Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back from Vacation!

Hey you guys! I am back from vacation (finally!). I really missed you all. And, I've missed blogging quite a bit! July was such a crazy month for our family. But, things are finally slowing down at our house and I'm excited to enjoy this last month with the kids before school starts. I keep reading on Facebook that some kids are already starting school (or will be very soon). My kids don't start until September 5th. Are we just really late compared to most? When do your kids go back to school?

For our vacation, we went on a very long road trip. Like 2400 miles long. We drove through 9 different states and spent over 30 hours in the car.

 

We got to visit lots of family and friends.

 

We met "Bumblebee" (or a look-a-like, anyway).

 

The kids spent a lot of time in the pool.

 

And got to ride horses on a Ranch.

 

And at the end of our trip, we were exhausted and ready to drive home.

 

It was such a nice break! I am so ready and excited about all of the new things I have coming your way. I had lots of time to brainstorm new ideas while we were in the car. I can't wait to share them with you.

How have you spent your summer vacation? Did you stay home or hit the road (or plane)? Tell me, are there any travel destinations I need to add to my "Wanderlust" Pinterest board?

 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunshine Muffins: Guest Post from Yummy-Healthy-Easy

Hi Love and Laundry viewers! My name is Jen Nikolaus and I'm the foodie that blogs over at Yummy-Healthy-Easy. I'm a stay at home mom and am completely outnumbered by boys in my house! There's my husband, Cory and our four crazy boys: Justin, (10) Chance, (8) and my Irish twins, Brock (2) and Tate (1). When I'm not chauffeuring kids to baseball, play dates or piano lessons, you can usually find me in my kitchen where I enjoy creating yummy, healthy and easy meals for my family. I am so excited to be here at Love and Laundry today! Thanks for having me!
 
We go through a lot of cereal at my house. I try to buy the better-for-you cereals but they end up sitting in the cupboard, uneaten, for weeks. What my kids really like are the super sweet kinds that are void of real nutrition and full of artificial flavors and sweeteners. And they can eat bowl after bowl and be hungry again less than an hour later!

So I'll whip up a batch of these muffins for breakfast and my kids devour them! They taste so sinfully good. They're super moist from the grated carrots and apples and have a yummy, spicy flavor from the nutmeg and cinnamon. It's a sneaky way to get myself my kids to eat carrots and apples (without bribery) and keep them full longer. Plus it helps keep my cereal shelf full longer, too. Ha! And they are SO EASY to throw together for a quick breakfast. Whether you have kids or not, these muffins will be a hit at your breakfast table!


Sunshine Muffins:
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar (plus a little more for dusting on top)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup coconut, optional
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with wooden spoon.

2) Fold in remaining ingredients: carrots, apple, nuts and coconut. Scoop into 12 regular-sized greased muffin tins and sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

3) ENJOY!!

A great BIG thank you to Shatzi for letting me guest post today! I am a huge fan of Love and Laundry!
If you like what you see here, come visit me at Yummy-Healthy-Easy to check out some of my other family-friendly recipes. I'm also on Facebook and Pinterest, too! Thanks so much!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sharp Crochet Hook Winner


Congrats to Christa who won the Sharp Crochet Hook giveaway! We sent you an email. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vintage Child's Rocker: Guest Post from Tiffany & Co.

Hi everybody!  I'm Tiffany, and I blog over at Tiffany and Company.  I'm a fairly new blogger but I am always working on a project and I thought it would be fun to start a blog to show some of it off!  I am mommy to three kids, ages 4, 2, and almost 11 months.  How do I have time for projects?  Good question!  But I have fun doing it!  Some of my favorite projects include my $40 beadboard backsplash, my chunky beadboard frame,  and my repurposed play kitchen.

The project I'm sharing with you today is a vintage child's rocker!  I was SO excited to find this little beauty at a yard sale for only $2.  What a find!  It's a sturdy little thing.  Here is the before picture.  I actually kind of like the little train and the vintage look, but I wanted it for my baby's room and that just wasn't going to work for me.
BEFORE:

So here was what I started with.  Wood glue, a decorative wood piece found at Home Depot, and Krylon's Blue Ocean Breeze.

I dabbed some wood glue on and attached the decorative wood piece.  While it was drying I used a bag clip to clamp it on, just because I'm classy like that! ;)

Then it was time too add some Blue Ocean Breeze!  I love Krylon's spray paints and I think they have the best colors.  Here it was after two coats and just a bit of sanding to distress parts of it:

I loved the color, but wanted to bring out more of the details in the decorative wood piece.  Enter: GLAZING!  If you have never done this before, let me warn you...it is a little scary!  You paint it right on, and then rub it off with an old rag.  Here is what it looked like when I first painted some of the glaze on.  (Ahhh!)  Gives me a heart attack every time!

I painted it all over the chair, rubbing it off with a rag as I went.  
Here is the final result!

Perfectly shabby and worn looking, just what I was going for.   Doesn't the glaze bring out the details so nicely?

One last view of the finished rocker.  It will look darling  in my baby's pink and blue nursery.  I love it!

Thanks so much Shatzi, for letting me guest post on your adorable blog.  I hope you'll all come pay me a visit at my little blog Tiffany and Company.   
Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pineapple Refridgerator Cake: Guest Post from Cups by Kim!

You guys are in for a huge treat today! Cups by Kim is one of my favorite blogs! The first time I guest posted was over at Kim's blog and I've been an avid reader ever since. Kim is great story teller and almost always shares a good one with her recipes. I can't wait to try this yummy recipe she's sharing today. Thanks for guest posting, Kim!

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Hello Everyone! I'm Kim and you can usually find me over at Cups by Kim. I'm so glad that Shatzi here at Love & Laundry invited me to spend the day with you. Today I'm going to share a dessert that I had never ever heard of until I married my Dear Hubby 10 years ago.
This recipe has been a favorite of his family for many years. I was never lucky enough to meet his Grandmother Campbell, but I know that she would be so thrilled that we are enjoying her Pineapple Refridgerator Cake recipe.
This recipe is easy peasy! And it's perfect for a hot summer day.
I don't know about you, but I think I'm ready for summer to be over.
90+ degree weather for 11 days straight in Ohio in July. Yeah, that's enough to get "burnt out" on summer.
So anyways, let's cool off with some Pineapple Refridgerator Cake shall we?!


Campbell's Pineapple Refridgerator Cake

30 large marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
2 packages of graham crackers, crushed
1 can crushed pineapple, drained (but reserve the juice in a seperate bowl)
1 cup Cool Whip

In a microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and milk. Microwave on high until marshmallows are melted completely.
Allow marshmallow mixture to cool completely.
Once it has cooled, mix in the Cool Whip and the crushed pineapple.
Line the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan with 1/2 of the crushed graham crackers.
Drizzle some of the pineapple juice over the graham cracker crust.
Pour marshmallow/Cool Whip mixture over graham cracker crust. Spread out evenly.
Drizzle a little more of the pineapple juice over the top.
Top with remaining crushed graham crackers.
Refridgerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

I want to say a big thank you to Shatzi again for having me over today. And I hope that she is enjoying her time off! Make sure you check me out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And don't forget to stop by Sweet & Simple Sunday at Cups by Kim to link up what you've been up to!
I hope everyone has a great week!!

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P.S. Don't forget to enter the Sharp Crochet Giveaway. There's still time!! Click here to enter.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Frozen Hot Chocolate

A couple of weeks ago, I guest posted over a My Happy Place.  Just in case you missed it, here is my yummy Frozen Hot Chocolate!

p.s. Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!
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If there is one thing I love, it’s chocolate.  Most of the time, if I have to choose between chocolate and something else, chocolate wins.  One of my favorite ways to have chocolate is a cup full of steamy hot chocolate on a cold winter night.  But it’s summer now and that won’t do.  So, today I’m going to share with you one of my new favorite summer dessert drinks. Frozen Hot Chocolate!

frozen hot chocolate

About a month ago, I took my kids to Dairy Queen for lunch.  I noticed that they had a frozen hot chocolate on the menu, so I had to try it.  It was yummy!  So good that I almost wished I never discovered it. I knew that my wallet was doomed to shrink to nothing by the end of the summer just from buying frozen hot chocolates.  That would never do, so I sought out to make an equally wonderful version at home.  In my opinion, this is way better than the DQ version. This recipe is really pretty fast and easy.  And a huge hit with my kids!

Here’s what you need:

frozen hot chocolate ingredients

3 squares of bakers chocolate (or 3 oz of chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons of cocoa (I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could substitute hot chocolate mix)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of milk
About 3–4 cups of ice
{This recipe serves about 4-5 people}

First, melt the chocolate squares in the milk on low heat. When the chocolate starts to melt, add the sugar and stir well.

frozen hot chocolate step 1

After all of the chocolate is melted and it looks smooth, remove from the heat and let it cool down. 

After it’s cooled off, pour the chocolate and milk into a blender. Add the ice and cocoa powder and blend.

frozen hot chocolate step 2

And that’s it! Super easy and super delicious! It’s a perfect summer time treat without heating up the house.  And now I can enjoy the yumminess of hot chocolate all year long!


I'm linking this post up to these parties.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicken Curry with Rice

Last month, I participated in the Grow. Swap. Share blog swap. If you remember, my swap partner was Dishing with Leslie and she shared her amazing cheesecake burritos over here.  Well, just in case you missed my post, here it is!
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chicken curry

Today, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite recipes: Chicken Curry with Rice. 

When I was a college freshman, I knew nothing about cooking.   After eating mainly Ramen Noodles and Pasta Roni for months, I decided I needed to expand my cooking repertoire. Luckily, I had some pretty awesome roommates.  Two of them were US Citizens, but lived in Japan for high school.  They had so many fun things to teach us all.  One of my most favorite things was when one of them would make Curry for everyone.  Until that point, I had never even heard of Curry.  Now I know that a lot of people are scared to try it because curry can be spicy.  But, that’s not completely true.  Just like with every other spicy food, you can also make it mild.  And it is so delicious.  To me, curry is the perfect comfort food. Just like pot roast and mashed potatoes.  I also love it because it can stretch really far and feed a huge crowd with no problem.

My method is super easy. Apart from chopping up vegetables, it is so simple to throw together. And this is the secret:

curry sauce mix


Golden Curry Sauce Mix. I have not come across a store that does not carry this in their Oriental Foods section. Even Wal-Mart has it.  This stuff is awesome!! It mixes with your meat and veggies to make a thick curry sauce.  It pulls this dinner together in no time! Plus, if you like food with a little bit of kick, it also comes in Medium and Hot.

Want to make a dish of your own? Here’s what you need:

curry ingredients

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can completely customize it. Don’t like bell peppers? No problem. Leave them out. Huge carrot fan? Add some extra. There really is no set ratio. I usually just throw in what I have.

First, you need to get your base ready. For the meat,  I cut up about 3 chicken breasts into cubes (you can also sub for beef). Dice up the onion. Then, mix the chicken and onions together and fry them in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you prefer). Fry them until they are good and cooked.

curry step 1


Meanwhile, chop up your other veggies.

When the chicken and onions are thoroughly cooked, add all of the other veggies plus 3 cups of water.

curry step 2

Cover that and let it boil for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make your rice.

After the chicken and veggies have been cooking for 15 minutes, remove the lid. There should still be quite a bit of water. DO NOT drain the water. It took me quite a few times of making this to be okay with leaving the water. I always felt like there was too much and the finished dish would turn out watery. The first few times I decreased the water, and I can tell you from experience, the water is good, so keep it in the pan.
Open the box of curry sauce mix and add the cubes to the chicken and veggies.

curry step 3

Slowly cook it over a low heat and stir the curry in. It really only takes a few minutes before the cubes melt and create a gravy out of the leftover water.

curry step 4

When it’s thick, just serve over a bed of rice. I love this because you can dress it up and serve it with a salad, or use it as a stand alone dinner. Either way, it’s delicious!



I'm linking this post up to these parties.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Post from the Thriftiness Miss: $2 Raised Candle Holder

Hey everyone!

While I'm road tripping the next couple of weeks, I've lined up some awesome guest posters for you to enjoy. Today, it Jessie form The Thriftiness Miss. She's so amazing! I was really excited when she agreed to post here today. And I love, love this project she's sharing.

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Hello there Love and Laundry readers! My name's Jessie and I blog over at The Thriftiness Miss

I'm so very happy to be here with you today for two reasons. Number One: I love Shatzi and her blog! Like you, I am a fellow follower of hers so I don't have to tell you how great she is because you already know :)

Number Two: I'm just so excited to share my latest thrifty project you all, The $2 Raised Candle Holder.  


I admit, not much went into this project but I think the turnout is pretty great for just $2. 

While planting some plants the other day I realized that the dollar plant stand I had would perfectly fit a six inch glass trivet for candles. 

Originally the stand was green before I gave it a quick coat of black spray paint to get this...


A trivet such as the one below can be found at any dollar store around. Plus the tiny feet on the trivet sit steadily into the bars of the stand so it doesn't move around at all. 


Then, just place it in the plant stand and fill with candles.


I think it makes a nice centerpiece for any tablescape. It's especially pretty outside at night.


Thanks for reading and come check out more thrifty projects from The Thriftiness Miss.

Have a great day!




Friday, July 13, 2012

Instagram

Hey guys! I think I accidentally took a blogging vacation.  Right before my real vacation.  July is a crazy month at our house!  But don’t worry, I have a bunch of scheduled and guest posts coming your way while I’m gone. ;)

In the meantime, I thought going on vacation would be a fun time to learn Instagram. Are you on Instagram?  My username is loveandlaundry if you want to follow me.  And if your on, leave a comment with how I can find you and I’ll follow you back!

I’ll be back with tons of fun projects and recipes before you know it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cute and Simple Baby Socks {Sharp Crochet Hook review and giveaway}

You guys, I’m so excited to be hosting a giveaway! The first on my blog. This is such a milestone for me and I’ll never forget Jessica with Sharp Crochet Hook for her generosity.  Jessica contacted me a couple of weeks ago wondering if I wanted to try out the Sharp Crochet Hook.  I’m not really much of a crocheter, so I wasn’t sure I could even do this.  I was just telling a friend days before that crocheting was something I would really love to learn.  But, the honest to goodness truth is, I know how to crochet a little bit.  And the times I’ve tried it, I’ve really loved it, which is why I said want to learn more.  I’ve found that the best way to learn more about something is to just dive in a do it.  So, when I got Jessica’s email, I knew this was my chance.

Okay, before I tell you about my project, I want to first tell you about the awesomeness that is the Sharp Crochet Hook. The reason that it is so cool is that the hook end is sharp which allows it to easily glide through fabric.  Most of you have probably seen the super cute receiving blankets with a hand crocheted edge.

baby-in-new-crochet-blanket

I even got one as a gift when my daughter was born. I loved it so much, I saved it.  There is just something so personal and special about a handmade gift, don’t you think?  Normally, to make a blanket like this, you have to buy the fabric that is pre-hemstitched (which means there are pre-punched holes along the edge to push a crochet hook through).  This really limits your selection. But, not anymore! With the Sharp Crochet Hook, you can use any fabric you want! What a huge cost saver!!

Not only can you crochet baby blankets, but the sharp crochet hook opens up even more crochet possibilities! Like these:

crochet-edging-two-tier-skirt-close
crochet-edging-gloves
crochet-edging-easy-shirt-hem
crochet-edging-card

The Sharp Crochet Hook really makes it easy to add a crochet border to almost anything!

Want to see what I made with it?  Well, I have a few friends having babies soon, so I made these adorable crochet embellished baby socks!

crochet edge baby socks

crochet baby socks 


It didn’t take me very long to do each pair.  In fact, I’m sure I’ll do more really soon!  I would have crocheted every pair my daughter owned if I had this when she was a baby! The Sharp Crochet Hook was really easy to use. One of my fears with doing socks was that the crochet hook would get caught on a sock string and make a mess of the elastic.  But that didn’t happen even once.  I was really impressed!

You can find Sharp Crochet Hook not only on their website, but they have a blog with some fun project ideas and a facebook page!

Jessica has offered to give one Love & Laundry reader a Sharp Crochet Hook and Crochet Edging Handbook! YAY! The handbook has 15 different edging patterns in it. Everything from easy to advanced. If you are worried about entering because you've never crocheted, just go to YouTube and look up "How to Crochet". There are literally tens of thousands of videos showing you step by step.  Then you can use the Sharp Crochet Hook to get you on your way!

sharp crochet hook giveaway

To enter fill out the Rafflecopter Giveaway below. The giveaway will be open until June 27th.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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