Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tip of the Week

Don't lose anymore buttons! Just dab a small drop of clear nail polish on the front of a button to prevent threads from fraying.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

$1 Pre-K Educational Posters

I came across these at The Dollar Tree along with some other posters (weather, colors, class rules, etc...). They also carry award certificates, bulletin board border, flash cards and workbooks.

If you're a teacher or just want to supplement at home, definitely check out The Dollar Tree. It's hard to beat $1 a piece!

Monday, August 27, 2012

DIY Lavender Mint Foot Scrub

If I had known how easy this was to make, I would have done it years ago. Not only does it work (that's kind of important) but the ingredients are also beneficial to your skin. Take a look:

Epsom salt(magnesium sulfate)--eases muscle strain and aches, heals cuts, draws toxins out of the body
Almond oil--nourishes and softens skin
Lavender--cleanses skin irritations, eases body tension, calms nerves
Mint--energizes, cools skin, cleanses, helps remove toxins


1 c. epsom salt
3/4 c. almond oil (you can also use grapeseed or jojoba)
1 Tbsp. lavender buds
1 Tbsp. crushed mint
3 drops lavender essential oil


1. Combine epsom salt, lavender buds and mint in a bowl and mix well.

2. Transfer to blender and pulse until salt, lavender and mint are ground. Pour back into bowl.

3. Add almond oil and lavender oil and mix well, until dry ingredients are completely saturated.

4. Pour into a half pint jar (a funnel helps a lot).

To use, massage a quarter size amount into each foot, rinse and dry. Feet will be slippery in the shower so be careful. For best results, cover with socks for at least an hour immediately after drying. For a great fall body scrub, check out my Cinnamon Ginger Salt Scrub recipe. Both of these make great homemade gifts!

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Crafty Confessions

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Two-Step Garlic Cream Sauce for Green Beans

This cream sauce is great over just about any vegetable, but I like it best with green beans. It's also a breeze to make--four ingredients, two steps and you're done.


2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
3/4 c. milk
1 brick cream cheese
Optional--salt and pepper to taste


1. Saute garlic in butter for one minute on med-low heat.

2. Stir in milk and cream cheese and continue stirring until smooth.

Serve warm over green beans.

Wasn't that easy?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tip of the Week--How to Remove Permanent Marker From Skin

To remove permanent marker and ink from skin, try eye make-up remover ( I use Mary Kay). Just apply to a cotton ball and wipe.

For more tips, visit the Fun Home Things Facebook page. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

My daughter and I had a good time making this one. Not only do I love sweet potato pie but I love that she is so interested in learning how to cook. And she's only four!

One of the cool things is that this entire recipe is hand mixed. The other is the streusel topping. It really makes the pie, giving it a little more texture and bringing out the spices and sweet potatoes. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

1 large can sweet potatoes or yams
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. half and half
Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust

Streusel Ingredients
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter


Hand mix sweet potatoes and butter, mashing sweet potatoes into smaller chunks as you go.

Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Stir in eggs and half and half.

Pour filling into a 9 inch pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While the pie is baking, make the streusel topping by combining the ingredients and mixing until it resembles crumbs. (I like to leave some larger chunks in mine)

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle with streusel topping. Continue baking for 20 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Wine Jelly

Making wine jelly is a great way to enjoy your favorite summer wine all year long. I chose my local favorite, Peach Berry by Purple Toad Winery for this batch. It was perfect--a sweet blend of strawberry and peach with a little kick at the end.  This jelly is a great topping for crackers and cream cheese or you can spread it on a biscuit or toast.

1 bottle of wine (750 ml)
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell
4 cups sugar (add 1/2 cup for dry wine)

1. Pre-measure all ingredients and prepare your supplies.
2. Sterilize jars in dishwasher on "sanitize" setting. Leave in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them.
3. Place lids in saucepan of water. Heat and  let simmer until ready to use.

4. Fill canner with water--enough to cover jars plus an additional one inch.

5. In a pot, mix together wine, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to boil.

6. Add sugar all at once, mix well and remove from heat. Spoon off foam.

7. Ladle into jars using a funnel, leaving 1/4" head space. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel, secure lid and tighten ring (but not too tight).

8.  Process for 5 minutes. Process time begins when water is at a full boil.

9. Remove and place on a towel. You should hear the lids "pop" which means they have sealed. If they don't seal, reprocess with a new lid.

10. Let cool for 24 hours. Refrigerate and eat or store for up to 1 year.

Peach Berry Wine Jelly

For a video tutorial on making wine jelly, check out the Make and Take Gals, they're one of my favorites!

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Made in a DayWhat's cooking, love?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Preschool Texture Activity - Squishy Baff

Squishy Baff is a bath additive that turns bathwater into a slushy goo. And it does. Trouble is, it makes a huge mess and doesn't dissolve very well.

We had one packet left from a 2-pack that my mom brought when she visited last weekend. Honestly, I would have been fine throwing it away. But it was a gift from Nana and my daughter loved it.

So I decided to move the Squishy Baff party to the deck where clean-up would be much easier. What a fun texture activity that turned out to be!

Here's what you need:

Squishy Baff
Scooping tools
Water hose

Fill your buckets with water. Pour Squishy Baff into one of the buckets.

Stir with a spoon. It will start to thicken right away.

Play! If it feels too thick, just add water or transfer to other buckets until you get the texture you want.

Squishy Baff includes a packet of sodium chloride (table salt) that will dissolve the mush. If it's not dissolving well enough, just add more salt.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent FAIL

This was not a winner.

I know, I know. Just go out and buy detergent. But it's so cheap ($1.77 for 3 gallons or 96 loads). It also creates less waste, has fewer chemicals in it than regular detergent, and even works in HE washers. Bottom line, it's got a lot going for it and I'm stubborn. So if you've made this before, I need your help.

I found what I thought was a great, simple recipe on Pinterest (it actually originated from this recipe). It looked perfect until it cooled. That's when it turned to thick sludge. So I watered it down. Now it's a watery, chunky hot mess.

Here's what I did:


1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1 c. Borax
1 c. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda


1. Grate soap and transfer to large pot.

2. Pour one gallon of water into the pot, cook until grated soap dissolves (I cooked on med-low).

3. Add Borax and Washing Soda.

4. Bring to rolling boil (I boiled it for 2 minutes).

5. Add one gallon of cold water. Sir or whisk well.

6. Pour 1 gallon into each container. Detergent will thicken once cooled.

Easy enough, right? Well, then it started to really thicken. So I read on and saw that thick detergent was a common problem and the solution was to dilute it. So I did.

The result?

I shook it up, hoping that would help. It did. A little.

Help, please.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10 Great Julia Child Quotes

Hard to believe that Julia Child would have been 100 today. In honor of America'a first celebrity chef and one very progressive, intelligent and charming lady, I would like to share a few of my favorite Julia quotes. Bon app├ętit!

1. Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it's done right. Even a pancake.

2. Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

3. Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

4. I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.

5. I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter. Most doctors feel that you can have a little bit of everything.

6. The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.

Courtesy of

7. If you're afraid of butter, use cream.

8. In my generation, except for a few people who'd gone into banking or nursing or something like that, middle-class women didn't have careers. You were to marry and have children and be a nice mother. You didn't go out and do anything. I found that I got restless.

9. ...nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.

10. This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!