Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rain, Candles and a Soup Mix Gift...Yes Indeedie!

loading ... Oh me oh my it's raining today in the neighborhood, one of our four doglets, Muffie is on my lap, poor little guy, he becomes very frightened when it rains. Muffie the man is a tiny little Schitzu. He is our little golden-boy, as tiny as he is, he thinks he is ten feet tall ...except when it rains. And thunder and lightening? Oh he is so frightened, he shakes and shakes, we feel so sorry for him and just try to hold him during these times. Our daughter Marianna picked him up from the middle of a busy road on the day of primaries. He was matted with his collar rusted shut, poor little thing...Apparently he had been left out in the elements. We call him Muffie, but his official name is Muffie-Buttons-Huckabee.....or simply Muffin...Muffin-Man. : )

loading ... Well gals and guys....I bet you noticed the holidays are a-coming! I love Christmas, but try to keep it simple but fun, fanciful but not too complicated. Just normal. Sweet Christmas. It's a difficult balance isn't it?

Sometimes people look for nice little gifts for hostesses or neighbors etc. Or perhaps just having a gift on hand for a "just in case"?

One thing we like to give is a jar candle.

Hobby Lobby has them on sale for 50% off this week. They do that every few weeks or so, just check their online ads, you'll see them there.

The great thing about these candles is they really do smell good; they are not for the weak at smell. ; ) These are potent candles, much like more expensive brands. We really like the "Cinnamon-Spice" and the "Sugared Spruce". You can pick these nice jar candles for around $5-$6.00 half price! These are large candles too! The wicks are lead free as well in most cases. This is a great deal and a sweet gift too, for you to treat yourself to or for a wonderful gift.

We recently had our state representative's wife come and speak to Marianna's Bible study & homemaking group of girls. We presented her with the "Cinnamon-Spice" candle in a simple brown gift bag with raffia tied on top. It made a very nice "Thank-You" gift and she liked it very much too. : )

Another thing that Hobby Lobby offers is the unfinished wood boxes and little drawer sets...These are so cute to paint and give too. One year we were on an extremely limited budget. I am married to a George Bailey in our little town...We like it like that, we would rather deal with sweet down to earth people, the sweet humility of normal folks instead of being a nervous wreck dealing with folks who are not on our page if you know what I mean...Remember, it was the Shepherds who saw the Star of Bethlehem Right? Right! You bethcha.... Peace, happiness, joy? Jesus. We are blessed, may we be like the Shepherds keeping our eyes on the Lord in humility, still enough to seek His face.

But to make a long story short, hubs is a Real Estate broker, we own our own business in an old town. So being in that occupation, and a business owner means commission only plus paying the bills. Enough said. You can imagine what I go through with a Christmas budget. I never know what it's going to be til sometimes December.

Anyhow...Back to my story. Several years ago it was a mighty lean year. My youngest daughter just loved American Girl dolls and would buy them with her own money pet-sitting...She was and is a major photographer these days and started with her dolls doing amazing stop motions that year. What's a mommy to do? I found a little unfinished wood drawer set (a large jewelry box?) it was around 12 inches high or so.... at Hobby Lobby on sale half price, and I gave it to her unfinished mind you. She is a little artist like her mommy ; ) and I figured she could paint it herself to her own whim. It was perfect for the American Girl doll clothes and little fancies. I even tucked a tiny little gift in each drawer. I had found a teensy miniature kewpie-doll in the doll accessory section at Hobby Lobby, her big sister found a little sleigh pin at the resale shop and a tiny little Seven Dwarf was cute and sweet and she enjoyed it as one of her gifts. I felt like my little girl was getting one more decent gift from her mommy & daddy within our budget. She later painted the drawer set herself with white paint and trimmed in red flowers. The price? I think it was around $6.00 on sale and really made a much needed additional gift to my little girl.

If you have a tiny little girl who likes the look of American Girl dolls but they are simply not in your budget? Michael's Craft stores have some that look very similar. They also offer clothing and accessories too, AND if you have a Michael's coupon you can really do good on those. I think Hobby Lobby has look-alikes and Dollar General many times has some very sweet 18 inch dolls at times. Do I have any other Dollar General fans out there? I just love those stores...They are like an old fashioned five and dime store. (Check the link out, it is a hoot and a half!)

Well how was that for Coffee with Amelia? ; ) Yack, yack, yack right? *chuckle*

Show N' Tell

Last but not least, I have one more very practical gift idea that can be kept on hand to give others or use yourself! I don't think this will go to waste.

I presented this for a hostess gift once in a mason jar with raffia around the top tied with directions for use.

What is it you say? For Pete's sake let me tell you...

It is a Cream of Soup mix I found in my old Miserly Moms book.

This is GREAT to have on hand for yourself too! I have a big mason jar with this mix with the recipe pasted right to the front of it. When I'm cooking in the evening and I see I'm out of a cream soup? I go to my jar. It works!

This makes a great little practical gift.

I will share my recipe with you here:

~Instant Cream of Soup Mix

2 cups instant milk
3/4 cups cornstarch
1/4 c. instant chicken bouillon ( I suggest low sodium?)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

You can use this for any recipe calling for a can of cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup replaced with 1/3 cup of mix and 1 - 1/4 cup of water.

Boil for a few minutes, stirring often.

Enjoy! AND you do not have to have a mason jar to give this in....a plastic baggy with a simple bow or curly ribbon on top will do just fine. You can get simple plastic bags with wire ties at the dollar stores or at Dollar Generals in the house-ware section.

Enjoy your families. Remember, K.I.S.S. Keep it simple Sweeties! (That goes for me too, I am so trying!) : )

Love to all in Christ, prayers we will all have a Peace-filled holiday & Christmas season.

If you like you may want to check out my Vision for a Godly Home blog for some serious thoughts on our words and what is truly important in life. Remember, being a stay at home, wife or mom...or grand-mommy....That is the best. A very high calling! Don't buy the lie of present society.


P.S. Please feel free to share your good & neat gift suggestions here, we can all learn from one another. Pour yourself some coffee, enjoy and feel free to share too. : )

This entry is also linked at LifeAsMom.