Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crockpot Chili Mac

This is an easy and tasty weeknight crockpot recipe!

Crockpot Chili Mac
- 1 pound ground turkey or hamburger, browned
- 1 pkg chili seasoning (or your own homemade seasoning)
- 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes (I used chili style)
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup cooked beans (or can use a can of beans)
- 1 cup uncooked macaroni pasta

1. Brown ground turkey or hamburger
2. Put browned meat, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans in your crokpot. Stir together and turn on low for the day.
3. About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, boil your pasta, drain and toss in crockpot with other ingredients.
4. Serve with a little cheese on top.

*If you don't have time to brown your meat before you head to work, have some already browned and frozen in the freezer. Then just toss it in the crockpot the morning of.

*I like to cook a crockpot full of beans at one time. Then I divide it up into 1 cup baggie fulls and put in freezer until I need them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Housewarming Gift (Homemade Cleaners)

Some of our best friends are getting married this Spring and they just signed a lease for an apartment earlier this week! We are so excited for them!

I was trying to decide what to get for a little housewarming gift and thought some of my homemade cleaners would be something inexpensive and practical for the soon to be newlyweds!

Below are a list of the cleaners I gifted along with a print out of the recipes so they could make more when these were all used up.

All Purpose Cleaner
-  1 cup white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 10 drops of essential oil (I used lemon grass)
*Fill bottle with vinegar, then water and essential oil. Shake

Wood Furniture Polish
 - 4 tsp. Olive oil
- 2 cups vinegar
- 5 drops of essential oil (I used lemon grass)
*Mix ingredients together. Dab soft rag into solution and
wipe wooden surface. (Shake jar each time before use)

Laundry Detergent
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Washing Soda
- 1 bar laundry soap, grated (Fels-Naptha)
*Mix all together and store in a jar. Normal load, use 2 TBS.

Click HERE to see/print a PDF version of the recipes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

World Travel Date Night: Russia

I am always telling my hubby about my dreams to travel. Seeing as though we can't afford a big trip now or anytime in the near future, I decided to do something a little different. I found the original idea on The Dating Divas blog but added many of my own ideas for decorations, recipes and cultural activities for each place we are going to "travel".

Each month for the next year I have made a date for us to travel to a different place in the world, but doing it right in our own home! Most of these dates cost next to nothing, just use items you already have. I used a large manilla envelope to hold smaller envelopes for each date. The smaller envelopes are filled with items we might need for that date such as recipes.

 The first place on our travel itinerary...RUSSIA! I chose to travel here first because the winter Olympics are currently taking place there. 

For dinner: A Russian dish of Beef Stroganoff

Activity: DIY Winter Olympic Games

1. Torch Race - Make a torch with a piece of paper and tissue paper for the flames. Run a lap around the house and time each other. Fastest time wins!

 (Notice I'm sporting my red, white and blue!)

2. Curling - Use painters tape to make squares at the end of your table. Each player will use a straw to blow their bottle cap until the first person reaches their square at the other end of the table.

3.  Slalom - Use painters tape to make a line down a hallway. Place plastic cups (flags) at various points. "Ski" around the "flags" without hitting any. Fastest time wins!

4. Bobsled - Use a piece of wood for your ramp. Use some toy cars, trains, whatever you happen to have around. Race your "sleds" to see who can reach the finish line first. We did best out of three runs.

For the winner of each game I found a small bag of mini Snickers wrapped in GOLD wrappers at the dollar store. Better than a gold medal, right?!

After our own Olympics we sat down and enjoyed the real thing on TV. This was such a fun date night! I love spending time with my husband and am excited that we have 11 more date nights already planned!

Be sure to stay tuned for next month's date to Ireland!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rustic Ring Bearer/ Flower Girl Ideas

Thrifty 31 Rentals has been busy with rental viewings, filling out contracts and talking with several Spring and Summer brides! It's that time of year for lots of wedding planning and I absolutely love it! I have put together some photos of a few of our rentals and how they could be used with that handsome ring bearer or beautiful flower girl. (Click on picture to take you to that item listed on our website) 

*All "Theirs" photos were found via Pinterest.*

Rustic White Lantern for the Rings 
Does have a handle, just hard to see in picture.

For more ideas be sure to follow Thrifty 31 Rentals on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY Rustic Thread Rack

I saw a few versions of this on Pinterest and it looked super simple to make. Why hadn't I thought of something so easy? All you need is a piece of wood, nails, twine, hammer and a drill.

1. Hammer the nails into the wood.

2. Drill two holes at the top for your twine.

3. Fill with your spools of thread. 

Total cost: FREE!! Only took about 5 minutes to make too!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vintage Sewing Table Makeover

Last summer I picked up this antique sewing machine and table at a yard sale for $15.00! I ended up deciding to sell the sewing machine but kept the table for myself.

After a few coats of paint and a new drawer pull from Hobby Lobby, here is the after! 

I absolutely love how it turned out! 

 There was a decent size hole where the old sewing machine was. I didn't want to spend money to buy a piece of wood to cover it, so used my cutting mat instead. It worked perfectly and I can easily move my machine when I need to cut something.


I saw this great idea on Pinterst to use a muffin pan to sort your buttons by color.

This vintage fabric was given to me and I used it to make a matching seat pad and pin cushion. I love the colors and patchwork look of it.

Final before and after!

After selling the vintage Singer sewing machine, I ended up making a few dollars on this project! Ca-ching!