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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Scones

I like trying new recipes,

even complicated ones...

But sometimes,

like tonight,

I need the tried and true.

The kind of recipe I know by heart.

I am really missing my kids.

They are with their Nana and Papa for the week, and I'm lonely for them.

So I do what I love doing for them when they are here.

They love these scones.

And I must admit, they are good.

They make the best breakfast,

and an equally delicious dessert!

It does make me feel a little better making them...and eating them! ;)


2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 & 1/3 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl. Add chocolate chips. Blend in whipping cream with a fork or spatula, adding 1-2 Tbsp. extra whipping cream, if necessary. When mixed, turn out onto a floured surface and knead several times. Pat into a 10 inch diameter, and cut into triangles. (You can also use a round cookie cutter instead, if you like!) Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 11-13 minutes. Eat and enjoy! :)

Thank you for stopping by!



I am linking this recipe to the blog party at Beat Until Fluffy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Painted Vinyl Floor

We were originally going to put wood plank flooring down this spring, and so last December I simply painted our kitchen floor white. I did it to make living with the existing vinyl flooring livable until the spring. However, I wasn't pleased with the products I used...So when, due to a budget crunch early this year, we realized we were going to have to put off wood flooring until next spring, I knew I was going to have to repaint the floor...I want to say a big thanks to Necel from The Old House in Texas, for sharing how she painted squares on her kitchen vinyl and inspiring me to try and do this myself! Her floor looks amazing, and it has been eight years since she painted them! This gave the fortitude to try it yet again, and I hoped for better results!
Unfortunately, the products she used are no longer available. But between her advice and the instructions I read on Do It Yourself, I set off for the hardware store. And this is the plan I came up with:

I sanded the floor
with 100 grit sandpaper, then followed that with 220 grit. I scrubbed my floor throughly with soap and water, then washed it again with just water. (I didn't want any soapy residue.)
*If you are painting vinyl, make sure to use TSP, or an ammonia based cleaner. This will remove the sheen from the vinyl. Now, I opted not to use these products since my vinyl had already been painted. I was wary of what this would do to the coats of paint already on the floor...

I used Bulls Eye primer and sealer. I was looking for a high-adhesive primer that was also a sealer, but couldn't find both of those in the same primer, but no matter! It worked wonderfully! I primed the floor twice, letting it dry between coats.

(This above picture is from December, when I was priming it the first time, so you can see the way it looked before!
I used tintable porch and floor paint by Valspar, found at Lowe's. I love this stuff! You can have it mixed into almost any color they have available in their paint color aisle. I chose for them to add just a little cream color to it, to make a soft white that would match my white cabinets. I painted this base coat on three times, making sure it dried thoroughly between coats. The instructions said to wait 24 hours between coats, but I didn't always obey this rule!

Then came the taping. A lot of taping. If you are wondering why it looks partly green already, that is because at first I lost patience with the taping and tried to free hand my next color. Uh, that didn't work out so well. So I brought out the painter's tape once again and stuck with it this time. I love (and swear by) this new green "frog tape"!

I then brought out my second color, a grayish-green tint, also in porch and floor paint. I painted the "non squares" this color, three times as well.

After this, I sealed the floor with four coats of polyurethane. I started on one side of the room, and by the time I had finished, it was time to start over. I used "Floor Finish" polyurethane made by Varathane, in semi-gloss. I wasn't intending to use a gloss, but that is the only sheen Lowe's had. I am glad I did, though. It makes it so much easier to take care of the floor, and I love the shine!

The view from the living room doorway...

From near the dining room...

I will admit, it was a lot of work, but oh-so worth it! It is easy to keep clean, and best of all, it looks so much better than it did before! I can live happily with this floor until we can replace it! :)

Just a small disclaimer here, if you happened to see the unfinished things in my kitchen~ I am still ( yes, still!) working on this room! But I am closer than ever...really!

Well, thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


(P.S. I am having trouble with the font/color settings on Blogger tonight, so please excuse the weird look of this post!)

We are linking to the following parties:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fluff Talk Thursday {1}

This week's assignment at Fluff Talk Thursday, hosted by Beth at Happily Domestic, is to share money saving tips I have learned when it comes to cloth diapering.  For me, the key to being frugal and cloth diapering was discovering I had a good portion of the needed items already on hand.  I just had to think outside the box a little, which I will explain in further detail below.

When I started cloth diapering I didn't exactly purchase cloth diapers with cloth diapering in mind.  No, I bought Gerber pre-folds to be used as burp cloths.  I had been told that Gerber pre-folds made the best burp cloths so I had a lot of them ready for our firstborn's arrival.  When I decided to give cloth diapering a try, after baby # 3's arrival, I started by using pre-folds with Bummis covers and Gerber vinyl cloth diaper covers.  Though I purchased some name brand cloth diapers before the arrival of baby #4, my favorites being Gro-Baby and Haute, I wasn't able to afford enough of them to get me through more than a day.   So I use pre-folds as my backup when the other diapers are in the wash or drying out.   I have 4 Bummis and 1 Blueberry diaper covers that fit baby #4 perfectly right now, which I highly recommend for those using pre-folds.  {I really like these covers as they eliminate having to use diaper pins.} One thing I appreciate about pre-folds is that they are super easy to care for.  Whereas some of the name brand cloth diapers can have complicated washing instructions.  When you're a mama of four little ones, convenience is preferred.    

However, not that long ago I began to wonder how difficult it would be to sew some fitted cloth diapers for baby #4 using material I already had on hand.  If it was possible it would certainly be affordable.  

So I spent some time researching the subject and discovered there was a guide to sewing cloth diapers using a pre-fold.  Imagine my surprise!  In an upcoming post I will share how I sewed a pre-fold into a fitted diaper.  All I have left to do is to sew in the elastic and add the tabs, either velcro or snaps, and the project will be complete.  I plan to add one more feature than was shown in the tutorial I discovered, by adding a colorful outside layer to the fitted diaper.  Since I have a plethora of receiving blankets that were given to me from numerous baby showers throughout the years I plan to use one of them in this project.  

Another way I save money cloth diapering is by using baby washcloths as an alternative to disposable baby wipes.  There are numerous ways to prepare baby washcloths for cloth diapering.  The best how-to guide I found was by reading a post on the subject at Happily Domestic.  

Just wanted to add one more money saving tip.  I purchased most of the fitted, AIO or one size fits all diapers through Kelley's Closet.  Often, they have coupon's you can use that offer terrific discounts.  Kelley's Closet also sends a coupon with each purchase you make that can be applied to future purchases within a certain amount of time.  

So there are my money saving tips.  I look forward to reading all of yours today!

simply . living . life

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mini Leg Warmers

Here's an idea I found at Married To The Military: Sewing baby leg covers. {See this post.} I made my first set of baby leg covers not that long ago. They didn't turn out quite like they were supposed to. However, it was from that mistake that I learned how to make ruffles...I'll explain how to do it this way, too. My sister {Sparrow} loved the idea and said we had to make more!

So here's what we did...Sparrow went and purchased some cute knee high socks.
{Above is the selection she found for girls.}
A little side note: She found the best selection of BOY'S socks at Goodwill, for about half the cost of what we spent at Target...

We then cut the socks as shown above and below...

...and placed them inside out.

...We rolled the hem over about 1/2 inch. For the plain stitch, we sewed down the middle of the 1/2 inch hem.
{If you like, you can place pins along the fabric to hold it steady.}

Pink thread...

...for cute baby girl leg covers!

To make these sweet ruffles, we use a zigzag stitch and a number 2 space. Sew right up to the "folded" (top) edge, as well as the "frayed" (bottom) edge of the hem, and then repeat this process one more time. Then, with the fabric right side out, use the zigzag stitch again, right over the same stitching.
{We found by doing this once again, that the ruffle was even more defined!}
Look~ instant ruffles!

Now for the baby boy leg covers...See the length of this sock? Much too long for a baby, so...

...I simply cut the sock in half.

Cute baby...

Cute legs!

Ready to wear: baby boy leg covers!
{If you're sewing baby leg covers for a boy, use a simple stitch on the number 2 space.}

More cute pictures...

{Love the way this stitch looks!}
While I finished sewing the baby leg covers for my baby boy...

...Sparrow was sewing these super cute leg covers for baby girls.

{See the adorable ruffles?}

So very pink!

Not only can you make these for babies, they can be made for young children, too.
{Here is Sparrow's daughter holding her cousin.}

To make these, use extra long socks. Cut the foot portion of each sock off, as shown above. Decide how much space you want between the top and the bottom ruffles. For the top ruffle: With the fabric turned inside out, pinch it a bit where you want to sew, just enough to stitch through. Then turn the sock right side out: sew once or twice on the same line. For the bottom ruffle: Right side out, sew once, or twice if desired, on the cut edge of the sock with zigzag stitch. Now you have a double ruffle!

Sparrow's daughter can't wait to wear these the first day of school!

How many days until September?

While sewing these baby leg covers, we found there are so many unique ways they can be sewed! The process was a lot of fun as well. We will definitely be making more of these!

If you have any questions about this project, feel free to ask by email or in the comments section!
Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!


Belle & Sparrow

We will be linking to the following parties:

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kitchen thoughts

On adding a little sparkle over the kitchen sink~

It took time for me to find the right chandelier for our kitchen. I had always planned on putting one in there, but nothing I was seeing what quite right. Not to mention affordable. ((and that was an important credential!))

Then I saw this one at Home Depot, and thought it might work...and eventually, I bought it. I was so excited when my husband wired it in! Finally, our kitchen felt like it
was going to be finished after all~ although sometimes I still think it won't be!

And look what I found:

Have you seen these sweet little bulbs you can buy? I like how sometimes it is the simplest of things that can make all the difference. I am going to use these bulbs from now on!

There are parts of this kitchen remodeling process that have been necessary, but not fun, I will admit. ((Especially as we are doing most every thing ourselves.)) But then there are those other things, like adding this chandelier. It gave me a glimpse of the completed project, just when I needed it most. A little sparkle goes a long way!

I hope you are having a wonderful week! :)

Blessings to you,


making . life . beautiful

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Raspberries {part two}

How to make homemade freezer jam. 
 A {simple} guide

Throughly rinse raspberries and crush. {You can use a potato masher}

The recipe I used to make the raspberry freezer jam was inside this box of Sure Jell premium fruit pectin. {Next time I purchase pectin I plan to get the less-sugar option}.

One of my many small children wanted to help me make the jam.  My son listened carefully to my many instructions {one of which was to make sure the bowl of raspberries didn't fall onto Grandma's very clean kitchen floor}.  I am proud to say he did a wonderful job, both listening and stirring the bowl of raspberries.  We had a great time! 

What you will need: 
3 cups crushed berries {some of the berries were left whole because I love jam that has a little life in it}.
5 1/4 cups sugar {be sure to measure out in separate bowl to ensure accuracy}.
Set timer for 10 minutes.  {Mix occasionally.}

Take box of pectin + 3/4 cup water and place in a sauce pan.
Place on stove until mixture comes to a boil.  Stir for one minute.
Pour into raspberry/sugar mixture.
Set timer for 3 minutes.  {Mix continuously until raspberry mixture is soft and smooth with no sugar granules in it.}

This recipe made 2 quarts of raspberry jam.
Once freezer jam has been poured into containers, it must rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
{Do NOT refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours.}
After 24 hours at room temperature {I left mine on the kitchen counter} you have the option of either placing in the refrigerator for three weeks or freezing for six months.


simply . living . life