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Decorating/ FAMILY/ Frugal/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Kids/Family

Family Room Basement Makeover With The Help Of Credit Card Points

Basement Makeover With Credit Card Points

My husband Todd is someone who has taught me many times what it looks like to live intentionally.  He is a thinker, planner, and is very strategic in making decisions.

He is wise and intentional when it comes to our family decisions and how we spend our money, including what credit cards we use. Thanks to carefully saving up our credit card points for 2 (almost 3) years, we were able to pay off our recent family room basement makeover.

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We use the MasterCard Citi Thank You Preferred Card and earn ‘thank you’ points when we do. We use the credit card for everything that we can. Todd is careful to pay it off, in full, each month. The points add up, allowing us to do extra things that we normally would not be able to do, like makeover our basement.

family basement before and afte3r

Our girls are 13, 16 & almost 18. We wanted to create not just a family space to enjoy the little time we have left with them, but also a space that they could bring their friends (and boyfriends) to hang out and be comfortable (but not TOO comfortable…boyfriends..ahem..) in.

BOWMANS_CHRISTMAS_2016-15

We finished off our basement 10 years ago when we moved in, but it needed updating. The paint color needed to be changed, the couch was sad and sunken with so much wear and tear that holes were starting to form, and our TV was too small for the space. A bigger TV meant a larger TV console. We also wanted a table with 6 chairs for playing board/ card games and a ping-pong table.

Family Room Game Playing

Our Basement Family Room Makeover Wish List

  • paint
  • new couches
  • large television for movies and video games
  • television console with storage
  • table + 6 chairs for board/card games
  • ping pong table

Thanks to the help of credit card rewards/points, our wishes came true.

We changed the bright orange paint to a warm blue. We found gray couches that were firm but cozy. The table and chairs were hard to find since we were adamant about having 6 chairs but the space we had to fit them in was pretty small. Todd’s intentionality came in handy when measuring the space and making sure the table and chairs would fit. We have made some great family memories around that table already!

Family Basement Makeover Paid For With Credit Card Points

We have so enjoyed our larger TV during family movie nights and the storage in the new console is amazing. It hides all our video games and controllers. The ping pong table is very popular when friends come over.

ping-pong-family-basement

Family Room Games

We have so enjoyed our new family room basement makeover and are very thankful for the credit card we use, the rewards we receive and how it is the perfect match for our lifestyle!

Finding The Perfect Credit Card

There are so many types of credit card reward programs out there. There are some reward programs that literally give you cash back, others give travel points, and some even give gift cards to your favorite stores. Some have an annual fee, some don’t.

It can be overwhelming to decide which card is best for your particular lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be. Creditcards.com believes in empowering people to make smart choices around their credit cards, which means using the right card for you in the right way.

home-cc.com-mid-big

Their CardMatch tool helps you find the perfect credit card match. It is easy to use and securely matches you with offers in less than 60 seconds. Did you know that 10% of your credit score is determined by the number of inquiries you make to new credit cards? This is why the CardMatch tool is so amazing, you can get matched up with several cards in seconds without your credit score being impacted in any way.

CardMatch Landing Page

Using a credit card responsibly can be a great way to make life easier, and being intentional in saving the rewards or making sure the benefits fit your lifestyle can add much value to your life. It sure has ours.

A basement makeover is great, but the memories we are making and continue to make with family and friends in that new space are amazing. Intentionality pays off!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREDIT CARD? DO YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REWARDS?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Drinks/ HOME/ Homemaking/ RECIPES/ Seasonal

5 Warming and Comforting Drink Recipes To Sip Slow and Savor

Warming spiced almond milk

Fall is my favorite. I get all nest-y when cooler weather hits. I get out the fuzzy socks, drape my couch in snuggly blankets, light candles and make sure my Kindle is full of good reads.

I fight the hustle and bustle of life, deliberately slow down and nestle in.

I delight in evenings when we are all home together, and when it happens I make sure there is soup simmering, and often offer mugs of warm drinks after dinner.

Even when I can’t gather my 3 lovelies (as they are teenagers and often scattered), you can still find me most fall evenings with a warm mug in hand.

Here are 5 favorites that I have on rotation:

5 Warming and Comforting Drink Recipes To Sip Slow and Savor

Warming Spiced Almond Milk

1 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 tablespoon almond milk creamer, vanilla flavor (optional)

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of ginger

a pinch of cayenne

……….

Combine all ingredients in a small pan.

Heat on the stove over medium heat until warm.

Sprinkle top with a touch of cinnamon for pretty. Sit down, inhale, and sip slow.

Hint: if you like a bit of froth on top, you can put it into a blender & blend (venting to allow steam to escape) or use a french press and plunge a few times until bubbles form.  

pumpkin-spice-chai

3 Ingredient  Pumpkin Spice Chai

1 cup milk (I used almond)
2 pumpkin spice teabags
3/4 cup chai concentrate, or to taste

Put milk into a saucepan.  Add teabags.  Steep the teabags in milk for 5-7 minutes & warm to desired temperature.  Add chai concentrate.  Stir.  Pour into 2 mugs, sit with a loved one and sip slow.

Hint: if you don’t have pumpkin spice tea (my favorite is from Trader Joes) you can use black tea or rooibos tea and sprinkle in a little pumpkin pie spice. Also, the brand of chai I like is Oregon Chai Concentrate. Tazo is another popular brand but its cardamom flavor is too strong for my taste.

spices-warm-drinks

ALMOND VANILLA MAPLE SPICED MOCHA

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup double- strength brewed coffee

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup

pinch of cinnamon

2-3 dashes of cayenne or a pinch of red pepper flakes

pinch of salt

……….

Brew a double strength coffee. Heat the almond milk until quite hot. Add cocoa powder. Whisk the cocoa powder into the milk, briskly stirring until all clumps have melted away. Stir in the coffee, spices and maple syrup. Adjust the sweetness and spice according to your own taste. Snuggle up in your favorite chair and sip slow.

Hint: if you don’t have vanilla flavored almond milk, just add a drop or two of vanilla extract.

Godiva Liqueur Hot Chocolate

Best Ever Hot Chocolate

8 oz  milk of your choice (almond, soy, dairy)

3 Dove chocolates (or your favorite brand chocolate square, milk or dark, I like dark)

1-2 teaspoons Godiva Chocolate liqueur

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

……….

Heat in microwave until hot (less than 2 minutes.) Whisk until combined.

Sit back, relax, and sip slow.

Hint: use my favorite frother to whip it up and make it extra creamy and beautiful. 

 

Ginger-Lemon-Tea-Slider

Honey Lemon Ginger Tea

1/2 inch fresh ginger root, cut into slices (no need to peel)

2 wedges of lemon

1 tsp raw honey

……….

Squeeze 2 wedges of lemon into your tea cup. Add the wedges into the cup for added benefits of the oils from the lemon skin. Add 2 slices of ginger. Heat water in a tea kettle–I love my electric one that heats in minutes. Pour over ginger and lemon. Add honey and stir. Steep for a good 5 minutes. Strain, hug the mug, inhale the steam and sip slow.

Hint: both lemon wedges and ginger slices can be kept in the freezer in small mason jars. The hot water will thaw them. Also, a tea cup with an infuser like my favorite one is very handy. 

sip slow and savor warm drinks

{click photo for your pinning pleasure}

How about you?

What is your favorite warm drink?

Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Simplifying

Tips For Redecorating and Simplifying A Small Sunroom

sunroom-decoration-2

Thank you HedgeScapes, for sponsoring this post. Visit HedgeScapes to find your perfect artificial decorative hedges capes that are 100% maintenance free.

Our sunroom has been on my list to simplify and redecorate for quite a while now. It is the first room that any visitor to our home sees, and I want it to be a warm, inviting and welcoming space.

I have found this area to very easily attract clutter, as it can be a place where we dump items from the cars that go in the house. We also seem to put things that need to be delivered (like a box for donation or to mail) and instead of taking those items all the way to the car, they get left in the sunroom. Well, not anymore! By keeping it picked up and beautifying it, we are much more purposeful to put things where they go instead of leaving them in the sunroom.

It was also time to simplify the decorations. My tastes change over the years and I wanted a rug that would ground the eye and be a calming center. As you will see in the photo below, I had a rug that was pretty and bright. It was gifted to me years ago and I loved it, but it is more of a decorative statement and one that was appropriate for spring and summer, but felt a bit too flowery during the fall and winter months, and I wanted a more minimal look.

before-sunroom

I decided to give our sunroom a mini-makeover, by purchasing a new rug, new pillows, some fun new lights, adding a topiary, and rearranging items.

sunroom-decor

Simple Color Scheme and Simple Patterns

The above photo clearly shows all of the new items I bought. I wanted to keep just a hint of bright color and did that through the red pillow and the red ribbon on the chalkboard hanging. Red is a great color for all seasons. Grey is the other accent color, which is quite neutral. I love having two pillows, in the same pattern but in different colors.

sunroom-porch-swing-pillows

Add Texture

I added texture to the room with the fuzzy, striped white pillow, the patterns on the other pillows, the rug and also plants. Texture can give a simple, small room some much-needed depth and interest.

hedgescapes-window-sunroom

hedgescape-2-sunroom

Add Greenery

My favorite new addition to the sunroom and just outside on the porch are my new 100% maintenance free HedgeScape Topiaries. I ordered them from HedgeScapes and they arrived in no time, which really made me happy and motivated me to get on with decorating my sunroom. I love that they do not need water or care, but look amazingly real. I had a real hanging fern in the before pictures, and it was not happy with me! I never got the watering right and it was losing its leaves all over my sunroom floor, but no more! Now I have these lovely topiaries. There are so many different types of topiaries on the HedgeScapes website, and I love the ones I chose!

hedgescape-plant-sunroom

sunroom-watering-can-candle

Add Ambient Light

My new obsession are these battery-operated fairy lights. I am sticking them in jars and vases all over my home. This one in the sunroom is a great way to welcome guests who come in the evening, or to turn on when I want to relax on the swing at night.  Candles are a great way to add ambient light, and I love choosing scents to match the season. Pumpkin for fall, Evergreen or Cinnamon for winter, Berry or Fruity scents for summer and Floral for spring. The lantern on the hook has a little battery operated tea light in it. Our sunroom is now magical with everything lit up in the evening!

string-lights-sunroom

Hanging Lights

I love that these lights can be seen from the street, welcoming my guests even as they drive up. I have another string of globe paper lanterns on the opposite window, which you can see from inside our living room, that cause me to turn down lights inside in the evenings, light more candles and enjoy the globe lights while watching television in the dark. It makes me so very happy!

parsely-plant-sunroom

Edibles

I love keeping edible plants and potted herbs in my sunroom where they add some life and are conveniently located for cutting. They give such a fresh look to my sunroom. I have found parsley to be the easiest to grow in small pots on the window sill.

sunroom-fall-pumpkin

A Touch of the Season

These little pumpkins add a touch of fall. I will replace them with three little evergreen trees or maybe a nativity for Christmas. In the spring I will put bulbs in vases, and the summer it will be flowers or succulents. I used to add a bunch of seasonal decor to our sunroom but it was always so hard to clean around. The minimal me now just adds a touch.

hello-sunroom-chalkboard-sign

Use Chalkboard

I hung this little chalkboard and wrote a friendly greeting on it. I may add a simple little pumpkin drawing under the ‘hello’ for October and November, a star or tree in December, a heart drawing for Valentines Day, a flag in July. It is a great way to add a touch of holiday without adding more items to dust, store or keep up with.

sunroom-before-after-pin

So those are the steps I took to simplify, minimalize and redecorate my sunroom.

What do you think? Do you like what I did with it? Do you have a sunroom or porch you would like to do a little mini-makeover on?


I’d like to thank Hedgescapes for sponsoring this post. Content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Visit them at their WebsiteFacebook, TwitterPinterestLinkedIn, &  Google+ .

HEALTH/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Natural Products

How To Get Calcium Deposits Off Of An Ice Dispenser + Keeping A Clean Home Free Printable

DIY-ICE-DISPENSER-CLEANER-HEADER

We are in an interesting space between summertime and back-to-school. My girls have gone back to school already, but the weather here in the midwest is still so hot and is screaming summer!

The minute my girls went back to school, I got busy and focused in on home organization, cleaning and tasks that I had put off all summer! I’ve been trying to keep  the slow living attitude of summer while being pro-active and efficient, getting busy and getting things done around here!

I made myself a handy “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist that divides tasks into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in, know exactly where I am at and what needs to be done. Would you like to print one out for yourself too? Just use the link below.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘KEEPING A CLEAN HOME’ PRINTABLE HERE!

The chart is keeping me on track and I’m slowly working through it. Something that was really needing to be done on the seasonal checklist, that I had procrastinated on all summer, was my refrigerator. Especially the outside of my refrigerator, namely the water dispenser area!

We drink a ton of water, especially during the hot summer months! I rarely buy juice or sugary drinks, so water is my family’s drink of choice. This means we are constantly getting ice from the ice maker and filling up water bottles from the water dispenser on our refrigerator door. Some of our water bottles have narrow openings, which can make it hard to aim the water flow and water can splash all over.

Over time, this splashing has resulted in calcium deposits on our refrigerator, mainly in the dispenser water catch area, but also some streaking down the refrigerator onto the pull-out freezer drawer. Scaly white residue can build up over time, and everyday cleaners often fail to remove the build-up from hard water.

Calcium-deposits-ice-dispenser

The build-up on our dispenser has been bugging me all summer! Not anymore! Thanks to a little DIY Calcium Deposit Cleaner, Coconut Oil Polisher & Viva Paper Towels, my dispenser, refrigerator door, and freezer drawer front are all sparkly clean!

Viva-paper-towels

Can I tell you why I love Viva Paper Towels for jobs like this? They are amazingly absorbent and don’t leave any residue behind. They are so strong and durable that you can actually wring them out several times & wash dishes with them! Viva Vantage has a scrubby texture and is great for shining stainless steel and glass or scrubbing counters. Viva towels are smooth and soft, almost like an undershirt material, and are so gentle and yet strong that they can wipe little faces clean! They come with the handy ‘select-a-size’ and have made my summer season cleaning so much easier.

Viva-paper-towels-smooth-textured

DIY Calcium Deposit Cleaner

White Distilled Vinegar (1/2-1 cup)

Juice of One Lemon

Viva Paper Towels

Bowl

Scrub brush or Old Tooth Brush

Baking Soda

DIY-Cleaner-vinegar

DIY-cleaner-vinegar-bowl

Step One:

Put vinegar in a bowl. Fold up a few sheets of Viva Vantage paper towels. Put them in the bowl and let them soak up the full-strength vinegar. You will be amazed at how absorbent Viva paper towels are! Drape them over any areas that have mineral deposits. I draped them on my refrigerator water & ice dispenser, and also around my kitchen faucet. Let sit for a few minutes, then use the paper towels to wipe away anything that came loose.

_MG_0782

clean-ice-dispenser-3

cleaning-ice-dispenser

The above picture was taken after Step One. It took off a ton of the residue, but not all.

Step Two.

Empty the bowl of any remaining vinegar, and squeeze the lemon into the bowl. I use a fork poked into the middle of the lemon, then use a twisting action to get maximum juice out.

DIY-cleaner-lemon

Dip a scrub brush or an old toothbrush in the lemon juice, then sprinkle the bristles with baking soda. Apply to any remaining deposits and scrub until clean. The acid in the lemon juice naturally removes mineral deposits. The vinegar loosens the deposits, so scrubbing should be minimal. A smaller brush will easily reach into crevices, and using these all natural products will keep your mind at ease as you clean around the area where water is dispensed from. No harsh chemicals to worry about getting into your next cup of water!

Clean-ice-dispenser

Wet another Viva Vantage towel. Wipe off lemon juice and any residue, then use another dry paper towel to polish to a shine!

**Tip: After cleaning, fold a Viva Towel into thirds (or whatever size fits best) and place on the water catch area of your ice and water dispenser. This will catch and absorb the drips and keep things clean! Change it out at least once a week. This tip will keep it looking great between seasonal deep cleanings.

……….

Viva-Paper-towels-coconut-oil

DIY Stainless Steel Polisher

Water

Coconut Oil

Viva Vantage Paper Towels

Viva Towels

Clean your stainless steel appliances as you normally would. I just use water on a textured Viva Vantage paper towel. Then put a spoonful of coconut oil onto a soft and smooth Viva Towel, and give them a good rubdown.

Coconut-Oil-Stainless-Steel-polish

Rub into the surface until it’s not greasy to the touch, but all of the stains and streaks have disappeared. No need for expensive, harsh stainless steel cleaners!

Dtainless-Steel-Diy-cleaner-finished

What about you? Do you have issues with hard water mineral deposits in your home? Where?

How is your seasonal cleaning going? What would you like to get to with the help of Viva Towels?

DON’T FORGET TO PIN!

CALCIUM-DEPOSITS-ICE-MAKER-CLEANER

DIY-STAINLESS-STEEL-POLISH-PIN

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

HEALTH/ Homemaking/ Natural Products

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Before & After They Enter Your Home

How-to-get-rid-of-fruit-flies

Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies

We eat a ton of fruit around here, especially in the summer. We up our green smoothie game with all the wonderful fruit available. The past 2 weeks I’ve noticed our fruit attracting fruit flies, and I had to do something about it! Fruit flies are harmless but a nuisance. It was time to get rid of them!

I asked my followers on Facebook for some tips, and used their suggestions & some ideas on Pinterest to decide what would be the most simple, easy and effective way to get rid of fruit flies.

Here is what I did and it worked!

_MG_8849

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With a Trap

You simply need a jar, balsamic vinegar, a drop of dish soap & some plastic wrap. Put some balsamic vinegar in a jar, add a drop of dish detergent, top with a piece of plastic wrap, screw jar ring to keep it in place & poke holes in the wrap. Set it out where you have seen the most flies & in time you will see less and less flying around and more floating in the jar.

I like using balsamic vinegar because the sweetness really seems to attract them, and the soap will reduce the surface tension so the flies sink to the bottom. Apple Cider vinegar works too, but I like how the dark color of the balsamic vinegar hides the flies so I don’t have to look at them! It gives me the shivers!! I tried just plain vinegar and it did not work.

jar-fruit-fly-trap

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Before They Enter Your Home

I hate to be there bearer of the MOST gross news, but often fruit flies come into your home because their eggs and larvae are already on the fruit you buy. Then, once in your kitchen, they thrive because the have a beautiful place to breed–your kitchen sink drain. I know…yuck!

If you want to get ahead of the battle and make sure your fruit is clean, when you bring it home fill a bowl with water & add 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. Place fruit in this solution & gently scrub with your hands. Rinse with cool water. You could also use a store-bought solution made especially for cleaning fruit.

 

How To Keep Fruit Flies From Hatching In Your Drain

I have not done anything to my drains except pour a bit of vinegar down and then chased it with a pot of very hot water from my electric tea kettle. I have read that filling the sink up with bleach water, letting it soak, then emptying the drain is also a way to deal with drains as breeding grounds, but I don’t like dealing with harsh bleach. I find that keeping my counters clean & the dishes in my sink rinsed and free from fruit or anything sweet is key to keeping fruit flies away from my sink area.

 

How To Keep Your Home Fruit Fly Free

The above methods work! Less than 3 days ago I created a trap and today I have not seen one fruit fly, but there are at least 30 floating in my trap if I look closely through the dark vinegar. I’ve made sure our kitchen is clean and been vigilant with my teen girls about keeping food put away and rinsing their dirty dishes right away.

Once your infestation is under control using the above methods, the best thing to do is keep it that way by keeping a clean kitchen, so don’t let food sit out, especially sweet food and bruised fruit. Bruised fruit is like a magnet, the flies will find it, will breed and swarm! I’ve been vigilant with my teen girls about having them keep the food put away and rinsing their dishes right away, especially when they make fruit smoothies! Teen girls are very grossed out by any type of bug, so they have been quick to oblige!

…………

GET-RID-OF-FRUIT-FLIES

{for your pinning pleasure}

Do you struggle with fruit flies?

What are your tried and true methods for getting rid of them?

 

HOME/ Homemaking/ Simplifying/ Sponsored

Kitchen Savings Tips

stack of dish towels on a dish

7 Kitchen Savings Tips

I love spending time in the kitchen, but if I’m not careful, it can go from a place where we eat to a place that eats up my time and money!

I’m all about simplicity, efficiency and saving money, and a kitchen is a place that offers many opportunities to practice all of these things! Below are 7 of my favorite tips saving in the kitchen.

Hefty-Trash-bags

Use Quality Trash Bags

Hefty Ultra Strong is the trash bag for me. I have ditched cheaply made bags and now use Hefty Ultra Strong trash bags because of their outstanding quality and their new, lower price. Their name says it all, they are ultra strong are tear and puncture resistant, which means no more ripped trash bag disasters!

This saves money in the long run, with no need to double up on bags. I love a strong trash bag, but my favorite thing about these trash bags is that they use Arm & Hammer odor neutralizers– they smell great! I love opening my trash cupboard and catching a whiff of an invigorating, clean scent.

My favorite scent is their Citrus Twist. For those of you who prefer unscented, Hefty Ultra Strong offers that option, too.

 

Hefty-Trash-Bags-2

Want to try them out too? Here is a Swagbucks offer for you..purchase two or more Hefty trash bags at Walmart and earn a $10 Walmart gift card!

sliced lemon
Lemon slices in a jar
mason jar of lemon slices

Freeze Lemon Slices For Instant Lemon Water & To Keep Them From Going Bad

I always buy organic lemons, as I don’t want pesticides swimming around in my water. I have noticed organic lemons do seem to go bad faster than non-organic.

My solution? Slice the lemons, stack them in a mason jar, and freeze them. It keeps them from going bad, it makes your lemon water nice and cold, and they can be used in teas & cocktails, too.

Prefer limes? I have found limes super refreshing in a glass of sparkling water with just a touch of real organic maple syrup. It is like making your own healthy lime soda, and limes can be sliced and frozen, too!

frozen mason jar
can of tomato paste in freezer
can of tomato paste

Tomato Paste Saver

Most recipes call for only a small portion of tomato paste, using just a tablespoon or two, and the rest often goes to waste.

To prevent this, open both ends of the tomato paste can. Remove ONE end, BUT LEAVE THE OTHER IN PLACE.  Store in a mason jar in the freezer overnight.

The next day, use the metal end to push the paste out of the other end. Slice into one-ounce disks, place back into the mason jar and store in the freezer up to 3 months.

 

refrigerator full of mason jars

Use Mason Jars For Storage to Save Money on Plastic Bags or Containers

I have very little plastic in my kitchen, thanks to mason jars! I use them every day for food storage and boy, do they make me happy!

Food looks pretty in them, I don’t have to keep buying plastic that just gets thrown away, it is easy to see what is in them when they are in the refrigerator, & glass does not stain like plastic containers do!

I keep all lids and rims in one big bowl & the jars on a shelf in the cupboard.

mason jar lids
mason jar lids

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

Never buy over-priced, way-too-much-salt, sometimes ‘msg added’ taco seasoning packets again! This taco seasoning mix is so easy to make and tastes so much better than store-bought packets!

It gives a much richer, “homemade” flavor to every recipe I use it in. I have used it to season ground beef for tacos, nachos, and taco pizza. I have used it to season refried beans or lentils for vegetarian tacos. It is great to season shredded chicken, too!

 

Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco Seasoning
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

Save money by making your own taco seasoning. This tastes much better than any seasoning you will buy. It is worth making your own! 

Recipe Type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: taco seasoning
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all together & store in an air-tight container. I use--yep, you guessed it--a small mason jar. Use 3 teaspoons (more if you want a stronger flavor) per pound of meat. Add 2/3 cup water and simmer down until water is absorbed.

Kitchen-Savings-Tips

Use Cloth Napkins

I have two dear friends who taught me to do this by doing it themselves. Whenever I would go to either of their homes, even just for coffee and snacks, they would set out their beautiful printed, cloth napkins.

I loved that they gave a bit of a fancy, special feel to our little get-together, & the prints that each of them chose showed off their individual personalities.

Cloth napkins are so pretty & one can save a bunch of money by not having to buy paper napkins over and over!

a window with a curtain hack

Simple Curtain Hack

I’ve featured this Simple Curtain Hack here at New Nostalgia before, but it is so good I gotta share it again! It is so inexpensive & easy.

All you need is a tension rod, two tea towels, and some drapery hooks. No sewing or tools required!

………………..

mason jar and metal lids and rings

{For Your Pinning Pleasure}

So there you have it, my 7 top Kitchen Savings tips. Do you think you will use any of them? Do you prefer scented or unscented trash bags? Which Kitchen Savings tip is your favorite?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Documenting My Preteen’s Room Before Updating

IMG_2569

We just updated my Avery’s room & I’m in awe of how time just keeps passing us by. I am eager to share the update with you, but before I do, I want to document what her room looked like BEFORE the update, when she was still a pre-teen.

I took these photos January 2015.  Avery requested a room makeover for Christmas so “Santa” brought her the new bedspread you see in the photos, the dot pillow, new containers for her shelves to hold all the things, a soft pink blanket to keep at the end of her bed, and the big furry prop up pillow you see her relaxing on. He also brought her the fuzzy robe you see hanging below, the blue side-table lamp, a soft new puppy with floppy ears, & even those fluffy socks you see on her little feet–that have grown a full size since these photos were taken!  She was really into cozy comfort those days and as you can tell, loves all the “soft, fuzzy, fluffy, furry & floppy” things.  She was delighted!

Her pile of Christmas gifts that year was huge, especially compared to her sister’s gift piles, who are both older so their Christmas gifts turn into Christmas GIFT–singular–like a new phone or a new guitar. If you don’t have teenagers, know that when you do their gift lists get much smaller but more expensive!

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