Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Door Lift

After using the same wreaths on my front doors for almost two years I’m kind of tired of them.  My doors need a lift.  So would that be called a door lift?  Anyway . . . if you’ve priced wreaths lately they can be pricey.  Through all the blogs I follow I’ve seen about a hundred tutorials for wreaths.  But for some reason none of them motivated me to actually make one.  But when I saw my mom’s cute homemade UK rag wreath I made my own the next day

All you need is,
  1. wire wreath frame
  2. scrap material
  3. scissors
I have collected an overflowing pile of scrap material that I pick up when it's in the scrap bin at craft store or even at yard sales.  There was more than enough material in my pile to make two wreaths.  I picked up the wire wreath frames at Michael's for under $5.  So these two wreaths didn't cost me more than $10!

If you don't have scrap material you can buy one yard of fabric (per wreath).  Remember if you want a variety of colors you don't want to purchase one pattern of fabric but mix it up.  Make a template from a piece of cardboard or some type of sturdy material so the pieces will all be the same size.  The template should be about one inch wide by 10 inches long. 

You will need a lot of material pieces.  The wreath frame I purchased is divided into nine sections with four rows.  However, I included two rows together and tied 10 pieces for each section.  That means you will need approximately 270 strips.  Yes, I seriously calculated how many pieces.  I didn’t actually count while I was cutting but I thought for some of you that might actually make this you would want to know.  So, you’re welcome.  

After the pieces were cut I started tying them.  Let me clarify I didn’t actually tie each piece with a knot.  I looped them (see picture above).  

Okay, so I feel like I just made this project sound extremely hard.  Honestly, you can’t mess it up.  It doesn’t matter if you tie or loop and it doesn’t matter how many material pieces are on each section.  Just jump in and make it the way you like.  I didn’t originally put as many pieces on each section but then when I put it on the door I went back and added some to make it fuller.

The fun thing is there are so many variations.  You can use certain colors for holidays, team colors, or just mix your favorites.  Also note this is a great project while watching TV.  

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pick a Recipe, Any Recipe

I feel as if I’m so far behind on all the things I want to share with you!  So I’m going to combine a few recipes here that I’ve tried in the past month or so. 

Let’s start with breakfast. 

Besides just getting B a gift on Valentine’s Day I wanted to show him in other ways how special he is to me.  So for breakfast I made homemade donuts.  Typically I try and stay away from using yeast because it just makes me nervous.  The water temperature has to be just right and I’m always afraid I’m going to mess it up and all my work will be in vain.  But sometimes I have to just swallow my fear. 

The recipe I used for the the donuts can be found here.  Make sure you flour the surface really well.  Notice that my donuts aren't perfect and at first that frustrated me but it did not affect the taste.  Just go with it.  Since it was Valentine's Day I decided not to ice them with chocolate but to make a pink glaze instead.  I just mixed water and powdered sugar until it was the consistency I liked and dipped the doughnuts (once they were fully cooled).  My glaze was not very thick because I wanted the glaze to drip down over the entire doughnut (or at least a lot of it).  As you can see the glaze didn't show up as pink liked I had hoped but there was a pink tint.  I also followed the recipe for the doughnut holes and they were equally delicious.  If you're nervous about the water being the right temperature for the yeast just use a thermometer.  I know, I know experienced bakers don't have to do this but whatever, I'm not an experienced baker I just want my food to taste good.

Don't you think that one looks like a heart?  Maybe it's just me.

Next, stuffed zucchini.

I’m always looking for unique ways to include fresh fruits and veggies in our meals.  This was a super tasty option for zucchini.  Plus the “stuffing” could be altered about a million different ways to satisfy all taste buds.  The recipe can be found here.  I did alter a few things on this recipe.  During the sauteing of onions and peppers I also added mushrooms.  When I was mixing everything together I added about a cup (maybe a bit more) of cooked ground beef and a cup of cheese.  Oh, I didn't have tomatoes so I didn't add those in either.  Really I kind of just mixed up whatever I wanted or had in my fridge and pantry.  They turned out delicious and will definitely be made again at 8050 place.    

Finally, what is a meal without dessert?!  

Part of B’s Valentine’s gift was a matching mug set (see below) so what better way to give them to him than filled with cake!  You can find the recipe here.  The only ingredient that is kind of funky is whole wheat pastry flour but if you notice you can substitute it for all purpose flour.  Also, I did not double the recipe because our mugs were kind of small but I should have.  It truly is a small amount so if you have two mugs double it!  

Take the time to try a new recipe, maybe even a challenging one.  ENJOY!

(P.S. Let me know if you try one of these by commenting on the blog.)

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

A New Tradition

Happy Easter!  

I don't think I"ll even try to express in my words what this day represents.  I'm going to lean on Noel Piper (John Piper’s wife) and her explanation of this special day.

“Easter is not a one-day thing-not a 24-hour event.  Easter is our reawakening to the ever living Jesus.  The celebration is our springtime springboard into the whole year of THE LORD IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!”

B and I started a new tradition for our family today.  Since we started the adoption process I have been praying for our child.  Each morning I pray for his caretakers, preparation for the transition when he comes home to us, his birth mother, and most importantly his salvation.  With each prayer that flows from my lips I grow to love him more, long for him more, and feel an urgency to pray even more for him.  Recently I came across this quote by Octavius Winslow on the Desiring God blog which was fueled the desire to lift my child up to his maker!

“Christian mothers, your child may be far away from the sheltering home, voyaging on the stormy sea, or dwelling in some distant climate beyond your voice. But he is still within the reach of the mightiest power a mother can wield – the power of prayer! And although you cannot throw around him your maternal arms to shield him from the evil of the world, you can invest him with your wrestling believing petitions, and secure on his behalf the Arm which encircles the globe, and is mighty to save. Oh that the Church of God may be filled with such praying mothers!”

Maybe I’m technically not yet a mother, but I believe God has a child chosen just for our family and even though I haven’t wrapped my arms around him God knows exactly where he is.    

Our tradition started with three eggs.  In each egg was a verse.  One specifically chosen for each of us.  This verse we will pray for one another throughout the year.  Next year we will choose new verses for one another and hopefully by then we will have our sweet baby in our arms.  We want this to be a traditional for years to come in our family.  We believe as Winslow says a mighty power can be found in the power of prayer!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For the Love of the Axe

B has developed a new love for the axe.  Yep, that’s right the sharp thing that cuts down trees.  I’m not 100% sure where this new fascination came from but . . .

buying the axe led to

buying knives led to

building fires with the axe and knives led to

we have to go somewhere (i.e. the woods) to build fires led to

“Let’s Go Camping!” 

Because I love the outdoors (not axes and knives) and because we had to replace our septic tank (talk about expensive) I joined in his excitement. So we bypassed the traditional fly south spring break and went on a true camping adventure.  And let me make one thing clear, this was not Glamping.  This was backpacking, sleep on the ground, cook your meals over a fire, roughing it.  There was great preparation involved but in the end there’s nothing like it!

Trip 1:  Scouting trip to Shawnee National Forest

Trip 2:  Shawnee National Forest Lusk Creek Wilderness

Trip 3:  Land Between the Lakes Canal Loop

He's getting pretty good at this.  He can even start the fire in the dark.  

As you probably can tell we opted for the larger tent on this trip.  

The view we woke up to, Kentucky Lake

Boiling water for coffee!

There is absolutely nothing like a fresh cup of coffee made over a campfire!

We love our camping utensils!