Thursday, August 30, 2007

This and That

Since I will be heading out to the store early Friday morning I decided to post before I turn in for the night. I like to get going early. I do not like to grocery shop when it is crowded.

There are many things planned for the long weekend. Saturday evening we will be attending a cookout hosted by Chuck's grandmother. Sometime this weekend we need to go help my parents close their swimming pool. The details haven't been worked out yet. I would like to get my fall things ready. Also do some crafting if I have time. Then we have the normal things like yard work and such. Oh, and maybe we can squeeze some rest and relaxation in there too!

Hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Mitten Gift Tags

This year everyone will be receiving a pair of mittens with their package! I thought these would add a little spice to brown paper wrapping. I will be writting who the package is to on one mitten and then from on the other.

Other then the time it takes to cut these out, they are so easy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

To make these I made chocolate chip cookies using this recipe. To make large cookies I used an ice cream scoop to get an uniform size. Once the cookies where scooped onto the cookie sheet I flattened them slightly. After the cookies had cooled I put them in the freeze. (You need to freeze the cookies so they do not get mushy when you add the ice cream.) While the cookies were in the freezer I scooped the ice cream. I put it on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator to soften. I added each scoop to the cookie and pushed the ice cream down using the other cookie. I then rolled the edges in mini chocolate chips.
These are so rich that we could not each a whole sandwich. I ended up cutting one in half and we shared it. Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Popcorn and a Movie

Lately we have been renting a movie on Friday evening. It has become quite the tradition for us to put Megan to bed pop some popcorn and put in a movie.

I found these cute popcorn containers in the dollar bin at Target. I thought they would add some fun to our Movie Fridays. From the movie I am sure you can tell it was my week to choose! With the heat we have been having it has been fun to get in our pj's and settle down for the evening.

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Haircut

As you can tell from the photos it was not a pleasant experience for Megan. Good thing it was quick!

This is after we returned home. See no damage was done and she no longer has bangs hanging in her eyes! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hot Mulled Cider Mix

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp whole clover
1/4 tsp salt
dash nutmeg
3 cinnamon stick
(I doubled this recipe)

I packaged it in my new jars.

I used this to tamp down the mix. I then added the orange slices (finally I used them!) and cinnamon sticks. To finish it off I printed the instructions (add 1/2 of the jar, 1/2 of the orange slices and 3 cinnamon sticks to 2 quarts of apple cider) on cardstock and tied it on with jute.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mason Jars

I found these jars at Wal*Mart.

Most of you know I just love canning jars! They are from the collection Elite: Contemporary Styled. I am far from contemporary, but thought these were too cute to resist!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dried Cinnamon Apple Wreath

To make these I first dried my apples. Slice your apples and soak for 20 minutes in 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tbs salt. Remove and pat dry. Roll pieces in cinnamon and allspice mixture (optional). Place on wire rack on top of cookie sheet and bake at 150 for 6 hrs or until dry. Turn pieces over if they start to curl. I found that with the chunks instead of slices it took about 8 hrs for them to dry. They smell so yummy when they are drying. Chuck came home and thought I made apple pie!

Next I cut a piece of floral wire to the desire length. I then pushed the pieces onto the wire; leave enough wire at both ends to twist the wreath together.

Then I cut a piece of fabric and looped it around the wreath. This covers the twisted wire and gives you something to hang the wreath with.

I then added a bow and the wreath was complete!

I hung these from a corner cabinet in my kitchen. I was able to fold the fabric over the door and attach with a thumbtack. To preserve the wreath you should spray it with acrylic spray. I opted to skip this step so that I could have the cinnamon smell throughout the kitchen. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Future Subscriber

Megan is taking a peek at a Taste of Home magazine. It is like she was saying
"Look Mama, cupcakes!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nice Matters Award

Imagine my surprise when I went to visit one of my favorite blogs and and saw that I had been given a "Nice Matters Award". Thank you Mrs U for giving me this award. I am truly honored. You said such nice things about me that you made me blush! Oh, and definitely smile!!

If you have a minute please stop by and see Mrs U. She is a sweet lady with lots of wonderful homekeeping tips!

Lunch Guest

Yesterday I had my friend Michelle and her two sweet little girls over for lunch. We had a great time chatting while the girls played. This is what was on the menu:

Pizza Casserole (picture & recipe to follow)
Veggie Tray w/ Dip
Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I only used 1 pound)
1 can (15 oz) pizza sauce*
2 tubes (12 oz each) biscuits*
1 1/2 cup (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
toppings of your choice (I added pepperoni)

*I am sure your homemade versions can be substituted!

Brown & drain ground beef. Stir in pizza sauce and toppings. Quarter biscuits; place in a greased 9x13 baking sheet. Top with beef mixture. Bake uncovered, at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Top with cheeses and bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 8 oz chocolate candy bar; chopped
Beat margarine, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Drop by rounded tbs full on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before removing.
Oh my! That is all I can say about these cookies. They were such a hit that Chuck asked if I could make more so he could take them into work to share today. If that isn't the stamp of approval I don't know what is! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dried Orange Slices

Cut orange into slices. Place on wire rack placed on cookie sheet. Bake in 150 degree (mine only went down to 170) for 6 hours or until dry. If edges start to curl turn the slices over. Depending on what you are planning do with your slices you can cut them in half or quarters.
I will post another day to show you what I am planning to do with these.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Canning Jar Storage

Normally I would store these things in ziploc bags. Since I am trying to cut my grocery budget this is my storage solution. Not only practical, but cute too! I just love canning jars. Can't you just imagine opening your Granny's cupboard and seeing everything neatly put away in a canning jar.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Learning

Here are my good deals.

I bought 4 packages of Kotex (16 ct) from CVS. They were buy one at $3.49 get a second package for $1. I used three $2 off coupons and one $1 off coupon. Total cost $1.98

At Walgreens I purchases two bottles of Bayer (32 ct). They were 2/$3.00. I had two coupons for $1.10 off. Total cost $0.80.

Thanks to everyone for your inspiration. Please keep posting about your great finds. I am learning!

Declutter & Make Money

This cabinet sits in the living room with a hutch on top. The cabinet underneath holds a hodge podge of things. It was getting to the point where it was not fun to open the cabinet for fear of something falling out. This is the before picture.

I removed books that I had read and did not want to keep. I passed them along to my mother-in-law. I found a basket that I had received a gift in to contain all of the diaper supplies. Then we sorted out the CD's.

We had tons of then. More then we were listening to. Chuck ended up taking them to a used CD store. He called on his way home to say he sold most of them for $280! Saying I was shocked is an understatement. Not only I was I able to declutter, but we made money in the process. Have to like that!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cleaning with Vinegar

I really need to cut my grocery budget. One area where I always seem to spend more is in cleaning supplies. They are expensive, even with coupons. I was reading this list of all the cleaning uses for vinegar. I am curious how many of you clean with vinegar and baking soda? If so, what have your results been?

Any tips on cleaning on the cheap would be appreciated.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Christmas in August

Look what I received in the mail!

I receive this book every year. It is jammed backed with yummy recipes and lots of cute crafts! When Megan is napping this afternoon I hope to be able to sit down and really look at it. It almost felt like Christmas when I opened it up!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Brown Sugar Keeper

When Chuck returned from a visit to Northwestern Iowa he brought me this little goodie. I love it! All you do is soak this in water and drop into your brown sugar. Every three months or so you need to soak it again. No more hard lumps in my brown sugar.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Crumb Cake

Mix together:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

In another bowl mix:
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs oil
2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry and wet ingredients together and press into greased 9x13 baking dish.

Mix together:
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cut in 2 sticks butter. Crumble over the top of the batter.

Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes. Rotate half way through. Dust with powdered sugar.

I am not sure where this recipe came from. Very simple to make. A great fall variation would be to layer on cinnamon apples before the crumb topping is put on. Enjoy!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Stop and Smell the....


These petunias are in a window box on the garage window. For some reason yesterday they were very fragrant. The smell of these flowers always make me think of my grandmother. Mom always had petunias growing when I was a child. Just the smell makes me think of her. I can picture them growing in a planter on the old farmhouse porch. I can remember playing in the evening and the grown ups all sitting on the porch. Funny how a smell can bring back such a wonderful memory!

Friday, August 03, 2007

This and That

This morning there are so many things swimming around in my head. Yesterday I had one of those days. You know the day when nothing is going right. Megan was having a day when she just wasn't happy. I would hold her and she would cry. I would pick her up and she would cry. Everything I did made her cry! I felt like a terrible mother, a couple of times yesterday I just had to lay her down on the floor and walk away. I was never so happy to see Chuck walk through the door yesterday!

Today is already better. Megan is back to her normal self and lucky for us this is Chuck's Friday off. Yeah!

The to do list is long. Some errands this morning and then I will be baking a cake for my niece. My sister will be coming over this evening so we can decorate it. She wants polka dots. Simple! I will post a picture when it is complete.

I am also wanting to read through my ever growing pile of magazines. I need to get my craft and recipes in the organizer. I also have lots of craft ideas swimming around in my head. I need to write them down before I forget!

I hope everyone has a fabulous and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Seed Packets

I have started my Christmas craft projects. Boy is it hard to think of Christmas when it is over ninety degrees by 10 am and still close to that at 10 pm!

My mother-in-law is an avid gardener so I crafted these for her. Here is how these were made.
1. Cut out using pattern.

2. Fold side flaps together and then secure with double sided tape.

3. Fold up both of the end flaps. Secure only one with double sided tape.

4. For the closure I punched a hole in the back of the seed packed and a matching hole in the top flap. I then threaded ribbon through the holes. The ribbon is then tied in a bow to secure packet closed.

5. Decorate the front of the seed packet to your liking.

I made six packets and put a scripture on the front of each one. In case you are interested this is the scripture I used.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive"
1 Corinthians 15:22

"He has made everything beautiful in His time."
Ecclesiastes 3:2

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
Isaiah 40:8

"The whole earth is full of His glory!"
Isaiah 6:3

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."
Psalms 37:7

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad."
Psalms 126:3

I tied the packets together with twine. This will go into a gardening basket. Along with a stepping stone that will have Megan's little foot prints.

If anyone is interested in making these I would be happy to email you the pattern. Just leave a comment with your e-mail address.

Now that I have been bitten by the crafting bug I will be scouring blogs and magazines for cute ideas!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

13 Months

It is hard to believe that you have been in our lives for 4 months! My how you have changed. You are crawling all over the place and love it when we hold your fingers and walk you. You squeal in delight and it just cracks us up! You are really starting to pull up and when we put you behind your push toy you try hard to walk with it. It is so funny because half the time you forget you have to move your legs along with it!

I am amazed everyday with how wonderful you are. I am truly blessed to be your Mama!