What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese

When one of my besties told me she was bringing Mac and Cheese to my New Years Eve Party, I was automatically excited. Mac and Cheese is one of my love languages. This one is so good, I’ve already made it twice this month.

Warning I didn’t get a picture of just the macaroni, but we topped ours with chicken and bacon crumbles last night!

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 lb (8 oz) Velveeta, cubed
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 ritz crackers, crushed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tbsp. butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Add Velveeta. Cook 3 minutes or until melted. Stir in macaroni.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish and spoon macaroni into the dish. Melt remaining tbsp. of butter and mix with crushed crackers. Sprinkle on top of macaroni. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 20 minutes or until heated throughout.

I ate so fast last night that I forgot to get a picture. So, here is my toddlers mac and cheese!

This is super versatile. We have had it as a side, but last night we topped it with chicken, bacon crumbles and jalapenos. So good!

Tip Tuesday: Overcoming Overwhelm

Oh goodness friends. I thought that once Christmas was over I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed but I’m pretty sure this is the Holiday Season that never ends. It just seemed like I have so many tasks looming over my head and not enough time to work on any of it. I was making a to do list in the morning and falling asleep with almost the same list every night. Finally, I just hit a brick wall. I wore myself out, ended up getting a nasty cold, and then spent all day sitting around with a sore, achy body,

The other day I was on the phone with my cousin, whining about how I felt like garbage and she suggested a few things. After putting some of her ideas into action, combined with my own, I am finally feeling human again. Here are a few ideas to consider if you need to overcome overwhelm.

Making healthy choices.

Roll your eyes all you want, but I can tell you that my brain and body both work a whole lot better if I watch what I am putting in my body. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and work on eating clean. You don’t have to be perfect, but I promise when I eat fruits and veggies, I feel a lot better than when I eat processed crap.

Move your body

It’s a good idea in general to get some sort of exercise daily. And if you get bored easily, like me, you can switch it up to keep yourself interested. Right now I am working on lifting weights every other day (arms/shoulders one day, legs another) and then doing yoga on my off days. I can’t say enough good things about yoga. My body and mind feel better, and I’m going to the chiropractor less often. The FitOn app is great for yoga workouts and I love Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube. Both are great resources and wonderful for learning foundational poses.

Essential Oils

Ok, call me a hippie all you want but I really do enjoy essential oils. I don’t use them as a cure all, but I have absolutely had some great results with them. Yesterday, I slathered my neck with Stress Away oil from Young Living. My neck and shoulders were so tight and I was about at the end of my rope. Within an hour the tension was subsided and today it was gone. It could be a coincidence but honestly it had been on going weeks, so whatever it was worked for me. Also, I started diffusing 3 drops of orange oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil. I feel like this really did help with my energy and clarity.

Make a list and get it done

When all else fails, I return to the fact that I’m a list maker. I have a long to do list going on right now, but within the past few days I have finally checked a few things off. Some were easy tasks, some were pain the ass tasks. Try to choose the one thing that you need to do, but don’t want to. Once its done, it’s done and you can’t procrastinate on it anymore. AND it will make all the other tasks easier.

Self Care

Self care doesn’t have to be a spa day, but it should be something you enjoy. I like to take a bath after the kids go to bed with epsom salts. Maybe it’s only 30 minutes of alone time, but it’s alone time. Find something that recharges you and schedule it in. Stick to it because you should not break promises to yourself.

How do you deal with overwhelm?

What’s Cookin Wednesday: Crockpot Fritos Taco Bowl

We woke up this morning to some snow and rain, so a big bowl of chili was calling my name. And it was a great day to try out a new recipe! Here’s the link to the original recipe.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 2 packets of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cans of chili beans
  • 1 can of rotel
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • bag of fritos
  • toppings: cheese, sour cream, etc.

Cook the ground beef with the onions. Drain once the onions are translucent. Add the taco seasoning and water. Mix well, and remove from heat.

Combine beans, rotel, tomato sauce, and beef mixture in the crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6 hours.

Serve over fritos and top with cheese and sour cream!

This was so good, easy and a great cold weather meal.

Tip Tuesday: Craft Businesses and Trademarks

Lately I’ve been trying to think of what I can blog about to be helpful to other crafters. I’ve been thinking that I should talk about trademarks for a while now. Yesterday, a local business owner shared some posts about NFL Logo and Trademarks. A lot of my crafting friends shared it around, so I’m thinking maybe this is something that needs to be dug into a little bit more.

This week the Kansas City Chiefs won a play off game and they are headed to the Super Bowl. This is a huge deal because we live in the Midwest and this is basically everyone’s team. Immediately after the game local businesses starting posting orders for Chiefs shirts. And it kinda made me cringe a little, but also Not My Business.

The next day I got a few messages from people asking if I could make them Chiefs decals and shirts and I quickly said “nope… copyright laws!” and held my breath because I’m a people pleaser and hate disappointing people. But, also I have to stand my ground too. I have absolutely done things in the past for friends, because they were my friends and I hate telling people no.

However, now that I have revamped by business and rebranded, I have set ground rules to myself and one of them is that it’s ok to say no. There are so many other people in my area that do this type of thing, so maybe someone else will be willing to help them. But, I don’t do custom orders, and I certainly am not doing trademarked stuff.

And it’s for a good reason! In order to be able to see licensed stuff, you have to purchase the license… and it’s expensive. And the company has to approve what you are selling. As in: “Ok, for $3,000 you can sell up to 500 shirts with this particular design”. No thank you.

When you are selling things that aren’t your intellectual property, you are running a risk of receiving letters in the mail telling you to stop, being sued, having to pay back those profits, having your facebook shut down.

This includes buying designs. Baby Yoda is all over Etsy and Disney will shut you down in a heartbeat. Just because the design is for sale, doesn’t mean its legal to sell it.

Now, please know that I’m not trying to tell anyone how to run their business. It’s not my business how you do business. However, this is stuff that I wasn’t aware of when I started making and selling vinyl crafts. To each their own, but its food for thought. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Irish Nachos

I should probably be embarrassed to even post this recipe and because it is absolutely not a healthy meal but that being said we have a ton of potatoes that I don’t want to go to waste, so we have been getting creative. I recall eating Irish Nachos at some point in my life, so we threw this together last week. They are amazing.

What you need:

  • Potatoes (at least one per person, more if you are a fat kid at heart like me. I think we did 5 for the 3 of us)
  • Oil
  • season salt
  • bacon crumbles
  • cheese
  • sour cream
  • ranch dressing

First, you’ll make the fried potatoes. Slice the potatoes, leaving skin on. Heat up a little bit of vegetable oil in a skillet and once the oil is hot add some potatoes. We probably made three batches so they’d have room to cook. Once they are nice and brown remove them from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels so the extra oil can drain off. Season with season salt as each batch gets done.

Once they are all cooked put them on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon crumbles. Broil until cheese is melted!

and Ta Da! They are done. Top with sour cream and/or ranch and any other toppings you would like. The possibilities are endless.

Tip Tuesday: Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Last Spring I got the bright idea to paint my kitchen cabinets because we were preparing to lay down our new flooring. Since then I’ve had a ton of people ask me about them, so I wanted to take a moment to share my process and tools.

First off, painting cabinets is a huge freaking job. HUGE. This took me probably a full week, if not longer, and I cussed literally the whole time. BUT. It’s cheaper than replacing cabinets and a little bit of paint changes things so much! I am still in love with the outcome.

Before

Prep Work

There is plenty of prep work involved with painting cabinets. Especially in an almost 70 year old house. First, I spent some time cleaning like a crazy woman. I mixed together some baking soda, dawn and warm water and used this to scrub everything down. WARNING: this will ruin the cabinets finish (I accidentally found this out when we moved in, long before I was ready to paint… whoops.) but since we were painting I didn’t care this time around.

After cleaning everything up I got some deglosser and went over all of the outside wood twice. Be sure to wear gloves, and safety glasses (yes you’ll look like a dork but that won’t matter if you get it in your eye and go blind will it?) and open a window.

I didn’t do any sanding, but the deglosser helped the paint to stick.

Next, remove the doors and drawers and number them. Don’t forget to take off all the hardware and hinges.

Now it’s time to paint!

I didn’t realize until I was WAY into the process that I should have used primer first. I wasted a lot of expensive paint because I didn’t primer all of it first. Get some primer. Let the guys at Sherwin Williams help you decide the right kind. The wall behind our cabinets was maroon (WHY?!) and I later found out that I should have gotten a pink tinted primer.

After primer, use high quality paint. I love the Emerald line from Sherwin Williams. Here is the paint I used for the tops of my cabinets in plain white. This paint is amazing, covers well and I have had no issues with chipping. It is pricey but worth it.

The bottom half I used the same type of paint… in indigo blue. And when I got done I HATED IT. I affectionately called it Trailer Trash Blue. It was way too bright and shiny. So, I did it again using the plaster paint recipe I posted yesterday. So much better and much more muted. Now I’m in love.

After

It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. Have you ever taken on the task of painting kitchen cabinets?

Make It Monday: DIY Plaster Paint

Hello and welcome to another exciting edition of “Make It Monday” on my blog! Actually I guess it’s the first edition but it’s fine and we are all fine and we are just rolling with it today.

Anyway, I want to talk to you today about Plaster Paint. First off, listen, I know that some people have some very firm opinions about plaster paint. I see plenty of bitching on the internet from people that are deeply offended when someone paints furniture with chalk or plaster paint. “How dare anyone cover that gorgeous Cherry finish?”

To that I say… calm the hell down, Brenda. I’m sorry that this finish doesn’t even kind of fit in with my house. I’m sorry that I have offended you by painting a piece of furniture that is going in MY dining room… that I will look at every freaking day. When I die please feel free to sand it down to it’s shiny, fancy, cherry wood glory.

Also, while we are on the subject I am super sorry for painting that old outdated table, and selling it in my flea market booth. I mean, the person that bought it must have only done so out of spite. They probably will sand it down to its original color, right? Sounds pretty stupid, huh? I get that it irritates people, especially with antiques, but sheesh. Go find something else to be mad about. There are literally thousands of things out there. It’s 2020, everyone is offended.

Anyway, carrying on. I love me some plaster paint. You don’t have to do a ton of prep work (priming, extreme sanding, etc.) It covers well without multiple coats and it has a nice muted finish.

When we were working on decorating our dining room we decided to get a china cabinet to hold glasses that we collect on our travels. I searched high and low and finally found one, but it didn’t fit in with our farmhouse theme at all. It was cherry wood and rather regal looking. BUT it was exactly what my husband had in mind for this liquor cabinet, so we got it. With the understanding (and dismay from both my hubby and the seller) that I was going to paint it.

I had a can of indigo colored paint left over from another project, so I decided to turn it into chalk paint and use it!

It’s super easy to make! Just mix together 1 1/2 cups of latex paint, 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of plaster of paris. Paint and enjoy!

I will say that a lot of plaster paint projects would probably use wax (kitchen cabinets, this china hutch, etc). Plaster paint wax can be purchased at Lowes or anywhere plaster paint is sold. (here’s some from amazon!) I did not use wax on my hutch, but I think it would protect the finish more and I probably will do it eventually. I’ve never used it on tables, dressers, etc and have never had problems.

Anyway, hope this is helpful to someone for their next DIY paint project!

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Freebie Friday- Workout Tank Jpeg

Happy Friday! I don’t know about anyone else but I am more motivated to workout when I have something cute to wear/. I mean, how are you supposed to make sweaty post workout selfies in your gross holy concert tshirt? Ew.

Please feel free to use this jpeg to make your own workout tank, sign, decal, whatever makes you happy! Personal use only please! If you’d like to purchase the SVG to use for commerical use, visit my etsy shop!

Thoughtful Thursday: My Morning Routine

How journaling and Rachel Hollis have improved my morning routine.

Recently, my friends and I were discussing mornings and I mentioned that I like to get up before my toddler so I can have some quiet time to journal and drink my coffee. One of my friends looked at me like maybe I had 2 heads. I know, it probably sounds a little wonky but this something I have been doing for about 6 months, and I love it. So, I thought I’d share it here too!

First, if you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis, how? I know that some people love her and some people hate her, but I am definitely a part of the Rachel fan club. Rachel went from a girl with only a high school diploma and a little blog. to a multi-millionaire. She is so inspirational and knows how to make women do this crazy thing called believing in themselves. If you haven’t read Rachel’s books, especially Girl, Wash Your Face. I suggest you grab a copy and have a seat.. for like the whole weekend because it’s a hard one to put down.

Anyway, Rachel talks about a (not so little) little something that she has been prancing for years on her own called The Five to Thrive. These are five things she suggests you do every single day in order to become the best version of yourself. The best part is that it’s not rocket science and it won’t take up half of your day.

Five to Thrive:

  1. Wake Up an Hour Earlier than normal daily and spend it doing something for YOU. I struggle with this one, but I have gotten better. I just shoot to get up an hour before my toddler so I have time to focus on my routine. During this hour I write in my journal, make my to do list, read my Bible and just enjoy some caffeine before starting my day.
  2. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Example: You weight 100 pounds, you drink 50 oz of water daily. Now, I’m going to add a disclaimer and say that this may not be suitable for everyone. My dr. told me that someone had done that she was a large woman, so she was getting too much water. When she came in for her appt she was completely swollen. The normal suggestion is 8 oz. of water a day. When in doubt, ask your doctor. But seriously, drink your freaking water. It’s not that hard and it’ll solve a lot of your problems. (Skin, hair, bloating, tiredness, etc.)
  3. Every day write down 5 things you are thankful for. This doesn’t have to be big things like your husband and your kids, it should be the little things that you enjoy day to day. Some of mine this week were hot coffee, lazy mornings, a booked vacation and good books. Also, I write down 10 big goals that I have in my life. They basically repeat everyday until I accomplish them or I change my mind about them. (I wanted to open a coffee shop for about a month and then came to my senses… haha) These are smaller goals and big audacious goals, but they are written as though I’ve already accomplished them. Example: We are free from credit card debt! This has helped me really focus on what I (we, my husband and I) want in life and it’s helped me to develop plans on how to accomplish them! One of my most recent fulfilled goals is that I opened my digital Etsy shop!
  4. Get rid of one thing that isn’t good for you. Addicted to fast food? (Me x1000) Not eating enough fruits and veggies? Energy Drinks? Ice Cream? Give it up for a week, month, 3 months and see how amazing you feel! I used this to quit drinking pop, and now I’m working on not randomly stopping for fast food.
  5. Move your body! Rachel suggests at least 30 minutes a day. I say, if I can only fit in 15 or 20 it’s ok because at least I did something. I refuse to beat myself up for not doing enough minutes. I do shoot for 30 though. It’s only the 9th of January, but I have done some sort of movement every day this year. Be it yoga or a walk or weight lifting or kickboxing or whatever. Some days may be speed cleaning my house too!

Sorry, that got a little off track but I obviously believe in this wonky stuff.

The cornerstone of this practice is the journaling! I have found that when I take that time to write down what I’m thankful for and what I’m working towards, its an eye opener. I found that when I wake up before the baby I am a better mom for her when it’s time to wake her up. I have had time to wake up, focus on me (moms don’t get to do that often), and set a good tone for the day. I start the day caffeinated, focused and ready to roll. And the other things just help me keep going through the day.

Do you have a morning routine?

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