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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Free Easter Egg Hunt Printable

Easter is really early this year, and I can't believe it's just a couple weeks away now! Have you started your shopping yet? Because we haven'tšŸ˜…

One of the traditions we love most on Easter (and you might too!) is having an egg hunt. Since we have a teen and two younger kids, we usually hide some eggs in pretty obvious places and make sure some are really well hidden. And of course, we need to be sure there's none within the dog's reach!

I designed this egg hunt note to use Easter morning, and it can be used in quite a few fun ways!
First off, you can sign it either from yourself or the Easter Bunny. I made an example of each below

Then you can either tie it to their filled basket, leave it an empty egg hunt basket for them to find, or use it any way you'd like! Then just put in how many eggs they need to find and where the hunt will begin and end.

Please feel free to print and share this printable with your family and friends too! If you'd like to share it online, please link to this page, not the file is all I ask :)


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

DIY Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese Spread Recipe

There is this absolutely wonderful teeny-tiny little box of cheese that my husband and I LURVE to buy once in a while. It's a pretty fancy kind, comes in beautiful packaging and is so NOT in our budget!

So when I had a little spare cream cheese one night before dinner (a very rare thing in our house), I decided to try my hand at copying that wonderful fancy-pants cheese.

There were a few things I knew I'd need to get down to make it right - the texture, which was light and airy, the taste which was a strong, perfect garlic with sweet herbs, and the look, because who doesn't want something pretty on their table!

And I got it! Seriously, on my first try, that first bite was perfection! The family agreed so too. Although the original cheese isn't made with packaged cream cheese, this version comes pretty darn close in flavor and texture!

And now I'm sharing my little recipe with you! It's super simple, really quick and sooo good on a nice baguette! It adds that nice extra touch to dinner when you're eating something light too. In fact, I think I could seriously just eat this for dinner!

Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Spread


  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt 
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
Whip up all the ingredients together, being sure to mix them really well. If you have a hand mixer, you can beat it for a minute to get that nice, lightly whipped texture. Serve it in a nice little dish. Then just fancy it up with a sprinkle of extra parsley on top! 

You might also find you like less garlic in it, or more! Experiment and see how it comes out best. Either way, you'll be spending just 1/8th of what a wheel of that already-made cheese costs. 


Monday, February 5, 2018

DIY Crochet Dog Sweater

A few years, you might remember, I did a post on a crocheted dog sweater for our dog Snowflake. I'm still amazed at how many visits a day that post gets, and how many questions too! I could never answer most of the questions, however, since I was mainly flying by the seat of my pants as a new crocheter when I made that pattern! šŸ˜…

So after a few years of making similar sweaters for Snowflake, I came up with this easier version and tutorial for basically the same pattern. Just modified - and better!

The great thing about this pattern is that it can be made to fit any size dog. Just take measurements as I wrote below, or try to guess some out using the dog size charts I've included. I worked pretty hard to put this all together, so I hope it's easy to understand and, most importantly, comes out great! If there are still questions, however, feel free to leave them in the comments!

So, here we go...

DIY Crochet Dog Sweater Pattern

Measuring Your Dog
First, you'll need to make all of your measurements.You can either measure your own dog or use the handy charts above from Pet It Dog Apparel to guesstimate the measurements. If you have a larger dog, then you can probably find some estimated measurements with a quick search :) Here is what you need to measure, along with a chart I drew up that might help:

  • (A) Collar (around the neck, loosely) 
  • (B) Back (from the collar to where you'd like the sweater to end)
  • (C) Back Girth (around the back, leave out the tummy)
  • (D) Tummy girth (from side to side of the tummy, leg to leg)
  • (E) Tummy length (from bottom of sweater length to front legs)

Now that you have your measurements, you can begin crocheting!

1. Cast on your yarn and make a chain the length of the Back(A) measurement. Be sure your back ends at a good point for both the tummy and back - as in, you don't want your dog weeing on the sweater, so don't make it too long ;)

2. Now you can use any stitch pattern you'd like to create the back of the sweater. I single crocheted in back loops only to make mine. I like making this sort of pattern because it makes the sweater stretchier. Crochet in each chain across.

3. Now continue to crochet in each stitch across until you have a rectangle piece measuring the length of your (B)Back Girth measurement (as in the photo above). This is the top of your sweater that will cover your dog's back.

4. Now you're going to create the tummy portion. Begin to crochet in the next row as you have been, but don't go to the end - only go until you reach you (E) Tummy Length measurement. Stop here and turn your work.

5. Chain 1, and continue your stitch pattern on these shorter rows until you make this small square your (D)Tummy Girth measurement. You can what I mean in the picture above. Now you have to body of your sweater.

6. Now you'll sew the two ends together using your hook. Fold the tummy square over to the other side of the sweater so it looks like the picture above. Using your hook slip stitch the sides together. You can also choose to cast off first and sew the two sides together with a yarn hook, but I prefer this way since it's simpler and makes cleaner lines.

7. Now you'll be making your collar. Go to the front of your seater where the big opening is. Attach your yarn to the top of the rows (as shown) and crochet into the top of each row across. When you reach the end, chain enough stitch so that this whole side will measure the length of your (A) Collar measurement. Be sure to leave some extra lag here since you don't want it to be too tight if your dog ever gets stuck on something.

8. Once you have your length, attach your chain to the other side of the collar, where you attached your yarn. You now have a big circle the length of the collar measurement. Now you'll continue to crochet in rounds until the collar is as high as you'd like it to be. You can do one layer as I did, or you can make it longer and folded over.

And that's all there is to make this little sweater for your dog. As you can see, it's super easy to make for any size dog and can easily be adjusted with different stitch patterns to make it however you'd like. Of course, you could also add some cute buttons, embroidery, or mix up different colors of yarn.

I'm including a few graphics down here to help you out in remembering the steps so you can Pin them for later. Once you've made this sweater once it's actually really easy to make again and again!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Amish Promises by Leslie Gould - My Review

Amish Promises by Leslie Gould

My Book Review

When Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home, they're looking for peace. Shani is thrilled to have Joel back from Iraq, but he needs time to heal, and the quiet of Lancaster seems just the place. They can't imagine any trouble with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, but things get off to a rocky start when their son is involved in an accident that injures one of the Lehman boys. Eve Lehman has run her brother's household ever since the death of his wife, but Tim's a stern patriarch. Despite his protests, she's drawn to the new neighbor, Shani, and the two begin to form a strong friendship forged on faith and family. Things seem like they've quieted down until Joel's single and handsome army friend Charlie catches Eve's attention--a man unlike any Eve has ever met. Suddenly life for both families becomes more complicated than any of them could have ever imagined
My Review
I always enjoy Leslie Gould's books - I recently finished the The Courtships of Lancaster County Series - and love her style of writing. This book was a little different since it not only featured Amish people as main characters, but brought an 'Englischer' family into the story. Another twist I liked was the fact that the Englisch father had been in the war, bringing more complexity to the chapters where the strict Amish father next door had to deal with befriending a soldier - not something most Amish look highly upon. It brought out a lot of emotion and added a lot of interesting layers to the book.

I also liked that the book wasn't only following one storyline. It follows both families though their own struggles and emotions, while still keeping the whole story in context and interesting.
So, all in all I definitely enjoyed the book, and would happily recommend it!

You can pick up a copy of the book here on Amazon here:
Or on the Baker Publishing Website here:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Love Letters - By Beverly Lewis - an Amish Fiction Book

My review of The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis.

Marlena needed time to let things sink in. It was beyond her how all this could possibly work out--adding the care of an infant to her daily routine. Fortunately, it would just be until Luella returned home from the hospital and was stronger. 
No more than a couple weeks, surely.
Marlena Wenger's life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister's baby. Spending the summer in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, to assist her Mennonite grandmother, and miles from Marlena's Old Order Amish beau, she feels out of her element in nearly every respect. Yet Marlena determines to do her best and stay focused on her future, even as those hopes become drastically altered.

My Review
Beverly Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and being a big fan of Amish fiction books I always enjoy her novels. Her characters are always so well described I can picture them, their mannerisms and their personalities in my mind. I really love it when a book comes alive like that!
This book was no different. Marlena is a character you want to both love and shake some sense into! Caught between joining her parents in their new found faith that brings them so much joy, and the old order Ordnung ways of her beau, it's so nice to see the way she develops through the story, becoming more of a woman, less of a girl.
The story with the baby is a wonderful one too and literally had me in tears at the end of both sadness and joy.
As always, this one was hard to put down and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The characters, settings and problems all came alive, as did the stories that intertwined them all. A really great, clean read that you can enjoy and feel okay putting on the bookshelf for your teen to pick up too :)

You can get a copy for yourself in paperback or an ebook copy on the Bethany House website here, or by visiting Amazon here

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Super Simple, Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Brownies Recipe

If there is one thing in this world I cannot resist its chocolate. Oh, and coffee! Mmm, and maybe some nice, fresh date squares too - just to complete my favorites list :) But chocolate is certainly at the top. Along with chocolate comes brownies - one of my favorite desserts! And I just love those super dense boxed brownies from the grocery store - you know, the ones with all the bad kinds of ingredients ! They are sooo good!

But whenever I set out to make my own batch of brownies at home, I always find that they come out too fluffy, like a cake more than a brownie. So after trying loads of recipes over the years, I came up with one myself that I think takes the cake - or at least takes the cake out of the brownie :)

If you love those little brownies that I'm talking about, then you're going to loooove these as much as I did! They are dense, choclatey, moist...

and best of all, easy to make! Plus I have a super simple frosting recipe to go with it! Follow the recipe below and make sure to let me know how they turn out :) I've made them twice now but am trying not to make them too often - shorts season is right around the corner.


To print recipes, just right-click the images below and open in a new tab :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reads: The River by Beverly Lewis

The River 
by Beverly Lewis

She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
A line I can't move beyond...
The River 

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?

My Review

If you've read my book reviews before, you know I *love* books by Beverly Lewis. They are always captivating, tough to put down and always have a great twist you don't see coming! The River is no different and doesn't disappoint! The story of two formerly Amish sisters got me hooked right away because you are constantly wondering what will happen next - from Tilly's troubled relationship with her  Daed to Ruth's old feelings with her former beau (who seems the equivalent of an Amish 'player' lol)
The book also gives a different look - at people who decide to leave their Amish communities in different wats - whether joining the fancy Englischer world  or an outsider group.
Another great read from Mrs. Lewis!

You can grab a copy for yourself on Amazon here,