Yummy Mexican “Lasagna”


I just made this for the first time and it was SO good! I am a total Mexican food junkie and this was so easy to make. It is a new favorite at our house. I got this recipe out of the Dinner Doctor recipe book. I love that book! It has the greatest foods in it!

Here is what you need:

1 lb. ground beef (lean is best)

1 jar chunky salsa (when I went to make mine, I realized I didn’t have much. I ended up subbing some of it for some taco seasoning)

6 corn tortillas (10 inch)

1 can (16 oz) refried beans

1 cup sour cream (I used more)

1 package (8 oz/2 cups) Mexican style cheese

Chopped fresh tomato (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cook ground beef in a skillet thoroughly. Stir in 1/2 cup of salsa. Or you can just use the taco seasoning.

3. Spread remaining salsa in the bottom of a 10 inch pie pan. Top it with 3 tortillas. Spread half of the beans over the tortillas, then half of the meat mixture, then 1/2 cup of the sour cream, then 1 cup of the cheese. Top with the remaining 3 tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with all but 1/4 cup of the remaining cheese. Cover the pan loosely with foil.

4. Bake until it is hot throughout and the cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Garnish the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and chopped tomato.

Serves 6-8

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Trying new things on Studio 5

I love watching Studio 5 when I am in Utah. We need to be able to watch it in Idaho! Today, I had a few pictures on it!


When we first came to SLC this week, Dave decided that we needed to try new things. We went to the Sweet’s Candy Factory and took a tour. It was so cool. Not too mention, you get free samples!


We also decided to go to Gilgal Sculpture Garden. It is so random, but totally awesome! You have got to check this place out.


We also were planning on going to the Bees season opening baseball game because we love them. BUT it was snowed out! So to try something new, we scalped tickets to the Jazz game for $10!


Try something new this weekend!

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I’ve got a beef

With my sewing machine. I never have, nor will I ever claim to be a sewing expert. But I’m pretty sure this isn’t supposed to happen…


If you are wondering why my cute shirt tutorial isn’t up yet, ask the Singer. Grrr.

I hope you’re having a happier day than I am!

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Stenciled Curtain Tutorial

In our bedroom, we have little cubby areas that are great for storage. We don’t have many storage areas in our house, so this space is extremely valuable! The only problem is that you can see all of your ugly storage all of the time! This had to come to an end. That is why I decided to make some curtains! I will teach you how I did it.

Ugly before pictures…



What you will need…

*Burlap (as much as you need for your area)

*Paint (Nothing special, just the cheap stuff in whatever color you want)

*Stencil (I got mine for less than $5 at Walmart)

*Foam paintbrush

*Broken down box (This is used to protect your table. You can use anything else that will work to keep the paint from getting on a surface you don’t want to be ruined)

As far as sewing them, of course you will need a sewing machine and thread, and then you will also  need a curtain rod to suit your needs. I just got little spring rods for about $3.


#1 Look at your fabric as a whole and decide the general areas of where you want your stencils. I kind of wanted mine to be at random, so I got a very general idea and just went with the flow.

#2 Set your stencil on your fabric (you can tape it there, but I decided that it took too much time). Dip your brush in a small amount of paint and start tapping the paint onto the stencil. It is best to start with a smaller amount of paint and add more.


#4 After you have stenciled all of your fabric, let it dry.

#5 Hem all sides of the burlap. This stuff frays like CA-RAZY! Make one thick hem on top of your curtain where your curtain rod will go through.


Easy as pie! I love them now!


They are the best way to cover our nasty storage areas!

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Pottery Barn Moss Letter Tutorial

I have the most talented momma!


This picture was taken on my senior trip at the Mall of America! We have changed a bit, but it is one of my favorite pictures. My mom made a tutorial for us today! I am so excited to show you.  Did you know that Pottery Barn is now carrying live plants? My mom saw these and fell in love.


I love them! Well here is her version.


This is what she had to say about her very first tutorial…

“I really think I did it the hard way though. It would be so much easier if you just found a cut out letter and covered it with sheet moss. Also, it would take a lot less moss. I used half a box on mine because I stuffed the chicken wire tube with it too. You can get sheet moss from most florists. My cost was $35 for a banana box full so I figure I only have about $20 into it. I think making a “P” would be tons easier!   I know you could easily do it with sheet moss, spray adhesive and a little wire. It would look more finished with a firm letter backing too. Good luck!”


I’m so lucky to have my talented momma! I need to make of of these too!

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Island in the Sun Cupcakes

We went to an island themed party last week. I signed up to bring an island themed desert. This is what I came up with.


Now you can learn how to make them too!


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Happy Love Day!

Today I get to celebrate how much I love this guy.

dave mckenzie (401)dave mckenzie (402)

Tell someone you love them today!

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My Phineas and Ferb (Perry) Cookie Tute!

Dave is a 3rd grade teacher. After hearing his students talk about Phineas and Ferb so much, he decided to watch it himself. Well, we are hooked now! It is so funny! He just turned 24 last month and of course I had to make him some Phineas and Ferb themed cookies. What else would a 24 year old want? Lucky you, you get to learn how to make them too! Just a warning, this post is long!


This what they look like. If you aren’t familiar with these characters, these cookies might be a little on the hideous side, but I LOVE them!


This is what you will need:

Sugar cookie mix (or if you are more of a go getter, do home made), shredded coconut, food coloring, frosting, wafer cookies, black gel frosting, Sour Patch Kids, square and triangle cookie cutters, and frosting eyeballs.

I have to direct you to Karen’s Cookies to get these adorable frosting eyes. They made the cookies look so good! I got the bigger ones, they are only roughly $3 for about 80 of them! I also got the cookie cutters there. They are great!

I had to make quite a few cookies so I baked them and here is where you go from there…


Dump your frosting in a bowl and add food coloring to start creating your teal color for Perry the Platypus. Now this will show how much I really do like the show, in their Christmas album, there is a song that describes Perry as “A Lovely Shade of Teal”. So I had to find a great shade for that. I used the regular food coloring colors, along with the neon ones and came up with this after a while.


I would say that looks like a pretty “lovely shade of teal” myself!


Now frost all of your square/rectangle cookies in the teal color. Now you are creating a Perry!


My favorite part of these cookies are Perry’s tail. I took the yellow/orange wafer cookies and broke them in half. Then put them on the end of Perry.


Now for Perry’s mouth. All I did was put an orange Sour Patch Kid across from his tail and up just slightly to create a Perry mouth.


It is time for Perry to grow some feet! Cut yellow Sour patch kids in half and add them to the bottom of Perry to give him some feet.


Now you can use your super cute frosting eyeballs that you got from Karen’s Cookies and he comes to life!


Now it is Phineas’ turn!


Add food coloring to more frosting to create a nice flesh color.


Frost all of your triangles.


Put some shredded coconut in a bowl and mix it with some orange food coloring. This is going to be his hair!


Add a little bit of coconut to the corner of each triangle. Phineas is starting to come to life!


Add two more of your eyeballs to your cookies just barely down the edge from his hair. This part I had to use a picture of him to be sure I got the angles right. Just think of the top edge as the bridge of his nose.


Now take your black gel and give him a smile! All you have to do is add a little bent line at the bottom!

You are done! All of your kiddos (or husbands) will love them!

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Jeep vs. Concrete Wall

The concrete wall won.
At the moment, we are living at my grandparents house while they are in Yuma, AZ soaking up the sun. Dave and I have been carpooling to Idaho Falls everday that I work so that we can save on gas money. I am so glad that we carpooled this morning. The roads were the slickest that I have ever seen. I was in the passenger seat holding our little puppy, Sadie. We hit a really slick patch of ice and slid off the road. We were heading right towards either a telephone pole and a concrete box for irrigation pumps. Luckily, we hit the concrete box. The telephone pole could have done much worse.
We weren’t hurt seriously, but it really puts things into perspective. I have such an incredible husband. He threw his arm out to try to keep me from being hurt. In the process he hurt his other wrist. My mom and dad were lifesavers coming right to our rescue and driving us around all day today. The sweet lady named Jennifer that let Sadie and I come into her house and stay warm until the police officer and tow truck came. The insurance agent, doctors, coworkers, Dave’s students, and everyone else that helped us out today. We are so lucky that we are safe. We are driving a rental car until our Jeep is fixed. Days like today really remind me what is important in life. 
Things that I am greatful for…
My husband
Sadie puppy
Mom and Dad
Carson and Payton (the bros)
Police officers
Kind residents of this city
Car insurance
My Heavenly Father
Jesus Christ
Take a moment and think of what you are greatful for.
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Winner of our Giveaway! And cupcake tutorial!

Well first of all, I have to say I am sorry about bailing on you yesterday! It ended up being a little bit nuts! We found our dream house! Today we are going to put an offer on it! Wish us luck! So here is the moment you all have been waiting for. The winner of our EveryPrettyThing giveaway is…
#9 DotheTwist 
Congrats! I am totally jealous! Please email me at artistrybymckenzieg(at)hotmail.com and let me know what your address is so that you can get your cute pillow!
Because you didn’t get a post yesterday, you get 2 posts today! Right now, you get a tutorial! I made the cutest cupcakes yesterday! Here they are!
Rudolf the Rednosed Cupcake
They were a huge hit at our family Christmas party last night, and were so easy to make. Make them for your Christmas parties coming up! Here is what you will need…
*Mini Oreos
*Pretzel twists
*Chocolate chips
*Chocolate cake mix
*Chocolate frosting
*Black decorating gel
*Christmas M&Ms
*Cupcake baking cups
Step 1: Bake the cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box. Let the cupcakes cool
Step 2: While your cupcakes are cooling prepare your pretzels. Snap pretzels in 1/2 then snap the tops off of them. This will make them look like little antlers. Put them on a plate and set them aside.
Step 3: Separate the Oreos and keep the halves with the cream on them. Set aside.
Step 4: Frost your cupcakes once they have cooled. I used the Betty Crocker Whipped Chocolate. It goes on so well! I would suggest using the whipped kind.
Step 5: Put 2 Oreo halves on each cupcake towards the top. They will be the reindeer eyes.
Step 6: Use the decorating gel to make the reindeer mouth. Make a “J” shape and then a backwards “J” to create a mouth shape.
Step 7: Put a chocolate chip on each Oreo to finish the eyes.
Step 8: Put a red M&M in the center of the cupcake at the top of the mouth. This is your red reindeer nose!
Step 9: Now you get to add the antlers! Poke 2 pretzels into the top of the cupcake and you have a completed reindeer!
Aren’t they so cute?
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