Tag Archives: simple

New Year’s Eve Sleepover

My sweet girl wanted to ring in the new year with her friends so we decided to make it a sleepover. This was a last minute decision, but it turned out successfully.

She and I love to entertain and go all out for parties: birthdays, the Super Bowl, Valentine’s, Flag Day. Any reason, really, to have people over and decorate.

We attended a company luncheon at my husband’s office so we were running short on time. We stopped at Hobby Lobby, decided on a color scheme and bought just a few items: curling ribbon, plates, napkins, and two sheets of matching glitter paper.

If money were no object, I could easily go overboard for every function. Thank the Holy Spirit for keeping me in check!

My sweet girl and my hubby (her sweet daddy) helped her decorate the table and the little tree in our dining room.  I’m so glad he willingly helps with a joyful heart whenever I ask.  I need to work on that trait.  (My sweet boy was waiting for dad to take him to his first New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house.  We have spent almost every New Year’s Eve together as a family since they were born.)

Don’t you like how my decorations match our ribbon and plates?!  I did that on purpose.  I’ve really been working on this “use what you have” decorating this Christmas since finances have been extremely limited.  I was excited to remember I had these light blue and silver ornaments.  And those chargers were a great deal at Michael’s on December 1st. They were 99 cents each! I’ve wanted chargers for years now.

On the way home, I decided to surprise my sweet girl and let her make cupcakes.  We love cupcakes and they are the perfect, easy “cake” to have at a party.  We found blue food coloring and pearlescent silver candies among our cake decorating supplies.  I made these cake toppers with my stamping supplies.  I thought the stamp reading “the best is yet to be” was perfect for friends ringing in the new year.

The last item I was determined to make was a big 2013 with the glitter paper.  After searching for number templates online, figuring out how to create and print a mirror image in Word, tracing, cutting and taping–two hours later–success!  I took several photos, but this one with natural light from this morning is my favorite.  (Plus, you can’t see the tape as easily.)

The girls had fun…ate lots of sugar, talked, laughed, watched movies, stayed up late, woke up early, got all decked out in their blinged-out jeans and went shopping.  So far…a great start to the new year!

Thank you, God, for the creative gifts you’ve given me that allow me to save my husband’s hard-earned money and create an event others enjoy.

Here’s to you in 2013!  Wishing you many blessings!!

Mel

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January 1, 2013 · 10:54 am

How to Make Butter

A friend of mine, who is a crazy ingredient label-reader like me, recently told me she made butter.  I was immediately intrigued by this because I’ve been using real butter almost everyday for several years now. 

I used to only use it for baking (there really is no substitute).  But when I began learning more about what is in our so-called “healthy” margarine, I switched my family to real, unsalted butter completely.  I used a vegan margarine a few times that was pretty healthy, but now I only purchase butter. 

I usually keep one stick in a covered container so it’s soft for toast, etc.  It will not mold as long as you keep it at the same temperature.  Do not go between fridge and room temperature or it will mold.  It will also go bad if you don’t use it often enough.

I usually have one or two pounds of butter on hand.  So we go through it too fast to waste any.  My mother-in-law, who I truly adore, had some go bad and it smelled like strong blue cheese.  Don’t get me wrong; I like blue cheese.  Just not blue-cheese smelling butter.

This morning, I was being a bad girl playing hooky from church.  Tsk, tsk, tsk…(head shaking).  So, I thought I’d do something domestic.  My hubby got it started for me, but I finished it.

Below are the after photos.  I didn’t want to stop too long to take pictures since this was my first time.  I was unsure what would happen.  I will, however, make some more butter soon and be sure to take photos of each step.

What you will need:
•Any amount of heavy whipping cream (I use organic, but you don’t have to.)
•A blender bottle (remove the metal ball) or jar with a lid
•Sea Salt (this is optional)

Pour the cream into your bottle or jar.  Be sure the lid is on tight so there is no leaking. 

Start shaking and keep shaking.  Then shake some more.  Shake it to the left. Shake it to the right.  Come on, baby, you know what I like.…  I’m sorry, I got carried away.

Your arms will get a workout.  This might be how the Shake Weight came about. 

I checked it a few times to see how it was coming along.  It will turn into whipped cream first.  Keep shaking. 

Then it starts to look curdled.  It won’t be long now.  Keep shaking.

All of a sudden, you’ll feel and hear a difference.  Open it up.  You should see the solid part (butter) and the white liquid (buttermilk) separated. 

Pour off the buttermilk into a container.  You can save this for making pancakes or biscuits or cornbread…. 

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Use a spoon or spatula to sqeeze out as much of the remaining buttermilk as you can.  I continually worked at kneading the butter and pouring off the liquid.  This will help it last longer, though that’s just a few days or a week in our house.

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At this point, you can mix in some sea salt if you so desire.  Season it to taste, but err on the side of less is more.  If you plan on using it for baking, do not add salt.  This will make your baked goods too salty. 

Put your butter in a container with a lid.  If you want it to stay soft, store it in your pantry or cabinet. 

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Unless you have one of those cool butter dishes where you put your butter in the lid then store it in a crock filled with water.  Those things are neat.  And very French.  I like French things.

Enjoy your fresh made butter and impress your family and friends!

Note:  You can visit this blog, Food Renegade, to learn how to make butter using a blender or food processor.  I just found this blog today and already enjoy its content.  Plus, I love the name.

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