25 days of Christmas Photo Challenge

This month I will me taking part in my own photo challenge.  I have been wanting to take part in another bloggers photo challenge but I didn’t find one that I connected with so I scoured Pinterest for different ideas. I decided on creating my own 25 days of Christmas Photo Challenge. I wanted to complete a photo challenge since I recently got a new Samsung 8+ and want to learn to use the camera to its full potential.  Taking photos with a phone or a camera  is something that I am not super familiar with but since my blog is brand new I know that quality photos will help my blog to stand out, especially on Pinterest. I also want to start sharing more on Instagram so I can hopefully grow my following there.

I encourage you to take the time this month to challenge yourself to do something different. December ends up being such a busy month and goes by so fast. So, taking the time to pay attention to things around you and focusing on something small can help make you more aware of what is going on around you.

 

Here’s the Challenge:
  • December 1: Your view today.
  • December 2: Something treasured.
  • December 3: Something red and white
  • December 4: Glitter
  • December 5: Something gold
  • December 6: Clouds
  • December 7: Stripes
  • December 8: Scarf
  • December 9: Something red
  • December 10: Something green
  • December 11: Tree
  • December 12: A beautiful sight
  • December 13: Something your reading
  • December 14: Favorite Holiday Movie
  • December 15: Favorite Ornament
  • December 16: Favorite Holiday Song
  • December 17: Wrapping Paper
  • December 18: Outdoors
  • December 19: Something that makes you smile
  • December 20: Tree Topper
  • December 21: Favorite Christmas Decorations
  • December 22: Presents under the tree
  • December 23: Outdoor Christmas lights
  • December 24: How your spending your Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Your Christmas morning

I will posting my photos on the Instagram account for my blog @curiouslyjacqui, so make sure you follow me there.

Scalloped Corn

I wanted to share with you a special holiday tradition for my family. Scalloped Corn! This delicious corn casserole is a big hit and is big enough to feed a large crowd.

My family has this recipe on all the major holidays and even for occasional family dinner. I actually don’t remember a holiday when we didn’t have this recipe and growing up I remember my mom making this dish and how wonderful the house smelled. Now, since my mom is in charge of preparing the majority of the meal I have taken over making the scalloped corn. This dish is a little complicated and has several steps but in the end it is totally worth the time. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • Dried minced onion to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup cracker crumbs (Ritz or similar cracker) – Crush 2 rolls of Ritz, reserve the 2/3 for the crust and put the rest in the corn.
  • 2 tablespoon butter melted (for crust)
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter with minced onion in 2 quart saucepan
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Stir in flour, salt, paprika, and mustard
  5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbly
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Gradually stir in milk
  8. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly
  9. Boil and stir for 1 minute
  10. Stir in corn, eggs, and extra cracker crumbs
  11. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole
  12. Mix cracker crumbs (2/3 cup) and 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle over corn.
  13. Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted into center comes out clean

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

We use hand soap all day long (well….hopefully you do).  After doing some research on the ingredients in hand soap I wanted to find an alternative to the store bought soaps. I wanted to find something that was gentle on my skin, cost effective, contained a surfactant (this is important to wash away the germs), and smelled great. You can use any essential oils that you would like in this recipe so you can make it smell any way you want. I also like that you can make holiday scented soaps. I can wait to try peppermint essential oil on this recipe.

So, here is what I came up with: 

Ingredients:
  • Foaming Hand Dispenser
  • 4 tablespoons unscented castile soap
  • 10 ounces of water
  • 1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
  • 20 – 30 drops of essential oil or blend  (I prefer Germ Fighter from Plant Therapy)
Why these Ingredients:
  • Castile Soap, specifically Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in my hand soap, body wash and face wash (more recipes to come later).
  • Vitamin E Oil to this soap as it can help with dry cracked skin and cuticles.
  • Germ Fighter Synergy from Plant Therapy can support a healthy immune system. Germ Fighter contains:
    • Lemon Essential Oil
    • Clove Bud Essential Oil
    • Eucalyptus Globules Essential Oil
    • Cinnamon Cassia Essential Oil
    • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • One thing to note is the that Germ Fighter blend is not considered Kid-Safe so if you have little ones in your home you may want to try Plant Therapy’s Germ Destroyer. This blend contains Spruce Hemlock, Marjoram, Lavender, Rosalina, and Lemon.
Directions:
  1. Add the castile soap to the foaming dispenser
  2. Next, add the Vitamin E Oil
  3. Then, add the essential oils
  4. Finally, add the water
  5. Screw on the top
  6. Gently shake the mixture to distribute the oils
  7. Be sure to gently shake the mixture every day or so to keep the mixture evenly distributed.

Product Suggestions:

 

DIY Beard Oil

It’s that time of year when men are growing out their beards to keep their faces warm while hunting and for the long winter months ahead. I know there are a ton of beard oils on the market right now but I wanted to make something myself with the essential oils and carrier oils that I have in stock. Beards can be poking and itchy so I wanted to create something that would help during the growing process. I personally love a nice smooth and full beard so I wanted something that helps to keep my husbands beard nice and soft and also smells wonderful. I also didn’t want something that smelled too strong so I think the combination i came up with is nice mix. The first time my husband used it I didn’t even notice it when he left for work, so the smell isn’t overwhelming.  

Beard Oil Ingredients:
  • 2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil (I prefer Frankincense Carteri)
  • 2 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Orange Essential Oil
  • Sweet Almond Carrier Oil ( or any other carrier oil of your choice)
  • 2 ounce dropper bottle
Why These Oils?
  • Lavender – This oil is known for being relaxing and promotes healthy hair growth
  • Frankincense Carteri – This oil helps to provide moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cedarwood – This oil is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Orange – This oil is known for its uplifting and calming scent
Beard Oil Instructions:
  • Mix the Lavender, Frankincense, Cedarwood & Orange Oil in the dropper bottle.
  • Fill up the rest of the bottle with your carrier oil.
  • Use 2 to 3 drops each day after showering for a smoother beard.
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