Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

I know that I only started this blog back in August, but I thought that I would take this time to review some of my posts!
I have shared some recipes that I have come across online.
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I don’t at all claim to be a good cook or baker, but I do enjoy trying new recipes. I find that this is a great place to share the ones that I love and give a shout-out to some of my favorite bloggers!
These recipes can all be found under the “My Favorite Recipes” tab at the top of the home page. Watch for many more to be added in the New Year. I try at least 1-2 new recipes every week! What can I say…I get bored easily!
I also have shared ways that I help our family to save money. Remember this shopping trip:
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I have saved *so much* money on paper towels alone since I started using cloth towels in this post.
My favorite way that I have saved money for my family this year has been my switch to Shaklee cleaning products!
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Check out the Cost-comparison chart in the “Save $$$” tab at the top of the home page to see the numbers!
Basic H2 is my favorite product and it is super-concentrated (and super-powerful) so it lasts a long time!
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You can check out my post, “Let’s Talk MONEY”, to read more about these safe, effective, and money-saving products.
During the last few months, I also discussed some topics that I feel are important in order to keep our families safe and healthy. This issue has become more important to me this year as I have become educated on some of the dangers that are present in our everyday lives.
In my posts, “Is your home toxic?” and “Clean: Re-evaluated”, I discussed some of the toxic chemicals that are present in the products that most of us use every day! I shared some very “eye-opening” facts!
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These facts are what prompted me to switch to the Shaklee cleaning products! You can see some of the awesome results that I have had using these products here, here, and here.
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Now that we are entering into a New Year, it is a great time to set some goals for you and your families! Creating a healthy home is a great one to have at the top of your list! Shaklee makes that goal very attainable in many different aspects of your life. Not only do they have safe and effective cleaning products, but they also have great products to help you maintain a healthy weight!
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I haven’t mentioned the Cinch products in any of my posts this last year, but watch for some great information coming in the New Year! Contact me if you would like some specific information on the results that you can expect from the Cinch plan! I have some great resources through people who have seen great results!
Everyone in my household now takes the Shaklee vitamins too! I gave some great information in my post, “Preparing for Flu Season”, about why I think the Shaklee vitamins are the best choice for my family. Shaklee has been around for over 50 years and has definitely stood the test of time with their products…”Naturally Safe, Proven Effective!”
The start of a New Year is a great time to step back and evaluate the choices that you make for you and your family. Take some time to read over these posts and please contact me if you have any questions!
Today is the last day to take advantage of Shaklee’s FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP offer! Don’t miss out on this chance to save 15% on all your future Shaklee products…for life! You will never have to pay a renewal fee! Shaklee makes it easy to create a safe and healthy home for you and your family!
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If you have already taken advantage of this offer, THANK YOU! Please let me know what you think about your products. I love to hear (and see pictures) about the results that you are experiencing!
I am going to be taking some time at the start of the New Year to focus on simplifying my life and my home. You can follow along with me on this “adventure” too!
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Grab a button from my sidebar too!
If you haven’t already, take some time today to think about your goals for the New Year…and consider making your home safe and healthy for you and your family!

Linking up to:
Sassy Sites: Free For all Friday

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where can you find good Salsa Verde in Virginia?

The answer to this is…..you have to make it yourself! We are originally from Arizona so we are a little “spoiled” when it comes to finding good Mexican food and salsa! We have been disappointed by almost every Mexican restaurant that we have tried locally and have been very disappointed by the selection of salsas in the local grocery stores.

At this point, I would like to give a shout out to Pelon’s Baja Grill at the Oceanfront. It is the one place that we have tried that we have loved!! The family that runs it is originally from Southern California so their Baja style Mexican food is right up our alley! If you live locally, you definitely need to check it out!
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We quickly realized that if we wanted good Mexican food, we would have to make it ourselves. At first, we would make our own Mexican food dishes and then suffer through the jars of store-bought salsa, but I soon discovered that it was worth the extra effort to make my own salsa.

Here is the recipe that I have been using for Restaurant Style Salsa. I have been following The Pioneer Woman via her blog for a few years now. I have loved everything of hers that I have made. This salsa is just the way I like it!
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Here is the Salsa Verde recipe that I have been using. I watched this episode on the Food Network one day and decided to try the recipe for the salsa. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t consider Paula Deen much of an authority on good Mexican food…..at all really. I don’t really think the recipe for the fish fajitas looks that great, but the salsa is just what I was looking for. It definitely doesn’t have as much heat as some of you may like, but you can always add a little bit of heat if you want.

You have to start with some tomatillos…
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These tomatillos definitely weren’t the best that I have found, but it was all that was left at my grocery store. I literally only left 2 tomatillos at the store and that was only because they weren’t that great either!
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This is what they should look like after you broil them:
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I usually leave them in a little longer, but I was impatient this time!
Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor (we just received a food processor for Christmas so I am looking forward to putting it to use for some salsa!). Don’t forget the cilantro….it is a key ingredient in this recipe….yum!
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Blend to desired texture…
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…and enjoy on your favorite Mexican dish…..or just with chips!
I like it best when the tomatillos are still warm when I add them and the salsa comes out steaming. Delicious!!
I’m sure there are better recipes out there, but this one works for me!

 Don't forget....there are only 4 days left to get a FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP with Shaklee. Read more about it here.
I am linking up with:
Beauty and Bedlam

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

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I don’t know about you, but I love a snack with a salty-sweet combination! These Chocolate Pretzel Bites are one of my favorite snacks to bring to parties and other functions…..and I never have any to bring back home with me because everyone devours them!

Someone brought these to a playgroup cookie swap that I attended 3-4 years ago and I have been making them ever since then. They are super easy to make too!

You just need small pretzels (either round or square), Hershey kisses, and M&M’s. These are the pretzels that I use:
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Preheat your oven to 170 degrees F.

Place pretzels on a baking sheet and put 1 Hershey kiss on each pretzel:
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I put mine in the oven for about 7 minutes, but cooking times may vary from oven to oven.

Next, place 1 M&M on each Hershey kiss and push it down into the chocolate. If you find that the Hershey kiss isn’t melted all the way when you put the M&M on it, just put them in the oven for a little longer and then try again.

This is what it will look like:
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I usually wait until the pan has cooled and then stick the whole thing in the fridge to set the chocolate because I am not patient enough! Ha!
 
These treats are very versatile too! Last year, I made some with Rolo’s and pecan halves to make a chocolate turtle candy. Yum!

In the past, I have used specific colors of M&M’s for baby showers and birthday parties as well as team colors for a super bowl party!

One of my friends used Sponge Bob graham crackers (because they are small), kisses, and marshmallows for a S’mores bite! So fun!

Don't forget that Shaklee is offering a FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP through December 31st. Don't miss out on this great offer. Go to my post here to get more info! 



Making



Sumo Sweet Stuff

Keeping It Simple






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handmade projects





Linking up to Gypsy's Corner here



 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Beauty and Bedlam

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The night the clam chowder exploded…

Last night, I was making clam chowder and this happened……

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I looked away for a few minutes after I put the lid on and it just bubbled right over!!

After just a couple of minutes of scrubbing with some Scour Off…..

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the shine had returned to my stovetop….

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Not only was I able to clean up the mess with something that is non-toxic, but it contains cherry pits so it smelled like cherries as I was cleaning!

The trick to using Scour Off is to make sure that you use plenty of water!

Don’t forget about the FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP that is being offered until December 31st. You have less than 2 weeks to take advantage of this great offer!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let the holiday baking commence!

I am so excited to finally get a chance to start my holiday baking! I look forward to this every year! I usually make a point to try a couple of new recipes in addition to the regular Christmas cookies that I make every year.
This year, I decided to try out these yummy cookies:
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I am not a huge peppermint fan, but these still looked delicious to me!
First, I picked up some of these:
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Then, I followed the recipe here at RecipeGirl.com.
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During all of this, I had a little helper who was as excited as I was to make Christmas cookies!
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What are your favorite Christmas cookies to make?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

JOIN FREE THROUGH DEC 31ST!!!

 
Great news! Shaklee has decided to extend their offer for a free membership through Dec. 31st. See my post here for information on how to receive a free membership!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giveaway over at The Coupon Consultant

Someone I met a couple of years ago, introduced me to Lori’s blog, A Coupon Consultant.

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She told me that she was going to be taking some coupon classes from Lori. At this point, I had just become aware of “couponing” as a verb and the fact that I could get some of my groceries for free (or even have the store pay me to buy their products….shhh!)  I have been following her blog ever since! I love that she is local to me, but she lists deals that are taking place all around the country!

She does weekly coupon match-ups with the grocery store sale items to help you save! For instance, if I am heading to Farm Fresh, her blog is the one that I have bookmarked to check! She shows you what coupons are available to match up with the sale and the final price that the item will be after coupons.

If you are new to couponing or have been considering trying it out, I highly recommend taking a coupon class. It is the best way to learn all of the store policies and general coupon guidelines to help you save your family money on items you were already planning on buying!

Lori also has a savings segment on The Hampton Roads Show during which she shares the week’s best deals and other savings advice. She then posts the deals on her blog.

Lori is celebrating her birthday week this week by holding some giveaways!

Happy Birthday Lori!!!

Head over to Lori’s blog to check out everything that she has to offer!

Lori and I have teamed up to provide a giveaway of 10 samples of Basic H2. Each sample will make 2 full size 16 ounce bottles of cleaner (all-purpose and window)!! You can see some of the results that I have seen using Basic H2 over here.

Hurry over to Lori’s blog to enter because this giveaway end Saturday, November 6th at 12 noon!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shaklee’s November Special Offer

Update: This offer has been extended until December 31st!! Don't miss this great opportunity!!

Shaklee has a great deal this month that you definitely don’t want to miss! Run…don’t walk…to my shop to take advantage of this month’s special offer!
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What a great deal!! Once you become a member of Shaklee, you will receive 15% off of all future Shaklee products…..for life!! You will never have to pay a renewal fee….ever! There aren’t that many memberships out there that can make that claim! You will also be eligible for special “member-only” offers throughout the year!

The process is easy! Just add $70 (member pricing) worth of product to your cart in my shop. The little memo at the top will indicate when you have reached the $70 level and when you are eligible for the free membership. Then, just follow the directions to complete your membership and the $19.95 fee will automatically be waived! It’s as easy as that!

What can you get with $70? How about the Get Clean Starter Kit? What a great way to begin using Shaklee products! You can also just choose the products and accessories that you really want until you reach $70 and then you will be a member for life! Contact me and I can recommend some of my favorite products!
Shaklee products make great gifts for the Holidays, housewarming parties, and hostess gifts for the many Holiday parties that you will be attending soon.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! This offer ends November 30th!!

My New Favorite Cookie!

I love trying new recipes…..especially new baking recipes! My husband is the experimental chef culinary genius in our household, but he doesn’t enjoy baking. Baking is my realm! Probably 75% of the new recipes I try are from blogs that I follow. I mean, seriously, there is no shortage of baking inspiration in the “blog world!” I have so many recipes bookmarked to try and I am constantly adding to that list!

When I came across this one, I knew I had to try it right away! If you determine the nutritional content of these cookies, please don’t tell me…I don’t want to know!!

Now…. let me introduce you to Homemade Oreos…..

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Not only do these cookies taste great (room temperature and frozen), but they are super simple to make! I am sure that someone somewhere has come up with a way to make these from scratch rather than by using a box mix, but why mess with perfection, right?

Don’t you want to just go make your own right now?? Head over to Pen n’ Paperflowers for the recipe and some tasty-looking photos!!

Homemade Oreos Recipe

Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share? Post it in the comments!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Giveaway over at Hip2Save!

If you are coming over from Hip2Save…Welcome! You are one step closer to creating a healthy home for you and your family! Send me an e-mail at….. healthy-solutions {at} hotmail {dot} com …..to find out how I can help you save even more money before placing your order!

Get_Clean_StarterKit_lo_rez What if I told you that you could remove the toxic cleaning products from your home and still be able to clean it effectively with Shaklee’s cleaning products? Would you be interested? How about if I told you that you could actually save money by using them? Using Basic H2 is even more affordable than using vinegar and other “homemade” cleaning products! Check out my “money-saving” post here.

I have never been impressed with the other “green” cleaners out there. I tried them out simply because I was able to get them very cheap or free…probably using Hip2Save to get the deals! So….I was a little skeptical when I decided to try the Shaklee cleaning products, but I was blown away by how great they worked! They have actually be shown in studies to work better than some well-known cleaning products available today!

For instance, many of the dishwashing detergent companies are switching their formulas over to be phosphate-free without letting the consumers know. Pretty soon, you may notice that the dishwashing detergent that worked great for years does not perform as well as it used to. Shaklee’s dishwashing detergent has always been phosphate-free…..and it actually works. I don’t have to pre-rinse my dishes or use a rinse agent and they come out spotless!!

banner_GetCleanKitchen Check out some of my results:

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It even works great for removing crayon, permanent marker, and other “stains” around the house. I had given up hope on getting these marks out until I used Basic H2: (first: Sharpie; second: dry-erase marker)

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I’m so excited to be having a giveaway over at Collin’s blog, Hip2Save!! I have been following this blog for over 2 years now and have saved so much money by taking advantage of the deals that she has posted.

hip2save If I don’t have time to read all of the blogs that I normally read (which is almost all of the time), then her blog is the first one that I go to if I am headed to the store. I can quickly navigate to the info for the store that I am going to be visiting to see the latest deals that are available there! This is where I got the information to save over $56 at Rite Aid last month.

So…head over to Hip2Save to enter the giveaway (Hurry…this giveaway ends Monday, October 25th, at 6PM EST) and then check out some of the awesome deals that she has posted about. Become a follower of her blog to stay updated! You can even follow her on Facebook too!