Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Organizational Tip

Take some time each day this week to clear out your email in-box before the new year. This week I deleted thousands of emails to clear my in-boxes for the new year. Email can be just as annoying as junk mail when you just ignore it and leave it in your in-box unread. Sometimes I tell myself, I'm not interested but maybe another day I will be interested in checking out the sale or whatever it is. The truth of the matter is if I don't read emails when I get them it's usually too late by the time I do get around to them.

So a new year's resolution of mine is to stay on top of emails. I plan to make it a priority to keep my in-box clean and uncluttered. Care to join me?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Photo Ornaments for less than $1.00 each

Last year a good friend of mine, (Helen) showed me an ornament that a family member had made and gifted to different members of her family. This year I gave it a try and loved the outcome. It was so easy and inexpensive I figured I would share in case anyone wants to give it a try next year (sorry I am just getting around to it but December is such a busy month!). Total cost was less than $1 an ornament.

First I purchased clear bulbs (50% off at Hobby Lobby for course).

Then I made a pdf with different size round photos. I had to guess on the size that would fit in the different size ornaments I purchased. You can practice but printing on regular paper and cutting and inserting into the glass ornament (use tweezers if you get it stuck).

After that I had the pdf's printed at Office Max on transparency paper. This is a clear paper that usually people use on a projector that displays on the screen when light shines through it. I could get about 6 circle photos on one 8.5x11 sheet and it cost me $0.70 for black and white or $1.40 or so for color. Much better in my opinion than buying the pack of 50 sheets for $50 only to print out home using my ink.. My gosh, that would be 300 ornaments worth and a lot of ink!

When you pick them up after they are printed there is white paper behind them. This makes it easy to see that they printed correctly and in my opinion easier to cut into circles.

After you cut them out you roll them up and insert them into the glass ornaments, they just pop open. You only need one per ornament. Note if you cut too small they will rotate in your ornament, this could be a good thing or a bothersome thing. 

Then comes the fun part where you get to tie ribbon on them or put fake snow inside them. Next year I might try some colorful beads at the bottom. This year I just used glitter on a few and fake snow on the rest.

As you can see, when the light shine through the photo is visible from both directions.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Have a mentioned lately what a wonderful husband I have? I came home the other night to these beautiful flowers. No occasion or real reason... just a little note that he loves me. December is a busy month for most everyone, how sweet he was to go out of his way to do something special for me when there is so much stuff going on. I'm so blessed!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our 2010 Christmas Card- Finally ordered!

Here is the general idea of our Christmas card photo for our cards this year... I ordered the cards on snapfish for 30%off plus free shipping (1208MERRY, expires today). The card has the decorative border around it and says, "Have a Merry Christmas and a GRAND new year!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snapfish- Photobooks 50% off

Snapfish photobooks are 50% off until December 17th with the coupon code 1211MERRY.

What a steal!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our 2010 Christmas Card

I've been thinking really hard for months now about what to do for our Christmas card. I really liked how last year's turned out and I'm running out of time to get this years done and mailed.

Here is 2009 card (children names omitted)...
 Today I finally decided what to do for our card! I think it may even top last years. ;) Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Tree is up!

What a wonderful weekend with my loving family! I finished a perfect weekend by putting our Christmas tree up with my mom before she headed home. Obviously a few lights are out.. so I will be putting a few new strands on. I will probably spend the next week pondering how I am going to decorate it. This will be the first year that I put up two trees in this house and I'm excited about decorating this tree in a special way. The tree is a lot larger than it looks it's 9 foot and super wide! I will be blog-hopping this week looking for ideas. Please leave me a comment if you have photos of your tree posted!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

Another yummy recipe you should try if you like pumpkin!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins the recipe was found here at 'What's for Dinner?' blog.
I made these last week and my family devoured them in minutes. They have the perfect amount of sweetness and an interesting (in a good way) texture. I will be making these again!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bathroom Cleaning- Organized Bucket

With 5 bathrooms to clean now (which include 7 sinks, yikes!) I've decided to get my cleaning supplies a bit more organized.

Now I have all of my bathroom cleaning supplies in one bucket so I can just pick it up on the day I have assigned to clean bathrooms and do my rounds.

I have my bucket clearly labeled so no one decides to dump it and use it for another purpose. I also put a laminated "Bathroom Cleaning Checklist" so if anyone else is assigned bathrooms they will know exactly what needs done.
See below for what I am keeping in my bathroom bucket.

First, toilet bowl cleaner and a brush. I used to have a brush by every toilet but then I decided that was just gross. I never got around to disinfecting them all, the bathroom harbors so many germs and I had to move it to sweep and mop around anyhow. So that is the reason I now use one, I can bleach the one when I finish cleaning all of the bathrooms.
 Next is my shower and tub cleaner, sponge and expandable scrubbing tool.
 Followed by Windex and a squeegee. I have tried many glass cleaners and have never found one I like as well as Windex. And since I use Windex on the facets I like this multi-surface antibacterial Windex best for the bathrooms.
 Usually the boys empty all of the trashes in the house but I do keep a baggie of trash bags in case I need to collect trash from the bathrooms (no reason to make multiple trips out with the trash cans I just dump it in a bag and continue filling up the bag). I included rubber gloves in the bucket as well because you will never see me cleaning without them on!

And the last thing I made to keep in the ziplock bag are some reminders to leave behind in the boys bathrooms that I wrote on index cards. Here are examples of the ones I will be using this week.

So there you have it, my bucket of bathroom supplies.
I sweep and mop the bathroom floors every other time I clean the bathrooms (unless they look like they need it!). So if i need to mop I grab my MOP BUCKET.
 In my mop bucket I have an all purpose cleaning solution that I use and my mop. I fill this bucket up with hot water and make the rounds after the bathrooms are clean. Since I actually use the bucket I don't keep anything else in it.

What kind of system do you have for cleaning your bathrooms?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Basement Sneak Preview

I started a new job today and have just been so busy that I haven't had a chance to do the basement reveal. Actually, I still need to do things like make curtains and decorate but here is a sneak preview of how the Basement bar/ Kitchen turned out!

Keep in mind how it looked a few months ago!

 It was my first tiling job ever!

And again... now

I hope everyone is well!

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dinners for the month of October

I start a new job in 7 days and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity. God is so good! In the meantime I am trying to get my house in order and dinners planned for the next month. Yes, you saw that right for the next month. I'm used to having dinner on the table for my family around 5:30 and starting next week I won't even be home until nearly 6. In order to have dinner ready in a snap I am going to have to plan further out as well as do some of the preparation in advance.

This is what I have on my menu list for the month of October, in no particular order:
Potato Soup
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Sloppy Joes
Chicken Pot Pie
Green Bean Chili
Salisbury Steak
Hamburger Chili
Chicken Cheese Enchiladas
Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Spaghetti Pie
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Rotisserie Chicken
Chicken Nachos
Chicken Wings
Fried Chicken
Chicken Salad on Croissant
Corn Dogs
Upside down day- Breakfast for dinner (biscuits/gravy and bacon)
Turkey Club Sandwiches

Now it's time to put them in order and plan the shopping list(s). Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Score! my $5 resale find

I have been on the lookout for some of these! Actually just one.. but I was delighted to find a pair. And $5 for both of them?! A steal!

They need a bit of cleaning, but I can hardly wait to use them in my decor! I really like when I find something I am hunting for!

There are garage sales everywhere right now! My house rule is something has to leave for everything that comes in. I have a box of items in my car waiting to be donated. I take this rule seriously. It's actually easier than you think to abide by this rule, there is always a shirt or SOMETHING that is no longer being used. How do you keep yourself from collecting too much stuff?

Linking to2nd Time Around.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hubby's salmon dinner

Our week's menu got switched around when the hubby offered to make dinner for me tonight. Salmon is one of the delicious things he bakes and tonight it was as delicious as always.

His secret ingredient...

If you like salmon and this is not in your spice cabinet, go buy some! You will not be disappointed. Salmon, butter and this seasoning is all you need for some wonderful baked salmon. If you have never baked salmon before you can follow the easy baking instructions on the back of the 'Magic Salmon Seasoning' bottle.

I am so grateful for a hubby that offers to make ME dinner for no reason whatsoever.

Linking to Wednesday Gratitude.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Meal Planning

Here is our menu for this week!

  • Monday -- Chicken Nachos
  • Tuesday --Meatloaf w/ mashed potatoes
  • Wednesday -- Baked Salmon
  • Thursday -- Spaghetti w/ garlic bread 
  • Friday -- Bierocks
  • Saturday -- Another attempt at Butter Chicken w/ this yummy naan
  • Sunday -- Waffle and Bacon Brunch and "Seek and you shall find" for dinner (aka: left overs)
If you missed my post about the Asian home cooking class I hosted this week, check it out here.

Blooming Flowers

It's fall and my flowers are still in full bloom. I'm not complaining, I'm going to just keep on enjoying these flowers which have been blooming for months. I think I only paid $1.19 for the packet of seeds!

Carmel Apples

I made the cutest little caramel apple bites that I found on Christy's blog.

 I used a melon baller and made little bite size caramel dipped apples just like she instructed.

All went well until..... I put them in the fridge for a while and all of the carmel mixed with the apple's juice and became a big gooey yummy mess. Note to self.. eat bite size caramel apples right away.. DO NOT TELL family that they can't have them until later. Serve as soon as they are finished!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Asian Cuisine- Home Cooking Class

Last night I hosted a cooking class for some of my friends/family that enjoy cooking. Some of the awesome Hmong gals I work with came over to teach us how to make homemade spring rolls, egg rolls and a peanut sauce. Everything was so delicious! After we all helped prepare we sat down and had a nice dinner together.

If you know someone that likes to cook and has a specialty you should try hosting something similar. It's interesting how much you learn.. and how much fun you will have! Two of us bought the ingredients, mainly because I left the Asian store shopping up to to them, and then we just split the total grocery bills between the 10 of us. $5 a person and that included dinner, a night of entertainment and a cooking class... what a STEAL!!

Homemade Serving Stand- Total cost $.98


I made a cute little homemade serving stand the other day for a total cost of $.98

First I purchased this blue dish for $.49 at a resale store...
And at the same store, during the same trip, I also purchased a white plate for another $.49. I had some left over red spray paint from recent project (that I will be sharing soon) so I used that and sprayed the blue dish red.  I just wanted something red to use this fall and winter, I had nothing against the blue.


Next I simply placed the white plate on top. It fit in a way that it wouldn't slip. I did not attach the two so I could take it apart for easy storage.

 Linking to Metamorphosis Monday.

Basement-Still coming along

A few weeks ago my hubby and one of his best buddies installed the basement kitchen cabinets. I snapped a photo because I wanted you to see the first thing to go into my new cabinets... their beers!

Then today my dad helped my hubby install the kitchen sink and garbage disposal! Yea!

It's so wonderful to have a great family that is always willing to lend a helping hand. And while the men were at work I had some quality time with my mom.

Next on the list... finishing up the basement bathroom!