Category Archives: Thrifty Deals

5 Simple and Cheap Ways to Decorate for a holiday!

Decorating for a holiday doesn’t have to be super stressful or require a lot of work. I am the Queen of procrastination and if decorating requires more than an hour or two…I can’t make it happen.

And that’s the truth. I wish I had tons of time to put into decorating but it’s not my priority but it’s something that I enjoy…… so I make time for it.

 I know that my children love to come downstairs to see what fun decorations I have put up overnight.

So…lets talk about 5 Simple and Cheap ways to decorate for any holidays :

******( This post has my St. Patrick’s Day decorations)********

1.) Keep it Simple.

When I am decorating, I like to keep stuff really simple. I have several areas in my house that I focus decorating on….my breakfast room table, a side table in my family/living room, and my family room mantle. On major holidays like Christmas, I extend the decorating throughout the house. For my table, I like to keep my plates, and cups really simple and expand my décor with cute napkins, flowers or a center piece, straws, and a table runner. I purchased a plain white set of 8 plates and bowls from BJ’s for $20 which I use for every holiday. I also purchased 8 clear “root beer float” type mugs from the dollar store which I toss a cute straw in or tie a cute bow on. I try to keep my mantle and side table pretty simple as well.

breakfast

table

2.) Use old holiday pictures of yourself, loved ones, and/or the kids.

I love to use old pictures of the kids from the previous years’ holidays in my decorating. Check out these cute pictures of the kids from St. Patrick’s Day past. I have framed photos for Valentine’s day, Halloween, and Christmas as well.

DJbaby girls

The kids love to look at these and see how they were “decorated” as well. I purchased about 10 of these black picture frames from the dollar store and use them for various holidays. Holiday photo books are also a great addition to coffee tables as decorations.

These pictures, below, will also make great pictures or I can send them into Shutterfly to make cool coffee mugs for next year!

irish lasses

buddies

3.) Hit the clearance rack after the holidays.

Many of my favorite “holiday” pieces were purchased after the holiday and then saved for the next year. I love to hit up Homegoods, Marshalls, Joanne Fabrics, and Michael’s craft store for fun additions. In this picture,  I purchased the cross, little pillows, and shamrock hanging banner at Joanne fabric store last year. When I opened my “St. Patrick’s Day” storage tote this year, they were a welcomed surprise. I also would recommend checking out your local dollar tree….I often get inspired to create something new with whatever I find there. Target is also a great place to stock up on decorations. I will often hit their dollar days bins and collect “favors” for upcoming birthday parties, fillers for Easter baskets, small decorative pieces and Christmas stockings.

shamrock display

4.) Steal things from other rooms in your home!

The “Faith, Love, and Hope” sign, pictured above, is actually a sign that I keep on a shelf in my breakfast room. That room has more of a country style and I often borrow items from that shelf. I am constantly walking through my house and grabbing other candles, candlesticks, and baskets to aid in my decorating. When I am decorating for first communion or baptism parties, I often take statues and religious items from the children’s dressers for display. Action figures, and toys can also be great additions to kids’ tables at parties, and as cake toppers.

5.) Use your food presentation as a decoration too!

Food presentation can be so fun! Check out these fun Irish flags that I found at a teacher store over the summer. I knew these would come in handy!! I also dyed these blueberry muffins green so the kiddos loved them for their St. Patrick’s Day breakfast!

muffinsfood tray

Pinterest is always full of fun food ideas. I found this great Irish food tray

1

from Shower of Roses. I replaced the cauliflower and sugar snaps with green grapes and marshmallows since I know that my kiddos would eat those better. And….what an awesome presentation for my family.

Cucumber-Shamrock-Snack

I wish I could say that my cucumber tray came out like this but it didn’t. So…I posted this picture from Pinterest that was even better.

What an awesome, consumable decoration….haha.

Decorating can be fun without all the stress if you have a game plan! Keep it simple and have fun! Reuse what you already have available…and buy stuff when you can get a great discount on it!

Happy Decorating!!!

God bless,

Tammi

 

ooops! totally forgot……Tip Tuesday: Halloween candy!!!

Candy overload!!!!

Haha….the kids are loving it!

“Yes….only two pieces..!!!.”

It gets old…. pretty quickly.

So…what are we going to do with all of this?

Here are a few suggestions of things I’ve done and some I am considering…that is if I don’t eat the majority of the candy myself…haha.

  • Sort your candy and save it for Christmas baking.

M&Ms, snickers, and Reese’s are great options for this. This was super helpful for me last year when I was involved in a cookie exchange for Christmas. Snickers Peanut Butter Brownie Ice Cream Cake

  • Consider making a candy donation for the troops.

Operation shoebox has a website where you can send candy donations for their holiday shoeboxes. You can link to it here.

  • Send off some candy to your college nieces or nephews.

I know a few who would love to see some of this candy. (No worries…I’m sending it soon.)

  • If you know you have a birthday party coming up, save it for goody bags or for decorating the birthday cake.
  • Chop up some of these candy bars and use them for toppings in an ice cream sundae bar.
  • Consider making an extraordinary dessert for a new mom or new neighbor. (You can click on the images to be directed to the websites)

No-Bake Deep-Dish Peanut Butter Snickers Pie with Salted Caramel - The perfect pie: Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Loaded with Candy & Dripping in Caramel! Easy, no-bake recipe at averiecooks.com

20 Amazing Desserts to Make with Candy Bars!

  • This is a great time to work on some Math skills.

Have your preschoolers/Kindergardeners work on their sorting skills. Have them sort by color, then by name.

One of my homeschooling friends directed me to this link for a graphing activity with halloween candy…..simply brilliant!!! (you can click on the image for the link)

Here’s to hoping that you are more successful than I have been at avoiding the “nighttime baggy robbery”…..

God bless,

Tammi

 

Vacation!!.planning, preparing, and packing!!!

Yay!! We just finished up a week of fun in the Outerbanks! Fun in the sun…..cocktails, beautiful summer breeze, watching the kids run like crazy in the sand. This was us the last time we went to the Outerbanks….we only had three little ones….the Fashionista was just totting around and I was pregnant with Mini Me.

There is just something about the ocean…..listening to the waves…..the smell of the salty air. I LOVE just hanging out with extended family. Soaking in good conversations around a hot tub……building sand castles in the sun…and making excuses to eat treats all week long.

However, in order to truly enjoy my vacation, I like to take care of a few things.

Some of theses tips were ideas that I came up with after packing for several vacations. Some of these tips are tried and true and yet some of them are things that I wish I had thought of before I was on vacation. So…here goes…

Planning:

  1. Plan out your trip. When I first decided that I wanted to take this fall trip, I started with some research. I compared the cost of renting a large 6 bedroom house in the Outerbanks in September with the cost of renting one in June- August during “peak season”…it was clearly 1/3 of the price….. so I decided that this was the route to pursue. Next was sitting down with my husband to decide what we thought the ideal house would have. We both definitely wanted a hot tub to relax in, and a beachfront property as neither one of us wanted to shlep a bunch of chairs, towels, bags, and buckets to some distant beach area. Beachfront also seemed ideal with the current ages of our children. Miss Missy still needs a 3 hour nap everyday so either one of us could stay with Miss Missy during her nap but watch out for little ones who came back to the house for the occasional potty break or snack.
  2. Check out what the area has to offer. If you are an avid Pinterester, like I am, I put in Outerbanks in the search section, and I got some great tips on places to visit. Additionally, I hit up my friends on Facebook, who I know vacation in the Outerbanks, to get suggestions on “must see” places to visit and eat. Why try a dive restaurant unless you can have someone tell you how “phenomenal” it is??!! A couple of my friends suggested duck donuts. This was my third trip to the Outerbanks, and yet somehow I had NEVER tried Duck donuts!!! I mean….Duck donuts???!!! Crazy, phenomenal, so-glad-there-is-not-one-near-me good!!! I also added the Outerbanks area to my Groupon account to I could snag any deals that may come up that way! A few years ago I went on restaurant.com and bought a $50 gift certificate for dinner to a local spot for $10!!!
  3. Plan out the attire for your trip. What activities are you hoping to partake in? Do you plan on getting the kids dressed up for church or a fancy dinner out? Are you hoping to take a family shot on the beach for a Christmas card? or are you just hanging at the beach? This will determine how you pack your family. If you are just hanging by the pool, you will need more bathing suits than “outfits”. If you are planning a picture or dinner, you will need to ensure that you and your kiddos have the proper attire down to shoes. =) Do you like to just hang out in your pajamas for a while?…then packing a robe is a must!

Preparing:

In my Tip Tuesday post this week, I discussed how to prepare your house for leaving. 

This post is about preparing yourself and your family for the actual trip.

  1. Prepare a spreadsheet of everything you think you will need for the week: Grocery items, kid’s clothes, adult clothes, tolietries, electronics, and toys are just a start. If you aren’t a list person, I am sure you would become one for a week away. I put up a list about two weeks before my trip on my bulletin board and when I think of something…I add it. The week before, I will type it up and finalize that list.
  2.  I also create a menu for the week. Now this is a little more extensive. I don’t have a lot of room in my van when it comes to food but menu planning allows me to save money on spices or canned stuff that might already be sitting in my pantry.  I plan for around 4 dinners, 1 “leftover” night, and two dinners out. Typically, the first night there we just grab pizza and we will go out for a special seafood dinner since we are at the beach. Pre-planning your meals is a great way to avoid a constant run to the grocery when you are trying to enjoy your vacation. It also ensures an empty fridge at the end of your week with little food waste. (HUGE pet peeve of mine…wasting food)

Packing:

So…I’m going to try and tackle this with as much mental organization as I can muster but bear with me…I’m still in vacation mode..haha

Grocery/Kitchen stuff:

  1. Bring dishes that suit a larger family. I am packing my 11 X13 baking dish, my huge deep skillet, and large pot for cooking. If I had the room, I would be bringing my crock pot. These are essential to making dinner for a large family and seeing as we are going with another family of four….we need to be able to make large amounts at a time. I don’t want to rely on the beach house providing the sizes that I need.
  2. If you eat organic or buy specialty stuff, bring the stuff that you want with you. I brought my own tea bags, local honey, organic cereal, organic granola and pure maple syrup.  Miss Missy has a peanut allergy and an egg allergy so I often bring some of her “goodies” with us. Miss Missy also needs a special body wash and lotion which I made sure I through in my bag.
  3. Pack spice essentials. I packed salt, pepper, onion powder, olive oil, italian seasoning, garlic powder, steak seasoning, a small tub of sugar, a small tub of flour, and vegetable oil. I used several of these two or three times. =) I also grabbed ketchup and mustard.
  4. Raid your pantry. This tip may not be loved by all but I feel that if I have it…why buy more? Some people may be of the mindset that they would prefer not to empty their pantry. I personally would rather finish off some cereal or pancake mix rather than buy some when I arrive and then have some leftover to take home. Simply put…I am hoping to come home with LESS than I arrived with. =) This trip included the following items during my pantry raid: ketchup, pancake mix, syrup, granola bars, candy, gallon and qt. size food storage bags, my swifter and swifter wet pads, graham crackers, a full jar of apple sauce and some paper towels.
  5. Raid your fridge and pack stuff for easy pickings. Our family was not going directly to our beach house as we were stopping off to see family in NC. So the food that I brought from the fridge was stuff that we would nibble on during the drive. Cold cans of seltzer for the hubs and I, precut slices of sharp cheddar, apple slices, baby carrots, yogurt drinks, raw cashew and grapes. If the kids got hungry, I could just grab something out of this bag that I kept handy.
  6. Raid your freezer. If I WAS going right to the beach, I would have saved money by using some meats from my freezer. I would have looked for great deals before I left and loaded up on chicken breasts or ground beef.

photo(7)Practical Packing Tips:

  • Don’t wait til the last minute to pack….Tuck stuff away. About two weeks before our vacation, I created an “outerbanks” laundry basket that sat on my blanket chest in my bedroom. Everytime I would do laundry and find something I wanted to pack..I just threw it in the laundry basket. I didn’t have to find that one dress or pair of shorts…it was already laundered and ready to go. I tucked baseball caps, coverups, or anything that I could in that basket ahead of time.
  • Pack full outfits. Don’t spend your time on vacation looking for a headband or those sandals that you packed. My one SIL packs her kids clothes in freezer bags for each day. (outfit, hair bow or headband, socks, etc.). She is one organized lady. =)
  • Don’t overpack. Because there was a washing machine and dryer on the premises, I only packed two bathing suits and four sets of outfits for the kids. They were going to spend most of their time in bathing suits and coverups anyway. No need to get crazy with outfits.
  • Divide your packed items into two groups: items that need to be easily accessible and items that don’t. This will lead to little fighting with the hubs and a happier car ride. Your husband will be able to pack accordingly. There is nothing worst than driving and you realize that one of your kid “essentials” is in a back in the trunk. =(
  • If you are spending a few days in a mid-point location before venturing to another location, pack separate bags. On this vacation, we stayed for two days in North Carolina visiting family. However, we never once opened our FULL TRUNK. I packed all the clothes that we needed for those two days in a large duffle bag. One bag for 7 people. I made sure it was in the “easily accessible” group when packing the van. We had another bag full of tolietries that we needed. Our hotel stay was very simple. All the clothes that we wore were then thrown into the laundry bag we found in the hotel closet. They were the first load of clothes I threw in when we landed at the beach house.
  • Make use of all your space. I tossed all my spices that I brought in my big pot. I used the space under the kids’ bucket seats to store my frying pan, and large baking dish. I brought a large laundry basket and used it to store all my towels and bed linens that I needed for the house. The laundry basket would later be used to fold laundry when we arrived.
  • Don’t forget chargers for all your electronic devices. Plug everything in and fully charge before you pack for your trip.
  • Pack specialty bags for each of the kids. I bought small colorful tote bags for each child for the trip. I put several little treats in the bags (fruit snacks, 2 lollipops, a granola bar) and then let the kids fill the bags with activities/toys that they wanted for the trip. The children packed coloring pages/crayons, barbies, legos, small balls, and reading books. These little totes were added to the “easily accessible” group and placed at each child’s seat.
  • Pack a throw blanket for each passenger. This was essential for our trip. With the nights growing colder, the kids used their throw blankets on the drive down. These same throws were used at our beach house to snuggle on the couches and wrap around ourselves during the cool, windy nights on the back deck.

Plan, prepare and get your packing underway early so you can enjoy your vacation!!!

photo 2God Bless,

Tammi

Tip Tuesday: Do you need……ten more minutes????!!!!

If I just had 10 more minutes…..

cuddling time...

cuddling time…

I feel like I find myself saying this all the time.

This is me and Miss Missy cuddling in my bed one morning. I treasure those little arms around my neck….when she wants to cling on for dear life.

This is where I want to spend my time: cuddling with the kids; reading with my toddler and my newly established reader; having dance parties; and just being flexible to do anything I want.

I love to savor all these memories….

BUT…There is so much to do.

And then I started realizing that there were times in my day, that I was really not being efficient.

I would encourage you to look at your day and ask yourself….

“Am I making the most of this time?”

I started realizing that if I planned a little more….thought things out a little more…

that I was able to accomplish a lot more in my day.

Then I had more time for this….

goofing around...

goofing around…

So….here are some things that I added/changed about my day to make it more efficient:

  1. Make the most of the first moments in the morning. I wake up around 6:30 in the morning. I wish I could get up around 6 and workout but…I have “those” kids that when they hear the smallest sound, they are awake. So 6:30 seems to work…although I see my “littles” around 6:45 or 7:00. I try and grab my shower at night, and wake up and grab some prayer time. I keep my mediation in my end table and it takes me about 10 minutes to read and pray. If I have some “me” time before the kids, I’m less likely to be irritated right away. I’m focused on the day. I read over my schedule for the day and give my day direction.
  2. Try and not enter the same room twice. When I hear little Miss Missy calling from her room in the morning, it’s “go” time for her. As soon as we have our little “hug and kisses” good morning, its straight to change her diaper and get her ready for the morning. However, before I leave her room, I make her bed and arrange her stuffed animals neatly. She places her “nummy” on top where she can find it later. Then we pick up anything on her floor and put it away. If its a Sunday morning, I will pick out her church clothes and lay them out as well. In my mind, I will not enter that room until her nap time. I know I probably spend more time than most people for breakfast in my kitchen….and not just because my kids always want a hot breakfast…haha. However, I like to take care of everything, and then walk away feeling great and having accomplished alot. So after my kids eat breakfast, I send them off to begin independent school work while I finish in the kitchen. I unload and re-load the dishwasher, wipe down countertops, wash down the breakfast table, and sweep. Then I can mentally and physically move into homeschooling mode until we enter the kitchen for lunch or mid-morning snack.
  3. Multi-task whenever possible without neglecting time with the kids. I don’t mean to check your email or FB when hanging with the kids. Often when I am finishing up my kitchen duties, one or more of the children will come in and “review” their current poem with me. Since they are working on memorization, it only requires me to know the poem and listen. However, if I am giving Miss Missy a bath, why not break out the vinegar/water cleaner and clean the mirror? or do an inventory of the kids bathroom tolietries? I mean….she’s only 1 1/2…I can’t leave her by herself so what can I do in the bathroom? If I’m in the school room and the kids are working independently for a few minutes, I might do a puzzle with Mini Me or reorganize some bins or bookshelves.
  4. Map out the best route/routine for your day. I have quite the active crew but around 1:30 Miss Missy goes down for about a 2-3 hour nap. Before I take her up to bed, I quiet her by reading her a little book. I don’t have a long naptime routine because I need her to go down without alot of work to maximize my time. After putting her in her crib, I usually put my laundry in the dryer and throw in a new load. When I return to get her out of her crib, I will fold the clothes in the dryer and move my clothes to the dryer. (I have now finished my two loads of laundry for the day without giving exclusive time to laundry) Now, in order to ensure a quiet rest for her, I don’t allow any kids upstairs during this time. I have installed a “quiet time” for the whole house for about an hour. I need the kiddos to calm themselves as well. This time, without Miss Missy, is crucial to getting certain things done. When I am making my Thing to Do list for the day, I make sure I am really using this “nap time” in the best way possible. I use this time to schedule appts; make business calls; catch up with old friends on the phone; work on a tough lesson with one of the older kids; or do some extensive reorganization. And then sometimes…I just crash on the couch because Momma is exhausted!!!!
  5. Early dinner prep in the morning or at lunch can save so much time!!! Listen…I hate the 4-6 “bewitching hour”. The kids are tired and crazy. Everyone is hungry and you are just trying to make dinner without burning anyone. And everyone swears by their crockpot but sometimes…you don’t have 7 hours or maybe you are making something in the oven or on the stove. So…here’s a tip. Plan what you are having for dinner and do some prep in the morning. Are your kids cereal kids???? Even better….while they are chomping away, do some dinner prep. This morning I knew that I was having meatloaf for dinner and would need to chop up peppers and onions ..so…for breakfast I made an omelet. I chopped up my veggies and put 1/3 in my omelet and the rest were put away for dinner. I also cut up my butternut squash while my bacon was frying for the kids. This evening was great. My dinner prep was 15 minutes and I spent some time doing research on my computer while my dinner was cooking. I was not yelling at kids or stressed out.
  6. Utilize your idle time in the car. This is soooo integral for not wasting time. I swear by it! If you are like me and hate to be late, sometimes you find yourself early for pickup or waiting for a music lesson, etc. This is the time to:
  • pull out those flash cards or do Math drills.
  • clean out your car/ van when we have some time spent waiting.
  • Listen to some books on tape. Get extra copies of the book from the library and let those kids READ!!!!
  • Play some preschool songs like “the wheels on the bus”. I feel like my 3 yr old is learning as well and I’m not neglecting her “schooling”.
  • Keep some library books stocked in a little bin in your car that can ONLY be read in the car.
  • Keep a little box of crayons and a few coloring books in your car. (I keep these in the bin with the library books. This has saved me a few times)

I hope that this week you will find your 10 extra minutes….or more!!!!

Pray hard, work hard and play hard!!!!

God Bless,

Tammi

Tip Tuesday: Top five random things I did this week for sanity…..

Seriously…sometimes I go through a week and I’m like, “how did I make it through that?”

It’s God’s grace and a lot of good “tips” and “tricks”.

(Like the fact that its 11:30pm and I am writing a “Tuesday tip” blog…..)

You may read this and just have a good laugh, or you may read this and start taking notes.

No worries…no judgement here.

I live in survival mode.

IMG_1539

  1. I buy several of these every year. They run about $1 at the local target or walmart. Miss Missy has really bad eczema especially on her hands. Anything acidic just rips at her skin, however She LOVES spagetti and pineapple….two very acidic foods that she is NOT allergic too. Sadly, within minutes of feeding herself, she is in tears from the painful itching on her hands. This week I put these gloves on her hands as she ate dinner. I didn’t have to scrub any red sauce out of her tiny nails while she cried. It was awesome!!! I mean…what little kid DOESN’T want to eat with gloves on.

2. My little toddler is on the go. She wants to walk around and eat and I don’t want to have to walk behind her cleaning up her messes. Insert this……..yep…standard measuring cup with a handle. I pour a few craisins in and she’s super happy. She holds the little handle and walks around eating out of the cup with her other hand. She thinks its the coolest “bowl” ever. The handle is perfect for her little grip.IMG_15433. Yeah…that’s a GI-NORMOUS fort in the MIDDLE of my school room. Apparently, it was the ONLY place to finish up independent reading. It was complete with fluffy floor pillows and a CD playing music. So…if you are having trouble getting your kids to read or do their homework….build a fort….”they will come….”. hahahaha…..It also doubles as a babysitter for toddlers…..fyi……

IMG_1486       4.  One of the toughest things for kids is...not getting enough sleep. My fourth tip is to let your kids sleep in, or encourage afternoon naps if you feel their personality changes. Sweet Pea has been really argumentative lately with her siblings. She’s also crying about how “she’s not sure why”… My guess is that she’s struggling with hormones and needs more independent time. I’m trying to get her to take more time to go up in her room and lay across her bed. Obviously, I feel like she could use the added sleep as well. Apparently, from this picture, she’s quite content.

IMG_15485.  Both my son and daughter are working on the 50 United states. My son is memorizing all the states and their placement on the map and my daughter is working on states and their capitals. This week I pinned up this huge wall map for the two of them. On the right is a smaller blank map with just outlines of the states. They have been spending a few minutes in front of the map daily and it’s been really beneficial. I also utilized Post-it’s little page tabs to keep track of their work. The yellow tabs are the states that DDD knows and the pink tabs are the states/capitals that Sweet Pea has memorized. It helps them to see what states or capitals they need to study and helps me to quickly “quiz” them without opening a book.IMG_1550

Well….that’s the beginning of our week so far. What fun tips are getting you through this week?

I would love to hear if any of these tips were helpful

God Bless,

Tammi

Tip Tuesday: Laundry sorting!!!

Do you have fears of laundry like this?

or does this look like your laundry?

Do you want a simple solution?

When you have a growing family, it feels like you are always about two days of “no laundry washed” to meet this point…..haha.

Well…I wanted to share with you my “secret” to laundry sorting and piles.

I always promised myself that I wouldn’t have a “laundry room” that you have to close the door when company comes. I wanted my laundry room to be functional and yet clean enough to allow my cleaning ladies in to wipe down the appliances and mop the floor twice a month.

IMG_1341These are my laundry hampers in the hallway upstairs. (You can see the proximity to the laundry room.) Only my husband and I have a hamper in our room. All of the children sort their clothes into these hampers every night/day.

I wanted to find a way that prevented the kids from having tons of clothes in their room; under their bed; or lost socks, etc. I believe that sorting their clothes and keeping them OUT of their room has been the best decision.

IMG_1336I printed up these simple laundry tags using Microsoft word. Coloring in the color clothes that I wanted in each bin made it easier for the kids to figure out how to sort their clothes. After 2-3 “guilty parties” had to be pulled over to the hamper to “check” their mistake and “rectify”, the system has been a huge success.

IMG_1339

light clothes

IMG_1337

white clothes

dark clothes

dark clothes

I wash about 2 loads of laundry a day and place them in the kids respective bins that I posted about here. One of the kids Saturday morning chores is to put away all their clothes in their bin.

IMG_1343When there is an “issue” or some kind of laundry needs special care or is time sensitive, the kids or myself will place them in one of these purple bins on the top of the washer. In the picture below, I placed an outfit that Miss Missy peed in and on the right are wet dishcloths/dishtowels from the kitchen. Granted, if the washer was empty,  these would get placed right in the washer…..but…is not very often empty. haha.

The kids also put their sports uniforms in a different purple bin so that they have everything they need for the next game and we don’t lose a soccer sock or cup strap in the laundry hamper.

IMG_1342I’m not saying its the “perfect solution” but I’m not a consistent person. When I find a system that consistently works for me, I want to share it with others who may have the same need.

IMG_1344Happy Laundering!!!!

God Bless,

Tammi

Tip Tuesday!!!

Everyone loves a great tip. Something “tried and true”… that someone you know (that’s me) can attest to.  I’m going to attempt to do a few tips every Tuesday. So here are a few kitchen tips:

IMG_0265


Defrosted Meat Caddy

I like to defrost meat on Sunday for the week. If I have just been shopping, I portion out my chicken breast into freezer bags and divide my ground beef/ground chicken into the portions I am going to use. If I have it all together in one place, it can eliminate meat from leaking “unexpectantly” into the bottom of my fridge. It can also remind me of any meat that I may have planned to use, but forgot about.

Fruit rinse

Fruit rinse

When I bring my fruit home from the grocery, I get so frustrated if it only lasts 2-3 days before mold starts to grow on it. I mean…..raspberries only last about one day before I find half of them succumb to mold. I found this great tip on Pinterest. You blend about a cup of regular, white, distilled vinegar with a sinkful of water. I just threw all my fruit in this big plastic bin and let it soak a full 15 minutes. I let all the fruit drip dry completely on paper towels. It’s amazing! Totally makes your berries last at least a week or two.

asparagus in water

asparagus in water

Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies to roast with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. However, if I have one of those weeks when I’m running around like crazy and just throwing in steamable veggies for a fast dinner, I can forget about these babies in the veggie drawer. Ta Da!!! Introduce the newest tip of putting asparagus in glasses of water in the fridge. Seriously….this makes the asparagus stay fresh for about two weeks.

Hope these add a little joy to your kitchen!

God Bless,

Tammi