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January 30, 2011

And the winner is.......

I used a sequence generator at random.org and the winner of the $20 Target gift card is Comeca Jones! Comeca I will e-mail you to get your address! Congratulations!

Well IKEA sure was fun yesterday but after being there for four hours with four plus children, it was definitely time to go! I managed to get a super cute lamp and some pillows for my couch at Marshalls as well this weekend. The cloffice and playroom are so close to being done, hopefully in the next few days. Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

January 28, 2011

Target Gift Card, win it here!!!

Wow, that was fast! We are now over 20 followers so it's time for me to give away a $20 Target gift card. I will announce the winner on Sunday. Here's what you need to do to enter, post a comment below telling me what your favorite recipe, post or project is on my blog. For a second chance to win, if you aren't a fan of Love from my kitchen on facebook yet, what are you waiting for? Once you are a fan on facebook or if you are already a fan on facebook, you can leave a seprate comment telling me you're a facebook fan.
So, you have between now and Sunday at 9am to enter the target gift card giveaway!
I'm hoping to hit up IKEA this weekend and get some things for the playroom and cloffice. Have a great weekend everyone and I'll post on Sunday afternoon the winner!!!!

January 27, 2011

I'm a winner, you can be one too!

I linked up at beneath my heart the other day with my kitchen organizing tips and I won something just from linking up! Check it out here.
This is just what I needed this week! I love blogging and organizing but sometimes you wonder if maybe it's time to just shut down the blog because there are 45000 other blogs out there that have more followers, cooler stuff, awesome photos, etc. Then I realized the other day when 4 people all mentioned my blog post on organizing as something that inspired them to get more organized, I realized it's worth it. I don't blog to show off what I've done but to inspire others that they can do this stuff too! Spray painting furniture, re-purposing items in your home, cooking, meal planning, finding good deals, decorating, all those things can be done by anyone! I hope if nothing else, you find the confidence and inspiration here, to know that you can do these things, it doesn't take a special talent!
And thank you, for finding my blog worthy of your reading time and for giving me the confidence I needed to keep on blogging! I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment, send me an e-mail with your projects, photos, ideas or whatever, I'd love it!!!

Also, when I reach 20 followers, I will have a $20 Target gift card giveaway so stay tuned for that post!!!

January 26, 2011

Lemon Bars

Last night I really was craving lemon bars or/and pineapple upside down cake. I gave in and made the lemon bars and they are oh so yummy! My friend gave me this recipe and I love it, thanks Jess!

Lemon Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix with mixer until crumbly. pat into a greased 9x13 pan and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp lemon juice

Beat together and pour over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.
Sprinkle with powder sugar when it's cooled.

I'm linking this recipe up at:

January 25, 2011

Cloffice Wall

Well if you recall, a few weeks ago the hall closet looked like this:

We decided to make it into a "cloffice" and now it's turned into a giant playroom, cloffice, flooring project, which happens with every project, it grows bigger and bigger!
A few weeks ago I came across Emily's post over at Jones design company and fell in love with her "painted walllpaper." I instantly knew what the back of my cloffice would look like. Head over here for the tutorial! Here is my wall, just waiting for the shelves to be installed, hopefully tonight! It took me forever to trace the stencil on the wall, I think I used an entire pink pearl eraser before I had it just right. The easy part was painting it! Stay tuned for the finished project!

January 24, 2011

A sneak peek

So after the playroom closet makeover, we were inspired to redo the entire playroom. On Saturday afternoon, Mr.A and I headed to Menards to see what we could do with the floor in the playroom. We didn't want to spend a lot of cash because we have big remodel plans for the summer of 2012. The plan includes turning the playroom into an open family room area that joins up with the kitchen. Anyways, we found this flooring:

So into the cart it went. Along with some paint for the playroom and shelving for the cloffice.  Speaking of the cloffice, here's a sneak peek at what I worked on for hours last night while Mr.A was laying the flooring.  After tracing and erasing about 1200 times, I finally had it on the wall and I started painting.  After almost 2 hours, this is how far I am.  Thank goodness this is a small wall otherwise I think I would've said forget about it!

Speaking of sneak peeks, here is a little sample of the playrrom!  It's not done yet so stay tuned!

And here's what my kitchen looks like after a day of projects!   Imagine four kids plus a neighbor kid running around, eating, drinking and being merry messy, that would be my house.  Hopefully we can finish things up tonight so we can get the rest of the house back in working order. 

Stay tuned for the big reveal.  I'm so excited, found the perfect curtains on clearance today at Target!

January 22, 2011

Kitchen storage tips

When planning out our kitchen three years ago, Mr.A was certain that we wouldn't have enough cupboard space with the amount of cabinets we were ordering. I reassured him that with our big pantry we would have plenty of space for storing things. I am glad to report that we do!
Here are some tips and tricks I use for storage in my kitchen. I'd love to hear what you use for your storage and organization in your kitchen. If you have babies or toddlers, you know that the sippy cups and bottles can be a pain to store somewhere. The valves go missing, wrong tops for the cups and a big mess is usually what happens. I have found a great solution for those pesky sippy cup valves and tops, a little white stackable storage basket from Target.

I also bought myself some more of these baskets and put granola bars, cereal bars, applesauce cups and the occasional package of fruit snacks in one in my pantry. It's so nice to just look in the basket and see how many we have left of something because people at my house like to leave empty boxes of granola bars and the like in the pantry. When someone decides they want a granola bar and goes to grab one, they come out empty handed.

I love using the see through storage containers for this reason as well, one quick glance and I can tell we need to add crackers to the grocery list.

In another large basket I keep our bread and peanut butter, which makes it really handy to just pull out of the pantry to make lunches.  
 The bonus is that these baskets stack on top of each other so they fit nicely in my pantry.

I also use one of these baskets to keep all my plastic container lids, seems they were always getting lost before but not anymore, all neat and tidy in their new home.

I also use this type of basket for my measuring cups as I had a hard time finding the right one when I needed it. It's been working out great, no more cups stuck under the utensil drawer causing a traffic jam.

Speaking of utensils, I keep my most used utensils in this cute little pitcher next to my cook top. It freed up some room in the utensil drawer and I love having them right next to me when I'm cooking.

I like having glass cupboards where I can show off my dishes. I first lined the back of each cupboard with scrapbook paper to give it some pizazz. I have white dishes so they can go with pretty much any color theme I go with in my kitchen. I also bought some cute flower glasses from Target to give a little pop of color in the cupboard as well.

We store all our "ugly" drinking cups and glasses above the sink.

I keep the kids' bowls, cups and plates on the lowest shelf in the pantry so that they can just grab their own breakfast in the morning. I have done this since our oldest was probably 6 years old.

Two of my children like to get up before Mr.A and I do and we love that they can just go get their own cereal and don't come asking us for help. My children have always been really good about not just eating out of the pantry whenever they want. They have to come and ask if it's sometime other than breakfast that they would like to eat.
One thing I was having trouble finding a home for was my bags of potatoes and onions.  I found this stackable storage basket at Wal-mart and it's perfect!

So that's it for my storage tips but I'd love to hear from you and what great solutions you've found to some of those pesky kitchen storage problems.

I'm linking up here:

January 17, 2011

Egg Bake

This is one of my favorite egg bake recipes. easy to make, not a lot of work and tastes great!

Egg Bake

1/2 lb bacon
Box of croutons
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
4 C milk
10 eggs
1 tsp dry mustard

In the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish layer the croutons then the cheddar cheese. In a large bowl whisk all 10 eggs together, then add in the 4 cups of milk and 1 tsp dry mustard. Pour egg mixture over the croutons and cheese. You can top with either cooked or uncooked bacon, I prefer to use the already cooked bacon because it gets kind of crisp on top the egg bake. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

January 14, 2011

I've been busy!!! (Closet makeover!)

Wednesday night the hubs and I ran to Menards to buy some shelving for the playroom closets. It came to $106 with the brackets, 6 shelves and some scotch tape. (My kids are constantly stealing my tape and using it all up, drives me insane when it's time to wrap a gift and there's no tape!) Anyways...this morning I reorganized all the toys, reorganized my closets upstairs, painted both closets with a nice limey green color I picked out of the neighbor's paint store basement and quick painted the trim white. It's 12:13 am on Friday morning and I am beat!!!! But I couldn't wait to post the dramatic difference in the closets, so without further ado, here they are!!!


This was one of the playroom closets, I could only take one picture because I think the other one was blocked by a bunch of toys.  It pretty much looked like this on the inside as well.

This is the hallway closet where we stored crafts, games and puzzles.  Usually it doesn't look like this but after Christmas presents, three birthdays, winter break with 4 kids home all day, one of them being a toddler, well you can imagine why it looks like this.

This is the shelving we were using to store the toys on.

Here it is today after a LOOONNNNGGGGGGG day of painting, purging and reorganzing!

I am hoping to get 2 or 3 more clear bins because I like when the kids can see what's inside.  I am also planning to put labels on the bins but I'm just to tired for that tonight!

The empty toy shelves...such a beautiful site.  The books on top will be going on a bookshelf which all the kids will be able to reach.  It could be a bad thing with a 20 month old running around, I'll let you know how that works for me.  I am also considering some cute ideas for books on the wall so we'll see. 

This is the hall closet where we are going to be making our "cloffice" or closet office.  Mr.A's guitar usually goes in another closet but that closet is next on the purging/reorganizing list so I thought I'd just leave it here, along with the few lonely items on top.  I also reorganized 3 closets in our bedroom today as well but I'm saving that for another post.

I'm so happy with the way the closets turned out and it only cost us $100.  The paint was free, we already had all the bins and toys!  :)  Maybe you'll be inspired to do your own little closet makeover!
Stay tuned as we give the playroom a face lift and also get to work on the office closet or "cloffice."

I linked up at the following places....


January 13, 2011

Meal Plan Jan. 14th-27th

Since November life has been busy and well, I haven't had a meal plan in quite a while. It's time to get back to planning because everyday at 4pm I wonder what we are having for dinner. Not cool. So here is what we are having the next two weeks:

1. Pasties

2. BBQ Meatloaf

3. Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches

4. Buffalo Lasagna

5. Pasta Fagioli

6. Chicken Pot Pie from Allrecipes

7. Leftovers

8. Fish and french fries (A kid friendly meal)

9. Egg Bake & Pancakes

10. Eating Out

11. White Chicken Chili

12. Ravioli Casserole

13. Mexican Chicken

I am hoping some of the new meals I'm trying are a hit with my children because I'm getting tired of the same ol' meals. :)

If you have a meal plan, I'd love for you to link up below.

January 10, 2011

Dining Room Update & the project grows bigger

So I didn't really have a clear vision for my dining room but I knew that I wanted to recover my chairs and change it up a bit. I have debated painting the dining room set, painting the corner hutches a color besides white, picking some bright funky colors or just keeping it all the same and installing the hutches.
So here is what has become my inspiration, I've been in love with this blog post post and also this post.  So, the dining room makeover is flowing into the entryway and down the back hallway so stay tuned!
Here is the front entryway hall to the left of this is the living room:

I really need to paint the ceiling.....adding to the looonnnnnngggg project list right now.

There is actual trim around the front door now, it looks so much better!  I was thinking of doing the board and batten on the left side of this hallway.

I would do some board and batten on the right side of the stairs so it would wrap around from the dining room which is to the right of the stairs.  I wish I could rip off the ugly/dirty disgusting carpet off of the stairs but with 4 children and one of them less than two  years old, I don't think it's a good idea.  But as soon as I can, I will have that off in record time!

If you continue down the front hall with the picture frames it goes back to this hallway which was ugly tan paneling when we first moved in.  I have painted it but it would look so much cuter if it was board and batten!  The closet doors at the end of the hall would be where the new "office closet" would be.  To the right is the kitchen and to the left is the playroom.  Confused yet?
Moving on, here is a sneak peak at what I've done so far in the dining room, during naptime I painted the brown that was on the bottom half of the wall. 

Add caption

During (the balloons are up from our Birthday party week and the table is really long because we needed room to play Pit):

I bought this fabric back in November and returned it because I just wasn't sure if it was what I was looking for.  On Sunday I bought the same fabric, again.  I really like it, I wish it was maybe a bit brighter but I think it flows with the kitchen, front entry and living room colors.  Not sure if I'll repaint the blue/green color or not yet, it matches but I might try and pull some of the gray/green out instead. 

What do you think?  Is the fabric too dull for the chairs or will it look good?

Would love any feedback you have or better yet if you have a picture of some board and batten or other trim work you've done in your house, I would love to see it!