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Menu Plan Monday

It's been so long since I've shared any recipes or menus here. I really want to get back into it more consistently. Unfortunately, I don't think that doing detailed menus for the week work for the schedule that my family has right now. With the kids getting older and into lots of activities and my husband on a unpredictable work schedule we need a lot of dinner time flexibility.

That is not to say that I don't desperately need a plan! The nights that I try to wing it without a plan never seem to go well and we definitely do not end up eating the balanced healthy meals that I want to feed my family. Instead of posting the detailed menu plans I used to write I am going to start creating a list of recipes and dinner ideas every Monday. This "menu plan Monday" post will be a resource for me to go back to throughout the week with dinner and side ideas that I can pull from for each dinner. So let's get started and fill this week with delicious and nutritious food for our families!

Main Dish
Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs | girlversusdough.com
Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
How To Cook Salmon in the Oven — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
Oven Baked Salmon
Mexican Lasagna
Classic Meatloaf
Meatloaf (I make this recipe without the sausage and carrots)
Quick and Easy Pizza Crust Recipe
Homemade Pizza Crust (top with leftover meatloaf or meatballs from earlier in the week)


GOOEY CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER BARS - Crazy addictive recipe... like the lovechild of a chocolate chip cookie and a Reeses peanut butter cup! Recipe here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/03/18/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-bars/
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Kitchen Makeover

After many weeks of neglect I am finally back with a new post!  I have so many exciting projects to share with you and am really going to try to get into a more regular posting schedule.

One of the biggest projects that we have completed in our house remodel so far has been the kitchen.  You can see the original kitchen below:

The room has excellent lighting and a good basic layout.  Unfortunately, the honey oak cabinets, laminate counter tops and flooring, and the appliances were all outdated and had to go.  We also decided to give the space a more modern look by removing the soffit above the cabinets to make room for crown molding.

We completely gutted the kitchen and started from scratch.  The old cabinets found a new home in my sister-in-law's kitchen which is another post for another day!

We purchased all of our cabinets, sink and oven hood from Ikea.  Anyone who knows me, knows my love for Ikea!  I love how quick and easy it is to buy from them.  I designed our kitchen online using the Ikea kitchen planner, printed it out and took it into the store.  The very helpful employee in the kitchen department looked over the plan I designed and made a few excellent suggestions.  We put the order in right there and in less than an hour we were driving home with our entire kitchen in the trailer behind us!

As you can see it is quite a dramatic transformation!  We decided to forgo the island and create a peninsula instead.  It really gives the kitchen a more open feeling.

I went with a white theme with lots of glass.  I love how it brightens up the space and really adds a comfortable farmhouse feel.

We chose to go with a corian counter top.  It has been so easy to care for and always looks beautiful. 

The floor is a beautiful dark Pergo laminate.  It is so durable and really looks like hardwood.  We have had all kinds of adventures on it already and it shows no scratches or wear whatsoever.

No farmhouse kitchen is complete without a beautiful farmhouse sink.  Ikea sells this beautiful version for an amazingly low price.  It is such a nice large sink perfect for filling up with all those dirty dishes that four kiddos produce.

The glass front cabinets are beautiful and I love showing off my pretty glasses and favorite dishes.

I really wanted to come up with a way to hide the microwave and at the same time make it accessible for the kids.  We solved the problem by placing the microwave in a nook in the peninsula.  It is the perfect place for it!

We added a hood over the oven and also as a little bonus we put in a pot filler.  It really is so convenient.  We love that it reaches perfectly to fill up the coffee pot!  The back splash is a beautiful tile we purchased at Costco.  

One of the final things that we did was add crown molding to the top of the cabinets.  This really gave the kitchen a custom feel that Ikea kitchens are sometimes missing. 

Another custom finish we added to the kitchen were these trim pieces on both the bar and the refrigerator surround.  My husband came up with an ingenious solution to matching the color of the cabinets.  He purchased extra pieces of the toe kick boards and used those to create a beautiful decorative trim.  He's so awesome!

I love the dramatic difference we made in this space.  It has been so fun to transform every part of this kitchen and I am so happy with the results!

New banner June 2014

Fall 2014

Fall has sped by and I have been so busy with the kids and all of our remodel projects that I haven't had any time to keep up the blog!  I was getting ready to take down all of my pretty fall decorations today and I though I would do a last minute fall decor post.

I love the colors of fall!  Our first fall here in Pennsylvania has been gorgeous, even now, in late November, the view out my kitchen window is beautiful.

Every fall I try to bring some of those wonderful fall colors inside.  This year I focused on my dining room, living room mantel and entry table.  With all of the projects going on (new floors, kitchen, bathrooms, and finishing an attic) I had to keep it simple and easy to dust!

In the dining room I used lots of pops of orange and natural elements.

I love the way the bright orange stands out against my dark furniture.

I repurposed this bookshelf into pretty dining room storage and have really enjoyed dressing it up for the seasons.  Just a few small pumpkins and leaves give it a fun fall look.

My sideboard is the perfect spot to display this beautiful fall wreath, as well as my favorite deer mugs from Ikea.

I added a few subtle fall touches to my entry table, and if you look closely you can see that one sad green army man was left behind from the boys last adventure!


And finally, my very favorite spot to decorate...the mantel.  A glass pumpkin and a few pretty silk flowers give it a touch of autumn without being overwhelming.  

I can't believe all of this will be put away soon, although my head is already swirling with Christmas ideas!  Hopefully you will get to see some of those ideas before January!  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


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