Friday, May 31, 2013

Grab Yer Waders Jack

Oh man.  It has rained so much.  I didn't really realize how much until I looked out our living room door this morning.  Our pond had a current.  And something very large, like probably at least 4 feet long, was floating down the pond.

Then I looked to the right or the door, into the front yard.  We have a low spot that sometimes holds water.  Well, the low spot is now one with the creek that runs into the pond.  Oh man.  So much water.  The water is seriously across the yard, halfway to our driveway.  The neighbors across the road, their driveway is totally washed out.  The neighbors down the road's whole front yard is under water.  It's not pretty. 

So I took pictures from my driveway this morning.  To text to my husband.  Because I am apparently annoying like that at 7am.  And I'm going to share those pictures with you.  Be glad I don't have your number of I would have been texting them you early this morning too.  These are of course cell phone pictures, so they're not great.  But seriously guys, it's a lot of water.
My front yard.  That's not even the pond.  That's just the low spot.  Full of water.

You can kind of tell how close the water is to the driveway.  It's about halfway across the yard.  Oh, that water has a current too.  Awesome.
The neighbors front yard and the overflowing creek.  This is crazy guys!

So, what are you guys planning to do this weekend?  We had planned to do yard work but I'm just not sure that's going to happen.  Cross your fingers that it dries up soon.  And that I can get back down my road to my house.  I drove through standing water on the pavement this morning.  Oops.  I do know better.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What's For Dinner (Part 1)

If your house is like mine, you are always trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  It's the same conversation every night.  "What do you want for dinner?"  "I don't know, what sounds good to you?"  "Oh, I don't care.  Whatever you want."  Arg!  It can drive a girl crazy.  Maybe you're already on the meal planning bus.  If so, good for you!

Last night while we were catching up on episodes of NCIS, I made a huge list of all the things I regularly make.  Eventually it's going to get made into a pretty printable list.  For now, it's on notebook paper, written with hot pink ink.  But I have created a weekly menu sheet.  It's going to go in a frame on the fridge.  That way I can write on the glass and it will be dry erase.  Perfect.  This is totally my favorite way of keeping track of things.  It's fantastic.  All the perks of a dry erase board but none of the traditional ugliness.

So, here's my meal planning sheet for the week.  I'm off to Walgreens to pick up a print of it so that I can throw it in a frame.  I may update my cleaning calendar to match it so I can stick that on the fridge as well.

How do you plan your meals for the week?  Any great tips you'd like to share?  I can use all the help I can get!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What We've Been up To

Man, I love three day weekends.  I also love the end of the school year.  I still have two more weeks to work until my summer break but they will be two very productive weeks.  I have something very exciting planned.

But before I get to that.  We had a little mini vacation this weekend.  One of my friends got married on Sunday at a beautiful venue in Southwest Missouri.  I was one of her bridesmaids so it was a super crazy weekend.  We went to the Dixie Stampede in Branson for the rehearsal dinner.  We stayed at the Hilton on Branson Landing and got upgraded to an amazing room because our original room had a leak and wet carpet.  We played glow golf.  And had wine.  A few pictures from the weekend.....
With the beautiful bride
The beautiful bride and me.  And my  husband's finger (???)
Me and my husband.  He was amazing while I was busy off doing bridesmaid duties.  Best hubby ever.

It's not an event without lots of long arm shots.  Check out that bling.  Love it.

But today it's back to the real world.  And that means work.  I'm clearing out my office to paint.  Gotta fix those crazy two tone walls.  Not two tone in an intentional way.  Two tone in a touch ups with the wrong paint color kind of way.  Sigh.  It's going to be gorgeous though.  And I have some fun decorating plans.  I don't know if all the decorating will happen this summer or not until the fall when I come back but I will definitely be back with pictures post painting.  But here's a reminder of what I've been staring at for the past two years.....
If you look at the top of simply and pay special attention, you can see how different the paint colors are.  Also, there's tons of tack holes and scuffs.  Not cute.  And I'm changing up my bulletin boards.  I'm so excited!

What did you guys do over the weekend?  Hope you got some amazing relaxing done.  And maybe a couple projects.  I think we're getting ready to tackle a couple of outside projects at our house in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A New Coat for Spring

I mentioned we finished painting our house over the weekend.  You may remember we started painting last fall.  So it's good to finally have it done.  It's such a great improvement.  So like a good little blogger, I'm here to share some before and afters.  Just go ahead and ignore the huge need for landscaping.  It's out of control.  I hate weeding flower beds.  And we have a lot of flower beds.  I need to get the weed killer going.

Front:  Before

Front:  After
We're planning to redo that front sidewalk.  That's why the pavers are stacked there by the garage.  Attractive, I know.  We're working on it.  It's on the list, obviously.

South side:  Before
That paint was peeling badly.  Ug, it looked so terrible.  I've also cut off those yucca plant blooms.  They get out of control.
South side:  After
I still need to scrape the paint around the window panes.  It's not high on my list of fun house activities.  I'll get on it eventually though.

West Side:  Before

West Side:  After
Apparently I still need to paint the back door into the garage.  I hadn't really walked around that side of the house until today.  So that will be a summer project.  I also need to trim those bushes.  Or do something with them.

West Side:  After
The whole thing.  It's such an improvement.  I love it.  Also, my dad is amazing to climb on the roof to paint all that trim. 

North Side:  Before
Oh boy, that side was so ugly to start with.  Such a hot mess.  The deck pre-staining.  The turquoise shutters.  Beautiful.
North Side:  After
You can't tell because there's snow on the ground in the first picture, but we've brought the patio out.  We added pavers and gravel out to where the deck above stops.  And we stained the deck last summer to match the brick.  And with those grey shutters, so much better!  Now I'm just waiting on another coat of stain for the deck this summer and a new cover for the a/c unit.

What are you doing on the outside of your house?  Anybody else tackling tons of painting?  It's so great to have it done!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cleaning Calender Revisited

A while back, I shared my cleaning calendar.  I whipped up a super cute cleaning calender, printed it at Walgreens and threw it in a frame.  And there it sat in my laundry room.  It was cute.  But I never cleaned anything.  Fail.  Okay, not that I didn't clean, but I wasn't doing a small job daily.  I was just letting everything pile up to have to clean the house top to bottom when people came over.  It's way more fun to watch Gilmore Girls after work than clean.

But since I've started making a more conscious effort and making myself spend just a few minutes cleaning right when I get home, it's not a big deal at all.  So, since I'm newly back in love with my cleaning calendar, I'm sharing it again.
Let's be realistic though people, I don't ever get anything extra done in the morning.  I am just not a morning person.  It's just never going to happen.  I've come to terms with that.  Cleaning or working out before work are just not practical choices for me.  So, I usually start my load of laundry when I go to bed.  Or I at least throw it in the washer so all I have to do is hit the button when I leave for work.

So I definitely do the counter wiping down in the afternoon when I get home from work.  I also make the bed then too.  My husband is still in bed when I leave for work.  I know it's probably silly to make the bed at like 5 o'clock but I just feel like it makes the bedroom look so much cleaner.

So yesterday's chore was vacuuming.  Am I the only person that hates bagless vacuums?  I always make a huge mess when I empty the canister.  I even took the vacuum apart and cleaned the canister and filters.  Super gross.  But I know it needed to be done. 

I'm feeling so successful right now!  Like somebody could totally just pop in at my house and I wouldn't panic.  I love it.  How's your spring cleaning going?  I still need to tackle the laundry room.  That may be a summer project.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Fish, Paint, and Rain

This weekend was absolutely perfect.  One of those weekends you just don't want to ever end because it's so wonderful.  Friday night I was going to cook something for dinner.... I don't even remember what.  But I got a Papa John's coupon in my email so we had a free pizza.  So it was pizza and then tropical drinks on Friday night.  Perfect Friday night.  We sat out on the deck, the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  A great start to the weekend.

Saturday morning I got to sleep in.  Mmmm, sleeping in.  My favorite Saturday morning.  And then we went fishing.  I've always been kind of an outdoorsy girl.  Okay wait, that's not true.  My sister used to chase me with worms and I would cry.  Since I graduated from high school I've been pretty outdoorsy.  I worked at a summer camp for four summers.  Anyway.  My husband loves fishing and I go with him a lot.  So, we were fishing at a little local lake.  And I caught a 10.6 pound catfish.  If you're not a fisher, that's a pretty good size catfish, especially for a small lake.  Reeled him in totally by myself.  I'm fairly proud.  We had him for dinner Sunday night.  Fried fish, yum.

That thing is 28" long.  And I am sunburned.

My parents came up yesterday to help us finish painting the outside of the house.  And it's done.  My husband and Dad are amaaaaazing.  My mom and I went to graduation at the school where I work.  When we got back, the house was almost done.  The house looks so good.  Especially with all four sides painted and not just two.  I haven't been able to take pictures yet because it's been crazy stormy.  Just lots of rain and wind.  But, here's a before.  The change is huge.

The garage door has been painted.  All the siding, trim, windows, and shutters are painted.  Huge difference. And the sidewalk is going to get replaced this summer hopefully.  We also have plans of replacing those terrible shrubs.  This picture is from when we first bought our house.  

I'll be back tomorrow with more cleaning.  This cleaning a little every day is definitely working!  Loving it so much!  How was your weekend?  Anybody paint or clean anything?  Or go to a high school graduation?  I'm ready to power through this week, last week of school for the kids!

Friday, May 17, 2013

4 Tips That Are Changing My Life

I know, that sounds really dramatic.  What can I say, I like to be dramatic.  Remember how I mentioned the other day that I'm working desperately to keep my house cleaner this year.  I even named it.....

Well there has been definite progress.  I cleaned out a kitchen cabinet.  I set up a mail center.  I cleaned off the hall table.  I need the right flowers to put in a vase on that table.  I added a bowl for keys and I'm getting rid of the tray.  Hopefully this will cut down on the dumping ground space if it's pretty.  Last night I worked on the guest bedroom.  And it's definitely getting better, almost company ready.

The other day I pinned 4 Simple Rules for a Clean and Tidy House.  Guys, it is seriously changing my life.  Once again, dramatic, I know.  But it really is, I've gotten a different way of thinking about things.  It doesn't really take that long to pick up each day.  And when you do it each day there's no giant amount of cleaning to do.  Ever.  I know, my mother is cheering right now.  And maybe dancing.  Okay, maybe not dancing, but definitely cheering.  So, I am striving to make sure everything has a place and that everything returns to that place each day.  That means I'm going to stop having twenty pairs of shoes lying around the house.  More like five, but there are definitely more shoes out than ever should be.  If you can't put them all away in one arm load, I think it's a sign that there's a problem.

So, here's the gist of the rules.  Go read the whole thing yourself.  You will thank me.  I promise.

I keep writing and deleting....  I don't want to plagiarize.  Plagiarizing is so not cool.  Okay, let's try this again.  
1.  Make sure everything is put away before you go to bed.
2.  Do one cleaning job a day.
3.  Set a cleaning timer.
4.  Before you sit down for the day, spend a couple of minutes making sure everything is put away.

Now these are not my tips.  I'm not trying to take credit for them.  I just want to share their brilliance.  I pinned this at the beginning of the week and have been doing these things ever since.  My house is so much cleaner.  My kitchen counters have stayed uncluttered all week.  My pots are all put away and not sitting on the stove.  

I'm trying to actually start using my cleaning calendar.  I know it will help if I can just get in the habit.  We're getting better though and I'm feeling good about it.

What are you guys up to this weekend?  We're hoping to work on painting our house if it's not raining.  And I'm headed to a high school graduation.  What are your thoughts on Greek yogurt?  I'm still undecided.  I just spent at least twenty minutes eating a tiny carton of the stuff.  I want to like it because it's healthy but.....  Anyway, enjoy your weekend.  Go outside.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Getting Closer

Okay, I think I just needed a name for cleaning my house.  I have tackled three small projects in the past two days.  I am ridiculously proud of myself.  Like I'm dancing.  Ba ha ha.  I'm doing the running man, in case you're curious. 

Yesterday I attempted to tackle the mail situation.  If you remember from before, we had this ridiculous pile of crap.  Paper recycling.  Paper to be shredded.  Random stuff....

Okay, there's nothing on the wall above.  But the pile gives you a good idea of the trouble I was dealing with.  It was bad.  And I had to shut the door if people were coming over.  It was too embarassing.

So a while back I had picked up a couple of picture frames with the intent of making one into a wipe off board and making the other a corkboard.  Well, mission accomplished.  Project Clean in 2013 is working so far.  Memo board and cork board are on the wall.  The mail sorter still needs a little attention.  I'm really striving for the whole zero junk mail thing.  So now that I've emptied the ridiculously full paper recycling can and the shredder I can tackle the box and make some real progress.  Slowly but surely we're getting there.

It obviously looks better than this in real life.  The picture turned out terribly for some reason.  But I'm pretty pleased with what I ended up with after only about five minutes of work.  Tonight it's on to tackling the guest bedroom before my parents come this weekend.  Wish me luck.  Eek! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stuck On You

Progress!  I made progress!  Last night I cleared off our table in the front hall.  There are no before and after pictures.  Just picture a pile of mail vs no pile of mail.  I think I may put a vase of flowers and a bowl for keys on the table instead of the tray that's there right now.  The tray encourages the piling.  So if there are pretty things in the way, maybe we will be less likely to pile.  Here's hoping.

And I cleaned out one of the kitchen cabinets.  My cabinet with pots and pans drives me crazy.  It's not a very big cabinet and I have a lot of pans -- muffin pans, mini loaf pans, cake pans, and cookie sheets.  Things are always crashing down on me when I open the door.  Or more accurately, sliding out on my toes.  Not cool.  So, this is what we started with.

Okay, that is just ridiculous.  And yes, that's a deviled egg plate in with the baking stuff.  I know it doesn't make sense.  To be perfectly honest, I had already pulled the pot lids out because I had a plan.  In the end, I pulled everything out.  And I had a plan.  I'd seen a couple of ideas how to better store my lids.

I really loved the first picture with the rail, just resting the lids inside.  Perfect and beautiful.  However, the doors on that cabinet are fairly narrow and that just wouldn't have worked at all.  So I went with the hook method.  I grabbed a couple packs of hooks at Dollar General, spending a grand total of $2 for this improvement.  I just held the pan lids on the door and positioned the hooks.  Perfect.  And it makes it so much easier to store and access my pots and pans without things crashing down on my toes.
Ignore the saw dust.  I need to vacuum my cabinets, my drawer sheds saw dust every time I open it.

On the top left, I stacked muffin trays together.  Then the mini loaf pan is next to those.  Cookie sheets of the same size stack together.  Larger items -- big cookie sheets, a platter and cutting board are stacked in order of convenience.  And another cutting board and collapsible collander lean against the right side of the cabinet.  On the bottom shelf are other baking pans -- a deep dish pizza pan, three layer cake pans, and an angel food cake pan.  On the back right area ll my skillets and the rest of the pots go in front.  I think this is a system I can work with and keep up.  Hopefully.

How do you organize your pots and pans?  Any great systems I should try out?  Or do you pans crash down on you too?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a super crazy time of year at our house.  It seems like all the big projects build up over the winter, the ones that it's too cold to do outside.  But I also settle into my spring laziness.  It's so nice out.  All I want to do is set out on the deck and drink lemonade while reading a book.  Well, that'd be great if there weren't a thousand other things to do.  I of course, have given into my whims of laying about, enjoying the spring and let my house become a disaster on the inside.  Our guest room is truly mortifying at this point.

Over Mother's Day, my mom told me she and my dad planned to come to our house this weekend to help us paint the outside.  I'm pretty sure this is a sign I better start cleaning.  Most of the house is okay, it's just those areas that are unseen for the most part that I tend to pile things.  And I always make these great goals, I'm going to be better at house work.  Then I fail miserably and end up feeling guilty.

I want to have one of those houses that is always company ready.  Not one that I have to work for hours to make it presentable for guests.  So, it starts now.  I know, shocking, another grand cleaning plan.  I'm going to try some new things.  It's going to be just great, I know it.  And like all great projects, it needs a name.  Are you ready......
So, what are you guys up to?  Anybody else trying a mad spring clean?  Or turning over a new leaf?  This will be the year I get the problem areas under control.  The master bedroom, the guest bedroom, the laundry room, and the front hall table.  What are your clutter spots?  Anybody else want to jump on the Clean in 2013 bus with me?  It's going to be a fun ride.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinterest Spring Challenge

I'm not really sure why I thought right in the middle of state testing was the time to tackle our bedroom.  Apparently I've lost my mind.  However, crafts keep me happy.  Man, I love crafts.  So it seems like it was actually the perfect time.  I wish I had the total reveal today but I hit a hiccup in one of my projects but hopefully it will be finished soon.  It just requires the purchase of some Mod Podge.  I know, I know.  Somehow I'm out.

So this is part of the Spring Pinterest Challenge over at Young House Love, I of course, am linking up over there.  Go check out all the gorgeous projects.

Anyway.  So I had a vision.  White, yellow and grey.  Our walls were already grey-ish blue.  They were supposed to be more grey than blue but the paint came out a little differently than I had originally imagined.  We're working with it though.  And we're off....

I love baking.  Especially cupcakes.  So, this piece of art was perfect.  And even husband approved.  I've been eyeballing it for ages but just couldn't ever justify buying it.

Super cute, right!  So I grabbed a wooden plaque at JoAnn's the other day.  I had some re-positionable letters that I'd bought a while back.  I eyeballed the placement and stuck the letters to the wood.  Then I just painted over the whole thing.  I peeled the letters off and was left with woodgrain and black.  Perfect.  Now it hangs between our bedroom and closet doors.

And I redid the art over the bed.  What I had just felt too dark, it was weighing down the room almost as much as that black comforter.  I had a couple of ideas I wanted to work in.

I can't find the source for the other one guys.  Super bummer!  If you know the source, let me know and I'll l ink it.  So, I knew I wanted our initials and that great confetti art.  I wanted to try the confetti art with punched out circles this time.  I've done art like that before and painted it and it's always a giant pain in the butt.  So I picked up a couple different sizes of circle punches.  I already had glue dots on hand.  And I grabbed a couple of wooden letters from the craft store.  I'm still not 100% sold on how I did our initials but it's not a big deal to change down the road.

And get ready for some more pictures because I didn't end with just new wall art.  I made some more fun updates.  I think I'm really happy with it.  Still have to get the husband seal of approval when he gets home from work.  

I feel like it looks so much bigger now.  Not that it could ever look huge, but it just seems airier to me.  I really wanted pillow shams that were white, yellow, and grey chevron print but I couldn't find any I liked or any good fabric.  Rats.  So I'm settling for these yellow leaf print pillow cases from Target for right now.  And I got the comforter at Target, those are my favorite comforters.  They're super cheap and so cozy.  The pink one in our spare bedroom is just like it.  

How did your guys Pinterest projects turn out?  Anyone else have multiple projects you attempted and have one crap out on you?  Overall I'm pretty happy with mine.  Fingers crossed my second try of the last one works out.  I'm super excited about it.  I'm thinking it's going to be my favorite.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What a Snore

Okay, maybe not really.  But I thought it would be fun to look back at how I've decorated my bedroom.  That is after I went on a massive treasure hunt to find old pictures.  But, mission accomplished.  Mostly anyway.  I wish I had pictures of my bedroom as a kid.

In third grade I got to pick my bedroom color.  I moved into my very own bedroom and IT HAD TO BE PINK.  I loved it.  And I picked out a cream bedspread with an attached burgundy dust ruffle.  The bedspread was covered in burgundy and hunter green roses.  Then I graduated to cream colored walls.  So much more grown up you know.  With a hunter green and cream plaid comforter.  Man, the 90s were awesome.  Somewhere along the way my walls became plastered with posters of Christian rock bands.  In high school I convinced my mom to let me paint my walls blue and spray paint clouds on the walls.  It was truly amazing.  My mom is fantastic BTW.

So, let's fast forward to about 2006.  Apparently this is the point when I became obsessed with taking pictures of where I lived.  Ha ha.  Anyway, here we go.  Basically in chronological order.

My first apartment completely on my own.  After college. 

 Yes, lots and lots of color.  I was going for a beach theme.  Everywhere in my apartment.

Same apartment.  New comforter.  And the bedding buying problem begins....

I moved to Kansas City and kept the same bedding.

Then there was new bedding.  Which I somehow never took a picture of.  There was a boy living there too (my husband, obviously) so I felt like it was time to move out of the pink and brown.  So I went red and brown.  If you pay close attention, this is the exact same bedding that's in our guest bedroom right now.  I like to recycle.

When we got a new bed, I once again had to buy new bedding.  Okay, honestly we used the red comforter for a while.  It was ridiculous and too small for the king sized bed.  I'm cheap though.  Well, I finally found a set I liked and bought it.  I didn't give it much thought.  Or spend much money on it.  
All black.  I like it.  But I'm feeling like it's too dark.

Our bedroom is pretty small.  I'm not really sure on exact measurements.  But it's small.  Especially with the three dressers, TV cabinet, and king sized bed.  So I think some lighter bedding may be just what the doctor ordered.  

So, how do you decorate your bedroom?  Anybody else working with a tiny bedroom and too much stuff?  What's your opinion on bedding colors?  Should we go white?