Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bread Bowl Recipe (bread machine)

I posted a Broccoli and Cheddar Soup recipe yesterday and here's the bread bowl recipe to accompany it! 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons soft butter (I substitute for Olive Oil from time to time)
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tsp. of yeast (jar)
1 egg white, beaten (for glazing the bread bowls before baking)


Directions:
1. Place everything but the egg white in your bread machine in the order that your manufacturer recommends.
2. Use dough cycle.
3. When the cycle is complete, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into balls.
4. Place the 6 balls onto a greased cookie sheet and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
5. Brush with beaten egg white.
6. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
7. Once done, you can cut the top off and scoop out the center leaving about 1/4 inch on all sides.

Tip: if you have small children, you might want to make smaller bread bowls for them. :)


Keep Cleaning Products Organized - Tip!

A great way to making your home cleaning more effective and faster is by keeping your cleaning supplies organized and close-by!

When I clean my clients homes and my own, I always have my cleaning supplies near by in my blue organizer caddy!  I purchased mine at Walmart for about $8.00 but you can find a wide variety on Amazon for a very reasonable price!  Such as the one feature below for less then $14.00.

A few tips about choosing the right "caddy":

1. Keep in mind the shape and size of the handle.  It must be comfortable and easy to reach.  
2.  Get the right size of caddy! Don't get it too big/bulky as you might find it cumbersome to carry around.  It must be big enough to hold your products but not too big where you are tempted to put more then you need in it.  
3. Consider the quality of the plastic!  Read the reviews and ensure that the caddy is a long lasting one. I have seen many "break" within just a few weeks of use.

Why it makes your cleaning more efficient!
By having all of your cleaning supplies near by, you no longer make unnecessary walking trips back and forth to your cleaning supplies stach! You save a lot of time by having your supplies right with you at all times! Trust me, you really don't want to waste time chasing around your cleaning supplies from room to room! Also, you only have two hands and you can hold a heck of a lot more in your cleaning caddy! 

Tips!
- Be sure to keep your caddy on a surface that cannot be damaged by accidental product spills! 
-  Turn your bottle inwards, just in case your product should spill, you want it to spill "in" the caddy and not out....you really don't want your bleach cleaning product to spill on your carpet!
- Do NOT keep your caddy in your car when it's too hot or too cold, you may damage your cleaning product bottles and they will stop working on you when you need them the most!
- Do NOT place your cleaning caddy on your tables, counter tops, etc.  No matter how clean your keep your home, there's always debris/germs that collect at the bottom of your caddy and you don't want to transfer those to your clean counter tops, etc.

Feel free to post your own comments and tips! 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Ingredients
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned (I chop into small pieces, it is easier)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese  (I got a block of Welsh Cheddar from the deli)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.
2. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. 
Stir constantly and add the half & half. Do not undercook/overcook flour (you are making a roux).
3. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper. Can be puréed in a blender (I use my handheld blender stick, a lot easier and less messy!). Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Bread Bowl Recipe

Floor Steamer - Money Saving Tip!

My mother raised me with a super clean house and she enjoys cleaning so much that she has actually turned it into a little business for herself, cleaning full time for many satisfied customers.  I may not enjoy cleaning as much as my mother, but I do also clean part-time for a handful of clients of my own.

My mother only had me and I wasn't a very messy child and didn't have hundreds of toys! Cleaning her house was probably a bit easier of a job for her then me.  I have three children, a husband that don't clean and a dog, so I have to be a bit smarter/effective about my cleaning!  I'm always eager to learn how to clean more efficiently, faster, and better!

With this being said, I'm going to share my cleaning tips with my followers on a regular basis.  Many of you are stay-at-home moms and quite honestly, this doesn't mean that we have all the time in the world to clean our house, that's simply NOT true! We have other much more important things to do then to clean.... and quite honestly, if you can afford a maid to clean your home, DO IT! I highly recommend it.  I clean my clients homes much better then I clean my own because I only have one thing to do and that is "CLEAN"!  At my own house, I get interrupted just about every 5 minutes, you know how frustrating that can be when you are cleaning! :)

Talk about sharing...here's is a tip for you!

Do you own a floor steamer?  If so, then you know how expensive the mop heads can be! You might use more then 1 pad at a time to clean your floor depending on how dirty it is.  Problem with mop pads are many such as they can be expensive, you are limited to how much you can clean at a time, not always reversible, some are not very effective at cleaning, mops pads can only be used to clean your floor, etc.

I have found a solution to this, and my solution is good for just about every floor steamer in the market!

USE MICROFIBER TOWELS to clean your floor! You can buy a 24-pk at Sam's Club for very cheap! Also, those towels are multi-functional and you can clean your house, floor, car, etc with them!

I clean my floor every three days! Yes, I seriously do! My kids/husband do not always take their shoes off immediately at the entrance and drag loads of debris and dirt on my floor very quickly! Add a dog to that and voila, you cannot go for more then a few days without cleaning the hard floor (high traffic areas).  I don't do it alone, my daughters help with the cleaning as I have assigned daily chores to each one of them by following the 102030GO program that I have reviewed recently on my blog.

Three days between cleans and see how dirty my floor was in the entrance/kitchen area!

You can buy Proforce Microfiber Towels on Amazon.com or Sam's Club
for less then a dollar per towel!  Remember, you can use these to clean your whole house! 


**NO FRILL REVIEWS  was not compensated in any way for this post.**


Friday, January 25, 2013

Eddie Bauer Travel System Trail Hiker Giveaway at MLLR

I'm on a roll.... another great giveaway that needs mentioned!  

Mommy Living the Life of Riley is hosting an awesome Eddie Bauer Travel System Trail Hiker Giveaway!

What I liked best about this Eddie Bauer Travel System is the "One Hand Fold and Stand" feature! Nothing is more frustrating when you have a hard time folding a stroller!

This would be a great win for one of my lucky reader... CLICK HERE TO BE ENTER THIS GREAT GIVEWAY at Mommy Living the Life of Riley!


Pair of Memory Foam Slippers Giveaway at MLLR

Another giveaway that I'm sharing with you! This one is for a pair of closed toe memory foam slippers!   This company is known for their mattresses and pillows..however I bet their foam slippers are just as magical!  Lucky for "Mommy Living the Life of Riley", as they got to try and review of one of their awesome pillow!


One lucky reader will win a pair of Closed Toe Memory Foam Slippers from Nature's Sleep!  (ARV $30)

Beauty Products Giveaway at MLLR

We all love beauty products and when we start noticing the signs of aging, we get even more fanatic about them!  I'm now 33 years old and I'm already seeing some noticeable differences in my face! :( I make it a point to moisturize everyday as I feel it is important to slow down the signs of aging.

Here's a great giveaway that I'm sharing with you that is hosted by "Mommy Living the Life of Mommy"

One lucky reader will win ALL THREE of the beauty 
products as seen below!  (ARV $355)



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Picture on Gold Giveaway at Mommy Living the Life of Riley

Just sharing a great giveaway with my readers! This one is worth entering!

 Click below to enter it!



A beautiful "Picture on Gold" would make a terrific gift for yourself or a loved one.  As you can see, Mommy Living the Life of Riley as turned hers into a birthday gift! I would do the same if given the opportunity, it would make a great gift for my mother or mother-in-law :P. 

One lucky reader will win a Sterling Silver Heart "Valentine" Photo Locket with 18" Box Chain from PicturesOnGold.com!  (ARV $249)

* No Frill Reviews and Giveaways is not responsible for prize shipment *

DIY Craft - Eco Friendly Dry Erase Note Pad

I love crafting, always have!  I'm not an artists by any means, I can't draw, paint, etc but still enjoy it, no matter how horrible or good I am at it.

This evening, I was going through some of my supplies and I have tons of 4x4 ceramic tiles that I purchased at Lowes for less then 19 cents per tile.  I used them primarily to create photo coasters, however I wanted to do something else with them.

I sat there looking at them and I took a glance at my dry erase wall calendar frame and then the idea came to mind.... I can make DRY ERASE ECO-FRIENDLY NOTE PADS!

I cut a little 3.5x3.5 felt pad from a sheet and glued it on the back to protect surfaces.  That's it! :P

For less then 30 cents, you have a Dry Erase Note Pad!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dyson Animal Vacuum Giveaway Blogger Sign Up

Looking for bloggers to help promote a blogger sponsored
Dyson DC24 Animal Vacuum Giveaway, a $449 Value.

The giveaway dates will be 2/3 through 3/2. You will receive either Facebook or Twitter link for free (with announcement post HERE) for helping me with this awesome giveaway. NO Google +

Additional links $3 
Host pages available for $12 (4 links and follow page) 
Co-Hosts available for $15 (5 Links, follow page and Blog's Name on Banner)
All money raised will go for the cost of the Dyson. (Over half of the funds are already raised)

Go HERE to sign up!!

There is a referral prize of $25 Paypal!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

102030 Go! Review and Giveaway (Kids New Years Resolution to Parents)

Are you wanting your kids to be a be more helpful in the house? Are you wanting them to be respectful of others, good strong morals, and learn more about God. If you answered yes to any of those questions, read on...

I was contacted a couple of months ago by a company wanting a review of their product 102030 Go!.  What a blessing it has been!  Our family has been so busy the past few months, I was losing my mind and sanity! I knew that this program was going to be helpful but didn't know it would be a life changing event!

I'll be honest and admit that it took me quite some time to actually open the package, our family life has been extremely chaotic plagued with sickness and lots of bad luck! Soon after opening it, I regretted not opening it much sooner! This Christian based program has made our kids be a lot more helpful around the house and in return, they get rewards for their efforts! It's a win-win situation for both parents and kids.  I have three children, Cassandra who is 9, Katherine (Kiki) who is 6, and our baby boy Zachary who is just 9 months old.  Both of my daughters are doing the program.  My husband is totally on board and it makes this so much better! The first day we introduced the program to our girls, we sat down all together at the family table and my husband took leadership.

The concept of 102030 Go! is quite simple to understand.  Your child must do 10 minutes of praying, 20 minutes of reading and 30 minutes of chores (age appropriate).  The kit includes a dry-erase prayer chart, two chores charts, two packs of individual weekly theme card with responsibility tracking, and a instruction booklet.  We put our charts on our refrigerator doors since it is the location where it is the most seen and visible.

If you visit their website, you can actually download the program for FREE!  The nice part of being able to download it for free is that you get to try it before you buy it! I do recommend ordering hard copy of this program, it is worth every penny!

Here's the description of the 102030 Go! program found on their website as it describes it much better then I can:


Whether you’re looking for a how to parent solution, how to raise Christian children, trying to find reward charts or responsibility chart that work, wondering what other parents are using to determine allowance for children, or just looking for a the answer the question “how to pray with children,” 102030GO is for you or a family you love.
102030GO was designed specifically as a parenting program that utilizes positive parenting, a kid’s chore chart, and provides parenting tools to assist moms and dads in how to be a Christian Parent. This system is already set up to empower the parent to not reinvent the wheel, but rather use our proven positive parenting program, for teaching values, instilling virtues, building character, motivating kids, enhancing kids vocabulary, and increasing responsibility for kids. The fundamental building blocks for this system are prayer, reading and chores for kids. Using the 102030GO kids program truly enables families to function faithfully.

Product Review YOUTUBE video:


***REVIEW*** Here's how the steps have worked out for us so far.  There was an adjustment period for us and we are tweaking it each week.  102030Go is flexible and you can make it "your own", which is what we have done.  The past couple of weeks have been a bit challenging due to sickness and the holidays but we have managed to keep up with it. This program has been very helpful for us in many ways.  Our girls are less reluctant to help, they actually look at their chart each day to see what their "daily chores" are and they will do them at their convenience but it gets done on that day unless they are sick.

Proof that my oldest is enjoying being more helpful around the house. Our entrance carpet now gets vacuumed every other day, it collects the most debris and because of having a baby that practically puts just about everything in his mouth, it is important to vacuum that entry hallway on a regular basis :).


10 - minutes of praying.  We have daily family prayer time and we encourage them to pray by themselves as well. They stop and pray every now and then as the need occurs, there's no "night time" rule on this, praying is done when ever their little hearts feels like it.

20 - minutes of reading.  Since we have a daughter that is only 6 years old and she struggles with reading, we have chosen for our girls to read together.  They read the bible together since they both have their own bible and they can follow along as they each take their turn in reading. Reading time is somewhat supervised since they both struggle in reading, and also they do ask questions from time to time about verses and their meaning.

30-minutes of chores. We have given daily chores to each child that is age appropriate, however we have found out that a few of the chores were a bit too hard for my youngest child so we had to make a few changes. They have had a few sick days and since they are so little, we opted to not make them play "catch up" the following day. Also, we had many visitors the past few weeks, so there was times where some of their chores that they had on their list had already been done the day before by mommy, so we substituted here and there as needed. Otherwise, they are pretty good about doing their chores and they get compensated at the end of the week accordingly.  They don't always do them yet but they are getting better and better with each week that goes by.

Overall, I give this product a 5 stars out of 5! I've already had a couple of family members download the free version of this product and they are looking foreword to implementing it as well ! This program is a blessing and I highly recommend it to ALL!!

You can buy the Family Responsibility Kit 
starting at only $29.95 HERE.  Available in both english and spanish! 

Giveaway
 One winner will get ONE Family Responsibility Kit
US only , 18+
Ends on 1-20-2013 at 11:59 PM EST