This shop, Arctic Coke Make Icy Magic Happen, has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #MakeIcyMagic #CollectiveBias
Arctic Coke make icy magic happen and enjoy! The Arctic Coke Icy Beverage Machine is easy and fun to use – watch the video!
Arctic Coke Make Icy Magic Happen
Enjoy a frosty and refreshing beverage
This past weekend as we were running about doing errands, we stopped in at our local Chevron station and hit the ExtraMile convenience store there. What a treat to find the Arctic Coke Icy Beverage Machine! The machine is super easy to use and pretty fun too. But, best of all, it makes the Coca-Cola beverages slushy and icy cold. You can find a variety of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke®, Sprite®, and POWERADE®. Watch how simple the Arctic Coke is to use.
You can find more Arctic Coke inspiration here as well. So whether you are running errands, on a road trip, or just on your way home from work, stop in for a super cold and frosty refreshment from the Arctic Coke Icy Beverage Machine. Enjoy!
Want some tasty and delicious ideas that pair well with Coca-Cola beverages? Try these:
If you love Christmas Music, you’ll love these Christmas Song Chalkboard Ornaments. Get a free printable to make your own easy DIY craft. Ornament Exchange.
Welcome to the 2017 Ornament Exchange & Blog Hop! This year, there are 47 amazing bloggers participating in the exchange. The rules of the challenge were simple: be partnered with a fellow blogger, create a handmade ornament for $15 or under, create a tutorial, and ship the ornament off to a new home!
My awesome partner for this exchange is Jeanie from Create and Babble. Like me, Jeanie has just about every style adorning her Christmas tree, and we agree, we like it that way. Jeanie made me the prettiest babbles for my tree — one is star-shaped with the word, “Believe,” and a Buffalo plaid ribbon and the other is a ball with the word, “Joy,” with a black and white gingham ribbon. It’s so funny because I just purchased some Buffalo plaid decor items for the holidays and winter (watch for it on the blog). How did she know? LOL Thanks, Jeanie, I love my ornaments and will display them proudly! Be sure to check out the link to her ornament tutorial below (it’s #26).
I absolutely LOVE Christmas music — all sorts, traditional, carols, secular, you name it. The music starts playing as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over and doesn’t stop until after New Year. So, I thought I would create a set of ornaments inspired by the music I love, Christmas Song Chalkboard Ornaments.
These ornaments are super easy, especially since I have made a FREE PRINTABLE for you to use.
Mini Chalkboards – size approximately 1-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ (found at your local craft/fabric store in a package of three)
FREE Christmas Song Chalkboards Ornaments PRINTABLE
Print the Free Printable Christmas Song Chalkboards on a lighter weight Glossy Cardstock for best results.
Hot Glue your Ribbon around the side edges of the frame.
Cut the chalkboards out of the cardstock.
Using the Double-sided Tape, place adhesive on the back side of the cutout chalkboard (one at a time).
Adhere the cardstock chalkboard in the center of the frame.
Flip the frame over and hot glue a small length of ribbon on the back side of the frame as a hanger.
These Christmas Song Chalkboard Ornaments are great for hanging on the tree. But you could also clip them to some greenery and make a banner or wreath with them. And they would make a super fun Christmas gift.
It does not get much easier! I had so much fun making the Christmas Song Chalkboards that I made them in several sizes. So, if you like one or all for yourself or as gifts, you can find them HERE.
I would love to hear your ideas for using these ornaments.
Cars.com is a comprehensive auto resource and has a lot more to offer than you ever thought, right? I was stunned. I will definitely be using the website the next time my vehicle needs anything! Check it out for yourself here.
Bring a little texture and nature to you decorating style and learn how to make your own Rustic Woodwork Decor. A welcoming and cozy way to decorate and DIY.
How To Make Your Rustic Woodwork Decor
Bring natural textures to your decor style
Home decor is already a huge feature of our homes. Both regarding expense and the amount of time spent thinking about how o decorate the space. You design and redesign the layout in your head a dozen times over. Couple that with the countless hours spent wandering through stores to find the perfect item pictured in your mind and it truly is a process to create your perfect home.
However, what if there was a means to add further customization to your home and lower your budget? And get the further benefit of learning a new skill? Well, such a path does exist. Luckily, woodwork is an easy way to transfer your style, needs, and wants into a creation that perfectly fits your home.
A little bit of rustic decor
For those who have missed out on the design trends, rustic decor can be described as a decorating style with an emphasis on nature and other natural elements. These elements are all inspired by textures that can be found outdoors in nature. Think beach wood benches and luxurious faux-fur throws. The style further relies on natural colors that are typically earthy in tone.
If you are worried about how to achieve such a look in the middle of suburbia, one of the easiest ways is to incorporate ‘raw’ elements. These can be unfinished pieces of wood, a river-washed pebble mat, coral you collected on your last trip to the beach. The more unfinished and closer to its natural state the better the finished product will look.
An emphasis on natural elements is required to achieve the rustic decor look. Wood especially is a great place to start. As always, when embarking on any project involving dangerous tools or supplies, it is important to be completely aware of the directions. Get the job done and practice good safety habits, such as wearing protective gear.
A good place to start with your interior is to fashion a rustic headboard out of pallets and other wood. The great thing is you can choose to use recycled pieces such as old wood from barns or leftover pieces from previous projects to add to the rustic charm of the piece.
A further idea is pallet shelves, or possibly a pallet bench and to ensure your best friend (your dog) doesn’t feel left out. Maybe even check out how to make a dog bed with old pallets. Everything is possible when it comes to DIY. For the pallet shelves, once you have finished pulling all the nails out and then cutting off the end pieces – these are shelf one and two, along with the center pieces for shelf three.
You then have the option to go even further. You can proceed to stain the shelves, to achieve a more rustic look. A darker color is advised for a more authentic image, while for a look more suited to a coastal interior theme, you could use a lighter, sandy color to stain the wood. Finally, screw them into the wall, and then they are ready to go.
More Rustic Woodwork Decor
Should you be seeking more inspiration for where exactly to start with your rustic decor mission, perhaps a wooden pallet wine rack is the avenue to which you should check out. You will similarly make the wooden pallet shelf as to the way you make shelf 1 and 2 (or the end pallet shelves) in the example above. Then, you only drill holes into the shelf so that the wine glasses have a space to hang.
If you only want to beautify an already wooden piece of your home, such as a backyard fence, then feel free to go to town with fresh flowers stacked in a tin-can garden, or if you are really into entertaining, why not consider putting a back-yard barbeque station attached to your garden fence?
With so many ways to achieve a rustic decor look and DIY woodworking activities being one of the easier, more affordable ways to do it, the only question left to ask is which project are you going to undertake first? I know, the wooden pallet wine rack is extremely tempting.
Have you done any Rustic Woodwork Decor projects? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
I want to thank Sarah for sharing these rustic woodwork decor DIY projects with us today. I cannot wait to give some of these ideas a try!
Well, here you are, and I am sure you are just dying to find out How-To Make A Killer Cake! Rory turned 21 recently, and she wanted to host a Murder Mystery party for her friends. The party was a blast, and this cake one of the highlights.
Make A Killer Cake
Slay your guests with presentation and flavor!
I have to tell you, this amazing killer cake was one of the easiest cakes I have ever made. It is my very first “poke cake.” I did cheat a little and use a box mix and a couple cans of frosting. But with my little additions, the flavor soared, and the presentation was phenomenal.
Whenever I make a cake for Rory, I have to switch out the oil in the recipe for applesauce. It’s a special dietary thing, but it does take out most of the fat from the cake batter! You simply replace the oils with the same amount of applesauce. Easy. I also added a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract to the batter. We love that amazing vanilla flavor. Because I wanted to have nice thick layers of cake, I used two box mixes.
After I baked the cake (according to the box directions) and let them cool, I use the handle end of a wooden spoon to stab holes into each layer. Be sure to NOT go all the way through the cake. Making the depths of the holes differing depths is nice.
Making the Red Ganache
Making ganache is really very easy, but wow, is it delicious! You will need a double boiler. If you don’t have one, use a metal or oven-safe glass bowl set over the top of pan of boiling water.
1 – Bag of White Chocolate Chips
1 – container Heavy Cream
Red Food Coloring (one for baking is best, it offers more intense color)
Boil the water in the bottom pan of the double boiler, and turn the heat down until it keeps a gentle boil.
Add the bag of White Chocolate Chips
Add Heavy Cream, a little at a time to desired consistency
Stir almost constantly, as you do not want the chocolate to burn.
Spoon the red ganache into each hole, and spread some on the top of both layers. Frost the top of your bottom layer and stack the top layer onto it. Frost the top of the cake, then move onto the sides. Add more frosting as needed to cover the red ganache.
I funneled the ganache into a squeeze bottle, but you can use whatever you have, even a spoon will work. You want to drizzle the ganache around the top edge of the cake. Go slowly and use enough ganache for it to drip down the sides of the cake creating a dripping blood effect. Once you have gone all around the cake, fill in the top of the killer cake with the bloody red ganache.
Just before presenting the cake, thrust a large knife into the center. Your guests will ooh and aw over this Killer Cake! When you cut it to serve, you will see the red ganache has dripped through the middle of the cake — it’s a bloody good effect.
Have you ever wondered about aquaponic gardening? If not, perhaps you should; it is fascinating. Explore the possibilities and learn more about aquaponics from our regular contributor, Megan Wild.
What Is Aquaponic Gardening
and How to Get Started
Living sustainably is a trend that has continued to gain popularity over time. Aquaponics is a method of gardening that combines fish farming and growing plants to create a system that is (hopefully) self-sustaining. Sounds pretty interesting, right? Check out the information below to learn more about this method and get started on your own aquaponic garden.
With an aquaponic system, waste from the fish become fertilizer for the plants, and the plants absorb it to keep the water clean and healthy for the fish. Fish waste creates ammonia and nitrate which can be harmful for the fish if it builds up. In an aquaponics system, however, the plants absorb the ammonia and nitrate and cycle the water to keep the fish safe. Once your system is established and self-sustaining, you’ll only need to add small amounts of water to replace what evaporates.
What Type of Fish Do I Need?
Tilapia is one of the most commonly used fish because they mature quickly, like warm water and do not require high levels of oxygen. In some places, however, tilapia is difficult to get or illegal to grow, so people will use catfish instead. If you don’t plan to eat the fish, goldfish can be another great option. Blue gill and koi have also successfully been used for aquaponics.
What Kind of Plants Can I Grow?
Aquaponic gardens can grow all kinds of things, but aquaponic systems function at a pH level that’s pretty neutral. Plants that require a very acidic pH won’t make it here, so if you had dreams of blueberries or azaleas, aquaponics isn’t for you. Here’s a partial list of some plants that will do well in your aquaponic garden:
Aquaponic systems are pretty customizable, but every system needs to have these components:
A tank for fish. You can reuse containers you already have around the home, but always clean it thoroughly and don’t use anything that had harmful chemicals in it. You don’t want to put your fish or your food at risk.
A grow bed. This is where all your plants will be. Your bed should contain a growing medium like lava rock, gravel or hydroton.
Pumps and pipes. These will move water to and from your grow bed. Setting up the system for the pumps and pipes can be the trickiest part of creating your own aquaponics system.
An aerator. Having an aerator helps to provide oxygen for your fish.
Live red worms. Many people use live red worms in their growing medium. The worms help remove any solid fish waste, and worm castings are great for your plants. You can shine a flashlight on your worms to get them to dig themselves into your grow bed.
Once you have your supplies, you should establish your fish and your grow bed. The medium you choose will help clean the water even if there’s no plants in it.
There’s several reasons why more people are choosing to do less traditional forms of gardening, such as aquaponics. So, why should you start an aquaponic farm?
Aquaponic systems use far less water than traditional gardens. The water you use gets cleansed and recycled by the plants so you only add a small amount of water over time to replace what evaporates.
This method is perfect for people who have soil that isn’t good for growing. Rather than spending time and money trying to amend your soil, you can skip it altogether.
Aquaponic systems are organic.
Aquaponics reduce back strain from bending since most systems are built at waist level.
Only a small amount of energy is required to run the pump and aeration for the fish. This means you could potentially supply this through a sustainable source, such as solar panels, which would reduce your overall energy bill.
If you’re keen on including a climbing rose in your garden, make sure you have a sturdy structure for it to grow skyward on. The perennial will need space to grow as it will spread and cover over the years.
Here’s how to build a trellis that will provide the structural support the plant requires while adding visual flare to your garden space.
You can keep your costs down if you use wood from around your yard. Some people may tell you that you need willow, but if you’re pruning trees around your property, the small trimmed branches will do the trick.
The completed trellis will be 7 feet, 4.5 inches tall and 3 feet wide.
As you will be cutting wood, hammering nails and more, be sure to use the proper tools for optimal safety.
Box of 13/4-inch nails
Floral wire roll
12 straight branches (approximately one inch in diameter)
3 pieces (3 feet in length each) [A]
1 piece (6 feet long) [B]
2 pieces (5 feet in length each) [C]
2 pieces (each 25 inches in length each) [D]
2 pieces (22.5 inches in length each) [E]
2 pieces (39.5 inches in length) long [F]
Place [A] pieces horizontally on a flat surface.
2 pieces should be 18 inches apart
1 pieces should be 16 inches above the center piece
Place [B] vertically across the [A] pieces. The end at the bottom of the structure needs to overlap the bottom [A] pieces by 4.5 inches.
Secure the [B] to all of the [A] pieces with nails along the center joints.
Place [C] vertically at approximately 3.5 inches in from the ends of the crosspieces.
Secure the crosspieces to the joints with nails.
Put [D] and [E] pieces diagonally, slightly covering the horizontal crosspieces.
Secure with nails at the junction.
Put [F] behind [B] and atop the [C] side pieces.
Wrap floral wire around all of the main junctions to reinforce the structure’s strength.
Once you have the trellis built, choose a location for it and the rose plant. Roses can flourish in full sun as well as partial shade. It’s important to consider factors such as trees that can increase shade or metal roofs which can reflect sunlight more than traditional shingle roofs. These types of factors can greatly effect how much you need to water your roses to keep them healthy.
Now that you have the desired location for your rose plant picked out, place the trellis into the soil. Ensure it is low enough in the dirt that it will be able to stand on its own once the plant has grown and established.
When planting the rose, dig a hole where you want the flower to bloom. A good rule of thumb is to create a hole twice as wide as the roots and 2 feet deep. Once the rose is in place, water extensively. Cover the roots with soil and water again.
Rose plants are great addition to any garden as they provide vibrant color year after year. With a trellis to grow on, they’ll create visual interest through the added levels and dimension.
Spring is here, and we’re in the garden! Today, our Regular Contributor, Megan Wild share with us How To Plant Healthy Lilac Bushes. Lilacs are one of my most favorite flowers, so pretend you have a fresh vase of lilacs on your table, and enjoy…
How To Plant Healthy Lilac Bushes
Spring in the garden with gorgeous lilacs!
Lilac bushes can make a wonderful addition to any garden. They’re perfect for bringing some color to a space, and the lovely fragrance that comes with them fills the air. Their beauty and enticing scent, along with the fact they are one of the most carefree shrubs you can grow, makes it easy to see why they’re a favorite among gardeners.
With a few tips you can keep your lilac bushes growing healthy for decades to come. Check out the list below to get the scoop on keeping your lilac healthy and happy.
Start With Your Soil
Healthy soil means a healthy plant. Checking your soil before planting will give you an idea if anything needs to be fixed before you put your lilac bushes in the ground.
Lilacs are relatively forgiving when it comes to soil. Your bushes will tolerate a variety of soil types, but lilacs do prefer well-draining soil that’s rich with humus. Humus helps air and water move through the soil more easily. Loose and airy soil will prevent it from trapping excess water that may cause root rot or other problems.
You can do a test at home to make sure your soil is draining well enough. To test your soil drainage, you’ll want to dig a hole that is around 12 inches deep and fill it with water. Timing how long it takes the water to drain from your hole will show you whether or not you have a draining problem. If after an hour there’s no noticeable difference, the soil in that area drains poorly and is not a good location for your lilac bushes. A good drainage rate is at least 1-2 inches per hour.
Checking your soil can also tell you its pH, what nutrients it may be missing and whether or not your soil has toxins. Since you’re probably not planning to eat your lilacs, toxic soil isn’t a huge concern unless you have children that like to play in the dirt. If your soil test turns up toxins but children aren’t a concern, you can still safely garden – just be sure to wear gloves when working in the soil and be careful not to breathe in any soil dust.
Pick a Location
Lilac bushes need full sun and plenty of room to grow, so choosing the right location for them will depend on those factors. Full sun means at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Since lilac plants can get pretty large, you’ll want to place each plant a minimum of five feet apart to prevent overcrowding. Even if you plan to use your lilac as a hedge, the plants will need this space to grow happily.
Lilacs love alkaline soil. Adding lime to the area you intend to plant in will keep your soil from becoming acidic and make your lilac shrubs feel right at home.
Planting Your Bushes
Now that your soil is ready and you’ve found a location for your bushes, it’s time to start planting. If your lilac was shipped in spring and has come in the form of bare roots, don’t worry: Your plant isn’t sleeping, it’s just dormant. Soaking the roots in tepid water for 10-15 minutes will get your lilac ready for the ground.
Prepare a hole that’s wide and deep enough to accommodate the plant’s root structure. If you’re digging for several plants or have to move a large amount of soil to prepare your planting area, you can increase your efficiency and minimize fatigue by using professional equipment to plant your bushes.
For bare root plants, you want the roots to be a few inches below the surface of the hole. If your plant has a root ball it should be level with the top of the hole.
After placing your plant in the hole, fill it in with soil, add a thin layer of mulch and water thoroughly.
Planting is just one aspect of growing lilac. You have to maintain the plants once they’re in the soil to keep them healthy for years. Lilacs are pretty low maintenance, which is good news for the lazy gardener. Here’s how to keep your lilacs happy:
You should water your plant thoroughly, but not excessively. Lilacs don’t like wet roots.
Fertilizing regularly isn’t necessary, but your bushes may benefit from an application in early spring. You’ll want to avoid anything that’s too nitrogen rich, since this can stunt the growth of blooms on your plant.
Pruning spent blossoms will keep your plant producing more new flowers. Occasionally, pruning may be necessary if your plant gets too tall for you to enjoy.
Whatever effort you put into your bushes they will repay tenfold. These fragrant shrubs are low maintenance and eager to please. With proper care, your lilac bushes will provide you with beautiful blossoms for years to come.
Want to entertain your friends and family with ease and confidence? Then, read on… today, we are going to get the tips and tricks for Hosting a Perfect Dinner Party in this guest post from Emma Lawson.
Hosting a Perfect Dinner Party
Making Entertaining Fun and Easy
Nowadays, when people are always in a rush, a dinner party can be a real treat. Nothing is better than having all your friends at one place, eating homemade dishes, drinking, and laughing together. Such a lovely event can indeed make us much happier and even lower the levels of stress. However, many people think that throwing a perfect dinner party is a pain in the neck – very complicated and often frustrating. Well, this is so not true! If you are still skeptical about this – stay with us. Here are some of the most important tips on how to successfully host a perfect dinner party. Enjoy!
Even though it may be extremely tempting to prepare some exotic Taiwanese dish – trust us, that is not such a great idea. First of all, you probably won’t even pronounce its name properly, and what is more important, most of the ingredients will be unfamiliar to you. Cook something you are confident with.
Plan Your Time
This is a crucial step, particularly if you plan on having a dinner with multiple courses. This means that you will need the oven for more than one dish, so planning your timetable is always a good idea. Cooking for a larger group obviously takes longer than preparing a meal for two, so have that in mind – give yourself an extra hour or two in the kitchen, just in case.
This basically means that you should avoid dishes that require constant checking, stirring or flipping, especially when you are cooking for many people. The key lies in simplicity, and it is definitely smart not to complicate things too much. If you are a proud owner of all those electrical kitchen appliances that serve as a posh décor, now would be a good time to use them. Also, doing the hard work first is a good way to go. Besides that, you can always chop vegetables the evening before the party, as well as to bake desserts a few days before it.
Maintain the Balance
When planning the menu for your perfect dinner party, you should definitely avoid too many heavy dishes. Instead, just think about what goes together and prepare the dishes according to that plan. For example, if you decide on having a steak or fried chicken for the main course, it would be a good idea to choose a light dessert. You can also stick to the particular theme, such as Italian or Chinese cuisine.
All of us would agree that table decoration has a major role while planning on a dinner night, which is why it should be taken care of properly. Great presentation can turn even the simplest dish into the most special one, so take care of the finishing touches that will impress your guests. Take the whole event to the next level and do it classy – by choosing crystal glassware that will add a touch of glamour to the whole room. A vase or two filled with freshly picked roses will also enhance the overall atmosphere at the party.
All of the aforementioned tips are essential if you want to make it work, however, it is also very important not to take yourself, as well as the whole party, too seriously. The host’s mood actually sets the tone of the party, so give your best to be as relaxed as possible. If you are having fun, be sure that everyone else will, too. Good luck!
Freebies! Who doesn’t love them? Let’s take a look at where you may be missing out on some awesome freebies…
How-To Get Freebies
The only thing better than getting stuff is getting free stuff, as the saying goes. While there are many great coupons at Discountrue.com with which you can save a lot of money in Kohl’s or other popular shops, there are few things better than being given free things outright. So, how can we maximize our ability to soak up all of the awesome free stuff that’s out there for us to snag? Read on for some helpful tips!
Whether it’s when we get our morning coffee at Dunkin Donuts, or when we head to the mall to go shopping, we are inundated with offers to sign up for rewards cards. Most of us decline and continue on our merry way, but if you are someone who frequents a certain location on a regular basis, why not be compensated for it? A variety of outlets and retailers offer their regular customers the chance to accrue points to collect free items at a later date.
Use Your 401(k)
If you are not utilizing the 401(k) plan at your current place of employment, you are leaving money on the table in the form of matching contributions. The vast majority of employers will match any amount that you are contributing to your own 401(k), and even if you end up quitting, cashing out and paying the penalty, you are still likely to turn a profit.
Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Publix have all been known to provide free food samples to hungry shoppers. Check the stores in your area to see which days these stores choose to put out samples and you may luck out even more by experiencing a wine tasting. If you make it to Publix or Trader’s Joe on the right day, their samples are almost the same size as a full meal, so be sure to bring your appetite!
Foraging For Fruit
Fruit lovers who are consistently frustrated with the selection at their local supermarket are probably unaware of the fact that there is a bevy of public land where you can pick fresh fruits to heart’s content, completely free of charge. To find out where you are allowed to go foraging for fruit in your area, head to FallingFruit.org and they will help you to locate your best opportunities.
Get a TV Antenna
With so many programs offering viewers a chance to enjoy a live stream and a number of websites providing a free place to watch television after the fact, the average person who is constantly on the go does not have the same amount of time to watch television as they used to. So why keep that expensive cable box, when you can get an antenna for your television and receive the same ten channels everyone else watches for free?
Do you have any great ideas or suggestions?
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