Nesting begins

This weekend nesting really kicked in. The hubs actually jump started it, as he and his dad have spent the majority of their free weekends renovating our 4th bedroom – turning it into a finished bedroom/office. I can’t start decorating the nursery until this room is done. So until then, I’m attacking other projects around the house.

What really kicked nesting into high gear this weekend was the fact that we ripped out the carpet in the dining/living room and had the hardwood floors underneath refinished.

Before:

After:

So.Much.Prettier.

The dust from the floors was all over the walls, so I googled homemade wall cleaner, ran to Wal-Mart for supplies, and spent 3 hours washing walls with a simple solution of 1 TBS baking soda, 1/8th cup baking soda, 1/8th cup lemon scented clear ammonia, and water in a 32 oz spray bottle.

Then I hit up Pinterest, looking to tackle my kitchen.

First up – clean the fridge.

Once it was emptied, I was struck by how disgusting the shelves were.

gross

I washed the inside and out with 4 cups water mixed with 1/4 cup baking soda and some essential oil (lemon juice would work if you don’t have any essential oil).

Tada!

And now it is organized, hallelujah, I can find my food.

(later that night I fixed that empty fruit drawer problem)

After dinner I tackled the stove top with help from this pin. I filled 4 gallon size freezer bags with 3 TBS lemon scented clear ammonia and put one stove top grate in each.

Look at that grime. Gross.

I let them sit 12 hours and rinsed them the following morning with water and scrubbed a bit with an SOS pad. Well, the hubs did that part. The ammonia smell was pretty overwhelming, and I decided it wasn’t good for me or Baby Spinach to be inhaling the fumes.

And BAM! We have GREY stove grates, not black grates like I originally thought!

I’ve tried everything under the sun to clean these bad boys, but this cheap and easy solution worked better than any of them. I was shocked with the result.

I rounded off my weekend with some pictureless pins by cleaning the tub with a 1:1 ratio of warmed up white vinegar and blue dawn dish soap (yes, it really worked – better than CLR, Scrubbing Bubbles, or any other tub cleaner I’ve tried), and washing my towels with one cycle of 1 cup vinegar, followed by a second cycle of 1 cup baking soda (pin called for 1/2 cup baking soda, but I forgot to double check the pin). The dingy towel smell is gone!

I still have a TON that needs to be done, but I’m very pleased with all the work the hubs and I accomplished this weekend. 🙂

What is your favorite homemade cleaning solution?

Bring me warmth

I hate winter. I have really poor circulation, so when I get cold it takes forever to warm up. My toes are still freezing….after 2 hours of sitting under a blanket while grading papers and drinking hot tea. So I’ve been combating the weather with lots of warm foods.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting another What I ate Wednesday!

I’m bringing you Sunday’s meals, because decorating the Christmas tree is involved. Coming home to a lit tree is the only thing that makes winter enjoyable…too bad Christmas is only 4 days in to winter and I have to suffer through another 3 months of  bleakness.

Brunch

consumed around 11…yeah, pumpkin steel cut oats just don’t get old

Snack

Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Flat Bread (x2), roasted garlic hummus, apple, as well as some unphotographed almonds and raisins

Christmas tree decorating fuel

hot chocolate with a chocolate peppermint stick stirrer

Dinner

Key Lime spiked seltzer, salad and coconut lime chickpeas over brown rice – this earned the (vegan!) stamp of approval from the hubs!

This was supposed to be something pinteresting. I pinned this coconut lime chicken and chile recipe

via pinned HERE

 a while back and was excited to try it. However, after defrosting my chicken I discovered it had gone bad! Chickpeas to the rescue! As well as a host of other changes, of course. I just can’t help myself.

Coconut Lime Chickpeas

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1 14 oz can light  coconut milk

1 4 oz. can diced green chiles

2 TBS lime juice

1/2 cup sweet (or yellow) onion, chopped

3 tsp frozen cilantro cubes (can sub 3 TBS fresh cilantro)

Directions

Heat oil over medium in a large skillet. Add garlic and chickpeas. Stir to prevent burning of the garlic, and cook 5 minutes. Add curry, turmeric, cumin and oregano, stirring to combine. Cook 1 minute. Add coconut milk, green chiles, lime juice, onion and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over brown rice.

This was so delicious. I was a very happy camper to be eating leftovers for Monday’s lunch. Link up your pinteresting recreations over at All Things Lovely!

Have you had an epic chicken (or other meat) failure? How did you fix the situation?

How pinteresting – zucchini cornbread

Remember when your garden was overflowing with zucchini and you were throwing it into every dish imaginable? Maybe you shredded a bunch to make zucchini bread throughout the winter. Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about, and you purchase your zucchini at the grocery store. And maybe you don’t even like zucchini.*

*what is wrong with you?

I was the former, and I’m sad zucchini season is over. When pinterest made its entrance into my life this summer, I pinned zucchini recipes like a mad woman and just as quickly forgot about them.

Then I decided to whip up a batch of lazy girls chili, a recipe I promised you and never delivered, and remembered this pin for zucchini cornbread. Cornbread is already the perfect complement to chili, so the addition of zucchini was very intriguing. Not just intriguing, it was *pinteresting.*

It was an amazing addition! I didn’t change anything in this recipe, which is very difficult for me. I think in the future I’ll swap the sugar for honey, but the recipe is delicious as is. Paula said she’d cut the sugar in half next time, but I didn’t find the muffins to be too sweet. I think they were the perfect combination of sweet and savory. They were also the perfect texture, not too dry as cornbread can tend to be.

So, if you’re a freak like me well prepared for winter, and stalked up on shredded zucchini, click over to Half Baked and whip up a batch of zucchini cornbread muffins.

I’m linking up with Camille over at All Things Lovely for her pinterest recreation party. Join the fun here!

What is your favorite cornbread recipe?