Monday, January 14, 2013

14 week challenge to a clean and organized house

I found a 14 week challenge here and thought that's what I need! My house has gotten where nothing has a spot and it was/is driving me crazy. So I decided to take action. Every week she gives you a challenge like the kitchen or this week is all the closets in your house and while I'm not following her challenges week per week I am trying.  Here is a picture of one of my hall closets before

Here it is after :-)
Here is a closer picture. I separated everything into baskets, Kids, Adults, Mommy's Dogs, and cards. Yes I labeled them! I live with all men you do the math :-)
Now I wish I would have taken a picture of the pool room closet before we started to clean it out but I didn't think about it. I got so excited that we were actually cleaning it out that I totally forgot! But I did take a picture of all the trash for you...Yes it was all in the closet and this pile does not include what went back in or what I gave to Goodwill. Take a deep breath people this is bad...
And yet another picture of the trash
Finally we got it all taken care of
I'm not sure why my picture are going the wrong way and I wish I could figure out how to fix them for you but I'm not that computer smart so just tip your computer and you'll be fine :-) I'll keep posting as I get things cleaned and organized. Hope you guys get inspired to do a little Spring cleaning yourself. If you do please post before and after pictures I would love to see them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Make your own Twinkies!!!!

I could care less about Twinkies but know there are a lot of people who would like to know how to make them so for you I posted this. I found this here, I won't try it but if someone would please let me know if it taste like the real thing.
Here is what you need to make your own Twinkies...
~Cooking Utensils~
Spice bottle( size of a twinkie)
10 pieces of 12X14 inch aluminum foil
Pastry bag or a zip lock back with tip cut off
Nonstick Spray
4 eggs whites
1 16-ounce golden pound cake mix
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7th jar)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
~Baking Instructions~
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make ten of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of nonstick spray.
3. Disregard the directions on the box of cake mix. Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water, and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.
4. Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
5. For the filling, combine the salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool.
6. combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.
7. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.
8. When the cakes are done and cooled use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling
9. Using your zip lock bag(corner cut off) inject each cake with filling through all three holes.
Makes 10 Twinkies!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap to get rid of fruit flies and gnats?

Um NO this does not work...Let me say it again NO! I had these stinkin gnats for a while and couldn't get rid of them, darn things. I got rid of all the fruit that we had and anything I could think of that was keeping them darn things around and still they wouldn't die or go anywhere. So I seen that you just need Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap, well let me tell you I tried it for several days and yet everyday I would wake up and there they would be flying around my kitchen. So frustrating! I will say I never seen them in the bottom of my dish like it claims here but after leaving the mixture out for about a week they are finally gone. So maybe it made them leave but again they didn't die in the dish like they were supposed to or maybe it was they finally didn't have any reason to stick around as I haven't had fruit in about 2 weeks now.


I would love to hear if anyone else has tried it and if it worked for you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Bath Tub paints

I decided to start looking at things that I had "pinned" for the kids to do while stuck inside since were really close to that time of year. I came across homemade bath tub paints and since the high yesterday was around 30 degrees I thought this could not only be fun but a way for the kids to warm up. All you need is children's shampoo or body wash, corn starch, food coloring and something to put it in.

 I used about a cup of baby shampoo (tip make sure your baby shampoo/body wash doesn't say Q-15 or sometimes listed as Quaternium 15 as it releases formaldehyde or one of the chemicals they put in us when we die) I added about 2 Tablespoons to the shampoo, this is just a guess as I didn't measure just went by how thick I wanted it to be.

I put the mixture in ice cube tray and then added the food coloring to make the colors I wanted...I also did 2 of the same colors so each kid had their own.

I wish I would have had my camera when i pulled out the paints and told my oldest what we were going to do. His face was priceless!!! This is them starting to draw their masterpiece.

What my bathtub looked like after they had drawn for a while...Don't worry it comes right off and didn't stain my tub either.

They thought it would be fun to draw on each other as well. LOL they had a BLAST. I think this will become a much asked for thing in my house.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Numbers Match up

This is a GREAT way to teach your kids there numbers while their having fun. What more could a mama ask for?

I used construction paper and made my own...
Write numbers 1-10 on mini-clothespins and match them up to the dots on the number disks.
Here is my little guy playing the "Game"
He loved it! He has played it many times and his little brother oh give him a clothes pin and he is a happy little camper thinking his is big like Braeden :-) Quite times for this mama

Pinterest Meals....HUMMM

So I challenged myself to a week of nothing but Pinterest meals. I will share a few with you and what we thought about them. So lets go... 1st up~Michael Symon's Fresh Rigatoni with Chorizo
1 pound rigatoni (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 28-ounce can chopped San Marzano tomatoes ( I don't buy special tomatoes so I used hy-vee diced tomatoes with garlic)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh chorizo (removed from casing and crumbled)
1 1/2 cup yellow onion (diced) 4 ounces dry white wine (optional)( I don't cook with white wine so again I used chicken stock)
1 cup grated Manchego cheese (didn't have it in my budget to buy this so parm cheese it is :)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (chopped)(dried, cut the amount WAY down of course)
salt and pepper to taste

Here's how to make it~ Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. If using dried pasta, add it the water and then move on to preparing the sauce. Stir the pasta occasionally so it doesn't stick together.

  Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chorizo (removed from casing and crumbled) and let it brown for 2-3 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.

Move the chorizo to one side of the pan and add the onions, with a pinch of salt, and cook for about 1 minute. If using fresh pasta, add it to boiling water now (as it will only take 3-4 minutes to cook).

Deglaze the pan with the wine aka chicken stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all the tasty bits. Reduce the wine by half. This will take less than a minute.

Next, add the tomatoes and bring up to a simmer. Check for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Add the pasta and toss to coat the noodles.

Remove from the heat and mix in parsley, extra virgin olive oil and parm cheese. Serve, garnishing with more cheese if desired.

I liked that this dish came together for me in 10 minutes! It would be a great go to meal for those evenings when you need something really quick. My family said it was good, I got the feeling that they liked it but not something they will be asking for in the near future because there was a lot left in the pan. I will warn you it's spicy, not anything my 4year old couldn't handle but my a 2 year old no way. We had a friend over that night as well and she didn't like it at all.

Next up...Healthy cajun chicken pasta This was really good!
Even my picky eater ate this one but I'll show you how I tricked him later :-)

Here's what you need.
8 ounces uncooked linguine 1 pound chicken breast strips
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste) 1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced ( I used a green pepper)
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced ( Again green pepper but I only used 1 for both)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion,
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes diced (again Hy-vee diced tomatoes w/garlic)
1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth 1/3 cup skim milk (2%)
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp light cream cheese
Fresh cracked pepper
2 scallions, chopped (didn't add)
1 Zucchini ( the orginal pin didn't have this but I wanted to add another veggie) salt to taste
Smart Balance cooking spray (EVOO)

Directions: Prep all your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Set aside. Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt
Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken. Sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside. Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine; toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

                                             Here is what my picky eater's plate looked like...

How did I get my picky eater to eat it you might ask. Well first I cut my veggies up really small this was for both of my kids, after the dish was complete I took out some sauce and veggies and pureed them in my food processor. He NEVER saw it coming! He LOVED it!

Last one...Paula Deen's Goulash
What you need~
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 large yellow onions
3 cloves garlic chopped,
3 cups water
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce ( I couldn't find mine, the kids lost mine playing Bowling with my cans...I'll show you that one day :-) So for this ingredent and the next I just used my Hy-Vee diced tomatoes and garlic I pureed them.
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
                                                                                    3 tablespoons soy sauce (this seemed like an   lot to me so I only added 2) 1 tablespoon House Seasoning, 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

Directions In a Dutch oven, sauté the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sautéing. Spoon off any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving. This one was another home run for my house!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birthday party decorations...CHEAP :-)

So for my oldest son's 4Th birthday I wanted some cheap decorations but of course they needed to be cute...So off to pinterest I went. I found 2 cute idea's using just balloons, I mean really how much cheaper can you get then balloons? You just go to the dollar store and get a whole pack of 25 balloons for $1 um hello I'll take it! Look behind us at the balloons, ha I didn't have the idea of my blog yet of course or I would have done a close up.
This is super easy and got lots of complements! All you need is to blow up your balloons and tie them just like normal. Then take a needle and thread and start threading your balloons on the string(using the tied part lol) Super easy right...Told ya! For a better picture you can go to the origianl pin here. I also had these up at all the entrences so if you wanted to go anywhere in my house you had to go threw this. Way cool :-)