Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bathroom Update

Happy Wednesday!  I am back with another room in our house to share where we have come from, what it looks like now, and what our future plans are.  This week is the bathroom, which when we moved in was a very white, but not sterile space :/  There was a single wire pantry shelf above the toilet that served as the only storage option beyond the medicine cabinet and creepy vanity.

Unfortunately I only have two very bad photos of the space before that do not show much detail (hindsight is always 20/20!), but the vanity is old and not a place I would store items beyond cleaning supplies, and the medicine cabinet was also gross with country knobs that were not my style.

The first thing we did was take down the weird wire rack (it got used when we redid our closets) and pulled off the medicine cabinet to replace it.  Someone had used the medicine cabinet to cover up a giant hole in the wall (explains why it was off-center) so we made sure to find a much larger medicine cabinet that would adequately cover the hole and caulked all the way around to create a good seal.  We also changed up the paint color to a beautiful dark grey, hung up towel racks for functionality, replaced the light, and brought in temporary shelving.

The little white cabinet outside of the door serves as more bathroom storage. It holds extra contacts, toilet paper, lotions, and hair care products.

As you can see from this shot of the temporary shelving we need more space for storage... like yesterday.

The new light is a lot brighter which is necessary in a space with only one light, and the medicine cabinet is significantly larger than the previous one.  Yay for more storage!

That is where our bathroom is currently at.  On the list of future improvements in artwork for personality, and white floating shelves that wrap around the wall beside and behind the toilet.  We hope to do two that wrap and one on the very bottom that floats just below the light switch.

Thanks for taking a peak into our bathroom!  I'll be back Friday with an easy recipe!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Happy Monday!  I had intentions of sharing a quick fruit dip recipe, but I started reading my book and felt guided to share some musings.  Fruit dip recipe can wait a few days ;)

I am currently reading "Making Room for God in Your Hectic Life" by Keri Wyatt Kent.  I bought the book a while ago, but have really started getting in to it this past week and felt so rejuvenated by the topics and encouragement that is part of each chapter.  

The chapter I am currently on is called humble and it is discussing the inner struggle between living simple and honoring God's wishes and living in a race with everyone around us.  It discusses reasons that we feel a pull towards competing with those around us, and one of the biggest is fear.  Lately I have had a strong fear that I have no skills and will graduate with my masters no better than I was before.  I fear never finding a job that I am excited and motivated to go to, and that truly makes a difference in my community.  I look around at the success of friends and classmates, and wonder what I am missing or am doing wrong.

At the time when I needed it God used this book to set my worries straight and encourage me to continue following Him.  God placed me at Missouri State again and he provided me with a graduate assistant position.  I have to trust that he placed me where I am and that he is going to use my education as a catalyst for the future he has planned for me.  I do not need to compare myself to others because God created me to be an individual and he has a specific plan especially for me.  Why would I want someone else's life if it means I miss out on the blessings God has planned for my own?

Matthew 6: 33-34
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Please pray as I work out these fears and work on following God and listening for His voice as he directs my path.  If you are going through something similar let me know!  I would love to pray for you as well :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recipe Friday: Red Beans and Rice

It's Friday!!!  I just love the relaxing/ exciting feeling I get on Friday.  I can relax knowing that I have a weekend at home and I get excited about the fun weekend activities we have planned.  This weekend we are working on an outdoor fire pit to replace the one that was stolen from our house this week :/  Hopefully a brick one will prevent them from being able to take it from our yard.

To start the weekend I thought I would share my cheater red beans and rice recipe.  When I met Cameron I quickly learned that his favorite meal EVER is red beans and rice, and my mother in law told me that I would have to learn how to cook it :)  When I first attempted it right after getting married I put in all of the effort of soaking dried beans overnight and spending a couple of hours letting all of the ingredients cook together in a big pot on the stove.  I quickly learned that all of the time put into the meal would not work in our lifestyle and that I needed to fix the recipe to fit into the time I have to devote to dinner.  Here is my quick and easy red beans and rice that still makes my husband happy :)

*1 can of red beans drained and rinsed
*3 cups of rice (I usually use Uncle Ben's)
*One package of sausage (I've used turkey and kielbasa, but it really depends on what you like)
*6 1/2 cups of chicken broth (or water with chicken bullion cubes if you're in a pinch)
*Creole seasoning
*Olive oil

I first heat up olive oil in garlic in my pot, and then add in the rice and stir to make sure the rice is coated in the olive oil.  I toast my rice for 3 to 4 minutes to make sure the garlic flavor is infused.

Once the rice is toasted I add in the chicken broth.  The night I made this I didn't have chicken broth on hand (fixed that grocery shopping this week!) so I just used water and 4 chicken bullion cubes.  Not as good on the sodium front, but it works flavor wise in a pinch :)  You could also use vegetable or beef broth, I just prefer chicken.  The point is to give a flavor for your rice to soak up as it cooks.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.

While the liquid and rice boils I begin prepping the beans and sausage.  Cut the sausage in quarter inch slices and then cook in a pan until they are nice and brown on both sides. 

At this point you may have a cutie puppy intently watching for a falling piece of sausage ;)

 While the pot is boiling also drain and rinse the beans.

With about five minutes left in the cooking time I usually add in the beans and the sausage.  The five minutes helps to warm and soften the beans, and it gives time for all of the flavors to combine.

The final step is to add in the creole seasoning.  There is no right or wrong amount it just depends on how much kick you like to your food.  We like a lot of kick!  Start out with a light sprinkle and add in a little at a time.

Your final result is easy, delicious, and perfect for cool, fall days!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living Room Update... Finally

We have lived in our house for almost 5 months!  I honestly cannot believe it has been that long, and when I look back at pictures of how our house first looked I am blown away.  We have done so much work to make this house our home and I am so proud of it.  I thought about doing an entire house update in one post, but then decided that I would break it up by rooms in order to show more pictures and details and make the fun last longer!

If you want to look back at all of the pictures from when we first moved in here is my initial post.

Our living room when we moved in was dark, dirty, and in need of TLC.  The walls were a dark hunter green, the trim was painted over with dark, muddy brown, the ceiling fan was brass, and the wood floors had seen better days.

We spent two weekends with my amazing in-laws working to paint the house and work on the floors.  They even came back while we were gone on vacation and polyurethaned the floors in the living room and bedrooms!  It was a long process but the end result in the living room is the perfect living space for us :)

We chose the color "Blue Lagoon" by Behr for the walls and LOVE the color as well as the paint.  It took us ONE, yes let me repeat one, coat to cover over the dark hunter green!

The floors look so much better after a good scrub and a coat of polyurethane.  If I was redoing floors in my permanent home I would have sanded, re-stained, and covered the floors with a couple of coats of poly, but this worked great to make the floors look clean, be more durable, and we were able to do all of the floors in the house with one can.

This shelf had a makeover and now acts as my "mantle".  I love it for showcasing sweet mementos during the year, and I am really excited to dress it up for holidays!

The hutch looks so good up against the blue walls!  I love how well all of the bold colors pair with one another in the space.

This is a lamp that we DIY'd out of a fun lampshade I had to have from Target and a pendant light from Home depot :)  It helps to define the "dining" part of the space.

It is hard to see, but behind the door we have a coat rack for purses, school bags, and jackets. You have to get a little crafty when you don't have a coat closet!

We also tackled the ceiling fan during our living room makeover.  It used to be brass, but one day we took it apart (part to paint and mostly to clean) and spray painted all of the metal parts with oil rubbed bronze.  It looks so much classier!

There is the tour of living room!  It has been a long time coming so thank you for being patient :)  There are still blank walls that I would like to have photos on, and I am still on the hunt for the perfect curtains , but it definitely looks and feels much more like home!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Happy Monday!  We had a great weekend of good times with friends and catching up on sleep :)

Campfire and wine (well beer for the boys) with the our lovely friends the Schuman's!
This couple is a huge blessing in our lives.  And they are pretty cute to top it off ;)
Harvest Festival at SDC!  It was a rainy, wonderful day followed by movie watching and chili eating at the Schuman's! 
Cutie new shoes!
Puppy loves make homework better ;) 

How was your weekend?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grocery Sunday

Today is one of our grocery shopping Sundays!  I always love these Sundays because I can dream up new foods to bring into my kitchen, and the cupboards are once again stocked :)

Here are the meal plans for the next two weeks:

I have several meals I'm trying from Pinterest, and I have marked that on the meal plan so that I can find the recipes.  If the meal ends up being something we like and would like to incorporate as a staple I will transfer the recipe to a recipe card and put it in my box.

Here are the receipts from our trip:

The total came to $106.20 when the $10.16 from last weeks chicken purchase is added in.

I thought I would take this Sunday to share how I keep receipts organized from week to week and where I keep my price check list.  I keep a special notebook that has dividers and I use the first section to keep a running price list of items we usually have on the grocery list so I can remember which place has the best price.

Keeping a running price list also helps me to recognize when a place is having a good sale on a specific item.

I also keep the receipts for all of my shopping trips stapled together and taped into another section of the notebook.  Having the dates helps me to realize when sales on items last took place so I can begin to identify what a specific store's sale rotation is.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Sunday relaxing and getting ready for the week ahead!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cooler Weather is on Its Way

And it means that we need to get this old house ready for a cold front!  I love it when it gets cool, but it is a reminder (and motivation) that we need to do some slight weather proofing to make sure our house is more energy efficient during the cooler times.

Our first step in doing this was replacing the old weather strips on our front door.  Because this is an old house, a lot of the doors are crooked in the frame because the frame matches the sloping that happens in some rooms in the house. To account for some gaps we knew we needed to put on new weather proofing strips that would create a tight seal and hopefully keep the warm air in and cool air out!

First step was peeling what was left of the current weather strips off.  One it was black and an eye sore on a bright white door, two it was missing in places which meant it wasn't helping our problem much.  We used a razor blade to scrape the existing foam strip and adhesive off of the door.

Once the old was off we simply applied new rubber weather strips all the way around the door.  We secured the ends with finishing nails just to make sure the strips would not move around.

The finished door is one where the weather strip blends in with the door color and creates a nice vacuum seal that will be perfect for the cooler months ahead!

Have a lovely Thursday night!  I am going to get some homework finished, prep for a long day at work (but super exciting day!), and try to plan out what I want to do with my life ;)  If you have any career ideas let me know!