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My How the Time Flew!

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The Wordy BitI accidentally took over a month off! How did that happen?? Well, to be perfectly honest, I do know how it happened. Here at our house, it has been a summer full of gardening, cooking, baking, prepping, teen drama, and toddler drama. Not to mention, the Mr. is still working from home, and that can impact the daily flow. As such, the daily flow now looks nothing like it did this time last year. I also can't decide which I prefer: then or now. I truly enjoy having him around more, but our little is still having difficulty grasping the fact that Daddy needs to work. I'm hoping that starting preschool in a few weeks will keep her busy enough to even her out a bit. 
That's right, I said preschool. I've been stocking up on supplies, and I even purchased a curriculum (The Homegrown Preschooler). I like the fact that it is all hands-on and craft-based. I even like that there are opportunities to include faith-based learning (I swapped their stuff out for my stuff …

Washable Water Balloons

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Materials:Bernat Blanket yarn 
Size N/P hook (10.00mm)
Tapestry needle (for weaving ends)
Scissors


Terms to Know: ch - chain st - stitch slst - slip stitch sc - single crochet dc - double crochet dc2tog - double crochet 2 together
Pattern (written in US terms):Chain 3
Round 1: 8 DC in the third loop from the hook (Note: this is my "Magic Circle" shortcut); slst to join to the first st
Round 2: Ch 2; 2 DC in each st all the way around; slst to join (16 total stitches in this round)
Round 3: Ch 2; DC in each st all the way around; slst to join (16 sts total)
Round 4: Ch 2; DC in each st all the way around; slst to join (16 sts total)
Round 5: Ch 2; DC2TOG all the way around; slst to join (8 sts total)
Round 6: Ch 2; DC2TOG around; slst to join (4 sts total)
Round 7: Ch 1; 2 SC in each st around; slst to join (8 sts total)
Leave a long tail. Break the yarn and wrap the yarn several times around the "neck" of the balloon before tying off and weaving in the ends. (This really accentuates …

Family Garden Update

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The Wordy BitIt seems there is no escaping the chaos of the world, no matter how sheltered we are privileged to be. It definitely takes a toll, and that's okay. I've slowed down my posting to allow more time for calmer things. Even nothing, to be honest. No noise; no electronics; I've taken to just sitting in the backyard, sipping on a cup of coffee, and basking in the natural world. Having grown up in the middle of nowhere, I find that immersing myself in nature really centers me. Having a garden has been helping a great deal, too. We're having difficulty getting decent veggies from out local grocer (but that could simply be due to whomever is gathering the groceries, since we're still socially distancing as much as possible). So the idea of fresh, beautiful ,herbs, fruits, and veggies is making us excited. I cut some fresh herbs for a recipe not long ago, and man oh man, were they fantastic (except the oregano; I cut it to experiment with drying it).

Clockwise fro…

Super Easy No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

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All You Need:1 1/2 - 2 lbs strawberries, fresh or frozen (hulled and halved)
1-2 Tablespoons white, granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
some sort of storage container, 7 cup capacity
freezer
food processor or blender
a hand or stand mixer helps, too What You Do:First things first, we need to heighten the flavor of the strawberries while also removing the majority of the water from them. I do this in a two-step process: 
I started by mixing my strawberries (I've used fresh and frozen) with sugar and placing them in the fridge to macerate. With fresh strawberries, this process can take 8-12 hours (or up to 24). With frozen strawberries, you're also wanting them to thaw, so it's best to give them a full 24 hours. 
After they have sat in sugar for 24 hours, drain them as much as possible. But do not rinse them! And blend them in a food processor or with a blender. I have blended them smooth, as well as left them "…

First Year Family Garden

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The Wordy BitIt's all wordy bit today. I know I haven't posted in a few weeks, and that was not intentional. I took a brief sabbatical from social media (and a lot of the internet, to be honest) over Mother's Day weekend. I needed the break from all the bonkers things I was seeing. I, instead, focused on my family, making phone calls, tending my garden, and taking in the quiet. 

If you follow me on social media, I've shared my garden before. Even before all the pandemic madness began, my husband and I wanted to try our hand at gardening. We have an amazing portion of our backyard that gets sun from the moment it rises until just before it sets. We figured we would plant there, and since we didn't know how things would go, we decided for a raised garden. We used cinder blocks as our base, and on top of that we placed grow bags and surrounded them with a cedar frame (to help them hold their shape). We started with four plots that were 4' by 2', as well as a po…

Maker Basics - Not so Basic Stitches

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Materials:Yarn of choice
Hook size recommended by yarn choice The Wordy BitA couple weeks ago, I went over how to tie a slip knot, how to chain, and how to perform the single crochet. If you've got those down, and are ready for more complex stitches, then read on. 

Slip stitches (which I haven't covered because they're still difficult for me) and single crochet stitches are "short" stitches. It takes lots of rows to get length. More complicated stitches like half-double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet, are taller. This means is takes less rows to get height, but it also means an airier fabric, as the gaps in the yarn will be larger. Look at it this way: it take roughly 2-3 rows of single crochet to get the same height as you would get from 1 row of double crochet. The row heights and fabric density plays a huge role in designer's reason for choosing different stitches. We'll get into that more once we've discussed how to perform some taller s…

Is it Junk? Chicken Nuggets

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All You Need:3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 cups all purpose flour
bowls
seasoning of choice (about 1/4 cup total)
baking sheets
oven
some sort of storage container
freezer What You Do:Preheat oven to 350°. Cut chicken breasts into 1" pieces that are about 1/2" thick. Place cut chicken, flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls and line them up in that order. At the end of your little assembly line, place your baking sheets. (Note: if you have a nonstick baking sheet, great! If not, any baking pan lined with parchment paper will work.) 

Divide your seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, but any spice mix or simple salt and pepper would work.) between the chicken, flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix the seasoning into each bowl completely. Here is a picture of my chicken, and then my assembly line.




Using the "wet hand, dry hand" method*, dredge the chicken in the flour. Then, dip the chicken into t…