Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fresh Peach Crisp

Boy howdy, do I have a yummy recipe to share today. I bought a lot of peaches on sale this week and decided to use my regular apple crisp recipe to make peach crisp. Ahhhh... heavenly! The crumb topping was everything I love about an oatmeal cookie, but better because it was atop juicy, fresh peaches. If you are looking for an amazing early-Fall dessert, try this crisp! It is easier to make than pie and it got rave reviews from the whole family.

Fresh Peach Crisp

5-7 ripe peaches, sliced
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Melt the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except peaches) and mix until crumbly. Place sliced peaches in a 9x9 baking dish or a 9 inch cake pan. Sprinkle crumble evenly over peaches and lightly press with fingers. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until topping begins to brown lightly. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream if you've got it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Name Brand vs. Store Brand Cleaning Supplies

Today I wanted to share an easy way to save money shopping. It's super simple... are you ready?
Instead of reaching for the name brand products you recognize from commercials, try using a store brand. I recently went to Target and purchased a bunch of cleaning supplies that I was running low on.

Would you be surprised if I told you that the up & up brand (Target's store brand) cost about half of what the name brands would have? I knew they would save me money, but I didn't realize it would be that much!

One perk about the up & up brand is that things go on sale often, unlike products at WalMart. Today Target happened to have a Buy-Three-Get-One-Free deal on cleaning supplies. Sweet! 

Here's the breakdown of costs between the name brand products and the up & up equivalent:

I like the up & up brand. Everything I've tried works well and I sure love a good deal.

At our house, we get a lot of clogged drains. I blame old pipes and the fact that I shed. Like a maniac. I wasn't sure how Target's drain pipe opener would work, but it pretty much obliterated those dang hairballs. It was super thick, so it coated the drains and cut through the water. And it was so much cheaper than the name brand! My tub drains so much faster now. Hallelujah!

I don't know why, but one job my kids actually enjoy doing is walking around the house and disinfecting all the doorknobs and light switches. up & up brand wipes are so convenient because the kids don't have to spray any cleaners. I have them do this job about once a month and after someone in the family has been sick. Look at my cute little man so happy to be cleaning:

I'll take it! Now if I could just get him to be this excited about picking up Legos.

So here's the most exciting news... you can enter for your chance to win a $100 Target GiftCard® just by answering this question in the comments:

What are your favorite up&up brand products?

Then you can go to Target and buy cute shoes and home goods cleaning products of your very own.

To check out more up&up cleaning products, check out the following link or visit your local Target store.

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#OnlyAtTarget” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher.com email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/8-10/22.
Be sure to visit the Target up & up brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

*I was compensated for writing this post, but I only dish the truth.

Friday, August 29, 2014

D.I.Y. Antique Mirror

I have been looking for something new to fill a big frame in my living room. I liked the idea of a mirror, but I didn't want to have to see myself in it every time I walked past or sat down to play the piano. So I decided to try to make something that resembled mercury glass.

Have you heard of mercury glass before? It's gorgeous.

I had a big mirror I wasn't using, so I decided to try to antique it and give it that bubbly, divine mercury glass texture.

The first thing I did was read 1,001+ tutorials online. I found plenty that turned regular glass into mercury glass using Looking Glass spray paint. I even found some that antiqued mirrors. But I didn't really like the blackish finish that many of them had.

So I did what I always do... just started working with no clue what I was doing or how it would turn out.

I removed the grey paint and copper layers from the mirror using spray-on paint remover. This stuff was majorly toxic, so tread carefully here, people. It ate through my rubber gloves and started burning my skin. Luckily there was a garden hose nearby and I washed my hands like a crazy lady while thinking about that scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the toons get "dipped." Anyone know what I'm talking about?

After the paint and copper layers were gone, I was left with just the reflective silver layer of the mirror. I tried sanding it, but you could see every little scratch and it wasn't pretty. I tried spraying it with bleach. That made it turn black, which was not the look I was going for. I eventually used fine steel wool and tried to make natural looking holes in the silver finish. This was incredibly hard to do and it just didn't look quite right.

So I sprayed the glass side of the mirror (not the silver side that I had previously been working on) with water, then did the finest layer of metallic silver spray paint possible. I immediately blotted it with an old rag, removing a lot of the paint and giving it an uneven finish.

I didn't think I liked how this project turned out until I put the mirror in it's navy blue frame and hung it above my piano.

Splotchy, aged, interesting, image-obscuring but still reflective? Pretty close to what I was hoping for!

I am so glad to finally have something in that poor frame that's been sitting empty for so long.

This project is totally impossible to photograph, just so you know. Here's a close-up of the finish to give you a better idea of what it really looks like.

Although it isn't exactly mercury glass, I love the finished product!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flip Flop Invitations

 I made flip flop shaped invitations for my daugter's Splish Splash Birthday Bash last week.

Here's how:

1. Print the invitation wording onto cardstock. Trace a shoe shape onto the paper and cut out.

2. Cut out the other side of the shoe from patterned scrapbook paper. Thicker paper works best. Make sure to flip the shoe around so that the words show on the back and the pattern shows on the front. If you cut them both facing the same direction, they won't fit together!

3. Punch a hole (I used a pencil) and thread two pieces of ribbon through. Use hot glue to secure the ends on the back side of the paper.

4. Hot glue the other ends of the ribbon on the sides of the shoe, leaving enough slack that the ribbon sticks up from the shoe.

5. Use a glue stick to glue the front piece of the shoe to the back. This will hide your ribbon ends. You may need to use a touch of hot glue where the ribbon is to get it to stick securely.

And that's it. You're done! Easy and unique. These would also be super cute for a pedicure party. Oooo... I think I need to throw a pedicure party. That sounds fun!
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