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Welcome

Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Lisa and this is the premiere of my first blog! So bear with me as we learn about this blogging thing together. This blog will feature many helpful hints on an array of things from recipes that I have tried and succeeded with as well as things to stay far far away from.

A little bit about myself is that I am a full-time student (imagine that! at age 54 I decided to torture myself and go back to school) as well as a full-time caregiver. I’ve been married now for 28 years with 2 grown children who have found their way back home to roost, as well as 3 fur babies that tend to tell me what and when to do things.

Other points that will be included will be of craft projects both successful and disasters. Interesting articles on subjects that interest me and you may find interesting as well.Other topics that I will be sharing will be about writing and ways of improving the craft as well as useful tips to get the creative juicesflowing.

You will find things to do here such as taking surveys, crafting projects, recipes, helpful hints on fun topics and interesting finds on the more serious ones. I have learned a lot in 56 years and want to share that knowledge with you so, let’s have some fun here. Sit back grab a cup of coffee if your visiting in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening and enjoy the ride.

Motto

Giving your all in all that you give.

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The Best Makeup Advice I have Ever Gotten Was From a Man!

Jeffree Star

“Who is Jeffree Star?” was the first question I asked my daughter when she asked me to watch one of his YouTube videos. She responded that Jeffree was an influencer in the beauty industry. The next question I posed was, “What is an influencer?” An influencer is someone in on social media with knowledge in an industry (in this case, it is the beauty industry). My daughter informed me in the case of Jeffree Star, he tries beauty products out and tells his audience precisely what he thinks of the products good or bad. This spiked my interest.

My daughter first introduced me to Jeffree by having me watch a tour of his Pink Closet. My first impression of Jeffree was good Lord this man is BEAUTIFUL, and I want his closet! Prada, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. After watching the video, I was curious to view more of him.

The next video I watched with my daughter was one of his tutorials on make-up application. What impressed me the most was creating stunning looks from beauty products purchased at places like TJ Maxx and of all stores The Dollar Tree! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kpDA8wgOrU

Another bonus that Jeffree does is that he reviews products as well. He gives reviews of products from top-shelf products such as those found at beauty counters in big department stores to those found at the dollar store.

The man not only reviews products and shows tutorials. He also has a product line that not only can be found online https://jeffreestarcosmetics.com/collections/all but can be found at Ulta stores.

What I have learned

When I became a teen for my birthday, I got a Merle Norman gift certificate to learn about how to apply to make up. After watching Jeffree, I learned that I have been doing it all wrong. I learned about the importance of using a primer before applying the foundation and the importance of a setting spray. It has been amazing. My problem with my make up is that it never stays. I always look washed out after 6 hours, but after following some of his tips and tricks, my make up can remain intact for 8 plus hours with just a couple of touch-ups.

I have also taken his advice on applying eye shadow, giving my eyes a dramatic look. However, I do tone down the amount of color that I use. I recommend checking out this influencer. After watching him once, I am hooked and you will be too!

Stuffed Sandwich Loaf

i came across this recipe about twenty some odd years ago when I was a charter subscriber to a magazine called A Taste of Home. I thought that it would be a perfect addition to my traditional Christmas Eve buffet. That was 20 years ago, and ever since it has become a family favorite. I hope that it will become one of your family favorite no matter the occaision.

Ingredients:

  • Bread dough (either frozen or made from scratch)
  • Condiment
  • Deli Meat
  • Cheese
  • Egg wash

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 400

Allow bread dough to rise at least two times before beginning.

Roll out bread dough into a 9 x 13 rectangle or as close to it as possible.

Rolled out dough

Spread condiment evenly over dough

Layer meat and cheese

Make even cuts into dough

Braid dough covering meat and cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap and a warm dish towel and let rise until it has doubled in size.

Brush loaf with egg wash and add sesame or poppy seeds if desired.

Bake at 400 for 35 min.

Let cool for 30 mins and slice.

Enjoy!

Fillings:

Roast beef and Provolone:

     ½ lb. Deli sliced Roast Beef (thin)

     ½ lb. provolone cheese (thin sliced)

    Condiment- Combine 2t. horseradish and 2T. Mayo

     6 pepperoncini peppers (stems removed)

Ham and Cheese:

1/2lb. Deli sliced Ham (thin)

½ lb. swiss cheese

Condiment- 2T any kind of mustard (I prefer either a Dijon or Stone ground mustard)

Turkey and Pepper Jack:

1/2lb. Deli sliced Turkey (thin)

1/2lb pepper jack cheese (thinly sliced)

3 slices partially cooked bacon cut in half

Condiment- Combine 2t. Italian salad dressing and 2T mayo

Pepperoni and Mozzarella:

1/2lb. deli pepperoni (thin sliced)

1/2lb. deli Mozzarella Cheese (thin sliced)

Condiment- 2T. pizza sauce

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around The Ole Oak Tree

So, the song goes, ” Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree. It’s been three long years do you still want me?” Recorded in 1973 by the musical group Tony Orlando and Dawn. Many people thought the song was about a man returning home from prison, wondering if his sweetheart had waited for him. That is incorrect. It is written on the premise of a man returning home from the war. He has written a letter to his sweetheart, inquiring if she’d wait for his return. This song has been the inspiration for the Old Glory Honor Yellow Ribbon Flight Program for the Veterans of the Vietnam War. What is the Old Glory Honor Flight? The Old Glory Honor Flight or Yellow Ribbon Flight is the opportunity for Veterans from WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Wars to go to our Nation’s Capital to view the memorials erected in their honor. The trip is an experience of a lifetime. Veterans from the Korean and the Vietnam war never received the huge Welcome Home For these Veterans; there was no ticker-tape parade or a Hero’s Welcome Home. The Honor Flight and the Yellow Ribbon Flights is a way for family, friends, and the community to give these service people the Welcome Home that denied them when they first came home more than 50 years ago. 

Veteran interviewed by a local television station

The Itinerary

Once the plane lands in Washington DC. The Veterans, accompanied by their “Guardians,” are greeted by crowds of people trying to shake the hands of Veterans, thanking them for their service. Once out of the airport, the Veterans are off to visit the memorials erected in their honor.

The memorials that are visited

  • World War I memorial
  • World War II memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Vietnam Wall
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • The Washington Memorial

Returning Home

After a day full of excitement and gratitude, there is still another surprise that awaits the Veterans. The highlight of any service person overseas is receiving mail and care packages from home. 

As the flight returns home, the announcement “MAIL CALL” is made. Each Veteran receives a large envelope filled with letters from family, friends, and even strangers thanking them for their service.

Outagamie Airport Appleton, WI

Whether landing at Ronald Reagan International Airport or our own Outagamie Airport crowds gather to welcome these Veterans home, for some, it’s the first time. Whether the Veteran is from the eras of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and eventually, Iraqi and Afghanistan, the Honor Flight Program, is an experience of a lifetime.

Why Settle for Boring When You can make it POP!

Decoupaging boring switch plates with fabric or paper
Decoupaging boring switch plates with fabric or paper

When I was a newlywed and most often broke, I needed to come up with ways to decorate my home on a budget. Being a Crafter, one of a Crafter’s staples next to your handy dandy glue gun is Mod Podge. If you have a jar of Mod Podge, you can do anything.

One day as I was feeding my Pinterest addiction pinning anything and everything that I wanted to do or attempt to do. I came across a pin that someone else did the very thing that I did to all my switch plates in my home when I was a newlywed. The title was “I Love to Create”: Fabric Covered Light Switch Plates.

As I delved deeper into this topic of covering those boring beige or white plates, I found more mediums to use that I never considered when I did them in the past. I have seen instructions for recycling cereal boxes utilizing the image of the character for children’s rooms and the nature-themed rooms like the bathroom using twigs and seashells.

The individual who had posted the pin stated that she and a friend even used catalogs, magazines, and even comic books to transform those hideous and annoying plate covers. Also though the pin is from 2009, the technique can stand the test of time, especially as crafters think of new mediums to use besides paper, fabric, or contact paper.

Applying fabric with Mod Podge to a light switch plate

Why stop with just the light switch or outlet covers expand the theme. You can take a cheap battery operated the clock and transform that as well to go with the light switch and outlet covers. This pin is a perfect way to transform any room and beyond on a budget.

How Did you become So Creative

Creativity. Some people are born with it. There are some like myself, it is acquired through eating paste as a child. That is usually my response when I’m asked: ” How did you become so creative?” Seriously I attribute my creativity to spending over ten years participating in 4H, being broke, and boredom.

What did 4H teach me?

It all began with my mother talking with a neighbor whose daughter was in a 4H group. My mother then contacted the group leader and got me into the group. The first thing I wanted to learn to do was crochet. I wanted to learn how to do this first because I learned how to do the chain stitch (base stitch) from an elderly lady who lived next door to my grandparents. A creative genius was born. As I grew up in the 4H community, I learned to work with different mediums.

Being Broke

When I first got married, we didn’t have much of anything, but we could afford cable. Oh, the ideas that birthed with channels like HGTV and the DIY channels. These channels demonstrated some excellent ideas with programs like Decorating Cents and Trash to Treasure. Of course, these shows are no longer on HGTV. These shows demonstrated simple ways to repurpose things that you’d throw out without a second thought. My husband cringed every time I returned home after dumpster diving.

Boredom

What do you do when you get bored? For me, it’s an easy fix; it’s called Pinterest. Pinterest is chock full of ideas to not only relieve boredom but made my husband cringe and roll his eyes. Thirty-plus boards with topics ranging from cooking ideas, recipes, and hacks to DIY decor. There is never a dull minute when I begin to get that hint of becoming bored. I have had tremendous success with the different projects I have also found the most shocking yet funny failures.

The App that I Can’t Live Without

Amazon Kindle App

The one Mobile App that I can not live without is my Kindle App for Android. I have this App not only on my phone but on both my tablets as well. Kindle is a reading app that was developed by Amazon’s book division. 

What can the Kindle App Do?

The Kindle App allows you to download and read anything from Magazines to textbooks. The best thing is that you are not limited to reading your book selection; you can also opt for the audible App to accompany the book. The audible App is a feature that has either celebrities or the author read the book. Audible is excellent if you want to listen to the text on your commute to work or a long trip. I have not utilized this feature but know people who do, and they love it. At this time, the audible feature is not yet available to textbooks or magazines

How do I find books to read?

You can find Kindle books on Amazon. You have a choice either you can purchase the eBook or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. Books on Amazon start at free, and the price goes up from there, depending on the book. The average novel is approximately $4.99, that includes new releases and best sellers. The Kindle Unlimited subscription is $9.99 per month and allows you to download up to ten books per month from a massive selection of books and magazines of all genres. What I prefer to do is subscribe to The Fussy Librarian. The Fussy Librarian sends you daily emails of free Amazon book downloads.

I like using my kindle app in the Kitchen when I’m cooking. All I do is open up my downloaded recipe book and go from there. It’s convenient because there is no bulky cookbook taking up counter space. From my Kindle library, I can select a craft book and keep my tablet or phone nearby to follow the directions again; this saves on space.

Whether you primarily use a phone or tablet, the Kindle App is a great way to read on the go. The Kindle app keeps a library of all your downloads so you can read any book any time or anywhere.

Learning to Blog: Starting Out

Blogging Formats

When I began this journey, I barely knew what a blog was, let alone how to write one. The whole idea of having a blog was very intimidating to me, but learning to Blog is fun and challenging. There are many resources for the novice blogger.
In creating my Blog, I went to Pinterest and searched the site about learning to Blog. Under the heading of learning to Blog, there are so many pins on the subject, it can be overwhelming. The first task that I completed was to take a New Blogger Personality Quiz, this short quiz assesses your personality and your preferences on the web. For myself, the questionnaire revealed that the Blog that would best fit me would be :
Lifestyle/Personal Brand Blog,
Passion Subject Blog,
Broad Niche Blog,
Crash-Test-Dummy Blog
I chose to go with a Lifestyle/Personal Brand Blog. The reason why I chose this topic is the mere fact that I can not narrow my interests to just one issue or subject.

Creating a new Blog


Once you have the type of Blog you want to create, the next step is to find a platform. My best advice is to keep it simple. Two sites that are great for beginners are WordPress or Wix because they are free!. Who doesn’t like free? Once you begin to get the hang of learning to Blog, these sites offer options to upgrade your website where you will be able to make money from the site. How cool is that?
Learning to Blog can be daunting, the beautiful thing about Wix and WordPress is they offer tutorials on how to get started, the rest is up to you. Once you have gained confidence in yourself and your writing, keep learning to Blog because blogs and blogging are always evolving, and it’s best to still be in the know. So, bring your ideas, your passions, and Grandma’s secret recipe and share it with the world.

It’s Almost Here! Let’s Bust Some Black Friday Myths

Thanksgiving is almost here, and what goes with this holiday? Black Friday sales. There is so much hype about Black Friday, but the question remains what they say about Black Friday true? With the help from 5 Black Friday Myths That Are Straight-Up Lies, let’s bust some of those myths.

Myth: Coupons are not honored on Black Friday.
Fact: Coupons can be used on Black Friday, in fact, some stores let you stack coupons.
Myth: Stores do not price match on Black Friday.
Fact: Instead of shopping at the store where the item is on sale. Take the ad and go to another retailer offering the same product.
Myth: Doorbusters are reserved only for the first 10 people
Fact: Skip the crowds, because some stores like Kohls and Target offer their Doorbusters online.
Myth: Black Friday is the best time of year to buy everything.
Fact: This is false. Many times stores have better sales on certain products during the year than on Black Friday.

Black Friday is just around the corner, and we can still take advantage of the Doorbusters and super sales. We can do this either before online or even venturing out to stores after the rush is over.

Profile in Fondant

Today we are sitting with a Decorating Goddess Chloe Tollard. Chloe is a cake decorator at Tamara’s in Oshkosh, WI. I wanted to sit down with Chloe and ask what had inspired her to become a cake decorator and where she will eventually want to go with it. The interview is as follows:

Interviewer: Tell me about where you grew up and what your family life was like?

Chloe:” I grew up in Oshkosh, WI, with my parents and brother. My family life was fun, my Mom, brother, and I were always doing crafty things when my Dad would go Deer hunting.”

Interviewer: How did your parents influence you?

Chloe: “I have my work ethic and sense of humor from my Father, and from my Mother, I have my creativity.”

Interviewer: Where did you go to school?

Chloe: “I attended school in Oshkosh, WI, and I graduated from Oshkosh North High School. “

Interviewer: Who have been the strongest influences in your life?

Chloe: “My strongest influences have been my Mom and my Aunt Patti. Both took the time to do crafts with me.”

Interviewer: What led you to your career?

Chloe: “I was working in the Deli department of a grocery store in Milwaukee, WI. It was a dead-end job, and when I was about to quit, the manager approached me and asked if I would like to try cake decorating, and I eagerly replied YES!. After a few weeks of decorating classes, here I am. I like to refer to it as a happy accident.”

Interviewer: How would friends and acquaintances describe you?

Chloe: ” My friends and acquaintances consider me a free spirit that thinks up the fun and crazy things to do.”

Interviewer: What are you most proud of accomplishing?

Chloe: “How far I have come with perfecting my craft, learning from others as well as what I learn on my own.”

Interviewer: What would you have done differently if you had a chance?

Chloe: Looking back, I think that I would have attended Pastry School, who knows where I’d be now if I did.”

Interviewer: Share with me something about yourself that you want to improve?

Chloe: ” I am always working on improving my skills and challenging myself with new techniques and design with my craft. “

Interviewer: Describe a scene of your vision for the future.

Chloe: I picture myself possible, creating cake designs for a larger establishment.”

Author’s Note: Chloe is a very personable young woman who is not interested in either owning her own business nor entering significant competitions. Though she has been approached by the Food Network and spots on local television, she is content with making her cakes at her current location.

Save Money? Let’s Go Shopping!

The one thing that our parents and as parents, we tell our children is, ” Be good and save your money.” But that’s no fun! Is there a way that we can do both? Of course, there is it’s called Thrifting. Thrifting is a godsend to those who are supposed to be saving their money.

Oh, the deals you will find!

There is nothing like saying JACKPOT when you find that Michael Kors purse or those Coach shoes at a mere $20.00 or $30.00. Or better yet finding that one of a kind sweater at a Consignment shop! So, what if it’s a little worn, in some cases the tags are still on it.

Rationale

You found that deal of the century now you have to rationalize the purchase. Well, that’s easy! Do the math. If you went to the high-end store and purchased the Michael Kors purse, the average price is between $150 – $250, and if you find it for only $20 or even $50 you’ve saved at the bare minimum of $100! 

Emoticon with a pleasing expression

Emoticon with a pleasing expression

Where do I find these incredible deals?

Thrift stores are the perfect place to satisfy that designer’s craving. According to Money Crashers, the best thrift stores are Goodwill, St Vincent De Paul, and Salvation Army. There is one thing to remember is the location. If you are going to do some serious thrifting, I suggest going to one of these establishments in a bigger city like Milwaukee, Chicago, Green Bay and etc. Bigger cities have more people with money to spend and donate barely used belongings to charitable organizations.

Next time: Ways to get those fabulous finds in the house without your husband finding out.