Friday, May 31

Clutter Busting Challenge- Week 5

So this is the final week of Money Saving Mom's Clutter Busting Challenge. This week got hard to find items but I did find at least 7 items everyday! I am so glad I did this challenge.  YAY! My home feels lighter & so much better. It's not to late for you- Make June your decluttering month!
Monday May 27th: I cleaned out my purse. Funny, how many things are Cora's!

Tuesday May 28th: I went through my stock pile for things to donate

Wednesday May29th; 12 items for a garage sale or donation

Thursday May 30th: I cleaned out my pantry. Sorry, this picture is horrible but I threw away 7 old items.  

Friday May 31st: Went through 3months clothes & found these items to put into a garage sale.

Oriental Chicken Salad

This delicious salad was last night's dinner! Here is the recipe that I'm certain you'll want to cook on a Hot summer night::: {originally from my mother-in-law w/ a few changes!}

Oriental Chicken Salad- Makes 2 dinner portions
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1/2 c. silvered almonds
1/2 c, chow mein noodles
1/4 c. oil
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds

-In a small bowl whisk: soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger & S&P. Grill chicken breast for about 10 minutes. Just before it is finished brush with soy sauce mixture.
-In a large bowl add: lettuce, green onion & almonds
-In a separate, small bowl whisk: oil, vinegar, sugar & poppy seeds. {Ken & I don't use much dressing. If you know that you do you'll defiantly need to increase measurements!}
-Assemble salad & top w chow mein noodles

Thursday, May 30

30 by 30- May

Blog Related:::
1. Host a blog give away I am planning a give away for my 250th blog post! Which will be coming very soon...Stay tuned!
2. Host a guest post
3. Keep up on blog series I have started (Happy Homemaker Monday, 2 on 2 & Pinterest Projects) So Far, So Good!

Home Related:::
4. Organize & de-clutter every room in the house month by month (Ex: May= our master bedroom, June= Cora's room, July= Living room etc.) The rooms are coming along and it feels great to be decluttering & organizing.  
5. Make several different household products (hand soap, dryer sheets, different cleaners) I tested several ways to clean w vinegar here is Part 1 and Part 2
6. Cook something for my freezer at least once a week I'VE ADDED: MINI CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA MUFFINS,  ZUCCHINI BREAD, CHICKEN ENCHILADAS, SWEDISH MEATBALLS, BEEF ENCHILADAS (The crossed out items I made, put in freezer but have already pulled them out and used)
7. Have a garage sale Happened in April. I made about $70
8. Add 'curb appeal' to our home (shrubs,grass, flowers, stone work etc.)
9. Plant something I've never planted in my garden
10. Hang an outside clothes line

Family Related:::
11. Go on a few dates w/ Kenny For our anniversary we went to 157 in Valpo. My mom watched the girls. It was a nice dinner out!
12. Plan a Shipshewana, IN trip.
13. Plan something special for Ken's 30th birthday (September)
14. Document the year through pictures/Be more intentional w/ new camera
15. Take girls to the zoo
16. Teach Cora the the letters of the alphabet
17. Open saving accounts for girls
18. Get back on track using coupons, price matching, staying w/i our weekly grocery budget etc. So Far, So Good
19. Go on a family vacation DONE. WE WENT TO FLORIDA FOR 11 DAYS IN MARCH!

For Me:::
20. Lose baby weight (I'll do this slowly b/c I'm nursing. I will not start a crazy diet plan. My plan is simple: eat healthy, walk & give it time!) Work in Progress
21. Treat myself to a manicure OR pedicure See picture below
22. Do something totally different with my hair
23. Do something special for my 30th birthday
24. Create & implement a daily cleaning schedule (I have seen tons of these online but none work for me. I need a personalized one)
25. Start journaling my bible reading time Started this month w/ 1 John. I have been getting up w/ Ken at 5am to be sure to get some quite time in before the girls wake.

For Others:::
26. Do something neighborly for at least 2 of my neighbors We took Key Lime Cookies to our neighbors Jim & Rose.
27. Get more involved in our Preschool program at church Work in Progress
28. Teach at least 1 friend how to pressure and/or water bath can (Who wants this to be them?!?!)
29. Be a bell ringer for Salvation Army during the Christmas season (I wanted to do this this past Christmas but thought of it too late & couldn't get it scheduled)
30. Act out at least 3 random acts of kindness (No plan for this- I will wait for the Holy Spirit to guide me)
#21 was to treat myslef to a mani or pedi. Last week the Mom's Life leadership team went to get pedis as an end of the year celebration. Blessed to have these ladies in my life!

Tuesday, May 28

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Tuesday!?!?!? I took a vacation day yesterday too ;)
Hope your Memorial Day was blessed & full of gratitude for our fallen heros!

The weather::: Praying we don't get as much rain as they are calling for! We already got 3 inches just Sunday!

On my reading pile::: Our small group finished for the year.  So just bible reading for the summer. I started w/ 1 John.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Homemade Mac N Cheese & asparagus
Tuesday - Asparagus Quiche
Wednesday - BBQ chicken pizza on the grill
Thursday - Lamb burgers & zucchini fries
Friday - Oriental chicken salad
Saturday - Crock pot sloppy joes

Today's To Do list:::
  • Taking the girls to a "carnival" that my moms group is putting on. Cora is so excited :)
  • Grocery store
  • 2 phone calls
  • Laundry

My "project" of the week Month::: My bedroom is as good as it's going to get- Moving onto Cora's room! Yay- hers will be fun :)

What I plan to cook for my freezer::: Iced coffee & Individual frozen meals

Looking around the house::: Quite. The girls are sleeping in from a busy weekend.

Highlight of the past weekend::: Visiting w/ my bestest friend Saturday morning!

Looking forward to this week::: A few days at home to re coop from the weekend & get things done.

Bible verse, Devotional::: From my bible reading this morning::: 1 John 2:28 "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appers we may be confident & unashamed beore him at his coming."

From the camera::: WOW! Aren't they just beautiful?

Friday, May 24

Clutter Busting Challenge-Week 4

Week 4 of the Clutter Busting Challenge!!!

Monday May 20th: 4 long sleeved shirts & 4 camis that I plan to sell at a garage sale or donate

Tuesday May 21st: Several maternity items going back into storage


Thursday May 23rd: 3 items of clothing I want to sell/donate & 4 things to throw away!

Friday May 24th: Junk from Cora's room
Add caption

Monday, May 20

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather::: Looks great!

On my reading pile::: "For Women Only"

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - BBQ chicken pizza on the grill
Tuesday Asian chicken salad
Wednesday - Dinner w our small group. I am taking Ham & Swiss sliders!
Thursday - Beef enchiladas from the freezer

Today's To Do list:::
  • Laundry
  • Pay bills
  • Continue decluttering
  • Work in yard if its not too wet from the Thunderstorm overnight
My "project" of the week Month::: Our master bedroom. I cleaned my closet last week & decluttered. I would really like a make-up/hair table in my room. But not sure where to get one? We'll see-it might take awhile for me to find the right one!

What I plan to cook for my freezer::: I made Swedish meatballs on Sunday for the freezer

Looking around the house:::  I'm writing this later today than normal. So both girls are awake. Mae is watching cartoons & Evie is in my lap bc that's her favorite place to be ;) The thunder storms seemed to have passed.

Highlight of the past weekend::: Getting things done in the yard on Sunday

Looking forward to this week::: Thursday- getting pedis w friends

Bible verse, Devotional::: From Probverbs 31 daily devotional-
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
Dear Jesus, forgive me for being quick to judge and assume the worst about the man in my life. Please teach me to slow down and listen to him, and [if married] to trust in his love. In Your Name, Amen.

From the camera:::

MaeMae helping us in the yard :)

Evie girl is getting so big!

Friday, May 17

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa
2 c. broccoli, chopped
1 c. quinoa
2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
3/4 c. sharp cheddar cheese
1/4- 1/3 c. sour cream

-In a large sauce pan combine: broccoli, quinoa, broth, garlic & S&P.
-Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes w/o lifting the lid.
-Stir in cheddar cheese & sour cream.

I grilled chicken breasts & served along side of this. You could always cube/shred chicken and throw it in when  you add the cheese & sour cream. We all really liked this quick, light dinner.
Warning: The broccoli gets quite soft. I normally wouldn't cook it this way but it was quicker & saved me a dish to wash. Plus, Cora will only eat broccoli if it's soft.

Clutter Busting Challenge- Week 3

Week 3 of Money Saving Mom's Clutter Busting Challenge. This week I was organizing my room. Sadly, I easily found items to throw away. My room feels so much lighter. I wish I had taken the time to do this a long time ago! I don't know why I let these old items stick around so long!

Monday May 13th: 10 old Tshirts & 1 pair of pants

Tuesday May 14th: Old, clumpy  nail polish

Wednesday May 15th: 5 purses

Thursday May 16th: 15 camis, 2 long sleeved shirts, 2 pairs of slipper & 1 pair of shoes

Friday May 17th: Finishing up my bedroom= 3 books that are just going back into boxes for future use, 2 bracelets, 1 Olive Garden pin, a ring box & deodorant I didn't like!

Wednesday, May 15

Pinterest Projects- 45 Uses for Vinegar Part 2

I recently found a site via Pinterest w/ 45 home uses for vinegar! LOVED it. Be sure to read my "Part 1" post here.

Vinegar Failures: Here are 3 uses of vinegar that DID NOT work for me. I thought it would be just as useful to see my failures. Let me know if these worked for you. Maybe I was doing something wrong?
6. Tidy up a toilet Pour a cup or more of diluted white distilled vinegar into the bowl. Let sit several hours or overnight. Scrub well with a toilet brush and flush.
I'll spare you a picture of my toilet but trust me this did not work for mine. ;)
13. Banish weeds. Pour white distilled vinegar on the weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway and driveway. Saturate the plant so the vinegar reaches the roots. I saturated some dandelion weeds that were growing in my mulched area. It didn't seem to do much- just a little bit of burnt/dead area. But it didn't kill it completely so it was still had to pull it. So in my opinion it was just a waste of vinegar b/c I used a lot!!!
43. Unclog drains. For a natural, nontoxic way to clean clogged pipes, pour one cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain. Let the products bubble and foam, then flush the pipes with a pot of boiling water.
My shower drain was clogged so I tried this method. I saw no improvement at all! So, I had to pull out the Drano- which did the trick. I want to try this on a different drain that may not be as clogged.

41. Restore showerhead pressure. If your showerhead gets clogged with mineral deposits, soak it for 15 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart water.


After= So much better!
 I did add some baking soda so the vinegar solution would fizz- that seemed to help.

4. Kill bathroom germs. Spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.                                
When I was reading up on vinegar I learned that it is antibacterial! So I made a squirt bottle to keep in the bathroom for when a certain lil girl "misses" when going potty!


Monday, May 13

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather:::

On my reading pile::: "For Women Only" & 1 John

On the menu for this week::: I have No idea- Better get working on this...
Monday -
Tuesday -
Wednesday -
Thursday -
Friday -
Saturday -
Sunday -

Today's To Do list:::
  • Laundry
  • Pay bills
  • Grocery store...can we make it one more day? I really don't want to go today...
My "project" of the week Month::: Our master bedroom. This week I plan to organize my closet.

Cooking for my freezer::: I'm not sure- maybe more mini muffins for Cora or individual meals for Ken's lunches.

Looking around the house::: Quite. Chilly. Lots of laundry, which is the norm when we are gone all weekend.

Highlight of the past weekend::: We had a great weekend in Valpo.
Friday I went w mom & my mother in law to dinner & opera house for a Mother's Day event. Saturday Ken & I went to 157 to celebrate our anniversary :)

Looking forward to this week::: Warm weather returning! Walks, trips to the park & working in the yard!

Bible verse, Devotional::: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

From the camera:::
Today we celebrate 7 blissful years of marriage! So blessed!

Friday, May 10

Clutter Busting Challenge- Week 2

So far I am NOT having any problems finding 7 things to throw away every day! Love this challenge.

Monday May 5: Bathroom Drawers= Old travel bag, foot scrubber, Toilet paper holder, old make up, broken bracelet & Olive Garden name pins. Uh, haven't worked there for 3 years why did I still have those???

Tuesday May 7: Bathroom drawers= gummy cough drops, shoe inserts, old razor, make-up sponges, bath salts & old lotions & room spray.

Wednesday May 8: Bathroom= Gross bath toys, old razor charger & razors, after shave that Ken didn't like & miscellaneous things from my make-up drawer.

Thursday May 9: Living room= Diapers that Cora puts on her babies, 2 trinkets she never plays with & old magazines & phone book.

Friday May 9: Cora's room: 8 items she doesn't play with!

Tuesday, May 7

Pinterest Projects-45 Uses for Vinegar Part 1

I recently found this site  via Pinterest w/ 45 home uses for vinegar! LOVED it. I have since tried a few of the uses & plan to try more in the future:::

 38. Clean the dishwasher and coffee pot. Reduce soap buildup and food residue by pouring a cup of vinegar into your empty dishwasher or coffee pot once a month and letting it run a full cycle. My mother-in-law told me this years ago when my coffee pot stopped working. I tried it & it fixed the problem. I do not do it once a month and this reminded me it has been awhile. So I ran vinegar through my coffee pot!
23. Steam away a microwave mess. Fill a small bowl with equal parts hot water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high for 5 minutes. As the steam fills the microwave, it loosens the mess, making clean up a breeze.   

OMG- So embarrassed to show you this!  But Hey, let's just blame the newborn I have. She hasn't allowed me time to wipe out my microwave?

I used a Pyrex bowl w/ equal parts vinegar & water. Cooked it for 3 minutes & wiped out. All the gunk came off so easily! Looks great, Right?

9. Wipe off a dirty faucet. To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.
Embarrassed again :/ I admit I have tried & tried to get my sick clean. I wipe it down daily from hairs, tooth paste etc. But I can never get the brownish stain out. (My mom actually got it really clean when she was here w/ Commet. But I ran out & didn't want to buy more) I tried just Vinegar & Salt but that didn't seem to do the trick. So I then added baking soda & let it sit & bubble for about 5 minutes. I scrubbed really hard & rinsed w/ warm water.....

Another Before picture

Best part? Cora could help me! When I use chemicals to clean I don't even allow her in the bathroom. She loved helping me!

Turned out great!


       26. Rinse fruits and vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to one pint water. Use the mixture to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. The solution kills more pesticide residue
Just so happened I got strawberries super cheap a few days ago & hadn't gotten them washed yet. So I tried this tip! Cora was again helping me & she was worried the strawberries would taste sour. (B/c she smelled the vinegar & saw me put it on the berries)

But they passed her taste test. "Not sour, Mommy!"

I didn't see this particular idea on the list. It came to me as I was reading up on vinegar. B/c I do not have a dishwasher it's hard to get Cora's sippy cups clean. I usually soak them in dish soap. But this time I tried hot water & vinegar. To no surprise- it worked awesome! :)

Monday, May 6

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather::: Looks perfect!

On my reading pile::: "For Women Only"

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Nachos
Tuesday - Chicken crescents & green beans
Wednesday - Not sure yet!
Thursday - I'm out of town so Ken is on his own!

Today's To Do list:::
  • Meeting at church
  • Weed flower bed
  • Laundry
My "project" of the week Month::: May= Our master bedroom
Ken put in a ceiling fan, I got new bedding, moved Ev's changing table & cradle out. I also moved all the furniture around & vacuumed all the dust bunnies w/ my new awesome vacuum.
I still need to organize my closet & set up something to do my hair & make up in our room.

What I plan to cook for my freezer::: Last week I meant to do mini muffins for Cora but made cookie dough & Chicken enchiladas instead. So hopefully this week I'll get some mini muffins made!

Looking around the house::: I was up at 5:30 & Cora at 6, Evie is still sleeping. My house looks great.

Highlight of the past weekend::: Taking a 3.65 mile walk on Sunday w/ the whole family, even Bailey :) It is a beautiful walk up on the river bluff. We walked 1.8 miles, stopped at a park so Cora could play & then walked home.

Looking forward to this week::: My mom coming for a quick visit, hearing my friend speak at "Listen to your Mother" & Ken & I have an anniversary date planned for Saturday evening! :) I am going to have a blessed week!

Bible verse, Devotional::: From yesterday's service: "God doesn't want 10% of your money- He wants 100% of your heart."

From the camera::: I learned a new way to wear Evie after she really started disliking the old way. I guess she's getting older & wants to see the world around her ;)