No-bake Homemade Almond Joys!!

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Christmas season. Coconut. Chocolate. Nuts. These are synonymous to my tastebuds, if Christmas had a taste, that is. I found myself craving homemade almond joys and realized I had all the ingredients laying around in the kitchen so I decided to whip up a batch…Last night….
…They are already all gone. 😳
They were so good. 😋
It was so spontaneous, though, I forgot to take pictures of the making process, so you’ll just have to go by description. But I was able to get a few pictures of some of the last remaining little goodies. I hope you can enjoy these and enjoy them even more knowing that they are virtually healthy. Without any processed junk in them you can eat them guilt free! Happy non-baking!!

Ingredients:
-1 bag coconut flakes- 14oz?? (I had sweetened ones, use unsweetened to boost the health factor and cut sugar)
-3/4 cup Coconut oil
-1/4 cup Honey
-3/4 cup Raw Almonds
-Bag chocolate chips for dipping (depending how many balls you may need a little more than one bag)
-1 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:
1. Mix the flakes, coconut oil, honey and almonds in a bowl. (Note: if too wet, add more flakes. Too dry? Add a little more honey or oil. Honey will make it sweeter.)
2. Squeeze the mixture into small balls in your hands and set on a wax lined pan. Be sure you get at least one almond in each ball!
3. Set pan in freezer for ten minutes to let the oil/balls harden. This makes for successful dipping.
4. Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for 20 seconds. Stir. Heat 15 more seconds if needed. Stir well. To keep it softer longer, add a tablespoon of canola oil. (Don’t use water!!! It freaks out the chocolate).
5. Dip the balls in the chocolate by letting them swim 3 or 4 at a time, roll them in it, lift out w a fork back to the lined pan.
6. Once finished, let them sit till they setup, which only takes a few minutes. Then, enjoy!!

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Cake-on-your-face mask!!

So really, who doesn’t need an awesome facial mask recipe that they can make w stuff from their kitchen cabinet, and it make their skin look fabulous?! I call mine, “cake-on-your-face” mask. It’s easy, and leaves your skin so glowy, and totally adaptable. Most of these ingredients are in some or many ways: anti fungal, anti microbial, anti viral, anti inflammatory, soothing, and toning.Take your pick! If used at night, add a little lemon juice for pore shrinking!! Leave it on as long as you like, I’ve done 20 min and 3 hours. Now go whip it up and enjoy!! Your face will thank you. 😘. You’re welcome!!

Recipe:
– A spoonful of coconut oil
– Equal parts of each from your spice cabinet :
1. Cocoa powder
2. Cinnamon
3. Baking soda
4. Ginger
5. Cloves
6. Nutmeg
7. Honey
8. Lemon juice (at night only. Can make skin more sensitive to sun if outdoors immediately after)
-Mix into a nice paste
-Apply to warm dampened face
-Allow to sit for 15-?? Minutes. Watch a movie! Or if you’re busy and must multi task, curl your hair!!
-To rinse: just wet your hands and dampen face to loosen it, then gently exfoliate, massaging face w fingertips in circular motions.
-Rinse clean, pat dry, and quickly follow with a hydrating layer of coconut oil to moisturize!!

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Sharpie marker remover

It was one of those mornings, I was doing dishes and my toddler was quiet in the living room w the TV on. I felt a nudge to go check on him but put it off just long enough to find him creating a masterpiece with a sharpie on my laptop. Ahhhhhh!!!!! I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed desperately for a solution, and was reminded of my 91% rubbing alcohol I just bought, so I used that with a towel, and it worked!! No damage from moisture bc the alcohol evaporates so fast. Praise the living lord!! My laptop was recovered!!

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The Great Masterpiece

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The Christmas Miracle

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The tools of my demise (marker) and my Salvation!

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The Guilty

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Not wanting his guilt to be captured on camera.

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Evidence that he really is a perfect child. 🙂

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The chocolate I bribed him with to smile in the last photo, and the incriminating evidence on his hands of his crime. 🙂

Make-it Monday summer fun w the kids

After a summer of chaos and stress last year, I decided this summer would be different but I had no idea how!! With four little ones between one and seven, honestly, I was quietly dreading the chaos of summer, until I came across this woman’s BRILLIANT plan! I adapted it for our family of course, and so far it’s been great!! Here is the basic gist:

Every day, MORNING consists of a similar routine including doing things that accomplish these four goals:

1. keeping our BODIES healthy through exercise, riding bikes, taking walks, go to the gym, etc.
2. Keeping our MINDS healthy through reading books, both together and individually, and utilizing the library summer reading program. We also do Spanish lesson games and other learning games.
3. Keeping our SPIRITS healthy thru scripture memory (our goal is to have prov 3 done this summer) and devotion time.
4. And keeping our HOUSE CLEAN. The boys are perfecting and learning new chores and old chores. They can do a lot at their ages!

After these four priorities are accomplished for the day, we will eat lunch and tackle that day’s themed activity. I spent a couple weeks on Pinterest scouring my boards and sorting ideas into the five categories that the weekdays break into:

1. Make it Monday– making, creating, cooking, crafting, DIYing. Make stuff! Try to make it a learning experience.
2. Trip-it Tuesday– go somewhere! Anywhere! Library, park, fire station, etc. learn something in a new setting!
3. Get Wet Wednesday: water games, pool time, anything wet-fun!!!
4. Think it through Thursday- this will be a day for neat science experiments, doing research on interesting subjects, learning Spanish, or working on their age appropriate life skills. This chart I just linked there is soooooooo helpful!! Save it!!!
5. Fun day Friday!!! Whatever fun thing we want to/planned to do together that day.

Ok, now that you have the outline, I’m going to post as often as possible this summer to let you know how our plan is working and so you can keep up with different summer ideas we may try.

Last week Friday fun day was their first summer day, and we went to cousin Elijah’s house to swim, eat pizza and homemade icecream. They had a blast!

TODAY WAS MAKE IT MONDAY!!

I found a air popper popcorn machine at Ross for $7.99 and snatched it up!! We celebrated make it Monday with homemade kettle popcorn, and we snuggled up on the living room floor with pillows and blankets to settle in and watch an hour of Curious George. Here are the pictures from our Monday.

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Fun twist on crispy treats

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During spring break I wanted to make a fun little snack for the kids, and I am always a sucker for rice crispy treats. However I did not have any rice crispies, only multigrain Cheerios. So I decided to try it with those. Here’s the recipe:

-3 Tbs butter
– 4 cups (give or take) multigrain Cheerios
-1 bag small marshmallows
-chocolate chips optional

directions:
1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, bring the butter to melting point, and then add marshmallows.
2. Stir continually until marshmallows are completely melted.
3. Turn burner off. Add in the Cheerios, stirring until they are all well coated.
4. In a square baking pan or even onto parchment paper, scrape out the cheerio crispy mix, and spread it out to desired thickness. Let it stand for 30 minutes to an hour to cool off and harden up.
5. After it has cooled, cut it into portion sizes and enjoy!

**Optional is to sprinkle chocolate chips across it while it is still warm. **

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Pizza Soup! Can do crockpot style too!

Prep: 10-15 min.   Cook time: 30 min   Serves: 6 adults

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce (29 oz)
  • 1-1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped pepperoni (I quarter it)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (about 3 or 4 romas)
  • 1 to 2 TBS minced garlic (in my opinion, the more garlic, the merrier!)
  • 1/2 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lb ground italian seasoned turkey sausage, browned
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (for garnish)
  • Optional ingredients that add kick:
  1. Fresh chopped basil (a handful of leaves),
  2. sun dried tomatoes (1/3 cup or so, awesome flavor booster),
  3. 1 can black olives roughly chopped (wonderful!),
  4. 1/2 chopped green bell pepper (I don’t, but you can!),
  5. 1/3 cup small pasta, like penne (add in last 15 minutes of soup time)
  • Garnish: shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese, 2 TBS Finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional),

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Chop everything that needs to be chopped (mushrooms, onion, tomato, parsley, basil, pepperoni), set aside.

2.  In a 6 quart pot, add your water, sauces, garlic, chopped goodies, well, everything except your ground meat and parmesan.  Bring to boil and lower heat to medium or medium low.  Cover and let cook while you brown your meat.

3.  In a separate saute pan, brown your Italian sausage ground meat, drain it, and add it to the soup.

4.  Keep it covered, let it cook for 15 minutes more.  Basically, until all the flavors blend.  🙂  Add the Pasta and parmesan, and let the soup continue to cook long enough to soften the pasta, probably about 10 to 15 minutes depending on your pasta.  (I always forget to add the pasta, and my soup is still quite hearty and filling!)

5.  Serve it up hot with mozzarella for garnish and nice melty cheesiness!!  You can use more parmesan and/or basil or parsley as a nice garnish too.  I say, if you’re going to cook, make it pretty!  Serve hot with fresh french bread or garlic bread and enjoy!!

NOTE: When making this, the ingredients are totally flexible.  The base flavors is the pizza and spaghetti sauce, italian sausage, parmesan and garlic.  Those are the real flavor bases.  Then, think about what toppings you might like on your pizza, and try those! I haven’t tried pineapple or ham, or anything like that, but try it, you might like it!

FOR CROCKPOT: Put all the ingredients, minus the pasta, in your crockpot, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.  Add pasta 30 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!

Original inspiration found here.

Homemade slime!! (Or “ooey gooey goo” as my kids called it)

A fun, cheap, ooey gooey activity for the kids is: homemade SLIME!!  Thanks for the inspiration, here!

This is a great little hands-on play time for the kids, (especially boys, I’m sure!) full of sensory fun!  You only need 2 INGREDIENTS, plus a little food coloring.  Here’s how: (please forgive the quality of my pictures, I took them with my phone.)

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Its so easy and requires only 2 ingredients:
-2 to 3 bottles of clear Elmer’s glue
-liquid starch (can find on the detergent aisle w other starches.  A half gallon jug was $3 at HEB grocery store.)

 

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Directions:
Mix equal parts glue and starch.  I used 2 – 5oz bottles of glue which rendered 1 1/4 cup (10 oz), so I used 1 1/4 cup starch too.  Pour together in a bowl and start mixing!  You will likely have to use your hands and it takes a few minutes.  When you get tired of it, plop a pile in a bowl for the kid and let them finish the job!

 

First the glue…

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Then, Liquid Starch…

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Now, get your “stir” on!  Hands will be needed… Take your rings off!!

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Its a little chunky and weird at first…just keep stirring.

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Get your hands in there!  We are making progress!

*you can use a few drops of food coloring dye (3 to 5 is sufficient).  Have fun!

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Watching the magic happen…

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Have fun gettin’ your Slime on!! 🙂