Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

Hello Friends!
I hope you are having a great holiday. I remember the days of staying up late, grabbing a blanket and my honey, and parking out in a farm field to watch the fireworks. It was blissful. Throw a couple kids in there with early bedtimes, stir in a long day of work for Matt, and we now have a "let's-watch-the-fireworks-from our back-porch-in-our-jammies night." It's ok. I know a time will come when we can go back out and see the real deal again. :)

I love getting together with our family for a picnic. My stomach is especially looking forward to whatever is going to be on that grill. :) Since blueberries are in full force right now, I thought I'd share with you my contribution to today's festivities.

Fresh Blueberry Pie
This recipe is so fabulous: It came from my cousin Kellie as a baby meal. As I recall, it was preceded by steak. Now that girl knows what a new mom really loves :)

You need:

1- 9" pre-baked pie crust

On stovetop blend:
1 C sugar
3 T cornstarch

1 C blueberries
1 C water
1/8 t salt

Heat until boiling. Turn down and let thicken.

1 T butter
3 C blueberries
Allow to cool some, then add to pie crust. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
(Which won't be long, I can assure you.)

Not only is it easy, but it is a perfect hot weather recipe. Not too much baking, and perfect with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Yes, I said dollop.

I am also going to make patriotic lemonade. I think I just came up with that. I'm going to freeze some blueberries in ice cubes trays (with water) and add to some lemonade.
My homemade lemonade is super easy. For a half-gallon, I use
2/3 C lemon juice
3/4 C sugar
To make it "red" I'll add some leftover strawberry juice I froze from making jelly.
Enjoy your day! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Faith, Family and Farm...

Hello all!
We have had such a fun (albeit tiring) week at VBS! (I am amazed how 9 three-year-old kiddies can feel like you are in a room with 50 wild animals. It's unbelievable!) This theme couldn't have been more fun to help design. It was called Kingdom Rock, which lends itself to all things medieval. I love it.
Our set came out so fabulously, I had to post for all to see:

Our castle...

...complete with moat and 'gators.

Do you think the kids love climbing up this? Ummmm, yes!

Our castle door complete with hand made torches.

The drawbridge leading into the castle. (This is where all the classrooms were!)

I think the floor actually goes with the interior castle design perfectly!

 Last night on my way to VBS, Matt called me to tell me Bella was getting ready to calve. I was hoping she would soon- As a mom of two summer babies, I can completely relate. (She has been a whole lot less grumpy than some pregnant women I recall *ahem*) The girls were so excited- They (and their cousin) spent the car ride there thinking of baby names. Let's just say I hope their spouses assist in the naming of their children. :)

Grace did come up with the perfect girl name: Sophie. So that settled it: A girl would be Sophie, and a boy would be Ferdinand. (One of my favorite books :) When we got home, we found a very attentive mama and one sweet girl! She is so pretty. Sophie looks like her daddy, with a tan back and gray and white on her legs.

I know I am a biased grandmom, but she's just gorgeous :)
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A "mad" card...

Hello, friends!
Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of your summer.
Just wanted to show you a new digi that I put up in the shop last week. 
I used it to make this "Wonderland" inspired card for a 
Alice in Wonderland bridal shower. 

Have a great rest-of-the -week!
p.s.- spend $15 in the shop and get a $5 coupon for future use! 
Use code "summersale"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Love Your Guy with Some Home Cookin'...

Hope you are all having a superb weekend. The sun has finally decided to show his face here (Thank goodness- The girls have transformed the rear of my garden into a day spa. They all come back to the house completely painted in mud!)

Matt and I have a tendency to keep our holidays simple. Don't get me wrong: this girl loves gifts! I think we spend enough  money just one the necessities of life, so to not have to fuss with a present is really nice. (Now, if I can find some time to make him a card, that would be lovely!)

It's funny that they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I don't know about you, but I find that I subconsciously love him with food. I can totally do that, since he burns off more calories in an hour than I do in a week. (Seriously! He's so active that if he sits down for too long, he'll just fall asleep, ha ha!)

This is one of his Aunt Vicki's recipes. When he (and I) tried it, we knew it was going to be one of our favorites. I'm not so much of a banana dessert-y kind of girl, but between the homemade pudding and crust in here, this recipe takes the cake. (Literally, since it's a pie! hee hee!)

Banana Cream Pie
 You will need: 
1- 9" pre-baked pie crust

2/3 C sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 t salt
3 C milk
4 egg yolks
2 T butter
1 T + 1 t vanilla

Stir together dry ingredients. Separately blend milk and eggs. (To get a really even consistency, I use the blender)

Add milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients. Cook until thickened and boiling, stirring constantly.
Stir for one minute more after if reaches the boiling point. 
Blend in butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool. 
(I don't bother to cover it, but I do spread it out in a pie plate- It cools a little faster)

After pudding has cooled, slice 2-3 large bananas and add to bottom of pie crust.
Pour custard over top, and spread with topping.

1/2 pint heavy cream 
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C 10x sugar
Blend three ingredients until they are the consistency of whipped cream 
(But not too long, or they will be butter! :)

I can personally say that the pie was soooo good (And got plenty of compliments) We spent a great Father's Day with family, which promptly ended in a rain shower and a double rainbow. 
(I can't say that without thinking of the auto tuned double rainbow song. No thanks to my brother)

I always knew Matt would be a wonderful husband, but I can assuredly say that he is an equally great Papa to his girls. They just love him to pieces (And really, how many guys would happily watch the Anne or Green Gables series? *sigh* That Gilbert Blythe is such a dream boat. oops, did I type that out loud? :)
Happy Father's Day to my sweet hubby 
(and my great Dad!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Sneak Peek (at an awesome artist!)

Hello all!
I hope that during all this nasty weather, you've been able to stay safe (and maybe even get some time inside to do something creative!) The thunder outside is telling me that our big storm is coming (so I'm praying that it is going to be milder than they predicted!)

I wanted to take a minute (before my power goes out!) to introduce you to one of my friends. I have always said that one of my bucket list dreams was to illustrate a children's book (but I think God has steered me in another direction :) Kim, however has totally found her calling! We spent lots of time together over at our local Christian school, and I always loved talking art with her. I am pretty sure at that point she was just getting her feet wet with the book illustrating.

(I'm just in love with all her little fairies!)

Property of Kim Sponaugle, Picture Kitchen Studio
It was so exciting to recently come across her FB site, Picture Kitchen Studio- Her work is just breathtaking! I love her little fairies and children. She captures their childlike expressions beautifully. If you have a minute, please take a look at her work. It's so good! You can also find her blogs here and here. She gives some great advice in there for aspiring artists. (And keeps you posted on what's going on in the "kitchen" :) Enjoy!

Have a great day (and stay dry, all you east coasters! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Keep the challenges comin'!

I know, I know, two posts in one day is really a record for me, but I couldn't leave out another fantastic challenge! This one is over at the Love to Create Challenge and their work was just so sweet, I needed to make sure it got some recognition!  Being a total bookworm (and feeding the "bookworminess" in Grace), I love their "Read All About It" theme. Here's one of their cute bookmarks!

Which really gets me thinking... I need to find some great summer reads for our beach visits! 
(Hey, any suggestions?)
Have a great day!

Sister Act Card Challenge!

Happy Monday, all!
With this nasty hot weather we've been having here in NJ, it's given me added motivation to stay in the cool basement and make some cards. (And it's rainy out now, so that's another good reason for card making, right? Is it possible to justify paper crafting under any type of weather? :) 

I stopped over to Sister Act Challenge- I am sponsoring them this week, and their cards are amazing! (Seriously, it's such a compliment to see my digis out there!) Head on over for a second and check their lovely cards out! (And have a great day! :)

Just one of the sweet cards in the challenge!
by Tricia

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