Favorite Things 2014 Recap

Posted on December 14th, 2014

​Ok ladies, I tried to recap ALL the favorite things and organize them by categories.  Hopefully all the names and links are correct.  Please forgive me if I missed anything or confused any item, just respond to the blog and I can be sure to add/change it.  I have already started trying some of these items and cannot wait to find more! Have fun trying new things! :)
​​Favorite Website or Blog:
http://swankbabyboutique.com/ (or follow on Facebook)
http://www.liveoakmoms.com/ (or follow on Facebook to get discounts)
http://educationalcoloringpages.com/ (includes all characters to color)
http://www.nomorerack.com/ (discount site similiar to overstock.com)

​Favorite Apps:
Instagram @woahwaitwalmart
Instagram @targetdoesitagain
Instagram @marriage365

Facebook Ann Voskamp (posts quotes specifically for moms)
Waterlogue $1.99 (turns pictures into watercolors)
Santa'a Bag free version or upgraded for more info (keeps track of gifts and budgets)

Favorite Items:
Moving Comfort sports bra (Amazon or Running store)
Suave organic detangler conditioner (Target)
Skin So Soft (best mosquito spray)
Nexcare band-aids (Very sticky like tattoos, not scratchy)
Lap Straps ($20 made by Kim)
Essential Oils (Young Living, Christmas Spirit)
Momagenda  (day planner)
Kids clock (Onaroo-Amazon)
Oil diffuser with Doterra Breathe (for congestion)
Sleep and Shine hair product (Target)-I didn't get the brand so please let me know 
Stand Up Tree Skirt (Amazon $25)
Soft glove for cutting (HEB, Sur la Table)
Magnetized scissors for all food prep (Kitchenaid at Costco or Amazon)
Vintage bonnet (Etsy.com store-sewdesign4u, for baby girls, bonnets change into handkerchiefs for wedding)
Pinata Tradition (Naomi Marcus will make these to sell)
FX Curls Up and Curl Booster (Walmart) keeps hair soft
Advocare Spark Energy drink
Manuka Raw Honey (Whole Foods from New Zealand) great for allergies, sinuses, coughs
Mitten Suspenders (Suspended Animation)
Cuff Earrings (www.baublebar.com)
iSlice (Amazon or Container Store) opens boxes easily, magnetic
Faded Glory scarves (Walmart 2 for $5)
Snap Circuits Jr. (Amazon $20) great for 6 years+
iGrill Mini (Amazon $40) wireless thermometer for the grill or smoker, send temp. to iphone

Favorite Books or TV shows:
The Daytripper (Tv show on PBS)
Who's Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate
The Jesus Storybook Bible (favorite bible for 5 years, not too childish)
The Complete Herb Book (how to grow and cook herbs)
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novack
All Lori Wick or Francine Rivers books
Sophie's Heart by Lori Wick

Favorite Services, Activities or Shops:
Kendra Scott (50% off during your birthday month)
Amanda North Photography
Charlotte Backus (hairstylist by Cedar Park library)
Mosquito Joe 512-961-4884 Referred by Maureen Blake
Embellish Nail Salon (2 locations) 

Favorite Advice:
Put kids crib mattress on the floor so they cannot climb out
Best way to cook a large turkey faster-spatchcock

Favorite Recipes:
Pasta e Fagioli
1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, slivered
1 cup celery, diced
24 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
44 oz beef stock
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 tsp parsley
24 oz spaghetti sauce
ditali pasta

​Saute beef in large pot until beef starts to brown.  Add onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse beans and add to pot.  Add beef stock, oregano, parsley, pepper, and spaghetti sauce.  Simmer approximately 30 minutes until celery and carrots are tender.  Cook noodles in separate pot and serve with soup.

5 Minute Coconut Fudge (from "My Sweet Vegan" by Hannah Kaminsky
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
2 Tblsp margarine
1/2 cup regular coconut milk
(Kristen uses a full fat can of coconut milk from Whole Foods, scoop out thick coconut part)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
lightly greased 8x8 baking pan

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cocoa.  Separately place the margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan and stir together over medium heat.  Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles begin to break into the surface.  Remove it from the stove and pour over the chocolate mixture.  Let sit for a couple of minutes, and then stir vigorously to melt the chocolate and incorporate the dry ingredients.  Continue stirring until mixture is smooth.  Mix in vanilla and pour into prepared pan.  Smooth out the top and sprinkle the coconut evenly over the surface.  Press the coconut into the fudge with the palm of hand.  Let cool before cutting into squares.
​Makes 32 small squares
Note from Kristen: If the chocolate does not melt all the way, put the mixing bowl (glass or metal) on top of the pot that heated up the coconut milk like a double boiler.  That should be enough heat to melt it fully.

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