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Author: Shirley

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Valentines Day Cards DIY 360

Homemade Valentine’s Day Card Ideas

Homemade Valentines Cards

Homemade Valentine’s Day Card Ideas: It’s that time of year, you know when you need to come up with creative Valentine’s for your children’s class party. These Hershey’s Kisses bags are easy to make and affordable.

Valentines Day Cards DIY

Here is what you will need:

Hershey’s Kisses (a serving shows 9 kisses so that is how many we used for each bag)
Clear cellophane bags
Wiggly eyes
Stickers
Glue Stick
Stapler
Scissors
Paper

The process is pretty simple. Start by gluing the eyes onto the bottom of the kisses. We did both 2 small eyes and 1 medium eye. I found it easiest to pair up the small eyes backside up on the table, then put the glue on the bottom of the kiss and simply press it onto the backside of the eyes. Hold for just a few seconds and then lay them on their sides to dry. It took about an hour to get the eyes on 180 kisses.

Hersheys Kisses

Come up with a few fun sayings for your labels using EYE instead of I. My daughter was concerned about misspelling her cards until “eye” explained it to her! Be sure to leave space at the top of your note for the back of the label. I found that 5 spaces above our sayings worked out well. I was also able to get 2 labels side by side on one sheet, getting a total of 4 labels per page.

DIY Craft Valentines

Next bag up your kisses into the clear bags and staple on the note cards. At this point they look a little plain, but just hand over the sticker sheets to the little ones and they will have a great time adding their personal touch to the bags. This was my daughters favorite part and they really turned out great.

Have you made any cute Valentine’s? Tell us about them below or share a photo on our Facebook page.

DIY valentines day cards weve tried it

Chipotle Sofritas Review

Chipotle Sofritas Review

Chipotle Sofritas Review

Chipotle Sofritas Review: Today at Chipotle if you purchase any Sofritas item you receive a coupon good for one free entree at your next visit good thru the end of February 2015.

What is Sofritas? We checked out Chipotle’s website to find out: “We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.”

We tried an order of soft taco’s made with Sofritas and a burrito bowl with Sofritas. We both had our entree’s topped as we normally would.

I  loved my soft taco’s and if I hadn’t known that they were made with tofu, I would have thought it was meat.  I was even able to sneak one to my husband who had no idea he was eating tofu. Of course, once he realized he had been tricked he decided he liked his regular chicken soft shell taco’s better. I would definitely order these again no question about it.

Missy on the other hand didn’t like them, in fact she will not be ordering them again. She thought there was a strong taste of taco seasoning and something tasted off to her. She is a red meat lover.

If you haven’t planned out your supper yet, head on into your local Chipotle and try their new Sofritas menu items. Come back and let us know what your think.

Clarisonic Mia 2

Clarisonic Mia 2 Product Review

Clarisonic Mia 2

Clarisonic Mia 2 Product Review: I received the Clarisonic Mia as a Christmas gift and was super excited to give it a try. I am now 3 weeks in and am thrilled with the results.

This is the first motorized facial cleaning product that I have ever used. I am pretty much a soap and water kind of girl. Periodically I try other “miracle” cleaners, but I always seem to go back to soap and water. With the Clarisonic Mia 2 I don’t need to change what I am using, only how I am using it.

The Mia comes in many different colors, the gray model comes with the device, a sensitive brush head, a normal brush head, a protective travel case, sample size cleaner and charger.

Unlike many other exfoliating products this one uses a sonic pulsing action versus a spinning action. They say that the pulsing is what helps in loosening the dirt and oil in your skin amplifying the results.

It is recommended that you remove your eye makeup prior to using the Clarisonic. You then apply your cleanser to either your moistened skin or directly onto the brush head. I chose to apply to the brush head. When you turn it on it defaults to the gentle setting which I used for the first week, then upped to the normal setting.

The Mia 2 has 4 preset timer prompts so you know exactly how long to use on each area. It is set for 20 seconds to be used on the forehead, 20 seconds on the nose and chin, the 2 10 second prompts for each cheek. You want to be sure to keep the brush head flush to the skin, but not pushing against your skin. Pressing to hard against your skin will impede the pulsing resulting in reduced effectiveness. I think these presets are fantastic, they make sure you are using the product for the exact amount of time that is recommended without guessing.

My results have been great and really make this product worth the initial investment. I have read that others experienced an increase in breakouts during the first couple of weeks using the Mia 2, I did not. I did try the included cleanser the first time I used it and knew right away this was not correct for my skin and went right back to my regular facial soap. I have not had to charge the Mia since it’s initial charge, so the initial battery life has been great.

The exfoliating results are amazing! Within the first week I noticed that I did not need to use as much moisturizer or foundation. My skin has a much more even tone.

Clarisonic also provides a 2 year warranty covering any manufacturer defect-related problems resulting from everyday use. You will need to charge for 24 hours before the first use.

Overall I would highly recommend this product for improving the appearance of your skin. Don’t expect that it is a miracle wrinkle remover, that is not what this product is intended to do.

Turkey Chili Recipe

Crock Pot Turkey Chili Recipe

Turkey Chili Recipe

Crock Pot Turkey Chili Recipe: The house smelled amazing! My family could hardly wait to try the slow cooked chili for dinner last night.

I was thrilled because this recipe is a healthy option for everyone and makes enough for us to be able to freeze a couple of meals and enjoy later.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground turkey
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 large onion diced
4 stalks celery chopped
3 large bell peppers chopped (red or green)
14 oz red kidney beans drained and rinsed
14 oz white beans drained and rinsed
28 oz crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
olive oil

Turkey Chili Ingredients

Directions:

Cook ground turkey in large skillet, once cooked all the way through drain and transfer into crock pot. Lightly coat skillet with olive oil and sauté the garlic, onion, celery and peppers for around 5 minutes, then transfer to crock pot.

Chopped Veggies

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot, stir until completely mixed and cover for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Feeds 10-12 servings.

Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Baked Salmon with Vegetables

Baked Salmon with Vegetables Recipe

Baked Salmon with Vegetables

Baked Salmon with Vegetables: Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland. Just take a look at this delicious entree. It was easy to make and a hit with my family.

With the salmon and vegetables this dish is a full meal all by itself. You could always dress it up with a dill sauce and lemon slices.

Ingredients:
1 lb of salmon
1 zucchini
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove grated garlic
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Cooking Spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

Remove the skin from salmon, salt and pepper to taste and then place on prepared baking sheet.

Salmon with Vegetables

Dice up vegetables and garlic, place in bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil tossing to coat. Cover salmon with veggie mixture and place any remaining on pan for baking. Bake for 22 minutes, remove from oven and enjoy!

Salmon

Is your family working on healthy eating? Let us know what changes you are making this year.

Mason Jar Salads Weve Tried It

Mason Jar Salad Recipe

Mason Jar Salads Weve Tried It

The New Year is upon us and two of the top 10 resolutions are to eat healthier and save money. With these mason jar salads you can do both.

The average chef salad at a restaurant costs around $10.50. You can make these salads for about $3.00, if you eat salads daily that is a savings of around $37.50 for a week. You could save $1950.00 in a year. OK, maybe it is a little unrealistic to say you will make a salad everyday for a year, but you can see how this really is a healthy and thrifty option for lunch.

It took us about a half hour to wash and chop our vegetables and put together salads for a week. The salads will stay fresh and crisp for the entire week.

The trick with mason jar salads is how you pack them. Also using a glass mason jar will keep your salad much fresher then if you use a plastic container. The seal on the jar helps to keep them fresher longer.

Layer 1: Is your dressing. You can use your favorite flavor. We did not need to transport our salads so we did not have a layer of dressing in our jars, but be assured your salad will be crisp and fresh using dressing.

Layer 2: This layer is your vegetables. You want to choose vegetables that will hold up to sitting in the dressing. Good choices are carrots, peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Layer 3: This is for your protein and cheese. Use your favorite lunch meat. We chose ham and bacon, because everything is better with bacon, along with shredded cheddar cheese. This layer is really about what kind of salad you will enjoy.

Layer 4: The lettuce or spinach. Putting the greens on tops ensures your salad will still be crisp and fresh at the end of the week.

Put your tops on the jars, seal tight and your salads are ready to enjoy.

If you are bringing the salads to work with you, make sure you bring a bowl with you to pour your salad into.  Eating directly from the jar is a little difficult and your coworkers will definitely be impressed when they see how beautiful your salad looks.

Do you have a healthy meal recipe you think we should try? Comment below we love trying out new things.

Varekai-1

Cirque du Soleil Varekai Review

Varekai-1

Cirque du Soleil is known for amazing acrobatics, splendid artistry of choreography and the intricacy of the costumes.  Varekai has all of that and so much more.

Cirque du Soleil Varekai begins at the end of the Greek myth when Icarus flew too close to the sun and fell from the sky. He does not drown in the sea, but lands in Varekai — a magical forest full of exotic creatures.

The first act is a gravity defying performance by Icarus in a net. The performance is so masterful that you know you are about to be immersed into a world and story beyond anyone’s imagination.

flightoficarus04

Throughout the first half of the show, you will be amazed by the choreography of seemingly impossible acrobatics and dance. The Icarian games feature human feet juggling that will leave you in awe. The grace and athleticism of these acrobats is awe inspiring.

Varekai also features some comic relief throughout the show in the form of two clown-like performers. They are prevalent throughout the show – sometimes in an act of their own and other times you have to look into the background of the main performance.

The second half of the show opens with an original performance called Slippery Surface. This is a beautiful combination of choreographed dance and acrobatics that immediately draws you right back into the world that is Varekai.

The finale of Russian Swings will bring you to the edge of your seat as they perform on not one but two swings somersaulting through the air in precision form.

Not to be forgotten are the amazing vocals and music that are being performed live. With all that is going on before your eyes it is not until the final curtain call that you really see the performers who have, through their musical talents, brought the story to life.

The cast of Varekai transcends the entire globe bringing together performers from all over the world and uniting them into the world that Cirque du Soleil has so masterfully created.

We highly recommend taking in this magnificent show. We attended the show at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN – you can find the remainder of the performance dates here.

handbalancing02

Photo Credit: Véronique Vidal, Benoit Camirand, Georgian Dance, Tomas Muscionico

Gumdrop Recipe Weve Tried It

Homemade Candy Gumdrops Recipe

Gumdrop Recipe Weve Tried It

Are you in charge of bringing a sweet treat to your holiday party and still can’t decide what to make? How about Homemade Candy Gumdrops?

We found this recipe on Taste of Home:

Ingredients:

2 cups of granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups of applesauce
2 – 3 oz boxes of gelatin (any flavor)
2 envelopes unflavored Knox gelatin
Extra granulated sugar for rolling gumdrops

Instructions:

Spray whatever you will be pouring the gumdrop mixture into with non stick cooking spray. If pouring into a pan for cookie cutters or squares use a 9×13-inch baking dish, otherwise spray your plastic molds.

In a medium saucepan add the sugar, applesauce, flavored gelatin and unflavored gelatin. Stir to combine and let sit for 1 minute.

Gumdrop process

Cook on medium high heat until the mixture starts to boil. Turn heat down to medium (still at a boil) and stirring constantly cook 1 minute. Pour into prepared dish or molds.

Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until gumdrops are set and firm. If using a baking dish, use a hot spatula to pull the gelatin from the baking dish and place on a cutting board sprayed with non stick cooking spray or parchment paper.

Pour extra sugar into a rimmed bowl. Dip a cookie cutter into the granulated sugar and press firmly into the gelatin or cut into squares. To make it easier to cut the gumdrops into squares heat a knife with hot water.

gumdrop cut outs

To make sure it has completely cut through wiggle the cookie cutter back and forth.

Christmas Gumdrops

Coat the gumdrops in sugar from bowl. Letting the gumdrops sit out at room temperature allows them to continue to firm up.

Candy Gumdrop Recipe

Nail polish hack

Nail Polish Art Life Hack Bust

Nail polish hack

We have tried out lots life hacks and not many have worked the way that they were described. Generally we don’t post them but we decided you should see our fails. Most fails come with a lot of laughter, so it’s worth the effort.

Look at the picture above – the groovy nails. Looks cool, right? All you have to do is put several drops of your favorite nail polish colors in a bowl of water. Mix the nail polish with a toothpick.

Put Vaseline on your fingers (not the nails.) Dip each nail in to the water for the results above. NOT! Check out Shirley’s nails after we followed the directions above. You can’t really tell by our bowl after mixing with the toothpick, but we did add 4 different colors. It’s a bust. Big fail.

nail polish fail

Rosette Christmas Cookies

Rosette Cookie Recipe

Rosette Christmas Cookies

Rosette Cookie Recipe: It was Christmas cookie baking day at our house yesterday. Our last batch of cookies was a special request from my husband, he wanted to make rosette cookies using his mothers recipe. I had never made or even had Rosettes before so we decided to give them a try following her recipe.

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Powdered Sugar
Oil for frying

You will need a Swedish Rosette Set to do the frying.

Directions:

Gently beat the 2 eggs, then add the remaining ingredients. Beat until the batter looks like a smooth cream. Pour batter into shallow bowl. Heat cooking oil to 325 degrees in frying pan.

Choose your rosette form and attach to frying arm. Place form in hot oil to heat.

Rosette Form

 

Place heated form into batter, make sure not to cover the top of the form or you will not be able to remove when done.

Cooking process

Cookie frying

Place batter form into oil and cook until golden brown. When the cookie is done to your liking, place cookie onto paper towel to remove excess oil and cool. If the rosette is sticking to the form gently tap to remove or pull off with a fork.

Cooking Oil

Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and enjoy! Do you have a favorite family recipe you make every year? Comment below and we might give it a try!