DIY CRAFT read more PARTY DECOR read more PATERNS read more RECIPES read more DIY CRAFT read more PARTY DECOR read more TRAVEL TIPS read more Party Planner and DIY Projects Christmas Craft for Kids to MakeNovember 25, 2019 The holiday countdown has begun, we’re all very busy getting ready. We’re shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, and crafting! I know many of us are trying to get as much done before school lets out for the winter break. Here are some crafty ideas to keep the kids busy when they’re home and gets them involved in this year’s holiday preparations. If you’re playing the neighborhood holiday game “You’ve Been Jingled” let the kids join the fun! They’ll love the idea! They can help make up the gift baskets and older kids can even drop them off! They’ll love the idea of ringing a neighbor’s door way and disappearing without being seen! For FREE game printable click here! Image from Savvy Nana’s Stock up on paper plates for kids to use in these paper plate elves and snowman from Crafty Morning. Pick up some popsicle sticks from the craft store and have kids make these cool ornaments from Chickabug. Buggy and Buddy use beads and pipe cleaners to make these pretty ornaments. Cut out candy cane and wreath forms from cardboard and have kids glue on pom-poms to make these ornaments. Use buttons to make ornaments like this tree ornament by UK Lass in US. Make sweet smelling ornaments with this No Cook Cinnamon Salt Dough by Growing a Jeweled Rose. Use paper towel rolls to make these star ornaments. Learn how from Blog a la Cart. Recycle plastic container lids and make this glittery ornament from No Time For Flashcards. Thumbprint ornaments are easy to make and will make a wonderful keepsake ornament for years to come. A great activity, have the kids get ready for Santa’s Christmas Eve visit, make Rudolph and his friends reindeer food. Get tutorial from Smart Schoolhouse here! For more holiday craft ideas for kids follow my board on Pinterest! ... Read more...DIY Cookie Exchange!! Free PrintablesNovember 22, 2019Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone we turn our attention to the winter holidays. That means lots of cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, and shopping going on. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukka, or other winter holiday you’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit in all the seasonal activities. One way to reduce your seasonal cookie baking is to host a cookie exchange and swap baked goods with friends and relatives. It may take a bit of planning, but at least you’ll only have to bake one type of cookie and still have a variety to enjoy or gift over the holidays. It’s also a good excuse for a girls day or night out! Hosting a cookie exchange doesn’t have to be a big fancy affair nor does it have to cost a fortune. You can easily host one with just your close friends and family on a tight budget. Here’s a few tips to help you plan your cookie exchange! 1. Decide who you want to invite. You may want to keep the party small and intimate to keep it manageable. It’s probably not the right time to throw a party with 50 of your friends and their families. 2. Set your date and time. Send out invitations. Ideally cookie swap invitations should be sent out a month before, but if you haven’t already done so, you should schedule it as soon as possible so guests can plan to attend. Everyone is busy during the holidays, if your guests are able to attend weekday events it may be easier to have your cookie exchange during the week, otherwise you can schedule a weekend day at least a week before the holiday. I like to send written invitations, but if you’re pressed for time invitations sent via email or text will do. How ever you decide to send invitations always request guest to RSVP and if possible let you know what type of cookie they will be bringing. This will help avoid duplicates and you can gently suggest an alternative before the cookie exchange. Tell guests they must bring a dozen cookies per guest plus an extra dozen for tasting. Suggest that the cookies they bring should be easy to pack and store. You can also ask them to write down the cookie recipe on a recipe card if they want to share it. Recipe cards can double as table cards and guests can help themselves to a card as well as the cookies. 3. Bake your cookies. You can make them well in advance and store baked cookies in the freezer. Cookie bars freeze and pack well as do chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, and snickerdoodles. For a list of cookies that freeze well check out this article from aboutfood.com. To learn how to freeze cookies click here! 4. Purchase packing supplies. You can use boxes, tins, or even ziplock bags. You may want to provide ribbons, tissue paper, tags, and other supplies so guests can pack up cookies for gift giving. You may also want to have small party favors for each guests. Nicely wrapped oven mitts, kitchen towels, cookie cutters, and wooden spoons are all inexpensive and useful items that would make cute favors. 5. Decorate your house, cookie and packing table. Set out platters and stands for the cookies. To make your own tiered stands click here! You may want to set up a table or counter to pack cookies aside from the table or tables for the cookies. Table cards with cookie type is a nice touch, or if guests are bringing recipe cards to share they can double as table cards. Here’s a cute and festive way to set up table cards, otherwise tent style folding cards work just as well. Glue 3 candy canes together to form a tripod. Place table card on the hook part. 6. Offer guests coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or even wine. You should also set out a few savory tidbits for guests to snack on. Finger sandwiches, dips, and other bite sized savories are ideal and will ward off the sugar rush from sampling all those cookies. 7. The star of the show are the cookies and the main event is the exchange. Decide how you’re going to work the exchange to allow guests to choose the cookies they want. You can have a couple of guests at a time choose all their cookies or you can have rounds with each guest choosing a dozen cookies at a time. Guests can choose the same amount of cookies as they brought. Free Cookie Exchange Printables from How to Nest for Less... Read more...15 Cheap Thanksgiving Crafts for KidsNovember 18, 2019Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, that means the kids will be out of school for the very long weekend. Keep them busy making fun inexpensive Thanksgiving crafts while you’re busy in the the kitchen preparing that delicious Thanksgiving Day meal. You can also set a kids’ Thanksgiving table for your little guests and keep them entertained making their own craft projects to take home. Many of these kid’s crafts are made using things you have at home or inexpensive supplies you can pick up at any discount or dollar store. Recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls, paper plates, baby food jars, and bottle caps for these crafts. Paper Roll Turkey from Arstsy-Farsty Mama is a great way to recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Instructions here! These Turkey Glitter Globes from ilovetocreate.com uses empty baby food jars. Instructions here! This Pilgrim Hat crayon holder by The Moody Fashionista would look great on the Kids’ Thanksgiving table. Make one for each place setting and add a blank rectangular piece of brown Kraft paper. Kids can make their own placemat! Instructions here! Take a tip from Martha Stewart. Kraft paper placemats on the children’s Thanksgiving table will keep your little guests entertained. Add the Pilgrim Hat crayon holder and you’ve got a cute and practical table setting. Kids can take home their crayons and palcemats as party favors! Instructions here! Take a break from making turkeys and make a Paper Pumpkin from All Kids Network. It uses toilet paper rolls, constructions paper, and tape. Instructions here! I love this idea from Alittletipsy.com! Handprint trees! My grandson made me one for mother’s day using different colors. My daughter added a poem and had it framed. It proudly hangs in my family room! Instructions here! A variation on the handprint trees are handprint turkeys! This craft from Terrific Pre-school Years makes a turkey placemat. Instructions here! More Turkeys! Make a turkey hand puppet using a paper bag. Great craft from Learn Create Love. Instructions here! Another puppet craft from Crafty Morning recycles plastic water bottles. This craft takes a bit more time as it needs time to dry. Instructions here! Paper plate turkey from I Heart Crafty Things. Easy, Fun, and Cheap! Instructions here! Thanksgiving head gear! Love these Pilgrim Hats from MPMK. Grandparents can help kids make this! Instructions here! Take the head gear one step up and make this Turkey Pilgrim headband by BigKLittleG. Done with Turkeys? How about this Native American Headdress by Ankle Biter Art. Your little Pocahontas will live it! Instructions here! Or forget Pilgrims and turkeys all together and make this Harvest Crown by Dana-Made-It. Instructions here! Gum drop turkey by Celeste Rockwood-Jones. Yummy! Instructions here! For Easy Toddle Thanksgiving crafts click here! For 12 FREE Thanksgiving printables click here!... Read more...DIY Thanksgiving Buffet Table – Free PrintablesNovember 8, 2019The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded. What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table. Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of. If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar. You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal. However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around. Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table. 1. Plan your serveware. Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using. I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in. Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space. I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them. Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort. Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands. You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height. Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper. If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table. If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back. 2. Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on. Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else. You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly. Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms. This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event. If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on. Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work! Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house. Setting up a bar on the mantle works well! 3. Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays. Free Printable 4. Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop. You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign. You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable. Click here for this free printable from Home Cooking Memories. Click here for this free printable The Tom Kat Studio... Read more...Adopting A Pup At ChristmasNovember 5, 2019As the Christmas festivities approach, you may already be looking for a fantastic idea to surprise your family. Adopting a pet is a typical Christmas present. However, countless households are not ready for the commitment of owning a dog. Indeed, Christmas adoptions can have a sad conclusion, as families who can’t cope choose to abandon their pet or bring it to a shelter. In other words, if you’re looking to make Christmas magical with a puppy, you need to be absolutely certain that you can commit to the responsibilities of a dog owner. You can prepare yourself by considering the typical complaints that new pet owners have: #1. It’s another mouth to feed A puppy might be cute and small, but it is, in practice, another family member you need to cater for. Grocery shopping for pets is a little different. You will need to research the best food for your breed of choice, whether you’re looking into puppy food for large breed dogs or small dogs. Just like you put your family’s health first during your grocery shopping, you need to do the same for your pet. Choosing the best products for your dog is essential to keep your furry friend happy and growing safely. But, ultimately, it means planning for additional expenses, which can be tricky if you work with a tight budget. #2. Dogs can be destructive They look adorable. But that doesn’t mean that dogs can’t damage your home. Puppies need to be house-trained before you can leave them safely at home without fearing for your furniture or your carpet. As a result, it can take several months before your puppy behaves appropriately indoors. In the meantime, you are likely to struggle with urine stains on the carpet and chewed furniture. You can reduce the risk of damages by choosing a laminate flooring solution which is easy to clean. As for your furniture, pet owners sometimes use baby fences to block access to specific rooms. #3. Your dog needs attention Adopting a dog means dramatically changing your lifestyle. You need to be ready to walk your pet every day, regardless of the weather. Indeed, walking your dog provides the mental and physical exercise your pup needs. Besides, it reinforces your bond as you can spend quality time together. As a pet owner, you can’t afford to be lazy! Taking your dog for a walk outside can sound exciting at first, but you have to be ready to go out every day, at least twice a day. #4. The spirit of Christmas Finally, Christmas is all about spreading joy and love around you. If, like most people, you find yourself more likely to perform surprising acts of generosity and help others as the Christmas season approaches, you might want to turn your pet adoption into a positive thing. Adopting a senior dog rather than a puppy can make a significant difference. You are virtually giving an animal a second chance at happiness, which is the best present you could give a dog for Christmas. Should you adopt a pet this Christmas? There is no right or wrong answer. But if you’re tempted by introducing a furry ball of energy to your household, you need to be aware that having a dog comes with responsibilities.... Read more... Recipes, Parties, Crafts & Travel Basic Marinara Sauce RecipeJanuary 16, 2020Are you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce! Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best. Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple? Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks! So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy! I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t. ===================================================================================================Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe – – Diced Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian Seasoning, Crushed Red Pepper (optional), sea salt, Sugar, bay leaves, , ; Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches ; Heat olive oil in large pot; Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter; Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well; Add puréed tomatoes; Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf; Let boil then turn down heat to low; Simmer sauce for about an hour; Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip; You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce; You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas! ; Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months. ; Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy! ; – – Breakfast – Pasta – breakfast – Main Course – Recipes Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe Print Recipe CourseBreakfast, Pasta Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe Print Recipe CourseBreakfast, Pasta Ingredients 1 Can 28oz. Diced Tomatoes 3 Cans 14.5oz. Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 2 Tbs. olive oil 3 Tbs. minced garlic 2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning 1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper (optional) 1 1/2 Tbs. sea salt 3 Tbs. Sugar 2 bay leaves Servings: Instructions Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches Heat olive oil in large pot Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well Add puréed tomatoes Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf Let boil then turn down heat to low Simmer sauce for about an hour Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas! Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months. Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy! Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Best-ever veggie sides for ChristmasDecember 31, 2019Every family has their favourite Christmas veggie side dishes – from citrussy carrots and braised red cabbage, to cauliflower cheese, roast parsnips, and infamous brussels sprouts, we have all the recipes you need for Christmas dinner Try our best Christmas vegetable side dishes. Here are our top Christmas dinner side dishes, from Brussels sprouts to red cabbage and roast parsnips. Plus winter greens and some indulgent gratin recipes. We also have plenty of Christmas trimmings ideas here, from pigs in blankets to the perfect gravy. We have made Christmas side dishes easy to make, and here’s our turkey guide to cook the perfect turkey. If you’re going all out vegetarian this Christmas, try our Christmas vegetarian recipes here. Ingredients: Our veggie sides use Christmas ingredients such as orange peel, cinnamon and more to add a festive touch (This post has affiliate links) – – , ; – – Sides – Vegetarian – Christmas – Corner – Recipes – Sides – Vegetable Salad – vegetables – Vegetarian Recipe – veggie – veggie sides Best-ever veggie sides for Christmas Print Recipe CourseSides, Vegetarian Best-ever veggie sides for Christmas Print Recipe CourseSides, Vegetarian Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster CrackersDecember 24, 2019Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop! It can get a bit hectic around the holidays as you try to find the perfect gifts for your niece and nephews, the must-have sweater vests for your baby corgis, while hosting the biggest dinner party with friends and family in your closet-sized kitchen. That’s why these oyster crackers are everything. It’s perfect for any occasion, but it comes in particularly handy during the holiday season. It’s quick, easy and practically effortlessly made in the slow cooker with the help of my favorite ingredient of all – Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Dips Mix. Toss that right in with garlic and freshly grated Parmesan with melted butter. The combination is absolutely heavenly. Now you can easily find this ingredient at Walmart – the perfect resource for all of your holiday entertaining, and you can transport these addicting crackers in these Glad Food Storage Containers. Just toss it right in, throw on the lid and you’re set. See, I told you. Easy! You can even make this ahead of time, although you’ll probably end up eating all of the crackers before you make it to your boss’ holiday party! INGREDIENTS: 2 (8-ounce) packages oyster crackers 1 (1-ounce) package Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon dried dill 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves DIRECTIONS: Lightly coat the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add oyster crackers, Ranch Seasoning, garlic and dill. Stir in vegetable oil and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter until melted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove crackers from slow cooker and place in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Stir in Parmesan and let cool completely. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired. (This post has affiliate links) Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers – Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop! – , ; – Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers Print Recipe Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop! CourseAppetizers, Snacks Slow Cooker Parmesan Ranch Oyster Crackers Print Recipe Perfect for snacking or feeding a large crowd. They’re just so addicting, and you won’t be able to stop! CourseAppetizers, Snacks Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...SNOWBALL COOKIESDecember 23, 2019Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Greek Kourabies, Melting Moments, Meltaways, or Snowball Cookies; whatever you call them these little balls of sweetness are delicious. Traditionally made with chopped nuts these sugar coated morsels melt in your mouth. They’re the perfect cookies to serve at tea time, snack time, or anytime. I’ve always loved these cookies and include them in my holiday baking. But I prefer them without nuts, so when I make them I simply omit them. Here’s the recipe! Ingredients 1 cup butter softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/4 cup flour 1/2 cup chopped nuts if desired Powdered sugar for coating Instructions Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit Fit standing mixer with paddle attachment Mix butter and sugar together until creamy Mix in vanilla extract Add in flour and nuts (if using nuts) and mix until soft dough balls form Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon form 1” dough balls Place balls on ungreased baking sheet or one covered with parchment paper or silicone mat Bake for 9-10 minutes or until balls are set but before they turn brown Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes Place about 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl Roll each cookie in sugar then place on a cooling rack Cool completely then roll in sugar again Store cookies in airtight containers SNOWBALL COOKIES – – , ; – – Cakes & Pies – Cookies – Dessert – Cookies, Cakes & Pies – Desserts – Recipes SNOWBALL COOKIES Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Cookies, Dessert SNOWBALL COOKIES Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Cookies, Dessert Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPSDecember 23, 2019Ginger Snaps are a family favorite. These old fashioned Ginger Snaps are nothing like the boxed cookies you’ll find in many stores during the holidays. Those boxed cookies are crunchy and taste pretty much like store bought gingerbread. If you’ve never tried homemade old fashioned ginger snaps, then you’ve never truly had ginger snaps. These home made cookies sparkle with a dusting of sugar, they’re lightly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. And they’re oh so delicious! My Christmas baking wouldn’t be complete without these yummy Ginger Snaps. I usually make 3 batches; 2 for gifting and 1 for our cookie jar. Let me tell you, the cookie jar empties out pretty quickly! Here’s the recipe for Savvy Nana’s Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps. Be sure you make a couple of batches because I guarantee they’ll disappear in a blink of and eye! By the way they’ll fill the house with a wonderful Christmas aroma while they’re in the oven! Ingredients 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup vegetable shortening 1/2 tsp sea salt 2 tsp baking soda 1 large egg 1/3 cup unsulphered molasses 2 1/3 cup flour 2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground cinnamon Sugar topping – mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon together to make this topping Directions Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit Fit standing mixer with a paddle attachment Place sugar, shortening, salt, and baking soda into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy Add egg and mix until well blended Add molasses and mix until well blended In a separate bowl mix flour and spices together and add dry mixture to shortening mixture Blend well Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon make 1” dough balls. Drop each ball into sugar topping and roll in the mixture until well coated Place sugared ball on a parchment or silicone mat covered baking sheet about 1” apart Bake for 10 minutes Remove from oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes Using a spatula carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely Store in airtight containers SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS – – , ; – – Cakes & Pies – Cookies – Dessert – Cookies, Cakes & Pies – Desserts – Recipes SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Cookies, Dessert SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS Print Recipe CourseCakes & Pies, Cookies, Dessert Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more... Get Our Newsletter Success! First Name Last Name Email Subscribe Latest Posts Basic Marinara Sauce RecipeJanuary 16, 2020breakfast / Main Course / RecipesAre you a fan of hearty Italian cooking? Do you love pizza and pasta? Well we’re big fans of Italian cuisine and pizza and pasta are our favorites, specially those with marinara sauce! Sure we have our favorite Italian restaurants both here and abroad. But nothing beats home cooking! And a bowl of spaghetti is comfort food at its best. Pastas and pizza have 2 basic ingredients; dough in the form of noodles or crust, and sauce. So making it at home should be easy, specially since you can buy pasta, crust, and sauces dried, frozen, or bottled from any grocery store. But why settle for boxed sauces (or pasta or crust) when making it from scratch is so simple? Ok maybe making pizza dough is a bit time consuming and so is making pasta, but the sauces, well that’s pretty easy! (If you want to make homemade pasta check out my review of the Philips Pasta Machine). Marinara One of the easiest and most versatile sauces is Marinara Sauce. You can use it for pasta, think spaghetti marinara; pizza, think Margherita; sandwiches, think meatball subs; and as a dip, think fried mozzarella sticks! So today I’ll share my Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe. Believe me it’s super easy! I use canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes to give it that homemade taste. Sugar cuts the acidity of all those diced tomatoes so don’t leave it out even if you think it’s weird. And lastly I add some spice with crushed red peppers, yes, the the stuff you sprinkle on your pizza; you can add the tablespoon or more if you like spicy or omit it if you don’t. ===================================================================================================Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe – – Diced Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian Seasoning, Crushed Red Pepper (optional), sea salt, Sugar, bay leaves, , ; Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches ; Heat olive oil in large pot; Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter; Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well; Add puréed tomatoes; Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf; Let boil then turn down heat to low; Simmer sauce for about an hour; Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip; You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce; You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas! ; Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months. ; Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy! ; – – Breakfast – Pasta – breakfast – Main Course – Recipes Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe Print Recipe CourseBreakfast, Pasta Basic Marinara Sauce Recipe Print Recipe CourseBreakfast, Pasta Ingredients 1 Can 28oz. Diced Tomatoes 3 Cans 14.5oz. Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 2 Tbs. olive oil 3 Tbs. minced garlic 2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning 1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper (optional) 1 1/2 Tbs. sea salt 3 Tbs. Sugar 2 bay leaves Servings: Instructions Purée diced tomatoes in a blender, you will have to purée in 2 batches Heat olive oil in large pot Sautée garlic for about a minute, do not allow them to brown or even burn as it will make sauce bitter Add Italian seasoning and crushed pepper, mix well Add puréed tomatoes Stir in salt, sugar, and bay leaf Let boil then turn down heat to low Simmer sauce for about an hour Serve over pasta or use in pizza and sandwiches, or as a dip You can brown ground meat then add marinara sauce to make a meat sauce You can also use it in your favorite pasta dish like Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan and spread it on your lasagnas! Store in mason jars or sealed plastic containers in the refrigerator for about a week. Or store in freezer safe containers in your freezer for about 3 months. Whatever you use this Marinara Sauce for, enjoy! Share this Recipe Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe... Read more...Healthcare Is Becoming More HolisticJanuary 13, 2020Health & FitnessIn the past, medics tried to paint clear borders around their role in society. They were the people you went to for treatment when you got sick. You hoped that they would put you back together and allow you to continue living your regular life. With the changing nature of diseases, however, that old approach seems a little outdated. The conditions that most people have today are nothing like those of the past. In the 19th century, the biggest killer was tuberculosis and cholera. Today, its heart disease and stroke. The nature of the causes of these diseases has changed too. Nasty bugs were responsible for the majority of human illness in the past, cutting lives short wherever they struck. Today, though, it’s mainly lifestyle factors, like diet, which determine long-term health. Medics know that merely treating the problems is only half of the solution. If they want to be really effective, they need to prevent them too. Medicine is changing. It is becoming more holistic. As the following infographic shows, the focus is now much more on tackling the issues related to poor health, such as opiate addiction, housing insecurity, and social isolation. Public health professionals know that if they can address those issues, they can get one step ahead of disease and prevent people from making damaging lifestyle choices. If you’re interested in how public health in America is changing, check out the facts and figures in the infographic below. It shows just how much our medical system is adapting to the new knowledge we’ve gained about how health works. Infographic by University of Southern California... Read more...The Worries Of Parents With Poorly ChildrenJanuary 9, 2020Parenting TipsBeing a parent means you become many things. You become a nurse, a counsellor, a teacher, a financial advisor, a bank account. The list of things that parents become could go on and on. It’s one of the best jobs in the world, no matter how much it requires us to do. It allows us to have this unconditional love for a little human that we managed to grow inside of us. But there are definitely times where being a parent is everything that’s cracked up to be. By that we mean it’s tiring, stressful, lonely, and everything else I between. Although we know that we’re going to have that unconditional love, we’re also fully away of the struggles of being a parent before we sign up for it. One of the biggest ongoing struggles we think, is the worry a parent has for their child. You want them to grow up to be the best that they can possibly be and to have the best health possible. So when your child begins to get ill it’s easy to go into full panic mode. You think that the world is crashing down because they’re not this healthy perfect child anymore and the care of them is either totally in your hands which is stressful, or in the hands of doctors and nurses, which is even more stressful. So, we’re going to go through some of the worries a parent has when their child is poorly, and hopefully ease a few that you might have had. Dealing With The Small Issues There will be so many small issues that go wrong with children’s health. They’re going to go through years of having to build up some sort of immune system to be able to function like a normal adult who doesn’t get ill every time they go into a building. Because we can walk around every day and we’re not likely to get ill that often. All children have to do is go back to school after having a break for Christmas for example, and they’ll eventually end up with some sort of cold or sickness bug within a week or two. So throughout their life, you’re going to have to deal with runny noses, and vomiting in the early hours of the morning. To manage it, you simply have to do what you would do for yourself if you were ill. Make sure they’re drinking plenty of fluids, eating only when they can if they’ve had a sickness bug, and generally keeping them in bed until it passes. We don’t have sickness bugs really as adults, so it’s easy to forget how terrible they are. Trying to build up an immune system is also important. Kids can take daily vitamins that will help them to do so! Dealing With Their Fears Every kid is going to have fears when it comes to visiting at least one healthcare professional. For a lot of kids it’s the dentist, but there are bigger worries about what scary health professionals are going to do to them. For example, a lot of children have to make trips to the audiologist for pediatric hearing tests. Some children are either born with hearing problems, or might be developing them due to gromits, infections, and many other things. But children seem to be particularly funny about people trying to put things in their ears. To manage any sort of fear like this, you have to use distraction and bribery. Their fears are justified, because who does like having something put in their ears! So tell them to sit there and get on with it might not be that effective! Take a tablet with you for them to play on, and promise them something they’re going to love afterwards! Stays In Hospital Stays in hospital are hopefully not going to come around too often. A stay in hospital can be so traumatising for both you and your child. But the best thing that you can do is try to make it as fun as possible for them. Playing, watching films, whatever you can do it make it enjoyable so they don’t start associating the hospital with nasty things. The more you can get them to come to terms with a hospital helping and healing, rather than hurting, the easier it’ll be for them to engage as they get older. Some people go into their adult life not wanting to go to the doctors about anything because that’s how they’re grown up!... Read more...Getting Older Without Feeling Like A Boulder! Signs You’re Functioning At Your OptimumJanuary 8, 2020Health & Fitness / Parenting TipsWe all know that getting older means looking after our minds and bodies that bit more. We need to have a bit more care and attention with regard to what we are putting into our bodies and how much exercise we are doing. But while we need to achieve optimum health we don’t necessarily know what this consists of. As we get older, we want to be functioning at an optimum level for the sake of our loved ones, but what does this mean and how can we check that we are? Your Senses Are As Good As They Can Be Fixing your senses is easier than ever with glasses and hearing aids. But it’s important that as we get older that we don’t shy away from getting a hearing test or having our eyes checked regularly. As we get older we need to have our wits about us more, especially if we’ve got grandchildren that we need to chase after! Ensuring that our sights, sounds, and smells are all functioning at their best will make everything else that much easier. You Have A Stable Weight We all know that we need to exercise, but while we may not necessarily have the opportunity to go running around or hitting the gym as much as we’d like, if we know that we have a stable weight for our height and build we can rest easy. If your weight fluctuates, there could be something wrong with your hormones or inflammation levels. Inflammation is one of the main buzzwords with regards to a healthy lifestyle now. Minimizing inflammation is something that you can do through various means. You Sleep Well Sleep is a big problem now partly because we don’t eat the right things to encourage us to sleep but we also feel that we’ve got to burn the candle at both ends in order to keep abreast of significant changes in life. But we need to prioritize our sleep. There are so many people that feel a sense of pride in waking up before everyone else and going to sleep later. But this will cause various health issues and could lead to very serious conditions later in life. It is important to make sleep a priority if you don’t already. You Know How To Tackle Stress Stress is one of the most common problems we hear about in the modern-day. Tackling stress is partly to do with the right tactics but it’s also about making sure that we have our perceptions of life in check. As we get older we can start to stress about our mortality and we could start to retreat into our shell, especially if we hear stories about people that we grew up with passing away. But with regards to getting older and realizing that stress is something that we need to treat as importantly as our health we can age healthier and happier. Tackling stress is partly to do with our individual stress triggers but it’s also about making sure that our general health is in check. Feeling stressed could very well be your body’s reaction to inflammation. You Detoxify Detoxifying is not just about making sure we sweat on a regular basis but it’s also about understanding that there are so many things in the modern world that aren’t necessarily good for our minds and bodies. As we get older and we start to see the gap between the older generations and young, especially with regards to social media, we could feel that we need to catch up. But the big problem in doing this is that we are exposing ourselves to things that we may not feel prepared for. Overstimulation is a very big problem, not just in older people, but in the youth of today. This is something that can cause a lot of stress so we have to think about detoxifying our minds and bodies in the right way. Some people undergo things like a social media detox, whereas others start to become more aware of mindfulness so they are able to listen to their bodies. Ensuring that we are functioning at an optimum level is crucial as we get older but it’s also something that we can pass on to younger generations. It’s so easy for us to think that when we were young we were invincible but now the generations after us are born with a deficit in terms of energy and health. Partly this is due to diet but it’s also due to the modern stresses that we just didn’t have all those years ago.... Read more...Simple Steps To A Wheelchair-Friendly HomeJanuary 2, 2020House Hold TipsAs we get on in life, we sometimes have to face the fact that we may need the help of a wheelchair to get around. While it can feel like an interruption in independence, it doesn’t have to be. Many public places today are friendly to those with wheelchairs, with accessibility being easier than ever before in a lot of places. However, the one place that never seems to be wheelchair-friendly is your house. If you are new to using a wheelchair, then the likelihood is that your house will need to be adapted to suit your new wheels. It’s one of the essential things to do to make life as easy and comfortable as possible. So, if you are dealing with physical limitations and you want to make improvements to your home to be more accessible, take a look at some of our tips below. Move Things Around. The best place to start is with your furniture. Move things around to accommodate the size and shape of your wheelchair. You may have negotiated tight spaces when walking, but it’s a little different when you’re in a chair. Make the gaps between furniture bigger to fit the chair and adapt what furniture you have in each room to suit. Make Entrances Accessible You need to ensure that your entrance to the house and your back door are lined with a handicap ramp to get you in and out of the house safely. You want to avoid using any steps if possible, otherwise you’re going to struggle to get in and out! It shouldn’t be hard to get in and out, and you can give yourself much-needed independence when you add ramps. Aim For Low Shelves When you’re sitting in a chair, you don’t want to have to try and act dangerously by reaching up too high and falling over. So, start adding your most important items to lower shelves for ease. Independence is gained when you don’t have to ask for help, so don’t be afraid to adjust as you need for your benefit. Add A Stairlift If you have an upper level of your house, then think about adding a stairlift to get you to bed every night. You may not be in a position to move house or move your bedroom downstairs, so this is the next best thing for you. Widen The Doors You may not be able to adapt every house you go into, but you can adapt your own house. You can have builders come in and widen the doors for you so that you are able to get in and out comfortably. By widening the doors, you can get in and out whenever you need to without worrying about crashing and damaging the wood. You might feel frustrated in the very beginning when you first get into a chair, but you can increase your independence and feel more secure when you get some practice. It isn’t easy to get around in a wheelchair as it is, but you can make it so.... Read more... Shop Fun.com for Back to School supplies!