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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tomatoe Season is Here! Yummy Homemade Marinara Sauce


All winter I think about how nice it would be to enjoy a REAL vine ripened tomato.  You know the yummy smell of garden tomatoes, there is nothing like it.  I wish I could capture that smell and file it away for those dreary, dark days of winter.  I feel that way about basil as well.  Both are thriving right now in my garden.

The tomatoes in my garden were slow coming on this year, but they are doing well now.  So well, that I am scrambling trying to find ways to use them all.
Tomato sandwiches, BLT Sandwiches, salsa, marinara sauce, pasta salads, or just to eat like you would an apple with a little salt, the goodness of tomatoes.

Here is a great recipe I came upon while looking for a homemade tomato soup recipe.  It does make a good soup, but the flavor is so yummy I thought it would be great over pasta, and it is.  So I adapted a few things and we use it for both.  It is also really good over steamed veggies, for those of you who are wanting to avoid grains.


Ingredients:
This recipe includes measurements for a single, double and freezer batches.
While I am making it up and I have access to lots of tomatoes, I like to make a triple batch and freeze for QUICK dinners or lunches.
  • Tomatoes (chopped canned, or fresh) 4 cups, 8 cups, 12 cups
  • Onion (chopped) 1/2 onion, 1,onion, 2 onions
  • Garlic Cloves minced 6, 12, 24
  • Tomato Sauce 1 can, 2 cans, 4 cans
  • Basil Pesto (or 12 basil leaves chopped) 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB (1 tablespoon equals 1 frozen ice cube tray of pesto)
  • Chicken Bullion Base 1 1/2 tsp., 1 TB, 2 TB
  • Canned Coconut Milk 1 cup, 2 cups, 4 cups
  • Sugar 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB
  • Salt 1-2 tsp., 4 tsp., 1 1/2 TB or to taste
Instructions:
  • If using fresh tomatoes, steam to remove the skins.
  • Puree or chop tomatoes, depending how chunky or smooth you want your sauce or soup.
  • Pour the pureed tomatoes in a large sauce pan, leaving a little in the blender.
  • Add the garlic and onion to the blender and puree to the consistency you desire. (My kids do not like chunks of onion so I blend well)
  • Add this mixture to the pan, along with all the other ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer until desired consistency. 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve over cooked pasta, steamed vegetables, as a tasty soup or use as a pizza sauce.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Santa's Summer Workshop Pattern Sale!

Sit back and enjoy the upcoming holiday season knowing your handmade gifts are already made!

This is the perfect time of year to do some STRESS FREE gift making.

I am offering all of my patterns for
50% off regular price.

This offer will be available for TWO weeks only.
August 8- August 22.

Many of my patterns are for fun UPCYCLED items using felted wool sweaters.
Summer is a great time to go to garage sales, tag sales and thrift stores, where you will find wool sweaters a lot CHEAPER.   
Check out these posts where I share some fun things to make using felted wool and give a few tips on how to felt wool.

You can view some of my patterns here on the blog, but if you go to my ETSY shop there will be a specific listing for this special sale.

You can by the patterns in sets of 3.
3 patterns for $9.00.
Only $3.00 piece.
You may place as many orders as you want using that listing.

When checking out on ETSY, there will be a place to 
"LEAVE NOTE TO SENDER"
Simply type in what 3 patterns you want and I will email them right to you.



 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

How To Make Tooth Powder - Easy DIY Recipe


Why in the world would you want to make your own toothpaste or tooth powder? It's not like you already have a million things to do! Right?

Well, trust me, this is well worth your time. This is a simple, cost effective way to care for you and your families teeth! 

Here are 4 SIMPLE reasons why I stopped using commercial toothpaste years ago and started making my own or buying natural stuff.

1-NON-TOXIC & SAFE
Have you ever looked into what is in your toothpaste?  Here is a quick little post that is a great read about what is actually in commercial toothpaste.  Makes you think twice about what you put in  your mouth two or three times a day!

2-SAVES MONEY
With just 4 simple ingredients, you can make a batch of tooth powder up for under $2.00.
If you have ever purchased or checked into NATURAL toothpastes, they are not cheap.  Worth it if you can't make your own, but why not Do It Yourself and save money?
Tom's Natural toothpaste runs around $5.00- $6.00.
Redmond EarthPaste is $7.99 plus shipping.  (good product, but make your own for a lot less).

3-QUICK AND VERY EASY TO MAKE
You can whip a batch of this up in only 5 minutes!!!

4-TASTES GREAT
This makes your teeth feel squeaky clean, like you have just had your teeth cleaned by the dentist.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My New Adaptive Yoga DVD and Book



If you are wondering why my blog posts have been sparse and very irregular, this is what I have been up to........writing, designing and filming this adaptive yoga DVD and book.  This has been my husbands and I's baby for several years now.  I never dreamed it would be so

much work.  Work because we did it all.  I wrote the book and did all the illustrations.  My husband did the filming and film editing.  I designed the DVD cover and am now learning about marketing. What we didn't know how to do, we studied and learned.

This has been in the works now for many, many years.  I love teaching yoga, especially to those who have never tried it before and to those with physical challenges of some kind. I am so passionate about yoga because I have experienced the many benefits over the years myself AND have seen how it has helped so many other people both EMOTIONALLY and PHYSICALLY.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Repurposed T Shirts - Cutting Out Tips



In a previous post, I shared a few ideas of how you can use t shirts to make OTHER THINGS, upcyclling, repurposing or recycling are a few common terms used. I love to repurpose things and I love to sew. When my kids were little ones, I made a lot of their clothes using some of my husband's and I's cool knit shirts.
I made this knit overall jumpsuit from an existing t shirt and I used a cool applique patch from another shirt.  The red shirt was made from an adult t shirt as well.

This jumpsuit was made from one of my cool rugby shirts.  I loved the feel of the thick knit, and couldn't part with it, so I made something for my little boy. (now 24 years old)

This jumpsuit, I made using one of my sweatshirts and the pocket on the front was from an old kit dress.


Little kids are so fun to sew for!  Little tops and pants hardly take any fabric, so repurposing is easy and inexpensive.  Just think of all the fun things you can make.  You can usually pick up an inexpensive pattern on Craftsy or just Google and you will be surprised at how many free patterns there are out there for little kids.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Upcycling T Shirts

Do you have a t shirt that you love, but it doesn't fit anymore or has gone out of style?   Give it a second life by making something else out of it.

Knits are "sew" fun work with and there are a lot of things you can make especially children's clothing.  Now days, little kids t shirts are usually cheaper just to buy already made, than to purchase a pattern and fabric, not to mention the time involved. But if you have the fabric already and basic patterns are cheap and usually accessible on the internet, then you are set.

Have you priced good quality interlock knits lately?  They are not cheap and the selection is usually poor.
This piece of knit with 5 % spandex was $12.99 yard.

So if you have a shirt that has good quality fabric, good colors and design, and you don't wear it anymore, MAKE SOMETHING COOL WITH IT!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baby Gift Ideas - Upcycled Sweater Toys

Do you have a baby on the way, or know someone who does?  These little toys made from felted wool sweaters or fleece scraps make a fun compliment to any baby gift.

If you have been saving your sweater scraps........this is a great place to upcycle them into a cuddly and cozy baby toy.

Sweater Balls & Blocks

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Power of the Mind - Mind Over Medicine - Dr Lissa Rankin

If you are experiencing some kind of physical ailment or disease or know someone who is, (that should be pretty much everyone) then you will highly benefit from watching this video clip of Dr. Lissa Rankin.

Interesting stuff! 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quick and Easy Chicken Rolls

Here is an easy, quick, yummy meal.

I will admit it is not the most nutritional entree, but add some lightly steamed broccoli and you can't go too wrong.  This is always a good Sunday meal when you don't have a lot of time, and want some kind of meat & gravy combination.  My family enjoys these yummy little "chicken pillows" as they are referred to in our home.

These only take about 15 minutes to prepare and 20-25 minutes to cook.
Makes 8 good size servings.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine Sugar Cookies

 
Sugar cookies are something that I don't make too frequently around here.  I only make them for special occasions.  First, they take some time, and second, they are just too yummy to have only a few and I end up eating way more than my share.

I hadn't even thought about sugar cookies this Valentine's and my daughter mentioned yesterday that "we need to make sugar cookies".  What a great idea!


This recipe is a long time family favorite recipe from my sister Bonnie.  It has sour cream in it, yes sour cream.  A yummy moist, flaky sugar cookie.

Bonnie's Sugar Cookies

Monday, February 3, 2014

EFT- Nick Ortner & Wayne Dyer - The Power of Forgiveness


Here is a great video clip with Nick Ortner interviewing Wayne Dyer about EFT, (Emotional Freedom Technique), on the power of FORGIVENESS.

Keep in mind the 2014 Tapping World Summit is just around the corner.  FREE and well worth your time listening
Click on the link below to listen.
Wayne Dyer

Friday, January 31, 2014

Upcycled Sweater & Paper Heart Garlands

Here are a few heart garlands I made for Valentine's day.
If you haven't watched the heart cutting out tutorial yet, you can view it here.  See how easy and quick you can whip one of these up using your felted wool sweaters.

I attached a few acrylic crystal pendants to the ends to add a little charm and sparkle.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Upcycled Wool Sweater Hearts- Tips for cutting out tutorial

It's that time of year to make Valentine's, YEA!

I just thought I would post a little video tutorial on how easy it is to cut out hearts using your felted wool sweater scraps.
You have been saving your wool sweater scraps haven't you?  



You can locate and download the heart pattern for the the stuffed hearts HERE.

Get out your wool scraps or paper and make valentines.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Clutter Free - Hot spots for clutter

I have a bench at the bottom of my bed, and it is just ONE of my hot spots for clutter.  Where are the hot spots that attract clutter in your house?

Once you determine where the hot spots are and what items are usually left out, then you can create a plan of attack.
  • Do the items have a home?  (A place where they belong)
  • Is it inconvenience that is keeping you from putting things away?
  • Is it a habit?
There are a lot of things that effect what we do, so take time to ponder what might be the root cause of the clutter, and decide what it is you need to do to conquer.
The biggest thing is to change the way we do things.  If we keep doing things the way we have been doing, we will keep getting the same results. 

Brooke, from her blog Slow Your Home,has some great little tidbits that her readers shared on the topic of keeping your home clutter free.  Check it out here.

So, I have made a conscience decision to not go to bed with anything on the bench at the bottom of my bed.
So far so good.  Little things at a time.
Keep at it.

Let me know how the clutter busting is going in your home, or if you have any great tips to share.  We all would love to hear them!

You can comment on my facebook page as well.
youmakeitsimple.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Clutter Free - Magazines

So, I did it.  I limited the space I can keep magazines to two shelves in my work room.  I parted with a TON of magazines and sent them to the recycling bin!

I have a new plan to help keep my magazine stash in check.  After the magazine is a few months old, I go through it again and rip out any my favorites pages.  I do keep images of things that inspire me.

My Visual Inspiration!

Monday, January 6, 2014

GREEN SMOOTHIE with Slim & Sassy Essential Oil

Have you been drinking your GREEN SMOOTHIES?

Try adding 3-4 drops of doTERRA'S Slim & Sassy essential oil to your green smoothie and add a littler kick.  It taste yummy and is a refreshing change from your basic green smoothie.

The blend of grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger and cinnamon essential oils will help manage hunger, calm your stomach and lift your mood.

I love using doTERRA'S oils topically, for aromatherapy, cleaning,medicinally and internally.  I just went to a Green Smoothie Girl workshop the other day, and she recommended this. 

By the way if you haven't checked out Robyn Openshaw's website or don't know who she is, look her up, she is quite the gal and you can learn a lot from her.  She has several  YouTube videos about eating healthy.

Give the Slim & Sassy a whirl!
If you don't have Slim & Sassy, you could just put a drop of  each of these oils in your smoothie.  I usually put a little slice of lemon or a few drops of lemon essential oil in my green smoothies to help my body absorb the iron.  It taste good too.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Clutter Free - Step By Step

Clearing the clutter from your home can be an overwhelming task.  But if you do it step by step and a little at a time, it can be quite manageable and REFRESHING!
 
1.  CHOOSE A ROOM
Go to the room you have chosen to work on first and do some pondering.  I recommend taking some notes for each room.  I use list a list from my KEEPING HOUSE SYSTEM that works great.

You can download the "by-the-room task inventory sheets" here.
Take notes of things you need to do, like "need somewhere to hang belts", or "baseboards could be repainted" etc.
How do you feel in that room?  Are there problem areas that seem to always have clutter, or items you notice that are never put away?  Perhaps you don't even have a place for those items to live.  Everything needs a home!

Keep these notes in a file and implement the things you need to do when you can. Once you have a feel of what needs to be done.  Start the cleansing process.

2.  SORT

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New - Start the New Year CLUTTER FREE!

I don't know what it is, but it seems this time of year I just want to dejunk, get rid of clutter, and get ORGANIZED!

Does anyone else feel that way?

Actually I have been wanting to do some serious dejunking for quite some time.  I want to be free of the heaviness of all the unnecessary, unused, old items that I have been keeping around.  I say heaviness because that is what it feels like every time I pass by something out of place or open a drawer that is stuffed full, making it frustrating to find what I was looking for.


In an article on WebMD  it states:
"Having too much stuff can not only drain and frustrate you, it can make it difficult to get things done."
WebMD went to five organizational experts for their top advice on what you can do to control that clutter.  It is an interesting article.

Feng Shui specialist talk about how clutter is low, stagnant, and confusing energy that constantly drains energy from you.  It is said that it can also negatively influence, or even completely block, the flow of energy and events in many areas of your life.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

CHOOSING TO CREATE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season.  I hope you are taking time to slow down, be present and remembering WHY we are even celebrating in the first place.

It is easy to get caught up in all the expectations and drama of the holiday, only to find yourself stressed, overwhelmed and even down right depressed.  

It's the simple things that we overlook and tend to put aside that really bring lightness and joy to the holiday.

So, what if we took a moment to reflect what is REALLY important and what it is that TRULY brings  joy at this time of the year. 

Let's first make a list first of the things that are stressing us, (I say LET'S because I am going to do this along with you) things that we could delete from our schedule that are NOT important.  Look for things that you are doing out of expectation, obligation or guilt and decide if it is worth zapping your energy and your sanity.  Process any negative emotions that you are experiencing using whatever method you choose.  Don't stuff it!   I recommend EFT. (Emotional Freedom Technique). 

We may not even realize the patterns we are stuck in.  If we don't even realize what we are doing, how can we change?  So, go over your list and decide what it is you need to let go of.

Now let's make a list of things we would REALLY like to be doing and experiencing this holiday.  Be specific, include details!  Visualize yourself doing these things, visualize and let yourself really feel the emotions. When we know what we want, express it in detail, the universe will provide.

May you CREATE a wonderful holiday for yourself and those you love.  

Lighten up, tap out the negative emotions and keep smiling!

CHOOSE TO MAKE THINGS SIMPLE!!!



 
 





Monday, December 16, 2013

Taking Care of Yourself - The Art of Self-Care

I have to share with you an amazing audio book I just purchased and listened to.  I love Cheryl Richardson and the things she shares and teaches.  She is so down to earth and full of wisdom.

I ordered the audio and love listening to it while I am busy sewing, driving or doing chores.  I enjoy it so much that I ordered the book as well.  There is something about having a hard copy, where I can dog ear and write little notes on the pages.

In this book she offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time.  Designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble.
The CD set is filled with personal stories of how Cheryl and others have learned to make the practice of Extreme Self-Care their new standard for living. With chapters such as “End the Legacy of Deprivation,” “Take Your Hands off the Wheel,” “The Absolute No List,” and “Does That Anger Taste Good?” you will stop the endless cycle of self-betrayal and neglect that stems from daily violations of self-care. 
Each chapter includes a relevant resource section that offers books, Websites, audio programs, podcasts, and more should you want to explore a particular topic further.
I ordered this audio a few weeks ago, and ironically a few days ago, I get this email form Nick Ortner with his 10 days of holiday celebration.  He is offering free screenings of some awesome video clips from various people, and one of them is of Cheryl Richardson.  It is awesome!!!!  

 You can watch it here.

Nick is also streaming his movie The Tapping Solution for free as well until the 20th of December.  Learn more about that is my previous post.
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