Saturday, October 24, 2015

Candy Corn Garland

A simple little treat for all my stay at home moms or nannies who have some craft loving kids on their hands and want a fun new idea to prepare for Halloween. 

10 paper plates
markers yellow and orange
hole puncher
string thick, and sturdy (rope like)


Start by making a circle in the middle of the plate very lightly in pencil about 2 ½-3 inches in diameter. 
Then  using orange, color from the edge of that circle out about 2 in thick. 
Finally from the outside of the orange all the way to the outside of the plate, color in yellow. Do this to every plate, before cutting the plates up in quadrants like a pizza. 
Then take your hole puncher and punch two holes in opposite corners of the yellow section, and use your string to string together your candy corn shapes into a garland.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Snacks

Its almost Halloween, so pumpkin carving season is upon us!!!

Ive always tried to limit the amount of pumpkins carved each year, because I thought it really a waste of pumpkin, however this year we have been going crazy with our pumpkin carving because we decided to use the entire pumpkin!

Pumpkin Seed Snacks:

After you gut your pumpkin, take the seeds and separate them from the pumpkin innards, in a colander and let them soak for about 30 minutes in cold water.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Remove the colander from the water (don't throw it away) and spread the seeds out on a cookie pan. Then sprinkle with whatever seasoning you like. We like to use a garlic-salt combination, simple salt and pepper works well too.
Then stick your pan in the oven for 45 minutes (or until seeds turn a brown color)and let cool for 5-10min  before enjoying a healthy yummy snack!!!

Hint of Pumpkin Coffee

Ok so I don't know who started pumpkin coffee, but I don't like a lot of cream in my coffee, so I found a different way to get the pumpkin taste without all the cream. (remember the water you soaked the seeds in, use this water now, and)

Use a colander to soak the pumpkin "guts" in for about 30 minutes.
Then remove the colander and use this water to brew your coffee.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jolly Rancher Candy Apple

I am so excited for Halloween, so aside from having my house decorated already, I have started making the candy apples. So I read somewhere that you can make candy apples with Jolly Ranchers and figured I had to give it a try.  Any ways for those of you who have followed other directions and not had much luck, neither did I, but I was determined to make these delicious sounding treats, and so I found a way.  Please try it out and let me know what you think.

          First you have to pick out the “good” colors right, so we picked out Blue Raspberry, Cherry, and Grape (watermelon, would have probably been mixed in if someone hadn’t eaten them all already, haha... I think 3 green apple flavors made it in as well) unwrap these, and put them into a pot, or bowl you can heat up. 
*To cut time on melting crush your candy up in ziplock baggies before putting them in pot or bowl

              Next take a larger pot, or pan and fill it about ½ way with water, and place your candy bowl inside, making sure that there is no chance of the water getting mixed in with your candy, then set this on high with a lid until the candy melts, which should only take about 15 minutes.

             While the candy is melting grab some wax paper and set it out on a flat surface like a cutting board, or a plate, as a place to set your apples when they are candy coated. The other option is to grease a plate.

Immediately as the candy is liquid enough to run a spoon through, dunk your apple in (personally I like to turn the heat of for this, but if you do so, you have to move quickly, because it will only take seconds for your candy to harden up again). Now if you are like me and only decided to get 2 bags of jolly ranchers, you wont have enough candy to dunk the apple all the way in, so use the spoon, to scoop the candy and coat the apple with it.

Then remove the apple and set it out to dry either on you wax paper or greased plate. The wait for this is about 20 minutes, 5 if you put the apples in the fridge.

These apples are super hard to eat so we slice them up and eat that way instead of whole.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

3 Steps to a Better Business


“Sit down, Shut up, and Listen.” This was my 4th grade teachers favorite thing to say but she would tweak it to be sit don’t, SHHHHHHH, and Listen, it wasn’t until later in life when I heard it used again that I heard it used with more force and began to understand it for what it was worth. ”Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth” this was one of the first lessons I learned when I started my business, and surprisingly it wasn’t from a business owner. Many times as business owners we want to show off our knowledge, and so we feel the need to have an answer for everything. This is great in the sense that it shows confidence in yourself, your product/service, and in your company, but as a business owner having the humility to accept that you do not know everything can show that you are way more knowledgeable than the one with all the answers. Lets face it, we don’t know everything, and being able to accept that and learn from others shows that we are smart enough to know that. It also invites people to see that you are open-minded which is something most consumers like. Every once in a while take a few days or even a week, where you keep your opinions and answers out of it, and just listen to others, you may learn something.

Read Between the Lines

We live in a society today where people get on any website and post their opinions about you or anyone else. There are 2 ways to look at this. 1 these comments are normally negative and to stay positive we ignore them, or 2 if you read between the lines, you see that these comments are giving you ways to run your business better.  There are many times when everything you read is negative, and this can be demoralizing at times if you don’t look at it the right way. Even if comments where someone is just complaining and whining, you can see that obviously something went wrong with that persons experience with your business and give you an opportunity for improvement. When you start to see a pattern in negative comments, don’t look at it as something bad, look at it as a way to make yourself better, a way to change those comments into return customers. Customer Discovery is so easy to do these days due to site like Angies List, blogs, or even Facebook. Most people have no problem posting positive or negative comments about products they like or dislike. If you read them or listen to them, you will find ways to appeal to your customers better. If you don’t, someone else will.


If this word is not in your vocabulary already, then add it.  Along with being able to listen and read between the lines, being able to ask why is really important. So say you are in one of your quiet days and you are listening to someone just bash your product/service, instead of instinctively ignoring the criticism, or trying to figure out the “between the lines” reason, just ask why?  What happened that made the person so miserable? Then here is the kicker, after you ask, LISTEN! If you genuinely care about your business, then you need to genuinely care about your customers opinions. So do not ignore the criticism, do not forget the praises; listen when people tell you what they want, and don’t want. Most of the time if you show a true and genuine interest in someone’s wants and needs they will let you know, and then guess what. They have told you exactly what they want from your business, no guess work! This can reduce your guess work, lower your risk, and increase your customer base, why, because you listened, you interpreted the negativity, and you cared.