Monday, February 28, 2011

Making my Own Yogurt - Try #3

Tonight, I am going to try to make my own crock pot yogurt.


For the third time.

If I fail (again), I am officially a yogurt flunkie.

This recipe has been floating around the internet for eons. I'm going to tweak it a bit, to try and get the desired effects...yogurt, not just smelly milk.

What you need:

1/2 gallon of whole milk
6 oz yogurt with LIVE cultures

1. Pour the milk into the crockpot (slow cooker).

2. Cook on LOW for 2 1/2 hours.

3. Turn off slow cooker.

4. Let milk sit until it is 110 degrees F. (About 2 - 2 1/2 hours).

5. Whisk in 6 oz. yogurt.

6. Wrap in thick towels/Down vest I had lying around.

7. Leave overnight. (About 6 hours).

8. Jump up and down, screaming like a loon because
It worked!!!


It's gonna be a good Monday, ya'll!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

$20 Couch Makeover

This Couch.

It's been with me since 1997.

We've moved 7 times (I think). Three dogs, three kids and a hubby have all been introduced to it.

It looks alright for being 14 years old, doesn't it?

It's just...well...not our style anymore.

The budget is also a little small for buying a new couch.

So...I went to Tar-jay (ie: Target) and found a clearance slipcover for $19.98. Cha-ching!

Here's the make-over:

1. I pulled the skirt off. Can you say A LOT of staples? Jeez!

2. Pulled all remaining staples out with pliers.

3. I stretched, pulled, tucked and tugged the slipcover on so that it best fit the couch. and, here it is!

So, for comparison's sake:

 Now, to convince hubby-dear that we need to paint the walls and his desk that are in the same room...hmmm...

Oh! And some throw pillows!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tweet Tweet!

Hey Guys and Gals!

I think I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and join Twitter! Come Tweet me and let's follow each other!

Tweet tweet!


(The Link is on the bottom Right of this-here bloggie!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie - In Under an Hour!

 The funk has been going around our house this week. That makes for crying, whiny Littlests, a bored Little Miss and an unhappy Mama...who still has to cook a healthy dinner. So, I adapted a recipe I had and came up with:

Chicken Pot Pie
(the Cheater's way...)

1 Large can of Veg-All (Drained)
1 container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme (Savory Garlic)
2 Deep dish pie crusts (thawed)
 1 Rotisserie Chicken

1. Pull apart the chicken and put into a pan. 
2. Add drained Veg-All and Cooking Creme.
3. Cook on Med-High until contents of pan are bubbling.

4. Pour chicken mixture into one deep dish pie crust.
5. Flop over the top crust. Pinch-seal edges. Cut venting slits into top crust.

I literally "flopped" it onto the pie...not pretty, eh?
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
7. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it.

8. Enjoy! (And savor in the delicious smell of your kitchen...yummy!) 
TastyTuesday200pix The Dirty Dozen vs. The Clean Fifteen

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mama, Dada...Doctor?

The Littlests are men of few words...a whole lotta sounds, but few words.

Each and every day, I "work" with them, trying to teach them a new word here and there. I try short words like Ball, Dog, Up, etc. I try words they love like Baby, Milk, Fish, More. I get blank stares or a whole lot of "Ga Goo By Yah Yah!" (With HUGE grins).

Little Miss was at school on Friday. The Littlests were (hold your breath) actually PLAYING in the playroom. I was cleaning up the kitchen. I was also singing "Doctor, Doctor, give me the news..."

BOTH Littlests came absolutely flying into the kitchen yelling, on the top of their lungs..."Doctor, Doctor!" Perfectly. Loudly. Proudly.

I will now sing all of their lessons.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ReCycled Crayons -- Into Muffins?

This tute is an oldie, but a goodie.

Re-cycling your old, broken, nubby crayons into "new" and different ones.

1. Grab your box of broken crayons and a tiny muffin tray.

3. We took the "safe and boring" way out and matched all the like colors together (eg. reds and reds, etc)

4. Peel the paper off the crayons and break them into smaller bits so that they fit into the tiny molds. You can either do like colors or mix and match them to make rainbow-esque crayons.

5. Put the tray into a 250 degree oven and bake until the wax is all melted. It took about 20 minutes for us.

6. Allow to cool AT LEAST an hour, I found the longer the cooling time the better.
7. Pop out of the molds.

8. Have your three year old now decide they are "too pretty" to color with...and turn them into muffins for your tea party! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Felt Board - A Diaper Box Up-Cycle

I am craft-challenged, at least artistically. I can't draw, I can't paint and I can't draw a straight line.

That's tough when you have all these great ideas for things to do with your toddlers.

Today, I decided to make a felt board.

Without drawing a thing.

From a diaper box.

They have an awesome assortment of felt board stories to cut out.

1. Print out (or draw, if you are so inclined and talented) your pictures.

2. Cut out the pictures.

3. Glue the paper pictures onto felt. Any color.

4. Cut out the picture on the felt. (or, if you're lucky, let your incredibly good-looking hubby and princess of a daughter help you).

5. Cut off the sides of your diaper box. Make sure you include the top and bottom flaps. You will have 2 pieces when done.

6. Glue the 2 pieces together. I glued the cardboard sides facing each other...I thought they might stick together better that way.

7. Now, take a big piece of felt (they sell them at craft stores for about $2.99) and wrap it around you double-strength cardboard.

8. Glue into place.

8. Flip over and admire your handiwork.

9. Watch your darling Little Miss re-enact every song and story you have told to her today! Isn't learning amazing to watch? - you can almost see the lights turning on...

Linked to these lovely blogs: Skip to My Lou, Between Naps, DIY Showoff

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do You Know What Color Your Floor Is (Supposed To Be?)

Moving into this home 9 months ago, we fell in love with the kitchen. Something about it being light and bright. I vaguely remember the floor being light, too.

Between three little ones, a big galoot of a dog, a hubby and one tired Mama...I have forgotten what color the floor really is. Or rather, what the grout color is supposed to be.

On a total whim this morning, I took out my trusty Shaklee H2 cleaner and Scour Off, a scrub brush, a towel and a cup of water (to rinse my brush off).

What I am about to share with you is of a very personal nature...and could be a bit embarrassing... 

Please don't judge me! :)

Before - Brown/Tan (?) Grout

Now, we got to work.

**Note to any lawyers out, this is not child labor. Little Miss asked me if she could help! It was so cute, and she did a great job! {All 25 seconds she scrubbed} -- I love that little girl! :) 


I am fairly new to Shaklee, but I have to say that I {heart} this stuff!

I thought that I would need the "Big Gun" at first, so I busted out Scour off. Which is the *most* amazing stuff ever. It has renewed my love of my glass top stove. I can finally get it clean! And it's made of...cherry pits! It smells divine!

...It worked awesomely...

Then I thought I would try the H2 Cleaner. I must say that I was actually surprised how well this worked... I shouldn't have been. I sprayed it onto the grout, let it sit for about 30 seconds or so and then scrubbed with the brush. I wiped the tiles clean with a towel after scrubbing.

I think my tiles started singing to me. It sounded like a chorus of "Alleluia".

Now, I can tell you with grout is PINK!! :o



To browse, shop, or learn more about the Shaklee brand, name, or amazing cleaning products, please stop by my website: Meg's Shaklee Website.

You can also e-mail at any time!

Friday, February 18, 2011

From Freezer to Table in 25 Minutes

Tonight's meal is one of my favorites. Has been since I was a kid.

It takes less than 25 minutes from freezer to table.

It tastes great.

Every one of the kiddos will eat it, hubby included. It's called...


What you will need:

2-2.5 punds of ground beef
1 can mushrooms (8 oz), drained
1 packet Au Jus Gravy
1 packet Brown Gravy
2-3 cups water
Steam and Mash Russet Potatoes

Salted Butter
(For the mashed potatoes)

1. Put the potatoes in the microwave according to directions (most are 10 min.)
2. Brown ground beef and drain.
3. Add mushrooms, Au jus and Brown gravy packets.
4. Add 2 - 3 cups water, depending on how thick you want the gravy.
5. Mix well.
6. Simmer on Low-Medium while you make the mashed potatoes.
7. Mash potatoes either according to package instructions or your own taste.
8. Serve SOS (meat mixture) over mashed potatoes.

Prior to mixing together.
 We generally serve this with early peas and a side salad.

It super simple and quick. Tastes fantastic, too.

The cooking goes by quickly because everything seems to line up time-wise. While the potatoes are cooking in the microwave, the beef is browning. While the mix is simmering, the potatoes are being beaten.

And...this makes your kitchen smell Ah-Maze-ing!!!

Bon Appetit!
**Side Note: The Steam and Mash potatoes are truly the BEST thing since sliced bread. They are REAL potatoes...the ingredients are "potatoes, water, some preservative". They taste just like boil and mash potatoes. Here's a picture of them after being steamed and before being mashed:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Home Management Binder - The Printables Edition

Looking into making a Home Management Binder, I have found A LOT of printables.

Some are free.

Some are not.

Here is a list of free printables:

Monthly Calenders by Yellow Mums
Weekly Calender by Sprik Space
Weekly Calender by Family Fun
TONS of Cleaning Help/Ideas from Starry Sky Ranch
Everything Mom  has a checklist for everything. Seriously. Love it!
Weekly Meal Plan from Meal Planning Mommies
Monthly Spending Form from Get Buttoned Up

Here are Pay-For sets (that are pretty darn cute!):

Complete Home Management Binder from This Happy Housewife
Printables from Punker Do Designs on Etsy
Cute Printables from Clean Mama on Etsy

There are quite a few out there. If you have found more that you like, please let me know!

I need the most help with keeping track of schedules, meal planning, budgeting and cleaning...okay, that's everything...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Despite all Odds...

This winter has been a reality check from Old Mother Nature to a lot of the country.

Our Southern city was affected by it and shut down for almost 5 whole days.

Two weeks ago today, the groundhog did NOT see his shadow, which means that Spring is just around the corner.

Look what I found in our backyard today:

Well, hello there, Little Daffodils! Welcome Back!

It was 61 degrees here today. And sunny. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better.

The BEST thing about today was...

All four of us got to go and play in our backyard. And, yes, I did feel a little bit like SuperMom swinging all of them at the same time! :)

Here's to an early welcome, Spring. I am so happy you are putting your best foot forward. We have missed you so.

Making a House Management Binder - Follow Along

In my seemingly never-ending quest for some sort of organization, I have now been introduced to Home Management Binders. Have you ever heard of these things? It's like having your day, week and month planned and outlined.

There is a place for everything. Cooking, Cleaning, Shopping, Finances, Schedules.

While I REALLY like the idea of a Binder, I can't cough up $35 for a "ready made" one. So, today, my dear friends, I shall start to make my own! (Wish me luck...)

Today will consist of getting the basic ready, perhaps we could all do this together?

What I have assembled:
1 1/2 inch 3-ring binder
10 tabbed dividers
10 protective sleeves
5 colored pens (there are 5 in the family)
White Out/Liquid Paper
Pencil Case
4 folders

So...go out and gather your supplies.

Tomorrow I will link to specific printables (both free and paid for).
What's for Dinner?

Scrambled Eggs
Fresh Fruit