Monday, September 17, 2012

Money Monday-The Dining Out Trap

Being a household of two Mr. Chic and I are TERRIBLE about dining out all of the time.  We grab breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner outside of the house.  We waste a TON of money!!  Last week we decided to do a little experiment.  We created a meal plan for the week, a budget and went shopping.

During the week of 9/8-9/14 we spent $79 on food. 2 people! $79!  AH-mazing!!! We made an effort to really plan, eat left overs, buy a bit more in bulk, eat a tad less meat, and we saved!

Friday night 9/14 we should have created our plan, budget and went shopping again.  What did we do??  NADA!!! Let me give you a glimpse at our spending from Friday-Monday at 9:29PM.

9/14/12: Wendys- Lunch for me $3.99
              Dions- Dinner for 2 $15.04
              TOTAL= $20ish

9/15/12- Rudys BBQ- $25.69

9/16/12- Wecks- Breakfast for 2- $21.25
               Pizza Hut- $34.80 (left overs for dinner on 9/17)
              TOTAL- $45 ish
Now.. add another $20 on misc crap we bought all weekend (soda, chips, water, etc for the dog event)

2 people spent about $110 dollars on food in 3 days.  We also ate like crap.

My friends.... this is a prime example of why meal planning, budgeting and shopping are sssooo important!

The lesson to be learned here is to stick to our plan because now our grocery budget is totally busted for the week and I have to go to the gym!!!

A very bummed out Mandy Jean :(

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Organizing My Pantry

Oooo... my poor pantry. For the last 5 years it has been a catch all, food storage, extra appliance storage, sometimes medicine cabinet, and the door that is ALWAYS shut in my house. Sad because it could be such a cute little area.

This week I decided to clean out my pantry. I love having a pantry in a small kitchen but the metal shelves do not help anything!

I started off by pulling EVERYTHING out of the pantry, tossing dated food, boxing up food that can be donated, pulling appliances out that we never use, washed all the shelves, door and floor.

I started putting items back in and I realized how much I dislike the wire shelving.  Seriously home builders!  Spend the extra $10 for wood please!!!!

After thinking about how I could add something stable to the shelves I had a bight idea! 

I could make temporary shelf covers with cardboard, decorative and decorative contact paper. 

1.  Using ribbon. Cut cardboard to size
2.  Cut contact paper to size.  Leave an inch on all sides to fold over
3.  Peel 1st quarter of contact paper back
4.  Lay cardboard on 1st quarter of paper and GENTLY peel the remaining 3/4. 
5.  Tuck edges under

All of the supplies that I needed to organize my pantry I had but if you were to go out and buy the supplies here is what you would need:
Dollar Tree: Cardboard Sheets (I needed 3), Contact Paper (I needed 3 rolls)
Supplies at home: Ribbon for measuring and sharp scissors. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion Friday- Fall Style

I am SSSOOOOO ready for fall.  This summer hasn't been terrible here in New Mexico but I am ready for some cooler weather.

When I think of fall I think of these 5 things:

  1. Roasted Green Chile
  2. Boots with socks
  3. The aspens turning gold in Santa Fe
  4. Parade of Homes
  5. Cooler weater
Fall is my favorite season to dress for.  I love the crisp air, warm sun and cozy evenings.

I created some fall outfits on polyvore.  Enjoy!!!  Don't you just wish all the outfits you created on polyvore would just fall into your closet....





What do you love about fall?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #1- Organize my Kitchen

I decided to do the 14 week challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons to help me get organized.  My house is a wreck right now.  Busy summer and trips have left it cluttered.  Not to mention 4 dogs, 1 ferret and a husband do not help!

Take a peak over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  If you are taking the challenge leave me a comment and I will follow along.  You can follow me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google.  Links are on the right.

WEEK #1- Kitchen (text directly from A Bowl Full of Lemons)

1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
4. Clean out & organize fridge & freezer.
5.  Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
6.  Take everything off the refrigerator door.  It makes the kitchen look messy.
7. Clean all appliances.

1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2.  Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter!  Place ALL items into "categories" on the table.
3.  Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4.  Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5.  Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6.  Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table. 
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner. 
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.  
12.  Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
13.  You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink. I will share under my sink at a later date.

This is my normal kitchen.  We are fairly good about keeping the clutter out of sight.  Just don't open any cabinets ;) Bottles on top of cabinets. Mr. Chic's idea of decorating. Not mine.  

I have a small galley kitchen.  

After tidying up a bit I took the task of cleaning under my sink.  I will be brutally honest.  I have never cleaned under the sink and we bought our house in September of 2008.  Gross... I know... 


Not to bad. Just cluttered. 

After.  The red bin on the left holds my traveling cleaning kit.  The blue bin holds all dish washing products.  Green bin in the middle is for scrubbers, dusters, etc. 
Yeah for a clean sink :) 

Are you accepting the challenge??

Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Back Monday :)

We are officially off to Thrill on the Hill!  Be back Monday.

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Fashion Friday- JCP Haul

Am I the only one who is IN.LOVE with JCP???  I love their new clothes!  I love the new look!  I love EVERYTHING!  This evening I ran into JCP with hubby to spend my $25 gift card.  JACKPOT!!

I am a thrifty shopper by nature.  I always head to clearance racks first.  I love a great deal!  I walked away with $111 in clothes for $30!!! I saved over 73%.  Yeah!!!

Please be kind to my crummy photos.  I am getting ready to leave on vacation but wanted to share my great deals!!  :)

Originally $22 Paid $5

Originally $20 Paid $5

Originally $15 Paid $5

Originally $20 Paid $5

Originally $12 Paid $5

Originally $22 Paid $5

What do you think of the new JCP???

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe and Prep for 20 Days to Organized and Clean Challenge

I desperately need to clean and organize my home.  I don't live in filth or anything like that but having 4 dogs, a husband, working full time, volunteering and my hobbies make keeping a cleaning routine or schedule hard.  I heard about The Organised Housewife 20 days to clean and organize your home challenge and decided I needed to try it!  Visit her blog for more details and if you decide to participate leave me a comment.  I love following along and comparing.  I also post pictures to Instagram of my progress :)

Pre-Challenge Day #1 was to create a binder to help you get organized for the challenge.  View my binder on Instagram. 

Pre-Challenge Day #2- Create a cleaning kit.  Visit the Organised Housewife for details and free printables. 
Contents: Micro cloths, rags, soft sponge, scrubber, large sponge, plastic bags, lint roller, water bottle, all-purpose cleaner and small spray bottle of vinegar (not pictured). 

I make the majority of my own cleaners.  In my opinion they are more pocket book friendly, smell better and  clean like a dream!!! 

There are MANY recipes for all-purpose cleaners on the internet.  If you are researching I would suggest peaking around and looking at the ingredients.  Some people want 100% natural, others want mild because of allergies and so on.  

Mandy Jean Chic's Clean Everything Cleaner 
Fits in a large bottle
3 cups warm water- Does not need to be boiling
1.5 Teaspoons of liquid castile soap
1/2 Cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons borax
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
*you can add essential oils if you want but I use castile soap with lavender so the oils are not needed :)

I store my cleaner with all my others and have found its ok to use on most surfaces.  Glass... NOT OK 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

20 Days to Get Organized Challenge

I read about this challenge on Cherished Treasures blog.  If you have not visited please do!  

The Organised Housewife is challenging bloggers to become more organized in 20 days.  I accepted the challenge.  You can read about the challenge here

The Organised Housewife

If you accept the challenge leave me a comment and I would LOVE to follow along!

The challenge starts on Monday Sept 3rd but the pre-challenge is starting tomorrow. 

$8 TV Stand into Temporary Kitchen Storage

I love my house but I HATE dislike my kitchen!!  Its a galley style kitchen with a teeny tiny little eating area.  NO BUENO!  About a year ago we decided to make our den into a formal dining room and add cabinets to the eat in area to extend out kitchen.  

Fast forward.... a year later....

Dining furniture is in the new formal dining space.  We decided to keep our small bar set until we add the cabinets and counters but I still DESPERATELY need storage.  

Hello sad looking TV stand.  How you do-in! 

We had been using this as a junk collector but I stole it back in the name of kitchen storage today!!! 

After Mr. Chic gave her a spray with some black spray paint I noticed the top wasn't as perfect as I hoped for. 
Moments like this is why I think the Dollar Tree carries such cute contact paper!  I use this ALL.THE.TIME! Carefully measure your area, cut, stick and admire! Easy peasy!!

As you can see by the pic I folded my edges over to make them look cleaner.  Along the bottom you will see where it has come up a bit.  Just use some scotch-tape and you are good.  

All done :) 
$5 for the cart at a yard sale
$2 for paint
$1 for contact paper

Baskets are from World Market a few years ago. 

New cabinets will look better but this will work until we are ready for that project. 



Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally painted the interior of the front door!!

After living with a white interior door for 4.5 years I FINALLY talked Mr. Chic into a paint color.  What actually happened was I picked a sample pot at Lowes and just painted the door. :)  I didn't think to take a before picture but here is how she turned out...

Paint color: Dreamy Caramel by Valspar

I need a bright color for the space and this color is PERFECT!!  It looks great with the darker fixtures, slate tile, wood floors and Mr. Chic actually likes it!!  No Mr. Chic just needs to finish that tile work :) Its apparently on the 10 year plan... 

What do you think??