Outside Fall Decorations

Fall is here per the calendar. The temps are not showing themselves yet, but, fall is here. Life has been so busy that I haven’t had time to decorate until now.

I wanted to change all the outside flower pots and decorate some inside. This meant a busy Saturday for me full of the things I love to do.

Lets get started!

After empting all the pot I refilled them with fresh potting soil. And then, the planting began!

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Using cabbages, panseies, mums, lettuce, grasses and peppers. Again, I just started layering with the tallest in the back. I added a white pumpkin right in the middle one planter:

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After I did all the planters I needed to add them to the porches and add pumpkins. I purchased pumpkins at a local farm stand in town. I like to buy local.

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I kept layering:

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I still felt like I needed something else due to the size of my porch. So off I go back to the farms market, I saw that they had corn stalks and hay bales and of course I bought them. On my drive home I am hoping that no bugs or spiders come out of the corn stalks.This time I am thinking I have enough stuff!

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My front porch needs a few rockers on it. I still think it looks empty but it’s fine.

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This is so easy to do and anyone can do it. Just look on Pinterest and try something. You will be glad you did! This set up can be used for Halloween and Thanksgiving so your porch is good until it’s time to decorate for Christmas!

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Fall Is Here In NC

So fall has finally arrived here! Every season that we have brings a new fresh start. We tire quickly by the end of each season so the new ones bring excitement! The day time temps are nice and the nights are a little crisp. When I think of fall, I think of trips to the mountains, picking apples, great flavored coffees with everythin pumpkin! Sweaters, blankets and bondfires too!

Fall also means we have to change out our planters and decorate with everything pumpkin the same as we eat and drink everything pumpkin. Today, I am bringing out my pumpkin planters. In North Carolina we use pansey, mums, cabbages, lettuce and grasses to fill our planters and plant in our yards. Our tempatures here support these types of plants.

If you are just buying your pumpkins, you will need to cut the tops off and drill holes in the bottoms. I used a knife to cut the tops off and a drill to make the holes in the bottom.

 

Next I add potting soil, about three fourths full. This leaves room for the plants I plan to add. When placing your plants, you need to know how tall they grow and what type of sunlight they need. You wouldn’t want to put a sun lover and a shade lover together in the same pot because one of them will most likely die. All the info is on the back of the inserted plastic label that you can find in each plant.

Now, to add the plants! Disturb the bottom of the plants a little by seperating the soil with your fingers. I even pull some of it off. This helps the plant adjust to the new soil.

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And now, start placing your plants. Very simple!

When you are done, water the plants very well. I water a little at a time until it begins to run out the bottom of the planter. In most cases, the potting soil is very dry so it will asorb all that moisture but a little at a time.

Your done! Fall pumpkin planters are made. Now on to the other planters!

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The flowers I used in this project are: Mums, Lettuce, cabbage, panseys and peppers. I love how the peppers give the planter a shot of bright colors with a different shape. We will not be eating any of these plants. They are just for decoration. But they are beautiful!

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I still have a lot of planting to do and so does my husband. I will haave to figure out a creative way to let him know that. Hahaha!

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Bottled Water Is The Best Spot Remover

Have you ever thought of bottled water as a spotter for your carpets and upholstery? It is amazing what you can get out with it!

We all have those spots that show up after the kids have had their sippy cups or after the guest have left your house.

Some spots are difficult but some are not as hard as you’d think. Of course, we can’t remove gum or tar with water but there are some things that you can remove. You would need a professional for that.

Check out this video of Mike cleaning up a spot with bottled water.

 

Easy, right? Yes, it is that simple. If you keep up the maintenance on your carpets they will stay cleaner longer. This means you won’t have to have the professionals come in as often. It is recommended to have your carpets cleaned every 6-12 months.

If you choose not to maintain your own carpets, you may need to have them cleaned every 3-6 months depending on the type of traffic you have. People with pets and children need to clean their carpets every 6 months with carpet maintenance being done.

Some of the carpets today come with a warranty. If you have a warranty on your carpet, you have to do as the warranty requires or it could void your warranty.

We are in the Greensboro area so if you have any questions or need carpet cleaning, we are the best in town! You can reach Patty at 336-545-1778.

Pesto Chicken & Ravioli

Last week I was looking for an easy week night dinner. I didn’t really make a menu for the week due to lack of time. But I did go to Costco and bought a few staple items so I knew I could come up with something.

After looking around at my ingredients, I cam up with Pesto Chicken and Ravioli. It was so easy anyone could do this for a week night dinner.

I had chicken breast, pesto sauce and ravioli. All bought at my “hurricane Irma” Costco shopping.

I butterfly my chicken breast and put in a sprayed glass dish and spread the pesto sauce over the tops of the chicken. I used a tablespoon per piece and then added the tomatoes for color because everything was so green:

Shredded a little parm over the top and then baked at 350 for 30-35 minutes. The cook time depends on the thickness of your chicken.

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In the meanwhile I had a pan of salted water boiling and followed the directions on the ravioli package. After I drained the pasta and added 2 tablespoons of pesto. This meal was soooooo easy!

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When I plated the food I layered the ravioli and chicken. The cherry tomatoes definitely added some much needed color. Again, I sprinkled it with Parm cheese.

Made a salad and sliced some organic artisian bread and voila! Dinner is done.

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And there you have it, an easy weeknight dinner!

 

Ingredients:

2 chicken breast – butterflied

6 tablespoons of Pesto (4 for chicken and 2 for ravioli)

a few cherry tomatoes cut in half

Parm cheese

Pre made ravioli

 

Directions:

Spray glass pan and lay chicken flat in dish. Put 1 tablespoon of pesto on each piece of chicken and spread around. Sprinkle cherry tomatoes and parm chese. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350*.

Cook ravioli as directed. Drain and add 2 tablespoons of pesto, stir gentle as to not tear the ravioli.

Serve with a green salad and bread. The kids will love it!

Enjoy!

 

 

Bang Bang Chicken

Do you have a hard time trying to figure out what to make for dinner with the chicken you laid out to thaw? Me too! I really do because I don’t like to make the same thing over and over unless it is REALLY good.

My chicken was thawing in the sink and my mind was racing on how what to do with it because I don’t like boring. I like a good challenge!

I remembered that I had make Bang, Bang Shrimp a few weeks ago so I thought I would give it a try with chicken.

I first cut my chicken pieces up into small 1 inch chunks. Next was the corn starch breading that I drenched the chicken pieces before frying. Easy enough, right? Well, it was easy!

Go ahead and start your rice. Follow the directions on the package.

For the batter, I added 4 egg whites that I whipped by hand until bubbly and then 3/4 cup of corn starch. It looked like thick milk. I added all the chicken to the mixture and coated them well. In the mean while I had my oil getting hot. I use a tall pan to try and help with clean up so the splatter from the grease would not be everywhere on my stove top.

I tried to drop each peice in one at a time to keep it bite size peices. I cooked until it was golden brown.

 

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In the mean while I made the sauce which was extremly quick. Mix 1/2 cup mayo and 4 teaspoons of honey with 1/4 cup sweet chill sauce and 1/4 cup sriracha sauce.

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When the chicken is fully cook, drain it on a paper towel to get excess oil off. Add to your sauce and coat the chicken.

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Now you are ready to plate!

I used green onions and sesame seeds for garnishing. It looks amazing and tastes amazing!!

Recipe:

1 pound chicken breast (cut into 1 inch peices)

4 egg whites

3/4 cups corn starch

canola oil for cooking (the amount is depends on your pan. Maybe 1/2 to 1 in of oil in bottom of pan)

Sauce:

1/2 cup mayo ( I use Dukes)

4 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

1/4 cup sriracha sauce

Garnish:

green onions

sesame seeds

Directions:

Put rice on and cook as directed on bag/box. It takes a whilt to cook

In a good size bowl whip egg whites until foamy. Add cornstarch and mix until the mixture is smooth. Dregde chicken in mixture and coat well. I just put it all in there together aand coated the chicken.

Cook battered chicken in oil that was pre heated. Drop pieces in one at a time. Cook until golden brown for 12 minutes. Turning chicken over after 6 minutes. Drain chicken on a paper towel after cooked.

While the chicken is cooking make the sauce. In a medium size bowl mix mayo, honey, sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce.

Add cooked chicken to the sauce and drench! Serve over rice with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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We Could Have A Hurricane Here In NC

We have been watching the hurricaine Irma track for a few days now. It looks like a very strong storm that could hit here in NC. Not as a CAT 5 but it could bring a lot of rain and power outages due to power lines going down.

 

We had straight line winds here in the spring that made the landscape look like we had a tornado. Our power was out for a day. We live in the county and have a well so with out power, we don’t have water to drink or flushing toilets. With 8 people in the house, that was a problem. This was just a summer storm so the hurricane could bring more winds that this.

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You really need to be prepared.

Here is a list from FEMA of things you will need if the hurricane hits:

Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies,
identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Cash or traveler’s checks and change
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information
m http://www.ready.gov
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding
you live in a cold-weather climate.
Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long
pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a
cold-weather climate.
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water
to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Fire Extinguisher
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

When buying water or gas remember to only buy what you need. Save some for others.

If the stores run out of water, go a head and fill containers at your house. I plan to fill my bath tubs and large containers for flushing toliets. Get your gas grill filled. You can cook on it if the power is out. Also, remember to put outside furniture, grills, plants anything that can fly through the air in the garage! It will protect your belongings from getting broken but also keep your things from flying through the air and busting windows.

Please get prepared. We pray the hurricane just dies out but if it doesn’t you need to be ready! Be safe and help your neighbors. We are all people, no matter our polital party, color or race so HELP EACH OTHER!

Banana Pudding

A few weeks ago a friend and her family came for dinner. Our friend, Kelly, was bringing dessert. When she arrived and I saw what her dessert was, I was a little dissappointed. It was Banana Pudding. That is not high on my list for desserts due to the vanilla wafers and bananas being mushy. Well, that night she changed my opinion of Banana Pudding!

I don’t usually eat dessert but if it’s homemade I will try it. So here goes tasting one of my least favorite desserts. First, I noticed the vanilla wafer were different and the pudding color was lighter. Even the texture of the pudding looked thicker and more creamy somehow. Let me tell you what a surprise it was to my mouth when I tasted that Banana Pudding! It was amazing! What a hit it was!

It was so good that I asked Kelly for the recipe. She got it from the Food Network and it is called, Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. I was so excited to make it! I read the ingredients and the understood why it was so good. You have got to try it!

It is a recipe of one of my favorite Chefs that used to be on Food Network, Paula Deen. You can copy and paste this web address or follow the recipe below.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/not-yo-mamas-banana-pudding-recipe-1912976

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Directions

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

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In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

My mother in law was coming for dinner and had mentioned how much she like Kelly’s dessert so I made an extra one for her to take home. This is a pretty easy, non-cook dessert. Try it, your gonna love it!