Outfit Formula: Easy Summer Skinnies

Skinnies continue to rule the world because they fit every body type as long as there is a stretch component in the fabric. They are also the easiest and most practical silhouette to pair with comfortable shoes, like casual flats, boots or sneakers. 

Wearing cropped skinny jeans in Summer makes perfect sense when the weather is mild, when temperatures cool down at night, when you work in air conditioning, or when you run cold. That’s why I’ve collected four easy casual looks without heels. It’s been hard to find examples of outfits without tucked or semi-tucked tops, but feel free to keep tops untucked if that’s more your thing.

1. Smart Casual

Combine skinnies with a dressy sleeveless blouse and layer a fluid cardigan over the top. Finish off the look with dressy loafers, mules, ballet flats, baby wedges or sandals, and a structured bag like a satchel, tote or clutch. Choose any colour palette. Here, I love how the black loafer bookends the model’s hair and picks up the colour of the blouse. The high neckline and bow work on a larger bust because of the model’s long neck. Smashing look.

Eloquii Peach Lift Jean

2. Romantic Comfort

This vibe is dead simple and very comfy. Combine a soft, billowing blouse with a pair of skinnies in any colour palette. It’s important that the blouse is fluid or oversized to contrast with the skinnies. The skinnies add structure to the outfit, as does showing bits of forearm and part of the foot. Wear the blouse semi-tucked or untucked. Add flat slides, mules, sandals, d’Orsay flats, loafers, espadrilles, or ankle strap flats.

Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans

3. Trendy Classic

Apart from the trendy slides, all of the items in this outfit are a trendier version of a classic. Combine skinnies with a tee and blazer in any colour palette. Semi-tuck or untuck the top. Here the tucked top lengthens the leg line from the hips upward, which tempers the length of the long blazer that shortens the leg line. Add trendy slides if you like, or any other comfy flat. Personally, I like how the white tee, shoes and bag lighten the outfit, add a crisp touch, and make it pop.

FRAME Le Skinny De Jeanne-Raw-Stagger Mid-rise Skinny Jeans

4. Moody Graphic

Combine cropped skinnies with an oversized knitted top like a sweatshirt or the like. Finish off the look with sneakers and a statement bag. Stick to black and grey if you want to keep the vibe moody. I like the addition of the white sneakers but you might prefer grey, silver or black. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired.

Closed Skinny Cropped Jeans


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Here’s one easy way to save big money on your cable bill

While it’s true that more and more people are opting for streaming TV these days, one question money expert Clark Howard still gets a lot is, “How can I keep cable but save money?”

Here’s how to save money on your cable bill

An easy way to keep your cable but save on your monthly bill is to eliminate your modem fee. Many cable companies charge a monthly fee for using the cable modem that allows you to connect to the internet and watch television. Take a gander at your cable bill and see if you can find this fee or “surcharge.”

Most cable companies charge between $ 6 to $ 10 per month for a cable modem. That means you’re paying up to $ 120 a year — and that fee never goes away. It’s just a perennial charge that the companies collect as long as you’re a customer.

So not only are you paying for the actual content you’re consuming, but the cable company is basically charging you a rental fee for that rectangular box. The great thing is, you can buy one yourself and cut out the middleman altogether.

For example, a Netgear N450 WiFi Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem Router gives you internet access and the capability to get all the channels you subscribe to. It currently costs $ 69.86 on Amazon.

That means for a one-time charge, you can save as much as $ 50 in the first 12 months and be done with that fee forever.

Before you buy, make sure that the modem you choose works with your cable provider. The Netgear modem’s product description says it’s “compatible with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, & more.”

Photo credit: Amazon.com

No matter which cable modem you choose, make sure it has Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy a separate router.

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

For all the latest deals on electronics and more, check out our sister site, ClarkDeals.com!

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How to make easy money on your work commute with Wrapify

Our radio producer Joel has turned his commute into cash with the Wrapify app! Wrapify is a company that pays you to wrap your car in advertising for their clients.

Make money while you drive with Wrapify

The Wrapify app matches you to ad campaigns based on your driving patterns. Joel explained the steps:

Watch the video

  1. Download the Wrapify app and set up your account
  2. Wrapify will track your driving for a period of time
  3. They will let you know if you are eligible for a campaign — it may take a few weeks for them to determine your campaign
  4. They’ll set you up with an appointment to get the ad placed on your car — you’ll have to leave it at a body shop for a day while it’s applied
  5. You pick up your car and drive your normal routes — you can track how much cash you’re making in the app

It may be slightly inconvenient to leave your car all day to get wrapped, but Wrapify will reimburse you for a Lyft or Uber to and back from the facility.

Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind: You’ll have to be connected to your car via Bluetooth for them to track your driving. If you don’t have this capability, you may not be eligible.

If you try this, let us know how it works out for you!

More Clark.com stories you may like: 
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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Street vendor copycat: Easy pretzel bites

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

We were in Orlando last week and my kids made us wait in a 45 min line for Wetzel’s Pretzels. We do this every year, and EVERY YEAR I think “I can make these!” (And we definitely don’t need to be standing in this hot, sweaty line…)

So yesterday I put my money where my mouth is and made them. And they were better. (Sorry Wetzels!) It’s super easy (don’t be scared by the long instructions — they include variations for using a bread machine, making an alternate cinnamon sugar topping, which my kids love, etc.)

The key to getting the “street vendor” golden brown and puffy texture is a quick dip in a baking soda solution. Don’t skip this step!

I did my dough in the bread machine because it’s so easy. Once you make these, prepare to make them all the time. (The good news? No standing in line!)

Easy Pretzel Bites

Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup warm water*
(*Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.)

Topping:
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse, kosher or pretzel salt; or coarse or Swedish pearl sugar, optional
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon-sugar, optional

To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it’s soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise), then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and give it a rest in a plastic bag, as instructed above.

While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces.
Roll the six pieces of dough into 12″ to 15″ ropes. Cut each rope crosswise into about 12 pieces.

Pour the cooled baking soda solution into a pan large enough to hold the bites. Place the bites into the solution, gently swish them around, and leave them there for a couple of minutes. Transfer them to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and top with pretzel salt or sea salt; or with pearl sugar, for sweet pretzel bites.

Bake the bites for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and roll them in the melted butter.

For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, toss with cinnamon-sugar once you’ve rolled the bites in the butter.

Place on a rack. In you’re not going to enjoy them immediately, store the bites, well-wrapped, at room temperature. Reheat briefly before serving.

Yield: about 6 dozen bites.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

BabyCenter Blog

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Designing a Laundry Room with Easy Access

If your laundry room is merely an afterthought, perhaps it’s time to renew your take on this important room. Just a few years ago, frill-free and forlorn was the norm when it came to laundry rooms, but contemporary trends have since redefined that norm, citing the modern laundry room as an accessible, stylish place that homeowners actually want to spend time in.

Designer Kelsey Kosman, of Dollhouse Design, shares some tips on modern laundry room design, and speaks to an advancement in drain pump technology, which makes the task of modernizing your laundry room system much more feasible, flexible, and cost-effective.

Front-Loading Machines

When faced with the choice between front-loading or top-loading washer/dryers, Kelsey recommends the former for a very practical reason. Employing front-loading systems frees up invaluable space for folding on the top of the machine, and homeowners can better capitalize on that space by utilizing a laminate countertop piece as a tabletop.

Cheerful Color Use

Paint is an economical way to improve the atmosphere in your laundry room, and beyond that, vibrant color use is an effective way to improve your experience doing every-day chores. Salt Spring, by Beauti-Tone, is a bright, cheerful, and optimistic hue, perfect for adding visual intrigue to your laundry room walls. Go one step further, and supplement with some creative laundry-room-themed wall art.

Location, Location, Location

As far as location goes, laundry rooms tend to inhabit less-than-prime real estate in the home, be it in the basement, adjacent to the garage, or tucked away behind the guest bathroom. That said, as a family of two grows into a family of three, four, or five, having your laundry room at the bottom of a flight of stairs may end up being more of a hindrance than anticipated. The same can be said if you’re planning on aging in place.

Relocation

At this point, you might be asking yourself: is relocation even feasible? Given the high costs associated with plumbing, uprooting your entire laundry system probably seems like more hassle than it’s worth. Enter: the SANISWIFT by Saniflo. The SANISWIFT is a modern drain pump which boasts compact design, high performance, and powerful and economical pumping action. Put simply, the SANISWIFT system makes it possible to mobilize a variety of sanitary fixtures, including the kitchen sink, shower, and laundry system. 

Why SANISWIFT?

In addition to being economical, the SANISWIFT system forgoes the use of complicated, moving parts, and can contour neatly into tight spaces, no construction necessary. The SANISWIFT system is perfect for small spaces or rental units, and can be easily installed, DIY-style.

The post Designing a Laundry Room with Easy Access appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Johnny Manziel’s road to CFL stardom: Why it won’t be easy

Finding success in Canada is Manziel’s best chance at an NFL return. Can he do it? Here’s why the transition will be more difficult than you think.
www.espn.com – NFL
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Ticketclub.com 125% Money Back Guarantee! Once Your Order is Accepted, We Guarantee Your Tickets Will Be Valid and Shipped in Time for The Event!

Three Easy Outfits You Can Pull Off For Memorial Day On All Budgets

With Memorial Day quickly approaching, many of us are eagerly thinking of what activities we plan to tackle on the three-day weekend: Barbecuing with friends, going out with family, posing for selfies, basking in bathing suits, all of it. Now if you’re like me, the holiday weekend probably sprung up on you — busy weeks working, tackling that side hustle, and all the in-betweens, you may have forgotten that Monday you’ve got off.

Now you’re receiving texts on weekend plans, but honestly have no idea what to wear. Well, here are a few outfit ideas you can try and tackle, depending on your style:

Life & Style – Black America Web

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15 of the best easy rural escapes from UK cities

These UK nature sites, from a new book, Wild and Free, offer abundant wildlife within an hour’s drive of a city or town, making them perfect for a day trip

Share your favourite wild UK escape in the comments

These locations have been chosen with several criteria in mind. They are all free to enter, they all have good wildlife for at least part of the year, and are all within an hour’s drive of a large town or city. Many are off the beaten track, or at least low profile, without signposts or a website, and that is a deliberate choice. One of the great joys of Britain is its profusion of unheralded nooks and crannies. Many of these sites are nature reserves, lovingly preserved and looked after. They deserve more recognition.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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7 Easy Ways to Make Your Next DIY Project Less Messy

Let’s face it: Some projects can be downright messy. In fact, you’ve probably scrubbed up after a few particularly dirty ones yourself! But if you’re spending as much time cleaning up—or even just covering up sloppy mistakes—as you are actually working on a project, why not try something new? You may not realize it, but all this mess can often be minimized—or eliminated—just by starting with the right tools and techniques. Read on for several innovative tips and tools that will help you achieve professional results while keeping you and your surroundings clean.

This content has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Cheater’s cashew chicken: So easy, so good

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

I have never posted this because it’s really not even a recipe. But I make it almost weekly (it’s one of the kids’ favorites) so I figured it might come in handy in your rotation too.

I should point out that there are plenty of NON-CHEATING recipes for cashew chicken, where you actually make the delicious sauce yourself, but when time is short and you don’t want fast food, this is our go-to.

There are two secrets to this “recipe”:

1. Get your chicken breasts at the meat counter and have the butcher chop them into bite-sized pieces for you. It saves so much time and gross-ness.

2. Buy a bottled sauce that’s good. We love PF Chang’s Teriyaki sauce which is sold in the regular grocery store.

Cheater’s Cashew Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
1 bottle teriyaki sauce
1 cup cashew pieces
Rice, broccoli, or whatever you want on the side

Drizzle a large saute pan with olive oil and cook chicken pieces over medium heat until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Drizzle with sauce and cashews and stir to combine.

I usually blanch the broccoli while the chicken is cooking. Add broccoli to boiling water for 3-5 min. Drain and rinse with cold water. Stir with a little butter and salt.

Embarrassingly easy, right?

BabyCenter Blog

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Easy weeknight meal: Cilantro-lime chicken quinoa bowl

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

Looking for a weeknight meal that’s fast, easy and doesn’t require a single side dish because it’s all in one bowl? Done.

This was inspired by my kiddos’ love of cilantro-lime rice from Chipotle. I frequently make chicken and rice bowls, but wondered if I could up the protein, fiber and overall nutrition by using quinoa instead of rice.

It worked like a charm! The kids didn’t even bat an eyelash at the quinoa. This is a quick easy meal that is packed with flavor and doubled as lunch the next day. It’s good cold, hot, or anywhere in between. And when you have chicken leftover from another meal, this is the perfect way to use up one or two lone breasts or thighs.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Quinoa Bowls
You can also sub some chopped rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time to cook chicken at home.

3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice + zest of 1 lime
1/8 teaspoon chili powder (more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces

Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine! (Really, it’s that simple!)

Serves 4 as a main dish.

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Traveling in the Big Easy

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New Orleans in Louisiana, nicknamed the ‘Big Easy’ is a real melting pot of cultures and experiences, making it one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit. However, it can be pretty hard to know how to make the most out of your visit to the Big Easy. There are so many attractions to go to, things to see, places to eat and drink, and sights you simply can’t miss. Planning your trip to New Orleans can seem stressful if you want to try and do as much as possible during your time there. Luckily, we have you covered! Here is everything you need to know about traveling in the Big Easy.

Staying in New Orleans

As you would probably imagine from such a unique city, there are plenty of weird and wonderful places to stay. No matter your budget, decor tastes, or location preferences, there will be somewhere for you in the Big Easy. While there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs to choose from, you could also go down the route of AirBnB and similar room rental websites. However, it’s important to note that the residents of New Orleans aren’t the biggest fans of those who rent their rooms out, so perhaps a hotel would be a better choice. It will also give you a chance to explore some of the rich cultures that this city has to offer.

Eating in New Orleans

New Orleans is renowned for having some of the best food in the country. Due to the real mix of cultures, you can experience some seriously delicious local food that you might not be able to eat elsewhere. With over 208 cajun and Creole restaurants, this is definitely one style of food you have to try while you are in the Big Easy. Seafood is also a big hitter in New Orleans, so check out somewhere like GW Fins to get your fishy fix. There are eateries to suit every budget in this city, from the cheap eats of Commerce Restaurant through to the fine dining at Upperline. Make sure you sample everything this wonderful city has to offer.

Things to see in New Orleans

There are so many things to see and do in New Orleans, that there is a good chance you won’t be able to tick everything off your list during your visit. However, there are some attractions that you simply must make time for. The National WWII Museum is truly outstanding and constantly voted as the number one things to do in the city. You will need a good few hours to experience everything this museum has to offer, so factor this in during your vacation. You can also go on a variety of walking tours, including some spectacular ghost tours in New Orleans. If you’re not easily frightened, we would highly recommend the City of the Dead Cemetery Tour, which includes a visit to a voodoo shop. Spooky!

New Orleans is one of the most exciting cities to visit in America, and somewhere you should definitely add to your bucket list. Even just wandering around the streets, taking in the fascinating architecture, would be a good use of your time in this city! However, once you have finished wandering, use our guide and make the most out of your time in the Big Easy.

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The post Traveling in the Big Easy appeared first on Worldation.

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Easy no-bake Easter nests

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

The kids can help with this super-easy treat and it’s ready in minutes. If you’re a fan of the traditional chocolate/peanut butter no-bake cookie, these will really make you happy. We chose them because we’re not fans of jelly beans and Peeps, but a sweet and salty “nest” with a creamy chocolate egg is definitely our thing.

I added some chopped chow mein noodles to the traditional oatmeal used to make these. It adds a nice crunch and gives the nests some realistic dimension.

Bonus, these have some protein and fiber so there’s a little something to balance out the sugar.

Happy Easter!

Easy No-Bake Easter Nests

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick-oats or old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped chow mein noodles
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate mini-egg candies

Place butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium-high heat. Stir in milk, sugar, and cocoa and and bring to a low boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Add oats, chow mein noodles, and salt and stir until combined.

Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or silpat liners and form into bird nest shapes. Press down the center with your thumb so there will be a place for the candies. Let the nests cool completely. Place egg candies in the center of the nests.

Makes about 18.

BabyCenter Blog

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Turns out recording an album in communist Cuba isn’t easy

José “Pepito” Gómez defected from Cuba 10 years ago. But even long after he’d made a home in America, the singer never forgot Havana’s Areito Studios, where greats like Frank Sinatra and Celia Cruz recorded in the 1940s and ’50s, before Fidel Castro took power. And so, while discussing dream projects with a couple of…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Great Care the Easy Way: Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Website Honored

For the sixth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare health plan website, kp.org/medicare, is rated one of the top Medicare websites in the nation for providing consumers with an easy, positive and high-value experience, according to HealthMetrix Research Inc., an independent research firm.

HealthMetrix evaluated 160 Medicare Advantage websites for Medicare WebWatch national certification in 2018, and Kaiser Permanente’s is one of nine given “top benchmark” status, the highest rating. To achieve this status, 50 website features were analyzed including: plan-specific content, external content resources, member connectivity, design and navigation, and transparency and privacy disclosure.

“Making it easy for consumers to learn about their Medicare coverage options is crucial when one considers that approximately 10,000 baby boomers across the nation become eligible for Medicare each day,” said Agnes Strandberg, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Medicare program.

Growing numbers of older adults benefit from Kaiser Permanente’s not-for-profit status and from being the nation’s largest integrated health system. They prefer to shop online and those who are eligible can enroll in a Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan directly on the website.

“We continue to enhance our online capabilities and navigation features to ensure the best possible experience for consumers,” said Strandberg. “Every year we see an increase in visits and enrollments through our Medicare website.”

In addition to providing eligibility requirements, cost and coverage options, and easy online enrollment, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare website offers:

  • A Medicare Learning Center with easy access to useful information including downloadable checklists, frequently asked questions and answers, and helpful videos for consumers to learn more about Medicare, when to sign up, and how to make an informed plan choice
  • A search tool to help consumers find and register for a Kaiser Permanente Medicare seminar in their area
  • An online enrollment form for Kaiser Permanente Medicare members to enroll in optional supplemental benefits such as dental, hearing, vision and fitness
  • A section that provides a streamlined Medicare educational and enrollment experience to Kaiser Permanente members turning 65
  • Consumer surveys to gather information and apply learnings to optimize the website
  • New capabilities that include a link to health and wellness articles specifically curated for older adults, and look-up tools to find a sales representative in the consumer’s area and to find employer groups that offer online enrollment for their retirees

The post Great Care the Easy Way: Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Website Honored appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

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5 easy homemade baby foods to get you started

by

Ashleigh Evans

posted in Life

Is your little one ready for food? These tips and tricks to start making your own food at home may help you get started.

Quick and easy recipes for making your own baby food. These save time AND money, plus you know exactly what you're feeding the little one! via @babycenter

As a busy mom of 4, I absolutely love a semi-homemade approach to making baby food. Once or twice a week I make 2-3 different varieties for Liam to eat. Nothing crazy complicated and it saves tons of money.

If you’ve never made your own baby food before, all the information can be overwhelming. There are so many gadgets and so-called essentials sold on the market that you don’t really need. Everything you need is probably already in your pantry.

Quick and easy recipes for making your own baby food. These save time AND money, plus you know exactly what you're feeding the little one! via @babycenter

Some useful items:

1. A chopper or blender. We adore our Ninja chopper because it can make smoothies AND chop up foods. Two in one!

2. Fork or masher. Yup, most of the foods can me mashed with a fork.

3. Storage containers. We really love small, wide mouth mason jars (like these Ball jars) with reusable lids.

I really love that almost anything you could want is available in the freezer section now. It’s quite different than when I was first making food for my twins almost 9 years ago. My favorite frozen items to buy are peas, green beans, butternut squash, peas & carrots, broccoli, and vegetable medleys with quinoa.

To make the food, simply steam the frozen veggies in their bags or on the stove. I always recommend using filtered water when making baby food, just to be on the safe side. For carrots, I buy a bag of organic baby carrots, steam them with 1 cup of water, and blend. So simple!

Liam’s first 5 foods:

  1. Mashed bananas
  2. Peas
  3. Avocado
  4. Unsweetened applesauce
  5. Carrots

When you’re purchasing foods, sometimes when you stray away from the baby food aisle, you can save TONS of money. Here in Michigan, a small container (6 ounces) of baby food applesauce averages around $ 1, where a large container of unsweetened in the regular aisle runs around $ 2. Also consider canned fruit in its own juices or no sugar added to blend for food. I love to shop at Aldi for tons of deals.

Quick and easy recipes for making your own baby food. These save time AND money, plus you know exactly what you're feeding the little one! via @babycenter

Do you have any baby food making tips or favorites?

BabyCenter Blog

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8 Easy Ways to Curb Your Drunken Spending Habit (Sober You Will Thank You!)


We have a tendency to make bad decisions while drinking. Whether you call it human nature or liquid courage, our drunk selves know no bounds when it comes to the test of intoxication.

Here’s a little test. Which have I done while drinking?

  1. Texted an ex
  2. Cartwheels in the street
  3. Made an impulse purchase
  4. All of the above

The answer is likely “d.” All of the above.

Aside from a bruised knee or ego, recovering from a drunken impulse purchase — or five — takes the longest. A late-night affair with Amazon has compounding repercussions, from overextended budgets and overdrawn accounts to long-term interest on credit cards.

Looks like I’m not the only one shopping under the influence.

Americans Spend Excessively While Drunk

Of Americans who drink regularly, 46% admit to spending while sipping, according to a survey of 2,000 American adults by shopping comparison website Finder.com.

“Who me?”

Yeah, you!

In 2016, the average drunken shopper spent $ 206, but 2017 said, “Hold my beer” and more than doubled that number to $ 447.57. That’s a jaw-dropping total of $ 30.43 billion in spontaneous spending while on the sauce.

Sober brains and depleted bank accounts across America collectively cry out, “Somebody help us.”

Truth is, only you can help yourself.

How to Curb Drunken Spending

Putting a few safeguards in place will keep your accounts in the black when you black out. Let’s be honest, you should probably do a couple of these just for safety’s sake.

1. Remove Any Saved Credit Card Information

Strip away convenience, and delete any saved card numbers from your mobile device and internet browsers.

Sure, it’s annoying to enter it when you’re not drinking, but remember, you’re doing this for your own good. Who knows, it might even make you reconsider your sober spending. Just keep them saved on Uber or Lyft.

2. Delete Store Apps From Your Phone

It seems like an annoying hassle to do, but if that app is a pipeline to your purchasing, delete it. Now! There’s a good chance you won’t remember your login information, or be able to add your credit card or complete a purchase while you’re tipsy. Screenshot any must-haves and reconsider them the next day.

3. Disable One-Click Shopping

This feature makes impulse shopping way too easy. Cut it out on all shopping sites on your mobile devices and computers. It’s a sneaky trick that gets you to spend, even when you’re clear-headed. This is especially important if you cannot or do not remove your saved credit and debit cards.

4. Hide Your Cards

Stash your cards somewhere you can’t access them once you start drinking. It could be in a roommate or parent’s room, or locked in a drawer at work before you hop off to happy hour.

If you’ve also removed them from your browsers and apps, there’s no chance you’re going to order that Loch Ness monster soup ladle at 2 a.m.

5. Plan Ahead and Bring Cash

You can prevent impulse spending if you hide your cards and withdraw only the cash you plan to spend for the evening. Once it runs out, you’re done. No rounds on you for the gang; no access to an ATM. Tomorrow you will appreciate it.

6. Change Your Passwords

If it’s going to be a real rager, safeguard yourself in advance by changing your login information. Write it down, hide it or store it somewhere you can’t access when you start feeling like a baller.

If you still somehow magically end up on a shopping website or app, you will not be able access your account, earn points or complete a purchase if other measures are in place. Just save it to the cart or a wishlist for you to laugh at tomorrow. Better there than on your doorstep.

7. Block Yourself

The Chrome extension StayFocused allows you to limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites, shopping sites included. You can set a timer for a particular website, and the extension will block you from accessing the site once time is up. Granted, you could just switch browsers, but I doubt your drunk brain will be that dedicated to a Snorlax pillow.

If it is, consider setting up Cold Turkey, which basically blocks the whole internet until the timer is up. You should be in bed anyway.

8. Skip the Sauce

It’s a Captain Obvious suggestion, but if you’re going to great lengths to stop yourself from draining your accounts and buying Lucky Charms in bulk, maybe sit this round out. Not drinking will definitely save you money and stop you from spending it.

Don’t Let Buyer’s Remorse Get You

I have a friend who doesn’t get hangovers — she’s a medical anomaly. But you know what she does get? Buyer’s remorse. No one is immune to that. If you’re normal like me — in terms of getting post-drinking hangovers, that is — waking up with a throbbing head, dry mouth and a depleted bank account is one of the most regrettable feelings.

See if sober you can put drunk you to the test. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to wait until tomorrow.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She recently bought five wedding dresses online after drinking. It said “free returns.”

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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10 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Smart

Thanks to home automation, you can now have complete and personalized control of your appliances, lighting, temperature, and even entertainment—all through internet-enabled applications. By automating your home and being able to control it from anywhere in the world, home automation will help you save time, money, and energy. Here are ten easy ways to make your home a smart home.

smart-home-security

Secure Your Home

As a homeowner, safety and security is a top priority, and smart homes offer this peace of mind so that you always know what’s going on at home—even when you’re not there.  Safety reviewed 50 home security systems available for smart homes. These systems provide views of the home through cameras in and around the home. Some even offer a keyless entry feature so you can unlock doors from the safety of your car.

Control Your Solar Energy System

Tracking your energy use is particularly important with solar, especially if you net meter. Net metering allows homeowners to sell unused energy back to the utility company. Green Tech Media mentions Sky, a solar power control center that tracks usage to help you investigate peaks and patterns in use. It’s like having a personal utilities assistant.

Ease Landscaping with Automated Sprinklers

Say goodbye to flooded yards and wilted flowers thanks to automatic landscape watering from Rachio. The application connects to wifi and allows users to schedule watering periods based on climate and landscaping needs.

smart thermostat

Set Your Thermostat and Enjoy Off-Peak Hours

Heating and cooling our homes garnishes a large percentage of home budgets. Smart home thermostat applications tap into off-peak times  set by utility companies in order to save consumers money and ease use of power grids. CNET reviews the price and features of some of the most popular smart thermostat systems.

Let Smart Homes Light Your Way

Need to raid the fridge but dread feeling your way down a dark hallway? Homes with smart lighting allow occupants to control lighting from computers and even phone applications. Now you can turn on the kitchen light from your bed. CNET’s review of wifi-enabled home control systems include connections to Echo and Google.

Increase Safety from Gases and Smoke

Rest easy with the best smoke and carbon monoxide detectors of 2018. Applications provide notifications of increased levels while also detecting smoke. Tired of the incessant beeping after burning the popcorn? You’ll also be able to enjoy turning off the smoke detector with a phone app rather than the end of a broomstick.

smart-home-for-elderly

Keep Track of Loved One’s Movements

Medical Guardian provides a motion detecting system for tracking movements in the home. These systems can alert users of falls of loved ones. The program is popular for adult children caring for aging parents, as well as the parents of children with disabilities who are at risk for leaving home.

Monitor Your Home’s Health

To help protect your home from water leaks and damage (including frozen pipes and flooding), check out some of these smart water leak detectors. These systems are prime for occupants on vacation or otherwise away from home. The system quickly alerts occupants of problems allowing water lines to be turned off sooner, saving money and potential home damage.

Entertaining with the Smart Home

Binging through Netflix and Hulu just got even easier. Now you can watch all your favorites without even leaving the couch, thanks to smart home automation through products that use voice control on entertainment devices including smart TVs, gaming, and music systems. One product, Singlecue, leaves voice control behind, requiring a mere wave of the hand or similar gesturing.

Smart Pools Save Time and Money

Save time and energy with smart pool technology. These systems monitor a pool’s water level and even the chemistry of the water. The system allows scheduling pool pump usage during off-peak hours for savings. This also helps maintain a healthy pool environment by avoiding premature evaporation and escalated chemical levels.

What’s your personal experience with smart home technology? Share with us in the comments below!

This guest article was provided by Kyle Pennell of Power Scout.

The post 10 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Smart appeared first on Modernize.

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3 Easy Tricks to Untangle Necklaces

If you wear necklaces—and especially if you layer them, as so many of us do—ending up at some point with your chains in a tangle is practically a given. Whether they’re tucked away in your handbag for travel, resting atop your vanity, or simply hanging around your neck, chain necklaces have a way of getting into an entangled mess that can be a nuisance to deal with. After one particularly frustrating knotted-necklace fiasco, we decided it’s time to explore a few solutions. Below we’ve outlined our top three tricks for how to untangle necklaces so you never have to let an intertwined jumble of chains keep you from wearing your favorite pieces. The hacks are quick, easy, and rely on common household items you likely already have lying around. So don’t let anymore tangled necklaces slow down your day—follow the below tricks and get on your way.

Apply baby oil to the knot with a cotton swab. This will make the chains slippery and the knot will come undone easier when you pull on the chain. If the knot is still tight, gently massage it until you begin to feel it loosen. Once you’ve untangled the knot, you can rinse the baby oil off the necklace using a mild soap.

Insert a straight pin into the center of the knot, then slowly pull up to separate the chains that your fingers can’t reach. You may need to work this a few ways to loosen up particularly complex knots. Be sure not to catch any openings in the chain of the necklace and risk breaking it.

Sprinkle baby powder on the knot. This will act as a lubricant to make the chains easier to pull apart. Once you’ve untangled the knot, rinse the baby powder off the necklace using a mild soap.

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Dacy Knight.

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Easy DIY Basement and Attic Projects That Will Keep Your Stuff Secure

Attic living room

Whether it’s boxes of family memories, or just out-of-season clothing and holiday decor, one thing is certain. You need a safe, secure place to stash your cherished belongings.

There’s always the option to store your valuables in a self-storage unit, although you might want the convenience of starting with storage space in your own home. However, basements and attics aren’t always the most suitable environments for important items. But with a few hours, a few bucks and some ingenuity, you can make better use of these prime storage areas and help keep your house from looking like an episode of Hoarders.

Here are four weekend home improvement projects suitable for any level of DIY skill (even no skill!) that will create additional, secure storage for your most important belongings.

shelving

Install shelving in your basement

Cost: $ 30 – $ 50
Time commitment: 1 hour (plus purging and organizing)

Tempted to just toss boxes in your basement for what Mike Kerrigan, a Chicago-area DIY er and real estate agent calls a “set-it-and-forget-it” storage system? Don’t do it—and not just because it will be impossible to find anything in the mess. “All basements have the threat of leaking or flooding. If boxes are on the floor,” Kerrigan advises, the contents are likely to be damaged.”

The solution is to install simple shelving, which protects boxes from moisture and also prevents fragile items from getting crushed underneath. While you could build your own shelves with some plywood, he recommends checking into plastic shelving that can be snapped together with no tools. “You can find it at big box stores for as low as $ 30 for five good-size shelves,” Kerrigan says.

Another option is to repurpose kitchen cabinets. Post on your local social media pages or visit a used building supply store like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The less time you spend building the shelves, the more time you can spend on a more useful project—decluttering. “Create zones for your treasures, with different areas for holiday decorations, sports equipment, and documents,” Kerrigan says. “It’ll be much easier to find what you need.”

Carpeted Basement Stairs

Waterproof your basement

Cost: $ 40 – 45 per gallon
Time commitment: 2 hours to an afternoon, depending on size

While it’s true that basements are prone to water leakage, there’s nothing stopping you from making the basement a little less prone to moisture, notes Carrie Thompson, facility manager at Affordable Mini Storage, LLC in Roanoke, VA. “If you have concrete walls, you’ll want to lock the moisture out.”

Since concrete is a porous surface, her best suggestion is to paint concrete walls with DryLok, a latex-based waterproof “paint” that helps keep your space dry, a tip she uses at her own storage facility. “Since DryLok leaves a gritty surface and a dull, off-white look to the walls, we always paint over it with a standard latex paint,” she adds. And while you’re waterproofing your basement, why not add a pop of color to the basement while you’re down there?

Waterproof your attic

Cost: $ 25 – $ 35 per gallon
Time commitment: 2 hours to an afternoon depending on size

DIY-er Caleb Backe finds that people are more prone to think of waterproofing their basement than their attic, but he finds it’s a must if you’re going to be using it for storage. (See below before you decide if that’s a good idea for you or not.)

“From the loss of valuables to problems stemming from mold, water intrusion is not something to be taken lightly,” Backe says. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your roof isn’t leaking, but that’s a job for a professional. You can waterproof the rest of the surfaces with an oil-based waterproofing compound that can cover cement or wood.

“It’s important to move slowly and cover every inch, and use a brush rather than a roller,” Backe recommends. While you’re at it, attic ventilation is a good precaution to take as well.

Add flooring to your attic (proceed with caution!)

Cost: Negligible; visit your lumber supply to get some boards
Time: Minimal

This seems like a no-brainer as a way to increase space, but you’ll want to take care, cautions Kerrigan. “In newer homes, the attic is usually accessed by a narrow hatch, and carrying a box of treasures up a ladder will be a test of balance and strength,” Kerrigan says. “Rafters are designed to hold up the roof and not load rated for much else.”

So unless your home has a pull-down stairwell (think Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) or you’re in an older home with a dedicated stairway, your storage will be limited to a few light boxes, he adds. In addition, attics experience dramatic temperature changes, which can harm most of your items—from electronics to photos and artwork.

“Sometimes a few boards laid out on the rafters will provide enough room for storage of lighter items,” Kerrigan says. But don’t overdo it—or you risk having your project turn into far more than DIY.

This guest post was provided by Cathie Ericson of SpareFoot.

The post Easy DIY Basement and Attic Projects That Will Keep Your Stuff Secure appeared first on Modernize.

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Stay Balanced: 10 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls

Infographic - 10 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls

Click here to see full infographic

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in people aged 65 and older?

A study published late last year in the Journal of American Medical Association shows we already know how to stop these falls. For example, encouraging physical exercise and correcting poor vision are extremely beneficial. And older patients also do better when health care teams tailor fall prevention advice specifically to them. All we need to do is use that knowledge, says Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, vice president for Research and Health Care Innovation, Kaiser Permanente Washington; executive director, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

Dr. Larson knows this to be true because of his own mother’s experiences — she had suffered broken bones from past falls. After starting a daily habit of walking and leg-lifting exercises, she became stronger, gained better balance, and experienced fewer falls.

Gleaned from these learnings with his mother, his own work and research elsewhere, Dr. Larson shares 10 simple tips to help prevent falls.

The post Stay Balanced: 10 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls appeared first on Kaiser Permanente Share.

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10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Despite what the latest fad plans may tell you, you don’t have to restrict and starve yourself to lose weight. Making a few easy-to-follow changes can go a long way when it comes to hitting your goal.

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Vegetarian Made Easy: 3 Instant Pot Recipes Under $2 Per Serving


At first, my Instant Pot sat in its box, staring menacingly at me from across the room.

I have to admit I was pretty intimidated at the thought of using a pressure cooker to make meals, so for a while, I simply pretended it didn’t exist.

Of all the pressure cookers out there, the name Instant Pot seems to come up regularly in my circles. My friends raved about the ease of use and bragged about how little time they now spent cooking nutritious and delicious meals for their families. And so, when the Instant Pot was on sale on Amazon at the end of 2016, I took the plunge.

But soon enough, I realized I needed to stop being a wuss and just try it. And once I did, I understood why my friends were such huge fans of this appliance.

Now, many people rave about how easy it is to cook meat in the pressure cooker, and I’m sure that is true. But as a vegetarian, I was looking for meatless meals I could make in my Instant Pot.

When I first started searching, I realized most veggie-based Instant Pot recipes were for side dishes and quickly got discouraged. But once I’d tried out a few recipes and felt more confident, I decided to start converting some of my favorite recipes to Instant Pot recipes.

After some trial and error, I have a list of my favorite vegetarian Instant Pot recipes — some designed for pressure-cooking and some that I have converted. Here are three of my favorites.

Chillie in a bowl next to vegetables

Quinoa chili is vegetarian friendly without sacrificing flavor or texture. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Leek and Potato Soup

I’ve always been a fan of leek and potato soup, so I was thrilled to see this recipe from Instant Pot Eats. The soup requires some sauteeing before pressure-cooking, which is easy using the Instant Pot’s sauté setting. Before eating, I puree the soup using my hand blender, which I find easier than pouring the soup into a traditional blender in batches.

The original recipe calls for you to peel the potatoes, but I skipped this step because I wanted the extra nutrients from the potato skin.

Ingredients:

1.2-1.4 ounces of butter (about 3 tablespoons): 30 cents

2 large leeks, sliced: $ 1

1.3 pounds white potatoes, diced into large cubes: $ 1

3 large handfuls of kale leaves: 49 cents

3 cloves garlic, diced: 18 cents

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard: 3 cents

1.5 liter vegetable broth (about 4 cups): $ 1.99

Salt and pepper, to taste

Total: $ 4.99 for 4 servings

Red Lentil Masala with Spinach

This red lentil masala from Naturally Ella has been one of my favorite recipes for a while. It’s tasty, filling and comforting, and it pairs well with rice or naan bread — or both, if you can’t choose!

This isn’t a pressure-cooker recipe, but I was able to convert it using the recipe guide that came with my Instant Pot. I followed the original recipe up until I added the lentils, coconut milk and tomatoes, and then cooked for 15 minutes using the manual setting.

Once the 15 minutes were up, I left the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes and then released the remaining pressure using the quick-release function. I then added the spinach and put the lid back on, letting it remain on the warm setting for about 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil: 10 cents

1 small red onion, diced: 49 cents

2 cloves garlic, minced: 16 cents

1/3 cup masala paste (see original recipe for details): $ 2.44

1 cup stewed tomatoes: 99 cents

1 cup coconut milk: $ 1.25

1/2 cup red lentils: 47 cents

2 cups spinach, packed: 31 cents

Total: $ 6.21 for 4 servings

Quinoa Chili

quinoa being poured into insta pot

 One benefit of the Instant Pot is that you no longer have to pre-cook the quinoa; it can be added right along with the other ingredients. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Cooking Classy’s quinoa chili is another recipe I adapted for the Instant Pot. I’ve tried many recipes for vegetarian chili, but they all seemed to be missing something.

The addition of quinoa in this recipe adds texture and flavor to the chili, which has become one of my favorites. I like to serve it on top of a baked sweet potato, but it’s equally good with a toasted peanut butter sandwich (go ahead and call me weird).

Rather than pre-cooking the quinoa like the original recipe suggests, I add mine into the Instant Pot raw at the same time as the remaining ingredients. Per my Instant Pot recipe guide, I use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid, which means I add 1 ⅓ cups of water to the chili before cooking.

Once the quinoa is cooked, I let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure manually. I then add the corn and beans and let it sit for a few minutes to warm through before serving.

Broth being poured into an insta pot

The time required for meal prep and clean-up is cut in half when using the Instant Pot. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Ingredients:

⅔ cup quinoa: 56 cents

1 ⅓ cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil: 10 cents

1 large yellow onion, diced: 49 cents

4 cloves garlic, minced: 24 cents

Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes: $ 1.98

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce: 99 cents

One 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth: 99 cents

One 7-ounce can diced green chiles: 49 cents

Seasonings: 68 cents

Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed: $ 1.98

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed: 99 cents

1 ½ cups frozen corn: 33 cents

¼ cup chopped cilantro: 35 cents

1 tablespoon lime juice: 7 cents

Total: $ 10.24 for 6 to 8 servings

If you’re intrigued by pressure cooking but feel intimidated by the sheer number of recipes out there, give these vegetarian options a try — you’re sure to become an Instant Pot convert in no time!

Pressure cookers seem to be all the rage lately. Gone are the pressure cookers of yore that were intimidating to use and potentially dangerous. Today’s models are electric, easy to use and affordable.

Catherine Hiles loves trying new recipes out on her family, especially now that she has discovered pressure cooking. She also enjoys running, working out, reading and watching “Sesame Street” with her toddler.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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‘Easy on the fries!’, Japan scientists tell hopeful bald people

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese scientists have warned that eating french fries will not cure baldness, after research was published suggesting that chemicals used in cooking fried potatoes could help fight hair loss.


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Kids in the kitchen: Easy Valentine’s dipped cookies

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

This easy recipe is something even toddler hands can handle. I did it with my preschooler and he meticulously dipped and sprinkled all 50 cookies. (Anything that can hold his attention that long is a freakin’ miracle!)

I took him to the store with me so he could pick out his own sprinkles. I don’t know why it was so exciting but it literally made his day. While there, we grabbed the strawberry wafer cookies and some almond bark for melting and dipping. That’s all you need!

I melted the almond bark in the microwave while he laid out all of the cookies on Silpat liners. Then he did all the dipping, followed by all the sprinkling. I think they turned out so cute!

Valentine’s Dipped Wafer Cookies

1 package strawberry wafer cookies
1 package almond bark
Assorted sprinkles

1. Melt 1/2 package of almond bark according to package directions.

2. Dip cookies in melted mixture and set on waxed paper or Silpat liners.

3. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles. Let sit to harden.

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9 Easy Style Swaps to Update Your Look for 2018

While it would be nice to be able to completely overhaul your wardrobe whenever you like — say, every season — that’s not financially feasible for most of us. Sure, it’s tempting to embrace all of the newness you see on the runways but you don’t want to drain your bank account in the process. Luckily, starting out the year in style doesn’t require such drastic measures. There are plenty of quick, easy ways to update your look little by little for Spring 2018 using just a few strategic swaps. Click through above to see nine style switches to make ASAP.

[ Next: The Top 15 Fashion Trends of the Spring 2018 Runways ]

The post 9 Easy Style Swaps to Update Your Look for 2018 appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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