Sep 13, 2016

Preserving Fresh Lettuce - Salad from a jar

I'm a salad-lover!
I could eat a salad every day,
and I usually do.

Yet I'm always throwing away
lettuce that has turned brown or wilted.

note: I don't actually throw it in
the trash bin, it goes to the chickens/compost.

Well, no more!!
(cue dramatic "ta-da"music here)

Food saver, vacuuming sealing lettuce

I now preserve my lettuce in canning jars
with my handy dandy FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

We purchased jar sealers for both regular
and wide-mouth. These use the accessory 
hose that comes with most FoodSaver models.

Here's how we do it!

We use a mix of lettuce, whatever
we're growing along with store-

1. Chop it into bite-size pieces.

2. Wash and DRY it really well
     in your salad spinner or with
     paper towels.

3. Pack your mix of lettuce into 
    mason jars. Push in as much
    as you can!

4. Place a lid* on the jar.

5. Place the jar sealer over the lid.

6. Attach the hose to both the jar
    sealer and your machine, hit
    the vacuum button.

7. When it is finished, DETACH 
    the HOSE from the jar sealer 
    first. You should hear a ping.

8. Then remove the jar sealer from
    your mason jar. Test the lid to make
    sure its sealed!

9. Keep your jars in the refrigerator
    for up to seven days. 

That's it.

mason jars of salad, kitchen time savers, food saver, lettuce lasts longer

* you can use new lids (and still use them for canning later) or
you can reuse old lids as long as they aren't too banged up.

Also, this works for quart or pint jars. 
I use a pint because that is a perfect serving size for me.

We have been doing this for well over a year now. 
You can experiment with different lettuce. More delicate leaves/spinach, I know just starts to turn by the seventh day. However, more sturdy leaves such as romaine will last longer.

eat a salad, quick tips to eating healthy, canning lettuce

This is a huge time saver during the week. For lunch, I simply 
grab a jar, empty it onto my plate throw on a few toppings and 
I'm good to go!

I have a friend that takes a jar with her to work each day, she puts
her toppings in another container; grabs both on her way out the 

I'm all about prepping for one day,
so I can eat for a week.

Do you have any prepping shortcuts
to share??

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Sep 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day 2016

Happy Monday!
Happy Labor Day 
to those celebrating today!

If you have the day off,
I hope you're enjoying it.

September is going to be a busy month,
I'm hoping to stay on top of things and 
take pictures to share here on the blog.

Have a blessed day!

Aug 30, 2016

Easy Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Printable Recipe

Last week I talked about my 
stockpiles of shredded zucchini!
Food Saver bags of shredded zucchini

So, this week, I wanted to share one
of my favorite recipes to make with
that shredded goodness!  

easy zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting

Easy Zucchini Cake
with Cream Cheese Frosting

2½ cups  all purpose flour
2    cups  sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1    teaspoon  salt
½   teaspoon  baking powder
½   teaspoon  baking soda
1    cup     vegetable oil
4    eggs
2    cups   zucchini, shredded
½   cup    walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder & baking soda in mixing      bowl
2. Combine oil & eggs; add to dry ingredients, mix well
3. Add zucchini; stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Fold in walnuts, if desired.
5. Pour batter into 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. baking pan.
Bake @ 350° for 35-40 minutes.


4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla extract. 

If you're using your frozen shredded zucchini,
there may be quite a bit of liquid in the freezer bag
after thawing.
DO NOT DRAIN! The zucchini "juice" helps keep
this cake super moist!

using your frozen shredded zucchini to make cakes

Check out some of my other
 Zucchini recipes and ideas.

My pickiest eater actually requests 
this recipe for his official birthday cake!
Yea, it's that good!!
I hope you'll give it a try (:

Have a blessed day!

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Aug 23, 2016

Preserving Your Summer Squash - Zucchini

If you're someone who likes 
to share, grow summer squash. 
It's a very prolific plant!

homegrown zucchini

We grew green & golden 
zucchini summer squash 
this season. 

Unfortunately, we started
our garden a bit late due
to our May/June vacation
this year and it was just
when the squash "moths"
were laying their eggs.
We didn't notice in time,
and their larvae feasted
on our plants!
#sadface  :(

green and golden zucchini squash ready for the freezer

We were able to pick a few before
the vines started dying off.

Most of my zucchini is shredded,
preserved in FoodSaver bags and
stacked in the freezer for later use.

Although you can add shredded
zucchini to a number of recipes
to increase your veggie intake,
our main uses are...

*Zucchini Cake with Easy Cream Cheese Icing,
*Zesty Zucchini Relish.

I'll provide links above as I share my recipes here on the
blog in the coming days.

We use a food processor with
a shredder blade.

shredding side of a food processor blade

If you have a shredder for your
Kitchen-Aid mixer great, if not
a hand grater would work too!

Then we bag it up in 2 or 3 cup portions.
3 cups for the bread, 2 cups for the cake
and relish. Freeze it flat then stack it to
save space. No blanching required.

You could also slice your zucchini in
rounds and dehydrate it for use in soups
and casseroles.
Sprinkle on some seasonings before 
drying them for variety.

Whether you shred it, freeze it or 
dehydrate it, Zucchini is easy to 
preserve and a great veggie to keep 
on hand.

Now, I'm off to bake a zucchini cake!

Do you grow squash 
in your garden?

What is your favorite
way to use it?

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Aug 9, 2016

DIY Notepad Cover - Recycle, Reduce, Repurpose

I am definitely a "SHE" - 
Sidetracked Home Executive (via Flylady)!
Stationery supplies make my heart happy; 
notebooks, journals, papers, pens, markers, 
file folders, planners, etc.

So when hubby & I went to some local 
yard sales this past weekend and I saw 
a fellow "SHE" selling a portion of her 
stash, I was like...

Then during a little crafty time, 
I created a pretty cover for one
of the notepads I had picked up.

These lovely papers are from Echo Park,
For the Record, they were in my scrap
box along with their stickers & trim.

However, the scraps weren't quite wide
enough to cover my pad so I pieced some
together. It worked out perfectly with a
little washi tape to hide things inside! (:

I even found a little 
resin flower to match!

I now have a pretty covered 
notepad for my purse...

I like when everything coordinates!!

check out the one
I created for my

Are you a SHE?

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Aug 2, 2016

Easy Melt & Pour Seashell Soaps

Ah, summertime...
sun, sand, beach, seashells...seashell soap! 

Why not!

It's a fun activity to do with the kids!

You'll need a melt & pour glycerin bar
and some seashell candy or soap molds
from your favorite craft store.

Then cut a few cubes from the bar and place
them in a glass bowl for melting.

Pop it in the microwave and heat it
for 30 seconds, stir. Continue heating
it at 30 sec. intervals until melted and
its easy to stir.

Separate the melted soap into different
glass bowls if you want to add color to
your soaps.

Once colored, you'll simply pour it into
your molds and let it sit overnight until

Then pop them out of the molds to use
or give as gifts.

Simple, huh?!

fish, seashell, starfish homemade soap

We used food to color our soaps;
brown sugar, paprika, dark cocoa and 
blue "Jello" powder.

Think of the possibilities...
depending on the molds and colors
you use; you can coordinate seasons,
holidays, sports, special events, etc.

side notes:
if you notice bubbles in your melted
glycerin soap-and they bother you-
you can put a little rubbing alcohol
in a spray bottle and lightly spray the
surface of the soap, the bubbles will

Also, if you have older kids, this could be
a great fundraiser project. I've given
you the basic instructions, but you 
could get a little more involved by
purchasing soap fragrance and color
gels (a little goes a LONG way!) It can become 
rather addictive, be warned!

make custom made soap

Have you ever made
your own soap?

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Jul 26, 2016

A Baby Giraffe Card - 5 minute cardmaking

How to make a super quick card.
(I used a digital image and a stamped sentiment for this one.)

After I chose an appropriate image
for my card, the process went like this...

1. print 
2. cut to size
3. color
4. attach to card base
5. stamp a sentiment

And in less than five minutes I had
a card. 

This can be an important skill to know
when you completely forget you need a 
card five minutes before leaving the house
for a party, shower or important event...just saying...
Copic markers, foam adhesive squares,
MFT sentiment stamp, Memento ink, white gelly roll pen.

I dotted the blue spots with a 
Sakura white Gelly Roll pen to add
a bit of whimsy but I see they're not
showing up in the photo. {{sad face}}

*side note:
I think this was the last baby card for awhile, I promise. (:
However, if you need more baby card inspiration, click HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a blessed day!

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Jul 19, 2016

Simple, Sparkly and Recycled - Birthday Card

Recycle, ReUse old cards, cardmaking

A few months ago, my son
received this cute birthday 
card below.

It was bright, fun and sparkly.

And honestly, it was the sparkly
parts that saved this card from
the bin when he was finished with it.

So, with a piece of white cardstock
and a trimmer, a new birthday card
was born. Simple, huh?!

Can you see the sparkly glittery parts???  
Oh my heart be still! (: 

Recycling cards, Happy Birthday
white cardstock, personal trimmer, foam dots

"So that which is old becomes new."

Works great for Christmas cards too!
Enjoy your day!

What do you do with
your old birthday cards?

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Jul 13, 2016

my "But for the Grace of God" bench - Home Decor

Quite a few years ago, my eldest son 
(with a wee bit of help from my carpenter husband) 
made me a lovely bench for Christmas.

He left it unfinished so I could 
paint it to match where ever I 
wanted to use sweet.

It's a beautiful bench, buttery smooth
and I debated whether to just leave it
as is.

Then I was inspired...

Keith Urban 2016
by a Keith Urban song, 
It was a #1 hit back in 2001
but it's one of my favorites
from him.

I originally used my Cricut to 
cut out a stencil but had major
issues with placement and paint
getting underneath it...what a mess.

So I pretty much free-handed it.
Sketching the letters with pencil,
painting with acrylic then using a 
sharpie marker to even out where 
my hand was unsteady. whew!

Determination always succeeds!

Hope you're having a great day.

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Jul 8, 2016

A Doodlebug Onesie for Baby - Cricut Craftroom

Welcome to Baby Card Central!
the series continues...

I'm stilling using my Doodlebug Design papers,
they are so sweet! 

Cricut Craft Room basics, Cricut, Memento ink,
Doodlebug Designs paper (Snips & Snails),
kraft paper, button, baker's twine, SU! Congrats sentiment

The Cricut Craftroom offers some 
basic cuts and this is one of my 
favorites for baby making baby 
card making! (:

So many babies, so little time.
I believe I have two more cards
to share; another boy & a girl card
finally. Stay tuned.

More baby card inspiration...

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a blessed Thursday!

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Jul 5, 2016

Cricut Wall Art - Bless This Home - Cutting Vinyl

Playing with my beloved Cricut, 
I made this fun little vinyl sign
the other day.

simple Bless This Home vinyl sign

I had cut out this phrase some time
ago when the Cricut Craftroom had
it for free. (It's now available HERE
for $1.99)

The three boards were cut at 3.5"x12.5"
then glued and stapled together.
After my acrylic paint dried, I placed
the vinyl and made sure there were 
no air bubbles. 

The vinyl on the paint is "moveable"
at this point using transfer paper if
you need to adjust it but be careful.

I then painted a thin coat of Mod Podge
over it, left it dry overnight and wrapped
the cord around three times. The cord
is knotted in the back and stapled down.

when cutting vinyl on your Cricut,
your blade should be at 3 and the 
pressure at medium.
(I used my Cricut Expression)

simple Bless This Home vinyl wall art

Do you use an
electronic cutting machine
for you DIY projects?

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Jul 1, 2016

Books to Read - The Summer Reading Program - Are you Signed Up?

I picked up a book at the library 
the other day and saw that their
summer reading program had it summer already?!

I love to read!
We even have a library room in our 
home; the shelves filled with classics 
and books I want to read "someday"
...does someday ever come????

So I signed up for the adult read!

If we read at least eight books we'll
be entered to win some fun prizes. 
I'm not too concerned with a prize
but I did get a pretty lanyard just for
signing up! score!

So, I'm challenging myself to read 
eight books off my "someday" shelf!

My first book is John A. MacMillan's 
The Authority of the Believer.

What will you be reading
over the summer?

Any recommendations?

Does your local library have a
summer reading program for adults?

Are you signed up?