just for sara

a good friend asked that i update my blog soon... so here i am. i REALLY miss blogging- i miss trying new crafts and recipes so much. however, there is a little something called student teaching that is taking up my ENTIRE life. so instead of making fun new foods and crafts i am writing lesson plans and writing a 30 page teacher writing sample. but i must add- I LOVE TEACHING. i have never been more excited to wake up in the morning and start my day. i have learned more than i could have ever imagined and i love my students more than you know. it's definitely hard and takes a lot of patience and work but more than worth it.
although i don't have time to try lots of fun new things i still read about them. if you haven't ever picked up a copy of the magazine "real simple" YOU SHOULD. it's incredible. i received an email about "the A-Z ingredients guide" from real simple and i have really enjoyed reading through it.
check it out:
i promise to be back soon.


helpful hands.

i had some really cute helpful hands in the kitchen while making these blueberry muffins. i saw this recipe in a taste of home magazine (that my sweet dad gave me) and i had to try them. i am a HUGE blueberry and strawberry muffin fan so i was excited.

blueberry yogurt muffins
1 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1. in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. in another bowl combine the egg, yogurt, oil and milk. stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. fold in blueberries.
2. fill paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full. bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes. cool for 5 min. yeilds 6 muffins.

try it. it's easy and very tasty!



i am so excited about this post. it's been a long time coming... but it's finally finished. a good friend taught me how to make homemade sourdough bread and believe me... it's delicious. granted, it's a long process but it's super fun. so here it goes:
1. feed the starter. after feeding the starter you have to let it sit for 8 hours. this completes the first step.

2. the next morning you have to make the bread. after combining flour, sugar, salt, oil, starter and warm water you mix all the ingredients together (with a wooden spoon) and let it rise for 8 hours.

3. after the dough has risen pour it out on a floured surface and knead. then separate the dough into three loaves. don't forget to spray the loaf pans! let the dough rise again until it doubles or for 8 hours.

4. it's finally time to bake it! you put the bread into a COLD oven (do not preheat it!) Bake @ 350 for 35 min. then here's my FAVORITE part- take it out of the oven and ENJOY! i put butter on one piece and then butter and jelly on the other. i honestly like it so much better with just the butter. the bread has excellent flavor by itself.

i plan to continue making bread! it's fun to eat and give away!
so thank you to my good friend and mother of 6 for teaching me how to make this!


it's been far too long.

2 months? seriously? that's ridiculous. i wish i could say that i have been making really neat things but i haven't... after being gone 3 weeks to youth camps i haven't had much free time. however, although life isn't slowing down it is becoming more scheduled so that makes for more time to cook, bake and make things!
1. i bought this shutter on my birthday at a antique store in brinkley, arkansas. my best friend and i went shopping and couldn't pass up something so cute and inexpensive. i had decided that i was going to make a necklace holder out of it many months ago but i just got around to doing it... and it only took 5 minutes! at first i was going to paint the shutter but the more i looked at it the more i loved the chipped paint and light color. the only sad part is that we have not/will not paint the walls of our apartment so it doesn't look too good when it is hung on our walls. but when we have a house the walls will be painted so it will look great. after getting the shutter i went to walmart and bought some hooks that have a screw on the end. and that's it. it really was that simple but is so much more fun that a store bought necklace holder.

2. tonight i am going to complete step 1 of a 4 step process of making homemade bread. if everything turns out as planned the bread should be done wednesday morning. i have really been looking forward to making bread and excited to have the time!



i have seen homemade journals before (most recently at the market in clarksville this weekend) and i decided that it was something i was interested in making. so i went to hobby lobby and bought some fabric and 2 sheets of scrapbook paper and tried it. here are the supplies you need:
white computer paper (10 sheets)
2 pieces of colored cardstock (or more if you want)
single hole punch
glue gun
some type of card board or thicker paper (i used a strip from a manila folder)
some type of string (i used hemp)
fabric of your choice

1. cut the computer paper in half (hamburger style)

2. punch 3 holes on one of the longer sides

3. thread your string (or hemp) through the holes to make sure the book stays together. this will not be seen in the end but it is just to ensure the pages stay together. i threaded my hemp then tied it off in the back.
4. cut a piece of cardboard (or manila folder) about 2 inches wide.
5. cover the cardboard with fabric. i used a hot glue gun for this step.

6. glue the fabric covered cardboard to the edge of the journal. i creased mine first and just slipped it over the edge (don't forget to cover up your string).
7. place your journal under a stack of books or magazines to flatten the fabric out and make it look better.
here's the finished product, i like it!

things i will do differently next time:
-be sure to fold the fabric over the top and the bottom of the manila folder as well as the side so that there are not frayed edges on the top and bottom.
-maybe use cardstock instead of computer paper (this is really just preference)

still reading radical by david platt. it's still changing my life.
we ate feta peppers again last night- jared said they are his favorite and they went great with 3 cheese tortellini and meat sauce.

enjoy your day.


three things.

1. an invitation.
mom and i (and mom's friend) hosted a wedding shower for my best friend b. i was really excited about making the invitations because i love making new things. these turned out cute and were extremely simple. so being wedding season and all, i figured i would post it just in case anyone need a simple idea.
one solid color of scrap book paper (i used card stock)
one fun color or pattern
ribbon (the ribbon with wire works best)
single hole punch
you simply cut the patterned scrap book paper to the size that you want the invitation to be then you cut the solid sheet a little smaller. line the paper as you want it and punch two holes in the top center of the paper (about 1/2 inch from the top). cut a piece of ribbon (about 2 inches) and feed it through the holes by place each end of the ribbon through the front of each hole, pull the ribbon through on the back side, cross the ribbon and thread it back through the front on the opposite side. that may sound confusing but you are just trying to get the two pieces of paper to stay together. then if you have the wire ribbon scrunch it together a little to make it cute. these are extremely cheap (i made 30 invitations for about $9) and they do not require any other adhesives (i hate glue!)

2. a book.
i am reading an incredible book by david platt called radical. it is challenging to say the least. it challenges believers to take back our faith from the american dream. platt discusses how we as american christians have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences instead of being a true disciple of Christ. i encourage everyone to buy this book and read it... but don't read it if you are not ready to be challenged and changed.

3. cookies.
i had to make a simple (and quick) dessert for an engagement party the other day and i decided to not go out and buy anything new... i was determined to use something that i already had in the pantry. so i found a box of devil's food cake and looked up recipes for cookies to make with the cake mix. i found a simple and DELICIOUS one.
1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
some chocolate chips of your choice (i used white chocolate chips, others said they use peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips, get creative!)
you simply mix all the ingredients together (with a spoon). the dough is very thick but great to work with. then you roll dough into balls at place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. bake at 375 for 9-11 min. they are great! it made 2 dozen cookies.

i am starting a new fun project today so i hope to be posting it soon.


break out the fine china

when we were registering for our wedding gifts the man at bed bath and beyond (along with my mom) insisted that we register for china. he convinced me by saying that the reason people don't use their china is because people do not make events special anymore. well i was determined to keep events special in our family so we registered for some very simple china. i was so excited to receive 12 precious place settings along with other fun serving pieces (coffee and cream containers, vegetable bowls, butter dish, etc..) well today was the day that i pulled the china out for the first time. mother's day is very special to me because i have 2 great mothers in my life and i wanted them to know how much that j and i appreciate them. so what was on the menu?
-salad with carrots, bell pepper, celery, cheese and croutons
-chicken spaghetti
-garlic parmesan cheese bread
-mud pie ( the recipe will be added below) IT'S DELICIOUS.
so i encourage everyone to get their china out and use it. what's the point of having it stashed in the attic and never using it? it only took 30 min for j and i to hand wash everything afterward and it was definitely worth it. so take the challenge and make dinner special one night soon!
here was the set up:

mud pie recipe:
-about 20 oreos
-4 tbs butter, melted
-2 tbs sugar
-breyer's (or whatever brand you choose) coffee ice cream
-chocolate syrup

crush oreos. place in mixing bowls and add melted butter and sugar. mix and then put in pie pan. press cookie crumbs along pie pan (to make crust). place in refrigerator for 30 min. while the crust is in the frige take ice cream out and let it soften. take crust out and add ice cream. drizzle chocolate fudge on top and swirl with a tooth pick to make it pretty. this pie is EXTREMELY easy and a big hit. the picture below is from the taste of home website... but it really does turn out this good looking.