Home Maid Simple: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Foodie Friday - Pineapple Jerk Chicken Satay

Hosted by

Awhile ago I went to my friends Wildtree Tasting Party. It was a lot of fun with some good food. We got to try a myriad of different dipping oils, with grape seed oil as the base. There is everything from natural Grapeseed oil to Hickory Smoked Grapeseed Oil.
What I truly love about Wildtree is their commitment to healthy products.
"Every Wildtree product is natural: containing no additives, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, or food dyes."
Wildtree specializes in Grapeseed oil, but they also have many other products. My favorite is their ranch dip mix. Put that aside though, because today I'm bringing you a recent recipe we tried and loved from Wildtree.

Pineapple Jerk Chicken Satay 
(I played around with Wildtree's recipe, and these are the amounts I used)
Wooden Skewers
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
2 TBS Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (Wildtree makes some, but I used Pampered Chefs blend)
1 Bottle Wildtree Sweet and Savory Pineapple sauce, for dipping

Soak the skewers in water.  Preheat the oven to 375 F, or you could grill them up on the bbq! In a large bowl mix together the grapeseed oil and jerk seasoning. Cut the Chicken into 1/2 inch strips and toss into the oil mixture. Stir around until the chicken is completely coated in the oil. Thread chicken onto skewers. I fit 3-4 pieces on per skewer, it just depends on how you thread them.  Line up on a greased cookie sheet, and bake for about 30 minutes. 
Pour Pineapple sauce into single serve bowls for dipping.
Serves 5 main dishes

Here are the features from last weeks link up:

From Potholes and Pantyhose Skinny Orange Julius. Or freeze it and have some sherbet

From Michelle's Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Old Fashioned Potato Salad

And from Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman a refreshing 4th of July Dessert

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dance Recital {Wordless Wedmesday}

Tuesday we spend the day running between dance rehearsal and the recital. The princesses sure looked cute all dressed up, and they did a great job too! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to Prep Your Home for Sale

As we continue our search for a new job, we are also prepping the house for sale. Although we haven't listed it on the market yet, we want it ready to go up as soon as we know where we'll be moving. By having the home in top condition before listing it, we should be able to sell it in a short time period, without too much back and forth with a potential buyer.
Also once we move, we will not be able to take care of anything in the home, so it needs to be looking good, in case we have to move before it sells.

So before you list your home for sale, I suggest going through room by room and making a list of anything that needs updated, painted, or repaired.  Mark has gone through the home and made this list for us. It's going to take a lot of work, but we don't have much else to do.

Master Room
- Clean walls. Possibly repaint
- Fix the broken blinds

Bedroom #1
- Touch up Paint
- Reattach closet door

Bedroom #2
- replace flooring in walk in closet
- scrub walls. Possibly paint

Bedroom #3
- Scrub walls

- Touch up paint
- Fix door jam
- Fix cupboard door
- Touch up paint
Front Room
- Retrim doorway
- Repaint
- fill screw holes

- Touch up paint around window and ceiling
- Spacer between cupboard and wall
- Ceilling edge above stove
- Caulk around attic entrance
- Conceal the back of the cupboard showing
- Trim around pantry doors
- Sand, caulk and paint trim

Family Room
- Paint trim and ceiling
- Paint fireplace top piece
- clean paint off doorknobs

- fill cracks
- paint
- clean doorknob
- Stain hand rail

After you've gone through the inside of your home, take a walk around the outside. List any repairs. Make sure the sprinklers are working, the lawn is trim, and weeds are pulled. As a buyer, the lawn is the first thing we see. Make it look good, but don't invest too much money into it. I enjoy having a lawn to make my own, rather then redo what the previous owner had done. I would say stick to daily upkeep of the yard, and don't try and do any large projects unless it really needs it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Disney's Brave Cullen Skink Recipe

Last Friday Disney's Brave came out in theaters. We haven't seen it yet, but I think we may talk Grandma and Granpa into going with us this week. While we wait though, I think I'll try making some of Great Granny May Scott's Cullin Skink.

 Print Recipe

Menu Plan Monday 6/25

Sandwiches on the go. The Princesses have dance rehearsal all day, and their recital at night.
 Spaghetti with Sausage Cheese Balls
 out to eat
 Family Dinner
Family Dinner

Blogathon Bash Wrap Up #blogathon2

Biannual Blogathon BashWow! What a wild and crazy blogging weekend! I am so glad I participated in this blogathon. I got so much work done behind stage here at Home Maid Simple!  I got some personal goals accomplished, like weeding through all my emails, organizing my schedule, writing up some rough drafts, brainstorming post ideas, and scheduling out some posts so I can spend more time with the family.

My favorite part of this blogathon though is how much I learned!! I sure hope you guys are ready for some awesome posts.  Through the Mini Challenges I've now learned so much. My favorites that I'll be using constantly though are these

- Printable Recipes! Now you'll be able to print out Foodie Friday's recipes.
- Photo Collages! I have wanted to figure this out for awhile, but had no idea where to start. Turns out it was really easy. Check out Picmonkey.com.  No more huge pictures all in a line. Yay!
- Favicon. Ok this doesn't benefit you guys so much, but I just think it's cool. Look up at your browser tabs. See my cool new symbol? It's the maid's head. So now you can always get back to me when you go browsing elsewhere. Cool right? Ok maybe not for you, but I feel awesome.

Normally I take weekends off from blogging, but I'm glad I put a little more focus into it this weekend. I'll be using many of the things I learned to make Home Maid Simple a better experience for you my readers.  I spent approximately 10 hours this weekend blogging, learning, and having fun with my fellow blogathon participants. You guys rock!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rebekah Grace The Practically Perfect Princess {Book Review}

I came across Rebekah Grace The Practically Perfect Princess Blog during the Ultimate Blog Party.  Having 3 of my very own practically perfect Princesses I was hooked. As I browsed their blog I learned that the blog was just an addition to a new children's book!  I got even more excited when I learned the authors were looking for some reviewers. I had to jump on board.

About the Book:  Rebekah Grace is a charming 3 year old trying to learn the Princess Rules. There are a lot of Princess rules though, and sometimes it's hard to remember them. I love what the authors have to say about their book "Why is she only practically perfect? ALL little girls are Princesses, no matter who they are, but that doesn't mean they have to be perfect.  Sometimes, even Princesses make mistakes."

About the Authors: Sisters Jennifer and Nicki are former princesses turned Queen Mommies raising princesses of their own. Jen began the book without hope of it ever being published, when Nicki jumped aboard and decided together they would make this book available for all practically perfect princesses and their Queen Mommies. Jennifer is Queen Mommy to 2 Princesses and a Prince, while Nicki is Queen Mommy to 2 Princes and a Princess.

My thoughts: I just love this book. The cute drawings pull you in to the fun life of Rebekah Grace. The story line is simple and perfect for my little Princesses, but the pictures add so much more to the story that is not written. I could easily relate to many of the situations Rebekah Grace found herself in as she tried to learn the Princess Rules.
What did the Princesses think? They loved it. They thought Rebekah Grace was cute, and enjoyed laughing over her little antics.

This book is perfect for newborns and up! You can buy it in hardback or kindle edition here.
Follow Rebekah Grace and more practically perfect Princesses on the official blog here

Don't Miss the next Princess Palooza!
If you live in or near Tuscon, Arizona
You can meet up with the authors for some fun Princess activities at Mildred and Dildred.
This Saturday (tomorrow June 23rd) from 10:30-11:30 am

I wish I lived closer so I could take my Princesses to this event! 

Blogathon Bash - Kick Off Post

Biannual Blogathon BashThis weekend I'm taking part in a Blogathon Bash. All weekend long a bunch of bloggers are taking time to focus on their blogs big time. Working on new posts, cleaning up blog designs, and promoting posts through social media outlets. 

Here at Home Maid Simple, I'm going to focus on writing many posts and scheduling them out. This will give me more time to play with my kids, as the blog takes care of itself posting.

I will also be taking part in the mini challenges on the Blogathon blog.  I've browsed through some of the challenges already, and I think I'm going to learn a lot about blogging, and making this a better place for you my readers! 

During this event (and always really) I would love any tips, ideas from you all on what you'd like to see here at Home Maid Simple. Why do you visit this blog? What do you like reading about? Are there any posts you'd like to see?  What can I do to keep you coming back?

You can contact me at familyroom2@gmail.com
or follow me on facebook or twitter

Foodie Friday - Simple Pasta

Hosted by
16 oz medium sized pasta (elbow, shells, whatever your preference)
4 oz shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Dried Basil
optional 1 medium tomato chopped*

Cook pasta according to directions. Mix everything together in a large bowl.
*I did not add tomato, but I think it would help give this dish a little more moisture. Otherwise it was a bit dry. The kids gobbled it up though!

Features from last weeks link up:
Never buy store yogurt again with Potholes and Pantyhose's Crockpot Yogurt

Cook up a whole week of dinner's with Six Cents' 10 Meals in 3 Minutes.
She gives you all the recipes and your shopping list categorized!

Then cool off in this summer heat with Baking With Blondie's Strawberry Gelato

Join us this week and link up below
- Link up to 3 recipes you haven't shared with us before
- Grab the button and place on your blog. This helps us get more participants and more recipes!
- Come back next week for more fun!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Playing with Photoshop

I took this original picture of Prince L a couple weeks ago

Then Mark decided to play with it in photoshop. See the difference?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where Ever We Go We'll Make it a Home

This post has been in the works for a few weeks now. At first I was a little too emotional to talk about it. Then I felt it should wait until Mark's current (at the time) contract was up. I'm past the emotion, and his contract is up. So here it is...
Mark resigned from teaching band at the local high school. He finished out the school year, but we are now looking for a job elsewhere.
My initial reaction was to look at every school close to where we live. I DID NOT want to move. We just bought our house last year. We have put a ton of work into making it our home. We've dealt with flooding, termites and a kitchen remodel. We love the neighborhood. We have some great friends, and the kids love it here too.
When it became clear there weren't really any jobs nearby, I got myself ready for the idea of moving. I began looking at our home and what needs to be done to sell and not lose money on the home. You can expect many posts in the near future on prepping your home to sell. 
You could say that I am actually pretty excited about moving now. Yes I will miss this home, and our community here, but I am ready for another adventure. We've applied all over the country, and have had many interviews the past two weeks.  We will continue to apply and interview until a job is offered. 
The funnest part for me, is that I don't have to interview. I just get to send Mark off to do that, while I browse house listings in the area. Since most schools start in August, we will have to be ready to move mid to end July and I want to know the areas and what's available to us. I've been using Zillow's Ipad App to check out listings. I really love their App (the website could use a little help though). You type in the area you are looking to live, and a map pops up with little houses scattered across it. You can edit the price range, sq footage, bedrooms, etc to get just the listings you're interested in. 
No matter where we end up, we will make it our home. 
I'm taking guesses on where we'll end up. We've pretty much applied across the country, so guess away. Will we find something close enough to commute, or will we move across the country?

*Incase you're wondering this is not a sponsored post. I like Zillow a whole lot, and it just happened to work it's way into this post :) If you're looking for a home, I suggest you check it out, but I'm not being compensated for it at all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: What I've Learned So Far part II


What I've Learned So Far Part II
Angels, Chimps and Tater Mitts
by Mike Ball

About the Book: Once you step into the strange and irreverent world of Erma Bombeck award-winning humorist Mike Ball, you won't want to leave. Like that cool neighbor who doesn't seem to mind the kids cutting through his yard, Mike invites you sit a while and chat on the front porch. He shares his family, his life, and his screwball sense of humor in intimate snippets that sometimes give you a peek at his "sensitive side."
He banters about eggnog, pirates, plumbing, pets, speedboats, Bill O'Reilly, Snow Days, Craigslist, dogs, cats, seagulls, beer, hot sauce, Japan, football, turkeys, and guitars. He can have you laughing with him one moment, then wiping away tears in the next paragraph.
So if you've ever spent a sleepless night thinking about the pivotal role Tater Mitts are destined to play in our modern world, you need to read this book.
If you've ever wondered why a woman would want her hair to smell like pomegranate, rather than something that would interest a man (like bratwurst) you need to read this book.
If you've ever marveled at how a columnist can seemingly maintain focus and professional discipline in the face of a boatload of friends taste-testing beers of all nations, you need to read this book.
If you've ever considered how a guardian angel might feel about being assigned to take care of a guy who is a total jerk, you need to read this book.

About the Author: Mike Ball has been making a living as a writer for more than 35 years. He has written and published hundreds of essays revealing his sharp-witted insights into life and the human condition. His syndicated column, "What I've Learned So Far..." is a favorite of readers all around the world. He won the 2003 Erma Bombeck Award and was a finalist in the 2011 Robert Benchley Award. He is also founder and Executive Director of Lost Voices, a nonprofit group that conducts song writing and performing workshops with incarcerated kids.

My Thoughts:  I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mike Ball's second book and now want to find part 1 to read. I had never heard of Mike Ball or his humor column "What I've Learned So Far" before picking up this book. Mike has a great sense of humor. Although I didn't particularly care for some of his humor, I think there's a little something for everyone's level in this book. I especially enjoyed anytime he talked about his non profit Lost Voices. I think Mike's work with those kids, to help them find a voice is wonderful. He sets a good example for the rest of our society.
The book itself was very clean. A few political jokes here and there, but easily skipped over if you don't care for his opinion on that topic.

You can learn more about Mike and his books at his website http://learnedsofar.com

Menu Plan Monday 6/18


Mark has requested we eat more pasta, so you may see a lot more pasta in our menu's.

Macaroni and Cheese
(Princess V requested)
(I made two batches last week and froze one)
Chicken and Pasta

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day from Disney


Happy Fathers Day from Disney.
According to Mark this is his kind of princess. Dress wearing, bow carrying.
Brave comes to theaters June 22!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shave Well Fog Free Mirror {Review and Giveaway}

Fathers Day is coming up and if you haven't found that perfect gift yet, maybe look into this! The Shave Well Fog Free Shower Mirror is something every dad could use.  Nothing extravagant. In Mark's words "It's just a mirror".  No bulky radio attached, or any other silly perks. "It's just a mirror".

The Shave Well Company has designed a simple slim mirror that will stay fog free, so your man can shave in the shower with ease. The mirror comes with a hook to hold the mirror, but Mark seems to prefer just holding it.
To keep the mirror fog free all you have to do is hold it under the shower water for a bit. Once the mirror is the same temperature as the air in the shower it will stay fog free. The simple science makes total sense. 
SW under shower spray

Mark's previous mirror worked the same way but it would slowly start to fog up. The Shave well lasts most of the shower before it needs another run under the water, and really unless you have a lot of shaving to do you'll only need to run it under once for your fog free experience.
Already have your fathers day gift?  This mirror is nice for women too, for any face cleansing they do in the shower.  I personally love that this mirror takes up so little space in our shower compared to our last bulky mirror/radio combo.

We had a funny experience with this mirror one morning. Since we don't use the hook, we just prop it up against the shower wall when it's not in use. Well one morning we went to grab it, and it had gotten pushed up against the wall, and somehow suctioned itself to the wall. We slid that thing all over the shower trying to get it loose, so we could use it.  I wondered to myself at the point if we should pull out the hook just for that purpose, but Mark still likes to leave off the hook. He says it has the kind of sticky back that is impossible to come off. Normally we wouldn't mind, but since we may be moving soon, we've decided to leave it off the shower.

SW logo
One lucky US reader will win their own Shave Well Fog Free Mirror
Must be 18 or older and a US resident.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Foodie Friday - Fathers Day Edition

Hosted by

Sunday is Fathers Day here in the USA, I'm not sure how world wide this holiday is, but I like to make a big deal out of it. I'm a Daddy's girl through and through, and I'm married to a man that is a pretty awesome Daddy to our kids.  I've also been privileged to have a wonderful Father in Law.
I'd show you what I'm getting Mark, but I want it to be a surprise for him (and I have no idea if he'll read this post).

On to our recipe for the week. When I married Mark I quickly learned one of his favorite meals was Meatloaf, and his favorite veggie is carrots. So what do I have for you today?

Stuffing Meat Loaf with Steamed Carrots
2 lbs ground beef
1 16oz Stove Top Stuffing Mix (any flavor)
1 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup barbeque sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix all the ingredients together, leaving 1/4 cup bbq sauce aside.
Shape the meat into 4 small loaves. Place them side by side on a baking sheet.  Top with the remaining bbq sauce.
Bake 30 minutes or until cooked through. Cut each loaf in half to serve. We enjoy ours with steamed carrots mixed with a little melted butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Info (how cool is this! I wrote down the nutrition info, but forgot to write down where I got the recipe)
252 calories
4g carbohydrate
0g dietary Fiber
13g Fat
25g Protein
3g sugar

Since we've got this Fathers Day Theme, I asked Mark to pick out this weeks features. He felt a little overwhelmed with all the recipes to go through, but he narrowed his choices down to the following.

Sausage Cheese Balls from Momma of 4 Cutiez

Creamy Cauliflower Penne from Everyday Vegan Girl

Thank you everyone for linking up last week! If you were featured grab the button to display on your blog!
We'd love to see your Fathers Day Recipe!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2 HUGE Flirty Apron Sales

You have heard me talk about Flirty Aprons before right?  I think they are so cute and stylish, but a bit pricey. Well, right now they have 2 HUGE Sales going on. In fact they are so good, I think I'm going to buy the girls matching aprons and put them away for Christmas.

Irregular Apron Sale - These aprons have minor thins wrong with them, but are still high quality aprons. These are on sale WHILE SUPPLIES LAST, so don't miss out!  Some of the aprons are up to 81% Off.  You can reach the Irregular Sale Page HERE

Fathers Day Sale - 30% Off sitewide good until June 30th.  Use code Father30.


*This post does contain Affiliate links.

Disney's BRAVE - Scotch Egg Recipe


Brave comes to theaters June 22! I think we'll probably make a day out of it. We don't often go to the theater for movies, since money is tight, but Mark and I have already agreed we'll be taking the girls to this one. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Foodie Friday - Orange Julius


Hosted by
12 oz can orange juice concentrate
1 cup Milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup or less sugar (base on your taste)
12 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy

Growing up my Mom always made us this amazing Orange Julius!  I loved them. I remember buying an Orange Julius from the mall once and thinking that is was no where near as good as my moms. So of course after getting married one of the first calls home was to get my moms recipe.  Sometimes when I make it, I'll add in other fruits, or juices, but I find the best recipe is still the original.

Take a look at these recipes from last week, and then link up your recipes below.
*Note, next week we'll be featuring Fathers Day Recipes. So be prepared to share your favorite meal to cook for fathers day!

Crystal and Co. shared her Mango Salsa Salmon. I am a salmon lover, but it's hard for me to get anyone else in this house to eat it. So I may make this for my lunch one day.

I've really gotten into canning since my mom bought me a steam canner last fall. I can't wait to try out this Lemon Curd from Chocolate, Chocoalte and More

Cool off this summer with Fox in the Kitchen's Avocado Fudgesicles. I've never been a big avocado fan, but these look good!

If you were featured go ahead and grab this button