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There’s nothing kids love more than temporary tattoos—until they decide they hate them. To easily remove a temp tat before it rubs off itself, dab some cold cream on the area, then wipe it off with a washcloth.
If your children have graduated past the sippy cup stage but still have problems getting a grip on “grown up” glasses, try putting five or six small rubber bands around the glass. That’ll help them hold on, which means fewer spills for you to clean up.
Do you feel like you’re always throwing away food? Letting food go bad before you have a chance to eat it drains your pocketbook and results in more time-consuming trips to the grocery store. Before you head to the supermarket again, check your fridge and your cupboards and make a note of ingredients you have for future meals. Picking up a few more items to complement those ingredients will help you use up everything you already have. It’s always important to make a grocery list and, if you can, plan out a few meals in advance, so you hit the market with a goal in mind rather than wander the aisles picking up whatever happens to catch your eye.
Read the rest of Five Storage Secrets to Make Food Last Longer at our new website!
Read the rest of Five Storage Secrets to Make Food Last Longer at our new website!
|photo credit: BettyCrocker.com|
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
How to Make It:
1. Beat butter, shortening and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in baking powder, salt, vanilla and egg. Stir in flours. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours.
2. Heat oven to 375°F. Roll each half of dough into 15x6-inch rectangle on floured surface. Cut lengthwise into three 15x2-inch strips, then cut crosswise into two 7 1/2x2-inch strips.
3. Working quickly, spread about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate over one strip to within 1/4 inch of one long side. Gently roll up, starting at long side with chocolate. Repeat with remaining cookie strips and chocolate.
4. Cut each roll into 2 pieces; roll each cookie slightly to shape. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cookies about 1 inch apart.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 1 minute; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely. Place remaining chocolate in plastic bag. Cut hole in corner and squeeze out chocolate to look like ribbons.
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If you’re used to getting an expensive haircut, it’s hard to switch to a bargain salon such as Supercuts. But what you can do to save yourself hundreds of dollars a year is to get a hairstyle that doesn’t need a lot of upkeep. When you need a trim in between cuts, go to an inexpensive salon. While hair stylists at the bargain salons sometimes can’t give you the fancy cut you want, they can usually handle a simple trim, following the path of your normal stylist. If you just need your bangs cut, ask at your usual salon if they offer free bang trims in between cuts.
The school year is nearly over, and you need a place to store the kids’ artwork and diplomas. Try rolling them tightly in paper towel tubes so they won’t crease, then label the outside, so you know what’s what. The tubes can also be used to store marriage certificates and other important documents.
A dust ruffle is one item that can safely be consigned to the “things you really don’t need” category—unless you’re trying to hide everything you’ve stored under the bed. Make your own with a sheet or tablecloth. Only the sides of the bed that show need to have something hanging down over them. A more streamlined option is simply to cover the box spring with a fitted sheet.
If you’re serving bread with your barbecue, use a slice to easily butter your corn. Spread a generous amount of butter onto the bread, then gently wrap it around your corn. Twist the cob until the butter has gotten into every crack, then enjoy perfectly buttered corn and bread with melted butter.
If you have two small wire racks, you can easily cook a fish (and impress your friends) on your outdoor grill. First, find toaster-oven or cooling wracks and some fireproof wire. Oil the racks, then put the fish between the them and tie the racks together. Grill the fish on one side, then flip your newly constructed basket with large tongs or a spatula. This makeshift cage will keep delicate fish from breaking apart.
For a super-smoothing skin exfoliant, mix a handful of Epsom salts with a tablespoon of olive oil and rub over wet skin to cleanse, exfoliate, and soften the rough spots. Rinse off well for a polished finish. If you don’t have Epsom salts, use the coarsest table salt you can find.
|photos courtesy of The Single Housewife|
1/2 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 scant teaspoon baking soda
1/4 scant teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoon chilled butter
1/3 cup cold buttermilk
How to Make It:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all but the last two ingredients until they’re well blended without too many lumps.
2. With scissors or a small knife, snip the butter into little lumps and toss it into the dry ingredients. With a pastry cutter (or, if you don’t have one, a potato masher or two knives working in a criss-crossing motion), cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
3. Gently stir in the buttermilk until everything’s just moistened — don’t overstir it. What you end up with will be a very moist ball of batter.
4. Scoop the dough out onto a floured cutting board or other work surface. With floured hands, gently pat it into a 3/4-inch-thick circle. Don’t knead it, and don’t roll it out thin.
5. Once you’ve got your circle, cut it like a pizza into six wedges. Arrange those on a baking sheet a couple inches apart. Bake them for 15 minutes and let them cool slightly while still on the baking sheet. Makes six small scones.
To see photos of the entire process, click here!
Did you know that legally, you are entitled to one free credit report per year? However, many credit report sites will make you pay to see your score, or charge you a membership or “credit monitoring” fee. Visit CreditKarma.com for a free, no-strings-attached estimation of your credit score. Then go to AnnualCreditReport.com to see how they came up with that score, and to make sure there no errors on your report.
It may seem silly, but not to your bird—put a mirror in his cage to make sure he doesn’t get lonely. The bird will see the reflection of himself and think it’s another bird to keep him company. Of course, the other solution is simply buying your bird a real feathered friend!
|photo courtesy of A Kitchen Addiction|
A great way to save money on groceries is to make your own chips. Think that's time consuming? Think again. This recipe from A Kitchen Addiction shows how easy it is to bake tortilla chips as well as make a delicious hummus dip. Who knew?
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 15-ounce can cannelloni/white beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon (or more if you like spice!) chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
soft tortillas, any kind, any size
your choice of: garlic salt, salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, or any other spice you like!
How to Make It:
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cut tortillas into desired sizes. Lightly brush olive oil or spray cooking spray over both sides of the tortilla pieces. Sprinkle with your choices of spices.
3. Bake for 5-10 minutes, turning halfway through, or until chips turn slightly brown. Time will depend on how large you cut the pieces.
4. While chips are baking, start on the hummus. Place garlic gloves in a food processor. Pulse until pureed. Add beans, lime juice, tahini, chili powder, olive oil, and salt. Pulse until smooth. Serve with freshly baked tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Do you have a great recipe to share? Let us know!
Kale, cabbage, and collard greens are delicious to eat, but can sometimes smell stinky when they’re being prepared. Make sure not to overcook them, which will make them release more odors, and place a few unshelled pecans in the saucepan while cooking, which will help absorb any scents.
Are plastic lids taking over your kitchen? We feel your pain, and can offer a solution: Store a dish drainer in your cabinet, and file the lids on their sides in size order. You’ll find the lid you need in seconds, and your kitchen will seem much more organized.
Did you know Epsom salts are one of the best natural lawn fertilizers around? They’re composed of magnesium and sulfur, both of which are highly beneficial to grass. Magnesium kick-starts seed germination, and is also a player in manufacturing chlorophyll, the substance that plants manufacture from sunlight in order to feed themselves. Sulfur, meanwhile, also helps with chlorophyll, while also enhancing the effects of other fertilizer ingredients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also deters certain pests such as ground worms. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that savvy lawn care specialists have been using Epsom salts for years. You can either sprinkle them on your lawn using a spreader, or make a liquid solution out of them by adding some water and put it in a spray bottle.
Who doesn't love a BBQ? Time to throw some steaks on the grill, grab a nice cold drink, and celebrate summer in style with these tips for great backyard barbecues. For the quickest way to chill drinks, impressive grill tricks, and more, read Every Tip You Need to Know for Your Backyard Barbecue at our new website!
When deciding where to place that beautiful bouquet you just got for Mother's Day, steer clear of the fruit bowl. Ethylene gas given off by fruit will cause the flowers to die more quickly. Choose a spot farther away from any fruit, and your flowers will last longer.
If you spill wine on a tablecloth, blot up as much as you can as soon as you can with a cloth, then sponge with cool water. Wash immediately. If the fabric is not machine washable, cover the stain with a small cloth dampened with a solution of detergent, water, and vinegar, then rinse. Get the cloth to the dry cleaner as soon as you can.
If you’re sending flowers for a special occasion, skip the national delivery services and web sites. Instead, find a flower shop that is local to the recipient and call them directly. Most national services simply charge you a fee, then contact these very same stores themselves.
|photo courtesy of Kiddies Corner Deals|
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Truvia or other brand of stevia
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg white
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt- such as Fage Total 0%
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Maple syrup or sugar-free maple syrup
How to Make It:
1. Heat a griddle to medium high heat. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, Truvia, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl add egg white, yogurt, milk and vanilla beat for 1 minute.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until blended. Fold in blueberries.
4. Spray griddle with cooking spray. Measure out 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of batter and place on griddle. (1/4 cup servings will yield 6 small pancakes; 1/2 cup will yield 3 large pancakes.) Flatten slightly with spatula. TIP: spray your spatula with a light misting of cooking spray first.
5. Cook until golden brown, flip, and cook the other side until brown.
6. Top with maple syrup.
Warm weather is bubble season for kids who want some outdoor fun. Here’s an inexpensive homemade solution for blowing bubbles: Mix 1 tablespoon glycerin with 2 tablespoons powdered laundry detergent in 1 cup warm water. Any unpainted piece of metal wire can be turned into a bubble wand: Just shape one end of the wire into a circle. Blowing into the mixture with a straw will make smaller bubbles float into the air. For colored bubbles, add food coloring.
For free podcasts, head over to PodcastAlley.com, which will allow you to search for and browse through thousands of podcasts in such genres as comedy, food and drink, and kids and family. It also has links for free podcast-playing software if you don’t already have some on your computer.
When it comes to piñatas, the spoils go to the bullies, but not if you separate the candies and prizes into Ziploc bags for each guest before stuffing them inside the paper-mâché animal. The kids will still get a rush of excitement when the piñata drops, but the game won’t dissolve into an “Are we having fun yet?” moment when they start fighting over Tootsie Rolls and Milky Ways.
|photo courtesy of Mom What's for Dinner|
Heavy whipping cream and/or store-bought whipped cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make It:
1. Slice up the banana.
2. Melt your chocolate by adding 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and chocolate to a double broiler, or put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it at 50% power for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth.
3. Layer your jar with banana slices, then chocolate, then whipped cream. Repeat until full.
4. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Tips from Christi:
"If you have not mastered making whipped cream, it is easy and takes 5 minutes. I posted the recipe here. If you are really in a time crunch you can buy it. I prefer fresh and homemade."
Do you have a great dessert to share? Let us know!
Packing peanuts will take several decades to decompose, so you can make better use of them than throwing them away. Place them at the bottom of flower pots before covering with soil and planting flowers and other plants. They’ll keep the pot well-drained and much lighter than if you had used rocks.
remedies that relieve allergies, visit our new website.
Nothing stinks on your clothes like gasoline! To remove the odor, place the offending clothes in a bucket of cold water, and add a can of cola and a cup of baking soda. Soak overnight, then line dry outside if possible. If there is still any odor left, just wash as usual and it should be gone.
Show your friends you care and save money by making your own cards to send for birthdays or other occasions. Look through old magazines for funny photos (or shots of your friend’s celebrity crush) to use for the front. Or for something more complicated, visit Card-Making-World.com for ideas and free backgrounds and embellishments to download.
|courtesy of The Art of Natural Living|
1 rutabaga, cubed (a scant 4 cups of 1/3” cubes—make up with extra carrots if short)
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds of carrots, cubed (a scant 4 cups of 1/3” cubes)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 Tablespoons dried)
Additional parsley for garnish (optional)
How to Make It:
1. Boil carrot and rutabaga cubes 15-20 minutes until tender.
2. Drain veggies and heat in saucepan to evaporate excess water.
3. Add salt, pepper, Parmesan, garlic, parsley Toss to combine and adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Pack into greased ring mold. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400.
5. To unmold, set a plate on top of the ring, then flip plate and mold over as a unit. Remove ring. (Not as hard as it sounds!) Place additional parsley in center of ring as garnish (optional).
Do you need some recipe inspiration? Let us know!
It’s fun to work with sheer materials for curtains and lingerie, but they can be very unwieldy when you’re using a sewing machine. If you sew them to paper (which you’ll rip off as soon as you’re done), they will stay smooth. Make sure to use needles made for lightweight fabric and fine thread.
To conserve energy and make clothes last longer, line-dry them. Not only is air-drying less harsh, you’ll love the real smell of sun-dried linens. If you don’t have a clothes line, hang shirts and pants on hangers on tree limbs! Just make sure not to put brights in the sun, as they may fade.
If you have a crack in your ceiling but you can’t quite afford to re-plaster yet, you can fake it with some readily available household supplies. Take one part white glue and one part baking soda, mix them together thoroughly, and then dab the paste onto the crack using your fingers, a Q-tip, or similar object. If your ceiling isn’t white, you can try mixing different food colorings into the paste until you get exactly the right shade.
If your shaving cream can is leaving rusty rings on the side of your tub or sink, perform this trick right after you purchase a new container: Coat the rim around the bottom of the can with clear nail polish, then let it dry. The nail polish will keep out water, making sure it doesn’t rust.