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    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving


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Universal Phone Charger Giveaway!

What better way to beging the week than with a giveaway? It is Thanksgiving week after all and I am in a giving mood. And, what thing do people love most? Their phone, of course. So, when I partnered with Uncommon Goods to do a giveaway, I knew a phone gadget would be the most beneficial for my dear readers. I bring you the Leaf Universal Phone Charger.

leaf universal iphone charger

I tested it out first with my own iPhone (I have an iPhone 4S) and I noticed a few plusses and minuses with my particular phone. First off, the charger takes a few hours to completely charge (as is common with most portable phone chargers) and it lets you know just how much charge it has with a three color system. It varies between red, green and blue to let you know how much more time is needed to charge. It is handy to bring with you, because it comes with its own strap. I honestly just threw it in my purse, though. It is not very bulky, so it did not take up too much space in my rather small (but lovely) purse. It also fit nearly any phone, because it charged via a USB cord. The only downside I found is that the charge does not last for more than one or two days, so if you plan on charging it before the day of use. It is very cute, though and it comes in three colors. There is also a matching amplifier stand that looks pretty cool, too. Uncommon Goods has pretty unique Christmas gifts including stocking stuffers for men and iPad accessories.

But onto the giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter entry form below for a chance to win!

  • Giveaway will end 11:59 PM PST, December 14, 2013
  • Must be at least 18 years old to enter
  • Must be North American resident

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good Luck to everyone!


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20 Ways to Reuse Milk Cartons

I am OB-sessed with almond milk.  So much so that I go through approximately 4-5 cartons a week.  And up until about a month ago, I would finish them off and toss them in the recycling bin—thinking, ‘What a responsible consumer I am!‘  Responsible? Possibly.  Innovative, creative?  Not so much.  It wasn’t until I recently took up running again that I realized what I was tossing out.  Because of my rickety knees and hips, running coming at a price for me.  That price is usually a few weeks of limping around at the onset of any new program.  Well this time, I had read about the wonder of ice baths.  Yes, they sounded just slightly more appealing than the hobbling.  But I was determined to get back in my Asics, so I took the plunge.  It wasn’t nearly as torturous as I had imagined it would be, and I was actually refreshed when I was done.  Even better, I had zero aches and pains.  Win-win-win!  The one down side was that keeping a supply of ice for 3-5 weekly baths was a bit cumbersome.  Then I stumbled upon a runner’s site that recommended freezing water in empty milk cartons to create large bricks of ice.  Yay, for almond milk addictions.  Now I can freeze my bottom off without hindrance.  And more importantly, finally reach my 10k time goals.

If you are harboring an equally ridiculous amount of milk cartons, but have no desire to to join the Polar Bear Club–here are a few other ideas for re-use (taken from diylife.com and a few other places)

Around The House

  • Floor protectors. Cut the tops off cartons and use the bottoms to cover furniture legs.  Now you can slide large items around without scratching the floor.
  • Paint containers. Cartons make ideal disposable containers for small painting jobs.  Trim the carton to the appropriate size, then add paint. No rinsing is needed – just throw the carton in the trash when you’re done. Not the most environmentally sound practice, but it is convenient.
  • Drawer organizers. Cut lengthwise to fit utensils. Cut the bottoms to make one or two (or more) inch-deep squares. These make very handy in-drawer storage containers for small odds and ends.  You can leave them with their original print for an eclectic feel or paint them to for an more uniform look.
  • Dispose of cooking oil. Fill a carton with newspaper and pour oil inside. The newspaper absorbs the oil and the carton keeps everything neatly contained, so no leaks. When it’s been used several times, throw it away.
  • Disposable cutting boards. Slit cartons open and spread them flat. Keep on hand for when you need to chop smelly items like fish. Or use them for draining fried foods. The paper side absorbs oil and the waxed side keeps oil from leaking through to the plate underneath.
    Liquid storage.
  • Use cartons for storing liquids in the refrigerator or freezer. They are great for freezing soup, frozen desserts and whipped cream. When you need some, you don’t have to thaw the whole container: just slice off a chunk as big as you need, then peel the cardboard off and thaw.

Around The Yard

  • Winter bird food form. Cartons are ideal for storing homemade suet or peanut butter-based mixtures.  Pour hot mix into a carton.  When it’s completely hardened, use a sharp carving knife to cut into inch-thick slices. Peel off the cardboard around edges. Each slice fits perfectly into most wire suet holders.
  • Seed starter. Cut cartons in half lengthwise and punch drainage holes in the bottom.  Fill with potting mix.  Now you’re ready to grow some seeds!
  • Toe guard. Camping?  Try using bottoms of cartons as tent peg covers.  They’ll help prevent painful stubbed toes.
  • Weight.  Fill cartons with sand or pebbles.  Punch holes in tops.  Use them to weigh down a tarp or drop cloth when it’s windy.  Thread rope through the punched holes and tie them down for added security.
  • Compost.  Schools in LA collected 200 tons of school lunch milk cartons, which the city converted into compost and used to plant trees in bare urban areas.  You can do the same on a small scale.  Just shred them before adding to your compost container.

Clever Crafts

  • Bowling alley. Empty cartons make great (free!) bowling pins for kids.  Let them spend a rainy afternoon decorating the “pins” with paint before the all-important first game.
  • Coin purse.  A super cute way for young girls to keep their purses organized.  Perhaps even an idea for little girls to give to their friends as gifts.  Check out the tutorial at CutOutandKeep.com
  • Blocks for baby.  Wash and dry cartons, then stuff with scrunched up newspaper or junk mail.  Fold down the triangle top and tape shut.  They make wonderful blocks for babies and toddlers to play with and practice their stacking skills.
  • Candle mold.  Trim carton to size. Anchor wick at the bottom on the inside, making sure the wick is a couple of inches longer than the container is tall.  Pour hot wax inside and let it set.  **Ice variation**Coat the inside of a clean carton with cooking spray.  Anchor the wick inside, then fill with ice cubes. Pour in hot wax. The melting ice creates beautiful formations in the wax.
    Bird feeder. An easy homemade feeder that encourages kids to learn about birds.  Cut a hole in a carton and insert a piece of dowel for a perch just below. Fill with seed and hang from a branch.
  • Decorative bird house. A great craft idea for kids or adults.  Decorate a clean carton however you like.  Cut holes and decorate by gluing little craft “birds” into the doorways or on top.  Use twigs, raffia and moss to create their “nests.”
    Pencil holder or vase. Clean and trim old cartons, then decorate with paints, papers, ribbon, glitter – or whatever catches your eye.  Use them as pencil holders or even as flower vases.
  • Ginger bread house. Very young kids don’t have the dexterity to work with real gingerbread house kits.  So let them use cartons for a firm foundation.  Just clean and trim a carton, then let the kids glue ginger cookies onto the sides, using white icing for “glue.”  Add candy, pretzels etc for added decorations.
  • Doll house or toy town.  Each carton can become a room or tiny house in your child’s imagination.  Help kids cut the sides out of cartons and decorate. Glue them together to make a house … or a whole town.

 


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Prasanth - June 4, 2012 - 7:36 am

Nice. Thanks.

Enter to Win $500 & Give $500 to Your Charity by Sharing Your Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe!

This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.    photo 1898ca76-3272-4baf-a8df-07abf60e15e3_zps1bf425e9.jpg Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, which means copious amounts of delicious food, but it also means great amounts of trash. No one wants to miss out on the biggest feast of the year, so the best solution is to prepare a feast, but in a smart way. Tetra Pak wants to take care of this for you, so you can Become Carton Smart while concentrating on preparing a feast for the family. Tetra Pak cartons comprise 70% paper from trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council). That means the paper source is renewable and as you may have guessed, the cartons are recyclable. They are much more recycable than metal cans, too. If metal cans are swapped out for Tetra Pak cartons, landfill waste can be reduced up to 60%. It is a small difference in packaging that can add up to a big difference.  photo d1d52bb8-c150-4f19-9a7c-b8c9ab3c8df3_zpsac6b75dd.jpg Tetra Pak packaging is not just used because it is environmentally friendly. It is also used, because it preserves the product without the need of preservatives. The cartons are also square, so you can easily stack them. This saves much more space in the pantry than when using round metal cans. My favorite feature of Tetra Pak cartons though, is that they are re-closable, so you can use a bit {like I did with my pumpkin smoothie} and then store the carton for later use.  photo 795e421d-1ec8-414e-b1b8-dde8f5f23ded_zps62983f0a.jpg Pacific Foods sent me a few products stored in Tetra Pak cartons to try out some recipes for Thanksgiving and I think I will try out their organic chicken stock in Paula Deen’s green bean casserole recipe.  photo 62adf36b-e1dc-4d93-98c1-aa80d97a468d_zps600d562e.jpg To help you make your feast {and to give you something extra to be thankful for}, we are offering a giveaway that includes two prizes: (1) a $500 visa gift card and (2) a $500 donation to a charity of your choice! Just leave a comment below telling us your small, smart recipes using ingredients in cartons that make great food with minimal waste. Check out Social Spark for the contest rules and details. And, be sure to follow Carton Smart’s social media pages. Tweet @CartonSmart and Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest. You can also follow Inspiring Pretty on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates as well!   Visit Sponsor


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Jessica Miller - December 6, 2013 - 8:03 pm

Use left over turkey for sandwiches! I also buy cartons of chicken stocks for soup.

Helga - December 4, 2013 - 11:28 am

I make curried chicken using any brand of chicken stock and potatoes, celery, cut up chicken breast, carrots, and my favorite curry blend like tandoori or morrocan or green thai curry, some coconut milk, and salt to taste. its great in a crcok pot simmering all day on the low setting. serve over basmati rice.

Elena Vo - December 1, 2013 - 9:36 pm

My recipe is very easy to make and uses very few ingredients.

Elena’s Delicious Frittata:

1 carton egg whites
1/2 carton diced tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 jar sliced mushrooms
salt
black pepper and paprika for seasoning

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high.

Whisk egg whites in a large bowl until foamy, add tomatoes, mushrooms (drained), salt, black pepper, paprika, and mix well. Pour unto the heated skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 6-8 minutes more.
It’s very easy and quick to make and can feed a crowd quickly. Plus, there’s minimum waste. I usually reuse glass jars in every way possible.

mysweetiepiepie - November 29, 2013 - 9:12 pm

I use jellied cranberry sauce in cartons to make fruit syrup for waffles, pancakes, French toast… Just combine some fresh fruit and some cranberry sauce in a small sauce pan, heat through and serve over whatever!

lisa lo - November 28, 2013 - 7:27 pm

I use chicken broth in cardboard packaging and some water to make a great potato veggie soup. Reds are the best. Then I add some celery and onions and maybe some carrots. Never measure, it doesn’t need any. Add sprinkles of seasoning to taste. Done :o)

Ellen Anderson - November 28, 2013 - 6:59 pm

I could use the pumpkin in a carton to make my annual pumpkin bread!

Ingredients
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9′ by 5′ loaf pans. Combine sugar and oil in large bowl. Add in eggs and pumpkin. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Blend together dry ingredients and water into wet mixture. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

nicolthepickle - November 27, 2013 - 5:02 pm

I make pumpkin scones with carton-ized pumpkin. It’s the best.
Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup carton pure (unsweetened) pumpkin
3 tablespoons half and half cream
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

Laura H - November 27, 2013 - 10:34 am

I use chicken stock in a carton when I cook chicken or turkey in a crock pot. I don’t measure precisely, I just add enough stock to cover about 1/4 of the meat and then add whatever spices and sauces I want like applesauce, teriyaki sauce, orange marmalade etc… Easy and always comes out moist and delicious!

Sandi Tymchuk - November 27, 2013 - 9:42 am

I love to make a lower-calorie creamy cauliflower soup as follows:
1 head cauliflower, chopped
PAM nonstick spray
2 large onions, chopped
1 carton reduced-sodium fat-free chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp dried basil, to taste
seasoning salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
(opt.) cheese of choice (eg., cheddar or Parmesan)to top
(opt.) sliced green onion to top
Prepare cauliflower by softening in the microwave, covered, at half power with 1/4 cup water, approx. 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
Meanwhile, over medium heat in a large covered nonstick skillet or dutch oven, saute onions using PAM spray until slightly caramelized. Then add softened cauliflower, chicken stock and seasonings. Bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and use an immersion blender to puree, returning bay leaves following.
Simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring often, to allow flavours to blend. Spoon into bowls to enjoy.
If desired, sprinkle cheese and/or green onions to serve.

chris z - November 27, 2013 - 9:38 am

carton chicken broth to make soup

Doreen Lamoureux - November 27, 2013 - 6:54 am

I love to make a vegetable soup with chicken stock. I usually make a big batch then freeze some in smaller containers so I can pull out one for lunch or a snack.

Paula V - November 27, 2013 - 6:06 am

I live in a small town with just Wal-mart and Kroger so I never knew these items existed except for the chicken broth. I’ve never seen the cranberry sauce. If making a large batch of soup I would definitely use the large carton of chicken broth.

Catherine Shaw - November 27, 2013 - 4:17 am

I’ve got a simple, quick recipe for pumpkin curry soup that uses ingredients in this type of packaging.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups Pacific chicken stock
1 16 oz Pacific pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

Directions:
1
Melt butter in sturdy saucepan and then cook onion and garlic.
2
Stir in the curry, salt, and pepper and cook for one minute.
3
Add the stock and pumpkin, bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4
Stir in evaporated milk just before serving.

ms. - November 26, 2013 - 9:38 am

My favourite (and easiest) meal to make is with chicken stock, but to cook noodles in there, and add chicken, vegetables (green onions and so on), and make a quick Asian Chicken Noodle Soup out of it.

Alicia K - November 26, 2013 - 8:12 am

i like to make chicken noodle soup with carton-ed broth, etc.

pixystik4u at gmail dot com

ELIZA ELLIOT - November 17, 2013 - 5:16 pm

I like using the carton of organic pumpkin puree for my “oh so famous” pumpkin cheesecake! I call it my secret ingredient because it always tastes so good. thanks for the chance to win. truckredford(at)Gmail(dot)com

Darla - November 17, 2013 - 9:37 am

This delicious cornbread made with buttermilk from a carton:

ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage (optional)
preparation
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and sage (if using) in another bowl, then add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in a buttered 8-inch square baking pan and bake in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack, then coarsely crumble.

Darla - November 17, 2013 - 9:37 am

This delicious cornbread made with buttermilk from a carton:

ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage (optional)
preparation
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and sage (if using) in another bowl, then add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in a buttered 8-inch square baking pan and bake in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack, then coarsely crumble.

Neiddy - November 15, 2013 - 6:28 am

I like using leftover chicken to make Arroz con Pollo, my family loves it and I get to stretch leftovers even further. I’d use Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Stock to make this delicious recipe.

Arroz con pollo – Chicken with rice
Ingredients: leftover cooked chicken,1 cup rice,3 cups chicken stock,mixed veggies,1/2 onion, 1/2 green bell pepper,1 tomato, 2 cloves garlic,1tbsp butter, 1 chicken bouillon cube, salt and pepper.
Directions:In a skillet saute onion, tomato, bell pepper and garlic. Add the rice and when it begins to turn gold add the chicken, mixed veggies, bouillon cube and chicken broth.Stir gently and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

Carolsue - November 14, 2013 - 7:03 pm

I make Turkey Tortilla Soup like this:
3 cans of Rotel, 2 cans Mexicorn, 2 can black beans drained, 1/2 pkg taco seasoning, 2 cups leftover shredded turkey & a carton of chicken broth
This uses cartons AND leftover holiday turkey to save waste!

Jessie C. - November 13, 2013 - 6:07 pm

We like using carton miso broth to make quick noodle tofu soup.

Ashley H - November 13, 2013 - 5:09 pm

I use beef broth in a carton to make roast beef for holiday dinner.

Lisa Brown - November 12, 2013 - 8:09 am

I love to use pureed pumpkin and make pumpkin spiced smoothies. They are perfect for the holiday season and are so yummy.
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

Mami2jcn - November 11, 2013 - 4:23 pm

We always make turkey sandwiches with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey, so nothing is wasted.

Lisa Brown - November 11, 2013 - 1:19 pm

I would definitely use the carton pureed pumpkin and make a pumpkin spiced smoothie. I have used their pumpkin before and it’s great.
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

Have You Entered PCH’s ‘Set for Life’ Sweepstakes?

This post brought to you by Publishers Clearing House. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everyone has heard of Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes {and I’m sure you have seen the commercials as well}, but have you ever actually entered one of them? I have not either, but their current sweepstake is so tempting that I may have to jump on the band wagon {for your sake, you may want to convinve me otherwise – the less competition, the better}. That is because Publisher’s Clearing House is now offering what they have dubbed the “Set for Life” promotion where they are giving away the prize of $7,000 each and every week for the rest of your life. That means $7,000 for each of the 52 weeks in a year which equals $364,000 per year. They have already awarded $246 million worth of prizes to date. Can you now see why I am tempted to enter? The winner from August seems pretty pleased with the results:

 

If I won, I think I would travel the world helping people that I meet as I go. I think I’d also establish a non-profit company that would be able to sustain a charity. What would you do?

If you enter the Win $7,000 a Week for Life from Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, please let me know below! I want to see if I know who the winner is when they are announced. Good luck to everyone and I hope someone who could truly use it well wins it!

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