Monday, September 30, 2013

Mother's Easy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Recipe

Recipe's Creation

When I was 15 weeks pregnant and suffering from constant headaches, my midwife suggested that I increase my protein intake. She gave me a list of foods and ingredients to add to my diet. In turn, my 16 year old daughter and I were steadily creating new, easy casserole dishes using the ingredients given to me. This dish was super easy to make and uses meat (a vegetarian substitute can be used in place of the ground beef), cheeses, and dry milk to give the dish a protein boost.


  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or vegetarian substitute, cooked and drained
  • one 1 lb. box elbow macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce or diced tomatoes

How to Prepare

  • In large bowl, mix together ground beef, noodles, dry milk, mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Spread noodle mix evenly in a 13 X 9-inch casserole pan.
  • Top noodles with tomato sauce and 1 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Best Small Home Business Ideas for Women

Work for Yourself

You've decided that you want to start your own home business. Exciting! There are so many wonderful small business ideas for you to choose from. All you need to do is choose something you enjoy and think of ways you can make money by doing it.


There are a wealth of money making ideas that involve the internet. Some of the ideas overlap into other categories in this article, such as teaching baking online. Other ideas branch off into totally new and yet to be explored areas of interest.

  • Making videos. How-to videos are all the rage. If you have a special skill, such ad wood carving or beading, consider making how to videos for profit. There are websites that purchase how-to videos or offer payment based on viewing.
  • Internet courses. Write and sell internet courses. Set up your own internet school and charge for each course.
  • Resume writing. Sign up with a resume writing website to earn income as a freelance resume writer. Offer your services online from a personal website and personal ads.
  • Freelance writer. Write about what you know. Offer advice and how-to articles. Write for various websites as a freelance or an independent contract writer.
  • Niche newsletter. Create a specialty newsletter. Sell ad space and include online advertising from Google Adsense.
  • Ebay seller. Sell antiques, your artwork, crafts, and even your own ebooks on Ebay.
  • Stock photographer. Take pictures and sell them online from your own website or from a stock photography website.
  • Online publicist. Set up and manage online social networking accounts for local businesses and artists.


Do you often get compliments on your good meals? Do people request you to bring your famous dessert to every family gathering? Are you skilled at decorating? If so or if you simply enjoy being in the kitchen, here are some fun small businesses you can start from your kitchen.

  • Breads, pretzels, bagels, and other yeast goods. I began my venture in running a small home business the morning after a major snow storm. All the roads were closed and, while the small, local grocery store was open, no delivery trucks could get to the store. The place was completely out of bread, milk, and eggs. Lucky for me, I had just bought flour, eggs, and powdered milk in bulk, and I began baking bread to sell. My ex-husband and I posted bread for sale signs everywhere, including the grocery store where everyone was walking to, and soon people began showing up at the door. I made several hundred dollars in 2 days by baking for my local community.
  • Baking cakes and cupcakes. I know several people who began baking cakes from their home kitchen. Two of the ladies went on to start large businesses. Birthday cakes, graduation cakes, and, of course, wedding cakes are always in demand. Specialty desserts for the holidays, such as mincemeat pie, are great money makers.
  • Catering. The holidays are so hectic. Who has the time to do all the cooking? Set up a small catering business for local family get-togethers. Specialize in popular cuisines. For example, in my area, home cooked Pennsylvania Dutch meals are very popular.
  • Dog biscuits. We all love to spoil our pets now and again. Research dog biscuit recipes, experiment using your dog as the master taste tester, and begin selling homemade dog biscuits from home and at the farmer's market and craft fairs.
  • Cooking lessons. There are many men and women who would love to learn how to cook but don't know where to begin. Children also love to make stuff in the kitchen. Offer personal cooking lessons and cooking classes.

Arts and Crafts

Small businesses that fall under arts and crafts are one of the most visible home based businesses people venture into. Knitters are teased about breaking out their "poverty needles" to make some extra cash and many people seem to believe that this category is for women only. Not true! Many men, including my ex-husband, run a small home business in the arts and crafts field. The trick to succeeding in this field is to find your own niche and give it your all.

  • Knitting and crochet. There's always room for more yarn lovers in this home industry. When deciding on what to make to sell, think of the practical and the whimsical. Baby sets are always popular. Scarves, afghans, and hats are also popular knit and crochet items. Last winter I made bunches of "ugly knit hats" for my daughter's friends and they were a huge hit. Doll clothes, fancy washcloths, lap blankets, and sweaters are also good selling items, especially during the Christmas season.
  • Sewing costumes. Sewing takes such skill and it's an art that most people cannot do. If you've got the skill to sew, why not start sewing Halloween costumes, costumes for the Renaissance Fair, and holiday costumes. These can be sold online or set up a small shop inside your home if local zoning allows you to do so.
  • Catnip toys. Grow your own catnip, dry it, and sew it into little mice. Get creative and make the kitties catnip snakes and fish. People love buying kitty a little gift while they are out shopping.
  • Teach your craft. Do you make candles or beaded necklaces? Why not teach others about your craft. Give private lessons and group lessons.
  • Craft shows. Craft shows are awesome, especially around the holidays when I am out looking for unique gifts for my family. Take your crafts to the local shows and bazaars. Set up a stand at the farmer's market.
  • Furniture. My dad makes wonderfully useful furniture. Lacking the skill to make my own furniture, I buy or rescue old wooden furniture and fix it up. Great places to look for wood furniture to refinish and resell is at the Goodwill stores, yard sales, and on large item trash pickup days.
  • Write how-to. Not only can your sell your crafts in person and online, you can also write how-to articles about your arts and crafts. Creating how-to videos is also a good way to earn money from craft making.

Community Based Business Ideas

If you enjoy interacting with people, here are some great small business ideas you can begin from home.

  • Tutoring. If you are good at math or language arts, consider starting a tutoring business for the local school students.
  • Music lessons. Teach guitar, piano, violin, or any musical instrument from home.
  • Personal fitness trainer. Some people just need the extra encouragement to get going. Help people in your area set realistic fitness goals and keep them focused on their personal fitness.
  • Pet sitter and dog walker. Often viewed as a business for teenagers, many people prefer to have an experienced adult care for their fur babies.
  • Handyman. Sell your handyman skills, from painting to roofing, to your community.
  • Clowning and magician. Provide entertainment for local birthday parties.
  • Childcare. Specialize in special needs children, infants, or start a small daycare service for children who like art, sports, animals, etc.
  • Adult daycare. Spend the day caring for adults in your community. Provide transportation, cleaning, and meals.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leave the Content Mills and Go Directly to Kindle Books

For years I have slaved away, working on multiple content farms and earning pennies for my hard work. It wasn't until only recently that I took my son's advice and took a dive into publishing on Kindle Books. All I can say is that I wish I would have made this plunge sooner.

Content Mills

Content mills start up with great promises about earnings. Some even offer decent money incentives when starting up. However, as the years have shown me, they all have a tendency to sink once reality sinks in - People won't bother to read poorly written content.

After the shine has worn off, the content mill sinks into a pit. Google won't take its articles seriously and the search engine rankings are piss poor. Writers, in turn, earn a penny here and a penny there. Some content mills close shop and the writers never get paid.

What's in it for you to continue writing for these content mills? A few pennies per article, if you're lucky, and a lot of wasted time.

Writing for Kindle

Writing for Kindle is a different animal completely. If you are a good writer, can put a sentence together, and have something interesting to say, the chances are good that you will make more publishing Kindle books than you have ever made on content mills.

The downside is that writing longer material takes a longer amount of time. Kindle books are not something you rush on through. You craft them together, share your knowledge, pour your heart out, and empty your brain into them. The result? Much better pay and the satisfaction of saying that you are now published on's Kindle books.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Which Part of the Raw Egg You Should Use for a Face Mask

I love using face masks, and egg face masks are so simple and convenient to use. However, your skin type determines which part of the egg you use - the white or the yolk.

Yolk - The Yellow

  • For people who have dry skin, use the yolk. It is moisturizing.

White - The Clear

  • If your skin is oily, use the clear part of the raw egg called the white.

The Whole Egg
Normal skin can use the whole egg.

To use, separate the white from the yolk. Lightly beat the part you will be using with a fork or an egg beater. If you are using the whole egg, beat both parts together. Spread egg on face. Keep it on your face for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off.

Monday, September 2, 2013

How People Used to Make Shampoo With Soap

We didn't always go to the store to buy ourselves shampoo and conditioner. In fact, hair conditioner was invented and presented in 1900, and it was originally used to soften men's beards and mustaches. Shampoos similar to what we buy today didn't start appearing until the early 1900s. So, what did most people use to wash their hair? Soap.

Turning Soap Into Hair Wash

Turning soap into shampoo is a simple process. You will need:

  • 1/2 bar natural soap
  • 1 pint water

The soap you use must be homemade lye soap. Store soaps are loaded with chemicals and scents.

Put water in glass or enamel pan. Shave the soap into the water. Gently heat and stir until soap is dissolved. Remove from heat, cool, and store in bottle.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

20 Fun and Easy Ways to Make Money From Your Yard

Small Backyard Businesses

As we all struggle to earn a little extra income, we take a look around our homes, seeking any way in which we can capitalize on our skills, from writing to crafts. What many people fail to realize is that their backyard can be used to bring in a nice part-time income. In fact, some people utilize their back yard so well that they can sustain themselves with no outside income from jobs away from the home. Here are 20 business ideas you can start up in your yard.

1. Growing and Selling Strawberries

Strawberries are like gold in the garden. If your yard is right for growing strawberries, you will be able to bring in a good amount of money selling fresh grown, juicy ripe strawberries from your home. At the farm I grew up on, we had a patch of strawberries, however, many people build tiers to grow their strawberries and make better use of limited space.

2. Selling Cut Flowers

This is a popular home business in my area. Grow and sell hardy, cut flowers. You can pick the flowers and sell them in bunches or you can allow buyers to walk the flower patch and pick their own bouquet.

3. Growing and Selling Herb Plants

This is one of my personal favorites - growing and selling unique herb plants. Many of the local nurseries and garden centers do not carry herbs, and if they do, the have only the most basic herb plants - lavender, one or two types of mint, basil, rosemary, and chives. Look into growing specialty herbs for cooking and for medicinal uses.

4. Doggie Daycare

Do you love dogs? Is your yard safely fenced in? If so, check out your local laws in regards to setting up a simple doggie daycare. You can provide people's dogs with exercise, love, and attention while their owners are at work.

5. Chicken Eggs

This is another popular backyard business in my area. Raise brooding chickens and sell their delicious eggs from your home. You can also hatch chick to sell to other families who want to raise chickens for their eggs.

6. Stock Photos

Writers and graphic artists always need a fresh supply of interesting and colorful photographs. Why not use your backyard for all of its photographic beauty? Grow and photograph flowers, insects, butterflies, textures, and more. Use your photos in the articles you write or sell your photographs online at such places as ShutterStock, Fotolia, and ShutterPoint.

7. Plant Fruit Trees and Sell Fruit

All it takes is a few fruit trees and you can start selling fresh fruit from your home in a few short years. Check out the dwarf varieties of fruit trees available for your area. Dwarf trees produce quickly and a lot of fruit. Their only downside is that the trees have a shorter lifespan that regular sized fruit trees.

8. Grow and Sell Exotic Houseplants

If you have a knack for growing houseplant, consider adding a small greenhouse to your yard. Many people love to fill their homes with beautiful houseplants and, often, the only houseplants available to them are those sold in the grocery store. Grow a wide variety of houseplants, from spider plants to jade plants - both of these plants are very easy to start. You can also branch out into venus fly traps and unusual cacti.

9. Grow and Sell Fresh Veggies or Pumpkins

Fresh veggies are always a hit, especially when you can catch people coming home from work, trying to come up with a fresh vegetable to add to the dinner table. Discover what vegetables will grow best in your yard and plant them accordingly. Another variation of this type of home business is to grow pumpkins and gourds for the Halloween season.

10. Breed and Sell Small Animals or Fish

While I am particularly stubborn in my views about breeding animals irresponsibly, there are many people who successfully breed and sell small animals in a clean and responsible manner. Small animals can include rabbits, guinea pigs, different types of chickens, and others. I've known people in warmer climates that bred beta fish outdoors. Goldfish, however just need a simple pond, clean water, and a good food source before they start leaving eggs about. A variation of this is providing a safe pond for frogs and selling tadpoles.

11. Grow and Sell Coleus

Coleus is such a simple plant to grow. All you need are a few mother plants of the many different varieties of coleus. With small pots and potting soil, take cuttings from the mother plants and root them in the soil. The cuttings root quickly, almost as fast as these plants sell.

12. Sell Container Gardens

Container gardens continue to grow in popularity. If you live near apartment complexes, this would be a fantastic business to go into. Grow vegetables and herbs in containers for apartment dwellers to purchase and keep on their balconies. There are many seed packs of vegetables available that are labeled for container gardens. You will want to do further research in seed catalogs.

13. Grow Supplies for Basket Weaving

If you have a good patch of land, consider catering to basket weaving hobbyists. Grow the grasses and reeds used by basket weavers. Prepare the items and sell them to local basket weaving groups, a local college that provides basket weaving classes, and online.

14. Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a bit more involved than the other yard businesses listed here, but it is a fun and enjoyable small business. Sell honey from your home or at local health stores.

15. Grow and Sell Fresh Blueberries

Grow and pick blueberries to sell from your yard or let people pick their own blueberries. Blueberries are a great seller and many people, such as myself, will buy large amounts of blueberries to freeze for the year.

16. Yard Sales

Yard sales are a fun and popular way to make a little extra money and get rid of unwanted items. If your home is located in a highly visible area, you can start buying items in bulk and selling them for a profit from your yard. Any fresh fruits and veggies you have grown can also be sold at your yard sale.

17. Paint Scenery and Flowers

Are you handy with a paintbrush? Why not make paintings of the scenery from your yard. Paint the beautiful flowers you have growing, the plants, the skyline, butterflies, and anything else you can see in or from your yard. Sell these paintings from your home or at co-ops.

18. Grow and Sell Butterfly Attracting Plants

People want to have a garden just for butterflies without having to hunt down the plants and flowers they need from multiple garden centers. Start growing and selling butterfly attracting plants from your backyard and sell them to your neighbors.

19. Cut and Sell Firewood

Firewood doesn't sell like strawberries or coleus, but it does sell and you can sell firewood year round. People living near campgrounds will often sell bundles of wood to campers. This is a great side job if you have a heavily wood property.

20. Rent Your Yard for Parties

Do you live in an area with a lot of apartment complexes? Do you own a nice, private yard that can comfortably host a party of 20, 30, or 40 people? If yes, look into the latest trend - renting yards for private parties and family outings. This is a great way to make extra money without much initial effort.