Showing posts from September, 2014

A Special Bedtime Drink

After a long fall day, you'll love relaxing with this simple, tasty cup of warmth. Four ingredients and a couple of minutes combine for a soothing drink to wipe all your cares away.

Heat 1 1/2 cups of almond milk just until it starts bubbling. Stir in about a tablespoon of honey until it melts in. Then add a splash of vanilla and mix it all up.

Top it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you're ready to go. Find a great place to curl up and enjoy this lovely fall drink.

Words For Wednesday


Our Walk On Art Street Experience

We had an absolutely fabulous day at Walk On Art Street Saturday. The weather was a little iffy, so it was moved indoors, but there were still hundreds of people coming through to view all the different booths. We were so busy at times that we couldn't even talk to everybody.

I put our Etsy shop on vacation and took everything I had to the show. I marked each basket with the different categories of cards and put up one sign with all the sizes and their prices. I also had notebooks, journals and several kinds of magnets.
Having different levels for people to look at worked really well, too. Next year I want to make even more heights, like using a tiered structure of some kind at one end of the table. That will make it a little more interesting to look at.

On the other side of the booth, Danny made an amazing shelving unit out of pallets and edged it with leafy garland. From that he hung his scroll saw ornaments and put out his wooden puzzles. On the table he arranged his pens, ca…

Hello Molly Jo!

Last Saturday I was the weekend reporter and was out at the college covering a fundraising walk. The Heartland Humane Society was there with dogs that were up for adoption. That's when I saw her for the first time.

With the name "Jade," she was the prettiest puppy at the event. She's a 10-month-old Great Dane-German Shepherd mix. I was in the middle of an interview when she came up behind me and poked me in the back. Yes - she's that tall.
Several people said they would take her home, but they just didn't have enough room. We do! I called Danny and we decided to go meet her. So within five days of seeing her, she was ours.

We changed her name to Molly Jo in the truck on the way home. Once out of her crate and on the driveway, she was already at home. She is about as tall as she's going to be, but she will fill out more. She was rejected by a couple of different families because of her size, and she has some scarring on her legs. I don't need to know …

Words For Wednesday


Getting Ready For The Craft Show

As you read this, Danny and I are getting ready for Walk on Art Street, Ottumwa's outdoor arts and crafts show, which is this Saturday. I've done several craft shows in the past, but this is the first time we've done this show and the first time we've done a show together.

I've put our Etsy shop on vacation and pulled out everything I could possibly find and spread it all out on the kitchen table. I'm going to display the cards in baskets with one or two kinds per basket - special occasions together, sympathy, thank yous, praying for you. I've been trying to get 20 of each category in the shop, but I didn't realize just how many cards I had made.

 There are plenty of other paper crafts ready besides cards. I've got altered board books and paper bag albums. I found several different kinds of notebooks and journals, and there are magnets and drink mix gift cards - those are the coffee cups on the right hand side of the picture.

There seems to be som…

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownie Bars

This recipe combines several of my favorite words: quick, easy, sweet, salty, peanut butter, chocolate, peanuts, brownie.

If this sounds intriguing, you'll love this peanut butter crunch brownie bars. If you don't eat the whole pan by yourself, you'll make those you love very happy when you share them.

1 box chewy brownie mix
8 peanut butter cups, roughly chopped
3/4 cup salted peanuts
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or as directed on the brownie box. Spray 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare the brownies according to the box directions and pour into the 9x13 pan. Bake for 5 minutes less than the directions say - the top shouldn't be solid yet.

3. Sprinkle the top with chopped peanut butter cups and peanuts. Cover it as thickly as you'd like. Return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes.

4. During those five minutes, combine the chocola…

Words For Wednesday


Study To Be Quiet

We live in a loud, noisy, busy world. We're surrounded by ringing alarm clocks, buzzing phones, car horns and loud voices. Short of stuffing your fingers in your ears, there's little you can do to shut them all off.

So if we want to have some peace and quiet in our lives, the choice is to make ourselves quiet. This can be difficult for some women because we've been taught to be heard above the noise. "If you want people to pay attention to you, you have to be louder than everyone else." Or so the myth goes.

What would happen if we followed the words of Paul to the Thessalonians instead?

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

This verse is about an inward change that eventually becomes an outward display. We'd all love to have a calm, peaceful soul, and Paul says all it takes is the ambition to be so. "Study" here means "be ambitious," striving an…

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

This is an amazing recipe for two reasons: it's a Louisiana staple that my husband loves, and it's a quick slow-cooker recipe that's perfect for a Sunday morning while you're in church. By the time you get home, it will be all ready for you.

four boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
dirty rice mix

1. Mix all the ingredients except the rice in a slow cooker on Saturday night. Refrigerate until Sunday morning.

2. Fix the rice according to the package directions. Refrigerate until Sunday at lunchtime.

3. Sunday morning, put the slow cooker insert in the cooker and turn on high. Cook on high until you're ready for lunch, about 4 hours.

4. Add the rice and stir, then let it warm up for about 15 minutes.

5. Serve with some sliced bread and a salad.

Words For Wednesday


Falling Leaves Frame

This paper craft project was so much fun to put together. It's a simple frame that I made with two layers of textured, wood-themed paper. It's accented with punched circles of patterned paper of fall leaves. I had this frame in mind as soon as I saw this paper.

I love thinking about this project in different themes: flowers for spring, butterflies for summer, snowflakes in winter and bubbles for a baby shower. You could also add a phrase in the corner and make it a larger or smaller size to fit your frame.
To create the frame itself, you can use a couple of different techniques. I cut a 3.5x5.5 inch rectangle out of the middle of the lighter paper and laid the new frame on top of the 5x7 inch dark rectangle.

You could also cut the dark piece smaller and layer it on top of the light piece. This is hard to put into words: if you do it this way, the frame on top isn't a frame and the embellishments will lay on top of it differently. The choice is yours.

For many other card…

The Proverbs 31 Woman - What She Is and Isn't

The Proverbs 31 Woman is part of a lesson taught to King Lemuel by his mother. In its original language, it was written so that each verse began with each consecutive letter of the alphabet, making it easier for a young child to memorize.

This wise mother was teaching her son what to look for in a wife, and it's an amazing example for us as Christian women to pattern our lives after.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is:
- trustworthy (v11)
- thoughtful (v12)
- willing (v13)
- diligent (v14)
- productive (v15)
- thrifty (v16)
- strong (v17)
- industrious (v18)
- crafty (v19)
- compassionate (v20)
- protective (v21)
- considerate (v22)
- an influence (v23)
- entrepreneurial (v24)
- honorable (v25)
- wise (v26)
- hard-working (v27)
- God-fearing (v30)

All of this seems like a heavy load for us, though. I don't know about you, but this list of expectations can be a bit overwhelming.We look at this list and think we could never measure up. But we also need to look at the things she isn't…