My husband and I started the Dukan Diet last week and we’ve been going through the normal teething issues that come with a new diet. I have never tried a protein based diet so for me the menu took a lot of getting used to. I have seen all sorts of cute weekly menu’s, mainly chalkboards, floating around Pinterest that I would love to do but do not have the wall space for.
I have a largish galley style kitchen so wall space is limited. I needed a menu to help with the new diet so I decided to make a laminated one and put it inside my pantry door. I added a legal pad for my shopping list. I used 3M strips and attached them to a sheet protector, I then slipped the back of the legal pad in the sheet protector. Now I can write what I need, tear the sheet off and when the legal pad is empty I can easily replace it. You can also see my little magnetic strip with the magnetic dry erase marker. It is simple and I like it, it is really nice being able to see what the next meal is instead of relying on my memory.
I have to add, I love my little laminator. I bought it last week at Walmart for $27 and have already given it a good run. I know this little thing is going to save me money in the long run, just on gas alone from all the trips to the office supply store.
I am finding so many great projects on Pinterest that I have a list made out with three weeks worth of things to try. This cheap and practical weekly calendar came from Kristy at Next to Heaven.
We are about to enclose our sun room and turn it into a dining room so I decided to go ahead and claim the old dining room as my office. I love it, I have huge windows that look straight into the back yard with views of the old barn and golf course. I had been trying to figure out what to do with a blank wall across from my desk. We all have to walk by it to go from the bedrooms to the living areas so it is a perfect place for our calendar as well as the kids chore charts that I will be doing tomorrow.
I bought the frame for this project from Walmart for $9.99 but also found more expensive versions of it at Hobby Lobby ($24.99) and Target ($22.99). I also found these fantastic little dry erase markers at Walmart. They are perfect for projects like this since they have an eraser on the end and a magnet on the back. I bought some magnetic sheeting from Hobby Lobby, cut it to size and stuck it on the frame, now the marker stays in place without the need for cords.
Twenty minutes of work and I now have a cute practical calendar.
I am one of those people that does not retain much useful information, song lyrics and things that happened 20 years ago no problem. I was a late bloomer when it came to domestic skills so new information such as cooking times and metric conversions don’t seem to be sticking. I am constantly running to my computer to see what temperature the chicken is meant to be and what temperature my Australian recipes are meant to cook at. I found a really handy chart that someone had painted into their kitchen cupboard and was brilliant. I of course forgot to pin it and now can’t find it. We have yet to renovate the kitchen so I didn’t go to that extreme. I typed up a quick little chart in Photoshop, laminated it and used some 3m mounting tape to stick it in the cupboard closest to where I put all the dishes together.
It isn’t totally fabulous but it took ten minutes to type up and saved me two trips to the computer last night when I was cooking dinner. If you’d like to print it here is a full size image.
My kids like making a mess with their toys when playing, for this reason we removed toy storage from the living room and took everything upstairs. They are now four and five and we feel old enough to have independent playtime without the need to constantly watch over them. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to keep the kids things from trickling down the stairs, they always do. I am constantly throwing shoes, toys, hair bows and blankets to the bottom of the stairs. I had a large canvas basket that I would try and remember to hide if company came over but rarely did. In my Pinterest searches I ended up on Karen’s site Sew Many Ways and she had a picture of cute little baskets with bows and name cards, very simple and practical. At least it should have been simple. It took me three Hobby Lobbies, two Walmart’s, a Target and finally Gordmans before I found two matching baskets. I recently bought a lamintor for projects with the kids so I used that to laminate the name tags. I tied them to the basket with some thread and then tied on a bow.
I finished them today and within five minutes of showing them to the kids they are both full. I really like them and they fit perfectly on the bottom landing of the stairs.
Yesterday was one of those days where everything took longer than it should and things didn’t turn out quite as planned. I planned to follow the original recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Chili posted at Redsie but a last minute discovery that I didn’t have beans had me scrambling through the pantry until I found half a bag of rice. My Chili quickly turned into a Mexican Rice. I was surprised that it was as good as it was. The kids loved it but hubby and I love a lot of spice so we doused ours with some hot sauce before eating.
Crock Pot Mexican Rice with Chicken
1 onion, chopped
1.5 cups of rice
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 Cups of water
Combine rice, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.
We really liked it, if you love spicy food and don’t have kids to cook for I would recommend doubling the Chili powder, if not then Franks Hot Sauce does the trick.