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Friday, January 31, 2014

Ribbon and Cake! All Things Valentines Link Up!

vday


#1Whole Wheat Valentine's Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees - Makes 12-15 little cakes
This is our favorite white whole wheat cake recipe. It really turns out well. Try some cute cupcakes with it!
Ingredients:
1/3 c. shortening
1 large egg
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 c. freshly ground soft white wheat flour
1 3/4 - 2 c. milk
 In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder, sea salt and flour. Set aside.

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in and whisk or beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add the dry ingredients and the 1 3/4 c. of milk. Beat in, but don't over beat. Your batter needs to be just like a boxed mix in consistency. Whole wheat soaks up liquid quicker than white flour, so let you batter sit for 10 minutes then check the consistency. If it's too thick, add a another 1/4 c. of milk, beat and let sit for a few more minutes. Too little milk, and you'll have little holes in the top of your cake.
3. Spray your special pan and add batter until 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until they spring back. Oh boy. These were good.
Our White Frosting:
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
4 Tbsp. milk
Add pink food coloring if desired. I used candy instead. I piped some icing around and on the tops. The cake is pretty sweet and doesn't need a lot of frosting.

Enjoy!



#2 Silk Ribbon Heart Embroidery
Decorate or give as a gift!

This project is fairly simple. I know it looks detailed but ribbon is very forgiving!
You'll need:
4mm silk ribbon - Buy at Joyous Home OR hand-dyed from Priti Ribbons
Chenille 22 needle
#8 Pearle cotton- Pink and Red
Transfer pencil, tracing paper
Something to embellish - I used a dish towel. You can do embroidery on blank cards also. 

I have put the template for you to download HERE. Personal use only - please do not share, have your friends come by to download! Thank you!

I used chain stitches for each flower, petal stitches and colonial knots. To start, knot the end of the thread, and come down about 3" from where you'll start, leaving the knot on top. This is later cut and the thread is weaved through the back threads. This prevents little knots all over the back.

1. Print out the template. Use tracing paper, and trace with an iron-on transfer pencil. Iron to your cloth - not sure if you can do this onto a card. (Maybe transfer it with graphite paper.)
Just press down flat with the iron and lift. Do not move the iron or it will smear. Press, 20 seconds, lift. Make sure to get the whole pattern. Sometimes I tape mine in place, but don't touch the iron to the tape.


2. Outline in the between the flowers with a straight stitch using the pearl cotton. Come up through the back, take a stitch back down. Easy.


3. Knot the needle - It doesn't matter what stitch you start with. I started with the chain. Secure a knot on the end of your needle. Put the thread through the needle, and go back in at the end, pull the knot closed.

3a. Chain Stitch - Come up through the back, take a stitch, but don't pull through yet. Wrap the ribbon flat around the tip, and then pull through. Come down at the top to secure. Make these in circles of 5 or 6 for each flower, alternating colors.

4. Petals - Come up, lay the ribbon flat, about 1/8"-1/4" take a stitch down on top. Pull gently so a little curl forms at the end. Pretty and very easy!

5. Colonial Knots - Come up, holding the thread in a slight curve, put the needle under the thread. Wrap once and still holding the thread, put the needle down close to where you came up, pull taut, and go down. Be careful not to pull through too quick. If this knots, you'll need to pick it out, and it's not fun.



 I added petals all in between, and around some of the colonial knots. This didn't take long. Ribbon embroidery is fast, and not hard at all. I hope you enjoy trying!



Thank you for joining us!
vday
 

Introducing Your All Things Valentines Link Up Hosts


The Contributor Team from                     Theresa from
                                     
Button 300                   
      
                                                             

  Linda from                                    Marissa from
                         
                                   
button                  Rays of Grace and Joy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free Book Friday Winner Announcement | Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday!

We have a winner!!
 Carla L.! Congratulations, Carla! 

Thank you all for participating in Free Book Friday. The next Free Book Friday will be on February 14th.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday

The Featured Hopper!

Each week, we are going to be picking our favorite link or links of the previous week's link-up and featuring them as the Featured Hopper!! Share your best blog posts with us and you might get featured!! :)

This Week's Featured Hoppers

Tshanina at Thrifty T's Treasures! She posted a quick crock pot soup recipe... how perfect for all this cold weather blowing through for everyone! Thank you for sharing with us, Tshanina!

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Potato Soup 




Thank you for sharing, ladies!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Participate in the Blog Hop!

Have fun sharing in this week's blog hop, and have a blessed week, Ladies! 
~ Jessica ~   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to host this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog if you have time - not required! Any Tweet, add to Pinterest or share on FB is always appreciated!
Simple posting guidelines are here!







Cinnamon Roll Twist

Something quick and easy you can try the next time you make cinnamon rolls. This is fun to make, and you can serve it like a coffee cake. I failed to get finished photos of this, but you get the idea. :) Drizzle with Cream Cheese Icing and serve warm!

Cinnamon Roll Twist

Use your favorite whole grain sweet dough recipe (sweet breads are featured in the new Winter issue of Seasons at Home). Roll out a rectangle of dough, 20" x 10" and about 3/8" thick.

Spread with 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle generously with ground cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up cinnamon roll-style.


Use kitchen scissors to cut the roll down the middle. 


Let the ropes fall open a bit, and take pieces of them and begin wrapping in a circle. Continue until all of the pieces are used up. You can make this large or small, however you like! Add a little more if you would like a coffee cake for a crowd. Don't make it too large, or it won't bake properly.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes. Drizzle with this cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a small bowl, combine: 
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. half & half
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together until very smooth. Add a little more half & half if you would like a thinner icing. 
~ Makes about 2 cups ~

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Free Book Friday - January 24th

Welcome to Free Book Friday!

Free Book Friday is today!! Free Book Friday is a twice-a-month children's book giveaway here on Joyous Notions! We come across so many wonderful books for homeschool literature and cirriculum, that we decided to start a giveaway. Each giveaway will feature one of our favorites, and you will have a chance to win! 



It's easy to participate! All you need to do...

1. Sign up for our newsletter* (if you're not signed up already). You must be on our newsletter to qualify to enter.



Updates & Nice Things!
Email:  
For Email Marketing you can trust


2. Follow the steps in the Punchtab box to enter - The more steps you do, the bigger chance you have to win!

 *Note - Your email address will only be used on our mailing list or given to the sponsor of the giveaway only, we do NOT sell or give out email addresses. You will not be overloaded with newsletters from Joyous Notions. We send an average of 1-2 emails per week. 


~ The giveaway ends Tuesday, January 27th at midnight | The winner will be announced here on the blog Wednesday the 28th and winner will be contacted via email! ~ 

This Week we are giving away two of our favorite Greek beginner books sponsored by Trivium Pursuit and a set of Greek Lacing Blocks for young children from Joyous Home!
A $53.49 value!

{Who says your little ones can't learn Greek?}
Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek by Johanna Bluedorn Stanford
A beautiful board book for your youngest Greek students!

We love this little book! Johanna Bluedorn Stanford offers a pictorial lesson with her own beautiful illustrations. Each board page has a letter, English guide word and corresponding picture.
 

AND
From Joyous Home - Greek Lacing Blocks
What child doesn't like to lace? We made these for our younger ones and are giving away a set. These are Maple blocks with beautiful, cranberry vinyl lettering and 3 colored strings.

We used the Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek with the blocks. The end goal is for them to be able to find the letter when you pronounce it. We start with shapes, then sounds, with the ending goal being able to string a letter from your dictation. A short instruction card is included. Our 5-year-old played three times in a row doing all letters. FUN!
(If you don't win, we sell the blocks and book as a set! Email me!)





AND
 
A Greek Hupogrammon by Harvey Bluedorn


We have used this Greek copybook in our homeschool for several of our children. It was a wonderful introduction to the Greek Alphabet. We do suggest using it with A Greek Alphabetarion as the CD is a wonderful help in pronouncing the alphabet correctly.



From the publisher: "Though the lessons in this copybook can be used without any accompanying text, they are designed to correspond with the more extensive textbook, A Greek Alphabetarion. A younger student could first learn the basics by going through the Hupogrammon, then review the same material more carefully and extensively by going through the Alphabetarion. An older student might use both books together."





Enjoy today's giveaway and share with your friends!




Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday ~ January 22nd



Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday

The Featured Hopper!

Each week, we are going to be picking our favorite link or links of the previous week's link-up and featuring them as the Featured Hopper!! Share your best blog posts with us and you might get featured!! :)

This Week's Featured Hoppers

Debbie at One Little Project at a Time! Debbie did a fun post on making your own ice luminaries! With the temperatures dropping here in a few days, and snow coming for many of us, this would be a fun project to do with the kids. Thank you for sharing with us, Debbie!

How to Make Your Own Ice Lanterns




Thank you for sharing, ladies!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Participate in the Blog Hop!

Have fun sharing in this week's blog hop, and have a blessed week, Ladies! 
~ Jessica ~   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to host this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog if you have time - not required! Any Tweet, add to Pinterest or share on FB is always appreciated!
Simple posting guidelines are here!






Embroidery Stitches to Teach Your Girls -

Have you seen our Embroidery Stitches to Teach Your Girls? We first shared this tutorial online back in 2102. I'm going to share it again, and hope you enjoy it! 


In 2009 I added this tutorial to an online conference we did. I'd like to share it on our blog for those who would like to get their girls interested in learning embroidery stitches! It's a PDF, complete with audio to follow the steps (open in Adobe Reader for the audio to work). At the end, there are videos of several stitches, but I can't vouch for the clearness of them. Technology has come along and our Joyous Home website probably has better quality how-to-videos. In any case, you'll get the idea after listening to the audio and following along.


We just started teaching our 4-year-old some of the basic stitches. She has moved from just a line to a flower shape. Most mothers don't think you can start them so young. Long ago, 3-year-olds would learn embroidery! Culture is a bit different now, and that largely affects the skills, and at what age, we start.

You would be surprised how well a young girl can do. We always use a hoop, it gives a lot of control. I like the plastic hoops with wing nuts.

Start with a simple line, showing them the backstitch. I teach them to 'scrape' the fabric lightly with their needle, from the back, until they hit the line of where they need to be.

Don't expect their attention span to last more than 25 minutes when starting at a young age. Our little one will go for about that long, put it down and come back in a few hours. I hope you're encouraged to give it a try!

Download Embroidery Stitches to Teach Your Girls Here
You may have trouble downloading if you have a slow connection, but give it a few minutes. To hear the audio, you MUST download first, save to your computer and then open in Adobe Reader. Get it here. If you can download, enjoy!
Blessings, Theresa


Easy Double Chocolate Cream Pie

I love creamy pies, especially yummy chocolate ones like this...


I made this pie for company last Saturday. We are not gluten-free, but sometimes we have company who is. I have found that pies with a gluten-free crust option are a perfect go to recipe when you need to make a GF dessert - and I don't think we've ever had company without making a dessert! I also wanted something quick and easy, which makes this recipe doubly appealing.

Easy Double Chocolate Cream Pie
Gluten-free if you use gluten-free cookies, but if this is not necessary for you, then just substitute regular chocolate sandwich cookies. One package is plenty for one pie. 
~ Recipe Makes one 9" pie ~

Crush 25 chocolate cream sandwich cookies to fine crumbs - you can use a plastic freezer and beat them with a spoon, or you can crush them in a food processor.

Remove 3/4 cup of the crumbs and set them aside. Place the remaining crumbs in a bowl and add:
     1/4 cup melted butter
     1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix with a spoon until the the crumbs are moist and sticky. Press mixture into a 9" pie plate. Set aside.

The Filling 
In a large bowl, combine:
     2 4.5 oz. packages instant chocolate pudding mix
     2 1/2 cups cold milk

Whisk for 3 minutes until well combined and smooth. Pour one half of the pudding mixture into the bottom of the pie. Now to the remaining half, add 3/4 of an 8 oz. tub of whipped topping (reserve the remaining 1/4 for the top of the pie). Gently fold the whipped topping into the chocolate pudding until completely combined and smooth. Mixture will be like a chocolate mousse.

Spread the mixture over top of the first layer in the pie. Carefully spoon the remaining whipped topping on the top center of the pie and smooth into a large circle, not coming to the edges. Sprinkle with the reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving.


Isn't that pretty? Enjoy! 
~ Jessica ~



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