Wednesday

Care Package, Gift Ideas

Are you looking for a unique gift idea to show someone that you care?  Spoonful of Comfort offers care packages for all occasions.  They offer a wide variety of care packages, everything from thinking of you, get well, sympathy, college care packages, new baby to corporate gift packages; all at an affordable price. 

There is a story behind Spoonful of Comfort. It started back in 2007 when Marti’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and she couldn't be there for her mom so she decided to send her mom some Chicken Soup, just as her mom would do for her. Sadly, Marti lost her mom 6 weeks after she was diagnosed. Marti is now selling her soup in hopes to help others who are ill or could use that smile.  

Give a sweet squeeze-Who makes you happy when skies are gray?  Is there someone special in your life who has always been there for you?  Show them what they mean to you with their new You Are My Sunshine Package!  


The You Are My Sunshine Package includes- 


  • Gourmet Strawberry Lemonade 
  • Glass Mason Jars and Vintage Straws
  • 1/2 Dozen Lemon Zest Cookies
  • You Make Me Happy When Skies are Gray- Inspirational Sign
Spoonful of comfort has a kitchen full of great gift ideas to choose from that are sure to brighten someone's day!

Spoonful of Comfort is offering one lucky reader a FREE You Are My Sunshine Package.  (Giveaway will close August 14th, 2013 at 12:00 AM)



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New Year Resolution, Emergency Preparedness, Food storage


What are your New Year Resolutions?  Is emergency preparedness on your list?

Events that have taken place over this last year have had me thinking a lot about Emergency Preparedness.  Am I prepared if a disaster were to strike?  My goal for 2013 is to be able to answer "Yes, I am prepared".

Emergency Preparedness is just smart.  We've seen many natural disasters play out over recent years and it's easy to see that emergency preparedness is a personal matter.  We can't foresee the future but we can understand the areas we live in, think on the needs of our individual families, and make a plan to help us become more self reliant. 

We've partnered with PREPARE-TO-SURVIVE.COMhttp://www.prepare-to-survive.com/  to offer a giveaway.  

Prepare-to-survive.com is offering on lucky reader a FREE 2 Person Guardian Bucket Survival Kit  (a $99.99 value) just in time to start the new year off right.


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This kit includes:

Food and Water:
2 Boxes of Aqua Literz
2 - 2400 Calorie Food Bars (12,000 Calories)
10 Water Purification Tablets - each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communications:
Dynamo Radio Flashlight 4 in 1
36 Hour Emergency Candle
2 - 12 Hour Green Emergency Glow Sticks
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches

Shelter and Warmth:
2 Emergency Survival Blankets
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 Emergency Ponchos with Hood

Tools:
6' x 8' Blue Tarp
7-1/2" Flat Pry Bar
16 Function Knife
Leather Palm Work Gloves
Duct Tape - 2" x 10 yards
2 - N95 Respirator Dust Masks - NIOSH approved
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit

Hygiene and Sanitation:
Toilet Bags with Chemicals
2 Hygiene Kits
2 Pocket Tissue Packs
Air Freshener

First Aid:
Guardian 57 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit

Other:
Deck of playing cards for entertainment

Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations.

Being prepared helps you become more self reliant.  When you are self-reliant you will gain greater personal independence and confidence in your safety, as well as providing increased opportunity to serve and care for others in need.

Put Emergency Preparedness on your list of New Year's Resolutions!

(Giveaway will close on Jan 12th, 2013 at 12:00 AM)


homemade christmas gifts

If you are on a tight budget this Christmas or even just want to bring back the true spirit of Christmas away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, check out these  homemade christmas gift ideas.  A homemade gift can be the best kind of gift.  All the following ideas can be made with  just under $5.


I fell in love with these princess bags.  The bags were purchased from the dollar store.  All you need for these adorable bags is some tulle, some trimming and a hot glue gun.  Click here for instructions from A girl and a glue gun.



Running with scissors has this cute tutorial for Dinosaur tails; what a great idea for a handmade gift this year.  The Dinosaur tails can be made with just fabric, velcro and batting.  Click here for directions.


These towels are super easy!  What a great homemade christmas gift idea.  All you will need is a towel and some decorative ribbon.  Click here to check out the tutorial on our website.


Button rings are really fun to make for all age groups and would make a great homemade gift idea.  All you will need is wire, buttons and pliers. Click here to check out the great tutorial from the jewelry making journal. 



This tutu has an adjustable waist so that it can grow as the child grows; great idea for a homemade christmas gift.  The tutorial only requires tulle and ribbon; no sewing involved. Click here for instructions. 


What little boy is not in love with super heroes.  What a fantastic idea for a cheap homemade christmas gift that will be used for years.  Click here to check out the free tutorial from Vanilla Joy.

Sunday

Laundry detergent homemade

No Cook – No Grate Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

This laundry detergent is SUPER FAST to make, CHEAP and EFFECTIVE.  This stuff is pennies a load and it really works.  It mixes up so quickly and requires no cooking or grating like many other homemade laundry detergents.  It works great in all laundry washing machines.  Here’s your challenge……mix up a batch, give it a try and let us know what you think.  We’d love to hear your comments and tips on this one.  

 

3  Tbsp. Borax
3 Tbsp. Washing Soda
2 Tbsp. Gain Dishwashing Liquid Soap
6 C. Hot Water



In storage container of your choice (I use my old 50 oz. liquid laundry detergent bottles) add Borax, washing soda and liquid soap.  Using a funnel makes this quick and easy.  Add  6 C. hot water.  Shake gently to dissolve.  Use ½ C. per wash load.  How simple is that!


Friday

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

I saw this cookie recipe on pinterest and had to try it out.  The pinner claimed this recipe to be the best Snickerdoodle recipe out there.  I must agree- these cookies were so good!!  I loved the cookies chewy, moist consistency. Recipe originally posted from lovintheoven.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For rolling:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with
an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and
beat until smooth.

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and
cream of tartar.

3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.

4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees while you let the dough rest for
30  minutes in the refrigerator.

5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the
topping.

6. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a
ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press it
onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookies.

7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes and no more. The cookies
may seem undercooked, but will continue to develop after they are
removed from the oven. When the cookies have cooled they should be
soft and chewy in the middle.

Makes 16 to 18 cookies.

Recipe for pumpkin bread

The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever, Ever, Ever!
This pumpkin bread shouts fall comfort and is so moist and delicious.  It makes a large batch, 4 large loaves.  These loaves make a great gift but wrap it up quick or it will disappear before you get a chance.  A funny note, my neighbor came over after I gave him a loaf and said he would buy more.

Ingredients:
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree                     1 tbsp. baking soda
6 eggs                                                                     2 ¼ tsp. salt
¾ C. vegetable oil                                                 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ C. applesauce                                                   1 ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. water                                                              ¼ tsp. ground cloves
3 1/4 C. white sugar                                                ¼ tsp. ground ginger
5 ½ C. flour
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 4 large (8.5 X 4.5 inch) loaf pans.  
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce water and sugar until well blended. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. 
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.  
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and placing on cooling rack until cool.
TIPS:
*If tops start to brown before bread is done place aluminum foil over loaves as they finish baking.
*Don’t wrap until completely cool.

Tuesday

Fish Tacos Recipe


I found and slightly modified this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs Favfamilyrecipes.com.  In my opinion the sauce can either make or break a recipe.  The special white sauce is so yummy!

Ingredients:

6-7 Corn tortillas- wrap tortillas in damp, clean cloth and microwave for 40 sec.
8-10  Battered Fish Fillets-(I fried up boxed battered fish fillets; you could also bake or grilled fresh fish)
1 cup- Shredded Cabbage
Feta Cheese (to taste)
Pico de gallo (see below)
Special sauce (see below)

Special Sauce:

1/2 C. Mayo
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. Diced Jalapeno
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice

*  Mix all ingredients together

Pico De Gallo:

2- Tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp, Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Avocado, diced
2 Tbsp onion, diced
1 tsp Lime Juice
1/4 tsp garlic

dash of salt
dash of pepper


*  Mix all ingredients together


Directions:  

Cook your fish fillets how you desire, place a piece of fish in each tortilla shell, top with cabbage, pico, cheese and special sauce.  Serve along side spanish rice.

Thursday

Beautiful Fruit Centerpieces



Who says centerpieces always need to be made with flowers. Check out these beautiful fruit arrangements. I saw these on Pinterest (origin unknown) and fell in love with their simple elegance.

Friday

Pumpkin Pie Crunch Recipe


I love this recipe my sister-in-law shared with me.....it's a twist on the traditional pumpkin pie we all eat over the holidays. My husband is not a big fan of pumpkin pie but he loves this recipe!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg Boxed Cake Mix (white or yellow)
  • 1- 16 oz can of Pumpkin (2 cups)
  • 1- 12 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • Optional-1 Cup Chopped Pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9X13 pan.
  2. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin spice, and salt. Mix together.
  3. Pour mixture into bottom of the 9X13 pan.
  4. Sprinkle dry cake mix, pecans and butter over the top.
  5. You can prepare this early and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Bake 50-55 minutes.
  7. Cool slightly and serve with some vanilla ice cream...YUMMY!

Tuesday

Kiss to Keep Jewelry

I am so excited about the spotlight this week! I just discovered Kiss 2 Keep Jewelry on ETSY and fell in love with their jewelry. Kiss 2 Keep makes high quality leather and sterling silver bracelets, anklets, and necklaces.

My favorite item is the Wanderer leather bracelet. It is made with a brown leather strap with turquoise and tiger eye stones set in sterling silver. The strap wraps around your wrist to make a fantastic bracelet. It can also be worn as a necklace.
You can brand in a quote, initial or special date to make the bracelet even more special. Kiss 2 Keep carries bracelets for both men and women.
Check out their shop on ETSY click HERE!!

Saturday

Shoyu Chicken Recipe


This delicious recipe is a popular Hawaiian dish. This recipe can be adapted to cook over the stove top, in the oven, in a Crock-pot, or grilled on a barbeque (basted with the yummy marinade).

Ingredients:
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves, pressed
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch (Mixed with 2 tsp. water)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Vinegar
  • 5 lbs. Chicken thighs (bone-in) skin removed

Optional Ingredients:

* Green onions, chopped

*Red pepper flakes--to give it a little kick.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a leak-proof resealable plastic bag. Marinate for at least a few hours (I like to do it over night).
  2. Place chicken on the bottom of a pan and pour the marinade mixture over the top.
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 1/2-2 hours.
  4. Traditionally served over rice and side of macaroni salad.

Tuesday

Chicken Club Egg Rolls Recipe

We love going to California Pizza Kitchen to get their Chicken Club Egg Rolls appetizer...they are delicious! We decided to try and copy cat, and made up our own recipe. They turned out great!

Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken breast cooked and diced.
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 2 large avocados diced
  • 6 pieces of bacon crumbled
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 egg roll wrapper package (makes usually 24)
Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, put a large spoonful of mixture into the middle of the egg roll wrapper. Fold according to directions on the egg roll package. Fry in oil until browned on all sides.

Dipping sauce:
  • 1 pkg of Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch packet.
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
Directions:

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until serve.

Nail Wraps

I recently came across the cutest newest way to accessorize your fingers and toes. Say goodbye to scratched and chipped nail polish forever!! These super chic nail shields can be applied in as little as 15 minutes with no drying time required. One of my favorite things about these shields is that they can last up to 6-8 weeks on your toes.

Jamberry Nail Shields are a solid film covering that can be applied directly to the nail to acheive a look not found anywhere else. This special material is both pressure and heat activated to create a water tight bond to your nail. The film is finished with a high gloss protective layer that prevents your nail shield from chipping or scuffing.

Tip: Press and heat the nail shield at the base of your nail first. Then slowly stretch and press the shield over the rest of the nail while heating with a blow dryer. Once fitted to your nail just trim off the excess with some nail clippers or beauty scissors.

I picked the Alice Blue Polka nail shield to test out. I was really impressed, they were easy to apply myself and they lasted the entire 6 weeks before I removed them.

Right now is a great time to check out Jamberry Nails ....they are having a great deal buy 3 nail shields get 1 free and free shipping!

  • Jamberry Nails is offering 1 lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to use on their site.

Here's How to Enter: Make sure to follow the link to Jamberry Nails. Leave a comment on this post answering the following question: What is your favorite nail shield design?" You have until Tuesday July 26th to enter...good luck!

We want to spread the word about Get Together Ideas
....so if you refer someone to gettogetherideas.com and they enter the giveaway you will get an extra entry.

How to get an extra entry:
  • Refer a friend
  • Subscribe to Get Together Ideas
  • Tweet about the giveaway....make sure to link to your tweet in the email.
  • Sign up for the Jamberry Nail's newsletter (subscribe)
  • Follow Jamberry Nail's on Facebook.
Leave a separate comment for each extra entry!

Thursday

Sausage Meatball Soup Recipe

If you are a fan of sausage you will like this one!!!

Meatball Ingredients:
  • 1 lbs package of Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix together and form into small meatballs. Brown meatballs on skillet until cooked all the way through.

Soup ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. of tortellini
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 cans of chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  1. Saute the vegetables, add chicken broth and bring to boil.
  2. Once broth is boiling add meatballs and tortellini. Cook for about 8 minutes or until tortellini are cooked.
  3. Serve...top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday

Lemon-Lime Refigerator Sheet Cake

I am a huge fan of lemon anything...this cake is so good!

Ingredients:
  • 1 lemon cake mix
  • 3 oz. pkg. lime jello
  • 1- 8 oz carton of cool whip
  • 1-4 oz. instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cold milk
Directions:
  1. Mix and bake lemon cake mix according to package directions in a 9 X 13 pan. Dissolve jello in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water, set aside at room temperature. Cool cake 20-25 minutes. Poke deep holes through top of cake while still warm and still in pan with bottom of wooden spoon or with meat fork (space holes about 1 inch apart). With a cup, pour jello over cake and into holes. Refrigerate cake until cold and had set...best if you wait at least an hour before serving.
  2. Topping...mix together the milk and pudding until smooth, stir in the cool whip. Frost cake and ready to serve.
Cake must be stored in the refrigerator and served chilled.

Wednesday

Slow Cooker London Broil Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs steak of choice
  • 1 (10.75 ounce)can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75) can tomato soup
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • Dash of Salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cub beef bouillon.
Directions:
  • Place meat in the bottom of Crockpot.
  • Mix together ingredients and pour over the beef.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs.

Friday

Fried Ice Cream Recipe


What you will need:
  1. 1 quart of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
  2. 3 + cups of crushed corn flakes cereal
  3. 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  4. 1 cup Sugar
  5. 2 quarts oil for frying
Directions:
  • Scoop vanilla ice cream into 8--1/2 cup sized balls. Place the ice cream balls onto a cookie sheet and freeze 1 hr until firm (you can skip this step if your ice cream is alredy firm).
  • Combine cinnamon and sugar until mixed well. Remove the ice cream balls from the freezer and roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture...until the ice cream balls are completely coated.
  • After rolling the ice cream balls int the cinnamon and sugar mixture roll the balls into the crumbled cornflakes. Packing the cornflakes around the ball until it is completely covered. Put back in the freezer at least 1 hr.
  • Use tongs and quickly dip the ice cream balls into the hot oil and quickly remove them. (Make sure that the entire ice cream ball gets covered with oil).
  • Serve immediately.
Optional: Flour tortilla bowls.
  • Take a flour tortilla (we like to get the uncooked kind) and push the center down with a ladle spoon into your Fry Daddy (deep fryer) and hold it until it turns slightly brown. This will form it into a bowl shape.
  • Remove and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Serve the fried ice cream in the tortilla bowls and for the topping drizzle honey, whip cream and of course a cherry on top. Delicious!!

Thursday

Feather Hair Extensions

When I got my hair styled last my hair dresser Clint at Metropolitan Salon convinced me to try out the new trend, feather hair extensions. I have been so bored with my hair style but not ready to make any drastic changes. I love how Feather Hair Extensions are a fun way to add style and texture to your hair in a matter of minutes; but in a non-commitment kind of way.

The feather hair extensions are applied somewhat like real hair extensions. They are removable and reusable. You can treat the feather extensions just like your normal hair. Feather hair extensions can be brushed, straightened, blow dried, and even curled. You can get them done at most salons or you can buy the easy to do yourself kits, from Etsy or other sites online. One of my favorite sites is Zeezoes on ETSY.


Revolutionizing What We Eat



Want to add more healthy to your life? I love an enjoy good food! I am taking a stand and I am trying to serve my family only healthy nutritious food. I am trying to serve as much food from scratch and to stay away from easily prepared processed foods and sugars.

I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last week and I was astonished and quite frankly disgusted with what types of food's are kids are eating at school. Often times they are not even given one nutritious option. And if they are it is usually what ends up in the trash. I was quite oblivious to what my 2nd grader was eating in his school lunch. He told me the other day that he eats a corn dog just about everyday with a chocolate milk. Eeeww, gross! I can't even believe it that he has the option to eat this every day.


I came upon a blog called This Lunch Rox and just loved it so much I have to share. She is very passionate about revolutionizing food. She has simple great lunch recipes and fun ideas...healthy alternatives that our children can enjoy. She has motivated me to be better and more conscious about what I feed my kids.

What ways are you making your meals more nutritious?

Wednesday

Restaurant Style French Toast

These are the BEST French toast I have ever tasted! I don't think you can be disappointed with this recipe.

Ingredients:
  • Loaf of french bread or Texas toast
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
*Optional: 1 tsp. Orange zest

Serving size 6

Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients together....(you can throw all ingredients into the blender to make sure you don't have any lumps).
  2. Cut your French bread about 1 inch thick or desired thickness.
  3. Dip both sides into the batter.
  4. Cook on a griddle on medium until both sides are slightly browned.
  5. Serve with butter, peanut butter, your favorite syrup.