Keepsake Remake! Organization Challenge #18

My parents were nice enough {and somehow organized enough even with 3 kids} to keep memory boxes for each of us kids.  These ones are mine!

Over the years my parents added our finger paintings, school portraits, birthday cards and other various items into the boxes.

My challenge is to go through these boxes, sort out the things that mean the most, and somehow bring myself to part with the rest!

So far, this hasn't been that hard.  Lets just say that after 10 finger paintings, they all really start to look the same.. just sayin'..

I have made it through the first three years worth!  And as a testament to my progress, here is a little sampling from my new scrapbook!  Yay for new hobbies!

My first few days!
{and the super cheesy baby announcement that my Dad made}

{Some more cute baby-Myra pictures}

{a letter from my Great-Grandmother Ella from my 1 month birthday}

{first christmas!  Trying to find more pictures to add to this one}

There are some bigger things in the memory boxes too, like some porcelain baby shoes and my rattle.  {which are super cute}.  And I think I might save them and make a shadow box with all of the best things in it.  It depends on what I find through out the project and if there is enough to add to the mix.

Have you found any great memories from your childhood lately?

Linen Closet.. Organization Challenge #4

My first step towards our bathroom makeover, and part of my 21 Days to Getting Organized Challenge!

Our house does not actually have a linen closet... so since we moved in, I have been storing the towels and sheets here...  in a plastic tub under the bathroom counter:

Classy, no?

Well, I think it's about time for an upgrade!  
So,  there is also this little nook in the bathroom:

Presumably where a normal homebuilder would have put a shower stall, but apparently not the builder that did our house.   It doesn't even have an outlet to make it a more usable space.  

But I digress..  To change this space into our new "linen closet" I took one of our Ikea 3 drawer chests, the shower curtain from our old house, and my favorite orchid plant.. and... {drumroll please}


All of our towels and sheets have a brand new home!

We will see how long I can keep it looking this good!

Have you gotten any organizing done this week?
Spring Cleaning has arrived!

Andouille Sausage and Beef Soup

Here is the very first time that I have created something all by myself!  I was inspired by the Paella that my Step-Mom used to make when I was growing up.  It has always been such a warm comfort food, and today was a great day for that.

Here's What You Need:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic
1.5 Pounds stewing beef
1 Package Andouille Sausage
1 Can (15 oz) Black Beans
1 Can (15 oz) Kidney Beans
1 12 oz Box Orzo Pasta
1 small Box Chicken Broth
1 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp Thyme
2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

Here's What You Do:

Brown the beef with olive oil and garlic in a 4 quart pot.

Cut up the sausage

Add the Sausage, Beans, Chicken Broth, Seasonings and two cans of water to the pot.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for ten minutes.

Add the Orzo pasta and diced tomatoes to the pot, boil and simmer 10 more minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve with Saltine crackers.


I'm Linked Up To:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Chicken Parmesan

Here is another delicious recipe for you to try!  This was pretty easy to make, and I could see having it on a night where I had had a long day and didn't feel like putting in a lot of effort.  It's a bit messy during the breading, but overall not bad!  Hubby liked it alright, but I don't think it's in our top 5.

Here's What You Need:

1.5 Pounds Chicken Breast Tenders
2 Egg Whites
1 Clove Garlic
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Flour
4 Oz. Angelhar Pasta or Spaghetti
1/4 C. Mozzarella
1 Jar Pasta Sauce

Here's What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 425F. 
Beat eggs to frothy

Mix Bread Crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, Seasonings, and Garlic in a bowl.

Make it three bowls in a row: one with the flour, one with the egg, and one with the breading

Coat the chicken with flour

Dip in the Egg

Then coat with the breadcrumbs.

Place on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the Chicken is no longer pink and the juices are clear.

While the Chicken is cooking, cook the pasta according to package instructions and warm up your pasta sauce.

Once everything is done cooking, serve by layering pasta, chicken, sauce and mozzarella cheese.


The Best Part of Waking Up... Stumbling Mumbling Monday

Oh my goodness folks.. I don't know about you, but Bacon is one of my favorite breakfast foods... So wouldn't it be amazing if you could wake up to fresh bacon every morning?  I present to you:  The Wake 'N Bacon Alarm Clock!

On Friday morning, Josh Grobin joked with Kelly Rippa about having a Bacon Alarm clock and she didn't believe him.  Well, I of course had to explore this!  Turns out that this was featured on that invention show Shark Tank last month.

As easy as setting your coffee maker, you just put a piece of bacon in the drawer the night before, and then in the morning you wake to the intoxicating smell of fresh bacon!

I haven't had any luck in finding where you can actually buy this device, and to be honest I don't know if I would actually buy one.. but i would much rather wake up to a yummy smell than the crazy sirens on Hubby's alarm clock!

Happy Easter!

I hope you enjoyed the day with family, friends, and faith!

New Oven!

A couple of weeks after moving into our house, the oven went on the fritz.. It would say and error message and shut itself off right in the middle of baking!  Very Frustrating.  So, our landlord got a repair guy to come out, and turns out the repairs were going to cost as much as a new stove would... So...

We went from this oven....

To this one!

Thank goodness for being renters!  The total for the new oven was $574!  Yikes!

Mini Meatloaf

This recipe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  I'm still trying to find new recipes to keep our dinners fresh around here!

Here's What You Need:
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 Cup Milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 Small Onion chopped
1/2 cup barbeque sauce

Here's How You Do It:

Heat your oven to 350*F.  In a large bowl, mix all of your ingredients together except for the barbeque sauce.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the meat mixture between twelve muffin cups.  They should be really full.  Then put a little bit of barbeque sauce on top of each mini loaf.

Bake the mini loafs for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads at least 160*F.  Let stand for about five minutes and then serve.


Creamy Shrimp Chowder

This reciepe started out as one thing, and turned into another... so I am getting better at throwing things together!  Yay!  Hubby loved this soup, and even went back for seconds.  Go me.

What you need:
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 Medium Onion finely chopped
2 Cups southern-style hash-brown potatoes
2 Cups frozen Corn Kernels
1 Cup Water
3 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
14 Oz.  Thawed Salad Shrimp
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon dried Chives
1/2 Tablespoon dried Parsley

Here's What You Do:

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat, and add the chopped onion.  Saute until onions are softened.  Add the frozen potatoes, corn and water; mix well.  Heat it up till it boils, and then reduce the heat to simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the veggies are tender.

In a small bowl, mix the flour and milk together until its dissolved and then add it to the soup pot.  Cook to boiling again, and then reduce to simmer for 5-10 minutes more.

Then add in your shrimp, salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce, chives and parsley.
Cook until hot.