Today’s link round-up features washi tape gift tags, ornaments, cookies, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for peppermint chocolate coconut cookies.
Create Craft Love taught us how to make washi tape gift tags.
A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make paper ball ornaments.
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a cute pinecone snowman.
Artsy Fartsy Mama shared a cute craft to make with the kids—winter window clings.
Restyled Junk showed off a cute Christmas garland made from old jeans.
Club Chica Circle showed us how to make a cute snowman headband.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Crafts by Amanda
Today’s link round-up features Christmas crafts, treats, and more.
A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for easy chocolate Oreo truffles.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a cute snack idea for school.
Create Craft Love shared a DIY chalky finish Christmas frame idea.
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a paper plate elf.
Restyled Junk made cute snowman lights.
Artsy Fartsy Mama showed us how to make a sequin tree.
Club Chica Circle made Santa and elf hat candy jars.
Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Crafts by Amanda
The Yonanas frozen treat maker has been on my personal wish list for quite some time, but I finally received one as a recent birthday gift. It was definitely worth the wait! My son and I love it, as do most of the guests I’ve made samples for.
You can use pretty much any type of frozen fruit imaginable in the Yonanas, although anything with a peel does need to be peeled before you freeze it. Most of their recipes use bananas as the base, but they do have a section of “no bananas” recipes on their website.
If you make something without bananas, you end up with a fruit sorbet. It doesn’t have the same smooth and creamy texture as the recipes that include bananas, but it’s perfectly tasty!
The Yonanas is kind of loud when operating, but it only takes a few minutes to make a huge bowl of Yonanas. I have the best results if I alternate chunks of bananas with berries or whatever other fruit I’m using.
If I’m adding flaxseed, wheat germ, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or other similar additions, I sprinkle some in towards the beginning and some in at the middle. Then, I give everything in the bowl a good stir before serving.
Yes, it’s possible to make a concoction similar to the Yonanas using a blender. But, I’ve founded that the Yonanas does a better job of blending ingredients than my blender ever did. The texture is also much closer to “real” ice cream when your dessert is made with Yonanas.
Yonanas advertises itself as a healthy dessert alternative, which is certainly true. But, my son loves a bowl of Yonanas in the morning for breakfast topped off with a couple of belVita breakfast biscuits.
The idea of “healthy ice cream” for breakfast seems to serve as a great motivator to get him to eat and I figure a bowl of frozen fruit is certainly a step up from the Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms he loves.
The only real downside I’ve found to the Yonanas is that you need to take the device apart immediately after using it.
All of the components except the base are dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean. But, if you leave it sitting on your kitchen counter, the leftover fruit mixture oozes out the bottom and creates a disgusting sticky mess for you to clean up later. I learned this the hard way!
Photo credit: Yonanas
Today’s link round-up has scrapbook inspiration, gift guides, laundry problem solutions, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie shared some holiday cookie recipes.
A Beautiful Mess inspired us with scrapbook ideas.
Crafty Journal showed us how to turn a Christmas card box into a gift box.
Kenarry gave us a gift idea for teachers.
One Good Thing by Jillee solved some common laundry problems.
Rad Mom Cool Kid shared a gift guide for teens.
Create Craft Love gave us a recipe for eggnog French toast.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry
Sometimes, you just wish your older kid was still using sippy cups, like on car rides or when they want to take a drink out of the kitchen and into a room with carpet. This Contigo Trekker Kids’ Water Bottle seems like the perfect solution.
One of my biggest pet peeves with reusable water bottles is all wrapped up in how hard it is to clean the straws that come with them. I do my best, but I never feel like I’ve cleaned them well enough, especially when they’re small (wider straws are okay).
This 14-ounce cup is straw-free and comes in a variety of colors, plus they’re available on their own or in packages of two. Even the lid’s attached, so there aren’t a lot of little pieces to worry about tracking down after you’ve washed them or juggle while you’re trying to clean them.
It’s spill-proof, leak-proof, and can be washed in the dishwasher. I love the shape of the cup because it seems easier to hold onto than some of the to-go cups I have in the cupboard at the moment. It’s also a good option for lunch boxes if you’re not into sending boxes of milk or juice.
Also, if you’ve ever poured yourself a cup of coffee on your way out the door and your kid wanted something similar, this is it. While I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t put hot liquids in here, it has a similar enough look and feel to a coffee cup to make them feel grown up.
One negative point: Some users report having trouble cleaning the rubber seal and inside the valve. In this case, soaking it in a mix of white vinegar and water may be advisable.
Photo credit: Amazon
Today’s link round-up has ornament ideas, hot cocoa, a gift guide, tradition ideas, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make low fat chocolate chip raspberry quick bread.
A Beautiful Mess shared some of their favorite holiday projects.
Crafty Journal showed us how to make a dollar bill angel.
Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make ugly sweater ornaments.
One Good Thing by Jillee shared a recipe for the best ever creamy Crock-Pot cocoa.
Rad Mom Cool Kid shared some gift ideas for the traveler.
Create Craft Love put together a Christmas traditions printable.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Crafts by Amanda
If you hate going grocery shopping because it never seems like you have enough cash to make tasty yet nutritious meals for your family, you need Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day.
Brown was inspired to create this impressive recipe collection when she was earning a master’s in food studies at New York University. The more she learned about nutrition, the more she became concerned about the struggles of people trying to eat well on a limited income.
Her recipe collection uses a $4 per person daily guideline because this is the average amount a food stamp recipient receives for his or her meals.
Each recipe in Good and Cheap features a total cost as well as a cost per serving. Obviously, prices for ingredients will vary depending on your location and any specific brand preferences you have. But, if you shop the sales and buy store brands whenever possible, I think her cost estimates are fairly accurate.
She also gives many suggestions for substitutions, encouraging you to make due with what you have instead of spending more money on extra ingredients.
I love the beautiful photographs and the range of recipes in this cookbook. Usually, cookbooks designed for the sole purpose of showcasing cheap food tend to be bland and uninspiring. Good and Cheap motivates you to get in the kitchen and start cooking.
Some of my favorite kid-friendly recipes in Good and Cheap include:
I also really like the pages where she demonstrates how to use a pantry staple several different ways. For example, she gives a list of eight ways to jazz up plain popcorn — including Parmesan and oregano, brown sugar and orange zest, and chili powder and lime.
Visit LeanneBrown.com to download a free PDF copy of Good and Cheap or to purchase a print copy for $20.
Photo credit: Leanne Brown
I think the fact that I get really excited about cups may mean I’m officially getting old, but the Aladdin plastic mason jar tumbler a friend bought for me at Target really made me happy.
I love the old school look of it, first of all. Drinking out of mason jars takes me back to those easy southern dinners with my whole extended family on special occasions or just random days of the week.
The straw is another thing that makes this cup a winner. Have you ever tried drinking a smoothie or protein shake through a regular straw? It’s not always easy! The straw here makes it a little easier to consume thicker drinks because it’s got a wider diameter.
Plus the pattern on it complements the color of the lid, which is a nice touch and makes it an even cuter gift.
The cup’s not completely spill-proof, but I’d much rather hand my daughter use this than a cup with no lid at all. It doesn’t topple over easily, either. It’s just like a lightweight mason jar (since it’s made of BPA-free plastic, not glass).
One more thing I love about this cup: It’s dishwasher-safe! That’s a big deal around here since my daughter’s managed to accumulate quite a few “hand wash only” cups.
There are a few different sizes and color options, and of course that influences the price. The one above is a 32 oz. one, and it’s available for $14.99. Smaller ones, like the 20 oz. style, are less (the 20 oz. cup is $9.99).
Photo credit: Target
Today’s link round-up has recipes, body butter how-to, a nightstand makeover, and more.
Homemade Interest shared 10 cranberry recipes for the holidays.
The DIY Dreamer showed us a quick and easy nightstand makeover.
Sisters Saving Cents taught us how to make cocoa vanilla mint body butter.
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a yeast-free thin crust pizza crust.
Our Secondhand House showed us a cute DIY winter wonderland branch décor idea.
Scary Mommy shared thoughts on having the Santa Claus talk.
A Mom’s Take showed us how to get inexpensive name brand fashion.
Photo credit: Homemade Interest and A Beautiful Mess