Hot Spot Check Up 7: Kitchen Island | Ready to move on?

OK, just for fun, I’m going to use last week’s ‘after’ picture as this week’s ‘before’ picture.

Last week’s ‘after’ picture:

Today’s picture:

Some of the changes are subtle, but I’m pretty happy with how things are going. I’m thinking about checking in on a different clutter hot spot next week.

Maybe The Desk of Paper Clutter Madness?

That could be fun. 

Or productive, anyway.

Other Updates:

  • Still working on getting the house ready for a playdate! I’m making progress…and I’m taking pictures!
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Menu Plan for the Week 9/25 – 10/1

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

How last week’s menu went:

I actually followed last week’s menu plan exactly. Woah.

Favorite meal from last week:

I really wanted to pick 3 favorites this week, but Mr. RSS convinced me that 2 is plenty when it comes to favorites, so I’m starting with the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili, which I simply adore. I first made it when I saw it in Family Fun Magazine, but when I went to look for it this time, I could not find the magazine nor could I find the recipe on Family Fun’s site, so Danielle saved the day by posting the recipe! And even though I am usually a toppings-kind-of-girl,  I really like this chili as-is, or with just a little cilantro. I did double the beans. I might cut the orange zest in half next time. 4 of the 5 of us like it.

The Portobello Mushroom Burgers were the other favorite. I stuck a big slice of grilled red pepper on mine. Yummy! Mr. RSS decided to double the marinade on these. They had lots of flavor! 4 of the 5 of us liked this one as well.

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday:

Monday

  • Green salad with beets and goat cheese (I’m making it like this recipe, except I’m using romaine lettuce that needs using up and canned beets from the pantry)

Tuesday

  • BBQ Country Style Ribs (Mr. RSS will likely finish them on the grill)
  • Cooked apples [Edit: I removed this recipe link because when I looked at the recipe tonight, I realized it was way off from how I make these (I should have read the recipe more closely!) I usually use peeled, sliced apples and cook them down in a saucepan with about 1/2 cup water, add a little sugar and cinnamon to taste, if desired.]
  • green beans

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Homemade Pizza night!  I’ve been using this crust recipe, with part whole wheat flour. I also knead the dough after mixing.
  • Raw veggies

Saturday

  • Brown Rice with Black Beans (I’m going to add some cumin and chili powder this time.) Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, cilantro)
  • Chips and salsa

Other Updates:

  • I’m having a MOPS playdate at my house this week. I am appropriately frightened. I am planning to clean and declutter every day, focusing on the living room and kitchen. I will not wait until the day before –  no, no, no. There’s nothing like guests coming over to give you that extra motivation! Yikes!

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!


Let’s Talk Laundry: Part 1

In high school I was one of those kids with laundry (both clean and dirty) – and everything else all over the floor of my room. I thought it was cool.

Oh yes, I did. I also thought that I knew right where everything was.

Right.

I no longer make such claims.

It did get a little better in college and in my single days, mostly because of positive peer pressure from my roommates.

In more recent years I have not done very well. Check out this before pictures from when I cleaned out my master bedroom closet:

For many years I was pretty good at washing the clothes, but then they would sit in a crumpled mess in a basket or a pile on a bed or couch. Clean, but very wrinkled. And do I seem like the ironing type to you? 

Mmmmm……no.

I finally got fed up with that nonsense and realized that I should not take the laundry out of the dryer unless I was folding it that instant! So for about a year I folded things as I took them out of the dryer. Big success!

Now I am brave enough to take them to another location and fold them right away.

One of my recent goals has been getting the folded clothes put away! I have clean, folded clothes, usually in baskets, sitting around.

Here’s what I’m working on:

  • I try to put my folded clothes on my side of the bed and Mr. RSS’s on his side, and we each put our own away. That works pretty well when I do it.
  • Ella (7) can put her clothes away – I just need to remind her.
  • Gabe (5) can’t reach his drawers very well, so I need to either keep doing it myself (and actually do it instead of leaving them in baskets), or get him a step stool, or something. The other problem is that one of his drawers is broken and if you pull it out too far, the whole drawer falls out – so we need to fix that.
  • Anna (1.5) All she wants to do is open any drawer she can get to and take everything out. Then possibly cram some things back in. Next, she likes to close the drawer on her finger. She obviously needs some work in this area! 😉
  • Cleaning out and organizing more of the closets and dressers will make this easier.

I’m also working on keeping up with Mt. Laundry, which has become a landmark in our basement…until now.  I  have some great before and after pictures to show you, but I’ll save them for later in the week. Oh the suspense!

What are your laundry successes or challenges?


Hot Spot Check Up 6: Kitchen Island in 7 Minutes

I sort of forgot about the kitchen island post until late in the morning today. I took a picture, but I was determined to make improvements. I just wasn’t willing to let it sit like that today. Hooray for determination!

So here’s my before picture:

I didn’t have time to properly clear it all off, so I decided to time myself for 5 minutes while I worked on clearing it, and then take another picture.

The five minutes seemed to fly by, and I was making good progress, so I decided to give myself 1 more minute timed.

After that, I was still super motivated and really wanted to work on it for just 1 more minute (and that’s really all the time I had anyway).

So after 7 minutes (plus a quick wipe of the sponge), here’s how it looked:

I really need to remember that timer thing again. The timer helped me to stay focused and it helped me to work fast! Now, I can get work done on the island and the clutter that is left doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

How are your clutter hot spots doing?


Menu Plan for the Week 9/18 – 9/24

 

Pizza Penne Bake

How last week’s menu went:

I made a few changes last week. The chicken noodle soup and the Swedish meatballs both didn’t happen. Instead, one night turned into an awesome cheap date night with my sweetie, and the other night we grilled hamburgers.

Favorite meal from last week:

I’m going to go with the Pizza Penne Bake, It was easy, cheap, fairly healthy (I used whole grain pasta and served it with a green salad). All 5 of us liked it! I will add more sauce next time, because we are sauce-y people. Especially Mr. RSS.

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday:

  • Seven-Layer Bean Dip (except that mine only had 5 layers this time – but it was fast and yummy!)
  • fruit – grapes and pears

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Leftovers

Saturday

Other Updates:

  • Seriously. There’s a laundry post coming. Soon.
  • We did some good cleaning up in the living room and kitchen this weekend, and Mr. RSS attacked some paper clutter in the basement!
  • We started taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class. Love it!

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!


Hot Spot Check Up 5: Kitchen Island

Here’s the picture for today:

Not great, but of course it has been much worse.

I generally like to keep things light around here, but I have to tell you that I’ve had a tough day today. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed.

I’m doing  a little better now. I’ve been praying about it all – that is so good for me. My sweet husband is a great encouragement to me, too. And I had some chocolate cake and tea (see pictured above).  Now I need some much needed rest. And I do have hope for tomorrow. Starting with right priorities, then one bite at a time, one step at a time. And not in my own strength.


Menu Plan for the Week 9/11 – 9/17

 

How last week’s menu went:

Last week went pretty well. The store was out of chicken leg quarters, so I roasted a whole chicken instead. The Chick-fil-A dinner got bumped to this week, so I made pizza that night  instead.

Favorite meal from last week:

That would have to be the dinner my wonderful husband made for me on my birthday: Steak Au Poivre, sautéed asparagus & mushrooms, roasted red pepper & crab bisque, brown sugar encrusted baked Brie with berry lemon bread. Yes.  The man knows how to cook. He also made me a chocolate cake! The cake was especially meaningful because he does not enjoy baking. This was the first time I have ever seen him bake a cake!

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday:

  • Leftovers/snacky dinner

Monday

Tuesday

  •   Friends are treating us to Chick-fil-A! (Bumped from last week)

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Chicken Noodle Soup (I usually modify a recipe from my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, but I might try this one from Simply Recipes this time.)
  • Bread or muffins

Friday

Saturday

Other Updates:

  • I’m hoping to post about some exciting progress with the laundry and the refrigerator – maybe even more – by Friday.

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.