Monday, April 29, 2013

Lemon Cream Pudding Soufflé

{Julia here} - and have I got a delicious recipe for you or what?!? Wow! I have never tried making a souffle' before, but this wasn't that difficult and the result was amazing! I am a huge fan of lemon meringue pie and this souffle' has the exact same delicious tangy lemon flavor as the lemon filing in that pie. Oh my. :D

The ingredients are really simple, it's what you DO to them that makes this special dish work. Go ahead and try this out - it may not look incredible, but it has two extra-delicious traits... the soft spongy top that melts in your mouth and the layer of creamy lemon sauce at the bottom. :D


  • 4 lemons
  • zest of one lemon
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Surprising Kitchen Tip- 
stick lemons into your oven for a couple of minutes at 350* before squeezing. You'll get more juice out of them!


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease a 10-inch pie or souffle dish. 
  • Separate the eggs. Reserve yolks in a small bowl. Put the whites in a mixer on the highest setting and beat until they form stiff peaks. (This is so cool...Eggs are amazing!) - it took me about 15 minutes! I can't imagine beating them by hand!!
  • Use a wooden spoon or handheld electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together until creamy and light. (I scooped the egg whites into a different bowl and used the mixer bowl and mixer to cream the butter and sugar)
  • Add lemon zest and juice. It may look odd (with a funny texture) but keep beating.
  • Beat the egg yolks with a fork and then whisk them in bit by bit to your butter-sugar mixture.
  • Add the flour and beat together. Pour in the milk and mix.
  • Fold in the egg whites. (And when it says fold, that means carefully scoop the whites into the rest of the stuff and gently move your spoon around a little. DO NOT over-mix at this point!) :) 
  • Pour it all into the pie dish and set the dish IN a roasting pan.
  • Fill the roasting pan with water until it comes halfway up the outside of the pie dish. 
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or till risen and golden brown on top. (I baked mine for 43 minutes, which was plenty!)
Eat hot, warm, or cold! And try not to eat most of it in one day like we did. ;) 

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Simple Sunday Thought #4


I was reminded the other day that without love I am nothing.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."  I Corinthians 13:1-3

That's pretty strong but it's true.

We may have a college degree, a successful career, beauty, fame, money, fancy clothes, shiny cars, a fabulously decorated house, beautiful children, but without love we are nothing.  In other words, those things really aren't important if we are living our lives without love or being loving to others.

But you may have nothing materially and have LOVE and then you are SOMETHING! 


It's important and only truly found in God.  He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16 

If you already have that relationship with Him, seek to be filled up with His love so you can pour out to those around you.

  "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

Have a love-filled day,

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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Zenni Optical: A Review

(Gloria here!) Prescription glasses and I have a long history together.  I have worn glasses since the second grade, about 7 years old.  I am also very nearsighted so glasses are a big deal to me.

I shudder to think how much money I have spent on glasses over the years and lately the cost of new glasses has gone sky high. The optical places seem to have us over a barrel because you can only get glasses at certain places!

Enter Zenni Optical (down stage right, spotlight glowing)!!! Freedom from high prices and control firmly in the hands of the customer!

I recently purchased my first pair of glasses from Zenni.  Bottom line: I am THRILLED!!  Here's why:

  • The website is extremely user friendly and clearly explains all you need to know to find your fit for glasses.
  • The LOW COST! I need a strong prescription so I had to get the more expensive lenses and still my glasses only cost me $89.00 which included the $5.00 shipping. 
  • You can upload a picture of yourself so you can "try on" the glasses and see what looks good.  That is always the hard part..finding what looks good and the style that you like. 
  • It only took a couple of weeks to get the glasses so plan ahead when ordering. Don't expect to get them right away, like the big box stores.  But for me the savings of hundreds of dollars was well worth the wait. :)
  • The quality of the glasses is awesome.  They are not flimsy like some I have had. You have many options to choose from and can get alloy metal all the way up to titanium, not to mention the trendy plastic frames! :)
Just go to the optometrist (eye doctor) of your choice.  Get your new prescription and make sure they measure your PD and tell you the number. You will need this number. From Zenni, "The PD or Pupillary Distance is the distance between the pupils of the eyes, center to center, in millimeters. Most people have a PD between 54mm and 74mm.  If you received two values, such as 31/31.5, then the values are the distance from the center of your nose to each pupil center.  A  PD should be provided as part of your prescription."

Seriously, if you need prescription glasses, you should check out Zenni. I plan to buy more, just for a different look because I loved them so much.  

Also, they recently had a buy one, get one half off sale, so keep an eye out for their deals. (LOL.)

Here's to a clearer view on things!

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY Vanilla Extract

We do a lot of baking and cooking from scratch around here.  It is important to have a well-stocked spice cabinet.  One of the ingredients that I seemed to always be running out of was vanilla extract.  It comes in such little bottles! And is so expensive!!

Then when I started to watch my diet, I noticed that regular vanilla extract contained corn syrup! WHAT?? Corn syrup?!?  Yep, so unless you are buying organic you are probably getting ingredients you don't really want.

For example, from the Amazon site:

Watkins Original Vanilla Double Strength Extract
Water, glucose, propylene glycol, vanilla extract (alcohol, water, extractive of vanilla beans), alcohol (8.25%), artificial flavors, caramel color. Contains Sulfites.
$17.25 for 11 oz.

Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract Certified Organic, 4-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 2)

$27.23 Water,organic Alcohol,organic Vanilla Bean Extractives

Flavorganics, Organic Vanilla Extract, 8 fl oz. for $21.41
Water, organic alcohol (35%), organic vanilla bean extractives.

McCormick doesn't even list the ingredients on their website or on Amazon.  The Food Renegade lists the ingredients as:
  • Vanilla bean extractives in water,
  • alcohol (35%),
  • and corn syrup.
Did you notice that water is the first ingredient on some of the lists?  You don't need water in vanilla extract! 

But never fear, The Resourceful Gals are here!!  Make your own natural vanilla extract and know exactly what's in it!  :)

All you need are real whole vanilla beans and vodka.  Place the vanilla beans in a container (that you can seal) and cover with the vodka.  We use the vodka because it has no other taste.  Let steep for a few days to a week before the first use.  Then use as you like and refill the container with the vodka as needed.  You will have wonderful vanilla extract and as much as you want right at your fingertips!  

Not to mention CHEAPER!!  This large bottle of vodka cost about $8 for 59 oz. which comes out to 13.5  cents per ounce and will last a good long time.  

You can get your vanilla beans at for only $18 for 26-28 beans.  I use 5 beans, cut in half and they will last for several years. That is only 69 cents per vanilla bean and using 5 costs $3.46. Use the rest of the beans for a back-up (they will keep) or make gifts to share with those you love!

So your 10 ounce bottle of vanilla extract initially costs $4.81 and will only cost you to add the vodka at 13.5 cents per ounce after that for about 2 years.  *Does happy dance*

So go ahead and get started on your own vanilla extract.  You'll be glad you did!!

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Secret to Great Hummus

Hey there! If you've ever wanted to know how to make really great hummus, we've got the tip for you. Any hummus recipe will work better when you use a BLENDER to whip it together, instead of a food processor. We used to use a food processor when making our favorite hummus recipe but recently tried using the blender... and were stunned at the difference! The hummus was creamy and smooth instead of grainy and chunky.

Our hummus recipe was adapted from the one in Sam Stern's Cooking Up A Storm, a fun cookbook geared more for teens, with delicious and easy gourmet recipes.


{Serves 4}

  • 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Juice of one lemon (around 3 Tbsp) TIP- turns out awesome if you use a fresh lemon!
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Dash of cilantro
  • Black Olives 8-10
BTW- "Tahini" is just ground sunflower seeds, and has a consistency similar to natural peanut butter. You can find it in the health foods section in most grocery stores!


1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan, but don't boil.
3. Add all the ingredients to the blender, heated oil and water last. 
4. Blend until smooth. (You might need to stop once or twice to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and aid the blending)
5. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or pita bread and try not to eat it all at once. :D

We hope you enjoy this fresh and delicious Mediterranean dish!

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Health Benefits of Cooking with an Iron Skillet

Julia here! Do you cook with an iron skillet? Iron skillets are one of the most wonderful tools you can use in your kitchen! And here are a few reasons why...

Health Benefit #1- Use Less Cooking Oil!

That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The good news about this is that you won’t need to use oodles of high-calorie oil to cook your tasty foods like potatoes, veggies, chicken, and more. :D We usually use a dab of butter on our antique frying pan, instead of cooking oil. I've heard it's not best to mix butter and cooking oil when seasoning one skillet, and we use butter because we usually cook scrambled eggs in our antique pan. :)

BTW, To clean cast iron, never use soap. This will strip the pan of its natural seasoning.Simply scrub or scrape your skillet with a washcloth or a brush and hot water and dry it completely. (We actually scrape ours off with a small square of plastic that came with our pizza stone.) :D

One way to season your cast-iron skillet is to cover the bottom of the pan with a thick layer of kosher salt and a half inch of cooking oil, then heat until the oil starts to smoke. Carefully pour the salt and oil into a bowl, then use a ball of paper towels to rub the inside of the pan until it is smooth. If you're using butter, heat a small amount of butter in the pan until it's good and sizzled, then wipe clean with paper towels. (why paper towels? So you can discard them after use.) If you have purchased a new iron skillet, it may take a few times before it's seasoned enough to use. 

Health Benefit #2- Avoid Harmful Chemicals.

Hang onto your hats, this is the scary part! The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, early menopause. (YUCK. And we're using this regularly?) PFCs get released—and inhaled—from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. Likewise, we can ingest them when the surface of the pan gets scratched. Both regular and ceramic-coated cast-iron pans are great alternatives to nonstick pans for this reason.
We actually have a few nonstick frying pans still, but we're looking into replacing them for this very reason, and keeping an eye out at estate sales and yard sales for any unwanted iron skillets. :D

Health Benefit #3- Solve Iron Deficiency!

Did you know nearly 10% of American women are iron-deficient? (Neither did I, until I looked it up) Gloria (my dear mom and co-blogger) has struggled with iron deficiency, and I think cooking with our skillet has helped a lot. Her last blood-work report showed normal iron levels, even without her taking any iron supplements!

You see, while cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food...and that’s a good thing. :) Cooking food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content by as much as 20 times!

Now, this isn't a health tip, it's a frugal one - using an iron skillet means you can decrease your pan replacement costs by 100%! THEY LAST FOREVER. :D 

So, what are you waiting for?! Dig out that iron skillet (or beg, borrow or snatch one from your Aunt Bea) and cook something great and guilt-free for yourself today. :D 

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.
More info about skillets here. :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How To Brilliantly Organize T-Shirts

Hey Ladies! {Julia here!} I have a confession to make. I have a lot of t-shirts. :D If you do too, or know somebody who does... *cough* then you really, really need to know this brilliant way to organize them... and all of your bureau drawers, actually!

The GREAT things about this method are that not only can you fit tons of your t-shirts into your drawers, you can easily see each and every one AT ONCE, so you end up wearing them all instead of just the few thrown on top, and when you're looking for a particular shirt you don't have to shuffle through piles of haphazardly-stacked clothes and turn your dresser into a crime-scene-look-alike when getting dressed for the day. ;)

I actually ran across this idea on Pinterest a few months ago, which inspired me to do it for myself, but I couldn't find the original post to link to. So, to some brilliant person out there, thanks very much!!

Here's how it works....
  1.  Fold the shirt in half.
  2. Tuck in the sleeves. 
  3. Fold the shirt in half like this.
  4. Fold again.
I actually wear a size large or long medium t-shirts, but if your shirts are shorter you might find you only need to fold them in half, then fold in thirds.



Um yes. How easy was that? And now you can see each item of clothing at a glance. Perfecto! If you want to go all OCD and organize them by hue like I did, feel free. ;)

It even works for your other clothes like pajamas, casual pants, shorts, capris, and jeans. You just have to figure out what size to fold them so that they fit in your drawers upright. If you have nice deep drawers like my dresser, this will be easier. :D
Did I really just post a picture of my pajama drawer online? Lol....
Let us know if this fab way to organize your bureau worked for you!

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Really Easy Mouthwatering Mac & Cheese Recipe

Hi! {Julia here!} If you thought making homemade macaroni and cheese was beyond your skill level, think again. You'll never buy the orange stuff in a box again after one bite of this truly mouthwatering dish!
Baked from scratch, you have control over what goes into your meal (no chemicals or food coloring!) and I promise, it's so easy that even I can bake it. :D


(Most people have 2-quart casserole dishes, but we altered this for our 3-quart dish... the 2-quart measurements are in (bold) and the rest is 3-quart. There. I did the math for ya!)

  • (2 Tbsp) 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • (1 tsp) 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • (1/2 tsp) 3/4 tsp dry mustard (optional)
  • (1/4 tsp) 1/4 tsp pepper... that's all it needs
  • (2-1/2 cups) 3-1/4 cups milk
  • (2 Tbsp) 3 Tbsp butter
  • about (3 cups) 4 cups of freshly grated cheddar cheese (divided)
  • (8 oz.) just over half of a 1 pound box of elbow macaroni, or 2-1/2 cups
  • Ritz crackers (or Saltine crackers, or whatever kind you like) for crumbling
You can fudge the ratio of noodles and cheese, this is a very forgiving recipe. ;) Also, this is the perfect way to use up those last, lonely, slightly-stale crackers in the package. :D


  1. Prepare a 3-quart casserole dish by lightly greasing the bottom and sides with butter.
  2. Be amazing and do two things at once by starting a pot of boiling water for your noodles and cook them while you are making the cheese sauce. 
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine corn starch, dry mustard, and pepper, stir in milk until smooth. Add the butter. 
  4. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for one minute and then remove from heat. 
  5. Reserve about a third of the grated cheese for topping the noodles later, and stir in the remaining cheese into the sauce until melted. 
  6. Drain your cooked noodles and put them in the casserole dish. Pour in the sauce and stir it a little.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved cheese and crumble crackers over top (this is the fun part). :D
  8. Bake uncovered (at 375 degrees F) for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 
Serves 6-8 people depending on the appetites! :D


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

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mason Jar Mantle Makeover

I just love glimmer and glow, so when my creative daddy suggested we give the mantle in our living room a makeover involving mason jars and rope light, I was all for it!

It was so super-simple and easy, it's not even funny. But the effect is dazzling!

Here's the before picture...
Nice, if simple. We liked it but were ready for something different. 
And..... BOOM. Just like that, our fireplace and mantle became the focal point of our living room. That shiny light on the woodburning stove is actually one of our freestanding mason jar lamps from this tutorial! 
It is really hard to capture on camera the delightful cozy glow of the jars, lit up from below by the strand of rope light, but I snapped some shots for ya...

All you need is...

  • A six-foot length of rope light (We found ours at the Home Depot for $7.48)
  • Mason Jars in whatever colors, sizes, and styles you like!

We tacked the rope light to the wooden mantle with little nails and a hammer, to keep it straight and even, because when it came out of the package it wanted to curl. :)

Let us know if you try this EASY, simple, DIY mantle makeover, we would love to see your variations!


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

Monday, April 15, 2013

Grape Jelly Tutorial

Wanna learn how to make the greatest grape jelly? We thought so! :)

Welcome to a helpful step-by-step tutorial. When we're finished we'll have gone from a few jugs of grape juice to delicious homemade grape jelly that tastes so good you'll never want to eat store-bought again. :D

So, to get started...

Ingredients That You Will Need: 

  • Grape Juice (we use Welch's 100% grape juice)
  • Pectin (We use sure-jell low-sugar pectin... it's the pink box.) :) 
  • Sugar (Yeah, this recipe uses sugar, but this is a low-sugar recipe, using half the normal amount of sugar!)
  • Lemon Juice (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • Butter (about a Tablespoon)
The tools you'll need are: 
  • Canning Jars
  • Water-Bath Canner and rack (A big black cauldron-like thing like granny used to use)
  • Jar Lids~ only use new lids for canning
  • Jar Rings
  • Jar Lifter/grippers
  • Long-handled stirring spoon
  • Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • Ladle
  • (optional) Magnetic Wand (magnetic stick thing for pulling jar lids out of the water)
  • Washcloth
  • Towels
  • Kitchen Timer
  • Funnel
One batch of grape jelly takes...
  • 5 1/2 cups of juice.
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (small pat) of butter.
This makes 7 cups of jelly, which fits into 7 jelly (half-pint) jars.

We usually make a triple batch (or more) since we go through grape jelly on whole wheat toast so fast in our house. :D


  • WASH your jars in hot, soapy water (or you can use your dishwasher) so that they are all clean, checking for chips around the rims. Uneven jar rims will interfere with a perfect seal.
  • Set up a sugar station! A bowl, sugar, a "1 cup" and a "1/2 cup" measuring cup, and a knife. This makes doing more than one batch much simpler. :)
  • Measure ingredients exactly. Spoon sugar into dry measuring cups (plastic or metal). Scrape excess sugar from top of cup with a straight-edged knife. Use liquid (glass or plastic) measuring cups with a pour spout to measure juice. 
  • To the left of the stove, I place a wooden cutting board to set the pot with the cooked jelly on when it is done. Next to it, I put a towel to set the hot jars on. I lay out the ladle and funnel here with a set of hot mitts, and also the seven jar rings. 
  • Get out a large pot for the grape mixture to be cooked in (6-8 quarts).
  • Get out a small pot to boil the jar lids. Put the lids in the pot and cover with water. Heat them on a small burner, this ensures that the rubber is soft for sealing and that the lids are sterilized. Once it boils, turn it down to simmer.
  • The jars need to be sterilized - put them in the canner and fill it half full with water, making sure the jars are completely covered. Place the canner on the large (back) burner on your stove and turn on high. We'll be bringing the water up to a rolling boil. (It will take a while to get all that water up to temp.) 
  • Set out a "Landing Station" for the finished jars of jam to sit on by laying out a clean towel on your countertop. The jelly will have to sit for 24 hours without being disturbed after it is canned. (but oh, it is worth the wait) ;) 
Now for the fun!

1. The water in the canner should be heating with the jars inside being sterilized. Lids should be warming in the small pan.
2. Measure exact amount of sugar (3 1/2 cups) into a separate bowl and set aside.
3. Measure exact amount of prepared juice (5 1/2 cups) into 6 or 8 quart pot.  
4. Stir in 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon butter to grape juice in the pot.
5. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar set aside into the grape juice (take it from the bowl, don't add any extra)
6. Put one package of pectin into the grape juice. 
7. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

8. Stir in sugar quickly. Return to full rolling and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off any foam.
9. Remove jars from the canner, making sure all the water is out of them. Place them on the towel. 

10. Using the funnel, ladle grape jelly quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of the tops.
11. Wipe jar rims and threads with a warm washcloth. Use the magnetic wand to get the hot lids and place lids on filled jars.

12. Screw on the rings tightly. Place jars in the canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water if needed. 
13. Cover; bring to gentle boil. Process jelly 5 minutes. (Adjust processing time according to altitude chart.  See insert that comes with the pectin.)
14. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, later that day, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

We love the "*POP*" sound the jars make when they seal! :)
(We did a double batch of grape jelly, so we used pint jars... normally you would use half-pint (or 'jelly') jars.)
You did it! You made awesome homemade grape jelly.  If you have kids and they are anything like mine, you'll never go back to store bought jelly because they will love your homemade jelly so much!!

If you're interested in more information about canning, be sure to check out the Ball Website. :) 

If you are going to make more than one batch in that day, you can wash the large pot, ladle and funnel and set up the next batch while the jars are processing.  It is amazing how fast it will go if you do this. 

Let us know how your grape jelly turned out! :)

Linking up on these fine sites.
Source information courtesy of Kraft Brands.
You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Simple Sunday Thoughts #2


"Amazed" - Kutless
I think sometimes we lose sight of how truly amazing God is. How can you stare up into a sky bursting with billions of brightly burning stars, planets, and galaxies and not think about the awesome, overwhelming glory of the Lord?

Like signal flares, these lights in the heavens show the greatness, power, and beauty of our God. Stop for a second or two tonight to look up at the sky, remembering that the creator of the universe knew you by name before you took your very first breath.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Featured Resourceful Gal - Michelle!

As Resourceful Gals ourselves, we absolutely love getting to know other resourceful ladies who use their talents and gifts and everything they have to the best of their abilities... and we want to share them with you, our readers!

Please welcome our first Featured Resourceful Gal... Michelle!
I am a wife to Brian and Mama to fifteen children, nine here on earth, and six in heaven. I am also 'Mimi' (Grandma) to two. I am passionate about Jesus Christ and His Word. From this passion flows my desire to be obedient to God and to know and fulfill His purpose for me as a woman. (See Titus 2:3-5) On this journey, my hope is to encourage my daughters and other women in the areas of: marriage, parenting, devotions, home education, nourishing foods, frugality, and simple living.

She is AMAZING. Michelle has started her own business, {Re}Imagined, Just For You, refurbishing and painting furniture, as well as making other lovely home decor items. Her style is a blend of French Country, Shabby-Chic, and Rustic Farmhouse... all oh-so-lovely! It is clear that she has a God-given talent for her work, because everything she touches turns into something gorgeous! Visit her website here and Like her on Facebook to check it out for yourself!

So without further ado... 
  • What gave you the idea to paint furniture for sale? Have you always loved painting?
I began painting furniture as something fun to do.  I began purchasing and painting more furniture.  My husband suggested I sell them.  Of course, I was sure nobody would buy it.  Well, the first piece sold, then the next and the next. I have always loved doing something, anything ‘crafty’.  I have painted murals on our walls, painted our own furniture and taught myself to paint using the One Stroke Painting method.  It hasn’t always been painting, like I said, anything creative.  I believe we all are creative.  We are all made in the image of God and He created all things.  Makes me crazy when I hear women say, ‘oh,I’m not creative’ or ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body’.  I quickly and gently correct them and help them see that they are creative too. 

One of Michelle's dazzling pieces
  • What are some lessons you have learned as you started up a home business... how has the Lord brought you through this new season?
In our short time of having this business, I have had many lessons.  Not sure I have learned them yet, but, boy, have there been lessons.  I tend to be driven and make things happen.  This business has been God’s idea every step of the way, but I still try to step in and control or fret over the details.  He always brings me back to trusting Him completely with each and every detail.  One thing I had to learn early on was that if I really believed this business was from Him then I would need to trust Him when we sold a lot and when we sold nothing. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord, became my motto.
Oh, comparison too!  That was and continues to be a huge training ground.  When I take my eyes off of what He is doing here and put it on what others are doing or their success fear or discouragement quickly follows.  There is so much more, perhaps another installment is in order.  Apparently, I have lots of lessons to learn.

See?!? Isn't her furniture awesome?
  • Looking back, would you change any of your business decisions or do something differently? (in other words... any boo-boos you would avoid doing again?) ;)
I think the biggest mistake that I continue to make is taking this business into my own hands.  I take on its success as something ‘I’ need to make happen instead of holding onto it loosely and staying submitted to my Father.  It’s not that I don’t need to use knowledge and wisdom and actually do the work, but it’s when I take on the burden that I cross the line.

  • What was it like being catapulted from being a complete Stay-At-Home-Homeschooling-Mom to a busy business owner and full-time painter?
Okay, this one is tough.  I would have never, ever thought I would be doing what I am doing now, co-owning a business with my husband.  Especially one that revolves around me and my gifts. Not that it is all ‘me’ by any stretch of the imagination, it takes all of us on many levels.  It’s hard, I still don’t see myself as a ‘working’ woman.  I am, I guess, but I am at home, work from home and am in partnership with my husband.  Being a stay-at-home mom is still my heart, though it is really, really hard to keep my heart at home when there are so many ‘props’ with the business. I hope you don’t mind me being real here, I struggle with this.  Being a homeschool, at-home mom had become ‘enough’ for me and I was thrilled and fulfilled alone in it.  This business came along and has really challenged me.  My heart it so ‘prone to wander’ and I plead with God to keep my heart where it belongs, here at home first.  I must keep guilt in check and continually look to Brian to help with balancing the whole thing.  Let’s just say it has not been easy. 

Michelle and her beloved hubby, Brian

  • Tell us about the "behind-the-scenes" of Re:Imagined, Just For You... how does your family work together in your business? (Who does the day-to-day stuff... cooking, cleaning, & schooling?)
I do all of the painting, creating, research and development, and social media. Some of the children also create things that pertain to our business.  My older sons help with furniture moving (man, do they move a lot of furniture) repairing furniture, sanding and prep work.  Brian (my husband)handles ALL of the finances and anything pertaining to them.  We share with household tasks, but I still do the homeschooling.  It is fairly regular that he starts dinner and/or helps with the meals. We also LOVE to ‘pick’ together, finding treasures.  The children have all had to step up as far as chores and getting things done in general around the home.  Also, at our classes, sales and monthly shows, any way that the children can serve the customers, they do.  For instance, when we do classes, I am out teaching the class, but the children and Brian are preparing the gourmet lunch and serving the women that come to our home.

Michelle's beautiful family
  • As a closing thought, what would you like to share with your readers? Any priceless nuggets of wisdom for moms who are thinking about starting their own business?
Don’t do it unless the Lord is leading.  We have had so many ideas over the years that we were so sure were good ideas, but they weren’t God’s ideas.  If He is not behind it, it will likely only bring more stress and struggles. Trust the season you are in and let God bring it about.
 Don’t step out from our husband’s cover.  Seek his counsel and wisdom at every step.  Also, appreciate HIM!  I went through a time I was so sure my husband was ‘holding me back’.  Self-pity was right there telling me that I did it all and no one helps me.  When I began to be thankful for what Brian did, I realized just how much he did do! Also, the things I was so sure he was holding me back from were actually God’s leading.  Hmmm, imagine that.  God using my husband to lead us in His will.  As you can see, I have a long way to go.  I am so thankful for His mercy towards me.

Thank you so much for being our first Featured Resourceful Gal, Michelle! We loved having you here!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Freeze Eggs? Yes, You Can!

We have a small farmette and keep chickens for eggs. Right now they are laying very well.  So well, in fact, that we often have more eggs than we can scramble, boil, bake or consume at the moment.  What to do?

FREEZE them!

Yes, you can safely freeze eggs. :)

According to the Georgia Egg Commission, here's how to freeze eggs:

"WHOLE EGGS ~ Beat just until blended, pour into freezer containers. seal tightly, label with the number of eggs and the date, and freeze."

"WHITES ~ Break and separate the eggs, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. Pour them into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of egg whites and the date, and freeze. For faster thawing and easier measuring, first freeze each white in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer container."

"YOLKS ~ Egg yolks require special treatment. The gelation property of yolk causes it to thicken or gel when frozen. If frozen as is, egg yolk will eventually become so gelatinous it will be almost impossible to use in a recipe. To help retard this gelation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup egg yolks (4 yolks). Label the container with the number of yolks, the date, and whether you've added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts)."

Use fresh eggs and try to not get a lot of excess air in the eggs when you mix them.

How to use the eggs once they are frozen is explained by the  Georgia Egg Commission:

"To use frozen eggs... Thaw frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Use yolks or whole eggs as soon as they're thawed. Once thawed, whites will beat to better volume if allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Substitute 2 tablespoons thawed egg white for 1 Large fresh white.
Substitute 1 tablespoon thawed egg yolk for 1 Large fresh yolk.
Substitute 3 tablespoons thawed whole egg for 1 Large fresh egg.
Use thawed frozen eggs only in dishes that are thoroughly cooked.

We have used our frozen eggs and they are just great! We scrambled them for breakfast and you couldn't tell the difference from fresh eggs. 

I wouldn't recommend using store bought eggs. Fresh eggs from your chickens (or from your friend's chickens) are a better option. 

I freeze my eggs in Ziploc bags but you can use any container that is safe for the freezer. I freeze them in portions that I might readily use but the above chart will help you figure out what you need. 

Give it a try! 

You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites.
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Good Morning!" Granola

Julia here! Good morning! ;) We all know that a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day! It revs up your metabolism and gives you the fuel you need to kick off your morning. This granola recipe is a wholesome and delicious option that's easy to make ahead of time so you can grab 'n go!

My favorite way to eat this granola is layered in a parfait with yogurt and fresh fruit, but it's a great snack all by itself, packed with flavor and fiber.

And guess what? Making it is EASY! Intrigued? Read on...


  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 4 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Nuts~ I use 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans, and 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup craisins (sweetened dried cranberries)
Other options you could toss in: coconut flakes, other nuts, other dried fruits, or chocolate chips. If you want to go decadent, add some white chocolate chips or peanut-butter-chips! Note: you'll want to add the chocolate chips after baking. :)
You know, I've always wanted to try this with dried mango and pineapple. Let me know how that works if you end up trying that out! :D


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
  2. Mix dry ingredients, oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add the honey and mix well. Bring the honey/butter mixure to a boil and boil for one minute. Add the vanilla. 
  4. Pour honey/butter over dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly coated. Spread onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 at 400 degrees (F). Stir/scoop around/flip the granola and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes until golden brown. 
  5. Store in a closed container.

Want to know where Gloria got the sweet spoon? Check this shop out to find the cutest stamped flatware EVER! Stop by Aly's blog to let her know if you like it. 
Have a wonderful day!

You will find us linked to some of these fine sites.