TGIF #13

My weekly TGIF post consists of all my favorite things I've found around the internet during the week. Enjoy!

Favorite Art Piece of the Week: A bullet shooting through Play-Doh! Love it!

Favorite Beauty Idea of the Week: Christmas Tree Nails. So creative. I love the silver and red combo, red and white are sort of overdone now.

Favorite Drool-Worthy Dessert of the Week: Red Velvet Brownies. I cannot handle how vivid this photo is! I feel like I can smell and taste them now. Red Velvet, Yuuuum!

Favorite Photography Idea of the Week: "You only wear your wedding dress once so you might as well do something awesome in it!" I think I seriously might do this. The bottom three photos make it look worth it.

Favorite Kitchen Gadget of the Week: How neat is this pineapple corer? And it cuts the pineapple into a perfect spiral slice! Wherever may I order one?

Favorite Food Remix of the Week: Now this is the ultimate food remix if I have ever seen one. Cinnamon roll pancakes, cinnamon swirl and all! Very impressive.

Favorite Vacation Destination of the Week: Ayada Maldives Resort. So tranquil! Those lounge chairs look like they can use me.

Favorite Cheat Sheet of the Week: The best way to visualize and memorize Gallons, Quarts, Pints, and Cups!

Favorite DIY Project of the Week: Upcycle your paper grocery bags to create a very cute basket. 

Favorite Giggle of the Week: The Avengers eating Shawarma! And none for Loki lol! Ironman's Shawarma line was my favorite in the whole movie. 

Happy Friday!

Buttermilk Biscuits + Snickers = Snicker Donuts

Cheap buttermilk biscuit dough

Mini Snickers

Cover the Snickers with the dough in any shape you want.

Fry until dough is golden brown

Best served warm!

Tips: When donuts are done frying, roll them in a bowl of sugar to create sugar donuts!
Use other kinds of candies like Rolos, Mini Reese's Cups, Twix, or just plain chocolate chips!

Homemade Sugar Scrub AKA Super Soft Silky Smooth Skin

Ahh! Let's be honest. Shaving sucks! But having smooth, goddess-like skin is awesome. I tried this recipe for Homemade Sugar Scrub and my legs and skin are sooo smooth! I cannot believe how incredibly soft and silky my skin is.

All you need is 2.5 cups of sugar, 1 cup of oil (I used vegetable but you can use any), and 5 tablespoons of lime juice. The lime juice makes it smell wonderfully citrusy and juicy. The scrub felt amazing, like a do-it-yourself spa experience. Any left over was refrigerated in an airtight Ziploc bag inside a plastic container.

The only downside is that it made my tub really slippery and oily. Definitely have to scrub your tub after using this scrub. But I love it! It's worth the extra back breaking tub scrub to have a body scrub that makes you feel this good.

Chinese Egg Dumplings

Dumplings are the ultimate appetizer. They can be deep fried, pan seared, or steamed. They can be filled with anything! Vegetables, pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, crab, chocolate, fruit; possibilities are limitless.

I stumbled across this recipe for Chinese Egg Dumplings and gasped because (1) I had never seen nor heard of egg dumplings before and (2) they looked so mouthwatering. We just had some Udon noodle soup and wanted to make these dumplings to throw into it to re-create the soup from the original post.

I omitted quite a few things to make the dish cheaper and less complicated but the dumplings still turned out delicious and flavorful.

And it was the perfect opportunity to use my ultra mini cast iron pan! This thing is so small and I'm supposed to use it to cook eggs but I never do since it's so small and I always have to cook for Chhally.

I started by mincing some Napa cabbage leaves, 2 large white mushrooms, and 1 green onion stalk.

Then we mixed the ground pork, minced vegetables, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and corn starch all together in a mixing bowl.

We scrambled 6 eggs in another bowl and added the salt.

Cooked the eggs, assembled the mini omelet-like dumplings, and I sneakily taste-tested more than I should have.

And here they are delicately nestled into our Udon Noodle Soup. Oh, Lord help me.

Recipe adapted from here.

Happy Eating!

Loaded Udon Noodle Soup - Food Remix

Cold day means the craving for extra warm soup! But the usual chicken soups get tiring so we decided to create the ultimate loaded udon noodle soup. Udon noodle soups can be found in most Japanese restaurants and it is a clear broth soup with vegetables, meats, seafood, some form of egg cake, and thick white noodles.

Check out our remix of this dish :)

The Udon noodle soup base is very easy. If you're looking for a shortcut, like us, we used these instant Udon packs. All you have to do is add water.

But what you put in your udon pack is what makes it ultimate. All of these ingredients can be found in most Asian Grocery stores. We used Napa Cabbage, Sliced mushrooms, green onions, pork meatballs , fish meatballs, slices of Fried Pork cake, and Twin Bread cut into little pieces (Asian breadstick used for most noodle soups).

And to top it all, CHINESE EGG DUMPLINGS (recipe will be posted tomorrow)! 

Other alternative ingredients to accompany this soup are crab sticks, shrimp, carrots, other types of mushrooms, egg cakes, and your favorite type of dumplings. Super easy and it all took about 10 minutes prep time and 5 minutes cook time (not including cook time of egg dumpling).

Happy eating!

Creating "Bug Out Bags" and Our Bug Out Bag Essentials

I love looking up and researching different resources and TV shows that inform people of different ways they should prepare for any kind of emergency. Emergency prepping has always been something I wanted to do for years but I didn't know how to approach my family with the idea or how we'd be able to afford it.

Eventually, I slowly started bringing it up to my boyfriend. Then my brother. Then my brother admitted to me that he does worry sometimes when he travels through the barren country side. What if the car breaks down? What if his phone dies? What if he travels to a place where phone service sucks? Winters in Wisconsin can be very cold and if one were to get stranded somewhere by their lonesome, it may take a while for help to arrive.

I wanted to create "Bug Out Bags" for myself, Chhally, and my brother. Bug Out Bags are basically backpacks filled with emergency supplies, all packed up and ready for when shit hits the fan.  The three of us travel a lot and I don't know why I never thought of creating these bags sooner. I saw some emergency preparedness backpacks on that sold for about $70-$100 each and I also did a lot of research on the internet looking for others who have created their own kits.

The amount of items that go into these bags were overwhelming but if you have some money to spare every paycheck or every time you go to the store, just throw an item for your Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) into your cart.

Every time I went to ANY store to buy things (groceries, toiletries, snacks, etc.), I would place one or two extra items in my cart for our bags. First I started with non-perishable foods with lengthy expiration dates. I would buy other items as well depending on what store I shopped at. If I went to WalMart or Target, I would buy an extra pack of batteries or flashlights. If I went to the Dollar store, I bought lighters, candles, snacks, tuna, etc. Whatever I could find that was Buy One Get One Free or on Sale, I thought of our bags and what could be added to it.

Our bags are still not as fully complete as I'd like them to be but I still wanted to share what we have so far. Feel free to customize YOUR bags to your needs and area you live in. This is the list I made as well as how much I bought each item for:

·         3 Backpacks - $8 each Walmart (We already had these; yay for keeping old school supplies)
·         Zip Lock Bags (Gallon) - $1 Dollar Tree
·         Zip Ties - $1 Dollar Tree
·         (3) Flashlights and Batteries - $4/each LED Flashlights Walmart
·         (3) Camping glow sticks - $2.44/each Walmart
·         (1) Tarp - $5 Walmart
·         (3) Ponchos - $0.88 each Walmart
·         (3) Scissors - $1 each Dollar Tree
·         (2) Duct Tape - $2.47 each Walmart
·         Pocket Knives - $5 each Walmart
·         Lighters - $5 pack of 6 Bic lighters at Walmart
·         Waterproof Matches - $2.37 for a 4-Pack at Walmart
·         Map (Haven't bought yet)
·        (2) Jars water purification tablets - $5.88 each Walmart

Food & Water:
·         Enough water for 3 Days - $2.00 12-pack bottles Walmart
·         Enough Food for 3 days (2-3 Granola Bars, packs Beef Jerky, Can of food with easy open lid, Candy, instant noodle pack, trail mix, tuna salad mix with crackers, 1 pack of tuna, dried fruit, beef sticks with cheese, etc.)

Medical, First Aid, & Toiletries
·         (2) First Aid Kits (Add gloves, tweezers, nail clippers, Neosporin, alcohol and burn wipes) - $0.97 Walmart
·         (3) Hand Sanitizer - $1 Dollar Tree
·         Baby Wipes - $1 for a Box Dollar Tree
·         Kleenex Packs (Can be used for toilet paper, cleaning, etc.) - $1 for pack of 6 Dollar Tree
·         Wash cloths - Dollar Tree 2-Pack for $1
·         Small Bottle of Soap/Shampoo - (I already had a stash of these I bring home from hotel stays)
·        Medicines (Advil, Nyquil, Allergy, etc.) - $0.97 Small Travel Packs at Walmart
·         Tampons/Pads (just in Vicky's Bag)
·         Travel toothbrush and small toothpaste / mouth wash - $1 Dollar Tree

Protective Clothing - Think LAYERS
·         Underwear
·         Under shirts, beaters or tank tops
·         2 Cotton t-shirts, black and white
·         Sweater
·         Hoodie
·         Jacket
·         SOCKS
·         Gloves, hat, bandana
·         Sunglasses
·         HEPA Masks

The TOTAL COST of all I've bought so far, in the quantities I needed, were just under $100.00. Divided by 3 bags, they were around $30 per bag! We placed all like items in the large gallon sized Ziploc bags. All food items in one, tools together in one, medical supplies and toiletries in another. Our bags don't have the extra set of clothing yet except for extra socks and underwear. I still really want to buy the HEPA Masks and extra jackets.

Portable Food and Snacks with expiration dates all ending in 2014

Here is all the food divided and placed into 3 Ziploc bags

Toiletries, most of these can be found at the Dollar store

Here are photos of the toiletries and tools all divided and placed into separate bags.

Each backpack is customized for each person. Mine is the only one that has tampons and pads. My brother's bag and mine each contain a first aid kit. Chhally's doesn't but his contains a large tarp and rope, and ours doesn't. 

Chhally is the one who drives our car the most so he keeps his B.O.B. in the trunk along with a spare tire, tire changing tools, jumper cables, and other auto tools. My brother also keeps his in his trunk along with a few blankets and tools. I'm usually ALWAYS home so I keep my bag hidden near the foyer. 

With everything packed, the backpacks don't weigh too much. We can easily carry them and are planning on adding more things as we can afford them. To prevent the noisiness of the plastic bags crisping and crunching as you walk, my best tip is to wrap each bag in an article of clothing like the extra hoodies or sweaters. 

I hope that my post was helpful in giving you all ideas on creating your own Bug Out Bags. We all feel very accomplished and a little more secure. When it comes to unexpected situations we feel more relieved in knowing we have a slight upper hand to react and be prepared should anything happen. 

Do I believe that something will happen such as the end of the world as we know it? No, not really. I hope bad things don't happen.

But can it? Yes.

Happy Prepping!

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