Frugal Gift Idea: Make a Sweet-n-Spicy Brown Sugar Scrub

Not all food gifts have to be edible, right? (Well, you could eat this one if you want to…wouldn’t hurt anything…although it might give you quite a sugar rush.)

When I saw the idea for this Sweet-n-Spicy Brown Sugar Scrub on the Domino Sugar website, I loved how simple it was and thought it would be fun to make some up. What a unique homemade gift idea!

I used coconut oil instead of the almond oil it called for (apparently my small town doesn’t carry almond oil anywhere…or maybe I just don’t know the right places to look?)

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After putting it in a jar and tying on some cinnamon sticks (which have nothing to do with the scrub…but look oh so cute)…I rubbed some of the scrub on my hands just to test it out.

Ooh, nice! 

Do I have to give this away? 

Okay, maybe I should just mix up another batch. Or maybe try making another variety of the sugar scrubs.

I had a blast looking through the gift ideas on the Domino Sugar website. But as you know…looking at pictures of food always makes me happy. :)

Okay, I think after typing this…my hands are in need of another scrub treatment.

Do you think the recipient of this gift will mind if the jar is almost empty when she receives it?

Yeah…I better go mix up another batch.
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Special thanks to the folks at Domino Sugar for providing me with a $20 gift card to purchase ingredients to create their wonderful gift ideas! I think I’m going to mix up some Holiday Cookie Rolls next. Aren’t they cute?!
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This post is linked to Frugal Friday.

Let’s Discuss…Punctuation (Periods and Question Marks)

First let me warn any male readers that may be visting here today. You really probably want to stop reading now and go – I don’t know – hit a few golf balls or something. This discussion is sort of “for girls only, boys not allowed.”

Okay, ladies…have they all left? Would someone in the back please close the door? Alright now, everyone come closer.

I’ve been wanting to have this discussion for a while. About  punctuation. Periods to be exact.

I kind of thought I was the crazy one. The only one. Until I had a discussion with some girlfriends of mine several months ago about…punctuation. They were experiencing the SAME things I was.

I never really thought that the brand of “punctuation products” I used mattered very much so I would just use coupons and get regular ol’ Kotex at the store for a pretty good deal.

Then I started developing a minor irritation which month after month turned into an incredibly horrible itchy miserable rash. And it wasn’t on my elbow if you know what I mean.

Not only that, but my punctuation was lasting forever. A long time. Seemed to be longer each month.

I thought it was just me. Not so, according to some of the people I talked to.

According to one of my friends (and I’m really sorry that I can’t find the research to back this up) some companies are actually putting chemicals on their products to make your punctuation last longer and be heavier so that you will go through lots more of their products and buy more.  Are you kidding me?  (Again, I have no official research to back this up.)

BUT, I immediately ordered the Natracare brand to test it out for myself. They are chemical and additive free. They are biodegradable and contain organic materials.

I noticed a difference right away.

First, the miserable rash went away. Hallelujah!

Second, the very first month I switched over, my punctuation was several days shorter and quite a bit lighter. The second month…same thing. Third month…same thing.

Uh-huh. Amazing. If at all possible I will NEVER use regular punctuation products from the store again. The Natracare products have made a huge difference for me each month and I love it. (Well, as much as you can love monthy puctuation that is.)

I don’t even care that they cost a little bit more. Actually…I bought a whole case at once and considering that I go through less of them each month…I’m actually not spending more. Hah!

Here’s what I got:

Natracare Natural Ultra Pads with Wings, Long, 12-Count Boxes (Pack Of 12)

Natracare Pads Ultra With Wings 14 ct ( Six Pack)

Natracare Natural Pads, Slender, Case of 12- 20 Count Boxes (240 Pads)

There are tons of other varieties…those just happen to be the ones that work best for me. (Wow, do you know way too much about me or what?)

Now, eventually I’d like to look into cloth cotton pads (Sckoon Organic Plus Cloth Menstrual Pads with Leak Resitant Sheet Mini Daisey) in order to save money in the long run and prevent waste. Anyone have any experience with these that they can share?

I realize this sounds like an infomercial. Really it’s not. Natracare is not paying me to tell you these things. It’s just that they made a big difference for me and well…I like all of you an awful lot and wanted to tell you about it just in case they can help you too.

Because it is not fun to have question marks about your periods.

Can You Spell…Y.U.M.M.Y.?

Last month, I decided to order this vegetable alphabet pasta from Azure Standard.  It was on sale and looked like something fun for lunch. I decided to do a product review of it for you!

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Not only is this pasta fun…it is also healthy and yummy! (Hear the enthusiasm. See the raised eyebrows and cheesy grin.)  They are not expensive (when you’re talking about organic vegetable pasta that is)…and they were VERY easy to make. We got TWO meals out of this little box of Vegetable Alphabets. I NEVER get two meals out of one box of pasta. 

Here’s how we enjoyed this Vegetable Alphabet Pasta:

Alphabet SoupYum

1 pound beef soup bones
1 small onion
3 carrots
10 cups water
sea salt
1 box vegetable alphabet pasta 

Boil beef soup bones, onions and carrots and water all morning (at least three hours) in a pot to make broth.  Remove bones from broth. Pour in the pasta and sprinkled in quite a bit of sea salt.   Boil the pasta in the broth for about 10 minutes, then lunch is served!

Print Grocery List

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The kids loved it!  Here’s one meal I actually allowed them to play with their food. If you look real close at the picture below, you’ll see that Asa stuck his name on the edge of the bowl. 

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The best part of this meal?   I decided to surprise the kids with my homemade pretzels made into letters too!! It was one word filled lunch!

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You’ve gotta love a personalized pretzel.

Elias was trying out my camera while I made the pretzels. So here we have the Headless Homemaker…

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We filled up on the Alphabet Soup at lunch…then I used the leftovers to make this Alphabet Casserole:

Alphabet Casserole

3 cups alphabet pasta cooked in beef broth (most of the broth should be absorbed in the pasta)
1 pound ground beef, browned with onion
1 cup sour cream
sea salt to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Stir together the pasta, meat and sour cream. Salt generously. Spread into a casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

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Both the soup and the casserole were very yummy!   (Um, if I do say so myself.)

And, I’m not totally sure about this…but I think we were all just a little smarter after we ate these meals. At least our vocabulary was enhanced.  

Really. (Absolutely.) (Without a Doubt.) (Enormously.)

;)

Check This Out! My Favorite New Bread Pan

I have decided to begin doing product reviews here on my blog, since I keep thinking of cool things I want to brag about to you. Have a product in your shop or on your site you’d like me to review here at Heavenly Homemakers? Email me
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I recently broke down and got something I’ve been wanting for a long time: These very cool Pampered Chef bread baking crocks.

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I love these crocks for several reasons. 

1. I love baking in stones no matter what I’m baking. Stoneware bakes breads and pizza and cookies wonderfully. I have a round pizza stone, regular loaf pan stones and a big rectangular stone.   And now I have these cool round baking stone crocks! I know my food is safe when I bake with stones.
2. These crocks really produce a nice loaf of bread. I think it’s something about the way the dough just has to rise upward instead of sideways and upward. (You now know by that explanation that I’m not a scientist.) 
3. You’ll find them inexpensively at the Pampered Chef Outlet (the regular catalog doesn’t carry them anymore). I was so excited to only pay $7/crock. That’s a great price for stones! 
My favorite reason to love these crocks…
4. They make awesome round slices of bread. Which are the perfect shape for sloppy joes or hamburgers. I LOVE that about these crocks. And, having round slices of bread…well…that’s just fun!

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One or two draw backs to these lovely crocks…

1. They aren’t the easiest to clean…which really just means that it takes 45 seconds to wash it instead of the 30 seconds it takes to wash a regular loaf pan. Woe is me.
2. You have to take the top rack out of your oven to bake the loaves…otherwise your bread hits the top of the oven and gets stuck and you feel like you may never get it out and when you finally do, it looks like this:

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Or it’s dented like this:

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And we all know that having dented bread is just tragic. ;)

Ooh, and if you want to bake yourself some of this delicious Honey Whole Wheat Bread, you’ll find my recipe here.   I’ll try to do a tutorial for you soon about how I bake bread. Because if you don’t know how, you really should learn…because it’s not hard and there’s NOTHING like freshly baked bread. With butter. Melted all over it. On a cool fall day. With a glass of milk. Ahh….