Thursday, December 28, 2017

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12/28/17

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

December 28th, 2017



Hello My friends!
Can you believe that 2017 has almost come to an end?  WOW!  I mean that went so fast!  I had some ups and downs last year, but this year is looking to be great!  Why?  Well, because I am determined to make it that way!  What about you?  How was 2017 for you, and how do you plan to prepare for 2018?

Ohhh....Have you been to the stores yet?  You might find some great deals!  Read more about what I like to shop for in my latest blog!  https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5248043815355443831#editor/target=post;postID=7798076783862478712;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=2;src=postname

I can't wait to see what all the other bloggers are placing out there for us to see too!





The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things
Amy at A Nest in the Rocks


The most clicked post from last week's Blog Hop was:

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com



Be sure to check out my other social media sites!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Shopping for Sales!


 Ok, so in many of my Inquisitive type adventures, I once did the super couponing thing! Yes, I sure did! Every week I would travel the one hour drive to the "city" and stock up on all the good deals! I would go alone, sometimes I would drag along the Hubby or a child, and I even had a couponing buddy there for awhile! (You know who you are!!!)  It got pretty serious! I had the big bad binder that went EVERYWHERE with me, and probably was the beginning of my back issues, lol! All my family would share their extra coupons with me, knowing in return I'd bring them back a small gift next time! (Tube of toothpaste, new candy bar, you just really didn't know!)  At the time I was getting multiple papers, snipping and clipping, sorting and stacking. It did take time and energy, but my storage spaces were soon to explode with all sorts of things from toothbrushes to snacks, medicine to giftware. I was on a roll! I was even on the "city" news, and taught a class in a neighboring town..yes, I was even paid!


You may be wondering why I've been using words like.... once, was, did, and then.  Well, that's because I no longer do couponing to that level.  What happened was that I got so good at figuring out the deals and how to get multiples that I was overflowing with what my family needed and I didn't feel that I should spend that time and energy on this particular project anymore.  Yes, I did give items to charity and donate to organizations, but even doing that left me with more than I needed.  It was time to put my Inquisitive Mind to other projects!


With all that being said, I still certainly like to get a bargain, look for sales, and clip the random coupon!  Girl still likes to save her money!  And that leads me to what I'm probably doing right now while you are reading all this!

Now is the time of year when things start clearancing out big time! All the Holliday themed items get deep discounts, and any 2017 dated products need to be moved off the shelves to prepare for the  
2018 product line.  Some things are close to expiration, while others are changing the label, or no longer in the company line.  I love to stock up on things during this time.  And if you happen to have a coupon that matches an item, well then you're in for a bonus savings!  Horray for saving money!  

One of my indulgences is candy.  I will admit that after Halloween I did grab a few bags of those chocolatey, caramel  nutty, chewy, tart or sweet delicious treats!  And yes, if I can get my hands on some M&M's and Kisses, I'll grab several bags to stash away for making cookies at a later time! 

Next thing I will be keeping my eye out for is Paper Products.  By now the Halloween items will be 90% off, Thanksgiving 50% and Christmas 50%.  You can buy these to store away for next years big event, or like me, use them anytime!  Especially great for camping trips!  Besides, who doesn't want to eat off of a Snowman plate, drink out of a orange & black cup while wiping your mouth with a scarecrow napkin in the middle of June?  If nothing else we all get a great laugh, right?

Gift Sets, keep your eye out for those!  This is something my sister and I do together!  My hubby's birthday is in January, so you can almost guarantee that my sister will be getting his favorite shaving or cologne set to save back for him!  I get him MY favorite perfume  ha ha ha!  All joking aside, this is a great deal folks!  Think ahead and buy up these already discounted sets at an additional 1/2 off Savings!  You can always tear them apart and put them in cute baskets to re-gift!  In years past when my kiddo's were smaller, I'd have all the cousins over for a slumber party and we'd get these gift sets out and have a spa day!  Everyone went home with nail polishes and cheezy kids makeup!  Good times right there!

Lastly, I'll head over to the grocery isle ...  remember those cute specialty shaped and designed cookies and flavored drinks ... yup ... that will be discounted too!  I'll never forget the time I came across the spring colored and flavored milk!  It was hilarious watching my kids try the different jelly bean flavored milks!  Oh they were sooo sweet you almost couldn't drink it! 

Now, common....we all like saving money!  Spill your secrets....what do you do to save money.  Do you shop sales, use coupons, buy used?  Tell us!  I want to see facebook flooded with pictures of your haul!  What great bargains did you find?




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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Encouraging Hearts and Home 12/21/17




Hello Friends!
It is such a busy time of year for all!  Make sure to take the time to reflect and remember that it's also a stressful time too!  People are happy, yet stressed, and that can sometimes lead to anger and mistakes.  When you're checking out in line, or driving on the road, or waiting on food at a restaurant, remember that the people surrounding you are going through a situation that you may not understand.  Be kind, be patient, and be cautious!  Hopefully in today's blog hop you can find some Encouragement and Happiness in the great blogs that have been brought to you by so many wonderful people!  



Here is a past post that might help you in your stress, and overwhelming emotions and stress this week brings!

http://inquisitivefarmwife.blogspot.com/2017/11/thankfulness.html

Please stop in and see what all the hosts have ready for you, and join in on this weeks blog hop!

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home



The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!
Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things
Amy at A Nest in the Rocks



The most clicked post from last week's Blog Hop was:



Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com
   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   


Come Join me on Social Media:

Wooden Snow-People


Hello all you out there!  Hoping this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying life!  It's the time of year when people are getting to spend a little extra time with family they might not get to be with often.  Family is so VERY important!  

I am so EXTREMELY blessed to be so close to my family.  Not only am I emotionally close, but physically too!  On my mother's side, there are 4 generations of family households living in the same 15 mile radius!  Amazing, right?  My first cousin is more like a sister and my Aunt is like a second mom!  So when you marry into our family....yup...you get smothered with our love and accepted as one of us even if you don't want to be!  LOL!  

Our family really enjoys getting together.  Even though we live so close, we don't get together as often as we like, so when we do, we take full advantage of our time together!  On a party day we all start arriving at the host home mid morning, and don't start leaving late evening.  It's a day full of food, laughter, napping, crafting, game playing, movie watching, ... a most relaxing kind of day!  People come and go and participate in the activities as they desire.  No Stress, No Rules, just Family Fun!




Here is a day when my family was hosting!  For the craft I thought it might be fun to make some snow-people to display for the winter!  I'll take you along on our journey of creating these adorable decorations!

First you need to gather some wood.  I chose 2x4's.  I purchased a few, I found a few in our shop, and a few were given to me!  You might go check your local lumber yard to see if they have any scrap pieces they would sell you at a discount, or some might even give them away!

Cut them in any desired length! (Thanks dad for letting me borrow your tools!)  It's fun to have different sizes to choose from! Take a small piece and screw to the longer piece in the  opposite direction to make the base of the snowman.  This was my son's job.  We took turns holding the pieces in place, and running the screw gun.  It was amazing to see how well he can handle himself around power tools....so much changes in a year or two!  


Then it was time to paint.  Be sure to put some plastic under the snow people, otherwise the Farmer might get upset that you accidentally decorated the shop floor (I still missed and got a little outside the tarp, lol). The shop was fairly warm, so we were able to go ahead and prime and paint the wood the same day!  We just used cheap white primer and paint from the local "Wal-Mart,"  It worked perfectly for this project!  


Once dried I brought them inside and gathered the remaining supplies.  You'll want scrap pieces of material to make your hat and scarfs.  We used a variety of felts, cottons, and fleece!  A rubber band is helpful to gather the top of the hat if you want a "poof."  A Pom-Pon could be made from yarn if you so choose!  A hot glue gun and glue is best to put everything in place.  Other glues will work, but you won't be able to finish your project as quickly!  Grab some black, white and orange craft paint and brushes for the face!   Why white you might ask?  This is to not only cover up the mistakes (they happen), but add a "sparkle" to the eyes!  Plastic googley eyes are ok too, but we liked the painted look!  Lastly, embellish with whatever you desire!  I found all sorts of fake snow, buttons, plastic plants, glitter, pine cones.....and on an on.  I had a lot on hand, but a great place to look is the $1 Dollar type stores or sections in your favorite discount store.  And if you have a local thrift shop....check there too!  My Middle Child is NOT a fan of long shopping trips, and we get pretty goofy when it's just the two of us ... here we are gathering supplies for the Party!  Pretty sure my oldest daughter is in the back hiding from the camera, and embarrassed to be around us!  Ha ha ha!


As you can see that my sister is SO excited to get started digging and making a crafting mess!  Ha ha ha!  We get quite goofy ad the days goes on, always having a good time, making each other laugh till we cry!  She crafts more for our benefit, lol.  She'd really rather be outside running around on an ATV or downstairs playing with the kiddos!


My Aunt and cousins are concentrating pretty seriously while working  on their snow people, Mom too!  Uh oh, I think granny is trying to sneak out before we get her to craft too!  She says she enjoys watching us ... but to tell you the truth ... when she sits down, she out crafts all of us!


Everyone is enjoying personalizing their snow people.  Each snow person has a unique smile, favorite color for the scarf and hat, or a chosen height for personalization!




They're starting to finish, and put them by the doorway.  Oh, don't they look just absolutely adorable?  I think this craft idea was a hit with the family!


And here they all are together at the end of the day!  It was a fun craft, and a fun day to be with my favorite people!



I'd love to hear if you decide to make this craft project too!  Send pictures here, and to the facebook page for everyone to enjoy your cute snow people!


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www.instagram.com/theinquisitivefarmwife




P.S.  I had so much fun making these that I later made a matching wreath for one of them!  I think my oldest daughter should take these to college to decorate her appartment, don't you?




Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Weekly Blog Hop, Encouraging Hearts and Home

😁 Exciting News Friends! 😁 I have been invited to start Co-Hosting a wonderful Blog Hop!  It's called "Encouraging Hearts and Home."  What does this mean for you?  It means that each week several of us bloggers will have some really great things to share with you!  Yeah! 👏 I'm hoping this will give me the push to bring you new content each and every week! 👍 I can't wait, can you?  So for now, here is a preview of what's to be seen!  Lots of blogs from lots of great people!  Go check some out!

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home




The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!
Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things
Amy at A Nest in the Rocks




Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you'll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts' blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host's blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love--that's what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com




Come Join me on Social Media:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Not Your Ordinary Cinnamon Roll


Nothing says comfort better than baking.  And I am a big carb fan so cinnamon rolls, danishes, and baked treats are friends of mine.  And even if you don't eat many bread products, just the smell of them baking in your oven is enough to put a smile on your face!


Remember that pumpkin pie butter that we made earlier this fall?  Did  you eat it all yet?  Well, we almost did, but I had just enough left to make one more recipe to share with you!  It's so simple and can be transformed into so many different types of rolls, so if you're not a pumpkin fan, stay with me....you can trade it out for apple or pear butter, how about strawberry preserves or honey and peanut butter?  Add a few chocolate chips in there and I know you're paying attention!

To get started dig out your favorite cinnamon roll recipe and make the dough.  There are so many versions out there, and let me tell you .... they're all good, you just need a base to get yourself started! Once you've let it rise and proof, come back and we'll take it to a whole new level!


Roll out the dough as you normally would.  No need to slather with butter....you're going to use your Pumpkin Pie Butter for this!  I used 3/4 of a quart jar, but to be truthful a pint would have done the job!  Just spread it close to the edges.



But of course we just can't stop here!  I love pecans with pumpkin, don't you?  Sprinkle chopped pecans all over your pumpkin masterpiece!  Hmm... well, I think it still looks a bit undone.  So I also love cream cheese with my pumpkin, so I chopped up a block of cream cheese and sprinkled all over too!  Now I stopped there, but if you like chocolate...go for it.  Maybe you want to add a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup?  Hey...it's your masterpiece, create it how you want!



And if you like cream cheese, but not big chunks, just make the dip we spoke about and blend your cream cheese with your pumpkin pie butter and spread that as your first layer!  It's just as delicious, and texturally much smoother!



Once you're satisfied with the filling, start rolling .....and rolling ...and then tuck the end under to help keep it all together.  I guilt-fully stuffed my dough to the brim, so they are messy and sloppy!  Slice and place on your baking sheet to bake.  Or, cut your log to fit a bread pan and make bread out of it....I mean...why not?



















Bake according to your dough recipe and enjoy the aroma that is now engulfing your kitchen, and likely traveling throughout your home.  You may even have neighbors knocking on your door at the point!  I'm just warning you now, so that you can set out the guard dogs!



Here is the hard part.  The buzzer to the oven is going off and you have to let the rolls or bread cool!  I mean....it might actually be worth burning your tongue, but trust me .... you'll be happier if you take this time to make yourself some icing!  I just made a simple white icing with my homemade vanilla, farm fresh milk, and powdered sugar.  It was thin enough to drizzle and ooze all around the bumps and crevices! But again...this is your creation, so if you want to do a thick maple frosting...go for it!


Ok friends, the moment is here...now you can taste your delicious....delectable...mouth watering...absolutely amazing...home made "not your ordinary" cinnamon roll!  Oh .... wow... so soft, and still just a little bit warm.  It's the perfect treat to a long awaited journey with your senses.  Your taste buds thank you!

Let me know what you think about your creation.  How did you maybe make yours different than mine?  Did you give a few away, or hide them all for yourself?






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