Home & Recipes

Miracle Bathroom Cleaner

When we moved into our new home I quickly released that the previous owners hadn’t cleaned the house in probably the 10 years they lived there. It was so gross! I discovered  trash, noodles and toys in the vents, dirt that had been there for so long it was sticky, and found out what we thought were rust stains in the bathroom… well, weren’t rust.Yeah. Nasty.

Miracle BathroomCleaner

After several deep, deep, deep cleanings and a few bottles of bleach, I finally felt like the house was livable.However, our bathtub is the original tub from 1982 and is pretty badly stained. I had tried everything to get this tub looking decent. I tried baking soda, vinegar, Clorox, a number of different cleaning products, soap scum removers, every Pinterest hack I could find, bleach, etc. Nothing was getting the job done. I could spend hours scrubbing the tub down and it still looked like I never cleaned it. Then my mom told me she read something on Pinterest about a really expensive product that had great reviews. I thought, “Okay, I’d be willing to spend $40 on a product that will make the tub look nice.” Well, I couldn’t find the post she was talking about. What I did find was a much cheaper alternative. Borax. I thought to myself, “It’s cheaper and worth a shot.” I went to Wal-Mart and found 20 Mule Team Borax, went home and got to it.

So, I decided to take a before shot of my “clean” bathtub.

That’s not lack of a good cleaning for several days or months… That is just how my tub always looks.

After my 20 Mule Team Borax scrubbing.
Tub_After

Huge difference! There’s still a stain right down the middle of the tub, but even that’s not as bad as before.

Borax

So, what is 20 Mule Team Borax? It is a natural mineral used for all sorts of stuff; cleaning, laundry, even gardening I found out! I’m going to try it out in the next load of laundry I do.

You can buy just about anywhere, but I just stopped by my local Wal-Mart and picked it up in the Laundry aisle.

 

 

 

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Home & Recipes

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup is the ultimate comfort food and such a classic! It’s the perfect food for a cold winter night, or when you feel a cold coming on.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, there wasn’t a blizzard the the other night when I decided to try my hand at a “this is what I have in the fridge and pantry” version of this classic feel good food, but it’s wasn’t particularly warm either. I love dishes that you can make your own and don’t require a grocery run. I work full time and don’t have the time (or ability, really) to make extraordinary gourmet meals. I like quick and simple.  So, here’s my quick and easy take on a timeless classic…

2 Chicken breasts
1 cup of Chicken broth
2 cups of water
Carrots (To my liking. I also cut them up)
Peas (To my liking)
About 2 teaspoons of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Shell noodles

I threw 2 whole chicken breasts in my crock pot and added the garlic, about a half cup chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken), 1 cup of water, carrots, peas, salt and pepper. I then let it cook on slow for 8 1/2 hours, added the rest of the broth and water. Then I added my noodles and let them cook in the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until done. I added more salt and pepper until I thought it tasted right. I would have added celery, but I didn’t have any, so I skipped it this time.

Voilà! Now snuggle up with loved ones and enjoy.

Home & Recipes

DIY: Christmas Ornament

DIY_Beach OrnamentMy husband and I decided to start a new tradition; anytime we go on vacation we will get a Christmas ornament from that place. Well, when we went to Puerto Rico we weren’t able to find an ornament that we really liked. So, I decided that I’d make one from the seashells and sand we collected on the beach.

It was so easy and cheap to make… $1 for the ornament I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. It also ended up being so much more special than just buying some random ornament. I thought I’d share to spark your creativity, or maybe inspire you to do something similar with memories your family creates.

beach ornament

Home & Recipes

Quick And Easy Goulash

I’m not a huge fan of cooking, but I am a huge fan of eating. So, I cook. I like to find quick and easy recipes that don’t require much prep-time, cook time, ingredients that I’ll only use once, etc. I love Pinterest and all the wonderful recipes it offers, but I still have some favorites that I learned from my mamma!

This is one of those dinners that mom would throw together and I learned how to make. My hubby loves this one and it’s so easy to make! I make this more often than not, but it’s also great because you don’t need much. And honestly, you can use whatever is in your pantry and really make it your own as well by throwing in whatever you happen to have on hand.

Quick and Easy Goulash

Here’s what you need:

  • A big pan or pot
    – I like to use my Cuisinart Everyday Pan

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Ground beef
  • Noodles (I usually use Egg Noodles, but Rotini is what I had on hand)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two cans of diced tomatoes
  • Two cups of water
  • Cheese (any kind will do, but I like cheddar cheese)

Easy, huh?

I brown and season my hamburger in my pan, then throw in my two cans of diced tomatoes until warm. Then I reduce the heat to medium low and throw in my noodles and water. I cover my pan and let cook and occasionally stir. Once the noodles are softer, but not quite done, I sprinkle my cheese over it to melt.

index

Now enjoy a yummy dinner and have left overs for another meal.

Home & Recipes

DIY Fall Wreath

DIY_ Fall Wreath

I am so beyond non-creative it’s not even funny! My mom can sew anything, take a few random items and creative something beautiful out them, however, that gifting or gene just passed right over me. Honestly, I should start a section of this blog titled “Pinterest Fails”. I always have good intentions and even some good ideas, but fail to execute them. So, it made me laugh when I decided to make my own fall wreath….

I mentioned on my Facebook page (Here’s a link to My Facebook Page) that I was attempting a DIY fall wreath and that if it went well I’ll blog about it. Much to my surprise, it went well! Okay, I got off to a rough start, but I have successfully created my very own fall wreath and it’s managed to stay together and hang on my front door for about 3 weeks!

My mom gave me a bunch of her old/extra crafting materials and I bought my very own hot glue gun (yes, I am a gun owner now 😉 ) and started crafting!

 

First I laid everything out and decided on how I wanted it all pieced together. I had some different kinds of ribbon, a wooden “B” that I painted and so faux pumpkins and gourds. None of which made it onto my wreath, but hey… never despise small beginnings 🙂

Wreath

Then I started actually committing and gluing the extra foliage and pine cones down.

Wreath2

Then I decided that I was going to make a beautiful bow to put at the top right-hand side of the wreath….  And as you can see I was not lying about my crafting skills. After several frustrating attempts I decided a bow out of this ribbon was not necessary. Wreath1

I played around with the “B” and it just didn’t look right anyway on the wreath, so I scrapped that. I then took some burlap and finally succeed at a bow! It’s not exactly the bow I pictured in my head when I was envisioning my fall wreath, but it wasn’t quite as bad as my wire ribbon bow.

 

 

Here’s the final product! Nothing to write home about, but it was easy, cheap and my first DIY wreath. Not to mention probably the only craft project I’ve ever completed! Who knows, maybe I’ll become a master crafter like my mama and be posting pieces y’all will be jealous of! … And if not, you can always count on me to feel better about your craft projects!

Wreath4

Home & Recipes

Easily Delicious Burritos

Easily Delicious BurritosWhen my husband and I first got married, we were both concerned about the cooking… I was worried because I hadn’t cooked much and only knew how to make like three meals. My husband, bless his heart, never told me he was also concerned and worried about what he would eat! Until I had done the unthinkable – By the grace of God I managed to cook a new meal almost every night for the first month of our marriage! Sure, it was a lot the same type/style of meals, but different nonetheless. Chicken and rice with a twist, anyone? My husband is always praising me for my cooking; I personally think he’s just amazed I don’t always burn the food and it’s not the same burned meal every night 🙂 Because I’m not by any means a great cook. I am truly a blessed woman! And he is always offering to just have a “sandwich night” so that I don’t have to cook. Plus, he loves leftovers! That’s right ladies, I hit the jackpot! While trying to expand my horizons, I stumbled across a burrito recipe on Pinterest that looked pretty easy. I’m terrible at following recipes, though, so I loosely followed the recipe and kind of made it my own. I hate measuring things out and do everything based on my “that looks about right” gauges. However, I did give rough measurements below! I love how quick and easy this recipe is. And it’s very inexpensive. It takes about 20-30 minutes and it’s very versatile. You can add or substitute in whatever you’d like! You could pinto beans instead of black, or both! We’ve tried adding white rice to it, which wasn’t a hit, however, I’d do it differently now. I just threw in plain white rice. Now I would try cooking the rice in with the chicken/bean mixture to give it more flavor. Seriously, this is just the start of possibilities for these easily delicious burritos! So for those of you who are like me and can’t figure out the difference between a chef’s knife and a santoku knife… this is for you! And for those of you who are top notch chefs, you can spice it up and share your ideas with the rest of us. Here’s the final product. These pictures do not even begin to do the burritos justice… IMG_5277 IMG_5279   The ingredients will make about 8-10 large burritos depending on how much you “stuff” the tortilla as well as the size of the tortillas. I like to make several, so that we have leftovers for lunches 🙂 Ingredients: Chicken (2 breast) Black beans (2-3 cans depending on your preference) Flour tortillas (I use the large Mission flour tortillas) Mexican style shredded cheese (1 bag) About 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili powder About 1 teaspoon Cumin Olive oil Salt, if desired Toppings of your choice We use our griddler to warm the tortillas, so if you have one, that’s awesome, but it’s not necessary. Directions: Cut chicken into small cubes/bite size pieces and throw into a large skillet that’s coated slightly in olive oil. Cook on medium/high. Shake chili and cumin powder over chicken until thoroughly covered. IMG_6927 Once the chicken is cooked, pour in the beans and let simmer until warmed. On medium/low heat, warm your tortilla on the griddler for a few seconds until it softens (I was inspired by Chipotle). IMG_6930 Now for the assembly… Spread the cheese out in the center of your warm tortilla and add chicken/bean mixture besides the cheese. IMG_6931 Roll up the tortilla and place on the griddler for a few more seconds to melt the cheese. Serve with your favorite toppings such as salsa, sour cream, lettuce, etc. If you try this recipe and like it, or try varieties of it, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear what everyone else comes up with 🙂 ~Ashley