Meal Planning Made Easy

Pretty much everybody knows they should meal plan, and then they don’t. It takes time and planning ahead. Barf.

But going to the grocery store without a plan makes for a lot of extra trips throughout the week.  “Crap, I don’t have that ingredient!” Which leads to buying more, and usually wasting more food.

There’s nothing worse than having a pantry full of food and nothing to make for dinner! Here’s what I do to save time and ultimately $$$

First I found a very cute notebook! Nothing is fun if it doesn’t feel special. I love my giraffe!

On one side of the page I write the days of the week, on the other side I have a list of the grocery store departments. If you want to get real fancy you could do them in the same order as the grocery store layout.

Then I just write down our meals. I usually have my favorite cookbook out for ideas as well as the previous weeks plans in the notebook. I can recycle old favorites and add some new things into the rotation.

As soon as I have a recipe I go to the other page and write down the ingredients under the right category. Pretty soon I can see what I’ll have on hand and what other recipes I know that use similar ingredients.

This week we are having BLTs and using the rest of the bacon to go with Waffles another day.

It seems obvious. It kind of is. But it’s so worth the 20 minutes it takes. I spend close to 25% less on groceries each week!

Comment how meal planning has worked for you!

Fake plants are NOT a thing of the past

I spent years telling my mom to ditch her silk greenery. I mean, ewe, that’s seriously outdated. Now here I am sharing 6 places I use silk flowers in my home – in almost every room! I get all my flowers from Hobby Lobby when they are 1/2 off as well as most of the vases.

I think a plant warms up almost any arrangement in any place! Maybe you knew something after all mother!

  1. Farmhouse Table

2. Lamp Table 

3. Kitchen Sink Tray

4. Entry Table

5. Shelf or Piano

6. Nursery Changing Table

5 tips for getting your bathroom seriously clean

Hey Cadets!

It may be ridiculous to imagine scrubbing a floor with a toothbrush, but guess what, it’s kind of awesome for other stuff. Here’s 5 tips on getting your bathroom seriously clean.

  1. I was for real about the toothbrush. Keep an old one with your other cleaning supplies. NOTHING WORKS BETTER for cleaning hard to reach spots like around the lip of the sink, in grout, or hard to reach spots on the faucet.
  2. Get a pumice stone! They’re super cheap at Amazon or WalMart and last forever. The hard water line in your toilet (and your husband’s dinner..) will become a thing of the past.
  3. 2 places that always get forgotten are the toilet pedestal and the baseboards. Give both a quick wipe down each time you clean your bathroom.
  4.  Rugs. Give them a good shake outside every week and once a month throw them in the washing machine.
  5. After you’ve cleaned sinks, counters, tubs, toilets, floors, and mirrors, use windex and a paper towel to polish all the metal fixtures for a spot free perfection!

Bonus Tip: One of my best every purchases was a little hand vacuum. Nothing else gets rid of the mixture of makeup, hair, and whiskers that plague the inside corners of drawers.

Now go wage war on that dirty bathroom, soldier!

Simple Laundry Hack

Sometimes I think dirty clothes are the bane of my existence. With a toddler, an infant, and a husband who undresses any and every where (bless his heart), I had to do something!

When laundry day rolled around, my baskets used to be overflowing. And separating them sucked the life from my soul. So…

Solution 1: Keep a laundry basket in every bedroom. Such a simple fix. But clothes stay OFF the floor when we don’t have very far to go to find a basket.

Solution 2: Keep separated laundry baskets in a central place. The majority of our laundry ends up in the master closet. I keep two laundry baskets in there – one for whites and one for colors. It took a little training but now everyone puts the dirty clothes in the basket they belong. Laundry feels like a breeze when the clothes are already separated!

Keep your bathroom feeling fresh with 1 easy step.

I rarely deep clean my bathroom. Like, it’s kind of gross how often it DOESN’T happen. But I have one little trick that keeps it feeling fresh long after it’s been cleaned.

I always keep enough clean washcloths to dry my face every night. As soon as I’m done I use the damp cloth to quickly wipe off the counter, faucet, and mirror. And that’s it! Seriously, that’s it. It makes all the difference.

A lot of times I keep the cloth on the counter so in the morning I can do the same thing after I get ready. I’m still working on getting my husband to do his sink so I don’t have to but… all things in time!

Chalk Paint Piano

I was ecstatic to inherit a beautiful Yamaha from my in-laws. Unfortunately, it didn’t jive with my decor. I found the nearest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint distributor (I just found out you can get it on amazon) and bought 1 quart of the Old White and clear wax Here’s the step by step.

Painting is always a messy job, and a piano is more than just an afternoon project. So set up somewhere practical like the garage. At the very least, surround the area with plastic sheets.

Take the piano apart as far as you can. It was pretty obvious what I would be able to put back together on my own.

Cover the keys and insides of the piano with plastic painting sheets and tape around the pedals.

Use a sheet of sand paper to rough up the surface to help the paint stick.

Start painting! I used a nice Purdy brush from Home Depot. Synthetic bristles won’t work with chalk paint.

Chalk paint is amazing because it goes on so smooth and easy. It took me 2 coats but that probably wasn’t necessary.

Distressing – this is where your artistic instincts come in. Use one of those blue sponges with a scratchy side. Annie Sloan paint is water soluble so get the sponge wet and the paint will come off beautifully.

Finish with wax. You can buy an Annie Sloan wax brush but I think an old cotton T-Shirt is easier. Rub the wax on so there aren’t any globs and you have a nice polished look. The more coats of wax you do the shinier it will be. I only did 1 coat. Let the wax dry really well before moving the piano or putting anything on it.

And Voila!

Please comment with any questions.

The Perfect Gallery Wall

 

Gallery walls can be daunting. Rule number 1: don’t over think it. That being said, you can’t just throw a bunch of stuff up on the wall and expect magazine quality. Here are the steps to making a perfect Gallery Wall. I’m using a wall I made in my 2 year old’s room as an example.

Step 1: Gather items.

This is the best part! But, unfortunately, it can get kind of expensive if you pay full price for everything. So don’t do that. Start at your closest thrift store and buy some cheap frames. They’ll probably look like somebody’s trash (they are). But not for long! A fresh coat of spray paint, free printouts, or family pictures might be just what they need. Heck, you could even your frames empty.

After scouring the thrift store Hobby Lobby is the place to go to fill in the gaps. Their frames are always 50% off. They also have wood cutouts that can be stained or painted and added to your wall. Get creative. The more variety the better.

Step 2: Arrange items

This is trial and error. I like to start with a center piece and arrange the other items around it – at least to get going. Then try different possibilities. There should be an overall shape and symmetry to your grouping but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Keep the items spaced as evenly as you can. Take a picture once you get it just how you want it.

Step 3: Make templates of each item.

Use whatever paper you have. Newspaper works but sometimes gets ink everywhere. Butcher paper is best but I’ve even taped regular printer paper together.

I make a dot on my template the matches where the nail needs to hang.

Step 4: Tape templates on the wall.

Start in the center and work out. Make adjustments until it’s balanced and evenly spaced. Once you make a nail hole, theres no going back!

Step 5: Nail and hang.

Place your nails right through the paper using your previous markings. Tear the paper off and hanging each item in the perfect spot is simple!