Three southern sisters who share family traditions, our favorite recipes, craft and DIY ideas, decorating projects, beauty tips, our love of vintage, and our lives with you.


No Knead Peasant Bread

Sunday, July 31, 2016

This recipe is a real winner. I find most often when I mention making homemade bread to someone, it sparks images of days of yore, churning one's own butter, etc., etc., followed promptly by some exclamation of "Ain't nobody got time fo' dat!"

Well, this recipe is definitely one you'll want to keep around, if for no other reason than to APPEAR as though you spent hours in the kitchen when you really didn't.

The trick is that it's a no knead bread - so much of the work of traditional bread making is cut out right there. AND, since it's peasant bread, you really don't have to put a lot of work into shaping the dough to having finished bread rounds that look pretty good. Even if they're not perfect, hey, that's the beauty of peasant bread.

You might also recognize this by more familiar terms nowadays of artisan or artisanal bread - those are just schmancy terms for bread that is made (or crafted) in small batches. And this certainly qualifies. So feel free to also call it that when you're serving it -  after all, doesn't it sound SO MUCH MORE difficult to make artisan bread? Exactly.

Super Easy No Knead Peasant Bread

No Knead Peasant Bread

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (this equals one whole package)
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white for topping (if desired)

  1. Mix yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, add sugar, salt, and flour. Mix only until ingredients are completely incorporated. Do not knead. Let rise until doubled (45-90 minutes).
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Using floured hands, divide dough into two rounds and place on a greased cookie sheet. 
  5. If desired, brush tops of bread rounds with egg white for a shiny crust.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Super Easy Peasant Bread - No Knead Recipe

To serve this rustic bread, you can slice it or tear off pieces - your choice.

This bread makes an excellent companion to dipping sauces made of olive oil and spices or olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Or, serve with your favorite jams and jellies for a breakfast treat.

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How to Make Your Own Ranch Dressing Mix

Friday, July 29, 2016

Today I'm sharing a mix for ranch dressing. You mix up the spices and keep it in your pantry so that you can make a fresh batch of ranch dressing whenever you need. This mix is so easy to prepare, you'll wonder why you ever bought bottled ranch dressing in the first place!

Because you can mix up only the amount that you need, you never need to worry about checking the expiration date on your bottled dressing again. And, if THAT weren't enough to convince you, making your own seasonings, sauces, and dressings ensures that you control all of the ingredients and don't add unnecessary preservatives.

How to Make Your Own Ranch Dressing Mix

Ranch Dressing Mix

3 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

  1. Mix all spices together. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To prepare dressing, mix 2/3 cup mayonnaise and 1/3 cup milk with 1 Tbsp of the dry mix. Store in refrigerator. Shake to incorporate before serving.

DIY Healthy Ranch Dressing Mix

Make allergy-free ranch dressing by modifying the ingredients to suit any allergy needs in your household. For example, use almond milk instead of regular milk for someone with a dairy allergy. Use soy-free mayo instead of regular mayo for someone with a soy allergy.

You can adjust the ratio of mayo and milk to achieve desired consistency. As written, the recipe makes a dressing that is roughly the same consistency as bottled dressing. If you would prefer a thinner dressing, add more milk and less mayo.

Other tried and true Harris Sisters' seasoning mixes you might be interested in checking out:

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What's the Difference?: Size 24 Months vs. 2T

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

As kid's consignment season approaches again, I am finding myself back up to my ears in Lexi's fall and winter clothing, shoes, and toys from last year that need to be prepped for this year's fall/ winter consignment sales.  If you missed my previous blog post about how to maximize your time and efforts when it comes to kids' consignment sales, you can check it out here

So as I am going through her things from last year, I am remembering that mostly she was wearing size 18-24 month clothes last fall and winter.  Some of those pieces were simply marked as a size 24 month.  Now, of course, she has graduated to a size 2T.

So what exactly is the difference, if any, between a size 24 month and a size 2T?  Or is that a trick question?  Logic would say these are the same thing, and it's a mistake a LOT of people make.

There is actually a world of difference in these sizes, so don't be fooled, and don't let anyone tell you differently.   Of course, kids come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but in general, a size 24 month is intended for infants age 18 months to 24 months.  And a size 2T is intended for a toddler between the ages of 2 and 3.

So at the farthest end of each of these size ranges, these sizes are actually a year and a half apart, and it would be very unlikely that a child would wear the same size that entire time. Kids grow so quickly (and go through so many clothes) especially at these young ages.  

Incidentally, the dress Lexi was wearing in the picture above is a size 18-24 month dress.  She had just turned 18 months when this picture was taken, and it was big on her.  It would be at least 3 inches shorter on her now, if not more, and it's only been about 9 months.  Grow, baby, grow!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Wunderbrow: A Product Review

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I am always on the hunt for new and improved cosmetics, and this one recently caught my eye.  No pun intended!  It's Wunderbrow, and it's the latest in eyebrow filling cosmetics. I have now used up my first tube of this miracle brow filler and am on my second.  Needless to say, I am a fan.  

Wonderbrow isn't a brow pencil or crayon.  It's actually a thick liquid, of sorts, that you paint on.  I use a thick angeled brow brush to apply it and then use a spooly brush to even it out. Here are the color choices currently available.  Since my eyebrows are on the light side to begin with, I ordered the blonde, which is really kind of a light brown in my opinion, but most blonde eyebrow shades are. In any case, I think these shades pretty much cover any option that you would need. 

And here is some of their advertising to show you the before and after, without and then with, Wunderbrow.  My eyebrows naturally resemble the one on the left, only not nearly as good.  My brows are very light and pretty sparse, so I usually use some sort of brow product to darken them slightly and fill them in.  I would say the photo on the right is a pretty good representation of how your brows look with Wunderbrow. As a word of caution though, this product works by adhering to your existing brows to fill them in.  It will not stick to areas that do not already have hair there to stick to.  So if you've overplucked, it may not work as well for you. 

The product claims to last for several days with no need to reapply in between.  Indeed it does last very well, although a good makeup remover can still get it off with no problem.  I usually remove it all each night and just reapply the next day.  And even doing so, it took me about 6 weeks to use up my first tube.  So yes, I'm a fan!  

Your eyebrows really do frame your face, and it makes such a difference when your eyebrows are done as opposed to when they are not.  You can purchase Wonderbrow online.  Has anyone else tried this one yet?  What are your thoughts?  

This post contains affiliate links.

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Beaufort, NC - Girls' Weekend 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Another Girls' Weekend is in the books!  Each year, we Harris Sisters spend a long weekend somewhere fun doing special things and spending lots of quality girl time together. This year we set our sights on the Carolina coast- Beaufort, NC to be specific.  So we met up in Raleigh, NC, where our road trip began.  And then it was off to the coast!

We rented a little cottage in small town Beaufort.  It was situated right across the street from the courthouse square, lined with big beautiful live oak trees.  And our home away from home was within walking distance to the waterfront and boardwalk- Beaufort's home to all it's little shops, restaurants, and other attractions. 

But first thing's first.  We got down to the business of relaxing pretty quickly.  And that front porch kind of called to us. 

On our first night in town, we decided to talk a walk through town to get our bearings.  Historic Beaufort was lovely.  It is the 3rd oldest city in all of North Carolina, and as luck would have it, our little cottage was also smack dab in the middle of the historic district. 

Yep, we passed lots of historic homes and buildings- most with plaques like this one to show exactly how old each was. 

And another bit of luck brought Misty to a street named just for her! 

The boardwalk was full of pretty storefronts- lots of beachy themed windows.  We liked this one though.  Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!  

There were constant reminders on every corner that we had indeed found a gem of town.  Beaufort really was special for lots of reasons. 

We all really enjoyed The General Store.  Of course, I think we are all suckers for a general store anyway, but this one was super cute, and lived up to it's name. 

Our first full day in Beaufort brought an early morning tour of Shackleford Island to see the wild horses that make their home there and go shelling along the beach.  Here we are waiting for our ferry to begin the journey.

The only way to get to this island was by ferry, and joining a tour isn't necessary but we thought it would be fun and also help to guarantee that we would find those beautiful horses that we were seeking. 

So we boarded our ferry boat along with our fellow passengers, and set sail for our three hour tour. On the way over to the island our nice little ferry ride turned into an unplanned saltwater bath.  The captain told us the water was pretty choppy and we were likely to get wet.  Drowned was more like it, and we were screaming like we were on a roller coaster every time another wave came over the side of the boat.  Ahhh, good times. 

But once we were back on solid ground, these beauties more than made up for the rocky ride there. The wild horses that live on Shackleford Island have been there for hundreds of years now.  They long outlasted their human counterparts that originally settled there with them.  Now the island is their home exclusively.   

Here's a little video of a close encounter with one of these friendly horses.  They are very used to people by now, and they aren't shy at all.  Still you should never get too close or try to touch them. They are wild animals, after all.  We all had to get out of the way pretty quickly to make way for this little horse as he moseyed on his way. 

We spent quite a bit of quality time watching and hearing all about those beautiful creatures.  After that, we set out on a hike to the other side of the island for some top notch shelling.  We learned all about the shells that were out there and where to find the best ones.  We spent some time searching the surf and shore for the prettiest shells, and then started making our way back to the ferry pick up point. 

That was another long hike.  Thankfully, we knew what we were in for ahead of time and were prepared for lots of sandy hiking.   

The weather was perfect.  Partially cloudy and breezy.  And we made it back with about five minutes to spare before the next ferry arrived.  

By the time we were ready to head back, the island was noticeably busier than when we first arrived. Thankfully, we had a few minutes to spare for some more pics, and then we were on our way again. 

The ferry ride back was a lot calmer, and we even got treated to a school of dolphins playing in the water.  Our captain slowed down to allow us all a chance to get a good look at them frolicking alongside our boat. 

That afternoon, we decided to switch gears and do a little antiquing in neighboring Swansboro, NC. On the way, we spotted this old garage with lots of cool old automobiles that were just waiting for their close-ups.  Here's Donna with this red hot Lucky Strike Ford pick up truck.

Then I stepped in with this peachy keen of a beauty. 

Misty decided to model with this old Cadillac.  We felt like Barker's beauties out there!

But then it was back to the business of antiquing.  We found quite a few little antique shops that we spent our time and monies in.  :)

We all fell in love with this multicolored afghan, but sadly, it wasn't for sale.  It did make for a nice picture though. 

So we ended our day with more shopping, milling around, and just generally having fun. 

Day two brought lots of fun in the sun on Emerald Isle Beach.  Of course, we started our time there cooling our heels in the shade (because that's what all good fair skinned girls should do whilst at the beach!)

Then it was time to take a walk down memory lane.  When we were kids, we always stopped for Donald Duck Orange Juice when we were on roadtrips.  Back then, it was widely available at convenienve stores, and was sold in glass bottles.  We fondly nicknamed it "Duck Juice", and it was always such a treat!  Well apparently, they still make it, just in cans now.  And it's still just as tasty as ever!

We also thought it would be fun to document our whereabouts on the beach for another picture, but that sand was HOT- very HOT- so we snapped this pic super fast and headed straight for the water to cool down. 

Here's Misty wasting no time.  Lounging in the surf is how Girls' Weekend should be spent!

And here's Donna snorfunkling (the Harris Sister term for laughing) in the surf. :)

And then there's me jumping for joy in the surf.  We know how to keep it fun!

Time out for another selfie.  There sure were a lot of those on this trip!

Here's a picture that we couldn't resist.  If you recall, we also capitalized on last year's Share a Coke campaign.  Last year, the bottles and cans featured names on the side of them, as in share a Coke with _______ (you fill in the blank with your favorite person.)  Here's the link to our pics from last year. This year, it's song lyrics.  So the obvious choice was "Summer, Summer, Summertime".  

After we'd had enough beach time, it was off again.  More shopping, sightseeing, and milling around. We stopped in to a corner store for a few essentials, and this pup met us at the door,  When we were ready to check out, he was there again to ring us up.  I've never seen anything cuter than that.  We laughed and joked about this sweet pup the rest of the trip!

Next stop was a few antique shops and markets in town.  We found these letters just calling our names. (or at least our initials!)

The porch was so pretty too.  I loved that Pepsi- Cola button sign. 

And this checkerboard was all set up and ready to go.  What a cute idea- using bottle caps as checkers!

Misty was immediately ready to try it out!

Even the back porch was all done up, and these hydrangeas sure did make a pretty picture with Harris Sister Donna. 

As luck would have it, the local Farmer's Market was actually celebrating it's 100th anniversary with a night market just steps away from our beach cottage.  So of course, we rambled over.  We met this beauty right off.  Her name is Holly and she's a sweetie.  She likes people and having her picture taken.  :)

There was also a play area set up for the "kids".  Hmmmm....

Donna is a master hula hooper from way back!

We had to show those young whipper snappers how it is done.  

There was live music. Lots of food and craft vendors.  People walking around everywhere.  What a fun time!

So on our final morning together, we decided to take another trip down memory lane and visit Morehead City, NC- the site of so many of our childhood family vacations.  We instantly recognized many of the areas there.  But we set our sights on finding the Triple S Fishing Pier.  That's where Daddy always fished from back in the day.  It was a humongous pier that extended seemingly forever out into the Atlantic Ocean.  When we got there, it was nowhere to be found.  What?!?!?  A quick google search revealed that it was actually demolished over 10 years ago to make room for more ocean front real estate.  Again, what?!?!?  As it turns out, Daddy was well aware of that tidbit.  :) Since we couldn't get our picture on the old Triple S pier as we had planned, we found ourselves another pier and snapped a quick pic. 

Then we switched gears, and visited another old time favorite- Fort Macon State Park.  

We always used to come here as kids to break up the beach time.  It's a very old military fort.  Lots of history here. 

Today, it has a pretty new museum and visitor center that has been added.  But all of the old fort still remains.  It's a perfect combination of the old and the new. 

Another Harris Sister selfie for good measure out in front of the shade trees of Fort Macon. 

Back at the ranch, it was time to pack up and hit the road, but not before leaving our thoughts about the trip in our cottage's visitor book.   Here's what we wrote.

Names: Donna, Deanna, and Misty

Date of Visit: June 2016

The weather was: warm, muggy- really you could wring the water out of the air!  But breezy and no real rain to dodge. :)

Some wonderful things we did: Beaufort Horse and Shelling Tour- ask for Doug- it was awesome!

What we saw and discovered: Farmer's Market on Saturdays; the cashier at the corner Big Daddy's Market is a dog!  (not kidding) He was AMAZING and also very helpful!

Moments and glimpses and little details that mattered: Ophelia the PIG!  Walking distance to Olde Beaufort, having access to the beachcombers.  Beaufort Ice Company is a great spot for some "cool" pictures!

Some other thoughts: We enjoyed our time at the "Law Offices of Beaufort and Turkle".  Not sure if this is a positive thing, but we've never been catcalled quite as much as here in Beaufort.  

--XOXO, Three middle aged mothers and wives

Just as we were heading out of town on our way home, we ran upon this field of pretty sunflowers. 

Umm, no brainer- time for a few more pictures!

Never pass by a field of sunflowers without stopping!  I think it's a good luck thing. 

Yep, here's another selfie, but not the last one... :)

We did happen to make time for one more selfie before the end of our journey.  As it turns out, we ran into an old friend on the way home.  What luck!

And so ends another Girls' Weekend.  What a fun time.  We hope you enjoyed recounting it with us!  
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