Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Storing Cheese

Soft cheese (brie, cheddar) in  waxed or parchment paper.

Store cheese in the produce drawer, which is usually slightly warmer than the rest of the refrigerator.

53 degrees is ideal.

If the cheese you’re storing becomes moldy, it’s often fine to just scrape or cut off the mold and re-wrap the cheese in fresh paper or plastic.

If a hard cheese has a white film on it or if the cheese is rock hard, it’s too dried out. Try scraping away the white film, as there might still be good cheese underneath.
If a soft cheese has a cracked or bulging rind, it just might be past its prime. Use your nose as a guide. If the cheese has an ammonia-like aroma that makes your nose hairs tingle, it probably won’t taste good.
If you have a lot of little bits of cheese in your fridge that are almost too old, then consider making fromage fort. It is a traditional French cheese spread made from several types of cheese, white wine and seasonings.
 Even with hard cheeses, the surface sitting next to the plastic will taste like plastic (to someone with a sensitive palate, at least), because the cheese absorbs the chemical aroma and flavor off-gassing from the plastic.

Any cheese with a natural rind, a bloomy rind, a washed rind, and most blues will get icky being in plastic for too long. Goat cheeses, especially those chevres with the crinkly rind, get absolutely disgusting when wrapped in plastic. Fresh goat cheeses get yucky, too. 

(Cheese needs humidity.)

Here's how I store my cheese in the refrigerator:

1. If it arrived in French cheese paper, I leave it in the French cheese paper.
2. If it arrived in butcher paper over wax paper, I might throw it into a plastic bag, and fold it over loosely. Don't seal the bag or wrap it tightly; you want to approximate the effects of the French cheese paper.
3. If it arrived in plastic, I wrap it in a layer of wax paper or parchment paper and do the plastic bag thing as stated above.
4. Blue cheese can be wrapped in aluminum foil

Sewing an Elastic Skirt

Tutorial: Easy DIY Elastic Waist A-Line Skirt w/ Pockets

Had to post from this amazing fashion blog. :)  Geared to petites.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Birthday Cake {with my shorthand}


Ingredients (two 9-inch cake pans)

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup high quality cacao powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 9 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (butter or ghee), melted (more for greasing pans)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee (or water)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • parchment paper for lining cake pans

for two 5-inch cake pans

  • Combine:
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup high quality cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Whisk 6 eggs
  •  Add:  
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (butter or ghee), melted (more for greasing pans)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Grease cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on high speed for about one full minute so that the batter is fluffy.
  4. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. It will be thick. (Spread it out evenly in the pan)
36 minis and 8 regular.
cooked them about 15-18 minutes for the minis a little longer for the regular.

9in Recipe and it made a full 24 cupcakes, and baked for about 22min.

My version:
Substitute butter for coconut oil
water not coffee
5 in. recipe made 14 cupcakes.  Was a hit! :)

Birthday 2015

Used a 10 in Spring form pan and about a 7 inch steel pot for a two layer cake, plus an 8x13 pan.
The doubled version of the above 9 in pans recipe:

  • 2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2  cup high quality cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt

  •  Add these all, then mix:
    • Whisk in 18 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cup coconut oil/butter, melted
    • 2 1/4  cup honey /maple syrup
    • 1 1/2  cup water/coffee/milk (prefer milk)
    • 3 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Breakfast, 18 serv.
Line two 9x13 in. pans.

Place oil in oven at 300 degrees F. 
  • 2 cup coconut flour
  • 1  cup high quality cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt

 Add these all, then mix:
  • Whisk in 18 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut oil/butter, melted
  • 1  cup honey /maple syrup
  • 1 1/2  cup water/coffee/milk (prefer milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Bake 30-35 min. depending on type of pan (size/material:metal, glass, etc)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Astrid's First Birthday

Ideas for First Birthday - Just thinking of things she would enjoy!

Play piano
Candle and Have cake
Play with ball
Go to playground
Find a Grassy field
Let her pick her birthday dress!

 And we would enjoy pictures and a one minute movie to start her birthday movie collection!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Random Amazing Tips

I'm going to just collect my tips here over time.... More to come!

For food storage:

Store all fermented foods upside down in their container.  They'll keep for longer.

Clothes Storage:

Label children's clothes by age and season, i.e. Girl 5y W for 5 years, Winter.  Or B12mS for Boy 12 month Summer.  Maybe have neutral too, for stuff that is good for boy or girl... NNbW = Neutral Newborn Winter.


Flower Arrangements: Add sugar to water.  Not a penny - that smelled horrible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Growth of Homeschooling

Check out this VERY COOL study on homeschooling presented as an eye catching graphic chart!!!

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

8th Grade Exam from 1895 — Did you pass?

Too fun! 

Eighth Grade Exam from 1895 — Did you pass?

J.R. Miller: A Time to Laugh

A Time to Laugh

by J.R. Miller.  Reposted from

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast! Proverbs 15:15
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. Ecclesiastes 3:12
There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4

There is no inconsistency between holiness and laughter. It is no sin to smile. Indeed, a somber religion is unnatural. Gloom is morbidness. Our lives should be sunny and songful. Christ’s religion is joyous, even amid sorrows. We hear songs in the night.
There is a flower which is most fragrant after the sun has set and in the darkness pours its richest aroma on the air. Just so, true religion grows in sweetness as the shadows deepen. He misrepresents Christianity and the likeness of the Master whose piety is cold, dreary, cheerless, joyless, or who frowns upon innocent gladness and pure pleasures.
Sanctified wit has a blessed mission. Life is so hard, so stern, with so many burdens and struggles that there is need for all the bright words we can speak. The most wretched people in the world are those who go about in sackcloth, carrying all their griefs in their faces and casting dark shadows everywhere. Every Christian should be a happiness-maker. We need a thousand times more joy in our lives than most of us get. We would be better men and women if we were happier.

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Above Rubies and Trim Healthy Mama

A force to be dealt with :


Most notable as  I perused were the suggestions on supplements.  I'll get a hold of it soon...

I just subscribed to AboveRubies magazine. This kind of very relevant reading is addictive and my favorite nighttime wind down.  And anything to help draw me to sleep earlier at night is good!!  Next I'll re-read So Much More and  my past issues of Hopechest and No Great Joy, then re-subscribe.

Best Edifiying Youtube Channels

This has been nothing short of awesome.  I have discovered a ton of lectures and radio broadcasts of high calibre through these channels.  Great listening during menial tasks.

Biola University
The Point Blog
Acton Institute
Desiring God

I'd love any further suggestions!

Just a Little Logic Resource

Woohoo, thinking about this a little early!  But I needed a refresher too.  "And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers..."  Acts 15:7 
Acts 17:2 (ESV) - " And Paul went in, as was his custom, and ... And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures..."
  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD..." Is. 1:18    

Monday, August 19, 2013

Same Dress: 14 Years Old and 3 Kids Later

Whoa. - Love her blog, by the way!

Before I had Astrid, no one told me that usually a woman's body naturally returns to its pre-pregnancy state.  I thought my bone structure would change, and I would have to get new pants, skirts, etc.  What a relief that didn't happen!  Do you know how much money it saves me that I've been wearing some of the same outfits for the last 8-ish years??  Here's hoping I'm looking this good after 3 kids!

And husbands would probably love to know this little fact about childbearing to warm them up to the idea. ;)

Love her blog, by the way!

House Humidity

Finally looked this up! I've been wondering what days allow us to open the windows. 
  1. Normal House Humidity

    • Normal house humidity is between 30 and 50 percent. Lower and higher levels can cause various problems.

    Dry Houses

    • Humidity tends to fall below 30 percent in very dry climates, and in houses where a furnace or wood stove runs a lot during the winter. A portable or whole-house humidifier keeps humidity in the normal range.

    Low Humidity Problems

    • Houses that are too dry can cause people to have dry throats and noses, resulting in respiratory problems. Low humidity also causes dry skin. Wood can shrink, resulting in loose furniture joints. Additionally, you'll notice static electricity in clothing and carpeting giving you small shocks.

    Humid Houses

    • Humidity rises over 50 percent in humid climates, especially during warm temperatures. Central air conditioning is the best solution, but room air conditioners and dehumidifiers also can help.

    High Humidity Problems [being from Florida, I knew these well!]

    • High levels of humidity in a house can result in mold and mildew, problems with dust mites causing allergic reactions, infestation by other bugs, flaking paint and peeling wallpaper.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hairstyles for Women with Big Noses

Hairstyles for Women with Big Noses

No short hair. And, I tried this, and, no, no this:

 It was a great do, just not for me, at least not without bangs!
So here are some photos of celebs with larger noses. - This is my nose.

Tips Even Expert Thrifters Don't Know

What is an expert thrifter anyway? Haha...  Well, I'm probably pretty close.

So, here are tips I have never heard from years of thrifting for clothes:

Try on small men's sweaters for yourself, especially when made of natural fiber.

Get costume jewelry and see if it's the type that online fashionistas recommend putting clear nail polish and store in a bag with dehudifying packets to protect it.

Wear close fitting clothes to try things on over. It's not always clean in thrift stores.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stay at Home Wife and Mom Wardrobe Tips
Check out my recent post on fashion and wardrobe lessons.  I feel like I've been doing a crash course in finishing school.  It's been refreshing!  Above, these photos all have elements of a great stay at home wife wardrobe, though some have elements to avoid (like short pencil skirts).  What you do when looking at outfits is get inspiration from what is good (the colors, patterns, layering, maybe imagine the pencil as maxi). 

General Attitude and Guides:

 Organizing - making online/computer virtual closet, maximizing -

Choosing Shoes:

Obviously, heels will crush little fingers and cause (worse) trips.

Patent, suede and cloth covered shoes take wear better than man- made leather.  Genuine leather has to be maintained. Save leather for occasional and rainy day use.

Choosing Colors:

Success Stories!!

One lady says, "This French stay-at-home mom wears exactly what she would on days that she goes out! I find that I get more accomplished and am in a better mood all day if I still dress nice, do my hair, my make-up and even click-clack around the house in heels. Heck I even repaired my washing machine in heels! Lol. Feeling good about yourself is all that matters. Who cares if no one sees how fabulous you look that day, you KNOW you look fabulous and that's all that matters! :-)"

Lessons in Wearing Your Wardrobe

... finding beauty, comfort, fit, and appropriateness.  Let the search begin!
(I will post tips especially applicable for housewives in a post soon)

DIY EASY Grecian dress

Best tips:

    DIY Alterations
  • DON'T SHOP AT ALL:  Maximizing Wardrobe: Mix and Match
What? You can put a shirt over a dress and have a skirt (Watch here)?!?!?!???  You can make a skirt, dress, or shirt out of a scarf????

Yes, ladies...Makeover your wardrobe, without shopping!

Less clothes, more style. Ha! Love it.

Don't believe it!?   Watch:

Another example: Slimming shorter dress, shirt over, one example

  • Keep those old pants, skirt, old dress that fits like a glove!
Why?   "Creating a "pattern" for the armholes and sleeves was unfortunately not easy. It took about 3 attempts to get right (with numerous photos from the side and back to identify fit issues). The ideal way to make good patterns is to cut apart a top that already fits well and to trace the pieces, but who has nice-fitting tops just lying around for dissecting?"   [LIGHTBULB!!!]

  • Pants:
 "Out of all my pants that have gone through alterations (~7 pairs?), only 1 pair came out fitting perfectly.
  Pants that fit my body type (or most body types, for that matter) well are incredibly hard to find.  "(BUY more that ONE WHEN YOU FIND THE FIT!)
-pants can be very lengthening on petite women (especially boot-cut trousers with heels that hit right above the ground),

  • Alterations:
See pants.

Skirts with Side seams and no side zipper are easiest to alter...less risky.

Shrink wool by dryer.  "During the drying process, I stopped the machine and checked every 10 minutes, to make sure these didn't over-shrink."

  • Shoes:

  • Overall style inspiration sites:

10 Easy steps to re-inspire your style  : First Just Go Through Your Closet!

Lookbooks/Outfits :

My own wardrobe policies:

Narrow belts, generally, because they elongate... more graceful.

White/light tops are for bottom layers ONLY - life is too messy, except on dates - then the layer can come off... like a wearing an apron all day. haha!

Darks and patterns preferred.
Try on before buying, unless it's a garage sale find.
I only buy what I LOVE.  (There's plenty back at home that has lost its glow to me because it's just old.)
No long sleeves - get dirty, frayed and wet.

Higher neck lines - kids pull them down.
Layer !!!  To keep temperature right, cover stains, and just to spruce upmaximize wardrobe.

Pants are best for mom life -skirts  with lots of fabric can work (long only, full or flowy, maxi, gored, pleated, etc.) but they snag, get pulled off (!), fly in the wind, (and you have no hands!), and get more dirty.  'Nuf said. This from a girl who tried religiously wearing only skirts for years.  It can work, but it is work, and I've got enough of that right now when it comes to getting dressed!  Shorts to the knee, well fitting, not baggy - more graceful.

Leggings with tunics are great.

Love bias cut!

Patent, suede and cloth covered shoes take wear better than manmade leather.  Genuine leather has to be maintained. Save leather for occasional and rainy day use.

Apart from the musts, here are the wants:

  • More basic and classic for more possibilities
  • Feminine, but not a cupcake
  • Old fashioned, but not prairie muffin (in fact, nothing food-like )
  •  Choose 2 or 3 of the dark neutrals to major in; mine are deep hunter/forest green, dark brown, and black.
  • I believe in the 7 year wardrobe rule. Invest in nice things to wear for 7 years.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cheap Made in China Dresses ;)

Cute, huh?

An Organized Yuletide!

Christmas is on my mind all year long... but especially in the summer months, as I'm thinking of gifts to make and buy. 

Here are some tips I've run into online:

Organizing Tips for Young Children

Organizing Tips for Young Children:

Organizing Photos and Keepsakes

Notes from

Portraits: Have a Set "Schedule" for Each Child

Create a Wedding Album with One Page for Each Wedding You Attend

Create a Christmas Album: A Perfect Gift for Newlyweds or New Parents, too!

Keep Birth Announcements You Receive in an Album or Folder

Instead of filling one DVD with anything and everything and then moving to the next DVD, I have about 15 DVD's going.  Each child has her own Birthday DVD--she also has her own Special Events DVD (sports, school programs, etc.).  As a family, we have separate DVD's for all the holidays--Christmas, Halloween, Easter... and then we have a DVD for "piano recitals" or anything the kids do together.  This works to keep the footage separate.

Here's an example:  on one daughter's birthday, I will film a short "interview" with her (I would rather hear what she has to say at age 3 than see her blowing out candles), and I only allow myself 5 minutes at the most.  (Down the road, watching 20 minutes will get boring; 5 minutes or less is perfect to give you a glimpse of that moment in time!)  After the interview, we say, "See you next year!" and I stop taping and put that DVD away until the following year.

Portraits: Have a Set "Schedule" for Each Child

Collect Family Recipes and Photos and Make a Family Cookbook Online: Everyone Can Order a Copy!

Only Print Individual Photos for Framing

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick Italian Turkey Sausage
This works for pizza, but it can dry out.  I use it for breakfast sausage and burgers.  Sometimes to season greens.

2 t. fennel
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 lb. turkey

Mix, and cook. Haha....

Print Out a Meds Chart