Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

I want to begin by saying there isn’t anything wrong with store bought pie crusts. They are cheap, easy and quick. But you know what else is cheap, easy and quick? Making your own pie crusts. And yes, you can even make them ahead of time and freeze them for convenience. 

WHAT YOU NEED

Ingredients 

Rolling pin

Pie pan 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

¾ cup shortening (I use butter flavored)

¼ cup cold water

Dash of salt

See? Easy peasy.

Use a pastry cutter or a kitchen aid if you have one. If not use your bare hands to blend the shortening, flour and salt together until it resembles a fine crumble. You want the shortening and flour to be completely incorporated together.

Add the cold water and mix well until a firm ball of dough is formed. If the crust seems too crumbly, you can add just a tiny bit of water at a time until the proper consistency is found. If you add too much water and the dough is super wet, then add just a tiny bit of flour. 

Once the dough ball is formed, let it sit for a bit to rest, about ten minutes. Sprinkle some flour on a clean counter top and flour your rolling pin to prevent sticking. Roll out your dough as round as you can make it. I usually hold the pie plate over it to make sure I have enough. Carefully transfer the crust into the pie plate by rolling it halfway onto the pin. 

This is from my Mixed Berry Cobbler Recipe post. A great visual for how the crust forms to whatever pan you are using for your dessert.

Cut off the access crust around the edge of the pan and poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust to keep it from bubbling up. Also, you can get fancy and flute the edging of the crust. This is done with your knuckles like this: (photo demonstration). You can also use a fork, depending on what kind of design you want. There are tons of creative options. This stock photo is a great example of the fork method. It also helps seal a top crust if you’re using one 🙂

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

And you’re done. Wasn’t that super easy? 🙂 If you aren’t using the crust right away, you can wrap it up well and store it in the freezer.

Meditative State Of Mind

Meditation is one of those great things that you can really do anywhere. No need to go back, you read that right the first time. Anywhere. In bed. On the floor. In the shower. On a pillow in front of your altar with incense wafting through the air. Meditation is all about a state of mind, not the picture perfect room to do it in. You can meditate in complete silence (if you have children, this one is a little harder to do) or use youtube videos for assistance. It all depends on what keeps you the most zen. 

It’s very personal, much like every other aspect of spirituality. There isn’t one size that fits all. When I first felt a calling on this spiritual path, I thought there was a specific way things had to be done, an exact science to the ritual. I guess that was my own personal experience with religion hanging on for one last moment of influence. Once I did my research and learned that everyone’s path is different and unique, I was sold. 

Photo by Prasanth Inturi from Pexels

Personally, I do the majority of my meditation in the shower. I’m alone, it’s quiet. The water is warm and calming. It’s the only time of my day where I can get lost in my thoughts and center myself. There isn’t a snoring husband lying next to me. There isn’t a child climbing all over my while I’m trying to focus. No cat meowing at me for a meal, even though she’s already been fed. I’m not going to defend myself and remind everyone how much I love my family. Obviously I do. But I very much value my alone time, and this isn’t something that came about in motherhood. I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Even as a teenager, I would often lock myself away to recharge my batteries, because being a human being is exhausting. After I started meditating and practicing breathing techniques, I noticed a huge difference in my mental state but also my physical health. Because, surprise, the two are very closely tied together.

I have a dear friend who is a massage therapist, and she has specific videos she and her family watch on YouTube that walk you through meditation. She swears by them. So if you’re one of those people who would like a little guidance or if your mind wanders while meditating, give these videos a try! https://www.youtube.com/user/NewHorizonHolistic

In our day to day lives, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed or that you don’t have five free minutes a day to sit and collect your thoughts. I promise you, that if you make the effort and pencil in a fraction of your agenda to your mental health, you will feel a weight off your shoulders. You’ll feel better. You’ll sleep better. Your stress and anxiety levels will benefit. I could make a fifty point list on why meditation is so beneficial, but instead I’m going to go over my personal routine for you to tweak however you please. 

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels

I make sure the water in the shower is nice and warm. I love hot showers so the hotter the better, but whatever temperature you’re comfortable with. Throughout my pregnancies, I’d get tired standing in the shower, so I would sit. Yes, I would sit in the shower. Why not take a bath? Because my tub was small and didn’t hold much water. This way, my entire body is benefiting from the waterfall shower head. Light some candles, dim the lights, put on some soft music. As you let the water run down your body, imagine all your troubles and stress washing away with it. Let the water cleanse your spirit as it’s cleansing your body. It’s like a ritual. As you wash your hair, as you wash your skin, imagine you are scrubbing away your woes. You are doing so much more than cleaning your body in this shower, you are cleaning your aura. It’s like saging yourself, your soul can hold onto more toxins than any other part of you, so make sure you pay extra attention to this purification. 

Stay in until you feel ready. Usually for me, this is when the water runs cold or when I’ve been in the steamy bathroom long enough I’m ready for some air. Either way, listen to your body, you’ll know when you’re ready to come back to reality. I am usually exhausted after a meditation shower, so I always do this before bed. Afterwards, lotion your skin and drink some cool water. Put on chapstick, do your nighttime skin care routine (if you don’t have one, I highly suggest you start one). After a long meditation shower, I love to do facials, either a nice sheet mask with essential oils or a brush-on mask that you can wipe off. I’m personally not a big fan of peel-off masks, but use what you have. It’s amazing how these little steps of self care truly improve your sleep. It helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night, so when you wake up the next morning you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day. 

DIY Sharpie Mug

What you Need:

Coffee mug, matte finish

Oil based sharpies

Stickers (Optional)

Wash the mug thoroughly and make sure it’s nice and dry before you hand it over to the kiddos. We did this craft a few months ago for Father’s Day, so I used the stickers to spell out ‘Best Daddy’ and let her color over the letters. Since my little girl was about a month shy of three when we did this, I let her pick which colors she wanted to use and I held the mug for her while she scribbled. Once she was done, I let the mug dry for a few minutes before I peeled the stickers off. The oil sharpies bled around the edges a bit, but I used cheap stickers I had lying around from years ago so that’s what I was expecting. For the homemade touch of a Father’s Day gift from the kids, it was perfectly fine that the lettering didn’t come out as crisp and clean as if I was making it as a gift for an adult by an adult. 

After the little one is done coloring on the mug, let it sit overnight to allow the paint to properly adhere to the mug. Then you’ll want to put the mug in the oven while it’s still cold and then turn the oven to 300 degrees for about an hour. Other bloggers have done tests on how long the mug needs to stay in the oven and at what temperature, from my research this is the best bet to make sure the paint is baked into the mug and doesn’t bubble up. Which is why it’s important to get a matte finished mug rather than a gloss, since the paint doesn’t adhere to the gloss as well as the matte finish. 

After the hour and a half has passed, turn the oven off and let the mug cool down in the oven. Once the oven and mug are both cold again, you’re all done! I haven’t attempted putting this creation in the dishwasher, so I can’t say how well it holds up. I would stick to hand washing just to make sure the art your kiddo worked so hard on doesn’t get ruined. 

How I Use Pinterest to Write

Much like my previous blog post, using music as a writing inspiration (link). Pinterest is another great resource for writers in need of some visual aid. While most of the time we can set the stage and describe a character based on the image in our mind, it’s nice to look at an example right in front of you. You never know when you can forget little details like the freckles on a secondary character’s nose or the tiny hairs on a butterfly’s body. 

My favorite way to utilize Pinterest for writing is a character’s physical description. I’ll save several photos on boards designated for each project. This girl’s hair with this other girl’s jaw line combined with this third girl’s eye color. It sounds tedious but I thoroughly enjoy spending an afternoon scrolling looking for inspiration. Sometimes I even find a photo of an actor or a model and think, “Oooh that’s how I pictured so-and-so would look!” And it helps bring the people living inside my head to paper. 

Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

Another great way to use Pinterest as a tool is for scenery. Maybe you’re writing a scene that takes place in the desert but you’ve never been to Arizona. Maybe you’ve only been to the coast a few times but your characters are having an intimate conversation at the beach? It’s always great to have a visual. When I travel, I always take photos of the landscapes and save them just in case I want to look at the lush forests of Western Oregon while I sit in desolate southern Texas. Even though I grew up in the mountains and I remember the feeling well, it’s never a bad idea to give yourself some extra inspiration. 

Not only does Pinterest have great visuals, there are also loads of construction tools and writing inspiration. Looking for a blog post to help you develop an underwhelming villain? Interested in finding a list of items you may not have thought of while building your own world? I guarantee there’s something on that website that can help you out. There’s also a lot of great information and tips when it comes to publishing as well! Submitting to a publisher or literary agent for the first time can be overwhelming, self publishing even more so. I found Pinterest was one of my best sources for seeing how other writers went about the publishing process and what they would have done differently. 

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Personally, I use Pins for everything listed above. I go above and beyond and I have a separate account solely for my YA fantasy series so that it doesn’t get mixed in with the other stories. I do this because with five books plotted out, there’s a lot of different boards to keep things organized. But for my stand alone projects, I use one account for them all with just one board for each story line. Since Pinterest added categories to each board a while ago, it’s even easier to stay organized and keep your visuals from getting all mixed together.