Thursday, February 1, 2018

How To Organize Your Snack Cabinet or Pantry For Under $15! #4DaysOfOrganizing

Happy Friday. If you're joining me from Crystal's (The Holliday Collective ) or Erin's (Live Pretty on a Penny ) posts, welcome to the next stop on our blog hop! I'm so thankful you stopped by. I am excited to be joining these amazingly talented bloggers to share tips on how we get organized. I'll be sharing with you how I've organized our small snack cabinet for under $15 and under 15 minutes. There are so many beautiful images on Pinterest and Instagram of gorgeous pantries and huge kitchens with adorable baskets and containers from amazing stores like Homegoods or Ikea. Ooohhh, how I wish I could do the same. The reality is, baskets and cute containers are just not in the budget right this second. If you are like me, you are purging ALL. THE. THINGS. after the holidays. Part of being successful with that task is making sure everything you want to keep has a place (I mean what good is organizing if you still can't easily find what you need).

 (That tiny cabinet where the chalkboard is, that's the pantry!)

Our snack cabinet/Pantry area is pretty small. I mean, its almost non existent. This area of our kitchen is used for snacks as well as lunch packing items and our bread. See what I mean? Yikes. The biggest problem with this area is that it's pretty narrow but fairly deep. Making it hard to get to items in the back of the cabinet. In order to make it easier for little ones to grab snacks (and not spill everything while doing so) I needed to add containers to hold everything. My favorite place for such a thing? DOLLAR TREE! 

If you don't shop at Dollar Tree then you my friend, are missing out. They have an entire wall dedicated to different size and color containers. All for... a DOLLAR. I know, craziness! At those prices I can get containers for my entire house... which I have haha. I have the smaller pencil/pen sized containers in the bathroom to hold toothbrushes and toothpaste. I have the medium bucket sized containers in my linen closet to hold medicine and other toiletry items. The small desk baskets I use for makeup and today I am going to show you how I used them in my kitchen.

I took most of these photos after a long (very long trip that it was dark out when I returned home hence the flash in most of these photos lol) grocery trip as I was putting items away. This is the best time to get everything organized and to toss any old food. The biggest way to get organized in the kitchen is to ditch the packaging for most pantry items. They are bulky and waste so much space (unless you have one of those dream kitchens I see on Pinterest, then you girl friend can keep alllll the packaging your little heart desires! HA!). No need to keep the big box that the fruit snacks came in, dump them all into a bucket with other smaller snacks like granola bars or individual packages of crackers. You'd be surprised at how much easier this makes it for little ones to pick out an after school snack without your help. 

(Look at all these empty boxes!)

Another great reason to get your Pantry organized is to help teach your kids a little independence. Once I started doing this my son didn't need me to get things down for him as often. He also didn't have to ask what was and was not considered a snack (no you cannot eat all the semi sweet chocolate chips as a snack!). He knew that everything in the container with the fruit snacks or granola bars was considered fair game. You could go as far as to label these containers, but since our pantry area is so small that wasn't needed. 


All together I probably spent ten dollars on all of these containers. Some even came two or three to a pack! The best past is if they break... they are cheap and easy to replace. To be honest I have yet to have any of my containers I've purchased from there break. If you don't have a Dollar Tree near you I have some news for you. You can order most of their items online. 

(The fruit is in the basket in the cabinet for demonstration but could easily be placed in the fridge as well)

Just $15 and 15 minutes and you can get your kitchen cabinets in order too. One thing I learned since becoming a homeowner is that the items I need to get my house organized are usually pretty pricey. I was so excited to discover all of these containers at Dollar Tree and they have helped me tremendously around my home. I am pretty sure every room has a container in it that I have purchased from there. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you take the time to visit all the other amazing bloggers included in this project. Below is a list if you've missed any. 

Organizing a Shared Boys' Room
Organizing a Craft Room
Organizing a Toddler Girl's Closet
Organizing -----
Organizing the Laundry Room
Organizing the Office
Organizing a Pantry
Organizing a Pantry/Kitchen Cabinets


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Menu Planning For The Everyday Mom (and how it helped me spend more time with my family!)

OH-EM-GEE!!! You guys... I am so excited for this new year! I literally have nothing exciting planned but there is something about a "fresh start" that is just so uplifting. I normally don't think much about it or making a resolution but for some reason I feel different this year. I am also excited to get back to posting on here. It is so crazy how much we hold ourselves back. I say I want to post more yet when I have the chance to I think of all the other things I could be doing. Not sure how many of you reading this are "creatives", but let me tell you, if you are and you don't take the time to create..... YOU GO CRAZY! 😂 So, this is my time to create... and share with all of you! *hugs*

 Anywho... I am back to meal planning and I am pumped about it. (Imagine me with my fist in the air because that's basically what I just did there) How many of you sit down and plan out meals? Let me tell you, when I started it seemed impossible. Funny, its not. I just make a list of our favorites, shop for said fave meals, assign meals to a day, and cook. Oh, and repeat. Pinterest obviously is a great way to mix in some new meals. After doing this for about 2 years I basically know how much things cost off the top of my head, what my family won't eat, and how much of each meal to make so we don't waste. 

You can get to that point too, I promise! All it takes is a little planning on your lunch break, during nap time, or while watching your favorite show in the evening. Grab a pen and paper (or use your notes app on your phone) and think of 4-5 things you want to make this week. Take that list into the kitchen with you during the commercial break and look through your cabinets to see what you already have to make those meals. I bet you probably have most of the items already if they are meals you make often. Flip over your list of meals and jot down what you need to grab from the store, then put that list in your purse, wallet, coat, car... somewhere you won't forget it. (Because lets be honest that's a huge reason why we don't stick to the script... we don't have one lol) 

Once you get your shopping done take a few minutes to look through your calendar. Is there a day your kids have practice right after school? Make your crockpot meal that day. Get out of work early every Tuesday? Why not use that day to make the meal that takes a little more work. Know that you hate cooking on Fridays? (Um, like me) Plan to grab a pizza! I never said you had to actually cook everything, silly. The point is to have a plan so you don't do that daily thing where you and your husband go back and forth about "what sounds good". ugh. 

Honestly, this post was actually supposed to be a menu *edits title of this blog post*... but I guess this is now a tutorial to show you just how easy planning meals can be. Now, some amazing benefits to doing this. You save money, and when I save I don't mean you can now cut a million coupons and save $2.42. I mean real money. Why? Because you're not buying things you don't need. No doubles of mustard because you checked the cabinets and fridge as you made your list. You can even get brave and check the local ad for the store you shop at to see whats on sale BEFORE you even plan your meals. Boneless chicken breast on sale for 99 cents a pound?! Well, sounds like we're going to have a few meals based around chicken over the next two weeks lol. 

I recently asked my Facebook friends how much they were spending monthly on groceries. I know we don't all eat the same, and our family sizes vary but some with similar families to mine were saying they spend up to $1000 a month. I couldn't even imagine. When we made the decision for me to stay home with the kids I took that job very seriously (and I wanted to be able to keep it 😂). I became a full time manager of our home and money.  If you ask my husband what I do he will 100% say I take "nothing" and make something. I mean I think that statement goes for almost any mom. We take a few ingredients and make a delicious meal. We take some paint and transform a house into a home. I take our grocery budget and stretch it as far as I can. I get some sort of weird joy out if it to be honest lol. 

My kids and husband love knowing whats planned for the week. I post it on our chalkboard wall. They look forward to their favorite dinner while rolling their eyes at their not so favorites haha. BUT, the menu gives them hope. While Mondays meal may not be something they love, Tuesdays might. It also helps my son realize how much we (by "we" I mean me) eat things we don't like because others do like it, but that his favorite will be back in no time. 

 All of that to say... I was sick of store runs everyday after work/school. I was sick of that 7pm scramble that usually ended with me dumping nuggets and fries on a cookie sheet and tossing it in the oven. And, I was sick of eating the same few things because I couldn't think of anything to make while in the store. So, here's to reclaiming those few short hours in the evening with our families. I hope this was helpful or at the very least explained why I love to plan meals. As always, if you have any questions drop a comment or email me! 


Monday, December 11, 2017

Menu For Week of 12/11

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving. I definitely did. I am FINALLY feeling myself again. Between a lingering cold/cough that sent me to the med center and all the holiday hustle and bustle it was tough finding time to plan meals and post. BUT, the show must go on. By this point I'm sure you guys are going to catch on with how often I make certain things. Listen, when your kids like something you will make it 10 days in a row if that means they will eat and not ask for a snack as soon as you dump their uneaten plate out. 😒 As always, if you have any questions please feel free to comment here or shoot me an email. I am always willing to help.

Monday: Roasted Chicken Thighs over a Mushroom Risotto and steamed veggies

Tuesday: Crispy baked Wings, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn

Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken with Broccoli. Served or choice of Lo Mein Noodles or White Rice.

Thursday:Pancakes and Egg

Friday: Baked Nuggets and Fries

Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide Series. The Perfect Gift For The Person Who Has It All

Luxury Wooden Watch  Um, you guys... the holiday season is fast approaching and I am making my list and checking it twice. Not for myself, but my list of gifts to get my peeps. I pride myself on being an AH-MAZING gift giver. My husband said he knew he was going to marry me after the gifts I got him for his birthday one year... that's how great I am at gift giving. I have a few hard people to shop for this year who have EVERYTHING. *Enters JORD Wood Watches.* Everyone (I think) owns a watch. But, how many people own a watch made of wood... Koa wood. I mean how unique is that?! 

 I absolutely love the packaging the Frankie Koa & Ash watch comes in. This box even controls the humidity for this gorgeous wood timepiece. Also included is a polishing cloth. 

The quality of this beautiful watch is something I have never seen. The Sapphire Crystal glass shines and shimmers. On the inside of the watch JORD has graciously included the city and date of birth of the watch. (like whaaaaa?!) If you're curious my watch was born on May 24th, 2017 in St. Louis. Super cute, right?

The rich colors of the Frankie Koa & Ash watch are perfect for year round, but look especially 
amazing with all my cozy sweaters! The simplicity of the face is not only timeless but elegant.

If you are on the hunt for an amazing gift this Christmas season that will be cherished for many years to come then JORD has you covered! The best part is we have teamed up to offer you 25% off! That's the largest discount JORD has offered... ever! JORD also offers custom engraving for that special touch.  
Visit to receive your instant code. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Menu for the week of 11/6

This week has been a week... if you know what I mean. Colds and coughs for everyone! Except my husband because he literally never gets sick. I somehow absorb every sniffle that the kids have unfortunately. 😐 BUT, the show must go on! 

Monday: Shrimp n' Grits w/smoked sausage. I honestly don't know how to make this and I never want to know because this is a meal that when it's on the menu my husband makes for us and it's like a special little treat. Sometimes we serve it with some form of bread. This week the entree was enough for us.

Tuesday: Meatballs and gravy served over buttered egg noodles w/ green beans

Wednesday: Buttermilk Waffles w/bacon and eggs

Thursday: Chicken Patties and Fries. 

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: I have nothing planned for Saturday since we're usually out and about

Sunday: Chicken Parm w'garlic bread

Another week of meal planning in the books. Have any questions for me, feel free to message me! I'm always here to help. 



Friday, October 27, 2017

Simple and Delicious Crusty French Bread

This easy Crusty Bread recipe was a HUGE hit this week so I thought I would quickly hop on here to share it. 

Yield: 1 loaf (about 6 servings)


  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 105 degrees F should do the trick)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting


  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (you could also mix this dough by hand if you like – just use a large mixing bowl instead).
  2. Let the yeast proof for about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture gets all foamy.
  3. Add kosher salt to bowl.
  4. Add flour to bowl a bit at a time and mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated and dough has just started to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (If you are mixing by hand, mix until ingredients have just come together and form a smooth dough).
  5. Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don’t mix the flour in – it’s just to keep the dough from sticking!) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise on the counter for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
  6. When dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board.
  7. Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board. do not punch the dough down – you want to keep all those nice air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread. (Note: If the dough is sticking to the bowl a little bit, just wet your hand with a bit of water and gently separate the dough from the bowl to get it all out).
  8. Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf.
  9. Flour a small mixing bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so.
  10. While bread proofs, place an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and heat to 460 degrees F.
  11. When the oven is hot, you’re ready to go!
  12. Tip your bread dough gently out of the mixing bowl and VERY CAREFULLY (without burning yourself!) place it – seam side UP, this time – into the hot dutch oven.
  13. Put the dutch oven lid back on the pot, and slide the whole thing back into your hot oven.
  14. Cook bread for 25-30 minutes.
  15. After about 30 minutes, remove the lid from your dutch oven. The bread should be crusty and lightly browned. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 10 minutes more or until the bread has deepened in color and you have a beautiful brown crust.
  16. Remove entire Dutch Oven from oven
  17. Lift the bread out of the dutch oven and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into it... and, enjoy!

Menu For The Week of 10/30

I can't believe we are heading into November already!😲 We just had 80 degree days and BOOM! Now it is a high of 48 in Michigan. I'm not complaining, I have actually been ready for the cooler temps. I don't know about you but most of my cute clothes are Fall/Winter stuff. Now that its cooler I enjoy cooking a lot more. This weeks menu is a little random haha. I am trying to use up some things we have in the cabinets and freezer. Anyways, thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions feel free to message me!

Monday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread (Can you tell my kids REALLYYY enjoy spaghetti lol)

Tuesday: Mexican Pizzas (we are using ground beef but obvi you can omit that)

Wednesday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Thursday: Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup (Thursdays seem to be the leftover day for us haha)

Friday: Chicken Quesadilla w/ Queso for dipping (Guyssss, Im going to cook on a Friday... say whaaaa! lol)



Saturday and Sunday are left blank because I go shopping on Friday and at that time I will finalize whats for dinner on those two days. Thanks for tagging along for another week of meals. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to share a few of my fave recipes as well! I promise just a little planning and you can do this! If you need any help, PLEASE feel free to message me. That is what I am here for.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Menu For The Week Of 10/23

Hey hey hey!! I have been working since yesterday to get on here and post our menu for the week. My laptop had different plans and decided to update for two days. But, here we are! All updated and still running as slow as ever haha. Below are our meals for this week. I will try and link most of them to Pinterest recipes that I love. Just click the main dish for each day and it should take you to the pin. Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday: Buttermilk Waffles with Baked Organic Chicken Fries

Tuesday: Ground Beef Tacos on a Corn Tortilla w/ Mexican rice and homemade Salsa

Wednesday: Beef Stew packed w/ lots of veggies served w/ homemade Crusty Bread for dipping

Thursday: Leftover Stew. I will make white rice to eat it over to make sure its enough and bellies are full

Friday: Order PIZZA!

Saturday: BBQ Meatballs, Quesadillas, and use up the rest of that delicious homemade salsa w/ homemade Corn Tortilla Chips. (this is our "football Saturday" meal so we like to do appetizers)

Sunday: Baked Salmon and bow tie pasta w/ a creamy garlic sauce and roasted carrots

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Menu For The Week Of 10/16

Good evening, friends! I said I was going to work hard to get next weeks menu up on Sunday and as promised here it is. We didn't have meatloaf for dinner tonight (I'm SO bummed... not! lol) so that will be moving from last weeks menu to this weeks. I actually picked up a frozen Beef and Broccoli meal from Trader joes over the weekend and that's what we had tonight. It was AH- MAZING. My husband is super picky and only likes homemade food and even he loved the meal. He suggested I get another bag of it this week *insert surprised ghost face emoji*. If you have any questions about the menu feel free to message me through here or on Instagram. As mentioned before I won't be posting recipes since that would take quite a while to come up with a recipe for each meal. I will however link Pinterest recipes that I love. Just click on the main dish for example: "meatball subs" in this post and it should take you right to Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday: Meatball subs w/Caesar salad topped w/homemade croutons

Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans

Wednesday: Roasted chicken thighs with carrots and parmesan potatoes

Thursday: Leftovers (between the meatloaf and roasted chicken there is bound to be plenty leftover for us)

Friday: Chili dogs OR takeout (I'll let the kids pick this one)

Saturday: We have a wedding to attend! So yippy that means no cooking!!

Sunday: Fried chicken tenders, Mac & cheese, steamed veggies (we love the steamable bag of veggies)

I grocery shop every other Friday so this Thursday I will make a list of meals for the next two weeks and then make a grocery list from that. Friday morning I head to the store with my list of meals and grocery list in hand. I generally stick to what I have planned but if I find something on sale I might switch out a meal for the one I can make on sale instead. That's why its important for me to have my list of meals with me as well so I remember why I'm buying something and if I change my mind I remember what I need to put back.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Menu for the week of 10/9

I am going to try and keep these weekly menu posts as short and sweet as possible. Actually, I am lying they wont be very sweet because I don't like sweets and I can't bake. But, you get what I'm attempting to say here. I also want to add that we eat pretty simple most of the time and repeat family favorites. Some weeks I will make a lot from scratch and other weeks we will eat "boxed food" as I call it. Also, some weeks will be much lighter and healthier than others (my husband LOVES southern cooking... anything fried or smothered lol) Please don't judge or be rude if our meals don't work for you. This is just a starting point for you to get ideas and hopefully be able to create your own weekly menu without my help. I wont give recipes or many photos here as stated above, this is just a simple list or menu to help give you some ideas. We are a family of 4. Me, my husband, and our two boys who are 7 and 16 months. These meals will generally be kid friendly. I try not to have too many leftovers when I cook so you can alter the amount being made to work for you. We don't eat a lot of fish although I would love to change that if I could get the kids to eat it haha. So, here's to week one of sharing our weekly menu with you all!

Monday: Spaghetti w/meat sauce and a side salad

Tuesday: Smothered Chicken over white rice w/ green beans

Wednesday: Leftovers (The previous recipe makes enough for leftovers and reheats well so I try to take advantage of this to give myself a day during the week that I don't have to cook)

Thursday: Grilled hot dogs, baked parmesan fries, and pasta salad

Friday: Takeout (I don't always cook on Fridays. Our schedule is usually pretty busy that day so we often pick up dinner)

Saturday: Boneless wings w/fries and dipping sauces (Saturdays have been for "football food" lately so for the next few weeks it will often include things like wings, fries, and meatballs... blame my husband hehe) 

Sunday: Meatloaf w/a brown sugar and ketchup glaze on top, mashed potatoes and collard greens

Lastly, I often keep things like chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas in the freezer for days I last minute decide not to cook. Also pancake mix. perfect to fill everyone up and easy to make. Best part is the kids always think its such a treat to have breakfast for dinner.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

5 Simple Rules to Engaged Followers

I have seen it a lot lately, large accounts with only 30 likes on a photo. Ugh, Instagrams new algorithm has struck again!  We all know "likes" are not the most important thing in life however, when you work really hard on a photo it does completely suck when no one see it... I mean it IS a photo therefore you want people to see it, right?! This post is not about how to get followers. That is a whole other subject. This post is just about getting your followers or even non-followers to be more active and engaged with you. I decided to take a few simple tips and put them together here. Seriously, they are super easy!

Tip #1: Post When YOUR Followers Are Active

This sounds pretty simple right? My followers are generally moms, around the same age as me. I know that is a very blanket statement but for the sake of this post I'm going use it. What does that break down to? I probably shouldn't post around 7am when were all getting our kids off to school, or at 6pm when were most likely busy with work commute, homework, dinner, laundry, etc. Maybe I shouldn't post at 7:30-8pm when most are rocking their little ones to bed. Saturday afternoons are usually pretty slow on Instagram no matter what type of account you have, I would like to think most are out enjoying their day off of work or working on the yard if its a nice day.... not looking at Instagram. If you ran a nightlife blog and post at 7am would that make any sense? See, figure out where you fit and what lifestyle your followers live. There are general times that have shown to have higher engagement on Instagram, you can easily Google those if you need something to start with. Do your own "test" and post at different times to see what works best for YOU.

Tip #2: Use The Right Hashtags

Use hashtags to reach out beyond your followers and use tags that fit with your account. This also works in reverse, I often look under a hashtag for inspiration and new accounts to follow. Also, something new I have noticed, lets use the hashtag #Blessed as an example... #Blessed currently has 73,549,656 uses. That is a lot of blessed people on Instagram. However, at certain times when I have attempted to use that hashtag it has only shown around 200,000 uses. What does this mean? In MY opinion this means that hashtag has been temporarily banned and you are only seeing those posts that are allowed under that hashtag, or those that you follow who have used that tag. When I see that, I do NOT use that tag. That means that my post will also be banned... lets use a better word: limited. I don't want to limit my post therefore I don't use that tag. It has happened often with tags like #HomeDecor or #RaeDunn. Which leads me to the next part, skip out on a tag if it only has a few uses. No one obviously uses it, which means no one will see it. Find tags that are bigger: bigger means more engagement!

Tip #3: Be More Active With Your Followers

Take the time to write something thoughtful back to those who comment on your posts. I know that you can't always write a novel back and some comments like a thumbs up emoji just seem annoying so why would you write back to that. I suggest this for two reasons: One, when people feel like you care they will continue to like/comment. That's also how you build awesome relationships with your followers. Two, the more activity on a post the higher up the timeline it will be moved. That means when you "lump" comment back to a few people you're actually missing an opportunity to make more activity on your post. Now, I do still reply to a few accounts in one comment if they would all generally get the same reply. But if someone took the time to write you something kind, take the time to write them something kind back. Also, if you know the persons name, USE IT. I honestly love when someone replies to me with my name. It makes the response that much more personal and makes me want to engage with that account more.

Tip #4: Be An Active Follower

Be the change you want to see. You can't be upset that no one is commenting/liking your posts if you don't take the time to do the same. When I took the time to be more active on my timeline I seen a jump of a few hundred follower in just a few short weeks. I know this isn't always possible but, if you spend one week doing this I promise you will see results. Also, when you comment under someone's post, their followers will see it and maybe someone will check out your page. Look at it like free advertising.

Tip #5: Use your Instagram Story Feature

When I want to share during low engagement times, I use my Instagram Stories! I consistently get hundreds of views on anything I post to my story. I absolutely love that feature. I like to call it: The Walker Residence The Unedited Version. I share so much of my day to day on there. It is a way to build a more casual relationship with your followers. I love when people reply to my story, that alone has sparked amazing convos and so many genuine friendships. In return when you do get a chance to actually post to your Instagram feed, those who have been following your Story are way more likely to engage with you on your post.

I hope you have found my tips helpful in increasing engagement on your account. Feel free to share any additional tips/tricks you have picked up along the way!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Straying From the Typical This Fathers Day

I cannot believe that fathers day is just a few weeks away. This past year has been amazing as our family adjusted to a new tiny human entering the bunch. Greyson has added so much to our family. But, as you know a new baby also brings lots of sleepless nights and mysteriously lots of dishes. My husband has been so amazing. There are times when Greyson even prefers for his dad to put him to bed (bittersweet haha).

I have been on a quest to find the perfect gift for my husband. He really is the man that has everything. When JORD Wood Watches reached out to do a partnership I just KNEW my husband was going to be thrilled! I remember (sometime during that haze in those first few months after having a baby) that he loved the look of their men's wood watches. Honestly, this was the only thing he wanted.

As soon as he removed the wood watch from the box his eyes lit up! He loved the details on the engraved wooden box, with all the items needed to take care of the watch. As he read through the directions on how to start the watch up, I heard him say things like "this is amazing!" and "this is the most unique watch I've ever owned!" Seriously, why did I not think to get him one sooner!!

If you are looking for a cool watch that stands out from the rest JORD Wood Watches is the way to go! There is even still time to enter my giveaway contest for a chance to win a $100 Ecode towards a wood watch of your choice with JORD Wood Watches.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Welcome back!!

Listen, I just wanted to let you all know that I am finally ready to take this blogging this serious. (Or semi serious at least haha) There is so much competition out there in blogger world that I let it stop me from doing something just because I wanted to! I started to make it about website design, my domain, my laptop being too slow (although it really is slow), the lens on my camera not being good enough. I know, every excuse possible right? I am done with that. I'm going to write about things that I love, topics that I deal with often. Sometimes that will be kids and dinner ideas. Other times that might be DIY or budget friendly dates. I'll even try to cover everything in-between. You see... what I forgot was that my opinions and ideas could help someone else. Maybe only one person but that's better off then where I started. Now, I'm not promising that we will meet here daily... heck maybe not always weekly, but I will definitely attempt to be way more consistent. In order to do that I may have a few typos, my photos may not be perfect, but I will be here. To anyone who has visited my blog before: Welcome back! To those stopping by for the first time: Hello! I am so happy to have you all and grateful for the opportunity to share a little of my life with you.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Homemade Sloppy Joes

      Can I start this off with saying, I have never been a huge fan of Sloppy Joes. See, I have a problem with the sloppy part. I hate messy hands! But, this recipe is so amazing that I am willing to suffer through the dirty hands (and table and cups and everything) to enjoy this yummy homemade classic. The store bought version is FINE, but something about making it from scratch adds so many more flavors. This recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and when you've had a long day that can come in handy!


       Finely chop half a green pepper and about a 1/2 cup of onions. Both can be omitted if you have picky eaters but to be honest they probably wont even notice the peppers and onions in this amazingly messy meal. You could also sneak in so many other veggies if you want. Some options are red peppers, mushrooms, shredded carrots, or celery.  Next, heat large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add ground beef (or ground turkey if that's your thing) to skillet and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Let ground beef brown for about 7-8 minutes. Once ground beef is almost cooked all the way through add in peppers and onions and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes longer. Once ground beef is cooked through drain off grease and return to skillet.

      Once you return ground beef and veggies to skillet lower to a low- medium heat to avoid splatter. Add in tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and Sweet baby Rays BBQ sauce. Mix well, cover and let simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve on a toasted bun. Can be topped with pickles, American cheese, or whatever else you would like!


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • half a green pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (or whatever BBQ sauce you love!)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Copycat Japanese Steakhouse Style Fried Rice

       Listen, I love going out to dinner with my husband just as much as the next girl. I mean I get to eat and I don't have to deal with dishes, a broom, a mop, ect! But, the frugal side of me enjoys a good home cooked meal that usually tastes better then anything I would ever order at a restaurant. Because of this love for home cooking I am always on a quest to make my restaurant favorites in the comforts of home. My husband and I have been eating at a local chain Japanese hibachi restaurant pretty often lately and lets just say it is not cheap. We give each other this look and then it happens, we both admit that we are craving that yummy fried rice! I decided to try my hand at this addictive fried rice we love so much. I can confidently say I have come up with an amazing competitor! Even the hubby gave me the stamp of approval. I decided to share my new favorite recipe with you call on this glorious Sunday afternoon.


  • 3 cups cooked refrigerated long grain white rice
  • 1 packet fried rice seasoning ( I use Kikkoman fried rice seasoning)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • half a large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (I buy garlic pre-minced in a jar to save time!)


       Now, I feel like this recipe tastes a little more "authentic" if you use real rice and not instant rice. However, to save time instant rice will work JUST FINE! To start, cook the white rice per instructions on packaging. Be sure to lightly salt the water that the rice is boiling in as, this is what will add salt to your final product. Per the instructions on the packaging for the rice I used, one cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups cooked rice. Once rice has slightly cooled after cooking, store it in a loosely covered bowl in the refrigerator and let chill. From my experience 1 1/2-2 hrs should be enough time. To make this recipe even easier during the busy work week you could make the rice the night before.

       While your rice is in the refrigerator this is the perfect time to prep your veggies and garlic. Chop onion and carrots. Set them aside together in a small bowl. Mince garlic and set aside in a separate small bowl. Mix rice seasoning in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons water and set aside. Scramble the eggs right before you are ready to start cooking and have them also ready in a small bowl. This recipe is all about having everything ready when you are ready to cook.

       One of our wedding gifts was a really awesome (and huge) wok! So, that is what I used to prepare this recipe. I know everyone doesn't own a wok so a regular old large non-stick skillet will work. Or, a griddle would be fine as well. No biggie to go all "authentic" here. It will turn out just the same. Heat wok (or skillet/griddle) on medium heat. Add in sesame oil. Once heated toss in onions, peas, and carrots. Cook until veggies are tender and onions are translucent. about 7-8 minutes. Set veggies aside (I just pour them in the bowl that the chilled rice is in to save on dishes). Now, add scrambled eggs to wok and cook through. Maybe 5 minutes at the most. Again, set aside (They too can go in that same bowl your rice and veggies are waiting in. No need to be fancy here).

     The next part is where it all finally comes together! Turn up your stove top to a medium-high heat and put 3 tablespoons of butter in wok along with minced garlic and stir until sizzling. Pour in rice, veggies, and eggs. Stir rice around breaking up the grains of rice. Once rice has loosened up pour in your rice seasoning that has been dissolved into the water. Add your soy sauce and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed and the sauces have mixed well with all the rice and veggies. Once everything is mixed add last tablespoon of butter under all the rice. Smooth out rice into an even layer and let "fry" or brown lightly. Stay close at this point. You CANNOT walk away or you will end up with burnt rice not fried. (ewe!) Once the rice has gotten a little bit of crunch and color flip the rice to brown the other side. Again this is not the time to walk away. Now, once your rice has gotten a little color and dried out some (about 7-8 minutes)... YOU ARE DONE! See, not that hard right!


Friday, July 24, 2015

So you want to be a blogger.

          When I was young, say... 10 or 11 I wanted to be a fashion designer. The weird thing was that I never was that in to fashion. I grew up in a single parent home with two younger brothers. I didn't have the means to be "fashionable". I was however very smart in HOW to shop and even how to upcycle items to look pretty presentable. I may have never been trendy growing up but I was always dressed nicely because I always got a little creative. Once I got to high school I realized that my dreams of being a fashion designer and still living in the city I grew up in were almost impossible. However, I knew I was artistic and wanted to do something with that. In high school my schedule was full of any art class that was offered. Drawing and creating always came easy. Even in English class I never had a problem coming up with content for a paper. From then on I decided graphic design was for me! It was creative, yet practical.
          My first year in college graphic design was my major. Again, my days were filled with art classes. I loved it. After taking a break from college for about two years I realized it was time to go back and finish what I started... but my interests had changed. Graphic design seemed cool and all but cooking... cooking had become a passion. I loved cooking for people. Something about home cooked meals made me and everyone around me happy! Cooking was where my heart was. So, I enrolled back in college and did a year with Culinary as my major. It was great! I learned so much.
          After that year in culinary school, I had my son and did not return to college. I eventually started an office job that I was always grateful for but at times made me feel dead inside. All of this creative energy being bottled up. After a few years in corporate America I couldn't take it anymore and left my full time decent paying job to be a full time stay at home mom and wife. I can truly say at this point I have found my calling. I love being here for my husband and my son. (and our 4 month old Boxer puppy we recently got.)
          I purchased a Canon DSLR camera right before I left my job and learned the art of photography quickly. Little did I know God had set me up with a craft to help make ends meet if ever necessary. I have been home for about 9 months now and I have always wanted to start a blog. I feel like I have a lot to share but that no one in my immediate circle could relate. I love cooking, DIY projects, cleaning, playing with my son... none of my friends could relate to any of that. My two best friends who are both wonderful mothers are in different places in life than I am. I needed to branch out but was unable to leave the house at times.
          That's how we ended up here. I know I have great things to share all of you and that you all have great things to share with me. I hope we can become friends. I welcome emails, comments, and shares. I just want to find others like me who enjoy the simple things like no dishes in the sink, red wine, and Pinterest. So, if you happen to stumble upon this very first post of mine. SAY HI! I won't bite I promise... I sometimes talk to myself (jk!... well sort of) and my dog. So, I would love to hear from some of you and what content you would like me to write about. Also, I promise not to talk about myself the majority of the time! (hehe) I really rather NOT! But, I figured we needed to start somewhere so lets start with how I got right here with you.

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