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Hydrating Avocado Oatmeal Facial Mask

Winter definitely has dried out my skin! With the heat running, and cold wind whipping my face, I’m starting to look a little ruddy! Well this DIY facial mask takes care of both the dryness and the redness! It’s all natural and takes 5 minutes to make!

Just be sure to lay down and relax while the mask is on your face – enjoy the moment! Don’t do what I had to do at the end of this video – go dig out all the sticky mess of the mask that dropped down my shirt!

 

 

Why I Am Going Naked For A Month


I have decided to go naked for a month, and I am glad I am doing it! Going “Au Naturel” is very freeing! Ditching acrylic nails has been a very positive experience so far. (Wait, what did you think I meant?) Having acrylic nails on & off for the last seven years, it was time to give my nails a breather.

I know. They aren’t very pretty right now. This was what they looked like immediately after I had them removed:

 

Right now, a week into not having acrylics, I’m dealing with super-sensitive nails and fingertips. I can’t reach into my purse to grab something without getting that “nails across a chalkboard” feeling. Cringe-worthy.  But I believe it will be worth it all in the end. Hopefully heathy, stronger nails.

If you have acrylic nails, why don’t you join me for a month? Send me your photos of your naked nails (NO OTHER naked pics, please! ?) at info@simplesolutionsdiva.com.

Clean Those Makeup Brushes!

Makeup Brushes – A Girl’s Best Friend! 

I use my makeup brushes every day. They are the tools of my trade! Years ago, when I started breaking out on my face, I realized that I needed to keep them clean. Turns out, the combination of old makeup and oils is just a breeding ground for germs!

So gather up a small bowl or cup, some baby shampoo and follow my easy steps for cleaning your makeup brushes!

 

Crockpot Minestrone Soup


Winter seems to just call for the slow cooker! I love my crockpot for all sorts of things, but I especially love making soups. Soups are my comfort food – I have fond memories of my mom making soups on a cold winter’s day. We would rip off a piece of warm, crusty bread to dip in and get every last drop of delectable broth in the bowl!

This recipe is a nod to my time living in Boston’s North End — the Italian neighborhood! Crockpot Minestrone Soup is perfect to prep the day before, refrigerate, then set it on low for 8-10 hours.

 

Crockpot Minestrone Soup
 
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A Great Winter Warmup Recipe! Full of veggies & protein-packed with kidney and white beans, this Italian style soup will be a favorite!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup, slow cooker, crockpot
Cuisine: American Italian
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup each of carrots, celery, green beans (and really any veggie you may need to get rid of in fridge - I added diced zucchini as well!)
  • 1 whole sweet onion, diced
  • 64 oz vegetable stock
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes - I used Fire Roasted, with Basil, Oregano & Garlic for more flavor!
  • 2 16 oz cans dark kidney beans, drained
  • 2 15.8 oz cans great northern beans, drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 4 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1- 1½ cups dried elbow pasta - I used Ditalini style because i like the short macaroni!
  • Optional: You can also add ¾ cup quinoa if you want to add an extra "punch" of nutrients!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except pasta & quinoa (if using), into large crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours, or low for 8-10 hours.
  3. In last 20 minutes of cooking add in the pasta (and quinoa if using), making sure the slow cooker is set on high for the last 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with bread and a little fresh parmesan and enjoy!

 

Crockpot Italian Beef

This is a super recipe to prepare the day before a big event or football game (think EASY tailgating!). Serve on sub rolls, with a little provolone cheese, roasted red peppers – OH SO GOOD!


Crockpot Italian Beef
 
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Juicy Italian-spiced beef, shredded and ready to serve at a tailgate or any informal event! This recipe is perfect to serve up on sub rolls, with a little provolone cheese, some roasted red peppers!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups water or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon of each: sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • One package of dry, Italian salad dressing mix (I used Zesty Italian!)
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 lb. rump roast
Instructions
  1. Place rump roast into crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle onions over roast.
  3. In a saucepan, boil the water (or broth if you are using that).
  4. Add the spices, bay leaf and Italian dressing mix and stir. Bring to a rolling boil and turn off heat.
  5. Pour the mixture over the roast, then cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
  6. Serve on toasted sub rolls with melted provolone cheese, roasted red peppers and salted onions! Enjoy!

Make A “No Sew” Scarf

I’ve always fancied myself a seamstress. . .

As a kid, I used to make costumes for my cats, making them get married or go to a ball. I’d spend hours on costumes, and quite a bit of time trying to get them on the cats! Once done, I’d sit back and admire my work, as I applied Bandaids to my face and neck.

But I never really LEARNED to sew. Yes, I could sew on a button (Thanks Grandma!), but I never really learned on a sewing machine. I envied people who could! So over the years, as I tried to create Halloween costumes for myself and eventually my kids, I found I became very adept at using a hot glue gun to seal seams!

Well, with THIS project, you don’t need ANY hot glue, sewing machines, or even needle and thread! Just a yard of fleece fabric, some masking tape and sharp fabric scissors! (MY kind of sewing project!) And look how nice they are:

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This makes a great, last minute gift idea, or even better, it could become a community service project for middle school or high school students! Make a few scarves in one day and donate them to a homeless shelter!

A Few Tips:

  1. Fold the yard of fleece in half, line the edges up and cut off the white edging where the print stops.
  2. ssd-scarf-3Use masking tape to mark off the four scarves and to provide a straight line to cut along. Scarves should be 8-10 inches wide – on this project I marked off 9.5 inches.

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Remove Tree Sap From Hands In Seconds


I love the timeless, holiday tradition of bringing home the fresh Christmas tree! But want to guess what the most annoying, holiday tradition is? Trying to get the tree sap off your hands!

I have to thank James, the guy at the tree lot where we bought our Christmas trees for this fantastic tip — and it really does work in seconds!

tree-sap
Who knew something so simple would work so well?

 

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