The Fogue Abode: June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meal Planning 101 {Printables}

I have had a few people interested in more details on how I am meal planning after last months post. I am getting my tricks and tips down and wanted to share the process that I go through.  I carry my plans with me and work on it over a span of several days.  I try to work on it the last week of the month with my first shopping trip on the 1st.

Step 1 

First thing I do is print off a month calendar.  Just for you guys, I have a July Calendar here.  I set a category for each day which really helps in getting items on the list.  At this point I am just worrying about the main dish.  As you can see in my meal plan below, I have set up Sundays Soup/Crockpot, Mondays Chicken, Tuesdays Mexican, Wednesdays Left Overs, Thursdays Beef or Pork, Fridays Splurge meals and Saturdays Southern Cuisine. 

I typically scan through my past few months meal plans and pick out items that we really enjoyed and write them in.  Then, I go through my Pinterest boards to find anything interesting.  If I don't already know the recipe, I print it off at this point.

Finally, I scan through a few of my favorite foodie blogs for ideas.  I have listed a few of my favs at the bottom.

Step 2

Once I have my month planned out and all my recipes printed, I move on to a weekly calendar.  This is pulled out and pinned on the fridge every week.  It is a more detailed list that includes the main course and sides and any prep notes I have (such as set out frozen food for the next nights meal.)

Step 3

From here, I write out my grocery list.  I split the list into 2 different trips.  One big trip at the first of the month where I get all non-perishable items, all my meats (I freeze it if it's more than a week and a half away) and I also add in my cleaning supplies that I need for the month.

The second trip I plan about half way through the month and it is a much smaller trip.  I plan for perishables and any other items added to the list from the month.

I keep everything in the order that I need them in in this clear page protector.  I don't know about you guys, but I can be a mess in the kitchen.  This keeps everything from getting sauce stains all over it and keeps it in one spot.

And that my friends is how I successfully meal plan for an entire month.  Not only has it made life a whole lot easier in the dinner department, but it has really helped us stick to our grocery budget having cut out so many Wal-Mart trips. Now, if only I can get the Mr. from making so many ice cream runs.

Check out all the sources for printables and blogs below. 


July Calendar

Weekly Dinner Calendar

Grocery List Week 1

Grocery List Week 3

Go-To Food Blog Sources

 South Your Mouth

The Pioneer Woman - Cowboy Food

Tasty Kitchen

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Family That Miters Together...#projectbathroomreno

Can I let you in on a little secret, DIY remodels are not all glamorous and occasionally are the source of conflict.  The next step in our bathroom reno project was to install the baseboard trim.  I selected a thick chunky trim to give it that craftsman look.  We decided (or rather made the mistake) to use the skilsaw instead of purchasing or renting a miter saw to make our angle cuts.  Since it was only a few cuts, we didn't think it would be that bad.

If you had asked me on trim day, I may have said that was the worst point in the Mr and my relationship.  We watched several youtube videos, had our measurements and our game plan and set to the task of cutting the trim. 

Let me just put this out in the universe, mitering inside and outside corners is a learned skill.  It's not to terribly difficult, it just requires a little thought and practice on the measurements end.  We made several short cuts.  And, we made several angled cuts wrong. We both ended up frustrated and cranky. 

We may have ended up with more trash pieces of trim then what we actually installed.

But after a few screw ups, we learned the right way to miter the corners.  Once we finally got all the pieces cut, we nailed them into place.  Learning that it's best to nail along the bottom and then add one nail into every other stud to keep the tall molding tight against the wall.

After this step, I went through with some calk and filled all the nail holes and seams and painted right over it with my trim and door white paint. 

And don't worry, the Mr. and I are back on good terms with these satisfying results.

This certainly added some of that finishing touch to the bathroom don't you think? 

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Pamper Yourself on a Mom Budget [with] Vera Wang Fragrance

This post was sponsored by Vera Wang Fragrances as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

For us moms, it's easy to get to a spot where you feel run down, overwhelmed and so far beyond exhausted that you can't think straight.  I believe it is imperative to your families health as well as your own to take care of yourself.  Have a You Retreat.  Pamper Yourself.  Relax.

This thought has hit me with a ton of bricks several times lately, but the difficult part is finding the time and the means to treat yourself.  I thought I would give you 5 easy ways to pamper yourself that won't break the bank and would leave you feeling refreshed and recharged.

  1. A You Retreat: Rent a hotel room or local cottage and just get away to rest, get your meal plan figured out in solitude, or meditate on your goals for the year.  Too many times these important tasks get pushed down the list because we don't have the time to sit down and finish them in a busy household.  You will feel so accomplished after a day alone to tackle these tasks.
  2. Grab Some Sun: It's amazing what a little vitamin D will do to your mind and soul.  It's a medical fact that sunlight releases serotonin which in return boosts your mood and can help you feel calm and focused.
  3. A Delightful Surprise:  Sometimes, it feels awesome to throw those diet worries to the wind and indulges in a dessert.  It's apple pie time and nothing is more filling then slipping away to your favorite chair with a plate full of pie just for you.  No sharing with toddlers allowed.
  4. A Road Trip:  I enjoy getting out and just driving.  The windows down, a favorite song on the radio and just you and the road.  It's where some of my best thinking comes in. 
  5. A Sweet Treat for Yourself: There is nothing quite as rewarding as treating yourself every now and then to a surprise.  Something that makes you feel feminine, lovely, and desirable.  Vera Wang Marigold and Gardenia fragrance, the newest member of the Embrace Collection is just the key to empowering your inner goddess.  It has become my go-to fragrance each day to help revitalize me.

Can I just spare a moment of your time to tell you how lovely this new fragrance is?  It is seriously my new go-to scent.  The sweet marigold and gardenia fragrance will have you channeling your inner southern bell in no time.  It's like a moment in time.  It's the perfect treat when pampering yourself to make you feel confident, beautiful and desirable in your own skin.

Vera Wang Marigold Gardenia is available for purchase at Kohl's in stores or online.  For just $29.99, it may be one of the cheapest ways to pamper yourself and make you feel like the beautiful woman you are.

Guess what?  Today, I have the opportunity for you to walk away with one of ten Vera Wang Embrace fragrance packs (valued at $75.)  The perfect start to a refreshed You!  Just use the widget below for your chance to enter this fabulous giveaway.  Contest closes July 12, 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Farm2Home {Moss Mountain} House Tour

Texas has Chip and Joanna Gaines, Canada has Jonathan and Drew Scott, and California gets husband and wife team of Tarek and Christina.  But long before these TV personalities were famous, Arkansas had P. Allen Smith who has been referred to as "the Martha Stewart of the South" by the New York Times.

As a child of the 90's, I fondly remember watching Mr. Smith grace my TV every mid-day after Sesame Street on his show P. Allen Smith Garden Home show.  I grew up watching him garden and cook.  I guess you could say that my love of design started right then and there. 

So I was ecstatic when I received the opportunity to visit his popular Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, Arkansas for the 2016 Farm2Home event.  I just knew I had to do a house tour...well more like a farm tour.  So sit back, kick up your feet and enjoy the beautiful house and gardens.

The Main House

Anchoring the property and original inspiration for the farm, sits a beautiful large 300 year old Oak Tree.  It proudly sits in front of the infamous Moss Mountain colonial house that Allen calls home. 

The home was build with Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate in mind.  The colonial columns grace the front of the home.  The house's brick exterior, though it appears to be painted yellow, was actually acid washed.  A fact which I will file perhaps for later use.  Also, many green initiatives were installed into the home to make it a life source for the farm including a rain cistern buried below the house which helps water the gardens. 

I am loving the use of coral on the front porch.  It brings a charming southern appeal to the colonial porch. 

As a lover of history, I adore his use of it in the décor.  You can find paintings, portraits, busts as well as many, many, many books.  Books overflow the shelves and book cases.  Each place setting at the tables have stacks of books.  I love the use of them throughout the house.

Downstairs includes a living room, a formal room, a kitchen and dining area.  To keep in theme with the time era, the house has beautiful craftsman trim throughout the house, but you will notice crown molding is missing. 

Check out the landscape above the sofa.  That's an original Gilbert Stewart painting.  Fancy! 

He loves his chickens.  Even uses eggs to decorate, move offer Joanna, Mr. Smith was the original Farmhouse stylist. 

The kitchen was probably the most popular room.  It was difficult to get some good shots of it for you because of that.  I love how big light and airy the room is.  Allen used stone from a local quarry in El Dorado for the countertops. 

I may have drooled all over the kitchen table.  That bench, those place settings, the fruit...

The colors used throughout the house are so light and airy.  Yet, he uses pops of gold and antiques to give it some flare.  Here is an example of the books used as décor.  Such a thrifty idea.

Right off the kitchen and onto the back porch is this beautiful dining space and sitting area.  This is my heaven.

On the second level, you can find a beautifully feminine guest bedroom done up in a wonderful light shade of purple.  I could totally live in this room...please!

Subway tile was used throughout the house in all the bathrooms.  Such a classic and elegant look. 

The Master was totally swoon-worthy.  I loved the little sitting area right off the main bedroom area.  The large 4 poster bed  was actually a bed that belonged to William Fulton, the Governor of Arkansas from 1835-1836.

Just outside of the house is a huge sleeping porch.  Sleeping porches were very popular on large estates.  During the summer time, they would move the beds out to the back porch where it was much cooler than in the warm house.  I didn't get any great shots out there, but I did manage to take a photo of a copper tub, can we just oogle over it for a moment?

Finally, up in the attic, Allen has created the cutest and coziest space for his nieces and nephews.  I think this may be my favorite part of the house.  It's a split level area that is completely open (minus the bathroom)

Vegetable Garden

After the house tour, we took a little walk down to the beautiful Vegetable Garden.  This is the same garden used in most of their filming.  Allen loves to experiment with different fruits and vegetables that are unique to our area. 

The Gardens

Finally, we got to tour the beautiful gardens that P. Allen Smith is so famous for.  The gardens were breathtakingly beautiful set with a backdrop of the Arkansas River. 

So this is probably the most gorgeous house I've ever been too.  I could certainly say "life goals" browsing through this.  I am so blessed and honored to be a part of Farm2Home and I hope I helped you learn a little something too. 

What is your favorite part of the house?