Saturday, July 30, 2011

Declutter: Sideboard and kitchen towel progress!

I threw away a big bag of garbage...packed up some little baby bottles (I'm not throwing them away...cuz we want more babies! and they cost money).  

After - one plant gone, a bunch of things put away and a place for the papers that need sorting
Before - baby cupboard
After - seriously...the sterilizer was still in there...haven't needed that in months!  This is all we still use! (other than the counter bottle station stuff...but that should go soon-ish too! I don't have a before picture for this...but...the calendar was here... I moved it to the front hallway to start on our "command centre"  and now I have place to hang the towels... seriously...this makes my heart sing!  The towels have been constantly falling on the floor.   Falling, or being pulled down by a little cutie!  So, we constantly have so many towels out, because we never know which one is for hands, which if for counters, which is for dishes, and which ones are filthy from being dropped on the floor and played with!
I know...our towels are dirty looking...well.. they are coffee stained... that's another thing on the list...
Had these command hooks in the junk drawer...sweet!   I love it!  It's making me ridiculously happy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opinions NEEDED!!!

Look what I found on Kijiji...for $60...yep..that's right...   $60

Seriously... $60 It's a Sklar Peppler, made in Canada...I don't know what type of wood's in fantastic condition..nearly flawless.   ...remember me saying I wanted a white table for this spot.  When I saw the add on kijiji I thought...perfect...I'll paint it. 
My husband, and his parents think I'd be NUTS to paint this... 

What do you think...   Paint it white?  Or leave it as is?   

Here are a few more pictures of the table in it's new home
It's new home
View from the other direction... looking from the kitchen to the front door
Loaded up...being used sort of how I want it...  one pair of shoes each bag each on the shelf, and a container (hopefully prettier) for DH and I on top for keys, pocked emptying etc.
The picture I drew about how I wanted to use this space... 

So...please PLEASE leave a comment letting me know what you think I should do with the table...  and would it help to know that it's a Sklar Peppler?  Hmm...maybe...Ok..I'll go write that at the top too... . I'm not in the I'd never heard of Sklar Peppler before. 

I was trying to find pictures of decorating styles that I love...but..I can't find them... you know...the white wood...with like pretty turquoise and stuff all over... looking type style...  I'm just not so much into the country wood.... but...this is so light...could it work?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Declutter: Front hallway progress

Before:  This gets regularly cleared and cleaned...but ends up looking like this at some point everyday... I SO want a place for these things to go..and belong!

So..this is actually the first thing I did...but it's not complete...because I think it requires a purchase that we don't have the money for right we're making due...
Plus...if my plan just turns out to be another place for clutter to settle...then I don't want to have spent money on something that makes my problem worse!   So...this area is "on trial".   This lovely artists what I imagine it looking like
I figure I can set up the stuff on the wall above the makeshift tv tray console table...and see how it goes...if we have some success...and a little extra cash...then I hope to get a table something like this one from doesn't have legs..with space underneath it for summer's pretty close to what I was looking for...I wish I was handy enough to build :(
Oh...and here's another small victory...The cupboard above the microwave...The cooking oils are up there (because that's one of the only places that is tall enough) and all our reusable water bottles and coffee travel mugs.    It doesn't look that bad in this before picture...but often  the mugs are falling all over the place because they're too packed in to stand up properly... 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Under the kitchen sink...


After:  Ok...I know it still looks cluttered...but's NOT!   I just need some containers to corral the cleaning products into their respective homes....right now having the ones I don't use much along the back, and the ones I use all the time closer to the front is making me pretty happy!

Onward!!!  I can't wait to clear out the whole house!


Wednesday....Homemade Pizza night!

Woo...our meal plan is really working this week!  And wow... it's made things so much easier!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So, I was so looking forward to pizza tonight...and...I forgot! 

You see I didn't write the schedule on the fridge... and all I could remember what the sweet and sour's what we had...

Tomorrow I will hopefully have enough time to cook the pizza before H goes for his course...otherwise....hungry hubby, but...tee hee....lot's of pizza for me!  :P

Here's our dinner from tonight.

It's more Sandi Richard :)  Pg 54 of Getting ya through the summer

"Sweet and Sour Pork (or Chicken) with Rice and Pineapple"
I know!  Learn to take a picture already!  Sorry...this is me doing my best :)

I make this with chicken, and with 1 cup brown rice (so 1/4c dry measure, per person), and this makes 4 servings for us

1 Serving = 10 Points Plus on Weight Watchers 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Meal plan for this week!

Monday - Not So Chili Pasta - Sandi Richard, Dinner Survival, pg 42
Tuesday -  Pizza Night! - I took out my last ball of this pizza dough from the freezer
Wednesday - Hamburgers on BBQ - DH is at a course, so it has to be quick!
Thursday - Sweet and Sour Chicken (Pork, but I sub chicken) - Sandi Richard, Getting you through the summer, pg 54
Friday - Peking Chicken (in Rice Paper) - Sandi Richard, Dinner Survival, pg 66

...alternates:  I have a couple of alternates...due to last weeks meal plan fail :p (that course of DH's was last minute..and the meals I planned weren't quick enough).    My alternates are freezer meals, and I'm happy to have them in the freezer for whenever I need them!  Johnny Marzetti, and Honey Mustard Chicken.

So.... It's MONDAY!

Here's our dinner...I made it as written, except I used whole wheat bow ties...I left out the optional Parmesan cheese and butter...and..ummm....don't tell Sandi....but, Pickle was already in was just DH and I, and I didn't make the broccoli!

Here's a steamy picture of the whole pan....this is to feed 6...but, umm, with us it's going to feed 4  :D

 Here's DH's portion (I get a smaller portion....but...I did have to go back and nibble some leftovers...yum!)

Weight Watchers Points Plus - as calculated from the nutritional info in the book...
6 servings = 12 points each    6 points each! based on recipe builder
4 servings = 18 points each    10 points each!

Hmmm...I think this is inflated a bit...  I find the WW points plus can be a little wonky if you just use nutrition info rather than putting your individual ingredients in... I will probably use the recipe builder to calculate some time and update this post.

The remainder is packed up for our work lunches tomorrow....I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!   This was seriously EASY!!!   and TASTY!!!

I love you Sandi Richard....  I really love you.....

I just recently bought the two newest books from Sandi,  Dinner Survival and Eating Forward...I can't believe she got a book out, and then another one without me knowing?!?!  Wow...I've been so off the ball the last 2 years!  (still using a bunch of recipes though...just not being a good meal planner.

I have to say it again...  Oh Sandi Richard....why do I ever stray from you?!?.....

I'm linking this up with Menu Plan Monday on the I'm an organization Junkie blog...  same blog that I'm trying to follow the decluttering with...and I just bought the Clutter Rehab book on kindle...   I hope I link it right!

52 weeks

I'm starting really late....but...I'm going to try anyways...

52 weeks from Organizing Junkie

Our house is out of control.... we have SO MUCH CLUTTER that it literally makes me stressed just looking around.   And because of the clutter, it's so much harder to clean the house...'s been driving me crazy literally for years now....

It's time to purge...purge...purge...   a lot of stuff is going to have to go...but I'm totally excited at the idea that maybe...maybe... I could love our house someday...  the house is fine...but it looks like a couple of college kids (and a baby) live here...

I've taken a lot of before pictures.... just walked around and took pictures of clutter and mess.... I'm not posting them until I have an after's just too shame inducing!  

Hope to have after pictures coming soon...and steadily.... and...well...some in progress pictures too, because I will likely have to invest some money in organizing type furniture we'll have to just make due with what we have for awhile for some things.  

Friday, July 22, 2011


"Beef Chow Mein" from Sandi Richard's Cooking for the Rushed Getting you through the Summer

How we eat it:  

A little cooking spray (I didn't count it in the points)
I use onion powder...I know...I know...but honestly..I do it all the time and love it!
With snow peas from the garden...instead of all the different ones in the recipe.... (0 points)
With 1/4 cup (dry measure) of brown rice per person (4 points)
With about 100g (weighed when raw) lean steak per person (4 points)
I made two the recipe of sauce per person (2 points)

Weight Watchers Points Plus =  10 points per serving

This stir fry sauce is AMAZING and so simple! 2T brown sugar, 2T soy sauce,4T oyster sauce...  so good!

Meal plan? week!

Well,  Monday's meal plan was perfect!

Tuesday we ended up having the second half of our Swiss Chalet family not meal plan, but leftovers!

Wed and Thursday, my DH suddenly had a course to take in the that left us with super quick hot dogs for Wednesday...and grab your own for Thursday (he had chunky soup...I had an english muffin with YUM strawberry rhubarb jam and PB).

Now... today is Friday!!!  and there is only one meal on this weeks plan that wasn't a freezer meal easily moved to another week... That is the Beef and Snowpea stir tonight, we're having that..

It's going to be goooood!   I use the recipe from Sandi Richard's Cooking for the Rushed "Getting you through the summer"  This is the book that is out of print...and I'm a little sad about that...but...I have a copy!

It's actually a beef chow mein recipe, but this super super simple stir fry sauce is soooo delicious, and it's such a simple meal that I use it for any beef veggie stir fry (except beef & broccoli....I do something different for that...and I use noodles instead of brown rice)

I will hopefully remember to take a pic later...and add it to this post :D    ....annnnd I already have next weeks meal plan made up, and shopping is done, plus the extra freezer meals if we need easy days.  We're set!

Monday, July 18, 2011


"Amazing Chicken Stew" from Sandi Richard Cooking for the Rushed, The Healthy Family

I replace the mix of veggies with one big green bell pepper,  and I only make 1/4 (dry measure) of brown rice per person.   I make this meal into 3 servings, I use about 3 ounces of chicken breast per serving.

Weight Watchers 8 Points Plus per serving

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Menu July 18-22

Menu plan complete! 

Monday:  Amazing Chicken Stew w Rice - Sandi Richard's Cooking for the Rushed "The Healthy Family"  I use green pepper in place of the veggies in her recipe, and we use brown rice... Yum!

Tuesday:  Johnny Marzetti w Cheesy Noodles - I only had 5 oz of egg noodles...but otherwise the recipe is's in the freezer waiting for us!

Wednesday:  Honey Mustard Chicken, with peas and corn - All in the freezer...just waiting for us to BBQ :):

Thursday:  Homemade pizza.  This pizza dough is in the I'll just need to roll it out, add sauce, toppings (hello bacon! and hopefully we'll have some red pepper by then),  and cheese!

Friday:  Beef Stir Fry with Snowpeas .....  I still need to pick up some steak for this, but we've got LOADS of snowpeas from our garden that need to be eaten, or frozen.   I use the sauce recipe from Sandi Richard's "Getting you through the summer" book, it's the Beef Chow Mein Stir-Fry with Rice recipe on pg76.  So tasty!!!   I LOVE this's smaller...and I don't use all the recipes...but the ones I use, I love a lot!  I'm sad that it's out of print... I wonder if those recipes will be added into something else sometime.

There it is!   My first "Back to Work" meal plan.... hopefully this week will be better, and I won't hand my DH a can of Chunky Stew and say "here's your dinner".   ..

Really, I should plan out next week while I'm at I can combine my grocery trip....hmmmm....

Back to work! Meal planning needed!!!

Well, I went back to work this week...   and I had seriously overestimated my desire to cook a meal while adjusting to the new life schedule... of daycare, work, dinner...etc...

So, I DID do a meal plan...but that involved me actually COOKING on those work nights (I'm actually only working 3 days a week now)... so... that cooking did not happen was I thinking?!?!?!

Freezer meals are in order.  So, I've got to really get back to meal planning, and planning ahead for those "there's no way I'm cooking tonight" days... 

I used to be so organized with I'm just not.

I started a Pinterest account.  And I'm going to start using it to get organized with my meal planning...I just wish that I could somehow pin up my Sandi Richard meal recipes etc too....because really.... Sandi Richard, Why do I ever stray from you?

So, here goes... perhaps I'll start posting a wee bit on what's working for us....

That is all for now...I really must go actually MAKE some food for the freezer!

Oh... I'm SillyDaisy on Pinterest :D

Don't chew that! Crib rail cover... a mini tutorial

I found teeth marks on the crib....gasp!   It was maybe a week after hubby came home and told me that a friend of his at work told him "just wait, she'll start chewing the crib rail now that she can stand up in the crib", he was right.   Now, I know I could buy those plastic thingies....but #1 - I hate shopping, #2 - I like an excuse to get crafty with complete justification as to why I'm shirking my other duties, like dishes, or cooking,  #3 - I I really think the fabric ones are cuter, #4 - I'm cheap...and I like to trick myself into thinking I'm thrifty, by using things that I shouldn't have bought in the first place :p

So, I gathered some supplies,  I had this beautiful ribbon from Stampin Up that I got off the clearance rack (I think)
 I had a big white sheet, that I was going to use as the underlayer of Pickle's crib skirt...the one that I didn't actually sew...I just draped it over the bottom of the crib, and I had the pink curtain that I bought on sale also to use for Pickle's room... I covered a footrest with the other one, and I was going to sew a couple of big pillow covers for floor pillows....thinking story time type stuff.
 Now this part was hard to let go of.... the quilt batting...that is supposed to go into a quilt for Pickle...and I got it on sale....'s replaceable.
 Down to work:  I measured the crib.   The length of the front bar was 51 inches...., and the distance around was about 11 or 11 1/2 inches...I decided on 11 1/2 inches so that it would be easy to tie.

The side pieces were 27 inches long, and 6 1/2 inches around, with a wee bit of ease for tying.

I used at 1/2 inch seam allowance for everything, and my top stitching was done at 1/4 inch.

I layed out the sheet, folded in half lengthwise, cut the hem off the bottom of the sheet.

 Then cut a strip of fabric 12 1/2 inches wide (distance around front rail, plus one inch for seam allowances).

I wanted that strip to be 52 inches long (51 inches plus one inch for seam allowances), so I cut the folded piece to 26 inches (no! don't cut the fold :)

Here is where I pick up see...this tutorial was started months ago...but never got finished....since I simply won't find the time anytime soon...I'm just going to publish (terrible right?!!?!)  perhaps I'll find the time to come back and edit....make this a proper tutorial...but until then...  the rest is mostly pictures :(

So, I cut my quilt batting, lining, and pretty fabric all the same size... (as described above)
I actually ended up using the wrong side of my curtain as the right side...because it was a more saturated pink...and looks all satiny.... instead of the brushed false suede stuff.....
So...right sides together of your lining, and pretty fabric...then layer your quilt batting on top

Stitch all around the outside, leaving a space for turning.  I used a 1/2" seam allowance.  Then trim the quilt batting around very close to the stitching all the way around.
Turn it right side out, and tuck in the seam allowance from that gap you left open...give it a nice press,  then stitch all the way around the outside, I topstiched 1/4" from the edge all the way around,  make sure that you close up that gap that was left for turning when you stitch this...

Now, this part you'll have to figure out for your crib.  You want to lay the cover over the crib rail, and lay your ribbons over the top to make sure that they'll line up with the gaps between your crib rails.... could just guess, and they'll be close...but if you're perfectionisty, and you want things to lay perfectly'd better go check (don't do this during nap time, and guess, and assume it will be right, and then get grumpy when it's not, and have to rip it all out because you know it will drive you crazy.... don't do won't make you happy....not that I did that or anything :P)

OK  once you've got them all layed out and pinned where you want them, just stitch them down.... on thick ribbons I stitched down both sides...but...I had a couple that had a gather down the I followed the stitching line from the gathering thread and sewed them down that way.   I had the ties extend 6" from each side for tying..... I didnt' want them to be too long, as I was worried that long ties wouldn't be safe.  As is, almost the whole tie is used for the knot.  So nothing extra left to be dangly and dangerous :) they are!   Here's another tip....more ties... the crib rail on this end is apparently VERY tasty...I've added extra pretty ties to that part...and it's much better now.  She had figured out how to pull it up and chew underneath it!!!  So...yes.... more ties!