Two Cost Saving Ideas Too Good Not To Share

icy tree

I waited on snow that never came yesterday.  We don’t get that white, elusive stuff often where I live and when its in the forecast, everybody gets real excited about the predicted inch.  Bummer! — only very cold rain and a little ice.  I was hoping for a little fun in an otherwise yucky, bronchitis-sick week.  No need for you to suffer without something good.  I’ve got two super-duper-save-you-bucks-easy-as-pie ideas.  Both recipes can be very inexpensive if you purchase the supplies at a dollar store.

Homemade Lotion Ingredients:

  1. 1 and 1/2 — large bottles of lotion ( I used Vaseline Intensive Care)
  2. 1 — large jar of petroleum jelly
  3. Several drops of essential oil  (optional)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and use a mixer to whip it together.  I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer.  The consistency should be like body cream. Put in containers.

This Homemade eyeglass cleaner by Jillee is wonderful.  My glasses are sparkly clean.

Homemade Eyeglass Cleaner Ingredients:

  1. 1 part isopropyl alcohol
  2. 1 part water
  3. 1 drop soap

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Spray on glasses and clean with a lint free cloth like microfiber.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9 NIV Bible

10 Steps to the Best Stuffed Stocking

Hello there!

It’s Catie today. My mother is currently very busy with her extensive duties as head elf preparing for Christmas, so this helper elf must step in.

As I’m sure you have experienced, the Christmas stocking is both a joyful gift to receive and a real booger to stuff. I mean, what a weird shape. Right?

However, I want you to have no fear, because, here, at the Davis house, we leave no inch  unstuffed. We are expert packers and pack it all the way to the top!

Therefore, without further ado, I give you our 10 step guide to stocking stuffing!!!

[Yay! Applause!!]

1. I’m going to start off  with the most important of stuffers, the Christmas Orange. You may be puzzled right now, and while I can’t promise I’m not crazy, I can promise that an orange is the perfect fit for that ever puzzling toe end of the stocking. Try it out! It works every time. It has been a family tradition for well past my lifetime. It fills out that space as well as, providing some balance to all those extra sweets we’ve all been eating! (Don’t lie.)

2. Next, after the orange, is the perfect place to stuff those Christmas socks that everybody secretly loves to get and we all need. If you have any boys in your life, you may not even bother with themed socks just stuff it with everyday white, you know they need ’em.

3. After that, comes the fun stuff like “Silly Putty” or “Play-Doh.” If you’re a kid, you’ll love it ’cause it’s fun! If you’re a grown up kid, you love it ’cause it’s fun!

4. Then, comes the part where you can get creative based on the recipient. My sister-in-law and I, for instance, tend to get fun things like new mascara, nail polish, or pretty bracelets.The boys get gadgety things like key ring tape measures, themed ear buds, or shaving accessories.

5. Now, you should be nearing the top of this stocking so the gifts should get lighter at this point. Generally, this is where each member of the family receives a carefully handpicked Pez candy. My past Pez’s include a Cinderella, a Minnie Mouse, a Sleeping Beauty, and a Yoda. (I’m a diverse person.)

6. Next to the Pez, if you know of a favorite candy bar or treat, here is a good place to slide it in. It’s Christmas, so a king size version is acceptable.

7. Now is when I suggest placing any DVDs or Cds you might have purchased, as you should be able to securely slide them along the side of the stocking at this point. (I told you we were experts at this.)

8. At the top of the stocking, the best things are gift cards!! They’re best at the top, because you don’t want them getting lost or misplaced during the un-stuffing process.  My suggestions for sure winners are Amazon gift cards or Itunes gift cards and there’s no need to go crazy here, everyone loves a $10 one just as much as any other one. (Though I know I wouldn’t say no to a little extra…)

9.  At last, now is the time to fill all the holes that have emerged between all these fabulous gifts in your stocking and what better way to fill them in, but with candy! Sweet, sour, hard, soft, or minty, as long as it’s small, it will work!

10. At the very top, and this truly is saving the best gift for last, spread a little love to wish the special ones in your life a truly blessed and Merry Christmas!

Until next time and Merry Christmas,

Catie

From Disaster to Delicious

Hello!

If you’re just joining in, my mom usually blogs on this site but I’m guest posting for her for a few weeks.  I’ve been chronicling my adventures in perfecting my art of cooking.  You can find the first post of my challenge here, if you’d like to start at the beginning.

Since the last crock pot recipe went so well, I decided to try my hand at more slow cooker recipes. I just can’t help myself.  They are just far too convenient.

I ventured out and tried a different cookbook this time, Fix-it and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. It’s a cookbook that my mom found at a second-hand store. The recipe I used was for a southwest soup.

The recipe was…strange. The soup could only best be described as a kind of salsa soup with potatoes…weird, right??

So in order to salvage it, mom came to the rescue. She’s pure genius.  Thank you, Supermom!  I’m incredibly blessed to have you as my guide.

We cooked some ground meat in fajita seasoning and added it to the soup along with a can of rinsed dark red kidney beans. (The problem with the recipe before was the soup was only potatoes and crushed tomatoes. — Just too thin. ) Then, we added some sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese on the top.  The soup turned out to be one of the best taco soups I have ever had!

IMG_1916

Until next time,

Catie

The Laws of Physics: Cooking Challenge 2

Hello!

To recap: I am, Catie, blogging in the place of my Mom this month as she completes some of her own projects. I am currently attempting a cooking challenge to help bolster my repertoire of recipes and learn some basic cooking skills. I am using the cookbook, Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka. Day one was a successfully delicious Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto Mayo.

One of my all time favorite Date Night places to go eat is the Bonefish Grill in Madison,MS. And without fail, though I may browse the menu FOR-EV-ER, I will always inevitably order the Bang Bang Shrimp.  Now that my husband and I are both in school, such Date Nights happen less frequently, but my love for this dish does not waiver.  So when I saw in my trusty cookbook, Skinny Taste, a knockoff for this very beloved meal, I knew what I must cook! Also, since this meal is particularly spicy, (hence the name “Bang Bang!”)  I thought a dessert of Watermelon Lime Granita would be just the ending we would need.

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this delicious meal. (Yep, it was That good.)

But here is the picture from her blogsite, Skinnytaste.com and I promise, cross my heart, mine looked the exact same (cough, cough).

skinny-bang-bang-shrimp

The Bang Bang Shrimp was quick to whip together. Mix up the sauce, (mayo, hot sauce, and sweet chilli sauce) coat the shrimp in corn starch (not corn syrup–I had an almost whoopsy with that one!), cook the shrimp, mix the sauce with the shrimp, and then layer over a bowl of shredded iceberg lettuce, and red cabbage.

I’m feeling like a pro….

Until the Watermelon Lime Granita ….

Now this dessert takes 5 hours prep time. No biggie, no sweat, I got this! I blended those fruits up, I poured them into a pan, popped them into the freezer and walked away. Well, I have a suggestion to make for all the novices out there like me: if your freezer is not empty, don’t pour your blended fruit juice into a pan and then, place it into the freezer like she instructs. Instead, cover that pan with a lid, before all laws of physics break loose. I came back 2 hours later, opened the freezer and before I had opened the door an inch, WHOOSH! Watermelon-Lime-Slushy everywhere! It was all over me, all over the floor, all over the walls, every nook and cranny was coated in that pink sticky stuff! Needless to say, I became my own clean up crew for this little incident.  All that was able to be salvaged of my cooling dessert was about 1 cup full left in the pan.  My mom and I can attest to the fact that it was very tasty, but I’m not sure it outweighed the mess. (yes, I’m still a tad frosty about it! ) However, lesson learned: Items in freezer will shift when liquids are involved!

Until next time,

Catie

 

Leaves Of Three Or Is It Five?

Hey!

Today’s post idea comes as a response to help my friends who are in danger of unwittingly becoming the victims of a horrific case of poison ivy.

I’ve been the sufferer more times than I can count of a case of poison ivy.  The itching, oozing, crusty puffiness is miserable.  All the ointments in the world only alleviate the symptoms.  They don’t really get rid of it.  The dreaded affliction must run its course.

The worst case I had was when I went to summer camp. One night, our camp counselors wanted to give us the quintessential camp experience so they built a big bonfire for us to roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. Unfortunately for me, the tree limbs they burned had poison ivy on them which I inhaled in the smoke.  I developed a systemic reaction and became covered inside and outside of my body with poison ivy.  Misery — Pure Misery.  I had allergy shots after that experience and avoided the plant like the plague.

The best way though not to get a case of poison ivy is to recognize it and avoid it.  Poison ivy has three leaves.  A very common saying is Leaves of three, let it be” and “has been cited in print since 1907” according to this site I found.   The leaves can be very small when they first unfurl in the spring but can become quite large like the one below which is about the size of a salad plate.

poison ivyPoison ivy is a vine that will go up trees and send out runners across the ground.

poison ivy 2Virginia creeper is often confused with poison ivy but virginia creeper is not poisonous.  Although, the berries that form on virginia creeper are toxic.  Virginia creeper has five leaves and like poison ivy, the plant sends out runners and climbs trees, fences, and structures.

virginia creeperVirginia Creeper working its way up a tree.

virginia creeper 2Poison ivy on the left and virginia creeper on the right.

poison ivy and virginia creeperAdditional information

  1. Article from the CDC
  2. Article from Mt. Rainier Cabins
  3. Pictures of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac
  4. Photos of the rash
  5. Information about burning Poison Ivy

Remember ‘leaves of three, let it be ‘  —  I hope you have an itch free summer!

Blessings,

Mimi

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”  2 Timothy 4:3 NIV Bible