5 Places to Clean in Your Living Room

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Friends and Family.  It’s been really busy here preparing for a family turkey dinner.  Having people over usually means I spend an entire day running around the house picking up something to put away and before I can put said item away I find something else that needs to be done first.  It’s a vicious cycle where at the end of the day I am exhausted and nothing has been done.

So I decided to get organized, and start with one room at a time.  I start with the bathrooms as they usually don’t take very long and move onto the common living areas (living room, dining room, kitchen) and finally the bedrooms last.

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15 Steps to Installing a Toilet

I apologize for the small hiatus.  It’s been a crazy month.  Mini Dodge has been keeping me on my toes as she has decided to learn to walk at four months.  Needless to say, I am busy.  On top of that comes apple season, I’ve been stockpiling apple crisp for the year, and it seems like we have been running all over the place showing off the Mini all summer. Busy Busy!

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The Very Best Apple Crisp

About an hour from our house is a bounty of U-Pick apple farms. You can get almost any kind of apple you want and you get the experience of picking it yourself. Last weekend the family went down to get a small bag of apples. 20 lbs later and 3 bags of fresh veggies later and we arrived home satisfied.

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The Cleaning Series: 5 Tips To Get A Cleaner Bathroom

I’m not going to tell you that you need to clean your shower once a week or that when you are cleaning your mirrors you should clean in a circular motion.  Everybody cleans a little different and if you have found a way to clean that is sufficient for you I will fully support that.  What I am going to offer you is some tips that I think about whenever I am cleaning a bathroom.

I’ll be honest with you, I try to clean my bathroom once a week, it doesn’t always happen!  Sometimes I can get to it every 3 or 4 days, or sometimes I have to stop and think about the last time I cleaned the toilet.  Gross I know – but we all get busy.  I can tell you though that if you call me 10 minutes before you come over, it’s the one room I make sure is clean.

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All In Soup

It seems like every week we are throwing out food that we just haven’t had a chance to eat.  It’s so frustrating, especially with the cost of food and the pay cheque being stretched to the ever increasing cost of living. It’s not like we are going to costco and buying everything in bulk either.  We have a plan and a list and usually only buy something when it’s on sale.

So, I did whatever I always do when I’m worried about money and started cleaning/sorting through things.  I pulled everything out of the fridge that wasn’t going to last the rest of the week and stared at it.  Blankly. For a long time.

Finally, it came to me – what did people use to do before refrigerators?  They made soup and threw everything in it.  So, here it is – my All In Soup – The best soup you can make when you have leftovers.

Disclaimer: I used measuring cups only for writing out the recipe, if I was going to make this soup again I would just pour in all of my ingredients.  You’ll see my notes about how to make this work in pink.

Foundation:

I had 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic left so I cut up them up into really small pieces (minced) and threw them in the pot with some butter, I cooked this until the onion was translucent.

Remember that whipping cream we used for pasta last week?  I had some left so I put about 1.5 cups of it in the pot.  I also added about 2 cups of chicken stock (vegetable stock or water would work just as well).  I brought that to the point where a couple bubbles were starting to come to the top (just to a boil)

At this point the consistently should be a little runny but when you let it drip off the spoon it should cause a small splash in the pot.  Another thing to remember is 0.75 cups of cream to 1 cup of stock or water.  You don’t want your soup to be too thick or it will just clump when you reheat it. 

Additional Ingredients:

I used cauliflower pieces (also called cauliflower rice) – it’s essentially just cauliflower cut up to about the size of rice. About 1 cup – You could also add instant mashed potatoes or rice if you wanted.

Salt and Pepper and about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. (the red pepper flakes are optional – you can use other herbs if you want).

I also used leftover broccoli, carrots, chicken, and bacon.  I let all of this simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat.  Just before serving I grated some cheese over top of it all.

My recommendation for adding your leftovers depends on how you like your soup – if you like thick soup add the same amount of additional ingredients as you did liquid (so, in this case, you added 3.5 cups of liquids, add 3.5 cups total of other ingredients).  If you don’t like souper thick soup (see what I did there?!?!), do about 2 cups additional ingredients to the 3.5 cups of liquids.  

Before you let it simmer too long have a taste – is it missing something? if it tastes bland add more salt and pepper.  If it’s too thick add about 1/4 cup of water, if it’s not thick enough add some more cauliflower, potatoes, or rice.  Trust your taste buds!

All In Soup

Ingredients

  • onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • 1 cup cauliflower pieces, rice, or instant mashed potato
  • 1.5 cups leftovers (chicken, bacon, broccoli, carrots, etc.)
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cooking Directions

  1. Saute onion, garlic, and butter in a stock pot (big pot) until Onion is translucent
  2. Add cream and broth, bring to a boil
  3. Add Cauliflower, mashed potatoes, or rice
  4. Add all other ingredients, let simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (optional)
  6. grate cheese over and serve

 

Tomato Sauce

In the grand finale of my pasta series I thought I’d make this one short and sweet.

It’s been raining here all day – the kind of day you want to lay in bed and read a good book or geek out on some sort of movie trilogy.  However, my Sister-In-Law / Kitchen partner in crime was arriving to make lasagna… from scratch – noodles, sauce, the whole 9 yards.  It was a fantastic morning and I did get some cozy time in bed reading this afternoon.  Win/Win!

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10 Places to Clean You Probably Don’t

I always enjoy a deeply cleaned house as we get ready to start a new school year.  I don’t know if it’s just ingrained in me that September brings around a fresh start or if the crisp fall air makes me realize I’ll be spending more time indoors and the house needs to finally be cleaned.  Either way, here are the 10 places I clean in the Fall.

Place Number 1: The wall beside the stove

This doesn’t count for everyone but if there is a wall beside your stove – clean it.  In fact, pull the stove out – clean around the stove – that crevice between the stove and counter is disgusting.  Grab some good cleaner and a heavy duty sponge and go to town on this area

 

Place Number 2: The baseboards (especially behind the bed and couch)

I like to take a Swiffer dry cloth or a microfiber cloth sprayed with a nice smelling cleaning solution and wipe down all the baseboards in the house.  Be forewarned, if you own your own house – this may spur you to want to paint walls as you’ll notice little cracks or peelings.

 

Place Number 3: Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans

When was the last time you stood on a chair and cleaned your light fixtures and ceiling fans (Fun Fact: A dirty pillow case is great for cleaning a fan.  Just put the fan blade inside the pillow case and rub it clean.  All the dust is inside the pillow case and it’s already dirty so you can just throw it in the wash when you’re done).

 

Place Number 4: Switch and Outlet Plates

The light switches and Electrical outlets get touched a lot, by a lot of people – just think, people sneeze on their hands (or worse – EW!) and touch your light switches.  It’ll almost make you never want to have people over ever again.

 

Place Number 5: Inside your Garbage Cans

I like to take my garbage can up to the bathtub (or outside if it’s nice), throw some dish soap inside it and scrub the inside of it out – after it’s all clean, I throw a dryer sheet in the bottom and insert a new garbage bag.

 

Place Number 6: Your closets

Your front closet, your bedroom closet, your linen closet.  Clean them out – get rid of things that are ripped, stained, or unused.  Pack away your flip flops and sandals and pull out the rubber boots and fall attire (if you live in Canada, don’t forget your toque and mittens).

 

Place Number 7: The kitchen Cupboards

Pull stuff out and wipe down the shelves.  Find some cheap baskets to help keep things organized.  Throw out whatever you don’t need – or better yet – give it to a friend and borrow it if you ever need it again (like a blender).

 

Place Number 8: Your Paperwork

Everybody has old school work, bills, receipts, or paper lying around.  Go through it – if you absolutely need it create a filing system, or if you really want to keep it long term, scan it.  Saving things electronically is a great way to keep documents you need without the hassle of actually keeping them. (Side note here:  Keep anything relating to the government for 7 years).

 

Place Number 9: Computer Files

Speaking of electronic files – sort through your e-files.  Get rid of everything you no longer need or have no use for.

 

Place Number 10: Ceilings

Look up, do you have mysterious marks on your ceiling?  They should be cleaned – a mop will do the trick – even a broom to get rid of the cobwebs will probably help.

 

 

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Anyone who has ever been to my house for a meal or two has more than likely had some variation of pasta.  I love it!  I could eat pasta 6 days a week, unfortunately, the scale usually reminds me that I need to eat other foods too *dramatic eye roll*

The best thing about having friends over for dinner and serving pasta, I can get rid of all the foods that are about to go bad that I know I won’t be able to eat by myself before I have to throw them out.  Sorry to my friends, I regularly use you all to clean out my fridge!

A creamy alfredo sauce is really easy and you can add other ingredients to it to make it a completely different dish.

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5 Reasons Why Being an Adult is Awesome

Everybody is always talking about how much being an Adult sucks – yeah sure you have to pay bills, clean up your own mess, and worry about things you’d never thought you would have to worry about (like, do I have enough pairs of socks? or Have my benefits kicked in at work? or better yet – when was the last time I went to the dentist?).

Here are 5 awesome reasons why I love being an Adult

 

Number 1:

You can live alone or with people, the choice is yours!  I personally love to live alone, yeah it gets a little lonely after a long day at work and you don’t have anyone to share your day with, but you also don’t have to wait to use the bathroom, do somebody else’s dishes, or deal with listening to your roommate’s poor excuse for a music collection. Plus, you can always hang out with a friend or call a family member (Note to my brother – call your sister more!).

 

Number 2:

If you want pizza for breakfast, you can have pizza for breakfast.  Remember all the sugary cereal your parents wouldn’t buy when you lived at home??  Hah! You can eat an entire box of it now! The options are endless, if you want Mozza stick poutine for supper, you go ahead!  Speaking of, have you tried Mozza stick poutine? A couple Mozza sticks in with your French fries covered in cheese and gravy – YUM!!!

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Number 3:

If you want to go grocery shopping at 2 am, you can.  Or you can stay up late playing video games – who’s going to tell you what to do?! Nobody! Cuz you’re a grown up

 

Number 4:

You can travel the world without adult supervision!  Imagine, hanging out on the coast of Italy or renting a cottage with some friends for a weekend.

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Number 5:

Best of all – you can buy alcohol. This one doesn’t even need any follow up.  It’s great – wine, beer, whiskey, try them all (just maybe not all at once…)!

2 Ingredient Pasta

A couple weeks ago, I sat down to write about one of my favorite food topics, Pasta.  After easily writing an essay on the subject without even mentioning a recipe I realized I needed to break this down.  So, for the next couple weeks, my recipe posts are going to focus on my soul food.

I wanted to give a quick shout out to my sister (in-law), she came over today to learn how to make pasta and show me how to make perogies.  It was a brilliant day and I am so grateful to have her in my life.

     

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