Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Posted By:  Stephanie

Remember this post from last Friday when I was talking about what to do with all those tomatoes in your garden?  Well, we have MANY more tomatoes that have become ripe sense then.  My mother in law who lives next door was canning up some spaghetti sauce so I decided to share a recipe with your from the Blue Book of Preserving by Ball.

Yield: about 6 pints

2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
2 pounds ground beef (the sauce in the picture above does not have the meat in it)
3 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (29-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped (or fresh tomatoes of course)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute onions, green peppers, celery and garlic in oil until onions are tender.  Add ground beef; cook until browned.  Drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients; simmer 1 hour.  Remove bay leaves.  Cool.  Ladle sauce into can-or-freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Seal, label and freeze.

If you give this recipe a try let us know what you think!  

We have lots of projects we hope to get started/complete over the weekend and couldn't be more excited about it!  Have a wonderful weekend, we'll be back Monday for more fun!

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted By: Kristi

These are the easiest cookies and are scrumptious too! This is a nice recipe to have on hand when you are having a sweet tooth but are a little low on groceries. I don't know about you but we usually have these three ingredients on hand. Especially peanut butter, we are peanut butter freaks!

Here's what you need:


1. First mix the sugar and peanut butter up a bit and then add the egg and mix all three ingredients together. Doing it this way will make it so your baked cookies are the perfect texture.

2.  Once all three ingredients are mixed up well, roll small balls and place them on your cookie sheet (I used my Pampered Chef stone).

3. Make your fork marks on top of each ball.

4. Preheat your oven to 350 and place your cookie sheet in the oven. Cook for 8-13 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool. 

6. Devour!

How to Make Liquid Hand Soap

Posted By:  Stephanie

Good morning!  Today I'm going to show you a quick tutorial on how to make liquid hand soap.  Seriously, it is so easy and such a money saver that we should all do this.

Gather all your supplies:

1 gallon distilled water
1 8oz bar of soap
*after trial and error on my husband's part making body wash we found Dove does not work well*
 *usually found near the band aids*
1 TBSP measuring spoon
Cheese grater

Step 1:  Grate the bar of soap and add the soap and 2 TBSP Glycerin to a pot of 1 gallon distilled water.

We (my husband and I) used a 5.5oz bar of soap and found that if we used a bit less water or an 8oz bar of soap it would have worked a little better.  We were still happy with the results so the soap wont go to waste.

Step 2:  Turn the heat to medium/high heat and continue to heat until the soap shavings dissolve.

As it is dissolving stir it up, this process doesn't take long.

This is what it will look like once you're finished dissolving the soap.

Step 3:  Wait about 24 hours for the soap to settle and become less runny.  Get out your handy mixer and mix it...mix it real good. (said in the tune of Push It by Salt and Peppa)

Step 4:  Use a funnel and pour your soap into the gallon container the water came in for storage.

That's it, you're done!

Of course everything turns out better when you have a messy cute assistant helping out.

Now get to it!  

Seriously this is SO easy and will save you tons of money over time.  Like I said though, don't use Dove bar soap for this, it was a runny mess!  I personally prefer the natural soaps for 2 reasons:

1.  The cost savings is even greater
2.  When we did try the dove the smell wasn't pleasant it was all chemical, no thank you.

DIY Fringe Scarf

Posted By: Kristi

What a great weekend! Bummer that it had to an end but it was great while it lasted. Yesterday evening, my sister Samantha and I whipped up a fringe scarf. It was a quick project and can be a fun addition to your outfit. Here's how we did it....

1. Find a shirt you no longer want and cut across it, armpit to armpit.

2. Cut evenish strips up the shirt, starting from the bottom, about 6 or seven inches long. Keep cutting all the way from one side of the shirt to the other side.

3. Once you are done cutting the strips, hold the shirt still with one hand and pull each fringed piece with the other hand. You want to really stretch each piece out.

4. That's it, you're done! Put on your new scarf and admire your new look. = )

Samantha is a lovely model, next time I will get her cute face in some pictures! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend and that Monday isn't too hard on you!!

Tomato Soup - Canning Recipe

Posted By:  Stephanie

Happy Friday!  Today I thought I would share with you a great tomato soup recipe that you can use to can some of those tomatoes that you have grown and aren't sure what you're going to do with.  If you're anything like us, you plant WAY more tomatoes then you really need just because they are SO good!  My mother in law loves this recipe and makes sure she puts up many jars of this yearly.

Tomato Soup

20lbs tomatoes peeled and smashed, cook and stir until mushy (about 30-40 minutes)
*We have a Vitamix so we skip that step and just throw them in there with the skin, such a time saver!*

In a separate pan:

4 C finely chopped onions
2 bunches finely chopped celery and leaves
4 C grated zucchini
1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
2-3 bay leaves (optional, take our prior to putting in jars)
Boil together while tomatoes are cooking

When tomatoes are cooked add the cooked vegetable mixture.

Melt butter and add the flour stirring constantly.  When smooth add the salt, pepper and sugar.
1 1/4 C flour
4 cubes real butter
3 tbs salt
2 tsp pepper
2 C sugar (you can use less)

Slowly add to the tomato mixture stirring constantly; bring to a boil - mixture will be thick.

Fill jars; leave 1" head space.

Cold water bath for 45 minutes

This makes about 12-15 quarts.

Of course if you don't have that many tomatoes you can always make a 1/2 batch.

Have a great weekend!

This recipe has been linked to Take it on Tuesday.

Backyard Makeover

Posted By: Kristi

Can you believe summer is already coming to an end? I have to admit, although I do love the sun, my love for fall is so much deeper. Fall is hands down my favorite!

We My husband has been pretty busy around here this summer. He ripped out our entire backyard so he could start over from scratch. This included bringing in more dirt, tilling, leveling the entire yard and then reseeding. Thanks to Carson and his awesome family who helped a TON (on the hottest weekend of the summer) our yard is starting to look so much nicer! We still have a lot more work to do when it is nice out again (hopefully this spring) but meanwhile, it is not near as bumpy and a lot nicer to look at!

This is our yard right after Carson sprayed to kill the grass. We used to have a brick pathway that we also removed. I actually did lend a hand with that part. Amanda and her brother who lived here most of their lives put in that path and I admit, it was pretty awesome. We had to take it out to start over though. We might relay it or something like it in the future. Carson mentions daily how much both him and the hairy babies miss it. I like the look without it because the yard doesn't seem so split up but I do agree, a path is a great addition to most yards. Honestly, this is where Carson spends most of his time so he can have whatever almost whatever he wants. = )

Here is the best picture I have on my computer right now. It is hard to get pictures without all the shadows, but this gives you a good idea of what it is looking like.

The sad news...moles have been taking over! They won't leave us alone! We have paid someone to take care of it but they haven't been coming over all the time like they are supposed to and haven't caught a thing. It is sad, really.

Do you know how to catch these sneaky little things? Any tips are appreciated!

Welcome to the World Lelo!

Posted By:  Stephanie

Hello everyone!  One month ago today 8/18/12 we welcomed our second daughter, Lelo (her nickname, pronounced Lee-Low), into the world.  Although it is a little strange to wrap my head around being a family of 4, I couldn't be happier and she fits into our family perfectly.  We are all SO in love!

Our first family photo!
This moment watching Lou with her little sister for the first time was precious.

Our birth story:

For as long as I can remember, my dream situation for going into labor was for my water to break at Walmart.  Why Walmart of all places?  I don’t really know, it just came in my mind one day and I couldn’t shake it.  Lucky for me we live in a small town that only has two options for grocery, Safeway and Walmart so odds were getting a little higher for me of this happening as long as I was shopping.  When we had Lou I was induced so going into labor on my own was going to be a new experience, if it even happened at all.

It was the evening of 4/18 which also happened to be Lelo’s due date and we (Will, Lou and I) decided to venture out of the house to go pet some animals at the feed store, get some treats from Starbucks then head to Walmart for some groceries.  After looking down just about every aisle of the store we finally got started with the grocery shopping.  Right as we walk down the first grocery aisle I had a contraction which I didn’t think anything of because I had been having them randomly for about 2 days.  I took another step and GUSH my water broke all over the place!  We quickly left but not before informing the gal who worked there they needed a “clean up” on that aisle, which was part of my grand plan.  

It was about 6:15pm when we left the parking lot to head to the hospital.  Living an hour away from the hospital Will thought it was a good idea to go straight there even though I wasn't having regular contractions and I wanted to go home and clean up.  Just for a little perspective here, our home is about 10 miles from the store (about 12-15 minutes).  After a few short minutes in the car on the way to the hospital my contractions were close together and very painful, I knew I was in full labor.  Needless to say, I was grateful for Will insisting we go straight there!  

Will drove to the hospital and got there in record time because he was going between 80-85 mph the entire way there.  Once we arrived there was no time for parking, Lelo was ready to come so Will stopped in the turnaround afraid that she may just come out while walking to the hospital once we found a place to park.  By the time we got in the building and in the room I was on all 4s knowing that she was ready to come, like THEN!  I informed them that I needed to get an epidural and quick because with Lou my tailbone broke during labor and I didn't want to feel that happen again knowing that it was a huge possibility.  Knowing my history with that they didn't refuse me and tried to get it working but they used the medication that I had informed them my body doesn't respond to, so guess who didn't get a working epidural until AFTER birth?  That’s right, me.  Oh well, she came out with 2 pushes and a total of 5 minutes at 8:43pm after holding her in not wanting to push until the epidural was working.  

Lelo was 9lbs 3oz, 21 inches long and healthy as can be!  Lou was 9lbs 6oz and 20 ½ inches long when she was born, they are so similar. In case you were wondering no, my tailbone didn't break this time THANK GOODNESS!

I love this squishy face.

Such a proud big sister!

Bubba (Kristi), Lelo and I

Still at the hospital.  I can't resist kissing these cheeks!

This was just after birth.
While they were getting me all cleaned/stitched up
Will had skin to skin time with Lelo.
Such a special moment.

For me pregnancy is such a special thing, I love being pregnant.  I also experience horrible sickness throughout the entire pregnancy which makes it hard to do every day things a lot of the time.  Although I would always push through and continue my daily life as normal as I could it wasn't always easy.  Even though I love being pregnant I also love that I now have a sweet baby in my arms and that I haven't felt sick, not for one moment since she was born.  I'm really looking forward to doing more of the things I love again like crafts and projects with Lou, trying new recipes, possibly painting a few walls, blogging and other things that when I would try and do them while pregnant it would result in a trip to the bathroom to hug the toilet.  TMI?  I hope not.

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