Category Archives: Crafts

Low Carb Spinach Manicotti

I first saw this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago and I saved it to make on a day when my sister Donna and her husband David were coming for dinner. Donna arrived early to help with this and it did go much smoother with two people. Isn’t this a beautiful dish?



Now I can tell that some of you are saying this doesn’t resemble manicotti. Well there is a very good reason for this. The original blog that shared this recipe took beautiful pictures of their version of manicotti. The original blog made delicious crepes that turned out beautifully shaped every time and they miraculously rolled into perfect little manicotti shaped items. That is not how the crepes turned out for me. Mine turned into broken little pieces. I only had one crepe actually survive into the perfect shape of a crepe. Therefore, Donna and I decided to make an executive decision and we layered the items into a casserole. I am sure that it tasted the same.


I added Italian Sausage into the marinara sauce and I love Parmesan Cheese so I added more of it to the top than called for. Now I am not normally a Ricotta Cheese fan but in this recipe I approve of it. I did realize that when I heated the leftovers and got the recipe extra hot that I preferred the taste of the Ricotta that way.

Now to tell you how well we liked the recipe this is how we ranked it.

David- 10, Donna- 8, Me- 8. David loved this so much that he had 2 1/2 helping of this for lunch yesterday. So enough about us. Follow this link to get the recipe.


Now to other things. After our lunch Donna surprised me by bringing in items to make beautiful Umbrella wreaths. The first one is mine and the second one Donna made for my neighbor. Aren’t these beautiful?



Donna is very talented and possibly the most giving person that I have ever met. You can’t have her. She is MY SISTER!!!


Christmas 2013

It is hard to believe that we just had Christmas. This year has been so overwhelming in so many ways. With the separation and pending divorce I had many life changes in 2013. This was my first Christmas and Thanksgiving without having a spouse. I tried to make the changes as less painful as possible for the kids and grandkids. Hopefully they enjoyed themselves despite knowing that someone was definitely missing from the table.

I decided this year to make new traditions for the Christmas experience at my home with the family. Everyone seemed to have a great time and we all made new memories together as we enter this new shape of family that we have now. We didn’t celebrate our Christmas on Wednesday but instead we did it on Thursday due to Samantha and Ben living so far away and not being able to get here until late Wednesday night.

Thursday morning we opened presents and Caleb was very happy to have a Triomino game to take to his own house. I have a game here and we have spent many hours playing this together. It has really helped him to learn to add while having fun. This is one of mine and Samantha’s favorite games. She has one for her home as well.

Samantha had requested that Isaiah receive something musical and educational. I chose this musical instrument assortment and he loved it.

After most of the people had left on Thursday I was serenaded by Samantha, Caleb and Isaiah as they marched through the home singing Christmas Carols and playing these instruments. Isaiah was very good at playing the triangle.

After we had our dinner we returned to the table and had 2 activities that I quite enjoyed. I provided everyone with everything that they needed to make snowmen from socks. We spent 90 minutes making these snowmen and I have to say that my quiet mild mannered son-in-law surprised us all. The man who has spent over 6 years as the youth minister stole all of the carrot noses from the table and hid them. I spent at least 10 minutes trying to find who had taken them. He says that he is now repentant but I don’t believe that he is. At least not yet. He needs to fear his mother-in-law. bwahahaha Expect a later blog post. hahah

We divided everyone into three teams. I even had prizes for the team that made the best snowman. Let me tell you these guys were very competitive (hence, Ben stealing the noses).

This is Stephen, Kristin and Caleb’s team.

My Mom’s team included she, my step-father Bill and brother-in-law David. They did not take sympathy on the youngins. They gave it their all.

Samanth’a team included she, her nose stealing husband, Ben and of course Isaiah. Here she is using the hot glue gun. She didn’t even get burned. Those who know her know that was a miracle. She is a little bit accident prone but we all rally around to help her as much as we can. haha

Here are the three snowmen that they created. Donna and I were the judges and we chose Stephen’s team as the winner of this activity. They made the snowman in the middle. Stephen even sneaked outside while we were making them and got a twig to use as arms. Ben of course said that they should lose points for using contraband items in their snowmen but I had to remind him that he needed to lose points for stealing the noses. haha

For our next activity I provided the following items for them to create their own gingerbread houses: one package of graham crackers, a roll of lifesavers, a small bowl of hard candies and a baggie with premade vanilla frosting. They had to create a story to go along with the house too.

We gave them a 30 minute time limit to make their houses and unfortunately five minutes before the timer went off my Mom’s house collapsed. They still told the best story to go with their house. The big bad wolf blew it down. hahaha

Stephen’s team built Santa’s RV that he was to use for a well earned weeks vacation after building toys all year and making children’s dreams come true.

Samantha’s team built a cute little house that had been built by the Gingerbread Foundation to help Little Timmy get his much needed medical procedures that his insurance no longer covers. His family were living in their car and now Little Timmy can get well and he has a nice warm roof over his head. The square in the front is a check from the Gingerbread Foundation to Little Timmy’s family.

I have to warn you that the next picture is a little on the gross side but I really have to share. Samantha always brings her very large dog with her when she comes to visit. Katie is always wonderful and we love for her to visit. Max loves her and follows her everywhere. It is so funny to watch his short little legs following after her long legs. She is counter-top height and can easily steal anything within her reach.

After a day of the entire family sitting around the table munching on cookies that my Mom and Donna made and brought for Christmas I noticed that Max was patiently sitting in the floor waiting for something to fall on the floor. He was going to be very helpful in keeping the kitchen floor clean. Just check out the drool that he was producing. I also noticed how gray his face is getting. My sweet Max is getting old on me. But he is never going to be too old to help keep the floor clean.

So this was my first Christmas as an almost single woman. It wasn’t too bad if I do have to say so myself. We made new memories and the children had a great time. Family is what it is all about. 🙂




What a Day!

This has been a busy day. I had to travel two hours away for a quarterly meeting for work. On the way back I stopped at a whole foods store and bought some unsweetened carob drops to make the Macaroon Chocolate Chip Cookies. I do love them.  I wish that I had time to make them tonight but I am exhausted. Perhaps tomorrow.

After I had my 3.49 mile jog tonight I came home to make Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers although I didn’t stuff them this time. My sister doesn’t like stuffed peppers but she likes peppers in a dish so she requested that I chop the peppers and make a casserole instead of the same recipe. So, that is what I did. I hope that she likes it.

Tomorrow I am going to my mom’s house to work on quilling with she and my sister, Donna. Do you recall my sharing quilling with you in the past?

Quilling with Samantha- 2008

I am looking forward to this. I have been trying to come up with a new recipe and I think I have found a way to make low carb chocolate milk! If it works out I will share it with everyone tomorrow or Sunday. If my calculations are correct it is only 3 carb per glass and only 60 calories. I plan to make Mom and Donna my guinea pigs. hehehe Wish me luck that Donna likes the casserole and that we all like the chocolate milk. 🙂



New Jewelry Added to Store

I thank those who have purchased jewelry from me.  It really is helping out a lot around here. I have added more jewelry to my Etsy Shop. You can get to it here.

Grace2882 Jewelry Shop

Some of the newest jewelry added are these.

Jewelry For Sale

I have recently begun making jewelry and everywhere I go people ask me to make some for them and to sell them. So I decided to do just that.  I made it official and even got my business license for it so unfortunately that means that I have to charge WV state sales tax. I am doing this to help support getting the cookbook published sooner. Since I am self publishing I have to buy the books myself and fill the orders. I have the cookbook completed and now I have to be prepared to put down a big chunk of money to get them here. My goal is to get them  by October 1st to sell to everyone. If you are interested just email me at and let me know which number of necklace set you are interested in. I am setting up payment through Paypal.

To see the jewelry you can click above where it says Jewelry For Sale or click here.

Jewelry For Sale

Baby Burp Pads

How many times have you seen someone in public with a plain towel or cloth diaper thrown over their shoulder to use for a baby burp pad? About 20 years ago I saw a TV show called Carol Duvall and she had baby burp pads on there and I never forgot them. I made them for my daughter-in-law 4 years ago and again yesterday for my daughter. They fit perfectly over your shoulder and are much softer than a dish towel. Aren’t these much prettier to use in church or out in public than a plain cloth diaper?

Here are the step by step directions to make these. First take a newspaper and using the fold in the paper cut out this shape freehanded.

When you unfold it you should get something that resembles a dog bone.

Using this pattern unfolded cut 2 pieces of fabric and one piece of quilt batting. Place the fabric with right sides together.

Next place the quilt batting on top and pin together.

Sew around the edges but leave a gap that is not sewn approximately 4 inches wide.  I try to do it in the curve.

Reach into the center of the burp pad and pull it through the gap and then press out all of the corners and curves to form the burp pad.

Pin the opening closed making sure to tuck in all of the loose edges. Then sew closed.

It will then look like this.

Now add a border around edge to provide extra strength on the edges and to hold the quilt batting in place.

The center curve rests perfectly along your neck. I made the 2 darker plaid ones for my son-in-law Ben to use with Isaiah. I think these are so cute. Do you think she will need more than 6?

My New Sofa Table

If you are following me over on Facebook you have heard me talking about a sofa table that I have been working on. Well, I finished it this morning and I love it. I can’t get the pictures to show accurately how dark the highlights are but I am sharing them anyway. This is the before picture.

 This is the after picture.

From the first picture the table looked fine but on top it had a nasty water stain.

Now the top looks like this.

I found this for only $25 and I knew from looking at other blogs that I could make this beautiful with a little elbow grease.  The knobs were a shiny chrome and I knew that I would be making them a rubbed bronze by spray painting them.

 I am very pleased with the final outcome. I read many blogs on how to do this before I began. This blog post is what actually inspired me to try it.

My Romantic Home

I did the wood wax and one of the blogs that I read said not to sit anything on the table for at least two weeks so I have not decorated it yet. I hope to get big square baskets to go on the bottom of it. I already have the items that I want to sit on top and will try to remember to update with a picture of it decorated in 2 weeks. I just need to find the baskets. 🙂

I also want to find end tables to do this exact same color. 🙂