Handmade in the Heartland


Sewing: Taggie Toy

How to make a stuffed taggie baby toy

It seems like I keep seeing toys in the stores that I can totally make.  In the last couple years there has been a "taggie" phenomena that has popped up in retailers and I'm pretty sure after moms and grandmas had been making taggie toys for a while.  If you are unfamiliar with the "taggie" concept it is basically that moms have realized that no matter what toy you give to a baby they are most interested in the little tag that hangs off of it. In enters genius mom, whoever she may be, who started making blankets and soft toys that had lots of ribbons folded in half to create lots of little tags.  I decided to make my own iteration of the taggie toy with this stuffed lifesaver toy.  You can totally make this, I've got a free pattern below to print out and get you started, its a simple sewing project so go ahead and whip out 3 or 4 to keep on hand for baby gifts. :)


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Soup just screams warm up by the fire and comfort yourself, am I right? This soup is comfort in a bowl, its a large recipe easy to whip up for family and friends (houseguests, anyone?) or have when the family gets back from caroling around the block. One day we are going to be that family that goes around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols to all the neighbors we know and love so much, one day when my kids are not 2 and 3 and when we actually know more than 2 of the people on our street. :) I should probably get to know some more people. Oh I digress, the point is that this soup is good, good enough to feed to your family and easy enough for anyone. Try it, I bet you'll like it. :) 


Chicken Milano & Pompeian Holiday Gift

Tracking Pixel This post is sponsored by Pompeian, all opinions and statements are, as always, my own.
Pompeian Custom Label Maker, Easy Holiday Gift

I love giving simple gifts out to friends and neighbors and no matter how well I plan I'm learning I always forget somebody! Which means for me its a great idea to have a good stock of back up gifts waiting for such occasions.  So I also hate giving gifts that no one uses and wonder what the heck they are going to do with, so how about a bottle of fabulous Pompeian olive oil? great idea, right? Everyone uses it, and paired with a spoon and an adorable custom label its a great neighbor/friend/almost forgot you gift! You can make 10 in just a few minutes and have them ready to go.  Oh and I've got a great recipe to whip up for your holiday guests- this Chicken Milano is seriously delicious, totally restaurant worthy, guests will for sure ooohh and ahhh over it!


Gift Giving Season & Great Giveaway!

This morning I went on fox4kc and participated in a blogger gift wrap challenge.  I love this time of year and I love to give gifts, I especially love to make handmade gifts and wrap gifts creatively!

Gift wrapping with brown kraft paper

This year I'm still loving craft paper, you might remember my post from last year, it is so cheap and you don't have to worry about matching ribbons to paper- everything goes with kraft paper! Honestly it makes wrapping way easier because it looks cute to write right on the paper with chalk pen of who the recipient is, you can skip a few gift tags.  I also love using washi tape and letting it show on the outside is fun!


Holiday Baking: Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Cups

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PBandG #CollectiveBias

Holiday Baking: Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Cups, #PBandG #ad

Peanut butter, graham crackers & chocolate is there a better combination? Oh man these little graham cracker peanut butter cups are perfect for holiday baking and are so simple, oh and so tasty.  They are great for gifting to friends and neighbors, that is if they make it out of your kitchen before your family devours them. I used a combination of milk chocolate and dark chocolate which made the pretty swirl of color on the sides that you see in the picture above, I used crunchy skippy peanut butter in the center which was delicious. The Honey Maid graham cracker crust made it more of a cookie taste than just a candy which I totally loved. 


Crispy Coconut Pecan Butter Cookies

I think I've found my new favorite cookie, seriously.  These crispy oat butter cookies are so good.  I made them the week before Thanksgiving and I couldn't stop eating them.  They are kind of like a crunchy teeny bit salty shortbread cookie, I wasn't expecting to love them as much as I do.  Holiday baking is officially here and you can thank me after you make a batch of these for your friends because everyone will love them! I have to thank a good friend of mine for the recipe, Heather always has the best baking recipes and I'm glad she shared this one with me to share with you.  


My Intel Tablet with DIY Quilted Case

My Intel Tablet & Why I love reading on it!

I'm super excited that today I'm doing a guest post over at Skip to My Lou, her blog is so fun and I'm super happy I was able to contribute this fun little do it yourself sewing tablet case.  Since receiving this awesome little ASUS  Intel Tablet I knew it needed something adorable to be stored in.  I love doing small sewing projects because I always have enough fabric in my sewing closet, and this tablet case only took a little bit of fabric and quilt batting. Do you have a tablet or device that needs an adorable new case? Or maybe you need to make a case to give someone a hint to fill it with a new tablet! Christmas present idea, anyone??


Pumpkin Pecan Spice Rugelach

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Rugelach Recipe

Today I'm partnering with Grain Foods Foundation to bring you a great recipe to add to your holiday baking roundup.  I told the story of my first thanksgiving a few posts ago and how it totally failed, well the one thing that didn't fail was the dessert.  It was the first time I made rugelach and it was delicious, I guess I kind of forgot about it because I hadn't made it in several years and remembered it a few weeks ago.  Rugelach is a jewish pastry that is filled and rolled like a crescent roll, this version has a pumpkin pecan filling and is topped with cinnamon sugar after baking.  Friends, Its really really good.


A Clean House = A Happy Mom

I, like all of you, really enjoy a clean home, there is something really amazing about no crumbs on the counter and vacuum lines on the carpet, right? But here's my problem- I hate deep cleaning, give me a cluttered closet and I'll organize it in a hour, but bathrooms to scrub- no thank you.  I can keep my house picked up consistently (which with a 2 and a 3 year old is still a feat) but the deep cleaning I do begrudgingly because I don't want to live with sticky floors.

do you see those vacuum lines??! ahhhhmazing I tell you!