Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why Stay When You Can Go?

When I first started The Hob-bee Hive, Tuesdays were devoted to inspirational quotes that I love, live by, or try to live by!  I have recently strayed from that goal, but I want to bring it back.  I think a little inspirational saying can go a long way most days, and I often find that people turn to the wisdom of others when they’re trying to figure out their own lives, myself included.

So today when I came across this quote, I just had to share it.  Be brave, be strong, and be scared enough to embrace the unknown…usually it’s not as bad as you think!  😉

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Soft and Delicious Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

When life gets you down, there’s no comfort like some delicious no fail peanut butter cookies.  This chewy peanut butter cookie recipe is full of yummy peanut butter flavor and lots of fall spices, making this a perfect accompaniment to a cup of chai tea or coffee.  I’m telling you, it’s impossible to just eat one!

Soft and Delicious Easy Peanut Butter Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

1.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl.  Mix to combine and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and the eggs.  Beat in the peanut butter and milk.  Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until dough begins to form.

3.  Drop dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Form into a ball and wrap it in the plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for four hours or freeze for one hour.

4.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Drop the dough on a greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes.  These cookies will brown quickly, so be sure to watch them.  I pulled mine out after 10 minutes and then let them rest a while on the pan.  They were perfectly soft and chewy in the middle and were still chewy three days later!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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The Hobbee Hive on Social Media

So a few days ago I made an announcement that The Hob-bee Hive was buzzing all over social media…and I’m here to tell you that we have several sites up and running now, so be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Follow us on Pinterest!

And be sure to check out our Join the Colony page for more updates on social media stuff…and updates on upcoming FREE ebooks!  Yay!

Is everyone ready and raring to go for Valentine’s Day next month?  If not, don’t worry!  I have a great line up of crafts, recipes, and fun stuff to do with your Valentine, all starting next week!  I can’t even believe we’re almost in February already…

And speaking of February, Black History Month begins February 1st, a time to celebrate the achievements by black Americans and a time to recognize the role African Americans have played in U.S. history.  As a tribute, I have a great collection of classic literature by famous black writers, coming your way every Friday in February.

And I know there are lots of other cooks and creative minds who follow The Hob-bee Hive, so be sure to Like us on Facebook and feel free to post your new recipes, crafts, photos, and ideas on our wall for everyone to see!

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DIY Journal or Notepad

I love lists.  And I know I’m not the only one out there who finds it cathartic to write down things I’ve already done just so I can cross them off.  How awesome does that feel?

I’ve also got to be one of the only 20-somethings left on planet Earth that doesn’t have a smart phone.  I can call, text, and take a picture…and that’s about it.  So when I think of a great idea or remember that I need to buy toilet paper or eggs, I actually have to write it down in my to-do list.  No apps, no fancy phone gizmos or bells and whistles, just the trusty ol’ pen and paper.

Therefore, I carry my to-do list with me almost everywhere.  It fits snug in my purse so it’s not cumbersome to carry and I even pimped it up a bit, so it’s not boring and official looking when I whip it out to empress everyone (or prove that I’m still living in the 18th century).

This is a super fun and easy craft to do if you’re looking to reface an old journal or notebook.  This is also a great handmade gift for someone who’s going off to college, a little frazzled when it comes to remembering things, or someone who just adores the simplicity of pen and ink.

Cute Journal or To-Do List:

Materials:

  • 1 journal or small note pad
  • Scrap paper
  • Various ribbons
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2 buttons
  • Needle and thread
  • 3-Hole Punch

Instructions:

1.  Remove all the paper from your notepad.  Also remove the front and back covers.  Discard the spiral.  Set aside the paper for now and decorate the front cover however you see fit.  I used some scrap paper and ribbons on mine.  Use a glue gun to adhere your embellishments to the cover.

2.  Use the three hole punch to create two hole punches in the cover, back cover, and paper.  If the holes don’t line up exactly, it’s not the end of the world.  It gives your to-do list a nice homemade look!

3.  Once you’ve made your holes, string some thread or yarn through all the holes.  Tie as tightly or as loosely as you see fit.  I tied mine tight enough to hold the paper, but not too tight that I can’t untie it and add more paper if I need to.

4.  String some thread through one of your buttons so the loop is in the back of the button…meaning put one end of your string through one hole on the button.  You are going to want to make a little loop to hold your note pad closed, so you’ll be tying the excess string in the front to make a loop:

5.  Use your needle and thread to sew a button to the back cardboard so the loop you just created has something to attach to.

6.  And there you have it!  An easy to-do list or journal for your needs or the needs of someone else.  Like I said, you can decorate the front and back however you’d like!  And feel free to post your creations and ideas on our Facebook page!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Nothing is Impossible!

Audrey Hepburn was a woman of wise words.  Whether it was about beauty, family, life, or love, she always seemed to know exactly what to say and how to say it.  So for all of us who, at any given time, have thought the impossible was never possible, I turn your attention to this wise woman:

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Rustic BBQ Chicken Pizza

Well, winter finally came to Chicago this year…and didn’t take any prisoners.  With snow, ice, wind, and rain, the commute from work on Friday night was a fiasco for everyone, no matter where they were going.  So needless to say my kitchen got quite the workout this weekend!

While I love a good soup and sandwich night, sometimes there’s just nothing like pizza and beer…and with the insane traffic I had to endure on my way home from work, that was just the thing to cheer me up!  And I’m not talking those crappy frozen pizzas…I mean delicious and hearty handmade rustic pizza!

This rustic pizza was kind of our own invention…with random stuff we had in the fridge.  The dough is easy to make and doesn’t require a long rise, so it’s great for nights when you don’t really want to wait to eat.  But I will say that the dough is very soft (we learned this in a very unfortunate way), so it might be wise to place the dough on your cooking stone or pan before you start adding your toppings.

Rustic Pizza:

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings:

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.  Dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Once dissolved, add flour, oil, sugar, and salt.  Mix until everything is combined and dough begins to form.  Let it rest for about 5 minutes.

3.  Spread dough onto greased pan.

4.  Spread BBQ sauce on dough and top with chicken, onion, and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Lost in Austen Book Review

Your name:  Elizabeth Bennet.  Your mission:  to increase your chances of marrying well and improve your small family fortune.  Equipped with the devices that make every Jane Austen heroine strong and loveable (sharp wit, natural good sense, beauty, and elegance), you embark on a mission filled with decisions and trivia, all leading to your ultimate romantic and financial fate.  Throughout your journey, you gain and lose points, build up connections, and create a list of fine accomplishments…as well as a much larger list of failings.

And so begins Lost in Austen, a fabulous “choose your own adventure” style book through the novels of Jane Austen.  Filled with hilarious scenarios, comical illustrations, and true Austen wit and charm, this wonderful read lets you decide whether Elizabeth (you) ends up with Mr. Darcy or Mr. Wickam…or maybe another male figure in one of Austen’s other novels.  You decide what paths to walk, who to approach at parties, and what do to about sick sisters.  All of your decisions result in you either losing or gaining points, connections, accomplishments, or failings.  For the true fans of Austen’s wonderful books, this read is an absolute joy.

For those who are interested, here’s how my adventure turned out!

I started with 200 Intelligence Points which quickly diminished to 30.  Let’s just say I decided not to let Mr. Darcy get away with anything…and I paid for it!  Luckily my pride gained me more confidence points.  I started with 200 and ended with 230, so that’s not bad!  As for my fortune, I started with 50 and ended with 60, so not much of an improvement…I guess that’s why I have such strong confidence 😉

Throughout my travels, I gained two superior connections—Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Wickam—and didn’t manage to get any inferior connections, so that’s good.

My list of accomplishments included Fluent in French, ability to do screen covering, dancing the Boulanger, and being highly observant.  My much longer list of failings included being resentful, a love of walking in bad weather, no style, taste, or beauty, incredibly noisy, blind partiality, willfully prejudice (no surprise according to my point score!), and poorly timed liveliness.  Ugh…sigh.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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