NOURISH - Free Printable

Several Friends have asked for the printable that I use for my weekly menu.  Here is the blank one to download.  You can either import it into Word (or Photoshop) and type out your menu, or as my sister suggested, you can put it in a picture frame and write on the glass with a dry erase marker.




NOURISH - Menu Planning

I am currently working on a six week course of menus that I will then rotate.  I am up to week 3, and it has gone extremely well, despite having 11 people currently living at our home (and tonight will be 12 with the addition of a friend who is sleeping over).

Here is this week's menu:


FAITH - Happy New Year

I love the feel of a New Year...it's like getting a shiny new pair of shoes.

They look so good, there are so many possibilities of great places I might wear them to, and outfits that I may wear them with.  Oh, the romance of "NEW"!  It's a heart racing jolt of expectation.

Of course, as we age (and hopefully) mature... into our shoes, into our partners, into our lives, we gratefully start to appreciate the perfect fit of a boot that always fits and looks good with our jeans, the breathing of a love next to us in the morning, the gentle rhythm of a life.

But the siren's lure of the new is always a sharp ping of pleasure.  A New Year- what can we do with it? My immediate response is to make lists, organize it into submission (my response to anything I can't immediately understand).  I have a love/hate relationship with projects.  I love them, I hate them passionately in the middle, and then I am satisfied and grateful when they are complete.

I long for simplicity but love opulence.
I adore romantic gestures, but strive for elegance.
I love a party , but am fed by a "coffee chat" with a like mind.

This year I wish for space in my own head to appreciate.  To conciously stop the litany of complaints and "poor me-ing" I can keep up in my head and to others, to appreciate the moments of grace.  I wish to move more so to more appreciate the fact that my body works as symphony of Creation, not just so I can fit in my jeans.  I wish to mark simple pleasures instead of looking forward to the next.  I wish my prayers will be overflowing with gratefulness and the wonder of a majestic and personal LOVE, instead of a list of my wants and exactly how they should be met.

I want to be grateful this year.  To replace my sighs with prayers.  To truly live "in everything give Thanks".


DWELL - "Italian Copper Planters"

I was looking at some large scale planters for our back patio, and fell in love with these:
(Copper Planter - $495) 

Until I looked at the price...even the SALE price was way out of my league!

So, I started to look around at what I had laying about the house.
 These rather worn, scratched and dirty (but large!) pots came with the house when we bought it.
 I had been using them as sawhorses up until now- yeah, they are that big! 

I laid out these, and a couple of smaller ones I picked up at Home D for $7 on clearance.

I scrubbed them, and attached the "top" to the "bottom" to form the urn shape I was craving. 
I attached them by drilling some holes, threading a bolt and uses nut/washer to secure on the other side. I also added generous globs of outdoor adhesive in between.

After they were secure, I spray painted them a gorgeous hammered copper color that I have used before and works well on a variety of surfaces. Once I was pleased with the color, I turned them upside down and dumped half a bag of cement in each on to make sure they were heavy enough to stand up straight and not tip over easily. After the cement was dry, I flipped them back up and filled the bottoms of the upper part with washed marble gravel (making sure my drain holes were working) and then with dirt. I then antiqued the carved areas to make them look a little more interesting and less flat. 

I filled them up with a combination of a few clearance grasses from home depot and the remainder are leftover flowers and vines I dug up around the property.

My own version of "copper urns" for a grand total of $24 for both. Not too shabby!



NOURISH - Wonderful Vegan Coconut Fudge

I make this every few weeks to keep in the fridge as a easy treat.

1 cup raw cashew butter
2 cups virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup raw local honey
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried blueberries

Mix everything together except the blueberries in a blender.  Put the blueberries in the bottom of a small pan and pour the above mixture all over it.  Chill until firm and enjoy.

**You can also replace the blueberries with some really fine melted dark chocolate**  Drizzle this on top after pouring the mixture into a pan, then chill.


DWELL - Mudroom Makeover

My mudroom was in desperate need of some organization & revamping! It had become the dumping ground of the household- and where our dog went to select her next chew toy (ie. our shoes). All this took was a can of paint and some hooks (and some serious sweat equity) everything else I repurposed from what I already had.
Can we say JUNK?

Paint / Patch...repeat...

Bring in the cleaning crew...

Even the water looks better against this gorgeous dark & stormy color!



DWELL- Chore Chart

My kids have been begging for a chore chart for months (yes, they are weird).  They love structure (and a way to make money).  

So, I made this one for them:
It's pretty big, about 4 feet by 2 feet.

 The back is metal (a drip pan) so it's all magnetic.
The green & yellow buttons at the top are Mama's "Great Job" bonuses.
They can earn these for extra kindness, extra jobs or just having a great attitude.

Each kid has a heavy plastic container to put their completed buttons into.
Inside each container is their daily chore list (they don't get money for this, its part of their duties).
A magnetic dry-erase marker is above each slot.

If they complete their daily chores, they can select extra buttons to complete and stick in their slots.  
I pay out at the end of each week!



DWELL - "inspired by"...

So, the pool toys, floats and noodles were taking over!  We tried various ways to corral the mess, and I was looking for a good solution.

I found this organizer, it seemed ideal! (Pool Noodle Storage Cart)
But then, I looked at the price ($199) GULP!  And I would really need two of them.  Plus shipping.  (DOUBLE GULP!)  

So, I thought...I can do that.  I sketched out a plan (mostly deciding that I needed it double sized, and without wheels because wheels plus kids by a pool seemed like a bad idea), ordered the parts (got a sweet deal on PVC pipe with some internal blocks), and set to work.  I glued pipe, I painted, I sewed, and...

A few hours of work later, I had this:

Works great!  
I love "inspired by" pieces...



DWELL- Decorating with what you have...

I recently visited my sister in Memphis.  She wanted to "Redo" her living room, but on a very strict budget, and mostly with reusing what she already had in place.  A few hours of switching things up, and some paint, and it felt much lighter and cleaner to the eye.

Here are a few before & after shots...

She has another rug she will be adding today after she gets it ready.  The only new purchases were the lanterns (Garden Ridge- but they look just like Pottery Barn), the curtains (JCP carries a great Cindy Crawford line that looks much more expensive than it is), and the fireplace screen (holla to Craigslist!) & the throw (also Garden Ridge). Everything else she already had & we painted or cleaned it up.  The rest of the room looks more balanced too as we switched in a mirror to throw more light into the room & straightened the bookshelves.  



NOURISH- Vegan Cashew & Oat Waffles

I make a ton of these up at a time, they freeze really well!

Here is the recipe:
-  2 cups of COLD water
- 1.5 cups of Oats
- 1/3 cup of Raw Cashew Nuts
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

- 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup

Blend everything together on HIGH for 2 minutes.  Let sit for 4 minutes, then blend 1 more minute.  Pour directly into greased (I use Pam spray) waffle iron set on HIGH for 8 minutes (or one full cycle).

Eat while warm or freeze after they are cool.