Displaying 1 - 10 of 47 entries.

The Final Post from Today’s Housewife

  • Posted on September 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

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Four years ago, four friends came together to share our lives with the on-line world. Over a year ago we invited new friends to join our team to get even more voices involved. We’ve all had fun talking about our homes, hobbies, families, food, and faith with you. But our lives have changed and we just can’t devote the same time to Today’s Housewife we were able to in the past.

We want to say thank you to all who have read throughout the last four years. We’ve enjoyed getting to know you through the comments and interaction on our Facebook & Twitter pages. We’re thankful for each follower, subscriber, and visitor!

This isn’t the last time you’ll hear from each of the writers. If you have a favorite writer, be sure to check out her site and follow her there!

Thanks again for reading!

Best of the Faith Channel

  • Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:00 am

Best of the Food Channel

  • Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:00 am

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Best of the Family Channel

  • Posted on August 29, 2012 at 4:00 am

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Best of the Hobbies Channel

  • Posted on August 28, 2012 at 4:00 am

Teach them to sew!

  • Posted on February 21, 2012 at 6:00 am

Growing up, my mother sewed many of my dresses. In fact every Christmas and Easter I had a new dress sewn especially for the occasion.  There were also tons of clothes for school and play as well.  Between what she made, and the handmade hand-me-downs from from cousins, I rarely wore store bought clothes.  As I got older, the pull of “real” clothes became great, and Mom made less and less for me.  But there was still something about getting an Easter dress. So year after year, Mom made one for me. I would often read the pattern directions to her, and then ask her what they actually meant. There was even a time, I was old enough to help do some of the cutting out.  But it always was up to Mom to make the clothes. Honestly? I had no desire to learn.

Then my children came along. I convinced Mom to get her machine out, and sew a few things for my first and second born.  By this point, Mom wasn’t all that keen on sewing, so she had me do most of the cutting and reading again, and I might have even sewn a hem or two. But she still made them a few outfits.  Then, when my daughter was turning two, I wanted her to have a Raggedy Ann dress to go with her birthday party theme.  I bought the pattern and material and convinced my Aunt Linda to make it for her. And it was that year I decided to learn to sew.

DSCF0076Fast forward quite a few years, and I am looking at the face of my then 9 year old daughter dying to use my machine, and me terrified she will “mess up” something.  So, what is a Mom to do? I got out a piece of paper and my sewing machine.  Yep. She learned her basics with paper.  No thread, or anything.  We started with straight lines. She learned to lock her “stitches”, how to lower the needle, and off she went. The needle punched holes into the paper, and she was able to see how straight, or NOT straight her stitches were. After she mostly mastered straight lines, we moved to curved lines, then zig-zags or other 90 degree sharp turns.  We used up tons of scrap paper around the house, and she really was learning well. Even one or two of my sons got in on the fun.  This is great for any beginner sewer to get used to a machine and working out sewing along lines.  I’ve even used this technique for when I am trying out a new stitch or sewing look.

After she got all the lines down, we moved on to cutting out hand sized shapes like stars, hearts, and such from fabric to sew together and stuff. They became gifts for friends, pin cushions, and Christmas tree ornaments.  Be creative, and enjoy some time with your children as you teach and/or learn a new skill.

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By the way, she is now making her own quilt tops.  Guess I better learn how to teach her quilting!

IMG_6400-2Beth is a pastor’s wife, mom to five boys and three girls. She loves to sew, crochet, read, and bake in her spare time. You can see what her family is doing at Sew Anyhow and follow her on Twitter at @BethSewAnyhow.

Hot Soup for Cold Nights

  • Posted on January 12, 2012 at 1:35 am

Though I am not the biggest fan of snowy, icy weather–that is literally just accumulating outside my door at this very moment, I am quite fond of the comfort foods that make up winter eats. Most people think that comfort food equals lots of fat, sugar, and calories. I don’t think it has to. Comfort food is all about flavors that are familiar and welcoming, and oftentimes that can be accomplished with less of the “bad” stuff when combined with the herbs and other seasonings or offset by loads of vegetables. Soups are one of my favorite ways to enjoy my favorite “comfort foods” and flavors without sacrificing nutrition. They are also a great way to warm up on cold nights. Here are links to two of my favorite soups that I have previously shared on my blog… as well as a new one for today.

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Lasagna Soup… spinach, tomatoes, beef, noodles, and plenty of cheese to make things happy! This is a must make.

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Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili… a new take on an old classic.

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And last but not least, Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese. This soup does not disappoint. It is plenty creamy and cheesy to feel indulgent, but is also filling without feeling heavy, thanks to the use of fresh broccoli, skim milk, and flavorful Swiss cheese.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese [from Rosemary Perry, Lafayette Journal and Courier]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium heads fresh broccoli, chopped [can also substitute 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli]
  • 1 tablespoon onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • generous amount coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup cubed Swiss cheese

Directions:

Place chicken broth, broccoli, onion, and bay leaf in 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until broccoli reaches desired tenderness. [I like to leave it with a little bit of bite so that the rest of the cooking doesn't make it mushy.]

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter then stir in flour and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, always stirring. Gradually add milk, always stirring to make a smooth sauce. Remove from heat.

Remove bay leaf from broth and slowly stir sauce into broth. Add cubed cheese. Heat gently on low until cheese melts.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

sarahSarah began blogging at The Pajama Chef in order to chronicle her adventures in and love of cooking and baking. Sarah is currently a graduate student at Indiana University working towards a Master of Library Science and a Master of Arts in African Studies. Sarah’s efforts in the kitchen would not be possible without the assistance of her husband, Ben, and his stellar dish-washing and sous-chef skills. Sarah and Ben were married in May 2009 and enjoy running, reading, involvement in a local church, and spoiling their kitty, Sheba. You can also find Sarah on Pinterest.

When do you find the time?!

  • Posted on January 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

ADB 027As a mother of eight, I am most asked if they are all mine (or something a little too personal).  But second to that question, I am always asked “How do you have the time for…”. Let me tell you a little secret. There is never enough time for it all. Just as Alicia spoke of yesterday, I am living in a season of little hands, big messes, and constant chaos. I cannot have an immaculate house nor do I want one.  And in order to sew, bake, craft, and read, I sometimes just don’t fold the laundry that night.  And guess what! It is still waiting for me in the morning!

But, with all the distractions throughout the day, I often start a project, think of a project, mess up a project, and never complete them.  I am good intentioned, but this my poor mind is in the marathon of it’s life right now. Extra sometimes just get dropped on the floor of my mental office. So here are some tips to organizing your hobbies, and actually finishing one or two!

1. Have a journal dedicated to hobbies. I constantly am writing down new sewing ideas, favorite patterns, recipes I want to try, books I’d like to read, etc. I can come back to this to plan out new projects.

2. Make a wish list on Amazon.  This is where I keep a list of ALL books. Books for school, the kids, me, field guides, how-to books, you name it. Whatever you think you would like, put it in your list. As you get Swagbucks, extra money, or catch them on Kindle for free, you can mark them off your list!

3.  Take one evening a week for your hobby. After the kids are in bed, instead of folding clothes, scrubbing floors, or washing the dishes (scandalous!), take the time for your hobby. Sew, read, bake, learn a new photo technique. It’s just one evening.

4.  Schedule your crafts!! I know it sounds crazy, but I already have a calendar made up for 2012′s Christmas gifts.  Each month from now until October, I know what I am making for whom. No more staying up for 72 hours straight trying to finish it all before Christmas morning!

0405.  Involve your child.  I have been really sneaky, and added sewing lessons to my 11 year old daughter’s schooling.  So while she is working on sewing straight lines, hems, pajama pants, or quilt tops, I can get in some time cutting out patterns and fabric.

6.  Television and movie time is perfect for multi-tasking.  I cannot seem to keep my hands idle, so I crochet, embroider, fix clothing, or plan a baking schedule while watching T.V with my husband.

7.  Stay current on your daily work!  I use Simple Mom’s Daily Docket to help me stay on track. Being diligent in my work throughout the day leaves me some extra time for hobbies.

8.  Be flexible! If you were planning on making a new door wreath today, but the phone rang all day, the dog ate  a plastic toy, and the baby threw up all over the couch and floor, it’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. Put this day to bed, and wake up refreshed and try again!

9.  Have a place set aside for your hobbies.  A basket full of yarn and hooks, a shelf of unread books, a desk drawer with sketch pads and pencils.  It doesn’t have to be a whole room, it could just be a small sewing basket kept by your seat on the couch.  But having your craft at your finger tips makes it far easier to spend 10 minutes working on your hobby.

10.  And of course, last but not least, if you do not have a Pinterest account, GET ONE!  This has been such a huge resource for me, and a second place to keep all my ideas and wish lists.

So, can I do it all?  Nope, but I sure enjoy working with my hands, keeping my home, and staying busy.  Now if anyone can help me work on my procrastination issues…

Linked up to Oh Amanda Top Ten Tuesday!

IMG_6400-2Beth is a pastor’s wife, mom to five boys and three girls. She loves to sew, crochet, read, and bake in her spare time. You can see what her family is doing at Sew Anyhow and follow her on Twitter at @BethSewAnyhow.

Household Seasons

  • Posted on January 9, 2012 at 7:57 am

IMG_1653What season is your home in today? I’m not asking if it’s winter or how cold it is outside your door. I’m asking what season of life is it in your home. It is different for everyone. Is your home filled with little mess-makers? Or are you working outside your home? Are your children older and spending their time at school or off on their own?

I struggle with contentment in my home all the time. I’d love for my home to look like the pages of Southern Living magazine, but I’m in the “Cheerio and Laundry” season at my house. That means that there is hardly an hour of the day that doesn’t have a load of laundry waiting on the couch to be folded or put away. And at any given time there’s a Cheerio (or 10) on the floor somewhere. No matter how hard I work, there’s always something else to be picked up or cleaned with young kids. Erma Bombeck once said that “Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing.’ And I’d probably add – in a blizzard! I could work all day at cleaning and keeping an immaculate house, but I’d never get there. My windows are smudged, my pillows never stay neatly arranged on the couch and the laundry is unending.

It doesn’t mean that I should give up and start to live like we are auditioning for Extreme Hoarders. But I have tried to shift my perspective a little bit lately. There will be a day when my living room couch doesn’t always have the surprise army man or matchbox car in the cushions. And there will be a day when I walk by the kitchen table without hearing the crunch of a Cheerio under my shoe. But it’s not today.

Today there will be more than one load of laundry that must be washed and folded. But there will also be games to be played. There will be cars to be picked up, but I think I’ll try to stop and race them with my boys before I drop them in their basket. I’ve heard that I’ll miss the mess and the noise. I’m not totally convinced that I will, but I don’t want to wish it all away either.

Maybe one day my home will look like a magazine cover. But until then, I think I’ll try to embrace this phase of my life. Will you join me in learning to love whatever season of life God has given your home?

 

Alicia is the Home Editor for Today’s Housewife. She’s a military spouse and mother to Mark, Luke and Caroline. 

Construction Birthday Party

  • Posted on October 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

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My son recently turned 3 and we decided to have a construction party because he goes crazy when he sees “big trucks” working on the side of the road! We invited a few friends and got to work planning after searching for ideas on pinterest.

c5I was able to find some great tool belts at the Dollar Store and thought they would look adorable with their names on them. They also needed to be stuffed with some construction items like a pencil, paper, paintbrush and a tool. Each kid also got a hat with their name on it that I found on amazon (these hats are incredibly tiny but they worked for most of the kids).

c9Next we thought of activities that would work. I got a store to give us 2 large boxes that the kids could paint with tempera paint. It didn’t cover like I thought it would, but they didn’t care at all! This was a huge hit! We also filled the water and sand tables with some sand and treasures for the kids to find. Lots of the kids loved this area as well. Tc3here was also a tarp with his Bruder trucks out for kids to play with. The favorite area was probably the hammer and screw table. We had floral foam and hammered nails and golf tees into it. They could also put screws in it. Some kids spent the majority of the time here!

We got all of the kids to pile into our Bobcat which was parked in back of the house and took a picture of them. It turned out really cute! We ended the party with cupcakes for everyone. I initially wanted to top them with construction vehicles, but we ended up using little candy nuts from our Handy Manny candy.

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It was such a fun party and a lot of work, but I know all of the kids really enjoyed it! The parents just loved the personalized tool belts even if most of the kids didn’t want to wear them at the party!! For a few days, my sons would tell everyone he saw about his party. I’m so glad that they had such a fun time!

What type of party do you think kids love the most? 

Picture0011Kama is a stay-at-home-mom to 2 very active toddler boys and is set to have #3 of unknown gender in October. She is looking forward to delivering this baby at home. She loves sewing, quilting and crafting when she finds a few minutes and isn’t dead tired!