Monday, January 31, 2011

Lemonade Sugar Cookies

Lemonade Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
extra Sugar (not confectioners)

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Sift flour and soda together.

Add alternately with 1/2 cup lemonade concentrate. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned edges. Brush hot cookies with remaining lemonade and sprinkle with sugar. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boot Scootin' Birdhouse

This was so cute I had to share. Link to website at the end.

Boot Scootin' Birdhouse

Add a little Western d├ęcor to your yard with this unique design.

What You Will Need:

One cowboy boot
One 1- x 2-inch 8-foot pine board
One 1- x 6-inch 8-foot rough cedar board
3 to 5 feet of sisal rope
One pair of leather bootlaces or 3 feet of leather lacing (from a craft store)
20 to 30 1- to 1-1/2-inch nails
Two 5/8-inch brass wood screws

Recommended Tools:

Drill bits (1/16-inch and 5/16-inch)
1/4-inch hole punch

Boot Prep

Cut a 1-inch hole midway up the boot. One way to do this is to trace around a quarter. (This will create the perfect-sized hole for a wren.)

Using the hole punch, punch holes all around the opening. Make sure your holes are at least 1/8 inch away from the entrance hole to avoid tearing. Use a piece of leather lacing at least 2 feet long, and lace around the hole. To finish it, tie a double knot on the inside of the boot.

Using the hole punch, make two holes on the front and back of the boot at the top. You'll use these later.

Using a 5/16-inch drill bit, drill two to three holes in the boot's sole for drainage.

Wooden Frame Prep

To determine the correct length for your frame boards, place the pine board inside the front part of the boot. Add roughly 2 inches and cut two pieces of that length.

Cut a 45-degree angle on one end of each of these boards. (This is the hardest cut of the whole project, so if you can do this, the rest should be easy!)

From the original pine board, cut another two lengths, one 2-1/8 inch and the other 3-1/4 inch. (These will be your spacers, and you might need to adjust them for boots with wider shafts.)

Cut two 6-inch lengths of cedar from the fence board for the roof.

To assemble the frame, the 45-degree angles will face away from each other. The 2-1/8-inch piece of wood will connect the bottom, while the 3-1/4 inch spacer is roughly 8 inches above that (photos above).

To keep the boards from splitting, drill pilot holes with a 1/16-inch drill bit. Nail boards in place, using two or three nails at each connection.

Place the two cedar roof lengths at right angles. Drill and nail the two pieces together using at least six nails. Then place the roof over the frame and drill and nail into place, using at least three nails on each side.

Using the 5/16-inch drill bit, drill two holes in the roof eaves and attach a 2-foot length of sisal rope for hanging.

Put It All Together

Slide the wooden frame into the boot. Use brass wood screws to attach the boot to the wooden frame (through the holes you punched earlier). These screws won't rust, and you can easily remove them for cleaning.

Decorate any way you like. I added a bit of extra rope to mine.

To attract house wrens, hang the boot from a tree or other support about 6 to 10 feet above the ground.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Critter Love Bug Bags

I had to share these adorable gift bags that I found. Instructions are below or you can visit the web link at the bottom of the page. 

Critter Love Bug Bags


Nothing says you adore your Valentine more than when you give these Ladybug, Bumblebee, or Butterfly Bags filled with treats or cookies!


• White paper favor bags, three 3"x5"
• Craft foam: white, red
• Construction paper or card stock: yellow, white, black, pink
• Large conversational heart candies
• DecoArt® Americana® Acrylic Paints: Lamp Black, Purple Cow, Napthol Red, Saffron Yellow
• Ellison Sizzix® Machine and Dies: Hearts Tipsy, Heart Flowers, Heart Scallop
• Wiggle eyes, six
• Chenille stems, three
• Paper glue

The Basic Stuff

scissors, ruler, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)

How To Make It

1 On covered work surface, paint outside of bags Saffron Yellow (bee), Purple Cow (butterfly) and Napthol Red and Lamp Black (ladybug). Let dry.

2 For antennae, cut chenille stems in half. Twist chenille stems around pencil to coil. Glue antennae on top edge of each bag. Glue wiggle eyes on center of bags.

3 For bee, measure and cut four ½"x5¼" black paper strips (stripes). Glue stripes, evenly spaced, across bag. For wings, use machine and Scallop Heart die to cut two white foam hearts and Tipsy Heart die to cut two yellow paper hearts. Glue yellow hearts onto white hearts. Glue wings on front of bee.

4 For butterfly, use machine and Scallop Heart die to cut two white foam hearts and Tipsy Heart die to cut two pink paper hearts and two white paper hearts. Glue white paper hearts on pink hearts. Glue pink hearts on white foam hearts. Glue wings on front of butterfly.

5 For ladybug, use machine and Scallop Heart die to cut two red foam hearts and Heart Flowers die to cut 10 black paper hearts. Glue black hearts randomly on red foam hearts. Glue red hearts on front of ladybug.

6 Glue conversational heart candies down center of wings. Let dry.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Apple Strudel Pancake

Apple Strudel Pancake

1 stick butter
5-6 large apples (or 2 cans (20 oz each) pie-sliced apples, drained)
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs/ sugar
Brown sugar to taste

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 x 2" baking pan for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Add apple slices and bake for 10 minutes. Combine eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, sugar and cinnamon to milk mixture. Pour batter over apples and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and puffed. Serve immediately. Serves eight. NOTE: If using canned apples, omit baking apple slices for 10 minutes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Prize-Winning Pot Roast

I got this great recipe from Gooseberry Patch. My family loved it so I thought I would share it with all my blogging friends.

Prize-Winning Pot Roast

3-1/2 to 5-lb. beef chuck roast
2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of celery soup
1-1/2 oz. pkg. onion soup mix
1 to 2 c. red wine or beef broth
1/2 c. frozen apple juice concentrate
4 to 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 to 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
1-lb. pkg. sliced mushrooms
8 stalks celery, chopped
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Place beef in a roasting pan; top with soup and soup mix. Stir in wine or broth; cover. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour; add apple juice, potatoes and carrots. Bake for another 30 minutes; remove from oven. Add mushrooms, celery, salt and pepper; bake for one additional hour, uncovering for the last 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Enjoy this recipe from Our Favorite Comfort Foods.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow & Ice Jewelry Set

Bead your own boutique-worthy accessories in sparkling winter shades. You'll love the look!

size: approx 8"

you'll need


• Beadalon® Silver-Plated findings: eight 2" headpins, two French ear wires, lobster clasp
• Artistic Wire® Non-Tarnish Silver wire, 18-gauge
• Swarovski Elements Aquamarine (202) bicone crystals: eight 4mm, two 6mm
• Swarovski Elements White crystal pearls, four 6mm
• Oval cracked glass beads, 12
• Fluted silver spacer beads, 10
• Round AB finish cut glass beads, four 8mm
• Silver snowflake charm


• Pliers: round-nosed, chain-nosed
• Wire snips

what to do


1 Thread beads as shown onto two head pins to create earring dangles.

2 Use chain-nosed pliers to bend each headpin at a 90° angle about ¼" from top bead. Wrap headpin around round-nosed pliers to create loop. Wrap excess wire three times around headpin; trim excess.

3 Use chain-nosed pliers to open loop at bottom of ear wire, add earring dangle, and then close ear wire loop.


1 Thread assorted beads as shown onto six headpins. Repeat Earrings Step 2 to create a wrapped-wire loop at top of each headpin.

2 Use wire snips to cut twelve 1-¼" lengths from 18-gauge wire.

3 Use chain-nosed pliers to bend one wire length at a 90° angle about ½" from one end. Use round-nosed pliers to create a loop. Thread one oval bead onto wire. Create a second loop at opposite wire end. Create a total of 12 beaded links.

4 Use chain-nosed pliers to open one end of each link. Join links by inserting closed end of one link into open end of another, then closing links. Attach lobster clasp to last open end of bracelet.

5 Embellish bracelet with snowflake charm and beaded baubles created in Step 1 as shown. Open link and insert loop of charm or bauble; close link.

Tip: Add as many or as few charms and baubles as you wish. This bracelet style offers unlimited design options.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Crispy Peanut Butter Bars

10 oz bag peanut butter chips
6 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil to extend above narrow ends of pan. Microwave peanut butter chips and butter in a glass bowl, stirring at 20 seconds intervals, until smooth. Add cereal and stir until coated.

Spread cereal mixture into pan, pressing into an even layer. Place pan in freezer 10 min. or until firm. Melt chocolate Chips as directed on bag. Add corn syrup, stir until blended. Spread over cereal mixture, sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Lift foil by ends onto cutting board. Cut crosswise into 10 strips, then cut each strip into 6 bars, then serve.

Makes 60 Peanut Butter Bars

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Handy Hints

Handy Hint #1

To prevent oven racks from sticking, rub the wall ridges they
Slide in and out on with steel wool pads. Rinse and dry, then
Wipe down with vegetable oil, and they'll glide smoothly.

Handy Hint #2:

Cutting your shower time by a few minutes can reduce your hotwater heating costs by 33%, a savings of about $200 per year!Save even more by using cold water to wash clothes..

Handy Hint 3#

Get marker of the wall with rubbing alcohol! Simply buff away the marks with a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goldfinger Necklace & Earrings

Rich, saturated shades of khaki green and indigo blue warm up cold winter nights with flashes of gold crystal pearl and metal accents.


12 indicolite blue Swarovski crystal square channel links
Swarovski crystal bicone beads: 8 (6mm) indicolite blue and 18 (6mm) khaki green
9 (8mm) gold crystal pearls
Gold 12mm flat disk spacers with open centers: 8 (2-hole), 2 (1-hole)
41 large gold jump rings
19 gold eye pins
2 gold French ear wires
Gold toggle clasp
Round-nose pliers
Chain-nose pliers
Flush cutters

Finished Sizes

26 1/4 inches (including clasp)


2 inches long

Project notes: If the bar on toggle clasp will not fit through round end, add jump rings to end of necklace. Make sure to turn eye pin top and bottom loops perpendicular to each other for chain fluidity.



Slide a pearl onto an eye pin; use round-nose pliers to form a loop above pearl. Trim excess wire. Repeat for each pearl. Set aside.

Slide the following onto an eye pin: khaki green bicone bead, indicolite blue bicone bead and a khaki green bicone bead. Form a loop above top bead; trim excess wire. Repeat seven additional times. Set aside.

Open a jump ring and slide on round half of clasp and a square channel link; close jump ring. Using jump rings to attach pieces, connect the following sequence: pearl eye pin, square channel link, bicone-beaded eye pin, 2-hole flat disk spacer, pearl eye pin, 2-hole flat disk spacer and a bicone-beaded eye pin.

Repeat sequence in step 3 three times.

In the same manner, attach a square channel link, remaining pearl eye pin and square channel link.

Open a jump ring and attach to end link. Slide on another jump ring. Close first jump ring. Open last jump ring and slide on remaining half of clasp; close jump ring. Use chain-nose pliers to go back through and close all jump rings securely.


Slide a khaki green bicone bead onto an eye pin; form a loop above bead. Trim excess wire.

Open a jump ring and slide on a square channel link and beaded eye pin; close jump ring. Open another jump ring and slide on opposite loop on beaded eye pin and 1-hole flat disk spacer. Close jump ring.

Open loop on ear wire; slide on remaining loop on square channel link. Close loop.

Repeat steps 1–3 for second earring.

Sources: Swarovski crystal components from Swarovski Ltd.; spacers and findings from Beadalon.