Friday, November 29, 2013

(Digital) Menu Planning...

 Grab a coffee and let's chat Menu Planning.
I have actually always loved menu planning.  It was always just tough to maintain.
I did the paper version with one big blank calendar and then filled in.
The problem was, I was always having to start over every month.
I like to plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
But, it's mostly Breakfast and Dinner, since lunch is usually leftovers.
I've been loving my Apple Calendar on my MacBook.  I use it for everything.
Basically, I just designated the color green for menu planning.
I block off a 30 minute section and type in the meal.
Then, in the "notes" section of that event, I copy and paste the recipe!
The really cool part of this step is when I'm heading out to a store and forget to check over my menu plan, I can pull it up on my phone and see what the meals are for the next few days and check the ingredients list.  Then, I just add any needed ingredients to my "notes" on my iPhone and head into the store! 
OK...the other super cool thing about this digital menu planner is that you can repeat the event!!!!
I put my breakfasts on a 2 week rotation and my dinners on a monthly rotation.
I figure as it fills in, I will probably switch to a two month rotation for dinners and maybe a 3 week rotation for breakfasts.
Then, as your schedule changes, you just drag the meal to another day/time.
Loving it!
(Cool things 3 and 4...it's free, and when we travel, I will have all our favorite recipes on my phone!)
2013 was a huge year for me in going paperless.
I gave up my paper planner, and now my paper menu planner.
Slowly but surely, I am getting with the times.

Do you think you'll try something like this?
Are you already doing something awesome that works for you?
**this is a version of the menu planning system on the Life in Grace blog.

Before I go..."Happy Black Friday"!
I'd like to re-name it "Jammie Day", b/c that's what we're doing today!
And...we're pulling out the Christmas tubs and finally playing Christmas music!
As MJ says, "Stay home and order on-line".
I couldn't agree more.

XOXO Tiffany

"God began to teach me that there is a huge difference between "entertaining" and offering hospitality".  A Life that says Welcome by Karen Ehman

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sewing (and reading) Wednesday!

 I've been getting back into my sewing studio lately.
Mostly working on little projects for my family.
Lucy was cleaning out her closet and said that she didn't like how this tank fit.
This picture is a funny shot of the tank, but the sides actually hang drape-y at the side.
I loved it, but she wanted it to fit like a basic tank.
This is a super easy project.

Turn your tank/t-shirt inside out.
Take a ruler and mark a new line with a pen/pencil/tailors wax.
I went from the armpit out to the bottom at a slight angle.
 Once you've marked both sides, cut and pin.
 Put some pink thread into your serger (or sewing machine) and stitch up!
 Press.
 A new tank.
 I've been reading hospitality books lately.
I checked out about 15 of them at the library last week.
Working on being an amazing hostess and guest.
Good timing with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow!
Are you reading any good books?
Do you have any sewing projects that you're working on...or would like to be working on?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
What are you making???
And, on Monday afternoon, my mom and I made Latvian piragi's (bacon buns).

XOXO Tiffany

"Thanksgiving creates abundance".
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chimichanga's

 I started making these Chimichanga's last summer.
They're easy and they can feed a crowd!
 My pictures are probably from at least 3 different times that I've made these.
You can tell that I've used 2 different tortilla's and I've changed up my by bean technique.
 My favorite tortillas are either:
2.  Costco's raw tortillas in the refrigerator section by the hotdogs and cheese...60 tortillas for under $7 and only 5 ingredients.  (been using these a ton lately!)
3.  Trader Joe's homemade tortillas

Here is how you make these babies:

Chimichanga's:
Tortillas
Re-fried Beans (vegetarian...I use Trader Joe's)
Shredded cheese
Olive oil spray (in Misto)

Basically, you just spread some refried beans on your tortilla,
sprinkle on some cheese,
roll it up, spray with olive oil,
and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

They get nice and crispy.  I slice them in half at an angle and top them with any taco toppings of your choice:
lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, olives
Enjoy!
We just finished dinner and the kids and I got our chores done.
I'm fading fast because I forgot to have my afternoon coffee (how did that happen?!?).

We've got a date in a few minutes to watch Little House on the Prairie.
We're on Season 9.  We've almost watched every episode!

Well, we got through Monday...have a wonderful week of thanksgiving!

XOXO Tiffany

"The discipline of thanks only comes with practice".
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Friday, November 22, 2013

A week of house cleaning...

 I love evenings when the last meal has been prepared and served, the dishwasher is humming, the vanilla candle is lit, the lights are dimmed.  Ahhh.  Such a good feeling!

I've been on a cleaning routine for 5 weeks now…and it has been awesome!
I thought I'd share it with you.
Basically, I wrote down all the things that I wanted cleaned in my house every week.  The rest of the stuff will have to fit in somewhere.  But, this is my 6 day cleaning routine, with day 7 being my day of rest!

Morning Routine:
(alarm goes off at 5pm)
Shower and get ready for the day
Drink a 16 oz glass of water
Coffee and Bible time
A Project
Make Breakfast

Day 1:
Sweet/vacuum/dust main level
Vacuum stairs
Clean master bath

Day 2:
Vacuum/dust upstairs
Wash Sheets

Day 3:
Clean kids bathroom
Polish kitchen sink
Wipe down stove top

Day 4:
Garbage/recycling to curb
Laundry down/sorted
Sweep/vacuum/dust main level
Vacuum stairs

Day 5:
Pay Bills
Laundry (switch loads every 90 min)
Clean main bath

Day 6:
Vacuum/dust upstairs
Menu/shopping list

Totally do-able!!!!
I can't believe how simple this routine is and yet everything is getting done.

This sign stares at me when I get up in the morning:)
I think I've shared this before…but, I just love it.
As I was searching for a cleaning photo for my post (I ended up with a pic of what I do when the cleaning is all done…lol), but, I saw this text from Daisy.
Must be careful how you use emoji's!  LOL.
OK…well, have a great weekend!!!
Is anyone going to the Hunger Games Catching Fire???
I am.
Make a list of all the things that you would like cleaned every week…
divide it among 6 days…
and getter done!

Hoping to share a recipe on Monday.
Do you remember my old blogging routine?
Monday…recipe
Wednesday…sewing
Friday…organization

I might be back at it…
Tiffany

"Virtually anyone, any normal man or woman who relies on God and who practices common sense, can be a successful parent."  Lifeline:  the religious upbringing of your children 
by:  James Stenson
(a little gem of a parenting book that I came across)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sewing (and reading!) Wednesday

 Sewing Wednesday…I've missed you!
I am feeling like I've got a handle (again) on cooking and cleaning.
I'm on week 5 of my new routine…it's awesome.
Hoping to share on Friday.
I'm hoping to slowly but surely add in sewing and exercise and more blogging.
I'll keep you posted.
For now…this is a little project that I worked on this fall.
I found this little dress at Goodwill for $1.49.
 The top of the dress was a flimsy little tank top.
I loved the skirt part of it!  And, it already had a fabulous elastic waistband.
 Snip, snip and the top was gone.
I went in with my seam ripper and removed the remains of the top.
The skirt hem has kind of a "shirt tail" look to it.
Easy project!
 We got this book delivered on the release day.
Lucy and MJ had to figure out who got to start it first.
 I caught MJ reading it on a Saturday…
something that doesn't happen often enough in our house!
Umm, that's the kids aren't often caught reading on a Saturday…
Mama is a different story.
I just finished Harry Potter Book 3.
Daisy is reading this series a second time through.
She really wanted me to read it…so I am.
I have to say…it is not my ideal style of book,
(I love memoirs and historical fiction)
but, I am completely enjoying them!

Reading any great books lately?
Are you in the middle of a sewing project?
Chat soon...

Tiffany

"The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed…"  Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book 3)