Peaches and Pumpkin

Enjoying the sweet and sour in life.

Legitimate ways to work from home March 10, 2012


As a stay at home mom, I am constantly on the search for ways to make money, and never having to put my children in daycare, or in the care of a stranger. I’ve seen my share of scams, and in today’s world, they are everywhere! I’ve complied my list of sites that I’ve found that can lead to jobs at home, or just extra money. All of these links can be found on the right side of the page under “Work From Home.”

 1. Mysurvey: Here you can earn points for completing surveys. When you register, you provide some information about yourself and they match you with surveys accordingly. You are given points according to how long the survey was, or how much you had to participate. You can then exchange your points for rewards. I usually exchange my points for PayPal money, and either get something I need on Ebay, or switch the money into my bank account.  I usually get about $40 per month, which isn’t much but every little bit helps!

2. Elance: If you have special talents, or skills, Elance has thousands of job listings. People and companies post jobs or projects they need completed, that can be full-time, or just something quick. There are many types of jobs on here, and you really have to check it out to believe me. Once you complete your profile, you can search for jobs, and submit proposals on the ones that you can complete. The individual or company will then choose someone to complete it.

3. Find Focus Groups: Search in your area for studies, or for companies needing products tested. You complete a quick survey, and if you qualify, you participate and get paid! Some of these require you to actually attend studies. From what I’ve seen, they are usually on the weekends.

4. Task Rabbit: Have spare time on your hands? This website has many jobs posted from people who don’t have any extra time to do the simple things that you and I do…laundry, grocery shopping, and picking up the dry cleaning.  This is a fairly new site, and they are only serving certain US cities. But check back in, they are expanding!

5. Pro Blogger Job Boards: Here is a list of freelance writing jobs you can do from home. It is updated daily, so check back!

I will keep up my search for more sites! Enjoy your weekend:)

 

Chocolate Elvis Smoothie February 27, 2012


Castor Oil…just typing it makes me gag. And yes, I am one of those pregnant women who was so desperate to give birth, I drank castor oil. With both children. And it worked for me..although I know some aren’t as lucky. The second time around, I thought things would be better if I mixed it with a strawberry and banana smoothie. NO, all that did was make me sick, and forever scar me from delicious strawberry banana smoothies.

I recently started using Naturade’s Weight Gain powder. Since I’m still breastfeeding Colt, that alone can burn up to 500 calories per day. Not to mention the hours I spend chasing around the other maniac:) Keeping weight on lately has definitely been a challenge, and I’ve found myself getting into an unhealthy size for my height. The weight gainer I’ve started using is basically just protein and calories, and nothing in it is harmful for Colt. Many people have just told me to start eating more..but this isn’t really working for me. I eat three large meals per day, and always snack in between. I just needed a good way to add calories to my diet.

So, everyday, I’ve been making my favorite smoothie: a Chocolate Elvis, and adding a few scoops of protein powder. This drink is a knock-off version that Planet Smoothie serves. Every part of it I love: bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate! This recipe makes about 22 ounces of drink, which is around 550 calories. Once I add some protein powder, it goes up to about 1100 calories, which is perfect! I tried adding the powder to a strawberry banana smoothie… but if you read the paragraph above, I’m sure you can guess how much I liked that one.

So for those of you interested: here is the recipe!

Chocolate Elvis Smoothie

  • 12 ice cubes
  • 1-2 spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt (or ice cream)
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced

Mix ingredients together in a blender until smooth. You can add or decrease things as you like, and it is still wonderful!

What kind of smoothies do you like?

 

Salisbury Steak February 26, 2012

Filed under: Favorite Recipes,Main Dish Recipe — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 12:13 pm
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I’m always looking for good ground beef recipes. There are so many variations and different ways to cook it, it’s pretty hard to mess up…and that’s good for me:) I originally found this recipe on the allrecipes website. Here is the original recipe:

Salisbury Steak

  • 1 can of Campbell’s French and Onion Soup
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of the French and Onion Soup with the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into 6 patties. In a large skillet, brown both sides of the patties. Pour off any excess fat.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour with remaining soup until combined. Add ketchup, water and mustard powder. Pour over the meat in skillet. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Although this recipe is pretty good as is, I cut down on the ketchup the second time around. I also added a sliced onion to the skillet,  and let it simmer with the patties. So wonderful! Enjoy:)

 

Just another Wednesday! February 22, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 4:09 pm
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After begging and begging…neither child will stop growing. It never fails to amaze me the things both of them learn everyday.

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This is Paige explaining in great detail what face lions make. It won’t be long, and she will be two! It is so wonderful to see her grow and develop everyday. I can just watch her mind putting words together to make sentences, and nothing makes me happier! Of course every parent thinks their kid is a genius…and I’m no different!

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And Colt who will be turning five months tomorrow, has become the biggest Momma’s boy. Of course I don’t mind.

Unfortunately nothing else is new on our end! We celebrated Valentines day over sushi at home, and after receiving a very big and very thoughtful box of chocolate, I’m still blissfully enjoying it! I don’t think you understand what I mean by a big box…..as in takes up half of my body: big. I didn’t realize I had been complaining about the house being free of chocolate, I guess he bought it as a joke. But I as happy! Here you can see us enjoying Paige’s present:

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I hope everyone is enjoying their week! Does anyone have any suggestions about what they would like to read on my next post? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Homemade Baby Wipes February 13, 2012

Filed under: Homeade,How to's — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 10:38 am
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Homemade wipes! Paige is almost to her second birthday..I don’t know why I am just discovering this. It’s the biggest money saver I’ve come across, especially with two kids in diapers. Here’s what you need:

2 cups water
2 tbsp. baby soap
1 tbsp. baby oil or olive oil
Paper towel roll
Something to hold the wipes: I saved a Huggies baby wipes container.

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I know there are several ways to do this. The first has you cut the paper towel roll in half with a sharp knife. Which kind of paper towel you use is a personal preference thing really. I’ve read good things about the bounty rolls, so that’s what I chose. Once cut in half, remove the careboard center. As you can see…my knife sucks. Mix soap, oil and water in a circular container large enough to hold the entire roll, and seal shut. Place one of the paper towels rolls into the container, and close the lid. Allow it to soak for a few minutes, then flip the container over. Thats it! You have a second roll available whenever you need to make more.

The other way I did personally. I only have a dollar store in my town, and couldn’t find a container that would hold the wipes. So I used an empty baby wipes box. I cut the paper towel roll in half, tore each sheet off one roll and folded them. After about half of the roll, I had a stack that fit perfectly into the wipes box. I mixed together the soap, oil, and water, and poured it over the paper towels in the box. After soaking a few minutes, I flipped it over and let it sit a a few more.

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What do you do to save money?

 

 

Oh, Liebster! February 10, 2012

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:11 am
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Yesterday, a fellow blogging friend, Peachy from Peachy Pains was nice enough to nominate my blog for the Liebster Award! I’m incredibly honored, not only because it’s my first time being recognized in the “blogging” world, but that she takes the time to read my posts, and is so supportive!
This award is meant to draw attention to blogs that aren’t that known yet… so after being awarded, it’s your turn to nominate others:

Here are the rules for this award:
Upon receipt of the award, one is to:
1) Link back to the blogger who gave it
2) Paste the award on the blog
3) Choose 5 blogs to pass this award to (they must have fewer than 200 followers)
4) Let the recipients know about their nomination by leaving a comment on their blogs.
So…to pay-it-forward, the blogs I have chosen to award the Leibster to are:

1. Destiny, from “Twenty-two with TWO” has a great thing going on her blog! After reading a lot of her posts, I’ve noticed we have a lot in common, and I love her do it yourself guides. They’ve been so helpful!

2. Ashley, from “Moment’s Like This”: an adorable son, baby on the way, and a husband off for deployment.. from all of her posts, she seems like the best mother! Definitely check out this blog, and show her some support! Oh, and she has a great name:)

3. Kristen, from Baby Steps has the most wonderful way with words. I can’t wait to read her up coming posts! And please congratulate her for the birth of her son, Oliver!

4. Alex, at AlexLouise has a great start on her blog, and I love her passion. She has a wonderful family, and recently got engaged! Keep an eye on this girl:)

5. Maranda, from LifeMoneyFamily definitely has an eye for saving money! Her site has inspired me to do more couponing, and she also has some good recipes as well!

Thanks girls for taking the time to write great posts, and I hope this award is some encouragement to keep going!! Great work!

 

 

How to: Have mess free fun! February 8, 2012

Filed under: Homeade,How to's — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 3:21 pm
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Continuing on with our how to stop boredom list:
2. Painting in the bath tub
3. Squish paint

As you can see I have been surfing on pinterest lately. Our first idea was a huge success, and ended up entertaining Paige for over an hour. All I had to do was buy a box of watercolors, strip her down, and put her in the tub! She can paint and paint until her heart is content, and I don’t have to worry about laundry, or cleaning up! I just turned on the bath, and that was that!

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Of course I had to send a picture to dad!

Next was really simple. This would have probably been better with bigger ziploc bags. All you need to do is squirt a few colors of paint into a ziploc bag, seal it tight..and either tape it to wall, or let them play with it. Obviously this craft should be supervised. As I am typing this, Paige bit a whole in the bag!

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Now off to continue my search!

 

 

Homemade play dough

Filed under: Homeade,How to's — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 2:44 pm
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After three days with nothing to do..I’ve been resourceful! Number one on our how to stop boredom list:
Home made play dough!

Here is what you need:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Food coloring

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Mix all of the above ingredients together until majority of the lumps are gone.

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Stir over medium heat continuously until a ball is formed, about 4 minutes. Transfer the ball to wax paper or counter top to cool.

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Once cooled, you can play! I’m still busy telling Paige not to eat it..but how good could it taste? Store dough in air tight containers.

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What kind of crafts do you do with your children?

 

 

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies February 2, 2012


Oh my gosh. That’s all I have to say about these! Brandon described them as Reese’s on a brownie. I found this on The Girl Who Ate Everything’s site.. and she has some awesome recipes on there! The recipe calls for Betty Crocker’s brownies, but I used Pillsbury, still just as good! Here it is:

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Bottom:

  • 1 (1 lb. 6.5 oz) box of Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs the brownies call for

Middle:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Top:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, and grease the bottom. (makes cutting the brownies SO much easier)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the brownies as directed on the package. Spread in prepared pan and bake 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the side comes out clean. Cool completely, about an hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the middle layer ingredients together until smooth. Spread over brownies.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on high 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes and then spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator. It’s better to take brownies out a few minutes prior tp serving.

Enjoy!

 

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake January 26, 2012

Filed under: Deserts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:53 am
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This was my second attempt at cheesecake, and was it great! I wrote in my last cheesecake post, that I totally disregarded the springform pan listed in the recipe, and almost had a huge mess in the oven because of it! Come to find out..Brandon’s grandparents are frequent readers of my site:) and surprised me with a new springform pan! I couldn’t wait to try this recipe:

Brownie Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

originally from allrecipes.com

  • 1 (19.5 ounce) box of Pillsbury Classic Traditional Fudge Brownies
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3 large eggs (+ 2 more for the brownies)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Whipped topping, or other favorite garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Mix brownies as directed on the package, and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly beat in the sweetened condensed milk. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
  5. Pour cheesecake mix evenly on top of cooked brownies. Bake 50 minutes, or until set. Cool completely, then remove the sides to the springform pan. Garnish as desired. Store covered in the refrigerator.

A couple of things I noticed with mine: the brownies were a little hard towards the edge.. I probably would have reduced the cooking time a couple of minutes. The cheesecake on the other hand, I almost had to double its cooking time. But it was worth it! It took nearly 2 hours to cool, but I then garnished it with cool whip, and more mini chocolate chips. Everyone loved it. Thank you Memaw and Pawpaw for the pan!