Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy and Cheap DIY Christmas Gifts

For those who are feeling the holiday pinch, there are so many great DIY gifts that would be pefect for most people on your list this holiday season.

One of the easiest (and cheapest) gifts I have found is this super easy lipgloss. All you need is vaseline and lipstick/pink lemonade mix.

What about something a bit more simple - non gender specific? I found these super cute thrifted glassware candles DIY and knew that was too easy and simple to not make. Depending on the type of glassware you use, you can make this easily for any guy on your list. Just hop on over to your local Goodwill store and snag some glassware - that is, if you do not have any spare around the house. Just get some wicks and candle wax and next thing you know, you have a super cute candle. *Note: add a few essential oils for a light scent*.

What about something everyone likes - homemade goodies?? Well, these are super easy to do. Just find some cheap dollar store tins, a bit of spray paint and fill each of these tins with your own homemade sweets. Cannot find your own, follow me on pinterest and I have a ton on my Foodie board.
What about that grill guy on your list who is going through withdrawls from not being able to grill out in this chillier season? Why not give him a goodie basket with some grill themed items. Easily found at a variety of stores, you can add BBQ Sauce, Rubs, Tongs, Themometer, etc. to fill his grilling needs. (These also make great Father's Day gifts too!)
Some of my favorite gifts are ones that are personalized yet simple. What about a pampering in a jar for those on your list that like to ensure they look their best year-round. This can easily be personalized for age or gender. For men, you can add mini colognes, manicure sets, and small body washes and hair gels. For little girls, add some sparkly press-on nails, hello kitty socks, small nail polishes, etc. for them.
Remember, that any gift can be pefect- no matter the amount of money spent on it. Just make sure it comes from the heart. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Week in Photos

This past week has been a big adventure..between celebrating my birthday to Thanksgiving, it has been super busy around here!!

I was being taunted all week by my goodies sitting around the house... I wanted to peek so bad, but I resisted!! Go Me!
We had gone to wally world to pick up some hardware items (lightbulbs, etc.) when we stopped by the toy section to play around and I spotted these awesome mask/cape sets. I could not resist snagging them up for our piglets! Their humiliation was worth it.
I have to say celebrating my birthday does not come without random photos. One of my favorite spots in RVA is this awesome area called Carytown. It has all types of unique homes and shops. It is one of my favorite spots in the city. One of the best stores is this toy store called World of Mirth, and that is where this was taken. They always have so many awesome goodies in there to snag for gifts but their window display was on-point this year!
I was happy to snag up one of my favorite colognes for the boyfriend this week, during some of my christmas shopping. Ladies, if you have not smelled this, you need to.
I am so thankful for my fireplace. And, for the moments I can sit and enjoy it. It is so warm and provides the right amount of relaxation I need after a long day at work.

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, I am @baconneggs

30 Days of Gratitude: 15-22

Well, Week 1 and Week 2 are complete! And, now at Week 3, I feel sad that this challenge is coming close to the end.
DAY 15: FAMILY. I love my family. Last Thanksgiving, we were celebrating an upcoming expansion of my cousin getting remarried. It was a great time and we are so happy to have so many wonderful additional great people a part of our family.
DAY 16: INSPIRATION. Some days, when it gets super chilly, all I can think about is planning a vacation to some place tropical. Changing my background on my work computer tends to at least let me escape for a moment to that tropical spot on the beach, somewhere far away from my daily work.
DAY 17: WEATHER. I cannot complain for the most part on the weather. Mother Nature has turned Virginia into her canvas and has painted so many beautiful picturesque landscapes to be desired.
DAY 18: CHANGE. I always seem to never have change with me. It often goes here for a rainy day weekend fund so we can take a random trip. If I am doing laundry and I find change, it goes here. If we have change leftover from a purchase, even if it is just a few pennies and nickles, it goes here. Last time it was used, we had $40 saved up for a day trip to the Natural Bridge. That was a great investment.
DAY 19: LAUGHTER. I celebrated my birthday this weekend with so many wonderful people. I am truly blessed to have so many great friends. I was happy to spend it with all of them. Sadly, you cannot get everyone to fit in a picture, much less a photo booth!
DAY 20: FOOD. What an amazing birthday cake! My Tiramisu slice was pure heaven. Have you seen anything more delicious? It was so strong of a cake, that everyone did partake on a bite of it. I kind of want some more.
DAY 21: HOME. Home is where your heart belongs. This is my home - well, where I live. Home is wherever your heart is - it is not a building or what lies within it. It is where you are happiest with the people you care most about.
DAY 22: COLOR. If anyone know me well enough, they know I love owls. These cutie pies were gifted to me on my birthday. I am so excited to put these wall decals up when we move! They will make the perfect item for my office. If you want one of your own, just hit up Pier1!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Week In Photos

Took some time this past week to create one of my Pinterest recipes I have been dying to make. Does it not look delicious? That is the garbage plate bread and it was amazing.
The boyfriend and I decided to have a movie date this past weekend. We went to see Argo. Not a typical movie for us, but it was not bad. And, of course we celebrated our date with a photobooth photo!
Target Samples as you know are so few and far between, but once the internet is a-buzz with notifying people of it, most flock to get their own. Well, I got lucky this time and was able to snag some of the goodies in this sample pack (with coupons).
In the words of Rachel Ray, YUM-O! These super easy chocolate crescents are the perfect dessert treat on a dime. And the recipe is super easy.
I love owls. I snagged this new friend up at the stocking stuffer section of Target. Since my piggie one broke, he has made a fine new addition to my keys!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude: 8-14

So, I have been doing the 30 Days of Gratitude and I am happy to say I feel quite proud of myself. Week 1 was not too bad until I got a bit furher into the challenge a bit, but Week 2 has finally been completed- and I am sad to say I am half way through. Without further ado, here is week 2!
DAY 8: SLEEP. My bed - oh how I love it. I really love my bed. It is welcoming, brings such deep, wonderful sleep and I really am blessed and thankful to have such a serene spot to sleep at night.
DAY 9: HOLIDAYS. This is such an amazing time of year. Not only is this month for which my birthday falls under, but the holiday's bring so much joy and nostalgia for home and family. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the seasonal treats we get - like pumpkin spiced lattes and hot chocolate that bring this time of year in full swing.
DAY 10: KINDNESS. My boyfriend really has a heart of gold. He is so open about his nerdiness - and that is one of the things I love about him. He goes out of his way to introduce me to things I would not normally do or be a part of. For example, he spent Saturday evening working on these cards for this game he wanted to teach me. He goes above and beyond for me and for that I am truly thankful he is a part of my life.
DAY 11: FRIENDSHIP. Where do you begin with this? I have so many amazing friends - some have come and gone but those that have stayed through the thick and thin make me appreciate them so much more. This photo was taken on my birthday last year with two of my very best friends - who conviently date (hello double date nights) that I have grown such a deep friendship for. I would go out of my way to do things for them since they have done the same for me. It is people like these that make me thankful for the little things in life.
DAY 12: MUSIC. I really am thankful to My lovely 4 Gen iPod. This little baby has gotten me through some rough commutes when I would travel to work, it has been there for me during those grueling workouts where I beat my body into submission on the eliptical and it has even helped me on days when I just needed a song to turn my day around. 
DAY 13: TIME. This picture was taken when I was about to go to bed the other night. Can you believe I go to bed that late? Or, that once that was considered an early bedtime for me? Now, I look at that clock and wonder where the time has gone...and think about in one week from when this photo was taken, that yet again, another birthday will be celebrated and we once again spin around the sun for another 365 days until it happens again.
DAY 14: CREATIVITY. I really love to scrapbook. It is kind of a hidden passion of mine. I love the idea of taking memories and putting them in a book that really amplifies the experience you had at that time. They have these awesome mini books called Smash Books that you can put stickers, momentos and other goodies in. A great way to get started into scrapbooking, they have mini kits you can purchase to add a bit of flair to each page.

I have enjoyed this challenge so far...let's see how I do with the other half! Is anyone else out there doing this challenge? If so, let me know. I would love to see your progress as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy and Cheap Recipes: Chocolate Croissants

A couple of days ago I was having a serious hunger for dessert - specifically chocolate. Ever have one of those? I find myself having that desire for a sweet treat and without anything easy to grab, I figured I would make something super easy and quick - that I know would not cost me a lot to replace the items I had intended on for other meals.

Chocolate Croissants
All you need is the following:
1 package of canned crescent rolls
1 C chocolate chips
1 egg
Preheat oven to 425 and beat the egg into a small bowl.
Open the crescent rolls, unwrap- with the larger section facing you. Place a small amount of chocolate chips onto the larger section of the roll and begin wrapping - with each layer adding a few chips as you roll.  Roll all rolls and place on baking sheet. Brush the egg onto the croissant (this will give it that warm brown look on top). Place in oven for about 12 mins or until light golden brown.
If you have remaning chocolate chips, you can microwave them in a small bowl and drizzle it on top of the finished product. Done! Don't they look amazing? They are so delicious - and they go perfectly with a large glass of milk.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Easy and Cheap Recipes: Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread

Trying my first cake pop - birthday cake- before my upcoming birthday
I am a huge foodie and I really love making my own dishes - especially if I don't have to spill a lot of beans to make it. Luckily, I have come across so many amazing dishes that are easy to put together on a dime- that I have to share it for some other budget-conscious cooks out there. So, here is one I put together this week. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread
All you need is the following:
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 pizza dough (I used canned)
3 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. of Franks Wing Sauce - use less if you do not want it really spicy
1/3 cup of ranch or blue cheese dressing
Preheat oven to 425°.
Pre cook the two chicken breasts and cut into cubes (I boiled mine with salt and EVOO). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (For spicer dishes, pan-sear chicken in 1/2 C Frank's Hot Sauce and 1/2 of the ranch/blue cheese mixture for extra coating)
On a well floured surface, spread pizza dough out completely flat. Rub the olive oil on the top of the dough, covering it completly. Mix the wing sauce and ranch/blue cheese mixture and brush on top of the oil/dough. Place the chicken (once cooled) on top of the sauce mixture. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Next, spread the shredded cheese on top of the chicken.
Now, roll the dough, starting at one end, and rolling it into a pinwheel until the dough forms looks like a loaf of bread. Tuck the ends of the dough into the center- to ensure the sauce/chicken does not fall out during baking.
in the oven
Place the garbage bread onto a baking sheet (make sure you have sprayed with non-stick spray beforehand) and place in the oven for 20-25 mins or until light golden brown.
 Once it is out of the oven, cut into quarters and serve!
It is a bit squished (due to cutting) but it is amazing!! I hope you enjoy this. I have more amazing recipes to put up here so stay tuned!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Planting Out First Letterbox

I have hinted at you guys that were were going to plant our first letterbox - only to have Hurricane Sandy interrupt our plans. However, without further ado, we did plant our first and SECOND letterbox today!!

We decided that like before, we were going to make and easy (for beginners), medium (for more experienced letterboxers) and expert (for those who have done a lot of letterboxing) boxes. And, thanfully we were able to complete all of our boxes!! So, we have posted the clues on Atlas Quest for those of you who are members (we are FrogLegsAndBaconStrips if you join). However, if you do not have an account with them, do not fret. We are posting our clues here as well! **And, if you follow our blog and leave a comment, we will include for you some additional clues to assist you in your search.

Planting the First Letterbox!!
Starting Location: Clover Hill Library (Midlothian,VA)
Level: Easy/Beginner
Family-Friendly location/box

Starting at the castle of knowledge and the cedars of three- where the curve of learning is where you will begin.Your journey will take you to the island of the sisters of the sun. Travel to the parcel post and in 10 steps, follow the row of timbers to your left. They will guide you on the path of wonder. If your adventure takes you to the Holly Trees, you have ventured too far, my traveling friend, and must turn back a few spaces. Bear right into the woods of Old and New. As your travel continues, you will have to make a choice - to steer from knowledge or to face it - as the bright light bulb beams at you. Take the path that is well lit and in 17 spaces, you will find your buried treasure closer to the castle of knowledge. 10 spaces closer to the treasure, where the squirrel use to call home, there lies your awaited prize. Find the book of creation and place your mark of life.

Planting our second box!
Starting Location: Mid-lothian Mines Park (Midlothian, VA)
Level: Medium/Moderate, Semi-Easy
Family Friends for older ages, will go off the "beaten" path

**(Starting at the parking lot across the street from the main part of the park/pond)

One can not traverse this course riding upon a noble horse.
Tightly packed on the ground together, your starting numbers will last forever.
5591 is where your story has begun.
Venture forth through timbers deep where wood and water roll under feet.
Only the brave shall risk the cave that lead them to the river paved.
Steadfast heroes, climb hills on high where the "T" path of choosing doth lie.
Southward, onward, valiant knight, your heart's desire is within your sight!
Fortune find you in this fight, trolls guard your treasure with delight.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Week In Photos

I was so excited when I found some easy recipes on Pinterest that I could not help but try a few out. This is the before picture of one of these recipes on my Foodie Board. First Pizza has basil/red pepper flakes and jalapenos, while the second is double cheese and peperoni.
All you need is:
1 Loaf of French Bread (I got mine in the bakery at my grocery store)
1 jar of Pizza Sauce
1 Bag shredded Mozzerella Cheese
Toppings of your choice.
Bake in the oven at 500 for about 5-6mins. Viola! Dinner is served!! Super easy treat!
This cat had me rolling. I came across him on the Cheezburger site and he has made me laugh since I saw him. I have a ton of friends who own cats so it was something that was meant to be shared!!

Saturday was our day of scoping out where we wanted to plant our letterbox around town. We stopped at a local library for fun and decided that amongst our letterboxing adventure, we would have some fun kidding around. I love our goofiness!
Some days you just need brownies....with nuts...and caramel. And then, sometimes you cannot wait to see the entire tray emptied. Guilt 1; Us 0.
Tuesday was an important day in everyone's lives. Election Day. I did my civic duty and voted. Did you?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude: 1-7

As I told you guys here, I started the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge for Instagram. And I am so excited to share with you my first seven!
Day 1: WORDS - Being thankfuly for living in a country where I have the right to pursue my own happiness; where my choices matter and where I am not persecuted for being born a woman or for having a voice.
Day 2: TECHNOLOGY- I am so thankful for the opportunity to live in a country where I am immersed in new technology and able to use it in my daily life- something so many people in our world will never experience. And, above all, for the ability to work from home, thanks to this technology.

Day 3: NATURE - I am so thankful to live in a state that provides such beauty all year long. And, most of all I am thankful that my birthday falls along the same time of year as the transition of such vivid colors all around me.
Day 4: CLOTHING- Of course we are all happy to have clothing, but how many of us are thankful for having it? I think to all those places where people do with so very little and it makes me appreciate what I have even more - and the opportunity to live in a place so blessed financially compared to others that I can have more than just a few articles to myself.
Day 5: KNOWLEDGE- How many of us actually sit down to read a book? I know I do not give myself enough time to sit and have that moment to myself. I am so thankful for the ability to read when so many cannot and to be so fortunate to have read so many novels in my time - so much so that only two bookshelves cannot compare to a lifetime of reading that I have already done and have yet to do.
Day 6: MEMORIES- I am sure we can all say that even if our childhood was not perfect, there were some perfect moments in there. Some of my best memories are shared with my dad when I was very little. It was a time where my dad was my hero- he was who I looked up to, admired, and wanted nothing more than to help out and be there whenever I could. Growing up in a world where neither parent was ever seen together shapes you, but those proud few moments of bliss I had I will surely appreciate.

Day 7: INNOVATION: This one I admittedly struggled with for a bit. That is, until I thought of all the innovations we have today that make life a bit easier. Like, fire starter logs for example. My camping fire skills are level expert at this point from all the camping excursions I have gone on. However, my fireplace skills at home are quite lackluster. Thankfully, due to those great logs I can stay warm all winter inside!