Category: Food & Home

Link Round-up: Decorating, Budget-Friendly Parties, Healthy Party Food, and More

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up shows us how to decorate, throw a budget-friendly holiday party, and make healthy party food.

Muslin and Merlot suggested wrapping gifts and making ornaments from music paper.

A Beautiful Mess shared holiday tips for decorating a small space.

Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make a sprinkles Christmas tree.

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Kenarry told us how to throw a budget friendly holiday party.

Snappy Gourmet shared a recipe for hot onion spinach dip.

Clever Pink Pirate showed us how to upcycle food containers into gift boxes.

Tried and True Blog showed us how to make healthy biscochos.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Creative Gift Wrapping, Wall Art, Sugar Cookie Bars, and More

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has creative gift wrapping ideas, wall art, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for sugar cookie bars.

Sugar Bee Crafts taught us how to make holiday trees from cupcake liners.

Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make peace sign wall art for Christmas.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to put together some creative gift wrapping.

Tried and True Blog taught us how to make a Rudolph gift card holder.

Clever Pink Pirate shared a craft to do with the kids—making cinnamon dough ornaments.

Musings from a SAHM showed us a DIY hot chocolate snowman gift.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Link Round-up: Christmas Cards, Cookies, Ornaments, and More

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has cookies, ornaments, cards, and more.

Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make homemade button Christmas cards.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to create dried citrus ornaments.

One Good Thing by Jillee shared a recipe for an anti-aging facial serum.

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Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make chocolate chip cowboy cookies.

Rad Mom Cool Kid shared some Christmas traditions.

Fitness Food Diva taught us how to make white chocolate pomegranate bark.

Crafty Journal showed us how to make a Christmas money tree.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Chocolate Covered Katie

Link Round-up: No-Sew Decor, Treats, DIY Art, and More

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has no-sew décor, treats, art, and more.

Crafts n Coffee showed us an easy no-sew way to make a Christmas ornament from an old shirt.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make faux wood pillar candles from foam pool noodles.

The Creative Mom showed us a cute DIY pallet art project.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make three different no-sew tree skirts.

Rad Mom Cool Kid shared a gift guide for the home cook.

Fitness Food Diva showed us how to make peanut butter cup blondies.

Hungry Happenings taught us how to make candy cane Rudolphs on Rice Krispies.

Photo credit: Crafts ‘n Coffee and A Beautiful Mess

The History Behind Birthday Cakes

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 by 1 Comment

Birthday cake is often the center of our birthday celebrations. My mom made the cake of our choice with her handcrafted lettering wishing us a happy birthday.

For my 10th birthday they made an exception and bought me a bakery cake with a doll in the center. The cake was her dress, decorated in purple icing and those little metallic-looking balls that about break your teeth.

My biggest attempt at making a “special” cake was for my daughter’s third birthday. Creating Snoopy from scratch took a lot longer than I imagined, as I figured out how to cut round cakes into puzzle-like pieces that became the basic shape of the famous dog. The frosting completed the picture.

I remember thinking about how long it took me to make it, and how quickly it was gone. My daughter loved it at the time, but today doesn’t even remember it. From that point on, I stuck with my mom’s tradition of making a cake (or pie) of the birthday person’s choice. Nothing fancy, just delicious.

Today, the practical side of me thinks my mom had it right. Make a simple cake that says happy birthday. They can be delicious, are less expensive, and are gone in the blink of any eye.

All this made me question: where did the idea of birthday cakes come from? Turns out it was Germany that started the trend back in the 1400s. It wasn’t like cake as we know it now, but sweetened bread dough made in the shape of the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes to commemorate his birthday.

Then celebrating birthdays with cake became a thing for the wealthy. They were the only ones who could afford such a splurge. Until then, cake was something reserved for wedding celebrations. Birthday candles came about in the 1700s and were thought to carry birthday wishes to God.

Early birthday cakes in England included a coin and thimble imbedded in the cake. Can you say choking hazard? It was thought that the person who found the coin in their piece of cake would become wealthy, and the one who found the thimble would never get married.

Today we have themed birthday cakes ready-made at the grocery store, cake toppers and all that to fashion our own masterpieces, but when it is all said and done we still have an empty plate.

I’m not sure we need to make the cake into such a work of art, but that could just be me. Instead, let’s make the child the centerpiece. I’d love to hear what you do for birthdays. Do you have a birthday cake tradition?

Photo credits: wikipedia

Link Round-up: Glow Bowl, Fluffernutter Pie, Hair How-To, Christmas, and More

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a DIY glow bowl, graham cracker houses, a hair how-to, ways to use your smart device for Christmas, and more.

 Homemade Interest showed us how to make banana fluffernutter pie and graham cracker houses.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a Vitamix giveaway that ties in with the release of her new book.

A Beautiful Mess showed us a natural hair how-to with two strand twists.

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Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make a glow bowl.

Homemaking Hacks gave us clever ways to use a smart device for the holidays.

A Mom’s Take taught us how to make a reindeer out of a towel to use as a Christmas gift.

The DIY Dreamer taught us how to make deer wood slice ornaments.

Photo credit: Homemade Interest and Muslin and Merlot

Link Round-up: Paper Bag Pirate Puppet, Stencils, Pie Parfait Shots, and More

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a paper bag pirate puppet, stencils for cakes and beverages, pie parfait shots, and more.

Homemade Interest taught us how to make easy pie parfait shots.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to stencil cute designs on cakes and beverages.

Mind Body Green offered some tips for going on a digital detox.

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Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a paper bag pirate puppet.

Homemaking Hacks shared time saving tips for appetizers.

A Mom’s Take shared the essentials for your next road trip.

The DIY Dreamer taught us how to make a beaded wrap bracelet with the kids.

Photo credit: Homemade Interest and Crafts by Amanda

Link Round-up: Christmas Decorations, Winter Driving Emergency Essentials, and More

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has Christmas decorations, a faux gingerbread house, winter driving emergency essentials, and more.

Crafts by Amanda showed us a new kind of tree that looks gorgeous and takes up less space—the coastal branch tree.

Homemaking Hacks showed us how to make Santa belt clothespins for hanging pictures and art.

Our Simple Life offered tips for starting to live a simple life.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make a bottle cap Christmas wreath.

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Our Secondhand House shared eight winter driving emergency essentials.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to create a faux gingerbread house you don’t have to throw away.

A Cup of Jo showed us how to get ready for a holiday party in five minutes.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Our Secondhand House

Laundry Pods Send One Kid a Day to Hospital

Posted on Nov 26, 2014 by No Comments

Over a year ago I read about a 7-month-old baby dying after ingesting some laundry pods. It was a sad story, and I wondered at the time why the baby would continue munching on soap once he tasted it. If you’ve ever gotten soap in your mouth you know it tastes nasty, and you certainly wouldn’t want seconds!

But it seems, according to a report published in Pediatrics, that when it comes to these laundry packets that they sent an average of one child a day to the hospital in 2012 and 2013.

To my surprise, it turns out that these convenient laundry soap packets are all over the news because a in a report published in Pediatrics it reveals that in the first couple years they were widely available (2012 and 2013), these packets were responsible for sending a child a day to the hospital on average.

During that same time period, poison control centers took about one call an hour related to kids under 6 being “exposed” to these laundry soap packets.

I’m astonished that eating soap could be so attractive. Perhaps that’s the problem. The colorful pods “look” good to young children.

And when I looked into it further, it turns out the kids aren’t actually eating these pods like they are candy. However, when they bite into them, they get a squirt of concentrated laundry soap shot down their throat or in their eyes.

Turns out this makes the children sicker that when exposed to traditional laundry detergent, probably because they are getting a more concentrated dose. It results in symptoms like vomiting and coughing and in some rare cases it cane even lead to breathing problems, seizures, or coma.

Since these numbers have surfaced, manufacturers have added clear warnings to their labels and have made the packaging harder to open.

While I appreciate the manufacturer’s making these kinds of changes, I remind parents everywhere that we need to take steps to keep hazardous products out of reach from our children.

At this time, there aren’t any laundry pods manufactured to be child resistant. So it is up to us. If we choose to use this laundry product, we need to keep it out of reach.

Photo credits: US CPSC