Recipe: Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

By Jess on October 14th, 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 3-Ingredient Toilet Bowl Cleaner

By Jess on October 14th, 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.

DIY Cereal Box Stencil Halloween Candy Tote Bags

By Jess on October 14th, 2014

halloween-tote-bags

Update a classic fabric tote with easy-to-make stencils and sponge painting with this tutorial from Parents Magazine. Make these adorable tote bags and reuse them for years to come!

What You’ll Need:

  • Fabric tote (get at any art supply store such as JoAnn’s or Michaels)
  • Fabric paint
  • Stencil brush or sponge
  • Cereal box
  • Crafts knife and cutting mat
  • Masking tape

Directions:

  1. Cut one of the largest rectangles out from your cereal box.
  2. Either you or your child can sketch jack-o’-lantern shaped faces onto the box. Using a craft knife, an adult will now cut out the jack-o’-lantern shapes on a cutting mat.
  3. Next, tape your rectangle template with the faces cut out onto the fabric bag. Have your child dab on the paint using a stencil brush or sponge painting it as evenly colored as possible. You could also use the end of a sponge paint roller. NOTE: The trick to getting the paint on neatly is to hold the brush or sponge end perpendicular to the surface.
  4. Let dry fully for at least 12 hours (overnight would be best). To be safe, spray with waterproofing spray and then can be used in any Halloween weather for many years to come!

DIY Elastic Hair Ties

By Jess on October 14th, 2014

diy-hair-ties

Elastic hair ties are such a popular hair accessory right now. They’re great because you can pull your hair back without leaving a huge dent, plus they’re really cute and you can wear them on your wrist. These little pieces of elastic can run you $5-$10 EACH depending on the brand and the color/decorations. You can make them yourself for a buck each or less!

What You’ll Need:

Directions:

  1. Measure and cut a 9″ strip of elastic.
  2. Fold the strip of elastic in half.
  3. Tie the ends in a knot.
  4. Repeat.

Thanks to Minted for the tutorial! Be sure to check out their awesome website: http://www.minted.com/party-decorations

Candy Corn Home Decor

By Michelle on October 10th, 2014

Candy-Corn-Home-Decor

Have some empty wine bottles laying around and you are in need of some cute Halloween Home Decor? This is the perfect DIY Project for you. Super Simple, Easy & Cute all in one package.

Materials:

Empty Wine Bottles

Glossy Spray Paint – White, Orange & Yellow

Fall Foliage

Directions: 

1. Make sure Wine Bottles are completely clean & dry.

2. Spray entire bottle with White Spray Paint.

3. Spray 3/4 way up with orange

4. Spray 1/2 way up with Yellow

5. Let dry completely.

6. Fill with Fall Foliage

7. Arrange on your mantle or as a centerpiece for your table!

Happy Fall!!!

Candy Corn Mousse Cups

By Jess on October 10th, 2014

candycorn

Halloween is only a couple of days away! You can make some super fun desserts to give out to the kids’ friends or just as a dessert for the next few days. You can use them for Thanksgiving, too! Here’s how to make your own Candy Corn Mousse Cups:

INGREDIENTS
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small container (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
orange and yellow food color
candy corn

DIRECTIONS
Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until fully smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, add milk and then vanilla. Continue mixing about 1 minute on medium speed. Fold cool whip into cream cheese mixture; stir until fully combined. Scoop about 1/3 of the cheesecake mousse into a bowl; mix with orange food coloring. Color another third of the mixture yellow. Leave the remaining third white. Beginning with the yellow mousse, pipe or spoon the mixture into each glass. Repeat with the orange and white. Garnish with candy corn. Then ENJOY!

Yield: 8 mini servings. We halved the recipe and were able to fill 4 shot glasses.

DIY Window Cleaner Tutorial

By Jess on October 10th, 2014

window-cleaner

You don’t have to buy window cleaner from the store for $4 or more and have it filled with a bunch of chemicals you’ve never heard of. You can make your own, super effective window cleaner for just pennies!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of laundry detergent
  • A spray bottle

Directions: 

Simply combine all the ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake gently to mix so to not create too many bubbles. You’re ready to clean your glass and windows!

How to Make a Hair Bow Picture Frame Holder

By Extreme Couponing Rudy on October 7th, 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!

  

DIY Scented Bath Bombs

By Jess on October 7th, 2014

DIY Scented Bath Bombs

Women are super in love with bath bombs (or bath fizzies) right now. I have a lot of friends that buy them at LUSH and they’re $5  EACH. So, they’re paying $5 every time they take a bath. That’s crazy to me. Here is a really simple, natural way to  make your own bath bombs from Vitacost at home in minutes and for literally a few cents each bomb!

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup of citric acid
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 3 oz. witch hazel
  • Small spray bottle
  • Rubber ice cube trays or molds
  • Essential oil of your choice (lavender works really well)
  • ½ cup of Epsom salt or sea salt
  • Cocoa  butter

Directions:

  • Stir together the citric acid, Epsom or sea salt, and the baking soda until very well blended. Make sure all of your dry ingredients are well combined, or your bomb may turn into more of a dud.
  • Fill the spray bottle with the witch hazel and a small amount of cocoa butter. This will help bind the bomb together, and also help with moisture.
  • Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Spray the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring well, until it starts to clump. When the mixture holds shape, quickly transfer it to your mold.
  • Let your bombs dry for a short time (about 10 to 15 minutes), then remove them from the mold. Try lightly tapping the underside if they don’t come out easily.
  • Let bombs dry overnight before use.
  • Then just plop your bomb into the bathtub and be whisked away to a land of bliss!

Recipe: Cinnamon-Masarpone Pudding

By Jess on October 7th, 2014

Cinnamon pudding

Pudding is all grown up! No longer do we adults need to suffer will the peel off lids! With this recipe from PureWow, we can devour a grown-up version of a kids’ favorite. Recipe makes 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

Pudding - 

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese

Topping - 

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh berries (like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries)

Directions:

Place 6 to 8 small bowls onto a baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, whisk sugar with the cornstarch to combine.

In a medium pot, combine milk with the sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

While the milk is heating up, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. When the milk has reached a simmer, slowly pour it over the eggs, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for a few moments after all the milk has been added, then return the mixture to the pot.

Cook the pudding over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble from the very center of the pot. This will be at least 1 to 2 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat and add in the vanilla, cinnamon and mascarpone cheese. Mix until completely smooth.

Pour the pudding into the prepared vessels. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool (at least 30 minutes).

When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream with the sugar to medium peaks. Place 1 tablespoon whipped cream on top of each pudding and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some fresh berries.