Jan 7, 2014

Good Stuff

I am amazed at the originality and creativity I put into my titles...aren't you?  I out-due myself sometimes. We have recovered from Christmas and are looking forward to a low key, relaxing January.

For the past month or so I've come across several items/recipes/projects that I am in LOVE with.  Since I don't work and rarely have time to talk to my friends on the phone....I just figured that I would share them on the blog and maybe someone will find one (or all of them) useful!

#1  I'll be honest.  I ONLY bought these because they were B1G1 at Publix a few weeks ago, and I had a coupon.  Since we are the throes of cold and flu season you can never have too may anti-bacterial products. So I ended up with these because the shelves were almost wiped clean by the time I got around to shopping that week, and this was the only variety left.

The great thing about them is one side of the wipe is rough and can be used as a scrubber.  While the other side is soft and perfect for wiping.  These reside under my kitchen sink, and I use them mainly for cleaning the kitchen counter and stove, but since Graham is obsessed with coloring they also wipe up stray crayon marks very well.

#2  I've never really spent a whole lot of time on my skin care regimen, well that is until after I had Graham and exhaustion set in and those pesky hormones somehow changed my skin from extra oily to combination.  How does that happen?  It probably also has something to do with the fact that I'm not 21 anymore.  Regardless it became overly apparent to me about a year ago that I needed to step up my skin care efforts.  I've tried a number of products, but this is one of my favorites so far.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream.  I apply it every night all over my face and neck.  It is very thick which at first I didn't think I would like, but it is the good kind of thick.  When I apply it I can instantly feel my skin soaking it up.  I've been using it for a little over two weeks, and I am not lying when I say my skin hasn't felt this good in...I can't even remember when it felt this good.  It is hydrated (despite our frigid temperature lately), but not oily, and I even feel like it is beginning to even out some of my splotchyness.  It does smell like cucumbers so if you aren't a fan of that scent you may not like it, but I'm in love with it and so thankful that my tired, combination skin is getting the help it needed.

#3  My mother-in-law is full of useful advice, but over Christmas she showed me something that rocked my world...well that may be a stretch.  Did you know that at the end of the aluminum foil boxes there are perforations for you to punch in so that the roll stays in place and doesn't pull out of the box when you are trying to tear some off?  WHO KNEW?  I certainly didn't.  Such a good and useful thing to know.

#4  Lately I've been making a more concerted effort to add some new recipes to our normal rotation, and recently I come across two that are great and worth sharing:

Pioneer Woman - Salisbury Steak

I know it doesn't sound appealing, but it is DELICIOUS!   I have made it a few times, and Nick tells me that it is possibly his new favorite...and it's one of my top choices as well.  Try it!

Best Ham Sandwich Ever

My mom introduced me to these over Christmas, and they are just awesome.  It seems weird when you are making them, but the results are beyond delicious.

#5  You may remember that last year at this time one of my resolutions was 30 Bags in 30 Days.  As I reported later in the year I didn't quite get it done in 30 days, but I did complete my list eventually.  I loved this so much I decided to do it again this year.  I worked on my list of spaces that needed to be cleaned out and at the top was the pantry.  It was a complete mess and gave me anxiety every time I opened the door.  So on New Years Eve I set out to not only clean it out but give it some much needed organization.  There are tons of different ways and methods of going about this, but I tried to pull tips and techniques from several different places to come up with a plan that worked for our needs and our space.  Here is the before and after.

I found these baskets at Wal-Mart for $2.50/ea.  They are a great size and the handles make them very accessible.

I also found these at Wal-Mart.  They were between $4.50-$7.00 each depending on the size.  They are dishwasher safe and airtight which are both pluses in my book.  I've been eyeing the OXO band containers at Target that are very similar to these, but they are around $15 each and since I ended up buying about 12....those weren't quite in the budget.  I am beyond pleased with the ones from Wal-Mart!

I purchased two of these cereal containers from Publix, and I noticed that they are 50% off this week!  I may have to pick up one more!

The baskets are from Michaels.  I wasn't sure I was going to like these, so I left the tags on just in case...but after living with it for a week I pretty sure I'm keeping them.  They are a great place for paper products and chips.

By using the new containers I eliminated over 35 boxes!  It does require a little bit more effort when putting up groceries, but I LOVE that I can see how much I have left of something.  I am also hoping that since these are airtight containers that our food will stay fresher longer!  This process took me almost all day, but it was WELL worth the time and effort!

My apologies for the random nature of this list but maybe one of these will become one of your favorites too!


  1. Uh, Julie...you DO work and you work very hard. And Graham and I are very thankful that you do. We love you!

  2. Your mother-in-law is very resourceful, and she was gifted with the knowledge of the foil box perforations by her daughter... BOOM. I've schooled two people who can run circles around me in the kitchen on this culinary convenience! Feels good.
    PS - I am jealous of your pantry!