Friday, August 28, 2009

Therapy Pouch

I have a little bean bag that has been bringing me comfort since I had TMJ surgery when I was 19. (I actually have two of them) They are simple rectangle pouches stuffed with beans that can be heated in the microwave for warm therapy or kept in the freezer for an instant cold pack which is where I store mine. When I had TMJ surgery they brought much comfort to my aching jaw joint by heating them for just a minute and resting it against my jaw line. My maxillofacial doctor recommended placing heat instead of cool for comfort. Nowadays I use them more as cold patches fresh from the freezer to reduce puffy eyes and ease headaches. But after all this time they still provide comfort.

I have thought of making some for friends or just to have a new one. They seemed simple enough and turns out they are! I recently cut one of mine open and found the secret ingredient, which I always suspected, was plain ole Great Northern white beans! When I first purchased the pouches they had an herbal scent which has long since worn off. But I decided as I made new ones to add a bit of dried lavender to mine as it aids in relaxing in aromatherapy circles. They are super simple to make as long as you have the right stuff. Here's what I did...

For the inside bean pouch I used scraps of fabric cut into 9"x 9" squares. Take one square and fold it in half. Sew along the bottom and up one side leaving the top open. Turn inside out and pour in about 1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern white beans and 1 teaspoon dried lavender if you wish. Sew along the open end carefully so the beans don't come tumbling out... I pinned mine shut just above the beans. Sew back and forth a couple of times to seal good. Your nice bean pouch is complete! Next I took a scrap of prettier fabric and cut it into a 10"x 10" square. I hemmed the top end and sewed up the bottom and side to form a cover for my pouch. The cover is removable and washable. Place your bean pouch inside and your therapy pouch is totally complete!

I was told when I bought mine to remove the sleeve when you heat it in the microwave. So I always did. Also only heat it for a minute.. any longer and you will burn the contents! I hope you enjoy them! If you can't or don't want to make one yourself please let me know as I may have some for sale on my Etsy sight soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crafty Pringles Cans

Yeah... Pringles! Who doesn't love a good handful of Pringles every now and then. They are decently priced and taste great and in many varieties but don't you just hate to throw that can away? With the thought of Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, can't we find something else to do with them? I say Mod Podge it!!

Tear pictures from your favorite magazines, brush on either watered down white glue or good ole Mod Podge and paste your pictures right to the outside of the can. Be sure and wash it out first and save the lid!
You can use the Pringles can to house pens and pencils, straws, paint brushes, utensils, etc.

You can even use the shorter cans for smaller items like crayons, q-tips, or even organize your junk drawer!

Please comment with more ideas for uses of this easy craft project!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stuffed Peppers

Happy Tuesday to you!! I have made this recipe for Stuffed Peppers a couple of times recently as we have had an out-pouring of bell peppers in our garden! This recipe also calls for canned tomatoes of which I used fresh since we have a bit of those also from the garden. Hope you enjoy them!

Stuffed Peppers

About 9 Small to Medium Green Bell Peppers or Red (4 to 5 large)

1 lb ground venison, beef or sausage (seasoned to taste)
1 small onion, chopped

1 - 7 oz can diced tomatoes or 5 fresh (peeled and chopped in food processor)
1/3 cup white rice (or whatever kind you have)
1/2 cup water
several leaves fresh basil chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In large sauce pan, brown meat and onion and drain off fat. Return meat to saucepan and add tomato, rice, water, basil and Worcestershire sauce. Over medium high heat bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cheese and stir.

While mixture cooks, cut tops off of pepper and de-seed. Chop the rest of tops (except stems) and freeze for later use. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes.

Fill peppers with meat mixture. (At this point some of the stuffed peppers can be frozen for later use.) Place stuffed peppers in Pam sprayed casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Add remaining cheese to tops of peppers and serve.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soda Cracker Fudge

Howdy Doo!! I haven't tried this recipe yet but I thought I would share it anyways. It came from this fall's issue of Tennessee Home & Farm magazine put out by Farm Bureau Insurance. It has a nice article with it on page 24 so if you receive this publishing don't miss it because it's a cute story to back up this fudge recipe. Here tis:

Soda Cracker Fudge... aka Mystery Crunch

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 Tbsp peanut butter
1 - 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
24 saltine crackers, broken into pieces

Mix sugar and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour ho mixture over them. Place in a buttered pan. Let cool. Cut and enjoy!

Simple and sweet.. just like I like! Let me know how you like it if you try it. I will report back when I make it also.

Have a nice evening!

** UPDATE **
Well I made Soda Cracker Fudge this past weekend. It has so far received rave reviews by all who have tried it. Especially me :) I just ate a small.. OK not so small piece. It's almost addictive but it was so easy to make. I already had all the ingredients except for the marshmallow cream. It literally took about 7 minutes total to make. This one will be made this Christmas for sure!

Operation Nice

Ok, Ok I have a confession to make... I am not always NICE!!! It's not that I have a terrible attitude towards life in general but more often than I like I quickly jump to criticise others and myself for that matter. I have realized this about myself and have really noticed just how "not nice" I can be. I have a habit of saying what's on my mind wether it's good or bad and I know this can hurt people. I don't want to be some grumpy old woman one day that has been in a terrible mood for the last 30 years. I don't necessarily let this behavior show in front of others. Sometimes it's just negative thoughts. I'm tired of it. I know I am the only one who can change this behavior in my mind. I also feel as if I am not the only one guilty of this behavior. It shows almost everywhere you go.. the beauty shop, newspapers, the news, social circles... negativity can find you anywhere you go and eventually corrupt minds.

I like to go back to what my Mother always said, "If you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all". I had a very quite evening of getting my hair done this past Tuesday. I usually gossip in there. I told Kimberly why I was so quiet and she laughed and we found something nice to talk about.

Here's a tip I found: If you find yourself thinking poorly about someone, don't worry; you're not a terrible person because we all do this from time to time. However, try to catch yourself doing it, and think of something nice about that person instead. It'll help you look at people more positively, and you'll quickly break the habit of seeing the worst in someone.

I think that's a good place to start.

Random acts of kindness... that's my next goal. has an area where you can download "nice notes", I have printed some and so can you. They can be left anywhere and be used to say Thank You or just to tell someone how nice they look today, maybe without letting them know who told them that.

I can't wait to see what a nice person I turn out to be :)

"Don't give up! Bad habits don't change without much perseverance." I'll keep that in mind!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Secret Weapon

Happy Tuesday all! I'm gonna let you in on a little secret... The Secret Weapon in fact. That's just what I call it. It's a recipe for easy crock pot beef roast and vegetables. It turns into a wonderful supper when simply served with white bread or rolls and macaroni and cheese.

The Secret Weapon

1 good size roast (about six to eight dollars depending on how many you are feeding and what style roast you like)
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Corn, Onion... whatever vegetables you prefer.

Place the roast in your crock pot. In a small bowl mix together soup mixes. I like to add a half can of water (can being the cream of mushroom soup can). Pour mixture over the roast and let cook on low all day. If you choose to use fresh veggies I would suggest to put them in from the beginning. If you are using canned you can add them an hour before the roast is finished. This roast usually takes at least 7 hours on low for a good sized roast.

Personally I like to use the crock pot when I am at home all day where I can stir whatever I am cooking. If you know your crock pot well enough to leave it while you are gone to work all day I would suggest canned vegetables and add them when you get home and let them cook for an hour in the crock pot to absorb the flavor.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

After being a single gal for - - - ever and having only myself to depend on monetarily I had to come up with a way to grocery shop on a budget. Keeping in mind that I love to cook and make things I really had to gain control of my spending. I allotted myself a certain amount each week. Some weeks it might have only been a little. I had to learn to only buy the necessities or what I called my necessities. However, I still allowed myself to have fun with my list such as buying a small bunch of flowers for my table or a certain loaf of brie. In that respect I simply shopped where I could spoil myself cheaply :).

My tip today for grocery shopping on a budget goes like this...
First figure out exactly how much money you have to spend. Let's say you have $45.00. Create your list of what you need and want at the store this week. Try and shop for "a week's worth" of living. When you have your list together, next to each item write in it's average estimated cost. Such as a half gallon of milk $2.50. Then add up the estimated total. If it is more than your allotted grocery amount either take something off or adjust the price to buying the generic of what you may normally buy. Example instead of buying your normal favorite white bread at $2.60 buy the grocery store brand that costs $1.00.

I have shopped using this method for years. Most of the time it works. The key is sticking to your list. When you get into trouble with your budget money is when your eyes are bigger than your wallet and things go into your cart that aren't on your list. Don't give in! If it's not on your list then you can't have it this week. Or you need to sacrifice something else at the same price. It takes some discipline but only you can control your spending. I still get excited to see exactly how close I've gotten at the register with my estimated prices. And I must say I've gotten pretty good at it!

*Don't forget to allow for taxes when adding up your list. One good way to do this is to round up your estimated prices.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Talapia with Lemon Sauce ala yum!

Good Monday morning all! I thought I would hand out a quick supper main dish to start off the week.

Talapia with Lemon Sauce

3 pieces talapia
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
salt & pepper

juice of 2 lemons or 1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp butter

In a large skillet heat butter and oil on medium heat. Lightly salt and pepper bother sides of fish and coat fish in flour. Place in skillet, cooking each side 4-6 minutes flipping only once. Fish will flake and turn white inside when checked with a fork. Remove fish and place on a plate and set aside.

In still warm skillet pour lemon juice, chicken broth and spices. I like to use caraway seeds, thyme and a little old bay seasoning. Let simmer on med-high for 6 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk in until melted. Pour sauce over fish on plate. Enjoy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

To Consign or Not Consign

Last spring, upon moving my household to the country, I thought it best to say goodbye to some of my shoes. I was an avid "shoe collector" for some time. I didn't want to just give them away. They were still in their original boxes and most of them were only worn once or twice and in fantastic shape and most definitely still in style. I sold a few pair on ebay and decided to take the rest to a local consignment shop to see how they would do there. It has turned out to be a pretty decent deal. I sold almost all of them and have relisted the remaining four out of twelve pair that I took. Even though I only got a cut of the profit it was still way more than putting them in my next yard sale!

Most of the time when I think of consignment sales or shops I think of kid's clothes or at least I did in the past. I just wanted to put the bug in your heads to think about with fall and winter just around the corner. My next (and second single girl obsession) thing to gather and take to consign will be coats. I have several that I truly do not need and don't really have the space for.

It's a thrifty and good idea for a little extra space and cash in your pockets!

For you local girls, here's the website to Second Chances Consignment if you are interested.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Give~Away Reminder

Good afternoon everyone! Just a reminder about my give~away! A winner will be picked next Monday, August 17th! So if your name is not in the hat yet please send me an email with your name.

This red burlap bag is very big and perfect for your recycling or whatever else you would like to use it for.

Sign up now before it's too late!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That's Amore

Last night for supper I made Talapia with lemon sauce, asparagus, italian tomatoes and lemon poppy seed muffins... all in under 30 minutes. Sometimes timing is everything. Of these recipes I want to share the Italian Tomato side dish that I made because tis the season for homegrown tomatoes which are the best and it's simple. So for you tomato lovers... here it is.

Italian Tomatoes (for 2... cause that's all there is at our house :)

2 large tomatoes
4 Tbsp italian breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half. Squeeze ever-so gently to get some of the seeds out. You can cut a few out. Place tomatoes in a casserole dish flat side up. In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs and olive oil. I also had fresh basil on hand from my herb garden so I cut about a tablespoon of that up and added it. You can also use just breadcrumbs and add whatever spices you like. Spoon the mixture on top of the tomatoes. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

I am a tomato lover especially this time of year when they are fresh from our garden. I'll try just about any recipe that includes them!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fruit Fun Popsicles

Good morning all! It's finally stifling hot here in Tennessee. After a wonderfully mild summer (in my opinion) it's getting steamy out there. When you walk outside at 6:30 a.m. and the air is thick with humidity you know it's August. Well I have something to help cool you down and delight your taste buds... and your little ones may like it too!

Cantaloupe Popsicles

1/2 of a cantaloupe, sliced in half, de-seeded, sliced and crusts cut off
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Sweet and dreamy... I know! Anyway, after you prepare the cantaloupes you must puree it in a blender or food processor. Mine is one of those handy small ones and it does the trick nicely. Puree cantaloupe and set aside in a bowl. In the microwave, boil water (about 2 minutes) and add sugar stirring to dissolve. Let this cool to room temperature or put it in the refrigerator to cool faster. Mix in with cantaloupe and pour into popsicle molds or ice cube trays. Let freeze for an hour then insert popsicle sticks. Allow several hours to freeze or overnight.

These are fantastically good. I've gotten rave reviews so far!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Night Fajitas! (for 2)

OooWee it's Friday!!! Let's make fajitas! I have put this recipe together in a bowl before and taken it camping but I've made it at home more often than that. It can be very convenient.
Here you go:

1 package chicken breast strips (the cheap package... like $2.45)
1/2 bag frozen (or fresh if you've got it) pepper and onion in strips (green, red & yellow)
2 - 3 tsp Caribbean Jerk seasoning (as long as it sounds tropical!)
Vegetable oil
1 can pineapple chunk
1 Tbsp butter
Flour Tortillas

Now follow these steps.... place 3 tortillas in aluminum foil and fold packet. Repeat for as many as you need. Place in oven on top rack at 350 degrees just to heat them up.. you're not trying to cook these! In a mixing bowl place chicken, veggies and seasoning. Put the lid on it and give it a good shake to mix spices up. In a large skillet brown pineapple in butter.. maybe about 6 minutes or so. Transfer pineapple to a bowl and cover with paper towel. Try not to snack too much on the pineapple. Pour oil into pan and let warm up on med-high. Pour chicken and veggies in, stir and cook until chicken is done. Mix pineapple with chicken and veggies. Get your tortillas out of the oven and serve your mixture on them.

You can use whatever else you want from here like sour cream, cheese, black beans, rice. They are YYUUMM!

Cleaning Vintage Linens

Howdy Doo All! When I am able to spend entire weekend days at home one of my favorite things to do is catch up on my linen washing. I have a tad of a habit of collecting vintage linens like colorful square tablecloths, cloth napkins, crocheted doilies... things like that. Sometimes when I get these items from yard sales, antique malls or just from my Grandmother's things that I've had they appear to be yellowed or stained with age. Sometimes it's not from a particular thing that stained them it's simply from age or environment. Sometimes I am afraid to machine wash these things or the machine and regular detergent didn't get the yellowing out.
A year or so ago I came across a certain product called Retro-Clean from a gal on Flickr. I bought some and have loved using it. I use one of my old enamel tubs, warm, water, a little Retro-clean and a lot of sunlight and my items gleam like the day they were new. Of course occasionally I will have something that is truly stained with something and have to try something else to get it out but most of the time this product does the trick! I love the feeling of checking on my cleaning every so often to almost magically see it changing before my eyes. I have been told that a simple mixture of Borax and water will do the same trick. I will try this and report back but for now I'll stick with what works while I have it! You can buy your own at

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just a Quickie Recipe

I don't have much time today so I thought I would post a quick little recipe for my "Sticky Chicken Legs".
  • 2 packs chicken legs or 1 legs 1 wings
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
Mix honey, onion soup mix and mustard together, add chicken. Put chicken on the grill turning a couple of times. Brush mixture that's still on the bowl on top of the chicken like you would barbecue sauce. You can also bake them in a 9x13 dish by pouring mixture over chicken and cooking about 35 minutes at 350.
These are a tad sticky but very delish!
Have a great night!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Please Recycle ~ Give-Away!

Recycling has been a part of my daily trash making for a few years now. In my pantry I have a burlap bag that I use to put items in that can be recycled that would have normally been thrown in the trash. It makes me feel good that I am doing my part in keeping items out of our landfills that can be put to other uses and not harming our environment. If you live in White House, TN or around here or maybe even shop here you have the easiest way to recycle in our area! There are at least 9 bins scattered about White House where you can take your recyclables. Four of which are located at Wal-Mart and I know you go to Wal-Mart! During the week I deposit my items in my recycle bag and the day before I know I'll be doing my shopping I'll put it in my car and empty them into the bins as soon as I pull into the parking lot. It's that easy folks.

Another high point of recycling in our area is that you don't have to separate your items! That takes a load off! There are restrictions as to what you can put in the bins and I would advise you rinse out items that have had food in them to keep the bugs down. Even if you recycle the things on their list you are doing a huge part!

I know there are a lot of you that do not recycle for whatever reason. That's why I have handmade my give-away recycle bag! It's a red burlap bag with sturdy handles that you can fill and dump over and over with all your recyclable goods! You can register to win this bag by sending me an email at . Include your name and phone number (if you're local)in your email. Even if you aren't a resident of our area or you already recycle and want this cool bag to keep using for recycling you can register! I will collect all the names and have a drawing August 17Th, 2009 which is two weeks from today. How Exciting!!

If you want more information about recycling in our area visit

My My doesn't that model look stylish going to recycle!