Friday, June 26, 2009

DIY Pedicures!

Pedicures are one of those fun, girly things that I like to do, however I'm not one who wants to spend the money! Pedicures can run anywhere from $35-$80, and that's just way more than I spend on...anything. heehee I would rather spend about $15.00 on supplies and get several pedicures at home. :) Here is a basic supply list for those of you who want to step it up from just a quick polish and run.

Time- About 1 hour
Plastic tub large enough for both of your feet to be comfertable, and about 6" deep
A yummy smelling foot soak or bubble bath (shower gel also works, just something nice and bubbly)
1/3 cup milk (Lactic acid in the milk loosens dead skin)
some sort of exfoliating scrub, I like sugar scrubs (you can make your own with equal parts of brown sugar and olive oil)
pumice stone
cuticle oil/cream
orangewood sticks
a nice thick, creamy lotion (there are some really yummy ones sold as foot lotion, but if you don't like those, you can really use any lotion you like!)
clear nail polish (I use Sally Handson, hard as nails)
your chosen lovely color (I really like Revlon and Ice brands)
cotton balls, q-tips and nail polish remover
2 hand towels

Make sure that your nails are free of polish and your nails are nicely trimmed (and filed if you like). Fill your plastic tub with a squirt of your bubble soak, and the milk and hot water. Soak! Enjoy this part for about 20 minutes. :) Now it's time for the scrub, give extra attention to your heals, as well as the sides and balls of your feet! Rinse it off, then go for the pumice stone. If your feet are like mine then it is more about maitenence, and we all know that our heels will never be perfect. If you're lucky enough to have nice heals, then just make sure there isn't any dead skin hanging around. Rinse your feet off again, just to be sure that all the stuff is off. Next, rub in the cuticle oil/cream. Be sure to go all the way around your to nail if you tend to have dry cuticles...not just around the nail bed! Rub this in and let it soak in for a minute or two, then take the orangewood sticks and gently push the cuticles back where they go and remove any built up off of your nail. The trick is to be veeery gentle here, no gouging! Then it's time for the lotion! Make sure you use plenty of it, so that your skin is silky soft. :) Next take a cotton ball with the polish remover and run it over your nails to be sure that there isn't any oil or anything that will mess up the nail polish. Polish time! First go with a clear basecoat, then two sheer coats of your color, with about 10 minutes in between each layer. Allow for 15 minutes before yor top coat, just to be sure! Let your nails dry completely before you go to bed/wear socks/shoes etc. And now you get to enjoy your pretty happy feet for at least a week, if not two! :) Make sure you rub some lotion in every night to help out with your heels and other rough spots. If you don't mind socks at night then a pair of white cotton ankle socks really help the moisture to stay in place! This will make the pumice step easier next time. :) It's not as hard to carve out an hour in the evening as you might think, and it really is a peaceful time, since you have to stay sitting. It's a great time to catch up on your Victoria magazine, drink of cup of tea and just take a deep breath! I have found that it's also really easy to take a break to nurse the baby in the middle of things too, so we don't even have to worry about that... A little mommy time goes a long way, so enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Homemaker's Creed

Originally posted over at Laura's blog, Quietude; this was so beautiful I had to share!


homemaking is a noble and challenging career.

homemaking is an art requiring many different skills.

homemaking requires the best of my efforts, my abilities, and my thinking.

home reflects the spirit of the homemaker.
I found this while reading my blog list this morning. Originially posted on Quietude, I wanted to share it here!

home should be a place of peace, joy, and contentment.

no task is too humble that will contribute to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well-being of the household.

a homemaker must be true to the highest ideals of love, loyalty, service, and religion.

home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You Can't Deny This Would Make Your Day More Fun....

I mean really... I spent a chunk of time today helping my Mama reorganize and dejunk their dining room/ school room. Part of that time was spent sharpening Lots of colored pencils... I over heated their pencil sharpener! ;) While working on it I said something about how nice it would be to have them sorted by color, my mom produced these glasses and here is the glorious result! :) Can you imagine anything better than a rainbow of perfectly sharpened colored pencils? (Okay, you probably can, but to my OCD self it is a very good thing!)

I have a very busy week ahead of me, that ends (on Thur the 2nd) with a very long flight to Seattle for my mother-in-law's family reunion. After that I get to take the kids down to California to visit with some of my girlfriends, before bringing my dear Anne back to VA with me for a two week visit! :) I have lots to share (hopefully) before I leave, so be sure to check back here and over at Tilly's Tea often!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Birthday Tote

Tomorrow is my niece Charlotte's 3rd birthday! I can't believe "the girls" are all turning 3! For those who don't know, 2006 added three little girls in 4 months to our family tree; first Jenny in April, then Charlotte in June, and finally (my sister) Zelie in August! Anyway, today was her party. Zac and Heather have been working hard to continue the never-ending de-cluttering and to keep things down to a comfy minimum. So after thinking a bit, I came up with the ever popular books for the special girls gift. And of course, that meant she needed a library tote bag of her very own. ;) This was my first attempt at a tote, and while I'm not thrilled with how it turned out (I learned a TON), it will (should?) hold up well to all of her love and book-toting. :) When I got the fabric, she had said that yellow was her favorite color, but by the time I made it she had switched to purple. :) I used a layer of quilt batting inside, and boxed the corners to make a flat bottom. Jenny picked out fabric for her own tote with her birthday money this year, so that will be next. I want to improve my technique a bit, and then I'd love to do a tutorial, since it is so much fun to make these!
Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Second Best Macaroni and Cheese

Okay, so the very best is the kind my mom makes with a real, separate white's incredible. :) Unfortunately, it's a bit time consuming...not hard really, but it doesn't fit into my 5 minutes of cooking time. This recipe however, does. Quick, easy, and a definite favorite around here. It's one of the very few non-dessert things that Jenny asks for seconds of. :)

Second Best Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb of uncooked macaroni
1lb of grated cheese (cheddar is best, but you could use moz, or jack, etc.)
4 cups of milk
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped (opt)

Spray your baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray. I use my 13x9, but it would probably fit fine into a medium-large corning ware type dish too. Pour in your uncooked pasta, then mix in your grated cheese, salt and pepper (and onion if you're using it). Pour your milk evenly over the top, then don't stir! Just make sure to press any heaps of pasta out flat so that nothing is to far above the milk--it wont cook and will just stay hard. Don't go crazy though, a bit of crunch is nice. :) At this point I like to sprinkle it with something like Italian seasoning. Not to much, but a little adds a nice flavor. My mom likes paprika. Pop it into the oven at 350* for about 1 hour. Just test the pasta with a fork (I like to taste, it just to be sure the inside is cooked), the cheese should be a nice light to medium brown. I think it's best served warm, but some of my brothers claim that it's just as good cold. They are under 13 though... :) Enjoy!


This is another wonderful cookie recipe originally found at Jenny's blog, Blessed Femina. They are a simple cookie, but oh-so-good. And they look so cute on the cookie sheet before they bake. :) And of course, being cute is a big part of being a good cookie. :)
Grammy's Chocolate Cookies

taken from~ Martha Stewart Living

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons)
  • unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour. (Longer is fine.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

A few weeks ago, I was over at one of my favorite blogs (Blessed Femina), and saw this recipe for one of my favorite cookies. Yesterday I finally got to try it, and it is SO good! Let me know what you think! (sorry for the lack of picture...I'll try to add one later if I get a minute!)

White Chocolate
Macadamia Nut Cookies
~taken from~
The Village Baker's Wife
by Gayle & Jim Ortiz with Louisa Beers

These cookies are similar to blondies, and the addition of macadamia nuts makes them even more rich.

1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. white chocolate cut into 1/2 inch chunks,
or 1-1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups unsalted macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream
the butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time,
waiting before the first is incorporated before adding the second.
Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the
flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture
and mix just until incorporated.
Transfer the batter to a large bowl and, with a
rubber spatula, fold in the white chocolate
and macadamia nuts by hand.

Scoop out 2 T. size balls of dough and drop them at least 2 inches apart
on a baking sheet. Bake on the center wrack in
the oven for 12-13 minutes,
or just until the cookies are slightly golden.
Don't over bake these cookies they should be soft and chewy!

A Change of Pace

I am planning on using this blog for my homemaking blog. Where I will share my struggles and successes, my goals and my achievements, along with all of my many forms of crafty goodness! Tilly's Tea will remain a family journal type of blog, with frequent updates on the babies and life in general. I hope you enjoy!
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