Sunday, December 23, 2018

Neighbor Christmas Gift Idea

We love to share with our neighbors and friends at Christmas time by giving them a gift.  Even better, is to make it homemade!  This year, I wanted to make an Eggnog Quick Bread, but soon realized that this would require a lot of Eggnog for the ingredients.   I decided to try this Cinnamon Bread Recipe and loved the taste and texture of it!  It turned out wonderfully (as long as you don’t overbake it!) and made a nice large batch.  

I love my mini loaf pans!  They are a must have for making quick breads.  My quick never get fully cooked in regular size pans, but the mini pans really work great!  You can get some on Amazon HERE.

This summer, I found a Pampered Chef Stoneware loaf pan at a rummage sale for $3.   Was a little worried about getting them out of the stone for sticky breads, especially in this case.  They came out wonderfully, so now I’m pretty excited about this stone pan!
I highly recommend contacting your local Pampered Chef lady to get one of these, or shop around at thrift stores and rummage sales to get one!

Here’s how they turned out once I wrapped them up! 
I used clear treat bags taped shut, to wrap them up with a piece of ribbon around it.  Added a tag with what it was and who it was from - and it’s ready to gift!  Yummy too!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Great Deal

This is so exciting!  What a great deal and it’s only available on my Website and gives you everything that you will need to finish this cute project for just under $35!  The Hexagon board and chalk paste colors aren’t even available to Designers. 

I’ve been loving how versitile the Chalk Couture transfers and chalk paint are!  Here are just a few of the projects I’ve been working on to sell at craft fairs this year!  Check out some of them here:

Each project takes just a few minutes to make and turns out just beautiful!  Please let me know if you have any questions or need help deciding what to start with first.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Craft Fair

I’ve spent the last two months getting ready for a craft fair.  My 14yo son plans to go to Japan on a 4-H exchange trip in 2 years, and one way we plan to raise funds is by having a booth in our local craft fair.  For two months my kitchen table has been central to my crafting and an explosion of glitter!  Here are some of my crafts:
While crafting and looking all over Pinterest, I found a new way to screen print my projects.  I’m pretty excited about it - you can check it out HERE.  It truly makes all my projects professional looking as well as easy and fun to make!  Let me know if you have questions.

I was able to use cedar tongue and groove ends that were leftover from our addition project.  More on that soon.
I made 18 little gnomes!  I even got around to making a YouTube video on how to make them!  Check it out and give me feedback, please.

This is my favorite transfer that I have.  If  you’d like more more information about these transfers check out my Website here.I made two of these boards, but neither of the them sold.  I’m going to have to get it listed on Etsy or Facebook to sell them.  None of my Farm transfers went either.  More of my craft fair items coming soon, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Plum Busy Fall

My life has been pretty scrappy lately!  Harvest time brought us many different options and new projects to work on!  We were overloaded with plums off an old plum tree on the edge of our property, so since they were very ripe, that was one of my first projects.

I went back to my trusty Fruit board on Pinterest for a favorite Plum Breakfast Bar recipe with my plums first.  Be sure to follow me on Pinterest at Prairie Scraps!
My kids ate these bars every day for a month and a half!!  Such a great thing to have on hand!

In the past, I made jam with my plums, and very quickly my family revolted because the peelings had a weird texture, leaving me with 20+ jars of unwanted jam.  In more recent years, I made jelly, so the peelings weren’t a problem, but it was still not a favorite flavor in my pantry.  This year I thought I’d try a few new things, so to the Pinterest world I went!

This plum butter has a wonder taste and texture because I chopped it in my Ninja before canning it!  

Next, I made Plum Butter!!  So many plums!!!

Finally, I finished up as many plum Items as I could and gave the rest of my plums away.  I highly recommend this option of sharing a harvest sooner!  It brings joy to the giver and to the receiver, and spares a lot of work!!! Lol
There you have it, my three different options for plums and even some vidoeos about them!  Please let me know what you do with an over abundance of plums!  I’d love to hear what you’d o!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Earning Bach Bucks

We are the third week into our new Musikopoly Incentive Program for the year in the piano studio.  I’m amazed at what kids want to do to earn more Bach Bucks for the incentives and to top it off, they are learning! (Shhhh, don't tell them!)

Last week we had two kids memorize their assigned pieces for the week to earn $25. This week, my son wanted to earn extra Bach Bucks, so we posted a performance on YouTube for $20.  Check it out!  After playing through his piece a few times to record, he played it for me memorized!  How many 14 year olds get that excited about practicing?

If you weren’t already a fan of doing incentives in piano lessons, just that fact the kids are begging me to do memorized pieces, composer projects, and recordings should be enough to convince you how much incentives can help them progress.  I’d love to hear how you get kids to practice and want to do piano!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Music Studio Incentive Program

I’ve been busy getting the Prairie Scraps Music Studio back into the swing of things for the fall.  One of the things that I’ve done in my studio for the last three years is a themed incentive program that runs for the entire school year.  In the past, parents usually heard all the details about the programs because most sat through lessons because we lived out in the country a ways.  This year, since parents are dropping the kids off for lessons, I decided to do a video to explain why I do incentive programs in my studio.  Here it is:
To add to that, I also did a walk through of the program binder and incentives, so we are all on the same page.
I’m so excited about it and am also thankful to have found the templates and idea over at Pianimation.  What a wonderful resource this is for piano teachers!  Thank you!

If you get a chance, please comment, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.  I know I don’t have it all figured out yet, but it would be great to feel a little love!  Lol

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Why the Prairie Scraps Name?

This week, I went shopping for groceries and Home Depot stuff, and I made a short video with the help of my 13yo son about why living on the Prairie is so different and then why I chose the name “Prairie Scraps” for my blog.  Check it out- please subscribe and like my video!  I’m trying this Vlogging out so would love the support!
Also a very short view of the mountain pass that we have to go down to get to the stores!  This drive usually takes us about 70 minutes one way.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Preschool Piano Camp

Last week I put together a Preschool Piano camp.  I thought I'd try to put together a video on how I did it and what curriculum I used to for it.  Please take the time to watch my video and subscribe and comment for me!
Here are the links for the things that I mentioned.  The Amazon items I get a very small amount affiliate for.  Thanks in advance for supporting my family! - support my small business - Busy Bees Finger Puppets (affiliate link AL) - Poker Chips (AL) - Egg Shakers (AL) - KiddyKeys Lesson Plans

Thank you for watching. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sidewalk Improvements

The new-found front walk has been slowly but surely getting updates.  You can check out our great find HERE. Like most of our house projects these days, we often are doing the project that seems the most urgent at the present time.  Sometimes it’s purely out of necessity - like when we found a leak in the plumbing under the house.  Other times it's because we find a great deal on a new item for the house.

Mr. Right and I were able to get away for two nights for our anniversary this year, and we went shopping.  We really wanted to go rummage saling, but we couldn’t find much for sales.  We moved on to the thrift stores and then  to Walmart.  At Walmart, we had to go through all of the plants. Mr. Right found some beautiful Heather plants.  He had a vision of lining our walk with 10 of the heather plants, and the price was right at $7 a pot!

When we got home, we dug out the side of the new path to line the walk with the heather plants.

Eventually, the heathers will get to be a little over a foot and a half tall and wide, so they should fill in that garden section.  Also, they are evergreen and will resist and salt from the winter snows.  (Not that we use much) We plan to add mulch, but still have another bed to cut out yet that will need mulch as well.
While we were away on our anniversary, we found a gentleman that was selling Irises from his yard for $5 a plant. He had hundreds of different kinds to choose from, and was in the process of moving them all to a new property.  We've been trying to find our favorite iris that smells like grape jelly.  We didn't know the name, but he had it and knew the name: Southland Grape!  Of course we bought it, and planted it on the other side the sidewalk, so we can enjoy the smell up by our house!
We can't wait for all of our new gardens to really fill out and bloom.  Stay posted for more updates soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

“Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen” - Book review

Cathy Williams was raised by strong women, a grandmother who was an African Queen and her mother, a slave.  They taught Cathy to have pride in her heritage as a “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen,” even as she is torn from her family on a Missouri plantation and sent to work as a cook for the army.  Even as a slave and woman in the civil war, Cathy chooses to keep her strong African heritage and her identity, and refuses to allow her circumstances to change them.  Eventually, she finds herself enlisting as a buffalo soldier and disguising herself as a man.  This book shares a powerful side of the civil war, unknown to many.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hidden Treasures

Have you ever started a project and the entire thing turns into an even bigger project and into something you never thought it would?  Well, this last weekend, I thought I was starting just a small project, and found some hidden treasures along the way.

We bought our house last fall, and right in front of our house, leading to the front door, there are small stones buried in the ground.  They seem to be evenly spaced out, but they were pretty deep in the ground.  I thought they were some stepping stones that had sunk into the ground.  We'd found a bunch of 12x12 inch blocks buried in the back yard last fall. Since the weather is so beautiful, I thought I'd just pop them out.
 Here's what the lawn looked like before I started. 

None of the stones are peeking out more than about 4-6 inches around.
  So, I started to dig.  And dig. And dig!  I found an entire rock path from my front door to the driveway!  It had anywhere from 4-8 inches of sod covering all of it.
The bottom step of my front stairs was even buried!  It's not in wonderful shape, but at some point, we will be doing something to it.
 We moved all of the sod that was there, out to a low spot in the front yard.
We eventually, we plan to dig the whole thing up and put rock and sand under it to even out the path more.  There are a few bricks poking through on the outside edges of the path, so we think it is lined with bricks.  I plan to widen the path and make that front area between the path and the brick flower box into a flower bed.
So, there it is, my hidden treasure!  I'm pretty excited at what a change this weekend project ended up making to my front yard!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Ours for a Season" - Book Review

Years after losing a child and the inability to have more children, Anthony and Marty, Old Order Mennonites, take a friend up on a chance to get away from their close knit community to try to heal their marriage.  Little do they know all the ways that thier one act of desperation can actually bring so many more to a personal relationship with Christ.  “Ours for a Season” by Kim Vogal Sawyer weaves in so many heart-wrenching issues of today, with God’s power to heal: a battle with cancer, loneliness, human trafficing, teen foster care issues, etc.  This story brings together people of different backgrounds and faiths, and through the wonderful healing of Christ not only heals themselves, but begins a new work in Him!  I cried. I smiled. I loved this book!

All opinions from this review are my own, however, I recieved an advanced electronic copy of this book from in exchange for my review.

Professional Reader

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Check the Bucket List: Ukulele

I've always loved learning a new instrument.  Of course in college, I had to study my major and minor instruments for hours and hours, but my favorite classes were learning new instruments!  Prior to attending college, besides piano and trumpet, I had studied drums and guitar, but college really opened so many more doors for me.  I always have a "bug" to learn a new instrument.

In the last few years, my "bucket list" instrument has been the Ukulele.  I've literally studied everything I can about it; from which to purchase, how to teach it, how to play it, etc.  I finally took the dip and bought this beauty!

It took me several months to settle on which one to get and since I don't live near a music store, it was hard to choose, but this Luna Mahogany Mo'o ended up being the one!  I ordered from another seller on Amazon and waited impatiently for two weeks for it to come, to discover that the company cancelled my order and didn't notify me.  In fact, it showed that it was shipped the entire time (and still does)!  So I re-ordered, hoping to have a better outcome. It came in two days!

I really thought that figuring out what to buy would be the most difficult part of learning the ukulele!  Guess what - it's not!  Keeping this fun baby away from my younger children is posing to be the most difficult. They aren't careless or rough with it.  In fact, they treat it like a precious baby. But darned if they aren't learning to play it faster than me! Of course, I can't get it away from them to get my own practice in! 

As a Music Therapist, I have to say that this is truly turning out to be a perfect instrument to introduce to anyone!  It sounds pleasant, it's easy to play (several of the main chords are one finger), and it's makes you feel good.  What more can a therapist ask for?  I can't wait to start my first class.  Oh, and guess what my three kids are getting for Easter instead of candy?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

“Be the Hands and Feet” Book Review

I have read one of the Nick Vujcic’s other books and always find myself sitting at the edge of my seat, so to speak to learn about Nick’s life without out arms and legs.  As before, Nick did not disappoint me in providing a wonderful and inspirational book!  “Be the Hands and Feet” is about God’s call to Christians to go out and share His love and word.

Not only does Nick share his own advice and stories from his life and walk with God, but he shares many stories from every day people and the unique ways they share God’s love with others.  For the new Christian or even the seasoned Christian, this is a refreshing well planned and thought out guide for how to get out there and do God’s bidding.   There is so much information packed in this book that it’s a definite candidate for another read thru (which is saying a lot, because I rarely read books twice!)

Even more meaningful, is Nick and his father’s heart wrenching experiences with illness and death, and how their faith grew.  To be able to read of other’s doubts and reactions in really rough times, gives me hope that even I can keep my faith.  This book packs in so much inspiration and hope for all Christians of all walks, from the newborn Christian to the pastor that I highly recommend “Be the Hands and Feet” for all!

I am doing this review for Walterbrook Multnomah Books in exchange for a free copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Like New Driveway

Before the driveway was covered
Mr. Right and I have been discussing the fact that we have some major potholes in our driveway, partially because we did some work on the part next to the house in order to pour cement and then because we have a lot of vehicles in and out of it.  When my older kids are home, they bring their cars with them, so we have four vehicles in and out, and then I have piano students in and out for two days each week, so we've worn the driveway down quickly (and part of our lawn.
We had fair weather today, and we decided to call and see if we could schedule a truckload of gravel to be dropped on the driveway.  They came in an hour!  That's service!  We actually widened the driveway, so we can park cars two wide.  Eventually, we plan to wide it more and also put in a load up near the house as well.

 This truck driver, knew exactly how to lay the gravel flat in the driveway, and even put extras into the holes at the end of the driveway.  It took very little raking to get it to even out!  It is pretty exciting to not have such a mud pit in the driveway now!  I can't wait for the part next to the house to get a load too!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine’s Happy Mail

I love gifts!  Both giving and recieving gifts makes me the most fulfilled.  I know, there are many that don’t enjoy or value gifts like I do, but hey, I don’t enjoy hugs at all!  Gifts are my form of hugs!  That being said, it doesn’t need to be expensive at all to give my joy!

I have two children in college, so I love to find creative things to send in the mail to them.  Several years ago, I discovered Happy Mail!  The idea is, to find items that are non-traditional to send in the mail.  So, 1-2 times a month, my college kids, get a fun package in the mail, that is unexpected.   Of course, Valentine’s Day affords a great gift in the mail - a tin of chocolates!

For the Star Wars tin, I put: “Join the HEART side!”
For the Minnie Mouse tin: “There are so MINNIE things we love about you!”

I just put address labels on the back side and they go through the mail, just like that!  No box or anything!  I did choose these because they come in a tin and thought it'd be really cute and safe in the mail.

Yes, the are corny, but my kid’s friends fight over them when they see them!  The college students just love them!  It would be so much fun to get this in your mailbox, wouldn't it?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Entryway

 This the entry to our front door.  There is white carpet, so thick that the door doesn't even open without some major use of muscles.  I can't put a carpet here, to prevent the entry getting dirty, because the door would never open.  With 23 piano students coming through this door every week (and they walk across the muddy lawn to get there, because there are no sidewalks!), this area is getting dirty beyond repair! 

To at least keep the entryway clean for now, while I talked Mr. Right into cutting out this section of carpet and replacing it with some laminate.  We actually found two boxes of brand new laminate at the Habitat for Humanity for $12 each.  The expensive part was the trim between the laminate and the carpet. It ended up close to $20 each and we needed three pieces, one for each side. If there was some way to do the transition trim cheaper, I would be all over that!
 Here's the carpet and pad cut out.  We found red fir underneath and were pretty excited about the nice condition of the wood.  Someday, we plan to take out all the carpets and see what we have!  Hopefully we can go back to the original woods, but for now, we have too many projects!
Here's the finished product.  We didn't do any cutting of the laminate.  We used the full length of the pieces of laminate coming away from the door to make the size.  Also, side to size, we went as wide as full pieces, so we didn't have to cut them and make the transition difficult to create.  We talked about running it all the way to the wall to the left, so we could have an little entryway coat hanging place, but we are putting that in the addition where we'll enter in the future.

It makes me so happy that my students can come in the front door, take their shoes off, and not destroy my carpets!  I love, too that we have a clear spot for entering the house! What do you think?  Not the cheapest project, but it does save us in replacement of the entire carpet in the living room, because there was no way we would get it clean.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Prairie Girl’s Faith Book Review

As a young girl I was a huge fan of all the Laura Ingalls’ Books!  I read every single book in the series and even tried some of the extra books written by Laura’s daughter, Rose.  You can imagine how excited I was as an adult to find this lovely book, “A Prairie Girl’s Faith” by Stephen W. Hines which is an exploration into “The Spiritual Legacy of Laurie Ingall’s Wilder.”

This book had many interesting thoughts and research on Laurie’s and Rose’s Spirituality, but it also included many findings on music, recipes and writings of the pioneer’s of this time period.  After reading this book, I yearn for more from Laura, herself on her own spiritual beliefs and growth.  Many findings seem to be supposition and the remainder of the book seems to be snippets of the rest of the Ingalls lives found through reading her newspaper articles.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but found it to be somewhat disjointed from the actual idea that it was on Laura’s spiritual legacy and each chapter seemed to be a different topic, not necessarily in line with the title. As a musician, I especially enjoyed much of the history and discussion of the hymns and songs of the pioneers, although, I’m not certain they were unique to the Ingall’s family.  For the fan of Laura Ingall’s Wilder, I do recommend this as a good read.  It may leave the reader wanting to read many of the resources in the Bibliography as well.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.