Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project Nesting: Part 2

Our master closet is finally done!  This is something I've been wanting to do since we moved in and something I've been meaning to do since I bought the stuff way back in March.  Kind of a slacker.  In fairness to me though I found out I was prego a couple weeks after buying the stuff, so any projects went out the window real fast at that point.  Anyways, back in March when I started the munchkins bathroom (still need to post pics) I had to make a quick trip to Lowe's and lo and behold what were they clearancing out... closet organizers.  
Now I dream of having a beautiful dark wood closet organizer with drawers and doors and all sorts of pretty things and I would even be willing to spend the money, but we had the closetmaid wire organizer at our old house and it did such a great job and worked so well for us for and at a  fraction of the cost, plus it has the added benefit of never having to be dusted (who seriously wants to dust their closet on a weekly basis!?!  not me!).  
So, back to Lowe's.  They had shoe organizers for $2.47 each and the closet organizers for $14.50 each.  Not the exact setup I would have chosen, but for that price they were perfect.  So I snagged two closet organizers and a bunch of shoe organizers and headed for home.
Fast forward 5 1/2 months to Labor Day weekend.  I'm pregnant and having some serious nesting issues going on.  In the last week I've painted the kitchen, the master bath, deep cleaned everything in sight and decorated another ledge a.k.a. dust collector.  So what's the next logical thing to do?  Well rip out the closet and install the organizers.  I just need to say that Andrew hates when I'm pregnant because I start "doing projects".  I personally think he should just be grateful that they're getting done, but in his mind they don't need doing in the first place.  He's so boring sometimes and lacks any home improvement bug whatsoever.  But, I still love you honey!  Anywho, so I woke up Saturday morning and decided that today was the day.  I quickly got to work demo-ing the closet.  Of course Andrew also found out he had to help with a move that morning just as I was getting started, so Cameron went down for a nap, Ella came to "help" me and Andrew left.  Just as I was starting my second shelf, someone, bumped the one shelf I had taken down and it came crashing down on my ankle.  Let me tell you, it was up there with labor pain.  I thought I was going to pass out it hurt so bad.  A huge chunk of flesh was missing, there was blood and I seriously thought the nail had punctured my bone.  Of course, I couldn't get a hold of Andrew and was dying on the floor while trying to comfort "someone" who felt really bad.  Needless to say, this slowed me down greatly.  I tried to go back to work a couple of times, but wanted to pass out so I had to go lay on the couch till Andrew got home.  Fortunately, this was the only blood I saw on this project and I was able to get the rest on the demo done with Andrew's help and I even got the walls patched and painted that day.
Sunday, I started to get the organizers installed, but quickly decided against that when I ran into problems and decided that I shouldn't be thinking such bad thoughts on a Sunday.  So we picked back up on Monday, had a few snags, but got the project done just in time for a bbq with friends.  
This was our very messy closet before
Sad to say that this was pretty typical...

 My little helper
 Needless to say this project needed to get done quickly

 Here is my wound all cleaned up... I still have a scab a month later (ignore my disgusting foot that is desperately needing a pedicure)

The After
 It is so much better... I love having all my shoes lined up
 Even though we lost hanging space, everything seems to fit better now
Cost Breakdown:
2 closet organizers 14.50 each - 29.00
9 shoe organizers 2.74 each - 24.66
paint (leftover from another project) - free

Total Cost: $53.66 plus tax
Not too shabby for a new closet system

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Project Nesting: Part 1

Okay, I know I said I've had a ton of projects going on in preparation for baby and that I would post about them, but I've just been too tired.  So here I go.  About a month ago my father-in-law was visiting and since the grandparents just want to play with the munchkins and do all sorts of fun things and I just want a little break from my oh so adorable but exhausting kiddos and to get some projects done, it makes a win-win situation for all parties involved.  So as usual I decided to break out the paint since that's the one project that is the most difficult to do when it's just us alone.  Since I had taken the wallpaper down in the toy room a few weeks before, I decided to start with the toy room.  I painted the toy room the same green as the munchkins bathroom (which, by the way I don't think I've posted about that yet... whoops!).  I'm still working on the decor since I'm not exactly sure what I want to do in there yet and since everything costs money, which I have a shortage of these days.  So really I just painted, rearranged the toys so that things fit better and started cleaning out.  I really want to make the toy room a fun place for the kiddos to be since we'll probably be locked up quite a bit this winter with a new baby and all.

So here are a few pics for now.  Like I said, I've still got to decorate, but I have a few things in mind so once I get more done I'll post some new pics.
This was the toy room before we bought the house.  The previous owner used it as her sewing room.
For whatever reason I can't find any of the pictures I took of the toy room before I started working on it, so here it is with new paint.  Since there was the chair rail already and I didn't want to rip it off and chance damaging the walls I just left it there and decided to paint the top half green and the bottom half white.  
The room is so much nicer now.  On this long wall with all the toys I want to get two of the IKEA Expedit eight cube bookcases and lay them on their sides so that it's only two cubes high and the munchkins can easily access all the toys.  Plus the top will act as a shelf for all those bigger toys that won't fit in a cube, but take up floor space.
I also have plans to change the window covering to a bamboo shade and hang some white sheer curtains.  I would also love to paint the little chairs a fun aqua/turquoise color.
And on this wall we'll be able to get rid of this bookshelf and I want to make it sort of an art area with a little easel, a dry erase board, maybe a chalk board and then a fun art display area as well.  All in time I suppose.  I just need to find the time and money to get this done.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little Freezer Cooking

Since my freezer arrived I've been busy stocking that baby full of freezer meals.  Here's a list of what I've got made so far:

Chili - 3 containers
Ham and Bean Soup - 2 containers and 4 gallon size bags
Meatloaf - 6 loaves (this is one of our absolute favorite meals)
Beef Enchiladas - 3 9x13 pans of 8 enchiladas (24 total)
Taco Meat - 3 bags
Egg and Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches - 12 (these are mostly for Andrew to take to work)
Breakfast Burritos - 21 (again for Andrew to grab and go in the mornings)
Ham and Cheese Quiche - 3 pans
Garlic Bread - 1 (we had several, but have already eaten them all since they are so yummy)
Lots of leftover ham that I diced up - perfect for omelets or casseroles

I've also been able to freeze a couple London Broil Steaks since they were on sale and a lot of ground beef, which was also on sale (managers special actually - $1.79 lb for 85/15 and 93/7 - I got about 16 lbs).  I'm hoping that our grocery store will have their chicken on sale soon so that I can stock up on that as well.

I still have several things to make such as:
Stuffed Shells
Chicken and Broccoli Manicotti
Pasta Sauce
Baked Ziti
More Garlic Bread
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Chicken and Potato Casserole
Cookie Dough
Muffins (several varieties)
Pancake Mix

All in all I think I'm in good shape.  I figure the middle October is when I'll really get going and get the bulk of this done.  I don't really want to put all this effort in and then not be able to use it when I'll most need it.  I'll eventually get recipes posted as well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Last week I finally remembered to sign up for the food co-op Bountiful Baskets.  I have several friends that do it and they kept telling me how great it was and that I just had to try it.  Our area fills up really fast (like within the first 10 or 15 minutes) and I've always remembered way too late, but last week I remembered and I'm so glad I did.  This is what we got for $15.
about 12 plums
6 or 7 nectarines
bag of black seedless grapes
1 lb strawberries
2 bunches of bananas
1 canary melon (never even heard of before, but it was delish)

2 heads of cabbage
1 head romaine lettuce
1 bunch of celery
2 green peppers
10 or so yams 
6 or 7 tomatoes

This was so fun and I love that it's forcing me to get creative with our veggies and find new recipes.  We did give the cabbage to some friends though since we really don't like cabbage, but everything else (especially the fruit) is great.  We'll definitely be doing this again next week.

Going From Summer to Fall

We've been so busy here at our house the last week and a half.  I've been hit hard with the urge to do some serious "nesting".  I'm not really sure why since I still have twelve weeks left, it's certainly never hit this early before, but one afternoon I felt the need to clean.  So all three bathrooms have been cleaned top to bottom (too bad they need it again), the kitchen cabinets are organized, the stovetop is now clean and I finally got some decorating and de-cluttering done in the kitchen.  In addition to all the cleaning I've gotten done, I decided I needed to take advantage of Home Depot's paint sale last weekend.  So, my kitchen is finally painted (the rest of the main floor was painted last August and this was supposed to follow soon after; that obviously didn't happen), the master bathroom is painted and in the process of being decorated (I hate when you run out of moolah) and Saturday morning I woke up with the urge to rip out our closet and install the organizers I bought for it back in March.  More posts to come on those projects soon. So anyways, we've been pretty busy here and now I'm exhausted and trying to regain some energy again since I bought the paint for Ella and Cameron's shared room, which I'm hoping to have done this weekend so the switch can be made soon and then I have the paint for the nursery as well.  Two more projects that I need to finish up soon.

In addition to all these projects we've been trying to enjoy what's left of the warm days, which are numbered.  Summer is gone and fall has definitely hit, which I'm okay with since I love fall, but this takes some work on my part.  I had to dig out the buckets of warmer clothing last week since we had a couple of days in the 50's and 60's.  Good thing the munchkins don't seem to mind the chilly fall air.
Enjoying the last of summer... Andrew always holds the kids up to grab leaves from the trees.  Since he was at work, Ella came in the house grabbed her step stool from her bathroom and headed out back.  When I asked her what she was doing, she told me "mommy I'm not a tall girl so I need my step stool to get the leaves".  She's a smart one.  She was also pretty upset when her dad trimmed the tree branches that weekend and her step stool no longer helped her out.

She is always filling her pockets with stuff... I find some interesting things in the laundry.
Ella has also finally started riding her bike.  She thought it was fun to push around, but wouldn't ride for the longest time.  Then one day she just hopped on and started pedaling.  Now she loves riding her bike around our circle.  
Cameron loves his sisters bike and always wants to ride as well.  I guess that'll be next summer.

Enjoying the chilly air
Working on his lawn mower
My handsome little man helping his dad out with some yard work.  Such a helper.