How To Unclump Sugar

Have you ever been cooking/baking something only to discover your bag of sugar is hard and clumpy? It really stinks, doesn’t it?

I’ve had a 5lb bag of sugar I’ve been avoiding simply because it was hard & I didn’t know what to do with it. Every time I came across it I stressed a little thinking “I don’t want to throw this away but I also can’t use it for anything other than a rock”.
This (unfortunately) wasn’t my first hard bag of sugar so it was the final straw. I did some research hoping that there was some way to fix this. Lo and behold there is!

Why does sugar harden?

When granulated sugar is exposed to moisture it hardens; so your first step to prevention is to not store it in a moist location. A cool, dry, place is best!

How do I Unclump Sugar?

There are two options here that I’ve found to work best. I recommend the strainer/microwave method but you can also use an oven.

The Strainer/Microwave Method

You’ll Need:
– Bag of sugar (obviously)
– Large bowl
– Airtight container to store sugar
(I use the second largest in this set from
Tupperware)
– Strainer
(I use the red one in this set from
Walmart)
– Spoon

Time: Approximately 5 minutes

Directions:
– Place your sifter over the top of your sugar storage container; make sure you are using one that can sit on top of your container without being held.
– Open your bag of sugar and slowly pour your sugar into the sifter.
* By slowly pouring out the sugar the fine granulated pieces that are not clumped will
go straight through the sifter into the container.
* Pro Tip: If you’re bag is one big clump or has a big clump you should first squeeze the
bag to break your large clump down into smaller pieces. If it’s too hard tap the bag
on the counter.
– When your sifter fills with clumps dump those into your large bowl.
– Continue this process until your sugar bag is empty.
– Place the large bowl with sugar clumps in the microwave for 30 seconds.
– After 30 seconds check the sugar. The warmth of the microwave will soften the sugar
clumps; using your spoon crush the clumps of sugar.
– Continue this process until there are no more clumps in the bowl.



Voila! Unclumped sugar; ready to use in 5 minutes!

The Oven Method

You’ll Need:
– Oven-safe container large enough to
hold sugar
– Spoon
– Airtight container to store sugar

Directions:
– Preheat oven to lowest temp
(usually 150 to 200 degrees)
– Dump sugar in oven-safe container.
– Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes
– After 15 minutes check sugar. Push on
the clumps with a spoon. If the clumps
break apart, turn off the oven and leave
sugar inside the oven for for one to two
hours.
– Transfer cooled off sugar to airtight
container.

Time: Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes


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Disclaimer:
This post is not sponsored by any of the links given. The thoughts expressed in this post are strictly that of the author and not of any other entity.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Must Haves

Did you know Mother’s Day is this coming weekend? I’m not sure if this is because last year we had 6 weeks between Easter & Mother’s day while this year we had 3 but it feels like time is flying & a lot of us are behind on the gift-buying phase.

Whatever the reason, I wanted to share some awesome last-minute Mother’s day gift ideas that are sure to make mom feel loved (and won’t look like last-minute rushed gifts) because she is, and she deserves it!

Have a Mother’s Day Brunch!


A lot of times it’s the thought that counts & giving mom a brunch is a sure way to show that you know your momma & you’ve put a lot of thought into her special day. I did this for my mom last year & she really enjoyed it.
You don’t have to go all out here & invited a hundred people & hire a caterer & rent a place and so forth. Make it simple & intimate.
My mom’s best friend doesn’t have any children of her own so I invited her over (you don’t have to be blood related to be loved like family and to be considered one of the family) & I set up some flower arrangements with some of my mom’s favorite foods. I got her scones from her favorite coffee shop, baked & cooked a few finger foods, set up a coffee/tea bar, and set out a few gifts. We spent the day laughing, eating, talking about mom, and enjoying our company. It was great!

For The Coffee/Tea Loving Mom


If you’re mom is a tea/coffee lover then a mug could be an awesome idea! Personally, I feel like I could never have too many mugs!
If you order this one by Tuesday evening (domestic orders) you can still get it in time for Mother’s Day!

Click photo to shop!

Want to Remind Mom of All the Reasons You Love Her?


These books are amazing gift ideas for literally anyone. You can buy them for grandparents, friends, loved ones, siblings, etc. so of course there’s one for mom!
If you have Amazon Prime you can order this with two day shipping.
These books are so awesome because they are filled with 100 fill-in-the-blank pages that can range from sentimental to hilarious.
For example, one of the prompts is: “I can’t live without your _______” and you can fill in the blank.

Click photo to shop!

Get Her a Gift Card


Just hear me out on this one, I know a lot of people try to avoid gift card buying because they feel it looks like a last-minute gift or that it was purchased because they didn’t have the time to get something else. But that doesn’t always have to be the case!
Does your mom like movies? Get her a gift card to the local movie theater!
Does your mom like a specific restaurant or coffee place? Get her a gift card!
Sit down & think of the things & places your mom truly enjoys and buy her a gift card for there. But wait, one more thing- make or write mom a really sweet card & tell her how you want to spend the day together doing something she loves. Tell her to pick the day & you’ll be there!
Quality time is one of the best gifts you can give!

Add a Little Something Extra

Already have the gift(s) but need that extra-special touch!? Add these pretty gift tags to your gifts! They are printable/downloadable so you don’t have to run to the store to buy them! Just print & cut!

Click photo to shop!
Click photo to shop!
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2019 Reading Challenge

I am SO excited to get into this year’s reading challenge! I got some great books for Christmas as well as a reading log! I’ve also already begun a list of books that I want to read.

  • A book published this year (2019)
  • A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t or didn’t finish.
  • A book set during Christmastime
  • A book with a color in the title
  • A dystopian novel
  • A book made into a TV show online (such as through Netflix or Hulu)
  • A banned book
  • A book being made into a movie in 2019
  • A book written by a musician
  • A book with a one-word title
  • A scary book
  • A book from the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards list
  • The 2nd book in a series
  • A mystery book/thriller
  • A celebrity memoir
  • A book written the year you were born
  • A book recommended by a family member or friend
  • A book by your favorite author
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A book that is at least 100 years old

You can find the New York Times Bestseller list here.

You can find the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards list here.

I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge for last year & loved the experience so much so that I plan on doing it again this year. I would love it if you joined me on the journey! You can add me on Goodread & checkout my account here.

You can find all sorts of resources on banned books by doing a simple web search but this particular website showed me a lot of books that peaked my interest!

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage. 

Disclaimer:
This post is not sponsored by any of the links given. The thoughts expressed in this post are strictly that of the author and not of any other entity.

Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Today is the day the Welgo family starts decorating for Christmas! 
It is absolutely, without a doubt, our favorite time of the year. So just like a lot of other people we get into the Christmas spirit pretty quickly! 

Throughout the years come up with a list of songs that are my absolute favorite Christmas songs; I have to listen to them every year. They put me in the holiday spirit and they remind me of Christmas’ past when my grandfather was still with us and when life felt simpler. So, basically, they always make me happy.

I thought I would not only share my top 100 favorite Christmas songs with you guys but I would also create and share a Spotify playlist with you so you can enjoy these amazing songs with me!

Top 100 Best Christmas Songs

  1. Carol of the Bells- Manheim Steamrollers
  2. Chipmunk Song- The Chipmunks
  3. Carol of the Bells- August Burns Red
  4. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow- Andy Williams
  5. Hark the Herald Angels Sing- Frank Sinatra
  6. Sleigh Ride- Ronettes
  7. Frosty the Snowman- Jimmy Durante
  8. Frosty the Snowman- Gene Autry
  9. Caroling Caroling- Nat King Cole
  10. Holly Jolly Christmas- Burl Ives
  11. O Holy Night- Johnny Mathis
  12. Mele Kalikimaka- Bing Crosby
  13. It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas- Johnny Mathis
  14. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas- Gayla Peevey
  15. White Christmas- Bing Crosby
  16. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Andy Williams
  17. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- Johnny Mathis
  18. Do you Hear What I Hear?- Andy Williams
  19. Silver & Gold- Burl Ives
  20. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day- Frank Sinatra
  21. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Tony Bennett
  22. You’re a Mean one Mr Grinch- Thurl Ravenscroft
  23. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus- Jackson 5
  24. O Come All Ye Faithful- Nat King Cole
  25. Carol of the Bells- Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (from Home Alone)
  26. Dominick the Donkey- Lou Monte
  27. Linus & Lucy- Vince Guaraldi Trio
  28. Last Christmas!- Wham!
  29. Joy to the World- Nat King Cole
  30. Mary Did You Know?- Kenny Rodgers/Wynona
  31. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Mariah Carey
  32. Santa Baby- Eartha Kitt
  33. Merry Christmas Darling- The Carpenters
  34. Feliz Navidad- Jose Feliciano
  35. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
  36. Home for the Holidays- Carpenters
  37. Silent Night- Frank Sinatra
  38. Caroling Caroling, Happy Holidays- Johnny Mathis
  39. It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas- Bing Crosby
  40. Sleigh Ride- Carpenters
  41. Run Rudolph Run- Chuck Berry
  42. Happy Holiday/Holiday Season- Andy Williams
  43. Sleigh Ride- Johnny Mathis
  44. Santa Baby- Madonna
  45. I’ll Be Home for Christmas- Frank Sinatra
  46. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Jackson 5
  47. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus- Ronettes
  48. Mistletoe & Holly- Frank Sinatra
  49. We Need a Little Christmas- Johnny Mathis
  50. Sleigh Ride- Air Supply
  51. The First Noel- Nat King Cole
  52. Jingle Bell Rock- Bobby Helms
  53. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra
  54. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer- Burl Ives
  55. Frosty the Snowman- Ronettes
  56. It’s the Most Wonderful Day of the Year- Burl Ives & Misfit Toys
  57. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Fred Astaire
  58. I’ll Be Home for Christmas- Bing Crosby
  59. Silver Bells- Andy Williams
  60. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer- Elmo & Patsy
  61. O Holy Night- Nat King Cole
  62. Home for the Holidays- Perry Como
  63. O Little Town of Bethlehem- Nat King Cole
  64. Snoopy’s Christmas- Royal Guardsmen
  65. Step into Christmas- Elton John
  66. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Carpenters
  67. Silent Night- Nat King Cole
  68. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy- David Bowie & Bing Crosby
  69. Do You Hear What I Hear? Martina McBride
  70. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee
  71. Here Comes Santa Claus Gene Autry
  72. Up on the House Top- Gene Autry
  73. White Christmas- Drifters
  74. Milk & Cookies- Clint Black
  75. Slow as Christmas- Clint Black
  76. Looking for Christmas- Clint Black
  77. Baby it’s Cold Outside- Zooey Deschanel
  78. Jingle, Jingle, Jingle- Stan Francis
  79. A Holly Jolly Christmas- Burl Ives
  80. No More Toymakers to the King- Paul Frees
  81. Snow Miser- Dick Shawn
  82. Heat Miser- George S. Irving
  83. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day- Bing Crosby
  84. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen- Nat King Cole
  85. I Saw Three Ships- Nat King Cole
  86. There is No Christmas Like a Home Christmas- Perry Como
  87. All I Want for Christmas (is my two front teeth)- Spike Jones
  88. Nuttin’ for Christmas- Art Mooney
  89. Baby, it’s Cold Outside- Dean Martin
  90. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing- Nat King Cole
  91. Here we Come a Caroling- Perry Como
  92. Cool Yule- Louis Armstrong
  93. The 12 Days of Christmas- Straight No Chaser
  94. Winter Wonderland- Louis Armstrong
  95. The Happiest Christmas Tree- Nat King Cole
  96. A Cradle in Bethlehem- Nat King Cole
  97. Chanukkah Song- Adam Sandler
  98. Christmas for Every Boy & Girl- Clint Black
  99. Last Christmas- Wham!
  100. It’s A Marshmallow World- Dean Martin

If you’d like to check out our Spotify playlist, you can find that here

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage. 

Quick BBQ Popcorn Chicken

This recipe is SO easy, it’s perfect for a quick dinner but also for a get-together!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays brand)
  • 6 cups crushed BBQ chips (I use Lays brand)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and place on a large bowl
  3. Add the BBQ sauce to the bowl & stir until chicken is well coated
  4. In a large ziplock bag, crush the BBQ chips into desired crumbs
  5. Add 1/2 of the chips (3 cups) to the bowl of chicken and stir
  6. Add the other 1/2 of the potato chips to a separate bowl
  7. Coat each piece of chicken in chip crumbs until fully covered and place on prepared baking tray
  8. Bake chicken until golden brown (about 12 minutes)
  9. Serve with a side of ranch dressing or any sauce! You can even eat them without additional sauce!
  10. ENJOY!

 

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 9

For today’s prompts I wanted to take time to take some time for us to reflect on ourselves a bit. It always seems to be difficult for people to give themselves a “congratulations” or a pat on the back; it’s just as difficult to not be our biggest critic & instead recognize our abilities & talents. 

If you’re just joining me on this challenge & you’d like to start from the beginning you can find the other posts here
If you only missed yesterday’s challenge you can find that one here. 

We’d love to have you join the Cherished Cottage family! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram .

So lets get into today’s prompts…

  1. Something that brought me joy today
  2. A tv show I always enjoy
  3. The most inspiring person I know
  4. My best talent

If you’d prefer to keep your responses to yourself, that’s okay! You can print this page or you can simply write your prompts down in a journal. 

Also, we now have an email list & I’d love to have you as a subscriber! You can subscribe here & stay up to date on all the happenings here at Cherished Cottage. 

5 Ways to Keep Kids Happy During Thanksgiving Dinner

For most of us Thanksgiving is a family affair; meaning we get together with our loved ones to eat good food, be grateful for our blessings, and to catch up with those we may not see outside of the holiday season.

Unfortunately though, for some of us Thanksgiving can also mean a time of overwhelming stress. My goal is to bring you a few posts between now and Thanksgiving to hopefully help alleviate some of that stress.

Instead of banishing the kids to a corner or chasing them around the room during meal time, I have a few ideas that could hopefully help make the day a little easier.

5 Tips to Keep Kids Entertained

  1. Thanksgiving Themed Activity Tablecloth
    Last year I put a Thanksgiving themed color-in tablecloth on the kids table with a few crayons at each place setting. They absolutely loved it!
    It kept them entertained for the majority of the meal. You can find similar tablecloths here and here.
  2. Set Out Activity Books
    Department stores & Amazon carry all sorts of Thanksgiving themed activity books. If you have elementary/middle school aged children I would recommend this book. MadLibs are fun and educational activities for kids to do as a group.
    You could tear out a few pages, place them at each place setting with a pen or pencil. Or you could simply have the book near the table for the kids to grab when they want something to do.
  3. Ask Them For Help
    Prepping, setting up, and cooking for Thanksgiving can be incredibly exhausting. Especially if you’re a host like my parents who do the whole meal themselves.
    It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to let others help you. Instead of stressing over all of the details and trying to do it all yourself, put the kids to work!
    When your guests arrive ask the kids to collect their jackets.
    If the kids are old enough to pour their own drinks, ask them to see what your guests would like to drink.
  4. Let The Kids Help Set Up
    Ask the kids to help set up the tables.
    If you’re particular about how you want the adult table then ask them to set up the kids table. They’d love it!
    Often times when kids helping they’re entertained and focused.
  5. Give Them Their Own Table Servings
    When I was a kid this was one of my favorite things about the kids table. It always made me feel so grown up!
    If it’s possible, give the kids their own food settings at the table. A small platter with turkey, a dish of a few rolls, etc. They’ll love setting up and arranging how they want their table to look.

 

Extra Tip!Give Them A Craft
The morning of, while you’re cooking and setting up give the kids an easy craft to do. Ask them to trace their hands on construction paper and make turkey’s for each place setting. The older children can help the younger ones with scissors and writing out names. This is a great activity to keep kids of all ages busy!