Spring has arrived, and is in full swing at my house. Many people this time of year are organizing the cabinets, opening the windows, and scrubbing the walls. Nothing truly feels better then being in an clean organized space, so I have complied my favorite ways to get it all together before summer gets here. (You know when summer gets here I am going to be outside)!
- Go Natural! So many cleaners have nasty chemicals. I really enjoy using natural cleaners, especially with pets and being pregnant. It just gives me peace of mind that what I am using isn’t toxic. Plus, I have saw some different research floating around online that might prove that certain natural cleaners are just as effective as the conventional ones. I really like my Thieves household cleaner. I use it for everything. I even dilute it with extra water and spray on my soft surfaces like carpet, pillows, and mattress. Here is some of my other favorites:
- Don’t Underestimate the power of your vacuum! Vacuums are not just for floors! The are great for hard to reach spots too. Many come with attachments that make it great for sucking dust off of ceiling fans, the top of the fridge, window screens, YOU NAME IT! I have been known to use the hose to suck up crud on the counters a time or two. I use my vacuum everyday, but when it comes to deep spring cleaning I am using it for everything. P.S. I have two great danes, and this one works pretty darn good for pet hair.
- Declutter. This is by far my FAVORITE thing to do. Clutter drives me crazy. I hate clutter so much that I shove things in closets and drawers to not look at it until I can deal with it. Do not be like me. I then have disorganized closets, which is another problem. To deal with this I like to daily throw trash away and recycle paper clutter. I also keep a basket in my bedroom closet for when I am doing regular cleaning to put clothes, beauty, and other items household items that can be donated.
- Take it from the TOP. This has been a lesson learned from some ladies I follow on YouTube. Start at the top and work your way down when cleaning. Nothing is worse them freshly mopped floors now covered in dust and crumbs from wiping off the counters. I find myself always doing double to work when I don’t follow this method. Honestly, this was one of those things when I heard it I was like “DUHH”. It never occurred to me to do this, but makes my life easier.
- Give everything a home. This is the most important thing in my house. If things do not have a home I am notorious for throwing it away or shoving it somewhere to never be found again. If you are like me, make sure everything in your house has a home. It makes keeping your home clean easier. If something doesn’t have a “home” figure out if it is worth keeping, tossing, or donating. If you keep it, it needs a home ASAP before it gets shoved in the junk drawer. (Do you see a reoccurring theme? I hide my messes). (:
I hope these tips help you get your home clean and organized for Spring. I use these all of the time to help me keep my home clean. Cleaning can often seem like a chore, but I find that I am enjoying it a little bit more now that I have found some products, tips, and tools to help get the job done. Happy Spring wherever you are!
One of my favorite soups to enjoy when we go out to eat is Wonton Soup! It is one of the most popular items at Chinese restaurants, and it was super easy to make at home.
P.S. Did you make some broth last week? If so, Wonton Soup is a great way to use it!
- 2 cups broth (Make it yourself here)
- 3 cups water
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 2 in piece of ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 2 tsp hot mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- green onion for garnish
- Start by adding broth and water to a large pot. Add 2 cloves of peeled and smashed garlic, and a one inch piece of ginger. Slice up 1 half of the onion, then give 1 carrot a rough chop and add to pot. Put on medium heat to simmer.
- While the soup broth simmers, add pork, 1 carrot, 2 cloves garlic, other half of ginger and onion, 1 tbs soy sauce, 2 tsp hot mustard into a food processor. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. (Don’t have a food processor, minced all ingredients and mix well by hand!)
- Once your meat mixture is well combined, grab your wonton wrappers.
- Take about 1/2 tbs of the mixture and add it to the center of your wrapper. On two edges, run your finger down it with water to help the wrappers stay closed. Then fold in half, point to point, to make a triangle. Press around meat to push out extra air. Take two points and bring them together. Be sure to seal all edges with water. (I made about 30 dumplings)
- Make all of the dumplings you want with the meat mixture. Once they are all made, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, store in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring your soup broth up to a boil.
- Once the broth is at a boil drop in the dumplings and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the remaining soy sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot with green onions for garnish!
Need a visual tutorial on how to fold your dumplings? I learned to fold my dumplings here.
During the week, my husband and I are really busy. Both of our jobs keep us from getting at home until 7pm, and that means when we come home we want something that can cook up in 30 minutes or less. Now lasagna may seem like a daunting task after a long work day, but I have some tips to make it easy. You can totally enjoy delicious lasagna on weeknight!!!
PREP! PREP! PREP! It will help you keep weeknight meals quick and easy!
Tip #1:The night before, or even a few days in advance, get some sauce made up. Maybe you have a favorite prepared sauce. Get it ready to go!
Tip #2: If you happen to have more free time the night before, the morning, or even two days before, make it all then. You can totally layer up lasagna and put it in the fridge to keep until you bake it for dinner.
Tip #3: Freeze it! Lasagna freezes really well, and then when you want it again all you have to do is get it out to thaw and pop in the oven. This will originally take some extra work, but it will help you in the future when you’re in a pinch.
Easy Weeknight Lasagna
- 5 cups Meat-Tomato Pasta Sauce (This is about a 45 oz jar)
- 8oz of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 6oz of Sliced Mozzarella Cheese (About 10 slices)
- 8oz of Large Curd Cottage Cheese
- 10oz of Brown Rice Lasagna Pasta
- Start by boiling your lasagna pasta. You’ll want to follow package instruction, but be sure to not cook the pasta all the way through. The pasta will continue to cook once it is in the oven!
- Once the pasta is done and drained. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Get ready to start layering. (:
- Be sure to give your first layer of pasta a nice bed of sauce! Next layer the pasta in an even layer across baking dish. Layer a little more sauce on top of the pasta.
- Now dollop cottage cheese throughout the layer. Add shredded cheese on top of that. Next layer pasta on top of shredded cheese and repeat. Pasta. Sauce. Cottage Cheese. Shredded Cheese. Repeat until you have used all of your pasta.
6. Once you have layered everything up you should have your last layer ending in shredded cheese. On top of the shredded cheese add the remaining sauce and top with sliced cheese. (This is where you could cover and put it in the fridge or freezer to enjoy at a later time!)
7. By now your oven should be to temp and you can put your lasagna in for 30 minutes. When it is done it should be golden and bubbly!
Once it is out of the oven it can be VERY hot, so please let it sit and cool before enjoying! Plus it gives it a chance to firm up and stay together.
Hopefully this helps you enjoy a quick weeknight meal that is delicious! If you try the recipe or any of the tips mentioned tell me about it in the comments below!
“Breakfast is the most important meal of they day”. We have all heard this one, yet sometimes I found myself grabbing processed packaged berry tarts, dry sugary cereals, or even not eating anything at all! None of these breakfast solutions are satisfying and can lead into even worse feelings as the day goes on.
Recently I have been trying to start my morning right with whole natural foods that will keep me feeling fuller longer and will give me energy to last the whole day. When I have some extra time in the morning I love enjoying some hardboiled or fried eggs, Ezekiel Toast with fresh butter, and some fruit.
Although this is a dream breakfast, I usually don’t have time for all of this and need something quick that packs a punch. This is where I turn to smoothies! They are always cool and refreshing, which is a great wake up in the morning. I always have frozen fruit on hand, so it is also convenient and easy to make.
Here is one I make often because it only has 3 ingredients and tastes great!
- 1/2 cup Frozen berries ( I use a frozen berry mix!)
- 1/2 cup Frozen chopped Kale
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of almond or coconut milk (I use a blend like this!)
- Optional: Ice for a more icey like smoothie. I don’t usually add it since my berries and kale are both frozen.
1) Put all of your ingredients in a blender and whirl away to desired consistency!
I love this because it is so simple! The berries are full of antioxidants and the kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. Your breakfast couldn’t get or taste much better!
*As usual my measurements are approximate. You can always add more or less of these ingredients to suit your taste!
**Psst! Today I linked some awesome milk! I love this brand and really love their products and that is my true honest opinion. This company doesn’t know me or compensate me, I just genuinely love this stuff and want you to know about it too!