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In Blog on
February 15, 2018

What you don’t see

Smiling faces, beautiful places, happy couples, happy babies, besties hanging out, amazing looking food, and the list goes on and on. That is the majority of what we see of each other on social media. It makes sense. Why would you want to showcase anything but the happy and good stuff in your life for all to see. It isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t a bad thing at all until you start looking at everybody else’s pictures and thinking that there is nothing past the happy photographs.

We all have issues. Hey, there’s a song about that! Ok wow, back to what I was saying. Behind every Instagram account there is a real person. A real person who has incredible days, sucky days, mundane days, good news, bad news, you get it. So many people have started writing about this topic and thank goodness. It is so refreshing and helpful to see people being vulnerable and real in this day and age of social media. Thankfully more and more people are pouring out their heart and their stories and it benefits so many people to see more than just a happy photograph. You never know who you are helping or who can relate to you when you share your struggles. I am not saying everybody has to put out the worst of the worst for all to see but let’s be real with each other as much as possible.

What you don’t see in my feed are pictures relating to my constant reproductive health issues- for instance the 8×8 inch ovarian cyst that is currently very uncomfortably filling up my abdomen and being surgically removed next week. Or the time I bled for 6 months straight due to uterine polyps. You don’t hear about how tight our finances are while my husband is back in school working his butt off to get his PhD and I’m doing my best to work as much as possible while staying at home with our daughter. You don’t see me being impatient with my daughter or rolling my eyes at my husband when we aren’t agreeing on something. You don’t hear about how my daughter is often the grumpy/unfriendly baby when I take her to playdates (she’s starting to get better, hallelujah!) You don’t see pictures that depict my insecurities and occasional self-doubt. And that’s ok. You don’t have to know about all of that all the time. But what you do have to know is that we are all REAL people with REAL life struggles and issues. Don’t you dare look at somebody’s happy Instagram feed and assume their life is all unicorns and rainbows while you are struggling and things aren’t going as well as you’d like. We are all struggling in one way or another. I am certain there is someone on this earth dealing with the exact same difficult thing you are dealing with at the moment and how nice is it to know you are not alone.

I hope this is a small encouragement to A) not compare your life or your situation to other peoples (preaching to myself because this is hard) and B) when you are tempted to compare and be sad and sit in your own suffering- bring it to the Lord! He cares, oh he cares about you so much. He gave you a beautiful story no matter what chapter you are in. So yes, you see the happy Instagram feeds, you see the success, you see the smiles, but friend, don’t hold up your own life to that .That is a highlight reel of someone else’s life. You have your own highlight reel and the person who’s Instagram feed you are looking at, well, they have their own very real and difficult struggles. Your story is just as exciting especially when you understand it is being written by an all knowing, almighty God. He loves you. He cares about you. He is gracious enough to give us all “Instagram worthy” moments and he is gracious enough to let us struggle so that we can be reminded how much we need him and how fulfilling it is to experience his love and care in the hardest moments.

 

In Adoption, Blog, Foster care, Infertility, Mama, Mi Familia on
February 4, 2018

Adoptive/foster mama, you are not a second rate mom

I’ve heard you talk about it, I’ve felt it myself. The feeling like you or others consider you “less of a mom” because you did not birth your children. I’ve heard you share the hurt of no one offering a baby shower for you when you have announced you are adopting/fostering, or no one starting a meal train for you when you finally get to bring your baby home or after a caseworker drops off your child at a random hour of the night. I see you being left out of the pregnant belly pictures all of your friends take together. The people who consider hand me downs a better option for your foster or adopted child instead of a nice new outfit like your friend who is about to give birth might receive for her child. It’s so frustrating. It hurts. Why can’t you be celebrated in the same way your pregnant friends are being celebrated if in fact you too are just as much of a mom as they are?

Well mama, you are not second rate. Some people might say things that make you feel as such and you might even tell yourself at times you aren’t as much of a mom because you didn’t give birth to your child  or because you didn’t get to nurse your child or maybe you missed months or even years of your child’s life. But guess what- you are just as much of a mom as anyone.

Adoptive mama, you fought hard to bring your child home. You might not have conceived your child, spent 9 or so months growing them, and birthed them but you spent months and possibly years preparing for your child. You prayed about it countless hours, you had difficult conversations with your spouse and family members. You sat through hours and hours and hours of classes. You went through piles of paperwork. You sat through meeting after meeting exposing every tiny and embarrassing part of your life and finances so that someone could judge if you were “good” enough to foster or adopt a child. You prayed fervently for the health and safety of your child and how they would come to you when you didn’t even have the slightest idea of who they were or where they were coming from. Everything about you worked so hard to become a mom and it was all a choice. You didn’t have to do it. But you chose this path and you did it because you are an amazing mom. You are a first rate mom.

Last May was my very first mother’s day. I was 6 or so months into this “momming” gig and I was so excited and grateful to finally get to be recognized as a mom on mother’s day. Six months I had spent keeping my tiny human alive. Feeding her, bathing her, changing her diaper, taking care of blowouts, taking 8,000 photos of her, scheduling dr. appointments, scheduling caseworker visits, cleaning my house from top to bottom for every one of those caseworker visits, buying clothes, going to play dates, YOU GET IT I “mommed” like every other mom out there. Well friends, can I tell you on my very first mother’s day I had someone ask me “so are you celebrating mother’s day today or no…since you aren’t technically a mom?” Wow. Major punch to the gut. For those reading this who aren’t adoptive/foster parents if anything, please take away from this post- don’t do that. Don’t you dare question how much of a mom someone is because their story looks different from yours or what you would expect.

Adoptive mama, you are an amazing mom. God chose such a beautiful path to motherhood for you. It was a hard path to motherhood but you deserve to be celebrated. You are doing the same job as every other mom on the planet. I hope you never doubt how much of a mom you are.

 

In Blog, Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Recipes on
January 31, 2018

Taco Tuesday Sweet Potatoes

When I started writing this post it was Tuesday, hence the Taco Tuesday frame of mind! But it is now Wednesday. Don’t judge. In my opinion we should treat every day like its taco Tuesday though! That is the old San Antonio(n) coming out of me. In San Antonio, TX tacos are the norm. All day. Everyday. Well we don’t live in San Antonio anymore but tacos or taco inspired things are always still a good choice in my book.

As many of y’all know I ventured out on a 3 month journey of no dairy, no sugar, and no bread/wheat based pastas, etc. So taco Tuesday had to look a little different for us this month! And no, we don’t really eat tacos every Tuesday. It’s a fun idea though. This recipe incorporates a sweet potato as your “tortilla” and you stuff it TO THE BRIM with allllll the taco goodness. We are talking flavorful ground taco meat, onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and even black beans if you would like. It is a hearty and filling meal. To keep it whole 30 compliant say no to the black beans. To keep it vegan say no to the meat (duh) and simmer/season your black beans as if it was the ground beef. Here we go! 

 


Ingredients:

2-3 large sweet potatoes

1 lb ground beef

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp onion powder

¼  tsp chili powder

Small red onion

Tomato

Avocado

Cilantro

1 can black beans- optional

1 lime-optional

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 425º. On a baking sheet, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and then wrap in foil.

2.       Bake until tender, test by poking with a fork, 40-45 minutes.

3.       While your sweet potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef and add in tomato sauce and all of the seasonings. Stir it well and allow it to simmer for at least 10 minutes to absorb all of the flavors.

4.       Chop up your onion, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.

5.       Once your potatoes are done let them cool for a few minutes, then split the tops open with a knife.

6.       Add in a hearty scoop of taco meat and top with all desired toppings. If you would like, add on black beans for extra flavor and protein and lastly squeeze a little lime juice over the top for an extra flair.

7.       Dig in! You won’t even miss the cheese, I promise!

In Blog on
January 11, 2018

Boy meets girl or in our case Chief meets Maiden

I was in a fluffy, purple princess dress in the middle of a short, poky, bushy tree (thank you Texas hill country) being guarded by a small clan of ten year old boys. Normal, right? I see a group of tween boys running up to save me from the evil capturers guarding me and they are getting tagged out left and right; my fate was up in the air. Would I be a maiden trapped in this poky bush tree forever?! But  then I see a handsome chief running towards me avoiding those scary ten year old boys dodging left and right, weaving in and out and next thing I know he has my hand in his and we are running together to safety. Yes, this is all true. I still have a small scar from the barbed wire fence he helped me climb over. We ran hand in hand to safety, complete strangers. Funny enough, once we got to the safety road we had to walk down it together to get to where everyone else was and someone thought it would be funny to sing the wedding hymnal song and everyone else joined in (how crazy and fortuitous is this btw). Uhm.. awkward, I’m with this good looking guy holding his hand and I don’t even know his name and people are singing the wedding song..? I broke the awkwardness by saying to him “well this is awkward.” How clever of me. We shared names and high fived because most people aren’t able to win in this game.

This is the big purple dress and about 30 minutes before this whole story began.

You might be wondering what in the HECK were you doing…?! Well friends, let me mention that we were at a summer camp. I have my doubts that many people meet the love of their life amongst 100 yelling and sweaty kids but let me tell you, that’s the scenario in which I met my husband. The game was “rescue the maiden” which is basically capture the flag but with real life people (girls or guys in ridiculous costume dresses).

Let’s rewind a little bit. This was the summer of 2011. I had just finished my freshman year of college at Texas State University and what’s a better college job than to work at a summer camp? I’ll also mention, this was my beloved childhood camp that I went to every summer growing up. Camp Peniel in Marble Falls, TX. Shout out to all my CP folks reading this! I was so pumped to spend the summer counseling, being a light, learning more about myself, and playing outside like a bafoon all day everyday with my campers and fellow counselors but little did I know I would meet the love of my life.

He played it real cool, he laid low, I had no idea he had been eyeing me throughout the summer. You see, he came one week as a volunteer, I remember seeing him and thinking “who’s that handsome fella?” But I didn’t think much further into it because I found out he was 6 years older than me and he just seemed SO much more mature than me at the time (I was only 18.)

Anyway, that handsome fella, Mr. Steven Stelly, just so happened to be the “chief” who rescued me, the maiden, that fateful summer day. To be honest, nothing happened at all after that. We talked here and there, joked a little with each other, I crushed on him a little but like I mentioned earlier, I thought he was WAY too good for me. The summer went on, he kept sticking around camp even though he was only supposed to volunteer for a week.

The last day of camp came and it is always a dreaded day because you have to say goodbye to the people who have basically become your family over the span of two months. I hate goodbyes and I am totally fine dodging them to avoid the awkward “see you later” even though you know you won’t really “see” some people later. I didn’t see Steven that morning before I drove off and to be honest I probably didn’t look for him because as mentioned earlier, not a fan of goodbyes.

That night, I made it home to my parent’s house. I’m unpacking and processing through the whirlwind of an amazing summer when I get a call from an unknown number. I answered it and it was Steven… what the what?? Just calling to offer me an encouraging word. No big deal, seriously? That began the start of texting a lot over the next few weeks. He asked if I wanted to hang out once school started up again (he lived 45 mins away from where I went to school) and of course I said yes. Well this little hang out, I thought it was gonna be super casual, it started sounding more and more like a date. I’ll leave you here- this “hang out” turned into him asking if he could pick me up at 4:45 in the morning to go to a secret location. I was so giddy and excited so I said yes to this crazy request. He picked me up at 4:45am and we drove an hour somewhere in the dark and arrived to a park, still dark, and hiked up a one mile trail, still dark, to an observation deck that overlooked all of San Antonio. He brought us breakfast, we sat down and he told me he planned this so we could watch the sunrise together. Well folks, we laughed and shared stories and really the rest is history!  I love our story, I’m so thankful chief Stelly “rescued” me in the woods that fateful day. God writes pretty sweet stories, eh?

Our first picture taken together. I have no idea what prompted the sunglasses…?

This is the day we got engaged, but I put this here because this is also the observation deck where we had our first date. For those who want a visual.

*Fun fact, a year and a half later we got engaged at the park where our first date was and then way later got to celebrate Evy’s adoption there! It’s a pretty special place to us.

**another fun fact, Steven was only supposed to help out at camp for a week that summer but he tells me time and time again that he kept sticking around because he saw something in me and didn’t want to leave. OMG. Swoon.

 

 

In Blog on
December 7, 2017

Pressed pesto, Hummus, and roasted vegetable wraps

It is a COLD COLD COLD day in Texas and I am LOVING it! Sorry for the caps and enthusiasm but this just doesn’t happen here too often, people. Y’all might have noticed a pattern with my food- I know, I know, we eat a lot of hummusy and roasted vegetable(y) foods here but hey, there is nothing wrong with that! I promise I will be more diverse over time with what recipes I post. BUT today I will post a true to me kind of recipe that I love.

This is yet another go to or us. When I am meal planning and I don’t literally want to use a single brain cell, I put this down for a couple of dinners. It is easy, healthy, versatile, colorful, warm, and even the meat eaters i’ve made this for love it too. There is no deprivation here, it is a filling meal between the thick and hearty hummus and all nutrient dense roasted veggies. If you really need to get this ish done and on the plate in no time just buy some good pre-made hummus and pesto.

 

I realize the that this is not the most aesthetically pleasing picture..lol


Time: 30 mins or less

Serves: This recipe is pretty easy to judge how much to get to serve your crew but let me know if you have any questions J

Ingredients:

·         Tortillas ( I prefer Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas)

·         Hummus

·         Pesto

·         Red bell pepper

·         Yellow squash

·         Zucchini

·         Red onion

·         Cherry tomatoes

·         Olive oil

·         Salt

·         Pepper

·         Goat cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper

2.       Chop all of your veggies, add them to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, toss on salt and pepper and stir

3.       Place chopped veggies in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet and put into the oven for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

4.       While your veggies are roasting make your hummus and pesto OR pull out your pre-made hummus and pesto.

5.       Once veggies are roasted and out of the oven it is time to assemble the wraps!

6.       Take a tortilla and spread on some hummus in a line liberally, next spread a line of pesto. Add on a good amount of roasted veggies and if you would like, top with your goat cheese or feta. Cannot even tell you how good this is with goat cheese…And the cheese helps bind these together while they are being pressed.

7.       Heat up your panini press or a pan on the stove top and add your carefully wrapped bundle of goodness to it, hold everything together with a spatula before you close the panini press or put onto the stove top with the opening side down. The goal here is to just combine all the lovely flavors together for 2-3 minutes.

8.       Take it off of the panini press or stove, let it cool for 5-10 minutes, then shove it in your face!

In Blog, Food, Healthier sweets, Recipes on
November 17, 2017

Apple Pie Granola

Do y’all remember “it’s Friday, Friday, gonna get down on Friday” that horrrrrrible song that came out a few years ago and was stuck in your head constantly (and now it is probably stuck in your head again, so sorry). WELL not as many know but my husband informed me that the same producer who produced the Friday song produced another one and the lyrics include “oh oh oh it’s thanksgiving! We we we we gonna have a good time.” If you haven’t heard that little gem you should check out “It’s Thanksgiving” by Nicole Westbrook- or don’t because it will be stuck in your head FOR DAYS, not trying to be mean, it’s just “too catchy” if ya know what I mean… Anyway, this song was brought to my attention again a few days ago and it has been really getting me in the thanksgiving spirit (jokes) and annoying me all in one.

One of the first things I think about when I think of Thanksgiving is apple pie. There are probably thousands upon thousands of apple pie recipes out there but how many apple pie granola recipes are out there?? Hmm? I don’t know, I actually did not check but I’m gonna guess not many. Well, today I have for you, Apple Pie Granola- healthful, modestly sweet, a great snack or a great way to start your day in a bowl with almond milk or on top of yogurt. I hope you enjoy! It isn’t your grandma’s apple pie recipe, that’s for sure- but it also doesn’t include 8 lbs of butter and sugar and instead has nutrient dense superfoods like chia seeds and flax meal.


Time: 10 mins prep

20 mins in the oven

Ingredients:

3 C rolled oats

1 TBS flax meal (ground flax seeds)

3 TBS coconut sugar

1 TBS chia seeds

1 TBS cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

½ C walnut pieces

½ C finely chopped granny smith apple

¼ C melted coconut oil

½ C unsweetened applesauce

¼ C maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl  (oats, flax meal, coconut sugar, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, walnut pieces, and apple pieces) and mix well.
  • Combine wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, unsweetened apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla) in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Add liquids to dry ingredient bowl and stir well.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dump the mixture on, spread evenly
  • Bake 20 minutes total but take out after  10 minutes to stir (this helps prevent burning) and then add back into the oven for 10 minutes. You want your granola to look golden brown but not burnt brown. I’ve learned many ovens are different so you get to be the judge!
  • Let cool for 15 minutes
  • Enjoy plain, put on top of yogurt, or throw in a bowl with some almond milk!

 

In Blog, Mi Familia on
November 5, 2017

Ode to TJ

What a week. It has been such a week. Monday was incredibly hard. I was sitting down just now to post a recipe and I just felt like I couldn’t do that without first posting about TJ. He was a part of our little familia and life is weird without him.

Monday. I got baby girl up from a nap, I called the dogs over, I got leashes on them, got baby in the stroller, and off we went. Down the street. A gorgeous day. Perfect weather. We walked all the time. Our neighborhood who most everyone in our town refers to as “the hood” and my husband and I roll our eyes because it is just a neighborhood full of people. People as real as anyone else.

Baby girl has gotten into this new wonderful phase where she is obsessed with dogs and cats. She gets so excited when she sees them. As we were walking, I knew we were about to pass a house where a Rottweiler is always tied up in the front yard. We have walked by many times and there has never been an issue.  I was not nervous. I was not nervous until that dog came running out at us. It broke the wire it was tied up with and ran straight at us. My first instinct was to push the stroller as far away from it as possible. As I did this I looked back and saw it had my TJ.

I will spare the details because it is not pretty. In fact it is one of the most traumatic, horrible things I have had to witness. Life was a blur the next few hours. It involved screaming and yelling for help, language barriers with the owner as I cried and hovered over my dog’s very still body, a ride with a stranger to the pet hospital, lots of crying, a stressful baby who didn’t understand what was happening, waiting for over an hour to know the fate of my dog, husband rushing home from work on his bike to grab our car and meet us at the hospital with our other dog, Sadie, getting the news, seeing the x-ray images, hearing the severity of what that dog did to ours, saying goodbye, anger, riding home with his tiny body in a cardboard box, watching my husband dig a hole in the backyard, coming together and putting the tiny box in the hole, some words were said, and then it was over. How did this all happen in a span of hours? It’s crazy how different life can be literally from one minute to the next.

TJ. I had him for almost 13 years. He was quirky as they come but definitely one of the cutest little creatures I have ever laid my eyes on. Just seeing his little face brought me so much joy. He is the dog I begged my parents for for years. Things I will never forget about him are the way he would “sneak” ever so gently under low surfaces such as chairs or dressers, rubbing back and forth slowly because he liked how it tickled his fur. The way he loved hiking trails and could keep up with the best of them even though he was a 9 pound yorkie. His name was the first word our daughter said. No joke. We went to get her up from a nap one day, he came trailing in behind, and she said “TJ!” as clear and happy as ever. The way he would know if I was sad and would sit next to me until I felt better. He was just there. He was there for almost 13 years of my life. Life just isn’t the same without his presence but I know we will find our new normal. I am so thankful for all the time we got with him. Cheers to you, TJ Bear Wookie Pants Bulldozer Stelly.

In Blog, Food, Weekly meal plans on
October 29, 2017

Well Fed Weekly Meal Plan #1

The cold has come to Texas and I could not be happier about it! Well honestly who knows how long it will last. Any Texan knows that Texas has bipolar weather so while it was 33 degrees (F) last night it will likely be back in the 90s by the end of the week (le sigh). This weather has had me craving some warm comforting food so that is what I have planned for the week!

Any recipe I add in these meal plans are my own or recipes that I have found over the years and have been tried and true winners for our family. Next to the recipe I will note any changes I made and any dietary specifications. Of course, you know the size of the crowd you’re cooking for, so if you plan to follow this meal plan, look at the portions to decide if you will need to double/triple/whatever the recipe.  This meal plan includes dinner, lunch, breakfast, and snacks for the week. Yes, we eat a lot of leftovers, yes we eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch 7 days in a row (usually) but it saves money and time and that’s why I spend so much time looking for recipes and coming up with recipes we love. I hope you enjoy!

Hey, stop. Before you go any further, if you haven’t read how I meal plan, you might want to check it out to understand this a little better. Cool, thanks.


Dinners

Dinner 1 (M/TH):  Turmeric Roasted Veggies with Hummus and Couscous – fast, healthy, delicious, always a winner. (vegan, can be gluten free if you use a different grain, not couscous).

Dinner 2 (T/F):Lemony Chicken and Veggie Soup by The Cozy Apron– This has been a favorite for years! The herbs de provence, the leeks, the lemon- it is just genius. We have coined it “Sicky Stelly Soup” because we love to eat it when one of us has a cold for the immunity boost from the lemon and it is just so soothing. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can omit the chicken and do chickpeas or white beans, we love to eat it this way as well. (gluten free and can easily be made vegan if you omit the chicken, use vegan butter, and use beans.)

Image from The Cozy Apron

 

Dinner 3 (W/Sat): Lentil Sheperd’s Pie by Plant Based Cooking– Ok, before you look over this one because lentils, come back and consider it. This recipe is SO good. So comforting, so filling, and just so happy to eat. I am not a mushroom person, so I omitted those and used some organic corn. I have also skipped the roasting garlic business at the beginning when in a pinch and just added garlic powder to the mashed potatoes at the end. If you are not 100% committed vegan you can just use regular Worcestershire and regular butter for the potatoes and or to sauté the veggies, that’s what I do. 

Image from Plant Based Cooking

Dinner 4 (Sun): Scrambled eggs with spinach and homemade sweet potato hash browns- I plan to do a post on this eventually because we eat it so often. For now though, you just literally scramble some eggs with some spinach and best case scenario use a food processor with a vegetable/cheese shredder to chop your sweet potato and then sauté those bad boys up in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic. Top with salsa for a real party in your mouth. (vegetarian)


Lunches

Lunch for husband: One Pot Zucchini and Mushroom Pasta by Damn Delicious– I make a big pot of this and all he has to do is get a Tupperware container in the morning and fill it up to take to work. (vegetarian, use rice noodles for gluten free)

Image from Damn Delicious

Lunch for Adrienne and baby: Vegetable Fritters with Avocado Lime Dip – I make a double recipe to last for the week. (vegetarian)


Breakfast

Breakfast for all: Oatmeal with berries, bananas, and peanut butter 


Snacks

Husband– Big ole bag of Trail Mix – I make this in the bulk section at the grocery store. I just might have to post a recipe for this eventually.

All–  Apples and PB, Mary’s Gone Crackers and 5 minute hummus, (we dip baby’s rice puffs in hummus for her)

AdrienneGoMacro MacroBar, Organic Vegan Protein Bar, Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip, Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Baby– Stonyfield organic yogurt, Blueberry Larabars, organic mozzarella string cheese

Happy Meal Planning, folks!

In Blog, DIY, Home projects on
October 25, 2017

Fixer Upper Play Kitchen

Fixer Upper Play Kitchen

Is your kitchen a fixer upper? Are you like me and can’t afford to redo your actual kitchen? WELL- did you know you can make your dream kitchen on a very small budget when it is in a mini size? And better yet, if you have a child they will enjoy it almost as much as you! Having this minimalist modern white play kitchen (that I hope Joanna Gaines would be proud of) in my actual kitchen really enhances the atmosphere.  Can we be real? This was almost as much for me as it was for baby girl. BUT mostly for baby girl (wink).. No, but really- I felt like this would be a great gift that will last through many years and stages. Right now she just likes to look at all of the things in her kitchen, she opens and shuts the doors, but it will soon become a station for lots of imaginative play and creativity. I can’t wait to see what she cooks up over the years!

I originally was going to follow this tutorial however after looking all over town in various thrift stores we couldn’t find an old entertainment center that would work. I ended up finding a play kitchen on a garage sale app that was still in the box for $40 and I decided to use that as the structure. This made the project require minimal work but it was still fun to fix it up!

This is the play kitchen I purchased on the garage sale app.

Here is what you need for the project:

Instructions:

1.       If your kitchen is disassembled paint all pieces in your paint/primer combo first and let dry for a full 24 hours. I did two coats of paint. If your base/kitchen is already assembled then just paint it as is.

2.       Add bronze embellishments. I decided to paint the little oven knobs, refrigerator handle, and the utensil rack knobs.

3.       Next assemble the kitchen according to the instructions.

4.       Measure and cut foam board to fit in the back for the stick and peel subway tile.

5.       Once board is cut, carefully apply stick and peel subway tile to the board.

6.       Staple your board to the back of the kitchen.

7.       Color over any screws with your white paint pen.

8.       A key aesthetic feature I wanted to add was a succulent in a geometric pot. I painted the top rim of the pot with a thin bronze line. If your pot is breakable like mine, hot glue it down to the shelf.

9.       Are you ready to see your fixer upper?! Sit back and ooo and ahh at your (ahem your child’s) beautiful new modern play kitchen! Good times and good eats will be had for years to come!

         Extra goodies

In Blog, Weekly meal plans on
October 23, 2017

WEEKLY MEAL PLANS (the deets)

Well hello there! One of the things I am most excited about posting on my blog is weekly meal plans. I wanted to share in this post a little about what you can expect.

When it comes to my weekly meal plans there will be different set ups occasionally. Sometimes I will post a weekly meal plan with only dinners, sometimes I will do dinners and lunches, and sometimes I’ll really go big and make a meal plan of everything we eat that week- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I will specify on each post what you can expect to see! Another important thing to note is that we are a hardcore leftovers family. There are 7 nights in a week but to save myself from having to cook dinner every night I cook 3 dinners throughout the week that will provide 6 meals for us and the 4th dinner is either a nicer meal like fish or a super simple meal like scrambled eggs.

Here is my formula: On Sunday night I sit down and look at our week plans and make a menu based off what we have going on Monday- Sunday. Grocery shopping happens on Monday. My goal is to get all the food we need that week to last from Monday dinner to the next Monday’s breakfast.  On an average week we eat all of our meals at home for money saving purposes and health purposes. This is how I typically plan for a weeks’ worth of food-

  • Breakfast for 7 days which is almost ALWAYS oatmeal for our family unless we are going out or celebrating something.
  • Husband lunches for 7 days
  • Adrienne and baby E lunches for 7 days
  • Dinner 1 (to be split and eaten Monday and Thursday night or any 2 nights of the week)
  • Dinner 2 (to be split and eaten Tuesday and Friday night or any 2 nights of the week )
  • Dinner 3 (to be split and eaten Wednesday and Saturday night or any 2 nights of the week )
  • Dinner 4 (something simple, or dinner out, or reserved for having a special meal with friends or family over)

Whether you look at one of my weekly meal plans and follow it to a T for a week or even just take one or two of the meal ideas and incorporate them into your weekly food- I hope this is a helpful tool to you. The recipes I share will be mine or recipes that I have made and we have loved many times. Happy meal planning, friends! My hope is to post my first weekly meal plan for y’all next Sunday!