The NeverEnding List 2018

Whelp – the NeverEnding List of 2017 came to a screeching halt when we moved to ND at the beginning of 2017 and I did not make a new one for our ND abode. …Until now.  As a refresher the NeverEnding list came about when I realized that things were falling on and off my To Do list at an alarming rate and I was never sure what I was going to work on next.  Hence NeverEnding.

2014 List

More Updates

2016 List

More Updates

2017 List – Surprisingly, before we moved we finished half of this list.  A complete change up from the year to year and a half timing we had in the past.  Basement Bathroom – Done;  Guest Bathroom – Done.

Now that we are somewhat settled in.  I have been trying to nail down what I would like to accomplish first.

  1. Storage Solutions – There is 1 (!!!!) true bedroom closet in this house.
  2. Home Office – In MT I had a whole room to dedicate to an office/library.  Not so in ND.
  3. To Rug or Not to Rug – I am waffling on rugs in the living room and my bedroom.
  4. Paint the upstairs bathroom.
  5. Cabin stuff
  6. Not sure that I would get there- but a nice place to put my patio furniture would be great.

7.  And finally – some art in the hall downstairs.

I am trying to keep it reasonable for 2018 as my work schedule is incredibly full – not to mention all the kid activities.  What do you have planned for 2018??

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How we live in this house

One of the things that does not happen when I take photos, is staging. Would the house pictures look better if I added some things in and moved others around in order to get a great shot? Of course! But that is not how we live in this house and it would not give you an accurate view into how we make this house work for us.  The only thing that really changes is the level of cleanliness.  hahahaha.  Seriously though.  I try to take pics after we have picked up the randoms that have accumulated over the course of a few days.

I ran home at lunch yesterday to take a few phone pics of how this place can look at any random time.  and poorly lit…sorry peeps

Kitchen is pretty good in comparison to some days.  🙂  Wine left out from book club the night before, dishes left out to dry, Jane’s glass on the counter and my glass on the bar

Jane’s room is looking good.

Main bathroom is so-so.  FULL garbage and Jane’s necklace left out on the counter.

The master is the worst.  I have a container full of old, small toys to sort through (next to my bedside table). Dave has a pile of clothes that needs to be put away….I think this is Day 3….no Day 4

As a contrast here is the same shot – but clean and lit well.

the happy crazy hosue white bedroom ikea

Brutal.

If you follow me on Instagram – you see the house as it really is on a day to day basis.  Here is a pic of Jules dancing; coat on the floor, paper on the chair, etc.

jules-dancing-the-happy-crazy-house-instagram

I love the pics that show the house well lit and clean…but I will continue to add in some pics on Instagram and here that represents our day to day life, mess and all.

Changing the dining room

In my decluttering quest...I was distracted.  I was putting away the paint that I had in the dining room for touch-ups I had been working on….when I decided that I should paint the patio door.

Here is my before:

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I want to say that I painted the patio door black….maybe a year ago???  I can’t really remember….and I really like it….. it just seems to darken the room.  I fight against a contrast of too dark and super glare-y all the time so I am trying a new color to see if if helps with the too dark half of my problem.

To combat the glare – Dave pitched in by hanging a curtain rod for me and making sure it was properly anchored.

Ikea:  Kvartal single track

Ikea: Kvartal ceiling fixture

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Paint:  I used Valspar Ultra as my paint of choice (matches all my trim).  I prepped the surface and went to town.

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And from the kitchen:

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As distractions go….It was a pretty good one.  I am super pleased with how it turned out.  I will need to work on how the curtains hang and how to drape around our water dispenser but even with those things on my list…I like it.

Decluttering OR Living with Less – The Plan

Depending on who you follow on Pinterest…this could be a topic you have seen so many times you could puke.  Well…me too.  Until I came across this site and this article.

http://www.lifeedited.com/residential-behavioral-architecture-101/

Now, over the past couple of years I have heard the terms downsizing, decluttering, small living, etc.  It sounds so freeing….for other people.  I never thought I would drink the Kool Aid.  A few articles that I was drawn into later and I realized that there are things in my house that I haven’t touched for months.  I decided to take a step and worked on my closet.

https://thehappycrazyhouse.com/2014/06/12/organization-shoot-me-now/

Here is my ‘After’:

closet

Not gunna lie…..I let it get super messy again.  BUT I have not added to it, which is good.  I was able to get it cleaned up in 10 minutes which is a miracle and a testament to keeping only the things you wear.

So – I have decided to start working on each room in the house.  I hope to get through the whole house by mid October.  My plan is to do an initial run through that mimics this……http://redefinedmom.com/how-to-declutter-your-house-in-five-minutes/  and then do a second round that is a more cut throat.

declutter

 

Freezer Meals – Crock Pot style

My schedule is changing next week and in preparation I decided to try a series of freezer meals.

I devoted the evening before to finding recipes that my family and I would be interested in eating over the next few weeks and then compiled my shopping list.  I spent 30 (!!!!!) minutes in Costco getting the items that I needed -spending less than $200.  I only walked away with a few things in my cart that weren’t on the original list.  My recipes came from two different locations – http://www.5dollardinners.com/ and The New Creative Crock Pot Cookbook by Robin Taylor Swatt.  As I was choosing recipes – I picked those based on what I could alter to use similar ingredients and also to adjust based on my families taste.

This is as close a list as I can get – I made 2 each of the recipes.  So my list below is set up to support making 2 freezers bags of each recipe.

  • 25 to 30 chicken breast
  • 10 –  15 oz cans of diced tomatoes or 5 of the 28 oz cans and split each one in 2
  • 6 cans – 15 oz can of corn
  • roughly 20 lbs of potatoes
  • 1 bag onions
  • 12 red, yellow or orange peppers
  • 12 apples
  • sausage – I purchased a chicken apple sausage, based on recipe on http://www.5dollardinners.com/
  • 1 large bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 8 pork chops
  • 1 package stew meat
  • 2 boxes chicken broth
  • 4 cans of beans – your choice.  I used black beans
  • 2 cans coconut milk

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From the Crock Pot Cookbook

Chicken Provencal – adjusted for us……..Add into a Freezer bag

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • salt pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning = 1 tsp each

Curried Apple Chickens – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 apples – peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • curry, salt, pepper = 1 tsp each
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Sunday Dinner Roast Beef – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

Italian Stew/Roast – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes or half the large can
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

From www.5dollardinners.com\   (you should check this site out – if you haven’t already – when I was searching for freezer meals, this was the first one that kept popping up)

Freezer meals

To make each one – dump in your crock pot and cook as listed below:

  • Thawed:  low for 6/8 hours
  • Frozen – kinda thawed:  low for 8 to 10 hours

I am excited to try the new ones and see how the 2 hours in the kitchen and the 1/2 hour of shopping pays off in the long run.  Do any of you guys do freezer meals?  This is new to me, so I want to know how it goes over the course of time.

Transform: Indoor table to Outdoor table

When Dave and I moved into this house, I purchased a pub table for the downstairs…..sadly it got little to no use.  Recently, I decided to try and re-purpose it as an outdoor table.  I did quite a bit of research to find the right way to do the transformation.  The pub table is all fake pressed wood and totally meant for indoor use.  There are so many tutorials out there and each one is a little different in what they think is imperative.  I have the Valspar paint left over from painting (still not put up) but I needed some supplies from our local Lowe’s…..mainly the primer…..and while I was there, I found the Rust-oleum NeverWet…….Can’t wait to see if it works out.

IMG_2342I started with a quick sand to rough up the surface of the fake wood that is the pub table and then put a layer of the Zinsser primer on.

IMG_2319 I put 3 coats of the Valspar exterior paint over the primer (and I actually followed the directions on timing).  The Rust-oleum is a 2-parter, base coat and top coat.  It is a little rough as a top coat, but if it helps repel water, I am all for it.

IMG_2339Yup – can’t wait to have a get together and use this baby.

IMG_2340PARTY AT MY HOUSE.

Cookies for the Neighbors

Just a few things about my neighborhood…..it’s the best.  We live on a quiet street, with amazing people and I feel comfortable letting the girls have the run of the neighborhood.  Jules has been wanting to do something for our neighbors for awhile…..so last week I got organized and we made cookies.   I found an Oatmeal Cookie recipe that I wanted to try, The Pioneer Woman’s Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies.  They turned out great.

IMG_1961IMG_1962We wrote a note for each neighbor and the whole family signed them.

IMG_1964I have a plethora of metal tins…..so Jules and I picked a few out and used those to package our cookies and notes.

IMG_1966Final step was for Jules and Jane to deliver to each of our neighbors.  The girls were beyond excited to have some to give our great neighbors.

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