Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sewing Tutorial for a Pillowcase

Hello! It has been a while since I have given my readers something they can really use so I am giving you all a sewing pattern that I wrote several weeks ago.

I used it to teach several teens and pre-teens how to sew. It is a great beginner project as well as a quick gift idea for the more experienced sewers. Not to mention, at the end of the pattern is a way that you can give back to your community by donating one or more homemade pillowcases to your local charities!

I made several of these and gave them out at my daughters sleepover birthday party as party gifts.

Please send me your feedback on this and have fun!

Sleepover Pillowcase Pattern

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Envelope System Wallets

Has it really been that long since I have posted??

Now that summer is in full swing around here, I am finally getting caught up! I'll fill you in later on some of my spring adventures but for now I want to tell you to check out my etsy store!

I am working hard to fill it back up and have 3 Envelope System Wallets listed now. Two wallets are on major sale and one wallet is in the very popular brown and turquoise fabric!

I also have a sweet little jumper for a little girl! See ya over there!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Multitude Mondays ...on a Thursday!

I am ever thankful because I am FORGIVEN!
* I never have to live with guilt
* I am capable to forgive others
*Guilt cannot not drive my decisions and choices
* Each day is a new opportunity to LOVE!
*I can have peace with God
*I have a great inheritance
* I can have more life in this life! (you were so right Saint Paul!)

Thank you Lord that your forgave my wickedness and will remember my sins no more.
Hebrews 8:12

For more Multitude Mondays (on Mondays) see Holy Experience!

Friday, March 5, 2010


I am drooling over my new fabric! Oh weekend, please give me some free time!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flourless wheat-free COOKIES!

I thought I would share with you one of my families favorite cookies! This peanut butter cookie recipe is fool-proof!

We like ours with oatmeal added, but if your diet does not include oats, no problem! We also will add chocolate chips too! But let me warn you - we like our cookies crunchy on the outside and chewy and gooey on the inside!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 stick butter, softened
1 C PB, smooth or crunchy
3/4 C. white sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. corn syrup
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 C. oatmeal (uncooked)
2t. baking soda
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Using a mixer, mix butter and peanut butter together for 2-3 minutes. Gradually, add each of the three sugars and mix well. Add both eggs and vanilla and continue to mix well.

Combine baking soda and oats then stir these into the batter. If adding chocolate chips, stir these in now also. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes before removing!

So you don't do oats??
Follow recipe above except, do not use any butter, and obviously, do not use the oats!

Need some extra fiber and omega 3s?
Follow the above recipe, except reduce oats by 1/4 cup and add in 1/4 milled flaxseed. I promise that your family will never know that it is there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Story

One tween girly girl with day old braces

one rambunctious boy who turns 8 at 9:07pm

one average mom who carries a little more weight in the hips than she used to

one all-american dad who looks more distinguished with the years but still has his mischievous boyhood grin

leave breakfast dishes still half filled with homemade buttered biscuits dipping with thick honey

to don 6 layers of water absorbing cotton clothing (because purchasing real winter clothing here in the south is a waste of hard earned money)

to run out into the bright morning light to play, long before the mail has even run

all because they saw the water running down off the rooftops; a sign that the sun was keeping its promise to take their fun away!

Lord, please help us always to throw routine to the wind and take advantage of the gifts you give! Amen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Make Me French Toast Til I Tell You To Stop!

My wonderful husband is known for his difficult mornings. They all began when he was a young child. His horrible mother would come wake him up, help pick out clothing and then had the nerve to ask (in her bright cheerful voice), "What would you like for breakfast?". Appalled that she would actually expect him to make a decision like that in the early morning hours, finally resulted in my future husband answering back, "Make me French Toast, til I tell you to stop and don't ask me again!"

Well, she did. She made French toast each morning for his breakfast for almost 8 years. Then one day, he told her to stop (I think this is because he was leaving for college or something).

This statement has become quite famous in our family. It is still mentioned around holidays and all the 13 grandchildren know of its story.

Luckily, my husband's grumpy morning self has mellowed with age as I am not sure I would have been able to see the humor in it! But I thought I would share my mother-in-law's famous french toast recipe with all of you just in case you have a grumpy morning child who doesn't want to be spoken to!

Make Me French Toast Til I Tell You To Stop Recipe
(make enough for 4 pieces of french toast)

3 eggs - lightly scrambled with a whisk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons of sugar
4 pieces of sliced bread

Place skillet over medium heat and put in a pat of butter to start melting.

In bowl, whisk first 4 ingredients.

Soak each piece of bread individually for about 3 seconds.

Place bread in skillet and cook about 3 minutes on each side. You may need to slightly pick up a corner to check for doneness, it should be golden brown. Serve hot with syrup.

Around my house, french toast is a Saturday morning affair. To dress it up, I also make strawberry syrup to go on top!

Strawberry Syrup

1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries (in summer I use fresh)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup water

First let me tell you that the proportions mentioned above do not have to be exact in order to make great strawberry syrup. I am sure that sometimes I have a little more of this and a little less of something else, but regardless, it always tastes delicious! Place strawberries in blender (if using fresh strawberries, you can skip this step and just slice them up. Place in pot over medium heat. Add sugar and water.

Stir occasionally to make sure that it is not sticking. Syrup will come to a boil and slowly thicken. When it is to your desired thickness remove from heat and serve!

Because it snowed, we decided to have an extra healthy French toast recipe, made with Angel Food Cake instead of bread. We served it with the Strawberry Syrup and it was heaven! Just follow basic french toast recipe using store bought or homemade angel food cake insead.

I am getting hungry just thinking ab
out it!

Visit Organization Junkie for more wonderful recipes and menus!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A little Februaury Sewing Inspiration

I thought I would take a minute and show you a few things I have been working on!

I love this new Envelope System wallet! A suggestion from a promising customer influenced my fabric choices here. So cute and bright for spring!
This wallet can be purchased at my Etsy Shop!!

How cute is this Burlap sack? I have been eying some burlap for a while now. I tried to make an Envelope System Wallet using it, but Burlap does not do well for small projects. But this turned out better than expected! I love the flat bottom and hand applique! This bag is for a challenge project presented by my sewing design group! It is not ready for listing yet, but will be soon!

Happy Spring - or so the groundhog said!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everlasting Love

The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Jeremiah 31:3

Lord, I praise you for loving me always and for drawing me toward you with your faithful love.

I praise you for giving us a heart that craves love for your to fill.

Your love is bigger than I can understand and much more than I am capable of giving to others without your help.

Please allow me to feel your love today and show me how to pour that love on others.

Thank you for all your blessings...


Monday, January 25, 2010

Need to Re-Think the Menu Plan

We made our first visit to the orthodontist last week and it seems as though life as we have known it is about to change. Both youngsters will be in braces next month. Luckily the orthodontist uses payment plans, but I have a feeling that this is going to take all the "fun money" out of our budget. Exactly HOW much is yet to be seen.

Regardless, the little man is overly excited about this new adventure and very proud to be one of the firsts in his class to wear braces. The sweet tween is not happy to say the least.

I am in search of ways to save on the grocery bill. For the past year or so, I have not been restrain ted by a confining grocery budget. But I need to now! On average, I spend $150 on groceries and the goal is to knock it to $100 or less. Coupons do NOT work for me as I have tried to use them on and off during the years, so I am trying to just cut back the old fashion way. Budget friendly meals, homemade snacks, shop from what you already have on-hand.

I am proud to say that I have made this goal for 2 weeks now even on a restricted diet!

Sunday - Nana's homemade vegetable soup and grill cheese sandwiches ( all ingredients at home already)
Monday - Spaghetti with rice noodles (noodles on hand, buy sauce and meat) I already have Parmesan cheese too!
Tuesday - Chicken Stirfry and rice - bought a frozen pack of stirfry vegetables ( I like to make my own seasonings and rice to add so I buy vegetables only). I added fresh broccoli and canned water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Chicken tenders were also purchased for this meal.
Wednesday - Black Beans and rice. I already had 2 cans black beans. I bought some celery, carrots, onions and smoked sausage.
Thursday - Chicken sandwiches and roasted fresh veggies. I marinate the chicken overnight ( all ingredients for marinade were already on hand) I bought chicken breasts, tomato and lettuce. I all ready had buns. Andy I bought a pack of fresh cut up veggies to roast.

For school lunches I added lunch meat, bread, yogurts, chips, granola bars, grapes and strawberries. Carrots and celery will be used here too. I eat left-overs for my lunches.

Breakfasts will include cereal, oatmeal and homemade muffins.

Add in couple of cleaning supplies and my total was $93.00!

Don't forget to visit Organization Junkie for more ideas!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Envelope System Wallet

After a very busy holiday, I am slowly cranking out more of the Envelope System Wallets! I will be listing 3 wallets today with a varying price range to accommodate different budgets! After a year, I am still using AND loving my wallet. I would like to take a moment and answer the most frequent questions I receive.

1. How many envelopes will fit in the wallet? My listings show 3 envelopes. You can request additional envelopes for $3.00 a piece. The wallet will realistically fit 5-6 envelopes. I actually have 6 envelopes that I use, but they are rarely all in my wallet at the same time. WHY YOU ASK? Because I would "dip" and spend out of them!! This is one of my favorite features about this wallet....THE ENVELOPES ARE REMOVABLE! The 3 that spend most of the time in my wallet are groceries, gas, and other. The other envelope usually has about $40 in it for incidentals like field trip $$ the kids need or haircuts. My other envelopes are only inserted when I am planning to use the money, like school clothing shop or Christmas shop.

2. Can I order additional envelopes? Yes, please see answer above.

3. Can I order special order my wallet in a certain fabric? Currently, my time does not allow me to do special orders. I have tried this before only to get really backed up in orders and I regretted the delayed shipping time. All wallets are pre-made.

4. How long before I receive my wallet? Within the week! Since all wallets are pre-made, I will add your customized labels and additional envelopes and ship using Priority Mail.

5. Will the labels come off? Not even if you wash them, which is what I managed to do accidentally (luckily not $$ was in it!).

6. How large is the outer wallet? This is an important question because we all want it big enough to suit our needs but still fit into our purses! The wallet is approximately 8.5 inches by 4.5 inches. If only 3 envelopes are in the wallet, you still have plenty of room for your checkbook, receipts, and whatever else you throw in!

7. My budget can not handle this purchase And I know how to sew. Will you be making a pattern for this wallet? YES! Well, eventually. I have been doing some preliminary work, but will probably not have a completed pattern ready for purchase until summer.

Thanks again! And be sure to visit my etsy shop!

Gluten Free Casseroles

Yes - you read it right! Going gluten free does not mean that you have to give up your creamy comfort foods! Below is one of our favorites!

Vegetable Casserole - this works well with carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and/or potatoes! I sometimes buy the bag of vegetables mix of these three that are already cut up and ready to use!

1 head of cauliflower/broccoli cut into small florets (or a bag of those baby carrots)
Cooking spray
3T. butter, divided
1/3 cup rice crispies cereal, placed in a baggie and crunched up using the back of a spoon by an overactive child!
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese (or Gruyere if your feeling adventurous)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups of milk (use low fat if you are watching your waistline, use whole milk if it has been a long day!)
1/4 cup rice flour
salt and pepper to taste!

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place vegetables on foil and lightly spray again. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Meanwhile, melt 1T butter in a small bowl. Stir in cereal and cheese (this will be the topping). In a skillet, melt 2 T. butter and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Stir in rice flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly add milk and bring to a boil. Stirring often, milk mixture will slowly get thick and creamy. This may take 10 minutes or so.

Taken vegetable out of oven and place in a casserole dish. Pour milk mixture over top then sprinkle cereal mixture on top. Broil in oven under high until top is golden brown. YUM!