A Food Storage Solution That Won’t Make You Lose Your Mind (or your paycheck)

Do you know what drives me nuts?

Garden hoses.

They get tangled and kinked.

And it causes me to want to be the kind of person who cusses(only slightly kidding).

Well the other thing that drives me nuts is plastic food storage containers with all the mismatched lids.

It is enough to drive a woman mad.

Seriously.

Anyway, recently I discovered the cheap solution- freezer safe, top shelf dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and BPA free.

And the BEST PART is that they all use the same size lids. Hallelujah!


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 The bonus is that when I take meals to new moms etc I don’t feel bad sending these containers because they are so cheap, and I can even write the instructions for serving on the lid- using a sharpie and masking tape.

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I recently made a huge batch of chicken stock using the 8oz containers.

The price and availability make them perfect to use in kids’ lunch boxes too.

Click each photo for the specific links on Amazon.

This is the size I use for chicken stock, wine for cooking and condiments.

The cost breakdown on this size is 35¢ each which is even cheaper than the dollar store brands.

16 oz- individual salads and pastas as well as leftovers
32 oz- this is the perfect size for big batches of salsa, soups and chilis

They also offer this super large 1/2 gal size, but it has a different sized lid to I opted out.

This post contains affiliate links to help pay for the costs associated with this blog.

Monday Randomness: A Few of My Favorite Things

After typing that title I now have the Sound of Music sound track running through my head.

You do too? Sorry about that.

When the dog bites, when the bees sting…

Moving on.

I wanted to share some favorites from the last few weeks.

#1. This bread. OMG it is to die for. The best quick bread I have ever made (and I have made A LOT).

as

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It is delightful and has veggies. Win win. Make it this week!

#2. This in-shower lotion. Since I turned the ripe old age of 30 I am trying to take my moisturizing routine a little more seriously (aka just actually using moisturizer). I love this b/c I can quickly use it in the shower, it’s not sticky, and it smells great.

#3. These jeans. I have been on the hunt for a new pair of jeans. These are perfect for a short stocky 5’2″ woman with big thighs and a not so thin waist(see bread recipe above for proof). The jeans are true to size and fit me like a chopped jean (not capri length because= unflattering!). They are the perfect wash for summer.

 #4. This supplement. Someone suggested I start taking apple cider vinegar because of some digestive issues I was having. And now I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. I can tell a big difference in how I feel after eating and just generally less bloated (TMI much?). I take them in the morning with food.

#5. And baptism Sunday at our church. This year it was held at an outdoor amphitheater. So fun and inspiring.

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And this photo was taken from my church’s social media.

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I always love the inspiring act of baptism, reminding me of the new life we have in Christ.

At our church the person who does the baptizing is chosen by the person being baptized.

Lots of dads, spiritual mentors and friends participated.

It’s a tear- jerker for sure.

Thanks for all the encouragement last week after reading my Failing at Life post.

I hope you have a great week!

Manly Potato Mixture (aka Potato Salad) |

Whenever my husband says, ” I won’t eat ____,” it challenges me to create a recipe that he does like.

And one of those things is potato salad.

Actually anything under the mayo/salad category is a no-no in his book.

Egg salad (or deviled eggs)

Chicken Salad

Macaroni Salad

He says it’s all gross.

So I set out to create a potato salad that he likes.

And you know what? I did it.

But he said he will only eat it if I call it something other than potato salad.

His suggested names were:

Manly Potato Mixture

or

Yummy Potato Goodness.

Anyway this potato salad is delightful and contains no mayo.

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Manly Potato Mixture (aka Potato Salad)

serves 6

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • 3-5 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 can of olives, sliced
  • 4 oz block cheese (cheddar or pepper jack), cut into cubes

In a microwave safe bowl combine the oil and garlic. Microwave for 1 minute to infuse the garlic into the oil. Then add the lemon juice, oregano, and s/p. Set aside.

Wash and dice the red potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. Fill a large stock pot with the potatoes, add enough water to cover them, and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. Pour the potatoes into the serving bowl. Toss with the dressing. And then allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients.

Serve at room temperature and enjoy.

Monday Randomness: Failing at Life and the Power of Endorphins

As I sit down to type on this Sunday evening, I have been going over the contents of this past week.

Random really is the best way to really describe it.

Work drama.

A wedding reception.

Bad food choices, etc.

I just loaded the dishwasher for the first time in 6 days.

The laundry I washed last Saturday is still in the basket.

I did not make a single Simple Green Smoothie this past week (see this post for details).

I have not been to the gym in two weeks.

I had a lot of awkward encounters with someone I really struggle to get a long with.

And I definitely did not get enough sleep.

And then Saturday I had to spend 7 additional hours at the office which is something I definitely had not planned for.

I really felt like I was failing at life.

By 3pm on Saturday afternoon I was physically and mentally exhausted.

But I had a choice.

Wallow in my self-pity and exhaustion.

Or

Get my body moving and dwell on something edifying.


1.5 hours and 4.5 miles later my view on life had done a 180º.

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I had a better outlook and renewed energy.

And all I had done was walk (in the rain no less).

If you are struggling with self-pity and exhaustion, whatever the season of life can I suggest something?

Get your body (or at least your brain) moving.

It changed my whole weekend for the better.

Now I am off to make this week’s batch of Simple Green Smoothies. 


Side note:

If you need some edifying things to dwell on here are a few podcasts I highly recommend.

I usually listen to them on my commute, in the grocery store, while doing dishes and cooking dinner.

And if you are unsure of how to listen to podcasts, here is a post with all the instructions.

Easy Limeade |

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This is a fun recipe for cookouts and small get-togethers.

I love the addition of sweetened condensed milk. It takes the edge off of the potent citrus zing.

I hope you enjoy it as just as I do.

Easy Limeade (adapted from playzwithfood.com)

4 limes
7 cups cold water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

Thoroughly wash the limes and cut into thin slices. Place them in a blender or food processor. Add six cups of cold water and 1 cup of sugar. Blend on high until the lime slices are pulverized (at least 30 seconds).
Place a mesh strainer over the mouth of the pitcher. Carefully pour the blended lime mixture through the strainer. Discard the pulp. Then add the sweetened condensed milk to the pitcher. Mix well and refrigerate for a few hours. Serve and enjoy with lots of ice.

Note: Pick limes with thin skin. Thin skin makes for juicier limes. And if your limeade is bitter add a little more sweetened condensed milk.

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Home Improvement: $67 Faux Plank Wainscot Hall Treatment

So a while back I did a mini makeover on our back hall.

I used frames from around my home, a clearance rug and a $3 Goodwill fixture.

See the full makeover process here.

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But my plan was to finish off this back hall with some sort of treatment to make it look more polished.

The hall leads to the master bedroom and the garage.

I liked beadboard but I felt like our house is too modern for that look. I also like the look of planking (aka shiplap) but didn’t want to spend the $$$ on it since we won’t be in this house that much longer (at least that’s the plan).

So this hall sat without a treatment for  1 1/2 years.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago I finally had an inspiration for what I could do.

I took the measurements to Home Depot, tracked down someone that could help me, and had them cut sheets of paneling in the sizes that I needed to finish the hall.

But because I wanted a planked look I had the panels cut with the vertical lines running horizontal.

While the panels were being cut I found simple 1.5 and 2.5 inch trim pieces that I liked.

While I was there I also purchased hooks because this space will be used for coats and the dog leash etc.

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I came home and laid everything out to check to see that it fit.

THEN… I got to use the nail gun. If you need to boost your confidence, you need to learn to use a nail gun.

EMPOWERED is the best way to describe how it feels to use it!

Power tools are the greatest.

I did have my husband help me cut the hole for the outlet because I did not trust myself to not mess it up.

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 Anyway, then I filled all the holes I made with the nail gun, and painted everything twice.

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Real life: Unmade bed and laundry basket in the background.

I have not decided if I am going to put up the hooks yet.

I will see how I like it without them first.

Cost Breakdown:

$34 – 2 sheets of 8 ‘ paneling

$25 – 6 pieces of trim

$8 – 3 hooks

Paint, nails, caulk and wood puddy leftover from previous projects were not included in the total.

Almond Cherry Muffins |

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Warning: Only proceed if you like delicious muffins and don’t mind a few extra calories every once in a while.

This recipe combines two things I love. The essence of almond pound cake and cherries but in muffin form. Yum!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Adapted from Taste of Home, Cherry Almond Muffin

Yield: 18-20 muffins

Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4  cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3  cup milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4  cup almonds, sliced

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffins tins with cooking spray or fill muffin tins with liners. Set aside.

Muffin Batter:

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs(this takes a while but it’s worth it). In a separate bowl, beat the egg, sour cream, milk and extracts until smooth; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thick). Then, fold in the cherries and sliced almonds. Set aside.

Topping:

Combine flour and sugar in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in almonds; set aside.

Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350° for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks. Yield: 18-20 muffins.

I liked these muffins right from the oven but I think they were even better the next day. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Note: If you buy your spices and nuts in the Ethnic/Hispanic food aisle in the grocery store, they are almost always much cheaper. I only paid 75¢ for the sliced almonds for this recipe and the extracts where half the price of the store brand.

 

Retail Therapy: Spring Basics 2015

 I hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods.

Spring sprang at our house and then we had our yard graded last week.

So now we have a yard of red mud with some new grass seed thrown on top.

Real life, folks. Just real life.

Anyway I have been doing some closet purging and refreshing for the new season.

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Dansko Women’s Tasha Sandal

 I needed a casual sandal with a little heel because of some sciatica I am still dealing with

And because my favorite pair of neutral brown wedges got eaten by a dog we were sitting on.  :(

I purchased these last week and I have not taken them off since. They are the most comfortable sandals I have ever owned.

I keep telling my husband I feel like I am walking on clouds. It took about 24 hours to break them in but no blisters and my feet have never been happier.

A bit pricey, but Danskos last forever. The last pair I owned for 5+ years and they still look new.

I did have to size up because my foot tends to be a little wide.

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Women‘s Draped One Piece Black Stripe

 We are headed to the beach in early May and I also needed a new suit. Or as we called it when I was growing up, “bating suit.”

Somewhere along the way we dropped the “h” and no one ever corrected us.

This is basically the greatest swimsuit ever made (slight exaggeration, but only slight). Lots of support for the chest and tummy areas but still super cute and reasonably priced.

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Some cute little spring studs for $8. Just that simple.

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I purchased one of these tunics from Old Navy a few weeks ago. The shirt is super light weight but well made.

It comes in lots of fun colors.

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These pants are a newer version of my favorite linen pants that I gave away to two readers this month.

I just bought these because I love stripes and I love linen. So basically it’s a match made in heaven.

And last but not least I am hoping to snatch of few pieces of the Lily Pulitzer line for Target in April.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes (3 versions)

If you had asked me a 10 years ago if I liked sweet potatoes I would have said no.

I didn’t mind the taste but the only way I had ever eaten them was when they were covered in marshmallows.

And I REALLY don’t like marshmallows.

But then I discovered sweet potatoes not covered in brown sugar and white fluff.

And simple sweet potatoes are just delightful (and cheap and SO good for you). And my husband even eats them now too.

Here are three ways we enjoy them on a weeknight.

Serve them with chicken, pork or as a veggie dinner.

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Three different ways to make roasted sweet potatoes! thedomesticlady.com

Printer version Roasted Sweet Potatoes here.

Southwest Style Roasted Sweet Potatoes*

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (2-4 potatoes)
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash of cayenne

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Then add all the spices and toss.

Bake for 25 minutes. Stir half way through the baking time. Serve warm or at room temperature. (for extra yumminess top with a little cheese).

*also makes a great filling for veggie tacos

Roasted Honey-Glazed  Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (2-4 potatoes)
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Then add all the spices and toss.

Bake for 25 minutes. Stir half way through the baking time. Drizzle with honey while still hot. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (2-4 potatoes)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (chopped fine)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel and dice the potatoes. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Then add all the spices, Parmesan, and toss.

Bake for 35 minutes. Stir half way through the baking time. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday Randomness: Nail Polish, Perennials, Wainscoting, and Boxed Mac and Cheese

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 First off, I have discovered this insta-dri nail polish by Sally Hansen actually lives up to its name.

The color is Rush Hour, and it’s the perfect pinky/purple neutral color.

Imagine having pollen spring on your finger nails.

Last week, we had our yard worked on for reasons which I will not explain because I don’t want you to die of boredom.

But b/c of the work, I decided it was time to add a flower bed up near the mailbox.

I scored a bunch of perennials for $1 and $3 in the clearance plant sections at Lowes. Yay for cheap plants!

My husband was working on another project on Saturday so I did all the digging, hauling mulch and ground cloth by myself.

Let’s just say I am not cut out to be a farmer.

Planting is tough work.

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But before I started planting, I hung some mirrors and other stuff that I purchased for a quickie home office/guest bedroom redo for a client.

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Fresh paint is Liveable Green by Sherwin Williams; the bedding is from Kohls. The mirrors are from Kirklands.

Back at my house I have wanted to put some kind of wainscoting in our back hall for several years.

But I never could come up with a cheap way to do it…until I had a inspiration while standing in the paneling aisle at Home Depot. The smell of saw dust and expensive construction materials seems to have that effect on me.

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Anyway the back hall is finally coming together. I will share the whole project once I get it all painted.

Let’s just say its WAY better than I even expected.

But after working literally all day Saturday I made boxed mac and cheese for dinner.

Annie’s Homegrown Shells always come through in a pinch.

Mixed with frozen broccoli and some chopped chicken.

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We literally crashed on Sunday after all the work on Saturday.

Church, naps and some good food.

Have a great week!