The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Easy trash bag for your car

I made this cute little trash bag for my car in about an hour.  It was really easy!  I think it took me longer to pick out the fabric than it did to complete the project. I used the tutorial from A Ditchin’ Time.

I did everything just like she said with the exception of the handle.  As you’ll see below, I just use a black binder clip to attach it.  I was using it before to hang a plastic bag.  And that would be the reason I wanted a cute upgrade!

I really like it because it stays open thanks to the unforgiving Pellon.  The plastic bag I’ve used for years just hung there and I had to force it open more than once.  There’s still a plastic bag insert so the inside won’t get gross.

Mine ended up being about an inch smaller in circumference because I live by this motto: Measure once, assure yourself you’re awesome, cut, realize your mistake, try not to swear in front of the children.  It all worked out in the end 🙂

I used 2 fat quarters, one 1/8 yard cut and 1/4 yard cut of Pellon.  I ended up not using the 1/8 yard cut I got for the top binding; I liked how the lining fabric better and used that for the top.  Total cost: $11.27.

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Take heart Mom, they’re listening

One of the things I have been passionate about teaching my children from the time they were born is to not judge anyone based on the color of their skin, outward appearances, etc.  The value of a person is NOT what nationality or race they are.  Just because you knew one polka-dotted idiot does not mean that the whole race of polka-dots are idiots.  I’m right there with Martin Luther King, Jr.  I have a dream that people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Last night, the kids and I were watching, “What Would You Do?”  In one of the scenarios, a white girl introduces her African-American boyfriend to her father.  The white father is very vocal in his disapproval of the situation.  While they are all actors, some of the things the father said were shocking.  At one point, I actually heard my son gasp a little bit at what was being said.  He then looked at me and said, “You know, every time I see or hear things like this, it reminds me of that Dr. Seuss book you used to read to me when I was little.”

He was talking about “The Sneetches.”  We had this book and Austin loved it as a child.  I would get tongue tied reading it, but I read it over and over and over.  I think I might have even fallen asleep a time or two at bedtime.

When he mentioned this, I cried.  I don’t think we’ve read that book in 8 or 9 years but he still remembered.  So take heart, Mom, I promise they’re listening!

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Super Simple Recipe Binder

**Update on how the binder has worked for me can be seen here.**

I have seen recipe binders all over Pinterest.  They range from complete menu planning systems that need a masters in engineering to figure out to the simple.   Goodness knows there’s got to be millions on Pinterest, so if you think I copied you, I apologize.

I first started with a 2 inch heavy duty binder from Target.  The mechanism that opens the rings for you is wonderful!!  It hardly takes any effort to open it.  And you don’t have to worry about bending the rings when you open them with your hands.  Been there, done that.

For the dividers, I used up & up index dividers with pockets again from Target.  The beauty of these dividers are the pockets.  Hot pockets!!  (Not really, I just watched Jim Gaffigan this morning.  I will never think about any type of pockets the same again.)  I use the pockets to hold recipes I want to try, as seen in the picture below, right side.

I had a ton of 4 x 6 photo pages from a long ago coupon organizing phase, so I used those to hold the recipes.  Even if the recipes are  smaller than 4 x 6, it doesn’t matter.

I also used full sized sheet protectors for magazine pages, 8 x 10 papers (I found many of my Grandma Blanton’s recipes hand written on paper mixed in with my Mom’s recipes.)

That lasagna up there??  It’s from Southern Living and it is to D-I-E for . . . it’s so good you won’t even care about what a pain in the rear it is to boil the noodles.

The organizing was kind of easy.  I had cookbooks I’d never used or cookbooks that I only used one or two recipes from.  I did the unthinkable.  I tore the recipes out of the books and then threw the remainder of the book out.  It was hard!  But some of the cookbooks I’d had for 15 years or more.  If I hadn’t tried recipes from them by now, I never would.  I do have a few favorite books that I didn’t get rid of, but you never know!  I went through every book I’d never used and picked out a few “to try” recipes and then tossed them as well.  I was a little skeered, but I lived.

Now for the menu planning.  Weekly I go through and pick out a mix of recipes that won’t have us eating chicken 5 nights of the week.  I love chicken that much, but the rest of the fam?  They prefer a bit of variety.  When I find the recipe, I pull it out and put it in the front flap:

I use the Smart Shopping app on my phone to make the shopping list . . . ahhhhhh, so easy!  I love that if I run out of something during the week, I can just put it on my phone.  No more ridiculous lists that I never seem to look at before I go to the store.  Shopping apps are probably old news to everyone else, but I’m a late comer to this whole smart phone thing.

Here are the categories I used for my binder:

  • Apps
  • Beef
  • Breads
  • Breakfast
  • Brownies/Bars
  • Chicken/Poultry
  • Cookies
  • Dessert
  • Fish
  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Salads
  • Seafood
  • Side Dishes
  • Soup/Stew
  • Veggies

Some of this might be redundant, but I wanted something laid out that was very straightforward.  Another thing I’ve done is add 4 x 6 cards to act as place holders, like “Taco Night,” “Sub Sandwich Night,” etc.  I don’t necessarily need recipes for those dinners but if I don’t have a visual reminder, I’ll forget.  I guarantee it.

I pretty much think my binder is the answer to all my dinner dilemmas.  So far, so good.  Sometimes I just look at it and marvel that I have all of my family’s favorite recipes in one spot.  For me?  That’s monumental.