Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dear March....

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You brought us Mexican Pizza, Science experiments with eggs, a St. Patrick's Day Parade, sneaky leprechauns, and a lot of smoothies. You brought us swim lessons, a treasure hunt for gold coins at the rec. center, and Nana's birthday. You brought us cotton candy, lots of lemonade, and many picnics. You brought us a lost first tooth, monster pillows, and a few trips to the Springs Preserve. You brought us warm weather, cool breezes, and the start of Spring. You brought us a unit on Black History and many books read on Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and many more fabulous people. You brought us so many wonderful things, which I am so thankful for. I am thankful for these munchkins I get to be with each day. I am thankful for a husband who is always and forever my best friend. Thank you March for helping us kick off spring and for bringing us so much fun with family and friends. We will miss you till next year.

Pictures via Instagram
follow me at blissful_and_domestic

More months in review

XO Danielle

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New York Style Bagels

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A few weeks back I posted this picture on instagram. Many of you lovelies thought I had caved and bought some store bought bagels. Nope just homemade...with love I might add. Libby always tells me about my "secrete" ingredient of love. She says it is her favorite :) Now that you know my "secrete" ingredient, which I put in all my recipes, let me tell you about some delicious bagels. I made these a week or so ago and they were Delish..... with a capital D. They had a perfect crust, with a chewy inside. They were exactly how a bagel should be.Want to make some for your sweet family today?

Here's how.....

Basic Chewy New York – Style Bagels

1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tbl dark brown sugar
4 cups white flour
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

- place all ingredients in your bread machine in the order specified in your bread machine owner's manual. Select manual dough and allow the cycle to run. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes, once dough cycle is completed.
- Lightly dust work surface with flour. Shape dough into a 12-inch long cylinder. Cut into 12 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope.
-Form each rope into a circle, overlapping ends slightly. Fold right end over left end. Tuck under and pinch gently to hold together. Place bagels on baking pans, sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
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-Preheat oven to 375'
-Brush top and bottom of bagels with egg wash. Sprinkle top and bottom with toppings, if desired. Let dry on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

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-Bake in the center of oven, 15 minutes. Turn over and bake 10 minutes longer, or until golden brown.
-Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

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Enjoy your bagels lovelies! I love mine with cream cheese and tomato slices. Too Yummy!

Print recipe HERE 

The winner to the Usborne Book Place giveaway is Kristen. I sent you an email:)

XO Danielle

Friday, March 29, 2013

Just Keepin it Real Today....

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Off to catch up on some laundry, cleaning, dishes, and all the good stuff. 
Glamorous I know :)

XO Danielle

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reader's Corner: Easter on a Budget

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"Do you have any tips on how to do Easter on a budget? My boyfriend is having a hard time because last year we were able to be somewhat extravagant with holiday gifts (I know this isn't necessary, especially for Easter) but this year money is tight. I want him to feel like he's accomplishing something by giving to our children (7 and 3) but we obviously need to remain within our (very tight) means. I think he is more concerned than I children would ever be, but I understand his need to provide for our family. Any tips on how we can have a successful but frugal Easter? "
With Easter fast approaching, it is Sunday for anyone who doesn't know, many parents are debating what to get those little chickadees for Easter. Whether you do the Easter Bunny or not, you are being faced with the choice of what to get those munchkins of yours. I have a few tips that I follow to help me keep the Easter holiday on the frugal side. Many of these tips are the same ones I talked about in my Christmas on a Budget post.

The first thing we do is start an Easter countdown. This countdown can be religious or not. We do a countdown of Jesus's Life, before the resurrection. This is a great way for us to teach our children about the true meaning of Easter. If you are not religious, there are so many fun countdowns you can do with your kids. I searched for a few on pinterest and found this fun one and this one. They are simple, but are full of great activities for the munhckins to enjoy. You can also do volcano eggs, make fun Easter treats, do bunny smores, or Easter crafts. The key is to keep it simple and fun for you and them.

The second thing to do is to set a budget. This is the most important thing. If you don't have a budget, then you don't have a plan. If you don't have a plan, then you will spend way to much money. Hubby and I sit down each year and decided how much money we can spend on Easter baskets for the littles. We try to keep it simple. We don't want to go crazy with dollar store toys because they will not last long. I also don't want to buy a huge amount of candy, since that is not good for them either. I always find that when I keep it simple, my children appreciate their baskets even more. Our budgets change, depending on how we are financially at that time. We usually spend between $10-$20 a basket. We try to get them a chocolate bunny, a few candy filled eggs, and some type of fun goodie. In the past we have down an action figure or Barbie doll. We have done a movie or a game. We shop adds for the best prices and get something that we know our children will really play with. We don't buy them something just because it looks cool. We want to make sure our money will not be wasted.
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If you are on a tighter budget, you can get creative with what you do for baskets.You could fill the baskets with homemade play-dough, bunny tails, fill eggs with privileges instead of candy, or Cheeto filled carrots. Also try out these round ups for Easter Basket Ideas. 20 DIY Easter Baskets Ideas, 40 Basket ideas for Boys, or Cool Baskets for Kids. (There are some thrifty ideas in those basket idea round-ups. Just go past the non frugal ideas in those lists). We also love to fill our kids baskets with some items they don't always get. Like Capri-Suns, chips, their favorite cereal, or something like that. My kids get very excited about goodies like these, since we don't usually have them.

The third thing is to pay cash for whatever you are buying for Easter. Such a basic concept right?  If we have to charge it, then we don't need it. Yes there are exceptions, but this is a good one to follow as a general rule. Credit cards are for emergencies only. This is our frugal living philosophy. Where Easter is concerned, we only use cash. I go through the store with a calculator and make sure I am only spending what we budget. I try to remember that if I go over budget, it means money taken away from our bills being paid or groceries being bought. 

The fourth and final tip I want to share is to remember quality over quantity. My children may not have a truck load of toys and candies in their baskets, but what they do have I know will last. It is very easy to see toys and goodies at the Dollar store and think what a great price. I am weary of this, since we have done this before and the toys have not lasted. My son is pretty hard on toys, so we always look for something that will last. It is not worth it to buy a lot of cheaply made items, just so you have a huge quantity in those baskets. Buy items for your family that will last and stand up to the wear and tear that the item will under go. Be conscious of all purchases. Whether you are buying thrifted items or brand new items, think of each purchase as an investment. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck, where quality is concerned.

So whatever your budget, you can create a fun holiday for your family. Start a new tradition, make something yummy with your littles, and enjoy this holiday weekend. Remember that those littles will only be little once, so enjoy this holiday with them. Follow these tips and you will be able to create some lasting memories with that family of yours. From my family to yours, Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

The Springs Preserve winner is MommaNeecey. Congrad's! I sent you an email:)

Also you have one more day to enter the Usborne Book Place Giveaway. It ends tomorrow.

XO Danielle

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Salsa Egg Burritos

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After a long day of "mommy" chores and such, making dinner is sometimes the last thing I want to do. When I feel that my energy is spent, I turn to some breakfast classics for dinner. One of our favorites is Salsa Egg Burritos. They are easy to whip up in 10 minutes or less. Pair with a fruit salad and you have the making for a healthy, filling dinner for that family of yours. Quick and easy is always my favorite.

Salsa Egg Burritos

8 eggs
1 jar (12 oz) salsa
cheddar cheese, shredded
flour tortillas

Scramble eggs until cooked through in a skillet. Add salsa to frying pan and mix until salsa is heated. Spoon egg mixture into tortillas and top with cheese.

Print recipe HERE

* It is easier and cheaper to whip up a recipe like this,
 than to make a fast food run. Homemade is always better:)  
XO Danielle

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Family Night: Camping at Lake Mead

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 This past weekend we were able to go camping at Lake Mead. It is still to cold to swim in the lake, but it was perfect for hiking and fishing. Hubby taught the littles to fish and start fires (the boy scout way), their Aunt taught them to skip rocks, and we went on a lot of hikes. We were all pretty exhausted when we made it back home, but it was a weekend well spent with family. Lake Mead was a fun place to camp at. It has a quiet camp ground, with bathrooms (a requirement for me when camping), and the water was within walking distance. It also only cost $10 a day to camp there, so it ended up being a pretty thrifty weekend. Those are my favorite :) What plans do you guys and gals have for the weekend?

See more family night ideas HERE.

I also caught up on some reading this weekend and rearranged my pinterest boards:)

XO Danielle

Monday, March 25, 2013

Are You on Pinterest?

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Happy Monday Lovelies! We spent part of our weekend camping (pictures will be posted soon) and the other part vegging out. It was a great balance of indoor/outdoor fun. While we were vegging out, catching up on some of our family favorite Netflix shows, I reorganized all my pinterest boards. I know can we say OCD much? I sure can. It has been bugging me for a while that my boards were not organized, so I finally did it. I finally organized and categorized everything. I also added some new fun boards for you lovelies. There's a wedding board for all you couples awaiting those moments when you take your vows. I have updated the Baby board with some great tips and tricks. There is also some other goodness that you will find on my Pinterest boards as well, so if you don't follow me on pinterest, you can HERE. I pin all the time..... Stuff from Blissful and Domestic, from my favorite blogs, and from all over the web. So check out me out on Pinterest:)

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Follow me on Pinterest HERE.

Check out our Usborne Book Place and Springs Preserve giveaways. Scroll down to enter to win:)

XO Danielle

Springs Preserve Eggstravaganza Giveaway

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 ******* GIVEAWAY CLOSED *******

Good Morning Lovelies! I have an exciting giveaway for you today. This giveaway is for all the locals in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. The Spring's Preserve is giving away 4 passes to their 4th annual Eggstravaganza. The event takes place this Saturday at 10 am (March 30, 2013). It is going to be a lot of fun! "Hop on by for a day filled with festive spring-inspired activities, including an Egg Scavenger Hunt, bunny petting pen, pictures with the Easter Bunny, games, arts and crafts, food, music, entertainment and much more". Parents are free, so you are winning tickets for your munchkins. There are many ways to enter, so hop to it:)

Here's What You Have to Do:

Go to The Springs Preserve Website and let me 
know what your favorite thing to do there is.
Leave me a comment telling me what it is. 

  Follow The Springs Preserve on facebook
Leave me a comment telling me you did. 

Follow Blissful and Domestic
leave me a comment telling me you did

There are many chances to win :)
Leave me a comment below for EACH thing you do.
Don't forget to include your name and email address.

Giveaway will end this Thursday @ 6am.
March 28, 2013 

 ******* GIVEAWAY CLOSED *******

The winner will be announced later that day via facebook and
 contacted so we can get you your passes. 

Please be sure to include your name and email address below. I will need to contact you right after the giveaway ends, so you can get your tickets for the Eggstravaganza this weekend.

XO Danielle

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Usborne Book Place Giveaway

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If you've owned a "That's not my..." book, you'll know how much your little ones love the bright pictures and the great touchy-feely spots on every page. They are perfect for little hands and fingers. They are also greatly loved by babies and toddlers everywhere! Great books for your own littles and wonderful baby shower gifts!  Today Usborne Book Place is giving away one "That's not my animal" book set to a Blissful and Domestic reader.

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Here What You Have to Do:

Go to Usborne Book Place and let me know what your "Thats not my..." book is
Leave me a comment telling me what it is. 

  Follow Usborne Book Place on facebook
Leave me a comment telling me you did. 

Go to UsborneBookPlace and sign up for the newsletter
leave me a comment telling me you did

Follow Blissful and Domestic
leave me a comment telling me you did

Also when you sign up for Usborne Book Place newsletter you will be entered in a drawing for $50 in free books

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So there you have it many chances to win :)
Leave me a comment below for EACH thing you do.
Don't forget to include your name and email address.

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 Giveaway will end this Friday @ 6am.
March 29, 2013

XO Danielle 

Strawberry Lemonade Slushie

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With the temperatures slowly warming up here in the desert, I have been wanting to find some new summer recipes. I espcially wanted to come up with some delicious drink recipes, which my family will enjoy this summer when Vegas hits 100+. I know that is just stupid hot right? Well I know it is coming, which is why I am preapring myself with an arsenal of recipes to keep us cool. This week we have been enjoying strawberry lemonade slushies. We made our own lemonade and then created a yummy, frozen drink. Want to make some for you family today?

Here's how...

Strawberry Lemonade Slushie

5 ice cubes
5 frozen strawberries
2-3 cups lemonade

I filled my Nutri Bullet * with the ice and strawberries. I then filled it with lemonade to the fill line, which is about 2 cups. Blend until ice is crushed and strawberries are blended.

*can use a blender too

Print Recipe HERE

Enjoy Lovelies:)

XO Danielle
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