Friday, November 30, 2012

Fresh Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The best pumpkin pie I have tasted was made with fresh pumpkin - instead of canned. It is a little bit more work, since you have to cook the pumpkin, but it is so worth it!

Actually, the hardest part is scraping the seeds out. After that it is pretty easy. Basically, you just:
  1. Cut the pumpkin in half (use a small pie pumpkin - I don't know if all pumpkins are good for baking)
  2. Scrape the seeds and membrane out
  3. Put both halves upside down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup or so of water (to keep it from drying out) and 
  4. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until you can poke a fork into it (through the skin)
  5. Let it cool a little and scrape the pumpkin out of the skin
But that is not what I wanted to talk about. Now that that is out of the way here is the good part! The PIE RECIPE! :-D

Oh, and also - since I can't eat gluten - it had a gluten free crust - which was AWESOME! 

What you need:
  • 2 cups cooked fresh pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 cup milk 

  • 5 Tbs butter
  • 8 oz. gluten free cookies or graham crackers - I used Trader Joe's Gluten Free Ginger Snaps


Start with the crust:

Turn the oven on to 300 and melt the butter in a pie pan.

Crush the cookies.  I used the whole bag and crushed then right in the bag. You can put them in a food processor to make them finer if you want.

Swish the melted butter around in the pie pan to coat it and then pour it into a bowl and mix it with the crushed cookies.

Press the cookie mixture into the pie pan to form the crust. Put it in the refrigerator to set while you make the pie filling.

Pie Filling:

Heat the oven to 425.

Beat all the filling ingredients together until smooth (I burned out my mixer a couple of weeks ago, so I used the blender. It worked fine.)

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

Lower the oven temp to 350 and continue to bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until the filling is set (stick a table knife into the middle - if it comes out clean, it is ready).

Take it out and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Top with whipped cream. Share with your friends and/or family and be prepared to be praised for your culinary prowess! :-D

Monday, November 19, 2012

Small Business Saturday Sale

In celebration of Small Business Saturday (Saturday, November 24, this year) I am offering 25% off of everything at Holly&Sage!

This is an unprecedented discount - if you have been eying one of my items or are searching for a unique holiday gift, don't miss this opportunity to get a great deal!

If you have never shopped at Holly&Sage before, here are a few of the unique offerings you will find there:

Mommy Necklaces

"Mommy Necklace" is my name for my line of a type of necklace commonly called a 'nursing necklace'. Nursing necklaces can be worn by anyone, but are especially useful for mothers or other care-givers that spend a lot of time holding babies or toddlers. Young children are attracted to jewelry and like to yank on necklaces. Most necklaces are too fragile to withstand their strong little hands, but not nursing necklaces! Designed to be sturdy, they are made with simple stones on natural fiber cords (usually cotton or hemp). They can withstand pulling and the stones won't harm baby if they find their way into little mouths.

Recycled Button Jewelry


My most popular jewelry items are my recycled button jewelry. I got the idea a couple of years ago to make bracelets from the large stash of buttons that I had collected over the years. I love the casual versatility of these bracelets! You can wear just one or stack them up for a really cool and funky look! They are not delicate like a lot of jewelry is, so you can wear them to the beach, etc. and if they get dirty, no worries - just throw them in the wash!

and my latest passion is -

Recycled T-shirt & Sweater Scarves

This eco-friendly idea was sparked from a Pinterest board and I am having so much fun with it! Instead of throwing old t-shirts away they can be used to make wonderfully soft and colorful scarves. I only have a couple of scarves listed now, but expect to see a lot more very soon. 

Come on over to Holly&Sage and see what you want to save on this Saturday!

Related posts:
Introducing My New Line of Button Jewelry
Custom Bracelets From Your Buttons

Friday, October 26, 2012

All My Links in One Place!

I am excited to have all my links together in one place now - at Flavors!

Holly&Sage Designs: My own boho style handmade artisan jewelry, recycled vintage button jewelry & Earth Mama Organic Mommy Nursing Necklaces

You can set up your own Flavors page HERE

Have fun!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Type 2 But Not Into a Lot of Accessories?

In a Dressing Your Truth video chat yesterday (Oct. 11) Carol Tuttle told one member that she was a type 4 instead of the T2 that the member - I think her name was Amy - thought she was. This was partly based on her lack of accessories. Amy was at home with 3 children and had on a simple shirt - like a t-shirt. I keep thinking that I don't wear accessories when I am at home, either, and my kids are grown - I certainly didn't when I had small kids climbing all over me.

If I understand correctly, Carol equates a lack of accessories as a sign of being a Type 4. So I have been questioning my certainty that I am a T2.

Apart from physical features, such as down turned  eyes and mouth, I believe I am a T2 because:
  • I am a list maker. I have so many lists I can't keep up with them
  • I NEED a plan. Without a plan I am lost (and I hate when the plan changes)
  • I have always been detail minded
  • In school I was constantly being told to "speak up"
  • I am a slow and methodical worker

In my mind, I am less of a Type 4 than any other type. For one thing, I have never been sure of anything in my life! Well, not many things, anyway... I am not bold and striking.

I love the idea of accessories, but they usually seem to bother me. I need to be COMFORTABLE! I stay at home now, but even when I was working and wore bracelets and things to work (office work) the bracelets often came off before the end of the day. Some women take their bra off as soon as they get home - I take off my jewelry (and scarves, etc.)!

Are there any other T2s that can relate to this? Please tell me your feelings on it so I can understand!


After stressing and doing a lot more reading and researching, I dressed as a T4 today to post on the Dressing Your Truth forum for feedback. I got my first feedback from my husband when I asked him to take my picture. He said, "I don't know what you did, but you really highlighted all of your wrinkles!" He was right - when I saw my picture I realized I looked a LOT older - tired and washed out, too. That answered the question for me more readily than all that reading did! So, if you are wondering where you fit in, try a Type on and see how it feels!

Let me know what you think of my T4 look!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Learn to Let Your Beauty Shine by Living True to Your Nature

Be your most beautiful self by learning how to live true to your unique energy type!

Before I discovered Dressing Your Truth I often struggled to find styles of clothing and accessories that I felt good in and expressed who I really was. Part of the problem was that I didn't truly know who I truly was. Since I joined the Dressing Your Truth program I have discovered how easy it is to be ME. And you know what? It is so exciting!

Do you have things in your closet that you never seem to wear? You know that when you put them on they just don't feel right? Those things, no matter how beautiful or stylish they are, are most likely not suited to your type! The Dressing Your Truth course will help you to learn how to clear those things our of your wardrobe and replace them with great choices that will make you feel like your true beautiful self!

One of my favorite things about Dressing Your Truth is how much easier shopping is. Now that I know exactly what colors and styles to look for I can save a lot of time and frustration looking at (and possibly buying) things that are wrong for me.

Right now you can get the entire Dressing Your Truth course and access to all the great instructional videos and the supportive forums for only $99 when you use this link. You will also get a $20 gift card for the Dressing Your Truth online store (great clothing and accessories for your type) immediately and another $10 gift card after your first order.

Hurry! This offer ends Tuesday, October 9!

Related posts: Ready to be Your Most Beautiful Self?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Custom Bracelets From YOUR Special Buttons!

Now available from Holly&Sage - Custom Button Bracelets!

If you have a lot of buttons (or any) laying around and you like the idea of making jewelry, but you don't have the time (or the creativity or the desire) to make them yourself, send them to me and I will do it for you!

A friend of mine and the proprietor of Back Home, a quaint gift shop in Gold Hill, NC, had a lot of buttons that had been her mother's before she passed away. These were special reminders of her mother and she wanted to put them to use in a special way. Since she loves my button bracelets, she commissioned me to make some bracelets from her mother's buttons. They turned out great!

Aren't these pretty?
Thanks to Sandy's encouragement, I am now offering custom button bracelets from your buttons!

These make excellent heirloom gifts for family members: dig out Grandma's old buttons and have some made for aunts, nieces, sisters, cousins, etc. Think Grandma didn't have any buttons? Check that sewing sewing basket - I bet she did!

All you need is a selection of buttons - a 7-inch bracelet usually uses 10 - 12 buttons depending on how big the buttons are.
That's it! I will supply the cord, come up with a pleasing design, and put it all together for you!

See Holly&Sage for all the details.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Packing for Airline Travel

... with three stops.... 


You know you have OCD when it takes you 3 days to pack! Seriously, I think I have a problem!

I recently signed up with Dressing Your Truth where I learned what my beauty style is. Not only do you learn the best colors and types of clothing to wear, it is something of a personality assessment. As a Type 2, I discovered that I am very detailed. And, in my case, that causes me to take forever to pack for a trip - especially a 9-day trip in which we will be changing planes 3 times (UGGG! Who chose this itinerary!?!).

I don't want to haul a large carry-on bag from flight to flight that many times (possibly running through the airport to make the connection!) so I am planning to check my bag. But I don't want to get caught spending a night at an unexpected stop somewhere without vital toiletries and at least something to sleep in, if not a change of clothes. Sooooo - I have a rather large purse that I bought specifically for this trip (in a suitable Type 2 muted color!) and I have packed everything in it that I think I might need in a pinch.

Here is what I have in this wonderfully spacious bag:
  • my makeup case plus a bottle of moisturizer and my powder which don't fit in the case
  • a large t-shirt and extra undies - for sleeping in if my other clothes (ie: my checked bag) is not with me
  • a mirror (for putting on aforementioned makeup)
  • Emergency 'medical' supplies: contact case and solution, assorted medications such as allergy pills, aspirin, cough drops, etc. (in the red checked bag)
  • reading glasses
  • my wallet with cash, credit cards, etc.
  • my camera
  • Rx eyeglasses
  • lipstick, lip balm, lip liner, compact with mirror
  • hand sanitizer and wet wipes
  • my Nook (smaller than a book! - more versatile, too!)
  • my phone (not in there now, but will be when I leave) ...should I try to cram my charger in there?
  • my passport
  • a pen(hmmm - do I need paper, too?)

So, if you are looking for suggestions on what to pack, this should cover it. Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments!

Now that that is done, I need to stop procrastinating and get back to packing my other bag...


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ready to Be Your Most Beautiful Self?

My experience with Dressing Your Truth

I have recently discovered a program that helps women learn to accentuate their own natural qualities by taking a realistic look at the hair, skin, and body that they were born with; see their own unique beauty and make the most of it!

That is a tall order! I have spent hours watching videos and reading articles and watched (what feels like) hundreds of before and after photos that have convinced me that this program truly works magic!

It is called Dressing your Truth. You can sign up for the free Learn Your Type e-course here.

I have spent so much time with this fascinating information the last few days that I see it where ever I look. Last night my husband and I were watching a documentary and one of the experts that was being interviewed was such a perfect example of a Type 1 that it was quite distracting to me! I wanted to say, "look at her ears that stick out in such an animated way, and her round face, and her cute upturned mouth!" but, of course, he would have thought I had completely lost my mind, so I didn't mention it. Ha! Ha!

Another place I am seeing "types" is in my jewelry! Here are some examples:

Type 1: Bright, animated beauty; light, airy, circles, fun

Color Pop Earrings
Pastel Button Bracelet

Type 2: Subtle, soft beauty, comfortable, flowing

Aqua Swirl Mommy Necklace
Low Tide Button Bracelet

Type 3: Rich, dynamic beauty; passionate, angular

Square Green Mommy Necklace
Mustard Yellow Marble Bracelet

Type 4: Bold, striking beauty; solid, high contrast, black & white

Geometric Red Cubic Zirc Earrings

Black & White Necklace

Have you discovered what your type is? What are your favorite type-specific accessories?

Let me know what you think of the program!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Banana Mango Smoothie Recipe

This recipe makes a delicious breakfast smoothie, or you can pour it into Popsicle molds and freeze them to make a healthy frozen treat!


I have been exploring paleo foods lately in a search for relief from my digestive woes. I came across a recipe similar to this one and tweaked it a little to suit my preferences. This sugar-free, dairy-free treat will fit in with your paleo diet, gluten free diet, real food (traditional; WAPF) diet, or just about any eating plan you follow.

What you will need:
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Coconut milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Almond butter
  • Egg (optional)
Make it:
  • To make 2 servings (warning: it tastes really good - you might want to drink both servings yourself in one sitting!) I used one whole fresh mango and one banana. I cut these up the night before and put them in the freezer because I like my smoothies to be nice and frosty. You can do this or you can leave them unfrozen.
  • Combine the mango, banana, about a tablespoon of lemon juice (I didn't measure it - smoothies don't need exact amounts), a blob of almond butter (about 1/4 cup), and a cup or so of full fat coconut milk (I made this the day before, too - Here's how), and the egg if you are using it. 
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy! Share some with someone else, drink it all yourself, or freeze the leftovers for a Popsicle later. Yummy!
What is your favorite smoothie? Leave a comment and let me know!

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

    Book Review: Wheat Belly by William Davis

    This book changed my life. In fact, it may have SAVED it.

    I had read some negative reviews about it, so I was skeptical about it's value. But I found it to be well written, easy to read, and very informative.

    Davis uses a lot of light humor, which makes for an easy and enjoyable read, but he also includes a lot of excellent information. He explains the technical reasoning to support his positions in a way that is not difficult for a lay person to understand.

    Wheat Belly argues that many of the health problems facing Americans today can possibly be caused by eating too many grains, and modern wheat in particular. These problems include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, accelerated aging, and of course, celiac disease.

    I almost skipped the chapter on Celiac disease thinking, "I don't have that". But I read it anyway. I'm glad I did, because I now realize that I DO have that! That is why I say this book may have saved my life: It is estimated that only 10% of Celiac sufferers realize that they have the disease and if untreated it poses a hugely increased risk of abdominal cancers.

    Cancer has been a concern of mine since I can remember. Nearly all of my family members that are no longer living have had cancer (and a couple of the ones that ARE still living...). I have also had a lot of abdominal and digestion-related troubles, so I was eager to "fix" these by giving up wheat and gluten.

    The one complaint that I have about Wheat Belly is that it leads you to believe that if you give up wheat (and other gluten-containing grains) all your problems will be solved and your wildest dreams will come true (okay, so that is an exaggeration, but you get the picture). I am finding that this is just not true. Healing your 'gut' takes time, and it may be several months before you actually see dramatic results of your new gluten-free lifestyle.

    I have had fewer problems with gas and bloating in the 3 weeks since I stopped eating gluten, but I can't say that it has stopped completely. I also have not lost any of the spare tire around my belly yet. But my DH (dermatitis herpetiformis - an itchy skin condition associated with celiac disease) has cleared up almost completely, and I have hope that my system is working hard to heal itself and repair the intestinal damage inflicted upon it by years of undigestible gluten exposure.

    I recommend Wheat Belly to anyone who wants to learn more about the effects that eating grains has on the body. The last portion of the book also contains a sample menu and lot of good grain-free recipes.

    Buy Wheat Belly at

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Using Pinterest for your Online Business

    I you have a website or online shop you should be using Pinterest. Is is an excellent and easy-to-use promotional tool.  It is a great visual way to get more traffic to your site or shop. (Also a fun way to wile away the hours looking at beautiful photos of places you'd like to travel to or recipes that make your mouth water.)

    Add a Pinterest button to your toolbar (so you can "Pin" things quick as a wink!

    And now there is Pinerly! 

    Pinerly is a new application that makes it easier than ever to use Pinterest. Use it to follow/unfollow pinners, view popular pins, schedule pins, and get statistics to learn how to reach a larger audience. It will help you to optimize your marketing strategies so that you can focus on your content!

    More about Pinterest and how and why you should be using it: this link to sign up for Pinerly:

    Find me on Pinterest:

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    How to Make Coconut Milk - So Delicious!

    I made coconut milk for the first time today and I am so excited about it! I had never tasted truly fresh coconut milk before so I didn't know what I was missing, but - WOW! It is so creamy and smooth.

    I followed Jenny's instructions at Nourished Kitchen for making it, and it worked great. It was time-consuming (getting all that coconut out of the shell and peeling the skin off of it), but not hard.* (See my time-saving update below!)

    PS - Get free shipping from Tropical Traditions with code 200212free - hurry, it expires midnight EST, Monday, February 20th.

    Once you get it out you basically just put it in a blender with some water and blend it up. I was afraid that my blender would have trouble with it (it doesn't do well with ice, for instance), but it shredded it right up quite easily. After I squeezed the liquid out of it, the remaining coconut looked just like what you buy at the store! (Except it didn't have any additives.)

    The instructions say to strain it through butter muslin, but I don't have any of that so I used an old (clean!) cotton pillowcase that was getting thin with wear. I cut a large square out of one side of the pillowcase and used it to strain the coconut. It worked perfectly and I felt good about putting something that I thought was 'worn out' to good use!

    Jenny says to put the coconut in a dehydrator to use in baked goods, etc. just like any other coconut. I have a dehydrator, but I didn't want to go to the trouble of putting the coconut in it, so I just put it in a plastic container in the freezer. That should be just as good.

    After I made it I drank a glass of it before storing it in the frige. It was still warm and indescribably delicious!  Bonus: my hands were really soft from the coconut oil after I finished squeezing the milk out of the coconut.


    *TIME SAVING UPDATE! I just found a product that saves me from having to cut open a coconut and pry the meat out and scrape all the peel off - this is HUGE, believe me! And it actually saves money, too. I was paying from $2 to $4 each for coconuts at the grocery store until I decided to try to find some natural packaged coconut meat without sweetener or additives. I discovered Tropical Traditions Organic Dried Coconut Flakes (it is available shredded, too). 

    I ordered a 2.2 lb. bag, and it is a LOT of coconut. It looks to be the equivalent of about 6 coconuts. Since I only paid $8.50 for it (on sale - regular price is $10. - still a good deal), that is like paying less than $1.50 per coconut. PLUS it is organic AND saves a LOT of work! What could be better? :-D

    Coconut Chips - 2.2-lb Bag

    Order before midnight EST, Monday, February 20th and get free shipping - use code 200212free. 

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    It's a New Year - What're You Gonna Do With It? My Goals for 2012

    I don't usually make New Year's resolutions or start any big changes with the new year. I don't know why, but this year feels different. Maybe it is the inspiration of several good blogs I have discovered this past year. Anyway, I seriously want to get my act together and start living the life I want to live! It seems like a good time to do it...

    My 12 Goals for 2012

    Goal 1: Simplify my life

    This is a big one! I have been yearning to simplify my life for several years now, but I never seem to make much progress in that direction. It seemed so overwhelming that I never know where to start. Every 'simplifying' project that I undertook seemed to make my life even more complicated... probably because I always ended up trying to do everything at once and not finishing anything.

    Tsh Oxenreider must have been reading my mind when she wrote One Bite at a Time because she presents a list of 52 changes that you can easily make one at a time. It seems like a no-brainer, but anyone can make one change - it is easy and do-able. I have always said I can do anything if I have a list in front of me. Now I do! (My task this week is #45, Set annual goals.)

    (I also plan to break down my yearly goals so that I tackle one each month instead of all at once. That is why I choose 12 goals.)

    Goal 2: Learn to use Nook and Springpad

    I got a Nook for Christmas :-) I like it a lot, but I am really feeling my age - it is taking me a while to learn to use certain features of it. One of the main reasons I wanted to get one was so that I can consolidate all my lists. I am a list-maker, and I always seem to have lists all over the house. I spend a lot of time looking for missing lists.

    My goal is to get all my lists onto the Nook so I will always know where they are. But first, I have to learn how to use it effectively.

    Goal 3: Get up earlier and establish a morning routine

    I have found that I have a happier and more productive day when I get up and take a shower and get dressed right away. If I don't do it right away I end up in my pajamas at 2:00 in the afternoon and I feel really lazy.

    Goal 4: Get organized

    This is another big one. Kinda like simplifying, but not exactly. Getting organized, to me, has more to do with my physical space - finding a place for everything and making my home a sanctuary instead of a temple of chaos...

    Stephanie O'Dea of Totally Together Journal is one of my favorite blogger friends. Organization is her thing. I will use many of her tips to accomplish this one.

    Goal 5: Quit coffee

    Ann Marie of Cheeseslave is another favorite that I discovered very recently. I agree wholeheartedly with her food philosophy and she gives great nutritional advice in easy-to-understand language.

    She gave up coffee a while back and she tells her reasons for doing it in 30 Reasons to Quit Coffee. I believe that if I give up drinking coffee I will sleep better (a big problem for me), digest my food better, have more energy, and just generally feel better.

    Goal 6: Find out what my food allergies are and alter my diet accordingly

    I have read a lot about going gluten-free, and I suspect that I might be allergic to wheat and/or gluten. I don't think I am allergic to dairy, but I want to test for that too, just so I know for sure. You can find an easy method for testing yourself at home in The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.

    The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions--Today

    Goal 7: Clean out the attic

    Our attic is a mess. There are things up there that have been in boxes for the whole 3 1/2 years we have lived in this house. Occasionally one of us will go up there to look for something and rummage around in the chaos which makes it even worse (and even harder to find something the next time).

    My  goal is to remove everything that we don't need and get rid of it. The  rest of it needs to be organized so that we know where things are when  we need them. (This goes for that closet in the garage, too.)

    Note:  This project needs to be done in the spring or fall. It is too hot in  the attic in the summer and too cold in the winter. Better do it in the  spring, or it may never get done!

    Goal 8: Connect with the Earth

    A little while back I came across an article on "earthing". I had never heard of it before, so I did some research and it really piqued my interest. Many experts believe that there are a lot of benefits to one's health and well-being from physical connection with the earth. I won't try to explain it; for information check out

    I hope to spend a bit of time each day (as weather allows) with my bare feet on the ground. The fresh air and sunshine won't do me any harm, either!

    Goal 9: Unclutter my wardrobe - FINALLY!

    I dream of looking in my closet and seeing only things that I love and that fit me well and look good on me. I think can make this happen if I set sentiment aside and clear out about half of what I own.

    I feel stressed out when I see things in my closet or drawers that I don't really want to wear but I can't part with. If those things were gone, I would probably never miss them and I could avoid that stress!

    There is a section in One Bite at a Time about this that should inspire me. Also, Frugal Living Now has suggestions for general decluttering.

    Goal 10: Get some exercise

    This is no surprise. Like just about everyone I know I would feel better if I exercised - I have experienced it in the past. I don't know why I fight so hard to keep from doing it, but I do. This year I want to finally stop talking about it, planning it, and researching equipment and just take the plunge and DO it!

    Goal 11: Create an essential papers and information file

    This includes passwords for my husband so he can have access to my accounts, etc. if something happens to me. He is going to do the same for me. We really should do a will, too - maybe I can convince him to stop procrastinating and do that too.

    Goal 12: Make annual goals for 2013

    Do this for next year. Hopefully BEFORE the new year next time. It is the 4th already and I am still planning. Oh, well - better late than never I guess!

    Next week I am going to write about how I am customizing Tsh's 52 projects into a plan that works for me.