IMG_4592A few weeks ago I did a make & take at my house with a few friends. We made diffuser pendants, bath salts & sugar scrub. Today I want to share with you how to make an easy bath salt that is perfect for gift giving! It’s not too late to whip some of these up for gifts!

The original recipe is from TidyMom. To make Lemon Rosemary Bath Salt you simply mix together the following:


  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest (optional)

I didn’t use that much rosemary in mine because I only had a small amount. It is still very fragrant even with only one tablespoon. I also didn’t use as much lemon zest. I just zested some of the peel until it looked like enough. This recipe fills one pint and one jelly jar.

IMG_4593If you want to fill up three pint jars, you simply double the recipe. That fills the jars almost to the top (add a little more epsom salt if needed). This recipe can easily be amended to whatever oil you want to use:


  • 4 cups epsom salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 12-16 drops of essential oil

IMG_4584Tie them with a sweet bow and tag and you’re all set! To use, measure out 1/2c-1c of the mixture and put in your bath water for a relaxing detox soak. Some of the oils that we liked to use in the ones we mixed up are lavender, cedarwood and peace & calming.

If you’d like more information on Essential Oils, you can read more about what they are, why Young Living and how to buy.


I have to admit, this is not my granny’s sugar cookie recipe. But it is a woman that I met a few years back and I ate my weight in her cookies when I was at her house a few Christmases ago. Last week I decided we needed more cookies in our life (even though I’m watching what I eat). Because, sometimes you just need a cookie (or two).


Granny’s Sugar Cookies:
1/2c butter (I ended up using 3/4, my dough was very crumbly and dry. could be because of the type of flour or because I didn’t sift it. oops.)
1c sugar
1 egg
1/2t vanilla
2c sifted flour (I use King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, they’re still delicious)
2t baking powder
1t salt

Cream the butter and sugar, then add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients until you have a nice dough ball. If the ball is sticky, put it in the fridge for about an hour to harden up. Mine was a little dry, so I was able to roll it out and cut the cookies without chilling the dough.

sugar-cookies2I like my sugar cookies to be soft and thick…no crunchy cookies in my house! I roll mine out pretty thick – about 1/8″ and cook them at 350 for about 9-10 minutes. The key is to catch them BEFORE the edges get brown. I always prefer to err on the side of a slightly undercooked cookie because once it turns brown, there’s no going back. And did I mention that I don’t like crunchy cookies?

For the icing there’s no real recipe. I start with 3c powdered sugar and about 1T of softened butter. I put them in my mixing bowl and turn on the mixer, slowly adding milk until it’s the consistency that I want. The butter will help the icing harden up a bit. If you add too much milk, no worries…you can just add more powdered sugar slowly.

You can color your icing or leave it white and sprinkle on some colored sugars for a festive look. Yum. Enjoy!

graham cracker apple cake 2

I’ve raided Grandma Blanche’s recipe box again for a sweet treat! Last time it was the pumpkin cake with caramel frosting, this time it’s Graham Cracker Apple Cake! This cake was super easy to make, smelled delicious and we really enjoyed it. Let’s get started!

(I’ve typed out the ingredients & instructions below in case you can’t read Grandma’s handwriting)

apple cake ingredients apple cake directions

48 individual bite size graham crackers (12 sleeves), finely crushed
3T butter
1/3c sugar
2 eggs, separated
1t vanilla
2 1/2t baking powder
1/8t salt
1/2c milk
2c chopped apples

1. cream shortening and sugar
2. add egg yolks & vanilla, beat well
3. combine graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt – add to creamed mixture with milk
4. beat egg whites, fold into mixture
5. spread 1/2 of mixture into a greased 8in cake pan. cover with 1c apples. spread the rest of the graham cracker mix on top of apples. top with the rest of apples.
6. pour 2T of melted butter, 1T sugar & 1/4t cinnamon over the top of the apples
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee (or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!).

graham cracker apple cake

I have wonderful memories of visiting my grandmothers during holidays and special occasions. Most of the time, they were in the kitchen making something delicious for us to eat. My grandma Blanche is now in a nursing home and a week or so ago my mom gifted her recipe box to me. She knew I’d be so excited to go through it and see what I could make. I also have my great grandma Lear’s recipe box, so be prepared to see some of Grandma’s old fashioned cooking up in here on a regular basis! I love looking through the handwriting, it makes me feel like I’m right there in the kitchen with these wonderful women.

In going through my Grandma Blanche’s box (which happened to be all sweets) she had 3 or 4 caramel frosting recipes. Then I came across a Pumpkin Cake recipe that called for the caramel frosting so while we were snowed in the house last week I figured there was no time like the present to give one of her recipes a try.

photo 1 Because we were snowed in, I was lucky to have everything I needed, minus the cake flour. I didn’t have any cornstarch to make my all purpose flour into cake flour, so I just went with it. I’m sure with cake flour it would be a little bit fluffier, but seriously…just look at that cake. I think we’re good even though we used AP flour. Without further ado, here’s Grandma Blanche’s Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Frosting.

photo 2 photo 3

Here it is in text format in case you want to cut/paste/print too.

Pumpkin Cake:
2c sifted cake flour (I had to use all-purpose)
3t baking powder
1/4t salt
1/4t cloves
1/4t nutmeg
1 1/2t cinnamon
1/2c shortening (butter)
1c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2/3c pumpkin
1/2c milk

1. sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
2. cream shortening, add sugar and cream thoroughly. add eggs and pumpkin.
3. add flour to the wet ingredients, alternating with milk.
bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Caramel Frosting:
1 1/3c brown sugar
1/4t salt
8T milk
1t vanilla
3T butter
3c confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

1. combine brown sugar, salt, and milk. put in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. cook slowly for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
2. remove from sauce pan, add butter and vanilla
3. cool slightly
4. add confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth

Enjoy the sugary, spicy deliciousness!

photo(2)This year my very first garden couldn’t have gone any better (in my mind)…I had very low expectations for my first garden and the fact that it produced anything was beyond what I thought would happen. We’ve had peppers, zucchini, cucumbers & tomatoes like crazy. It makes me excited for next year!

This past week I had too many ripe tomatoes and wasn’t sure what to do with them, so I did a quick search on Pinterest and found this recipe from Mrs. Happy Homemaker. She used tomatoes from the garden to make her sauce instead of a can and made it in the crock pot so I knew I wanted to try it.

photo 1Here’s my version:
9c tomatoes, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, oregano, basil to taste

photo 3cook it in the slow-cooker for 3 hours, puree in a blender or food processor, cook for 3 more hours. I then split it into two batches – one to freeze and one for the next day.

photo 4The next day I put the sauce in a sauce pan with a can of tomato paste and some frozen meatballs. I heated the meatballs until they were cooked and put the sauce on top of some farfalle pasta. All in all, it was pretty good! I’ll make it again, maybe adding a bit more salt & garlic {and try to sneak in some more veggies!}.