Sunday, March 1, 2015

Every Child is An Artist...

Every Child is An Artist...


Every Child is An Artist...

Pablo Picasso once said "Every Child is An Artist". I absolutely believe that. I love giving my kids opportunities to be creative and learn. The other night while I was cleaning up from dinner, this little beauty was creating a chalkboard work of art. I stopped what I was doing and snapped some pictures of her creating. The pictures are blurry, but I can see her mind at work, thinking of colors and design. I too love to create and truly believe we can all create works of art in our own home. 

I hope today we all take the time to stop and see the little works of art around us. Their is true beauty all around :)

XO Danielle

Friday, February 27, 2015

Under the Weather...


Today I am hanging out in my slippers and keeping a steady supply of tissues (really a roll of toilet paper) next to me. Miss Priss had a cold earlier in the week and like any good little daughter would do, she shared it with me. I am going to be spending a lot of time resting, binge watching some Netflix series (Have you watched Witches of East End? I just started it and am hooked), and trying to kick this cold in the keester. 

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Oh and I just sent in the edits on my book. All this down time from my cold, gave me plenty of time to read over the edits from my publisher. I am beyond excited! It is going to be A-Mazing loveies!

XO Danielle

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valentine's Day Service...

Valentine's Day Service...

Valentine's Day Service...

Valentine's Day Service...

Valentine's Day Service...

I know that Valentine's Day has come and gone, but as I was going through pictures on my phone, I realized that I didn't not post any of the pictures from our Valentine's Day service activity. The day before Valentine's Day, the littles and I spent the morning creating little cards. We pulled out our paints, paper, markers, and foam stickers. We made 30+ cards to hand out at a nursing home with our homeschool group. It was such a fun experience to not only make the cards, but see the smiles on the faces of the people we gave them too. I am always looking for little ways to show my children what a blessing service can be.

I pray that I will be able to find more ways to serve. It doesn't have to be anything big, just taking the time to show someone we care.

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are in the service of your God"

Mosiah 2:17

Inspiration found HERE

XO Danielle

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...


Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...


A few weeks ago I purchased a bag of potatoes from Bountiful Baskets. The bag was $6.75 and that was for 20 lbs of potatoes. That factors out to 33 cents a pound! I love it when I can score deals like this. I bought the potatoes with the plan to can them. After #NOSpenduary, I was able to purchase a pressure cooker, which means that I can now can low acid foods. I am beyond excited! 

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

I started out by peeling and washing my potatoes. Alright people let me get real with you. Peeling potatoes is no joke. It takes for-like-ever! I spent about an hour peeling 20 pounds of potatoes. Thankfully I had Netflix up on the tablet and I watched The Hunger Games. This definitely helped pass the time. 

I also peeled some carrots because I wanted to throw some carrots into some cans with potatoes. I didn't use the bell peppers, although they are pictured above. 

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

I followed the recipe for Irish Potatoes found in the Blue Book Guide to Preserving . This is my canning bible and has recipes for everything. I used it when I canned salsa last month. I know that canning can seem a bit daunting and expensive, but think of it as you are not just canning for this month, but for the months ahead. I try to can enough to last us 6-12 months. You'd be surprised how far the veggies will go when canning. I also try to can in the cooler months and not do any canning in July and August when it is really hot here. No one wants to stand over a hot stove when it is crazy hot outside. Oh and a good chic flick or music play list are essential for making the time go by as you can:) 

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

After my first batch of canning, I read that you could raw pack veggies when canning them. I decided to give that a try for my second batch and I loved it. The potatoes came out great! You can read more about raw packing here. Basically you wash, peel, and chop your potatoes. Then you pack them into hot mason jars, leaving a 1-inch head space. Cover them with boiling water, remove any air bubbles, and place two piece lids. Don't forget to wipe the mouth of the jar before placing on the lids, so you make sure you get a great seal. 

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

Raw packing meant I didn't have to stand over this big pot. I was all for that:)

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

Oh and did you know that you can sterilize your jars in the oven? Miss Kay taught me that. Thank you Duck Dynasty! To sterilize your jars,  preheat your oven to 225'. Place your clean jars, lids, and rings into a roasting pan and slide them into the oven for at least 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, turn off your oven and leave jars in there until you are ready to use them. Oh and don't forget to use an oven mitt when you take them out of the oven. I know this is a "duh!" moment, but I may have forgotten and all I can say is ouch! You can read about other methods to sterilize your jars here


Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

Once your jars are done processing, allow your pressure canner to release the pressure on it's own. Next place them on a towel on the counter. Let them cool over night before labeling them and putting them away. I use to purchase washable tags, but have since stopped. It is a lot easier to just label the lid with a sharpie, since the lids can't be reused.

Can Potatoes at Home and Save $$$...

I know that canning takes time, but there is something special about seeing the fruits of your labors. All that time spent washing, peeling, and cutting is worth it when you hear the ping ping of the lids. Trust me it is amazing! I know that this is food my family will enjoy throughout the year. Totally worth it! 

Potatoes- Irish or White

2 to 3 pounds of potatoes per quart
water
salt (optional)

Wash white potatoes and drain. Peel potatoes. Wash again. Leave small potatoes whole; cut large potatoes into quarters. Cover potatoes with water in a large sauce-pot. Boil for 10 minutes. Pack hot potatoes into hot jars, leaving 1 inch-head-space. Add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint jar or 1 tsp to each quart jar. Ladle boiling water over potatoes, leaving 1-inch head-space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 35 minutes, quarts 40 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner. 

*My jars with carrots in them. I peeled and chopped the veggies and then processed them for the same time. Oh I raw packed them too!

We have a discussion going on about how to serve these delicious spuds on Facebook.
 Check out what everyone is saying and leave your two cents too!



Happy Canning!

XO Danielle

Monday, February 23, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments...

This week's frugal accomplishments are....


I baked and froze about 15 lbs of broccoli. This will come in handy when we are running low on fresh produce or when I want a quick veggie to throw into casseroles.


I received a few lemons in my bountiful basket, so I juiced them to use in my water throughout the week. Adding lemon to my water helps me in making sure I drink enough each day.

I canned 20 lbs of potatoes. I was able to get the potatoes for .33 cents a pound.


We had a pizza night at home with friends

Hubby and I watched Downton Abbey for free on PBS with our rabbit ears. We absolutely adore this show. It has got to be one of our all time favorites! Oh and Grantchester that aired afterwards was so good! We love BBC!

I gave Keagan a haircut at home

I received three pineapples in my Bountiful Baskets last week. I also snagged celery on sale for 88 cents each. I chopped each and placed them in bags to freeze. Now we will have fruit for smoothies and celery to throw into salads and soups for the next month.

I went through our shed and I was able to find a book case to put in Libby's room. We painted it and used items from my craft stash to fix it up.

We hung up some thrifted Christmas lights Libby found here. She is loving the new decor in her room.

We donated more items to Savers this week. We have been purging a lot lately. I can't believe how much stuff we have in this house! Anyone else feel like there stuff just keeps multiplying?



I was having a real craving for cookies and I almost caved and bought some Keebler Elf cookies from the store, but I reminded myself I could make some at home. I came home and made my favorite chocolate chip cookies with stuff already in my pantry. I curbed my craving and didn't have to spend money to do so. Score!

I tried my hand at grapefruit marmalade via the bread maker as well. I am pretty pleased with the end result. I had never done jam in the bread maker, but will definitely do it again. I was surprised at how easy and quick it was. Making jam at home not only saves money, but is healthier too!


What frugal things have you guys been up to lately?

XO Danielle

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Great Day For a Baptism....

lds.org

lds.org

lds.org

lds.org

lds.org

lds.org

Yesterday was a great day to be baptized. My little Miss Libby reached the ripe old age of eight and was now old enough to take the next step in her spiritually journey. She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a special day to be with friends and family, as we helped her celebrate her decision to dedicate her life to Christ.

I am so thankful for the gospel in our lives. I am so thankful that little miss was eager to step into the waters of baptism and take Christ's name upon her. When we are baptized, we are choosing to follow Him.....To serve Him and love Him with all of hearts. This girl gets it and teaches me every single day.

Thank you Miss Priss for your example everyday and for your sweet Christ like love. We love you lil' red.....to the moon and back. Families are forever and I am so thankful we get to spend eternity together.

Inspiration Found HERE

XO Danielle


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Love Story: Melissa's Story

My Love Story: Melissa's Story

 We all have one. A story that tells how we  began our happily ever after. Our story may have twist, turns, laughs, tears, and all the in between, but they are ours. I have asked a few bloggers and readers to share their stories.

 Here are their words....their love stories.

 -------------------------------------------
 
I met my husband Brian on April 14, 2011 on the free dating website for Facebook. It was called "Plenty Of Fish". He was 22 and I was 21. We talked on the phone a few times before deciding to meet up and go on a date.

 **Funny story, when Brian came in to get me for our date my roommate recognized him and they had actually gone to high school together so she could vouch for his good character.

For our first date he picked me up at my apartment and took me to LaSalette Shrine. LaSalette shrine is a beautiful place to walk around and look at statues of Mary, Jesus. the stations of the cross, and so much more. Here is the link if you want more information . www.lasalette-shrine.org It is named after when Our Lady appeared to three children in the French Alps in LaSalette in France, 1846. (Just for background I am Roman Catholic). We walked around the fountain holding hands and exchanging stories about our lives, families, and dreams. After that we headed to Chilis for dinner and ended up going to a night club with ironically mutual friends later that night. 

I can remember that it was a really sunny day when we met and he was wearing sunglasses. When he took them off I just remember thinking to myself "he has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen". I just love looking into them... (:

My Love Story: Melissa's Story

He is the sweetest, most hard-working man I have ever met and I just love him forever. Corny side-note, we say "I love you eleven plus" because I would always ask him to rate things on a 1-10 scale and he told me that our love exceeded that scale. 

We were an "official couple" on April 21, 2011 and we actually took our save the date picture at LaSalette to symbolize our first date


My Love Story: Melissa's Story
Engaged June of 2011 

 
My Love Story: Melissa's Story
 Married September 08, 2012.

I look forward to a long life of happiness with this amazing man of mine. Here we are this past summer, how cute is he!

My Love Story: Melissa's Story

XO Melissa

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Love Story: Tara's Story


My Love Story: Tara's Story

 We all have one. A story that tells how we  began our happily ever after. Our story may have twist, turns, laughs, tears, and all the in between, but they are ours. I have asked a few bloggers and readers to share their stories.

 Here are their words....their love stories.

 -------------------------------------------
 
My Love Story: Tara's Story


My husband and I met at church, fall/winter of 2012. One day in my Sunday morning class there was this new tall,dark, and handsome type gentleman sitting across from me and I automatically assumed he already belonged to someone (at our age all the good ones are taken). I found out he was single, a divorcee like me, but then I thought he was prob too cool for me and more into exotic mysterious females not a pale redheaded Kentucky girl. So we were in the same class for several months and just exchanged pleasantries occasionally. One morning he came up to me after class and said ( with his Guatemalan accent ) " I must tell you, you are looking beautiful today"..... So after I re-formed out of my Tara puddle I asked if he was coming to the church picnic and urged him to attend. He did, we talked all afternoon at the picnic, he took me to lunch every day that week following, and we've basically been inseparable since then. We were married last Oct. in St.Thomas, VI . He's so wonderful I will never doubt that God delivered him right to me, and I will be praising Him daily for it!

XO Tara
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