29 January 2010

Naptime Pantry Cleanout.2

Alright.. I got it all cleaned out and re organized! Like I said before I did do some prep before..had all my bags ready to go and the canisters were done.. cause they are a fun project, I couldn't wait so I did them last night!

I thought some canisters would be helpful, but I am not one to commit to a certain style or design so I got clear and figured I could change em up as much as I wanted! Target had the canisters and I like that they are square instead of round so they can snuggle right up to each other and not waste any space! They didn't have enough at our Target, but I am planning on going to the other side of town to get a few more big ones! I need one for cereal and oats! I also could not find a gingham plastic tablecloth at all yesterday! Went to a few different places and nothing! I was hoping to cover the shelves with them, like shelf liner but not stuck to the shelves. I am guessing as Spring and Summer approach they will be around more, I will take some more pics if I find some!

I know seeing someones before and after pics of a pantry aren't that interesting, but I wanted to share the canister labels I made, well I decoupaged them on after printing them off. Super easy! Can't wait to make some for the Laundry room too!

I had the punch in the scalloped edge circle so I just made the words on Microsoft works to fit the size and printed them on some scrap booking paper I had around.. Used the punch to punch them out, mod podge on top to seal the ink and then mod podge to the canister!

They were cute but I wanted them a little bit more fluffy! I just cut some coordinating ribbon to the paper in a few strips and tied them on with mini ric rac!

I did use 2 different papers for the labels SO I have a few extras, if anyone would use them I can mail em to whoever wants them! Just comment and I will get your address!
Maybe every Friday I should do a project like this! I'm sure it will make the day go by fast! I was surprised at how quiet it was during this task! I could still hear a few snores every once in a while, one of my favorite sounds!
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Nap Time Pantry Clean Up!

In an effort to get and stay organized our pantry needed a BIG makeover! Our pantry is also our office area, that's why there are office supplies and computer parts! Sad but here are the before pics..

Yeah it is bad! But since it is Friday I decided to get it taken care of during nap time today! I stopped by the Target clearance isle and picked up a couple things to help, along with some garbage bags! I also have a cute canister project to show off (as long as the kids nap)! Come check it out later today!

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27 January 2010

Home Managment Binder

Or whatever you call yours! Control Journal, household planner.. They have many names and we all use them just a little differently! Mine is a lifesaver.. I use it everyday, and the days I don't use it, life seems much more chaotic! One of my goals is to become even more organized than I am already, my HMB really helps but I think I can make it even more efficient!

Spring will be here before we know it and I REALLY feel like I need to get my HMB back in order and updated and pretty before the chaos of spring cleaning and playing outside starts! When I first started mine I had NO idea what I was doing... and I wing it now!

I write HUGE so I knew one of the purse or wallet size ones was not going to cut it. I finally ended up with a 3" 3 ring binder. If you don't have one yet, I would suggest making a list of all the pages, folders, sections you want before buying your binder.
Speaking of sections.. mine is always getting new sections added to it, ripped out, changed or moved. My HMB is ALWAYS changing! Every time life changes so does my binder, well, within a couple weeks anyway!

There are no rules to how many or how few sections, folders or even how many binders you have! Some ladies I know have 1 for each child, 1 for each season and 1 for general items.. I would be overwhelmed with that, but our kids are young still and not involved in that many activities.. I am sure they will each need their own eventually!
Right now I have 4 sections
~Grocery Shopping/Cooking

~Finances~ I used to worry about missing a payment or not getting a statement, not anymore! The first page in my finances folder is a list of ALL of our accounts (everything from mortgage to garbage service) With 3 columns. Account, amount due per month and due date. I have them organized by due date. I keep most of my pages in page protectors so I can write on the outside and wipe it off when I am done. So when I make a payment for the month I just cross it off.. haven't missed one yet! The next page is similar.. with all the accounts, acct numbers and Phone Numbers for the companies (Who has time to look through the phone book or find the account number ?!). The following page is for accounts that have a balance every month (like the mortgage and car payments) I update it every 2 or 3 months with the current payoff, so I can SEE the number going down! The last page (right now) is savings.. Just my own record of savings rather than a paper statement each month from the bank!
~Grocery Shopping/Cooking~ Before kids I had no problem running to the store before dinner to grab a missing ingredient, or for that matter, just getting take out for us instead. Trying to spend less on eating out means more home cooking and meal planning for me. Loading all 3 kids up to go to the grocery store is a HUGE TASK and spendy since the grocery store is just over 10 miles away, so now I Meal plan! My first page in the grocery folder USED to be the meal plan for the next 2 weeks (again in a page protector, easy to change and cross off every 2 weeks)I have recently changed and instead of trying to figure out 14 different meals with 14 different ingredients every 2 weeks, I have started making the same things for dinner every Mon-Fri, of course they are hubby's favorites and are not expensive so it really works all around. Some people meal plan for 1 week, 1 month some even a whole year! This new method has been working great for us so far. I still have the weekends to do more elaborate cooking or try new recipe's! And I am saving because I am not buying nearly as many different items! The second page is a master list of ALL the items we use, some only a couple times a year and some every few days. I keep it in a page protector (of course) and when it is getting low I mark it on the page protector so when I make the grocery list I don't have to dig through stuff to see what we need! I buy the same things for our Mon-Fri meals and have a list of the other items, this is a HUGE time saver for me. Of course the list changes, baby food has been on and off, produce that is in season is always changing, and as the kids start to try new things and like them we add them. I keep the lists on a spreadsheet so it is easy to add or remove items and I just print a new one when needed.The next part is a empty page protector with all the cutout recipe's I want to try, when I am planning for weekends and the grocery shopping it is easy to pull one out!The last thing is a spreadsheet with the same items from the master grocery list and 3 columns, 1 for each of the major grocery stores we have. Each item has the price for each store (which are always changing, it's a lot of work but worth it!) So when I make my grocery list I figure which of the 3 will cost the least for the entire list, taking into account sale prices. I know I could save a little by going to each store but I have a hard time dragging all 3 kids to 3 different stores to save a little.
~The Kids Section is Pretty simple, they each have their own folder. Each folder has a paper with all their accounts (bank/savings), their SSN in it, birth certificate.. I know sounds like a identity theft dream come true, but I still feel safer knowing I can get to them all together and quickly in an emergency! The other items in their folders are their medical records and school schedule for the oldest.
~Housekeeping~ Anything I can do to make it take less time I am wiling to try! I have had the same housekeeping method for about 5 years now and it gets faster every week! I have 1 page for each day of the week (well Mon-Fri, weekends are for relaxing after all!) So I split up the house into 5, well really its more like 4 for me and the 5Th is just getting stuff I missed and decluttering or a project.The first step is making a list of the room and the things that should be done every week!Mondays I clean the kitchen, not just dishes and counters, I clean the microwave, clean out the fridge and really try to deep clean everything.. it only takes a few minutes if you do it every week, the stuff just doesn't have time to get that dirty!Tuesdays I clean the Family room, Living room and the guest bathroom.Wednesdays I do the 2 full baths.Thursdays I do the bedrooms.Fridays I try to tidy the laundry room and organize/ declutter something. Often we have 3 day weekends so I try to make sure that stuff on Friday wont be a ton of work the next week if it gets skipped.Each one of these is in a page protector, I used to cross stuff off as I went but now I don't need to, I pretty much have it all memorized.Now I don't list all the times I wipe the counter, table or kids clean.. I don't have a list for general tidying.. I do the dishes, laundry and a general tidy everyday.. that is good enough for me.
That is the main thing I use in the housekeeping section, but I do have another couple pages, 1 for Spring Cleaning, 1 for Fall Cleaning, and 1 for cleaning supply recipe's. I make our Laundry soap, dishwasher powder and febreeze type product.

Calender Page... I forgot I do have a calender page in the front. Just printed off and plain, waiting to be filled in!

The other necessity for me is a pencil pouch! Between dry erase pens (mini sized for me) a calculator, regular pens and stamps I don't know what I would do without my pencil pouch!

I am excited to make it pretty.. its been awfully plain lately, but I am thinking red/white gingham with some cute fruits.. I figure if I have to see it everyday I might as well spend a couple bucks and make it pretty! I will post some pictures once I'm done!

Some other sections that I don't personally use but are good ideas ~Birthday/Anniversary page (family and friends important dates) ~Gift ideas.. I can see where this goes well with the previous! ~Take out folder. A folder with their favorite restaurant #'s and favorite items.

What Sections do y'all have and love? I would love some suggestions for new sections!
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25 January 2010

Check out Etsy.com for Valentines Day Goodies!

I am one of those parents that really doesn't let the kids have candy often, so sometimes I struggle to find them a small treat for Valentines Day and Easter. I could browse Etsy.com for hours and find a hundred new cute things I would have never guessed existed! I found these and think they are PERFECT for Valentine's day instead of all that candy the retail stores have or a stuffed animal that will soon be collecting dust. There are a couple different styles, but the hearts are perfect! They are stuffed little felt heart shaped cookies with embroidered numbers on them, and they come with a little customized bag.. SO cute! I prefer to shop Etsy.com knowing that I can get the kids some handmade stuff!
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22 January 2010

Valentines Day 2010

I posted all my decorations last year.. you can find them HERE. I did do things a little different though... maybe I will try to take a couple pics in the next few days!
I don't think I have any new ones. Been looking for vintage inspired goodies but have had a hard time with it.

Our 2 oldest kids birthdays are the beginning of February so I try to hold off on doing Valentines Day stuff until after their party... But then I try to make everything pink or heart shaped for them! These are some of the kids favorites for
~Pink Cream of wheat.. and I use a candy mold and make the brown sugar heart shaped, or instead of brown sugar and pink dye you can use strawberry syrup, then its pink and sweet! (pic)
~Strawberry instant oatmeal with a few cupcake sprinkles
~Pink scrambled eggs
~pink heart shaped pancakes!
(you can do red, I prefer not to because to make it red you need a WHOLE container of red and I really don't want them to get that much food coloring)

~Heart shaped sandwiches
~heart shaped quesadillas.. I cut out a few hearts before I cook them!
There is also some heart shaped pasta you can get at a few places I got these at Cost Plus World Market. They take much longer to cook.. but if you add some pink food coloring to the water for boiling your regular pasta it will make them pink.. but it is pretty pale colored!
~I am sure there are way more but mine LOVE apples.. so apples with PB and a few sprinkles!

Alright.. and these aren't pink or heart shaped.. but the name alone makes them sweet! Thanks to Robyn at Housewife Cooking for the recipe!

Love Puffs
1/3 cup shortening*
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
In a small bowl, beat shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; add to the sugar mixture alternately with milk. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Meanwhile, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the warm puffs in butter, then in cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 dozen.*I like Butter Flavored CRSICO for the shortening. Picture at top is Love Puffs!

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12 January 2010

Cherry Cuteness!

Michaels has the CUTEST Mary Engelbreit stuff right now!

I LOVE cherry things but they don't really go with much at our place. But I couldn't pass these up, and for $1 they are a good deal!

I got the cute little cupcake liners and goodie bags
But there was also placemats, invitations and thank you notes!

I am thinking we will have to have some little girls over for a tea party and Cherry Chip cupcakes in the cute liners..

I wish I could re-do our entire kitchen in these colors! But I don't think I could convince the hubby!

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08 January 2010

Just a good deal!

It's a Poultry Baker in the shape of a chicken! So cute, just got mine in the mail and I love it.. I never would have paid the non clearance price.. but since it was down to 15 bucks I thought I would!
The Chickens mouth is open so you can poor the drippings easily! Can't wait to use it! It also comes in black and a white.. but the black is not on clearance! And I finally learned how to hyperlink!

Poultry Baker
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