Simply Yummy Cobbler

How can something so decadent be so crazy simple to make?  Looking closely at cobbler and all its fruity, doughy goodness, it's really hard to believe it doesn't take hours to create.  

But, looks are definitely deceiving in this case.  Before we go any further, I must warn you ... this recipe contains good, old fashioned butter.  I'm from the South, did you really expect anything less?  :)

A little twist on traditional peach cobbler is the addition of pears.  This combination was an accidental discovery - when I discovered I didn't have two cans of peaches in the pantry!   

If you're still with me, these are the ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 can sliced peaches (15 oz.)
  • 1 can sliced pears (15 oz.)
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter (I used salted butter because it's what I had on hand) and pour into a 13" x 9" glass baking dish.

Add 1 can sliced peaches with liquid (do not drain).  I used the version in natural juice.

Add 1 can sliced pears with only 1/2 can of liquid (do not use entire can of liquid).

In a bowl mix flour and sugar.  Add milk and stir until batter is smooth.

Spoon batter over butter and fruit mixture, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top of cobbler is lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes then dig in!  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

If you don't bake much and would like to boost your baking confidence, cobbler is a great recipe to start with.  Hope you give it a try!

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Laundry Room Clothespin Decor

Recently I devoted time to deep clean our laundry room (click HERE to read all about it).  Now with the room shiny and fresh, it was time to add a new touch of bling!  

With no spend decor in mind, I "shopped" our home for items on hand.  When I spotted wooden clothespins, I was reminded of all the clothespin repurposing projects and decor that I've seen online over the years.  

The result ... I combined a gold trimmed black picture frame with white mat (glass removed), and three gold spray painted clothespins mounted with hot glue onto black card stock.  

So sorry that I don't have photos of the "how to" to share but honestly this project went very quickly and is so simple!

First, I removed the glass from the picture frame and added a piece of black card stock, attaching it to the back of the white mat with two rows of double-stick tape on each side.

To spray paint the clothespins, I placed them in a cardboard box, sprayed one side and flipped them until all sides were painted.   

This is the paint I used:


It was wonderful and covered the clothespins completely with just one coat.  

Attached them to the card stock with hot glue and it was complete.


And here it is at home on the laundry room wall:

Have you used clothespins in decor or craft projects?  

I'm enjoying the whimsy and simplicity of this project and, you can never go wrong with spray paint - especially blingy gold!  

Thank you to Brenda at Cozy Little House for featuring this post!~

Organizing Cleaning Supplies

Today I wanted to share a few tips for organizing household cleaning supplies.  I am fortunate to have a closet for cleaning-related supplies and equipment and it's a real luxury to find almost everything I need in one space. 

The closet is just large enough to store our full-size vacuum and floor cleaner, along with stackable drawer units. 

To the left is a wall mounted organizer that holds a broom, feather duster, dust pan, bag of vacuum attachments, flexible static duster, and a manual mop (the kind with reusable, washable cloth mop heads).  Having these items hanging neatly on the wall, rather than leaning in a corner, has been a real time saver.

A key to keeping this closet organized and having items readily accessible is the stacking drawer unit.  There are two of them and each provide two shallow and two deep drawers.  Without them, this area would be a cluttered mess with an "enter at your own risk" sign on the door!

The upper unit contains glass cleaning supplies, general cleaning cloths (including my all-time favorite microfiber cloths found HERE), and floor cleaner/mop pads.  

The bottom unit contains cleaning brushes, leather cleaners, cleaning gloves, and furniture moving casters.

The wood closet rod is a convenient place to store spray bottles - they just hang right on the wood rod - no need to have them taking up space on the shelf or in drawers.  If you don't have a closet rod, a curtain rod can also be used - or even a tension rod inside a cabinet.

Above the rod is a wood shelf where two plastic bins hold floor cleaning solutions/products and vacuum attachments (for a Dyson stick vac wall mounted in our master bedroom closet).

The hardest working item in the closet is that little grey pail that you see sitting on top of the drawer unit.  It's perfect for quick clean ups and I love the size - great for diluting cleaning solution in manageable amounts and easy to grab and carry throughout the house.  I'm very protective of that little pail!  :)

I do keep cleaning products in each bathroom and in the kitchen, but most of our cleaning equipment is kept in this closet for easy retrieval.  Being able to see everything at a glance has helped to eliminate duplicate and unnecessary purchases. 

Maintaining the Cleaning Closet
This space is super easy to clean - I just remove the plastic containers on the top shelf, roll out the drawer unit, and take out the vacuum and floor cleaner.  

A quick vacuuming of baseboards and the floor, followed by wiping the shelf and floor with a hot sudsy cloth, and it's done.  That's the beauty of a small space - quick and easy to maintain!

Do you have a closet, cabinet or shelf that you dedicate for your cleaning supplies and/or cleaning equipment?  Does having all (or most) of them in one area work well for you? 

Sending a heartfelt thank you to Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for graciously featuring this post at her No Spend - Clean - Purge October Linky Party.

Laundry Room Clean Day

Everyone enters our home via our garage which takes them through the laundry room.  I jokingly call it our "entry" because I don't recall our front door/foyer ever being used.  

Our laundry room contains our washing machine, dryer and an extra fridge (where we store drinks).  Though the room is small, storage space is very adequate thanks to two sets of upper wall cabinets that are ceiling height.    One set of cabinets is located above the washer and dryer (for storing laundry products, extra light bulbs, etc.) and the other is above the fridge.

Because the space also serves as an entry, I keep the decor simple.  There is limited wall space, so a few small wall art items are all that's needed.  

If you have gas appliances or are unsure how to safely unplug your electric appliances, please consult your utility company before proceeding.

To begin this cleaning project, I unplugged the washing machine and dryer and moved them away from the back wall - sounds difficult but it was easy, thanks to the tile floor.  

PLEASE NOTE:  These recommendations are purely my own - this is not a sponsored post and I am not being compensated in any way by the makers of these products.  

I then vacuumed and mopped the floor.  Actually, I didn't use a mop - a cleaning cloth and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Basil Multi-Surface Concentrate diluted in a pail of hot water worked great.  

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Basil Multi-Surface Concentrate

I didn't take a "before" photo, but, be thankful - it wasn't pretty!   I usually clean under and behind the washer and dryer several times a year and am always surprised by how much lint and debris collect under them.  

While the appliances were out of the way, I cleaned the baseboards and touched up paint.  I also took the opportunity to give the walls behind and beside the appliances a fresh coat of paint.  The wall paint is Sherwin Williams Macadamia in matte/flat finish.  

Sherwin Williams Macadamia

This time, I tried something new and added scented oil to the paint - Sweet Pea Jasmine scented warming oil.  Not quite sure if the scented oil fragrance is noticeable, but I like the idea of it.  LOL!

Sweet Pea Jasmine Scented Oil

Dryer Cleaning
After the painting was done, it was time to clean the appliances.  I removed the clamps from each end of the dryer vent hose and vacuumed the flexible hose using my vacuum attachment.  

Then, vacuumed all of the openings on the back of the dryer and wiped the back and sides with the damp cloth.  

Next, I removed the lint trap from inside the dryer and cleaned it with hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and set aside to air dry.

While the lint trap was removed, I vacuumed the lint trap opening as far as my vacuum attachment would reach.  Specially designed vacuum attachments are available for dryer cleaning, and I've added one to my shopping list.

Next I wiped the inside of the dryer drum and the external power cord (unplugged!) with a damp cloth.

Washing Machine Cleaning
The washing machine received an exterior cleaning - wiped the outside on all sides, and the exterior hoses and cord (unplugged!) with a damp cloth.  

I already have a habit of wiping the fabric softener dispenser, bleach dispenser and the inside of the lid and rim of the drum with each use, to prevent any build-up.  And, every few months I remove the fabric softener dispenser and clean it and under it - amazing how much fabric softener can build up and under the dispenser.

Did you know that you need to clean your washing machine occasionally?  That sounds odd, but the soaps and softeners can build up inside your washer and can also lead to mold and mildew problems.  

To clean the inside thoroughly, I set my top loading washing machine to run the largest load setting with the hottest water temperature after adding 3 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda.  After letting it agitate for a few minutes to dissolve the baking soda, I stopped the washing machine and let it sit for an hour, then resumed the full cycle.

After moving the washing machine and dryer back in place and cleaning the wall cabinet doors, I called this project DONE!  

It was nice to give this much-used room a well deserved touch-up!  Where are your washing machine and dryer located - inside your home, in the basement or in your garage?  Do you have a laundry room or closet?  Is your space a pass-thru as mine is?  So many possibilities!
Sending a heartfelt thank you to Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for graciously featuring this post at her No Spend - Clean - Purge October Linky Party.

Thanks for stopping by - have a great day!

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Favorite Cleaning Products - Furniture & Glass

When it comes to cleaning products, I have a few tried-and-true favorites, yet I can't pass up new ones as well.  What is it about the lure of a new scent or formula that makes them irresistible?   Yes, I'm a sucker for the pretty packaging - but, if a product doesn't live up to its claims or, at a minimum, get the job done, it's not a keeper.

Through the years, my favorite products have changed a bit.  At present, following are a few of my favorites for cleaning furniture and glass ....  

PLEASE NOTE:  These recommendations are purely my own - this is not a sponsored post and I am not being compensated in any way by the makers of these products.  

Now that that's out of the way, on to the fun stuff ...

Furniture Cleaner
For general cleaning of all furniture types (stained, painted, laminate, natural wood, etc.) my "weapon" of choice is Murphy's Oil Soap.  It's gentle, nonabraisive and has a light, fresh scent.  Just follow the container's directions and dilute in warm water.  Works great with a soft, microfiber cloth.  Can be used on almost all surfaces - so far, the only surface I would avoid is glass - I've found the oil soap leaves a streaky finish on glass.  

Murphy's Oil Soap

Glass Cleaner
My absolute favorite is a mixture of one part rubbing alcohol to one part water in a spray bottle.  Regular tap water works well for me and we have well water.  (Some prefer to use distilled water for home cleaning solutions.)  Spray surface and wipe glass with microfiber cloth.  You're left with a streakless shine and the alcohol scent disappears completely when the surface is dry.  A few drops of scented oil could be added as well.

Cleaning Cloths
Hands down, microfiber cloths are amazing!  And, they're available in all price ranges.  The cleaning solutions I use may change, but I have been using the same type of microfiber cloth for the past 10 years and have no plans of switching.  

They are Kimberly-Clark Wypall Microfiber Cloths and are generously sized.  Not a plush, looped cloth but have a very smooth surface and I'm guessing this is what makes them so effective.  They come in a pack of 6 and aren't the cheapest cloths out there, but I do personally feel they are the best.  

Great for cleaning all surfaces except for heavy-duty cleaning (only because I don't want to stain them!).  They really do last, too - the ones I bought 10 years ago still look like new!

Wypall Microfiber Cloth


Spray Bottles
For years I used the large professional/industrial spray bottles (plastic).  Great trigger sprayer and the bottles were good sized.  Functional, but not very pretty.  Then after seeing Martha Stewart's use of clear glass spray bottles, I knew I had to get some.  Found similar ones on Amazon and totally love them - easy to use, great size (16 oz.) and eye pleasing.  I keep a bottle in the kitchen and each bathroom, filled with glass cleaner (see above) for quick touch ups. 

Clear Glass Spray Bottle

Those are a few of my "go to" cleaning products for furniture and glass.  How about you?  Have you found products that work well and that you've used for years?  Or, do you like to try new scents and formulas?  

Have a great day and ... happy cleaning!!!

Fun & Glitzy Holiday Pumpkin

Decorating pumpkins is such fun!  They're like round blank canvases ... ready and willing to be painted, covered and embellished in virtually any materials we impose on them.  

Materials used:

(Click on individual items below for additional info)

This beast is huge - at 30# and a diameter of 50", it's a LARGE canvas!   Hubby brought it home to me after a recent trip to Sam's Club.  He jostled it into the house, stating that it just looked like something I should have!   :)

My goal was to create a design that was not occasion specific and would be appropriate to display thru all the Fall/Winter holidays.  

Last year, I painted our Fall pumpkin with black chalkboard paint and it lasted for months and months - thru Fall, Christmas and into the following year.  It reached a point where we kept it just to see how long it would last - it turned into a personal challenge between us and "the pumpkin." LOL!  

Finally, in May we gave in and and tossed it.  The pumpkin had won - it was still intact and showed no signs of deteriorating.  

The first step to tackling this year's beast was to paint it with two coats of primer (Zinsser's Bulls Eye 1-2-3 White water based primer/sealer for all surfaces is my favorite).  Left the stem natural. I liked the primer so much that I didn't add a layer of regular paint over the white primer.

Next I used a stencil and a pencil to transfer a frame design to the pumpkin. 

Filled in the frame design with a black permanent marker and used gold metallic craft paint and a soft artist's brush to paint the natural and somewhat uneven stripes of the pumpkin along the deep ridges.  Did you know the ridges are actually called "ribs?"   

Then I filled the center of the frame design with gold/white patterned tissue paper.  Used the stencil and pencil again to transfer the inside of the frame design to the patterned tissue paper.  Cut it out with scissors and decoupaged to the pumpkin with regular white glue.

At this point, I really wanted to add gold dots in vertical rows, but knew it would take FOREVER to stencil or even dab paint dots on this beast.  

Fortunately, I found tissue paper in my stash that worked perfectly - white tissue with rows of shiny gold dots!  I cut long strips of single dots and decoupaged them to the pumpkin.  

Perfectly aligned rows of shiny gold dots - much better than I would have been able to do by painting.  Love when an "unplanned" plan comes together!  :)

For the monogram, I could have used my handy dandy Silhouette Cameo cutter, but this was such a simple monogram that I made my own quick stencil by printing the "S" on my laser printer, and cutting it out manually with scissors (old school!).   

After tracing the "S" onto the reverse side of the black contact paper, I manually cut the monogram out and attached it to the center of the frame design.

The last step was to use a scallop circle paper punch to create two scalloped circles to place on each side of the monogram.

One last tip:  I've used all types of craft glues and, have found that with many projects, just plain old white glue (the kind that you used in kindergarten) from the dollar store works just as well.  

And, that's it!  Such fun to let projects like this just evolve and change as you work your way through them.  Have you decorated your holiday pumpkin, or do you prefer carving?  Have a great day and I hope that you are experiencing Fall-ness in your area!