Why I Love My Appliances: BlendTec Blender Edition


It’s time for the fifth edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my BlendTec Blender.


Why I Love My BlendTec Blender: 
I love it for all the smoothies and shakes in the summer, and for all of my kitchen pulverizing needs. (Trust me, there are plenty.)

What I Use My BlendTec Blender For:
I use it for parts of recipes such as turning sugar into powdered sugar, chopping nuts, shredding chicken, grinding oats. I also make vegetable juice that I use in recipes instead of milk or water. When he needed it, I also made tons of baby food as well. Sometimes I use it for making soups, banana bread dough, or other recipes. (See my list below)

Features I Love About My BlendTec Blender:
I love that I can put it on a speed or use a preset. The blender turns off after the preset is finished or 90 seconds. I love that it works everytime and that it doesn’t crap out on me halfway through a smoothie. I could go on and on. Or you might have fun watching Will it Blend? (See More about My BlendTec Here)

Was My BlendTec Blender Worth the Investment?
We used to go out and get milkshakes with our meal, they were about $4 each. We never get those anymore because we can go make them at home (if we actually do or not doesn’t matter :). We also saved on things like baby food, I hardly paid anything for baby food because I was able to make it myself. We also save on things like chopped nuts and powdered sugar. I have found that it is amazing that our blender can take sugar and pulverize it into powdered sugar. Powdered sugar is about twice the amount per ounce as sugar so any way I can save is great. It also saves me from running to the store when I realize I have run out of it at the last minute. (See more about Powdering Your Own Sugar here)

There is one more major thing that this blender has saved us on, and that is buying new blenders. We were buying twenty dollar blenders before and none of them was able to withstand my husband’s smoothies. The fact that this one has lasted us a few years is incredible. We have had the blender bowl replaced by the warranty once, but that was incredibly easy to take care of over the phone. I immediately was able to talk to a real person. All in all it has been a great investment and the longer it lasts the more money it will continue to save us.

Recipes for My BlendTec Blender:
Not Refried Beans
Tomato Basil Soup
Green Chicken a la King

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on Amazon.com but all opinions are my own. I also love Amazon.com for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

Why I Love My Appliances: George Foreman Grill Edition

It’s time for the fourth edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my George Foreman Grill. At home, we call it just “george” or “the george”. Although my husband’s suit is also referred to as “the george” but we talk about that alot less often.

Why I Love My George Foreman Grill:
It’s much easier to use than an outdoor grill, it doesn’t matter if it rains and I can continue cooking everything else in the kitchen at the same time as babysitting the grill. Ok, I don’t use the real grill, I believe that is the man’s job. I am happy to use the george when the man doesn’t want to grill. I also love that you don’t have to wait long for it to heat up.

What I Use My George Foreman Grill For:
Mostly, I use my George Foreman for cooking chicken at the last minute. If I have a recipe that calls for chicken and I don’t have any cooked I usually have some frozen and I defrost it and cook it just in time to add it to a recipe or casserole. Sometimes I will make burgers or steak on it, and I recently made some grilled peppers for fajita night at my neighbor’s.

Features I Love About My George Foreman Grill:
I love that it is small and compact, and that all I have to do is turn it on. I also really like that it is angled so that most of the fat will slide off of the meat. I can say that I have never used the bun warmer on top. It’s useless because I have a toaster. See more about My George Foreman Grill here.

Was My George Foreman Grill Worth the Investment?
We got this little grill for $3 at a garage sale before we moved into our first apartment. Best $3 ever! Yes, we could make all of this stuff on a frying pan if we didn’t have it but I enjoy using this more, and it’s faster. Both of those things mean that I have used it many times to make something that I would have been to lazy to make otherwise. And if I am too lazy to make something that would mean that we would have eaten out or bought something pre-made and more expensive. Even at not-garage sale price I think we have made back our money’s worth.

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on Amazon.com but all opinions are my own. I also love Amazon.com for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

Why I Love My Appliances: Keurig Edition

It’s time for the third edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my Kuerig.

Let me start off with saying I don’t drink coffee. My husband does and he is the only one that does. For awhile that meant that we didn’t have a coffee maker of any kind, and he spent money at the coffee shop, and we all know that those places are not cheap. We finally bought a cheap coffee pot, but it made at least 4 cups of coffee and he only needed to take one to work. It was very wasteful, not to mention the filters and everything else.

Why I Love My Keurig:
I love using my Keurig for heating water to make tea, cocoa and oatmeal. It heats the water very efficiently and keeps it warm until you are ready to pour it. I usually turn it on when I’m on my way to get the baby out of bed, and it is warm and ready by the time I get back. This is another one of my appliances that get prime counter space, rather than being stored away. (This is a big honor for my appliances.)

What I Use My Keurig For:
I use my Keurig mostly for tea. I’m a little addicted, I have a cup or so a day. When my husband is home I use it to make him coffee that I send with him on his way to work. We don’t use the K cups, we use the My K Cup and fill it with regular coffee grounds. I even learned how to add the right amounts of sugar, milk and chocolate to my husband’s coffee depending on his mood. I sometimes use it to heat water for other things, like oatmeal or to put into a recipe.

Features I Love About My Keurig:
The keurig is nice, because it has smooth surfaces that are easy to clean with a little dish soap. The tray I can throw into the dishwasher as well. I do wish it had a timer so that it would automatically turn on in the morning, but it doesn’t take too long to heat up. Unless you’re running late. It would still be faster than a trip to starbucks though! I like that it holds lots of water, I don’t have to fill it very often. I have had problems with some of my travel mugs being too tall to fit where the cups go though. I keep a glass measuring cup on it now, so that its easy to pour stuff into my travel mugs. There is more information on my Kuerig here.

Was My Keurig Worth the Investment?
Fortunately for us, this was given to us for Christmas. I definitely think it would have been worth it to invest in it in the first place, instead of wasting money on a regular coffee pot (and the wasted coffee and filters that went with it). I also think that the My K Cup is a must have, or all of our savings on using this would be out the door. It saves money on coffee for him, and for me it saves a little bit of money because it uses less electricity to run it, rather than using the microwave for a small cup of tea.

What I Use in My Keurig (I usually get all of these at Costco):
Chamba Chai Instant Tea
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa
Folgers Ground Coffee

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on Amazon.com but all opinions are my own. I also love Amazon.com for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

Why I Love My Appliances: Kitchen Aid Edition

It’s time for the second edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my kitchen aid.

Why I Love My Kitchen Aid:
I love that with my Kitchen Aid I can make doughy stuff from scratch (or from a mix) very quickly, and without much work. (Yay, laziness!) I keep my Kitchen Aid out on the counter, so that I am encouraged to use it more often, and because I love it.

What I Use My Kitchen Aid For:
I make alot of pancakes, sometimes muffins and rolls. I use it for the sweet stuff like cookies, cakes and frosting. I also use it to mash stuff sometimes, like potatoes, or beans. I have used it to shred chicken as well.

Features I Love About My Kitchen Aid:
I love that the bowl attaches and detaches easily, and that it is easy to clean, without a bunch of small parts. I do sometimes wish I had the lid for the bowl (or a second bowl) but so far I have done fine without them. View more on my Kitchen Aid here.

Was My Kitchen Aid Worth the Investment?
Because it is so easy to whip things up I don’t buy as much of the pre-made foods, and that saves me money especially because I buy baking ingredients in bulk. We have already saved tons on just junk food, not to mention that our junk food is less “junky” because we don’t use as many preservatives. I think I have made enough batches of pancakes to make it worth its investment in the last three years of having it.

Recipes for the Kitchen Aid:
Crunch Top Ham Casserole
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Breakfast Cake

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on Amazon.com but all opinions are my own. I also love Amazon.com for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

Why I Love My Appliances: Crock Pot Edition

It’s time for the first edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my slow cooker.

Why I Love My Crock Pot:
I love that my slow cooker is an extension of my oven when I need it, I also love that it saves me money on cooking for my family. It may be hard to think about preparing things ahead of time but it is well worth it when you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner later.

What I Use My Slow Cooker For:
I use my crock pot for meats usually, I love to cook whole chickens and roasts. There is currently a chicken in my fridge that will go in my slow cooker tomorrow. I sometimes will use it for side dishes, especially when the main dish is cooking in the oven or I am bringing it somewhere. I like to cook Chili and “Not Refried” Beans.

Features I Love About My Crock Pot:
I really like that my slow cooker is simple, without too many confusing features and timers and who knows what else. It has Off, Keep Warm, Low and High for settings and that is perfect for me. I also love that the lid has a gasket (is that what you call it?) around the edges, and that for the few times I take it places it has a rubber band type thing to keep it closed. It’s simple and easy to clean. View more about my crock pot here.

Was My Slow Cooker Worth the Investment?
I love the idea of taking the crock pot out to the garage in the summer so that making dinner doesn’t heat up the whole house, it saves me money from not using the air conditioning as much. It also uses less electricity than the oven, so when I can use it instead of the oven it saves me a little there. My slow cooker was given to me, so I didn’t spend anything, but it would be well worth it if I had bought it.

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on Amazon.com but all opinions are my own. I also love Amazon.com for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

Vinyl Swirls Behind Coca-Cola Sign

My husband and I really like Coke stuff. He works for Coca-Cola now, but even before then we were decorating with Coke bottles. You might have seen my Coca-Cola Bracelet from a can and my Coke can necklace too. When I found a 1990 Coca-Cola button sign at The Desert Peddler I knew I wanted it because of the looks and the year (year I was born). My husband said I could go get it and I did. After hanging it I noticed two holes that weren’t noticeable before. (Our house was painted when we bought it, we have just been using pictures and stuff to cover up the marks and holes.)

With the leftover vinyl from my car stickers I decided to make some swirls that would cover up the holes and make my Coke sign stick out a little more. The red on red isn’t my favorite but I really don’t feel like repainting my kitchen right now. (Or maybe I do, but I feel like I need to wait for my husband to come home and decide on the color for me)


I first drew some swirls on a piece of cardboard, and held it up to my sign to see if that shape would work. I then folded my vinyl in half so that I knew how much space I had to work in, and I copied the swirls to one side of my vinyl (on the back). I perfected them and traced some of the lines with a sharpie.

I then folded my vinyl in half again and used clothespins to hold it together while I cut it out. I used scissors to cut it out, but next time I think I need to try practicing with an xacto knife. It would probably be easier.

After the swirls are cut out, they need to be put up on the wall. Start where the three of them meet, and get a little bit of each one to stick to the wall by peeling back a little bit of the backing and pressing it down with the included popsicle stick. After that, work on pressing down one swirl at a time. After one swirl is pressed down I found it easier to rip off the backing from that swirl to get it out of the way. Continue doing this until all the swirls are pressed to the wall.

So far I’m pretty happy with the way mine turned out. Up close you can see how rigid some of my cuts were, but from far away it looks fine.

Some Other Decorating Ideas:
Vinyl Car Decor
Painted Wall Quote
Once Upon a Time Closet Doors
Ruffled Curtains

Save the Kitchen Towel! with Kitchen Towel Band

Everyone has a kitchen towel hanging on their oven door, right? There are lots of different ideas for how to get it to stay. Until lately, I would hang mine on and it would fall off. Or the baby would pull it off and it would be on the other side of the house by the time I needed it. I have seen lots of cute alterations I can do to my dish towels to fix the problem, but I like having a regular full size dish towel in reach for when I need it for something else. So in came the hair tie trick.

I just put an elastic band around the dish towel to keep it in place and it worked wonders. The baby hasn’t figured it out and just thinks it’s stuck. I decided it was a great idea and to share a cuter version with all of you. Don’t you hate when you think you’ve come up with something original and then after some research you see it somewhere else? (I totally did that with the nursing cover strap, they were called something else and everyone has thought of them already but they were on etsy under a different name. I didn’t find out until after I made a fool of myself! 🙂 That’s what happened to me today. I found some cute Dish Towel Belts over at Sassy Sanctuary. Lucky for me, she did them a little differently than I would so I am still going to show you my kitchen towel bands!

Materials:
Rubber Band (I still used a hair tie)
Big Silk or Fabric Flower (Three small ones would look cute too)
Scrap of felt
Hot glue
Button

Directions:
Hot glue the bottom of the flower to the rubber band. Glue on leaves as well but on the other side of the rubber band. Glue on the felt or fabric scrap to the back, just to hold everything in place a little bit better. Turn the flower over and add the smaller sections of petals by hot gluing them on. Finally, glue the button on top.

You might have noticed that this is the same idea as making a hair flower. It is, but it’s cooler because it’s for a towel now. Like the cheesy ad I made for it? We could make an infomercial and say, “But wait! if you call right now we’ll throw in two more free!” Because everyone needs 6 of these for all 6 ovens right?!

I thought it was cool, and it sure is useful. How would you embellish it differently?

For other crafty ideas check these posts out:
A Quick Trick to Protect Wood
Turkey Hair Clip (You could clip this to a hair tie to make a seasonal Towel Band!)
Mod Podged Coasters

Mod Podged Coasters

This is a super simple mod podge project. I found glass candle bases at an overstock store. I mod podged the paper to the underside, and let it show through. On the very bottom I did a very generous coat of the mod podge in case of any spills. I didn’t do it for these ones, but a felt piece glued to the bottom would make a nice addition to the project, to further protect your tables.

4th of July Flags- Printable

Hello Again! Here’s some yummy chocolate chip pancakes and a free 4th of July printable. I made these to put on cornbread muffins tomorrow for our 4th of July chili cookout in our neighborhood.

Click here for the link to print these for yourself. Once you print them, just glue them together around a toothpick and you can make any food patriotic!

Here’s some of the projects that we did last year. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Meal Planning Made Cute


I’ve been seeing these cute meal planner boards all over the blogosphere and in stores. I wanted one, so after my intense yard sales day I found a frame to use. This would make a great Christmas Gift Idea for those of you planning Christmas early.

I forgot a before picture so this was after one coat of cherry stain. I found the stain in a small 2 ounce bottle on clearance at Wal-mart. I bought it because it was only 50 cents and we needed to cover up some scratches from moving our table.

The frame was much too light to match our kitchen so I brushed on about 5 coats of stain. I then brushed the edges with a stiff brush to make them look a little bit darker. I did this to the crease also. Distressing the frame would work well here too, but I wanted to save myself a step.

My husband came home right after I had finished painting the frame and wanted it for his office. Good thing I bought 2 frames!

In between coats of paint I worked on the paper arrangement. I chose to layer the butterfly paper in the back, the strip of tan textured paper on the left and a title of the leafy accent scrapbook paper. This could be done to look amazing in a million different ways.

I created the printed Jamer’s Dinner Menu on Adobe Photoshop. The question of the day was, If you were a restaurant what font would you be? I figured we would most likely be a steakhouse. My husband was teasing me, we have a western room (the guest bedroom, not the kitchen) and thought I was going to put it in there instead of the kitchen. You can buy the printed design on my etsy or order a custom one if you don’t want to make your own.

I used scrapbooking tape to arrange all the paper against the backing of the frame, and cut and pinned the vellum down with a brad in each corner. I even mod podged my marker to look cute.


I have it standing on a metal picture frame holder now, I might try some super duty magnets later. Now I can be organized in my kitchen and it’s cute! If you want one already finished for you, click here.