Monday, August 6, 2012

{outdoor decor}

Sadly summer will be coming to a close shortly :(  Luckily, we still have a tad longer of the warm temperatures - at least around this part of the country! One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to entertain outside and I'm glad to be able to do it for just a little longer before winter sets in! 

Early this summer we said goodbye to some of our dearest friends. They ventured hundreds of miles away to a new home but before they left we threw them a large farewell to say goodbye, let them know how much they are loved, and to ensure they knew how very much they'd be missed!

The decor was simple and cheap yet super cute. A basic tablecloth I already had (bought on clearance) provided the main pink and green pattern. We paired it with mason jars found in my kitchen cupboards, small strips of burlap and ribbon were tied around the jars, and finally they were polished off with fresh cut hydrangas from my yard.

We did a sundae ice cream bar and the rest of the decor was also stuff found around my house! Metal buckets from my staircase housed the bowls, napkins, and cups. Small white dainty ikea metal buckets were perfect for holding sprinkles, chocolate chips, and other toppings.

The party turned out perfect and the decor was easy yet added a cute touch to a backyard gathering.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{summer schedule}

 I love summer for the laidback lifestyle we can have throughout the week - but I'm also one who longs for some type of structure. 

For the summer I came up with little to-do lists for our family for Monday-Friday. Some of the things are already scheduled  and others are things we'd just like to, want to, or need to get done throughout the week. 

Do we do everything every day? Absolutely not. But I love having the daily lists out in my kitchen as a reminder of things I'd like to get done (laundry, mop, teach a math concept, read stories, say family prayers, etc.) I also left enough room available in between that allows me to write in specific things (i.e. teach continents, work on addition, etc.) 

To make one of your own:

1. Use Word to make your own daily lists in separate columns. (I used the landscape mode and divided the page into 5 columns).

2. I printed it, cut it out, distressed it, mounted it on cardstock, and then added it to scrapbook paper that I lined an old picture frame with.

3. Now I just use some white board markers and windex to write all over it :)



Sunday, July 8, 2012

{grout cleaning)

I absolutely love Pinterest. The only problem is that I'm blindly trusting other's links to be correct/useful/yummy/etc.

We have a very light tile in our entire entryway, hallway, and kitchen. Needless to say the grout didn't stay bright white for long! I've hated it but haven't found a way to clean it. I've tried some cleaners and even tried sealing it afterwards but it just didn't do the trick.

Then came along Pinterest and I found a suggestion for a grout cleaner. The formula: mix baking soda and peroxide until it forms a paste. Then apply it with a toothbrush, wait a few minutes, and wipe clean. 

Ta-da! It worked (and made my dirty grout look especially gross)! It came clean quick and was super cheap - I think it's now my go to grout cleaner. Give it a shot!

Now if only I can motivate myself to do the rest of the kitchen!!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

{kid's bags}

In the last 6 months we have taken two road trips (each being longer than 16 hours each way). With summer here I know many others will be experiencing that same thing as you go to visit new places or see far away family and friends.

If you have kids there always comes the question, "How do I keep them entertained in the car?" Although DVD players are absolutely wonderful they usually don't do the job the ENTIRE time - so you usually have to have a few other tricks up your sleeve!

This year I made each of my kids their own car bag. I found these cheap plain black bags at Goodwill for $2 bucks. The straps were just long enough to fit over the headrest in our car. So each kid got their own bag, slipped it over the headrest in front of them, and then got to fill it with goodies. Anything from snacks to coloring books to dolls got piled in the bag and it was a perfect solution to keeping all their car trip goodies in one accesible location. 

Here's how to make your own:

1. Buy a cheap bag.
(I got mine at Goodwill but I've seen these same types of ones at Walmart for $5 bucks or under).

2. Print out a large letter in your favorite font from your computer.

3. Cut out the letter or name and use it as a stencil for cutting out your fabric and Heat 'n' Bond.

4. Iron - follow the directions on the packaging of Heat 'n' Bond.

5. Put it over the headrest and load it up!

 Not going on any trips? Fill it up with church stuff, Halloween candy, towels and suncreen, etc! Kids love bags to tote around - I'm sure they'll love these no matter what's in it :)


Monday, June 25, 2012

{asian turkey meatballs}

I am always on the lookout for new recipes - especially asian and mexican dishes that are on the lighter side. Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring - and this recipe proves that. If you look you can find millions upon millions of delicious and oh so flavorfal foods that are good for you as well!

One of my favorite spots of find these kinds of recipes is from Gina at I'm a big fan of Weight Watchers and have used its program several times in the past to lose weight - so a year ago or so when a friend referred me to this site to check out - I did - and LOVED it! She is so creative in finding tons of healthy ways to make classic as well as not-so-traditional dishes healthy and figure friendly. Go check her out!

This dish is a simple and fast asian meatball - paired with rice and roasted green beans the meal turned out yummy and quick. Try it out :)

Asian Turkey Meatballs Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1-1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Dipping Sauce
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh scallion


Friday, June 22, 2012

{lemon cookies}

Summer to me encompasses many things. One thing that makes the top of my list is fruit. Almost everything in the produce aisle is screaming my name - sweet strawberries, juicy watermelon, succulant berries, etc. I could go on and on. I swear almost half my grocery budget is spent on fruit (particulary grapes) at this time of year.

My craving for fruity desserts is always rappant at this time of year as well. Strawberry shortcake, peach crumble, and anything with lemon.

Last year my good friend dropped these delicious cookies off at my house before a big training run and they have been a favorite ever since. So good that they made it to my top 3 cookie recipe list.

They are the perfect texture and stay super soft - the most important part of a cookie in my opinion. Go ahead and give them a try - you and everyone else will love them!

White Chocolate Lemon Cookies

1 c. butter
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 ¼ c. flour
¾ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 T. grated lemon peel (about 2 lemons)
1 ½-2 c. white chocolate chips

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. When you get a dough consistency, mix in the lemon peel and chocolate by hand. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.

*You can substitute orange or lime instead of the lemon.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

spaghetti squash

I've seen this veggie roaming around blogland lately. Until last week I had never eaten it or even seen it before in my life. It just so happened that it was on sale a few weeks ago in our local grocery store and I decided to venture out and give it a try.

Guess what? I'm in love and will DEFINITELY make it again.

Here's what you do:

1. Cut this bad boy in half. It looks like a pumpkin on the inside so scrap out the seeds and stringy things.

2. Wrap each half in saran wrap and pop each half in the microwave for 6 minutes.

3. Unwrap the squash and take a fork and scrape it out. The insides will be spaghetti like.

We served it with our favorite sauce - grandma's homemade spaghetti sauce:

1 onion
1 green pepper
1 celery stalk
1 Tbs. minced garlic
3-4 Tbs. olive oil
2 lbs. ground hamburger
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
8 - 15oz cans of tomato sauce
3 - 6oz cans of tomato paste

1. Cook meat in skillet with Italian seasoning.
2. Add onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, and oil.
3. Once cooked thoroughly place in large pot with sauce and paste.
4. Cook all afternoon.

Makes about 6 quarts

Try something new and give it a try!