Monday, July 30, 2012

Home Management Binder: Meal Planning {Free Printables}

I'm back again with another awesome addition to my in progress Home Management Binder. If you missed the first post click to read Section 1: Calendar & Contacts. Like the first section, all the printables listed below will be FREE! They are free mostly because I love free things and because I would love for you to be able to follow along if you wanted too. I've decided to make this a weekly series until it is complete, so next Monday I will post Section 3.

This section was either going to be about cleaning or meal planning. Since I personally live in my kitchen I wanted to make sure I made the kitchen printables ASAP. The cleaning can wait :)

The first form I created was a weekly menu/grocery shopping list. I started using this form last week and it made it so much easier last week and this week going grocery shopping. The menu planner on the left side is for Sunday - Saturday. The grocery shopping list is broken down by categories as I walk through my grocery story.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

I decided to make a Grocery Staples printable that list all of the staples we keep in our house. I plan on laminating one and keeping it on our fridge so we can circle with a dry erase marker what we need throughout the week. I will also keep one in my Home Management Binder as a reference.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

I needed a Freezer and Pantry Inventory sheet because I can never remember how many cans of tomato sauce I have.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

Last but not least I decided I needed a sheet to keep a record of all of the recipes I want to try, that I somehow forget about every week when I am planning our menu. Thank you Pinterest for way to many great recipe ideas and not enough time to cook them all!!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

That's my Meal Planning section so far, I do plan on adding a measurement conversion chart when I either find one I can just print off or when I find the time to sit down and create it. As I mention in the first post, my binders have pockets, for this section the pocket will hold coupons and current weekly ads.

Please feel free to download the free printables to add to your binder, all I ask is that you leave me a comment and link back to Twenty63  if you plan on posting about them on your blog. Don't forget to check back in next Monday to see what Section 3 is all about!

Do you know where I can find a kitchen conversion chart? Or any other great reference sheets that you use in your kitchen? If so please feel free to share below!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Menu Sunday

OK, I'm planning on bringing back Menu Monday  Sunday. Yeah, I'm changing it a day since I shop every Sunday and I meal plan for Sunday-Saturday. It doesn't sound as good as Menu Monday did but it will do. Posting our meal plans make me accountable to actually keep to a plan. The past few weeks I didn't take the time to make a plan and I didn't even make time to go grocery shopping every week. You know what happened? We ate out for lunch everyday. Everyday at work around 3:30 my husband would text me asking what's for dinner. Everyday I responded, "Since I'm lazy and didn't go grocery shopping we don't have anything at home". I either stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up enough for one meal or we ordered in. Yeah, that's a lot of moolah. That's blowing our budget for our bellies.  

As I mentioned here we are trying to get our lives organized again, this means making a budget and sticking to it. I'm still trying to keep us on our weekly budget that I first mentioned here but $60 a week may not be realistic anymore. Once we go through our finances I will have a better idea of what we've been spending a month, it might be easier to track it monthly. I'll let ya know if we decide to increase it. This week I went to Kroger, and spent $54.56, and I went to Aldi, and spent $24.95. I only went $19.51 over my self imposed budget, but it still isn't to bad considering it should include breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

This is what we have planned at Twenty63 this week:

Me: Oatmeal & Blueberries 
Hubs: Banana & OJ

Me: Between Tuna & Egg Salad Pita's, grapes, applesauce, and goldfish or sun chips
Hubs: Ham & Cheese sandwiches, grapes, fruit snacks, granola bar and sun chips

Sunday: Cheesy Crock-pot Ravioli Casserole & Garlic Bread {New Recipe!}
Monday: Chicken Pillows, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans {New Recipe!}
Tuesday: Grilled Pork Chops, Broccoli & Rice
Wednesday: Cheeseburgers & Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday: Breakfast
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Date Night!!!

I will tell you how the two new recipes go, they have been lurking around my Pinterest board for several months now so I figured I better start trying some.

What's on your menu this week? Have you tried any new recipes lately? Do you have a board on Pinterest over flowing with dinner ideas?


Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY Burlap Wreath

You may be visiting today to check out the next section in my Home Management Binder as promised here, but I'm still working on my checklist and forms. I plan on having it up and ready on Monday because I need a few more days to tweak my list.  

This week I decided to stop pinning wonderful inspiration on my down time and actually do a project that I've been wanting to complete since the beginning of the summer. Yeah, I'm slow.

I've been loving all of the burlap wreath's I've seen through the blog world and Pinterest. As soon as I laid eyes on a burlap wreath months back I knew I wanted one. Let's look at some of my inspiration:

My first inspiration came from a wreath wrapped in burlap, I love this wreath made by Karen at Pocket Full of Pink:

I knew I wanted to add a small cluster of flowers but I wanted something simple to make. I ran across this great tutorial on rolled felt flowers by Sarah at Crafting and Creativity:


I also knew I wanted a monogram on the wreath somehow, also something simple and not to busy. A quick search led me to Gina at East Coast Mommy:


I started by gathering all of my supplies, which I forgot to take a picture of. But, to complete this project I needed a wreath, glue gun, glue sticks, felt, yarn and a wood letter B for our last name.

I started with this wreath, my mother in law made me earlier this year for Easter - if you're wondering, yes I just took it off the front door to complete this project. I'm a little behind on updating our seasonal decor.

I removed all of the flowers and ribbon she glued on to get to the skinny naked wreath below. At this point, I realized I probably would want a new wreath because this one is really skinny. But, I really didn't want to buy a wreath when I had a free one.

I started by making the felt flowers, which were extremely easy. In this picture, off on the table, you can see I cut the felt in strips about an inch and a half wide, give or take some. I didn't measure it, I just let the scissors do what they do. Then I placed a thin line of glue on one edge and folded it over to the other edge. Still with me?

Then I cut small snips along the folded edge, it wasn't science just moved down the edge until I got to the end.

Then I just started rolling until I got to very end where I placed a small dab of glue. I was going to add a felt circle to the bottom, but I rolled them pretty tight so I didn't think I needed it.

Love the finished product, I proceeded to make six of these. Two of each color of felt I had, gray, blue and yellow - shocker I know!

After I finished all of the flowers, which took me give or take 30 minutes while watching TV, I moved on to the wood letter. This was the longest part of the project. I decided to use white yarn because I had it one hand and I wanted to add a different color to the mix.

Once everything was done, I arranged all the flowers and the monogram on the wreath and hot glued it all down. Of course I had already wrapped the wreath in burlap, I just forgot to take a picture.

I'm not a huge fan of our current door holder, but until I find a better solution here is my new creation hanging proud on our front door.

I absolutely love it! In the pictures the dark gray looks almost black but in person it's clearly gray. Next time I make a wreath I will buy a thicker wreath base. It doesn't look bad but it's a little skinny, what can I say, I like a man wreath with some muscles. I had all of the supplies on hand except the burlap, I bought a yard at Joann's a few weeks back for $3.99 a yard. I didn't need an entire yard for this project but I am sure I will use it in the future. 

Now, I can't wait to get started on my next Pinterest inspired project. Have you completed a project inspired by the addicting Pinterest lately? If so, I would love to check it! Don't forget to check back on Monday for the next section in my Home Management Binder!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Home Management Binder: Calendar & Contacts {Free Printables}

As I mentioned here we working on getting our house in shape, in more ways than one. For me, the most important item to cross of the list first is a new paper system. Over the past few months I have pinned a million different Home Management Binder ideas to reference at a later date. I love the idea of having everything at my fingertips, especially things I use daily/monthly. I handle all of the finances in our household and I am getting the Mr more involved so if anything every happened to me he wouldn't be a deer in headlights trying to figure out where to send our mortgage payment.

If you haven't created a Home Management Binder, or if you have one that needs a little updating, I would suggest just typing 'Home Management Binder' in Google and a ton of results will pop up. Even though I found a lot of great printable worksheets, some free some not, I decided to create my own for several reasons. (1) We don't have kids - it's just us and the dogs - so a lot of the printable forms I found listed things we didn't need like school information, chores, etc and (2) I am OCD and like my forms to match. I've made all of the forms I created available to you lovely readers (if anyone is out there!) for FREE! I love that word :)

To get started I shopped my house to get the supplies I needed:

(1) Three Ring Binder
(1) Pencil Pouch
(5) Divider's
(1) Three Hole Punch
(and of course printer paper and ink if you print off forms)

I think these are pretty standard in most households, if not, you can purchase them for cheap at Wal-Mart. I didn't have a pencil pouch so I went to Wal-Mart and spent $0.74 on the clear one above - gotta love back to school season!

I used Microsoft Word to create all of my forms. I needed a cover for my binder so I created one with free clip art and free fonts that I downloaded awhile back. I am uploading print screen pictures of the forms I created to make it easier. Once the entire Binder is finished I will upload pictures of my actual binder!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!!

I love the blue, yellow and gray! Besides them being my favorite colors, they are very easy on the eyes!

The first section I decided to tackle was the section that came to me the easiest, calendar and contacts. I debated on the calendar, to add dates or not. I decided not. I wanted something I could fill in ever month and use next year since there are only five months left in 2012 (isn't that crazy!).  For some reason the image below is showing a line below the word month, but it's not there when you download it.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

Since the Mr has a huge family, did I mention we have 13 nieces and nephews, it is extremely easy to forget a birthday or anniversary. So we desperately needed a one stop shop to see all these important dates. Since these dates will never change, it will be a reference sheet that I think will come in handy.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!
Lastly for this section, I created a basic contact log for all of our friends and family. I think this will make it easy when I put together our holiday mailing list - for some reason I can never find our address book! 

To download a free printable version of this form click here!
The great thing about the dividers I bought is that they all have pockets, I plan on keeping blank birthday and anniversary cards in the front pocket of this section so we are always prepared. I am thinking about adding a gift list in this section, but I didn't feel that was necessary right this minute. If I add it in the future I will be sure to let you know!

If you want to follow along and create a Home Management Binder feel free to download all of the forms above {for free!!!}. If you do use the printables and/or post them on your blog I just ask that you leave me a comment below and link back to me! I am currently working on the cleaning section and the menu planning section. I plan to post the second section on Friday, so I hope you come back to check it out!

*Sharing with A Thoughtful Place's Keep Calm and Organize On Link Party!

Do you currently use a Home Management Binder? If you do, what are you favorite sections that you find yourself using over and over? 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Changing How We Live

A few weeks ago I hit a wall. I was tired and exhausted of being tired and exhausted. I was over paying bills, grocery shopping, cleaning, organizing, going to work, walking the dogs, folding clothes, washing dishes, etc. Basically, I was tired of our day to day grind and I needed a mental vacation. So, I did just that - except I still went to work. I took some time to step back and look at our over all picture and I realized one huge thing. The fault was me and me alone. I put to much pressure on myself. I don't let my husband help enough, even though he offers. For some reason I think I need to do it all. Correction, I'm slightly OCD controlling and he doesn't do things the way I do them so I automatically think it's wrong. So, basically I was making myself exhausted for no reason.

After a week of my mental vacation, I realized I'm so stressed and exhausted because we have become completely unorganized this year. We have become lazy. After several long conversations with the Mr. we've decided the make the following changes:

1. We both want to lose some weight. Mostly because we both have gained weight since being married and neither one of us are happy about it. We don't eat horrible as it is but a little exercise and some food changes wouldn't kill us. I would love to lose about 40lbs. Earlier this year I was focused and I lost 30lbs, sadly I've gained about 10lbs back with all the stress I've put on myself. At the beginning of the year I hoped to be at my goal weight by our anniversary (October 3rd), I don't think this is a realistic goal as of today so I am getting rid of the deadline. I am just going to focus on the change. That means back to menu planning, trying new recipes so we don't get tired of the same stuff, and starting an exercise program.

2. I've realized Pinterest/Blogs will be the death of me if I let it. I found myself comparing our house to others. But, my house is mine and I love it. Sure, it has taken us forever to chose a paint color, pick our furniture, figure out how to use a room, etc. But, we are on our own time and I am OK with that. We have a extra long wish list for this house and I'm finally OK that it may stay long for awhile. We are working with a real budget and we want to make the house fit us. So, I am going to stop stressing over all the projects we have ahead of us and just focus on one at a time. The rest will fall into place.

3. The main source of my stress: paper clutter. Since buying our house and the hubs getting out of the military I swear the paper in our house has tripled. Our mortgage documents alone are a few inches thick and Brian's VA documents take up a filing cabinet on there own. I need a better paper storage/filing system. This is a priority for me because I can't handle not knowing where something is or having to dig through a huge stack of paper for one phone number. I am working on this change as we speak and will be posting about it tomorrow.

4. We need to enjoy more time together. We have been married for almost seven years and we have only had one real vacation that didn't involve going to another state to visit family. We blame this mostly on the military. When you live away from family most of your days off are spent going to visit them. Since the Mr is no longer in the service we need to focus on us. We can't always be the ones traveling to go see family and friends, we have to learn to say no. We need more vacations, day trips and date nights to make our own memories.

5. We blow our budget every month but neither one of us could tell you on what. We need to get real about paying down our debt and finding a spending plan that fits our needs. Once we figure out our spending plan we need to actually stick to it. For some reason this is harder for us than anything! Have you noticed I haven't posted about $60 grocery challenge in a while, yeah we need to get back to that or increase it to fit our needs. We need to eat out less (the weekends get us every time), we need to get in a habit of packing our lunches every day again, we need to cut back come of our bills (mostly our cell phone bill - that is one bill I complain about every month).

I'm slowly working on these changes in our household, hitting the paper clutter head on first! My first project is creating a Home Management Binder that works for us. I've been looking all over the internet for inspiration the past few days/weeks and I'm in the process of creating forms that work for us. I hope you stop back by tomorrow to check out the first step!

Have you decided to make changes in your life/house lately? Have you ever hit a wall and needed a mental break or vacation from the daily grind? What helped you get through it and get back on track?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who me?!?

The past few weeks I have been stuck in a rut. You could have called me a debbie downer. An emotional wreck. Ok, maybe that is taking it a little to far - but I sure enough wasn't myself. So, I haven't posted in a while because my mood was taking me for a loop.

But, last Friday, while stalking checking in on one of my favorite blogs, I saw where Nicky from Meaningful Nest nominated my little ol' blog with the Versatile Blogger Award. Say what??? Yep, you read that correctly. Shocked right? Yeah, I know - me too!

I have been a steady reader of Nicky's blog for a few months and to sum it up she is pretty awesome!!! No lie. Besides being a blogger, Nicky is a Special Education Teacher, a wife, a mother and one amazing DIYer. Check out her most recent DIY project where she made this awesome beverage cart:

Read all about this transformation here!
If that doesn't make you want to jump over to her blog right away, then a sneak peak at her pantry transformation will. 

This is the before, to check out her after click here!

I am extremely thankful that Nicky thought of me but I feel so unworthy! Hopefully, I can do some awesome projects to live up to the award :) And just so you know, I thought Nicky was awesome way before she nominated me for this award!!

There are a few rules to the reward:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to there site.
3. Include the Versatile Blogger Award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself. 
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award. 
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let the other bloggers know you nominated them!

Now, I can tell you a little about myself! Here are my 7 random facts:

1. I have one brother, named J.T., who lives in Virginia. He is older than me and the sweetest guy I know. I love him to death and even though he picked on me like crazy growing up, he would hurt anyone that messed me with.

2. Between my husbands siblings and my one brother, I am an Aunt to 13 nieces and nephews. They range in age from 12 days old up to 22 years old. 

3. I am a Police Officer in the State of Indiana. I do not do street patrol, I investigate white collar crime. My best example for people when they have the confused look on their face is simple, I lock up people like Bernie Madoff. It's a very rewarding job but its heartbreaking all the same when you think of all the victims who are financially hurting because of these criminals.

4. I would love to travel to Alaska and Canada at some point in my life.

5. I was the biggest tom boy growing up, I played football and basketball on school teams. I was proudly the first girl to play for my school district in football. Pretty bad-ass if I say so myself. Yup. Sometimes I still blame my tom boy side for my lack of fashion sense.

6. I've always wanted to be a math teacher. But, after graduating high school I decided to work full time for a year to think about what I wanted to do about college. Then I got married. Then we moved a million times. Eventually, it seemed easier to get a degree in accounting (since I was working for large credit unions) and an education degree went on the back burner. Sometimes, I think about going back to school to get enough education credits to teach in Indiana. But, secretly, I am extremely scared to change my career now. Typing that out seems crazy since I'm only 28 - it's never to late to start a new it?

7. I love to bake. My husband literally has no sweet tooth. This makes baking hard since I can't eat it all by  myself and refuse to throw delicious food away. But, I am forever in charge of the desserts at any family function.

Now, I get to pass it forward. Below is a list of some other fabulous bloggers I love to check out. Make sure you visit them like now....what are you waiting for? :)

Again, a super awesome thanks to Nicky at Meaningful Nest for nominating me. I hope everyone has a chance to hope over to all the blogs I listed and check out what amazing things these ladies are doing!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Under the Sink

I know I promised another small kitchen project in this post but when I wrote it I had a total brain fart and forgot I wouldn't be posting on July 4th. I hope everyone had a festive holiday spending time with loved ones. I will post all about our adventures for the 4th in the coming days.

Now, back to the kitchen. I will have to give a disclaimer, this blog is about to get real. Like real dirty. I was embarrassed at myself for not noticing how nasty under the sink was until I decided to attach it. When the hubs and I bought this house and moved in, under the kitchen sink was an area where I just threw cleaning supplies and happily said "I will clean that out later"...well little did I know that "later" would be almost 2 years after our move in date. So, lets just get to it.

This is what I started with, a complete and utter mess!

Sorry about the pictures, the sun was beaming in the kitchen window and was putting a weird glare in the camera. There is a lot of pipe going on in there so I kept everything I needed just randomly placed. This is mostly cleaning supplies, trash bags, light bulbs, sponges, clothes and candles. A little of everything.

On our last trip to the container store (as mentioned here) I stopped by the clearance rack as always. I found two Medium Weave Baskets which are normally $12.99 on sale for $4.97, the one I am using for this project was on sale because of a warped corner. You could only tell the corner was messed up if I laid it on its side, other than that it was fine. Do I care if the corner is bent? Nope!


One thing that was on my list to purchase were these large stacking bins, they were also on sale. I purchased two large bins, normally $6.99 on sale for $4.99.

So the first step of taking control of the mess was clearing out the cabinet. That is when I found that the bottles were the least of my worries, the previous owners had these nasty cabinet liners in all of the cabinets. I removed them from all of my cabinets when we first moved in, but as mentioned above it has taken me two years to do this cabinet, whoops!

Yep, this is real life people. That. Is. Nasty!! So I ripped this out as fast as I could and wiped down the cabinet. All the bins fit back in perfectly!

The purple container I already had and after I took this picture I realized my stacking bins still had the price tag on them, they are now removed :)

Now, for an after picture which has kept me sane again.

The large bin holds all the cleaning products, dish detergent and trash bags. The purple container holds the sink stoppers and garbage disposal refreshers. The top stacking bin holds extra hand soap, light bulbs and jet dry. The bottom stacking bin holds all of my sponges and microfiber clothes. To save you from scrolling up lets to a side by side:

With a house full of puppy paws I would love to change to greener cleaning products once I finish what little supplies I have left. I am thinking of either making our cleaning supplies or researching green products. But, for right this is what I am working with and it only took $15.00 to help me get it organized. I love the changes to the kitchen so far! 

Do you use homemade cleaning products or green cleaning products? If so, do you have a good homemade recipe you would like to share. I would love to see it! 


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Freezing My Bins Off

Obviously, this blog title has nothing to do with the weather. Here in Central Indiana it's been hot and humid, we have seen many 100+ days this past week. I really don't want to complain about the heat, honestly, the heat doesn't bother me. But, when the humidity is so high that I feel like I have asthma when I am walking to the parking garage after work, when I don't have asthma, we have a problem. That problem could be the extra love  pounds around my mid section, but lets just blame it on the humidity!

This weekend I spent sometime in the container store {L.O.V.E that place!}. They are currently having there Happy Organized Home Sale and I had my eye on a few products. So I loaded up the husband and we spent an hour plus walking up and down every aisle. I was proud of myself, I walked out with only the things on my list and within my self set budget. I swear if I didn't have a budget I would buy the entire store.

Way before I even thought about starting a blog, I was {and still am} a daily reader of Jen at IHeart Organizing, if you have never been to her blog you have to stop by - she performs magic for real! Anywho, she had a brilliant idea to use these Multi-Purpose Bins from the container store in her freezer. I loved it and knew one day it would probably come in handy.

Now, fast forward to present day. I needed them. I was tired of looking through the piles in my freezer. Since I've been on a kitchen updating/organization kick lately (as seen herehere, and here) I decided to dive on in. I bought two of the Large Multi-Purpose Bins for $5.99 each.

This is the before, considering I hadn't been grocery shopping yet the freezer wasn't horrible. But, the piles of groceries were still making me cringe. 

Our freezer door was pretty bare too. Not much going on in here.

Two of the large bins fit perfectly. Honestly, I could fit a third bin up there, but since I already had a smaller container holding some items I didn't want to spend the additional money. I know, I'm a big spender. The No.1 container holds all of the potato products (french fries, tater tots, hash browns, etc), No. 2 holds all frozen veggies and fruits and No. 3 holds all bread products (garlic bread, pie crust, biscuits, etc). Now, the bottom shelf is strictly meat products and I have enough space to start freezing meals again.

The door has returned to our dessert section, now mostly holding frozen fruit bars and what little ice cream bars we have. You can't forget the cool whip :) It's my weakness with some strawberries in the summer, yummy! The organization has also fixed a little argument between the hubs and me. He is a fish lover. He has a fish that has to eat blood worms, beef heart, and other nasty fish food which has to be frozen until right before he is fed. I hated it being near our normal food. Even though it's frozen and packaged, it still didn't settle well with me. Now, he has his own shelf (the bottom shelf). So, it's a win win and we are both happy.

It was the best $11.00 I've spent in a long time. I found some other great items that helped me organize another space in the house - if your thinking its another space in the kitchen you're correct! But, you will have to check back tomorrow to see the goodies!

Have you done any kitchen organization lately? Or do you have any on your to do list?