Author Archives: Amanda

About Amanda

I am a follower of Christ I am a wife I am a mother I am a daughter I am a sister I am a foodie I am a friend

Pinterest: To Eat or Not To Eat


I have a really bad habit of pinning 5 bajillion things to Pinterest and not following through with 4 bajillion of them.

I have decided that needs to change.  Why I never get around to making the stuff I pin I have no idea.  I mean I pinned them for a reason, right?  So I have been on a baking/cooking roll lately.

The Test Subject – Fruit Bars

I made these from Food and Whine

This is the only picture I have from the experience.


I have the ability to bake but not the ability to bake pretty.  Look at her pictures and imagine mine looked just as lovely!

I did make a few changes from the original recipe based on what I had on hand.

I used 1cup wheat, 1/2c ground oats and 1/2c cake flour for my flour base.  Also, instead of her fruit filling I used homemade strawberry jam (because I am overflowing in it).

The Verdict:  Absolutely amazingly delicious.  I made them originally for Smiley but I have been eating them too they are so good.  We will definitely be making them again.  I am sure they will become a regular in our house.

Tips:  It is definitely an art to fill them and seal them.  Mine oozed out a lot while baking.  I think I over-filled some and in general did not seal them well.  Also the dough can be really sticky so make sure your work surface is floured very well.  It also helps if you chill the dough for a bit before rolling it out.



Oh how she has grown


Here is a picture of Smiley today.


Here is a picture of Smiley one year ago today.


Here is a picture of Smiley two years ago today.


Sometimes pictures say enough and words are not needed.

Homemade Candles


Another installment of what I “borrowed” from Pinterest.

My MIL loves candles and mugs, so when I found this on Pinterest I knew I needed to make them for her for Christmas.

This project was ubber easy, super cheap and lots of fun.

First things first make a trip to your local thrift store and pick up a few fun tea cups like these.

They are very inexpensive and there are always lots to choose from.

Now you have a couple of choices when it comes to the wax you use.  You can either buy wax from a local craft store or melt down candles you already have.  I did a combination of both.

I bought 1lb of wax from Hobby Lobby and this was enough to do do cups.  I also had a lot of tealights that I never use so I melted down a bunch of those as well and that was enough for the other two cups.

You can buy a special can to melt wax in, but I just used a soup can from dinner the night before.  Place the can with the wax in a pot of water on the stove and begin to heat the pot.  I heated on medium because I did not want the water to boil but for it to get hot enough to melt the wax.

While the wax is melting you need to put wicks in the cups.  Try and make sure they are in the center so that the candles will burn properly.  I just attached the wick to the bottom of the cup with a little masking tape.  Make the wick longer than you really need and wrap the excess wick around a pen/pencil and let it rest on top of the cup.  These keeps your wick upright while the wax hardens around it.

Once your wax melts add what ever smell you would like to the wax.  You can pick of the essential oil at any craft store.  I went with cranapple spice.  Just add enough to get the intensity of smell you desire.

Then pour the hot wax into each of the cups and let it cool.  I did not time this but when I came back to them a couple of hours later they had cooled and hardened.

Once the wax melts you will notice that the wax caves in a good bit.  You will then need to add more melted wax to fix this.  I just melted a little more wax and added about another inch of wax to each cup.  When that wax dries it will be smooth across the top.

From this point all you have to do is cut the wick down to size and you are done.

I thought these turned out so well I also made a candle for my mother in a fun new mug so she could use the mug after the candle melted. For her present I paired it with a box of tea and some Honey Vanilla Spoons

It’s Raining Toys


Wednesday was a very rainy day here in the Upstate.

So much so that I opted to not venture out with Smiley on that day.

Thus meaning we spent the whole day inside (we rarely do that)!

I left Smiley to play by herself upstairs for about 20min.

They say pictures are worth a thousand words…

The Playroom

Her Bedroom

Maybe it would have made a few people frustrated to see such a mess, but I just smiled and taught her how to say “Big Mess”.

Because how could this sweet face make me upset…

Hanging in her tent

Honey, Honey, Honey


I like to cook and I like to be crafty

I have zero ability to come up with anything on my own

I can copy what someone else does pretty well

For sometime I have been wanting to start making Christmas gifts for people, but I have limited talent and resources so it does not always go the way I want it to.

I decided I was going to make my sister-in-law Leigh her Christmas present.

She loves to drink hot tea (or at least I think so because she always drinks some when I am around).  Thus the quest to incorporate this love of hers into a usable present.  Lots of ideas floating around the internets that involve tea, but nothing was really hitting home for me.

Then I got this email with an attachment for a new magazine that would be coming out called Splendidly Homemade

The magazine had a recipe for Honey Vanilla Tea Spoons and I knew that is what I needed to make for Leigh.  I figured those look easy enough too and I could whip them together one day while Smiley napped.



Not as hassle-free as one would hope.  A true comedy of errors in my kitchen as I tried to be “crafty”.  My dear friend Amy was on the phone with me for a good portion of the event and tried to be encouraging.  I was pretty sure by the end of it I was going to have to throw away the pot I was using.

Which in the end would have been fine because I got sweet new cookware from my parents for Christmast!  Thanks Mom and Dad I am loving the new pots and pans!

But, at the time it was not fine because  I had a pot covered in basically hard candy.

Also, getting molten lava onto the spoon was not simple since I was using plastic spoons which meant I had to let the lava cool for a little way or the plastic would have melted.  I think I let it cool too long because it was not super easy to get that stuff onto the spoon, but I figured play it safe because no one wants to be eating melted plastic.

It said to let the spoons harden on a cookie sheet with books stacked under the spoon hands to keep the bowl of the spoon level, thus not letting honey candy spill everywhere.

Yeah, by the time I started this process I realized that my cookie sheet was not really level so no amount of book stacking was going to help that situation.

Notice all the honey lava spilling out.

I still had to tackle the situation with cleaning the pot.  I figured let it harden and then I could just chisel it away with a knife.  Realized that was not going to work when I almost sliced off my finger and only a pebble size piece came off.  Then I decided I would just throw it away.  Then I decided I was a well educated woman and I was not going to let honey lava win (and the pot has a bit of sentimental value for me because it belonged to my Mema and she is no longer around).  And then the light in my brain came on and it occurred to me that these spoons of honey are suppose to melt in hot water, duh!  So I poured hot water all over the pot and all was right in my kitchen again.

In the end it all worked out and she received a nice mug, a box of tea and some very lovely honey vanilla spoons.

If any of you care to make your own honey vanilla spoons here is the recipe.  Hopefully it will go better for  you than it did for me.

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1T vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Stir everything together in a heavy sauce pot with a wooden spoon.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches the hard crack stage.  Remove from heat.  Cover a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.  Dip the spoons into the pot, making sure to fill the bowl of the spoon.  Place on cookie sheet to harden.  Wrap individually with plastic wrap for storage.  Will make 30-40 spoons.  May I suggest using real spoons instead of plastic so you can start dipping right away.  And place the  handle of the spoons on books so the bowl of the spoon stays level and honey lava does not spill everywhere.

A Pinterest Christmas


I am not a naturally “crafty” person.

I want to be one but it just does not come naturally to me.

I can not look at a box of buttons and find inspiration.

What I can do is look at Pinterest and find inspiration for that box of buttons.

Well, what I do is completely steal someone else’s idea and use it as my own 🙂

Pinterest has allowed me to become “crafty”!

Several of my Christmas decorations and gifts this year came from Pinterest.

I will be posting tutorials later for a couple of projects, but for now here are a few pictures to give you an idea as to what my December looked like.

My version of this

 Candy Cane garland

 Yarn Wreath

 Ornaments in the window

 Honey Vanilla Spoons

 Homemade candles

Give Me More


I have not blogged since the end of October

I really need to get better at this blogging thing

Maybe with a new year I will have a renewed sense of commitment to this

Maybe I won’t

Time will tell

I had saved a few potential blog ideas to blog about later and well now is way later so I guess I will try and remember what I want to tell the 12 of you that actually look at what I have to say

The following is the only note I left myself:

Andy Stanley sermon

God offered what they needed, they did not want, what they wanted God would not give.

Of course I can not write with the profoundness that Andy speaks with, but the sermon left me with wanting to say something here

Too often in my life I ask God for things that I never receive from him.  Things that I do not necessarily think are greedy, but still too often I am on the asking end of the conversation instead of on the receiving end.  I ask God for so many material things and then when He gives me tries to give me what I need I walk away feeling letdown.  He hands patience and contentment and I return it because for some reason I would rather have impatience and discontent.  I ask for more money to buy things and then I forget to thank Him when randomly a friend gives us a bag full of clothes for Smiley.

God graciously gives me what I need because he knows what is best for me.  He knows that my heart and this world will constantly deceive me.  He knows that I will fall prey to trying to build up my treasures on this earth instead of waiting for the greatest treasures in Heaven.  How quickly I forget that He is my Father and he is perfection so he wants nothing less that what is the very best for me.

I hope that with this new year I will spend more time receiving what God gives me.