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Easy (But Impressive) Valentine’s Dinner

Baked Acorn Squash. Heartbeet Salad. Clamshell Mushrooms. This dinner is so easy to make, goes perfectly with a bottle of wine, and (gasp) it's healthy.

TedTalks

Get Inspired

Every now and then you just need a kick in the ass. The most productive and motivated days I have start with the TED Talks App on my iphone. Today ...

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Combat Cabin Fever

Here are some ideas on small in-home projects you can do (on the cheap) during the depressing winter months.

Spotlight

Jewels

DIY Jewelry Organizer

Organize the shit out of your jewelry while adding an interesting and ...
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Light Reading For The Domestically Challenged

The witty Erin Bried has done a service for all modern women ...
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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Bliss

Homemade Resse's Cups and Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites. People go apeshit over ...

Fresh Posts

We’ve Moved!

Hello readers! We have officially moved our site to ResourcefulGirl.com. Check out our new posts and subscribe on the new site to keep getting all the great resourceful ideas we dish out.

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Top photo by Erix

DIY: What To Do With Kids On Valentine’s Day

For kids, Valentine’s Day is still innocent and cute. Instead of buying the bag of candy attached to cardboard for school, why not take this opportunity to keep you kids occupied for the afternoon with craft time. Of course Martha is the expert here and that’s exactly where these gems were found.

For Class:Sweet Spot Hearts

For Mom: Folding Envelope Hearts

For Dad: Thumbtack Valentine Frames

More ideas at MarthaStewart.com
Top photo by WoodleyWonderWorks

15 Minute Low Fat Taco Dip

Ah, the Super Bowl. If you’re lucky enough to have your team in the Super Bowl, then the day is filled with excitement and drama. For the rest of us, the day is filled with advertising and food. Here is a simple Taco Dip that won’t send you into cardiac arrest. To cut out saturated fat, use a vegetarian ground beef substitute like Fantasic Taco Filling or Morning Star Ground Beef (frozen). If you’re cutting out fat completely, make the dip without guacamole. You should consider that the fat in avocados is monounsaturated – the kind that lowers cholesterol levels. It’s important to get these good fats in your diet. Now, grab some tortilla chips and enjoy the game!

1. Cook ground beef substitute in a pan per package instructions. If you like a little heat, add in a spicy taco seasoning packet to the pan while cooking.

2. Heat a can of fat free refried beans mixed with a can of diced green chilies and hot sauce to your taste.

3. In an oven safe bowl layer the cooked ground beef substitute on top of the refried bean mixture.

4. Layer grated fat free cheddar cheese on top and bake until melted. (Who are we kidding, we’re all microwaving this thing.)

5. Top with guacamole, fat free sour cream, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes.

DIY: Valentine’s Day Cards

This isn’t exactly a DIY, but more of an inspiration to DIY. Tumblr blogger Shimmering and White made these adorable movie and TV related Valentine’s Day cards. With a little thought and a lot of hilarity, you can win the heart of any couch potato.

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DIY: Hide An Ugly Alarm Panel

I’ve always secretly wanted a safe behind a picture frame, but I guess this DIY is a little more practical. We all can’t afford a personal body guard, which is possibly why home alarm systems are so popular. Just a few problems, they’re super ugly and you can usually see them from outside one of your windows.

This canvas on hinges idea comes from the lovely ladies of The Third Boob.

Step 1. You just attach two flat hinges to your canvas print and then to the wall.
Step 2. Voila.

Found via Storage Geek

Style Your Home With Joss & Main


I get so many ideas from this site. For those of you unfamiliar with this little peacock, Joss & Main is the place to go for some style inspiration and recommendations as you would a best friend. Guest style bloggers will curate a selection of discounted items that range from very affordable to That’s beautiful! I’ll start hunting for a cheaper version. You also get rewarded for telling your friends. All collections are unique and limited. Time does run out and items will sell-out. The trick is to not let that pressure you into making a purchase you will regret. Here are some fabulous items from current Maison21 and Sara Gilbane collections.

Click here for the Resourceful Girl invite:
http://www.jossandmain.com/invite/ResourcefulGirl


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Simple Dessert: Sand Cups and Dirt Cups


Let them eat dirt! Well, not exactly. These are so tasty and since they’re also very simple, it’s a great way to occupy kids for a while. If you’re really ambitious you can use little sand pales or plant pots instead of cups. The best part: you can make a reduced fat or sugar free version. Use fat free or sugar free pudding and cool whip and buy reduced fat or sugar free cookies.

This recipe is for 1 batch or either Sand Cups or Dirt Cups
1 package of prepared pudding (Vanilla or Banana / Chocolate or Fudge)
1 package of cookies finely crushed (Vanilla Wafers / Oreos)
1 8oz package of Cool Whip defrosted
Decorations for Sand Cups: Umbrellas, blue sprinkles and Swedish Fish
Decorations for Dirt Cups: Gummy worms and gummy frogs

1. Mix the pudding with Cool Whip and then stir in half of the crushed cookies.
2. Fill cups 3/4 full with pudding mixture.
3. Top with remaining crushed cookies and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Decorate before serving.

Broken Engagement? Ditch The Ring And Go On Vacation.

Part of an engagement that didn’t last? Now you’re left with a billion painful memories and a ring? You’re not alone. Luckily, the founder of I Do, Now I Don’t was dumped by his fiance and left with the ring. I say luckily because now he runs a website where you can sell that ring and gain some cash. Money may not buy happiness, but it will buy you a boss ocean front vacation suite, a few Mai Tais and a towel boy. Think of it as engagement ring ebay.

This also means you can buy an engagement ring at a major discount. Some ladies just need a big rock and the whole idea of spending three months salary on a ring is (let’s admit it) really silly. And for those of us that don’t wear diamonds, there is a selection of gemstone rings, necklaces and earrings of all price ranges. The best part is, almost all listings come with the story behind the ring.
So, if you’re not shopping you can just read all the juicy details behind each one.

Organize: Laundry Room



Chores suck. Gaining space and getting a more organized laundry room will do wonders when it comes to laundry time. Something about space with interesting elements makes you loath it less. It all boils down to 4 things, shelves, bins, hanging space, and color. All can be acquired for minimal ducats. The room above is adorable and adds so much space to a tiny room.

Instead of the clear plastic bins above these baskets are way cuter and on sale for $10 at Target.

You can also use a tension bar for hanging clothes and use the space on the left side for hanging spray bottles.
If you have space add hooks for jackets, scarfs and bags. These hooks from Ikea are $5 for two.

Color can be found with wall paper, paint or tile, just as long as you get rid of that boring flat white. Good luck!

Photo via I Heart Organizing

DIY: Classy Wall Paneling


And by classy I mean NOT that weird 70′s faux wood paneling that belongs in an elk lodge – not your living room (I’m looking at you, Mom.) There are so many interesting ways to add board and batten paneling to your home and they’re all surprisingly inexpensive. Plus, when you add a durable semi-gloss paint, you’re protecting your walls from the torture of little ones (read: a child with a crayon). Here are a few different ways to to spend a weekend on board and batten style paneling.

1. Bathroom by Ana White Home Maker
2. Hallway by Evolution of Style
3. Headboard by Evolution of Style
4. Laundry Room by Evolution of Style
5. Functional Bathroom found via Sherri Howard
6. Kitchen by Funky Junk Interiors

Top photo by A Well Dressed Home

Simple Brunch: Asparagus Frittata

Egg + Asparagus + Cheese = Yum. Sleep in this weekend and make this Simply Recipes tasty and filling brunch.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1 Heat olive oil into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the asparagus are barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.

2 Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

Potatoes Get Trumped By Tasty Butternut Squash

It’s time to re-think your side dishes. We throw a potato at a plate like it’s on an assembly line. It’s time to mix it up. Butternut Squash is also gluten-free, but packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and so much more flavor than a potato – which means you don’t have to add a tone of butter, cheese and sour cream to make it taste good. These two simple butternut squash recipes from Simply Recipes will cure your tired side dish blues.

TIP: For those of us who can hardly find the time to clean, peel, seed and dice a squash, we’re in luck. If you’re willing to pay the cash, you can find them diced, packed and ready to go at most supermarkets.

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme Recipe

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, flesh diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter. Once melted it will foam up a bit, then subside. Honey-colored browned milk solids will begin to form. The butter should have a wonderful nutty aroma. Remove from heat. Add the thyme, whisking continuously. If using fresh thyme, the mixture will foam up a bit.

(Note that it doesn’t take much time to go from browned butter to burnt butter. You will want to remove the pan from the heat element and place it on a cool surface to help stop the cooking of the butter. If the butter burns, I recommend dumping it and starting over, something I’ve had to do on occasion when not paying close attention.)

2. Add the cubed butternut squash pieces to the pan and return the pan to the burner, heating to medium high. Use a wooden or metal spoon to stir the squash pieces so they are all well coated with the butter thyme mixture. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread the squash pieces out in an even layer and let cook, without stirring, so that they brown a bit on one side (several minutes). Stir and spread the pieces out again and let cook without stirring so more sides get browned.

3. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook until the squash is tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how big you cut the pieces.

Add more salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh thyme before serving.
Serves 4.


Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Vanilla

1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeds removed, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
3 bay leaves (if boiling the squash)
Salt
1 heaping cup of walnuts (can substitute pecans or pine nuts)
2-3 Tbsp butter
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper to taste

1a If roasting Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat the cubed squash with a little vegetable oil and spread out onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and roast until the cubes begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

1b If boiling Put 4 cups of water into a medium-sized pot and add the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the squash to the pot. Boil, covered for 10 minutes. Drain.

2 Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and toast the walnuts. Stir frequently or they will burn. Once they they start to brown, and you can smell the aroma of toasted walnuts, remove from heat.

3 Melt the butter in the pan with the walnuts over medium-high heat. Toss the walnuts to coat with butter, then add the squash. Toss them to coat with butter.

4 Add the grated ginger, vanilla extract, black pepper, a little salt and dried thyme and toss once more. Turn off the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over everything. Taste for salt and lemon and add more to taste. If you want this to be a bit more luxurious, mix in another tablespoon of butter or two before serving. Serves 4.

DIY: Anything With Spray Paint

Krylon is making a killing right now. Spray paint DIY projects are popping up everywhere. It’s a cheap way to make crap you have around the house look interesting. Try a few out at a time and experiment a little. You may not be Banksy, but you will be one crafty mofo. Here is a short list of our favorite projects. How-To pages are linked at the end of the post.

1. Pottery
2. Lace Tiles
3. Twister
4. Candle Holders
5. Spice Jars
6. Lamp Shade
7. Cute Storage
8. Book Ends
9. Fancy Handles
10. Vase Display
11. Occasion Soap
12. Door Mat
13. Word Art
14. Painted Pillows
15. Gold Nature

DIY: Light Castle

Reminiscent of those tiny, snow clad lighted villages your grandmother set up under the Christmas tree, these castles can really take you away to another place and time. I like the idea of using these as a table centerpiece, place cards, or randomly placed for an outdoor party to add just a touch of mystical flair. This enchanting DIY was found on fellow fellow among other cute little projects.

DIY Houses by Night by fellow fellow:

There are a few tricks to making this DIY a success, all to do with finding the perfect image.
> What you’re looking for is a picture of a house/castle/building that’s taken front-on (perspective works, but not as well). You could take it from your favourite magazine, an old calendar, or even print some from the internet. Up to you! In fact, you could even print a photo of your house if you have one.
> The print needs to have a bit of space either side of the house to wrap around to the back of the votive.
> It’s best to choose a picture that is higher in the middle than at the sides, and sides that are about the same height.
> Choose a house that has some windows visible.
> If possible, find a picture that has nothing printed on the back. If you can’t, not to worry – it could add a nice effect.

Step 1: You want to start cutting and finish cutting at around the same height on either side of your picture. Use the scissors to cut straight in to where your house begins, cut around the top of the house, and cut straight back out to the edge at around the same height as you cut in.

Step 2: Trim away any other areas you don’t want, but don’t trim the sides yet.

Step 3: Using your Xacto knife and a cutting mat, carefully cut out any windows you want the light to shine through.

Step 4: Wrap the image into a cylinder (size is up to you) and sticky tape it together. Trim around the top if it doesn’t quite match, as well as any excess where you joined it.

Step 5: Add your battery operated tea light, and wait until it gets dark!

Note: Because paper (of course) is highly flammable, the use of battery operated candles over real ones is imperative.

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Style Blog To Follow – Love Maegan

Maegan Tintari

Love Maegan will charm your skirt off. From stunning style ideas to easy DIY tutorials, this blog has it all. LA based Graphic Designer/Style Blogger, Maegan Tintari, finds simple ways to make things look fabulous, like this ridiculously easy DIY iPhone Case.

Get addicted to her design sense, steal her style ideas and (quite accurately) love Maegan here: lovemaegan.com