Sunday, January 27, 2013

Healthy Snack Recipe- Baked Kale Chips!

Healthy Snack Recipe- Baked Kale Chips

Crunchy, Salty, and Addictive!

After my many years of struggling with my weight loss goals, I have finally learned one thing....deprivation is detrimental. My unhealthy eating and dieting comes directly from my mother. As a teenager we would regularly go on the "Tuna Fish Diet", "The Soup Diet", or even do an hour of aerobics followed by a large baked potato SMOTHERED in cheese and sour cream....something wasn't working. If this was the key to losing weight then we would both certainly be skinny. Don't get me wrong we would occasionally see some success and would lose 5-10 pounds only to pack them back on and repeat the process. I carried these yo-yo diets throughout my twenties until I finally figured out what the major problem was....I was depriving myself INSTEAD of building healthy eating habits.

I crave sweet and salty ALL THE TIME. I had always heard that kale chips were a great substitute for potato chips but I never believed the hype! They don't taste EXACTLY like potato chips, they have their own unique flavor but they are EXCELLENT. They feed your craving for crunchy and salty and are hard to stop eating! They take only about 20 minutes to make and a whole batch of them costs less than $2.00!
These kale chips aren't just for dieters! Bakes kale is featured on many popular food and cooking shows as an appetizer, garnish, and side dish. You can jazz them up however you want to make them your own.
Yes, they are still green but worth a try!
Yes, Still Green BUT GREAT!

Cook Time

Prep time:
Cook time:
Ready in:
Yields: about 4-6 servings depending on the head of kale


  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • to taste optional seasonings, chili powder, salt, red pepper flakes, etc.

Easy to Make!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray (you can use parchment paper if you have it)
  2. Remove thick stems from kale. Wash kale thoroughly under cool running water (kale tends to have particles of dirt trapped in the crevices so wash well). Cut the clean kale into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Toss kale pieces in the olive oil and salt (and any additional seasonings you choose)
  4. Place kale on cookie sheet in a thin layer and bake for about 10 minutes. You will look for the edges to get a bit brown but not burned.
  5. Remove from sheet when cool and START SNACKING!


There are so many ways to experiment with this recipe. I suggest to first try them as the recipe states and then get crazy! I tend to like mine a bit over cooked with some chili powder.

I WISH I KNEW WHAT MY FIRST BATCH WAS LIKE! I tasted one "chip" from my first batch when my children hijacked the whole bowl. I will say that they are the type of kids who would choose an apple over potato chips and are constantly asking if what they are eating is "healthy". I would like to think that this is because I have taught them better than I was taught as a child....... but you never know, it could have more to do with the amount of children's media regarding healthy diets. I choose parental influence:) Either way, these kale chips were a hit with us ALL!

Enjoy and please let me know of any variations you try and LOVE!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Everyday, I am on the hunt for new ways to make a little extra money online from my home office. I have tried many things that I would say were "Epic Failures" as well as tried some that were more fun than financially rewarding. Many legitimate sites will offer you points for tasks and shopping and then you transfer the points to items or gift cards....I am not a huge fan of rewards points...I LIKE CASH. Here are a few ways to make some extra cash AND HOW TO MAXIMIZE THE MONEY! There are little tips and tricks to some sites and ways to make extra-extra money. Now, please remember  I am not promoting any of these sites as a full time or even a part time job BUT it is a great way to add a few extra bucks to the back account every month.

Follow the Steps below and not only will you make money for the coupons used at your local grocery store but you can also earn on your online shopping, game playing, and even for referring friends!

1)  Sign Up Here  for an Inbox Dollars account. Just for doing this, you will get a $5 bonus to get your earnings started!

2) Click on the Coupons tab and print the coupons you wish to use.
3) Use the coupons at your local supermarket. Not only will the coupons double BUT you will also get 10 CENTS per coupon used deposited in your Inbox Dollars account!!
Inbox Dollars has a low payout of $30 which will be sent via check to your home. You can earn additional money by completing surveys, reading paid emails (low pay for emails but hey, it adds up), and even for purchasing the things you already use through the site. Add additional earnings by suggesting the site to others!

1) Sign Up for Ebates Here
2) You get cash back for all of your online shopping at over 50 stores like Kmart, Walmart,, Victoria Secret, and tons more!

3) Refer a friend! Right now, you get $5 for your each referred friend who spends $50 shopping online!
4) You can also sign up for Savingstar through Ebates. It is an online coupon service. They will give you 10 cents for each coupon you use so its same as the above!**See below for Savingstar Tips!
They will pay you via check or paypal!


1) after you have signed up for Savingstar through Ebates...
2) Add your shopper card to the account.
3) Select the coupons that you may use at the grocery and these will atomatically "redeem" at the register.

The face value of these coupons will not come off your grocery bill BUT they Savingstar will deposit the face value into your savingstar account which you can roll over to your bank or paypal account when you hit $10. Easily done!

-This site will allow you to write and publish your own blogs. Sign Up Here
1. Start writing!
2. Visit the Earnings Tab-Sign up for Amazon Associates (allows you to make money through Amazon items posted on your blog pages), Ebay Sellers Account, and Google Adsense Account. You will earn money as readers click on the ads or buy the items posted to your blog.  YOU get to select the Amazon and Ebay items displayed so if you are selling---write a blog about it and post your items!
3. Hub Pages will add advertisements automatically to your blog and you will make money from those as well!

-Refer friends and get extra earnings from their ads too!!!
Expert bloggers are making a few hundred a month. I am just getting started but see how it can happen!! visit the learning center on the site for more details!!
USE the IBOTTA app!Ibotta works practically the same way. You need to go to Ibotta Here  and sign up.
Here's how it works....
1. Sign up for ibotta then download the app to your smart phone.
2. From there you can scroll through different items that you may select and earn from the purchase of. There are usually three different money earning tasks under each can watch the commercial for 25 cents, take a 1 answer quiz for 50 cents, etc. They offer approximately $20 a week in offers. These also typically match up with the printable coupons and sales out that week.
3. After you purchase the item...Go to your Ibotta app and select the store you purchased the items from and upload a copy of the receipt. You will also need to scan the item for verification with your phone. You will then receive the amount you "earned" through the tasks deposited in your Ibotta account.

I.e. a few of the coupons this week were from Kelloggs. I received $1 for certain cereal brands that I purchased simply by watching the commercial, answering a question,and learning a fun fact for each. EASY!
They have a very low threshold for payout...$5! I sent my receipt and was credited the money that night which is really fast compared to other similar sites. You can then ask that they send the money to paypal which is transferred within minutes.

That's just a short list of a few ways to make, save, and earn some extra money online! I plan to break down each category for you by reviewing the survey sites, shopping sites, and blogging options! Good Luck and please share any success stories you may have!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Green Cleaning also means Saving Money!

As a mother of 5 I am becoming more aware of what products I use and how much I am spending on them. Today-unlike any time before- we have almost complete information at our fingertips about the products we are using in our everyday lives. We know what chemicals are in our window cleaner, haircolor, shampoo, and even whats hiding in our dish soap. For those who are looking to use environmentally safe cleaning supplies we know that they are available and most times...EXPENSIVE. What some of us don't know is that we can make our own cleaning supplies using products found in our pantry that are going to save money and eliminate some of the chemicals and additives found in the ones we are using now. Here is a list of some Green Cleaning Supplies that are easily made and how to make them using the items in the cabinet.
  • Vinegar: It's very acidic, so it not only cuts through grease but also inhibits bacteria and mold.
  • Baking Soda: neutralizes acids and breaks down proteins. It is especially effective for cutting through dried-on grease and for combating stains. Bicarbonate of soda neutralizes acidic scent molecules, which makes it an effective deodorizer. Also has antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
  • Borax (sold commonly as 20 Mule Team Borax in detergent aisle):Borax is a naturally occurring substance that has properties of both a mineral and a salt. It works well in cleaners because it converts water molecules to hydrogen peroxide. It also has properties that enable it to disinfect and kill unwanted pests.
  • Salt: Gentle Scrubber
  • Water
  • Containers
  • Olive Oil
Window Cleaner:
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
Mix and place in a spray bottle. If you are against the smell of vinegar, just add a few drops of lemon juice. Clean windows with your old newspapers to keep your windows streak free!
Dishwasher Detergent:
  • 2 tbs Borax Soap
  • 1 ½ tbs baking soda
Mix together and place into the same place you would your normal dish washing detergent in your machine. Toss in a few teaspoons of vinegar during the final rinse to leave your glasses sparkling!
Toilet Bowel Cleaner:
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
Rim the inside of your toilet bowl with vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda over the vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use a toilet brush and it will be just as clean as it was with the harsh chemicals!
Furniture Polish:
  • 1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Mix these ingredients in a squeeze bottle (if you get one that you can recap, it will stay good forever). Squeeze product onto towel and wipe on your wood furniture.
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner:
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon borax
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and its done!
Oven Cleaner:
  • 1½ cups baking soda
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup water
  • Squirt of plant-based liquid soap
Wipe down the oven with water. Combine ingredients together. It should be a thick paste. Spread all over the interior of the oven and let the mixture sit overnight. Wipe it down some plant based cleaner.
Floor Cleaner:
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 cups hot water
  • A few drops lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract (if you are not keen on the smell of vinegar. This is NOT Necessary)
Mix together and its ready to use!
I hope that you find these green cleaning recipes easy to make and beneficial to you in your home. Not only is this great for the environment and safe for your family, it will also make a difference in your wallet. You will be able to make these cleaners usually for 1/4 the cost of those you buy at the supermarket OR LESS!

Good luck in your Green Cleaning! I plan to go over how to make your own laundry detergent and others in the next blog so if you have questions or have a trusted recipe for any Green Cleaners, please let me know!

Check out my other blogs with more homemade green cleaning supplies!!!