Homemade No-Sew Fall Leaves Headband

By Jess on September 30th, 2014

fall-headband

Want to get a little festive before Thanksgiving? Make these adorable and SIMPLE Fall Headbands — No sewing is required! Kids will love making these to wear for Thanksgiving.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pre-cut felt leaves from art supply stores (or you can use different colors of felt and cut yourself)
  • Embroidery floss and a needle (optional, or draw the veins on with a sharpie)
  • Felt (for the headband)
  • Glue gun
  • Velcro
  • Sewing machine (optional: helps it stay together better, but not necessary)

Directions:

  1. Stitch veins on 3-5 leaves (or draw them on with sharpie markers).
  2. Measure your child’s head and cut the headband out of felt. Make sure it’s about 4″ tall and leave about 2″ of overlap for the velcro. Fold over in half and hot glue or sew the headband together.
  3. Hot glue or sew the velcro to the ends of the headband.
  4. Hot glue the leaves however you’d like to the front of the headband. Use many different colors and leaf designs to make it super unique. Stitch on if you’d like for extra support.

Thanks to Make Life Lovely for the great idea!

10 Homemade Copycat Starbucks Recipes

By Michelle on September 30th, 2014

Starbucks-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte.copycat

Everyone has gone through those moments of considering dropping the daily rounds to Starbucks in order to cut back on spending. Well, now you can make those tasty Starbucks Coffee Drinks at home and Save money while doing it. Check out these recipes for 10 Homemade Starbucks Copy Cat Drinks!

  1. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte from Mom Advice
  2. Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappaccino from The Dallas Socials
  3. Caramel Macchiato from Snapguide
  4. Cinnamon Dolche Latte from Ambivalent Attorney
  5. Passion Fruit & Lemon Tea from It’s the Life
  6. Chai Tea Latte from Cheerios and Latte’s
  7. Frappaccino from Cheerios and Latte’s
  8. Strawberries and Creme Frappaccino from ReplicaRecipes
  9. Iced Green Tea Latte from So, hi
  10. Caramel Mocha Frappuccino from Recipe Tips

Homemade Shea Butter Deep Conditioner

By Jess on September 28th, 2014

Homemade Shea Butter Deep Conditioner

This time of year wrecks havoc on everyone’s hair – dry, staticky, frizzy, yuck. You can go to the salon and get a deep condition for $60, buy some at the store that is full of chemicals for $20, OR spend a couple of bucks and make enough deep conditioner to last you many uses. Thanks to Home Remedy Shop for the super easy tutorial!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine the Shea butter, coconut oil, and grape seed oil into a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between times, until they are fully evenly blended.
  2. Add the essential oil to the bowl. Prepare an ice bath in a pan and add the bowl into it and start blending the liquid with a blender. As you whip the mix, the texture will get creamy and will look like lotion.
  3.  Transfer the contents into a plastic jar or bottle. Keep this bottle in your bathroom and use the conditioner whenever you need!

Recipe: Candy Corn Poke Cake

By Jess on September 28th, 2014

candycornpokecake

Isn’t this SO CUTE!? The blog, Wine and Cake, has perfected this poke cake. I’ve seen it made by Taste of Home and Betty Crocker, but hers is by far the prettiest and easiest to make. Go over to her and say hi and thank you for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of white cake mix, and all the ingredients necessary to make the cake included on the box (eggs, oil, etc.)
  • food coloring (yellow & orange)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • whipped topping (whipped cream in a tub)
  • candy corn

Directions:

  1. Make the cake batter as directed and divide it into 3 equal parts in bowls:  Color one yellow, one orange, and leave one uncolored.  Make sure you add food coloring enough to make the cake layers really vibrant.
  2. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Spread the yellow layer evenly across the bottom, and then stick it in the freezer (make sure it is sitting flat) and leave it for 20 minutes.
  3. As soon as you pull it out, very carefully add the orange layer, pouring it as evenly as possible around the pan, and gently spreading it out to cover the yellow.  Put the cake back in the freezer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to the temperature on the cake mix.
  5. Take out the cake batter pan again, and carefully spread the white layer.  Let it sit on top of the preheating oven for at least 30 minutes. Bake the cake according to package directions.
  6. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes throughout the cake with the end of a wooden spoon.  Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake, making sure to fill each hole.
  7. Refrigerate cake overnight, then top with whipped topping, candy corn, and enjoy!

Recipe: Low Calorie Dark Chocolate Pretzel Turtles

By Jess on September 27th, 2014

turtle-recipe

I love chocolate, and I love that dark chocolate is considered healthy (in moderate quantities, obviously). The magnesium alone is worth eating dark chocolate for. This recipe from Women’s Health Magazine is low in calories and fat, plus surprisingly has fiber and protein. It’s a really easy recipe, too. Note: Instead of regular mini pretzels, if you opt for gluten-free mini pretzels, these turtle treats will be 100% GF!)

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, melt 22 dark chocolate kisses in 30 second increments in the microwave.
  3. Crumble 10 mini pretzels into pieces and gently fold into chocolate, along with 2 tablespoons dried currants.
  4. Drop 8 spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Serving =2 turtles: 140 cal, 8 g fat (5 g sat), 22 g carbs, 120 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

Recipe: Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

By Jess on September 26th, 2014

pumpkincake with cream cheese frosting

It’s that time of year again — PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!! Instead of going to the store or bakery, you can make your own super easy pumpkin cake at home with a recipe from Eat at Home.

Ingredients & Directions for Pumpkin Cake:

  • 16 oz can of pumpkin
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp  of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  1. Beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil in a medium mixing bowl. Then add eggs and mix well.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.
  3. Pour into a greased 10×15 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Cool the cake completely and then frost it with the cream cheese frosting.

Here’s what you’ll need for the frosting:

Ingredients & Directions For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 5 Tbs of butter, softened
  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tsp of milk
  • Optional: Chopped nuts or fall candies for the top
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together.  Add the vanilla and blend till smooth.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency.
  4. Spread gently and evenly over the cooled pumpkin cake.
  5. Optional: Add the nuts or candies to the top of the cake evenly or in a decorative fashion.

Recipe: Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

By Jess on September 24th, 2014

Copycat P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Recipe

P.F. Chang’s is known for their delicious take on Chinese food, and their Mongolian Beef is one of their most popular dishes. Serve the Mongolian Beef with steamed broccoli and rice for a complete meal! Note: If you use a gluten-free soy sauce in this recipe, then the beef, served with broccoli and rice will be all gluten-free!

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don’t let the oil get too hot.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Once thickened, remove sauce from heat.
  4. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices (Note:Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
  5. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef, then place on a plate. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  6. As the beef sits, heat up 1 cup of oil in a wok (Using a skillet is fine as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
  7. Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  8. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. (Note: The meat will be heated once again after this step, so it doesn’t need to be cooked thoroughly.)
  9. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
  10. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
  11. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
  12. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  13. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate or bowl and eave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

DIY Mason Jar Soap & Lotion Dispensers

By richel on September 24th, 2014

Homemade-mason-jar-pumpsHomemade-mason-jar-pumps-2

Now that you have learned how to make your own hand soap.  You might want to give it as gifts!  This is a super cute way to present it as a gift or even to use in your own home!  It has always been one of my favorite hostess gifts!

Here is what you need:

  • Mason jar with lid
  • White or colored paint (if you want to paint the jar lid)
  • Outdoor Modge Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Old Dish or hand soap with pump dispenser

First you need to decide if you want to paint you mason jar lid.  If you do then you want to take the two lid parts and pain them, let them dry and then seal them with the Modge Podge sealer.  Once that is done you will want to put the lid back on the jar and carefully make a hole in the middle of the lid.

To do this, you will need to use a nail and a hammer and carefully pound the nail through the metal lid making a large enough hole that the pump straw can fit inside.

Then place in the pump and fill with soap or lotion!  There you have it!

How to make homemade hand soap

DIY Nail Polish Remover Jar

By Jess on September 22nd, 2014

diynailpolishremoverspongejar

Why pay $5 or more for the nail polish remover/sponge all-in-one jar? Make it at home over and over again. It’s got to be way cleaner to replace it more often and it will be a small percentage of buying them over and over again at the store! It actually does save on nail polish remover: The amount that you pour in the jar and use 5x (or more) is the same as what you would use to remove ONE manicure! It’s also great to remove glitter polish.

What You’ll Need:

  • Nail polish remover (acetone is stronger, but it dries your nails and cuticles out, so be careful)
  • Dish sponge (plain, without the scrubber side)
  • Baby food jar (or something small and can be resealed)

Directions:

  1. Cut your sponge in half directly down the center lengthwise.
  2. Roll your two sections of sponge together (like a cake roll).
  3. Push your sponge snugly into your baby food jar and fill it with nail polish remover a little bit at a time until it fills up the sponge.
  4. Tightly screw the lid on every time so it doesn’t dry out!

When you’re ready to use it, just stick your finger into one of the crevices, let sit for about 10-15 seconds, then rub your nail up and down a few times. For glitter, let your nail sit in the sponge for 60 seconds and check to see if it is easy to remove. If not, let it sit for another minute. Repeat.

Thanks to Bella Shoot for the pictures and tutorial!

Recipe: “BLOW YOUR MIND” Healthy, No-Strain Tomato Basil Pasta!

By Jess on September 22nd, 2014

amazing-tomato-basil-pasta---throw-all-the-ingredients-in-the-pot-including-the-uncooked-pasta-and-cook-for-15-minutes

I’ve seen this recipe floating around my Facebook page for a while, but I couldn’t ignore it anymore. It’s amazing! You just add all the ingredients into one big pot, stir and simmer until it’s fully cooked. No straining, no waste, and only takes FIFTEEN MINUTES! It’s called “Summer Pasta” because it doesn’t take a lot of work to make, but it absolutely could be made year-round (and should because it’s so healthy!). Here’s the great recipe from MyFridgeFood (check the link for calories and in the comments section for what others added for recipe ideas).

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz pasta
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatos with liquid (You can use fresh if you would rather)
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.
  3. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated (an inch or less, as desired).
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot.
  5. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese.