Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm Linking Up!

Hello friends! I'm linking up over at Raising Homemakers today. If you have a chance, pour a cup of tea, grab a scone (yum!) and settle in for some great articles about homemaking. Linking my Lemon Vanilla scones and Homemade Air Freshener.
Head on over to
RAISING HOMEMAKERS
for some great reading, learning, and encouragment!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Rosemary, Lemon, and Vanilla Air Freshener

We love delicious scents. It's one of the reasons I bake so much. I love the way it makes the house smell...so calming and inviting. Here is a great idea I saw on Pinterest awhile ago to make the house smell beautiful using fruits and herbs!

 Put a few sticks of rosemary, a cut up lemon (or remains of a lemon), and a vanilla bean cut in half or a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract into a small pot.

Fill the pot about 3/4 of the way full with water.

Woo! Bright picture! :)
Set it on your stove to simmer....and enjoy the scent of rosemary, lemon, and vanilla. Aaahhhh:)

I like to keep this on the stovetop and reuse it for about five days. I leave it on the heat for about 20 minutes at a time. I add in any orange peels or any other lemons I may use. It really smells divine! Just keep an eye on the water level. Even on simmer it evaporates rather quickly, and you wouldn't want the smell of burnt lemons and rosemary in the house.:)

Enjoy your weekend!

Lemon Vanilla Bean Scones

The girls and I just happened upon this delightful  recipe the other day. I was in the mood for a tea party dainty and thought scones would be just the thing! We had a bunch of lemons and I could smell they were nearing the end of their ripeness, so I wanted to add a touch of lemon brightness to the mix.  I found a tasty sounding Vanilla Scone recipe ( click HERE for the original recipe from food.com) and added some lemon juice and zest and a scrumptious lemon glaze.

Lemon Vanilla Bean Scones

2 C flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C sugar
5 T butter, cold, cut into pieces
3/4 C sour cream
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 T lemon juice
zest of 1/2 a lemon

Glaze
1 C powdered sugar
about 2 T lemon juice (you may need more or less, depending on the thickness of the glaze you prefer)

Preheat oven to 400*. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Using any method you prefer, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse crumbs. Or, use the following tip*
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk, vanilla extract, scraped vanilla bean, and lemon** juice and zest until well blended. Add this to the flour butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms a cohesive ball. You may need to use your hands to get the dry bit fully incorporated. It may not seem to have enough liquid at first, but keep mixing, it will eventually come together.
Place the dough onto a parchment lined or ungreased baking sheet and pat into a circle about 1 inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Prepare the glaze while scones are baking. Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate and add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny. When the scones come out of the oven, take them, still warm, and dip them upside down in the glaze. Then cool on a cooling rack. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container. 

 *The Grate Method
We grated the block of cold butter against the large holes of a box grater directly into the dry ingredients. Then, we gently blended it into the flour until it reached the coarse crumb stage. It really sped up the cutting in process to do it this way.
** Save your lemon peels for a wonderful HOMEMADE AIR FRESHENER.
Sophia combining the dry ingredients.

 Emma grating in the butter. We really liked this method of incorporating the butter.
 Pretty little wedges ready for the oven.
 Emma preparing the glaze.
 Our baked scones taking a little glaze dunk.
 Put the kettle on and settle in for some goodness! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemaking Link-Up!

I linked up my APPLE COCONUT MUFFIN recipe and my HOME SEWN RICE BAG tutorial on the Raising Homemakers website today! Click HERE to read some other encouraging posts dedicated to homemaking and raising homemakers!

Emma doing 'Marble Math' with Sophia and Elijah.
Have a lovely day!!!

Art Journals: Radial Drawing

Let me just start by saying; radial drawing is so much fun! I even like to do it! I find myself doing radial doodles all the time since learning this fun technique. It provides an opportunity to be creative with colors and, for the older draw-er, an opportunity to coordinate different colors and make some fun palettes. The younger children just thought it was fun, while Emma enjoyed putting different colors together and seeing how they looked next to one another.

So, what is Radial Drawing? Basically it is picking a point on the paper and coloring out in a circular motion from that point, and then building upon that initial circle. Sounds kind of complicated, but really, it's not. Here, I'll show you:

The blue is the point I started out from. Then I went around the blue with the orange in short, upward strokes.

Then you just keep going around and around adding on rows. Eventually those strokes will get bigger. Here is a finished circle:

It kind of looks like a neat, colorful starburst. Then if you want you can fill the entire page with these designs until no white is left on the paper. It's really very addicting. Here are some that the children finished:

Emma's radial drawing designs. She used some nice color combos.

Sophia's designs. She has the basic idea down.

Elijah's designs. This project was a little over his ability, but he liked being included and did some nice drawing:)
I like doing this project with the children because it helped me to gauge where they were at with their drawing ability, coordination, and ability to follow instructions. Even though Elijah's paper looked nothing like radial drawing, he still concentrated on his work and really tried to do it. I think we'll try this project again in a few weeks and see how much he's grown in his abilities since the last time we did this.

I hope you try out radial drawing! We had a blast with it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Folded Heart Cards

After writing THIS post last week with our Valentines printables, I started thinking, "Man those huge hearts are cumbersome to put in the mail." So, I woke up in the middle of the night that night with the great idea of making a folded heart card. Now, I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this...in fact, I know I can't be. But I thought, maybe if I've been in the dark on making these easy little cards maybe someone else has been too and will find this  post helpful. So, here's a quick  how-to on making Folded Heart Cards.

First, you can start by printing out this cute little heart. It's the perfect size for a card. Just click it, right click, save it to your desktop (or wherever) and print!

Cut out the heart. Next, take a piece of folded cardstock or scrapbook paper, whatever you are using as your card, and trace the heart onto it. Make sure the top of the heart is against the fold of the card.

Notice I didn't completely trace the top rounded part of the heart on each side. That is because you are NOT going to cut that area. That is where the card will remain intact so you can fold it open.

Now, cut on the traced lines, and you are done!


Decorate as you see fit and send it (easily) in the mail to your sweetie!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Funny Valentine, "Ladylike" Valentines with free printable

Happy Week Before Valentine's Day everyone!

We were hard at work this morning making some funny and ladylike (as Sophia calls them) Valentines. I created some cute images on PicMonkey and thought I would share them with you all too!!



I thought it might be fun, and a little less girly, to make Valentines with mustaches on them. You know, mustaches are so in right now. :)

Isn't this a sweet sentiment:

"I mustache you to Be Mine" Ha! Love it! Elijah chose to do this right off the bat!

Mustache man.
The girls opted for a more feminine Valentine...they thought the mustaches looked funny. And they do:)

Emma was very happy with how her heart turned out!

I love getting action shots of their little hands hard at work:)

My little blue eyes
And of course we need to add glitter!



Glitter the world!

And there you have it. Valentines really don't have to be all that intricate to make. Of course you could add lace and ribbon if you'd like. But paper, glue, glitter, and some fun images really make a sweet little something to give to your special loved one...or friends.:) Elijah wants to take his Valentine to our neighbor with some cookies...I think we can arrange that! :)

So, here are the printables for you! Just click the image, then right click and save it to your computer, and print! Enjoy!!