Saturday, December 15, 2012

Seasonal Traditions at Home

Here on the Presley homestead, we don't preach Santa but we do have fun with the idea of it as a "game."  We have a few traditions which are not centered around him but do not shy away, either. 

Each year we make homemade hot chocolate, cookies and snuggle up together to watch The Polar Express .  It's a favorite of the season.  Most ABCFamily and Hallmark channel movies keep us together in the evenings, too. 

Dana and Dylan worked together to make vanilla dipped gingersnaps and they were delicious!

Nate and Jenna worked to cut out traditional roll-out butter cookies with frosting.  They did well with cutting the shapes and keeping them from coming apart when transferring to the cookie sheet.
 A very, very cute helper :) 

Didn't these turn out beautifully?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Laundry Closet - After

Desperately refreshing, no??
All these labels were just scrapbook papers printed with text boxes inside of shaped clipart from Word.
That's all.  And some elmer's glue.  I made the bag bag out of scrap fabric.  The rest is just elbow grease and containers from here and around the kitchen.  The doggie treat containers here (pink) are : an oatmeal box and chocolate milk container! :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Laundry Closet- Before

Shameful Before Picture. 
This area is head-on from our kitchen door.  Talk about a dramatic entry.  Stored here is: laundry detergents, plastic bags, doggie supplies, extra egg cartons, cleaning supplies, lunch cooler, light bulbs, garbage bags, .....  a lot for a small space.  It was desperate for some TLC and organization.  The "after" effect will be up soon. 

There are entire stores devoted to organizing and labeling and storage.  I do not have access to such a store nor do I have the budget to accomodate those types of remodeling jobs.  So, I went to my computer, scrounged up some basic supplies and used what was already there.  Up next, you will see what I came up with.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homemade hamburger buns

I recently thought to make my own hamburger buns just for the sake of trying.  I had seen the recipe here and just filed it away.  Then I had one of those meals planned when I took for granted that the buns were already in the freezer.  I found out differently.  So, I brought that recipe front-and-center and went for it.  I was initially skeptical that they would turn out just right.  I am not a scared baker, I'll try just about anything and I am OK with tweaking.  But I was just not sure that these would be "normal".  Unfounded!  They turned out great!  They rose beautifully.  The sandwiches were wonderful, too!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Country Salad and Homemade Bread Braid

Using an upside down roaster lid, this is the prettiest country salad, doncha think??  I love using whatever is available at hand to serve and make it lovely in a very simple way.

And......the homemade bread braid, using the BreadBecker recipe and hand braided.  It was delicious!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Any good country girl / homesteader must have one. Never outlives its usefulness ;)

Friday, September 14, 2012


One of the few items I would not want to live without in my kitchen is this baby!
The list I have used it for:
beating eggs
making pie crust
mixing cake mixes
chopping / slicing veggies and fruits-including potatoes for round fries:)  and apples for pies and.....
whipping cream
chopping up cooked ground meat
making bread dough
julienne just about anyting

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One Gallon of Yogurt

One gallon of whole milk makes this much, in terms of repurposed jars.  It is delicious, too.  I usually use my crock pot to make it then transfer to jars for refrigeration.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First Egg!!

This is a most rewarding moment.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Homemade Pepper Sauce

Three of the six members of our crew looove hot sauce.  So, when I came across a recipe to make my own, I just had to try it. Using the recipe from Little House in the Suburbs, and as many jalapenos and habaneros as I could get my hands on, I went to work.  This batch was made using all store bought peppers but since this batch, I have had tons of homegrown peppers and made organic.  I used garlic salt as a substitute on one batch with no adverse reactions from the crew.  Also, I did not have cayennes but tried one jar with red chili peppers with bad results.  I have omitted the cayennes every time and not had any bad reviews.  They even prefer it now.  We have not purchased any hot sauce in the last several months.  This is a record because we normally would go through it at the rate of approximately two bottles this size per month!!  I will make a note to myself to grow some cayennes next year, too ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flashback to the Beginning

These are a few shots from when we began our homesteading journey.  Chickens were a logical first step for us.  Easy to care for, fairly inexpensive to start and maintain and we would actually get something out of it relatively immediately.  My hubby did a good majority of the work on it and did a great job.  Eventually, there was an additional  compartment but this is how the brooder started out.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Big Brother Little Sister

This little sister lloooves her big brother. And only a great big brother would be caught playing babies-and even smile for a picture ! The closeness between our children just warms this momma's heart.:)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coop Progress

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

School Room Revamp

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Bag with Chicks

One of the first forms of support I found in my homeschooling journey was the message board at Five in a Row . I love the ladies there. :)  I've found much support, help, advice and prayers there.  The community at FIAR just can't be beat!  One of the most inspiring ladies I've met there is Paige Hamilton.  When I first chatted with her, she was a military wife and had lived in my hometown during her husband's time at the military base.  Since then, she's been through much....hard knocks , good times, scary moments and some very inspiring days as well.  I love reading her writing and hope that she continues to inspire us all by following the dreams God has put on her heart. Paige Hamilton's blog can be found here.

She recently shared that she received a scholarship to a writer's conference coming up this summer.  And now she just needs to come up with the money for her travel and associated expenses.  Times are tight for All of us, I know.  And I'd love to lay out the cash to just bless her with and it would bless my heart  to see her follow that dream.  I don't have that ability...I can only do what I can do.  I sew.  I love to sew.  These are a few of the spring projects I've been working on at my sewing table.  They aren't extravagant but they give me a creative outlet. 

So, for auction today, in support of Paige I am offering my spring chicks and this fabric tote bag.
The tote is made of three layers of cotton fabric and will get the "shaggy" look along the edges when washed.  The bottom is made of two layers of denim, to withstand being dragged around by children ;) .  It's just a simple library type tote bag in beautiful spring colors.  The chicks are just a cute project I made with some fabric pieces in my stash..I just thought they were a cute spring addition to a little basket around the house:)   
If you need a new tote, please bid and all the proceeds will go to Paige's travel fund:)  If you don't need a tote and you'd like to bid on it to send to someone else, feel free and I will ship it to the recipient of your choice.

Please use comments section to bid.  :) Bidding ends Friday, April 6, 2012.

Superlative: Class Clown

At five years old and still under 40 lbs, Jenna's personality sure packs a punch.  She's got to, to keep up with the crew around here.  And she does it well ;)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thrifty Re-Do Coming Soon.

I thought this was cute.  My 12 year old  daughter severely disagreed.  It's now wadded up in a drawer.  I will rework it for my other daughter.  And she'll like it. :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicks Are Here!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thrifty Re-do: Denim Cutoffs Turn into Girls' Skirt

My older daughter recently found a pair of jeans that she needed to give up and cut off just to wear as shorts. By the way, my children think cut-offs are fabulous!  I just couldn't throw the bottoms of those jeans away, though.  I hate to waste perfectly good fabric just due to sizing.

So, I took my seam ripper and did some reworking and now I have the cutest skirt for my younger daughter, for just the cost of my time, elastic and the few scraps that I used to accessorize it. 

Here's the tutorial:

First, I slit the non-topstitched side seam, usually the inner thigh seam.  I did not cut it open, only ripped the seam to allow the fabric to remain intact so that I had the most fabric available for size.

Then, open up both pieces and  match them together, right sides together.  I pinned from the hem back up toward the waistline. Pin and stitch.

I added a little patch here on the inside, just to keep one of the holes from getting to far out of control :)
Also, I turned under the waistline, pinned and stitched as you would for any simple skirt pattern.   Elastic is next and stitch closed.

This is what I drummed up to accent the front of the skirt. I attached it by hand by stitching through the button down through the denim. I made about 4 stitches and secured the threads off inside the skirt. Of course, you could do whatever you desire on this part, or nothing at all!

And here's the finished product, minus my elastic.