May 7, 2019

My grandma’s roll recipe, plus a time-saving tip

One way to save on bread and baked goods is to make them from scratch. I am not a baker. I’m not an expert. But I can bake one thing well, thanks to my Grandma. I’m going to share with you my Grandma Ramona’s roll recipe. She’s been baking these (and I’ve been eating them) for as long as I can remember. A staple at big family dinners, they are always a big hit.

I’m warning you – you can’t eat just one. I called my Grandma and asked her if I could post this recipe on the blog. She said sure. I warned her that Oprah might call her (because I know you check my blog daily, right Oprah!?) and I told Grandma that she could soon be famous once word gets out about her rolls. She just chuckled and said she had to get back to her card game with the ladies.

Disclaimer – I am so not a Martha Stewart. I will try my best to explain this recipe to you but I don’t even know all the proper lingo. 🙂 I think this might even be the first recipe I’ve ever posted on the blog – so there you go, good luck!

GRANDMA RAMONA’S ROLL RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs and water to equal 1 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour (my Grandma prefers Gold Medal, I use whatever is on sale)
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons rounded yeast

Directions

  1. Add two eggs to a big measuring cup, add warm water until the level reaches 1 1/2 cups. Pour into bread machine.
  2. Add butter (I warm mine first), salt, sugar, flour and powdered milk to bread machine – in that order
  3. Make a well in the top of your ingredients and add your yeast
  4. Turn the bread machine on dough setting (this just makes the dough, it doesn’t bake it)
  5. My bread machine takes two hours. After dough is done, take it out of bread machine and set it on counter, cover and let rise for 30 minutes
  6. I spray olive oil instead my Pampered Chef stoneware pan (but you can use any pan, just butter or grease it first)
  7. Break the dough into small pieces and form them into balls. Make them smaller than you’d think – they will grow in the oven
  8. If you want, you can brush melted butter on top of your rolls, we don’t do this and they still turn out just fine
  9. Have your oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Put rolls in for 28 – 30 minutes. This could vary by oven or pan type – so just watch them closely after 25 minutes.
  10. Remove and cool. Enjoy.

Don’t have a bread machine? You could easily knead this by hand. How to do that, I don’t really know, I recommend consulting Google. 🙂 My grandma uses a bread machine, so that’s the way I do it. This is also the same dough recipe that my grandma uses for her amazing cinnamon rolls – that’s another post for another day.

Time saver tip – I actually measure out the dry ingredients ahead of time and put them in big gallon Ziploc bags. This way, I don’t have to haul out all the ingredients every time we want rolls. All I have to do is add my eggs and butter, dump in my bag of dry ingredients, throw in the yeast and push start on the bread machine. Big time saver and it makes it easy for my son to help out because he just dumps the bag in the bread machine and ta da – he’s made rolls. 🙂

For those of you that are visual learners, here you go:

Get your ingredients out.

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August 30, 2018

DreamCloud Mattress review – I’m in love, definitely my new favorite mattress brand

DreamCloud Mattress review

You may recall we moved into a new house a couple month ago. We went from being in a TINY bedroom to having a Master bedroom that can now fit a King-size bed. It’s been years since we had a King-size bed – we sold ours with our house when we started traveling in our Airstream. For the last few years we’ve been sleeping on a tiny RV mattress and then an inexpensive queen mattress.

So fast forward to the new house and I got an email from DreamCloud Mattress advertising their mattresses. I was intrigued by the 15″ blend of latex, tufting and coil technology, memory foam and hand-craft Cashmere. DreamCloud claims it’s the best sleep money can buy – so I decided to give it a try!

I ordered a King-size DreamCloud mattress and it was delivered right before we moved into the new house. I love that it was delivered to my front door. Can you imagine trying to get a King-size mattress to fit into your car or truck? Having it delivered to my doorstep in a compact package was a dream in itself!

Our first night in our new house we opened the mattress up in our new space. What started as a compact “roll” opened up quickly and soon became a full-size King mattress. I wish I would have recorded a video of it – it was so amazing! I knew right away that this mattress was special. I’ve had memory foam brand mattress toppers before – but this looked and felt like a REAL mattress – I could hardly believe it!

I noticed right away that there was NO ODOR! None. We had purposely opened up the mattress early in the day to allow it to “air out” because in the past we’ve had issues with memory foam mattresses having a chemical smell. Can you relate? This HAD NO chemical smell and was ready to sleep on as soon as we opened it up! I was really impressed.  It also has high-end handles on the side of the mattress for easy moving – a great plus.

I also noticed how amazing the top felt. Seriously. The softest ever. The memory foam and hand-craft Cashmere is no joke. I never thought I’d be so giddy over a mattress – but this one is just incredible. . . .really! But how does it feel to sleep on it?

Fast forward to today.   . . we’ve been sleeping on the DreamCloud mattress exactly one month now. I’m completely sold. I can easily say it’s my favorite mattress brand to date. Hands down. Both my husband and I have been sleeping like CHAMPS.  I love it so much I’ve been finding myself telling my friends and family members about it – and I’ve never been one to talk mattresses – but this one is awesome. The biggest problem I’m having is sleeping IN TOO LATE! I literally don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. 🙂 That’s a problem I don’t generally have – but it’s too comfy.

I’m completely sold. I just love it. And even though I can’t ever imagine returning this mattress, DreamCloud does have a 365-night Trial and Everlong Warranty – how wonderful is that? DreamCloud is so sure of their product, they will even give you a full year, 365 nights, to try it and decide if this is the right mattress for you! If you don’t love it, they will remove the mattress and refund your money. And less than 3% of DreamCloud customers return their mattress. While most mattress companies only offer a 10-15 year warranty, the DreamCloud Mattress has the Everlong Warranty. DreamCloud Mattress construction and materials is guaranteed for the full life of use by the original owner!

To recap my review and all the things I love about the DreamCloud mattress :

  • DreamCloud is a luxury hybrid mattress that’s 15 inches high and has eight layers – 8 layers!!!
  • There is a layer of pocketed coils within DreamCloud making it unlike most online mattresses that are just blocks of memory foam. I noticed this difference right away!!
  • Comparable brands in stores sell for $3500-$6000
  • 365 Night Sleep Trial – Try it for an entire year risk fee
  • Everlong Warranty
  • Free shipping and $200 off with the code SHOP200

I just had to tell you about our DreamCloud experience. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, I recommend checking them out. And right now you can save $200 on any size DreamCloud Mattress, no code needed (it should apply automatically), prices as listed. And all orders ship FREE.

DreamCloud does offer financing options with a lease-to-own plan that does not require a credit check and gives you 6 months of low monthly payments.

Have you tried the DreamCloud mattress before? I’d love to hear what you think!  If you have questions, leave a comment and I’ll reply! 

Shop DreamCloud Mattress

Sponsored post :: I’m partnering with DreamCloud to bring you this honest review. All photos, opinions and genuine love for this mattress are my own. 🙂  I wouldn’t “dream” of doing anything else! All links in the post are affiliate links – if you purchase a mattress through these links, I get a small commission. 

July 17, 2017

I started back-to-school clothes shopping yesterday (at Goodwill!)

Yesterday my daughter and I stopped into Goodwill to scope out the deals. Our local store has a new colored tag every Sunday, so we like to go early in the day. We ended up finding a handful of items for back to school and paid as little as $0.99 an item!

Girls skirt – $1.99 – 50% = $0.99

Girls sheer top with kitties – $1.99 – 50% off = $0.99

Tank tops for under tops (like new) – $1.99 – 50% off = $0.99 each

NFL-branded Seahawks sweatshirt – $3.99

Boys GAP khaki pants (like new) – $1.99 each

Boys Nike elite dry fit pants (like new) – $3.99

Total = $15.92, plus tax

We always start shopping for back-to-school clothing early in the summer so we have a good collection before school starts. I find that even if the particular tag color isn’t on sale – it’s usually still a better deal than going to the mall.

Here are some of my tips for thrift shopping:

  • Have a list of what you’re looking for. Thrift shops can be overwhelming – but have a plan, for example looking for girls jeans or pants, and you’ll find yourself much less overwhelmed and your success rate goes up.
  • Make sure to look on multiple racks, even if it’s not the size you’re looking for. I often find the treasures accidentally placed in the wrong size grouping.
  • Look a size up. Different brands fit differently. Look a size or two larger and you can either buy ahead of find an item that will fit, even though the size is larger.
  • Look closely for stains, snags, frays. Take the time to look over the clothing. Hold it up to the light. Do you see grease or food stains? Fraying? Missing Buttons, Tears? Check the ends of sleeves and the bottoms of dresses/pants.
  • Pay attention to the tag color on sale. Often thrift stores will discount a particular tag color.
  • Try it on to be certain. If you can, try on clothing at the store – they usually have dressing rooms! Check a store’s return policy.
  • Go often. There are many times I stop into a thrift shop and walk out empty handed. It’s a treasure hunt that is sometimes fruitful and sometimes not. Be patient and you’ll find the deals!

Do you shop thrift shops for school clothes? What are your tips for saving on back-to-school clothes??

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October 12, 2016

My secondhand find – Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer – saved $264!

breville-bjs600xl-juicer

I’ve been on a smoothie kick the last couple weeks – trying to have at least one green smoothie a day to increase my veggie and fruit intake. It’s been wonderful and I feel great! I have been wanting to try juicing, too, but didn’t like the big price tag on juicers, so I’ve been putting it off.

Today I stopped into Goodwill and found this Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer for $34.99! This is the most I’ve ever spent on a secondhand kitchen appliance, but knowing this retails for $299.95 – it was a steal, considering tax alone would have been nearly $20 on it new. This is a savings of $264! I can buy a lot of juicing fruits and veggies with these savings! 🙂

I brought it home, scrubbed it up with hot soapy water and made up a big batch of carrot, kale and apple juice. Works like a charm (if it hadn’t worked Goodwill would have taken it back for store credit).

I could use some juicing recipes. . .please share your favorite fruit and veggie combos for juicing!

Have you found a good secondhand deal lately? 

May 31, 2016

*LAST DAY* Amazon Wedding Registry Sweepstakes – win a Costa Rica honeymoon, Lenox prize package and $1500 Amazon gift card

Amazon Wedding Registry Sweepstakes

Today is the LAST DAY you can enter the Amazon Wedding Registry Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Costa Rica honeymoon, Lenox prize package and $1500 Amazon gift card!  Not only do you get a chance at this great prize package, you’ll also get all the benefits of creating a Amazon Wedding Registry:

* 10%Completion Gift – Receive a wedding gift after your event date. Get 10% off most products on Amazon for a savings up to $100.
* World’s Largest Selection – Register for all the items you both want.
* It’s universal – keep track of what you want from anywhere. Add from other websites to your Wedding Registry with the universal button.
* 180 Days for returns on most items from your registry

To Enter:

  • Create an Amazon Wedding Registry during the contest period (April 1, 2016 – May 31, 2016).  No purchase is necessary, must be 21 or older to enter.
  • Add a minimum of one (1) Lenox item to your registry to be automatically entered into the Sweepstakes.
  • One (1) winner will be selected on or about June 15, 2016.  Winners will be contacted by e-mail within 1 week following the applicable drawing.

What can I win?:

  • Round trip economy class air transportation for winner and one (1) guest
  • Up to five (5) nights standard hotel accommodations for winner and guest in a Master Casita at Hacienda Alta Gracia
  • Daily breakfast for winner and guest throughout stay at Hotel
  • Dinner for winner and guest for one (1) night
  • A ninety (90) minute horseback ride adventure for winner and guest while on trip
  • A Lenox dinnerware package service for eight (8)
  • One (1) $1,500 Amazon.com Gift Card

Create your Amazon Wedding Registry and Enter Sweepstakes here

Weddings-on-A-Budget-Tips

For other great Wedding ideas, check out our seven-part Weddings on a budget series! This series is written by Rebecca Grant owner of New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination, one of Seattle’s Premiere Wedding Coordinators. She’s filled with a wealth of information and she’s a good friend of mine – so I know you’re in good hands.  

Here’s what is covered in this series:

March 19, 2016

Save on Wedding Venues {Week 3 of 7: Weddings on a Budget Series}

Weddings-on-Budget-Venues-Part-1 Pin it here.

Welcome week three (3) of our seven-week series on Weddings on a budget! This Saturday-morning series is written by Rebecca Grant owner of New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination, one of Seattle’s Premiere Wedding Coordinators. She’s filled with a wealth of information and she’s a good friend of mine – so I know you’re in good hands.  

If you’re joining us late, don’t miss our first week when we discussed Wedding Invitations on a Budget and Wedding Flowers on a Budget. 

This week we will be covering everything you might want to consider when planning for wedding venues!
We’re almost halfway through our seven-week series on getting married on a budget, and this week we’re tackling a big topic – VENUES. In fact, it’s so big, and there’s so much information to share that we are devoting this week and next to cover this topic.

Wedding-Venues-Alante-photography

Your venue can often determine the size, style and feel of your wedding day. Whether it be from a hotel to a barn to anything in-between, there are ways to cut costs when you begin looking for you perfect wedding venue.

Here are some tips and tricks to saving money for your venue on your wedding day:

Chose an off-peak wedding season
Obviously here in Seattle, we are fairly limited to the seasons if you want that full-sunshine, outdoor wedding. However, if you are willing to take a gamble, or looking at having your entire wedding and reception indoors, you will get a lot more bang for your buck. Consider having your wedding from mid-September to mid-April. This is a general range where most venues would consider your wedding to be off-peak. Because you are picking a date that is less popular than the masses, and the venue would rather book that day then lose any potential business, they offer you substantial discounts for booking with them during that time.

Lord-Hills-Garden-wedding

You never know, even if you are looking for that outdoor venue, you could be pleasantly surprised by lucking out and having a beautiful, warm, sunny day in the middle of April. It has happened. 🙂

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March 5, 2016

ASTC Travel Passport Program – FREE admission to museums nationwide!

ASTC-Passport-Program-550

As we travel around the country we supplement our homeschool curriculum by visiting local children’s museums, history museums, science museums and zoos. Visiting all these institutions could get very expensive but thanks to a program through the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) we are able to use our “home” museum membership to get into other museums nationwide for FREE!

We have saved hundreds of dollars thanks to the ASTC Travel Passport Program, so I wanted to share it with you!

Read our post over on our travel blog – ASTC Passport Program :: FREE admission to museums nationwide

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March 5, 2016

Save on Wedding Flowers {Week 2 of 7: Weddings on a Budget Series}

Wedding-Flowers-Budget-TipsPIN it here

Welcome week two (2) of our seven-week series on Weddings on a budget! This Saturday series is written by Rebecca Grant owner of New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination, one of Seattle’s Premiere Wedding Coordinators. She’s filled with a wealth of information and she’s a good friend of mine – so I know you’re in good hands.  

If you’re joining us late, don’t miss our first week when we discussed Wedding Invitations on a Budget

Seattle-Wedding-flowers-budgetSee it on Pinterest!

This week we will be covering everything you might want to consider when planning for wedding flowers!

Flowers are one of the most integral parts of your wedding day’s overall look and theme. Not only are flowers heavy hitters in the look of your wedding, but they can often bring a heavy hit to your wallet. According to Florist Tiffany Saul from offbeatbride.com, wedding florists work generally work on a 3x markup. Over 75% of florists use a 5x markup on wedding flowers.

I will let you in on some tips and tricks as to how to save money on often, one of the most expensive aspects of your wedding day.

Set a Budget
If you are trying to plan a wedding on a budget, be sure you know how much money you have allocated for floral, and stick to it! Make your florist work within your budget. Don’t hesitate to ask if they have a minimum they work with before you go in for an in-person interview. Especially if you are planning a summer wedding, a lot of florists have minimums. If you are looking at a florist online and they do beautiful work, but their average budget they work with is over $5,000, more than likely this is not your florist. When you find about three (3) florists who you have called and who fit the budget you’ve set aside for flowers, the next step is to set up an in-person appointment. At the appointment, ask to see their portfolios of actual weddings they’ve done, not a FTD floral book – this is not their work, and don’t be fooled that it is. Each florist will have their own unique style and suggestions they can bring to the table. You want to be sure that their style will represent you and the look of your wedding.

Wedding-poppies-flowers

Think Local and In-Season
Once you’ve found a florist who you get along well with, you’ve seen their work, and fits within your budget, the next steps are to discuss your floral design with them. One of the biggest cost saving tips is to use as many locally grown flowers as possible. Ask your florist which blooms will be in season during your wedding month. If it’s a December wedding, you may be limited to using a mixture of berries and greens, which keeps it simple and beautiful! On the other hand, during your summer wedding, using locally grown hydrangeas, or garden roses might be the way to go.

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