Pantry Makeover

When we purchased our new house I thought our kitchen pantry was a nice size…then add all of our stuff and it doesn’t seem so large anymore. I decided to get it organized and really utilize the space I had. I think that is the best thing about organization…you get to utilize your space to its fullest potential! Sorry I get a little excited about organization πŸ™‚

Here are the before pictures of my pantry. Such a mess and so unorganized! Makes me crazy looking at it. But it’s going to change!

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I know I want some cute baskets. I started by browsing Better Homes & Gardens for some ideas. They had several different options, but I stumbled across these and fell in love!

Wire Baskets

They are from a new website I learned about Casa.com They have been ordered and are sitting at my house ready to be used. So much cuter in person!

I’m starting off the New Year with some organization…sounds like a good year! Do you have any projects you are working on? I would love to hear about them. Post a comment or send me an email.

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Meal Plan – January 27th – February 2nd

Meal Plan

We had a great time last week visiting friends in Virginia, but now it’s back at the daily meal schedule. We have tried two new recipes the past two weeks and plan on trying another this week. Both have been very good and my husband says they are good enough to add to the meal rotation.

Monday January 27th – Meatless Spaghetti

Tuesday January 28th – Pork Chops & Vegetables
We buy a ten pack of pork chops and use them for two weeks. Saves us money at the grocery!

Wednesday January 29th – Church so no meal is planned

Thursday January 30th – Pinterest Meal! Backed Teriyaki Chicken from The Recipe Critic.

Ingredients
β€’4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
β€’1 tbsp corn starch
β€’1 tbsp cold water
β€’1⁄2 cup white sugar
β€’1⁄2 cup soy sauce
β€’1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
β€’1 clove garlic, minced
β€’1⁄4 tsp ground ginger
β€’1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
β€’green onions for garnish

Instructions
1.In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together soy sauce, cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, cold water, and cornstarch, black pepper. Turn the heat to medium high until it comes to a boil and reduce heat to low. Whisk until the sauce starts to thicken.
2.Line a 9Γ—13 with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. This helps for easier clean up. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly sprinkle each side of the chicken with pepper.
3.Lay the chicken in the pan and generously coat each side of the chicken breast with the teriyaki glaze. Cook for about 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Brush each side with the glaze every 10 minutes while cooking. When finished, serve over rice and pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and rice.

Friday January 31st – Irish Potatoes
This is a recipe we got from our friends in Virginia.

Cut potatoes (usually 1 per person) into chunks. I leave the skin on but you can remove. Boil potatoes until soft.
While potatoes are boiling brown 1lb. of ground beef. Drain fat.
Mash potatoes.

Serve potatoes with beef, cheese, bacon bits and sour cream.

Weekend we eat leftovers.

Meal Plan – Jan. 20th-26th

At it again. Another week another meal plan. This week is rather busy for us so we will have limited meals.

Tuesday – Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes
My Pinterest recipe of the week comes from The Art of Comfort Baking.
Check out the recipe on her site.

Wednesday-None

Thursday- El Nop night! This is our town’s local Mexican restaurant. The best in town!

Friday- Jack Daniel’s Marinade Pork & Vegis
I have found my favorite marinade! It is Jack Daniel’s marinades that come in different flavors and they are all great.
1. Marinate 2-3 pork chops in the Jack Daniel’s marinade for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Bake pork for 40-45 minutes.
4. Serve with vegetables or your choice.

Meal Plan – January 12-18

Meal Plan

School starts back for my husband and I so dinners will be a little easier to prepare. Easy and yummy….I’m in! We all see those wonder looking dishes on Pinterest, pin them to our wall and never make them! I am trying to end that cycle with trying out a new Pinterest recipe. Hopefully you will follow along and let me know how it turned out.

Monday: Tacos (a family favorite)
We use 1lb of ground meat, 1 pkg of taco seasoning (follow instructions on back) and all the good sides.
I am trying this year to eat less processed foods so I hope to be able to make my own taco seasoning soon.

Tuesday: Chicken & Vegis
3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Marinate in Jack Daniels Mesquite Marinade for 30+ minutes
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until done
Steam vegetables

Wednesday: Leftovers
We have church on Wednesdays so we need to leave the house early in the evening.

Thursday: *Pinterest Recipe* from Mostly Homemade Mom
This recipe can be found on her website as well.
Farmer’s Market Spaghetti
adapted from Kraft Recipes

4 cups cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 lb spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes have burst. Meanwhile, cook and drain spaghetti reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the water back in with the drained spaghetti along with the balsamic vinaigrette and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. When the tomatoes are finished roasting, remove from oven and discard thyme. Add tomatoes and garlic to the spaghetti, scraping the baking sheet to make sure all the juices and flavored bits get all in there! Toss to combine well, serve with remaining parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.

We will not have any other meals for the weekend. We have plans!

Make the Pinterest Spaghetti and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Meal Plan – January 6th-12th

Meal Plan

Since my husband gets paid once a week and our schedule can vary week-to-week we decided to make a meal schedule once a week and go grocery shopping every week. Not that I like going to Wal-Mart, but it seems to save us from throwing tons of food away because we aren’t home and saves us money! I like both of those options. One thing I have done for awhile is create a meal schedule for the week.

Well if you are like me you are scrambling around and trying to find something for dinner. I hate…I mean HATE to cook (just ask my husband), but I want to eat healthier and save money. I am going to start posting my weekly meal schedule here. Hopefully you will be able to find some new recipes to try and this will help your family as well.

This week’s meal plan is as follows (No fancy pictures yet but hopefully they will be here soon!)

Monday: Crockpot 3-Packet Shoulder Steak with a side of corn
I use my fancy slow cooker liners from Reynolds
1. Place shoulder steak in crockpot
2. Mix 1 cup of water with the following packets
1. Brown Gravy Mix
2. Italian Dressing Dry Mix
3. Ranch Dressing Dry Mix
3. Pour the mixture over the steak
4. Set on low and cook for 6-8 hours

Tuesday: Grilled Cheese & Soup

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie
1. Cut 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts into small cubes
2. Add a tablespoon of butter to a skillet on medium
3. Cook chicken until white on the outside
4. Mix chicken with 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/4 cup of milk, 1 pkg of mixed vegetables
5. Place a pie crust (I purchase a pkg of 2 from Pillsbury) at the bottom of a pie pan
6. Pour in chicken mixture
7. Place a pie crust over mixture and pinch the sides (cut a couple of holes in the top crust)
8. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes
9. After completely cooked place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes

Thursday: BBQ Pork
1. One boneless pork lion – I usually get a pork that is around 2lbs.
2. Place pork lion into crockpot (I use my liners again!)
3. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water
4. Sprinkle black pepper over the pork lion
5. Set crockpot to low and cook 6-8 hours
6. Once cooked shred the pork and add BBQ sauce to your taste
5. Serve with hamburger buns and my husband’s favorite Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream chips

Friday: Eat Leftovers from the week.

Saturday & Sunday: We don’t generally have any meals planned because we usually go out on of these days or we eat what’s in the house.

If you have any recipes you would like to share comment below and we can all try them out!

School is keeping me busy!

Wow what I semester. Not that my school work takes up all my time but both classes are full of projects..which I love! They are kind of different for me because you aren’t really making a usable object but mostly abstract work or doing photography which in my case needs a lot of help πŸ™‚

Here is my latest project that I just turned in yesterday. The goal was to create an abstract piece of art that has a focal point. Let me tell you it took me a long time to get this nailed down. Thanks to my teacher this is what I came up with.

EDay Project 2 Final Composition

I am now on to my next 2 projects. One is a series of 4 photographs that are abstract. Abstract is SOOOOO hard for me! I like things with a purpose and abstract just doesn’t have that quality for me. The second project which I’m looking forward to is a PowerPoint presentation that shows a “How to Process.” This should also excite you, my readers, because I will be posting a tutorial of my newest creation! Again taken from one of my favorite websites, www.shanty-2-chic.com. I hope to make this my own version.

Have any guesses for what I’m making? Here’s a hint-It is comprised of numbers. Submit your guesses by clicking the Rafflecopter link for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Target! Just in time for Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s Been a Long Time

Well it has been awhile since I have posted anything. That just means life is crazy right now! I know you think this post is about that wonderful shelf I told you I was going to finish weeks ago but sadly no. The shelf is DONE (!!!) but it is not quite ready for your eyes to see. It has had a hard life already πŸ™‚ That story will come at a later date.

Today’s post is a little shelf that took me less than 30 minutes to build and not too much longer to paint and finish. I have been looking for something to go over our toilet in the guest bathroom. When I ran across my favorite blog www.shanty2chic.com. They had a wonderful tutorial for a shelf and I loved it!

Here is my version of the shelf. I can post my tutorial if you are interested. Drop me a comment and I will get it up for you. I will be posting a tutorial on the “color wash” I used to paint the shelf.

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I would love to know your thoughts so post a comment!

Questioning leads to an Answer

Over the past year and a half I have followed the updates of a woman I didn’t know that well. Updates on how she was fighting the fight against the awful disease of cancer. This woman worked with my husband many years back and became neighbors to my parents a few years ago as well. I would get emails telling about the medicines/therapies she was taking and where the cancer was or wasn’t. Until a few months ago these emails were only little reminders to say a prayer for her, her husband and two small kids. She would cross my mind from time to time but never a constant thought about how she was doing. My mom and I bought her a little gift and put it in her mailbox letting her know that we were there if she needed anything. We didn’t have to answer that call until a few months ago…

The cancer had returned and the call for help went out. Because of having a small child it would have been hard for me to take her kids to daycare almost every morning and then drive her to cancer treatments. But my mom stepped up to the plate without hesitation. I know for her it was a hard thing to do because she would get close to this lady and then maybe the worst case scenario would happen, but she did it anyways. She never even blinked when she had to get up early everyday and be out of the door before 6:30. She was there as a friend and as someone this family could count on.

This lady was a fighter and had beat the odds for the last year and a half but today was the day of the worst case scenario. Her family had to make the tough decision to take her off of life support and she passed away at the young age of 40.

All day I have been asking God the question “Why?” I don’t understand why a young wife and mother would be taken so early and taken away from her children. I don’t understand what good can come from this. It brings up memories of all the people in my life who have or are being affected by this stupid cancer. Why, why, WHY!? The only answer I have is because God’s thoughts are higher than mine. God has a plan for my, everyone’s lives, that are not to harm us. Yes, there will be trials in this life and things we just can’t wrap our minds around but God in His infinite wisdom sees further than we could ever think.

The events of today make me think about the life I live. It makes me thankful to have such an example of a Godly person in my life, my mom. She gave of herself to this family in their time of need. Sure this might not have been how she would want to spend her days. Becoming friends with a lady that could and did die. Reliving a disease that has taken too many people away from her. But she did it anyways. If I could give of myself half as much as she has given to this family and to many more…Thanks mom for being a true example of the hands and feet of Christ.

As I move on from here I can only continue to pray that I will be a Godly impact in the lives of the people I meet, even when it’s not convenient. And that I continue to look to God as my source of hope in a hopeless world.

Furniture Build Update

I few weeks ago I showed you the pretty shelf I am making for my parents living room makeover. If you need a refresher here ya go!

I’m not done building it…whomp whomp. But I have started! Here is where I am at now (I know doesn’t seem like that much!)

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My husband has been anxious to get his car into the garage. It hasn’t made it in there since our move 4 months ago. So I told him he wouldn’t get his car into the garage until we got the shelf out! That was the way to get him to work πŸ™‚ We will be working on the shelf this evening and hopefully have it ready for me to stain. Stay tuned for more updates!

Got any projects planned for the weekend? Let me know about them!

Looking to the Future

I don’t know about you but I like to have a plan. I am the Type A personality and like to function in an organized, on time world. I realize the world is not always like that so I am willing to move from that plan (a little!). I have been thinking about my future, the future of my family and where I want to be. As you know I am a grasshopper hoping from many different things. I have a hard time nailing down exactly what I want to do. This year I decided to go back to school and start my degree which has been a life goal for me. So far it is going well. We are only 4 weeks into it but it’s not as scary as I thought.

I am going to get my degree in Visual Communications which I figured would help me in my future career path. I don’t know what exactly that is but I know it deals with something in the creative sphere. Visual communications ranges from website design, to photography, to commercial advertising. I don’t know about you but if you’re going into business you would benefit from all those! So here’s to this new step in my life!

Anyone out there starting something new in their life or thinking about your future? Leave me a comment I would love to here from you.