October 25, 2014

SOLD! & We Have Moved

Hey all. My house has sold and we have moved into our rental! Here’s what’s new.

real estate sign that says sold

The internet just got connected so I’m back in business.  I’m working on setting up my office today so I should be back to blogging normally.

We have been moving for the past 4 days!! We had 2 trucks and a crew of six move the main stuff and then we rented a U-Haul and made numerous trips ourselves. We have a lot of stuff. Way too much stuff!

garage full of boxes

I will be getting rid of lots of this “stuff”! This is a small two car garage and it’s so full we only have a narrow path to the door that goes inside. I had a huge garage sale before we moved and we’ve been donating to Goodwill since January.  I didn’t realize we had so much storage at the other house but apparently we did.

living room wall color before painting

I couldn’t take the color in the living room – it looked like a army green to me. So when we had our walk thru with our landlord I begged him to let me  paint (even though it says we can’t in our lease) and he said ok as long as it wasn’t a weird color. If you ask me, the color that was there was weird.

living room with white paint

So I chose to paint it Bistro White by Valspar. I only had time to do the fireplace wall because I knew I didn’t want to have to move those bookcases to paint. It took a coat of primer and two coats of paint with primer. I have the other 3 walls to do (they have been primed).  I think this will be better color for a rental anyway. I also have another room that I need to paint.

We won’t be using this room to watch TV so I’ll have to think of something fun to cover up that mount.

moving in breakfast room

We’re going to use the breakfast room as our dining room. We don’t have a table yet since I had to sell my old one (wouldn’t fit in this space). We’ll be removing the ceiling fan and hanging the chandelier from the dining room (I think – it seems big so I may have to box it up and get something different for in here).

The kitchen is so much smaller than my old one that I really don’t know what to do with half of our stuff! I’m going to have to implement some of the ideas I’ve found on Pinterest to maximize that small space.

I’ll of course blog about the changes we make to the house and yard but don’t expect to have everything perfect right away. I intend to take my time with things and to enjoy the process instead of hurrying up just so I have some decorating  photos to post. But I’m sure I’ll have at least one decorating post a week :)

25 Creative Candy Corn Recipes

Are you crazy for candy corn? Check out this amazing collection of recipes that either use candy corn or are inspired by candy corn!

25 Creative Candy Corn Recipes

 

25 Creative Candy Corn Recipes

1. Candy Corn Cookie Bark From Sweet Bella Roos

2. Candy Corn Punch From Simplee Thrifty

3. Homemade Candy Corn Pretzels From Sugar Swings

4. Candy Corn Biscotti from Food Nasty

5. Candy Corn Oreo Bark From Raking In The Savings

6. Candy Corn Popcorn Bars From Wheel N Deal Mama

7. Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse Recipe From Meet Kristy

8. Candy Corn Crunch From This Mama Loves

9. Halloween Muddy Buddies Mix From Simply Being Mommy

10. Candy Corn Lollipops From Mess For Less

25 Creative Candy Corn Recipes including this  Candy Corn Party Mix from Fleece Fun

11. Easy Candy Corn Party Mix From Fleece Fun

12. Candy Corn Bark Recipe From Life Is Poppin

13. Candy Corn Cereal Treats From Baked Perfection

14. Candy Corn Peanut Bars From Easybaked

15. Candy Corn Magic Bars From The Domestic Rebel

16. Candy Corn Cookies From LilaLoa

17. Last Minute Candy Corn Cookies From Bake At 350

18. Candy Corn Bundt Cake From A Baker’s House

19. White Chocolate Candy Corn Cookie Bars From Love From The Oven

20. Candy Corn Striped Madeleines From Sugar Swings

21. Candy Corn Pop Tarts From Pint Sized Baker

22. Candy Corn Cookies From Baking Beauty

23. Halloween Candy Corn Popcorn From Erica’s Sweet Tooth

24. Candy Corn M&M Macadamia Nut Cookies From Something Swanky

25. Candy Corn Halloween Eclair Cake From Sweet Simple Stuff

These are also great for using up any leftover Halloween candy corn that you might have!

You may also like: 12 Creative Candy Corn Inspired Fall Decor Ideas

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Syrup

Last year I started a Homemade Solutions Series and somehow got sidetracked.  I’m going to start it back up since we’re going to be in our new home next week and I’ll finally have more time (Yay!) and making things from scratch is going to be a priority. So to start this series off (again) I’m sharing a easy homemade cinnamon coffee syrup (although you could also use this in place of store bought syrup on pancakes).

This homemade coffee syrup recipe is so easy to make (only 3 ingredients).  Just delicious in coffee or even on top of pancakes. Makes a wonderful gift too!

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Coffee Syrup

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Syrup
 
Very easy to make (only 3 ingredients) cinnamon syrup that's good in coffee and also on pancakes. This would make a great gift for a coffee lover.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ C. water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 C. + 2 tbs. of brown sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the water, cinnamon sticks and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. (You're house will smell amazing btw)
  2. Add a cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick
  3. Store the cinnamon syrup in a mason jar or other air tight container in the fridge when not using. Will last about a week.
  4. Use in strong hot coffee along with steamed milk topped with whipped cream & a sprinkle of cinnamon for a yummy homemade Cinnamon Dolce Latte!

Ingredients:

1 ½ C. water
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 C. + 2 tbs. of brown sugar

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, heat the water, cinnamon sticks and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. (Your house will smell amazing btw)

2. Add a cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

3. Store the cinnamon syrup in a mason jar or other air tight container in the fridge when not using. Lasts for about a week.

4. Use in strong hot coffee along with steamed milk topped with whipped cream & a sprinkle of cinnamon for a yummy homemade Cinnamon Dolce Latte!  How much depends on how sweet you like your coffee.

Treat yourself to some delicious coffee that tastes like a specialty flavor and give this recipe a try (or try it on pancakes/waffles).  It would also make a wonderful gift for a coffee lover (especially if you package it in a pretty glass bottle).

Make your own Cinnamon Dolce coffee with this easy to make coffee syrup. This would be a great gift for a coffee lover!Have you ever made a flavored syrup before?

You might also like:

Homemade Onion Soup Mix & Dry Cream of…..Soup Mix

Homemade Liquid Soap

Organizing Your Linen Closet

Re-organizing this house before we put it on the market made me realize that I really, really  like having a place for everything and everything in it’s place! I was surprised at how much my husband loves it too! One of the great things about moving is that you get to start over with your home. I plan on spending some time making sure that all the spaces in our new home are maximized for storage (since it’s a smaller home).

Fantastic ideas for organizing your linen closet!

One of those spaces is the linen closet! Most people don’t have a large linen closet so it’s really easy to just stuff things in there. But there’s something really lovely about an organized linen closet isn’t there! To help inspire you I’ve gathered some great linen closet organization ideas.

8 Tips for A Beautifully Organized Linen Closet

Ideas for organizing your linen basket like this one from A Bird and A Bean

Use plastic baskets to contain like items and don’t forget to label! The Dollar Tree has these baskets so you can make your linen closet look cute for not much money! See the before and after at A Bird and A Bean

Lots of great linen closet organizing ideas like this one from The Real Thing with the Coake Family

What a great idea! Use a office file sorter to hold washcloths! See this linen closet makeover at The Real Thing With The Coake Family

use towel rods on the inside of your linen closet  door for more storage via BHG

Love the idea of using towel racks on the inside of the linen closet door via BHG.  You could hang your tablecloths or tea towels on them. I roll my big bath towels like those pictured above instead of folding them.

Great linen closet organization ideas like this one from Simplicity in the South

Place shelf dividers between stacks to keep them separate and again, labels help.  See the full makeover at Simplicity In The South

Sheet sets wrapped in cloth via Martha Stewart

Here’s an interesting idea from Martha Stewart. Wrap each sheet set in a square of fabric to keep the sets together and easy to find (some people also like to put all the sheets into a pillowcase of the set.

Great linen closet organization ideas like this one from Turnstyle Vogue

Organize your linen closet with baskets  like this one from Turnstyle Vogue

Great linen closet organization ideas like this one from The Happy Housie

Use large baskets or bins on the floor of the closet. See the Before & After Linen Closet Makeover at The Happy Housie

2 different ways to fold towels

Here are 2 different ways to fold towels via Code Red Hat so that they’ll fit neatly on your shelf.

I hope this gives you some ideas for organizing your closet.

You can find all of my organizing posts here and my Pinterest  organizing board has lots of great ideas – find it here

 

This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than  A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

Sweet & Simple Projects: DIY Burlap Gingham & Wheat Napkin Ring

I’m going to be doing a new series for the rest of the year featuring projects/crafts that are really easy to do called Sweet & Simple Projects. The first project is a DIY napkin ring that’s perfect for fall! It’ll add a beautiful touch to your table for the simplest of dinners or an elaborate Thanksgiving meal!

DIY burlap gingham & wheat napkin ring. Perfect for your Thanksgiving table!

You can make one napkin ring in under 4 minutes so this is a pretty fast craft as well!

DIY Burlap, Gingham & Wheat Napkin Ring

Supplies Needed:

burlap
wired gingham ribbon (I used red cause that’s my favorite but black or any other color would work as well)
wheat (had some from a bunch I used several years ago but easy to find at any craft store)
hot glue
Scissors
sewing machine/thread

Directions:

1.Cut burlap into 2 ½ “ by 5” strips.

cut burlap into strips for napkin rings
2. Sew a ¼” seam all the way around to keep it from unraveling and to give it some structure.
3. Roll burlap strip overlapping ½” and sew together by hand or use a little bit of hot glue.

DIY napkin ring tutorial
4. Cut 2 or 3 wheat pieces from a bunch 3 ½” inches long.
5. Cut wired ribbon 5” long and wrap around wheat, tie off.

DIY Fall Napkin Ring Tutorial - making the wheat topper

6. Hot glue your wheat bundle securely to the burlap.

DIY fall napkin ring tutorial
Slip ring over fabric napkins gently.

Homemade napkin rings are not only frugal but also a great way to personalize your table!

Have you ever made your own napkin rings before?

 

This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

5 Ways I Reduce Food Waste & Save Money

A wise friend once told me that the most expensive item in my kitchen is the food that gets thrown out! Throwing away food is like throwing away money!  Here are 5 ways that I reduce food waste in my home and save money!

A wise friend once told me that the most expensive item in my kitchen is the food that gets thrown out! Throwing away food is like throwing away money!  It’s something that I’ve really been working on for the last few months. It’s so easy to throw out food that you forgot about that has gone bad at the back of the fridge. But you can save so much money by not wasting.  So I wanted to share some of my best tips for not wasting food and as a result, saving money.

Use Your Freezer

One of my biggest tips for not wasting money on food is to use your freezer.

I don’t know how many times, in the past, I have put meat in the fridge after grocery shopping only to forget about it. When I get home from the grocery store I automatically portion my meat into freezer bags and put it in the freezer, so I don’t even have a chance to forget about it.

Now if I have a little bit of an ingredient leftover from a recipe I put it in an appropriate container, mark what it is and the date on the outside and it goes into the freezer.  I use this a lot for tomato sauce.

Use your freezer to stop food waste

We eat our leftovers but sometimes there’s not enough leftover for a whole meal but enough that you don’t want to throw it away – I put that into the freezer also. Like sometimes I have one slice of pizza left so I wrap that up and into the freezer it goes. Every month I have a clean out the freezer lunch where we have a buffet of little leftover items.

I freeze the ends of bread or bread that we don’t get too before it goes stale. I have a post about what you can do with leftover bread here.

I freeze fresh fruit that needs to be used up and use it frozen in breakfast smoothies. I also do this with fruit that turns out to be not too tasty (you know, like that rock hard melon). It still has nutrients even though it doesn’t taste good.

You’d be amazed at all the things you can freeze!

Save money by using up your leftovers.

Use Your Leftovers

I can’t tell you how many times we eat leftovers in our home. I see no point in wasting it. I’ve found that leftovers are key to helping us not waste food and save money. If your family isn’t a big fan of leftovers, stick to meals they love and won’t mind eating double doses of or reinvent your leftovers into a new dish.

Also storing leftovers in see through containers helps a lot! If you don’t have those types of containers you could put a piece of masking tape on the top and mark what they are and the date. If you really don’t think they’ll be eaten in a timely manner freeze them.

I’ve found that having  a designated shelf for leftovers so that I (and everyone else in this family) knows where to look for them works. That way they don’t get shoved into that black hole that is the back of the refrigerator!

Meal Planning

If you’re just going to the store and buying whatever you want, you’re wasting food and money. I always try to take the time to do a quick inventory & meal plan so that I’m not wasting our food budget. That way I see what I have and know what I have to use up. You know, I’m not perfect with this but I’ve found it very helpful to meal plan and make the most of the food that I do purchase.

“Everything But The Kitchen Sink” Recipes

Have a few “everything but the kitchen sink” type recipes in your repertoire.  These are recipes where you can just throw in all kinds of things that are in danger of going bad like soups, stews, stir fry and omelettes/frittata. Also smoothies are good for both fruit and leafy greens that you have to use up.

An organized refrigerator will save you money

Organized Fridge

It’s easy to “lose” food in the fridge isn’t it? I’ve found that having  a designated shelf for certain things helps me remember what I have. For example we have a shelf for leftovers that I plan on using for lunch or reworking into another meal. We have shelf for produce, a part of a shelf for milk, creamer, yogurt and so on. I have a storage container just for cheese. This way I (and everyone else in this family) knows where to look for certain items.

You could use a bin to hold food that you want eaten first and label it that. I use this method with fruit that I know is not going to last long (like berries or melons vs. apples & oranges).

When we get lazy about cooking and storing food, we lose money. I know I can’t be on my best game all the time, but I really try to work my hardest in the area of no-food-waste. I hope you’ve find my 5 tips helpful!

What do you do to help reduce food waste in your home?

Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

This is an original post from A Cultivated Nest.  If you are reading this anywhere other than  A Cultivated Nest, this content has been stolen.

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