I love strawberries and I love chocolate and when you put the two together they are seriously so good. They can be easily switched up to add different toppings. They taste fantastic, they look amazing and they don’t require a lot of ingredients. These DIY chocolate covered strawberries are perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, hostess gifts, or any day!
Who says laundry has to be a chore? What would you do if you could create the perfect laundry room? A room that you actually enjoy being in instead of dreading the work to be done in it? Find a way to enjoy being in your laundry room. I mean, wouldn’t you want to do laundry every day if your room was amazing? Joanna Gaines says, “I love the challenge of creating inspiration in spaces where I need it most. For me, that’s wherever there’s laundry.” Here are some laundry room ideas we love!
Garden lovers can use this laundry room as a cut flower station with lots of counter space, while waiting for the laundry to finish. The farmhouse sink is perfect for potting plants or arranging flowers in vases.
Lots of light in this laundry room and having a window to look out makes laundry chores that much more enjoyable.
Interior designer Dina Bandman chose wallpaper to complement the blue tiles of the dog shower. The decorative touches of the potted plants and the beautiful vases makes this a beautiful room one would enjoy spending time in. If you have pets, it pays to incorporate a pet-wash station.
Love the look, organization and decorative touches. Peaceful and serene.
Double duty use of this space: an art studio while waiting for the laundry to finish.
Sarah Richardson created a beautiful and functional flex space that operates as both a laundry room and a home office. The pastel blue and wood combination makes it very welcoming.
Love the light filled room with soothing baby blue hues.
Are you looking for some healthy snack ideas? If you’ve never heard of apple chips or ever had a chance to try them, then you’re in for a real treat and a wonderfully healthy snack. These apple chips are not only addictive, they’re also super easy to make.
Apple chips are dehydrated sliced apples that have a deliciously natural sweetness and texture to them.
Dehydrating apples is a quick and easy way to make apple chips during the peak of apple season. Apple chips are a healthy, low sugar treat that kids, teens and adults enjoy. In this post I share with you how to make this super simple recipe!
Start with crisp ripe apples, whatever type you like. I just use the apples off my backyard tree, but if you want a sweeter variety try Golden Delicious, Gala, Fiji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp. A tarter variety you could try is Granny Smith. Dried apple chips or rings do not need extra sweetener! They’re plenty sweet on their own. A sprinkle of cinnamon on them is good but optional.
1. Peel the apples.
You don’t have to peel them if you don’t want to. I wash and partially peel mine. There are lots of nutrients in the apple peel that I like to keep.
I use an apple peeler that’s a solid cast iron tool that does the peeling, slicing and coding for me.
2. Core and slice the apples
Core and thinly slice the apples, they should be about 1/8th of an inch thick.
After I slice the apples I add them to a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from browning. I slice my apples into rings, but you can cut them how you like.
3. Prepare apples in a single layer and dehydrate or bake in the oven.
Arrange the apple slices in a single layer in your dehydrator. Sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon on them if you like. Turn the dehydrator to 135ºF. Allow the apples to dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours or until they are dried and as crisp as you want them to be. The drier they are, the more crunchy and chip-like they are, and the longer they’ll last stored at room temperature.
Oven: Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Arrange the apple slices in a single layer on a parchment paper lined metal baking pan. Bake the apples slices for 1 hour, then flip them and allow to bake for another 1 to 2 hours until the chips are no longer moist. Flip occasionally.
It is very important to store dehydrated apples in an air tight container, because they soften up when exposed to air.
One thing to remember is that fruit loses a lot of volume when dehydrated. So eating a handful of apple chips is the equivalent of eating several apples. Too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. The great news is that just a few of them should easily fill you up!
I hope you like these dehydrated apple chips and found this post helpful!
Fresh flowers can not only brighten your day, they can also improve the quality of your life. Along with being gorgeous, flowers provide many surprising but welcome benefits. They are wonderful additions to your home, brightening up the gray days of winter and bringing in the outdoors in the summer. Here are 5 surprising benefits of having fresh flowers in your home.
1. Flowers can boost your mood.
Simply looking at flowers and taking a moment to breathe in certain flower scents can lead to decreased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
In the first study, they presented women with flowers, a fruit basket, or a candle. They then measured the womens’ smiles after the presentation and measured their moods three days later. All of the women who received flowers exhibited a smile, and this group of women also reported the largest increase in a positive mood.
2. Plants and flowers clean the air.
Plants reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air, while also adding oxygen, making it easier to breathe. Some plants can also reduce levels of certain pollutants.
3. Plants and flowers can increase energy levels.
Simply spending time working with or even looking at flowers has been shown to lower fatigue and increase energy levels. Adding some flowering plants to your office or home could be a great way to provide a boost of mid-day energy and improve your focus and creativity.
4. Flowers can help you physically heal.
One study of 90 patients recovering from a hemorrhoidectomy in a hospital found that patients who were placed in rooms containing flowers “had significantly more positive physiologic responses evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue than patients in the control room.”
5. The opportunity to nurture something can boost our happiness.
Just the jobs and attention to detail involved with caring for flowers and plants can help us feel happier. Whenever we nurture something smaller than ourselves we can feel fulfilled.
Are you looking to thrive instead of just getting by this winter? Get inspired to make small consistent changes this winter that will help you look and feel great. Don’t give into feelings of tiredness and poor physical and mental health this winter. These winter wellness tips are simple habits that only require a few minutes of your time. But if you do them every day you’ll begin to see positive changes in your mood and wellbeing.
1. Write in a gratitude journal every morning or evening.
This is a quick way to switch your mindset from a negative one to a positive one.
2. Go outside in the morning, at lunch, or after work.
Breathing fresh air will calm your nerves and lift your mood. Going for a walk really does make a big difference in how you feel. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just a few minutes. One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to get outside daily.
3. Stay hydrated.
There are so many health benefits to drinking water, such as maximizing your physical performance, significantly affecting your energy levels and brain function, helping to prevent and treat headaches, helping and preventing digestive issues such as constipation and indigestion, and helping with weight loss. And the list could go on. Drink water or tea throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks as these cause spikes and drops in your blood sugar which will affect your mood.
4. Moisturize with body cream, balm, or ointment after a shower.
Keeping skin hydrated helps our skin stay healthy. Just after we shower, our pores are open due to the heat. Use this time to moisturize with skin cream, balm or ointment to help skin stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Add simple pleasures or luxuries to everyday life.
Take a long hot bath, complete with bath salts, face, and hair masks. Wrap up in a soft robe or hot towels straight out of the dryer. Seek out and try a new restaurant nearby. Meditate. Read a good book. Even if you only have time to read a few chapters, take time out to dive into a good book.
6. Digital Detox.
In the winter, when it’s colder and the days are shorter and we’re inside more, it’s far easier and more tempting to spend more time on social media. Well it may be a surprise to you but social media is not good for your mental health. It fills you up with other peoples ‘perfect’ lives and leaves you envious and feeling not good enough. Take one or two days a week and switch off all digital devices.
7. Add humour to your day.
Collect funny memes, movies, books to add laughter to your day. Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office, or collect them in a file or notebook. Keep funny movies, TV shows, books, magazines or comedy videos on hand for when you need an added humor boost. Look online at joke websites or silly videos. Listen to humorous podcasts. The Mayo clinic says laughter has both short term and long term health benefits such as improving your immune system, relieving pain, and soothing tension. In the winter when colds and the flu are more frequent, strengthening our immune systems is a needed thing.
8. Move your body.
Stretch for a few minutes every hour. Get your heart rate up whether it’s doing a workout or going for a brisk walk. Exercise improves your mood and raises your energy levels.
9. Dress in brighter colors.
Colours have the power to affect our emotions and mood. Warm tones such as reds and oranges are vibrant and energizing while cool colours such as blues and light greens calm us. And grey–mother nature’s favourite colour in winter—is depressing.
10. Invest in plant or flower therapy.
Plants and flowers are known to be effective in reducing stress, improving our ability to focus, and making us feel happy. During winter you’re inside for longer periods and plants help to optimize and clean the air! Nurturing a plant and being surrounded by greenery is good for the soul. Buy some flowers from the grocery store or visit a greenhouse.
11. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies daily has been linked to a higher level of mental well-being. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need.
Are you looking for Christmas and holiday nail art ideas to help celebrate the season? Here you’ll find fun and classy Christmas nail art tutorials including everything from candy cane ideas to Christmas trees to glitter and lights.
If you’re looking for some Thanksgiving ideas and inspiration you’ll find lots here! Everything from Thanksgiving tablescapes to Thanksgiving recipes to decorating and Thanksgiving games while the Turkey bakes!
I love this simple but beautiful basket arrangement of miniature pumpkins that would certainly add a pop of color and autumn touch to any front porch.
A beautiful pumpkin and candle table centerpiece.
Turkey Cheese Ball
Have you ever seen such a cute turkey cheese ball?!
Classic Green Bean Casserole:
Not only is green bean casserole one of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving foods ever, it’s incredibly easy to make.
Sweet Potato Casserole:
There’s no denying that a Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows is always a crowd favorite!
Easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes:
This make ahead crock pot mashed potatoes recipe will save you time at the last minute when you’re trying to get all of the parts of your holiday dinner on the table!
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy:
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is a must for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner!
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce:
Healthy Treats for Thanksgiving:
Mini Pumpkin Pies:
No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecakes:
Not everyone loves pumpkin. This is a great alternative to pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving Dessert Board:
Grazing isn’t just for antipasti any more. A dessert buffet on a tray gives everyone a chance to sample a little bit of everything—or pick and choose their sweet treat.
Getting a beautifully wrapped gift is a pleasure and a gift in itself. A thoughtfully wrapped gift is a form of art and shows the receiver the love that has gone into it. Here are some best diy beautiful, creative or simple Christmas gift wrapping ideas for the holidays, birthdays or special events. For Christmas, I like to pick a theme for my gift wrapping, such as neutral with bright pops of color.
These gifts, wrapped with Kraft paper (or sometimes called “butcher” paper) come in brown or white and can be purchased in places like Walmart, The UPS store, Michaels, Target and online. The mini wreaths on top add beautiful pops of interest and color.
Here is a mini boxwood wreath tutorial to add as a beautiful gift topper.
Such a fun and creative Christmas present topper!
Ribbons are inexpensive and take your gift wrapping up a notch. I love the classic color combination here done by clairelynnhome.
Simple, easy yet elegant.
A beautiful gift wrapping idea by windblownideas.
Adding white 3D puff paint makes these gifts pop. If you don’t want to use wrapping paper, using Kraft brown gift boxes makes it super easy.
Using paint and fingerprints adds a personal and creative touch to these Christmas lights.
Adding the gift recipient’s photo on top for a gift tag is thoughtfulness that makes it extra special.
Add a touch of luxury with incorporating pleats and fragrant herbs or foliage for a fragrant Christmas package.
Pretty packages that make gift giving just a little extra special.
Layer your gift wrapping with different wrapping papers.
Add seasonally natural gift toppers and then for some extra detailing, draw some Christmas designs on the kraft paper.
Adding an oversized letter of the first initial of the gift recipient is a creative idea instead of a gift tag.
A well-stocked kitchen is certainly key to the comfort of home. As we gather indoors more in this autumn season, a stocked up pantry adds comfort and pleasure to the home. A homemade meal, a batch of cookies, a favorite hot drink, a quick loaf of bread —all these are quite easy to produce if the ingredients and equipment are right on hand. It all comes down to preparation. A bit of planning, a strategic shopping trip, a small dose of organization, and you have a home stocked and ready for a sudden blizzard, an unexpected guest, an impromptu celebration with those you love.
For autumn, of all the seasons, is the one when the urge to get cozy and comfy, to invite others over, to gather the ones we love close near the fireside, is strongest.
If you’ve never stocked up on basic ingredients before or envisioned your own home as a place to gather resources, here’s a list to get you started.
You should, of course, adjust the list according to your preferences and needs. I have adapted this list from Sally Clarkson’s book The Lifegiving Home.
I love the strong, bold , beautiful color of cranberries, and the sweet and tart taste of homemade cranberry sauce with my Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey tastes so much better than store bought. This easy homemade cranberry sauce is ready in 15 minutes and you only need 3 ingredients!
The flavor is so much better with fresh cranberries and you can customize the sweetness level to your liking. Once you try this easy homemade cranberry sauce, you’ll never go back to the store bought stuff!
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
*Optional: a sprinkle of cinnamon
1. The first step is to dissolve the sugar. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a medium pot.
2.Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries are simmered with sugar and water until the cranberries burst. Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon will add a pop to the flavour.
3. Pour the sauce into a bowl, cover and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 1/4 cups ( 565 ml)
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE VARIATIONS
This is a basic cranberry sauce recipe, but you can add all different ingredients to cranberry sauce to customize it to your liking.
Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce: Substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar.
Cranberry Orange Sauce: Use orange juice instead of water and stir in 2 teaspoons of orange zest.
Vanilla Cranberry Sauce: Add one split vanilla bean to the sauce and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
Cranberry Cherry Sauce: Add 1 cup of chopped frozen dark cherries to the sauce.
Cranberry Apple Sauce: Use apple cider instead of water and add 1 diced peeled apple to the sauce.
What to do with Leftover Cranberry Sauce
I usually don’t have very much cranberry sauce left over, but if I do it tastes great on:
1. Turkey buns
2. Cranberry meatballs
3. Pour it over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers
4. Swirl it into vanilla yogurt and and top your granola with it
5. Top your pancakes or waffles with a big spoon of warmed cranberry sauce. And a dollop of sweetened whipped cream