Paper Boxing

 These are perfect for many events.  Goody boxes, mini gift boxes, hostess gifts, party favors, etc.  Let your imagination run wild here.  The box is versatile and easy to make and you can use vertually any size or type of paper you want.  For the box in this tutorial, I used white construction / copy paper.

I made these for my daughter’s preK class last year.  Her wonderful ParaPro was moving during the Thanksgiving break and we found out only two days before the last day of school.  I had just learned how to make these and the teacher thought it was a nice idea, so I made enough so that each student had a box to decorate.  We decorated them, and presented them to the ParaPro on the last day with instructions not to open them until December 1; and to open one a day.  That way she could open one every day through Christmas.  This gave the kids a special way to say goodbye to her.

Each child wrote…. dictated a letter to her telling her what they loved and would remember about her.  We placed the letters inside their respective boxes and decorated the boxes with markers, glitter and ribbon.

On another note, my oldest brother married his beautiful bride July 2011.  At their reception they had these boxes made and decorated with pretty ribbon; one for each guest.  They left notes in the boxes asking everyone to fill them with their favorite candies from the candy table.  It was such a cute idea, and my kids thoroughly enjoyed filling… and uh… refilling… their boxes!

*I’m sure you can find tutorials for making these paper boxes online with a quick search but I figured I’d present the idea to you here as well.  After you learn how to create the boxes you’ll always find events that these can be used for.

TOOLS-

  • Paper (for this particular project I used pieces of white construction paper, which I cut in half to make 2 squares the size of copy paper).  Copy paper, colored paper, even wrapping paper may be used.
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen

NOTES-

  • I would rate this craft as Easy for beginners (you can easily teach your kids to do this)
  • Although easy, if making in bulk they are time consuming (so enlist your kids’ help)!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING THE BOX TOP:

1) Determine your size needed. (start with copy paper and see how that works).

2) Take your paper, fold from lower left corner over to the other side of paper, align with side and fold.

3) Cut off excess above your triangle.  (to the left of triangle in the picture –>)

4) Now you have a triangle.

5) Take your triangle and unfold.  Now, fold the other corner over so when it’s unfolded you’d have an “x”.

6) Next, take your paper, unfolded and place on table or surface at an angle, it will look like a kite.

7)Take your bottom corner and bring corner up to the point in the middle of the square / “x”.  Fold.

8)   Repeat for other 3 corners… like this.

9) Now, OPEN your large square and take your corners, one at a time, and bring up to center of top fold line, fold.

(pictured below)

10) NOW, fold the bottom corner to the fold line made when your corner meets the center. (Bottom fold line),  and repeat for the other 3 corners.

Now your square should look like this, nicely “quilted”. as shown below.

11) Take your scissors and cut the lines to make this    

***** DO NOT CUT INTO THE MIDDLE SQUARE! *****

12) Now, you’re all ready to create your box.  Take your bottom triangle (below the center piece) and fold the small triangle part up, then fold that entire side up again.  Repeat for other side (top piece).  Then fold all four corner edges up to stiffen.

13) Next, Take your bottom left side edge, fold in; take your top left side edge, fold in.  Now join the two, press.

14) Now, fold top triangle down, and fold that side down over the two combined edges.  Press firmly.

15) You have three sides now.  Finish the box by repeating steps 13 and 14 on the other side.

   **You have successfully created the top of your box.**

 

MAKING THE BOX BOTTOM:

1) Take the same size sheet of paper you used to create the top of your box.

2) fold bottom left corner up to make triangle like you did to create box top.

3) Now mark the that edge (where your bottom left corner folds to) with a pencil or something.

4) Unfold your paper.  Taking a ruler, measure 1/4 inch  in – from the point your bottom edge folded up to.

  • Just to be clear:  You’re measuring your 1/4 inch INWARD, toward the center of the paper.  (The point of this is to make a slightly smaller triangle, so when you unfold it and cut off the excess, you’ll have a slightly smaller box, so when you’ve repeated all the steps you’ll have a bottom box that will fit snuggly in your top box).

5) Now measure 1/4 inch at the bottom of the paper, where the other edge of your triangle forms.  Next, measure 1/4 inch all the way down the side of the paper so you will have an even edge.

6) Next, take your bottom edge and RE-fold, stopping at your 1/4 inch border.

7) Cut the excess off the top like you did while creating the box top.  Now cut the 1/4 off the side.

8) Repeat the steps above (creating the box top) and you’ll have your bottom.

Perfect Party Dip

Going anywhere this weekend?  Playing hostess?  I’ve got the perfect dip for you.  Your people will LOVE it.  Just…….  don’t expect leftovers.

 This is my all time favorite dip to make for any gathering.  The funny thing is that it is essentially a stuffed pepper dip.  Yes, a stuffed jalapeno dip!  I was helping a friend prep for a party at their house and she taught me how to make their stuffed peppers…  I believe they learned how to make them from another friend of ours.  See how this works?  Share your recipes people!!!  A good recipe makes the world a better place!

So this started as a jalapeno popper dip and for about 6 months that’s all I made it for.  Sometime before the Super Bowl of 2011 (GO PACK!)  my husband had some friends stopping by.  They’d just left work and were coming over to threw back a few beers, grill out and enjoy a beautiful GA night.  I knew after working all day they’d be hungry so I wanted to have a few appetizers ready for them to snack on while my hubby manned the grill.  He told me that one of the guys couldn’t eat the peppers.

With short notice and not much else on hand, (I was planning my grocery trip for the following morning) I was searching for something they could all enjoy.  I had crackers… so I thought maybe I could make 1/2 the poppers I planned and use the rest of the stuffing as a dip.  Once I had the stuffing made a momentary wave of creativity came over me and I decided to try something.  (What could go wrong)?  I set aside 1/2 the dip, prepped the poppers and put them in the oven, and then I poured some almonds in the food processor and went for it.  As soon as I had my dip ready I put it in the oven and toasted it.  The guys arrived…. and it was a hit!

Want to make the dip? / poppers?   Here’s How:

                    INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb mild breakfast sausage (roll)
  • 1 8 oz. packet of cream cheese
  • parmesan cheese (about 3/4 – 1 cup)
  • jalapenos (for poppers recipe only)
  • almonds (for dip only)

1) Preheat oven to 350

2) Place sausage in pan, heat on medium, break sausage up into small bits while it browns.

3) Once sausage is browned, drain excess grease,  Lower heat to medium/low, add cream cheese, blend well.

4) Stir in about 3/4 of your parmesan cheese, blend.

–Jalapeno Poppers–

5) Cut the top off your jalapenos.  Next, slice them in half vertically.  Then, core your jalapenos.  Because I freeze my peppers, they’re like this and ready to go.

Learn how I freeze peppers and produce here:  http://wp.me/p2fyfB-2h

6) Lay your pepper slices on a cookie sheet with the insides up.  Get a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon or small spoon and fill the pepper slices.

7) Sprinkle your left over parmesan cheese on top of your yummy creations.

  • 8a) Either place in oven and bake like this (parmesan gets crispy and they’re delicious!!

(OR)

  • 8b) Place another pepper slice on top (inside down) to cover your creation… These are good too but option 1 is my favorite.

9) Bake for about 20-30 minutes.  ENJOY.

**Tip** Freeze your peppers ahead of time like I do.  It’s easy and you’ve conveniently prepped your peppers and produce.  You can enjoy baking with peppers without the fear of getting pepper juice in a cut… or your eye…   Seriously, your entire face may swell… and burn… if you accidentally squeeze pepper juice on your face…. trust me.

Don’t shoot pepper juice in your face.

Don’t.

–Sausage Dip–

  • (follow basic steps 1 – 4)

5) Place in an oven safe baking dish

6) Top with remaining parmesan cheese

7) Grind almonds in food processor.  Cover dip with ground almonds.

8) Bake for 20-30 minutes, until dip is bubbly and almonds are toasted.  ENJOY.

*Obviously almonds on top are optional…

and if you do in fact enjoy almonds, you can use almond slivers as well like the cheese balls have.  I tried it that way once as well and I liked it.

I have to say that the crispiness of the ground almonds just does it for me everytime.

So there you have it!  Two delicious recipes in one!

**If you try one or both recipes, please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

My First Attempt @ Homemade Wine

My first glass of The Bryan Family Muscadine Wine 2011

We moved into our home in 2010 and I remember around August there were these little things falling all around our land that resembled grapes.  I asked my husband what they were, because they were falling from trees and not grape vines.  Come to find out, they were a form of grape known as muscadines.

  • A quick memory refresher:  I’m not from the south.  I am proud to love a GA boy and that we’re raising our family in GA, but I’m also proud of my yooper roots.

Anyways, back to the grapes.  For those of you who also aren’t from the south, a muscadine is a type of grape that grows well in the south.  They have a larger pit than the more popular grapes, but are sweet.
It was too late to try and gather them once they’d all fallen so I had my mind set on 2011.  Well, 2011 came, and this mama was prepared!  As soon as I noticed a few beginning to fall I knew it was time.  I gathered my husband’s ladder and my largest mixing bowl and went to town!  (and no… there are no pictures of me on the ladder trying to pick these grapes).  I picked about 8 – 12 quarts and washed them.

I have a book that I highly recommend – Country Wisdom and Know – How, and it has many great recipes…  including a few on wine-making; however this time around I didn’t follow the recipe because it was too in-depth.  I had limited time and resources, so I googled.  I came across a traditional, authentic southern recipe for Muscadine Wine.  Perfection!!!

I followed the recipe as closely as I could…. (limited resources)… so I omitted some of the sugar it called for and I replaced it with whatever I had on hand which happened to be some concord grape jam and a juice box.  I added the rest of the sugar it called for, mixed the yeast in, and voila.

MAKE YOUR OWN MUSCADINE WINE:

  • Wash the muscadines well
  • Mash the muscadines in order to remove the pits
  • Continue to mash the muscadines until well – “mashed”
  • Mix sugar and water, then add to muscadines.
  • Pour in a large container WHICH CAN BE SEALED and pour yeast over
  • Cover, let sit for 1 week, stirring daily
  • Strain and toss everything but the liquid.  The liquid will eventually become your wine.
  • Re-cover liquid and let sit, UNDISTURBED, for 6 weeks
  • Open container, strain once more, re-cover, let sit undisturbed for 3 more days to finish fermentation
  • BOTTLE and let age, or enjoy 🙂

Your mash will change a lot in the week as shown below:

       This was @ the end of week 1, right before I strained it for the first time.

  • After the first strain @ 1 week – this is what your wine mix looks like.

Now, Muscadine Wine is much better (in my humble opinion) than those “snooty-falutey” wines people spend a lot of money on…  (I get migraines from those fine wines…. and I prefer my homemade Muscadine Wine, Lambrusco, or a Spumante).

Just so you know, I completely messed up my wine because I wasn’t following the recipe to a “T”… also I’ve done a lot more research now and the recipe I followed differed from the instructions above – which I’ve found on many different sites while reviewing the best Muscadine Wine recipes.  I can promise you that this fall when I make mine, the above recipes is what I’m going to do.  I haven’t given specific ingredient quantities, but you can find that by clicking this link: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/muscadine-wine-recipe.html

I can’t wait to follow the recipe verbatim this summer. However, my wine wasn’t a total failure, in fact I had a total of 4 bottles of wine, and it’s pretty tasty! It’s just a little more acidic than I’d prefer and it’s not quite as strong as I like. With a little tweaking, my wine from 2012 will be fabulous.  FYI: In fact, both red and white muscadine wines contain five times or more resveratrol than ordinary red wines.  I just learned that!  I read it on the page linked above.  Trust me you will be missing out on a lot of great information if you don’t check out that page.  I did a lot of research on Muscadine Wine recipes and that was by far one of the best pages I came across.  There are others that are worth mentioning, but I’ll do one at a time.

Great friends, good memories and some sweet homemade Muscadine Wine.

Only Be Strong and of Good Courage

Today I read Joshua 1.

WOW.  I love how God talks to us and reminds us of all He’s already done for us as if to say, “why would you fear?  I’m with you!

I haven’t read the book of Joshua in years.  There is so much wisdom in here.  Have a look:

——————————————

Joshua 1 (NKJV)

God’s Commission to Joshua

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

The Order to Cross the Jordan

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”

12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the Lord has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

16 So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

————————————————-

Wow.  What an awesome chapter right!  God GAVE them land.  He GAVE them rest.  Why do we worry and let fear creep up?   It takes us away from what God is trying to give us.  Pray on this tonight and remember how God has promised He will never leave you or forsake you.  Tomorrow, wake up, remember to Only be strong and of good courage.
Have a blessed day!

Hey Y’all!!

Hello World!!  Where ya been??  I’m so excited to now be @wordpress.  Blogger was a good starting point, however thanks to wordpress I’ve consolidated 5 blogs into one.  I feel this will be great for simplifying in 2012, and more user-friendly.  Now y’all only have ONE blog to “follow” and subscribe to via email.

Not to mention… WOW is editing in wordpress EVER easier. for real!

This is great!  I am about to head out to pick up the kiddos, but just wanted to say hi, and welcome.

God Bless!!

God’s Got This!!!!

Source: etsy.com via Melina on Pinterest

I found this on Pinterest a while back and repinned. I saw it again today and thought I’d post it for a good reminder. We don’t need to worry and fear and stress and lose site of all the blessings in our life. God’s got this!
Rise up and be blessed. Smile. God’s with you!!

Deuteronomy 1:29-31 NKJV – “29. …….do not be terrified, or afraid of them. 30. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31. and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.”

He will fight for you.
He will carry you.
Wow. How great is our God!!