Thursday, August 29, 2013

The New and Improved Open Kitchen Pantry

Our Kitchen "pantry" was a disaster.  I just had everything on the shelf in an area but there was no way to keep it there.  (This is where I am kicking myself because I didn't take a before picture),  I went to the Dollar Tree and bought these baskets.  I couldn't decide if I liked it or not (I liked that it was about $10).  The next morning I checked it out again and I really didn't like it at all.  I decided it was time to put a little more money into this project. 

I went to IKEA for several items and found these containers in the office organization area.  These are supposed to be recycle bins, but I have used them as containers to organize the pantry.  There were definetely more than I wanted to pay for them but compared to other options, I didn't mind.  I love the different sizes available.  I used the large one on the bottom for the extra Bulk bags from Winco that I use to refill other containers.  The small containers on top hold spice packets and peanut butter.  I think the small ones were $5.99, the Medium $6.99 and the Large one was $9.99. 

I bought labels this past week that I am going to print and stick onto the front of the containers.  

Coffee Filters

Coffee Filters have the most incredible uses and they are so cheap!  Looking for an easy way to save on time, money, effort, unnecessary dishes, etc. etc.

Mike bought Coffee Filters about a month ago.  Here are some of the many uses we are getting from them:

  • Spoon rest 
  • A plate for breakfast items (toast, english muffins, waffles with jelly) 
  • A small bowl to share popcorn with 
  • Spill picker upper 
  • Window washer 
  • Peanut Shell Collector 
  • Coaster 
  • Pot/Pan Separator (put it in between pans so they don't mess up their finish) 
  • Put one in between plates, any time of class or ceramic to keep them from banging together while        transporting
  • Put over a bowl or plate while microwaving 
  • portion control for snacks  

As you can see the list can go on and on and on.  Simple treasures, simple solutions, simply cheap and easy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Soapbox on Parenting

This seemed to touch many other hearts and minds and so I wanted to share it again.  I will preface this with even though this post came from an article I read in response to the "Miley Fiasco" I was truly applauding the author of the article about how they parent.  I am not supporting or bashing Miley, I am simply saying, "step up", "be a parent", "raise God-fearing, respectful, kind, caring, compassionate Children."

I will also say, Mike and I don't have it all right.  We mess up daily with parenting.  I was a Junior High minister for years, but having your own, whew, that is a whole different story!! I will also preface this with a couple of facts.  I am "Mom" to A and N, but I am also technically Step-mom.  Our kids have dealt with their face share of cruddy situations when it comes to their upbringing, their hurdles they have had to overcome, their situations and their lack of key people in their lives at a young age.  I will also tell you that we have never allowed this to be an excuse for disrespectful or bad behavior.

We will all parent different from one another, we will likely all judge each other at some point or another about our parenting choices, we will have our victory's, our major falls and our "thank God we just made it through the day" moments.

No matter what, I don't think there is an excuse for parents to not parent.

Here's what I wrote on 8/26/2013 about this article entitled Dear Daughter, Let Miley Cyrus Be A Lesson To You. 

I didn't watch last night, I don't know what went down, I honestly don't care too much, but I love what this article has to say and I know that this article says a whole lot about how Mike and I raise our children. People don't always understand and that is ok, but our job is to be there parent first, teaching them about respect and life and how to be a well respected citizen of their school, city, country. 

I watch far too many children from far to young of an age on think that they are entitled to anything and everything. It is not ok. It does not help our children, it hurts them. 

Tonight I sat at a Boy Scout Court of Honor while many boys were recognized for some very prestigious awards. Three Scouts sat in the front row laughing, talking and even at one point "boo-ing" during this event. I left just feeling absolutely sick. I personally asked them 3 times to be respectful, all while their parents just say back and watched this happen. 

Parents, WAKE UP! There is a time for everything. There are times to laugh and joke with your children, their are times to celebrate their accomplishments, but there are also times to teach and to discipline! 

Jesus gave us rules to follow and obey, to help us have a full life and to teach us right and wrong. We have consequences, why give your child a false sense of reality? You are hurting them! 

Our son called our daughter a bad name this afternoon. He had his brand new Kadama (he has waited for this for 6 months and just got it this weekend) taken away, his phone is in my possession, he didn't get video games or TV time, he also has to work on finding 3 special things to do for his sister and give her 5 genuine compliments. When he does those things he will get privileges back. He has been doing whatever he can and truly taking time to think about what he can do for his sister and how he can do special things for her that normally wouldn't happen. 

We have to stop laughing off things our kids do and we must teach them respect and show them respect. One of the ways my husband and I respect our kids and respect God for giving us our children is by teaching them, disciplining them and though we love them no matter what, we also let them know when we are not pleased with their choices. We don't do this to be mean, we do this so they can live! 

I know I am on a soapbox, and I know you may not agree with me, but I am truly at a point of disgust with some pre-teens and teens I am around on a regular basis, they aren't just going through their "awkward teenage stage", they are going through the "mommy and daddy don't ever tell them no, so they do what they want" stage.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Before I head off to bed tonight, I want to share with you the Picture that has become the new favorite here at the Carr Household.  This is called "Forgiven" and it is by our favorite artist.  Rodney Lough Jr.  Check out his website here.  He has an absolutely amazing gallery in San Francisco near Pier 39.  Mike and I stumbled across the gallery on our 2nd wedding anniversary.  We had to go to the bay area to be at an intense City Council Meeting.  We were the Noise Consultants on a controversial Car Wash.  There are so many things to say about that statement but none the less, it helps put food on the table and quite honestly, noise affects us hugely, so there was a lot to be said about this car wash.  (It didn't pass and it wasn't because of a noise issue, though that is the easiest to blame).  I have digressed.

It wasn't the ideal way to spend our anniversary.  Our dinner was spent with Mike prepping for the meeting and then listening to people get upset over something that was a non-issue.  We started driving, just wanted to see what was still open and if there was anything to go do.  We walked in the gallery and spent the rest of our evening there. We fell in love with the photography and the beauty that lies in each photo.  There is a very special process, special film, special camera, and special paper.... on and on... these are one of a kind.  As you brighten or dim a light, the photo changes and pulls you in, makes you feel like you are right there.

That night at the gallery, we closed the place down.  If you know our story, Mike and I have a way of doing this.  Dana, our consultant/salesman, truly loves the art and knows so much about it.  We ended up getting to know Him and he found out it was our anniversary.  Shortly after we were served wonderful glasses of wine as we browsed the gallery and view truly amazing pieces of art in special viewing rooms.  I will never forget our evening as we fell in love with God's amazing creation over and over again through the eyes, talent and wisdom of this artist.

Our new favorite is "Forgiven".  We LOVE this picture, but we know that behind every picture is a story to go with it.  Let me share with you what Rodney wrote up about this Photo, 

“I awoke the other day questioning my faith wondering which was the greater of these:forgive or be forgiven. Many of us have experienced both. For me the greater is most definitely ‘forgive’, but I’m not so sure I’ve truly been able to do it. Ever. So for now I’ll have to just be satisfied with being ‘Forgiven’.”

As I finish this post, I just wanted to share this piece with you, the thought that goes along with it and the peace that comes in my heart after seeing this picture and hearing that I am FORGIVEN.  I’ve really needed to be reminded of that a lot lately.   

Pinterest Craziness!!

So, I have finally been able to do some easy, low cost projects I have found on the website, Pinterest.  Pinterest has a way of making some people feel inadequate.  I used to feel that way, so I stayed away from it.  I have now realized that the people on Pinterest that make you feel that way, they can't possibly be real and they can't possibly have a life outside of their computer.

I have accepted that my means are what they are.  Most everything I am doing right now are from supplies I have found at The Dollar Tree.  Making meals is something I despise.  I hate getting dinner ready.  I hate the frustration it has with it and that I am not a great cook.  Because of this, I have decided to bite the bullet and start prepping crock pot meals.

I am going to blog some of my journey.  Keep in mine, I do have a real life.  I work 2 jobs, raise 2 kids, have 2 great Danes, and value getting to spend time with my love.  My kids have activities and the house doesn't clean itself.

Our blog is called "The Carr Shop" because sometimes we need to take our Car's in for maintenance and for repair work.  The "Carr's" are in definite need of going to the shop.  We need to refocus, get reorganized and prepare ourselves for what is to come.

If you would like to find fun and easy things to do around your house, healthy crock pot meals or hear a story that will make you say, "Thank God for my life, because the Carr's life is just crazy" then this is the place for you.  Follow us, subscribe or check back often to get updates!

Can't wait to start sharing easy ways to take your family, house, meals, or self to the "Shop".

Lots of love,