Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

I can hardly believe that we could make detergent for about a year for $20. 

It just blows my mind how expensive detergent is (Tide is easily $15 for 100 loads, which never seems to actually last 100 loads.) 

You can find the recipe here from Being Creative to Keep My Sanity. My only critique is that we used a food processor to make the Fels Naptha soap into a powder form. We have a small processor so I only processed one bar at a time and made sure to break up the soap with a knife before processing it. 

We mixed all of the detergent in a double bagged garbage bag. We put the bag in a small clean bucket to add all the ingredients and then closed the bag and shook up the mix. We then put our containers in the tub and cut off the bottom tip of the bags to funnel the detergent into the containers. 

Oh and I found my glass container at Salvation Army for $5! You can also get them at Target for $8 or $9.

And thats it! Now enjoy the great way this detergent works :) I think it works better then tide!

Delicious Eats!


That is the only way to describe my current cooking style! 

My goal has been to limit the amount of preservatives we eat, and they are just in everything! Salad dressing, frozen food, soup, lunch meat, ugh...the list goes on and on and on. I know in this world and with our busy schedules it will be almost impossible to completely cut them from our diets. But a girl can dream...

The delicious salad above it a combo of my farmers market finds from this week (except the olives). I even made the dressing!! It is so so so so yummy and was adapted from the recipe found Here.

Cilantro-Lime-Ginger Dressing 

4 large (6 small) Cloves of Garlic
2 T. Fresh Ginger (just estimate)
2 Bunches of Cilantro (trim the stocks off)
1/3 Red Onion
 Juice from 3-4 Large Limes
1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 t. Crushed Red Pepper
1 t. Salt
3 T. Honey
1/2-3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil

Put it all in a food processor (or a blender if you don't have a processor). You may need a bit more oil or vinegar if it seems to thick from the cilantro. 

It should keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

These delicious pretzel dogs were so fun and delicious! The recipe was from Brown Eyed Baker who is an absolute genius.

My little version of a...
 ...Monte Cristo...
...from let over french toast.

2 slices of French Toast
1 slice of Thick Ham
1 slice of Thick Turkey
1-2 t. of Apricot Jam
1 slice of Provolone Cheese

Make a sandwich out of the above ingredients minus the jam. Wrap your sandwich in paper towel and microwave for 45 seconds. After you take it out of the microwave and put on the jam. 

Eat Up! Yum!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Falling in Love with Autum Dessert!

With all this eating healthy I have been doing I was completely craving a little piece of something sweet. But with cookies, pastries & chocolate off limits I was having a hard time thinking of something that would keep my healthy habits unbroken. 

Luckily, my rules said nothing about adult beverages (which would not be considered healthy at all)...and we have had our martini glasses for months and they had yet to be used. So a martini it was, now I just had to find a fun recipe with the little alcohol we have in our apartment. Actually, we only have Gin. So that would be considered very limited in the martini world. 

This recipe for an Apple Cider & Ginger Martini caught my eye and it was utterly delicious!! Watch out tho, this recipe will sneak up on ya if your not careful.

With that I was thinking that a baked apple would be great. I just love apples in the fall. A crisp apple has to be my favorite all time snack and the fall opens the doors to a fresh crop of apples, yum!

I searched and search the internet and could not find just the right recipe. Nothing felt right with trying to eat a healthy dessert. Well you know what to do then, make one! 

I can up with...

 Spiced Pastry Cream Baked Apples

Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Bathroom Makeover

Calvin and I just do not do well with white walls, and the walls in our apartment were ever so white when we moved in! 

No amount of colorful wall hangings could help this place. It just felt cold and uninviting.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October Favorites

1. Pumpkin Carving with my Hubby- We had such fun this year with our pumpkins! I think they really brought out our personalities and I just love em'!

2. Coffee Pressed Coffee- I am in absolute love with my coffee press! Now that I have mastered making a good cup o' joe with it I could not be more pleased. Every morning with just a little brown sugar and soy creamer and I am off to take on whatever the day may hold :)

3. Sriracha- I admittedly went through a bottle of this stuff in a month. It is by far the best hot sauce out there and is awesome on everything from eggs to soup! YUM! (PS- it is pretty hot but has a nice flavor)

4. The Hunger Game Trilogy- If you have not yet read them I highly suggest you do. You will not be able to put them down! I just finished "Mockingjay" today in about 48 hours. If you have already seen the movie I still recommend picking up the first book, there is so much more detail in it that I think you will still be on your toes!

5. Vintage Chunky Sweaters and Shorts- With it being about 60-70 degrees here all the time I am just obsessed with shorts and sweaters! Most days you can find me in my new favorite Izod sweater I found at the thrift shop and my favorite Gap shorts (which were also a thrifting find)

DIY Burlap Runners

This post is loooooooong overdue! I made these runners almost a year ago for our wedding. 21 runners in all. I have to admit, it was not much fun to spend my last spring break as an undergraduate student making these lol, but they were worth it! They looked soooo great on the tables at the wedding. I cannot remember exactly what they cost me, but it was under $1 each...which beats the $6-$10 they go for after they have been used for a wedding (yep, I sold mine on in their recycle your wedding section for about $175)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

30 Days to a Healthier Me


...Confession time....

...I have been planning this post for a few weeks now and avoiding committing myself to actually doing it. Since Calvin and I got married a few months back and went on our roller coaster of an adventure, and as we continue that said adventure I have not been taking care of myself very well. With all the craziness and adjustment I may have turned to food more then once (or twice...) for a sense of comfort. 

Lets just say our lives have been ticking time bombs for change since the moment we said "I Do." I have never appreciated change very much, even though my life seems to always be in constant life changing change mode. 

Moral of the story...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ramblings from my Morning

A few weeks ago our pastor brought up the political side of being a Christian. Which of course led to the judgement of the world talk. I think those of us that have grown up in the Church know what I mean. We have heard before that as Christians we are not here to judge but to love others as Christ loves us. 

Kinda a blow to the head isn't it? 

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 NLT

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Touch of Spice: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Calvin just LOVES Chicken Tortilla Soup! I have never tried my hand at making it before but I am sure glad that I did tonight! It was soooooo good and actually really easy!

Continue reading for the recipe...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Farmers Market, Charlotte Style!

I just love farmers markets! The fresh vegies, happy people getting great deals, how could you not love it! The farmers market was a bit (ok, a lot) different then the farmers market that we went to in San Fran. For starters there were no nudists in sight lol. Otherwise, I just found it really interesting that this market has buildings and it open tuesday-saturday! Honestly, it was a bit smaller then I expected but the prices and produce were awesome!! The best prices I have seen at a farmers market yet!

Staying Organized

It amazes me how much work it is to take care of a household for my hubby, myself and our dog. With bills, grocerys, coupons, budgets, meal planning and cleaning up after us I feel as I have a full time job. So while I sit here daily and apply for jobs I can just hardly comprehend staying on top of it all when I am employed full-time. But there is always a solution to staying organized and I always like to make it "fun?", while as fun as it can be...

I had spotted a "Home Binder" on pinterest awhile back and just had to make my own. While the ones I found were helpful for ideas they just didn't match my style or what we needed them for, so to InDesign I went and here is what I came up with! Under each sample you can download the PDF so you can print them for yourself.

I also plan to make a Christmas Gift Planner, Birthday and Anniversary Reminder, Checkbook Log, Blog Idea Calendar, Monthly Master Calendar & a Fridge "need" List. But those will be added on as soon as I finish them. The ones below I have found to be very helpful!! Enjoy!

Read More for more home binder PDF's

Monday, October 8, 2012

Desk Organization

As much as I would love to show you the entire desk, because I LOVE our desk!! We got it off of craigslist (of course) for about $100 less then it retails for at Ikea. The whole picture is still "In Progress" (and a bit messy!). So we will just stay away from that for a bit. But while working on the whole picture we saw this awesome inspiration pic on Pinterest, Found Here.

We just loved the idea so we just had to put the pieces together! 

Pumpkin Time & Fun Fall Date Ideas!

Our "Modern" Pumpkins. Mine is the Owl and my hubby made the chevron!
I am not really sure that my husband or I really got the memo about being adults. We are all about fun during fall! We love apple picking, pumpkin carving, corn mazes and it seems the best time of the year for wine tasting! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Bit of a Reality Check. Faith.

"Hold My Heart" Tenth Avenue North

As I sit here writing on this old and worn out laptop, typing with a hand that has just stopped hurting from all the typing and searching the internet for jobs, I feel drained. In all of those jobs I have been applying for I cannot say that even one of them feels like it would "fit." I will admit that I have even ignored a few "704" local numbers that have called my phone today. I feel like a stubborn toddler. 

 You see, deciding to major in Psychology was a tough decision for me, and I feel now in this moment that it was the wrong decision. The life I dreamed of before that decision was full of Fashion, money, traveling the world, and being what I deemed to be "perfect." At that time my schooling was easy, honestly the classes were so fun that studying was often reading the latest Elle or Vogue. Then reality hit. My life took a turn, due to my stupidity one summer and it changed me. 

Really God changed me. 

He turned my life from being "me" centered to Him and with that I struggled with the dream life that I knew I could be headed for. God always knows what you need so he brought me a friend, really a mentor, to open my eyes. She too had a difficult life and it brought her to help others, really to share her story and live as an example. Her story is really amazing and she even wrote a book about it! She helped me to see that my past, being unique yet relatable could really help others. She even threw around the idea of us writing a book together! But at that point I was too young, and fragile in my faith so I didn't see the value in that awesome offer. 

Very long story short(er) I ended up in Psychology longing to find my place with helping others yet still not really diving into my faith. Now as I am graduated, married, and looking for a job in a place that both my husband and I feel we are suppose to be, I am discouraged. Affording graduate school seems at least a few years off and finding a job in anything resembling helping others seems almost impossible. While there are some jobs available here in Charlotte, almost all of them seem to have nothing to do with what I feel called to do. 

Its times like these that the stubborn side of me wants to throw my hands up in the air and crawl into a corner. Trust me, I am good at pouting. But this time it seems that God is maturing me. For the first time, at 22, after a little pouting I am able to pick up His word and try to find a bit of hope when I just feel like crying. I know its pathetic, I can obtain a good job with decent pay and my husband and I will have just what we need, but I am afraid that I will feel as though my time is worthless. 

So here I am, praying that the Lord will provide a job that I will find some joy in. That I will feel as though in some small way I am making a difference. Here I am throwing up my hands and letting God take the wheel. 

I knew in this time that I needed to read and meditate on those words, but where to start? I remembered our pastor saying a few Sundays ago to start in John when you don't know where else to go. So to John I went. 

As I read it occurred to me that the Lord came to this earth to be an example and to pay our debt. He is the example of love and grace, patience and hope. This is the example I need to follow no matter where He puts me. I've already decided that I will be a woman of integrity in this job search, I will be honest about where I feel called (which is graduate school when we can afford it), since most of the company's want career minded individuals I know this may hurt my chances. I truly believe that the Lord will provide a job that will be where HE needs me. Not always necessarily where I want to be, but He will have a purpose for me and that is what I need to strive for. 

Plus, I always have this blog. Which I love :) The song up top I came on pandora while I was meditating on what I read in John and it really spoke to me. I know that the Lord is holding my heart and that to me is quite a comfort!

S'mores Brownies!!

Found this yummy dessert to take to a friends house one night :)

The recipe can be found here @ Recipe Girl
...since I did not have enough chocolate around I needed a brownie recipe that used cocoa powder so I used the one found HERE

DIY sweater quilt!

This post has been long overdue!! I made these two blankets LAST Christmas! The red for my brother and the blue for my dad :) I think they turned out great! I found the how to on a tutorial Here!! I honestly think that her blanket turned out much better :) I would definately suggest using only wool sweaters. I used whatever I could find but I found that the 100% wool worked best. I will admit they are harder to find, but it is possible!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Bit of Sparkle!!

I found this pretty craft on Pinterest of course!! All props go to the The Sweetest Occasion!! They are the creators of this awesome project :)

I think that my glitter was a bit larger then what they used in the above tutorial, but with two coats of ModPodge and glitter it worked just fine :) I plan on putting these away till Christmas, I think they will be just adorable with some candles glowing through the glitter! 

A Splash of Color (and a painting tip!!)

We decided our white walls were "blah." Just too much white for our vibrant personalities lol.