Okay, I didn't really use Mason jars for this project.
(They're actually pickle jars)
I cleaned them, and washed them twice, so I promise that they don't smell like pickles!
You've seen the pins, right? The ones with the paint being swirled around a Mason jar?
That's exactly what I did ... and, man. It uses a LOT of paint. I had a few half-full craft paints, and that just didn't cut it. My plan was to have a pink jar and a turquoise jar. But I didn't have enough turquoise paint to cover the entire jar.
So instead, I have a pink jar and a yellow jar.
And I plan to throw the yellow one away. I just don't like it. It's rather transparent. I could add another coat of paint...but the yellow just isn't my style.
Do you like the fake wood desk and fake wood paneling?
I bought more pickles, though. So I can choose another color, and actually like the project.
I guess I'd kind of consider this pin project a bit of a fail. I wasn't happy with the result. Both of the jars have some marks on the inside from clumps of paint. BUT, I will be trying again. With colors that are more my style...
My tip for you, though, should you decide to do this project is this:
Use new paint.
My paint was at least 2 years old. It was all gloppy and gloopy. Please. Use new paint.
I've decided it's time to change the way I meal plan.
In the past, I have chosen things I would like to cook and then gone to the grocery store in search of ingredients. From this day forward, I plan to change the order. I'm going to shop, and then decide what I will be making.
Here's the thing.
I do most of my shopping at a small grocery store, where the prices are ridiculously amazing. But, you can't always find everything. Last week, I had my whole list planned out and was bummed when there were no Brussels sprouts at the store. There were the week before.
Instead of getting frustrated and having to revamp the meal plan, I'm going to give myself a spending limit ($40 per week) to get the necessary items. THEN, I get to create a meal plan from the ingredients I have. No special trips to the store for me.
So. Here is the first meal plan created after shopping:
I'm unofficially back to school this week. We don't have to be at school until next week, but there are optional training courses and classroom preparations happening this week.
It is also Kid's first week (okay, three days) in daycare (okay, he's been at my mom's house). I'm handling it surprisingly well. Probably because he's with my mom. When we take him to his first day of actual daycare next week, I might be singing a different tune.
Anyway. I made up a recipe the other night, and my husband actually liked it!
We have a few (5) pepper plants in our gardens this year. And I don't necessarily know what kind of peppers they are. The botany students at a local high school planted them. We got our hands on them.
So, I had some peppers in the harvest bowl that needed to be used. And I had some chicken in the fridge that needed to be cooked or frozen. So, I made Pepper Lime Chicken
What you need:
Two random peppers (they were hot (but not too hot) peppers from the garden)
6 chicken breast tenderloins
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of half of a lemon
What you do:
Place the chicken tenderloins in a medium sized bowl, with the juice of one lime and the juice of half of one lemon.
Finely chop the two peppers (I think they were banana peppers? and some orange banana-looking pepper). I'd say any pepper would do, but maybe not a bell pepper. Place the chopped peppers in the bowl with the chicken.
Squeeze the lemon and lime juice over the chicken and peppers. Mix to evenly coat the chicken.
Melt the butter (about a tablespoon) in a pan over medium heat. Place the chicken and pepper mixture in the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Over medium heat, it took about 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the chicken on a plate, and top with the cooked pepper mixture. Add black pepper to taste. Serve with your choice of vegetable (I chose green beans).
This past weekend was unbelievable. Which is why the meal plan is so late in coming (whoops!).
We had a rehearsal dinner, a wedding, a family reunion, and a baptism. Ay, ay, ay. Needless to say, I am exhausted. The hubby is exhausted. And the baby? Well. He's still pretty adaptable. So he's been fine. He'll be 5 months soon. Which means I go back to work. I am so, so thankful that I got to spend 5 months at home with that little man.
Anyway, with all of the activities a lack of blogging ensues. I have a blogging calendar that I haven't looked at in at least a week (or two). Whoops. I'm making plans, though, to get back on track.
So. Here's my weekly meal plan:
Sunday: Steak and Fruit. Nothing fancy.
Monday: Three Pepper Lime Chicken
Tuesday: Chicken Kabobs
Wednesday: Crustless Quiche
Friday: Caesar Chicken
Saturday: Venison Burgers
I've mentioned numerous times that I cannot really cook.
Well. Let me rephrase. I can cook. But I have to follow a recipe. I think that is why I enjoy shows like Chopped so much. Have you ever seen it? It's amazing... Four chefs are given a basket of ingredients to create an appetizer, that will be judged by other chefs. One chef gets "chopped" or sent home. Then, they get another basket of ingredients to make an entree and, you guessed it, someone else gets chopped. There are two remaining chefs for the dessert round.
But the baskets are always crazy. They always include some sort of processed something -- the other night, it was cream soda. There once was a chocolate bunny and a Twinkie. These people are amazing in that they can come up with these delicious meals with the most random ingredients.
I would like to have that ability.
But, I cannot.
I pretend, though.
I had some chicken thighs in the fridge that needed to be used or thrown away. And I was not about to throw away food. There was a news story last night: the average family of four throws away $1500 in food a year.
I'm not willing to waste that money.
So, I scrounged around my (empty) fridge and found some lettuce and some Caesar salad dressing. Wanting to play chopped, I decided to experiment and not just go for the "typical" Caesar salad.
What you need:
Chicken thighs (breasts would work, too)
Classic Caesar salad dressing, and Caesar Vinaigrette dressing
Lettuce of some sort (I had a bag of the pre-washed spring mix)
What you do:
In a frying pan, melt the coconut oil. I also had some leftover bacon grease in the pan from breakfast this morning. It added a nice flavor.
Place the chicken thighs in the pan over medium heat. Cook on each side until they're no longer pink. Grind garlic pepper over the thigh, flip and add more garlic pepper.
When the thighs begin to brown, pour in enough of the salad dressings to cover the bottom of the pan. It probably ended up being a cup of each dressing. The bottles were already opened, mostly used, so I just used it all up (expiration date was getting close!)
Let the dressing boil, and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Be sure to flip the chicken every couple of minutes.
In another pan, over low heat, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add your lettuce and toss it around, until just warm.
Just last week, breakfast burgers were included in my weekly meal plan. I've decided that it is one of my favorite meals; something I'll throw into the mix a lot more frequently.
What you need:
1 lb. ground meat of your choice (we had venison)
A few shakes of minced onion
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
1 avocado, mashed or sliced
3 bell peppers (I had red, yellow, and green)
1 package baby bella mushrooms
Optional: buns or pumpernickel bread
What you do:
In a medium sized bowl, mix the minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt with the ground meat (beef, venison, turkey, chicken). Divide the meat into four equal pieces. Work each piece into a patty. Grill or pan fry the burgers.
Wash and slice the peppers and mushrooms. Sauté the vegetables in butter over medium heat. Add some seasoned or garlic salt if desired. If the vegetables and/or burgers are done before the eggs, keep them warm in a closed microwave or oven.
Peel, pit, and slice (or mash) the avocado.
Heat butter in a medium pan. Crack four eggs into the pan and fry them. I like to leave the yokes a little runny, but cook the eggs to your liking.
Pile some peppers and mushrooms on a plate and place the burger on top. Add the egg on top of the burger, and top with the avocado. Or, put the egg, avocado, and burger on a toasted bun or between two slices of pumpernickel, and have the peppers and mushrooms on the side. I omit the bread as it is hard for me to swallow.
I had my camera with me while making this meal with every intention of taking photos both during and after the process. I promise, I'm trying to get better at the whole photography thing! But a certain 4 month old I know had a different plan...
Sorry I'm so late in getting this meal plan up. It's been a relaxing day, and I really didn't want to spend time at the computer today. Instead, we met my parents, and my sister and her family out at a local fair. It was so wonderful. The hubs and I also went last night, to watch the demolition derby. Probably the best part of the fair, by far!
Anyway, back to the upcoming meal plan. It's going to be one of those weeks where I don't really have to cook much. It's amazing how busy the end of summer is!
Kid is already 4 months old! I can hardly believe it. The time has sailed by...
I purposely wrote this post today, as I wanted to wait for current baby stats. We had our four month well baby visit yesterday, so I have "official" stats. Of course, both Kid and I cried at the appointment (those shots..they're awful!).
Weight: 14 pounds, 15.5 ounces. You're just about 15 pounds, my man! That puts you in the 50th percentile, for a full-term baby at your age. I wonder what it would be for your adjusted age..
Length: 26.25 inches, you tall little man! You're over 2 feet tall, which puts you in the 60th percentile. It appears as though you're a tall, skinny boy.
Head: You, my friend, have a small head. 16.25 inches in circumference, and only the 24th percentile.
Clothing You're still wearing 3 month clothing, although the sleepers are too short for you. 0 to 3 month onesies have been packed away, and the 3 to 6 month ones are out in full force. My favorite outfit for you is a white onesie with a blue shark on it, and green striped pants to match. The pants even have a shark on the butt. They're perfect for Shark Week!
Diapers: Size 2. I'm currently prepping all of our cloth diapers to make the switch. You'll be in cloth most of the week, except when you go to daycare (2 days a week). I'm excited to finally get going on the cloth.
Favorite Food: it's still breast milk. Your doc said we could start cereal in a month in a half, but I'm not sure that's where I want to start... we may start with a veggie (like an avocado!) first.
Favorite Toy: hmm. Your puppy? Finn came home from camp, and you have completely enjoyed cuddles with him. You've also taken a liking to a little blue elephant that sings a song when you pull his trunk.
New Developments: You're working on rolling from your back to your tummy - you seem to get stuck on your side. Although, you don't mind being on your side. You've decided that you don't like to be on your tummy lately, and if you've forgotten how to roll over to your back, you get very mad! You're still drooling a lot (going to start watching for teeth!), blowing spit bubbles and chewing your hands.
Slowly but surely, the nursery for my little guy is coming together. Today, we completed the pegboard storage system. I couldn't be more excited about it! This, of course, was a Pinterest inspired project.
My husband is somewhat apprehensive about making changes to our home - mostly, with putting holes in the wall. When I brought up the baby's nursery (at about 20 weeks along), I could hear the concern in his voice while listening to my thoughts. I knew that, since we knew a boy was on the way, I had to choose the right "theme" so the hubs would go along with the idea. In the end, there isn't really a "theme." It's a few random ideas thrown together.
I think the idea that the husband likes best was the pegboard storage. He was so excited when we finally installed pegboard in the garage - I knew he'd go for it in the baby's room. And he did. While he was at work, the baby and I took a trip to the Home Depot to gather our supplies. I was so excited to have a storage system in place. We had been using the ugliest pink basin to store diapers, wipes, and butt cream. It came home with us from the hospital, and worked, it just wasn't attractive!
I got the pegboard up during nap one afternoon, and put some baskets up as well. And it sat like that for about a month. Maybe two. Then, I cut and hung the trim. That took place during another nap time. Then, today, during yet another nap, I completed the pegboard (by painting the trim, hanging the G and putting the baskets back).
What do you think?
Finalmente, the pegboard storage is complete. Another step toward finishing Kid's room.
At this rate, the room will be complete by the time he graduates high school!
It has been so nice to be home. We have begun to reestablish our routines, and it feels so good!
Our boy has been all over the place in his few months, and being home is a welcomed change. I feel so much better being on a schedule and having a routine. It makes life so much easier. On me, and the baby.
While I don't have a recipe to showcase this week (maybe later in the week), I do have a meal plan that I am excited for:
Sunday: Spaghetti (we received homemade sauce as a wedding favor...it was delicious!)
Monday: Breakfast Burgers and a Veggie Hash
Tuesday: Girls' Night
Wednesday: Beef & Broccoli
Thursday: Summer Squash Meatball Casserole
Friday: Coriander Chicken Kabobs
Saturday: Demolition Derby (we will be eating out)
This week, I'm most excited about the meatball casserole. And the beef and broccoli. And the breakfast burgers. Mmm...it's going to be a good week of eating!
On Saturday, we will be at a demolition derby. Have you ever been? I've only ever been to one before, at the County Fair. I am very much looking forward to this one (and to eating fair food!).
Kid's nursery is slowly coming together! Being that he was six weeks early, we didn't have everything all set to go when we got to bring him home from the hospital. Day by day, we add a little more. Hopefully it will be done before he's a year old!
A few weeks ago, I decided to hang the canvas art I had mad for his nursery. It looks wonderful!
I wish I could link to the pin that I used as inspiration, but I guess it was one that I didn't actually pin. Whoops! I'm sure you've seen them, though, if you peruse the DIY & Crafts boards. You know the canvas art I'm talking about? Where you paint a base color, add some stickers, paint again and then peel the stickers off?
I was totally going to do that.
But. I couldn't find stickers that were big enough, in a font I wanted.
Plus. The saying I chose was long. I would have needed a hundred packages of stickers.
Maybe I exaggerate.
Instead, I decided to buy some stencils (in a font I liked) from Michael's and go that route. It worked so well!
At first, I was going to do "You are my sunshine / My only sunshine / You make me happy / When skies are gray." That was when I was convinced we were having a girl.
But. Kid is a boy. I could have done the same saying, but a friend gave me this book by Robert Munsch. And then, I knew. I knew exactly what saying I was going to use for the art in Kid's room.
"I'll like you forever
I'll love you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."
It doesn't get much better than that, now, does it? I had the book growing up. I remember reading it to my little brother. When my friend gave it to me at one of the showers for Kid (the one that happened 5 days after he was born), I knew I wanted that saying somewhere in his room.
Oh, you guys. August is here and with it comes a respite from travel. We have zero travel plans for the near future, which is a welcome break. I added it all up the other day - the hubs and I (and the baby) have spent 72 hours in the car.
THREE WHOLE DAYS!
While I loved every minute of our travels, it has caught up to me.
I'm feeling it...
...in the disaster that is my house. We have not been home much - just enough to unpack halfway and repack.
...in the mountains of laundry that line the floors of our bedroom and laundry room.
...in my wallet. Gas is expensive! Eating out is expensive! Traveling is SO expensive!
...in my back. Three days in a car is a lot!
...in my gut. Oh, my. I don't want to set foot in a fast food restaurant for at least a year. The smell of McDonald's makes me want to vomit!
Don't get me wrong.
I love to travel.
I love visiting new places, old friends, and seeing all the sights.
But now? Now that we are back home, we've got to get back to reality ...