Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kitchen Essentials Shopping List... WIN!

I never remember to get everything I actually NEED at the grocery store. I'm not a couponer. I generally don't buy things that there are coupons for. I am trying to get closer to making everything from scratch so I don't need processed and packaged foods. If I buy vegetables that aren't fresh, I buy frozen. And not the kind that you "steam in the bag" or that has "cheese-like sauce". Because honestly, those scare me too. Steaming in a plastic bag? Yikes. My girlfriends at Must Love Mommyhood and Manic Mama are the ones who really encouraged me to go "from scratch".. I must say, it's a LOT of work some days but, it's amazing!

I finally came across a complete grocery list! (Thanks E!) You bet your sweet rolls I pinned it, printed, and slapped that puppy on the fridge! Here's the super awesome list on pinterest! And then I realized that I didn't necessarily use everything she uses. So I tweaked it! Also, she has 100 items. I only have 70. I have an herb garden out front so I don't need as many dried herbs as are on her list. You can change up the list however you like!

So, I have this super awesome, concise list of what I need from the grocery... What to do with it??? I'm going to take a little run to the Dollar Store and pick up an inexpensive, lightweight picture frame and some magnets. I'm going to put it on the fridge with a dry erase marker so that every time I realize I'm out of something I can mark it! Brilliant! No more searching through cabinets HOPING I get everything onto the list!

Do you want my super awesome grocery list?? Follow this link to Dropbox and grab your printable!

Edited: I realized my link was broken just today, it's all fixed now! Enjoy your shopping list!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Work in Progress Weekend!

For some reason this week has been insanely busy. Insanely busy doesn't lend itself to Pinterest projects and knitting. So there's not a particular project I am sharing with you, rather things that are works in progress. And there are several!

I'll start with Pinterest.. I am going to build a mail center in our kitchen. We have SO much paper that comes into our house every day and it all piles up on the kitchen counter. It drives me batty! So this pin is my inspiration. I have the frames and picked up cute scrapbooking paper to put the quotes on. I haven't quite decided which quotes I'm going to use yet. Any ideas? I am on the hunt for something to function as our "mailboxes". I know something awesome is out there, I just haven't found it yet.

Another thing I am working on is a home cleaning schedule. I am WAY too lazy for this one, but if you have boundless energy, try it out! Mine is more centered around zone cleaning. I have realized that I am NOT a graphic designer. At all. I downloaded Gimp and have opened it and closed it about 40 times... No progress on the printable yet. I promise it will happen though.

On to knitting. I joined a knit along in a facebook group this month. It was a shawl project. I hated it. HATED. I just couldn't get the rhythm down, I wasn't crazy about the yarn I bought... It was a disaster. It did, however, lead me to my local yarn store for help. There, I found the most BEAUTIFUL yarn, it's Koigu in shades of teal and seafoam. I bought 5 skeins of it and went home to search for a pattern. I found the Moonshadow pattern on Here's the pin for it! I am in love. And by in love, I mean every second I am not doing anything with my hands, I am working on it! The colors are really interesting in this pattern and I really feel like it's going to be a stunning piece when it's finished.

My other knitting project is coming along nicely, its a super simple "baby blanket" that I am knitting larger for a nice throw blanket for our living room. Love this super easy pattern! I'm doing it some really beautiful colors. The red is a Berroco color, the rest are Cascade 220 colors. It's my in between project. It is pretty big and I don't want to get bored with it.

So, that's what's going on around here.. Lots of work in progress, not a lot done. I just didn't want to leave my new followers, or my old ones, hanging!!

Happy knitting and crafting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

S'mores Dip....WIN!

I had so much fun reading new blogs from the Ultimate Blog Party '13, hosted by! I gained some new followers, HELLO!!

I know in my introduction I talked about wanting to eat healthier... But sometimes you just need something sweet. A lot of times I need something sweet. So I found this recipe on Pinterest. I just happened to have all of the ingredients so I went for it...

Bakeaholic mama is the mastermind behind this dip.. I altered her recipe just a bit because I had less patience than her. Also, there are no measurements because I did a ramekin sized portion but this could easily be made for a party!

Here is your S'mores Dip recipe:
Milk or Dark Chocolate chips
Graham Crackers

Preheat broiler to 350*
Melt your chocolate chips and pour into an oven safe dish.
Top with marshmallows.
Place on top rack of oven and remove when marshmallows are golden brown.
Break up graham crackers and serve on side.

As you can see, I went to TOWN on this dip. I am SO glad I made a small portion. Because I would have eaten all of it. ALL of it. I wanted to lick the bowl. But I didn't.... Or so I will let you think.

What are your go to sweet tooth satisfiers?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Topsy Turvy Planter... WIN!

Good morning, lovelies! Is everyone enjoying the blog party?? I know I am having a blast and meeting so many really awesome bloggers!  This is my second post of the party, if you want to read my first post, just click here!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
It has FINALLY begun to warm up in these parts.. It has been the longest winter ever here in Nashville. I'm used to tee shirts and flip flops at least a couple of times in February but not this year! 
Yesterday was our prettiest day to date so the huz and I took the opportunity to get started on some of our edible landscaping! You can check out all of my pins here. I really want to grow as much of our food as I 1. logically can and 2. our homeowner's association will allow. Everything I am reading about GMOs and pesticides really bothers me. This is the food we eat. The nourishment we give our bodies. It needs to be good for us. Aaand, off my soapbox.
We love fresh herbs in our house. Our spice cabinet is really bare for a foodie house. Why? Because we use mostly fresh. And that can get expensive.. I spend between $2-$3 for a packet of basil every time I make spaghetti or lasagna. So I started researching growing my own. It seems really simple, put them in something cute, water them, and voila! herbs! If you are in the middle Tennessee area and are looking for a good nursery, Needham's Nursery in Mt. Juliet is awesome! 
Here is how I designed our herb garden, they put a  bird bath on top, I did not. We bought a LOT of herbs.
Items needed:
Pardon the mess.. haha
5 ft piece of rebar
1 large terra cotta planter
3 smaller terra cotta planters
1 even smaller terra cotta planter
Potting mix
Items to be planted, can be flowers or herbs.

Drive one end of the rebar into the ground far enough that it will stand on its own.
Take largest pot and put onto the rebar through the drainage hole. Fill with potting mix and plant matter. In that one I put a couple of strawberry plants and some violas for color. Make sure you leave one side of this planter empty so you can stack the next planter on it!
Take one of the 3 smaller pots and run it down the rebar through the drainage hole. Lean one side of the pot into your large pot, you can do left side or right side. Fill your pot with potting mix and plants. 
It isn't as important to leave a whole half of the pot empty to stack the next pots, just leave a little bit of room on the side closest the rebar.
Continue to do this with the rest of your pots, alternating sides to give it the topsy turvy look. When you've run out of pots, you're all done! 
Water your plant babies and watch them grow!

P and C wanted to plant some stuff too!
If you look reeeeeeally closely at the pic above, you can see my DIY herb markers in the pots. That post will be coming up soon. :)
These are the boys, LOVING the dirt. I am hoping to instill in these two kiddos a love of home grown food. I want to get out of the grocery store and into the garden!

Do you grow any of your own food? Leave me a message in the comments below!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blog Par-tay!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I'm still a wee blogger trying to get my blog out into the world so I decided to join a blog party! Actually, my bestie at Mustlovemommyhood told me I had to do this. I wasn't all that hard to convince, its not like she was standing over me with a whip or anything...

Sooooo, what do we do all day around here? I love to knit. Love it. It saved me from post-partum depression. I'm not the best knitter ever and I am pretty sure that I spend more time frogging projects than knitting. Frogging is done when you realize that you have screwed up your pattern so badly that you have to go pour yourself a glass of wine and start ripping out stitches row by row. It doesn't work if you don't drink wine. Or so they told me at the yarn store. They're professionals, who am I to question?

When I'm not knitting, I am surfing Pinterest. Truthfully, I would like to be wealthy enough to pay someone to do all the fancy schmancy pins I find. But as glamorous as being married to a chef sounds, it's pretty much like being married to anyone who is gone from the time the kids get up until the time they go to bed. And they don't get paid crap tons of money like Bobby Flay. So, I kinda hafta do the stuff myself.

I'm learning to live a more natural life these days. I have my girlfriends E and Lishy to thank for that. And the Pinterest addiction. I make all of my own cleaners, use essential oils and herbs for all kinds of fun stuff, and I have just recently learned to bake my own bread! I really am loving living my hippie life! I'm going to be planting some culinary and medicinal herbs soon... Keep your peepers peeled for those posts!

I should probably talk a bit about my roommates too, huh? The huz is, like I mentioned above, a chef. He's awesome. Funny, smart, and totally supportive of all of my hair brained hippie ideas. He told me when we first met he likes his women like he likes his coffee, hot and bitter. Um, SOLD! We have two little monsters ahem, darlings. Parker is 4. He's sweet and smarter than I'll ever be. And then there's Connor. At 20 months he is making it known that it's his way or no way. He is also fascinated with my knitting needles. A kid after my own heart.

That's me! I hope you hang around for all the fun! Most of my posts are Pinterest finds and will have WIN or FAIL in the title. There will be everything from cleaners to gardening to beauty ideas.

See you soon!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Essential Oil Insomnia Blend

**This blog post has been edited because in my essential oil research, I have learned about proper dilutions of essential to carrier oils. You can actually get more benefit from using a proper dilution than from making one incredibly strong.**

I'm going off the beaten path today because this is one of the most important things I use in my home. I have made it for friends and they swear by it. It isn't a pin on my Pinterest page because for some reason, I can't pin from this website. I wish I could because I really think that it would be one of the top pins EVER on Pinterest.

Almost no one that I know gets enough deep, quality sleep. For the longest, I was among those people. No longer.Without taking ANY prescription sleep aids, I am sleeping longer and better. And so is Connor. Those of you who know me in person know that Connor was a HORRIBLE sleeper. Awful. I spent many days in tears because I was so darn exhausted. As a last ditch effort I tried essential oils. I thought they were a cool idea and that they could be good for cleaning but I wasn't that into them. This blend changed our lives.

Here is the link to the article I used to create the blend. It was exceptionally easy and with the exception of the chamomile oil, all of the essential oils are really reasonably priced. Eden's Garden has really great quality oils that won't kill your bank account. Plus, they donate 10% of their profits to a different cause each month. I love that.

Now that you are all kinds of excited about the prospect of great sleep....

Insomnia Blend:
5 drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
2 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil

Mix all EO's in a carrier oil (grapeseed, jojoba, olive, coconut, etc) and apply to base and nape of neck and temples before bedtime. I use about 3 drops between Connor and myself.
This recipe will make 30 mL or 6 teaspoons of insomnia oil. The dilution is 1% because we use it pretty regularly. If you plan on using it occasionally, you'll have the option to increase the dilution to up to 5%. Here is a fantastic chart explaining dilution: Nourishing Treasures is a website run by a certified aromatherapist, she's awesome!

Store in a dark glass bottle for best results. Nature's Gift is an amazing source for essential oils as is Essential Oil Exchange. They are my two favorites for oils. Bottles can be found on Amazon or on Specialty Bottle's website.

If you don't care for the scent of chamomile, you can cut down on the amount of it in the recipe. I made up a batch with 5 drops of chamomile and added 5 drops of lavender in place of the rest of the chamomile. The scent was much milder and less medicinal. I know the AromaWeb site suggests not using that much lavender but I love the scent and it really helps me with relaxation. It worked just as well as the original recipe for us!

Do you have any essential oil blends for sleep? Or have you tried my blend and loved it? Let's chat about it!