ThriftyNut

Survival Tips for One-Income Households

For the Scrabble (Words with Friends) Lovers!!!!

I have been playing Scrabble for years.  This has to be the one and only game I will jump up to sit down and play.  Thanks to Words with Friends, I can do this DAILY!!!  Yeeeee!  My sister hates playing me, but thank goodness she still does because I feel like I am a part of her world on a daily basis.  Weird, I know… But she has TWINS!!!  I don’t get to talk to her as often.  So I play her!  (and beat her too)  he he

So, to continue my addiction… I decided to put the old Scrabble board game to new use!  Using what I had laying around the house, here is what I came up with!   I know the Scrabble Lovers out there will love it too!

Now, where do I hang it???  Hmmmm

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Fun Taco Cups, Kid Tested, Mother Approved.

Wow has this summer been busy!  I am still doing projects here and there, but I am basically focusing on having a ton of fun while my kids are off of school and potty training a 3 year old, lol.  Hope everyone’s summer is just as fun!

I decided to give THIS recipe a try because I had leftover taco meat and was tired of the same ol’ tacos we always eat.  Not only that, but sometimes your children get bored too!  So I decided to change it up a little to see if I could trick them to eat more!  he he he  Let me tell you… Happy kids makes a happy mommy.  So here it is.

FUN TACO CUPS

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Using a pizza cutter, cut a tortilla shell in half twice, giving you four pieces.


**Fold into each muffin cup until it sits nicely.  Some might fight you.  I see (after I tried this, of course) that I could have flipped the pan over and used the bottom to get the cups (going in between the cups-negative space for those artist people-to get the diamond shape)… try it and tell me if it works!



Spritz or Spray (whatever your preference) with Olive Oil.
Throw in the oven for about 3 minutes to get a little crisp.
Fill with all the hot toppings you like… (cheese, meat, refried beans, more cheese)

Put back in oven until cheese melts (probably 4  min)

Take it out and add cold toppings (lettuce, tomato, sour cream)!  It is that easy!

Serve with Salsa (or if you are like me, ketchup, mmmmm)

I was watching 3 other kids the night I tried this.  So a total of 5 kids gobbled them up with great big smiles on their faces! Totally satisfied mommy!

For a printable copy (copy and paste this into a word document)

FUN TACO CUPS

Preheat oven to 400° F.  
Using a pizza cutter, cut a tortilla shell in half twice, giving you four pieces.  
Fold into each muffin cup until it sits nicely.  Some might fight you.
Spritz or Spray (whatever your preference) with Olive Oil.  
Throw in the oven for about 3 minutes to get a little crisp.  
Fill with all the hot toppings you like… (cheese, meat, refried beans, more cheese)
Put back in oven until cheese melts (probably 4  min)
Take it out and add cold toppings (lettuce, tomato, sour cream)!  It is that easy!
Serve with Salsa (or if you are like me, ketchup, mmmmm)

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Seriously Sensitive DIY Deodorant

So, in the past, I went from using my homemade deodorant for a whole year and spreading the word that this recipe was the best stuff out there!   Until I saw issues of irritation from the baking soda.  I swore by the deodorant because it NEVER gave me issues!!!!  I was almost out of my first batch when I started to develop an itchy, burning rash that turned into almost a scab under my armpit.  Really?  I used it for a whole year!!!!! So, to heal the scabs, I used my trusted L’BRI aloe jelly and used straight coconut oil for some added protection while I was taking a break from this irritating stuff.  After I healed it (only took like 3 days),  I made a whole new batch (of the same stuff).   I thought, well it must be because the baking soda made its way to the bottom of the container throughout the year and I was getting mostly baking soda…

The itchy scab reappeared under my arms.  Weird.  So I attempted less baking soda in the recipe and called it “sensitive deodorant recipe”… It still gave me the same problem.  I then withdrew my post on my “sensitive deodorant recipe” in fear that someone else would try that batch.  I did my research and just ended up throwing together a few simple ingredients.  I have been using this now for over 3 months!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!

There is a lot of research on the internet telling you how bad aluminum is for you.  So, I won’t go there on this post.  It is way cheaper to make this stuff at home and way better for you.

So, here is the recipe!

5 Tbs 100% Pure Coconut Oil (found at my local health food store),
4 Tbs Arrowroot Powder (found at my local health food store),
5 drops of Vitamin E Skin Oil (found at Walmart),
few drops of Clove Essential Oil (found at my local health food store).

See HERE for the many benefits on Coconut Oil.
Arrowroot powder helps absorb perspiration, is gluten free and the best part has no hormonal inhibitors.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin.
Clove Essential Oil has many benefits including antiseptic properties, kills bacteria, has high antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory.

What I did was put it into a little double boiler to prevent it from getting too hot, but you could put it directly on the stove and watch it closely until it melts.  It doesn’t take long.  Even the heat of your fingers melts it.  Add the coconut oil first and wait until it melts to add the arrowroot powder… mix until it all dissolves.  Then take off the burner, add the Vitamin E and your essential oil.  Mix well.  Be careful, I read somewhere that citrus makes your hair grow!  I was careful to NOT put that in my deodorant.  I really don’t care to shave twice a day.  At first I didn’t like the clove, but it grew on me after a short while.  It has a nice light smell to it.

Stick it into an old disinfected baby food jar and keep in a cool place.  You will know if it is too hot, it will start to melt.  I tried disinfecting an old deodorant container, but as soon as it touched my skin, it melted all over the place down the sides of the tube wasting product.  All you need is a little dab under each armpit like you see here.

I love my deodorant!  How many of you can actually say that?

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TREATS – EASY AND FUN FOR KIDS TO HELP!!!

So I found out last Friday that this week Thursday is my son’s fake birthday at school.  His birthday is over the summer, so this is all new to me to celebrate it in school.  I don’t EVER remember celebrating fake birthdays in school when I was growing up…  But it is all fun!  And I am glad we are doing it for him.

So, I went to my trusted category on Pinterest “Let’s have a party” to find ideas for the snack to bring in.  I found this quick easy treat that is sure to please little Kindergartners from Totally Kids Times.

Here is my result… So cute.

Milky Way Miniature bars (for the body of the car)

Hersheys Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips (melted to hold the wheels and to make the front of the car),

small bag of M&M’s (for the wheels)

Chocolate Chip Teddy Grahams (for the driver and passengers, lol)

The original recipe called for one Teddy Graham, but I thought the kids would like 2 at least.  I could not get my bears to slide into the car neatly without squishing the car, but I don’t think the kids would  care.

Results???  We will wait and see!  Tomorrow is the big day!

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Easy Sprouts in 4 days!!!

This was my first attempt at Sprouts and I am sooo excited to try different kinds.  I started with Alfalfa Sprouts since they are well known… But I have broccoli, radish and wheat waiting for me!

This was pretty easy and fun watching it grow like a Chia Pet!!!!  Here is how you do it.

I got my seeds from wheatgrasskits.com.  Visit juicing_for_health.com for tons of nutritional information on alfalfa sprouts.  Alfalfa is great for arthritis, high blood pressure and is considered an immune booster.

NIGHT BEFORE… Put 2 Tbs of Alfalfa Seeds in a Mason Jar with a lid that has a bunch of holes in it.  I used my Magic Bullet Cup with a Shaker Lid.  It worked perfect! Add enough water to cover the seeds.  Tap the cup or jar so that all the seeds fall to the bottom.  Let sit out of the sun.

DAY 1 (am)…  Drain the water through the holes and tap the seeds so they spread out along one side of the jar like so…  Put back on counter out of the sun, but put them on an angle to drain… I used a bowl with a paper towel to catch the drainage.  Make sure you leave room for the air to move freely through the jar.

DAY 1 (pm)…  Fill with water and drain them again.  Remember to spread seeds along the side of the jar again.  Put back on counter out of the sun.

DAY 2 (am)… It’s starting to GROW!!!!!  Fill with water (I liked to spray a few sprays of Diluted Basic H just to make sure no bacteria was growing on them.  I shook them up a little and then drained it.  Then I filled it back up with water and drained it again to get the Basic H off.  Put back on counter out of the sun, change the paper towel again, if needed.

DAY 2 (pm)… Fill with water and drain them again.  Keep out of sun.

DAY 3 (am)… Fill with water.  Drain.  Put back on counter out of the sun, change the paper towel again, if needed.

DAY 3 (pm)… Fill with water and drain them again.  They will be pretty thick by now.  If there is no room in the jar, pull half out and place into a new jar and spread along the sides.  Keep on counter out of sun.

DAY 4 (am)… HOLY MOLY SPROUTS!!!!  Pull them out and put them in a bowl full of water.  Swish your clean hand in the water to break up the shells.  It will form a line all the way around the edges of the bowl.  Then pull the clean de-shelled sprouts out of the bowl.  You can even rinse under water to get some more of the brown shells off.  Put them in the window sill to get a little sun and turn them green.  If you think of it, turn them mid day so the sun reaches the other side.  Keep them at an angle to drain.


DAY 4 (pm)… You should see a lot of green on them by now.  Rinse one last time with Basic H, rinse the Basic H off and then they should be ready to eat!

THAT’S IT!  It is so fun watching them grow!

Here is the quick cheat sheet guide.

Night Before… Soak, tap seeds down, let sit at least 8 hours

DAY 1 am…  Pour water out and let it finish draining, keep out of sun

DAY 1 pm…  Rinse, drain, keep out of sun

DAY 2 am…  Rinse with Basic H, rinse again, drain, keep out of sun

DAY 2 pm…  Rinse, drain, keep out of sun

DAY 3 am…  Rinse, drain, keep out of sun

DAY 3 pm…  Rinse, drain, split up into another jar (if needed), keep out of sun

DAY 4 am…  Remove Shells, drain, place in the sunlight

DAY 4 pm…  Rinse with Basic H,  rinse again,  drain, eat, enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator when they are ready!  You can reuse a strawberry container from the store so it can get air flow.

ENJOY!!!!

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DIY Almond Milk

I can honestly say, I have never tried almond milk from the store…  I decided to try this recipe for 2 reasons.  It looked fun and I just know how unbelievably expensive alternative milks are.  Of course, my inspiration came straight from Jillee!  LOVE HER, by the way.

Vegetarians in Paradise has a ton of information on Almonds and it’s benefits.  Almonds are high in protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium.  It’s powerful antioxidants are considered high in cancer fighting properties.  Most of the fat in almonds is mono-unsaturated and considered beneficial fat.  They also contain potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and trace amounts of the B vitamins, thiamin and riboflavin.

Good thing I looked up this information!  That gives this project the added nudge to do it again and again!

I will have to say though… Feedback from the kids and husband was NOT good.  I heard a lot of “What is that??” and gagging and “don’t ever give that to me again” from the husband who I caught off guard when I said “Try this”!!!

Well, I still think that you should try it in some smoothies or green drinks where you can still get the benefits of all the nutrients but not taste it.  Personally, it was not that bad for my taste because I made it myself and knew (kind of) what to expect.

Here is what I did!  Easy Peasy!  (what does that even mean? lol)

Take 1 cup of almonds and soak overnight in a bowl.  I put them on a shelf in a cupboard to keep my crazy home full of kids, husband and animals out of it.  :)
 

Then they will be plump in the morning!  See?  Just dump out the water, it will be gross looking.

I rinsed them at this point because I like to be sure they are clean.  Put them in a blender with 3-4 cups clean purified water.

See how dirty the water is still?  Probably could have rinsed them longer, but oh well!  Blend on HIGH until it looks like it is pretty smooth.  You will still see little specks in the milk.

Now for straining… I went out to buy potato sack bags in the kitchen section for the next batch which I can’t wait to make!   I tried using a strainer and it was so thick that it did not drain that fast… See first photo…  So, I tried a coffee filter… lol  DID NOT WORK.   NO NEED FOR A PHOTO!!!!  I only had a really really tiny cotton cloth that I used in the 2nd photo… It worked, but it was a struggle to make sure it didn’t pour out the sides.  I wish I had a bigger piece of linen to squeeze more at one time.  The 3rd photo shows the almond meal… Save that, I will tell you what to do with it at the end.

When you are done squeezing the milk out.  Taste the milk and don’t gag because this stuff is like gold.  To help the taste, add a pinch of Salt, and 2 tsp of Honey… I would add more honey, for sure.

You could add this in your coffee (not sure I would because I am particular to my creamer).  You could add chocolate (that just might do the trick!) or add to your smoothies!

NOW for the Almond Meal… Here is what 1 cup of almonds made…

Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Put in in for 15  min and then mix, break down chunks and check every 5 min after that, for crispiness.  You will see it brown on the sides.  I took my slotted spatula and swished it side to side to break up the chunks.  It did a great job.  You will feel how tacky (damp) it is still… just put it in a while longer.

I used mine to top my salads with… You could also throw it in your smoothies, add it to yogurt… The possibilities are endless.  I LOVE it on my salads.  Freeze any leftovers.

That’s it for now!  I hope you liked this post!  It was fun and now that I have my potato sack bags, I am even more excited to try this again!!!!

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EASY CHEAP HOMEMADE GRANOLA

WOW!!!!   $3.78 for Bear Naked Granola at Walmart… This is 12 oz… NOT EVEN 2 CUPS!!!!  They have a super deal too… 6 of these packages for $37.74.  BLEH!!!   That is almost $40 for almost 12 Cups of Granola!!!!

These are the ingredients in the Bear Naked Brand…

Our Bearly Processed Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Honey, Canola Oil, Almonds, Raisins (Raisins, Glycerin, Sunflower Oil), Coconut, Sweetened Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Glycerin, Sunflower Oil), Pecans, Walnuts, Maple Syrup, Oat Bran, Ground Flax Seeds, Toasted Sesame Seeds. 

I used half the ingredients and I was happy and feeling healthy and so was my son who giggled the whole time eating it… COST, $0.00.   It was everything I already had in the house…

Even if I had to go get these ingredients to make 12 Cups of granola, it would be way cheaper… (Estimating up on the prices to cover tax)
$3.75 — Aldi’s Oatmeal ($1.79 ea = 42oz=5 1/4 cups… so I would need 2 for 10 1/2 cups of oatmeal)
$3.85 — Walmart’s Great Value Honey 16oz ($3.78 ea… would only need 1 1/4 cups so less than a whole bottle)
$7.70 — Unsweetened Coconut Red Mill — THE GOOD STUFF ($3.85 at Walmart, 12oz=less than 2 cups-need 2 bags)
$7.00 — 100% Pure Coconut Oil almost $7 at Natural Living (small jar 7 fl oz)
$1.50 — Aldi’s Unsweetened Applesauce Snack Sized Cups $1.29 for 6
$3.00 — Aldi’s Fit & Active Dried Cranberries ($1.39 ea 6oz package)
Everyone always has Cinnamon on hand before it expires, lol

TOTAL  $26.80 to make approximately 12 Cups if you had to purchase all items that day!!!!  

If I spent $26.80 on the ingredients, I can guarantee I will have some left overs for other recipes!  lol

Here is what I used…

EASY CHEAP HOMEMADE GRANOLA

2 Cups Oatmeal quick oats (shop at Aldi’s for even cheaper oatmeal LOVE IT!!! (less than $2 for a large container)
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbs Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup or 1 prepacked snack sized cup Unsweetened Applesauce
3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
whatever else you want to throw in… I left it out, but I may add a few mini m & m’s when I need some chocolate!

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.  Heat Honey on low until thinned about 1 min and then add coconut oil.  Once that melts, add applesauce mix and then add the remaining ingredients.  I used my very clean hands to make sure all the oatmeal was damp.  Spray your cookie sheet with olive oil and bake for 15 min.  Baked another 20 min or so checking and stirring every 5 min.  You should see it browning a little.  It does harden more after you take it out, so no need to overdo it.  Just enough where it isn’t squishy.

THAT’S IT!!!!  Pretty easy and practically FREE!!!  Since I already eat oatmeal every morning and I like dried cranberries on my salads at lunch, this was very easy to whip up for me!!!

I am thinking I may make a double batch next time though… Family of 4 (I am the ONLY girl), this will NOT last long.  Also, throw in some fun stuff like pure maple or chocolate something… oooh the possibilities!

:)  Have fun!  Oooooooh, you should smell my house right now!!!!  Wish I could bottle that up!

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EASY DIY ICE CREAM IN A BAG with Ingredients Found around Your Home!

Holy Moly, really?  Ice Cream is this easy????  Woooooaaahhh…

Maybe I shouldn’t know that!!!!!   But that is why I am sharing it with you!!!  Ha ha, just made my guilt level come down a little since I am passing this on.

I will keep this SHORT and SWEET!!!!  So you can enjoy your homemade treat.  I found this on Pinterest HERE.  I put my pictures in the end so you can just copy and paste the recipe onto a Word Document.

Here are the ingredients!

1 cup Half & Half or light cream  (I used Fat Free Half & Half–feeling a little better about myself)

2 Tbs Sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Coarse Salt or Table Salt (I used Kosher Brand Coarse Salt)

1 Gallon-sized Freezer bag

1 Pint-Sized Freezer bag  (I just used 2 Gallon sized, worked just fine)

Pour the half & half, sugar and the vanilla extract into a pint-sized (or a gallon if you don’t have a pint-size) freezer baggie. Make sure it has a tight seal.
Now take the gallon-sized freezer bag and fill it up halfway with ice.  Pour the salt over the ice. Now place the cream filled bag into the ice filled bag and seal WELL.
Start shaking. Shake for about 5 minutes (or 8 minutes if you use heavy cream.) Open the gallon-sized bag and check to see if the ice cream is hard, if not keep shaking. You will want to put on gloves at this point.  Brrrrrr  Once the ice cream is finished, rinse the closed pint-sized baggie under cold water to clean the salt off the baggie.
Cut a corner off the bottom to pipe it into a dish…
Watch your kids get excited!  ENJOY!!!!

(1.) Pour the half & half, sugar and the vanilla extract into a pint-sized (or a gallon if you don’t have a pint-size) freezer baggie. Make sure it has a tight seal.

(2.) Now take the gallon-sized freezer bag and fill it up halfway with ice.  Pour the salt over the ice. Now place the cream filled bag into the ice filled bag and seal WELL.

(3.) Start shaking. Shake for about 5 minutes (or 8 minutes if you use heavy cream.) Open the gallon-sized bag and check to see if the ice cream is hard, if not keep shaking.  You will want to put on gloves at this point.  Brrrrrr   Once the ice cream is finished, rinse the closed pint-sized baggie under cold water to clean the salt off the baggie.

 

(4.)  Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag to pipe it into a dish…

(5.) Watch your kids get excited!  Well, at least one kid.  The other was tired from shaking.  lol    ENJOY!!!!

The only thing I would say… MAKE SURE YOU DO 2 BATCHES at least…  What you see pictured here was 2 batches.  It won’t be much to go around, but that is ok too!

I will need to stock up on creamer now!  I wonder if it would have thickened up more if I shook it longer… Next time I will shake it longer for sure!  We were just so excited to open the bag and try it and the kids weren’t doing as much shaking as me.  So it probably was only shook for about 2 1/2 min each.  lol

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent, DOES IT WORK??? UPDATE…

I apologize to all you loyal readers of mine out there.  I just had a long much needed break from reality (aka life) while my kids were on Spring Break.

There has been something bothering me for some time.  I had great results with my DIY Dishwasher Detergent, but after using this for 2 full batches, my dishes started getting this HORRIBLE residue all over them.  Even my trusty Magic Eraser that works wonders on EVERYTHING, couldn’t get it out.  I ended up throwing out some of my dishes because of it.  My silverware was horrible too.  Everything came out foggy.

Knowing me, I just couldn’t accept that it was my homemade dish detergent that did this.  So, I tried a few things… I went out and bought Jet dry hanger thingys to hang inside my dishwasher.  Unfortunately, it made the situation soooo much worse.  Then I thought filling the rinse dispenser with white vinegar would help until I read the manual that told me NOT to do that because vinegar is so acidic that it will eventually eat away at the machine.  Well, there goes my plan at saving some extra money.  At that time, we started hearing all sorts of crunching going on while washing making me think that some plastic or metal was inside the machine that couldn’t work itself out.  I thought well that must be it!  Also, the CLEAN light started flashing.  I referred to the manual and it told me that I had to call a service man at that point.   So, my handy dandy husband of mine, got on his hands and knees and tore the whole dishwasher apart and found some plastic lurking at the bottom.   (My service man, gotta love him!!)

I was so afraid to talk to my husband in fear that maybe me saving money would lead to ruining our nice fairly new dishwasher, that I kept my mouth shut and thought that I would just go back to the old store bought dishwasher detergent… But if anyone knows me, I can’t NOT talk about stuff that is bothering me.  So, we talked about it! lol  He told me to quit using it.  I agreed…

…Until my brain started brainstorming again!  I thought, maybe if it is in a liquid form, it would work!  So, I added water to my container of DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Voila!!!!  I started another load to see if it would work.  My dishes came out clean!  I was so happy I thought of it…

…Until the next day I needed more DIY Dishwasher Detergent.  I went to the container and it hardened into a rock… LITERALLY…  I even added some water ontop of it and left it sit over night again.  It wouldn’t budge!  I will tell you… This experiment will answer my questions of why I had residue all over my dishes, it will tell me why I could not get it off…  See the photo?  I can’t even get the scoop out it is sooo hard.  I tried pushing the back like an ice cube tray and it wouldn’t work either.  A knife won’t even puncture a hole in it.  So sad to see this container and scoop go in the garbage.

Of course, my brain is still working on figuring out a good dish detergent in the liquid form.  I will keep you updated if I come across one I want to try.

This outcome with the dish detergent makes me wonder now about my DIY Laundry Soap, since both use basically the same ingredients.  I have been using the DIY Liquid Laundry Soap now for over a month (still on my first batch), I love it.  It drips a lot in the container I am using, so I will try to pour it into something else when I make my next batch.   It mixed really well in the container (gel formed at the top).

I wonder if a liquid form of the dishwasher detergent could be made in the same way using the steps of the Liquid Laundry Soap  found HERE…  Hmmmm, can you see my brain brainstorming?

Until next report…  Please let me know if you found something that works.

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DIY Coconut Milk, DOES IT WORK???

Mmmmm, Coconut Milk, just sounds refreshing!  And when I saw this post from one of my favorite bloggers, “One Good Thing” by Jillee, I had to put it to the test!  She is crazy nuts about the same things I am!  I look forward to every post!  She posts things I can’t wait to try making myself!

Coconut Milk… So what is it?  What is it good for?  Fresh, homemade coconut milk is far richer in vitamins, food enzymes and nutrients than coconut milk from a can or box.  Fresh coconut milk contains three times as much vitamin C as canned coconut milk and is richer in thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6.  Cutting your own coconut open is hard to do, so this recipe is definitely the easier route to get most of the same nutrients from shaved coconut.

Real coconut spoils rather quickly, so unless you live in a Tropical paradise, you probably will receive a coconut that has been treated to slow down the molding process.  With that said, the best coconut milk is one that you can make yourself.  www.freecoconutrecipes.com is packed full of information on coconuts and recipes and how to make coconut milk yourself.

Here was how I did it… I really was just trying this recipe out just to see if I could make milk out of coconut flakes and didn’t go out and buy the REAL organic coconut like I should have.  I thought just the regular coconut tasted just fine until I did my research on it.  Coconut flakes need to be organic and you need to look for a bag that is not treated with sulfites and is not sweetened.  I did not know that!  The original recipe wasn’t specific about these details, and for my purpose of just trying the recipe out, I didn’t really care this time around… But now that I know it worked even with the generic coconut flakes and I did my research and discovered how bad these coconut flakes are for you, you betcha I will go back and find the organic unsweetened unsulfited (made that word up, lol) coconut flakes to try this recipe again…

So here is the recipe for coconut milk.

1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes with no sulfites

4 cups HOT water not boiling.

THAT’S IT!!!!

Really?  It is that simple?  Oh my gosh… Now you know why I was obsessed to run to my cabinet for my already sweetened crappy coconut and test it out as fast as I could.  Part of my creative addiction.  Trial and error is a must in my life.  I really should do more research on what I do before I do it, but WHAT FUN IS THAT???  lol

So here is how you do it…
 

Take 1/2 cup coconut flakes and pour it into your blender or your Magic Bullet… BUT MAKE SURE IT HAS A TIGHT SEAL!!!!  I did not know that my NEW Magic Bullet (the blender attachment) had no seal… Then you take hot water and push down on the FAST blender?  Let’s just say that I will NEVER use the blender attachment again.  What fun would it be if this didn’t happen to me?  lol  OUCH!!

So, I decided to still use the Magic Bullet, but use the smaller attachments that I knew had a seal.  I wasn’t about to give up even though I had coconut on my walls and cupboard doors and on the floor.  lol  (TRUST ME, this was my first experience with a blender explosion…now I can say that has happened to me, lol)

Let’s try this again… Take 1/2 cup organic unsweetened unsulfited coconut flakes, and 1 cup of hot water… I just set my teapot on the stove to almost boiling and then I knew it was hot enough.
Isn’t my teapot cute?  Though unfortunately it does not whistle…  :(

Blend for 20 pulses (I didn’t take a photo of the blending process, sorry)… Probably because I was still in pain from the hot water hitting me.  lol

Strain out the coconut and press down on it to really squeeze out the milk.  I would use something else rather than your hand to push down on it… he he   I got these strainers together at the dollar store!  They worked great, but I still used a spoon on top of them to push down the milk.

I found THIS on another blog from Crunchy Betty (don’t you just love her title?).  It was a comment from one of the readers which actually made sense and really would be something I would like to try.  The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk).  The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.  So, for each time that you squeeze the milk out, it has varying potencies and will be used for certain things.  See her full comment posted at the end.  I didn’t see her comment until I did more research to blog about my findings after I already made the milk.  So I mixed mine back and forth because I knew the last cup of milk made would be way less potent.

I like that she commented on this post.  Coming from someone who uses and can share her experiences on this way of making coconut milk.  That means more than research and hard testing in a lab sometimes for me.

The second squeeze is just “Gata”. Take the strained coconut from the first squeeze and throw it back in the blender with another 1 cup of HOT water.  Blend for 20 pulses again and squeeze the milk out again the same way (now put this one in a different container).  You could label it #2 so you don’t forget what Gata and Kakang Gata means, lol…

Do this 2 more times for a total of 4 cups of yummy coconut milk.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE!!!

Here is what it made…

Keep in mind that this will not keep in your refrigerator longer than 1 week.  So, if you plan to use the milk, plan a week where you can actually get to your recipes to make them.

Here is the post from the reader on Crunchy Betty’s blog.

Fidelle Collapse

Hi! I’m from the Philippines and we love our coconut. We call it the Tree of Life. And it’s just so awesome that we have been blessed with many coconut trees. Here you can ask the ‘niyog’ vendor to grate the fresh white stuff for you. We soak the shavings in warm water. We squeeze the milk out with our own (clean) hands. The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk). We rehydrate the shavings and the second squeeze is just “Gata”. The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.

We many uses for coconut milk. I use it as an all-around moisturizer. My mother uses it for cooking. We use it to polish the floor and the furniture.

I use Gata on my hair and face overnight then I wash it off in the morning. The reason is that it tends to react with the tropical heat and pollution, leaving a sticky mess. The milk leaves my skin glowing and pimple-free. I learned this from my mom. She is nearing 50 (ssshh!) but does not look a day older than 30! My hair suffered due to coloring and I brought it back to its former shiny, bouncy, wavy self with Gata.

We use Kakang Gata on curries and fish dishes. It’s great on vegetable stew. We also use Kakang Gata to top desserts or even make rice pudding. Yum yum yum!

Any left-over gata is stored in the ref to make Virgin Coconut Oil. A little goes a long way. VCO is my all-over body oil and hair shine serum. It reminds my bf of his favorite rice pudding *wink* I also use it to remove makeup. I mix it with honey and brown sugar for my face-n’-body-scrub.

I also take 2 spoonfuls of VCO or Kakang Gata everyday as a gentle laxative. It helped me loose weight. Mixed with honey, it also helps with my problem with acid reflux.

Nature has provided us with this great gift. And I intend to use it!

Yeah, I’m making y’all jealous on purpose. Har har har! *evil laugh*

What a great post!  I loved it!  I hope you did too!  There are all sorts of recipes on the Internet that include this awesome coconut milk.  I would love to hear your findings on them!

Until next creative inspiration hits me… lol

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Pinterest DIY Essential Oil Recipe in your Crockpot… DOES IT WORK?

I was so excited to see THIS recipe from E-How Health via Pinterest to make your own essential oils using some oil and a Crockpot.  I thought, now this is one I HAVE to try!  My first attempt at an essential oil was with cucumbers… YES, cucumbers.  I LOVE cucumber scented things and couldn’t wait to make my own.  lol

TOTAL fail on my part… Not only did it stink my house up like fried zucchini (though I love the taste, I hate the smell), it made me sick for a few days because I kept thinking the smell would change hours later for some reason and kept sticking my nose in it.  It definitely smelt STRONG… So, it kind of worked!

Knowing me, I couldn’t just let it go… I thought well maybe if I use tangerines, it would work and smell great… So here is my second attempt to this project.


I cut up a bunch of tangerines and let it soak on low heat for about 3 hours.  I pulled the tangerines out about half way through and added some new ones to the batch to see if I could really get a strong smell.  When 3 hours went by, I just got so fed up with it, I threw out the entire batch.  The only thing it smelled like was the oil I put in it with a hint of citrus.

Pinterest FAIL, for sure.  Maybe the flowers would have worked better like the original website I found the idea on, but I really don’t want to try this project a third time.  I think I will try the other essential oil recipes I pinned on Pinterest first.  I don’t really care for flower smells.

Keep tuning in… I am trying Coconut Milk today!  Totally excited for this one!

 

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EASY HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER!!!!

Crazy to think that I have been scared to try this recipe out.  One simple ingredient, one appliance to get dirty…

So here are your instructions…

Buy unsalted peanuts.  The Natural Food store down the street told me that there is really no “organic” peanut… Any will do.  That was interesting info to find out.

So, far starters, I bumped into unsalted peanuts from the Family Dollar next door.  SCORE!!!  It was only $2.15!!!!  I am sure in the future, I will want to buy bulk online.  For now, it was great to just try it out!

Break out your food processor, Magic Bullet, or whatever that can chop and pour the peanuts in.  Put about a cup of peanuts in at a time (it will work a lot better and faster with less, trust me)…  you will notice that it will start to mix and look like it is clumping together… Take a peak at it, separate it if you want and run it again… You will see it form a ball and that is when I pulled mine out.  Of course, I tasted mine at this point!  It was pretty creamy… I am sure you could separate it again and then turn on the food processor again to make it creamier… That is up to you.

That’s IT!!!!  So easy, why haven’t I done it in the past!  The best part, I know it is JUST peanuts!  So much healthier… until the jelly is mixed with it!  lol

Here is how much it made from the full container of peanuts.  Not bad!  We enjoyed it for dinner tonight.  I couldn’t wait until lunch tomorrow.

Have fun making your own and don’t forget to let me know how it goes!

 

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I Have Been Nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award!

So, after having such a successful day slaying my record of 135 views in one day to 251 views… YAY for my blog!  I woke up the next morning to receiving The Versatile Blogger Award from Peace, Love & Fabulous Things. Thank you for thinking about me!

At first, I thought, what could this mean?  What do I do with it?  I will be honest, I thought how vague this award was that there were 15 other blogs listed.  I thought well, how impersonal.  I could see that if there were 5 bloggers awarded, I might believe that this award was meant for me.  But I did some research and here is what I found out.  It is a great tool to link up with other bloggers that we would not of had the pleasure of knowing before.  I really only focused on my blog and really did not know many others…  It was actually really fun trying to find bloggers who were interested in the same things I am!  Not to mention finding others to keep my inspiration going!  It is such a great support system!  Plus, you get this really cool award to display on your blog!

For those who I have nominated, you have been awarded!  Congratulations!  Keep up the great work!

The Rules

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Simple enough!

Some things about myself…

1.  I live in Antigo, WI.  I love the slow paced life-style here and have made many close friends who made this place a great place to live.

2.  I have 2 boys (ages 3 and 5, at the moment I blogged this).

3.  I sell L’BRI Pure n’ Natural Skincare on the side of being a Household Manager (aka stay at home mom) to give me some spending money.  I also watch my friend’s 3 kids while she works.  I also make some extra cash doing fun projects for people (oil painting, chalk drawings, etc)

4. I have a Graphic Design Associate Degree.  I am an artist who does a lot of different types of things… Oil Paintings, Chalk Drawings, Craft-Type Things, Crocheting for fun.  Once the kids get older, I will get into this more and more.

5.  I love to go to the beach.  It is about the only place that I can recoup and feel refreshed like I had a mini vacation.

6.  I hate to cook, but I do it for my kids and because it is healthier.  We eat out once a month, if not less than that.

7.  I LOVE the smell of skunk.  Seriously true.  I will role the window down to get a whiff.  lol

This is going to be fun, but can we nominate the person who gave us this award?  Because I love her blog too!  lol  The person who generously thought of me, was Rachel from Peace, Love & Fabulous Things.  Thank you so much for this honor.  I will admit, I was so excited I lost a little sleep from it.  (he he)

Now, the moment you have been waiting for… The nominees in no particular order…

1.  I Heart Handmade… crafting, Etsy, healthy living, natural childbirth, Baby Signs, saving money…… one stop blog with great projects

2.  Sew Zen… This blogger rescues interesting fabrics that are headed toward our landfills and transform them into functional works of art.

3.  Money Saving Tips… Cedella Garcia gives lots of advice on how to save money.

4.  The Woodland Garden… Rachel has developed an evolving desire for whole living and a love for sustainable cooking.  Some really great ideas here.

5.  Live to Garden… Full of great tips on gardening and landscaping.

6.  Canning Supplies… Ever want to get started on canning?  This blog will show you how!  Includes video tutorials!

7.  MotifBrophy… Renew.Reclaim.Refresh.Rejuvenate.Restore.Rebuild.Revamp.

8.  Hart’s Desire… Creations… Lots of great DIY projects!  LOVE THEM!

9.  Play 101… Some fun Games for kids

10.  Finding More in Less… Don’t we all need to read this?  Glad I found you.

11.  Get Organized Already!…  Lots of really cool organizational tips!  It is so much fun to see what others do!

12.  Southern Home Organizers… Tips for organizing your home like a professional organizer…

13.  Sassy Spaces…  A blog FULL of tips and tricks on organizing clutter in spaces

14.  Hungry Happenings… Tons of cool ideas for decorating with food.  Great place to stop for inspiration for an upcoming celebration!

15.  The Creative Imperative… Lots of tutorials, tips and tricks to many DIY projects.  I love all of her work.

Those who are nominated, I really think that you have some great information to feed my hunger for creativity.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and projects with the world.  Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see you do more!

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Easy Way to Pickle! Why didn’t I think of this sooner!

I used to work for The Fireside in Fort Atkinson, WI a long time ago and they used to have pickled brussle sprouts that I just could not stop eating… shhhh  lol  I craved them for many years and looked for them periodically to see if they carried them.  I craved them so badly that I came up with this idea.  AND GUESS WHAT???   IT WORKED!!!!

Just before you are about to run out of pickles, go ahead and buy fresh organic Brussel Sprouts (they are the best!!!).  You can get them pretty cheap at the Farmer’s Market in the summer months!

Your pickle jar can be purchased at Walmart in the “Family sized” section.  Believe it or not, it is actually pretty close to the same price as the small jar, but you get an enormous size pickle jar… Plus, the jars are great (once you kill the pickle smell in them, lol) for reuse as a coin jar, storage jar, etc… possibilities are endless!

So, you eat your leftover pickles from the jar for lunch while you boil your brussel sprouts until they are soft (mine took about 10 min)…

When they are soft enough for a fork to slide through, they are done.  Strain them out and run cold water on top of them.

mmmmm, they look so good!  Half really could be eaten for dinner if you would like… They are great with just butter and sea salt on them.  I ate one and put the rest inside my pickle jar.

 

There is actually a pickle in it still… I couldn’t eat them all up that fast.  That’s ok, though!  It will all taste like pickles soon!  Just refrigerate and pop them in your mouth when ever you want!  If you are serving for a party, they actually taste even better the next day once it marinates a little more.

There you have it!  You could try all sorts of pickled items this way without having to be a chef!

Hope you like my tip for the day!

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Diaper Trike, Oil Paintings, Chalk Drawings, Sewing Projects, Crocheting!

Here are some things I have done to help cure my creative insanity.  I am always looking for new ways to do things.  My creative side will never sleep.  lol

My husband thinks I am crazy because I never stick to one thing.  lol  Kinda the fun of it all, I am never bored.  And now that I have Pinterest, omgosh.

So, here are some of my ideas I love to show off.  Let me know what you think!

Here was a baby shower gift for a friend of mine.  I had so much fun researching and buying and making this.  Seriously, my husband has some patience with me.  lol  There are many different ways to do diaper gifts…. Diaper cakes, diaper trikes, diaper strollers… Have fun with it.  It is WAY more fun to give and see peoples reaction to it.  He He…   If you want to purchase one of these for a future baby shower, let me know and I can whip one up for you!

LOL, now this one is silly, I know… I made up the pattern as I went.  My child begged and begged me to buy a $5 penguin from the store with these really big eyes… Here is a photo of it…

I just couldn’t spend that much on a 6″ stuffed animal, so I made him one, lol  I am so cheap sometimes…  The funny part, he walked around the house with that for days so happy!  It was made with love, for sure!  He will kill me when he gets older… Here is another example of my son so happy to get something I made…

Now these were worth saving money on!  I bought 2 pillows for $3/each, a black fuzzy blanket (on sale of course), an off-white fuzzy blanket and a really fuzzy red blanket… They came to about $5/each at the time.  They always have them on sale around Christmas time.

I was able to make 2 Pillow Pets for the price of one!

Not only did my son love his pillow pet, but because mom made it for him, the anticipation built up with excitement when he saw the project coming together.

It was a really happy Christmas for him.

Now for the 2nd Pillow Pet…

Isn’t this the cutest thing EVER???  Seriously one of a kind.  I have not seen these in stores yet…  I don’t have a pattern and I know I did his nose too big, but it definitely looks like Elmo!  Most importantly, my littlest one LOVES it.  I also had fun seeing it all come together.

Why pay $20 for a pillow????!!!!  The actual pillow is the easy part to sew and figure out… Why not try to make your own?

I would love to try the Happy Nappers, but after these two projects, I am sick of sewing, lol

I also oil paint.  lol  This is actually something I have done for a while now.  Some paintings I like some I hate.  Here are some that I love!

Here is the original phtograph of my son… so cute, isn’t he?

Here is my finished oil painting of my son.  By far my best work, I think.

Here is another couple of paintings that I did for a friend of mine.

Here is the original photo of my parents.

Here is a chalk drawing of my parents that I did.

I guess I really do a lot of different things.  lol  But I love it… I will continue to share more when I dig them up.  Art is very therapeutic as long as your kid isn’t screaming in your ear, touching all of your projects, screaming for paper to draw, wanting to help, etc… That is why nap time comes in handy.  I will be very glad once I get more time when he starts school in the Fall!

These items that I showed you are very personal to me.  Please do not copy or reproduce these as your own.

 If you see something here that you would like to hire me to do for you, let me know.  I am very reasonably priced.  I even draw tattoos for people (don’t mistake that for actually tattooing)  lol…

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