Monday, April 13, 2015

Rainbow Meal Planning Printable!


Meal planning is a challenge for me.  I don't know why I struggle so much with it, but it just drives me up the wall!  I know that when I do plan our meals we eat better, lose weight and save money.  It's a goal of mine to plan our meals for at least a couple weeks at a time, but right now one week is an accomplishment for me.  

Sooooooo..... I decided one way to get inspired was to make a fun meal planning sheet.  I love bright colors and especially rainbows.  I printed several of these and am going to take them to work tomorrow, log in to Pinterest and plan away!

I thought I'd share it with you guys and hopefully inspire you to plan too!

You can download your FREE printable meal planner HERE.

Happy Planning!
Cheryl


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Flowery Card


I saw a card on Pinterest a while back and I loved the style, so I decided to use that for inspiration.  Sadly, I didn't pin the card so I can't share the inspiration pic with you all.

Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't been crafty in a few months.  I decided I was ready to play with paper again and I'm working on building up my stash of cards.  I like to have cards on hand in case I forget a birthday and need a card right away... or just want to drop a note to a friend.

As you can tell from the pic, the front of the card is basically a half sheet.  I designed it on my Silhouette, cut it, then added the flowers.


I cut the flowers in a couple of different sizes and layered them with foam dots.  I added enamel dots to the center of each flower.  I made the enamel dots myself and I'll post about that soon so you do it too!


I'm really pleased with how this turned out.  It was fairly simple and I think I can easily make several different cards using this style as a template.

I'm off to make more cards....

Cheryl



Saturday, April 4, 2015

5 Tips for De-cluttering the Kitchen


I don't know about you, but I have a frequent visitor at my house that I not-so-lovingly call "The Clutter Monster".  He shows up more often than I'd like and stays way too long.  He comes out late at night, when I'm asleep and leaves piles and messes everywhere.  We've never actually seen him, but I know he's there...

We moved to a new house a little over a year ago.  The home we lived in previously was awful.  We lived there way too long because we are in debt and the rent was very cheap.  We kept saying that we'd move next year, then we never did.  Last February, we were told our landlord had sold the property and we had 4 weeks to move.  Cue panic mode!!!

We moved into a duplex and we love it here.  It's not huge.  It's not fancy.  But it's just right for the two of us.  We have a garage, I have a craft room and we love the neighborhood.  These are all things we never had before.

I say all that to say that since we've moved, I have really worked on making our house look nice.  At the old house, I cleaned (until the year I got meningitis!), but it never looked clean because it was just old and ugly.  It became such a chore because I just hated the way it looked.  Here, it actually looks clean and shiny when I dust or sweep, so I actually enjoy it.

I believe dirt and clutter are two different things.  You can dust, vacuum or scrub all day, but if you have clutter strewn about, your house won't look clean.  Clutter sneaks in a little at a time for most people, until you have a pile of miscellaneous crap and don't know exactly how it got that way.  I think the kitchen is the worst place in the house at accumulating clutter.  Mail, small appliances, vitamins/medications, cups, dishtowels and much more seem to like living on the counters.

Here are a few ways I've discovered that help me keep my kitchen looking tidy, even if I haven't just cleaned...

1. Keep your counter tops clear of unnecessary items.
For a long time, we had a coffee maker on our kitchen counter.  I NEVER use a coffee maker; my husband used it maybe once every 3 weeks or so.  Every time I cleaned, I would have to move it to clean behind and dust it because it wasn't used enough.  I finally took it off the counter.  It's in an easy to reach place, but not out where it takes up counter space or has to be cleaned all the time.  

If you make coffee every morning, it makes sense to have a coffee maker on your counter.  But a food processor? A waffle iron?  Unless you use these items frequently, put them away.  I promise, you'll love it! 

2. Have a place for EVERYTHING.
One of the biggest reasons for clutter is that some things don't have a "home" and we end up laying them down on any horizontal surface that's close.  This is especially true for circulars, mail and paperwork.  If you can, sort your mail over a trash can and immediately discard anything you don't need.  Then, head to a shredder if any of it needs destroyed.  After that, immediately take the items that need action to their home.  If you don't have a spot for mail, go make one right now!  I normally pay bills at work on my lunch hour, so I put the mail straight in my work bag and handle it later.  If you save coupons or sales flyers for later shopping, you could buy a wall organizer or place a cute basket somewhere and stash them there.  Whatever you do, don't start a stack.  Stacks become piles, and piles are what you find in pastures when the cows digest their food!  

The same goes for kitchen items.  Make sure you have a spot for everything, so when you're putting things away, it's a quick and painless process.   If you don't have enough cabinet or drawer space in your kitchen, try storing larger items in another room, a closet or even the garage.  My mom has shelving in the garage for things like crock pots, her large roaster and cake plates that she doesn't use often.  If you store them in their box or clear plastic bags, you don't have to worry about dust or dirt accumulating.

3. Reduce, Reduce, Reduce!
If you're like me, you have, at one time or another, bought that adorable pink spatula because it's so cute and you just can't live without it,  Once you start using it, it's crummy and you never use it again, but can't part with it because you paid good money for it.  Honey, you gotta let go!

This has been a hard one for me.  I love kitchen gadgets and have bought many in my time.  However, some of them have turned out to be junk (Anyone remember Eggies from TV?  Yep, I bought 'em.  And they were awful.).  No matter how much you paid for something or how much you love it, if it serves no purpose, get rid of it.  Your time and peace of mind is much more important than that stinking pink spatula. 

Go through every drawer and cabinet and remove every item you never use and toss, sell or donate it.  Then, take out the items that you only use a couple of times per year and find them a new home.  This will help free up the prime real estate in your kitchen and make clean up and organization easier.  If it's easy to put things away, you'll be much more likely to do it on a regular basis.

4. Pick up after yourself.
Sounds simple enough, right?  Not quite.  Unless you were born Martha Stewart (love her!), it doesn't come naturally to have an immaculately clean house at all times.  I can be a real slob.  I won't allow plates with rotting food or gross trash to lie around, but I sure will pile up my shoes by the door or leave my towels in the bathroom floor.  It's much easier than actually picking up after myself.  BUT...someday, I eventually have to pick it up anyway.  If you get into the habit of always putting things back where they go, your house will be much more peaceful and tidy.  

Earlier today, I went to return a cup to the kitchen from this morning.  Instead of putting it straight into the dishwasher, I caught myself sitting it on the counter closest to the door.  Then, I realized what I was doing.  I actually counted, and it took me about 4 extra steps and maybe 10 extra seconds to put it away.  If it were that easy, why didn't I put it away?  I was being lazy, plain and simple.

Purpose in your mind to start a habit of putting away everything you touch.  It may take a few weeks for it to become second nature, but it will.  Just stick with it.

5. Have a nightly routine.
After a long day at work, going to the gym, maybe doing some laundry, then cooking dinner, I have no desire to clean my kitchen.  I want to leave everything where it is, plop down on my couch and have some quality time with my DVR.  What will happen if I do this?  The next day, I'll have a sink full of dishes, junk on the counters and we'll end up having Taco Bell for dinner...again.  And then I have overspent my budget, broken my diet and had bad food.  

A clean kitchen provides a welcoming environment for food prep and cooking.  I am a poster child for this.  Often in the past, I have left the dishes for the next day, then don't want to do them, so we end up grabbing something cheap, quick and unhealthy.  This has done nothing but make us fatter and shrink our bank account.  When I started working really hard on a nightly routine, cooking became less of a chore.  Cleaning became faster and easier.  And...I actually stuck to my meal plan and lost weight!  Imagine that...

Even if your routine just consists of one or two things, once you start, you won't regret it.  Trust me!


I am by no means an expert on these things, but I wanted to share what has worked for me. 

How do you keep your kitchen de-cluttered?  

-Cheryl-







Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Padre!



Happy Birthday to my Padre!  

Ok, today isn't his birthday.  It was March 4th.  And, for the record, I don't speak Spanish...not even a little.  

I have a habit of giving people nicknames.  I am not sure when it really started or why.  My husband, whose name is Charles, has about 12 names I call him at various times.  (They're all nice - I promise!)  Several years ago, I started calling my dad padre and it stuck.  I don't call my mom madre, though.  I call her Daisy, yet her name is Barbara.  There's a story behind that, but we'll save that for another day.

Back to the card....

The first card I made with my Silhouette was a box card.  I downloaded the file from svgcuts.com.  I haven't used it since and that was over a year ago.  I really like these cards just because they're fun, so I decided to pull it out for him.


I used various scraps of paper for the card, so I honestly couldn't tell you who makes this paper.

Isn't it festive?


Look at the above picture.  Do you see anything that doesn't belong?  

Look very closely.

The navy balloon on the left is a bit of a mess.  When I was making the card, I wanted every balloon to be a different color, but I didn't have one single piece of patterned paper in navy.  So, I pulled out my trusty white gel pen and made my own.  In person, it blended in pretty well but it seems to really stand out in the picture.  


I used an old stamp I have by The Paper Studio.  I really like the swirly letters, but I'm a little sick of it.  I guess I might have to buy some new stamps.  Oh, darn!  I just hate shopping for crafty things.... said no one, ever!

Have you ever made a boxed card?  I'd love to see your pics if you have.

Blessings,
Cheryl



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blissful "B" Fonts!

I am not even going to start with the excuses reasons I haven't been here in a while.  I'll just say that sometimes things don't go as planned, you know?  Sometimes my brain doesn't do what I want it to do.  And sometimes, I am just lazy!  All that aside, who wants some free fonts???

You can get the fonts here:

If you'd like more free fonts, check out my post HERE and HERE.

Happy Saturday!
Cheryl

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grateful


One year ago today, I was in an ambulance on my way to Norman Regional Hospital.  For those who don't know, I had felt bad for months, and that night, my husband found me thrashing around, unable to speak and having convulsions in our living room.  I was out for a few days and diagnosed with Meningitis.  I wanted to share this to remind everyone how good God is to us! My brain was swollen and they were unsure if I would have lasting damage.  There was the possibility that I could lose my ability to speak, motor skills, ability to walk, etc.  Also, there was the possibility of weeks or even months in the hospital.  Instead of this (and because of the prayers that went up on my behalf), I woke up after 3 days and went home on the 6th day!  I have no memory of that time, but other than that I have only had some short term memory loss and some concentration and focus issues.  It could have been so much worse but thank you, Lord, it wasn't.  He kept His hand on me and blessed me with life.  As I look back on what was probably one of the hardest years I've ever had, I know this.  God is faithful.  He never lets me down, even when I don't understand His plan for me. So, today as I remember, I just want to say thank you God, for being my loving heavenly father and having my life in your hands. I will never be able to say thank you enough.

Hugs,
Cheryl

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fun with Vinyl!

Since purchasing my Silhouette, I have fallen in love with cutting vinyl.  Now, I realize that the Cricut I had for years could cut vinyl also, but I was sorta on my own personal strike.  I always had issues with the Cricut - even when I got my Gypsy - because the things I wanted to make required better fonts or changing of the design somewhat.  This was just not an option with the Cricut.  So, I pouted.  And didn't cut vinyl.

Fast forward to the glorious day in February when I received my Cameo.  I had vinyl I'd bought before and never used and I became a cutting fool!  I'm still getting my feet wet with the techniques and haven't quite conquered layering, but I'm having fun!

My manager is graduating from nursing school next week and gave me my first "for real" vinyl order.  The pics aren't good because I wasn't feeling well (stinking winter cold) and I didn't take time to set up a background and all that jazz.  But....I thought I'd share anyway.

I got the cups from www.saveacup.com and here's the stock photo:


And here's what she asked me to do to make them snazzy:


I put some paper inside because it was hard to see the decal.


I also took a picture of the decal before applying since it's a pain in the hiney to take a picture of a curved surface!


I found this heart shaped stethoscope by searching on Google.  I imported it into my Silhouette and traced it.


And here they are all lined up!  I messed up a few before really getting them right, but once I got a system going, they were pretty quick and simple to do.

Happy Thursday!
Cheryl