Monday, January 23, 2012

Turquoise & Red Valentines

 "It all started, with a chair." 
Movie? Anyone, anyone? {One of my favorites by the way}. But for reals, it did. On Friday, I decided to take the day off since my MLK holiday was spent working an 8-hour shift at Sylvan. I was driving around town and saw it. There it was. In a pile of junk. A fantastic blue chair. I pulled over, ran up, tested it out and asked "How much?!" Giddy with excitement, I purchased this beauty, took it home, gave it a good wash, and got to work sprucing up the house for Valentines day.  
My shelves are constantly changing with the seasons and whatever else I can find. This was a particularly easy season to decorate. I made a quick pennant banner {mildly obsessed}, used our trusty chalkboard from our Christmas photos, a couple frames, and love birds and called it good. The blocks and heart "wreath" were Target dollar store items from last year.
 I also scored the mirror and oval frame on this wall for a couple bucks each. They needed a good clean and a nice coat of white paint, but they did the job. Adding more white to the wall and taking away a lot of the black opened up the space and made it feel clean and crisp. Throw in the fun prints (via pinterest) and it really makes it come together.
Another mini pennant banner {told ya}, one of our favorite Beatles songs, and some felt hearts made this area come together very quickly as well.
Our weekend was spent going to the temple, eating a late lunch, and Derek reading/studying while I prepared for New Beginnings & YW lesson. All were done with the windows and sliding door wide open. 
Arizona winters are amazing.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be Prepared

Last week, I finally put the "finishing touches" on a project I have been working on- Food Storage & Preparedness. This has been an on-going project since last summer. When I set my Facebook status last week about finishing up, I had a LOT of comments asking to share my tips, tricks, and advice. So, here it goes. It is NOT by any means perfect or the way you/your family should do your storage, but it works for us in our small space. 
1. Document Folder
Make copies of your important and official documents to have no hand in your "grab bag", or even better, have your originals in a fire proof safe. This is just a good idea in general so you have your documents in a time of need or emergency. 
 2. Grab Bag
A "grab bag" is a small bag you can keep all year long that you can grab in a moments notice. Living places with seasonal fires, floods, or storms- this is a great idea. All you need are a few basic items: a sweatshirt, socks, a pair of jeans & shorts, two shirts, underclothing, and shoes. Pack these items along with your document folder and you are ready to go. We keep ours along side our food storage in our bedroom closet.
3. Food & Supply Storage
Along with the pre-made purchased food storage bin, {pre-made meals with a 20 year shelf life}I keep a couple other little things on hand that I also rotate through with our pantry items. Many people think it's funny to keep peanut butter & jelly on hand, but it's actually a great staple item that I know I will eat! Along with food, we keep hand sanitizer {so you aren't using your water supply for hand washing}, paper products, and a minimal amount of  personal hygiene items.

I hope these small tips and tricks help you and your family become more prepared. The First Presidency of the Church counsels members:
 “ provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves..."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Veggie Tales

A few weeks ago, I was watching a Doctor Oz episode while folding laundry. He followed a busy Mom all day and took note of what she was feeding her family. He then had them come to his studio to present some alternatives and new items to add into their schedules. He mentioned that families should stay away from fresh produce and stick with frozen because of the amount of money everyday families end up throwing away because of rotten food. I am a big fan of frozen veggies, but I thought I would share a few easy ways to keep fresh produce from going bad in your fridge.
1. Clean, cut, and prepare your veggies
This is one of the first things I do after getting home from the grocery store. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are staple items here at our house. It takes a little more time then just throwing them right in the fridge, but I have realized that you eat more veggies when they are cut and ready to go. We get veggies in our lunch everyday, and on busy weeknights where I work late, we can easily eat a sandwich and have some veggies right at our fingertips.
2. Keep Fruit Visible 
How many times do you buy a bunch of apples, pears, or other fruit, eat one and then forget about it? This is basically the same rule as the veggies, but I keep the apples in the fridge in a bowl ready to grab. And yes, we are normal- we drink soda here. {ha ha}
3. The BEST Way to Store Fresh Herbs
For the longest time, I was at a loss of how to store my fresh herbs. I recently found a way that has been really easy and super simple. First, make sure the leaves of your herbs are really, really dry. Next, trim about an inch or inch and a half off the stem. In a cup/jar, put about 3 inches of water and place the herbs right in. If you are storing them out on the counter, they are ready and good to go just like that. Since cilantro prefers the cold, I keep all herbs in the fridge. Place a plastic bag loosely around the leaves and stick on a label! 

Hopefully these tips and tricks help you in your new years resolutions to eat better, or just to eat more veggies! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome 2012

Each year, Derek and I sit down and set some goals for the year. We have three main categories that we focus on: educational, physical, and spiritual goals. So, with that being said, I thought we would share our goals with you and hope you will share yours with me in return! 
Becca 2012 Goals:
Educational: Read more biographies, autobiographies, and historical novels. Open up my mind to the world around me and not just re-read the "Hunger Games" over & over. {ha ha}
Physical: Continue to eat healthy & exercise at least 3 times a week. Keep your body strong.
Spiritual: Read scriptures every morning before or during breakfast with Derek. Also, saying prayers before getting in bed each night.