Monthly Archives: April 2012

D.I.Y. Juice Can Magnets


Got kids?

If you’re like me, my fridge is covered with artwork, photos, permission slips and schedules. In reality, it’s probably the Information Hub of the house. I never seem to have enough magnets to go around.

I bet you have some sort of fruit juice in your fridge, too. I know I do. I grew up drinking juice frozen from concentrate, and have carried on the tradition. I know, I know, there are those who think it’s not as natural, or good for you, but it’s much cheaper, and it doesn’t fill up my trash can with big plastic bottles and, besides, the kiddos like stirring it up.

I save the metal lid of the juice can, and after a while can collect quite a stack! That’s when I got the idea to do something with them. Not only am I cheap, I’m resourceful.

There are many projects that I can’t take credit for. As my mother says, “I’m really good at recreating other peoples’ ideas, but not so original myself.” But I’m proud to say, this one’s all mine. It was Christmas-time, and I needed something I could mass-produce for gifts. You can’t go wrong with incorporating your kids’ pictures into a project.

Grandparents eat that stuff up.

Come to think of it, it’s a great Mother’s Day gift for Grandma, or for Teachers as Appreciation Week nears!


  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Magnets
  • Juice can lids
  • Photos
  • Scissors

How To:

  1. Wash and dry the lids thoroughly. (Any residual juice will make for a poor paint finish)
  2. Spray paint the lids your desired color, preferably outside. Allow to dry. I used several coats to ensure good coverage.
  3. Trace a circle on your photo, then cut it out with scissors. I used a small yogurt cup for my stencil. Decorative scissors add a nice touch too.
  4. Using hot glue, adhear the picture to the front, and the magnet to the back. Voila!

You don’t have to stop at photos, I’m going to make some with fabric flowers, buttons, ect glued to the the top! What about chalkboard paint too? Uh-oh. I’m getting inspired as I type. Dangerous…

While this isn’t an overly kid-friendly project (kids+spraypaint and hotglue=disaster), you could sit them down at the table with you to draw some new artwork to display with your new magnets!

I know it’s not rocket-science, but it’s the little touches that make a difference, I think.

Hope you have fun. Thanks for reading.



Blackberries, Honeysuckle and Mayberry


A must-have: RUBBER BOOTS!

Today was the day!  The day we wait for every Spring.  I’d spotted  the tell-tale white flowers weeks ago.  Once the kitchen was clean from lunch, equipped with rubber boots, a few buckets and a thick layer of bug spray, we set out on our quest for…blackberries.  That tiny fruit is the jewel of Springtime.  Those who find them usually have trekked through the woods, jumped a few creeks, slapped themselves silly keeping the mosquitoes at bay, and if that isn’t enough, the plant itself tries to kill you with vicious thorns!  And why are the biggest berries in the “snakiest” places, anyway?

I remember picking berries as a kid at my grandparent’s farm.   I was terrible at it–I ate everything I picked.  I desperately wanted to fill my milk jug full,  but the tempation for those sweet treats–still warm from the sun–was too great for a kid like me. Daddy would eat them by the  bowl-ful, with milk and sugar sprinkled on the top.   Mamaw wasted no time mixing up a pie as soon as we came in with our pickings.  I also remember LOTSof Cool Whip.

My son has more will power than I do.  He filled his bucket half-full in no time.  He got “in the zone” and took his job seriously, seeking out only the biggest, purple-est ones in the patch.  I can’t count how many times I heard, “Momma!  Look at this one!”

Sis, on the other hand, insisted on picking the green ones for our dog.   I, deciding that this wasn’t a battle worth fighting, watched her chubby fingers painstakingly choose the sourest, most jaw-locking berries in the briars.  Of course, Tobey could care less about them, but no one argues with Princess when she’s got her mind set on something.

I stood and watched them wander through the clearing–hearing excited shouts when they hit the motherload, and smiled when I smelled the sweet scent of honeysuckle on the warm breeze.  I closed my eyes and said a quiet prayer of thanks. 

This is the life.

I pictured The Andy Griffith Show, with Opie and Andy walking along the road, fishing poles in hand, not a care in the world.  I would have loved to have lived back then.

Life was simpler.

Times were different.

I dream of that kind of life for my kids.  I don’t want them to know what this crazy world is all about.  I know that’s impossible, but I’m not opposed to putting them in tower like Rapunzel.

I can’t solve all the world’s problems daydreaming in the woods, but I’d like to think that the precious hour we spent this afternoon, together, making memories was a good way to start.

Mamaw’s Dewberry Pie

This is a great recipe for when you only have a few berries.  The crumble topping is amazing.

1 1/2 c. berries

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c evaporated milk

1 1/3 c. flour

Refrigerated pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix eggs, sugar,  and milk and flour.  Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle berries on top.


4 T. cold butter

1/2 c. Sugar

1/2 c.  Flour

Cut butter, sugar and flour together until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of pie.

Bake pie at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

*Do not over bake.