January 18, 2016

Black, {baby} pink, and gold

It's my birthday week! To indulge in my love of creating outfits; here is my outfit for Monday from my Polyvore Closet. The best part about a virtual closet is you have an endless budget, weather doesn't matter, and everything fits! 

I love a pencil skirt with an over sized sweatshirt, and the length of this sweatshirt will keep the look polished and not frumpy. Big gold hoops are always favorite, and I love the shape of these. Adorable circle glasses and simple black heels. Perfect for birthday dinner with the hubby's parents! 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Black, pink, and gold

T By Alexander Wang long sleeve top
$120 - shopmrsh.com

River Island pink pencil skirt
$21 - riverisland.com

Miu Miu black sunglasses

{you are beautiful and wonderfully made} 

January 1, 2016

January 2016 Monthly Meal Plan || Cutting the budget and clearing it out!

January 2016 Monthly Meal Plan || Cutting the budget and clearing it out!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's celebration and a delightful Christmas with loved ones.

As part of my love for meal planning, organizing, and cleaning out stuff. In January I like to do a major freezer, fridge, and cupboard clear out. My goal is to use as much as I have on hand and spend as little as possible on groceries.

Our normal grocery budget is $300 a month, I'd like to cut that in half for January. It always feels great to do this especially after December, since it's filled with so much splurging. I start by looking through everything and make a list of all the items I have on hand then plan my month. {I do this too for my regular months, but in those months I'm fine with not using stuff if it's not going to waste and will leave it for another month. Where in January, using up everything is the goal.}

January's meal plan
1: Fridge leftovers from New Year's
2: Fridge leftovers from New Year's
3: Cereal (S)
4: Grilled cheese (S) and hash brown patties (S)
5: Buffalo chicken pizza (S) and green salad
6: Bean and cheese burritos (S)
7: Leftovers (S)
8: Date Night
9: Saturday
10: Sloppy Joe's (S), corn (S), and hash brown patties (S)
11: Baked chicken (P chicken breasts), mash potatoes (S), and biscuits (S)
12: Biscuit french toast (using leftover biscuits), blueberries (S), and bacon (P)
13: Pot stickers (S) and rice (S)
14: BLT's (using leftover bacon) (P tomatoes)
15: Date Night
16: Saturday
17: Pork chops (S) with pineapple fried rice (S)
18: Birthday dinner with family
19: Birthday dinner with hubby
20: Leftovers from birthday dinners
21: Leftovers from birthday dinners
22: Homemade chicken tortilla soup (S) and salad
23: Saturday
24: Burgers (S) with roasted red peppers (S), green beans (S), pasta salad (S)
25: Veggie rice bowls (P fresh veggies)
26: Chicken BBQ quesadillas (S) (use leftover roasted red peppers)
27: Homemade chicken noodle soup (S) and salad
28: Leftovers
29: Date Night
30: Saturday
31: Mini cheese pizzas (S)
  • S = Stocked, I have on hand all items needed to make the item or it's already made and in the freezer
  • P = Purchase
  • I typically cut up fresh fruit and/or raw veggies each night as well 
  • Saturdays I leave open, then if anything gets switched up during the week whatever I had planned for that night we can have on Saturday. When I first started meal planning I would plan for each night, so many times something would get switched or we both just wanted mac and cheese or cereal for dinner, so then I started only planning for six nights and it worked out way better. 
  • As with any meal plan it's always subject to change, but planning the month out doesn't take me much longer than planning a week out AND it cuts my grocery shopping down by more than half! I'll get all non-perishable staples for the whole month the first week, then do a quick fresh items trip the remaining weeks. 
  • Staples {not listed above} on my weekly/monthly list are {as needed}: Milk, eggs, peanut butter, jelly, sandwich bread, carrots, broccoli, apples, fresh spinach, bananas, yogurt, seasonal fruit, seasonal vegetable, coffee, cheddar cheese block, oatmeal, cereal, tortillas, tortilla chips, ramen, and peanuts. These items we pretty much always have in house, so for example, if there isn't something leftover on a leftover night we can make something using items from this list. Or if we really don't have something for the Saturday night, then we make something from this list.  
I'll do a follow up post and let you know how everything went! Try it out, let me know how it goes! Pretty much always a good idea to not waste, clear out, and save money. 

To a joyful year filled with less stuff! 
{you are beautiful and wonderfully made} 

December 13, 2015

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Pretzel Bombs || Game Day

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Pretzel Bombs, of course I had to try these!!! Was not disappointed, highly recommend making these. 

Bacon Jalapeño Popper Pretzel Bombs || Game Day Food, The Graffitied Gardenia

Changes I made: 
I used Diet Dr. Pepper instead of beer 
I used fresh jalapeño instead of canned jalapeños

Other notes: 
My batter was REALLY sticky, could be from the soda, I added a lot of extra flour (tablespoon at a time) until it wasn't before taking it out of the mixer. I cooked them for the 10 minutes, then for another 5 minutes because they were not brown at all. I only made a half recipe, worked out fine (I know some stuff gets weird if you half or double it). 

We both loved this recipe, will definitely make again! 

{you are beautiful and wonderfully made} 

June 19, 2015

Bee Bath and {mini} Watering Pond

Dear Bees,

I made you this.

Bee bath || DIY || The Graffitied Gardenia

{Upcycled bottle upside down, cute dish from Salvation Army, and rocks from the Dollar Tree. I noticed the neighbors cat likes to drink out of it too! Double whammy, cat to keep away the bunnies and bees to pollinate.}

{you are beautiful and wonderfully made}

June 17, 2015

Homemade tacos & some garden love

Our summer meals are typically light, fresh, and simple. We love tacos, so this is usually my go to for any leftover meat. 

Dinner tonight || The Graffitied Gardenia #mealplanning

Chicken tacos using leftover rotisserie chicken, black beans and you can never go wrong with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole.

Fresh from the garden for taco toppings: cilantro, lettuce, and a garlic scape. || The Graffitied Gardenia

Fresh from the garden for taco toppings: cilantro, lettuce, and a garlic scape. Garlic scapes taste like a rich garlic onion, it was delicious on tacos. Cutting ingredients from the garden for fresh eating brings me so much joy. 

CAN'T wait for tomato season... 
Happy summer eating! 
{you are beautiful and wonderfully made}