Recipe: No-Bake GF Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

By Jess on August 1st, 2014

Choc Chip Cheesecake Dip

I’m warning you: If you make this, hide it from the kids and your husband. Hide in the bathroom and eat it. I’m only warning you because it’s so good, and you won’t want to share it. If you are the giving type, this Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip recipe is perfect for a family get-together or work potluck. Oh, and it’s gluten-free!

Thanks to New to Veggie World for sharing the recipe. Check her website out for more addicting recipes!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Graham cracker sticks or teddy grahams (if you are GF, choose a GF variety)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add sugars and vanilla.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  4. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with graham cracker sticks or teddy grahams.

DIY Sea Salt Beachy Hair Spray & How-To Style Tutorial

By Jess on August 1st, 2014

DIY Sea Salt Waves Hair Spray & How-To Style Tutorial

I love the look of beach waves, but to buy a bottle of sea salt beach hair spray can cost upwards of $12. This tutorial will cost you only a couple of dollars, works just as well, and will smell even better!

What You’ll Need:

  •  Plastic spray bottle (you can grab these at the dollar store)
  •  1 tsp sea salt (NOT table salt!)
  •  8 oz water
  •  1/2 tsp coconut oil, olive oil or light conditioner (coconut oil is the best and smells most beachy!)
  •  3 drops essential oil of your choice
  •  Lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove the top from the spray bottle. Pour water into the plastic spray bottle.
  2. Add sea salt to the bottle. The more salt you add, the more “crunchy,” textured and beachy your hair will feel, but dryer as well.
  3. Add moisturizer to combat the drying factor of the salt. Use coconut oil, olive oil or light conditioner. Avoid adding more than a teaspoon because it can weigh down your hair instead of adding wavy volume.
  4. Add essential oil for fragrance and additional benefits of your choice. For example, rose essential oil aids hydration and peppermint helps with headaches. Choose your favorite oil based on scent and healing properties.
  5. Close the top of the bottle tightly and shake the bottle’s ingredients vigorously for ingredients to mix. If you don’t shake the bottle VERY HARD, the oil will remain on the surface and the salt on the bottom.
  6. Spray all over hair until it becomes very damp. Scrunch your damp locks with your fingers to accentuate its natural wave. Let your hair air dry.  Note: If your hair is naturally straight, twist your locks to achieve better results. Twist locks of your hair into buns. Pin them on your head with hair pins. When your hair is almost dry, unwrap your locks and let them out of the buns gently. Let air dry fully.
  7. Style as you’d like or leave as is. Spray with a layer of hairspray for extra support.
  8. Store the spray bottle and mixture in the fridge when not in use. Shake very hard before each use.

Simple Upcycled T-Shirt Produce Bag Tutorial

By Jess on July 31st, 2014

Simple Upcycled T-Shirt Produce Bag Tutorial

Going to the local farmer’s market is a great way to get fresh produce and support local growers, but you definitely need produce bags to keep your food safe. Instead of pay $5 or more per bag, create your own using old t-shirts and very little sewing. All you need is a t-shirt, scissors, a sewing machine, and a pen.
This amazing and simple tutorial comes from Delias Creates. She has a visual, step-by-step tutorial for extra help if you need it.

  1. Turn an old, clean t-shirt inside out, then draw a shape for the bad you like – square or round – and as large as you want it. You can make 2 out of one t-shirt if you make them small, or a large one out of a whole t-shirt.
  2. Sew the 2 sides together using either a straight stitch or narrow zig-zag going around the edges, leaving 1 side open.
  3. Flip it right side out, then finish the seams by straight stitching around the edges again.
  4. Now, draw lines sporadically across the bag in lines about 2-3″ long, spaced at least an inch between each line both sideways and on top and bottom apart.
  5. Draw the shape of a hole for your handle at the top of the fabric.
  6. Now, cut the lines and handle through the 2 layers. Be careful to not cut too far and combine 2 cuts together.
  7. Now, stretch the fabric out and it’s ready to use! So simple!

Recipe: Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

By Jess on July 30th, 2014

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo wings are super popular for parties, but they’re so greasy and high in calories. Here is another option for a gluten-free and low-calorie snack that is delicious! Thanks to Good Dinner Mom for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (optional)
  • ½ to 3/4 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Style hot sauce or other hot wing sauce of choice
  • 1 gallon or larger size plastic bag

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees
  2. Place cauliflower florets into plastic bag. Drizzle olive oil over florets to barely coat. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Close bag and toss ingredients around so all florets are coated.
  3. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or baking pan and bake on middle rack for 15 minutes, turning florets once during baking. Check them at the 10 minute mark for desired tenderness. You don’t want them to be soggy!
  4. Remove florets from oven. Melt butter in medium glass bowl. Add hot sauce to butter. Toss cauliflower and stir to cover all florets with hot sauce.
  5. Return to oven and cook for additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with any dip you like, ranch dressing or Blue Cheese dip. ENJOY!

How to Make a Hair Bow Picture Frame Holder

By Extreme Couponing Rudy on July 29th, 2014
DIY-Hair-Bow-Holder

Picture via Thrifty NW Mom

Here is what you will need:

  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors
  • Fabric (enough to cover the picture frame)
  • Spools of ribbon (all sizes & textures)
  • Spray paint (your choice of color)
  • A sturdy picture frame

*Choose whatever size you want, I chose a big one because we have so many bows to put on it.  I also have several smaller ones throughout the house.  The basic wooden frames at the dollar store will work if you want to keep it simple.  I found mine at a thrift store and it was falling apart when I bought it.  See pic*

*You will also notice my fabric and ribbon aren’t matchy matchy :)  You can choose a theme color, or you can be crazy.  Ex. Hot pink and Zebra.

  

Here is a picture of my picture frame before I did any work to it.  Yes, it was falling apart when I bought it!  I still knew it would work for what I wanted.

The first thing you want to do is take your frame apart and sand it.  After you sand it and wipe it down, spray paint it.  I gave mine several coats and because it was an old frame with a lot of dings in it, I used a sand paper strip to give it a distressed looked after the paint dried.

The next step is to get your fabric and cut it to size.  Place the fabric on the ground and place the inside of the frame (whether it’s the cardboard, glass, or wood) on top.  You want to leave a few inches all the way around so it will fold over to the back where you will hot glue it into place.

After you have cut fabric, make sure the front of the fabric is facing the ground.  Have the inside of the picture frame on top and start to hot glue.  You will go through several hot glue sticks depending on the size of your frame.  Put the glue on the edge and press the fabric to it.

Once the hot glue has dried and the fabric is secured, you can start putting the ribbon on.  The purpose of the ribbon is for the hair bows to clip to it for show.  You can place the ribbon horizontally, vertically, crisscrossed, or all of the above.  Be creative.  I did my ribbon crazy!  Place a dab of hot glue on the back, put the end of the ribbon on it, then bring it across the front.  Put another dab of glue on back and place the other end of the ribbon on it.  Repeat this step until the frame is full of ribbon running across the front.

Place the center back into the frame and secure it.  If you are using a small frame, place extra fabric or felt on the back to cover          the ribbon ends.  (It gives it a polished look!)

Now you are ready to add the bows!  Check out my hair bow tutorials so you can constantly add to your collection!

  

Recipe: Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

By Jess on July 28th, 2014

Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread Recipe

For a refreshing change from regular zucchini bread, bake this lemon-poppy seed version from Southern Living Magazine. It’s perfect for summer and rated 5-stars!

Ingredients (Makes three 5- x 3-inch loaves):

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each egg is added.
  2. Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in zucchini and next 2 ingredients. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 5×3-inch disposable aluminum foil loaf pans (about 1 1/3 cups batter per pan).
  3. Bake at 325° for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Picture via Living Rancho Deluxe.

Homemade Air Freshener Gel

By Jess on July 27th, 2014

homemade-air-freshener

This homemade air freshener gel is so easy to make and would make a great gift!

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4  jars, capable of holding 1/2-cup of fluid each (this site used 4  baby food jars which hold 1/2 cup of mixture)
  • Food Coloring
  • Essential Oil or Room Fragrance drops
  • 2 cups of water, divided into two 1 cup amounts
  • 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Kitchen equipment: whisk, a pan to boil water, funnel, and spoons

Directions:

  1. Pour a few drops of food coloring into each jar.
  2. Pour 1 teaspoon (minimum) of essential oil into each jar. The more you pour, the stronger the scent.
  3. Bring 1 cup of water to a rapid boil.
  4. Add all 4 of the gelatin to the water and whisk until fully dissolved (about 1 minute).
  5. Add the other cup of water to the pan and the salt. Stir to dissolve the salt.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the mixture into the jars within a couple of minutes of removing from the heat.
  7. Use a funnel to pour an equal amount into each jar.
  8. Stir the mixture quickly before it solidifies.
  9. Let cool and solidify for at least 24 hours. The gel air freshener should last between 4-6 weeks and you can do it again!

Thanks to Instructables for the awesome idea and instructions!

Homemade 3-Ingredient Toilet Bowl Cleaner

By Jess on July 26th, 2014

homemade-cleaning-recipe-toilet-bowl

A lot of people use bleach or other cleaners in their bathroom, but some feel that they want to control the ingredients they use around their families. By combining the fizzy power of baking soda and tea tree oil in this toilet bowl cleaner recipe from All You, you can clean your toilet naturally, in about 2 minutes, and spend almost nothing (only $.48 per cleaning)!

What You’ll Need:

Directions:

  1. Pour baking soda directly into the toilet. Immediately add oil  then vinegar—in that order exactly.
  2. Let water fizz for several minutes.
  3. Scrub bowl with brush until clean.
  4. Flush.

Recipe: Easy Jello Rainbow Cookies

By Jess on July 25th, 2014

Jello Cookies Recipe

These Jell-O rainbow cookies are such a hit with kids!  The cookie will take and become the flavor and color of the Jell-O you choose. Fun as a party snack and would be great for a party favor, too! Here is the super simple recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • pack of any flavor Jell-o or store brand gelatin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix together the butter, sugar, gelatin powder and eggs until creamy.
  3. Mix in rest of ingredients until fully blended.
  4. Roll dough into balls, place on a greased cookie sheet, and flatten balls with a fork.
  5.  Bake for 6-8 min and enjoy!

Homemade Weed Killer Recipe

By Jess on July 24th, 2014

Homemade Weed Killer Recipe

Depending on where you live, weeds are a really big nuisance and buying weed killer can start costing you a lot over the summer season, especially ones that are safe around kids and dogs. Here’s one that you can make at home that has a lot of positive reviews.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Gallon of Vinegar
  • 2 cups of Epson Salt
  • 1/4 cup Original Blue Dawn Dish Soap

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large container by stirring so it will have less suds.
  2. Pour into a spray bottle or watering can.
  3. Pour or spray the weed killer over the weeds in the morning after the dew has dried. By evening, the weeds should be dead or wilted significantly.