Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I still have napkins from my wedding: De-cluttering Tips

This spring I've been motivated to de-clutter and minimize my house and simplify my life.  I think it was the combination of friends doing the same, watching The Minimalists on Netflix (great film!) and also needing an activity to keep me busy after Dad died.

I started going through my house one room, one drawer and one closet at a time.  I walked through this de-cluttering checklist and before I knew it I'd filled my van twice with stuff to get rid of. 

Now the fact that I have so much crap is nothing to be proud of, but I am feeling better/proud of seeing it leave my house!

I'm also working on minimizing what I bring into the house by buying less but that's a story for another day.

During my room by room process of getting rid of items I found a few interesting discoveries including a box full of cocktail napkins from my wedding.....13 years ago.

Now you may ask how that box had managed to move across the country and across town into 3 different homes?  Well...I guess I was sentimental and thought I'd use them someday.  You know for my 25th anniversary or something.  Ha!

To make the saving situation worse the napkins weren't even personalized, they were just purchased at a wedding supply store. Sigh.  

So I realized that I needed to get rid of them (#1, #4 & #8 on the list above).  I had the realization that they'd be a perfect size for my girl's lunch boxes.  They loved the idea of having a piece of our wedding at school each day and told all their friends about it.

Hooray, it's a win-win.  My kids get napkins (which they needed) and I get more space in my cabinet.  I plan on keeping the very last one for my wedding scrapbook, but it will be awhile before we use all these.

I'm sure I'll be back with more de-cluttering discoveries, you never know what you'll find in a box or drawer around here. :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vegetable Beef Instant Pot Soup Recipe

My love of my new Instant Pot is increasing with each successful recipe!  Last week I craved some vegetable beef soup and this was SO. EASY.  I'm talking easy.  I simply sautéd the meat and onion (in the pot!) and then added the vegetables to the SAME pot.  Oh man, my life may never be the same.

The family gave it two thumbs up, everyone liked it.  I'll be making it again soon.

Vegetable Beef Instant Pot Soup

1 pound organic ground beef 
½ medium onion, diced 
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups frozen (or fresh) Lima beans 
2 cups organic frozen mixed vegetables 
2 cups frozen organic corn 
3 cans of diced tomatoes 
2 cups water (more if you prefer more broth)
1 TBSP dried basil 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions 1. Set your Instant pot to sauté setting. Cook meat and onions until brown and onions are soft (about 5 min). When they are almost cooked add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
2. Add all the other ingredients to the Instant pot. 
3. Add lid and and set to sealing. 4. Click the manual button and set the time for 4 minutes. Allow it to naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.
5. Remove lid, stir, and add more salt and pepper to taste. 

To get your own amazing Instant Pot check out the link below.

For more Instant Pot recipes check out:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Popsicle Pool Float and other Spring Break Grocery Store adventures

Yesterday was the first day of spring and my girls first day of Spring Break.  What fun activity did I plan for them?  Why a trip to the grocery store of course. :)  But hey, I made it fun by letting them take turns pushing the cart (yikes!), Starbucks ice-tea (free refills!) and a random gigantic pool float purchase.

Oh that's right, we found this amazing Popsicle Pool Float for wait for it.....only $4.99! It was on sale but even the regular price ($5.99) is pretty awesome.  They had them in boxes but the already inflated ones were my pick because, man, no one likes to fill those things!!

The only downside (or upside depending on how you look at it) was trying to get that big ole thing through the store.  It made for some funny moments and looks (or glares) from other shoppers. 

This fun popsicle is going to look awesome with our donut float from last summer! might make me want more sweets.  Ha!

If it is still winter in your land and/or you don't have an Albertsons then check out this float on Amazon, it's the same one for just a bit more.  And for the donut float look here at Target.

PS - It was 92 degrees yesterday....just saying that this pool float is just in time!

On our way out the kids convinced me to play the Albertson's Monopoly game.  We hung out in the Starbucks (more free refills!) for over an hour looking for pieces (yay letter/number searching for my youngest).  Just when we'd finish up our pile another shopper would see us and give us their stack of tickets.  So. Fun.  I might have to take them back again today.   

So if you have kids that's my tip, hang out near the checkouts doing the game and nice people will share with you.  And no, we haven't won a million dollars yet but here's hoping!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The View From Here - Looking Up

I know I post a lot of hot air balloon photos but I can't help myself, they're so beautiful and literally above me most mornings.

I can't imagine ever moving from this community because I'd miss the balloons too much.

Just look up!

For more balloon photos:

2012 - Backyard
2012 - Neighborhood Balloon Landing
2013 - Neighborhood Views
2015 - Tethered Balloon Ride

2017 - Neighborhood Balloons

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St Patrick's Day from our Little People

We're not Irish (maybe a tiny bit) but I'd still like to wish you a Happy St Patrick's Day!

I hope you find treasure at the end of your rainbow or under a 4 leaf clover. :)

Past St Patrick's Days

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Careful May Shrink in the Wash

2013 - I couldn't find a better photo of me wearing it!

Once upon a time (in 2013) I bought a bright green wool sweater from the jCrew outlet.  It had 3/4 sleeves and was a favorite. 

Around 2015 I accidentally dried it in the drier.  Whoops.  Then it was too small for me.  I tried hard to stretch it out again but it never quite fit the same.  I had placed it in the giveaway pile but had the bright idea to give it to my then 8 year old and it looked great on her!  She wore it for a little over a year.....then last month I dried it in the drier again.  


Then I had the bright idea of having my 5 year old try it on and it looked amazing on her!  Hooray!

Here's to keeping it out of the drier, otherwise it may end up being a dog's sweater. :)

The end. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fisher Price Friday - Storage Updates

It's been awhile since I had a Fisher Price Friday!  I've got a few toys and goodies to share but today I want to show off our storage changes.  For years I've kept most of our kid's collection in a big armoire which was good and bad.  The good is that the playroom looked neat when they were tucked away, but the bad is that my youngest had a hard time reaching many of the toys and also I couldn't see them!

So I did a switch and moved (most) of the FPLP toys to the bookshelves and put the books in the armoire instead (and got rid of a bunch).

As a result my little person is using the little people toys more!  Hooray!

The baskets on the bottom hold little people, miscellaneous pieces, vehicles and a few pull toys.

As a result of the move a few toys had to move to the closet and some we're getting rid of (selling soon in my Etsy shop).  We can't keep them all forever, although I'm happy that my youngest has a few more years of play in her. :)

To see how the playroom has looked in the past:

Playroom Storage
Playroom Organization