Strawberry Pastry Puffs Recipe

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How would you like to make some delicious pastries that will look like you spent hours making them in under 30 minutes? This strawberry puffs is so easy to make and looks so festive. It’s certainly perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry Pastry Puffs Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of pre-made frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled out to a rectangle or square that’s about 3 mm thick
  • About half a cup of sliced strawberries (just 3-4 pieces of strawberries)
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • half a cup of strawberry jam
  • 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk for the egg wash (you can substitute water for the milk to make the egg wash)

Let’s Make Some Awesome Strawberry Pastry Puffs!

Preheat your oven to 180C while you gather all your ingredients.

Cut the puff pastry into 3 inch by 3 inch squares.

Slice the strawberries for your filling. You can for small cubes or go for thin slivers. You can also slice some extra for garnish later.

To make each strawberry puff, make an incision along the sides of each pastry square about half an inch from the sides but not connecting the incision on two opposite sides (so the extra pastry on the side will still be attached to the inner square). It would look like a diamond shape, more so when you fold each ‘flap’ to meet the other side.

Fold the sides to meet the opposite corner of the inner square.

Brush with some egg wash and place a teaspoon of strawberry jam plus a teaspoon of sliced strawberries in the center sprinkled with about 1/3 teaspoon icing sugar.

Repeat with the rest of your pastry (about 6-8 other pieces).

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in your preheated oven’s top rack. It should be well browned once it is done.

Serve with some fresh sliced strawberries and a generous sprinkling of icing sugar.

Note: This recipe makes 6-8 small pastries but you can easily double or triple the recipe to serve more.

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Valentine’s Day Craft for Kids: Upcycled Tabletop Teddy Bear

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The teddy bear is one of the most common soft stuffed toys that are given during Valentine’s Day, usually accompanied by a box of chocolates and some flowers. It’s said that the name “Teddy” originated from the former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

This tutorial would teach us how to make a decorative Valentine teddy bear.  This is a tabletop décor that can be made by kids too, with minimal supervision.

Upcycled Valentine’s Day Craft: Tabletop Teddy Bear

Gather all the materials needed for this tutorial:

  • a piece of toilet paper roll
  • brown, red and beige construction board
  • a pencil
  • a black pen
  • a pair of scissors
  • hot glue

Steps for this tutorial:

Step 1:

Wrap the toilet paper roll with brown construction board.

Step 2:

Draw a half-body bear on the remaining piece of brown construction board.  This should include the head, the torso, and the big circular ears. (if you aren’t artistic, you can download this template)

Step 3:

Cut the brown bear figure.

Step 4:

Cut a medium-sized oblong from the beige construction board.  Glue the oblong on a landscape orientation at the lower middle part of the bear’s face.  This is the bear’s snout.

Step 5:

 

Cut a small heart shape.  Glue this on the topmost area of the bear’s snout.  This is the bear’s nose.

Step 6:

 

Cut two small circles from the beige construction board and glue this on top of the bear’s snout.  This will serve as the bear’s eyes.

Step 7:

Add some details on the face of the bear.  Use a black pen to draw the mouth, the eyeballs, and other details.

Step 8: 

Cut two medium-sized hearts from the red construction board and glue it on the middle body of the ears.

Step 9:

Cut a medium-sized red bow and glue a small beige oblong in the middle of it.  Hot glue the red bow on the neck of the bear, just below the bear’s head.

Step 10:

Hot glue the bear on the toilet paper roll.  Make sure that the toilet paper roll is placed on the middle body of the bear.

Step 11:

 

Cut a big red heart from the board.

Step 12:

Hot glue the heart in the front face of the toilet paper roll.  This is opposite to the body of the bear.

Step 13:

Cut a pair of arms with hands on the brown construction board.

Step 14:

Glue the arms on the sides of the bear’s body hugging the toilet paper roll together with the red heart in front.

Step 15:

Write your lovely message to your loved one on the big red heart.

Step 16:

Finally done!  This cute tabletop Valentine bear is now ready for display!

If you want more fun Valentine’s ideas, be sure to check out this Pinterest board!

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Make Your Own Toe Socks

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Thumb socks or otherwise known as toe socks, finger socks or glove socks, originated in the late 1960’s at Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by Ethel Russell.  Thumb socks are originally knitted in which each toe is encased following the concept of classic hand gloves.  These are designed for both men and women, but it was originally targeted to women.  These are also made from different materials and can be in the form of an anklet, below the ankle socks or even knee socks.  These can be ideally used for buffalo sandals or even flip-flops during the early years.  These are also believed to have its prime function of keeping the feet warm especially in between the toes.

If you are in a hurry to have a pair of toe socks or would just want to make their own instead of buying a pair or two in the market, then this tutorial is for you!  We will be transforming a normal pair of socks into a pair of new thumb socks in less than 20-minutes.  This is easy and fun to make and it won’t hurt your wallet also.  So if you are fond of revamping things around you, then let us begin!

Materials needed:

Prepare all the materials needed for this tutorial:

a pair of socks

a sewing thread (same color as the sock)

a sewing needle

a pair of scissors

Step-by-step guide:

Step 1: 

Create a V-cut on the tip of the socks.  Make sure that you have made an approximate as to where your foot toe would land on the tip so that the cut will be precise when done.

Step 2: 

Thread the needle.  Make sure to loop the end of the thread twice.

Step 3: 

Begin sewing the V-cut on the tip of the socks.  Use a small running stitch for this and start at the bottom part of the V-cut all the way up to the tip of the sock.  Do this for both of it.  Make sure to sew the wrong side of the sock.

Step 4: 

Turn the sock inside out and try to flatten the sewn part out.

Step 5: 

Try the socks on your feet and make the necessary adjustments if needed.

Step 6: 

Done and ready for use!  You can now easily convert your pair of socks into a new pair of thumb socks!

These pair of thumb socks is perfect for sandals, clogs, flip-flops or any footwear that require your thumb toe to be isolated from the remaining toes.  This is can be done in minutes and can go at par with the ones that are being sold in the market.  You can also use a sewing machine for this if you are not that well-versed and confident with your hand sewing output.  Hope this works for you like we did!

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Pasta Fagioli Recipe

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This Pasta Fagioli recipe is one of my winter favorites. It’s easy to make and delicious with a nice piece of crusty bread.

If you’re looking for a few more winter comfort-food recipes to round out your weekly meal plan, try one of these:

Mediterranean Penne Pasta Slow Cooker Pasta

Copy Cat Olive Garden Spaghetti Sauce

Slow Cooker Moroccan Short Ribs

Easy and Delicious Beef Stew

Easy Pasta Fagioli Recipe

Ingredients:


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

3 – 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely minced

4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil (1 tablespoon fresh)

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped seeds and pulp removed

2 medium tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, pureed

¾ cups uncooked Ditalini or elbow pasta

1 can cannellini beans with liquid

Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Garnish:
Fresh Pesto – recipe included

Directions:

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until tender, but not mushy. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not brown.

Add 2½ cups of chicken broth to pot. Season with oregano, basil, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add chopped and pureed tomatoes to pot. Simmer on low for 20 – 25 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until tender. Approximately 10 minutes.

Add beans and reserved liquids to pot and heat through. Ladle into bowls and tops with a dollop of fresh pesto, if desired.

Serve with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian.

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Free New Years Resolution Printables for Kids

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It’s almost the New Year, and it’s the best time to celebrate a new beginning. And for kids ages 6-12, this is the perfect stage to learn to make resolutions.

At this point in their lives, their habits are not firm yet. Though they know what resolutions are, parents are still in the best position to guide them – and the best way to do it is by putting them in writing!

We’re sharing with you this free printable, hope you and your kids have a blast with it!


Download for Free

Wouldn’t it be a lot of fun if we can turn back time and look at what we did at some point? Kids will definitely love this idea! So why not get them started with his fun Time Capsule printable?


Download for Free

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Mint-Infused Coconut Oil Body Butter

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Homemade gifts are just the best! They are really fun for the giver to make and the receiver knows that much time and love went into the gift. This recipe for Mint-Infused Coconut Oil Body Butter fits the bill quite nicely! It’s easy enough to make with the kids and delectable to use!

Ready in 50 minutes.

Makes ¾ cup of body butter.

Ingredients:

        • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
        • 2 tablespoons of mint-infused coconut oil
        • Dried rose petals
        • 2 tsp of vitamin E
        • 7 drops of lime essential oil
        • 4 tablespoons of solid shea butter
        • 7 drops of lavender essential oil

Instructions:

Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. Add in the olive oil and the dried rose petals. Heat the mixture for ten minutes then remove from heat and let it cool.

Once cooled, add the vitamin E and essential oils and whip the butter until it becomes airy. Transfer the butter to an airtight jar.

Note: You may find more great recipes here: http://amzn.to/1Qv1LB1

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Quick Homemade Peanut Brittle Recipe

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Peanut Brittle is one of my favorite treats to eat. I don’t know why it’s only brought out during the holidays, though!

Here is a simple tutorial on how to make Homemade Peanut Brittle – and it’s much better than anything you can buy in the store.  The best part is, it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. So let’s get started!

What You Will Need:

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  • Peanuts – 5.5 oz
  • Jaggery/Brown Sugar – 5.5 oz
  • Clarified Butter (Ghee) – 2 tbsp.
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp.

Preparation:

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Break the Jaggery into small pieces so that it will be easier to melt when you put it up the pan.

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Then roast the peanuts, remove the cover and then crush the peanuts a little so that it is more flavorsome.

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In a non-stick pan melt 2 tbsp. of clarified butter.

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Then add the jaggery/brown sugar.

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Keep on stirring it till it completely melts and turns light brown.

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Be sure to stir it continuously so that the jaggery it does not burn.

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Then add 2 tbsp. of sugar and continue stirring.

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Once the mixture turns slightly brown add the roasted peanuts and cook for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the stove.

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Grease a plate.

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Pour the mixture into the plate.

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Flatten out the entire mixture and then keep it to cool. Just be sure to cut the Peanut Brittle into desired size when it is slightly warm.

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Then after it cools down it will be easier to break them down into pieces.

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There you go, Homemade Peanut Brittle is ready to be eaten. If you are not so fond of nuts, you can add raisins into the jaggery. Enjoy!

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Easy Gift for Kids to Make: Sewing Kit

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If you know of someone that likes sewing as a hobby, or maybe even a “newly minted” adult, this is a great gift to give.

Whenever we sew, we want to have an organized way of keeping things.  Buttons, velcros, pins, needles and the like are often mixed in one sewing box, that most of the time; we tend to forget that we own several of those.  In order to organize everything, and make thing easier for us, we came up with a handy sewing bottle with a pincushion on top of it.  Sounds cool huh?!

Easy Gift for Kids to Make: Sewing Kit

First, gather all of the materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

sewing-bottle-photo-1

Gather all the materials needed for this tutorial:

  • a small covered bottle
  • a piece of craft felt
  • 1-centimeter thick red satin ribbon
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • pattern paper
  • fillings or stuffing (e.g. craft felt, cotton, synthetic fibers, etc. )
  • hot glue

Step 1:

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Measure the bottle cap and line it using a pencil.  Cut the pattern but leave a small margin around the circle.

Step 2:

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Using the pattern, cut a piece of craft felt.

Step 3:

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Cut several vertical lines on the excess side of the felt.  Put the bottle cap in the middle to have a reference point when cutting the felt.

Step 4:

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Hot glue each vertical strand of felt on the side or the edge of the bottle cap.  Leave a small opening on it.

Step 5:

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Cut the stuffing or the filling into several bits of pieces.

Step 6:

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Insert the fillings on the small opening on top of the cap.  Push the fillings using the tip of the scissors.

Step 7:

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Seal the opening using hot glue.

Step 8:

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Wrap the red satin ribbon around the edge of the bottle cap and glue it to permanently stick it.  Cut the excess ribbon afterwards.

Step 9:

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Put the pins and the sewing materials, like buttons, on the sewing bottle.

Step 10:

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Close the sewing bottle and you are now ready to go!

If you have a lot of sewing items to place, you can use a bigger bottle for that.  The size of the bottle would vary on the needs of the owner.  You can also place sewing threads or even a measuring tape inside the bottle.  Anything comes in handy now!  So what are you waiting for?  Make one for yourself or for a friend now!  Enjoy!

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Simple Changes to Help You Save Big at the Grocery Store

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Being a homeschooling parent is hardly an easy task. Between juggling schedules, curriculum and driving here and there, just finding the time to go grocery shopping can be difficult (especially if you’re trying to get there sans the kids!), let alone sit and clip coupons from the Sunday paper and try to hunt down the best deals to save a few dollars.

One of our savings experts, Melissa, switched up her grocery shopping habits for her family of four 6 months ago and she swears it was one of the smartest decisions she’s made in her adult life.  Despite what people say, you don’t need to be an extreme couponer to save at the grocery store.

How to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Melissa shared her saving experiences with us and we collected them into the list of easy tips below!

1. Grocery Shopping Once a Month Saves Money

On average, shoppers visit the grocery store three to four times per week and end up purchasing over 50% more than they originally planned. Save time, money and stress by limiting your grocery trips to once per month.

  • You can prioritize your grocery list in advance and match up your coupons with the foods you actually eat.
  • It also allows enough time to plan and print couponsso you never miss a deal!

2. Save and Scan All of your Receipts

Receipts are a great way to take advantage of additional coupons and promotions you may have missed when you were at the store.

And, on the planning side they are the best tool to keep track of what you’re actually buying. Notice a lot of impulse buys on that receipt? Make note and don’t deviate from your prepared shopping list next time. Those purchases add up fast!

PLUS: Some of our favorite apps for cashback are below. Use multiple apps to maximize your savings!

3. Buy in Bulk (We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat Freezer!)

Whether it’s big boxes of goods at Sam’s Club, or the bulk bins at the local market, it’s easier and cheaper to buy larger amounts of food and paper goods in bulk (it also saves on excess packaging too).

  • Price-per-unit is king (check out the price tags which will indicate cost by weight/pieces.)
  • Always weigh bagged produce as they may actually weigh more than what the package says
  • Buy by the case and save tons – you can usually ask the store manager for details
  • Buy a large quantity of an expensive items one month (especially if on sale) and another one the following month, rotating similar large purchases throughout the year while matching sales.  Example: olive oil, frozen chicken.

4. Use Store + Manufacture Coupons + Rebate Apps = MORE SAVINGS

Manufacturer coupons are the “holy grail” for savvy shoppers because they are accepted at both national and local grocery stores.  The best couponers will combine manufacturer coupons with grocery store coupons, rebate apps and customer loyalty cards to maximize savings power.

Coupons: Sign up and print from these brands and score$1,000+ in exclusive coupons form your favorite products, useful tips and ideas on how to save (even more!), and learn about free samples and exciting promotions.

HOT TIP: Keep in mind – you can usually only print two online coupons per person, per manufacturer, per day.

5. Sign Up for Store Loyalty Programs for Extra Savings and FREE STUFF

This is a great way to get added perks in the form of store credit or points delivered right to your inbox.  The best tactic is sign up for the brand’s loyalty offer via their website to get their deal announcements sent directly to your email – EASY.

Here are some of our favorite loyalty programs:

  • Starbucks Rewards
    • Once you become a Gold member the free coffee and other savings just pour out!
  • Kellogg’s Family Rewards (mentioned above)
  • Target Red Card
    • Get 5% off ALL of your Target purchases when you apply for the Target Red Card. They offer a credit card as well as a debit card.

6. Curious About a New Product? – Try Before You Buy and Don’t Waste Money

Don’t know if that cereal, shampoo or diaper product is any good?  No worries, look for a free sample from our huge Free Samples or Freebies sections on MySavings.com.  We list hundreds of brand name products so you can try them out before purchasing.

HOT TIP:  Did you know you can ask to sample anything at Trader Joe’s and also in the produce section at Whole Foods?

7. Know the Sales Cycles and Stock Up

Focus on only buying groceries when they are at their rock-bottom price.

HOT TIP: Most stores and regions follow a 6-week cycle. So, if you see a cheap price one week then buy enough of that item to last around 6 weeks to add to your stockpile.

Be sure to research each grocery store’s online couponing policy before shopping.

8. Know Where to Get the Cheapest Groceries

If you’re like Melissa, and other moms on our team, you have a favorite store. It’s your go-to place, your shopping home. While it’s okay to prefer one shopping experience over another, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore prices at other stores. You’ll save a lot more than you think by adding several stops to your grocery trip.

Be sure to keep all your receipts to help you compare prices at different locations. It may sound like a lot of work, but once you know where to buy certain items, you won’t have to comparison shop until you notice a price increase.

YOUR TURN: What’s your favorite way to save at the grocery store?

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for reading!

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