Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photo Prop

valentines-day-baby-photo-ideasHaving a sweet little boy is fun, especially when you get to dress him up in adorable outfits and take pictures of him! I can already see a montage of all of these awesome pictures being played to his chagrin at his wedding. He was super awesome earlier this week and took a nice long nap so I could get crafty and make this amazing Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photo Prop!

Some of you know that when you click on certain links on my blog (Like the SHOP button) and make purchases through Amazon.com I make a small profit. Well this year enough of you lovely people clicked to generate the funds needed to me to buy a fantastic new camera! Thank you readers!! You’re the best in the world. :) This means no more iPhone photos and you will see the images on HomemakerChic drastically improve (especially as I learn how to actually use the thing!)

how-to-valentines-day-kissing-booth-photo-prop-babyThe kissing booth was ridiculously easy to make and cost around $20 since I had a couple of the items on hand.

Everything you need can be purchased at your local craft store.

  • 1 Wood Crate
  • 2 long thin pieces of wood (this could be yardsticks, long dowel rods, or you can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I happened to have some extra scrap pieces laying around.)
  • 1 piece of wood, foam board, or cardboard around 12″x24″
  • 1 Chalkboard wall decal (or chalkboard paint)
  • 1 Cute Valentine’s Garland
  • A few tacks or nails
  • Some burlap

Assembly is pretty self explanatory. Just nail the long thin wood pieces to either the front or the back of the crate. You could do this a few different ways depending on your needs. photo-booth-kissingFor example you could stand the crate up on its side so it looks more like a “booth.” This would be good if you have a toddler or a baby who can sit up on his own. I needed the crate to be open so I could place Luke down in it since he doesn’t sit up on his own yet. You could also nail the sign to the front of the crate instead of to the back like in this photo. Or even to the sides.

I found a Chalkboard wall decal for around $8. You could also use Chalkboard paint. I also found a very thin piece of wood at Michael’s that worked perfectly and was just the right size for the decal, but you could use anything for this that is sturdy enough like foam board, or cardboard, or whatever else you have lying around. I hand wrote the kisses part with chalk. Try a few different fonts in your own hand, or use a stencil. I hot glued the board onto the long thin wood pieces.

I also hot glued the garland and the little Be My Valentine wood piece. I found the heart shaped wood piece in the same section as the crate. I just painted in the letters with a little red paint. You could leave that piece off or find something else just as cute. Finally I added the burlap to give it an old fashioned touch. I got a roll of burlap for $3 and just loosely looped it through the slats of the crate. Finally I stuck a couple rolled up blankets covered with a piece of red felt to keep Luke from falling over in the crate. If you have a red blanket that would be perfect.

Now for the photography. I just put the little booth out in my yard in the early afternoon when the natural lighting was nice. I made sure not to put him in direct sunlight, and used the AV aperture priority setting on my camera. It is NOT easy to get a baby to smile at just the right moment when there is no drool, or spit up, or a hand in the mouth. And when you finally get the right pose, your camera isn’t focused! This process is fun, but hard. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, have another person with you to help wrangle the baby and make him smile while you are ready with the camera.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! We love you all!

I’m back! Did you miss me?

Well you may have noticed, or maybe not, that I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging for the past 6 weeks and I must say that I have missed you all. Things have been bananas around the Homemaker Chic household and I really just needed a break. But I’m back and ready to bring you all sorts of new DIY projects, delicious recipes, godly advice, and informative posts about living a healthy and natural lifestyle. Here’s a little bit about whats been going on in our lives over the past month and a half…

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We celebrated Adam’s first Father’s Day! I got him this adorable little tennis onesie for our baby boy. This is what my son will look like one day. Pretty cute huh?

 

 

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My super sweet and creative sister, Danielle, made Adam this adorable Daddy’s Survival Kit complete with kleenex for running noses, snickers- when you need a break, advil, and a Superman T-shirt.

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My baby bump is getting bigger and baby boy has been kicking up a storm! I’ve been staying super healthy and eating LOTS of kale. I’ve finally managed to rid my home of all processed foods, GMO, canned foods, and anything with HFCS. We’re now on a weekly farmer’s market grocery schedule instead of my former once a month haul. Its become sort of a habit, and I’m loving the fresh produce every week!

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I experimented with purple potatoes this month. They have a bit of a different flavor than regular potatoes, but they were pretty cool. Unfortunately, I decided to do my usual half-cauliflower/half-potato blend for shepherd’s pie, and it turned into this horrible grey/lavender color that was not appetizing to look at one bit. It tasted delicious but I’ll spare you the hideous picture!

 

 

basketball-cake-homemakerchic.comI’ve been baking lots lately. My sister requested a basketball cake for my nephew’s 12th birthday. So I pulled out one of my vintage pyrex bowls that is oven safe and baked a pound cake right in the bowl. It took almost 2 hours to bake all the way through that thick of a cake, so it ended up a little on the dry side, but it was lovely! I suppose in the future I could always to a layer cake and sculpt it into a ball, but I’ve been wanting to try baking a cake in a bowl for awhile and it was fun to experiment! The frosting is just a flat tip for the “rubber” lines in black wilton frosting from the tube (trust me you don’t want to try to dye white frosting black, just save yourself the trouble and buy it ready made!), and I used a star tip with homemade buttercream. I used wilton red and yellow and a bit of brown to get that authentic basketball color.

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In other baking news I made my old faithful fruit zipper (or gallette) for 4th of July. Its the same one I made last year (and the same one I’ve been making since I was 10, lol), except I used peaches this year instead of berries. It was delish!

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Did you get your free Slurpee from 7-11 in July? I did! It was tasty. I don’t normally drink this stuff but I can’t be healthy ALL the time. The baby enjoyed the treat. :)

 

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I discovered Newman’s Own Vanilla Almond cereal. Its wholesome, delicious, and doesn’t have any icky ingredients! This is my new favorite.

 

 

 

 

ruffles-wedding-cake-ribbons-homemakerchic.comI also had one of the biggest, and most beautiful wedding cake orders I’ve ever made! This four tier cake was so much fun to make, and turned out even better than I had hoped. The cake was chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache, and champagne vanilla cake with two whole bottles of champagne added into the batter, with strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream. It was yummy! My sister did the gorgeous flower arrangement of peonies and ranunculus. 

 

homeowners-homemakerchic.comAnd finally. The MAIN reason I’ve been MIA lately. HomemakerChic is now officially a real live homemaker… and no longer an ApartmentMaker. We finally bought a house! After 2 years of searching, and seeing lots of houses fall through (thank you Jesus!) we closed on our dream home this month. I’ve been so busy painting, thrifting, repurposing, craig’slisting, and organizing, but it has been a blast! I can’t wait to show you all some of the awesome projects I’ve been working on. Stay tuned for LOTs more DIY posts, and hopefully a new section on gardening (when I figure out what the heck I’m doing.)

PLUS baby is due in October so stick around to see lots of upcoming nursery decor, cloth diapering, breast feeding, and natural childbirth posts. Things are about to get reeeeeally interesting around here.

I love you all!

Shop Homemaker Chic!

hcshop

You’re a HomemakerChic reader because you love getting awesome recipes, super cute craft ideas, and awesome health tips. I write HomemakerChic because I have a passion for all things related to homemaking… only I get paid in free products and the occasional hug. Don’t you want to help me pay the internet bill?

If you’ll allow me to be completely shameless for a minute, I’ll tell you how you can help. If you’re a blogger you might know about Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. This is a great way for me to make a little money with the help of my loyal readers. And you get to buy awesome stuff on Amazon.

Looking for one of the products I use? Or do you just need to stock up on Friends DVDs? You can find almost everything I mention in my blogs in my Amazon shop. Plus you can get free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime Member. You can also buy anything else available on Amazon (Like clothes!).

If you like my blog and you want to help me pay the bills (which I know you do), you can do it for free simply by doing all of your Amazon shopping using my link. You can buy all your normal stuff, but I get just the tiniest kickback from Amazon when I refer them business. Do me a solid and shop through me! Thanks a bunch :)

Just click the link below, or the link in the sidebar. Or the SHOP link above. I made it easy! Now go buy a bunch of cool stuff and tell me all about it in the comments. :)

Homemade Citrus Lip Balm Tutorial

recipe-for-12-tubes-of-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comI’ve been wanting to make my own lip balm for a really long time. I’ve spent lots of time looking at various recipes and researching all the ingredients before I finally took the plunge and decided to do the legwork to come up with the most wonderful, luscious lip balm recipe ever! Lucky for you, I write a blog and you get to reap the moisturizing lip benefits! The other awesome thing is that I have a super awesome new sponsor, SKS Bottle, (you remember them from my apothecary spice jar project) who sent me these awesome lip balm tubes! I couldn’t resist.

When it comes to lip balm, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredient variations. There are so many wonderful natural ingredients that you can mix and match to come up with the best recipe for you. I recommend playing around and seeing what works for you. The following is just one of many lip balm recipes I will be posting in the coming weeks and months.

I give you Homemaker Chic’s “Citrus Splash SPF Lip Balm “

lip-balm-making-supplies-homemakerchic.comNow, this may seem like a lot of ingredients, but there are so many different variations you can do with just a few small tweaks. I ordered all of the ingredients I needed in one day, online, from my living room. And most of it was free shipping. All in all, I spent about $100 for everything (That includes some other ingredients not included in this recipe, for different flavored lip balms). It may sound like a lot for lip balm but everything came in large enough quantities that I will have enough to make lip balm for my sisters, my mom, my friends and myself for a very VERY long time. PLUS- many of these ingredients are excellent for other skin preparations other than lip balm and are very handy to have around the house. It is an investment, and a project, but if you want to do this, you really need to have all the best ingredients. If it seems like too much for you, then by all means- Burt’s Bees is at your disposal! I will tell you though, that this is the most luxurious, smooth, and moisturizing lip balm I’ve ever tried. It smells and tastes amazing and you will LOVE it! I won’t ever go back to store bought again.

Supplies:

  • 12 lip balm tubes
  • 1 lip balm filling tray
  • Plastic putty knife

Lucky for you SKS Bottle has an awesome deal for Homemaker Chic readers! You can get the exact lip balms tubes, filling tray and putty knife that I used, and actually a few other tube designs for a big discount! They’re giving my readers $10 off an order of $50. They also have lots of other containers that I’m going to be using in some upcoming posts so you can spend $50 real quick. Just use the code HomeChic413 at checkout (or click the image below). I love their site!!

SKSHomemaker413

  • 1 ounce measuring shot glass
  • Eye dropper for oils (I found mine at PetSmart)
  • Double boiler
  • Small spatula
  • Glass pyrex cup with pour spout

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz white beeswax pellets
  • 1/3 oz Mango Butter
  • 1/3 oz Solid Room Temperature Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 oz Orange Butter
  • 1/4 oz Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 oz Olive Oil
  • 1/2 ox Cold Pressed Castor Oil
  • 15 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 15 drops raspberry seed oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil
  • 1/16 of a teaspoon of Mica Shimmer Powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia or other sweetener
  • Small sliver of lipstick for color (optional)

homemade-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comOkay so here is the basic ratio for Lip Balm:

1 Part Beeswax : 1 Part Solid Oil or Fruit/Vegetable Butter : 1 Part Liquid Oil.

You can really play around with the oils. You could use one type of oil, or make a blend like I did.

Let me explain a little bit about why I chose the blend that I did.

Orange butter comes specifically from Florida Oranges (of which I am a HUGE supporter since I’m from Florida!). It has wonderful moisturizing qualities, smells incredible, and gives this balm part of its wonderful citrus flavor and scent. Mango butter is light and fresh smelling and very smooth. It has great healing properties for dried, cracked lips, and peeling skin. It also has SPF natural SPF properties. Coconut Oil has amazing moisture benefits, and is well known for bringing chapped lips back to life. It has a wonderful scent that really pairs well with the tropical flavor profile in this balm.

The raspberry seed oil was added for its natural SPF benefit. It has very little scent. Several studies have show it to be anywhere from 6-20 on the SPF scale. Living in a sunny climate I really need SPF in my lip balm so this was a must. Same goes for the avocado oil, which aside from its incredible moisture and healing benefits, is also a natural SPF of 6. The vitamin E oil is excellent for healing chapped lips and protecting them, but a little goes a long way.

I added the castor oil because it adds a really nice shine to the balm, and helps maintain soft and supple lips. The olive oil was added because I needed a little bit more filler and olive oil is slightly cheaper than castor and avocado oils, but it still has tons of moisture and lip protecting benefits.

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The Mica Shimmer powder is a mineral powder that is used in eye shadows and other make up to make them shimmer. The version I’m using is natural and perfectly safe to use on the lips. Make sure the Mica you get is lip safe, as some are and some aren’t.

Here is the exact product I used.

Instructions:

This recipe fills 12 lip balm tubes plus a little leftover. About 3 ounces.

SKS-lip-balm-tubes-homemakerchic.comStart by snapping your tubes into the tray. I really love this lip balm filling tray from SKS-bottle because it makes filling the little tubes SO easy. I seriously can’t imagine how I would have done this without the tray. I’m sure I would have been knocking them over and spilling hot lip balm everywhere. I’m sure you could DIY this by cutting holes in a cereal box, or by sticking the tubes into styrofoam to keep them still, but the thing I like about this tray is that the tubes fit perfectly and snap in firmly, so they don’t fall over. Plus once the balm cools you can smooth the tops with a putty knife and you get a really professional flat top to the balm. Its really worth it if you plan to make a lot of balms.
melt-beeswax-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comPrepare your double boiler. I just used a small saucepan with a pyrex measuring cup. I filled the pot with water and placed metal cookie cutter in the bottom, then just set the cup on top. The cookie cutter kept the glass from directly touching the heat. You could also use a couple rings from a mason jar. Get the water simmering and pour in 1 ounce of beeswax. Use a metal spoon or knife to gently stir the wax. I like using a flexible metal spatula because it really makes it easy to scrape down the sides of the cup later on.


Once the wax is melted, add your butters. I only had one little ounce measuring cup so instead of washing it out and losing all that wonderful butter in between, I just scooped out the little bit that was in the cup and rubbed it on my skin. Its wonderfully moisturizing, and expensive too, so don’t waste!

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Once the butters are melted add your oils and the sweetener.

A WORD ABOUT SWEETENER: So a lot of people use stevia to sweeten their balms. I personally don’t like the taste so I tried Nutresse, which is a sugar from the monk fruit. You could probably just use regular sugar, but there might be something to be said for the fine powder of stevia. Here’s the thing with sweetening lip balm. SUGAR WILL NOT COMPLETELY DISSOLVE IN OIL. BUT, it will partially dissolve, and you just need a little. I stirred and stirred, and the oil was really hot, but on a molecular level, oil just doesn’t have the ability to completely break down the sugars (even in liquid form like honey or liquid stevia. Liquid sweetener will separate in your finished balm.). So you will probably end up with sugar crystals in the bottom of your cup. This is okay. As you pour the finished lip balm into the tubes, the sugar will stay at the bottom. You won’t end up with undissolved sugar crystals in your balm if you pour carefully. So just dissolve it as much as you can and don’t worry about it.

melt-lip-balm-for-pouring-homemakerchic.comNow you can add your coloring if you want. I added sugar blush mica powder which added a hint of color and shimmer. A little Mica goes a LONG way, so use it sparingly. You can always add more, but you can’t take away. I also added a sliver of Revlon colored lip balm in a nice coral color. This really doesn’t add much color to your lips but it makes the balm a little more presentable and pretty in my opinion. Just slice a bit of lipstick off, and melt it into the balm. You could totally leave this part out. I know there are some other natural ways to tint lip balm out there, I just haven’t tried them yet.

Use the back of your spoon or spatula to collect a test sample. Allow it to cool. (I stuck the spatula in the freezer for a few seconds to speed up the process.) Use your finger to rub a bit on your lips to see how it feels and tastes. If its too hard, too soft, or not sweet enough you can still alter the recipe. You may find that you want a stronger grapefruit flavor, so just add a few more drops of the essential oil (although be careful not to add too much because essential oils tends to be pretty intense and can dry out lips if you add too much. just add a few drops at a time to be safe. I wouldn’t add more than 30 drops to this recipe.) If its too hard, add more coconut oil. If its too soft, add more beeswax. I have tested this recipe and found it to be the perfect consistency and flavor, but you can always change it if you’re looking for something different.

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NOW- the pouring part is a bit tricky.

Pour quickly and carefully into each tube, filling all the way to the top. Its okay if it slightly overflows onto the tray.

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The balm will cool and harden very quickly, so quickly in fact, that as you’re pouring, you will notice it hardening in the glass. You will have to pour as much as you can, as quickly as you can.

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Once it cools too much to pour, scrape the cup and return it to the water bath to remelt it. I had to do this twice while filling 12 tubes. After you fill the tubes, the balm will settle and you will have little pits in each tube. Refill each tube to the top again. Allow them to cool for a good 5 minutes.

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use-putty-knife-to-smooth-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comFinally, scrape the putty knife firmly across the top and smooth out the surface of your balms.

Once you have smoothed the tops, let them sit for an hour or two to completely firm up before using.

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If you follow the recipe correctly, you’ll have a bit leftover. I remelted it and added an equal part of coconut oil to the lip balm mix, then I poured it into a little pot I had. It turns out to be a wonderful skin balm or belly butter for stretch marks! I absolutely love rubbing it on my hands. Just one example of how all these ingredients can create another awesome skin product. And its all natural!

I’ll be working on some cute custom labels in the coming days so I’ll hopefully be sharing a printable with you soon.

I hope this helps! This project was so much fun and the results are wonderful. I know you’ll love this recipe. Happy Lip Balm making!

Blogaversary Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to our Giveaway Winner Katy! Katy is a sweet Mom, Homemaker, Homeschooler, and Blogger from Pennsylvania. She represents everything Homemaker Chic is about, and most importantly she loves Jesus! Be sure to check out her blog.


Thanks to everyone who participated and a very special thanks to Rachel at Let’s Get Decorative for making this giveaway possible!

Let's Get Decorative

Keep an eye out for more giveaways coming soon from my new Sponsor. That’s right, I have a REAL sponsor!! Woohoo! You’ve gonna love what’s coming up. Thanks everybody!

Happy 1 Year Blogaversary to Me! (CLOSED GIVEAWAY)

I can hardly believe its been one whole year since I started writing Homemaker Chic! Its been quite an adventure. I’ve made more recipes, made more friends, and learned more about myself and what I’m capable of than I ever imagined! I am so humbled and thrilled that so many of you think that what I have to say is actually valuable! When I started this little venture I had no idea it would actually be something that people would want to read, and here I am today teetering on the brink of 1 Million readers! I seriously can not say thank you enough to all my loyal fans and followers. You all make it so worth it.

I’d love to throw a big party and invite each one of you to celebrate with me! Since I can’t rightly do that, I’ll do the next best thing. I’m giving away an adorable party kit, so you can celebrate without me :).

Rachel over at Let’s Get Decorative has graciously agreed to give one of you lucky dogs a custom party kit including one custom banner and an 8 piece custom photo booth prop set. Isn’t she sweet?

Check out her shop and start thinking about what you want your awesome banner to say. Maybe “Congrats Homemaker Chic”?

7 WAYS TO ENTER:

The winner will be announced on Friday MARCH 1st.

Leave ONE comment indicating which of the following you have completed. You won’t get credit if you don’t leave a comment below.

Adam and Noelle's Adoption Fund

I love and cherish you all. Here’s to another great year!

23-heart-shaped-foods-for-valentines-day-homemakerchic.com

23 Heart Shaped Foods for Valentine’s Day


Well Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with it comes heart shaped EVERYTHING. What is it about heart shaped foods on Valentine’s day that makes people feel like they’re in some way showing extra love for somebody? My hubby and I aren’t big on Valentine’s day because we make an effort to show love for one another every single day of the year! This being said, heart shaped foods are super adorable and make me giggle. Here are some really cute ideas for heart shaped foods for Valentine’s day and EVERY day! Don’t forget to tell someone today that you love them too. :) (Click the images for original posts.)

BREAKFAST:

What goes better with heart shaped eggs than heart shaped BACON! Cutest bacon I’ve ever seen. Source: The Paper Mama

You can’t forget about heart shaped pancakes! Here’s one way to do it. Make two different colored pancakes, cut hearts out of each, then swap the hearts for a contrasting color. Cute idea.                                                                Source: Gatorade Military

Here’s the other way to do it. Just pour the batter in the shape of a heart. If you have a large heart shaped cookie cutter, you could also set that in the hot pan, and pour the batter into it to get a perfect heart shape. Source: Martha Stewart

Here’s a nice collection of various sized heart cutters. About $10. Click Image to BUY NOW.

LUNCH:

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup always makes me happy. The only way it could make me happier is with heart shaped sandwiches! How about floating a few heart shaped cheddar cheese slices in soup. Delish!

Why stop at grilled cheese? You can get super creative in the heart shaped panini department! Do I hear turkey and cranberry? Just make a regular panini and cut it out with a heart shaped cutter.

What else would you serve with your heart shaped sandwiches than… Heart Shaped fries? Seriously, this is getting out of hand. How cute are these? All you do is slice potatoes, and cute out heart shapes, then fry and top with salt. Clever indeed.

Or perhaps you’re in the mood for a warm hearty soup… with heart shaped carrots. Talk about comfort food. If someone made this for me I would totally believe they loved me.

Grape Tomato Hearts. Cutest. Tomatoes. Ever!! Just slice the tomatoes in half and flip one side over, then stick an arrow toothpick through them. Gluing a little piece of paper to the ends of toothpicks seems easy enough. How sweet!

SNACKS:

These pretzels are made out of canned dinner rolls! You roll out two rolls into a rope and then twist them into shape.

Here’s an adorable little snack of heart shaped corn tortilla chips and salsa. Wouldn’t this be great if you used flour tortillas instead, topped them with cinnamon and sugar, and served with a hot apple chutney? Yum!

Talk about heart healthy! Heart shaped fruit, with yogurt dip. This snack is simple, sweet, healthy, and adorable!

DINNER:

Heart Shaped Pizza, with heart shaped pepperonis! My husband would be so happy if I served this up. Make it a white pizza for a prettier look. Sliced ham in heart shapes would add a pretty pink color to the pie.

I’m imagining a scene from the Sex and the City movie involving sushi and Valentine’s day. :) Maybe Samantha would have had better results if she had made these precious heart shaped rolls!

These heart shaped saffron buns would be a delicious complement to a valentine’s night dinner.

Heart Shaped Chicken Parmesan with fresh heart shaped mozzarella topped with marinara sounds delectable for a Valentine’s Night feast!

DESSERT:

Charming little pear raspberry hand pies. Source: Martha Stewart

Making a heart shaped cake doesn’t require a heart shaped pan. All you need is one square pan and one round pan. Set the square cake on a diagonal. Cut the round cake in half, then put each half on one side to make the rounded top. So easy!

Sweetie pie pops would be the perfect little bite after a lovely Valentine’s dinner. They are sweet, light, and the sky is the limit with fillings. Check out full instructions by clicking the image above. Source: Our Best Bite

This Valentine’s day maybe you might get to make some whoopie… pies that is. ;) Try these red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm!

Make your honey happy with these Honey Green Tea Sandwich Cookies. So good, and good for you! Plus, aren’t we tired of pink and red for Valentine’s day?

Real Food: How to Cut Processed Foods Out of Your Life

Among my New Year’s resolutions this year is the desire to become healthier and to eat better. I will be talking a lot in the coming weeks about all the different things I’ll be changing about my diet this year. One of the benefits for you is that you will be seeing a lot more nutritious, healthful recipes on Homemaker Chic in 2013. This week I want to talk about Real Food. I am learning about it from Lisa Leake author of the blog 100 Days of Real Food. The basic idea is to cut out processed foods in exchange for REAL healthy simple foods from nature. Check out the link for more information from Lisa about the 100 Day challenge.

 

I didn’t think I was really all that unhealthy to be honest. I eat a lot of fresh vegetables. I don’t use a lot of packaged products. I steer clear of anything that seems über unhealthy. But when I began reading the ingredients lists of basic foods in my home (like Peanut Butter, Tomato Soup or Pickles) I was shocked at all the junk in there that I did not want in my body! Why do pickles need to have 16 ingredients? With all the supposed benefits from science and technology, why is it that people seem to be more sick than ever before? Cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, celiac disease, anxiety, depression. All of these health problems are more rampant today than ever before. With all these “advances in medicine” shouldn’t we be getting better and not worse? Something just isn’t adding up here. With all the problems I’ve had with pregnancies, and the battery of tests they’ve put me through to find out what’s wrong, none of my doctors thought to ask, “Hey what are you putting in your body?”

Sorry medical profession, you’ve failed me. I’m taking things into my own hands.

So this year I am taking the plunge, and going all in. I’m getting back to basics. Basically if a food requires some sort of technology or treatment to be prepared I’m not buying it. Only fresh, simple ingredients this year (and hopefully beyond!) I will also be talking next week about going Gluten Free, so keep an eye out for that post, and for some yummy GF recipes this year!

Here are some of Lisa’s rules about what to eat and what NOT to eat if you decide to try the Real Food Lifestyle. I hope you’ll consider this for you and your family. Being healthy and vibrant is the best gift you can give yourself this year.

 

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
  10. Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredientslisted on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

     

    How to Avoid Processed Food in General

    If you feel that you have the will, but not the skill to do the 10 Days of Real Food pledgethen here are some general lifestyle changes to consider instead…

    1. Read the ingredients label before buying anything. For years, if I even looked at food labels, I was reviewing items such as fat grams, calorie count and sugar content. While this may be important to some, the best indicator of how highly processed a food is can actually be found in the list of ingredients. If what you are buying contains more than 5 ingredients and includes a lot of unfamiliar, unpronounceable items you may want to reconsider before buying.
    2. Increase your consumption of whole foods especially vegetables and fruits. I am sure you’ve heard similar advice a thousand times, and I hate to tell you that it couldn’t be more true. This will help to displace the processed foods in your diet, and will actually make your food selections in general very simple. No more counting calories, fat grams, or carbs when your only concern is selecting whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry.
    3. Buy your bread from a local bakery. I actually used to eat white bread, but what I bought for my husband from the grocery store was what I thought was whole-wheat bread. When we finally checked the ingredients and found 40 different items on the list, including white flour and sugar, we decided it was time for a change. Why would there be so many on the list if it only takes a handful of ingredients to make bread? We since started buying our bread from Great Harvest Bread Company. Not only do they grind their own wheat every morning, but their honey whole-wheat loaf only has five ingredients – whole-wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and honey.
    4. In addition to your bread choice, when selecting foods like pastas, cereals, rice, and crackers always go for the whole-grain option. And don’t just believe the health claims on the outside of the box.  Read the ingredients to make sure the product is truly made with only 100% whole grains – not a combination of whole grains and refined grains which is unfortunately how a lot of “whole grain” products are made. The white flour or other refined grain alternative is simply high in calories and low in nutrition.
    5. Avoid store-bought products containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and those “that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients” according to Michael Pollan. Despite the mixed research on if HFCS is really worse for you than good ol’ white sugar, it just happens to be “a reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed”.
    6. Don’t order off the kids’ menu. The next time your family is out to dinner try to avoid the kids menu. Those selections are most often things like pre-made chicken nuggets, fries, and pasta made with white flour, among other things. Instead try assembling some sort of side item plate (like baked potatoes and whatever else your kid will tolerate) and/or try sharing some of your meal.
    7. Visit your local farmers’ market the next time you need to restock your fridge.According to Michael Pollan not only will you find “food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious”, but you will also find a selection of pesticide-free produce and properly fed meat products. It is also better for our environment to purchase locally grown products as opposed to the supermarket produce, which travels on average 1500 miles from the farm to your plate.
    8. Lastly, to once again quote Michael Pollan, he says to “eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” If you had to peel, chop and deep fry potatoes every time you wanted French fries then you might not eat them very often. Only eating “junk food” such as cakes, sweets, and fried foods as often as you are willing to make them yourself will automatically ensure the frequency is appropriate.
broken makeup homemakerchic.com

How to fix broken makeup – Pinterest WIN!


Another Pinterest Win! I saw this one a long time ago and tucked it away in my little pin bank for the right time. I finally had the opportunity to test it out when I unfortunately dropped my Mac Powder Compact. Gah! Do you know how many times I’ve broken a compact or eye shadow and just had to throw it away because I had no idea that it could be fixed? In comes Pinterest to save the day! This is a real win, and will definitely save me tons of money! No more replacing perfectly good make-up that’s all cracked up.

All you do is pour a few teaspoons of plain ol’ rubbing alcohol over the cracked make-up. (Isopropyl Alcohol can be found at at your local Pharmacist or Chemist. It might go by a different name if you’re not in America. Or you can just buy it here.) Stir and break up the chunks until all the makeup is dissolved. Set out on a flat surface overnight. The alcohol dries up and you’re left with perfect and fresh makeup! Oh Pinterest, where were you with this little gem 15 years ago?!

howtofixcrackedmakeup homemakerchic.com

Mint Condition

The following is a guest post that is appearing on The Lovely Lemon in a few weeks. Sara is a sweet friend of mine and I would totally love it if you would check out her blog. If you like Homemaker Chic you will LOVE The Lovely Lemon. She is so creative and unique and if you don’t follow her blog you will be missing out big time.

Sara and I go waaaay back to church youth group days. I always remember her being quiet and behind the scenes, and I never knew she had all this creativity in her. About a year ago we reconnected on Facebook and I was so pleased to find The Lovely Lemon. Between her crafty goods, her gorgeous photography, and charming writing style, she’s made a loyal reader out of me!

When Sara asked me to do a guest post for her I was pretty sure I knew what it would be about. As I began to research the colors, textures, patterns and trends that are inspiring me these days, the theme MINT kept coming up. Mint in every area. The color, the fashion trends, the flavour! I absolutely love how trends these days are filtering into every aspect of pop culture. Haute Couture Fashion Designers started added Mint fabrics to their spring collections and soon the color was showing up in jewelry, craft stores, paper goods, on walls and home decor, in nail polish, on a partridge in a pear tree. Here are a few ways mint is inspiring me.

FASHION

Mint Dresses, Jeans, Jewelry and Heels are all the rage these days. Mint is so soft and feminine especially when paired with sweet chiffon fabrics and girl bows and florals.

HOME DECOR

Mint is a surprisingly subtle tone to add to a cool color pallet for a serene living space. I love the use of this color in combination with both rustic distressed environments as well as slick modern decor. It is so very versatile. Try color blocking with strategically placed furniture pieces, or get bold and paint the ceiling!

WEDDINGS

If I hear another bride tell me her wedding color is purple I’m going to scream. Can’t we get more creative with the color choices? Mint is such a wonderful option for a wedding! It is soft and classy, and creates a magical look for that special day. Why not be gutsy and wear a mint wedding gown! Wouldn’t that be unique?

FOOD AND DRINK

I’m not sure if its the southern gal in me or not, but I am a HUGE fan of the Mint Julep. What’s not to love? Its sweet, its cool, its minty, its bourbon- So refreshing. Well what if you took all the wonderful things about Mint Juleps and put that in a cupcake? Wow. My mind has been sufficiently blown. (Click the image for the recipe)

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