Tag Archives: grocery list

Four Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts (No Wrapping Paper Required)

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Maybe you want to be a little more eco-friendly this year, maybe you’ve never really understood the point of buying wrapping paper only to have people rip it off a gift, ball it up, and throw it away… Maybe you’re just looking for a unique way to display your presents this year, or maybe you just ran out of wrapping paper and it’s too cold to go out and get more. Whatever description best describes you best, we have four ways to help you wrap your gifts with items you probably have around your house. Turn on the radio, and let’s get wrapping!

1) It may have once been an old joke to wrap gifts with newspaper at the last minute, but you can definitely pull off a great (and purposeful) clean look with just a page of newsprint. The black and white design makes a great backdrop for a brightly colored ribbon or other fun details for a pop of color. You can even use a sprig of evergreen from your Christmas tree to add a fresh detail.

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 (Also, if you’re careful, you can curl paper like you curl ribbon!)

2) Cloth/a scarf. What’s better than a gift wrapped in another gift? It’s like the Turducken of the holidays! Simply wrap the scarf around the box/item and tie a good knot. Simple, and nothing to throw away after unwrapping! Or, you can go to a fabric store and pick up some scraps for a low price. Wrap the gift as though it’s paper and secure with safety pins. Hopefully, your gift recipient will save the cloth to use as a patch or make into something else.

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(We recommend using safety pins instead of sewing pins, pictured above. Safety pins will be much safer.)

3) If you’re anything like me, you have tons of old magazines lying around. Magazines are great to use as wrapping paper because it’s a little more structured, meaning you can accessories your gifts with your own handmade baubles. Check out this very easy tutorial for making your own fun bow (featured in the photo).

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(You can make variations of this by stopping at step 5, then cutting the additional straight pieces slightly shorter)

 

4) Your kids may be too young to wrap gifts this year, but if you want to include them in the ritual, you can use construction paper or white printer paper to wrap the present, then hand it over to your kids to decorate with colored pencils, crayons, glitter, construction paper shapes, whatever their little hearts desire! Be cautious handing over the pens though. It’s best to put the gift in a box that can take any bleeding ink so you don’t have to worry about the crafting damaging the gift.

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(The photo above features “The Big Bang Theory” themed wrapping/hand drawn details)

 

No matter what, don’t forget the very important tool that is the free SteerList app. We are doing everything we can to make this your least stressful holiday season ever by simply doing what we do best—being a reliable and easy-to-use list app. We use location based reminders so you don’t forget to get that perfect toy from Toys “R” Us, you’re reminded to stock up on tape when you drive by Target, and you take time to stop by your best friend’s house to pick up her extra magazines for your wrapping needs!

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Easy Caramelized Brussels Sprouts That Kids Will Love!

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Brussels sprouts aren’t the scrunch-up-your-face, stick-out-your-tongue affair they once were. Today, these cute little guys can be enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters (I can confidently say this because even my boyfriend will eat them)! This super simple recipe only takes about eleven minutes to cook, and the flavor is a sweet-and-salty, nutty, and almost mustard-y flavor. The key to making good Brussels sprouts that kids will eat is to eliminate the bitterness. Besides, if you put the word “caramelized” before anything, it instantly sounds more appealing!

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(Photo courtesy of http://www.cookinglight.com)

 Fool-proof Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

 What you need:

 ~12 oz. bag of Brussels sprouts (Trader Joe’s microwavable bag recommended)

~2 table spoons olive oil

~1 teaspoon salt

~1 tablespoon sugar (throw in a little more if you want your sprouts even sweeter)

1) Wash your Brussels sprouts. I usually use ones from Trader Joe’s that come in a bag (I think they’re supposed to be microwaved, but I just open the bag and use them like regular sprouts) and are marked as “ready to eat,” so you don’t have to worry too much about washing them. I still rinse them just to be safe. If you’re cutting the sprouts off a stalk, it’s probably best to let the sprouts sit in salt water for a little bit.

2) Trim the ends and any leaves that look unappealing off of the sprouts.

3) Cut the sprouts in half. Be very careful doing this because they do sometimes roll around. I personally wedge the knife in a little bit, then hold the handle with one hand and use the other hand to finish pushing the blade through the sprout. That way, no fingers are near or under the blade and you have more control.

4) Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place in the oven while it heats up.

5) Add your halved Brussels sprouts to a medium bowl, then add the olive oil (2 tablespoons). Mix the sprouts a little bit, making sure the olive oil is covering all the greens. Then add salt (1 teaspoon) and sugar (1 tablespoon), stir until all sprouts are coated.

6) Wait for the oven to be fully heated before removing the covered cookie tray. The tray will obviously be very hot, so use appropriate hand coverings to remove it safely.

7) Empty the bowl of sprouts onto the tray. You should hear a little sizzle from the tray being hot. Make sure all the sprouts are face-down (with the flat side touching the tray). Be very careful while doing this.

8) Place tray back in the oven and set the timer for 10-12 minutes.

9) Check on the sprouts when the timer goes off. Be careful when you open the oven, there will be a wave of steam. I recommend opening the oven and counting to about five before looking in. When they are done, there will be some browning on the leaves. The leaves should look slightly crispy. It’s okay if there are a few dark looking spots appearing, but the whole sprout shouldn’t be black on the outside!

And there you have it! Super easy and fast Brussels sprouts! Remember to add anything you need or might be out of to SteerList, your faithful grocery list app. SteerList is free to download from the App Store!

Website: http://www.steerlist.com/

Download our app for FREE in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steer-list/id661605663?ls=1&mt=8

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Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

Halloween gets most of its allure from the feeling of being one with the night. Taking to the streets collectively under the protection of a dark sky can feel like wicked fun no matter what age you are, but whether you’re going out with kids this year or on your own, there are a lot of safety precautions everyone needs to take to ensure a happy and safe Halloween.

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The first thing to do is arm yourself against the darkness. No, that’s not a line from the new “Star Trek” movie, but it should be your motto. Parents should always carry flashlights on Halloween (always pointed downwards so as not to blind or aggravate neighbors). Have kids wear glow sticks or glow necklaces. In addition, add reflective tape to their costumes. Understandably, kids may be resistant to adding tape to their costumes, so if yours looks like he or she is going to have a little meltdown at the thought of sticking things to their costume, then just put it on their trick-or-treat bag. As long as it’s somewhere on their person, there’s more of a likelihood that they’ll be seen even if there’s no moon.

Secondly, you want to bundle up. I was lucky enough to trick-or-treat in California all my life, so I never had to experience the dismay of having to wear a snow coat over my beautiful costume (though there was the infamous year where I cried about having to wear a sweater over my Cinderella costume and my mom compromised by letting me wear it over my shoulders. If you’re worried about your little one getting cold and refusing to put on a jacket, try layering under the costume as much as possible. Of course, if it’s already snowing where you are, you’ll probably need the snow jacket, but try to make the costume as visible as possible.

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If you plan on driving to a party Halloween night, drive with caution. This also goes for pedestrians crossing the street. Use cross walks, and be as visible as possible. Both parties need to understand that on a night like Halloween, everyone is responsible for being aware. Don’t started walking and assume you have the right of way or that the driver will see you. Remove any masks before crossing the street for better visibility/ability to see.

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Finally, the topic of candy. If you’re worried about your kids eating too much of it and getting sick, be sure that they have a good, filling dinner to keep them from going into a sugar frenzy later in the night. It’s a sad reality that every year, the news reports on yet another terrifying candy encounter. It’s a sad fact, but some people take advantage of the trick-or-treat tradition to do unspeakable and dangerous things. First, get rid of any candy that could be unwrapped and re-wrapped without notice (such as foil peanut butter cups, tootsie rolls or “Dum Dum” lollipops that feature the wrapper simply twisted around the stick). Secondly, be sure that your child knows to show you each candy before they eat it. Inspect it thoroughly, make sure it’s sealed properly and there are no small holes or unusual glue spots keeping the candy closed (may have been tampered with). Though you may caution them against eating too much, it’s very important that they not resort to sneaking candy. To be really safe, inspect all the candy on Halloween night just in case.

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Be sure to use SteerList, the free to do list and grocery list app to remember to pick up any last-minute candy to hand out or the glow sticks and reflective tape mentioned above. SteerList is also free, so consider it a special “treat” from us to you!

Website: http://www.steerlist.com/

Download our app for FREE in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steer-list/id661605663?ls=1&mt=8

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