Chicken Chalupa Conquered // One Meal at a Time Series

One Meal at a Time // Authentic Virtue Series

Hello and welcome to my exciting (frightening?) adventure diving into the realm of loving my family one meal at a time. I’ve confessed that I am a boring reliable cook who has been asked by her Darling Man to shake things up a bit. For inspiration, encouragement and of course drama, I’ve begun a series documenting my straying from our traditional meal plan into a world of new recipes, new effort and new menus.

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Learning to Love the Kitchen: Menu Planning

I think each beautiful Keeper of the Home has her favorite (and least favorite) tasks. I’m certain the Proverbs 31 woman occasionally thought, “Boy, this buying of land and rising up to feed my maidens early can be exhausting. Do we have any goat milk cream for my hot herbal tea? Make it strong, it’s a Jonah-of-a-Day.” 😉

Regardless of our preferences, good women who love their Lord and love their families press on and choose to take delight in serving and beautifying their home. We conquer Mt. Laundry, scrub away grimy dishes and change dirty diapers. The most unpleasant tasks take on new meaning as we work and the labor of our hands is a home filled with love, tough hands and happy faces.

For me, I struggle loving my kitchen and the work that happens in it’s walls. Cooking has been my least favorite. Effort is the key ingredient for our meals and all to often the Darling Man eats the same meals week after week. So … There’s very little effort happening in our diner.

We’ve been married for 18 months and it was only last month when he mentioned that he would like me to introduce variety to our palate. At first I was tempted to defend myself and accuse the sweet guy of ungratefulness but I felt a check in my spirit which said something like, “Easy, Frannie. This is a simple request and one you can meet sweetly. Cook something different.” (So thankful for God’s good, guiding Spirit.)

Thus, the Monthly Menu is born. Out of an effort to cook new, tasty meals and keep myself accountable and inspired I shall share my monthly meal plan. Since we grocery shop week by week I’ll be updating the menu throughout the month and plan to document the success stories and write weepy posts on recipe flops. After all, this is a blog documenting the adventures of a house-keeping, husband-loving wife. Occasional food selfies should fit in here somewhere. 😉

Menu Planning with Authentic Virtue

How do you keep inspired in the kitchen? What’s your favorite and least favorite aspect of keeping your home? Do you have any fall-ish recipes to share with me?

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Making Our House a Home: Fall Style

It’s getting cooler and I am celebrating the last days of summer by prepping for fall. I’ve always loved ushering in the seasons and altering our home décor to match the natural beauty outside. I set aside a day to begin bringing in the warmth of Autumn and have especially enjoyed decluttering some as well.

After dropping D off for work I stopped and clipped several branches of the beautiful flower, Golden Rod. It’s such a lovely thing to bring living, natural things into the home. I’ve snipped several stems and now our home is overflowing with this little beauty. (If you have allergies you may want to avoid sniffing too closely! 😉

I’ve been having a blast utilizing the Cricut cutter my mom bought for me a few years ago. Don’t you just *love* the cute hello and get naked? Ah!! So cute and so snarky I can’t wait for D to see it … so fun! I have just discovered the joy of vinyl and have so many craft ideas and uses up my sleeve it keeps me up at night.

Glass jars are a weakness of mine so I’ve filled many of them with candles, pinecones and flowers. I wanted to keep the fall décor light in color since Autumn is still in her earliest days. Once leaves begin to change I’ll usher in more color.

Sweaters, coffee and blankets are also key characters in our home and like always they provide a bit of warmth and coziness.

How/when do you alter your home with the seasons? Are you traditional or do you try new styles each year? Let me know, sweet folk!

With lots of love and coffee,

Frannie

How To Properly Pamper Your Partner

Dalton is the warlord of pampering.

Did that come out correctly?

I mean, D has pondered, studied, practiced, and executed the most perfectly planned pampering a girl could receive. He’s the king, the bomb, the warlord of treating me well.

I’ve got you curious don’t I? Well, let me explain.

Occasionally, we like to sanction a day for the each of us where we plan to pamper, bless and spoil the other. It’s a lot of fun. Think of it like your un-birthday that happens whenever we have extra cash in the budget; honestly, we’ve thrown pamper days when we had zero to spend (those days just require a little more creativity). 😉

A few weeks ago we sanctioned two days for our fun and my day came first.

I woke up to the sound of my Beloved leaving the house. I knew he had something up his sleeve! I dressed and tidied the house while I waited for him. He came home with two fresh, delicious doughnuts! I LOVE DOUGHNUTS! He had noticed that I had been drooling over the local bakery’s selection and picked the two he knew I’d like best. What a guy!! 😀 He also finished making my coffee and we settled down for a glorious, slow morning.

I prepped to leave for school when he told me that I’d find something yummy in the car. And there, in the passenger seat, lay a king-sized Reese’s peanut butter package! YUM! I LOVE REESE’S! It was the perfect treat to carry me through my 5 hours of p.e. class in the smoldering sun.

I came home, showered, was massaged and then asked to pick where I wanted to eat. We journeyed on to our favorite Thai place and had a delicious meal. I had two (2!) Thai teas … I think the calorie count of the day was high. But hey, it’s pamper day! It isn’t the same as every other day of the month! 😉

My Darling Man had set several candles throughout our bedroom which made for a very romantic evening … what a guy! (blush, blush!)

Yes, my Man is the king of pampering. And I am one very blessed girl.

But this post isn’t just a brag on D, it’s a how-to for pampering your partner perfectly. Here are five (5!) steps to becoming the best pamperer!

  1. Know your person

Love languages are very real and very easy to follow. I’m a gifts and quality time person so D knows that to really impress me it takes just a thoughtful gift and a little of his time. D is quality time and physical touch. What’s your person’s language? Figure it out and aim to meet it and you will be one step toward perfectly pampering your partner!

(By the way, check out this site if you want to take the quiz and read more about your love language! 🙂

2. Plan Ahead

This *is* important. Of course life is spontaneous and flexibility is key but if you want to perfectly pamper someone a little thought goes a long way. D had figured out my favorite type of doughnut, left a treat in the car and sent sweet texts throughout the day. His thoughtfulness ensured success!

3. Pursue the Heart

When pampering it is important to remember that all of the gifts, time and care you give will pale if you forget to pursue your partner’s heart. This means that it is important to care about their spiritual and emotional needs as well as blessing them physically and maybe even materialistically. D conquers every day because he always cares about how I am doing; he doesn’t wait to pursue me till date night. He pursues my heart always.

4. Be creative

To perfectly pamper your partner you’re going to have to put on your thinking cap and be creative. We’ve done pamper nights often throughout our marriage but they rarely look the same. Variety is fun and meaningful!

I’ve found it fun to plan a theme around D’s day. One day may be movie themed or Minecraft themed (we’re nerds). Another may be all about food (think meals they will love) … I think that day involved taking my guy out for sushi.

5. Don’t be afraid to be cheap

In real life money is tight and you may think setting aside a day for your mate may be costly. Don’t buy that lie, folks! Blessing your spouse (or friend, or parent, or …) can definetly be done with little to no money.

For D’s pampering day I knew the budget would be tight. So, I planned ahead, prepared a menu I knew he would *love* with ingredients we already had on hand and then told him he had $15 to spend on whatever he wanted. I think he bought a small container of icecream, a pizza from Aldis and a watermelon. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, getting massages and enjoying homemade meals.

There you have it — five ways to perfectly pamper your partner. I would love to hear how you pursue and bless your people. Do you follow any of the steps? Or maybe you have your own original recipe for pampering? Do tell!

One very happy girl,

Frannie

Keeping the House Clean Requires Coffee in One Hand and a Dishcloth in the Other

One of my most calming (weird?) ways of settling and adjusting  to our new schedule is setting aside a day for house work.

Every Friday I set a date with the dirt and grim which like try to settle in throughout the week. I start the day out slow with coffee and Bible reading then I get down to business, dirty business that is, and work my way through the house.

Having a set date for weekly cleaning not only ensures a cleaner, more organized house but my own heart and life feels more settled and  knowing that cleaning day will come and I can accomplish great things in it.

First I sweep the floors and begin a load of laundry. I try to limit washing clothes to this day so we often have large piles which I routinely wash, fold and put away throughout the day.

Meanwhile the bathroom has been sprayed down with my homemade vinegar cleaner. After wiping down all fixtures  I empty the trash, wipe out the cabinets and sweep.

Moving on into the living room I shake the yummy smelling dust cleaner and dust the cleared, wooden furniture. Before the end of the day I’ll vacuum and then try to float around as to avoid stepping on the pretty, fluffy carpet. 😉

Next are the bedrooms I change the sheets, organize the closets, and wipe down furniture.

The kitchen‘s weekly venture includes wiping down/out the appliances, writing the week’s menu, pulling out any frozen items I may need, watering the inside plants and taking out the garbage. I mop monthly unless there are splotches which need to be wiped.

I try to keep our porch/driveway/container garden area clear of leaves so I’ll venture outside and sweep. I’ll also take the time to prune or cut back the flower bed and water the veggies.

Typically I end my cleaning spree by going over our budget, logging receipts (yes, were those kind of people 😉 , and paying bills.

Bigger chores like washing windows, decorating, and scrubbing the shower happen every month. 🙂

How do you keep your home clean? Are you a weekly cleaner? Monthly? Or maybe you’re one of those folks who the chores divided up by days? Tell me your secrets! 🙂

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s. please click on the pictures for the proper credit/pathways! 🙂