How To Make This Marie Antoinette Costume

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:29 am on Thursday, October 30, 2014

Is it too late to make this Marie Antoinette costume? Maybe not, since the wig is made of paper. It starts out like this:

Pretty clever. Click here to learn how to make it.

6 Things To Do With Pumpkin Seeds

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:36 am on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So you’ve carved your Halloween jack-o-lantern, but what do you do with the pumpkin seeds? Throw them out? No! Those things are culinary gold.

Or, if not gold, at least a semi-precious metal.

Here are 6 Things To Do With Pumpkin Seeds

1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

2. Pumpkin Seed Brittle. Martha Stewart has a recipe and so does Epicurious.

3. Pumpkin Seed Milk.

4. Roasted Almond-Pumpkin Seed Butter.

5. Pumpkin Seed Pesto.

6. Candied Pumpkin Seeds, Called Pepitas.

Who knew pumpkin seeds were so versatile?

Last Minute Crocodile Costume

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:59 am on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

For a last-minute Halloween costume, go as a crocodile. All it takes a narrow cardboard box, butcher paper, tape, and tissue paper. Pretty cool.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:38 am on Monday, October 27, 2014

Man, these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins are tasty. Sweet and tender and just a little chocolatey.

I used frozen roasted pumpkin I had in the freezer from last fall (got to make room in the freezer for more pumpkin) but you can use canned pumpkin if you want. Here’s the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
(Makes 12-16 muffins)


    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup wheat flour
    1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/3 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    6 Tablespoons butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup dark sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
    1/2-1 cup chocolate chips


If using fresh pumpkin, roast or microwave until soft, then blend until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix together.

In another bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla. Melt butter until soft and add to the milk and vanilla. Add the sugar.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the pumpkin puree.

Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in three batches and stir until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Grease a muffin pan. Spoon the batter, roughly 1/3 cup per muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

Owl Bookend and Eyeglasses Holder

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 1:12 pm on Friday, October 24, 2014

I guess I love owls, because I love this Owl Bookend and Eyeglasses Holder. How cute would this be on a bedside table? It comes in mint, gray, and red. $63

Harvesting Your Own Salt

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:53 am on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Living on the California coast, I have thought once or twice about harvesting my own salt from the ocean. I haven’t tried it, mostly because I suspect that the amount of effort and money spent on electricity would be higher than just buying salt in the store.

Then I ran into this video about Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt in Oregon. His passion about salt harvesting reawakened my interest in harvesting salt from the ocean.

Now I’m curious. I haven’t harvested my own salt yet, but maybe I will. It looks easy.

According to Wikihow and posts like this, harvesting salt takes:

1. Collecting clean salt water in jugs or a cooler.

2. Running the water through a cheesecloth to get rid of seaweed/other particles.

3. Slowly evaporating the water over many hours, usually in an oven or on a stove top set on low heat.

4. Collecting the salt crystals.

A gallon of water will produce between 3-8 ounces of salt, depending on salinity. To make it worthwhile, you probably want to do a lot of water.

Here’s a video that shows the whole process from start to finish:

Make Your Own Kale Chips

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:05 am on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Almost by accident, I grew a lot of kale this year. I put a few seeds in the ground, and suddenly I had a ton of it.

So I tried making kale chips with it in my oven. It was insanely easy and took only 10 minutes. The kale chips were crisp and tasty:

What do kale chips cost? $15 dollars a pound, or something? These cost me about $.50 to make.

The only complaint I have about this recipe is that the chips get stale pretty quickly, so only make small batches at time.

Baked Kale Chips


    8 kale leaves
    1-2 Tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Wash and clean the kale leaves. Remove the ribs of the kale and cut into 2-inch piece. In a bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and about a half teaspoon of salt.

Lay the kale leaves onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake until the kale chips are crisp, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Owl Scarves

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:51 am on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I love these Scarves That Look Like Bird Wings. Lovely!

They are hand-painted and digitally printed on cotton or silk. $56-$160.

The Etsy shop repeatedly says that the wait to get the scarf is long, which can be a bit of a red flag. But the scarves look like they might be worth it.

[Incredible Things.]

Use Shower Rings To Organize Your Closet

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:11 am on Monday, October 20, 2014

So it turns out that the humble shower ring is a great way to organize your closet. Here are some things shower rings can help you organize:

Tank Tops


Scarves (Or ties or belts.)

Hats (I’m totally doing this one.)


Gift Bags


Even Bras

Halloween Cocktail: Deadly Nightshade

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:12 am on Friday, October 17, 2014

savvyhousekeeping halloween cocktail deadly nightshade

As promised, here’s the other cocktail I made up with DIY Cocktails. It’s called Deadly Nightshade.

The drink is a mix of black current juice, current liqueur, and bourbon. We also added some grapes in the glass for a creepy garnish. It’s a bit more manly tasting than the Blood Orange Margarita, but both drinks would be great at a Halloween party. Recipe:

Deadly Nightshade


    1 1/2 oz bourbon
    2 oz black currant juice
    1/2 oz simple syrup
    1/2 oz. creme de cassis (current liqueur)
    club soda
    8 or so grapes to garnish


Shake bourbon, juice, syrup, and liqueur over ice and strain into cocktail or old-fashioned glass. Add some ice and a small handful of red or black grapes. Top off with club soda. Enjoy.

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