Sunday, January 31, 2010

menu plan monday

It felt so good to clean out the fridge and pantry last week.  The budget liked it too.  I'm also going to try to do the Coupon Game this week with my sister's help.  Anyone else do that?  I'd love some hints to make the prep go smoothly.  Since planning out my weekly meals has helped our family so much, I have decided to plan each day's chore list.  I think it will feel so good to have more direction each day and have a clean house by the end of the week.

Lunch-  Hot dogs and apples
Dinner-Eggplant Parmigiana w/ Chicken

Lunch- Mac N Cheese and fruit
Dinner-Moroccan Meat Loaf w/ Grean beans

Lunch- English Muffin Mini Pizzas
Dinner-Greek Salad Drum Sticks

Lunch- Pb&J's chips and fruit
Dinner- Leftovers

Lunch-  Turkey Sandwichs and Grapes
Dinner-  Turkey Sloppy Joes and cheesy peas

I'm also going to bake some yummy, healthy Buttermilk Spice Muffins for breakfast this week.

Chore Plan

Monday- Bathrooms  and 2 loads of laundry
Tuesday- Dust entire house and 1 load of laundry
Wednesday- Vacuum house and 1 load of laundry
Thursday-  Mop floors
Friday- Craft and finish any laundry

As always, check out organizing junkie for tons of other menu plan Monday ideas.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ain't it the truth

If you really know me, you know Sara Groves is one of my favorite artists.  I don't know what it is about her, but every album always speaks to me so deeply.  God often speaks to me thru music, and Sara Groves has been used a lot.  This video is scary true.  I love the end, when they finally both soften.  ohhh tears....

Well it came & caught us off our guard
We were just laughin'
Feelin' alright
Had such a great time just last night

We walked into a minefield undetected
You took a tone
I took offense
Anger replacing all common sense

Oh, run for your life
All tenderness is gone
In the blink of an eye
All goodwill has withdrawn
We mark out our paces
And stare our from our faces
Baby, you & I are gone, gone, gone

Incomprehensible, layers of isolation
Now you're the man w a heart of stone
Making me pay by being alone
Soon you will justify righteous indignation
Now I'm a woman who holds all her pain
Looking for somebody else to blame


We hold all the keys to our undoing
Cutting me down in small degrees
You know my worst insecurities
I'm making no effort to understand
No one can hurt you like I can
Deep down inside the girl's waking up
She's going to look to the boy she loves

It's me
Oh, baby, it's me

How in the world can tenderness be gone - in the blink of an eye?
Ohh, how in the world can tenderness be gone - in the blink of an eye?

Ooohhh, whoa, whoa

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

It's "CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE AND PANTRY WEEK!"  I don't know about you but my fridge and pantry look full after several months of picking up odds and ends at the store that were probably NOT on my list.  Well, we are trying to follow a strict food budget, so I am going to only spend the $20 cash I have in my wallet for groceries for the week.  Luckily, we are stocked on cereal, eggs, bread, etc.  I will only need a few fresh fruits and veggies.  Another thing in my favor is that I get to shift several of last weeks entrees to this week.   When I planned our weekly menu last week I had totally forgotten that DH and I were going to be at a conference Friday-Sunday.  Things may get "creative" by the end of the week, but I know we won't go hungry.  The combinations might just be a bit funny.  I always feel so good after a clean out week like this, because then I can start fresh with new recipes and not just piece together stuff I already have.  So here is this week:

Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Turkey Meatballs, Green beans, baked potatoes

sweetly succulent Mahi Mahi (sound familiar from last week?), brown rice, & Oven Fried Okra


BBQ Turkey Joes, with whatever is left in pantry or freezer (TBD)

As always, head on over to Organizing Junkie for hundreds of Menu Plan Monday ideas.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

My plan got a little rearranged this week, but thanks to the weekly menu and a pantry full of ingredients, I didn't get stressed out and the family didn't get McDonalds for dinner.  I didn't get to make the turkey until Saturday, which means I will slide last week's Turkey Chimichangas to this week.  Having my lunches planned too, really helped me.  My kids couldn't argue with what we were having because it was too official being printed out on our fridge.

Lunch- Corn Dogs, Corn, apple slices
Dinner- WW Turkey Chimichangas, steamed veggies

Lunch- Turkey sandwiches, chex mix, bananas
Dinner- Succulent Mahi Mahi, brown rice, green beans

Lunch- Pita pizza, grapes
Dinner- Hearty Turkey Chili

Lunch- Pb&J sandwiches, chips, fruit
Dinner- Leftovers

Lunch- Mac N Cheese, Applesauce
Dinner- Slow Cooker Lasagna

Barbecued Turkey Joes

Check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of menu planning ideas.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just Give In To Me

I wanted to share a song that has really touched me lately.  It is written from the Lord's perspective.  I think it is applicable to so many.  Our walk with the Lord is full of ups and downs.  Sometimes after the hard times, it is easy to try to forget who you were with God and what He meant to you.  It is easy to feel disappointed and direct our anger at Him.  We think the world will offer us something easier or more pure.  We're left with nothing but useless scars.

When I first really listened to the lyrics of the song, I cried.  I could almost feel the longing from God for His prodigal sons and daughters to just "give in."  I've been there myself. Maybe you know someone who is pretending to be someone they're not too.  No one feels it as much as the Lord does.  First go to the bottom of my page and pause my playlist.  Then click  to listen.  ENJOY!

Give In To Me Words and Music by Laura Hackett

Vs.1  I’ve watched you for awhile,
you don’t like to show how you feel inside
I’ve watched you for awhile, you bottle up your emotions in your pride

Oh but it still slips out in moments
And it slips out in your smile
It slips out in moments
And it slips out in your eyes

And I don’t care who you say you are
Cause I see the way that you look in my face
Though you hide in your “mysteries”
I hear the way you call my name

So give into me
Just say yes to me
I just can’t take it anymore
You gotta be mine, be mine

Vs.2 I bought you I paid the price
I’ve called you out and I’ve claimed you as mine
But you keep running, running away from me
You keep hiding, hiding in shame from me

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The EVER changing pillows

I was going to wait until both pillows were complete, but I can't wait to show you this.  I was totally inspired by this pillow from Ballards:

I "KNEW" I could duplicate my own version.  Although I love pink, I didn't really want it in my living room.  I decided to just use scraps I already had.  This time I tried to take pictures as I went.

First, I cut the old cover off.  Remember these beauties?

At first, I was going to do coffee dyed canvas like materials as the base for the pillow.  However, after dying the material in the coffee water and then washing them, I was left with a frayed mess.  Remember, i am new to the "Crafty" world.  So, I didn't have enough white fabric to cover 2 pillows.  I decided to use the white fabric for the stem.

I drew out the stem and leaves, and then cut it out as one solid piece.
Can I interject...Does anyone else's "Work" area ever look like this or is it just mine?

Then I hot glued the stem/leaves thingy on the pillow.  The peacock blue cover that is already on the pillow is what was under the felt pillow.  It used to be cuter with a red tufted button in the middle.  I put that fabric on a long time ago, but the boys popped off the cute button (hence the need for the felt cover at Christmas).

Then I started on the flower, itself.  I traced different sized circles out of all my blueish scrap fabric.  This one was a scrap from what was covering entire pillow.  Most scraps that I used were free sample pieces taken from actual fabric bolts. Some of those samples were fairly big.

I then layered them like this, sewed them together, and added a button.

Then I took the needle through entire pillow to the back of it and gently pulled it tight until it looked "tufted" (not sure if I'm using this term correctly or not).  Next time I will use dental floss, because I was on the brink of breaking that delicate sewing thread too many times.  I'm not sure how long this one will hold and may have to redo with the floss sooner than later.  It worked for now, and the result was awesome.

At this point, I just needed to finish the edges of the stem and leaves.  I bought some brown decorative trim at HL for $1.00 and just hot glued it a couple of times around stem and leaves.  I am not great with the glue gun yet and had a lot of strings and goops.  I found that if I put a clean cloth over bad areas and pressed with an iron, I could smooth out most of the mistakes.

Here is a close up of the flower:

and here is the result

Once I get the other pillow done, I'll show you how they look on my couch.  What do you think?

Head on over to 

For hundreds of other ideas.

Also check out the DIY SHOWOFF for even more diy goodies

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Well, the results are in after my first official week of pre-planned meals, and I must say, it was a HUGE success!  We only ate out one time after church, which was planned, and I definitely had less stress.  My entire week seemed more organized.  This week, I am going to add in lunches, since I homeschool and have 3 boys here at home every day.

Lunch- Tortilla pizza's and fruit
Dinner- Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce & Salad

Lunch - Turkey Sandwiches and Chips and Yogurt
Dinner-  Baked Beef Stew

Lunch-  Mac N Cheese w/ Green Beans (Have I mentioned that we don't do fancy lunches around here?)
Dinner-  Smoked Turkey (had one of those free ones from Thanksgiving in my freezer), steamed veggies and mashed potatoes

Lunch-  PB&J Sandwiches, fruit, & chips
Dinner-  Leftovers

Lunch-  Hot dogs, corn and fruit
Dinner -WW Baked Turkey & Jack Cheese Chimichangas, & tomato & Avocado Salad

Lunch - probably turkey sandwiches hehehe (24lb. bird)
Dinner- go out?

Sunday- Turkey Bacon Quiche

As always, check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of other Menu plans!
 Have an "Intentional" week!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheap Felt Pillow Covers

I know the holidays are over, but I wanted to show you another little project I did.  I have some down filled pillows on the couch that needed to be recovered.  I didn't have time to visit a lot of fabric shops or sew, for that matter, 2 pillows.  My solution was to go to Hobby Lobby, buy $5.00 worth of felt (both brown and baby blue) and get to work.  For the first pillow I used Stitch Witch to put the pillow cover together.  That was a mess, and it didn't work too well.  I actually melted the felt to my iron, at one point.  I salvaged it enough to pass it off as done, but the second pillow got hot glued.  The hot glue worked like a charm.  I cut the poinsettia petals out by hand.  I just did 6 big and 6 medium size.  I had 2 left over buttons from previous pillows that I used for the center.  I hot glued the petals on too.  The button was the only thing I sewed on.

I know, I know, I sound like a "Master Crafter" already, huh?  (insert sarcasm)  Well, I must confess what really happened when I started this project.  I couldn't wait to actually jump in and make the pillows, so after kids were in bed and house was picked up, I sat on the living room floor with all of my materials and jumped in.  Dh was also in living room as we were catching up on one of our favorite shows, "Finge."  An hour and a half later, not only was my pillow not done, but my floor looked like a felt monster had vomited all over the place.  Dh, not used to this new "crafty" side of me, looked at me and said, "What on earth are you trying to do?"  I just kept going and repeated out loud, as to assure myself, "I am a crafter, and I can do this!!!"  I took a 2 day break between pillows, just to gather back my patience.

Next project I will try to take pictures as I am working, so it makes more sense.  The felt worked out great, and I don't even mind tearing it off and tossing it this year.  Felt doesn't last forever with 3 boys and 2 adults romping on it all the time, but it worked for me over the holiday season.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thrifty "Expression" picture frame

So my sister over at ABODE turned me into a "Blog Lurker."  I actually had a blog running before she did, but let it go when life got too busy.  Then my sister started telling me about all of these wonderful blogs that she had been reading that were inspiring her to let her creative side be free.  I listened but thought, "I don't have the energy for all of that."  Then I started to see her blossom.  She started doing all of these cool projects for next to no money.  On top of that she was having fun, and her family was benefitting from it.  That is when the "lurking" began.  I feel like I know a lot of  you, personally, even if you've never heard from me yet.  I have started building up my craft closet and my garage is filling up (much to dh's disapproval) with thrift store jewels just waiting to be "Cutiefied."

One of my biggest issues is just jumping in.  My house is fairly bare because I am afraid that I will make a mistake.  I don't like that side of me.  I haven't always been so unsure, so I'M BREAKING FREE!  I am going to show you my first little project since I've been introduced to all of you creative angels.  The Bible says not to despise small beginnings, so I won't.  I have lots of ideas for future projects that I hope to share with you really soon.  I could use some advice on when is the appropriate time to do projects, read blogs, and then create blogs, when I homeschool and 3 boys under 9 at home?  I could easily neglect them all day with this new "find."  I won't do that, which is the reason for the slow start.  However, that is a subject for another blog.  Back to my first project:

I just love those cute 'Expression" frames that are everywhere from Hobby Lobby to Hallmark.

 I have been wanting one for a while now.  However, the price always stops me.  Even at 50% off, I always think it is too much of a splurge.  So, I went about trying to make a thrifty version of one.  Here is what I came up with.   I started with a frame and autograph mat both from the Dollar Tree (Love the DT).

Then I spray painted both black.  It took several coats to get a smooth surface.  I learned that cheap black spray paint leaves a nasty black dust behind.  Next time I will probably just use real paint.  Then I had dh apply some stickers that I already had to the picture.  He has a degree in graphic design and even worked at a decal shop for a while.  He has a very creative and steady hand.  Then I did 2 coats of Mod Podge.  I thought some texture might be nice so then I did some swirlies with the Mod Podge.  It also covered up any streaks left behind from my inexperienced "crafting" hands.  I think it turned out great.  Seeing that I already had the paint and stickers, this project cost me only $2.00.  What do you think?

(yes it laying on my carpet.  I kept getting weird glares when I took a picture of it on my wall.)

(Here is a shot that shows the swirly texture. Too much?  I never know when to stop.)  If you have any ideas for any other embellishments that can be "stuck on" let me know.  I don't trust my free hand abilities yet.  Hop on over to todays creative blog to see other inspirations of "Get Your Craft On."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

I am starting 2010 with an attempt to do a more consistent and organized job of weekly menu planning. I have linked up with I'm an Organizing Junkie for hundreds of other menu plans!

Teriyaki Chicken
W/ Veggies

w/ veggies

Fish Sticks, Green Beans, and Fruit for family (I'm at a Bible study at Panerra hehehe)


garlic bread

Eat out

Herb Tuna Sandwiches