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Friday, March 30, 2012

Foodie Friday


Happy Foodie Friday everyone!  I am so excited for this weekend because Im going to go see the Hunger Games!!!  Hopefully it wont be so crowded this weekend as it was last weekend, I really hate crowds.  So excited to get my popcorn on...I used to work at a movie theater but man I just can stop loving movie theater popcorn...no butter though that crap is like liquid grease.  I so excited to see Hunger Games I have heard nothing but great things about it, my best friend even said it was as epic as the last Harry Potter...well you cant really compare the 2 but Harry Potter 8 is always a good benchmark for greatness that movie was epic and I cant get enough of it.  Well my BFF loves Harry Potter as much as I do, in fact we saw the last movie together, so if she says its awesome than I totally believe her and cant wait to go see it.

And now for something completely different...I made this sorbet last weekend and thank goodness I did because it has been a life saver through my sore throat days.  Its so smooth and cool but has no dairy so its doesnt bother my stomach.  Oh and the best part its super scoopable so you dont have to defrost this any you can easily scoop from the container...see

It makes those perfect icecream scoops that I love but can usually never get because the icecream is too hard, I think the secret is actually the alcohol since alcohol never really freezes it keeps the icecream from solidifying...probably am going to add a dash of vodka to future icecream to see if that helps with the scoopable-ness (yeah I just made that word up, Im awesome like that).  So not only is this the perfect sorbet for a sore throat, its really an awesome spring/summer sorbet because its so cool and refreshing and doesnt make you feel like you ate a whole creamery when your done.  So what are you waiting for, go try this now!

Grape & Pink Champagne Sorbet
(A Le Delicieux recipe)

Servings: 2qt        Prep time: 5 min           Cook time: 10 min             Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients
  • 550g of black seedless grapes
  • 1 cup of pink Champagne (or regular Champagne, I used the $4 bottle of extra dry white)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions
Place the grapes, pink Champagne and sugar in a saucepan over a medium low heat. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the skins of the grapes split.

Drain through a fine sieve into a large jug or bowl and use the back of a wooden spoon to press the grapes to release their juices. Extract as much from the grapes as you can. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until completely cold. I usually leave the mixture overnight. **I drained the grapes through a colander and used a mash potato masher to get all the juices out.  I let the pressed grapes sit for a while and drained them again to get all the juices, its ok if some skins get in there you'll just have to eat them in your sorbet :)

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and add the lemon juice and pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to your manufacturers instructions. The longer you churn the sorbet the lighter in colour it will become.  I forgot to add the lemon juice until it was almost done but I think it just adds a little extra zip to it so its ok if you forget this part.

Notes
Once you have cooked the grapes you will notice the mixture is incredibly dark. Don’t worry because the sorbet will lighten when it is churned in the ice cream maker.

Really easy right?!  I think I was making dinner at the same time as I was making this so you can see how easy it was.  So go try it and let me know how it turns out for you!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone!  For me this week is just crawling by, I need it to be the weekend so I can rest!  I have had the stupid cold all week and am ready to just sit in bed and get better.  Which brings me to what I am thankful for this week.

#1 is vitamin C, I have been taking 1000mg of that all week and it seems to be getting me through my cold stages faster than normal, which is good maybe this time my cold will only be around for 1 week rather than the normal 2.

#2 is over the counter medicine.  Today I am on cough syrup, yesterday was a sinus non-drying medicine (non-drying just means it drains everything, if I dont get all that crap out it just goes in my ears and gives me an ear infection which I dont really want) and before that it was sore throat medicine.  I need someone to make a broad spectrum medicine that fits me but no one makes that and dont even suggest NyQuil to me that crap keeps me up all night.

#3 is cough drops, hot tea, and soup (but i didnt get any this time) all of which help my ugly sore throat.

Its funny how when we are sick we are big babies when the cold hits us.  I havent been bad this time, just asked Joe to rub Vicks on my chest so I can breath at night.  I hate being sick and being at work thats the worst.  When you are at home you can at least be in your comfy clothes, be watching your favorite movie and curled up in your favorite spot on the couch, but at work you have to sit in a horrible chair, wearing horrible business clothes doing your work bleck!

You know sometimes I think about what it would have been like thousands of years ago when they didnt have medicine like we do now...maybe they didnt get colds like we do who knows but I think they would have had to suck it up because if they were sick life still went on and they had to get their duties done.  I also know I would have been a beggar on the street because my eye sight is so bad.  Its funny to think about that because my eye sight is so bad I cant even see the black of the big E on the eye doctor's chart so in ancient times Im sure I would have been considered blind and useless but today pop some contacts in me and Im good to go!  Thank goodness we dont live in the dark ages anymore!  Oh and Oreo is always happy to see me, such a good dog he sits by me while I take a nap, keeps my feet warm while my head is sweltering.

What are you thankful for today?

Project Housewife Out!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

French Drain

I know I know...its not a whitty title or anything but cut me some slack I dont feel good and my creative juices never flow when my head is compromised!  Did anyone watch Fashion Star last night?  I love Orly she has the best ideas but I have to say Im very disappointed this week for what Saks did to her dress...what I loved was the pockets with the color pop and the dress slit with the color pop...both of those elements are missing from the production version!  What the heck!  And you can only buy the ugly orange!  Come on Saks...even the buyer said the color pops were awesome, get it together!

Ok rant over...until next week when they botch another design in production.  On to today's project which you can tell from the title is a French drain.  My husband finally made me a list of the materials he used so I can finally share that with you.  First, a back story.  You remember last year we made a beautiful backyard, and then the ugly summer came and went and we had no idea we had a bad drainage problem, you know lack of water can make you miss a few things.  Even when the rains of February came we didnt realize it at first because the ground was so dry it soaked up all the water as fast as it came down.  We were lucky enough though to get about a month of rain straight and we finally realized we had a pretty substantial drainage problem.  I didnt think to snap any pics but the whole side by the fence had pretty much constant standing water...even when the rest of the lawn seemed dry there was so much water there my dog could drink from it.  In the grand scheme of things we really dont have an earth shattering problem, it only becomes a problem if we dont want the plants to drown and since I dont, Joe came up with a solution.
 The above is pretty much what it looks like now, sans the green pipe, that went back to Ferguson.  Below is what we started with.  Oh and the gray stuff, thats concrete Joe put down for the lawn mower.  We dont have a huge garage so we are going to make a little len-to for the lawn mower to stay in the back yard and not get rusty.  More to come on that another day...like when we actually finish it :)
 So first things first was to lay out the pipe to get an idea of how much we actually needed and where to start digging.  Once we had that all mapped out, move the pipe back out of the way and start digging the trench.
 I tried to get a good shot of the trench but it seemed impossible but this is the best I have.  The trench was about 1 foot deep, which was just deep enough to get the pipe down there without it come out past the soil.
 Of course Oreo the constant helper...or napper...whichever way you look at it...dont know why dogs always have to sit in the dirty and get all nasty but whatever as long as he's happy.
 Ok the trench is dug and now we are fitting the drains.  You can see that here, and thats the green pipe, black drain and drain cover.  We put the pipe in place and figured out where we wanted the drains so make sure they were evenly spaced throughout the sidewalk.
 We took the pipe back out and laid down a weed blocker material so that all the dirt/mud wouldnt block the pipes.  You can see in some of the pictures that the pipes have holes in them.  We didnt do that to the pipe it came that way, thats how Joe was able to get such a good deal on them since it was a customer return.  Not everyone wants holes in their pipe so its hard to sell, but easy for us to get a discount.  The holes are really a bad thing either since we have a drainage problem this will just help soak up more water.  However, thats why we had to lay the weed blocker so that the mud wouldnt get in the holes and clog up the pipes...kinda defeats the purpose of the pipes are clogged :)
 Next piecing all the pipes together and then paying them in the ground.  When piecing the pipes together make sure you get them all the way in.  We had to use a hammer to make sure the pipes were all the way in, its about 4 inches they have before they cant go any further, thats how far you need to go to make sure you have a secure connection.
Below is after all the rocks were down and covered the pipe.  Joe still needs to spread them out to be a little more uniform, but thats simply cosmetic, all the hard labor is now complete yay!  You can see one of the drains in this picture too.
 But just incase here is a close up of the drain that is next to the herb garden.  It was dark outside so sorry for the blown out pictures.
Now for the nitty gritty...the materials we used:
  • 60’ perforated 4” sdr35 pipe
  • 1 – single inlet catch basin
  • 2 – double inlet catch basin
  • 3 – tops for catch basin
  • 1 – Grid end-cap for 4” SDR35 pipe.
  • 1 yard bull rock
  • 1 roll weed blocker
  • shovel, pipe cutter, Off (mosquitoes were off the chain crazy)
Total cost for everything was $200 so this wasnt a super cheap project but it needed to be done, and Joe did get too much material so he is taking that back today.  I have to say the most time consuming part of this project was just digging the trench.  Thankfully the ground is still soft from all the ran so it wasnt super hard to dig into.  Oh and in case you were wondering, the drain goes out to the edge of our property, out the back of the fence and spills out over the edge of the hill we are on top of.  Behind our backyard there is about a 4 foot drop just 1 foot away from our fence so that was the perfect spot to have the water spill out.

So there you have it...how to install a french drain.  Not as hard as you thought right!

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Tidy Mom, Bacon Time, I am Momma, Petals to Picots, How does She, Six Sisters Stuff, Positvely Splendid, Tip Junkie, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Not Just a Housewife, Ginger Snap Crafts, My Girlish Whims, Made Famous By, Lil Pink Pocket, DIY By Design, Southern Lovely, My Sisters Suitcase, Beyond the Picket Fence

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Flaming Disaster

First and most importantly...HARRY POTTER IS NOW AVAILABLE ON E-BOOK!!!.  You can go to amazon.com and see it there but ultimately it will direct you to the Pottermore shop to buy it so I just gave you the most direct link possible...no need to mess around with unnecessary clicks with it comes to Harry Potter!  This could not have come at a better time either, I decided last weekend to re-read the series and and half way through the first book...now to buy them ALL!!!!  Who else is excited for Harry Potter e-books?!?

Moving on from Harry Potter, although I know its hard :) I was going to post the big backyard drainage update we did this past weekend but my husband is slacking in getting me the deets on the pipes we used and I feel like crap and dont want to figure it out on my own, lame I know.  But I AM going to share with you a crappy product, yay!

So you remember I showed you how we made our backyard awesome last year (you can find the post here).  Well one of the things I wanted in the backyard was a firepit, but not one that everyone has but a cool looking one.  Well we didnt really have a bunch of money to spend but I saw one at Wal-Mart that I thought was cool and was only $100, score!  You can see the product here.  Below is a shot of the firepit from last year after about 2 months


What the heck it was already rusting!  So we bought some high heat spray paint and some red/yellow/orange spray paint and fixed it up.  I had the great (I still think so) idea to paint flames on the grates of the firepit to make it look fancy and hello there is supposed to be fire in there so why not its an original idea dang it!  Well Joe is the artist of the family so he made a stencil or sorts and got to painting.  It looked really good...for 2 months and now it looks like this
GROSS...its even more rusted and nasty than the last time.  Well Im not painting this again since its just going to rust out, its going to sit there and look ugly until we build out stone firepit/brick oven.  So Wal-Mart can suck it, their products SUCK!  I also bought a rocking outdoor wicker chair from them last year, the fabric was red and now its white thats how bad it faded...but on the flip side, I bought wicker furniture from Target and it has faded slightly but it still looks great, cushions are still great and I love it.  Moral of the story, Target has far superior quality to crap-tastic Wal-Mart.  Oh and I should add that yes I know Wal-Mart has great prices, but some things I do want quality over price so Target 9 times out of 10 is going to win for me over Wal-Mart...and Im sure a lot of you agree with me :)

Do you have any item you bought that you loved but turned into a piece of crap?

Project Housewife Out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fun in the Sun

I think I may be getting sick...but can you get sick from too much sun and mosquito bites?  I think I have about 20 mosquito bites yuck!  I love the weather right now but hate hate hate mosquitoes.  When I lived in Las Vegas that was the BEST thing about being there, hardly any bugs and especially no mosquitoes.  Those bugs were totally designed by satan himself, evil little creatures.  

In between swatting at mosquitoes and basking in the sun we (and I mean my husband) were able to get our yard looking like spring has sprung!  We planted an Orange tree that smells heavenly.  Did you know Orange trees have flowers, and those flowers smell an awful lot like jasmine?  I was so happy I had to get one, and BONUS...it will bear fruit one of these days!  So you cant really see it but the picture below is the Orange tree, its pretty small but dont worry it will get bigger!


 The best thing about spring is it tells you if a plant has lived through the drought and the winter.  My pecan tree was my biggest worry through the whole mess last year, and see above there is a green bud!  I have been watering it like crazy (see the water gator below, its a 10 gallon sack you fill with water and it drips out to water the tree), gave it miracle grow citrus tree food stakes and talk nice to it (totally works) and look its coming back!  I knew it loved me and wanted me to be happy :)
 Even the herbs are sprouting up, and we planted 2 tomato plants because they smell good too and you can always use some tomatoes around the house!  We also make salsa and home made pasta sauce so it will come in handy fo' sho'!
 See the basil!  It was the fastest to come up and there is a lot of it there...I cant wait for it to get more mature.
 Another big YAY from last year is my strawberry patch.  Its a little overgrown because Joe thought these were weeds, thank goodness i stopped him before he started yanking because I have strawberries growing!!  We planted these from little seedlings we got from walmart and I really only expected like 1/2 to survive, but all of them are flowering and have fruit growing.  Really surprised and happy about that!
 See this strawberry plant has some baby strawberries and the pretty flowers growing, so happy to have my own strawberries, they are so tasty.
 And who could forget the front of the house!  We planted 2 yellow rose bushes (yellow rose of Texas anyone?!) and white plant that I dont know what it is but hey it was pretty and a smller multi colored flower thing.  Yes thats the technical name, you can google it! (please dont its not really real I was just kidding!).
All in all I only had 5 plants die from the drought, 3 of which were $5 berry plants from walmart that I kinda thought would die anyway.  The other 2 were a tragedy because they were pretty and purple but I cant find them this spring so we replaced them with a bottle brush plant which I will share pictures of tomorrow.


Im so happy spring is here and even more happy that I can now sit under this beautiful umbrella more now that its a little warmer.  It was dusk and hard to get a great picture but the shape of this umbrella caught my eye and cherry on top the pattern is amazing.  It makes me do a happy dance whenever I see it open :)

Project Housewife Out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Foodie Friday

The work week is at an end and the parties can begin!!  Well ok in a few hours but yay the weekend is knocking at my door!  Im so excited to be spending time outside in the beautiful weather before it gets too hot to enjoy it, I cant wait to hang out with some really cool people and I especially cant wait to stuff my face with brazillian steak!

Today  I want to share a recipe I made this week that was very tasty and made a lot of left overs (which is the picture I have below, I keep forgetting to take pictures of it before we eat it, sorry!) and having leftovers is very important in my house.  It was really easy to make so lets get this party started!  I added some notes for you so you can have the original recipe but also know what I did to make it my own.

 Texas Ranch Chicken Casserole
(A Taste of Home recipe)
Servings: 8   Prep Time: 25min   Cook Time: 30min       Difficulty: Easy


Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped (I left this out)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (I used olive oil because its better for you)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (I used 3 large cans of canned chicken)
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10oz) diced tomatoes w/green chilies, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-inch strips (I didnt use all of the strips but I used a pan that was a little too small)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the onion, celery and peppers in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the chicken, soups, tomatoes and chili powder.
Line the bottom of a 3-qt. baking dish with half of the tortilla strips; top with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition
1 cup equals 329 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 719 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 26 g protein.


I hope you enjoy this very flavorful casserole and have a fantastic weekend!


Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking up!  Come check me out at While he was Napping, Serenity Now, Petals to Picots, Bacon Time, Hope in Every Season, Add A Pinch, Positively Splendid, Six Sisters Stuff, Tip Me Tuesday, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Not Just a Housewife, Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, My Girlish Whims, Lil Pink Pocket, Made Famous By, DIY by Design, Beyond the Picket Fence

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Good Morning everyone!  Today was so hard to get out of bed, I had no motivation to get going just too early today.  Blah.  But on the bright side its Thursday so that means we are over the hump and well on our way to the weekend!  This weekend and next weekend are going to busy weekends for me but filled with fun stuff!  Saturday we are going on a double date to Fogo de Chao, I LOVE that place, but I always eat too much so I have to be careful, all you can eat meat is very dangerous :)  I hope to share with you a recipe for their amazing cheesy bread soon...its so good I want to try and make it at home.  We also have a crawfish boil at our neighborhood and I'm super excited about this.  I have only been to one crawfish boil and it was a lot of fun so I cant wait to hang with the awesome neighbors and eat some crawfish!
(these are still alive, they look nasty but taste really good)

I also hope to get some more yard work done since its going to be a beautiful weekend.  We did do some work last weekend, which I'm going to share with you next week, but there is still more that needs to be done.  With all the rain we have been having its a great opportunity to plant.
(this is from a few years ago, but the bluebonnets are out and they make me so happy)

Which brings me to Thankful Thursday...today I am thankful for all the rain we have been having.  My grass was dead and crunchy, now its (mostly) green and lush.  My poor pitiful pecan tree was all but dead and my husband ready to pull it out of the ground, but now it has green buds sprouting all over it.  I did have a few causalities of the drought last summer (one of the worst in Texas history) but we bought some new plants to replace them with that will hopefully last through the summer.  Perfect timing in getting all the planting done also because we had some great rain on Tuesday.  While I hate being out and driving in the rain, I love what its doing to the landscape all around.  In the winter I miss the green and cant WAIT for it to come back in the spring.

Its also why Im posting all these bluebonnet pics, because without the rain you cant have awesome patches of bluebonnets, which is the Texas state flower by the way.  I love bluebonnets, I tried to plant some in our yard last year but they died because of the drought, but Im trying again this year.  I want to do a professional photo shoot in the bluebonnets one of these days, I just love those pictures and cant wait to have a great one of my little family.   Even Oreo loves being outside, you cant see how pretty green it is because its in black and white but its his happy face so its all good!


HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!  Project Housewife Out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tray Time

First I want to tell yall that I am SO EXCITED for my puppy Oreo to be the Daily Fluffy today over at Pretty Fluffy.  A BIG shout out to Serena for having such an amazing pet blog.  You can check here out here.  Make sure to stop by and check out her awesome-ness!

On to today's project!  This is a project I did before I started blogging so I dont have any step by step pictures, but I do have a tutorial I can link up for you.  I saw this on Pinterest when I first got addicted many months ago.  Turns out the project was a Martha Stewart project and you can find the link here.  I had leftover fabric from when I made curtains (you can see that post here) and I had a ton of black felt left over from when I made my pin display cases (you can see that post here).  I had spray adhesive from when I painted a room with a stencil (no post of that it has since been painted over and such a shame too it was awesome) so all I needed was the vinyl and the cookie sheet.


I am going to pass some wisdom on to you right now...DO NOT get a tray that has a non-stick surface.  I didnt even think of that when I was buying a tray I was just thinking of price.  Let me tell you it made it almost impossible to get the fabric to stay, so be careful with your choice.  Of course if you have an old ratty tray that you just want to cover thats cool too, free is free right!  I also needed to get the vinyl but I had NO CLUE where to get that from so I went to JoAnn's and bought 1 yard of the clear plastic material, like the stuff you put over tables...not a good description I know but it came on one of the big rolls as was $4/yard.  Not exactly true to the Martha version but I had to improvise people!

The below picture is a shot of the front of the sheet.  I personally think covering the whole thing in the clear plastic was a better idea in case you spill something you wont mess up the fabric because its covered all around.  
 To get this look make sure you cut out enough fabric to tuck under at the bottom.  Try and cut straight lines to make for a better fold.  Spray the tray and place the fabric on top then press down, smoothing out all the edges, making sure there are no bumps.  Let that dry for about 30 minutes then move on to the vinyl.  This was a little harder and we ended up hot gluing the vinyl to the fabric, but if you have fabric glue that will probably work too.  Make sure the vinyl is the same size as your fabric so you have complete coverage.  Once you get that all glued down you can flip the tray over and do the bottom.

This shot is of the bottom.  Since you cant see the bottom ever I dont feel bad that it looks a hot mess...trust me in person this doenst look pretty.
Try and glue all the extra fabric to the bottom of the tray before applying the felt.  Use whatever glue you want to do this since you wont be able to see it.  The black felt also covers a host of imperfections, use that to your advantage.  Our corners were a mess so the felt comes up a little to cover that.  Once you have that glued down, flip the tray back over and you are done!  Easy right!  Total cost for mine was $10, thats $5 for the tray and $5 for the vinyl.  Much better than the awful placemat I had there to begin with (I photoshopped this picture so you cant see but there is a huge wood mess in the middle of the table from where my nail polish spill removed the top layer from the table, obviously its not real wood lol)

So there you have it, a project that takes less than an hour and bring color and life to your space.

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, My Girlish Whims, Lil Pink Pocket, Beyond the Picket Fence, DIY by Design, While he was Napping, Serenity Now, Petals to Picots, Bacon Time, Hope in Every Season

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's Cork Got to do with It?

I may or may not have been watching The Voice last night and I may not may not have a certain Tina Turner in my head this morning.  Is anyone else bored with The Voice...cause I am!  I dont love the talent this year and it just feels so drawn out bleck.  Makes you want a glass of wine to make it interesting...speaking of wine :)

This post is brought to you by my Pinterest Board... specifically this pin.  I have a confession...I didnt go to the blog to see how this was done because ok its pretty straight forward.  I did go to the site this morning though and here is the link in case you want it but its simply the picture and nothing else so I decided to show you a little more than that.

Wine bottles are a must!  These were actually $5 bottles of wine that were pretty decent as far as cheap wines go.  I have to drink 6 bottles to complete my herb garden but we are off to a good start with 2 solid wines.  Im not going to talk about wine here, not because its not interesting (it is very interesting) but because that is a whole different talk for a whole different day.

DONT get this type of top...this is a screw top and wont have a cork.  Im sure you guys already know this but just in case Im saying it now.  If the top looks like this with the ridges then it doenst have a cork in it.  By no means does that mean the wine wont be good (quite the opposite really) it just means you wont have a cork for your project, but by all means enjoy some wines with a screw top they preserve much better.


How pretty!  So what I did was take my cork (this one is synthetic but it works just the same) and write my herb on it.  I have a whole bunch of wooden skewers at home so I pushed the pointy end into the cork until it was stable then stuck the other end into the dirt.  The skewers are pretty long so I actually cut one in 1/2 for the other cork I had.  Its not as pretty as a the original link because I dont have as nice of handwriting and the herbs are grown yet but its a cute way to mark the plants.  The other pots right now have the herb name written on the back side of the pot so I know what is what, and until I drink more wine :)

There are tons of cork projects out there, some super cute, but I dont drink enough wine to ever do any of them.  This project doesnt require a bunch of corks and takes 1 minute to assemble (after you drink the wine of course!) and in retro spect is free...if you have all the supplies at home already.

Do you have a cork project that you have done or want to do?

Project Housewife Out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Herb Garden Finale

This morning is not a good morning.  You know those morning when you wake up confused because you thought it was Saturday  but your alarm is going off so you should probably get up only to realize its really Monday and booo the weekend is over and you do have to go to work.  Ugh that was this morning.  Nothing is worse than thinking its Saturday when its really Monday.

Other than having a SERIOUS case of the Mondays...I get to share the epic conclusion of the Herb Garden saga with you.  Ok so its not really epic and it wasnt a saga but it just sounds better that way!  To see how to build the garden check out part 1 here.  To see how we waterproofed the garden check out part 2 here.  All the hard work is done now its time to have a little fun!

At Home Depot they had a pretty good selection of potted herbs and herb seed packets.  Ultimately we choose to do the seeds because the seed packets were only $1 whereas the potted herbs were $4.  What we decided would be best is using a pot to contain each herb but cut the bottom out of the pot so they roots can grow with no problems. Each pot cost $1 each and we bought 8 total, so for all the seeds and the pots we spent $16











To cut the bottoms out just get a knife and start slicing...it takes about 2 seconds.

Pots are prepped now we need to prep the box.  First we drilled holes in the box so any water can drain out the bottom and not just sit and fester and become a gross breeding ground for mosquitoes.  We live in Texas so thats a real concern, those bugs are straight from Satan...if you have never been bitten consider yourself the luckiest person in the world.  Here is what the drilled holes looks like.


My hubs works at a plumbing supplier so he brought home some heavy duty shower curtain material to keep the box from excess water damage.  We did waterproof the bottom of the box but since this is the area that will have the most water contact much more frequently than the rest he thought it would be a good idea to take an extra precaution as well.  This material cost $15











We used a staple gun to attach it to the box.  It doesnt look pretty but it will get the job done!

Now we can add the mulch!  We bought compost, garden soil and potting soil so the plants could have a good mix of nutrients.  We actually lucked out and were able to get 3 bags of garden soil at 50% off because we bought bags that had been ripped yay!  For all the bags you see below the cost was $35

After we moved all the mulch and the box to the backyard and the box was in place, we dumped all the bags into the box and mixed it all up.  With gloves of course compost is nasty.










After the soil was added we put the pots in also and put some more soil in the pots.

Save the best for last and thats adding the seeds.  Read the back of the packet to make sure you are planting them at the right depth, each seed is different.  Also as a side note, I have seen many people posting that you need to start them inside.  I didnt see those until after I planted my seeds, but I have to tell you Im not sure it makes a difference.  I already see the Basil and Dill sprouting and its only been 1 week.  So you can start these inside if you want but I didnt and its turing out ok for me.


And there you have it, easy peasy!  I will post again once you can see the herb sprouting, it should be pretty cool to see what happens with this!  Oh and total cost for this project was:

Herbs $8
Pots $8
Soil $35
Plastic Shower Cutrain $15
Waterproofing Paint $25
Total $91
Not bad all in all...if your building a smaller container than Im sure your soil wont be as expensive as ours, we had to put 5 bags.

I hope you enjoyed making an herb garden...I pesonally cant wait until Im using fresh herbs in my food rather than all the dried stuff I use now!

Project Housewife Out!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Foodie Friday

Happy Friday yall!  Im so excited for this weekend because Im going to the Houston Rodeo and we are FINALLY going to see Alan Jackson!  So psyched!  Even better its going to be a nice weekend (unlike last weekend when it was a non stop rain) so we will get to see all the rodeo has to offer yay!  I have to say being from Texas...and Houston on top of that I think we have the best rodeo but I have come to realize while our rodeo lasts 4 weeks its not the biggest.  Shocking I know!  The largest Rodeo is actually in Las Vegas but thats only because its the finals.  Each rodeo has their own finals but the rodeo in Las Vegas brings all the champions from the other states and they compete there.  The Las Vegas rodeo though is only 3 days but it sells out the entire city...I know I used to work there.  Crazy times...but while Vegas may be the ultimate finals...Texas has the best BBQ, the best concerts and the best people.  YEE-HAW!  Sorry I had to throw that in there.

Today's recipe has nothing to do with the rodeo or BBQ but really valentine's day.  I wanted to make these cookies for Valentine's day but it took me FOREVER to fine some of the emulsions the recipe called for.  I took 2 of them out (they were for the icing anyway) so it shoudnt be too hard to make this.  I have made Red Velvet drop cookies before but honestly I dont really like drop cookies they are messy and goopy.  I love cut-out cookies because of all the shapes you can make and this was that recipe.  When I ate these I dont know what I was expecting but they are really tasty but they do taste like a perfect mix between a cookie and a cake.  What that means is they are dry but soft at the same time and man if you dont have milk you will need some!  I enjoyed these cookies, they didnt take too long to make which is always a plus so I hope you enjoy them too!
Red Velvet Cookies
Servings: 3dzn      Prep Time: 10min       Cook Time: 6-7min            Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

·         1 cup unsalted butter
·         2 cups confectioners sugar
·         1 egg
·         2 tsp vanilla bean paste {or extract, I love the paste it has a stronger flavor}
·         1 tbsp Lorann red velvet emulsion
·         2-3 tbsp milk
·         1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
·         1/4 cup buttermilk powder
·         3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 tsp baking powder
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         splash {about 1/2 a tsp} apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400degrees
Cream together butter and confectioners sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, red velvet emulsion, and milk and mix well. Start with 2 tablespoons of milk, then add the rest if the dough is a little dry after adding the flour mixture. Sift together the cocoa, buttermilk powder, flour, baking powder and salt and add to the wet ingredients. As the dough begins to form add a splash of apple cider vinegar. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
After mixing, let it rest for five to ten minutes, then roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and bake for 6-7 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies

**Notes**
I tried using royal icing with butter vanilla emulsion but I think a cream cheese frosting would be better.  Royal icing gets hard which is great for storage but I think the cream cheese frosting would taste better.  I've never made a cream cheese cookie frosting before so I dont have a recipe for that but I have a royal icing recipe below if you want to do that.

Royal Icing
(A Bake at 350 blog recipe)
Servings: 2-3dzn          Prep Time: 10min        Cook Time:       Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients
·         4 TBSP meringue powder   (I use wilton)
        1 lb powdered sugar         
        ½ - 1 tsp light corn syrup
·         Scant* 1/2 c. water             
       food coloring if desired
       1/2 tsp extract of your choice (I use vanilla normally)

Instructions
Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.  Sift in the powdered sugar(I have skipped this and it was ok just not as smooth) and beat on low to combine.  Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. (I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)
Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.  (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.
*A scant cup is a measuring cup not filled all the way up to the top.


If you do want to try a Cream Cheese Frosting I have one from Crazy for Crust that I havent tried but they make some amazing desserts over there so Im sure its great.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
·         8oz cream cheese, softened
·         ½ c butter, softened
·         4c powdered sugar
·         1 tsp vanilla extract

   I Instructions
    Make the frosting: Using a hand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth


   I hope you enjoyed this recipe today, and yay Im trying to take better pictures, I even broke out my wedding china for you guys!


    Project Housewife Out!


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

American Idol was on last night...did anyone watch?!  I am starting to feel old watching this when they do songs from the year they were born...there were only 2 kids TOTAL from the 80's.   Thats 2 out of 11, not a really good percentage.  I detest music from the 90's so boo on soon no one will be born in the 80's because of the age limit.  Is anyone else watching?

As much as mindless TV is oh so good for you, Im not thankful for it today.  No friends, today Im thankful for my face wash.  Thats right and I have to say its an important thing to be thankful because if you have a mild case of adult acne like I do you probably have had a hard time finding a brand of skin care that works for you. Now by no means is this a sponsored post or anything (although I wish they would!) I just love the product.  Its SkinID...you've seen the commercials with Hayden and her perfect skin.  Well I did the online evaluation just to try it, no harm in trying something new.  I got it in the mail and within 1 week all my acne was gone and I had nice smooth pretty skin.  I have really oily skin actually and I still have a minor problem with that but I would rather be shinny than have acne all over my face.

I have actually since cancelled my skinID but only because I have a stockpile under the sink.  I have one for daily use, one for travel and one FULL extra.  They send you new product every other month but it took me about 4 months to go through the first set so after a few months I had way too much.  But believe me when I start to run out Im going to start again no doubt.  Its $30/month which seems pricey but seeing as a 30 day trial pack from Wexler of Bath and Body Works (which actually did work great and is a great back up) was $30 this seemed like a better option.

I have gone through so many different products just to have them diasppear.  First was this AWESOME L'Oreal Adult Acne product which I used to be able to find in Wal-Mart.  Then they stopped carrying it but I found it in Albertson's when I was in Las Vegas.  Now that Im back in Texas though I cant find it anywhere so I moved on to Arbonne.  I started with the Acne product then moved to a 5 system treatment that they had that was great...then they stopped making it :(  I tried the new product they had to replace it but it was awful!  I made my skin breakout even worse.  So then it was over to Wexler.  The first time I tried Wexler it was great and had a peel-esk thing in it.  Well when I went back it was completely different but was pretty good it was just hard to get as well as it was sold out a lot in the stores.  Thats when I decided to try ProActiv.  That was horrible...well for me at least.  It increased the oily-ness of my skin, added acne and just make me feel dirtier than before I had washed my face.  I know a lot of people who love ProActiv...Im just not one of them.  Then I was broke and needed a good acne face wash but on the DL so I heard Burt's Bee's had a good acne face wash.  They do and its good for the price but it wasnt the best I had used and to be honest I didnt like the way it smelled.  So I went back to Wexler...if you didnt already guess Wexler is by far the favorite it smelled great and did a pretty good job the problem was it ran out so fast, was hard to find and was a little pricy and didnt 100% get rid of all the acne all the time.  Thats when I talked to my neighbor who had the same problems as me and she said SkinID was great for her until her body became immune to it (I dont think its common her skin is just out to get her) so I decided to try it and I havent looked back since.

This is my set.

I know this is a long story with a lot of links and no pictures but for those of you who struggle with adult acne you know how much it sucks and even more so when they stop making something that worked so well for you.  I wanted to share with you what I have used in the past, how it has/hasnt worked for me and let you know what works for me now.  I wish I knew back then what I know now, but maybe I can help someone now!  If I had to rate the products I have used here is how it would go.


  1. L'Oreal Adult Acne Response
  2. Arbonne Acne Treatment (stopped using it because it was very expensive and I dont know anyone who sold it)
  3. SkinID
  4. Wexler Acne Treatment
  5. Burt's Bees Acne Treatment
  6. Arbonne FC5
  7. Proactiv
I put links to them all so if you want to try them you know where to go.  Thanks for listening to my story and thats what Im thankful for today, my skinID because without it I would have ugly acne plagued skin that made me sad...but I dont YAY!

And because its Thursday and because I know you love it...Oreo!  I dont know how that dog fit himself into my little chair but he always find a way to get himself into small spaces.


Project Housewife Out!