Friday, November 29, 2013

FF: Pizza Rolls

I'll be the first to admit my family is full of pizza-holics. That being said, when I found this recipe, I got really excited to try it out, knowing how much my boys would love it!

What you'll need:
Grands Refrigerated Rolls (1-2 canisters)
Marinara sauce

How to do it:
Remove Grands from tube and roll flat.
Cover in marinara sauce, add toppings (cheese and pepperoni)
Pinch ends together, creating a ball shape.
Lay in a greased baking dish, with the smooth part on the top.
Continue doing this until completed, then cover in cheese and bake according to the instructions on the Grands rolls container. 

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guest Post: Recovering from Surgery

Good morning all! This morning I am off to have surgery, and in the meantime, one of our fabulous sponsors, Dara is here to share some tips for recovering after surgery. What's fantastic is that I work in a surgery center and I LOVE these tips. Everyone needs to read these and take each item into consideration, whether it be a big or small procedure. Dara has some great tips below, and a wonderful blog you need to check out! I'll be back as soon as I can!


Hello fellow This Workman Life readers! My name is Dara and I’m a blogger over at Not In Jersey, a place where I write about all the exciting (and maybe not so exciting) adventures my family and I enjoy. To introduce myself briefly, I’m a 30-something mom to 3 kids, ages 3, 6, and 8, and I love reading, traveling, Disney, crafts, and of course blogging!

Because Dani asked me to guest post for her while she is recovering from surgery, I thought I’d share a bit of advice for surgery recovery. Earlier this year, I too went through a surgery. From my experience, here is some of my surgery recovery advice.

1. Take whatever help you can get. I was very lucky that a friend of mine offered to call friends on my behalf and ask them to make meals for my family. I had all my dinners taken care of for two weeks after the surgery! Even if you think you can take care of yourself, be sure to say yes if people offer any type of help.

2. Prepare ahead. I thought about what I might want to eat the day I had my surgery and I asked my mom, who came to stay with us, to make soup, which I thought would be something easy to eat. I ended up having no appetite at all, and barely ate anything that day or the next. I don’t recommend this!

3. Keep hydrated as best as you can. About two days after my surgery, I woke up with the worst headache. I am pretty sure it was because I hadn’t been eating or drinking regularly. I also hadn’t had my caffeine fix for three days – coffee withdrawal! Since protein helps with healing, I’d suggest trying to drink muscle recovery drinks to keep your strength up. (I recently reviewed Rockin’ Refuel on my blog, as a suggestion!)

4. Follow your doctor’s advice. If they tell you not to shower, don’t try to bend the rules like I did. I was sick of being smelly so I showered before it was recommended. I don’t know for sure, but this may have caused some of the complications I experienced in my healing.

5. On the other hand, be your own advocate. After my surgery, my doctor prescribed me a cream to use on the part of my incision that wasn’t healing correctly. Unfortunately, no one realized the possibility that I was allergic to this cream – I am allergic to sulfa drugs when taken orally, but no one considered I might be allergic to the topical form as well. I had a lot of unneeded suffering due to an allergic reaction to this cream.
I wish I would have realized to question the prescription before it was too late!

Hopefully Dani will be back soon to tell everyone how great her surgery and recovery was and I hope that anyone else preparing for an upcoming surgery will benefit from my advice!

Monday, November 25, 2013

November Glam Bag

I really cannot believe that it's been a year since I started the Glam Bag subscription! It's been a fun year, full of lots of fun bags, fun products to try out, and lots of great things to review!
This month truly didn't let me down as my 1-year anniversary month. 

TRESemme travel size hairspray - $2.14
I already LOVE TRESemme and was so excited to have a travel size of my own - I've never seen them anywhere, and am really excited to keep it in my purse!

Pixi - Bronzer $18.00
The Pixi products are great. While the sizes of the product do run on the small size, they do last a long time! I'm really excited to try out this bronzer for the holidays!

Michelle Phan - Lip balm - Unknown Price
I absolutely love this lip balm! While I wish in was in an easier to access container so that I could use it throughout the day. That being said, I love the color and the quality of this product! 

Nailtini - Champagne - $13.00
NAILTINI! I love this brand so much and always get so excited when I see the box in the bag! I love the color, and the texture, is as always, perfect for a great mani!

Be a Bombshell - Hot Damn - $9.95
While I'm not the biggest fan of the Be a Bombshell products I've gotten (they're so red and totally unlike what I wear or use), I actually liked this one! But to be totally honest, I feel like a Russian prostitute when wearing it, it feels so out of place with my normal makeup scheme.

Starlooks Gem Pencil - Topaz - $9.95
I usually stick to my normal (and sometimes boring) black eyeliner. But this month I got this baby and was so excited to test it out. I am so glad that i did because it is so pretty! I am really excited to keep using this product and incorporate it into my daily makeup wear!

Makeup Bag Worth: $53.04 +
Bag Cost: $10.00

If you're interested in subscribing to Ipsy (the Glam Bag) check out this link and get started! You won't be sorry that you did!

Friday, November 22, 2013

German Spaghetti

If there is another name for this dish, I have no idea what it is. I grew up with the only person I know making this dish being the Germans. My Oma made it for us kids all the time, and her friends at church would make 
it too. To this day, that's exactly what we call it- German Spaghetti. 

What You'll Need:
1/2 stick butter
1 pkg spaghetti noodles
Swiss Cheese (shredded preferably)
Parmesan Cheese
Ham or Bacon

How to do it:
1. In a big pot prepare your noodles. Meanwhile, prep your ham and cheese, by shredding your cheese and cutting your ham into small cubes.
2. Drain pasta once cooked and add the butter. Stir well. Before turning off heat, add the cheese and ham to the pasta and continue to stir.
3. Once you're ready to serve, top with Parmesan cheese. Stir well and then sit down to enjoy your easy, quick and delicious dinner!

Apparently Little Dude loved it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Focus on Finances : How I'm saving and what I'm gaining

This post has really been a long-time coming.
Like, a year in the works long-time coming.

This year we really wanted to buckle down on finances and save. We want to buy a house, and know we've got a long road ahead of us, and started to work hard to get us to where we need to be.
So we started to live a different life, that led us to where we are today, as fun as it turned out to be!

I've been wanting to share some of my tips and tricks to saving money, and how we were able to creatively spend in different ways to save BIG.

1. Limiting Fast Food.

This is a big "no-duh" answer, but hear us out. We spend most of our weekends in the car and commute a ton during the week. Sometimes a fast-food dinner really is the only option we are willing to make...but that being said, we changed our own rules. Only eating fast food when its not full price.

Most fast food places send out coupons, some even weekly. Places like Carl's Jr., which is really expensive before coupons becomes very reasonable and almost a dollar menu when you use them. Other places that don't do regular coupons will have text services that you can text the code to, and in return get sent promos. Places like Sonic, Iceberg, and even Beans and Brews are all really good with their promos!

By limiting how we consume fast food also allows us to save quite a bit, because if we don't have a coupon, we just don't do it, meaning we eat at home more.

2. Cooking at home more.

This became really easy to do the more I did the Foodie Friday posts. Most recipies feed a family of four, where my family is a family of two and a toddler. We just don't eat as much as the recipe calls for, so we usually freeze the leftovers. This turns it into frozen food, and to top it off, its so much healthier and tastier than the frozen dinners you buy.
I can't believe we used to buy and eat that crap!

The other factors that played into this were eating at family's homes more and taking leftovers home. That's one of my favorite perks to helping my mom or my mother-in-law cook!

3. Makeup boxes

This sounds really strange, spending money to save money? Stay with me, I promise you'll get it.
When I first started doing the boxes, I only did IPSY. I love my monthly glam bag and loved that I got $40-$50 worth of product from a $10 subscription box. Not only that, but they were high-quality items! They were both sample sizes and full sizes and lasted forever!

It took about three months...but suddenly I didn't need to buy eyeshadow anymore. Or eyeliner. I didn't even need to buy any mascara. The boxes were paying for themselves, because in a month for those three things, I would've paid about $15 alone. If I had to pay for lipstick I would've been well into the $20 range, and this is a MONTHLY cost.

I now subscribe to IPSY and Birchbox and I save myself quite a bit of money (I think we've estimated about $50-$75 a year so far). The only thing I need to buy anymore is my face powder. That took my makeup cost at the grocery store per month from $25 to $5, plus I have tons of products I get to test out and try.

Even better, Ipsy and Birchbox offer promos where they'll send extra products in the bag (like Urban Decay eyeshadows) when you write reviews on your products, making the bags even more valuable!

4. Canning

This one was one that takes a LONG time to do and seems totally unreasonable for a family of two, but when you consider that I did a lot of my canning with my mother-in-law and that we shared with the Workman clan, it becomes very reasonable. We canned pepper relish, and I canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and homemade salsa on my own. My MIL canned apple sauce and a few other items that will help us get through the season. These will not only taste good, but last quite some time for a great price!

5. Ad-Matching & Couponing

This tip takes a lot of time, and patience before it really kicks in as a great tip. First off, you'll need the store ads in order to ad match. With us, not all the ads get delivered in the weekly mail, so for a long time I felt like we were getting a bit screwed with. However, once we started picking up a weekly newspaper we started getting the coupons and the ad matches, making it worthwhile.

Then the coupons comes into effect. You sometimes need to wait a long time for a coupon and ad match to become valuable. You have to wait for the product to go on sale, or have to wait for a coupon of value to come into play. But, once you do, it is well worth it.

An example of ad-matching and couponing: Sunny Delight was on sale for 0.79. I had a coupon that said that I got a dollar off if I bought two. 0.79 x 2 = 1.58 - 1.00 = 0.58 (for two) or 0.29 each.
Sunny Delight, that is usually $1.75 at the store for $0.29? Yep. But you have to be good about it!

6. Freezing Leftovers

This is a tip my Oma taught me, and it's been very helpful so far! If you have more than two days worth of leftovers (we see it as two medium containers), then you need to freeze the rest. When we have leftovers we label them with what it is and when it was made, then put them into two containers, one for Bubba's work, and one for leftover night for dinner during the week. The rest gets frozen and can be eaten at any time.

This is also great because very rarely does my husband go to work and not eat a home-cooked meal for lunch. This means he isn't spending money on his lunches, saving us more than I'd like to admit.

7. Use it up - All of it

I used to throw away makeup and beauty products when I couldn't squeeze out anymore from the tube or bottle it came in. One day I read in Self Magazine that you can still get plenty of product out of it if you cut into the container to use it ALL up. Now we do that. When it comes to lotion, toothpaste, etc, we do cut into the products to get every last little bit out of it, and sometimes there is enough to last another month!

8. Clearance- Only Clothes Shopping

I have always done this, and cannot stand to pay full price for clothing when I know it will be marked down to clearance prices soon enough. With my son, this is a little bit harder for me because I want to buy him every cute outfit that I see! However, places like BuyBuyBaby and Babies R Us have excellent clearance sections that allow you to use store coupons on top of the prices. About a month ago I got my son three outfits (including a pack of socks) for less than $3!

Other places to check out for clearance is Target and Wal-Mart, who if you nicely ask the employees, will always show you where they've put the good stuff.

9. Write Reviews & Thank You's

This one takes a lot of time to do as well, but I like to write reviews, and send thank you's with companies. They're not putting this "how was your meal" on the receipt for nothing, and it does waste a considerable amount of paper if you think about it! So, I started writing e-mails, and filling out the forms when I have the time to do so. Sometimes I do them just because we had a great experience.

In return we've gotten coupons, and even a few gift cards from companies as thank you's in return. I've been doing these since high school and will keep doing this because not only are they asking me, but companies hardly ever get praised for doing a great job- they'll usually only hear from the angry consumers. This helps makes peoples jobs better on top of it all.

10. Don't Waste Money!

This one seems so obvious, but a lot of people don't realize WHERE their money is going! Sit down and make out your budget list, make sure you have your list of finances available, and make sure you know where every penny is going! Some people don't realize that when they take a day or two to pay a bill, that late fee adds up really quickly! Others don't realize that some bills are less costly when you pay in advance or do automatic withdrawal. This also applies for paying for two services when you only need one; like cable and Netflix (or Hulu and Netflix).

Monday, November 18, 2013

November Birchbox Review

This month I was a little worried. At some point, I marked my Birchbox tracking code e-mail as read, when I surely hadn't read it and had assumed I wasn't getting one this month.
Not only did I get one, but they did not let me down! Check out these awesome products!

BeeKind Body Lotion - $15
I am absolutely in love with this lotion. It's texture is unlike any lotion I've used before, not think and crummy like the cheap lotions, but not thick and hard to apply. It's just perfect. It also smells faintly of orange, which is such a pleasant smell. A little bit goes a long way, and has been saving my hands from this dry and cold Utah weather!

Eyeko Skinni Mini - $16
I love this eyeliner pencil. I usually use Maybelline's liquid eyeliner, so picking one I like is hard, but this one is great! The big difference between this pencil and my usual is that with my normal eyeliner I have to sweep the excess off the brush before I can put it on. With this, I can apply it with no hassle or fuss!
Plus, it looks GREAT once it's on! 

Mighty Leaf - Tea pouches $9.95
Since quitting drinking soda, I've been drinking lots of other drinks to try to have a change of flavor. When I saw these, I was excited to try them out! I love the variety they provided us with as well. The most impressive thing was the actual fabric sewn herb pouch and the knit string with the label. It's fancy tea, folks.
It's also quite satisfying and a fun product to test out!

Vasanti - Brighten Up! - $34
I am actually really impressed with this product. At first I thought it was a face lotion, so I wasn't too excited, but when I realized it was a microdermabrasion formula, I was thrilled. My skin is super sensitive, so the fact that this brand worked wonders without making my skin painful, or red, or blotchy, made me really happy.
First off, while it was cleansing, it was still smooth. It smelled GREAT and I only needed to use a little bit to make it go a long way, making it a product I'll be able to use for quite some time!

Color Club - On the Rocks  $8
I've actually seen a lot about Color club around the internet but I've never actually tried the brand out! I love the color - its perfect for the holidays - and was really excited to test out a new product!
The best thing about it is, it dries quickly. Other great perks, one layer is more than enough to cover the nail, and it dries in an almost-matte finish. Its a perfect mix of subtle glam, and I LOVE it!

Value of Products: $82.95
Box Cost: $10
If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, check out this link. It's only $10 a month, and you get a great variety and value of items to test out! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breasts

Recipe Originally Found Here - Our recipe is slightly different!

What You'll Need:
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Mayo
1 1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3-4 chicken breasts

How to do it: 
1. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with foil. 
2. Mix everything except the chicken together to create a wet mix. Spread mix over chicken breasts.
3. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes
Serve while warm and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

18 Signs You Were Raised by a Kraut

Honestly, it's no shocker to anyone that I was raised a tried and true Kraut. But until recently, when my cousins and I started talking about how strange our childhood was, we didn't think we were THIS strange. Until we put together a list of things we did that other kids didn't get to do.
Trust me, we had fun.

1. You own more than one stein.
Germans with steins are like Rednecks with t-shirts. You must get one for every vacation you go on, and then display it proudly every chance you get.

2. You've eaten Rouladen, Spaetzle, Sauerkraut and Blood-wurst, and liked it.
It takes all day to make them, they're fattening as all get out, and covered in an obscene amount of gravy (no pretty food photos here). But, they're delicious.

3. There is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale book in your house.
And you've read them many times, and are terrified by them.
Another sign you're a kraut:
blonde hair, blue eyes, big boobs

4. Your Oma likes David Hasselhoff.
And it does freak you out a little bit.

5. It's November 13th, and you have already been told about your Christmas Advent Calendar.
Multiple times. And you've been asked when you want to take it home.
And when you remind your family its November 13th, they try to convince you that you need one for November too.

6. You've become a chocolate snob.
You know who makes the good chocolate and where to find it. Who needs Nestle when you have Lindt?

7. Nutcrackers.
And not just for the holidays either. For display ALL year round.

7.5. Nutcrackers that smoke a pipe
And thats just the one proudly displayed on the bookshelf. There's three more in the family that smoke too!

8. Penaten Cream.
And it's not just used for eczema like I use it. Oh no, growing up it went on everything! Penaten cream is to Germans what Windex is to Greeks!
Pink cheeks? Put some Penaten cream on it. Bruise? Slather that sticky white shit on it! Scar? You know what you need. You have a cold and are dosed up on cold meds and still feel crummy? Try some Penaten cream?
All jokes aside, that shit works wonders!

9. You own a Dirndl dress.
And if you need to sport a new one you know about ten different people who you can score one from.

10. Manners matter.
And don't you dare forget it! You were raised strict, you knew you were raised strict, a LOT was asked of you, but in return you were spoiled rotten, loved to pieces and got to do so many fun and interesting things!

the brow
11. Recipes don't exist.
I've yet to meet a German that follows a recipe. Whenever I ask my Oma how to make something, she tells me to "just add salt and butter until it tastes good."
For what it's worth, that's pretty sound advice.

12. The Brow.
Everyone in my family knows about the brow. I genuinely don't know if its just a Utah German thing or if all Germans do it...but we do the brow. And we do it well. Mr. Spock can't even compare to the look of the brow that you get...especially when you're in trouble.

13. Drinking songs.
I don't drink, but man I love a good drinking song. Most krauts, whether they drink daily or never set foot in a pub know many drinking songs, making trips to Oktoberfest a blast!

14. You were very prepared for any elements you may encounter in the backyard.
Whether you were dressed in a puffy jacket or a inch layer of sunscreen, your parents had you covered. Literally.

15. Your room being a mess wasn't an option.
Neither was your bathroom, or any other part of the house.
And dust bunnies....well they were extinct as far as you knew.

16. You don't buy your meats or cheeses from Walmart, you go to the Delicatessen.
Krauts take their meats and cheeses to a whole new level of seriousness, and growing up you'd make special trips out of your way to get exactly what you needed.

17. The Chicken Dance
If I didn't know any better you'd think that it was the national anthem of Germany. And growing up you knew the song and dance all too well!

18. You are type A, you knew it, and you knew it wasn't going to change.
We all are in a sense very type A. Some of us more A+ than others, but we were all very loud, very opinionated, and very hard-working. We're all a little bit nutty, but thats what makes us fun, and makes growing up Kraut a blast!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese soup is probably my favorite soup ever. It's my weakness, really. Whenever I find out someplace serves over! I found this awesome crockpot recipe HERE, and with some minor tweaks we made it our own. Check out her link for the full recipe!

What you'll Need:

2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups milk
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
10 oz pkg frozen (and chopped) broccoli

Mix everything into a pot and stir.
Cook on low for 4 hours, and stir occasionally while its cooking.
Garnish with cheese and serve with toast or bread.
No, really. That's it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

God be with you til we meet again. (Remembering Grandpa Beanie)

I didn't get to know Grandpa Beanie for very long, but I am so thankful for the time I got to know this fantastic man. I remember when I first met him, he was so kind, and gave me a big hug instead of the handshake I was expecting. It was Thanksgiving, 2008, and he immediately asked Bubba when our wedding would be. We hadn't even started dating yet.

Christmas that year I felt almost out of place at the family Christmas party, but Grandpa told me to come sit by him and Grandma Trudy. They introduced me to Bubba's aunts, uncles and cousins, and again, Grandpa asked when our wedding would be. I will never forget how he laughed at my reaction to that question.

Despite Grandpa's health declining quickly, Grandpa was strong and kept his family together. He joked with the doctors and nurses, kept the family on their toes and made us smile and laugh at every chance he got. He turned every stressful or sad moment into a beautiful and pleasant one. 

Grandpa Beanie kept strong and made sure to attend almost every family function and every party he could. He was there for every Easter, 4th of July BBQ, Fathers Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the family parties in between. He loved to be around his family, and as more great-grandbabies were born, he had more hugs to give and smiles to share.

We visited Grandma and Grandpa when Brayden was a day old. They weren't able to come visit us in the hospital, and wanted to meet their great-grandson. We took him over to meet him and Grandpa snuggled Brayden for nearly an hour and a half, refusing to give Grandma a turn to snuggle him while we were there. That was only the start of Brayden being Grandpa Beanie's boy.

As Grandpa's health declined more, Brayden's love for him grew. He loved to snuggle Grandpa, talk to him, and even share laughs. Our little dude had plenty of love to give to Grandpa openly, while poor Grandma has to work to get a hug or a snuggle from him. Even in the last few visits we took him to see Grandpa, Brayden would hug his legs, or go into his room to tell him good night. From a 20-month-old, that is some serious loving. 

On Friday, Nov 1st, Grandpa Beanie passed away. Thankfully, he passed away surrounded by his family, who was with him for days up until his passing. While we will miss him dearly, and love him so much, we know that heaven gained a great angel and that thanks to Heavenly Father's plan, we will see him again. In the meantime, we have one final thing to say to Grandpa;
God be with you, til we meet again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My name is Dani, and I am addicted to Diamond Candles

I had seen them all over the internet. The craze that at first I was skeptical about. But when they contacted me about their fabulous candles, I was so excited to give it a try. 
The ordering process was such a breeze, and thanks to their easy-to-use and beautiful website, I really was able to find the scent I wanted, something I was not sure I would be able to do online!
Then, the shipping process. Guys, I ordered my candle on Friday, and got it on a Tuesday. THAT is fantastic shipping! Not to mention it was wrapped so well in the most beautiful box! There is so much attention to the little details with Diamond Candles, I love it!
Then we started the burn process. This candle is still going strong, and it's been about three weeks! I was SO excited about the ring that I started to browse their Instagram feed. Oh my goodness, how I loved seeing all that bling!

It took about three days of all-day burning to get to my ring, (which really wasn't that far down considering we're still at about the halfway point now!), but once I saw that aluminum foil packet in my candle I was giddy with excitement - not to mention my house smelled GREAT!
I had to wait a couple of hours before I felt comfortable opening it up - I didn't want to burn my fingers on the wax - and the anxiety was KILLING me! Finally, it was time to open it up, and I was SO EXCITED to see the most beautiful ring in my candle!
(And yes, I've worn it more than I care to admit at the moment.)

But I'm not the only lucky one here, using the widget below, you have the chance to enter to win your own Diamond Candle, valued at $24.95 - with a ring inside valued at $10- $5,000! These candles are such a great value and I've loved mine, and am so excited to be a loyal customer from here on out. Now its your turn - I hope you win!

p.s. Thanks Diamond Candles for selecting us to try out your fantastic product! We're BIG fans!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chicken Noodle (Soup) Casserole

It's been so cold here! It's been a bitter-sweet fall, with beautiful leaves, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, but folks, it is COLD here! That's why I've been loving these warm-dinner recipes! Check out today's dish, Chicken Noodle (Soup) Casserole!

What You'll Need:
2-3 chicken breasts
2 carrots (medium sized and peeled)
2 small potatoes (washed)
3 celery stalks
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 can cream of chicken soup
Pasta (whichever type you desire!)

How to do it:
1. In a pot, begin to boil your water. Add salt or olive oil if desired.
2. Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and after cutting your chicken into small cubes, add to the skillet and begin to cook it.
3. In a small pot, begin to boil your veggies. Slice them as desired, and let cook for about 5 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked, which is what I did).
4. Once chicken is cooked, add 1 can cream of chicken soup, and 1 can water with the veggies. Mix well and let simmer until the noodles are done cooking.
5. Take your baking pan, and add a tablespoon of oil into it. Using your fingers, rub the oil all over your pan, so nothing will stick to the sides (sounds weird, but it works SO well!). Once the pasta is cooked, mix the chicken/veggie/sauce mix into it, and add it into the baking dish. Mix well!
6. Top pasta with cheese (sliced or shredded - i did both to see if there was a difference in taste or texture) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve while warm and enjoy!

p.s. This dish freezes really well, so freeze some for a sick day!