Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pictures of my girl

Since I'm at a loss as to what I want to post, I'll just post some pictures of my sweet girl. :)

Making a mess with my tupperware. This is so typical. Nowadays it gets pushed out of the way and Dada picks it up when he gets home since it's not easy for me to bend over anymore. I am almost 34 weeks pregnant after all.

Yes we wear colanders on our head. She hands one to me and I wear it and then she wants it on her head. I'm so glad I get to experience all of this. I would hate if I had to miss it.

We went to Olive Garden a couple weeks ago and Nyla wanted to read the menu to us. She is so sweet.

No, that's not coffee it's how the kid water came that day. It was hilarious seeing her drink from it though. She does like to drink from big people cups and this was no different.

We are visiting my mom at her church, she works there part time, and there just happens to be a box on the floor, well Nyla will climb into it. She's goofy like that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-September 26

September 26-Oct 2

Seriously, October already?! I have got to get on my Christmas craft making and shopping before baby #2 gets here. Eek!
Last week was a cooking FAIL! I cooked on Thursday only. We had a couple from our SS class over to discuss our ideas for our new SS class and that was the only night I cooked. The other nights we had leftovers and whatever we wanted. We thankfully didn't go out and spend money just found plenty to eat at our own house. It just goes to show cooking gets thrown out the window some weeks and that's okay. I didn't beat myself up about it, we just laughed about it. Hopefully I'll actually make what's on my menu this week. :)
Not a terribly busy week ahead and I'm thankful for that. The only major plans, we're opening up our home to our Sunday School class on Saturday evening for a fellowship get-together thing. So I'll be keeping the house clean all week and anything other little things I need to be doing. So here's our menu for the week:

September 26th, Monday:
Dinner with MIL and bro-in-law for his birthday that was this past Saturday; we're going to Central BBQ....mmmm Memphis BBQ. :)

September 27th, Tuesday:

September 28th, Wednesday:
Hamburgers and homemade fries

September 29th, Thursday:

September 30th, Friday:
Breakfast, Waffles and Bacon

October 1st, Saturday:
Sunday School party @ The Gafford Home
We make the main course and everyone else brings sides and desserts

October 2nd, Sunday:
BBQ Chicken Packet with rice and vegetables

P.S. I'm looking to make some items for our freezer to have ready to go after Naomi gets here. I have about a month to cook them on top of being 33 weeks pregnant, taking care of a toddler and getting Christmas stuff together. Any suggestions?
I made quite a few things before Nyla was born but I had much more energy. I'm looking for simple this time. Help please!

This blog is posted over at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. For more great menu ideas, check it out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-September 19

September 19th-September 25th

Sorry this is late, we've had a busy week and weekend and I didn't get around to posting this until now. Oops!

Monday, Sept 19th:
Frozen pizzas
I didn't feel like cooking :)

Tuesday, Sept 20th:
Mexican Verde Casserole {leftovers} We really liked this dish!
We never ate it last week so we'll try again this week

Wednesday, Sept 21st: New Bible study at church led by my Hubby, so we're excited around here about it. :)
Cream Cheese Chicken {crock pot, new recipe}

Thursday, Sept 22nd:
Friends over for dinner to talk about our new Sunday School class. Not sure what I'm making yet.

Friday, Sept 23rd:

Saturday, Sept 24th:
Stuffed baguettes {new recipe}

Sunday, Sept 25th:
Bean and Beef Enchilada Casserole {leftovers}
This wasn't our favorite, the corn tortillas made it soggy. We both decided it would be better with tortilla chips and once the leftovers are gone I won't be making this again. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our House: After Pictures

Here are the "after" pictures of our house. You can follow the link here to see the "before" pictures. There are some pretty big changes, unfortunately it's hard to tell from pictures. But we, of course, saw a big difference and are so thankful for them!
I tried to do them in order of how I had them on the "before" picture blog. I hope that helps you envision the changes. :)

In the rock corner is where the giant fireplace used to live. When we moved in our entertainment center was in that corner and our couch and loveseat faced that area. Unfortunately, it was awkward and the loveseat didn't fit great. I was sitting there one day thinking about how I could make the room better. I thought I could move the table and chairs where they are now and move the couches around (you'll see what I did in another picture). And it worked. And I do love to rearrange so that was even better. Hubby actually helped me too because he thought it was a great idea. And we're very happy with the way it all turned out.

The kitchen. Don't mind the sweet girl at the bottom having her snack.
As you can hopefully see we lightened up the wall color and this past Spring redid the kitchen. We got new countertops, more shelving, I painted the cabinets (that was a chore!), got new hardware for the cabinets, new sink and new faucet. We also added an extension to the counterop. Over on the left, to the left of the window you can somewhat see some open shelving above and below the cabinet. This wasn't there before. It was just a giant hole. And the countertop ended as well. It was so awkward. When we moved in I had a bakers rack there and stored some stuff but it wasn't functional and I had hardly any counter space to roll out dough and do prep work for meals. When we were discussing new countertops my mom suggested extending the counter to the wall and adding shelving above and below. Genius! I have a place below to store my mixer, bread maker, crock pot, mixing bowls and my Fiesta serving pieces and above to store my cookbooks, knives, small oven, and some decorative pieces. And it's perfect. The extension added 2 to 3 feet of extra counter space which is great for such a small kitchen!

I didn't have a picture of the other side of the kitchen but here's one. It has our desk with our computer and our small table. The table and chairs were my Great-Grandmother's and we got them recovered with some cute, retro fabric that matches our curtain colors. It's round but has an extension and 4 chairs, though we only use 2 of them plus a different one for the messy girl. :)

Here's a shot of the entire den. Over in the far right corner is where the fireplace was. As you can see we lightened up the bottom half of the wall and it's SO much better. I feel like we have a separate living area and dining area and I love it. It makes our room feel so much bigger. Yes, it's odd to have 2 sets of tables and chairs so close together but we'll probably get rid of the ones in this room and make it a playroom or something. We'll see.

After of the sinks. We chose this look for both bathrooms, it was just easier. New countertops, new sink, faucet, mirror, light fixture, paint for the cabinets and hardware too. It's way better than the crap that was here before.

This is the hall bathroom. I love the black cabinets!

New tile in the master. Remember the gold? It went bye-bye! We chose a more brown tile with flecks of gold-ish. I like it and wish we had done it in the hall bath too.

The master bath sink area.

I didn't take a picture of the hallway in the "before" pictures but any suggestions on what to do here? I've found a picture on Pinterest that I like. It's of different color and size frames and it rotates kids artwork. That might be kind of fun. But I don't know. Suggestions are welcome!

Next I'll do before and after of our bedrooms and closets. The closets are surprisingly awesome for a 1970's house... they're all walk-in's. They helped sell us the house!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our House: Before Pictures

Here's our cute little house, or rather before it was cute. It was just a little house in these pictures. :) We did some major overhauling in the house and I'm thankful. I'm not sure I could've lived with such dark walls and ugly fixtures and weird sinks. I know, I know. I would've managed but I'm glad I didn't have to. And when we moved in it was all ready and nothing had to be done after the move which is nice. I can't imagine workers being all around our stuff.

Here are some before pictures, tomorrow I'll show you the after pictures. :)

This is "the Beast" of a fireplace. It was gas and unattractive so we got rid of it. If it was wood burning I would've considered keeping it to help heat our home. But don't you love the big rock detail? I sure do. It adds character in our home. See what we did in the after pictures to spruce this area up!

This is the kitchen. See the dark cedar around the window and above the cabinets? It seriously was so dark in these two rooms. We took down all the dusty blinds since Hubby and I don't do great with dust. My mom made curtains for all the windows and I keep them open pretty much all the time to let the light in.

Den and "the Beast" of a fireplace. And more dark paneling. Eek!
Thankfully the floors were in great shape in most places. The kitchen has nice tile, this laminate flooring and the carpet are all in great shape. The only floor we changed was the master bath. Gold tile didn't suit our tastes. :)

Hall bathroom sink, not horrible but not great either. We changed it for deeper sinks and a prettier faucet. All updates in both bathrooms included new sink, new faucet, new hardware on cabinets, plus paint on cabinets, new countertops, new mirrors and new lighting. We kept them similar but painted the cabinets different. Black in the hall bath which looks great and a mocha in the master bath which I could go a little darker eventually.

Gold tile in the master bathroom. Yikes! That was ripped up and changed into a prettier tile.

And the master bathroom sink. Isn't it awesome?! I didn't stay of course. :)
It really threw you when you first walked in. It just made me laugh. I'm sure lots of people are thrown by some of this stuff but it was the style back in the day and it can be changed. You just have to look past it and be open to new possibilities.
And the toilet paper holder and towel bar were replaced with a stainless steel and it's much nicer too.

Come back Thursday for the "after" pictures. Thankfully it looks much better now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-September 12

We are certainly making our way through September! Could this year go by any faster? Wow. I'm already starting to get Christmas gifts together for this year. I'm thinking gift baskets with a little of this and a little of that might be in order this year. But we'll see.
Here's what's cooking in the Gafford Home this week. I've got my one new recipe coming on Saturday and the rest are becoming go-to meals in our home and I like it. I'm continuing on the route of simplicity for me as the cook. I enjoy being in my kitchen but I just don't have time to do it all day plus I'm so tired when dinner rolls around.

Monday-Sept 12th
Smothered "Aussie" Chicken (a family favorite), rice and vegetables

Tuesday-Sept 13th
Your choice of sandwiches with homemade bread mmmmm

Wednesday-Sept 14th
Mexican Verde Casserole-leftovers from last month
This was a great hit in our home! It was easy to put together and I was able to easily split it into two 8-inch pans to serve one and freeze the other. I was also surprised at how much flavor it had since the recipe didn't call for any spices. But it's delish!

Thursday-Sept 15th
This bread was so simple to make and so tasty. We dipped it in olive oil and a seasoning we put in the olive oil, wow!

Friday-Sept 16th

Saturday-Sept 17th
Chicken and Pepper Pasta Bake {new recipe}

Sunday-Sept 18th

Friday, September 9, 2011

Repurposing Cribs-30 Great Ideas!

I came across this link on a Facebook page I follow and I love it!

It's a link to 30 ideas on repurposing our old cribs. I have the (now illegal) drop side crib in our house and will probably be doing something like these ideas suggest instead of it just going to the dump with so much other stuff.

Check out this great site!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Priority Time

The past week or so Hubby and I have been reading the book of 1 John together, but separate. :) By that I mean, the same passages on the same nights but we do our own study of it and then talk about it once we finish. It's been such an encouragement to me! I don't think he has any idea how much of an encouragement it's been. I struggle with spending quality time with God. I'm a "quality time" person so you'd think I wouldn't have any trouble with it but I do. It's always hurried and it's just not good. I feel like I don't get anything out of it when there's plenty to learn. I struggle with how to read actively, ask the right questions and write down my thoughts, without just rewriting every verse and still getting nothing out of it. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who has constantly encouraged me through this struggle.

Hubby has been working HARD the last couple of weeks to get his thoughts down for a new small group he'll be leading at church (he'll lead and I'll make a snack). We've been talking about doing something in our home for 3 years, basically since we got married, but the timing just wasn't ever right. Now that we have a home we thought about hosting here but with a little one and another on the way there would be way too many distractions. So we decided to have it at church where childcare is available and there's another activity at church on Wednesday nights. :) It starts September 21st and we're so excited about it!

His first lesson for the study is "How to Study the Bible." It'll be about an 8 weeks study and I'm praying it will be an encouragement to everyone involved. Helping him and throwing out ideas has helped me already.

He's seen me struggle with my priority time with God and we started talking about it and what to do to help me and this study sprang from it. While he's been thinking and writing on this subject for some time things really started happening when we got into deep conversation about it. So I gave him a book I've had for at least 5 years to give him some ideas on how to teach on the subject and how to make it more accessible for new Christians as well as seasoned ones. He thinks so logically, which is great but can be hard for some people to understand. He wants me to help him keep it simple, since I think a bit more simply than he does. We are such different thinkers, hopefully that means we'll play off each other well to reach all the people in the study.

The book I gave him is Tim LaHaye's, How to Study the Bible for Yourself. It's a great book and while we both don't agree on a few of the things because we feel you can get bogged down in them, it's a helpful tool to get started on being more consistent with priority time.

I'm praying for God to prepare the hearts of those who are to come, my Hubby who is leading and all those who may be involved in the study and don't know the love of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday-September 5

Happy Labor Day week! I hope you have Monday off to relax and enjoy being with your family. If not, I hope the work day goes by quickly for you so you can relax!
We have our usual week or relaxation and church activities that are always fun. I've got a new recipe I'm trying tomorrow and I hope it turns out well. :) Here's our menu for the week!

Monday-Sept 5th
Chicago-Style Pizza Pot Pie {new recipe}
We are thin crust people in this house so we'll see how we like a thicker crust.

Tuesday-Sept 6th
Parmesan Chicken Strips, mashed potatoes and vegetables

Wednesday-Sept 7th
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on my new favorite bread... Wheat Buttermilk Bread from Joy in my Kitchen. This bread has replaced our store bought version and I couldn't be happier!

Thursday-Sept 8th
Layered Enchilada Bake-leftovers from last month (a family favorite)

Friday-Sept 9th
I know, 2 pizza's in one week but it's a holiday week! :)

Saturday-Sept 10th
Lunch: Burgers and fries
Dinner: Sunday School Class fellowship; no details yet so we'll see if it happens. We'll have BBQ Chicken Packet with rice if fellowship doesn't happen.

Sunday-Sept 11th

I hope you have a great week cooking, I know I will!

This menu plan is posted over at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Check out her blog post for more great menu planning ideas!