17 March 2014

One Quick Thought: Worry

Dear Lissy,

As we continue to memorize and mediate on Philippians 4:5-9, remember...



28 February 2014

Drugstore Dupe for Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion

Dear Lissy,

I've been using Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer since high school.  I've looked for a less expensive and more available alternative to Clinique Dramatically Different for years.  I finally gave up, because I was spending more buying "I hope this will work" lotion than I was shelling out for the Clinique.  But (insert drumroll) I finally found it:  CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. 

 I could'nt tell the difference after putting DD moisturizer on one side of my face and CeraVe on the other for a week.  After 3 months of constant use, I've seen no difference in my skin at all.  We've had one of the coldest, dryest winters on record for our area of the country, so that's saying something.  CeraVe is about a tenth of the cost of Clinique moisturizer, and available locally at Wal-Mart. There's even a Wal-Mart Equate brand version if I'm really strapped for cash.  

I don't know if you'll fall in love with Clinique products the way I did, but when your budget calls for a break, this lotion is a great alternative!



P.S. for those reading along:  I have fair, dry, sensitive skin that flares red and itches or burns with most products.  Lissy has had issues with keratosis pilaris since birth, and this lotion was recommended by her dermatologist to address that issue.  I have no idea if this lotion would be as effective on sturdier,oilier skin.

26 February 2014

Sweet Potato Rolls

Dear Lissy,

These rolls are the rolls.  Six continents.  Every Thanksgiving dinner this century.  Sweet Potato rolls are a bit tricky to get just right, but oh, when I do, I'm in butter roll heaven.  Try them out a couple of times at home --  they make great slider rolls for pulled pork and unbelievable pecan cinnamon rolls.  Once you're used to the dough, quietly bring them any time you attend a dinner.  These unassuming little pillows of golden deliciousness will soon become your signature dish, too.

Sweet Potato Rolls

1 pkg.(2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast   
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Stir in:

1/3 cup sugar (optional, used to make rolls very soft and keep crust from forming)
1-1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening, melted
2 eggs
1 cup lukewarm mashed sweet potatoes or yams
3-1/2 cups flour

Add an additional
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour
until the dough is just firm enough to handle.

Turn the dough onto a wet counter or board and knead with wet hands or dough scraper until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Re-wet board or hands as necessary.  Don't try to flour the board or your hands, or the rolls get very tough.  Place in greased bowl, and turn until greased side is up.  **Refrigerate several hours or overnight.**
About 2-1/2 hours before baking, divide the roll dough in half.  On a floured board, roll each half into a 16" circle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread each circle with:
2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine (1/4 cup total)

Cut each circle into 16 equal wedges with a pizza wheel..  Beginning at the rounded edge, roll each triangle up.  Place on an insulated baking sheet with the point underneath.  Set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  Bake at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.



P.S.  Butterhorns are nice for formal occasions, but these rolls really shine when baked cushion-style.  I usually pan them up at 2.5 oz each, and place them a finger's width apart in the pans.  Let them rise until the dough has a spongy texture, and pop them into a hot oven.  The bottoms overbrown easily, so use a baking stone or keep them toward the top of the oven.

20 February 2014

Decorated Planner Pages

Dear Lissy,

 Here's a fun little no-pressure project for when you're itching to create:  decorate planner pages.  My only rule is "no purchases."  I have to use art and crafting items we already own. Most decorators are devoted to Filofax, but my favorite planner from Studio O is just as easy to mod.  I don't decorate every week...just when I'm feeling a little craft deprived.

My favorite 5 x 7" planners from Studio O Creations are available at BAM! bookstores.

Vertical week on two pages allows me to place my to-do list into timed slots.  My running to do list goes in the boxes on the bottom margin.  I place prayer requests or memos in the "Week in Review" slot.

The finished two-page spread.  I inked the sides of the pages with ice blue into spring green since we're transitioning from February to March next week.  I stamped in the same two colors, stamping first on scrap paper to keep the color faint.  A few punches, stickers, rub-on transfers, and pieces of washi completed the look.  I've started highlighting travel time around appointments so I don't plan that time for another purpose.

A closer look at the left hand page.   I like the look of inking cutouts and then putting a bit of washi tape behind themThe wrinkles drive me nuts -- one of the hazards of using your art!

Close-up of the right hand page.  I'm quite partial to my gecko punch :-)

The beautiful thing about planner decoration is that you can change up styles and materials every week.  I have dreams of Zendoodles, pencil sketches, fabric swatches & pattern tissue, postage stamps, and more.  It also makes the planner a lot more fun -- and likely -- to be used on a daily basis, too.  Whether you're rocking a Filofax or making do with a printable, have some fun with an otherwise mundane part of life.

Lovin' you,

P.S.  I'll try to update with a finished shot of these pages after they've been filled with to-do's and doodles.