Stocking Stuffers They’ll Love This Christmas

plushlovespink-com

This is a short post, but I wanted to make sure I made this link available to you as soon as possible.  The holidays are upon us and one of the most challenging gift items (at least for me) are stocking stuffers!  I’ve compiled a list of great ideas for everyone…from guys to gals, kids to pets…and they are all on my Amazon store which makes them super easy to find and order!  Plus, if you have Amazon Prime (try it 30 days for FREE), you can get 2 day FREE shipping on most items.  It’s a no-brainer!  Check it out today and happy shopping!

Stocking stuffers

Super Simple Crockpot Chicken-n-Dumplings

It was chilly the other night and I was in the mood for some comfort food, so after perusing Pinterest I decided on Chicken-n-Dumplings.  I wanted a simple recipe that I could just throw into the crockpot and leave it until it was time to eat that evening.  I found several, but there wasn’t one recipe in particular that jumped out at me so I decided to come up with my own.  And, according to my family, it turned out pretty great!  And it couldn’t be any easier!  You could add a few extras like onion, carrots and peas, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it that night.  It was all about simple!

Super Simple Crockpot Chicken-n-Dumplings

2 Chicken Breasts, skin offcrockpot chicken and dumplings
Dash of Rosemary
Dash of Thyme
Dash of Parsley
Dash of Seasoned Salt
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 Box Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 roll of large biscuits from the refrigerator section at the grocery store (not the layered kind)

So, literally, all I did was put the chicken breasts at the bottom of the crockpot then add the herbs and spices, soups and broth.  Turn the crockpot on high and let cook for 3-4 hours.  Then take two forks and pull apart the chicken so it shreds into small, bite-sized pieces.  Add the salt and pepper.  Cut the biscuits into small pieces and place them into the crockpot, in one layer.  Do not mix.  Cook for another hour so the biscuits can cook.  Serve and enjoy!

crockpot chicken and dumplings

5 Silhouette Tools I Can’t Work Without

5 Silhouette Tools I Can't Work WithoutI’ve been working with my Silhouette Cameo for a few years now and have a pretty good business going on Etsy.  Sometimes I get huge orders that require lots of vinyl and lots of weeding.  Early on I made the job hard on myself by not having the right tools to work with.  So I began experimenting with different things until I found what worked best for me.  Most tools are the typical ones used with the Silhouette, but I have a couple that I’ve discovered that are a little off the wall.  But they work, and better than anything else I’ve tried.  Since sharing is caring, I’m letting you in on my secret weapons for efficient work in the Silhouette world.

  1. Paper cutter – this is a pretty basic tool and there aren’t a ton of variations, but this one is the one I have used since I started my cutting business and it has served me well.  The blade is replaceable and the flatbed allows for a 12 inch cut, which is what all of my vinyl is.  When I pull the vinyl off my Silhouette I take it directly to the paper cutter to trim off all the excess vinyl so I can save it for later use.
  2. Seam Ripper – I know the Silhouette comes with its own weeding tool, which is great.  However, after using it for a while I found that it doesn’t always work well in every application.  The other issue I had with the Silhouette tool is that it’s made of plastic and the small tip bends and eventually breaks, making it pretty much useless.  And who uses the gummy, sticky stuff that the other end has in it?  I found no use for it whatsoever.  For the price, I would have expected better.  So I started experimenting and discovered that, of all things, a simple seam ripper works the best.  It’s easy to hold, and has a metal pointed tip that makes it super easy to weed even the tiniest of pieces out of a project.  Best of all, they’re very inexpensive and will last a long time.  I’ve been using mine now for over 2 years.
  3. Razor knife – I do my best not to waste any vinyl, so I like to cut away as much as I can to use for future projects.  The paper cutter works great for straight cuts, but now and then…quite often in fact...I need to be able to cut around a shape, curve or design.  That’s where the razor knife comes in handy.  It’s easy to maneuver and control while making nice, clean cuts.  And, since the razor is perforated, you can snap off the blade when it dulls and start fresh with a new blade.  Of course, I highly recommend having a protective surface underneath so you don’t ruin your table by cutting it up, too!  My work table has a sheet of polycarbonate like this over it for just that reason.  It’s all scratched up from my cutting, but that’s okay.  That’s why I have it.  You can use a pair of scissors for this part of the job, but I find the razor to be quicker, and I’m all about saving time.
  4. 12″ Transfer Tape – AT65 Medium Tack Transfer Tape by RTape is be far my favorite transfer tape for my cutting business.  I purchase it in the 12″ size which is perfect for my vinyl.  It’s just the right amount of tack or stickiness so that the vinyl will stick to it during the transfer process but then let go onto the surface of your project.  It’s transparent, so you can see your design clearly and it’s just good stuff.  Since it comes in a 100-yard roll, it lasts forever.
  5. Plastic Spreader – Silhouette offers a scraper in their line of tools and I’m sure it works just great.  But it was a little smaller than I like, especially for larger projects.  So, after searching, I came across these plastic spreaders in the automotive section of the store.  They are made for spreading Bondo and other compounds, but they work perfectly for smoothing out vinyl jobs under transfer tape as well as for transferring vinyl to the project surface.  These are very inexpensive and will last a good while.  I think I’ve replaced mine maybe once a year because the straight edge tends to bow over time.  Otherwise, they’re a great option!

I’m sure there are lots of other great tools and time savers out there, so tell me…what are your favorite tools of the trade?  Share in the comments below!5 Silhouette Tools I Can't Work Without

14 Power Tools and Gifts for the DIY/Handy-Girl In Your Life

power-tools
More and more these days, I hear about women who have fallen in love with DIY and power tools.  There are some incredible bloggers who share their great projects and are so inspiring to me.  I, for one, happen to have a thing for power tools myself so this makes me very happy.

I have an Etsy shop where I sell items I personally make with reclaimed wood, so I have found myself using quite a few power tools I never thought I’d lay hands on, much less enjoy!  Perhaps there are some of you ladies who would love to make some of the crafts you see around the internet but you either don’t have the tools or are afraid to use them.  Well let me be the first to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!  If I can rev up a miter saw or router, anyone can!  I was scared at first.  I mean, let’s face it, these things are dangerous in a most legit way.  But, with a little patience and diligence in learning how to work the tool, it’s not so bad.  In fact, once you cut your first piece of wood or route your first board, it’s exciting!  It’s empowering!  And it’s addicting!

Maybe you’ve told your husband or family how you’d like to start doing some projects but you don’t have the setup or the tools.  I’ve compiled a list of tools and items (along with pictures and links to where you can get them) that I think will be a great help in getting you started with some basic projects. These are all things that I have, use and love.  I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t.  Many of these items you can get on Amazon (which I love to shop because of the free shipping for Prime members…especially on items that are heavy and hard to carry out of the store).  Another favorite place to get my tools is Harbor Freight.  If you have one nearby, you must check it out.  They always have coupons and everything has a 90-day guarantee.  It’s one of my favorite places to shop.  I especially love going in and being the only gal in the whole store…they guys look at me like I’m crazy, but the truth is that I know exactly what I’m looking for (most of the time)!  Home Depot and Lowe’s are other options for purchase, of course.  Just shop around and you’ll soon find your favorite go-to place for all your project needs.

power-toolsThe bare necessities:

Tape Measure – I recommend a 25 ft. tape measure.  This one is heavy duty and should last you for years.  I think I’ve had mine for 20 years or more!  I keep several around…one for my miter saw area, one for my worktable and one for my toolbox.  Oh..and there’s one in the house as well!

Hammer – I highly recommend either a steel or fiberglass handle.  I’ve had hammers with wood handles and eventually the break.  This is not the exact one that I have, but it’s similar and should work great for you.

Level – There are so many uses for a level…hanging pictures, leveling a washing machine or fridge, checking shelves for level, leveling pavers for a walkway…the list goes on.  This is the level I use and I’ve had it for many years.  It’s plastic and lightweight, but it will measure horizontally and vertically, which I find myself doing more often than I would have thought.  This one is 24″ and works for most projects.  I have a 12″ level as well, which I use for smaller projects.

Safety Goggles – These are an absolute must!  Even when you’re just hammering a nail, you’ve got to protect your eyes from the unforeseen accident.  They don’t have to be anything fancy, but what girl wouldn’t love these pink ones!?  I keep a few pairs in case one breaks or gets lost.

Work Gloves – When you’re working with wood it’s always a good idea to wear gloves.  Not just to protect from splinters, but to give you a little extra grip when you’re handling projects.  These are a little different than mine, but I like that they have gripping fabric and an adjustable wrist band to keep them on nice and snug.

Pink Toolbelt – Yes, that’s right…a PINK one!  This is the one I have and it holds tons of stuff!  It’s a must have when you’re moving around the workshop or hanging pictures in the house.  It will hold your tape measure, drill, hammer, nails/screws, pencil, and more.  Plus, you’ll feel bad a&& wearing it. 😉

A few other items you’ll want in your bare necessities include:

  • Pencils for marking measurements
  • Utility knife for opening boxes, scoring drywall, etc.
  • A magnetic bowl or plate to hold screws while working on a project
  • Needle nose pliers for pulling out nails, if needed
  • Extension cord
  • Power Strip – I like to have everything plugged in and ready to go. 🙂

Now for the fun stuff…POWER TOOLS!  These are the ones I have and use regularly:

10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw – This was one of my first power tools and I probably get more use out of it than any of the others, with the exception of my drill.  I opted for the 10″ because the 8″ is just a little small when it comes to cutting 8″ boards.  This one is very much like mine and it’s a workhorse.  You can use it for crown molding, making frames or doing simple cuts.  It’s versatile and affordable.  I highly recommend having one!

Circular Saw – Before I had my miter saw I had a circular saw.  I’m on my 3rd one now, having worn one out and cut the cord on #2!  I use this saw to cut plywood, to dismantle pallets and to do quick cuts of wood that don’t require a lot of precision.  I have a table saw now that I use for cutting plywood because it does a more precise cut, but I’m always glad to have my circular saw around when I need to be a little more mobile.

Chicago Electric Power Tools 98179 Heavy Duty Professional 3/8" Magnesium DrillElectric Drill – I’ve had battery-operated drills over the years and they’re great for smaller projects or ones that don’t require too much time where the battery would go dead.  But when it came time to build a bunk bed for my son, the battery operated drill just didn’t have the power I needed to get those big bolts through two layers of 2x4s.  I burned up the motor within minutes and had no choice but to go out and buy a new one right away.  That’s when I discovered the POWER of the electric drill.  Yes, it has that pesky cord you have to deal with and sometimes I need an extension cord to get the job done, but it is SO powerful and it never loses it’s oompf.  In a perfect world, I would have one of each.  But for now, this single mom will have to settle with the one.  And I’m glad I have the electric version.  I got mine at Harbor Freight Tools and there’s a link to it here.  If you’re not convinced that a power drill is for you, here’s a great battery operated one…and it’s a great deal right now on Amazon.

Jigsaw – I have a love-hate relationship with my jigsaw.  I’m glad I have it, but I don’t like using it.  It makes me nervous…that little blade just seems too close to me and too fragile for my liking.  BUT, when I need to cut curves or into a corner, the jigsaw is my go-to tool.  This one is an orbital jigsaw, which means you can control the blade’s ability to curve.  I like that feature.  Mine is ancient, so it doesn’t have the orbital ability.  When I replace mine I will definitely go with something like this.

Router I laugh at myself now but I had my router for nearly 15 years before I got up enough courage to use it.  It scared me to death and seemed way too complicated.  Once I got it going and saw all the possibilities of what it could do, I was hooked.  I use it now to give my plaques a nice decorative edge, to create an inset on the backside of frames for the glass to fit into, to make keyholes for hanging plaques and frames, and all kinds of other things that I couldn’t do without it.

Table Saw – My table saw…oh how I respect my table saw.  Short story:  one day, I was working on several orders that required me to rip some boards down.  I had several to do, so I was moving fairly quickly through the process.  About halfway through, I finished ripping a board and walked around to the backside of the table saw to remove the boards.  I didn’t quite let the blade stop completely before pulling the pieces out.  One of them kicked back and threw my hand into the blade, nearly cutting off my index finger.  Literally.  I rushed myself to the ER with a towel wrapped around my finger, praying that I didn’t lose it.  I didn’t know.  There was too much blood.  Turns out, the blade slivered the bone in two places on my index finger and my nail popped out completely.  It was a miracle I didn’t lose the finger.  Fifteen stitches later…yeah.  Lesson learned:  always let the blade come to a complete stop before moving anything anywhere!  Now that I’ve scared you half to death, in all fairness, the table saw is a great tool to have around.  I use it for ripping boards, cutting plywood and MDF and for cutting boards that are too wide for my compound miter saw.

Orbital Sander – When I first started doing woodwork, I only had a palm finishing sander…which is a great tool to have and I have one.  However, working with reclaimed wood, I went through a ton of sandpaper!  And then I discovered the random orbital sander.  It was as if the sky opened up and angels started singing!  This baby cut my sanding time in HALF and I don’t go through nearly as much sandpaper with it.  I still have plenty of uses for my finishing sander…being just that – finish sanding.  The orbital sander handles my tough stuff…sanding down the rough edges and grain of reclaimed pallet and barn wood.  This one is great because it has a sawdust catcher and the sandpaper attaches with velcroo…super easy.

BONUS:  If you’re going to be doing any work with pallets, you’re going to have a heck of a time taking them apart without a reciprocating saw.  This is a lifesaver and a MUST HAVE for pallet projects.  Trust me.  A crowbar and hammer are not going to get you very far very fast.  The reciprocating saw can cut right through nails and wood and will separate the boards from the base of the pallet in no time.  Do yourself a favor and spend the money.  They’re not expensive and well worth it.  Make sure you also get demolition blades for your pallet dismantling.

There are so many others you can add to your arsenal…these just happen to be the ones I use most.  On my list?  A belt sander!  So tell me, what power tools do you have and love the most…and which ones are you dying to add to your workshop?

3 Money Saving Apps You Should Be Using TODAY

money-saving-apps
Who doesn’t want to save money?  As a single mom, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save, whether it’s with coupons in the store or a code online.  And, since I own my own business and order supplies often online, every little bit helps.  There are so many tools, apps and add-ons these days that it can be a little overwhelming, let alone confusing.  I’ve taken some time to test out a few of them and I’m excited to share the ones with you that I use myself and love.  Saving and sharing is caring, after all!

Honey – I just recently discovered Honey and have already saved money using it!  It wohoneyrks on lots of websites and here’s the way it works:  You put items in your cart and then click on the Honey icon that is added to your toolbar.  Honey then searches for coupon codes and automatically applies them for you so that you save!  How cool is that?  I just saved 25% on a Groupon purchase using Honey…I would not have known about the coupon code otherwise.  Highly recommend!  There’s no app for devices yet, so you’ll have to use Honey on your desktop until they come out with it.

Piggy – Similar to Honey, Piggy searches for online coupon codes and savings for you while you shop website that they piggysupport.  The app figures the best code for savings and then loads it in your checkout/cart.  The added benefit of Piggy is that you can also earn cash back with certain purchases…payable four times per year.  That’s pretty sweet.  Piggy works on your desktop, as well as on Android and IOS devices.

Ebates – I don’t know why I never used Ebates until nEbates Coupons and Cash Backow…not only do you get coupon codes as you shop, but you earn cash back as well!  Some stores even pay double cash back, like Amazon!  It gets even better…you can link a
credit/debit card that you use for in-store shopping and then add cash back offers to link to your card!  I’ll be using this for sure…includes stores like Charming Charlie, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bed, Bath & Beyond…just to name a few!

Not only can you save on groceries and everyday items, you can save on bigger ticket items, gifts, travel and even restaurants.  AND some of the rewards/points/cashback stack!  That means you can use more than one of these money saving apps on the same purchase!  There really is no reason NOT to be using at least one of these!

There are a few honorable mentions that I didn’t detail above, but you can check them out by clicking the links below:

  1. ibotta – available on Android and IOS
  2. Walmart’s Savings Catcher – available on Android and IOS
  3. Checkout 51 – available on Android and IOS
  4. Swagbucks  – available on Android and IOS

There are tons of others out there and I’m sure I’m missing some good ones, so tell me, which money saving tools/apps do you use and love?

8 Must Have Shipping Tools/Supplies for Your Etsy Business…and where to get the best prices

shipping-supplies
As an Etsy shop owner for a few years now, I’ve become very familiar with where to get the best deals on supplies.  One of the areas I hate spending money on is shipping supplies, so whenever I can get them free or really inexpensive, I feel like I’ve scored.  I recently had to purchase packing paper for the FIRST time since opening my shop 3 years ago.  Up until now, I’ve been able to find FREE boxes, newsprint, bubble wrap and packing peanuts from various places including Facebook groups, Craigslist, lighting suppliers, gift shops and even dumpsters behind stores…yep, I said it.  I dumpster dive for boxes and packing supplies!  So many stores toss out perfectly good and clean boxes, along with tons of packing supplies that their shipments came with.  There’s absolutely no reason NOT to recycle them and use them for your shipping needs!  On all of my Etsy listings, I have a paragraph where I let my customers know that I use recycled shipping supplies in order to keep costs down.  It saves customers a little money and it saves me in expenses as well.

There are lots of suppliers out there where you can purchase these must-have items for your shipping needs, but I’ve found that Amazon by far has the best prices…and if you have Amazon Prime, which you MUST have, shipping is FREE and you’ll have your order in 2 business days.  It’s a no-brainer!  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Without further ado, here’s my list of 8 must-have shipping supplies, in no particular order.  Each has a link (affiliate) directly to the website where you can purchase the item.  Again, most of these are on Amazon, but a couple are in other places.

  1. Packing Tape – I go through a ton of this stuff, so the more I can save, the better.  Don’t waste your money on the flimsy stuff that breaks easily.  Go for tape that has a little more weight to it and you’ll end up using less.  The best price I have found is on this tape…you get a package of 6 rolls and Prime shipping.
  2. Shipping labels – I have a Deskjet printer that I purchased from Costco and it does a great job of printing my labels.  I use half-sheet size labels, 2 per sheet, which is the size that and other shipping platforms use for their labels.  I’ve used several different suppliers for my labels, but these seem to be the most consistent in terms of stickiness.  You definitely want sticky labels so they don’t peel off your packages during shipping.  This supplier offers a package of 200 labels (100 sheets) and Prime shipping (of course).
  3. Tape Gun – if you’re doing any amount of shipping, you don’t want to waste time with a flimsy tape gun that will break after just a few uses.  This tape gun is heavy duty, and it will last.  I’ve had mine for 3 years now and it’s still going strong.  It fits your packing tape perfectly and makes boxing up your orders a cinch.  It’s an investment you’ll be glad you made.
  4. Postage Labels – For orders that fit in an envelope and that ship First Class mail, I use these postage labels from Amazon.  A box comes with 3,000 labels, so they will last you forever.  If you use a service like Stamps.com, postage prints on 2 labels per envelope.  One label has the postage on it, and the other has the shipping address.  They work with any inkjet or Officejet printer and have good sticking power.  They are compatible with the Avery 5160 labels but cost much less.
  5. Postage Scale – There are so many postage scales out there and you can spend a lot of money one them but, unless you’re shipping super heavy packages, it’s not necessary to go all out.  When shopping for a postage scale, you want to look for one that has a Tare function, which will reset the scale to 0 if you place an empty box on it and want to subtract that weight from your contents.  You also want a scale that measures in pounds and ounces, which is what shipping software uses for their weight measurements.  Next, a scale with a HOLD button is a must for when you have a package that covers the reading on the scale.  When you press HOLD and then remove the package, the weight is still on the screen.  Another feature to look for is a scale that uses BOTH batteries and an AC adapter.  That way you don’t get stranded without a scale if your batteries die.  You can just plug it in and keep weighing.  On the other side, it’s nice to not have to have your scale near an outlet when you have batteries to operate it with.  This scale is very similar to mine (they don’t make mine anymore) and I love it.  It will weigh up to 86 pounds, which is way more than I’ll ever need, making it the perfect scale for my business.
  6. Printer – you’ll want a decent printer for printing your labels, but there’s no need to spend several hundred dollars on a printer that one for much less will do just as well.  This is the printer I have, which I purchased from Costco.  They no longer carry it, but Amazon has it (and for less than what I paid!).  Ink isn’t cheap, but it lasts quite a long time.  I usually purchase my ink from Costco, but you can also get it here.
  7. Postage software – There are several platforms out there to choose from, but I’ve stuck with Stamps.com these past few years.  It’s easy to install, easy to set up and allows you to manually enter package sizes.  Stamps.com is $15.95 per month, but you do get reduced postage rates (same as Etsy rates).  You can purchase postage without leaving the application, and shipping international packages is a breeze.  One thing Stamps.com allows you to do is hide your shipping prices so your customers can’t see them on the shipping label…something you can’t do in Etsy’s shipping platform (at least not at this time).
  8. Packing paper – As I said earlier, up until TODAY (literally) I have never had to pay for packing paper, peanuts or bubble wrap.  I’ve always found it for free on Facebook, Craigslist or from shops getting rid of it.  SO purchasing newsprint for the first time was a painful thing for me to do.  I HATE spending money on this kind of stuff…but I have to have it.  So I did some research online looking for the best price.  I thought Amazon would have it, but I was surprised to find that there was another company that sold it for less and also offered free shipping when you spend $35, which can easily be done if you’re purchasing paper as well as bubble wrap, which is what I did today.  This newsprint comes in 24″x36″ size, which is perfect for wrapping items and for stuffing inside boxes to fill space, and they offer different amounts/poundages to choose from.  I ordered 20 pounds, which equates to about 300 or more sheets of paper.  That should last a decent amount of time…long enough at least until I can find some for FREE again!  Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes is the company.  One of the main reasons I ordered from them was because they ship the SAME DAY and it only takes 1-2 business days to get to me.  Ordering on Amazon meant waiting an extra few days to get the shipment.  

There are a few other supplies you’ll want to have on hand including scissors, a box cutter, a permanent marker, return address stamp and envelopes of different sizes, depending on what you ship.

What am I leaving out?  Comment below with your must-haves and I’ll add them to the list!

My Review of Kroger’s ClickList Program

kroger-clicklist-banner

There are so many home delivery and order online/pick up in store programs out there these days…I’m loving them!  I most recently discovered Kroger’s Clicklist Program and am excited to share my review with you.

For those of you with Kroger in your town, you’re probably familiar with the Kroger Plus card and you probably have one that you use when you shop there.  It’s like all the other “rewards” cards out there…you scan it when you check out and it gives you extra savings on select items and, in this case, gas points to redeem for discounts at the pump.  If you don’t already have a Kroger Plus card, you’ll want to get one.  It’s simple to do.  just go to Kroger’s website and sign up.kroger

When you’re ready to shop, simply click on ClickList in the top menu…you’ll select your pick up location, choose your pick up time, and then you’re ready to add items to your list.  Here’s the cool thing:  Kroger logs what you’ve purchased in the past and those items show up on the screen as recently purchased items.  It even shows you if those items are on sale.  How cool is that?  It makes re-purchasing staple items quick and easy.  As you add items to your cart, you’ll see them listed on the right side of your screen.  Don’t forget to check for digital coupons for extra savings.  Click on My Account at the top of the page and then click Digital Coupons.  You can load as many to your Kroger Plus Card as you want.  When you purchase that item, the coupon is automatically applied when you check out.  Just shop until your heart’s content.   Once you finish, you’ll check out and pay for your items.  They accept debit and credit cards.  After you’ve completed your purchase, you’ll receive an email confirmation.  You have until midnight of the day before you pick up your order to make any changes.

When you arrive at Kroger to pick up your order, look for either the ClickList lane or specially marked parking places in front of the store.  At my location, there is a separate lane you pull into and a sign with a phone number to call to let them know you’ve arrived.  They bring the order out, load it, hand you your receipt and you’re on your way!  It’s the most simple, coolest and most convenient way to shop!  The prices are the same as when you shop in-store but the time you save looking for parking, fighting the crowds and standing in line…it’s a no-brainer!  AND they’re waiving the service fee right now to boot!

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know:

  1. Make sure you have a Kroger Plus Card in order to use the ClickList service.
  2. Double check your pick up location and reserved pick up time.
  3. Don’t forget to load digital coupons to your Kroger Plus card for extra savings
  4. Be sure to specify if you don’t want a substitution for certain items.  Otherwise, the shopper will substitute brands if the one you select isn’t available.
  5. Write any special instructions for certain items when you select that item.  For example, when I selected 0000000004011bananas, I wrote that I like a little green on my bananas.  That way they pick just the right ones for your liking.
  6. Once you’re ready to check out, be sure to double check your cart to make sure you ordered the right quantities of the items you selected.  Some produce is sold by the pound and others by the piece.  Make sure you got it right!

Kroger’s ClickList Program is one I will DEFINITELY be using again and again.  I highly recommend it and can’t believe it took this long for them to come up with it!

 

Delicious Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup

sausage-tortellini-soupI’ve been making this soup for years, but for some reason I decided to change it up a bit last night.  Turns out that THIS is the recipe I should have been using all along…and it was in my head! 🙂

Since sharing is the happy way, here’s what I did to make this delicious sausage tortellini soup.  It’s super easy and can be ready in 30 minutes flat!

Sausage Tortellini Soup

Makes about 4 servings

3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound ground Italian sausage – I used mild but you can spice it up by using the hot
2 boxes of chicken broth (or 4 cans)
2 bags cheese tortellini – or whatever kind you prefer…spinach would be great
1 Tbsp ground basil
1 tsp ground oregano
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup half and half
Shredded parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large pot, combine the ground sausage and garlic and sautee over medium high heat.  Once sausage is browned, add chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Add tortellini, basil and oregano and let boil for 4-6 minutes.  Add tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low.  Add half and half.  Stir all ingredients together and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.  Enjoy!

5 Good to Know Facts and Hacks

Ever think, “now I should know how to do that” when you see something smart on Pinterest or elsewhere?  I do…often.  So, I sharing some of my favorites with you and perhaps you’ll agree that you should know about them, too!

  1. Do you ever eat a fresh spinach salad and find your teeth feeling strange and chalky? You’re not alone. “Spinach teeth” is caused by the high quantities of oxalic acid found in spinach. The oxalate crystals leak out from spinach as you chew, and these cryWhy Does Spinach Make My Teeth Feel Funky?: stals coat the teeth, which results in that gritty feeling.  And it doesn’t just come from spinach! Rhubarb, beets, kale, and chocolate are high in oxalic acid as well. Beyond that strange dental sensation, this acid increase your risk of oxalate stones in the kidneys, so people with a predisposition for such issues should steer clear of eating large amounts of spinach.  The oxalic acid contained in spinach can also prevent your body from absorbing iron. To improve iron absorption, spinach should be eaten with foods that contain vitamin C. So the next time you’re chowing down on some cooked spinach, be sure to squeeze a little fresh lemon on top!
  2. Signs of a heart attack in women7 Warning Signs of Heart Attack In Women -PositiveMed | Positive Vibrations in Health:
  3. When to use ice vs. heat :
  4. How to jump a car                                                         Girls. You NEED to know this.:
  5. Place setting Setting a Table ~ might come in hand if you are hosting a Christmas dinner party:

I’d love to hear some of your smart finds of other things I should know! Share them in the comments below!