Category Archives: Tutorials

“my secret” to the No Bake Cookie

I have had so many questions on my Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies that I thought I would share my secret.”
Are you ready?

HEAPING tablespoons of Peanut Butter – I don’t level it AND 
extra OATMEAL ( about 3/4 C more than recipe calls for)

This is Grace’s Nana’s recipe and we’ve used it for years!!  I printed it out at the bottom of the post for you.

Once I melt the cocoa, milk, butter and sugar down and boil for two minutes I then pour in the vanilla, peanut butter and oats.
you do have to work quickly here.  Once I stir the initial 3 cups of oats in I get a ‘feel’ of the mix and add about
3/4 cup more in and stir and then I immediately begin plopping down heaping tablespoons of cookies.
by the time I get to the last bit it is already pretty crumbly and won’t stick together very well and this
is the part I eat…

I love No Bake Cookies and so does my step dad so I am taking this batch to him since the last two we all ate before they got to him!

A little bit of SHOP NEWS

We have this 2×4 CHOICE SIGN sign we just created.  We have this ONE that is ready to ship today if you catch me before 2:00 PM.  Of course you can order one from the SHOP too.  It is a creamy background with graphite lettering.  We created it as a reminder to CHOOSE good things within each day.  I am going to change out signs to say CHOICE signs or something…I don’t like the word RULES…ugh!  We all know we can’t keep all the rules right?smile

We sold the I AM HIS one that was ready to ship but you are welcome to order a custom one.  I want one for my bedroom!  The words strengthen my heart when I read them reminding me WHO’s I am.  I don’t know about you but I need some of that everyday!  I love the way Nikki laid it out so that the I AM HIS really stands out.

REMEMBER – you can customize all of our signs.  We offer Annie Sloan Chalk Paints as color options now.  Need a specific size?  we can do that too.

 enjoy you Wednesday..the weekend is almost here.  I want to take the girls to see Les Miserables.
has anyone seen it yet?  good?


Nana’s Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cups butter ( I use real unsalted butter)
1/2 cups milk
1/2 cups cocoa
3 cups quick oats ( plus extra) i sometimes use old fashioned oats for a more chewy cookie
5 HEAPING TB of peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

boil sugar, butter, cocoa and milk for two minutes.
pour in while hot – oats and peanut butter and vanilla.
mix well and fast and drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper and let dry.

eat the crumbs wink;)


have you shopped at IKEA…your thoughts?

when life throws me lemons I am working on learning to make lemonade…
let’s just be honest  here that none of us live in a perfect Pollyanna world..that is TV and books and it sure isn’t my life.
SO this week when the moldy disgusting bathroom and kitchen..both have to be gutted and the only pretty little spot in my
house is the dining room despair finally pulled my foot hard enough to pull me under and there I stayed for several days.

Once in awhile seeing the light of the surface but one trip to the bathroom or pouring Drano down the kitchen sink pummeled me back under.
Self kept telling self that I am 45..I am more dead than alive and I just want a house that is clean gosh darnit!  I know there is no possible way to afford
a new kitchen or bathroom in the near future.  Keep dreamin girlie…well…I do dream:)...often  If you have children then you know that the last straw can come
when one of your offspring tell you how disappointing you are as a mother…ugh and geesh!
( and I am almost certain I never did that..wink )  Suffice it to say I was an unraveled heap of flesh needing some serious God intervention.

but you know what kept looking at me?…our Grateful sign!  please and really?  I have a valid point here and I can still see myself stomping my
imaginary ungrateful toddler foot all the while my Father who knows me knows me…waited.

Didn’t I have a roof over my head?
weren’t there so many people all over the world that had it way worse than us?
didn’t you want a house you could remodel..well yes but I don’t have an unlimited credit card or any credit card Father
I can almost hear his lips turn up..and his breath exhale

and by the way sweet child…do you know the future?  and again…do you know what plans I have for you?
how do you know tomorrow isn’t the very day everything shifts?  do you really think it is all about you?
…and it occurred to me that I was being quite disturbingly like my child who had his own fears and wounds

so where does the lemonade come in?  cause I am sure looking at some lemons…

well in this little gem of a magazine that came in the mail of course!  the gears of my mind are turning again..thinking of ways to accomplish a kitchen/bathroom
reno with very little money and NOT look like it.

so here is where you come in sweet friends…

have you shopped at IKEA and is the quality of things as nice as I hear?

do tell…fill me in.

oh and one more thing…

I began praying again for God to help me with our kitchen and open my eyes.
funny how I forget to go to Him first and nothing is to HARD or to silly.
After all our God holds the whole world in His hands…

would you love a glass of lemonade?…..xotiff


{diy} simply sweet notecards


Happy Friday!  Oh how I pray your weekend be full of crisp fall joy!  We have lots of to-do”ing” to accomplish around the house.  It is supposed to be the perfect weather to work outside.  What are you doing this weekend?  any fun plans?  I would love to go see Courageous.  I’m sure some of you will get there before me so be sure to let us all know.



blank notecards or paper folded in half etc.

scrap fabrics & papers, sewing machine ( optional) threads in fun colors, cut out pictures from magazines that you love ( sew or glue them on ) draw pictures, write a poem in your prettiest handwriting..maybe a favorite quote, stickers, rubber stamps…and so on.  Virtually anything you have laying around you can make a one of a kind card for someone you love.

Now for the notecards.  The only thing I bought was a pack of blank notecards @ Hobby Lobby.  I think it had 8 in the package for 3.00.  I now wish I would have bought white as well.  Next I rummaged through all of my scrap tubs filled with papers, fabrics etc.  I was going to stamp words but my “e” was missing and for some reason every word I wanted had an “e” in it!

I have found a new little fetish…sewing on paper!  It is rather addicting.  With that in mind I sewed most all of my cards. Have you ever tried sewing on paper?  If not – try it!

Then I cut out shapes..a heart. SO. SIMPLE.  I wanted to keep it all basic and easy.  I didn’t have much time to dedicate to them but I wanted them to be simply sweet.  I am happy with how they all turned out!  What do you think?  The little flower one is my favorite’s.  It was actually petals I had cut to put on a onsie!  Now it is a card.  Sewing on paper is just like sewing on cloth.  I feel as if a whole new world has opened up for me.

Click here for part one of this post.

The old typewriter font of thethanksgiving quote caught my eye onPinterest.  I re-created mine in word and used a free font called{ rough typewriter} foundhere.  From a Trader Joe’s bag I cut the size of a piece of paper and stuck it in the printer and hit print.  Voila!

All they need is a stamp and they are ready to be sent off to some very special people!

{ my heart update}

I got a sweet treat in the mailbox myself.  It made my heart melt in tears. Does stuff do that to you?  I cried…even more when I read the story of Tilly.  It was just what I needed to read at that exact moment.  It is these little things that God is putting in my day.  I think they have always been there.  Now I am just “seeing” them.  They are giving me that extra nudge.  Telling me I am ok. That I am going to make it.  Maybe my courage is being tested.  God wants me to know how strong I am with Him but sometimes it paralyzes me with fears and doubts and I want to turn tail and run.  I don’t mean a little run I mean one far away one. In another country kinda run.  But I don’t.  I won’t.  It feels that way sometimes. a lot of times.  This perpetual process is daily.  It is choosing to trust Him and not me.  It is a want to.  I’m grateful that the running wants ebbs and flows.  They do not stay. What about you today?  Is your courage being tested?  Do you want to run too sometimes?




1.  asking a question with several people standing around me

2.  having an open hand with changing circumstances every time it came to mind

3.  keep pursuing my

4.  looking people in the eyes


simple handmade notecards { a tutorial } & linkup

Link up your handmade notecards/stationary @ end of post..whatever!  no rules:)  

After I posted Can I send you something…for free bringing back the love of snail mail – I was in a conundrum…what was I going to use that was personal..simple..and handmade?  I could easily run down to the store and grab some stationary but this time I wanted it to come from my heart…to yours.  I was left with only one other choice…digging into my boxes of odds & ends.  And here are some snapshots of the result.  Simple.  What do you think?  I love them.

 I was inspired by other lovely ladies and I’ve shared a few below.  Pruse if you are so inclined:) I’m off to round up my Sharpie’s so I can get busy writing in those cards and mailing them out to YOU! 

If your interested in receiving a letter from moi…either leave your address in the comments or shoot me a quick email! 

 I will be back Friday with the How Toand a few more designs. 


{homemade by monica


what about you…yes YOU?

Are you a letter writer?  Have you made your own cards?  If so – I would love to see them.

Feel free to link you notecards..stationary..anything you would write on to send somebody

below OK?  Let’s get to creating cheap..simple notecards shall we?




drove to grandma’s has been 20 years
going to Trader Joe’s by myself
urban jane
taking long hard looks at where I’ve come and where I’m going..then making a plan

Linking up for the first time ever with

Fantabulous Friday & Show and Tell Friday…would you come on over?:)


Fantabulous Friday!


HOW TO make almond/orange laundry soap

Printable Directions Here

Why bother to make your own laundry soap = SAVINGS ACCOUNT = Debt Free…that’s all?:)

It’s a SIMPLE thing. SAVES money.  Honestly – it kinda puts me in a pioneering spirit.  It DOES NOT take that long.  I’m doing something good for my family, for the environment AND we’re saving a little chunk of change.

We’re on a mission!  To live with less, to create a way of living that plugs in to things that build up and unplug from things that don’t.

My goal with saving money by cutting back on cable, making my own laundry soap { I’m getting ready to try dish washing detergent } and other ways we will be living with less…SIMPLE LIVING;) Is to take all of that extra and put it into savings for things I will determine at a later date.  At this point – I’m not able to do that.  I WILL BE doing that.  BABY STEPS…ugh!  I think I may have touched on an area of captivity… I don not like baby steps:(

REST OF PICS AT BOTTOM OF POST…had trouble with them???:)

I researched

gathered my supplies

“sniffed”  lots of essential oils

and got to grating….those soap flakes were just beautiful to look at.  I had to warn the family that it wasn’t cheese…not kidding!:)

Almond-Orange Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile soap – grated with a regular ol cheese grater

1 Cup Arm & Hammer washing Soda

½ Cup Borax

Lots of drops orange essential oil


5 gallon bucket ( I used my Kirkland’s bucket )

**I shared some links at the bottom with videos and how to’s.  These are what I used.  I thought it silly to video what many already have.

I just washed and dried my first load today!  It works wonderfully.  The clothes smelled nice and clean.  I did use about 3/4 of my scoop instead of 1/2.

I will use 1/2 scoop tomorrow.  I wasn’t thinking when I did it today.

You could mix your own creation



and so on.  There are lots of essential oils.  PLUS – Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap has 7 different scents of soap @ least at our Nature’s Pantry.

Here are some links and videos for further information:)  See below.

@ How to make you own Laundry Soap

@ The Simple Dollar { very good video and pictures }

@ 19 Kids & Counting { lots of other recipes too )

What do you do now?  Go make soap:)  brings back memories of Ma & Pa…lol!

30 Day Challenge

Day One – not over with yet…how are you girls doing?  I am doing OK.  I am not asleep yet  so until then…I’m white knuckling.  I ate all of my stash of chocolate chips before today.  I would have been tempted;)    Instead, I’m having a grapefruit with Truvia for my dessert before going to bed.  Trying to keep my mind off of sweets…blogging instead:)

Let me know how your day went tomorrow.  Either email or leave a comment on today’s post.  Praying for each of you.

Here is our quote for the day

It is worth all of the sacrifices that you are making right now.  You are doing the best you can, and you are doing such amazing things.

the Brave Girls Club