Garlic Pretzel Hearts: from Build a Menu

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Garlic Pretzel Hearts? Yes, please! Our friends (and columnists for Molly Green Magazine) from Build a Menu – have done it again with these super simple, tasty treats for your favorite pretzel lovers!

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Ingredients:

1 roll refrigerated garlic breadstick dough (8 oz)

1 egg coarse salt (also called kosher salt) note: if you are unable to find garlic breadstick dough you can use plain breadstick dough and replace the coarse salt with garlic salt.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Open roll of dough, and separate strips of dough. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and gently roll the strip so that the edges pinch together; try not to lengthen the dough while rolling.

rolling pretzel dough

Make a circle by crossing over the ends of the dough rope, twisting the two ends together, and slightly pinching the tip into a point. Somehow we did not get a picture of this part; I guess we were so engrossed!

Put the circle onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, make the twist point into the center, and shape into a heart. Repeat with remaining ropes of dough. Beat the egg.

Paint egg onto each heart until covered.

Sprinkle salt onto the pretzels (if you are using plain dough, sprinkle garlic salt now.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

fresh baked heart pretzelsCool on rack – and ENJOY!

This is a wonderful semi-homemade gift idea for little bakers.  Help them create as a treat for the family this Valentine’s Day! Of course, they are simple enough to be enjoyed any day.

How are you showing the family some love this week?

For more great ideas, visit the ladies of Build a Menu today – download a printable copy of this recipe here. 

Get a membership for Molly Green Magazine and receive menu planner and shopping list from Build a Menu’s popular Dine on a Dime here.  Get the full details on what the all New Molly Green membership is all about!

Looking for our $800 Giveaway for All-Clad cookware?  Find it here. 

Big Giveaway: from Favado to encourage Family Dinners

*affiliate links present 
We take family dinners seriously, here at Molly Green. The family time,  the planning, and preparing of family meal time is not always easy to come by these days for busy families.

An attractive dinner setting

Does dinner time at your house leave you feeling frustrated? Is it too difficult to menu plan and serve a meal that everyone will enjoy while sticking to a budget. Don’t be discouraged because you are not alone.
Guest post from Inspired Bloggers Network – with Giveaway hosted, in part, by Molly Green!
Over the next two weeks, the Inspired Bloggers Network is teaming together with Favado and $5 Dinners to equip you with the tips and inspiration you need to make dinner time with the family a less stressful ordeal. You can follow all of our updates in social media with the hashtag #inspiredfamilydinners, but first, we want you to get to know our sponsors with an awesome giveaway!

Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware set and $5 Dinners Cookbook Gift Basket for Inspired Family Dinners with Favado

 
Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners between now and February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST.

About Favado

Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending on groceries by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale.
With Favado, users can…
  • Compare prices across multiple local grocery and drugstores.
  • Search for best prices on individual ingredients.
  • Personalize their favorite products and brands to quickly see best deals for those items each week.
  • Quickly find coupons for the products that are already on sale for “double the discount.”
  • Build a shopping list in the app, so you don’t forget anything that’s on sale!
Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.

So, sign up for Favado and start saving.

Then, follow Favado everywhere: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Win $1,000 with #FavadoLove


About $5 Dinners

Erin Chase has helped millions of families across the countries enjoy delicious and nutritious family dinners, for less! She’s put together a gift basket with a copy of each of her cookbooks:
The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook , her The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook, and her The $5 Dinner Mom One-Dish Dinners Cookbook -along with some fabulous cooking utensils!

You can find more of her great recipes at 5DollarDinners.com.

Enter to win

To enter for a chance to with the All-Clad Cookware Set (valued at $800) from Favado and a Cookbook Gift Basket from $5 Dinners, you must choose from any (or all) of the choices in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway will close on February 23rd at 11:59 PM CST. For official rules, please view below.

Follow link below to enter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Facebook and Pinterest are in no way connected or responsible for this giveaway and are held blameless of all legal responsibilities. Winning entry will be selected through Rafflecopter using Random.org and will be notified by email on February 24, 2014. If the winner has not responded within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Good luck.

Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!

Merry Christmas

 

merry christmas

We hope you’ve been able to use some of our ideas for frugal and beautiful homemade Christmas gifts and decorating tips.

I pray you are enjoying your family time, and celebrating Jesus this season, and every season.

I’m off to go bake some cookies and get my own home in order to entertain loved ones.

God bless!

 

 

If you need some cleaning help as you prepare for company – read the article here on coming clean for Christmas. 

 

Last minute homemade gift ideas are here and here.

Give Molly Green Membership for Christmas at a discount here!

Frugal Friday: simple, frugal, crafts for Christmas

frugal fri Christmas crafts

*affiliate links may be present

 

Happy – Almost – Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be “wrapping up” the last of my Christmas crafting and maybe even a little shopping this weekend. I’ll also be putting some final touches on the Christmas decor and doing a bit of deep cleaning before our company arrives.

If you are feeling a overwhelmed with your cleaning list, be sure to read about how I’m tackling mine here.  Soon enough, we’ll all be Merry and Bright!

About those Christmas crafts . . . .  here’s a terrific collection to inspire you this weekend!

Super quick gifts to make from Better Homes & Gardens 

quick and easy gifts to make

Fine Craft Guild –  Sea Shell Printing 

shell printing

From Good and Messy – a new twist on the Sharpie Mug

new sharpie mug idea

Diary of a Quilter – Great neighbor gift of homemade potpourri 

homemade potpourri

Wrap it all up with this sweet little candy cane craft – It makes a great decoration on a package, and it’s a beautiful ornament that is a gift in it’s own right!

From Sweet Miss Daisy

candy cane craft

For more ideas and a little “how-to” check out my dollar store crafts here 

I’d love to see pictures of your crafting projects for Christmas, or your favorite Christmas recipes!

You never know . . . you could be featured in a magazine or blog post – Share using the links below.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest –  here - I’ve been collecting wonderful ideas for all year long

 

frugal friday

Grab the button above or from the sidebar and link your post up below. Be sure to visit others to see their lovely projects.

After entering your link by clicking below, come back to click on the link again and you can click on any of the pictures to visit their blogs:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Crafty Christmas: simple, easy, on a dime

christmas crafting

 

The count down is on. Christmas is almost here.  There is always much to do on the homefront and Christmas is no exception. Actually, Christmas adds much more to the regular to-do list.

I don’t know about you, but it’s time for me to crank up the Christmas music, and dig in to finish up some Christmas crafting!

antique blue glass thrift find

I found these lovely antique Belgium Blue Glass jars at a local thrift stores and paid a few dollars for a set of three. I immediately began brainstorming about what I can fill them with, and came to the conclusion that bath salts treated with essential oils will make a wonderful Christmas gift. (Just don’t tell cousin Midge as she could be the recipient of one of these – keep it just between us – K?) 

The first thing they needed was a good washing with warm soapy water. Once they are completely dry, I will add my top secret, special bath salt recipe (which I’m about to share with you – again – we can keep it just between us). 

I use a simple plastic container with a tight fitting lid. That tight lid is important because once I add the ingredients, I shake -shake- shake it up to ensure we have a well blended mix. I make a big batch because I refill my own bath salt container and can give extra bags of it for refills to go with the pretty gift containers.

Top secret ingredients:

  • Epsom Salts – large bag (about $2.99 or less)
  • Lavender essential oil  (I pay $9.99 for the NOW brand to use in salts)
  • Chamomile (free – I dry my own)
  • Optional additions I like (lemongrass or citrus essential oils)

Here’s the thing – I don’t have a formula and you don’t need one. I add as much of the salt as I want into the plastic container. I then crush and sprinkle in my dried Chamomile throughout. I pay attention to the amount of the Chamomile, as this salt mix will be going into the bath tub. If you are unsure, grab your scoop or a big spoon and scoop out the approximate amount that will be added to the bath (2-3 big scoops). You can then adjust accordingly.

wild chamomile

Learn more about wild chamomile here. 

 Or read about it’s many uses in the Aromatherapy bible here. 

 I’ll be sharing another simple, easy, on a dime craft for Christmas on Frugal Friday.

Are you crafting Christmas this year? Come link up with us for Frugal Friday and share your ideas!

 

A Homestead Christmas: gift ideas for the homesteader – at heart

homestead Christmas

*no affiliate links present

American_Homestead_Winter_-_Currier_and_IvesAmerican Homestead Winter – Wikipedia

Christmas on the ‘ole homestead makes me think of candles in the windows, fresh Christmas tree scent with touches of cinnamon wafting through the air and sleigh bells from the old farm horse trudging down the lane. While some of this ideal Christmas may not be possible for everyone, there are a few things we can do to make the homestead lifestyle a reality.

You don’t have to live on a farm these days to be a homesteader. Plenty of folks with homesteader hearts are making the most of life in the city. With touches of this and that, reminiscent of life on the old homestead,  I’ve gathered a few ideas for gift giving especially with the homesteader in mind.

 

For those who will be weeding and harvesting this year

The Roo Gardening Apron saves time and back pain!

Roo Apron

 

Waterwise plants for Sustainable Gardens

 On Sale from $24.95

waterwise gardening book

Pretty feathers from around the farm

like these guinea hen feathers

make beautiful ear rings for the naturalist, gardener,

or wildlife enthusiast in your life!

a pair of feather ear rings

Need a quick and easy handmade project?

These beautiful painted bottles from bywilma.com 

are sure to please!

a painted bottle gift

Whether you are living life on a farm out in the country, or in the big city, you can make that homestead lifestyle a reality. Homestead is more than a location, it’s a mindset, and an attitude. Start small, right where you are. If it is a desire or an outlook that comes from the heart, you know you are on the right track.

You might even start with one of these homesteader style gift ideas . . . for a loved one – or for yourself!

Did you see the guest post - here –  from cousin Midge?  She had some great ideas for your favorite gardener!

Frugal DIY Christmas ideas

frugalchristmasideas*affiliate links may be present

In case you missed yesterdays guest post from cousin Midge – she brought us frugal ideas for thinking outside the box this Christmas. Midge has several loved ones who are avid gardeners, and she put together some wonderful gift baskets they are gonna love! Go here to read about her frugal finds in her gift basket. 

gardnergiftbaskets

 

(I am secretly hoping to be one of those loved ones who are the lucky recipients of these great gardener gifts!)

With personal, frugal, and handmade gift ideas in mind – I’ve gathered a few more choices for you from around the web. Each of these DIY gift ideas include step by step instructions on the original sites. Just click on the photo’s below to learn more and get recipes and directions for each project.

Be sure to follow Molly Green on Pinterest to find unique recipes, money saving tips, homesteading advice and more!

diy soap crayons

handmade lemon soap

branch bangles

Be sure to wrap up all your lovely DIY gifts with a beautiful burlap bow – go to factory direct craft.com for step by step instructions

diy burlap bows

 Don’t miss the Molly BOGO Christmas Bundle – see it HERE

 

frugal friday

Grab the button above or from the sidebar and link your post up below. Be sure to visit others to see their lovely projects.

After entering your link by clicking below, come back to click on the link again and you can click on any of the pictures to visit their blogs:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

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Creative Christmas gift for friends & loved ones

*affiliate links may be present

Thinking outside the box this year for Christmas? Midge has a few ideas up her sleeve to share with you!

midge Christmas ideas

Hi there! Midge again – I’m giving my newly educated frugal mind a good old fashioned work out this Christmas, as I try to stick to a rather strict budget for our family.

Although the gifts are not the most important thing about our Christmas celebrations, I do like to make sure each of our loved ones has a little something to show how much they mean to us.

 

With a budget as strict as the one cousin Molly has put me on this year, it means digging deep and getting creative. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of what I have come up with so far for some special friends who love to garden.

Any input is welcome as we put our heads together and think outside the proverbial Christmas box!
For those sweet gardener friends of mine – I thought new gardening kits would be fun. I found this one pre-made.

Fiskars 9424 Garden Bucket Caddy – Under $12 (not including the bucket or tools – just the apron bucket caddy)

 

gardening bucket - Christmas ideas
I also found this beautiful pink one that I love, but it is double the cost at about $25:

pink garden caddy for Christmas

 

Bond 6930 Pink 5 Piece Garden Tool Bag Gift Set

Other things I came across in my research include this good looking garden hat that could be added to a basket of goodies!

The Womanswork Cotton Rancher hat is $15.98

I found a 3 pack of pretty garden gloves for only $9.47 – which could all be added to one big basket or separated into 3 individual gift packs for friends and loved ones.

For my particularly small budget, I have gathered several pretty baskets from around the house. A couple of them will get a fresh coating of paint to freshen them up. Using things I have, giving them new life with a fresh coat of paint, and creating something new as a creative gift idea is a terrific way to be both frugal and green. So far, I am sure I have Molly’s approval!

My plan is to use homemade shredded paper – from saved colored scrap paper or left over paper grocery bags to fill the base of the up-cycled baskets. I get free shipping from Amazon on all the products I’ve added here with my Amazon Prime membership. You might find other deals locally instead of shopping online. I find it both frugal and convenient to use the Amazon Prime account.
I could divide the 3 pairs of pretty gloves between each basket. I have ordered this 4 pack of Heirloom tomato seeds – from Ferry Morse for only $7.16 and will add a packet of those for sure. Each of my loved ones will appreciate the heirloom seeds because they will be able to reproduce the tasty tomatoes year after year!

I was fortunate enough to find a large pack of vegetable seeds for less than $21  - Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden - It contains 12 different Ferry Morse seed packets.

With the addition of these Peat pots, my plan began to take shape!

 

gardnergiftbaskets

My most frugal option, and one I believe my friends will love, came together as follows:

3 baskets from my own gift storage – FREE

Paper filling for gift baskets – FREE

Wooden tongue depressors - $6.56 (I plan to paint and label these to dress them up)

12 packs of Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden seeds - $20.47

4 pack of Heirloom Tomato seeds – $7.16

Set of 15 Peat pots – $4.27

3 of the $5 aprons – $15.00

Total cost = $53.36 or $17.79 for each gift basket

Add the gloves and the total would be $20.94 each

Additionally, I have several mason jars to place in the baskets. They will hold the personalized plant markers and may be used for ice tea or lemonade while working in the garden. I’ve added little garden notebooks for recording planting information.

These were also FREE as I had them on hand. If needed, you can easily find cute notebooks at the dollar store.

If you decide to think outside the box and make a frugal Christmas basket of your own – you could even add a small container of home baked cookies just to push your delighted friends right over the edge!

Comparable gift baskets  I came across ran on average between $40 and $124 a piece and were far less personal.

All in all – I believe any garden savvy friend would love to receive one of these as a gift any time of the year, and they sure won’t break the bank.

Beautiful handmade gifts: a guest post by Jessica

handmade sugar scrub and more

Works for me Wednesday

 

Introducing the beautiful designs of

Jessica from Bespangled Jewelry - Jessica also has some wonderful DIY tutorials for lovely gift ideas.

DIY Raspberry Lemon Sugar Scrub

INGREDIENTS:
(per 6-7 oz jar)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz.) coconut oil, melted (preferably organic)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp raspberry extract
1/8 to 1/4 tsp lemon extract
red food coloring (optional*)
DIRECTIONS:
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. I suggest starting with an 1/8 teaspoon measure of both the raspberry and lemon extract, and then adding more according to your preference. I think I ended up using a bit more lemon than raspberry.
The raspberry extract may already have some color added to it – mine did but the scrub without it was a much lighter pink than you see here. I used a single drop of red food coloring mixed in at the end to make the color pop a little more.
When your scrub is all mixed up and you’re happy with the scent and the color, spoon it into a jar and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to set the consistency. After you take it out, you don’t have to keep it refrigerated. If the coconut oil returns to its liquid state and you’d like to firm it up, simply place it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. (Coconut oil remains solid up to 76˚F).

How to use your new homemade sugar scrub: 

Rub wet skin with about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time, in a circular motion until the sugar has dissolved. Repeat all over your body and rinse as normal.

Why give  handmade?

  • Quality – use only the ingredients you choose
  • Personal – handmade gifts are extra special and can be catered for the recipient
  • Frugal – many options for any budget
  • Green – a great way to upcycle empty containers and goods
  • Unique – often one of a kind or uniquely special
  • Small business – the backbone of the American economy, family owned small business deserves our support
  • Love – handmade gifts are full of love -whether you make them yourself or purchase from someone who has

Handmade Gifts – Work for Me! 

 

See other tutorials on Bespangled Jewelry here : Homemade Lemon Butter Lip & Skin Balm 

homemade lip balm

 

Jessica isn’t just a talented DIY’er with wonderful gifts you can make at home – she’s a talented jewelry designer! Visit her cute little Etsy shop today to buy unique and beautiful handmade Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Go here to Jessica’s shop

handmade bespangled bracelet

Our BIG Sale for the Friday – Monday and  GREEN Tuesday ends soon  -See Details HERE and Enter our GIVEAWAY