Homemade Cleaners and Veggie Wash Recipe

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have switched from using conventional cleaners to using homemade cleaners. Homemade cleaners cost far less than their conventional counterparts, they are also much healthier to have in your home because they are non-toxic. No more toxic chemicals for me! Both the tea tree oil and the grapefruit seed extract are anti bacterial. The grapefruit seed extract will actually kill salmonela. So just because you are switching to homemade will not mean that you arent killing germs!
The Dr. Bronners Soap, Essential Oils, and Grapefruit seed extract can be found at any health food store. They can also be found on vitacost.com this is a great website to find these items because they are much cheaper on the website and the shipping is not very much!

All-Purpose Cleaner
White Vinegar
Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap (any scent)
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Another Essentail Oil (your favorite scent)

Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of water and vinegar. Then add a few squirts of the Dr. Bronners Soap. Then add 15-20 drops of the tea tree essential oil. Finally add 10-15 drops of whatever additional essential oil that you would like to use. Shake to combine.

I use this spray for everything! This spray is not safe for granite countertops because of the vinegar. If you have granite countertops you can substitute denatured alchohol for the vinegar.

Soft Scrub
Baking Soda
Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap

Combine baking soda and soap to form a frosting like consistency. Use as you would any other scrub cleaners. This scrub works great on tubs, toilets, and sinks! Throw in a few drops of tea tree oil if your shower or tub has gotten mildew.

Fruit and Veggie Wash Spray
Baking Soda
Grapefruit Seed Extract

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Add 10-15 drops grapefruit seed extract. Pour mixture into a spray bottle. Spray mixture on to fruit. Let sit 5-10 minutes then rinse with water.

It never fails...

...that if you sit on the floor, he will sit on your lap :)

Cake Cookies Recipe

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My favorite quick and easy dessert recipe is cake cookies, everyone loves them and they only have 3 ingredients.

All you need is a stick of butter, an egg, and a box of cake mix. Any flavor of cake mix works well but white cake mix is Brians favorite.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt stick of butter in microwave.
Add cake mix to melted butter then add in egg. mix well. ( I use my hands :)

Roll batter into small balls and place on a lined baking sheet. You can line sheet with a silpat (silicone baking mat) or aluminum foil or parchment paper whichever you have on hand.

Bake cookies for 8 minutes. They will not look done but trust me take them out while they look undone or you will get rocks. :) I tried to catch the undoneness look, but im not sure that I captured it very well :)

Enjoy your new favorite go-to dessert!

Just in case you were wondering, in background of the top picture is a branch of cherry blossoms that I made out of crepe paper accompanied by a sweet little birdie that I glazed at The Accidental Artist! More to come on crepe paper flowers!

Greed and the American Part 1

The message that we heard this morning by our pastor, Scott Coghill, was taken from 1 Timothy 6:6-12 and was about greed.

1 Timothy 6:6-12
6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. Fight the Good Fight of Faith11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith.Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

It is so easy to fall into the sin of greed. Eve (Gen 3), Achan (Joshua 6-7), King David (2 Samuel 11), King Solomon (1 Kings 11), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), and many other people in the Bible fell into greed. We need to work extra hard to protect ourselves from that SIN. We use the phrase "Living the American Dream" to excuse our lust for money. This morning we learned 2 ways to overcome greed in our lives. Next Sunday morning we will learn 3 more ways to overcome greed in our lives.

The first way to overcome greed in our lives is to recognize that we came into this world with nothing and we will leave this world the same way. A good example of someone who really understood this principle is Job. After losing his children and possesions this was Jobs response:

Job 1:20-22
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

The second way to overcome greed is that we must learn to be thankful and content with what God has given to us. As Americans we are such a blessed people, we live in a country that gives us so much freedom. However, place is not our home and we must realize that. Our happiness cannot be tied to our job, or our house, or even our family.

Proverbs 14:30
30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Greed and Envy are sins and we need to focus our eyes on what God has given us, because really he haas blessed us much more than we deserve. What we really do deserve is hell and eternal damnation.

Happy Birthday Terri!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today is my wonderful Mother-in-Law's Birthday! Happy Birthday Terri! I Love you!

Caramel Oat Bar Recipe

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I took these bars to Maryns house this morning and they were a hit, I brought some home and even Brian liked them! I will definitly be making these again. Next time I might try substituting some whole wheat flour in just to make it a little healthier :).

Caramel Oat Bars


40 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
8 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups minute rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth (This takes a while).
2. Line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
5. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
6. Pour the caramel mixture over the top
7. Add the remaining flour mixture. Press down mixture with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten down top layer
8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted.
9. Let bars cool before cutting.

This recipe was adapted from the Caramel Bars Recipe on Allrecipes.com

We got haircuts!

Here is a picture of my new hair cut...

And here is Sadie with her haircut, hopefully this will be the last time that we have to shave her until next spring. She looks like a completely different dog and is definitly a ton cuter when she has hair!

Update on Tyson's Head!

The Vet called today to tell us that Tyson's mass on his head was not cancerous! Yay! Here are some pictures of how his head is healing. It looks a lot better than it did a few weeks ago!

Homemade Croutons

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I love making homemade croutons. They taste so much better than the store bought kind, they are cheaper, and they are really easy to make. I dont really measure anything but just throw dashes of everything together.

Homemade Croutons

1 Loaf Italian Bread
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Seasoning Salt
Parmesan Cheese (grated)

First cut bread into desired size cubes. Then drizzle the cubes with a little olive oil. Then add all of the seasonings. Then sprinkle on parmesan cheese (I add quite a bit). Spray baking sheet with cooking spray then spread cubes across the sheet in a single layer. Bake @ 170 degrees for about 2 hours stirring croutons occasionally. Turn oven off after 2 hours and leave croutons in oven for another half hour. Then make a nice big salad and enjoy your croutons. I store my leftover croutons in tupperware in the fridge.

Great Deals Today @ the Commisary!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Commisary has a little scratch and dent section that is almost hidden if you dont know where it is. It is usually pretty low on stuff but today there was tons of stuff! Some of which I already had in my cart! So I put the "nice boxes" back and put the "dented boxes" in my cart :) and saved lots of money! Yay for good deals!

I Love This Idea!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This beautiful table centerpiece idea came from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine. I love this idea it looks so elegant yet could probably be pulled off for less than $10 dollars. The thrift stores always have tons of unique glassware that would work amazing for this. This idea makes me want to have a dinner party!

Gods Protection

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I only got one picture yesterday, here we are about to go for a walk on the beach, it was dark outside so we couldn't get any pictures actually on the beach but the warm air mixed with the crashing waves was wonderful and romantic.

As you know, yesterday was our two year anniversary. We left the house to go out to dinner around 4:00pm. When we got home at around 9:30pm, we drove up to our house and our dogs were in our front lawn. As we pulled into the driveway we could see that our front door was left open. Worry quickly came over me as I wondered if anything had been stolen or if there was someone in our home. Thankfully nothing was stolen, there was no one in our house, the dogs stayed in our front yard, and no one called the dog catcher. God completely protected us from what could have been a rough time in our life. Gods love and mercy to us is so overwhelming. We deserve none of the blessings He keeps giving us.

Can you believe its our 2nd Anniversary?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wow! Two years ago today Brian and I were married. In some ways I can't believe it has been two years and in other ways I can't believe it has only been two years. It has been an amazing two years, God has blessed us so much! Here are a few pictures from our amazing wedding day!

Thanks for marrying me Brian! I love you!

Gas is how much????

Friday, September 12, 2008

Image courtesy of philadelphia-reflections.com

So yesterday gas prices here were about $3.69 per gallon. Today the average price for gas is about $4.39. Below is an excerpt from the news about what our governor had to say about the issue. We have heard that it could be as high as $8.00 tomorrow. Yikes...

Governor Mike Easley declared a state of “abnormal market disruption” under North Carolina law, which charges the Attorney General with enforcing the price gouging statute.

Easley issued the following statement concerning the situation:

“As a result of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, oil refineries in Texas and Louisiana have temporarily interrupted some gasoline supplies to the pipelines that serve North Carolina. Therefore, there may be temporary limitations on our gas supply. However, wholesale gas prices are up less than 20 cents a gallon over the last few days. Therefore, consumers should not see prices rise substantially more than this rise in the wholesale price.

“Today I have declared a state of abnormal market disruption under North Carolina law and charged the Attorney General with enforcing the price gouging statute. This statute prohibits the charging of prices that are unreasonably excessive under the circumstances.

“We know that there will be some supply disruption, but we do not yet know the extent. Past events of this kind have lasted only a short time. I urge motorists to reasonably conserve gasoline until the situation is clearer. ”

Money Saving Cleaning Tip

If you use fabric softener sheets, reuse them at least one more time in the dryer. After you have used the dryer sheet more than one time it makes a great dusting cloth! It will pick up tons of stuff so save money by not buying swiffer sheets in addition to buying dryer sheets!

Where were you Sept. 11th 2001?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I was in ninth grade, and I was just about to head to school when we saw the news. We still went to school, being on the west coast, we did not yet understand the magnitude of what was happening. I think it is crazy that, that happened seven years ago. It feels like it happened just the other day.

In my devotional Bible a while back there was an except written by Lisa Beamer. You may remember her husband Todd was one of the men who gave his life aboard flight 93 so that others lives might be spared.

This is the except, originally taken from "Let's Roll!" by Lisa Beamer

"It's true that Todd and the other heroes aboard Flight 93 gave their lives that others might be saved. But if somehow they had known what was awaiting them, and they had been given the choice early that September morning, I doubt that any of them would have boarded that flight. Even in the midst of the hijacking, right down to the moment when Todd uttered his now-famous phrase, 'Let's roll!' the true desire of his heart and that of Jeremy Glick, Tom Burnett, Mark Bingham, and all the others aboard Flight 93 was to somehow get home to their loved ones. They didnt want to die.
Yet there was one who came to earth, knowing ahead of time that His most important purpose in living would be accomplished only through His dying. He knew throughout His life and at the height of His career that no matter how well He preformed, no matter how many people He helped, He was destined to die- to give His life so that others might find true life, abundant life here on earth, and eternal life in Heaven to come."

Politics...Voddie Baucham on CNN

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why did I just find out about this?

I was just reading Voddie's Blog and I came across a previous post of him talking about a trip he took with his son to the Creation Museum.

The Creation Museum is a "state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings."

Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis is the President and CEO and one of the builders/designers was a set designer for Universal Studios so you know it is going to be good! Here are the mission statements according to their website:

Here's the museum's awesome mission statement according to their website:

1. Exalt Jesus Christ as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer through a safe,
wholesome, family-friendly center for learning and discovery that clearly
presents major biblical themes from Genesis to Revelation.

2. This center will equip Christians to better evangelize the lost with a sense of urgency, through a combination of exhibits, research and educational presentations that
uphold the inerrancy of the Bible.

3. This center will also challenge visitors to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to accept the authority of the Bible by providing culturally relevant biblical and scientific answers from a biblical worldview.

I want to go there soooooooo bad! I cant believe I have never heard about this before. It is located in Kentucky, So I am thinking that when Brian and I have to make the move/drive across country we could stop there for a day or two. This would be an excellent place to take children, they have interactive exhibts, fossils, gardens, shops, shows, the list goes on and on. How cool would it be to be in a museum where they teach about the Bible! That is so rare!

The website for it is www.creationmuseum.org

Can we all plan a trp to go together please????

Good Stuff...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I just started reading "The Truth War" by John MacArthur. It is really good so far. I came across this paragraph and it really caught my attention.

"When God gave the second commandment, which forbade idolatry, He added this warning: 'I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me' (Exodus 20:5). Scripture elsewhere makes it clear that the children are never directly punished for the guilt of their fathers' sins (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:19-32), but the natural consequences of those sins do indeed pass from generation to generation. Children learn from their fathers' examples and imitate what they see. One generation's teaching establishes a spiritual legacy that succeeding generations inherit. If today's "fathers" abandon truth, it will take generations to recover."

Wow, that paragraph is really powerful. All the more reason that we need to be hiding the Scriptures in our hearts and declaring them to this lost and dying world!


I am in love with this soap dispenser! It is pricey for a soap dispenser but I love the style!


Recipe Time!

If you love jalapeno poppers then this recipe is for you! I found this one on Allrecipes.com, I love that website. I made the baked version. I popped it under the broiler for a few minutes to make it extra brown and bubbly on top. This dip goes great with crackers, bagel chips, or veggies like cucumber chips and celery sticks.

This picture is right after I took it out of the oven.


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes.

Baked Variation
If you would like to brown the cheese, bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes.

Tropical Storm Hanna...

People around here were freaking out about Tropical Storm Hanna. Seriously I had gone to Walmart the night before the storm was supposed to hit and the canned food aisle looked like the hurricane had already hit right in that very aisle. It ended up being a pretty "calm" storm, just a little bit of rain and a lot of wind. Here is a picture of the branches that fell down in our yard. Thankfully it looks like Hurricane Ike will not be headed our way!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

I came across this website today. It is insane how much all of this stuff costs! That "toy" BMW costs more than we paid for our real BMW! I really think that I could move into one of these play houses, some of them come equipped with running water, electricity, air conditioning, and get this.... CABLE!!!


Red Beard's Revenge Pirate Ship Playhouse

Fantasy Coach

Child's BMW 325i

Victorian Playhouse

I also found this changing table which I really do love!

Aviary Changing Table

Brian's Promotion Ceremony Pictures!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brian got promoted to Sergeant on August 2nd! It was really fun getting to pin him! I hit his chevrons hard!* Our good friend Mike from church also came and pinned Brian, not to be outdone by me hit Brians chevrons harder than I did! The marines all loved us hitting the chevrons! They now think that I am the most motivated wife around!

*for my non military friends, Chevrons are the insignia pins that show what rank you are. When you get promoted the wife and someone else remove the old rank pins and puit on the new rank pins (when you put the chevrons on you do not put the pin backs on) Hitting the chevrons is an old marine corps tradition that has been banned because it is considered hazing. BUT... I am a civilian so I can do what I want! :)

Pictures from Kyle and Joy's Wedding!

Congratulations Kyle and Joy! We are so happy for you and cant wait to hear about all the amazing things that God has for your life together!


Tyson is home and tumor free! He now this big nasty scar with stitches in it.

I took some pictures of Sadie. She really is cute in person, but she is not photogenic!

In other news... I got a raise today! Which is definitly appreciated with gas prices the way they are and with my 30 mile commute! It is overwhelming how much God has blessed us and is continuing to bless us!

Meet Tyson

We got him in February making him the newest addition to our family. He is a sweet 3 year old boxer. Last week I took Tyson to the Vet because he has had a lump on his head for a few months. The Vet told me that Boxers are prone to skin cancer as well as other skin allergies and problems. Also at the vet I learned that Tyson has an ear infection and he is allergic to his food, poor guy. So as I type Tyson is having surgery to remove the tumor from his head. Here is what the tumor looked like this morning right before we went to the vet.

Welcome to the Blog!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I am constantly reading tons of blogs everyday, so I figured hey I bet I could write a blog too! Especially since I want to keep all of our friends from back home and all of our friends from around the world updated on how we are doing here in North Carolina! Sorry in advance for any poor grammer and any southern words that may have slipped into my vocabulary! Enjoy my Blog!