Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Kitchen/Dining room

The sunshine today has inspired me. The kitchen got a good scrubbing, & what better time to snap a few pictures & give you a peek into the room where I spend most of my waking hours.

This is the BEFORE photo:

...And AFTER:

This Spring, we'd like to add some subway tile to the back-splash & change out the light fixture over the sink.
I love that my kitchen is small enough, that everything is at my fingertips...

My kitchen at our old home was completely white, counter-tops, flooring...All. Of. It. 
It was impossible to keep it clean for even a few hours.

I'm loving my new Kitchen! The counter-tops are black, the flooring has variations of brown/tan & it's completely forgiving & hides a lot of kid dirt. That being said, it gets cleaned once a week(I'm not a complete slob) haha! ;)

Our little command center. Each year, I purchase one of these large desk calendars.
Every appointment & activity gets written down here. It saves so much confusion about whats going to happen for that week & the children don't need to ask me every day, what we're going to do. 
The artwork was created by our oldest when he was in 2nd Grade. It's still one of my favorite pcs. hes created.

I know, the table is off-center with the lighting. It makes me a little crazy. I believe the previous owner had a round dining table, so it worked perfectly. I've been trying for years to get husband to let me sell our dining table. it's huge & clunky. It was one of the 1st things we bought together as a married couple, so I think it holds some sentimental value for him.

The cubbies to the right, is something I'm still trying to get used to. At our old home, we had a mudroom/laundry room to hide a lot of the clutter...I've been thinking of ways to hide the clutter. Possibly old shutters on hinges?? ...not sure yet.

Over Christmas, Shutterfly was running a 101 free prints promotion.  I picked some of my favorite photos, over the past few years & printed them out in a Polaroid/Instagram style(with a white border) & hung them onto string with tiny clothes pins. I'm loving how it turned out.

The plate wall is a work in progress...

And that about sums it up!

Enjoy your SUNNY Wednesday morning!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Living room

Well here goes... Many of you have been asking for photos of our (new to us) home.
It's a much smaller home than what we had, but it's cozy & we absolutely have fallen in love with it.
So without further ado...

Living room: BEFORE.

I forgot to take before photos. Everything was a blur for awhile there & we were doing our best to get into our home before Christmas, (With the previous owner's permission, I'm using the photos that were used with the listing of the home.)

Living room: AFTER.

We had someone come in & repaint the house, from top to bottom. The home was full of color, & we enjoy a more neutral color palette.
We also changed up the flooring in the living room...
The wooden side table, is an antique sewing machine cabinet, that I inherited from my parents when they down-sized this past year.
The "Love chapter" print was made by the lovely Miriam @pinetreelanestudios.
And the yellow chair/ottoman came from a local, used furniture store. 

My mom passed on her love of Little Golden Books to me... When we were just little kiddos, Mom would often bring home a new Little Golden Book for us, each time she went to town to get groceries. As my collection grows, it's almost impossible for me to pass them up, when I discover a new one while thrifting or antiquing.

The little green dress, in the bottom frame, was my going home from the hospital outfit. I love the fact that it's a bright, lime green dress, made for a little Amish girl, in the 80's

Mom also passed down her love of  antiques & little birds, down to me. Although her style is more primitive/vintage & mine is more modern/vintage(oxymoron, I know), we both love a lot of the same things.

 This beautiful, antique piece was also passed down from my parents, when they down-sized this past year. I love the grains in the wood...

The entertainment part of the room... I'm still trying to decide whether I want to paint this piece or not. The TV stand was also found at the same, local, used furniture shop for 30.00! I love the Mid-Century vibes, I just can't make up my mind about painting it-your opinions would be welcomed :)

And that's a wrap!

Monday, January 16, 2017

In my kitchen today: It's not Rocket Science

Hey there! Today I'm going to share a few tips that I use on a weekly basis, in order to keep my sanity intact when it comes to feeding my family, & not having to spend hours in my kitchen daily.

My weekend, meal planning in review: Saturday, I thawed 4 lbs of grass-fed, beef  hamburger. Saturday evening I  fried it up & divided it up into multiple meals. 
I added taco seasoning to 3lbs. of the meat, & 1 1/2lbs of that was put in the crockpot & into the fridge for Sunday lunch Tacos. The other 1 1/2lb. was put in a freezer container for Taco night next week.

...The remaining lb. of plain/fried hamburger was put in the fridge for a casserole, for Monday night supper. Today I took out that lb of hamburger & made a macaroni casserole & doubled the batch. Half of the casserole will be served for dinner tonight & the other half was put in a freezer container, to be thawed for a busy night when I don't have time to cook. The leftover lettuce from Taco Sunday, was used to make a quick tossed salad to go with the macaroni casserole.

I cook many of my meals in double batches & put half in the freezer. The same goes for baking. 

Not everything can be frozen well, & there are days when I have the time to cook a nice meal & make it happen, But I'd say at least 50% of our meals are made ahead & frozen.

I use the 80/20 rule in cooking healthy for my family. 80% is healthy, organic-20% is convenient, ready-made foods. It's all about balance & not stressing about it too much.

Homemade bread is just a given here. Since I've started baking our own bread, the store bought just tastes like cardboard. The homemade bread is filling & nutritious, & keeps my kiddos full longer.

The children are all home today, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.... So for lunch,
I sliced up some of that homemade bread, & made sandwiches, & cut up some apples to dip into peanut butter. (This lunch is the perfect example of my 80/20 rule) :)

Here is a list of a few staple items that are always in my kitchen, that make for quick, wholesome meals & snacks.

  • Homemade bread-for quick sandwiches or a snack of buttered bread
  • Deli meat & cheese-gasp! I know that it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's quick & easy & makes up part of that 20% I was talking about.
  • Soft tacos-for wraps, quesadillas etc.
  • Apples & peanut butter-we love our apples! & eat them almost daily.
  • Bananas-another quick, filling & healthy snack
  • Hard-boiled eggs-for salads, deviled eggs, or just as-is.
  • Pasta & Rice-2 items that have a vast amount of possibilities in the kitchen & freeze well.

There are also bulk items I purchase through that give me a break when the munchies hit.

  • Nature valley granola bars
  • Organic Z-bars
  • large containers of stick pretzels
  • Baked Sun-chips, in portion controlled packages
  • Organic fruit gummies
Having canned & frozen foods that I've preserved from my garden every year, makes a huge dent in cooking times as well. We love Taco & Chili soup & I make that there are an abundance of each, every year...

I'm hoping this was even a little bit helpful to all you Mamas out there.
Happy Monday!

Monday, January 2, 2017

River has a Birthday!

We were barely awake, when we heard little feet come running down the stairs & into our bedroom. I pretend to still be sleeping as he comes to my side of the bed & whispers in my ear, "Mama! It's my Birthday today! Can I open my present now?!"

He's been eyeing his gift for quite a few weeks, all wrapped up in sprinkles, & was counting down the days till he could open it.

(I love how hes using his thumb to show how old he is)

...Christmas break had us all in a funk, so I planned a very, spur of the moment, pool party for the Birthday Boy. It was exactly what the kiddos needed to burn off all that Christmas sugar & excess energy!
A few cousins, an Aunt & Uncle, & Grandpa-Grandma Raber, showed up to join in the fun!

Doing back-flips off the side of the pool...

We had the pool to ourselves for almost 2 hours, then it was time to fill hungry bellies with brownies, chips & punch!

Later in the evening, we celebrated with Grandma & Grandpa Hilty & Aunt Miriam...

...We tucked-in some very tired kiddos, every ounce of energy spent.

Good-Night, Sweet boy. May everything you wished for, come true!
<3 <3 <3