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Lidl has come to Northern Virginia

I’m a huge fan of Aldi, the german discount supermarket.  I have been going to my local one for over 11 years and most friends that know me, know that it is my favorite grocery store in the area.  It is one of the closest stores to my house and it has 98% of what I need.  I have written a couple posts about Aldi in the past.  I plan to write some more.  I adore Aldi and I know you will too.

If you already know Aldi then you might have heard that Lidi – Aldi’s competitor is now in the US.  Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain, based in Neckarsulm, Germany.  It now has arrived in the United States and in 2017 will establish over 20 stores – in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  It’s US headquarters are located in Arlington, Virginia.   I just went to the new location the first in the DC area in Manassas, Virginia over the weekend.  The next one will be located in Lake Ridge, Virginia coming in 2018.

Wow, was I impressed!

Things to know about Lidl

1. You don’t need a quarter like you do at Aldi.  They do have workers helping with the carts to return them up to the store and have cart returns in the parking lot.

2.  Like Aldi, they do accept credit cards, debt cards and cash.

3.  They have an app that gives you access to extra coupons and the weekly ads.

4.  They regularly put things on sale for the week.  Their weekly ads starts on Thursday and end on Wednesday.

5. You do bag your groceries yourself and either need to buy bags or bring your own.  As you can see in my pick, I bring my IKEA blue bags.  They are the best grocery bags!   I highly recommend them.

Lidl in my opinion is about twice as big as Aldi.  I love the layout.  They seem to make it very easy to find items.

  1. When walking in the first thing is the bakery, fruits and vegetables.  Yes, there is an actual bakery in the store!    They even sell more veggies and most is by the lb.  I’m sure the selection rotates regularly per what is in season.  I was able to find Ginger for under $1 lb.  Amazing!
  2. Then the perimeter of the whole store is refrigeration (see below) and freezers.  I like this concept because it has a very nice quick meal items right when you walk down the first aisle. Then cheese, cold cuts and dairy.   On the left, are the different meats including a freezer of seafood.    Then the rest of the perimeter turns into a freezer and you will find ice cream, and frozen meals.
  3. Then the rest of the aisles are sorted nicely with condiments, baking supplies and then the middle aisle with snacks, candy and seasonal items that rotate all year.  The seasonal items currently are Christmas gifts including tools, clothing and so much more.


4.  The last aisles include toiletries, paper products and cleaning products.    I even found dishwasher tablets for less then $.12 a tablet.

Then my favorite, the fantastic assortment of wine, beer, and water.  Their version of cheap wine compared to Aldi’s $2.89 is $2.59 a bottle!  Amazing!

I’m so impressed!   I can’t stop smiling.  I was able to find lots of organic, gluten-free and even grass-fed beef.  The prices were so much better then the grocery stores near me and in some cases cheaper then my local Aldi.   Now, this store is farther for me so prices at the nearest Aldi and other stores might be similar so that would be the best comparison.  

What do you think?  Will you head to Lidl?    I’m looking forward to the one closer to me opening and will be sure to go to it probably on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.  Aldi will still be my main store just because I know it and it works so well for me and my family.  If Lidl was closer I would be there all of the time.


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Holly’s Challah Bread – Easier then you can imagine!


I’ve been making this Bread as a tradition in our family since 2004. Yes! 10 years! I’m feeling old typing that. It was shortly after I got “my” bread machine. This recipe came from my bread machine cookbook and I have adjusted it so it works for me. I’m happy to share this with everyone! This is the best bread!

I like to make a large loaf as you can see from the picture above.

2 Eggs, room temperature plus enough Water 80 degrees to equal 1 1/2 cups
Oil 1/4 cup (I’ve used all types of vegetable oil and it all works great.)
Sugar 2 TBL
Salt 2 tsp
Bread Flour or All purpose Flour 4 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp
Bread Machine Yeast 1 1/4 tsp
(Note: A package of yeast is about 2 1/4 tsp. You can use all of the package too for convince.)

  • When I’m about to make this bread I will take my ingredients out about an hour or so before I start. That way everything is at room temperature. I freeze my yeast and “wake” it up by leaving it on the counter.  This works for me and my family since my little ones are always around I have to do something with them so I like to get it out and then do something else before we get started on the bread.

The best part is you can make this with all-purpose flour. Bread flour has more protein so it can create more gluten but per a lot of cooks and bakers all-purpose flour is just as good. I prefer unbleached.

  • Start with the wet ingredients. Most bread machines suggest wet and then dry. Some say the opposite. After making this with 2 different bread machines I’m convinced it is best to do wet and then dry.
  • Then add the dry ingredients just as listed above. Create a “well” for the yeast and place it in the “well”.
  • Follow your bread machine instructions for program DOUGH or White bread manual. You don’t want to bake this in the machine, because it is too large. Press START and walk away….

After it is done which can take about 2 to 3 hours depending on the machine. I’ve found it is ok if you forget about it. This happens in my household. So if it rises again in the machine that is ok! It will be better bread!

When you come back to it then do the following:

  • Place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into fourths. Use a pastry cutter with some flour dusted on it.  I prefer this style of braid but you can divide in as many braids as you want.  Then roll out the braid strands and braid it as usual then tuck the end under.
  •  Place the bread on a cookie sheet, and place a clean kitchen cloth  on top and place it in a warm location in the kitchen so it will rise a second time.  The bread should be double in size.  You can heat up your oven and then turn the oven off so that the warm oven can speed up the process.

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 tsp water

  • After it has risen the second time, brush on the Egg Wash.
  • Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes until the crust is a light brown and glossy.

I like to let it rest after I take it out of the oven so that moisture can escape before storing it.  If you need to do that.   Or if you are making this for Thanksgiving just cut into it after a minute and you will have the best bread.  I promise it will be gone!   If not, it will make great turkey sandwiches.

This year I will take pictures of the step by step process I do.

Enjoy!  – Holly

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My ELF Order and Mystery Box Spring 2014


On occasion ELF will have a Mystery box special.  After you put $20 worth in your cart you can qualify for a FREE Mystery box using the coupon code.   My total was $26.95.    I placed my order and the next day they shipped it out via Fedex Smartpost.  It took a couple days.   I was shock at how big the box was!

Don’t forget to use Ebates!  You do get a percentage back even from ELF.   Win win!


Just the bag of what I purchased was big!



This is what I purchased:

  • Pencil Sharpener $1
  • Crease Brush $1
  • Large Stipple Brush $3
  • Concealer Palette Light $3
  • Concealer Palette Medium $3
  • Mineral Eyeshadow Primer $3
  • Makeup Remover Cloths $3
  • Eye Brow Kit Medium $3

Total = $20 + shipping and handling:  $6.95

The Good!

I really like the crease brush since it does exactly that.  I do wish there was a brush available that was bigger like a tapered blending brush.   I plan to get some of Wayne Goss brushes next.

I was impressed with the Makeup Remover Cloths.  They really do work well.   I have been having a problem with taking off all of my mascara and eyeliner.   After washing my face with my cleanser is not enough and these cloths do a pretty good job.  I would give them 4 stars because it isn’t perfect.   I would probably buy these again.

I’m in LOVE with the Stipple brush!  This is my favorite brush.  I learned about the stipple brush from Wayne Goss and from MAC.  MAC sells one that is $50-$30!   I found this one for $3 and it is amazing.  It works great on putting primer as well as foundation and blending to a flawless finish.

My favorite surprise in my selection was the Eyebrow kit in Medium.  I had thought I would get this but I wasn’t sure if this would be a great color.  The powder is too red/light brown for me but the gel is a great dark color.   I plan on using the gel more and mixing it with some of my darker shades like the Maybelline single Taupe or Paula’s Choice Matte palette dark colors.

The Bad

I wasn’t as impressed with the concealers as I hoped.  I really wanted them so badly!  I got both sets just in case and they are just so dark for me.  I’m have very fair skin.   I plan on working with them some more but I doubt I will ever by them again.   They are very creamy and tend to fall into any wrinkle that I have.   Bummer!


This is my Mystery Bag!   Again, I was so impressed with the size of the bag.



This is what I received:

  • Geometric Eyeshadow 36 colors Addition II $12 currently on sale $6
  • Crystal Blush brush in Pink $5
  • Crystal eyeliner brush in Pink $5
  • All Over Color Stick in Toasted $1
  • Shimmer Lipgloss $2
  • Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon $3

Total Value = $28-$22 (depending on the sale item)

The Good

I really enjoy the Geometric eyeshadow set.  I don’t like the size of the triangle shapes because it is hard to fit my brush in some of the colors.  I probably won’t buy a set like this because of this but it is a great set to try and the colors are amazing.

I’m impressed with the Shimmer Lipgloss since I’m not a big fan of lip glosses like this.

I also liked the all over color stick.  I will definately try this in other colors like the pink.

I still need to try the waterproof eyeliner crayon.

The Bad

I wasn’t impressed with the Crystal Blush or eyeliner brush so I gave those to my daughter.  She loves them to play with.


I would definitely do this again!   Even if they aren’t my favorite I can give these to other people to try too.   

I hope you like this post about my deal at ELF Mystery bag Spring 2014.

I do have some referral links in this post so thank you for supporting Redberrydeals!

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How we are dealing with Mosquitoes this year!


Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Thanks to a friend last year introduced me to this awesome recipe for a Homemade Mosquito Repellent.   I can spray this on my clothes or on my skin and I won’t be bit.    It is amazing stuff.


  • 15 drops lavender oil
  • 3 Tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 10 drops of citronella oil or lemon-eucalyptus oil
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice
  • Spray bottle


Combine above ingredients in spray bottle. Fill remainder of bottle with water, water/vodka or water/witch hazel mixture.

I used water and vodka and it worked great.   I purchased this Essential set from Amazon it is perfect for this application.

If you would prefer to purchase a good insect repellent I strongly suggest this AVON skin so Soft with picaridin   This has worked very well for me.

Prepare your yard

Fairfax County has information about mosquitoes and how to prevent them in your yard.

I suggest installing bat houses around the yard.  Bats eat a lot of mosquitoes each night.    We have 2 but our bats haven’t used them 100% of the time so we will be adding more this year.

We use a handful of Tiki Torches in the yard and use a citronella oil  that we find does help get the mosquitoes confused and we get less bites.


Teaching kids how to prevent mosquitoes.  Fairfax County has created the Fight the Bite campaign

If you get bitten

If you have a lot of bites and get a strong reaction talk to your doctor about taking Benadryl or other anti-histime.  It will help decrease the reaction immediately.   In addition, if the bites are very swollen they may not be mosquito but chiggers and they too are painful.   Talk to your doctor if you don’t know what the bites are.   I’ve had to do this myself.   You may need a strong cortizone cream.

Don’t scratch!  This is so much easier said then done.  To prevent scratching I strongly suggest using a Lidocaine cream or antithetic so that it will be numb.  There are so many on the market.   I’ve used lidocaine for waxing, and even tooth gel works great.

Per my dermatologist I have to put bandages on them.  It is essential to prevent yourself from scratching and I do scratch even when I don’t realize it.  Oops!   I like the Dollar Tree bandages the best since they are a little less sticky so they will stay as long as I want and then come off when I need them too.

I hope this helps you!   Have a great summer!

Thank for supporting Redberrydeals!  Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links.


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Biglot: Cheap Makeup Finds



Thanks to G from Nouveaucheap!    I love G’s blog because she has some great tips and tricks on drugstore makeup.   She found out that Big Lots has some Loreal lip gloss, Wet N Wild eyeshadow and Revlon Lip Butters for a half the price or less than at the drugstore.    I also found the new Covergirl makeup for $4.   That isn’t a bad price.  I don’t think I could get it for that price with sales and coupons at CVS.

Most of these items are seasonal, which means it was in the drugstore for a couple months then returned to the manufacture who sold it to Big Lots  or sold from the retailer to Big Lots.

What impresses me is I can do my makeup now and spend what it would have cost to buy 1 eyeshadow pot from MAC.   Crazy!   I love good deals!

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ReStore – Habitat for Humanity – DIY Home projects

One of my favorite places to buy cheap discounted house materials is the ReStore – Habitat for Humanity.  If you haven’t been to one of the local locations in NOVA, I strongly suggest you do. They have a location in Alexandria, and Chantilly.

ReStore – Habitat for Humanity has donated materials that come from home owners and builders.   Materials including tile, cabinets even paint that was used once.  You can donate just about anything to them too.  Light fixtures, ovens, and dishwashers are available.   We’ve found electrical material that my hubby was looking for and couldn’t find at any other store.

Click HERE if you are interested in donating items to the ReStore.   You can even schedule a pickup.

For our current house we bought some beautiful Bruce (named brand) hardwood flooring at the ReStore several years ago that we used in our upstairs hallway.  Wow! We got it for about $1 a square foot which is a lot less than anywhere else.  I don’t recommend this project for a beginner because it is a challenge but it is an example of getting good quality materials for a fraction of the price.  It turned out great!


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Dollar Tree: XXL Bulk Stor It Bag for $1



I’ve been working around the house to re-organize as my 2014 goal.  I have to share this.   I’ve been going to a couple different Dollar Tree stores and finding some great products to help.  I found this XXL Bulk Stor It Bag.   You can see here it is pretty big.  I have it next to a regular gallon Hefty bag in the picture above.  This is holding my extra slip cover for my Ektorp sofa.  I can then store it under the sofa perfectly.   The best part is this seems to seal better than the Space Bags that easily cost $2-$4 each.  This is only $1!   Imagine all of the other things you can store in these type of bags.

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My Laundry Schedule


Back in 2012, I asked about how others did their laundry and heard several different responses.  In December 2013,  I asked my friends on Facebook how they handle all of their laundry and the responses got me on a mission.   I had to figure out a new system for my family.

Step 1:    I got everyone in my family a laundry hamper that fits ONLY 1 X-large load of laundry.   This is key!  If the hamper is too big then the loads get overwhelming.  If they are too small then it just seems like a waste of water and time.   The Jall hampers from IKEA work great and the price is right currently $4.99 each.


Step 2.  I also created a hamper system for towels and delicates.  Towels are the easiest items to clean in my opinion so whenever I get a load of towels I can throw them in the laundry and put them away easily.  I love this picture by the way because my 2 year old took it.


Step 3.  Everyday I do at least 1 load of laundry.  I find that it isn’t as overwhelming as it may sound.   Whoever has a full hamper that is the load for the day.  I don’t sort by colors and whites.  I throw it all in.   Since the laundry is only that person’s laundry the sorting is super easy at the end.  My daughter’s laundry will be taken to her room and the boy’s laundry will be taken to their room.

Step 4.  Label each of the hampers.  I used Vinyl with my new Silhouette Cameo.


Step 5.   When I put the laundry away for items that need to be hung up I do it as I take them out of the dryer.   I have a shower curtain rod hanging in my laundry room and I put hangers on it.    Then all I need to do is put away the rest.   That is it!

How do you do your laundry?  Do you have a system?   What do you think?


$1.00 off Spot Shot Stain & Odor Eliminator

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How to make yummy cupcakes?


I’m a huge fan of Georgetown Cupcakes.  My sister-in-law introduced them to me a couple years ago and whenever there is a special occasion I ask her or others for at least one.

This evening we spent some time over at a friend’s house and I offered to bring over some desert so I tried at my stab at a yummy cupcake and icing.

I found this really good Allergy Free cake recipe – no dairy, and no nuts – called Wacky Cakes

Allergy-Free Dessert Recipe: Kathy P’s Wacky Cake
Recipe Information
Category: Cakes
Recipe Created By: Kathy Przywara
1 1/2 cup flour (see below for gluten-free options)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
5 Tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until you get a smooth batter. Do not beat.

Pour into greased and floured pan (8″ square or 9″ round) or 12 cupcakes. Bake in oven until tests done – about 35 minutes for cake, about 20 minutes for cupcakes.

I made it with cocoa and they turned out so moist.  I used Cake Flour not all-purpose flour and I think that helps a lot.  I even used the Kitchen Aid mixer and poured all of the ingredients in the bowl to make it super easy and fast.  The batter is watery so I poured it from the mixer into a measuring glass and it was so easy to pour into the cups.   My toddler even helped and had a great time learning about how the mixer worked.  I baked them for 20 minutes.  When they came out they were a little crumbly when I inserted the toothpick which meant that they would be moist.

Then I created the icing.  This wasn’t allergy free by any means but it was close to Georgetown Cupcake’s Red Velvet cream cheese frosting thanks to Delleicious DC for the information. The icing recipe comes from Martha Stewart.  You can find the recipe HERE.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature


  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined.

I highly recommend following the recipe to the letter – sift the sugar and make sure the ingredients are at room temperature.  I used the Kitchen Aid mixer for this too.  I love my mixer!

After the cupcakes were cool I then iced them by putting it in a plastic ziplock bag creating a hole at the corner and pumping the icing on top.

They turned out great. They weren’t too rich and not too sweet.  Yummy!

Sorry I didn’t take a picture but next time and I’m sure there will be a next time I will take a picture.

What type of cupcakes do you like?

Update:  12/22/2013 –  Here is an updated picture of the Wacky Cupcake.  I made these for my boy’s preschool Christamas party.  They were so yummy and perfect to take to school.  I didn’t even put icing on them.