Archive for the ‘Save Money + Save Time = Save Sanity’ Category
Slow Cooker Bacon-Wrapped Apple Barbecue Chicken (YUM)
This recipe speaks to me on so many levels! It has your protein, your fruit and the ever important BACON! I know this will be devoured in my house. Okay, no more drooling back to the belt factory!
With only a few ingredients and even fewer steps, this just might be the easiest slow-cooker recipe ever!
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 1-2 apples, peeled and grated
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 6-8 slices of bacon
1. In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, grated apple, and lemon juice.
2. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each chicken breast half.
3. Place wrapped chicken in a greased 4-5 quart slow cooker and top with BBQ sauce mixture.
4. Set to low and cook for 8 hours.
Recipe and photo courtesy of MomsWhoThink
Who doesn’t need and want to make life just a little bit easier? I know I do, even the smallest of tasks can become daunting with the monotony of the day-to-day chores and hectic schedules. So…with that being said, let’s take a look!
1. Put a “safety spot” sticker on your car to ensure an older child doesn’t wander off
while you load or unload the car.
You can improvise your own with a large, round sticker, or purchase the Parking Pal magnet here.
2. If your kids are always using new cups, give them their own designated cups with magnets to stick to the fridge.
Not only does this mean less dishwashing, but cups can be kept at kid-height instead of up-high cupboards.
3. Helichrysum is the essential oil you need for accident-prone kids.
It’s used by dentists to stop bleeding instantly. Read more about it here.
4. A plastic cup will keep little hands safe when handling sparklers on the Fourth of July.
5. A crib sheet will keep an outdoor baby from getting bitten up by mosquitoes.
Sometimes you want to keep baby outside with you while working in the yard. A crib sheet provides shade and protection from bugs.
6. Use a glue gun to prevent shoes from slipping.
7. Add Jell-O to your popsicles so they don’t melt into a drippy mess.
Get the recipe for this slow-melt popsicle recipe here.
8. Another use for your glue gun: Plug up those holes in your bath toys so they don’t get all moldy.
9. The “You Shall Not Pass” sign provides a visual limit to how much toilet paper your child can take.
10. And finally… this solution will SAVE YOUR LIFE (and your beds) during the potty-training phase.
A serious time and sleep saver during a challenging time.
Here’s a bonus hack …or harmless plug – Dapper Snappers…Did you know we made a BuzzFeed list? Click here!
List Courtesy of BuzzFeed. Images credited in captions.
MOMMY-TO-BE and MY PANTS DON’T FIT ME!!! It wasn’t long ago you found out the exciting news, you’re going to be a mommy! There’s a bun in the oven and you’ve got a whole nine months of baking. Now, we face the changes of our bodies, our moods and maybe what we invest. Whether this is your first baby or your fourth our wardrobe will change. Then there’s the shopping for some maternity clothes, cause we still have to get dressed. Depending on how your body handles the pregnancy we may start to get a little bloated around 9-12 weeks. Shortly after our belly’s get a little tougher and start to expand. It’s hard letting those favorite pants go for the next six months, especially if they are your comfy pair. But what if… you could keep them on for at least another month or two? When our family designed the Dapper Snapper for toddlers, we kept you mommy-to-be in mind. By creating a front end belt that allows an expandable support for the belly, you can wear your favorite pants for another month or so. Boy? Girl? Both? lol, we have all boy and girly girl designs that will suite your trending themes for expanding accessories. Congratulations!
Happy Holidays Moms & Tots! We sure hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As the older children may have returned to school, parents may be very busy preparing for Christmas and New Years as it so quickly approaches. Attached are some printable coloring pages for you to share with your little ones. Just add a couple of crayons and inspire a moment of holiday creativity.
Happy Earth Day from all of us here at the kids belts office!
In honor of this holiday (is it really a holiday? Shouldn’t someone be giving me gifts or something?), here are some simple tips on how to be more green.
- Flip the switch: Yep, just turn of that light when you leave a room. Also, if you have a room that gets great natural lighting, don’t turn on a light at all! (Bonus tip: change out all of your light bulbs for those low energy ones that last forever and save money, too!)
- Tap water: Did you know that the bottled water industry sold 8.8 billion gallons of water in 2010, generating nearly $11 billion in profits and the energy required to produce and transport these bottles could fuel an estimated 1.5 million cars for a year. According to treehugger.com 1500 plastic water bottles are used EVERY SECOND!!! Wow, all that just to have someone else fill up a bottle for me and slap a label on it. Make a commitment to make this small change: Fill up your own water bottle! Yes, it is that easy!
- Peddle Power: No, not “flower power”, peddle power. Try to start eliminating one car trip a week by riding your bike. Headed to the store down the street for a few things? Ride your bike instead of turning the key. It’s a small change that can add up!
- Be a Bag Lady: Bring your own bags to the grocery store or farmers market. You eliminate the waste of plastic or paper bags, plus some stores, like Target, give you 5¢ off your total for every bag you use. Bonus!! Save the Earth and save money!
- Up-cycle: This one is my favorite. Instead of buying new and getting the same thing that everyone else has, go thrift shopping! Get something gently used and make it your own with a new coat of paint, or a coat of furniture wax. Same goes for clothes. I have been to thrift stores where the clothes on the racks still have the original tags! Bring it home and wear as is, or add your own touch, change up that t-shirt into a tank. Pinterest has tons of ideas on up-cycling clothing!
There you have it, now start hugging some trees and make everyday Earth Day, after all, it’s the only planet we’ve got!
Does that image look familiar? It should, I used it when I blogged on my kids belts blog about “Magic Mesh“. Well, I did it again… I got sucked into the “As Seen on TV” section again. This time for a book, “Who Knew? 10,001 East Solutions to Everyday Problems”. I know, it’s a very wordy title, but an attractive one non the less.
I did get a bit distracted by some of the other items in that section…
Who buys this stuff?? Oh wait, I do! Well, at least some of the cooler ones. I’ve never bought any of the ones I listed here, at least not that I’ll admit in public.
That’s enough goofing off, back to the book with the ridiculously long title.
Despite the silliness that is “As Seen On TV”, this book has some great tips! What I like is that the tips are short an sweet. There is no extensive reading. Thank goodness, cause who has time for reading?? Here are a few samples of their simple solutions:
- Freshen Shoes
Get rid of nasty odors by sprinkling salt in them and leaving them overnight. The salt will absorb moisture.
- Light Candles without burning fingers
To light hard-to-reach wicks at the bottom of jar candles, use an uncooked strand of spaghetti. Light the end of it, then use it like a fireplace match.
- Makin’ Bacon?
Always rinse bacon under cold water before frying — it will reduce the amount the bacon shrinks when you cook it.
- Dryer Lint
Instead of throwing away lint you’ve cleaned out of your dryer’s screen, use it as kindling for your fireplace. It lights quickly and can be stuffed places paper can’t.
- Worry-Free Carving
To quickly and easily sanitize a cutting board, rub salt into it with a wedge of lemon.
Last week, in my kids belts blog, I shared with you that I am on a spring cleaning kick. After I posted that blog, I got to thinking, I should share with you some tips on how I tackle my spring cleaning. I’m not saying that my way is the only way, but it is the right way…
5 Tips for Tackling Spring Cleaning:
- One room at a time – I know that sounds simple enough, but I know from experience that it’s easier said than done. I was a wanderer… there, I admit it. I wandered. I would start in one room find something that belonged in another, head to that room and see something that needed to be in another room, so I’d take it there and it would just gone on and on like that with me circling the house and completing nothing. Now I focus on one room at a time.
- Clear the floor first – if you can’t navigate the room safely, you aren’t going to accomplish anything. Clear the floor first, put shoes back where they belong, throw away old coloring books and broken crayons. Remove anything else from the floor that doesn’t belong in the room.
- Clear the furniture of debris – remove toys, papers, mail, clothes. Here’s the tricky part… throw stuff away. Actually look at what those papers are, is that mail junk, am I going to wear those clothes again? Make a decision and deal with the items appropriately. Now, clean out from under those couch cushions….
- Rearrange furniture – Did you know that rearranging your furniture is the cheapest way to redecorate? Just try moving that couch over there and put the recliner in that corner. It’s magic! The room looks totally different! (Plus moving the furniture, makes it to where you have to clean under it!)
- Dust/Clean the room from top to bottom – literally, in that order. That way the dust settles on the stuff you haven’t dusted, yet. Eventually, it lands on the floor and you vacuum/mop it up!
Hope that helps you tackle your spring cleaning!
Back in February I reviewed eMeals, which is a meal planning website. I really liked the service and I highly recommended it to everyone, and still do. However, I came across this other really cool site recently, called Food on the Table. This site is very similar in that it does diet specific menu plans with recipes utilizing the sales at your local stores, but the best part about this site is that it’s free! Yep, you heard me right, FREE, just click here and the promo code is already entered for you!!
This site is great. When you log in, it takes you through a step by step to get your account set up. You get to choose the stores where you shop, your food preferences (low-fat, low-carb, gluten free, vegetarian), the recipes you want for the week, and then it gives you your shopping list! What’s really convenient is that you can also add random items to your shopping list so that you have everything in one place, and I don’t know if your desk looks like my desk at the kids belts office, but the less paper the better! If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can also download their app, and you know me and iPhone/iPad apps… I’ve got to have them!
The recipes are really easy to follow. I think all of them are ready in under an hour and most are under 30 minutes. A 30 minute meal? I think I can even handle that! Once you have finished editing your shopping list, the next option is how you would like to receive your list. You can get it in almost any way imaginable, except by carrier pigeon… That’s a shame to, cause I would love to receive something by carrier pigeon. Anyway, you can print just your grocery list, just the recipes or both. You can also email the grocery list to yourself or send it to your iPhone! You gotta love technology!
This site even sends you notices that it’s time to set up your next weeks worth of meals, as well as new dinner ideas. I really like what this site offers and the best part, like I said before, is that it’s free for life! So at least if you try it out and don’t like it, you aren’t losing anything!
Ok, it’s almost summer and I am fully in vacation mode… Not that I’m actually going on vacation, mind you, but I think my brain is. One of the bad things about living in FL is that aside from the 3:00pm thunderstorm, it’s beautiful out (albeit hot) most of the time. That makes it really hard to stay cooped up in the kids belts office, but I do it to continue saving the world from droopy drawers one child at a time!
One thing that comes with summer is the lack of my desire to cook, but it is one of those necessary evils… In the summer I like to cook a lot of one dish meals, Vegetarian Lasagna, Summer Sketti, and now that I found this one (courtesy of Florida Coupon Savers who got it from All You Magazine), it will be added to my list of summer meals (and winter too for that matter). The other really nice thing about this meal is that it costs less than $2.00 a serving which includes the protein, vegetables and starch all in one!
Biscuit Topped Chicken Potpie
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 9 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup plus 3 Tbsp Milk
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Cornstartch
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 Shallot finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables, thawed
- 3 cups Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Make biscuits: Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand. Gently stir in all but 1 Tbsp milk. Turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop, knead just to bring together; pat into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into 6 biscuits with a 3 inch cutter. Place on baking sheet, cover and chill.
- Make Filling: Whisk cream and cornstarch in a bowl. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Sautee shallots until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth, vegetables, chicken and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in cream mixture; cook, stirring until thickened.
- Transfer filling into an 11×7 inch baking dish; arrange biscuits on top. Brush biscuits with remaining 1 Tbsp of milk. Bake until biscuits are golden, about 18-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
I hope you and your family enjoy not only the recipe, but also the money you save by not eating out when you get a case of “Idon’twanttocook-itis”!