Archive of ‘Homemade’ category

10 Recipes from the Meal Planning Board

By Natalie

As difficult as meal planning can be it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Budget wise, and family wise, because let’s be honest who wants to look around for enough ingredients in the pantry to whip something up? All the while starving for dinner after a long day. Husband, and possibly kiddos rummaging around for a bite to eat. In order to assist in your efforts, I’ve decided to share with you my top 10 Natalie approved Pinterest recipes! Most of these I continue to make on a regular basis, especially the s’mores!! They’re a quick and simple dessert perfect for a hubby with a sweet tooth. Here’s a peek at what appears on the Poe table. Click the photos for a link to the recipe. For more yummy recipes you can follow my Meal Planning Board here. (more…)

DIY: Frame Makeover

By Natalie

  photo 2

I made this adorable frame a few weeks ago, and had to share. I’ve had some more DIY stuff recently because I’ve been spending a little more time in the craft room. I love every part of our house, but the craft room is my own pretty little space. A place that is fairly untouched by rolled up husband socks, and dog toys.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Frame
  • Washi Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Flower Embellishment



I started out with this old frame I had laying around.

photo 1Picked up the fun glitter tape in the Target $1 section. The flower was found in Hobby Lobby. All I had to do was measure out my pieces of tape, and place them.

photo 3Squeeze a little hot glue on the back of the flower and apply it. Clean the glass to freshen it up. I stuck a piece of scrapbook paper behind the glass so the frame could be utilized as a decorative piece. I love  finding ways to repurpose things. Reviving them, and molding them into something unique.

photo 4


What’s on the Grill?

By Natalie

I’ve talked about the magic of the grill before. If you don’t have one, I’m telling you, you need one! Our grill has saved us from so many hungry disputes. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I’m not happy. And the grill puts food in our bellies quickly. Get outside! Let your man grill for you. Who can pass up, a man who’s happy to cook with his ridiculously large grilling utensils, less for you to prepare, and less dishes. What are you waiting for? It’s fabulous.

photo 11

Our Favorite Meals on the Grill

Foil Dinners- Here’s my favorite foil dinner recipe.

Steak- Recently we’ve been purchasing tenderloins fresh from Wegmans, and they’ve been more than perfect. B seasons them with Molasses Bacon, and leaves them on the grill until they’re about medium the way we like them. But of course, any meat thermometer will tell you a safe temp. if you’re worried.

photo 22

Burgers and hotdogs- We prepare our own burgers with ground beef mixed with Molasses Bacon seasoning, and a hamburger seasoning. Then form them into patties. Serve with onion, tomato, lettuce, and cheese. Toss on grill until cooked to your liking.

Make your own pizza- We use a ready made dough from Wegmans, and add a little bit of spaghetti sauce to the center. Sprinkle a generous amount of Mozzarella cheese, and add whatever toppings you’d like from there. We’ve done Pepperoni, sausage, basil, & tomato. Toss on the grill for about 5 min, until the cheese has melted.

Beef Shish Kabobs- We’ve prepared our own shish kabobs with sliced beef or chicken and veggies. But we’ve also grilled the already prepared ones from Wegmans and they’re delicious.

Cedar Plank Salmon- Seasoned with garlic salt, olive oil, and meat magic seasoning. B has been grilling these on cedar planks which can be found in most grocery stores near the grilling materials.

Our Favorite Veggies on the Grill

Asparagus-I actually didn’t even like asparagus, until I tried it grilled. Prepare with light olive oil and salt.

Corn with Husk- Pull husks down. Rinse corn. Sprinkle with salt. Pull husks back up. Toss onto grill for about 10 minutes.

Peppers & Onions- We’ve grilled these while on shish kabobs.

photo 44

Your pup is sure to beg for some smokey goodness.

B’s Favorite Seasonings


DIY: Sewing Jar

By Natalie


Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Mason Jar
  • Fabric
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Fluff
  • Things to decorate the outside such as card stock stickers (Optional)

Step One: Cut out a circle of fabric that measures about twice as large as your lid. Extra fabric can be cut if necessary. You don’t want to be left with too little fabric. Step Two: Place a ball of fluff on your fabric, and press the mason jar lid to it. Use a little more than you would think necessary. You want a fluffy top. photo 3

Step Three: Squeeze hot glue onto the rubber part of the lid, and press fabric onto the hot glue. If you feel like you need to add more fluff this is your last chance. When there’s a small opening like the picture shown below you can stuff more fluff in before you seal the circle.

photo 4

Step Four: Place lid on top of mason jar and screw the second lid over it. Because of the hot glue and the fabric the lid will not screw on all the way down, but it should still be able to close.

Step Five. Add any decorative things you’d like on the outside. Place push pins in the top, and any sewing materials you’d like on the bottom. Such as bobbins, buttons, pins, measuring tape, etc.

I made these as gifts for Mother’s Day, So I tossed a long piece of lace and buttons in the jars for looks.

image    image_1



DIY: Decorative Gift Bags

By Natalie

photo 1

I snagged these medium sized brown bags a few weeks ago, and while they’re perfect in their own little brown paper bag way I felt the need to dress them up. If you’re looking for a simpler more personal look for your gift giving this year this is the perfect project for you.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Brown Gift Bags
  • Scrapbooking paper, or Cardstock
  • Adhesive
  • Cardstock Stickers (Optional)

All I did was slice up the paper how I wanted it to fit to the bag. Put a little adhesive on the back, being sure to cover the edges well. Add a Cardstock sticker if you’d like (Or really any little do bobs you might find at the craft store. Like fabric flowers, or buttons.)

photo 2

The pink one has part of a book page of course. Cause you know… I love book pages.

Crafting doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or time consuming! There you go. Myth Busted! You just have to find the simpler things to get you started. 


A Peek Inside the Craft Room

By Natalie

deskThis room is the only reason why I’m able to complete most all of my crafty endeavors. As an avid crocheter, reader, sewer, and all around crafter I longed for a space to house all of my hobbies, as they were quickly growing out of their homes. I had baskets upon baskets of fabric, and paper craft all over our apartment. When we bought our house we quickly realized that I had enough stuff to load up this room, and I adore the way it came together. Above is the desk that B and his dad built for me. They took my design and ran with it.

photo 1This entertainment center was happily discovered by B’s mom at Goodwill years ago, and if I remember correctly it was a steal at $10! It was in good shape to begin with, with just a few scratches. But nothing major enough that a little wood scratch pen, and murphey’s oil couldn’t solve.

photo (2)

photo 3


Of course, a quiet spot to read.

A few of my favorite pieces

photo 2

image_2   image_3

image_1   image_5



photo 4   image

photo (1)



DIY: Bookmarks

By Natalie

photo 4

So I’ve been on my reading kick lately, and with the new book club we’ve started I figured maybe some fun bookmarks were in order. Originally I had fantastic plans to use fabric scraps, and sew quilted bookmarks. However, I have found with Diy type things that just because something is small does not mean it’s going to be easy! After ruining two of the four quilted bookmarks I gave up. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll pick them up and try again, but in the meantime I settled for simplicity.

Personal bookmarks can be such an easy little project. I’m a huge fan of creating something out of things you already have. There’s no need to run to the craft store when you can work with what you’ve got.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardstock
  • Cardstock Stickers
  • Mod Podge
  • Baker’s Twine
  • Hole Punch
  • Book Page
  • Corner Rounder (Optional)

photo 2

1) I sliced up a patterned piece of cardstock, and then cut hearts out of an old copy of the Wizard of Oz.

I love, love love, using old book pages to decorate. I’ve used them before with the family tree.

photo 1

2) I used a paintbrush to spread mod podge onto the back of the heart. Then applied it to the cardstock. Any type of adhesive would probably work fine.

photo 3

3) I usually like to round off my corners for a nice finish, But that is completely up to you!


4) Put a hole punch in the top, and tie off baker’s twine, or ribbon. Whatever you may have that works. I added our initial, and a little cardstock sticker on the back. I’ve been going for more of the minimalist look these days.

photo 5

And Voilà! A bookmark.

Happy Reading!

When Pollen Attacks

By Natalie

To all of you who suffer during allergy season, fear not. You’re not alone. I write to you urgently in between sneezes. I never suffered from allergies, until a couple years ago. Oh what a wonderful 20 years that was. Enjoying the Spring air with no worry of pollen count. My nose is runny, and red. My throat feels tender. My face hurts. Everything in my head feels itchy. I can hear fluid enter my ears while I blow my nose. My coworkers stare, silently telling me that they will not bless me after the third sneeze in a row. I carry around pocket hand sanitzer, as they are convinced I’m a germ cloud. I pick B up from work, tell him about my day, and he chuckles at my congested nasally voice. Personal tissues with Lotion sit at my desk at work. Honey and tea now sit with my regular sandwich in my lunchbox. (more…)

DIY: Family Tree

By Natalie

image (1)Many families choose have a gallery wall of family photos to display. I wanted to have something that incorporated our family in our home, but also fit well with our rustic theme. I came across this simple family tree on Pinterest. FamilyTree The best part about this project was that I didn’t have to purchase anything for it. Those are the best kind of DIYs. I have so many empty bottles and vases under my sink that I’m saving for some important purpose.Always good to save, you never know when they can come in handy.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Vase or bottle
  • Twigs from your own back yard
  • Yarn or String
  • Pictures, or Card stock to write names on.
  • Adhesive
  • Book Pages (Optional)
  • Pebbles (Optional)
  • Clothespins (Optional)

Decorate your vase however you’d like. I added a small piece of lace around mine. Toss your twigs in the vase, breaking off any small pieces that don’t fit right. I added small pebbles at the bottom of the vase to help the twigs stay as upright as possible. Then decide whether you want to cut out pictures of your family or write their names on paper. I preferred the uniform look of names on paper. Yes, I am that OCD. The book pages at the bottom of the cardstock was a last minute decision and I love the way they turned out! Old books are also a great thing to keep laying around. There are so many crafts that can be given a vintage touch by adding book pages. If you don’t have any books you want to tear the pages out of find out when your library is having a sale. Usually you can fill up a box or bag for chump change. Hit up Goodwill or a yard sale in the spring. My sister is a 4th grade teacher, and she was organizing her classroom’s library when she came across a beat up version of the Wizard of Oz. She was about to toss it as I looked on eagerly. Well if you’re going to toss it then I’ll take it! I said. A nice classic book is always nice to have for craft projects like this because if anyone gets close enough to read the page there won’t be anything odd on the cut outI’m speaking from personal experience of course.. If you are using book pages, cut them to fit the cardstock, and glue them together. Then punch holes through and attach the yarn. I used little clothespins I had from when I made my front door frame decor. If you don’t have clothespins you can always glue or tie your string to your cardstock or photo. All you have left to do is tie the string to the top of your twigs and voilà! You have yourself a family tree. image

Minestrone Soup

By Natalie

I’m a huge fan of one dish meals, which makes soup one of my favorite easy go to dinners. I just so happen to be making this soup tonight, as it’s an excellent soup to have on a rainy day with a sick hubby.


  •  1 can Great Northern Beans
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 3 Celery Stalks (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 oz Bacon
  • 3-4 Large Potatoes
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3.5 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Water
  • Fresh Pesto



Serves 6-8

Heat oil over medium heat in pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, and bacon. Cook for 10min or until onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and garlic (Zucchini, Cabbage; optional) stir. Add chicken broth, tomatoes with their juice, and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; Cover and simmer 30min or until veggies are tender.

Meanwhile prepare pesto. My pesto recipe is here.

Blend 1/2c beans with 1c of soup until pureed. Stir salt, bean puree, & remaining beans into soup. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover & simmer 10min. Garnish with dollops of pesto. This soup pairs well with fresh bread. If you’re feeling up for it this is the recipe I use.

Bon apétit!

1 2 3 4