The holidays will be here before you know it and you may be called upon to make your famous deviled eggs. Oh, wait. That’s me. My family, church, and friends like my deviled eggs. What can I say? I’ve mastered the deviled egg. What I haven’t mastered is being able to get the shell off the egg without ripping it to shreds. It’s a crap shoot, really, as to how many eggs out of a dozen will make it to the serving tray. Hopefully, this will help save time and money.
The Scent of the Season
Sometimes, adding a scent to the air isn’t about removing the smell of boys and wet dog from the house. It’s about adding just the right scent to enhance the season or occasion. Try one of these for an inexpensive, creative, and natural way to make your home smell like a memory in the making.
Although there are many, many alternatives to you cooking a meal (carry out, take out, meal prep, fresh meal delivery, etc.), chances are you’ll still have your time at the stove. Chances are also that many a recipe will include onions. Rather than cry into your food, try this tip for holding back the onion tears.
Big Bang For Your Buck
A coat or two of paint is an inexpensive way to freshen up the look of a room. It’s the fumes that can make the new and improved room hard to handle. Here’s a way to enjoy a new color on the walls and not have to deal with the fumes that linger behind.
Double Duty Shower Caps
A lot of us have to travel for our jobs. If not, we travel for pleasure. How many of us have taken pause when it comes to packing shoes? No need to scratch your head over this. Use a cheap plastic shower cap to pack your shoes in.
Keep It In The Closet
One of my all-time pet peeves about my kitchen is under the sink clutter. I can never find or reach anything without pulling everything out first. It’s maddening. Then, I saw the idea to re-purpose a hanging shoe organizer. Now, now only is the under the sink clutter gone, cleaning supplies are safely stored and organized in a location that was previously not being used. Win!
Commandment #11 - Carry Straws!
Not that I’m a germophobe but I do wonder just how clean can tops, bottles, and glasses are. …and don’t start with “but if the glass isn’t clean then the contents are contaminated.” I can’t think about that now. I’ll think about that tomorrow. In the meantime, carry clean straw in a toothbrush holder. Cool, huh?
Lucky Number 13…And The Best Hack of All
If you have kids or a husband/boyfriend, you absolutely need a bottle of this homemade solution around at all times. Who knew white vinegar, the blue Dawn dish soap and hot water was a miracle cleaner?? I’ve actually used this recipe to clean the upholstery in my husband’s car. IT WORKS! Now we use it to clean the shower, the oven (when mixed with baking soda) and so many other things. Trust me! You’ll want to try this!
This seems like a “no brainer” but I’ll bet so many students have never thought of it! Have your student take a pic of their class schedule and use the pic as their lock screen wall paper. Voila! No searching for a paper schedule. Just look at the phone screen to know which class is next!
I have been accused, more than once, of being an idealist. I believe in things being fair and I believe in “doing onto others the way I’d like them to do unto me.” I believe in the magic of sunrises and love to fall asleep in the glow of moonlight. I am a die-hard optimist. I believe in hope and always root for the under-dog. What can I tell you? I live in a fairytale.
One of the coolest things about my husband is that he’s also my best friend. He’s always down to do any stupid thing I want…though I usually don’t rush right in to play his stupid video games or watch endless hours of soccer with him (a marriage double-standard, for sure). What a cool way to show him he’s married to his best friend, too! Don’t want to cook on Valentine’s Day? The winner picks the place to go for dinner.
These super cute bath bombs are shaped like hearts and includes rose petals. Help her treat herself to a relaxing bath in preparation for the romantic dinner you have planned. She'll feel like queen for a day, especially if you run the bath water and light some candles.
Today's ladies are becoming more and more glamorous. They know how to apply their makeup, wear faux lashes, and paint the perfect pout. Show her you see her effort and appreciate how beautiful she is with this eye shadow palette. This particular palette is a hot item at the moment and a serious plus is that it smells like a chocolate bar.
The ear buds that come with the phone are just so blah. These ear buds are super chic, aren't they? She'll love them!
Awesome Wife Gifts/Ideas
You can't go wrong with perfume but the presentation will make all the difference! Why not fill a box with a dozen roses and place her favorite perfume in the middle. We're suckers for pretty packaging!
As you know, we love our handbags! We'll really a handbag that you give to us - especially if it's a new spring color!
Consider gifting your special lady a pair of diamond hoop earrings. The earrings will go with any outfit, are small enough to be affordable, and (when you're both ready) the earrings can be traded in for the purchase of a new, larger pair or hoops. Accessorizing and investing...these are two of my favorite things!
In the end, kind sirs, just remember that your wife or girlfriend will like any gift you give her as long as it's thoughtful.
Still haven’t seen a workout that fits your personality? Try one of these holiday heart pumpers to keep Christmas calories at bay.
store bought croissants
leftover cranberry sauce
Split croissants in half with a bread knife and toast them.
On the bottom half layer stuffing (warm if you want), gravy (warmed), sliced turkey, and cranberry sauce.
On the top half spread cream cheese. This is a little tricky because the croissant is really delicate and the cream cheese requires a bit of brute force to spread around, so swipe it on in blobs if it’s cold and stubborn.
The King of Comfort Foods: Pot Pie
Not Soup. Gumbo!
My parents have always been big into gratitude. It started with teaching us manners like saying “thank you” for everything gifted or done for us kids. Then gratitude took the form of “understanding the value of a dollar” and learning how much work it took to earn the money that bought those sneakers. Later, gratitude was understanding that although we didn’t have everything we wanted, we should be happy with what we have; that there were “children all over the world who would love to have what you have.”
Prepare the pie…crust, filling, and top crust then freeze it. Just wrap the pie in plastic wrap and foil before freezing and add twenty to forty-five minutes of extra cooking time to your recipe on bake day. Voila!
For this game, you’ll need a big floor-sized easel, flip chart paper and markers. Write Thanksgiving themed words on little pieces of paper or popsicle sticks and put them all in a bowl. The objective of the game for each team to guess the word or phrase being drawn by their team-artist. At the end of the playing time, the team with the most correct guesses wins!
You’ve cooked for an army. They’ve eaten all they could (probably more than they should have) and there’s still a ton of food left. How’s about sending each family home with a bag of leftovers? Make a stop at the local dollar store and get the foil carryout/take out containers. As you’re cleaning up after dinner and preparing to store food, you can scoop out leftovers for guests ensuring that everyone can enjoy your meal at least one more time.
If you are just dead on your feet and can manage a nap, don’t take a long one. A 20-30 minute catnap can work wonders on your energy level. A long nap can make it harder to fall asleep at night as you won’t be tired.
Exercise is a great way to help wake your body up and get ready for the day thanks to the serotonin that is released. I’m not much of a morning exerciser but when I do, it is always better than coffee. The same goes with exercising after work. Nothing makes me sleep better than a good workout (provided the workout isn’t too late in the evening).
Good luck with the time change!
If you didn’t see your favorite horror movie on the list, leave the title in the comments below. We’d love to include some new titles ion our list!
This looks like something you’d find in Frankenstein’s laboratory. Can you say, “don’t drink the water?”
A Halloween decoration you can make from old toilet paper rolls? You can get creep-tastic and be environmentally friendly. Win!
I love this because it’s a funny take on a really creepy crime.
This one will work for the PG-13 trick-or-treaters.
This is something boys will like more than girls…but’s it’s still way awesome!
What could be more Halloweeny that a syringe of blood turned upside down in a glass of green liquid?
This drinks looks like what a mad piece of candy corn would look like.
See? Halloween doesn’t have to be scary or expensive to be enjoyed. We have these ideas and other on our Pinterest board, search @jbmhhfmwr. If you see something you like, be sure to like it. If you post any pics on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to tag us @jbmhhfmwr. We’d love to see how much you and your crew enjoyed Halloween!
I've always heard that time moves faster the older you get. I couldn’t understand that while I was a teenager. In my twenties, I was moving too fast to listen. In my thirties, I was too busy building a career to care. Now that I’m 45 - and fabulous :), I know exactly what that means. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, it was Memorial Day. The reality is it’s almost Halloween. …and I’m ok with that! I love fall or hadn’t you noticed?!
Which brings us to the October/Halloween Pic Challenge (see below). Have a lot of fun with this challenge! Have even more fun by inviting family and friends to participate in the challenge with you! We at Family & MWR like to think of ourselves as your friend so be sure to tag us (@jbmhhfmwr) if you post your pics on social media. We can’t wait to see what’s going on in your world!
- The word autumn is funny-sounding. …and we only use it during a specific time of year.
- The colors of the trees is definitely something to smile about; from the brightest gold color to the most intense red. …just gorgeous.
- Mini-marshmallows. Nothing more to say about this.
- Caramel apples.
- Caramel apples with nuts.
- Fireplaces. They’re warm and romantic.
- The way a warm mug of something slowly warms your body and hands.
- Halloween. Halloween parties. Halloween movies. Halloween candy. Halloween decorations.
- Coming into the house on a cold day to the aroma of dinner cooking.
- Autumn scented candles.
- Let the kiddos release some pent-up energy at one of the many playgrounds found throughout Rock Creek Park, followed up by a refuel with lunch at one of 30 picnic locations. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a horseback ride, or rent a bicycle and feel the crisp breeze take over as you coast down one of the paved bike paths. Another option: spend an afternoon playing 18 holes at the public golf course.
- Fall is the perfect time to lace up your hiking boots and trek down the C&O Canal, which traces the Potomac River from Georgetownto Cumberland, Md. The serene trek should include plenty of fall foliage once October rolls around, and on quiet days, you can hear the soothing sounds of nature amidst the surrounding beauty of historic Georgetown and the River.
- Enjoy live music, local farm-fresh produce, handmade arts, jewelry, crafts and more than 100 merchants on weekend mornings at Eastern Market. While taking in the beautiful fall surroundings at no cost, warm up with locally made, toasty beverages and baked goods, which will not put a huge dent in the wallet.
- As days get shorter, entertainment becomes more important. Get swept away by live music with the National Gallery of Art’s free concerts throughout the fall. Performances usually take place in the West Garden Court, but may also occur in the East Building Auditorium. Speaking of the East Building: the structure reopens on Sept. 30, featuring newly renovated galleries, a rooftop sculpture garden and three new exhibitions.
- Westmoreland Berry Farm in Colonial Beach. Acres of Rappahannock River frontage are perfect for picnics and bird watching. The kids will enjoy a play area just for them, as well as the antics of the skywalking goats. Give the goats a nibble from the pulley feeder system; they love it! Westmoreland is a pick-your-own farm offering fall raspberries and pumpkins. Hitch a ride on the hay wagon to head to the fields. The only fee incurred at the farm is the rate for pick-your-own products or any cafe purchases you choose to make.
- A beautiful drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway delivers you to Milepost 213 and the Blue Ridge Music Center where Mid-Day Mountain Music occurs daily through mid-October. Listen in from noon to 4 p.m. and take the opportunity to check out The Roots of American Music Museum and visitor center.
- It’s rare to find a free three-day music festival, but Richmond has one. Check out the Richmond Folk Festival, held annually the second weekend in October. Seven stages will host more than 30 music and dance groups – ballet, reggae, bluegrass, Vietnamese, Scissors Dance, polka, salsa, gospel, Cajun … the list goes on. And there’s a place for kids with make-and-take crafts and special performers.
- The 60-acre Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton offers a free Fall Festival October 21-23, complete with a pumpkin patch, foggy kayak rides, live entertainment, and hay rides. You can purchase food at the festival or pack your own and find a picnic area to enjoy lunch. After lunch, walk the nature trail or let the kids loose at the playground. 150 domestic and wild animals are on site; bring your quarters to feed farm animals. Hayride is weather dependent.
- Check out the two-day Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour through Virginia’s beautiful Culpeper County. Held annually the first weekend in October, the tour includes 18 farms and farm related businesses, which allow you to get involved with hands-on activities and demonstrations, as well as mingle with llamas, horses, cattle, and buffalo. Expect to see both traditional and unique farm experiences during this free weekend that really does have something for everyone – even wine and moonshine!
- Take a train ride into Clifton for Clifton Day Festival, held annually the second Saturday of October. It’s the only day of the year the train stops in town! The train is free to for arrival but $5 to return (children under two are free), and services stops between Manassas and Rolling Road. The festival is free to attend and includes great entertainment, vendors, artisans, historical reenactments, and more. Food will be available for purchase.
We know, we know! You think your kids spend too much time on “the smart phones.” You think the kids are going to go blind because they seem to have their little eyes and noses pressed up against “the smart phone” screen all the time. You think they may grow two extra thumbs because of how much texting and snap-chatting goes on. Relaaaaaax, Mom and Dad. Allow them to use their smart phones for good and they may surprise you!