Keeping it all Together

Okay, so I’ve heard about this idea a few times but I always discarded it. Planning Dinners for an entire month? Yeah right. That is too much work, plus how would I know would ingredients to get in advance, and what if I didn’t even feel like eating the food that was scheduled for the night. But, if it kept coming to mind as something I should try, then maybe there was something to it.

So… I decided to give it a try this month. And it has honestly been, I hate to admit it, but very helpful. It has really saved a lot of time the time I usually spend interpreting what I am feeling in the mood for and then finally deciding. I’ve found that even if I don’t really feel like eating what is planned once I start making the meal and smelling all the yummy smells and such suddenly I think actually I don’t mind eating this after all. Or I just add something on the side that is a little more of what I was in the mood for but keep the main thing I had scheduled… like adding a sweet apple salad with caramelized nuts or yummy desert to satisfy my sweet tooth I am feeling that night.

I think part of the trick is using meals that you already know and like and them only have a new recipe a couple times for the whole month. If you are still deciding what you like and do quickly as a family then maybe this isn’t for you yet. You could start with planning the meals for the week. But, if you’ve been planning the meals for the week for a while, you are probably ready for this monthly plan like me. Try it!!!

It has helped me keep one step ahead to get the slow cooker going in the afternoon and extra leftover meat that I used for a meal earlier that week for meals later in the week. For example if I made shredded chicken tacos on Tues I made to make a few extra chicken breasts that I can set aside for my the chicken pot pie for Friday. It is awesome!!!

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Homemade Birthday Cakes

I remember looking back at photos of a couple cakes my Mom made for me when I was a little girl and feeling so special. That is the goal here. These cakes might not be super professional but that they were made with love and care.  There is definitely something special in that. Look the the expressions of my little kiddos! 🙂

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Well this one Dresden doesn’t look too happy but that is because her sister was teasing her… She still loved her cake. 🙂DSC_1800

 

Love This Simple Warm Lunch Idea!

I am loving this simple warm lunch idea. My kids can help and enjoy eating it as well. Basically you layered vegetables (tomates, cucumbers or be creative and add other favorites) on some sour dough or french bread and then top with thinly sliced of fresh mozzarella. I like to sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the cheese. Then bake in the oven for 3-5 min on broil (500 degrees) until the cheese melts and the bread looks a little toasted. It is so fast, delicious, and healthy, too!

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Organize & Dejunk

Forget spring cleaning, January and February are the perfect months to spruce up your home with organizing and donating stuff you don’t use. There is great power in simply keeping things clean and ordered. I think we sometimes forget the magic that occurs when you are living in a clean and organized space and the reward of peace and relief that comes as a result! It is actually easier to maintain order than it is to do a huge overhaul job although it is definitely necessary every once in a while. As you can see in this picture, that is what is needed here and in several areas in my home besides this hair bow drawer. Time to get to work!

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Visiting Teacher Friends

These are some of my friends from my church. Each sister is assigned to visit with and teach another sister so that everyone sister is taken care of in my church. They are now no longer my visiting teachers but as fun parting I told them to come over and we’d do some makeovers! So I pulled out my makeup and hair supplies and dressed them up. 🙂 We had a lot of fun and laughs especially at my four year old daughter Emery who was full of comments and suggestions. 🙂

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Easy Peel-n-Stick Chalkboard Wall

Renters and Non-renters check this out! For only $25 I covered my entire dining room wall in this easy peel-and-stick vinyl.  It comes off so easily when we eventually move or if we ever get tired of it, is not a big deal to take down. It also didn’t take very long to put up! The kids LOVE it and additionally, it looks so cute and modern!

I found it at a Walmart Super center for $4.97 a roll.  It cover 12 feet so I got 5 for a grand total of $25.

Duck Brand Adhesive Peel and Stick Laminate, 20" x 12', Chalkboard

My kids even helped put it up! When I asked my older daughter what was her favorite, most memorable thing about this past week with all we’ve done for New Years and meeting up with friends, she said making the chalkboard wall. It has been really special and fun for all of them.

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Turn a Long Shirt into a Childs Dress!

DSC_1263 DSC_1265after DSC_1272Step 1: Turn adult-sized dress inside out and lay a good-fitting dress/shirt of the child’s over the top. Line up the top of the shoulders and arms. Trace an outline.  Sew and trim off the excess material from the underarm and bodice all the way down the sides of the dress. Here is a youtube tutorial of what I am talking about in step one if what I said doesn’t make sense.DSC_1272aStep 2: Use a straight edge like a ruler to pull the fabric up and fold it over 1/2 inch or so depending on how large your shirt was to begin with.  I had my daughter try this on two or three times during the process to make sure it would fit well.  This step is important for a better fit around the neckline since we are going from it being an adult shirt (wider neckline) to a child neckline.DSC_1275Step 3: Flip the dress over to the back and do the same pleats on the back just like in step 2.

Faux Cement Countertops with Contact Paper

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I used this removable wall paper/ contact paper from Target! The color was called

Devine Color Weave Wallpaper – Mirage & Silver.

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One tube of it covers 25 square feet so I bought two at 29.99 and covered all my countertops! I did this about a year ago but I just wanted to show how it is holding.
If you live in a rental and want to have your place look nice without paying much comparatively to real new countertops than this project is for you. I just used a youtube tutorial of how to apply contact paper to counters and went for it.

 

Some helpful tips include:
-it was helpful to have another person help to hold the pieces so they wouldn’t roll after the backing was taken off
-cut the side pieces first and do these first
-use a razor blade to cut off excess contact paper edges on sides of countertop
-it is best to get little bubbles out of the contact paper as you go to keep it nice looking. I tried using a plastic flat edge like a credit card but it is easier just using your hand and just gently smoothing the air out

Again just watch a Youtube tutorial to see the process in action.

Try it! It is a little tricky but it really isn’t that bad. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it should only take a 1-3 hours max and then you will have some pretty cool looking FAUX CEMENT COUNTERTOPS!

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Since I have had mine on over a year it has worn a little bit in spots making the color lighter where I really scrubbed in cleaning but it isn’t enough for me to need to redo it. I am very happy with it. 🙂