Pinterest Party

Last Tuesday a friend and I hosted a Pinterest Party at my home.

Pinterest Link on how to make Kayla's coffee filter wreath.
She brought the yummy keish (pictured above) that she whipped up that morning, 
and of course made up her recipe!

Katelyn made coffee filter flowers for a wreath she is working on and brought oreo cake.

Jenni strung tulle around Christmas lights and made monkey bread muffins (pictured above).

KayAnn knitted a sweater for her baby girl that will be here around February.
She brought cucumber sandwiches.

                                       Lisa made sweater flowers for a wreath she is making too.
She brought a pumpkin cake and shrimp dip.

For the craft, I made a glitter reindeer canvas although I had a much bigger list!
Like this and this and this and this and this!

The Chia Tea was so yummy if I can say so myself. 
And... the hot chocolate was the best mix I've ever had. It was like pure dark chocolate!

What crafts have you done from Pinterest?


Very Thankful

Thanksgiving is such a blessing!
I would like to share a very condensed version of my "thankful for" list with you.

1. Thanksgiving, for it reminds me to be thankful

2. A husband, who is willing to wash my never ending pile of dishes
{And willing to let me take this photo!}

3. Work, that we may live and eat and give

4. The book, 1000 Gifts, which taught me to see blessing in the little things

5. My sweet baby girl, for she has taught me to really love

6. The changes of the seasons

7. Family, they are the best of friends

8. Freedom in Christ, with that I (He) has overcame much in my life.

9. Color, adds joy to life

10. Home, our earthly refuge and shelter

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Thanksgiving...
now go enjoy a turkey with your family!


Homemade Yogurt

It's my favorite.
I love how homemade vanilla yogurt has an authentic vanilla flavor. 
Growing up I thought "vanilla" meant no flavor... and now I am in the light.
Also when you add fruit or granola and/or honey it all taste so real.
I just love knowing just what we are eating.
But surely it's so much hassel and cost a lot since milk it adding up, right?
Couldn't be more wrong. 
So I got my milk for $2.50 and some starter yogurt for around $2. I get about 4 Qt. and 1Pt.
Now, buying yogurt for at least $1 per 8oz... you do the math.
Also, to be nit-picky... it saves economically and environmentally because of all the plastic cartons.
It may be a little more time consuming than tossing a carton into your cart but I feel it's well worth it.

So here we go.Grab ya...
~A gallon of milk. Now many many places say it is fine to use whole, skim, whatever. And it works for them. So I'm going to say it's probably fine even though all I've ever used is raw whole.
But then again, that's about all we ever have around here anyways.
~A quart of starter yogurt. By starter yogurt I just mean "milk" that has already had the live active culters started, i.e. regular yogurt. Make sure it is unpasteurized and uncultured. I use Dannon vanilla or plain.
~4 quart jars, 1 pint jar, lids, rings. Make sure they are washed and sterilized either by using dishwasher or placing them in the oven at 200* for at least 10 minutes.
~A cooler. as an incubator. Make sure all your jars can fit in.
~Thermomter, stock pot to fit all your yogurt in, whisk
~Vanilla, powdered sugar (If you want vanilla flavored yogurt.

Pour the gallon of milk into the stockpot. Heat slowly over medium heat to 190*, whisking often to keep from burning. This will take around 45 minutes. It's good to have a book or show! 

Cook the milk at 190* for about 10 minutes. Then cool to 120*

I cooled mine with my husband's wort cooler for his beer making! But you could also use a sink full of ice. Keep stirring though because it will create a layer of thickened goop if you don't.
Once it reaches 120* add the starter yogurt and stir in really well so all the yummy cultures float about evenly. I buy the quart size because I can't find the plain or vanilla in the small size that is unpasteurized and uncultured. So I just dump the whole thing in but you really only need about 8 oz.

This is where I add my vanilla and sugar. I use about 2 Tbsp vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar. You can add more or less depending on your taste. Mix really, really good.

Then I pour into jars using a canning funnel. Some people strain theirs to make sure there are no little milk chunkys but I've never had that problem so I don't strain mine.
Once the jars are filled there will be little bubbles on top. I scrape that off with a spoon to help with consistency but that isn't necessary.
{I lost a few photos...}
They put on the lids and rings and place in cooler with water to about 120* to about the top of lids
Cover and let sit about 4 hours. But this time isn't exact, as in the longer you let it sit the stronger and thicker it will be so play around with it. This time I actually forgot about taking it out before we left for the evening so it was in for about 8 hrs. It was fine once I took a thin layer of solid off the top!
I leave my cooler in the tub so I can dump the water easily and it is out of sight (and apparently out of mind).

The jars will most likely seal during this time. They still need to be refrigerated  They will last about 4 weeks sealed and 1-2 unsealed.
Put 6-8 oz in the freezer for your starter yogurt next time. You can do this for about 6 times until it becomes weaker and you'll need to purchase new yogurt.

I take a little whisk to even out the consistency each time when I dip some out.
Here is the really fun part.
I have added homemade fruit syrups, homemade sauces, or just plain fruit.
Jams, Jellies..
My favorite is homemade granola and honey.
Experiment and have fun.

{I have made the yogurt that calls for geletan and incubates in a crockpot. I'm not sure why, but that type doesn't set up as well as this recipe, and that is why I switched. I did notice that if I left the crockpot yogurt in the fridge without messing with it (other than putting it in the jars) for a good 24 hours it set up a little more. Does anyone know why it does this?}


Fall Time

"Bring outside in" is never more perfect advise than in the midst of fall. 

I've had so much fun decorating with pumpkins, sticks, and gourds this year. I never realized I like fall decorating, but I do, I do!

Burlap, galvanized, candles... who knew the possibilities?!

The sweet little sign was inspiration from here and the "mod podge canvas look" idea everywhere on Pinterest.

Mums, sticks, rosemary in a vintage green vase.

And what is fall without a fun place to sit and enjoy a fire and smores (notice the plural state of the last word...)

What is your favorite season to decorate?


Growing, Growing

We have had quite an exciting month!

We had a play date (or several!) with Joy and her Mommy,

A campfire with family,

And several runs together.
A loves getting all cozy in her running stroller.
(Try as I may, I can't figure on how to turn this photo. And I feel like I've called my geeky brothers enough lately with phone/ computer problems so bear with me!)

Of course Miss A fit into new fun outfits and posed for many-a-photo shoots.

Grandpa and Grandma went away for a week and we missed them so. But we got to be with them again and  where we ever excited!

Daddy escorted us to go pick out some lovely pumpkins and gourds for Mommy to decorate with.

Oh, look, another photo shoot and cute outfit!

Great Grandpa and Grandpa W love the sweetums, as do we all!

What fun things did you do this month?

Be back soon!
Lauren and Adeline