Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hawaiian Chicken (Pinterest)

I love a good crock pot meal. I LOVE to bake, but cooking is another story. If it takes more than 10 minutes I am over it. But cooking with a crock pot is my favorite, since you just throw everything in, turn it on and walk away!

This hawaiian chicken was no exception. 4 ingredients and 6 hours later and dinner was amazing!!! 
I just cooked some rice before we were ready to eat and poured the chicken over top!!!

Hawaiian Chicken

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce 
2 pounds chicken breast 
Cook on low for 6-8 hours & enjoy!

Slurpees (Pinterest)

Super simple and easy. Nothing will ever be as light and fluffy as a real slurpee, but you'll have a lot more flavor choices!!!

1 kool-aid packet
2 cups club soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 crushed ice
Blend kool-aid, sugar & 1 cup of club soda on high until sugar is dissolved. Add ice & blend until smooth. Add remaining club soda & blend. Pour in glasses and freeze for 30 minutes. 

SIDE NOTE:  let the blender run for awhile because you want the ice as 'shaved-like' as possible. I would even go the extent of using a snow cone maker if you have one.

Goo Gone (Pinterest)

I love Goo Gone. However I think it is too expensive & sometimes you can get lucky and find it at the dollar store, but I have had a bottle fall over and leak. NOT COOL! Thankfully there is a solution! You can make your own! I think this version works better because there is baking soda in this recipe and you can use it to scrub off what every sticky mess you need to remove. 

1 part veggie oil
2 parts baking soda
Mix and store in an air tight container

SIDE NOTE: you will have to stir the mix before every use since the baking soda will settle.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Chowder (Pinterest)

Another simple and amazing crockpot meal. This one is my latest obsession. I have made it 3 times in the last 4 weeks, and my husband doesn't like it, so I have 5-6 meals for the week!!!

1 can (15oz) drained corn 
1/2 an onion (I used a handful of dried onion flakes)
1 can (10oz) enchilada sauce
1 can (10.75) cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
4 (4oz) chicken breasts
In crock pot combine corn enchilada sauce, soup & milk. Stir and add chicken breasts, making sure they are submerged. Cover & cook on low for 6-8 hours or 3-4 on high. Before serving shred chicken. 
Top with cheese, sour cream or whatever else you like!
I personally like to eat this by using a tortilla chip to scoop up the chowder!!! It helps fill you faster, and give you more to serve or have for leftovers!!

SIDE NOTE: if you can't tell I am a picky eater and this chowder is a basic version from the original recipe. I am attaching the Original Recipe so that you adventurous eaters can have the full recipe.

Cherry Coke Chicken (PINTEREST)

If you know my husband Kyle, you know that he LOVES cherry coke. 
When coke products go on sale I buy anywhere from 6 to 12 cases for him. He goes through them pretty fast, thankfully we work for a company that provides free soda, otherwise I would be buying even more!!!
Anyway... I found this recipe and finally something my husband really loves!!! 
I wasn't a huge fan since I don't really like cherry coke, but it was good over instant potatoes. 

4 chicken breasts
bottle of plain BBQ sauce
1/2 can cherry coke
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cook on low in crock pot for 5 hours. Shred & serve. 

SIDE NOTE: While this was a hit, the cherry coke flavor isn't powerful, you can definitely taste it. Some recipes lose the flavor, but this was definitely present.

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Packets (Pinterest)

I love brown sugar oatmeal, but knew that I was spending too much on the pre-made stuff. Thankfully I found a way to spend a fraction of what I was spending before. Rather than spending almost $5 for a value pack of 18. I spent about the same amount for about 60 packets. The only reason it was $5 is because I bought small plastic containers to eat them in. 
I bought quick oats from Wal-mart as well as small ziploc bowls. Then I just put together 5 bowls together on Sunday for the whole week! Easy peasy! The only adjustment was the taste was a little different, I am sure that the pre-packaged mix has more flavoring. However I found my diy version was more filling for some reason. 

42 oz quick oats
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
In small containers (or snack bags): add 1/2 cup oats & 2 TBSP brown sugar
To serve 3/4 cup of water or milk

SIDE NOTE: I personally only like the brown sugar oatmeal. But here is a link with a few other variations.
More DIY oatmeal packets

Cinnamon Roll Waffles! (Pinterest)

Easy, yummy and fast!!! 
I don't even know what else to say, but EN-FREAKIN'-JOY!

Tube of cinnamon rolls - any flavor
waffle maker
Place 4 rolls in the center of the iron and bake. Use the icing as syrup & enjoy!
SIDE NOTE: I didn't flatten the rolls out, since I wanted them to be fluffy. 
Also as I am typing this, all I can think of is trying this with orange rolls! Yummy!!!

Cinnamon French Toast Bake (Pinterest)

I love breakfast food and I couldn't wait to try this recipe. It was super easy to make and smelled delicious. The only complaint my husband and I had, was that the egg mixture made the bottom soggy. So we just ended up eating the top half of the bake!!!


1/4 cup melted butter

5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 cans: cinnamon rolls with icing
Pour butter in 9x13 glass dish. Separate rolls from tubes and cut each roll into 8 pieces & place in dish. Beat eggs, add cream, cinnamon & vanilla. Pour over cinnamon roll pieces. Drizzle syrup over top. Bake at 375 for 20-28 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Heat cinnamon roll frosting in microwave and drizzle on top.

SIDE NOTE: since we thought the bottom was too soggy we probably won't make this again, since I am not good at altering a recipe, but if someone can adjust it so that it isn't soggy, let me know!!!

Crock Pot Potato Soup FAIL! (Pinterest)

Again we all know I love to cook with my crock pot, but this recipe wasn't a success. I don't know if it failed because I didn't use frozen hash browns, but it looked unappealing, and tasted the same.
This is a Paula Deen recipe and I normally love her stuff, but this was a miss.
Some might think it is dumb to post something that didn't turn out, but this is what my experience is about. I know that I will end up with more wins than losses, but I want to test things from pinterest and see how it turns out. And so far this had been the only miss!

1 bag frozen hash browns
2: 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
onion flakes
1/3 tsp pepper
Combine and cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in package of cream cheese & cook an additional 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

SIDE NOTE: This might have failed for me because I used hash browns in the refrigerated section, which might be smaller than the frozen bags. I won't try this again just because I have other recipes for this soup that are different enough for me to try.

Cleaning List (Pinterest)

I tend to be a messy person, organized, yet still messy. But in the past 2 or 3 years as I have become more organized, however I get frustrated when I do everyday cleaning work, because I would feel overwhelmed.

So I decided to combine 2 of my favorite things: lists & organization.

I wrote down any chore I could think of that I had to do as a kid and now as a homeowner. After that I broke the list down further of how often they should be done. When I was finished I had a pretty stellar list. It makes cleaning easy because I can section out what I need to do over the month, rather than cramming all of the hard stuff into a weekend. My husband loves the list also because he can find something to do and help me out. Keep in mind this list is tailored specifically for my house, but the basics are there.

As you'll see in the photos below I have the notebook open for a full month, breaking down to: daily, twice a week, weekly, twice a month & monthly. For the weekly and twice a week I wrote down how many were in the list so that I wouldn't overwhelm myself. I did the same for the monthly, but just averaging out how many things to do a week, for the same reason.

There are somethings like changing the air filter that only need to be done every few months but I wrote those down in the months they need to be done. Mainly because we didn't change the filter for our first year and it was yucky and you notice a big difference when it is changed when it is supposed to be. I also have replace the shower curtain, wash out the dog kennel in the every 3 month list, but they aren't all in the same 3 months. Just to keep it evenly spaced.

I have realized through making this list how particular I am with things, but I am grateful that I finally after 28 understand how I work, and how I can make myself better.

I hope this template will be helpful for some. I will also post other links since others like to work room by room.

Room by room
Weekly Checklist
Mother of all checklists

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cinnamon Almonds (Pinterest)

 So I LOVE cinnamon almonds, but I always feel like I am paying to much and want to enjoy them all the time.
Well I found a recipe for this tasty almonds! It is super easy and they are delish!
Crock Pot Cinnamon Almonds
4 cups whole raw almonds
2 egg whites
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon
dash of salt
Spray crockpot with non stick spray.
In separate containers:
Combine sugars, cinnamon and salt.
Whisk egg white & vanilla until frothy.
Add almonds to egg white/vanilla mixture, and toss until coated. Add sugar mix and toss until coated. Dump into crock pot and cook on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Mix and stir every 20 minutes or so. Spread on baking sheet until cool
You will know when the almonds are done, the mixture will start to harden at around the 2 1/2 hour mark.
You also don't want to line the cookie sheet with anything because the mixture is hardened you will have very little to clean off the cookie sheet.

Earring Display/Storage (Pinterest)

 I have a ton of earrings and needed a cute way to display them. So of course I searched Pinterest and found a few different options. The most common stud earring displays were frames with lace in them, or just sticking the earrings into a fabric covered bulletin board. While they are cute, I needed a lot of storage, and those were for people with just a few earrings.
Then I stumbled across this idea, which I made into my own.
What this crafty gal did was take a shoe box lid, spray paint it and wrap pencils in felt. Then she places the earrings inside!
Here's my twist with steps:
I bought a cigar box from Jo-ann removed the hardware and lid and spray painted it with 2 coats of black, sanding inbetween, and a clear coat. Between the coats I cut the wooden dowels just a little bit smaller than a perfect fit. Then I folded a sheet of felt in fourths, placed the dowel on top and cut off the excess. Then I cut the sheet of felt in half. Then I put hot glue on the length of the dowel, wrapped the felt and secured with more hot glue.
Then after the clear coat dried I stuck in the wooden dowels and started to arrange my earrings!
SO cute and took about an hour!!!
Because of how shallow the box was I just used 1/2 thick dowels.
I am going to make another one, (to store all of my big studs and duplicate earrings... what can I say Forever 21 make way too many cute earrings) but I am going to keep the lid attached so that I can stack (or lean) the finished tray on top!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Apple Brickle Dip

Apple Brickle Dip
1 pkg (8oz) softened cream cheese
1 pkg (10oz) English toffee chips *
¼ cup sugar
½ cup Brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
Mix together and enjoy with some granny Smith apples!!! I like the dip best the next day when the toffee chips have softened. *there are just plain toffee chips, and one with chocolate. I've only tried the plain ones, but am sure it's great with chocolate too!
Also some grocery stores only have one kind of the toffee chips. The Harmon's I went to had the plain chips, and Winco have the toffee with chocolate.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Coffee Creamer Container Reuse (Pinterest)

 I love coffee creamer, especially of the yummy flavors they have around the holidays. I had 9 in my fridge at one point. The hubby just rolled his eyes, he's getting used to my buying in multiples, he doesn't get it, but is getting used to it.
So I saw on pinterest that moms were using them for snack containers for their kids, which is super smart! They won't get crushed in a baggie and you can just pour the snack into the kiddo's hand.
Well I don't have kids, but I immediately knew what I could put in the containers as I would empty them. From left to right I have, so far: bacon bits, sunflower seeds, popcorn kernels, hot chocolate, and crushed candy canes.
I was having a really hard time filling the containers with a normal funnel, (things were getting stuck about every 5 seconds) and then realized I had a wide mouth funnel, it fit perfectly!!!!
As more containers empty I know that I will find something to fill them with or pass them on to others.
The only thing missing is a super cute label.

Roasted Carrots (Pinterest)

 I love carrots! I love them in salads, with dip, and with a meal. So I was really excited to try this roasted carrot receipe.
They take less than 30 minutes, including prep.
They looked and smelled so yummy that last time they came out of the oven.
Well ... I found out that I only like mushy carrots when they are warm. They were great, but I was thrown off by a warm carrot and them being crunchy at the same time.
Finshed Product!!! Smells so good!
Roasted Carrots 
Preheat oven to 400. Bake 1 bag of baby carrots with seasoning salt and olive oil for 20 minutes. Take out and drizzle with 2 TBSP olive oil. 3 TBSP honey & 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 5 mintues.
SIDE NOTE: Move the carrots from the pan into a serving dish or bowl and rinse the pan so the honey doesn't harden.
I really liked the taste, it was the crunch that I disliked. I will attempt this again, but cook them in a pan beforehand. Hopefully that will give me the desired result!

Coconut Scrub/Bars (Pinterest)

 So I have been hearing and seeing all kinds of things about coconut oil. So I decided to try a scrub and I learned something interesting along the way.
All you need is sugar, coconut oil and a container. (at least I thought so ... more on the container later)
I bought the coconut oil at Wal-Mart for $6.
 I got everything ready and then I opened the coconut oil to pour into a measuring cup.
Well ... to my surprise coconut oil is solid! I had no idea! So I proceeded to scrape the oil out into my measuring cup and melt it in the microwave.  
After it melted I put any excess back into the jar, and then poured into a container with the sugar.  
While I was mixing the oil and sugar together I realized that the sugar won't stop the oil from hardening.  
Thankfully because of my list of things I needed to purchase for all of my pinterest creations, and a great sale at Jo-ann's I bought this silicone dish/pan/tray thing for half off!!! (I'll be using it later for solid lotion bars)
I layed it out and scooped out the mix (I would stir the mix in the container each time, just so that one 'starburst' didn't have more oil or sugar than another) The mix filled all the starbursts perfectly!
I think that I know what I'll be doing for Christmas gifts already!
Coconut Scrub
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil
SIDE NOTE: While I haven't tried it, other than the little bit leftover from the container, (while the oil was still warm) I bet these will be great in a warm shower! Just don't forget to wipe the tub/floor down so it isn't slick with the oil. 

Envelopes (Pinterest)

 So I have way too much paper. And when I say I have too much of something, it means I have as much paper in my possession, as a craft store has in stock.
I have started finding all kinds of things to do with all of my paper. One of them, are the cute envelopes below. All you have to do is gently pull apart a small-medium envelope and trace it out. Then you just cut and glue, or tape, the bottom and two side folds together.
I love these envelopes! With all of the cute paper, whether printed or solid, you have a cute hand made envelope that is great for thank you notes, or just to put a cute note in for your friends and family! 

Thin Mints? (Pinterest)

It's the time of year for those cute little girls with boxes of cookie goodness to find you and rip you off.
Don't get me wrong I don't have an issue paying for something I like, but last year my Husband and I bought a case of thin mints and I was pretty sad to see that the amount of cookies was much smaller from previous years. So being my frugal self I figured I would try to replicate them.
So I found a simple recipe that was easy and would be good. While I was right on both counts they didn't taste like thin mints, more like a york peppermint patty cookie. So it was a miss on what it was supposed to be, but a surprise hit in another way.
It might be weird to think of using a Ritz cracker, but I have a great recipe for mock toffee that uses saltines and you can't even taste it because all the other flavors take over the cracker flavor.
I am pretty obsessed with containers of any kind and labeling... How cute is my chocolate chip jar!!!
So it was just 4 ingredients. Ritz crackers, semisweet chocolate chips, shortening and peppermint extract. Easy Peasy!
York Peppermint Cookies ... formerly Thin Mints
18 Ritz Crackers
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 TBSP shortening (this is just to make the chocolate smooth)
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Melt the chocolate and shortening, stir in extract (and don't spill the bottle 3 different times like I did, I very clumsy) Dip the crackers and place on wax paper.

They are yummy! ENJOY!!!

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken (Pinterest)

 So I love sweet and salty/tangy food. So I thought I would give this garlic brown sugar chicken a try, and it was yummy! It took about 5 minutes to prep and 15-30 to bake (depending on the size of the chicken)
Grease a casserole dish and place the chicken inside.
Then saute the minced garlic and add the brown sugar when done.
Pour mix over chicken and bake.
 The chicken was yummy.
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken:
4 Chicken breasts
4 minced garlic cloves
4TBSP brown sugar
3tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 500. Lightly grease casserole dish and place chicken inside. Saute the garlic until tender. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Cover chicken with mix and S&P. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes. ENJOY!!!

SIDE NOTE: Since this chicken had an Asian chicken feel it would go great with some rice.

Heart Bracelet (Pinterest)

 I'm sure you have seen the cute wire bracelet with a heart on one end and a hook on the other, so that it makes a cute bracelet? Well I thought I'd give it a try.
I will warn you ahead of time, I don't make jewelery. I can string some beads and tie clasps on things, but this isn't something I have even tried.
I got this wire at the dollar store. It was just labeled as floral wire, but wasn't a weak wire. So I figured for a $1 why not try it out?
So you take a few inches from one end, fold in half and bend into a 'hook'. For some of this I needed some pliers to get the wire close together.

From there you take the other end and shape it into a heart, that was the hardest part for me, and I had to make 3 to make it look like the above photo.
I really like the idea and think that I will keep trying until I can get it down, and then I will go get some better wire from a craft store! 

Cutting Wine Bottles (Pinterest)

So I have wanted to try this for a long time, and I had a random day off and 2 sparkling cider bottles laying around.
Let's be honest, I was cleaning my craft room and had to move the bottles about 15 times and I realized that I've had the bottles laying around for about 3 months. I figured rather than keeping moving them around, why not break the top off of those suckers.
 Just take a clean bottle and wrap a cotton string around (3 times, or more if your string is thinner) the part of the bottle you want to break. 
Then slide the string off and soak it in acetone nail polish remover.
Slide the string back on the bottle and light it. Rotate the bottle so that the fire is all the way around and heats evenly.
Once the flame starts to die down, or goes out, dunk the bottle in a sinkfull of cold water.
The bottle should break and you have a cute cup, pen holder or planter.
 The bottle on the left was the first bottle and it broke on the first try. But there was a crack on the left side. I ended up throwing it away because I didn't want the crack to break later on.
The bottle on the right took a few tries, but turned out the best, the edges were a lot smoother than the first bottle, but they were still sharp. (I have a cut to prove it).
All you have to do is sand the edges to make them smooth. I will keep trying until I get a more uniform cut, and I will dip the tops in glue and then glitter and put tea lights in the bottom!!!
The possibilites are endless!

Bathroom Cleaner (Pinterest)

Ever feel like you have way too many cleaning supplies for your bathroom? I did. I had something for the sink, and the tub, and the toilet, and the floor, etc. Underneath my sink looked like this:

Well I found an amazing cleaner that I love and it works for everything!!!
Just mix 2 liters (68oz) of water, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar together in a big bowl. This will give you enough for 2 32oz spray bottles + some.
Just spray and wipe or scrub and your bathroom will be sparkling!
SIDE NOTE: You can add fragrance if desired so that the vinegar isn't strong. I didn't at a fragrance, just because I didn't think that the cleaner would work as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Roast (Pinterest)

So I am going to just be 100% honest. I am an amazing wife. But I fail in one area. COOKING. I am decent at it, I'm just not a fan. I would much rather pay to eat out. Baking is more my game. (which is funny, because 99.8% of the time I never eat what I bake)
But I want to have some easy meals in my back pocket, for those times that we just want a good ol' home cooked meal.
I love cooking with my crock pot, there is nothing better that throwing some food in, turning it on, and coming home to a house that smells delicious and the food is even better.
This roast was easy peasy and super duper yummy!!! This is definitely a keeper. In fact it is so good we are making it again tonight and we just tried it about 10 days ago.
Pot Roast:
2-5 lbs roast (since there are only 2 of us, we did a 1.5 lb roast)
1 envelope each: brown gravy, ranch & italian dressing (I mixed all 3 together & used 2/3 of the mix)
Put enough potatoes and carrots to cover the bottom of the crock pot, place roast on top. Sprinkle the 3 packets over top, add water and cook on low for 6-10 hours. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pretzel/Chocolatey Goodness (pinterest)

 Just to warn you, these are addicting!
I don't know what to call them but they perfectly combine sweet and salty in one.
They take a bit of time to make just because you lay out pretzels, unwrap hugs and/or kisses, and then place an M&M on top when they come out of the oven.
You just lay out wax or parchment paper (I used wax), lay the pretzels down, top with the chocolate, and bake for about 5 minutes.
When they come out of the oven place and press an M&M on top. You WILL get chocolate on your hands, unless you have super powers.  

  The only thing that I disliked is that they took a while to set up. I just wanted to eat them.
I personally liked the hugs best, but they are both great. These would also be cute with the seasonal M&M's for different holidays if you are having a party or need to bring a treat.
Pretzel/Chocolate Goodness
Square pretzels
Kisses and or Hugs
Plain M&M's
On cookie sheet place a sheet of wax or parchment paper down. Lay down pretzels and top with kiss/hug. Bake on 200 for about 5 minutes, the chocolate just needs to be soft. Remove and top with M&M.
SIDE NOTE: I used a bag each of hugs and kisses. I would probably find a big bag next time, because I could have easily used 2 bags of each to use up all of the pretzels and M&M's. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mary Kay Satin Hands (Pinterest)

 All you need for this Mary Kay Satin Hands copycat is sugar, Dawn olay hand renewal and a container.
There are 4 different scents to choose from!
 Mix everything together and enjoy!
M. K. Satin Hands Copycat
3/4 c. sugar
Dawn dish soap with Olay hand renewal
Put sugar in container (8 or 12oz) and pour soap until reaches the top of the jar. Mix and use.
SIDE NOTE: The mix is SUPER runny! But it was pretty close to M.K. Satin Hands.