The Summer Gift Pantry: Easy Homemade Tea from Farm Stand Bounty

"Earth was bountiful, and we were surrounded with the blessings of the great mystery." ~~~Luther Standing Bull


When preserving foods for your Gift Pantry, remember that summer offers us a bounty of fresh fruits and (hopefully) a kitchen garden brimming with delights. However, if you're too busy to garden or haven't any earth to till, you may wish to make use of the gifts of the season via roadside stands, farmers' markets, and "pick~your~own" orchards!

Our favorite farm stand.

We were blessed with bouquets of fresh spearmint from our favorite farm stand (at 50 cents per bunch they are a bargain!). I plucked the leaves from the stems and arranged them in single layers on the racks of our ordinary food dehydrator. (BELOW)

Fresh mint leaves ready to be dehydrated for tea.

Mint leaves fully dried.

I store the dried tea in cleaned and recycled coffee canisters until I'm ready to put together the tea bags for my gift pantry!

For more Gift Pantry ideas click HERE!

You're probably creating similar transformations in your own'd be fun to hear what you're stocking your summer Gift Pantry with!!!

Sending love and good thoughts to all, as always!


Tracey and Family x0x

Poetry in Ordinary Things©: Found~Treasures

"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar." ~~Shelley

Found~treasure...blackberry vines lying about in my Dad's yard...entwined with the Bougainvillea...true poetry in the ordinary.

Sending love and good thought to all!


Tracey and Family x0x


How to Have a Lovely Day...



Gift Pantry: More Gifts in Jars...

herbed sugar

pie in a jar

rosemary bread...baked in a jar

cupcake paper liners to embellish homemade jam in jars

cocoa mixes in jars

pretty pastel gumdrops in simple recycled jars

rose petal and sea salt bath jars

Perhaps this is an obsession...I just can't seem to get jars off my mind these days! Here are some great uses for those jars we can't seem to give up. What are some of the ways use use your recycled and/or thrifted jars?

Sending love and good thoughts to all.


Tracey and Family x0x

Images: Source


Gift Pantry: Homemade Granola

"Necessity never made a good bargain." ~ Ben Franklin

Working ahead of Need: Christmas in July...

Most people begin preparing for Christmas in December but, as you probably already know, I prepare for Christmas all year round. My Gift and Craft Pantries are often bulging by the time winter arrives, which allows me to spend the bulk of my time during the holidays savoring the joy of organizing gift boxes and baskets, baking and putting the finishing touches on the gifts that I make. Why do I do this? To soothe the budget and to give thoughtful gifts that will impart that unique quality of things make by the human hand. My most recent project is a delicious, simple, budget~friendly granola/trail mix.

I washed and saved the jars from Mike's favorite salsa.

Painted the clean, dry lids with leftover white spray paint.

Then I made up a few batches of homemade granola adapting a basic recipe I found
HERE. I didn't have all the ingredients on their list so I simplified by leaving out the wheat germ, oat bran and sesame seeds. Instead I used what I had on hand which were the rolled oats, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (aka Pepitos), snips of dried cranberry and ginger and substituted raw coconut oil (found at Sprouts or Whole Foods) for the vegetable oil. We like ours very spicy, so I added extra ground cinnamon and put in lots of ground nutmeg also. (Katie LOVES it!) I've already given a few jars away (note the gift bag in the collage!) So, truth be told, these probably won't be lasting until Christmas! That being said, it was so incredibly EASY to make, inexpensive (I bought the rolled oats in bulk for a song) and the whole thing took less than an hour for two batches, that I know I'll be whipping up variations on this recipe anytime I need a deliciously quick, pretty and practical gift! Include some specialty tea or a bag of gourmet coffee beans and you have a lovely hostess gift as well. I know we think alike regarding working ahead of need so I'd sure enjoy hearing what projects you're working on to stock your gift pantries!!! I'm always inspired by what you come up with. More soon my kind friends.

Sending love and good thoughts to all!


Tracey and Family x0x

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

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