Monday, March 31, 2014

Share Your Stuff Tuesdays

Welcome to our party! You all had some great stuff for us last week so I am looking forward to seeing what you bring this week!

In case you missed it, here's what I was up to this week:

 Last week the post with the most views from our party was:
Easy Dessert No Bake Caramel Pie from It's a Keeper

Some of my favorites were:

Don't forget to grab a featured button from the buttons page at the top of the blog!  Also be sure to stop by the other hosts' sites to check out their favorites!
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Katie at Paradise Praises
FaceBook    Twitter    Pinterest    Google+    LinkedIn

Thanks for partying with us today!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Cleaning-Paper Clutter Update

Happy Sunday!  We are back for another round of Spring Cleaning talk!  We have a gorgeous Spring day here in the midwest, so it seemed like a great day for another cleaning post!  (But a quick one since I'm itching to get out into the warm sunshine with my kiddos!)

A while back I shared with you my method for keeping up with paper clutter.  You can see that post here.  In that post I mentioned that I had high hopes for a wall filing system to install for my kids' school papers.  Unfortunately, when I took the filers out of the box, I realized that because my Command Center is behind the door to the garage that every time the door opened it would smash into it...being plastic I knew they wouldn't last long that way.  So very sad :(

But this week I cleaned out my desk drawers and came across this wire mesh filing system that we used in our old house.  We had a great spot for it there, but not so much in our new house.  I stuck it in the filing drawer in my desk but it never fit well.  So I reconfigured that drawer without the filer.  Then I had a great idea to try it on my kitchen shelves that were continuing to have organizational 'issues' (aka:  too. much. paper. in. our. house.)

Here's what my shelves are looking like these days:
The top shelf has my new organizer.  The middle holds a charging station for cell phones, iPods, & iPads, and the bottom are our 'his & hers' baskets for dropping sun glasses, my husband's wallet, etc.

So here's a closer look at the organizer:
The back section holds my notebook with all my ongoing lists of house and organization projects and my cleaning schedule (you can see that post here.)  I usually pull my cleaning list out and set it on the shelf to look at but I can also tuck it away now when I'm done for the day or people are coming over.  The middle section is "needs attention."  This is my holding area for school papers or other forms that need filling out (book orders, field trip forms, etc).  The front is for mail that comes while my husband is at work for him to look through when he gets home.  And finally, the bottom is a drawer that we can throw receipts in.  My husband was asking for some place that we can put receipts for things that we are trying, checking sizes, or waiting to make sure work properly (we are in the middle of several house projects so this happens frequently around here) so this will be perfect!

YAY!  SO MUCH BETTER!  I can already tell that this system is going to work better and am so excited to put it to use!

I hope your Spring Cleaning is off to a great start! 

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Smoked Mac & Cheese

I love food from the smoker, and I love mac and cheese, but I have never combined the two!  I have heard that it is great so I decided to give it a try.  After much searching online and in cook books for a recipe to use, I wasn't finding a combination that sounded good to me so I decided to experiment a little and made up my own.

-16oz. large shell pasta
-2 cans (10 3/4oz) Cheddar Cheese soup
-8oz Velveeta cut into 1/2 inch cubes
-2 cups whipping cream
-1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs; divided.

I started by ALMOST cooking the noodles all the way through.  I wanted to leave them a bit firm so they would continue to cook in the smoker.

I drained the water and quickly rinsed the noodles with hot water then returned them to the pot.  I added 2 cans of Cheddar Cheese soup.

Then I added the 2 cups of whipping cream and stirred it all up.

Stir in the cubed Velveeta.

Add 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and mixed it into the macaroni.

Convert to a 9x13 dish (I used a tin baking pan for easy clean up since it was going in the smoker).

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs on top.

We cooked it in the smoker at 225°F for about 1 1/2 hours.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

House Number Post

Confession time:  Our house did not have house numbers on the front of our house.  Now to a normal person this may not seem like a big deal; just causes a problem for the poor pizza delivery guy trying to figure out which house is yous :) But in the EMS/Fire world, this is a big no-no.  It makes it a lot harder for emergency workers to find you when you need them most-which I was not happy about.  

We have a corner lot so our driveway is on the side of our house and our garage doors face the side as well.  So we have numbers above the garage, but for people coming down the main part of our street, it is really hard to figure out which house is ours!  For the almost 2 years that we have lived in this house we have talked about different ways to get numbers in the front.  I was not a fan of putting them permanently on the actual house for various reasons (one being we have a covered front porch and are up on a hill so you wouldn't be able to easily see the numbers anyway).  So we had this idea to go with a post; and I love how it turned out!  

We  My husband started by digging a hole where we wanted the post to go. 

We used a 4x4 post and fit it in the hole.

We wanted to match up to the white square columns on the front of our house so we used a post jacket to cover it.  My husband used a couple screws at the bottom to hold it together while we worked on it.

Once we got the post to the correct height and level, we filled the hole with paver gravel.

 We decided to go with a solar light cap so in the evening it will light up and illuminate our numbers.

Added the numbers and we were done!  I do plan to add a plant hanger on the side so I can have a hanging basket of flowers to dress it up a bit, but for now, here's how it turned out!  (and as I said earlier, our house is on a hill so we purposefully placed the numbers towards the top so they would be more visible from the road.  I also have some flowers that grow up in front of this that will cover part of the bottom)

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Share Your Stuff Tuesdays

Welcome to another week of Share Your Stuff Tuesdays!  So glad you are able to join us!

In case you have missed it, I have started a new series on Spring Cleaning this week and hope you will check it out!  So far we have talked about the oven, including a homemade oven cleaner, and the microwave, also with a homemade cleaner.  You can check out each post by clicking on the pictures below!

And another reminder, FaceBook is being quite stingy with allowing you to see my status updates, so to make sure you don't miss a post sign up to receive them directly to your inbox simple by typing in your email address into the "Follow by Email" box on the right.  You can also follow on Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest by clicking on the links that are also on the right side of your screen!

Ok, enough housekeeping!  Now onto our party!  By linking up today you are sharing on 5 different blogs!  Be sure to stop by each of the hosts' sites to say Hi and check out their favorites from last week's party!
FaceBook    Twitter    Pinterest    Google+    Instagram

FaceBook     Twitter     Google+     Pinterest

Katie at Paradise Praises
FaceBook    Twitter    Pinterest    Google+    LinkedIn

The post with the most views last week was:

Some of my favorites were:
Cutie Crate DIY Upcycled to Herb Garden by

Mint Laced Brownies 1.jpg text

Be sure to grab a featured button from the buttons page at the top of the blog!

Looking forward to what you have for us this week!  

Spring Cleaning-The Microwave

Hi!  Welcome to the second post in our Spring Cleaning series!  Yesterday I talked about giving the inside of your oven a good cleaning and gave you my recipe for a homemade oven cleaner (only 3 ingredients that I'm sure you already have in your house!)  You can view that post here.

Today we will tackle the microwave-possibly the EASIEST kitchen appliance to clean ever!! Now, this is definitely a space that needs cleaning more than just once a year, but it is simple enough that you can incorporate it into your regular cleaning routine.  So even though it is not Spring specific, I did want to include it in this series (mainly because mine was in dire need of being cleaned anyways!)

-To start, mix equal parts water and white vinegar into a microwavable bowl or cup.  I used 1/2 Cup of each.  
-Microwave until the mixture is boiling-this was around 2 minutes for 1 total cup of liquid for me.  
-Leave the mixture in the microwave with the door closed for another couple of minutes.  
-Remove the mixture and simply wipe off all the nastiness that has splattered all around your microwave! 

I do take the turn table out and wash it with dish soap in the sink, but if you are short on time, just wipe it off with everything else. 

Here are my before pictures:

Add your 'magic' solution:

And Ta-Da!

Thanks for joining me today!  I hope you will stick around as we conquer some other areas of our homes this Spring!  

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