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Organic & Whole Living: Household Product Challenge Part 2

Hey everyone,

How is it going with your inventory? Have you had a chance to start? Do you need some help?

I received an email this morning from Environmental Working Group, they have updated their Dirty Dozen worst and Best list for vegetables and produce. They've also teamed up with Dr. Andrew Weil.

I've already printed off the new list and plan to make myself a pocket copy. If you'd like to get a list, I encourage you to sign up with EWG.

A little bit more about the Environmental Working Group:

You've probably heard of their work - they're the ones responsible for getting a carcinogen removed from Teflon, spreading the word about how safe sunscreens really are, and creating an extensive cosmetics safety database. You can join their email list at www.ewg.org/signup or check out their website at www.ewg.org. They have a lot of great resources like:

Join their email list to receive buying guides for safe children's products; info on cosmetics, sunscreens, and products to avoid; tips for making your food and water safer, and answers to your questions about keeping your family healthy. Sign up today at www.ewg.org/signup. Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

Video from Environmental Working Group:
Updated: Kid-Safe Chemicals Act: 10 Americans @ Yahoo! Video

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Environmental Working group in any way. They don't know me or know about my challenge to you, my readers. I'm doing this for you! I want you to be healthier!


Organic & Whole Living: Household Product Challenge

Good morning lovely readers! I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.

Today I'm writing asking you to participate in a household product challenge. More and more we are exposing ourselves to harmful chemicals and products that our body really shouldn't be trying to handle. A couple of years ago my eyes were opened up to harmful ingredients used in every day products including those in my children's soap. Today I'm encouraging you like someone once did for me, to create a product list of every single product you use in your household. This should include what you clean with to what you put on your body. Make a chart of these products. After you've gathered your chart, then visit the Environmental Working Group's website Skin Deep and look up each product. If you can't find a product, look up its ingredients. 

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ROOMBOXES - Photography by Krista Peel

I remember doing this a couple years back and have since slipped into buying products cleverly marketed and packaged. Even though I know a lot of the chemicals listed in the products and some that sound very natural I've been duped once again and have let some of these slip back into our home. The companies who market these products are getting more and more clever with their wording.

You might be wondering, what am I supposed to do without breaking the bank after I dispose of all of these products. Well, here in the next couple of weeks I plan to post some helpful tips, links and alternatives for you. The goal is to make your household as chemical free as possible and remove the toxic load your putting on your body. Think of it as spring cleaning, without the bad stuff.

Are you up for the challenge?

xoxo Gabreial 

Visit Krista Peel on Etsy for more of her charming photography and artwork, using doll house miniatures.


Making the Most of Monday: Well, hello Monday!

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If you are new to the magazine, Making the Most of Monday is a regular part of our features. Mondays  signify one important thing, a fresh start. It's like a new years resolution at the start of every week.

Hopefully by Monday you've taken some off time during the weekend to rejuvenate, spend quality time with loved ones and friends, which makes Monday your chance to really get to work and make the most of your week.

Well, hello Monday!

How is everyone this morning? I have to say, I'm feeling pretty darn good this Monday morning. We had our first weekend of doing absolutely nothing or anything that we didn't want to do in a long time and boy was it nice. Monday is here though and that means a new week. This week, I'm super busy with homeschooling activities and becoming more frugal. A friend of mine has been inspiring me lately, although I haven't told her, but my goal this week is to get on the frugal wagon! I think I'll pick her brain a bit and find out more of her tips and tricks.

Speaking of frugal, It has been a couple of days since I mentioned Swag Bucks to you, but I wanted to let you know that it is in fact real and it works. I've already earned a $5.00 gift card to spend at Amazon, just for searching the internet. My frugal friend also sent me another link today called Groupons. I've signed up and I'm pretty excited about the savings there. It is a group coupon website where the more who purchase the more you save type of thing. If you aren't in the Greater Cincinnati area, don't worry there are many other cities to choose from. From this site I've learned about a organic fresh fruit and veggie delivery service that I had no idea was in my area. Check it out for yourself Groupons

FYI: Frugal doesn't mean cheap, it means your smart. 

What about you? What are your goals for this week? Do you have any frugal tips to share?


Disclaimer: If you click on any of those links up there they are affiliate links. 


Try Something New! Join a Freestyle Embroidery class with me!

Hey everyone, how are you this Friday morning? I'm doing pretty good. It's raining here, but I don't mind I have a fun new project to work on. First, a little background information on me. I do not craft, I am not crafty, I don't have very much artistic talent as far as crafts and art are concerned BUT, I want to!

A little while ago, I started thinking about embroidery. I don't know, embroidery? Yeah, embroidery. Embroidery has been on my brain a lot. Just to show you how much, I already have business ideas for something I don't even know how to do. Crazy right? Well, I remembered a blog friend of mine Teresa McFayden of My Minutia you know the awesome Silver Bella chick. Anyway, she released a Freestyle Embroidery E-Zine, BINGO! I contacted her and asked if I could take a gander and see if I could give it a go. She happily obliged my request and provided my password. 

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The past couple of days I've been gathering supplies. I had my first run of embroidery and I LOVE IT! I love the little stitches and I love the "freestyle" part. I can mix vintage with new and you know how much I love that.

So, before I go any further, I'd like to join me for this fantastic adventure of learning something new. Even if you've embroidered before, sign up for the class and you can teach us too! We can have our very own little Vintage Indie session and share our progress! 

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Visit Paper Bella Studio at this link for the Free Style Embroidery EZine. Once your in, you can comment there, ask questions, see the video tutorials and more!

I hope to see you there! I'm only at the beginning!

♥ Gabreial

ps. Teresa provided the EZine to me free of charge for review. I loved it so much I thought I should share it here with you. She is not paying me to have you sign up or join in, or for this review/feature, I just thought it would be a great way for us to get together! xoxo


pss. If you decide to join up let me know! I'd like to know if you're coming from Vintage Indie so we can chat! Leave a comment here.


Food Inc. You really should...

It is so funny. I'm not a big TV watcher. I rather be on my laptop, reading, baking, just getting my hands into something different than TV. Although I admit, we watch Chuck and The Office around here, oh, and don't forget Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, amazing show right (I usually catch it on Hulu)? Anyway, last night I decided to see what was on and turned right to the very beginning of the free showing of Food Inc. on our local PBS station.

I've been avoiding this movie. Mostly, because I've done the research myself and I kind of knew what it was all about. I just didn't need the visuals, you know? So my husband and I sat through the entire thing and I'm so glad we did. It was gross, sad, shocking, unfortunate and heart breaking. I'm not an evolutionist by any stretch of the imagination so I didn't agree with some of those comments, but that's not what this is about. It is about food.

The food we feed our families, our children and our babies! Like so many other hot topics out there, food seems to just go under the radar and the organic natural following is only grabbed by a few here and there. We continue to go through the drive through not really thinking why exactly is this chicken sandwich only a buck? I mean, how is that possible? What about the 99 cent burgers, just how do they get such a great price? Watch Food Inc. you'll see how they do it, and I bet it will change your life.  

The most heart wrenching part is most of the population thinks that they don't have a choice of this vicious cycle. They can't afford organic, natural much less veggies to feed their family healthy.  They don't realize they they have the power to control, to change what the stores and restaurants offer. The stores, the businesses, they rely on YOU the consumer. You shop, you pay for crap, they keep up with the demand of crap. You stop buying the crap, they have to move to other alternatives, good alternatives, healthy alternatives! You have the power! 

My Earth Day contribution, is to encourage you to watch Food Inc. Make a plan to support local farmers this summer. You have no idea how badly that they need you. Grow a garden, even if it is a small one. 

Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change? - Trailer and Photos.

♥ Gabreial

Edited to add: My husband ate a veggie sub from Subway today! Way to go honey, I ♥ you.

Updated to add: I use this list often, as in MmePaulita's comment, it is a helpful list. 

Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

https://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php


The Daily Swank: Freshly Fig

Sometimes, there is so much I want to feature from one shop it is hard to choose just a few items!

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I'll take one of each please, especially the baking necklace, the bird earrings, the cloud earrings, OH and the harmonica, the cooking utensils, and the vintage hot hair balloon all from Freshly Fig!

DID YOU KNOW? "New and re-purposed vintage necklaces and earrings are the highlight of Freshy Fig. Green, green, green! "  How cool is that?

Do you like the new "DID YOU KNOW" feature? I hope to include more of these when I feature small businesses.


What You Make of It: Lunch Sack Book with Susan Duane

Susan is back with another great handmade gift idea. Just in time for Mother's Day even Father's Day.

Hello! I've got a fun, easy and perfect project for those hard to buy for people. I don't know about you but I never know what to get my husband. I've been making these little scrapbooks for him and he always tells me they are the best gifts.


Bag project 005

You'll need:
 
 ♥ paper lunch bags or chipboard book
♥ scrapbooking papers
♥ adhesive
♥ pictures
♥ inks
♥ embellishments
 

This can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. I like to start by distressing the edges of the bags with distress ink. I like the aged look but if it's not your style you can skip this step. 

Fold each bag in half and but them together like book pages, staggering the tops and bottoms of the bags like shown. How you bind the pages is up to you. I sewed right down the middle of all the pages on my sewing machine. You can punch holes & tie ribbon, you can wrap the entire book with ribbon and tie closed, you could use metal rings from the office supply store, I even made one with a twig and some twine to look like a toggle closure.

Bag project 001

 
Another tip those little scrapbook paper pads in the 6 x 6 size are perfect for these, no cutting necessary. If you have lots of other papers on hand that's great you'll just need to cut them down. Cover each page in paper with your adhesive and embellish like you would any scrapbook page, add buttons, paper clips, tags anything you wish. On some pages I make pockets with a second sheet of paper or you can tuck notes or tags into the openings in the paper bags themselves. For Christmas I had each child write a little note to their Dad and included that in one of the pockets.

Bag project 007

If you want something with more substance you can find plain chipboard books in any craft store, the one pictured on the far right is chipboard using the same idea as the paper bags books.


 

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If you gather all your photos and supplies you can easily put one of these together in about an hour! 

Happy Crafting!

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Featurebutton_05Susan Duane is a wife and mother of three young children. She is a home cook, aspiring photographer and lover of old things. She spends her days caring for her family, creating for Paperhill and in her free time chronicles her long list of interests on her blog Hometown Girl.


Vintage Crush: Vintage on the Brain

I don't know about you, but I got bit by the vintage bug this past weekend. I've been scouting out all sorts of great vintage. Too bad I can't buy any until we move! Anyway, hubby and I visited the Burlington Kentucky Antique Show this past Sunday. It was a buzzing place. Seems like I wasn't the only one with the "vintage itch".

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Vintage on the Make has a fabulous vintage shop. Just look at what I found, a houndstooth decanter set! If this isn't swanky, I don't know what is!

Edited: to fix the link.


Vintage Fashion Forward: Cute Vintage Dress

I'm on a hunt for a few vintagy (< made up word) dresses for this summer. My problem, I need to get my measurements together.

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PlasticTags 

Handmade Little Bo Peep Vintage Dress

This one is cute, I just don't know if I could pull it off.

Do you have a favorite go to vintage dress? I'd love to see and share it if you do.



Teach Me: Franklin Springs Family Media - The Art of Bread Making

Well, hello there. How are you? How's your week going? Mine has been busy, busy. Selling a house is a lot of work (I'm sorry, I may have mentioned that a couple of times here). I only hope we don't have to do it again for a long time after this. It is still on the market so we're hoping for a busy weekend of showings.

Did you happen to catch Susan Duane's No Knead Bread article? If you did, I'd love to hear if you've made it or not. I like easy recipes like that one, but I also enjoy sinking my hands into fresh dough every once in awhile.

Not to long ago Franklin Springs Family Media sent over a few of their Homestead Blessing dvd's for me to review. We sat down for a family evening of quality tele' and enjoyed The art of Bread Making, featuring The West Ladies. They bring southern charm and hospitality to each "diy" production.

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I've never been a big bread maker. I'm talking crusty breads, loaf breads and even pizza dough you have to knead with your hands. I'm guilty of purchasing packets of mix, adding water and voila. Not after this video! With my enthusiasm for wanting to cook from scratch and feed my family better quality food, I've really taken to the "homestead" way of life. It is a little extra work, but anything that's rewarding in life really does take time and commitment, doesn't it?

During the video, I was very impressed with how my boys held on to every word. They were really excited to see how each recipe would turn out. From the initial mixing, to the first and even second rising in some recipes, they were glued to the television. Not only that, but the West Ladies make everything look so good and their instructions seemed easy enough to follow. 

Soon after the video was over, the boys and I and even hubby was planning what we would like to make first. A few days later, I picked up the yeast and we got started. Our first recipe was a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread. We popped in the video and watched this specific recipe one more time. After we refreshed our memories, we went to work. I'm happy to report our loaf turned out beautifully. We ate it too fast, and I forgot to take a picture!  It was yummy and fresh bread tastes so much better than store bought!

We followed up that recipe with the pizza crust and cinnamon rolls. I decided to change the recipe on the cinnamon rolls and make them a little healthier, but all in all the dough itself was yummy and easy to create.

I loved this series and I can't wait to review the other videos from Homestead Blessings and the West Ladies. I truly appreciate Franklin Springs for sending them to our family to review.

If you would like your own copy, head over to Franklin Springs Family Media for this video and many others by The West Ladies. 

Truth in Review: Franklin Spring Family Media did provide me with all of the products mentioned to review including shipping. Franklin Springs Family Media did not pay me for the review or require any certain context within my review. All reviews posted by me are truthful in content and not bought. Gabreial Visit our Disclaimer  for more info.


Vintage Crush: Stud Heels

Now that's a great pair of heels.

ReNVintage

I'm sure they won't last long at shopREiNViNTAGE.

{ BONUS SALE }

Buy One, Get One 50% off!
Get your 2nd item of equal or lesser value at 50% off, excludes shipping.
Enter the code "BOGO50" at checkout to receive a credit to your paypal account, or convo and they will adjust the list price!




Random Tips for Mama's : Swag Bucks

Hey everyone,

This is completely out of character for me and Vintage Indie, but I know a lot of other mamas read the blog and I wanted to pass on this great tip to you. I heard about Swag Bucks not to long ago and since have already started earning them.

The concept is easy, you just use the Swag Bucks tool bar or search engine like you would any other search engine to earn free Swag Bucks and in turn cash them in for gift cards to places like Amazon. Amazon is great for us because we love shopping for organics, school supplies, books and the like.

If you'd like to get started, head over to Swag Bucks to find out more details. It's free to sign up and no strings attached. I've actually had a lot of fun with it this week.

xoxox Mamas! ♥ Gabreial

(by the way the link up there is a referral link, help me, help you)


Tweet Tweet: Lighthearted Dreamer

I'm loving the season changes going on around here. The morning awakes me with the sweet chorus of various birds. They seem to wake up the the sun and warm up the day with their magical music.

Self taught artist Debbie of Lighthearted Dreamer's, does a fabulous job of capturing birds in her gorgeous watercolors.

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Visit Lighthearted Dreamers for more colorful creatures and beautiful landscapes.


Making the Most of Monday: O Monday, Monday, wherefore art thou Monday?

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If you are new to the magazine, Making the Most of Monday is a regular part of our features. Mondays  signify one important thing, a fresh start. It's like a new years resolution at the start of every week.

Hopefully by Monday you've taken some off time during the weekend to rejuvenate, spend quality time with loved ones and friends, which makes Monday your chance to really get to work and make the most of your week.

Well, hello Monday!

It seems as if I've been missing you. Friday turns into Saturday so quickly and Saturday into Sunday just as fast, that Monday just gets lost into the mix. I've been missing my Monday fresh start as each day blends into the next. Selling a house on top of everyday tasks seems to have swallowed you up! I'm also adoring sweet, sweet sleep. My body was calling for it and boy, I'm so glad I found some this morning. Amidst the puppy's accident in his den at 5am, I think I've recovered quite well. In fact, I'm feeling refreshed and renewed.

What about you? Have you lost Monday? I vote we take it back and start over, I needed Monday back just as bad as Saturday!

This past weekend has been such a whirlwind, we went to our first ever homeschool convention with over 13,000 people in attendance. It was so rewarding, eye opening and a lot of fun. My mom joined me for the half day and full day on Friday. Her presence and help was wonderful. Don't you just love how moms can do that? They just fill in the the holes, smoothing things over, making you feel on top of your game. I truly appreciate my mama. Thanks for going with me mom. On Saturday hubby was able to go and he picked up where my mama left off and we had a blast.

One of the most invigorating and wonderful speakers we heard at the convention was John Rosemond. His talks were not on homeschooling at all, but parenting. I haven't made Vintage Indie much of a parenting blog, but I'm going to change that for just a moment. If you are a parent looking for help, change, a refresher I highly recommend John Rosemond. He has published several books and writes a column appearing weekly in more than 200 newspapers nationwide including The Charlotte Observer, Miami Herald, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hartford Courant, Omaha World-Herald, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Raleigh News and Observer, Durham Herald, and Albuquerque Journal.

We actually attended all five of his sessions at the convention, five hours worth of good, good parenting information. His advice is not typical, not your typical ten-step program for parenting, but a liberating and eye opening experience for parents of today. If you are one of those parents, tired of the psychology mumbo-jumbo shoved down our throats these days, pay his website a visit or check out one of his books. I don't think you will be disappointed. 

John's sessions from the convention will be appearing sometime soon on thehomeschoolchannel.tv which is a live streaming channel and community website on the internet, much like Vintage Indie's Vintage Pulse community. Keep an eye out for their broadcast schedule featuring it. It will only appear for about two weeks there.

In the meantime, have a super-ultra-mega-fantastic day! I'll be back this week with some vintag-y goodness for you.

♥ Gabreial


VI Headliner Sponsor Feature: Photo Jewlery Making, Great Mother's Day Gift Ideas & SAVE 20%

Vintage Indie would like to welcome Photo Jewelry Making back as our sponsor. They invite you to join them in creating with their fabulous craft supplies. Product variety is a must when creating something special for your mom, daughter, sister and friends for this Mother's Day. Photo Jewelry Making has a variety to ensure personalty shines through your handmade gift.

Photo Jewlery_1
Create an EZ-Change photo pendant with your picture or a piece of altered art.

Photo Jewlery_2

Maybe your interested in creating a bracelet like the one above including all grandchildren photos. 

Ring

Last, but certainly not least from numerous ideas from Photo Jewelry Making is this bubble ring! Customize with the photo or artwork of your choice.

As a special treat for Vintage Indie readers, Photo Jewelry Making is offering you 20% off for the month of April!

Use Code  friends20 for your discount.

Thanks again Photo Jewelry Making, for your sponsorship!
 

 


Designer Profile: Studio Tour Milkweed and Honey

Well hello and good Monday morning to you! I have a special treat for you today, a studio tour and interview with Sara & Tom of Milkweed and Honey. They create some spectacular handmade jewelry.

sara & tom
Milkweed and Honey


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What is your preferred medium?
We like to work with whatever we can get our hands on, honestly.
Mixing metals within a piece is a huge favorite these days, and we
always love breaking down an old piece and using it to create several
more updated styles.


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How did you get started?.

My mother is a fine artist and my father is a master carpenter, so I
was surrounded by the creative process as far back as I can remember.
As an only child, I was supported in whatever I got myself into; like
making doll clothes or tracing the patterns on my wall paper. From

there, I went to art school and haven't looked back.


Tom's grandparents owned an antique shop when he was growing up and
his parents have been collectors his whole life, so he learned how to
repair and refinish things almost before he could walk. He's really
more involved in the 'how-do-we-do-this part' of M&H.

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Studio Front Door

  Who or what inspires you?

I'm a senior designer in New York's fashion district, so I'm bombarded
by all different types of fashion and design all day. It's hard not to
be inspired every now and then.

We also love going to antique flea markets to sort through the tables
scattered with possibilities. Some of our best ideas are found at the
bottom of a pile of rust.

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Milkweed & Honey Window

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into this medium?
I really try not to give advice. I'm still learning every day, so all
I can do is relate past experiences. I feel there is no wrong way to
do something, just a different way.

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Workspace

Does vintage play a role in your art or life? If so, how?

Vintage plays a huge role in our designs as well as our lives. What

doesn’t turn in to an M&H creation usually ends up somewhere in our
loft so we can enjoy it ourselves. Actually, we spend most of our
“down time” in thrift stores or fleas arguing over whether or not

something is for us or the shop!

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Screen


What is important for your customer to know about your work?
We love what we do and we hope that comes through in our work. Our
dream is to do this full-time, so that should say something about our
commitment to the craft. Like our motto says: “Every product we make

is filled with hard work and handmade love.”

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Milkweedandhoney10 



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Desk

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Milkweed and Honey mascot, Wilson.

{ SHOP }




What You Make of It: No Knead Bread with Susan Duane

To me, there is nothing more satisfying than getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. Baking fresh bread has been one of my favorite discoveries. I love mixing, kneading, and tending to tender dough. It's always a pleasure to also do this with my boys, they love helping mama in the kitchen. Sometimes there isn't time for all of that kneading and tending, that's why I'm so glad Susan brought us this great recipe. Let us know if you try it!

♥ Gabreial

In the Kitchen with Susan Duane.

 
I love to bake but bread has always been too intimidating to me to tackle. That was until I came across this amazing no knead bread recipe in our local paper. There is nothing like a loaf of fresh bread baking, it brings me back to my childhood when my grandmother baked her own.

 
Ingredients:
 
  1. 3 cups of flour
  2. 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (it said instant in small letters on the back of my package)
  3. 1  1/2 teaspoons salt (i use kosher)
  4. 1  1/2 cups of water

Mix into shaggy dough. Let sit covered for 12 - 18 hours. Fold twice to deflate on floured surface. Let rest 15 minutes. Form into saggy ball. Let sit again on floured surface for 1 -2 hours. Meanwhile heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat pot (should be cast iron, enameled or pyrex, you need a lid too) for at least 30 minutes. Place dough into hot pot, cover, bake 30 minutes, remove lid, bake uncovered for 15- 30 to a golden color. (usually mine only needs 15 without the cover).

Do not cut until completely cool. Should be used within 24 hours. Store in plastic once cut or paper bag uncut.

Bread tapenade 001

***Note, dough is very sticky, saggy and doesn't rise terribly high. It gets little bubbles all over it after sitting for the 12- 18 hours. Make sure your pot and top are oven proof.

You will not be disappointed, I promise!

Susan

 - Jim Lahey Original Recipe Author

Featurebutton_05Susan Duane is a wife and mother of three young children. She is a home cook, aspiring photographer and lover of old things. She spends her days caring for her family, creating for Paperhill and in her free time chronicles her long list of interests on her blog Hometown Girl.