He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

31 May 2010

{Pork Loin with Honeyed Butter}

I'm not a huge honey fan but honey and butter together? Now, that's a different story!
This recipe is SuPeR quick, SuPeR easy and SO GOOD!

You can get this on the table in 30 mins.
Main Ingred{s}: boneless pork loin, honey, butter
Goes great with mashed potatoes or busquits and green beans.

{The Best Pretzels Ever}

I was blog-browsing last night and came across these at Home Sweet Home. Thankfully the recipe is super simple so I had everything on hand and they only took about an hour and a half which includes 45 mins of rising time. Well worth it but be ready to eat 'em when you make 'em... they're SO GOOd right out of the oven!!

** Be sure not to roll the dough too thin. I made that mistake on my first batch and they don't rise very much. Stick with the 1/2" that Brandy recommends

Oh yeah, they are THAT good! 

UPDATE: I got a little nervous that the link wouldn't exist in the future and didn't want to lose the recipe so here it is, just in case it gets deleted. This one's too good to lose! 
You will never buy a pretzel again! I've been using this recipe for a couple of years, it is the BEST! I found this on a copy cat recipe site. It cost me .89 to download the recipe and was worth every penny, lol.

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 T. plus 1/4 tsp. yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups plus 2 T powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 c. warm water
1/4 c. baking soda

Cinnamon Topping
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in the warm water in a small bowl or cup. Let sit for a few minutes.Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water with yeast and vegetable oil. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Dough will be nice and smooth when it's ready. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it, and store it in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
OR, if you use your breadmaker for everything, like I do, just put all ingredients in my bread machine and let it run on the roll cycle. When dough has risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Make a bath for the pretzels by combining the baking soda with the warm water and stir until baking soda is mostly dissolved. The baking soda seperates from the water easily. So stir it every couple of minutes as you are dipping the pretzels to make sure that there is an even distribution of powder/water mix on each pretzel.
Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into desired shapes. I always roll the dough out to 1/2" thick and cut into strips like pretzel bites, but if you are ambitious, you can roll them into pretzel shapes.

Dip each pretzel into the bath solution. Put each pretzel on a paper towel for a moment to blot. Arrange on cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray. If you want salt, sprinkle pretzels with kosher salt. Don't salt any pretzels that you plan to coat with cinnamon/sugar.

Bake one baking sheet at a time. Bake 4 minutes, then spin the pan halfway around and make another 4 or 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. If you want to eat some now, brush 'em with melted butter first before serving. If you want the cinnamon/sugar coating, brush with butter and sprinkle heave coating of cinnamon/sugar onto the entire surface of the pretzel. Munch out!

30 May 2010

FaBRic GaRLaNd

{DaY 22}

I had been planning to do this one eventually but the task of cutting out all the triangles was daunting enough to keep me away... UNTIL, that is, my FaNtAStiC friend gave me a bag of scraps and she included a zillion triangles she had already cut out. Unfortunately for her, I'm pretty sure she cut them all out by hand rather than doing it the cheater way but it doesn't matter now because it's all done!
These are great for party's, showers, or just to hang around your kiddo's bedroom as something fun on the walls.

Below is the precut stack she gave me!!
{click here for the cheater way if you aren't as blessed as I was and have to cut your own}

WhAt YoU'Ll NeEd:
Double OR Single Fold Bias Tape
Fabric for Triangles {1 yard should get you about 20}

OnE: sew the two long sides of your triangles with the right sides facing out {no need to sew along the top for this project}

TwO: using either straight blade or zig-zag {ugh! the true name escapes me right now} scissors, trim and clean up all three sides {i recommend using a straight edge for the top so it fits into the bias tape easier}

THrEe: open bias tape and place tops of triangles inside and pin

FoUr: Sew town center of the bias tape being sure to catch both the front and back of the tape


All-Natural Peanut Butter

PRoBleM: all-natural peanut butter can be a pain to use...
the oil floats to the top and the bottom gets hard...

SoLuTioN: store the jar upside-down and it will come out nice and smoothe

Mother Tested, Family Approved

"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens."

There aren't many things as satisfying as preparing a healthy meal with your own hands for your family. Whether you're a superb chef with hours to spend in the kitchen or a so-so cook who uses canned goods to get you through, putting food on the table for your family without stopping at the pick-up window at your local fast-food or family style restaurant can be truly rewarding.

Here are some quick and yummy recipes that fall more on the healthy side of things. I have tested each one of these myself, mind you, and they are intended to keep your family going while leaving you time to enjoy them.

First things first... a couple sites have been good to me when I've run dry on ideas for dinner...

SuperCook.com - Just type in the ingredients you have on hand and this site does the searching for you.

RecipeZaar.com - I've found a lot of practical recipes on here for the everyday cook. (I often only use the ones with the highest ratings)

Epicurious.com and FoodNetwork.com - Both have some tastey recipes but often require some planning because they take more time

A Year of Slow Cooking - Tons of great crockpot/slow cooker recipes

Now that that's out of the way... Enjoy these recipes!

29 May 2010

{Strawberry Pie}

This recipes comes to you from my dear friend Natalie who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a short time ago. While pregnant, Natalie told me, on more than one occassion, that she was craving strawberry pie and, catching me at a weak moment, I had to get the recipe.

Oh My GoOdnESs!!! This recipes is So STinKiN GoOD AND QuICk, oh yeah, AND EaSY... so I asked her to share...

1 pie crust
1 lb. fresh strawberries
10 oz 7-up (7 up or the equivalent, not sprite)
3 semi heaping tbsp corn starch
1 cup sugar
1 box of strawberry jello

1. Bake pie crust to package directions, let cool. Slice strawberries, set aside.

2. Combine 7-up, sugar and cornstarch and cook on med to high heat until cornstarch dissolves and mixture turns clear, stirring often. Approx 10 min

3. Add the strawberry jello, stir until dissolved, let cool for about 5 min

4. Place fresh strawberries on the bottom of pie crusts and pour sugar mixture on top

5. Refrigerate for approximately 5 hours


{DaY 21}
I LoVe these shoes andI've made a TON of them. I originally used the pattern from Family Centered Life but have since made my own. If you want to give it a go, click on the "Soft Baby Shoes Pattern"

I also found these and think they're adorable!

Most patterns out there aren't particularly helpful in getting the right fit for you little one's feet so I found this helpful post at Tacky Living...

Scaling the pattern:

- Measure the length of your child's foot from heel to toes. (This part can be challenging, since children tend to wiggle their toes furiously.)
- To that number, add 1/2" for "wiggle room" and 1/4" for seam allowances, for a total of an extra 3/4".
- Next, measure the length of the pattern piece for the sole, including the seam allowances.

The amount you'll need to scale the pattern will be the length of your child's foot + 3/4", divided by the length of the sole pattern piece. To get a percentage for copying machines and software, multiply the scale number by 100.

28 May 2010

Raindrops on Roses...

In my search for my "30 DaYs" projects I have come across thousands of fantastic ideas. Some I will try when I have time or money, others I just think are great ideas and I don't want to lose them. I have been keeping them in a MSWord document for months now but I figure I can kill two birds with one stone and put them on here so maybe you can try them out too. Plus, this way I'll know where to find the good ideas when I need a little InSPiRaTioN! Rather than waiting for another day and another idea, here you are!

How About Orange... has links to several other links for free purse patterns.
{click on picture to be brought to pattern links}

I'm particularly loving the fused plastic reusable grocery bag since I spent some time fusing plastic lately and haven't figured out what to do with it all yet.

27 May 2010


{DaY 20}

I wanted something mindless to do today so I figured it was a good time to try these.
I found both tutorials at How About Orange...




{Day 19}
Our mudroom is ALMOST complete with just a little painting, staining and grouting left.
The curtain {aka stagecoach curtain} for the window was just for looks since that side of the house is north facing. None the less, I had the fabric, so why not?!

Oh yeah... and I found a great old shelving unit at a tag sale for $10 this weekend! {LoVE tag sales!}

**If you want to know the instructions for this, just let me know. It is super easy but for some reason take A LOT of explaining!

26 May 2010

No Poo Update

It's been close to two months of no pooing and I had my hair cut and washed last week. Before the cut I was able to go 5 days without "washing" but after using the shampoo and conditioner, I had to "wash" my hair twice in four days. No bueno!
I'm in the midst of trying to stretch back out which is annoying but I'm a fan of no pooing and plan to stick with it a little while longer.

My eventual plan is to find more natural means of washing my hair {shampoos with no SLS or other harsh detergents} but until then... I'm a no-pooer.

Homemade Deodorant

Yes, some may say I've gone off the deep end and yes... I admit my means of hygene have gotten a little crazy but to alay any fears you may have...
I will try anything once and I will not continue to use something that doesn't work. But this.... yes, this works.

I've seen this recipe several places:
1/3 cup coconut oil
5-10 drops tea tree oil
10 or so drops your favorite essential oil {optional}
baking soda
old deodorant dispenser {optional}

Melt the coconut oil in a  pan on your stovetop, drop in 1/4 c of baking soda. Stir well and then add tea tree and other oil {if you've chosen to use it}. Stir again and then slowly add more baking soda one tablespoon at a time and stir until you almost can't stir it anymore but is still pasty. Spoon the mixture into a bowl or deodorant dispenser and let set. ** Remember coconut oil has a really low melting point so on really hot days you may want to keep it in your fridge because, though it won't become liquid again, it may become too soft to apply with easily with a dispenser.

(It's been 5 years and we are still using this recipe! Even got the Hubs to switch over!)


{DaY 18}
I saw this project on A Lemon Squeezy Home and LOVED it. So here it is!

And of course my handsome model...


{DaY 17}
Just to assure you that I've been busy and not ignoring my 30 day promise... {This is a culmination of several projects over a couple days}

Remember the "Befores"

PrOJeCT OnE: Spray paint the wall off white {LOTS of fumes! I was afraid of turning the heat on because I was convinced the pilot light on my heater would cause the basement to blow up! Probably not my wisest move but definitely the easiest way to paint cinder block!}

PrOJeCT TwO: Shower Curtain into table skirt

PrOJeCt THrEe: Fabric curtain to block off oil tank and electic panel.
I hung some light block fabric that I had a ton of {I have no idea why} and used clothes pins to keep the two panels together and weigh the fabric so it hung to the floor. I used this same fabric to block off the back of the metal shelves so I didn't have to stare at the freezer.

PrOJeCT FoUr: Paint the piece of free peg board I got from my Grumpa. I bough a set of hooks for the board for... $7 dollars? {Notice the doll on the board... my "OoPs" from a previous project.

I also changed out the carpet and plan to redo the floor lamp in the back but overall... it's done.

24 May 2010

BaBy GirL KiMoNo

{DaY 16}
I confess... I'm NOT a clothes maker! I made a couple skirts back in high school that ended up much smaller than intended and well, that's about it. I'm not good at being precise {also why I'm a better cook than a baker} so I often fenagle things to make them work. This was my first real attempt at something so I did it with fabric I had excess of and didn't spend anything... this is what I came up with...

It's not all that pretty and that's okay. I read through the Martha Stewarts Baby Kimono Pattern before starting and it was rather confusing {another reason I don't make clothes}. So now that I've got it figured out I think I'll try this again {with cuter fabric and more precise details} and I will change the pattern a little. I like the idea of difficult colored cuffs on the sleeves and maybe toggles instead of ties. We'll see.

20 May 2010

PhoTo/MeMoRY/NoTe BoARd

{DaY 15}
As part of my "craft room makeover" I was hoping to find a place to keep my photos, pattern pieces and ideas. I would say "inspirations" but Sweet Hubby insisits on mocking that word. I happen to LoVE that word but so goes it.
I had, what I thought was, the BRiLliAnT idea of using a ceiling as the backing. My bedroom at home had a drop ceiling and my parents had spare tiles in a closet so I stole one and tried it out. It worked wonderfully! {and then I found out, looking online, that I was not the first to have the idea of using a ceiling tile so this is hardly a "KrYstLE OrIGinAL"!
Anyway... here is my totally unoriginal photo/memory/note/INsPiRAtiON board!

WHaT YoU NeEd:- ceiling tile
- quilt batting {an old towel or fleece will due
... I used fleece cause I had extra lying around}
-Staple Gun or Hot Glue Gun
- Ribbon
- Main Fabric
- Buttons
- Pencil
- Needle and Thread
- Long Ruler
- Drill {optional}

OnE: using a long ruler, mark and draw where you want to put your ribbon being sure to carry the line around the edge and onto the back because you'll cover up your lines next.
Optional: drill two holes on either side of intersecting lines for easier sewing on buttons. {average strength needles should go through the tile without holes without problem}
TwO: cut batting/fleece and main fabric to size {about 8" wider and longer than the tile}

THrEe: pull raw edges tightly towards the center of the back of the tile and staple.
{depending on the length of your staples, they may not hold well so you may want to consider longer staples or hot glue}

FoUr: using the lines you drew ahead as a reference, staple/glue one end of the ribbon onto the back of the ceiling tile, wrap it tightly over the front of the board and staple/glue it to the back of the board again.

FiVe: keep going till all your ribbons are secured

SiX: using the holes you drilled, sew buttons on to your intersecting points. for added security, add buttons on to your edges.
{unfortunetly I ran out of daylight so the final isn't a great photo, thankfully bad pictures don't mean bad projects. it's in my "craft area" and works great!}

17 May 2010


{DaY 14}
Another quick and easy scrap project! I did these in an hour or two but I'll admit now that I had help from Sweet Hubby who put the beans in the bags {the hardest part} while we chatted and I sewed.

YoU'lL NeEd:
- scrap fabric
- fabric paint
- freezer paper
- paint brush
- beans {we used pinto}

WHaT tO Do:

OnE: Free-hand {or print and trace} letters onto freezer paper.
TwO: Cut out letters to create a stencil so be careful to leave the backing in tact.
THrEe: Cut out two 5" squares of fabric for each bag you're creating {a front piece and a back piece}.
THrEe: Using a steamless iron, iron freezer paper letter to one side of the bean bag.
FoUr: Paint over cut out space on fabric, let dry, and remove freezer paper to reveal your letter.
FiVe: Match up one front piece and one back piece, right sides together, and sew 1/4" seam around the edge {remember to leave a 2" gap open for stuffing}
SiX: Turn bag right sides out, iron if you'd like.
SeVEn: Fill bag halfway with beans. We used the body of a small spray bottle... we filled it and then stuck the narrow neck of the bottle into the hole of the bag and poured them in.
EiGHt: Take bag back to sewing machine and stitch gap closed. You can stop here if you'd like but for added security I stitched an inner seam 1/2" in from the outer edge {you can see this clearly on the camo bag in picture below}

I did CJ's name on his bags but I plan to do the full alphabet on another day with the upper-case letters on the front and lower case on the back.


{DaY 13}
Okay, I admit it... I'm sort of avoiding plastic and painted toys for the kids. Some would say I've seriousely "drunk the kool-aid" when it comes to all-natural stuff... I say "WhO CArES!"
Anyway, putting that aside, I was more than happy to find some alternatives to the usual "made in China" toys and the fact that I could scratch a day off my project list made them ever better!
I love the links but man, were they a pain to make! I found the tutorial at Make It and Love It. I tried making them the way she recommended but it was not as easy as it looked. She recommends 8.5" strips, I found them too small so I moved to a 10.5" ring so it looped easier. I also found that the way she connected the ends of the rings to be a bit difficule too but that may be because I overstuffed the tubes. {In the future I may try not putting any stuffing in the ends of the tube and just sewing them one-on-top-of the other.} Either way, if you're interested in this one... put on some soothing music, grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, put the kids down for a nap and remember to take several deep breathes... you may be in for some patience testing!

The ball was super simple. I've seen patterns all over the place... The Purl Bee makes beach-ball inspired ones. I printed off the pattern from Grand Revival Designs. After making the Grand Revival one, I think I would be sure to put the ends on because if you don't sew them just right, the ends can look unfinished.

The square was also really easy, I just cut a bunch of squares 4.5"x4.5" {which I found to be too big} and stuffed it with the pillow stuffing I got from Savers. It came out really lumpy which is fine because it still stays in place for Miss Mak to push at and it doesn't roll away but it's pretty ugly. I'd go for some upholstry foam in the future, maybe put a bell or shaker inside. The ball and square are very versitile.

MoNSteR DoLl {AcTIoN FiGuRE}

{DaY 12}
I've seen this idea a lot of places and thought I'd give it a whirl. I've never made a doll {sorry, "action figure", as my Dear Hubby insists I call it} before and this was actually quite fun. You can draw something out or freehand it and there are no rules which I think made this a quick project. It's good to have felt, buttons, zippers, scraps fabrics, etc. on hand for this one.

OnE: Draw monster out on freezer paper and iron to fabric to get the general shape for the body and limbs.
TwO: If your kids are old enough, have them draw out a SIMPLE creature onto freezer paper. Use a marker to clean up the lines if necessary and have at it!
ThReE: Don't make it too small. I made that mistake with a doll I tried to make for Miss Mak and the seams were a mess.
FoUR: Don't overthink it!

15 May 2010

CraFTeR's IRoNiNg BoARd CoVEr

{DaY 11}

I know, I know... a bigger/better ironing board?! But this is one of the first steps in making my very own "Ma-Worthy" craft room. It's a "Ma-Inspired" ironing board for bigger projects like quilts, clothing and it's also great as an extra work area.

{By the way, this is a new sew project}

WhaT YoU'lL NeeD:
- 60"x22"x 1/2" Plywood {unless you have a crazy shaped ironing board, this size will do}
- 2 Towels OR Thick Quilt Batting {enough to cover board, this one took a little over 1 beach towel}
- Staple Gun

- 8 to 10 - 3/4", #8 Screws
- 40 to 50 - #8 Washers
- Fabric {68"x30" piece OR 2 yards}
- Angle Iron {this is used to keep the board from sliding around and helps keep the board from sagging over time} ** I purchased two 8' pieces of aluminum sheetrock corners and doubled them up for thickness rather than buying the angle iron. The angle iron is about $9 for 4 feet and the aluminum is $1.48 for 8'. You do the math.
- Means of Cutting Angle Iron {I used tin snips on the aluminum pieces}

HoW To dO iT!

1. Lay towel over top of the board, flip over and staple the towel tightly to the board {trim extra towel for a cleaner finish}

2. Lay fabric over top of the board, over the towel, flip the board over, pull tight and staple. Trim edges.

3. Lay board fabric side down and place ironing board upside down on top and center.

4. Mark for your angle iron on sides and ends of board for a snug but not too tight fit {or you could cheat like I did and just screw the angle irons on while the board is in place}

{It helps to have your very own handy-man for this part}

5. Place 5 washers on each screw before screwing in the angle iron {one screw for each end of the four pieces}
6. Flip ironing board over, put on top and ta-da...

UsE aNd ABuSe TilL yOU NeEd AnOThEr ONe!


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