Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whip up some cupcakes in just a jiff

We had some company visiting this afternoon and I wanted a little treat to serve. I found this recipe for home-made vanilla cupcakes. The best part in my opinion, it only makes 12! Not too many, not too few, just riiight!
Here is it:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. milk

Mix it all together and bake @ 350 for 20-25 minutes
makes the perfect number of cupcakes, 12!
*also makes one 9x9 cake- bake for 30-40 minutes*

Tip: Please use your glass cake stand for every dessert you can! It's not just for cakes. I put brownies, & cupcakes in mine all the time. I first started doing it because I had a made a batch of brownies and didn't have Tupperware to put them in. Some girl friends of mine came over one night and talked about how much they loved the idea of brownies in a cake stand. I thought...umm thanks, I didn't have anywhere else to put them. Over the next few days they both went out and bought cake stands so they could do the same! Evidently it's the COOL thing to do!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home Made-ALL natural "green" Multi-purpose cleaner

What a mouth Full that was to say!
It is true, I found a recipe for an all natural multi-purpose cleaner you can make at home!
(If you made the home made laundry detergent, then you have most of what you will need)

Here is what you need:

Empty spray bottle
(buy a new one, you will want one that has never been used before)
1 tsp. borax
1/2 tsp. WASHING soda (not to be confused with baking soda)
2 Tb. lemon juice (fresh or not so fresh)
combine with 1 cup Hot water
{a funnel could be very helpful, but I did it without}

First, I mixed borax, washing soda and lemon juice with a small whisk (or fork) then I poured it into the spray bottle. Add one cup of HOT water into the spray bottle, twist the lid on then Shake Well!
That's it folks!

[This recipe made 10 oz. of cleaner, I had a pretty big spray bottle so I doubled the recipe]

Happy Cleaning!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kill fire ants using an item from your Pantry

Yes, I said grits! The ants eat it, then drink water and explode. No more fire ants. It's safe and not harmful (unless you are an ant) like other ant killers on the market. Also, it is Cheap. I bought a 24 oz. container of grits from the grocery store for a Dollar! Yes it really works!

Here we are spreading some on an ant pile:

How to build a garden Box

Today At The Hatley House we made a garden box and planted vegtables!
Here is what we did:

We had garden soil dumped this morning.
{Make sure to call around for the best price, we even got free delivery!}

Jessie bought 2- 2x12 that were 16ft long for the length of the garden box, then a 2x12 that was 10 ft. long that he cut in half for the width of the box. So all and all our garden box is a 16x5
He nailed it all together, then placed an All natural weed liner on the bottom. It lets moisture out but prevents weeds from growing up. The wood and the liner cost about $32, not bad at all!

here is a picture of the box with the liner

Now just add Dirt!

It's VERY important for the whole family to work together. Our littlest even helps in family projects. Even at this young age he feels valuable to our family and proud to help out. Although he is just learning by example right now by following Daddy around we do give him jobs that he can do and praise him for being such a great helper! There is NO small job in a family, everyones role is important and valuable!

Keep on adding dirt

Spread the dirt evenly, leaving about two inches

You can start planting, BUT first think about the order in which you should plant your garden. Also think about the direction of the sun through out the day. You don't want plants shading others that need full sun light. {It is a Great investment to check out gardening books at your local library or buy books on Gardening from a half priced book store to learn from,(another great place to find books about gardening is at yard sales!) Jessie and I have been reading like crazy to find out just how we should go about growing our garden}

We bought seeds and planted them first in a plastic little greenhouse we bought from Wal-Mart.

Here they are sprouted ready to go into the Garden Box

Jessie is planting them!

Here is a tip: Before planting your tomato plant wrap the roots in a banana peel, the tomato will flourish from the nutrients it gets from the peel.

Here it is, our Garden!
We are so excited about it! Although it is a "baby" garden it is our first, so there is much learning to come this next year!

Happy Gardening!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Craft: Potato Stamps

Potato Stamps!
Here is what you need: Paper, paint, paint brush, potatoes (each potato makes 2 stamps), a knife

Cut the Potato in half, take the knife and carve a picture/design. Make sure to cut the design out of the potato about a half of an inch to an inch thick.
Here are the ones I did

Heart, fish, cross, and flower. (now I'm sure most of you out there will have better carving skills than I, so have fun with it and be creative!) But also be SAFE!
[I wouldn't recommend the children carving the potatoes]

Now for the Fun part!
Paint your potato stamp

Then Stamp away!

Here are all our stamps

You can make them into cute pictures, cards, or place mats!
You can even decorate shirts (using the correct paint of course)
Ella had a blast and I'm sure your kids will too*


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Salt is GOOD- A MUST read article*

This is an Article from one of my favorite ministries, No Greater Joy, which is lead by a couple named Micheal and Debie Pearl. Their daughter owns the Bulk herb store, an online bulk herb supply store. This is very informative so I thought it well worth sharing! I hope you learn something new, like I did!


Salt is Good

by Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries
February 2011
Both my parents had problems with salt. Too much salt and they would swell, then their blood pressure would go sky high. “Salt is bad,” Mom would say as she shook her head in perplexity, “But the Bible speaks so highly of salt. Why did God say, ‘Salt is good… Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another’ (Mark 9:50) if salt is bad? Hummm…”
Unfortunately I inherited the salt problem. I was in my early 40s when I noticed my wedding ring was tight; then I noticed my ankles seemed to stay fat, and next… well, next I noticed a great swelling other places. I had always had very low blood pressure, but with the swelling came a quick, dramatic change. My doctor said, “No more salt.” Food became very boring. I still ended up getting too much salt because some of my meals didn’t originate in my own kitchen. To reduce the swelling, I started eating lots of fresh celery and drinking Stinging Nettle tea. They act as diuretics, causing the body to flush fluids. It worked amazingly well, but keeping up the celery thing was not practical, and I sure missed salt. Furthermore, the root of the problem was not being addressed.
Then a few years ago I started noticing dirty looking salt available on the shelves of some of the more health-minded markets. I began to read what researchers were discovering about processed salt. WOW! Salt is not bad; salt is very good; it is a key to good health—that is, unrefined, natural salt is good. God was right after all. Wouldn’t you know it?
Bad Salt
Refined salt is harvested from salt mines as brine, which means the salt is in water. Chemicals are added to the salt brine to remove the minerals. Ironically, in the salt industry minerals are referred to as impurities. The minerals (impurities) are sold to be used in other industries. Then the brine is evaporated by using high compression and heat. This disrupts the molecular structure of the salt. After the drying process, toxic chemicals are added to prevent clotting. Iodine is also added (iodine is depleted from the soil so should be added to every diet). The purity of food-grade salt is between 99.7-99.95%. Pure means that the content of the refined salt is sodium (39%) and chloride (60%). Herein is the root to many health problems—maybe even most.
For the human body, balance is everything. Minerals work in concert with each other; if your intake of one or two minerals rises all the other minerals must rise to proportionate levels, otherwise the body suffers. For example, if you eat a bag of salty (bad salt) popcorn, your body will be flooded with high amounts of sodium and chloride. Suddenly all other minerals need to be increased to match the oversupply of sodium. The body can’t produce minerals; they must be supplied by food. Now, with all this sodium and chloride from the bad salt the body finds itself struggling to continue its functions without being damaged. It can’t.
Here is one example of what happens when even just two of the many minerals are not in balance. Potassium and sodium work as a team to create a vital plumping function within the individual cells of nerves and muscles. The two minerals must be in perfect balance to function properly. The normal diet cannot supply the large amounts of potassium it would take to match the high sodium in processed salt. This imbalance quickly causes skin problems, such as acne and very dry skin, chills, constipation, depression, water retention, nervousness, and high or low blood pressure depending on how the body tries to recover.
Research shows there is a direct link between chronic levels of low potassium (due to high sodium driving the need for potassium ever higher) and kidney disease, lung disorders, heart stress, hypertension and stroke. The body is slowly but surely dying. This is an example of what happens when only two minerals get out of balance. The more you learn how minerals work together the more you will see the critical importance of keeping a balance and why refined salt is truly deadly.
In summary: The human body requires a balance of minerals. When there is an imbalance of minerals the body starts to break down causing the pH of the body to become unstable. The immune system gets faulty, sleep patterns are disturbed, hormones go nutty, even your hair will be affected, and of course the kidneys can’t function properly, which means swelling and high blood pressure. A balance of minerals is critical for good health.
Salt By Divine Design
God designed the entire animal kingdom, and especially those of us who sit on couches, to have a natural craving for salt. All natural salt is loaded with minerals in a balance that works well with the body. The pink, grey or brown speckled look of natural salt indicates the presence of minerals. Salt comes from the earth. Like all earth (dirt, coal, clay, etc.) the quality of the salt varies based on where it is harvested. In my garden, the upper end is less fertile than the lower end because the nutrients are prone to wash down hill. The same is true with good natural salt. Some salt comes from areas of the world where it is loaded with minerals; other salt has less mineral content.
Celtic Sea Salt has been tested and shown to have a very high percentage of minerals. It comes from France and is harvested by channeling ocean water into clay-lined ponds. It is an ugly gray, large grain salt. For anyone with health issues this is the salt I would recommend.
Redmond’s Real Salt comes from the mines in Utah. It has a pinkish color and has a somewhat lower mineral content than Celtic Sea Salt, but still offers life-giving minerals. I also make sure I take iodine or kelp (sea weed high in iodine) every day.
Switching to natural salt is an easy and smart thing to do. Keep your eyes open for products that are now using natural salt; it is a rising star that will eventually take over the market once word gets out to consumers. Be the first to learn and live well.

Monday, March 21, 2011

America's Kitchen....what's going on in there?

What's going on in the kitchen of America? Take a peak! I rented this movie the other night from Blockbuster. WOW! It is a must see for every American in my opinion. Here is the trailer:      It exposes some of whats going on with our food supply. YIKES!!!

Strawberry Bread

Last week we went to Frogergs Farm in Alvin, TX and picked fresh strawberries! It is such a great experience for children and adults! Here is a link to see some pictures that my Very Talented friend and photography Stephanie Raye Ngo took of Ella and Mason scroll down one post till you see the Hatley Crew.

We have been eating Strawberries like they are going out of style here. Tonight I made strawberry bread, from a recipe that was given to me by my mother-in-law. Here it is:

Strawberry Bread:  

3 cups flour
1tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups oil
20 oz. of strawberries (blended or pured)

Mix dry ingredients first, then add the remainder ingredients. Grease a loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. (Makes 2 loafs)

Friday, March 18, 2011


WOW! This book is so AMAZING I had to share it with you! The title: Nourishing Traditions by: Sally Fallon "The cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats"

This book is packed with information about nutrition as well as tons of great recipes.
Here is some exerts that I thought were very interesting.....

Fish: "Fish is the health food, par excellence (except, of course, for those who are allergic to it) When Dr. Weston traveled throughout the world, studying traditional peoples on native diets, he discovered that those who ate seafood had the best health, as revealed by their freedom from caries, width of palate and general state of well-being. Fish eaters had thicker bones and better skeletal structure than groups that ate red meat, with vegetarians placing third.
Consumption of fish promotes excellent growth and bone structure; it also protects from degenerative diseases so prevalent in this modern age.......All ocean fish are excellent sources of macro and trace minerals, particularly iodine and zinc.

Poultry: "As Americans have cut back on red meat, chicken has played an increasingly important role in the nation's diet. Although chicken is a perfectly good source of animal protein, frequent chicken consumption requires a cautionary note. First of all, we must be careful of the source of chickens we buy. Battery-raised chickens are subjected to crowded living conditions and often substandard feed; they require frequent doses of antibiotics and growth hormones to reach adulthood. Many develop CANCERS and these cancerous chickens are not necessarily discarded. According to researcher Virginia Livingston Wheeler, these cancers can be transmitted to humans. We advise you to find a source of organic, cage-free or pasture-fed chickens, which is becoming more available directly from farmers and in our markets and is worth the additional price.
Secondly, we warn you against eating chicken-even pasture-fed chicken-to excess. Any food eaten to the exclusion of others can lead to allergies, food addictions and adverse reactions. This is true of meats as well as vegetables, dairy products and grains. ......vary your source of animal protein between poultry, fish, game and red meat."

Beef & Lamb: "Politically correct nutrition has singled out red meat-beef and lamb- as a major contributor factor, or even the main cause, of our two greatest plagues-heart disease and cancer. Consumption of these meats has dropped in recent years, but the incidence of both heart disease and cancer continue to climb. The dangers inherent in red meat are due, we believe, to modern methods of raising cattle. Most commercially available red meat comes from animals that have been raised in huge feedlots on grains laden with pesticides--or worse on soy feed which is too high in protein and therefore toxic to their livers--injected with steroids to make their meat tender and treated with antibiotics to stave off infections that inevitably result from poor diet and crowded conditions."

Organ Meats: " Almost all traditional cultures prize organ meats for their ability to build reserves of strength and vitality. Organ meats are extremely rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, as well as essential fatty acids, important very-long-chain super unsaturated fatty acids and the whole gamut of macro and trace minerals. Wild animals eat the organs of their kill first, thus showing a wisdom superior to our own."

Ground meats: "Ground meats are fine as long as they are fresh and the meat is of good quality....."

These are just little exerts from the book. I really don't have the time to type the whole book, so please get your own copy TODAY! It is Full of knowledge and great healthy recipes!

Tonight, At The Hatley House we had baked Salmon (wild, from the Great U.S.A), kale, and sauteed apples with cinnamon. YUMMY! The whole family loved it! I have made the decision that we will eat seafood twice a week.

Here is my salmon recipe:
salmon fillet (wild)
2tbl spoons of Un-bleached flour
1 lemon
2 tbl spoons of melted butter
Celtic sea salt (the REAL stuff, not fake!)

butter a baking dish, lay your fish skin side down, pour melted butter evenly across the fillet, salt, evenly dust the fish with the flour, sprinkle paprika on top. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, then place under broiler for 1 minute (this is brown the flour and create a little crunch) *make sure not the burn your fish* (Salmon is still pinky/orange even when it's done)
Kale- Rinse and pat dry. Cut stems off and discard. Chop leaves coarsely. Place into a pan and cover with water, let simmer in the water until leaves are wilted. (about 10 minutes) Drain well, place in a dish and add butter(not margarine)  and sea salt. Yum!        


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crafts for Toddlers*

We made these two crafts yesterday and wanted to share....

flowers & vase-   egg carton, pipe cleaner, markers, construction paper, scissors, empty toilet paper roll, glue

cut out 4-5 "eggs" from the carton, cut slits and pull down to make a tulip looking design, have your little one color the flower inside and out. Using scissors make a hole in the middle, push the pipe cleaner through and make a knot. {You can add leaves to your stem using more pipe cleaner} Decorate your "vase" (toilet paper roll) with construction paper or markers. TADA! A spring bouquet 

Lil Chick-A-Dee- yellow & orange construction paper, paper fasteners, pencil (for tracing), marker (for eyes)

On yellow construction paper trace your child's hand, then cut out. Trace a circle (I used the top to an empty coffee can) cut out orange feet and beak. Glue the feet onto the back of the circle. Glue on beak. draw two eyes (I used a black marker) Then using the paper fasteners put the "wings" on. (make sure to put the thumbs up and place them behind the circle/chicks body)

And you may be wondering what my one year old was doing during this time (he isn't ready for cutting & drawing just yet....)
I had him working on something too
Using scissors I cut a hole into a free little container Ella had won from the grocery store (not too big) Then I gave Mason tons on little fuzzy colorful pom poms to stuff inside. Great for learning motor skills! He had fun and it kept him busy learning while Ella was crafting.

Of course they ended up moving to the floor, but the fun continued!

TIP: I save most of the empty toilet paper rolls we use, as well as paper towel rolls, egg cartons, coffee cans, glass jars, I keep them all in a box, cause I never know when we will use them to make something Pretty*

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

These are a few of my Favorite things.....

Very excited to start sharing some of MY favorite things!!!     Favorite Photographer          My favorite Family ministry         My favorite herb store where I buy LoTs of things!        Cute blog with some of the sweetest skirt ideas*

My new FAVORITE chair!!!

My favorite pillow I made last week

Favorite style of clothing: Vintage Vogue

More to come.....

Burritos- here is a healthy low fat option to a Yummy Favorite!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito (low fat)
*this recipe was shared with me by a friend, I made some minor changes*

2 big cans of sweet potatoes or fresh if in season
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tbsp minced fresh green chile *optional*
4 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp ground coriander
3 15-oz cans black beans-drained
2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
3 packages of 8-inch flour tortillas

salsa and sour cream for serving, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1) Mash sweet potatoes in a large bowl set aside. Mash black beans in a medium sized bowl, then add to the mashed sweet potatoes {you can use a food processor or a potato masher like I did}
2) Warm the oil in a medium skillet or saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and chile. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 7 mins. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 2-3 mins longer, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
3) Combine everything into the large mixing bowl and mix in the cooked onions and spices.
4) Spray your baking dish with nonstick spray. Spoon about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of filling into the center of each tortilla, roll it up and place it, seam side down, in the baking dish. Bake about 20-25 mins, until hot. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

Here is a tip:
     Label, Date & Freeze your left overs. I am always thinking of ways I can make things easier (as well as healthy) for myself and my family. This is a great lunch that Dad can prepare when I am out. All he has to do is place the frozen burrito onto a cookie sheet and heat! That's it! I am happy because it's healthy, Dad is happy because it was easy! Win Win!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Home Made Laundry Detergent

I am very excited to announce I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent. With the cost of living going up I have set out to find ways that will help the Hatley House save $money$. If you don't know I am a HUGE  fan of the Duggar family {the family with 19 kids now}. They shared in their book and online how they make their homemade laundry detergent. I thought this is a Genius way to save! Oh and the best part....the cost per load is.... 1 PENNY!
 Here is how I did it....

This is what you need: 1 box of Borax, 1 box of arm & hammer baking WASH {Not to be confused with baking soda-very different} (I found these two Items @ HEB) 1 bar of zote (I found this @ Wal-Mart)

You will also need a 5 gallon bucket with lid (I found this @ Wal-Mart in the paint section)

Now that you have everything you need lets Start*
First grate one Zote bar (I used a regular cheese grater) put into a medium sauce pan. Cover with hot water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap completely dissolves.

Put 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax into a 5 gallon bucket.

Pour in hot melted soap mixture. Stir well, until all the powder is dissolved. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Stir, cover securely, and let set over night. The next morning stir the mixture. Mix equal parts of soap concentrate and water in a smaller laundry-detergent container. Shake before using.
[tip: use 1/3 of cup per load for front loader or HE machines]

There you have it, Homemade laundry detergent!
Simple, Easy & very pocket friendly!
*This is what we are doing At The Hatley House*