Monday, January 23, 2017

Barefoot & Pregnant in the Kitchen

Happy Monday friends!

I am trying to jump on the meal planning train and dust off my cooking skills! 

I am not a fan of cooking, cleaning the kitchen or eating left overs. But I'm also not a fan of Mondays, and it seems they still have to happen.

So this month, I have purchased and planned out 90% of our meals. And it makes me tired. But I'm doing it. #firstworldproblems I know...
Here's my plan, my schedule, list of things I don't want to do... call it what you'd like:

Tonight's cuisine is an oldy but a goody. In 2013 I took on the challenge of loving my crock pot. I blogged about all the meals I prepared, if we liked them, etc.

Here's the info on the easiest and yummiest lasagna you can get out of a crock pot and
the link to my previous post. Enjoy!!!

The Inspiration:
Crock Pot Lasagna

The Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
29 oz can tomato sauce*
8 oz pkg. lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese*

The Directions:
- Spray the inside of the crock-pot with cooking spray
- Brown the ground beef
- Stir the tomato sauce in with the ground beef
- Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the crock-pot
- Arrange 1/3 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce (I usually break them up so they fit better)
- Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheeses over the noodles
- Repeat these layers twice
- Top with remaining sauce
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hrs. 
(I've started the crock-pot on high in the morning before I leave for work and then put it on warm when I leave and it's perfect when I get home)
- Let the lasagna stand in the crock-pot with the lid off for at least 10 minutes

The Verdict:
* This was my first try in the crock pot and it was awesome!!! 
*The only thing I changed was I used 2 cups (16 oz.) of cottage cheese and more like 36 oz. of tomato sauce. 
* The first time I prepared it I cooked on high for 4 hours and it was amazing! If at all possible I would recommend that method. If not this next note is super important. 
* If you are leaving the meal to cook while you are gone (6+ hours) she instructs to cook on high for 30 mins then on warm for the remainder of the day. It is VERY important to put it on WARM and not low. Otherwise your noodles will be soupy and your cheese will burn around the edges. 
*Rave reviews from the Hubs and my toddler!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Capsule Wardrobe

Here's a little Throwback Thursday to one of my favorite and most functional posts! I will be revisiting this concept once my weight is more static and my body type isn't pregnant. With the new year and everyone working to get in shape, I think that part of feeling good about where you are in the journey is wearing something that helps you out. I hope you enjoy and get something out of this post- I'd love to how you make this your own! Here's the post as well as the link to my original post.

Throwback Thursday: Make Over Your Mu-Mu: If The Pants Don't Fit
Friends, I'd like to introduce you to something that has made my life simple, made me feel better about myself and reduced the amount of stress in my day!

I know, it sounds like a magic potion or something. Now that you mention it, it does come in a "capsule"... but its not what you're thinking!

CAPSULE WARDROBE!!! If you don't know, you better ask somebody!!!! Here's the low down:

A traditional capsule wardrobe is simply this:

1. a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion 
  (i.e. skirts, trousers, coats)

2. basic pieces that can be livened up by seasonal pieces

3. these pieces should be inter-changeable, working together in multiple ways

I was scrolling through Facebook one day last spring and I came across a blog explaining the concept of the capsule wardrobe. I thought there was no way I could pull it off, there was no way I could operate on so few items in my closet. Here are the two ladies that I read about:

Why I Got Rid Of My Wardrobe...

Un-fancy: 37 piece wardrobe

I thought these broads were bananas... B A N A N A S.

Then I did a little homework. I was only wearing 20% of the clothing in my closet. That was so much wasted space. And so many moments of disappointment. Putting that cute shirt on only to realize my mommy pooch was prominent enough to mistake for a 4 month pregnancy. Trying those jeans on for the 137th time and guess what, they still don't fit. Ah, these yoga pants will always fit, let's wear those again.

If you have walked down that path of thinking, this is going to make you a better, happier, more confident person. Here's where you'll want to start...

Pinterest is a great source for options for a capsule wardrobe. Since we live in Florida it is hard to swap the seasons because summer tends to be 10 months long. I opted to keep most of my warm weather stuff available in case we have an extra sunny December day. That's what those in the biz call an "all seasons" or "life season" capsule wardrobe.

This was my favorite website and worksheet, and I loved her approach!

Elisa Pulliam Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet

Here are a few other great websites I found to be very helpful:

Un-Fancy Capsule Wardrobe Planner

Before you even start purging, there are steps to consider:
  • Start a vision board- or use the one you already have on Pinterest:
    • Notice trends: colors, style, repetition of items
  • Create a color palette:
    • Look at the colors you have pinned and the colors you love OR
    • There are color analysis websites that will help if you'd like to be scientific
  • Choose specific items:
    • Think uniform
    • Not just with the items but the repeated style
  • Analyze your lifestyle
    • I tend to find that wedge heels are not a mommy staple...
    • But its nice to have a pair in case I want to get fancy :D
  • Assess what you already have
  • Make a shopping list using one of the linked worksheets suggested
  • GO SLOW!

After 3 days of making lists and checking them twice, I started my purge. I spent 2 weeks making piles, debating and driving the Dashboard Dad nuts! But one huge mess turned into something beautiful!!! I slimmed it down to 75 items and its still a work in progress.

Here are a few of my basic pieces that I wear most often and that are the easiest to accessorize. On a rushed or blah day, these are my go-to, my comfort pieces. They look put together but they are still very functional for my life.

One thing I found important was making my closet a place of joy. I made an awesome display for my hanging jewelry, up-cycled a painting and made it a place that I like to go now. So getting ready for the day is less stressful and takes up less of my time. I'm all about streamlining my processes- hence taking 2016 to make over this momma! 


I would LOVE to see some of your wardrobe redos!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Morning Musings: Keep on Marching

Yesterday in my quiet time I read Joshua 6. (If you don't know where to start with a quiet time, download the First5 app- its amazing).
Joshua 6 is the story of how God instructs the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho for 6 days without making a sound... "I can’t help but wonder what murmurs circled through the camp as they looked at the towering walls of Jericho. I’m sure there were no shortage of ideas or opinions on how they should tackle the problem before them. But God didn’t ask anyone for their opinion. Not even Joshua. Instead, He asked for their complete and unwavering obedience. Obedience in the face of a battle plan that would make no sense at all to their rational minds. A plan that actually involved no “battle” whatsoever.
All God wanted them to do was march. For six days straight they were to march around the walls of Jericho. Then, on the seventh day of marching, they were to end with trumpet blasts and a great shout. God declared this mighty sound would bring the walls down.
What moves me most about the Israelites’ part in this story isn’t so much their willingness to take that first crazy step of obedience. It’s how they kept taking steps of obedience. Step after step after step. Even though nothing appeared to change … even though there wasn’t a single sign of cracking or crumbling in those massive walls … they kept marching. What if they'd stopped after day two? Or day three? Or even day six? Think of all they would have missed. They would have cheated themselves out of certain victory from God. I don’t say any of this casually — as if it’s easy to keeping going when there’s no evidence of our situation changing. It's hard to keep marching when we don't see God move the way we thought He would. It’s sometimes difficult to trust that He’s working behind the scenes.So what do we do when He asks us to move in ways that don’t make sense to us? How do we keep “marching” when the situation still looks hopeless? Their victory never hinged on their ability or any of their well-thought-out plans. It was dependent on their unswerving obedience offered up to a loving and mighty God. Let’s not stop short of our victory with God. He is working things out. He is present. His plan is still good and He can still be trusted. These are true certainties even when life feels so very uncertain."
I feel like I am in a marching for days season, but not sure where I am going or what will even happen. I am in a season of step by step obedience. Growing in my faith and trust in God's promises to me. I was really beating myself up about how I feel stale and diluted in the areas of life that once gave me joy. I am putting one foot in front of the other right now. And who knows how long my marching will take. But he has promised me the "city", and I trust that is exactly what He will give me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Power Color 2017

Each year I pick a color to represent that year. In 2016 I picked a soft pink color. I used that color for my planner, when I had a case of the blahs I wore that color, and it was my default for shopping, etc.

This is my 5th year picking a color and sticking to it. Something about having the color, consistent shades, makes me happy. It reflects what this year means, what this year held, and where I was in that time.

It changes the way I purchase my marketing materials, my planner, the color I pick for my nails, my drinking cup, everything. Its my anthem for the year.

This year I have decided that the flamingo is the theme of the year. The color of the flamingo is one of my favorite. I also happened upon this planner that embodied what 2017 was going to be for me.
(If you'd like your own Erin Condren Life Planner, follow this link:

So here's to a year full of being present not perfect, to starting slow and going steady and to making the most of the wonder 2017 holds.