How To Make Easy DIY Hair Bows For Little Girls

How To Make Easy DIY Hair Bows For Little Girls

August 31, 2016

DIY Hair Bows

 Easy DIY Hair Bows 

   Need some ‘Easy DIY Hair Bows’?  My daughter sent a video to me on Facebook showing How To Make Easy DIY Hair Bows For Little Girls.  Sophia wanted some hair bows after she saw one I had made for Memphis. 


   Memphis was in the ‘baby contest’ at the local Boone County Fair and needed a hair bow to match her little sailor outfit.  Having the name “Memphis Belle”, it only seemed appropriate for her to wear a patriotic sailor outfit, right?  I looked for bows to match her outfit but found none.  They were all too big or the wrong colors.  So, I had to make one for her.  (She enjoyed the animals more than the contest that day.)

   Tiffany thought that it would be easier for Sophia to make one this way, which did not require hand-stitching like the ones I had been making.  She’s right, but I am hoping Sophia finds a passion for sewing.

    Have you seen the bows you can make with a fork?  This technique is kind of the same principle.  After making the bows for the girls, I was trying to figure out a way to make a jig for making hair bows.   Well, someone had beaten me to it! What’s more, it uses common items that everyone probably already has!

    Yep, there it is!  You’ll need a piece of cardboard, 4 skewers, sharp scissors, a pencil, ruler, and ribbon.  If you are making a barrette, you will also need a barrette or hair clip and a hot glue gun.

   The cardboard piece I used is 3″ wide x 5-1/2″ for the smaller 3″ bow and

3″ wide x 7-1/2″ for the 3-1/2″ bow. 

Slide 4 skewers into the openings of the cardboard and straight through to the other side.

   Depending on the width of the ribbon you use and the width of the bow you want, mark intervals closer or farther apart.


    You can use a clip or clothespin hanger to help hold the ribbon end. 

First, clip the ribbon to the left side of the cardboard.

 Weave the ribbon over the top of the first skewer on the left side, under the second, over the third, and under the last skewer.


Fold the ribbon back over the top of the last skewer, under the 3rd skewer, and over the 2nd. 

Continue weaving under and over and back until you have something that looks like the example in the picture. 

This bow will have 2 loops on each side.

 The loose tails of the ribbon should face opposite sides.

    Place a thinner piece of ribbon in the same color, or a coordinating, or contrasting color, behind the woven ribbons and between the two center skewers.  (You could also fold the same kind of ribbon in on both sides to create a thinner version.)

The ribbon should be long enough to hang out above and below the woven ribbons.


Pull both ends down toward the cardboard, gathering the woven ribbons.


Pull up tight and tie an overhand knot with the ribbon.


Gently slide the bow up and off of the skewers.

To avoid frays, trim the ends at an angle or fold the ribbon in half lengthwise and cut an angle

to form a “V-shape” with sharp scissors.  To make the “V-shape”, cut from the folded side, away from the bow, at a 45° angle toward the outer edge.

  Trim the thinner ribbon in the back and attach the bow to a barrette or hair clip with hot glue, catching the cut ends in the glue.

    There are so many different ways of making bows, but this method works very quickly and the end product looks really nice, too!  Aren’t they cute?

   Maybe this little tutorial on “How To Make Easy DIY Hair Bows For Little Girls” will inspire you to make some for the little girls in your life.



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Making Raspberry Jam With The Grandkids

Making Raspberry Jam With The Grandkids

August 28, 2016

Making Raspberry Jam

     Is there anything better than spending A Wonderful Day Of Making Raspberry Jam With The Grandkids?   It’s so funny to listen to these grandchildren and hear their views on things.  They often think that certain foods can only be purchased in a grocery store.


   One day, Aidan was craving pretzels.  I told him we weren’t going out to the store, but we could make some soft pretzels.  You should have seen his little face!  

  “You can make them?”, he questioned.

    To his delight, I assured him we could and we did.  I used my trusty breadmaker to make the dough and he and Sophia helped shape them.  Fresh out of the oven, we all agreed they were really delicious!

    Today’s agenda included making jam with Aidan and Sophia.  Dave’s mother had an abundance of fresh raspberries this year.  She froze some and sent them back with him when he returned from his fishing trip to Wisconsin.

    Last week, when Aidan was here, he was telling me about his love of jam.  I was telling him how his great grandma made really good strawberry jam.  Then, I told him we could make some jam ourselves.  We had raspberries in the freezer!  He was all ears and eager to help!

    Since we already had the raspberries, I picked up some pectin and some new lids and liners for the canning jars from the grocery.  We had everything we needed.

    While we waited for the raspberries to thaw, Dave, Aidan, Sophia, and I played a game of Scrabble to tax their brains.  We have an abundance of games accumulated from having four children.  We are a game playing family.

    Although Aidan, at times,  would prefer to be absorbed in the i-Pad, we coax him into playing board games, cards, cornhole, or one of the games in the basement, air hockey, pool, or foosball.  Yes, we are a game playing family, but those games teach math, reading, sportsmanship, and so much more.

   There are recipes for your jams and jellies included in the pack of pectin.  It calls for using a canning cooker.

    I don’t have one of those big cookers for canning.  We really don’t do a lot of canning.  Growing up, we had a huge garden and canned a lot.  Living where we do now, there is really not the space for a huge vegetable garden, and the soil here is clay.  I grew up in southwestern Indiana, where the soil was dark rich loam.  Need I say more?  Constant amending of the soil is needed here.

    Back to the jam, a post by Jamie at Jamie Cooks It Up shared her recipe for making berry jams.   She also had a different way of sealing the jar lids.

    She simply brought water, the can lids, and liners to a boil in a pan and turned it down to simmer as she prepared the jam.  The lids and liners were retrieved from the simmering water and immediately on the jars of hot jam.  This method is used to seal the jars instead of the typical hot water canning method. (This is what I did, too!)

     You might be able to see in the picture that the raspberries were not completely thawed.  They were still a little frosty.  I had 1 quart of raspberries and needed 5 cups of berries.  Well, it just so happened we had blueberries in the freezer.  So, we added 1 cup of blueberries to make up the difference.

    For 5 cups of raspberries, the recipe called for 7 cups of sugar.  (Even though I substituted blueberries for one of those, I still used 7 cups of sugar.)

7 cups of sugar were measured into a bowl and set beside the stove, ready to go.


   Jamie suggested pulverizing the blueberries with an immersion blender, so I did.  

At that point, the pectin was poured on top of the fruit and stirred into it.  

    On high, the fruit and pectin mixture was heated to a rolling boil, which simply means you can’t stir it down.  It continues to boil even though you are stirring.

   Once that stage was reached, the bowl of sugar was poured into the boiling fruit and pectin mixture, while continuing to stir.


   Once that came back up to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, it was allowed to boil for 1 minute on the stove.  Then it was removed and poured into the clean jars. Sophia was assisting me at this point!  She said it smelled wonderful.  I spooned a little into a small bowl for her and Aidan to test.  Of course, it had to cool for a few minutes first!

   Using a glass measuring cup was a messy proposition, but I thought it would be the quickest way to accomplish pouring the jam into the jars.  We filled 3-pint size jars and 1 half-pint.  You can see there was a little leftover, which we kept and refrigerated.


   As soon as the jars were filled, a hot lid and liner from the pan of water simmering on the stove were quickly placed on the jars and tightened.  How simple is that? 

   Mary Ellen commented on Jamie’s website that she uses the same technique, but with one exception. After each jar is filled and the seal is on, she turns the jar upside-down until she finishes filling all of the jars (about 10 minutes). It helps the seals to stay really hot. She says she has never had to water-bath can any jams.

   Well, it worked like a charm.  This was so easy!  The kids loved the jam and to tell the truth, I had forgotten how good fresh homemade jam really is!  I also like that little bit of blueberry added!

    They took 2 jars home with them, one for themselves and one to share.  I am sure one seal has already been broken by now!

    Have you spent a day of creating with your kids or your grandkids?  Share your ideas below!

    If you are planning on making some jam after reading this, visit Jamie Cooks It Up.  Her recipes were from her Grandma and she has detailed instructions.

    Yes, this was a productive and a wonderful day of making raspberry jam with the grandkids.


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Simply The Best Chicken And Rice Casserole

Simply The Best Chicken And Rice Casserole

 Chicken And Rice Casserole

August 25, 2016

   A few years ago, this dish was created and I believe it is Simply the Best Chicken and Rice Casserole!  One of the ladies, at the bank where I worked, brought a chicken and rice casserole on food day.  It had come from the freezer department at the grocery.  To disguise that, she had placed it in her own casserole dish and baked it!  Everyone ‘assumed’ she had made it.  Clever!

Simply The Best Chicken Rice Casserole on
Best Chicken Rice Casserole

   Never having had this casserole before, as I ate, I realized that chicken and rice casserole had the possibility of being very good. This one, however, was pretty bland.  The crunch of the slivered almonds in it was an interesting surprise. Contemplating how this dish could be improved, my search was on for a recipe.

This is the culmination of bits and pieces from a few different recipes, changing ingredients a little, and the end result is a very flavorful recipe.    

   Remembering this casserole the other day, I hurriedly searched through my binders of recipes and could not find it.

   Yesterday, as Memphis slept, the binder with main dishes in it was searched page by page.  There it was, a torn piece of paper with the handwritten recipe, ingredients on the front, and directions on the back.  The evidence of some of the ingredients having been scratched out and changed was still there.   Recipe here►Chicken and Rice Casserole.

   One thing that hit me with the ‘frozen’ casserole was that the meat lacked much flavor.   The chicken tenderloins in this recipe are seasoned before cooking and before adding them to the casserole.  That is one of the reasons this is the best recipe for chicken and rice casserole!

    Not only does the chicken have flavor!  By including the leftover goodness from cooking them in the skillet to make the sauce, the sauce is even more flavorful.

    See that?  ▲ That is flavor left in the bottom of the pan!  Adding the butter, flour, and thyme to this goodness in the pan makes a nice roux.   The combination of milk and chicken broth added creates an even more flavorful sauce. ▼

    The cooked chicken tenders were just sliced and added to the sauce.

    In most of the recipes, frozen carrots were added.  While frozen peas are delicious, I am not a fan of frozen carrots.  They seem to be spongy.  Yuk!  

   Instead, I used fresh carrots that were sautéed in a tablespoon of butter.  Then a tablespoon of water was added and the skillet was covered with a lid until the carrots were crisp tender.  (It did not take long!)  The carrots continued to cook tender in the oven.

    After layering the rice, the vegetables, and the almond slivers, the meat and sauce were poured on top.  That was followed by grated cheese and soft bread crumbs, which were tossed with melted butter.  Could it be much more simple?

   If you are looking for a flavorful one-dish meal, this could be it!  It can actually be prepared a few hours in advance and then baked for less than a half-hour.  I am pretty much convinced this is Simply the Best Chicken and Rice Casserole!



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Butterflies. Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?

Butterflies.  Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?

August 23, 2016


 “Butterflies are not insects,’ Captain John Sterling said soberly. ‘They are self-propelled flowers.”  ―  Robert A. Heinlein

   Have you Seen The Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden?  Also referred to as butterflies, they have found the butterfly bush and the butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa in the backyard.  This ‘Pearl Crescent’ is a small brush-footed butterfly.  This is the female.  She looks so perfect on the yellow blossoms.


   Another butterfly, the ‘American Lady’ (Vanessa virginiensis) caught my eye!  I love the design on the underside of their wings!  Doesn’t it remind you of ‘Steampunk’?

    Beautifully colored, the American Lady has two large eye spots on her hind wings on the underside.  The Painted Lady butterfly looks similar, but does not have the two eye spots!  They fly close to the ground and it was difficult to capture pictures of this one because they fly so quickly. 

   Although these are common, I had never really noticed how beautiful they really are until this one caught my eye!  It’s amazing how a picture brings out, even more, details, which the naked eye totally misses!  Of course, they don’t sit still long enough to really see detail either!

   This gorgeous butterfly is a (Great Spangled Fritillary – Speyeria Cybele).  Although it is orange and black, his body almost looked to be a rich camel color in the sun.  This butterfly is a medium size.


  I believe this one is the Tawny Emperor Butterfly, another small brush-footed butterfly.  This majestic little fellow was sitting on the deck and the sun shone on him creating this perfect shadow.  Although he has a muted coloring on his underside, what a lovely pattern there is!

   Hoping to find a butterfly egg, I went to check the backside of the leaves of the butterfly weed.  The little butterfly weed I planted last year is a full three feet wide now.  There are a lot of leaves and I simply gave up looking for the butterfly eggs.

   Instead, my attention was focused on these yellow things.  As you can see, the yellow things, the oleander aphids, are back.  Obviously, I am not going to spray this plant with chemicals!  I want more Monarch butterflies!  

   So, yesterday I used a spray bottle with a strong stream of warm water and attempted to spray these off of the plant.  I ended up smashing some of them with my fingers, too.

    The thing that is interesting is that they can’t fly or crawl to another plant.  If they are knocked off the plant, they can’t climb back on it.  I wonder how they get on the plant in the beginning!

    I doubt that I removed all of them, however, most of them were removed.  In the information I read, a few on the plant is not a problem, but an infestation can be harmful to the plant. 

   The aphids are all female and don’t lay eggs.  They clone themselves!  How strange is that?  If you magnify these,  you can see they have skinny black legs, which are visible in the picture.

     When I took a picture last year, I thought these were eggs.  (I was hoping they were butterfly eggs!)  Blown up on the laptop, I saw legs. That began my search which revealed these were not something I wanted.

    Looking back on that post, it also reminded me that I wanted to make a Ladybug house!  The lady bugs eat these little pests.  I totally forgot about making the house.  It is now on my list of things to do before I forget again!

    Have you really Seen The Beautiful Floating Flowers In The Garden this year?



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Cinnamon-Caramel Pecan Rolls


Cinnamon – Caramel Pecan Rolls

Preheat oven – 375°

4 Tblsp. butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 – 8 pack roll of Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls

   Use non-stick spray to coat a 9-inch metal cake pan on the bottom and sides.

   Pour the melted butter into the pan.

   Evenly, distribute the brown sugar and pecans around the pan on top of the butter.

   Evenly place the unbaked cinnamon rolls on top of the brown sugar-pecan mixture.*

   Bake 25 minutes on the lower rack of your oven.

   Remove from the oven, place your serving platter on top of the pan, and invert.  The rolls will be covered in caramelized goodness.

* Toss the container of icing or use for another purpose.

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Print Recipe
Cinnamon-Caramel Pecan Rolls
  1. Use non-stick spray to coat a 9-inch metal cake pan on the bottom and sides. Pour the melted butter into the pan.
  2. Evenly, distribute the brown sugar and pecans around the pan on top of the butter.
  3. Evenly place the unbaked cinnamon rolls on top of the brown sugar-pecan mixture.*
  4. Bake 25 minutes on the lower rack of your oven
  5. Remove from the oven, place your serving platter on top of the pan, and invert. The rolls will be covered in caramelized goodness.
Recipe Notes

* Toss the container of icing or use for another purpose.

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