peach tea popsicles

you guys. it’s summer finally! i couldn’t be more thrilled!

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this year, i have decided, is to be the summer of the popsicle (for me at least, join if you feel so led :)) of course, i think i said that last summer too, but i’ve started out pretty well so far this summer, so maybe i’ll actually stick with it and make like a batch a week or something.

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sooo i’ve been scouring the inter webs for recipes, obviously, and i came across this recipe¬†the other day. aaand i immediately started making plans for when i could create these tasty frozen morsels. i mean, tea! we all know how i love good sweet tea!!! well maybe you didn’t, but now you do… and then add peaches, which are some of my favorite fruits, and you’ve got a sweet deal. haha.

obviously these would be even better if you used fresh local peaches when they’re in season and delicious and perfect… but walmart was all i had at the time; so i’ll just have to make them again when i can get *real* peaches ūüôā

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the original recipe just had you put peach slices in the popsicle molds, then pour your tea over it, but i cannot leave well alone, so i pureed some peaches and mixed it with the tea for extra peachiness ūüôā

anyway, here’s the recipe

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adapted from  papernstitchblog

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enjoy!
xo- Serena

love seat makeover

once upon a time, we moved into a house. we owned almost no living room furniture, except for a recliner and clearly if anyone besides us was trying to hang out in the living room, that would be awkward. there was also this sad little love seat that had been left there by the people who had lived there last.

IMG_8591.JPGsee how old and not-attractive? (suddenly i feel mean talking about it this way)

the upholstery was thinning and worn off in some places, stained, and just generally ugly. plus it didn’t go with the gray walls. ha.IMG_8593.JPG

however, i thought the shape of the piece was nice, and spending a little on some new fabric sounded better and more immediate than going out and buying new furniture.

this was the first time i have ever attempted reupholstery. it wasn’t too difficult to figure out, but i learned a few things for next time. also i didn’t take pics of every step for you, because that would be boring and this isn’t really a tutorial, altho i would encourage you to try this quick fix for any old furniture you hate but can’t get rid of.

did you know this is what the inside of a couch looks like? fascinating. basically all the pieces were stapled onto the frame, so i just had to pull out all of the staples. if you want to try this, just start with the outermost piece (in this case, the skirt and then the back).IMG_8595.JPG

here is the finished project! yay!¬†IMG_8636.JPGi picked this cute gray arrowy print and loved it, but now it’s starting to look like it belongs in a baby nursery or something. anyway. also yes that is a paint roller in polly’s bed. sorry, but our house is just now starting to be even somewhat decorated and ‘styled’ hahaha. and this was like a month ago. or two.

i left the skirt off, partly because i was too lazy to make and hem a new one, and partly because i like this look better. i also didn’t bother taking the fabric off of the back or arms- just covered it right up with the new fabric. the only thing i used a sewing machine for was the cushion cover.

some tips if you want to try this:

take out the staples, working from the outermost piece inward, saving the original upholstery pieces for your pattern! also save the tack strips that probably are at least on the back edges. take pictures so you can remember how it was all assembled!

reupholster in the opposite order that you took the pieces off- for example, if you take them off like skirt-back-sides-arms-front,,, they need to go back on front-arms-sides-back-skirt to take care of visible staples and things like that.=)

don’t forget to stretch the fabric as tightly as possible when stapling it. i usually stapled the top of the piece, then the bottom, then the sides to try to get it all stretched evenly.

use an air stapler gun thing (whatever they’re called) if possible unless you have large, strong, muscular hands. my hands ached and had blisters the next day. but maybe I’m just a wimp. haha.

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the end. i got really into this so i bought two ugly chairs at an auction.. they’re my next project!

pb&j day: cheesecake

today isn’t peanut butter & jelly day. i think it was thursday, april 2. if you failed to recognize such an important date this year, be on the lookout sometime next spring so you can properly celebrate.

the wondrous pair… although raspberry jam would have made¬†it glorious.

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when serena alerted me to the fact that PB&J Day was coming up, i thought, ‘what a good excuse to make a cheesecake’. i couldn’t find any decent-looking recipes for a peanut butter and¬†jelly cheesecake; in fact, i don’t know if i even saw one. but after thinking about it for so long (like 2 minutes), i HAD to have one. so i decided to make up my own.

next i searched for just a general cheesecake recipe that only called for 2 blocks of cream cheese. unfortunately every recipe i saw called for at least 3, if not more. so i just winged it. (wung? wang? idk.) since this contains less cream cheese, it can be considered a ‘skinny’ cheesecake, which means it’s ok for dieters to eat.

since I’ve made this once in my life, it can’t be classified as one of those ‘tried and true’ recipes.. it turned out pretty amazing in steven’s opinion, but make it at your own risk.

start by preheating your oven to 325, then chop up some graham crackers. if you have a ninja, it works perfectly for the task. crush away until you have about 1.75 cups of crumbs. throw in 5 T of melted butter, and 2 T of sugar. you can mix it all up right in your little ninja food chopper, or just use a fork.

IMG_3621also i will never be a proper food blogger because i forget to take beautiful pictures of every step.

IMG_3626i use this little thing (or the bigger one that also came with it) for like, everything. smoothies, food chopping, anything that needs mixed and will fit in it.

next press the crumbs into a greased 8 or 9 inch springform pan. if you take a picture, admire your messy countertops.

IMG_3624lick remaining buttery goodness off your fingers. bake the crust for about ten minutes.

while the crust bakes, throw together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. whip it up with a mixer, hand mixer, or blender.

after i baked the crust, i put on a layer of jelly. it ended up soaking into the crust quite a bit, which i thought was kind of delicious but could be weird for some people. IMG_3631

plus it looks kinda weird. anyway then you just blob the cream cheese mixture onto the jelly and spread it around evenly. another thing you could do is put half the cream cheese stuff in, then a layer of jam, and then the rest of the stuff.

bump up the oven temp to 350, and put the cheesecake in for 45-55 minutes, until the center is almost set.

IMG_3634this is before it was baked, with my trusty blender thing standing by.

some people make cheesecake sound complicated, but it’s really not. with a few basic ingredients and a springform pan you can pretty much create your own. and i didn’t even do the whole ‘wrap pan in foil and set in pan of water’ thing this time. since i put a topping on it, it didn’t really matter to me if it had a crack or two. it ended up looking fairly good even without the topping.

i melted some PB and thinned some jelly and did a swirly thing on top that ended up looking weird and i forgot to take a pic with my real camera so here is a lame phone pic.

IMG_9223two words: SO YUM. just a tip- it was wayyy better after it was completely cooled. i got anxious and tried some when it was about room temp and it was ok, but not thrilling. much, much better after decent refrigeration.

here’s the recipe if you made it this far and want to try it (esp for next years pb&j day)

Preheat oven to 325.

CRUST:

1 & 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 T sugar (heaping=))

5 T melted butter

Mix together with a fork or something. Press into greased springform pan (8 or 9 inch). Bake for 10 minutes. Spread with a thick layer of your choice of jam or jelly, if desired.

FILLING:

2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened

3/4 c Peanut Butter

1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Beat together until blended. Spread on top of crust evenly. Bake at 350 for approximately 45-55 minutes.

Melt about 1/2 cup PB and pour onto cheesecake. Drop small spoonfuls of Jam onto the PB and swirl around with a fork or toothpick.

Refrigerate until nice and cool.=)

In other news, here is a picture we took on Easter Sunday. hope yours was amazing.

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pi day: blueberry pie

guys! it’s march 14! ¬†pi day!!!! image but not just any pi day, i tell you. this is a once in a lifetime experience it’s 3.14.15!! the pi-ness has been furthered! i have been so excited about this for about a year now. aaand if you want the ultimate pi experience, make sure to look at your clock at 9:26 (and 53 seconds haha) you have two chances for this, don’t mess it up! and, the ultimate reason for pi day:::PIE!! there is actually a national pie day(january 23) but today you can celebrate pi and pie.. so it’s actually much cooler. image so i’m celebrating this auspicious day with my favorite classic pie- blueberry. ok i don’t have a favorite pie. ¬†but this is in my top 10.. image obviously i had to do this. pi pie.. it was fun. i used the pioneer woman’s pie crust¬†, which does indeed seem to be “the perfect pie crust” filled with simple(yet delicious) blueberry pie filling. thickened blueberries. whatever you wish to call them

4 cups berries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 T lemon juice

3 T clearjel or cornstarch

mix all ingredients in saucepan and heat til it’s bubbly and thickened, stirring frequently. Throw it in said pie shell, top ¬† ¬† with top crust and brush with 1/4 cup milk and one egg, beaten together. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. bake at 350¬į for 30-45 minutes, until it’s deliciously golden brown image Best served with coffee in an awesome gold mug( though mug is not required ūüėĚ) so there you go. celebrate pi day with some pie and someone you love. or by yourself. then you can have double the pie. it’s whatever you want.

aaand bethany

bethany is the third of all of us so she has the most well rounded character. none of this oldest daughter, second-child syndrome, or spoiled youngest stuff going on.

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she is married to darren, who is pretty stinkin cool. we like him, and both of them actually. they live in frigid minnesota, and bethany even helps milk cows on the dairy farm. she cray. they have no children but do happen to have a cat named henry who has a hilarious personality.

she is a super wife, cooking and decorating and cleaning and canning and whipping up all kinds of diy projects. she sews and OH she finds the best deals out there at thrift stores and yard sales. you wouldn’t believe how little money she has spent to make her house so awfully cute.

hopefully she will show her face around here once in a while and talk about her farming life, her ridiculous thrifty deals, her made-up recipes, and her diy decorating.

also, only one blurry pic cuz my dumb computer and dumb starbucks wifi which is being sucked up by college kids, not even kidding.

intro again: janell

janell is the oldest and you can tell. jk. she has outgrown the typical oldest sister traits such as bossing and¬†being the ‘mom’ of all younger siblings, and dancing in front of mirrors. except i can’t verify that she has actually outgrown that last one.

janell is married to gabe, who is awesomely cool, and she has 3 kids who are 4 and 2.5. they’re fun and hilarious and squishy and adorable.

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janell is a super mom because she works hard¬†to help her family be happy and she throws herself into cooking good and healthy and delicious food for them, making their home a cheerful and fun place, and collecting vintage fisher price toys for her kids to play with. because seriously, how could you grow up well without playing with the original ‘little people’?

she likes to craft and decorate and if she ever gets around to posting on here, it will probably be about food, mom-ing, crafty stuff, decor for which she wants public opinions, or something like that.

intro: shanna

this is shanna IMG_2536 she is the second of us 4 girls. sometimes she suffers from middle child syndrome; most of the time she provides all of us girls with steady and wisdomous advice. she recently married steven, who is a pretty cool guy:) here’s them on their wedding day. which was like the awesomest wedding ever.IMG_8730

before she got married, shan was the ultimate employee at our parents’ store, managing the deli single-handedly. she also performed many other tasks at the store in addition to her deli commandeering. now, she’s an adorable housewife living in the south, where she cooks many a delicious meal. if she ever tells you she can’t cook, don’t listen to her! she is amazing cook, her specialty being ribs, scrambled eggs, and cereal. and cheesecake. she got herself a puppy recently, to entertain herself

this is pollyIMG_1569

she is the cutest cuddliest thing. and she has an instagram @pollythepoochon. follow her.

shan is an excellent photographer. like takes professional pics at weddings excellent. if you’re getting married, definitely consider her for your photographer *wink*. she also is super crafty, great at diy-ing. she recently re-covered her couch. like the entire thing. i know. ¬†and she’s like a super-sewer she loves a variety of colors, glitter, ¬†her husband, her dog, making supercool¬†things, writing things in her awesome handwriting, eating bacon, donuts, guacamole, and cake(probably only because serena makes her eat the cake she makes). she also makes the best chicken salad. ever. so you’ll likely see food, diy/sewing, random inspiration, excellent photos, and other wonderful posts from shanna.