers (this was back when I still made handmade gifts for them) and I found this great idea online to make Hot Chocolate on a Stick.  Basically, you make a chocolate lollipop and melt it in hot cream or milk, making a yummy cup of hot chocolate.  I thought I'd give it a shot.

Here's what you need:

  • a ziploc bag
  • lollipop sticks
  • an ice cube tray
  • 8 oz high quality chocolate (as you can tell, I used Ghiradelli.  Yum.)
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • white chocolate baking morsels
  • crushed peppermint candy

Melt the chocolate:

Sift the sugar and cocoa into a small bowl and set aside.

Break the chocolate into small pieces.

Heat some water to about 90 degrees (I don't know why this exact temperature is important, but I do know that chocolate can be fickle.) Place a bowl with the chocolate over the water.  (This method works so well that I will never buy a double boiler.)

Stir until 2/3 melted.

I must show you a step-by-step of this happening.  Makes me drool a little.  Especially considering that as I am writing this I am 33 weeks pregnant.

Take bowl off of water and continue stirring until completely melted. Make sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture at all. 

Slowly stir the cocoa/sugar mix and the pinch of salt into the melted chocolate until you get a smooth consistency.  If I remember this was a lot more difficult to do than it sounded.  I had to stir for quite a long time before the consistency was right.  I also used a whisk instead of a sifter which may not have made the cocoa/sugar mix as fine as it needed to be.  Since then I have acquired a sifter.  I would recommend you do the same if you don't have one.  :)

Fill the molds with Hot Chocolate Mix.

Spoon this into a ziploc bag.  

Cut the corner off.  This is such a great way to not only fill chocolate molds, but cupcake liners as well.  EASY TO CLEAN UP!

Fill the ice cube try with the chocolate; this recipe makes about 10 cubes. Shake the tray back and forth or tap it on the counter to make the tops even out.

Let the mix form:

Leave the ice cube tray for a minute or two. Now put one stick into each cube. Hold them for a second or two; they should stay in fairly easily. Leave the tray on the counter and let them harden for a few hours. After set, they should come out easily.

Decorate the hot chocolate sticks:

This part is optional.  I decided to dip these in melted white chocolate and crushed candy cane.  I also added a candy cane and a few Christmas themed marshmallows in the bag.

Make Hot Chocolate from the stick:

Pour 3/4 c of milk or milk with cream into a mug and heat in the microwave for 1 to 1-1/2 minute. You want it warm enough to melt the chocolate.  Don't forget to include instructions for the recipient as well!

I test-tasted one of these before handing them out.  It was a very rich cup of cocoa.  I think the only thing I would have changed is I would have used a sweeter chocolate to begin with.  But I prefer sweeter chocolate over bitter chocolate.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Checkerboard Sweet Potatoes

I made this dish for our family's pot-luck-style Thanksgiving last year.  It probably looked better than it tasted, but if you like your sweet potatoes a 'la casserole, then this one's for you.

Recipe from

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 20 marshmallows
  • 40 pecan halves


1. Cover sweet potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until knife-tender. Drain and return to pot. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, then stir in milk, butter, pineapple, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

2. Transfer mixture to a 2 1/2-quart oval casserole dish; smooth out top. Starting at the top left, alternate one marshmallow with two pecan halves until the entire casserole is covered. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until marshmallows are browned and puffed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

One of my very favorite parts of Thanksgiving Dinner is the Cranberry Sauce.  A few years ago we decided to be super-domestic and make our own from scratch.  Little did we know it was really very easy and there is something about saying you've made anything yourself.  So it continues to be a yearly tradition now.

Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
(Makes 2 1/4 cups)

Recipe from

1 c sugar
1 c water
1 12-oz. package Fresh Cranberries, rinsed and drained

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

That's it!  It is the easiest Thanksgiving recipe by far.  Try it!  You'll love it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homeschool Preschool

We had gone back and forth for several months trying to decide if/when we should enroll our daughter (3 yrs) in preschool.  One night while I was at work I was talking with a coworker about it and, while encouraging me to do what I thought was best, she told me of a time her mother had told her that children should be home with their moms, not in preschool.  It really struck a chord with me as I thought back to my own childhood.  I was never enrolled in a day of preschool and I learned so much about day to day life from my mom, particularly in my early years.

Now I won't get all preachy--especially considering that there are a lot of moms out there who do enroll their kids in preschool early and have great success at it (and we've already tentatively decided to do the same immediately before she goes to Kindergarten just to adjust her to the situation)--but it has been so nice having her home.  I haven't regretted our decision at all.

Obviously I feel like this puts a greater responsibility on her parents to teach her not only the ins and outs of life but also her ABCs and 123s.  I started doing homeschool preschool awhile ago (I blogged about it here or on my personal blog...I can't remember.)  But I thought I would share what I've done.

Basically, every week we choose a theme, find books at the library to go with that theme, a few new vocabulary words, a poem and song or two, and an art and science project to solidify the theme (science is my favorite part!)  We also learn a color, shape, number, and capital/lower case letter.

I made a poster that I found at this website to present all of the things she's learned through the week.  My daughter also loves to draw so I hung a clothesline for her drawings and school "assignments."

Here is how it looks at the end of the week.  Each unit has a different theme (I get most of my ideas here.)  This particular week was around Mother's Day and I chose a theme based on mothers.  (In this case we didn't have a rhyme that week so the color went on the purple square.  My OCD daughter can't have blank spaces.)

Here are some closeups of her work for the week.  These were 6 months ago.  She is freakishly good at drawing stick figure people and animals now.  I mentioned my mom is an artist.  I'm guessing those genes skipped a generation because, while I love arts and crafts and sewing and the like, I suck at drawing  people and animals. 

We took this hectic summer off and focused on worksheets from a preschool workbook.  I started up again the first week of traditional school for our area.  I started over at the letter A, choosing Airplanes for the theme (which was timely since her daddy was flying on an airplane that week for work), the number 0, etc.  The next week was the letter B for Birds, the number 1, etc.

I used to choose themes based on seasons, holidays, and events.  Now, it is a little easier to prepare with a systematic approach.  Plus, it is a whole lot easier to find books at the library about "eggs" while the whole community is scrambling for books about Halloween.

Each unit takes 2 weeks.  We aren't home every day and I don't generally do school on days that she has dance, toddler time, and church.  My work schedule has me home  through early afternoon so we usually have plenty of time to get ready for the day and do school as well.  It is especially nice having that mommy/daughter time on the days I have to go to work.

So there you have it.  She is having a lot of fun learning and I am having a lot of fun teaching her.   Plus, I'd like to think that I've done a little bit to help her to prepare for her academic future.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Whimsical Flower Arrangement

I just love it when I actually finish something I've been meaning to do for awhile.  And, in this case, awhile means a few years.  These were meant to go in my daughter's nursery.  She just turned 3.  Luckily they still fit in her room.

I had this leftover floral container from a previous arrangement that we had received for our wedding (we just celebrated our 10th anniversary.)  I really liked it so I didn't want to just throw/give it away.  When we decided to loosely base our baby girl's nursery on a garden, I thought I would make a floral arrangement to go in there.  I found the long stem gerber daisies and quickly envisioned a Suessical floral arrangement.  I opted to leave them long and floppy.

By the time I actually got around to finishing this project it was Easter so I easily found some Easter grass and stuffed it around the base.  I am amazed that most of it is still there.  Every once in awhile I'll find a stray piece on her floor, but for the most part she leaves it alone. 

Finally all it needed was a ribbon tied around the base and, voila!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tip(s) of the Week

In my quest to achieve baking perfection (yeah, right) I have learned the hard way that not having the right tools, or not following the directions precisely, will often end in sub-par if not disastrous results.

Hello, Obvious.

If you are like me, you are too busy to read the directions thoroughly, let alone follow them, right?  And if you are like me, you avoid buying the tools you really need thinking that you will just make do with what you have, right?  Or maybe it is just me...

Anyway, on the outside chance that I am not the only one out there who suffers from impatience or cheapskate -ness, here are a few things I learned from my summer of baking that have made a big difference in how my baked goods are turning out.  (Again, hello, obvious.)

(1) I got a sifter.

It was actually a Christmas present from my mom who was with me in Spoons & Spice when I saw one and said, "You know I really should get one of these."  Lo and behold, on Christmas morning...

Anyway, it only takes a few seconds longer and does a much better job at making sure my dry ingredients are nicely de-clumped.  It does a much better job than Martha's "whisk to sift" trick.

(2) I started using this (yes, I know, another plug for Crisco...):

to do this:

When the instructions say "grease the pan" I always just cheat and use the spray variety.  It's a lot faster, after all.  However, one time I broke down while I was making zucchini bread and actually greased and floured the pan (as I was instructed to do) and the crust of this particular bread was SO delicious!  It was well worth the extra time and effort.  So, since then I have taken a few extra minutes to grease the pan and I have never been disappointed.  Plus, as you can tell from the picture, I have help from little hands as well.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I discovered something about myself this summer while on maternity leave: not only do I love to bake, I need to bake.  There are so many links between cooking and science as it is, it's ridiculous.  But Baking and Chemistry are, in my mind, the same thing.  One small error and you could blow a room up (or in this case, end up with two hours wasted on a disastrous batch of baked-goodness.)  It's that kind of suspense that has me keep trying again and again until I have success.

I also discovered that my sweet daughter likes to bake, too.  Her favorite part is licking the spatula, of course, but she knows she has to be an extra good helper to get to that point.

I found this recipe on the cardboard overlay for those Crisco baking sticks (SO worth the extra cost to have that stuff premeasured for you!)

These are arguably the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made/had.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

3/4 c. shortening
1 1/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 T milk
1 T vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 c All Purpose Flour
1 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c coarsely chopped pecans (optional) (If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 c chocolate chips)

Heat oven to 375.  Beat shortening and brown sugar in large bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in milk, vanilla and egg.  Stir in flour, salt and baking soda.  Blend in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11-13 for crisp cookies.  Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet.  Transfer cookies to cooling rack. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mixed Media

Have I ever mentioned that my mom is an artist?  Like, a real artist.  Oil paints, watercolor, you name it.  She is so talented.  I've always aspired to dabble in the world of fine art but the most I have ever done is watercolor. 

I found another Spark-related picture in my photo-decluttering. 

This time it was from Donna Downey's mixed media class and I would definatlye place it in the "fine art" category.  It was absolutely my favorite class that we did there.  (Which is funny because it was also the only class that we were late too and I just had to kind of jump in and figure out what the heck everyone else was doing.)

Basically we used a gel medium to adhere some regular old tissue paper to a canvas.  Then we used pan pastels (I think faber castell?) and stencils to make the hearts.  Then the rest of it was really up to us.  I felt that last year was really a turning point for our family in a lot of ways so I chose colors to express that.  I LOVED how she had us finish with those swirly stamps.  Donna Downey is amazing and I am so lucky that I was not only able to meet her, but to take a class from her. 

This is the last of my Spark projects that I have a picture of.  Did I also mention that they cancelled Spark this year?  Truth be told it probably wasn't the best year to go, both time-wise and financially (I forgot how expensive having a baby is!!)  But looking through these pictures has really made me want to go back.  Where else would I have had an opportunity to take a mixed-media class from the expert in person?! (She's from back east, I think.)  Or felt soap?
By the way, it's one of the only things I've made that I actually display in our home.  I also asked for a set of pan pastels for my birthday last year but I have yet to use them.
Also, the craft room is making major progress.  I am so excited!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tip of the Week

If you read my personal blog (and have for awhile) then you might remember me talking about my hubby two-toning the paint in our new house a long (like, a long, long, long...) time ago.

While I'm on "my mommy vacation" I've been going through all of my old pictures that I was going to add to a blog "someday" and found these. 

(Actually, the top picture was taken right at the end of his painting project, like, a year and a half ago and he never actually painted the doors until we were finishing my newbies nursery.  Having the doors off in a craft room makes it easier to see all of my stuff.  Which is why my room downstairs may never have doors on the closet.  Anyway.)

(Also the before picture was taken during the day and the after at night.  Also I had the foresight to take the after picture before all of the tractor decals went up for newbies room.)


I think it is an amazing difference!  We bought our home as a spec home so we had zero input into how we wanted things.  Luckily, we liked 80% of how things were.  Obviously, or we wouldn't have bought it.  I loved the wall color at first.  It is that sort of dark clay color that is so popular now.  Plus it has that old-world-plaster-type finish.  But it was all monotone and after living here for a few months, I realized how dark it was and we felt like we were living in a cave.  The obvious solution was to just two-tone it (i.e. paint the trim and doors semi-glossy white.)  I don't remember it being terribly expensive.  And it seemed pretty easy.

I say seemed because I actually didn't even lift a finger for the entire project. 

I'm grateful my husband likes to paint so much.

Anyway, an easy solution to drab paint: try two-toning!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Have you tried...

At Spark last fall, one of our classes was on felting soap.  Totally random.  It was also probably the class I did the worst at.   P.S. that is supposed to be a flower on top.  I know...

The technique basically involves taking this super-fine wool and wrapping it over and over again around a bar of soap using nothing but your hands and a basin of water.  It sounds easy but it was kind of a pain because just as I would get it in place, it would start to unravel and I would have to start over.  But my hands got really clean.  Which was probably a good thing considering I did a lot of painting and mixed media that weekend.

Anyway, I tossed it in my bin of soaps and such and kind of forgot about it until a few weeks ago.  I decided that I would never give it away and it was just sitting I figured what the heck and started using it myself.

Supposedly the wool is supposed to act as a natural exfoliant or something, but to be honest I can't really tell a difference and, although it lathered extremely well at Spark while I was making the darn thing, it hardly lathers at all when I really need it to :)

So my review: skip the felted soap and pick up a loofah instead.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Moving In

I may or may have not mentioned that my Awesome hubby built a pretty neat room for me.  The recent birth of our little boy necessitated turning my previous hobby room into a nursery (at no complaint, seriously.)  I just planned on waiting until we finished our basement and doing my projects in the kitchen or something.  The husband said he would finish a room for me.  Like I said, my hubby is Awesome.  Here is what remained of my old room.
Right now my new room it is literally just a holding room.  After we moved into our new house I didn't really take a lot of time to sort things out; I just threw everything together for the time being.  This time I am taking advantage of (what I hope is) a final move to my craft cave.  I sorted everything into 4 piles: general craft, scrapbooking, sewing, and tools.  I emptied everything and was left with a fifth pile: storage and organization.  This is literally going to take me my entire maternity leave just to go throught all of this stuff (how on earth did I collect so many things?!?!)

This is how you occupy the attention of an almost 3-year old while you work.

We kept the same color scheme as the rest of our home, but I finally got wood floors!  You have no idea how hard it is to find things I drop in carpet.  And I drop a lot of things.

Here is the future concept for the room.  My husband is going to build a built-in desk that wraps around 2 sides of the room.  On the blank wall (right) I suppose we'll put some kind of couch or seating.  Underneath the large desk shelf will go filing cabinets and more storage drawers.  My favorite part of the room?  The drop down desk for our kids to play/craft at.  My second favorite part?  A permanent area for my sewing machine.  As it is now, I am constantly getting it out every time I need it and I think this stops me from using it as much as I want to.  And next to that will be an office for our family to share.

I am so excited to watch this project come together.  I'll post progress on this blog!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Birthday Card

Here's the card I made for my hubby this year:

Two of my favorite things: baker's twine and buttons!  I have yet to find an easy way to adhere twine to cards.  Anyone out there have any suggestions? 

Also, I was trying to find a tree stamp but realized I didn't have one so I ended up just freehanding this one.  I don't think it turned out too bad, but I will definately be looking for a tree stamp now.

I also consider this a temporary farewell post as far as crafting and cardmaking/scrapbooking go.  My husband just finished an AWESOME new room for me in our basement to turn into my craft room.  I will post more about it (along with pictures!) later, but lets just say that I am taking this opportunity to completely overhaul my inventory of crafting goodies.  So for the next few months, that will be my free time project.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Baked Fudge

If you follow my personal blog then you know that I made it a goal in January to make a decent batch of brownies this year.  This recipe actually wasn't part of that quest, but these turned out somewhere between brownies and fudge so I guess they could be considered a candidate.

They taste more like brownies but have the consistency of fudge.  They are...oddly delicious.  But they are also chocolate and that's all that matters.  Recipe follows.

Baked Fudge

Makes 30 square
Made in 40 minutes

Melt 1/2 c butter and 3 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate together; gradually beat in 2 c sugar.

Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add 1 t vanilla extract.

Sift 1 1/2 c flour with 1/8 t salt; add to chocolate mixture along with 1 c chopped walnuts.  Stir well.

Grease a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; spread batter evenly in pan.  (I think in hindsight I would try to bake them in a foil lined pan.  I've found it is so much easier to remove bar desserts this way.)

Bake at 350 for 30 min or until done.  Cool and cut into about 30 squares.  Can be frozen.

The consensus was that they were really tasty.  But I just don't think they meet my standards of the ideal brownie (i.e., the ones my mom made while I was growing up) so I will continue baking brownies.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Turkey Breakfast Tacos

Two back stories:

(1) I LOVE breakfast for dinner; especially on Sundays.  My mom made many homemade biscuits, sausage and eggs for dinner after church growing up through when my husband I and lived with them for a year.

(2)  Awhile ago my husband suggested we cut back on the amount of red meat that we eat.  I have to admit, most of my best recipes call for ground beef so I thought this would be near impossible.  It has been a fun challenge to substitute different things for beef.  Turkey is an obvious choice and it is so easy to find now.  Our favorite local store has even begun stocking their own turkey which is a moneysaver over national brands.  I could not tell a difference in this recipe between the turkey sausage and regular sausage.  Delicious all around!  (As far as cutting back on red meat: I don't know how much of a difference it's made health-wise, but I don't miss it at all.  In fact eating red meat now tastes a little strange!)


Turkey Breakfast Sausage
12 large eggs
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
6 large tortillas

In a large non-stick pan, crumble and cook turkey until no longer pink.  Remove from pan.  Wipe pan clean and reserve for cooking eggs.  Break eggs into a large bowl and whisk until yolks and whites are well blended.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into reserved pan and scramble until desired doneness.  In order, top each tortiall with turkey, cheese, eggs and salsa. Fold and serve.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"BLT" Salad

This recipe is fantastic!  Even my husband (who, shall I say, is less enthused about salads than I am) thought it was delicious.

Serves 4
Made in 10 minutes

10 slices turkey bacon
1/4 c each buttermilk ranch salad dressing and plain greek yogurt
2 T water
5 oz bag salad mix (I used the Spring Mix)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
4 slices whole-grain bread, toasted, cut into bite-sized pieces

1.  Cut bacon into small pieces.  Cook in a large skillet as package directs.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk dressing, yogurt and water until smooth.  Add salad mix, tomatoes, onion and half of the bacon; toss to mix and coat.

3.  Transfer to salad plates; top with remaining bacon and croutons.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Camping with my Sweetheart

Just as I used to be a little OCD with my cardmaking, I was naturally the same with my scrapbooking.  EVERYTHING had to be done in chronological order.  This made it pretty difficult to get past, well, junior high school.

The best thing I could have done with my time was to just scrapbook as I could and do the pages in no particular order.  I do still have all of my pictures boxed up according to year, but I randomly pick one box to work on (2002) and I just finished the whole thing!

I didn't chronologically scrapbook the year, either.  I just randomly picked pictures and would finish those and move on to some new ones.

This layout, titled Camping with my Sweetheart,  is about our camping trip we took with my family just before we got married.

It's fun (and wierd) to see a younger version of ourselves.  It's also interesting that, 10 years later, we still go to this exact same spot to camp each year.  The fishing is just as good now as it was back then.

I don't normally scrapbook on really busy patterned paper, such as I used on the right.  But in this case, I think the continuity of pictures on the bottom, along with the solid background on the left helped make it less distracting. 

It's also fun to use newer products on older pictures.  I remember going to the scrapbook store with my friends and everything was so limited (and generic.)  Things have definately changed!

Also, I should specify that I am done scrapbooking 2002 except for our wedding.  That is going to be a project all on its own!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Have you tried...

I love making cards (in case you can't tell) but there is no way that I can come up with thousands (okay-- dozens) of new ideas on my own so I've made a folder with hundreds (okay--that is not an exaggeration) of card recipes. 

At first when I started cardmaking several years ago, I would find a design that I really liked I would try to find the same materials used so I could replicate it exactly.  This often left me frustrated.  Then I realized that it probably wasn't what the designer had in mind in the first place.  Like, "Oh maybe this is just to inspire me to do my own!"  Sometimes I admit I'm not very bright.

Anyway, now I will pull a pattern that I like, such as this one:


I'll look at the supplies they used (i.e., 2 kinds of cardstock, 3 patterned papers, 2 accents, etc.) and just rummage through my stuff until I find something I like.  In this example my card isn't identical, but it is fairly similar.  Sometimes there is no resemblance whatsoever.  I guess it just depends on my mood and what I have on hand.

This has honestly cut the time it takes for me to make a card in half.  If you are a cardmaker, try a recipe every now and then!  My favorite sources are Cardmaker and Paper Crafts Magazines, as well as scrapbook page designs.  I've heard some people even use advertisements or catalogs, but I've tried niether. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tip of the Week

I have a fantastic shortcut when it comes to shredding chicken.  Here's a secret--it involves this:

(I have another secret--I don't really peruse Pinterest.  I have friends that do that.  Then they pass on awesome tips like this to me and I get credit when I blog about it.)

All you do is take a cooked chicken breast (I boiled mine.  When cooked this wayI think they stay juicier and shred easier.) attach the paddle attachment and hit go.

Seriously.  Within a minute two cooked chicken breasts looked like this. 

Painless and easy to clean up.  Try it!