Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ceramic Vase Transformation

Found this awful vase at a thrift store for $5.  You must look past the awful peach and green....

I bought a can of this great textured paint for $7.

I'm loving the finished product! 

1st Day of Kindergarten

Today is/was Steel's first day of Kindergarten.  Very sad day for Mom and Dad...

We saw him off on the bus and then walked to school to see him get off at the school.

Now, we wait to get him off the bus after school.  Very sad day...

Monday, August 29, 2011

School Project Display

So, I've had this little project for some time now.  It needed finishing up since Steel is starting kindergarten in 2 days!

Wooden picture frame with lots of room to paint and glue on 2 clothespins
2 clothespins
pop tab for hanging if there is no hanger attached
tack nail
nail to hang frame to wall

1.  Have your child paint the frame and let dry.
2.  Paint 2 clothespins and let dry.
3.  Attach clothespins at the bottom of frame as indicated in the picture below.

4.  Add picture.
For this, the glass piece and cardboard backing was no longer present with our frame.  I finally used my $10 laminator from Harbor Freight.  You could also use any piece of clear plastics and cut it to fit the size of the hole.  I also backed it with a piece of cardboard from a box that was destined for the trash.

5.  Add picture hanger.
I wouldn't have had to add this step had I been paying attention when we glued on the clothespins.  You can see from the pictures that this frame already had a hole drilled in it for hanging on a nail that was no longer in the proper location to hang the frame upright.  That's okay...I secured a pop tab with a tack nail to use as a hanger.

6.  Pick a spot on hang it on the wall.

Ready for our first school project to be displayed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Simple Beef Stroganoff

Remember that I'm not a veggie fan so add veggies as you see fit.

1 lb. Pot Roast, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. container of sour cream
Egg noodles, cooked and strained
Any other veggies

To prepare
1.  Follow instructions of my Shredded Beef (which also includes referring to my Pot Roast), 1 lb.
2.  Add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, may need more if you're adding veggies.
3.  Add container of sour cream, may need more if you're adding veggies.
4.  Stir it up.
5.  Heat it up.

To serve
Serve mixture over egg noodles.

Looks a bit plain without veggies, but it really is delish.

Pre-Made Hamburgers

Time saver!

When the weather gets warm, we cook out!  To save time and money, I stock up on ground beef when it's on sale and make hamburgers to freeze for later.

(all ingredients are based on 1 pound of ground beef)
Ground Beef, uncooked
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

To prepare
1.  Dump ingredients into a mixing bowl.
2.  Kneed until ingredients are good and mixed.
3.  Form approximately 3 burgers per pound into patties.
4.  Place patties on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
5.  Place cookie sheet in freezer for approximately 2 hours.  (I sometimes do this overnight, up to 24 hours.)
6.  Using a spatula, I loosen the patties, peel off wax paper and put individual patties into cheapy sandwich bags.
7.  Put all patties in cheaper bags into one large gallon sized freezer bag and place in freezer.
8.  Viola!  Ready when you are.  Pull out as many or as little as you want.

Already frozen and ready to pop on the grill.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ground Beef

This is another time saver.  (I also find it much easier to cook fresh, not frozen ground meat.)

Note how many pounds of meat on in the package.  Once you cook the ground beef and strain it, you can separate it into 1 or 2 pound increments and put it is freezer bags until needed.  Can be taken out later and thawed for tacos or sloppy joes.

This is a 2 pound package already frozen.

Shredded Beef

This is one of the reasons (besides not being a veggie fan) that I don't add veggies and potatoes to my Pot Roast.

I love time savers.  After we eat some roast, I shred, separate and freeze the beef.  Then I have some ready for other meals such as shredded beef tacos or bbq beef sandwiches.

1.  Simply follow the instructions of my Pot Roast.
2.  Let cool.
3.  Shred beef with hands or fork (it will be that tender)
4.  Separate, putting in bowls and/or bags.  I cover the meat with broth before placing the lids on.  I even had some broth leftover.  I put that in a container as well.
5.  Pop in freezer.  It's ready when you need it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Parmesan Tomatoes

Tried something new, very good.

Tomatoes, sliced
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil

To prepare
1.  Drizzle cookie sheet with olive oil.
2.  Lay out sliced tomatoes.
3.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on tomatoes.
4.  Shake on some salt and pepper.
5.  Bake at 375° for approximately 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Before oven

Ready to eat

Pot Roast - Crock Pot

I'm not a big fan of veggies.  I make this pot roast as simple as possible.  Add veggies and potatoes to your heart's content.

Big 'ol Chunk of Beef (any type of roast), still frozen
Packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Mushrooms, sliced (I don't think this is really a veggie...) I add a bunch!

To prepare
Place all ingredients in a crock pot and pour in enough water fill the crock pot about half an inch.

Cooking time vary based on size of roast.  You generally cannot go wrong cooking it on low all day long.

To serve
Since I generally do not add potatoes, I whipped up some mashed potatoes and served it along with my yummy roast.

Did I tell you that I like mushrooms?  lol

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pitcher Turned Fishbowl

We're a one fish kinda family but...

How cool would this pink depression glass pitcher....

be as a fishbowl???

Wormie - Little Water Patrol Guy

I was at Lowe's the other day picking up a Peace Lily for my Lily + Vase = Fishbowl and I came across these little guys.  They were only $0.67 so I grabbed a few.  You put them in the soil of your planter.  When wormie is dark in color, no need to water.  When wormie is light in color, need to water.  I am been having a rough time with my potted outside plants this year.  Way too much rain, not enough rain then back to too much rain again, it's crazy.  So these might be useful but if not, they will still look cute.

Side Note:  They are really called Wormies, I am not making it up.

The Low Down
These wormies are made out of ceramic clay like terracotta pots.  When they are wet/moist they soak up the water and are dark in color.  When they are dry, they are light in color.  Trick is is that you have to check with wormie same as you would the soil to see if the plant needs water.  I can hope that Steel will keep an eye on them for me and let me know.  He was fasinated with them.  The directions also mentioned that the wormies need to be soaked in water for 2 minute prior to use.  I am assuming this is to wash off a type a protective film on them, although nothing was visible on the surface. 

Wormies Pre-soak

Wormies in action

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wine Bottle Water Globes

Have you seen the commercial for the water globes?  They are these vase looking glass bottles that you fill with water and put into the soil in planters that water your plants as needed.  I'm not sure of the specifics but the water actually does drain into the soil over time and not all at once.

I use wine bottles.  They're free (kinda).  They are for me because I don't drink wine and I ask friends to save me a few bottles here and there.  Okay, so I will have a spritzer now and again but I'm a beer girl, really.

I think they look nice too.

Garage Sale and Garage Re-organization

Garage sale is complete!  We didn't fair too bad considering that we really didn't have that much to sell.  We made a combined $300.

Then I took Steel's leftover clothes and a few toys to a resale shop that gave me $50.  I was quite surprised at that because the last time I took clothes there they didn't give me nearly that.  It probably depends on what they have in stock at that time.

Well, Steel made $90 and it was burning a hole in his pocket.  We had to go to Toys R Us and spend it.  Well, he did just that, we came home with 2 Star Wars Legos sets that took hours to put together.

Since the garage sale was complete, it was time to clean out and re-organize the garage.

DURING the clean-up (didn't get a shot of a before):


Note the storage bins all the way up to the rafters!  I think it's hysterical.

It's not the prettiest, but it works and it's finally clean again!  Would love to have all the bins matching, like you see in other blogs but I didn't spend a dime.  The only thing I have to do is re-label the bins.  The hub and I actually stood out in the garage last night and drank a beer while we admired our work.  (I didn't take pictures of his side of the garage...oops...)

Hub said the garage is big enough to hold 3 Fieros now.  LOL!  One is enough!  Yes, the hub has a 1987 Pontaic Fiero GT, Steel calls it the Racecar!  (Daddy's a bit stuck in the 80's!)  LOL!  I do have to say that the car is FUN!

Backyard Waterslide

Steel had an absolute blast this past weekend playing for hours on his make shift waterslide!

We took his baby pool and put it under the slide.  Then we used a zip tie to secure the hose at the top of the slide.  Viola!  Hours of fun!

(Note:  You can use a bunch of zip ties connected together if need be.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lily + Vase = Fishbowl

My mother had one of these.  I'm not too sure what happened to the fish.  I'm thinking that she brought the fish to our house to watch it for her when she went to Italy and from there I don't think things ended so well for the fish.  I think his name was Fred.  Well, that was a few years back...  Steel wanted a fish.  I am so not doing a fish tank, no way!  This fish vase is pretty easy.  I already had a vase and marbles, I just needed to insert fish and lily.  I did a bit a google-ing on the subject because I wasn't sure what the plant was called and it turned out that you can actually buy kits to make these.  I didn't bookmark any of the sites because I am pretty sure you can do it cheaper on your own.

Vase - Nice one with rounder bottom - (We had one from a flower delivery)
Marbles, Rocks, Gravel or Shells - (Marbles from same flower delivery)
Plastic planter tray, the size of your vase neck - (Found one at garden center for $0.15)
Peace Lily plant, smaller size - (Lowes $2.00)
Betta Fish - (Petco $3.00, had coupon)
Betta Fish Food - (Petco $3.00)
Water Conditioner (optional)
Fin repair (optional)
Ribbon (optional)

1.  Take the Lily out of it's container and do your best to remove dirt from root ball.  Do this over a garbage can to eliminate the use of a vacuum!

2.  After removing as much dirt as possible, take it to the sink and use water to clean the rest of the dirt off the root ball.  I even soaked it in water for a while as well.  I didn't get all the dirt out but I was impatient.  I figure it will work it's way out in time and it didn't look too bad to me.  

3.  Prepare vase for fish:  Place items of your choosing at bottom of vase as gravel and fill with water.  Be sure to allow enough room to dump the water from your fish container or bag.  Use water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals found in tap water.  You can also use bottled water and skip the conditioning part.  I also added fin fixer because our little buddy looked like he could use it.

4.  Add your fish.  We just dumped him in, water and all.

Oops, forgot pic...

5.  Cut hole in the bottom of plastic plant tray.  I poked a hole in the bottom with a pair of scissors and then cut my circle out.  I was lucky, my tray had a circle that I just followed while cutting.

6.  Push plant's root ball through the whole in bottom of plastic plant tray.  The roots going down when tray is in upright position.

7.  Add plant to vase, the correct size tray will catch in the neck of the vase.

8.  Add bow, if desired.  We had to skip this part.  (I thought I had some ribbon but all I had was Christmas ribbon so we will have to add that later.)

9.  Display.  We are using it as our table centerpiece.

See Fishy...

(Okay, so, I'm not too sure if that name is going to stick but...
I think Steel has a problem with naming our animals.
We have Puppy and Fishy.
Just call Steel...Mr. Original!  LOL!)

Betta Fact:
Their natural habitat is in rice fields with lots of roots so this is what makes it a great fish home for Bettas.