May 25, 2011

My new meal planner!

I had this system you can see here that I've been using for a few months.  I finally decided that it just wasn't working for me.  It was too hard to add new recipes or delete ones we didn't like.  I brainstormed for a while and came up with this solution.  Instead of using a spread sheet I typed the information (name of cookbook, category, page number, name of recipe, main ingredients) onto 3x5 index cards.  Then I sorted then into categories in a recipe box (main dish, side dish, breads, soups, appetizers, desserts, etc).  It's very easy  to add new cards or delete recipes we didn't like as well as I thought we would. 

Next I sewed a wall hanging with pockets to hang from the inside of my cabinet door.  I'll run through the steps but it was fairly simple.  Here is a picture of the sketch I started with.
I cut two pieces of fabric 13 x 22 inches.  I needed the finished product to be 12 inches wide to fit inside my cabinet door.  To give it some stability I cut a piece of interfacing 13 x 18 inches.  I made it 2 inches shorter on top and bottom as I planned to put a hem so I would have a stronger surface to add grommets to hang it with.  
I sewed the interfacing to the wrong side of one piece, leaving 2 inches at the top and bottom.  The I put right sides of the yellow fabric together and stitched around all four sides leaving a hole to turn it.  I clipped the corners and trimmed the edges before flipping it. 
Once I flipped it I topstitched around all 4 edges.
Then I folded the top and bottom over 2 inches and sewed a hem.
I cut three pieces of clear vinyl 11 x 3 1/2 inches.  These will be the pockets.  I pinned them in place putting a piece of tissue paper on top to keep it from sticking to the foot on my sewing machine.  I sewed around the two sides and the bottom on all three pieces.  Then I marked over 3 1/2 inches and another 3 1/2 inches and sewed a straight line to make the pockets.
Finally I added two grommets to the top corners.  I did hem the bottom as well thinking if it was too loose or swung around too much I could put some grommets in the bottom 2 corners.  

It actually has nine pockets.  I plan to use 7 for each day of the week.  The eighth one will be for household cleaning recipes and health and beauty items (I make most of my own) and the ninth one will be for any extra things I want to bake for the week for freezer storage.

It super easy to just glance at the recipe and pull the ingredients out of the pantry or fridge.  I don't even need to remove it since the pockets are clear.  It's also easy to plan my grocery list because I can just make a list from the cards or even pull them out and bring them with me if I'm in a hurry.

Now I just need my husband to go through the recipes and plan the meals for the week.  He picks the meals, I cook, and he does the dishes . . . . . sometimes. . . . . . I'm still working on that one.  

As always, please e-mail me if you have any questions. 

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(¸.·´   Denise

May 2, 2011

Five Little Monkeys . . . . . Part 2

 My son found this at Target dollar and had to have it for his door  :)

While I'm not completely finished I have gotten closer over the past couple of weeks.  All the monkeys are painted and the furniture has been rearranged. 

Here are some closeups of the monkeys.  The first little guy is my favorite.  I love his little tuft of hair and remember when I promised you a little surprise with him. . . . . . . his feet are my two kids hands.  I traced my daughters hand for the left side and my sons on the right.
This one is above his dresser. . . . . 
 These are on the wall above his chest of drawers . . . . .
 These are around his window. . . .
Here are some shots of larger parts of the room.  I got the banana leaf bed canopy from Ikea and the fabric monkey bins from Target.  The toddler bed came from freecycle. . . . . have I said how much I LOVE freecycle?  The bedroom set belonged to my husbands parents.  The nightstand on the left has open shelving.  I'm planning to make some baskets from hardware cloth that I saw on-line at a blog called "Attempting Aloha".

 His old nursery had lambs and I kept the green hills and just painted the top half blue (it was originally a creme color).  I was also able to keep the curtains as they were blue, green and white.

 These are his monkey stuffed animals.  The big one on the left is from a Build-A-Bear Birthday party, the pillow faces are from Target dollar and the rest are from a garage sale.  (The tiger is Pabi - his paci tiger- when he turned 2 we went to Build-A-Bear and put his pacifier inside the tiger)

This bookshelf was from his lamb nursery.  I just hung it lower and put his rocking chair underneath.  My dad bought the rocking chair at an auction.  I'd like to eventually recover it so that it matches better (It's currently covered in teddy bears).  The giant bear is from my sister.  She brought it to him in the hospital a year ago when he had pneumonia.  It's one of his favorites.
This wagon usually houses his stuffed animals when they're not on his bed.  This was another auction find of my dads.  I'm planning on painting it a different color so it matches better.  Not sure what color yet though.

I'm planning to add the phrase "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed . . . . " along the curve of the hill above his bed.  Not sure if I want to cut it out of vinyl or use my projector to paint it on the wall.

I also have three more things to hang . . . . . . somewhere . . . . . .  A picture frame/shelf from his nursery, monkeys with pegs, and monkey frames that both came from Target dollar.
I'll do a short "part 3" post when it's totally finished.
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´   Denise