Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Easy Chocolate Candy Recipes: Perfect Peppermint Patties

Perfect Peppermint Patties

1 lb. confectioners' sugar
3 T butter or margarine, softened
2 to 3 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C evaporated milk
2 Cm(12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 T shortening

Makes about 5 dozen

In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Add milk and mix well. Roll into 1-in balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for 20 minutes. Flatten with a glass to 1/4". Chill for 30 minutes. In a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Dip patties and place on waxed paper to harden.

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Linked to: Just a Girl, Sugar and Dots, My Girlish Whims

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simple Low Carb Recipes: Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon & Pine Nuts

Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon & Pine Nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil 4 slices bacon – cut into ½” pieces
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic – small, minced1 pound spinach leaves – trimmed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

How to Prepare:
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a heavy skillet over med-hi heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bacon and sautee, stirring occassionally, for 4 minutes, or until browned. Turn heat to Med., add the pine nuts, and cook for 1 min., stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the spinach, vinegar and remaining Tbsp of oil, cook tossing gently for 15 seconds, or until the spinach is warm and a bit wilted. Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve immediately. The texture of the pine nuts mellows the saltiness of the bacon and the tanginess of the vinegar.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Recipes: Mocha Truffles

Mocha Truffles

2 packages (12 oz each) Semisweet chocolate chips
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T instant coffee granules
2 tsp. water
1 lb. good dark
chocolate cocoa confectionery coating
white confectionery coating, optional

Makes about 5 1/2 dozen

In a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, melt chocolate chips. Add cream cheese, coffee and water; mix well. chill until firm enough to shape. shape into 1" balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for 1-2 hours or until firm. Melt chocolate coating in microwave-safe bowl or double boiler. Dip balls and place on waxed paper to harden. If desired, melt white coating and drizzle over truffles

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Linked to: Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Tidy Mom, While he was Napping

Monday, August 22, 2011

Simple Low Carb Recipes: Hot Chinese Chicken Salad

Hot Chinese Chicken Salad

For two large salads: 2 chicken breast – cooked with desired seasoning
2 large bowls of lettuce
Crumbled bacon 
Hot peppers
Slivered almonds
Desired shredded cheese

½ cup oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 TB soy sauce (low sodium)
2 packets Equal – Splenda
1 Dash ginger
1 Dash pepper
1 Dash garlic salt

How to Prepare:
Bring ingredients of dressing to a boil in a pan and stir with wisk. Once all
ingredients are well-blended, pour over salads.

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Linked to: Chic on a Shoestring, House of Hepworths, It's a Keeper

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ditch the Contract and Save

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


We it comes to saving money I try and look at the big picture.  I have done everything from go through my bills to see what we are over paying to even seeing what things we can drop that we don't really need.  A little more than a year ago we dropped satellite and we haven't looked back.  Saving that money every single month is definitely worth it.  Something else we did about a year and a half ago was get rid of cell phone contracts. 

Have a landline phone just doesn't make sense for our family.  Cell phones are how we manage to keep up with each other and our children even when traveling.  So when we started looking for cell phones with no contracts we ended up choosing TracFone for our youngest daughter.

TracFone has no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancelation fees.  The have great nationwide coverage and  so many features.  “Double minutes for the life of your phone” is a feature that can be purchased separately for only$19.99, but some phones include it! (Ours did) Choose from monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.  For more details check out what real TracFone customers.

If your find yourself looking at your cell phone bill each month asking "where did all these charges come from?",  I can totally relate.  This is exactly what was happening to us with our contract phone.  Even though we supposedly had an "all inclusive" plan our bill would magically rise with each and every month.  See what real TracFone customers have to say about a cell phone with no surprise bills.

So how do you feel about ditching the contract and saving money?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Relieve PMS: Soothing PMS Bath Oil

Soothing PMS Bath Oil


1/8 cup of sweet almond oil
1/8 cup of grape seed
3 drops of clary sage oil
3 drops of lavender oil
2 drops of rose absolute oil
2 drops of juniper oil

Mix all of the oils together and bottle until ready for use. To use add the oils to your warm running bath water and mix well. Relax and soak yourself while the oils do the work. If you are also bloated up in the stomach, you can use a few drops of the oils to rub gently and directly onto the area.

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Linked to: Sweet Peas & Bumblebees, We are that Family, Type A Decorating

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Make Homemade Shampoo: Removes Impurities from Hair

Homemade Shampoo -Removes Impurities from Hair

3/4 cup distilled water
1/4 cup shampoo concentrate (or substitute with 1/2 cup unscented shampoo
and increase salt to 1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tbs. dried thyme
1 tbs. dried peppermint
1 tbs. dried lavender
1 tsp. witch hazel
1 tsp. almond oil
7 drops cinnamon oil
3 drops ylang-ylang oil

This shampoo is known to be effective in removing impurities such as smog and city grime from the hair.
In a heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the dried thyme, peppermint and lavender. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the herbs from the water and pour the herbally infused water into a ceramic bowl. Add the shampoo concentrate and stir until well mixed. Add the salt, witch hazel, almond oil, cinnamon oil and ylang-ylang oil to the mixture, stirring until thick. Bottle and close.

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Linked to: Lil Luna, We are that Family, Someday Crafts

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Do You Save on Back to School Clothing?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bealls for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Back to School clothes shopping doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.  The number one factor that helps us to keep our budget in tact is to never pay full price.  Here our some of our money saving tips when it comes to back to school clothes.

  1. Check out many stores!  We make it a point to check out tons of stores and see what kind of prices we can get on the styles my girls want.
  2. Always check the clearance or mark down section.  My girls know the first thing to do is to check the store for clearance or mark downs.  We often find unbelievable deals this way.
  3. Keep an eye out for store coupons.  Before we head out to shop I always check online to see if the stores we are visiting have any coupons available.
  4. Shop online!  Shopping online is something we do occasionally and can definitely save money.  It keeps you from driving all over the place to many stores and your package are delivered right to your door step.
  5. When shopping online make sure to search out promotional discount codes and/or free shipping. 

Bealls has a huge selection of clothing for babies to adults.  Many of there items are at discounted prices and they offer free shipping on orders over $50.  Plus check out their coupons and offers page to see if you can get an even bigger discount.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Easy Sandwich Recipes: Chef Salad Sandwich


4 slices fresh dark rye bread
2 tsp. butter
Iceberg or leaf lettuce
1/2 c. Thousand Island dressing
1 (3 oz.) pkgs. water-sliced cooked
1 (3 oz.) pkg. water-sliced smoked
4 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
2 hard cooked eggs
8 black olives, pitted
8 red cherry tomatoes
4 sweet gherkins
6 slices crisp, cooked bacon
4 slices dark rye bread, toasted,

1. Butter the untoasted bread. Place it on each of four serving plates.
2. Top each slice with lettuce.
3. Spread 2 tablespoons of dressing over lettuce.
4. Divide the ham and turkey into four portions each. Arrange on top of each
serving. Top with cheese, cut into julienne sticks.
5. Arrange on each sandwich 2 quarters of hard cooked eggs, 2 black olives, 2
red cherry tomtoes, halved, and 1 sweet gherkin, halved.
6. Top with bacon. Add more dressing or pass dressing in a small bowl.
7. Surround with toasted rye bread, cut into quarters. 4 servings.

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Linked to: Sugar and Dots, My Girlish Whims, Someday Crafts

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipes with Graham Crackers: Easy Banana S'mores for Kids

Here is another super easy recipe for kids (and adults too).  I love S'mores but I am also a fan of Banana S'mores!

Easy Banana S'mores For Kids

2 Bananas; sliced
2 Flat chocolate bars
2 Small jars marshmallow fluff
Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams

Put 2 bananas slices on a graham cracker, add a square of chocolate and a
large spoonful of marshmallow fluff. Put another graham cracker on top and
squish together.

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Linked to: Lil Luna, Chic on a Shoestring Design

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Sorbet: Easy Freezer Strawberry Sorbet

Easy Freezer Strawberry Sorbet

2 pk Unflavored gelatin
1 c Sugar
3 c Water
1 qt Pureed strawberries about 3 pints fresh
1 c Cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 c Fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine gelatin and sugar in a medium saucepan; stir in water. Let stand 2 minutes. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Stir in strawberry puree and remaining ingredients. Pour into a 13x9 pan. Cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight. Spoon about 1/4 of frozen mixture into the container of a blender or food processor. Top with lid and process until smooth. Return to pan. Repeat until all the mixture has been processed. Return pan to freezer and freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature 15-20 minutes before serving.

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Linked to: Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, It's a Hodge Podge Life

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Recipes with Graham Crackers: A Super Easy "Cookie"

This is definitely one of those super easy recipes that you can get the kids involved it.  With only 4 ingredients you can get a sweet fix in only a few short minutes.

Graham crackers
Pecan halves
1/2 c Sugar
2 Sticks butter

Melt butter and sugar. Bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes ONLY. Place graham crackers on foil lined sheet. Place nuts on cracker center. Spoon butter and sugar mix over graham crackers. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes on top rack. Cool completely before breaking apart.

Linked to: House of Hepworths, Paisley Passions

Monday, August 1, 2011

Easy Beef Tacos Recipe

Beef Tacos

1 pound Ground beef
1 each Chopped onion
Salt to taste
1 each Clove garlic (optional)
1 package Taco shells
1 cup Green chili or taco sauce

Saute' the beef and onion until brown. Salt to taste. Add garlic if desired. Place a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture in each shell and stuff with lettuce, tomato and cheese. Serve with the chili or taco sauce and top with sour cream or guacamole for an added treat.