Baking: Organization

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I’ve had all my baking cups and other baking supplies scattered all over my kitchen. some in a drawer here, some in a VASE in this cupboard here.

and frankly – it was getting to be a lot of work to run around the kitchen and grab different items.

So while perusing pinterest (admit – you waste time on there as well!), I came across a great idea!

I’ve had this little storage unit since I was in highschool, and all it’s been doing is sitting empty on a shelf.

EMPTY. it was outrageous.

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on the inside it’s got another incredibly cute design…

6660wconsidering I’ve had this about 10 years – it’s in pretty good shape, with only a couple scratches.

so all my baking stuff went packed into the tin an a more organized matter!

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6665wvalentines day came and went – and I had totally forgotten that I had cute valentines day cupcakes and picks. *sigh*

the only problem with this new organization system? I’ll be picking up baking items all over the place now!

If you’re looking to get some metal lunche boxes yourself to do something like this,

check out { here } or here on amazon or there is always eBay!

*disclaimer: I haven’t ordered from any of the above mentioned pages, mine was bought in a store at a mall. Shop with caution and do your research :)

Recipe: Homemade Bread

my little guy would live on peanut butter sandwhichs, chocolate milk and apples if I let him. At one point we were buying so much bread it was getting crazy! One my friends at the time was making home made bread and claimed it was saving her a TON of money – so that christmas under the tree for me was…(drum roll)…the bread machine I asked for :) 

Here’s the recipe that I’ve found works best for us, making a 2lb loaf. 

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13 oz of water

4 cups white flour

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp dry milk

2.5 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp yeast

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allow all ingredients to come to room temp. and then put them all in the bread machine in order as stated above. Make sure you choose 2lb loaf for your settings, and this is classified as “normal” or “white bread” for your additional settings. You want to make sure you give it about 20 min to cool down after it’s baked. I always forget how much I love to use my bread machine to make doughs as well (pizza dough, cinnamon roll dough, etc.) so keep an eye out for recipes for those items as well! 

Do you have a bread recipe you’d like to share? leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out! and if you make this recipe, let me know what you think of it as well :) 

What I’m loving right now.

I’ve been doing some “frugal” shopping lately, and very rarely do I buy something that’s not on sale. It’s really stretched our budget and made things a lot easier! That being said – there’s a few things that I do splurge on, and here’s where that blog post comes in: Products I’m loving right now. I’ll keep these post’s “realistic” and hopefully other readers will enjoy these products that aren’t crazy expensive.

Please note: these companies have no idea who I am, this is not a sponsored post, I’m simply sharing stuff I love right now! 

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these bright and colourful bendy straws! you can get them at Bed, Bath and Beyond – you get 125 of them for just over $3. it’s a big of a splurge for straws, and I only go into the store for these (and to check the clearance rack of course). But – I haven’t been able to find neat straws for the little guy anywhere else.

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Apple TV.

FINALLY we can stream netflix to our TV in the living room. Sure we could watch it on our iMac, but it wasn’t the ideal situation. Now we can also mirror whats on our computer screen (for streaming those tv shows we missed through the networks site) and watch the movies we currently have loaded on our computer – all WIRELESS. Not to mention there seems to be a NHL package on there, but hubby has yet to explore that. the device is super tiny and you can barely notice it, and it comes with a cute little remote. For only $109 – only $50 more than the HDMI adaptor to run a cord from the computer to the tv!

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iSquint – for sideloading all those movies we .avi movies we have into iTunes

(to link to apple tv of course!) Cost? FREE.

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BHG wax tarts.

They have SO many different scents – and they last forever in my scentsy warmer. Much longer than the scentsy tarts I’ve had. They are only available in the states right now *sad face* but I have no problem asking a friend to pick up a few for more when they head over. So far I’ve used Gourmet spice rack and Vanilla Cupcake – both AMAZING.

Cost? $2 a package (vs scentsy $6 not long lasting tarts!)

Lamp Re-Do

We have a serious shortage of lighting in our house, and where we do have lighting it seems I’m always replacing lightbulbs! My wonderful mother-in-law was kind enough to give up two lamps. As soon as I saw them I knew exactly what I wanted to do – and it only took me 6 months to finally get around to it! haha!

Here’s the before shot:

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gorgeous isn’t it? okay maybe it’s not your cup of tea, and it wasn’t exactly mine either – but the bones were there.

I used a can of metallic krylon spray paint (I really wanted the looking glass paint, but it’s not available in canada), and I bought two rolls of twine from the dollar store. I’ve never spray painted before, and this was easy peasy!! I put some tape to cover the bulb area and the cord and sprayed the base.

For the lamp shade – I pulled off the pink fabric and just had the cream coloured base of the shade (it came off pretty easy). I grabbed my hot glue gun, glued a little portion of the twine, wrapped it a little bit and glued some more. I found it helpful to glue 4-5 times in little lines for each time you wrapped the twine. It made the string much more sturdy and held it really good in place. Here’s the after shot:

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doesn’t it look SO much better?!? All in all – this project cost me less than $10!!!

I have another pink and gold lamp that I’m going to re-do for the man cave in the basement, and a mirror project for the guest room as well. We have company coming in march so I have a deadline for these projects!

We’ve been winterized

it’s been quite the winter here. I don’t know about you but once I get cold, I don’t feel like doing anything. I made a new years resolution to take more pictures (I’m a professional photographer, this shouldn’t be hard right?), but considering I don’t have the greatest light in my house, and it’s not always “picture clean” I can sometimes find it hard to allow other people to see my photos. But alas, here is a glimpse of our canadian winter so far….

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I promise I’ve got some crafty posts coming up, and of course some recipes! Now that the holidays are over, I’m back on a regular retail shift (my part time job) and I’m looking forward to valentines day and getting some more reading and rest time. Does valentines day say SPRING to anyone else?? The winter is always so long here!!!

Easiest Mac and Cheese. ever.

Many of friends and family know that I just LOVE my slow cooker!! I cook whatever I can in there, not only is it easy peasy and tasty – it helps keep my electricity usage down as well!

Here is a super simple, very tasty recipe for mac and cheese in your slow cooker!

8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
butter, for greasing the slow cooker
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
4 tablespoons butter, meltedCook the macaroni following package directions. Drain in a colander.
Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Combine the macaroni with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring a few times.
TIP: Did you know if you mix 2/3 cup non-fat dry milk and 3/4 cup water together, you get 1 cup of evaporated milk substitute?

Homemade Play Dough

My son loves play dough and asks for it every time we’re walking around Giant Tiger , but I pretty much say no every time (I’m not sure why, it just happens that way).

A few friends have been saying lately how they’ve had to make play-dough for kids classrooms, etc. so I figured I’d try my hand at making it as well.

Here’s the recipe I used…

4 cups (a.p. white) flour

4 cups warm water

2 cups salt

2 tbs cream of tartar

2 tbs vegetable oil

food dye (I used club house – neon)

Combine all ingredients in a pot and continously stir over medium low heat until dough is no longer sticky. it will begin to resemble the look of play dough, and you should be able to slightly smell it.  It shouldn’t be overly sticky, and it’ll become really hard to stir (my shoulders were killing me!). Once it’s cooled down you can grab a clump and use some of that food dye to make it coloured. The dye part was incredibly messy and the next day I was still trying to wash it out of my hands so I suggest you use gloves.

You can store it in your fridge, in an air tight container for about a week or two.

The great part about it is, I didn’t mind making it using my cooking pots and use cookies cutters,etc knowing that there’s no chemicals! and it’s so salty, that I don’t have to worry about kids eating it. and even if they did – no chemicals right? amazing.

Grandmas Pasta Salad

One of our favourite go to recipes is the pasta salad that my mother in law makes. I’m only slightly addicted to collecting recipes and my favourite ones are always the ones from family members.

I can pretty much guarantee that each time we serve it, we get rave reviews and at least one person asks for the recipe. And usually the pasta salad will get served at a potluck shortly after we hand out the recipe!

Check out the recipe, and if you make it – let me know what you think!

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2 cups macaroni

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 green onion

1/2 green pepper

1/4 cup cucumber

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

Cook Macaroni. Pour in a large bowl. Cut up tomatoes, green onion, green pepper, and cucumber. Pour into bowl. in another bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Stir this into macaroni mixture. keep in refrigerator.

Makes five, 1 cup servings.

A little About me! …okay, 80 things about me…

I found a new blog, and i’m loving all the recipes and how she’s so honest and real. You can check her out here { randomthoughtsfromamomsperspective.blogspot.ca } …

She did a post on 80 things about herself, and since I’m new to this blog – none of you really know me. So I thought this might help us get to know each other, I’d love to read it if you do one as well, so let me know in the comments!

  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? however they were left – I would totally prefer closed when I’m home alone though! Sometimes I make my husband get up and close them lol
  2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? no, I much prefer my own. 
  3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?  I don’t even like using the flat sheet, just the fitted sheet for me!
  4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? no – who’s that strong anyways?!
  5. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes, except they never help me remember, and fall off all the time
  6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? all the time. 
  7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? neither – they both sound horrible!
  8. Do you have freckles?  only a few.
  9. Do you always smile for pictures? I try not to be in pictures!
  10. What is your biggest pet peeve?  WET SOCKS!!!!
  11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?  no
  12. Have you ever peed in the woods?  Yes.
  13. What about pooped in the woods? no – that’s gross lol
  14. Do you ever dance, even if there is no music playing?  nope.
  15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? nope.
  16. What size is your bedQueen
  17. Is it ok for guys to wear pink?  yes
  18. Do you still watch cartoons? only with my son. 
  19. What’s your least favorite movie?  that movie with brad met. meet someone or here comes someone, I can’t even remember the name of it. 
  20. What do you drink with dinner?  juice or pop
  21. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?  Nothing.
  22. What is your favorite food? a good salad. 
  23. What movies could you watch over and over again and never get sick of them?  the notebook, step-mom, mona lisa smile.
  24. Last person you kissed/kissed you? my son.
  25. Were you ever a girl scout?  no
  26. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?  no lol
  27. When was the last time  you wrote a letter to someone on paper?  thanksgiving to my grandma :) 
  28. Can you change the oil on a car? No. 
  29. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? no – i don’t have my license lol
  30. Ran out of gas?  with my husband yes, numerous times. 
  31. Favorite kind of sandwich?  BLT!!
  32. Best thing to eat for breakfast? pancakes with yogurt – just try it. 
  33. What is your usual bedtime?  11 or 12
  34. Are you lazy? all the time. 
  35. When you were a kid what did you dress up as for Halloween?  a dead nun.
  36. How many languages can you speak?  one, english only. 
  37. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?  no.
  38. Which are better Legos or Lincoln Logs?  Legos.
  39. Are you stubborn? sometimes. most of the time. okay maybe.
  40. Ever watch soap operas? use to watch passions, but not anymore.
  41. Afraid of heights?  kind of.
  42. Sing in the car? no
  43. Dance in the shower?  No
  44. Dance in the car? no
  45. Every used a gun?  no – they terrify me.
  46. Last time you got your portrait taken by a photographer?  last month. I’m a photography myself.
  47. Do you think musicals are cheesy?  no – I loved hairspray and grease!
  48. Is Christmas stressful?  no
  49. Ever eat a pierogi?  YES, love them.
  50. Favorite type of fruit pie?  mixed berry peach
  51. Take a vitamin daily?  No, I should, but I don’t. 
  52. Wear slippers?  yes – love them
  53. Wear a bath robe?  no, my husbands sweater please
  54. What do you wear to bed?  flannel pjs and a sweater.
  55. Wal-Mart, Target, or Kmart?  I can’t stand walmart. We don’t have target – yet.
  56. Nike or Adidas?  neither.
  57. Cheetos or Fritos? neither.
  58. Peanuts or Sunflower Seeds?  sunflower seeds.
  59. Ever take dance lessons?  Jazz, Ballet, Modern and lyrical.
  60. Ever won a spelling bee? no
  61. Have you ever cried from happiness? yes
  62. Regularly burn incense?  NO
  63. Ever been in love?  Yep!
  64. What was the last concert you saw? Blue October.
  65. Hot tea or Cold tea? Both
  66. Tea or Coffee?  Tea
  67. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes!
  68. Are you patient?  sometimes
  69. Ever won a contest?  yes – I won a mixer from the pioneer woman!
  70. Ever have plastic surgery?  I wish
  71. Which are better, black or green olives?  green, but I love both
  72. Can you knit or crochet?  trying to learn how to crochet
  73. Do you want to get married? I’m already married :D <3
  74. Do you have kids?  One.
  75. What is your favorite color?  Pink
  76. Do you wear shoes in the house? No
  77. Who would you call first if you won the lottery? My husband. then every bill I have lol 
  78. What’s the first thing you do when you go online? facebook, pinterest
  79. Do you like sushi?  love it.
  80. What are you doing tomorrow? cleaning and working.