Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Apologies

Sorry y'all, I'm not trying to neglect my blog, but things have been quite hectic lately.  My mom is moving in, we have family coming to visit from out of town, Big Sister's Birthday is this week, and we have a friend who will be staying with us while he recovers from surgery!  So, after we turned the house upside down to prepare for The Great Sale of 2011, we now have to try to put things back together before everyone invades! 

To make matters worse, we decided to paint the Living Room before putting in our temporary (read: belongs in the Sun Room) furniture!  I expect things to get back to normal in a week 10 days, so keep on the look out for great tutorials, useful printables, and cute ideas!

If you have any questions you can always post a comment on the blog or on my facebook page.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recipe: Blackened Barbecue Pork Chops

This recipe uses the same Blackening Spice Mix I made for my Blackened Tilapia, so if you like this, make up some more and try the Tilapia!  I usually double or triple this recipe whenever I need to make up some more, and fill a jar in my Spice Cabinet!


 First, here's the ingredients for the Blackening Mix- just mix it all up in a small bowl, or an empty spice shaker.

Blackening Mix:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons Tony's spice mix
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
Ingredients: 
Blackening Mix, to taste
1 lb thin sliced boneless Pork Chops (about 8 chops)
2-3 Tbs Oil
1 cup BBQ Sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's, but I used a different one this time)

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle Pork Chops liberally with Blackening Mix on both sides, coating well
3.  Heat oil on High heat in cast iron skillet
4.  Cook 2-3 Minutes on each side (I usually blacken 3 at a time, and put them to the side until I have done them all, and then put them back in the skillet once they have all been done)
5.  Pour BBQ sauce over pork chops in skillet, and bake in oven 20-25 minutes.

Serves: 4






Sunday, September 18, 2011

UPrinting Giveaway Winner: Let's try this again

This first winner never came forward so we are trying this again!

Thank you everyone who entered!  I hope to have a giveaway at least once a month, so keep checking for the next one.

The winner for the UPrinting Letterhead is....




patricia
I work with kids with special needs. I would use the stationary for notes home to parents
 Congrats Patricia!
Please contact me via email within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Design Dilemna: Foyer and Living Room

So, now that our two front rooms are completely cleared out after The Great Sale of 2011, I am left with the opportunity to redecorate!  Yikes!  My house is decorated in Yellow, Green, and Red.  Well, not exactly those colors- more like this:



The curtains in the Living Room and Dining Room are the same with a base of green and touches of yellow and red.  The walls in the living room are "Belgian Waffle" from Olympic Paints with white trim.  We've always had a formal living room, but now we want to make it more comfortable, I just don't know where to start.  It really is a blank slate.



Oh, and just in case you want to know what this house looked like when we bought it, you can see more of it here!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Ranch Crackers

Ingredients:
1 can chicken, drained
Ranch Dressing

Directions:
MIX!

So simple and Big Sister loves it as an after school snack!  I like to serve it on a butter cracker like Ritz or Club crackers.  Very easy to make and will impress your friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Brother in his stroller

Big Sister took this one on a quick trip out for a school assignment.  It was well over 100 degrees outside!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Sale of 2011- Wrap Up

This is the last in my series about The Great Sale of 2011.  If you haven't read the first two posts, you can find them here and here

There's already a lot of info about Yard Sales on the net so I won't repeat it all here.  For general information to help you plan your sale, I suggest checking out The Yard Sale Queen.

Here's what I did:
1.  I hosted the first two days of the sale inside.  We have a rather large house, and since we were selling most of the furniture from our living room, we dedicated the living room and the foyer to the sale.  I spent months collecting things from around the house, and 2 weeks displaying, tagging, etc.  On the third day, everything went outside. 


2.  I priced EVERYTHING.  I picked up already priced stickers at the dollar store for pricing individual items, then grouped together Big Sister's old hair bows according to size, put them in a clear baggie, and priced the baggie with the number of bows written on the outside.  I did the same for her Barbie accessories, Polly Pockets, and other toys with small pieces. 
3.  I took lots of pictures.  I took detailed pictures of the furniture, and general pictures of the set up.  I used a photo editing program to group pictures of each piece of furniture and to reduce the size of the pictures.


4.  I made a huge list.  I listed everything I had- don't just write "Kid's Toys"- get specific- "Girl's Toys- Barbie, Polly Pocket, Leap Frog, etc.  Boy's Toys- Thomas the Train, Hot Wheels Cars, Remote Control Cars, etc."  This way when you advertise, you can give more information for your shoppers.
5.  Put up signs.  I did put out 3 signs on the busy streets around my neighborhood, one sign at the end of the road, and one more in my yard with balloons on it directing shoppers to come inside.  With the nice weather we were able to keep the doors open which helped people feel comfortable to walk in!
6.  Advertise online!   I chose to only advertise on Craigslist, but you can also advertise in local papers, and don't forget to check online for other local sources.  I used my pictures and my lists for advertising on Craigslist.  AND I didn't just advertise in the garage sale section.  In the garage sale section I advertised the sale with a general list of everything.  You have unlimited space so use it!  Then I placed a separate ad under Baby/Kids with the info for the sale, and the list of items being sold in that category.  The same for Furniture, Sporting Goods (Exercise Equipment), and Electronics.  Each Craigslist ad can have 4 pictures, so make sure you use them!

 7.  Don't bring it back inside!   What didn't sell by 2:00 on Sunday went to the curb- I posted this on Craigslist at 1:45 (with pictures) and by 3:00 all that was next to the curb was a pasta machine!  I was very clear with Prince Charming and Big Sister that what went out didn't come back and we did a really good job sticking to it.  I was really amazed by the things that didn't sell, and it was tough to stick to my rule, but we did it, and I feel better for it now.  I did bring the remaining clothes inside, but they got bagged up and will be taken to a local charity this week.



AFTER:
Wow, that's empty!



Monday, September 12, 2011

Mess Management Monday #9: Sell It!- The Great Sale of 2011: Execution

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts the last few days.  We have had A LOT going on.  Basically, The Great Sale of 2011 took over my life!  It was an exhausting 3 Day sale- the first two days were INSIDE my home, so things are still pretty much turned upside down.  BUT, it was the most successful garage sale we have ever had, AND we felt so good when it was all over.  We made over $1000, and I will tell you how we did it tomorrow, but today, I will just show you some pictures of our sale.

TODAY'S MESS MANAGEMENT TIP- SELL IT, THROW IT OUT, DONATE IT!  DON'T ORGANIZE IT, JUST GET RID OF IT!








Menu Plan Monday #5: 9/12-9/18

I am finally getting around to creating a recipe binder.  I have 20+ Cookbooks, hundreds of pages from magazines, and too many internet bookmarks.  My goal is to try at least three new recipes each week and put the best into the binder with a picture of the completed dish (Prince Charming hates cookbooks without pictures).  Throughout the week I will post any recipes that made the cut and link them up here.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Breakfasts and Lunches are always pretty much the same.  For breakfast we rely on Pancakes, Eggs, Muffins, Cold Cereal, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Lunches are Salads, Sandwiches, and Leftovers.  We also own a bakery/deli, so we eat lunch there several days a week.

We went out to eat on Sunday after The Great Sale of 2011, so I have one item to carry over to this week. 

Monday:  Leftovers
Tuesday: Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower)
Wednesday: Gumbo
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday: Chana Masala (Indian Chickpeas in a Tomato Sauce)

AND.... Best of all- we are making a variety of cookies for a weekend playdate using my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!  I just double the recipe, then divide the dough between 4 bowls and put 1 cup of chips into each bowl- Mini M & M's, Chocolate Chips, White Chocolate Chips, and Butterscotch Chips!  YUM!

Check out more great Menu Plans at http://orgjunkie.com


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cake in an Iron Skillet


My grandfather's favorite cake is Pineapple Upside Down, and I make it for him for his birthday every year.  This year he was telling big sister that his mom used to make it for his birthday when he was a kid, but she made it from scratch and baked it in an iron skillet.  Yikes!  I had never baked a cake from scratch before, and NEVER baked anything sweet in my iron skillet!  A challenge has been made, I am up for it- so here goes.  I found this recipe online, and like all other recipes I tweeked it a bit.  Be sure to check out the original recipe here.


Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) cans sliced pineapple, drained (reserve juices for glaze)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large eggs
maraschino cherries, if desired 
 
Glaze:
Reserved Pineapple Juice
1 cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in iron skillet.
Sprinkle brown sugar over butter.
Arrange pineapple slices on top brown sugar/butter.
Place cherries in center of slices.

Beat remaining ingredients till well blended.

Pour over pineapple in skillet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and turn onto heat-proof plate.
 
To make the glaze add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup pineapple juice to drippings in skillet.  Boil 10-15 minutes stirring constantly.  Once syrup has thickened slightly, spoon over the top of the cake.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Freebies: Household Notebook- Detailed Focus List

This is a 3 page printable detailing my weekly and monthly chores for my Household Notebook.  I use this a general checklist to make sure I get everything done in each room.  I check it once before I get started, and again when I am finished.  It helps my day move smoothly, and if I get interrupted (which happens often with two kids) I can easily get back on track.

Be sure to follow my blog for more free printables!

Detailed Focus List


Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday #4: 9/5-9/11

I am finally getting around to creating a recipe binder.  I have 20+ Cookbooks, hundreds of pages from magazines, and too many internet bookmarks.  My goal is to try at least three new recipes each week and put the best into the binder with a picture of the completed dish (Prince Charming hates cookbooks without pictures).  Throughout the week I will post any recipes that made the cut and link them up here.


Breakfasts and Lunches are always pretty much the same.  For breakfast we rely on Pancakes, Eggs, Muffins, Cold Cereal, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Lunches are Salads, Sandwiches, and Leftovers.  We also own a bakery/deli, so we eat lunch there several days a week.

I changed things up a bit last week at Big Sister's request, so you will see some repeats.

Monday:  Teriyaki Chicken with Fried Rice
Tuesday: Shrimp Curry
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday: Chana Masala (Chick Peas with Tomatoes)
Friday: BBQ Blackened Pork Chops
Saturday:  Freebie- We usually eat out on Saturdays
Sunday: Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower)

Check out more great Menu Plans at http://orgjunkie.com


Mess Management Monday #8: Laundry Room and a Printable

This week I need to spend some time clearing out and organizing my Laundry Room.  We are lucky enough to have a large room with a long cabinet where I can fold our clothes, but it has become a mess.  Since we are getting rid of a lot of clutter AND furniture in The Great Sale of 2011, I need the Laundry Room to do more.  I need to store our car electronics, product information/manuals, lightbulbs, a small tool box, as well as extra cleaning supplies, Christmas decorations, and paint.

I decided to start this project at Pinterest.  If you aren't familiar with Pinterest- they have some great beginner's guides on their site.  I LOVE IT!  My favorite thing is that it does more than just save a picture- it stores info like the site it was pinned from, and a small description of it, AND you can sort your pins in different categories (Boards).

Here are some ideas that have inspired me:

Source: google.com via Lisa on Pinterest


Source: google.com via Lisa on Pinterest


Source: bhg.com via Lisa on Pinterest




But none of these ideas help as far as the non-Laundry Room things I need to store in this room, so I kept looking.



What a great idea for keeping all of those little swatches of paint with you. I think I might make two of these- one for my purse and one to hang on the front of my cabinet.




I love this idea from Brooklyn Limestone.  Follow the Pinterest link to view the original post.  She has included a link to a free printable for the paint can labels!


Well this is a start.  Check back later to see my completely reorganized Laundry Room!

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