Friday, April 18, 2014

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe

Do y'all remember years ago when Oprah put Serendipity's Frozen Hot Chocolate on her "Favorite Things" list? I think their sales skyrocketed that week. :) My mom ordered some for me and we could not wait to rip open those packets, mix it up, and taste it. It was so good! My hubby decided he needed to come up with his own version of frozen hot chocolate (probably to keep me from placing order after order from Serendipity) Ha!

Here's what our version looks like...

It's so good on a hot summer day!

Here's the recipe we came up with.

One cup milk (we use skim)
One cup sugar
1/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
One cup dry instant milk
A dash of salt
Four cups ice

Blend in blender and add more ice or milk to achieve desired consistency. That's it! This makes four large servings. Sometimes we add an extract like almond or orange to individual glasses if we want to add another flavor to the chocolate. I'm personally a fan of "chocolate almond." :) I usually add about 2 teaspoons of almond extract to my glass of frozen hot chocolate. 

Speaking of drinks, while I was on the elliptical the other day, I could not stop thinking about how good frozen raspberries would be in a glass of water. So, as soon as I hopped off, I did just that.

It gave the water a nice flavor and was so refreshing! I'm trying to drink more water and something else that's helped is to add a splash of juice to my glass of water. I fill a glass just like the one above with water, then add about 1/3 cup of cranberry raspberry juice. It gives it just enough flavor to where you don't feel like you're drinking plain old water. :)

Well, that's it for now. Y'all should try that frozen hot chocolate recipe. But I'll warn's addicting. :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Household Tips

Hi everyone! How's the weather where you live? Has Spring arrived yet? I love this time of year when it's not too hot yet. 

I'm back today sharing a few household tips that I've found useful. I love reading lists of household tips. I always find new things to try and hopefully you will too. :)

First up, we have this guest bathroom that never gets used. The tub will literally go months and months without ever being used. After a while, I'll start to notice a smell in there. All I have to do is run the faucet for a minute and the smell goes away. Be sure to run both the hot AND cold water too.

A friend of mine had the same problem in her bathroom and she called a plumber. The plumber said sometimes if the tub never gets used, it can have a gas build up in the pipes and you just have to let the water run once a week for just a minute to keep that from happening. Thankfully, the plumber didn't charge her for that visit. :) I now let the water run (hot and cold) for a minute every week when I clean that bathroom.

Vinegar is good for so many things, isn't it? I was so happy when our garbage pick up started a recycling program years ago. We have a bin in the garage for recycling. Thankfully we don't have to separate things. We just put cardboard, plastic, glass, etc. in the same bin. We rinse out all the bottles and jars before placing them in the recycle bin, but sometimes you can't get all the stuff out. A few years ago, we rinsed an olive oil bottle and tossed it in the recycle bin. The next day, I was taking the bin out to the curb and the olive oil bottle rolled out of the bin. When I picked it up to put it back, I freaked out when I saw a roach INSIDE the bottle!

Eeeewwww! I guess he could detect the smell of olive oil and was attracted to it. That's when I started putting a squirt of vinegar mixed with water in every jar and bottle that goes into recycling.

uses of vinegar

The vinegar smell will deter roaches, ants, etc. from coming near the bin. I mix up a bottle with 50% vinegar and 50% water and keep it under the kitchen sink. After we rinse a bottle for recycling, I simply give it a couple of squirts of the vinegar mixture before dropping it in the recycle bin. Works like a charm and I haven't had any more critters invading the recycle bin. :)

With allergy season upon us, I wanted to include this tip about eating local honey. I've heard that eating LOCALLY produced honey can help with allergies. Here's the thing has to be honey from your local area, or at least from your own state. A friend of mine swears by this. She eats about a tablespoon of local honey almost every day during allergy season and it really helps. Honey is also really good for you, but don't give it to a child age one or younger.  

Below is what we have in our pantry right now. It's from Chicota, Tx. I'm not sure where Chicota is, but at least it's in Texas. :) We've also purchased local honey from Ace Hardware and there's a coffee shop that sells local honey as well. If you look around, it's probably not too hard to find. 

local honey for allergies

My hubby seems to have a few allergies in the Spring time, so we try to stick to local honey year round. 

Here's a little laundry tip I came up with. We have two baskets in our closet. One white and one dark blue. At the end of the day, we toss our light colored clothes into the white basket and the dark colored clothes into the dark blue basket. That way, when it's time to do a load of laundry, I don't have to sort the clothes. The lights are already in the "light" basket and the darks are in the "dark" basket. 

laundry system

I can't use this system for my boys though. Even though they're teenagers, I STILL have to check their pockets before I wash things. I've found everything from retainers to rocks to pens and pencils to candy, gum, you name it in their pockets. :) Since I'd have to sort through all their pockets anyway, this system wouldn't work that well in their rooms. But, my hubby is (usually) pretty good about emptying his pockets before placing items in the dirty clothes basket, so this works for our clothes. It's nice to just pick up a basket and toss everything in the washer and not have to sort everything into different color piles. :)

One more tip...if you don't dry a lot of your clothes (like me) then you could have a third basket that's labeled "do not dry" and just toss everything that you hang up to dry in there. Then you could just wash it all together and know that none of it goes in the dryer. I know I spend a lot of time setting aside things that don't get dried when transferring things from the washer to the dryer. I literally have to pick up each individual piece of clothing from the washer to the dryer to see if it's something I hang up to dry.

What are your favorite household tips? Please share in the comments. I'd love to hear them! :)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Morning Routines, Fake Blood, and Fortune Cookies

Okay, I'm totally laughing at that title! This post is just a mishmash of things that have been going on around here.

Do you have a morning routine? I tend to do the same thing every morning. When my alarm goes off, I get my youngest son up and make sure he's eating breakfast, then I get myself ready, check emails, Instagram, etc. Then I take my son to school.

When I get home, I feed and water the cat, open all the blinds and look at my list of things to do for the day. But before I get started on my chores, errands, etc. I take a few moments to relax with my tea and tea biscuits. :) 

Those tea biscuits are so good dunked in my tea!

I put this on Instagram the other day (you can find me @texasdecor) I'm beginning to wonder why I thought it was such a good idea to purchase all those tubes of fake blood when it was on clearance after Halloween. ;) I knew my son would have a ball with it, and he has...scaring the pants off his mother!! Lol! 

fake blood

Doesn't that look real? The kits also came with stage makeup to make fake bruises with. Ugh. 

So, we tried to make homemade fortune cookies the other day. didn't turn out so well. At least they tasted good. :)

Do y'all add extra seasonings to store bought spaghetti sauce? I was amazed at how many things I add to it to "jazz it up" a little. Below are all the extras I add.

I guess we like things spicy around here. :)

I just had to include this pic of Holly I shared on IG yesterday. Doesn't it look like she's belting out a tune? Ha!

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'll be back later in the week with a "household tips" post I've been working on. I love reading those kinds of posts, and hopefully you do too. :) 

I wish everyone a wonderful week!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter and Spring Decor 2014

Easter seemed so late this year, so I kept putting off getting out my decor. Then all of a sudden, I realized I better get it out if I wanted to have time to do a post about it. :)

So, here are tons of pics...

Last year, I used the bunny on the welcome sign for Easter, so this year I used the spring flowers.

This is on the front door.

This is the table in the foyer. 

I wasn't sure what to do with this hydrangea basket, so I just kind of stuck some eggs in there and put the little green bunny in the middle. 

Love this little moss covered bunny. I got him on clearance at Michael's a couple of years ago for next to nothing. :)

spring topiary

Here's a view of the whole living room. 

I got several of these wooden bunnies at HEB a few years ago and spray painted them heirloom white. 

Here's the Easter mantel. I kept messing with it while taking pics, so you might notice things are moving around quite a bit. Lol!

spring mantel

This little bunny with the carrots is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I picked him up at Tuesday Morning for $1.49!

Now we're in the kitchen. This buffet was fun to decorate. :) Those are fabric eggs in that wire basket on top.

spring chalkboard

Here's a close up of the fabric eggs. My grandmother gave them to me years ago.

Mr. Cable Knit Sweater Bunny is one of my favorites too. :)

This guy enjoys relaxing by the sink. 

That's a faux chocolate Easter bunny on the left. I have a ton of them, but never know what to do with them. Those are some roses from my backyard. Love that miniature vase. :)

I need to add something else to the dough bowl. Maybe more eggs?

This cute bunny is on my Newly Painted Pantry Door I put little felt stickers on the back of the bunny so he wouldn't scratch the door when it's opened a thousand times a day. :)

And that's all my Easter decor! Thanks for stopping by!


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