Spring 10×10 Challenge

As far as my closet goes, I’ve always been more of a, “quantity vs. quality” type of gal. I always loved to shop and clothes were my favorite thing to shop for and purchase. Through high school and college, I worked many hours at Old Navy, doing mental math while fat folding the jeans. Folding and calculating my employee discount on that cute top, skirt or dress.

After our time spent at the ranch house, where we lived without internet, hot showers a dishwasher…well, you can read my post, “Making it Work” for yourself, but I lived with maybe 1/4 of my clothes. After moving in to this house, I had plenty of room for everything. Still, I felt inspired to donate a lot of my clothes, even stuff I still liked-gasp!-but just didn’t wear that much. The idea of getting dressed daily without the preliminary, and delusional “I have nothing to wear” pity party was refreshing.

In an effort to make getting dressed everyday less…angsty, I went through my closet with discernment, deciding what I actually wear, and what “look” I have/wanted. As a stay at home mom/2 day a week preschool teacher, comfort was a big factor. I kept only the things I love, work for my life, and go together. If something in my closet didn’t go with at least 2 other items, it’s out. I allowed myself no sentimentality- “but I’ve had this for YEARRRSSSS.” buh bye.

As an extension of this closet spring cleaning, for the next 10 days, I am joining in on the spring 10×10 challenge. You choose 10 items of clothing (this includes shoes, but not including accessories, workout clothes, or undergarments) and make 10 outfits using only those 10 items.

Here’s what I decided on:

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Tops:

Bottoms:

  • Curvy boot cut jeans (I had these before I was a Smith. Circa 2003 maybe?)
  • Overalls from Gap Factory
  • green sidewalk skirt from Jcrew factory (Again, mine’s old, but lots of cute, spring colors available!)

Shoes:

 

Planning to use these accessories to mix things up.

 

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I am bending the rules a bit and allowing myself one bonus item since this Sunday is Easter. Here’s what I’m planning to wear to church and our family get together this Sunday. Special thanks to Carolynn, my “fashion” photographer.

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See her in the window there? 🙂 See how I need a tan?

The skirt, the shoes and that cardigan are all included in the 10×10 and the top is my cheat piece.

I’ll let you know how it goes, and if you’re also trying the #spring10x10, I’de love to hear from you!!

Happy Easter, and as always, THANK YOU for reading. -Steph

 

7 of our favorite beef recipes

When your parents own cattle, it’s inevitable that you eat beef. Actually, a lot of beef. We recently got our 1/4 of a responsibly raised, grass fed, organic, 600 +lb cow and our freezers are stocked full.

Since we’re eating beef at least once a week, I’ve got many, Smith family approved, go to beef recipes. Here’s our favorite 7, one for every night of the week.

Swedish Meatballs

Meatloaf

We make our meatloaf in a muffin pan, so we get 12 cute little meatloaf muffins. The recipe I use for meatloaf is called, “mom’s meatloaf” and is on a handwritten card from my mother-in-law. You can find many meatloaf recipes online, or in one of those cookbooks you have in your kitchen. We also top our lil’ muffins with a meatloaf sauce, which includes: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp mustard, and 1 T brown sugar.  The sauce is a great oppourtunity for your kids to help out, Carolynn always mixes up our sauce.

 

Hamburger Stroganoff

Carne Asada Tacos in the Crockpot

This recipe calls for flank steak, but I always substitute cubed steak. Cubed steak is a tougher cut of meat, and can’t be subbed in all recipes, but after rubbing with this delish spice rub and cooking slow and low in the crockpot, it turns out great.

Hamburgers and Homemade Fries

Obviously, this is a go to for most people. Homemade burgers from your grill are a staple of the summer and so, so good. Top with bacon, jalapenos, blue cheese, avocado, a fried egg, chili….well look at that, my mouth is watering.

Greek Pita Pockets

Greek food is one of my favorites, for sure. This recipe comes from a Robin Miller cookbook I got before Pinterest stole our hearts, legitimately, of course. (return to the old days, and buy a copy here. It’s less than $5)

I brown my ground beef adding either pre made greek seasoning, or a combo of dried oregano, basil and a pinch of all spice -a little all spice goes a long way! While the meat cooks, warm your pitas by setting them in a 200 deg oven. Mix up your yogurt sauce by combining 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tsp chopped, fresh dill, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Serve the Greek ground beef inside warm pita with homemade yogurt sauce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onions, and feta. So much feta. Our pitas are always stuffed so full we can barely get a bite. But you’ll want to get that bite so bad, you will make it happen.

Sloppy Joes

This is another recipe from Robin Miller’s cookbook. Again, there are sloppy joes recipes enough to sink a ship. You can find one that suits you and yours.

I serve with homemade sweet potato fries, or thinly sliced red potato chips and a fruit salad or sliced apples.

 

We had a dear friend of ours babysit recently, and we actually “paid” her in meat. We are all such….grown ups. She’s a treasure, and wasn’t expecting any payment, but accepted that meat like a duck on a june bug. As a teenage babysitter I wouldn’t have been thrilled about receiving ground beef and some steaks in lieu of money I could spend at The GAP.

 

Thanks for reading! Send me an email, or comment if you fix any of these recipes and let me know how you like them!

You build the coop. The chickens will come.

So, let’s not make this awkward ok?! I haven’t blogged in many moons. 4 months to be exact. Pretty much the entire winter. We’ll call it blogbernation (blog hibernation). 

I’ve been meaning to spruce up my blog, so that it would have a new look for 2018. Well, it does have a new look….deserted….but also improved! I transferred all my posts (and added a handy search feature) and got my own .com! 

It is now offically ready for 2018, and more adventures for the Smiths. 

Thanks for coming back! I’m happy you’re here to read about our latest adventures. 2018, here we come!

We recently began our next project, and it’s a big one…..We’re getting chickens!

We have been researching a lot: raising the chicks, breeds, types of eggs, and how many to get, coop size, where it should go, and how to set up the fencing. We had decided on 12 chickens with 3 hens from 4 different breeds: Americaunas, Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, and Barred Rocks. To decide, we gathered lots of info by listening to podcasts (that’s Brian’s territory), reading blogs, and checking out books from the library. (I enjoyed this one.  )

With that information decided, we knew we would need a coop 8 X 6, with 5 nesting boxes (you need one nesting box for every 2-3 laying hens).

I won’t attempt to include step by step instructions, there are lots of helpful blogs out there that do a better job of that than I could do. (Backyardchickens.com has TONS of coop inspiration and plans.)

BUT, I would love to share with you what we’ve done so far!

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The foundation

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Starting some nails for us
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Playing while mom and dad work on the coop.
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phase one: the frame is complete!

I’ll keep everyone updated on the coop and the chicks, and as always, so glad you’re here and thanks for reading!

Steph