Monday, November 25, 2013

Paulk Wassail

I made this homemade Wassail last night. It was getting down into the thirties outside and some friends of ours recommended Wassail at small groups, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The original recipe varied a bit from this one, and it required rum. Drunk four and five year olds are not in the plan, so we edited the rum and added a little more or less of other ingredients to taste. Here's what we ended up with.

Large jug of Apple Cider
Cranberry Juice
Two oranges
Two lemons
Whole cloves

First, take a large pot and pour the entire jug of Apple Cider in...

There's no turning back now...

Then add two cups of cranberry juice.

The REAL 100% kind

The, take one of the oranges and poke cloves in it... Then slice the remaining oranges and lemons and add the whole clove stuck orange into the pot. Then add 3/4c sugar, 2tsp cinnamon and simmer for two hours or until the flavors are nicely blended.

And the happy ending is that you may get a smile like this one from the family and friends who taste it...

Totally worth the time!

You can also make it in the crock pot on low heat,I hear...

Happy thanksgiving friends!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Ornament Craft!!!

Today I was thinking of ways to save money on gifts and I managed to put together TEN gifts for less than THIRTY DOLLARS! 

So here is the process. I purchased some small wood pieces from the arts and crafts store. They looked like this: 

I got square ones and circular ones.

I took some fine grit sand paper and sanded them a bit. Then, I got out some green acrylic craft paint and painted two coats on each wood piece. I had to do the backs first and then the fronts with drying time in between.

Once they were dry, I printed some family photos out to go on the front. I had to measure them, using the ruler function on the word processing program. I measured them at 3 inches. I had to make the circle ones a little smaller than the square ones.

I used mod podge to affix the pictures to the wood pieces.

I painted a coat of mod podge on the sides and underneath each photo and then a coat atop each photo.

Once they were dry, I took some ribbon and made a loop with it and stuck some labels I printed on my laser printer.

Then I used a little 3" length of white packing tape to secure the ribbon onto the wood pieces.

This is the finished product...

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing.

Have a great evening, friends!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An organized office space...

Boy With six kids and a wonderful husband, I often struggle with staying on top of housework. Yesterday it occurred to me: Do the housework first before you get to do something 'fun' in the day. So, I hijacked the wi-fi router from the teen/preteens- right in the middle of a show they were watching on Netflix for the 100th time. They laughed, and then got started washing dishes and clearing out their rooms. To my surprise this worked well! They completed the chores they had to do in under 30 minutes! That's what I call motivation!

So with some of the time they saved me this week, I decided it was time to organize the home office. Below are the before and after shots. I now know where everything is and can stay better organized because I now have a SYSTEM! Please bear in mind that this is merely a home office located in our master bedroom that is simply a corner of the room that I have repurposed into a little office space so I can work out of the house. 

I bought dollar store bins... I labeled them with the following labels 
1) incoming 
2) outgoing
3) filing 
4) processing

(Thanks to for the recommendation!)

Right now since I was so far behind my "processing" file is rather empty and my "filing" bin is very full I'm sure this will change in the next day or so as I'm get through some of this filing.

I bought and installed some cheap shelving. Lowe's and/or you and a friend can cut and hang them in about an hour.

Once I decide what color I'm going to paint everything I will let you know! Obviously they're unfinished for now.

So, here is the before picture: (scary!)

And here, my friends, is the after photo!

This is by no means a finished product, as I am sure every system is not without its flaws, but what I do know is it's a start!

And the fabric on the bulletin board to the right in the picture is just fabric that I found at Hobby Lobby on sale for 40% off and I recovered an old bulletin board. The sign above it says "faith" and it was also purchased at Hobby Lobby

The old gray filing cabinet is in dire need of some refinishing I intend on purchasing some metal spray paint or something like that to painted in the near future. It was recycled from an old company back in the 90's that was selling off some of its assets and I was able to pick it up.

And the been on the far right beside the file cabinet is simply an old Girl Scout cookie crate box that I cut the lid off of and and recovered. The other little black paisley patterned box next to the upright sorter is a shoebox base that I recovered with some fabric that was left over from our wedding. I will put out a tutorial blog post about how to recover boxes and use them for organizing to avoid the expense of buying a bunch of generic looking bins. I just thought the ones from the dollar store were kind of cute with their polkadots.

Please leave me feedback and let me know what you like and what you Might recommend as changes to the layout.

Have a great day friends! Please leave your feedback. :)


Thursday, November 7, 2013


Well we have BIG NEWS in the Paulk Bunch! Our home has grown by FOUR FEET! Welcome SNOOPY MAXAMILLION PAULK! He is a three month old Basset Hound Mix rescue dog from the Animal Shelter near our house! I am so thankful he is part of our lives. The kids were in love at first sight, and our other dog, Dot, and cats seem to like him too! 

On today's agenda... Steak dinner and a dining room spruce-up!

Today I tackled two large projects before 11am!

First, I started a meal for the family in the crock pot. But far, the most used appliance in the house. We have six kids, so we have two. Today's meal is a crock pot ribeye steak, with a wine reduction. A new recipe, so we'll see how it is, but sounds DELISH! I took the recipe from allrecipes and mixed it up and made it my own.

 First, you fire up the crock pot. I set mine to cook for 10 hours. Then, we found steaks on sale at the local grocery store so I bought SIX earlier this week. They were pretty nice looking steaks, which I seasoned with salt, garlic and Montreal Steak Seasoning. 

To the bottom of the crock pot I added a cup of cheap red wine (Cabernet works well). 

Just a cup... 

Then, I added the beef bullion cubes (three) and dissolved them in two cups of water. Stir them good, mash them up... See? Simple...

Then, pup the steaks in the crock pot, just layer then in... Then pour the dissolved bullion mixture. If you don't like bullion you can use beef stock. 

Then I layered baby carrots on the top.

The finished product..... Coming soon!!!

The SECOND major project was a dining room spruce-up! We ARE having a ninja themed birthday party on Saturday, so I went for simple and uncluttered. I took the Home Organization 101: A bowl full of lemons challenge!

Here is the before.... The messy reality of having six kids... 

And here is the AFTER!

In the back there, that's a bookshelf with our art / homework center. We have school supplies for all the kiddos and crayons, markers and paints.

I hope you enjoyed the dining room redo! 

Talk to you soon friends!

Monday, November 4, 2013

When it rains it pours!

A few weeks ago I was in a car accident. I was rear ended by a young female driver on Waco drive on my way back to the office after a client meeting. Thank God I was in a beast of a vehicle. Don't judge me on the gas mileage because (a) I have to have a huge vehicle to cart the family from school events to church outings to scouting campouts and family trips and with six kids a compact car just won't do and (b) clients dig the cushiony seats and spaciousness as I take them to lunch or out on a work site and (c) the very vehicle I resent due to the high cost of gasoline very likely saved my head from hitting the steering wheel or the windshield as I was informed by the EMS as I was being taken away to the local ER. Thankfully I was only sore for a few days and though the beast sustained only $1,600 worth of damage, I thank God for beastie, she's a life saver!

There she is, before the accident with my 11 year old and our lab. Love!

So here's the organization tip of the day... We use dollars store pencil holders in the bathroom to keep the kids' toothbrushes separate. Each kid has his/her own cup! Makes teeth brushing time simpler. Just works....

Have a great day friends!

Organizing Efforts

As many of you know, I have been sending out organizing tips pretty much every day. I don't send them out because I am SOOO organized or because I am one of those annoying "together" people. We have SIX kids. We HAVE to be somewhat organized or our life would be chaos. Just would...

So here is the first few ones: 

Organizing tip of the day:  Unexpected guests? Clean the kitchen and bathrooms first! The, straighten the house and you're ready for company!

Organizing tip: keep a hanging file for kids memorabilia, we keep one file folder for each kiddo and at the end of the year, we pull out the favorites and keep the, in the keepsake box (one for each kiddo).

Organizing tip: terrified of Holiday shopping? Make a list and make a PLAN! Many retailers offer online coupons and free shipping at You're welcome!

More tomorrow!