July 2013

Quaker Oats Keep Us Going All Summer Long


I am thrilled to be writing a sponsored post on behalf of Quaker and their amazing line of breakfast foods.While I was
compensated for this post by Quaker, the opinions are my own.
This summer has been pretty active. Between soccer, ballet,
swimming, baseball, and all of the other fun activities that summer entails, I
am always trying to think of new and creative breakfasts that will keep us full
until lunch. 


I have
been eating Quaker oatmeal for a long time, so I was thrilled to be a part of
their ongoing commitment to fueling active and healthy families. Also, because
I have three little soccer fans in my house, I was excited to learn about
Quaker’s ongoing partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) club, The Chicago
Fire.  As part of the partnership, Quaker serves as the title sponsor of
the Chicago Fire Juniors, the club’s youth player development program that
supports more than 10,000 soccer kids and families in Chicago and nationally.

August 9 through August 11, Quaker and The Chicago Fire will team up to host
The Quaker Invitational, which brings together hundreds of Chicago Fire Juniors
teams from around the country for a weekend of soccer, community and fun.
The two winning youth teams will earn a chance to play on The
Chicago Fire’s home field, Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL on Sunday, August 11,
and each player in the tournament will receive a free game ticket to attend the
Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact MLS game at Toyota Park on Saturday, August
Luckily, I only have to feed my family of five, and I cannot
even imagine fueling all of those active little bodies that will be at Toyota
Park. However, I think I have come up with the perfect summer breakfast using Quaker
Oatmeal that does not involve hot cereal. Let’s face it, in the summer, cold is
where it’s at.
Brian and I will often eat a Quaker Chewy Granola bar for
breakfast as we chase the kids out the door to an activity. The kids on the
other hand, enjoy smoothies and love anything with yogurt. I like making them
parfaits, but, often times I have to leave out the granola because of their
food allergies. This is when I came up with the awesome idea to make my own nut
free granola with my favorite Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal. 


Erin’s Nut Free Granola with Quaker Oats

3 Cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
1 ½ Cups Rice Cereal (I used Rice Chex)
1 Cup dried berries
2 Tbs milled flax seeds
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup honey
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, mix together oats, cereal, and berries and
until well combined. Add brown sugar, syrup, honey, oil, vanilla, and salt and
fold together gently. 


Put on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 20-24 minutes
stirring occasionally (about every 6 minutes). Remove from oven, and let cool
before serving. 


This recipe is great, and it would be great with a little milk poured over it as a cereal or as an afternoon snack in the car. So far though, we have already made yogurt and
berry parfaits. 

There almost as many things to do with Quaker Oats as there
are activities to do in the summer. Almost!

Check out my other recipes using oatmeal HERE and
For more information about Quaker and their partnership with
Chicago Fire, click HERE.
If you would like to read more recipes or enjoy gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking or all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Brushed Nickel Linings Playbook to Faucet Repair

Last week, I shared that we had a bit of stress around here regarding some home repairs. As any homeowner knows, sometimes one thing leads to another when it comes to fixes.
In our case, a new hot water heater, in a kind of distant way led to the installation of a new kitchen faucet. The story kind of has a “Brushed Nickel Lining.”

After attempting with failure a few different options (new hoses, and a sprayer) on the old kitchen faucet, we decided it was time for a new one. We shopped around at Home Depot knowing that they carried Kohler fixtures, and we had a coupon and some gift cards.

While I would like to be upset (because of the time, money, and aggravation) this is now in my kitchen.

As Sarah Richardson always says, “fixtures are like the jewelry to any kitchen or bath.”

The reason we chose Kohler is because in our condo we had tried other brands of kitchen faucets. Also, the fact that we even had to replace a faucet after only living in a house for two years kind of made us feel like it was time for an upgrade. In addition, we read lots of online reviews and talked to people we trust about the brand. We knew this was kind of an expensive purchase, but to be honest, it is probably saving us money in the long run.

We decided on the Kohler Cruette. I liked the high curved neck for filling and washing big pots. Brian liked the built in spray hose that extends from the faucet as opposed to a separate one, and we both have an affinity for brushed nickel.


This decision was made as quickly as most of our major purchases due to A.) When you have 3 kids with you at any store there is a need for urgency B.) Brian and I have similar taste and C.) We typically go for price and practicality.

We brought home our new faucet, and then we sat on it for a day. We were operating without a kitchen sink ok, and Brian wanted to read up and watch a few tutorials on faucet installation and make sure we read through the instructions a few times. He also wanted to make sure we had everything we needed to do this job ourselves.

After living a few days without a kitchen faucet, we decided it was time. Brian was able to do this a few hours with the assistance of our littles ones.


Our kitchen sink went from this:



To this:


Brian and I are in no way plumbers, and I am sure that all faucets might have their own quirks and be installed their own way, so make sure you read the directions for your faucet carefully, watch a few tutorials of your own, or call a professional to install.


With that being said, we did learn a little bit. For example, the hole in our countertop was not large enough to accommodate the new faucet. It was literally millimeters off. So, we sanded the inside of the hole a bit and that allowed enough room for the new faucet while still being a snug fit.

We are so happy with our new faucet, partly because it is so gorgeous but mostly because it isn’t leaking into our sub basement anymore.

If you would like to read more about the home projects that happens here, or enjoy gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking or all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here


Follow on Bloglovin

Thirsty Thursday: Carmel Iced Coffee

<a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

It’s time for THIRSTY THURSDAY!!!

The past few weeks have been so busy, not only because of house craziness, but the kids are so active in soccer, baseball, swimming, and then add in a few playdates, and we are exhausted. The kids have been taking afternoon naps, and while admittedly sometimes I join them, other times I have to fold laundry or do a project. So, that is when I whip up an afternoon pick me up.


In the summer months it is hard to wrap my head around drinking a cup of hot green tea. While that is my normal pick me up, lately, it is just too hot. I found these little packets by Starbucks that are made for cold brewing, but you could of course chill some hot coffee too.


This recipe is simple is much less expensive and has fewer calories than pulling through a drive through. Also, you can put this in your favorite travel cup, which is much more kind to the environment.


Carmel Iced Coffee
1 packet of Starbucks via iced plain iced coffee (prepared with water)
OR 16 oz brewed coffee cooled
1 Tbs Carmel Syrup
1/2 cup of milk (Skim or 2% to keep the calories low)
Lots of ice


First, pour coffee into cup and mix with carmel syrup. Add ice. Finally, over ice pour milk and gently stir.


I will then take this tasty drink outside in this gorgeous weather and get home work done. Sometimes I weed the garden, make my phone calls, or do paperwork. Between the fresh air and a little zip of caffeine, I am as refreshed as the kids when they wake up from naps.


If you liked this installment of Thirsty Thursday and would like to read more about, Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here


When It Rains in the Basement, It Pours (Literally)

Did you ever have one of those days where everything intersects perfectly to create the Perfect Storm? It is like a mean example of Murphy’s Law where everything that could go wrong… does.

That happened last week, and while I would like to be sad about it all (and our wallets are definitely lighter) but, I have to say we are lucky the way everything turned out
Last Thursday, I had plans to meet two of my gal pals for dinner. When Brian walked in the door, he was greeted with hugs and kisses hello from the kids and myself. Then, on nights where I have to go out, Brian and I go over dinner for the kids, bedtime, and he usually asks me if laundry needs to be switched up before I leave (I’m one lucky lady). I was finishing up getting ready, and Brian went to finish switching up the laundry when I hear, “Erin, could you come down here for a minute?”
I walk downstairs to our unfinished basement and there is a line of water running along the drywall. UGH!!! We immediately go into panic mode, and begin the investigation of where it is coming from. After a few minutes of poking around with flashlights, and following water, we saw that it was definitely coming from the water heater.
We were actually both a little relieved that our basement wasn’t flooding and that getting a new water heater is one of those things that just happens with home ownership. We knew ours was getting up there in age, and it was probably time. Also, when you know (several) people who have had major flooding in their basement in the last year due to rain, you are thankful that you just a little dripping from an old water heater.
Despite the need for a new water heater we were grateful.
Brian insists that I go out to dinner, and that he will call around and figure out how to get a water heater here soon. I headed out for some much needed girly conversation. While I am out, and with the help of 21st century modern technology, Brian texts me that everything is taken care of and after reading reviews online, and calling around he was able to have Lowes deliver and install our new water heater sometime tomorrow. HOORAY!!!
I had a playdate scheduled for the next day, but we didn’t need hot water for that. Also, Brian said he would be home in time to meet the installers. There was no need to cancel our playdate. So, my friend, Colleen, and her three children came over for the day just as planned.
The next day, Brian got home from work early to over see the installation just as myself, my friend, Colleen, and our six kids sat down to lunch.
All was right with the world. Brian was coming home early from work to help with water heater installation. My three children were happily playing with three of their best friends. Colleen and I were enjoying spinach salad with berries and goat cheese (recipe coming soon). It was a great summer afternoon. I even had a craft planned. Sounds like fun, right? Sounds organized, right? Sounds… almost too perfect, right?
It was. The clouds were starting to roll in.
Brian lets the the Lowes installer in the house, and he leads the installer downstairs to our sub-basement. A few minutes later, Brian is standing in the dining room while we are finishing up lunch. I just assumed that the installer is down in the basement doing his thing. Well, you know what they say about assuming things, right?
That is when Brian says, “The installer is gone.”
There was a crack of thunder. “WHAT?!,” I reply.
“He said this is definitely a two person job, and they only sent him. He said he couldn’t do it all today, and that we should call Lowes to figure it out.”
Figure it out? Ok, minor setback. No worries. Brian calls Lowes, and Colleen and I start cleaning up lunch and trying to get the kids to take naps.
This is when the lightening started up. Needless to say, the kids didn’t nap. They were too wound up and excited to be together.
Then, more thunder. Also, after Brian talked to Lowes, they said, “Sure, we can send a two man crew out, as early as Monday.” Just to get you up to speed that is THREE days away. Three days without hot water, with kids in the house who need baths.
While, we probably could have waited it out, our real problem was with how Lowes handled the installation problem. Instead of the installer calling from our house and working with his supervisor to get a time later in the day or even tomorrow. He basically told us we were out of luck, and then left.
But, the clouds had started to clear up a bit. Brian calls Home Depot. He is on the phone for a few minutes, and our problem was solved. Home Depot said they can have a GE water heater out to us tomorrow. Brian calls back Lowes and cancels the previous order. Also, while the kids hadn’t gotten much rest, they were playing wonderfully, snacking on Goldfish crackers and taking turns with a craft I had planned for them.
Things are looking up, and it looks like a the sun may come out again. Colleen and I get the kids settled with a movie, and start cleaning up paint. Brian is in the sub-basement. I invite everyone to stay for dinner, so Colleen calls to order pizzas. Everyone was happy and content.
I take all the paint brushes upstairs to rinse them off. I am happily rinsing, thinking, “What a lovely day. Sure, the water heater is a bummer, but in the grand scheme of things it will be alright.” That is when I hear yelling. I can hear Brian from the basement yelling something, and Colleen starts shouting, “Erin, Brian says shut the water off!”
“Why, is everything ok?”
No, it wasn’t.
I run downstairs and it is pouring in our basement. This is not a metaphor this time. Literally, a full on storm in our sub basement. Brian is standing with a bucket directly under where our kitchen sink is on the the upper level. He is wet, and everything underneath the leak is wet. EVERYTHING! Boxes, bags of baby clothes, old toys, everything.
I start getting garbage bags, and dumping wet things into them. Brian has towels and starts wiping up the moisture.
We do our best to clean up, while Colleen helps with the kids who are starting to get a little unruly because of lack of sleep.
Brian does a little investigation under the kitchen sink, and finds that the sprayer on the faucet is completely shot and the kitchen faucet needs to be replaced. Basically, any time we would turn on the water it would rain in the basement.
So at this point in the day, we have 6 hungry and tired children, no hot water, and zero ability to use the kitchen sink. Needless to say, we cracked open some beers with our pizza that night!
After a long weekend of repairs, and cleaning up everything is alright. The hot water heater came the next day. Brian and I picked out a new faucet, and he installed it and so far everything is working fine.
We decided it was lucky that our hot water heater was broken and then the installer cancelled because then Brian might not have been in the basement when the kitchen faucet started to leak into the basement, and we might not have noticed for hours or even the next day that it was raining in our basement.(that is what we keep telling ourselves anyway).
However, sometimes when it rains in the basement, it pours… literally.
If you would like to read more about the insanity that happens here, or any gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking or all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

It said Martha Stewart on the Package So I Bought It

A few months ago I saw this awesome stencil at Michael’s. I didn’t need it for anything.

There were a few factors that played into this purchase. I am sure anyone who does even a little bit of impulse splurging can relate.

1.) I had a coupon.
2.) Sometimes buying craft supplies makes me happy (there I said it).
3.) The packaging was so pretty.
4.) This stencil made me feel like I had the power to make anything have this pretty pattern: curtains, furniture, walls, crafts, anything at all!
5.) In a nutshell, it said Martha Stewart on the package so I bought it.

As you know, I like Martha Stewart, but I know not everyone has the same esteem I have for Martha Stewart. However, you cannot deny this stencil is adorable!

Once I bought the stencil, it went in the craft cabinet while I thought of a project for it. I kept thinking I wanted to save it for something absolutely perfect. Then, of course like anything that goes into the craft cabinet, I forgot about it for awhile.

Recently, I was doing a little cleaning, and low and behold I found it. The pretty Martha Stewart stencil in its pretty package just waiting to make something pretty.


That is when I decided to start small. I found these cork squares, and thought it would be cute to make some trivets.


My friend Colleen and her three children came over last week for a playdate. I organized a craft for them (will share soon), and since the paint was out I asked Colleen if she wanted to make something cute for our kitchens.


Colleen and I are long time scrapbook buddies, so working on this craft was like old times when we had time to sit for days and complete a scrapbook.


This project was so easy, and it was also pretty inexpensive. The stencil (with coupon) cost about $10 and the cork squares were $3 for a pack of four. I already had paint and brushes on hand.

Colleen and I were happy with how they turned out.

I am thinking these would make cute gift. Thank you Martha Stewart.

If you would like to read more about my craftiness or Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here


Thirsty Thursday: Champagne Punch

Time for the latest installment of THIRSTY THURSDAY!


One of my favorite places to be in the summertime is on our back patio watching the sprinklers water our vegetable garden. The kids are in bed sufficiently exhausted from a day of summer activities, and Brian and I just get to sit for a moment and enjoy some quiet. Just a few minutes of peace before we get back to work inside.
Lately, I have been thinking a little cocktail in our hands at this time of night would be nice. Something light, and perhaps with a little fizzle (fo shizzle).
I found THIS!
Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living
First off, it is Martha Stewart, so its going to be delish. Secondly, it has all the requirements for a summer cocktail (well, in my mind anyway): fruit, sweet, fizzle, and crispness.
I cut the recipe in half, and it was plenty for Brian and I. Also, I did not used some sparkling white wine we had (instead of real champagne). The recipe is very simple.  there were no complaints.
Our nights on the patio just got a little more relaxing. Cheers!
If you would like to read more Thirsty Thursdays, Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

I Was Tired of Being a Taskmaster So I Made a Chore Chart

My children are at wonderful ages. They are young enough to think helping with chores is fun, and they are old enough to start doing them without a lot of direction or intervention from an adult.

Mostly, because they are still little, the kids just need a subtle reminder of ways they can help around the house. I have been a little tired of repeating myself and feeling like the taskmaster this summer. So, I thought it was time to make a chore chart for each of my kids. 


I scoured Pinterest looking for the perfect one. I saw printable ones, sticker charts, pocket charts, magnetic charts, and popsicle stick charts. I was not at all prepared for the options available and to be honest I was a little overwhelmed.
So, I took the best parts of all the ones that I saw around the internet, and made my own magnetic chore chart for each of the kids. 


Here is how I did it.SUPPLIES

Metal Board (I found mine at JoAnn Fabrics)
Letter Stickers
Child’s Photo
Glass Beads with Flat Bottoms (JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels)
Mod Podge (Gloss or Matte finish)
Sponge Brush
Heavy Duty Magnets (Michaels)
Double Stick Tape
Hot Glue Gun with Glue
1 inch diameter circle punch (Creative Memories)
Pictures of various chores (Google Images) printed on card stock 


Step 1: As Bella Karolyi would say, “Stick it!” 
The first thing I focussed on was making the boards that the magnets would stick to. I found these adorable and colorful boards at JoAnn Fabrics. I liked them because of the small holes all around the edges that would make it easy for hanging them anywhere using some 3M hooks. Using some double stick tape, I secured a photo of my child to the board. Then, I added some large stickers with the kids’ initials and created two columns with the words “to do” and “done” 



Step 2: Print it out!
This part was the hardest for me, but I did find some cute photos of chores that I liked. Once, I found images I liked, I printed a few trial pages to make sure they were the right size to be punched out. I printed on a medium to heavy weight paper because I thought it might be more durable, but honestly, I think regular paper would be fine. The chores I chose to include (FOR NOW) are Get Dressed, Make Bed, Clean Dishes, Pick Up Toys, Brush Teeth, Read a Book, and Be Kind. I thought they were all good reminders for my kids, and appropriate for their ages.Step 3: Cut and Paste (the old fashioned way)

Yes, I had to use actual scissors, a hole punch, and actual glue (Mod Podge) for this part of making the magnets. I used a one inch diameter hole punch and cut out the images. 

Next, using Mod Podge I brushed the front side of the image with a thin layer.


I pressed the flat side of a glass bead to the image.


Next, I brushed another thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of the image, and let dry overnight.



STEP 4: Magnetize!
Once the Mod Podge was dry, I used a hot glue gun to attach the heavy duty magnets to the backs of the glass beads with the images. 


Step 5: Admire your genius!
I was so impressed with how these turned out I took a few minutes to enjoy how awesome they are.




Step 6: Hang them up!
Since the magnetic boards I used already had holes, I was able to use two 3M hooks to hang them on the wall.


The kids already love them, and so do I! No more taskmaster!


If you would like to read more about my craftiness or Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here
Featured on Ten June’s Tuesdays at Ten June
Linking up at Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading.

I Bet You Thought I was Finished Talking about Listen To Your Mother

Since my performance at the Listen to Your Mother Chicago Show, I have been busy and in definite summer mode. I was getting a lot of questions about LTYM day and how things went, but I was waiting until a.) I could put exactly into words how the experience went and b.) I wanted to be able to show you something awesome.

Well, to put Listen to Your Mother into words took a little time but,  in a nutshell the day was absolutely wonderful. I have never felt that kind of excitement before, and it was perfect. Also, it was a dream come true for me. I had always wanted to do something like that, and now I can say that I was a part of something so amazing and I made a bunch of new gals pals to boot! I can cross performing something I wrote off my bucket list, and really to be honest, I think I found something that I really like to do, and I might try for something like this again.

As for showing you, well thanks to all of the following wonderful organizations like our National Media Sponsors BlogHer and One 2 One Network, and National Video Sponsor The Partnership at, specifically their The Medicine Abuse Project microsite, and our local Megaphone sponsor, Dom Itp. I am able to share this video with you!

To see the rest of the Listen to Your Mother Chicago cast perform CLICK HERE and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure to be prepared with some tissue, oh and you might have to pause and run to the bathroom from laughing to hard too. If this show was a movie, these women would all earn Oscars.

If you would like to read more about my awesome adventures, Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here


Thirsty Thursday: Peachberry Smoothies

It’s that time of the week again. The most wonderful time of the week if you ask me! THIRSTY THURSDAY!


I have been on a smoothie kick lately. In the summer, it just seems so much easier to throw a bunch of fresh fruit and ice in a blender and head out the door to enjoy the gorgeous weather.
I came up with this smoothie when I saw all the beautiful peaches and raspberries that are currently in season.
Peachberry Smoothie
2 large peaches diced into small chunks
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup vanilla almond milk
In a blender add peaches, raspberries and almond milk until smooth. Then, add ice and blend until desired consistency (about 1 minute). Put in your favorite glass and enjoy.
(NOTE: If this smoothie is a little tart you can add some stevia or a tsp of sugar to sweeten.)
This has served as an tasty and healthy breakfast for me as I cart everyone around to various camps, after a long run, or while I am getting some work done. It is like summertime in a glass.
If you would like to read more Thirsty Thursdays, Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

Garden Progress and Tips for a Successful Vegetable Garden

Since we are midway through the summer and I gave a sneak peak yesterday, I thought it was time for a garden update.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that while the vegetable garden was making wonderful progress, the bunnies in my yard thought it was delicious too. I got several suggestions to keep them at bay, but there was one thing I did that worked perfect.


I think the bunnies have lost interest. Also, some of the plant are getting so large, and some of them are a bit prickly. I don’t think the bunnies are too fond of either of those things. Also, the plants that got munched on are starting to return.


While, the garden isn’t quite ready for harvest yet, I am so happy to report all my plants are doing phenomenally.

Would you believe I started this garden from seed?

I cannot wait to make zucchini bread!

If you would like to read more about Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here