Monday, April 30, 2012

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

We were camping in Lake Isabella and I had some extra ground beef. What to cook? Nothing like some delicious Sloppy Joes. 

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups ketchup (you can also use BBQ sauce)
Reynalds Wrap Slow Cooker Liners (saves you time when cleaning)

Place ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, cook until brown, breaking into bits. Drain grease. 

Place meat, onion, garlic, celery, salt, dash of black pepper, cider vinegar, dijon mustard, brown sugar and ketchup into crock pot. Combine and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

The Reynolds Wrap liners are a lifesaver with this meal because its name says it "SLOPPY." The second time making this I also put it on high for half the time. 

BEWARE!! This smells so good when its cooking, you'll have a hard time stopping yourself from eating it until dinner time. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dresser Drawer To Shabby Chic Dog Bed

Flea Market find, dresser drawer. 
Upcycled into a Shabby Chic Pet bed. 
I love my dogs. They are my babies and are spoiled so much to the point where I am constantly making them new pet beds to lounge around the house, the car or even when we go camping. 

This recent bed was made from an old dresser drawer that I picked up at a local flea market for a few dollars. It had a beautiful front and was in really great just needed a face lift. 
First step was sanding all of the old paint then smoothing out some but not all of the wear and tear. *Smoothing out all of those edges so that it will not hurt your pet or yourself. 
Next, I prime the entire drawer with KILZ Latex Primer. This helps stop mold from growing and is safe for your pet. 

This is where I get out of control with paint and cover myself and what I am working missing a few photos because I dare not touch my camera with messy fingers. 

But I put a layer of dark tan and garden green. Then I take furniture wax and a rag and rub the wax all along the edges, corners and general areas where I want it to look distressed. 
Then I put a last coat of white paint and let it set until dry. Once it is dry I use a soft steel wool and rub it on the areas where I had put the furniture wax. If you want an even rougher look, you can use a light grit sand paper and sand until you get the look that you want. 

Then just added my own vintage glass drawer handle and four wood bun feet...VOILA!

A pet bed for a Puppy Princess!

Any questions or suggestion, I would love to hear from you. 


Entering this project in The CSI Project Contest. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grandma Miki's Oven Ranch Potatoes


My Grandma Miki has lots of friends and when she entertains she cooks for large crowds. This recipe is one of her "go-to" potato recipes because it makes so much and it is so easy. 
I like to make it instead of mashed potatoes because I can skip making gravy and these are so delicious. Recently made these as a side dish for my baked ham. 

Wearing the apron I made her. 

1 bag of shredded hash browns
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 16 oz. container of sour creme
1 cup of cheese *I use cheddar, monterey jack and mozzarella
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup of melted butter

Preheat oven to 350*. 

Mix soup, sour cream, green onions, ranch dressing and melted butter in a very large bowl. 

Add in the hash browns, stir well. Spread into a 9x 13" pan and top with cheese. Bake for 45 minutes. 

Please enjoy this recipe, let me know if you do any different variations or add other ingredients that made it "WOW"! This is a family favorite that is also a crowd pleaser. 


Friday, April 20, 2012

Pinned #8: Load of Fun with Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener

My Pinterest Stats for Week #8
28 Boards
1405 Pins

I finally jumped on the "make your own cleaning supplies" bandwagon. It seems like it is a growing trend right now with everything from drain cleaners to glass cleaners. There are lots and lots of recipes out there and I have tried a few but in my experience these are the two are my favorite.  
First recipe is from Jill at, her recipe was for Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener

My take on her recipe:
*6 cups of water
*3 cups of white vinegar
*one bottle of Suave Waterfall Mist Conditioner

Mix all three ingredients, but make sure to stir slowly so that you are not creating bubbles. (Do not pour in bottle & shake)

I have used several different types of conditioner and found that they all seem to work well. Using decorative bottles from World Market, it made perfect gifts for close friends. 

Second and one of the most popular laundry soap posts comes from you can find it HERE.

My take on her recipe:
*1 bar of ZOTE Pink Soap
*1 cup of Borax
*I cup of Super Washing Soda
*2 gallon cooking pot
*long wood spoon
*Drink dispenser to hold finished product

Grate bar of soap into cooking pot, using ZOTE it doesn't take very long because it is so soft. 
Pour one gallon of water into pot with soap and cook on medium heat until soap dissolves. 
Add the Borax and Washing Soda then bring to a boil so that it will coagulate. 
Turn off the heat and add one gallon of cold water. Stir well. Pour detergent into drink dispenser. 

Making this soap took less than 40 minutes and made my home smell so fresh and clean. Mr. KofColors thought it smelled good. 

Using the whole bar of ZOTE pink soap made the soap coagulate into a "JELLO like" thickness. I use one cup per load of laundry and it dissolves and cleans wonderfully! Maybe next time just half a bar of ZOTE might make it into a thinner mix. 

After a week of using the Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener, my clothing comes out just as clean and smelling wonderful. quotes the savings as
"estimated cost is $6.00 for 576 loads (depending on soap used and amount used per load, One BOX of Borax and Washing soda)The savings is incredible."
More LOADS of Fun with Laundry


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Faded Jeans Brought Back to Brand New

 My husband, Mr.KofColors is very picky when it comes to his apparel. When shopping for work jeans it is very hard because they have to fit a certain way and they MUST be comfortable because he works long hours. 

"Some jeans you can wear for 12 hours, others you can for 24. If I have a pair of jeans that I can wear 36 hours...they are keepers." -Mr.KofColors

He had four pairs of jeans that he loves to wear, but they had become faded over time. They are in great shape but he doesn't like the color. Instead of taking him jean shopping *eek! I decided to try and dye them back to there original blue color. 

After researching, my first trial run was on a pair of my jeans and one of his. 
I followed the advice/instructions of on re-dyeing jeans.
 Using the bucket and stir method was a pain. Not only did I seem to get dye everywhere, but I found that the jeans were not evenly dyed. Parts of the legs had light blue patches. My jeans dyed beautifully, however they were a spandex/cotton blend which is supposed to dye nicely. 
Other problem I had was where was I supposed to dump the dye when finished? Ugh!

But the end results were fantastic! I loved the darker color. But how to make it easier than stirring each pair in a bucket for 30 minutes?

I went against the advice and tried them in the washing machine (WM). They said that the dye would ruin your washing machine,however, this is not true. 

First step was that I put the jeans in the WM and set it at rinse. That way it soaked then spin them. Remove from WM. 

Next, I filled the WM with hot water. Once filled, stop washer and pour dye into water. Stir. Then add your damp clothing. I added three pairs of faded jeans and one pair of "bucket" jeans (four total). *I wanted to see if I could try to dye the lighter spots

Make sure that your clothing is in the dye bath for 30 minutes. For my WM, I had to stop and reset the wash cycle before it rinsed.  
Once you reach 30 minutes, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. The rinse cycle needs to be clear before you dry. I rinsed at least four times.

Now you can either lay them flat to dry or you can put them in the dryer. I opted to putting all of my jeans in the dryer... 

And VOILA!! New jeans!! They came out evenly dyed and a perfect shade of dark blue. 

 But I should have 4 pairs of jeans....missing a pair???
He wore a pair the very next day to work. He loves his comfy jeans. 

As noted above, the pair of jeans that I dyed twice came out slightly purple. Mr. KofColors didn't realize that they were the jeans I had dyed, thought they were a different pair, so he was amazed. 

As for the "mess" that is in your WM when finished dyeing any fabric - Clean your washing machine. 

Following the instructions of Ask Anna, she shows you step by step of the cleaning process. In Part 2 you are even cleaning out the fabric softener and bleach compartments. Links are below: 

I hate to admit my WM is cleaner now than it was before this project. 

Hope that this helps you with your own jean apparel. If you have any questions please let me know.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Macaroni

I never realized how often I go to the grocery store until the box boy says to me "Your husband sure must eat good because you are in here all the time, lucky guy". True story!

And he is a lucky guy because just about everything I make for him is homemade, not from a box or from the freezer section. TOOT TOOT!! Yup, that is me tooting my horn...but if you knew me in college you would know that my cooking has improved drastically!! *let's just say I had chocolate cake for breakfast and chips and salsa for everything else. 

A firm believer that there is hope for everyone in cooking, I am living proof. 


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • dash of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
In a large pot, cook macaroni according to directions. 

In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat.  Once browned add onion, garlic and green pepper and the dash of crushed red pepper. 

Then add celery seed, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix with the drained macaroni noodles and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 

Best accompanied with my friend Melody's Cornbread, find her delicious recipe HERE

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know if you add your own fixings, love to hear different variations. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Pinned #7: Simple Little Runner

My Pinterest Stats for Week 7:
27 Boards
1392 Pins

Perfect for the beginning quilter!