Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Yearly Challenge is...

The year of 2016 is going to be a big one. Last year I did a wreath every month and I loved challenging myself to it.

 This year is a 52 week challenge of Cleaning, Organizing and De-cluttering our home and lives. I looked all over the internet for a challenge that would work for my family, my house and myself. However I was not finding exactly what I wanted. So I drawing from all the different websites I visited I made my own 52 week challenge. I sat down and wrote out my list and I am so excited to bring this list to you.
I will be starting this the week of January 3,2015 and will be bringing you weekly updates. I would love to see if you choose to do the full 52 weeks or even one week of the challenge with me  with your before and after pictures, as I can't wait to show you my pictures and videos.

Here is the list:
Week 1: Kitchen Counters and Sink
Week 2: Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers
Week 3: Pantry and Food Storage
Week 4: Refrigerator and Freezer
Week 5: Recipes
Week 6: Recycling and Trash Cans
Week 7: Laundry Room
Week 8: Updating Address and Contact information
Week 9: Filing System
Week 10: Boy’s Closet
Week 11: Bathroom
Week 12: Master Bedroom Closet
Week 13: Jewelry / Accessories
Week 14: Shoes
Week 15: Yard
Week 16: Garage
Week 17: Toys and Games
Week 18: Living Room
Week 19: Dining Room
Week 20: Vanity
Week 21: Vehicles
Week 22: Crafting Area
Week 23: Abby’s Room
Week 24: Abby’s Closet
Week 25: James’ Room
Week 26: James’ Closet
Week 27: Movies, CD’s
Week 28: Medicine/First Aid Kit
Week 29: Purses/Brief Cases
Week 30: Emergency Preparedness
Week 31: Laundry Schedule
Week 32: Pets
Week 33: Bills
Week 34: Master Bedroom
Week 35: Office Area
Week 36: Windows, Outside
Week 37: Attic
Week 38: Books
Week 39: Home Inventory
Week 40: Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping
Week 41: Coupons
Week 42: Cleaning Schedule
Week 43: Photographs
Week 44: Cell Phones
Week 45: Seasonal Clothes Switch
Week 46:  Passwords/ Manuals/Warranties
Week 47: Holiday Decorations
Week 48: Ac Unit
Week 49: Heaters
Week 50:  Email and Digital information
Week 51: Family Calendar
Week 52: Your Goals for the next year

So Lets Get Cleaning!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Plan With Me

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your holiday with loved ones.

Me and My Big Ideas was having a sale on their Happy Planners and I had to have one!

This plan with me is not only for the week of December 28,2015 to January 3,2016; but for the monthly calendar as well.

For my monthly calender I wanted to keep it simple and I wanted a black/gold color  theme with a bit of red.
 I love the planner stickers I got from Organized Eden. Her Esty shop is here:

This is the Washi tape I will be using:

I love the way it turned out:
I kept it simple and sweet.

The weekly calendar I wanted to be bright and fun.

I got the planner stickers at Cricket Paper Co. I love the colors!

The first thing I did was cover up the note section with Washi Tape:
Then I used the Washi Tape to cover the morning/afternoon/evening areas as well as the bottom of my planner paper.
How cute it's turning out to look!

Next up was placing all the sticker's in my planner. I put the Resolution's stickers in the note section.

I love these weekend stickers! 

Also the grocery bag sticker I got at Planning for Happiness. Her Esty store is awesome!

I am sorry about the shadows in the pictures. I didn't realized they were there until I uploaded it to my computer.
I love how this week came out.

And one last thing that I added was something I can look at a remember how blessed I am!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Simple Things I do around the house

Hello all! I wanted to share some of the things I do to keep my family healthy and fed. With this week being Christmas week both the teenagers will be home when they are not working. I also know that this week I will be extremely busy running them around town, working and taking care of the Family's meals. So I have prepared a quick grab and go snack for my family and I. (now I know I will be the main one eating this)
I found these boxes at Aldi today for 49 cents each. WHAT! Ok lets try them!

When I got home from my grocery shopping I grabbed my snack bags and put 2/4 of a cup in each bag. I only opened the Ginger Spice because I'm saving the 2nd box for next week.

I got 7 snack bags out of a box. It's great for a quick snack.

Also at Sprout's their Pineapples were 98 cents. I try to keep fresh Pineapples on hand because they are GREAT for a sore throat. Seriously if you get a sore throat eat some Pineapple. It can be can Pineapple, but it will take care of that sore throat.

So we have fresh Pineapple that is cutting up in the fridge.
I do simple things around the house to prepare myself and my family for the week. Taking these steps saves us time when we really need it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Home made Vegetable Broth

I am running low on the Turkey broth I made. I knew I was going to have to make more before the month was up. So all the vegetables I have been cooking with I have been taking the parts I would not be using and placing them in a zip lock bag and placing it in my crisper in the fridge until I had enough to make broth. This morning I pulled out my crock pot added the vegetable to the crockpot.
Then I added 12 cups of water to my crockpot. I let it cook on low for 8 hours. 

I just made 12 cups of vegetable stock for basically the cost of the water and the electricity.It gave a good reason to be able to use the whole vegetable so that nothing went to waste. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

A quick, inexpensive DIY Christmas Gift

This is a super quick Christmas gift. It's easy to make and super cute! Last year I made my co-worker's Peppermint Sugar Scrub and as Christmas came closer I was asked if I was going to make it again. Why, yes I am but here is the twist, I am going to use brown sugar instead of sugar.

I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of Coconut oil. Mixed them together really good and TADA!Brown Sugar Scrub.

I had the mason jars already from last year, just stored away and the ribbon I got at Micheal's last year after Christmas for 10 cents.

I got my labels for the lids here:

Than for the male co-workers you can't go wrong with homemade cookies!

The boxes I got for 50 cents at Micheal's last year with their after Christmas Sale.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Crack! Chex it out! :)

I tried this recipe today and OH MY GOODNESS it's sooo Good!
The recipe is in the video from "Shes in her Apron" on Youtube,
This was my batch.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mid-month update

Hello all! Well my monthly challenge is going great! The challenge was to have my kitchen cleaned before bedtime every night. Now what do I mean by cleaned. It's really simple. I am the dishwasher for the house, Seriously we haven't had one in 7 years I dream of the day when we get one. So for the meanwhile it's me. So all the dishes have to be washed and put away in their place. Instead of letting them sit in the dish dryer overnight or the sink. The counter and stove tops wiped down and the floor swiped.
I have only missed 2 days of doing this. Both times I was so tired I went to bed early that night. However I made sure the next morning that was the first thing I focused on before my coffee.  I even added extras to my list to help out with my monthly cleaning list. Each night if time allows I have done the following:
1. Clean and polish the Sink
2. Clean the top and front of Stove/Oven
3.Clean the front of the fridge
4. Clean the outside of the Microwave

and today I will be cleaning my freezer and fridge out. (The fridge is a weekly task for leftovers)
I still have plenty on my "little extra" list to do.
This is what my Freezer and Fridge looked like:

After 30 minutes of working at it I was finished. I did not pull the shelves and drawers out but I did wipe down everything.

Since this weekend I have also washed my kitchen curtains and cleaned the inside of the microwave.

I love my clean kitchen. It's helped with my time management when cooking. Even the hubby and kids have noticed the difference and they started washing their own dishes.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Last weeks cooking for December 6-12


 Lunch: Sandwiches, It was a busy Sunday!

Dinner: Turkey Pot Pie


Lunch: Turkey Pot Pie Left overs

Dinner: Velveeta Shells and Cheese with Taco Meat.


Lunch: Sausage Balls with cubed Cheese

Dinner: Next Day Turkey Soup


Lunch: Left Overs

Dinner: Salisbury Steak Meatballs


Lunch: Smoked Sausage and Rice
Just smoked sausage links and steamed rice

Dinner: Left Overs


Lunch: Cheesy Turkey Enchilada Soup

Dinner: It was another leftover night due to the amount of leftovers we had.

Lunch: My hubby vetoed Left overs he went and got everyone Subway

Dinner: It was just me and the hubby at home so I went out and got us some Panda Express

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas update!

Hello all! I just wanted to give ya a quick update about my Christmas planning. As of right now we only have 2 gifts left to buy! WOOOHOOO!!!! Plus some stocking stuffers! (not worried about that.)
Now the fun part wrapping the gifts.Instead of me sitting now and wrapping all the gifts at once I am going to wrap 4 gifts a night until all the gifts are wrapped. This will save me from getting fed up and the last half of the gifts are wrapped in a hurry and look like poo.

I bought my wrapping paper last year after Christmas and I love the ginger bread house I think this wrapping paper is adorable. Also I went to Dollar Tree and picked up some really cute ornaments to put on the adult gifts. I think these 4 gift came out super cute!

The little note pad in the picture I found at Tuesday Morning I thought it was super cute. I got one for each of my work buddies. 
(sorry about the lighting)

The kids are getting bows on their gifts.

Yesterday I spent my time putting everything into each stocking to see what we still need.  It was really fun!

How do you approach wrapping your gifts?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday's Menu

Before I start on this weeks menu I just wanted to take out some time to recognize that today, 74 years ago America was thrown into World War 2 with Pearl Harbor. Those 2402 men that lost their lives that day and 1282 who were injuried were men who had volunteered to serve their country and should not be forgotten.

Last weeks food was great! No leftovers I was so happy that my family enjoyed every meal!


 Lunch: Southwest Egg rolls

Dinner: Crock Pot Potatoes, Green Beans and Sausage


Lunch: Meatloaf Bites. ( Meatloaf I make in a cupcake pan)

Dinner: Buffalo Chicken Nachos


Lunch: Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

Dinner: Oven Baked Tacos


Lunch: Left Overs

Dinner: Stuffed Bell Peppers


Lunch: Meatball Bubble Biscuits

Dinner: Left Overs


Lunch: We had more leftovers

Dinner: Pizza Hut! All The Leftover were gone and I wanted to say good job to the family. (Plus I needed a break from cooking to plan my weekend)


Lunch: Leftover pizza

Dinner: I wasn't home. So the hubby made Brenner for the family.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I challenge you!

December is here! On that note the madness had begun here as I am sure all of you are looking at your month and thinking "How am I going to get all of this done!?!" I know I am. I also know that due to all the running around this month that my house kind-of goes on the back burned until right before Christmas.
So I thought about this and after watching some of "Howjendoesit" you tube channel and I got inspired for a challenge.
Before I go to bed at night I will make sure that all my dishes are cleaned and put away and will wipe down all my counters in the kitchen and make sure my kitchen is completely cleaned.

I have been doing this for the past 3 days and I have to say when I wake up in the morning and go make my coffee I love going into my kitchen. There are no dishes in the dish rack and everything is so clean. It's very peaceful.

 When I came up with this challenge I did not know that this was a challenge that she had issued a few months ago. I just started watching her. She has a new challenge this month that is awesome as well.
I have attached her video about this months challenge along with 5 other challenges she has had over the past months from the howjendoesit you tube page.

I had my challenge set. I can do this! What is the challenge you have set for yourself this month? Do you think cleaning up in the evening will help you with your mornings?
I can't wait to hear from ya'll about what you have planned for yourselves!

Until next time....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving and the weekend

When I was growing up my family always had huge Thanksgiving dinners. I remember my mom cooking for hours in the kitchen Thanksgiving morning. She still has her Thanksgiving dinners however because I live so far away I can not attend them, so it's up to me to provide the Thanksgiving dinner for my family. This year there was 6 of us to plan for. My step-sons were with us the week of Thanksgiving which was really nice.
We started off the morning with a Breakfast Casserole.

Now I am not taking credit for the Turkey. I cheated and bought a Turkey that was already cooked. Truthfully I am so scared that I would mess up a Turkey if I had to make myself. I did challenge myself to make an apple pie this year. (It was GOOD!)

After dinner my hubby and I got the rest of the meat of the Turkey.We ended up with 4 lbs of leftover Turkey. So I divided that up into 1 lb bags and froze 3 lbs for meals in the future.I took the bones from the Turkey and put them into my crock pot with water and made Turkey Broth overnight. 
I ended up by freezing the 2 large mason jars ( That is why they are not fulled)
That evening we sat around the living room and watched everyone play the PS3 and talked, it was really nice.

Saturday was a cool rainy day. My stepson's went to an indoor Trampoline Place with their grandparents, the teenagers had to go to work and I did some Christmas shopping.
Sunday The final day of my vacation, and to be honest I was ready to go back to work. I got up early and got my weekly cooking done. Cleaned the living room and me and the kids started putting up the Christmas Tree. It was a GREAT weekend