Category: Food & Home

Link Round-up: Social Media, Family Activities, Homeschooling, and More

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up takes a look at social media, family activities, crafts, and homeschooling.

A Beautiful Mess showed us an amazing decoupage furniture makeover.

Self Magazine shared an interesting look at how social media could be affecting women.

Create Craft Love shared an idea for a family night activity jar.

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Crafts by Amanda shared 10 dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a recipe for allergy-friendly grain-free pumpkin nut bread.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us a tutorial for an adorable penguin craft.

Our Small Hours asked, “Is homeschooling better?”

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Crafts by Amanda

Link Round-up: Skirt to Scarf, Emoji Nails, Pink Hot Chocolate, and More

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a skirt-to-scarf tutorial, emoji nail decals, pink hot chocolate, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to create emoji nail decals.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make pink hot chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make peppermint patty penguin pops.

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Muslin and Merlot showed us how to take an old skirt and change it into a scarf.

Luv a Bargain shared a recipe for easy ranch cottage cheese dip.

Two Healthy Kitchens taught us how to make the best ever sloppy joes.

Our Small Hours shared a free gratitude journal printable.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Muslin and Merlot

Ready for Tax Season?

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 by No Comments

Yeah, I know that April 15, or whatever date they change it to, is a long ways away but it is so much easier to organize your taxes if you give yourself some time. It’s actually best if you stay organized all year but I am hopeless when it comes to that. Obviously I am preaching to the choir here.

You know you are going to need your government documents like social security cards, divorce papers, marriage license, etc. In a perfect world you have them in a safety deposit box or fireproof box somewhere. Keep copies with your tax stuff.

Work

I work at home and so I know I will need receipts for repairs, improvements, utility bills, and other things that get partially written off. You’ll need your work expenses, mileage, and other acceptable write offs. If you aren’t sure then now is the time to find out.

Get the receipts all in one spot and promise yourself yet again that you are going to scan and file them on the computer so that you don’t have to hunt them down in handbags, suitcases, and coat pockets. Not that I would have to do that. Ever.

Personal

Insurance and health related paperwork are important so you can claim deductions there. IRA contributions, college loan interest, and even moving costs can all be deducted.

Children

Child care, education, and adoption costs are all deductible. You can even include transportation costs incurred during adoption. It’s important that you keep a good record, though. You can’t just hand your accountant a cardboard box filled with papers.

Keep Informed

Obviously there is a ton of paperwork, deductions, and such that I didn’t mention. The point is that if you start now, inform yourself of what you can deduct, and clean up your records you may be able to save a significant amount on your taxes.

You’re welcome.

photo credit: Dave Dugdale via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Game Day Recipes, Super Bowl Party Invitations, and More

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 by 3 Comments

Today’s link round-up has game day recipes, Super Bowl invitations, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make a low-fat banana breakfast mug cake.

Mind Body Green listed the 40 habits of highly authentic people.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom showed us how to make easy Super Bowl party invitations.

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Kenarry shared a few favorite game day recipes.

Keeping It Simple Crafts showed us how to make bacon cheddar cheese ball footballs and other Super Bowl friendly foods.

Geniabeme shared a recipe for low-carb chicken sausage gumbo.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor shared a recipe for orange cream kolaches.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Cold Remedy, DIY Earring Organizer, Beauty Products, and More

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has a cold remedy, earring organizer, beauty products, and more.

I Heart Naptime shared a recipe for buckeye brownies.

Mind Body Green offered tips for talking to your kids about sex.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a spiced orange cold remedy.

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Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to put together a puppy dog bento lunch.

Keeping It Simple Crafts showed us how to make cute car-related valentines.

Geniabeme shared her picks for the top 10 beauty products of 2014.

Tales of Me showed us how to make an earring organizer.

Photo credit: I Heart Naptime and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Link Round-up: Crazy Taco Faces, DIY Copper Cup Organizer, Creativity, and More

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has crazy taco faces, a pretty DIY copper cup organizer, a look at the creative process, and more.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to put together beautiful copper and leather cups that will help you stay organized.

Crafts by Amanda shared a look at her creative practice.

A Mom’s Take shared a color by number printable valentine.

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Kenarry showed us how to make crazy taco faces to make dinner more fun.

Thrifty Jinxy shared a fruit and vegetable smoothie recipe.

Mom 4 Real showed us how to make mason jar valentines.

Hello Little Home taught us how to put together a Taylor Swift outfit lookalike.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Storage Ideas, DIY, Scrabble, Winter Blues, and More

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has storage ideas, DIYs, and more.

Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a refrigerator Scrabble game

Kenarry shared some toy storage ideas.

A Mom’s Take had some suggestions for finding more ways to read.

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A Beautiful Mess shared some ways to survive winter without the cold weather blues.

The Joys of Boys shared 15 resolutions every mom should make.

Thrifty Jinxy showed us how to make snowman pretzels.

Mom 4 Real shared 19 easy home organization ideas.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and A Beautiful Mess

Link Round-up: Better Makeup, Abs Challenge, Breakfast, and More

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has fashion and beauty advice, plus an abs challenge and a delicious breakfast recipe.

How Was Your Day? shared some tips on how to get better at applying makeup.

Pink Heels Pink Truck shared a recipe for maple bacon cinnamon rolls.

Blogilates shared a 30-day flat abs challenge.

Confessions of a Homeschooler showed us how to winterize our nails.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to turn a copper pipe into a clothing rack.

Pop Sugar showed us some winter accessories that are so cute, we almost won’t mind that it’s cold.

Makeup and Beauty Blog shared her thoughts on the new 12-pan Tarte Tartlette eyeshadow palette.

Photo credit: How Was Your Day? and A Beautiful Mess

Benefits of Probiotics and Where to Find Them

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 by 1 Comment

Even though consuming probiotics has been a trendy topic for the last few years, they are not new. In the past, they were a natural part of diet found in yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented pickles and more.

I choose to get mine by making kombucha each week and drinking a glass per day. As a bonus, it also helps satisfy my craving to snack.

Kombucha (fermented tea) doesn’t take much effort to make, but if you’re strapped for time, you can find probiotics in foods sold on the grocer’s shelves.

Probiotic-rich yogurt is probably one of the most popular, but probiotics are found in other fermented foods including kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) and miso soup.

Before I mention the word “bacteria” remember that our digestive system is home to more than 500 types of bacteria that help keep our intestines healthy and aid in the digestion of food.

They are also thought to help boost our immune system, keep bad bacteria at bay, aid in weight loss, and one new study shows they may even help with lowering high blood pressure.

According to Stefan Guandalini, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, “Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines.” In other words, maintaining the proper balance of healthy gut flora is important to our overall health.

When we take antibiotics, it alters our gut flora. While taking antibiotics isn’t ideal for our gut health, sometimes we have no choice. Probiotics can help replenish your good bacteria.

For those who don’t get enough probiotics through diet, supplements are available. I’ve seen mixed reviews on these, so can’t really speak from experience.

Some supplements offer more strains and cost more, but from what I hear they aren’t necessarily “better.” Also, if you go the supplement route, some experts suggest that you switch supplements every month or two. For me, I figure why buy a pill if I can get my probiotics through my diet?

Photo credits: kirybabe