Laundry closet quick & free update

We have a laundry closet, so there’s not much to really do to it. Pinterest is my favorite place to go for frugal decorating ideas!

I have HUGE plans for my laundry closet, but I have a TINY budget for it right now. So, since we’ve lived here over 1 1/2 years you can understand why I feel like I need to get on the ball with some of my projects! I don’t have a lot of time to do them, so when I have a few minutes I try to get a little done here and there.

Here is my closet before

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Here is my closet after

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I hung up my boys’ baby frames and the outfits they wore home from the hospital. I also put my washtub & washboard up. I added a laundry printable, a piece of fabric on the dryer, a glass heart bowl to hold change or other things from pockets, a light for when I don’t want to turn on the bright light, a picture frame & a command hook for a hand towel to have handy to dry my hands. 🙂

So, there you have it. My FREE upgrade for the time being. The only thing I did was spray paint the frame the printable went in and I already had the paint.

Do you have any free or frugal decorating suggestions? I would love to hear them!

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Cookies

I have seen some posts on using cake mixes to make cookies before. I have a surplus of Cinnamon chips from Christmas (because they are hard to find) and I’ve been trying to think of recipes I can make with them. I don’t NEED the sweet stuff, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cookie! 🙂

So, here is my Recipe for cookies made with a cake mix.

Spice Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Chips

1 box Spice Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 bag Cinnamon Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix cake mix, eggs & oil together. Batter will be stiff.
3. Once mixed, add Cinnamon Chips.
4. Use small scoop or drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown

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I would imagine you could make any combination of these you want — Chocolate cake & chocolate chips, Chocolate cake & peanut butter chips, Red velvet cake & white choc chips, etc.

What kind of cookies will you make?

Oreo Pancakes

I LOVE IT when I’m looking for a new recipe and find one I want to try on Pinterest! Well, today I actually modified 2 different recipes I found and then made it my own! Oh, here comes a Pinterest pin for me!!!! I hope you enjoy.

We have ice in our city today, so being “iced-in” the house I decided I needed to do something productive.

Freezer cooking is useful for me since I work full-time during the week, have a side business of photography and have a very active family. I am not one to make 30 meals in a day, but I do use my time to make double batches or just prepare something I can freeze while something else is cooking. I find that using my stove and oven while it’s warm certainly helps on my energy bills and I always have something in the freezer I can just pull out. Here’s what I made just in a few hours today: Pancake mix, Pancakes, Brownies, Seasoned Fries, chopped potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn muffins, pizza dough & chili. (In addition to supper.)

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And this is what my freezer looks like after I pulled something from it for supper and added my cooking from today. 🙂  You CAN do this! This is just a few extra minutes to build up your supply. And, as you can see I have a stash of Banquet chicken for the kids! 🙂

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My recipe tonight was pancakes. I wanted to find a homemade pancake mix that I could use to make a healthier pancake. I can’t vouch for how healthy these came out, but they were certainly delicious!

Here is the link to the recipe I found on Pinterest. I had actually found 2 and combined certain aspects before adding my own twist, but I can’t find that link. I will try to link it when I find it.

Pancake Mix

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups Bisquick (only because I didn’t have regular flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/8 Cup baking powder
  • 3/4 Confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
  • 3/4 cup butter cut in

Mix until mixture is a little crumbly. Store in airtight container or freezer bag. Store at room temperature.

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Directions to make:

Use 2 1/2 cups mix

1 cup milk

1 egg

Mix in bowl until blended. Pour onto hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray. Top with your favorite toppings.

Tonight, I used OREOS….Yes, Oreos! They were absolutely delicious!!!!

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I had some crumbled cookies left over from a recipe and I just sprinkled them on top of the pancake as it was cooking. I also made some with mini chocolate chips, flaxseed (there’s your healthy) and plain.

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If you are using the same topping, I would suggest mixing it in with the mix before you pour, but I wanted to make a variety and freeze them. The possibilities are almost endless on toppings….fruit, cookies, flavored baking chips (choc, butterscotch, peanut butter chips, etc.). Use your imagination!

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Now, if you like Oreos and pancakes or deep fried oreos, you will LOVE these!

What’s your favorite pancake addition?

 

Fit by 40

Fit by 40? What’s that you ask? Well, it is a motto that I came up with last year and I am sticking to it! Of course, some of you may think I’m already 40–and you would be WRONG! Ha! Ha! I have a little more time before that hits, but it isn’t really about the age. I’ve always felt that age was just a number. But weight, on the other hand, was a totally different subject. That was a number I was not willing to talk about.

Like a lot of people in America, I am not in “great” shape. I have tried & succeeded & failed & succeeded & failed & failed & failed at losing weight. This past year in May I had determined that I was never going to lose the weight for good. I gave away almost every stitch of clothing I couldn’t wear (both smaller & larger than my size at the time)!

Then in June, I talked to some friends who were going to do a Biggest loser “competition” starting at the end of July. I decided I was going to do it with them. I found that having friends who were wanting to eat healthier & exercise helped me SO much! I didn’t feel like I was alone in my struggles. That was the BEST decision I have made in a long time!

Prior to the competition starting I lost 13 lbs. That was motivating, but I knew that would come back in no time if I stopped exercising. During the actual competition, I lost 27 lbs. I was so excited! It was like a switch flipped for me and I was ready to be (& stay) healthy!
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Me in May 2012                        Me in Dec 2012
I took a month off after that and some friends and I began another competition. I wasn’t working as hard as before because it was the holidays, but I was still watching….just not exercising. I just didn’t want to get back in that mode of making excuses for why I didn’t exercise or why I didn’t eat healthy.

Now, the new year has come and I am back at being motivated. Thankfully I didn’t put any weight back on during my lull, but I know if I want to get the rest of this excess weight off I have to become serious again! So far I have added an additional 6 lbs to my total weight lost from my starting weight in July….that’s 46 lbs total! That is some serious weight, BUT that isn’t even the big picture!  I can do things now I never thought I would.

I was able to begin running last year. Although I’m not what you would consider a “runner”, I really enjoyed pushing myself to do something SO outside my comfort zone.

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I actually just signed up to do my very FIRST 5K! (Told you I wasn’t a runner.) I’m going to run the Color Me Rad 5K in Knoxville and I am super excited! I don’t hope to come out with the fastest time. What I do hope to come out with is the ability to mark something off my bucket list AND the knowledge I did something I never thought I could. In reality, almost 50 lbs ago I wouldn’t have been able to!

For those of you who want to know HOW I did this and if I used unhealthy products or lived on bread & water to lose 46 lbs in 5 months, I can assure you I didn’t!  There is no “miracle” way! We all put weight on 1 lb at a time and we have to take it off the same way. I have LOTS more I could write on this subject (and will some day), but know that if losing weight or becoming healthier is something you want to do you are NOT alone! Basically, it is hard work, but VERY worth it!

Here is a list of products, websites or workout plans that I use:

logo     Lose It Website

1.  I started using the Lose-It app on my phone to find out how many calories were in the foods I was eating and to log those foods so I knew how many I was actually putting in my mouth during the course of a day.  Trust me, when it says you should have 1405 calories, but you log your food and you have eaten 2600 you get a rude awakening! Cutting calories HAS to be done in order to lose weight and your calorie amount goes down the thinner you get, so Lose-It automatically adjusts what you should have in order to continue losing weight. Do you realize that to lose 1 lb you must either cut out or work off 3500 calories?!?!?!  That’s why the average person can cut back and eat less, but still not lose weight!

zumba-logo23 Zumba with Letitia & Kim

2.  I started working out with weight machines, ellipticals, stationary bikes & the track at my church and doing Zumba at Talley Ward. Letitia & Kim are great inspirations! They have come up with creative exercises & toning and mix things up so you work your entire body. They are even going back to get a new certification soon and I’m SO excited!

XOOMA-007sml         Xooma Products

3.  I started using Xooma products–the X20 sachets for water and the AM Xtra capsules. These products helped me to drink more water (which is essential in losing weight), but they also contain minerals that your body needs, so I also became healthier. The AM capsules help give you energy and that helped me to maintain a workout regimen.

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4.  I have found LOTS of suggestions, healthy recipes and motivation on Pinterest!  It has definitely helped me create healthy recipes that are different than “old standbys” that are not healthy for me. It is an online pin board where you can “pin” things you like and go back to them at any time. To me, it is MUCH better than having 10 different cookbooks taking up room in my kitchen when you only like 3 recipes in the entire book! 🙂

Do you have any tips for losing weight? I would love to hear them!

Organizing & Wishing

So, this “New Year/New Me” wants to be focused, but she also wants to be organized. I have scoured Pinterest and dreamed of having that perfectly organized home, but I know that having a hubby & 2 almost grown boys still at home that isn’t going to be my reality. So, what do you do when that’s where you are? Well, here’s what I’m going to do.

My goal is to spend a little time each night organizing small spaces. After working all day, making supper, running errands, washing clothes, etc., there isn’t much time to tackle something large. I wind up getting started, getting distracted, getting started again and then, before you know it, it’s bedtime! (Must be my adult “ADD”)

Tonight I began with my laundry closet. It’s not a large space, so I felt it was safe for my first night. I read a blog tonight by someone who was going to organize her home for $0. As I read, I realized how guilty I was for thinking I needed the cute containers or the bigger space before I could really organize.

I didn’t take a before picture, but here is what my laundry closet looks like after about 15 minutes of cleaning out & organizing it.

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I have a garbage can for when I clean out the dryer screen, a basket & glass jar for putting the change & other pocket items I find, a hand towel to dry my hands on, all my homemade detergent, certain cleaners and hangers. I’m definitely happy with my first project!

So, I will continue to update you on my progress. Maybe you will find some things that make sense to you or that will help you become more organized this year. If you have suggestions for something that has worked for you, please share! 😉