White Plate Wall


For the last couple of months I've been on the hunt for decorating ideas for our dining room wall.  This wall is pretty big and a major focal point as you walk into the front door of our house.  For a while I didn't know what to do and grew tired of looking at this blank wall.  To make things a little complicated with decorating, this wall has three large squares of wall trim.  Nice to look at but now I had to strategize where and what to put up.  And I'm always nervous about hanging stuff because what if I hate it and it looks terrible (I'm trying to be better at this and just going for it).  So I finally decided to hang some really beautiful framed Indian tapestries that I had laying around (they were given to me) on either side of the wall squares.  In the middle square I hung an array of small white plates.  The plate wall idea started out as collecting random old plates but this proved to be some work and lots of searching.  So I scrapped that idea and decided to keep it simple and bought various white plates from Thrift Town (love me some Thrift Town).  The day I went to the store I scored all of the plates for under $3.  And since I didn't want to spend a lot on plate hangers for my cheap plates, I found a great idea from Rockin' Redesign and used D hook rings and Gorilla Glue (both purchased from Walmart.com).  The whole wall decorating project cost me under $20.  Hooray!!

To arrange them on the wall, I labeled each plate with a number them traced the plate on paper.  After cutting out the paper cut outs and numbering, I taped them to the wall to arrange how I wanted them.  
Easy to hang them before putting a bunch of holes in the wall.

 Our dining room wall is complete!

Family Dinner: Week 2


I haven't been using too many recipes lately (just mainly riffing meals) however I did come across a yummy looking recipe from Damn Delicious.  It's her version of Shake and Bake Pork Chops with roasted Brussell sprouts and apples.  Very fall!  Anyway, we've always loved Shake n' Bake dinners and I like trying "oven frying" recipes.  It's hard to come by really good ones because, well, it's just not the same as real deal frying.  I gave this recipe a whirl and it turned out pretty good.  Some thing I would probably do differently is broil the chops after baking them to get the breading more browned and I would probably not bake as long, the pork chops got a little tough.  Other than that, I think I'll keep this one in rotation for the fall.  Here the week's menu:

Week 2
Sun. - Spatchcock Chicken w/ Roasted Broccoli, Mac & Cheese
Mon. - Chicken Tostadas
Tues. -  Shake and Bake Pork Chops w/ Roasted Brussell Sprouts and Apples
Wed. - date night!!!
Thurs. - family dinner out
The panko crumb mix had some canola oil in it to help with the "frying" - great idea!  I added Uncle Ben's Rice Pilaf on the side.

Muscle Tank


I've been wanting to get better at sewing with knits lately.  I wear knit garments (t-shirts) all the time and you can't deny their comfort.  Being a busy mom, I'm always looking for cute and comfortable clothes.  I thought that learning to sew knits would be a way for me to frequently wear what I make.  But I've learned that sewing knits can be tough!  Their stretchy-ness can make it so difficult to make the right fit.  Thankfully I saw that Creative Bug had a class called Sewing The Adventure Tank.  After watching the rather short class, I was excited that this would be my next knits project!  The class was straight forward and a good beginner class for sewing with knits.  I learned to sew with a walking foot and a double needle, two things I hadn't done before.  The class showed two versions of the tank top, the racer back and muscle tank.  My racer tank didn't really turn out how I wanted.  But the muscle tank top that I made turned out great and I've been rockin' it all summer.

I'm bringing the 80's back with this muscle tank.  The blue leopard fabric is from Joann's.

 I learned how to sew "in the ditch" with the double needle.  Gives a nice finished look.

Let's Do This!


Well, here we go.  My first blog post on my new blog.  And I'm going to talk about food.  Well, meal planning to be specific.  One thing I'm always scouring the web for are weekly meal plans and quick dinner ideas.  It can be time consuming and tedious for me to come up with menus that are fast, healthy and delicious to cook for my family.  However over the last few years of being the one in charge of dinner, I think I'm getting better.  So I am going to keep track of our weekly family dinners on this blog to help me remember what I come up with each week, what we liked/disliked and to hopefully give ideas to you:

Family Dinners: Week 1

Mon. - Lemon Pepper Tilapia w/ Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Tues. - Turkey Tacos w/ Charro Beans
Wed. - Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Thurs. - Chorizo Burrito Bowls
Fri - take out pizza!

These beans are so good (considering they are from a can).  

 Turkey Taco dinner...a family favorite.  We keep this one in heavy rotation, switching it up with ground beef.  Yes I fry the taco shells myself. 

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