Pantry Overhaul

Spring is officially here, and I’ve been carrying out some Spring cleaning here at the Wolf Den.  The first order of business was our pantry, and I am happy to say I totally conquered that last weekend.

I’ve always thought our pantry was fairly organized and clean.   I grouped like things together and kept up on food that needed to be tossed.  Boy was I wrong.   Once I decided to empty out the entire thing, I saw just how many near empty bags, boxes, etc. of food I had.  I even found some moldy bread and expired canned goods.  Yuck. Continue reading “Pantry Overhaul”

Still Rising and Shining

You may have seen my real food breakfast post.  If you didn’t, you can check it out here.  I’ve been so impressed by the pumpkin spelt muffins from that post.  Not only are they are easy to make, delicious, and nutritious (use spelt flour and are sweetened only with honey), they taste just as good thawed from the freezer weeks later.  I can’t tell you how nice it is to have homemade baked goods only a quick defrost away.  It totally removes any need for the processed junk – even on your busiest day.  So long Starbucks drive-thru pumpkin bread and lemon loaf.  

I recently set out to find some other muffin recipes using spelt flour.  Read on for the delicious recipe I found (and modified) for Spelt and Oat Banana Muffins.  Seriously y’all, I had to close my eyes when I bit in to this muffin for the first time it was that good. 

Continue reading “Still Rising and Shining”

Mini Project: The Artsy Cork-board

I know I said I wasn’t going to do any big projects this year, but I may have snuck in a mini one.  I was first inspired by my friend Emily’s art wall off of her kitchen in her beautiful home.  She has three kiddos, and a wall full of their sweet creations.

I’ve also been pretty inspired by these Pinterest images.

So 2017 became the year of the art wall here at the Wolf Den.  I decided against a chalkboard (I can’t stand the texture and feeling of chalk) and against anything magnetic (I didn’t want to worry about C swallowing anything magnetic).  Cork seemed like the perfect solution.  I’ll keep the thumbtacks up high and no art (or art attached with tape) down low for now.

Once I decided on materials, I had to find a spot.  Our kitchen doesn’t have any big open walls, but we do have this odd area between our kitchen and our den.  It was almost like an entryway to the den — complete with totally useless glass double doors.  Anyway, I really wanted a big wall to put all of B’s (and one day C’s) masterpieces, and this seemed to be one of my only options.  I also liked that it led in to a relatively casual area.  As much as I love my kiddo’s art, I didn’t want it visible from the dining room or formal living room for obvious reasons.

Here is the before (full side).

Here is the before (half side)

Here is the after (full side).

Here is the after (half side).

First things first, I had the doors removed and the door jams covered up so you couldn’t tell doors were missing from the space.  Then I got my super duper handy man (see my closet post and future kitchen banquette/extra refrigerator and freezer drawers post for his handy work) to frame out some custom cork boards for each wall.

I originally wanted to do two full size cork boards — one on either side.  I will forever love symmetry.  But, after realizing it would be an odd shape to work around the light switches, I opted for a half board on that side.  I figure that I can always put a chalk board or magnetized board when the girls get a little older down below.

If you are looking hard at some of the photos above, you may also be wondering why I invested in cork boards and not in a paint job.  I guess I am just being a realist — I am just as sure that my children will mark up the walls as I am sure that they will bring home art.  So, it was an obvious decision for now.

This wall makes me so happy.  Even before we had children, I had always dreamed of seeing my little ones’ first masterpieces.  I can’t wait to rotate the art and add some of sweet C’s one day.

Right now I am using the half size board for B’s class photos and birthday party invitations (so I don’t want to post a photo of that for her classmates’ anonymity sake).  I am keeping the junky stuff (calendar, bills, other random stuff) in our mudroom on a different cork board to keep the clutter away from this space.

What do you think?  I just love how versatile it will be as the seasons change and our kiddos grow.  The full size board will be the perfect display area for all of our Christmas cards in December.

Stay tuned for my pantry overhaul.  I am emptying out the entire thing Saturday and filling it with lots of Container Store goodness.

Rising and Shining

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  But, at least in our home, it was often the most hurried and overlooked.  Lately, however, I’ve been pretty proud of the choices we’ve been making for breakfast.

Read on for three real food* weekday breakfasts that have been in heavy rotation here at the Wolf Den over the past two months.  And if you are feeling a little more ambitious, check out the real food weekend breakfast ideas at the end of the post.

*Real food is food that is in its natural state or is minimally processed, has no added sugar, and has a very small list of ingredients.

Continue reading “Rising and Shining”