Simplest Cranberry Sauce (with pictures)

What kind of Thanksgiving meal would it be without cranberries? For years I used that jelly blob looking stuff that comes in a can as my Mom fully expected some sort of cranberry sauce on the table. But then I discovered how wonderfully easy it was to make my own from fresh cranberries, and it is soooo much better tasting!

Southern Style Collard Greens

One "must have" side dish for any of our fall or winter holiday meals is collards. If you have never eaten fresh collards, cooked by someone who knows collards, then you need to try them at least once. It can be difficult to cook them correctly if you don't know what the end result is supposed to taste like but I have done the best I can here to walk you through it. BTW, this is my way of cooking collards, there are other ways out there and I am sure they are equally delicious, but this is how I was raised cooking them.

Why I Don't Have a "Martha Stewart" Thanksgiving

Table barely got set that year, ended up with everyday dishes. No one seemed to mind.
I love holiday meals, I really do. What I love the best is the family all gathered together in one place, laughing and telling old family stories. My family is great at teasing in a loving way with no one taking offense. Most holiday meals are at my house and I love that.  But I confess there have been years where I was a total stress mess getting it all together and ready. Over many years of doing this I have developed a few "rules" for myself to help insure we all have an enjoyable meal.

Pumpkin, Honey, and Spice Spreadable Butter

I had just made some Spreadable Butter, the last tub went really fast for some reason, and had thought about making some honey butter too. Then I had a spark of pure genius! There in the refrigerator was some pumpkin puree. I had used part of a can for for some Pumpkin Lattes and there was the rest of it begging to be used in...what else...whipped butter!

My Little Memory Stick

This is really just an update to an older post with one big improvement. Awhile back I shared a post about my Rosemary Remembrance Balm. Rosemary is known to improve memory, cognitive performance, improve overall recall and attention. Who couldn't use that?

Pumpkin Pie Spice, Coconut Oil, and Craisins Granola

Granola...the word makes us think of nuts and oats and wholesomeness. But is it really healthy? Well, it should be and that's why I'm making my own. I love granola, either as a cold cereal eaten with milk or just like it is. But when you read the labels of many granola bars and cereals you see lots of questionable ingredients. And its expensive! Really, this stuff is so easy to make your gonna kick yourself for not making your own before now.

DIY Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent (No Grating!)

"Woman Hands" by africa
I kept seeing those posts for homemade laundry detergent and to be honest, I just had little interest. They looked like a lot of work to me, all that grating and mixing in water until the grated soap liquefied. I mean, its just myself, my husband, and two dogs so I don't go through a lot anyway. But then I started paying more attention, and actually I do a fairly good amount of laundry a week. I especially do a lot for the dogs! Blankets, beds, and as they have gotten older there is the occasional "accident" on a scatter rug. Scatter that term still used? They are those little rugs you "scatter" around the house. lol You know, like in front of the sink, or by the back door, or maybe next to your bed.

Hot White Russian

It's unusually cold here this Friday evening, and supposed to get colder. But it's still the weekend after all, and some sort of hot mixed drink would be good. Something hot and coffeeish but with a little kick. Hummm, I know just the thing. 

Using Frankincense to Remove Moles

"Beautiful Girl Face With Clean Skin" by stockimages
We all want beautiful flawless skin but sometimes nature plays odd tricks on us, causing various warts and moles to grow in all sorts of unsightly places. I find this particularly true as I get older! This is how I tackled one such imperfection.

Comforting Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

It's a cold rainy day here in eastern North Carolina and Hubby and I are enjoying a nice cuddly day inside. It's one of those days where it just seems fitting to have something comforting simmering on the stove. Today I decided that something was Vegetable Beef Soup. Wholesome, soothing, hot, delicious soup...what could be better on a day like this?

Use Your Kitchen Scraps to Enrich Soil (Without Making Compost)

"Hand Gardening Tools" by winnond
It annoys me to waste kitchen scraps. Every time I put potato peelings or eggshells in a plastic garbage bag I can't help thinking that I'm wasting something valuable. I would love to have a compost pile or bin, but I just don't have the room. So I came up with a very simple way to return organic matter to the soil thus boosting the soil naturally.

MagicBullet NutriBullet, An Unbiased Review

One of my favorite breakfast meals is a smoothie aka NutriBlast made with my MagicBullet NutriBullet. I got mine six months ago and have been using it faithfully ever sense. Let me state, before I go any further, that I am not being compensated for this post, in other words, it is not a sponsored post. It is just a product I enjoy and I wanted to share with you.

How To Make Your Own Spreadable Butter (And Why You Should)

In our house we prefer butter. Not margarine, or vegetable spread, or whatever else looks like butter...but real butter. But those hard sticks of butter can be a pain when you just want to smear some on a piece of toast. Sometimes soft butter is just easier to use. If you look closely, you can find spreadable real butter but they are usually made with genetically modified canola oil with potential health risks. Even the ones that tout that they are made with a healthier oil, like olive oil, may reveal in the ingredient list that canola oil is actually at the top of the list and olive oil at the end (meaning they use mostly canola and a little of the healthier oil). Or, they may be using an adulterated olive oil with very little taste or health benefits. And then there's the cost savings. The tub of soft butter I made today cost me about 75 cents I used store brand real butter on sale).

Nourishing Homemade Cuticle and Nail Oil

When I was working I was fairly diligent about keeping my nails done. But now, not so much. Since I'm home almost every day I'm spending a lot more time working outside, painting (not the artsy kind, the paint the walls kind), crafts, and cooking. So having my nails done is just not a priority anymore. Well, today I purchased the new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel that doesn't require a light. I love acrylic nail polish but have never done them myself at home. I can't wait to try it and will let you know how I like it. 

Fizzies Toilet Freshener Bombs

I really don't clean my toilet that often. There I said it, please don't judge me. You see, there is only myself and my husband, hubby is off at work five days a week, and it just doesn't get that dirty. I find that most of the time our toilet just needs a quick wipe down. But what I do need is a bowl freshener to use between those cleanings. I would think such a thing would be wonderful for busy mom's that have to clean toilets often. Something to just freshen and deodorize and even kill bacteria. Oh, and it would be great if it made the whole bathroom smell fresh at the same time. Well, such a thing actually exists, and you can make it yourself at home in no time!

So Easy Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treat

If you follow my blog you know I love a healthy and easy dog treat recipe. Although this one does contain wheat, it is still much healthier than most treats sold in stores. Even the "healthy" brands are usually not that great and they are soooo expensive! These treats contain pumpkin, which my dogs love, and is very good for them. See my post about the benefits of pumpkin here. These treats are rather soft, perfect for my older dogs.

My Thoughts on Getting Old(er)

"Surprised Old Woman" by imagerymajestic courtesy of

I don't usually write this sort of post, but here goes... I'm getting older, 64, and while there are some things I like, like retirement, there are also a lot of things I don't. (Did I hear a duh?) So many people seem to fixate on a certain age, or seem so concerned about every new wrinkle. Have we really become a society that loathes aging so much? We know we can't actually stay young forever but for some reason many are just obsessed with looking young, no matter their age. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to look as young as possible for as long as possible but its not an obsession, not something I stay awake at night worrying about.

My 5 Favorite Cold Weather Soups and Stews

There is just something soothing and homey about soups, stews, and chowders. I love to have a pot of something simmering on the stove on a cold winter day. There is something almost healing about them. Comforting....

Not to mention the fact that there are so many that are healthy, easy to fix, and need little clean up. Add a grilled cheese sandwich, some crusty bread, or just some saltine crackers and even the most picky eaters are sure to be happy.

So here are my fav 5! In no particular order. ♥

Black-Eyed Pea and Sausage Stew.

Black-Eyed Peas are a tradition here in the south on New Year's Eve Day. But believe me this stew is delicious anytime. Its made with corn and tomatoes so its a healthy meal. I like to add cornbread to round it out.

Black-Eyed Peas are nutrient-rich. Just 1 cup delivers 20 percent of the daily value of magnesium, calcium and iron, and that's just the beginning of the nutrition they provide. Black-Eyed Peas, or cowpeas, have 160 calories in one cup and 5 grams of protein. They are also a good source of soluble fiber, folate, manganese, and Vitamin A.

Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

One of the things I hear many people liking about fall is the return of Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks! And I admit, I love it too but I'm much too frugal (some relatives would say tight! lol) to pay out that much money for one cup of coffee. But hubby and I did head out to our local Starbucks to purchase one just so I would have a comparison for this post. BTW, we got sidetracked and our trip for a latte turned into a king size mattress and bed purchase. Another story...