Welcome February!

February is thought of as the month of Love, with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the month. While love is important, it means nothing without strong relationships serving as the foundation of our lives. These relationships, this love, should be more than familial relationships. Jesus tells us we need to love our neighbor as ourself. He also extended the idea of family, brothers & sisters, to include those joining us on our faith journey.

Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies

Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies

Whenever Mr. D & I visited my in-laws in Kankakee, IL, my MIL always made Lemon Bars for me. I absolutely LOVE these things. The tangy taste of the lemon paired with the sweet crust was wonderful!

Mom is gone now & as much as I miss her, I also miss her Lemon Bars. I know I can make them but it just isn’t the same. Perhaps a similar recipe that is just different enough is what I need. Thank you, Betty Crocker for these Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies! they offer me the tangy goodness & sweetness of Mom’s Lemon Bars but the Cheesecake gives them a slightly different flavor to make them unique. I think Mom would approve! Enjoy!

Lemon Blondies

Gluten-Free Luscious Layer Bars

Gluten-Free Luscious Layer Bars

Gluten free doesn’t mean you must give up sweet treats. And these days, there is a much better selection of recipes for you to enjoy than there were when I first heard about gluten free living. One source of tasty treats is Betty Crocker. The good folks at Better Crocker have developed so many gluten free recipes & products that you can enjoy eating again! In fact, these recipes are so wonderful, your family will enjoy them too. You may have to hide a few so you enjoy them!

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for those fabulous layered bars. Make some for your family & be sure to save some for yourself! Enjoy!

Layered Bars

50 Best Ways to Use Mason Jars

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Canning is making a big comeback. This requires mason jars, lots of mason jars! What do you do with all those jars when they aren’t being used for canning? Well, Country Living has an incredible list of things to do with unused jars. These projects are so cute & useful, you may find yourself scouring yard sales & thrift shops for more jars!

Mason Jars

24 Beautiful Blooming Houseplants

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Snow outside up to your windows? Are you wearing so many clothes that you can’t put your arms down? Are the only colors outside white, gray & more white? It must be winter!
Well, it may be cold & wintery outside but you can enjoy Spring inside when you add a selection of colorful plants to every room in your home. Not sure what plants to choose? The good folks at BHG offer you a bright selection of houseplants to fill your winter home with a breath of Spring. Enjoy!

Create Your Own Candy Buffet

Candy Bar Jars

I have seen Candy Buffets featured on websites & magazines as a fun ways to offer sweets to guests at weddings, showers, parties, etc. I wanted to make my own Candy Buffet but the jars were so expensive & BIG! So I decided to make my own smaller jars. The $ store had just what I needed to make a fun, colorful & sweet display for Easter & throughout the year!

Containers & Candlesticks

At the $ store, I browsed the vases & candleholders for an assortment of glassware. By mixing things up, I was able to make my display more interesting visually. I also bought candlesticks.

candlestick top

Be sure the edge or rim of your candlestick is fairly flat. I have a pair that are raised & they won’t fit flat on the bottom of the jar. These were flat enough to work great.

glass cleaner

I used glass cleaner to remove the price stickers, residual glue & to clean the glass. Make certain all your pieces are dry before beginning.

E6000

I use E6000 to epoxy my pieces together. I worked outside. If you must work inside, make sure the room is well ventilated. And NEVER leave it, even for a second, were kids can get into it!

Epoxy on candlestick

With E6000, you must put the epoxy on both piece & let them set for a few minutes before bonding the together. The tricky part was determining where to put it on the jar so there wouldn’t be extra all over the bottom.

Epoxy on jar

My solution was to position the candlestick (with the epoxy on it) on the bottom of the jar, then take them apart. If necessary, I add a bit more epoxy to the jar & candlestick where there are bare spots. I then give it a few minutes to set up.

Jars drying

Then I put the candlesticks on the jars & let them set. They should set overnight but it was really dry & hot here when I made these so they were ready in an hour or so.

More drying jars

Now to fill the jars!

Some jars I filled with candy. But for others, I added $ store moss (it only took one bag), small nests, colorful fake eggs, a bunny & even a Christmas ornament I saved that is shaped like a cross! I pushed the moss down in front & up in back so the nests would be at an angle. This way they were more visible through the glass.

nest & eggs

bunny jar

Cross jar

I already had this large candleholder. You can often find great jars like this at the thrift store!

A few other pieces

vintage blocks

I added some of my handmade vintage blocks from my gift shop to the display.

place card holder

I thought this doorknob shaped place card holder from my shop looked cute with the chick graphic added.

finished display 1

And there it is!

Finished display 2

Very simple! Very colorful! A bit elegant! AND inexpensive! How great is that!

I plan to keep this display up through Easter. Then I plan to create an April in Paris display! I promise to share!

Enjoy!

14 Overnight Mason-Jar Breakfasts

14 Overnight Mason-Jar Breakfasts

We all know we should eat better & part of that plan is starting the day with a nutritious breakfast. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way once again. The mornings are so rushed, you barely have time to grab a cup of coffee before you are off & running. You consider getting up earlier or preparing something the night before but it just doesn’t work out. You need something convenient to get you started right in the morning. Country Living & Redbook offer the solution.

These fabulous breakfasts in a jar are simple & fun to make & very easy to take along in the morning. You can put them together the night before & grab it before heading out the door in the morning. Pack that little jar with all the nutrients you need to start you day off right. Before long, you will feel a difference in your day. Use one of these recipes to get started, then begin creating your own. Your whole family is going to want one of these delights. You can create them in a plastic container for kids but the mason jars allow you, & others, to see your fabulous creation! Enjoy!

Mason-Jar Breakfasts

12 Desserts Under 300 Calories

12 Desserts Under 300 Calories

I think I’m in love with Betty Crocker. Ok, maybe it’s just her recipes I love! They come up with such FABULOUS recipes at Betty Crocker. And these recipes, well, what can I say. You CAN have your cake & lose weight too! 12 incredible desserts all under 300 calories, like the chocolate cupcakes in the photo, which are ONLY 150 calories! Oh Happy Day! Enjoy!

Sweet Treats