Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Organizing kitchen drawers

With the colder temps, I have been cleaning and organizing like crazy.  Got a similiar idea off of pinterest for my measuring cups which were in a drawer.

Used smaller "command" hooks and lined them up inside a cabinet door in my kitchen.  The cabinet I chose is right next to the stove where all my spices are.  You could do the same with table/teaspoons.  I used my label maker to put the sizes next to them.

Disney Princess Live

Over the weekend, Reece and I along with her cousins Kennedy and Gracie, my 2 sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law, went to the Disney Princess Live at the Civic Center in Peoria.  It was 3 fairy tales - Snow White, Cinderella, and Beauty in the Beast.  We took the girls out for lunch after church and then headed to the afternoon show.  The girls had so much fun and they each dressed up as one of the princesses.

Dress up station

Reece and Brody love to dress up and have accumulated quite a few dress up items from garage sales, Christmas and birthday.  Halloween has peaked their interest even more.  I had rigged up this shower curtain thing so that we could hang the clothes and used an old cart to put some of the items in.  It was taking up a lot of space and just looked messy.  So I searched online (mainly pinterest) to come up with a new plan for their dress up items.  I found that I had an old white cabinet that I was using in the basement/craft area for party supplies and random things, that would be pefect for a closet-type dress up station.

Here is what it looked like before:

White cabinet with sewing and party items...
 Dress up clothes on shower rod, shoes on the floor, accessories in white cart (MESSY)
 Hats and other things in the orange basket.
Here is what it looks like now:
 I found these tin buckets in my party supplies.  I had the purple paint already.  Bought command hooks and spray painted everything purple.  Used scrapbook stickers to label the buckets.  This smaller one is for dress-up rings...
 This medium sized one is for bracelets, watches, and other things like sunglasses...
 I took all the shelves out of the cabinet but this bottom one.  I took old gift boxes and wrapped them with paper that I already had.  One for purses and one for hats and things...
 Brock installed this wooden pole/doll rod and the shoes are all lined up on the bottom.
 This fairy bucket was something she got for Easter a couple of years ago.  I put the neckelaces, wands, and some wedding flowers in it.
Found a white mirror on clearance for $5 at Meijer and spray painted it with the purple paint. Used command strips to stick it to the side.
The kids can't get all the clothes down or the taller buckets but I wanted it this way. I figured this way she had to either ask to get it down or work for it...which would hopefully make less of a mess!  You could do something similiar using an old dresser and taking the drawers out or making one from scratch.  See pinterest for other ideas!

Operation Christmas Child

This year we really got the children involved in our operation Christmas child boxes.  I took them to the dollar store this week and let them pick out things to put in their boxes.  If you are like me, you struggle with that part.  You think that since they have nothing, we should buy them something really nice and you feel kind of bad settling for the the dollar store.  One thing I learned about when going on the mission trip to Costa Rica, is that you shouldn't buy them really nice things even though they have nothing.  What I learned is, they have no nice place to keep the items, don't know how to take care of things, they could get stolen, and they likely won't last long in their environment anyhow. 

My children asked a lot of questions about the boxes.  Where will the box go?  What is the child's name who will receive the box?  Can we go to their house and drop them off?  Those were kind of tough questions to answer - at least for them because I don't think they entirely understand.  But it was a sweet time with them with great conversations.  I could really see their giving, tender hearts during this time.  They wanted to put more in the box than the box would allow.  I think we were good packers/stuffers and were able to fit a lot in the box.  Some items were: crayons, notepads, color pads, jacks game, barbie doll, stuffed animals that said the Lord's prayer, small books like Noahs ark, Jonah, etc, bag of candy (that they picked out from their Halloween jar), socks, wash cloth, soap, toothpaste/toothbrush, sunglasses, bracelets, small puzzle, monster truck and a blanket.

Chicken Chili recipe

With the weather getting colder, I have been in the mood for chili.  One day I looked around my to see what kinds of ingredients I had and then I searched pinterest to see if I could find some good recipes.  I found 2 different recipes that had black beans in them (one was like a taco and one was chili)...so I combined the two and came up with this chicken chili recipe which was pretty good.  I thought I would post it on here.  I believe this is my first recipe post!

Here are the ingredients:
  • 1 can of diced tomatos with liquid
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of onions
  • 1 cup of yellow peppers
  • 1 can of black beans with liquid
  • 1 can of corn with liquid
  • 1 cup of sweet salsa (I used Red Cactus - America's sweet which you can find at sams)
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • Salt and peper to taste
  • I also added some pureed sweet potato - about 1/2 cup but you don't have to!
  • Also can garnish with cilantro and/or avocado, cheese, sour cream, and fritos!
First thing I did was cooked the chicken in the skillet with some oil.  I didn't cook it fully because I didn't want it to dry out in the crockpot. 
Next, I shredded the chicken in the food processor

While the chicken is cooking, put some oil in a small pan and cook the onion, garlic and green pepper until soft. 

"Dump" everything in the crockpot and cook on low for a few hours.

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween, I had a Princess and a Knight in shinning armor.  Reece was princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.  I found her dress at the Disney store last year after Halloween on the clearance rack.  It was originally a $50 dress and I got it for 14.99 along with the shoes for 2.99 and also a wand.  I wrapped it up and gave it to her for Christmas last year and planned on her being that for Halloween.  She kind of looks like Aurora with her blonde hair and blue eyes.  Brody's costume I got at a garage sale this summer.  It is the Knight costume from the Chronicles of Narnia.  I am not sure I have too many more years to dress them as a pair!

So far, it has been a tradition to go to Mimi's house on Halloween and eat pizza before trick or treating in her neighborhood with the cousins.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Look what finally came in the mail!

After only an 8 month wait...I am really, REALLY official now.  My certificate and official name tag/lanyard...