Archive for February, 2013

I grabbed this topic from and thought that maybe I should tackle it myself. A little bit different from my regular posts about cleaning, organizing and the boys.

So am I really living happily ever after? On most days, I think if I were asked this question my response would be: “Yep, I’m living the dream!” (Insert sarcastic undertone). I, like so many others, struggle daily to make ends meet, worry constantly about my children and the cleaning, need I say more? I work outside of the home full time 4 days a week. Of the remaining 3 days a week I spend half that time (or at least I should) working in the office of my husbands business. I say “his” because he does the work. We own it together. The remaining time I try to clean, organize and spend time with my boys and still try to squeak in some private time for me and mechanic man. Needless to say, one thing or another suffers on a daily basis.

Is it my dream to work outside of the home? No. I do it because I have to. Because we as a family need a regular income and health insurance until the magical day when the business can sustain itself and the family. For a new business in these times, it’s doing great! So I am not complaining. Do I enjoy loading the wood stove and splitting and stacking wood in the middle of a Michigan winter to stay warm? NO! My dream is to be the stay at home mom who bakes cookies and makes fresh lemonade (from lemons) and has the house running like a well oiled machine.

But when I thought about this question, I mean really thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I am living happily ever after. Why you ask? Because I have my prince charming. Who loves me with ALL his heart, regardless of my imperfections, my slip ups, my mistakes. He loves all of me. And I love him, every piece of him.

Because I can’t imagine any part of my future without him in it. And although I’m not rich, live in a castle on a hill, and I have to work outside the home, he makes me feel like his princess/queen. That is worth more to me than anything else in the world. Without him I would not have my 2 wonderful boys that are a part of my heart and soul forever. Everything I love in this world I have because of Mechanic Man.

So Yes. I am living happily ever after. Stacking wood with Mechanic Man in a blizzard is where I want to be. Struggles and all, he makes me happy, everyday.


If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I hurt my back a little over a week ago. I have a herniated disc and nerve impingement. I can’t sit, stand or walk for very long without pain and I cannot bend over. I can’t stand it, I have so many things on my to-do list and I was actually getting them done thanks to this blog. So I commissioned the boys to help me organize the kitchen. 🙂

I would ask them to empty a cupboard and bring the contents to me. I would sort, purge and organize and have them return the contents to the cupboard. It worked well and I was able to complete all of the bottom cupboards! I took a trip to family dollar and picked up bins for a dollar each to help with the project.

I had my husband cut a spare piece of plywood to the same size as the 1 shelf that was in this cupboard to utilize the height better.

I reused the rack I had been using for baking pans for the lids. They are now neatly stored and can be accessed easily.
(the baking pans were relocated to the basket above the fridge that I showed in the last post)

This cupboard did nothing but store the turkey roaster I use 2-3 times a year. I removed that, put it in a plastic bag, and put it on the shelf in the garage. Now it houses my hot mits and bowls and the pyrex baking dishes.

These 3 cupboards housed my pans and lids on the bottom shelf and my baking needs on the top. This was the space that needed the most help. I used my dollar store bins to hold my bags of muffin mixes, extra powdered sugar, and side dishes that also come in bags. The shelf I bought for spices (That idea didn’t work. It didn’t fit in the cupboard and when I tried to use it I knocked off the spices on the lower sections.) is now being used for Jello. I also used a bin that would normally be used in a bathroom or to hold pencils (3 for 1.75) for hot cocoa packets.

Sadly, I have to admit that I threw out tea bags that expired in 2010. My husband is the only one who drinks iced tea in the summer so we don’t go through a ton. At least I didn’t have mulitple packages. I will buy new this summer when he is in the mood for it again.

My top cupboards are already organized because I am in those multiple times a day. My canned good are alphabetized and all the labels face forward. After organizing the bottom cupboards and repurposing spaces, I now have some unused space in the top cupboards. Growing room, it feels good!

Next project….the freezers. (Until I can build the launch pad in the dining room! 😉 )

My back is a little more serious than I originally thought. It seems as though I have a herniated disc and a nerve impingement which is causing the top half of my left leg to go numb. UGH! I am supposed to “take it easy” and I start therapy tomorrow. I also got a new narcotic cocktail until the therapist works their magic. I’m not to fond of taking narcotics but back pain is the worst pain there is. There is not a single thing you do in daily life that you are using your back.

On top of that, mechanic man got sick. So he went in to see the doc today. Pneumonia. Both lungs. 😦

Kitty is doing much better since her trip to see the vet and got realigned. She more playful, walks straight and is actually investigating the rest of the house. 🙂

But having pain has not stopped me from organizing my kitchen. I continue to have the boys bring sections of my cupboards contents to me for sorting. It’s coming together nicely. I will post pics of the finished products later. I’m hoping to pick up a few more bins for sorting this Saturday. (and those elusive picture frames mechanic man said I couldn’t have. hehehehe)

So if my posts seem a little scattered in the coming weeks, keep in mind, I’m taking medication and I’m trying as hard as I can!

Oh, I have been smoke free for 8 days and 3 hours. And yes, I want one. But I won’t have one, cause I know I can say NO!

As you know, I am laid up with a bum back. I attempted to go to work, but the pain was so bad I left at lunch and came home for a nice narcotic cocktail and a heating pad.

Since it hurts to bend over or stand for too long, I have enlisted the boys to assist me in everything. Hormonal teenager feels sorry for me and finds it interesting how many things I do during the day that require me to bend over or climb up on a stool. (Mechanic man banned me from the stool after I fell off it on day 1) Hyper child thinks helping me is best thing since sliced bread. I think I will continue to enlist his help even after I feel better.

This is what I ended up with for the fridge project. Not very pretty, but I still plan on adding picture frames. I am also planning on getting some vinyl stickers so the titles don’t get rubbed off.

This is the before pic of the space above the fridge.
I started by removing everything and wiping down all the surfaces.
I emptied the basket of all the craft items and washed the liner. I repurposed it for baking pans. I donated the craft items to my sister because she has younger children and she has both girls and boys.

My BFF has me attempting to join her on the journey to cheaptitude. As always, check out her blog…
She is always saying that being aware of what you have will save you money because you won’t end up duplicating items in your pantry and letting items go unused and expire. So I tackled my spices. I kept them above the stove, not a good idea.

After combining duplicates, throwing out expired items and sorting out the ones I don’t use, (I inherited some from my mom) I ended up with this.
In true cheaptitude, I saved the basket from the trash at work and cleaned it up. I can slide the whole basket into the cupboard and when I’m ready to cook, I can place it on the counter and everything I need will be at my finger tips.

After that, I tried a new recipe. Taco Sandwiches. Another one from
Another keeper. Mechanic Man and the boys loved it!

As a bonus, I repurposed the space above the stove for less used items that will not go bad.

Kitty update…..

Posted: February 16, 2013 in 2013, Chaos, Family
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As I mentioned before, we found a kitty. We named her shades because she has so many shades of different colors in her fur.

Here’s a little back ground. She was living under the shed at the gas station my sister works at for the last 3 weeks. Multiple people have tried to catch her and the employees would feed her as much as they could.

So my sisters boyfriend caught her and brought her to me. An that’s when we first thought she was strange.

She never tried to run and hide from us like cats do in new places. She never feared mechanic man, me or the boys. She never tried to run from the dogs. She would just growl at them and hiss occasionally.

She didn’t walk around much for the first few days but when she did, she walked crooked. And then we noticed other stuff, like her right rear foot slid around on the bathroom floor and she never sat with her legs underneath her, she always slept on her side.

So we took her to the vet. Best vet in the world I think. He always gives a discount for saving a stray. Not that he over charges to begin with. And he is a veterinary chiropractor. She had a partially dislocated hip, 3 jacked up vertebrae and her neck was out of alignment. She walks straight again, her leg is weak because it had been that way for a while. He said that she would have either fallen as prey for another animal or starved without us.

Everything happens for a reason. We are blessed to have shades as our newest family member.

Are you an animal lover too?

My weekend has been hit by the crash and burn of my previous projects. This weekends debacle? Apparently I threw out my back! Are you kidding me?!?!?

I don’t even know how I hurt it! But I wasn’t going to let it stop me this weekend.

I started up the step stool, even with a back that could hardly hold me up, only to fall on my butt. Literally. (Maybe the effects of pain meds and muscle relaxers?) So I gave up on the above the fridge project for now.

Since I have no choice but to return to work on Monday, I’ve given in to the idea of laying around the house. It’s driving me crazy….but I can now tell you with certainty who leaves what where.

So I will sign off for now, but I will be hard at work on the space above the fridge as soon as I can!

Oh, the smoking, I have officially not had even a hit off one in 3 days! My body is officially nicotine free! I want one soooooo bad though. I think I would rip someone’s face off to get one right now. Wow. But I will be fine without one. 🙂

I took the time and cleaned off what used to be our launch pad. I was not aware that we had out grown the space. Is it even possible to outgrow a launch pad? I knew the trombone wouldn’t fit, but I honestly thought that the book bags etc would. Nothing seems to be working for me lately, first the fridge and now the launch pad. UGH!

So I am back at square one. I need to find a solution that will work long term and I need to find it fast. My mud room is long and narrow, houses the salt tank and the washer and dryer and the door opens in…directing you into those items. It’s a mess! I’ve done as much as I can with it. I need the door to open in the other way, but mechanic man says it’s not as easy as that. I think I will have my neighbor (surrogate husband) change it for me this spring.

Since that didn’t work out for me last night or the night before, I decided to indulge in some not so good for you Bacon Cheeseburger Calzones. OMG! Sooooo Delicious! I got the recipe from It was easy to make and the kids loved it!

I have had this pinned in my Pinterest account for awhile and I think it may work in the corner of my dining room which is right next to the entrance to the mud room. Plus it’s next to the slider, which is our main entrance in warmer weather. Currently the dog food container resides there, so a new home will be needed for that.
drop zone

It will also work out because the next room to get freshened up with a new coat of paint is the dining room and kitchen. I think my corner is smaller than this one but I’m pretty sure I can make it work for my space too. I’m going to attempt to build this myself. I don’t want mechanic man putting a kabosch on this project too! (The picture frames on the fridge is still an area of discussion, I say I’m going to do it and he tries to take my magnets)

Until then, I am going to focus on decluttering the kitchen and dining room space. There is not a lot to do in there and I will make sure to take before and after photos of the spaces, but 7 years in this house and 2 young boys, I have a large collection of dried play dough, markers that don’t mark, and crafting supplies that are now too “girly” for boys to use. So I guess my next post will be about that. What I used, where I got it, what I used it for…etc.

Update: We found a kitty, we think she is strange. She is super cute, but strange. I will post pics later, she is still a little cameral shy.


Oh…and I quit smoking today. Last cigarette smoked – Wednesday Feb 13th, 2013 @ 5:30 Pm.