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Getting Organized: the Kitchen and a Menu Plan

So, the theme for 2014 is going to be less stuff, more efficiency, and more time for family and friends.  I am the keeper of the stuff at my house and I’m tired of having so much to pick up, clean, and take care of.  So, I’m getting rid of it.  If it’s not essential and we don’t love it, then it’s gone.  (It’s also my secret plan to fund a fabulous girls weekend to Boston this summer!)

One of the areas I want to work on is my kitchen and menu planning.

I started by reading this awesome blog which helped me declutter my kitchen.  I now have one section of counter-top that is completely free!!  I even put away 3 appliances (toaster, bread machine, and food processor) by cleaning out my cabinets.  I LOVE it.  I used to think my mom was crazy for not keeping her toaster out, but as it turns out, she is not.

Also, I want a menu plan.  The problem is that I hate to menu plan.  Yep, HATE it.  For some reason it thoroughly stresses me out.  I finally decided that if I was going to have a menu and put in on my (newly cleaned off) fridge then it should at least be cute.  It is.  And I’m going to share it with you.  It’s pretty much the luckiest day of your life.  😉

Fridge with menu plan

Chalkboard Menu – blank  (a pdf that you can print and fill in weekly)

Menu Ideas (a word doc that you can edit to include your family favorites)

I used a white colored pencil to start with, but I think I’m going to need a white/silver marker.  How sad, I guess a trip to the office supply store is in order.  (Said in total sarcasm because a trip to the office supply store sounds like a great day to me.)

Please prepare yourself to be completely annoyed by my upcoming pursuit of less stuff and the fact that I might try to convince you to do the same.  😉

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What are 10 things you could eliminate from your kitchen TODAY???

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Don’t be a Hater.

Don’t hate me for this post…I’m really doing you a favor.  🙂

So, I recently joined Tupperware.  Yep, that’s right, it’s 1946 at the Stuehlmeyer house.  I have always loved loved loved Tupperware.  (Ask my mom, I threaten to take her and my Granny B’s Tupperware quite regularly.)  I mean, c’mon it lasts forever!  I’m talking the real deal here, actual Tupperware, not that fake stuff like Rubbermaid and Ziplock and stuff.  Well, I recently watched Plastic Planet and I had a serious moral dilemma with my love of Tupperware.  In fact, the irony is that the morning after watching Plastic Planet on Netflix I received a big box of Tupperware on my front porch.  Ugh.

I finally decided that I’m not going to quit using plastic wrap, or reusable plastic bottles, or my tv, or my clothes, or the 8 million other plastic components in our lives, and I’m certainly not going to be sending glass containers with my kindergartner for lunch (nor do I want to use 8 million little ziplock baggies).  I do believe in reusing plastic containers, reducing the number of plastic bags that I use, using safe plastic in the kitchen, and keeping my girls safe when they help me prep and cook.  Well, to make a long story short, I believe in Tupperware being one of the safest plastics, I believe it does help me reduce my overall carbon footprint, and since there is no way to completely eliminate plastic from our lives, why start with Tupperware?

Also, I might have shattered a mason jar on my kitchen floor on Tuesday morning and had to spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning it up (since it magically spread across 3 rooms).  Then I had to re-clean it up, yep that’s right, re-clean it up.  My dogs decided to knock my trash can over later that day in hopes of getting some hot dog leftovers and they spread that dang shattered glass all over the kitchen floor again.  I realized twice in one day that had it been Tupperware I could have just picked it up and been done in like half a second.  Stupid shattered glass.  (That’s a cleaned up version of actually what went through my head.)

Judge me if you want, but I like my Tupperware and I’m keeping it.

All that to say…right now Tupperware has this super cool “The Place for Seals” on sale.  It’s only $11!  But, only til Friday (4/12/2013).

It organizes all your seals (that’s Tupperware speak for lids) in one place.  It makes me so happy I can’t even tell you.  (So, even if you have Pyrex or Glasslock or Ziplock or Rubbermaid, it will still organize your lids!)  Seriously, isn’t that the thing you hate most about food storage containers…the nightmare of the overflowing, lost, and mess of lids?

Can’t believe I’m doing a whole post on “The Place for Seals”.  Yikes.  Don’t.Shoot.Me.  But it’s only on sale til Friday so I couldn’t resist and have you be mad that I knew about this and didn’t tell you.

And if you owned one of these you’d understand.

If you’re smart, and you are, you’ll send me a message (sarahfae@gmail.com) and order one.

Fine print: I need your order by noon on Friday (4/12/2013).  It’s $12.94 including tax & shipping (for the locals only – Salem, Centralia, Mt. Vernon, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Troy, etc., because I’ll be delivering it to you once I get them in).

And because I love you guys, I’m giving one away!  For every “The Place for Seals” that you order I will put your name in a drawing and one lucky orderer will win one on me!

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What is your favorite way to reduce, reuse, and recylce?

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There Will Be Giveaways

You really should come.

Saturday morning.

101 W Vandalia Street in downtown Edwardsville.

I will be giving away several things.  Cool things too.  You might actually want them.

If for some strange reason you absolutely cannot rearrange your schedule I might possibly be convinced to put a giveaway on here.

Shameless Plug

So here it is.  A shameless plug.

Trailhead Church is having a women’s breakfast this Saturday (Feb 23).  It starts at 9:00 am.  Free breakfast, home cooked, healthy, fruit, there will be options.  Budgeting is the topic, presented by yours truly.

For those of you that don’t know me, I love budgets.  Yep, I’m a total loser and I’m not ashamed.

Women only.  No kiddos.  No men.

You should come.  Really.  It’ll be a blast.  I promise it won’t be too terribly awkward even if it is a roomful of women.  (Sometimes women get awkward, but that’s another whole post.)

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Truth or Dare:  Do you budget?

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Much Ado Over A New ‘Do

So, we like to live on the wild side here at the Stuehlmeyer house.  We cut our own hair.  Every one of us.  Well, actually, Banana & Bear do not cut their own hair.  Trust me, I know better than to give a 2 yr old or 4 yr old sharp scissors.   I cut their hair and mine.  Husband cuts his own hair.  I got fired from that job.  You see, I used to cut it.  Then I got pregnant with Hannah.  And I may have had a dramatic exhausted moment one time in the middle of his haircut and claimed that I couldn’t finish because I couldn’t stand up any longer.  He no longer trusts me.  Sad, really.  One less thing I have to do.  Backfired on me, eh?  😉

I figure we save a ton of time and money.  Husband likes his cut every 3 weeks or so so that’s an easy $15/month we save.  The girls and I usually only get cuts every 2 – 4 months, but still that’s $45 every 3 months (more if we go to the fancy salon).  I figure we save $400 or more a year on haircuts (including gas, cut, and tip).  Plus, we save a ton of time by not driving to the salon and having to wait.  And time may just be more valuable than the money we save…time is a big deal in the world of a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and their mother.

Always a pose from this one.

She’s a little blurry.  She just will not stand still.  If you think it was an issue for the picture, you should have seen us during the hair cut.  I kept asking telling her to sit still and she just kept telling me, “I can’t, Mom.”  What’s a mom to do?  Wise words from a two year old.  If you can’t sit still, be honest about it.

Anyways, for now it’s a win-win.  Until I cut someone.  That happened to one of my siblings once.  Sibling got cut by a family member cutting their hair and they never forgot it.  It was rather traumatic.  Good thing it wasn’t me.  Good thing I haven’t cut my kids ear.  They’ll never let me forget it.  I digress…it’s a win-win.
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Would you cut your kids’ hair?

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