Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Wow another warm day so how could I resist having a refreshing shrimp and avocado salad for lunch. This is easily going to become a go to on my menu for pool time this summer with some side guacamole and chips yummy! Maybe a margarita or two also, thanks again http://www.cleanfoodcrush.com for the great recipe:

Ingredients

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsps olive or avocado oil, divided (I use avocado oil for cooking and olive oil as the drizzle/dressing)
1-2 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 large avocados, diced
8 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 green chili, seeded & sliced
a good handful of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 large fresh lemon, both juice and zest of
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper



Directions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp, and minced garlic, then cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.
  3. Season shrimp with sea salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl add cooked shrimp, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced chili, and chopped cilantro leaves.
  5. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and squeeze in your fresh lemon juice, add zest, then very gently toss to combine everything together.

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomato and Avocado

Weather has been pretty warm for January this past week so had a nice time with the grill today and this was the perfect salad to go on the menu! There is always grilled corn so since we usually have plenty leftover we said why not, check out this recipe from http://www.foodiecrush.com:

Ingredients

4 ears sweet corn
1 garlic clove pressed or minced
1 jalapeño seeds and ribs removed, then minced
Kosher salt
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
6 scallions thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Put the corn, still in its husks, on the grill, cover, and cook for 20 minutes rotating the corn cobs every 5 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix to combine the garlic, jalapeño, and a large pinch of kosher salt.
  4. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the avocado, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
  6. Remove the corn from the grill. When cool enough to handle, peel back the silk, and slice the kernels off the cobs directly into the bowl with a knife.
  7. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


These 12 Free TV Apps Let You Watch Your Favorite Shows — Without the Bill

Try these free TV apps out and see which works best for you thanks http://www.pennyhoarder.com:

1. Crackle

One of the go-to names not just in free streaming but in streaming video in general is Crackle. The cost-free service has a variety of content, ranging from classic TV shows like “Bewitched” and “Barney Miller,” as well as the newer “Snatch” series. It also has hundreds of films from major studios.

For a free streaming service, Crackle’s library is truly impressive. Crackle even has a handful of original series to its name. Best of all, Crackle works on nearly all mobile devices, streaming boxes and smart TVs.

2. Tubi TV

A division of FOX Entertainment, Tubi TV has deals with major studios like Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Lionsgate. It also features lots of foreign and independent productions.

Tubi TV’s library is updated regularly, and the service claims to add new content every week. The Tubi TV app works on more than 25 devices, including Android and iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV.

The library is solid and has started offering popular Fox TV series like “The Masked Singer” and “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.”

Since the service is ad-supported, you can expect to watch a couple minutes of ads every 10 minutes or so. The experience is pretty similar to watching normal television.

3. Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers TV channels of linear content much like a cable package

There are dozens of classic TV, movie and sports channels — and even some highly curated streams of niche content.

If you’re looking for breaking news, you can choose from an assortment of major network news channels that are live streaming.

The kids (or kids at heart) can check out Nickelodeon classics like “The Fairly Odd Parents” and “Dora the Explorer.”PRO TIP

Got a library card? You have access to even more entertainment options (besides the obvious, books). Check out these library apps for free access to movies, TV shows and more.

Or if you just want to veg out, switch over to their Binge menu for a seemingly endless stream of TV series, like “The Hills” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Pluto TV boasts a large list of supported devices including iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TVand Chromecast devices and Android TV.

Like Tubi TV, Pluto TV has advertisements similar to the ad load of normal TV.

4. NewsON

Streaming video isn’t always just about entertainment. The NewsON app provides hundreds of local and national news streams.

Both live TV and on-demand news broadcasts can be streamed from over 275 local news affiliates in 160 markets. The broadcasts are available for up to 48 hours after they air, so even if you don’t catch the news as it happens, you can catch up later.

Users can then select which news segments they want to watch from categories like sports, weather or entertainment. NewsON is compatible with iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

5. Funny Or Die

The go-to streaming app for comedy programming is Funny or Die. Founded in 2007 by contemporary comedy giants Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, it has since grown to be a full-blown production house featuring original content from big names in show business.PRO TIP

In 2018, the Funny Or Die began publishing on Vox Media’s Chorus and now uses the YouTube Player.

Content on the app must be streamed and cannot be downloaded.

6. PBS Kids

Kids need free streaming content, too. PBS has a PBS Kids Video app that provides hundreds of hours of educational and enriching content for the youngest members of the family. The app has a colorful, child-friendly interface, which makes it easy for kids to take control themselves.

You can even tap the “Live TV” button to watch what’s currently airing on your local PBS station.PRO TIP

Almost all of the networks and cable TV channels have their own free apps for you to download — although many charge you to actually watch current content.

Videos from many of PBS’s most popular series are available for streaming including “Curious George,” “Wild Kratts” and “Sesame Street.” The PBS Kids app is supported for Android, Windows and iOS phones and tablets.

7. Xumo

Whether you want it now or later, Xumo offers live TV and on-demand options.

Like Pluto, you can choose from an assortment of major network news channels that are live streaming.

But it also includes more than 160 free channels, including themed ones in case you’re in the mood for action movies or comedies — you can watch the Funny Or Die channel here, too.

Xumo is available on most smart TVs and Roku and for download on iOS and Android devices.PRO TIP

Many of the free TV apps offer “premium” channels — if you see that word, expect to pay for those services.

8. Crunchyroll

Anime and manga fans are likely already familiar with Crunchyroll. It specializes in mostly Japanese content, but it also features films and series from all over the world. Crunchyroll boasts a library of thousands of anime films and series, many of which are hard to find on other streaming services.

There is a paid premium feature, but the free Crunchyroll service has thousands of hours of popular series like the “Dragon Ball” franchise, “Attack on Titan,” “Naruto” and “One Piece.”

The Crunchyroll app is supported by Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices, as well as by gaming consoles, Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku.

Crunchyroll is a great app for anyone with an interest in anime. Of course, when it comes to anime content, you have to be watchful with your younger children, as a lot of it is geared toward teens (and sometimes even adults).

9. Twitch

For anyone with even a passing interest in gaming and esports, Twitch is the go-to free streaming service.

Twitch hosts user-created channels and streams focused on video games and other esports. It features a built-in chat feature, so users can chat with other streamers in real time.PRO TIP

You’re there anyway — why not get paid to play video games? Here are four simple ways to start earning real cash for virtual play.

While there are thousands of free streams, Twitch also features premium features for a monthly subscription. Twitch apps are compatible with PCs, iOS and Android devices, game consoles, Chromecast and Fire TV.

While Twitch is popular with children, parents should beware: Twitch streams are somewhat unregulated and can sometimes contain adult language or content.

10. IMDb TV

Owned by Amazon, IMDb TV (formerly Freedive) features a host of full episodes of your favorite current and classic TV shows as well as an array of movies.

The catalogue includes some binge-worthy sci-fi hits like “Lost” and “Fringe.”

The free version of IMDbTV is ad-supported, so you’ll have to sit through a few commercial breaks.

It is available in the United States on the IMDb app, the IMDb website, the Amazon Prime Video app and Amazon Fire TV devices.

11. YouTube

Yes, YouTube. YouTube apps are compatible with just about every device that has a screen, and the service features videos to choose from on nearly any topic imaginable.

Most of those videos are not exactly premium content, but there are still plenty of full-length films, documentary series and curated channels that provide cost-free entertainment for the whole family.

While there are ways to download YouTube content for offline viewing, proceed with caution: Many of these sites and apps are full of malware.

12. Peacock

NBCUniversal launched this streaming service, which includes over 7,500 hours of free content, in July 2020.

Although Peacock offers paid premium options, the free version includes current and classic TV shows, movies, news, sports, kids’ shows, Spanish-language programs and even select episodes of Peacock originals.

If you’re a fan of shows like “The Office,” “Law and Order: SVU,” or “Saturday Night Live,” you can watch them on this streaming service.

Customers can stream Peacock on a variety of platforms, including LG Smart TVs, Vizio SmartCast TVs, Roku, Google and Apple devices and Playstation and Xbox consoles.

Vegan Sushi

Today a surprise for my Vegan friends Sushi!!!! Who doesn’t love sushi people who can’t eat fish LOL. Thanks to http://www.loveandlemons.com they did all the work and now you can vegan sushi at home yum:

Ingredients

For the beets

  • 2 pink Chioggia beets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • Sea salt

For the rice

For the rolls

  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into strips
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into long strips
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • Tamari, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, for serving
  • Vegan mayo and sriracha, optional, for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare the beets: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the whole beets on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for 45 to 60 minutes, or until soft and fork-tender. The time will depend on the size and freshness of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven and remove the foil. When they are cool to the touch, peel the skins. I like to hold them under running water and slide the skins off with my hands. Slice the beets lengthwise into ¼-inch strips.
  • In the bottom of a small baking dish or shallow bowl, combine the rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and ginger. Add the beets, toss to coat, and set aside to marinate. After 15 minutes, toss again to ensure even coating.
  • Make the rice: Cook the rice according to the directions in this post. Mix the cooked rice with the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Assemble the rolls: Place a small bowl of water and a kitchen towel near your work area as your hands will get sticky. Place one nori sheet, glossy side down, onto a bamboo mat and press a handful of rice onto the lower two-thirds of the sheet. At the bottom of the rice place a row of beets, cucumber, and avocado. Don’t overfill or it will be more difficult to roll. Use the bamboo mat to tuck and roll the nori. Once rolled, use the bamboo mat to gently press and shape the roll. Place the roll to the side, cut-side down. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the sushi. Wipe the knife clean with a damp towel between cuts.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with tamari, pickled ginger, and vegan mayo mixed with a little sriracha, if desired.

Fertilizing Citrus Trees – Best Practices For Citrus Fertilizing

It’s that time of the year again folks if you have trees especially citrus ones that you want to have full of fruit year around got to make sure to fertilize at the right time. I have a lemon tree and grapefruit so this is something I definitely keep up on but I do have to keep my dogs away so they don’t eat it. If you have doggies or a tree in the walkway of other doggies always make sure to use organic pet friendly fertilizer in the event they happen to get into it! http://www.gardeningknowhow.com did this great article help for anyone who needs it:

When to Apply Citrus Fertilizer

In general, you should be doing your citrus fertilizing about once every one to two months during active growth (spring and summer) and once every two to three months during the tree’s dormant periods (fall and winter). As the tree gets older, you can skip dormant season fertilizing and increase the amount of time between active growth fertilizing to once every two to three months. To find the best citrus fertilizing time frames for your tree, judge based on the tree’s physical appearance and growth. A tree that looks lush and dark green and is holding onto fruit does not need to be fertilized as often. Fertilizing too much when the tree has a healthy appearance may actually cause it to produce inferior fruit. Citrus trees are most nutrient-hungry from the time they bloom until they have firmly set fruit, so make sure you apply citrus fertilizer when the tree is in bloom regardless of health so that it has enough nutrients to properly produce fruit.

How to Fertilize a Citrus Fruit Tree

Citrus tree fertilizing is either done through the leaves or through the ground. Following the directions on your chosen fertilizer, which will be to either spray the fertilizer onto the leaves of your citrus tree or spread it out around the base of the tree as far as the canopy reaches. Do not place fertilizer near the trunk of the tree.

What Kind of Citrus Fertilizer Does My Tree Need?

All citrus trees will benefit from a slightly nitrogen rich or balanced NPK fertilizer that also has some micro-nutrients in it like:

magnesium

manganese

iron

copper

zinc

boron

Citrus trees also like to have somewhat acidic soil, so an acidic fertilizer can also be beneficial in citrus tree fertilizing, though not required. The easiest citrus fertilizer to use is the kind made specifically for citrus trees.

PUMPKIN KING CAKE

Today is the Day of the Kings and what is the most traditional way to celebrate with Kings cake! There are many different ways to make and they look different based on who is celebrating around the world! I am not big on all the sugar and fruits but I do like some spice. I find this recipe is sweet enough and I use whole almonds instead of plastic babies. Here is more of the history behind the King cake:

King cake – Wikipedia

The king cake commemorated on January 6—celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Eve of Epiphany (the night of January 5) is popularly known as Twelfth Night (the Twelve Days of Christmas are counted from Christmas Eve until this night). The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until the end of Shrovetide: Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday,” or Shrove Tuesday; the day before the start of Lent.

In Portugal and France, whoever gets the King cake trinket is expected to buy the next cake for these get-togethers. In Mexico the tradition of placing a bean, candy or figurine of the baby Jesus inside the cake is followed. The figurine of the baby Jesus hidden in the bread represents the flight of the Holy Family, fleeing from King Herod‘s Massacre of the Innocents. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas DayDía de la Candelaria), which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.[20]

In the United States, Carnival is traditionally observed in the Southeastern region of the country, particularly in New OrleansLake CharlesBay Saint LouisMobilePensacolaGalveston, and other towns and cities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In these regions, the king cake is closely associated with Mardi Gras traditions and is served throughout the Carnival season, which lasts from Epiphany Eve to Fat Tuesday.[5] The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.[6] Now, as part of the celebration, it is traditional to bake a cake (King Cake) in honor of the three kings. The official colors of Mardi Gras—created in 1872 by the Krewe of Rex—are purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.[5]

Ingredients


1/3 cup of coconut milk
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
½ cup canned Pumpkin
¼ cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp salt
1 egg or (sub flax seed 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp water)
2 ¼ teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped Pecans or additional topping

Filling

6 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup chopped pecans

***Handful of whole almonds to use as the trinket inside

Directions

  1. Make a Proof Box for the dough. Preheat oven to 175 F Once the oven has reached temperature turn it
    off and keep the door closed.
  2. Warm the milk and butter together over stove until butter is just melted let cool.
  3. Using your mixer beat the pumpkin, brown sugar, and salt together on medium speed. Add the warmed
    milk/butter and mix until combined. Then mix in the egg and the yeast.
  4. With mixer running on slow speed mix in 1 cup of flour, mixing for 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl to combine. Then add 1¼” more flour and beat 1 more minute. The dough will be very soft.
  5. Place dough into bowl greased with nonstick kitchen spray. Turn the dough around in bowl to coat evenly.
    Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise inside oven making sure the oven is off and the
    door is slightly ajar. Your dough should rise and double in size. Takes approximately 20-30 minutes.
  6. Prep a cookie sheet or sheet tray with parchment and use kitchen spray to spray paper.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size remove from oven. Gently punch the dough down to deflate then roll
    onto floured surface. Knead the dough a few times until smooth. Knead in more flour if dough is still sticky.
  8. Using a rolling pin roll dough out to be about 18” x 10”. Cut the dough in half lengthwise.
  9. Make filing for inside and to use as a topping, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and spices in a small bowl.
  10. Spread softened coconut oil on dough evenly, then sprinkle combined spice ingredients. Roll each sheet of dough tightly and pinch to seal.
  11. Preheat Oven 350 F
  12. On prepped sheet tray braid the two assembled doughs and make what would look like a circular wreath.
    Pinch again to seal. Sprinkle remaining of filing on top for additional flavor and place from the underside whole almonds randomly as the trinket for someone to find.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and allow dough to rise to double it’s size. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
    A good tip is to leave it somewhat near your oven that is preheating to help speed up the rise process.
  14. Once the dough has doubled in size place in oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes. Check halfway
    through the cooking process, rotate your tray so both sides brown evenly.
  15. Let cool and you can add additional topping or plastic babies if you didn’t use whole almond.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Seems like almost every dessert requires vanilla extract, which has me running out to buy a bottle pretty often since bottles are either 2 to 8 oz only. I had thought about making my own before but was like maybe it’s too much? Well after reading up looks like I can make as much as I want depending on the amount of vanilla beans I use and can just keep adding more vodka to those beans as my supply runs low! So let’s try and see how hard it is to make and keep homemade vanilla extract on hand. Found a few recipes online so here is http://www.thepioneerwoman.com version:

Ingredients

6 whole vanilla beans

8 oz vodka

Directions

Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise with scissors or a knife. Leave a bit intact at the end if desired. Cut the beans down to fit the height of your jar if necessary.

Put the beans in an 8-ounce jar. Cover with alcohol. Screw the lid on and give it a good shake.

Place in a cool, dark place. Let sit for at least 2 months. The longer the vanilla sits, the stronger the flavor will be. While it’s sitting, give the jar a shake every week, or as often as you can remember.

No need for expensive vodka just needs to be 70 proof or more, and look inside the stalk to see the vanilla beans up close!

Happy New Year 2021 Is Here!!!

SOURCE: 25 Most Beautiful Happy New Year Fireworks (askideas.com)

Wishing everyone an awesome 2021 filled with best wishes and many blessing for body, mind, and wallet! Let’s see what this year’s project will be, the fun times are ahead, in the meantime let’s check this helpful tip:

What You Can Do About Credit Card Debt Before 2021 (thepennyhoarder.com)

Hey 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

There are plenty of reasons this year in particular — a lost job, illness or sheer boredom — could have left you racking up expenses.

Let the promise of a new year come with a renewed resolve to rid yourself of pricy credit card debt. Check out these options for what you can do about your credit cards as we head into 2021.

What to Do About Your Credit Card Debt Before 2021

Wherever you are on your debt journey — from needing a little help to wanting to cut up all your credit cards (don’t do that… yet), we’re here to help you tackle your credit card debt before the new year hits. Here’s what you can do.

Use the Debt Lasso Method to Pay Off Debt Faster

Ready to wrangle in that credit card debt? Consider the debt lasso method.

Developed by David Auten and John Schneider, also known as the Debt Free Guys, the debt lasso method involves corralling your high-interest debt into a low-interest one so you can pay down the principal balance more quickly — and for less money.

Auten and Schneider told us all about the debt lasso in this interview. They noted who it can help the most — and who shouldn’t use it.

Break Up With Plastic

If you’re over plastic completely at this point, should you cancel your credit card? Maybe.

There are plenty of reasons to keep a credit card open — including building your credit history, which can help raise your credit score. But there’s also a strong argument why you should close an account: You don’t trust yourself not to overspend.

If you are ready to give up plastic completely, how can you cancel it the right way — you know, so you don’t get socked with unexpected fees or discover three months later that the number’s been stolen?

Here’s our guide to canceling a credit card.
Struggling to pay debt or going bankrupt

Can’t afford car loan

Student loans & 401k

Ways to clear off my credit card debt?

Stop Using Your Credit Cards — Safely

If you aren’t quite ready to cut your cards up into a million tiny pieces but just want to stop using them — and maybe use this time to pay off debt — we’re big fans of becoming less reliant on plastic.

However, iIf you aren’t using your credit cards at all, the whole out-of-sight-out-of-mind could wind up landing you in financial trouble — think lower credit scores due to inactivity and potential fraud.

To protect yourself from the dangers of an unused credit card, follow these safeguards.

Ask for Help

Maybe you’re just in a tight spot — you’re having trouble making payments because of a sudden job loss or family emergency. Before spiraling into credit card debt, take a deep breath. Then ask for help.

The first call you should make is to your credit card company. Many are offering credit card hardship programs, along with deferments and extensions.

Never heard of such a program? That’s not a surprise — credit card companies don’t typically advertise that you can adjust your payment plan or even stop paying your bill for a while.

Here’s how a credit card hardship program could help you when times get tough.

And here’s hoping for a healthier, happier and debt-free 2021.

8 DIY Facial Treatments You Can Make With Things You Already Have

Getting ready to send off 2020 here are a few at home recipes to have a very relaxing evening or New Year morning and of course a nice bubbly drink will help too! All ingredients can be found in your kitchen or bathroom, don’t forget your robe and slippers:

Chocolate Orange Sugar Scrub

Good for: Dry, winter skin

This scrub will exfoliate away your dry skin cells, revealing the smooth, soft, fresh skin below. Use it once a week to keep your face full of moisture, according to Essie Button, a former esthetician and makeup artist.

This recipe will yield eight ounces, so you’ll have enough for one large jar or two smaller ones.  (And by the way, this recipe smells good enough to eat.)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients together. Gently exfoliate your skin, then rinse.

Coconut Oil Hydrator

Good for: Dry cuticles

Dry cuticles can be annoying and unsightly, but a coat of coconut oil can soften them up nicely. The cuticles and skin absorb the fat in the coconut oil, which prevents the cuticles from looking and feeling dry, according to Kryz Uy, a beauty expert and writer.

Coconut oil also contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant with protective properties.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Plastic wrap

Directions Apply a small amount to your fingertips, then wrap the plastic around them. Leave for 10 minutes. Rub the oil into your skin and rinse off the surplus.

Honey and Lemon Mask

Good for: Acne and blackheads

Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, while the lemon removes dead skin cells and clears acne and blackheads, according to Toby Dash, a blogger at Five Star Skin Care, focused on skincare, health and beauty.

Make sure to do a patch test before trying this one, as both lemon and honey have been found to irritate some skin types. (If you have sensitive skin, avoid this mask altogether.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions: Squeeze the lemon into the honey and mix. Apply to your clean, dry face and leave it for up to five minutes. Wash it off with warm water.

Oatmeal Face Mask

Good for: Sensitive, reactive or redness-prone skin

Oats contain avenanthramides, which can have antihistamine-like benefits, says Cheryl Woodman, a scientist, skin expert and skincare formulator based in the United Kingdom. There’s also evidence that oats may help balance skin pH, which is vital for calm, happy skin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Water (just enough to make a paste)

How to use it: Blend the oatmeal, and add the baking soda. Add enough water to make the paste. Apply the paste to clean, dry skin. Leave it for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off.

Directions: Mix the ingredients and apply to your face and neck. Leave for one minute before gently rinsing your face with water.

Tea Tree Oil Cleanser

Good for: Acne, inflammation and dermatitis

Tea tree oil is a popular ingredient for homemade facial cleansers, says James Morgan, editor at Get Rid of Things. You can get tea tree oil at any grocery store, health food store and most drug stores.

Ingredients: 

  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A few drops of coconut milk or coconut oil (skip this if acne is a concern for you)

Directions: Mix and apply once or twice a day to your face. Rinse off with warm water.

Turmeric Mask

Good for: Hyperpigmented skin

This mask helps brighten, tighten, condition and moisturize the skin, says Keione Gordon, a medical aesthetician

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp aloe vera gel

Directions: Mix the ingredients together and spread the mask on your clean, dry face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Warm Milk Soak

Good for: Dry hands

This soak softens hard-working hands, says Uy. The fat in the milk (especially whole milk) softens the skin, while Vitamins A and E nourish it.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of whole milk (you may need more if you have larger hands)

Directions: Heat the milk to room temperature — or you can pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it slightly warm. Soak your hands for at least 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse them off.

Yogurt and Lemon Lotion

Good for: Dry skin

Yogurt is rich in lactic acid, which helps lighten and cleanse the skin, while the Vitamin C in lemon brightens your skin, according to Dash, who created this recipe.

However, as with our other recipe that includes lemon, you may want to skip this if you have sensitive skin. And be sure to try a patch test on your skin before going full throttle with this lotion.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp of lemon

Directions: Mix the ingredients and apply them to your face and neck. Leave it on for 1 minute before gently rinsing it off with water.

6 Money Moves You Should Make Now to Set Yourself Up for a Killer 2021

So now that we are getting ready to welcomed the new year it’s time to get down to how are we going to make the new year work for us financially? What are we going to have to do without or what are the small changes to our routine that can help our budget? Thanks to http://www.pennysaver.com they are here to help us before 2021 gets here:

6 End-of-Year Money Moves You Should Make Right Now (thepennyhoarder.com)

1. Set Your Financial Goals for the Coming Year

When you think ahead to the end of 2021, what would make you feel accomplished? What if you cut your credit card debt by half? What if you were able to boost your savings account to four — or even five — figures? Or build up that emergency fund you may have had to dip into this year?

Think about what you want to celebrate at the end of 2021, and then set some goals to help you get there.

We’re fans of the SMART method of goal-setting. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

For instance, “become financially secure” isn’t considered a SMART goal because it’s ambiguous.

On the other hand, “save $5,000 in my emergency fund by the end of 2021” would be considered SMART because it’s specific, measurable and timely.

By thinking through your financial goals in this way, you’ll have more clarity about what you’re actually trying to do, and that will give you a better sense of how to allocate your resources and energy in the year to come.

If you’d rather not bother with trying to craft your own goals, you can use our step-by-step guide to setting financial goals you can actually attain.

2. Review Your Spending Over the Past Year (and Be Honest About It)

OK, we know this isn’t going to be fun. In fact, it’s probably going to be pretty tedious. That’s why we suggest you put on your comfiest clothes, pour your favorite adult beverage and carve out some time to focus.

Here’s a shortcut: If you use online banking or an app like You Need a Budget or Mint, you likely have access to graphs that show how much of your income went to specific spending categories, like food, entertainment and household expenses.

However, you can still do this without digital tools — it’ll just take more time and elbow grease. This post offers some good tips to help you get started with expense tracking.

Why is this so important? So you know how you’re actually spending your money. You might think you’ve haven’t got a single penny to spare and that’s why tumbleweeds are rolling through your savings account, but tracking your expenses can reveal a different reality, one where you’ve actually spent quite a bit of money on, say, scented candles rescued from the clearance end caps at Target. (Not that we know anyone who does this…)

If you’re having trouble achieving your financial goals and can’t figure out why, knowing exactly where your money goes is the first step to bringing your actions in line with your goals.

Once you’ve tracked your expenses, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

A woman uses a bullet journal to track her finances.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

3. Make a Budget That Works — Finally

Listen, we know a lot of people don’t bother with a budget. We surveyed 1,500 Penny Hoarder readers in April 2019 and found that 40% of them didn’t have a budget.

But you really, really do need a budget. This post outlines five good reasons you should have a budget, including helping you finally break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and identify where you’re overspending.

If you’ve never set up a budget before, read this step-by-step guide to budgeting for beginners.

We’ve also outlined four of the most popular budgeting styles. Look for one that best matches your needs and personality.

You can try out one of these budgeting apps we love, or go old-school with a pen and paper and set up a bullet journal, a budget binder or an envelope system.

Our motto: If it works for you, then it works.

But what if you’ve tried creating budgets in the past, and you always seem to blow them? Then now is the time to reassess your approach. It’s possible your previous budgets have been so unrealistic that, unless you lived in your parents’ garage and ate nothing but rice and beans, you were never actually going to adhere to them.

Be honest about what you’re capable of and what you need. If that means including a line item for clearance candles from Target, then so be it.

4. Pull Your Credit Reports and Examine Them for Errors

This is another task that should be part of your regular financial maintenance, but a lot of us either forget or we don’t really see the point.

But when you go over your credit reports with a magnifying glass, here’s what you might find:

  1. Accounts that aren’t yours. It’s possible you have accounts on your credit report that actually belong to someone with a similar name. Do you, Karen Smith, really want to have the overdue Dillards’ charge card belonging to Karen Smythe on your credit report?
  2. Accounts you didn’t realize were delinquent. Maybe your dentist’s office repeatedly sent the bill to the wrong address until the unpaid bill wound up in collections, leaving a giant black mark on your credit report, and you weren’t aware of any of this until your application for a car loan or mortgage was turned down.
  3. Outdated or incorrect information about your accounts. Perhaps you paid off a loan last year that’s still showing up as unpaid, or your credit card balance is listed as being much higher than it’s ever been. These could significantly ding your credit score, and those three little numbers hold a lot of power over your ability to access credit in the future.

All of these errors can be disputed by contacting the appropriate credit bureau. Here’s how to do it.

Before you shrug this off as something that’s unlikely to happen, consider that one out of every five credit reports has a possible error on it.

5. Make a Plan for Retirement and Stick to It

We don’t have to tell you that a lot of people have not saved up much for retirement. All you have to do is read Dear Penny’s columns to see that.

Instead of becoming yet another statistic, why not make 2021 the year you finally take retirement seriously? (That goes for you too, millennials — don’t think we haven’t noticed that most of you are in your 30s now.)

We broke down the process of retirement planning into a five-step guide that’ll help you get started.

The first thing you’ll need to decide is which kind of retirement account you want to set up. These accounts provide tax advantages for contributing to them, so you’re paying less in taxes and saving for the future — definitely a win-win!

If your employer offers a 401(k), make sure you’ve signed up for it. And if your employer offers a 401(k) match, contribute at least enough to take full advantage of it. After all, that match is part of your compensation. You’re entitled to it!

And if you’ve left previous jobs with 401(k)s, roll them over to your new retirement account. The process can admittedly be annoying, but it’s well worth your time.

If you don’t have access to a 401(k), you’ve still got options, including IRAs and Roth IRAs. This post has a list of questions you should ask yourself when trying to decide among them.

Once you’ve got your retirement account set up, contribute to it on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you can only put in $25 a month  it all adds up.

6. Celebrate Your Wins!

We know this post has been all about how to do better going forward, but we also know you’ve probably accomplished some things worth being proud of in 2020 too.

Maybe you managed to juggle your full-time job while helping your kids with online schooling? Maybe you lost your job and started a side hustle that helped you make ends meet? Maybe you managed to save quite a bit of money? Or maybe you started educating yourself about personal finance — after all, you’re here, aren’t you?

Take a few minutes to think about what you’ve done in the past year that you’re proud of, and give yourself some time to really let that feeling of pride sink in.

And now remember that feeling throughout the coming year, especially when things get hard and you encounter setbacks (because you inevitably will). Trust that if you stick to your plan, you’ll get to experience that delicious feeling of satisfaction again this time next year.