Category Archives: Uncategorized

Heart & Home Clean Sweep- Day 1

My sweet friend Esther, over at Our Simple Country Life is hosting the 3rd Annual Heart & Home Clean Sweep!

This is a time to reflect on everything that not only clutters our home, but our hearts and our lives. I don’t know about you, but when I have too much clutter, I begin to feel overwhelmed! Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on getting ride of clutter around our house. Not only because it’s part of my 3 year plan to move to the beach, but because I feel happier with less stuff. Stuff just weighs me down and it’s amazing how much stuff we can collect in our lives!

Today’s featured room is the Living Room

Before I start cleaning, I like to change out the scent melts in my wax burner {if you’re looking for a burner or scent melts I’m having a Party Lite party & you can email me if you’re interested in purchasing something}. Having a new scent in the house just makes me more motivated to have a clean home.

{Before}

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Junk on the coffee table, blankets on the couch along with the dog, dog hair every where because she is shedding so much.

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{After}

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Notice Daisy is still on the couch, she just moved positions! HA!

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Life Skills 101

If you read my last post, you know that I pretty much didn’t do anything for a few weeks.

That meant that by the time I was beginning to feel better, there was two weeks of laundry to be done.

Which lead me to come up with a brilliant idea! Just brilliant, I tell ya!

I believe that all men {and plenty of women} should be required to take a Life Skills 101 class in High School! I’m not talking Home Ec. The only thing I remember learning from the mandatory Home Ec class we were required to take in 8th Grade was how to make a smoothie and cinnamon sugar toast!

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After two weeks of not doing laundry, this is what my laundry basket looked like. Nice and neat, with some of the hubby’s clothes thrown in.

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The hubby’s dirty laundry after two weeks?! Looks more like a tornado ripped through the bedroom and left a mountain of dirty clothes on the floor with a few pairs of shoes mixed in. Now, I know there wasn’t a laundry basket right there for the dirty clothes, but that doesn’t seem to matter! Apparently, it’s just much easier to leave all the dirty stuff on the floor verses putting it in the laundry basket!

Something else that annoys me? Leaving the dresser drawers open! How difficult is it to shut the drawer when you’re done?

And then there is the night stand that is covered in garbage! Oh, and I guess the lamp is a new place to keep hats! Nothing says fire hazard like a hat on the lamp!

Life Skills 101, would be a great class for men {and women} to learn how to do laundry, put clothes in the dirty clothes basket, make the bed, do dishes, clean house, pick up after themselves, etc. I think it’s a brilliant idea!

I actually sent these pictures to my friend after we had a conversation about how she feels like her house is much cleaner when her husband is gone! I have to say, that I totally agree! I’m also thinking about starting a hostage basket for everything that gets left on the floor or where it doesn’t belong!

Do you feel like your house is cleaner when your hubby isn’t home? Or are you one of the lucky few who’s hubby actually cleans up after themselves?

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We Have a Winner!!!

MoneySavingMom

And the winner of The Money $aving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine is:

 

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Congratulations Esther! You will love this book!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

 

I would love to do more giveaways in the future. I want to know what type of giveaways you’d like to see here at Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After.

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{Giveaway} The Money $aving Mom’s Budget

MoneySavingMom

I’ve talked about The Money $aving Mom’s Budget before, but now is your chance to win your very own copy of my new favorite book!

Three years ago when I was just starting to discover the new and improved blog world, I came across MoneySavingMom.com. It was ultimately Crystal’s site that lead me to learn more than I ever knew about couponing and saving money. I had always used coupons, even as a child, I would cut coupons out of the Sunday paper and use them when I went grocery shopping for my mom. I continued this throughout college as well. But I never understood how to get the best bang for your buck with coupons until I found MoneySavingMom.com.

Crystal’s new book, The Money $aving Mom’s Budget breaks down the dreaded topic of budgeting, not only your finances but your life. Just like it says on the cover of the book, “slash your spending, pay down your debt, streamline your life and save thousands a year.”

I thought I knew everything there was to know before reading this book, after following Crystal’s blog for three years. I was surprised to learn how much clutter is costing me. I never realized that we may purchase something that we already have, just because we can’t find it. This causes us to spend money that we didn’t need to spend in the first place. By cutting down on the clutter, we are able to cut down on our budget and ultimately save more money.

Recently, I was able to use Crystal’s great advice from chapter 7: Twenty-Five Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill Without Clipping Coupons, when the hubby needed new contacts. We found that it was cheaper to order them online than to purchase them at the doctor’s office. We also used Ebates when making the purchase and were able to make $7 back on the purchase of contacts.

Would you like to win your own personal copy of The Money $aving Mom’s Budget?

There are SEVEN ways for you to win your own copy. You can choose to do one or all seven. If you are already subscribed, or following, leave a comment stating so.

1. Leave a comment telling me which category in your budget, you’d like to learn how to save more money in.

2. Follow Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After on Facebook.

3. Follow Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After on Twitter.

4. Subscribe to Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After RSS Feed.

5. Subscribe to email updates from Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After

6. Post about the giveaway on Facebook. {Be sure to mention Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After in the post}

7. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. {Be sure to include @luvnlaughter in the tweet}

Giveaway will end Saturday, February 11th at 8pm EST & winner will be announced Sunday, February 12th.

{Please note that the email updates and RSS feed are new to Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After due to Google Friend Connect being discontinued. So if you’ve been following through GFC, please use these various options to stay up to date with LLHEA.}

 

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{Disclosure} I was given a copy of The Money $aving Mom’s Budget to review before the final version was published & then received a final copy of The Money $aving Mom’s Budget and have chosen to give my final copy to one lucky reader.

 

Chicken Risotto & Lemonade Cake

ChickenRisotto

Last summer while on vacation at the in-laws, my wonderful Mother-In-Law made this de.lish Chicken Risotto! {Have I told ya’ll how awesome her cooking is?!} I was finally able to get the recipe from her to make this dish again!  Let me warn you, it’s a little time consuming! I think it took me about an hour all together, but it’s not a dish that you can put on the stove and leave alone, it requires some  food sitting.

{A printer friendly version of the recipe is available at the bottom of this post}.

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{Ingredients} 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, Pepper, Olive Oil, Butter, 1 Cup Chopped Onion, 1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots, 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery, 1 Cup Risotto, 1/3 Cup White Wine, 4 Cups Chicken Stock, 1 Cup Water, 1 Medium Chopped Tomato, 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese.

1. Dice up chicken and sprinkle with pepper. Cook the chicken in a tablespoon of Olive Oil in a large skillet until browned thoroughly.  {Make sure you use the biggest skillet you have}.

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2. Place cooked chicken in a bowl and set aside.

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3. Melt a tablespoon of butter in the same skillet.

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4. Add carrots {I used frozen because that’s what I had on hand & involved less work dicing and chopping}, celery and onion to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until crisp and tender.

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5. Once veggies are crisp and tender, add a cup of uncooked Risotto to the veggies and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the Risotto.

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6. This is were it gets tricky… Add 1/3 Cup of White Wine {my mother-in-law says you can use any type of wine on hand} and stir until the wine is absorbed into the Risotto.

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7. Once the wine is absorbed, stir in 1 cup of chicken stock and cook until it is absorbed, stirring frequently.

8. Continuing stirring and add 1 Cup of water. Stir and let cook until the water is absorbed.

9. Add another cup of chicken stock, stir and let cook until the stock is absorbed. Repeat this step until all three cups of remaining chicken stock have been added.

{This whole process can take 25-30 minutes until the rice is tender and the mixture has a creamy texture}.

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10. Chop tomatoes. I used grape tomatoes since it’s not tomato season around here and I was able to get them for 99 cents a package. I just cut them in half. You could also use a can of diced tomatoes.

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11. Once all the liquid has absorbed and the mixture is creamy, stir in the reserved chicken, chopped tomato and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese until melted.

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By the time this is done cooking you will want to devour it immediately!

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I served ours with a salad and it was just as de.lish as when my mother-in-law made it.

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I’ve also been stalking Pinterest frequently and saw this recipe for Lemonade Cake and just had to try it!

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Holy.Diabetic.Coma! You know a recipe is going to be good when you use a whole bag of powdered sugar to make it!

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Warning: You will only want a small piece of this cake so you don’t go into shock!

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you! I cut this piece out to take the picture and it was way to big for me to even think about finishing!

 

For a printer friendly recipe click here: Print Recipe

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{PS} Come back this week to find out about my first ever giveaway!

Christmas House Tour 2011

It’s that time of year again! Time to show off all the Christmas decorations! {I know I posted some of these pictures last week during the Homemade for the Holidays Party}. I’ve also added a few of my table decorations that I never got posted.

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I can’t express how freakin’ excited I am about how our tree turned out! I was a little sad today when I went to the store and noticed they didn’t have those “whatchamacallits” that I have sticking out all over the tree, this year.

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I’m also in love with my kitchen window! Eek! I wish it was a window you could see from the street, but then again, I’m okay with that!

GlitterTrees

I would love to make more of these glitter cones for the other side of the TV. The framed print is from here.

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I added some small ornaments to some glass vases I had from Ikea. 

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And put larger ornaments around a candle stand. It is all sitting on top of a piece of burlap. I just love this look.

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I added some knick knacks to the cubes I have on the living room wall and replaced the usual décor with this Keep Calm Printable & the Subway Tile Printable.

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And of course, I love this old window with our Christmas cards displayed. This is from last year. I haven’t received nearly that many cards yet this year.

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I’m linking up to these parties:

NesterTDC

Crafty Mommy Diva’s Baby Shower

Crafty Mommy Diva

Maryanne @ Crafty Mommy Diva is hosting a baby shower over at her blog to celebrate the upcoming birth of her baby girl.

Today Maryanne is doing a review of a ribbon blanket and a bow holder I made for her. In honor of this virtual baby shower, I am giving away one of each, so stop by and enter to win one of them. I promise they are adorable and would be perfect for any little girl.

She has lots of giveaways going on during this baby shower with low entry’s. So stop on by and check out all of the great giveaways. Even if you don’t have children some items would be great for baby showers and if you’re like me, my year is starting to get packed full of them.

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