My 5 Big Projects Of 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was lovely … and white!

When we moved into our fixer upper in 2014, I was in a rush to get everything done so my kids could have a home they’d feel comfortable in. I soon realized unless you have $100K to spend on a 6-week remodel (HGTV kind of remodel), your home/house is going to be a work in progress… for many years. Before 2018 rolls in, here are a few projects I poured my energy into this year.

1. Kitchen Pantry: Our kitchen needed more storage so I did the obvious (haha) – I took two bookshelves and turned them into a pantry.bookshelf to pantry

bookshelf to pantry

bookshelf to pantry

 

2. Chain Link Fence Upgrade: A few old fence boards can make a chain link fence look so much better, don’t you think?

chain link fence makeover

chain link makeover

 

3. Dog House Makeover: I almost didn’t think this old dog house could come back “to life”. This made the end result so much sweeter. dog house makeover

dog house makeover

dog house makeover

 

4. Modern Entryway Table: A couple of hours of work and $30 worth of products can get you a new entryway table. It’s perfect for our small entryway, which leads into the living room.

diy modern entryway table

small entryway

 

5. New Door Handles: I can’t tell you how much I love our new door handles. Your hands can be full, that’s ok, because your elbow can open the door.

kwikset door handle

door knob

exterior door handle

exterior door handle

I’m looking forward to new projects in 2018! May the new year be filled with all the very best.

Broccoli Rice Soup

I love thick soups… especially this time of year.  Soups feel cozy and warm, are nourishing and easy to make. I usually make a pot on a weekend afternoon and have enough to eat throughout the week.

One of my favorite soups to make is this easy broccoli and rice soup. I don’t have a recipe for it – it’s just something I threw together one day when I was low on groceries but has since become one of my favorite soups. The soup is creamy but not pureed. I prefer having the soft chunks of broccoli.

The ingredient list for this soup is very simple.

The ingredient list for this soup is very simple.

Broccoli Rice Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp olive oil

6 cups broccoli florets

2 tsp flour

About 4-5 cups water

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup rice

3 chicken bouillon cubes

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

What I do:

In a large soup pot preheated over medium heat, saute the broccoli with the olive oil for about two minutes.

Sprinkle flour over broccoli and stir well.

Cover the broccoli with water and add whipping cream.

Add chicken bouillon cubes and rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the broccoli is soft and rice is cooked.

Broccoli Rice Soup

If lunch is a hurdle for you, a pot of soup, tucked in the fridge, might just be the answer.

 

Give Back During The Holidays… With A Song

The holiday season is here and if you’re like most Americans, you approach the holidays with a mixture of good cheer and stress about  gift-buying, cooking, baking, hosting, etc… One way to reinvigorate your holidays is to find some new ways to give back. Here’s a lovely idea.

Last week, I received a touching email about a Nashville artist named Isaac Sharp.  

He’s recently put out a Christmas single, Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas, with a pay-what-you-want model. Isaac partnered with The Bridge Ministry to have all the proceeds he makes from selling that song go toward purchasing Christmas gifts for the homeless youth they serve. He’s hoping to get as many downloads as possible before December 17th, because December 19th is the night they distribute all the gifts under the bridge.

Because Isaac knows that many donors have concerns about where their money actually goes once it’s given, he’s filming his whole journey to share on social media along the way.

Sadly, Nashville is home to one of the largest communities of homeless and underprivileged youth in the country. The Bridge Ministry is well-established in Middle Tennessee, known for their care of homeless families who gather under the Jefferson Street bridge for weekly church services on Tuesday nights.

If money is tight this holiday season, Isaac’s song is a good way to contribute what you can and still spread a little joy.

Isaac Sharp

Here’s how you can help:

1. Download the song! Donate the amount you feel led to provide, and you’ll immediately receive the link to the song.

2. Share this page on your social media accounts and tag me @iamisaacsharp so others can contact me and find all the information they need.

 

About Isaac:

The realization of what music can do for people is what draws Isaac. Early on, he saw people he cared about struggling with depression, self-harm, or abuse. He realized that art could help these people. Music, movies, and dancing all had a way of making people forget whatever they were going through. “I saw how music could restore hope like nothing I’ve seen outside of the church,” Isaac said. This was the first time music struck him as something bigger.