Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I love how a new year always feels like a fresh start!
And there's no better way to start fresh than to sit down and make a list of what you would like to accomplish!

I typically make an enormous list of goals that end up overwhelming and frustrating me.  So this year I'm keeping it simple and realistic (which happens to be my first two goals).

1.  Simplify - This is a two part goal.  I plan to simplify our home by cleaning out everything except what we use regularly and getting everyone in the habit of putting things back where they go.  I also plan to simplify and streamline our daily schedule.

2.  Be Realisitc - I'm your typical Type A personality who make elaborate plans that rarely work just the way I want and leave me stressed and frustrated in the end.

3.  Focus - I get distracted easily and tend to start 5 different projects at once.  I want to get in the habit of finishing one project before I start another (starting with the ten unfinshed projects in my garage!)

4.  Financial Goals
  • Pay off debt.  We lost a very large amount of money during the sale of our old home and the purchase of our new home this past year.  It's time to clean that mess up!
  • Put 3 months worth of living expenses into savings
  • Eat out less in order to save more money (and be healthier)
5.  Family Goals -
  • Start preschool (homeschooling) with Ella and Claire.  Ella is very excited to learn to read and do some simple math this year.
  • Get the kids more involved with daily/weekly chores.
  • Go to the library twice per month.
  • Go on a fun outing (children's museum, zoo, etc.) twice each month.
  • Take the kids to Disney World this fall!
6.  Personal -
  • Post 3-4 times each week on my blog.
  • Go to the gym 2-3 times per week.
  • Have a monthly freezer cooking day so that I spend less time cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and have more time to spend with my family.
  • Start my own business. I'm tossing around a couple of different ideas with my husband right now.  We plan to really focus on this beginning in February.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Loaded Potato Soup

I love, love, LOVE a thick, creamy potato soup!  Every recipe I've ever tried, though, has always been too thin or too bland.  I finally came up with the perfect (for me) recipe and thought I'd share.  Pair this with a big chunk of crusty bread and enjoy!

Loaded Potato Soup   (serves 8-10)

5 lbs. red potatoes, unpeeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
6 cups half and half
16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
garlic salt
tabasco sauce
bacon, cooked
chives, chopped
cheddar cheese, shredded
swiss cheese, shredded

  • Boil diced potatoes until nearly cooked all the way through.
  • In a large pot, melt butter and add flour, stirring until smooth.
  • Over medium-low to medium heat, add half and half.
  • Stir until it begins to thicken.
  • Add Velveeta and stir until melted.
  • Drain potatoes and add to Velveeta and cream mixture.
  • Add garlic and tabasco to preferred taste.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with cheeses, bacon crumbles and chives.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Clutter is the poetry of our homes.  It is an intimate view that is not always perfect - a few dishes in the sink, books piled next to the bed.  Everything in its place may give a certain satisfaction, but a lived-in room exudes comfort and warmth."

-Mary Randolph Carter, author of A Pefectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life
(found in the November 2010 issue of Country Living magazine)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feeling Crafty: Fall Wreath

We're hosting a wedding rehearsal dinner at our house at the beginning of November and have been quickly hacking away at a huge list of projects (knock down a wall here and there, drywall over this and that, tile some floors, finish painting, etc).  Between all of that and the wonderful change of seasons, I've been feeling super crafty!

When I saw this tutorial at Jones Design Company, I knew what my first project was going to be!

Here's my version:

I'm in love!  So cute!

Jones Design Company has so many cute projects (especially if you have little girls like I do)!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Family Pictures

It's has been a crazy exhausting hot busy summer.  I'm looking foward to that beautiful Fall weather just around the corner.

Just wanted to stop by and share our family pictures that we had done last month.  They were done by George and Elizabeth Atchley at Windows By E.  Not only did we get amazing pictures (that still make me cry every time I watch the slide show), but we had a fantastic time with them!  My kids didn't whine or cry once during the whole session!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This Is Why I Love Summer

The food.  Fresh fruits and veggies.  There's nothing better!
We'll be making a lot more things like this homemade-from scratch Cherry Pie over the next few weeks!  Yum!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Table Makeover

Here is another inherited table that I made over (again, I forgot to take the "before" picture).  I think I'm really getting this glazing technique down already!  I may just glaze my whole house by the end of this...