Family Closet

The idea struck me that I’ve used the idea of a family closet in the past, but when I read a comment on The Keeper of the Home’s Facebook Page about a family closet, it really hit me…Why did I never completely convert?!

For years our clothes stayed in the laundry room, all hung up on the bottom shelf along the wall. My laundry room is a long and semi narrow room, with the washer and dryer sitting beside the water heater. At each end there is a door, one to my kitchen and one to the 3rd bathroom.

I have complained for years about how small our closets are, in truth they are small, not one walk in closet is in my entire house. The correct doors were not installed so you have almost half of the closet space that’s not even reachable! The whole thing needs to be redone, including wall space taken out for new doors.

So Anyways, I’m thinking of redoing my laundry room instead, and using it as a family closet! It really has potential, and its got to be easier than having 7 people’s clothes everywhere, and not knowing who has what, right?

Wonder what all of this crazy talk is about? It’s the new rage, even the Duggars are doing it!

Consensus from my dear loving husband “You and your creativity, I gotta nip it!

We’ll see about that ;)

This and That

Are you ever a grouch, for no apparent reason? I just had one of those moments. I make a small amount of money on this blog, and I had a specific purpose for that money in my account from the last month. Well, the breaks on the Tahoe are going out, and well…we saved about 66% buy ordering the part and using PayPal. Guess what…most over half of my money is gone.

I’m happy that we had the money there, but it was my personal money going toward something that I didn’t want, but something we had to have. Is that lame or what? I was more upset about me not being happy to get my ‘cool purchase’ in the mail, than for my family to be safe. Where are my priorities?! God quickly reminded me.

Today its raining for the first time in a couple weeks, that’s not normal here. It’s feeder bands off of the tropical storm out in the Gulf of Mexico. I will be inspecting for oil on everything when this is all over.

I’m nervous. I think that it will be Wednesday before I find out the answer to a BIG question in the back of my mind. I’m nervous for a lot of reasons. If the answer is yes, I’ll be sharing what the question is all about.

Shall I continue to do Menu Plan Monday? There are a lot of good reasons for me to share my menus, but if I don’t link to Organizing Junkie almost as soon as the post is up, my link is lost and therefore I don’t get nearly as many readers as normal. The problem…its the summer and we sleep in almost daily. Monday morning at 8am is pretty early for someone not used to those hours of operation anymore.

Modesty + Style + Plus Size Fashion

I’ve been thinking a lot about modesty lately. I’m not a really stylish kinda girl, but I’d love to be. The problem with putting the whole outfit together and it being all three things is pretty hard for me. For something to fit and be modest, style doesn’t really shine through for me, or its modest and cute, but it doesn’t fit…you get the picture. Hot, steamy Alabama requires things to be pretty breathable and layers really aren’t a good thing here.

Ardra
Creative Commons License photo credit: Avoir Chaud

As a plus size mama of 3 +2 kids, I know that I’ll never be a skinny girl. I’ve got to find my way to embrace this, and let my true colors shine through. Being curvy has its advantages, especially that my wonderful husband embraces my every curve! :) Now to find a way for me to do the same thing.

Have I rambled enough yet?! ok ok, leave me some comments with your ramblings or thoughts about my ramblings. This and That. you know what I’m talking about!

It’s Baby Cow Season

We now have 4 baby cows here at Polka Spot Farm, and two of them have wanted a lot of attention this week already.

The last baby fell out of the fence a couple hours after it was born. We only noticed after the Mama Cow was having a fit at the back of the pasture. After a little while my husband found him down the hill in the wooded area behind the pasture. Poor thing was scared to death and calling his mama! The other cows ran toward the hysterical Mama Cow to comfort her, but the baby cow didn’t learn his lesson.

The pictures here are from the next day after the baby cow had gotten out of the fence again, but could not figure out how to get back in. He didn’t wander away, and was very cuddly when my hubby picked him up to carry him to safety.

Now if only my hubby was here every day. I’ve always heard that if you pick a cow up every day after it is born, that when it is an adult you can still pick it up..what do you think?

Our 2 week old calf is seen in this quirky little video playing around:

I’ll be back!

Sorry I missed Menu Plan Monday this morning, but we have a cow that’s acting up, some visitors that are acting up even more and Scott flies out in a few hours. I’ll get my menu plan up when I get home tonight or tomorrow. Until then…

Father’s Day Reccomendation: Swiss Army Knife

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Swiss Army. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband loves camping. In fact we’ve been twice in just over a week. He’s a great fisherman, but when you combine fishing and camping he’s in heaven!

This last camping trip was a family event with 6 kids and 6 adults. There were 5 tents and lots of gear. My husband’s family is so innovative and built not one but two stands for lanterns. These men were roughing it even when they didn’t have to!

As much as this trip was a great bonding time for the family, the guys taught the kids so much about the great outdoors. With 3 dad’s at our campsite, they had their work cut out for them, but all of them were prepared.

For this father’s day, I’m thinking that these 3 dads would love to receive the Swiss Army Dual Pro X. Its a great tool for any outdoor situation, and I know the men of our family would love to carry this on our next big camping trip.

Wanna compete for $25,000 from Swiss Army? Then go like their Share the Adventure Facebook Page! I’m surely gonna do this, and pass it on to my husband. Maybe we could buy a camper so mama can have a shower and a/c on our camping trips then! lol!

Visit my sponsor: Share an Adventure with Dad!

Summer15 Challenge

Today I officially announced that I’m joining the Summer15 weight loss challenge. You can follow my results over at Eat Sweat Lose for the next 12 weeks and you can join at Plus Size Bloggers, but today is the last day to sign up.

BWS tips button

If you don’t join, at least come over and cheer for us each week. Heather and I want all of the support that we can get.

Menu Plan Monday – Father’s Day

Its Father’s Day week, and all of the kids are here until Friday. We will be working on my husbands gifts this week, along with summer activities. A dear friend of ours asked us to visit, so we will be out of town for the day on Friday. The rest of the week’s meals may be shuffled, but that’s the great thing about buying everything ahead of time, you can shuffle your menu around.

In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a recipe for make ahead cinnamon rolls to use throughout the summer, along with other breakfast recipes.

Monday:

B: Waffles

L: Smoked Ham with Mac N Cheese

D: Fish at Maw’s

Tuesday:

B: Cinnamon Rolls

L: Chef Salad

D: Taco Salad

Wednesday:

B: Cereal or Oatmeal

L: Kids Choice (soup)

D: Lasagna

Thursday:

B: Cereal or Oatmeal

L: Leftovers

D: Homemade Pizza

Friday:

B: Granola Bars in the Car

L: Out with friends

D: Homemade Soup (Made the day before)

Saturday:

B:Pancakes and Bacon

L: Grilled Burgers

D: Honey Grilled Chicken

Sunday:

B: Cinnamon Rolls

L: Spaghetti and Meatballs (Entire Menu Plan with Pics and Timeline from my guest post on Family Foodies)

D: Leftovers

Menu Plan Monday

This week my husband is home, and we already have enough food to feed an army! Not sure why he cooked so much on the grill this weekend but it keeps me from having to cook this week, well except a lot of sides. What’s your favorite sides for grilled chicken?

Monday: Grilled Chicken Salad

Tuesday: Fried Chicken (at mom’s!)

Wednesday: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Thursday: Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza for 7

Saturday: Smoked Ham and sides

Sunday: Chicken and Dumplings

Next week we’ll be starting our Stay at Home Summer Camp. I can’t wait to share what I have in store! I’ll be bringing you great tips throughout the week so don’t forget to subscribe.

13 Great Resources for Once a Month Cooking

Its summertime, and we all want a vacation whether or not we can take one this year. Take a vacation from cooking, by using one day a month or even one day a week to lighten the load in the kitchen. Grab your husband, your best friend, or even your older kids and get to work!

Saving Dinner has amazing recipes, with all of the recipes, great tips on how to store your meals and shopping lists. I’ve used Leanne’s menu’s in the past and highly recommend them. Leanne also has the Working Woman’s Cookbook that has great recipes that can be put in the freezer.

The Once a Week Mom is a great free resource. She makes a monthly menu that you can use when you want to get everything out of the way. Great for when you are expecting or will be out of town and Dad and the Kids will be hanging out at the house.

This great book for Artesian Bread in 5 minutes. is great for making a batch of dough that keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days, I know its not for the freezer, but fresh bread daily is a big plus and must have for this list. We use it for pizza crust around here, and the kids love it! The website had some very cool ideas for the basic recipe found in the cookbook too.

Maybe you want to cook on Sunday, so that you have the rest of the week free, and its too overwhelming to cook all day for the entire month. That’s when you get those menus and shopping list delivered straight to your Inbox weekly with Once A Week Cooking.

The Hillbilly Housewife is where I first started thinking about freezer meals, and being more frugal with my cooking, I know that she will help you in both regards also.

Still wondering how you will store all of those meals? Tammy has some great tips.

If you are doing a lot of meals, or just a few these Tips for Assembling Freezer Meals are some of the best I’ve read, other than the ones from my first resource.

This tip list has links to what to do with that leftover ham during the holidays, chicken meals, hamburger meals and so on. Great for when you run into great sales while out shopping!

A great idea for a baby shower! Why not add the elderly, someone just back from surgery, families that have recently had a loss, and so many more that I could name.

Learn Once a Month Cooking in 7 Easy Steps from FrugalMom.net breaks everything down, and looks like a great master plan. What do you think?

Never done OAMC? Read the tips given from this lady after her first cooking session!

So you have all of these recipes for dinner, how about breakfast?! Recipe Zaar is my go-to for recipes anways, Check out over 450 OAMC Breakfast Recipes on the Zaar.

Speaking of Breakfast, this is HOT of the presses…well it was when I was writing this :D Simple Bites has The Best Do-Ahead Breakfast Foods

How do you keep your freezer meals fresh? I answered this question earlier this week. Check out my answer.

How to Keep Freezer Meals Fresh for Months

As a kid I was amazed at infomercials, and did eventually talk my mom into ordering a thing or two. What really convinced her to buy one of those items was a live demonstration while we were out shopping.

Daddy was a farmer which automatically made Mama a canner.

Mama only froze one of her vegetables, because of all the food she’d lost to freezer burn when she was younger. Gone are the days of freezer burn. Today she still uses this same unit that is over 20 years old! It was well worth the money, of around 300.00 at the time.

The FoodSaver really does just that, it saves your food.

My mom has frozen corn that lasts for years! Her famous dish at almost every church or family function was her creamed style corn. It wasn’t quite as creamy as one may think, and was the simplest of dishes to make. Her secret was the FoodSaver. I can’t say that it was a secret, because she told everyone!

As soon as she cut the corn off the cob, blanched it (in the Microwave no less!) It went into the handy bags, the machine sucked all of the air out and sealed the bag, then into the freezer. Mom always used a chest style freezer with boxes of the same types of vegetable, and rotated the boxes during the year.

Why am I telling you all of this about freezing vegetables you may ask?

Because if you can store corn in the freezer for 2 years (sometimes longer), you can make sure that your Once a Month or Once a Week Cooking is safe for a few months in your freezer. No one likes to start cooking something, and then start smelling something icky! All of that money goes down the drain, and you order pizza for your family. We’ve all done it, and it always makes me sooo frustrated and mad.

Mama didn’t loose all of her hard work in the garbage because of freezer burn, and neither will you.

Believe me when I say that my Mama was very picky about her food and the quality and taste. She canned everything for many years until she found this , in her eyes and mine, priceless jewel.

The great thing now, is that you don’t have to use those pesky rolls of bags if you don’t want to. They offer precut and sealed bags! Mama would love these!