Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our Most Recent Gardening Adventures!

Gardening is a hobby that my husband and I started when we first bought our home almost 5 years ago. There are many reasons why we initially started this hobby!

For starters, gardening provides a way to cut down costs at the grocery store! This is why we try to keep it going year-round with fall/winter crops, and spring/summer crops. Additionally, it's nice to know what's used (and what isn't) in the process of growing our food!







So what's currently growing in our garden? Well, we've got as follows below:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Radishes



We had black eyed peas as well, but the frost got those a few weeks ago... We also had accidental cantaloupe (no joke) that started growing from our compost pile, but I'm pretty sure the frost squashed those out too!

I'm very happy with the last two weeks though because we got our first pickings for broccoli and cauliflower! 

 We used the broccoli to make a chicken broccoli cheese & rice bake in the oven, and it was delicious!











We haven't used the cauliflower yet, being as it was just picked today, but I'm actively browsing Pinterest for ideas! Probably the BEST part about gardening is the reward you get in the end, and being able to create anything you want with it!

If you have a garden of your own, what do you like to grow in yours!?




Sunday, December 18, 2016

#MakeItYours Christmas Cookies!



This post is sponsored by Country Crock, who sent me a coupon to get a tub of Country Crock free, in exchange for creating my own "Make It Yours" recipe. I love creating things in my kitchen, so I was really super excited about this!

Country Crock's "Make it Yours" recipe is as follows below!


Ingredients:

1 Cup Country Crock
1 to 2 Cups of your choice of mix-ins
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, Country Crock, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in large bowl until well mixed.




Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until blended (dough will be soft and creamy).

Add mix-ins (such as chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts, dried fruit, etc.) into the dough until every spoonful of dough has some of the delicious mix-ins.

I personally used semi-sweet morsels, and white chocolate morsels for mine!

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets 3 inches apart. 


Even though it says to drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, I decided to get creative, in the spirit of "Make it Yours," and the spirit of Christmas!

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool 1 minute on wire rack. Remove from rack and allow to cool completely. 


Our cookies came out big and puffy, and CHRISTMAS-Y!!!


If you're using Country Crock's Make it Yours recipe, how do YOU plan on making it yours? I'd love to know!








Saturday, December 3, 2016

Homemade Orange Jelly (My Happy Week of Canning)

I've been very busy in my kitchen since last weekend!! To give a little background info, I absolutely LOVE orange jelly! I'd found a recipe a little over a year ago that I tried, and was very pleased with the results...I actually almost cried when I used up my last jar of jelly!

Never Fear....ORANGES are Here!!!!!



One of my husband's friends has orange and lemon trees on his property. It came up in conversation one day that I'd made orange jelly last year. Well, on Thanksgiving morning, he brought a big basket full of oranges to our house! 

I immediately hopped on over to Farm Girl Tails, which is where I'd originally found the recipe that follows below.

Ingredients:

3 and 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice (I personally use my Hamilton Juicer)
1 box of pectin (1 and 3/4 oz.)
5 cups of sugar
  1. Juice the oranges (around 8-10 medium to large oranges)
  2. Pour the juice into a large pot, and then add the pectin and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the remaining sugar. Return to a rolling boil again, stirring constantly for 1 minute (I usually do mine for between 3-5 minutes).
  3. Ladle the jelly into sterilized jars. Clean the rims, and place the sterilized lids on the jars, followed by the rings.
  4. Process the cans in boiling water for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove the jelly from the boiling water and let it set on a towel or wire rack for 24 hours to allow the jelly to set.
Below are pictures of the finished product from round 1 of my canning this week!


 

I ended up with 18 jars total from the oranges that were brought to us!!


A few days later, we were brought MORE oranges!!


I got a good 20 jars out of the 2nd batch of oranges! Not all of them are pictured, however, being as we've given some away to different friends and family.

The basket pictured above was only HALF oranges. The bottom half of the basket was filled with lemons. I've found a few recipes for THOSE that I'm super excited about, and hope to be able to share some canning adventures for those very soon!







Sunday, November 6, 2016

Awesome Deals At Crazy8!!

So, being a mom of 3 kids, I'm really excited about the sale going on at Crazy8 right now!! Be sure to click the link below so you don't miss out!



Crazy 8 Sale On Now!


Some of the deals include: 
  • 30 % off Outerwear
  • 25 % off Accessories
  • $15 Dresses
  • $6 Deals
  • $8 Deals
  • $10 Deals
Additionally, there's a code for 20% off your entire order when you use code "EXTRASPECIAL" and free shipping when you use VISA Checkout!




***This post contains affiliate links***

Houston Chronicle Smart Source Coupons - 11/6/16

Houston Chronicle Red Plum Coupons (3 Inserts) - 11/6/16

Friday, September 23, 2016

If You Were Me And Lived In... Elizabethan England (A book review)

So I'm pretty excited about today's review! My daughter loves reading, so I'm always looking for new books for her to read. This book is one that she not only loved, but it's one that she was able to LEARN from, also.

In this book, the narrator describes to the reader all of the differences between life in England today, and life in Elizabethan England.

The book isn't too short, but it isn't too long either. It's just the right length to keep a child's attention. My 8 year old loved this book! She really loved learning about what life was like in Elizabethan England, and she loved being able to see the illustrations that painted a clearer picture for her.

Additionally, in the back of the book, there is a glossary of terms used during that time period along with definitions for them. There's also a list of some of the most famous people of the time period, along with their portraits (My daughter loved this part, too!)

If you're interested in getting a copy of this book for your kids, you can find it on Amazon.

Also, there are many other books in the series! Other books that you can find in this series are listed below.

If You Were Me And Lived In...
  • Ancient China
  • Ancient Greece
  • American West
  • Colonial America
  • Middle Ages
  • Mali Empire
  • Renaissance Italy
  • Viking Europe

The books listed above are for civilizations throughout history, however, there are also books to educate kids about the world as it is TODAY, which are listed below.

If You Were Me And Lived In...
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
I really do love the concept behind these series of books! My daughter has started on "If You Were Me And Lived In... Renaissance Italy," And I'm certain that I'll be buying more books in the series to stick under the Christmas tree for her this year! 

I did receive a copy of this book for free, however, all opinions stated in this post are genuinely my own! 



Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Review on Bino The Elephant #BuddyPlush

My youngest daughter absolutely LOVES animals, so stuffed animals are something we're always investing in for her. I received this Bino the Elephant for free in exchange for my review, and all opinions are genuinely my own!

Bino is a soft and shiny elephant that's perfect for little hands! My daughter has been obsessed with this since we gave it to her. It's not too big, but not too small either, which I love.

Bino is a Plush Buddy that stands out from the average stuffed animal. It's not just ANY stuffed animal. You see, Bino comes with his own unique story, which you can find here.









What I love about the stories attached to each plush buddy is that they benefit more than just my youngest daughter. I love that I can sit ALL of my daughters down to read Bino's story to them, and that they are each able to learn a valuable lesson from it! It definitely gives a unique aspect to plush animals. I love knowing that this is more than just the average toy. As a mother, I'm always looking to teach my children life's lessons, and this makes it easy to do that!

If you're looking for just the right toy that has real valuable lessons attached, you can find Bino on Amazon.

(As a side note, I think these would make great gifts for little ones during the upcoming holiday season!)

Houston Chronicle Smart Source Coupons - 9/18/16