Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Whip It Up Wednesday: Breakfast Apple Crisp (It's Healthy!)

Last week my husband ordered a 40 Lb box of honey crisp apples. Needless to say, even after he made many, many jars of both applesauce and apple butter, we were still swimming in apples that needed to be eaten! I was trying to get creative with them and stumbled upon this idea. It came about because, well, I was craving apple crisp.  And it was breakfast time.

breakfast apple crisp

Super Healthy Breakfast Apple Crisp

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thrifty Tip Tuesday: Making Your Own Baby Food!

Between the two of us,  Hilary and I have two seven month old boys who have just started solid foods! You heard me right. Not only are our four year old daughters only nine weeks apart, but our sons have a whopping seventeen days between them. So you can imagine we spend a lot of time comparing and sharing tips on how to pay for baby necessities and still be frugal. One of the ways we have both found that works for us is to make our own baby food at home!

Making your own baby food is so much simpler then most people would think. Sometimes it's as simple as thinking outside the box (literally)! You don't need a fancy baby-themed food steamer/puree-er. You just need a food processor or blender, maybe a few pots and your stove. Sometimes you even need less then that.

Below we will outline four of the ways in which we save on baby food, and we show you the cost difference between buying them in the store and making them yourself.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quick'n'Dirty Pumpkin Butter (also known as Lazy Pumpkin Butter)

quick 'n dirty homemade pumpkin butter

I am obsessed with Pumpkin, and this is one of my favorite ways to use it. Because really, what product would not be improved by slathering pumpkin on it? It's rich and creamy and basically gives me the excuse to eat pumpkin pie on toast.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quick Fix-It: Bleach Pen Magic!

The back story of this post is that I bought this amazing track jacket for $10 at Target.  I LOVE it.  The fit, the color, everything.  Then a few weeks ago, I accidentally brushed up against some bleach in my laundry room and disaster!  I got a bleach spot on my almost new jacket.  I was so upset.

bleach pen magic peacock feathers

So I had been seeing a lot of amazing stuff on the internet about bleaching designs onto fabric using a bleach pen.  I looked and looked and finally decided to free hand it.  I have been obsessed with peacock feathers, so I looked at some pictures online, came up with a quick design and started the project.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Girl's Crocheted Cowl Scarf, a free crochet pattern!


little girl's crochet cowl scarf pattern

I have been making tons of those fantastic crocheted cowl scarves that are so trendy right now. I think I must have six of them for myself, with another two made as gifts! My daughter was enthralled with some of the gorgeous fluffy white yarn I bought for myself, so I figured I would whip her up her own trendy cowl scarf with the leftover yarn from my own. The yarn was so cozy I thought it would be perfect for a cold winter evening.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pinterest Friday: Bird's Nest Necklace

I have been wanting one of those bird's nest necklaces, but I never have the right supplies on hand to make one...until last night!  My husband pulled out a roll of this thick silvery wire from his toolbox and I was inspired!  I find a great tutorial on Pinterest, bought some great turquoise beads and tried it out.

Here is the awesome tutorial from Jess at The Macs:


Gorgeous, right?

Here's my final product:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Little Girl's Jewelry Holder

I have been eye-ing several fabric jewelry holders for months, but it wasn't until last week that I finally found the time to make one for my daughter. My only requirement is that I had to use things that I already had or were free. Here's the final product:

DIY little girl's jewelry holder

And here's the how-to!:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whip it up Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Cold season is upon us! I don't know about you all, but at my house we've been battling what I call The Cold That Won't Die for the last month. We  haven't gone more then a few days without someone in our family of four coming down with sniffles/a cough/runny nose/congestion. This week I decided to whip up some homemade chicken noodle soup to help us through cold season.

Without further ado: Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thrifty Tip Tuesday: Cleaners and Affordable Wall Art

Jessica: My thrifty tip for today is to make your own all purpose cleaners! I started doing this because I was appalled at not only the nasty chemicals I was spraying all over my kitchen, but the fact that my kids then ate food from and touched those surfaces. Once I got started making my own cleaners, I realized that they are also super cost effective!

easy all purpose cleaner from vinegar and orange peels

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six Ingredient Crispy-Creamy Gnocchi in Six Steps

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit with everyone from my husband to my very picky four year old daughter! It is absolutely delicious and a nice change from spaghetti with tomato sauce if you're a pasta lovin' family like us.  And the best part is that this meal takes maybe 20 minutes to prepare! That's the kind of dinner I like to make.

Six ingredient crispy-creamy gnocchi in six steps

Homemade Pesto Recipe

Growing up, we always ate store-bought pesto. It was tasty and quick and my mom would serve it with tortellini or chicken. It wasn’t until I was an adult that my husband introduced me to homemade pesto and I realized that I would never be able to go back to premade pesto again.

Pesto is such an easy food to make homemade, and it is much cheaper than the stuff in the store. I can also adjust the amount of oil and nuts and make it a tiny bit “healthier” or at least lower-calorie.

Most pesto recipes are similar, but mine is a little unique because: I use water in addition to oil, it’s a little bit creamier and we use walnuts instead of pine nuts (they are much cheaper and my husband’s family has pine nut allergies).
freeze homemade pesto from scratch


Friday, October 19, 2012

Real Life Mommy Outfit #1

So occasionally I'm going to post what I'm wearing. Sometimes I'll post when I feel like I look especially cute, and sometimes I'll post when I don't feel so cute. In the spirit of being a real, live human being but also a mom who likes to look pulled together and trendy, I will show you what I am wearing to various "mommy" activities. This is outfit #1:

Playgroup at the park

 In this instance my four year old daughter had playgroup and we were meeting at a local park. I wanted to be warm and look reasonably good, but still be able to play in the leaves and quite possibly get dirty.

real life clothing styling for moms

Pinterest Friday! Peanut Butter Edition

Welcome to Pinterest Friday! We have decided that every Friday we're going to post one Pin from Pinterest that we've been wanting to try. We'll do it, we'll test it out, and then we'll tell you all how it worked and if we made any changes. That way when you go try it yourself, you'll know what works and what doesn't!

Homemade Peanut Butter

The original Pin is one I've seen all over Pinterest for DIY peanut butter from Averie Cooks:



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whip-it-Up Wednesday: Easy Fruit Dip

Welcome to Whip-it-Up Wednesday!  Each Wednesday, we'll be posting a super easy recipe that anyone from a first-time cook to an experienced chef can make.

For our first recipe, here's one of the fastest, simplest dessert dips you can make. Super healthy, and everyone will love when you bring this to a party!

Easy Fruit dip:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thrifty Tip Tuesday!

We are always on the hunt for easy ways to save money.  Sometimes that includes finding awesome sales, scoring something cheap at a thrift store or repurposing things we have around the house.  Every Tuesday we will post random tips to help save you money!


Hilary: Tip #1: I found this tip several years ago and use it every time I deep clean my kitchen!  The inside of our microwave gets gross and I don’t like using tons of harsh chemicals to clean it (I don’t like breathing in the smell of household cleaners).  So I use lemon juice instead!  When you microwave the juice, it evaporates into great-smelling oil that loosens the food and makes it easy to wipe off.  Here are the directions!


Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Things We Always Have in our Kitchens

We both love cooking.  We can make everything from gourmet, fancy foods to basic (but classy) macaroni and cheese.  As our first post, we wanted to share our five "must-haves" for cooking. 

Hilary: I would love to say that my top 5 ingredients are gourmet or organic, but the reality is I need quick meals that taste great and ingredients that won’t go bad quickly.  I have many spices and other ingredients that I depend on, but here are my top 5.

Chicken bouillon cubes.  We use these like they are going out of style.  I’ve had debates with people about cubes vs. chicken stock.  Stock is nice, its smooth, but I love that bouillon cubes are small and easy to store (25 cubes = 12 cans of stock which takes up a lot of space).  They are much cheaper and easy to use.  But, the sodium is out of this world and they do take a little bit of prep time.  Overall?  I like the cheap, space-saving cubes.

Welcome to Domestic Bliss!

Welcome to Domestic Bliss - a blog focused on crafting, crocheting, cooking, canning, baking, eating, Pinterest-ing (is that a verb?) and diy-ing. 

We are Hilary and Jessica.  We live in two different states (410 miles apart, but who's counting?) and we're sisters-in-law.  We met ten years ago when we started dating two brothers.  For years, we weren't close and only saw each other at the occasional family function.  It wasn't until five years ago, when we were both in grad school for similar fields (counseling and social work), that we struck up a casual friendship.  We started chatting more and more frequently until bam!  We both had our first children 9 weeks apart.  Suddenly, we were both trapped at home with screaming kids.  We were both overwhelmed and wrestling with the whole stay-at-home-mom thing.  We starting talking every day to stay sane and learned we had a ton of things in common ("You love Little House on the Prairie too???"  "You are obsessed with Vanilla Nut Creamer, just like me???").

We now have four-year-old daughters that are 9 weeks apart and infant sons that are 2 1/2 weeks apart.  We still talk every day and view our friendship as one of the most important things in our lives!

Over the last five years later, we have learned a ton of crafts together (Jessica got Hilary hooked on Pinterest, Hilary started the crochet craze, Jessica started the homemade cleaners obsession, Hilary shared tons of cooking recipes with Jessica).  Everyday we share recipes, cooking techniques, patterns, everything with each other.  So now we want to share it with you!

Welcome!  We hope you love our blog and can use our ideas to create your own domestic bliss!

Happy crafting!  ~ Hilary and Jessica

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