Cooking, General, Thanksgiving

5 Unique Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

I hope you had a great holiday! Now’s the time where you’re home, you’re relaxing, and you start to realize: you have WAY too much food, and no idea what to do with it. You either hosted, and no one took any home, or you attended and were sent with an oversized roaster pan full of leftovers.

Well, here are 5 more creative recipes to help get rid of those pesky Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas 


Thanksgiving Leftovers Stromboli

Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie with Stuffing Crust 

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pizza 

Turkey Mushroom and Cranberry Risotto 

Have you tried any of these recipes? What’s your favorite thing to do with leftovers?

5 Unique Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes - The Southern Smiths: From stromboli to risotto, these are recipes you don't want to miss!
General, Home Improvement

Are You Prepared For Winter?

(This post is contributed to. You can learn more about my contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Winter is now just around the corner, and you’re going to need to be prepared for what it has to throw at you. It can really take its toll and cause you all kinds of problems if you’re not careful to prepare!
So many people get caught out when they shouldn’t; don’t let that happen to you too.
Here are the best ways to ensure you’re 100% prepared for the winter ahead of you.

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Take Steps to Protect Outdoor Items

Your outdoor hardware and tools need to be protected ahead of winter. You don’t want your electric tools to become frozen and damaged during the winter months. If that happens, you probably won’t even notice until the spring. Improving the quality of protection offered by your shed or garage is a good place to start with this.

Pay Attention to Your Mental Health

The winter blues are common, and they should be taken more seriously in our society. People are more likely to experience depression and stress during the holiday season.
And there are many reasons for that. Although it might not be possible to prevent these kinds of problems, you can pay more attention to your mental health and know when you’re likely to start experiencing problems.

Here are some little-known symptoms of depression you should look out for!

Prevent Pipes Freezing

One of the biggest problems you can experience in your home during winter is frozen pipes. Ever since I was little, my mom has reminded me to slightly run all the taps in the house!
When the pipes freeze up, your entire home and its ability to stay warm could grind to a halt. If your home is in a location that’s going to experience low temperatures, now is the time to insulate the pipes that might be most exposed to the cold. It’s a simple step but it could save you a big headache.

This link can show you how to insulate your pipes, and make sure you don’t have to worry about them freezing up!

Prepare for That Inevitable Cold

Most people experience a common cold during the winter months, and that’s something that you’re going to have to be prepared for. You know it’s coming, so make sure you’re ready for it.

Eat the kinds of foods that are going to boost your immunity. Chicken noodle soup is the best known for this!  You’ll also want to find the best medicine for a runny nose, because we ALL know that’s coming.

These are the kinds of steps that you won’t regret later in winter.

Get Your Car Ready

Your car will also need to be ready for winter. The last thing you want is your car breaking down and stopping you from getting to work on time this winter. Winter is the season in which the most car problems are experienced. And that’s not a coincidence. You should make use of antifreeze and address any of the minor problems your car has been experienced throughout the year. If not, those problems will result in much larger ones.
For more tips on how to prepare your car for the winter, click here!

Your home, your car and your body all need to be prepared correctly for the cold snap that’s ahead. By taking the right steps now, you will avoid problems later.

What ways do you prepare your home (and self!) for the winter?

Cleaning, General

Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining

If you have carpet or a cloth couch, you know how terrifying it is the moment someone’s drink tips over. Especially red wines. Everyone scrambles, there are a MILLION apologies, and then the stain sets in.

Lucky for you, I’m here to tell you what to do in that moment to KEEP the stains from setting!

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The absolute FIRST thing you need to do, is to grab a towel and press on the stain. DO NOT RUB. That only spreads the mess. You’re wanting to towel to soak up most of the liquid and pull it out of the fabric. Press, move to a dry section of towel, press again. Do this repeatedly until the spill is mostly dry. You should already be noticing that the color is not as severe as it was.

Then, blot the area with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Rinse with water when done.

If the spill is STILL visible, go ahead and break out the carpet/upholstery cleaner. This should completely remove the spill, leaving no discoloration because you acted fast.

To prevent spills in the first place use scotch guard! When my mom first bought it I thought she was nuts, but it really did make a huge difference.

What’s the first thing you do when you see a spill?

Tips to Prevent Spills From Staining - The Southern Smiths: A few quick-acting tips to keep those stains from setting in!
Cleaning, General

7 Must-Have Cleaning Products

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can learn more in my disclaimer.)

Does anyone enjoy cleaning? Like, get joy from it or feel relaxed while doing it, and not after? If so, your house must be spotless!
I am not one of those people. I despise cleaning. I don’t even know what “caught up on laundry” feels like. I’d die to have an affordable maid service in my area!
But, life is not a dream. These are my 7 must-have products that make cleaning a little less stressful!

Magic Eraser

Of course there is a brand name one, but honestly? I’ve used the $2 dollar store version and almost prefer it. With the link above, you can get 20 for a steal!! Whichever way you go, this thing is AMAZING. It’s a foam “sponge” that you add water to, and then the magic happens. There’s no chemical odor, and honestly, I’ve tried to figure out what’s in it but I can’t seem to (or maybe I’m just not looking hard enough right now?).

This thing has helped me remove crayon from beds and walls, cleaned my stove top and kitchen appliances, and even shined the sink! I can’t live without one.

Lysol Wipes

Or any brand disinfectant wipe. These are a must-have for quick counter wipes, high chair cleanups, even wiping messes off of the tablecloth! I use them more than I should, but I can’t get over the one-stop wipe and done quickness. At the link above, you can get THREE 110ct wipes for a ridiculously low price.

Soap dispensing dish brush

Guys. This thing is amazing. It has severely cut down on how often I have to buy dish soap. I’m the annoying person who has a dishwasher but expects you to wipe down your plate before you use it. It doesn’t remove stuck on grime, y’all.

And most of these brushes (like the one above) have disposable tips, so when the sponge becomes gunky and unusable, just pop the top into the trash and put on a clean one!

Vacuum attachments

I cannot survive without these. My favorite would have to be the angled tip. I use this to get into corners and creases of my couch, or those hard to reach edges under the lip of cabinets and appliances.
And of course, the fabric cleaner attachment is a must-have. I use it for curtains, the couch cushions, and most importantly, my car!

Extension duster

This one is a bit pricier, but /so/ worth it!

We have a cove ceiling in the living room, and let me tell you. That lip can gather some dust! That’s where my extension duster comes in. I can easily reach, and dust the ceiling corners and edges without stretching or balancing on chairs and pillows.
I also like to use it for ceiling fans!

Swiffer

I remember when these came out. We had wood floors growing up, and these made my life so much easier. Now as an adult, I have carpet, but I keep a Swiffer for my tiled areas. It’s so nice to not have to fill up a mop bucket and drag it around just for a simple under the table mop.

Spot Cleaner

If you have carpet, these are definitely worth the investment (Especially if you’re renting!). I can’t tell you how nice it is to not panic every time one of the kids spills jello or kool-aid, or a friend knocks over a glass of cabernet. Of course, I do the initial pat dry routine, but you know how those reds are.
The spot cleaner gets the job done! I place it over the area and let it do its thing. So much better than the old spray-and-brush routine

What are your favorite cleaning products? Do you use any of my favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Must-Have Cleaning Products - The Southern Smiths: 7 cleaning products that make my day so much easier! Stop stressing over chores!