how to eat a pomegranate

It's been brought to my attention that I have several friends who avoid pomegranates.  Either because they don't know how to even start to eat them...or, well,  mostly that.

And since they are in season now, they are beautiful and sweet and tasty (and closer to being affordable than they usually are).  And this will be the year you try one because I am going to do the most random post ever and teach you how to prepare a pomegranate for eating. :)
 Look how pretty?  Are you ready?  You need a sharp knife to start. 
 Identify the crown of the pom.  It looks like this ^
Cut off a half inch or so off the crown...not too much.  Be careful it will squirt.  I usually do this under a towel believe it or not. :)
Score the skin of the pom as shown above...not too deep, you are just trying to cut into the skin which is about 1/4in thick or so.  You don't have to go the whole length of the pom...just down a couple of inches. 
Then put it face down in a bowl of cold water and leave it there for 5-10 minutes.
Now...even though this photo and the next few photos don't show it...DO THIS UNDER WATER.  Gently start to peel the skin away from the little pods. 
Pull off a little section at a time and UNDER WATER gently nudge all the pods out of the white membraney stuff. 
You can do this by gently scraping your thumb along the seeds and prying them out...UNDER WATER. :)
 They will all come out pretty easily. 

Then you will be left with this...the seeds sink and the membrane stuff floats. 
 Scoop out the membrane with a slotted spoon. 
Dump the rest in a strainer and rinse.
Put in a bowl and chill.  They taste the best nice and cold.  And to me, taste like a nice mix of cranberry and cherry. 

And it always makes me thankful for the variety the Lord provided us.  Just think, had He chosen to, He could have had us live off of manna forever and ever, even in the garden at the beginning.  But He chose to give us a myriad of wonderful things to try and taste.  :) No man made concoction can touch the perfection of His fruits and provisions. :)

Enjoy trying something NEW!
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what i made for monday-preacher cookies.

Happy Monday to you!

Here's what I made for Doug to share at work this week...preacher cookies!!  A southern staple, if I may deem them so.  Named such because here in the Bible belt the preacher can come a calling any old time...and when you see him pull into the driveway you can whip these up in a jiffy! :)

As an added bonus to "what I made for Monday", I also steal a few of each item from the batch to send along with Moses for his darling teachers.  Just a teeny, tiny way to tell them we appreciate them.  And since I am already making something for Doug to take to work, it takes almost no additional effort to send some to school, too.  Not that effort should keep us from blessing others...but in this case there is NO reason to not to. :) I keep word file at the ready and fill it in with the name of what I am sending in, print it off and staple it to the top of a sandwich bag. 

And what teacher do you know that wouldn't appreciate a little extra something?

So here's how to make these super simple and YUMMY cookies!

Preacher Cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Mix butter or margarine, cocoa, sugar, milk, and salt together in saucepan. Boil for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow to cool and harden.
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custom order sunday.

For a change of pace, all of the items featured today are still available!  Usually they get snatched up on the way to the shop via my lbf facebook page, or lately, instagram...so I am happy to say you can claim each an every item featured here. :)
This weeks art (above) is based on a favorite scripture...they are all favorites really but this week, this is the one.  Original available, as well as prints (prints to come). 
You know how when you have 500 things to do, you end up doing the last thing you SHOULD be doing?  These wreaths are those things.  I have an amazing hoard of ribbon that making these (and others that were already claimed) that did not put the slightest dent in. :)
But they are happy and lovely.  Would be a great happy gift.  (each is $25 plus shipping-8in wreath)
And here is a rare treat.  An available hoho.  Adopt him over at my facebook page to the right or click HERE.  Just leave a comment on the hoho you want to claim as your very own.

Please keep in mind that this will be the only way to get hohos for the rest of the year as I am severely limiting my custom orders until January. :)
This hoho owl is available too by clicking on the link above.  I just love these sweet little birds. :)
And one more...available via the Facebook page, until I can get it into the shop. 
And finally, last weeks art is available as a print. :) You can buy it HERE in my shop. :)

Here's to a bright and happy week.  Where I get caught up on everything.  And my laundry stays done.  And all my meals are delicious and well planned out.  Where my kids get along and the coffee stays flowing.

I can dream can't I? :)
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giveaway winners, quilt raffle and water.

I was honored to be asked to be a part of Chrissie Graces' new book Sew to swap...I still feel like choosing me to participate was a huge mistake on her part but it's too late for her to take it back.  :)
There's a huge blog hop going on from her blog that you can check out to see all the actual quilters and their amazing work.  My blog hop day isn't until the 23rd but I wanted to give you a head start on something I find particularly wonderful.  
 
All of the quilts samples that were made for the book are being auctioned off in some way or given directly to charity.  I asked Chrissie if I could raffle one off for a charity of my choosing and she obliged me. :) Thanks Chrissie!  Here's a sneak peek photo of the quilt that will be awarded to one winner!  I did the camera square.  I am also trying to line up several other "runner up" prizes (so far including a copy or two of the book, some handmade goodies and etc).  Even though my official "blog hop" day isn't until the 23rd, I wanted to start the raffle as soon as possible to raise as much money as possible for the charity I chose...which was.... 
charity : water.  A highly reputable charity whose mission is to bring a basic necessity to everyone.  Water.  Think about how much water you use in a day...your shower, your coffee, brushing your teeth, cooking, cleaning, etc.  ONE $20 donation will bring clean water to one person.  Think about how easy that is?  Each $10 donation made will get you an entry to win the quilt or one of the runner up prizes...so even if you don't WIN...you win. :) More photos of the quilt and other prizes coming on the 23rd.

So a few things...

1.  Click on the bottle image above or to the right to donate to my campaign.  All $10 donations from now until the end of the month will be entered into the raffle. 

2.  If you own an etsy shop and would like to donate a "runners up" prize, please email me.

3.  PLEASE spread the word as though it were YOUR child who needed clean water! :) 

The winner of the Less Ordinary Designs prize is: YOU! 

Magazine winners are YOU and YOU! 

Contact me to claim your prizes! :)  Happy Friday! :) xo
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an open letter to new moms.

I have a lot of new moms in my life. 

I find myself having a lot of the same conversations with them all.  I remember those first days as a new mom.  SO scary and overwhelming and exhausting.  And I remember thinking that no one ever gave me a real picture of what those first days and weeks would look like. 

Doug and I were the first among many of our friends to have a baby and the ones that had kids generally gave me the "just look at the tiny face and the world will be ok" kind of speech.  Nice to say, difficult to apply to an exhausted, overwhelmed mom.   

But nothing real or tangible that would help me rationalize or not to feel alone with the slew of new emotions and thoughts and feelings that go into being a mom for the very first time. Why does no one ever want to talk about the hard stuff that we all face?

So here is an open, honest letter to all new moms out there addressing some of the things that no one ever tells you.  From a mom who had a pretty run of the mill birth and normal little babies. 

Dear new mom,

The first thing you should know is that you are normal.  Everything you are feeling is normal.  Millions of women have been in your shoes and for some reason just don't ever talk about it. 

It is OK to feel happy, elated, sad, weepy, angry, frustrated, exhausted, energetic and all that in a span of 10 minutes. 

It is OK to question your choice to have a baby in the first place.  Every mom has those moments.  The whole "what have I gotten myself into"? feeling is normal.  It's a HUGE change.  YOU CAN DO THIS. 

It is OK to have moments where you don't like that baby.  It's true, hard to write and read but so very true.  You are learning to take care of, and anticipate all the needs, wants and desires of a whole other person.  On top of your own.  It's only natural that you have moments of annoyance or anger towards the person who is demanding so much of you.  That does not mean you love them less, it just means you are a human learning to do a HUGE task.  It is OK to put that baby in the crib, crying or not and walk away until that anger passes.  It will get better.  It is OK TO TALK ABOUT THIS TO SOMEONE!!!!!

A crying baby will be fine. No baby is allergic to crying. 

Please say OUTLOUD the ways that your husband can help you.  Do not assume that he will magically read your mind.  I bet he really WANTS to help you but he feels as lost as you.  A simple kind suggestion to what you need or want done can go a long way to making everyone a little bit happier.  Talk about how hard it is to be a parent!

You will feel like a crazy person.  You have insane amounts of hormones literally raging through your body.  You will literally, simultaneously say something that sounds like a deranged woman is talking WHILE hearing your inner voice yell "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING YOU CRAZY WOMAN?".  Take a deep breath, say "I'm sorry" and move on.  Don't beat yourself up over it.  It will get better. 

You will leak milk at the least appropriate times.  You will probably expose yourself to a stranger at least once.  Don't worry, you WILL get the hang of it.  When it's all said and done you may end up with less cleavage than you started with.  Sorry, it can be true. 

If you are going to breastfeed please try for at least a month.  I hear SO many people say "I tried for two weeks and quit"...it gets SO MUCH EASIER after two weeks.  It really, really does.  Your body needs at least that long to adjust to this strange new thing that you are doing.  

Your hair will fall out.  Not all of it but a lot of it.  All the hair that you didn't shed while pregnant.  Pony tails help.

Your bladder will never be the same.  Go when you need to, don't wait. 

Mylicon is a lifesaver.  There are a million uses for plain cloth diapers that don't involve using them as diapers.  When trying to decide what you NEED for a baby think about life on the prairie and how little they needed and had then.  A bed, some clothes, some bottles/boobs and diapers are all a baby needs.  Don't give into pressure to buy it all.  

Attending to things other than baby does not equal neglect (like taking a shower or eating or washing a dish).  It is also OK to skip all those for a nap.  Take a nap when you can.  Sleep changes everything.  EVERYTHING.  If you nurse in bed, do it knowing that you will probably fall asleep...adjust baby accordingly.

Your baby will probably fall off the bed.  At least once.  You may also drive without having them buckled in the bucket carseat (unintentionally), baby talk to your husband and your once amazing memory will start its exit routine. 

You will regularly have in depth conversations about poop.  When, where, how much, texture, color...all of it.  And it won't feel weird until you do it in front of non-kid having people.   

You will be pooped on, puked on, spit-up on and drooled on.  Oxiclean will take care of most of it.

Don't ever thank God that the baby is finally asleep. 
Somehow that is code for "please make him cry right now!". 

Middle of the night bargaining never works. 

Never say anything that starts with "My kid will never...". 

Most of all, I want you to know that you can do this.  God chose YOU to be the mother of HIS sweet precious baby.  You were handpicked by the creator of the universe to have your own little disciple to minister to.  Admit when you have made a mistake, ask for forgiveness from God and that baby and keep trucking on.  You are stronger than you know and before you know it these days will be in the distant past. 

Find someone to talk to, email me if you have to. 

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Love, Been there and done that. 

What do you think moms?  Did I leave anything out that you wish you knew when you were first a mom?
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want some free mojo?

I just got this pretty magazine in the mail along with TWO extra copies to share. :)
I don't know about you, but there is just something about holding an ACTUAL magazine in your hands that evokes a certain kind of inspiration.  Not that I have lots of time to sit down with a magazine...but when I do...it always, always, always reminds me of my single, kid-less days...when my best friend and I would go to Barnes and Noble with our knitting and sit for hours, knitting, drinking coffee and reading magazines.  Those were the BEST days.  And while for now, those days are sitting on the back burner, I have hopes of them returning one day. 
It was nice to sit down with this magazine and look at all the pretty photos, feel the texture of the paper and be inspired.  I found a few things I want to make...some for me and some for gifts....
I'm thinking I want to make new matching stockings this year...maybe this would be a start?
These look like fun...maybe get the boys to draw itty bitty pictures to go in the center and use them as gifts for family or teachers?
 I just love the aqua flower to the right...making those for sure.
 But these are my favorite...I plan to make a couple to add to a scarf I am knitting.  Beautimous. 
Here's another photo...lots of texture and pretty fabric...I am loving the batting peeking through.

Want to win a copy?  I have two to giveaway.  To enter, just leave a comment telling me how much you love me...just kidding...any old comment will do. :)

Friday seems like a good day to choose a winner. :) 

And don't forget to enter the Less Ordinary Designs giveaway over HERE.

xo
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what i made for monday-naughty donuts

I apologize for what I am about to tell you and encourage you to do.
I made Doug naughty, naughty donuts to take to work today.  
Why are they naughty?  Because they are WAY too easy for the amount of amazing that they taste.
Talk about melt in your mouth amazing and buttery and oh so sweet, sweet, heavenly goodness.
They ARE GOOD. 
Want to make some?
You need canned biscuits (anything BUT the flakey layer kind).
Melted butter in a shallow bowl(4 tbls per 8 biscuits give or take) 
Sugar & Cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
Mixed together in your favorite proportions...I like a nice medium brown mixture.

Veggie oil to fill your pan up to about 1/2in or so. 
Heat up oil for a few minutes on medium heat.
While it is heating up, cut holes in the donuts with a cookie cutter or some other circular object
(stars would be cute too!)
When one side is golden brown, flip with tongs.  When that side is golden remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined pan or plate.
When the donuts have cooled enough to handle...using your fingers dip one side in the melted butter, let the excess drip off, dip in cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Get it nice and coated.  Flip over and repeat for the other side.  
Done.
I ate all of these.


Just kidding.  I sent them to work with Doug.  But I made a practice batch on Saturday to see if they would still be amazing a day later...and they were. :)  And I had more of those than I should.

You are welcome.  Or I'm sorry.
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custom order sunday.

Howdy.  Welcome to my least favorite day of the year.  The day after daylight saving time.  I like to refer to it as "Our founding fathers/farmers hate parents day".  We barely made it to bed time.  Here's hoping to a quick recovery to "normal". 
Above is my favorite work of the week.  I am JUST loving making these creations...I feel so blessed to be able to create art for a living.  And God and I are working out the details to use this reignited love of mine for something more.  Hang in there for details. :)  I would also be thrilled to work on commissioned pieces in the mean time.
Here's another custom order that I just loved this week...Is this not the best and sweetest little ABC sampler ever?  I am filing this idea away to do with my boys once they are writing a little more. :) (This photo doesn't do it justice--taken with my phone...sorry).
 And here's a little work in progress. :)
And just a little reminder...don't forget about your "Operation Christmas Child" boxes.  Ours are due near the middle of the month so I would imagine yours would be due around the same time. 
And I've needed a new head shot a lot recently, and desperately needed something a little more professional looking.   One trusty tripod later and here we have it. :) What do you think?  Do I look like a pro or what? :)

Hope your weekend was JOYful and that this week you can be a blessing to someone. :) 

xo
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happy weekend. have a laugh.

i'm such a mean mom. 
i would totally do this.
and the reactions are totally legit.

happy weekend to you!
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less ordinary designs giveaway!

It's November.  It's a great time to get started on your Christmas cards...come on over to my giveaway blog and see how you can win a FREE design and a $50 print credit from Less Ordinary Designs. 

You can thank me for introducing you to Sara later. :)

xo
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trick or treat.

Trick or treating was SO fun. 
The boys are at just the perfect age.
Also the perfect age for looking like it pains you to have your mother take a photo of you in costume.
 This is what I get when I say "act like you like each other" (which they do).
Aaron with these wings = dangerous.  He believes with his whole self that having them on = he can fly.  And he tries.  Across the yard...off the couch...off the dining room table...
 And he's off.
We really had a great time. 
Aaron did perfectly when he was handed candy.  When a bowl full was presented to him he treated it like an all you can eat buffet. :)  He was participating in such behavior when a blog reader I've never met said "Hey I know you!".  Hi Julie! It was good to meet you...I'm so glad you outed yourself to say hello.  Sorry for the little piggy in your candy trough. :)

Just a little follow up to my trick or treating post a few days ago.  Here's a great link to a History channel article about the origins of Trick or treating.  Which I think proves that it is what you make it.  And we choose to make it fun and silly and about seeing and interacting with people in our community. 

And I will leave you on a funny note...
We were out to dinner with the boys before trick or treating at the mall the other day.  The boys were anxious and a little crazy...not sitting still and be bopping all around.  At one point I leaned over the table, got Moses' attention and said "Moses...NOP!".  I said nop.  Like it was a real word.  Though in my head I was saying "knock it off" or "stop" it came out NOP...or KNOP I guess would be the correct spelling.  Either way it proves these little minions are doing their part meld my brain cells.  All I could think since then it "dang it, I graduated from college.  WITH HONORS.  And I've lost the ability to speak English"...

Hope your day is a HAPPY ONE!  Enjoy the pillaging of your children's candy!
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fall fun and art.

I've spent my morning hustling to get shop stuff done.  I've got all my new prints added to the shop.
Why does that feel like it takes so much longer than a load of laundry?  Regardless, it's done!
You can buy prints HERE.  Or the digital file to print yourself HERE.  The original has been sold. :)
This is my "custom order Sunday" order. :) I finished up the sampler for my nephew.
I just love it.  Happy, quirky, fun!
I love that it is both boy and girl friendly. :)
I hope to have a pattern available soon!
 For now, you can buy a print HERE or a digital file HERE
And I got this canvas in the shop too!  You can buy the original HERE.  Or a print HERE. Or a digital file HERE.
And lastly...I hope you have a lovely trick or treat time! :) We have been celebrating all weekend!  First we trick or treated at the mall and then yesterday we went to a local churches fall festival. 
Moses choose to attend this dressed as "Mighty Mo"...part spiderman, part batman, part captain America and part superman.  Super awesome I think. :)
And while there he completely stunned me by climbing 2/3 the way up this climbing wall.  I could NOT believe he went up so high without batting an eye.  He has gotten so brave this last year and I could not be more proud.

I my heart though, I was preparing to toss my camera to catch him if he fell. :)

Happy trick or treating!  Remember that a lot of that candy would be great to add to your Operation Christmas child boxes!

xo
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