Month: February 2014

Inspired Weekends #9

snowflakeInspired Weekends #9

February was Sweet Month on Horrific Knits-March will be Spice Month!

All entries are pinned to the Inspired Weekends Pinterest board.

This is a free for all style link up-there are no rules! The only guideline is that each entry should be your own content-but feel free to link up round ups, link parties, giveaways, diy, recipes, tutorials, favorite entries from your archives, recipes, anything that you would like to share!

Featured Links

Inspired Weekends #8

colorful-reversible-necklaces-tutorial-jColorful Reversible Necklaces from Jewelry Making Journal

Part 3 Cover PageMake Your Pics More Pinteresting from Darlene Nemeth

Click on the button that looks like a blue frog at the bottom of the page to view the collection.

Please link to entries, and not your blog main page.

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Peeps Pies


I’m in love with all things refrigerated dough. Rolls, pizza dough, pie dough. If it comes in tubes or cans, I want to use it.

It cuts out so much work and I can get things made before I have to go to work. If you want to use homemade dough for any of my recent projects, please feel free. I love working with homemade dough when I have the hours to put into it but during this season, anything that I can do to cut time out of my schedule is optimal.

This was an experiment, part of my Death of a Peep project looking for ways of using up Easter project. These taste good but the marshmallows melted down into a sugar glaze.

With the size cutter I used for this batch, one single pie crust gave me five pies. I used 2 1/2 peeps. If you don’t want to use peeps, use 1 large marshmallow per pie.


Use whatever size cutter you want but make sure you change the amount of marshmallow per pie to account for the size of the dough. Depending on your marshmallows they may melt down and glaze the insides of your pies.

If you want to, glaze the tops of the pies and sprinkle with sugar prior to placing them in the oven. With peeps already being sugared, I didn’t want even more sugar in the recipe.


Peeps Pies

Pie crust-at least one single crust. More crust will give you more pies

chocolate chips

peeps-figure 1/2 peep per pie



Pre-heat oven to 350.

Let your dough warm enough that you can work with it.

Cut out your pie bases, making sure that you re-roll your dough as necessary to give you an even number of rounds.

Cut your peeps in half, placing one half on a round. Surround the peep with chocolate chips.

Wetting the bottom round place another round on top and crimp the edges with a fork.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Remember, depending on your marshmallows they may melt down in the pie.


I’m putting my mod hat on here. My comment policy works like this and has for years: I allow for most every comment as long as it’s not openly abusive; however, that doesn’t mean that the comment will receive responses that are gentle from any user of the site-if someone wants to respond in kind [including anyone writing on the site] they are free to comment as well. But, I don’t want to moderate flame wars over Easter candy either. Comments are now locked on the entry until further notice.

Homemade Coffee Creamer

creamerupdateThe ginger beer is completely unrelated. Busy season sometimes does odd things to my thought process; I just like the bottle.

This is an updated photo for a recipe posted in 2011. It’s still a happily simple project-which is about what I have energy for this week.

1 cup milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2+ teaspoons extracts, flavorings, spices, etc

Over medium low heat combine milks. Allow to heat to just before simmering; pull from heat and add extracts.

Cool slightly, and bottle. Keep in fridge.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

ginger snap crafts

mom’s test kitchen

the tasty fork

family home and life

our three peas

adorned from above

The Self-Esteem Clearinghouse

Sometimes I toy with the idea of starting a page or a group on Facebook, or even a column on here, with the sole purpose of helping other people’s self-esteem.

I know what you’re thinking.

There’s no way that this can end well.

Which is why you don’t see me talking about the amazing new group that I’ve started on Facebook.

What I mean though is sometimes I sit down and think, hey this great thing happened to me today! Let’s put it on Facebook!…to a resounding wall of silence. And that terrible sinking sensation of not a single person caring. Or even, worse, the other side-I’m in a lot of pain right now.


Sometimes I do this thing on Facebook where I ask people what’s going good in their day. People say that they like it…but it’s hit or miss how often people actually post on it. I always find that a little comical-being asked to post a thread that no one then posts on. Anyway, sometimes I think that I should start a bragging thread in the same way. Or a grieving thread. Some sort of self-esteem boosting, yes I’m actually listening to you type thing.

So, why not? What’s going good in your life right now? What do you have going on that you want to brag about? What do you need to say right now?

Jelly Bean Bark {Kids’ Crafts}


I’m a Gold Award Girl Scout*.

Part of that process, for me at least, was a lot of work with younger scouts. I mean, a lot of work with Daisy and Brownie scouts. I essentially adopted a Brownie troop for awhile when I was in high school.

One of the things that I took away from that is that kids

a. love crafting

b. love crafts that let them use fine motor skills and creativity at the same time

c. love anything involving sugar


These are definitely a rare treat type project, but they’re simple enough for even young scouts to make. Having done this type of project with kids before, here’s my tips:

A. Do as much prep work as you can. Sort the candy by color (or buy it that way). Bake the cookies ahead of time-or use store bought dough unless you’re working with older scouts and have a fair amount of time to work with. Same with the frosting-use store bought and pre-measure, unless again you’re working with girls working on a cooking badge.

B. Let them have choice but not too much choice. Limit their options or you may have kids that become frustrated. Give them some wiggle room for control, but don’t give them 10 different shapes of cookies to pick from. Circles or squares with plenty of cookies in case everyone wants the same shape is fine.

C. Assign them either their own color or their own bowl of candy. Try to have it be as balanced as possible.

D. Let them do their own thing. If you wanted everyone to make cookies with all blue candy and someone wants to do red, in the end, a red cookie’s not the end of the world.

E. You may want to enlist older scouts to help with set up, clean up, and observation. This is probably going to get sticky.



*Based on an idea seen on Pinterest

-Sugar cookies, unfrosted, either circles or squares. Size isn’t important, but at least the size of your palm will give you a lot of surface to work with.


-Colored candy like jelly beans, skittles, or m and ms. Dried or fresh fruit in different colors would work well as well.

While your cookies are baking set out your candy, sorted by color.

When the cookies are cooled, frost with your favorite frosting.

Let the frosting set a little then press the candy into the frosting in desired design. Press firmly enough for the candy to stick but be careful that you don’t break the cookie.

Let the frosting dry completely.

*The Gold Award is the highest leadership award that a Girl Scout can earn prior to bridging to Adult.


Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

This gal cooks


the prairie homestead

pursuit of functional home

mamal diane

lady bug blessings


craft dictator

ginger snap crafts

the tasty fork

family home and life

adorned from above

7+ Tips On How to Blog Hop


1. Find the hops that fit you best

I seem to get the most hits off of urban homesteading link ups. My projects seem to fit best with urban homesteading, frugality, and sustainability/diy audiences. Once I started doing a lot of blog hops in that area of the blogging world, I saw many more hits than I do with say crafting or ‘mom’ blog hops.

My two favorite, without playing favorites or affiliations, are Frugally Sustainable on Thursdays or The Homestead Barn Hop on Mondays.

2. [Better] Photography or Images

I really want to be careful with this one because I do have a long standing love/hate relationship with this concept and I’ve already talked about this on this blog in the past. However, unfortunately, it’s true. People will click more when they like the image more. Honestly, I do run a lot of photography off of my phone, then through Instagram, then I run it again through Picmonkey. It does make a difference. I do have a Nikon DSLR, but I’m terrible with it. It’s on my goal list for this summer.

3. Track Your Trends

This is another one that I find a little uncomfortable, having been on the receiving end of emails about this. No one likes to hear this.

There are hops that I get absolutely no hits off of. Ever. I might get 1 or 2 hits, max, the entire time I link up. If I have time to link up I might, but this time of year I’m out of the house for work in 12 hour blocks. Sometimes though it’s not even a matter of what hop, but what day. Thursdays are terrible days for me in blog hop land. I have no idea why, but my hits from hops fall off to almost nothing on Thursdays.

If you don’t have a lot of time to hop, spend some time tracking when your highest hits come from and where, and center on those.

4. Try to Link Back

Try and link back to the person holding the hop. It’s generally considered polite. I admit that I’m terrible with doing it the same day that I hop, but I have a blog hop list that I keep in a page on my blog (the bottom of Columns and Parties page) that provides stable links that I try to keep current.

I also keep a Google Doc with links to everything I’ve linked up and where so I can go back and edit the post later.

5. Try to Follow the Rules

Again, this one is as much about being polite than not. There are some blog hops that I don’t link to unless invited because they ask for family friendly material and with the amount of horror content on this blog I err on the side of caution. If the blog hop is asking for sock knitting content, don’t link up cupcakes. If you don’t have sock knitting content, then you’re probably better suited for a different hop.

6. Size Does Matter

I don’t link up to a hop unless there are less than 300 links by the time that I link up. I’m not sure why but I don’t get hits unless I’m on a list before the 300 mark. A lot of bloggers suggest going to larger parties, but I find myself getting lost in the shuffle if there’s too many bloggers. Maybe it’ll be the opposite with your blog and you’ll get a ton of hits off of big hops but none off of little hops, but try to join a bunch of different sized hops and see which is the best fit for you.

7. Have Fun With It

I say this in writing a blog that isn’t monetized, but I don’t think blogging should feel like work. Blogging is a lot of work, but I don’t want to come home and feel like I’m expending the same type of energy that I do when I’m at the multinational that I work at. This blog is about being creative for me and if/when blogging starts feeling like work I back off from it a little.

Blog hopping is the same for me. If I wake up in the morning and think ‘Well. Time for yet another round of link ups.’ I don’t do them that day. This isn’t supposed to be annoying or stressful.

Honorary Point 8-Where to Find Them

So where do you even find hops? There’s several ways to do it.

If you have absolutely no idea, you can google a term like ‘blog hops Saturday’. It’ll give you some hits. Once you’re on a blog, a lot of bloggers have party pages where you can find hops that they participate in.

There are a couple networking sites that I use. I like these two the best:

Mums Make Lists

Networking and Other Linkups

They’re broken down by day so you can easily look up which hops are on the day you have free to hop.

Happy and successful hopping!

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

nifty thrifty things

flamingo toes

titi craft

a pinch of joy

twelve o eight

the chicken chick

this gal cooks


the prairie homestead

pursuit of functional home

mamal diane

lady bug blessings


carolyn’s homework

the tasty fork

family home and life

adorned from above

Sunday Legends-The Blue Lady of Miami


I love this story. I love this story because it’s relatively new, I love this story for the meta-mythology of it, I love this story because of its ties to already fluid folklore.

I asked on Facebook the other day what I should write about on this column, because even with the world full of folklore I know nothing about I sometimes run into walls about what I should feature in any given entries. Someone suggested this story, in part because it’s so sketchy (in the lack of sources sense, not the morally ambiguous sense).

I love it for the lack of resources surrounding it. There is some debate about authenticity, but now it’s in the folk way. It’s like a real world creepy pasta. Did the journalist make it up? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there’s ever going to be a sociologically definitive answer-but while I can’t talk for other social sciences I’m not sure that sociologically speaking it’s such a bad thing if she did. She’s not publishing it as social science, and the pathways surrounding it are interesting in and of themselves.

Anyway, before I ramble too far away from the actual story of the story, this is what is said to be said (heh) about the Blue Lady of Miami. According to folk stories told among homeless children living in Miami, there is a war ongoing between the angels and the demons. God has gone…somewhere else and those of us caught in the crossfire are in a very dangerous location indeed. However, those caught without the safety of home are in the most dangerous place of all.

These children do however have an ally in the form of a sea-angel called the Blue Lady. Dubbed this for the color of her skin, she lives in the oceans near the city and is capable of a great many acts of protection including stopping bullets. However, the devil and the demons have made her powers limited based on the knowledge of her true name. If you have that true name she will guide and protect you, but without it she is limited in what she can do for you.

The Blue Lady does sound a lot like Yemana and La Sirena, orishas and loas of the sea respectively. In both cases they can be called on as protectors, associated with water and the color blue-and require a certain amount of knowledge for successful interaction. And it would not be out of line to think that the folklore of traditions such as Santeria and Vodou entering into Miami folklore, being that both are heavily Afro-Carribean religious practices. Is that what is at play here? Children modifying relatively complex mythology into something that’s useful for them? It’s a powerful image regardless.

But is it happening at all? Spurred on by Reddit, there’s been debate about the authenticity of the legend. There are questions surrounding the Blue Lady as apparently the rights to the story have been sold to Disney. Does that sale really make the whole thing suspect though? Does Cinderella stop being part of folklore because Disney got involved? I would like to see more research into this one, because I really would be interested to see if this is a case of evolving folkways. And frankly, even if as Reddit suggests this is a modern urban legend, the meta-ness of an urban legend about an urban legend is interesting by itself.

Myths Over Miami

How a 1997 New Times Feature on Homeless Kids’ Folklore Exploded on the Internet

Did the homeless children and mythology of “Myths Over Miami” exist? Do they still?