Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello September!


I'm so excited about everything September represents and promises to bring. We're on the cusp of fall, so that means shopping for cute booties and new jeans is on the horizon. I started a new job last week and can't wait to tell you guys about it! And most importantly, the hubs and I are celebrating our anniversary this month!

Is anyone else as excited about September as I am?!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Adding some function with the help of TIde Oxi

Despite the unexpected delay, my project is finally ready for it's big reveal!!!

I was recently chosen by the good people at P&G to be one of 50 bloggers to put the new Tide OXI Multi-Purpose Stain Remover to the challenge. If you haven't heard of of this stuff, you're in luck, because I'm about to give you your first glimpse of its capabilities!


For the challenge, I was given a Home Depot gift card to purchase the product; and since I knew I didn't want to just do a  a product review, I used the remaining balance of the card to purchase a few more supplies that I needed for my project.

For a long time, I've realized that we hadn't been using our entry way to its full potential. Despite not actually having an entry way, I knew and could add some function to this lack-luster space.

  
You'll see our front door, which opens up directly into the living room, to the right. The wall that you see, is actually, a wall of our dining area. This was the perfect spot for me to try out some simple floating shelves to help bring some function to the area. 


After a little painter's tape placement, I finalized my shelf size and location.

 I didn't have a lot of money left over for materials, so I thought of a solution that would give me sturdy shelves that required the least amount of lumber. One 2 x 10 x 16 piece of lumber was all I needed! I had my piece cut down into four 40" pieces.


After locating three studs in my wall, marking their locations on my boards, and then using my Kreg jig to drill in some pocket holes, I gave the boards a good sanding and they went up on the walls in no time!



Once up, I prepped them for paint with a little frog tape.


 Once prepped, I gave them each a coat of primer and two coats of glossy white paint. (If I was a little more patient, I would've painted them before hanging them...only because getting the tape from behind them was a pain.) And after letting them dry for about 24 hours, I jumped right into styling!


I added a white vase to act as a mail catcher and brought in a tray and one of our elephant hooks for keys and loose change.



I'm still on the hunt for a pair of stools or ottomans to go under the last shelf, but I couldn't be happier with how they turned out! Now, what I could be happier with was our carpet. Enter Tide OXI Multi-Purpose Stain Remover!


With it being our entry/dining area, it had more than seen better days.


I grabbed a bucket and a couple cleaning rags and dissolved a scoop of Tide OXI in about a gallon of warm water. I used one rag to dip into the Tide OXI solution and scrub the stained areas. Then, I used the clean, dry rag to blot it up. Pretty simple process and it gave pretty awesome results.

   
This stuff has over 200 household uses, from cleaning carpet to hard surfaces; so, whatever your problem, this is a great solution. Just simply follow the instructions on the back of the tub.


I was pretty excited about the carpet results, so I threw a little in with a load of whites. In this load was a pair of my 5 year old's all white sneakers.

Here they are before:


And here they are after:


The test is always in the laces, and I definitely give props to Tide OXI for killing it in this challenge! 

So, what do you guys think? Willing to give Tide OXI a try?
This is a sponsored post. P&G provided me with a Home Depot gift card to purchase this product and other supplies, but all opinions and photos are 100% my own.

P.S. I'll be back next week with a few posts on the DIY artwork you see above!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Project Alert!

It's hump day and I'm knee deep into a new project!



Hopefully, all goes well and I'll have details and a finished project by Friday! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Eggplant Pasta Casserole

Scrolling through my Instagram feed yesterday, I came across a healthy eats account that had posted this recipe. I couldn't resist. I had to try it out immediately.


The recipe sounded great as it was, but while shopping for groceries, I got the bright idea to add just a few more veggies. It turned out so well, that I HAD to share it with you guys!


1 large eggplant
1 package of sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
1lb of your choice of pasta (I chose wheat penne rigate)
2/3 cup of chopped yellow onions
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (mine is Kroger brand tomato & basil)
1 tsp of fresh-ish basil
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper


Start by dicing your eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes.


Spread them out on a parchment paper lined pan and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast in the oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.


I decided to beef up my casserole by adding some garlic, onion and mushrooms. Just saute the mixture until the mushrooms and onions are cooked through.


While this is going, cook your pasta according to its directions. Once done, combine all of your ingredients, including half of the cheeses, into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, and bake in the oven on 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until it's nice and bubbly.


Serve it up hot and enjoy with a little garlic bread. The hubs and the kid, both, cleaned their plates. I'm definitely calling this one a winner!



Monday, August 18, 2014

My Weekend in Photos

Happy Monday loves! Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend, because, I had one of the best weekends I've had in a really long time. Friday, the 15th, was my mother-in-law's 50th birthday, so on Saturday morning, we made the hour and a half drive to see her.

We showed up, balloons and gift in tow, sang "Happy Birthday", and collectively decided to throw some eats on the grill. While we waited on the food, hubs decided that it was a good time for a trip down memory lane. I, of course, decided to join him!

After, almost, destroying his mom's storage closet, he pulled out a big blue tote. He opened it up and proudly pulled out a tangled jumble of ribbons and medals...


This was maybe a third of his high school track medals...most of them were 1st place! He was quite the athlete, it tell you. But, while he was reminiscing about the good old days, I saw THIS still sitting in the tote...


Yes, ladies and gentleman...we have uncovered the Note Box! Hubs wanted no parts of this turn down memory lane, but I couldn't get it open fast enough! In it were all (maybe most) of the notes passed to him while he was in high school!


I swear to you that I killed about two hours of the day reading every single note and letter in that box! Just unfolding paper that hadn't been touched since 1999 was way more exciting than it should've been! These little pieces of history were great big windows into my husband's past and gave more than a glimpse into what he was like 10-15 years ago! They went from "Do you have a girlfriend, cuz I really like you." "I love you so much, we're going to be together forever!" to "You bastard! I hate you!" "Don't every talk to me again!" Entertaining to say the least.

After my bout of educational reading and a few steaks and hot dogs, we headed out on a little adventure. The drive through the bluffs is my favorite part about visiting my mother-in-law. Can you see why?


There's always something to see/explore! The road is sort of a trench dug into the side of bluff and has dirt walls that are about ten feet high on either side. 



Once through the "trench", you can stand on the side of the road and where there would be at least a 40 foot drop.

Drive a little further, and you'd see this


I could have stood at this vine-covered canyon for hours. Sadly, it smelled horrible.


We saw our fare share of horses and cows and even drove through a bean farm.


Our little adventure ended with a mini photo shoot in the front yard.


Saturday ended with a trip to the spirits store for a couple bottles of wine and a night under the stars.

Sunday morning was a lazy one. I spent the first couple hours just like this.


The next couple hours didn't look too different. Just subtract the book, add television and a lot of chocolate cake. 

That afternoon, we packed up, said our goodbyes, and headed home to beat this mess that was brewing.


And beat it we did. After settling in at home, and getting the kid into bed, the hubs and I enjoyed a night with our second bottle of wine and a little take out from our favorite place.


Family, fun, food, and nature are always my favorite ingredients to an awesome weekend. What's yours?