Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy & Best Gift Every Year

Lilly and I have been cranking out these corn packs and delivering them to friends and family all over the place. The following is a repeat post from a year ago: The pictures are current but the instructions are from Dec. 9, 2009.


It is 2 frigid-degrees out here which reminded me of one of my all time favorite things: the corn filled heat pack. I have sent these to many people; my sister and her girls, my mom, my son-in-law, who took it out to sea on a 4 month naval tour in the Middle East(the other sailors wanted it!), my niece and her room mate at the University of San Francisco (they said they are surprised their microwave hasn't exploded from non-stop use); some seriously ill friends, whom these gave non-stop comfort. This is, by far, the most used and appreciated gift I have given.
If you can make a pillow, you can make a corn filled heat pack. Use whatever fabric you desire or cut up an old sheet,towel or table cloth.I found the darling vintage-style Christmas fabric at JoAnn's for half price. Make whatever size you desire as long as it will fit in your microwave.I have often wished I could make a body-sized heat pack that I could lie on but I still haven't found a big enough microwave. Stitch right sides together and leave about a 1 inch hole to pour in the corn. Use a tight stitch or zigzag to hold the corn in better. Turn right side out.
Haul over a 10 or 50 lb bag of feed corn and load up your "pillow". I pay under 10 dollars for a 50 lb. bag and I manage to use it all. You can get 10 lbs for a couple of bucks and the ability to carry it yourself. Don't use your Orville Redenbacher corn kernels; they will pop all over the place and burn up your bag. Don't accidentally take home dried corn cobs like I once did; not comfy. Be sure you ask for FEED CORN.

When your bag is pretty full of corn, yet flexible, whip stitch the opening to close.Sometimes, I sprinkle in lavender flowers for aroma-therapy.
Put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. You will learn just how long you can leave it in the microwave, to the second, before it gets too hot. My corn heat packs stay warm most of the night; better than a water bottle, better than a rice-filled bag.
Put it on your ice-cold feet, rather than putting your ice-cold feet on your hubby! This is a necessity for cramps; along with chocolate, of course.
I have never done this because I love the warmth and haven't yet needed an ice pack, but, put the corn bag in the freezer for a re-usable ice pack; works like frozen peas but better because it doesn't thaw and drip all over you.
Make a few of these for gifts. I guarantee you will have thankful and warm recipients!

Such a look of concentration! If you want to be super-fancy, you can sew a muslin bag to put the corn in and the decorative fabric on the outside.corn pack1 cornpack4

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pink Saturday~A Caroling We Go!

pinksatbut It’s Pink Saturday once again! It is hosted by the dear Beverly at How Sweet the Sound Blog and is always a day of sweet pinkness.

Of course we normally feature anything pink, we have been given a bit of leeway by doing themes, if we’d like. Today’s theme is: Share your favorite holiday music.

choir 4 My favorite music is the traditional Christian music celebrating Christ’s birth. These are the ones that I grew up singing in church and bring nostalgic tears when I hear them today.”

No thank you is what I say to newer jingles like: “Hey Santa” or “Please Come Home for Christmas”. I heard a ridiculous version of  “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by the Muppets the other day. I can hardly stand it under normal circumstances! Please don’t hate me if it’s your favorite; that’s ok with me! “Everyone likes different things, it’s what makes the world go around”; that’s what my mother-in-law always says!choir 8 This group of children is singing “ Silent Night”.choir 9   This group holding hands around the Christmas Tree are singing “O Tannenbaum” and "“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.choir cats My daughter insists the kitty trio is singing “Away in a Manger”, yes, with an accordion.

Choir “Go Tell it on the Mountain”choir2 choir3“Little Drummer Boy”

“The First Noel” choir6 “We Three Kings…”choir7

“Joy to the World, the Lord is Come…”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teaching Daughter the Important Things


shabbynestbutton Today is Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest and I’m at the party! I love seeing all the creative ways people use inexpensive or free items; I always leave the party with new projects I just have to try!

My best friend is spray paint. I buy several cans at a time of Heirloom White, Colonial Red and Harbor Blue at Home Depot.

Each one of my children has seen me blast away at my targets with a can of spray paint. My youngest Lily thought it looked like fun and, indeed it is! I know how important it is to teach our children the important things in life: a relationship with Jesus, respect, manners, kindness, healthy eating and exercise…..and what one can do with a can of spray paint.

It was 65 degrees in Denver (crazy warm for this time of year). At a time when normally I could not be outside due to freezing temps, I dragged out the table and Harbor Blue spray paint.

This little white secretary table was a cheap Craig’s List find; $20. It was in perfect condition but I’ve never seen a piece that couldn’t be re-painted needed or not!


Here Lily gets a start on the spraying. You really can’t mess up a shabby style.002

004It’s starting to show it’s new color.  The knobs are fine but it would be fun to switch them up.003

Guess who got the table? Lily loved how it turned out and I think she was proud of finishing it herself. She had her brother deliver it to her bedroom and set it up will all her girly things; mirror, make up, hair brush and curling irons... She loves it and I do too!026 027

Boy Likes to Cook~Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Foodie_Friday_Logo_2 This is the very first time I have joined in on Foodie Friday. Oh, I have often visited and have gotten great ideas and inspiration, but never had something to share until now and it features one of my sons, Christian!

014 016 015

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings. I tweaked it for 10 servings because, at our house, we always aim to have leftovers!

My son’s notes about this recipe:” Be sure to whip the eggs good and frothy. This helps get the eggs fluffy and avoid sogginess. It puffs up like a souffle.”

  • 11-1/2 slices white bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 3-1/3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish, combine the bread cubes and cheese. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper; pour over bread and cheese. Top with bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  1. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Art by Goodwill

thriftthursday Today I am linking up to the inspiring Thrifty Thursday party with Leigh at Bloggeritaville. Click on the button above to check out the great deals from all over the place!

001 Who would have thought in a million years that I would find wall art that I love at Goodwill?! Not, I-that’s for sure but this is exactly what I have found to be true. 002  The other day I found these sweet framed bird prints. The cost was 2.99 each. The frames were brown-stored –in-a-pile –in –the- garage scratched up. This is never a problem. I ALWAYS paint my frames anyway. I chose this light blue color and shabbed them up a bit with sand paper.

  But I loved the birds and the vibrant colors used by the artist. And who is this Jacob Bates Abbott? He has a beautiful style. As it turns out, he was a celebrated artist that is especially famous for his illustrations for the Audobon Society.007 003Robins with their nests of blue eggs always warms my mother-of-five children’s soul.009 I also found this nostalgic small town Christmas scene for 1.99. I did the same treatment to the dated gold frame.008

Love this country Christmas scene for 2.99. The frame was a shiny-bright gold-yikes! In 2 minutes it was Colonial Red by spray paint.013 012At the moment it is propped up next to the red iron cat food dish for Emmett and Reeses’ viewing pleasure.

Don’t judge the look on his face!



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rednesday~Perfectly Imperfect

017 Happy Rednesday! I am so happy to be in this event today. I haven’t had a speck of Rednesdsay-Worthy red for too long! Click on the button to visit Sue at It’s a Very Cherry World. You will see tons of red lusciousness!

rednesday A couple of weeks ago my family went to downtown Denver for the annual parade of lights. Lily and Christian had never been for due to a wimpy but true reason: I don’t want to sit in sub-zero weather with snow making us into a really life snow family. I did it when the 3 oldest children were little and never forgot how miserable it was. Yes, wimpy.

Unseasonably warm weather convinced me to take a chance and it wasn’t bad. The parade was jolly and sweet and we were comfortable. This post, though, is about the little girl in the red dress that I’d have never found had I stayed home.

We had time to walk around the shops on the 16th Street Mall where there is a darling independently owned shop that has a fun and fetching combination of old and new. She was on the clearance shelf because she is missing a chunk of her arm. She is chalkware which is highly collectable if perfect.020 019 I thought she was so sweet holding her dolly. She looks Christmas-y and caused me to feel nostalgic.018

The shop had a another chalkware figurine in perfect condition for $68.00. I have never priced chalkware so I have no idea what it goes for normally.

022023 I wouldn’t pay $68 for the perfect piece. But, I would pay 9.99 less 10% for this sweet broken girl. The funny thing is that I don’t mind the imperfection at all. I like her better this way. Really! And, she looks great on the side table with the aqua Christmas tree. I am enjoying every moment with her.

Do you have any chalkware?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pink Saturday~Pink Metal Shoe

pinksatbut This is Pink Saturday and it is special because we have been asked to state our favorite  Christmas movie. I should say it is one of the classics like Miracle on 34th Street or  It’s a Beautiful Life. All are great and are a part of many families holiday traditions. But, do I ever like to laugh! Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase never fails to bring on the shrieks of laughter even when I know what is coming. Another favorite at the moment is Elf. My children and my teenage nieces can pretty much recite the the movie line by line and we laugh and laugh; great bonding and stress relief!


Today I am showing my pink, scrolly, metal shoe. I have this wood-framed box that kind of-sort-of acts like a cloche but upside down. At the moment I have my sparkly, yummy scented aroma beads and pearls and my shoe! 002


It seems a bit magical; fairy-tale like…Cinderella shoe with a sensible heel.004

I am thinking I can dress the shoe up a bit, perhaps with some vintage jewels and ribbons.. another project is coming on!005


Thank you for taking time to visit me this Pink Saturday. I know you are all really busy and it is so great to hear from you! Check out all the other Pink Saturday participants with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.008