THAT'S RIGHT...after two and a half years, we're finally moving to our own self-hosted dot com for realsy reals website! So...head OVER HERE for all the details and our new address. It's not being released until Feb. 1, 2016, and after that the info will be posted here. Till then, just be patient and know that I <3 ya and I'm working super duper hard to make the coolest webbie/blog I can. :D
If you somehow haven't heard of Yerdle yet, then not only are you not following me on Facebook (as you should be) but more importantly, you're totally missing out on some of the best deals you can find anywhere.
It is literally like going yardsale-ing but online. But, so you know exactly what I mean by that, here are the basics:
Someone lists something to "give" on yerdle, setting a price in yerdles (yerdles = $$ on the site, NOT real cash).
Another person sees said item on the app or online and decides to buy it.
They pay shipping ($5) and a small fee ($1-$3) and the other person sends it to the buyer via UPS with tracking.
Buyer enjoys their item.
Easy as that.
The 'giver' doesn't pay for shipping items, and you can 'bundle' from an individual, saving what you'd pay for shipping each item individually.
1. You clean out your extra junk- anything from apple decor to a map of Zimbabwe. If it's under 10 lbs you can ship it, otherwise it's for local pickup (yeah, that's an option too!).
2. You get new stuff for almost nothing- more on that below.
3. You can earn free shipping credits (so it won't cost a dime!)
4. You can earn free shipping supplies.
5. You start with $35 Yerdles and Free Shipping on your first order, which can currently get you any one of the following without costing you a nickel: an alarm clock, Banana Republic khaki skirt, horse puzzle, red cardigan, The Gap soft tee, The Cupcake Book, three mug trio, boy's John Deere long sleeve, WetSeal strapless dress, cat pin, Christmas cards, earrings, etc. etc. etc.
Crazy, isn't it? Plus they have a great return policy, so if you receive something that was damaged or doesn't work- you do get your $$ back.
Pretty awesome, huh? Oh, and just in case I haven't quite sold you on Yerdle yet....
Here's what I've gotten from Yerdle, and it's cost me a total of approx. $20 out of pocket:
OH, and FIY, if you join with my links in this post, I get $10 Yerdles, but the opinions- they're totally all mine. I just really and truly love being on Yerdle!
Since it's almost that time for the 50th Superbowl, it's time to plan the Superbowl Party to End All Superbowl Parties!
So, for a base of the uber party meal, here are the basic ingredients and rules to make a super easy chili that your guests will BEG you to give them the recipe for.
Every basic Chili recipe has five things: Protein, Beans, Tomato, Spice, Heat.
You'll notice I count spice and heat as separate ingredients. This is because you can have an incredibly mild chili that has tons of spices, just as you can have a chili with few spices that will burn like liquid fire. But I'll get into that a bit later.
1. Protein: This is simple, you can use chicken, beef, pork, deer, tofu, veggie crumbles and it can be in small chunks or ground. If, however, you're using cut meat instead of ground, I highly recommend brining the meat in lightly salted water for at least a half hour before cooking. I also recommend cooking before adding to the crockpot if you don't want to worry about checking the temperature later. It'll be fine, I promise.
2. Beans: pinto, black, cranberry, kidney, northern- again whatever you'd like, except green beans or edamame- they're not so good as chili. You'll want to either use canned or cook them the day before as you don't want to end up with hard beans and hungry party guests!
3. Tomato: Fresh/canned/frozen, etc. You'll need some sort of tomato paste or sauce, and then some chopped if you like cooked tomatoes. I know some people don't do cooked tomatoes, and it can be made without, but you'll still need that base of tomato to start with.
4. Spice: I prefer things like paprika, cumin, garlic, chili powder and onion, but you can also add red pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne, etc.
5. Heat: This basically comes from your peppers and chili powder- as much or as little as you want. You can spice it up by adding chopped jalapenos, adobo, habanero, etc. It just goes with how hot you really want to go.
So, to give you a better idea of how you can mix and match for your own chili, here are a few combinations to try:
German Chili: Kielbasa, black beans, tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, chili powder.
Buffalo Chicken Chili: Chicken, kidney beans, tomato paste, garlic, paprika, cilantro, hot sauce
Hawaiian Chili: Ground Pork, Great Northern Beans, canned chopped tomatoes, pineapple, garlic, cumin, chili powder.
Get the idea? You can combine your favorites in all sorts of ways- and don't forget the toppings! You can make a big crockpot full of chili and then small bowls of things like shredded cheeses, bacon bits, sour cream, different crackers, chopped green onions, even things like Cheetos for your guests to top their chili with. Pair it with cornbread, hushpuppies, biscuits, breadsticks, etc. It can get as simple or as complex as you want- and it's just about guaranteed to be gone by the end of the Superbowl.
More great Superbowl Recipes on the way, until then, what's YOUR favorite party food?
How to Make Homemade Soap
We all use soap. In the old days, most people made their own. Today, we are much more likely to buy it from the store. There are lots of brands to choose from, and each brand has various formulations and scents.
But making your own soap has some definite advantages. One of the most significant is the price. We can make soap much cheaper than we can buy it. Making it ourselves also gives us complete control over the ingredients, so we can create a soap that's perfect for our skin type in a scent of our choosing.
Making soap is much easier than you might think. It is, however, important to take certain safety precautions. Here's a basic recipe:
* 12 cups lye crystals
* 5 cups softened water
* 6 pounds lard
1. Put water in a glass or plastic bowl. Carefully pour lye into water, stirring constantly with a plastic or wooden spoon. This should be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, because it produces caustic fumes.
2. Mixing lye and water produces heat. When the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.
3. Place lard in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Melt over low heat.
4. Allow both the lye solution and the lard to cool to room temperature.
5. Slowly pour the lye solution into the lard, stirring slowly and constantly with the plastic or wooden spoon.
6. Continue stirring after all of the lye solution has been added. Drizzle a small amount of the mixture into the pot periodically. When the soap keeps its shape for a moment before sinking into the mixture, you can add scent, color and herbs.
7. Pour the soap into a mold greased with Crisco. Wrap in a towel, and let set for about 18 hours or until completely cooled. Uncover and let set for 12 more hours.
8. The soap may now be unmolded and cut into bars. Let the bars cure for 3 to 4 weeks before using.
Customizing Your Soap
There are lots of different ways you can customize your soap. To make the best soap for your skin type, you may want to use different oils. Some that are commonly used include olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. The correct amount varies depending on which oil you use, so look for recipes online or in books until you get the hang of it.
Essential oils have therapeutic properties and add fragrance. Oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains can be added as exfoliants. And skin-safe colorants may be used to produce the desired color. These ingredients should be mixed together and added to a cup of the soap mixture, then stirred into the rest of the soap mixture immediately before pouring into the mold.
Making your own soap is easy, and it can be lots of fun. Coming up with the perfect concoction for your skin is rewarding, and sweetly scented homemade soaps make wonderful gifts for any occasion.
Stuck inside with bored kids in the Blizzard of '16? Then you need these in your life!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/8 cups of flour
Pinch of salt and pinch of baking powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix all the wet stuff together, add the dry, then roll and flatten 4 balls of dough, put onto a microwaveable plate and nuke it for 2 1/2 minutes.
It will morph into a mega cookie, but you can cut it while warm into smaller ones if you'd like.
Need more visuals? Check the video below.
Thanks to Mumsnet for the awesome video.
I feel pretty lucky when making dinner because my husband actually really likes casseroles. Crazy, right? So that makes it even simpler for me on grocery day because I do NOT want to spend hours in the kitchen after spending a couple of hours running around buying groceries and putting them all away. Super easy, super filling, and super simple to pair with green beans or microwave-steamed broccoli and even a slice of buttered bread if that's how you grew up.
20 Minute Tuna Casserole
8 ounces of rotini pasta
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
12 ounces of white albacore tuna in water
3 cups of shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup of bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pasta according to the box directions. While it's boiling, mix together the soup, tuna, and 2 cups of cheese. Drain pasta and pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Add the tuna mixture and blend with the pasta. Cover with the rest of the cheese and top with the breadcrumbs. Slide into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Great served with buttery crackers.