Tidy Home Tips for 2021

With the new year comes lots of New Year’s Resolutions…some stick, some don’t. Gyms get a lot of new members on January 1 and I’m sure by February 1 a majority of the new members have already fallen off of the wagon.

I’m here to let you in on a more reasonable New Year’s Resolution…Keeping your house tidy! It sounds easy but when you’re working full time, taking care of the kids, cooking, etc. it’s hard to stay on top of the house hold chores! Messes accumulate quickly but this blog exists to help you keep your home tidy in 2021 and in years to come!

STEP 1

Keep it clean! Tidy people don’t typically act messy all day and then clean everything up at the end of the day all at once. It is so valuable and so helpful to keep simple, tiny habits that-when added together-help the overall tidiness of your home! Tidy people are always “tidying” on the down-low…even if they don’t realize it.

STEP 2

Tidy people never run out of cleaning supplies…let’s be honest! What’s on your grocery list? My grocery list tells all my secrets. It shows that I’m not the most tidy person in the world when I need wet mop pads, dish detergent, and more! The tidiest people find cleaning products they love and always stock up on them. EXTRA tidy people even sign up for websites that auto-ship cleaning products to their home every month. I don’t think my level of tidiness will ever achieve cleaning supply shipments delivered to my door step…but who knows…2021 might change me!

STEP 3

You know how they say “never go to bed angry”? Well, it’s kind of the same for tidy people. Tidy people never-ever let the sun go down on filth. Tidy people never watch their favorite show while snuggled up on the sofa while there is a sink full of dirty dishes. Wanna be tidy in 2021? Your motto should be “there’s no better time than now!”

STEP 4

Woven baskets are in right now…BUT, tidy people never store anything on the floor! Take a look around your house…are you tidy? I’m certainly not. Whether it’s the basket by the front door full of shoes or the basket by the back door full of school back packs and lunch boxes…let these go in 2021! This seems to be a secret of tidy people…remove that stack of books from the floor! Instant tidying!

STEP 5

This is one thing I struggle with because I like…stuff. Tidy people do not over decorate! Tidy people strive to only have 1-3 decorative pieces per surface depending on the size. In 2021, less is more.

Whatever your New Year’s Resolution is, I hope you achieve it! If your New Year’s Resolution is to keep your life less cluttered and to keep your home tidy…follow these simple tips! Stay tidy, my friends!

Rustic Wood Candle Holders

This has to be the easiest craft I’ve ever created…this is all you need:

  • Glass jar (shape and size is up to you)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sticks from your yard!
  • A candle

For less than $5 you can brighten up any room with this rustic decor. They look great on mantels, side tables, in centerpieces for your dining room…really versatile and they are super “in” right now!

Cozy up your Christmas morning with one of these candle holders…sure to make any room brighter!

Healthy Turkey Chili

This Healthy Turkey Chili can be made on the stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot!

If you prefer the feel of having a pot of chili simmering on the stove – this may be the way to go for you! It only requires one pot, so easy clean up. Chili needs to simmer for about 1-2 hours before serving, so prepare in advance.

If your busy and need the convenience of a slow cooker, this method works great as well. The chili cooks on high for about 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. You can let it cook for up to 10 hours on low if you will be out of the house all day. You will need to brown the turkey and cook the onion in a pan on the stove before you put everything in the slow cooker. Before transferring the meat & onion to your slow cooker, add the garlic, spices, and tomato paste, then stir in the broth and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.

If you’re lucky enough to have an Instant Pot, this is the way to go! Since Instant Pots have a saute setting, you can soften the onion and brown the meat right in the Instant Pot. (To avoid “burn warning” stir the ingredients well after adding the broth and scrape up any bits from the bottom, and add the tomatoes and beans last and do not stir them in. High starch foods tend to cause Instant Pot to give the “burn warning.”)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 15 oz can pinto beans (rinsed & drained)

Instructions

To Make on the Stove Top:

  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring to crumble the meat, until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add the broth and stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes and beans.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cover the chili during the first part of the cook time, and then uncover during the last 30 minutes to thicken.
  • Serve chili with toppings, as desired.

To Make in the Slow Cooker:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring to crumble the meat, until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add the broth and stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour the mixture into your slow cooker insert.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and then beans to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  • Stir and serve chili with toppings, as desired.

To Make in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker):

  • Turn Instant Pot on saute setting. Add the olive oil and onion and cook 2 minutes, until onion starts to soften. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring to crumble the meat, until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and stir in the garlic.
  • Add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add the broth and stir well, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and then beans on top of the meat mixture and DO NOT stir in.
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid and turn the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on high pressure (manual) for 12 minutes.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes (by leaving it off after it finishes cooking). Then, carefully do a quick pressure release (use a potholder or the handle of a long spoon to carefully turn the steam release valve to venting) to release the remaining steam and pressure. Once the float valve drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot away from you, as the steam will be hot.
  • Stir and serve chili with toppings, as desired

Family Christmas Tree Hunt

We have been busy getting ready for Christmas at our house this past week! Whew! I am tired just thinking about how much work has been done. We are not having any Christmas parties this year due to COVID but our family will come and those eight grandchildren LOVE a huge tree and all the decorations.

Our family did meet at the tree lot and helped pick the tree. It is a lot of fun. The grandkids love to play, run through the trees and roll down the hills.

We get a pretty large tree so everyone is watching the three men carry it, trim the bottom, and place it in the tree stand. It causes a lot of excitement and chatter at the tree lot.

Tree Lot

This year we learned that the tree lot will bring it to your house and set it up for you. It did cost a little more but we were all for that!

Tree delivery

After we all ate pizza, the lights begin at 6:00PM and with a little help from Finlee, we are done by 9:00PM. This is a process believe me! Mike is so wonderful to put all these lights on for me and he does it every year without complaining.

Since it is 9:00 PM when the lights are done, I decorate the tree the following day. This year we are running a Facebook Ad for people to guess how many lights and ornaments are on the tree. All I can say is, IT’S ALOT.

The tree is decorated in a traditional colored lights with all sentimental ornaments. I so much enjoy trimming the tree because each ornament has special meaning and I enjoy “memory lane”.

We hope this inspires you to have a little family fun when it seems everything is shut down due to COVID. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Vintage Santa Claus Ornaments

Christmas is just around the corner…but if you’re anything like me you already have your fall items put away and the Christmas decor coming out! My husband wasn’t too thrilled when I asked him to get our Christmas tree out of the shed! I just can’t help it! The joy and spirit that comes along with Christmas is one of my favorite feelings…to me, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year…hence, my early start!!

These ornaments were a super fun and easy craft for any one…we had a lot of fun making tons of these little guys for every member of the family! First I’ll show you the steps and then the final product!

This is just a random piece of card board out of my recycling bin! Reduce, reuse, recycle! I drew a bunch of little triangles (for the hats) on the cardboard…they do not have to be perfect!
Next, I used a box-cutter to cut out my triangles. They are not pretty and some have jagged edges! Just remember…cloth will be covering all imperfections!
Choose your fabric cloths…you can go with a traditional Christmas, red & green theme…or change it up! I wanted to throw in a mustard yellow…a lot of people decorate with blue at Christmas! Just be creative!
Next, I used a Sharpie to draw an outline of the triangle on the backside of the fabric. You will not use the outline as a diagram to cut…cut AROUND the shape, giving yourself a little room to fold the fabric over the triangle for gluing.
Use a hot glue gun to glue your fabric triangles onto the cardboard triangles!
After gluing all your fabric on your hats, use a pom-pom ball to accent the top! You can choose any color your would like!
After you finish your pom-poms, use your ribbon of choice, and glue on the front side…leave the back side left undone! (This is where your “beard” will go)
Beards are next…the easiest way I found to do this was to wrap, wrap, wrap, and wrap the yarn around my hand! Then you will take it off of your hand and glue it to the backside of your hat!
This photo depicts how the beard is glued on…remember, this craft doesn’t appear pretty at first!
You can use anything to make the ties to hang the ornaments but chose to use hemp cord for a more natural look! Just cut a small piece, tie a knot, and glue it on!
Last, but certainly not least, some of us chose to add on a little button nose to our guys!
Here’s a photo of our messy craft time!!

The little vintage guys should be nice and cute!!! Let’s see a final product…but first, here’s a list of all you need to create them:

  • Cardboard
  • Box cutters
  • Sharpie or some type of pen
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Fabric of choice
  • Pom Pom balls
  • Ribbon of choice
  • Hemp cord or another cord of choice
  • Yarn
  • Buttons for nose (optional)

Here they are!!

Bruschetta and Charcuterie

I love to make bruschetta.  It is one of my favorite appetizers.  Even our grandchildren love it! Add a little prosciutto and YUM!

Bruschetta with Baguette and crackers:

4 Roma tomatoes chopped into small pieces. Cleaning out most seeds.

3 fresh garlic cloves chopped

1 2.25 oz. can black olives chopped

½ cup ribbon cut fresh basil

½ cup olive oil

½ tsp. garlic salt

1 baguette sliced

Crackers

Olives

Pepperoni

Chesses

In small bowl add chopped tomatoes, garlic, black olives, basil, olive oil and garlic salt mix together gently.  On a platter arrange bread slices, crackers and cheeses. Put bruschetta in a small bowl and set on platter.

Bruschetta Charcuterie Board

Outside Planters

The fall air has definitely set in. Those summer flowers that I absolutely loved are not looking so good anymore in my outside planters.. They are starting to turn yellowish and fade out. This means, I need to take a trip to the Farmer Market which is one of my favorite things to do.

The Farmers Market had beautiful flowers! And, best of all, I am buying local. My choices in flowers for this time of the year are always mums and pansies but I added a little extra color this year.

Some of my fall planters are pumpkins so I had to dig them out but they always looks so beautiful it is worth going under the house for. Under my house there is a walk in basement but with dirt floors. I do check the area before entering and make sure the planters are critter free before I pick them up to move. It could be a funny video if anyone ever recorded me. I don’t like spiders and snakes!

On to the placing of flowers. I fill my pots 3/4’s full with fresh dirt and start placing my flowers.

It takes smaller plants for these pumpkins because the hole at the top is small but they always turn out beautifully!

Pumpkin Planters

While at the Farmer’s Market I fell in love with these planters that were already made and my sweet husband loved them too! I used them on my front porch with a few other items.

Front Porch

I love fall! Really I love all seasons and the changes they bring to our yards, our homes and the prospective of a fresh start.

You can plant flowers too! I encourage you to go buy a planter, dirt, flowers and start planting. Start small if you’d like and see if you do like to grow things. It’s easy, just remember to water them.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Pumpkin Pie Crisp 🍂

FALL IS HERE! Let the pumpkin baking begin. This Pumpkin Pie Crisp is delicious twist on the traditional pumpkin pie, AND it’s simple to make!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin filling

  • 1 (15oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into the flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F. Butter a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a medium casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk in heavy cream until smooth. Pour into prepared skillet and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly. (You can also use a hand mixer)
  4. Spread cinnamon streusel topping on top of pumpkin pie mixture in an even layer.
  5. Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm topped with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Fall Decor 2020

Last year when I put away my fall decorations I decided it was time to purge and get rid of a few old things that I had glue together many times. I will glue things together forever! This whole time of purging I was thinking that I would buy new in 2020…boy was I wrong!

Headed out to my favorite stores like Tuesday Mornings, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods thinking everything was back to normal. Super excited for all the great finds I was going to find so that I could refresh my fall decorations! To my great surprise everyone is out of everything due to COVID and shipping. Hobby Lobby did have some things but nothing really jumped out at me there. Tuesday Mornings told me it was due to COVID and TJ’s and Home Goods were out because anything they had people had already bought everything.

I brought my fall decor down from the attic knowing that I was going to be light on the decorating this year. I started unpacking and it looked like a sea of pumpkins when I placed all of my pumpkins on the counter. Happy me started setting them around only to see that sea of pumpkins looked like tidal pools on the beach when I spread them out..

Sea of pumpkins

I decided to make the best of it and decorate where people were the most. This is what I came up with:

It all looks great, its just a little less. Some say less is better but I am a little on the side of more is better. Either way it worked out and reminds me of how we need to be so grateful for what we have. Who knew last October that COVID was going to hit? It is the time of year to be thankful and I am truly thankful for all I have. My opinion is gratefulness brings contentment and I am going with that.

Moral of the story: Be grateful! And don’t throw any decor out until you know there is more to buy at the store.

I did find a few great things at the Farmer’s Market for outside:

I hope this encourages you to decorate even when it is not a lot of stuff.

Velvet Pumpkins

Fall is approaching! It’s time to break out the decorations…or make new ones! These cute velvet pumpkins are the perfect decor for your mantel, dining room table, or really anywhere in your home!

Take a trip to your nearest craft store! Here’s what you need:

Styrofoam balls (you choose the size!), Velvet yarn (you choose the colors!), Knitting needles, scissors, and your husband’s drill!

You’ll start by drilling a hole in the center of the Styrofoam ball…I chose the biggest drill bit in the set! This is messy…doing it outside would probably be your cleanest bet! Next you will want to cut the bottom of the ball off just a bit–enough for the pumpkin to sit flat.

P.S. It’s easier to make this craft if the hole is MUCH bigger than the hole I drilled in my first pumpkin!

Pull off a good bit of yarn to get started and tie it to the end of your knitting needle!

Now starts the process…this takes time and patience. You’ll just want to go through the hole and back around until you begin to wrap the ball with the yarn completely. Once you run out of thread, tie it off and start a new piece.

It should begin to look something like this! If so, you are on the right track!

I forgot to mention…Once you are complete you’ll have to go on a stick hunt in your yard. The stick will be the cute little stem of your pumpkin!

Ta-Da! Looks like it came off the shelf at your local Hobby Lobby or Target!

We also did another color…

We’re in love with the velvet pumpkins…hope I can find a place for them to cozy up in my home just in time for fall!