Tag Archives: kitchen

Kind Of Adulting?

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Kind Of Adulting?

Hello! My boyfriend and I recently celebrated his thirty-first birthday and my twenty-sixth. Johnny and I have birthdays exactly one week apart from each other and I kind of have to laugh at our haul. We received and purchased quite a few appliances for the kitchen and bathroom so adulting, right? Sort of!

Johnny and I are also big kids at heart so our birthdays wouldn’t be complete without something a little more fun. Hence, the LEGO sets we gifted to each other. We got the perfect combination of “work” and “play” things for our birthdays and despite feeling like a grown up with our new appliances, we couldn’t be happier! We have been enjoying the following:

Electric Toothbrush:

I have had a lot of dental woes compliments of my oral surgery gone wrong two years ago. Because of the extensive problems I still suffer from, I have to see a periodontist pretty frequently. My periodontist has recommended an electric toothbrush till he’s blue in the face and I guess I didn’t realize just how bad I needed it until I found my gum problems were getting worse.

That past visit to the periodontist happened a week or so before my birthday and I planned on purchasing an electric toothbrush for myself. But, then I remembered birthday and my mom agreed to let me order one off of Amazon. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe I had been brushing my teeth any other way before. And, now I can’t picture my dental care without it.

The best part? Johnny loves it too and let me pick out a pink electric toothbrush that we share, with different brush heads obvi! I just adore the color and I am so pleased with the results I’ve had so far. 🙂

Air Fryer:

Johnny’s parents so kindly gifted us with their barely used air fryer, which was amazing because we were going to buy one right after we left their home. So, instead, we went to the grocery store and purchased ALL of the air fried delicacies you can think of. French fries, mozzarella sticks, hash browns, you name it. Then, we went back to our apartment and had a big air fried feast!

We are so obsessed with the ease of using our air fryer and how FREAKING AMAZING it makes everything taste. We are both looking forward to trying new recipes and if you have any favorites, please pass them along. Especially anything vegetarian. 😀

Brita Water Pitcher:

The last new thing we got for our apartment was a Brita water pitcher and filters. Mainly because Johnny was sick of lugging all of my water bottles and gallons after going grocery shopping! Haha, but seriously, the Brita pitcher is awesome. We have both been drinking so much more water, which comes right from our own tap and filters to delicious, safe to drink H20 instantly.

I honestly have never seen Johnny drink as much water since purchasing the Brita pitcher and it is such a positive change. I, myself, have been drinking way more too even though I’m usually pretty good about it. The filters last for one month and they are inexpensive to purchase – I got six on Amazon for twenty-five bucks.

Another great bonus? The pitcher and filters are easily going to pay for themselves since we won’t be purchasing water at the store anymore. You just can’t beat that.

Johnny and I are adulting in our own way and I love it. We also love all of these handy little tools that make life so much easier! 😀

What is your favorite appliance? How do you stay young at heart? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Hello! For the past few months Lil Red has spent a majority of her time indoors due to the coronavirus. When you have no access to the outside world, it is way harder than you can imagine to create daily content! Ever since lifewithlilred began over five years ago, I have always encouraged guest bloggers on my page – especially now!

This is why I am so grateful to my sweet friend, Alice, from Alice Rambles for reaching out to me with a tasty recipe for butternut squash risotto. This recipe combines a bunch of my favorite things and I am looking forward to trying it myself. After checking this post out, do be sure to give Alice’s page some love and if you are interested in guest posting on lifewithlilred, please email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com .

Now, let’s get to it:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Hi everyone, my name is Alice (from Alice Rambles). Sarah has very kindly offered to let me write a guest post for her blog, and I thought today I’d share one of my favourite easy recipes – butternut squash risotto!

In the UK, butternut squash are harvested throughout summer and autumn, so this dish not only uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it also reduces our food air miles which is always a great thing to consider. This recipe is also easy to adapt for vegetarian and vegan diets and serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative), finely grated
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of sage (fresh or dried)

 

Equipment:

  • Large baking tray
  • Medium saucepan
  • Large wide saucepan or deep frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 7. Mix your chopped squash with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Spread it over the baking tray and roast it for 30 mins, until it’s soft on the inside but slightly coloured on the outside. Mash half of the squash into a rough puree, and leave the other half whole.

  • Next, heat up your stock in the medium saucepan – bring it to the boil first, and then lower to a simmer. In the wide saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook it slowly until it is soft, but not coloured.

  • Stir the rice into the buttery onions, and keep stirring until the rice is shiny and the grains are starting to become transparent.

  • Pour in the wine, stir it through and simmer until it has all evaporated. Turn the heat down to low, then start adding the stock (one ladle at a time) and stir continuously.

  • Keep going until you’ve used up all of the stock – at this point the risotto should be thick and creamy, with the rice still retaining a bit of bite to it.

  • Stir the squash puree through the risotto, then add the grated Parmesan.

  • Serve, and garnish with the remaining chunks of roasted squash.

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And there you have it, so simple! This recipe is great for when you fancy a nice warming meal and, of course, you can mix it up by adding your own herbs, spices, and flavours if you wish. If you’d like to see more of my posts then do check out my blog (Alice Rambles), and let me know if you give this recipe a try!

Thank you so much again to Alice for sharing her delicious recipe with all of us! What is your favorite kind of risotto? What is one of your favorite seasonal dishes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

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Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

Helloooo! One of my most favorite foods in the whole world is SOUP. I friggen LOVE it and find myself craving a huge bowl of French Onion even during the hot summer months. Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Always. While in quarantine, I have become increasingly fond of the soup and sandwich combo for lunches at home on the weekend.

Although, nothing beats my mom’s homemade soups, I have had pretty good luck finding vegetarian friendly canned soup at the grocery store. Normally, I’ll heat up whichever soup I feel like on the stove top (I’m partial to Progresso’s Butternut Squash) and make a grilled cheese or bagel sandwich to go with it.

I am a huge fan of Everything bagels and recently went with the following for an easy and filling lunch:

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The Amy’s Southwestern Vegetable was definitely not as good as their Black Bean soup but it was alright. Although, I can’t say I would want to get it again. Meanwhile, on my sandwiches, I love to have a leafy green on it like spinach, lettuce, or sprouts. Then, to break up the dryness of the bagel, I apply hummus and a spicy mustard for that extra special little kick. 😉

We are in a very weird time right now and, purchasing food that you can stretch out will really help you limit your visits to the grocery store. The beauty of the bagel sandwich? You could get yourself the ingredients for about ten bucks and it would provide you with lunches for an entire week!

I have grown very fond of packing myself a bagel sandwich for my longer days at work and it always nips the hunger pains right in the bud. It has been a solid month since I have gone grocery shopping for myself and my boyfriend so, hopefully, this fondness will continue as I eat my way through this bag of bagels. 😅

What is your favorite kind of soup? What is a food that you can eat any time no matter the weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fine Dining At Home: So Much Spaghetti Edition

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Fine Dining At Home: So Much Spaghetti Edition

Hello! My method of grocery shopping has always been to just do one big monthly haul and be set for the next four to five weeks. This technique has proved especially beneficial while in quarantine because it minimized the amount of times that Johnny and I have been in a grocery store exponentially. But, once we get to the point of needing another trip to the store, it is super slim pickings in our kitchen. And, in those trying times of feeling like I have “nothing” to eat at home, I say a special little thank you to the spaghetti and noodle family.

Johnny and I will make a pot of spaghetti with garlic bread once or twice a month. It is never not delicious and it also gives us a lot of leftovers, which is always nice. And, it’s also nice to share a bottle of wine with your Italian dinner! My pantry has a ton of spaghetti staples to help complete the meal and I love trying out different sauces when I go to the store. We currently are working with the following in our pantry:

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Spaghetti has been a Mushenheim family go to meal for as long as I can remember and it has forever been one of my favorites. I never say no to Alfredo, pesto, or tomato sauces and tend to have at least one of each kind at the ready in my cabinets. There is nothing better than plain old spaghetti with sauce but the best part of the noodle family is all of the delicious pasta salads that you can make!

When I have fresh veggies at home, I love to chop up a selection of colored bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and garlic to saute over the pasta. Then, I add fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar for a tasty summer salad that I enjoy throughout the year. 😉 Don’t forget the garlic bread, bread sticks, focaccia bread, or baguettes. And only the finest Barefoot Peach Fruitscato wine (which is my obsession right now) for a delicious, easy meal.

What are some of your favorite simple dinners to make? Which meals can you make stretch for infinite leftovers? (Mine is baked ziti!) I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are Your Drains Healthy? Here Are The Signs They’re Not!

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Are Your Drains Healthy? Here Are The Signs They’re Not!

If there is one thing that can cause upset for your property, it’s drain issues. There are a lot of jobs around the house that you can do yourself, from fixing a busted fuse to changing a light bulb. However, there are just some jobs that require a little help from the professionals.

Plumbing and drain issues are some of the worst for a house. They cause a level of disruption that you can’t fathom until it happens to you! It’s hard enough to figure out what the problem might be, but fixing it? That’s a whole other ball game! If you need sewer line repair, you need to call the professionals. If you need to replace the drains, that’s another job you can’t do alone.

So, you need to know the signs of the drains being unhealthy, and we’ve got a list of the most common signs for you below:

Stinky Pipes:

Everyone notices the smell of a dead drain. The food rot, the rotting plants – they don’t smell great! Dirty water that stagnates has a foul odor, and you will notice it right away. The worst thing is that the smell will make its way through the house – not what you want! This is where you want to have your drains snaked and thoroughly cleaned. It’s also so important to dispose of the grease and fat from your pans properly. Don’t throw old grease down the drain – it’ll stink!

Slow Toilet Drainage:

We’ve all been there at least once: we flush the toilet, and we watch the water rise up before it drains. Except for this time, the water level isn’t changing, and nothing is flushing…oops! The worst is when this happens in someone else’s house! However, a plunger should work here, and that will help the waste to drain correctly. If you’re still having issues, then that’s when you call the plumbers!

Gurgling Drains:

Your drains should never be singing to you. Pipes and fixtures are designed to be silent, so you need to think about what could be causing the bubbles. Dirt and grease build-up is one reason, but you really need the water to drain down slowly. Clean drains don’t speak, and you need to ask the professionals to use a long wire to let go of all the built-up muck.

Dreadful Damp:

A drain or pipe that has collapsed or cracked can cause damp within your property. The damage that the drain causes will disrupt the flowing water, causing damp in the walls of the home. So, you need to avoid penetrating wet rot and learn to spot the damp signs in the house. When you notice it, try to figure out the source of the wet and call in the professionals to help. The last thing that you want is to deal with substantial damp patches all over the house.

Drains are supposed to be quiet, clean, and smell nice. If yours are playing up, call in the right professionals, and don’t wait around!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Where Can You Cut Costs When Working On Your Kitchen?

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Where Can You Cut Costs When Working On Your Kitchen?

DIY has long been a popular way to make your home look better without spending a small fortune on it. A lot of people are choosing to go down this route with their homes, working hard to make changes by themselves. Of course, even when you do all of the hard work yourself, it will always be difficult to avoid spending money on a room like a kitchen. There are simply too many expensive items which go into this space.

When planning to renovate a kitchen, you need to get prices for everything and compare those prices to see which is best. You will need to get prices for a skip, flooring, cupboard doors, and possibly even screws and hinges among other necessities. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to save in the kitchen, covering each of the elements you’ll need to buy:

Cabinets & Surfaces:

This is usually the priciest part of most kitchens. The cabinets and surfaces you have can cost a lot, but you need them to be able to use the room effectively. Thankfully, people often sell this part of their home when they renovate. You can find loads of kitchens cabinets on sites like eBay, and many of them will come in excellent condition. While you have to collect them yourself, this option will be far cheaper than buying something new, while also giving you the opportunity to get features which you may not have been able to afford brand new.

Appliances:

Appliances are another area which can be expensive when you’re renovating your kitchen, leaving a lot of people to keep their old machines for this job. Like the cabinets, though, you can often find appliances in great condition on the used market. This is always a lot cheaper than buying the items new.’

Flooring:

While it may seem like something which should be nice and cheap, flooring can often be one of the priciest parts of a new kitchen. With tiles being so expensive, a lot of people opt for plastic flooring, though this rarely looks perfect. There are a lot of discount tile retailers around the web, giving you access to this resource for far less than you’d pay full price. It’s well worth hunting for deals on items like this, as this can drastically reduce the price of your kitchen, while also keeping it looking good.

Sinks, Taps, & Other Accessories:

Finally, as the last area to think about, it’s time to consider sinks, taps, and other accessories which finish your kitchen. These will always be the most noticeable objects in your kitchen, and this makes it worth spending more on them than the other areas in this post. You can usually find good second hand deals for them, but buying them from regular stores shouldn’t be too hard, as long as you’ve saved enough money on the other parts of the room.

Building a new kitchen will be a challenge. Not only will you have to find everything you need at the lowest prices, but you will also need to put the room together. You’re going to need to do some learning to achieve the best results, but these skills will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Apartment Must Haves: Kitchen & Cleaning Necessities Edition

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Apartment Must Haves: Kitchen & Cleaning Necessities Edition

Hi! So, the first time I went grocery shopping, I was so focused on stocking up on ALL of the food that I forgot the sage words of my client’s mom to remember about cleaning supplies and things like garbage bags, plastic wrap, etc. Of course, I remembered this advice as soon as I got back to my apartment and had to turn around and go back to pick up things like zip lock baggies, sponges, and the like. And, we can’t forget about laundry detergent and dish soap! Here are just a few of my necessities when it comes to cleaning:

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It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the big must haves of moving that the little things like your cleaning supplies go unnoticed. Stocking up on these things is important and, unless you’re deep cleaning your place every day, they should last you for a good long while.

On that note, it’s a great idea to invest in a nice trash can. One with a flip up lid, preferably! You don’t want your garbage stinking up the place so do be sure to grab some high quality bags to line your bin with, too. I purchased a stainless steel one from Target and I have yet to have any issues with garbage odors. And, the steel makes it easy to clean in case of spills.

The next thing that I would like to purchase when it comes to cleaning is a Swiffer WetJet for my hardwood and tile floors in the apartment, because those are starting to look a little rough. And, I suppose a vacuum will come in handy, too. But, for now, the carpeted rooms aren’t frequented enough for that to be completely necessary just yet. Talk about adulthood, amiright?!

What are some cleaning necessities that you recommend? How do you keep your place fresh and clean? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Simple Tips For Adding Value To Your Home

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5 Simple Tips For Adding Value To Your Home

Every homeowner will at times think about adding value to their home, and some will even have it as a priority. Often used as a way to move up the property ladder, homeowners are always looking for easy ways to increase the value of their property, but don’t always know the best ways to go about it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, there are many ways that you can achieve this.

Whether you’re looking to increase the value of your house for resale or you just want to complete some renovation work to get your home looking picture perfect, it’s best to have a look below at some of the simple tips for adding value to your home:

Creating Open Spaces:

If you’re looking for and don’t mind a huge renovation project, then opening up your downstairs living space into an open plan could be one of the best things you can do in order to add value to your home. It’s something that a lot of buyers, especially those with families are looking for. Creating a space that you can enjoy for entertaining both family and friends which will be used and seen as the center of your home can be enjoyed if you’re staying or deciding to move on. What is guaranteed though is that you will be looking for a space similar in your next home!

Gardens & Outside Spaces:

Sometimes the outside areas of your home can be forgotten, however, they should be a priority especially when you’re looking to add value to your home. At the end of the day, the outside of your home is either the first impression before people enter or the only impression that people have of your home as they never go inside. This means it’s not only important to maintain it but it’s also important to make sure it looks its best on the curb appeal side of things.

Whether you need to replace the doors, repair the walkways, or fit a new garage with an electric door you should think about looking at these as an easy way to increase the value of your home. When thinking about the outside spaces you have to make sure you think about the landscaping of your garden, every buyer will look at the garden as a project if you don’t look after it yourself. You could even look at palm trees for sale as a unique item to add as a tropical feature.

Renovate The Bathroom And Kitchen:

Often seen as two big projects in themselves, upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms can add a significant amount to the value of any property. If you’re looking to sell and want to get the best price possible, then renovating these areas will do wonders for you. Buyers will normally have a ‘move in ready’ kitchen and bathroom on their list because after buying a new home they don’t want to have the costs of renovating them themselves.

Although these can be seen as big projects that you will need to spend time and money on, rest assured that they will definitely increase the property of your home.

Featured Image By: Terry Magallanes from Pexels

Improvements That Could Increase The Value Of Your Home

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Improvements That Could Increase The Value Of Your Home

Are you looking for ways to improve your home, but aren’t sure where to start? Making improvements to your home can be extremely satisfying and you can customize it all to your liking. If you are on a limited budget, it can be hard to know which parts of your home should be prioritized when carrying out a renovation. If you are looking for improvements that will help to add some extra value to your home and, potentially make it more appealing to future buyers, these ideas should help:

Replace Your Windows and Doors:

Your home’s windows and doors are one of the first things that people will notice about your house; as they are one of the most prominent features on your home’s exterior. Over time, windows and doors are subjected to the elements and have to withstand everything from heavy snowstorms to the hot sun beating down onto them. It’s little wonder that every now and again it is a good idea to get your windows and doors replaced. As windows and doors are such an integral part of your home and perform such an important role, it is vital to choose replacement windows and doors which are well-made and of the highest quality. Mr. Rogers Windows and Doors offers a fantastic range of replacement windows and doors, which are sure to improve the appearance of any home.

Convert Your Loft:

Your loft is a part of the house that has enormous potential. If your attic is currently being used as a storage area, then why not bring it to life and get some real use out of it? Your loft offers endless opportunities for use as an extra living space in your home. Using your loft space to add extra bedrooms and bathrooms can really increase the value of your home, and make it all the more appealing to potential buyers. If you have no immediate plans to sell your home, a loft conversion still has its benefits. All the extra living space that you create makes a perfect place for guests to stay and is ideal if your family is still growing.

Update Your Kitchen:

Changing your kitchen can be a large project to undertake, but it is totally worth it when complete. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so making it a space that is as attractive as it is functional is important. Kitchen renovations can be super expensive, but you can adjust your makeover plans to suit your budget, and still make a big difference to the way your kitchen looks. If you are on a tight budget but still want to change things up, why not simply change the doors and worktops, instead? Replacing the doors and worktops may be cost-effective but can still make a dramatic difference to the overall look of the room.

If you fancy going all-out on redesigning your new kitchen, then you may decide to gut it entirely and start again from scratch. Going back to basics means that you are able to utilize the space better and get the kitchen exactly how you would like it. Additions such as high-end integrated appliances, attractive tiles, and kitchen islands can really help to add value to your home.

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Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Renovate Your Bathroom:

Alongside the kitchen, the bathroom is the other room in your home that usually costs the most to improve. Due to the costs involved, a beautiful bathroom can have a really positive impact on your home’s value along with how much it appeals to potential buyers. If you have a small bathroom, you may look for ways to redesign it so that it appears bigger and less cramped. This can be achieved by installing a corner bath and corner sink so that less of the floor space is taken up, and every part of the room is utilized.

Be mindful of your budget, make a plan, and soon your house will be feeling brand new with an increased property value, to boot!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Simple Tricks For Unblocking Your Drain

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Simple Tricks For Unblocking Your Drain

Now that spring is here, it is the ideal time for us to look at cleaning the entire house to make a brand new start for the summer season. Spring cleaning is something we do once a year where the whole home is cleared out, tidied, and thoroughly cleaned, and it really makes life easier in the long run.

Today, we are going to have a chat about one specific part of your spring cleaning which can be a little tough: the drain. Our kitchen drain will often get clogged up with suds, food waste, and other deposits and it is up to us to clear this out so that the drain runs properly and doesn’t become blocked. You could use a Thrift drain cleaner, pipe cleaner and other methods to do this, and we are running through our top few methods today:

Wire Hanger:

If you know that your drain is clogged up to the max and you need to fix the blockage right away, a bent wire hanger can be ideal. It is a simple but effective choice and it will allow you to fish and dig for different sediment and dirt which might be left in the drain. Once you’ve pulled out as much as you can, make sure to rinse with hot water.

Baking Soda and Vinegar:

One of the easiest ways to clean a drain is by using a simple chemical reaction found in the kitchen. By mixing ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar and pouring it down the sink, you will be able to watch a fizzing reaction which would put any science fair volcano to shame. This is a super easy way to clean your drain and all you need to do is leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse with hot water after.

The Wet & Dry Vacuum:

If you weren’t already aware of this, there is such a thing as a wet and dry vacuum which is used for situations just like this. If you have one, you can set your vacuum to wet and cover up your vent to the sink to allow dirt to be sucked up without any mess.

Boiling Water:

If you don’t like the idea of throwing a ton of different chemicals down the drain every time you want to wash it, then boiling water will be for you. Everything has a melting point and when we pour hot water into the drain, it will start to melt the grime and dirt and wash it away. Let the water work its magic for a few seconds between each pour and soon your drain will be as good as new.

Caustic Soda:

For tough grease and grime which you cannot remove by regular means, this is one of the easiest ways to make sure that your drain is clean and tidy. To start, you will want to wear gloves as this is strong stuff and then mix 3 cups of caustic soda with ¾ gallon water. Stir well and pour into the drain before leaving for 30 minutes. Rinse with water.

Nothing is worse than a blocked drain, so clear it up with the simple methods above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay