Homemade Peach Ice Cream

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Note from Laurie: My friend Cheryl made this homemade peach ice cream, and it looks divine (and good for you too ~ yum!)

Hand picked peaches in the south (or anywhere) are soooooo good!  There is an orchard close to our home so we decided to go and pick some peaches for the first time ever.




I was searching for a healthier recipe for peaches when this one for Peach Ice Cream popped up and I knew we had to try it.


I’m SO … so … so glad we did!


Here’s what you’ll need to get started.




Gather up your ingredients and peel and slice your peaches.  The riper the peaches, the easier they are to peel.




Once you have your peaches peeled and sliced, pop them into a food processor or blender until they are finely chopped.  My little one loves peaches almost as much as cupcakes and couldn’t wait to help.




Mix the remaining ingredients into a large bowl.




Pour all that into your ice cream maker (this was a splurge Christmas present from last year and we have really enjoyed using it!)




Once it’s done you can eat it right out of the ice cream maker and store any remaining in the freezer for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!!


Homemade Peach Ice Cream


3 cups ripe peaches, sliced and peeled

1 cup fat free half and half

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Blend the peaches in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Put the peaches, half and half, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Put the entire mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze any leftovers and enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Emily Bites.






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Goodwill Chair Makeover #2

I tackled just a little painting today. 😉


Before . . .


After . . .


As promised in the video, here’s what I used:


Now this chair has a partner to match 🙂


Looking for more ways to work with chalk paint? Here you go:


I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)


See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!


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Zucchini Lasagna

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I have to tell you, I loved this recipe. 


But in the interest of full disclosure,

my family,


did not. 


zucchinilasagna1They tried it, ate a bit, and weren’t completely opposed, 


but, there were no second scoops, and the leftovers went uneaten. 🙁


Honestly? They just want their big ole’ white lasagna noodles, however I’m determined to keep at it and show them just how yummy fresh veggies can be.


It’s a work in progress around here. 

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I did use this super-fancy-cool-amazing veggies slicer that came with this spiralizer, and I loved how easy it made the process. If you’re hoping to sneak in a few veggies on your family too, it’s definitely worth checking out.



Zucchini Lasagna


2 large zucchini
1 tbsp salt
1 lb ground turkey or ground beef (we used ground turkey)
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
hot water as needed
1 egg
1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices using a peeler. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and set aside in a colander to pull the moisture out of the zucchini.
  3. Cook the ground beef and black pepper in a large skillet over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add in the green pepper and onion; cook until meat is done. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano, adding a small amount of hot water if the sauce is too thick. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. In another bowl stir egg, ricotta, and parsley together.
  5. Assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a greased pan. Next layer 1/2 the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, all of the spinach, followed by all of the mushrooms, and 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat by layering the remaining meat sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top and cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

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Hobby Lobby Happiness



Remember two years ago when we just moved in and my daughter was determined to have an IKEA platform bed?

Yup. me too.


Making that bed though was quite near the death of me, so I finally gave in and decided it was well worth the money to start fresh.


(Y’all, getting that bed made up with clean sheets was an Olympic sized feat ~ so much so that I had to muster up everything in me to keep any potty-words from coming out.)




(It was ridiculous.) 


So a few months ago we bought Caroline a set of full mattresses (hoping she would occasionally let her sister snuggle up at night), and found a headboard similar to this one online. (I can’t remember exactly where we purchased it, but I wished I’d realized it was really meant for a queen size bed not full/queen. The board is a little wider than the bed, but it’ll do!) 


Her dresser was the one I had growing up that we re-painted several years ago, and for now we brought up these garage sale nightstands from the guest bedroom. (Honestly, we don’t have guests all that often so it makes more sense for her to use them!)


Then I remembered this frame I’d found on clearance for $3 years ago (we’d actually moved it with us), and realized for just a few dollars we could update it to match perfectly.


We found fabric at Hobby Lobby along with a large piece of cork board . . .


cut the cork board to fit the frame (clearly Caroline and I aren’t expert cutters, but my sweet hubby came home and tidied things up a bit to make it work)


I stapled the fabric onto the board . . .


Caroline spray painted the old frame . . .


And for about $8 the bulletin board was done!


I found the flowers, lamp, and dishes at Hobby Lobby as well (all on sale for 50% off this week . . . )


As well as the signs to hang above her bed. (We’re actually waiting on one more anchor to go on the left side ~ our store was out but we had one shipped and it’s on its way!)


(She was in love with the anchor idea – I’m not totally sold on that anchor pillow but for now it works!)

I’d still like to find some inexpensive curtains and shades for those lamps (those lamps have been re-painted about 16 times, but I think with a new shade they’ll do?)



(Not that it matters too much – but Caroline isn’t allowed with a computer by herself in her room – however I was in there with her taking these pictures while she was watching the Olympics, and she used the computer to hide!) 🙂 


And we may repaint those nightstands one day in a brighter color but for now they’re just fine.


We haven’t spent a bundle on the room, but it is so much better and should fit her through college. (I love that!)

If you have a room that’s needed some fluffing, a trip to Hobby Lobby might just get you all set up too. 🙂


More rooms we’ve updated in our home . . .







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5 Ingredient EASY Homemade Pizza Dough

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Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

There is no reason on the planet to ever pay for pizza dough. 




Not a single one.




It is so simple to make at home, crazy penny pinched, and your kids will love getting in and playing with the dough themselves. 🙂




So gather up your ingredients and get ready to mix up some dough.







5 Ingredient EASY Homemade Pizza Dough



2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in the warm water, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt and oil, then mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
  3. Turn dough onto a well floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let dough rise until it’s double in size (about 1 hour.) Note – I like to leave it somewhere warm to rise – this weekend when we made it I actually covered it and set it outside on the back porch.
  4. Punch dough down and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to rest for a minute before rolling out.  Now you can use it for your favorite pizza recipe.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If using a pizza stone, you can put your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
  6. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, around 15 to 20 minutes.




This dough recipe makes enough for two medium sized pizzas at our house, so we made one traditional pizza and one barbecue chicken pizza.




Once dough is rolled out, top with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, pre-cooked grilled chicken and green onions (or other toppings.)




Recipe Adapted from AllRecipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

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Tamale Pie

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Looking for a new recipe to spice up plain old Taco Tuesday? This one’s for you. 😉







Tamale Pie



  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or Rotel do not drain
  • 3 cups French’s fried onions
  • 1-2 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, cook ground beef until done. Drain
  3. Stir in taco seasoning, corn (drained), canned tomatoes or Rotel (not drained) and French fried onions. Spread into the bottom of a 2 1/2 Quart size dish or a 9X13 dish.
  4. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions (if you use a 9X13 you may need 2 boxes of Jiffy). Spread the muffin mix on top of the beef mixture to cover it. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden on top.  Top with cheese and remaining French fried onions.  Return to oven until cheese is melted about 2 – 3 minutes. Serve with sour cream. 🙂



Recipe adapted from Southern Plate

Love Mexican? Try out a few more of my favorites:


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DIY Tiered Tray



Check out how one of my readers created her own version of the tiered tray from our recent post, 25 Days of Thrift Store Makeovers Day 19: Picture Frames ~ I love this!  I asked her to tell me just how she made it so I could share – and here’s what she did. Love it!


After seeing this idea, I wanted to try and make one myself. I found 2 sturdy frames at a thrift store for $7 and a large wooden candlestick at another thrift store for just $1.


I was able to knock the wall mount off the candlestick and just sand down the spots where it attached.  After wiping the dust from all three pieces, I used a leftover jar of sample paint to freshen them up.  (Can’t beat free!) 🙂



The next step was adding the bottoms to the frames.  

This project used pieces of pallet wood, but that was going to be too thick for my frames.  I ended up using strips of lattice wood I had leftover from another project which just happened to already have that “weathered” look since they had been outside in the weather for almost a year 🙂

The thickness of the lattice wood was the perfect match for the frames.  It was also easy to cut down to size with a small saw.  After cutting them down, I glued the strips  into place with a little E6000 Adhesive.




The next step was adding the candlestick to each tray.  You’ll need a drill and a few long screws for this part.

The large end of the candlestick already had a hole in it (where the candle would normally sit), so I drilled a pilot hole into the center of the bottom tray and used a long screw to attach the large part of the candlestick to it.

For the smaller top piece, I drilled a hole into the top tray and used a screw from the top tray down into the top of the candlestick underneath. Before attaching the top tray to the bottom candlestick, drill a pilot hole for another screw to go up into the top candle stick.  The holes will need to be close together so the screws will be hidden by the candlestick pieces.  (You could also use glue for the this part!)




That’s it!  Pretty simple. 🙂 I think it turned out great and only cost about $8 ~ yay!
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)


See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!


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Peanut Butter Butterscotch Brownies

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If you’re looking for a super flexible recipe to use up whatever’s in your pantry, this is for you.


I add butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips into mine, but you can take away any of the baking chips and it still turns out amazing!




It’s my nine-year old daughters top five favorite desserts 🙂 and we sometimes add ice cream to it but it’s really perfect all on its own. Yum!




Peanut Butter Butterscotch Brownies


1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips (you can decide how much of them to equal 2 cups)

1/4 teaspoon of shortening (use shortening do not substitute this one)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15-1/2×10-1/2×1 in jelly roll pan (I had no idea what this was but head over HERE for an idea)

2.  Stir together brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt just until blended. (try not to over mix). Set aside 2 tablespoons of each of the baking chips of your choice. Stir in the remaining chips in the batter.

3. Spread the batter in the pan

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

5. Place remaining  2 tablespoons of each of the baking chips and shortening in a small microwave bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir until smooth. Drizzle over bars.







Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Kitchen.

Looking for more easy dessert ideas?

Here you go!

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Head on over HERE.



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Our Bedroom Makeover: And Why Our House May Always Be a Little Hodge-Podgey.


Note – I just finished reading the book Hope Heals and HIGHLY recommend it if you need some encouragement to soak up life, no matter where you are. Go HERE to grab yours. 

I’m just going to be really, really, really honest with you all right now.


I’m not gonna win the best penny pincher ever this week.  


Not even close.


Five years ago (fifteen years in. . . ) we splurged on bedroom furniture which I loved. We saved to pay cash for it, got a good deal, and after purchasing bedding I walked away and called the room done.




It never looked just right, you know?


So last weekend after touring a few model homes I came back to our beautiful-but-quite-hod-podged home and just started dreaming. 


We’ve spent years working on upgrading the brick and mortar parts of our homes as we’ve moved over the last twenty years, but have never spent much on our decor because we really wouldn’t gain financial value from that. (Adding trim work to a home makes for a better sale, a cute dresser just doesn’t!) So, every room in our home carries a few Goodwill, thrift stores, and hand me down treasures.


Which is perfect. And I’m so so thankful for them.

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I kinda wanted a “right” room, you know?


You see, my struggle with penny pinching is this:


I love beautiful things. But. (sigh.)  I hate what they cost.


Like, HATE what they cost.


But I decided to head to Home Goods, noticed a few lamps, and thought about how much I’d love to replace my Goodwill/garage store mix and match lamps (see the before HERE) with two coordinating lamps.


Just $59 each. Gulp.


Then I started looking at a few bedroom pictures on Instagram, and realized mirrors above nightstands were all the rage (I had no idea?)


So I grabbed two (very small ones ~ at $20 a piece I figured they were perfect!) to match the lamps and headed home.


The initial mirrors were way too small, so I checked out Hobby Lobby and found two for $100 each (eek), and asked my hubby what he thought. He didn’t say he hated the idea, so I decided that was a win. 🙂


Guys, I feel guilty, but I love it.


Total cost to “finish” the room?  (Well, except curtains . . . keep reading . . . ) 


Updated alcove project outside our door ~ James also added all the trim work along the hallway upstairs like he’d done on the first floor





It wasn’t necessary. We can live without it. We absolutely don’t need it.






It makes me ridiculously happy. We had money in savings for it. And I absolutely love it.


And, I’m planning to love it for a long long time, because by waiting this long to finish it I’ve figured out what I really do love, and everything I picked I (think?) is pretty timeless.


Our make-shift free window shades which we got when we ordered shutters in other rooms of our home. We so need to replace them but I love looking out each day at our view ~ and I know new curtains will cost a bundle ~ eek!

So, there you have it.


If you’re new to penny pinching and don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, let me promise you it’s there.



By waiting for what we really wanted (instead of what we wanted right now), we can totally see the abundance of having plenty which we didn’t have in those early years.


You’ll get there too. 


Be patient. Stick with the Goodwill stuff. Check out your local garage sales, thrift stores, and online yard sales.


And then.


When you’ve penny pinched for just a few years and the money really is finally really in the budget, you can have that room you’ve always dreamed of too.


And it’ll be oh-so-worth the wait. 😉 


And in the meantime? 


Whatever space you have.


Whatever you’ve got.


Clean it up. De-clutter. De-gunk. De-mess.


Because even when you don’t have just the perfect space, the space you have really can be just perfect. 


Or at least better.




Take a few minutes this weekend to fluff up a space in your home ~ and make today a beautiful day. 


Here’s the only “decoration” we had in our first apartment ~ a Mary Engelbreit card that I put in a $1 Dollar Tree frame. I still love it enough to keep it (hidden a bit!) on our night stand. 🙂 


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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Looking for a yummy (healthier) treat? These are one of our favorites!



We use over-ripened bananas that I freeze whole (then just thaw out before using on the counter) and it works perfectly. If you’re looking for a yummy breakfast treat, these are for you. 🙂





1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Mix in egg whites, applesauce, and mashed bananas just until moistened. Now stir in the chocolate chips and fill up the muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Adapted from AllRecipes.



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