5 Things, Life Hack, Loving and Learning Lately

Replicating Swig Drinks at Home (+4 Other Things I’ve Learned Recently)

I promise I haven’t meant to fall off the end of the earth lately — it’s just that apparently getting ready to move, trying to do a bajillion house updates, and taking care of the three kiddos (especially during the week when my husband is staying away from us because he’s still working at the old location) is a LOT to handle. Oh, and we’re still homeschooling, at least until we move. Seriously, I sometimes wonder how my head hasn’t exploded. (P. S. If you want more snippets of life behind the scenes, including the work we’ve been doing on the new house, make sure to follow me over on Instagram.)

But, since I missed blogging and needed a breather from the stress that is my current self at T-minus three days away from moving, here’s a good ol’ “Random Things I’ve Learned Lately” post.

Note: There are affiliate links to products mentioned below, which means I may get a small commission on any purchases made, at no extra cost to you.

1 – Shampoo Twice

File this under “Things I Should Have Known From the Get-Go,” but I finally started actually heeding the advice on the back of every shampoo bottle to “lather, rinse, and REPEAT,” and it has made a WORLD of difference. For awhile, I was struggling with build-up in my hair because I only wash it once every 3-4 days (#momlife), and although I switched to a different shampoo (nothing fancy), the problem wasn’t quite resolving itself.

So I started shampooing twice.

And holy cow, how have I waited so long to do this?! My hair gets way less oily than before, my strands look and feel healthier, and it tends to be way easier to style now because it’s not weighed down so much by oil build-up. I didn’t totally get the reason why the whole “shampoo twice” thing was so life-changing until I saw this short YouTube clip show up in my YouTube feed, and now I know.

So, if you don’t currently shampoo your hair twice, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

2 – Salt and pepper your salad

I’ve been preparing a lot more salads than usual lately, and I read somewhere in the last month that you should always salt and pepper your salad before serving it.

Salt and pepper your salad?!

I remember thinking that sounded pretty weird, but I gave it a try. And folks, lemme tell you—this was the first time I’ve ever received a compliment on one of my basic, run-of-the-mill, lettuce-and-red-onion-and-cucumber-and-tomato salads. The salt and pepper greatly freshened up and sharpened the natural flavor of the vegetables, and now I can never, ever go back.

3 – Unlike some other seasons, Halloween decor is hard to find after the holiday.

One of my new 101 in 1001 goals is to buy or make decor for every season and holiday (since we literally had basically none other than a minimal amount for Christmas before). Well, being the queen of frugal shopping that I am, I figured that I would just wait until after each holiday and then purchase it for a steal. While that might work all right for Christmas, it apparently is NOT a great idea for Halloween — there was almost ZERO decor left in any store I checked after the holiday, and many times even BEFORE the holiday!

Note to Self: Stores apparently start putting Christmas decor out front and center on about October 20th, and after that, consider your chances of finding good Halloween stuff for a good price slim to none.

teaser pic of the new house, along with my tiny (but growing) collection of Halloween/fall decor

4 – It’s a fun exercise to try and replicate your favorite Swig drinks at home.

Truth: I had never tried Swig before this fall, and the only reason we tried it was because my niece was selling Swig cards as part of her cross country fundraiser, which meant that for $20, we would get ten 44-oz. specialty drinks of our choice. Well, it was perhaps The Worst Idea ever to try it, because their specialty drinks are SO GOOD! My favorites are their “Life’s a Peach” mixture (Diet Dr. Pepper, peach flavor, vanilla (I think?), and half and half), and then a mixture I request which is Diet Dr. Pepper, cherry flavor, vanilla, and half and half.

Once our Swig card was used up, I didn’t want to have to start dropping $3-4 on my now-favorite drinks, so I started scouting around for alternatives.

And really?

While we haven’t *quite* reached the deliciousness of the original (yet), we’ve sure had a lot of fun trying! I bought this strawberry flavor by Mr. and Mrs. T (originally meant for strawberry daiquiris) as well as this tropical-flavored syrup by the same company (both are non-alcoholic). The strawberry one is probably my favorite to mix with the Diet Dr. Pepper, but word to the wise—apparently when you mix half and half into your soda, it kind of explodes! Better to pour it into a glass that’s significantly larger and go sloooow.

Now, if any of you can tell me where to buy a peach-flavored mix-in so I can TRULY replicate my favorite Swig drink, let me know!

5 – Leftovers from a Meat + Cheese Tray = More Amazing Frozen Pizza!

Okay, so this one takes some explaining. We’ve basically been spending all of our weekends for nearly a month now driving down to our new house to do some work on it before moving in at the end of this week (eek!), and as we didn’t want our budget to explode, we tried to make sure we had enough food down there at the house so we wouldn’t have to eat out very much (if at all). Costco had been running this fabulous deal on their meat and cheese trays, so I’d picked up a few and brought one of the platters down to the new house for something to snack on between paint coats. I also had picked up a 3-pack of their gluten-free pizzas, which only come in a plain cheese flavor.

Well, I wanted something a bit heartier than a plain cheese pizza after hours upon hours of taping and painting one day, so I put some of the pepperjack and provolone cheese cubes and the pepperoni and salami slices on top of the frozen pizza and then baked it like normal.


Seriously, though—this is a great hack to have figured out, especially because gluten-free pizza is often crazy expensive and not always the greatest (although the kind we got from Costco is actually pretty decent on its own–it’s the Sabatasso’s brand, in case you’re wondering). I know it’s not super common for most people to have meat and cheese platters AND frozen pizzas on hand, but just in case—

Now you know.

What are some awesome life tricks that YOU’VE learned lately?

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