The Cat Ate My Plant

Musings from a woman, wife, and mother

Decorating for Beginners: Office Edition August 14, 2012

Filed under: Deal Shopping,decorating — thecatatemyplant @ 10:54 am
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Paneling, primed

Among all the other things I’m doing, I’m trying to learn how to decorate. Oh, boy! The pace has accelerated with my mom moving in. We are relocating our office to a basement room downstairs, and then preparing the third bedroom for her…in two weeks.

My decorating tastes have never been considered country or shabby chic, but I can appreciate the beauty of that genre. My husband’s family is very good at decorating in both genres and so we frequently get beautiful, meaningful gifts from them that reflect this. I’ve previously incorporated them into our everyday living spaces because I didn’t know what to do with them. But with our new house, I’ve decided it’s time for me to learn how to decorate, work on my ‘style’ and stop having my house look like a mix n’ mash of Goodwill and gifts.  Though, I’ll be doing all of my shopping at Goodwill, thrift stores, and Craigslist!

The basement room is dark. There is no windows, a drop ceiling with ugly fluorescent lights, and dark paneling. I don’t think it’s been touched since the 70s when it was built. This, I’ve decided, will be our country room. I’ve got to paint it anyways, I think the wood paneling would go great with that theme, and I need a place to display all those beautiful things.

With our landlord’s blessing, the first step is to paint the paneling. After two coats of primer taking approximately 7 hours to put on, I’m exhausted. I don’t want to touch another can of paint for a while, even though I know that is unrealistic. But now I don’t know where to take it! I bought two cans of tan oops paint the other day ($5, each – score!) but Hubs thinks the primer looks great as is because it looks like an old whitewashed barn.

Paneling, up close

I feel like you can still see some dark/yellow coming through. So, what would you do. Leave it, paint it, prime again?


Changes Are A-Coming! August 6, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Deal Shopping,Goals,kids,Meal Plan Monday,recipes,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 2:08 pm

In addition to moving, there have been a lot of other things going on in our lives. I’m desperately trying to finish a Medical Transcription course so that I can finally start working from home (for reals, not that mothering/housekeeping stuff j/k)!

There have also been quite a few diet changes. Shortly after I moved, I joined (well, re-joined) Weight Watchers (WW). I lost the weight that I put on while pregnant with C pretty easily, but I’ve been carrying around an extra 50lbs that I gained shortly after I was married…10 years ago. I figure it’s time for it to come off once and for all. So, I’m trying. And since most fruits and veggies are ‘free’ on WW, we’ve been eating a lot more. Probably something close to what would recommend. Making Michelle Obama proud!

In addition to WW, we ran out of meat at our house. And by meat, I mean the beef we purchased in the fall. We’ve got a few months before our next share of beef is ready and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on meat.  I was able to convince Hubs that we would go mostly meatless! Shopping for organic, humanely treated, locally raised meats when we can fit it in our budget, and the rest of the time getting our protein from other sources. This has been very challenging for me!!! It has to be in my cooking skill level (low, unless there is a microwave involved) and it has to taste good for my meat-lover hubs. HELP!

Also, we are preparing for my mother to move in with us. We haven’t lived together for 12 years! I’m nervous about this. Excited, scared. A whole plethora of emotions. Of course, the last time we lived together I was a teenager so I also appreciate that this is going to be wildly different. Have you ever dealt with this? Tips? Advice? Feedback? Should I buy stock in Patron now or later? 🙂

And finally, Hubs and I have decided E is ready for some pre-schooling. We’ve been flirting with this for months now, doing things here & there, but he’s definitely craving more! So, I’ve got one month to plan a curriculum and then we are off! Wish me luck.


Welcome back! July 31, 2012

Filed under: Goals,kids — thecatatemyplant @ 3:34 pm
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That’s actually to me, you all have been here the whole time! My last post was in February, and I had very good intentions about resuming daily posts and working on some blog series I had thought about. That has all flown out the window! Let me recap the last 6 months or so with you.

December 2011: After deciding to sell our home, we had to get ready! The house had been in varying states of ‘projects’ for the four years we lived there so we not only had to finish those up, but do some extra stuff recommended by our realtor.

January 2012: Things seem to be clipping along except for the fact that only one of us can work at night because our darling daughter C doesn’t like to sleep. Such is life! It’s almost February, and we have a small (read: Giant) bomb hit us. Hubs was told he had to start pulling 60 hour work weeks or get fired. Uh oh!

February 2012: Hubs is down to working on the house one day a week since he goes back to work after E & C go to bed. I try to get as much done as possible because we are listing in March!

March 2012: We listed about 1 week after our goal, but it got done. I’m still not entirely sure how, but it got done. In two weeks we had 11 showings and even more interest.

April 2012: We have an offer! A real-deal offer! On the first, but it wasn’t April Fools. Only problem, they want us to close in 30 days. Um, OK? So, in April we sell our house, find a rental, move to said rental, and two weeks before closing find out the bank is requiring more work on the house. My girlfriend and I end up moving our entire household while Hubs and her husband do said work. On the same weekend. It was madness!

I’m so thankful it’s over now. We love our new place and I can start focusing on some of the more exciting things in my life. Like the blog! Gardening! Food! We’re even going to be trying out some crafts and preschool type things. Oh, boy.


Sleep Is A Wonderful Thing February 2, 2012

Filed under: kids,random musings — thecatatemyplant @ 11:38 pm

I’ve learned in the past week or two that C likes to sleep in the dark. YAY for finally figuring out what makes her sleep, but boo for me.  She’s still in a bassinet right next to my bed and so my nightly ritual of reading before sleeping is all but gone. Frankly, my need to have her near me, to hear her breathing is more important. Someday that will change, but for now my Goodreads account will be oddly silent. So let me live vicariously through you. What are you currently reading?


Back In The Saddle Again

Filed under: random musings — thecatatemyplant @ 12:35 am

Hello my friends! It’s been a while; 52 days to be exact. That’s right, 52 days since I last put anything up here.  A lot has happened in that time.

Most importantly, Hubs and I have decided to sell our house. It’s been a constant source of stress and pain in our relationship since we purchased it 4 years ago, so it is time. I am so thankful that we are finally seeing the same future.

Unfortunately, this has thrown our lives into a whirlwind! We have agreed to list the house March 1st, but there is a huge list of things that need to be done in those two and a half months. Things like painting almost every room, getting the roof leak fixed, re-carpeting the entire first floor, and tiling the kitchen floor. And there is always the surprises. Like, when we pulled up the carpet in our bedroom we found out parts of our floor were completely rotted. Oh, joy. But, that is our house.

While doing all of this, we finally had the baptism of C.  That ended up bringing it’s own drama with it which we weren’t too thankful for, but in the end I believe it’s brought us closer together.

And of course, we’re still raising E & C, still trying to make most everything from scratch, and still trying to save money while doing it. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting daily while this is going on, but I’m renewing my efforts to at least post weekly so we can keep in touch.

Cross your fingers that the house sells quickly.


Meal Plan Monday December 12, 2011

Filed under: Meal Plan Monday,Meatless Monday,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 11:13 pm

Most of the blogs I visit have a theme. If not frugality, than keeping a well running home. Usually, both. They always encourage meal plans, and I have to admit, I toy with it from time to time, but I find it very difficult! For instance, in the spring/summer when we have our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, we often don’t know what kind of veggies we are getting until that day. How can I plan an entire months meals or even a couple of weeks when I don’t know what’s going to be in my fridge?

Well, I’m trying it again. This time, I’m starting out small though. One week at a time seems appropriate. And I’m going to share it with you so that you can help me stay accountable.

Monday: oatmeal/leftovers/ macaroni & cheese, broccoli, salad

Tuesday: peanut butter toast, grapes/Taco Bell/meatloaf, cheesy potatoes, salad

Wednesday: smoothies/leftovers/leftovers (I’ll also be making beef stock this day)

Thursday: oatmeal/leftovers/ribeye steaks, salad, rice pilaf

Friday: peanut butter toast, grapes/leftovers/pizza, salad

Saturday: buttermilk pancakes, leftovers, meat sauce & pasta

Sunday: French toast bake/leftovers/pork roast, rice, green beans, salad

Have you tried a menu plan?


What’s For Dinner? The 12/12/11 Edition

Filed under: Meatless Monday,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 2:51 pm
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I started this post, but saved it for later because my wonderful two-year-old woke up from nap early. Well, my husband (in his loving way) sends me an email, “You need to add more detail.” Needless to say, I was completely confused! When I went to look at the post, it appears that my son, while playing with my computer, somehow managed to post this…blank. How, I have no idea. But, it is what it is. So, I’m adding ‘detail’ about what’s for dinner!

It’s meatless Monday again. And this time I decided to switch it up. No rice & beans! I know, you’re shocked. I was too. But, we move on. Tonight, it’s homemade macaroni & cheese (sans Velveeta) with broccoli and salad on the side. Oh, yeah. I plan on mixing my broccoli with my macaroni & cheese. I can’t say what others are going to do, but why not?

I used a recipe from my trusted Betty Crocker cookbook   It was pretty simple. Started out with a roux (that’s flour & butter, right? 🙂 ) and ended with two whole cups of cheese! It says sharp cheddar but I only have mild on hand. It probably would be way better with sharp. Or some other yummy, melty, gooey type of cheese. But, I’ll experiment some other time.

What are you having for dinner?