Thursday, January 26, 2012

Freeze-Ahead Week:

This week has been all about getting ahead on meal planning! After my post last week, I decided to get cooking. I'm still not at 100%, so I've been a little slow, but i feel I've made some progress. Mom was awesome and took me to the store over the weekend so I could buy supplies for this week. She even got a good deal on a couple of roasts and left one at my house so I wouldn't have to do any heavy cooking for a night!

So far my freezer is packed with:

•2 bags of baked/chopped chicken breasts

•1/2 of a yummy cooked roast (thanks mom!!!)

•BBQ pulled pork (great for sandwiches

•2 bags of chicken enchilada soup

•frozen bananas, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

•yogurt cubes (I froze them using a mini muffin tin)

Now, originally I was going to measure out individual smoothie servings with different fruit combinations to make quick grab bags. But somewhere between the green freak in me and having a good case of the "can't want to's," I decided not to. It doesn't take a lot of time to throw whatever fruit you want in the blender with some yogurt, milk and honey. Not to mention all the little snack bags you would have to use! This is a huge waste of money, let alone the environment (yeah, my green side won this battle)!

Hopefully all this prep & cooking will make it easier when neither one of us feel like cooking. At that point all we have to do is reach in the freezer, defrost and VOILA!!! Dinner is served!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Block!

I've been so cooped up in the house lately! My normal doctor didn't want to help me, let alone look at me! He just wanted to send me to an orthopedic doctor with out even seeing me! Ridiculous! So my friend Brian, uh hmm, Dr. Brian (who just happens to be a physical therapist), gave me an exercise to do. It's called a prone press push up, and it's awesome! It immediately started helping! YAY! The downside is he told me I can't bend over for 6 weeks! So yesterday when I made cookies I was constantly calling Tim over to help me put them in the oven, and then to take them out. They were delicious (lemon cake cookies!) He has been an amazing husband with all of this! But I know he's past ready for me to be up and moving around!

Til later,


P.S.- I can't wait to get out of the house!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing with Cans...

Ok, who out there knows anything about canning??? Anyone? This girl has been wanting to try her hand at it for a while. Now I'm not wanting to go all end of the world crazy by hoarding a ton of jars of preserved in my basement! Instead I'd see if I could be successful at canning some jams/preserves, soups, sauces etc.

But there's something somewhere between the boiling of the water and making sure the seals work that make me nervous about the whole experience. And yes, I know there are quite a few books out there that would be helpful. One day, I might even get around to them, along with getting the special cages and, of course, the jars!

Right now though, I'm just throwing it out there that I wanna learn! So anyone out there with any advice or tips/tricks they'd be willing to share... Speak up!!!

Til later,


P.S.- sorry for the short post. We're on day 5 of being in bed. Any of my physical therapy friends have thoughts on how to get me better please let me know!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Love for... LISTS!!!

If you were to go through my house, you would find little pieces of paper with lists everywhere! All kinds (I don't discriminate!), for different things: vacations I'd like to take, recipes I'd like to try and the big one... to do's! To do's are the most common because, well, there's just always something that needs doing. So I categorize them: to do today, to do this week, this year... you get the picture. The sky's the limit on lists!

I strongly believe this obsession came from when I was little. My father was always making lists (hmmm... I wonder if it's hereditary?). Anything that was to be accomplished he made a list! Whenever we were going to build something (and by we I mean that dad was going to be doing 85% of the work), he'd pull out a small spiral notebook he kept in his shirt pocket and start drawing. The notebook always reminded me of a detectives' notebook (ya know the kind they'd pull out during an investigation to jot down all the facts.). He'd label items in the drawing and start making an inventory list of things we needed. Oh, how I love and miss those lists!

Being stuck in bed (day 4 for those of you keeping count) has given me a lot of time to catch up on my list making. This week has been all about getting organized, and since one of my resolutions is to massively purge and streamline this house, I, of course, start with a list! The first goal is to reorganize all of my papers (and believe me when i say there are A LOT!). It's a very overwhelming task but with my handy dandy list I'm just going to take it check by check!

DAY 1:
•empty out files
•go through, discard old & make following piles:
-bank statements
-credit card bills (discard once paid)
-student loans
-car loans
-employer benefit plan
-household manuals/warranties (w/receipts)
-insurance policies (current only)
-pay stubs (current year only & discard after taxes)
-tax returns (for past 7 years only)

Let's see if I can get through this first step, then we'll move on to the next!

Til later,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poll Time!

So I'm on day 3 of being in bed. Hopefully tomorrow my back will feel good enough for me to venture out and work on my Etsy. I have some Valentines Day themed towels and such that I'd like to get on there soon. Ya know... before Valentines Day!

And what's up with this weather? Other parts of the world seem to be having normal January weather. The great state of Arkansas, on the other hand, cant make up it's mind! Seriously! The weather is 30-40 degrees one day then 60-70+ the next! Crazy right?

Anyway... (for those of you who ARE having normal January weather) if you were to go to my Etsy (, you will find some of the scarves I've made. And heck! If you happen to see one you like... Buy it! Or if you like a style and want a different color, I can do that too! Just let me know! I'm very open to custom making something you'd really love! Oh! And keeping you warm would be good too!

All this brings me to my other point (poll time!): what would you like to see on my Etsy? I'm completely open to suggestions so leave me a note with your idea! Also! What colors would you like to see for spring?

Thanks in advance!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bed Rest:

Bed rest is absolutely no fun! I'm voting totally against it! The original thought of it was ok... having your meals brought to you and being pampered. But I'm one of those people that in the middle of the obsessive list making gets a hair-brained idea to go do something crafty or realize that something needs to be cleaned. This, of course, cannot happen because I'm not allowed to get up. AAARRGGHH!

My mother was sweet last night and sent steaks, a salad and peach turnovers for me! All of which were delicious! Tonight however; it's eat whatever's in the fridge, or as my husband likes to call it "fridging it!"

All this has sparked the idea that I need to take a weekend and make up a bunch of freeze-ahead meals. Hopefully it'll help in times like these when I can't get in the kitchen to cook. I'd make soups and casserole starters along with even some dessert and easy breakfast things.

Heres my list so far:

-Chicken Enchilada Soup
-Pork Chops & Rice
-Smoothie Mixes
-Pizza Pocket Pies (Beef, Sausage & Pepperoni)
-Various Flavors of Dessert Pocket Pies (Apple, Peach...)
-Cooked Ground Beef (great for quick meals)
-Cooked &Shredded Chicken (also great for quick meals)

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Here's an idea on how I'd like my freezer to look (notice how organized it is!):

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pop Culture!

Lately there has been this overwhelming urge to make popsicles! There has even been some trips to everywhere from Walmart to William-Sanoma looking for the perfect mold without any luck. I can't get into the new models where you have to keep the huge mold in a freezer just to fulfill the need for instant gratification. It's just ridiculous! This society needs to get over the need for things like instant popsicles and go back to quality handmade items, even if it takes a couple extra hours in the freezer!

Norpro, on the other hand, has exactly what I'm looking for! It makes ten (count em... 10!) at a time and uses wooden popsicle sticks rather than plastic ones. Wooden sticks can be bought at a craft store for a few dollars for a few hundred of them. Very cost effective! Did I mention that this mold is only about $7 (at instead of the $50 it is for the instant clunky one that only makes four a time and requires you to use the sticks that come with it. This isn't a hard decision!

There are so many recipes I want to try! Coconut, coffee, apricot, avocado... etc. I know what you're thinking... avocado... gross! But these are absolutely amazingly creamy and have almost a lime taste to them. Yum!!! I've even seen a Corona popsicle that only requires Corona and lime. Brilliant! I can't wait to start making some healthy simple popsicle snacks from fruits, maybe even veggies (we'll see)!

Til later,


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Love for... MONEY!!!

I love money! And no... not in the greedy, love the way it smells kind of way. More the balancing and budgeting kind of way.

Some people would call me obsessed or anal. Either way, my wonderful husband has learned to live with all the papers, envelopes and post-it's containing all my different approaches to our finances (no piece of paper or junk mail is safe!) When I get bored... I look at our bank and lay out what we owe week to week and budget. Oh! And once is never enough. I'll do this several times (for the same week mind you!) until I get it right.

While I haven't read all the hundreds of thousands of books on money, I have read quite a few. Let me tell you that somewhere after the fourth book or so I wanted to beat my head against a financial wall! They became so redundant between telling you to pay off your debts and only using cash... blah blah blah. I got it!

I am well aware that I am a complete nerd for having this as one of my hobbies. I will also tell you that I wasn't always like this. It came from the first couple of years in my marriage. Between being a broke college student through my husband loosing his job. There came a point where things had to change or we were going to fail miserably. After a while we figured out that not only did I like handling our money, but that I was also really good at it. I'm always willing to offer advice to anyone who has questions about how to go about getting ahold of their finances. Remember that I am not a professional, and that my methods work for me. Also remember that it's not an easy road, and you have to really want to do it.

Til later,


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Afghan #1 Done!

Well I did it! After all these years of crocheting, I finished my first afghan! This one is headed for my bedroom for those extra cold nights! I would have put the traditional tassels on it but this type if yarn tends to fray and shed so I figured it was better off with out it! All the shades of light to medium blues are very peaceful and calming.

Now I just need to pick out colors for the next one I want to do! Any ideas? This type is done with three different strands so it can be three totally different colors. Part of me wants to do another one in blue. I'm thinking navy, teal/turquoise, and maybe white. Thoughts?

Here are a few pictures of the one I just finished. Please give me some feedback and let me know what you think!

Til later,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Stay Weird!

"We are all a little weird and
Life's a little weird,
And when we find someone whose
Weirdness is compatible with ours,
We join up with them and fall in
Mutual weirdness and call it Love"
- - Dr. Seuss

Being weird is always comforting when you're doing it with someone you love. It doesn't matter if you like to break out in a random dance fit or start singing the same random line of a song (both of which I love to do). I've even walked in only to find my husband in the middle of a random dance fit while cleaning the kitchen! Im talking pots and pans in hand and spinning circles while head banging! It's little moments like this that make me feel happy and content with who I chose to marry.

Love is all about these moments. Forgetting about caddy little fights and getting down to the plain weird moments. Because later in life, you won't remember the fight you got in about who was supposed to be taking the trash out or how your husband tends to break things more often than he fixes them. You're going to remember slow dancing to a song in the middle of cleaning the house and coming up with some crazy dinner concoction when trying to use up things in the fridge (our trick is anything and everything can be made into a burrito! As long as you have tortillas, your good).

These are the moments that matter most in life. These are the best memories!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I fail...

I failed at the whole picture taking of all our Cotton Bowl food. By the time I remembered it was pretty much gone. That's still a good sign though.

Good news... We beat Kansas State!

Our family took guesses as to what the final score was. I came closest with a guess of 19-24 AR and the actual score being 16-29 AR.

All the boys guessed pretty high and my sister decided to say that Kansas would win!

But as for tonight... I'm exhausted and going to bed!!!

Til later,


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cotton Bowl Prep!

It's a big day in Arkansas tomorrow for football. At 7pm we will all have our eyes glued to the tv watching the Cotton Bowl! Kansas State has been talking so much crap about our team... It just shows how uneducated they are about our state. It's absolutely pathetic! They crossed the sportsmanship line of talking smack about the other team to being down right hateful and demeaning to Arkansans as a whole!

But I'll step down from my soapbox now...

Today has mostly been about coming up with a menu for tomorrow night's family dinner. The first dinner this year for our family is going to be all about football. Noting too crazy, but a lot of game day food.
Here's the final menu:

•Chili cheese dip & chips
•Crescent pinwheels filled with ranch, bacon, cheese, and chives
•Potato skins that have been quartered and topped with cheese, bacon, cheese, and chives (can't wait for these!)
•Mini pizzas- made with flakey biscuits (a real easy alternative for a quick dinner)
•BBQ lil smokies and/or pigs in a blanket

and for desert:

•Hot chocolate on a stick! -These are so easy to make and so yummy on those slightly chilly nights!

I'll be doing a lot of the prep and cooking tomorrow afternoon. I cheated a little by going ahead and making the chocolate to go on the sticks and making my homemade BBQ and getting it bottled up and put in the fridge. If I were a thinking woman I would have grabbed the chives and bacon from my moms to get those done too!
But there's always tomorrow!

I'll post some pics of it all tomorrow so come back and check it out!

Til later,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Love For...

Glass bottle lighting!

With so many options out there for lighting, it's hard for someone to choose just one. But I did anyway!

The simplicity of mason jars, turned into everything from pendants to full on chandeliers, are just beautiful. They make such a huge statement used in the right setting. I'd like to picture our future home with three clear glass mason jar pendants over an island. And over the breakfast table.. what else but a beautiful mason jar chandelier. In a perfect world they would be sitting in an old metal jar holder, given an oil-rubbed bronze finish of course!

Old glass decanters would be beautiful over a wet bar. The more decorative the better! All the little cuts and curves will refract and reflect the light in all directions, even casting shadow and patterns on the walls. These must be placed pretty close together and at different heights to achieve the look I have envisioned my head.

Pretty soon I'd like to start experimenting with cutting glass bottles. There are several tutorials out there about dipping string or yarn in nail polish remover, tying it around the bottle, lighting it on fire, then dunking it in cold water. All this separates the bottle into two pieces at wherever you tied the yarn.

All this in the years to come though... I'd have to have a house first to go so elaborate in my plans. It's hard thing to have a degree in interior design... And not be able to use it on your own home because your not at the point of buying a house yet! -sigh-

I've attached a few inspirational photos so you can get a little taste if what goes through my head.

Til later,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I know I say it every year... But THIS year I plan on starting my holiday crafts early this year! But the real goal is to do it on a budget this year. I'll start by taking this month to figure out everything I want to make for Christmas (the biggest holiday of them all), all the cards, decorations, gifts, and goodies.

Also on the list this year is my husbands 30th birthday! He's not looking forward to this so I have to make it big, memorable and fun. I want it to be very personal so he knows he's loved. I have til April.... No pressure!

Here's a few (VERY few) of the crafts I'd like to take on this year:

1. Jewelry organizer. - I actually have three printers drawers hanging in my house. Two of which are designated fir this project.

2. Afghan. I've been crocheting for years... But I have yet to actually make an afghan. I love how thick this yarn is and think it'll go much faster.

3. Small hanging laundry bag. This has a specific need. I want this in my current laundry room for kitchen towels. As of now they end up wadded in the floor. That mixed with the fact that they're wet and gross... Yeah... I wanna make this!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Dreams (sorta)

Married life is amazing! For those who don't have it, I highly recommend it! Tim and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. He came home with white carnations (my favorite!) and we made a romantic dinner of homemade chicken fettuccini alfredo complete with homemade pasta. I've never been more in love and I seem to find something new about him everyday.

But enough about our gushy life....

All signs of Christmas are gone (minus all the candy and treats). Sad times, I don't know why I always get emotional about taking the tree down. Part of it could be the fact that our place always looks naked without it all!

So now it's time for the tradition of setting somewhat attainable goals (or resolutions). I've never been one for this tradition, but thought I'd give it a shot this year.

The main goals for this year are as follows:

- get back in shape
- buy a house
- streamline our things to weed out all the "just stuff" and make moving and organizing easier

Note: (there are a few more personal goals that I don't feel like putting out there, but as long as I know what they are... That's all that matters)

Hopefully this will be the year for all this!

Til later,