Hot Chocolate Cones


With Valentines day coming our way, these are a perfect treat for anyone!  Who doesn’t like to receive any simple homemade gift?

These have been around for a few years and we really enjoy sharing them.  You can see step by step how to make them on my Facebook page  here:  Hot Chocolate Cones

Hand and Heel Scrub

This scrub is perfect for buffing your heels and keeping your hands moisturized for the winter months.

You can make this in about 5 minutes total.  Very economical and a little goes a LONG way.

I posted how we make ours on my Facebook page and see my step by step pictures of the Teen making a batch last night here:  Hand and Heel Scrub

It’s literally 3 ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

Honey (until your desired consistency)

Mix all together, store in an air tight container.  Use in the shower by scrubbing on heels and hands and rinse.  Apply a daily moisturizing lotion and you can keep the dryness at bay!


Molasses on Snow Candy


This recipe is from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook.  This is one of my favorite Little House books and we try all different recipes from it.

One of the favorites of the kids is the Molasses candy you make using snow.  Every year they are excited to make their first batch and will make a few throughout the winter.  It’s a simple recipe and fun for the kids.

Here is the batch the tween made.  She likes to make swirly designs where I like to make small round circles perfect for popping in your mouth.

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Once you are done you store outside covered so the snow stays frozen and keeps the syrup hard like candy.

I actually really enjoy the flavor of this candy as well.  It’s nice to break off a little piece whenever that sweet tooth hits!!

Molasses on Snow Candy (as taken from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook)

1 cup of dark molasses

½ cup brown sugar


Fill 2 cookie sheets or cake pans with snow and leave outside to stay cold

In a large sauce pan combine molasses and brown sugar and bring to a boil stirring frequently

Boil on medium heat approximately 5 minutes (it will boil up which is why you need a large pot)

After 5 minutes drop a tiny drop into a clean glass of cold water

If the drop dissolves boil another 2 minutes (or if you are candy thermometer person heat to 245F)

If the drop stays in a soft ball remove from heat

Bring one pan of snow in and slowly pour syrup onto snow making designs or in circles

Continue until the syrup is gone.

Store in the freezer in the snow or outside covered (we store it in the closed grill with waxed paper on top).

When ready for a piece of candy, peel up only the amount you are going to eat keeping the rest on the snow until ready to eat!!

Antique find art


At the antique shop we visited the other day (read about it here), the tween found this shell box.  It was only $5.00 she explained and was full of tiny shells she just KNEW she needed.  My first thought was…HOARDER.  Ok, I’m sorry but she is.  She just LOVES junk and junk which has lots of extra pieces is even more appealing.  But it is her allowance (they feed the animals in the afternoons while I am at work and clean stalls) and I let her spend it.


Shell box and $1.00 glass pieces

Well to my surprise, she really did NEED that junk.  When I came home from work yesterday she asked me about a shadow box I had purchased that was too small and we never returned it.  I gave it to her along with some glue and this is what she created:



M is for Meghan one of her best friends

She took the shells and complemented them with some pretty glass rocks from our local dollar store.  She then decorated the frame.  She used every little shell in that box.


It is all drying today and she will save it to give to her friend as a Christmas present.

Hmmm….maybe she isn’t just a hoarder after all 🙂

Natural Bird Food


When there is some down time in our house and the kids are looking for something to do I try to find things that are educational for them as well as fun.  Making our own bird feeding vines are always something they like to do.  You can make these year round using all sorts of things.  It’s inexpensive, easy for the kids to make, and fun to watch the birds pick at.

Today the kids were bored while I was at work so they popped some corn with grandma and used some raisins to make a few hangers.  It’s only been a few hours and the birds have picked away at quite a bit.  But that’s ok as the kids bagged up the left over popcorn and can make some more later.

birds2 birds3

Making lip balm


I think all parents with girls ages 7 and up know what an EOS is.  My daughter has hounded me to buy them in collection form like they are a “beanie” baby item.  Have to have them all.  Of course I have refused and told her she can earn money to buy one doing extra chores which of course she did as “all the girls have them” so she needed this desperately. 

I knew if I googled it we could find how to make your own egg shaped balm and that is what we did this morning while waiting for the sun to warm up are area so we could head outdoors. My 11 year old did everything herself with me watching over her:

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assembled the ingredients for different flavors and had a hard time opening our coconut oil hence her face

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put all the ingredients in the glass jar and put in hot water on burner to melt

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fill about 1/2 the “bottom” of the egg with tinfoil so the lip balm will sit on top of it as you can’t spread it on your lips if it’s sunk in the egg.  We glued our tinfoil to the egg on the bottom with E6000 glue.  Fill your scoop with the hot wax and let set (we used a medium size melon scoop) but you can use the bottom of another egg if you don’t have one.

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Pour a little of the hot “wax/balm” on top of the tinfoil and let set..  Once both pieces are set (we waited a 1/2 hour) pop the top out of the melon scoop and add a little of the hot balm on top of the tinfoil end and secure them together.  Let set for 1/2 hour in fridge before using.

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We made vanilla coconut flavor and coconut orange for her bff of course.

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Here is a list of what we used:

small size plastic Easter egg

glass jar

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon shea butter

2 teaspoons beeswax (we bought the beeswax beads)

1/2 teaspoon flavored extract (you can use more if you want a stronger flavor) (if only using one flavor use one teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon second flavor extract if mixing

1 teaspoon coconut oil

half teaspoon petroleum jelly (vaseline)

scoop or egg bottoms for shaping (if using the egg bottom you can line it with plastic wrap to get it out easier after it sets)

Mix the ingredients in the glass jar and glue the tinfoil into the bottom part of the Easter egg

put it in the water on the burner to melt

fill the scoop or egg bottom with the melted balm

pour a little on top of the tinfoil also as a base for the formed scooped balm to sit atop of when set

wait at least 1/2 hour and pop the set balm out

pour a little of the hot balm on top of the bottom tinfoil egg and secure your formed top on it pressing down slightly to secure

Let set in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before using.  It’s better if you can let it set longer maybe even overnight

There are many youtube videos showcasing others making this with all different ingredients and versions.  We just happened to have most of the ingredients as we make a homemade body scrub with all natural ingredients also

Phew…now she can stop hounding me!!!




Make your own Candles

My daughter loves to give her teachers gifts on holidays.  At Christmas she made a body scrub and for Easter she has decided she wanted to make candles for her school teachers as well as her coaches (voice & softball) and for her brothers also.  We make our own candles so I usually have many supplies on hand in a bin in our basement.  So off she went last night to retrieve it.

When starting your “kit” to keep on hand for making your own candles is the only time you need to purchase quite a few items.  I will list them at the bottom.  Once you have these items on hand you can make candles for a long time only supplying things here and there.  Our candles cost about $1.82 each!!!  And they are scented how we like them!!


Making candles is so easy and such a fun project with your kids as they are excited to know the little candle burning in the kitchen is something they made.  I had to light one after they set up last night as they smelled so good.

Here is our step by step guide:


Choose jars to make the candles in.  I do not buy dollar store jars as I worry about them breaking when heated.  I prefer to get either mason jars or jars from craft stores that are a thicker type glass.  We also recycle many of our glass jars cleaned out that hold food items which is the rounded jar in the picture.  The mason jars in the picture are wedding favor jars and were $.50 each

You can buy wicks that have a sticky bottom.  I suggest these as it’s easy for the kids to stick them in the middle of the jar.  That is what we do first.


Melt the wax stirring quite often.  I buy a large bag of soy wax chips from amazon but you can get them at any craft stores (AC Moore, JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc).  This pot is our candle pot.  I have had it for years.  It has a nice handle and you can sit it right on the burner on low heat to melt the wax.  After it melts if you are coloring it, add the colorant.  We used a broken red crayon.  Food coloring does not work very well so I suggest using old broken crayons or you can purchase colored wax chips.


After the wax is melted let it sit off the burner for 15 minutes and then add your scent.  We buy scented oils at the health food store in our area but they have them with the candle making kits in the craft stores.  My daughter made “love scent” which is a fragrant, flowery vanilla scent. It’s important to let the wax cool a little as it will dissipate the scent if too hot.  Don’t be afraid to add to much it should smell strong.  She also made a cinnamon/vanilla scented candle which she melted the crayon in for the red color.

As soon as you fill your jars be sure to wipe out your warm pot with a paper towel so there is no wax or scent left in it.  I have never had to wash mine as I wipe it out immediately and it still looks new!!


Use an old clothes pin after filling the jars to keep the wick centered in the jars


Waiting for them to set (we leave them usually overnight)


Once set trim the wicks to about 1/4 inch. You can close the jar and make cute little labels for them.  We bought stickers and she hand decorated them.

For candles:

candle jars

tin for melting wax or pot with spout

soy wax chips

old crayons

scented oil

stick on wicks

stick on labels

clothes pins

1) stick the wicks into the middle of the jars

2) melt the wax over low heat

3) add colorant or leave cream colored

4) cool for 15 minutes and add scent

5) fill jars and secure wicks in the middle with clothes pins

6) let set up

7) trim wicks and close jars

8) attach the label

Rooster sitting in a barn on a rural farm

Old Pots and Pans

Last summer I happened to stop at a garage sale with my mother as she can’t seem to drive past them without stopping.  While there I saw they had an old pot and pan set sitting out for free.  Now free at a garage sale, that must mean this is really junk!!  So standing there staring at them while my mother strolled around I realized free is something I can’t refuse.  I knew I could come up with something for them.  And here it is:



I hung some hooks on the garage wall facing our house, filled them with plants I knew would survive in drained soil and topped them off with a little soil.  Every single person (and I mean that literally) that came to our house commented on them and what a great idea they were.  Something so simple and so pretty.  Guess those garage sales aren’t that bad after all!!