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Warm Pie Happy Home

My Summertime Favorites: Southern Watermelon Iced Tea, Susan Branch, Billie Holiday, Plum Jam, Home Grown Tomatoes and so much more & a Give-Away!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on June 4th, 2015

aunt ruthie in the ozarks

Well howdy-do Sugar Pie! Thank you so-so much for stopping by! I’ve been a busy gal tending to my garden. We’ve had so much rain that the weeds have really taking over.  Fortunately, my pumpkin plants are growing good and strong! Here’s the crazy thing…once again I’m growing another “accidental” pumpkin patch again this year. Although, this time I think I should say “intentional-accidental!” What I mean is, we intentionally threw our pumpkins over our deck onto my garden plot this past winter and WA-LAH! (Voila!)…pumpkin plants started popping up all over this spring! Makes this mama happy!

Here I am with my faded, vintage granny apron on (that I bought for $3 at a flea market here in the Ozarks) and my bandana on my head to keep the wind from blowing my hair across my face and sticking to my lipstick…ha! Yes, I wear lipstick while gardening! Like I always say “If the barn needs paintin’…paint it!” Hee hee! That’s how I roll sistah! :D

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Chicken boots and pumpkin plants. Yee Haw!

I got my chicken boots at Gardener’s…CLICK HERE…hurry! Run like a chicken with it’s head cut off and go get a pair of your own chicken boots! They’re on sale now!!

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Meanwhile inside my house…OH DEAR, we had (key-word “had”) a mouse in the house. Eeeeek! Lord have mercy! That there, is life in the country, by golly! I can tolerate a lot of things but not that! There’s only one mouse that I like and his name is Mickey. Other than him, the very minute I see evidence (poop) of a mouse, I declare war! I search for any points of entry to find out how he got in. I lay sticky glue traps (affiliate) everywhere!  Fortunately, and thank The Lord we caught that rascal! Those sticky traps are the best thing since sliced bread, I tell ya!

Well, I had to scrub and scrub everything that got in it’s path.  For some reason he walked through my beloved apron drawer. OH GOOD GRAVY! So I grabbed all of my aprons and pushed them into the washing machine and set it on the Sanitize cycle, which runs for about 2 hours. Oh Lawdy! When I went to transfer them into the dryer I found my aprons were tied together in a million knots! Wet knots at that! I coudn’t believe it! Seriously, I kept staring at this jumbled ball of soggy aprons twirled together like spaghetti on a fork. I kept thinking, what do I do now?? I called my daughter Summer to come see…she burst into a belly laugh and then we laughed ourselves silly. Then we got busy untangling that mess. It took us about 30 minutes. But I think the memory of it will last a lifetime! Note to self: Don’t launder a bunch of untied aprons together! Sheeeze!

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Well, in other news, the good ol’ summertime is here at last! Yay!!! Fresh fruit from the farmer’s markets, slip-in-slides, sparkler’s on warm, starry 4th of July nights, family get-togethers…

my ozark backyardSummer rainstorms…blue skies…puffy clouds lazily drifting by…

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Growing my kitchen garden…

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and my favorite homegrown cherry tomatoes warm from the sun…

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daisy fresh, sunny mornings…

IMG_3414…summertime fishin’ with my kids and grand babies! And another soon-to-be summer favorite is my  new grandbaby that’s on the way! My son Dusty and daughter-in-love Kimmy are expecting their 3rd in July! We don’t know what they’re having yet! It’s going to be a surprise!

IMG_2315More summertime favorites are dining outdoors…

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and making my most favorite Plum jam!

IMG_3150Recently I made a batch of Strawberry Rhubarb jam…soooo yummy! I kept taste-testing spoonfuls at a time…well I had to make sure it tasted right don’t-cha-know! Ha!

southern watermelon iced tea

And here’s a new-to-me summertime favorite! Watermelon Iced Tea! My son J.J. called me the other day and told me about it. He thought I might like to share it with y’all on my blog…isn’t that just the cutest! I love how he was thinking about his mama and her blog! Well, he said he was at a restaurant and they were serving this delicious watermelon iced tea. He said he loved it and that it was really refreshing. So I googled it and come to find out it’s an old southern recipe!

Basically, you make a pitcher of iced tea (minus two cups) and add two cups of pureed watermelon from the blender (that’s about 3 cups of chopped watermelon). Make sure the watermelon has great flavor and is nice and sweet. Sometimes the watermelon’s that we buy turns out to be a tasteless, grainy dud. It’s not going to taste any better in your iced tea either. Now if you want your tea even sweeter go ahead and add sugar to taste,  a simple syrup or honey. You can also add fresh mint or basil too! Then just pour over a tall glass filled with ice. It’s a refreshing twist to plain iced tea. I’m thinking peach iced tea would be yummy too!

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Another summer favorite of mine: It’s the perfect music for  sitting-on-the-porch, watching-fireflies-dance-on-sultry-evenings, while you’re sipping an ice cold glass of Southern Watermelon Iced Tea…it’s Billie Holiday! I love the way she sings “Summertime…and the livin’ is easy…fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high”. Ahhhh! It’s the simple things in life that are so sweet! Click here to listen to a sampler of her 1940’s blue-zy, southern sound! (affiliate)

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Every summer I have to pull out one of my favorite Summer books to get me in the summertime mood! It’s Susan Branch’s The Summer Book! Oh how I love her stories, charming illustrations and recipes! I just love her!

wf-cover-web-386x4991Hey speaking of Summertime books! Hee hee! If you’ve never picked up my summer ebook Watermelon & Fireflies…you  need to get you one right here!!

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It’s jam packed with vintage goodness!

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Recipes, stories, family fun ideas!

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51 Farm Fresh Ideas Fo Celebrating The Good Ol’ Summertime!

back in the day bakery book and more

And now for my give-away! Lots of sweet-as-pie goodies for one soon-to-be happy gal! The darling new Back in the Day Cookbook, a super yummy Georgia Peach scented candle, adorable Fresh Milk-Milk Bottle night light from Cracker Barrel, and as sweet set of Mama Hen and her chicks measuring spoons!

So here’s the deal, I need your help so I’m having this give-away!

My heart’s passion is to encourage you to be the best mama, wife, woman, and/or  homemaker that you can be (by homemaker I mean any woman that loves her home and wants to create a safe, happy place for her family– whether she works outside the home or inside the home). That’s what Sugar Pie Farmhouse/ Warm Pie, Happy Home is all about.

I want to continue sharing with you valuable tips that I’ve learned through my 37 years of marriage and homemaking and 33 years of being a mama to four kids! Believe me when I tell you that I’ve had my share of challenges and difficulties keeping my home organized, raising my babies,  and keeping my marriage strong. Not to mention going through post-partum depression, infertility (for three years), feelings of self-doubt and failure. But I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be perfect and that Jesus is right by my side, and that He has an amazing plan for my life as He does yours! I’ve learned the secret to joy and focusing on one of the most important things in my life which is making sure my family feels loved, blessed and cared for.

All that to say this; I love you my Sugar Pie Sister so very much, you are so dear to my heart and so when you take your precious time to come here I want to provide you with the most value that I possibly can. I don’t want to waste your time or mine. I need to know how I can best help you find joy and contentment in life. Not that I have all the answers, but I have a whole lot of experience behind me that I want to share with you!

So here’s where I need your help:

  • I want to know what is your greatest frustration in life? As a woman, homemaker, wife, mother, Christian?
  • What are your pain-points, challenges, or obstacles?
  • Are you stressed out? With what?
  • What do you struggle with?
  • What are you anxious about?

Here’s the thing, we all struggle with stuff! We’re all in the same boat! Let’s help each other!

Just leave me a comment below with the answer to one of these questions and you will be put into the drawing to win all of those darling goodies pictured above. I will be choosing the winner randomly June 18th. 

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God bless you dear one! Just the fact that you are here tells me you have a heart for home, family and sweet vintage goodness just like me!
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 Thank you so much for participating in this give-away!

I can’t wait to dig in and find out ways that I can help you best!

Sending you sweet-as-pie hugs and blessings!

Aunt Ruthie

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Warm Pie Happy Home

5 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE HOME SWEETER

Written by Aunt Ruthie on May 18th, 2015

make home sweeter 5 tips

 

HOME SWEET HOME! Ahhh…such wonderful, comforting, words. We all want that safe, cozy, “it’s-good-to-be-home” feeling when we walk in the door. We want to look around and see our rooms, fresh and clean, nice and tidy, filled with beauty and smelling like peach pie baking, right?

Oh but…there’s that pile of laundry that’s been getting bigger by the minute.

  • And you’ve looked high and low for a pair of scissors and some tape to wrap that gift for your child’s teacher (knowing you have 7 pairs of scissors in the house somewhere! Oh for goodness sake!)
  • The garage really, really, really, needs to be cleaned out, and there doesn’t seem to be a good time to do it. So it weighs heavy on your mind.
  • You didn’t sleep very well last night.
  • The dishwasher is making a wierd sound. May have to call the repair man.
  • There’s a mouse in the house. (eek!)
  • The kids are cranky.
  • You have to bake 5 dozen cookies for a bake sale.
  • You’re worried about a loved one.
  • It’s that time of the month or those hot flashes keep coming and you have 5 more years to go with those. :/
  • You feel overstretched and worn out.
  • You don’t feel understood or appreciated.
  • And oh and by the way, you forgot about your dentist appointment yesterday. :/

That’s enough to make a mama a little flustered, crabby and overwhelmed. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

We  know how that old saying goes “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”…well that is so true! It’s because we are the nest builder. We set the tone in the home. A happy Mama makes a happy home. A crabby mama makes…well…she makes a home upset. Our little chickies follow our lead. Happy, sad, angry or content. Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.”

As a Mama of four, I’ve experienced all of the challenges above. But throughout the years I’ve learned that in order to create our “home sweet home” it starts with the Mama. Mama needs to get happy. But the question is, how do we find and keep our joy when each day brings so many challenges?

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Here are 5 tips that will help you keep the “Sweet” in Home Sweet Home:

1. Prepare the night before:

  • Get things ready for tomorrow. Clothes, papers, homework, backpacks, & lunches. Make a to-do list for the next day. Put a star by the three of the most important things you really need to get done. In the summertime make a to-do list for your kids too, this can include chores, projects, reading and fun things too.
  • I review my daily planner each night so I know what appointments I might have. Writing things down goes a long way to relieving stress. Trying to remember everything we need to do in our head is draining, it creates a gnawing feeling that we are forgetting something and sometimes we do! (ugh!)
  •  Prepare your home for tomorrow’s sweet success by making sure the kitchen is clean (waking up to last nights dirty dinner dishes in the sink will not add sweetness to your day). Start the dishwasher and plan to empty it in the morning, so any dirty dishes throughout the day can go right back into the dishwasher.
  • Before bedtime, set your timer for 15 minutes and do a quick tidy-up around your house. If you have kids at home, do this with them. Put on fun music and make it a game of beat the clock!
  • Prepare for bedtime an hour before you go to bed. Wash your face, brush teeth, jammies on, dim lights. Once you’re in bed think of one wonderful thing that happened that day to thank the Lord for.  Sweet dreams.

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2.  Start the day in quiet prayer.

  • Go to the Lord with a thankful heart.
  • Ask Him to give you wisdom and strength for the day.
  • Tell your Heavenly Papa all about your worries and cares. “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7
  • Trust God to help you. Rely upon Him.
  • My goal is to get up at 5:30 AM to spend time with God (although sometimes, if I didn’t sleep very well the night before, I give myself grace and get a little more rest, then I grab my prayer basket and have my little talk with Jesus).
  • During my quiet time I’ll get a tall glass of water then read God’s Word and write in my journal…things God is speaking to my heart.
  •  I use The Daily Walk Bible (Affiliate)  It offers a simple daily reading plan that enables you to read the Bible in a year. I love that it gives a short overview and commentary before you read the scripture passage so you’ll have better understanding and perspective to apply it to your life. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned and grown spiritually using this system. The pages are dated and it starts in January,  but I don’t pay attention to the dates, because if you skip a day or two you’ll feel like you’re too far behind to catch up. The dates don’t matter. What matters is reading God’s Word.  When we put the Lord first, the rest will be blessed. Sweet!

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

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3. Live the Golden Rule: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12.

  • Be the kind of Mama you would like to have if you were a little girl again. This takes some purposeful thought. Create the kind of home they feel cherished in. Warm, loving, and safe emotionally and physically.
  • We need to speak to our children with words of encouragement. Even when we must dicipline them, we can do so firmly but kindly.
  • Take time to have fun with your kids.
  • Point out the things you love about them.
  • Let them know what talents and gifts God has blessed them with.
  • We are creating memories for them…good or bad.
  • Think of things you can do as a family to help others.
  • Treat your hubby the way you would like to be treated.
  • Speak to him with words of appreciation and respect.
  • Kiss, hug, and hold hands as often as you can.
  • Be sweet to him.
  • Be a blessing.

“Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” ~unknown

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4. Organize something: Everytime I clean out a closet or a cupboard I always go back and look at it several times that day. It just makes me feel so happy that I finally got it done and it looks so good!

  • Even if it’s just one drawer, or one shelf. Set your timer for 15 minutes. You’ll be so surprised what you can do in 15 minutes!
  • It will give you a wonderful and sweet sense of accomplishment.
  • You’ll be able to find things when you look for them! Now that’s sweet!
  • Turn off the TV and put some music on before you get started.
  • Sometimes I’ll get my organizing-juices flowing by purchasing something to organize with, like a couple of bins, trays, jars, buckets, new file folders, etc. Then I can’t wait to get home and get started.
  • Take everything out of the drawer or off the shelf. Everything. It won’t work well if you just shift things around. Wipe clean the space. Then, only put back what goes there and just what you need.
  • Simplify. Get rid of excess stuff. (I’m preaching to the choir here…I’m working on it!)

COVER 4 5. Take care of your body and give yourself grace (favor, approval, blessing):

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, weight gain and a bunch of other problems. First thing in the morning drink a tall glass of water, then continue throughout the day.
  • Move. Walk. Stretch. Exercise. It makes your brain, muscles, heart, lungs,  and bones stronger. Without exercise they become weaker. “Move it or lose it” as they say. Exercise lifts your mood too. Click here and Read this for an eye opening perspective.
  • Giving grace to yourself means to be your own best friend (or be you’re own loving and encouraging mama). That means talk to yourself the way a friend would talk to you. Not with words of disgust and disappointment. But with words of encouragement and hope!
  • Forgive yourself and forgive others quickly. Don’t hold any grudges. Give grace to others. Remember the Golden Rule!
  • Giving yourself grace does not mean you can have a pity-party. Feeling sorry for yourself will only cause you to feel blue and unhappy. Instead, count your blessings. Think about what you’re thankful for. You can’t be grateful and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Thankful people are happy people.
  •  Know that no one, and I mean no one, can take your place. You are lovable, beautiful and a blessing.  Tell yourself  “if I were any peachier I’d be a pie!” :D
  • You don’t have to be perfect (who is??).
  • Smile! Even if you don’t feel like it. It actually affects you physically in a good way. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. It releases endorphines which give you a feeling of well being. Not to mention that your smile makes others feel good too.
  • Make time to do those things that you love! Have something to look forward to. Treat yourself! Be sweet to dear, adorable, you!

“Have courage and be kind” ~ Cinderella’s Mama

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These tips are standards to live up to. They are choices that must be made daily. They won’t necessarily happen on their own. We must be intentional. Every. Single. Day. And when things fall apart and we don’t do the things we meant to do, or wanted to do, so what? We have a fresh start tomorrow. No big deal! But we should do our best to live our best life. John Maxwell says, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

It’s so easy to live in survival mode, haphazardly responding to things that arise throughout the day. It’s “Putting out fires” so to speak, but not really living intentionaly.  It’s easy not putting in the effort, but it makes our life much more difficult later, in our home, relationships, emotionally and physically.

Then we wonder why we’re not getting anything accomplished. Why our home-life is not sweet. It’s because we didn’t set a standard for what we want in life. How we want our life to be. How we want our home to look (clean and organized)  and feel (cozy and cheerful) when our family walks in the door. We wonder why life feels so chaotic and hard. We need to make a plan (and stick to it)  to create the kind of home our family loves to be.  When we do, we can be sure that we won’t miss out on the joy and satisfaction of our work well done at the end of the day.

  • You know that feeling when your family has gathered around the table for supper for the nutritious meal you prepared and there’s laughter and good converstation.
  • Then the kids are bathed, kissed and all snug, safe and sound in their beds.
  • The dishwasher hums as you turn off the kitchen light, smiling with sweet contentment that you’ll be greeted in the morning with a fresh, cheery kitchen.
  • The things you need for tomorrow are laid out for the next day.
  • You take one more gleeful peek at the pantry you organized earlier that day with a happy sigh.
  • And as you pitter-patter off to bed with a grateful heart you’re feeling blessed that even with the challenges of the day, some good things happened.
  • And Tomorrow is a new day with a fresh start.
  • Life is good.

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” Galatians 6:9

Thank you so much for coming by

for some Home Sweet Home Pie!

I would love to know if this post resonated with you!

It will help me know if I’m providing value for you.

What things do you do to make your home sweeter?

Lots of love and hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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