Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Link Roundup - Cousin Chaos Edition

We're currently at my parents' house where Goose is enjoying the pandemonium that is her four cousins aged 11-3. Good times are being had by all, I assure you.

Lots of links today! I suspect I'm double posting some of these, and I apologize. I've been trying to search my blog to see what's been posted and what hasn't, and it's starting to make me crazy, plus I'll never get this posted otherwise. So please accept my apologies if (when) I mess up!

So easy, it's hardly a "make" - Straws, Beads, and Pipe Cleaner Stars from Chasing Cheerios.

No Time For Flash Cards explains how to make your own Lacing Cards in different shapes - the best part for me was the tip to tie your yarn on one corner of the card. Brilliant!

I tried these Velcro Blocks for one of my nieces as a Christmas gift, and it didn't work so well for us. For one, my velcro wasn't as wide as the blocks, it was difficult to glue on (well, to stay glued on) and yes, it takes FOREVER to cut and glue velcro. But, feel free to check it out. :>) (@ Chasing Cheerios)

This DIY Wine Bottle Light from Wit and Whistle is so pretty!

Since the necklaces for my sisters-in-law didn't work out (neither of the TWO designs, sigh), I went with Beaded Wine Charms as seen at DJAjewels.

The tutorial for how to make a Potluck Dish Cozy From an Old Sweater at Craftzine looks so easy that even I could do it...

"Sweet" is about the only way I can describe this Pillowcase to Doll Blanket Tutorial at MADE.

Also at MADE, but considerably more time-consuming than the above, is this Faux Chenille Blanket Tutorial.

Not sure why I am such a big sucker for stuff like this Framed Fabric Monogram (this one at Somewhat Simple), but I guess as long as they keep catching my eye, I'll keep linking to them.

I've long been looking for a homemade wedding gift, and I may have found a go-to one in these Homemade Photo Flip Books complete with 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband, at Better Life Bags.

This Recycled Cardboard Kitty Pad at Design*Sponge makes me a bit nostalgic for my nephew-kitty who used to use one.

I might have to get my crochet hook out to make this Kitten Toy from Craftbits.

Admittedly I'm not much of a cake baker, but I like the idea of baking a cake from scratch. This Cinnamon Vanilla Cake at Catholic Cuisine sounds great, though I'm not too sure about the Mexican Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - to each her own, though!

Easy and it sounds delicious - Honey Trail Mix at Catholic Cuisine.

I freely admit that pie crusts scare me, but Sarah at heartland Renaissance (which I never spell correctly on the first try) makes Perfect Pastry seem easy.

A very fun idea for next year's St. Nicholas day - Golden Santa Bread from Taste of Home. You can change up the Santa hat to a Bishop's miter, of course.

I can personally attest that this Cauliflower Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon from The Life and Times of the 21st Century Housewife is SUPER YUMMY! Though I'd cut back a bit on the onion next time, that didn't stop me from eating it in about two or three sittings.

Even with the fat-and-sugar frenzy of this past week or two, I can't stop looking at these Homemade Doughnuts at Pretty Lil' Posies.

And the opposite end of the sugar spectrum would be this Spinach Soup with Gruyere from The Pioneer Woman.

At this point, all "real food" is sounding good (once I begin to want to eat again, that is), especially this Broccoli Cheese Casserole from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

This Fishers of Men - Celebrating St. Andrew treat at Catholic Cuisine sounds very easy and super FUN!

I never knew the story behind writing S.A.G. on letters to ensure their safe delivery until now - check it out at St. Anthony Guide at Catholicism.org.

See what Katy Says is The Best Abdominal Exercise You're Not Doing. (note to self: start doing it!)

Lots of lovely Vintage Christmas Postcard Printables as found on Flickr.

Another bit of brilliance from Sarah at heartland Renaissance is this tutorial on Canning Stock for the Pantry. What an awesome idea!

Happy clicking, and happy new year, too!

Link Roundup - Happy Anniversary Hubs Edition

[Edit: just realized this never got published. Oops.] Today (um, October 18) is our seventh wedding anniversary. You can read last year's anniversary post here. Just add a year. :>) I feel like I can see the bottom of my links folder! Well, almost... (yeah, it's full again.)

I am extremely enamored with these Erasable Activity Books at From Blank Pages.

My domestic nerdiness is showing through, but I got a huge kick out of these Lame But Awesome Couch Leg Covers. Awesome indeed!

This is a super idea for bleach free Homemade Clorox Wipes, from Live Renewed.

Wish I'd have seen this before getting rid of all my scraps from making applesauce and dried cinnamon apples - How To Make Fruit Scrap Vinegar from The Nourishing Cook.

If cold, dreary fall weather is getting to you, you might consider making an Indoor Leaf Pile a la Frugal Family Fun Blog.

Not sure that I have the cajones yet, but I'm tucking away this recipe for Homemade Raw Cheddar Cheese from GNOWFGLINS.

Yup, still looking for the best recipe, and this one promises to deliver: Best Ever Homemade Pizza at Kelly's Favorite Recipes.

Not sure if this is "Do" or "Don't Eat!" - Kelly the Kitchen Kop wrote a Got Petroleum post highlighting an experiment with how plant growth is affected by food dye and aspartame. Very, very interesting.

No Time For Flash Cards rounded up Halloween Math Activities.

I need to print this off and refer to it - HTML Cheat Sheet For Bloggers from Blogging Your Way.

This method of Homeschool: Reviewing for a Test at kellicrowe is a great idea.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Link Roundup - No Snow Edition

(Written Friday night) Last year, it snowed here the first week of December. Not only did that snow stick around, but we kept getting MORE snow, and it was well into January before I was able to get the frozen-down-and-snow-covered orange blobs off my porch. And we had plenty more snow after that! This year, we've scarcely seen a flake, and we've not yet had any measurable snow. I keep hearing that we're in the area predicted to have a white Christmas, but I'm not seeing it. (Update Saturday) Um, it snowed today. Not really much at all, but the ground is still covered. I doubt it'll hang around until Saturday but it was nice to see.

So, let's let's dig out this snowbank of links. (heh.)

This ought to go under Pray & Ponder, but oh, friends, if you only click through to one link in this roundup, make it this one: Seeing Past What It Seems at Brave Girls Club. I can't even come up with a description to do it justice. Go read.

Very cute and recycling something that would otherwise be tossed, check out these Homemade Christmas Gift Tags at Skip to My Lou.

These Nativity Blocks at Helping Little Hands are adorable, and very small child friendly.

Gluesticks shows us her family's Favorite Nativity Set. I checked out Oriental Trading to see if they still sold it and couldn't find it. I bet it's out there somewhere, though.

Also kid friendly is this Clay Pot Nativity at Kids on the Grand.

There are frequently deals at Money Saving Mom on photo books, which I've pretty much ignored because I am not really into that. However, Saving & Giving has a great post on Five Educational Uses for All Those Photo Book Deals that sound like a lot of fun, especially for little ones.

I've never seen anything like these Discovery Bottles for very little ones, at No Time For Flash Cards. I'm tempted to give it a try with Goose anyway.

This Repurposing Long Sleeved Tee into Ruffled Dress at Make It and Love It is very cute!

Lots of Diaper Sewing Tips over at Sew, Mama, Sew.

I've been obsessively checking back for a tutorial for this amazingly cute Barnyard Bag playset, though thanks to the pictures, I think I might be able to figure it out. (@ The Crafty Cupboard)

Thanks to Christy for directing me to this Pillow Buddy Tutorial at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas, and I'm still snickering over her likening hers to roadkill. (You did a great job, though, Christy!)

It's probably been mentioned here before that I'm a fan of taffy, and this Homemade Molasses Taffy from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker sounds yummy.

Can't say that I've ever even tried Brussels sprouts, but these "Crunchy Creamy Vegetable Balls" at Gluten Free A-Z sound ... well, interesting, anyway.

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Crispy Shoestring Onions - including homemade mushroom gravy! - at Kelly The Kitchen Kop. Because who doesn't love green bean casserole?

Continuing the healthy theme, I know three people in this house that would love Healthy Homemade Poptarts as found at Heavenly Homemakers.

I think this Homemade Apple Cider from gimmie some oven sounds delicious and like something I could do.

Surely it's a coincidence, but I just happen to have some apples in my fridge that would pair perfectly with this Homemade Honey Caramel Apple Dip or Ice Cream Topping at Kelly The Kitchen Kop. Unfortunately the dip would not pair well with my hips...

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm interested in this post on How to Make Cultured Butter and Buttermilk from riddlelove.

Thanks to my friend Sarah at heartland Renaissance for pointing me toward these 3 Tasty Drinks to Warm Kiddos' Bones.

A fun twist on "puppy chow" is Poppy Chow, as seen at The Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog.

Simple but stunning is the way I'd describe these Hole Punch Snowflakes at No Time For Flash Cards.

This post is being typed around my sweet calico that is between me and the keyboard, so it feels especially fitting to include this Pet Hair Cleanup Tips and Tricks post from Tipnut.

I love stuff like these Simple Sick Solutions by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship (though some are in an article on another site, they're worth the extra click) - most or all of them include things you likely already have on hand.

Especially for my sweet cousin with a baby brewin' in her belly, here are 250 Positive Birth Stories from Pregnancy, Birth and Babies. As I neared the end of my pregnancy with Goose, I loved to read birth stories and felt that it really helped me prepare, at least mentally.

At Praying for Grace, Barbara gives us The Million Dollar Answer as to why Catholics get to Jesus through Mary.

Happy clicking!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Link Roundup - Catch Up Edition

Um, so I have some links left over from months ago. It seems kinda weird to be posting them, but let's pretend I just found them, 'k?

How cute are these Loopy Flowers from Happy Together??

I died of cuteness at this Complete Cow Costume at A Jennuine Life. Hoof mittens? Ear tag? Perfect.

Looks like fun but I'm still not brave enough to pull the trigger - How To Make Moon Sand at Couturier Mommy.

Although Hubs does not care for pretty much any of the ingredients of Thousand Island Dressing individually, put them together and he loves the stuff. I don't love the funky stuff in commercial versions, though, and I'd really like to try this recipe from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Everything but the kitchen sink, also known as Applesauce Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins from 16 Balls in the Air.

Cooks Illustrated is a great resource for the best techniques, gadgets, and how to get the best version of a recipe. So I took notice when I found this info on Garlic Tips and Techniques. Especially since cooking with fresh garlic still intimidates me... I like the stuff in the jar.

Along those lines, I like to cook with onion but am not a fan of chopping them so I found this Herb Seasoning Salt from Pink Bites very interesting. (and yummy sounding!)

Just like you shouldn't shop when you're hungry, I really shouldn't write about things like Laura's Healthy Caramel Frosting at Heavenly Homemakers. That post also links to how to make homemade sucanat powdered sugar. Along those lines, Laura's Easy Alfredo Sauce. That handful of Candy Cane Kisses I just put down should help my tummy a little...

Dishrag Diaries tells us how to Make Peanut Butter with lots of tips and explanations.

Fascinating. Are Acorns Edible? Yes, they are!

If a recipe consists primarily of apples, it must be healthy, right? That's how I'm going to try to justify polishing off a huge pile of Apple Nachos at gimmie some oven.

This Fall Leaf Craft from Heart of the Matter is really stunning - even the four year old's is beautiful!

Confession time - I've already used this tip from Family Hacks on How to Retrieve Something From Down the Drain Without a Wrench. Hint - cover the hose of your shop vac with pantyhose. When Goose dumped the items from my vanity in the sink - and turned on the water! - this tip pulled a pair of earrings right up.

Find a bunch of Free Audio Books for Kids at Budget Saving Mom.

Admittedly I haven't clicked around over here, but there are a ton of Household Science - Homemade Tips at Gomestic.

Hubs is a skeptic, I think, but I can't help reading stuff like this bulletin on How to Tap Maple Trees and Make Maple Syrup from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Lots of Sewing Helper: Tips & Resources at Tipnut.

It's been a sickly winter so far at our house, and I've been wondering about taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil as an immune booster. Katie at Kitchen Stewardship tells us that the answer to pretty much all our questions about CLO is "yes". :>) She also follows up with an interview of the owner of the only producer of fermented CLO - which is located not too far from Nettacow-land! However, Food Renegade asks Should You Take Fish Oil?

Paths That Cross at Faith & Family Live is just a bit more proof of Divine Providence, I think.

Hmm, I think that's enough for now. Happy clicking, friends!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Link Roundup - Christmas Tree Edition

Blessed Gaudete Sunday to all - and it is a time to rejoice, for the birth of our Savior is near. Lina at For Where E'er We Go wrote a very thought provoking post, Gaudete, on how Liturgical life and real life do not always match up. I have definitely been praying for the family she wrote about.

Tuck this away for next year if you still need an Advent calendar; this one at Mom Endeavors is a Muffin Tin Advent Calendar.

Or you could make this Magnetic Nativity Advent using stickers at A Little Tipsy - and she even provided the scripture references here.

Since Goose is all about all things candy cane, I think she's love this Easy Christmas Craft at a girl and a glue gun.

Not just because I'm hungry right now, this S'mores In A Jar Gift at MoneySavingMom.com looks really good, easy, and quick.

Save your berry baskets next summer, and next Christmas you could make Glittery Snowflakes as seen at AlphaMom.

This Family Memories Game is going to be my contribution to the cousin gift swap this year (so sisters-in-law, don't click through!). You can see how one family put theirs together here, and there is a pdf cheat sheet here courtesy of Family Fun magazine (an excellent publication, by the way!).

This Grocery List Tear Off Pad is a cool idea for yourself, and a great gift idea, too! (@ Infarrantly Creative)

Very fun gift idea for little people - these On The Go Felt Storyboards at The Felt Mouse.

Tee hee, I've never tried making Homemade Cat Treats from Homemade Mamas.

I think my sister-in-law has already made these Ginger Spice Softies from MADE, hopefully she'll let us know how they turned out.

Hopefully I'll make a milk run this week and can make hubs some of this Eggnog with the cream, as found at Naturally Knocked Up.

Here is a recipe that I bet is very well received - Homemade Irish Cream from Kitchen Stewardship. Especially helpful is the recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk, also included in the post.

I don't care that it's already the third week of Advent, tonight we will sing the song found in the Advent Activities post found at Little Flower Bugs when we light our Advent candles.

We have already tried something similar to this Winter Window Display from Frugal Family Fun Blog and have been enjoying it. There was an unfortunate incident between the cat and one snowflake that resulted in some tears but it was remedied with tape and all is well again. This Pine Forest Playscape from FFFB is super cute, too.

Ooh! I *just* found and fell in love with these Nativity Printables at Activity Village, along with coloring pages and more.

A beautiful, beautiful Advent poem by Lynn Wehner is over at Faith & Family Live - Help Me Say "Yes".

If you feel like you never have enough time, read what Fallible Blogma says you might be missing.

Happy clicking!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Veggie Beer Cheese Soup

This soup is SO GOOD that after downloading this sad photo, I handed the digital camera to Goose and am letting her go to town taking random pictures so I can type the post - I don't want to forget what I put in it! Original recipe can be found here at Allrecipes.com.

Veggie Beer Cheese Soup

2 cups frozen carrots
1-16 oz pkg frozen broccoli & cauliflower
about 2 medium onions
about 1/4 cup butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
12 oz beer
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups of milk (or half & half)
6 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon Seasoned salt
Bacon for garnish

Thaw carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in colander under warm running water. Chop in a food processor in two batches until the pieces are as small as you'd like - mine were pretty teeny. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large-ish soup pot, I think mine is six quarts, over medium heat and add vegetables. Chop onion in food processor and add to veggie mixture. Add more butter if needed.

Cook several minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are getting reasonably soft. Add garlic towards the end of the cooking time. Add broth and beer, simmer ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile, melt 1/3 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in flour [I use a spoon instead of a whisk, but my soup wasn't as smooth as it could have been...] and cook and stir until mixture is light brown, 3-4 minutes. Add milk a bit at a time, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. [I'm admittedly not patient when it comes to this.] Add cheese a handful or two at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Add cheese mixture to vegetable mixture. Stir in spices and sauces. Simmer about ten minutes, then adjust seasoning as necessary. Garnish bowls of soup with bacon.

This yielded about 12 cups, I'd guess. I froze two quart bags and there were another three "grownup" servings plus one for the Goose. Just the thing on a chilly night!

I'm linking up to Made By You Monday - go check out what everybody else is making at Skip to My Lou!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Link Roundup - Advent Edition

We are truly enjoying this season of waiting for baby Jesus's birthday and thankfully not getting too wrapped up in the craziness that sometimes goes along with the holidays. I am almost done with my handmade gifts for the year (no clicking through to that, sisters-in-law!) and am looking forward celebrating the holiday season.

I'm still pretty backlogged on links, but I tried to pull out the Christmas and Advent oriented ones to get them up.

Very cute Spool Advent Calendar Kits at Just Something I Made.

Oooh, this DIY Chest Rub (like Vicks!) sounds wonderful.

I'm loving this M&M Nativity Story and treats as shown at My Computer Is My Canvas.

There aren't specific instructions, but I am totally in love with this Nativity Advent Calendar at barefoot in the kitchen, also seen on Flickr by sahm3.

Another fun idea to consider for next year are these Advent Boxes at I can teach my child.

I am loving the beautiful simplicity of these Christmas Star Ornaments at little dear tracks.

One of my favorite things - Peppermint Bark - and five different ways to make it, at Tipnut.

Ooh this sounds so good... La Tire de Ste. Catherine, a yummy taffy.

Cauldrons and Crockpots has some interesting background information on elderberries.

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship is over at Green Your Way telling us 4 Ways to Knock Out Your Cold With Things You Already Have.

Feel free to tuck this away for next year since I'm a bit behind in posting it, but Jennifer at Conversion Diary has a great post on Baby Steps for Celebrating Advent: 24 Super Simple Ideas.

See what Jessica at Shower of Roses has for Links for Advent Planning from her archives. (Hint - tons of awesome stuff.)

This is not only Do but Don't Do, courtesy of A Slob Comes Clean: Vacuuming the Christmas Tree and Other Dos and Don'ts for Storing Christmas Decorations.

There is a roundup of Christmas Crafts at No Time For Flash Cards. I'm totally eyeing the ice cream cone Christmas trees...

Yes, I know last year I linked to Liturgical Gift Giving at For Where E'er We Go, but I still love it and think it's a super idea.

An old post with a great idea on how to gradually put out your Nativity Set at Just Another Day in Paradise.

Jessica at Shower of Roses linked to a Free Printable Paper Nativity Set and Free Downloadable 3-D Nativity Sets. I also want to make sure and make some St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins next year to put in Goose's shoe. (Let's not kid ourselves - Mama's shoe will be right next to hers!) Finally, you can also see what is in Jessica's Advent and Christmas Book Baskets.

Obviously I have lots more links, but I want to get the Advent ones out there. Happy clicking, and I hope to have another post up before too much longer. :>)