Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Where to begin?  I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and I hope all the other Mom's out there did too!  I was spoiled to an entire Saturday without cooking or cleaning (Thanks Hubby!!), and received the cutest flowers from my son,  Sunday was spent visiting with my Mother's for a little while.  It was a beautiful day and I got to spend all afternoon outside enjoying the lake and then "The Farm".  

I wanted to post my craft project that I mentioned last time.  It is a punch/embroidered design that I modified from a design I came across in a magazine.  As I mentioned, it was for someone special and that was my Mom!  Happy Mother's Day Mom!  It certainly was a learning experience and a test of my adaptability considering I didn't quite have the right materials.  Hope you like it! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Living Frugally

Alright, I know it's been forever since my last post...but I plan on doing this whole blogging thing and it really shouldn't consume that much of my time to jot down a few things and post them, right??

So here is the topic of today:  living on less or frugal living, self sufficiency and sustaining.  I love the idea of it all.  But frankly, when you live in town and rent, there are some things that are just out of your control.  I do still have choices though.  I choose to 'repurpose' 'reuse' 'recycle' 'reclaim' 'repair' whenever possible.  I love 2nd hand finds.  I garage sale, shop the Goodwill, Consignment Shops, Craigslist and even participate in a free kids clothing swap twice a year.  I use coupons, scour ads for the best deals, buy generic and sometimes go without to save money.  We recently changed our cleaning methods to include more eco-friendly solutions.  Apparently you don't always need chemicals to get things clean and now I do not buy those things.  Our next step is to dabble a little in the self sustaining field by growing our own garden.  In previous years, our gardens have flopped.  This year we hope for different.  I love the idea of growing, eating and maybe even canning our own food.  This year I hope to hit up the Farmer's Market much more than in previous year's.  Will definitely be looking for fruit since I cannot grow the trees myself, plus I really want to learn to make homemade jelly.


There are certainly many ways to cut cost and live more frugally, even eco-friendly.  How are you reducing expenses in your household?


Oh...almost forgot!  In stitching news, I am working on a little something for a someone special.  Will reveal the final project after it has been gifted!!          


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A new recipe I have to share!

Cherry Limeade Poke Cake

Cherry Limeade Poke Cake
Looking for a layer cake using Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix? Then check out this delicious dessert recipe.
PREP TIME
25 Min
TOTAL TIME
2 Hr 15 Min
SERVINGS
12

INGREDIENTS

CAKE
1box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
1 1/4cups lemon-lime soda
1/3cup vegetable oil
3egg whites
1tablespoon grated lime peel
1box (4-serving size each) cherry-flavored gelatin
1cup boiling water
Frosting
1container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
1teaspoon grated lime peel
Maraschino cherries, if desired
Lime peel twists, if desired
  1. 1Heat oven to 350°F (325°F. for dark or nonstick pan.). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. 2In large bowl beat cake mix, soda, oil, egg white and 1 tablespoon lime peel with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. 3Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.
  4. 4Meanwhile, stir gelatin into boiling water, stirring for 2 minutes to completely dissolve gelatin. Poke cake every inch with tines of meat fork or table knife. Pour cherry mixture slowly over cake, allowing mixture to fill holes in cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour longer.
  5. 5In small bowl, mix frosting and 1 teaspoon grated lime peel. Spread evenly over cake. Top each serving with cherry and lime twists.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's been awhile...

So, it's been awhile since my last blog, and I'm sorry to report it has not been due to me being freakishly busy...but rather lazy. I guess this winter weather has got me in hibernation mode. The weather is warming up this week, and I must be coming out of my slump! I am very excited to report that I have my next needle punch design all drawn up on the material and in the hoop! As soon as I finish writing this, I will finally finish off my last project, and get started! I know, I know...I should have had my last project finished by now! Quite honestly...I think finishing projects is hard for me because I lack the creativity to do something great with them. So I find myself in a rut, pushing aside my problem, and finding something new and exciting to focus on. I'm not a psychiatrist...but I'm sure there's some sort of 'label' to this sort of mindset or behavior haha! I have even tried to bargain with my Mom that I will punch and she can finish them off and we can split the profit of the sale. That's not a bad idea is it? Again I laugh at myself...but she has the creative means to my ends :)

My next punched design is inspired by my wonderful Aunt Betty. She gets the 'primitive' ways and has beautiful patterns. I, however, do not have quite the 'eye' for the prims. So I tend to borrow parts of patterns, and then blend another pattern or my own artful additions. I hope Aunt Betty likes how I have 'tweaked' her freebie pattern. Pictures coming soon!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Slacking!

Hey there!

So I admit, I've been slacking off lately...and horribly!  I haven't touched my needle punch in a week...all I need to do is attach a small embellishment on the front, and my name to the back.  I also purchased thread and a small paper mache box to make my next craft and haven't started it yet.  I need to get out of this lazy slump!  In my defense, I've been busy at work (surprise!) and at home we have been rearranging a few rooms which has kept me very busy the past few nights.  I'm not a big fan of throwing anything away.  If I can find a way to make something work somewhere else, I do.  So when we made the decision to upgrade our old clunky 29 inch tv to a flat screen...we quickly realized that the armoire that housed our old tv simply wouldn't do!  I have always loved armoire's in the bedroom...and our's is a simple enough design and style that it fits just perfectly with our envisioned bedroom theme.  So last night the hubby and I muscled the 7(ish) foot armoire up our stairs and into our bedroom (not without a little bickering and scuffed walls mind you).  And it looks great!  For now....LOL!  My goal is to someday refinish it.  It is cheap pine, but still solid wood.  I can't decide whether to paint it or use a darker stain.  I really would like a distressed look.  I'm afraid that the quality of the wood will keep it from absorbing the stain to give it the look I hope for.  Looks like I'll be consulting the woodworking master (my Stepfather) for his expertise :)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!       

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New recipe...

I just wanted to take a minute to share this recipe with everyone.  I haven't tried it yet, but just as soon as I can get into the kitchen and bake I will!!


Apple + Carrot Bread
courtesy of Cooking With Apples and Pears by Laura Washburn.
 
Apple bread with carrots sounds too good to be true, especially when we tell you that your whole family will gobble up this naturally sweet and nutritiously filling loaf in minutes.  The cold days are here to stay for a while, so fill your home with a comforting aroma from this fruit and veggie baked medley.

  • 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp each of ginger and allspice
  • 2/3 c of apple juice
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 lg eggs, beaten
  • 1 lg granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 c grated carrots
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9x5x4 inch loaf pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the apple juice, melted butter, and eggs.  Gently fold this mixture into the flour mixture to combine.  Use your hands to squeeze every last drop of moisture from the grated apple and carrots then add to the mixture, along with walnuts (optional) to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared sprayed with non-stick pan, and level the top.  Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the center of the apple bread comes out clean, 1-1 1/4 hours.
  5. Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Slice as you would bread to serve, enjoy!
A large loaf goes a long way and keeps well.  This apple bread will keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days and just tastes YUM plain or if you want to indulge, spread with some whipped honey butter or cream cheese!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I've been up to...

Hi there!  So in an attempt to become a skilled needle puncher (practice makes perfect, right??) I took on creating a small little rug to gift as a 'pay-it-forward' item I signed up for on Facebook.  It hasn't been the easiest craft project.  I foolishly assumed that backing and edging a rug would be a piece of cake.  I think my thumbs are still sore!  So here is a looksy at it before I backed it...
Once I get it completely finished I will post another picture :)

Have a wonderful day!!