Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Minute Gifts

Every year we make our lists and check them twice.....but we always forget to buy a gift someone!  Or maybe you are looking for a budget friendly, heartfelt gift to give.  Nothing can beat a homemade gift!  Here are a few recipes for some quick and easy gifts:

1/4 C. Powdered Creamer
1/3 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Instant Coffee
2 T. Powdered Baking Cocoa
2 hard candy Peppermints
Process in a blender on liquefy until well blended.
*Store in an air tight/decorative container such as a mason jar.
*Attach directions to container: Use by tablespoonfuls according to taste.Spoon in cup and add hot water.

1 1/4 c. water
1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
Heat water and salt together until salt slightly dissolves. Add to flour mixture.
Mix with hands until dough is smooth. Roll out. Cut with cookie cutter. Place on
foil lined baking sheets. Place in 300 degree oven for about 1 hour. Turn often.
Feel free to paint an decorate as you'd like!  This is fun for the kids and makes great gifts for grandparents!

Mix and pour into jar: -- (makes one soup mix)
1 cup green split pea flour -- (dried split peas ground to a fine flour)
2 tablespoons chicken broth powder
2 tablespoons dried onions
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups non fat dry milk powder
Attach to the jar:
To make soup: In medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisk soup mix into 6 cups
boiling water. Stir about 1 minute until mixture is incorporated. Turn heat to low, cover
and cook 2-5 minutes. Note: if desired, add 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
(mixed, peas & carrots, or carrots), grated potatoes, minced celery, or ham to
boiling water and proceed as above. This soup thickens upon cooling. To reheat, add
a little milk or water to soup & heat.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kid Friendly Truffles

During the holiday season, I try to do lots of baking with my kids.  My daughter is 7 this year, so she can start doing a lot more.  This recipe is super easy and cheap to make!  It's so easy that my 7 year old could roll these truffles out herself.

Brownie Truffles
1 box of brownie mix
1/4 cup of water
2 tbs. corn syrup
Your choice of toppings (I like toffee bits and powdered sugar)

-Mix together your brownie mix, water, and corn syrup. This will be a thick, dry looking mixture.
-Pour your toppings into separate bowls.
-Scoop about 1 tbs. of the mixture. Make sure your hands are damp because this will get sticky! Start rolling the scoops into balls then roll the balls into your topping of choice.
-Chill in the refrigerator. Place them on parchment paper to prevent sticking!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Makeup on a Budget

Ok, so most of us saw Cassandra Bankson on Good Morning America, or at least have seen her YouTube videos:

If you don't know, she is the teen who undergoes a remarkable makeup routine everyday to hide her acne.  I was stunned when I saw her video (and so was the hubby!)  What she does is amazing!  However, not everyone can afford to pay $59 for powder, so I compiled a list of less expensive products that I think would work well!  So here ya go!
Products Used:Price:Try This:Price:
Smashbox AntiShine       $27 Sephora "Trick of the Trade" Anti Shine$18
Hourglass Veil Primer                  $17 Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer$12.99
Makeup For Ever HD Foundation in 125 and 120  $40/eachRevlon Dream Liquid Mousse$9.79/each
Mac Studio Finish Concealer NC 30$17 Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer$9.99
Mac NC5$23 Covergirl Professional Loose Powder$5.29
Smashbox Halo in Light$59 Could not find a substitute.
Makeup For Ever Microfinish Setting Powder$30
Mac Fix Plus Spray$10 Really no trade off here!$10
Total:$263 $84.80

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Cheer?

Christmas is just a few weeks away!  Holiday songs are playing on the radio, and everyone seems to be full of joy!  As a mom, it's our job to make sure all of our holiday plans go off smoothly.  We plan the get-togethers, cook the food, buy the presents, decorate, and try our very best to keep everyone happy while keeping a smile on our faces!  The most joyous time of year just so happens to be one of the most stressful times of year as well.  We are so focused on making everyone around us happy, that sometimes we forget about ourselves.  And sometimes, we get the feeling that we have been neglected.

Here are some tips to help get you through the holiday season in one piece (emotionally):

*Ask for help!  You are not super-human!  Everyone needs help sometimes!

*Create a holiday budget.  This will help relieve the financial stress.

*Take care of yourself!  Don't forget to eat right and exercise.

*Plan ahead.  You don't want to "over-book" yourself.

*Make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy relaxing with your family.  And don't forget to do some special relaxing with your significant other!