Monday, February 17, 2014

Easy DIY Grout Cleaner

This is a post that I thought about creating awhile back, however I never got around to it. After sharing some DIY cleaner ideas recently, I had a friend ask if I had any ideas for a DIY grout cleaner. This is something that I have been making and using for a couple of years so I was happy to share it. Our rental condo has a tile entry way and the grout always gets dark after a winter in slushy Ohio. Last time I cleaned it, I snapped some pics. Read on my friends!

Items needed:

Rubber Cleaning Gloves
Baking Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide
Junk Toothbrush
Junk Mixing Bowl
Old Towel or Rag for Clean-up

Start by pouring about a half a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Then take the peroxide and add a little bit at a time, stirring it in with the toothbrush to make a paste. Once a spreadable paste is formed you can get those gloves on and start spreading it onto the grout.

Really goop it on there so the grout is fully covered. Now let it sit for about 10 minutes to let it work. One you let it can take the toothbrush and scrub a dub.

Now one secret squirrel tip that I can share...the mixture can be used again on another cross section (I tend to do this in sections so it isn't so overwhelming). Once you scrub with the tooth brush, there is lots of gunk left on the tiles. Take your gloved hands and if it is still moist move it over to more dirty grout! If it isn't, you can rehydrate it in the bowl with more peroxide, then scoop it back onto the floor. This process takes lots of patience and time, however. Feel free to just make a huge batch and do it all at once. That works too!!
One you are all done, use an old towel or rage to clean it all up. I usually mop wash it after that too, because a gritty film can get left behind from the baking soda.
Now the #1 reason that I never posted this when I did it...I forgot the "Before and After" photos!!! *doh*  If any of you that use this want to leave some pics in the comments, I would be very appreciative!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eating Healthy at Disney World

Today I am "back on track", as I like to say, with Weight Watchers. I have been trying to do the online program, however I have not been sticking with it. Hi ho, hi ho...back to meetings I go. With less than two weeks till our road trip to Disney I started to wonder what I will eat and try to stay on program. Listed below are a few of the healthy options that I have found...and believe or not, they look tasty!!

Magic Kingdom

Columbia Harbour House - Grilled Salmon (Counter Service)
Picture used with permission from
My father has gotten this on previous trips and loved it. It is a huge serving and could easily be shared.
Liberty Tree Tavern - Colony Salad (Table Service)
This is one that I have gotten in the past and LOVED! Now, the only reason I ordered this on this particular day was so that I would have enough room for my favorite dessert (which we won't talk about here...*clears throat* Oogey Gooey Toffee Cake)
Tangierine Café - Falafel Wrap (Counter Service)

Once again...a favorite of mine. And all so healthy (baklava excluded). Hmm...are we seeing a pattern here? Maybe if I just stay away from all these sweets, I'd be ok!

Teppan Edo - Anything Hibachi (Table Service)

Picture used with permission from

It has been years since we have been to this place, but we do love it. The have all veggie options as well as chicken, swordfish, shrimp...all of which would be considerably healthy!

Hollywood Studios

Backlot Express - Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salad (Counter Service)

Picture used with permission from

Everyone knows that Hollywood Studios is not known for their counter service selections. I like a vegetarian option from time to time and I always enjoy fruit in a salad. This selection features both!
Brown Derby - Split Roasted American Bison (Table Service)
Picture used with permission from

To counter attack my veggie selection for the counter service, I would pick this lean read meat as a dinner entrée. Bison has about the same amount of calories per serving as turkey, but a slightly higher protein content. Bison is also higher in iron and B12 than other meats! Healthy indeed!

Animal Kingdom

Tamu Tamu - South African Quinoa Salad (Counter Service)

Picture used with permission from
I love me some quinoa! Feta, quinoa, olives, chickpeas, pita?? This is a salad made in heaven!
Tusker House - Buffet (Table Service)
Picture used with permission from
One of our favorite buffets, this has to be up there with Boma for healthy options. Plenty of whole grains, meats and veggies to make you healthy and happy. Just try to stay away from the bread pudding!

 What are your favorite healthy choices in "The World"?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Driving to Disney Series / Step #2 - Packing

Anyone that knows me and my Disney planning can tell you that I am a compulsive packer. I pack a month out...then repack...then unpack and repack usually once again before the trip. Why?? I don't really have a good answer for it. I want to get a jump on things and make sure our "must take" clothing items are out of normal laundry rotation. I also want to make sure that nothing is missed. I have a handy dandy packing list that I use. I have a blog post about it: here. This time, however, will be much different. I'm a bit panicky...because....WE ARE DRIVING!

Here's what I have together.

Minimal clothes for the 5 days that we will be on the road (Yes, five. I'll explain later)

- Light Pants
- Jeans
- Shorts
- Underwear
- Tee Shirts
- Hoody
- Crocs
- Bathing Suits
- Socks

Mouse Ears / Autograph Books / Crushed Penny Tube / Ponchos

-You know...the park necessities. Okay...maybe not necessities for everyone, but for our family.

Car Snacks *still have to get some of this stuff - and a new bag of puffs (don't judge...they are good)

- Pop Tarts
- Pringles
- Capri Sun
- Horizon Milk Singles (for my little one)
- Goldfish Puffs
- String Cheese
- PB n J Sandwiches
- Applesauce / Fruit Pouches
- Bottles of Water
- Go-Gurts (which I fill freeze)
- Candy for my hubby and I for when the kids are sleeping :)

Toys and Activities

- Pre-K Activity Pack (found: here)
- New book for the Leap Reader
- Big Mickey Gloves from the Disney Store (my 4 year old will love waving to cars)
- Window Markers
- Board Books (for the little one)
- New DVDs (Jake and Harry Hugglemonster)
- I made an iSpy bottle (found: here)
- Small packs of coloring books/crayons

Apps for my iPhone

Now I was going to make this a whole post on its own, but I figured that would best be saved for after the trip when I can say how well the apps worked! So, I guess..stay tuned for that!

- Gas Buddy
- Roadside
- Waze
- Roadtrippers
- Priceline
- Field Trip
- Wi-Fi Finder
- TripAdvisor
- iExit Lite
- Trapster
- Rest Stops

Now to figure out how to pack the car. I plan on rotating the toys and goodies. I don't want to be under a mound of stuff and I don't want the kids to have access to all of it all at once, so I'll pack 2-3 totes and have one up with me at all times that will contain a snack a drink and a toy.

As far as stroller, we will be renting from Kingdom Strollers. We have used them in the past and have loved their service. We actually had to make an adjustment to our stay, and it was the easiest process!! I emailed them and asked if I could adjust my rental by one day and they responded yes and then an hour or so later they sent a confirmation that it had been taken car of!

So this may be a good segue as to the reason why we had the adjustment to begin with. My husband hasn't had a normal day off in months. He had requested both of our kids' birthdays off and received them, however he hasn't been on a scheduled day off since before Christmas! His work is finally fully staffed and he actually has a scheduled day off that butts up to our trip (which was also requested and granted). So it looks like all of his hard work has paid off and we are now getting FIVE DAYS to travel!! Our vacation moved up by one day to give us two days on either side for a nice leisurely road trip!

Our driving plans will need adjusted, but I think it'll be for the better!

...more to come :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza

You know...when you make spaghetti and make WAAAAYYYYY too much? I do that with my crock pot recipes. Mainly shredded BBQ chicken. It's so easy and my family loves it so much. You'd think I'd freeze some, but I never do and I always have way too much. I've started making BBQ chicken pizza the day after every batch of chicken I cook up. I think I look forward to the pizza now more than the chicken itself.

Here's the recipe -

Pizza Dough (I buy a ball of it from my local grocery store bakery)
Olive Oil
BBQ Sauce
Shredded BBQ Chicken
Red Onion - Thinly Sliced
Smoked Gouda or Mozzarella Cheese
BBQ seasoning
Cilantro - Chopped toppings vary by taste, hence the lack of measurements.

Preheat your oven to 500° and place pizza stone (if you have one) in the middle rack.

Roll or toss your dough into a circle. If you don't have a stone, you can place the dough onto a pizza pan slicked with olive oil.

Take your favorite BBQ sauce and use the back of a spoon to smear it around onto the dough.

Take your shredded chicken and glop it onto the dough in bite sized amounts. Then place the onion all around too.

For the cheese choice...I adore this pizza with smoked gouda, however if you want something a bit less bold you can try mozzarella. Here,  I use fresh mozzarella because I had some left over from a dinner earlier in the week. Once it is all over the pizza take the BBQ seasoning and sprinkle it over the top...once again all of this is to taste.

It looks so pretty!

Place it into the oven. If you are using a stone, then slide the pizza onto it using a wide spatula (or two). Stay close because we are using high heat here! After about 5 minutes open the oven and rotate it. Keep an eye on it after won't be too much longer. Once it looks melty and bubbly and the outside crust resembles a pizza you would order then it is done!!

Sprinkle the cilantro over the pizza and slice it up!


I am getting hungry just thinking about to lunch.....*nom nom nom*