The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Old-Fashioned Recipes and Crafts & Weekly Link Party

I love old-fashioned recipes and crafts! They very fact that they are time-honored proves how wonderful they are. The timeless recipes and crafts being featured this week remind me of simpler times when everything was made by hand--from scratch. From soap making to candy making, canning to quilting, you're sure to find a recipe or craft below that will bring out feelings of nostalgia.

1. Peach Pie Recipe / The Country Chic Cottage
Yum! Making homemade pies is a pastime that never gets old. In this post, Angie shows us how to can our own pie filling. The canned fillings or the pie itself would both make an excellent gift for a neighbor or friend!

2. Honey Oatmeal Goat's Milk Soap / Simply Stacie
Soap making dates back to ancient times with evidence that the Babylonians were making soap around 2800 BC. How's that for an old-fashioned craft?! This all-natural recipe will have your skin looking soft, bright, and new! The best part is that it only takes three ingredients to make.

3. Gingham Baby Quilt / Gluesticks
What a perfect baby gift! I love the simplicity of this gingham quilt of blue and gold!

4. DIY Alphabet Blocks / Homespun Engineer
Here's a fun twist on a classic toy! Use this tutorial to make your own ABC blocks, add Velcro, and let the spelling begin! Kids will have a blast making words with the simple blocks.

5. Homemade Butter / Teach Mama
Churning your own butter used to be a common household chore. Now you can make your own for fun! This is a great activity to get the kids involved with too!

6. Homemade Caramel Candy / The Life of Jennifer Dawn (Right here!)
Here's a simple version to the melt-in-your-mouth, buttery goodness of soft caramel candies!

7. Peanut Butter Pinwheels / The Life of Jennifer Dawn (Right here!)
Enjoy my great grandmother's recipe for old-fashioned peanut butter pinwheels. It's a treat my family has enjoyed for generations.

Now it's time for...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to School Crafts for Teen Girls & Weekly Link Party

Maybe it's just the teacher in me, but "Back to School" time is one of my favorite times of year. There is a wonderful feeling of newness--a fresh start! I always get a bit giddy about the start of school, new school supplies, and freshly sharpened pencils. By the end of the year, those pencils will be worn down nubs but right now they are new and sharp. Oh, and let me tell you! After the summer we've had, my family could certainly use some things to get excited about. That's a story for another day though.

Today we're talking about the beginning of a new school year. If you have a tween or teen girl, she is going to LOVE these fun crafts! With your help, even a younger girl would be able to make and enjoy these! I know my daughter would love them. For this week's link party, I'm sharing Five Fun Crafts for Back to School! Grab your daughter, get comfy, and have a look!

1. Emoji Magnets / Homespun Engineer
What teen wouldn't love an emoji craft?! These would be perfect on a locker or other magnetic surface to pin up reminder notes.

2. Dry Erase Lap Desk / Old Time Pottery
I love how functional this is! And that fabric is so colorful and fun!

3. Paper Pencils / White House Crafts
These "Back to School" Paper Pencils are super cute and easy to make. They'd be perfect as labels for binders and books. Locker decorations even!

4. DIY Jewelry Book / The Lost Apron
How cute is this?! Ana turned a photo album into handy storage for jewelry. It's the perfect size to sit out on a desk or vanity.

5. Button Bookmarks / The Life of Jennifer Dawn (Right here!)
These adorable bookmarks are perfect for marking your place in that book you're reading. They are super simple to make too! You'll have several made in minutes. That means they'll be plenty to share with friends.

Now it's time for...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

30+ Fall Leaf Crafts

Fall is one of my favorite times of year! The leaves always turn such brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and gold as the season progresses. Living here in the Great Smoky Mountains is truly one of the most beautiful places to enjoy the season!

I also love crafting during the fall months. Who am I kidding?! I love crafting during any season. But as the air turns crisp and the season begins to change, it especially puts me in the mood to do something creative. Combining my love of all things crafty and fall leaves, I've pulled together a compilation of Fall Leaf Crafts for you to enjoy.
Below you'll find over 30 crafts inspired by the colorful leaves of Autumn. There are ideas for the whole family to enjoy. From leaf activities for kids to crafty creations for decorating your home, you're sure to find at least one creative project to try this fall. Oh, and don't forget to stick around to the very end of this post for a special surprise!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Coca-Cola Cupcakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeHosting #CollectiveBias

When I was a little girl, we lived in Atlanta--headquarters to Coca-Cola™. Field trips to the Coca-Cola Factory, Coca-Cola floats on the Fourth of July, and icy, cold Coca-Cola drinks at backyard barbecues and tailgate events were just commonplace. There was also my mom's scrumptious recipe for old-fashioned Coca-Cola Cake. What was it about that refreshing beverage that made her chocolate cake so moist and delicious! Yes, that's right! Coca-Cola was an ingredient right in the cake.

With a few modifications, I was able to turn the recipe for Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake into Coca-Cola cupcakes. Just like my mom's cake, they are so tasty and incredibly moist. You won't be able to eat just one!
During football season, we make it to a few games, but we usually tailgate at home with family and a simple spread of snacks, treats, and soft drinks. These Coca-Cola cupcakes are the perfect treat to enjoy for game day. With this ooey gooey treat, a classic chip like Wise Potato Chips, and a few soft drinks like Sprite and Coca-Cola, of course, you can pull together a simple tailgate event to enjoy the BIG game with family and friends at home. Keep reading for the recipe to these scrumptious Coca-Cola cupcakes!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Smoothie Bowl Recipe That's Healthy for the Kids and Their School!

It's back to school time! Although we had our first day of co-op on Monday, we are waiting until next week to officially kick off a full week of school. That's the beauty of homeschool--getting to choose your own schedule. Next week we dive into another year though!
As we end the summer and prepare for our 2016-2017 homeschool year, we've been stocking up on back to school essentials including art supplies, curriculum, notebooks, pencils, and even food items for meals and snacks. I've gotten most of our grocery essentials from Walmart--including cereal and easy meal options that have Box Tops. The Box Tops for Education program makes it easy to give back to our homeschool co-op while shopping for the things we need for school. Many General Mills products have five Box Tops on them which is $0.50 back to our co-op.
During my years teaching public school, I remember how beneficial the Box Tops for Education Program was to our school. We were able to purchase supplies that would not have otherwise been available. As a homeschool parent, collecting Box Tops is even more crucial for our co-op.

We attend a weekly co-op during the school year that offers classes, activities, and field trips for the kids just like a public school would offer. I'm even teaching at our co-op again this year. Since we don't receive money from outside sources, fundraisers like Box Tops for Education help our co-op afford things like science materials, microscopes, supplies for the classrooms, and other materials for the students. One of the board members said it best when she mentioned, "Box Tops may not seem like a big contribution, but they do add up and are very important to help with the needs of our co-op." Does your family collect Box Tops for your school or co-op?
The kids and I recently discovered the BIG breakfast trend--smoothie bowls. They're a breakfast option that is easy to prepare, delicious, and packed with nutrition. We used some of the General Mills products with Box Tops to make a smoothie bowl recipe loaded with fresh berries, filled with protein, and covered in tasty toppings. Have you made or tried any smoothie bowl recipes? How did you like them?
Keep reading to see how to prepare this quick and delicious breakfast for your kids. You'll be supporting your child's school while giving them a nutritional start to their day! We moms are THE BEST at multitasking, aren't we?!