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“Christmas Cookies”

Our Crispy Rice Treats cut into Christmas cookie shapes

Our chocolate of choice, Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses

Melted Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses in my homemade double broiler

We decided to do a different version of “Christmas Cookies” this year–Peppermint Crispy Rice Treats (I’ll call them Crispy Rice Treats instead of Rice Krispies Treats because I used a generic box of crispy rice cereal to make these).  I got the idea from Pinterest and tweaked it a little.  I thought these would be a fun alternative to cookie dough, rolling pins, frosting, food coloring, sprinkles all over the counters, and the many other “joys” that come along with the process of decorating Christmas cookies. (more…)


A Tidy Tangle Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving Dinner Table, minus my sister, the photographer

Our mom decorating Christmas cookies with the grandkids

The guys all had many adventures on the four-wheeling trails

So, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving in a very remote region of the North Carolina mountains with my sister’s family and my parents.  Here are a few pictures highlighting the weekend, thanks to my sister’s photography skills (hint: click on this post to see all the pictures).  We have so much to be thankful for.

Along those lines, I finished Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, recently.  It took me a very long time, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it was so heavy.  Her reflections were like a thousand arrows-to-the-heart, every chapter took me days to digest, and I only felt like I could really absorb its content when I had a quiet house where I could reflect, and I don’t come by a quiet house very often.  So, I’m prayerfully considering taking her challenge and starting my list of 1,000 things I’m thankful for, maybe I shouldn’t need to pray about that, but I guess that just shows how hard my heart is.  A Thanksgiving full of fun, family and food was a good reminder of how blessed I am.


Gift Idea: Rice Heat Therapy Bag

Written by
Dec 2, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday, Sewing | Tags: , , , ,

A few years ago, I made a rice bag out of some bright red corduroy pants that I found at a second hand store.  I simply sewed two rectangles together like a pillow, left a hole and filled it with rice and then finished sewing it up.  (more…)


Family Planner and Recipe Book Follow Up

So, Laura and I are getting prepared for a fun family Thanksgiving with our parents in the North Carolina mountains this week.  Hopefully we’ll have some fun pictures to post when we return!  But, before I leave, I wanted to to a follow-up on the posts I did with ideas on how to make my oilcloth binders into family recipe books and planners.

Using My Oilcloth Mini Binders To Make Recipe Books and Family Planners

My oilcloth mini binders

As a follow up to my first post about how to use my oilcloth mini binders, made to hold half sheets of paper, my sister discovered these recipe refill pages for 4×6 recipe cards that fit perfectly in my mini binders.  They are slightly expensive, but I’ve tried other refill pages for 4×6 index cards that don’t fit as well as these.  These could be very useful for making a recipe book using already existing 4×6 or 3×5 index cards.  Websites such as allrecipes.com allow you to print their recipes in 4×6 format, or you can find many cute and creative printable recipe cards here on Etsy. (more…)


Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

The ingredients

Used stand mixer to shred the soap

After processing it

A few weeks ago, my sister shared how to make homemade laundry detergent.  Well, I made it and it turned out to be thicker than I wanted and I didn’t have a stock pot big enough for the experiment so I decided that perhaps, a powder was a better solution for us.  I don’t mind powder and my machine has a special place just for the powder so that plenty of water rushes through the detergent to dissolve it.  (more…)


Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

Written by
Nov 15, 2011 | Pinteresting Finds | Tags: ,

Here is yet another Pinteresting Find, homemade oatmeal cream pies.  We made ’em, we love ’em!!  Recipe here.


Update to Homemade Laundry Detergent

Written by
Nov 11, 2011 | Pinteresting Finds, Topics | Tags: ,

Meet, The Blob

Before blending, very gloppy, but still very useable

Whipping it up with the handy dandy submersion blender

So, my sister tried my homemade laundry detergent recipe and commented that her consistency was very thick, nearly solid when it finally cooled.  It had been a while since I made my first batch, so I’d kind of forgotten all the exact details regarding the end product.  But, I whipped up another batch today and had a similar experience to Laura.  So, I thought I’d do a quick follow up, lest anyone else have this experience and think their efforts were wasted–I assure you, all’s not lost.



Homemade Hand Soap

Homemade hand soap and canning jar soap dispenser

Grated bar of soap in a stock pot

Blending it to get the right consistency

As promised, I’m back to tell you how I successfully made my own hand soap recently. I found the recipe on Pinterest, but tweaked it a little to what should be a foolproof method for everyone.  Also, at the end of this post, I will show you where to go to learn how to turn a canning jar into a soap dispenser–a double dose of fun!

I am going to read your minds and answer three questions about making hand soap before you ask them: yes, it works great, yes it’s cost-saving and yes, it was easy!  Although I’ve listed four ingredients here, it really can be made with two simple ingredients–a bar of soap and water.



Pie Making Workshop

So you may have noticed that I renamed Wednesday “Wonderful Wednesday” or maybe you didn’t.  I was having a hard time collecting enough photos to make Wordless Wednesday a smashing success so I decided to rename the day something vague to allow more room for creativity.  The truth is, I just haven’t been doing very much these days other than just trying to keep the house clean and our bellies full amidst the chaos! (more…)


Fall Pics

Written by
Nov 2, 2011 | Everything Else |

My son and Laura's daughter at the park

My mom and boy #5 at one of many soccer games over the weekend

Three Mario Brothers suited up and ready to trick or treat

A few pics from my recent trip I took with boy #5 to visit my sister, my parent’s visit over the weekend, and Halloween.  Fall is just flying by!

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