Plants to grow and keep around:
     Peppermint, Rosemary, Garlic, Clove, Eucalyptus, Basil(lemon and cinnamon varieties work best), Lavender, Citronella Grass, Lemon Balm (often called Horse Mint), Marigolds, Catnip, Ageratum(often called Floss Flowers), Rose Geranium.


Suggestions on usage:
Peppermint-Make an infusion or an extract with vodka and a few of the leaves to use as a mist.
Rosemary-Best just grown and kept near your outdoor seating or activities.
Garlic-Even just eating more garlic in your diet can help as a repellant. (How you'll smell is a different story, hahaha!)
Clove-My suggestion is to put the whole cloves into an orange near where you'll be. (The smell is just like Christmas, all year long!)
Eucalyptus-My least favorite of all the smells...just sayin'. Can be grown near the needed area.
Basil-So many ways and uses! Great for growing for Italian foods AND repelling the mosquitoes. Who knew? The Lemon and cinnamon varieties of basil do work best as repellants. You can also rub the leaves right onto your skin.
Lavender-Just grow it near. I am sure it smells heavenly too.
Citronella Grass-Just like the name implies, it's where the oil in the stores comes from but, growing it yourself won't have all those crazy additives!
Lemon Balm (often called Horsemint)-I have found very little info on this but, I am guessing it smells good and is easily grown.
Marigolds-So pretty and a distinct smell. Grow them in pots, everywhere you can. Said to be HIGHLY effective in repelling not only mosquitoes but, deer won't eat them.
Catnip-So, in suggesting this I know I'll get some "if's, and's + but's"...Bring on every stray in the neighborhood. Just know that it's said to be 10X more effective than Deet! (WOWZA!)
Ageratum (often called Floss Flowers)-These often grow in the wild but, can be found at more selective stores.
Rose Geranium-The most commonly used repellant in South Africa. In researching all the above I learned these are quite the unique flower!

I suggested above about the Peppermint being made into an extract with vodka. SO many of the others above listed can be made into extracts also! Vodka is also a repellant so, have that martini while on the deck (please be responsible with it though, LOL!)

Best of luck and thank you for reading-
Jessica







 
 

All new tabbed, zippered and flat 5X 7 bags

Coming soon, will let ya know if I stay with Storenvy or go over to Etsy. -Jessica
 
 
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Not gonna tell a fib, I got the inspiration from Pinterest, and this will go to Pinterest, lol!

In the same tune as most of my recipes, I'll break down the budget friendly way and the "picky eater kid" way.

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St. Louis Style Pizza

MAKES 2 MEDIUM PIZZAS

1 cup Italian Cheese ($1)
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese ($1)
2-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil ($0.50-didn't use the whole bottle)
Italian Blend Ms.Dash-to taste-I use A TON! ($0.25-didn't use the whole bottle)
Classico Pizza Sauce-I go light on the sauce
($1-didn't use the whole jar)
                                                                Ready Made Dough-for 2 ($2.79)

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1. Set your oven to 350º
2. I recommend a pizza stone for crisp edges and a chewy middle. If you have one, oil it up WELL with about 1Tblspoon of oil. You can use just a regular pizza pan and just spray also. Set aside.
3. Roll out your dough (1/2 of the dough if your doing 2 pizzas!) on a well floured surface and flour up the rolling pin also. Pizza dough is VERY sticky! On a side note Pillsbury now makes Gluten Free dough in the fridge case! Exciting for us!
4. Transfer dough to your oiled stone and stretch it with your floured fingers as close to the edges as possible.
5. Spread on the sauce. Classico is Gluten Free! I like mine thin only cause I don't like soggy pizza.
6. Add on 1/2 cup Italian, and 1/2 cup Moz. cheese for the one pizza.
7. Add on the Ms. Dash Italian (we use this gluten free blend!) I used almost 2 Tablespoons worth for each pizza! I like a TON though.
8. Bake about 10-12 minutes per medium size pizza.
9. Enjoy and lemme know how you like it.

This time we ate one and froze one. Thats how we roll!

-Jessica -

 
 
You can find these wonderful stockings at Junk N The Trunk in Gallatin! They are reversible and only $15!!
they MIGHT also have some super cute bunting hanging that I can custom make, 4 yards is $10 and contain some WAY CUTE modern Christmas fabrics!!
My house is SLOWLY but surely getting Christmas-y :D I try to do a small tree with a different theme each year, this year it has blue decor, not yet put on in this picture...BUT, I am loving the little all metal tree, looks like a sculpture and not so CHRISTMAS TREE
A little throw-back, little man was 3 here, so stinking sweet. My dad as santa (tears at how much I love this picture!)
 
 
1 box WHITE cake mix
2 whole eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 ENTIRE lime
1 (7oz. bag) shredded coconut
These cost me less than $3!! 

1. Mix together in large bowl with a fork: Cake mix, Eggs, and Oil. 

2. Microplane the rind of the lime, as naked as you can get it, into a bowl! Ream juice, mine usually gives me about 1/4-1/3 cup juice...
3. Fold in all the lime juice and rind shavings and coconut into the #1 mix.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350* for about 11 minutes per sheet. Makes about 30 cookies!

Enjoy!!-Jessica

 
 
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Sweet Tea & Shopping was amazing! I got to be in the Red Barn this sale. What's that you say? Great "wall" behind me? I had some amazing booth neighbors this time who had walls already there for them. SCORE for me, lol!
These Sweet Tea sales are never disappointing and I am so very lucky to have been there for every one of them. Sadly I will not be at the Last Chance Santa sale this year...too many conflicting orders and events both before and after.

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I am finally into a local boutique! I could NOT BE MORE EXCITED! Through the roof, beyond words or measure. Bella Grace Collections is at 109 Walton Ferry Road, Hendersonville, TN. Would love to have you stop in and shop there. Christina Cavin is the owner and she's the biggest reason I decided to take the plunge to even be in a store. It makes all the difference to know, like and feel a kinship with a shop owner. I feel like we were put into each others lives for all the right reasons. Blessed we both are! Look right below here for some great pics of my stuff in there...(the best part, it's not really a "booth" It's all shared space!) Tons of the great vendors there are personal friends and about 80% of the vendors are Hendersonville residents. SO wonderful

Thank you for your continued support! -Jessica

 
 
This will no doubt be the project that will take FOREVER. Kinda sad but, it's a project that's "for me". I chose the easiest way to make a quilt I could even think of, 5" squares and using all my scraps. This has gotta be easy, right?!? Well, straight lines, lots of them are the fun and VERY easy part. Problem: I am not a GIANT fan of ironing, BAHAHAHA, how many really "like it"
Hoping to make my grandma's proud. The ones in heaven and the one still here. Some talented stock I come from. I am blessed and beyond lucky to have learned that the payoff is slow to come but, so amazingly worth it.
On to what is shaping up to be another insanely scheduled Christmas season in sewing land I am setting a goal that it's done as my gift to myself and Craven as our Christmas present! Can I insert a subliminal message of "buy handmade" this season? 

Thanks for listening and reading! Your support of my talents is what keeps me going :)
-Jessica

 
 
Buttermilk Biscuits:

1 3/4 cup ALL-PURPOSE flour
1/3 cup CAKE flour
1 TBLSP baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 TSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 TBLSP COLD UNSALTED butter
3/4 cup COLD buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425º. Make sure to line pan w/ paper or use SILPAT®.
Sift together: flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar & salt.
Mix butter into flour mixture-I use a pastry cutter BUT, my grandma did it with her bare hands to melt the butter a little with the heat from her hands! Do this until little "pebbles/chunks" form.
Pour in the buttermilk SLOWLY and stir with a fork until THICK dough forms. Kneed 3 or 4 times until it's workable. 
Lightly dust your surface (I use a SUPER clean countertop) quickly roll out dough into about 
1/2 inch thick dough and use a minimum 2 inch biscuit cutter. Mine is a BIG one, about 3 inches wide, old, antique, and well, gotten some good usage!
Makes 12 biscuits. Bake at 425º for 14-18 minutes until lightly brown and poofy.


Vanilla Bean Butter:

1 stick UNSALTED butter
1 vanilla bean (I find them at World Market®! <3 that place!!)
2 TBLSP white sugar


This is so simple I have trouble writing this out! 
PREP: leave butter out of fridge till room temp and spreadable. 
Cut open vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the "caviar" meaning all the little specks, smells like pure heaven!
Throw butter into a bowl and mix in vanilla caviar and sugar then store in a fancy air-tight container! I can't stress enough air-tight (even UBER fridges can make butter smell FOUL!)
 
 

French Toast Casserole

Okay, so, lemme apologize for lack of step-by-step photos...freezer cooking all day yesterday causes that...also wanna say that I tend to take about 8-10 established recipes and use my favorite parts of them all. I am a single momma and just know that every recipe I make is most likely something my picky ASD (now 4, 5 in October) little guy will eat, and it's gotta be "on-the-cheap"!
Gotta haves:
Bread, of some type-I got SUPER lucky and got mini croissants for $2!! Using 2 of the shallow throw-away type pans ($1 at Grocery) it took 18 mini's. I would say if you used just white bread it would take a loaf for the 2 pans! a crusty french would be amazing in this too!
Wet Ingredients....
Non-Stick Cooking Spray $0.25-I LOVE butter flavored Crisco
2 Cups whole milk (about $1)
1 Cup heavy cream (about $1)
8 eggs (that's for 2 pans worth) $1
2 Cups white Sugar $1
4 Tablespoons Vanilla (I make my own, so, I am guessing at $1)
Dry Ingredients....
2 Cups Brown Sugar $1
2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon $1

To Do List:
First things first, open those pans and clean them out! I happened to buy the dusty ones, ewwww....Spray with non-stick cooking Spray. 
Tear up your bread! fill both pans up to an inch higher than the rim, sinks when liquid is soaked up!
Wisk together the milk, cream, eggs, white sugar. then slowly stir in vanilla.
Pour this good smelling mix over the bread, mash it down a little if it seems too tall to put foil over. Make sure you get it all good and coated! 
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. pour on top of wet casserole.

Now, you have the choice of letting it sit overnight, cooking right away or wrapping tightly to be frozen! This is why I make 2. One for now, one for later. 
For baking I go with 375* for 30 minutes if NOT frozen or 55-75 if frozen.

Great topping options: syrup, butter, fruit (think strawberries or blueberries)

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hot outta the oven with syrup!

With  warm hugs and love
-Jessica-

 
 
Booth at the back-to-school affair:
totes, scarves, bags, sunglasses cases, teeny's. such beauty!
much love-Jessica