Thursday, May 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli ~ From Ready Set Eat!

I like to cook.
Don't get me wrong.
But I don't know about you guys, I just don't like to cook

So I am always looking for easy and delicious
weeknight meals that don't come from a box.
Well, today I have just the solution...

Please welcome Elizabeth from ReadySetEat:


Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Ordering takeout can get expensive, and making the
same dishes at home can be quite easy!
Try making this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli,
and you’ll only spend fifteen minutes for prep time.

Make sure to plan ahead since you’re using a slow cooker,
though, and start cooking earlier in the day.
Slow cookers are used a lot in the winter,
because they’re great for making tasty comfort foods,
but slow cookers are also useful in the
summer because they won’t heat up your house.


  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1/4 cup La Choy® Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz. each) frozen broccoli florets
  • Hot cooked rice, optional


  1. Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Stir together 3/4 cup water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger in slow cooker. Add beef; turn to coat with soy sauce mixture.
  2. Cover; cook on LOW 7-1/2 hours or on HIGH 3-1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef from slow cooker. Combine cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup water in small bowl; stir into slow cooker. Cover; cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  3. Meanwhile, pull beef into shreds with 2 forks; cover to keep warm. Place broccoli in microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until broccoli is thawed. Add beef and broccoli to slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover; cook on HIGH 15 minutes more or until mixture is hot. Serve with rice, if desired.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Elizabeth L. on behalf of ReadySetEat.


That sounds incredible!
And I am always telling myself to use my crockpot more.
Thanks, Elizabeth!

If you guys want to find some great quick and easy dinner ideas, 
or even sides and desserts...check out ReadySetEat RIGHT NOW!
Choose your item, enter your ingredients in the search tool...
and it will give you tasty ideas ready in 30 minutes or less!
Dinner is DONE.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
And don't forget why we celebrate!
Thank you to all who defend our freedoms!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Entertainment Center to TV Console Makeover

I have missed you!
NO, really.
And I almost feel the need to reintroduce myself......again. :)

Anyway...we have been spending every spare minute working
on the bathroom redo and I have not had time to get this done!
I's been DONE.... but not done.  You know? my new entertainment center?
Wanna see what it used to look like?

Here's the official Before and After...
but scroll down to see the magic in action! 

First...start with an outdated entertainment center.
Excuse the husband person...I forgot to take any
pics before we started taking things apart.

It actually used to have a partition on the upper left side with a glass door...
we took that off a couple years ago so we could fit the flat screen in there.

Let's back up, shall we?
It all started when Jon decided he wanted to mount the TV on the wall.
Then what do we do with the entertainment center?
I didn't really like any of the consoles we saw...
unless we wanted to spend gobs of money...
sooooo not necessary.

We talked about making some shelves and baskets below รก la something I saw on Pinterest.
Then I had this brilliant idea to use what we already had.
I know...sometimes I amaze even myself.
So the story began...

First we removed the top...we knew we wanted to keep that part.

Then with a hand saw we cut off the vertical sides down to the bottom.
Pretty easy, it doesn't have to be pretty...just even.

See why pretty doesn't matter?
We're attaching the top piece the bottom section and it will cover any saw marks.
Unless you got really carried away and went all Texas Chainsaw on it or something.
Then I can't help you.

Once we made sure we had it centered on the bottom piece,
we used Gorilla wood glue in generous amounts and then set
some heavy things on the top while it dried for a couple days.
Oh...and we took the doors off...filled the screw holes and sanded.
Yep...forgot that part.

Once it was ready...I used some home mixed chalk paint...two coats later...
and it looks like it was always one short piece of furniture and never anything else.
This was Martha Stewart's Tidewater...
It's a little more green than aqua, but I made it work in the room.

A little dark wax and allover clear wax and you have an amazing transformation!
I searched high and low for the perfect size baskets...they were never to be found.
I found these almost perfect ones at World Market...but there was still something missing...

Besides the need to put some tools away...
my baskets needed some liners!
Not only did they unify the look, but they kept the CDs and DVDs
from leaning to and fro on the uneven seagrass weave.

I was going to do a tutorial on making liners for baskets...
but, NO...since mine didn't fit properly and I was mad at them
and just cut a slit in the back and blew raspberries at them...
I thought maybe I would pass on the how-to.
But they are pretty from the front! :)

The reason it took so long to get this out to you...
well, once we redid the TV console...the rest of the room needed a facelift.
I couldn't very well, just leave you with one little corner, could I?
This is our loft "bonus room" as it's called...but to us it's our TV room.
But since it's upstairs, it has always been the castoff room.
You know...the place you send the furniture and decor
you didn't want to use in the rest of the house?

Well, no more!  I wanted it to be cozy.
We don't watch tons of TV but when we do, it's a fun family time.
I wanted it to be a relaxing place to hang out.
We did get a new loveseat and extra wide chair, but that's because we really needed them.
Then I began brainstorming decor.
I was going for cottage style when I planned the console, so I went with the whole room.

Now, I can't say my interpretation of cottage style and yours are compatible.
That doesn't matter, all that matters is we love it.
It's cozy and has a collected look...that's the story I'm going with.

It started with this big framed Rodney White print I picked
up at Tuesday Morning a couple years ago.
I have always loved it and never had a place for it.
I decided it was becoming a focal point in this room
The "frieze" above the TV came from Hobby Lobby.
You can see I moved the Barnwood Flower Box up here...I like it here even better.

But anyway...I also shopped the house and the garage.
The large star above I used to have in the living room...
The old window has been collecting dust and spider webs
in the garage for longer than I can remember.
I had primed it once, sloppily...with plans to paint it black...
then I was struck by inspiration to paint it one of the
twelve thousand samples of aqua paint I have...

But know...scraping paint is one of my least favorite things to do...
this little razor blade was the bane of my existence for several evenings after dinner.

I used my Silhouette to cut some birds on a wire from vinyl...
and I am in love with my new wall art.
I hung it sideways because it worked better in the space and with the birds.
Sweet, huh?
The clock I adore came from Decor Steals I think...I have a thing for clocks.
The blue bird is from Hobby Lobby.

Our loveseat and chair came with some hideous throw pillows.
I mean, so ugly, even a mother would have a hard time, you know?
That was an easy fix, I just picked up some fun coordinating fabric
and sewed some super simple envelope covers for them.
{Almost} instant makeover.

{***I found the link above for you because she made hers almost exactly like I made mine,
but know this...I detest ironing and would never do such a detestable thing to something
I'm going to be mashing up against on the couch! :) ha ha}

I found the aqua button pillow at HomeGoods and wish
I had gotten it's large square counterpart.
My mom warned me...she said I'd be sorry...and of course, she was right.

The fun sunburst mirror I picked up at Hobby Lobby...on sale, because, really.
The chunky cable throw was 80% off...because I wasn't going to pay $80 for it!
Crazy.  I bought 2 of the 3 they had...and should have gotten all 3.
And my last crafty contribution...I made the LOVE sign
with some scrap wood, some chalk paint, vinyl, and some fabric strips.

And there you have it...
A whole room change because of one man's desire to wall-mount the television.
In the was a good decision. :)
Thanks, love.

There's still a side table you didn't see beside the oversized chair that I need to paint,
but it's basically a done deal.
It's fun and cozy to hang out here and lounge around.
To me it feels much like a vacation cottage or something.

Eclectic and collected, just like the rest of my life. :)
And like this print I mentioned above:
"We tend to seek happiness...when happiness is actually a choice."
See why I love it so?

I spent about $40 for paint, baskets, and fabric...
which is a bargain when you consider most of the
new consoles we saw started at around $300...
that's a $260 or more savings!
Yay me!

Well, the bathroom I bought the paint for a year an a half ago...
we've made tons of progress on...but it's kinda slow going.
I'd say we're over half done...I think the hardest part is over.
I need to get it done, so I can put the toilet back in there.
We keep hoping no one drops by unexpectedly.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there...
whether by birth or by love...
Have a great one!!!

Sharing here:

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