Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gardens and Summer Storms

Well, yesterday we had a severe thunder storm move through the area, including hail and extreme wind.  While certainly  not a hurricane it had the aftermath reminiscent of Hurricane Irene last August.  Many of surrounding areas don't have power, trees are down and chain saws are humming.

Looking out the door at the peak of the down pour. Usually you can see the street.

 Then came the hail and wind....

Initial inspection of the garden.....

The good new the stems were not broken!

 Unfortunately we lost this sunflower

The hail broke though the leaves like they were paper...

The kids and I spent the morning propping up the pepper plants, tying up the tomatoes and squash, and general clean up.  All in all the garden will recover.  We even let the guinea pigs help with the lettuce.

This is Sundae!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

See Our Garden Grow: Picture Update

Here they are...... some extremely over due pictures:

The big picture....Monster Cucumbers.  This is a small sampling of the cukes we have harvested.  The kids are going to open a cuke stand in the front yard. LOL!

After 3 years of trying to grow carrots.... SUCCESS!

Peppers are coming in nicely!

Kids: What's for dinner, mom? 
Me: Squash and Zucchini with a side of cucumbers 

We have brought in 4 cherry tomatoes, just waiting for the rest to ripen.  Then we will be up to our eyeballs in cucumbers and tomatoes..... yummy.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 5/7/12

Menu Plan for the week of May 7th, 2012.

We have a lot of left overs from last week so I am going to do my best to use up what we have as creatively as I can.

Monday: "Left over" Steak Soft Taco's
Tuesday: Spaghetti with "left over" meat sauce, Salad and breadsticks
Wednesday: Chicken Ceasar Salad Pizza (using left over chicken)
Thursday: BBQ Cheddar Chicken, baked potato and carrots
Friday: Left Over or eat out
Saturday: Hamburgers on the grill with potatoes salad and green beans

Linking up to:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Better, but not done

If you are like me, when you decide you want to do something.  Or.... you get a wonderful vision of "how things should be"....  how YOU want them to be.  Then you get a terrible case of "so it was spoken, so it shall be done" syndrome.  That's me.   I want instant gratification, and  I MUST GET IT IMMEDIATELY.   Meaning if my project has not come to completion by the end of the day, or when ever I deem it to be enough time.  In my mind, I mark is as a fail....... baby steps... who wants to take a baby step when you can leap right in.

Que.... discouragement and frustration, please!!! 

Well, you see that was my old way of doing it.  I am in the process of teaching myself to take baby steps.  That is one of the reason why, I was avoiding my kitchen reorganization.  I knew once I started...

  1. I would want it to be finished in a day.  (Not going to happen, nor should it)
  2. The old me would get half way thru the process and get discourage, which means stop
  3. One area would impact another area, enter frustration.  (Must create stopping points)

So for the last 2 weeks, I have been baby stepping through my kitchen.  Things ARE better, but I keep reminding myself it is not done..... and that is o.k.

The Utensil Drawers

Disorganized utensil drawers can be huge time wasters. At any give time when cooking, I would need to look in a minimum of 3 drawers for the needed utensil.  This could take me 2 or 3 minutes, as I look through the drawer,  that is if I can find it.  More time if I can't which happens quite often.

So I empty all my utensil drawers....

How in the world did I end up with 3 meat thermometers  This picture was taken after I did some purging and did not include the silverware that I sorted and purged.  However, this is a great example of how being unorganized can cost you time and money.  Yes, I had 3 meat thermometers, really!

Here are the before and after pictures of my silverware drawer and my general utensil drawer.

For my silverware, I empty and CLEANED, my silverware tray.  The blue basket I had and the white one I got for .50 cents at the grocery store.

For my general utensil drawer, I got the white tray for about 3.00 at target and the black basket were also, .50 cents.

Remember the baby steps.  There are two other drawers I am working on and I will post about later.

Better, but not done!


 Before, my spices were spread out between two cabinets.   They were hard to see.  Some were pushed into the back.

Below, these are our bulk spices, they took up to much room.  I am in the process (not done) of putting them into smaller jars and labeling them. Blog post to come on that!.
Add caption

As I empty out the spice cabinets, it became clear pretty quickly.  There were numerous spices where I had multiple jars.  This is pictures is just representing a few --------->

I purged by checking the expiration dates, then I combined some.  Some I just had to bite the bullet and toss them.
This is the current state of my spices.

Better, but  not done.  And that is o.k. 

To be continued....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

See Our Garden Grow: Garden Tour

Admittedly, the relatively warm late winter and early spring weather we experienced in our area spurred us to get a head start.  Part of the fun of gardening is to just plant things and see what happens.  So being the novices that we are, and eager to get things in the ground, 90% of our garden is planted.

Here is a photo tour of what we have planted.

Peas. Collards are in the back ground left over from the fall.

Cilantro, Basil and Oregano

1st year strawberries, we'll see what happens.

Cherry Tomatoes, we have several varieties planted.

Yum, eggplant!

Banana peppers.

Bell peppers!



The big picture!

Be sure to check out See Our Garden Grow: Wordless Wednessday

Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 4/22/12

Monday: Steak Sandwiches and salad
Tuesday: Chicken Alfredo with broccoli
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: BBQ Pork Chops with applesauce and green beans
Friday: Leftovers or eat out
Saturday: Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Linked up at  Orgjunkie.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Organizing Project I Have Avoided

  So far I have done cabinets in the laundry room, master bedroom closet, my daughter's room, but I have purposely avoided my kitchen.....it overwhelms me .....but it's time .... it can no longer be avoided.

Take a look at my very first blog post: A Simple Project To Kick Off The Blog.

This was the before picture of my Baker's Rack what you are not seeing the everything behind the camera is a chaos of  kitchen tools and appliances.  I have a general idea of where everything is but I can easily waste 5 or so minutes looking for the garlic press, or whatever kitchen tool I need, because it does not have a permanent home. My frustration limit has been reach.

 I blame myself.

This organization is long over due and there needs to be some serious purging of unused and worn out gadgets.

 So over the next couple of weeks I will be posting the progress of my kitchen "makeover".

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Closet, DONE!

Learning how to take big projects and turn them into small projects as always been a challenge for me. However, I tend to go through phases were I obsess  .... uh... er...  get HIGHLY motivated, yeah let's go with highly motivated about a particular area in my life.  A couple of years ago it was couponing, which I still do but not to the extreme that I use to.  At the moment my phase is organizing, which is why....

Well,  if containers are HIGHLY motivating me to organize my closet is it really an obsession??  Just two short weeks ago I reorganized my bedroom closet and just over a month ago I organized my storage closet.  After these projects, I felted extremely accomplished and with two closet DONE, all the sudden I had the weirdest urge to put all my stuff into a container... REALLY!.  O.k.  I guess that is an obsession.


 I have another closet DONE!  This time it is my bathroom closet.

You might recognize the white shelving, this is something I "re-purposed" from my bedroom closet. I got the blue bins from the Dollar Tree.  My bathroom closet is quite deep, so I was able to tuck this inside the door and put the soap and shampoo were the kids could reach it, along with THAT other necessity.

Another closet, DONE!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 4/9/12

My Tuesday Morning women's group has started a new Bible/book study on Treasures of Healthy Living .  I am very excited to be apart of this study. It will be interesting to see how if will effects my menu planning over the next couple of weeks. OH.... and don't tell my kids.. ssshhhh!


Monday: Leftover London Broil, baked potato, green beans.  
Tuesday: Homemade Chicken Nuggets {Better than fast food}, Salad and applesause 
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza  
Thrusday: Pasta Casserole w/ ground beef  
Friday: Grilled Pork Chops, Mac and Cheese 
Saturday: Hamburgers and Hotdogs on grill, Left over Mac and Cheese, salad

See other great menus at the link party at I am an organizing junkie.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Learning To Use A List

List are not a new concept for me, of course, I use a grocery list or general shopping list. But that has been the extent of my success with using list.  The list I am talking about are house hold cleaning to do list, project to do list, routine list.  It would start with the best of intentions, yet by day 2 I would be lucky if I could find the list. Sometimes it was because I exhausted myself on the first day that I did not CARE where the list was.

Fast forward to ..... the pass several months I have been on a organizing mission in my house, you can see some to the results here and here,  and now I find myself needing to make list.  Hmmm... how is it going to work THIS TIME.

Well, I think after a couple of weeks I may be on the verge of a break through.
  1.   I discovered the "list in my head" and moved it to paper..er .. my list app.  By this I mean, what am I already doing that I could make into a list.  (i.e. every morning I put in a load of laundry, after breakfast I clean up the kitchen)  So I used these items as a starting point for my daily to do list.
  2.  Keep It Simple... Sally. (Yes, KISS)  Simple and specific. One of the reason I would wear myself out is I would put on my list very general items like clean the bathroom, instead of clean the bathroom SINK.  Huh, this seems makes a difference. You can check things off faster if it only takes a few minutes to do it.
  3. It does not have to be perfect, just better to qualify as DONE!

I have an app on my Kindle Fire that seems to be working for me so far. I have multiple list specific list going.  Here is my version of a "screen shot"...

This is just the start.... wait until I become more skilled at using these things....

...oh my goodness, what next??  Maybe I'll make schedule and stick to it

I will keep you posted.