Copycat Olive Garden Bread Sticks

My son is 4 years old and always asks if we can eat at Olive Garden.  He loves their chicken alfredo and breadsticks. I found this recipe and thought it would be a good idea to surprise him with Olive Garden copycat breadstick!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water warm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon yeast or one package of active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour plus extra for the board
  • 4 tablespoons melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

  1. Combine warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast in a large bowl of a mixer or a food processor. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and salt and process until the dough forms a nice uniform ball. Place dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

  2. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in size (this should take about an hour) place dough on a well-floured board and roll out the dough. Roll out dough into a large rectangle. Cut in half horizontally, and then cut vertical strips of dough about 1 1/2 inches thick.

  3. Roll the strips of dough into sticks. Place dough on a greased baking sheet, and allow them to rise until they have doubled in size (this should take about 45 minutes). You should get between 20 and 24 breadsticks from this recipe. Melt butter, and stir in Parmesan cheese and oregano.

  4. For best results rub the oregano between your fingers as you place it into the butter. This will help release the oils of the oregano and make it taste even better. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Just before baking breadsticks brush them with butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush any leftover butter topping on these just before serving.

 Prep Time 2 hours
 Cook Time 15 minutes
 Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

5 Housework Shortcuts

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When it comes to housework, there aren’t really shortcuts as such, for, unfortunately, such physical tasks involve time and effort.  Whilst there are some things you can do automate certain tasks, for instance, getting a dishwasher rather than washing the dishes yourself, when it comes to the majority of tasks it’s more about optimizing your efficiency by using the best products and techniques rather than taking shortcuts.

 

Indeed, some shortcuts might seem like they are saving you time but often result in you having to do something twice.  Of course, the best housework shortcut is to hire someone to do your housework for you.

 

Whilst this might seem like an expensive option, it depends how you look at it, for if you were to pay $10 per hour for a cleaner to come and clean your house – but you have a business where you earn $20 an hour, for your time, it would make financial sense for you to outsource your cleaning – meaning it’s not such an extravagant expense as some people think; indeed, it can be quite a frugal step to take.

 

In the alternative, akin to how a dishwasher takes care of your dirty washing up, and a washing machine takes care of your dirty clothes, a robotic vacuum such as the ones you can find on this site here can reduce one of the most time intensive and physically arduous aspects of cleaning.

 

Rather than provide “housework shortcuts” in the sense of tips on how to clean your fridge and oven quicker, this article looks at a process of getting your house in order, so that when it comes to cleaning it’s more of a maintenance task that takes just a few minutes a day.  

 

After all, the majority of “untidy” houses tend to be cluttered and full of junk, rather than dirty, as cleaning the oven tends to be a pretty simple process compared to sorting out your house from the perspective of making it less messy and chaotic.

 

Once you have given it a really deep clean, from there, you can feel much less overwhelmed when it comes to keeping on top of your housework.

 

  1. DECLUTTER

If you are always searching through clutter to find items such as your car keys, or perhaps when it comes to packing for your holiday you are left frantically going through drawers in a hurried attempt to find your passport… there’s a good chance your home is too cluttered and disorganized; causing practical and emotional chaos in your life.

 

The first step, therefore, is that of decluttering which naturally leads onto the next phase of ‘getting organized ’… as it’s very challenging to get organized if your home is full of clutter everywhere.

 

  1. GET ORGANIZED

From an emotional perspective, most people have a psychological need for order within their home in order to feel calm and grounded.  This feeling of emotional stability, rather than instability is closely tied in with how organized your life feels, particularly within your home.

 

When you have decluttered your home and become more organized, the next step is to get rid of the junk in your home – as the process of getting organized usually means shedding a lot of paperwork and items you no longer need.

 

  1. GET RID OF JUNK

Whether it’s removing the clutter from your house in terms of old clothes and paperwork or removing garden waste or even heavy rubble, this process can be time consuming and arduous – meaning you might want to outsource this aspect, or perhaps, hire a van for a weekend and use this van to cart your trash to a local refuse site.  

 

This should be an emotionally cleansing and cathartic experience which links in with the next step of cleansing your home.

 

  1. CLEANSE

The act of cleaning your home isn’t a purely physical experience; whilst cleaning is a practical activity it is also an activity that can benefit you emotionally and spiritually.  It can be cathartic to go through your home and clean every corner of it as this process will cleanse the energy and emotion stored within your home, and can be a very soothing experience.

5. RENEW

Now that your home is fresher, you can focus more on the interior design of your property And inject some new vibrancy into your home with a lick of paint, upgrade of the carpet, or purchase of a few new items.   In the alternative, if you’re on a budget, then consider upcycling some of your old furniture and revamping it to freshen up the feel of your home.

Wedding Planning Tips that will Help you to Have the Perfect Day

Getting married can be an exciting experience, but it does involve a lot of planning. You may also find that along the way, some things get forgotten about or just overlooked, and this is the last thing you need. If you want to have the perfect wedding day, then take a look below to see some top tips that will really help to reduce stress.

 

Plan Early

If you have set a date for your wedding and it is two or even three years away then you need to start planning right now. If you don’t then you risk rushing around at the last minute and this can cause you even more stress. You may find that your florist is not available, that your DJ is double-booked or anything else of the sort, but all of this can be avoided if you just book as far-in-advance as you can. Things that you need to plan out right now include your insurance, rough guest numbers and the budget that you have for your wedding. Once you have your guest list sorted, don’t forget about wedding invites as well.

 

Budget

It’s so important that you don’t spend anything unless you have a realistic budget. After all, it is very easy to overspend when you are planning something as important as a wedding and you may even overlook some of the finer details as well. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go through absolutely everything so you can work out how much you can spend on each item. You never know, you may have some money left over at the end and this could mean that you end up getting the dress you’ve always wanted!

Bride and Groom Walking Down the Aisle

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bride-and-groom-walking-down-the-aisle-794254/

 

Helping Hands

Sure, it’s your big day but your friends and family are always going to be there to support you. It’s important that you accept their help and that you really involve them in the planning. When you do this, you can take some of the stress off yourself and you can also feel more confident knowing that everything is being taken care of.

 

Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With Hands

https://www.pexels.com/photo/midsection-of-woman-making-heart-shape-with-hands-256737/

 

Plan B

It doesn’t matter how much you don’t want to think about it, because something can, and probably will go wrong on the day. It’s so important that you have a Plan B in place in case something like this happens. After all, rain can strike at any time and you may even find that your venue falls through. If this is the case then you have to make sure that you have a backup in place so that you are not left too stressed out if something does happen.

 

Pick Carefully

It’s your big day, so you do need to make sure that you have a maid of honour or even a best man who can help you to get everything sorted out. It’s important that you don’t choose anyone who you have recently met for this role or even people who you barely see. The main reason for this is because it could cause drama that you just don’t need.

 

Simple Ways You Can Help Your Child’s Development

Baby Lying on BedImage Source

 

Every parent is very familiar with the phrase “they grow up so fast.” It’s a complete and total cliche, and yet it’s often hard to deny that it’s also incredibly true as well. It can often feel as though time is leaving you behind and that your little one is growing up at such a speed that you can’t really keep up. Of course, the best thing that you can do is not only to try and keep up but to try and encourage your children through many of the milestones that often come with growing up.  With that in mind, here are some ways to help your child’s development.

 

Leaving the cot

One of the first milestones that many parents and children both find themselves struggling with is the moment where your child outgrows the cot that they’ve been sleeping in since they were an infant. You’ll usually get a decent amount of warning that this is coming because you’ll find that your child is able to climb out of the cot without any help and that they are finding themselves feeling someone cramped while they’re sleeping in it. The most important thing for you is to try and make this transition as fun and exciting for your child as possible. Little kids don’t like change, that’s just a fact of life, and many young children treat their cot as a place where they feel very safe and protected. The space that’s offered by a lot of toddler beds can often make them feel a little exposed. Luckily a lot of beds for toddlers can be incredibly fun, with a whole host of different designs and themes. Get your child involved in choosing the bed and they will feel a much stronger sense of ownership over it, making them incredibly excited to sleep in it.   

 

Potty Training

This is something that many parents dread more than just about anything. As much of a pain as changing nappies can be, the idea of transitioning from them to your child using the toilet can be seriously daunting. The single most important thing to remember is that you don’t put too much pressure on your child. Potty training is something that should be done gradually, and you should never get angry when your child has accidents, even if it is incredibly frustrating to have to wash their clothes so much more frequently. Be as upbeat and positive as possible so that your child doesn’t become self-conscious about it. By offering as much positive reinforcement as possible, you’ll actually find that the whole process takes a lot less time than you might initially assume.

 

Learning independence

Helping your child, even as a baby, become more independent is pretty essential to their development and there are plenty of ways to do that. From swimming lessons to letting them spend time in the hands of friends and relatives without you, to taking them to baby and toddler groups to develop social skills, it’s essential that you teach your baby that, while you’ll always be there for them, it’s okay for them to spend time without you. This can often be just as hard for you as it is for them but it’s the kind of thing that really does help you both in the long run.

No matter what, you’re never going to be able to be completely prepared for every milestone that comes up in your child’s life. Things are always going to come as a shock, and there will be things that you’ll both simply have to play by ear. But the most important thing is to remember to be as patient as possible with your child and make sure that they always know that you’re there to offer hem a safety net as they navigate the incredibly complicated and treacherous waters of life. After all, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so they are sure to make mistakes along the road. It’s your job to be there to catch them when they do and help them get back on the right track.

No Carve Pumpkin Contest

My son started Pre-K in August and his school is having a no-carve pumpkin contest tomorrow. Here are some ideas we are considering. I’m not very creative so we have been looking on Pinterest for ideas.

Oscar the grouch pumpkin. Pumpkin decorating contest. Ping pong ball eyes and painted flower pot trash can.

citrouilles gentilles qui ne font pas peur Halloween

For the ones who love movies and popcorn!

These are very cute and do not look like they require too much creativity. We will be making one tonight hope it comes out cute!

GOOEY MONSTER COOKIE RECIPE

 

These would make great cookies for a Halloween party. Plus the kids will love to help make these colorful cookies and have a blast adding the eyes. I look forward to making these soon!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 c butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar
  • food coloring I used NEON food coloring to make them more vibrant
  • candy eyeballs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.

  2. Mix in the cake mix. Divide batter into bowls for the number of colors you want.

  3. Add food coloring to each individual bowl and mix until all combined.

  4. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll into balls and dip in a bowl of powdered sugar.

  6. Place on greased cookie sheet and pat down a bit.

  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

  8. Add candy eyeballs while cookies are still warm. ENJOY!

Soniclear Elite Beauty Set

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Soniclear Elite Beauty Set

This is absolutely my favorite face scrubber. It is so elaborate and the design is so pretty! I use this daily for deep cleaning my face. Although this set includes body scrub too, you can use it for feet, body, and face with the different brushes available!!  It has 6 speeds and a cashmere brush head!! This design has everything you need to make you feel like you are at a spa without the cost!!

This would make a wonderful Christmas Gift for that special someone or hard to buy someone in your life!

I have a tendency to get acne during “that time of the month”, yes, even at my age. This has been amazing, it keeps my oily skin under control. For the first time in a long time, I am able to use foundation.

 

Features

  • Power Control Handle. Produces up to 300 sonic movements per second for 6x better cleansing than with hands alone.
  • Antimicrobial Daily Cleanse Brush. Gentle, effective daily cleanse brush. Brush bristles are sized and uniquely rounded at the tip for gentle, effective daily cleansing. Antimicrobial for stain and odor-causing bacteria protection.
  • Antimicrobial Body Brush Exfoliating body scrubber for smoother feeling skin. Antimicrobial for stain and odor-causing bacteria protection.
  • Multiple Speeds with C-Boost™ Technology. 6 sonic speeds for a customizable cleansing experience for your specific skin type and skin concerns. C-Boost provides a pulsating massage designed to rev-up your skincare regimen.
  • Cleansing Timer. Built-in automatic timer beeps to remind you to move to the next cleansing area.
  • Cordless and Rechargeable. Provides up to an hour of continuous use on a single charge.
  • Waterproof. Fully waterproof for use in the shower and bath.
  • Comfort Grip. Soft, non-slip grips are provided for increased comfort and to prevent slipping, an extra plus when using in the shower.
  • Charging Stand. Upright cradle for storage and charging.
  • Antimicrobial Product Protection. Safe, effective and long lasting LIFE Antimicrobial Product Protection is built into the brush head to protect against stain and odor-causing bacteria so brushes stay cleaner, fresher for longer. Won’t wash out or wear off for the life of the brush.
  • Warranty. The Soniclear Elite has an industry leading 5 year limited warranty against defects.
  • Deluxe Accessory Group. With the Deluxe version of the Elite, you also get our antimicrobial PEDI treatment head for smoothing foot care, Extension Handle, convenient Shower Organizer and hard shell Travel Case.Antimicrobial 
    protected brush is a
    REAL cleansing 
    innovation! The inventors of Soniclear recognized that skin cells and moisture remaining on the brush heads between uses can create conditions for bacteria to grow. So all Soniclear brush bristles, the base to which the bristles are attached and the protective cap are treated during the manufacturing process with proprietary LIFE® antimicrobial product protection – a soniclear exclusive – to help guard against the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria. Traditional skin cleansing systems do not provide this protection. The antimicrobial protection in Soniclear is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency to guard against stain and odor-causing bacteria on the Brush Heads of your Soniclear. In laboratory tests, surfaces treated with the antimicrobial in Soniclear showed 99.9% inhibition of stain and odor-causing bacteria after 24 hours compared with an untreated control. Safe, effective and long lasting, the antimicrobial product protection in Soniclear Brush Heads will not wash out or wear off for the normal life of the brush so the brushes stay cleaner, fresher for longer.Antimicrobial product protection is not a substitute for good hygienic practices nor is it intended to protect the user from disease-causing microorganisms. We recommend that you clean the Brush Heads with warm soapy water before and after each use and not share Brush Heads for sanitary reasons.

Taking Care of Ageing Parents

In time, we all face the role reversal that comes from being parented by our parents to having to care for our parents like a parent.  Indeed taking care of elderly parents can be hard work; as not only do you need to tend to their medical and physiological needs but also their social and emotional needs.  In reality, this can be a tiring uphill struggle, particularly when dealing with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, so here are few tips that will help lighten the load and take some of the weight off your shoulders.

HIRE A CLEANER

Often, cleaning and undertaking daily or weekly chores can be a core component of the time you spend with your parents looking after their needs; which, whilst essential in many respects this time could be better invested in engaging and interacting with them on a social level.  If you can afford to outsource the cleaning to an external cleaner, this will free up your time to connect and engage.  One of the most common issues amongst old people is a lack of social engagement – so pass the torch (or in this case, the brush) to someone else to take care of the cleaning and you start caring for the emotional state of the person you are working so hard to look after.

OUTSOURCE THE CARE

It might not always feel like the nicest of options, but there is a time and a place for outsourcing some of your parent’s care.  The cost of this can be pretty expensive, and whilst you’re paying a premium price you’re not always getting the premium service one would expect.  In fact, carers are some of the lowest paid members of the health community which can lead to a particularly young workforce who are inexperienced to deal with the challenges clients face in a tactful and caring way.

However, there are a number of services such as Seniors for Seniors elder care services that provide more mature and experienced carers who work from a place of passion, care and consideration – most likely having experienced something themselves with their own parents, this level of empathy and tactful interaction with their clients is a highly valued  commodity you are unlikely to find with younger carers.

HIRE A GARDENER

In a similar vein to hiring a cleaner, hiring a gardener to maintain aspects such as keeping the lawn trimmed and tending to leaves in the driveway (particularly useful if your parent could be at risk of slipping and falling) – these are jobs that are tempting to take on yourself, but outsourcing these jobs to a gardener, or even a family member, such as a child – will free your time up to care for more pressing emotional needs.

The golden thread throughout these ideas is that of outsourcing aspects of practical care so that you can focus more on engaging with the emotional aspects of your parent; in reality, they would most likely appreciate a day out by the seaside or a companion to watch their favourite TV show than have you rattling around in the kitchen; checking up on them to see if they have taken their medication.  Therefore, try to outsource as much as you can and focus on being their trusted friend rather than their ‘home help’

Some Pointers For Mastering The Art Of Parenthood

 

Woman in Gray Sweater Carrying Toddler in White Button-up Shirt

Picture Source

Being a parent isn’t easy. You probably knew that before you even had children because it’s something that other parents never stop saying. Of course, when you actually have kids, you truly appreciate how difficult it is to juggle your many responsibilities. Obviously, you were probably prepared in the sense that you knew you’d have these responsibilities, but nobody can be prepared for how tired they’ll be once they become a parent. It takes a while for your brain and body to adjust. And if you want some pointers to help you master the art of parenthood then the following pieces of advice should give you the answers.

 

Get help from friends, family members, and babysitters.

The first step for mastering the art of parenthood is learning to take a step back. That might sound like the exact opposite of any advice you were expecting, but it’s important. As we’ll discuss throughout this article, you’re the best parent to your kids when you’re the best version of yourself. And that’s why you need to know when to take a break. You might want to get a “granny nanny” to help you out. The beauty of hiring help from semi-retired (or fully-retired) women is that they’ll be ready to devote themselves to looking after your children at the drop of a hat. Of course, the same thing could be achieved by getting help from friends, family members, or babysitters to look after your children.

 

The important thing is that you need to accept help wherever possible to look after your kids. You don’t have to do everything on your own, even if you have the help of a partner. In fact, getting assistance from friends or babysitters can give you and your partner the opportunity to go out for a nice meal. Or you could simply ask for help from family members and friends when you have some chores you need do and appointments you need to make. The people close to you will appreciate that you have many errands which need to be completed on a daily basis. Whether you have babies or teens, you can’t be in the house 24/7 to keep an eye on everyone and everything. It’s important to give yourself breaks from time to time, whether it’s a break to do errands or a break to relax and enjoy yourself. If you get others to help you spread your responsibilities then you won’t feel as if there’s a weight on your shoulders. This will help to protect your sanity and make you a better parent to your kids.

 

Keep up with school.

Whether your kid is entering pre-school or they’re on the verge of starting college, you probably feel as if you’re going through the educational experience with them. And, with an adult’s perspective, you probably take it more seriously than you did when you were the student. Obviously, this is also because you want your child to be as successful as possible. Whilst you can’t sit your child’s exams for them and you shouldn’t do their homework if you want them to learn, you should be aiming to keep up with their school progress. You can provide support and guide them through their homework. And, whilst all kids hate this, you should ask them about their day when they get home. The best thing you can do, as a parent, is to simply let your child know you’re there and ready to help them.

 

You might also want to get involved with the school on a personal level. If you want to ensure that your kid has the best possible educational experience then help to make sure the school works as well as possible. This doesn’t mean you should tell teachers how to do their jobs, but you should make appointments to discuss issues if you want to make sure you’re getting the full picture of your child’s progress. You could even give suggestions that might help the school out. NST help teachers to organize school trips on their website. You could suggest that the school uses this resource to keep things structured and to keep parents in the loop. The point is that every parent should make sure they know as much as possible about the curriculum and the general structure of the school their child attends. Don’t simply get all of your information straight from the mouth of your kid (especially if they’re not very talkative when it comes to school).

 

Teach them about values.

You should also aim to teach your children about the things they should value in life. Obviously, this will vary from family to family. It depends on the things you personally believe, but there are certain things that every child should learn at a young age. You should teach your kid the value of honesty, patience, respect, and being kind to others. These are the core traits that we all need to possess in order to care for our family and people we meet in the world. If you want to be the best possible parent to your child then you need to give them the skills they’ll need to do well in the adult world.

adult, beverage, black coffee

Picture Source

 

Look after each other.

As mentioned earlier, being a good parent is about being the best version of yourself. You need to look after your physical and mental wellbeing in order to take care of your child’s physical and mental wellbeing. The best way to achieve this is to look after one another in your household. You could have weekly family catch-ups to see how everyone is doing. It’s a chance to open up about any problems members of the family might be experiencing at home, work, or school. You can all provide support for each other. Of course, those weekly meetings are also a chance to open up about good things that have happened throughout the week or simply to tell stories about funny things that have happened. It’s an opportunity to keep connections strong in your family. Bonding is the best way to look after each other. It’s about making sure everyone in the family knows that they’re valued and loved by everyone else in the family.