Monday, January 26, 2015

Homemade Peanut butter

There are two foods about which people seem truly passionate. One is bacon. The other is peanut butter.

I am one of those rare people who cannot tolerate bacon. Just.. no. No bacon. However peanut butter is another story. I dearly love the stuff. 

What I do not dearly love about store bought peanut butter is all the additives. It is just loaded in unhealthy stuff. Even the "natural" variety has added oils. Why? There is plenty of natural oil hanging out in the peanuts. 

What I discovered is making peanut butter at home is incredibly easy - if you have a food processor or blender. 

Step One: Purchase roasted peanuts. We buy the unsalted variety and do not add salt. Feel free to add it to taste. If you purchase salted roasted peanuts your peanut butter will be too salty. Go with roasted/unsalted.

Step Two: Pour peanuts into food processor.

Step Three: Turn on food processor.

Step Four: Let it run until it is peanut butter. We like creamy and it takes about 4 to 5 minutes. If you like crunch, go a little less time. 

Step Five: Pour into jars and keep refrigerated so it doesn't separate. That is all there is to it! 

So, store bought ingredient list: 

Homemade ingredient list: 

Roasted unsalted peanuts

Easy? Yes!
Yummy? Definitely!
Give it a go. Let me know if you do. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tiny Tour

It's Saturday. Saturday usually means at least a few minutes in the sewing room. Unfortunately that was not to be the case today, so I thought I would get in there by giving you a little tour.

The cutting table is composed of two metal shelves pushed together. Hubby put a 48" board on top and I put cutting mats on that. The space underneath has been great for storage. I use clear plastic bins to organize materials and tools. The hanging containers on the wall came from IKEA. Very reasonably priced.

The counters and cabinets on the two walls were a gift from a friend who was moving away and no longer needed them. 

The mechanical Elna serger and Viking Sapphire 930 (a mid arm) live on one of the long countertops. I like it but generally have to move to the dining room table for free motion quilting of larger quilts. The wall greatly restricts movement. One of these days the hubby is going to recess the Sapphire into the countertop for me. I have an older Kenmore 150, an early computerized machine, that doesn't really have a designated space. Sad really, because it sews beautifully. I also own a Singer Slant-O-Matic 500A that lives in a cabinet in a different room since I can't fit it in the sewing room.

The advantages to having a designated sewing space are wonderful. I no longer feel the need to rush through a sewing project in order to get the mess cleaned up. The door can be shut and I can walk away from it for a time, if need be.

The disadvantages are.. well.. I can't think of a one.

The changes I would make in this room is more space, better lighting and more shelving. Perhaps one of these days a wall will get knocked out and that dream will come true. But for now, I am very thankful for this little room.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where am I going?

Today I'm contemplating the direction of this blog. Life Homemade can cast a wide berth and come off as not having any direction.

So in order to become more focused, I'll try to define my purpose here.

In the past I have just posted whatever, whenever without a great deal of direction or purpose, other than making it through the day. Problem is, my writing isn't so entertaining that people just want to read about the life and times of this mommy blogger.

I have noticed a number of bloggers are working to create income with their blogs by featuring regular products they sell, like essential oils, cleaning products, homemade products, etc. Or they may use their skilled writing to describe their day, recipes and such to plug in some affiliate links to get a little kick back.

It isn't a bad thing to do any of that. I'm all for being business savvy. It's just not something that has been on my radar. I journal online to share what's up in my life and to see what's up in yours. I love seeing others succeed. I love seeing your creations and your victories. I love praying for you during challenging times.

Guess I have my focus - You.

If you are out there, in need of a friend, join me here at Life Homemade. It may not be a daily posting, but there will be posting. Even though my posts may seem random, they will all hopefully be building friendships and even shed a little encouragement here and there. There will be recipes, musings on child rearing, grand parenting, adoption, healthy eating, sewing and quilting, bread baking and much more.

I would love to connect with you. Share your link in the comments below and I will feature your link in my next blog post. Feel free to give a little synopsis, even if your selling something, and I will promote you. I want you to succeed. If you are working on a project or post a tutorial, I would love to feature you on my blog.

Until next time... be blessed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


It happened this morning.
This morning, getting on the scale, I saw it - the number that somehow validates us and makes us believe we are "worthy," the one that said I was no longer "overweight."

Looking back to the time when the it was telling me I was finally no longer "obese", guess I expected more; fanfare or something?
But no fanfare. In fact the first thought popping into my brain was, "now, where are my bedroom shoes? My feet are cold!"

Nearly three years ago, after surgery and a not so smooth recovery, it became increasingly obvious changes were needed. This was not about life extension for me, but quality of life issues. A sick person needs to make an effort to get well.

In considering my options, I looked back over my history, which was riddled with fad diets, binge eating and starvation cycles, OA, WW, and a host of other avenues to getting "thin" and I realized it was time to get off the crazy train.

I prayed and prayed and prayed. Then I found someone to talk to about the pain inside, the unforgiveness, the grief, the self-loathing. I confessed it all. Something began to shift. Prayers were being answered. God was speaking. Do you know what He said? He said, I love you. "But God, I'm a mess." I love you. "But You know what I've done..." That is why Jesus died. I forgive you. "I always fail." My Son was raised in power and you will also be raised up. I will never leave you.

Finally embracing the truth of His unfailing, unconditional love, it was time to stop looking back and move forward. It was time to not only forgive others, but to believe, truly believe, I was forgiven, the way only God forgives, and embrace the future my Father has for me.

I was acutely aware this was impossible in my own power, but His grace was sufficient in my weakness and miraculously it happened, I forgave. And just as suddenly, I loved. The deep physical hunger resulting from a need to anesthetize the pain that constantly plagued me, lifted.

There was work to do, though, that wouldn't be easy. I had physical addictions to unhealthy foods. While the emotional cravings were healing, I still had to do the physical withdrawal thing. Slowly but surely I began to replace unhealthy foods for healthy and started moving more. My husband, who is extremely disciplined, helped me with enthusiasm. We prayed together, began going to the gym together, preparing healthy foods together, talking and praying through the physical cravings. I purposed to be very open with him, confessing weakness and temptation to be self-focused, temptation to look back over my shoulder, to forget what was eternal. He was patient, understanding, encouraging.. a rock of support.  He was constantly reminding me of God's grace when my weakness reared its head.

Because food had been my addiction and escape for so many years, this wasn't just dieting. This was/is an ongoing work on sanctification. I am fairly certain it is a work that will continue until my days are finished on this earth.

Three years later I am no longer overweight according to the scale. But three years ago, I was unburdened from years of pain and unforgiveness that weighed me down. It was that "weight loss" that deserves all the fanfare and the One who lifted that burden, all the praise.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

After all this time...

We have internet at home. So I get to sit in a comfy chair under a cozy blanket to type out a long overdue blog. Happy, happy, happy! 

So.. as a quick catch up, I thought a photo post may be in order. Here's what I've been up to... 

Over the Christmas holiday, I participated in Bonnie K. Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery. It was a great way to grow quilting skills. Here's the end result. Well, almost end. I didn't have the borders on yet.

I made a few other things over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday. I'm learning to free motion quilt, but find I enjoy it a great deal. Lots of room to grow though as I am still very much a newby to the great big world of quilting.

I got bit by the vintage sewing machine bug. Added this beauty to my sewing arsenal. It is a Singer Slant-O-Matic 500a. Also known as the Rocketeer. I was fortunate to find it locally for a very good price.

We enjoyed having two more grand-babies added to our number.
So huggable and sweet! 

I switched to coconut sugar as it is considered a low glycemic index food and better for the body than refined sugar. Here's what happens when you use a Vitamix to make confectioner's sugar out of it. The glaze made with it tasted like toasted caramel or something. So good!

Speaking of the Vitamix, I continued drinking delicious and nutritious green smoothies and continue to grow in healthy eating in order to be a better steward of the physical body God has given to me.

As a result I've lost 50 lbs with another 20 to go.

Mostly I've enjoyed my family. Life is not perfect. It certainly won't be this side of heaven, but I'm grateful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baby Watch

Hello Blogland!

This will be a quick catch up. We are spending a little time in the public library waiting on the husband while he has a meeting. The public library is our internet access so that's when I can post!

We are still awaiting the arrival of our little granddaughter. She has now kept her mommy and daddy in suspense for an extra 12 days. What a blessed event her arrival will be. We can't wait to meet her!

In order to keep busy until that call comes we have 60+ pounds of apples to process. Our goal is to get them finished by Wednesday. The cooler, drier temps are moving into our little mountain town which will make the whole activity a delightful way to welcome the first days of autumn.

We have also started our fall cleaning. The husband took the week off so we can work together. The weather has cooperated beautifully. It is absolutely perfect for opening up the house and airing everything out. We started with the kitchen, dining and laundry rooms. They aren't that big people but it is taking us forever! Husband got down on the floor, pulled everything out of cabinets and cleaned them. We tossed the items we haven't utilized in the last year. We also started reorganizing. Seems like before pictures should have happened, but alas, my pride got in the way. 

I have this dream that we'll also get the storage room cleaned out before the husband goes back to work. Dreaming - it's a beautiful thing. We also have this small room we redid last year that has become a catch all for junk. It needs to be something cute rather than something crammed full!  It could be a sweet little playroom/reading room for grand babies. 

That is really what this is all about anyway. Fall cleaning/Grandparent nesting.. same difference right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

VB6 - A book review

Food - gotta have it. It's not one of those things we can just choose to do without. Our bodies need nutrition to survive. Sometimes I think it would be easier not to eat. Especially when you begin to consider all the different nutritional philosophies out there. 

For a very long time I've have some uphill challenges where my health was concerned. I was exhausted, sore, sick, overweight and generally depressed. Going to the doctor was frustrating me somewhat. They always offered anti-depressants or hormones, neither of which I was willing to take. 

Back to food. When researching options to get on the path to wellness food kept cropping up. In particular clean, plant-based (plant-strong) diets. The micro-nutrients in plants are little powerhouses for healing. I decided to give it a go. 

Here I am, about 11 months later, 47 lbs lighter, excellent heart rate, energy to spare, pain due only to the fact that I worked a little hard at the gym yesterday and loving my plant-strong diet! I'm no young whipper snapper either. I'm a 50+ year old woman who has grandchildren! You're never too old to start striving for better health.

Now, we still have a couple of kids at home and they are not as enthusiastic about a plant-based diet as I am, and I want them to love healthy food without having a huge fight on my hands.

Enter VB6 - Vegan Before 6 by Mark Bittman

Reading the press release gives you a pretty good idea of where the author is coming from. He follows a mostly vegan diet and in doing so has achieved excellent health. The recipes in his book are so appealing and delicious it's difficult not to get excited about adding more veggie power into your life! 

This is a wonderfully balanced approach to healthful eating. I highly recommend this cookbook to people who are not quite sure about going "all in" to the plant-based lifestyle but who are "vegan curious."  It's been a great book for our family since some are all in and some are not. 

Thanks for reading!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."