Posted 11-5-2017 at 07:16 PM by Jessica
Sometimes I look down at my wedding ring and don’t recognize it thanks to how dull and dirty it has become. I am one of those people that never takes off her ring (because I am also one of those people that loses EVERYTHING) so it always gets dirty. Whether I’m baking cookies, applying lotions, or doing yard work, my ring takes a serious beating on a very frequent basis.
Heading to the jewelry store to get it professionally cleaned is a pain, and doesn’t happen very frequently. So I went out a bought a jewelry cleaner about a year ago, but was terrified when I read reviews on it stating that it stripped jewelry of its coating after time! This led me to research DIY jewelry cleaners that were made with less chemicals, and luckily I found the perfect solution!
All you need is…
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tbs baking soda
- 1 tbs Dawn dish soap (this is my all time favorite dish soap)
- 1 cup hot water
Mix the ingredients together, and let your jewelry soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then take the peices out and gently pat them dry. And that’s it! No scrubbing, no driving to your jeweler, and no expensive cleaners!
Posted 11-3-2017 at 11:18 AM by Jessica
I was recently looking through a notebook of my grandma’s favorite recipes when I saw a “no-mixer” chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you’re without a mixer, or simply want to do things the old-fashioned way, you’ve got to try this one out. It’s so simple and delicious I’m really not sure why I’ve ever made cookies any other way! Here we go…
2½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
First, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.
In a large bowl whisk the brown and white sugar until they’re incorporated and then add the melted butter and whisk really well. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla, whisking in between.
Add the dry ingredients to the sugary buttery egg mixture (yum), and stir them so they’re totally combined. Set that whisk aside; a spatula or large spoon will work best for this. Mix in the chocolate chips, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. (If you’d like, scoop the dough into balls and then refrigerate them.)
While the dough is getting chilled preheat your oven to 375ºF.
If the dough hasn’t already been scooped into balls do that after it has chilled for 10 minutes, and bake for 10-12 minutes, watching them carefully until they turn golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for about a minute, and then carefully transfer the cookies to a plate to finish cooling.
Wanting to buy new things for the home and not wanting to spend hundreds while doing it? This is even a way you won’t need to do much!
Hobby Lobby hacks on ways to save:
- Plan the shopping trips around the sale schedule.
- Avoid paying the full price by looking on the website for coupons first.
- There’s a 40% coupon online that states “one per person, per day.” So print off multiple coupons and have your kids in line with it.
- Avoid shopping online though, prices are the same. *Unless free shipping. Then that saves you gas money!*
- Twice a year they put their home accents on clearance, Don’t miss it!!
- Use that 40% coupon instead of sale prices. *Only if it’s higher percentage.*
- After the holiday seasons, sales go all the way down to 90% off.
- 10-15% off on damaged items. (Can even fix them yourself and save money!)
- Shop on Saturday nights when the sale prices overlap.
If you follow these rules, you can just see your wallet grow! Also, Tuesday and Wednesday are the least busy times to go. So get to shopping! Goodluck
Posted 11-1-2017 at 03:05 PM by Jessica
Instead of letting your kids go crazy and give themselves some serious stomach aches and cavities, you can try out a few of these ideas to limit the candy consumption and have a little fun in the process!
1. Use it in a recipe. Crush up the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and add it to a brownie mix. Blend some Snickers into a Milkshake. Choose a few candies to make a trail mix with nuts and pretzels. Use the M&Ms to make M&M cookies!
2. Use it to educate. Math is almost always easier if you’re using counters, so instead of the standard blocks you use, try using candies instead. It can help make a division problem simpler, and put the candy to good use.
3. “Buy” it from your kids. Let them trade in the candy for fun privileges or small items. You can set up a system so that each half or whole pound can equal a fun trip or a small item of their choice.
4. Donate it. Take the candy to your local homeless shelter to share with the kids there that most likely didn’t get the chance to trick-or-treat. Or you can always mail the non-perishable and non-meltable candies out to some of our troops! There are lots of people out there in need, and donating the candy will fill your child with pride and warmth.
5. Craft with it. After using the candy in a recipe, use the wrappers to make jewelry or a decorative frame. You can also save the non-perishables to string together for a candy wreath to be hung on your door next Halloween!
These are just a few of the many ideas that can be utilized to get rid of some of that extra candy. Do you have any good ideas for the leftover trick-or-treating goodies?
Posted 10-28-2017 at 04:06 PM by Jessica
Did you know that cinnamon is spelled with two ‘n’s? I swear, my spelling abilities are going downhill lately… I’m sure I had to have known that, seeing as many of the recipes I post include cinnamon, but for some reason the two ‘n’s just didn’t look right, but I googled it to make sure.
One of my favorite parts of the fall season is definitely the roasted pumpkin seeds. It makes all of the hard and time-consuming work carving and scooping out the pumpkins worth it after you’ve roasted up a batch of these!
No matter which flavor variation you choose it’s all very simple – just a little mixing up of the seasonings and placing them in the oven and in no time you have a yummy (and healthy) snack! Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain zinc, protein and antioxidants? Those tiny little seeds are packed with nutrition, making them not just delicious, but also good for you!
I’m going to start off with the original flavor, which is actually my most favorite! Then, I’ll share my other favorite, the cinnamon-sugar variety. Check them out…
1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
3 teaspoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rinse the seeds to remove the pumpkin and pat them dry with a towel.
Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt, then spread the seeds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring and flipping them occasionally.
- 1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss seeds in a bowl with the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Spread on lightly greased cookie sheet in single layer.
Bake about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Those are just two of the most basic pumpkin seed recipes to get you started. Once you try one of these, though, you’ll be hooked and can easily find dozens of different flavor variations.
Let me know if you have a favorite recipe for pumpkin seeds that you’d like to share!
Posted 10-27-2017 at 05:12 PM by Jessica
The leaves are changing colors and most parks are at their most beautiful state so take your dinner to the park instead of eating at your dining table, or meet up during your lunch break.
For those of you that can stomach having creepily costumed people jump out at every corner, head to a haunted house! This is an especially fun group date because there is obviously safety in numbers.
Caramel Apple Making
There are lots of simple recipes out there, or you can always try out something gourmet if you’re feeling up to it. Make sure that you’ve got a good sized work space and lots of candy toppings and you’re set for a sweet date.
It’s Football season! Take advantage of that by heading to a game in your area. It doesn’t have to be an NFL game to be fun; check out the times that your local high school is playing and head over there!
Scary Movie Night
My idea of a scary movie would probably be the Haunted Mansion, ha! So I’m all for popping up some popcorn and snuggling up to watch Eddie Murphy. If you’re braver than me turn on a legitimate horror movie and curl up on the couch together!
Pumpkin Patch and Carving
What is Fall without visiting a pumpkin patch? Grab your guy or gal and go pick out a pumpkin that you can carve together! Roast the seeds for a yummy snack afterwards.
Fall Festival or Corn Maze
There are lots of festivals around this time of year, and there are lots of local family-owned ones that are relatively inexpensive as well! Whether it’s just a few food trucks and some games or a full corn maze it’s lots of fun to get outside and enjoy the chilly weather.
These are just a handful of ideas for Fall dates, do you have any that you love? Let us know in the comments!
I’ve always wanted to make my little apartment festive and get decorations, but once the holidays end, I have absolutely nowhere to store them without having to spend hundreds on a storage unit a year, just to get them out again.
Are you wanting to make the house look festive while not breaking the bank? And something that you won’t need to store for a whole year that’ll just be taking up space? The answer is PUMPKINS! They’ll last for the whole two months of October and November, and you can decorate them however you want!
Click here to see the endless possibilities of pumpkin decorations and get to saving.
Posted 10-26-2017 at 01:04 PM by Jessica
Comfort food is the best food. And it’s oh-so perfect for the Fall. We have to build up some body fat to keep us warm through the winter, right?! So that means we need to eat lots of pot pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, stroganoff, and hot soup. I’m a little obsessed with soup due to the fact that it’s usually super easy to put together, and it’s almost always inexpensive, too! And if you have a crock pot, you just throw everything inside and and you’re all done!
Here is the recipe for Cuban Black Bean Potato Soup. While anything with potatoes in it screams comfort food, it’s actually pretty healthy for you. There is so much protein from the beans, and the flavor is fantastic. This is actually the first soup I ever made on my own. In my middle-school years I found this recipe online, tried it out, and loved it! If a 14 year old with zero cooking experience can do it, I assure you that you can do it, too!
The second soup I just have to share with you is a Butternut Squash Soup. Since we’re already talking about my middle-school self, I have to mention that I used to hate Butternut Squash Soup. My taste buds changed over the years for sure, but I’d honestly have to say that I probably wasn’t exposed to the best Butternut Squash soup, and if I had tasted this one, I’m sure that I never would’ve thought I disliked it. So even if you’re not so sure you love butternut squash, give this recipe a try. It’s so creamy and delicious!
There you go, delicious soup recipes perfect for these upcoming chilly months that you’re sure to love!
Posted 10-25-2017 at 12:24 PM by Jessica
Jack-o-lantern carving can be a pain!
Carving pumpkins has long been a tradition for my family. It started when I was really little and basically just told my dad what I wanted him to carve for me, and has now moved onto me being the carver of the family. As fun as the idea is, actually spending hours scooping out pumpkin guts and trying to artfully turn the gourd into a masterpiece is not as fun in practice. Even just carving out triangles is challenging depending on the knife you’re using, so I was thrilled when a friend of mine told me that she uses cookie cutters for her kids’ pumpkin carving!
All you need to do is dig out the pumpkin seeds as usual, and then press the cookie cutter against the outside of the pumpkin and use a hammer to press it all the way through! As long as you have carved out enough of the pumpkins’ insides you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting the cookie cutter to go through. Use hearts, stars, paw prints, whatever cookie cutter designs you have! Amazon has this set of Halloween design cookie cutters!
That way you don’t have to risk cutting off your fingers, and the kiddos may be able to do it themselves! Happy “carving!”
A habit of mine would be walking throughout the stores and thinking “I CAN MAKE THAT!” but never actually getting around to it. Never know where to look for the supplies, thinking I don’t have time, or the pish-posh excuses I always seem to come up with. Well I finally got something I can make and found out how to! Don’t worry I’ll share my secrets with you!
What you’ll need:
- white polymer clay
- smooth chopping board or other even surface
- rolling pin
- oven proof bowl
- acrylic paint
- mod podge glue
- metallic gold paint
- paint brush
- Cut a chunk of the clay. It will depend on the size of the bowl you’re using as to how big you want it.
- Roll in your hand to soften and then use your rolling pin to roll it out into a flat disc.
- Then place your bowl on top and trace around the edge to cut out a circle shape. Discard the off cuts.
- Transfer to the bowl. Make sure the clay disc is central and then start by gently pressing the centre down and working your way out to the side so that it fits to the bowl. Where there are gathers at the edges, simply push them down and smooth out slightly.
- Your edges may well look a bit wonky so take the scalpel and trace around the edge to get an even circle. Discard the excess. Make sure there are no bubbles in your clay. All of it should be flush with the bowl.
- Then place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 mins. Once baked leave to cool completely before popping it out of the bowl. The easiest way to do that is by turning the bowl upside down.
- In order for the paint wash to go on smoothly I applied an under coat of mod podge and left that to dry but I don’t think this step is essential.
- Once dry, mix the acrylic paint in a dish with some water. I helps to create a painterly look to give it more of a handmade ceramic feel so the water helps give variation in the color and allows brush strokes to stay slightly visible. Leave to dry..
- Use metallic gold paint to paint the rim gold.
- When the rim is dry you can glaze the whole thing with modge podge. This will leave a nice sheen and protect the paint and the clay.
- TA-DA YOU GOT YOUR NEW JEWELRY HOLDER, KEY CATCHER, WHATEVER YOU’D LIKE!
Check out this round up of more fun ideas!