My Lunch

Since I’ve been posting Lula’s lunch, I thought I’d post my lunch.  

I’ve been loving BLT’s lately.  Anyone with me? I think I have been eating one every other day.  We’ve been buying a lot of our produce at the local farmers market, so a BLT with fresh homegrown tomatoes and homemade bread is amazing!!!

We also got a huge watermelon at the farmer’s market, so I made myself a little watermelon slushie.

Soooo delicious and refreshing!

Here’s my watermelon slushie recipe adapted from all recipes

Watermelon Slushie (makes 1 serving)1 cup frozen watermelon chunksa splash of lime juice1/4 tsp salt2 tbs sugar1 cup icecubes2-3 Tbs water
Blend it all up and enjoy!

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

One of my first blog posts was about homemade bread using the bread machine.  I could never figure out whole wheat bread and have always ended up making 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white bread. 
Well, I recently discovered some flour and a recipe that has made my 100% whole wheat bread making a success! Yay!
I discovered this flour at my local HyVee.  It’s 100% whole wheat, but is made with hard white wheat which results in a lighter flour and thus a lighter textured bread.  I believe King Arthur
makes a similar product.

This is the recipe that I adapted from
Whole Wheat Bread

  • 1 1/8 cups water
  • 3 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup honey or sugar or sucunat
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1-2 TBS Dough Enhancer (optional) 

Add the ingredients according to your bread machine directions.

Note: The dough enhancer helps you get a lighter loaf, but is not necessary!

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Making homemade bread with a bread machine is so easy.  I know there are those out there that mill their own grains and swear by hand making bread.  I think that is amazing, but that just isn’t realistic for me at this stage of life.  Using a bread machine is for those of us who are lazy but want whole grains with no HFCS (and are too cheap to buy expensive bread at the health food store).  A great place to find a bread machine is the thrift store! Every time I go to a thrift store, I check out the appliances and there is always a few bread machines in new condition.  I think it’s one of those Christmas presents that never gets used and goes to Goodwill. It’s worth the $10!!

Does anyone else have any bread machine successes or failures?  Or maybe you mill your own grains and make bread by hand?

    Lula’s Lunch

    We thought we’d take a stab at it again for Lula’s lunch.  She was very excited about it as you can see from the picture. 

    She ate MOST of it, but has always disliked eggs.  She ate about 1/2 of the egg which is huge progress in my mind.  There were a few edemame left as well. But for Lula, I was proud!

    Guest Blogger: Decoupaged Map Letter

    I have a treat for you all today! Barbara from Hodge Podge has agreed to share a super easy and adorable project with us today.  I’m loving maps lately, so I know I want to make one of these cute map letters to go up on a wall somewhere soon. Here she is, enjoy!

    Hello Homeade Gingerites, so pleased to be visiting such a spectacular blog. Today I am going to share with you my Decoupage Monogram Letter that I made last summer while on a bit of a mod podge kick.

    Are you dying to make one? Here’s how….
    First you will need a wooden letter. I bought mine at Michaels.

    Next, paint the edges using a colour of your choice and method of your choice. I used black craft paint but you could use spray paint, leftover wall paint, etc.
    After a few coats of paint have dried, lay the letter on an old map, trace and cut it out. 

    *Make sure you lay it right side up. I laid it wrong side down, and then when I wanted to glue the traced piece out and it was backwards – sheesh!

    Using mod podgy, glue the paper piece onto the wooden letter, smoothing out bubbles. Then paint a thin coat of mod podge over the entire piece and let dry. Oops  – forgot to take photos of that step!

    And then…
    There you have it, a fabulous monogram letter! 
    What I love about this, is you can use any kind of paper to suit your decor.
    Happy Glueing!
    XO Barbara

    Lula’s Lunch

    She’s not the best eater in the world and meal time is usually the most difficult time of day.

    But she ate every last bite on this plate.  Maybe something like this will be happening again at dinner.

    Sunburst Mirror….Finally Done!

    Ever Since I saw this tutorial on Isabella and Max  I knew I wanted to make a sunburst mirror.  Actually, for a long time I had been looking into buying one but always came up discouraged at the outrageous prices.  So, when I found such an easy and thrifty tutorial, I was excited!!

    My next assignment was to find the perfect round mirror to transform.  I didn’t want to spend more than $20 and it had to be a mirror with a flat wooden rim that the wooden rods could be hot glued to. 
    It took me many months of looking around Target, online, thrift stores and other random places before I found a clearance mirror at Target for less than $20!! 
    Sadly, I can’t find the picture of the mirror. But, it was originally lime green. I followed the tutorial exactly but instead of bamboo sticks, I used small wooden dowel rods found at the craft store.
    Here is the mirror prior to spray painting:

    And here it is after!

    It found a spot above our bed.

    It did turn out much larger than I was expecting.  I guess my mirror was bigger than the one on the tutorial.  But, I do like it. 

    I like how the white is very subtle on the gray walls. 

    Since it’s such a “statement” piece, I think the subtlety in color works.

    Remember that light fixture?

    The round mirror echos the round light fixture and circles in the shams

    Which I’m now realizing I never posted the finished shams on the blog. So, here they are!

    I’m working on a couple of accent pillows now. 

    Has anyone else attempted a sunburst mirror?

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    Guest Post: Quilted Coasters

    I’m so excited to have Alissa from 33 Shades of Green today as a guest poster! She is going to share a super cute project, so read on! I’m guest posting over on her blog today, so be sure to check it out and be sure to browse around on her wonderful blog while you are there!

    Hello Homemade Ginger readers!  Thank you Megan for inviting me over today – I’m really excited to be here guest posting!
    The project I’m sharing are these cute, quilted coasters.  I originally posted these last year as part of a Handmade Holiday series I did.  These are really simple – if you are a beginner sewer these are a perfect project to try.
    The idea for these came form the October 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living.  And yes, I still have the issue!  MSL is the only one of my magazine subscriptions that I save…the issue are so beautiful and I just can not bring myself to throw them out.  At some point it’s going to become a problem but for now – I’m keeping them!
    {Click here for the original article and directions from MSL)
    – fabric (all the fabric I used was scraps from other projects!)
    – batting
    – rotary cutter & straightedge or scissors
    – thread
    – sewing machine
    1. Pre-wash and iron fabric.
    2.  Use your rotary cutter to cut fabric.  For each coaster you will need a strip of fabric 4-1/2″ wide x 10″ long.  If you are using scraps and don’t have pieces 10″ long, just cut two pieces 4-1/2″ x 5″
    3. Cut batting to 4″ squares.
    4. Fold 4-1/2″ x 10″ strips in half, right sides together.  Sew up each side using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Leave the top open.
    5.  Here’s how it will look after the two sides are sewn.  Clip the two bottom corners.  It will make the finished corners neater.
    If you are using two pieces instead of the long strip, just sew along three sides.  It will look like this:
    6.  Now, you need to get the batting in.  This is the easiest way I’ve found.  Lay the batting on top of the fabric, hold batting in place with one hand, and turn right side out with your other hand.  I found this to be much easier than turning the fabric right side out and then trying to squeeze the batting in.
    Use a pencil to push out the corners completely.
    Now it looks like this:
    And the batting is all nice and snug on the inside:
    7.  Fold the open edges of fabric in so your coaster looks like this:
    8.  Starting at the open edge, start sewing all along the edges, creating a square.  Make sure to back stitch a few stitches when you get to the end. 
    When you are finished with the first square the coaster will look like this:
    9.  Keep sewing concentric squares until you near the middle.
    That’s it!
    Here is the finished coaster along with a few others I made:
    Tie up four or six of the coasters with ribbon, add a tag, and you have a cute little gift.  Wouldn’t these make nice a stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or teacher gift?
    Thanks again Megan!  You’ll find me at my blog, 33 Shades of Green, crafting, cooking, designing, and working on all sorts of projects!

    Thanks for blog swapping, Alissa! Be sure to go check out her blog, everyone!

    Homemade Natural Series: Cleaning Hardwoods

    Today on my homemade natural series, I have a question for everyone about hardwoods.  I never really know how to properly clean them.

    image source

    My favorite product I’ve found so far for cleaning my hardwoods is Method hardwood floor cleaner.  It has an almond scent and makes the floor shiny.  I also love that I don’t have to dry the floors after I mop because it’s safe to let the cleaner air dry without harm being done to the hardwoods. However, sometimes I feel like they need deep cleaning.

     I find mixing 1/2 cup of white vinegar with a gallon or so of water does a great job of really cleaning the dirt off the floors.  Afterward, I dry up all the excess water with a towel.  But, I have heard conflicting reports about using vinegar on hardwoods.  Some people really recommend it and then others say the vinegar is bad for the finish on the floors.  I was wondering if anyone else has had a bad experience with using vinegar on their hardwoods? I love that it’s a cheap and natural solution but I would hate to think I’m ruining my floors by using it! Leave a comment if you have a suggestion to share!

    Two Ways to Use your Homemade {or store bought} Plain Yogurt

    I made a big batch of yogurt over the weekend. I hadn’t done that in a long time. I forgot how easy it is…and somewhat exciting to see your milk transform into yogurt in just a few hours.   The recipe makes quite a bit of yogurt, so I decided to use half of it to make “cream cheese”  (see update below…lets call it greek style yogurt)!!
    I have never made my own “cream cheese” before and after looking at a few recipes online, I decided to give it a try. It took maybe 10 minutes of my time (and lots of hours of waiting).
    Here’s how I did it:
    Line a strainer with a piece of cheesecloth or a very thin piece of clean fabric (or a thin kitchen towel)

    Place that over a bowl

    Pour in your plain yogurt (whole milk works best):

    and stick it in the fridge overnight.

    In the morning, the yogurt now looks like this:

    And the bowl underneath now has all of this in it:

    I believe this liquid is called “whey” and has lots of nutritional value. I saved mine, but I don’t really know what I will do with it.  

    Scrape your “cream cheese” out

    Find a super cute little mason jar:

        And fill it up

    The cream cheese is much runnier than the store bought stuff.  But, I think it will still work and taste the same in recipes, as a dip or whatever!  You could also just eat it plain and it would probably be similar to a greek style yogurt.


    **UPDATE!! After attempting to use this like regular cream cheese in a recipe, I’m not sure if it can be categorized as cream cheese. I think we will now call this greek style yogurt!**

    With my other batch, I made some honey vanilla flavored yogurt.

    Just pour in some vanilla (I didn’t measure, just pour some in and then taste it)

    Add some honey and maybe some berries

    And you have homemade vanilla honey yogurt with nothing artificial! Yum!

    This would also be delicious with some homemade granola!

    Thrifted Tunic Refashion

    This isn’t going to be a detailed tutorial.  I took some pictures while doing this little project, but they aren’t step by step, but it will give  you an idea.

    When I was pregnant with Jane, I bought this cute little tunic at Goodwill. It’s not maternity, but worked out great for me because it was long.  However, it had a weird pocket that was placed over way too far.  Also, now that I’m NOT pregnant, the tunic is kind of shapeless and not super flattering. (a.k.a., I don’t want to look pregnant when I’m NOT)

    So, I decided to do a little experiment. If it didn’t work, no biggie because it was only a few bucks at the thrift store.  If I did end up liking the end product, great! A new and improved shirt in my wardrobe for free. 

    So, I wanted to fix the weirdly placed pocket and give the shirt a little more shape. The first step was easy…

    I simply removed the pocket with my seam ripper, moved it over a few inches and then sewed it back on.  The only downside is that the old seam is a little bit visible. If you look hard enough, you can see some little holes where the pocket used to be. I guess this is due to the lightweight knit fabric.(I have since washed it since this picture was taken and it’s much LESS visible now after washing and drying it)  But, it doesn’t bother me too much…it’s not like I’ll be wearing this shirt to a black tie event.    My next idea was to create a gathered empire waist for the tunic.  

     Since it was long, I knew it would be a big deal to shorten it a few inches. So, I cut off the hem right above the seam. 

    Then, I pinned it where I wanted the empire waist.  Since this is knit fabric, I just left one of the edges raw because it will not fray. The other edge is the turned under former hemline.  Since I knew the waistline was going to be gathered, I figured a raw edge wouldn’t be super noticeable. 

    Then, I just top stitched the waistband in place. I did one seam along the top edge and one along the bottom edge, leaving a gap to insert the elastic.

    Next, I measured my length of elastic, pinned a safety pin to one end (to make threading it through the waistband easier).  Threaded it through and then stitched everything closed. (I told you this wasn’t going to be detailed or step by step!)

    This is what the gathered waist now looks like:

    After making a new hem, I’m done!

    It turned out pretty cute for my first attempt at something like this.  I will say I’m not totally satisfied with the hem job.  I haven’t worked with knits very much and they are a little tricky. So, I am still learning.  The hem doesn’t look perfect, so I may still tweak it. 

    But, it was a fun little project! I am now in the mood to find some more things at the thrift store to makeover!