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September 2017

August 2017



I thought it would be fun to start a "Favorites Friday" feature here where I share with you some of my current favorite things. I have to admit that my list of favorites is as varied as it is long and seems to be ever changing.

Today I'll start by sharing my new found love for Ghee.



Since moving to Kansas I've tried to pay a little more attention to my health and how what I eat makes me feel. I could write a whole blog post about my diet and how what I eat (and don't eat) has helped the way I feel and someday I will, but basically I've noticed that I can be prone to inflammation and consequently have pretty much eliminated dairy from my diet (except for an occasional small jar of yogurt).Wink

I found this brand of ghee one day while combing the grocery aisles for some healthy food alternatives. If I'm perfectly honest here, it was the label that drew me to this particular brand - you all know what a sucker I am for packaging. Having never tasted ghee, I really didn't know what to expect. What I've discovered is that ghee is delicious!

Here's the deal in a nut shell: ghee is clarified butter that has been cooked down for hours resulting in a naturally rich golden oil with an amazingly intense buttery flavor. Because it's lactose-free, ghee is the perfect fat in which to cook my morning eggs. It isn't considered a dairy so it doesn't contribute to my inflammation (ghee actually claims it can decrease inflamation) yet it adds a decadence to my eggs that I absolutely love. It seriously transforms a common fried egg to something special. 

 I just wanted to share this new find with you here and to encourage you to pay attention to the way your body reacts to the foods you eat - it may be trying to tell you something, you just need to be still and listen. 

Thanks for your comments. Love you guys! Hearts

Encourage one another,


This post is not sponsored and the opinions and observations are strictly my own.


What to do with Those Cute Little French Yogurt Pots - Part Deux

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Let's start this second part of our series, "What to do with Those Empty Yogurt Jars" by talking about lids. Several of you commented that you wish that they had a reusable lid. So I did a little research and guess what?




photo credit Oui Lids

These are from an Etsy shop, Oui Lids. Since they are custom made using a 3D printer they are a bit pricey but they fit well and because they are made of plant based bio-degradable material they help keep the planet happy. A win-win in my book.


Much to my delight I discovered that the small lids and rubber rings from one of my all time favorite canning jars, Weck (you know, the ones with the embossed strawberry) fits the Oui jars perfectly. The problem was that I couldn't find anyplace that sold just the lids, rings and clips until one night while combing the web I stumbled upon this website. These glass lids add the perfect amount of old world charm to your Oui jar while keeping its contents safely inside. I can't tell you how excited I was to find these.


Here they are with their new lids. Adorable!


 Now let's get going with more ideas using Yoplait's Oui jars.

Idea #1 Planters


About seven days ago I filled my empty Oui jars with sand, added some rye seed, kept them damp and watched them grow. Since then I found out that wheat seed might have been a better choice producing a broader blade. However my resident grass man assures me the rye will fatten up with time. I'll get back to you on that. (He was right, why do I doubt him? Four days later and I have a thick forest growing from my jars). See...


You probably will want to give your jars a good ten to fourteen days to grow before you need them. I love that you can see some of the roots through the glass too.


I think these would be such fun projects to do with children and would be a good way to get them involved with your Easter table decorations. 


Once the grass has sprouted and gets to the desired height just add chicks, nests and eggs. I added cut flower stems to fill in a bit. I think it would be fun to do a slightly different one for each place setting and if you're like me you probably wouldn't need to buy a thing.


 Can we take a moment to talk about chenille chicks?


What would spring be without them? As grandmothers I think it's our moral obligation to perpetuate the tradition of chenille chicks. Don't you agree?


Awk! The cuteness! Now back to more ideas...


Idea #2 Mod Podge

These next ideas all involve Mod Podge and a few other basic supplies.


I love these sweet Liberty of London cocktail napkins with their scalloped edges.


I simply separated the three plys and using Mod Podge, decoupaged the single ply of printed paper to the outside of the jar. 


I saw this next idea on Pinterest and thought it was so clever. I painted the outside of the jar with Mod Podge and rolled it in Epsom salts then added an embellishment and a candle  


to create a snowy candle holder.


The next one is a little hard to see but I added water and food coloring to Mod Podge, coated the inside of the jar with the solution then baked it until clear and dry. You can find complete instructions here.




Idea #3 Miniatures Under Glass 


I found the best place to buy itty bitty miniatures is Michaels. I think this would be an especially fun project for kids. I just cut a circle from construction paper then glued on the minis. Once dry I  applied Elmer's glue to the jar rim and attached it to the paper.


Idea #4 Snow Globe


To make a snow globe just add snowy beads (Hobby Lobby)


before gluing the jar to the paper round. I know what you're thinking - that glitter would be pretty, but trust me on this one. Glitter sticks to the inside walls of the jar. No Bueno.


Idea #5 Food

I love putting small bites into tiny jars and then serving them with little spoons (World Market). If you've attended BERNINA Club at Strawberry Patches in the past you've probably been served cheesecake, chocolate trifle, or banana pudding in a tiny glass containers. Gosh, one time I even served a class homemade tomato soup in small jars. Pinterest is full of recipes for desserts served in jars and I will link my Pinterest board here or some additional inspiration.

Oui jars are a perfect choice for serving and giving food.


Homemade jelly can be sealed with paraffin and topped with a cupcake paper. To secure the papers I lightly brushed the rim of the jars with a little Elmer's Glue and added a twine bow.


These would be cute as party favors. You'll have to imagine the above jar filled with candy corn. Candy corn is my nemesis so needless to say I can't be trusted buying it.


The very simplest dessert feels extra special in tiny jars and served with demitasse spoons


and because you have to take tiny bites you are forced to slow down and savor every delicious mouthful.


Here are some great additional ideas from some of our girl friends that were so generous to share:

Pam Vieira-McGinnis

Pam Vieira-McGinnis AKA Pam Kitty Morning - the jar is the perfect shape for the stem of her darling mushroom pincushion.

Karen Fabec

Karen Fabec used a vintage cookie cutter for a lid to her new sugar bowl. So clever.

Ginie Lewis

Ginie Lewis - sometimes labels are just too charming to remove. HeartsI love the Asian fusion here.


Margaret Palmer - first day of school flowers for the teacher.


Misty Cheshier - perfect. I love her addition of a charm.


Here is a link to my Oui board on Pinterest where you can find photos of all the ideas in my two posts.


Thank you Yoplait for taking a chance and introducing Americans to yogurt cultured in glass pots.  You've not only introduced us to the most incredible, fresh tasting, all natural yogurt but have provided us with an endless supply of crafting supplies.  HeartsNous vous aimons pour cela!

Encourage one another,


This post was not sponsored and all ideas, photos and opinions are my own except where noted.

Don't forget to subscribe to this blogs feed and I'd love for you to comment below. If you have questions or ideas for future blog posts please leave them in the comments. I love you guys.

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Jars, Jars and More Jars - But Not What You May Think


First of all I want to thank you all for your encouragement on my first blog post. It was so fun to read the comments and names of long time friends that gathered here. Your excitement and love makes me want to be better.HeartsThank you for that. 


Today I wanted to show you a little bit of my home here in Kansas and how I am attempting to organize my sewing and craft supplies now that I no longer have a dedicated sewing room. It's been challenging and at times frustrating not having everything together and in plain view. This week I purchased a simple organizing unit that I absolutely love and wanted to share it with you because I imagine that there are others out there without the space they wish they had.

One thing I had to give up when we downsized and moved to Kansas was my sewing room (have I mentioned that I lost my sewing room?) If you were a reader of my previous blog you probably remember some of these photos. Oh, how I loved that space. (Stop your whining Suzanne). 

Suzanne's sewing room2

A few years before we decided to move I did a major purge, getting rid of stuff I never used. Then I totally organized the space.

Suzanne's sewing room4

I bought dozens of jars in every size to store my trinkets and doodads and clear plastic bins to house fabric and bulkier items. 

Suzanne's sewing room3

Everything was labeled and in plain view and for the first time in my life I knew what I had and exactly where to find it. Being organized was surprisingly liberating and calming for me and I think it helped me feel more creative. If you've ever thought of doing a major purge, I highly recommend it.


I loved those jars so much that even though we sold almost all of our furniture and brought relatively little with us to Kansas the jars and most of their contents came with us. 


I have my priorities.


Although I lost a sewing room I gained an awesome pantry


so I just repurposed my bigger glass jars and filled them with beans instead of buttons,  flour instead of flowers. Now I have pretty much everything I need for those days when we get snowed in - I'm still waiting for a really big snow storm but when it comes, I'll be ready. We certainly won't starve in the mean time.


I love my jars no matter what's inside them.

So now the big jars had a new home and purpose but there were still about fifty of these little guys that needed to be better displayed for easier access.


This is where that new organizing unit that I was telling you about comes in. Last week while roaming the isles of The Container Store (I do that sometimes. Weird, I know.) I discovered this over the door Pantry Wall Rack from Elfa and thought, hum.....


The cool thing is that it doesn't require screws so it doesn't deface your door and because it doesn't need screws, I didn't need Bill to do the installation!

Helpful hint: Anytime you can keep your hubby from seeing how much stuff you have, the better! Somethings are just better kept to oneself, if you know what I mean. 


The center bracket just hooks over the top and bottom of the door and the shelves are customizable for your specific needs.


The whole thing cost me right at $200 with the additional shelves and those square containers on the bottom three shelves.



Over the Door Pantry unit $200, being able to see all my fun little embellishments in one place, priceless.


Just inside the closet is my Bisley eight drawer storage cabinet 


which houses my basic sewing supplies.


This tiny space is starting to make me feel very happy, I think it will suit my needs just fine.  

Later I'll take you down into our basement/tornado cellar (just kidding - sort of) to show you where the rest of my stuff is stored. Then next time I'll share more Oui yogurt jar ideas. I've received some awesome ideas from some of you so if you've done something creative with your empty jars be sure and share over on my Facebook page so I can share them with you all here.

               Stay tuned

More jar fun ahead!

Encourage one another,

SignatureAKA "The Jar Lady"

This post is not sponsored and opinions, ideas and photographs are my own. 

Thank you for being patient with me on the subscribe button. I think (hope) it's working now.  


Let's Get This Party Started!

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Well, hello. Welcome to My Retired Life on the Prairie!

So much has happened over the past year and I know we will catch here up as we go along, but here's the gist: Bill and I both retired in June of 2016, sold our Bakersfield home, moved to Overland Park, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City) in July, and got a puppy at the end of October. I feel like I've spent the past year recovering from the move, dealing with multiple insurance claims, decorating our new home (we sold everything and started over) and potty training our Shih Tzu puppy, Bailey. All while trying to manage my on-going health issues. Right now I'm feeling a little like a bear just coming out of hibernation. Stress, exhaustion, frustration and sleep deprivation can drain one of any creative thoughts or inclinations. 

A few weeks ago I happened to buy a new yogurt by Yoplait called Oui. Besides being the best yogurt I've had this side of France, it came in the cutest little glass jars. When I shared it on Facebook my friends asked me what I was going to do with the empty jars. I guess you could say Oui was the yogurt that started a blog because my previously dormant creative brain started to wake up and run wild with all the fun things that I could create with those little jars and what better way to share than with a blog?!

I know a lot of people don't read blogs like they used to, I know I don't read as many as I once did, but I still enjoy staying connected and am constantly inspired by my internet friends and their creative posts. Last week I mentioned that I was thinking about blogging again and many long time friends were so encouraging. Thank you!

So,  without further ado here is Part One of my, "What to do with Those Cute Little Glass Yogurt Jars" and my very first blog post from the Prairie:


Let me introduce you to Oui.


photo credit Pinterest

First off, you need to know that the yogurt is divine, but to be perfectly honest, Yoplait had me at the tiny glass jars. You may know that I'm a nut for dishes and cute unexpected ways to serve bite sized treats using cute little spoons (World Market) in cute little containers.


I'm thinking Oui and I are going to be great friends.



The first thing you'll want to do (after savoring the yummy yogurt of course) is to thoroughly wash the jars and remove all the sticky residue left from the labels. The labels peel off easily but you'll probably need to use Goo Begone, nail polish remover, or lavender essential oils to get all of the gunk off (thank you Amanda for that tip, it worked like a charm).  


Once rinsed and dried you're ready to get creative.

Idea #1 Flower Vase

The first idea I had was some kind of flower vase. On a trip to Michael's I found these Mason Jar flower grids and they fit perfectly! (Hobby Lobby sells something similar but Michael's are less expensive - two for $1.99 and they are slightly smaller and lighter weight than the ones at Hobby Lobby so they fit the tops of the jars better).


The grids keep the flowers in place and keep the flowers from toppling over. You need these!

You'll also need to secure the grids to the top of the jars. I found these adhesive dots to do the trick. You could also tape the grids on but the dots are easily removed when you change water or flowers. See how perfectly the grid fits?

*One helpful hint is to take an empty jar with you when you go shopping for supplies. These jars are small and sometimes you think something is going to work only to get home and discover that what you bought is too big.


Now you simply fill your tiny vases with flowers, either from your garden or from the grocery store. *Helpful hint: I found that Trader Joe's sells short stemmed bouquets for $3.99 - enough for about four jars. You end up cutting the stems off anyway so no need to pay for long stems that you don't need.


You can tie on a ribbon or a piece of antique lace around the jar. Perfect as a teacher gift, for your manicurist, hair dresser, neighbor, office buddy


or as a holiday gift or place setting for a shower or ladies luncheon.

 Or you can be like me and keep them for yourself. They just brighten up any spot wherever you place them.


You can cluster two or more jars together for a bigger impact. This cute iron tray was on sale at Hobby Lobby for $6. How cute would that be for a birthday gift? All for under $10!


You can see the wire grid there doing its job keeping the flowers from falling out.




How sweet is this as a place card holder that guests can take home? The uses and possibilities are endless and the best part is that they are so inexpensive and quick to make.


Here's one without the grid, filled with sand and moss and a faux succulent. I love tucking these into bookshelves and cabinets for a pop of green color and a bit of texture. 



Idea #2 Hanging Flower Vase



I found these wire handles at Hobby Lobby, three for $6.99 (before coupon) and was thrilled to discover that they were the perfect size for the tops of the jars!


Simply attach them to the tops of your gridded jars and you can hang them on a hook or knob. I found the wooden peg rack on sale at Hobby Lobby for $6.99. I thought when I bought it that I would use it here for my photos then return it (don't tell) but I loved it so much in my office that I went back to Hobby Lobby and bought the sign to go over it. I can't tell you how happy those fresh flowers hanging there near my computer makes me feel! It's the little things, right?

If you look carefully you can see the wire grid there with the handle.


(Practicing my photography here).


If you don't want to deal with the expense of the wire hangers you can just tie twine or jute around the top of the jar and hang them on a chair,


from a tree or garden hook. These are an unexpected way to add a festive look to a garden party.


Idea #3 Cloche

I was just getting warmed up when I thought, what would happen if I flipped the jar over and added a knob to the top?


Cloche!! Oh, Oui!

The knobs are sold individually at Hobby Lobby for just a dollar or two and I've also purchased some assorted packaged tiny knobs by Tim Holtz. I simply cut off the metal shank and Super Glued them to the top (or should I say bottom) of the jars. A cute cupcake stand finishes the look.


The decals are Stick.A.Bilities by Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby).


I love them because they are clear as opposed to traditional paper stickers so they allow you to see what's inside the cloche. They come in tons of styles.


The macrons are from Trader Joe's. What party goer or birthday girl wouldn't feel special receiving one of these?


Wouldn't it be fun to leave this on someone's desk when they weren't looking and then just stand back and watch the smiles?


Well, that's enough for today. I hope you've seen something here that inspires you to try something using your empty Oui jars. I have several more ideas in the works and I promise to post those soon so keep eating that yogurt. Do me a favor and send me a photo on my Facebook  page of what you come up with so I can share your ideas with our little community here next time.

Love you guys and I've missed you! It feels so good to be back!


Encourage one another,


This post is not sponsored and opinions and ideas are my own. 

If you enjoyed this post please comment and subscribe to my feed!