Category Archives: DIY

And I, too am beautifully and wonderfully made

That’s what resonated with me this week as I read Chapter 5 of “So Close to Amazing”.  If you’re following me, every week I am reading a chapter in KariAnne Wood’s new book, “So Close to Amazing” and it’s really hard not to read ahead to the next chapter LOL. I’m part of the launch team, yeah I know, little ‘ole me and I’m so honored to have been chosen to be a part of this. The book is due to come out September 5, 2017 but you can pre-order the book right now on Amazon and it will be shipped to you as soon as it’s released. How cool is that?

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So, how was your 4th of July? We hosted this year and we had fabulous food, wonderful friends and the best fireworks ever with even music to go along with them! I even made my homemade yummy chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter butter cream frosting that are really quite healthy and I dare not tell anyone what’s in them. I’m thinking about sharing the recipe one day so stay tuned for that. I had primitive fabric cut perfectly for my tables and I even fresh picked sunflowers from my garden and put them in mason jars. Everything was perfect except for……the drinks. Well, let’s just say, they didn’t turn out the way I thought they would.

See, we don’t use regular “chemical” white sugar anymore and I had a great recipe to make a Peach Sweet Tea and Lemonade. I even made my simple syrup. Well, apparently you don’t put coconut sugar and honey in lemonade and my so called sweet tea was so bland and just not serving worthy. So, we made a dash to our local supermarket and bought their gallon jugs. I’ll have to work on that for sure. That will be another post down the road. #soclose

But what about my cute galvanized silo looking dispensers I bought at Wal-mart that I was going to put the drinks in. I didn’t have time to empty the non-worthy drinks, clean the dispensers and fill with fresh great tasting drinks.  But I wanted it to be perfect.

“Not only does God have a plan for my life, he understands room layouts and curtains and drapes and antique floors and bathroom sinks. Of course he does. He has a master plan.” This is quoted from KariAnne in the book. It’s not about my decorations at a party and how perfect my table looks or what I’m wearing or driving. God has a better plan for us. The next day after my party, I received text messages from all of my friends saying how wonderful and amazing everything was. See, no one even noticed.

Just when I stress out and try to make everything perfect, God steps in and does exactly what needs to be done, even with drink dispensers.

Isaiah 64:8 says this: Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. Isn’t that the truth.

Sunday Blessings!

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PS. Don’t forget to Pre-Order KariAnne’s new book “So Close to Amazing” on Amazon. I promise, you are going to love it!!! Stay tuned in August, I’m hosting my own Live Launch Party…eek!!!

Pre-Order So Close to Amazing

Refreshing Sweet Peach Tea

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Now that blueberry season has come to an end, peach season here in the south is in full swing.  Sweet tea is a staple here in Florida.  Really, it is.  The only thing I do not like about it is the processed chemical sugar that they use in restaurants.  Now that I am older and wiser, I have removed conventional sugar from our diet.  I now sweeten with raw honey or coconut sugar.  I’ve even used Stevia too.

There’s just something about having tea sweet.  I mean who orders tea or makes tea at home (except herbal kinds) without it being sweet.  That’s just not right!

I recently went Peach Pickin’ at a local farm and had a blast!  You can read all about it HERE.  After I started chopping up those peaches for the freezer, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t some of those peaches be good in my tea”.  Well, it sure is good and let me tell you…they are so sweet and juicy you don’t even need sugar.  You heard it right.  I’m drinking sweet peach tea without the sugar LOL.

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I can only vouch for these that I picked at my local farm. If you don’t have access to one, then try the ones at the store.  Ask the produce manager where they were grown.  If they are close to your town, then go for it.

 

So here’s my yummy refreshing Sweet Peach Tea recipe….

Refreshing Sweet Peach Tea

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: One Hour 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe fresh picked peaches

3 Family size Lipton (this is the best, well, we think so) Tea bags

4 cups of water

½ gallon mason jar

 

Directions:

Boil water and place the tea bags in a bowl.  Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.  Add your peaches to the Mason jar and then pour the steeped tea over them.  Fill the rest of the jar with water. Tighten the lid and sit it outside on your fence post or back porch for an hour or so.  Then, grab you a pint size mason jar with some ice and pour the tea in your glass.  It is so sweet! When you get down to the bottom of the glass, don’t forget to eat those peaches too! Enjoy!

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P.S. If you are going to use one of the sweeteners I recommended above, add about 1/3 cup to the tea while it’s steeping.  This will allow it to dissolve and blend well with the tea.

You can also enjoy that glass of sweet peach tea on one of my Mason jar lid coasters.  Aren’t these the cutest?

 

 

In an effort to create healthy meals for my family, drinks need to be considered as well.  This is really a refreshing naturally sweet drink to enjoy on a hot summer day or at a family picnic.

 

Blessings!

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Batman – Gift Idea For My Nephew

Coloring T-Shirt Tutorial

Who doesn’t like Batman?  Well, I guess Superman, right?

My nephew was having his birthday party last Saturday and he was turning the Big “6”! So, I usually like to do a themed gift but I this time I didn’t want to go and buy something.  I’ve done framed portraits before, but I wanted it to be really cool!

Well, I asked his mom what he was in to and she said Batman.  Well, that’s what I was thinking of doing for him.  I thought about a custom pallet sign he could hang in his room but then I though, he’s only turning six and he probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as this cute shirt I made him!

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It actually was so easy to make once I figured out what I wanted on it.  I knew I wanted Batman something and my nephew’s name on it.  So, I went to my private FB group where I get inspiration and asked some of my peers what they thought would be cool.  One girl suggested doing a coloring shirt.  I looked at it and came up with this one!

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Here’s how I made it:

 

Supplies Needed:

T-shirt of any color

A Heat Transfer Vinyl Stencil ( you can make one yourself or have one made for you).  I used my Silhouette machine to make mine.

Fabric Markers

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-wash t-shirt or buy one that is already done like that.
  2. Place stencil on t-shirt where you want it to be placed.  I took my tape measure and measured the center and sides and made sure it was straight.
  3. Turn your iron on and let it get real hot.  Then, go grab a piece of fabric and lay on top of the stencil.  Press down with the hot iron.  Keep working around all the different corners, making sure all the stencil gets placed on the t-shirt.  If you have a heat press, then that would work even better.  For now, the iron I will use!
  4. After you the pull the iron off from the t-shirt, make sure all the stencil is secured and there are no pieces that are NOT attached to the t-shirt.  If some of the stencil didn’t get adhered, just put your piece of fabric back on and move that hot iron around until it’s totally adhered to the t-shirt.
  5. Next, look at it and smile!  You made a cool custom to-shirt!!
  6. You can now wrap it in some cute tissue and simple wrapping paper.  I used a fun primary color tissue paper to match the markers and then wrapped it in brown kraft paper and tied it with a twine bow.  Don’t forget to put the markers in the box and a note with directions. 🙂

 

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If you’ve ever made a coloring t-shirt, I would love to see it!  Please comment here or you can post them on my Facebook page Here .

Until next time!

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Happy New Year and Our New Addition

Happy New Year!  I hope you and your family had a wonderfully blessed filled holiday season.  It went too quick, didn’t it?

My family and I had a wonderful time.  Baking, decorating ornaments, eating, hanging out and getting a new puppy! When my hubby Bill told me he was bringing home a new puppy, “I was like, what?”  How much is he going to cost and what about Boone?  He’s our almost four year old Australian Cattle dog.  I didn’t want him at first either.

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The “Pistols” begging for the new treats!

Well, needless to say, my hubby brought home the little puppy as he was given to him from one of his customers.  How could he say no? He’s a pure bread Black Lab.  He really is kinda cute.

I made sure I voiced my stance on taking care of him.  I’m too busy and don’t have time to care of a puppy is what I said.  I was also worried that he wouldn’t be accepted from Boone.  This is Boone’s house and he can get a little aggressive if he doesn’t know you.  Well, that didn’t happen.  It took about a week, but Boone and him are now little buddies!

I guess we settled on the name Duke.  I really like Tucker, but the majority wins.  I will just secretly call him Tucker LOL.

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So, what are puppies known for?  You guessed it…chewing.  It’s time to get creative.  I have been buying treats for Boone for a few years and boy does he have to work for it.  Duke is just not there yet and every time I go to give him a treat, he just grabs and eats my hand practically.  I also noticed that he’s having a hard time chewing them.  That got me thinking.

So, this morning I decided to make dog treats.  Yep, from scratch.  I only want to put the best ingredients in their bodies as well.

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I used a “Heart” cookie cutter, but you could use whatever you like 🙂

As soon as they came out of the oven, it’s like they knew and were both sitting and wagging waiting for one.  I’ve come to the conclusion that these two are pistols.  They really are.  Sweet pistols though if you know what I mean.

Here’s the recipe if you would like to make some of your own.

Organic Dog Treats

  • Servings: Varies
  • Time: 45minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
-3 cups of flour ( I use my fresh milled flour that I make yummy bread products with. Hey, they deserve the vitamins and minerals just like we do.  )
– 2 eggs
– 1 can of Organic Pumpkin
– 2 Tablespoons of NON-GMO Peanut Butter
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground flax meal
1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Directions:

Mix ingredients together. Roll the dough out onto a solid surface about a ½ inch thick. Then use a cute cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Should be slightly soft but crunchy. Store in a clear Mason jar or other clear container. If you are using fresh milled flour, these will last about a week. Otherwise, you could keep them in the freezer or refrigerator, which will make them last longer.

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The finished product!  They smell so yummy!

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Now fill the jar and watch them disappear!

I hope you enjoy making these.  From our critters to yours!

Many blessings to you in 2016!!!

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Wendy

HOW TO SAVE MONEY AND SHOP ON AMAZON

Have you ever wandered where I buy my products that I use?  www.littlehousesimpleliving.com (5)

When it comes to being Frugal, I’m right there with the best of them!  When I decide to buy something, rather it be something I need to make a DIY product or just something to consume either a food based product, a supplement or whatever, I always research on the internet to make sure I can find the best price without skimping on quality.

All of my homemade products, I only use the finest quality that I can find.  Same goes for anything that I am putting in my body.  It has to pass my standards before I will purchase it.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but the majority of the stuff I buy is on AMAZON.  You really can’t beat their prices and I love reading the reviews too!

 

I get a lot of inquiries from readers on where do I buy everything, so I decided to open up a store through AMAZON.  It will keep everything in one place so you don’t have to hop around.  I also earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through my store.  This helps me continue my blogging efforts and allows me to provide you with all of my tips, recipes and so on.

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You can click on the photo below and it will take you right to my website.  I even have everything broken down by category.  Here is a sample of the canning supplies that I use.

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You can read my full disclosure here. I hope you enjoy shopping and saving on Amazon!  Be sure and check back frequently as I am always adding new items!!!

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Stuff to Stock Those Stockings!

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Is it too early for me to be talking about stockings? LOL

I don’t think so…..especially when I’m talking about my “Lip Butters”.  I absolutely love these things!

Have you seen my newest flavor?  Nourishing Mint – It has a hint of peppermint and is amazing on your lips!

All of my lip butters have the purest ingredients – Organic Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Vitamin E and Essential Oils.

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So, here’s the flavors you can choose from:

Plain Jane – Natural

Sweet Feed – Lavender

Rural Bliss – Grapefruit

Nourishing Mint – Peppermint

The neat thing about my lip butters is that they go great under a coat of lipstick.  Apply a few swipes first, then put on your lipstick or lip gloss.

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They cost only $3.50 each and literally are like butter on your lips!  This is the perfect time of year when the weather is colder and our lips get chapped.  Grab a few and stick one in each family members stocking!

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You can find them locally at BZ’s Happy Plants located at 37439 SR19 in Eustis (between Umatilla and SR44/19).  They may also be shipped anywhere in the US for $1.50.  Please inquire for larger quantities as the S/H will be calculated at the time of order.

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WANT TO SEE OUR LIP BUTTER IN YOUR STORE?  Please email us at info@littlehousesimpleliving.com for more information.  You can even customize your label to fit your stores’ name and logo.

Happy Stocking Stuffing Shopping!

New product – Nourishing Mint Lip Butter

Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving and starts the craziness on Black Friday?  Where has this year gone?  I say that every year, actually LOL.

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I’m excited to share with you my newest product for the Christmas season – “NOURISHING MINT” Lip Butter!

My lip butters are made with the most yummiest ingredients!  100% Organic Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Vitamin E and Peppermint Essential Oil.

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This “Nourishing Mint” lip butter will be the perfect thing for your lips this winter.  It will keep them moist and heal any cracking or dryness that comes along with it.

These make great STOCKING STUFFERS TOO!  They cost $3.50 each and $1.50 for S/H.

If you are local in my area, you can purchase my new “Nourishing Mint” Lip Butter along with my other LIP BUTTERS at BZ’s Happy Plants located at 37439 SR19 in Eustis.  (I’ll officially be in her cottage on Wednesday afternoon). It’s actually between Umatilla and Eustis near Dona Vista.  They have gorgeous plants, herbs, trees and so much more to choose from!

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You can also find my “Ranch Hands” cream at BZ’s Happy Plants.  It’s perfect for farmers, gardeners, ranchers, construction workers or anyone that’s works with their hands.  It soothes, conditions and restores tired, achy hands.  I use it all the time after I’ve worked outside all day.  My hubby inspired me to make this cream when I kept seeing his palms of his hands with all these calluses.  I knew there was something better that I could make without all the chemicals that would heal his hands.

The cream is $12.00 per jar with $3.00 for S/H or you can buy them locally if you like.  It comes in a 4oz. jar and let me tell you – a little goes a LONG way!!!  I’m serious….you only need to use a smidgen.

The ingredients are 100% Organic Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Vitamin E, Almond Oil and Lavender and Lemon Essential Oils.  This cream is nothing but amazing!  Your hands will be so soft, just wait and see!

To place an order for either product, please email me at info@littlehousesimpleliving.com and place “Order” in the subject line.

Thanks,

 

Wendy 🙂