Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Laundry System

Ah laundry. The never ending monster. I've been giving laundry some good thinking and experimenting with some new systems. Some of us like to space laundry and cleaning out over the week and some of us like to get it all done in one day.

I used to be in the camp where we did laundry and cleaning all in one day. My friend Emily who always had a house in tip top shape spaced her cleaning out. I didn't want to do that for the longest time because I didn't want to change and try something new. The problem with my system of cleaning and doing laundry one day a week was this: in less than 48 hours after all my hard work the house look like a disaster again and the laundry was piled high.

These days I clean a little most every day. And do at least one load of laundry every day, even if it is a medium sized load. My goal is to never have more than one clothes basket filled with dirty laundry. Sheets always get washed on Fridays.

Sunday is always my day off from laundry/cleaning/grocery shopping/computer.

One thing I've been doing that I feel is becoming a huge time saver is to always fold clothes in the same location and get a system. If you can develop a habit with how you fold and put away the laundry it will get faster. Here's what mine looks like:

  • As soon as the buzzer goes off pull out the laundry immediately.
  • Dump the basket onto my (made) bed. (I've chosen this spot because it is close to the laundry room and all the bedrooms where the folded clothes will be going. I was going to the couch to fold, the kitchen table, sometimes the boys bedroom to fold and sometimes mine. The problem is that it was chaotic-a different way every time was making it take longer. Like I said earlier, if you find a consistent spot to fold and a consistent way to fold it will be a time saver in the end.)
  • Have all the hangers I will need handy-baby size and regular size
  • As I sort through anything that needs delivered to the boys rooms gets folded and placed in the proper spot in the basket (because remember I dump it all out first thing). We hang all our shirts so they all get hung.
  • I put away all me and Shane's stuff in our drawers and closet. Then deliver the boys clothes to their rooms. Having it folded in the laundry basket means I can make one trip around the house delivering clothes.
  • Did you know that if you get your system down it will take you less than five minutes to deal with the folding and putting away of the laundry? Less than five minutes. The laundry nazi has been deceiving you by planting thoughts that it takes 2 1/2 hours to fold and put away one load of laundry. We must stop the lies.

We talked about this a few weeks ago, but how about decorating your laundry room so it is cheerful and cute? Lord knows you are in there enough-you might as well be good to yourself. Go on in and take a look around and see what you could do to spruce it up.

(Ahem, now I must go empty the load of laundry that was finished drying two days ago...that I have re-dried to fluff several times. This is the mess you get yourself into when you don't fold and put away right away. My little pep talk motivated me. That is unless I publish this and forget to get up because I keep checking blogs...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Decorating with Sight

  • clean your glass, make those windows sparkleBulleted List (if your windows don't open, i'd remove the screens to really make them sparkle, and if your windows do open, well, open them to let fresh air in)
  • open your blinds every morning. you will be more productive in a sunny home. if you keep it all closed up and dark it will make you sleepy and lazy feeling.
  • you cannot have beauty without order-clear the clutter
  • clean as you go-this is such a simple practice that yields huge rewards. as you go from room to room every. single. time. you spot something out of place take it with you to it's proper place. if a roll of toilet paper is low-right then and there take a moment to refill it. a pair of shoes on the living room floor-right then and there take them to the proper closet. a messy bathroom counter. right then and there put everything below inside the cabinet. if it is really bad grab an empty laundry basket. gather everything out of place in your room and fill the basket-then deposit in the proper places. even if your house is a little dusty (ok or a lot dusty) if it is orderly you will feel better
  • add fabric to your space. hang some window mistreatments, go to walmart and buy some throw pillows for your couch or beds. it will warm up your space in an instant.
  • never, ever, ever use overhead lighting. i am serious. lamps are just the best way to give a room the feel you want. even if your husband sabatages your plans and replaces all your bulbs with those horrific energy saving kind of bulbs, that will still give a warmer feel than an overhead light. lamps are very affordable. do you have a fred's? they are the king of fabulous lamps for $20.00 and under. we have 15 lamps in my house and a lit garland on a dimmer. we had our kitchen fluorescent light replaced with cans and we had can lighting added to our living room-all on dimmer's. when every single lamp is turned on i am happiest. add some freshly vacuumed lines in the carpet and i'm torn up over it all. in a large room place your lamps in a triangle shape around the room (does that make sense?)
  • rearrange your furniture. saturday night we turned the dining room table a completely opposite way and we LOVE the new look. experiment with turning pieces of furniture in different directions. you may hate it and have to move it back but that's the worst thing that will happen. the best thing is you love the new look.
  • reward yourself with a bouquet of fresh flowers
  • an instant fix for your kitchen is to clear off all the photos/papers/magnets from the front of your fridge. we (try to) just use one side of our fridge for that kind of stuff, the side facing the cabinets. a clutter free fridge front will instantly make your space feel clean and nice.

If you want more ideas, many ideas from this series came from a book called 505 Quick Tips to Make Your Home Sensesational by Terry Willits. She is a christian and her book is fabulous. It's a pretty coffeetable book and if you are in a slump you can always pick it up and get a quick idea to spruce things up!

p.s. stay tuned because i want to chat about systems the rest of the week-like the best ways to do laundry, etc...this is the flylady coming out in me but the holidays are fast approaching and we want our homes in tip top shape and we want to be prepared so we can do the things we enjoying our homes/decorations/friends/family/holiday food

Monday, September 28, 2009

Decorating with taste

hey friends-whoooo. i have so much to be doing and not enough time. feeling a bit overwhelmed right now and did not mean to leave the last 2 posts of this series hanging. it's so sad but i haven't been able to read your blogs since mid-week last week. so, taste, my favorite!

  • decorate the rims of your glasses. melt white chocolate, dip the rim of your coffee mug in it, then roll in crushed peppermint. place mug upside down on a sheet of wax paper so the candy hardens into the chocolate. serve hot cocoa in mug with a candy cane stir stick. put the straight side coming up. so cute.
  • run a lemon wedge around the top of your glass and dip in sugar. serve with lemonade and a slice of fresh lemon
  • put a fresh lemon wedge on a glass of iced tea
  • put on a pot of coffee and bake something with cinammon-greeeeeatttt tastin' and smellin'
  • use fresh garlic when you cook-the flavor is hands down better
  • bake a loaf of bread-you can do this even if your kids are in public school (haha wink wink) just make sure you wear something denim while you're doing it so it counts
  • great guests with a drink, great your hubby with a drink-depending on the day will determine the stiffness of what you serve (hahaha)
  • taste and see that the LORD is good-spend time in the word so you will speak out of the overflow of your heart!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Decorating with Touch/Feel

  • Greet your family/guests with a hug
  • Have soft blankets and throws in your living room
  • Place big pillows on your couches and chairs
  • Arrange your living room so that it fosters good conversation. What is your focal point? TV? Window? Fireplace (jealous, ok i'm over it)? If you have a TV in an Armoire it looks really nice to keep the doors shut.
  • Wash your sheets at least once a week.
  • Shake your bath mats out a few times a week (outside) to fluff them up
  • Hang up window mistreatments. They make a house feel much warmer and cozy.
  • Open the windows and let some fresh air in. Let the ceiling fan blow the breezes through your home. (fyi I like to spray bug spray around the screen so critters don't sneak in)
  • Use a bathrobe after your shower
  • Pop popcorn and serve everyone's in their own brown, paper lunch sack with a canned coke (this is so cute and fun to do!)

And my favorite #59: Use the appropriate glass for your drink. Serve sweet tea in a mason jar. Serve coffee in a big mug. Put hot tea in a delicate cup. Spoil those you love by serving them in pretty glasses with cute little napkins or coasters.

Little special touches really do start adding up-Be creative.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Decorating With Smell

This is one of my favorites. A good smelling home. "And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume" John 12:3 We've talked before about how the stamp of Jesus and his love on your house fills it with the best fragrance you can find. Here are some more great options.

  • dab the top of a cold light bulb with vanilla extract and turn the light on-it will smell like you've been baking when in reality you've been in your pj's surfin the net...i...i mean you've been providing educational learning activities for your children all day long in between spot cleaning hard to reach places and preparing a well balanced nutritious digornio...i mean meal for your family
  • light a candle-this is a double good one-you get the ambiance of the flicker of the light and you get smell. my recommendation right now-TYLER HOMECOMING-listen to this definition: Memories come to mind of falling leaves, football games, and family gatherings. Spiced orange and cinnamon are combined with allspice to complete this warm and inviting fragrance. Color Golden Amber...if you have to have this candle you can go to and when you spend $25 she will ship to you for free...i am so sorry i am enabling you today, it's a weakness of mine
  • cook something that smells good like a roast/crock pot recipes

  • bake cookies. bake cake. bake brownies.
  • place cinammon sticks, cloves, orange slices in a saucepan filled with water. simmer uncovered. homemade potpourri.

  • spray a great smelling spray around the doorway/entrance right before company comes. aromatique has gggggreeeeeat options.
  • use linen spray on your sheets before you crawl in. lavender vanilla from bath and body works is a great option. egyptian cotton from bed bath and beyond is another great option.
  • use scented shelf liner in your drawers and on your closet shelves. my favorite is summer hill from crabtree and evelyn.
  • pledge and windex make your house smell clean and fresh.
  • shine your surfaces. right before you are expecting company give your bathroom counter tops and kitchen sink/counters a generous spray with windex and wipe down quickly with a clean cloth. run a quick vacuum and your house is spruced up.

Happy First Day Of Fall Ya'll!

(please excuse the dot fest on the left...bullet points gone awry...i hate it when that happens. thank you and have a nice day)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Decorating With The 5 Senses-Sound

We got the neatest book for a wedding gift that talks about decorating with the 5 Senses by Terry Willits. It got me thinking about implementing little things into our home to make it a warm, cozy place to be. Today we are talking about SOUND.

  • How does your house sound? The atmosphere? The tone of your voice when you speak? As a Mama you have a lot of control over how your house sounds. Stop and listen.
  • WOODWICK CANDLES: these are the neatest candles. The little wooden wick crackles like a fire when it burns and they smell great. Cracker Barrel carries them. Maybe Hallmark too. I'd call before I loaded up the bus to go get one just to make sure the store you have in mind carries them.
  • Greet people by name when they enter your home. It is so personal.
  • Use a tea kettle to warm water and listen to it whistle at you when it's ready.
  • Play great music. (Frank Sinatra, Nora Jones) Hallmark, Walmart, Targe' all carry neat ideas. You can even listen to them before you buy.
  • Fill your home with laughter. If your home is running short on laughter ask God to change things and fill it with laughter.

Here are some traditions we've been doing that provide lots of affordable laughter:

  • SODA RUN: After dinner yell, "Soda Run"! Load up the bus and go somewhere for cokes. Cracker Barrel, a gas station, Sonic, wherever.
  • MOVIE RUN: Load up the bus and go get a Redbox. After that stop by Walgreen's for everyone to pick their favorite box of Movie Style Candy or stop by a grocery store and let everyone pick a treat at the check-out line.
  • FAMILY FUN NIGHT: Friday's are family fun night at our house. Everyone gets to cuddle in our bed for the night!
  • FOOTBALL NIGHT (Sundays): Put big blankets on the floor and pop lots of popcorn and fill a big bowl. Everyone sits on the blanket, eats popcorn and watches the Cowboys get beat :(. Have nacho salads and cokes for dinner.
  • CAMPOUT IN THE LIVING ROOM: Pull out the hide-a-bed and let the kids sleep in the living room. Make big pallets on the floor if your couch doesn't fold out.
  • GAME NIGHT: Sit at the kitchen table and play Hi Ho Cherry Oh or whatever age appropriate game fits your family. This will get you all laughing.

Above all you want the sounds that fill your home to be positive. Right now I'm listening to two little boys playing on the couch bed they got to sleep on after the game last night. We were all cuddled up on the bed and watched the Cowboys and I slept out there with them. That is a fun memory that costs nothing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Universal Struggle?

Do your children also have a LOVE HATE relationship with a glass of water?

At lunch and dinner they are not happy about water as a choice.

Before bedtime, stop the world if you don't give them a glass. (sidenote: this is the best time for them to perfect the fake cry)

And you can hear the gulps 10 streets over. They sound like water deprived Camels who got dropped off at a water park for the first time. Geesh.

Please join me next week at Bugs & Sunshine because we're going to be talking about how to DECORATE USING THE 5 SENSES!

Jewelry Training

(please excuse me-I'm doing a training for my jewelry divas via the blog because it's the best way to post pictures)

Girls ya'll are going to love this. A little organization for your portable home office (aka everything you need for check out time at your jewelry show). You may have to purchase the first three items and the rest you probably already have on hand. These are the only materials you need to get organized:

  1. a zippered Trapper Keeper
  2. a clear zipper bag for the inside
  3. 3 report covers that have a side swing clip to hold material in place
  4. clear page protectors
  5. labels
  6. black marker
  7. calculator
  8. bag of ink pens ( $.99)
  9. business cards (print off at for free)

I'm not gonna show you the bag I used to carry that was CHAOS because as of 10 minutes ago I turned over a new leaf :). Here are some photos so you can see what your notebook will look like. One thing that has been huge for me and my business is simplifying my materials, show, time, etc. I can arrive at a Jewelry Show, set-up, do my fashion show, let ladies shop, and be ready to go in 2 1/2 hours max.

If you are making more than one trip to your car then you have too much stuff. If it takes you longer than 10 minutes to set up and 5-10 minutes to tear down there is an easier and faster way. Ask me. The Trapper Keeper has an outside zipper to hold all your ink pens.

There is an accordian file folder in the front with 3 compartments. You can hold a catalog, mini catalogs, extra guest surveys, etc.
Side view of accordian file folder.

These are the clear report covers. Take 3 catalogs to your show for guests to browse. Your catalogs won't walk away with these covers on them. If a guest wants a catolog make sure you have your mini catalogs with you. In your handy dandy Trapper Keeper that is!

The inside of the Trapper Keeper. A place for business cards, pens, nametags and marker (I laid it on top of the compartment so you can see where those go)

A clear zippered bag for: ring sizer, necklace sizer, calculator, stamp with your contact info for receipts, change.

Clear Page Protectors for: Tax Rate Chart. You can easily and quickly glance at this to see your guests tax and total.

Customer Receipts

Opportunity Brochures for curious ladies.

Mini catalogs. You may find the accordian in the front a better place for your stash of mini catalogs and you need a full catalog for your own personal use at check-out time.
p.s. I got all my materials at Targe' but I'm sure WalMart has the same stuff and a lot of it is on sale right now. If you are wanting stretchy book covers to line your black velvet jewelry trays to showcase jewelry they are majorly on sale right now as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Photo Editing

Warning: If you have things you need to do such as feeding your Peeps, laundry, etc, do not check this site out. I'm just sayin'. Your man will be saying, "Woman, are you readin' them Twilight books again, where are you?"

Cinema Scope Feature: Coming soon to a theatre near you. Youth Pastor's sons turn into monkey's that play in the water every afternoon. They also eat shoes.

Ortonish & Soften Feature:No your eyes are not deceiving you and yes these are two angels!

Vignette Feature: Darkens the border

This picture is Shane praying with all three boys before bed. I Love this picture. You see the little guy lovin' on his dad, resting his head on his shoulder? You see the Size 2T Superman Underoo HOT PANTS my child loves to wear? He is a size 5.

1960's Feature: Isn't this cool? Looks like an old picture we recently found. This photo is the boys on a Saturday morning watching cartoons. They have sleepy eyes because they had just woken up.

Matte Feature: Creates a white border. Oh this picture melts my heart.

See ya'll later. Enjoy fixin' all your pictures. And enjoy the Hamburger Helper you'll probably be feedin' your Peeps tonight since you ran out of time to make Ina's French Dish. Jeffrey's going to be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cape Cod Honey Bunk

Wow, ya'll gave great thoughts on bunk beds. This is one I found from Rooms To Go-had not heard of this store until yesterday. This is the look I am going for, Cottage style. I was surprised I loved this honey color finish so much but it really caught my eye. It looks so good with the red and navy bedding. There is room under this for a trundle. All the input was great we just wait for the right time to buy. After hearing all your thoughts I like the idea of Twin over Full, OR Twin Over Twin (w/a trundle) and a twin bed on the other side of the room. The extra trundle can be for extra sleeping space when we need it. And you know we are running a Holiday Inn Express over here, we love, love, love to have folks bunk with us. Soon it will be literally! There will be pictures! And there will be a big sale on these bunks, I know it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bunk Beds

(this sweet little room was on Nester's site and I LOVE this style/ cozy and warm)

I am curious about your thoughts on Bunk Beds. I would like a set-up that sleep 3. Which do you think is better:
  1. Twin Over Twin with a Trundle

  2. Full Over Full

  3. Twin Over Full

  4. Twin Over Twin on one side of the room and a regular Twin Size bed on the other side of the room. (this would look like the above picture except the left side would have a bunk)

The above picture is the size of the room we are working with. Do you have bunks? Do you like them or not? Help!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Fashion Advisor

My resident fashion advisor is a 6'3", 200 lb, athletic male who works with teeanagers for a living. Exactly. Here is the drill we go through periodically, but espcially before I am about to leave for a business trip.

I begin the Fashion Show in my bedroom. I get on an outfit and come jingling (thanks to the jewelry) down the Runway (you might recognize it as our hall). If the sound of my entrance does not announce me, which it won't, this is the conversation that will take place.

Me: Hey Babe, what do you think about this outfit?

Him: He will glance up from his computer for .8 seconds and say, "LooksGreat."

Me: Can you please LOOK at me? Do these shoes look right?"

Him: They look kind of faded

Me: My pants or the shoes?

Him: The pants

Me: Ok, let me go try on something else.

7 minute intermission

Me: What do you think about this?

Him: It'sFine (one word spoken quickly)

Me: Do you think this dress makes me look like a bubble? (I turn sideways so he can evaluate)

Him: You know, it kinda does.

Me: Drats-I knew it.

7 minute intermission

At this point I have to try on the outfit that is airdrying and still damp. It may work for my event but I have to double check and no it does not matter that I just wore the same exact outfit two days ago. Something may have changed in the last 48 hours that I am not aware of.

At this point a good hour has passed and I am feeling like either a trip to the consignment shop or a trip to Dillard's for a pair of Spanx is in order. As least I have my jewelry I want to wear picked out. This is a huge thing down.

I hang my options up. I have one for sure outfit and several "I have to see how I feel in the morning outfits."

Getting dressed with your Fashion Advisor can be tricky sometimes.

Friday, September 11, 2009


This is such a fun recipe to try. You bake them at night (unless you forget to bake the Forgotten Cookies like I did in which case you call a good friend who will encourage you to go ahead and make them anyway).

I was unsure of what stiff egg whites are, so this is a picture of what (I think) they were supposed to look like. I bet I beat them almost 10 minutes. They just hung from the beater.

Fold in the cup of nuts and cup of chocolate chips, drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet, put in the oven, shut the door and turn the oven off.

They are very rich and sweet, you only want to eat a couple at the most.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Keepin' It On The Reals

This has been a hard week.

I feel fat. The kids are being whiney and disobedient. Me and the Mr. have been short tempered with each other. My hair is flat as a board. I can't get motivated to shave my legs. I try to pray in the afternoon when the boys go down and immediately my mind is filled with a million thoughts. The house smells funny from dinner last night. I should switch the laundry. I need to call so and so back. You name it, I'm thinking about it.

I think I might know what is going on. Sunday I accepted a position in our Women's Ministry at church. It is called The Heart Whisperer and it is the Prayer Ministry. About two weeks ago Shane and I were talking about my ministry at the church. My main ministry is to serve him so he can be effective with our youth. Apart from that I told him my heart would be to serve with the Women's Ministry.

I kid you not, the very next morning someone approached me at church and asked if I might start coming to some Women's things at the church. Then, about two days later, the head hancho herself emailed me asking to pray about filling this position. It get's better. About 2 or 3 weeks ago we had a big church yard sale. I was up at the church and the baby got fussy so I was wheeling him around in his stroller. We strolled into our library and a book "just happened to catch my eye".

The book was about the Brooklyn Tabernacle and how their church changed as a direct result of starting to pray and ask God for change. Prayer for spiritual awakening has always been important to me. It's hard to gauge where people are just by looking around. But, sometimes I just wander when I look around where we are as a whole. Do the words complacency, comfort, routine, and schedule define where we are? Or do the words surrendered, passionate, fiery, zeal, purpose, and vision define where we are?

What was I talking about? Oh yes, the book. It fueled the fire for my desire to see change in our church. I say our church because that is where I'm plugged in. My sphere of influence to pray over. So, when I was approached to plug into the Prayer Ministry it was a perfect fit that God has been preparing me for. It is already my heart and I just finished that book with real live stories of changed lives as a direct result of prayer.

What does this have to do with un-Texas hair that won't poof to save my life? Maybe I've been under a little fire from the enemy. Who knows. Maybe it is just a couple of bad days. The timing of it all just seems to line up though.

Today I was reading about the opaque veil of the self-life that keeps us from experiencing God in the fullness of all he has to offer us. He rendered the veil torn and yet we have our own veils that keep us at arms length. Year by year we sit contentedly in the outer courts as we grow tired and old. If you want the self made veil ripped it has to be crucified on the cross and that means death. There are two good things about death. At some point the surrender is over and after that the joy comes.
On a different note, I have a surprise for you tommorow I can't wait to tell you about! Enjoy the free car wash today (a.k.a. Rain).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Buh-Bye Yesterday & Jon & Kate

I'll let the pictures tell you what kind of yesterday turned out to be. It was one of those where you wish you could click the little red box in the right corner and X out and be done for the day. Sigh. Well, come on in and have a look around. Let's kick off with the unmade bed, the root of all evil.
Since clutter attracts clutter, here are yesterday's clothes tossed on the floor.

I opened the door so you could see inside the laundry room, but before I took the picture the door was closed and that pile you see outside the door is from the last two days where my sweet peeps I live with tossed them at the end of the day.

This is the inside of my oven. I did not know what to cook last night. Aw man, I need to clean that sucker, that is gross. Do you have a self-cleaning oven? If you do we are happy for you and your clean oven self.

Awww yes, my shiny sink! It is shiny because...

We've eaten out the last three meals. We discovered the $1.00 Chicken Strip sandwiches and oh man, they are good. We have them hold the mayo though-sick!

I have food to cook.

So there ya have it folks. The chaos of my last two days. My fridge pics always make me laugh. There is always the token healthy thing hanging out inside that I only notice when the photo is taken. Today's token healthy thing is that Au La Natural Peanut Butter that we're all too scared to try.

We got to watch a little TV last night. We never watch TV shows until Biggest Looser comes on. Jon Gosselin was on last night and we were so excited to check it out. He seemed more outspoken last night than I've ever seen him. It will be interesting to see how Kate responds to that interview. And if anyone is curious what I think-I see both sides to their frustrations.

It appears from what has been shown on TV that their marriage has been all about the kids. If that truly has been the main focus-then no wander their marriage is in the dumps. I pray for Jon & Kate on the 8's (7:08, 8:28, etc) when I think about it. Should we make a Facebook group called Jon and Kate on the 8's? :) It would be awesome if they would reconcile, not for the kids, but to honor their marriage vows they made to each other.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This & That

Here is a picture for El Meredith's Loco! I know, I had to look in my friend Leslie's fridge to see for myself too. There are two stages to this good feeling. The first is, "Oh my word, look at that top shelf and pantry! It is so full!" The second stage is, "Oh my word, look at that top shelf and pantry, it is so empty!" I like both stages because using stuff up is a great feeling. In case you are wandering, this top shelf is entirely filled with milk all the way back. You are looking at 5 1/2 gallons here.

You need to sit down for this next thing I'm about to share with you because seriously, it is going to be good. So, a few months ago the lady at the Clinique counter shared a tip with me and I love her for it. If you use any type of squeeze type bottle for make-up products then you know the drill when you are running low. You beat the life out of that little puppy so you can get out every last drop towards the end. Your hand hurts and your counter is dented.

WELL, DID YOU KNOW that when you are running low and it starts getting hard to squeeze out, you can cut the tube in half with a pair of scissors and keep it stored in a Ziplock sandwich bag? I have gotten 4 EXTRA weeks out of this tube of make-up remover. 4 WEEKS. That is huge! The sealed Ziplock keeps it fresh.

This post was brought to you by Bugs & Sunshine. Changing life as you know it one post at a time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shopping For The Month

So today was month two of me trying to grocery shop for the month. My good friend inspired me to try this. Here are my thoughts so far:

  • It is saving money because I'm only going twice a month (trying anyway!). One huge trip on the first Saturday of the month. Another trip on week three to stock up on more milk, bread, fresh fruits/veggies and any misc. stuff I forgot.

  • When I'm planning my menu for the month I use the recipes that call for the fresh stuff first. Stuff like stir fry and fajitas that use veggies I can freeze are saved for later in the week.

  • It is hard work! I am worn out from my 3 hour shopping trip today. I go to 2 stores. Kroger for my meat/produce/milk. Then Wal-Mart for the rest.

  • Today I wore my walking shoes and yoga pants to be comfy, I remembered how tiring it was last month. Not my best fashion statement, but hey!

  • Shopping once a month has caused me to get organized and it feels great because I am not naturally organized. Clean yes. Organized with paper-no.

  • We are eating out a lot less and sticking to our monthly budget a lot better. Most days we have left overs for lunch.

  • Friday nights have turned into Coffee and Dessert nights. If we have a free Friday night, we'll call a family and see if they can join us for Coffee and Dessert. We've only got to do this a couple of times, but what a fun way to spend a Friday night. Friday nights are also Family Fun Night and the kids get to sleep with us. (like they don't sneak in every other night anyway, but Friday's they start out with us.)

  • Right now I have 6 gallons of milk in my fridge, 6 bags of cheese, 5 bags of frozen chicken in the freezer, 5 pounds of ground chuck, and 1 lb of flank steak. I have a bag of frozen stir fry, frozen brocolli, frozen peas/carrots, frozen blackberries. Canned mandarin oranges (kids love them), we use lots of canned diced tomatoes/Rotel. I do not like canned veggies though, only corn. So for veggies I use fresh or frozen. Then the fresh fruit/veggies are lettuce, bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, tomato, potato, onion.

Today I went $6.65 over my budget and had to write a check for that part. I bought a little food processer for $10.00 to blend stuff like Rotel, Chopped Green Chilies, onion, basically anything healthy so my la familia will not know it is there. I am excited to see how it works. Oh, and here are a few things I'm making for dinner the next couple weeks.

  • Pancakes, Bacon, Fresh Fruit, Orange Spritzers
  • Chicken con Queso/Salsa (thanks leslie!)
  • Bandito Chili Dogs
  • Nacho Salad
  • Flank Steak Fajitas (thanks heather!)
  • Spaghetti, Bread
  • Chicken Chili, topped with Tortilla chips and Cheddar
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Chicken Fried Rice
  • Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie (Rachel Ray)
  • Sloppy Joes/Garlic Fries (Ellie Krieger)

Friday, September 4, 2009


Really Wal-Mart chicken people?
Is that so?
You can imagine my surprise when I opened up my bag of boneless, skinless chicken to find 5 pieces in the bag.
The serving size said 12.
I think we should rename the label.
Serving size 12 IF you are making a casserole that your family will be in a puddle of tears and revolt over OR IF you are making a big pot of soup in which case the same reaction can be expected.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I bet...

I bet if you were to step on a Rubik's Cube and it hurt really bad and you threw it against the wall and it shattered into a million pieces this might be what it would look like.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1,000 Miles

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step."

Do you ever procrastinate? You have things you want to accomplish but they remain undone because it feels too overwhelming?

Here are some pictures of a project I began tackling last week. MY RECIPE DRAWER. If you are like me you have a million pieces of loose paper thrown in "your recipe drawer." When you are really wanting that great recipe handwritten on that little post it note it takes forever to locate.

A few weeks ago I was browsing through a high end kitchen store. They have adorable recipe notebook holder's for $20. The size was 5x7 and you could purchase cute little special cards to transfer all your recipes on to. In the end you have made your own cookbook with your favorite recipes. With all the affordable school supplies on sale right now I decided to make my own.
The first thing I did was gather all my loose recipes and enter them into my computer.
Next I put them in page protectors and put them in a notebook. I used the cheap index tabs and made 5 divisions (Bread/Sides, Breakfast, Dessert, Main Course, Appetizers). You can get really cute packages of paper at the Dollar Tree for. One dollar. This is a picture of my nice, neat recipe drawer.

This was it BEFORE I took control.

This is the recipes I entered into my computer, printed and put nice and neat in my notebook. This stuff is in the trash now. Buh-Bye, see ya later.

It was kind of sad to throw it away for some dumb reason, but I like the neatness of the new system.

Another great thing about this system is when you find great recipes on blogs, Food, etc you can print them off right away and put them into your recipe notebook.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step."
Maybe you don't care about recipes, but is there something else you could begin working on today?