Guest Post: Sugar Scrub

(Hey everyone, I’ve asked a sweet friend of mine to write a post about a soothing gift just in time for the holidays. Who could use some pampering right about now? I know I could! Truly, this is perfect for any time of the year. Birthdays, baby showers, gifts for bridesmaids…you get the idea. I didn’t realize just how affordable sugar scrub is to make until I read through her post. So, without further ado, here’s Ginger!)

Sugar Scrub by Ginger

A few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out something to make for a large group of people. I didnโ€™t want to cook something because we are all trying to be on some diet and not wanting to gain some pounds even though food is incredibly unavoidable at the holidays! Haha

Well, I searched online for easy things to make for a decent price and I came across sugar scrub. I instantly said to myself that this is it! Something that every girl will love and it wonโ€™t add to the waist line. ๐Ÿ™‚
I modified the recipe a bit because it called for a 1/4 cup of almond oil. I figured that almond oil may be a bit expensive, so I decided to use baby oil instead. Who doesnโ€™t love baby oil!
I havenโ€™t really looked for purple food coloring, but I came across the cake frosting coloring. Be careful with this stuff, it is a bit thick and a little goes a long way!

You can add flare with a little wooden spoon and attach it to the jar if you are giving this as a gift. I found a pack of 24 little wooden spoons in the cake decorating aisle at Walmart for $2.47, along with the cake frosting color.
All in all, I made nearly 5 jars of this with a bag of sugar, one bottle of baby oil (but I had to use a small bit from another bottle), and with the cost of the jars it all came out to be less than $5 a person! You canโ€™t beat that for a gift.
What you’ll need:
2 cups of sugar
3/4 to a cup of lavender baby oil
3-5 drops of lavender essential oil
Purple food coloring (the more drops, the darker it gets)
Glass jar that can be closed tight
Add all ingredients in a bowl and stir!
How simple is that?! ๐Ÿ™‚
(Thank you so much Ginger for sharing this incredible idea! This definitely gets the NOK Blog’s seal of approval! Cannot wait to try it and I hope you all will too. This recipe can easily be customized to your scent and color preference. Have a blessed weekend, a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!)

~5 Faves~

Sorry about not doing this last week, got too busy to sit and write. So here are this week’s five favorite things that I shared on my person Facebook newsfeed, hope you enjoy!


1) Green Renaissance Pic

Green Renaissance shared a picture a while back encouraging everyone to “inspire the world to grow our own food, in every available space we have.” I love container gardening, it’s perfect for any space big or small. Now if I could just get the right size hazmat suit to keep the mosquitoes at bay so I can go back out to garden again!


2) Country Living’s Top Pin for Today

Tis the season for fresh tomatoes and peppers! I love fresh salsa in the summer, it’s a such a refreshing change to the store bought stuff and I especially love how it lacks all those harsh chemicals and preservatives. Click the link above the picture to view Country Living’s top pin and visit their site for the 18 delicious salsa recipes!


3) Sweet Friendship

I have seen this particular story several times and it always melts my heart! I am a huge dog lover (I like cats too) and seeing one in pain, sad, or suffering just tears me up. So happy for Lily’s sake she has a wonderful friend to help her along and bring life back into her ๐Ÿ™‚ Just seeing her smile in that upper picture you just know she is happy again!


4) Be Positive!

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Aside from all the good one can experience in a week, there can also be a lot of negativity that can and will happen. It is important to remember that a positive mind is the only one that will prevail. You will never progress in this life if you constantly live in a negative state of mind. You’ll be stuck, becoming more toxic to those around you. Surround yourself with positive people who see the glass as half full, remove as much pessimism from your life as you possibly can and always keep quotes, like above, on hand for those days when it just seems like everything is going downhill fast. Remind yourself that what has happened in the past needs to stay in the past, you can’t change people they have to change themselves, and you become most the five people you surround yourself with. Choose wisely!


5) Brick Books for the Garden

A friend shared this and I fell in love with it! If you’re a book lover you will appreciate this even more ๐Ÿ™‚ You might be tempted to grab one on your way to the hammock, that is until you go to pick it up and feel like you’ve just picked up a brick…oh wait, that’s exactly what it is!!ย  I know many of you are so amazingly talented I hope to hear that someone has created a few for their garden!! I love how weathered they look, so old and REAL!


I hope you have enjoyed this week’s 5 faves ๐Ÿ™‚ Share and reblog as much as you want!

Have a blessed weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Springing Around…

Today is the first day of spring and I know many of you have been waiting for this day to arrive. I’ve been working on getting my son’s birthday stuff pulled together since he’s hitting double digits this year, very exciting and sad. And I’ve been gathering ideas for our Easter menu, being of German descent I like to incorporate that into our celebration as much as possible. What has made that easy this year was finding a neat website called Quick German Recipes. There you’ll find traditions and yummy recipes!

But I’ve also been collecting great website links for spring/Easter crafts and recipes. Have fun perusing and trying new things! G–Man is looking forward to trying some of those recipes out himself ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring Crafts

Spring Recipes

~Finished Hat~

Just wanted to share some pictures of my finished loom hat ๐Ÿ™‚

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Taking the finished hat off the pegs…

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This isย  made from super bulky(6) yarn, normally used to make baby blankets. It’s a super warm hat, my son loves it! Knifty Knitter Looms was THE best Christmas gift ever!!!

Ringing in the New Year!

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Find the JOY in all things this year!

Happy New Year everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ Trust you all have a wonderful day with your family and friends. We had a nice quiet evening together as a family. Up until the fireworks started going off which sent our dogs into a tizzy!

Yep, we even have to mute that commercial from CSX for the same reasons ๐Ÿ™‚ Thankfully around 10:30pm Dad cranked up some Pandora radio tunes to drown it out! But I’ll back it up to how we started our day…can’t start the eve of a new year without some grub, right?!

December 31st–Breakfast–

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Ham and Egg Breakfast Burritos

2 low carb high fiber tortillas

2 eggs, scrambled

leftover holiday ham, chopped

shredded cheddar cheese

favorite salsa

Chop up some leftover ham, enough for a handful. Cook in a skillet, no oil or extra fat needed. Cook till warmed through, set aside in a bowl. Next, whisk two eggs together and scramble in a buttered skillet until it’s reached a desired doneness.

Sprinkle cheese on two tortillas, divide scrambled eggs, top with ham and salsa. Fold and enjoy!

A yummy and very filling way to start any morning, but especially great when you’re sharing it with your loved ones! You can use any breakfast meat and tortillas.

With a pleasantly full tummy, I decided to try out one of my Christmas gifts: a knifty knitter loom. I’m a huge fan of finger knitting and I’ve had the knifty knitter on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time now and it was a huge surprise Christmas morning, totally unexpected (guess my Mom had a little fun going through my wish listsssss…ok she didn’t have THAT much fun because I broke everything down into 25 lists. Alright she was overwhelmed lol…moving on). I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous to start it out but I took the bull by the horns, er rather the round loom by the pegs, and made my first hat!!

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Granted the finished product would probably fit an infant, but I was beyond giddy that I actually did it! I made a hat! It was easy, went quickly, and I’m at it again only I intend for this next one to fit me ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yarn that I’m currently using is a super bulky(6) and is uber soft! Meant to be used for baby blankets but I’m a glutton for soft things. This is where I left off for tonight, I’m psyched about the finished product ๐Ÿ™‚

Thus far the new year has been productive, fun, and a great start. Looking forward to what lies ahead!


Elfster Gift Exchange Present #1

This has been a year of trying new things for me, and something new I decided to participate in is a gift exchange on Elfster. Quite simply, Elfster is a social networking website where you can set up a wishlist and organize a gift exchange with other people. I have never done anything like this before and sadly the gifts I’m making are taking longer than I expected (oyvey). However, the day after I signed up everyone we were all paired off with a “secret Santa” and I was paired with a woman whom I got to know quickly ๐Ÿ™‚ By the next day we were repaired with other people and decided that we would still make gifts for each other as well as our new giftsters. After figuring out how Elfster works, we got right on to asking each other questions such as favorite colors, favor drinks, what we don’t like, etc. It’s a fun way to meet new people!

So, last night my oldest nephew brought in the mail and handed me a package. Right away I knew who it was from ๐Ÿ™‚ Opened it and found this….

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Amanda Gayle with green scarf!

She made me a green scarf! I’m in love, thank you so much A. Webb for making it for me. You’re so talented!ย The picture doesn’t do it justice by any means.

I can only hope that the gifts I’m still working on turn out just a lovely, will see. I’ll post pictures once they’re done before I ship them off!

Would anyone be interested in an Elfster Gift Exchange?

Free 4th of July Printables for kids


Here are a few printables to entertain kids for tomorrow if your plans get rained out.

  1. Fourth of July Acrostics
  2. 4th of July Activities and Games
  3. Kids 4th of July Crafts
  4. Free Coloring Pages
  5. Fun and Easy Crafts to Celebrate America
  6. Primary Games
  7. 4th of July Crafts and More
  8. 100+ Free Printables 4th of July for Kids
  9. Free eBook::21 American Craft Projects
  10. 4th of July Games for Kids


Hope everyone has a safe and blessed 4th of July!


4th of July Vignette & Simple Tablescape

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of a decorator. I like to keep things simple, not too fussy and reusing things from around the house just to save money. I decided to do a little something this year for a change but again staying away from the flashy and overly priced decor. Keep in mind you can dress this up as much as you want ๐Ÿ™‚

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The idea was to keep it traditional, classic, something that hearkens back to childhood memories. The finger sandwiches (deviled ham, pimento cheese, cream cheese and pineapple) can bring back even the fondest memory from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s while things seemed simpler, easier even,ย  reality said otherwise. Fresh lemonade is the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day whether on a picnic, at a backyard cook out, at the beach or lake. You can add any kind of fruit, the most popular being grapes, watermelon, and strawberries. Anything that doesn’t get mushy in transport is perfect for a 4th of July picnic…oh and don’t forget the cheese puffs ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Printed the pennant banner from Botanical Paper Works (click here). It was easy to assemble with a little craft glue and ball of raffia. Let it dry overnight and it was ready to display the next day! Love the vibrant colors!!

Links to free 4th of July printables:

Whether you choose to go all out with your decorations or choose to keep it simple you can use any of these accents to help punch up your next picnic or outdoor patriotic barbecue. Have fun with it!!

Amanda Gayle

Finger Knitting

Morning y’all, sure is sunny over here! Hope you all are having a tubular Tuesday so far ๐Ÿ™‚ I love crafts, love all kinds but I have a select few that I’m quite partial to. Over the years I have tried to branch out and give certain things a whirl. Growing up in a house with a mom who loves to sew, count cross stitch, crochet, and knit you’d think I would have picked up on at least ONE of those things…right? Right?! No. I did try crocheting a square washcloth and when that didn’t turn out to be square I got frustrated and tore it all out. I was done and haven’t touched a crochet needle since. I grow tired of hearing how “easy” something is, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it and there wouldn’t be a growing number of women without such skills.

Forget knitting, if I couldn’t handle one needle most certainly couldn’t deal with two. I did try counted cross stitching and could never keep my up with the grid. I’d miss count, get off the row I was supposed to be on, not to mention pulling the thread too tight through the holes…and sewing? Haven’t tried it yet but do intend to this summer because we have some vintage apron patterns I’d like to make. *fingers crossed* I can do some light mending such as fixing buttons, seams, zippers, and other little things by hand with needle and thread but I’ve never used a machine before. I have watched my Mom time and again use her old Singer sewing machine over the years and marveled at her skills wishing I could do it but afraid I’d mess up.

With all my flops and giving up, yes I do give up too quickly I’ll admit it, I thought all the things a woman was supposed to know how to do was forever lost to me. Never would I be able to make my own scarves, forever relying on my Mom or someone else to supply me with such things. I’ve started to hate that feeling, let’s face it, all you knitting folks aren’t going to be around forever for those of us who don’t know how to wield the needles. It was time I became more self reliant and self sufficient….that’s when I discovered finger knitting!

Now, before you fall off your keister from all the laughing, I know it’s something that is taught to grade school children, however I was never taught to do that when I was a kid. Never heard of it, didn’t know how to do it, and that same dreaded feeling cam back of what if it doesn’t work for me?! So, I went to youtube and looked up some videos about finger knitting. I was very surprised to find some tutorials that explained how to do it. I grabbed a small ball of my Mom’s yarn and gave it a go…”By George, I think she’s got it!” Queue the Hallelujah Chorus!!!

I don’t use one finger and make skinny rope chains, I use four fingers and stitch the chains together with a large plastic needle in order to make scarves, a snood (that’s almost finished, need more yarn), and my current project fingerless hand warmer. Here are a few pictures of the things I’ve made so far…

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Above is the first thing I made back in 2011. A simple Rope Scarf.

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Triple strand scarf in green made in 2012.

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And my absolute favorite, the infinity scarf made in 2012.

I’ve been tempted to start using looms or those knitting dolls but I just haven’t done it yet. But so far I’m content and can actually say “I made that!” I do love how quickly it goes by and each scarf only takes roughly 1–3 hours to make. All the yarn I use is acrylic, I’m not a fan of wool at all, if it’s not soft I don’t wear it.

So now, along with my scrapbooking, paper crafting, plaster village house painting, cooking, baking, and stamped stitching I have been able to add finger knitting to my repertoire! There is hope for me yet ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps one day I’ll try crocheting again and if I can find the gumption, I’ll see about knitting WITH needles….no promises though!

Hope you all have a terrific day!

Amanda Gayle