We’ve moved away from gifts of toys for our grandkids for Christmas. Instead we now give experience gifts to them. It’s been such a wonderful change.
We get to spend time with our grandkids and create memories for Christmas instead of giving just another toy to be broken & forgotten in no time.
But these excursions aren’t often on the schedule until AFTER the big day. RancherMan & I hate gathering for Christmas and having nothing other than a scheduled event to give to our beloved grandbabies.
So in addition to their experience gift, we usually give them a little sumpin’ on Christmas day. This year I thought it would be fun for that sumpin’ to be a snowman treat jar.
I like to make my own products instead of buying whenever possible. And although dog shampoo is not expensive, I’d love to be in control of the ingredients. We’ve all heard the horror stories of cheap items with questionable ingredients that have harmed pets.
Our needs for dog shampoo are slight. We only have one small dog. But she’s a cutie, let me tell ya!
This past Christmas our primary homemade gift to our children & other loved ones was homemade Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese. (Be watching, I’ll be sure to share our different flavor recipes including our trial-n-error steps)
But how to present the cheese to our gift recipients? When RancherMan & I were brainstorming about presentation ideas, we decided we wanted a cheeseboard to go with our gift. So we started looking online.
We were pretty surprised at how expensive even a very small cheeseboard was. Even at the discount shops.
Plus – as is our norm – we really wanted to personalize them anyway. So we decided to make the cutting boards ourselves.
Many of you know we lost my brother very unexpectedly recently. It’s always so hard to grapple with the loss of a loved one in these circumstances.
My brother was an accomplished flint-knapper. He hand-made many arrowhead works of art. Of course he signed each and every one to differentiate between his perfection at his art and actual American Indian artifacts.
After his passing I wanted to make gifts for my parents from his beautiful work.
I wanted to make a very sentimental gift for my mother. Y’all know I always prefer to make my gifts homemade. But I’m not really the creative type. So I struggle mightily with being able to figure out the perfect gift.
But this time I think my gift was perfect. I took arrowheads that my brother had flint-knapped years ago and arranged them into a cross for her. Come see how I was able to fashion this gift using only supplies I had at home.
Many have been thrown into a strange world of doing their best to stay out of the stores and away from crowds. They’re trying to figure out how to provide things for themselves that they used to be able to buy. Sometimes such a drastic change can be frightening.
But take a deep breath. Today I’ll share with you the simplest self-sufficiency steps you can take now to begin providing for your own home and family.
These were the easiest steps for me when I first started on the path to Voluntary Simplicity. And if you’re just starting out I think they can help you too.
Aaaaah, spring! The trees are turning green & the daffodils are blooming. And there’s all those fresh greens in the garden for a healthy salad.
I LOVEsalads! The freshness, the crispness and the healthy aspect of it. To me, it’s like welcoming spring after the long winter season of eating more comfort-foody types of meals.
But ya know, although a healthy food may start out healthy, the health aspect can be changed drastically based on what you add to it.
I mean, heck – an apple is about as healthy as it gets. But add flour, sugar, seasonings, butter and a thick buttery crust and it’s an apple pie dessert instead!
So I really (really) wanted to make my own healthier yet creamy salad dressing. After doinking around a bit I made a delightful, creamy, healthy and tasty salad dressing that I can just mix together in a minute.
And you can’t get a more worthy topping for those fresh greens than that, #amiright??