Archive | February 2012

Homemade Facial Toner


This homemade toner has only 3 ingredients and takes hardly any time to make. It smells fantastic and is great for your skin, what is not to love? It would also be very easy to adjust to your own personal preferences. You will only need:

  • 1 cup green tea, cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil ~ optional but has added benefits for your skin

Place 1-2 tea bags into a cup or bowl, pour one cup of hot water over tea bags. Let steep until water has reached room temperature, discard tea bag. Stir in witch hazel, pour into storage bottle. Add essential oil and give it a good shake. So easy and so good for your skin! I used jasmine green tea, so it has an extra floral-y scent. (I don’t think floral-y is a word but you know what I mean, right?) 🙂 Green tea has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, witch hazel gently cleanses the skin, and lavender essential oil is also anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-fungal. You could also use tea tree oil in place of the lavender but the lavender smells much better in my humble opinion. Apply with a cotton ball after washing your face and do not rinse. You could also store this in a spray bottle and lightly mist your face, be careful not to get it into your eyes. If you have problems with acne on other parts of your body, like your back, you could spray it onto your back. I have been using homemade toner for a few months now and have seen a big difference with my complexion.  Use regularly and enjoy!

❤ Ashley

 

P.S. I am very excited because on March 6th my daughter and I are going to visit family in Texas for two weeks!! 🙂 Thank you tax return lol. Also this is just a random picture I wanted to share, one of my flowers from Valentine’s Day ❤

 

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Homemade Popcorn & Recipe for Birthday Cake Popcorn Balls


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If you are still buying popcorn in microwavable bags you are wasting money! When you make it yourself not only are you saving money but you know exactly what is in it. No artificial colors or flavors, no extra oils! Look at the ingredients of the stuff they sell in the store, it does not sound very appealing! This way is incredibly easy, and you can still make it in the microwave! All you need is plain paper bags and the kernels. It is less than $1.50 for each of those. So for about the same price as a box of store-bought microwaveable popcorn you can get A LOT more popcorn and its healthier, yay! 🙂 Did you know that popcorn counts as a whole grain, and 2 cups of it only has about 60 calories?! From 1/4 cup of kernels you get about 6 cups of popped corn, amazing right?

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Ready to make some yet? All you have to do is pour your 1/4 cup of kernels into a plain paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over twice and set it in the microwave standing straight up. Cook time will very depending on your microwave, but between 1:20-1:30 is perfect for ours. The directions for cooking are basically the same as store-bought, when the pops are about 2-3 seconds apart its done.

Now at this point you can eat it plain, smother it in butter like Paula Dean would probably do, season it with some herbs & spices…. OR… you can make some delicious birthday cake popcorn balls! Image

I just came up with this recipe and I am really excited about it. It’s not too sweet, not too salty, you can still taste the popcorn, but you get the cake flavor too. I LOVE sweet and salty combos, and who doesn’t love cake?! (Besides my own husband lol) I was inspired by this recipe here but it looked too sweet for my taste. It is made with white chocolate so if you are a fan of white chocolate you may prefer her recipe. I however am not a big fan of white chocolate, and didn’t have any on hand anyways. I decided to instead use marshmallows and shape it into balls. I think they came out super cute, especially when put in a cupcake liner. These would be a great birthday party favor! Here is what you will need:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick – plus more for hands)
  • 1 (10 oz) package of mini marshmallows
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Funfetti cake mix
  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • rainbow sprinkles

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You will want to make sure that the popcorn has no leftover kernels, so just get a cute kid to help you with that 🙂

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In a large pot on low heat, melt your 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in your marshmallows and salt. It will take a little while for the marshmallows to melt all the way. This would be a good time to do some dishes, refill your salt & pepper shakers, call your mother, whatever… If you stand over the pot staring at those suckers it will seem like an ETERNITY! You will just want to check them every minute or so and give them a quick stir. Once they are all melted it will look like this:

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Now stir in your cake mix, a little at a time to avoid lumps. Remove from heat. Dump in your popcorn and gently stir it all together. I find its best to use a spatula and fold it in, that way you don’t crush the popcorn. It will look all gooey and stringy like this:

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Set out a strip of wax or parchment paper (or a greased cookie sheet would be fine I’m sure). Take some extra butter and rub it all over your hands. This will keep your popcorn mixture from sticking to you. You will want to work quickly, before the mixture cools and hardens up… just use caution as the mixture might still be a little hot. If it’s too hot to work with let it cool for a minute or so. Then just take a handful and shape into a ball. I had to put just a little more butter on my hands between each one, or else it started sticking to me. Set them on the paper to cool. Once you have shaped all of your popcorn balls and washed the butter off of your hands, add some sprinkles. How many you end up with will depend on how big you make them. I got 13 from this batch. Aren’t they adorable?!

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It shouldn’t be too hard to find a taste tester for this recipe. Show a kid rainbow sprinkles, tell them it tastes like cake and they are all over it! (Hmmm maybe I should use that trick for veggies?) My daughter approves 🙂

Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

❤ Ashley