Sunday, January 26, 2014

These Pizza Burgers Are Oh-So-Good!

Hello all! I hope you are all having a great weekend so far. We are experiencing quite the winter storm here in Minnesota and I had a pretty good weekend trying to avoid going out in the nasty weather. I got a lot done and feel refreshed and ready to go into the busy week ahead!

Yesterday I had lunch with some of my family and we decided to make pizza burgers. This is a recipe that we have been making for quite a few years and they always go over well. This meal is super easy to make and takes hardly any time at all which is a winner in my book. Plus, they taste great! :)

You will need:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb shredded cheese (mozzarella is my favorite for this recipe)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp oregeno
1 15 oz. can of pizza sauce
2 1/2 tsp dry parsley
1 8-pack hamburger buns


1. Brown the ground beef and drain.

2. In a mixing bowl combine hamburger, pizza sauce, parsley, oregano, sage and salt. Stir well.

3. Split each of the hamburger buns and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Toast for 5 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees.

4. Remove the hamburger bun halves from the oven and scoop ground beef mixture onto the buns. 

5. Sprinkle cheese on top of the hamburger. Today I added a couple of green olive slices for a little more flavor.

6. Bake at 425 for an additional 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Best Carpet Cleaner for Pet Accidents

Most of you know that I have a dog named Keeda. She is a *little* spoiled at times but really is a part of the family. :) I rescued her almost a year ago and am so glad I did!

Keeda is potty-trained for the most part but has the occasional accident. If you have pets you know that NOTHING is worse than the smell of dog urine in the carpet.

I made the mistake of cleaning up the urine with a commercial carpet cleaner. I was bothered that I had purchased one of the most expensive bottles yet the smell persisted. I did some reading and learned that ammonia is one of the main ingredients in carpet cleaner and ammonia is also in urine. This is why instead of getting rid of the odor it makes it worse!

I have now found a fantastic way to clean up the messes that is natural, easy to do and inexpensive.

You will need:

-1 cup water
-1 cup vinegar
-a soft scrub brush
-1/4 cup baking soda
-1 tablespoon dish soap
-1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
-paper towels
-a wet/dry vac (optional)


1. Absorb as much of the urine as possible using paper towels (or a towel if you prefer)
2. Combine the vinegar and water and put this mixture liberally on the stain.
3. Use the scrub brush to work the solution deep into the carpet fibers.
4. Use a wet/dry vac to suck up the excess moisture if you have one, otherwise use a towel or paper   towels to absorb some of the mixture. Allow the carpet to dry completely.
5. Sprinkle the baking soda over the area
6. Combine the dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and work this into the carpet.
7. When the area has completely dried, vacuum.

Hopefully you don't have to deal with pet accidents a lot, but if you happen to have one that needs cleaning up I have found that this works great!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pin-Worthy Closet Organization Tips

A couple of months ago I walked into my closet and realized how much of a disaster it was! I am so organized in (almost) all other aspects of my life that I was shocked at the mess I had going in there. 

I first sorted through my scarves. I picked up a pack of heavy duty hangers from Target as well as a couple of packs of clear plastic shower curtain rings (they are super cheap!) By attaching each shower curtain ring to the heavy duty hanger, you can keep your scarves easily visible and organized. 

Next step was to get my boots in order. With a couple of pool noodles cut at various lengths, my boots now stay upright without creasing like they did before. This also makes my closet seem less chaotic. Hint--it's a lot easier to use a knife to cut the pool noodles rather than a scissors. If you live in Minnesota like I do and don't have access to pool noodles all year round, you can roll up magazines for the time being and stick them in the boots or look into buying pool noodles online! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

French Dip Croissants with Au Jus

I am such a sucker for traditions. One of my most recent traditions began a couple of months ago at the start of the college basketball season. Jeff is an assistant coach and I am very good friends with the other assistant coach's girlfriend, Aryn. 

Every time there is an "away" game, Aryn and I get together at one of our two houses. The person that is hosting supplies the food and the other one of us will grab a bottle of Riesling wine on the way over (a true shared passion of ours). We then make dinner together and plug one of our computers into the TV and watch the game online. Aren't we supportive? ;)

On Monday, we got together and decided to make these French Dip Croissants with Au Jus. It was super easy to make and they turned out great! 

You will need:

-1 package of crescent rolls (8 count)
-1 lb. deli sliced roast beef
-8 slices of provolone cheese
-1 14 oz. can beef broth OR 2 beef bouillon cubes w/ 2 cups of water
-1 tsp corn starch 
-dash of garlic powder 
-dash of pepper 


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Unroll crescent rolls onto a cookie sheet. I always place aluminum foil on the cookie sheet to prevent messes and save time!

3. On each crescent, place 2 slices of roast beef and one slice of cheese. Roll up each crescent, starting at the wide end and ending at the narrow end. 

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes (until the crescents are golden in color). 

5. While baking the crescents, prepare the Au Jus. I boiled two cups of water and put 2 beef bouillon cubes in the boiling water, stirring until they dissolved. Add the pepper, garlic powder, and corn starch. Whisk well over medium heat until corn starch dissolves. 

6. Enjoy :) 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Do-It-Yourself Furniture Stain for Crates

Good morning! I hope you are all staying warm and toasty on this FREEZING Monday. I plan on staying in my house the rest of the day with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a good book, only to brave the cold when Keeda decides that she needs to go out. The -23 degree weather is not something I wish to be a part of today (thank you again, Minnesota). 

A couple of months ago, I decided to try something completely new and make some of my own living room furniture. If this sounds crazy to you, don't worry because I had similar thoughts when getting into this. I had been seeing a lot of things on Pinterest about making furniture out of crates. I was instantly drawn to the rustic, natural look of the things that I saw and thought it would match my living room perfectly.

My first step was to get some crates. I found these at Jo-Ann Fabrics and ended up saving quite a bit of money on them (Jo-Ann almost ALWAYS has a 40% off coupon online). Each crate was originally $11.99 and I ended up paying $7.99 for each of them. 

I wasn't a fan of the light color of the crates. They looked unfinished and incomplete. My next step was to figure out a way to stain them. I wanted these crates to look like they've been sitting in a barn for the last 10 years. My decor in the living room is more "rustic" and I didn't think that something traditionally sanded and stained would so the trick.

I ended up finding something that worked out really well and it was cheap and easy to do.

You will need:
-1/2 cup coffee grounds
-steel wool (don't get the stainless steel wool like I did at first... it doesn't work!) 
-white vinegar (about 6 cups)
-a container than can be sealed

Combine the ingredients and cover the container. Let it sit for 24 hours (this is where being patient comes in handy...a quality I wish I had). 

Put a pair of rubber gloves on and get the steel wool out of the container. Rub the wool on the crate, covering the surface and dipping the wool in the stain as needed. Note: you won't see immediate coloring on the crates but they will change as they dry. I did a second coat on all of the crates after waiting about an hour for the first coat to dry.

There will be coffee grounds remaining on the crates once they dry but it's easy to brush off and sweep or vacuum up! 

Here are my finished products:

I'd say my first "adventure" with DIY stain was a success! 

Until Next Time,

Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year, a New Blog

Hello again and Happy New Year! I have decided (as you can tell) to start up a new personal blog. If you read my last one and followed me, you know that it was filled with plenty of random recipes, projects, ideas and more and I hope to bring the same great things to you here. After ending 2013 with many life changes and new beginnings, I thought that a New Year was the perfect opportunity to start fresh and start doing one of the things I love again: blogging!

If you aren't familiar with me, I should probably share a thing or two to start out:

I am a a Minnesota girl and love *almost* all things that come with it (it is FREEZING cold right now, which takes the love down a notch). I am a nursing student and look forward to graduating in May (yay!!!!). I truly feel like I am turning a passion of mine into a career and taking my love for caring for others to a lifelong occupation of nursing. 

I am one of the busiest people, ever. Having "down time" is hard for me, because I always feel like there's something I could be getting done or accomplishing. This explains my four part-time jobs and full-time student status while finding time for other things I enjoy: spending time with the ones I love, cooking and baking, finding fun things on Pinterest to make, doing crafty things, playing volleyball, shopping (which, really, involves more trips to Target than necessary), reading, watching "Friends" re-runs, and of course making my way to an empty glass of wine or two. 

More tidbits:

This is my "puppy" Keeda, a 90 lb., 4-year-old Rottweiler/lab/shepherd mix that I rescued almost a year ago. She's my buddy and a tad spoiled as you will learn pretty quickly! 

I should probably also "introduce" the special man in my life, Jeff. He is not only my boyfriend but a best friend to me: someone I can confide in, laugh with, and be myself around! I'm so blessed that God placed him in my life and love where things are heading with us. 

Well, it's off to bed for this girl! Twenty-two going on seventy, right? I look forward to starting this blog and bringing you lots of goodies in the posts to come. Happy New Year! 

Until Next Time,