Saturday, December 31

21 Days To A Clean Organized Home: Getting Ready

Tomorrow is the big day...the start of my 21 Days Series. If you haven't already signed up, run over here and join. 


I wanted to give you a few tips to get you ready and a list of a few things to have on hand.

First off, remember that it didn't take you 21 days to get your house unorganized. But with baby steps, everyday, you will make progress and see the fruit of your labor. 

Some great things that will help you through the process is a large box, a few trash bags and some organizing bins. 


The box will be used for collecting items that will be for donation. The trash bags will be for, you guessed it, trash. And the bins will be helpful to keep items separated and easy to find. 



Here's a little secret...right now, tons of stores have their organizational supplies on sale. Target, Home Depot and even the Dollar Store would be great places to pick up some plastic totes, baskets and such. 

If you have a label marker, that would be great too! But if you don't, that's ok. I don't. But I will have labels for you....of yes! Just you wait and see!! ;)

So, gather a few things up today and I will meet you back here tomorrow for the first day...so excited!


Photo Credit:
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Photo #3



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New Year Resolutions for 2012

 
It's that time of year again...time to set some new goals for 2012. To begin this process, I had to look back over last years goals. After a little reviewing, I see that I accomplished one and I am still working on the rest.

So this year, I think I am going to change things up a bit and set some different goals. That doesn't mean I am throwing the goals from last year out the window. I still need to pay off debt, I am still saving for an anniversary trip, and I will always be working on building stronger faith in God. (That's for sure!)


This year I am going to set a few black and white goals...and see what I can accomplish. Besides my new goal of having a clean organized home, I have a few others....


Goal #1...
I am going to try to always have two veggies at 2 out of 3 meals.
 
 Goal #2...
I am going to drink more water and only have one soda a week.


Goal #3....
I am going to read 30 minutes before bed on the weeknights.
(My husband loves this goal...he likes to read)


Goal #4....
I am going to set my bedtime at 10:30 on weeknights.


Goal #5....
I am going to try to think more positive about myself. 
My mind is a powerful tool...I want to use it for good. :)


And that's it...my new black and white goals. I know some of these goals are going to be harder than others. But if can do them all, I think my health and mind will thank me!

I wish all of you a very Happy New Year! Hugs!

So how about you, have you set any goals for the new year?


Photo Credit:
photo #1
photo #2
photo #3
photo #4
photo #5
photo #6

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Sunday Coupon Preview

Hi there and happy New Year's Eve! It looks like they are starting the year off right with tons of coupons.

Sunday Coupon Preview has the new list of this Sunday's coupon inserts. Looks like there will be 4 inserts this week;  (2) Smartsource insert, (1) Red Plum insert and (1) P&G insert.

Here's a list of the coupons that I liked from this insert:

Smartsource:
Sargento Save $.50/1 Natural Cheese snack
Colgate Save $.75/1 toothpaste 4oz+
To see the complete list of Smartsource coupons, go HERE.

Snuggle Save $.50/1 fabric softener liquid or dryer sheets
To see the complete list of Red Plum coupons, go HERE.

P&G:
Crest Save $.75/1 toothpaste 4oz or larger
Tide Save $2/1
To see the complete list of P&G coupons, go HERE.

Please remember, that coupons do vary by region. So you may not receive all the coupons listed here in your local newspaper.

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Friday, December 30

Everything You Need For New Year's Eve!

 
New Year's Eve is only two days away. And if you are planning a party, I thought I would give you some celebratin' inspiration...


This Taco Cups appetizer could not be more simple. And I don't know about you, but I think mexican food goes with every holiday! :)


In Spain, revelers mark the New Year by quickly eating a dozen grapes at midnight. The fruits are said to be a predictor of the year ahead: Each sweet grape represents a good month, each sour grape a less-than-lucky one. Try adding this tradition by threading grapes onto skewers, and serve each in a glass of Champagne just before the countdown.


Do you need some free printable for your New Year's Eve party? The TomKat Studio has some very classy labels for you to print. 


And the perfect dessert? How about some Ball Drop Cupcakes. Confessions of a Cookbook Queen tells you how she made these party treats!


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Wednesday, December 28

21 Days To A Clean Organzied Home: Introduction

Did you know that January is National "Get Organized" Month? My house is in desperate need of some organization. So I decided one of my new goals for 2012 is to have a more clean and organized home.

And it so happens that this new goal of mine started me thinking. Maybe I could motivate myself to be more organized by sharing my progress in hopes of motivating you! So that's how the 21 Day Series was born!

Here's the Details!

Starting on Sunday, January 1, I will share a daily tip (except for Saturdays) to help inspire you to have a more clean and organized home. The only day I won't share is on Saturdays because that day is for you! You are going to check back here and link up your post to brag about your weekly progress for everyone to see, including me! Please include pictures, lots of pictures. Because, don't we all love a good before and after photo?!! I will also have some fun giveaways throughout the series to keep you encouraged!! :)

I have to tell you that I am so excited to do this because I think this is going to be pretty simple, very helpful and so rewarding for you and me. It's only 21 days, so I hope you will join me!

I only have one rule...I ask that you please put my link below on your blog. If you don't have a blog you can share with Facebook or Twitter. Just get the word out to your friends. Also, just so I know who will be following the series, would you please link up your blogs home page below and create a quick post about the series so others can know and join in on all the organizational fun. I want to inspire as many people as I can! :) And you can join at anytime!






Below is a list of the days so far. You are welcome to visit any of the days in the series....


Day 1: Menu Planning 
 
Day 2: Tupperware Organization
  
Day 3: Organizing Freezer Meat

Day 4: Cleaning The Junk Drawer

Day 5: Organizing Your Spices
 
Day 6: Lovin' The Oven Clean

Day 7: 5 Minutes To A Clean Microwave

Day 8: Organizing the Freezer (Part 1)

Day 9: Organizing the Freezer (Part 2)
 
Day 10: Customized Kitchen Utensils Drawer

Day 11: The Clean Coat Closet

Day 12: Organizing Your Desk

Day 13: The Pantry

Day 14: A Peek Under The Sink

Day 15: An Organized Fridge

Day 16: Under the Bathroom Sink

Day 17: A Look In My Medicine Cabinet

Day 18: Organizing Glass Bakeware

Day 19: Organizing Vitamins and Supplements

Day 20: Organizing Pots and Pans


Please don't forget to link up below so I know who is joining me on this fun 21 day journey! :) The adventure begins this Sunday!




The DIY Show Off

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Tuesday, December 27

Moms Win On Wednesdays! Link Up Your Giveaways!


List your giveaway here!! I am hosting a giveaway link every Wednesday on Inspiration For Moms. So if you or someone you know has a giveaway you think my readers would love to know about, please link up!!




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Monday, December 26

Top Ten of 2011

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying some much needed time off with family and friends. 2011 only has a few days left, so that means it's time for me to round up a few of my favorite posts. Here is my Top Ten List, follow the links to read the full story.








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M.A.D. Menu Plan Monday


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and was blessed with everything on your list!! Our menu for this week is a little different because on Saturday, we got some celebrating to do!!

Monday: Broccoli-Mushroom Cheddar Quiche with Hash-browns

Tuesday: Chicken and Cheese Turnovers with Garden Salad

Wednesday: Bean and Kale Soup with Jumbo Croutons

Thursday: Baked Fish Sticks with Homemade Tatar Sauce and Roasted Cauliflower

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Appetizer and Game Night--Happy New Year!!

Sunday: Slow Cooker Sunday: Southwestern Brunch Bake

Dessert For The Week: Crazy-good Cinnamon Rolls

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A Child's Laugh....


A child's laugh could simply be
one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.


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Saturday, December 24

My Favorite Picture and Merry Christmas To You!

I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas picture, thus far. Not to say, that some day he may top this one. But for now, it's got to be at the top of the list.

A little story behind the picture: My son is not usually excited about getting his picture taken. He will...but getting a good picture with him is tricky. Of course he needs to be looking at me, smiling, looking happy and not like his mother is forcing him to take a picture. You know, his natural handsome self. Like I said, tricky.

Well this year, he let me dress him in his finest and take a gazillion pictures of him so I could get just the right lighting (cause I don't know how to use my camera--a new years resolution possibly?). He was a super good sport. And he gave me an awesome picture....


Isn't he just the cutest?!! I think it turned out great. And the funny thing is...I think he likes the picture even more than I do! :) I think I will take the weekend off and spend time with my family. I have some exciting new projects planned for 2012 and I can't wait to give you a sneak peek next week! So, I will meet you back here on Monday~

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas 
and a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.



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Thursday, December 22

Candy Cane Sandwich Roll

Hi everyone! Can you believe only 3 more days until Christmas?! Wow! I think I finally finished shopping, I just need to wrap a few presents. Hope to finish that by tomorrow (fingers crossed).


Anyway, I wanted to share with you a little recipe that would be great for Christmas parties and even maybe a nice appetizer for Christmas eve.


It only requires a few ingredients...some deli meat, sliced cheese, crescent rolls, and some dijon mustard.



Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with some foil and spray with some PAM.

Then lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Pop that crescent roll can and spread out the crescent roll-do not separate. Pinch everything together so that you have one large piece of dough. Roll out into a a large rectangle


Brush the dough with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. 


Layer your meats down the center of the rectangle. Top the meats with the cheese.


Fold 1 side of the dough over the filling lengthwise. Then fold the other 1/2 over and press to seal the filling inside. Take 1 egg yolk, and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the egg yolk over the top of the dough.


The yolk will act as glue to hold the dough together. Fold the dough in 1/2 again lengthwise. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal. Press the outside of the dough to make sure everything is sealed tight and to make even thickness for the body of the candy cane. Taper the ends.


Shape your dough into a candy cane and place on your foil-lined baking sheet. Then use a toothpick and press it into the top of the dough lengthwise to make impressions for your stripes. Brush your egg yolk on every other stripe.


Then add red food coloring to your remaining yolk and brush the remaining stripes. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

And here is was it looks like after it has been cooked....


Okay, so my end result is not as pretty as I would like. But if you see it in person, it is rather cute.  I think this recipe is still worth a try! Oh, and did I tell you it's tasty, too!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. It will go by fast, so don't forget to stop and enjoy the magic of this time of year. :)



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Tuesday, December 20

Moms Win On Wednesdays! Link Your Giveaways!!


List your giveaway here!! I am hosting a giveaway link every Wednesday on Inspiration For Moms. So if you or someone you know has a giveaway you think my readers would love to know about, please link up!!




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Monday, December 19

My Holiday Cookie: Pear Pie Rugelach


I love the holidays for many reasons. But one of my favorite is holiday goodies. 

My mother-in-law makes her famous apple strudels...so good. Warm, with a scoop of ice cream and we can say life is good! 

A friend of the family makes her amazing Bakewells. Those are like a shortcrust pastry with a layer of jam and a sponge cake filling with almonds. They simply melt in your mouth! 

And another friend of the family makes a very delicious Kuga. It's like a flat sweet bread with a custard on top. It's great for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

Each one of these unique recipes are wonderful treats that only come to visit around the holidays. Special treats from special ladies.

I have been searching for years to find my special recipe. And according to my husband (who had about 10 of these today) the search is over! 

To be honest, I had never heard of a rugelach cookie before. So I did a little investigating and I discovered that rugelach is a Jewish pastry. 

And I have to say,  I just adore the shape of this cookie. To me, it's like a little love-filled crescent roll.


They are light and flaky and oh, so addictive! You simply, must try them!


Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours plus chilling and cooking 
Makes 64 cookies


Rugelach Dough:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt


Pear-Walnut Filling:
4 oz. dried pears, finely chopped (11/2 cup)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar


Spice Sugar:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon


3/4 cup pear jelly
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1) Prepare dough: In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy, scraping bowl occasionally. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour and salt just until blended, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to roll.


2) Meanwhile, prepare filling: In medium bowl, combine pears, walnuts and brown sugar.


3) Prepare Spice Sugar: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. 


4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.


5) Sprinkle work surface with 2 tablespoons Spice Sugar. Place 1 disk dough on top of sugar; turn over to coat both sides. Roll dough into 10-inch round, turning round over a few times and sprinkling dough with 2 more tablespoons Spice Sugar to coat both sides.


6) Spread top of round with 3 tablespoons jelly, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup filling, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge. With knife, cut dough into 16 equal wedges. Starting at wide end, roll up each wedge jelly-roll fashion. Place rugelach, 1 inch apart, on prepared baking sheet , point side down. 


7) Bake rugelach 30 to 33 minutes or until dough is browned and cooked through. Immediately transfer to wire rack to cool.


8) Repeat with remaining dough, Spice Sugar, jelly and filling. Store cookies in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week or in a freezer up to 3 months. Dust with confectioners' sugar to serve.


What's your favorite holiday treat?


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M.A.D. Menu Plan Monday


Last weeks menu was non-existent because I was so sick. I am slowly getting back on my feet so I am attempting to do that cooking thing again. :) Our menu for this week is as follows:

Monday: Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Tuesday: Candy Cane Sandwiches with Tomato Soup

Wednesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup and Cheese Quesdillas 

Thursday: Fish Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta and Cauliflower

Friday: Christmas Dinner out with Family

Saturday: Fun Appetizer Dinner 

Sunday: Christmas Dinner

Dessert For The Week: Pear Pie Rugelach (will be sharing this recipe tonight!)

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So Much Has Been Given...

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Saturday, December 17

Six On Saturday: New Uses For Vodka


Besides making a wonderful martini, vodka has some other great uses...

1) Repel those pesty insects. Pour a little saucy spirit in a spray bottle and squirt on the little buggers or yourself as a repellent.

Credit

2) Clean away mold. Instead of harsh chemical sprays, try filling a spray bottle with some bottom shelf vodka. Spritz on, then let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub away with an old toothbrush.

3) Fever reducer. If you are suffering with a fever, soak a washcloth in vodka and rub it on your chest and back as a liniment. 

4) Shine your fixtures. Moisten a soft cloth with vodka, then apply a little elbow grease. Soon your chrome, glass and porcelain will be shining like the top of the Chrysler Building.


5) Treat poison ivy. Immediately pour vodka on skin that has come in contact with poison ivy. The alcohol will wash away the itchy culprit, urushiol oil. 

6) Soothe Jellyfish stings. Vodka can disinfect and alleviate some of the bite of a jellyfish sting.



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Friday, December 16

Last Minute Decorations...

Well, Friday has finally arrived. It's hard to believe that Christmas is just a little over a week away!


I am so far behind, with being sick this week. It's funny how some colds will just suck the life out of you. I have felt so run down that I didn't make any neat Christmas decorations to share with you this year. But, I thought maybe I would revisit a cute decoration I made last year.



I discovered these cute Santa hats on one of my favorite blogs. I thought they looked easy enough to  make. And you know what? I was right. Super easy and super cute.



So if you are on the lookout for a cute last minute decoration, stop by Thirfty Decor Chick for the step-by-step instructions.



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Thursday, December 15

I Keep Hitting Escape

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