Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dresser Overhaul

Joe and I have been on the hunt for a tall dresser to re-do for our bedroom.  We have had a kitchen table chair with a box on it as our  t.v. stand for a few months now.  We could have just gone out and bought a dresser, but we were really itching to try our hand at some furniture make-overs (and save a dime or two).

We knew exactly what we were looking for but were having no luck getting our hands on something.  We went to the auction and were outbid, we tried Craig’s List and were always a little too late.  We finally got lucky when my sister-in-law found this little diddy at a yard sale for $20!!


It met all of our requirements for this overhauling project:  real wood, clean drawers, simple shape, no structural damage.  The lady she purchased it from said her father had hand built it for her daughter….what a steal! 

do4 Since this was in a teenage girl’s room (and had probably been there since she was a little baby) we did have lots of sticker goop and name engravings to deal with, plus there was that ugly flower stenciled on the front….oh yeah…and it was P-I-N-K!!



We started with Joe puttying up the scratches and I took off the handles (which were in great shape and matched the handles we already have on our current bedroom furniture – we were saving and reusing these bad boys and saving an extra buck!).


Next, Joe used his air sander to get the flat sides nice and smooth while I worked on hand sanding the rounded edges.


Finally, Joe busted out the paint gun and went to work.  As much as we like an antiqued and aged look, we needed this piece to match the look of the other furniture in our bedroom.  We went with the paint gun and a semi-gloss furniture paint for a smooth finish.




We put the knobs back on, put the drawers back in, and hauled up the millions of stairs from the shop to the bedroom.  I know it isn’t decorated all fancy and stuff, but it works perfectly in our space, serves our purpose, and gets us excited about trying another piece of furniture overhauling!  We are pretty proud of our first furniture project!




Friday, June 29, 2012

Super Simple Parmesan Chicken

Italian food is a staple around this house.  Anything that even remotley resembles Italian is a “yes” in our book.  I will admit that I was scared to cook any sort of “Chicken Parmesean” type of dish because everywhere I have had it, it was so good.  I was scared to mess it up.  This recipe was easy and we managed to not mess it up, so add it to the list of keepers.  It doesn’t hurt that it was yummy too!pc1

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t garlic salt
  • 4 T oil
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded
  • 1/2 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


Pound your chicken breasts until they are about 1/4  - 1/2 an inch thick.  Heat oven to 350. 


In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, and garlic salt.  Coat the chicken pieces in this mixture.


  Heat the oil in a skillet and add the chicken and brown until it is done (about 4 minutes on each side). 


Place chicken on the bottom of a sprayed baking dish.  Pour the pasta sauce over your chicken, then cover the pan with foil and bake the dish for about 15 minutes.


Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and return to the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homemade Puppy Shampoo

I want to start this post with saying, please, please, please read the couple of short articles I have linked here before trying this shampoo on your pups.  I strongly believe that it is VERY important to educate yourself thoroughly before feeding, exercising, or grooming your pets.  You wouldn’t want to ever unassumingly do something that is harmful to your four-legged friend.

With that being said, here are a couple of articles I would love for you to read about grooming your pups.

Pet Md has a great article on maintaining your dog’s skin pH.  It is really a great explanation for why human shampoo is not good for your pets.

Cesar Milan has a post on his website with general guidelines on how often to bathe your pet.

You can research all day about how to best take care when grooming your pet, but I will just add a few notes as I go to save you some time. :0) 

My fur-babies spend a fair amount of time playing out in their big backyard, but for all intense purposes they are indoor dogs.  They come inside during the hottest parts of the day and they are usually in for the remainder of the evening after dinner time, sleeping on their dog beds in our master bed room with us.  I love my girls, but I can’t stand when they are dirty and taking over the house.  After a fun day at the lake the other day I was fed up and was ready to bathe them…problem was I didn’t have any dog shampoo. 


I did a little research and after reading a lot of pet blogs, pet health sites, and breeding sites, I came up with the following recipe for my own homemade dog shampoo.


1/2 a cup of distilled white vinegar, 1/2 a cup of clear antibacterial soap, 2 tablespoons of vitamin E oil.

I got all of these items for super cheap at my local grocery store.  I paid only a dollar each for the handsoaps, two dollars for a large container of vinegar, and two dollars for the vitamin E oil.  This was enough to make 6+ containers of dog shampoo which is super duper cheap!

I chose the Dial soap because it claims to have a “mild, neutral pH formula that is gentle to hands”.  I picked up three varieties to try.  1) Dial with Aloe, 2) Dial with Vitman E, and 3) Ocean Scent Antibacterial.  Adding the vinegar helps clean the skin and the distilled white vinegar has a pH of about 2.4 which is very low, so it helps to balance any high pH that may occur in the soap.  Eventhough I purchased soaps that had vitamin E and Aloe included, I was concerned about drying out the dog’s skin.  Pet Md also states that “Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face, and it's also great for your dog's dry skin. You can give your pup a doggy massage by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking bath with vitamin E added to the water, or you can go all "Hollywood" and pop your dog a pill (of vitamin E, that is).”  This is why I added the vitamin E oil to my recipe.

I mixed my ingredients and added them to some containers I got for a $1.  I labeled each accordingly and was ready to try them out on the lake-smelling puparoos.


This soap lathers up great and you really only have to use a tiny amount at a time.  I probably could use one container to make about 15 – 20 baths.


There was a slight vinegar smell as you were washing the pups, but as soon as they dried you couldn’t smell it at all, only fresh and clean like soap.


Harley has a big patch of white fur (that is usually cream/red due to all her digging in the Georgia red clay) and this soap cleaned her white spot just as good as the shampoo we used that was specifically for white fur.


Once the pups were dry they smelled so clean and fresh.  Their fur was SUPER soft and they never did itch or scratch from the shampoo.  I think it is imperative that you rinse their coat REALLY well when you are finished scrubbing, and watch them carefully for any type of reaction.  I also would be extremely careful about using this on a pup with sensitive skin, but for our pups it was cheap, easy, fast, and worked wonders!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Leftover Carver Cheesesteaks

Remember the Roast Beef and Creamy Potatoes that I shared yesterday?  Well, I used some of the leftover meat to make our Carver Cheesesteak Sandwiches…yum!  I usually hate leftovers but when I can completely repurpose them, like I do in this recipe, I am willing to try it.  Let me tell ya….it was worth it!! 

Ever since we came home from Philadelphia last summer, Joe has been on a fix of asking for cheesesteaks.  What better way to meet his request than with leftovers?


  • leftover roast beef from Roast Beef and Creamy Potatoes
  • 1 cup of sweet onions
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 a container of sliced mushrooms
  • 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 hoagie rolls


Slice the onion and bell pepper.  Coat a skillet with cooking spray and over medium heat, cook the onion, pepper, and mushrooms. 


Add the meat, re-heat and set aside. 


Turn your oven on to broil, then cut the hoagie rolls in half and place cut side up on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Add vegetable mixture, beef and cheese to rolls.


Broil 4 – 6 inches from the heat until the cheese melts.  Watch to make sure it doesn’t burn, it only takes a minute or two. 


Make sure you eat these while they are still hot.  They are so filling and so full of flavor.  Enjoy!


Oh – and they make a really great lunch to take the next day too!!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Roast Beef with Creamy Potatoes

I love anything that you can put in the crock pot for two reasons 1) it is easy and 2) it makes meat so tender when you cook it low and slow all day.  This recipe for roast beef was so delicious and I actually used some of the beef for a leftover recipe (stay tuned ;0) and it was still so yummy!  I give this two thumbs up!crwp1

  • 1 pounds sirloin tip roast 
  • 3 large potatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 10 ounce can of beef broth
  • 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 a container of sliced mushrooms



Place roast and potatoes in a crock-pot.


Mix together the broth, soup, soup mix, and mushrooms.  Pour the soup mix over the meat and potatoes.


Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.  Yep – it was really that easy :0)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Teeny Tiny Mini Garden

I have been begging for a garden since the first day of spring, but my realistic hubby keeps reminding me that we need to start small.  I was allowed to try one strawberry plant and see if I could keep it alive.  I kept it alive, but it really isn’t thriving.  But when my Aunt gave us some vegetable plants (some of which already had fruits growing on them) we had to find a place to plant them.  They were in solo cups and begging to be planted and nourished.

mg4 After putting our heads together and thinking about where we should plant these vegetables (not where the deer will get them, not where the dogs can get them – that knocks out the back yard, and somewhere where I will remember to water them) we finally thought about that weird little patch of dirt behind the garage.

mg1 For some reason, instead of putting the fence even with the concrete from the driveway, the previous owners left about a foot and a half patch of dirt between the driveway and the fence.  We didn’t really know what to do with it, and we were annoyed about having to always spray to keep the weeds out.  As you will see, it turned out to be the perfect location for our mini garden!

Joe went up into the attic of the shop and gathered some wood for the project, while I gathered up the rest of the supplies.

mg2 mg3Then while Joe was measuring and cutting the wood for the garden bed, I worked on cleaning out the junk that was in our little space.

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Joe laid out the bed with supports and then he tacked up a strip to hold the garden fabric (which should help hold the dirt from going through the fence and help keep the weeds from coming up into the garden).

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We started the bed by putting down a layer of black cow manure and spreading it out.


The we added a top layer of Miracle Grow Garden Soil and spread it out.

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I planted our vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers), then Joe cleaned up while I made signs for the garden.

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I just love how our little teeny tiny mini garden turned out!  I can’t wait to get some fresh veggies and use them in our cleaner eating recipes!  Now to just keep the dogs and neighbor cats away!