Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cleaning Shortcuts for the Kitchen


 
With the holidays coming around, keeping the house clean has taken top priority here. We have guests drop in from time to time all year long, but the most stop by at Christmas time. And with a toddler running around messing up things as fast as I clean them, I have to clean two things at once sometimes just to stay ahead. So, I am sharing today a few of my favorite cleaning shortcuts. Well, I am not sure shortcut is the proper word, more like multi-task cleaning.

We have a glass top stove and I have done my best to keep it looking like new. When we purchased the stove it came with this little sample bottle of cleaner. And at the time….it was $6 to get another bottle of it. Then I was introduced to Soft Scrub at half the cost. It has been my stove’s best friend since.
 
 
Everyone has their choice of cleaner for glass/cook top stoves and here is my reason I use Soft Scrub: I clean my kitchen sink at the same time as my stove. With Soft Scrub, you have to rinse your sponge a couple times to get the cleaner and the grime off the stove. So, I figure while I have the sponge full of the cleaner, might as well scrub the sink I am rinsing it in too!

And now I not only have a clean stove, but a clean sink too. No need to drag out separate chemicals or make it two separate tasks. Two things clean; one check mark!

 
I also apply the same logic to the microwave and our coffee maker. I use the same cleaners for both: vinegar and dish soap. Now, I don’t put dish soap through the coffee maker, but I do use the soap to clean the carafe and the filter basket. After I pour my mixture of vinegar and water through the maker, I take the hot vinegar-water over to the microwave and let it steam clean the debris inside. Once the vinegar-water has cooled enough for me to handle, I bring out the carafe and add a bit of dish soap and finish scrubbing out the microwave. Then I wash the carafe and basket with the remaining soapy-vinegar water. The microwave plate gets a good scrubbing with it too. Then I run plain water back through the coffee maker and once that cools a bit, I give the microwave a rinse with the new water. There may be some vinegar traces in the water, but I am ok with using it to wipe off the soapy solution from the walls of the microwave.

 

Well, there you have it….two of my favorite kitchen cleaning multi-tasks, or “short-cuts.” Check out my previous cleaning posts for more tips and short-cuts.
 

Do you have a favorite cleaning short-cut?

 

Happy Cleaning Y’all!
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Owl Bowling Game


I embraced the task of Room Parent this year at kiddo’s preschool. And it has been so much fun so far. It has given me so many chances to get out the craft supplies and make all kinds of stuff.

For his Fall Party, I wanted to have an interactive game, so I came up with these cute little owl bowling pins.

I don’t have a pattern to share but the owl shape is super easy to come up with. Just sketch out a few patterns until you have the size you want.
 
 

Here are the supplies you will need:

6 empty 2 liter bottles

1 can of spray paint (the kind that sprays onto plastic. I used Krylon brown)

3-6 sheets of brown craft foam

2-4 sheets of yellow craft foam

Heavy duty double sided foam tape (I found mine at Home Depot)***

Super glue (the gel kind works the best)***

1 foam pumpkin

 

I sketched the shape of the owl faces. I started with a large circle and went from there to add the winged tips. I was able to get two faces per piece of craft foam.

I cut small rings out of the yellow foam and then cut triangles for the beaks.

To make the eyes more defined, I also cut circles out of the brown foam before adhering the yellow rings and beaks with the super glue.

Once my bottles were spray painted and dried, I used the foam tape to stick the owl faces to the bottles.

 

***I tired regular glue and regular double sided tape but they came apart. Super glue and the heavy duty foam tape held the best; even after being knocked over hundreds of times by the kiddos.

 

You could weigh the bottles down with water or beans or etc. But for the little kids I decided to leave them empty so they would be easier to knock down. If you weigh down the bottles, you will need a heavier object to roll into them than a foam pumpkin.

Enjoy Y’all!
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Solving the sticker dilemma


I used to love stickers as a kid. I would jump for joy when I would get them with gifts, at school, parties, in my stocking at Christmas, etc. About 90 percent of my childhood things have a sticker stuck to it somewhere. I never understood why my mother HATED stickers. They were so cool! How could you not love stickers??

Well, now that I am a parent myself, I see why my mom hated stickers. When kiddo gets stickers I TRY to sit with him as he arranges them on paper or activity books or adheres them to appropriate toys (racing stripes and numbers on cars…that type thing) However, somehow there will be stickers stuck to something they were not meant to. The fridge, the doors, the hardwood floors…. And they gain this magical ability to become like concrete and never come off, even with the hardcore adhesive remover. And Heaven help you if you forget to remove one from an article of clothing before it goes in the wash. What a mess!

So, I solved my sticker problem in two parts. #1: don’t give the kiddo stickers. #2 give him window clings instead!

He loves them! They stick to the fridge, to the windows, to his whiteboard easel, on the washer, the dryer, the mirror…. AND THEY COME OFF!! YAY! No more goo-gone fumes!



They have these little vinyl pieces of fun for every season at our local dollar store. If there is a holiday, you can guarantee there is a sheet of window clings to go along with it. So our little sticker loving kiddo can have fun sticking these all over and mommy doesn’t yell and scream.

Sticker problem solved!

God Bless Y’all!
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall Leaves Vase


Sunday September 22 is the autumnal equinox, or also known as the first day of FALL! My most favorite time of the year!!!!

With a homemade pumpkin spice latte in my hand, I began decorating the house with the beautiful fall décor I have made and collected. As well as planning out some crafts for new things.

Last year I purchased several bags of artificial fall leaves at my local Dollar Tree; not really having a purpose for them yet. So this year, they became a beautiful (and CHEAP!) piece of fall décor that is now adorning my living room.  

We all have those clear vases from flowers we get on special occasions, right? Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Valentine’s day…. Well, my craft room has been overflowing with them for a few years now.

I dusted one off, filled it with the artificial fall leaves, tied on a bit of tulle and I had myself a lovely decoration.

 

So, free vase, approximately $3.00 total for the fall leaves and tulle I had on hand. Super cheap fall décor!


Check out some of the crafty fall items I made last year:
 
HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!!!
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Once a month shopping: one year later




 
 
Well folks! We have officially been on the once a month shopping/making everything from scratch switch for a FULL YEAR!!

And it has been a fabulous year. During this past year we have changed and “perfected” our shopping and cooking. We have tried lots of new recipes, found even better ways to shop and save that doesn’t involve clipping scads of coupons, we have lived stress free from weekly shopping trips and penny counting.

This year we were able to save enough money from our new shopping and eating habits to actually go on a week’s vacation! And we spend much more time together since we aren’t rushing off to the store to get this or that, or trying to hear one another over the table at a crowded (and expensive) restaurant. And the words “let’s just get take out” have not crossed our lips. Now our taste buds call out for nice home cooked meals.

And the icing on the cake: Hubs and I lost almost 100 pounds together by switching to mostly homemade foods!!!! Hubs lost 60 pounds and I’ve lost 35 pounds! NO EXERCISE ROUTINES. Simply eating what we wanted, in moderation, and making it homemade instead of pre-boxed meals with lots of salt, preservatives, and chemicals. And you have all heard that stress causes weight gain, right? Well, our new method of shopping and money saving has lessened the amount of stress, aiding in our weight loss too.

While the weight loss is fabulous, it was not the driving force to making this change in shopping and eating. It was for the money. Well, it was to save money. Or spending less money on food and still getting what we NEED. And we did just that. I don’t spend each day checking the bank account to see if I can get food items at the store because the money was already set aside, the food has already been purchased and I know there is left over money in the bank because we have all that we need. There is no reason to go back to the store.

During this year, I posted on social media sites to my friends and family about our triumphs along the way. Several people asked how we were going about once a month shopping and saving money and losing all that weight. After referring them to this very blog and other blogs I drew inspiration from, a handful of my friends tried the switch too. Some were very successful, some didn’t find it appealing, and some took bits and pieces of the idea and made it their own.

With their permission, and excluding names, I have decided to post what it was they liked or disliked about once a month shopping/ making everything homemade.  Let’s name them Friend A, B, C and D.

When asked, “How did once a month shopping work for you?”

Friend A:

“Shopping trips are much easier and faster and I don't have the question of ‘what's for supper?’ anymore! A major time and money saver. I will never go back to the old way again! I now know how to do it and can stick to a grocery budget!!”

Friend A is a full time working mom and has three small children. Her family lives on a full working farm. So added to her already busy work load, the farm requires A LOT of attention. Now, she has lots of time to spend with her family outside of her career and farm work since she doesn’t have to use that extra time to go grocery shopping.

Friend B:

“While I wasn't successful it did cause me to rethink my shopping habits. I actually make fewer trips to places like Target and Wal-Mart, too, because my week does not revolve around a shopping trip and errands.”

Friend B is a stay at home mom of two. She has dietary restrictions that call for lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. When stored correctly, most fruits and vegetables can last a whole month; however there are some that cannot, like some berries, and bananas. So a weekly visit to the store or farmer’s market is needed. But as you read it, Friend B changed her shopping habits in other areas.

Friend C:

 “Instead of a whole months worth of shopping, I take it two weeks at a time. I live in a small apartment and do not have to storage space for a month’s worth of food and household items. I spend one Sunday making up frozen meals for a few dinners, planning out menus for the rest of the nights and pre-packing a few lunch items for the week for my kids. We also just began making our own breads (loaf breads, tortillas, rolls) My kids love helping me make them! And it has saved me so much time and energy trying to make it to the store every week. We also eat out less because I am not so exhausted from working all day, going to the store and trying to make it home to cook dinner and help the kids with their homework. On nights like that I fell into the temptation of ordering pizzas or grabbing drive thru burgers. Now I just grab a meal out of the freezer that I premade and help the kids with homework while it cooks.”

Friend C is a full time working, single mom of 2. Space is a big factor to consider for once a month shopping, especially if you have a larger family or live in a smaller home. Friend C has also seen the impact of preplanning changing her eating habits. Think of the money saved from not buying fast food. And think of the health benefits!

Friend D:

“This has been a life saver for my family. And a money saver as well. Since I don’t make multiple trips to the store each week, I am not picking up extra items that we really don’t need and saving so much money. And I love impressing my friends by making homemade goodies that taste better than store bought.”

Friend D is a stay at home mom of 2. Her husband’s job has down time during the cold months, so saving money the rest of the year is very important when paychecks are thin. And speaking of thin, Friend D has lost 20 pounds since she made the switch to mostly homemade food as well.

 

When other friends or family members say “Well, I just don’t have time to sit down and plan a month’s worth of menus” or “I don’t have time to bake everything from scratch, it’s faster to buy the boxed version.” HERE YOU GO FOLKS!! Whether you are a stay at home mom (or dad even!) or you work 40 plus hours a week. It is possible to do. And even Friend B, who couldn’t work once a month shopping in to her strict dietary needs, changed her shopping habits in other areas of household needs.

So check it out y’all. Give it a try! And let me know what you think.

Check out the previous posts I wrote here:


We have changed a few things.

**We get bulk cooking items at Costco and get our regular food items at two stores; Aldi and Kroger. On occasion I will get things at Wal-mart instead of Kroger. Usually that happens only if I need an out of the ordinary item. (like the month we had to buy school supplies.)

**We make all our breads from scratch. Biscuits, tortillas, rolls, buns, sandwich bread.

**We also had a small garden this year and that cut down on our fresh vegetable costs. We also canned some of our overages before they spoiled.

**We will soon be trying our hand at making and drying our own pastas.

**We are also going to try to make homemade mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.

 

Do you have any ways of shopping or cooking mostly from scratch that you want to share? Did once a month shopping work for you?

 

God Bless!
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Scrap wood sign


A while back we gave the little farmhouse bathroom a long overdue makeover. New fixtures, flooring, fresh coat of paint, and new baseboards. When hubs was cleaning up after our project was finished, I had him save some of the scrap pieces of baseboards. I had a plan!
 
I absolutely love all the worn, weathered and antique signs you see everywhere nowadays. Especially some of the ones found on Etsy. Not wanting to pay a small fortune for some of them, I decided to make one of our own. Hubs and I LOVE coffee, so it seemed appropriate to make it the theme for my first try at making a wood sign.

 In Microsoft Word, I created my stencil. I centered the word “coffee” and inserted the same clipart image of a coffee cup on either side of the word. Printed it out, rubbed a pencil on the back and transferred it to my scrap piece of wood.

I chose lime and turquoise for my colors, since that is the soon to be colors in our kitchen (We still haven’t painted yet!) I outlined the images in brown to make them stand out against the white background.

Once the paint was dry, I took a piece of sand paper and roughed up the scrap wood a little to give it just a little weathered look.

I hammered in the saw-tooth hanger on the back and voila! Done.

Here is the finished project.

 

Super easy!
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Homemade Suddenly Salad: Ranch and Bacon Pasta Salad


Before our switch to mostly homemade foods, Hubs and I always had a few boxes of our favorite side dish, Suddenly Salad Ranch and Bacon Salad. When we stopped buying the boxed items, we stopped buying Suddenly Salad. I tried, and was successful, in recreating the suddenly salad. (We chose to omit the peas from ours.)  

It’s super simple folks:

8 oz of SMALL shells (I found them at Wal-Mart)
1 tablespoon oil
3-4 mini carrots, grated
1/2 cup frozen peas
 
2-3 tablespoons of real bacon bits (or 2-3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled)

1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip (or your favorite mayo substitute like yogurt)

3 Tablespoons of homemade ranch seasoning (see it here)

2 Tablespoons of milk

Pepper to taste.


Bring to a boil 3-4 cups of water, adding the oil at the start.
Add the pasta

Boil for approximately 5-6 minutes then add carrots and peas
Continue to boil until pasta reaches desired tenderness.

Drain, and rinse with cold water.

Transfer to large bowl.

Mix mayo, ranch, milk, and bacon bits into small bowl. If the mix is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of milk. You do not want it to be runny, but you also do not want it to be exceptionally thick.

Stir in to cooled pasta.

Can be served immediately or refrigerated prior to serving.

 
 
Like I said, simple!

God Bless Y’all!
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Missing Sock Board

Okay folks! Finally getting back to posting. We have been busy this summer and the schedules have been jammed packed. We are still in mid transformation in our little farmhouse and the crafts have been pouring in. My favorite craft as of yet was a "missing sock" board. I am sure you have seen them plastered all around Pinterest. They have some of the cutest sayings on them. 

Well, this one is unique to us as it shows off one of our favorite things....a love for Harry Potter books! (And movies too of course!) And a good sense of humor I might add. 

This was a super quick project. We had a cheap dresser drawer that fell apart so I took the front of it and used it for my board. A little sanding, and a coat of paint and I was ready to go.

I used a free font download to get the lettering, printed it out, and did a pencil-rub transfer. Then painted the letters in.

I did a quick google search for a Hogwarts crest, printed it off, and modge-podged it to the board. I used the same technique to put the phrase "This board is S.P.E.W approved" between the clothes pins. 

To paint the clothes pins, I clipped them to an empty plastic coffee can. The can has a nice little handle on it that allowed me to maneuver it around to paint all sides of the clothes pins with out having to wait for a side to dry or getting my fingers bathed in paint. 

A few dabs of hot glue and the clothes pins were stuck on the board. 

All I lacked was the hardware to hang it with. (That's why it's pictured on the kitchen table) We didn't have any in the house and I was too excited to share the project to wait until it was hung properly. 

So there you go! Any Potter fans out there approve? 

Have fun y'all!

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Freezing fresh spinach


We are not extremely picky about our vegetables being organic. While there may be a million opinions about organic versus non-organic, I pay them no mind and buy what suits the wallet. It just so happened that I got an opportunity to buy some fresh organic baby spinach (16 oz) the other day. It was reduced from $4.99 to $1.00. Now that’s a price for organic veggies I can handle! While some people snub their noses at the packages with the bright yellow and orange manager special stickers, they call to me and say “Hey! Come check this out!” Rather than have an overload on spinach dishes, I decided to freeze it and save it for later to use.
 

There are lots of opinions on how to freeze vegetables. Some say pre-cook them, some say blanch them (quick dip in boiling water) and some say forget all that just freeze them as is. Do some research and make your own judgment on how you wish to freeze fresh veggies. My preferred method: it varies from item to item. In the sake of the baby spinach, I chose blanching first to preserve the green color.
 

I started out by rinsing my spinach. I filled one pot with water and brought it to a boil. I took a bowl and filled it with ice water. Then I took another bowl and lined them with a couple paper towels.

I used a strainer to keep the leaves from going all over the place in my boiling water and transferred them to another strainer I left sitting in the cold water.
 
Once in the boiling water, I used my kitchen tongs to make sure the leaves got a good dunk in the water and left them there for about 20 seconds.

I removed them and put them in the ice water. I left them there to cool a while then transferred them to the bowl with the paper towels.

Once I made it through the entire package of spinach, I took the paper towel that was around the blanched leaves and gave it a good squeeze to remove excess liquid.
 


I plopped the spinach on the cutting board, gave it a few good chops, then into a freezer bag.
 
 

Voila! Done!

It should keep for about 10-12 months for the best results (based on a web query) My freezer has a list of items and lengths of time for freezing and leafy greens say 12 months.

If you get the opportunity to buy reduced price fresh produce, take it if it won’t break the bank. Most of the time they will last well past the sell by date anyway. And many are suitable for freezing.

Happy Freezing Y’all!

 














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Monday, June 3, 2013

DIY Long pasta container

Just dropping in to share a quick craft. Things here on the farm have been quite hectic! The refashioning of the house decor is coming along nicely and we are getting lots of areas organized in the process. 

The family gave up all kinds of junk food type snacks nearly a year ago when we made our switch to mainly homemade food items. But I saved this one container of Pringles with a craft in mind....and I am just now getting around to using it. 

All you need is an extra tall Pringles can, some tape, and a 12x12 sheet of paper and you can fashion yourself a cute little pasta container for your long spaghetti type pastas. 

(I used a damp sponge to wipe out the container.)

Wrap the paper around your container, taping both the starting edge and the ending edge, cut off the excess and put on a label. 
We have been using Angel Hair Pasta more than Spaghetti noodles lately so I chose to store them in my new container. 

There you have it folks! One simple little craft!

God Bless!
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tick Tock Redo!


The crafting muses are hitting me left and right! While still going about with my challenge to give the house a new look without breaking the bank, I have been looking at every decoration in the house with a new purpose. I look at something and ask my favorite question: “I wonder if I could paint this or fix it up to match the new décor?” Well, today the mantel clock was the focus of my crafting energy.
This little clock sits atop our entertainment center since we don’t have a mantel (or fire place for that matter.) We purchased it from Target many years ago. And while I never thought it to be boring or out of place with the previous décor, I have a whole new love for the clock now as it brightens up our little farmhouse living room with its new look.

It was super easy to do: sand it down a little to get the factory sheen off, throw on a few coats of paint, sand it again and then glue a fancy cabinet door handle on the top.
 
I had the handle already. Funnily enough, this handle was on the doors at the bottom of the entertainment center before we changed them out with some decorative ones we liked better that we found at a thrift store.  

Wasn’t that easy! And I kept in my cost parameters: $0.00!

 

Well, I am back to my kiddo and scoping out the house for more fun projects.

Happy crafting y’all!
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

House decor makeover: give your current decor items a makeover...for free!


The transformation here at the little farm house is continuing! I have challenged myself to use what we have on hand before buying anything, including craft supplies. First up was finding things around the house that with a little fixing up would fit the new décor.  

I decided to paint our knife block with one of our accent colors….lime green.


 
 

It turned out fabulous. The knife block was black and I used flat paint to help give it a little distressed look without all the sanding. Using flat paint makes each brush stroke stand out too. But not to worry, it was the look I was going for. I attempted to take off a plaque that was affixed to the front….it wouldn’t budge… so I coated it with paint and put a vinyl scrapbook sticker on it. I think it gave it a nice little something extra.
 
This led me to give an old wooden (well, technically resin made to look like wood) owl a redo too. Again I used flat paint so it would show the brush strokes and keep it looking  more like a painted "wooden" owl. I wasn’t particular about getting every little crevice painted, letting some of the original paintwork show through to aid in the distressed look.


 
 
 





So, total cost of these two projects: $0.00 because I only used stuff I had on hand.


Well, that’s about it for now….. I’m back on the hunt to find more stuff to fix up!

 

God Bless!
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Creamy herb and butter rice using cream of whatever dry mix


In our little house there is a dinner time dilemma when it comes to having rice as a side dish to our meals. I will eat rice in pretty much every form. Hubs only likes plain white rice with milk and sugar. The kiddo refuses to eat rice, no matter how you fix it. Since we are still on the make it from scratch kick I don’t purchase the box rice mixes with the exception of plain white Minute Rice. So tonight I decided to fix some rice to pair with our chili and Lime tilapia filets. Figuring I would be the only one to eat it, I decided I wanted some buttery herbed rice. Then a thought occurred to me….what if I used my ever handy Cream of Whatever Dry Mix in the rice?

Well….Both my guys cleaned their plates of the rice! And I of course love it too! So our rice dilemma has been solved. So here you go…give it a try and see what you think.

 


2 cups uncooked minute rice

1/3 cup cream of whatever dry mix (get the recipe here)

1 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1-2 tablespoons of butter

Dried or fresh parsley for garnish

 

Mix together the milk, water and cream of whatever mix in a sauce pan.

Bring just to a boil, remembering to stir frequently.

Remove from heat.

Stir in the uncooked minute rice.

Cover and let set for 5 minutes.

Add butter and stir the rice.

Garnish with parsley

(If you rice is too dry, add a couple tablespoons of milk or water.)

 

You could even liven it up a bit more and add some cooked veggies to the rice, like mushrooms or broccoli. The possibilities are endless!

 

Hope Y'all enjoy it!

 

 

 
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Altered storage containers


Lately I have been having a hankering to redecorate the house. It must be the spring weather that has finally arrived to the farm. As much as Hubs and I love the current color schemes and themes of our little farmhouse, we have lived with them for about a decade. So, we are now in the (very slow) process of changing stuff over to our new color choices. I have to admit, I am absolutely ecstatic about it because it has opened up about a million opportunities for craft projects! Hubs picked me up a single can of spray paint and that got the ball rolling….

My ever intuitive Hubs knew I needed some better organization to my craft supplies. So for Christmas he bought me a handy little caddy from Home Depot. Bless his heart! While this was made for tools, I quickly found it worked perfectly for my supplies. But I just wasn't too keen on the industrial look of it. So, I “girlied” it up a bit with the Rust-Oleum Key Lime spray paint.


BEFORE



AFTER




I also finally got around to using some beautiful scrapbook paper I had been saving, because I just loved it too much to fill it up with photos and page embellishments. I wanted the paper on display, rather than closed up in an album. And it just so happened I had several shoe boxes that were home to my sewing supplies that needed a dressing up too.



As crafter, I have trouble throwing containers out. I have to be so careful, or I know I will become a container hoarder. So I had some soup cans that I needed to get used up. Back out came the spray paint. A coat of the Key Lime spray paint on each and the next thing I know, the creative muse hit me..... I had a desk caddy! Iadded some ribbon and a few strips of the left over scrapbook paper from covering my shoe boxes, then attached the cans to each other using 3D double sided foam tape. Now my pens and things have a quaint little home. (The smallest can holds my paperclips.)


So, be it small, it is a start to the new and improved little farmhouse. And there are plenty of things left to paint and alter. Stay tuned for the rest of the transformation!


God Bless Y’all!

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Simple Coleslaw dressing


Hubs and I are feeling the funk of the crazy winter like weather that has been going on lately. We were so looking forward to the beautiful warmer springtime atmosphere and all that comes with it: working/playing outside, opening the windows in the little farmhouse, and the lighter menu items that almost all call for something grilled.

Well, albeit a bitter 40 degrees out (that’s cold for us southerners!) Hubs bundled up and fired up the grill to satisfy our craving for some grilled tilapia to go in our fish tacos. While Hubs was enjoying being master of the grill, I was in the kitchen whipping up some homemade sauces:  Coleslaw dressing for our broccoli slaw and tartar sauce for the fish tacos.

I absolutely love coleslaw. It smells so heavenly and sounds beautifully crunchy when eating it. Sad thing though….I cannot consume it. I have a weird aversion to cabbage that makes me deathly ill when I eat even the tiniest bit. Well, broccoli slaw is my saving grace. I can have the wonderful tastes and crunch of regular slaw without the awful belly ache. Since Hubs and I are still doing wonders with our homemade foods I opted for the made from scratch coleslaw dressing rather than the $3.00 store bought kind. I did however purchase a pre-packaged, pre-cut mix of broccoli and carrot slaw that did not have any cabbage in it. (12 oz).
 

I did a quick search and found a base recipe here:


With that, I added a few spins to it based on mother and mother-in-law input.

 

Here is my version of Coleslaw Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon celery salt (you could break this up into regular salt and celery seed)

1/8 teaspoon ground (dry) mustard

Pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients well. Pour over 12-16 oz of slaw mix.

 

And if you are looking for a quick and yummy Tartar Sauce recipe here is my recipe

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons relish (I use sweet)

1 tablespoon finely chopped Green onion

1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

 

Hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as we did! Now it’s back to wishing for warmer weather so we can enjoy these meals out on the patio.

Happy “Spring” Y’all!
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Crackle finish using school glue


Recently I posted about my own personal cleaning challenge and crafts or tips found on Pinterest that helped me execute the tasks. One task I challenged myself to do was organize my neglected shelves in the laundry room. Above my washer and dryer is a single shelf. Hubs and I have had on our ever growing task list “put up cabinets in laundry room.” Well, it has been on that list for what seems like a decade and still has not been done. And there are several justifiable reasons…money to purchase the wood or prefab cabinets being the biggest reason. We have since used our saved money for this task on fixing a broken water heater, purchasing a chest freezer, and putting it toward other unexpected repairs for our little farm house. So I do my best to keep these open shelves cleaned and organized. And sometimes it just gets piled up with stuff.

I have some little wooden crates that came from Clementine oranges that I use to hold a few things on my laundry room shelf. For a long time now, they have been sitting up on the shelf in their original state. I decided that my “reward” for getting the shelf cleaned up and organized was painting these crates. And I have wanted to try a paint crackling technique using school glue that I happened across on Pinterest.
Here is the great tutorial I found:
The technique was simple and easy to do. I chose a dark color for the base then I mixed up a lighter version of the base color for the top coat. I did not use a primer coat since I chose such a dark color for the first layer of paint. I was even surprised that this technique worked on a cardboard version of the Clementine Crates. I did use a white primer coat for that crate since it had a very colorful print on it and I was using lighter colors. Here are a few of my pictures of the process:

applying dark base coat


applying glue mixture


the paint immediately started to crackle



after a few minutes passed I got a little worried it wasn't going to work



Once it began to dry I wasn't worried anymore


Looking even better the longer it dried



a full 24 hours later the box looked awesome!
Not to shabby for my first stab at crackling with school glue





Happy crafting y’all!
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