Friday, November 6, 2020

5 Homemade Gift Ideas from the Heart & Easy to Make

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The holidays are upon us and gifts and shopping are probably on everyone's minds. But don't despair if you can bake, cook, create items from the Dollar Tree and things laying around the house you are on your way to creating a gift from the heart. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that store bought items are "cheap" or "not thoughtful".  It is just, for me personally, when someone gives me a gift from the heart and that was made with their own hands, it is more memorable. This loved one or friend took  time out of their day to create a gift for me. To me that is something special and not something that you forget easily.  

Remember to think of the person you are creating this gift for, then go from there and the rest should follow. For example, ask yourself some questions: Who is this gift for? What are their interests? And How much am I willing to spend?

Here are some ideas of Homemade Gift Ideas from the Heart: 



With a little creativity and imagination, you can make something beautiful to give to a loved one or close friend and they will surely remember you, every time they wear it. 



A Gift Mug is so much fun to create, think of all the possibilities that this can go: 




3. Plants or Flowers Gifts




Plants you grow yourself can be an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift.  A small colorful plant is probably best and can be placed in a pretty container with a ribbon.  Include a note on how to care for the plant. If you don’t have a green thumb, silk flowers would be appropriate and can look almost real.




Calendars can be made from photos taken throughout the year.  These are easy and fairly inexpensive to make online.  You make it more personal by adding special dates and names such as birthdays and anniversaries.  This is a gift that gives all year. 


Shop Stocking Stuffers on Calendars.com


5. Homemade Food or Cookies



Food dishes you’ve cooked yourself are wonderful gifts.  Prepare whatever is your specialty such as jellies, breads, candies or cookies.  Make is personal with a label that says “From the Kitchen of…”  Decorate it with a colorful bow or ribbon and include the recipe.
Personalized gifts given with thoughtfulness and care are for all ages and worth far more than a hurried purchase just to fulfill your obligation regardless of the cost. 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Christmas 2020 is around the corner....What are your plans?

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 Good Morning(or Afternoon/Evening), 

How are you? This year has been a whirlwind so far and crazy, right? In the US right now, we are trying to figure out who our next president will be and it has been a day after the election and we still have no clear winner. People are dying everyday from COVID-19 and systemic racism is a work in continual progress. ***SIGH***.  Hopefully it will all be over soon and we can breathe a sigh of relief or tear our hair out, depending on the outcome, LOL. Sometimes in the midst of chaos and uncertainty my go to is humor because it keeps me sane. So...what was I talking about...oh, yeah Christmas 2020!

My dear son asked me a few days ago what we were going to be doing for Thanksgiving and I honestly had no clue, but thought of decorations, Romantic Comedies and Charlie Brown Movies. Overall just spending some quality time together as a family. It will be a first for us to be spending this holiday with just the 4 of us, instead of the extended family. No, I didn't forget about the food part(Turkey and Sides), it is just a matter of deciding what I want to do. It will all work out:-). 


Christmas will of course be altogether different, but worth it when it comes to spending time with your family. Some people have become very creative in these times of social distancing and just decided to Zoom or Skype their families during these festive get togethers so that they can at least be able to see their loved ones during these times. Our plans are still up in the air, but I do have some ideas about how it will all go down:-). At the end of the day, family means everything to me as well as their safety and well being. So however you choose to spend your Christmas or Holidays with your family this year, make sure it is memorable and that you are practicing safe social distancing practices. We all would love to see our extended families during these upcoming holidays, unfortunately there is a pandemic, so if we do, we should do it safely and sometimes creatively so you still have that "togetherness" just in a different way. 

How to Have a Virtual Family Holiday Celebration



Be Safe. Be Well. Make Memories. 

By MomAdvocate





 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Don't Forget to Fall Back this Weekend!


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Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend: Don't forget to change your clocks


It is that time of year again when we get to earn an extra hour of sleep. I am so ready! Who doesn't want an extra hour...anyone? So get ready for those shorter days and longer nights. Also have a safe and social distance Halloween 2020 this weekend too:-)

By MomAdvocate

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Special Child

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For ALL of the mothers out there with special needs children, keep on fighting, keep on advocating, it will be all worth it in the end. Our children need us:-)


Monday, October 26, 2020

6 Ways to Save Money on Turkey Day

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Six Ways to Save Money on the Main Course at Thanksgiving


The main course will usually be the most expensive part of your Thanksgiving meal and planning ahead can help save money, no matter what you decided to serve as well as what your family prefers. 

1. Talking Turkey


Most families are more traditional and choose a turkey; however, there are a few important factors to consider. Do you want a whole bird or just the breast?  If your family does not like dark meat, then a breast would be the best choice, especially since it is usually more expensive per pound than an entire turkey.

 


A bird with a bone in it will lose about one-third of its weight by the time you discard bones, giblets, fat and so on. This means a 12-pound bird will yield 8 pounds of food. This would be about 4 to 8 ounces of turkey per person, ensuring that you have enough to go around. 

Contemplate buying a bigger bird than you need so that you can cook it just one time and make leftovers, such as sliced turkey breast for sandwiches or turkey chili.

 



Buy a turkey that is not self-basting, if you can afford organic then go for it, but otherwise it is very expensive. Look for sales on frozen turkeys and turkey breasts in the run-up to Thanksgiving. Also try local farms or farmer’s markets to see if you can buy a fresh bird direct. It is important to note, that not everyone likes turkey. So, what are some alternatives that are easy on the wallet?

2. Roast Chicken

Cook one or more chickens. Most people like chicken and you can use all the same side dishes and fixings as you would if you cooked a turkey. Oven stuffer roasters are usually on the large side if you just need one bird. Chicken breasts can be purchased for around $2 per pound in warehouse clubs if no one likes dark meat.




3. Pork Tenderloin

Pork is branded as "the other white meat". A pork tenderloin is lean, tasty and versatile. You can use all the same sides as you would a turkey or chicken. You can also use any leftover meat for a variety of homemade TV dinners, like tacos, stir fry and more. Check out your local farmers markets, butchers or grocery sales. 





4. Ham

Some people love ham at the holidays, and buy baked ham, while pork prices are cheap, bone-in is usually cheaper. And just like you do with turkey, you can use the same sides as you did with turkey. Larger families cook both turkey and ham and make the most of leftovers. 





For some, a holiday meal isn’t complete without a roast dinner. And some people prefer red meat to poultry or pork. A large roast can feed many guests and often still give you enough for leftovers to slice up for sandwiches or use in tacos, chili and so forth. Check out the warehouse clubs or grocery sales for the best prices. If your family loves side dishes; however, roast beef would be the best choice. 






Many people have given up meat, or like to eat light, so if you are not sure who on your guest list eats what, including a vegetarian or vegan main course might be a good idea. You can find many recipes for delicious nut roasts, for example, and you can buy the nuts in bulk online. You can also buy a turkey-style Quorn roast in health food stores or online, which many people find as tasty as turkey. You can get a 1 lb. roast for about $7, although this can be expensive, a little goes a long way and you can also serve it with all the same side dishes. 



I hope you enjoyed all the various ways to save money on our upcoming Turkey Day this coming November. 

Take Care. 




 





Thursday, October 22, 2020

Seasonal Fall/Winter Recipe of the Day: Chocolate Bread Pudding

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Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

4 cups heavy cream

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate

6 egg yolks (you can just use the entire egg including the whites)

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Salt

9 cups cubed firm-textured white bread (1-inch cubes)-(Really any type of white bread will do)



Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

 

2. Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Turn off the heat.  Put the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl, and pour in 1 cup of the warm cream.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts.  Stir the mixture until smooth. Pour in the remaining cream.

 

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture.  Strain through a fine strainer and skim off any froth.

 

4. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the pudding over it.  Stir gently until the cubes are moistened through. Be careful not to crumble the bread.  Transfer the cubes to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, and pour any remaining pudding over the top.  Bake until the pudding is just firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Serve warm with whipped cream. YUMMO!

Serves 6-8


Enjoy:-)

By MomAdvocate



4 Budget Tips for the New Year!

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