Monday, August 31, 2015


 CROCK POT GUMBO
 

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups frozen cut okra
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14.5 ounce size) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (12 ounce size) frozen shelled deveined cooked medium shrimp, rinsed
1 1/2 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
3 cups water
 

In small saucepan, combine flour and oil; mix well. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.This is your Roux. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until mixture turns reddish brown. Place flour-oil mixture in 3 1/2 to 4 quart Crockpot.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except shrimp, rice and water. Cover; cook on low setting for 7-9 hours. When ready to serve, cook rice in water as directed on package. Meanwhile, add shrimp to gumbo mixture in crockpot; mix well. Cover; cook on low setting for additional 20 minutes. Serve gumbo over rice

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Activated Charcoal Soap Has Arrived!


Our new Unscented Activated Charcoal soap. Activated charcoal is said to tighten pores and smooth the skin. It also reduces inflammation, which is significant in preventing premature aging.

This mask is perfect for oily and acne prone skin, but is safe to use on most skin types.  For even better results, steam your skin to open pores before applying the mask.

Added benefits of activated charcoal is that it can help speed up healing of wounds. It helps eliminate itchiness from skin irritants or allergies. Activated charcoal can also help eliminate body odor underarms, feet and scalp.  Lastly, it helps reduce cellulite. So what do you have to lose? Try this soap and our Charcoal facial cleanser. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

50 HOUSEHOLD TIPS & TRICKS



Most people are watching their dollars and working off a budget to make ends meet. Many are also now looking for natural alternatives to live a more wholesome and chemical free life. Following are a few ways in which you can have both of the above. These uses are becoming more prevalent and are easy to do it yourself. So, here are great easy uses for common household items to make your life more chemical free and your wallet a little fatter.

THIS IS LONG BUT SO TOTALLY AWESOME AND INFORMATIVE!!!!!

1) Toothpaste: Buff a CD/DVD
Apply toothpaste to a cotton ball and wipe the disc. Wash with water afterwards and you’ve got a brand new disc!

2) Cornstarch: Untangle Knots
Sprinkling cornstarch into tough knots, such as shoe laces helps loosen them.

3) Walnut: Buff Dings out of Wood Furniture
Get rid of unsightly scratches and dings on wood furniture by rubbing a walnut on the areas. The blemishes will vanish quickly and your furniture and pocket book will be saved.

4) Club Soda: Make Your Breads Fluffier
When baking, where recipes call for water, add club soda instead to make pancakes, waffles and any other breads fluffier.

5) Salt: Keep Windows Frost Free
Pour a cup of salt into a liter of water. Sponge the liquid onto the inside of window to prevent frost from forming during the winter months.

6) Rubbing Alcohol: Remove Permanent Marker
Dab the surface that has the permanent marker on it with a cloth or cotton ball covered in rubbing alcohol to make it disappear quickly.

7) Chap stick: Stops Bleeding When Nicked Shaving
Cut yourself shaving? Just swipe some chap stick over the cut to stop that constant bleeding. No more tissue squares!
Apple Juice: Removes Dandruff
 

Don’t ask how it works, but it does! Instead of buying a special shampoo, just wash your hair in apple juice to rid your scalp of pesky dandruff.

9) Aspirin: Get Rid of Armpit Stains on T-Shirts
Grind up an aspirin tablet or two, then make a paste out of it using water, lemon or vinegar. Spread the paste on the stained area and let sit for an hour before washing.

10) Olive Oil: Make Pets’ Coat Shinier
Add a bit of olive oil to your pet’s food to give them a healthier, shinier coat of fur.

11) Newspapers: Clean Windows and Mirrors
Instead of using a spray and a streaky cloth, use only newspaper to clean off your mirrors and windows for a streak-free finish.

12) Baking Soda: Remove Bugs from Windshield
Mix baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste over your windshield for fifteen minutes. Then wipe or spray off with a hose.

13) Bleach: Extend Life of Flowers in Vase
Add a few drops of bleach to vase water to prevent the build-up of the slime caused by bacteria. It works just like chlorine in a swimming pool.

14) Kitchen Dish Soap: Flea-Killing Dog Shampoo
Kitchen dish soap (not dish detergent) can double as dog shampoo for its flea killing abilities.

15) Coke: Remove Blood Stains from Clothing
Soak the stain in coke until the stain is dissolved, then wash the clothing as usual. Wash before the coke dries, though.

16) Honey: Remove Blemish Overnight
Have a blemish you need to get rid of by tomorrow? Put a dab of honey on the blemish and cover it up (it’s best to use a Band-Aid) and the honey’s natural antibacterial properties will clean out the bacteria by the morning.

17) Wax Paper: Clean Can Opener Gears
Run a few small strips of wax paper through the can opener to clean out of the bits and pieces that have built up in the gears throughout the year. The wax will also rub off on the gears to protect for future use as well.

18) WD-40: Remove Crayons from Walls
Use the lubricant and a cloth to remove stubborn crayon marks from the walls just by spraying the wall and wiping with a cloth.

19) Chalk: Keep Ants and Slugs Out of the House
Ants and Slugs Won’t Touch Chalk. So, simply draw a line in front of your doorway where you are having problems with these pesky critters and they won’t cross it, meaning they won’t be able to get into your house.

20) Vinegar: Kills Weeds and Helps Flowers Grow
Vinegar is a magic wonder when it comes to gardening. It not only kills weeds but they help flowers grow as well. Douse vinegar all around your garden to prevent weeds from popping up and to help your flowers to grow healthy and strong.

21) Mayonnaise: Remove Bumper Sticker
Spread mayonnaise on the bumper sticker and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Then, rub the sticker off with a towel, leaving a clean bumper!

22) Tin Foil Ball: Replace Dryer Sheets Permanently
Instead of using a dryer sheet ball up one or a few sheets of tin foil and toss it in the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes and one can last up to a year.

23) Banana Peel: Polish Leather Shoes
Use the inside of a banana peel to give shoes a professional and natural shine that will last for quite some time.

24) Mouthwash: Cure Athlete’s Foot
Pour mouthwash on cotton balls and then swab your feet. The alcohol will disinfect the bacteria completely if you continue this for a week or so.

25) Baking Soda: Clean BBQ Grill
Mix a cup of baking soda with half a cup water to make a paste. Dip your brush into the paste and scrub the grill. The caked on pieces and black residue will come off much quicker and using baking soda is much safer and cheaper than using cleaning chemicals.

26) Coffee Grounds: Fertilizer
Coffee is full of nutrients and vitamins that are very beneficial to soil. That’s why some people include it in compost piles. If you want to get the most out of your coffee, pour the grounds on areas where you want more grass or flowers.

27) Olive Oil: Shaving Cream
The smoothness of the oil can replace the need for shaving cream, and it also provides great moisture.

28) Dryer Sheets: Gets Rid of Static Electricity
Use dryer sheets to remove static electricity from things such as clothing, TV screens or your own hair. Tame fly away strands by running a dryer sheet over them.

29) Freezer: Freeze Candles to Make Them Last Longer
Put candles in the freezer for at least 2 hours before using. Once you burn them, the wax will melt at a much slower pace, making them last much longer!

30) Two glasses of water: Cure Headache
Water is the cure to most common headaches. To make the headache go away quickly, drink two cups of water very quickly.

31) Lemons: Deodorize Garbage Disposal
Toss whole slices of lemon into the garbage disposal then run it. The acidity of the lemon will rid your sink of all odors and leave a fresh scent that usually lasts for a few months.

32) Alka Seltzer: Remove Burnt-On Grease and Food Stains
When letting your pots and pans soak, throw in one or two Alka Seltzer tablets and the caked on residue from cooking will come off easily when you scrub/wash.

33) Apple Cider Vinegar: Relieve Diarrhea
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into eight ounces of water to soothe your stomach. The taste may not be the greatest, but the antibacterial properties of the vinegar will end the unpleasantness of the bowel problems.

34) Toothpaste: Remove Scratches from Glass
Apply toothpaste to scratch, then rub with a cloth until the scratch is gone. Make sure the glass is clean beforehand.

35) Cheerios: Relieve Pain from Poison Ivy, Chickenpox and Sunburns
Pound one to four cups of Cheerios into a powder and add to your bath to soothe your skin while you soak. You may not feel relief while in the tub, but you will soon after.

36) Buttons: Sort Earrings
Organize your earrings and prevent them from becoming entangled by using spare buttons as holders for each pair.

37) Corn Oil: Prevent Hairballs for Pets
Add a few drops of corn oil to your pets’ food to prevent hairballs from forming. The thick oil helps the fur pass through the animal’s system much quicker and easily.

38) Whipped Cream: Remove Gum from Hair
There are many remedies for removing gum from hair, but this is a lesser known one. Give it a try rather than peanut butter the next time you’re in need.

39) Coke: Remove Oil Stains from the Driveway
Oil stains are very difficult to remove pavement, but one method guaranteed to work is Coke. The highly acidic drink will eat away at the oil until clean.

40) Brown Sugar: Facial Scrub
A scrub is good to do about once a month to remove dead skin and bacteria built up in pores and remove excess oil from the skin. Brown sugar does just as well as expensive products and will definitely result in a clearer and smoother complexion.

41) Dryer Sheet: Lint Brush
You already know that dryer sheets remove lint in the dryer. Well, it can do the same thing out of the dryer, too. When you’re in a fix, use a dryer sheet. It works just as well as a lint brush, and if you like the scent, it’s an added bonus.

42) Newspaper: Deodorize food containers and Food Drawers in the Refrigerator
For that stinky Tupperware or smelly refrigerator drawer that is too much to deal with, toss in a sheet of newspaper overnight before you deal with it. The paper will absorb the smell greatly reducing it or eliminating it completely.

43) Olive Oil: Unstick a Zipper
The oil will help the zipper slide more easily, fixing the problem! Works on everything except for 'what got caught' in the "Something About Mary" scene! grin emoticon

44) Salt: Cool Something Quickly
You know that feeling when you’re having a BBQ and someone asks for a drink and you realize that no one has put them in the cooler? There’s nothing worse than a warm drink on a hot day. Chill a drink quickly, by adding salt and water to your ice. The drinks will be cold in a matter of minutes; saving your party and making you look smart all at once.

45) Scotch Tape: Prevent Wall from Chipping When Nailing
The wall can leave unsightly chips when hammering in a nail. Prevent this by simply placing a piece of scotch tape over the area you’re going to nail. The wall will be held tighter, preventing chips from occurring.

46) Alka Seltzer: Soothe Insect Bites
Dissolve two tablets into a glass of water. Then use a cloth or cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. The red will go down and most importantly, the itchiness will vanish usually in fifteen minutes.

47) Lemon: Whitens Whites
Add about half a cup of lemon juice to your load of whites to makes them extra white. You can use lemon juice with bleach or detergent, so don’t worry about mixing chemicals with the acidic lemon.

48) Banana Peel: Whiten Teeth
This may sound a little odd, but rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth twice a day for two weeks and you will receive the same effect from a teeth-whitening kit. Plus, you’ll save yourself money and the hassle of using chemicals.

49) Hair Dryer: Free Photos Stuck on Pages
If you have a photo stuck on a page that you can’t get free, try using a blow dryer on the back of the page. It will loosen the photo from the page and the adhesive holding it there.

50) Banana Peel: Heal Most Skin Problems
Bananas are the magical fruit, because they heal many common problems on the skin. By rubbing the peel on your skin, you can heal bruises and cuts and eliminate rashes, itching and warts. Basically if you have a common skin problem, it can be cured by this fruit.

I hope you can put some or all of these to good use to save money and make your home a safer environment.  I haven't personally tried all of these yet but I think they are worth giving a try!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How To Disconnect From Business On Vacation


Travel can help you broaden your horizons, forget about life and business stress and catch up on some much needed “me time.” But disconnecting from a business you own isn’t always simple. In fact, one study of small business owners conducted by OnDeck Capital revealed that though 57% will take a vacation this year, 67% of them will check on work at least once a day during their trip.
  


Here are a few simple tips to help you reap the many benefits of a vacation, without putting your business at risk. 

Stimulate your creative energy.
  


Creative ideas often runneth over when you’re in the early phases of entrepreneurship. But once you’re up and running, your days can become so reactive to urgent needs that there’s little time left to focus on fresh, innovative and improved ways of doing business.

The simple enjoyments of vacation--like exploring a new town, riding bikes alongside the beach, or taking leisurely morning walks--are also perfect ways to reinvigorate your creative juices.Walking (especially outdoors) improved creativity—and had lasting residual effects on heart and brain health. When you recognize that vacation “downtime” contributes to the good of your business, it’s easier to allow yourself to take time away, without feeling that you “should” be working.

Establish a communications plan.
  


Create a list of the “must do” tasks that have to be completed before you leave, so you can focus your energy in the days leading up to your trip, and don’t have to wrap up loose ends during travel. If you intend to check in with work while you’re away, move the files you’ll need to a cloud-based platform that you can access through your hotel or in-flight Wi-Fi and that your staff can access as well.

Plan for how and when you can be reached (professionally and personally) before you depart to minimize incoming phone calls and “phone tag.” Designate a point person to reference in your “out of office” auto responder. 

 
Inform key clients, vendors and staff that you will have limited “working hours” during your trip. (Ideally, spend no more than one hour a day on work.) Set an alarm on your computer indicating when it’s time to shut down—and stick to it. 

Establish a private Gmail account that you can use to access travel arrangements so you don’t have to see the contents of your business inbox when you retrieve them. Share the email address only with those people you want to stay in touch with while you’re away.

Detach from your mobile device.


This is the most important part of being on vacation is turning of your mobile device. We are in the day and age where we just have to be online at all times or looking at our phones and on social media. We are addicted to it and its a shame that our entire lives revolve around being online.  Turning my device off for any extended period of time is not a worry for me but  at times I depend on social media, my website and other venues where I sell so it is important to have my devices on at all times and for others who have small business, it can be very difficult.  

Easing your reliance on your mobile device can facilitate the mental shift you need to change gears on vacation. If you leverage social media updates as a marketing strategy, schedule your posts in advance before you leave, and task someone on staff to respond to customer comments as needed. Take advantage of wake up calls offered by your hotel's front desk instead of waking up to your smartphone. Talk to your hotel’s concierge staff, bartenders and locals who can tip you off to the must-see locales and restaurants in lieu of online review sites. 

Though these vacation hacks are small in practice, they’re significant in their collective ability to empower you to emerge from vacation as a refreshed, renewed and refueled entrepreneur. 

Now lets go and enjoy that vacation. You deserve it

Thanks for stopping by
Michelle 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015