Fire Starters

Let’s talk Fire Starters

Let’s talk about fire starters a little today.  For some this is an important subject. If you’ve ever been in a campground trying to light a fire or back yard and want to get the fire pit going you know all too well how starting a fire can be a difficult thing. Well for that matter a fireplace can be hard to get going sometimes as well.

So what I’ve done is put together a few fire starting objects and rated them according to how well they lit during a windy day and how long they stayed lit (this is important because you want to know that your wood will have enough time to catch fire).

All the methods I used didn’t involve using any chemicals save for one that was soaked in Alcohol. I prefer not to have a lot of unnecessary chemicals floating around the air. Plus it’s safer to not have to travel with flammable fluids while camping.

Ranking my preferences from 10 – 1, 10 being I wont be trying that again to  1 being I will use this from now on we start with the Wine cork method.

The wine cork Fire Starter method Ranked 10

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With this method you are to soak the wine cork in alcohol until completely saturated through.

Take the wine cork and light it.. Or in my case attempt to light it. After several attempts of lighting the cork I gave up.  I know not much to tell about this one.. I wasn’t impressed. If you’ve tried this and it worked for you let me know.

Dryer lint and magnesium Fire Starter Ranked 9

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This one was simply using dryer lint and a magnesium fire starter. Using the  directions for the magnesium fire starter I was able to get the dryer lint to catch but within seconds it was  burnt up. This will not be useful in starting  fire wood. I gave it a 9 because it lit but like I said stayed lit for just a few seconds.

Dryer lint inside of paper towel roll Ranked 5

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Save up your dryer lint and either empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls. Stuff the rolls with the dryer lint until it’s coming out slightly from both sides of the roll. If using the paper towel roll you’ll want to cut this in half.

Light either end of the tube or both ends if you prefer. This stayed lit for several minutes making it easy for the wood to catch.  I liked this but for packing purposes it was  a bit bulky which is why I gave it a 5 ranking.

Petroleum Jelly covered cotton balls Ranked 5

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While this worked well for lighting a fire the reason I didn’t rank it higher was because it’s a bit messy.  All you do is put about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly inside of a plastic baggy and put a cotton ball inside. Squish the cotton ball around and cover it completely with the petroleum jelly. Take it out place the cotton ball in your pit and light.  This method lit quickly and stayed lit for more than 3 minutes. Again the only problem I had with this method is it’s messiness which is why I ranked it at a 5.

Pinecone Fire starters Ranked 3

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This method worked very well while we were camping and again for our fire pit and even the fire place.  They stay lit for quite a long time that allowed the wood to light easy.  I  make and sell these. You can find them  on EBay  look for  Indispensable Fire Starters from Pine cones.  You get 6 Pine cone fire starters for $10.50.

Only one is needed to light your fire.

If you prefer click here and order it straight from PayPal

. While I love using these at home for my fire pit or fire place, packing them for camping was a bit bothersome and bulky. The only reason I rank this at a 3 is because of it’s bulkiness. Otherwise this is a wonderful choice for backyard fire pits and home fire places.

Phoenix Fire Starters Ranked 1

Now for my favorite fire starters.

I call them my Phoenix fire starters (yes I sell these as well for those who would like to purchase them).

Let me first tell all the reasons I love these so much. They are compact easy to  store, travel well you can pack as many or as little as you want, they don’t take up much room at all and they stay lit for more than 3 minutes giving your wood enough time to catch fire.

One cotton ball can be halved and use one half to light your fire. So already your saving money.

The cotton balls are covered in wax. Cut one in half, place the halved ball in your pit and light it.

This is my number one pick for it’s  money saving features, ease in use, ease in travel and storage, and for the purposes of starting fires, awesome!

Now you can make your own or if you prefer order  a dozen for  $2.50 by clicking here Paypal.

For either the Indispensable Fire Starters or the Phoenix Fire Starters along with clicking on PayPal link send me a message below letting me know how may you are ordering.

You know what send me a message below anyway just to say Hi.

Oh and P. S. While comparing all these fire starters my neighbor offered one more  starter. He said to take a tablespoon of coffee creamer and light it.  Ok I tried that and got a very nice smelling caramelized  coffee creamer. Sadly no fire.

 

 

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My Things 2 Do with Coffee

For those who follow me you know I’ve been gone for a bit. I’m sorry blame it on Crohns.

I’ll  post a blog on that soon.

Last Thursday was National Coffee Day!!  I’m so sorry I missed having a post for that day but again Crohns.

This is all about My Things 2 Do Coffee.

Being half German I’m pretty sure my mother put coffee in my bottle as a baby.

I love coffee day and night. Am I the only one who was brought up in a home that first thing in the morning you make a pot of coffee, and have another pot made after dinner?

I’ve had so much coffee in my life that it doesn’t keep me awake at night.

I love hot coffee and iced coffee. I have my coffee station set up on the counter so if I want an espresso or cappuccino or just a quick cup of coffee there it is.

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My coffee station

Recently we went camping and I didn’t have coffee. This was not good.

I know your saying just pack instant coffee then. Nope not going to. I do not like instant. It has it’s place and that is in recipes not my coffee cup.

I visited our friendly camping store and found this.

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There were several camping coffee makers to choose from ranging in price from the very low to the very high. Mine was closer to the very low at only $4.  I tried it out and I love it! It makes one cup of coffee, has a permanent filter and so very easy to use. Oh and did I mention it doesn’t take up much room nor does it make any noise.

Just fill the cup with coffee close it back together,

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place the whole thing on top of a coffee cup and fill the top with boiling water.

Ta da!  Coffee just like your Keurig makes.

Now speaking of Keurig’s. I love mine to death but lets be honest here those little k-cups are expensive.

Like so many when I got my Keurig as a birthday present I went out and bought all kinds of coffee for it. I thought I can finally have different flavored coffees without buying pounds of coffee. Yeah that was an expensive month for me. Thank goodness I have a fiancé who was willing to kick in some money for some of those flavored coffees.

The biggest problem I had with having a Keurig was that my lovely fiancé loves to stock pile. Well before buying me the coffee maker of my dreams I had a regular buy the filters and make a pot of coffee, coffee maker.

So now I had all this coffee and nothing to use it with except my espresso maker and let’s face it I wasn’t having a cappuccino or espresso daily. I just got this awesome Keurig and I want to use it.

I went on the search to find a reusable k-cup. Heck I even tried reusing one of the cups filling it with my coffee and putting foil on top to close it. (I don’t recommend doing that)

I bought this dollar tree version and while it takes opening and closing the Keurig several times, after a while I can fool it into thinking that I just want 6 ounces of water. But that was frustrating and I wanted a full 8 ounces of coffee not 6 ounces.

I went to the Keurig website and after a small search found a k-cup. Then I went on Amazon and found one.  Actually two. The one I picked came in two sizes so I can make one cup of coffee or use my carafe. The carafe is great when you have a few people over and want to make a lot of coffee but I don’t normally use it so…..  Well anyway I purchased the k-cup from Amazon.

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Make sure you check which brewer your buying your cup for. I didn’t do that the first time and had to send it back.

This one works well and fits my brewer.

But then I found this one at Walmart. 5cfe1c1a-f6d1-4c9e-bc9f-3f76cd58d351_1-0cd69563084d3b96b3c1e7295b6ae26cThis one cost me $4.92

Now I go back and forth between my amazon k-cup and my Walmart k-cup and enjoy the stock pile of coffee that Tiffany purchased for me.

A good friend from church gave me an awesome recipe for Iced Coffee. You’ve got to try this.

Ice Coffee

1 1/3 cup ground coffee

4 cups water

Stir let sit for 12 hours(overnight)

Strain liquid twice

Store in refrigerator

To make the ice coffee use 1/3 cups of coffee, sweetener, 2/3 cup milk, ice

hint*(use a French press)

Well now you’ll need some cake to go with all that coffee.

Recipe curtesy of Rasa Malaysia

Apple Coffee Cake

Serves 10 | Prep Time: 15 Mins | Cook Time: 35 Mins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (180 g) self-rising flour
2-3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small
1/3 cup (60 g) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) ground cinnamon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, beat the granulated sugar, butter and egg until combined. Mix in the milk, vanilla extract, self-rising flour and apples. Add apples to your preference.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the top. Use a toothpick to swirl the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool completely; then cut and serve.

Cook’s Note:

Spices, like ground nutmeg and cloves, can also be added to create warmer flavors.
Read more at http://rasamalaysia.com/apple-coffee-cake/2/#1pmSRvjKSgmwiRU5.99

 

My Things 2 Do on gifts #mt2d

This weekend I went to a Bridal Shower and like all showers of all kinds, we played shower games!  At this Bridal Shower we played a few games that I’ve never played before. One was find the ring. Several plastic rings were hidden throughout the open areas of the house and who ever found the most rings won a prize. Another was guess the period the dress was popular, and another game I’ve never played was the Bride to be wore an apron with several items taped on to it. After parading in front of us for two minutes we had to write down the items we saw on the apron.

Sadly I didn’t win any of these. I won the game where you can say the words bride, married, or wedding. I only won because my lovely fiancé Tiffany kept saying those words so I was able to take her clothes pins from her. Clearly the other guest have been to several baby showers and bridal showers in the past.

Ok I said all that to say this. My prize for winning  a game was AWESOME! It was perfect for me. It also had me thinking that so many times we are in a pinch for a gift for either secret santa, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, well any gift giving time and so often we are stuck on what to get.

What I won was perfect for me because I’m a kitchen gadget girl. If it’s for the kitchen I either have it or I want it or I need another one.

The prize I wont was an ovenmit filled with a spatula, (I needed a new one), kitchen scissors, (again I needed a new one), whisk, (yep needed another one of those), pairing knife, (cant have too many of those), a slide measuring spoon, (that was awesome because I have two sets of those rolling around loose in my drawer and this one is an all in one),wooden spatula, and a silicone spatula that can withstand 400 degrees (I’ve successfully melted the tips of two of mine so yes I needed this one). *(hint, you can go to my links and order all of these items for your next gift to give)

Think outside the box and put together a gift box (or ovenmit, toolbox, sewing box, yarn bag) and put together a present that will awesome to the person your giving it to.

I can tell you already a person who is passionate about something will never complain that they have too many of something. I mean there isn’t enough yarn in the world for me to ever say that I have enough or too much. I have tons of crochet and knitting needles yet I always need another.

Have a coffee lover and you know they own a Keurig, Walmart has reusable pods for less than $5. You can purchase that and for a lot less than buying a box of coffee for the Keurig, you can buy several small bags of flavored coffee to put in the reusable pod.  Add a small coffee cake and vola.

Find out what  the person your buying for is passionate about and put something together. You can pick up things in Walmart, Target, heck even the dollar tree.

Say you have to buy generic well put together a “basket” of edible items; healthy snacks with a few indulgence items too. Add a comical book and your set.

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My prize from the Bridal Shower

Tea Party Cupcake Doll

Do you remember those crochet bed dolls that  so popular back in the day?

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Yea those..

Well I wanted to have a tea party with my granddaughter Abby and some of her friends and decided for desert to make her a cupcake doll reminiscent of the crochet bed doll.

And this is what I came up with.

Start with a dome shaped styrofoam ball. I purchased mine already cut in half

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After cutting the hole on top I took the legs off my Barbie-ish doll and fit her into the hole.

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I had some tissue paper and wrapped my dome in it then taped it underneath. This looked so good that my daughter actually thought that I had baked a cake and added cupcakes on top of that.

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#mt2d #mythings2do

 

Now comes the fun part, baking the cupcakes.  Click here to find the recipe for both the cupcakes and the frosting.

After you have baked the cupcakes its time to start putting them on the doll display.

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Keep going until she’s all covered. I  baked 72 mini cupcakes to cover my base.
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Now that the cupcakes are on it’s time to frost them. I’m not the best at this so forgive the next picture. Even bad looking frosting still taste good.

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#teaparty #mt2d #mythings2do

 

 

 

My granddaughter was so happy when she saw the cupcakes and immediately wanted the doll. Her oldest brother wanted to join the Tea Party too.

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The girls enjoyed their tea…

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Then everyone reached in for a cupcake. As you can see the boys didn’t mind joining the tea party either. lol

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The Tea Party was a success. Miss Abby was happy to get her doll.

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#teaparty #granddaughterlove #mt2d #mythings2do

 

I hope this inspires you to have your own Tea Party or maybe use this idea for a Birthday Party.

Leave a comment below and pictures of your Cupcake doll!

 

Mt2d This Weekend

My things 2 do this weekend..

Well my weekend didn’t exactly go the way I had planned. But the thing I like most about us is that we adapt well to change around here.

Tiffany and I had plans to wake up early Saturday morning, go to her mammogram appointment then come home and rest until noon. At which time we would go to Fayetteville Gay Pride  at the park.

I’m happy to say that Tiffany’s appointment went well.

It was then that she suggested that instead of going home to rest we find some estate sales or yard sales.

So I break out the trusty phone and check for some yard sales. Turned out  Maxwell Rd was having their annual 24 mile yard sale today!

So off we went towards the 24 mile long yard sale armed with $20 each and a determination to find bargains.

I was quite pleased with my haul.

As you see in the pictures below I picked up a Freestyle scooter and an Electric scooter and a Princess Barbie. All three for $6.00!

I’m going to paint the Freestyle scooter my grandsons favorite color, orange and the Electric scooter, black and white for my other grandson. The Electric scooter just needs the electric adaptor that I will look for online.

The Princess Barbie, for my granddaughter,  just needs her hair combed a bit.

So now that we’ve spent the morning going from house to house looking at yard sales we decide to go home shower, change and head out to the park for the Gay Pride event.

Turns out they canceled the day at the park or rather decided to do it Sunday at a different location.

Well since we were out and about we decide to go to a few thrift stores, restore and flea market.  Awesome idea!

The thrift store was a nice idea but didn’t really have anything I was looking for or wanted.

The flea market was nice to walk  around in. Honestly too pricey in my opinion though. I have a thing for street food so as we were leaving I got a taco from the food truck outside.

But the real bargain came from the restore. Every time we go to the restore we find a great deal and today was no different.

For a while I’ve been looking for a magazine holder for the spare bathroom. I hadn’t found what I wanted at the price I wanted.

Then SCORE! I found this little beauty for 32 cents!!!!!

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After some cleaning up and painting it to match the bathroom I’ll finally have my magazine holder.

Tonight Fayetteville’s Gay Pride will celebrate at one of our local clubs and Sunday they will have a picnic with games and such.

We will not be attending either one of these. While I’m sure going to the club would be fun, we just don’t feel up to it. All that walking and sun (it was over 100 degrees today) just wore us out.

I decided to make Barbequed Chicken with my homemade barbeque sauce and Peach Cobbler (those who have subscribed to my blog were sent the email with the recipe for the Peach Cobbler) for dinner then watch movies.

Sunday I will perform a wedding for a friend of ours and her fiancé who have been together for 14 years!

 

So that was My things to do this past weekend.. What were your things to do?

 

Freeze ahead Dinners

Freeze ahead meals save both time and money

Two favorite things in my kitchen are my make ahead freezer meals and my slow cooker. I’m not talking about the freezer meals purchased at the grocery store, but the ones I make myself.
I used to think that the slow cooker was just for winter soups. Ha. Not so. I use my slow cooker for all sorts of meals including spare ribs, of course roast, and my make ahead freezer meals.
I don’t know about you but I just don’t seem to have time to stand by the stove and cook.
And if you have children forget about it, your busy as hell. There’s the after school activities, appointments, play dates never mind that you are doing all this after you’ve gotten off of work.
Even if you can afford it, who wants to eat take out all the time? Not me. I like knowing what’s in my food and fast food burgers just aren’t going to cut it.
Besides my girlfriend and I are doing our best to eat as healthy as we can.

We each have digestive issues. I have Crohns and she has IBS.

I cant eat a lot of raw vegetables where she loves having a salad twice or more a week.

I can eat meat every day all day long but do my best to have at least Monday meatless days. To help in our healthy eating life style I cook a seafood twice a week.

Freezer meals are wonderful to have and only take a little planning.

All highlighted items can be purchased at Amazon and delivered right to your door. I love internet shopping.

Some suggested products to have on hand are:

Reynolds Foil Bakeware Pans , these are great for storing casseroles, lasagnas and freezer to oven meals.

Reynolds Freezer Paper, great for placing on top of food for added protection. You can also use the paper to place in between items such as meats.

Reynolds Aluminum Foil, easy to shape and store foods in.

Ziploc Storage Bags, these are perfect for soups, sauces, stews, vegetables, etc. They are awesome so stock up on them.

Ziploc Storage containers, great for stack and storing foods. Also goo for warming foods in a microwave.

Glad Press ‘N’ Seal, clings to any surface and forms an airtight seal. I love this product.

Glad Oven Ware, good alternative to foil bake ware, goes m fridge to freezer to oven and bonus microwave safe.

Food Saver Vacuum sealer, I use this and have saved so much in storing food.

And don’t forget a Colorful Permanent Marker, a little pointless storing all this food if laer you have no idea what your looking at.

Ok now for the foods.

 

Freeze ahead chicken meals

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Freeze ahead chicken meals

I was able to make 20 meals in about an hour.

we purchased two 10pound bags of chicken leg quarters. Several different bags of frozen vegetables, long grain rice and seasons of your choice.

Because there are two of us I only used two leg quarters per bag.

Beef Bacon Cheese and Mac

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Since reheating frozen noodles doesn’t always turn out so great, I decided to prepare and package the sauces and or mixes. The noodles can be made fresh while the sauce reheats.

Creamy Bourbon Dijon Chicken

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Please exercise caution when using alcohol for cooking purposes.

 

 

Mongolian Beef

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Serve this over fresh steamed rice and fresh green onions

 

One of my favorite bloggers has 10 delicious make and freeze meals. You’ve got give them a try.

 

9 Make ahead Lunches

Not another vending machine lunch

On an average we spend around $2,746 on lunch per year.  Wouldn’t it make you happier to save that money for a vacation or spend it on something else equally happy?

The solution to this of course is taking lunch to work. But lets be honest you can only eat leftovers so much until your just pure sick of it. I’m not a leftover person.

So what’s the solution? Make ahead Lunches. Lunches that are both healthy and taste great.

But the best part is that your make ahead lunches will save you money!

Lets get started with some goodness.

Salad Swag : 3 Cures for the Common Salad

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Everyone loves a good wrap.

Wraps are so popular because they are easy to make and travel well. You can make them with leftovers from dinner or specialty meats and cheeses; well just about anything you can think of.

 Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto

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Wraps are pretty much on par with salads in the battle of sexy lunch dishes. Bust out of the boring wrap rut with this sweet and savory combination: sweet potatoes coated with pesto, rounded off with caramelized onions, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan. And better yet, make two weeks’ worth and stock up your freezer!

Mexi Wrap

Melissa Pietrosanti
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Recipe by: Melissa Pietrosanti

“This is a delicious make-ahead lunch to freeze and a handy lunch to bring to work! Just make, freeze, and then heat in the microwave for a very balanced meal.”

 

Twisted Tuna Salad

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Twisted Tuna Salad

By Better Homes and Gardens

This tuna salad is anything but boring! Italian salad dressing adds zip, while pineapple adds sweetness.

Sign up here for tidbits and extras

 

Hot & Saucy Tortellini

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Hot and saucy Tortellini by Better Homes and Garden

This zippy pasta recipe is ideal for when you need a comforting lunch — and it takes just five ingredients to make.

Chili with Chicken and Hominy

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Chili with Chicken and Hominy By Better Homes and Gardens

This hearty chili gets a kick from cumin. Cilantro and lime juice brighten it up. Top the chili with corn chips, cheese, and salsa at lunchtime. Hominy beans join great Northern beans in a white chili with chicken recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes.

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8 Make ahead Breakfast Ideas

Not enough time for breakfast?

In our busy lives sometimes it’s hard to get a well balanced breakfast in the mornings. Now with school starting and getting everyone ready it may be even harder.

So here is a little bit of help getting your mornings going with some make ahead breakfast ideas.

Steel Cut Oatmeal for the Crock Pot

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Steel Cut Oatmeal for the Crock Pot

What makes this one so great is that it can be cooking overnight and hot, ready and waiting for you in the morning. Serves 3 people

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Breakfast Pie

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This can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator and warmed up in the morning.  Cut slices and have breakfast for 4 days. or Serves 4

Variations: You can use different vegetables and serve with sour cream and salsa. Also use any other kind of cheese you would prefer.

For people who are lactose intolerant substitute milk and cheese with lactose free milk  or even almond milk and lactose free cheese.

I also have friends who prefer turkey bacon over pork bacon. You want to make this your own so use any ingredients that work best for you.

Sausage Breakfast Rolls

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Sausage Breakfast Rolls

Another good recipe to make the night before and keet in the fridge.  Serves 4

A variation on this is using turkey breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs and sliced tomatoes in the roll mix.

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Make ahead Breakfast Casserole

makeaheadbreakfast
Make ahead Breakfast Casserole

Shannon Marie

“Mmm mmm good! This is a must do for every holiday in my household, or just when you have guests overnight! Can be made with egg substitute, skim milk and turkey sausage to make it healthier!”

 

 

Now for some Muffins

Muffins are always a good thing to make and grab for breakfast.  There are all kinds of variations including weight watchers 2 point muffins,  low-fat oatmeal muffins, vegan banana muffins and the best blueberry muffins.

So here are some muffin recipes for your mornings

Weight Watchers 2 Point-Pumpkin Muffins

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Weight Watchers 2 Point-Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe makes 24 muffins.  Calories: 97.6, Calories from fat: 26, total fat: 2.9g, Saturated fat: 0.7g, cholesterol: 0.0mg, Sugars: 10.1g, Sodium: 140.4mg, Total Carbohydrate: 17.0g, Dietary fiber: 0.4g, Sugars: 10.1g, Protein: 1.1g

Variations:

  • Add 1 egg to the batter mix and reduce the water to 1/3 cup.
  • Use yellow cake mix; add 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • Pumpkin pie mix, a can of pumpkin, 1 egg beaten, some chopped walnuts and cranberries.

Low-Fat Oatmeal Muffins

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These take a little over an hour to prep and bake but oh so worth it.

Prep time: 1 hr 10 minutes, Total time : 1 hr 30 minutes Yield: 12 muffins

Some variations:

  • Add up some cinnamon and nutmeg. And some raisins, also immersed in the milk along with oats.
  • Use  whole wheat pastry flour, organic sugar, 3 cups chopped apples, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/3 teaspoon vanilla

 

 Vegan Banana Muffins

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Prep Time: 10  minutes, Total Time: 30 minutes Serves: 12

Variations:

  • Reduce flour into 12 cups, add some quick cooking oats and flax seed about 1/4 cup each. Add some blueberries and increase baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Use whole wheat pastry flour, and add some applesauce.

 

The Best Blueberry Muffins

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Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Serves: 18

Variations:

  • Use 2 cups of blueberries, and use cinnamon instead of nutmeg for the topping.
  • Use brown sugar in place of white, use 3/4 cup of unsweetened apple juice and 1 cup honey crunch wheat germ. Also add more milk to thin the mixture a bit.

 

These were just a few recipes to get you started. I hope this encourages you to take the time to eat breakfast again.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Make extra money without a second Job

Everybody wants to make extra money but let’s face it we are either working two jobs already or just don’t have the energy to take on another job. So how are we going to make the extra money?

By saving money from products we use often and spend too much on.

Natural products have been around for years. I’ve honestly just been too lazy and too skeptical to even try them.

Until now. I’m tired of watching my girlfriend search and clip coupons for products that I need to wear gloves to use and even with a coupon still cost more than it should.

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So I purchased all the ingredients I need to make laundry soap, dryer sheets, bathroom cleaner, window/mirror cleaner, all purpose cleaning sheets for the kitchen, air freshener, an dusting product.

I was hooked after making the laundry supplies and comparing the prices.

Using my store bought laundry detergent and fabric sheets I found that the cost was .18 cents per load. Not bad right?

My natural homemade laundry detergent and fabric sheets cost .05 cents per load!

Now .13 cents might not seem like a lot to you but over time that adds up.  I wash 3 loads of clothes twice a week. I spent $26.00 in products and made a years worth of laundry detergent and fabric softener. Think of the savings and that’s just in laundry! Add in the savings from the other products and watch your income increase!

You will spend less than an hour making the products and using your favorite essential oil will give you the exact scent you want.  I choose to use lemon in all my products for two reasons. One I didn’t want to spend the money on several different essential oils and I like the smell of lemon.

Here are the list of products I’ve made and the recipes

Laundry Scent Booster

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Laundry Booster
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 cps Epsom Salt
  • 20 drops Essential Oil

Mix all ingredients together; use 1 tablespoon per wash load

Laundry Detergent

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1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda

2 (5.5 oz) Bars of Fels-naptha

1 tub oxygen bleach (like oxyclean or the dollar tree brand)

20 drops Essential oil

  1. Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels-Naptha soap.
  2. Add the Fels-Neptha powder to a large bucket (at least 2 gallons), then add remaining ingredients.  Stir well with a large spoon.
  3. Scoop about 1/2 of the mixture out into a smaller bowl.
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Homemade Laundry Detergent

When using the detergent, start the washing machine, let it fill up with a little water, then add 2 Tablespoons. It can also be used in front loading HE washing machines! Since homemade laundry detergent doesn’t contain a sudsing agent it is safe for a high-efficiency washer. For front-loading machines, use about two tablespoons of your homemade  detergent and mix the detergent with two tablespoons of hot water before adding to the dispenser.

 

Fabric Softening Sponges

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Reusable Fabric Sponges

These are great because they are reusable and inexpensive to make and use.

1 cup Fabric Softener (I used Fabric Softener from the Dollar Store then I spent the extra $3 and bought Downy and used only 1 capful)

1 cup of water/ or 1 capful of water

sponges

Container

In the container add the fabric softener and water; add sponges.

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When you are ready to use squeeze out excess liquid from a sponge and add the sponge to your dryer along with your clothes.

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All purpose cleaning wipes

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All Purpose cleaning wipes

1  Paper towel roll, cut in half to fit container

12 ounces of water

1/4 cup Rubbing alcohol

4 drops of dish washing liquid

Place cut paper towel roll inside of container; mix the water, alcohol and dish washing liquid together.

Pour slowly over the cardboard in the paper towel sheets. Pull out the wet cardboard and pour the rest of the liquid over the sheets. Close container and Use when needed.

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Bathroom Cleaner

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3/4 cup water

1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol

5-10 drops Essential Oil

1 Squirt dish soap

Plastic spray bottle

Mix all ingredients together and put in spray bottle. I use this in the bathroom but of course this can be used in every room you’d like.

 Glass and Window cleaner

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2 cups Water

2 tablespoons Vinegar

2 tablespoon Alcohol

5 drops Essential oil

Empty spray bottle

Place all ingredients in a spray bottle shake and use. I use a newspaper to clean the mirrors and windows.

Air Freshener

1/4 cup Fabric softener

4 teaspoons Baking soda

1 cup Water

Essential oil ( only if you want it)

Spray bottle

Combine all ingredients and pour into spray bottle. Use anywhere.

Homemade Dusting Spray

1 cup water

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

10-15 drops essential oil of your choice

  1. Mix all ingredients together in an empty spray bottle
  2. Shake before use. Simply spray directly on a dusting cloth (microfiber works best) and wipe the dust off

Stain Remover

  • Mix one part Dawn dish detergent with 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Shake well
  • spray on stain and use a toothbrush to scrub stain

Dish Washing Liquid

2 1/2 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon Borax

1 tablespoon Washing soda

2 tablespoon White Vinegar

1/2 cup Liquid Castile soap

10 drops Essential Oil

Mixing bowl

  1. Measure and add Borax, Washing Soda to bowl along with liquid Castile soap and vinegar.
  2. Boil water
  3. Slowly add ingredients and incorporate essential oil.
  4. Let soap cool then add to container, it will thicken as it cools

This soap doesn’t suds a lot.

Take an afternoon and mix up some homemade cleansers for your home. I’ve been using them for a short while now and I love the results and even more I love the savings. After you’ve made some tell me what you think of them. Also if your already using homemade cleansers comment below with your favorite essential oil mixes.

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30 Minutes to a Clean House

How can you get your house clean in only 30 minutes?

Let someone else do it? Well yes that’s one way. Unfortunately I don’t have anyone else to do it except me.
This is what I do to get my house clean in 30 minutes.

  • Take one day and totally clean it from top to bottom. I choose Mondays as my day because it fits in my schedule. It takes all morning to do but well worth it the rest of the week.

Take it one room at a time

Have all the supplies you need for each room your cleaning. It also helps to have a basket that you can put items in that belong in a different room with you so as you go through the house your placing items in the basket and then placing them where they belong.

Bathroom

  • keep all your cleaning supplies together in a plastic container. Make one for each bathroom for ease and quick clean ups. You can pick up a container at the Dollar Store. My container has an all purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, mirror cleaner, shower cleaner, microfiber cloths, newspaper, disposable bags for the trash can, magic eraser (they sell these at the dollar store now) and paper towels.
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Homemade bathroom cleaning products
  • I’ve recently started making my own homemade cleaning products. I’ll share the recipes for those on Friday. They work very well and I’m saving money.
  • First I put the homemade toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and let it sit while I clean the rest of the bathroom. When I’m ready to clean it I use the paper towels and toilet brush.
  • I use the newspaper for the mirrors along with my homemade mirror cleaner.
  • The all purpose cleaner is used for the sinks and counters along with the microfiber cloths.
  • I use the magic eraser for my shower along with the all purpose cleaner.
  • Sweep and mop the floor
  • I keep a basket on my counter for hairbrushes, combs and such. A hanging make up bag and small toiletry bag for make up and nail polish items.

During the week I use  all purpose cleaning wipes to go in and quickly wipe everything down. This usually takes less than 5 minutes to do.

Bathroom schedule for my house is :

Monday: total clean top to bottom, sweep and mop

Tuesday and Thursday: Quick wipe with all purpose cleaning wipes

Wednesday and Friday: Quick wipe with all purpose cleaning wipes and sweep and mop.

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Bedrooms

I use an all purpose basket for most of the rest of the house. It contains: air freshener, dusting agent and microfiber cloth, dusting wand (for the ceiling fans) and vacuum cleaner. My vacuum cleaner comes with a filter that can be taken out and washed. To save money I put a few drops of essential oil on the filter and that last an entire month!

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  • On your major cleaning day change the sheets. When I change the sheets I spray the mattress with a disinfectant.
  • Dust the ceiling fan
  • Dust the side tables
  • Dust the blinds if you have them
  • Vacuum
  • I use the air freshener on the sheets and in the air

Monday: Total cleaning including change sheets

Tues and Thurs: Make bed, straighten up, use air freshener on the sheets

Wed and Fri: Make bed, vacuum, use the air freshener on the sheets

Living room

I use the same cleaning basket that I use for the bedrooms.

My Front door opens into the living room and included with the other cleaning supplies I also sweep and mop and front door threshold.

Monday: Dust everything including the pictures on the wall, Use an electronics cleaner for the television screen, dust the ceiling fan and blinds. Vacuum; spray furniture with air freshener. Put Rivers toys in her toy basket.

Tues and Thurs: Straighten up, pick up toys, spray furniture with air freshener

Wed and Fri: Vacuum, straighten up, pick up toys, and spray furniture with air freshener

Dining room

To keep my tablecloth clean I use placemats that can be wiped daily.

Monday: Dust everything including ceiling fans and blinds, vacuum, Launder tablecloth.

Tue and Thurs: Keep table cleaned off, straighten room

Wed and Fri: vacuum and continue to keep table clear and room clear

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Kitchen

This room is the gathering room and let’s face it needs to be cleaned on a daily basis. That is if you cook daily otherwise you might get away with not cleaning it daily.

On Mondays: including the daily washing of dishes, I use my kitchen all-purpose cleanser to the counter tops, sweep and mop the floor. Take out the trash.  This is the day I clean out  the refrigerator of any leftovers from the week before, clean the oven and clean the pantry.

Tue and Thurs: Of course daily dish washing, clean the counter tops with all-purpose cleaner, sweep and take out trash.

Wed and Fri: Still daily dish washing, clean counter tops, along with sweeping; mop the floors and of course take out the trash.

Laundry room

This room is the easiest and fastest to clean. On the days I do the laundry I clean the room.

Because there are two of us, I do the laundry twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

On those days after the laundry is finished I clean the washer and dryer using a damp sponge and all purpose cleanser to clean lid and outside of appliances. For the inside of the washer fill washer with water and  cups of vinegar, run through cycle. Clean lint filter in dryer. Sweep and mop floor.

By taking one day out of the week to do all my major cleaning I only need to spend a few minutes in each room the other days of the week to keep it clean.  The most important thing to remember is to not let cleaning your house stress you out. Take it one room at a time and if you have a schedule it will go more smoothly.

Here are some other cleaning schedule ideas

 

FREE daily cleaning list printable. great ideas to have your house stay organized. Wouldn't it be nice if I could manage to do this?:

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Deep clean checklist:

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