Instead of having to rummage through your deep freezer taking everything out, try using milk crates to store things in. Much easier to
When planning out your lower cabinetry placement, consider drawers instead of doors. They can be much more useful for storing things like pots and pans!
Quote #141 Good Things Happen | February 13th 2013 . . . Negative People can suck the life out of you! Take care of yourself and try to be of Good Cheer! So much easier to live that way! <3
There are certain things in life that are not easy, but once a person gets through them they can be easier to cope or deal with. Everything is hard when you start. But for longer practice and learning, it will be on your finger tips.-Jorgen Grotdal
Caramel Pretzel Magic Bars-1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 6 Tbsp butter, melted 1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk 50+ pretzels (I used Snyder's Snaps) 20 caramels, unwrapped cut in fourths (*They now sell caramel bits at the store near the chocolate chips! So much easier than unwrapping cutting up caramel squares. I would try 1 cup of caramel bits if you aren't using the squares.) 1 cup milk chocolate chips 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Recipes & Food
I find so much pleasure in shopping my house, using what I have, and making things work instead of immediately going out and replacing it with something new. Check out how I bit the urge for automatic new updates and make things work - and I love the result! | www.rappsodyinrooms.com
Canning Chicken Broth -- Using a Pressure Canner --- I like mine shelf stable better than freezer since you never know when you are going to go with out power. And when you cook chicken it makes for free broth instead of the high prices at the store and YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR FAMILY IS EATING
Life may wreck your plans when your plans are about to wreck you. For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. You don’t have to accept it; it’s just easier if you do. When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.
Homemade Moisturizing Leave In Spritz *How much olive oil, glycerin and water depends on your hair length and density. Try using 2 ounces of oil and 4 ounces of water to see how it turns out!
Laundry Spot Remover Using Lemon Oil. I love using oils for as much stuff around the house as I can. Here is an awesome way to fight stains that magically appear on your family's clothing. I found this awesome recipe and decided to try it out for myself. It works great! Here's what you will need:
For the Home
Four tablespoons of chia seeds supply as much calcium as three cups of milk, as much magnesium as 10 stalks of broccoli, as much iron as one-half cup of red kidney beans, 30% more antioxidants than blueberries, 25% more dietary fiber than flaxseed and approximately the same amount of omega-3 as a 32-ounce fillet of salmon. Instead of a typical hot breakfast cereal, try a chia breakfast pudding for a more nutritious start to your day
SKINNY MULTIPURPOSE SHREDDED CHICKEN I find myself using recipes that call for shredded chicken at least 1-2 times each week. For that reason I always cook up a large batch of shredded chicken in my slow-cooker every Sunday and then store it in the refrigerator or freezer to use at a later date. Doing this will save you time but will also make last-minute dinners a breeze as you already have the cooked poultry on hand. It is always much easier
"You can make a single pressed glass picture by buying two dollar store frames, then taking the glass out of one of them and using it for the backing of the first frame. Place your favorite pressed leaf in between the two glass panes."
Alkalizing Pear Cilantro Detox Smoothie - Blending your fruit & veggies instead of juicing them can be very helpful for the body, the fibers pull toxins through and out of your system. I notice I have way more energy when i’m having smoothies over juices. Celery has a high concentration of Vitamin K which acts as a diuretic in the body, flushing out excess fluids, Cilantro helps pull heavy metals from the system, while pears help reduce free
Instead of buying the flavored butter you can just make them yourself so that you can make sure they are all natural. There is a huge list of things you can add to butter to make it flavored and it will depend on what you need it for. But you can surely try a lot of these combinations and just store them in the freezer for up to a month. #butter #food #health
The "one chore per day" house cleaning list. "This is so doable and covers everything!" First, this is not "one" chore per day - some days it is two or three. Also, these "15-20 minute" chores are things like "Go through each room and put everything away" or deep cleaning everything in all of your bathrooms in under 30 minutes, or doing a week's worth of laundry (washed, dried, folded, and put away) in one day. What NOT To Do: Believe that you
Native Plants for Cottage Gardens--One of my favorite aspects of being a garden designer is having the opportunity to design lots of different styles of gardens that are often much different from my own garden. Truth be told, my garden is more of a plant collectors garden since I like to try plants out before I start using them in a client’s garden.
As they say— "the eyes are the windows to the soul," and these windows are flirty! I love using color to create a half-smoky effect because it can truly enhance the shape and beauty of your eyes. Did you know about e.l.f.'s AMAZING range of shadows and formulas? You just can't beat the quality and price on this look... it's a must try and is so much easier to create than you think!
Health Tip: You can teach your kids smart snacking. -Place fresh fruit out in the open where your kids can see and reach it -Store these foods in see-through containers -Ask your child to create a list of his or her favorite foods, then fill the list at the grocery store -Stock the pantry and refrigerator with snack-size, portable containers of peanut butter, milk, nuts or raisins
Piece of Cake Layer Slicing Kit ($60): Ever tried your hand at a homemade layer cake? One without using 5 different cake pans and taking all day baking? It's time to try it out, and this sweet slicing kit is truly a piece of cake. We love the idea of baking a bunch of different colored cakes and assembling an array of colorful mix-and-match cakes.
This si actually a very easy hairstyle to do: Step 1 : Put some heat protector in your hair.It's always important to protect our hair from heat . Step 2 : Curl your hair away from your face using a curling iron . Step 3 : Brush out through the curls and voila beautiful wavy look . Hope you will try it xoxo
How to use beauty blender: I run one under luke warm water (not hot/not cold) till it gets darker pink then squeeze out the water until the Blender isnt dripping. I try to squeeze out as much water as possible! It will double in size when wet. I prefer using it wet because it soaks up less of your foundation and helps blend better. Then i apply dots of foundations evenly all over my face then go in with the blender and press lightly to blend.
Cleanse your entire body using the Qigong for Detox DVD, a gentle yet powerful combination of slow stretches and breathing exercises very similar to tai chi. Together with Qigong experts Francesco Garripoli and Daisy Lee, you'll move through 13 healing moves that gently flush out toxins while strengthening your cells and organs. This therapeutic blend of focused movements, deep breathing and creative visualization will circulate Qi, or energy,
How to Clean Your Face Naturally. Someone else said, "I started using this (along with witch hazel) exclusively about 2 months ago and my skin looks the best it has ever looked. I haven't had any breakouts and my nose looks much cleaner - pores are clearer and smaller. I've gotten a ton of people that noticed the difference. Definitely recommend." Hmmm... might try this out!
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets and unfulfilled dreams. There's too much uncertainty, cruelty and heartlessness. Take the time to slow the world down. Take the opportunity to smile and let someone know they make a difference. Don't be afraid to tell someone what they mean, what they bring to your life and more importantly, don't hestitate to love selflessly, without limits and believe that everything happens for a reason. Today might not be perfect, tomorrow might be another challenge, but you survived yesterday and gained experience. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, embrace it. Have faith that you've done enough and touched enough people that everything will work out. Nobody said that it would be easy, but through defeat, experience and triumph, you will find out who you are and it will all be worth it.
Do it yourself
Want to try. Read this: Without a doubt, one of the best things I ever did for my skin was to start making my own scrubs. The stuff at the store is chock full of stuff that's bad for your skin - all sorts of chemicals and alcohol. Yuck. Do your skin a favor... Go out and buy a mason jar. Add coarse sea salt, olive oil, almond oil, and if you can find it - jojoba oil. Use daily. Love your skin again. I add the olive oil and jojoba oil first to
Without a doubt, one of the best things I ever did for my skin was to start making my own scrubs. The stuff at the store is chock full of stuff that's bad for your skin - all sorts of chemicals and alcohol. Yuck. Do your skin a favor... Go out and buy a mason jar. Add coarse sea salt, olive oil, almond oil, and if you can find it - jojoba oil. Use daily. Love your skin again. I add the olive oil and jojoba oil first to the salt and then add as much almond oil as I need to make it smell great. W
I apologize! I said I would post a recipe yesterday BUT I had no power starting Friday night through Saturday night so that made things kind of difficult... Hopefully these granola bars can make up for my tardiness! When I was a kid, I used to inhale those Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. My mom would always have to stop me before I ate the whole box… I mean, they are pretty much like “healthy” candy bars or at least they used to be. So once I got started eating them, it was game over for those babies. I was an all-or-nothing type of kid when it came to eating. I’d either eat everything in the pantry (i.e., every piece of chocolate I could find) or refuse to eat for days, especially when they tried to feed me squash (which I surprisingly now LOVE). Unfortunately, this trait has kind of stayed with me into my adult life, which is why I’m glad these granola bars are not like candy bars! I can eat as many as I want! Though, I’m not going to lie… The second bar I ate after making these may or may not have been smothered in peanut butter with a few dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top (... hello candy granola bar). I highly recommend trying that if you make these… Normally, one would use all oats for the base ingredient when making granola bars. However, I found that substituting some crushed rice chex cereal for oats was fantastic, not only for texture but calories too! These bars are low calorie and dairy free. I love swapping out butter for unsweetened applesauce when baking! Applesauce is a great substitute for butter and/or oils. Same goes for bananas (I have a recipe for you next week demonstrating this). Yay for healthy snacks! Rice Chex Granola Bars printable recipe Yield: 16 granola bars Calories: 95 calories per bar Total Time: about 5 hours (prep time only 15 minutes) Ingredients: - 4 cups rice chex cereal, crushed (this should be about 2 cups crushed) - 2 cups quick oats - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce - 1 tsp vanilla extract - 3 tbsp raw honey - 2 tbsp PB2 + 1 tbsp water (or 2 tbsp normal creamy peanut butter - this will add extra calories) - optional: brown sugar (for sprinkling - I used about one tbsp) Directions: 1. Crush rice chex cereal in a large bowl using your hands until only small pieces remain. It’s okay if a few larger pieces remain but you want the bulk of it to be small pieces. 2. Add oats to the bowl with crushed rice chex and stir to combine. 3. Prepare peanut butter by mixing PB2 with water in a small bowl until creamy (skip this step if using normal peanut butter). 4. Combine applesauce, vanilla, honey and peanut butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until ingredients are melted together and creamy/gooey, about 5-10 minutes. 5. Pour warm gooey applesauce mixture from step 4 over the chex oat mixture and stir until dry ingredients are completely intertwined with wet ingredients (well combined). 6. Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Pour mixture from step 5 into the dish and smooth out using a spatula until mixture completely fills the dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top then push it into the bars using your fingertips. Refrigerate for about 5 hours to allow granola bars to harden. 7. Once hardened, remove from fridge, slice into 16 bars and enjoy! Note: I stored my granola bars in the fridge. I recommend doing the same! Mine stayed fresh for about one week. The recipe is very simple and you can definitely add your own flare to it like dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc... The possibilities are endless! I wanted to start with a bare minimum granola bar so I can always add whatever I’m craving that day to it. What you would add to make these granola bars better?! Tell me your thoughts! Happy Sunday! - A
Recipes to Try
While there's no right or wrong way to blog, great content is the key to blogging success. But share-worthy content isn't always easy to come up with or create, is it? Today I'm coming to the rescue with 50 blog post ideas that you can use to provide your readers with quality content and keep them coming back for more. 1. Share a behind-the-scenes look of your blog or business. Everyone loves getting sneak peeks of what your office looks like, photos of things "in the works," and looks at rough drafts. Michaela Noelle did this on her blog last week and it was a great success! It also adds a little personality to your blog and allows your readers to connect with you. 2. Write a blog series on your process. I did this with my creative process last month and it was a huge hit. Readers love to find out how you do what you do, so highlight each step of a project in a blog series and walk them through your process. This is helpful for readers who are in a similar field and for potential clients and customers. 3. Roundup helpful posts and link to other bloggers. Readers also like finding out which blogs you follow along with and what posts you find interesting, so link to other bloggers and share articles and posts that might be helpful for your audience. (This is also a great way to connect and network with other bloggers. I can see which bloggers refer to me in my analytics and I almost always reach out to them!) Jenny Purr does a great job with link-ups. 4. Write a post on how you got started. We all love a good success story. Share your experience and tell your readers how you got here. Plus, it's fun to document your journey and remember where you started. And on that note... 5. Share tips on how to become successful in your industry. Which resources and advice have helped you get to where you are? Don't keep all of those tips to yourself - share the love with your readers! 6. Feature a professional in your field. This could take the form of reaching out to someone for a Q&A on your blog (like this Coffee Date with Molly Jaques) or just highlighting someone in your industry that you admire. This is also a great networking opportunity. 7. Host a giveaway. Readers love getting free things, whether it's content, entertainment, or goodies. Create excitement around your blog and reward your readers for following along with you by hosting a giveaway! Giveaways are also great marketing tools for your blog. 8. Write a polarizing post about something you may not agree with in your field. While it's easy for all of us to go along with the crowd and do what's popular, there may be some things in your industry that you want to do differently. Write about it! (Please note that I'm not promoting negativity, complaining, ranting, or bashing - there's a way to go about this tastefully and respectfully.) Here are some great polarizing posts: Time for Change, 3 things I'm no longer doing for my website, One Word That May Be Hindering Your Business 9. Make a list of things you wish you had known when ... Hindsight is 20/20 and we all have the opportunity to learn from others' mistakes. Share a handful of things you wish you had known when you first started blogging, writing, designing, doing calligraphy, photographing weddings, etc. Need an example? Read this post. 10. Share a day-in-the-life post. We all like to see how successful people go about their day. Write down your day (without going into too much detail) and give your readers an insider look! Breanna Rose does this in her Creative Diaries series, and they are some of my favorite posts. 11. Ask someone to guest post about something specific in your industry. We never have all the answers and it's fun to get advice from other people that are doing great things in your field. It's also fun to highlight talented people and bring attention to their business. You could even look at it as a networking and marketing opportunity and do a trade - ask someone to guest post on your blog in return for guest posting on theirs. 12. Write an informational post about your blogging platform. Readers love learning about how you do what you do. Write a review of your blogging platform, the things you like and don't like, and whether or not you would recommend it. This post about Squarespace has been one of my most popular posts and I continue to get emails and feedback about it! 13. Roundup and highlight the tools you use in your trade. I said it in #12 but it's worth repeating: readers love learning how you do what you do. Make a list of things you use everyday and share it on the blog! Here's my example. 14. Teach your readers about something you're an expert in. We all love to learn from the pros and get insider information. Content like this will be shared over and over again and gain a lot of feedback. 15. Share some takeaways from a recent experience, workshop, or event. Have you attended an event related to your field in the last few months? Share it on the blog and highlight your favorite moments! Your readers will love reading about your experience and the workshop/conference may even share your post, too. 16. Make a list of things people should avoid in your industry. Sometimes it's even more helpful to learn about what not to do. Share some common mistakes that people make and how to avoid them. I was a little leery of sharing my Top 10 Design Mistakes to Avoid, but I was pleasantly surprised by the feedback! 17. Highlight milestones, launches, and important events. It's always good to have a reason for people to get excited about your blog/business. Make a big deal out of changes and events by featuring them on the blog! 18. Explain the meaning behind your blog/business name. Some names are straightforward, but some have a fun story behind them. Turn it into a blog post and share the story behind your blog/business name. (The meaning of the Elle & Company is mentioned in this post.) 19. Feature the people you work with. It's rare that we run a blog or business completely on our own; there are usually people who work for us or with us to help us keep things running, even if it's just by their encouragement. Use your blog to highlight them, promote them, and feature their work. I featured my biggest fan and business partner a few months ago, and it's one of my favorite posts to-date. 20. Make a list of things people may not know about your trade. There's always information out there that people are surprised to hear. For example, non-designers may not know that using Comic Sans is one of the biggest no-no's in this industry. Create a list of "did you know" items and share it with your readers. I guarantee it will be a hit. 21. Write a review of a product you use often. If you're a photographer, write about your favorite lenses. If you're a designer, share about your favorite software. If you're an entrepreneur, share the programs you use for project management and accounting. People are always on the lookout for helpful products and tools - share your feedback with them. 22. Repurpose old blog posts with a roundup. Chances are that you've spent hours on blog posts that are now buried in your archives. Share them again by doing a roundup! A Beautiful Mess does this at the end of every month to highlight their posts and I did this recently with my Weekly Truth backgrounds. Don't let those great posts go to waste. 23. Repurpose an old blog post with a follow-up. Can you add onto something you've already done? Write a sequel or a "part 2" to an old blog post and make use out of that content again. 24. Repurpose an old blog post with a revision. Do you have a post that you wrote a couple years ago that could be revamped or reused? Make some revisions and post it again! 25. Share about how you use a certain social media outlet for your blog/business. There are so many social media outlets out there and everyone uses them a little differently. Share about one of your favorites and give your readers tips on how you use it for your blog/business. Here are some examples of posts I've done on Instagram and Pinterest. 26. Turn an FAQ or inquiry into a blog post. Is there a common question that readers ask you by email or in your post comments? Turn it into a blog post! An email from an Elle & Company reader regarding content actually inspired this blog post. If it's something that multiple readers have asked you about, chances are their are more people who would love to know more about it, too. 27. Tell an interesting story. We all love a good tale and we all enjoy being entertained. Do you have a "you're not going to believe this" story? Share it on your blog! 28. Write an informative post on how people can work best with you. Are you a calligrapher, photographer, or wedding planner? Share some tips for brides on how to make the process as simple as possible. Are you an interior designer? Share some insights on how clients and designers can maintain a great working relationship. This is helpful for current and future clients and it's also helpful for those in your field who are just getting started. 29. Create and share a free resource. We all love free things. That's why we follow along with blogs in the first place! Find creative ways to share free resources with your audience. I do this with my Weekly Truth series and it's been a hit (especially on Pinterest!) 30. Find a creative way to link up with other bloggers/business owners. There are several ways you can go about this one. You could create a writing challenge like Bailey did with her Blogtember series, start a fun linkup like What I Wore Wednesday, or partner with another blog friend like Michaela and I did for the Home Suite Home project. The possibilities are endless, so get creative and come up with something distinctly you! 31. Create a blog series on a project. People love following along with step-by-step transformations (that's why Young House Love was my favorite blog for so many years!). Are you working on a project for a client, remodeling your home, or training for a marathon? Share about it on the blog and show sneak peeks of the transformation as you go. 32. Highlight one of your products or services. This is your blog; use it to your advantage! Come up with creative ways to highlight your business and your products. This could take the shape of a "how-to" post or you could pose them as a solution to a particular problem. 33. Create an infographic. Not only are graphics and photos more interesting and entertaining, they're sharable. Even if you aren't able to draw one yourself, compile information on a topic in your field and come up with a creative way to display it. I did this with the feedback I received from a reader survey this past summer and the infographic was a hit! Which perfectly transitions into my next idea... 34. Take a reader survey and come up with a unique way to share the results. Not only is this feedback helpful for you, but readers like to see who else is following along with you. A Beautiful Mess and Young House Love always do this well. 35. Share your mission statement and blog/business strategy. Write a post on what's at the heart of your blog or business. Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? 36. Define or share your take on your industry. For example, many people use the term "branding" but designers approach that subject differently depending on who you talk to. I wrote a post on branding after I officially launched my design services this past summer to approach the subject in my own terms. Do you have your own take on your field? Share it on your blog! 37. Find a creative way to share tidbits of your life lately. There are a million and ten ways you could approach this, so come up with something original! Some of my favorite examples include Awkward and Awesome and Clara Conversations. 38. Create a "through the years" or flashback post. Is there a tradition or event that you participate in year after year? Your readers would probably love to see it on your blog. An example? This post by Justin and Mary on their past Halloween costumes. 39. Give away some secrets of your trade. Many people shy away from sharing the information that has made them successful for fear that it could create competition, but it's had the opposite effect in my experience. Share what you know! If you do what you do well, you'll have nothing to worry about. Readers will love gaining your great insight and information. 40. Teach people how to make something unique. We all have a DIY board on Pinterest, don't we? There's something in each one of us that loves learning how to make something that we wouldn't have thought to make before. 41. Write about some common misconceptions in your industry. Are there things that people assume about your business or trade that aren't accurate? Address them in a blog post! 42. Ask your readers for feedback. Do you have a question or dilemma? Let your readers participate by sharing it on the blog. Michaela did this with her readers in our Home Suite Home project when she asked them to vote on which design concepts they liked best. 43. Share your sources of inspiration. We see this all over the place on blogs, but think of your own creative way to make an inspiration post distinctly your own. I do this on my blog a couple time each month in Today's Top 3. 44. Solve a problem. Is there a particular issue that keeps coming up in your industry time and again? Provide a solution to it! Some examples? Braid Creative wrote a post on organizational tools for creative entrepreneurs and Ashley wrote a post for photographers on organizing their email inbox. 45. Write a post on the best (or worst!) advice you've ever received. This could be both helpful and hilarious for your audience. 46. Highlight the best (or worst!) moments since starting your blog/business. Again, this could be both helpful and hilarious for your audience. 47. Share your recent projects. Blogging is a great marketing tool. Use it to your advantage and highlight your latest work! Not only is it fun for your readers to follow along with, but you never know if potential customers are following along with you. Think of it as free advertising for your portfolio. 48. Share a testimonial or success story. It could be about your experience with another professional or a clients' experience with you. Word of mouth is the best advertisement. 49. Surprise your readers with something unexpected. Do you have a hidden talent or trait that your readers might not know about? Find a way to highlight it on your blog! I did this in my "That's a Rap" post and although it was totally random, it gave my readers a glimpse of my personality outside of blogging and designing. 50. Create a long list of something specific to your trade/blog/industry/field. Case in point. That's a wrap! Which ideas are you most excited to try? Do you have any suggestions for no-fluff, content-rich blog posts that I may not have mentioned?