Monday, February 28, 2011

DIning room decor and absent husband

The soldier boy left for a nice and lengthy field exercise. Left me and the four kids to hold the fort- won't he be surprised when he gets home with all the projects I have lined up for the next few weeks ;-)
First one CHECK!

This is our kitchen/dinning room before we bought our house. Some days I wish we could go back to this beautifully clean and unscathed kitchen...
I have never been much for decorating! I think I have been intimidated by breaking rules, and making it look worse rather than better.
I let my husband do the decorating when we first moved in
He put up big huge poster sheets to help him with his homework.
Then we had some random sheets of paper on the wall, I don't even know what they were for
(you can kinda see them in the background)
And then there were the barrettes, which I am sad to say I never took a photo of today befor I removed the hideous sight. I had three 2-3ft random lengths of ribbon pinned full of bows, and flowers. The hooks were past their capacity with headbands. Not dining room material!
You can kinda see two of the three ribbons on the left in this photo taken befor Christmas.
That has been the extent of dining room decor!
Pretty lame!
I kinda knew what I wanted but just have been holding off.
I was at the local craft store and happened upon their 80% off isle. I was shuffling thru their picture frames and found a 35.5"X35.5" frame for $4.77!!
As I walked around trying to find something to match it I happened upon a few cutlery wall hanging thingies. I played a bit with them and finally decided on one.
It wasn't exactly what I had picture but hey the price was right!
Grand total $21.78
It still needs something maybe a few Decorative plates on each side, but for now it is an improvement. I think tomorrow I will go thru the paint bucket in the garage and touch up the tape spots LOL
Best be off to inhaling some more paint fumes! Almost have the can rack ready for laquer and a backing- maybe this weekend.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cabinet DIY

This weekend we have done a ton of little projects and a bit of cleaning. You know you suck at cleaning when your friend comes over and says "Wow I have never seen your house this clean!" ;-)
So here is a picture overload.
You know that non functional drawer looking thing under the sink. We have seen other peoples houses with these little cubbies under there. Our draw in the kitchen was loose so we pulled it off around Christmas and just never got around to nailing it back on. While out on a date to Lowes we found these kits that take 15 min to install and cost only $15!!
Non functional gone functional!!
We liked them so much we got them for the bathroom. Now I don't have to hear my husband complain my hair is in his toothbrush. If he has hair in his toothbrush it is his own fault, it is nowhere near my brush.
While my in-laws were here in January we installed those little screw hooks under our plate rack to free up some more cabinet space. Thanks Mom!!
I have my German Weihnachts Markt mugs hanging on display. I love looking at them and having a daily reminder of all the fun times we had in Germany right below my Polish pottery.
Now I am itching to share this project, even in its infancy!
We spent the day putting this baby together.
You know that space between the fridge and the wall...well we filled it. Last weekend while staying at my sisters friends, they had a little shelf to store cans for this empty space. Being the food-storage-nazi and in-need-of-a-craft person I am, I jumped at the idea. We bought our first cuts of oak (love it way more than pine!!) It smells so good while we were drilling holes and cutting.
So here it is! It is not fully complete-I need to spend the next few days sanding it and staining it, then I can tack on the back panel and find a handle for it.
We have a friend who routed out the edges for us. Thank You JIMMY!! It looks amazing!
We handed him the end boards and 20min later he brought back a very professionally looking piece to match our already existing cabinets.

The inspiration can cabinet had a ledge to hold the cans in, I replaced the ledge with dowels.
I am so thrilled, it turned out better than expected after a rough start (slight miss understanding between soldier boy and I, a miss measurement and a bit of an emotional outbreak). I love this piece! I can't wait to load it up with cans! I can't wait to have it all finished! Now my biggest dilema is do I empty another cupboard and find another function for it, or do I treat myself to more food storage to fill it? LOL
I just couldn't wait to share.
Hope you all had a great Presidents day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Freezer meals and meal planning

One of our family New Years resolutions was to save up for a fence.
During a family night we all discussed ways we could cost spending and thus add money to our savings, and reduce our occasional over spending.
The kids decided they would be energy police. They would be better at turning lights off, open the drapes during the day to let in natural light and close them at night to keep the cold out. They would shut the door (a big problem). Get in and then get out of the fridge, no dilly dallying! And we would knock the heater down a notch.

My soldier boy decided to forgo coming home between PT and work in the morning. He would shower at work and take cereal and milk with him for breakfast. Thus saving us on gas money.
I decided since groceries are the biggest part of our budget I would try to cut wastefulness here.
During a my in-laws last visit my MIL told me about her freezer meals. I fell in love with the idea of not cooking EVERYDAY!! I scoured her cookbooks she brought and copied a few recipes and then went thru what we normally eat and came up with a few that would work.
I then took it one step further. I started a meal plan. I plan for my whole paychecks worth of meals. I write down every ingredient I need, and then I go shopping, I only by what is on the list. Over the course of the next few days I make my meals. I make enough of one dinner for 2-3meals and freeze the extras. I portion it out so we don't have a ton of leftovers no one eats. I love it!! The first paycheck we had $70 left over in our grocery envelope! with plenty of meals to spare in the freezer.
I cleaned out my freezer and used all the random bags of this and that to help fill my meal bags.
I place my meals in ziplock bags and write on each one what it is and how to prepare it.
I even have a shelf for my bread. (I don't bother wrapping them because we go thru them so fast!) I filled the bottom draw half with my cookies, muffins, and other lunch snacks and the other half with my fruits that I use regularly for smoothies
The top shelf houses individual portions for the picky eater or for lunches.
I also started to make freezer mixes for my bread. I put everything I need except the wet ingredients in yogurt containers and freeze them for the next time I make bread or incase of emergencies when I need a fresh loaf for someone. It reduces the mess of taking everything out.
Not only have I saving myself money but time! not to mention my freezer looks organized! I know exactly what is in it now!
One step closer to having a fence!!