Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homemade Cleaner, great for gifts

Have you started your Spring cleaning yet???

It is time for another MOPS meeting and as you may know (if you keep up with my blog) I am in charge of the crafts this year. This is our last craft of the 2013-2014 year so I wanted to make sure it was a really cute one. This year I have made most of the crafts things that are pretty useful. For May we made homemade all purpose cleaner. Aren't these super cute??? If you are not already making homemade cleaner you are really missing out. You can save so much money by making your own and you also have the benefit of knowing what is  in the product. For this recipe you will only need a few ingredients and if you want you can even re-purpose an old spray bottle.  This would also make a really cute gift alone or in a basket with other gifts- great for a housewarming gift. Hope everyone likes their cleaner!

You Will Need:

Spray Bottles (these came from the dollar store)
2 tsp Borax (found in laundry or cleaning isle)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda (found in baking, laundry, or cleaning isle)
1/2 tsp Castile Soap or Natural Dish Soap
About 2 cups really hot water
Label Stickers (mine came from Hobby Lobby)
Stamp Pad and Stamps to personalize

{Make It}
Add very hot water to your bottle (so the other ingredients dissolve)
Add your Borax, Baking Soda, and Castile Soap. Shake gently to mix
Design and add label to bottle and Enjoy!!!!

Want to make other cleaners? Check out a few of my other posts:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Buffet Table before and after

Our town has a new store and it is my newest addiction! It is a small business operated buy a really nice couple. They go to auctions and estate sales and buy all kinds of random things from furniture to home decor and everything between. It is almost like a garage sale and thrift store combined in one place; plus the prices are really cheap! So far I have bought quite a few things from this store. A while ago I came across this buffet and I had to have it. It took a while for me to convince Trent that it was worth the money but he finally caved in and went to help me get it home. I have been hearing about how much he hates it since!

He can hate no longer! I finally finished the project and I am in love! I knew when I first saw it that it had a ton of potential! All it took was some primer, a few coats of paint, and some spray paint for the hardware. And let me tell you- that was a struggle. I wanted to just buy new hardware that was more modern but failed to do so because the size was so weird (I couldn't even special order it at the stores in my area). My options were to putty the holes and drill new ones or spray paint. Spray paint won the battle and I am so glad I kept the old hardware! There is just so much detail in the old ones! My poor husband... all this has done is make me want to go buy more and try to make something else as beautiful! Sorry hunny! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY Framed Artwork

We are coming close to the first anniversary of home ownership! Some days it feels like we have been here forever and others it feels like we just moved in last week. It has taken a long time but I am finally starting to feel like our home is ours and the way we want it. I have gotten some painting done, hung curtains, and am now trying to get artwork and photos on the walls. I have a few large art prints from our last house, but our new house is more than double the size of our last home (and triple the size of the tiny apartment we were in while this was getting built). So needless to say- I do not have enough things to hang up. Lately at Target and other stores with home decorating sections I have seen a lot of  pretty framed artwork and they are asking a boat load for the piece, and the quality of the print isn't even that great. This made me want to try to reproduce similar artwork but with prints I have pinned on pinterest. After I saw how cute this could be I also decided this would be the perfect craft for my MOPS groups March Meeting.
MOPS craft supplies all ready! Sorry I do not have sources on all of the prints :(
These are super easy to make and cost hardly anything. The picture frame is the most expensive part. For the MOPS group I just bought plain frames from the dollar store (to keep the cost down) but for our house I bought nicer frames. They were still only about $10- $15 a piece from Target. After I found my frames I wanted to get some fabric to back a few of the prints. I used linen and some burlap but any fabric could be used. Finally I found my artwork. As it turns out I had already been collecting a bunch of pretty images in a folder on Pinterest. I just printed these out on cardstock, put them all together and now my home has some really great looking art. If you need some prints just search "printable home decor" or "printable art" on Pinterest. Below are links to the art I used in my frames.

1) You Are My Sunshine from: Life Love and Hiccups

2) Hope with Anchor from: French Press Mornings (they do a free 4x6 download of a new image every Wednessday, after that you can purchase the images from their Etsy shop)

3)Make Today Beautiful from: Laura Winslow Photography

4) & 5) Happily Ever After  & Bless This Home Prints from: The Dating Divas

** Just make sure any images you print from the internet are used for personal use: do not sell them for profit! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sun Room

I posted photos of our half bath yesterday. Today I am sharing a few pics from our sun room. We had a friend paint this for us a few weeks ago. The color is much prettier in person. Since it is dark it did not photograph very well (that and I only use a cell phone to take the pics= poor quality). The color is really one of my favorites! It is called Grey Mountain from Glidden. I am loving how everything is coming together! What do you think?

Up next... I'm starting in the main living areas. Which = a ton of painting. Our home has rounded corners so our family room, living room, hall to bath/closet, dinette area, and kitchen all connect. Needless to say, I will be painting for quite a while. So that update will have to be down the road. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Half Bath

We have been in our new house for almost a year now. We cannot get over how much we love our home! It feels almost like we have lived here forever! But now that we have been here a while the white walls are starting to really annoy me. I. Hate.White.Walls!!! We held off for a long time because there is a lot of space needing painted. A friend came over with one of those big books of colors and I finally picked out what colors I am going to paint all of our downstairs (half bath, sun room, then the rest of the open living areas). I also was able to find a great color for our master bath. So over the weekend I decided I needed to just jump into it and start with what seemed like the easiest room/area to start: the half bath. It took me two days to get it completed and I love it! The color is called Seaside Village and it is from Glidden. Now I just need to go get more paint and decide which room I want to work on next! It is amazing what a coat of paint can do!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Recycled Crayons

If you are like us you have boxes (upon boxes) of broken crayons. I open a new box and in no time they end up broken with some wrappers on and some off. My kids can be weird and now and again they don't want to use the little pieces of broken ones. This must be why the collection keeps growing! That bugs me and then when we have so many little crayons I tend to find them all over the place. When that starts to happen we also find nice drawings on our walls as well :( I finally had to say enough was enough (for now at least), and turn all these broken crayons into new crayons. So one night when I was catching up on shows on my DVR I sat and peeled a bunch and made new ones! These would also make a really cute homemade gift to a little one with a coloring book.  *****see bottom of page for some tips

{A Few Tips}
-You may want to soak the crayons before peeling. Some come off easy and others gave me trouble.
-Don't bother with using the white crayons unless your kids color on dark paper a lot. 
-I used a silicone brownie pan. It came from Kroger and only cost around $10. 
-I used cooking spray to make sure they would come out easily. This may not be necessary, but is helpful.
-Watch your crayons as they are melting in the oven. I wanted full size crayons so I kept adding more crayon chunks as they melted. I did this until the cups were filled to the size of crayon I wanted. 
-If desired you can run a tooth pick through the melted crayons to make a swirl pattern. Mine sort of did this on their own with no assistance, so I left them alone. 
-Make sure to cool completely before trying to remove from pan. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ipsy: February Glam Bag

I got my Ipsy glam bag this week! yay! I posted a pic last month of the first bag that I received but later I realized that I didn't explain what Ipsy is. Ipsy is a monthly subscription service in which you pay $10 a month to be mailed a make up bag with 4-5 makeup and beauty products. Some can be full size products while other times products may be sample size. Either way it all adds up to a great value. 

I came across this service on Facebook when a few friends posted about signing up. So I jumped on their website and looked it over and was immediately intrigued. A lot of members posted photos of the products they had received in past months and a lot were things I had wanted to try. Most of the products are higher end and things that I wouldn't typically buy unless I tried beforehand. I am the type of person that loves to try new makeup, but gets so upset when the product is horrible. There are other services like this- Birch Box is their main competition and after looking up reviews and other info it seemed like Birch Box was more tiny samples and not all makeup and beauty related. In the past I have considered coffee subscriptions and baby product subscriptions. This has been so much fun so far I may have to add a few others to the list :)

Do you use any kind of subscription service? If so which company/type of product is it and what has your experience been with it? 

So far I love it. What I have received so far:

Friday, January 24, 2014

copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

When ever I try a new recipe for my family we do the same routine. I sit my family down to enjoy the yummy creation while I hang out in the kitchen for a bit to photograph the final dish. They made fun of me so much when I first started posting recipes on this blog, now they just expect it. I don't know why, but I love trying to get that perfect shot of what I make. The one that makes you hungry even if you just ate. This is partly why there are two title photos above :) I couldn't decide which I liked best, so you get to see both! 

Starbucks...Ugh, I have been on the worst Starbucks kick lately. I am going most ever day. This is crazy for me since I used to only get Starbucks like once a week. But now that I do not babysit I can do my errand running during the day and since I have the extra time to get them done where I want to- I am going to stores that have a Starbucks in them (Kroger and Target out by us). I love nothing more than some me time at Target just walking around looking for good deals while enjoying a Caramel Macchiato. But most of the time I have my little ones and man are they good at getting what they want. Usually they try to get me to buy them their cake pops, but we have also gotten the Lemon Loaf. I think I love it more than them- I love anything lemon! I do not know who created this recipe, it has been floating all over Pinterest and Facebook for a long time! I think I pinned it and shared it on FB a few years ago, not sure why it took so long to try? But let me tell you, it is delicious! Enjoy!

copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

{For The Bread}
1&1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened to room temp
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
zest of one lemon, about 1 Tbsp

{For The Glaze}
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more if needed
2 Tbsp milk or cream
1/2 tsp lemon extract
juice squeezed from small half of lemon

Make It:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one loaf pan.
-In bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
-In stand mixer combine eggs, sugar, butter, extracts, and lemon juice until well incorporated.
-Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients in mixer. Mix until smooth.
-Add oil and zest until combined. 
-Pour into loaf pan and bake 45-55 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
-Allow to cool in the pan, then remove and cool longer on wire rack.
-Make glaze while cooling: Mix all ingredients together and whisk until desired consistency. Add more powdered sugar if desired. 
-Pour over your lemon loaf and enjoy!

A few tips:
*Make sure not to over bake cake or it will be dry.
*If you want more glaze to stay on your loaf drizzle it all over loaf on a plate. Then transfer loaf to your serving dish or storing container. There will be a good bit of glaze that dripped over onto the plate that you can scrape off onto the top of the cake. (see pic below, I did this, no need to waste glaze :)
*The recipe calls for zest of one lemon. For me this was about 1 Tbsp. But this can vary depending on the size of your lemon and on what size of grater you use. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

First Ipsy bag!

I got my first Ipsy bag. So much fun!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Lately my husband has been super busy at work and a lot of the time it takes him away during most of the evening. With him gone around dinner time I have started to slowly revert to making really quick and really boring meals. Most that come from a box that aren't healthy at all! I do have some really great quick weeknight recipes but after making them over and over for so many years I needed to find some new ones. I finally found a few and tonight the recipe was amazing!!! And I am not just saying that to sound good on my blog! This dish is creamy and slightly spicy and so super tasty. It almost reminds me of something you would get at Olive Garden! It is all cooked in one skillet and you don't even have to pre-cook the pasta! So that makes it perfect for any quick weeknight meal when you don't have a lot of time to prepare- or if you are like me and just don't feel up to complicated cooking! Hope you enjoy!!!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 14-16 oz package smoked sausage
2 medium onions, diced
4 large or 6 small cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 10 oz can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz bow tie pasta
salt and pepper
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping when serving
green onions, thinly sliced, for topping when serving

{Make It}
-Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add sausage and onion. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
-Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant.
-Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, and salt and pepper.
-Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium low and cover, simmering about 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
-Remove from heat and add one cup of cheese. Stir until melted.
-Serve topped with more cheese and green onions.


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