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Tuesday
Aug082017

Free Betty Crocker Samples, Coupons, More

Betty Crocker’s FREE email delivers the best of Betty’s 15,000 kitchen-tested recipes, how-tos and more — straight to your inbox! PLUS, get up to $250 per year in coupons savings and access to FREE samples (quantities limited, one per member). 
Tuesday
Aug012017

Abby Loves Purina Beyond Snacks #chewyinfluencer

 

We adopted Abby a little over a year ago as a 7 month old puppy. She will be 2 on Halloween! She is such a fun, energetic little pup. At only 32 lbs. she is a ball of energy and always getting into trouble! Abby is a mix of German Shepherd and Rhodesian Ridgeback. 

She loves car rides and going to the park. She is always on the go with me.

One of her fave to go snacks is Beyond White Meat Chicken Cutlets. It has all-natural white meat chicken in every batch. For a natural, grain-free dog snack that offers both great taste and quality ingredients you can trust.


Instagram- @Beyondpetfood

 

Here is Abby romping at the park, all kinds of energy!

 

Abby says thank you to Chewy.com for sending the bag of treats. We will definitely be stocking up again on these in the future!

 

 

I received these goodies free of charge from Chewy.com in an exchange for my honest review.

Thursday
Jul202017

Food Storage Tips

Stocking up on food but not sure how long food is good for, or where to store it? Here is what you need to know! 
  
Canned Goods: 

Commercially canned foods are good for two to five years from the date they were packed.  High acid food like tomato sauce will not keep as long as a can of beans, for example. Canned protein like tuna, chicken, corned beef and even bacon have a shelf life of five years, or longer. 

Canned foods lose vitamins as time goes by so you will want to rotate your food supply so you are using and replacing items before their “use by” dates. 

And canning is another great way to stock up on your own homegrown produce or great deals from your local store. Check out our canning guide.
 

Containers like Rubbermaid or OXO are also a good bet for tightly sealing in food.
  1. Rice. White rice should be used within two years after opening, brown within six months as it has more protein. You can extend the shelf life of white rice to 10 years or longer when properly sealed and stored.
  2. Flour. You can count on all-purpose flour lasting well for three to six months in its sealed bag, up to one year in the refrigerator and longer if stored in a freezer.
  3. Sugar. Sugar is one of the few products that lasts indefinitely. The only problem it presents for cooks is that it can harden. For this reason, plan on sugar having a useful shelf life of about two years.
  4. Soft grains — Barley, oats and rye are soft grains that can last as long as eight years.
  5. Hard grains — Corn, wheat and flax are in this category. They can last between 10 and 12 years.
  6. Beans — Hermetically sealed, they can last between eight and 10 years before they need to be tossed. As they age, they lose oils and may need to be ground.
  7. Pasta — It can last as long as 10 years. As with most other foods, cooler temperatures will help it last even longer.

I also recommend investing in a vacuum sealer. Amazon has them as low as $78 and watch for sales to bring the price down even more. One of the best ways to store anything, especially dry items in bulk, is in glass canning jars that have been vacuum sealed. 

So where do you store all this stuff? 


It may require a little creativity on your part to find space for your new food reserves. Just keep in mind that most of us have space currently occupied by stuff we never use and really don’t need.
  • Under the bed. Shallow plastic containers are perfect for holding canned goods and sealed dry goods.
  • Basement. I have shelves set up, just for my stored food. I mark everything with a marker, when I bought it, etc. so I know when I need to rotate the stockpile.
  • Closets. Another place to organize your food. Just be careful cans don't fall on your head! 
  • Under stairs. Simple shelves can organize this space and make it ideal for food storage.
  • Be sure to stock up on OXO and Rubbermaid containers.
Wednesday
Jul192017

$1200 For a Penny? Make Money Collecting Pennies

Recently I got into collecting wheat pennies. The wheat penny is a classic iconic early 21st century American coin with a face value of 1 cent that was minted from 1909 to 1956. I had read that a few rare ones could be as valuable as $750+ so I decided it was worth the trouble to start looking around.

As you can see above, these are my newer pennies. I am saving the shiny, newer ones for a project, a penny top table.

The dates listed below are worth more than just a few cents, unlike most of the ones referenced above.

Values are for problem-free coins in a grade of good or better, and uncirculated for those dated 1959 and later.

  • 1909 — $3 and up
  • 1909 VDB — $10 and up
  • 1909-S — $85 and up
  • 1909-S VDB — $750 and up
  • 1910-S – $15
  • 1911-D – $5
  • 1911-S – $40
  • 1912 – $1
  • 1912-D – $6
  • 1912-S – $20
  • 1913-D – $3
  • 1913-S – $12
  • 1914-D – $175
  • 1914-S – $20
  • 1915 – $1.50
  • 1915-D – $2
  • 1915-S – $20
  • 1916-D – $1
  • 1916-S – $1.50
  • 1921-S – $1
  • 1922-D – $15
  • 1922 plain – $650
  • 1923-S – $2
  • 1924-D – $30
  • 1924-S – $1
  • 1926-S – $5
  • 1931-D – $4
  • 1931-S – $100
  • 1932 – $1.50
  • 1932-D – $1
  • 1933 – $1
  • 1933-D – $2
  • 1943-D boldly doubled mintmark – $10
  • 1944 D/S – $125
  • 1946-S/D – $35
  • 1955 doubled die, obverse — $1,200
  • 1970-S small date – $30
  • 1972 doubled die – $300
  • 1983 doubled die – $250
  • 1984 doubled die – $200
  • 1992-D close “AM” – $500
  • 1995 doubled die – $25
  • 1999 wide “AM” – $500

Here is another handy chart:

If you collect wheat pennies, I'd love to hear which ones you have found!

 

Monday
Jul172017

How to Clean Vintage Dishes


Here are some easy, old school ways to clean your vintage dishes.

Clean and Shine China
 

A mixture of lemon juice and salt cleans and shines china. Just rub it on with a damp cloth and rinse. Wash china in water that’s warm, not hot. Water that is too hot can lead to crazing—small lines and cracks in the glaze. 
If your china is already crazed, don’t use it to serve food. Butter, fruit, cheese and cream can cause staining along the crack lines. 
If you have dishwasher-safe china, stagger plates of different sizes when loading it into the dishwasher. That way their edges won’t touch, and you’ll avoid chipping and scratches. 

Remove Brown Stains from China 
To remove stubborn brown stains on old china, rub on a solution of equal parts vinegar and salt, then rinse. 
Remove Tea and Coffee Stains from China Cups 

Wash your china cups, saucers and teapots as soon after using them as you can. If there is a tiny crack in the glaze, coffee or tea left there will leave a stain on the china. 

To remove coffee or tea stains from a cup, wet the cup with vinegar. Then dampen a rag with water, dip it in baking soda or salt and swab out the stain. 
Another treatment to remove tea or coffee stains on china is to apply 20% hydrogen peroxide, wash and rinse. (Regular household hydrogen peroxide is 3% strength. The 20% solution — available at pharmacies — acts as a bleaching agent.) 

Clean Gold-Trimmed Dishes 

To clean gold-trimmed dishes, first scrape them with a rubber scraper and then wash with mild dishwashing liquid. Never use an abrasive cleaner. If the mild dishwashing liquid isn’t enough to remove food from the gold trim, try rubbing the trim with a paste of baking soda and water applied with a soft cloth. 
Remove Metal Marks from China 

Never wash china in an aluminum pan or allow it to come in contact with aluminum in the dishwasher. Aluminum rubbing against china can create gray, pencil thin lines that are often impossible to get out. 
If a metal utensil does leave a mark on your china, gently rub the dish with a mild scouring powder or plastic scouring pad. Be careful to avoid rubbing off any decorative trim. 

 

Sunday
Jul022017

How I Cut Cable and Saved $200 a Month

We were Directv customers for at least 15 years and had frequently thought about cancelling cable. We are big fans of Travel Channel, HGTV, Food Network and more and of course, we needed to have a DVR. 
After noticing that we weren't recording as many shows and hardly ever watching cable, we decided to cut the cord. And the bill inching towards $150+ a month did not help!
We had been subscribers to Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu, so making the transition wasn't that hard. The more difficult part was finding the right DVR and antennae to get the local channels. I love watching Wendy Williams and Dr. Phil, so local channels were a must.
Here is how we did it!
We bought the TIVO Bolt for $160 on sale at Best Buy. Amazon also has it right now for $190, but with some price-matching the price can come down. 

If recording shows and fast-forwarding through commercials is important to you, you will want to have a DVR.

Here are the features:
  • Record 4 shows at once and up to 75 hours of HD programming.(1) Replaces your cable box and works with your existing subscription (requires CableCARD); or plugs into any HD antenna to record over-the-air channels easily (over -the-air reception varies by location and is impacted by multiple factors).
  • TiVo service subscription is required. Options include a monthly service plan at $14.99/mo and a 1-year commitment,(4) and an annual service plan at $149.99/year.(5)
  • Your favorite streaming apps are fully integrated: No more switching inputs, remotes or devices. Access Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Hulu, Pandora and more from one, integrated experience.(2)
  • Watch eye-popping 4K/UHD content. Fully 4K/Ultra High-Definition compatible right out of the box, so you can soak up all that crisp color, clarity and detail.
  • SkipMode allows you to skip through entire commercial breaks of recorded shows at the press of a single button.(3) QuickMode lets you watch recorded shows 30% faster with pitch-corrected audio.

Or a little cheaper, choose the TIVO Mini for $149:

  • Add a TiVo Mini to additional TVs in your home for an easy, economical and entertaining multi-room setup.
  • Tru Multi Room functionality means you get the full TiVo experience on every additional TV you equip with a TiVo Mini
  • Provides full access to your streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, VUDU, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
  • Connects to your TiVo DVR through your home network via Ethernet or MoCA (does not support Wifi). Compatible with TiVo BOLT, Roamio, Roamio OTA, Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro, Premiere 4 and Premiere XL4/Elite.
  • Video Output Modes 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

 

Next we bought an antennae. 

We bought this Clearstream Antannae and it's been working really well picking up about 20 local channels. This was $59. You can go a little cheaper with these options, but reception might not be good.

 

We decided which programming was most important to us. We got the channels free over the air but we had to think which shows we wanted to see the most. We found Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix were must-haves.

Try out Hulu for FREE!

For channels like Starz and Showtime, Amazon has some nice free 30 day trials with easy cancel if you change your mind before getting charged. 

Be sure you are an Amazon Prime member. Click below for a FREE 30 day trial!

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

 

Then click below which channels you'd like to try out!

Friday
Jun302017

10+ Uses For Borax

 

You might remember Borax being a staple in your mom or grandmother's homes. Well, it's still a must-have for every home. There are so many uses, here are 10 to get you started! 

Preserving Flowers 

Fresh-cut flowers of many varieties may be permanently preserved. Borax removes moisture from blossoms and leaves, thereby preventing the wilting which would normally result. Two different mixtures (by weight) are recommended: two parts 20 Borax and one part dry white sand, or one part Borax and two parts corn meal. 

Carpet Cleaning 

Use a 1/2 cup of Borax per gallon of water in carpet steam cleaning machines. 

Toilet Bowl Cleaner 

Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet bowl at night before you go to sleep. The next morning clean out the toilet bowl with a brush. The borax will loosen all the grime buildup. 

“Goo Gone” Remover 

Mix together borax and water in a 2-to-1 ratio. Rub on to get rid of sticky, gooey, gummy adhesive residue. 

Humidifiers 

To help keep your humidifier free of odor, dissolve one tablespoon of borax per gallon of water and add it to the unit. Be sure to rinse out this solution before refilling your humidifier with pure water prior to use. 

Pests 


Keep roaches, water bugs, and ants away by sprinkling a combination of equal parts all-natural borax and sugar. 

Flea Killer 

Sprinkle borax on dog beds, carpets, and other areas where you suspect that fleas are hatching. Borax releases boric acid, which is a poison (note that very high doses would need to be ingested to harm a pet or human). 
  

Mice Deterrent 

Sprinkle borax on the floor along the walls (mice like to run along the side of walls). They don’t like getting the borax on their feet, so they are less likely to return to that area of the house.  

Shower, Tub & Tile 

Sprinkle on a damp sponge or soft cloth and use as you would a powdered cleanser. This can even be used on fiberglass surfaces without scratching. Rinse thoroughly. 

Clean Hairbrushes and Combs 

Mix a quarter cup borax and a tablespoon of a grease cutting dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) in a basin of warm water. Swish brushes in the sudsy water, let soak, rinse, and let dry. 

Cleaning Cookware 

Borax is a mild and gentle cleaner for porcelain and aluminum cookware. Sprinkle on pots and pans and rub with a damp dishcloth. Rinse thoroughly. 

Refrigerator Deodorizer 

Spilled food can be washed away with a sponge or soft cloth using a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax. Rinse with cold water. 

Mold Inhibitor 

Make a thick borax and water paste. Smear it on the moldy area. Let set until dry (overnight or longer). Sweep up the powder, and rinse off the rest. 

Garbage Can Deodorizer 

Deodorize your garbage pail by filling it with borax and water. Let it soak then rinse it out. Sprinkle some borax in the bottom once it’s clean. This will keep the bugs away and absorb any odor causing moisture. 

Remove Rust 

Remove rust by mixing the above solution with a tablespoon of lemon juice. 

Sink Cleaner 

Remove stains from stainless steel or porcelain sinks with a paste or 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with the paste. Rinse with warm water. 

Kill Weeds 

Useful for weeds that surface in concrete cracks and on walkways, but shouldn’t be used in the garden because it will also kill your plants. 

Outdoor Furniture 

Mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1 teaspoon borax and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle and use to clean outdoor furniture. 

Cat Litter Deodorizer 

Minimize odor in your cat’s litter box by mixing a few tablespoons of borax in with the litter. 

Garbage Disposal Cleaner 

Clean and sanitize your garbage disposal by putting 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain. Let it sit for an hour and flush it with warm water. 

Shine China 


Make your worn china sparkle again by soaking in a sink full of warm water and a 1/2 cup of borax. Rinse well and wash a second time as usual. 

Linens 

Remove mildew and mustiness from linens by soaking them in 2 cups of borax mixed with 2 quarts of water. Let the linens sit for a few hours, then rinse clean. 

Unclog Drains 

Unclog drains with 1/2 cup of borax followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then run your water for a few minutes to flush it out. 

Clean Mattresses 

Remove urine odor from a mattress. Wet the mattress, rub in borax with a damp cloth. Let dry, then vacuum up the remaining residue.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun202017

Boxed Review- Groceries To Your Door

From snacks to household cleaners, office supplies and more, Boxed.com has you covered as the easy, quick way to get everything you need. No trip to the local warehouse store required!
Go here to get your Boxed deals and get FREE 2 day shipping on $50+. I ordered from them a few weeks ago and loved how fast everything shipped. 

They also offer regular deals and promotions. Boxed is a time AND money-saver!

 

I also just ordered my mom a surprise package of her favorite treats. It arrived very fast by UPS and she loved it. My mom is elderly and lives 10 hours away, so this was a nice way to help her out with some groceries. 

Live in an apartment? Boxed is perfect for stocking up on everything you need, no lugging up the stairs/elevator required!

Check it out here! And be sure to refer friends and receive $15 per friend who places an order!