Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

This recipe was found by one of my sisters on the internet awhile back. We made them up one day and they are absolutely amazing cupcakes with a lovely mint flavor and they are surprisingly not too sweet! The original recipe is found at All Recipes.

Makes 20 cupcakes.

1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup of white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
3/4 cup of cocoa
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/4 cup of white flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
About 1 cup of milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix oil and sugar in a bowl using a whisk.
3. Add eggs and peppermint extract. Stir until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl mix cocoa, baking powder, flour and salt.
5. Add egg and sugar mix to dry mixture and stir.
6. Slowly pour milk in until the mixture thickens.
7. In a greased muffin pan place 1/4 cup of the batter.
8. Bake for 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool a minute or two before taking them out of the pan.
9. Let the cupcakes cool completely (about 20 minutes) before icing them.

Green Minty Icing
1 16 oz. container of Betty Crocker Peppermint Icing
4 drops of green food coloring
1/2 cup of Mint Chocolate Chips, crushed

1. Mix together the icing and food coloring.
2. Once the cupcakes are cooled spread the mix across the top.
3. Decorate with a teaspoon or less of the crushed mint chocolate chips.

Friday, February 17, 2012

DIY Homemade Laundry Soap

With laundry soap prices being so high we experimented with several soap recipes and came up with one that worked well for us. This is a much stronger recipe that I have seen anywhere else online.

2 1/2 Fels Naptha soap bars
2 1/2 cups washing soda
1 1/4 cups borax
3/4 cup baking soda


This is what my soap looks like once I've covered it with water.

1. Grate the soap bars into a small saucepan. Cover with lots of water.

This is what your soap/water mix will look like in the beginning.
Keep stirring until it's mostly dissolved. Less time is better than more tiime!
2. Cook over high heat stirring constantly until the soap dissolves almost all the way. You don't want to overcook the soap because then it will become solid again if you do and that won't be good. 5-7 minutes should be enough as long as there are no major clumps of soap.

See all those huge chunks?
Well they have to be mashed out before you dump
 in the wet soap mix or it will be impossible to stir up.
3. Put washing soda, borax, and baking soda in the 5 gallon bucket and mash out any chunks you can before adding the hot melted soap mix. Stir well until all the powder is dissolved. Make sure to mash out as many of the big clumps that are there as possible.

4. Add in the dissolved soap mix into the borax mix and stir.

5. At first your mix will look funky and lumpy...

6. But eventually it will become a thick, even mixture. When it gets to this point you're ready for the next step.

Right now we have an indoor faucet (much like the one's you see in gardens)
and it only gives out cold water, but my laundry soap has turned out okay with it.
I still like the hot water better than using cold water.
4. Fill the bucket to the top with hot tap water. I usually do this once I have the bucket where it will be staying for the next few months.

All white and foamy from adding the water via our indoor faucet.
5. Stir the soap mix, cover securely and let it set overnight.
6. The next morning stir the mix and then you're ready to use it!

How To Use
Use 1 cup of soap per load. This bucket lasts several months for us doing laundry for about 10 people washing laundry several (at least 1-2) loads of laundry a day.

Family of 3 -using this recipe we are getting through 4-5 months of laundry.
Family of 5 - using this recipe we are getting through 3 months of laundry.

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3 Ingredient Homemade Body Scrub

This recipe is awesome! I got it from another blog but it was so long ago that I don't remember which one! I had to edit it a slight bit, but now it is awesome!

1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of olive oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and run until smooth.
Store in a container with a lid and use in the shower as often as you want!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rich Hot Chocolate

This was a stumble upon recipe that I found one day. I was out of milk but still wanted hot chocolate so I decided to try and use coffee creamer. Amazing thing happened: I actually had good hot chocolate which was water based!

1 mug of water, filled not quite to the top
1 package of Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate drink mix
3 tablespoons of Coffee Mate original coffee creamer

Stick the mug in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. When it is done pour in the hot chocolate and add creamer. Stir until everything is dissolved and enjoy! It's the perfect temperature to start drinking right away without burning your mouth off.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Healthy | Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

This smoothie is both delicious and good for you! And it's one of my favorites. This is now updated with photos for the Recipe Catalogue! :)

Possibly four servings with the ingredients below.
The glass in the photo would be 2 servings.

1/3 cup oatmeal, cooked with 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
6 whole frozen strawberries
6 frozen peach slices
1 whole banana, fresh
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup (or one 6 oz. container) vanilla or plain yogurt


1. In a microwave safe bowl put the oatmeal and 1/3 cup of water. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

2. Put the yogurt & oatmeal in the blender. Add the banana and the other frozen fruits. Pour in 1/2 cup of water.

3. Blend until smooth. Serve & enjoy!

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Version of No-Bake Cookies with No Dairy or Peanut Butter

No-Bake Cookies are some of my favorite. However, because of allergies I usually can't eat them. Today I wanted some really bad so I went in search of a recipe I could use and couldn't find any. I found one and adapted it and thought I should share it since they turned out pretty tasty. I didn't make them into individual cookies so they're kind of crumbly, but I think as cookies they would hold together just fine.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
4 Tablespoons of coca
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup of creamy almond butter
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. In a saucepan place the oil, water, cocoa and sugar. Put the stove on high heat and stir constantly.
2. As soon as the mixture starts to boil turn it down to medium heat and stir for one minute. Add the vanilla and almond butter.
3. Once the almond butter has smoothed out pour in the chocolate chips and rolled oats. Stir well.
4. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and let it cool and cut into strips/squares OR scoop out the mix with a spoon and put onto wax paper and let it cool in little mounds.

Banana Nut Bread

I must say this is the best Banana Bread recipe ever! I absolutely love it and it is so, so, so easy to do! Plus it is mostly healthy and very moist!

This recipe makes one loaf.

1 3/4 cups of flour (wheat or white)
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are best)
1 egg
2 tablespoons of water
4 ripe bananas, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium size bowl mix together the flower, baking powder and soda, sugar, and chopped nuts. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl mix together egg, water and bananas.
4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
5. Pour into a greased bread pan. Smooth over with a spoon.
6. Bake for 60 minutes or until a pick or butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

~The directions are important for this to come out right!

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  • Sweet & Savory Sundays #20
  • I Gotta Try That #59
  • Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies

    I am a huge fan of Hallmark movies. Some of my favorites are the Sarah, Plain and Tall series, Candles on Bay Street, Front of the Class, Loving Leah, The Magic of Ordinary Days, The Russell Girl, and The Secret Garden. Some of these I have watched and I didn't like at all. I marked next to those few. I'm currently working on requesting the ones remaining that aren't underlined from the library so I can watch them and see if I like them or not. :)


    ·         A Smile As Big As The Moon

    ·         An American Story

    ·         A Dog Named Christmas

    ·         A Painted House

    ·         A Place For Annie


    ·         Back When We Were Grownups

    ·         Beyond the Blackboard

    ·         The Blackwater Light Ship

    ·         Blind Spot

    ·         The Boys Next Door

    ·         Breathing Lessons

    ·         Brush With Fate (didn't like this one)


    ·         The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

    ·         Calm At Sunset

    ·         Candles on Bay Street

    ·         Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness

    ·         Caroline?

    ·         Cupid & Cate (don't remember if I liked this one, I'm going to watch it again)


    ·         Decoration Day

    ·         Durango


    ·         The Echo of Thunder

    ·         Ellen Foster


    ·         Front of the Class

    ·         Fallen Angel

    ·         The Flamingo Rising (didn't like this one)

    ·         Follow the Stars Home

    ·         Foxfire


    ·         Grace & Glorie


    ·         Harvest of Fire

    ·         Have a Little Faith


    ·         In From The Night

    ·         In Love and War


    ·         Journey


    ·         Little John (don't think I liked this one)

    ·         The Lost Child

    ·         The Lost Valentine

    ·         Love Is Never Silent

    ·         The Love Letter (don't think I liked this one)

    ·         Loving Leah


    ·         The Magic of Ordinary Days

    ·         Miss Rose White

    ·         Missing Pieces

    ·         My Name is Bill W.

    ·         My Sisters Keeper


    ·         Night Ride Home

    ·         November Christmas

    ·         O Pioneers! (don't think I liked this one)

    ·         Old Man

    ·         One Against The Wind


    ·         The Piano Lesson

    ·         Pictures of Hollis Woods

    ·         Plainsong

    ·         Promise


    ·         Redwood Curtain

    ·         The Return of the Native

    ·         Riding the Bus With my Sister

    ·         Rose Hill

    ·         The Runaway

    ·         The Russell Girl


    ·         The Secret Garden

    ·         Saint Maybe

    ·         Sarah, Plain and Tall

    ·         Sarah, Plain and Tall: Skylark

    ·         Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winters End

    ·         Season for Miracles

    ·         Seventh Stream

    ·         The Shell Seekers

    ·         Silver Bells (this is a really good Christmas movie!)

    ·         Smile As Big As the Moon

    ·         The Summer of Ben Tyler

    ·         Sweet Nothing In My Ear


          ·     To Dance With The White Dog


    ·          The Valley of Light


    ·         The Water is Wide

    ·         What The Deaf Man Heard

    ·         When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    My Fitness Pal. Literally.

    Okay, so I am a health aware individual. I believe in eating healthy and in good portions of different foods throughout the day. I believe water is very important to the body and it is important to drink water. I also think that processed foods which come in freezer packages or boxed foods are not good for a person to eat due to the amount of gross things in them. I do eat most canned foods however. I love to cook and create new yummy recipes which I share with other people who are interested in eating better. I am going to school for a degree in Health & Sports Sciences. I want to do something with Nutrition,
    Fitness, or Health & Wellness. I haven't decided what exactly I want to do, but I'm thinking about it and working towards H&SS in general.

    I have an Exercise Encouragement Group where I try to post daily different inspirational or motivational quotes for the members to see and be motivated to work out.

    Recently a friend introduced me to My Fitness Pal. I am in love :) It keeps track of your consumed food and water, weight loss/goals, and exercise. There are so many more features I am still learning about as well. I have to say I think it is an amazing resource and is definately the most helpful one I have found so far.

    Photography Interest

    Photography is a new found love of mine. I got my mom's Nikon D80 out one day and started taking some random shots. I didn't expect anything fantastic but when I loaded them on the computer I was suprised at how good they looked. Then I asked my mom to look at the pictures also and she was quite impressed too. Since then I have started a facebook fan page which I use to post all my lateset photos. I call it Angel Light Photography. (Click the link below the picture to go to the page.) This picture is of Cody. He is a Blue Heeler and very well behaved. He is loyal and loves attention.

    Cody, a blue heeler.
    Find Angel Light Photography by Helen on Facebook!
    Find Angel Light Photogrpahy by Helen on Blogger!
    Find Angel Light Photography by Helen on Bloglovin'!

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Email Me!

    So glad you're here!

    I do love to hear from my readers so this is the place to be! Grab my email below and put it in the "to" box and I'll reply to you as soon as I can.
    My emails are usually quite behind, but I do my best to answer personal emails over reading posts from my favorite blogs. :)
    Email me at:

    mrshelenstafford {at} yahoo {dot} com

    Can't wait to talk with you!

    Please note that as of August 2013 I have not had internet at home. Because of this, when I go to check emails I don't usually have time to read everything the few days (usually only 4) a month that I get on the internet. If you have emailed me in the last few months/weeks and haven't recieved a reply yet please consider sending me a message on the Blue Eyed Beauty Blog facebook page. Thank you!