30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #29

I’m joining Money Saving Mom in her 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge! According to my goals I set for the week, I want to get at least 3 of these projects done, with pictures.

Project #29 – clean one thing (such as your dresser drawer, the microwave, oven, etc.).

At first, I was on the mental road to make this a difficult decision.  You see, I have two very different, but prominent sides to my personality that tend to hamper my quick decision-making abilities.  Part of me is a perfectionist. Part of me is just lazy.  Before I could travel too far down this road of internal conflict, I stopped myself and just looked up.  There was the microwave and it was dirty.  Problem solved. Whew! That was a close one.

 

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I’m curious…

What is the one thing you would clean in your house if given the choice?

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April Kids Book Club

One of the activities I wanted to start with our Meetup Moms and Kids group was a Kids Book Club.

Once a month we meet, read a book together, then have a craft that goes along with the theme of the book.  The book of choice for this first month was Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle.

Before everyone arrived, we made an example of our craft (below) to use as part of the story. Each child got to set out their animal when we got to that part of the book.

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For quick and easy craft, we found this free printable here.  The kids colored the animal the color from the story, cut them out (with help, of course), and used double-sided tape to attach them to popsicle sticks.

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30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #25

I’m joining Money Saving Mom in her 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge! According to my goals I set for the week, I want to get at least 3 of these projects done, with pictures.

Project #25 – Surface clean or deep clean your living room and kitchen.

We’re calling this good enough. 🙂

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I bet B walked around this morning with his “Sleep Sack” over his face for about 10 minutes.  He kept running into things like door frames, walls, and chairs…it was quite hilarious from my vantage point. 🙂

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And the living room…

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I’m curious…

What do/did your children carry with them for comfort in the toddler years?  Was it hard to get rid of down the road?

30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #24

I’m joining Money Saving Mom in her 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge! According to my goals I set for the week, I want to get at least 3 of these projects done, with pictures.

Project #24 – Clean out your linen closet.

You can pretend this is one of those games where you try to find the differences in the picture because not much changed from the before to the after.  A little folding here, a little shifting and rearranging, but not much else.  I need to get on Pinterest for some ideas on how to make my linen closet look CUTE.  Right now, it’s just making me yawn!

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Before

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After

 

I’m curious…

Any suggestions for making a linen closet more interesting?

30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #23

I’m joining Money Saving Mom in her 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge! According to my goals I set for the week, I want to get at least 3 of these projects done, with pictures.

After a weekend in the mountains with the ladies from my church, I felt quite refreshed and ready to tackle a few of the challenges that I missed last week.  Well it’s a good thing they didn’t take more than an hour because apparently that’s about all I had in me! 🙂  I don’t have much endurance when it comes to cleaning.  🙂

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The results of my target shooting this past weekend at our church women’s retreat. Not bad for a girl! 🙂

Project #23 – Sweep and vacuum all the floors in the house.

Honestly, I cheated on this one a little bit.  I broke it up into two days.  Did some vacuuming before I left last week and some vacuuming and sweeping today.  Brayden likes to “help” with these things, so they probably take a little bit longer than necessary. 🙂

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We hardly ever vacuum these stairs…seriously, it’s embarrassing.  Today they were vacuumed!

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I’m curious…

What area of your house do you dislike vacuuming the most?

Apple Crisp Recipe

God Bless my Grandmother.  She always has the best recipes. 🙂

This one was, of course, awesome too.  I made this for our Lancaster County Cookbook Club April meeting.  Like our Facebook Cookbook Club, our theme was to make a dish with your favorite spice.  Again, I chose nutmeg (like I did for this Sweet Potato Pie recipe). The beauty of our Lancaster County Cookbook Club is that we actually get together and taste test all the recipes.  It is a beautiful thing, people.  I highly recommend it.

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The filling

**The filling amounts on the original recipe actually gave me enough filling to do two apple crisps with the sizes of pans I was using! One for cookbook club and one for us to eat at home…yay!

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The topping

**From the original recipe, I doubled the topping because of the extra surface area from doing two pans.

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This is how you wrap the foil around the edges.  Take a long piece of foil, fold it in half, and wrap it around the edge of the pans.  Fold it down around the edges of the pan to prevent crisping.

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Served with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream or Vanilla Bean ice cream.

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APPLE CRISP

Makes a Deep 9”x13”x 2” Stoneware Dish (or (2) 3 Qt. Pans**)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Using softened Butter generously grease deep 9”x13”x 2” Stoneware Dish (or Two 3 Qt. Pans**).

10 Cups Peeled Cored, Sliced, Rome or McIntosh (slice Apples  into thick slices) (about 11 big Apples)

  • 1 ½ Tbs. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Combine Apples and Lemon Juice in a large bowl; set aside.

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg

Using a whisk, combine Sugar, Flour, Salt, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg; mix with Apples, to evenly coat. Spread Apples evenly in bottom of Dish; set aside.

TOPPING: (Double topping if using two 3 Qt. pans**)

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour                             
  • 1 Cup Medium Brown Sugar                     
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon                        
  • ¼ Tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg              
  • ¼ Tsp. Salt                                                         
  • ¼ Tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Quick Rolled Oats
  • 10 Tbs. Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • ½ Cup + 2 Tbs. Coarsely Chopped Pecans, Optional
  • ½ Cup + 2 Tbs. Hot Water

Combine Flour, Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda in a large mixing Bowl; add Oats. Add melted Butter and mix, using a fork, till all is moistened with Butter.

Sprinkle the Topping evenly over the Apples; pressing and smoothing it down gently with a spoon; sprinkle Pecans over top.

Pour the ½ Cup plus 2 Tbs. Hot Water over all.

Make a collar with the foil (dull side out) bending top over somewhat (leave an opening) to almost cover top of Apple Crisp, to keep edges and top of Apple Crisp from over browning.

Bake Dish on center Oven Rack for 53 minutes (48 minutes for McIntosh Apples); remove foil and bake 17 more minutes (15 minutes for McIntosh Apples).

Remove Dish to Wire Rack to cool for about 2 hours.

Serve with Vanilla Bean or Butter Pecan Ice Cream, if desired.

Next Week’s Meal Plan

Tuna Casserole via Allrecipes.com (Click on picture for recipe)

Breakfast

  1. Oatmeal x3, glass of milk
  2. Eggs x2, toast, glass of milk
  3. Breakfast Smoothies (recipe to come) x 2, milk
  4. Egg Whites for the Husband

Lunch

  1. Dinner Leftovers, salad or veggie
  2. Fish sticks, salad or veggie

Dinner

  1. Best Tuna Casserole, salad or veggie x2
  2. Peanut Ramen Noodle Salad, salad or veggie
  3. Meatball Subs, salad or veggie
  4. Crepes with Spinach, Bacon, and Mushroom Filling (Date Night – Paris themed) —-possibly do an easy dessert crepe with vanilla whipped cream and berries

Snacks/Drinks

  1. Yogurt
  2. Other snacks already on hand
  3. Fruits/Veggies
  4. Chocolate Pudding
  5. Easy Salsa Recipe

Fruit/Veggies to Buy on Sale

  1. Romaine Lettuce
  2. Plum tomatoes, jalapeños, and Hass avocados to make Cowboy Caviar 
  3. Golden Delicious Apples
  4. Cantaloupe

Dessert

  1. 2 Ingredient Cookies – The Burlap Bag (never made these last week, so we’ll try again this week!)

7 Weekly Goals

Apple Crisp - Made for April Cookbook Club - Recipe Coming Soon

Apple Crisp – Made for April Cookbook Club – Recipe Coming Soon

So here it goes, following a similar outline as Money Saving Mom

GOALS FROM LAST WEEK…

Personal Goals

1. Exercise at least 3 times.

Marriage Goals

2. Read a chapter from a book about marriage.

Mothering Goals

3. Choose at least 3 activities from Pamm’s House and incorporate the week’s theme, Quilts.

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family Goals

4. Read an article on active listening.

Financial Goals

5. Spend less than $60 this week on groceries.

Business/Blogging/Project Goals

6. Email a friend about borrowing a staple gun.

Home Goals

7. Participate in 30-Day House cleaning challenge at Money Saving Mom at least three times.

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GOALS FOR THIS WEEK…

Personal Goals

1. Exercise at least 3 times.

Marriage Goals

2. Read a chapter from a book about marriage.

Mothering Goals

3. Choose at least 3 activities from Pamm’s House and incorporate the week’s theme, Rocks and Dirt.

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family Goals

4. Consciously practice paraphrasing in conversations at least 3 times this week.  This is part of a lesson on active listening.

Financial Goals

5. Spend less than $60 this week on groceries.

Business/Blogging/Project Goals

6. Buy fabric for my advent calendar project.

Home Goals

7. Participate in 30-Day House cleaning challenge at Money Saving Mom at least three times.

 

 

Unsolicited Advice – Measuring Flour

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Let me just begin by saying that I am not at all an authority on flour-measuring or any form of cooking whatsoever.  I was just making up some Zucchini Bread the other day and thought, “I wonder if everyone else measures flour like I do? If not, how do they do it? Would they like to know how I do it?”

This is the kind of self-talk that comes from writing a blog now.  Thanks, blog.

So, if you are interested, here are two ways that I measure flour…without putting it through the sifter. 

Grandma, am I doing this right? 🙂

Method #1:  Three Dirty Dishes

I leave this little whisk in my flour container permanently.  Never gets washed.  Then, when I’m ready to take out some flour, I whisk all the flour in the container so it is nice and airy, rather than tightly packed or compacted as it is after storage and handling.

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Next, I use a large spoon to gently scoop flour into the measuring cup.  Again, the goal is to keep the flour as airy as possible.

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Finally, I use the side of the whisk to level off the flour.  That’s it!

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Method #2:  One to Two Dirty Dishes

This method definitely cuts down on the number of dishes that are dirtied while cooking, but it requires a handy little kitchen scale.  It also requires this nice little measurement converter from the  King Arthur Flour website.  It’s really awesome.

So, all you have to do here is set your bowl on the scale.

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Zero out the scale.

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Use the King Arthur Master Weight Chart to determine how much flour you will need.  For All-Purpose flour in my example here, 1 cup = 4-1/4 oz. weight.  My recipe calls for 3 cups flour, so…

4-1/4 oz. x 3 = 12-3/4 oz. weight

I can either spoon the flour into the bowl or just dump it in from the container to achieve this weight.

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Here’s a picture of my scale…

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Hope this helps someone or at least cuts down on dishes!

How do you measure flour? Is there a better way that I’m missing out on? Please let me know in the comments below!

30-Day House Cleaning Challenge: Project #20-22

I’m joining Money Saving Mom in her 30-Day House Cleaning Challenge! According to my goals I set for the week, I want to get at least 3 of these projects done, with pictures.

Project #20-22 – Choose one of the following: surface clean the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen and living room.

I chose to do the downstairs powder room mostly because we had guests coming over this morning!  Nothing like waiting until last minute. 🙂

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I’m curious…

What would you fill those jars (in above photo) with if you were me? They’ve sat empty for probably three years. 🙂