"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Springing Back!

Well it has been months since my last blog post. Have you missed my Tidbits? I hope now that you have realized that I have been gone, your thinking "Maybe just a little!"

I got lost in the summer months, then the fall came and it blew bye. Now we are nearing the end of this long winter and I decided it's time for me to come "Springing Back!" I hope that you will continue to enjoy my little Tidbits of information.

I'm going to be working on my blog as often as inspiration comes, so I probably won't post everyday like I had tried to in the past. I really enjoy this blog and I enjoy writing. Hopefully you will stick with me and enjoy what is to come now that I am "Springing Back!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Salad Recipe


Well I have decided to start adding recipes to my blog! This is my first one, I call it Craneta Crunch and Munch. I hope that get inspired and make your very own Summer Salad Recipe!


Ingredients

Serves 2


2 Grilled Chicken Breast (Seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice)

1 Granny Smith Apple

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 Cup of Fat Free Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup of Sliced Red Onion

2 Cups of Romaine Lettuce sliced thin

1 Package of Prepared Stuffing Mix

1 Tbs Lemon Juice


Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with butter spray and spread out prepared stuffing mixture. Bake until mixture is crunchy about 10 minutes and put aside.


To prepare salad,


Slice Grilled Chicken Breasts and put aside.

Cut up the granny smith apple into medium size chunks and put it into a small bowl, toss it with lemon juice.

Slice the romaine thin into slivers rather than chunks and place in serving platter.

Top with Fat Free Feta, Cranberries, Red Onion and Sliced Chicken. For the finishing touch, crumble up the crunchy stuffing and top as croutons.


Serve with a Store bought Lite Vidalia Onion Dressing or a homemade lemon vinaigrette!


Tidbit - Instead of the traditional store bought cruton, think outside the box and come up with other creative toppings. Some ideas are Tortilla Chips, Toasted Nuts and Seeds, Toasted Pita Chips and just about any kind of stuffing can be toasted then crumbled on top.


It's a refreshing salad with alot of crunching amd munching going on! I hope that you will give it a try!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Room


Summer is almost here and it's that time of year where we spend more time outside than inside. Well at least I do and I hope after reading this blog you will too. In this fast paced time, it is so important to have a space to settle down in, relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Outside in the fresh air with all the sounds and sights of nature is a great place to start. Whether you live in a home or an apartment, you must have some outdoor space that you can add a little cozy, a little sparkle, a little oasis and make into your very own Summer Room!

Tidbit - With a few easy steps you can make any outdoor space, big or small, into an oasis you can retreat to. Pick an area like a deck, a patio, even a patch of grass and start your imagination.

The first step is to visualize the space as a room with four corners, walls and all, with the sky as your ceiling. This will be your outdoor canvas. This will be easy with a deck or patio, but if you are working with a grass area it will be what you put in that will determine the space.

The second step is to think of its function. Will it be a dining area, a seating area or both. Maybe you even have a deck and a patio. That's even better. Some spaces can be large enough to use as both. Once you figure out the function, the Fun can begin! Filling it up!


The Third Step comes in once you settle on the function, then it's time to pick some furniture. When picking furniture, pick items that won't rust, rot or be damaged in the elements.

There are many affordable sets out there. You don't want to spend a fortune, but you do want items that will last. Personally, I like metal and plastic furniture. Wood items tend to fade and get moldy with time. They are also way over priced. Look for Sets that offer weather resistant cushions and pillows. Make sure that they are attached, so that you can change them out when you get bored of the pattern. You may have furniture to work with already, but it's the way that you set up your area that will make it a retreat and a Summer Room. Here are some idea's on what to look for and how it will be set it up.

Bistro Sets - Two Chairs and a Table

Dining Sets - Table with 4 - 6 seats, Umbrella's are sometimes optional but always a must.

Casual Seating - Two Chairs, Love Seat, End Tables and Low Table (Like a coffee table)

Ottomans are great to have with any of the sets. They offer a place to rest your legs and they can also function as a small table when you add a tray to the top.

Inexpensive Sets can be found at Large Retail Chains like Walmart, Christmas Tree Shops, Target. I Found my dining set for less than $200.00 at Walmart. It's Metal with Mesh Seating. My last set lasted me 8 years, so I know that it will last. Lowes has great umbrellas for $50.00. Never pay more than $50 for an umbrella. They fade too quickly to pay a fortune. Pillows and Cushions can be pricey. So shop around. Online deals are the way to go for chair cushions and you get more options. My Bistro Set was $150 at Kmart 8 years ago, this year was the first time I had to replace my cushions. It was a great deal. Ottomans can also be pricey, if you can find them included in a set, Great, if not shop online for the best deals.

Cozy

Pick a color theme and cozy up your furniture with cushions, throw pillows and an umbrella. Even if you don't have a dining set. An umbrella can center your space and offer some shade.

Throw Pillows can dress up any out door furniture, no matter how old. Pick Vibrant Colors and stick with a color theme.

Sparkle

A string of lights (Even white Christmas Lights will do the trick), Some flickering candles (Battery Operated Candles can be found at party stores and retail chains) Hurricane Lamps (Pier One, Christmas Tree Shops), Tiki Torches, A Fire Pit (a must have)

Tidbit - Look for natures sparkle, Fire flies, at the end of June through July. But make sure not to miss them, because they are gone in August.

Oasis

Make your space feel like an oasis by adding some flowing plants and flower pots. Tropical plants are inexpensive and can be used to corner off your outdoor space, which makes it feel more like a cozy room. When choosing flowers, stick with your color pattern and use colors that compliment the color scheme you have chosen.

All you really need are two comfy chairs, a table, and somewhere to rest your feet. Add a little candle light or some string lights for ambiance. A few flowing flower pots and a fire pit for your entertainment. The sound of your favorite music in the background or some crickets singing will finish off the retreat. Keep it simple or make it big, either way stretch out your legs and enjoy your summer days and nights in your Summer Room!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer Safety by Numbers


As the summer wind comes upon us we start to plan our vacations and fill up our weekends with all kinds of activities. But, along with these activities comes stress. The stress to be prepared, organized and the stress of keeping our family safe. I have come up with a way to ease some of the stress and I call it Summer Safety by Numbers.

Going to carnivals, amusement parks, museums and zoos can be fun but it can also be stressful. In one second your little one can be off and blended into the crowd and your in panic mode. Or you can turn around and your husband is no where to be found. An easy way to avoid this stressful time is to be able to spot your loved one more easily in these situations by making them stand out.

Family Tidbit - Make your family stand out by dressing them all up in the same color t-shirt and numbering each one.

What you will Need

Bright Colored T-Shirts for each member of your family found at any craft store
Iron On Numbers found at any craft store
Fabric Paint or Iron On Letters found at any craft store
Iron
Scissors
Pencil or Fabric Pencil


Choose a Bright Colored T-shirt like Yellow, Orange, or any Neon Color so that your families shirt will stand out in the crowd. Bye one for each member of your family, including any other members who frequently join your group, such as grandparents. Find Large Iron On Numbers and Number each member by ironing on their number on the back of the t-shirt. You can also put your families last name above the number like seen on sport jerseys. You can do this with either Fabric Paint or Iron On Letters. If you choose to use fabric paint, make sure to pencil your letters first so that you can trace them with the paint, to avoid any mistakes.

Extra Tidbit - Personalize each shirt with Iron On Patches. I did this by ironing on the first letter of each members name on their sleeve. The kids loved picking out their letter and color. They have all kinds of patches to choose from. You can also look for patches at gift shops from the places you visit and add them to your shirts. This would make each trip more memorable for your child. They will love to show off their memory shirt.

This works especially well for large families. You can easily spot your child and they can easily spot you. I found that this worked very well with my family and it did ease some of the stress that comes along with large crowds. I hope that you try out this method and enjoy a Summer Safety by Numbers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bed and Bath

I have to admit, I have been outside working in the yard and I have left you all hanging in my Spring Cleaning Series. I haven't been Tidbiting at all. I am just loving this early spring that we are having. I hope that you are all enjoying it too. Well since it is going to be a rainy weekend, I figured that I would wrap the series up with the Bed and Bath areas.


Tidbit - Think Beyond your normal cleaning routine and get ready to freshen things up with a little organization.

Bedrooms

The bedroom is the first thing you see to start off your day and the last thing you see before you go to lala land. So keeping this in mind you should understand why it is important to keep it neat, cozy and romantic. Look around at your room and see how it functions. Is it a catch all? Are there clothes and shoes everywhere? Is it cozy? Does it say romance?

De-clutter

Open those closets and open the drawers. It's time to put the winter things away and pull out all of your spring and summer items. Label some plastic bins, put a few fabric softeners in the bins and store them away.

Tidbit
- Now is a good time to throw away any stained, riped or holey items. It is also time to get a collection together for the Good Will bins (Found in most Church lots).

Reorganize

Your closets and drawers can always use a little TLC. So while you are resorting your things, reorganize the spaces for them. You can find inexpensive drawer dividers and closet organizers at any large retail chain. They can also be found at Christmas Tree Shops for dirt cheap.

Organizing Tidbit - To keep yourself sane and prepared during the week, find a hanging cubby for your closet. They hang in your closet and can have four or five cubbies. You can pick outfits for the week and sort them in each cubby. They can include folded pants, shirts, shoes and accessories. That way you can just get up and go.


Clean

Vacuum under your bed. Move out any end tables and vacuum under and behind them. Dust loves to live behind things. So get it all out. Wash windows and curtains that can be put in your washer. If they are fancy then mist them with warm water and vacuum them. Clear off tables and dressers and clean and polish where needed. Now is a good time to change out any old picture frames.

Decorating Tidbit - Spice things up in the bedroom by adding some candlelight. Inexpensive wall sconces can be found in any stores decorating section. Also, change up your comforter set for a quick cozy change. It is crazy to spend a ton of money in this area, because it is an item that can transform your room in minutes when you need a little change.

Kids Room


Lets take a look at the kids room. Aside from the cleaning previously mentioned. Get rid of the space fillers. Such as the stuffed things and any mismatched random pieces. Use space under the beds for books, toys, clothes and shoes. Roll out bins, baskets, even laundry baskets are a good way to utilize this space and keep it tidy.

Tidbit - Give each child their own cork or magnet board in their room. They can use it to hang up school work and artwork. They love having a creative space to call their own. Make sure that it can be moved easily, so they can work on it freely.

Bathroom


Well the only thing that comes to mind is put on some rubber gloves and Scrub a Dub, Dub.

Scrub the bath tub, the tiles, the sink, the toilet, behind the toilet, the floor.

Clean out and reorganize your cabinets and drawers. It is always nice to keep these secret spaces neat, because you never know what visitors will check them out, for no apparent reason. Throw out any out dated medicine or products and replenish them. Clean your brushes and combs or just get some new ones. Go through your make-up and throw out any old germy stuff and treat yourself to some new spring colors. Make sure that the company bathroom always has extra toilet paper that can be found easily and some refreshing spray for those embarrassing moments. Keep your bathroom clean and simple.

Well that concludes the Spring Cleaning Series. I know that I have gone a little Martha Stewart on you, but like I have said before, it's spring cleaning not everyday cleaning. Overall, I hope at least one Tidbit motivates you. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Living and Dining

Well now that your Kitchen is Sparkling Clean, I am going to continue on with my Spring Cleaning Series. The next areas of your home that we are going to tackle are the Living Room and Dining Room. If you don't have a dining room, then you are in luck with one less room to clean. But I am sure that everyone has a living space where a lot of living occurs. So let's move on to some Tidbits on how to get these rooms in Tip-Top shape.

Tidbit
- Think High and Think Low because that's where all the Dust will go!


Living Room and Dining Room


Shiny Windows

Remove all curtains and wash them. Make sure to read any labels before putting them in your washing machine. Some may require hand washing. The gentle cycle with cold water is usually the safest bet for most fabrics. Some fabrics you can just shake out in your yard and they will be fine. If you have a tailored solid treatment above your window, then just dust it with a duster through out the year to control any dust build-up from forming.

Dust any plastic or wooden window shades with a damp cloth. Some shades may require a quick tub washing if too much dust has been collected. Any other materials may just need a dusting with a duster.

Wash your windows inside and out. If you don't have the fold out windows that can easily be washed, then send hubby outside with his ladder that he never gets to use, to clean them. If you live in an apartment or you don't have the means to wash them, then don't sweat it and forget it. The inside will do just fine. Make sure to look for any dirt that may have collected at the bottom of your windows when you open them. Vacuum the area and then clean it with a damp cloth.

Dusting away the Bunny's

The easiest way to dust in high places is to use your broom and sweep along the top edges of your walls. This will remove any dust webs that have collected. You can also sweep along the top of door and window moldings while your at it. Another technique to do this is to attach a damp cloth to the end of your broom stick and go over the same areas. Look at your walls and look for any dust, especially above any forced hot air units.

Wall Hangings,take them down off the wall and dust them with a damp cloth. Wash any glass with a glass cleaner.

Light Fixtures, dust and clean them. The ceiling fixtures should be wiped down. Any lamp shades can be vacuumed and the bases wiped.

Decorating Tidbit - Lamp Shades are an inexpensive way to freshen up the mood of a room. Look around and see if there are any that you would like to change.

Furniture should be pulled out and dusted/swept/vacuumed under. While the furniture is moved out, the floor moldings can be wiped down. If you have hard wood floors, they should be washed also.

Decorating Tidbit - While your furniture is all moved out, try that new furniture arrangement that you have been meaning to try. Change it up for Spring

Decorative Floor Rugs should be rolled up and swept/washed under.

Living Room

Furniture

Vacuum under all couch and chair cushions. Keep a Fabric Softener Sheet under the cushions for a continuous fresh scent. Change the sheets each time you remember to vacuum the cushions.

Wood furniture should be dusted and polished to keep it long lasting.

Remove all pictures and decorative pieces from your furniture tops and dust them. Wipe down your furniture with a soft cloth. Don't forget to dust any shelves and books.

Decorating Tidbit - When your cleaning your decorative pieces and wall hangings, put them all together on a table and look at them. See if you can move them around to different places or even different rooms. This is a smart way to redecorate without spending a cent.

Dining Room

Dining Table and Chairs should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Look for any dust or food build-up along the tables edge and on chair arm and legs. If your set is good wood quality, it should be polished.

Hutch should be emptied and cleaned. Dust any shelves and polish. Clean any glass.

Pull out any drawers and run a bar of soap along the drawer runner. This will keep the drawer running smoothly in and out.

Any other furniture in your rooms not mentioned will obviously have to be cleaned also :)

All homes are different. Some of you may do some of these things more often while others may have never done some of these things. They are only some Tidbit's on where to start if you are planning to Spring Clean. Our homes are the cornerstone to our lives, it will do you well to Freshen It up every once and a while. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kitchen Ready

It is that time of year when you here the term "Spring Cleaning" being tossed around. I am not sure how many people actually follow this seasonal tradition, but I think that it is a wise thing to do. It goes along great with the Renewed Feeling that comes along with spring and gets you off to a Fresh Start. So I have decided to do a Spring Cleaning Tidbit Series. I am going to go through all of the typical rooms in your home and give you some Tidbits on where to begin your cleaning quest. I am going to start with the Heart of the Home, the Kitchen.


Everyone seems to gather in the kitchen, and because of this, it is one of the rooms that we should pay close attention to when Spring Cleaning. It has so many components to it and has become such a multi-functional room in every ones home. So here are some Tidbits on how to begin this seasonal tradition and get your Kitchen Ready!

Cleaning Tidbit - Be Wise, Organize and Sanitize.

Counter top
- Clear all of your counters of appliances and such, and clean them using a sanitizing solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water. Put the non hazardous solution in an clear spray bottle (found at any hardware or dollar store) label and keep on hand for cleaning sinks, tiles and soap scum.

Cabinets
- Clean cabinets with a cleaning solution of 1 tsp of a mild dish soap combined with 1 quart of water. If you have wood cabinets, finish off with rubbing some olive oil on the wood to bring back the luster.

Cabinet Tops - Cabinet tops get very dusty. Be careful, get up on a chair and check out the dust factor on top of the cabinets. The best way to clean this area is with a hand held vacuum. If you don't have one, then just dust it the old fashioned way with a damp cloth.

Inside the Cabinets - Replenish your Spice Cabinet (Buy and Save at Christmas Tree Shop, CVS, Walmart Super Store or The Dollar Store) Take out your goods, wipe down the shelves, toss old stuff and reorganize when you are placing them back.

Drawers - Clean and Organize your Utensil drawers, Bread Drawer and Junk Drawer.

Use a Utensil Divider in your Junk Drawer to keep things organized.

If you have a large drawer in your kitchen, near your stove, use it for your cooking utensils. Place a small piece of rug pad (found at any Large Chain Store) in the drawer and line up your cooking tools. The rug pad will hold them in place and keep them organized so you don't have to go fishing for them every time you need them.

Floor - If you have Ceramic Tile, Clean your Grout!

Table and Chairs
- Wipe down chair legs and arms with a warm damp cloth. Look under the rim of your table for any food scum and clean it. If you have a wooden set, then replenish your set with some Wood Cream or Oil.

Clean Your Appliances

Refrigerator - While you have your chair out, check out the top of your fridge. If your fridge is not under a cabinet, then chances are it needs to be dusted. Clear off the stuff and clean it with a damp cloth.

Also, the inside of fridge should be cleared and cleaned. Remove all items and check the expiration on your dressings and condiments. Toss any that are out dated. Clean using the White Vinegar Spray. Take out any drawers and wash with warm water and soap.

Take a look at your Freezer Items also and toss any freezer burned items. Clean with a Hot damp cloth.

If you can move your fridge, clean under it and vacuum the coils behind it.

Be sure to add your dated Baking Soda to keep your fridge smelling Fresh and Clean.


Toaster - Open the bottom latch and empty out any crumbs over the sink. Take a small paint brush and brush of any crumbs from the inside. Take a damp cloth and clean the outside of the toaster.

Coffee Maker - Add 1 Cup White Vinegar to the water reservoir and then fill with water. Run your coffee maker, shut it off and let it cool, then Repeat. Finish off the process by running a carafe of clean water through.

Microwave - Clean the inside with Warm Lemon Water. Just squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of warm water and damp a cloth with it. Vacuum the back of the microwave and any vented areas. Unplug and wipe sides with a damp cloth.

Food Disposal - Throw that Lemon into the disposal to clean and sharpen blades.

Oven - Clean your oven, using the automatic cleaner, before it gets too Hot! Use Baking Soda paste (1 Tbsp Baking Soda and 2 Tbsp Water) to clean the oven's inside window, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Take a slim duster and clean under the oven. (When it's off of course)

Creative Tidbit - Turn the inside of your cabinets into Note Stations. Paint the inside of selected cabinets with two coats of Magnetic Paint and then paint one coat of Chalk Board Paint. Use this new secret station to hang and jot down notes to self.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it's only once a year, Right? Take a week and do it in stages. It will make you feel good, I Promise :) Let's Go Ladies (and Gents) get those Rubber Gloves on, Be Wise, Organize, Sanitize and get your Kitchen Ready!