Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tips To Keep Tidy

My friends and family always ask me "how do you keep your house so clean?" So I thought I would make a list of the tips and tricks I use to keep a tidy house.

Once A Month
1. One day once a month I clean the whole house and re organizing the drawers, cabinets and closets.

Once A Week
2. One day a week I clean the whole house from top to bottom by dusting, vacuuming, doing all the laundry (clothes, towels, bedding), cleaning the bathrooms ect. 

3. I make sure that on my Total Cleaning Day my husband will be gone, I don't know why but I cant clean when he is here....oh wait yes I do...he is always right in my way!

4. I also make sure the we have no plans all day so I don't feel rushed and skip cleaning things because of time. I totally have Chronic Cleaning Disorder so if I skip cleaning one thing it drives me crazy until I can get it done. Moral of this story...on my Total Cleaning Days everything needs to be totally cleaned!

5. On these days I start cleaning right after I wake up, well after I pour myself a cup of coffee, that way I have nothing to distract me like a TV show or the computer. If I sit down my Total Cleaning Day is doomed!

6. I clean one room at a time and I don't move on until everything in that room is put where it is supposed to go and everything is wiped down, clean and the garbage is dumped into a trash bag.

 7. Vacuuming the house is the last thing I will do, its like the icing on a cake.

Almost Every Day
8.  I always keep a bottle of window cleaner and a rag under the bathroom sink so when I see that the mirror is dirty I just grab the bottle and rag and wipe the mirror takes me 2 seconds and the bathroom looks clean again.

9. I pick up the house every night after my son has gone to sleep.
By pick up I mean put the dirty dishes in the dish washer, put my sons toys in his toy box, pick up any dirty clothes that might have ended up on the floor *cough* my husband *cough* and put them in the hamper...I just put everything back where it is supposed to go.

10. I run the dish washer every night, if its full enough, so I can empty it in the morning. I am then able to add the dishes through out the day as they are used. That way stacks of dirty dishes don't pile up in the sink...that just gets overwhelming, sticky and stinky.

11. I do laundry twice a week. Once on my Total Cleaning Day when I wash everything, and once again a few days after my Total Cleaning Day. These days I just wash our dirty clothes and maybe some towels.

12. I make our bed and my sons bed EVERY DAY after we all wake up! A made bed always makes a room look put together and it is so much more inviting when your crawling into bed after a long day.

13. Music is my cleaning buddy! It helps me tune out everything that is going on in the house, keeps me focused on the task and makes cleaning a lot more enjoyable!

14. To me a fresh house needs a fresh scent! I love my old Potpourri Crock that I bought from Goodwill. I put in a couple cubes of some fresh scented wax and the scent fills the whole house! Candles are always very nice as well! I love the $3.00 candles from Walmart, they seriously fill your whole house with the nicest scents.

All in all...if its dirty take two seconds to clean it! 
If the kitchen floor has dirt on it sweep it, if the dishes in the dish washer are clean put them away, if there are dirty dishes in the sink put them in the dish washer, if the counter is dirty wipe it down, if you have folded clean clothes sitting in a basket put them away. These things don't take too totally long to do and you will get into a habit of doing them which will lead to you keeping a tidy house and then your friends will ask you "how do you keep your house so clean?"

Friday, March 28, 2014

Walmart To Go

If you have little ones you know how hard grocery shopping can be. I give my son the same talk every time we go to the store "now you need to be good in here, you need to stay in the cart, no fits, no candy, no toys..." even though he agrees, none of this stuff ever happens. As soon as we walk into the store "mommy I want out, mommy I want a treat, mommy I want this, mommy I want that, mommy I want I want I want..." I end up spending most of my time in the store yelling at him to stay with me and not to touch anything. I end up leaving the store flustered, mad and without half of the stuff I needed. This is why I try and plan my trips to the grocery store around my husbands schedule so I can leave my sweet little tirent at home with his dad, unfortunately this isn't always the most convenient plan. So when I got the opportunity to try out Walmart's new program, Walmart To Go, I jumped at it!
The whole process was so easy and!

I went to the Walmart To Go web page, entered my zip code, clicked on My Account then clicked on Create Account.
I filled out all my information then started shopping.

I either found the items I wanted by typing them into the Search bar at the top of the page...
...or by going through the Department Tabs that are below the search bar.

There were Special Offers at the bottom of each page when I was clicking through the Department Tabs, I couldn't not check these out and I'm happy I did because there were some really good deals.

Every time I chose an item it showed up in my Cart which was on the right side of my screen.
The Subtotal was shown right under my cart so there was no guessing how much I was spending.

After I filled up my cart with all the items I needed, and probably some I didn't need but had to have, I clicked on the Book Pickup/Delivery Time button which was under my cart list. I had the option to either get my groceries delivered to my door or to choose a store to pick them up from, I chose to pick them up since every day is an adventure for my family right now and I never know when I am going to be home or out and about.
I then clicked on the Check Out button, which was also under my cart list, and put in my payment information and that was that! I got a confirmation email with my order number and my pick up information right after my order had gone through.

I had scheduled to pick up my order between 11:00 and 2:00 and on the day of I got a phone call from the Walmart To Go employee at 11:00 letting me know that my order was ready whenever I was and to just give her a call when I was 10 minutes away, which of course I did. When I pulled up to the store she was standing outside with my order! I parked, popped my truck, helped her put the groceries in my car, signed for my pick up, got my recipe and I was off...seriously the fastest grocery shopping I have ever done!

Like I said easy and convenient! It seriously only took me about half an hour to sign up, shop, pay and a little over a minute to put the groceries in my car, sign for them and grab my recipe after I pulled up to the store. That beats trying to find a parking spot, searching through the store trying to find everything on my list and waiting in a line to check out any day....especially if I have my sweet little tirent with me! Plus most of the prices of the items I got were a lot cheaper then the grocery store I regularly shop at...score! Needless to say I will definitely be using Walmart To Go again in the future and I highly suggest you give it a try, unless your not into making your life just a little bit more simpler...I know I am!

To register click the link below:

As a participant in the Walmart to Go First program, I’ve received a personal invite and incentives for my time and efforts in creating this post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Healthy Big Mac Meal

My husband really likes the Big Macs from McDonald's and when I was overweight, didn't care about my body and ate beef I did too. Since we are both now living a healthier life McDonald's has been ousted which means no more Big Mac's for us...from McDonald's anyways! When I took my son into McDonald's to play just the other day, we were waiting on my husband to get done with one of his many appointments, I actually found myself kind of craving a Big Mac. So for dinner that night I made us some healthy Big Mac meals.

First things first...the fries!
A couple Sweet Potatoes
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Peel, rinse and slice the sweet potatoes. Place them into a microwave safe bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water.

Place the bowl into the microwave and cook for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes, drain the water from the bowl then add the olive oil and all the seasonings. Mix everything together really well, making sure each sweet potato piece is covered in oil and seasonings.

Spread the seasoned sweet potato slices onto a baking sheet then bake them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, make sure you flip the slices after 15 minutes or the bottoms will get burned.

Now the fun part....making the Big Mac!
Turkey Burger Patties (2 per burger)
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced Cheddar Cheese
Wheat Hamburger Buns
Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 of an Onion chopped
Dill Pickle sliced

Chop your onion and slice your pickle.

Grab your buns.
You will need one top and two bottoms, one of the bottoms is for the center of the burger.

Grill your burger patties.

Time to assemble...
Bottom Bun
Thousand Island Dressing
Shredded Lettuce
Cheddar Cheese
Turkey Patty
Bottom Bun
Thousand Island Dressing
Shredded Lettuce
Pickle Slices
Turkey Patty
Top Bun

And vuala...
A Big Mac meal made at home! Of course it didn't taste the exact same since I used turkey instead of beef but it was pretty darn close and super delicious and filling. The fries were tasty and the fresh brewed tea was great to wash everything down with.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Go Diego Go Party

Every year I put together a themed party for my sons birthday, this year he picked Go Diego Go!

Just like his past parties my son dressed accordingly. I searched our thrift stores high and low for clothes to make a Diego outfit and this is what I came up with, he absolutely loved being Diego!

Just like my Mother-In-Law's Twilight Dinner Party, I made my son a Happy Birthday sign using two pieces of orange poster board and some blue Die-Cut Letters. 

I rolled up and scrunched a couple Jot Mailing Paper rolls from The Dollar Tree to make some long vines and my husband and I cut out a bunch of jungle leaves from a few different colored green poster boards. I taped the leaves onto the vines and tada....jungle vines!
I used my sons stuffed animals as decorates around the house. I hung a stuffed monkey from the vine over our table and used two stuffed hippos as the center piece on the table. 
I had covered the table with an orange table cloth and used a blue table cloth that was folded in half as a table runner, Diego colors. 
We had a few extra jungle leaves so I used them around the house to make everything a bit more colorful and jungle like.

 I also made a jungle vine to wrap around our staircase banister.

I set a few more stuffed animals on our coffee table and threw a giraffe print blanket over the side of the couch.
Every year I make a themed birthday sign for our front door.
(After the party is over I hang the sign from my sons bedroom door...its kind of our tradition now.)
A themed party of mine just wouldn't be the same without a scent to match the theme. I put some Rain Forest scented wax melts into my Potpourri Crock which made our whole house smell wonderful.

Of course I stuck with the jungle, animal theme for the snacks as well with...
Zebra Cakes
Pretzel Sticks
(Monkey Tails)
Chocolate Animal Cookies
Cheese Puffs
(Tiger Tails)
Gummy Worms
Banana Chips
Ants On A Log
Chips And Dip
(I know this has nothing to do with the jungle or animals but its my families favorite party snack)
Everyone ate off of these cute plates!

Of course no Go Diego Go party would be complete without a Rescue Center! 
I threw an old tan sheet over my sons Toy Story Pop Up Tent then taped the Rescue Center sign that I had drawn and colored over the Rescue Center door. The kids at the party loved this little fort and it kept them all entertained and busy pretty much the whole party.

I do have to say that my sons Go Diego Go party was a hit, it was his favorite themed birthday party so far. In the words of my Mother-In-Law "welp Lindsey, you did it again!"

Friday, March 21, 2014

Narayani: The Unicorn Of Nepal (Animal Conservation)

The Denver Zoo is a huge part of my families life, when the weather is nice you will find us there. We know the zoo like the back of our hands and we know most of the animals by name. My families favorite is the Pachyderms and spending as much time as we have in and around the Pachyderm house watching the giant gray creatures that live there we have gotten to know one of the zoo keepers, Dave Johnson. Dave is one amazing human being! When he isn't at the Denver Zoo taking care of our beloved hippos and rhinos he is traveling to Nepal to help with animal conservation. A few years ago Dave wrote a children's book called The Elephants Of Denver with all the proceeds from the sale of his book going to aid in the conservation efforts to save endangered animals in Nepal. Last year Dave wrote a new children's book called Narayani: The Unicorn Of Nepal to help raise more money for Nepal's conservation efforts.

We took our son to the Denver Zoo for his birthday and as a birthday gift Dave gave our son a copy of his new book. The story of Narayani is an amazing tale and the illustrations are so much fun to look at, they were all done using Dave's personal photos from Nepal. It has quickly become our families favorite book. I read it to my son almost every night and I often find him sitting in his chair looking at all the colorful pictures. 

The best part of this book is that every single penny of every single book that is purchased goes to the Rocky Mountain AAZK (American Association Of Zoo Keepers) and Nepal's Conservation.

You can find this special book in the Denver Zoo's gift shop. So if you live in Colorado or are just visiting please stop by and pick up your copy of Narayani: The Unicorn Of Nepal today and help save these majestic, endangered animals.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cheese Burger Burrito

I have been trying to think of healthier ways to make my hubby's favorite meals since he is really trying to lose weight and become a healthier person. The other day I was brain storming and a crazy idea popped into my head...cheese burger burritos! Jason said it sounded interesting and gave the idea a thumbs up so I gave it a try. To our surprise the burritos were delicious, seriously they were SO good! The first thing Jason said to me was "put that on your must make again list asap!" Since they turned out so well I had to share!

Large multi grain or wheat tortillas 
(I used the Wrap tortillas from Mission)
Reduced fat shredded cheese
Half a pickle diced
Ground turkey
Half a small onion diced
Ketchup and mustard

The first thing I did was saute the onions in a tiny bit of olive oil, just until they were a bit soft.

 I then added the ground turkey into the pan with the onions. I seasoned it with a steak seasoning then stirred everything together until the turkey was totally cooked through.

I placed a tortilla on a plate and topped it with some shredded cheese and a few pickle slices.

Then I squirted a bit of mustard and ketchup on top of the cheese and pickles.

I then added some of the ground turkey onion mixture to the tortilla and topped that off with some more shredded cheese.

After piling all the goodness in the middle of the tortilla I folded both ends of the tortilla in then rolled it up. I then placed the burrito, folded side down, on my grilling pan which was on medium heat. I let the burrito sit there until the bottom was sealed and the tortilla had some nice golden brown grill marks on it, I then flipped it and grilled the other side. I flipped the burrito a few times so the tortilla wouldn't burn but the cheese would fully melt.
(easy peasy)

Seriously I was shocked at how great these cheese burger burritos tasted, and a small salad was the perfect healthy side to serve with them.


Sugar Snap Pea Chips

I have mentioned in a few blog posts how I have a weakness for chips, the crunch gets me hooked every time! But of course I have to limit my chip intake since I don't want my waist line to grow so I like to find some healthier alternatives to satisfy my crunch cravings. One of my favorite alternatives is Sugar Snap Pea Chips...

Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Bag of Sugar Snap Peas
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Cover a baking sheet with foil
Spray with a bit of Olive Oil Spray
Place your Sugar Snap Peas on the pan 
Spray with a bit more of the Olive Oil Spray
Sprinkle with the salt, cheese and garlic powder
Toss the peas with your hands making sure they are all coated in the oil and seasonings

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes

I like my Snap Pea Chips to be extra crispy so I bake mine until they are really nice and brown.