Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cleanin' house


We’re blogging about something other than gluten-free food, Atlanta, or our weekend plans…well sort of.

A couple of weekends ago, Chris and I decided that after a year of some serious living in our sweet little house, it was time to do some major deep cleaning.

After two days of intense cleaning, dumping, and rearranging, we learned one major lesson: we’re NOT waiting another year to do it again. We swept and scrubbed that place from top to bottom. It was embarrassingly filthy. Enough said.

The best thing we did for our house and our sanity was to de-clutter. Our keeping room, or front room in our house had turned into a dumping ground over the past year. We walk in the door, and throw stuff down in there with every intention to move it. Well, that never happens. Here’s what the room looked like before.

Absolute mess.

Here’s what we did:

Threw out a bunch of junk. Stupid stuff you don’t actually need, but maybe you think you’ll want to save it at the time or in the moment. Nope, just becomes junk.

Got rid of the desk. We’re not in school anymore, and it’s a breeding ground for mess.

Put a bunch of stuff in the crawlspace that was supposed to end up there a long time ago, but we’re scared of the crawlspace. We got Jfal to handle that part.

Moved some things around! We eat our meals in our living room since its right off of the kitchen and by the T.V., but we didn’t have room for a table in there…or so we thought. There was a table in the keeping room in a corner just collecting junk and not being used to its full kitchen table capacity. So, we moved two chairs out of the living room (that were getting too much use/getting dirty) into the keeping room, and then moved the table and its two chairs into the living room. Boom. Table for two. We love it!

Lastly, we had a little spray-painting adventure to top it all off. Danny gave us a couple of white rocking chairs from his Nana’s house, so we wanted to spruce them up a bit – bring Nana into 2012. Then Chris found the perfect little cabinet for her room, but it was a not-so-perfect color, and I got an old trunk from Stacey that was in need of a makeover.

I don’t know if we went about this in the most efficient or effective way, but it worked for us, so here it goes:

First, we cleaned everything. We just used an all-purpose cleaner, and sprayed and wiped everything down. The chairs especially needed it.





Next, we used spray paint primer for the two darker colored pieces. We were not sure whether or not we’d even need primer, but we figured it wouldn’t hurt. In the end, I think it was for the best. Chris’s cabinet was pretty much eating the primer.

Then, we went spray crazy until our furniture was totally covered. We ended up going back to Lowe’s twice to get more paint.

Next time, I think we’ll let the paint dry longer outside, and we’ll anticipate more paint!

And for the grand finale…I found this amazing little coffee table at a flea market, and fell in love with its potential. I love that it’s round, and smaller than our last one.
The way I found it...


I plan on sanding and re-finishing it, but I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet. Ain’t it cute?!

We’re really happy with all of our projects, but it’s still a work in progress. We still need to:

1.     Hang pictures
2.     Get placemats
3.     Organize bookshelves
4.     Make a fake mudroom like this.

1.     A new couch for the Living Room
2.     A little couch for the Keeping Room
3.     More art for the walls
4.     New rugs

 Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

True Grit

Before I get started, I think it’s important to note that Chris and I started a 5 day cleanse this morning! After an amazing weekend full of booze and junk food in New Orleans, we decided it was the right time.

I don’t want to give away too many details yet but so far, so good, and we’ll be sharing our experience on the blog once we’re done. So yeah, if you see us this week, be kind and don’t feed the animals…we’re on a cleanse!

I’ve noticed recently (and we’re surely not the only ones) that grits, the southern breakfast staple, have become wildly popular, especially this summer. It seems like they’re on every menu, at every wedding reception, and in every Pinterest recipe, and I’m TOTALLY on board. I love grits! Chris (aka Grits Mama) orders them for brunch every week…she’s become a bit of a grits snob.

I love them for being gluten-free, but I’ve loved them since forever. My brother and I used to eat them for breakfast as youngsters. I used to enjoy mine with sugar and butter, and I think Arlo liked cheese grits, which is another reason why I love grits so much…they’re so multifaceted! They can be enjoyed at any meal with the right additional ingredients.

Here are a few of my favorite grit-pins I’m dying to try (post-cleanse).


We’ve been missing our crock-pot meals this summer, so Chris found this intriguing recipe on Pinterest that combined our current grits obsession with our crock-pot desires, so we decided to give it a whirl!

BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits

The Roast
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (4-5 lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 12 oz. can of coke
1 12 oz. bottle chili sauce (we used Sriracha)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup milk

Start by sprinkling garlic salt and pepper over roast, then put the roast into the crock-pot.  

Next, pour chili sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and coke over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

Remove roast from slow cooker, reserving juices in slow cooker. Cover the roast with foil to keep warm.

Combine cornstarch and milk, stirring well; stir into slow cooker.

Cook, uncovered on high 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over roast.

The Grits

1 1/2 cup quick cook grits (not instant)
3 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 - 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium pan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Slowly stir in grits.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally Stir in Ranch mix and cheese.  Cook until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

So this was another one of those nights where I worked late, then had Frisbee until 9:00PM, so my sweet little Chris nugget made all of this on her own. She’s the best.

I got home, ate off of the china, and it was delicious—spicy, but delicious.

Here’s what she had to say for next time:

  • If you’re not a huge spicy foods person, Maybe use ½ the amount of chili sauce and replace it with your favorite BBQ sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Ray’s) – our mouths were on FIRE, almost so much so that we couldn’t eat it.
  • The grits were AMAZING. We’re going to use the grits part of the recipe again as a side dish.

Just writing this post is making me hungry for real food, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. I’ll share our NOLA adventure later this week. Here’s a sneak peak. It’s pretty much my new favorite place.