Guest Posts

Thanks to Heather Tallman of Basilmomma for this 25 Days of Christmas post.

You know, I make no secret of the fact that I am not a good baker. I am not crafty, I am not a scrapbooker, I am not a good decorator. These things I am not. I am OK with this. I do not feel like I am missing out by not making dozens of Martha-like cookies every holiday season that are perfectly iced and decorated.

If you are one of those people who can make a cookie recipe from start to finish without a catastrophe and they come out of the oven perfect then I raise my glass to you. I will probably try to buy them from you even. But I am not ever going to reach that level of expertise. And I am fine with that. I try and that counts, right?

Now , my kids saw this cookie recipe in a Family Fun cookbook a few years ago and I have saved it all this time. I thought I would surprise them and make them Monday night. I also wanted to use them for an upcoming column in the Greenwood Daily Journal so I had a dual purpose here.

4 puffy, overcooked batches later I finally refined the recipe to turn out perfectly and they are now a tradition every Christmas.

Candy Cane Twists Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 LG egg
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • red food coloring

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour until combined.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and work the red food coloring into 1/2 until you reach the desired redness. To shape the canes roll a small amount into a ball and then roll with your hands to a cylinder. Do the same for a piece of red. Twist the 2 pcs. together and pinch the ends to form a candy cane shape. Continue to do this with the rest of the dough. Place on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set but not brown.

About the Author: Heather Tallman is a Greenwood area blogger, food writer, newspaper columnist, television hist and host of Around the Kitchen Sink Radio on Toginet.com. You can find her at basilmomma.com, @Basilmomma on Twitter and Basilmomma on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

More Holiday Savings

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4 Ways to Earn Income Online Guest Post

by Beth Montgomery on May 24, 2011 · 3 comments

in Earn, Tips & Basics

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Delighting in the Days about making frilly and fun (and, of course, frugal) flip flops with and for your kids, and I’m excited to welcome Amy from Blogging with Amy to In Good Cents:

I consider myself frugal although not quite as adept at saving money, finding deals and using coupons as Beth! Like so many other families, we are very grateful for one income that pays the bills, but it doesn’t leave us a whole lot of cushion.

In our quest to pay off our mortgage early, I started exploring ways to not only decrease our spending, but increase our income. The internet is full of great opportunities to accomplish both. Beth does an excellent job of showing you how to save money and she has also talked about ways to make extra money. I thought I’d add a few more to her list:

1. Sell books (especially textbooks) on Amazon.

My husband and I have moved 7 times in 14 years of marriage and books are always a challenge to move. Several years ago, I realized we had been carting a bunch of our old textbooks around and those things are monsters! So, I became a book seller on Amazon and sold our used books. You’ll have to decide which books are worth selling and which are not, but I got $50 for some of those textbooks!

2. Sell on craigslist.

Are you sittin’ on cold, hard cash? Look around your house and in your garage. Do you have anything you could sell? If you’re like me, you’ve got a small pile of items you’re saving for that garage sale you’re going to have someday. The problem is, a garage sale takes a fair amount of work to pull off. I can never seem to muster up the oomph to make it happen. In the meantime, why not choose one thing from your stash — just one — and put it on craigslist? You might be surprised at how easy the process is and how quickly you could turn your pile of stuff into cash without a whole lot of garage-sale-sized effort! Need some craigslist selling tips? Try these and these (an older article, but still some good insight). My favorite tip is to arrange a sale not at your home but in a public place just to be safe.

3. Sell on Etsy.

If you’re a crafty type, why not sell your wares on a site like Etsy? I’m afraid I lack in the creativity department, so this is not something I’ve done personally, however, if you are good at your craft (and can take irresistible photos of your craft!), this might be a great option for you. Etsy makes set up and process of your storefront super easy. I’d recommend promoting your products through other means as well, such as providing complimentary items to bloggers who can review your product on their blog or hold a giveaway.

4. Start a blog.

I’m amazed at how many stay-at-home moms have created income as bloggers. (Check out Beth’s blogging tips if you haven’t already!) The thing I love about blogging is that virtually anyone can do it and the overhead is almost nothing. The internet is full of great resources to get you started and there are countless ways to create income (often referred to as “income streams”). There are companies you can sign up with who will pay you a little bit when you promote their products or campaigns (a.k.a affiliate marketing). You can also sell ad space on your blog, sell a service or produce your own product. A blog gives you an online presence around which you can build a business.

There’s no doubt about it, the internet has opened up a whole host of possibilities to increase income, even if it’s just a little at a time. All those cents certainly add up!

Amy Lynn Andrews is a stay-at-home mom turned work-at-home entrepreneur. She teaches others how to blog for profit step by step at BloggingWithAmy.com.

Visit Life…Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!

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