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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to Grow Tomatoes In Containers

With a small urban backyard, I have to be creative with growing areas so besides in the ground, or vertical I am also a fan of how to grow tomatoes in containers. Even in an apartment, if you had sun on a patio, you could grow a nice hanging pot of tomatoes.

container gardening, patio gardening, apartment garden

7 Tips For Growing Tomatoes In Containers

1. Pick a spot with at least six hours of sun.

2. Choose varieties that grow best in your area or for containers. I do cherry tomatoes as those don't need much support due to weight.

3. Choose the correct container. One large enough so that it doesn't dry out too fast and can support the root growth.

4. Use premium potting soil for vegetables. Tomatoes produce a lot so need a good soil.

5. Feed regularly. I mix in a slow release vegetable fertilizer as well as feed when I am watering using a liquid form. When plant is first starting out I use Miracle Grow but once buds set, I switch over to a blooming fertilizer. It this point I want lots of blooms and not lots of leaves. This is my all time favorite liquid bloom fertilizer and it will help your tomatoes set tons of fruit.

6. Water daily if your weather is dry. The tomato I have in the hanging basket with moss, I will water twice a day if hot or windy. If you wonder how often should I water my tomato plants in pots...everyday unless it is raining or you have standing water in a saucer below.

7. Trim off the lower branches and sucker shoots. You don't want a huge out of control plant that tips your container over. Focus on blooms and fruit. Growing tomato plants in pots and pruning is usually a must.

Here are some of my current tomatoes:

hanging tomato plant

cherry tomatoes in pots

Other great tomato articles:
How To Save Tomato Seeds
How To Grow Tomatoes From Cuttings
How To Plant Tomatoes The Right Way

Friday, February 23, 2018

How To Save Money On Dishwasher Tablets

Why are those little dishwasher soap tablets so expensive? Here is my tip on how to save money on dishwasher tablets. I have tested using a half tablet and they work fine but now I am using a third and here is what I do to still get super clean dishes.

Dawn for dishwasher

I use the tabs because they seem to leave the dishes spot free the best. I have tried powder and liquid and have not had as best results. If you know of a good one let me know in the comments.

How To Get Three Washes From One Dishwasher Tablet

1. Take a knife and roughly cut your dishwasher tab into a third. I throw right in the bottom of my dishwasher. I find when I put in the receptacle, the tabs do not always dissolve and I don't want that soap residue on our dishes.

2. I then take my Dawn dish soap and squirt literally just a few drops on the bottom of the dishwasher. Yes, you can use dish soap in your dishwasher but I only use Dawn. The best out there to me. But only use very small amounts along with a bit of your tablet.

3. I always make sure I have regular white vinegar in the little rinse aid receptacle. About every 4-5 days I top it off.

4. Run dishwasher as usual.

Find all of our tips on our Frugal Tips Page...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cheeseburger Quesadillas - Frugal Cooking

Who doesn't love a simple week night easy meal idea? I like to buy my grass-fed beef from Zaycon and cook up in big batches for easy meals and cheeseburger quesadillas are great for those quick dinners.

Lately we eat a lot of soups, various quesadillas and mixed bowl meals on weeknights. Remember to check out entire recipe page for tons of meal and frugal cooking ideas.

easy dinner ideas

cheap dinners

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Recipe by Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Flour tortillas
  • Ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced pickles
  • Butter
  • Toppings of choice
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook your ground beef and season with taco seasoning. Assemble all of your ingredients and a large flat bottom pan or griddle pan. Heat your pan and spread a little bit of butter on the pan on half the tortilla. Lay tortilla flat and spread a layer of cheese, the meat and finally a layer of sliced pickles. Fold over the tortilla and brown on both sides. Serve with thousand island dressing or ketchup or even salsa. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup - Frugal Cooking With Sunny Simple Life

It is soup weather and I have been making a variety of healthy homemade soup recipes. This is my favorite frugal recipe this year and I have made creamy tomato tortellini soup a few times already since the new year.

The hearty soup makes for a filling dinner and I have even frozen it. Freezing dairy based soups can separate a bit but I found it was still super delicious. Let's do some frugal cooking with Sunny Simple Life.

frugal recipe, soup recipe

Watch our video of the simmering creamy tomato tortellini soup...

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Recipe by Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life
This is a hearty frugal soup recipe.
Yield: Family size
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced zuchinni
  • 1/2 cup green beans (frozen, fresh or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • Dash Garlic Powder
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
  • One box Vegetable Broth
  • 1 can Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 1/2 can Water
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • Garnish Fresh parsley (optional)
  • One small package Cheese tortellini or kind of your choice
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large pot, saute onion, celery and carrots. Add the vegetable broth and simmer for a few minutes. Add condensed soup and water, stirring well to mix. Dump in rest of vegetables and seasonings. Simmer until veggies are tender about 10 minutes. Add tortellini and simmer until tender about 8-10 minutes but don't overcook. Add half and half, stir to mix and bring to boil. Ready to serve, garnish with fresh herbs if you like. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Quick Visit To Shelly's Bliss Cottage

As always one of my highlights of the holiday season is a visit to Shelly's vintage Christmas cottage. I apologize that I did not take more pics of her cute vintage holiday decor but we were talking and sippin' coffee and time got away from me but it is too cute not to share even after Christmas. I visit every year and you can see part one of last year's vintage holiday home tour.

Vintage Christmas Cottage

Her tiered tray is filled with darling Christmas cups. So cute with those vintage deer cups. Have you ever seen those? 

tiered tray, vintage Christmas cups

This was my favorite corner and her husband was the inspiration for the little tree in the corner and it nestled in the red enamel pot set on the old red vintage stool is just perfect.

kitchen Christmas tree, vintage aprons on rack

Her jadeite collection is huge and just a bit of it is on this cute red kitchen cart. I wish I would have taken more pictures of it.

jadeite, red kitchen cart, retro Christmas drinkware

How cute is this Christmas doily valance? Retro red and green canisters and kitchen items top her darling shelf. Make sure to click here  see all of her Christmas home tours as she changes it all up every Christmas.

doily valance, Christmas shelf decorating

This pic I stole off of Shelly's instagram. Her sweet vintage red and green Christmas bedroom is so adorable I had to share. Hop on over and follow her on instagram as she does not have a blog but posts pictures of her decor and antique booth regularly.

vintage Christmas bedroom

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top 5 Posts Of 2017

Happy New Year and a look at the top 5 posts of 2017. Camping and cooking were a popular topic. As always a BIG thank you to all of you who visit regularly. From our family to yours, Happy New Year!

1. Easy RV Step Replacement
RV Trailer Step Replacement

2. How We Keep Our RV Trailer Organized
How to organize your trailer RV

3. American Flag Cake Recipe

American flag cake recipe

4. How To Get Rid Of Pantry Moths

how to kill pantry moths

5. Vanilla Shortage and Price Hike

high cost of vanilla, vanilla shortage

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Coffee Love

If you follow my Facebook page you know I start every day with a love of coffee. Christmas coffee love is even more cherished by me as I get my days going and prepare for the season.

This coffee lovers Christmas ornament was found at Hobby Lobby. I had to have it. It is my ornament purchase of the year. I always buy one for myself.

Christmas ornament for coffee lovers

I have a small collection of vintage Thermos and this tin with vintage Thermos images has to come home with me. Dean put a small tree with peppermint lights on it.

vintage Thermos display

An I love coffee Christmas tradition is some sort of hot drink station in the kitchen. We have done large and small. Check out our best hot drink tray idea.

hot drink station for Christmas

 Even a simple basket of hot cocoa near the coffee maker is fun and lets the kids get involved in the holiday drink making. I did a whole post on hot cocoa station ideas.

hot cocoa basket

Christmas for lovers of coffee is made even better with a fun Santa mug. Check out my knock off recipe for Starbucks peppermint white mocha. It is so yummy!

Knock of Starbucks peppermint mocha

Sunday, December 3, 2017

2017 Christmas Kitchen Tour

Welcome to our 2017 Christmas Kitchen Tour! Woo-hoo the kitchen is decked out in traditional red and green Christmas decorating ideas.

Our Decorating Agreement

As always, I buy and collect the holiday decor and Dean decorates. In fact on my Instagram I gave him his own hashtag #deandecorates. How's that for a hoot. They guy has no social media but has his own hashtag. Come follow and see his decorating skills at work. Lol! But first, check out his doings in our Christmas kitchen this year!!

vintage Christmas, vintage Santas

baking center, Christmas baking decor

camper Christmas, prim Christmas

Christmas home tour

Holiday home tour, vintage 50's kitchen

farmhouse Christmas, retro Christmas

gingerbread decorating ideas, Christmas baking center

Picking A Christmas Kitchen Theme

From our Christmas cookie baking center to a nod to our love of camping, our kitchen really represents our family. I have some old pieces of my mom's and things my kiddos have given me. It is where I spend all my time and I love what he did this year.

Video Tour Of Our Vintage Christmas Kitchen

Please also take the video tour of our kitchen (click the arrow below) and click like and subscribe while you are there. We would so love that!! Thank you everyone!!! You are always so kind to Dean and I with your comments about our festive decorating.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Freezer Lasagna - Cooking For The Holidays

Welcome to my holiday freezer cooking series. Let's see how we can save time and what to make ahead and freeze for the busy Christmas season.  Today is Freezer Lasagna - Cooking For The Holidays.

make ahead freezer meal recipes, easy lasagna

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

7 Tools You Need To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner - My Favorites!

Cooking Thanksgiving is an overwhelming task to many. I have learned the hard way how to make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier. Shop early and start smart with my 7 tools you need to cook your special meal.

Thanksgiving prep, Thanksgiving meal

My Favorite Tools for Cooking the Thanksgiving Dinner

1. When cooking your turkey, a large granite ware roaster is my favorite pan to cook the turkey in. Nothing fancy. You can buy the insert rack to put the turkey on but I don't have one. I just throw stalks of celery, halved onions and carrots across the bottom and set the turkey on top. It flavors the drippings nicely for good basting and delicious gravy.
splatter ware roaster
Affiliate links in this post.

2. Any kind of meat thermometer is nice so you know when you turkey is fully done. I have had batter operated and the old dial kind. Both work well.

3. A turkey baster is nice to have for easy basting. That oven gets hot and it is the safest way to get the hot juices and baste that turkey.

My Favorite Tools for Serving the Thanksgiving Dinner

4. Turkey lifting forks are to me, the easiest way to lift that hot heavy turkey onto your platter or carving board. I inherited mine from my mom but they are inexpensive.

5. A sharp knife. From dicing and chopping but most importantly carving the turkey, a sharp knife is necessary for serving your meal.

6. Throw away aluminum pans. For really simplifying every step of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, you cannot beat these disposable pans. You can cook and freeze in them and then reheat in them and when the meal is done, just toss. This meal is so much much work that I will do trick like this to save me time in the kitchen so we can enjoy the day more.

7. A crock pot is a must have now too. As I learned to start cooking my meal one or more days ahead, have a crock pot is must have for my mashed potatoes. I cook them on Wednesday, adding a bit of extra milk. On Thursday I put them in the crock pot or slow cooker at least 4 hours before the meal and turn on high adding some pats of butter. I stir a few times but they come out light and fluffy and bubbly. No mashing the day of Thanksgiving is the best.

Read my previous post on how to organize and simplify your holiday meal prep.
And watch my video: