Smith Family Renovations

Small town Nebraska does thoughtful, realistic renovations


October 2015

Meal Plan Monday | Easy Ranch Pork Chops


Hello from my family to yours. The weekend zoomed by as always, but we are ready to start another glorious week in the Smith house. We’re still trying to get things clean and organized and in order here, but it’s a slow process with a baby and a three year old.

Luckily I am making some yummy meals this week; plus some healthy baby food, and maybe even some blueberry banana oat muffins. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Ranch pork chops with mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Bacon and eggs
  • Cheesy chicken broccoli and rice
  • Chicken and refried bean tacos
  • Waffles

Breakfast food twice in one week?! Yes, because I love breakfast, and it is easy, and I have some bacon in the freezer that is dying to be devoured.

I’m sharing our ranch pork chop recipe today. I got it from a Pin linked to this website.  It’s an easy meal to make in your trusty slow cooker. Just four frozen chops, a cup of water, and two ingredients that are probably in your pantry,  – and you’ve got a delicious dish in four hours with very little prep time! Serve it with rice or mashed potatoes and a side of veggies to complete the meal. It’s comfort food that your family will gobble up and come back for more.

Easy Ranch Pork Chops

Continue reading “Meal Plan Monday | Easy Ranch Pork Chops”

Thursday Top Three : cleaning schedules

Have you ever felt like your whole life was out of whack, off track, or all around unorganized? That’s how I have been feeling lately. About everything. Budget. House cleaning. Diet. Meal planning. Time management. Everything.

When your whole life is out of control it’s so hard know where start. I try to be realistic. I can’t fix everything at once. I’ll have to start by improving one area of my life, and build on it from there.

I decided to begin with something that has been driving me particularly crazy. This dirty house. Today’s Thursday Top Three is three different cleaning schedules that I am going to combine and use to get our mess under control.




I’m planning on putting these suggestions together to find something to fit my schedule and motivation. I know not to shoot too big, but I have to know where I’m going.

Here’s to hoping.

Do you follow a cleaning schedule? I would love to know how you keep a clean house. I’m starting to think a clean house is for the birds.



Meal Plan Monday | melt-in-your-mouth pot roast

We got our freezer loaded up with pork last week, so this week we’re having sausage gravy over biscuits and pork chops. Next week we’ll have to try some of the bacon. I can’t wait 🙂  Here’s what is on the menu!

Crock pot ranch pork chops
Biscuits and gravy
Grilled cheese and ramen
Cheesy chicken broccoli and rice

So many delicious meals happening in my kitchen this week, I had a hard time choosing which to share. Continue reading “Meal Plan Monday | melt-in-your-mouth pot roast”

Junkstock Harvest Edition 2015

Hello readers! Thank you for visiting my blog.

I was really really hoping to come home from Junkstock with some amazing pieces to show you and a few project pieces that I could feature.

That’s just not how it worked out. Continue reading “Junkstock Harvest Edition 2015”

Meal Plan Monday | DIY Taco Seasoning from your pantry

I’ve been trying so hard to slow time down lately. It’s just now hitting me that Ivy is three. She is so smart and funny and grown up. I’m so proud, but it breaks my heart a little. Then little Reid is six months old and rolling and sitting and even has a tooth peeking through. Ugh 😦  Try as I might, time rolls on, picking up speed. I guess you could say that time keeps on slipping (slipping, slipping) into the future.


Let’s get to this week’s meal plan before I get too depressed thinking about how old I am and how big the kids are getting. Continue reading “Meal Plan Monday | DIY Taco Seasoning from your pantry”

Throwback Thursday | A Plate Wall Display Tutorial

Still one of my favorite things in our kitchen, I designed and hung this plate display on the wall above our kitchen table back in February 2011. It is a little bit kitchy and a lot of fun.


This tutorial will show you how to create a display wall of your own.

See the original post here:

Wednesday (P)inspiration | Banquette Seating

The one thing I really wanted in a house, that we didn’t get here, was a dining room separate from the kitchen. But instead we have an eat-in-kitchen that has a little corner for a dining table and chairs.

Smith Kitchen Renovation

So far we have thoroughly enjoyed our retro “dinette set”. It is cute and fits our 50s farmhouse vibe.

Eventually though, we’ll have to retire our yellow gem. And when we do, I would love to put banquette seating into our cozy dining corner.

According to Teri at A Little Design Help, here’s what banquette seating is.

“Banquette seating refers to the built-in benches often found in restaurant seating.”

And here is what I like about banquette seating.

  • The benches can be used for storage.
  • Takes up less room than a regular dining table.
  • Cute and cozy
  • Kid friendly
  • Fun way to add color to your kitchen

Of course I have went to Pinterest to find all sorts of inspiration for this upcoming project. Here are my favorite images that I pinned. Find more images and photo sources on my Pinterest board banquette seating!

colorful kitchen nook
I love how they used this dining area to add color to the kitchen! the chairs, the bench cushions, the pillows, the light fixture, the artwork, wow! It looks like the rest of the kitchen is pretty neutral from what we can see. I love me a white kitchen and this pop of color is fabulous!
What I really love about this dining area is the built in shelves above. I’d definitely want something like this in my own kitchen to display my growing collection of vintage yellow pyrex and other things!
I wish that our dining area had windows like in this photo! The rug and the pillows are beautiful. And, you can tell they use the area under the bench as storage, which I am in dire need of!
I really like the clean look of this one. Also it reminds me that we need to rearrange our ceiling fan and lighting in the kitchen so I can get a beautiful light fixture to put over our new table.
This table is TO DIE FOR. I am about 100% certain Tim could weld a table base like it and put together a wooden top. It is so cool looking! Modern, funky, industrial, eclectic. I love the whole look here.
I am really digging these modern chairs and the midcentury table! This photo is from inside Michael J Fox’s kitchen. Super cool, but I bet the chairs are super expensive.

Someday, we will get around to this project! It is really hard on the credit card to constantly be renovating.. Anyhow, which photo is your favorite? I’d love to hear about your banquette seating dining area!



Two Ingredient Crock Pot Applesauce

This week’s #mealplanmonday is missing the meal plan.  And, this recipe is so simple that I can hardly call it a recipe. But perhaps like me, you would like to make your own applesauce. You’d never guess how easy it is.

A wonderful fall time snack. Great as an ice cream topping. Perfect any time.

And all you need is apples and water and a crockpot. Continue reading “Two Ingredient Crock Pot Applesauce”

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