Recently my granddaughter Elise was looking for a ‘Christmas Store’ project for her class room; each student makes things to sell (items must be hand made), then the classroom is set up like a store, and the public is invited to come shop one day.  The class then takes a field trip to a local grocery store and uses all the money earned to purchase food for the local food shelf.  Warms your heart doesn’t it?

Shortly after Elise asked me if I had any ideas for her project, I came upon this recipe and remembered making these about 20 years ago with her mother and sisters.   I thought about all the fun scrap booking embellishments that could be used to decorate the ornaments (not available 20 years ago); the possibilities, options, and fun were endless!  Elise approved the idea and we were in business!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornament Recipe

1 cup cinnamon
1 T. ground cloves
1 T. nutmeg
¾ cup applesauce
2 T. Tacky craft glue

Combine cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix in applesauce and glue.  Knead well; dough should be smooth and stick together – if too crumbly add more applesauce, if too sticky add more cinnamon.  Roll dough on tin foil to 1/4 inch thickness; cut with cookie cutters.  Use a straw or toothpick to make a hole for hanging.  Let air dry for 4 to 5 days or more, turning twice daily.  Makes about 2-3 dozen, depending on size of cookie cutters.  Decorate!  (Ornaments shrink somewhat as they dry.)

Dry and ready to decorate

Once Upon A Thyme………

There was a collection of natural skin care products created especially for little Princes and Princesses with delicate skin.  Once Upon A Thyme soap and lotion are paraben and fragrance free, to cleanse and moisturize safely, naturally, and happily ever after.  Essential oils in Sweet Air Room Spray pleasantly freshen air after changing the highness’s royal diaper.

Once Upon a Thyme Set includes:

4 ounce natural unscented baby lotion

3.5 ounce fragrance free Soothing Soap

2 ounce travel size Sweet Air Room Fresh spray

Cotton diaper/burp cloth with embroidered crown

Baby gift cards and keep sake gift box with attached ribbon

Let us know what you think of our brand new baby set, or find it here for purchase at our Etsy store.

recipe hot cocoa

This is so handy to have on hand for Holiday gatherings.  It’s a fun recipe to make with a child, package creatively together, and then give as gifts.

Butterscotch Mocha Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups nonfat dry milk
½ cup powdered coffee creamer
½ cup instant coffee
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups Nestle Nesquik cocoa mix
1 ½ cups butterscotch chips

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Pulse 2 to 3 cups at a time in a food processor or blender, until finely ground.  Store in airtight container for up to 3 months.

To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of mix into 1 cup of hot water or milk.

Homemade Granola Recipe

November 17, 2008


4 cups regular oatmeal  (not quick oats)
1 cup rolled wheat (or substitute oatmeal)
1 cup instant dry milk
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup peanuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup wheat germ

½ cup oil
½ cup applesauce
1 cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups raisins,  craisins, or dried blueberries
1 cup sweetened carob chips (optional)

Mix first seven dry ingredients in large roasting pan.  In a saucepan mix oil, applesauce, honey, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla; heat until mixture is warmed and runny, then pour over first mixture in roasting pan, and stir until well mixed.  Bake at 250 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes (or more), until desired brownness, stirring every 15 minutes.  (45 minutes will be light brown and softer, 60 minutes will be brown and crispier.)  Let cool, stirring every 10 minutes three times.  When completely cool add dried fruit and/or carob chips.

Use with milk for a cereal, or use as a topping on yogurt or ice cream.


Make your own Halloween make up from simple ingredients you have in your kitchen.

1 Tablespoon corn starch
2 Tablespoons shortening
Food coloring

Cream cornstarch and shortening well.  Divide into 4 different bowls; add food coloring sparingly and stir well.  Using too much food coloring will stain skin.

Homemade Fruit Freezes

July 10, 2008

fruit freezies

Make your own delicious, nutritious, summertime freezies; both kids and adults love these!

½ cup sugar
2 cups boiling water
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (not diluted)
2 ½ c. crushed pineapple with juice (20 oz. can)
1 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries
5 mashed bananas

Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Add other ingredients, then blend in two batches in blender. Pour into small 3 oz. Dixie cups, freeze partially, then add popsicle sticks and finish freezing until completely firm. Peel off Dixie cup before eating. Makes about 24 treats.

Substitute other berries or frozen juice to invent new flavors!