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Author Archives: Danika

DIY Hair Mask: For Dry, Damaged Hair

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I prefer using natural, homemade beauty products, and while browsing Facebook I found this DIY hair mask. Coconut oil and honey are used in most of my skin and hair care regimens, so I had all three ingredients on hand. The coconut cream pictured is in its solid state, but melted oil works best for mixing.

I tripled the original recipe to saturate my short, thick, kicky mane completely. I later realized starting with dampened hair would probably require much less. After applying the mask I immediately saw and felt the difference. My scalp felt extremely moisturized, and my natural curls looked amazing. I placed a shower cap over my head for about an hour; passing the time by pampering my legs and feet with a homemade sugar scrub!

Watch the video on Facebook

Rinsing your hair with cool water is the best option, however, lukewarm still works for me. I followed by washing and conditioning with sulfate free store products (eventually I want to use homemade shampoo and conditioner as well). I moisturized my hair with pure coconut oil and proceeded to let it air dry over night (for curly or kinky hair, it’s best to sleep under a silk hair scarf or on silk pillow cases). The next morning I was so impressed with how soft and manageable my hair was! I could not stop touching it. For continued results I plan on using this hair mask once a week!

One Pot Spinach and Artichoke Mac&Cheese

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Recently, Facebook users were asked to share pictures of their “Tasty” inspired recipes. I immediately posted two photos, and was surprised by all the positive feedback I received. #ThanksTasty for the motivation to continue sharing my cooking and DIY ventures!

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This cheesy mixture of spinach and artichoke hearts was the perfect way to introduce my children to new vegetables. I suggest to finely chop the artichoke hearts if you have picky eaters. Any dish that requires just one pot, will always be a favorite in my book; the less dishes to clean the better! I recommend cast iron cookware, which can be used on the stove top and in the oven.

Full Recipe

 Visit my newest category #ThanksTasty, for more delicious‐simple recipes!

DIY Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub

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I once received a jar of homemade sugar scrub, as a party favor for a baby shower. Besides being absolutely adorable, it kept my feet noticeably softer and smoother. Eventually I ran out, so I decided to make my own; to which I turned to Pinterest and found a ton of recipes. I was impressed and opted for something brown sugar and vanilla scented, that only required a few ingredients that I already had.

I recently started using a coconut oil moisturizer on my skin, but I think it made my scrub too creamy. Next time I will stick to the pure coconut oil, usually found in the baking aisle. I noticed a few other recipes that called for coarse sugar, which is apparently just cane sugar with a different texture. Unfortunately I was unable to find it at any of my local grocery stores, but I am still on the hunt!

I enjoy using this scrub on my feet, hands, and legs; especially after shaving. I also use it as a message aid on my neck and shoulders, while in the shower. It makes an awesome party favor or thank you gift. I would share this recipe with anyone who loves to pamper themselves!

Strawberry Filled Crescent Rolls

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My youngest daughter Shayla and I decided to try a new recipe from the trendy Facebook page “Tasty”. As soon as I saw their version of a strawberry cheesecake crescent roll, I knew it would be the perfect weekend dessert for my kiddos to try. My older daughter Sierra usually does most of the baking, so I figured this would be a great way to give Shayla a chance to show off her skills in the kitchen. Requiring only six basic ingredients and a 30 minute combined prep and bake time, this sweet snack is ideal for beginner bakers of any age.

Full Recipe

For starters I didn’t have any parchment paper, but instead of rushing out to the store I opted to use an alternative approach. After a little research I learned that lining the baking sheet with aluminium foil then spraying it with a cooking spray, such as Pam, works just fine. The old fashion method of greasing the pan with butter and flour is also another option. With my baking sheet prepped and my oven preheated, it was time for the real fun to begin!

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I was a little nervous to let Shayla, who is only 6 years old, slice up the strawberries, but towards the end I let her give it a try and she really surprised me!

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Admittedly this was my first time using crescent rolls, however, I eventually got the hang of  it. The more I cook the more I try to stay away from processed foods. The girls and I decided we will use homemade dough (1 stick of butter and 2 cups of flour), the next time we try this recipe.

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In the comment section of Tasty’s post  most people mentioned they would eliminate the strawberry topping. For a little variety the girls and I drizzled half of our rolls with the topping and sprinkled the other half with plain powdered sugar. Another notable opinion was to add a little lemon zest to the filling to bring out the cream cheese flavor. This sugary sweet sure was delicious and so easy to make, definitely one we will repeat in the near future.

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Simple Cooking

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Cooking for a family, or just for yourself, can become a tedious and stressful task. While the popularity of eating out rises, it seems the value of home cooked meals has become obsolete. Going from cooking six nights a week to once or twice a month, I found myself caught up in the fast food hype as well. Returning to the old-fashioned approach of keeping my family fed, mainly for financial and health reasons, I was prompted to also start a new blogging category.

Chicken and Bow Tie PastaJoining MyRecipes

As a self taught cook, thanks to The Food Network, I require detailed instructions for most meals I make. While browsing for an easy pasta recipe, I stumbled on the website myrecipes.com and was quite impressed with their meal planning method. Users can add recipes to a calendar, create shopping lists, and share dinner ideas with family members. They even have an app that allows significant others to offer input and suggestions. This seems like a great way for couples and parents to share and encourage the responsibility of preparing homemade meals.

Weekly Dinner Calendar

Mimicking Rachel Ray, my favorite Food Network star, 30 Minute Meals, 5 Ingredient Recipes and Dinners for $20 or Less will be the core of my new Simple Cooking Category. Be on the lookout for new posts and feel free to share your own recipes and meal planning suggestions!

Unexpected Inspiration

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During this past week I’ve had more spare time on my hands than expected. It should have been spent crafting, but I decided not to start something new until my canvas project was complete. Procrastination has also reared its’ ugly head, leaving me in no hurry to splurge on new materials. To compensate I began looking into recycled projects as a way to save money and continue my hobby. My first task is turning an old shoe box into a craft supply box. I’ve included pictures, just keep in mind it’s still a work in progress.

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Btw, Starbucks makes me happy and creative! 🙂

I wouldn’t categorize video gaming as a hobby, but after being introduced to (World of Warcraft) WOW, I quickly became obsessed. As a (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) MMORPG newbie, the story line initially caught my attention. Habitually I can be overcritical towards the fantasy genre, but I learned to just relax and have fun. I loved creating and naming my character, as well as selecting a loyal battle pet and a profession.

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Soralyn, an undead huntress, gradually became the inspiration behind a few recent and future projects. My drawings and Tumblr site (pictured below) are slightly based on her hunter lifestyle. Eventually I want to draw my boyfriend’s avatar and mine in PVP (Player VS. Player) mode, my beloved pet BooBear, and my favorite crossbows used in battle.

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Maintaining a hobby can be challenging at times, however a genuine passion can provide essential and constant motivation. I stepped out of my comfort zone by embracing one of Shea’s pastimes, and honestly, it was worth the effort. Inspiration doesn’t always come so easy. You may have to try new things, visit new places or even meet to people to preserve your creative spark and drive.

Decorative Scrapbooking Paper on 12X12 Canvas (Part One)

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With this Pinterest Project, I wanted to try the popular product Mod Podge. I decided to use this all-in-one, glue, sealer and finish, to embellish a canvas with a single sheet of scrapbooking paper. Adding a painted chipboard letter as a finishing touch, makes for a great gift idea, or a personalized wall accessory for your home or office. My boyfriend, Shea, volunteered to help, and I found some handy tips on an awesome crafting blog.

http://thesassypepper.blogspot.com/2010/03/tutorial-mod-podge-canvas.html

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Following the advise of fellow crafters we painted the edges black to better blend with the paper. Shea used some of the excess paint to cover the top, noting that it would help if the paper was trimmed. I opted to use the same sized paper and canvas.

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Using a paint or foam bush, the glue can be applied to the back of the paper, or the front of the canvas. Trying to avoid any air bubbles, I let Shea handle this step. He covered the canvas first, then quickly, and carefully laid the paper down. Other crafters suggest special smoothing tools, but an ID card worked just fine for us. You may notice excess paper along the sides, it can be trimmed off, or wrapped around the edges using a little more glue.

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It is very important to smooth the paper thoroughly before letting it dry. We placed the canvas face down on a flat, clean surface, stacking several books on top for extra tension. After drying overnight I was pleased with the results.

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 Additional embellishments are optional; with a few sheets of coordinating paper, a simple, yet cute, wall project (pictured below) can be achieved. I’m excited to start phase two in my venture by continuing to decorate this canvas. Be sure to check out the second part of this post to view the finished product.

wallproject

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