Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thrifty Threads: Self expression

All I can really say about this outfit is, its so me!

It combines three things I love: Vests, Sunglasses, and Fedoras.

I made the vest the other day, and am so in love with it!

Tee shirt: Gap hand-me-down
Vest: Homemade*
Denim skirt: $5 aero thrift store find
Delany's Fedora: $14 from Target
Sunglasses: $5 from aero

What is Thrifty Threads?
Examples of Modest and Feminine outfits that express an assortment of styles.
Do you have an outfit that you want to share? Email us a picture and we will post it!
Requirements: please send photos directly in the email, attachments cannot be opened. Thank you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Exotic Ingredients~What is Star Anise?

So, what is Star Anise?

Star anise comes by its name honestly, with its star shape and a licorice taste similar to regular anise, only stronger. Star anise is the seed pod of an evergreen tree (Illicium Verum) grown in southwestern China and Japan. It is about one inch high with eight segments and a dark brown rust color. Like regular anise, star anise gets its distinctive licorice taste from a chemical compound called anethol. However the two are not related botanically - star anise is a member of the Magnolia family.

Using Star Anise in Cooking
Star anise plays a key role in the slow cooked dishes that characterize Eastern Chinese cuisine. Its licorice flavor enhances red cooked dishes, as well as eggs simmered in black tea. Star anise is one of the spices in five-spice powder.
Outside of China, star anise is featured in several of Vietnam's signature dishes, such as Pho Bo soup. It is also the secret ingredient in many Indian stews and curries. Star anise can replace regular anise in western recipes.
Medical Uses of Star Anise
In traditional Chinese medicine, star anise is prescribed as a digestive aid and to help cure colic in babies. More recently, Shikimic Acid, extracted from star anise, is one of the chief ingredients in the antiviral Tamiflu drug used to fight avian influenza.
Purchasing, Storage, and Preparation
Star anise is available in packages in Asian supermarkets. When purchasing star anise, look for whole pieces that aren’t broken. At home, store star anise in a sealed container in a cool dark place. Properly stored, star anise will last for several months. Discard once the flavor fades.
In slow cooked or simmered dishes, star anise is usually added whole (not broken into pieces) and discarded before serving. Occasionally, you may find stir-fry recipes calling for ground star anise.

Recipe: Sweet Potatoes with Star Anise, Ginger, and Lime

1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 star anise, finely crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast for 10 minutes, then shake or flip the potatoes over. Continue roasting for 10 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variation: There's a nice depth of flavor that comes from roasting all of the ingredients together, but those who really love ginger and lime might enjoy this variation. Instead of adding the ginger, lime zest and juice to the olive oil mixture, toss them with the potatoes after roasting for a hotter and zestier flavor.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the Map~Fun facts about: Poland

This weeks featured country is Poland!

Did you know?

 Polish born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to propose that the earth was not the center of the universe.

 Pizza in Poland does not contain tomato sauce. The waiters bring sauce to the table in a pitcher, and you pour it on top. Sometimes the sauce is just ketchup.

 In Poland, bananas are peeled from the blossom end, not from the stem end.

The name "Poland" - in Latin "Polonia" and in Polish "Polska" comes from the name of the tribe "Polanie", who used to inhabit the western part of today's country. It used to mean: people living in open fields.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A little bit a' humor

My kitten Duke often falls asleep while he is playing, and sometimes in some very strange positions!

Tutorial: Stain Removal

This tutorial is how to remove berry juice stains from clothing.

Today I was walking around the house when I noticed, much to my horror, that I had a huge stain on my brand new Kohl's shirt. Needless to say, I sorta flipped out. I tried a couple different stain removals including:

I wast sure what the stain was, so I tried DAWN for grease, Grandma's spot remover, and our homemade coconut oil soap. Nothing worked! I finally realised that it was cherry juice, so Momma went online and searched and found this great tip!

Supplies needed
Stained clothing
Cloth that I stained with (from top left to right) blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and cherry.

Lemon Juice-OR


Step 1:
Thoroughly wet your fabric and gently scrub BOTH SIDES with soap.

Step 2:
Take a cap full of Lemon juice OR Vinegar and pour it over the stain, you may need to work it in a bit. If the stain does not immediately go away then repeat steps 1 and 2.

The end result!

So perhaps you are just a little bit curiouse how exactly I got a huge cherry juice stain on my brand knew shirt? Well, I was eating lunch and reading a really awesome book. I got to a really exciting point, and well, things went flying and the next thing I knew I had a stain! And for the record, I am not always this messy :-)

Thrifty Threads: Splash of Teal

Oops, I am a wee bit behind on posting this week. Sorry about that :-)

Delany says, "I love this skirt. Its the perfect length, and super flowy!"

Shirt: $10 from Target
Teal Tank: $9 from Aero
Skirt: $3 from Thrift store

What is Thrifty Threads?
Examples of Modest and Feminine outfits that express an assortment of styles.
Do you have an outfit that you want to share? Email us a picture and we will post it!
Requirements: please send photos directly in the email, attachments cannot be opened. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Island living and Visiting

Yesterday our friends Teresa and Nikki came over for a visit! We had a blast, catching up on the past two years and we even got a tour of the Island.

 Tammy, Nikki, and Delany standing on the porch at the old house.

Sherry and Teresa

 Vines fascinate me.

  The coolest old truck that they have out at the Island

Young orange trees.

I hope you have a great day! And remember, I love hearing what my readers think, so please leave comments!

Thrifty Threads: Silly Ideas

I love this outfit
Its crazy comfortable, and you can do anything in it!




Linen tunic: $4.00 from Thrift store
Pants: $5.00 from Old Navy sale
Scarves are all Thrift store finds, prices $1-$3 each.

What is Thrifty Threads?
Examples of Modest and Feminine outfits that express an assortment of styles.
Do you have an outfit that you want to share? Email us a picture and we will post it!
Requirements: please send photos directly in the email, attachments cannot be opened. Thank you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On the map~ Fun facts about: Scotland

Ah, Scotland.
There is just something about Scotland that makes me happy. It could be the beautiful country, the bagpipes, the plaid, the awesome accent. :-)
Here are some interesting facts about Scotland!

Did you know?

 Scotland is considered the home land of golf

Charles Macintosh, a chemist born in Glasgow, is credited for having invented the raincoat.

Gaelic is an ancient language, but it is estimated that 80,000 people use it in everyday speech. However nobody in Scotland speaks only Gaelic and not English.

In the North East of Scotland girls are called "Quines" and boys are called "Loons".

Mar Sin Leat!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Exotic Ingredients~What is Dragon Fruit?

I have heard dragon fruit mentioned several times and, not knowing what it was, today I looked it up!
So, what is dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit is a beautiful fruit grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. The plant is actually a type of cactus, and the fruit comes in 3 colors: 2 have pink skin, but with different colored flesh (one white, the other red), while another type is yellow with white flesh. Dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, plus fiber and antioxidants.
Dragon fruit tastes wonderful! - sweet and crunchy, with a flavor that's like a cross between kiwi and pear.

It is not known exactly where the dragon fruit originated, but it is thought to have come from South America. The French are believed to have brought the dragon fruit to Vietnam over a hundred years ago. Dragon fruits were grown there to be eaten by royalty and very wealthy families

Dragon fruit grows on a tree like this.

Here is a yummy sounding recipe!

Dragon Fruit Sorbet
2 dragon fruits
3/4 c. cold water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
Cut the dragon fruit in half. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Reserve the halves for serving,if desired. Freeze the halves until you are ready to fill them.
Place the pulp of the dragon fruit in your food processor along with the water,lemon juice and sugar. Pulse until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. Spoon the sorbet into the frozen halves,or freeze the sorbet until ready to serve.
Makes about 2 cups of sorbet.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Thrifty Threads: Dancing the Polka~Refashioning

The newest installment of Thrifty Threads also happens to be my latest sewing project.
I found the most adorable polka dotted dress at the thrift store the other day. Though it was sleeveless and too short, I knew it had some great potential, and I bought it to see if I could do anything with it. I am in love with the results!

This is a picture of the dress before I refashioned it.

And after!

Dress: $2.50
Fabric: $4.50
Shoes: $5.00

What is Thrifty Threads?
Examples of Modest and Feminine outfits that express an assortment of styles.
Do you have an outfit that you want to share? Email us a picture and we will post it!
Requirements: please send photos directly in the email, attachments cannot be opened. Thank you!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence Day

July 4th, 1776
America had been at war with Britain for over a year.
The 13 American colonies regarded themselves as independent states, separate from the British Empire and their rule. Genuine freedom was won over six years after that. 
The Declaration of Independence, originally written by Thomas Jefferson, was signed two days previous, then on July 4th was published and distributed to the public. Thus the celebration of Americas independence began, and continued to be celebrated on the same day for years after.

The Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Men from each of the 13 colonies signed the Decleration.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

4th of July today

Today the 4th of July is celebrated with BBQ'S, fireworks, live music, and many other activities.
Its is a day to celebrate freedom.
It is a day to honor the Troops who gave their lives for our country 
We celebrated the 4th with a full day of live music at Lake Eva park, fish and chips :-), a John Michael Montgomery concert, and the most amazing Firework show I have ever seen!
Momma and Delany reading and listening to live music.
Momma and Tammy

The V.I.P. section. They did not sell all of the seats, so we were let in during the JMM concert!

The JMM concert brought approximately 28,000 people to Lake Eva park.


John Michael Montgomery playing the electric guitar.
The most amazing fire work show ever! It is know to be the best in all of Polk County, and full 30 minutes long!

Happy Independence Day!

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Sing to יהוה a new song, sing to יהוה, all the earth! Sing to יהוה, bless His Name, Proclaim His deliverance from day to day. Declare His esteem among the nations.

Psalms 96:1-3