Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eggshells in the Garden {Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday}

   See these egg shells? Why in the world am I saving them? Well, the title of this post gives it away ever-so-slightly! Winter is fast-approaching and many people aren't thinking about their gardens, but this is something you should consider.
   Whenever you use an egg, save the eggshells. When you get a little dish (or can in our case) that's full of them, dump them outside in a 5-gallon bucket. Keep adding to this bucket all winter. (You want to store them long-term outside, or else they'll stink up your house!) Then when you plant out your tomatoes in the spring, crush up the shells around your plants or drop some crushed shells in the hole before you plop your plant in. Eggshells provide calcium for your tomatoes - great for general health of the plant and especially to scare away blossom end rot (when the bottom half of the tomato rots and turns black while it's still on the plant, but the top half is still good).
   So save those eggshells! It's a win-win. You don't have to pay to send them off in your garbage can and plus they will feed your tomato plants next year (free and organic fertilizer!).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One by one they ran away....

    I want to share a song by Casting Crowns with you all. I love the lyrics and meaning behind the song and I think it sends a great message that so many people need to hear. Yes, I know, all of Casting Crowns' songs are really good, but this one has just been sticking out to me lately. Listen to the words. Enjoy.

This post linked to:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving in a Crockpot {Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday}

   Well, first of all....oops...it's not Tuesday....it's Wednesday! Sorry about my tardiness.

   This "tip-n-trick" is really very simply said: make some of your Thanksgiving meal in a crockpot. Some things can be made the day before Thanksgiving, but ultimately, you're gonna have a full stove the day of! So stick some things in a crockpot or two. You can find recipes online of how to make some parts of the meal from start to finish.

   Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

73 Home-made Christmas Gifts

   73? Yup! Don't you ever sit down and wish you could think of something really cool to make for relatively cheep as Christmas presents? So do I. So when I came up with this list, I just HAD to pass it on.

   They vary in difficulty and cost. So just scan through and see what sparks your interest. These are also SUPER GREAT to make with your kids or siblings. Good quality time ;-) And if you don't know how to make something, google it! I'm sure you can find a tutorial.

   And most of all - be creative! These are all very, very basic descriptions. Take the idea, sit down with the kids, and RUN WITH IT! Have fun!

1. Partially pre-made "photo album recipe book" with recipes in it using index cards
2. Wooden toy chest or stacking organizing boxes
3. Leather-bound book (pages home-sewed too)
4. Various (blank inside) hand-made stationary
5. Body-care kit (lotion, soap, bath salts, bath bombs, soap-cozy, lip gloss, deodorant)
6. Birdhouse
7. Hair accessories (beads, sewed, etc.)
8. Jewelry
9. Food in a jar
10. Notes in a jar
11. Quilt
12. Doll clothes
13. Simple girls' skirt/dress
14. Framed art picture, poem, or saying (painted, colored, pressed flowers, etc.)
15. Homemade play-dough
16. Pre-made healthy snack/dessert/meal (frozen, canned, dried, "just add water", etc.)
17. Sewed purse
18. Cute guitar-string wiping cloth
19. Wind chime
20. Wooden car/truck toy (ride-able size?)
21. Wooden toy blocks
22. Dog/cat treats
23. Pretty doily
24. Tool-box
25. Jewelry box
26. Family/individual picture, framed
27. Water-paints
28. Pick-up-Sticks game
29. Mancala game
30. Hacky-sacks
31. Braided rug
32. "Favorite Crafts" book with all your favorite craft ideas in it
33. Wooden toy horse barn
34. Windowsill herbs in cute pots
35. Make computer game on the program called GameMaker (I remember this neat program from my younger years)
36.Make a home-movie
37. Make a home-cd of you singing music
38. Painted coffee mug, plate, or bowl (and glazed)
39. Princess crown
40. Write on a whole roll of toilet paper for a funny (don't make holes!)
41. Wall hanging (paper, wood, metal, cloth, etc.)
42. Write a book
43. Garden seed organizer container (for big and small seeds)
44. Sewed slippers
45. Cute or manly tack-board
46. Washcloth/scrubby (knit or crochet)
47. Paint a glass vase/bottle
48. Sidewalk chalk
49. Kids' baking apron
50. Bird bath (mold from concrete)
51. Wooden bowls (via lathe)
52. Chair
53. Baby-doll bed
54. Cedar picture-frame
55. Glass board used like a white-board (hang it on the wall and it looks nifty)
57. Simple wooden bench (to put by back door for shoes, plus storage space, etc)
58. Flower arbor
59. Leather knife sheath
60. Woven bike basket
61. Bobsled
62. Cool bookends
63. Christmas ornaments
64. Kite
65. Leather-braided watch band
66. Simple wooden medicine cabinet
67. Simple hand-propelled merry-go-round (popular mechanics volume 6, back of book)
68. Outdoor rotating worm bin
69. CD holder
70. Wooden child's play house
71. Clothes hamper
72. Make essential oils
73. Hammok

   Share some of your ideas with us!

This post is linked to:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vinegar in the Washing Machine {Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday}

   Ever heard of putting vinegar in the washing machine? Well you really should try it some time. It's great for your clothes. I can't remember where we heard of it, but we've been doing it for a while now.

   Vinegar reduces soap build-up in your clothes, as well as help brighten them just a smidge. Just pour it into whatever liquid compartment you want - depending on when you want it to wash with your clothes. Sometimes I just do half of it in the "fabric softener" hole, and half in the...um....I can't think of what the other hole is called....."bleach hole?". Ha ha! I don't know. But nevertheless, you should give it a try and see what you think ;-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Easy Way To Bake A Whole Pumpkin {Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday}

    In the last several weeks I've been having alot of fun trying out recipes over at Heavenly Homemakers (which by the way this post is linked to their Gratituesday). I'm so thankful for the good recipes on that blog! If you haven't been there before, you should really check it out.

    Anyhow, today I want to share the brilliant way she found to bake fresh pumpkin to make into puree. It is SO easy. And anyone who has every cubed a pumpkin to cook it down will greatly appreciate how easy this is. So here is her "recipe", with my own little twist.

   1. Break off stem from pumpkin or squash.
   2. Give it 6-10 stabs (like a big 'ole baked potato!). Be careful that no one gets cut!
   3. Place on pan and bake in oven at 350* for about 1 and 1/2 hours, or until it is easy to push a fork through the skin.
   4. Remove from oven and let cool until it doesn't burn your finger-tips when you touch it.
   5. Slice pumpkin in half, remove seeds, and peel/slice off skin.
   6. Put the squash in the food processor until blended smoothly.

   Voila'! Done! Serve, freeze, or can. Check out the original recipe here, or click the link above.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's It Worth?

   Lately I've been reading some of Paul's writings in the New Testament. Something that has really been standing out to me this time through is how important helping eachother really is. I think sometimes we go through life, trying to get the best for us and our families - which isn't necessarily bad, but there's more to life than that....

   Paul is willing to do anything it takes to tell someone the Gospel and to help the fellow Christians around him grow. Whatever it takes. He would willingly get beat. Willingly get spit on. Willingly fight a lion with his bare hands in an arena. Willingly be imprisoned. Willingly go hungry..... Would WE do these things in order to encourage and teach a brother or sister in Christ, or in order to tell someone the Gospel? Reading this you may think, ah yes, the Gospel IS that important - I should do that! But truth is, Paul was also willing to go through these things simply to encourage brothers and sisters in Christ. Wow....just wow. No money can buy the life of a soul. No time. No car. No house. Nothing. Nothing on this earth can compare to the importance of an eternal soul.

   So let us ask this question of ourselves: what is a soul worth in my eyes?

   Here is a verse as example, though it hardly brushes the edge of Paul's devotion to God by the exhorting of others' souls.

"For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete."
~ 2 Corinthians 13:9

Linked to these wonderful blogs:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday: Baking Soda

   Have you ever looked up to see all the good things baking soda can be used for? Many people put it in the fridge to deter odors, but it is so good at deodorizing other things too. Sprinkle some in your smelly shoes, sprinkle some on your smelly clothes to "pre-soak" them, or use it as deodorant (it sounds weird, but works AMAZING!) These are just a few ideas. What do You use it for?

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