Time to open an Etsy Store?

Dear Sis,

I have come to a very difficult decision. I would much rather have some of these cute little buggers, then some of the reenacting gear in my closet… that doesn’t even fit me anymore. 

So, I have decided to sell the following. 

The Silk Dress – My very first homemade civil war gown. I never attended a ball, or any fancy gathering that I could wear this to. I’m not sure why I thought I would, I don’t even like dancing and our unit never left the campfire. All well, it was a good (and expensive) learning experience. lol 

The Wool Gown – I am rather proud of this dress, as I spent hours researching, and drafting the pattern. But sadly this dress no longer fits me, so I might as well sell it too.

The Crazy Scarf – Because this didn’t take forever to make. lol. I made this scarf from a picture and what was supposed to be a pattern. 

Sheer Dress– Yep, this doesn’t fit me either. 🙁

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Our New Dining Room

Dear Sis,

Yesterday, Josh picked up a dining table and chairs for us. The boys Uncle Jeremy was plagued by its presence in his apartment and was happy to be rid of it for a mere $50. 

Today, I swept and mopped the dining room at long last and Scotch guarded the chairs to help keep them stain free as long as possible. 

The shorter table made room for a baby nook, that looks into the kitchen, so baby can keep me company while I prepare meals:)

Love,

b

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My Walking Buddy

Dear Sis,

The past few days have been unseasonably warm. Instead of going stir-crazy, I turned baby into my walking buddy.

Day 1

We made it a block from the house before baby had a melt-down. To our neighbors’ amusement, I spent the better part of the walk carrying him while pushing the stroller. 

Day 2

We were able to complete the full intended mile walk with only one fuss session as I stopped to chat with some kind folks on a street that runs parallel to ours. I soothed the little guy and held him during the chat and popped him back in, without fuss, when I started walking again. He was able to relax enough to nap!

Day 3

It was a brisk day, so we only did a half mile. Baby was bouncing around happily in his stroller the whole way:) 

Love,

b

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Quick Chocolates

Hi Sis,

This year for Christmas, I decided to make chocolates. I made them for all our family members that we visited and our neighbors. (I figured food and Christmas would be a great way to meet our new neighbors). I took awhile, and I learned a lot about chocolate. But, the results were very delicious

My very first boxes of chocolates looked like this, and contained Buckeyes, Milk and Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries, Peppermint Bark, and Turtles Bars.

I was very pleased with half of the box. The Buckeyes and Peppermint Bark was delicious. The Turtle bars tasted like wax, as I used chocolate coating instead of real chocolate, and the dark chocolate covered cherries bloomed after they aged a day or two. 

So, I swapped things up with my next batch of chocolate boxes.

This time I used real chocolate for the turtle bars, and boy were they good. I made more buckeyes and peppermint bark. I got rid of the dark chocolate covered cherries entirely, and made some truffles. I made vanilla walnut, orange, and almond flavored truffles. And i have to admit, the truffles and the buckeyes are my favorites!

I would love to make this a tradition, as I really enjoying candy making and most of my family makes plenty of cookies. People also get a big smile on their face when you hand them a box of chocolates!

So, here are the recipes I will use again!

 

Buckeyes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  2. 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  3. 1 Cup Butter
  4. 6 Cups Powdered Sugar
  5. 4 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (although, I didn't count how many cups I used, so have more)
  6. Shortening
Instructions
  1. In mixing bowl combine peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Beat in sugar a bit at a time.
  2. Roll into round balls
  3. Melt chocolate, add some shortening (use teaspoon) to thin the chocolate.
  4. Dip and place on wax paper.
Notes
  1. Everyone's home humidity and temperature vary. Also, peanut butter brands vary in the percent of oil. Therefore, you may need more powdered sugar if your peanut butter balls are sticky.
  2. The dough should have a dry consistency that needs kneaded together to form into pretty peanut butter balls.
  3. You can put your peanut butter balls into the freezer to chill before dipping. Do not let them freeze entirely.
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Almond and Orange Walnut Truffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
  2. 2 Tablespoons Butter
  3. 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  4. 1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  5. 1 Tablespoon Almond or Orange Extract
  6. 3/4 Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds or Crushed Walnuts
Instructions
  1. Over low heat, warm cream, butter, and sugar to a simmer.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Melt in chocolate.
  4. Add extract.
  5. Cover and chill one hour in the freezer
  6. With teaspoon spoon truffles onto a jelly roll pan that is lined with wax paper. You may roll them into balls if the mixture isn't to sticky.
  7. Freeze 10 - 15 minutes, or until you can roll them into balls. If they start to change color, take them out immediately. You will probably discover that you will have to refreeze half of them, as the will thaw.
  8. Roll into nuts.
  9. Place into liners.
  10. Refrigerate
  11. For best taste, allow truffles to come to room temperature before eating.
Tag Sis, You're It! http://www.tagsisyoureit.com/
Peppermint Bark
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Ingredients
  1. Semisweet or Dark Chocolate Chips
  2. White Chocolate or White Almond Bark
  3. Peppermint Candies
Instructions
  1. Melt dark chocolate and brush (with food safe candy or cake brush) into bottom of mold.
  2. Freeze molds for 2 - 4 minutes.
  3. Crush peppermint candies.
  4. Melt white chocolate.
  5. Mix peppermint candies (as much as you can without causing mixture to get chunky, you still want a smooth chocolate) and poor onto top of candy molds.
  6. Freeze about 4 - 6 minutes, until chocolate are cool enough to pop out.
  7. Allow to air dry for awhile before packaging.
Notes
  1. Do package these before adding them to a box of any other sweets. The peppermint is strong, and will make your other candies taste like peppermint.
Tag Sis, You're It! http://www.tagsisyoureit.com/

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Our Christmas

Dear Sis,

We brought a home cooked lunch to the Horseshoe Bay airport on Christmas Day. Jonas, a friend of Josh’s, was stuck there for the day manning the airport solo. After a meal, some companionship, and some baby cuddles, Jonas was all too happy to take our first family portrait, despite Josh’s attempts to get out of it:)

Love,

b

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Here Comes Santa Claus

Hi Sis,

Cindy’s mom, Linda, is showering us with all kinds of attention and gifts since baby’s arrival. The latest package contained a crocheted Santa baby suit. No matter how many times I stuffed baby all the way into the thing, he would trash until he was halfway out. Then, he would lay still. I gave up after a half dozen attempts and took the photos the way he wanted to wear his suit. 

Love,

b

 

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A gift for Josh

Dear Sis,

Josh loves to lose things, as anyone who has known him for more than a day knows. So this year, I got him something to help him find his keys. 

Bluetooth Tracking Tag

Then, because I’m me, I made a scavenger hunt so he could “find” his gift:)

Scavenger Hunt

This time your wife really did hide your keys. 

Seek if you please and find them with ease.

 

Wear them all day for work or for play.

Wear them to sleep for warm toes to keep.

Lining a shoe is what they can do.

Have you guessed, or do you need another clue?

We are best in pairs, folded with love, and packed away snug. 

Find our home, and you’ll know where next to roam.

Location: Sock Drawer

 

Have us with dinner or lunch, to add some crunch.

Salty, not sweet, is this favorite treat.

Being bright yellow is hardly discreet.

Will you find a clue or something to eat?

Location: Bag of Lays Potato Chips

 

In a basket we dwell.

Keeping baby clean and dry is what we do well.

Find this clue fast, before we get used and begin to smell.

Location: Baby’s Changing Basket

 

When hunger comes to call, you’ll need us quick.

Our job might seem small, but we wait patiently, stacked tall,

  in a white cupboard tethered to the wall.

Keys don’t belong here! No, not at all.

Location: Dish Cupboard

 

Misplacing your keys is just something you do.

Here’s something to help, and I love you!

Location: On the Gift

Not only did Josh get a kick out of having to hunt for his present, but he also is excited to try it out… and hopefully lose his keys less:)

Love,

b

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Winter in the Snow Belt

Hey Sis,

Winter has hit, and it has certainly changed life at the Quick Home. Nate and I live in the snow belt, close to Lake Eire. Which means, we get lots of snow and frequently! Our first snowstorm came December 10 & 11th. Of course, that was the weekend Nate’s family planned their Christmas gatherings, so we were on the road through the worst of it. Thankfully, that Thursday, our new car came in! We had decided it was time to trade in Nate’s old Toyota Carolla, and get something with 4-Wheel Drive. It took about a week to come in, but our Subaru Forester arrived just in time!

Our first snowstorm was 16 inches, a great introduction to living in the snow belt. 

We have been plowing the driveway a lot. Thankfully, we have a snowplow on the quad. Dad also just dropped off a huge snow blower that has been sitting in his garage. So, now we have a snow blower if we want to use it.

A very rare sigh indeed! Not all northerners can successfully hatch pine trees.

The chickens haven’t minded the snow one bit, although walking to their coop can be a bit of a trudge, even if it is pretty. The weather has been super cold, so I’ve taken to letting them eat snow instead of delivering water to them five times a day. I also mix warm water in their night and daytime feedings and make a gruel they love! The result has been happy chickens… without any signs of frostbite! (I’ve learned dipping wattles in a bucket of water and then running around the yard causes terrible frostbite, it is much safer to let the birds eat snow, provided it is on the ground.) 

While, I am busy freezing, Dozer is having a blast! He loves the snow, and wants to be outside constantly. The first few days of the snow, he had to jump everywhere, because the snow was up to his belly.

However, now between thaws and freezes he can walk on top of the snow. Occasionally, when he runs he falls through the other layers. I guess there are benefits to us having a massive mountain puppy (almost 50 pounds at just 4 months!), he can walk through our backyard without us shoveling snow for him. lol

  

Love,

Jamiegoof

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