Emergency Preparedness: Lighting and Heat

For this months Emergency Preparedness post, lets talk about keeping you and your family warm and  "out of the dark", by preparing your alternative lighting and heating in case of power outages.

Here on the east coast the main source of heat is an electric fuel pump. There are just not a lot of natural gas lines around here for some reason, so when the power goes out you lose lighting, heating, cooking and warm water too!

It is vital to have some resources gathered together for both short term outages and long term outages. I can tell you with hurricane season out here in Virginia we have been without power for several weeks before.. in August. It was awful.

Lighting such as flashlights, lots of batteries on hand, propane lanterns, oil lamps with extra wicks and lamp oil,, and emergency candles are all options. (I have all of them in some form or other.)

Short term and long term heating:  Propane heater, oil heater, as well as tarps and duck tape for sealing off rooms to conserve heat.

these are just the tip of the iceburg on ideas!

I am sharing with you Preparedness Mama's Lighting and Fuel Plan. She does a fantastic job of sharing her knowledge with us and you should follow her posts!

Lighting and Fuel Plan is a great, comprehensive list of things to gather for your family.

How do you stay warm in winter?


Paper Cookie Sleeves

Easy and quick custom made wrappers for giving giant cookies out as gifts. 
One of my easiest and favorite ways to send my love!
This was a post I originally did back in 2011. It was time to update it and repost it!
Perfect for the upcoming Valentines holiday.

cookie sleeves

These Cute Cookie sleeves are a fun way to give a gift for Valentines, birthdays and more. Perfect for selling at a bake sale too!

I mean who doesn't love getting a giant soft, chocolate chip cookie in it's own decorative wrapper?

Whether you keep them simple like me:

or jazz them up like these ideas

                                              Photo from:

I promise the receiver will love them!

The simplest gifts are most times the most thoughtful! (Teacher gift, Thank you "note", or party favor.. the possibilities are endless!)

Heres' How:
 Cookie Sleeve Supplies:
Paper CD Sleeves (found in any office /computer supply store)
Optional: wax paper, foil or parchment paper
a sticker to seal back flap or tape.

But: How do you make the cookies the correct size?

  • Use a 1/4 cup of your favorite cookie dough for each cookie.
  • Space the cookies about three inches apart.
  • If it's a particularly thick cookie dough you may want to gently flatten the cookie just a bit to help it spread out rather than get too thick to fit into the sleeve. (not too much though or it'll spread out too much!)  
  • Bake for about 21 minutes on a non stick cookie pan or 15-17 min. on a regular one.

If you slide the cookie directly into the sleeve, the oils from the cookies will leave little oil splotches on the paper sleeve.

I recommend slipping a piece of foil, parchment, or wax paper (cereal bag liners  cut down would be perfect for this!) and letting the bottom of the cookie sit on the liner instead of the paper sleeve. OR wrap the whole cookie in saran wrap before putting into the sleeve.

Here are some more examples from Kiddley.com and eighteen25.blogspot.com


Country Fair Blog Party February 16

Country Fair Blog Party:
It's another great blog link up starting! 
 This is a month long party so come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month: 
                       Jan                               Nicole                              Laurie                                Val
        Tip Garden          A Kansas Farm Mom       Country LINKed      Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids

My First Place Favorite from last month:

Everyday Uses for Everyday Products
by: rothseri.com

I love all the great new ways to use products I already have at home! A must read.
Congratulations, Rothseri and feel free to grab a grand champion ribbon button to put on your post or blog. I will also being sharing your post on my social media pages as well as Pintersest!

Country Fair Blog Part

Jan's February Tip: Date Night Jars

Sit down with your spouse to create this, or make it for a newlywed couple as a gift:
It's a great way to break the rut of dinner out and a movie.. or worse a trip to Costco and Home Depot!

These date night jars work together.  One is filled with ideas for dinner. The other is filled with ideas for an activity to do together.  The day you go out, each of you pick a jar and draw one thing.  What ever dinner and activity you draw out is what you'll be doing together that night.
like the photo below shows as an example: Thai Food and a picnic in the park.
Here's a link to the orignial post with a full list of ideas for each jar:Date Night Jars

Now... Lets go started with the party!!!!

Country Fairs are full of food, friends, farming, animals, arts and crafts, canning, baking, and more!

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!

Come Share what you are up to this month!

  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party

Ready? Get set... Go!


Book and Cuppa Swap Reveal: The Wrap Up

I joined into a  bloggers swap from Chaotic Goddess Swaps, and it really was fun! I met an amazing blogger who lives as busy a life as I do!

This swap combined books and mugs (and tea/coffee/cocoa).. what could be better? Making new friends, and curling up on a cold winter day with a new book and a warm drink? Hellooo. this was a no brainer!

I received a wonderful package from Kimberly of Life As I Know It. She is a busy working mom busy with her husband raising 2 boys. (Bless those mama's of all boys!) I love that her blog is so fun to read! I love her posts on her crazy life, her favorite things. (You know I love tips on "Favorite things!) She even has a Favorites Friday feature just like I do! Great Minds...

We each emailed each other and got to know a bit about each other. We both tried to pick items that the other would truly enjoy, and not just a generic care package.

She sent me the book All the Light We Cannot See. It is a book I have had on wish list for quite awhile and I can not wait to get into it.
My favorite color is pink and she picked a beautiful pink and white mug. (So my boys won't touch it!) Hot cocoa is my warm drink of choice, and she tucked in some wonderful Ghreadeli cocoa. Popcorn is my big snack obsession and I got popcorn, popcorn drizzled in chocolate and a Lindt bar with popcorn in it! She also sent me a nice notebook perfect size for my purse, and some fun Washi Tape for all my crafts!... I have hidden away the Lindt bar, and 1 min after taking this photo I was munching on the chocolate drizzled popcorn!

I was hit by the large east coast storm and mail delivery was stopped for nearly 4 days so her package was delayed in arriving to me, but came on a day I was truly exhausted mentally and needed a bright uplift. Thank You Kimberly!

Go over and check out her blog  Here and tell her Jan sent you!

Are you a blogger who wants to join in on the fun? Go check out CG Swaps HERE maybe you and I will swap the next time around!

Friday Feature: Perfect Dipping Crackers

Can't find a cracker that doesn't break when your guests dip it into your famous dip or cheese ball?
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite crackers to use, Town House Focaccia Crackers. They have 2 flavors Tuscan Cheese (MY VERY FAVORITE!) and equally yummy Rosemary Olive.

 I am not getting paid to tell you this, I just happen to love them!
Why? besides the taste is so good you don't need a dip, they are thick and sturdy like Focaccia bread and can hold up to your thickest dips and cheese spreads!

Grab them today for your upcoming gathering!
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