Today (July 31) is supposed to be the last day of the Summertime Pantry Challenge, but I'm not nearly ready to be finished yet! (I'm moving at a turtle's pace compared to Jessica and the others!) I don't have my freezers organized yet, so I'll share pictures in a few days when I do.
Here's what my fridge looks like right now:
We made beans and rice (a really yummy pantry meal in my opinion!) for today, and this week for dinners we'll be grilling chicken and fish from the freezer, mostly served with rice, salad greens, and vegetables.
See my lovely fresh parsley on the top shelf?! A friend started some herbs from seed this year and shared some with me. My pot of parsley is doing great and I just clipped all the biggest stems. I'm planning to make some Tabbouleh this week.
No, I don't have most of the vegetables for Tabbouleh... so I'm debating asking Joshua to pick up 1 tomato and 1 cucumber when he goes to the store today for bananas. (Joshua takes 2 bananas in his lunch every day so a weekly banana trip on Sunday evenings is routine for us.) :)
See, that's my trouble... I have fresh parsley to use and I am craving my Tabbouleh with ALL the "right" ingredients. Substitute canned tomatoes or leave out the cucumber? That just doesn't seem right! This is why I kinda stink at doing a "real" pantry challenge. :P :)
I also got a little side-tracked this week when my pantry challenge included getting a new mattress and re-arranging the kids bedrooms! With reducing my grocery shopping this month, we spent some of the savings on a new twin-size mattress for Ruth (3).
The bedrooms: Before and after!
Along with demonstrating my lack of photography skills (except in the area of food!), these "before" pictures are a bit embarrassing because we didn't clean up the rooms first. I figured we could just clean while we moved furniture and stuff, which we did. So anyway, here is how the kids bedrooms were arranged earlier this week:
The smaller of the two bedrooms was Moshe's room. He slept in the Pack'n'Play, and the long dresser is my changing table (also has Moshe's clothes and diapers stored in it). I loved having a room just for "the baby" and he usually napped pretty well as a result! :)
There was also a futon mattress on the floor in Moshe's room, which I used when I nursed him during the night, or for napping during the day. (The futon frame had broken, but we kept the mattress. It works great for a guest bed when an air mattress is placed underneath it!)
And, there is a closet behind the door. (You can also see how small this room really is!) The closet has a few tubs of outgrown kids' clothing and some toys.
The NEW LOOK for this room? Instead of "Moshe's Room", it's now "Ruth's Room"!
Some friends generously gave us this bed frame and matching dresser for Ruth last year. We just needed a mattress, which we got this week! Here is Ruth trying out her new bed. :) The tote bag has all her dolly and Build-A-Bear stuff in it. :)
The matching dresses, which holds Ruth's clothes, hair stuff, and extra bed sheets. (I had gotten a few twin-size bed sheets at GoodWill in anticipation of setting up Ruth's new bed!)
And the other side of the room, we moved the kitchen playset out of the closet and into the room! :) So cute... and it looks like a real little girl's room. :) The kitchen set was a hand-me-down from one of our friends when we moved out of our apartment, and the kids have played with it tons!! :)
The happy girl in her new bed! When I asked her to smile, she scrunched up her face... :P :)
Now, for the boys' room. This is before:
Yehoshua (7), Eliyahu (5), and Ruth (3) shared this room. The boys have bunk beds...
...Ruth slept in the crib...
...they each have a dressers, and the closet doubled for toy storage. (We try to just have one or two "sets" of toys down at a time, to make cleanup more manageable!)
The bunk bed and dressers stayed in the same place, but Ruth's dresser moved (obviously!) and the only really good place for the crib was back in this corner. It works pretty well though!
There's just enough room to squeeze between the two beds. I think there's actually more floor space with this arrangement! :)
I moved the clock radio over by Eliyahu's bed. The boys like to listen to classical music while they're going to sleep or playing. Now Moshe gets classical music for his naps! ;)
And where the crib used to be, we put the changing table. The door *almost* opens. It's a pretty long dresser and tricky to place without covering a floor vent, doorway, etc. :)
And this is the cute little Moshe who now gets to sleep in a room with the big boys! :) I asked Yehoshua what he thought of the new room arrangements, and he said he was happy because he has wanted to have Moshe in his bedroom too. :) The boys' room is only a little bigger than Ruth's, and a whole lot more crowded, but I was blessed by the big boys' cheerful attitude about making room for the big changing table and a little guy in their room! :)
And I'm extremely thankful we're not trying to squeeze everyone in our 2-bedroom apartment any more! :) Ruth's room will double as a "guest room", as we have a spare crib-size mattress and she can sleep on that on the floor in the boys' room when we have overnight guests. :)
My final goals for the Summertime Pantry Challenge:
Organize the freezers (they ARE getting emptier!) and take pictures
Make split pea soup with the split peas I bought and never used a while back
Eat beans (or legumes) in some form every day this week
If I were really ambitious (and I might be... or I might not be...): Wipe down the tops of my food storage buckets in the garage. They're kinda dusty!
...and update next weekend with my progress report! :)
Some other great ladies are joining in the Summertime Pantry Challenge! Visit them for more inspiration: