Homemade Dryer Sheets

dryer sheets 2I’ve been waiting to post this to decide on the verdict of my homemade dryer sheets. Well, after about a month, I’m pretty happy with them!

So why did I decide to make my own dryer sheets? I read something online about the regular Bounce sheets being absolutely horrible for you. Now, who knows if this is scientifically backed and true because nowadays it seems like everything is bad for you. But I did a little research online about making my very own re-useable dryer sheets and decided to give it a go.

But for this homemade dryer sheet to be successful, it had to eliminate static cling. I absolutely hate static! And since¬†I have long hair, static cling means my hair makes that staticky sound against clothes. So that was my biggest concern of switching to a homemade alternative. But like I said, I’ve given it a month and don’t see any store bought chemical laden dryer sheets in my future!

All I used was an old white towel that I cut into smaller rectangular type shapes. Then I used an old large yogurt container (I save those! They can be used for lots of stuff!) and added in some good old fashioned white vinegar, tea tree oil and a citrus blend essential oil I had laying around from my body butter disaster! Remember that?ūüė¶ It doesn’t need the citrus oil but I added it for additional scent. I swirled that around, added in the towel pieces and tried to stir all around to get as much of the towels soaked as I could. My towels didn’t get really all that soaked, just the ones on the bottom that really sucked up that vinegar mixture but after awhile of sitting inside the yogurt container with the lid on, all of them were damp. During my “research” some people said you needed to squeeze out all the liquid onto the other sheets in the container and then toss your sheet in the dryer. I didn’t have that problem since my sheets weren’t all that wet.

dryer sheets dryer sheets 3I put one “sheet” in with each load in the dryer and when it’s all done, I just take that sheet out, stuff it into the bottom of the container to try to get as much liquid on it as possible and close the lid.

Have I had any static? No. Do the clothes smell weird from the vinegar? No. In the last month, have I had to make another vinegar batch? No. Do I like my re-useable sheets? YES! So here’s the “recipe”.

  • 1/2 c. white vinegar
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops citrus blend essential oil (optional, for an added scent)

If you’d prefer your sheets to be more saturated, just double the recipe.

P.S. If you don’t have tea tree oil, GET IT! I started using it almost 4 years ago when lice started going around school. I heard that tea tree keeps those buggers away. And since there’s three girls and myself in this house, all with long hair, the last thing I wanted was a lice infestation. Every day before school, my kids dab a little tea tree oil around their hairline on the back of their necks and ears. Have we ever had lice? No! Knock on wood….

Cheesy Cabbage Casserole

cc 8These pictures are old! Like, Christmas time old! But, I’ve made this recipe so many times since and just haven’t posted it. Until now!

Don’t turn your nose up at it! I happen to LOVE cabbage. As does my husband.¬†I know some people don’t like it cooked at all, but if you’re one of “them” people, this recipe will change your mind and bring you to the cooked cabbage side.

Not only does this go well with a holiday meal, but it also goes great with a weeknight dinner. Especially steak. It’s a ttttttaaaadddd rich (AKA fattening) but momma needs to indulge sometimes!

Cheesy Cabbage Casserole (adapted from Taste of Home)

  • 1 head green cabbage, roughly shredded
  • 1/4 c. white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. mayo
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13″ dish with cooking spray. Add in the shredded cabbage. Sprinkle the onion evenly over the top of the cabbage. Next, add the salt and pepper.

In a bowl, whisk together the soup, milk and mayo. Pour evenly over the cabbage mixture. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, then finish with the panko crumbs.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

cabbage casserole 2cabbage casserolecc 3cc 4cc 5cc 6cc 7The cheese and panko make for a delicious crust on the top. What a great combo. Yum!

This can also be made ahead of time, even the day before. I just wait and add the panko crumbs right before I pop it into the oven.

My parents have requested this dish when we’ve gone to their house for dinner and guess what? It’s the ONE dish that’s eaten the most. Surprising right? Not really. Because once you make it, you’ll understand the need to devour this!

A trip to the store

walmart 3 A couple of days ago, I posted the above picture on my Facebook and Instagram. Fellow moms were sympathetic to my overflowing¬†cart and let me know I’m not alone. So I thought I’d delve a little deeper into the actual trip behind the cart.

I’m going to start off by saying I have a serious love/hate relationship with Walmart. Yes, that was at Walmart! What do I love about that place? Well, it’s a one stop shop. Not only can I get food, but I can also get toilet paper and 12 gauge shotgun shells. All at the same store! Pretty amazing, right?!?! On to the hate part….. well, I hate that it’s always so crowded. And crowded with people who are quite the characters. Not everyone shopping there is “out there” but come on, we’ve all seen the “People of Walmart” pictures. And it’s totally true! Second, they seem to constantly be out of stock of specific items I go there to get. And third, it’s crowded. I know I already said that, but I really hate fighting my way down the aisles and waiting in long lines. I’m kind of a germaphobe and being so close to strangers freaks me out just a tad.

Aside from that, on this recent trip I knew¬†I needed a lot of stuff because I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for at least a week and a half. My kids were pleading with me to go shopping because we had “nothing” in the house. So I knew I was in for picking up a big haul at the store. And since my kids were at school, I was all alone pushing the cart and the possibility of a second cart was completely out.

One item on my list was chicken food. And of course Walmart carries that!!! So I loaded that 40 pound bag under the cart but I was a little off and it was hanging off a bit. So I pulled on the bottom of the bag and tried to get it onto the cart better and lo and behold, the bag ripped off at the label and I slammed my arm into the cart. Let me back up a little and say that the day prior, Adam and I had played in the mom/pop softball tournament for our oldest daughter’s softball league. And who knew that playing softball was a full body exercise! I didn’t. So my whole entire body was aching. And slamming my already super sore arm on the cart just made me feel angry and like crying all at the same time. I hate you Walmart.

Next, I needed tissues. You know, Kleenex (but I like Puffs). And at this exact time, about 10 employees were rearranging that whole aisle and had put away the ENTIRE stock of tissue. So I had to ask and they had to go back and get it not only for me, but another woman who appeared as dismayed as I was that they’d removed the tissue!

On, and on I can go (they were out of stock of so many things I went there for) but it wasn’t my best shopping trip. I ended up spending $300+ and still wasn’t able to get everything I needed, simply because there was just no more room in my cart. It was miraculous that I got it all back into the cart after it was bagged up, but I do attribute that to my neat and orderly loading of the belt and packing of the cart.

But I did end up picking up a couple of items that are to die for!!! This frozen custard is bound to make me gain some unwanted pounds and these mini naans are perfect for little pizzas for the kids to take to school.

walmartwalmart 2Anyway, there’s always next week for more grocery shopping.¬†#ihategroceryshopping Do you love grocery shopping as much as I do?

Eating our way to & through Texas

donkeyHope you all had a wonderful Easter! I know I ate to my heart’s content.

So let me start out by saying that¬†my blog has been a little neglected lately. As I recently mentioned, I’ve been a busy bee! We’ve been so fortunate that Hanky Planky has been keeping us incredibly busy!!! Plus, my kids were just on Spring Break and we took a trip to Texas. Again!! Simply put, we love Texas! And my brain has been on vacation mode and it’s been quite the chore to get back into the swing of things.

But¬†since eating and food is a huge part of our lives, I thought I’d share with y’all¬†(<—-see what I did right there)¬†a little bit of our culinary adventures.

Our first night we stayed in Las Cruces, New Mexico where we ate some incredibly outstanding Mexican food. Can I get a holla for GREEN CHILE?!?! OMG, that stuff is good! We tried a new restaurant that happened to have a lot of cars out front and our bet paid off. For $10.95 I got a combo plate which included a chicken taco, chile verde, cheese enchilada, chile relleno (all smothered in green chile), rice & beans. It was a great deal and I ate almost everything!!! #gorge

new mexicanAfter that we headed over to Caliche’s Frozen Custard. Heavenly, creamy, delicious, unlike anything I’ve ever tasted in my life. I’d make the drive there JUST to eat that custard. Seriously! Words almost can’t describe.

custardOur next stop was East Texas where we enjoyed the scenery on Lake Cypress Springs, as well as time with family. Our kids stayed outside almost the whole time and we were fortunate to have some really nice weather!!! Plus, we ate the best catfish I’ve ever tasted in my whole entire life! I’m not a big fish person because honestly, catfish tastes like dirt, but what we had there tasted nothing like what I’ve had in California! The whole time we were there, we spent our time canoeing on the lake, catching turtles, fishing, finding petrified wood, and just exploring.

lakelake 2catfishfish kissAfter that, we headed to North Texas to visit my BFF. To celebrate her husband’s birthday, it was requested that Adam make panko fried shrimp one night. He ended up cooking 51 HUGE shrimp. We did have 12 people there but 8 were little kids and surprisingly, we ate almost all of that. #gorgesomemore See how happy he looks to be wearing my friend’s apron?ūüôā

adam shrimpme & laceyOn our last night, us adults had a date night and went to our favorite restaurant in Texas, Pappadeaux. Cajun seafood restaurant with huge portions and the best fondeux I’ve ever had in my LIFE! It has shrimp, crawfish, mushrooms and is creamy and decadent.

pappadeuxme & adamAnd of course, since we don’t have Cracker Barrel where we live and it’s pretty much a tradition that you have to eat there on a road trip, we ate there not once, but TWICE.

cracker barrel

And keeping with what seems to be our new annual tradition, we stopped at Rooster Cogburn Ranch in Arizona on our way home, hence the donkey at the top of the post! I’ve decided I must own a donkey one day.

I kept it short and sweet because honestly, we did so much and had such a great time, that I really couldn’t cover it all. But you get the idea. And how many pounds did I gain on this trip? Don’t know, but whatever it was, it was totally worth it!

Frozen Pancakes

frozen pancakesLooks like I’m on a breakfast roll, as my last two posts have been about the meal that starts your day. No recipe today, but just a little tip to make one of your upcoming mornings a little simpler.

My kids love breakfast. They literally gorge themselves before heading off to school. I completely don’t get this since I’m not a breakfast person! They usually eat cereal on the weekdays because getting three girls and myself ready, can get a little hectic in the mornings. Maybe I just need to get up earlier! Anyways, sometimes, I’ll make a big batch of pancakes over the weekend (or on a weekday morning if I’m feeling ambitious) and freeze whatever’s left.

Yes, you can freeze pancakes! They reheat so well, it’s like you just cooked them up!! After the first initial cooking, I let them cool and place them in freezer bags, zip and in the freezer they go. They’re super easy to pull apart for individual servings (not necessary in my house since my kids will eat the whole bag) and reheat in the microwave. I usually heat 2-3 pancakes for about 1 minute, and voila! Breakfast is served.

As for my kids’ favorite pancake recipe? Well, I’ve tried MANY. And the winner for them? The recipe on the Bisquik box! I almost always have the Heart Smart Bisquik in the pantry and for some reason, they always want those pancakes. If I had to choose my favorite pancake recipe? Cornmeal pancakes. OK, so there, you did get a recipe out of it! Just not one created by me.

So the next time you’re whipping up a batch of pancakes, double it! And freeze the rest. It will definitely make for a quicker start one day!

Baked French Toast Casserole

baked french toast 8This happened today. This morning. On a school day! Uh-huh….. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Let’s hope my “super on top of things” morning, turns into a “super on top of things” afternoon and evening. One can hope, right?

Well, I made this recipe two weekends ago because my daughter happens to have softball practice at 7:30am. On Saturday morning. Ouch! So early!!! But she and “DeDe” (this is what she calls her dad) happen to be early risers so this works out well for them. Yeah, just them. Me and the other little ones stay home and try to sleep in. So the whole point of me telling you all of that is that when they get home, I try to have a nice breakfast ready for them. And I saw this on Pioneer Woman and thought my family (especially my hungry little softball player) would love it. And they loved it so much that¬†I made it again. Today!

I did alter some quantities (to cut down on fat) but head over and check out PW’s original recipe if you so please.

Baked French Toast Casserole (inspired by & adapted from Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 loaf French bread, torn into pieces
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a 13×9 casserole dish, generously spray with cooking spray. Tear the bread into pieces and place in dish. In a large bowl, add eggs, milk, vanilla and sugars. Whisk until combined. Pour over the bread evenly.

In a medium bowl, add the topping ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, mix until coarse crumbs form. Evenly spread over the bread mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (I did 50 minutes).

baked french toastbaked french toast 3baked french toast 4baked french toast 2baked french toast 5baked french toast 6baked french toast 7baked french toast 9PW insists on adding MORE butter (I didn’t) and syrup all over the top (I didn’t do this either). But totally up to you! Enjoy everyone!!!


I’d love to say that every recipe and DIY experiment turn out exactly as I hoped¬†it would. But if that were true, I just wouldn’t be human. That’s a hard pill to swallow because for me, I take pride in what I do and when it doesn’t turn out the right way, well, I get a little on the ANGRY side. This is very true. Just ask my husband.

bbbb2Well, my recent DIY was whipped body butter. I ordered this huge block of Shea butter, imported from Ghana, Africa. All the reviews raved about this stuff and how great it was for your skin, and blah, blah, blah. So when it arrived, I knew I wanted to make whipped body butter and I was super psyched and pumped for the end result.

bb4bb3bb5Everything started off fine. I melted my Shea butter in a double boiler, let it cool, added essential oil (that I had specifically ordered for this DIY), put it in the freezer to firm up a bit and then put it in my stand mixer to get that butter whipped!


This is when I should've called it quits and stopped.

This is when I should’ve called it quits and stopped.

Well, I started the mixer and lo and behold, it whipped right up. It looked like beautiful white frosting. Creamy with perfect peaks. But it didn’t have enough scent for me, so I stopped the mixer, added more essential oil and proceeded to keep up the whipping. I obviously got overzealous. I was really excited to be making my own whipped body butter you see and I figured, if I kept whipping, it’d be even better. And then disaster struck. It suddenly turned into butter. Those awesome peaks disappeared and it turned into a hard yellow chunk.

I tried to melt it down again and do the process over which really didn’t help much at all. Although it didn’t look pretty, I figured it still had the same properties and would still have the same end result. Soft skin.

The man of the house said it looked weird although it melted instantly on the skin. He used it for a couple of weeks and was not convinced of the African Shea butter’s amazing qualities. And it was thick. And greasy. But my youngest daughter, who tends to have pretty dry skin proclaimed one night, “It makes my butt soft!” At least my DIY fail helped someone.