House Updates

I know it’s been nothing but radio silence over here! But all is well in the Watson abode. I’ve actually been SO productive lately! I’ve been working a ton, spending little time on social media, and soaking up my family time every chance I can get!

After the holidays, I went into spring cleaning mode. It helped that it’s been 70 degrees here (until this week that is)! We took down the decorations the weekend after Christmas and did a super clean of the house. It felt so good! I’ve also been purging like crazy. We’ve collected so much stuff over the years! If it wasn’t nailed down, I sold it or donated it! Then, with that money, I made a few small changes to the house that made a BIG difference! Here are our latest updates:

In Turner’s room, we really just updated the wall art. He had a great room to begin with!

Gracie’s room was a similar story! She had a collage wall above her crib, but it was never quite right. So we took it down, played with ideas on the floor, and created the perfect collage! We also picked up a “Hello Beautiful” sign for above her dresser.

Our room was a bit of a challenge. It’s really big and has three closets in a row with windows on one corner of the room. So I was on Pinterest searching for ideas! I saw a cute little sitting area in one photo that gave me the idea for this arrangement!

And my favorite update of all….the living room! We had two tall bookshelves on either side of the fireplace, but it looked too cluttered. So we replaced them with two sitting chairs with matching wall art on either side. Then opposite that, we created an amazing collage wall above the couch!

The best part of this whole thing was that every piece of art in the living room was from Hobby Lobby! AND they were 50% off!!!! Can you feel my excitement?! Doesn’t it look like I spent a fortune on these art pieces? The chairs we got for the living room were from Hobby Lobby too. Who knew they sold furniture!? My mind was completely blown after walking through there! It’s amazing how a few thought out changes can make our house feel completely different. I love love love it!

Meal Prep w/ Printable Recipes and Grocery List!

I used to be really good at meal prep! Lately I haven’t really made it a priority though. We were doing those meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, so I got lazy! I always plan our meals for the week and do one grocery shopping for the week (saves time and money), but I also like to plan weeks with similar ingredients so I can prep over the weekends. It takes some more planning, but it really makes our week nights so much easier! By the time Stew gets home from work, it’s 5.5:30 and Gracie starts melting down around 6:30. So we need to eat pretty much when he walks in the door! That means I need to get dinner made with two kids and a ringing phone (job hazard). Since I know I’m not the only one in this situation, I like to share my prep plans when I can! So this was our menu last week:

MENU:

**I’ve linked to recipes that can be downloaded and printed, as well as the grocery list for the week. I also wrote some notes below each day if there wasn’t a specific recipe to go along with it!

Saturday: Cook the pork in the slow cooker according to the recipe below so it’s ready to be used throughout the week.

Sunday: Braised Pork w/ roasted veggies (Recipe at bottom of post)

**Serve pork with roasted veggie of your choice. We used carrots tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast at 400*F for 15-20 minutes or until softened.

Monday: Cuban Pork Panini

**Danielle Walker’s Recipe can be found in her cookbook, but I linked to one similar above.

Tuesday: Vegetable Stir Fry

Wednesday: Roasted spaghetti squash with meat sauce

Thursday: Pork Ragu Spaghetti

**Heat 2 cups shredded pork in saucepan with jar of your favorite tomato sauce (this is my favorite pasta sauce EVER). Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Friday: Pepperoni Pizza Pasta w/ Vegetable Noodles

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Can you guess what my main ingredient was?? PORK! Now, I don’t usually make pork. But I am bored with chicken, so I wanted to use something else that was delicious and could be used in several different meals. As long as the meat is good quality, I am ok with it!

My inspiration for this menu was my new cookbook Against All Grain. I discovered this cookbook through a friend. They have some major food allergies in their family. And, because we get together on a regular basis and share a meal, it made sense that I should research some new ideas! As soon as I opened this cookbook, I was sold. There were so many things to love. The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are simple, and they can easily be modified for people without food allergies! So, I ordered it on Amazon and now read it on a daily basis! Plus, Danielle Walker’s story is so amazing. What a humble and beautiful woman she is! I digress….

So my order of steps for meal prep is to:

1. make a meal list

2. make a grocery list AS you plan the meals (I use Shopping List FREE app. It’s incredible)

**(THIS WEEK’S PRINTABLE GROCERY LIST HERE)

3. map out the things I’ll prep in advance (i.e. slow cooker pork).

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’25’]

 

So now what? Write out the menu in your kitchen so you know what meal comes which day. Print out your grocery list and recipes. And breathe a sigh of relief that you have one week of delicious meals planned!

 

Happy New Year!

This is my favorite post of the year! It’s a recap of our year in pictures! It’s been one of the best to date!

We dressed in our holiday best

We moved to a dreamy nest

We celebrated birthdays

And went on family vacays

And caught up on much needed rest!

It was a year to remember. One of growing, and learning, and loving more than we ever thought imaginable! A year of thanking God for our many blessings and praying for many more to come!

Thank you for letting us share our family with you! Wishing you a Happy New Year! May 2017 be filled with joy and blessings (and sparkly dresses)!