Monday, February 27, 2012

Knock-Off Pumpkin Muffins

 
I don't know about you... but I LOVE Panera Bread's Pumpkin Muffins and am terribly disappointed when I walk run up to the counter to order one and they tell me they are all out.

So -  I decided to try to make these delicious little muffins myself... and I hate to toot my own horn, but they turned out pretty darn delicious.  Toot Toot!!!

The recipe I found online makes a dozen muffins and only takes 
about an hour from start to finish.  You will need 12 foil or paper liners and a 12 (1/2 Cup) Muffin Pan.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Canned Solid-Packed Pumpkin
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 1/4 Cup (plus 1 Tbsp) Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
Directions 

Preheat oven to 350F with rack set to the middle

 Whisk together flour and backing powder in a medium size bowl

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined

Stir together cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar in small bowl

Divide batter among muffin cups (3/4 full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Muffins should become puffed and golden brown.  Insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the muffin - toothpick should come out clean when muffin is done. 

Once they are done, let them stand for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

The recipe suggested to serve them at room temperature, 
but I could eat them warm or cold myself ;-)
Yummmmmy!!!!  
I will definitely be making these bad-boys again :-)


*Found this recipe for Pumpkins Muffins online at www.muffintop.wordpress.com

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Melaleuca is My Newest Friend

I am so excited to share with you the BEST tub & tile cleaner I have ever used before! 

I have never been in love with the bathrooms in this house.  Instead of having a tiled shower and tub, I have a shower and tub insert (grrrr.....)  But the worst thing about the insert is the fugly black stains on the floor of my master bathrooms shower.  I have NO idea what they are from (there when I purchased the house), but I do know that bleach, comet and the Magic Eraser couldn't touch them.
 See... aren't they ugly?  I am a clean freak and this stain made me crazy!!!
BUT Thanks to my dear friend Rhonda who sells products from Melaleuca, I was finally able to get rid of this stain in just a few minutes after applying the Tub & Tile product.
 The concentrated formula comes in a 16 oz bottle and makes 6-13 oz bottles of cleaner for about $10. I also purchased from her the Sol-U-Mel Stain Remover and now can't wait to try it on some of my carpet stains!   

I HIGHLY recommend you locate a Melaleuca dealer to get some of this amazing product.  I am hoping to get Rhonda's dealer info to share with you guys too -  just in case there isn't a local one near you :-)

**This product review is 100% my own.  I am not being compensated for this review**
 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wishing for a PB Makeover...

Okay, so seriously -  who isn't wishing for a Pottery Barn gift card and design consultant 
to knock on their front door?  I know I am!! Every sale-email I get 
from them I find one more thing that I just have to have!

Here are a few things that stay in my "cart" (As if I had that kind of money!! Haha!) 
 Planked Airplane Panels
Tivoli Table
with these Seagrass Chairs (in the Havana Dark)
Whitney Home Office Collection - Even though I love my office furniture
this picture always catches my eye
and... ahhh... who could forget the beautiful Modular Bar Buffet.
Why does Pottery Barn gotta be so darn pricey... 
AND why can't I be better with a saw and some wood to make this all myself....??? 

Well -  practice makes perfect right... 
maybe I'll start with a birdhouse and see what happens??? :-)

Paint Can Money Bank


 
Since working at the speech therapy clinic, there is one kid in 
particular I have grown quite close too.  
He has been attending therapy here since I started 3 years 
ago and it is always nice to have him there to help me with little 
projects while he waits for siblings to finish with their sessions.  

He came in the other day carrying his "piggy bank" which 
was a large pickle jar with a jagged slit he made himself his new pocket knife.  
I asked him to help me with a project and if he did a good job, 
I would make it a real money bank.

When he came in next, I showed him the monkey paper along with 
5 other boyish-like papers (i.e. football,  street signs, strips, and misc sports).  
He looks over them for a second and tells me 
"I'm really feelin' the monkeys" :-D  
I raided my moms Art Studio for some supplies (fell head-over-heels in love with the Big Shot!!!) and made him his money bank last night and will give to him today when
he comes in for his therapy session.  I think he'll be surprised :-)




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Look @ My New Fence!

So it has finally arrived and I couldn't be any happier!

The guys at JNT Fence were awesome!  
FYI:  I am not being compensated by JNT for this ad...
they don't even know I have a blog, haha.
I am just so HAPPY about the work they did and I want to give them a shout out :-)

Joe was so meticulous and really cared about the outcome of my fence 
and the use of space in my yard.  

Here's how it started on day 1:
Buh-bye Neighbor and LARGE boat!!!
This is were Day 1 stopped and unfortunetly, I wasn't able to take off of work on day 2 and wasn't able to get any progress pic's.
Here is what I came home too :-)
Joe told me my yard would feel bigger with the fence... 
but I had no idea it would visually open up the space so much!!
Next on the agenda is a paver patio to compliment my new backyard :-)
 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Laundry Room Makeover


Okay, okay you got me.  I don't actually have a real laundry room.  My laundry "room" is technically the back wall of my garage... but for fun we will call it my Laundry Room

This area was actually the first space of my house to be painted.  Odd huh?  Who picks to decorate and paint their garage laundry room first? Well -  ME :)  I knew I didn't want to feel like I was folding and hanging clean clothes next to the lawn mower and garbage can so it was important for me to spice it up a little.

I started by painting the wall Winter Wheat from Valspar.  I lucked out, my Mom had this color sitting in her garage from another project of hers (I love hammidowns!) and it was exactly what I envisioned the wall needed. 
As one of my many housewarming gifts, my mom hung the rack and ironing board for me.  Don't you just love the ironing board cover?  Mom found it on Etsy and it is perfect!
 I didn't have to buy anything for this project since I had old shelving from the master closet that was already re-modeled ;) 
 
Before the shelf was too high for me to reach to store the laundry soap on it, so I was improvising by using the ledge by the air conditioner handler (ekkkkk!)  
 
Now since adding another shelf right above the washer/dryer for soap (& all the other laundry needs) and raising the top shelf, I am able to hang clothes on it without them dragging on the shelf below.
 I LOVE LOVE LOVE having everything off of the ledge <3
 Okay - so I temporarily moved it to another part of the garage...
but doesn't it look fabulous without all the clutter ;)

I am thinking about putting some type of storage cabinet or shelf on that ledge.  
You know -  somewhere to store all of the "extra" things like toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, cleaning products, etc. 
Any ideas?


Monday, February 13, 2012

Garage Update

Ahhh... It's so nice to have everything neat and organized...

 In order to hang the peg board in this area, we had to cut in down to fit -  this is where my DIY Mom really comes in handy to teach me how to use a circular saw.
Supplies List:
Circular Saw
Peg Board
16 - 1/4 Steel Flat Washers
8 1" Round Head Bolts & Nuts

First we measured the exact size we needed in order to fit in between the walls of the shelving unit.  Now, some may say this is "Ghetto-Rigged" but I call it Pure Genius Two clamps and scrap wood and we have our selves a straight line :-)

Next we mounted the peg board to the shelving unit.

Front
Back
     
Now for the fun part -  organizing!  I picked up this assortment pack from Lowes.  It has every type of hook you can imagine for less than $10 bucks!  Can't get any better then that!
 And here is the finished product.  As you can see, I did not use my 47 hooks BUT my tool collection is still growing!  I packed up the left over hooks and will pull out what I need as my collection grows.  :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In Need of a Fence

So I've decided that living right next door to your neighbor is a little more complicated then I thought.  Growing up, we had neighbors, but they were always an acre away -  the perfect neighbor distance if I may add.

Since moving in I've noticed 2 things.   
One:  There is absolutely no way you can wake up on Sunday morning and walk out to get the paper in your pj's.  No matter how many times I peak through the blinds to make sure there isn't a neighbor walking his dog or pulling out of his driveway... I always get caught and have to do the embarrassing wave as I grab my paper and hustle to the door.    
Two: For not having any kids myself, how is it that I have bikes, scooters, helmets, barbie body parts (seriously? didn't you notice when Barbie came home missing her leg?!?) juice boxes and candy wrappers all over the yard?  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE kids!  If I didn't love them I surely would not be able to work with them all dayWhat I don't love are kids parents who let their kids play in my yard, which would not be a big deal if I didn't feel like my front/back yard was in my living room.

So, since I certainly can't seem to learn my lesson on number one, the least I can do is fix number two.   My solution to this is getting a fence.  I figured I would get a privacy fence one day, but I thought it would be a couple of years down the road and be warranted by a new puppy or something, but that's okay, how much could a fence be for my tiny yard anyway........ right?

I'm still recovering from sticker shock, but I wanted to share with you the information I got from a couple of local fence-men.

Since the left side of my house is a drainage retention area, my property does a number of dips in the back.  In order for my fence to be straight across the top, the fence would have to be made specifically for my yard.  To do this, they would have to use a combination of 6ft and 7 ft boards.  
The quotes I received were for white vinyl and wood since I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do yet.   I have a total of 124 feet that needs fencing and 1 gate..... this is what I was quoted.

Company #1:  White Vinyl - $4500
                          Wood -  $3700

Company #2:  Wood - $2675-$2760 (to get it straight at the top)
                          White Vinyl -  Wouldn't give me a quote... told me 
                          "Ohhh... thats too expensive?"

Company #3: Wood - $4882
                         White Vinyl (6ft only) - $5630   
                        White Vinyl (Custom) $10300!! Holy COW!

Trust me when I tell you -I had NO idea fences were so pricy! Naturally, I went with Company #1.  Not only did they have the best price in town but I met the owner and he was super nice and didn't laugh when I asked any dumb/silly questions ;)

So, come Monday, my little back yard will transform into a quiet oasis.  I will finally be able to put out my grill and chairs and be able to enjoy a little time in a "kids-free" zone. :-)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An Organized Garage....

I purchased my home as a foreclose through Landmark Realty (Kim & Tomika ROCK) who I HIGHLY recommend.  For the most part, I have not had any real issues. Knock on wood.

The bank "cleaned up the place" by painting the walls a shade of cream and put in new carpet.  Even though I don't HAVE to "fix-up the place" there are definitely areas that need a makeover.

Project 1: Organize Garage/Laundry Room
Purpose:  I would love to be able to park my car in the garage.  I would also LOVE to make the laundry area feel separate from the garage so I don't feel like I'm cleaning clothes in between the car and lawnmower ;)

This was the project this past weekend.  Organizing junk in 3 easy steps....
1.  Breakdown awkwardly-built work bench
(This was left from the previous owner. 
Unless he was 7ft tall - there is no way this bench was usable)

2.  Put shelves up - okay they came assembled but I had to adjust the shelves ;)
My mom found these heavy-duty steel shelves by Edsal on
sale (they were the floor model) at Home Depot.  I thought about bolting them
to the wall for extra security, but they seem pretty darn sturdy as they are.

3.  Clean & Organize.



Step 1:  Break down workbench.

Easier said then done.  Fortunately for me my mom is a DIY Women which
means that I get all of her awesome tool hammidowns when she
decides to upgrade :- )  However, this is not true for this poor lifeless drill she passed
down to me :( Soooo I ended up doing it the old fashion way - by hand!



...and after 1,876 screws (felt like it anyway) this is what I was left with.


Step 2: Put Shelves Up.


Step 3:  Clean & Organize


Ta-Da!  The finished product :-)
My handy-mother is going to come over and help me
(or rather, I will help her, haha) hang the pegboard behind the shelving so I
can hang up some of my tools.

Next weekend I'll be tackling the laundry area....
Stay Tuned :-)