Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sticky Note Holder at a "no sticky" price

Oh so cute, notepad!

I love this notepad idea.  It took me only 8 minutes to put it together.  I already had all of the necessities on hand in my scrap supply.  It's pretty self explanatory.  But, all you need is  one acrylic frame (dollar store), paper, ribbon, a post-it pad, scissors, and glue.  

This would make an awesome little "thinking of you" gift for a friend, secret sister, teacher, hostess, coach, mail carrier, etc.  

Have fun!  

Craft Storage Hiding in Full View...TV Armoire Redo

My Armoire Redo

What do you do when you've outgrown the humongous television armoire?  Mine is part of a beautiful bookcase/entertainment center and our new flatscreen wasn't going to be housed inside of the armoire.  

What would you do?

Well, I thought about it for quite some time.  At the same time, I was groaning within myself that I was without my much coveted "craft room" that I had in my former home.

So, I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman, who I am sure was a crafter.  And, I am sure she would know what to do with that piece of furniture.  

Then, it hit me!  Bammo!

"Self!", I said..."I will make it into a craft armoire," said I.  

So, off to the dollar store I went.  Most of the items I had on hand but a few things I purchased such as the little shower hangers that I have put on the doors to hold taperunners, scissors, etc.  I purchased the bulletin board at Staples (for $3) and placed that over the giant hole that was in the back for the wires.  The photo is pretty self explanatory.  But, with a little thinking outside of the box, oh what a wonderful new thing I have.

Bling!  I am soooo smiling right now!  

So, try it out yourself.  And, next time you are thrifting, you might just look at that old television armoire in a whole new light.  

Happy DIY!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Determine a Carnegie Unit?

This does not have to be a perplexing problem for homeschoolers.

A "Carnegie Unit" is a measure of credit assigned to a certain level and amount of high school work completed. The word is interchangeable with "Credit".

One credit is typically given for a full year course.  A 1/2 credit is typically given per semester. However, it is the amount of material that generally determines this in government schools.  If you complete the work sooner, you get the credit!

If you are creating your own curriculum, you must log the hours of study.  Usually, one full credit is given for yearly hours accumulating 120 - 180 hours of work.  Typical for electives is 120-149 hours.  Typical for college prep courses (such as math, english, science) is 150 hours per year and up.  Also, science classes with LABS should approach the 180 hour mark.  Its always better to do a little more, than not enough.

This is intended as a general help for you.  As always, please check with your state to find your requirements.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Power up < Clean up clutter hotspots: Workstation -

Power up < Clean up clutter hotspots: Workstation -

I absolutely love this idea of making a cute power station box. I may make one for my power strip and computer as well : )

A shoe box with some brads from Michaels should work as well! Now, that's thrifty!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Triple Decker Mega Fudge

Too many calories to count, but oooooh so worth it : )

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cans (14 oz. each) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups white chips
1/2 tsp almond extract
green food coloring gel
1/4 cup chopped, toasted unsalted pistachios (unshelled)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon extract (if you can find it)
red food coloring gel

Line 2 9x5 loaf pans with foil.  In a pot, combine semisweet chips and 1 can of milk.  Cook on low heat, stirring until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Divide between pans and smooth.

In CLEAN pot, combine white chips and other can of milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth.  Stir in remaining vanilla.  Remove from heat.  Spread one cup each of mixture evenly into each pan.

Transfer remaining white mixture to a bowl and stir in almond extract, TINY amount of green food coloring, and pistachios.  Drop by spoonfulls over white layer in 1 pan.  Make little tiny green dots of food coloring on the surface and use knife to swirl the dots through the green and white fudges.

Stir cinnamon extract and tiny amount of red food coloring into remaining white mixture in pot.  Drop by spoonfuls over white layer in remaining pan.  Using toothpick, make your food coloring dots and swirl them.

Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What was it like to be a guest at Cornelius' house?

What was it like to be a guest at Cornelius' house?

In my daily Bible reading, I couldn't help but a get a chuckle that I know God inserted just for me. (I do believe God has a sense of humour...holy humour). I was in the book of Acts and came across Acts 10:1..There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band..." I cant help but notice that every time I read this verse, I thank God for reaching... out to non Jews and specifically noting he was Italian. Then my overactive imagination takes over and I picture the scene as if I am there.
First, I can hear it. I know that an Italian household is anything but dull and boring. I can hear the joyful sounds as I approach the door. The excitement is buzzing that the special man of God is coming to be a guest....Peter is on his way! Everyone is readying the house.
Cornelius tells his children, " Now kids, remember, when dad tells you to settle down, you best settle down...don't you make one peep or you'll be peeping quite a bit when he leaves. Capish?"
At the doorstep, my nose begins to be tantalized by the scents of culinary bliss. The spaghetti sauce is cooking on the stove, fresh Italian bread (with sesame seeds of course) baking in the oven....a little cheese, and fresh fruit ....homemade grape juice to wet the beak...... Cornelius puts on quite the spread and invites all the neighbors.

Then, after dinner, we all settle down for adult time over dessert. Peter gets down to the business to which he was summoned and pulls no punches. He gets right to the point. Everyone rejoices at learning of this Saviour and they all have cannolis for dessert.

Whoever says Christians have no fun, has not been doing it correctly : )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dat's A Boooootiful Chinnecker!

I was putting the finishing touches on my outfit for an evening out with my husband.  To date, I do not remember where we went, what it was for, or what the evening was about.  What God does bring to my recollection as clear as crystal is something my son said.  Thank the Lord I stopped to listen to what he had to say.  It still brings a smile to my face years later. 

Steve was about 2 years old and a major chatterbox.  Today, he is a grown up guy, and still quite the chatterbox.  He always had a crazy way of expressing himself...and I always knew what he was talking about.

Well, he came into my room and was standing beside me as I was putting on my perfume.  His brown eyes were watching me quite intently.  I could tell he had a question and was wondering as to why those wheels in his little head were spinning.

"Mom?" he asked. 

"Yes, Stephen?"

"Mom, dat's a.....dat's a....."  as he was motioning a line around the base of his neck......

'What Stephen?  What's a....?." I asked.

He was looking so perplexed but kept motioning around his neck like he was drawing something.

"Dat's a, ....dat's a....."  He still wasn't finding the word in his little mental vocabulary. 

Then, the lights went on!  His eyes grew large and his pointer finger went up for the big statement.  The moment arrived.....

"Dat's a booooooootiful chinnecker!"  He said with a big smile.

I started to laugh inside....and it was bubbling over to the outside.

"Yes, it is a booooootiful chinnecker!"  I exclaimed. 

I never quite looked at my necklace the same.


To this day, when we see a lovely necklace, Steve will say..."Mom....that's a booooootiful chinnecker!"

Lovely Homestead Peppermint Foaming Handsoap

I love the smell of peppermint, dont you?  Actually, I love the scent of mint, period.  If someone made a "hint of mint" perfume, I would be one happy lady....JOY! is recipe I came across online for homemade Peppermint Foaming Handsoap.  Some people are super crafty, and have figured out how to make a foaming dispenser with a canning jar.  I'm not so brilliant.  So, I saved a foaming dispenser I already had.  I just refill mine with this recipe.


  • 1/4 parts peppermint scented castille soap  
  • 3/4 parts distilled water
  • a few (2-3) drops peppermint essential oil
  • a foaming soap dispenser
Mix soap and water. Drop in and mix in oils. Pour into a foaming soap dispenser. You're done!

Pistachio Layer Bars


Pistachio Raspberry Gem Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, or cherry


1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and salt. Continue beating until well mixed.

Divide dough in half; press half into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix chopped pistachios into remaining dough until well combined.

Spread jam over hot, partially baked crust to within 1/2 inch of edge. Sprinkle remaining dough mixture over jam. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar and enough milk in small bowl for desired consistency. Drizzle over bars. MUCHO YUMBO!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Keep it Together - Homeschool Organization Binder

Life is busy.  Life is busier with homeschooling as part of it!  I would say, I am busier now as I homeschool two children, than I was when I was a public official. 

Many ladies I interact with ask me the same question, "How do you stay so organized?"  My answer is always, prioritize and organize.

If an event is not necessary, I dont participate or obligate my family.  I have a set schedule we follow for school.  I write out my lesson plans every Sunday afternoon and adjust accordingly.  And, I always make room for downtime. 

I keep a large (3")  3 ring binder for each of my children. I keep it annually.  The first section is where my weekly lesson plans appear.  They are followed by my weekly assignment sheets that I complete and give to my children so they know what is expected of them.  I then keep this and file it back into my binder as documentation of what was completed. 

I then keep a High School Course of Study Plan where I document the classes we are completing.  Here I have Course Summaries with listings of curriculum used.  (I copy the summaries of the books or Scope and Sequence).

Next follows a Field Trip Log, List of Books Read, Lists of Volunteer Service, Lists of Special Awards and Commendations, and Copies of all extracurricular receipts from sports teams. etc.  I also file team schedules, etc.  In the case of my son, I keep letters and reviews from his baseball coaches. 

The next session is Grading.  I keep a separate grade log sheet for each course of study.  Here I list all quizzes, unit tests, exams, and project according to the class.  I also file any year end testing scores such as from the IOWAS, PSAT, etc. 

I keep a Where and How List that I made just in the event my husband needs to fill in.  I cant imagine how he would know where everything was and what was expected.  So, it lists where everything is kept and what needs to be done in case I am hospitalized, God forbid. 

Finally, I keep a miscellaneous area where I follow immunization records, letters from the school district, etc.

Let me mention, in the front pocket I keep paper reinforcements, grading markers, highlighters, and membership information to museums, HSLDA, co-ops, etc.  And, I cannot forget the stickers - my children still want stickers on their paper for good work : )  Some things never change. 

This enables me to keep everything handy and in one place.  The binder acts as a Command Center for each child and doubles as a portfolio as they enter the college preparatory years. 

Most forms I found online at sites such as and  If I could not find what I needed online, I would create it myself. 

I hope this helps you in your homeschool years.