Feb 22, 2014

Let's Talk About Food Storage

My smart and savvy friend, Ann, asked me if I'd help her do a presentation on food storage.
I just so happen to know a thing or two about food storage, and it's always good to learn more.
In the process of updating our knowledge, Ann suggested I share our info here.

"We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being." 
Julie B. Beck

Where to start??

There's SO much info out there, I'll just give you a summary of the best links we've found, and you can go right to the source and get just the info you want!

I love this no-nonsense video that gets right to the point of why and how to have food storage, and where you can hide it in your house!

BRILLIANT way to hide and rotate your cans!
YouTube Video...hide your food storage

Feb 21, 2014

12 Unusual Whole Wheat Recipes From The Vault

I have been collecting wheat recipes for a gazillion years!  I used to make these recipes on a regular basis and rotated my wheat storage like a boss!  I've gotten lazy and don't rotate my food storage like I used to.  I'm reviving these recipes from the vault in an effort to eat more healthy, rotate my food storage, and to save money!

Normally you would just buy a bag of wheat flour in the grocery store and maybe bake with it or make pancakes.  These recipes have nothing to do with store-bought flour.  Here I'm talkin' you own a wheat grinder and at least a 50 lb bag of wheat!  This is for the hardcore food storage girls!  ;)

Wheat in it's different forms:

Wheat flour
 Wheat Flour

Whole kernels
 Whole Wheat Kernels

Cracked kernels
 Cracked Wheat Kernels

To 'crack' a kernel you will need to process a whole kernel through your wheat grinder.  Not all wheat grinders can do this (check your settings).  All you want to do is barely scrape the edge of the kernel enough to break open the hard outer shell, thus allowing more water inside of the kernel when you cook it.  Hey, just found this video for you on how you can crack your kernels in a regular food processor.

To soften the whole wheat kernels or the cracked kernels, put in medium saucepan and cover 1" above with water.  Cook over medium heat for at least 20 minutes, making sure there is always plenty of water.  After the kernels are soft, rinse off in a strainer.  These softened kernels can be used in different ways.

(I made this one as a sample at a food storage presentation and it was a huge hit!)
 1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup catsup
1 diced tomato
2 cups cooked cracked wheat
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can drained tuna
Mix.  Serve on tomatoes or with chips.  Also good as a side dish salad.

Jan 31, 2014

Hot Link and Chicken Gumbo

This has been one of our very favorite recipes for M.A.N.Y.  Y.E.A.R.S!

It's a hearty soup that will warm and fill your tummy!

It has been so warm and beautiful here in Arizona, it hasn't really felt like soup weather,
buuuuuuut, I'm always greeted with such big grins from my family when they see that this is what's cookin!

It's super flavorful plus a quick and easy dinner.

Prep Time:  10 minutes

4 cups water
4 bouillon cubes
1/2 lb hot links or Polish sausage, cooked and sliced (the hot links from Costco are fantastic!)
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice (save time by throwing in a cup of uncooked rice and extra water, if needed)
1 bottle Classico spaghetti sauce (Costco)
2 cups cooked diced chicken (or 1 can cooked chicken from Costco to save even more time)
1 can drained corn
1 green bell pepper, diced

I just throw it all in together and let simmer for 10 minutes.  All the flavor comes from the hot links and it's got just a little bit of a kick to it (not too much though).  Seriously, you will LOVE this soup!

FYI:  I always double it!  It's great leftover too!!!

Jan 30, 2014

Blue and Gold Banquet Centerpiece - Tri-fold Photo Frame

It's that time of year again for planning Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquets!

Here's another fun centerpiece idea that we did a while back.  
I love the simplicity of it and how it's 

We did one for each table and the boys got to take theirs home after the banquet!
(we lucked out on the number of our scouts vs the number of dining tables we needed)

They are 9" high and each of the three sides is 5 1/2" wide.
That translates to each piece of blue cardstock should be cut to 9" x 16 3/4".
You'll need that extra 1/4" to create a gluing strip.
I hope that makes sense.
3 sides, 5 1/2" each adds up to 16 1/2", plus that extra 1/4".

I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to cut out the ovals just smaller than the 4" x 6" photos.

I also used a gold stretchy string to tie around each 'corner' to shine it up a bit.
Any gold/yellow ribbon or string would add a nice touch.
I also added a lolly on each of the three sides
and centered it with a gold fleur-de-lis that I cut out with a Martha Stewart punch.

Here's looking down inside from the top.
You can see where we just scotch taped the pictures on the inside of the frame.

It just so happened that we had 3 photos already for each boy 
that we'd taken at activities throughout the year.
If you don't have three photos for each boy already, 
then I'm sure their parents would be happy to email you a few to use.

Here's an angled view.

Cub Scouts are the cutest!!!

Now that the banquet is over and done with,
I store this keepsake with some of my other favorite treasures in my craft room.

Click HERE if you'd like another one of my ideas for a Blue and Gold centerpiece.

Jan 18, 2014

Bottle Cap Necklaces - Come Unto Christ

Come Unto Christ is the 2014 Young Women's Theme 
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I haven't been in Young Women's for almost a year, however, I seem to be asked to sub in Relief Society a lot lately, and this theme went along perfectly with my Relief Society lesson on the Savior this month.  

I made this exact same kind of necklace a couple of years ago for girls camp when we had the owl theme.  The girls loved the necklaces and they are so fun to make!

I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook recently that I had been making jewelry.
Since then I've gotten lots of questions on how I made these, where I got all the supplies, etc.
So here we are.

As far as supplies go, it kind of depends on how many you plan to make 
as to where you should buy them.
If you're just making a few, buy in small quantities at the craft store.  
I saw these exact same bottle caps at Hobby Lobby in a 6-pack for about $4.99.
If you're making lots of them, then for sure buy online in bulk.

The basic must-haves:
Bottle caps (with the flat 1" surface in the center)
Get them with the hole already punched in them and the split rings already attached!!!
Epoxy dome stickers (mine came with my bottle caps)
Aluminum 18" (or longer!) ball chain necklaces
1" Round printable printed on regular paper
Modge Podge
Small paint brush

The fun extras:
Jewelry pins to string beads on
Special little jewelry ziplock bags to put them in

I got my bottle caps, dome stickers, ball chains and bags on eBay for cheap in bulks of 100!
My Come Unto Christ PRINTABLES I got on Etsy.  
I searched and searched printables.  This is my absolute favorite!
You can literally find any printable on Etsy.
The rest I got at Hobby Lobby.
I just used beads I had leftover from previous projects.
It's always nice to use up some of your stash!

First, print out your printable and cut out with your 1" punch.
Have everything laid out and ready to go before you start gluing.
Modge Podge dries fast!

'Paint' just the flat surface with Modge Podge.

Nov 25, 2013

Fresh Pumpkin Puree Made With Your Microwave!

Thanks to my really good friend Suzi, I've been inspired to cook and freeze my pumpkins instead of pitching them in the trash, like I usually do.

I've cooked them a couple of times before, but it's been many many years
Suzi has a way of doing it that I've never heard of before.
She cooks 'em in the microwave, instead of hassling with a big pot of boiling water.
I hate big pots of boiling water!

I had 6 of these darling little pumpkins
(that I got for free from my HOA after their pumpkin patch event).

Break the stems off (save the stems for another great project I'll show you later).
Cut the pumpkins in half.

Scoop out and save those beautiful, delicious seeds to roast.

Soak 'em in water.
This will make 'destringing' them much easier later.

You can't tell, but this bowl is also full of water.
Can you believe how many seeds I was able to get out of those pumpkins?
*happy dance*

Up until now, this is how I've always seen it done.

But here comes the 'new' part...... 

Oct 20, 2013

Young Women's Values Pinterest Bulletin Board

We were inspired by the Young Women's Pinlight board 
that we found on Pinterest and 
which was designed by Burlap and Denim.

We created the following bulletin board in our Young Women's room with Burlap and Denim's pdf files, but organized the pictures to be grouped with the values and renamed them Value Pins.

I love how it turned out!

Oct 6, 2013


If you know me at all you know that I basically worship the crafting skills of two women.

Rachele Funk, who's a great friend of mine, lives nearby, and I'm lucky enough to get to do stuff with her all the time.


Margie Romney-Aslett.

I barely met her in person once back in the spring at the SNAP Handmade Market.
Margie, {me}, Becki of WhippyCake and Jamie...all amazing women!
I've been following Margie on Instagram (justagirl) for a couple of years now.
She creates her own paper lines.
She does the funnest, most creative SPARK classes online.
Plus she does a million other things.

Her constant flow of creativity blows my doors!

So when I heard that she was coming to Arizona and doing a couple of classes at Scrapbooks, Etc in Mesa, I SIGNED UP IMMEDIATELY.  
Do I dare even admit that I didn't even care what she was teaching?
There were no pictures posted yet of what we'd be making.
I didn't care.
Margie was going to be there......
that's all that mattered.

Yep, I'm a stalker.

By the way, all you 'friends' who never told me before about Scrapbooks, Etc are FIRED!
Especially any of you west-siders, cuz I'll just assume that all you east-siders take it for granted.

Anyway, not only are the projects S.U.P.E.R. C.U.T.E.-E.R.-I.F.F.I.C.,
but Margie is even way more fun in person!
LOVE her creative genius!

Oh, right, so you wanna see the projects?

Wrap your head around this, folks....

I used a sewing machine.

I know.

I sent this pic to my daughter Shelby and friend Kathy cuz they ARE sewers and I just wanted to blow them away.
This may be the first time I've photographed me sewing,
however, I'm not actually IN the photo
so I guess it can't technically be used as proof.
But just know, it was ME using that there machine!

Look what I made!

Oct 3, 2013

Annual Holiday Open House

It's only the very beginnings of October and
Now I can just enjoy the rest of the holidays and be totally relaxed, right?

Yeah, right.  ;)

Meet my beautiful vendors!
Carol from Thirty-One Bags
Jen makes her own jewelry
Meaghan from Tastefully Simple
Andrea from Scentsy, Grace Adele AND Velata
Bethany and Brittany from Jamberry

The party was great!
I had wonderful vendors who worked hard,
the food was delicious,
(much of which was from Tastefully Simple),
and the turnout of friends was even better than last year!
My house was buzzing with ladies having fun shopping, eating and visiting with one another.
I love when I see my friends make new friends with my other friends!!!

The table looks similar to last year, but believe me, the recipes were different.
Next year I may need a new tablecloth just to mix things up!  lol
You can find a few of the recipes from last year's blog post
and yeah, pretty much the rest was provided by Tastefully Simple!

Sooooo here's what happened........

Oct 2, 2013

Halloween / Autumn: My favorite time to decorate!

Last year it was all about Black and White Halloween.

This year, it's all about the COLORS OF AUTUMN!

Funny how we're so fickle, huh?!

I am loving the Autumnlicious color of my mantel!

Get an eyefull of these owls!  
I recently made these in Margie Romney-Aslett's class 
(which I'll tell you about later.....it was a bucket list experience for me!)

I recently made the SPOOKY banner at Crop-A-Roo!  I love the fun it adds!
You can order the elements for it from Stampin Up!
And if you like the bunting below it, my neighbor makes these and you can get yours HERE.
She's an amazing sewer and makes all kinds of adorable stuff!

Card Swaps til the cows come home!

 Like I said before, I've had so many card swaps or card making lately, I thought it best to just create a whole new post dedicated just to cards!  :)

This first set is what I swapped with the gals at the Crop-a-Roo.
They are all very cute, and I thought it was interesting that they are all pretty much subtle.
Can you see what I mean?
Anyway, I love em!
Thanks Crop-A-Roo pals!

Love the sweet banner!

 This Christmas one made by Rachele!

Here is the card I made for the ladies.....18 of em!

Oct 1, 2013

Crop-A-Roo Hoo to you too!

Holy cases of TAPE-RUNNERS, Batman!!!

I recently signed up for several crafting events and they all pretty much fell within a week of each other!  Yikes!

First off, I had signed up for a Meetup group card-swap.....that, plus two other handmade card swaps or makes, I may as well just show them to you in a separate post because there are so many!
They are so cute, you won't believe it!

Secondly, my friend Rachele invited me to Crop-A-Roo, and it sounded too great to pass up!
It was SOOOOO FUN!!! 
We spent three days at a hotel just crafting ourselves into oblivion!

I had been out of town when the individual class signups became available, so I asked Rachele to just sign me up for whatever she had already signed up for.  

Um yeah, she signed us up for almost everything!  lol
(I'm glad she did!)

dotcha just love a blurry picture?

Seriously love my crafting friends!

Aug 13, 2013

Chocolate Mousse from an Irishman

Girls, you know those times when you NEED chocolate, like, BADLY?!
Well I'm hookin' you up with something super chocolaty that will make you smile!
And it's easy!

Jul 8, 2013

Summer Lovin' at Sweet Salvage!


Just when I thought Sweet Salvage's customer service couldn't get any better...
they amped it up with complimentary water bottles and sun umbrellas for all us crazies standing in line in the hot hot sun (yes, it's even blazing hot in Phoenix in the morning).

Always so much yummy vintage goodness to ooh and aah over!
I wish I could just start over decorating my whole house with all this awesomeness!

Jul 4, 2013

Kiss My Fanny Pack, Midas!

Have you heard that radio commercial from Midas?

"Never wear a fanny pack...no really..don’t ever wear a fanny pack!"


It's not like I wear one on a regular basis, but if you ever see me on vacation in an amusement park, you can bet your life I'll be wearin' my trusty {and very old} fanny pack.

I LOOOOOVE this thing!

Just look at all the stuff I can cram into this one little 'bag'!
I don't have to haul around a purse or a backpack.
I have everything I need conveniently accessible.
My camera and cell phone are safely snuggled in there when we're on the water rides, and I'm confident that they'll still be working property afterwards.

If anyone ever took a picture of me while in the park 
{seriously guys, you didn't get ONE single picture of me
 wearing my fanny pack for proof}...
But I swear it's true!

I was looking out for other fanny packers on our recent vacation to Disneyworld.
Dude.  I am so not alone on this.
There were GROUPS wearing cute matching fanny packs.
And I'm not talking old scary ladies, either.
These were the 'cool kids'.

So Midas, you can kiss our fanny packs all the way to Phrygia!

Alright, now you have to go check out these other fanny pack wearers.
Maybe THIS is why Midas said never wear one.

{and suddenly I'm glad the kids didn't get a picture of me in my fanny pack}

Jul 3, 2013

For the past couple of months.............

..........it has been nuts around here!!!

We got a darling new grandson back in March and 
were finally able to go see him for the first time in May.  
Reed is such a good baby and just as cute as his two big brothers, Cashen and Tate.
Cowboy and I had a great time with these boys and their parents, Whitney and Tyler!
A plus is that the Portland area is such a gorgeous place to visit!

When in Portland, this is a must!
VooDoo Donuts was on my bucket list
and now it's checked off!

In mid-May our daughter Devin returned from her 18 month mission to Honduras!  
We are so proud of her and her dedication to bringing others unto Christ!
 She was heartily greeted by nieces nephews, siblings, parents and friends at the airport!
I love the picture of her dad hugging her so tight!  
We really missed her a lot!
She's a great story teller and we loved her letters to home every week!
Here she is in the airport already telling us another great story!

Jul 2, 2013

Creamy Alfredo with Grilled Chicken and Hot Links

No really, I'm not a food blog.  
Lately it's been all recipes, 
but I promise there's so much more to come
...just give me a minute to recover from the crazy month of June 
that was filled with out-of-town family and trips.  :)

If you like rich, creamy, cheesy, and probably bad-for-you creations, this recipe is for you!  

A family favorite!

Creamy Alfredo with Grilled Chicken and Hot Links

1 stick butter
2/3 cup minced shallots (approx 5 large shallots)
1 qt heavy cream
2 cups light cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese

5 handfuls of egg noodles, cooked as per package directions
5 large grilled chicken breasts
4 grilled hot links (I get mine in a big package at Costco...they are also wonderful in Chicken Gumbo)

Saute the shallots in the butter for a couple of minutes, until transparent.
Add the creams, salt and nutmeg.
Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until cream thickens.
Add grated cheese just prior to serving.

I think you could put this sauce on pretty much anything and it would be delish!  
We mainly love it like it's served in the photo......
over egg noodles and topped with grilled chicken and grilled hot links.  
Oh. My. Yum!


May 15, 2013

Easy As {Buttermilk} Pie

This is my family's very favorite pie.
We are the only people I know who make it.

May 14, 2013

Corned Beef Chicken

Here's a simple, but super flavorful baked chicken recipe.

I hadn't made this recipe in years, which means that
 Cowboy and my younger kids hadn't had the chance to enjoy it.
The recipe has been in my head all this time.
Yeah, it's that easy!
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