Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy May Day! Consider yourself ding dong ditched.

When I was a child, we lived on a very quiet cul-de-sac. Every May 1st we would clip flowers from Mom's garden, make extensively decorated paper cones with ribbon handles. My sister and I would then sneakily travel to each of the neighbors homes to ding dong ditch them and leave our sweet bouquets behind. I've looked into the origins of May Day. Unfortunately, it's origins are not Biblical. Words like pagan jump out at me.

Here's my problem... Jesus tells us to love our neighbors. Luke 10:27 is just one of many places. We also know that God loves a cheerful giver. And those are things I want Grom to know.

So here's a May Day bouquet for you. Consider yourself ding dong ditched. Pass it along if you'd like.

I'll post some pictures of the bouquets Grom and I take to our neighbors tomorrow.

photo credit

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What's for Dinner - Week of April 29th

It's a short week for us. Surferman's sister is getting married and her doctorate this weekend in Denver. It'll be Grom's first airplane trip. I'm going to try to keep it simple and also work on cleaning out the fridge.

Monday - Chicken Enchilladas (making extra for the freezer)
Tuesday - Leftover BBQ Chicken
Wednesday - 4WD Club Meeting = Dinner Out!
Thursday - Quiche in a Bag (from the freezer)
Friday to Monday - In Denver.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Nest - What's Left To Do

May 3rd is quickly approaching. I haven't given up, but I don't think I'll be able to complete everything that I want to do for my room.

Here's what I have left (no particular order)...
  1. paint door
  2. sew valance
  3. sew closet curtain
  4. go through "basket of stuff"
  5. mount over door ironing board
  6. label baskets
  7. declutter and organize bookshelf
  8. go through bag of baby stuff
  9. decide what to do with the birth announcements
  10. decorate door
  11. mount R on wall
  12. mount clock
  13. label drawers
  14. take after pictures

I'm not giving up.

101 Things to do

I'm a list maker. It's how I get things done and organize my thoughts. I came across this idea of making a list of 101 things that you want to do. The challenge is to complete the list in about 1001 days. I don't know where I first heard about this idea, but here is a site that keeps track of participants and their lists.
My start date is Saturday April 28, 2007.
My finish date is Saturday January 23, 2010.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

My 101 Things To Do
  1. Read the Bible in a year - started January 1, 2009
  2. Memorize Psalm 19
  3. Memorize Psalm 8
  4. Decide about cremation vs burial
  5. Research traveling to Ireland with Surferman
  6. Travel with Surferman to Australia
  7. Family Trip to Maui
  8. Research trip to Costa Rica with Surferman
  9. Take Duke and Surferman to Disneyland We went Sept 2008. Wish I had blogged about it.
  10. Visit Jennie in Massachusetts
  11. Visit Surferman's parents in Washington State It was a great trip! May 2008
  12. Renew Passports
  13. Get passport for Grom
  14. Take a weekend camping trip- completed 6/3/2007
  15. Finish "Color Block" quilt
  16. Finish "VW Bus" quilt
  17. Finish "Progressive" quilt
  18. Finish "Mykonos" quilt
  19. Finish Grom's First Year scrapbook
  20. Give away my knitted washcloths I passed them out to my quilting friends. Someday I'll have to blog about those wonderful ladies. We've been meeting forever.
  21. Digiscrap 2007 Jeep Jamboree pictures unable to complete - the guys didn't take pictures
  22. Make felt baby booties
  23. Make headband
  24. Do something with an empty Altoid's box
  25. Sell a quilt
  26. Celebrate a Christmas with all homemade gifts
  27. Sell a "Cozy Cart Cootie Catcher"
  28. Learn how to crochet
  29. Knit a sweater
  30. Digiscrap the things I'm grateful for - count my blessings -make a book to remember and review
  31. Nanowrimo GeMoOrgNo completed 11/30/2007
  32. Get to know Kelsey
  33. Get to know Nicole
  34. Set up 5 Fat Files
  35. Blog daily for one month see #31
  36. Write a "Letter to the Editor" about something I'm passionate about
  37. Find out the name of the Fedex Ground Guy- completed 6/6/2007 His name is Tom.
  38. Send ten encouraging anonymous postcards So much fun, I'm going to keep doing it.
  39. Read 5 C.S. Lewis books
  40. Read 10 fiction novels completed 4/22/2008
  41. Read 3 biographies or autobiographies
  42. Make a lifestyle change that is better for the environment - Reusable grocery bags!
  43. Make another lifestyle change that is better for the environment - CF light bulb all through the house!
  44. Get to work somehow other than driving my car
  45. Save all $5 bills for a month and do something fun with Grom
  46. Stay on budget for a month
  47. Stay on budget for a quarter
  48. Stay on budget for a year
  49. Pay off the house
  50. Make a will
  51. Get life insurance
  52. One month without eating out
  53. Take Grom to a park every day of a week
  54. Read to Grom until he tells me to stop
  55. Build a huge fort with Grom
  56. Do an activity from Family Fun Magazine
  57. Make the cupcake of the month from Family Fun Magazine
  58. Sleep in a tent with Grom in the front yard - Done! I can't remember when, but I remember it was during a heat wave. It was over 100F at 9 pm. Still fun.
  59. Find a letterbox
  60. Family trip to the Drive In movie - Horton Hears a Who. Grom was scared.
  61. Get an external hard drive and keep computer backed upMac's Rock! Woo Hoo for Time Machine!
  62. Change my blog template completed 5/3/2007
  63. Customize my blog template (myself)
  64. Create 3 iTunes playlists
  65. Get a Maccompleted 11/19/2007
  66. Learn how to transfer and edit video on computer
  67. Transfer all CDs to iTunes
  68. Set up monster multi CD playerSold it!
  69. Go a whole day unplugged - no computer, no music, no news, etc.
  70. Make Tom Kha Gai Soup
  71. Complete Organizing Junkie's Organization Challenge - completed 5/2/2007
  72. Really de-clutter closet
  73. Plant a lettuce garden - planned 2009
  74. Get a facial
  75. Wash my face every night for a month - completed 6/16/2007
  76. Wear makeup every day for a month - started 6/23/2007
  77. Wear earrings every day for a month - started 6/23/2007
  78. Nap in a hammock
  79. Pierce my tragus
  80. Go to a Dodger game
  81. Go to a Blues game - completed 6/23/2007
  82. Go to a play - We went to the wonderful Great American Melodrama last week. Might not be as cultured as a play, but we had a great time. 12/14/2008
  83. Weigh 175
  84. Complete the Rock to Pier Run
  85. Climb Bishop's Peak
  86. Eat breakfast daily for two weeks - started 6/18/2007 4/23/2008 12/21/08
  87. Stop drinking soda (100 days) - started 6/18/2007 6/21/2007 4/23/2008 12/21/08
  88. Walk on the beach once a week all summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) planned start 5/2009
  89. Play a season of softball with Surferman on church team
  90. Plan and execute the best 4WD Club Christmas Party ever!
  91. Find out about "Synchro De Maio"
  92. Take a ballroom dancing lesson
  93. Romantic getaway with Surferman - I believe Maui would count.
  94. Sunset Picnic on the beach - completed 6/21/2007
  95. Don't say no, even if I'm tired, don't want to, or "have a headache"
  96. Throw a Tea Party with women I barely know, but would like to know better
  97. Send a care package to a soldier in Iraq completed 5/29/2007
  98. Say no to something that I'd usually say yes to - I DID NOT help with a major event at church. We went as a participant. It was weird.
  99. Say yes to something that I'd usually say no to -
  100. Write another 101 Things to dolist

I tried to group my list into similar things. Things on my list fall into categories like... God, Travel, Creativity, Parenting, Marriage. Hey, those are a lot like the categories of the labels for my blog posts. Watch for updates as I cross things off my list.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Frugal Fridays - Make Your Own Mixes

One of the best frugal tips is to cook meals at home. Eating out can be a real budget buster. When cooking at home, cooking from scratch, avoiding processed packaged foods is an additional way to pinch those pennies.

My Frugal Friday post this week is about making your own mixes. A well stocked spice cupboard can supply the ingredients needed for most of these seasoning mixes.

Taco Season Mix - Use this versatile blend for all kinds of tacos, in refried beans, for soup and any recipe that calls for a packet of Taco Seasoning.

Onion Soup Mix - Great for meatloaf, beef stew, you name it.

If I don't have a recipe I just Google - "make your own whatever mix" and a few choices usually pop up. It's Frugal.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Onion Soup Mix

Another better to make it myself recipe.

Onion Soup Mix
1 T Better than Bouillon
3 T dried minced onion
1 t onion powder

Add these ingredients to any recipe that calls for Onion Soup Mix.

Taco Season Mix

I love watching Good Eats. Alton Brown is the best - entertaining and educational. The last time I watched he said, "Why buy something you can make?". Here's a recipe for one of those things.

Taco Season Mix

1 T dried minced onion
1 t garlic salt
1 t chili powder
1/2 t corn starch (optional - depends on use)
1/2 t crushed red pepper (omit if you want milder heat)
1/4 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until well mixed. Use in place of Taco Season Packets.

For Taco Filling:
Add 1 recipe of Taco Season Mix to 1 1/2 pounds cooked, drained ground beef, turkey, tvp (or combination of) along with 1/2 cup water. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mexican Rice

I always made Spanish Rice-A-Roni to go with my Mexican Meals. I don't like Spanish Rice. What I wanted was the spiced red rice that is served as the rice part of rice and beans as a side at the local Mexican restaurant. came through again. I found a recipe and then tweaked it to suit our tastes.

Mexican Rice

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 T dried chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth


Heat oil in dutch oven.
Cook rice until slightly browned.
Stir in garlic salt, cumin and dried chopped onion.
Stir in tomato sauce and broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.

My Nest - Question

So... if Grom will be 3 in July, what should I do with the baby announcements I found while cleaning and organizing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday - Steak and a Movie Night

I don't know when it started, but we've been doing it for years. Friday night is "Steak and a Movie Night". To celebrate the end of an always long week, we have an easy dinner. Easy to prepare and easy to clean up.

Grom gets to go to bed early. Surferman grills the steak. Top Sirloin is our favorite. I nuke some potatoes and the salad always comes out of a bag. We pull out the trays, pop a movie into the DVD player and kick back and relax.

There are occasional variations. Fish and a Movie Night. Take Out and a Movie Night. But it's really nice to know the plan. The hardest part... who gets to choose the movie.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What's For Dinner - Week of April 23rd

I anticipate a "normal" week around here.

Monday - Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots

Tuesday - Turkey and Barley Soup, Biscuits, Salad

Wednesday - Chicken Tacos, Refried Beans, Mexican Rice

Thursday - Farmer's Market - Eat out

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Saturday - Michelle's Baby Shower - I'm co-hosting and it's at our house. Please pray for beautiful weather. I need to buy a carrot cake. I'm trying to keep it simple. Cheese and Crackers, Veggies and Dip, Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce, Popcorn, Fruit Platter, Coffee, Punch

I know I'm going to be done for the day when it's time to make dinner. We'll have leftover Turkey Barley Soup.

Sunday - Dinner with my folks

Let's Get Real Monday - The Outfit

Randi at I have to say... has chosen "The Outfit" as the topic of Let's Get Real Monday.
You know the one. It hangs in the back of the closet or maybe it lies in state in a photograph. You always loved it, but everyone around you hated it.
A beloved dress jumped into my remembrance.

During High School I was quite the seamstress. I worked at a fabric store and most everything I wore was a hand crafted creation. It was the days of big white t-shirt with big black letters on them. Like Wham!'s "Choose Life". I had one the said "Material Girl". It had nothing to do with a love of stuff or Madonna, but instead, my passion for textiles.

My best dresses were made from a sleeveless dress pattern that I used over and over. The bodice was fitted to the gathered waist. It was simple to make, modest and quick.

"The Outfit" was created from a china blue decorator fabric that had LARGE peach chrysanthemum flowers and leaves. Almost like this. I wore it with the cheapest huarache sandals. I bargained for them on a trip to Mexico. Even though they were falling apart from day one, I wore them for years. I probably looked like a VonTrapp child after the drapes had been attacked, but I thought I was all that when I wore that dress.

The dress wouldn't fit right now. It's not hanging in my closet. I don't know where it is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned up packed away in a box of memories.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Nest - Update #1

I had a huge list of things to do this morning before Surferman came home from (wait for it...) surfing. I was clicking through my list (well, I had checked off at least a couple of things), when my sister dropped by. She was a distraction, but it was a great visit. She didn't leave until after Surferman got home.

Surferman was single-minded. We were going to get my room cleared and painted today - ready or not.

The mess was relocated to our family room. Fortunately I had some boxes and was able to group similar items as I was packing them up. I'll sort through it all and organize it before it goes back into the room.

Two coats of paint later and it's ready for Surferman to clean the carpets tomorrow after church.

The furniture goes back as soon as the carpet is dry.

We painted the inside of the closet so I'm not going to put the closet doors back up. I have plastic drawers and a dresser that have lived in the closet. The closet doors make it difficult to use the drawers and dresser. To conceal the stuff and to add color to my space, I think I'll put up a curtain.

Here are some pictures of the mess progress.

Friday, April 20, 2007

7 Favorite Songs

So I heard about this topic going around blogland. First at Everyday Mommy and then at Rocks in My Dryer. The idea is to list 7 Favorite Songs. I thought I'd give it a shot. Favorite is a really strong word though.

In no particular order...

Mission of my Soul - Peter Himmelman. This is Surferman and mine's song. I found a live version of the song at his website. You have to get past a lengthy intro but the song is there and boy is it nice.

Blessed Be - Tree63. This song gave me great comfort when we were told that we probably wouldn't have a child without advanced reproductive technology and more when I found out I was pregnant. You can listen to it at Tree63's my space page

Everything That's Beautiful - Chris Tomlin This song gives me comfort with the realization that Grom may very well be an only child.

Love Shack - The B-52's Who would've guessed that they have a web site and that they are still touring???

If I Had a Million Dollars - BNL This song is from their 1st album. I've always wanted a monkey.

Fill Me - Sherri Youngward If you dig around her website you can hear this song. She is amazing. I love worshiping our great big God with her.
Here's the lyrics

Fill Me

Holy Spirit the Father’s grace
The promised One in Jesus’ name
I need you now, I need Your power
To walk with boldness in this hour

Search my heart
Cleanse this temple
Holy One, only You are able
To take this life, my offering
Holy One, I am willing

Fill Me
Fill Me
Fill Me

The Hairbrush Song - Veggie Tales (Silly Songs with Larry)
When anything is missing at our house this song is sung with the said lost item substituted for "hairbrush" in the lyric. When Grom sings it I melt.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Frugal Fridays - Freezing Cheese

Cheese, warm and gooey. Most everything is better with cheese.

Here's how I do cheese frugally.

I buy the huge bags of shredded cheese from Costco or Smart and Final. I package the cheese in portions. Most recipes call for 2 cups so to save a little more and to cut calories, I pack about 1 1/2 per zipper bag.

The portioned bags go into a larger zipper bag. After I use the cheese, I put the empty zipper bag back into the freezer to be used again.

Watch for one of our favorite cheese recipes - Macaroni and Cheese. I'll post it soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Limiting TV

Television. They don't call it the boob tube for nothing. Here's what works for me. I use the channel delete to remove channels that I don't want to deal with or watch.

It all started when I removed the Spanish language channels. I don't speak Spanish so that was an obvious dismissal. delete

Then I zapped the sports channels. delete

From there it's been a little trickier - I have to be discerning. I started noticing that Lifetime which is supposed to be a women's network often portrays behavior in women that isn't consistent with the kind of woman God calls me to be. delete

Then I found I was exposing myself to sin.
MTV. delete
Bravo. delete
VH1 delete
E! delete

Now my channel choices are limited. I've gone from 90 some channels with basic cable to about a dozen channels. I've kept HGTV, Food, TLC, and most of the broadcast networks. With less choices though, I seem to watch less TV. Works for me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19 NKJV

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's for Dinner - Week of April 16th

We have company in town through Wednesday and I'm still trying to keep spending within my budget and use up the pantry.

Here's the plan for the week...

Monday - Spaghetti and Italian Sausages, Garlic Bread, Salad

Tuesday - Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans

Wednesday - Irish Music Night! Dinner Out.

Thursday - Farmer's Market - BBQ Out.

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Saturday - Pizza Pancakes, Salad

Sunday - Our traditional "Family Dinner" is off as my folks are out of town. I might invite a couple of families from church over. Dinner will depend on who is coming.

Sick of being sick

Warning! Pity post follows. If you'd like you can skip reading it and just post a comment that you hope I'm feeling better soon.

I'm not a sick person. I'm not a good sick person. When I'm ill, I deny, carry on and push through.


I have been 11 days with the sorest throat that I can remember. I feels like it's "around the corner", not the usual back of the mouth. Every time I swallow, searing pain radiates through my throat and out my ears. My ears ache. The sinus pain that made me want to remove my upper teeth from my mouth subsided on Monday. That pain was replaced by fits of unstoppable, "are you going to die?" coughing.

Whatever I have it's tenacious. It won't seem to go away. It doesn't get better. Nothing I do or take seems to help. Tuesday, I even went to the Doctor. I never go to the Doctor. He threw me a bone - codeine cough syrup. Thanks a lot, Doc (said with all the sarcasm I can muster). I appreciate that he didn't just give me an antibiotic to shut me up, but if I end up with one I'm going to be frustrated, thinking that this might have all been over sooner.

Oh, and I forgot to mention... Grom passed on pink eye to me in the middle of it all and I started my period. But ENOUGH! The pity party is over.


This is temporary. I will get better. This won't end my life. I need to focus my prayers and thoughts towards those who won't get better, those who know the end of their lives is imminent, those who suffer.

And get over myself.

I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Psalm 30:1-3 NKJV

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Bag of Good Food

Here's what works for me this week. For more WFM tips tumble on over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Meals have become a bit of a battle. Grom wants to express his independence and I want him to eat a balanced and healthy meal. Solution? The BAG of GOOD FOOD!

Grom and I pack a bag of different foods for him. He can choose whatever he wants to eat out of the bag. Everything is mom approved - string cheese, cereal, raisins, tangerines, crackers, carrots, yogurt, leftover bits of this and that... you get the idea.

When our family meals are little sophisticated for Grom's toddler tastes, out comes the BAG of GOOD FOOD!

When we're on the run and nap runs into lunchtime, out comes the BAG of GOOD FOOD!

When he's hanging out with me at work, out comes the BAG of GOOD FOOD!

And if you can imagine a 2 1/2 year old asking for his BAG of GOOD FOOD!

Works for me.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

What's for Dinner - Week of April 9th

Planning meals last week helped. We had a house full of company until last Wednesday so all bets are off with the grocery budget. To compensate I am going to try to plan my meals this week strictly from the freezer and pantry.

Monday - Crustless Quiche in a Bag with Ham and Veggies, Salad, Ciabatta Bread
~I'll make a couple extra quiches for the freezer

Tuesday - Bean Soup with Ham Bone (leftover from Easter)

Wednesday - Fuss Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake - Garlic Bread - Salad
~thanks Organizing Junkie for this new family favorite!

Thursday - OUT - Farmer's Market for BBQ - yum!

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Saturday - Freezer Chicken Soup

Sunday - Sunday Dinner with the Folks

Thursday, April 05, 2007

96 Days and 7 Books - Bible Reading Plan Update

I started a daily Bible Reading plan with the new year and I'm happy to report that I'm still at it.

96 days in a row I have been in the Word of God. Somedays I'm not able to finish the assigned reading, but at this moment I'm caught up. To date, I have finished 7 books of the Bible. I hope this doesn't sound prideful or bragging. I'm astonished by my follow through and know it is all God.
  • Romans
  • Genesis
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • Matthew
  • Isaiah
I usually use a New King James Bible, but decided to try a New Living Translation for my goal of reading the Bible in a year. The New Living Translation is softer and easier to read - especially early in the morning or late at night. There have been a few times when I have needed to go to the NKJV to see if the Bible really says that. Some of the New Living Translation is a little loose.

I've enjoyed the discipline in this venture. I've always heard that it's 21 days to form a habit. Well, I can honestly say that there is some truth it. With 96 days under my belt, I can say I don't think I'll miss a day again.

There are some days that I just power through the reading - especially Fridays when I read Prophecy. It's often 6 heavy and long chapters. I can't say that I've retained much of it, but it has given me a desire to go deeper into the book of Isaiah. That has to be worth something.

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.

Psalm 119:33-35

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Nest - Before Pictures

Robin's Nest - Before Photos

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is the ugly entrance to my Nest.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The view from the door. YIKES!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The closet

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Work area.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In the front left of this photo is my rolling sewing cart. Back left is a fancy Elfa Wrapping Center that is covered with clutter. I wrap gifts on my dining room table.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Knick Knack Shelf

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Shelving above work area.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Book shelf in work area

It can only get better! The challenge is on!

Works for Me Wednesday - The Car Edition

This is my first venture into the world of Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Rocks in My Dryer

This week she's looking for hints that make everything related to the car easier.

I have a minivan with FIVE doors that often do not get shut all the way. I end up with a dead battery at least once a month. It used to be a huge hassle. I'd have to call Surferman or the Auto Club for a jump. I would be late. I would get frustrated. Tears were shed.

We invested in a jump box. It lives in our garage and is always ready to come to my rescue. Just pop the hood, hook up the clamps to the terminals (be careful to match the + to the + and the - to the -) and start the car. Perfect!

Monday, April 02, 2007

9. What is my plan of action?

  • Get Supplies - I think I already have most everything that I'll need for long term storage and organization of my space. I need to get some boxes for sorting and storage during painting. i would like one more shelf on the wall about my work area. The shelves that are currently up are recycled and grungy. If I can find a decent price, I might replace all of them. I also need to decide on the paint color for the walls. I love orange. I have orange and green baskets and most of the furnishings are white. I'm toying between white white, gold, or a coffee color.
  • Divide, Conquer and Declutter - Starting at the door, I'm going to start sorting, grouping and decluttering. Some things will need new homes. Some things will be ebayed or sold at a garage sale. I will try to deal with things as I encounter them without stopping my project.
  • Clear it All Out - To prepare for painting, everything needs to be cleared out.
  • Paint - Surferman will help me paint one weekend this month.
  • Bring Some of it Back - At this point, all of the furniture will return to the room. My plan is to pare down and only bring back necessary stuff.
  • Window Treatments - I have some orange fabrics that I'd like to make some kind of valance with. I don't have a clear plan, but the bare rod has to be covered.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What's for dinner - Week of April 2nd

Food and meals around here were a disaster last week. I had no plan. I ran to the grocery store for most every meal. It was absurd and definitely not frugal. While it may appear that I've been stalking Organizing Junkie lately... she encourages in a couple of areas where I need encouragement right now.

April is another pantry challenge for me through Frugal Families. I'm trying to keep grocery spending to $250 this month. I have a well stocked pantry and freezer.

Here's what is in store for this week.

Monday - Ground Beef or Turkey Tacos - Refried Beans - Mexican Rice

Tuesday - Lazy Mom Lasagna - Green Salad - Sourdough Bread and Butter

Wednesday - No Cooking! Passover Celebration at church.

Thursday - Maple Salmon - Rice - Zucchini

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potato and Salad

Saturday - Surferman's Pizza - Salad

Sunday - Honey Baked Ham - Aunt Theo's Potatoes - Artichokes - Asparagus - Spinach Salad - Applesauce - Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Whip Cream.

Lazy Mom Lasagna

Lazy Mom Lasagna

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb rotini or egg noodles (cooked)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 pkg chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients together. Put into sprayed 9x13 pan and top with more Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350F until warm and slightly browned.


If you're really lazy, serve right out of the pot for an even quicker meal.

Aunt Theo's Potatoes

Aunt Theo's Potatoes

This is the potato casserole made famous by Surferman's Aunt Theo. It's a staple at all family functions. It goes great with holidays. There is nothing healthy about them, but they are oh so delicious. Surferman always wants one pan for the event and another pan for himself.

2 lbs frozen cubed hash browns (thawed)
1/2 c. butter melted
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion (don't tell, but I use 1/4 c. dried minced onion)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pt sour cream (don't tell, but I use light sour cream)
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

1/4 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. crushed corn flakes

Mix first set of ingredients together. Place in a sprayed 9x13 pan.

Mix cornflakes with butter. Spread over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour uncovered.