Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Ok, let's talk playrooms. I'd like to say that I'm super trendy and have gorgeous furniture and an imagination-stimulating playroom, but tis not so. Well, not yet anyway!
This is the before picture of my playroom. Don't be horrified, you know it's exactly how yours looks too! (Those ones on pinterest with huge square footage, bright colors, natural light and only like 4 toys, yeah, who lives like that). We've lived in this house for 4 months, and I have no budget for major redecorating, so we will just have to love the maroon carpet and weird window shade for now. But, while you're looking check out that molding around the windows, so gorgeous!!
it started with a trip to Target . . .
I really love the playroom cubes that Ikea sells, they are taller, but they were 3 times the price. Target had these cubes on sale for only $35 the first weekend in April. I bought the baskets in that fun aqua color (though husband is still convinced that the color is too girly) and added the numbers 1-4 in felt. Simple, found a font I liked on my computer, made them a good size, printed, cut out, traced and hot glued on the baskets. (It probably would have been easier with a silhouette machine, but that still exists only in my dreams!)
So here's the toy organization that I came up with:
You know there are those toys your kids always play with (toy cars and little action figures) and then there are toys they play with for a bit (like legos and the tool set) and then they just drag, scatter and throw them all over the house.
Basket #1 is for toy cars. If someone wants a car, I just say, "Have you looked in basket #1?" And if we need to put some cars away, I just say "Let's put all of these in basket #1." And it happens, rejoice! Easier cleanup and the favorite race cars aren't getting lost.
Basket #2 is just for action figures. We have Hulk, Captain America, the random firefighter and so on.
All the remaining toys I have sorted, put in bags and stored in the cupboard under the stairs. Once a week each boy can choose one toy set to get out and play with for the week. That keeps the toys fresh, and when we're done we have all the pieces.
My little Superman gets basket #3, he chose the dinosaurs.
And Mr. Batman chose the megablocks racetrack.
So, when the floor starts looking like this . . .
basket #4." And it happens:)
Thursday, April 26, 2012
So, have you tried the crockpot BBQ Ribs yet? I found the recipe floating around on pinterest, holy AMAZING! Go here to find the recipe and follow her great instructions.
Here is how mine look, stunning right?
The hardest part of making these was getting them out of the crockpot without them falling apart. My husband did a weird 2-spatula-squeeze move, but it worked!
Friday, December 30, 2011
So, this post is all about showing off my favorite Becky!
(I would post a cute pic of Becky and me here, but I haven't downloaded anything from the holidays yet, oops)
Here is her quiet book, totally puts mine to shame! Adorable and very sturdy
The barn doors open, and the animals are printed on fabric with velcro backing
The monkey swings from branch to branch
The frog's tongue snaps to the flies
The alligator's mouth zips open
This fish has a magnet inside him
And of course the caterpillar's circles come off
I know, right?! Love it!
Some of her inspiration came from here.
And check out her pantry. Home-canned fruit, jam, pie-filling, salsa and applesauce. (And yes, most of the fruit/veggies came from her own yard!)
Someday I plan on living in the same city, or heck I'd settle for same STATE as Becky!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Sometimes when you're walking down the aisles of a thrift store something catches your eye . . .
Do you see the potential too? I mean c'mon!
My husband's exact words when he saw it, "That thing is freakin' ugly."
Even my little boy is trying to destroy it, lol
Well, after some black spray paint, damask fabric and ribbon I ADORE IT!
$2 and 15 minutes later I have this perfect jewelry holder. I hot glued the ribbon on in 1 inch intervals, so the earrings wouldn't slide around.
(And yes, I have a thing for gigantic, dangly, somewhat obnoxious earrings.)
The little bowl at the bottom is perfect for holding my bracelets and flower clips and pins. It hangs on the wall of our master, just outside the closet. Don't worry, my husband retracted the "freakin' ugly" comment, hehe.
I know, I know, you wish it was yours!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I know right? Doesn't that look all sorts of delicious? This is one of my favorite bed rest freezer meals. I have a giant ziploc bag full of mini meatballs in my freezer right now. Hmm, the possibilities. I can serve them with spaghetti, shells, swedish meatballs over noodles, meatball subs, BBQ meatballs over rice, or even sweet and sour meatballs. They are fully cooked, so a quick zap in the microwave is all they need before you add them to the sauce. They taste amazing and I loaded them up with veggies. I've found that if I chop all the veggies really small my little man doesn't notice. I shred spinach really fine, or grate the carrot on the smallest size on my cheese grater. Love these!
Husband Rating: 5 stars
3 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 pkt. onion soup mix
2 of any of the following veggies, minced or finely chopped, 1/3 cup: carrot, zucchini, spinach, green pepper, mushrooms
Combine all the ingredients and stir until smooth. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. Line pan with foil and arrange meatballs. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes. Makes 80 mini meatballs.
To freeze: After the meatballs cool you need to flash freeze them. This freezes each one individually so you don't end up with a giant glob of meatballs stuck together. Sometimes you only need 7-10 from the bag for dinner. Arrange the meatballs flat on cookie sheet and put in your freezer for about 2 hours. Then, put them in your ziploc bag for storage.
To reheat, I just put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about 1 minute. If I'm using them in spaghetti, I just add them frozen right into the sauce and let them simmer with the sauce.
Here is some extra incentive for you to line the pan with foil instead of just cooking spray. What a mess!
What else do you make with meatballs? Hmm, I bet there is some soup that would be good with them too...
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The credit for these also goes to my mom. Honestly, they are genius! I have four bags of these in my freezer right now. Husband can microwave one in a paper towel and zip off to work, or I can add the toppings and serve them as a simple lunch or dinner. Adore them! The frozen variety have nothing on these babies. I cooked the beans myself, I used my favorite locally grown beef and the best Guerrero tortillas with no lard. Nutritionally there is nothing to fear here. They are inexpensive, easy to make and will last for up to 3 months in my freezer.
Husband Rating: 5 stars
(no joke, since I've been on bed rest he eats one almost every day!:)
For my step-by-step directions to make the beef and bean filling click here.
To make the burritos, simply warm tortillas, scoop in the filling and fold tightly.
You will need to flash freeze the burritos before putting them in ziploc bags. (This is so they don't stick together into one giant glob, you want to take them out once at a time.)
To flash freeze, arrange on a cookie sheet and put in your freezer, uncovered, for about 2 hours. They won't be completely frozen, just enough so they won't stick together. Now you can bag them!
The frozen burritos take 1:30 seconds to perfection. Microwave for one minute, turn over, then go for 30 more seconds. I like to add a handful of cheddar cheese for the last 30 seconds, yum!
Dump on your salsa, lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, whatever you're craving and enjoy the fastest homemade lunch ever.
Small confession: I'm not sure how many burritos you will get from one batch of the beef/bean mixture. Why? Because every time I make it we end up eating so many burritos and snacking on the filling with tortilla chips that I don't get an accurate count. I usually fill 3 ziploc bags, plus whatever we eat that doesn't quite make it. I use the "soft taco" size tortillas.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Here's what I snatched up last week:
5 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Thins= Free
2 pkgs of Dixie paper plates= $3.00
2 packs Twizzler= $.50 each
$4.00 is not bad for all the snacks above, I can't calculate savings since I didn't save my receipt for original price, but still, fabulous! Oh, and the granola bars came with a coupon for free milk, so even cheaper here!
Both of our camping chairs broke last summer, so I found a great deal to get new babies.
2 camping chairs (reg. $10.99) on sale for $7.99
Used 2 20% off coupons
Used 2 coupons for "Free LED flashlight with any purchase"
Thanks Harbor Freight Tools!! (My husband adores that store, anybody else?)
Speaking of husbands, mine celebrated a birthday and he got homemade funnel cakes. Yum!!! I wasn't totally in love w/ the recipe, I felt it was a little too thick, but still delicious with caramel, powdered sugar and cinnamon.
To spoil hubby a little extra I couponed one of his favorite things- Minute Maid Lemonade. I bought 5 cases of the lemonade cans for $5. Hot! (We'll see how long it lasts, we sure cruised through them this 4th:)
I'm still working hard on getting freezer meals ready too. This is a Spaghetti Sausage Nest, it's actually very delicious, I'll post the recipe soon.
In my freezer I have:
4 bags grilled cajun chicken, sliced
4 containers of beef and bean taco filling
1 Spaghetti Sausage nest
1 Funeral Potato Casserole
Not bad right? Today for dinner I'm making homemade chicken nuggets, I'm tripling the recipe and going to freeze the extra. Throw some quick potatoes and steamed carrots on the side and we're in business!
And in between all of that, I'm just getting bigger:)