Our 10 Favorite Things

Organized bloggers might have written this post before Christmas, but before Christmas we are crazy busy, so now we have time to share some of our favorite things with you! Mind you, we love PEOPLE before THINGS, but we could never list all of the folks and all of the reasons we love them, so here, in no particular order, are some cool things we like, too!  By the way we get NO kick back on these items…..truly just things we LOVE!

coco

1. Coconut Bliss Tempur-Pedic Pillow from Mattress Firm. When hubby gave me this coconutty-smelling pillow for Christmas a few years ago, I thought he had gone nutty. But it is HEAVEN. Truly blissful. The coconut smell is very mild and wears off as time goes on, but the perfect level of head/neck support just stays and stays. Not too flat, not fluffy, not hard. Just right. You gotta try it.

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2. Organizing STUFF in clear bins with 8 1/2″ x 11″ “labels” printed from my computer. My #1 organization tip? Only use clear bins. If you can’t SEE the stuff, you will never find it or even remember that you own it. And the giant labels just make you feel organized. Plus they’re cheap to make and easy to replace when you reorganize. Love.

Nars

3.  NARS lip gloss.  We LOVE Chihuahua, but all colors are beautiful.  It’s expensive at $26.00 a bottle but worth it for a winter pick-me-up.  Throw all of those $8.00 lip glosses in the bottom of your purse away.  Once you use this you will never go back.

coconut oil

4.  Organic coconut oil.  This stuff is amazing.  I cook with it, use it as a hair masque and put a spoonful in my kids baths.  (Kim gives Art the WonderDog a spoonful a day to keep him from being itchy.) The list is endless for this “essential” oil at our house.  I like Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Oil.

lodge-cast-iron-square-grill-pan

5.  Cast iron grill pan.  I am not sure how I ever lived without this.  This is perfect for grilling meats and veggies when it’s cold outside and makes the most amazing paninis EVER.  Great wedding gift!

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6.  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Luis – This book is a game changer and a must read.  We post the four Agreements in our homes.  Principles to live by for sure.

olay

7.  Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum.  I’m not sure if it’s the “turning 40” or what but my skin is not as smooth as it once was.  This product changes that.  It literally feels like silk on your skin.  It’s worth every penny as far as I am concerned.  Perfect stocking stuffer for yourself!

necklace

8.  Monogram necklace from Lubella’s. Who doesn’t love something with their monogram?  We both have them and get so many compliments on this necklace you can wear with anything from tank top and shorts to a pretty dress.  Our essential accessory!

mk

9. Michaels Kors time piece.  I adore his watches.  I wear my silver one everyday.  This year my husband surprised me with a gold watch and I just think this pink face makes it so fun.

 tea

10. Two Leaves and a Bud Tea.  We love our tea….iced or hot.  This tea is the best out there.  We order in bulk off of Amazon.  My favorite is Organic Tropical Green and Kim’s favorite is Organic Tamayokucha.  Both are refreshing and good for you!

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Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Bulk-Homemade-Ranch-Dressing-Mix-l-www.SimplyScratch.com_-620x414

Middle school daughter wanted to have a few friends in for NYE this year. I sat on my hands and let her do all the party planning. Even let my husband take her shopping for food and supplies. Whew, that was hard! But on my last minute grocery run on Dec. 31, she asked for a veggie tray. It was cute to see a 13-year-old panicking about having enough food for her guests. By 4 pm on NYE, the veggie trays in the produce section are pretty picked over. So I decided I’d make one myself, but didn’t think about the dip!

We did have some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing in the fridge, but I remembered that a while back I bought some dry buttermilk to try to make my own ranch dressing mix. I hate the “mystery packets.” Besides having the buttermilk in the pantry, I had ALL of the other ingredients in this recipe on hand! So, I’m telling you — it’s very easy to make and much more delicious than the bottled kind! I even made two dips from it: fattening for the kids (sour cream) and skinny for the adults (plain yogurt)! Yum!

HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING MIX

Yield: About 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE BULK HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING PACKET MIX:

1 cup Dry Buttermilk

2-1/2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley, divided

2 teaspoons Dried Dill, divided

2-1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder

1-1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder

1-1/2 teaspoons Dried Onion Flakes

2-1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt

3/4 teaspoon Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne

FOR BUTTERMILK DRESSING:

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

3 tablespoons Bulk Homemade Ranch Dressing Packet Mix

2/3 to 1 cup of Buttermilk

FOR DIP:

1 cup Sour Cream

2 tablespoons Bulk Homemade Ranch Dressing Packet Mix

DIRECTIONS:

In a small food processor or blender; measure and add in the dried buttermilk, 2 tablespoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried dill. Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon parsley and 1 teaspoon dried dill off to the side. Measure and add in the onion powder, dried onion flakes, kosher salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Turn on the processor and let it run until all the spices are blended into the buttermilk powder.

Transfer the ranch mix into a jar or container {that has a tight-fitting lid} and add in the reserved parsley and dill. Whisk to combine.

2 tablespoons of the ranch mix is equivalent to one packet.

Store in the fridge for 3-4 months or in the freezer for 6-8.