Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

In Honor of Black History Month >> Check This Out >> My History, Your History, Black History Facts You Might Didn’t’ Know About.

However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

Image Credit: Pexels

Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

Image Credit: Pexels

Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

Image Credit: Pexels

During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

Image Credit: Pexels
  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

Image Credit: Pexels

I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.

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Let’s All Fall In Love, With Pumpkin Soup!!

photo above courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

If you can tell from the other recipe posts I have done already, I love the word “simple” and this pumpkin soup didn’t disappoint as it fell in line with my other three favorite words: Good, Delicious and Quick!

I was done with this recipe so fast until it surprised me, I mean it literally took me no more than 5-10 minutes to complete, just in time to pop in a movie before 8pm. Now that’s my type of cooking!

YESS
My Face when something actually works! – Photo courtesy of Bing

If you’re like me after having a long day at work, coming home to find something quick to cook can be a chore but when you have simple recipes such as this one, that long day in the office doesn’t seem quite stressful as this recipe will make cooking for the night a breeze. This soup can be made for a party of one or a family of six. All you’ll need are these simple ingredients:

Pumpkin Soup
7 Ingredients are all you need! – You can use a real pumpkin but it was late, I was tired so I opted for the 100% pumpkin puree in the can.

This Super Easy Breezy Pumpkin Soup recipe goes as follows:

1 medium onion, grated on a box grater

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (29-oz.) can pure pumpkin

2 (14.5-oz.) cans chicken broth (or 4 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until soft.

Stir in the pure pumpkin, chicken broth, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until soup simmers.

Put into bowls and top as desired. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Below are my before and after pics:

Pumpkin Soup3
BEFORE: All ingredients mixed together – I did transfer this over to a bigger pot.

Pumpkin Soup2
AFTER #1: Topped with Heavy Cream.

Pumpkin Soup4
AFTER #2: Topped with Croutons & Sour Cream

I apologize for the different picture contrast variations, my phone was dying out – so I used my daughters phone for the last pic. While I used croutons and sour cream to top off this delicious soup, you can use pumpkin seeds, bacon or whatever you choose – it’s going to be good no matter what you put on top. This recipe was taken from Good Housekeeping in which you can view here

The soup is good for 3 days so you’ll be able to take some for lunch the next day and maybe share some with your friends and show off your amazing cooking skills!!

Next week, I’ll be cooking up the last two pumpkin recipes of the month – Something cheesy for dinner and a favorite treat in which everyone loves – ICE CREAM! So stay tuned as the YUMMY continues!

Did you hear about the giveaway??

To kick off the pumpkin festivities I thought I would do a giveaway – I love to receive things and I know you might too. I’m giving away a $25.00 gift card, here’s what you have to do and how to enter:

Follow @justsuminspiration2u on Instagram

Post a picture of you with one of the 5 recipes featured this month with the caption: “Pumpkins Up! @justsuminspiration2u is doing a giveaway! Enter for a chance to win at justsuminspiration.com.”

That’s It! That’s all you have to do – Remember, you have to make one of the recipes, follow me on Instagram, post your picture of you and the recipe of choice and include the italicized statement with your post. Good Luck!!

The Winner will be announced November 3, 2017 at 1:00pm on the Justsuminspiration blog, Facebook and Instagram pages. Winners will be selected randomly from the list of entries submitted.

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Love Hard & Inspire Often!

 

If you missed the other recipe posts, you can view them here:

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

There’s a Pumpkin in my Oatmeal!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice, It’s Time for the Great Pumpkin!

 

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: It’s Time for The Great Pumpkin!!

pumpkin2

Oh Wow! October is officially here ya’ll (in my very southern Arkansas roots voice), I cannot believe it as it seems like it was just last month when the year started and only yesterday when the summer kicked off. Where has the time gone?

With the way these months are flying by, Christmas will be at our front steps on tomorrow, Yikes!! But, let’s slow it down a bit – because it’s October right now, so let’s get our pumpkins, spiced tea, coffee, rakes and cookbooks, Hold Up…

Just in case you’re giving me a serious side-eye right now

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Yes, your cookbooks! – now that October is here, this is the special time of year to whip up some yummy recipes. In which is what this months posts will be all centered around.

As if you didn’t get the feeling of the changing of the season already, everywhere you go; whether to the grocery store or Starbucks, everything is about the great pumpkin. The stores are definitely making sure everyone gets their dose of “Pumpkin Fever” and to add some extra spice to the rolling pumpkin phenomenon…I decided to welcome in October with a celebration of Pumpkin recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Oh Yes, I cannot leave out dessert!!

October is filled with Pumpkin Surprises

Yes, October is going to officially get an extra dose of inspiration spice! The recipes I’ve picked out are very simple and all contain things that you may very well already have in your cabinet or fridge. I will also give my “first take” of all these delicious recipes as I will not only be dishing them and the sites I got them from out to you but I’ll also be trying them out for myself so I can give you my honest opinion of each.

Listed below are the recipes in which you can expect to see this month:

 

The Great Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

We’re going to give the green smoothie a kick to the sidelines for a moment as we go completely orange.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

There’s a Pumpkin in my Oatmeal!!

Okay, so maybe the smoothie (whether green or not) is just not your thing in the mornings and trust me, I totally understand that. So why not a good ole’ bowl of rolled oats with a little surprise. Pumpkin Oatmeal anyone??

Pumpkin-Oatmeal-in-Crockpot-018a

It’s Fall, So Why Not Fall for Some PUMPKIN SOUP!

Who doesn’t enjoy a good, warm bowl of delicious soup; after all, that’s what Fall is all about. Hopefully you’ll fall in love with this recipe.

Pumpkin Soup

A Twist on a Southern Classic – Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Since being pre-diabetic, there aren’t a lot of pasta dishes that I can do without it affecting my sugar levels, but I’m hoping this southern classic will finally give me my life back.

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

You Scream, We Scream – We all want Pumpkin Ice-Cream!!

Ice-cream is my favorite dessert of all time and while I can’t have too much of it, this recipe will not only be a healthy indulge but pleasing to the waist line as well.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

And just in case you’re saying – “I hate Pumpkin” or “It looks funny” or “Why would I want to eat that! and give it the BOOT!, Pump your brakes as pumpkin is the best thing you can eat. It’s not only a great facial mask but it also provides the following healthy benefits:

  1. Makes your bones Stronger
  2. Keeps our digestive system in tip top shape
  3. Helps to reduce PMS Symptoms
  4. Maintains Prostate Health
  5. Good for Diabetic Patients
  6. Controls HBP (High Blood Pressure) levels
  7. Provides Sound Sleep

And a host of other benefits in which you can check out at Good Health All – you’ll be amazed at what a little orange can do for your overall health and well-being.  So, while I sit in anticipation to try out these different recipes and look out for one of my favorite Charlie Brown classic of “It’s the Great Pumpkin – Charlie Brown” by Charles M. Schulz

So sit back, sip on your favorite “pumpkin” drink and watch the leaves fall. In the meantime, we’re getting geared up and ready to send a bunch of YUM your way.

Happy October!!

P.S. Did I mention that there will be a giveaway also this month?, Tune in to each post to find out how to enter!!

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!