Thursday, July 18, 2013

Before and After Wednesday Feature

Our lovely friend, Kathryn over at The Dedicated House, has featured our DIY Cardigan Sweater Refashion post!  She wrote up such a nice post you should hop over there and read it!  Drop a line in the comment section and thank her, too, while you are there! (wink)

For the full tutorial on how to remake a pullover sweater into a cardigan, see our post HERE.

Lovely photos and step-by step instructions lead you right through the process.  Pretty simple, really.

So stop on by Kathryn's blog, The Dedicated House, and say hi.  Check out her other pretties while you are there.  It will be worth your time!

Thanks, Kathryn!!  :)

Have a super day!

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Winners of the Creative Summer Giveaway!

We have WINNERS!! :)

Congratulations, everybody!

The winners of the Warfare by Duct Tape ebook of your choice are:

Linda Sears (hsmominmo)
Laura Wiley
Reshama Deshmukh
and Katherine!

We will be emailing you ladies about which Duct Tape ebook you would prefer for your prize.

The winners of the three jewelry ebooks are:

Katherine (of Katie's Corner)
Laura Wiley
and Abby (with the email jbsmetalman)!

Congratulations! Your ebooks have been emailed to you with the addresses you provided.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and don't forget to stop by our newly refilled Etsy Shop and check out some of the cute yo-yo earrings, lovely mason jar lamps and old-fashioned kitchen accessory light fixtures!

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sizzling Summer Salsa


One of the best things about summer is fresh veggies from the garden!

Our tomatoes are ripening and it is SALSA time!

Salsa is one of our huge summer favorites.  Here is our recipe for fresh salsa. I wouldn't recommend canning it as it doesn't have the right balance of acidic ingredients to safely can.

This salsa is so good, it will be gone before you know it!!


  • 8 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 or 2 chopped jalapeno pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar


  • Wash your tomatoes in cool water.  You can scald them and remove the skins if you like but we just chop them up and enjoy the whole tomato!
  • Dice up the tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic (if you are using fresh, otherwise substitute equivalent amount) and jalapeno peppers.  Be extra careful handling the jalapeno.  It can "burn" your skin.  I don't touch them at all, just use a knife or fork to hold them down while cutting.  If you do happen to get the jalapeno juice on your skin and it starts to sting, soak your skin in milk.  It works....I know. ;)
  • In a separate bowl, mix the tomato paste, liquids and spices. We use a whisk.
  • Combine the veggies and spice mixture and mix them together well.  The flavors will blend together overnight but it still awesome immediately.

Serve with tasty Refried Beans (check out our recipe for that!) or tortilla chips, or whatever suits your fancy!

Makes a large amount, probably more than a 2 quart side dish can hold.

Happy summer eating!

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Announcing the Re-Opening of our Etsy Shop~Cabin Shabby Chic!

Our Etsy shop is open and ready for business!  Cabin Shabby Chic is where we sell our Mason Jar Lamps and other pretty sundries.

Remember our Mason Jar Lamp Tutorial?

Well, now you can buy the same lamps right here!  It is fun to make them but if you'd rather you can just snap one up from our shop!

We are also selling some very vintage metal pendant lamps, too!

And Mason Jar pendants with zinc lids and oil-rubbed bronze tops!!

So pop on over and see all the beautiful things we have there.

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Simple Sunday Thoughts # 10 ~ Father's Day Every Day!

Happy Father's Day!

While our earthly fathers are precious to us, our Heavenly Father is always there for us, always loving, always caring and forgiving.

May you be blessed by this video!

   Source: Fathers Love Letter                                                                           
So, how about you, will you be His child?

If you have questions on how to become His child, please email us and we will be happy to help you know Him as your Father.


  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Have a Creative Summer - GIVEAWAY from Warfare by Duct Tape & Jewels by Julia!

Summer is here! The kids are done with school and looking for fun stuff to do. You don't want them vegged out in front of the Wii all day, right? How about we challenge their inner artist and creativity with some of these great activities?! :D

Let's start with the girls.

Julia has written three eBooks on the art of crafting homemade jewelry, and shared all her tips and tricks for making lovely quality pieces that wear well and look great!
She tells you what tools to use, where to get your supplies, and lays out projects for making seven different necklaces, seven different earring styles, and five different bracelet techniques in her three eBooks.

EASY-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with tons of PICTURES make creating your own beautiful jewelry a breeze.

Julia sells the eBooks as downloads on her website,, for only $4.95 apiece, but we are GIVING AWAY a copy of EACH three eBooks to three winners! Three of you will win all three of these for yourselves! See the Jewels by Julia rafflecopter entry form at the bottom of this post for more details.

Now for the guys!

Bring history to LIFE with your own historically-based WEAPONS and ARMOR crafted from DUCT TAPE! Oh yeah, this is cool. :D

Our two guys, Mark and Steven, have written a series of eBooks on creating a myriad of awesome gear ranging from swords, shields, helmets, the armored glove, flails, halbergs, throwing axes, battle axes, blowguns, and MORE from easy-to-find materials like PVC pipe and soft PVC pipe insulation, (that's right mom - no worries! These weapons are safe and durable!) craft foam, cardboard, and of course... duct tape.

There are also patterns to follow to make tunics, cloaks, money pouches, and money - for paying up those "ransom demands' should any of the valiant knights be captured. Laid out in the books are the "rules" of the battle game.

Your boys will spend hours having fun while "battling" with their friends and challenging their creative ingenuity - and it's as easy as following along with the step-by-step instructions and photographs, put together by our own boys.

Mark and Steven sell these ebooks as downloads on their website, but we are GIVING AWAY a copy of one book of their choice to TEN winners! You have lots of chances to win! Details are provided in the Warfare by Duct Tape rafflecopter form below. :)

But that's not all! Until the giveaway ends on June 26th, you can use the coupon code "creativesummer" to get 20% off your entire purchase on any of these awesome eBooks! 

And... all the proceeds from our eBook sales for the months of June and August go towards our 2-week family vacation to Virginia, New York, and Maine to visit some close friends and family members. We appreciate your purchase! 

So what are you waiting for? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Simple Sunday Thoughts #9 - Peace

This is a profound scripture.  Life is full of ups and downs.  When you are in the downs, unexpected bills, broken tooth, aches and pains, you name it....the Peace of God can rule, actually govern your life......if you LET it.  

Let us LET God give us peace today. :)

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

$avvy $avings on Rental Cars

stock images courtesy of

We are planning a big trip in August to go several states away, hundreds of miles.  We will need to take extra cargo for our trip.  We have 5 adult sized people in our family and our van is just too small.

SO, we decided to bite the bullet and rent a van, full size with room for 12.  That should about do it with all our stuff in there! :)

I started to search on the internet for rental places and prices.

Let me give you the skinny....if a vacation with a rental vehicle is in your future, make the reservation online AFTER you have searched for online discounts and coupons.  I went with Avis only because they had the size of van that I needed.

 I saved $200 by making the reservation online with a discount.

I know because I made the reservation first by talking to a real person, at the local Avis place, who would not even consider entering any coupons...and no email receipt......and took tons of information about me all except for my shoe size....and then I had to cancel that reservation after I made the better one online.

Also if you need an unusual size like we did, make your reservation early, even months ahead because they book up and you may be out if you wait to reserve. You can cancel up to 48 hours before the trip (check with the company that you choose) if you need to make a change.

Save yourself some time and it online.    :)

Hope you have a great summer!

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Simple Sunday Thoughts #8 Wisdom

God is so good to us. He knows we will need wisdom and He has promised that if we only ask, He will give us the wisdom we need!

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 
 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 
James 1:5-6

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Refried Beans and Hotsie-Totsie Sauce!

We all love a little Mexican flavor now and then, right?! Well get ready for some totally awesome better-than-Taco-Bell-flavor that's headed right for your taste buds! :)

Not only are these two dishes delightful, they're also a frugal meal because you can serve meatless bean burritos with the hotsie-totsie sauce with a sprinkle of cheese, and for much less money than it costs to eat out at a Mexican restaurant. Satisfying, healthy, and SO GOOD! :D This is one dinner that definitely needs to dive into your menu. :)

And just look how simple it is...

Refried Beans


  • 5 1/2 cups (or 2 pounds) dry pinto or black beans
  • about 3-3 1/2 quarts of water, as needed
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons salt, to taste


  • Rinse the beans.  Cook the beans with the water in the crockpot for 8 hours on high.
  • Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.  
  • Mash the beans and add the bean liquid as needed to make a smooth mixture. 
  • Add the spices and stir them in well.
Serve them with tortilla shells, freshly grated cheddar cheese and Hotsie~Totsie Sauce.  Oh, go ahead and have some sour cream if you really have to! ;)

Hotsie~Totsie Sauce


  • 1 ( 15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Place in sauce pan and stir well, simmer at a very low temperature for 15- 20 minutes.
Remove and cool. Store in an air-tight container like a mason jar!
May be kept in refrigerator for several days.

You are getting your spices at a really good price, aren't you?  If you haven't heard, please check out our post on Best Prices for Herbs and Spices.

Enjoy this deliciouso dinner, perfect for your summer evenings when you want a little zesty flavor without breaking the bank. :D

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Prices for Herbs and Spices!

This is a HUGE frugal tip here, folks.  If you love to cook from scratch like we do, you use a lot of spices and herbs.  One awesome way to save money is to buy your herbs and spices in bulk. is just the place. I have ordered from there several times and each time have been completely happy with my purchase.  They have so many items like loose leaf teas, herbs, spices, cocoa powder, essential oils, as well as empty capsules and things like beeswax!

Nothing fancy here, just straightforward great prices.  Their website will not tickle your visual senses! But hey, if I save lots of money, it doesn't have to be pretty!

For example,

Over time, that could add up to a lot of money! sells the spices and herbs in 1 pound packages.  That can be a lot of spice so you may want to go in with a friend or just store them in mason jars like I do.  :)

I make up my own capsules of herbs to take orally by using herbs from  That tutorial is for another post but if you like to use herbs for remedies, this is the source for you.

I also have met people who like to make their own special herb mixes and sell them.  At these prices, that option is very affordable.

But don't just take my word for it, hop on over to and comparison shop for your favorite items.

Happy cooking!

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cool & Creamy Coleslaw

Cool, creamy, fresh, crunchy, sweet, tangy, it's all that and more!  There's something about coleslaw that just speaks SUMMER!!

If you have always wanted to make your own coleslaw from scratch, this recipe is for you.  It's simple to make but awesome to the taste buds.  This coleslaw is literally the best I have ever eaten.  Better than...well, we won't go there!

You can add more veggies or spices but you should try it as it is and then decide if it needs anything. :)


1 head cabbage
1 carrot, grated

1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

(I know!!! That's it! You can do that, right?) :D You won't believe how good it is with just those simple ingredients!


Shred the cabbage in the food processor or cut it coarsely with a knife.  Grate (or shred) the carrot and add to the cabbage in a large bowl.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking together.  Add to the cabbage and carrot and stir until well mixed.  If you pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, the flavors will blend and the sauce seems to increase!  Mix before serving.  

Enjoy this delicious coleslaw with your next barbecue, picnic or gathering.  You'll be so glad you did! 

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Exciting Memorial Day Weekend Sales!!!

Everyone loves a bargain! There are several sales right now going on for the weekend that I just had to tell you about. You never know, you may want to get something new for summer. :)
(These are affiliate links and we do profit from your clicking through and purchase.)  

Hancock Fabrics is having a 5 day sale so hop on over and check it out. 250x250 Memorial Day Weekend Sale - Ends May 27th

Deborah and Co. is having a sale, too.
Everything at our store is 15% off with the code: MEMORIALDAY and there is free shipping within the US on orders of $100.00 or more.  The sale is good from May 24th through May 27th.

And a beautiful dress store, Eshakti, has a great sale!

One of my favorite places...Zenni Optical has free shipping!

This Memorial Day weekend, join Craftsy in honoring the brave men and women who have served in the US Armed Forces. For every class sold this weekend, Craftsywill donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit a veterans' organization. Select classes will be on sale up to 60% off! Have all the classes you want? Consider gifting a class to your favorite service member! 

Happy shopping!

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guilt-free Luscious Chocolate Cake

Chocolate!  There aren't many desserts I love more than something chocolate, especially chocolate cake.  I mean, seriously, almost everyone LOVES chocolate.

When I cut out white sugar and white flour from my diet, the chocolate cake went, too!  But this homemade, from scratch recipe is just the ticket to satisfy that chocolate craving!  It uses honey and whole wheat flour and you would never know it! ( I will tell you that it is a little less sweet than box cake but just as moist and tasty!)


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (you are using your DIY vanilla, right?)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans or one 9x13 inch baking pan.  
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • In the large bowl of your mixer, cream butter (oil), honey and vanilla.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • Gradually add flour mixture alternately with water.  When all ingredients are added, beat for 2 minutes.  
  • Spread into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on pan size, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  
  • Cool in pans for 15 minutes, remove from pans if using the round pans.

Serve with fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries or if sugar is not a problem for you, try this easy and delicious homemade frosting.



  • 1/2 cup shortening (like Crisco) or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla  (you are using your DIY vanilla, right?)


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until well blended and smooth.
  • This amount covers a 9x13 pan. Double the recipe for a two layer cake.
  • Note: 8 cups of confectioner's sugar = one 32 ounce bag.

Now you can have your cake and eat it, too!!

  You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Outwitting The Hotel-room Coffeemaker

{Gloria here!} Coffee! Can't live without it!  But what to do when you are away from home and staying in a hotel for a weekend?

It's really nice that the hotel offers free coffee samples... but there are only two!  I don't know about you but that is not going to last a weekend for me!

Let me share with you my DIY On-The-Go Coffee method. This will work in most hotel coffee makers (but not the kind that use the K-cup). This works for hot tea also!!

Before you leave home, pack a supply of 8-10 cup coffee filters, grab a handful, for as many cups of coffee that you will want.  Stash some coffee (already ground) in a ziploc bag, take plenty!  And bring a spoon if you want to measure out your coffee.  You might want to bring your favorite to-go cup, too!!

Put the coffee in the middle of the filter, enough for a cup of coffee.  Carefully draw up the edges of the filter and give it a twist.  Fold it over so it fits into the machine.  Place it in the basket and slide it in place.  Add the proper amount of water and press start!

In three minutes, a fresh cup of coffee made with your favorite brand of coffee!

Because I wanted to fill my to-go cup, I added a little more coffee to the filter and used it twice.

I hope this helps you on your next trip to be able to enjoy fresh brewed coffee in your usual quantities!!

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.