Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sofa Review - A Year Later

Last September I posted about the new sofa I had bought from J.C. Penney. I loved it! It was exactly what I was looking for - a 3-cushion, white, slipcovered sofa at a reasonable price.

It was a little scary buying something online without sitting on it first, but it had so many excellent reviews I was more confidant that it was the right purchase. Other buyers had even posted photos online of the sofa after they had owned it for several months and that helped boost my confidence as well.

As soon as I got it home and put together, I knew I had made the right decision.

It was the perfect couch for playing Wii!

Just kidding... Kinda...

I loved how comfy and spacious it was for watching movies with friends and just hanging out and talking. When I got strep throat back in May I hardly left this cozy couch. Take a gander at how the sofa looked when I first brought it home last year.

 And here's how it looks these days. I'm so pleased with this sofa and how well it has served me over the past year.

Going for a slipcovered sofa was a great decision because it makes cleanup so easy. Whenever I get a stain on the sofa, I'll pull off the affected slipcover and wash it on the delicate cycle in cold water. I don't pretreat stains; I use Seventh Generation laundry detergent and it's pulled out every stain I've had so far. While the slipcovers are being washed, I like to vacuum underneath the cushions and sometimes underneath the couch.

Once a cover is washed, I pull it out and hang it up to dry. This usually takes a few hours and I put the covers back on while they are still a little damp and smooth out the wrinkles.

So far I've removed dirt stains, red frosting (dried on), blood stains (yep, you read that right and no, I don't know how they got there) and more with no problem. It also just feels nice to put on a clean slipcover. =)

It's been fun seeing how much the living room has changed in the past year.

So there you have it, I still love the couch! And here are some more gratuitous pictures of the living room.

Is there a purchase you've made in the last year that you love and would like to share?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Comforts

With cold weather just around the corner, I am ready for warm, hearty soups. Fall = soup weather. The two just go hand in hand. =)

One of my favorite soup recipes is from my Vegetarian 3-in-1 cookbook, called Cheddared Farmhouse Chowder.


1 1/2 cups milk
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 bag frozen corn, carrots and broccoli, thawed
2 medium baking potatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 cup peas
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Whisk milk and soup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

Add mixed vegetables, potatoes, thyme, black pepper and ground red pepper; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in peas and salt; let stand 5 minutes. Top with cheese.

I love this soup and how hearty and filling it is. It's perfect for a cold day and it reheats well too. =)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mozzarella Sticks

I love quick snacks and I had been browsing Pinterest for some new ideas and I saw a picture of homemade mozzarella sticks. I was intrigued. This creative person used eggroll wrappers to cover the mozzarella and then fried them, but I wanted to bake them instead.

I headed to the store and got some mozzarella and some wonton wrappers instead of eggroll wrappers as I wanted them to be mini-sized. I began by cutting the mozzarella sticks into 3 pieces each. I laid out a wrapper and then placed a piece of mozzarella in it and just rolled it up.

When I got to the middle I would tuck the edges in and keep rolling -- kinda like a burrito.

Rolling them up was actually pretty fun!

If you're wondering about all the receipts on the fridge, they're my trophies from my couponing adventures. Haha. Looking at them makes me happy.

Once I finished rolling, I would brush a little water on the edge to seal the wrapper.

Then I lined them up on a baking sheet. They were so cute and little!

I baked them at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. I flipped them halfway through to prevent sticking.

The sticks turned out golden-brown and with the addition of some warmed up marinara sauce, they were quite tasty!

I always love adding recipes like this to my collection - quick, easy and tasty. =)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We all have our favorite things and our favorite memories from childhood. When I was small I loved how my parents would always take me and my sisters to the park, swimming, skating, bowling and more. I loved how every Saturday night we had a big family dinner and movie night at our house. I loved playing Uno and snacking on popcorn. I really loved going to visit my grandparents, which we did quite often.

Growing up I was an avid reader. I enjoy reading now, but I spent much more time with my nose in a back then than I do these days. My favorite genre was and still is mystery so every time we would visit my father's mom I would always ask to borrow a book from her collection. She had Hardy Boys, Ellery Queen, Bobbsey Twins and my favorite: Nancy Drew. These books all had belonged to my aunt when she was growing up and I loved them. I read all the ones at my grandmother's house and when I finished those, I checked out any others I could find from the public library and from my school library. I got a few of the recent ones when I was in high school, but I certainly did not own very many.

A few years ago, my grandmother moved into assisted living and my aunt offered me all of her old Nancy Drew books. I jumped at the opportunity to have them! They were so much a part of my childhood and I still loved all things Nancy Drew so of course I accepted her generous offer. At the time I received them, I was still living at my mom's house so I just put them into my closet to go through later. I had pretty much forgotten about them until last week when I finally went back to get them.

I was so excited to see them again and go through the box to see what all I had.

I believe most of these books are from the 60s and 70s. They are all vintage yellow matte hardcover books. I checked and discovered that there were 56 books total made in this style and I'm only missing 17, but I actually have several duplicate books.

I'm so stoked to have these! I feel like a kid again. =)

What are some of your favorite things from childhood? Do you have a collection?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fruit Smoothies!

While looking for a smoothie recipe, I came across one of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade recipes called Fruity Freeze. The recipe calls for 16. oz frozen strawberries (I used a bag of frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries), 3/4 cup of orange juice, 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice and 2 cups of ice.

I placed all of the ingredients into a blender and blended until I got a smooth mixture. I really enjoyed this and it was so easy to make.

So if you're looking for an easy, tasty, frozen drink you should give this a try!