Above is my dining room/kitchen for the next few months.

Kitchen-14webthis is what my kitchen currently looks like.  For the next few months I am without a kitchen sink, dishwasher, stove and counter top.



I couldn’t imagine doing this without a refrigerator. Move it anywhere it will fit into your house.  Mine is in my dining room.


I set up a folding banquet table and it has on it my microwave, coffee pot and toaster oven.  If you don’t have a toaster oven get one!  It also holds the crockpot, blender, etc.  As well as serving as a tiny countertop for prep.

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel


Plates, cups, spoons, forks, knives, napkins etc.  I am not one to use disposable anything, but during a remodel you will want to.  I still end up with dishes, but I can’t imagine keeping up with ALL of the dishes.


If you have one, use the spare bathtub.  We’ve set up a decent system of washing dishes with two dishpans and a towel to lay the clean dishes on.


We used an old bookshelf and a ikea cabinet. Just get something to keep it organized and out of the way.  Even plastic totes would work.

Has anyone remodeled recently? Have any great tips?




I will never forget walking into this house for the first time. My first thought, no joke, was “Oh hell no!”  There was wallpaper EVERYwhere, the carpet was destroyed and you could see the wood floors peeking though, there was wrought iron railings way more places than there should be, the bathroom tile was coming up and the floor felt like you would fall right though, and then there was the kitchen.  The cabinets were laminate faux green and white “wood”, the counters gold, green and yellow psychedelic swirls, the floor, gold and green laminate that had cigarette burns all over.  I really thought it would never get done.  My husband loved it, saw the potential immediately and wanted it.  Our deal was we buy it and the kitchen gets done ASAP.  As things usually go, we’ve been here 3 and a half years and my kitchen is still green and gold and yellow in all it’s glory.  But not for long….demolition has begun…



My husband likes to use a sledgehammer…so, kitchen remodel, means lets gut the thing.  Kitchen-11web

It’s a messy process.  Even with plastic up, my house was a dusty mess.



Had to remove the ceiling too. Why not?


And the floor…goodbye ugly floor… only the tap shoes will miss you!



So, this was his fun…now my fun begins…putting pretty NEW things into my BRAND new kitchen!  I can’t wait to show you the process!


meal plan photo


M-  Black Bean soup

T- quinoa vegetable salad

W- Minestrone Soup

T- Chili

F- Barley  w/sesame broccoli

S- Avocado veggie wrap

S- Fajita vegetables and quinoa



Monday -Hummus wraps, carrots, yogurt

Tuesday – bagel w/cream cheese, trail mix, apple

Wednesday – PB&J, granola bar, apple

Thursday – EnergyBites, apple, yogurt

Friday – Mac & cheese, cucumbers, apple

Saturday – Egg salad, veggies & dip

Sunday – leftovers



Monday – Sauerkraut and dumplings w/veggie hot dogs

Tuesday – Dirty Rice

Wednesday –  Chili and cornbread

Thursday – Lentil burgers, baked squash, brussel sprouts

Friday – Pizza, veggies & dip

Saturday- Veggie and bean Enchiladas

Sunday – Breakfast for dinner


meal plan photo

The new addition to the weekly menu is my new low-calorie lunches!


M- Mushroom & spinach on Flatbread

T- avocado veggie wrap

W-Lentil Soup & salad

T- Split pea Soup

F-  Baked Potato

S- Barley  w/sesame broccoli

S- leftovers



Monday -Hummus spinach wrap, oranges, granola bar

Tuesday – bagel w/cream cheese, cantaloupe , trail mix

Wednesday – Salad w/chickpeas, crackers, gogurt

Thursday – Mac & Cheese, carrots, trail mix

Friday – Cheese & Crackers, carrots & hummus, yogurt

Saturday – Egg salad, veggies & dip

Sunday – leftovers



Monday – Vegan sushi rolls, miso soup

Tuesday – spaghetti w/ “meat” balls

Wednesday – split pea soup

Thursday – Falafel salad w/ homemade croutons

Friday – Bean & veggie Shepards Pie

Saturday- Quinoa & Black Beans w/ Kale Chips

Sunday – Wheatberry Bean Minestone



crockpot refried beans

Vegetarian crock pot recipes are a favorite of mine.  I love to throw everything into a pot and not have to think about dinner until 6pm.   These vegetarian beans are hearty enough for a meat eater and offer a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.   My kids love them in a bowl with cheese and sour cream!  They taste a thousand times better than the canned variety!

Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans

Dry pinto beans 1lb.

1 small onion diced

1/4 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic (minced) or garlic powder

2 TBS franks red hot (optional)

crock pot refried beans vegetarian

Place beans in crockpot and cover with water and soak for at least 8-12 hours, or overnight.  Drain and rinse beans and place back into the crockpot.  Cover with water, add all other ingredients and set to High for 6-8 hours.  Mash beans with a potato masher when they begin to soften and cook until thickened.


Use in burritos, fajitas, on top of taco salad, or just in a bowl with cheese and sour cream!  Beans are vegan without toppings!




meal plan photo

The new addition to the weekly menu is my new low-calorie lunches!


M-mushrooms & spinach on toast

T- veggie wrap

W-lentil burger with mushrooms

T- avocado, bean & tomato salad

F- Crockpot refried beans

S- mushroom barley salad

S- quinoa salad



Monday -Hummus spinach wrap, cucumbers, gogurt, fruit

Tuesday – english muffin pizzas, orange, carrots

Wednesday – PB&J, orange, gogurt

Thursday – Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans, green peppers, crackers

Friday – Cucumber tortilla wraps, carrots, orange

Saturday – Egg salad, carrots & ranch

Sunday – leftovers



Monday – Lentil Burgers, Oven baked squash, baked potatoes

Tuesday – Sundried tomato & pine nut pasta

Wednesday – Fajitas w/ crockpot refried beans, salad

Thursday – Salisbury steak, green beans, mashed potatoes

Friday – Tacos, salad

Saturday- Vegetable Stew with dumplings

Sunday – Black Bean soup


meal plan photo

The new addition to the weekly menu is my new low-calorie lunches!


M-spicy black eyed peas

T- cucumber chickpea salad, crackers

W-black bean soup and wasabi cucumber salad

T-spinach protein smoothie

F- Wheatberries with Mushrooms & spinach

S-Hummus veggie wrap

S- Leftover Pizza



Monday – baked beans and hot dogs, apple, granola bar

Tuesday – Hummus Wraps, apple, gogurt

Wednesday – peanut butter energy balls, orange, gogurt

Thursday – Salad with egg, orange

Friday – PB&J, applesauce, crackers

Saturday – Egg salad, green beans

Sunday – leftovers



Monday – Lentil Burgers, Oven baked squash, kale chips

Tuesday – Black Bean Soup, crackers

Wednesday – Pasta Bake, salads

Thursday – Saurkraut & dumplings with veggie hot dogs

Friday –  Breakfast for dinner

Saturday- Pizza, salads

Sunday – Chili, cornbread


One of my daughters favorite things is when I make a new meal, and even more so, when SHE gets to name the new meal.  Don’t ask me why they are extreme, I thought they were more lovely, but the flavors are different from our normal, so maybe this is a bit extreme for her.  She loved it, my son, not so much.  I still haven’t figured out his taste buds, or if he just likes to be difficult.   This is the kid who will devour sushi, puts mustard on his french fries and likes hot sauce, but this did not please him.

Also note, I don’t measure spices ever.  I’m a dash and taste kind of girl (or dash and sniff if it’s dairy based), so taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

EXTREME Sweet Potato Lasagna Rolls  (as named by my daughter)


2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed ( I did mine in the microwave)

1/2 can black beans

1 medium onion

3 cups fresh spinach

dash paprika

dash garlic powder

dash ginger powder

salt & pepper


White Sauce:

2 cups milk

2 Tbs butter or margarine

2 Tbs flour

dash of:


garlic powder


ginger powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp sriracha (optional) I didn’t put it in for the kids, but hubby loved it!


Mozzarella cheese

Lasagna noodles



Cook about 8-10 lasagna noodles


Sautee onions under low heat until soft, add spinach and cook until wilted.  Mix mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, sauteed spinach and onions, paprika, garlic, ginger and salt and pepper.



Melt butter and add flour.  Whisk in milk and the rest of the seasonings. Cook on low until thickened.


Spread filling onto lasagna noodles.  Spread a little bit of the sauce on top of the filling  and roll up the lasagna noodle.  Continue to do this with all of the lasagna noodles.  Place in oiled baking dish and pour the rest of the sauce over the top, put 1/2 cup or more mozzarella cheese on top.  Bake at 400 for about 20-30 minutes.


We started a new tradition this year, Operation Christmas Child.  Operation Christmas child distributes shoeboxes filled with small fun and needed items to children in other countries.  I’ve been hearing about it for a couple of years and asked my kids if they wanted to do it this year. They loved the idea, so we went into my sales and couponing stash and started filling boxes.  I also gave them $5 each to spend at the dollar store for items to go in their shoeboxes.

It was a great opportunity to speak to both of them again about how blessed we are to have the freedom that we do, and how thankful we are that we have enough and that we can give to others.  They truly are amazing kids and I love seeing how excited they are about giving.

More information about Operation Christmas Child visit  This is the “official drop off week” and there are churches all around the country collecting boxes.  I had 2 churches within a 5 mile radius of where I live.

Happy Giving!



Monday – PB&J, apples, fig bars

Tuesday – Hummus Wraps, gogurts, apples, peanuts

Wednesday – Pizza Rolls, carrots and ranch, graham crackers

Thursday – Cheese, crackers, peanuts, apples

Friday – Muffins, apples, cheese stick, gogurt

Saturday – Egg salad, green beans

Sunday – leftovers



Monday – Chickpea casserole (like tuna noodle)

Tuesday – Sesame noodles with tofu

Wednesday – Black Bean soup

Thursday – Lentil burgers, baked french fries, brussel sprouts

Friday –  Sundried tomato (from garden) and spinach pasta with walnuts

Saturday- Quinoa and  black bean Stuffed Acorn Squash, peas

Sunday – Sweet potato Lasagna roll ups, succotash