Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cleaning Microfiber with Rubbing Alcohol

My little guy spits up a lot. He's getting much better the older he gets but it was projectile vomiting in the beginning. I would use hand towels instead of burp cloths because it would absorb more and they are much larger so I had a better chance of catching the throw up before it ended up on someone or something else.

Right before we had our little guy our neighbor offered to let us buy their old glider for $20. We went over to their place to look at it and it was awesome! We had been looking for one but I wasn't really liking any of them and they were pretty expensive. The glider she gave me was in great condition. She said she had been using it for 3 years and she had a blanket over it most of the time. There were a few tiny stains on it but other than that it was a steal!

Now, back to the projectile vomiting, I tried to keep a blanket on the bottom of the glider to protect it but sometimes it would shift around and he would end up getting throw up on it. Then, once he got bigger I started placing him over my left shoulder to burp him and you can see on the chair that he would throw up right into it sometimes. My husband has been telling me for weeks how gross it looks so I decided to attack it today. My friend over at Lady Makes It told me about a pin she saw on Pinterest about cleaning microfiber.

I found the pin here

Now, I am a little embarrassed but here are more of my before pictures.

Can you tell which shoulder I burp my little guy on?

To clean, I put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, sprayed the entire seat, back, and sides of the chair. Then I took a white rag and scrubbed the stains out in a circular motion. Then I used another white rag to go over the microfiber in ONE DIRECTION to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Not everything came out but it looks pretty darn good to me. Let's see how long it takes my husband to notice.....

There you go. No one will ever know it was once covered in spit up. Happy Cleaning!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Money Maker at Target

Since I have moved to San Diego I have fallen in love with Target. Why I wasn't in love with it before, I'm not sure. I have found some really great deals lately. The best part is that you can use a Target coupon as well as a manufacturer's coupon for everything that you buy. I don't know how other states are, but in California, no one doubles coupons anymore.This is my new way to double coupons.

I have also been using Target's app called cartwheel. It is awesome. There is a little picture of a scanner next to the search bar when you are looking for coupons. You can actually scan the bar code of the product you are buying and if there is a coupon for it it will pop up and you can add it to your cart. Cartwheel can be used on top of your Target and manufacturer coupons.

Some other great apps for saving money that I use are Ibotta and I just recently started using an app called Checkout 51.

Here are my deals of the day!

At Target they have Glade wax melts on sale marked down as low as $0.88. has a coupon for $1 off 2 Glade wax melts 
Target  has a coupon for $1 off 2 Glade products
Ibotta has a coupon for $1 off 2 Glade wax melts
Target's cartwheel app has 5% off Glade products

I got two Glade wax melts that were on sale for $0.88
5% off from Cartwheel made them $0.83 each
Making them $1.66 total
I used the $1 off from Target,, and Ibotta

to put $1.34 in my pocket!!

Target is also having a great deal on toys right now. They have a large selection of 50% off toys. I found some really fun ones.
I bought these with my nieces and nephews in mind but when my husband saw the big orange inflatable ball he decided that he wants to play  with it instead. There's a kid inside all of us! Let me know what great deals you find.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flank Steak Marinade

Tyrone and I got a grill for Christmas and we love it. One of our favorite grilling recipes is flank steak. This was a meal that my mom cooked a lot for us growing up. It is one of  my favorites. I called her in college to get the recipe and once I found out how easy it was, I loved it even more. I know most of the people out there are freezing this winter with the cold temperatures but it's been pretty warm here in Southern California. I feel like it's summer time. For those of you who can access your grills without having to tread across ice and snow... this is a great recipe. For those of you who are freezing, you can save it until summer time. I probably made this almost once a week in the summer time.

1 flank steak- sometimes certain grocery stores don't have it out. If you don't see it ask the butcher and they can usually get you one.
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon (I usually just squeeze one lemon into the marinade with a fork)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt to taste
put all of the ingredients into either a pyrex dish or a ziplock bag. Let marinate for at least 2 hours. I usually do it the night before. Then, heat up the grill to about 400 degrees. Grill each side of the meat for about 5 minutes on high heat and it's done. We like our meat a little bit red in the middle. If you want it cooked more on the well side, cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side. After you pull the meat off the grill, cut into thin strips cutting against the grain of the meat. 

This is great for big barbeques because it feeds a lot of people. I usually make baked potatoes and a salad to go with it. It turns out being a delicious meal with little preparation.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Canning Dry Beans

I canned beans!! This probably isn't that exciting, but I am proud of myself. I asked for a pressure canner for Christmas and this was the first time I used it. It was much easier than I imagined although it took me a while since it was my first time. My friend Christi over at Lady Makes It has been my inspiration. I have black beans in my garage for food storage.. but lets be honest, I've had them for almost a year and half now and yet when I need black beans I go to the store and buy a can. Now, I can have ready to eat black beans when I want them. It is definitely cheaper as well. Yay!

Christi has canned chicken too, which I would love to do. Her chicken tastes really yummy on chips with her canned beans and melted cheese. So delicious. Thanks Christi for always feeding me.

1. To start, you will need a pressure canner. They come in many different brands and sizes. I have an All American pressure cooker/canner. Some pressure cookers are taller so that you can stack jars on top of each other to cook more at a time, others, like mine, are smaller. I could only fit six quart jars in my canner.

2. Make sure that there is a rack in the bottom of the canner. The jars should never be placed directly on the bottom of the canner. The rack helps the water to circulate.

3. Next, fill up your canner with water. You want to place water in your canner before you put the jars in. My canner said to use 2-3in. of water if a recipe doesn't specify. Depending on the size of your canner it may be more or less.

Now, onto the beans part...

1. You will want to wash and sort your dry beans. Sometimes beans come with rocks or sticks in them, so you want to make sure you get all of those out.

2.  Clean and sterilize jars and lids. Check your canner to see how many jars will fit before this part, or you may do more work than necessary. There are many ways to sterilize your jars and lids. To sterilize the jars, I used the microwave. You can do this by placing 2 in of water in the bottom of your jar and placing it in the microwave until it boils, anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Make sure to use a hot pad when taking it out. Then dump out the water.

To sterilize the lids I put my lids in a shallow pie dish. Then I boil a small pot of water on the stove. I carefully pour the pot of boiling water onto the lids in the pie dish to sterilize them. I use a shallow dish because it's easier to get them out when I'm ready to put the lids on the jars.

3. Place the beans in your jars. For pints, put 1/2 cup of dry beans in. For quarts, put 1 cup dried beans in.

4. Place the salt in the jars. For pints, use 1/2 tsp salt. For quarts, use 1 tsp.

5. Fill up the jars with water. Leave about 3/4 inches at the top.

6. Wipe off the top of the jar with a clean towel. This is to ensure that the lid will seal properly.

7. Place a sterilized lid on the jar and then screw on the ring.

8. Place the jars in the pressure canner. If you have hard water you will want to put a few tablespoons of vinegar in the canner. I have done it with and without the vinegar. I canned strawberry jam with the water bath method and my jars came out looking like they had been covered in chalk. Some of it wiped off and some of it had hardened. Adding vinegar will eliminate this. It's not harmful it just looks weird.

9. Place the lid on the pressure canner. Gradually and evenly tighten two opposite screws at the same time, maintaining the same size gap around the entire lid. Place the pressure regulator weight over the vent pipe. Align the weight so that the hole corresponding to the desired pressure is directly over the vent pipe.

10. Place pressure canner over heat source. When the pressure regulator weight begins to jiggle and sputter adjust the heat until it jiggles only one to four times each minute. The pressure regulator weight will jiggle or rock when the pressure is reached.

11. Process the beans for 90 minutes at 15lbs of pressure. To count the cooking time, begin from the first jiggle or rock of the pressure regulator weight.

12. After 90 minutes, turn off heat source and let the beans cool. Do not try to rush this process. Do Not open the lid to the pressure canner until the steam pressure gauge registers zero. Do not move the pressure canner either. I started cooking my beans at 10 am and I didn't take them out of the canner until 5:30pm. It is good to remove the weight from the vent pipe once pressure gauge registers zero though. This will prevent a vaccum from forming in the canner, making it hard to remove the lid. Make sure to use an oven mitt to remove the weight, mine was still very hot.

Another good site to reference on the topic of canning is

I hope these instructions give you the confidence to can some beans! If you try it let me know how they turn out!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

After I had my baby a friend of mine brought me a warm round bread loaf straight out of the oven along with some tomato bisque soup from Trader Joe's. I'm not really a tomato person though. It's probably one of the only foods that I think tastes absolutely gross by itself, at least. So, tomato soup has never really tastes good to me. But she brought me this wonderful smelling warm bread and I needed something to dip it in. I warmed up the tomato soup and dipped the bread into it. It was delicious! I think I ate the whole box of soup in two days. Ever since then I have been craving tomato soup. I decided to make some this week. It is really simple and easy.

2- 14oz cans Del Monte diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano
1 Cup chicken broth
1/4 Cup butter
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs onion, chopped
1/8 tsp baking soda
1.5 Cups heavy cream

Sautee the butter and onions in a large saucepan. Mix in the tomatoes, broth, sugar and baking soda. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Heat cream separately and add to tomato mixture just before serving. Puree the tomato mixture for a smooth soup.

TIP: I poured my tomato mixture into my blender when it was still hot and I think because it was so full some of the hot tomato mixture flew out of the top and burned the palm of my hand as well as sprayed red tomato sauce all over the front of me and all over the kitchen. I was already having kind of a rough day so I was not very happy. I would recommend blending up half the tomato sauce in the blender at a time if you have a smaller blender like me. I ended up putting a kitchen towel over the lid on the blender and finishing the job. Other than this little hiccup, this recipe was really easy and tasted great as a leftover.

Now, when I think of tomato soup I always think of grilled cheese. In college I would go over to my husband's apartment for lunch sometimes and he would make grilled cheese and soup. 
Then, when my mother in law was staying with me after I had my baby she made my husband and I grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch one day. She added a little bit of cream cheese in the middle though which tasted so delicious!! 

Grilled cheese sandwiches are pretty simple just DON'T BURN THEM! They burn really quickly if you aren't paying close attention. 

2 pieces sandwich bread
Cheese, sliced - I use Colby jack but it can be done with any cheese of your choice
Cream cheese

Put butter on both sides of sandwich bread. Any sandwich bread will do. Place your pieces of bread down on a pan over medium heat or you can make them on a griddle which is my favorite way. Then, add sliced cheese and cream cheese to the top of one piece of bread. After about 30 seconds put the piece of bread without cheese on it on top of the cheese with the toasted side facing out. Leave on the griddle until the cheese is melted, about a minute. Make sure not to burn the bottom. It's as simple as that.