Friday, December 11, 2009

Homeschool Etsy Team (SHE)

This Friday's feature is focused on one of my Etsy teams.  The SHEteam is Schooling at Home Etsians.  This is a great, supportive and active team of families with homeschooling and Etsy shop ownership in common.  The SHEteam blog has information on team shops.  You can find the latest Sheteam treasury here.  The SHEteam has also been featured in this online article.  
Here are just a few of the shops and items available from the SHEteam taken from the latest team treasury.  So, check out the SHEteam. 

Ancientgamecupboard                                   ElegantRoseBoutique


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Fun Ideas

It appears that winter is here already.  It's freezing and windy here today.  So I thought I'd blog about some fun things to do in the winter.  Sometimes in the winter, boredom sets in and can make kids whiny.  "What can I do?"  I hear it a lot in the colder months.  And when you homeschool, you are likely to hear it more because you are with your kids more.   Anyway,  I have been digging around the internet to find some ideas.  Here are some links I came up with.

Paper Snowflakes

This one has some fun stuff to do in the winter.  I like the idea of a popcorn, hot chocolate and game night.

Making pine cone bird feeders is a fun thing to do in the winter. Apparently using peanut butter on the pine cones is not a good idea. I've seen some people saying it chokes the birds and can kill them.  Here's a better, healthier for the birds, way to do it.

This Frosty the Cheeseball recipe looks fun and tasty.

Winter Crafts

What are your favorite things to do with the kids in the winter?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

This recipe for chicken tetrazzini is one of our family favorites and comes from my mom's 40 year old Betty Crocker cookbook.  It's a great recipe for using leftover chicken or turkey.  We usually have some garlic bread along with it.  Enjoy.

Chicken Tetrazzini

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream  (half n half also works well)
2 Tablespoons sherry ( I use water)
1 package (7 ounces) spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 can (3 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained  (I leave these out and it's fine)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350*F.   Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Blend in flour and seasonings.  Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in broth and cream.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in wine, spaghetti, chicken and mushrooms.  Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until bubbly. 
6 servings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

So, what's new? Well, I am still working on getting our scarves finished from the Joy's Hope scarf along. I am really easily distracted by other things to work on. Things like this cute little buttercup bag, now available in my Etsy shop.   And I'm working on some more, in the large and small sizes.  
I have also been learning how to cook venison.  We have about 40 pounds of it in the freezer.  So far, it hasn't been too bad. 
I am still felting sweaters.  I haven't actually made anything with them yet.   But I went thrifting on Saturday and got a big pile of sweaters for 50% off.  So hopefully I'll have some felted stuff made soon.  Anyway that's what I'm working on lately.  I'll be posting a yummy recipe tomorrow, so stop back by for that.  See you soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Muppets Cover of Bohemian Rhapsody

This is my new favorite music video. The Muppets got together to do a cover of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm not going to tell you about it, you can just watch it. Love it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gift Set Winner

We have a winner of the NaturallyComfy gift set giveaway. Congratulations to Heidi! She chose this gift set from my shop. There is still one of these sets available. Check out my other sets also.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Get Out That Sewing Machine

For the next few weeks I am going to be following along with the scarf along project with Julie over at Joy's Hope. I thought I'd mention it here for those of you that would like to follow along too. So, come on and try it. Here are the blog posts she's put up so far about the scarf along. This is actually week 2 starting. So hurry on over to catch up. When week 2 is up later I'll update my post, or you can just look for it over there.

Pre scarf along

Week one

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feature Friday

So, recently I joined the SheTeam on etsy for homeschooling Etsians. One of my team members, Suzanne, has the cutest knitted animals I have ever seen. I just had to share her shop. Well, shops. There are two. One is downinthemeadow
The other is littlemeadowbabies
This is my favorite one. Her animals look so great photographed in the grass.

Here are some other beautiful things from her shop.

To find more great SheTeam shops on Etsy just search for sheteam in the Etsy search box.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Fall is a great time to do some baking. This recipe is one of our family favorites. It is from my old Pillsbury Kitchens Family Cookbook. The flavor of quick breads improve with time, so it will taste even better the day after it's baked. It never lasts more than a day or two here though.

Pumpkin Bread

15 or 16 oz. can (2 cups) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Heat oven to 350*F. Grease (not oil) and flour bottoms only of two 9x5 or 8x4 inch loaf pans. In large bowl, blend first five ingredients. Beat 1 minute at medium speed. Add remaining ingredients; blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 1 minute at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350*F for 60 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

*You may need to cover with foil if it starts getting too brown.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Felting Wool?

Is there such a thing as CADD? Crafting Attention Deficit Disorder. If there is, I surely have it. As soon as I've made a few of something I am wandering off to do something new (to me). The latest thing I am going to try is wool felting. I have been reading and I've been to the thrift store and found some nice old wool sweaters to try it with. I like the idea of upcycling stuff and trying a new craft. I'm still not clear about the right terms. Is it felting or fulling? I don't know and I guess it doesn't really matter. So, I am going to try felting these old sweaters and making something really cool out of them. We'll see how that goes. If I make anything that is showable, I will post some pictures.

Before I go, I want to leave some links. This one has some nice projects for felted wool.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Natural Flu Prevention

The topic of H1N1 vaccination is hot right now. It seems that lots of people are not sure or have decided not to get it. And I've heard some information that says the flu shot can be ineffective at preventing the flu. So, I have been reading up on some natural flu prevention strategies for our family and thought I'd share some of them with you.

Of course, most of you know about vitamin C, covering coughs and sneezes, proper hand washing and staying home if you're sick. But did you know that vitamin D deficiency is thought to be a reason we get so many colds and flu in the winter? And that supplementing with vitamin D could be a good flu preventive? Here's a video explaining a little about that.
Another thing we are doing this winter is using elderberry. It has been shown to prevent the flu virus from invading cells and replicating. Here and here are some links with information for elderberries.
If you do end up getting sick the homeopathic medicine Oscillococcinum is a popular choice for a lot of people. It is supposed to be taken at the first sign of illness and is said to reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms.
There are too many things to mention in this article or it would be a mile long. But I will link you to some things so that you can find some information yourself. Two books that are very helpful in finding natural remedies for various diseases are Prescription for Natural Cures and Prescription for Nutritional Healing. They can usually be found in a public library or at Amazon or another bookstore.
A good place to look for vitamins and herbs and such is Their prices are low and shipping is one set price.
So, if you've decided against the H1N1 vaccine and even if you haven't these are some things you could try. I am not giving medical advice here. These are just some things we are doing this winter. And you should always do some reading and research things for yourself. So, take care and wash those hands.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gift Set Giveaway

This month Naturally Comfy will be giving away one of these gift sets. This giveaway is for Naturally Comfy newsletter subscribers. All you have to do to enter is sign up for the Naturally Comfy Newsletter. That's easy enough! The winner will be drawn Friday, November 13, 2009. The winner will pick the set of their choice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Riley Festival Fun

We spent two days last weekend at a local craft festival. The Riley festival, named for James Whitcomb Riley, is one of our family's favorite things to do in the fall. Riley was the Hoosier Poet who grew up in the town of Greenfield. My kids always save up their money to spend there, although they never spend much. We just enjoy looking around and sampling the food. We usually find a few things we can't live without. The kids also love playing games. We did find a member of TheInCrowdTeam (the Etsy Indiana Street Team) with a booth there. TwoSeaSideBabes has great hats that seemed to be selling well. My granddaughter got her face painted both days we went.

I think my 12 year old has outgrown it, she didn't get hers painted this time. She did like the chili cheese fries though. They were so messy to eat, but great.

We had a worry session on the first day. The wee one kept hearing that this or that car would be towed if not moved and was worried sick that our car would be towed away.

Her mom, my daughter, had to call the friend whose parking lot we were in to reassure her the car was parked legally and was safe.

The second day granddaughter got to get her shape balloon she was so looking forward to.

And wee ones little brother had his own kind of fun. He spent the day in his stroller taking his socks off. He probably didn't even notice all the ladies that kept walking by and mentioning how cold his feet must be. It was chilly and windy but his feet were as warm as toast.

I will leave you with some quotes by James Whitcomb Riley and a bit of trivia.

Continuous, unflagging effort, persistence and determination will win. Let not the man be discouraged who has these.
James Whitcomb Riley

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
James Whitcomb Riley

When you awaken some morning and hear that somebody or other has been discovered, you can put it down as a fact that he discovered himself years ago - since that time he has been toiling, working, and striving to make himself worthy of general discovery.
James Whitcomb Riley

Ever wonder where Little Orphan Annie or Raggedy Ann came from? Take a look.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back to Blogging

Well, school is underway and so is fall. We have spent the month of September getting our school year started and trying to get into a routine again. Now that it's going I can hopefully get back to more regular blogging. I have been working on some fall things for my Etsy shop. I just listed a couple today and will have more later this week.
Don't forget to sign up for the Naturally Comfy Newsletter here. I am planning a giveaway or two in the next few weeks for my newsletter subscribers.
See you next time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Apple Pie Recipe

One of the things I love about fall is picking apples. We visited the orchard on Saturday and got about a bushel of apples. Those apples will be applesauce, pies, crisps, fried apples and I'm hoping some apple butter. My grandson,who is 19 months, was so excited about this apple tree made of wood with holes cut out for their faces. How funny is that?

I am going to give you all the best apple pie recipe. It is from my 30 year old Pillsbury Kitchens Family Cookbook and it's the best recipe I've ever used. So here goes. Just to let you know, I usually use the streusel topping on my pies instead of a top crust but you can do it either way. And of course, it's always better if you use homemade crust but you can use an already made one. I also personally prefer butter to margarine for baking.

9" pie crust
6 cups peeled, sliced apples
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
1 Tablespoon of butter or margarine

Heat oven to 425*F. Prepare pastry. In large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; toss lightly to mix. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot with margarine or butter. Cover with top crust (cut slits for escape of steam); seal and flute edge. Bake at 425*F for 40 to 45 minutes or until juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.
(If you are using the streusel topping leave out the 1 Tablespoon of butter)

Streusel Topping
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine

In small bowl, combine all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit filling. Bake as directed with the recipe. Cover topping with foil last 10 minutes of baking time if the top browns too quickly.

Here is my pie.

Enjoy your pies. See ya next time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Naturally Comfy News

What's the latest at Naturally Comfy? I have been trying to improve things in my Etsy shop. Things like pictures, tags, etc. I have also been working on some sleeping masks for the shop.
I am also working on some more small rag quilts. And I will be adding some fall and winter items soon.
I am also signing willing victims up for my Naturally Comfy newsletter. There's a link on the right column up at the top. I will be sending out monthly newsletters that will let you know about sales, (some will be exclusive, newsletter subscriber sales). I will also let you know what's new and what will be coming soon. Included will also be contest and giveaway information.

So, that's what's going on. I will be posting soon about my venture with making some CPSIA tracking labels for my kid's stuff. So, stick around for that, it should be interesting. See you soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Homeschool Thursday

Well, we started school this week. We have started out slow, only doing a couple of subjects. Next week we will get more going on. This week though we took our first field trip of the new school year. We went to the zoo. It was a great day, sunny but not too hot. We had a nice time and got some cute pictures. We were able to get a look at the 3 week old giraffe outside with the other giraffes. See the baby over there?

Here's the daddy. Isn't he cute?

We visited the dog shark area, where you can touch the sharks. The kids love that!

The polar bear is one of our favorites too.

We also took in the dolphin show, but I can never get good pictures in there.
We didn't get to all the animals this trip. Next time I guess. I think our next field trip will be the beginning of October. Stay tuned, I'll be posting about it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is That?

In the spring, I usually buy flowers to plant in my flower bed in front of the house. This spring I never did do it. So, of course, weeds have taken it over.
We have taken a weed eater to it once. Then a few weeks ago our neighbor was looking at the weeds and told my husband he wanted some when they were bigger. He said it makes good salsa. I thought it was weird but hey, who am I to judge. Then last week a friend came by and asked where I got the plants out front. She was talking about the same plants.
Strange that everybody is so interested in those weeds. I didn't get them from anywhere they are just there. Thinking back I have actually battled these "weeds" for years. I pull them out all summer trying to keep my flowers free of weeds. She said they are tomatillos, pronounced [toh-MAH-tee-YO]. Wow! I have a crop of tomatillos in my front flower bed.
Apparently, they are good for making salsas and other Mexican dishes. Now,if they grow and mature enough before it gets cold we will have lots of tomatillos. They are still pretty small, remember we did hack them down once already. I have no idea where they came from or how they got here, but here they are. Hopefully, we can enjoy them and share them with the friends and neighbors who recognized them before we got the weed whacker out again.
Here are some recipes for using tomatillos.
And some more interesting tomatillo sites.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gearing Up For School

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted anything new. I have been trying to get things more organized and cleaned out around home before we start school for this year. We will be starting school the week of the 31st. We are usually earlier than that, but I need some organization before we start. We have parted with a ton of stuff this week and hopefully next week will be just as productive. We have a small house and it is just too full.
This school year I am already planning some field trips. We didn't do many last year and I want this year to be a little more exciting and fun. Our first official field trip will be the zoo. And it will actually be our second day of school. What a great way to start the school year.
So anyway, after we get things underway for school I'm hoping to have more time for blogging more often and regularly and also for my etsy shop. And of course I'll be sharing pictures of our field trips. So check back and I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Look Now, Here Comes the 80's

I can't believe it! Here is one of the latest junior styles. Look familiar? They will if you are old enough to remember the 80's. That's right. The 80's is making a comeback. That's what I've heard anyway. I'm wondering if it's just some of the clothes or other 80's fads and fashions too. I'm thinking slouch socks, jelly shoes, leg warmers, parachute pants, overalls, big hair, well you get the idea. Back in the 80's when really big hair was popular my hair was so smooth and straight I couldn't make it big to save my life. My hair laughed at perms and curling irons. Over the years, for whatever reason, my hair has become curly and can be frizzy if not kept under control. Now, my hair laughs at my flat iron. So, I'm thinking if 80s hair does come back, either my hair will rebel and turn straight again (I wouldn't mind) or I am going to be really hip now. Although, now I'm too mature(read old)to care if I'm hip or not. The 80s was fun when it was the 80s, but having looked back on some of the fashion and music, I'm thinking it might be better if the 80s stay back there in the 80s.
Do you remember the wedding of Charles and Di? Or how about the launch of MTV, Michael Jackson's hair on fire, ALF, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Chernobyl, The Exxon Valdez oil spill, the fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Cold War.
Take a stroll down memory lane and look at more of the history of the 80s here.
I know some of you may be thinking "gag me with a spoon", some may be thinking "radical!" Whatever you're thinking, you may want to take your bad self out and stock up on hairspray and get out your Flashdance clothes and just wait it out.
Like it or not, the 80's may be back for awhile.