Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

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Ok guys. This is such an easy recipe, even if you don’t have a baking bone in your body, you can definitely make this. In fact, this is a potluck type of dessert. You can bring it to any get together and it’ll be the biggest hit and no one will know you had to do the least work.

Make this for your kids, your friends, or people you want to be your friends, because after they try this, they’ll keep coming back for more!

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Here is the super simple recipe;

1 package of cool whip (thawed) or canned whip cream.

1 package JELLO Instant Vanilla Pudding.

1 box of Nilla Wafers

6 fresh strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced.

In a dish, preferably tall and clear for esthetics, layer whole Nilla Wafers, Cool Whip, fresh strawberries, vanilla pudding, crushed nilla wafers, then repeat until it fills the entire dish leaving the last top layer for cool whip, fresh strawberries, and a dusting of crushed Nilla Wafers.

Chill 2 hours – overnight until the wafers turn soft. It’ll taste like a fall apart strawberry shortcake.

Serve in spoonfuls in smaller cups.

Did you make this? Let me know your thoughts!

 

French Toast Banana Bread Pudding Recipe

Every now and then I get into the mood to create a new recipe. I like putting new spins on old favorites and since it’s September and the kids are back to school, I have a little bit of time on my hands.

And so came about French Toast inspired Banana bread pudding – that’s a mouthful! Literally ūüėČ

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French Toast Banana Bread Pudding

1/2 loaf of bread toasted in oven at 350¬įfor 15 mins (I used white, French is better)
2 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1capful of bourbon (optional)
1 banana
1tbs cinnamon
As many chocolate chips as you’d like!
Mix well in a bowl and pour over bread cubes and let soak for 10 minutes.

Bake uncovered at 350¬į for 30 minutes, then coat top with melted butter, and up the heat to 400¬į for another 15 minutes or until browned on top.

This tastes like a twist on French toast and is great for breakfast, snack or dessert!

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Fudgy Oreo Brownies

I have a meeting at work and wanted to bring something to munch on and well, make sure it runs smoothly since I’m a facilitator. Nobody has a bad time when their face is full of fudgy brownies… But I wanted to make sure. I decided to add Oreos to this batch because I love oreos and they bake well inside of other baked goods.

I simply used a box mix, the Pillsbury Fudge Brownie mix in family size 13×9. Make per directions and then add a layer to the pan, then oreos, then finish with anther later of batter on top. You can crush them or add them whole, but I prefer them whole so you get the full effect.

Make sure to leave them in until just before done. They continue to cook when first removed and you don’t want hard brownies. I did my 13×9 Pyrex at 350¬į for 28 minutes.

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Merry Little Christmas Sign

I love making crafts that are simple and can be done fairly quickly.

I came across a sign i loved on Pinterest, but my relationship with Pinterest is not always a good one. I’ve tried numerous things that just wind up overwhelming because either something was left out of the steps, or it looked a lot easier then it actually was.

I figured I’d give it a try and with imperfections and all, i really love the outcome!

These steps can be done for any sign you’d like to create from scratch. Here are are steps;

I was able to get a thin piece of plywood from a box at work. It is about 2′ x 3′ which was just the right size I wanted. I lightly sanded the sides of the plywood because it was splintering all over.

Next, I took some white acrylic paint I had on hand and just lightly coated the board.

Then I added some text from my “Phonto” app on my phone, and then sent them to my computer to print and printed and taped them where I wanted then on the board.20151214_104411

After that, since I didn’t have any carbon paper, I added led to the back of the printouts, and then traced over then to transfer the lettering onto my board how I wanted it.

 

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The tracing takes a little bit of time, bit it’s worth it to get the font you want looking nice and neat.

My issue is, with the next step, which was using the black & red acrylic paint, I didn’t have a small square tip paint brush on hand, so I used a small rounded make-up brush I had laying around (yes I did). It worked great except it was hard to square my letters like I wanted and they came out a bit rounded and no longer perfect. I figured it was OK because I’d be sanding it next to give it a vintage/rustic look.20151215_112402

 

^ This was before sanding and you can see how my painting didn’t go so well.

To sand this, you can do it by hand with sandpaper but I had a small orbital sander on hand and used a 60 grit paper on it. I did a little deeper sanding in some areas and lighter in others to give it the look I wanted. You can see where it’s just about down to the plywood. It also allowed me to make my letters look a little better and the imperfections to almost disappear.

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The last step I did was add a light gray stain. I used “classic gray” from Minwax, it’s only $4.50 for a tiny jar that’ll last forever for craft projects.

I almost want to say I could’ve done without this step. I feel like I looked the white a bit brighter and I might sand it down a little to take some of the stain off, but I’m torn. I do like the way it turned it more rustic looking and I don’t have to work about it getting dirty since I’m using it as a holiday decoration on my front porch.

Let me know what you think and if you wind up trying this project!

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Two Ingredient Oreo Truffles

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Two Ingredient Oreo Truffles

All you need to make these mouthwatering Oreo Truffles is 1, 8 oz package of softened cream cheese 20150603_112045

And 1 package of original Oreos.

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I used my stand mixer this time, but have done it in the past by hand. The easiest way to do it by hand is to crush the Oreos in a ziplock back (I use a hammer hehe) before adding to the cream cheese.

Add both ingredients and mix on low speed until smooth

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Yummy!

(If you wanted to make Oreo Icing, you can add less cookies to cream cheese ratio and you’ll get a yummy oreo cream cheese icing).

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The fun part is next! Take out even spoonfuls of the mixture, and roll into balls using your CLEAN hands. Try using a spoon or something that can allow you to have even sized balls. Place on parchment paper lined tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes uncovered.

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Removed from refrigerator and decorate with chocolate! I used the yellow colored white melting chocolate and non parel sprinkles for these, but my absolute favorite is milk chocolate covered Oreo Truffles. 20150603_120808

If you wanted, you can even add a stick (dip the stick into the chocolate then into the ball and cool before dipping fully into the rest of the chocolate). Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. The Oreo Truffles should be kept cool until consumed.

TIP: Make the balls much smaller so that they’re not too heavy on the stick.20150603_153114

The last step; ENJOY!

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* This recipe makes about 25 Cake Pop sized Oreo Truffles. You can half the recipe and make a smaller batch or make the truffles smaller.

All of Your Spring Cleaning with Just ONE Chemical-Free Product – TRUE or FALSE?

Spring Cleaning Edition РTRUE or FALSE?

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If I told you that you could complete a laundry list of Spring Cleaning tasks using just one product, you probably wouldn’t believe me. I am a bit skeptical myself, but I am going to put it to the test for you! I am talking about baking soda. There have been some strong claims that it does an unlimited amount of tasks effectively. Lets break some of them down and try it.

It is said that dumping just 1 cup of baking soda into your load of laundry will make your detergent work extra hard for you. This seems like it would work by using the odor eliminating factor or the baking soda, along with the ¬†abrasive paste it creates when wet. I would think the abrasiveness would fade away being that it is mixed with a much larger ratio of water. What else can it do? Let’s put them to the test,

Clean Wax and Dirt off of your Veggies and Fruit

Use a little baking soda and water as a safe abrasive to remove excess dirt and wax from fresh fruit and veggies.

  • TEST: I tried to use the most waxy fruits and veggies could think of, an apple and a cucumber. Normally I’d use some dish soap and a scrubbing sponge and get to work in making sure there’s no more dirt, wax or soap left on them, but this is a safer alternative that’s even quicker.¬†

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  • VERDICT: It’s TRUE!¬†You don’t even need to use a scrubber and can literally just use your hands to swoosh it around and rinse.

Drain Cleaner, Clear that Grime¬†–

This is a simple drain cleaning technique that takes a bit of upkeep. But does it pay off? To use baking soda as a drain cleaner, run the hot water a bit, and then sprinkle a little baking soda down the drain regularly to keep them fresh and clear of blockages.

  • TEST: I really cannot claim this to be true OR false just yet. I’ll have to try it a few times, or maybe when my kitchen sink gets that smell after dirty dishes. I tested it in my bathroom sink, but it didn’t make a difference since it didn’t smell or get clogged to begin with.

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  • VERDICT: I’d say this would be a good ritual and may be true to keep a smelly drain from recurring or clogging. but I won’t know for sure until I keep up with it.

Make your Vinyl Shower Curtain as Good as New¬†–

This claims you can simply add some baking soda to a damp sponge and wipe down your vinyl shower curtain and hand to dry, This seems too simple. Especially is there is mold or mildew build up on it.

  • TEST:¬† I followed the directions by using a damp sponge and sprinkling the baking soda on the spots of the vinyl shower curtain. I scrubbed just a small area of the shower curtain, and then rinsed it off. You can definitely see the difference!

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  • VERDICT:¬†This absolutely does work and it is TRUE it will remove the mold and mildew from the vinyl shower curtain. Personally, It is more effort then it is worth for me and I rather just spend the $5 to get a brand new one then scrubbing down the entire thing.

So Clean You’ll be Floored¬†

Just mop your tile floor with a 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. To remove any scuff marks, just add some baking soda to a damp sponge and buff out the streaks. Make sure to rinse the sponge after each use.

  • TEST:I added hot water to a bucket and dumped in a 1/2 cup of baking soda as called for. My mop was a little old and musty after dipped into the hot water, and even though the baking soda masked most of the smell, I wanted it to actually smell clean after I spent time mopping, so I added a couple drops of tea tree oil to the bucket.

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  • VERDICT: It is TRUE! It worked to clean my floor, but the one thing I didn’t like was that it left a haze over it, and did not have that nice glow I like. It was shiny while wet of course, but after it dried I had to go over it with mop & glow. The good news is, I used the swiffer mop to put the mop & glow on, and when looking at the pad after, there was minimal dirt on it, so the floor was really clean after one application of the water/baking soda and safe for my son and dog.

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Carpet-Deodorizing Magic 

You can freshen carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them before vacuuming; Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up and breath in the freshness.

  • TEST: We all have some sort of element in our homes that make our carpet not as fresh as we’d like. Mine is my dog. Although I love him, even he’d admit, he smells like a dog. I used it on the area that he lays the most, and literally just sprinkled a little bit around the area before vacuuming.

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  • VERDICT: It’s TRUE and it’s fast. It definitely made that section of the rug smell more fresh then others. This is something I’ll probably get into the habit of doing. I used to use the carpet fresh deodorizers before having children and a dog, but now I don’t feel they’re safe for my kids or dog who frequently crawl around on the floor and drop food and eat it. This is much safer.

Snuggle up to Fresh Linens 

Give your linens the natural, fresh linen scent by 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle to help remove any odors.

  • TEST: I don’t have a washer and dryer in my home, so this one is more difficult to do for me quickly without going to the laundromat. I figured, to really put it to the test, why not try a nasty, dirty, soaked sponge that smelled of mildew? So that’s what I did.¬†

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  • VERDICT: It is TRUE! Layering on the baking soda onto the smelly sponge immediately took away the foul moldy smell. I was so amazed and in disbelief I actually put it closer to my nose to see. And it smelled fresh. I would imagine this would also be the case with linen as it claims, and also if poured into a smelly shoe.

My personal favorite –

I also tried it on my refrigerator because the back of the Arm & Hammer bottle stated you can use it to clean appliances. Mine is a black gloss, not stainless steel so you may have another outcome. My 2 year old gets finger prints and food all over the bottom half of the refrigerator where he can reach as you can see in photo #1. I put a little baking soda on a damp sponge and cleaned that side of the fridge. I was horrified after I thought it was “clean” and it dried and had a white haze all over (picture #2) and I quickly grabbed a paper towel and started to “buff” it off. To my surprise, that’s exactly what it did! It buffed the black gloss back to a nice shine and was completely clean! This was by far my favorite use and I feel it had the biggest effect. It did take a little elbow grease to buff it out, but it’s worth it to not have any water marks after cleaning it.

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Do you have any other tried and true baking soda cleaning tips? Please let us all know by leaving a comment below!

If you want to try it for yourself, click here for some free Arm & Hammer coupons;

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