Countless times I’ve always had a craving for something sweet, and chocolate-y. But along with that craving is not wanting to make the entire pan of brownies! Annoying right? Well I have the perfect idea, called brownie-in-a-cup!!
- 1 microwave safe mug
- 4 Tbs flour
- 4 Tbs sugar
- 2 Tbs cocoa
- 2 Tbs canola oil
- 2 Tbs water
- 1/3 tsp vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix together till smooth.
- Spray the mug with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick.
- Pour into the mug
- Microwave for 1 minute!!
Then WA-LA! You have your own personal treat that took under 5 minutes.
I’m a little obsessed with soup due to the fact that it’s usually super easy to put together, and it’s almost always inexpensive, too! And if you have a crock pot, you just throw everything inside and and you’re all done!
Here is the recipe for Cuban Black Bean Potato Soup. While anything with potatoes in it screams comfort food, it’s actually pretty healthy for you. There is so much protein from the beans, and the flavor is fantastic. This is actually the first soup I ever made on my own. In my middle-school years I found this recipe online, tried it out, and loved it! If a 14 year old with zero cooking experience can do it, I assure you that you can do it, too!
The second soup I just have to share with you is a Butternut Squash Soup. Since we’re already talking about my middle-school self, I have to mention that I used to hate Butternut Squash Soup. My taste buds changed over the years for sure, but I’d honestly have to say that I probably wasn’t exposed to the best Butternut Squash soup, and if I had tasted this one, I’m sure that I never would’ve thought I disliked it. So even if you’re not so sure you love butternut squash, give this recipe a try. It’s so creamy and delicious!
There you go, delicious soup recipes perfect for these upcoming chilly months that you’re sure to love!
I’m a pretty impatient person and would much rather spend my time eating my food than making it. Most of the time though, when you want something specific like lemon garlic pasta, you just have to make it yourself. This is why this is the perfect recipe for anyone who is a beginner at cooking, or just doesn’t have a lot of time. It is SUPER simple, only took me about 15-20 minutes to make, and it turns out very delicious as well!
- 1 box angel hair or kind of pasta you like
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cups baby spinach or other choice of vegetables
- ⅓ cup parmesan
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Boil a large pot of water, then add salt and pasta. Cook pasta to al dente (usually around 12 minutes), and make sure to save ¼ cup of pasta water before draining.
- In a large pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat, then add garlic and lemon zest. After one minute, add in the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper then cook for another minute. (Don’t be like me and burn the seasoning, which I didn’t even know was possible….)
- Add butter and melt it, then add vegetables, pasta, pasta water, and lemon juice. After a bit, add in the parmesan and stir.
- If you want, add any type of meat to get some protein as well.
1- Pack a picnic and head to a park!
Nothing says “romantic” like a classic picnic with candles and a nice view. Pack some blankets for if it gets dark, perfect opportunity to star-gaze.
2- Rent a movie and make homemade pizza!
Whether that movie be a old fashion classic, to a comedy, sitting next to your significant other will be a great bonding moment! And nothing is more fun than tossing dough up into the air and watching it stick to the ceiling
3- Take a “How To” class.
Pottery class, Dance class, Mixology class, Cooking classes, Painting class. The options are endless! Find what would interest you and your significant other the most!
4- Visit your nearest humane society!
The feeling of seeing a happy dog just so excited that you’re there to play with him is the best feeling out there. It might just be hard trying to walk out the door without taking one home with you.
5- Attend a movie in the park.
Bring your blankets and pillows because it’s time to get cozy! Spending quality time together for a fun, yet simple date.
I often find myself watching YouTube videos or Netflix on my phone or Kindle, and it’s just getting a little too hectic trying to find something to stand my devices against when I’m eating, cooking, or just sitting! This easy tablet and phone stand made from a picture frame will solve these problems, and it will provide a safe place to place your devices when they need charging. It is perfect for kitchen counters, bedside tables, and anywhere that could use some de-cluttering.
For this project, these are the materials needed:
- An 8 x 10” picture frame with a sturdy stand
- Scraps of trim
- Thick cardboard (i.e. The back of a notebook)
- Hand saw
- Glue gun
- Scissors or x-acto knife
- Chalk finish paint or your choice of paint
- Cut out the piece of cardboard to fit inside the frame.
- Use the hand saw to cut two pieces of trim to fit inside the frame.
- With the scissors or the knife, cut two notches on the cardboard and frame backing on the side you want the chargers to be on.
- Paint the trim and cardboard and wait for it to dry.
- When it is all the way dry, place the cardboard piece into the frame and make sure it fits snugly.
- Place your phone and tablet in the frame to determine where to place your trim pieces. If you want the phone to be on top, make the top shelf smaller and the bottom slightly bigger to fit your tablet into.
- Use the glue gun to put your trims in place.
How full is your piggy bank?
If you’re looking to save up for a vacation, put some extra money away for the future, or just cut down on costs generally, one of the best the best ways to do this is to first of all analyze how much you spend. Put together a spreadsheet, write it in a notebook, or use an online budgeting site! Calculate your monthly transportation and/or gasoline costs, how much you’re spending on groceries, eating out, etc. Sometimes it can be a shock to see how much you spend vs. how much you really should be spending, but in order to be more financially savvy, you’ll have to face the reality and look at all of the numbers in order to know what needs to be cut back and come up with a game plan!
Some expenses are frivolous. Did you really need to go out to dinner 4 times that week? Or perhaps you could’ve waited for a sale before grabbing those expensive shoes? Each family is completely different when it comes to the extra expenses and how they work them out. If eating out is important to your family, don’t stop it entirely! Perhaps just opt for less expensive restaurants, share large dishes, or cut down a bit on the number of times you go.
Other costs are just plain necessary (like gasoline, groceries, etc.) but there are obviously ways that you can cut back on them, too! For example… Carpool, take the bus, meal plan before grocery shopping, use coupons… etc etc etc.
Those are just a few tips – here are a few more!
1. To save money on utilities, disconnect all the electronic household appliances when they are not being used. The microwave, televisions, and even computers that are turned off but still connected to a charger in the wall can still be using up electricity. Even though it’s a small amount, it adds up!
2. Also, you can reduce gas consumption and electricity by turning off the thermostat in winter season and using the fireplace instead (depending on the type of fireplace you have). Or just opt to not have the heat on as high at night and layer everyone up with a few extra blankets and warmer pajamas. As long as everyone is still comfortable, changing the temperature by just a few degrees can make a big difference!
3. When it comes to furnishing your home, buying clothes or household items, try to purchase second-hand whenever possible. Many people sell their objects and furniture online or at yard sales, and you can usually find quite a few pieces are are in almost-new condition! (I once bought barstool chairs for super cheap, and they hadn’t even been used! The previous owner bought too many a while back, and just stored them in her garage.)
4. Or, instead of buying anything at all, do some research and figure out how to restore or even just repaint your current furniture, or learn to properly clean your old shoes or patch up worn-out clothing for cheap.
5. As mentioned before, to cut back on gasoline costs, try to find someone that may want to carpool – whether that’s a carpool buddy for work, or perhaps a group of parents that trade off taking everyone’s kids to school. Not only are you spening less on gas, you’re also helping the environment as well! Woohoo!
6. And, also as mentioned before, try to find ways to cut back on food expenses as well. Simply look for ways to not to leave each day to eat in restaurants – packing lunches for work, taking turns with cooking to lessen the meal-making burden, and simply setting a limit for how many meals can be take-out or eaten at a restaurant.
7. When grocery shopping, check the supermarket ads before you go to see what is on sale. Also, learning how to use coupons can help you save so much! Plus, never go to the store hungry, and try to have recipes already planned out so that you don’t end up wasting money on items you don’t even need.
Those are just a few specific tips that have personally helped me to save money. Each family is different, with different expenses being more important, so be sure to take some time to see what would really help you best!
If you have any tips on saving more money each month, leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear what you do, and I’m sure other readers would as well! 🙂
I’ve never been a vinegar gal. Well, that’s not totally true… My favorite chips are the salt & vinegar flavor.
But when it comes to the kind you buy in a bottle – I’ve always been totally clueless. I hardly touched it for cooking, let alone used it to clean! Pinterest came around and helped to change that, though. Suddenly I saw pin after pin that exposed me to all of these uses regular old vinegar could have when it came to cleaning your home!
The one cleaning solution I was most anxious to make was one that involved Dawn soap in order to create a shower glass cleaning spray! My shower has always driven me nuts since we have such hard water where we live, so it always looks insanely dirty. And yes, I have invested in a squeegee, but that didn’t always cut it! I’ve tried half a dozen different shower-specific cleaners, and they usually left me inhaling chemicals without even accomplishing much! Because of that, I decided to give the vinegar shower-cleaning solution a try… and LOVED it.
I wish I had taken before and after photos to show you just how nicely this solution works! Anyways, it’s super easy to make – simply mix 1 part Dawn with 1 part white vinegar and pour into a spray bottle! Spray your shower with the cleaner and let sit it for at least a couple of minutes. Scrub at the heavily soiled areas a bit, and then rinse clean and watch with amazement as the hard water deposits, dirt and soap scum disappear!
Have you tried this DIY cleaner on your shower? Let me know what you thought of it!
Don’t have lots of extra time for hunting down coupons and cooking up deal scenarios? Don’t fret, there are still lots of ways to save money on your next grocery trip!
1. Stock up on sale items.
Even produce! Are the bananas on sale? Grab a bunch and freeze half of them. If it’s an item you use frequently it’s best to grab lots when it’s on sale.
2. Bring cash.
If you leave your credit or debit cards at home then you’re forced to only spend what you brought with you! You will need to make sure you’re calculating as you add items to the cart so that you don’t have to end up putting food back once you get to the register.
3. Buy generic.
Most generic items taste exactly the same, but are much cheaper. Choose the store-brand whenever possible.
4. Don’t shop hungry.
I repeat – don’t shop hungry. You’ll easily spend much more than you would with a full stomach!
5. Mean plan ahead of time.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a ton of food and ended up realizing I still couldn’t make many meals because I didn’t get all of the ingredients I needed for particular recipes. Also, lots of food would go bad because I simply didn’t have a plan for using it! Decide on the meals you’ll make for the next 2 weeks and buy what you need for them along with basic staples and snacks, and keep it at that.
6. Use an online curbside grocery pick-up service if available near you.
This is my all-time favorite money-saving secret. I order all of my groceries online and then pick them up at the store, curbside. It helps because I’m not tempted to buy whatever I see as I’m walking down the aisle, and I can always keep track of my total – simply deleting items if I feel I’ve gone over my budget. It saves me SO much time and energy. No running around the store looking for specific ingredients, pushing heavy carts, and praying that my total isn’t too high.
These are just a few of the many ways you can save money when you buy groceries. What are some of your tried-and-true tips?