Friday, February 28, 2014

Show Me the Green {$400 VISA Gift Card Giveaway}

Happy weekend, friends!

We are so excited about this giveaway! It's the first BIG group giveaway that we're hosting and we think the prize is pretty awesome! Read on to see how you can enter to win a $400 Visa gift card!

Welcome to the $400 'Show Me The Green' VISA Gift Card Giveaway!!!!


We've teamed up with a host of other bloggers to bring you this great giveaway.

One lucky winner will be the recipient of a $400 VISA gift card!!

We want to give a big thank you to 23 of our best blogger buddies who have all made it possible for you to have a chance to win a $400 VISA gift card!
 
And now, we'd like to introduce you to our 17 wonderful co-hosts!

 
The Lovely Ladies @ Huckleberry Love
        Barb @ Second Chance to Dream                    Jamie @ So Much Better With Age
             Evelyn @ My Turn for Us                                  Cara & Rhonda @ Craft Dictator
              Britni @ Play. Party. Pin                               The Lovely Ladies @ Chicago Mom Source
Consie @ Atop Serenity Hill                                             Marlys @ This and That
              Kristen @ A Thrifter in Disguise                    Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
  Cheryl @ Nap Time is the New Happy Hour          Jennifer @ Endlessly Inspired
Laura @ Inspiration for Moms                                Anyonita @ Anyonita Nibbles
Emily @ Nap-time Creations                            Linda @ Crafts a la Mode 
 
It's easy to enter! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.
 
This giveaway closes at midnight on March 17 and is open to anyone worldwide! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Huckleberrylove.com will be responsible for product shipment/delivery to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. Co-hosts and other blog participants are not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media outlets. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
 
Please contact Huckleberry Love with any questions!

Good luck!!!
 
~The Ladies of Huckleberry Love

Homemade Yogurt {Recipe}

My son has been on a yogurt kick lately. It is easily his favorite food and the one snack he will never say no to {which is actually saying a lot because he is two and says no to everything}. Although he likes the kiddie yogurts, he prefers the "adult" yogurts, like Fage or Chobani.


Since my husband and I are also really big yogurt eaters, we started making our own yogurt. It's so much cheaper than buying the individual cups and it is so good.

At first, I was a little weirded out by the thought of making our own yogurt and the whole process that goes into it {leaving a dairy product out for several hours? No thank you!}. Luckily, I got over my aversion and now I love our homemade version even better than the store bought ones.


Not only is it nutritious and delicious, it is pretty simple to make and one batch will last you for a good while.



Ingredients:
-gallon of milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt {pick whatever style of yogurt is your favorite- greek, regular, etc. and make sure it is not flavored. Once you have made your first batch, always reserve a 1/4 cup for the next round. If you do this, you won't need to buy any from the store.}

Cooking Gadgets Needed:
- Candy thermometer
- Cheese cloth
- Strainer
- Whisk
- Pot
- Large Bowl



1. Pour the gallon of milk into a large pot and heat on the stove with the candy thermometer attached to the pot. Be vigilant with the whisking so you don't scald the milk {if this happens, not to worry...simply strain the scalded parts out. It won't affect the taste at all.}

 

2. Heat the milk until it reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the stove and let cool until it reaches 115 degrees.


3. Once it's cooled enough, add the 1/4 cup of yogurt and whisk well.



4. Then cover and put in your oven, with the oven light on. {JUST the oven light! Don't turn on the heat. The heat from the light is enough to culture the yogurt.} It needs to stay like this for at least four hours {we usually make our batch in the evening and then leave it in overnight}.



5. After it's been in the oven long enough, remove the pot. It should look like the picture above, separated with the whey on top and the yogurt on the bottom.


6. In order to drain the yogurt, place your cheesecloth in a strainer and then place inside a large bowl.


7. Pour the contents of the pot into the cheesecloth, which is inside the strainer, which is inside the bowl.



 

8. Pull the end of the cheesecloth together and secure. This is just to provide a cover for the yogurt as it sits in the fridge.

 

9. Put everything into the fridge and let it chill and drain for a couple of hours {if you are lazy awesome with your time management skills, like us, you can do this step overnight again}.


 


10. When you pull the yogurt out, it will look like the picture above. The whey will have drained down into the bowl.

 

11. Dump the yogurt into a separate container or bowl {we just put it in a large Tupperware}.


12. Measure out about a cup of the whey. This is the amount that we have found to be the best for the texture of yogurt that we like. If you prefer a thinner yogurt, add more; a thicker yogurt, don't add as much. {No whey! Yes, whey. Or your yogurt will be too thick.} {I am so sorry for that awful joke...my husband made me put it in. *sigh*}


13. Mix the whey in with the solid yogurt until it is nice and smooth.



Add your favorite fruit or granola and enjoy!


 

 I know some people like to add vanilla flavoring to their yogurt, but we prefer ours without any.

 




The yogurt is good plain but it is REALLY good with a dollop of jam swirled in. Or you can try my son's favorite topping: honey. Dress it up however you like and enjoy the yummy goodness that is homemade yogurt.



Pssst... Don't forget to enter our "Show me the Green" Giveaway for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card!!
Joining in on these great parties:


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Countdown to Spring {Mantel & Decor)

I thought we were over winter, you know that feeling that spring was finally here. I absolutely love spring! Any weather where I can play with the kiddos outdoors all day is wonderful! So I got all excited and put up some spring decorations. Well I guess that in the past few weeks, the weather was tricking us all down here. We had gorgeous mornings and warm afternoons in the high 70's. We're in Texas, so it's expected to be warm by March. And as it would happen, as soon as I completed my spring mantel and wreath, it dropped down to highs in the 40's again (and I know I shouldn't complain as most everyone else is still buried in snow)... So now the countdown to spring begins. And let's hope it comes sooner than later! The bright side to the story, is that when it does come, we'll be ready ;-)  



I was just a tiny bit eager to decorate our mantel as we didn't have one in our old house, so it was a lot of fun finding what worked with the space. I used a lot of what I had on hand, and made a few things to fill in the space. You may recognize the peter cottontail sign from this post about easter egg garland. That's hanging in our hallway niche. 


Anyways, I only actually went out and bought the mossy easter basket, burlap for the banner, and greenery for the mason jars. Not too shabby for under twenty bucks! My favorite project was the painted and distressed mason jars. I came across the project at our Much Ado About Monday link party and I just knew that I had to make some myself. 


They turned out to be super easy and I love the results! I just sprayed a few mason jars with an oil-rubbed-bronze color, let them dry, brushed on a few coats of latex paint that I had on hand, let that dry, and used a bit of steel wool to distress the edges. 

I also made a wreath, similar to Jamie's spring wreath, for my front door. 


I used the scraps of left over burlap from the banner on my mantel to make several types of flowers. It is just so nice to walk up to a cheerful front entrance :-) Ella wants me to make some more burlap flowers for headbands. 

So that's what I've got so far. At least our house is bright and cheery, even if the weather doesn't match. Have you started decorating for spring, or are you so buried in snow that you have forgotten that winter will indeed end? I'm thinking Punxsutawney Phil was right on as far as predicting 6 more weeks of winter. 
Pssst... Don't forget to enter our "Show me the Green" Giveaway for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card!!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cleaning Out the Shop {Etsy Sale}


http://www.etsy.com/8thstreetbridge

 Well, after a lot of back and forth, indecision and talks with my husband, I've decided it's time to take a break from my little Etsy shop. Baby #3 will be arriving in 6 short weeks and I know that I just won't have the time to devote to my small business for awhile. I'll miss this creative outlet immensely, but I know it's what's best for my family at this time. :)

So, my loss becomes your gain!!


 Be sure to stop by and check out my "Ready to Ship Section". You'll find an assortment of yarn and burlap wreaths, yarn letters, felt bookmarks and felt hair clips and pins.

All of the items you'll find there are 30% off right now when you use the code BABY30 at checkout!

 Every item is ready to ship and should arrive at your doorstep within a week. :)

If you're interested in having custom yarn or glitter letters made, I will taking orders for them thru March 15th. They will all ship by April 1st. There is no discount on custom orders!

Thanks so much for helping me clear out my inventory! I hope you find something in my shop that you LOVE. :)

Be sure to share this great deal with your friends! 



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Much Ado About Monday {No. 48}

Hello and welcome to Much Ado About Monday! We're so glad you're here! :)
It has been absolutely GORGEOUS this week here in Southeast Texas. So much so, that I decided to get my house ready for Spring! The bright, happy colors make me smile every time I walk into my living room. Hopefully the weather sticks and we'll be able to enjoy sunshine and warm weather for awhile.


Last week was a busy one here for us at Huckleberry Love. I shared a quick and simple naptime project that I created for my son's book hoarding tendencies- upcycled bookshelves out of IKEA spice racks. Jamie also rounded up 10 fun ,at-home gender predictor tests for baby! Since I'm due a few weeks after her, I just had to try out a few of these for myself! Be sure to share with any pregnant friends or family members you may have, it's always fun to see what the results are! And finally, this week we had our first contributor post over at From Gardners 2 Bergers. I created a colorful, DIY Chevron Painted Door Mat that anyone could make. Be sure to check out all of these great posts if you get a chance! :)


We also each picked our favorite post from last week's party to share with y'all. This week's features are:



And, our most viewed post of the week was... The Easy Way to Make a Shamrock from Noreen at Crafty Journal!



If you were one of the awesome bloggers featured this week,  be sure to pat yourself on the back and grab a featured button to display on your page! :)



And without further ado, Let's Party!!!

The rules:

*We love our followers, and always follow back. Please follow us on GFC as well as BlogLovin:
Follow on Bloglovin

*You can also find us at these favorite social media sites: FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+
* Please link back to us in your post. Whether it be through a text link or by posting our super cute button somewhere in your post. We appreciate it!
* If you do NOT link back to us in your post, you will NOT be Featured on Much Ado About Monday. So, link back! You'll thank us later. :)

*Features posts will be pinned on Pinterest and promoted on Facebook and Google+
* Feel free to link up decorating tips, DIY projects, recipes, organizational ideas, sewing and crochet creations or anything else crafty or that you find inspirational.
* Please do not link up giveaways, Etsy shops, or projects that were not made by you.
* You may link up to three posts a week!
* If your post has been featured, please do not link it up again.
* Remember to visit, visit, visit! That's the point of a party, right? Have fun!
Thanks for joining us this week!





Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Chevron Painted Door Mat {Contributor Post}

We are so excited to announce that we are now Monthly Contributors over at From Gardners 2 Bergers. Becca has an amazing blog featuring awesome DIY projects, creative crafts, as well as her beautiful home.


Our first post for her is this simple and fun DIY Chevron Painted Door Mat. (Oh, and did we mention it was created for under $5??) We'd love for you to stop by and check out the easy tutorial so you can make one for your own front porch. :)

http://www.fromgardners2bergers.com/2014/02/huckleberry-love-contributor-post-diy.html

This post was featured on:



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Upcycled Children's Bookshelves {From Spice Racks}

This post was featured on Reason to Skip the Housework!
 
 
I'm so excited to be sharing this easy, naptime project with y'all today! They're simple upcycled children's bookshelves that I created with a bit of spray paint and some spice racks that I picked up from IKEA! Read on to see how easy it is to customize these shelves for your little ones room! :)

I was at IKEA recently and saw these Bekvam spice racks in the kitchen section. I remember a few years ago that people were using them as small bookshelves for their kiddos. They were only $3.99 a piece, so I tossed a few in the cart, headed home (after indulging in a cinnamon roll, of course!) and got to work improving them a bit. :) Kids Bookshelves from IKEA spiceracks. Upcycled Children's


My boys LOVE to read in their beds at night. In fact, we have to constantly go into my older son's room and confiscate his night time lantern so that he'll put the book down and go to sleep. He just turned four and right now his interests are 100% consumed by dinosaurs. His favorite book to read at the moment? Well, the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs that he received for his birthday from my sister, of course! He. Will. NOT. Put. It. Down. For real. Kid's Upcycled


Anyway, he can be quite a book hoarder and the poor little guy has nowhere to put his books in his room at night. So, he piles them into his bed (along with his extensive stuffed animal collection and approximately 28 cars, dinosaurs and monster trucks), to the point that there's barely room for him to lie down. We needed a fun (and simple) solution for this problem! Upcycled Children's Bookshelves; IKEA hack.
This was seriously one of the easiest projects I've ever done. Aidan's room is a colorful spot and I wanted to make sure that the bookshelves fit right in.


I dug through my spray paint stash and decided on these two colors. (Side note: I absolutely LOVE these Short Cuts cans from Krylon. They're the perfect size for projects like this and I try to keep them on hand in multiple colors.) DIY kid's bookshelves.


I gave each piece of the shelf a few coats of paint and let them dry in between coats. After following the assembly instructions, they were ready to hang!


My husband is the power tool user in this house, so I had (impatiently) wait for him to get home and hang them up for me.

Aidan was so pleased with his new bookshelves! He immediately went into the playroom and began choosing which books would now reside on the shelves in his room.


This was a perfect naptime project that yielded awesome results! If you have a little reader who needs a bit more space (off of the floor) for their book collection, I highly recommend heading to IKEA and picking up a few of these shelves yourself!

What book is your kiddo obsessed with right now? Have you upcycled anything lately?
Sharing with these fabulous parties:


 
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